Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Legacy of Benediktuskirche

The recently published book-length interview with the Pope Emeritus, Last Testament: In His Own Words, goes far beyond the opening discussion about his resignation and retirement, also recapitulating the childhood, youth, and unexpectedly dramatic ecclesiastical career of Joseph Ratzinger. Some items from his memoirs and earlier interviews are revisited and clarified, and some controversies—like his falling out with the heretic Hans Küng—are discussed at length. Most interesting is the P. Emeritus’s continued identification as a theological progressive, and his belief that being such was always the right choice.

I do not intend to review the book as a whole, but I will share a few interesting selections from Ratzinger’s final interview. We need to be reminded, I think, of how little of a friend he was and is to the various traditionalist movements in the Church.

After the war, Ratzinger began his studies in Freising with his brother Georg, at a school that had been founded with a monastery by St. Corbinian in AD 716. He speaks of a retreat led there by a certain Professor Angermair:
He was a fresh, new thinker who particularly wanted to take us out of the cramped piety of the nineteenth century, and into the open. You sensed the new mood, and it was a breakthrough for me, so to speak. Accordingly, your curiosity then grows while you’re in university, even if everything wasn’t quite so convincing there. (Ch. 6)
This sense of moving out of a cramped spirituality and theology was a prominent aspect of the 20th-century Modernists and quasi-Modernists, although in many respects their accusations were true. There was a kind of tunnel vision when it came to theology and spiritual formation, especially as it was disseminated to the laity, and this sense of unjust confinement led contemporary thinkers to be careless when breaking off their shackles.

The topic comes up again when Seewald asks Ratzinger why he has seldom addressed the topic of Hitler and the Third Reich:
Well, the eyes are always looking to the future. And it was not specifically my topic. We had the experience within us, but to reflect further on it historically or philosophically was something I never saw as my task. For me the important thing was to conceive the vision for tomorrow. Where are we today? How will things proceed with the Church? How will things proceed in society? (Ch. 6)
From there the questions proceed deeper into his theological vision, and it is worthwhile to quote him at some length:
Well, I didn’t want to operate only in a stagnant and closed philosophy, but in a philosophy understood as a question—what is man, really?—and particularly to enter into the new, contemporary philosophy. In this sense I was modern and critical…. [I] didn’t simply want to learn and take on a closed system, I also wanted to understand the theological thinkers of the Middle Ages and modernity anew, and to proceed from this. This is where personalism, which was in the air at that time, particularly struck me, and seemed to be the right starting point of both philosophical and theological thought….
We were forward-thinking. We wanted to renew theology from the ground up, and thereby form the Church in newness and vitality. In this respect we were lucky that we lived in a time in which both the youth and liturgical movements had opened up new horizons, new paths. Here we wanted to press forward with the Church, so that, in precisely this way, she would be young again. At that time we all had a certain contempt for the nineteenth century; it was fashionable then. So neo-Gothic and those rather kitschy figures of saints, the narrow, somewhat kitsch piety and over-sentimentality—we wanted to overcome all that. We wanted a new era of piety, which formed itself from the liturgy, its sobriety and its greatness, which drew on the original sources—and was new and contemporary precisely because of this….
As mentioned already, I wanted out of classical Thomism, and Augustine was a helper and guide with this. In this connection it was worthwhile entering into a living conversation with contemporary philosophy. But I’ve certainly never been an existentialist….
I thought: we are young people, we have a point of entry. From this certainty that we are able to build the world anew, I was fearless before great things…. The personal struggle which Augustine expresses really spoke to me. Thomas’s writings were textbooks, by and large, and impersonal somehow….
It [the “Munich School”] was defined by the fact that it was completely biblically oriented, working from Holy Scripture, the Fathers and the liturgy, and it was very ecumenical. The Thomistic-philosophical dimension was missing; maybe that was its real benefit. (Ch. 6)
Neither I nor His Traddiness are great defenders of the Thomistic school, but the hubris of thinking that one can discard what had been a long-proven instructional tool for basic theology and exchange it for something which the beginners themselves were building from the ground up, is obvious. The theological legacy of Thomas of Aquino is no more disposable than the Fathers and Scriptures that the amatores aggiornamento supposedly respected. It is probably true that Thomism was in need of serious reform and correction, but the Summa has always been effective in its original intended use, as a beginner’s guide to theology. That is not something to be lightly dismantled.

