Quote of the Week

1 07 2009

otaviani

From the Gregorian Rite Catholic blog:

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, the then archbishop of Milan and future Pope Paul VI, went to that final meeting of the Central Commission and said that mercy, charity, and Christian witness — not anathemas and condemnations — were the way to reach the modern world. Realizing that Cardinal Montini spoke with the authority of the Pope, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, one of the Council’s more conservative voices and Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (today called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), was heard to murmur: ‘I pray to God that I may die before the end of the Council — in that way I can die a Catholic’ (Vatican II: Forty Personal Stories, Twenty-Third Publications, 2003, 6).

I feel his pain. Seriously.


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21 responses

2 07 2009
Adrian

TAN has certainly helped maintain public awareness of the great Masonic conspiracy which, unfortunately, tends to get lost in the shuffle of competing modern conspiracy theories. It’s tough maintaining those Catholic traditions.

2 07 2009
evagrius

Blogmaster- The list you give has quite a few books that are quite useful even if dated.

I’m thinking more of the little pious tracts, a la Jack Chick, found in many devotional stalls.

As for Centering Prayer being Catholic, you mean you haven’t heard of Fr. Thomas Keating, the Benedictine?

2 07 2009
Blogmaster

“That is the most concise thing I have read in a while. Thank you for that.”

You’re quite welcome. I sort of made it up right there on the spot. Either that or I was having a locution. You may use it freely, gratuitously, and without attribution. 🙂

2 07 2009
Blogmaster

“What’s ‘Eastern’ about Centering Prayer?”

I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Sorry if I pegged you wrong.

A more important question: What’s Catholic about Centering Prayer?

2 07 2009
Arturo Vasquez

“Papal authority is mostly the obsession of non-Catholics; Catholics have other business to attend to.”

That is the most concise thing I have read in a while. Thank you for that.

Now, I think I need to check the Vatican website again for the umpteenth time today. Maybe I’ll find another cool photo of the Pope in sunglasses

2 07 2009
Blogmaster

There is no “traditionalist” literature on spirituality. There is only Catholic literature on spirituality that traditionalists attempt (often too poorly) to preserve, practice, and promulgate. The books and writings number in the hundreds, probably thousands. A TAN Books catalog is a good place to start. A few that are popular with traditionalists of my own acquaintance include …

“The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life”, by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. This is a nearly-forgotten classic and has been a life saver for countless souls. You can read it here online: http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/saints/3ways.htm

“Introduction to the Devout Life” by St. Francis de Sales

“The Story of a Soul” by St. Therese of Lisieux

“The Way of Divine Love” by Josefa Menendez

“Humility of Heart” by Fr Cajetan Mary Bergamo

“True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort

“The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis de Montfort

“Spiritual Exercises” by St. Ignatius of Loyola

“The Rule of St. Benedict”, by St. Benedict of Nursia

Many tracts and books by St. Alphonsus de Ligouri

My first spiritual director, a priest of the FSSP (now S.G.), was trained in Carmelite spirituality and assigned me “Conversation With God” and “Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila. He also recommended the works of St. John of the Cross, and another book I still have not finished titled “The Hermitage Within” written by an anonymous monk.

Such literature has little or nothing to say about visions or locutions of any kind. If anything, they warn against delusions of this nature. These books are about growing in the love of God and achieving union with Christ – holiness, the only purpose of our lives on earth. Although Catholic spirituality never opposes the authority of Peter, these books barely mention the temporal authority of the Church except, perhaps, in brief and unremarkable passing references.

Papal authority is mostly the obsession of non-Catholics; Catholics have other business to attend to.

1 07 2009
evagrius

O.K. Blogmaster,

Show me some “traditionalists” literature on spirituality.

What’s “Eastern” about Centering Prayer?

1 07 2009
Tom Smith

“I don’t know if Ottaviani died a Catholic but he certainly lived as an advocate and protector of pederasts and rapists.”

Care to cite some examples? The document Crimen Sollicitationis would seem to indicate otherwise.

1 07 2009
Adrian

No, because you shouldn’t “shop around” for a better Church than the one Roman Catholic Church we have. You’re supposed to endure and keep the faith under the mediocre leadership of the hierarchy, the way the saints always have.

