Skip to comments.The Impossible "Road Map" of Peace with the Lefebvrists
Posted on 02/15/2013 4:41:58 PM PST by ebb tide
In them, this brilliant and esteemed mystic and spiritual master expressed strong criticisms of Vatican Council II.
Fr. Barsotti wrote:
"I am perplexed with regard to the Council: the plethora of documents, their length, often their language, these frightened me. They are documents that bear witness to a purely human assurance more than two a simple firmness of faith. But above all I am outraged by the behavior of the theologians.
"The Council is the supreme exercise of the magisterium, and is justified only by a supreme necessity. Could not the fearful gravity of the present situation of the Church stem precisely from the foolishness of having wanted to provoke and tempt the Lord? Was there the desire, perhaps, to constrain God to speak when there was not this supreme necessity? Is that the way it is? In order to justify a Council that presumed to renew all things, it had to be affirmed that everything was going poorly, something that is done constantly, if not by the episcopate then by the theologians.
"Nothing seems to me more grave, contrary to the holiness of God, than the presumption of clerics who believe, with a pride that is purely diabolical, that they can manipulate the truth, who presume to renew the Church and to save the world without renewing themselves. In all the history of the Church nothing is comparable to the latest Council, at which the Catholic episcopate believed that it could renew all things by obeying nothing other than its own pride, without the effort of holiness, in such open opposition to the law of the gospel that it requires us to believe how the humanity of Christ was the instrument of the omnipotence of the love that saves, in his death.
(Excerpt) Read more at chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it ...
OK, I give up. For those that are not Catholic, help us determine what this is about and who this person is.
Dunno. I detect a note of concern.
ROME, February 9, 2013 In a new book sent to the printing press in recent days, Professor Enrico Maria Radaelli - philosopher, theologian, and beloved disciple of one of the greatest traditionalist Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century, the Swiss Romano Amerio (1905-1997) - cites three passages taken from the unpublished diaries of Fr. Divo Barsotti (1914-2006).
In them, this brilliant and esteemed mystic and spiritual master - who in 1971 was called to preach the Lenten exercises to the pope and to the Roman curia - expressed strong criticisms of Vatican Council II.
My personal opinion is that highly learned theologians disagreed with the Bishops and other highly learned theologians who wrote the Vatican II documents.
It is also my personal opinion that change is hard, and religious change is even harder.
For one group to complain that the other group isn’t using the “right” words or language is akin to the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Having read 6 of the 16 documents of Vatican II (still working on the rest), I can’t see any false doctrines, new pronouncements of dogma, or anything of the like. Rather, what I have read is the affirmation of Church’s teaching, an exposition of the proper relationship between the laity and the clergy, as well as stream-lining and harmonizing of rites, etc.
Can honest people disagree, of course. Should it create division in the Church, NO!
Jesus promised Peter the Gates of Hell would not prevail. We should trust in Him, follow the Scriptures, and be nourished by the Magisterium of the Church.
OK... One, I don’t get this at all, unless this is from a SciFi novel or something, perhaps. Two, if it is meant to be some manner of obscure religious statement/position, why are you taking up bandwidth on FR with it? I understand websites are going quite cheaply these days and might be better suited for such postulations. Or Facebook, I suppose. Just a suggestion.
When reading equivocal language with a proper Catholic formation, one might come away with a Catholic interpretation. But why even use imprecise language when the proper tools for theological discourse are readily available?
You make a good point, if read with proper Catholic formation, it makes sense. However, it may lead to misinterpretation by others.
Again, this just my opinion, but they may have wanted the documents to be more readable by the laity.
That said, a lack of precision will occur. For example, when a physician speaks to a patient about a medical condition, it is often done in a way that promotes general understanding only.
This is the core of Radaelli's criticism, isn't it?
In Radaelli's view, the current crisis of the Church is not the result of a mistaken application of the Council, but of an original sin committed by the Council itself.