(As a sidenote, it is interesting that at the end of this chapter, Ratzinger discusses the novels of Hermann Hesse, especially The Glass Bead Game, which ends with a spiritual-intellectual leader deciding to lay down his responsibilities and retire into a more humble life. I noted the similarities between the action of the novel and the P. Emeritus’s actions in a post last year.)

His thoughts continue as he hikes over the mountains and valleys of memory through his higher education:
In Munich we had of course grown up with a modern philosophy. Certain professors had taken us to pastures new and opened them up for us. I had taken this mood on internally, and tried to perpetuate it according to the possibilities at my disposal….
Only later was there separation between those who rejected the Magisterium and went their own way, and those who said that theology can only be done within the Church. [Meaning the supposedly divergent paths of the progressive school. -J] Then, everyone was still aware that theology obviously has its own freedom and task, that it cannot be completely servile to the Magisterium, but we also knew that theology without the Church would be theology in name only, and would no longer have any meaning. I was considered someone who is young, who opens new doors, treads new paths, so then persons who were just plain critical came to me. (Ch. 7)
He reflects later on many aspects of his experience during the recent Council:
During the period of the Council in Rome, did you sometimes stop for a couple of drinks with someone along the way?
Not as a pair, no, but as part of a small group. Especially in the theological commission. Then we often drank plentifully in Trastevere.
[The Pope laughs loudly.]…
Which theologians do you actually appreciate the most?
I would still say Lubac and Balthasar….
Which camp did you belong to at that time: the progressives?
Yes, indeed, I would say so. At that time progressive did not mean that you were breaking out of the faith, but that you wanted to understand it better, and more accurately, how it lives from its origins. I was of the opinion then that that was what we all wanted….
You were charged with that [freemasonry]?
[Laughs] Yes, yes, although I really shouldn’t be held in suspicion of being a freemason…. 
Was it a mistake to convoke the Council at all?
No, it was right for sure. One can ask whether it was necessary or not, OK. And from the outset there were people who were against it. But in itself it was a moment in the Church when you were simply waiting on something new, on a renewal, a renewal of the whole…. In that respect the time was simply nigh. (Ch. 8)
Presumptions of inaugurating a new dispensation in the Church was common among mid-20th century theologians, especially the Germans. The “new wine” apparently flowed freely across the Tiber during the Council, the same place where Fr. Bouyer famously penned the corrected text of Eucharistic Prayer II on a napkin.

It was also in Trastevere, on an outdoor table at a small restaurant in 2004, where I talked at great length with another recent American convert well into the night about the many troubles in the Church. I had barely been Catholic a full year, and already I was growing sickened by the theological and moral disintegration that most of my fellow Catholics were happy to willfully ignore or excuse. It is sad to see that Joseph Ratzinger is still so full of his youthful naïveté that he defends every principle he followed, even while weakly condemning their usual consequences.

The penultimate chapter of the interview, “Shortcomings and Problems,” is a far cry from the example of Ratzinger’s hero St. Augustine, who wrote a series of Retractationes. In here, the P. Emeritus makes a long series of excuses, and casts blame for some events (especially the “Williamson affair”) on others. He claims also that the “gay lobby” problem had been entirely taken care of before his resignation.

In the concluding chapter, he ominously describes the historical import of his papacy:
Do you see yourself as the last Pope of an old era or the first Pope of a new era?
Between the times, I would say. 
As a bridge, a kind of connecting link between the two worlds? 
I don’t belong to the old world any more, but the new world isn’t really here yet.
The new world is still being constructed around us, with the neverending “year” of “mercy” and “humility.” We can only pray that its reforms will be stopped before they are irreversible.

Sts. Benedict and Joseph, pray for us!