1 07 2009
Blogmaster

“I get this stuff from simple examination of the literature on ‘spirituality’ promulgated by ‘traditionalists’.”

Your ignorance is as astounding as it is culpable. Whatever weird eastern spirituality you are into, it’s poison. No thanks.

1 07 2009
Death Bredon

Sounds like Adrian is suggesting that you Sectarian Carolingian Tools become Orthodox and tell your enslaving, barbarian, feudal masters to kiss off. 😉

1 07 2009
evagrius

“The ‘traditionalists’ only accept contemplation if it results in visions and locutions upholding authority.”

Complete nonsense. Where do you people get this stuff? ”

I get this stuff from simple examination of the literature on “spirituality” promulgated by “traditionalists”.

It’s a well-known fact that contemplation has been separated from the rest of theology, ( it’s called “mystical theology” and it concerns itself, or used to, with the theological validity of unusual “mystical experiences” etc; as described by visionaries, ecstatics, etc;), and this separation, begun in the 13th-14th centuries, has harmed the understanding of dogmatic and liturgical theology.

But contemplation isn’t about unusual mystical experience but about the presence of God in everyday, humdrum, even tedious activities. Yes, it calls for periods of quiet prayer but also the carrying forth of that prayer into everyday life.

Vatican II did have one interesting result- the interest in contemplative prayer has increased quite a bit. One only has to go to a Centering Prayer event directed by Fr. Keating to see how hungry for that type of prayer, ( and yes, experience- but that experience is quite simple-it’s just “discovering” one’s body and mind in the Spirit- nothing extraordinary but rather intraordinary), ordinary everyday lay Catholics and other Christians are.

In a sense, the “traditionalists” are in love with the external clothing, flash and filigree. The “liberals” are in love with the emotive, “charismatic”, group-hugs.

Both need quiet prayer, the type with no words, just silence.

1 07 2009
Adrian

I don’t want to associate Evagrius with my intemperate and unserious remarks below. But I think s/he is a genius.
_________

“I pray to God that I may die before the end of the Council — in that way I can die a Catholic”

I don’t know if Ottaviani died a Catholic but he certainly lived as an advocate and protector of pederasts and rapists. That wicked old inquisitor and the tradition he represents should be considered the unlamented and uncelebrated losers of the 1960s. Suck it, Ottaviani!

Ottaviani and his Lefebvrist fans aren’t standing for up for ancient tradition, they, like the liberals they hate, are part of the Catholic Church’s hysterical, undignified, defensive, and silly reaction to modern, industrial capitalism, democratic politics, universal literacy, mass culture and other recent developments. I think the hardcore, neoscholastic, defensive and highly apologetical Catholicism that emerged from the 19th century was based on the premise that the growing middle classes and literate working classes weren’t coming to church for need-specific miracles anymore, so they needed to be lured back with broad intellectual arguments and rigorous catechesis (good luck with that!).

The liberal plan for saving the Church from modernity was actually quite similar to the conservative plan, the institutionalization of accessible theology for the masses at the expense of actual religion. What Catholicism really needed (and still needs) is more contemplation, more mystical experience, more mass whatever the liturgy, more devoted veneration of saints and more love.

1 07 2009
Blogmaster

“The ‘traditionalists’ only accept contemplation if it results in visions and locutions upholding authority.”

Complete nonsense. Where do you people get this stuff?

And the liturgy is not lost, not by a long shot. Thanks to Summorum Pontificum, the liturgy is resurgent. Even my own Novus Ordo parish is rediscovering Latin and sacred polyphony. No, it isn’t enough, but it’s genuine movement in the right direction. As you said, Arturo – “baby steps”.

1 07 2009
evagrius

Well, as much as perhaps everyone would like to go back to “Bless Me Father”, a British sit-com set in 1950;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bless_Me,_Father

it’s not possible.

The “problem” with Vatican II is not that it was conceived badly, ( I understand that such Orthodox luminaries as Father Afanasiev and Paul Evdokimov were involved in the writing of some of the documents. Fr. Afanasiev’s liturgical theology was a profound source and Evdokimov’s theology of laity and marriage another influential source ). but that it was enacted badly.

Most of the bishops, even now, were/ are not very deeply trained in theology. By that I mean its history, development, problematics etc;. And theology itself has been split into so many different types that it’s difficult to have a holistic view of it.