This original sin is claimed to be the abandoning of dogmatic language - proper to all of the previous councils, with the affirmation of the truth and the condemnation of errors - and its replacement with a vague new pastoral language.
So the reunification must indeed proceed with dogmatic anathemization of the wayward fruit of Vatican II and in so doing it will become a return to firm Tradition back from "pastoral" intentional vagueness:
In order for this goal to be reached, Radaelli presupposes two things:
- that Rome would guarantee to the Lefebvrists the right to celebrate the Mass and the sacraments exclusively according to the rite of St. Pius V;
- and that the obedience required for Vatican II would be brought back within the limits of its false-pastoral language, and therefore be subject to criticisms and reservations.
But before this culmination - Radaelli adds - two other requests would have to be granted:
- the first, advanced in December of 2011 by the bishop of Astana in Kazakistan, Athanasius Schneider, is the publication on the part of the pope of a sort of new "Syllabus, which would strike with anathemas all of the "modern-day errors";
- The second, already proposed by the theologian Brunero Gherardini to the supreme magisterium of the Church, is a revision of the conciliar and magisterial documents of the last half century, to be done in the light of Tradition.
And this is what will signal true reunification to be on hand:
Errors that Radaelli lists on a page of his book as follows, calling them real and proper heresies:
Ecclesiology, collegiality, single source of Revelation, ecumenism, syncretism, irenicism (especially toward Protestantism, Islamism, and Judaism), the modification of the 'doctrine of replacement' of the Synagogue with the Church into the 'doctrine of the two parallel salvations,' anthropocentrism, loss of the last things (and of both limbo and hell), of proper theodicy (leading to much atheism as a 'flight from a bad Father'), of the meaning of sin and grace, liturgical de-dogmatization, aniconology, subversion of religious freedom, in addition to the 'dislocation of the divine Monotriad' by which freedom dethrones the truth.
I don't understand some of these, given in shorthand in the article. But those that I do recognize, I agree, are in dire need of dogmatic condemnation.
Wow, again, in my opinion, a lot of bickering over not that much.
It would appear that one group is mad the Council didn’t say specific things in a specific way. In that case, I don’t really care.
Also, I don’t think it was necessary for the Council to give a litany (ha ha!) of all previously mentioned heresies, and remind us they still heresies.
Finally, the return of dissidents is up to the dissidents. While Benedict XVI has made significant efforts to bring back SSPX, it is up to SSPX to make the next move.
Again, all just my personal opinion.
Not quite. I have read quite a bit of SSPX objections to the Vatican II council and they are, at the core, not about the Latin Mass per se, but about the spirit of vague permissiveness that is now the mark of Catholic theology, and about what this has done to the Church, -- just as Radaelli seems to summarize.
the return of dissidents is up to the dissidents.
No. They are not "dissidents". When a demented nun campaigns for Obamacare, or a theologian figures the Jews have their own plan of salvation without a need for conversion, these are dissidents. SSPX wants the Church to recognize its drift and correct it. If the Church extended SSPX the same latitude it gives the liberal theologians, the SSPX would not be in a funny position it is now. It is up to the Church to reintegrate SSPX as they are by renouncing things both the Roman Curia and SSPX know to be false; there is nothing the SSPX should change, theologically.
Full disclosure: I would not go to an SSPX service -- I am a Roman-rite Catholic in good standing, and usually go to a Novus Ordo mass.
Bishop demands a Syllabus on the Second Vatican Council
On December 17, 2010, during a colloquium in Rome organized by the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate on the topic Vatican II, a pastoral council Historical philosophical and theological analysis, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda (Kazakhstan), asked for the compilation of a Syllabus that would infallibly condemn the errors in interpreting the Second Vatican Council. The reason, he explained, is that only the supreme Magisterium of the Churchthat of the pope or of a new ecumenical councilcan correct the abuses and errors that resulted from Vatican II and adjust our understanding and implementation of it in the light of Catholic tradition. Declaring that it was scarcely possible to convoke a new council before another 500 years had passed , he considered that we should appeal from it [Vatican II] to the supreme magisterium of the pope. Hence this request for a new Syllabus which would juxtapose the condemned errors and their orthodox interpretation.