  1. The problem with thomism is that oftentimes st. Thomas and what he said get lost in the midst of interpretations and systems.

    Also, i don't think there can be entire schools and systems of theology, or that at least there shouldn't be. I understand that there are schools of thought on particular questions (Immaculate Conception historically, contritionism vs attritionism, molinism vs banesianism etc.), but one shouldn't base his entire theology on premises of one name, doctor or a saint.

    Of course, Fathers should always be given pride of place.

    1. A simplified and highly-glossed version of Thomas's theology was useful for the mass-education of seminarians, many of whom were ill-suited for the intellectual life as such. The fifth session of Trent necessitated a swift and clumsy theological education for all priests, and Thomas's beginner's guide was a reasonable enough starting point. Pius IX retroactively canonized scholasticism, in a sense, but the push in the 19th and 20th centuries to correct all modern errors with Thomism had backfired terribly by Vatican II.

      While Thomas himself gave great pride of place to Scripture and the Fathers, the Thomistic manuals often did not. His conclusions were too frequently presented as simple truth, end of discussion. I suppose the bishops did not want to confuse the poor seminarians too much by making them read original texts. Direct engagement with Scripture, the Fathers, and even Thomas, would be a major corrective to doctrinal chaos.

    2. J., thank you for the very interesting and informative post! You have, without of course aiming to, inspired me to write a little post on St. Thomas and Thomism. Hopefully, I will find time today and tomorrow to work on it.

      In the meantime, though, I would offer a couple of thoughts on this idea of the inadequacies of the Thomistic revival:
      First, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange relates the anecdote (in "De Christo Salvatore") of two seminarians, around the year 1905, who ignored his lecture on the Person of Christ; when he called them out on their inattention, they replied that his lecture was outdated. "Everyone knows that experience is the source of personhood," they said, in so many words, not realizing (as Garrigou pointed out to them) that that would mean in Christ there were two persons. Resistance to "original source" Thomism, it would seem, was strong very early on in some quarters.

      Second: if one has qualms about identifying oneself as a "Thomist" as too narrowly identifying the Queen of Sciences with one particular Saint, one could always find reassurance in the other epithets given to the Angelic Doctor, namely the "Common" or "Universal" Doctor, since these are pretty much synonymous with "Catholic." In other words, I would agree with Marko if we are talking about other great saintly theologians but demur if we are talking about the Common and Universal Doctor (some of whose words have been incorporated into dogmatic definitions, after all).

    3. I have a few of Garrigou-Lagrange's books on my shelf, and consider him to be a very sane and readable Thomist, even if he does get a bit "textbooky" at times. (His "Three Ages of the Spiritual Life" is unintentionally humorous because of his many asides into a controversy he and another theologian were engaged in.)

      However, the "Universal Doctor" of the Church is not Thomas, but his mentor Albertus Magnus, thanks to Pius XI. I tend to think that Thomas deserves that title more than Albert, but what do I know?

    4. @J.
      I agree that st. Thomas is a good starting point. It was for me too and i often go back to Summa to check some things quickly via the cheat method, i.e. i read the first line: "It seems that x is not y." and thus, i know that x in fact is y.

      I would subscribe to almost everything in your comment. But if a person has a certain dogmatic frame, i.e. the Magisterium, what is the danger in reading the sources?

      Well, st. Thomas, who is one of my favourite saints, and to whom only the Eastern Orthodox have sung a worthy hymn (which i will post down), is universal doctor because he's covered almost everything in his Summas and other writings and because he was both intellectually honest and a faithful son of the Church. Moreover, he was both a mystic and a theologian, so he retained that patristic ideal. Therein lies his greatness and that's why he managed to become the Doctor Communis,but he shouldn't be considered the be all end all of theology.

      Some patristic formulas have been used in Council of Florence too.

      Here's the link to the hymn/kanon in Greek and English

    5. J.: I salute your subtle homage to Scholasticism by drawing the fine but substantive distinction between Doctor Universalis and Universalis Doctor Ecclesiae ("Studiorum Ducem," no. 11). (St. Albert, of course, bears the former, St. Thomas the latter honorific.)