The bishops were and are bureaucrats, picked for administrative skills, not skills in theology, especially pastoral theology.

The lacuna in Vatican II was a dearth of contemplation. Contemplation is suspected by both “traditionalists” and “liberals” for different reasons but it has been marginalized.

This is ironic because many of those involved with the foundation of Vatican II, the ressourcement movement, were quite aware of the need for a reintegration of contemplation into the everyday lay life of the Church.

This has not happened. The “traditionalists” only accept contemplation if it results in visions and locutions upholding authority. the liberals see it as a feel-good activity and both are seriously wrong.

1 07 2009
Bill Scott

“Mercy, charity, and Christian witness — not anathemas and condemnations — were the way to reach the modern world.”

What exactly is wrong with what then-Cardinal Montini said? What have anathemas and condemnations achieved? Those who have been condemned or anathematized either dig in their heels and refuse to listen to what we have to say, or they walk away and don’t hear what we have to say. If we really wish to reach those we think are in error, then mercy, charity and Christian witness are the only way people will listen to us today.

1 07 2009
Arturo Vasquez

People tend to forget how ad hoc many of the Conciliar documents really were and pretend that many of them were well thought-out and planned. Not at all. That is why many have those “time bombs” in them that are side by side with the “orthodox” parts that allowed conservative bishops to go along with it. If people look at the actual history, they would not be so triumphalistic about what came out of the Second Vatican Council, and perhaps that is why it needs to be chucked in the garbage can.

I am far from optimistic that this is going to happen, but it is refreshing to see that maybe things are starting to thaw and little by little even “normal” thinking Catholics will begin to conclude that all of this isn’t such a good idea. Baby steps, I suppose. Things will only begin to settle down when people finally conclude that Vatican II isn’t the “latest project” that all Catholics are under a moral obligation to make work, but rather Catholicism itself is such an experiment. And maybe this is only possible by ignoring the “conciliar ethos” that has emerged since the 1960’s.

Are things still among us from that time that will always be among us? Undoubtably, since many of the developments coming out of Vatican II appeal to the lower tendencies of human nature. As I have said in the past, I think liturgy is a losing battle; Catholic liturgy in the West has long been a dead letter, so it is no use trying to bring the attitudes of such blogs as the New Liturgical Movement to the masses (is that blog still around?). The ecumenical movement has turned the ecclesiological brain of the average Catholic into mush, and I don’t expect that to change, especially since it is an opportunity for ecclesiastics to get together and gab about their golf game. And we will probably still have to suffer through permanent deacons giving sermons about their wives and the fishing trip they took last week; not that this is worse than what you usually hear on Sunday mornings in many churches…

As I said, hopefully the tide is turning so that at the very least Vatican II will not longer be the sacred cow that you cannot touch under any circumstances (Trent, Chalcedon, and the rest being all up for grabs).

1 07 2009
Leah

“Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, the then archbishop of Milan and future Pope Paul VI, went to that final meeting of the Central Commission and said that mercy, charity, and Christian witness — not anathemas and condemnations — were the way to reach the modern world.”

Who says you can’t have both? A “good cop, bad cop” routine can be quite helpful when dealing with errant teenagers, interrogation suspects, and the modern world. But seriously, there’s definately a gap between how we see the Church and how most people see her. For the average Westerner, the Catholic Church is the same autocratic institution that they associate with the Galileo trial and the Spanish Inquisition. This is why Catholics in the public eye will make themselves out to be a victim of the cruel, hierarchical, male-dominated Church when they publically float Church teachings, even when such persecutions are completely imaginary.

1 07 2009
Sam Urfer

“Well, as they say, all Catholics are but the stroke of a pen and imprimatur of a seal from Mormanism!”

I’m not sure who should be insulted by this, Mormons or Catholics. Probably the Mormons.

1 07 2009
FrGregACCA

Only if they’re a small subset of whitebread, Republican Catholics, DB.

Anyway, Mormonism makes the RCC, even the RCC of the fifties, look downright congregational. Salt Lake really does micromanage everything, worldwide, and has for a long time.

1 07 2009
Death Bredon

Well, as they say, all Catholics are but the stroke of a pen and imprimatur of a seal from Mormanism! 🙂

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