Other speakers during this colloquium were Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, author of the book The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A much-needed discussion (2009), and Professor Roberto de Mattei, an Italian historian and author of a recent volume on the Council entitled The Second Vatican Council: An unwritten story (currently available in Italian from the publisher Lindau). Both speakers responded to critiques that their books have elicited, especially in conservative conciliar circles determined to defend the infallibility of the Council. (Source : chiesa.espressonline.it DICI dated January 20, 2011)
Exclusive: Excerpts from The Ecumenical Vatican II Council: A Much Needed Discussion
DICI offers to its reader a preview of substantial excerpts from the book by Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, soon to be published in English under the title: The Ecumenical Vatican II Council: A Much Needed Discussion. The book, released in Italy before the summer, has already been re-printed twice. We translated the following excerpts from the French version of the book.
On the Notion of Living Tradition
Excerpt from Chapter 7 Tradition in Vatican II Council
Up to Vatican II, to clarify this point, the theologian had at his disposal a fairly precise elaboration of the concept of Tradition from which he could draw an argument to assess suitably his judgment.
I have already alluded to this elaboration in the first part of the present chapter, considering Tradition from various viewpoints, and calling it accordingly, apostolic, divino-apostolic, humano-apostolic, inherent, declarative and constitutive.
Now Vatican II, which made one exception for apostolic Tradition yet without ever presenting it with the meaning henceforth considered as traditional of this qualification systematically ignored all the others. On the other hand, we find in the Council a different qualification: living Tradition, which I will discuss later on.
We are confronted with a manner of expression, which, while desirous of simplifying the message, ends up by making it more complicated because of a too generic language, its amphibological use and its lack of specificity. And I am not talking about the fact that living could open the doors to all kinds of innovations which could be born of, or germinated from the old plant.
I make one last observation concerning the so-called living Tradition of the Church. Apparently it is an irreproachable expression, yet it is in fact ambiguous. It is irreproachable because the Church is a living reality and Tradition is its very life. It is ambiguous, because it allows the introduction into the Church of any novelty, even the least recommended, as expression of the Churchs life.
Dei Verbum speaks of the living Gospel, the living Magisterium and the living Tradition. Already this large array of usage does not plead in favor of the univocality of the concept.
In number 7, for instance, it affirms that: in order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors.
In number 8, we read that: the Holy Spirit, through whom the living (emphasis mine) voice of the Gospel resounds in the Church, and through her, in the world, leads unto all truth those who believe.
Next, we find in number 10 the following statement: The task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed down, has been entrusted exclusively to the living (emphasis mine) teaching office of the Church.
A little further down, in number 12, it is recommended as a duty that no less serious attention [must] be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture, and the living (emphasis mine) tradition of the whole Church must be taken into account.
From all these statements we vaguely perceive a certain analogy in the use of the adjective living, but certainly not its true meaning, nor the reason for its use.
What guarantees the vitality of the Gospel we know it well is the Gospel: through it resounds the Word of the living God, which is the very Person of God speaking, and hence the expression of His very life. That there exists also a Magisterium is a truth of our faith, in the sense that anyone in charge of the Magisterium continues, thanks to the apostolic succession, the uninterrupted transmission of the teaching of Christ and of His Apostles.
In fact, this succession causes the teaching of Christ and of His Apostles to reach the Church at every period in time, because it is a living and vital element of the very existence of the Church. On the other hand, the concept of living Tradition is more nebulous.
The conciliar text does not oblige to abide only by it, but also by the analogy of the faith, i.e. the link which binds together in a reciprocal interdependence each of the revealed truths and makes of them an unbreakable unity.
The objective of the double obligation tends to trespass the limits of the written word, this word coming from the living Word, which constitutes the beginning of ecclesiastic Tradition.