      Marko: thank you for the link! I'm not sure worthy hymns to St. Thomas are lacking in Latin Christendom, though they don't figure in the S. Liturgy so far as I know. Also, I appreciate the praise for S. Thomas, but I'm not sure you've found the "specific difference" regarding his elevation to Common Doctor. Hopefully, none of us is surprised by the use of the Holy Fathers in conciliar decrees; what is remarkable is that one born so long after the Patristic age should enjoy a similar authority.

    6. Why do the EO have an ode to him?! Are they WRO?

    7. @Marco. The ode is from 15th century.

      What is even more remarkable is that V2 recommends him specifically, and none other, as a theologian under whose light one should learn.

    8. Here's a kanon in honor of Council of Florence by the same author and also in production by Cappella Romana.

    9. Capreolus: That's a very interesting distinction. I actually did not realize that P. Pius XI had named Thomas as such, although looking at the encyclical, I am not sure that it is an official title (he seems to be using the word "universal" to explain what he means by "common"). Perhaps this is an unnecessary exercise in semantics, since I am not trying to downplay the achievements of Thomas's work. I simply dislike the misuse of the Summa as a bottleneck or sieve that ignores everything that came before.

    10. Dear J., I admit I was being a little smart-alecky in writing that, and I'm sure you're right about Pius XI's intention there. I couldn't agree more about the way the Summa is used (and has been used); in fact, that's pretty much how I feel about the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in on-line discussions. At any rate, I hope to mention in my upcoming (fingers crossed) post how the approach of the great Commentators of St. Thomas was the diametric opposite of the method you rightly decry.

    11. Capreolus: I hope you write about Garrigou-Lagrange in your upcoming post. His head-butting with Karol Wojtyła during the latter's student days is a story all in itself. And I've been meaning to read his book on Christ for some time, now ("Our Savior," I believe it's called).

      Also of possible interest is how even some traddy movements take the same approach to Thomism as did the last century's progressives, particularly the disciples of Fr. Feeney. I often wonder if the "return to the Fathers and Scripture" line of reasoning is just a way of bypassing the Middle Ages so people can find what they want to find. St. Augustine has been especially abused by Catholic intellectuals who want an alternative to Thomas.

    12. J.: I intend to include something about the classic Commentators, the best of the most recent being probably Garrigou-Lagrange. Poor man! He had to try to wrestle Fr. Wojtyła's Phenomenological proclivities into something that could pass the doctoral examen. "Multum scribit, parvum dicit."

  2. Btw., this part about 19th century piety was being read during lunch (aside from the Sacred Scripture and the Rule) in the Benedictine monastery i visited recently.

  3. A thoughtful essay that creates little room for disagreement.

    For many Catholics trying to take their faith seriously who came of age late in the last century, John Paul II was formative; for me, it was Ratzinger, even before his election. It took some time for me to appreciate him for what he is: a liberal whose worst instincts are tempered by a genuine love of beauty and a horror of disorder, formed by an age in which a weakened, defensive Church struggled to emerge from the ruins of the destruction of its old Catholic heartlands by decades of nationalist warfare, divvied up by materialists (Lockean and Marxian) from East and West.

    When restoration comes, however, it will have to come from other quarters. I wonder what will be left of it all when that time comes, almost certainly well after Papa Ratzinger has gone to his eternal reward.

    1. P. John Paul was reigning when I was received into the Church, and Ratzinger was elected soon after. I always found both of their writings confounding and perplexing, no matter how much of it I read. I think one has to mentally succumb to a measure of liberal-modernist-nonsense thought in order for progressive theology to appear coherent or even impressive. P. Benedict's greatest intellectual weakness has apparently been his belief in the "hermeneutic of continuity," the belief that progressive thought is ultimately harmonious with traditional theology, I can only suppose in a sort of Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis formulation. He recognized that there was a problem, but not that he was part of the problem.

    2. "He recognized that there was a problem, but not that he was part of the problem."

      Sadly, that's about the size of it.

    3. It's very ironic that when Ratzinger was still Cardinal, many in Tradistan were wary of him, but when he became Pope, suddenly the accolades came in, especially with SP and other things, even though he really didn't celebrate the '62 missal, but still did the new rite in Italian. Many still hang on to his every word, ignoring the problematic statements in his books (even the most recent ones, e.g. that Matthew didn't really write the Gospel attributed to him, according to the book "Jesus of Nazareth").

  4. I am not familiar enough to know where St. Thomas's theology ends and his metaphysics begins (I've no doubt he probably defines the boundaries himself somewhere). Does your caution in embracing an exclusively thomistic theology likewise apply to embracing an exclusively thomistic metaphysics? I assumed it all hinged on the same underlying essentialism, which would make it difficult to non-arbitrarily reject lines of the saint's argumentation.

    1. Dear jem, I can't answer for J., of course, but speaking from my own study of St. Thomas, I would say his theology begins--and metaphysics 'ends'--precisely at the point of the reception of divine revelation, properly so called, i.e. revealed truths that are beyond the power of unaided human reason to know. I put 'ends' in quotes because, of course, the principles and conclusions of metaphysics are employed (along with other branches of philosophy) in the explanation and defense of theology.

    2. This makes sense. The idea is then that perhaps the underlying metaphysical principles are true, but perhaps St. Thomas misapplies them to things like angels (which would be an exercise in theology), whereas he applies them correctly to things like sexual morality (which would be an exercise in more general philosophy).

    3. Jem: absolutely the metaphysical principles (act and potency, the Categories, etc.) are true; otherwise, they're not worth knowing. St. Thomas would--and does--contend that many things can be known about the Angels from reason alone: their existence (Contra Gentes, II, c. 91, et al.), their nature in general, their relation to material things, etc. This knowledge is supplemented by revelation (their names, their choirs and hierarchies, etc.). The same could be said of sexual morality (e.g., natural reason in regard to polygamy vs. Christ's revelation). I might add that this is one reason why some go astray when consulting St. Thomas (especially if they only rely on a quick glance at the Summa Theologica): they are not aware that Aquinas sometimes reasons philosophically only, while at other times he reasons from revealed truth. I would contend--for example--that the famous Five Ways are clearly meant theologically in the first place; but that's too much to go into here.

    4. jem: I'm not sure how much I can speak to the question of metaphysics. My academic training is in literary theory, not philosophy, so my philosophical-theological blatherings on this blog are all amateur. I do sometimes wonder if Thomas misapplies some of his premises to things like angelology—how certain are we that angels are pure spirit, for instance?—but that's a tad above my paygrade.

    5. I think that Jem is hinting at the application of hylemorphism to angels. Basically, st. Thomas says that, since they are pure spirits, they're just form and no matter, and thus, since there is no common matter to unite them in a certain way, every angel is it's own "species".

    6. Thanks for the replies, all. Yes, I was referencing that very application, Marko. This, I thought, was an example of a theological idea of Thomas's supported by his metaphysics, though I think I have miscategorized subjects or drawn incorrect lines in the sand here.

      My thought was that all of Thomas's work, even his theology, had metaphysical groundwork that could not sensibly be separated from it. And in this way, I thought that it would be very difficult to reject this or that particular argument of his without inadvertently dismantling his entire 'system' (in the sense that the whole cannot operate without all pieces in tact), making most of what he offered inadequately substantiated and so pretty much useless.

      I've not read much of his commentary on Scripture. I would guess there are probably assertions and interpretations (the sorts of 'theology' people presumably take issue with) in those pieces of his that have nothing to do with his essentialism.

      Lots of sloppy thinking and confusion here, sorry about that.

  5. ABS greatly appreciates these posts but it does cause him to wonder just what are the consequences of the idea that Ratzinger and Bergolio are heretics for that is the popular, if not the majority view, of many inhabitants of Tradistan.

    If the Popes are heretics and the Council produced heretical teachings (Religious Liberty) and the Magisterium has been corrupted by Modernism and is unreliable, then isn't one consequence of those ideas that the Holy See has failed even though it has been Infallibly taught (Vatican 1) that the Holy See will never fail and teach error?