But why is it said to be living? The Council does not say, or at least not with the requisite clarity. Probably because of the unity at least substantial (hence the continuity) between the first stage of Tradition which is apostolic, and the following stages beginning with that which was immediately post-apostolic, down to the others, concerned with the great historic periods of the Church, and eventually all the way to the present stage.
This is probably what is meant. But silence about this continuity also implies, and unfortunately so, the absence of any certitude on this issue. Living might certainly indicate a link between the various stages and avoid more or less serious ruptures, thus ensuring the living and vital continuity of Tradition. But the text remains silent on the subject. It merely states that Tradition is living.
Now it does not suffice to declare it to be living for it to be really so. The vital communication between its various phases must not only be proclaimed, it must first and foremost be proved, and in such a way that the proof coincides with the continuity at least substantial of its contents with that of the preceding phases.
Tradition is living not when it becomes integrated into some novelty, but when we discover in, or deduce from it some new aspect, which, had before escaped notice; or when some new understanding of its original contents enriches the present life of the Church.
This life does not progress by leaps and bounds unconnected with each other, but along the main line of the quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est, which Vatican I, following in the footsteps of Trent, expressed by referring to the meaning quem tenuit ac tenet sancta Mater Ecclesia (DS 1507 and 3007).
The always, the everywhere and the by all are not concerned with an identity of words and hence of the statement as a whole, but really with the meaning that the Church, by means of her solemn and ordinary Magisterium, has always upheld, and still upholds now in her theological and dogmatic assertions.
The principle of the living Tradition was not the subject of any discussions. Yet, it is prone to pave the way to a falsification of the sacred deposit of the truths contained in Tradition.
In an atmosphere such as that prevalent during and after Vatican II, when only what was new appeared to be true, and when novelty was coming under the guise of the immanentist and fundamentally atheistic culture of our time, the doctrine of all times was but a vast graveyard.
Tradition has remained mortally wounded and is still agonizing today (unless it be already dead) because of stands taken which were radically irreconcilable with its past. So, it is not sufficient to define it as living, if there is not longer anything alive in it.
The truth is (and this is serious) that we speak of living Tradition only to rubber stamp any innovation presented as the natural development of truths officially handed down and received, even if the innovation has nothing in common with the said truths and is something far removed from a new shoot out of the old trunk.
As a matter of fact, Tradition is living only inasmuch as it is and continues to be the same apostolic Tradition, which presents itself anew unaltered , in and through the ecclesiastic Tradition.
The former carries in itself a rather passive meaning: it is what is handed down, equal to itself, included in its transmission, because the deposit must be kept unaltered.
The latter, on the contrary, displays a more active meaning as the official organ which ensures the faithful transmission of the deposit and finds, in this its end, the justification of the adjective living.
Hence, a data which would not have its roots in the contents handed down would not be a data of the living Tradition, even in the case in itself and per se absurd, that this data would be officially proposed.
A blatant example: it will never be possible for the transcendental theology of Rahner to be declared an element of the living Tradition, because it is in fact its tomb.
Something in the Council, and many things in the post-Council era have contributed to dig this grave.
The legitimacy of the adjective living with regard to the progress in the knowledge we may have of Tradition is unquestionable as we have already said. In this case, it belongs to the field of dogmatic progress.
As a matter of fact, the duty of the Churchs Magisterium is not only to present anew the apostolic Tradition, but also to study it thoroughly, to analyze and to explain it.
The living character of Tradition is then manifested not by measuring the apostolic contents in comparison with the level and the contents of the culture of such or such a historical period but by the fact that it initiates a transition from an implicit to an explicit statement of the contents.
In any case, the present call to living Tradition can be summed up as a genuine danger for the faith of each Christian and of the Christian community as a whole.
The changes already mentioned and those, which will be studied further down, will fully prove this.