    Now would be a good time for a sizable sip of Chartreuse.

    1. I have a hard time seeing how anything in Vatican II can be seen as a binding teaching on faith or morals (Paul VI didn't see it either). The religious liberty document, like the others of that Council and the papal encyclicals from JP2 onward, come across less as teaching than as chatter about nonsense. One thinks of Fr. Hunwicke's observation that the popes have not erred in binding teachings, but in weakness have refused to teach the truth, which is not formal heresy, but cowardice.

      Have Chartreuse anyhow!

    2. Always sip your Chartreuse slowly, no matter how bad the world is becoming. If you need something to gulp, find a bottle of bourbon.

    3. Agreed. Only what was repeated in previous councils is seen as binding, not non-infallible musings (ranging from good to harmless to banal and inane).

    4. Not an issue. Vatican II was not dogmatic, ranging from good and needed disciplinary changes (Orientalum Ecclesiarum) to downright heresy (Lumen Gentium). Francis is definitely a heretic like John XXII and Honorious before him.

      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiates

      Vatican I has often been used to advocate beliefs about the pope that are just plain wrong, contradicting history and tradition

    5. "Vatican I has often been used to advocate beliefs about the pope that are just plain wrong, contradicting history and tradition."

      As any visit to Sede haunts will confirm: they are quite happy with a Pope so powerful as to order how they mount their toilet paper on the wall (and how many squares to use). A Papacy as powerful as they imagine it to be ends up remarkably fragile. It's held to too high a standard of expectation. And it's just such expectations - and docility in the face of them - that made it possible for us to get into the fix we did in the 1960's.

      At least the ultramontanism of Spadaro, Kasper et al is only a convenient pose. Before March 2013, they were in full cry for collegiality and the particular church.

    6. You've been to Sede haunts? You're braver than I, who have only met individual Sedes.

    7. "As any visit to Sede haunts will confirm: they are quite happy with a Pope so powerful as to order how they mount their toilet paper on the wall (and how many squares to use). A Papacy as powerful as they imagine it to be ends up remarkably fragile."

      Day after day, i see that my bishop Strossmayer was right to warn against declaring the dogma.

      What's more, it's not that pope's spiritual power over the faithful was doubted, but the moral influence over the world (but that shouldn't matter) and that's what kinda prompted the V1. When you have reassert yourself it means you're insecure. Peter ended up crucified and he had more converts in one day than several popes had in their lifetimes.

    8. Thank you, Marko, for the mention of Strossmayer. It prompted me to go look up his speech. His final address is terrifyingly prophetic:

      "If He who reigns above wishes to punish us, making His hand fall heavy on us, as He did on Pharaoh, He has no need to permit Garibaldi's soldiers to drive us away from the eternal city. He has only to let them make Pius IX a god..."

    9. EV, can you please share the link?

    10. Keep in mind that the authenticity of this particular text is questioned (by the usual ultramontanist and Catholic Answers brigades), but it is known and even admitted in the Catholic Encyclopaedia that he DID give a speech but it fails to give the text. The only source I have found is from a clearly Anti-Catholic one (then again, remember that truth can come from any source):

      That said, perhaps Marko Ivančičević can speak to the authenticity of this particular text or possibly even produce another source? He is from the Cardinal's home country, after all (and the common US history taught about that synod is not exactly objective) ;)

    11. Oh yes, that text is most certainly bogus.
      I've read his speeches for an assignment on my college
      He didn't deny the dogma. He actually said that everybody believes the infallibility and that there is no point in repeating of what everybody already knows and also that it wouldn't be opportune to pronounce the dogma because relations with the orthodox would suffer....

      Even the Catholic Encyclopedia says in it's article on V1: "The minority, therefore, allowed itself to be guided by opportunist considerations. Only a few bishops appear to have had doubts as to the dogma itself. ", and it numbers Strossmayer in the opportunistic minority. And yes, he was an opportunist because he wanted to maintain good political and societal relations with Serbs who were, well, Serbian Orthodox. There was a vast diaspora of them living in Croatia, but also, he was working on some kind of unification of southern Slavs against what politicians of that times perceived as Austrian/Hungarian hegemony.

      But he wasn't a heretic or a protestant.
      The serbian orthodox that lived in Croatia in the time of his reign hated him because they perceived him as a threat that would possibly convert the serbian orthodox to Catholicism...

    12. That's good. While I agreed with many points of it (and have used the same appeals to history many times myself), a good 5-10% of it is a steaming pile of heresy or just wrong (No evidence of a pope in the first 4 centuries? Give me a break).

      Maybe a side note, but it's a pity there wasn't a Strossmayer back in the 16th-18th centuries when the South Slavs could have united against the Turk. You had the Serbs continually revolting against the kebab, Jovan II the Patriarch of Serbia writing to Rome to assure the pope of their communion with the Papal See (and begging for assistance), and you had... Imperial churchmen like Leopold Karl von Kollonitsch who were more concerned with trying to make all the Balkan Christians Latins instead of uniting them against the common enemy.

  6. Vatican Two judges its own self as worthy of binding religious belief and there is no way (it was a legit ecumenical council approved by a Pope) its teachings are not part of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium; and all that entails.

    What is interesting in its stark and easy to observe praxis is the ethics and doctrines of Tradistan which succors a schism (sspx) while attacking a Pope and, of course, that is tradition.

    But it is protestant tradition, not Catholic Tradition; so, Myeterium Iniquitatis I guess

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm going to ask both of you that this be nipped in the bud. No need to have another papal supremacy fight. Neither of you is going to convince the other with the rhetoric either of you use.

      For just an ounce of calmness and charity in the face of verbal assault...
      Bishop Strossmayer, pray for us!

    3. Sorry, I better avoid these comments.

    4. E.V. You feel at liberty to troll Catholics while demanding others maintain a decorum of collegial comity.

      If you do not hold a public office, you certainly are qualified to do so.

      All ABS did was to make an observation about Catholic Trads and so it was you who created the conditions for a captious controversy.

      For his part, out of love and respect for Rad Trad, ABS will turn his other cheek towards you but why don't you consider giving up Catholic Trolling for Lent.

    5. It's my fault, as I took issue with your characterization. But on second thought, I decided to just delete my post, and leave it be.

    6. ABS, I am not trolling. 95% o my stuff here and on my own blog is quite sincere, I assure you. Trolling is a beautiful art to be used on precious Millenial snowflakes who have never been punched in their life, have never held a real job, and whose (also worthless) baby boomer parents never even spanked them as children. Trolling is a bunch of shirtless men drinking whole milk while singing praises to the Great Frog of KEK.

    7. Don't make me use my "Smite" button, y'all.

  7. If it is going to be nipped in the bud, Barney Fife pray for us

  8. Because it is so often averred that There have only been three of four infallible judgments ever made it is useful to recall the famous Relatio at Vatican One delivered by Bishop Gasser:

    ...already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

    1. At the same time, it can't be stated that the Holy See can never fall into error. That's just ridiculous. Popes make errors, even heretical ones. To deny that is to deny history.

  9. He who hears you hears me

    Chapter 2.

    On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs

    1. That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time [45].

    2. For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which he founded and consecrated with his blood [46].

    Now, either John is right or Jesus Christ is right and to deny that Jesus is right is to profess that Jesus is a liar of the first order and worse than Satan for, far from being trustworthy, the promises of Jesus Christ are monstrous and they have led innumerable men astray and directly into Hell.

    To deny Jesus Christ and His promises is to deny truth.

    And that is it for me on this thread.

    1. My grumpy finger is hovering above the "Smite" button as we speak.

    2. I hope this doesn't bring the smite button...

      ABS, I would like to apologize if I have offended you personally. I will end by stating that I fully agree with the Primacy and reject Papal Supremacy (and there is a difference). Frankie has helped remind me that it is the words of Christ that are important and not the whims of some heterodox or heretical pontiff.

      Na zdrowie!