Concerning Religious Liberty
Excerpt from Chapter 7 The Great Problem of Religious Liberty
So is it possible to inscribe Dignitatis Humanæ within the hermeneutics of continuity? If we are satisfied with an abstract proclamation, certainly so; but at the level of historic pertinence, I cannot see how it could be.
And the reason boils down to stating the obvious: the liberty proclaimed in the Decree Dignitatis Humanæ, which does not concern one aspect of the human person, but his very essence and, together with it, all his individual and public activity since he is free from any political and religious conditioning, has very little in common with, for instance, Mirari vos by Gregory XVI, Quanta cura and the Syllabus appended by Blessed Pius IX, Immortale Dei by Leo XIII (especially with regard to all that pertains to the relationships between civil authority and the government of the Church), Pascendi dominici gregis by St. Pius X and the Decree Lamentabili released shortly before by the Holy Office, or with Humani generis by Pius XII.
In fact, it is not a matter of a different language. The diversity is substantial and hence irreducible. The respective contents are different.
The content of the preceding Magisterium finds neither continuity nor development in that of Dignitatis Humanæ.
So, are there two Magisterii?
The question should not even be asked because, by its very nature, the Churchs Magisterium is one and indivisible: it is that created by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many are those who given the climate of the present time while reaffirming its unity and indivisibility, do not at all distinguish the danger of the split in two. The idea that today, as homage to the present changed circumstances, the Magisterium applies a principle in a way different from, or even counter to yesterday does not frighten them.
I could also declare myself in agreement, provided that the requisite and unquestionable condition of the eodem sensu, eademque sententia be always saved.
Unfortunately, everyone obviously seems to be going his own way, and this may well give the impression of a Magisterium split in two.
Excerpt from Chapter 8 Ecumenism or Syncretism
Yes truly, let us ask once more what is the Protestantism of Unitatis Redintegratio.
Left to this uncertainty, the post-council Church did not spare her attention to everyone, accepting the inclination of all men for the world, as if it were a principle and foundation (Cf. Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius) of a new kind. She took charge of the worlds joys and hopes, as well as of its contradictions, and forgot the Apostles warning: If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal. 1: 10).
They displayed the results obtained consequently to this agreement with the world, which, if it is not necessarily a betrayal of Christ, is always, when all is said and done, a rupture with the venerable Tradition. Volumes of the Enchiridion cumenicum were filled with these ruptures, without any concern for the scandal, or at least the astonishment, to which these facts gave rise in the mind of any serious Catholic.
Only one single example, and ab uno disce omnes (Virgil Eneide, II, 65): the astonishing joint declaration concerning the Lutheran doctrine of justification. Anyone possessing minimal information knows that this doctrine is about original sin, its devastating effects on human nature, and its remission by grace alone, independently of any contribution on the part of mans free will. It only admits a purely exterior application of the merits of Christ which supposedly cover sin, with the consequence that the justified person remains at the same time both sanctified and sinner, simul iustus et peccator).
I have recalled above that Luther (in 1537) would have been precisely disposed to any kind of concession towards popery; yet one single thing could not be questioned: the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
It took five centuries, but he won the day: the post-conciliar Church eventually proved him right, and carried his doctrine into the antechamber of the Faith.
A Plea to Pope Benedict XVI
The idea (which I dare now to submit to Your Holiness) has been in my mind for a long time. It is that a grandiose and if possible final clarification of the last council be given concerning each of its aspects and contents.
Indeed, it would seem logic, and it seems urgent to me, that these aspects and contents be studied in themselves and in the context of all the others, with a close examination of all the sources, and from the specific viewpoint of continuity with the preceding Churchs Magisterium, both solemn and ordinary. On the basis of a scientific and critic work as vast and irreproachable as possible in comparison with the traditional Magisterium of the Church, it will then be possible to draw matter for a sure and objective evaluation of Vatican II.
This will make it possible to answer the following questions (among many others):
What is the true nature of Vatican II?
What is the connection between its pastoral character (a notion which will need to be specified authoritatively) and its possible dogmatic character? Is the pastoral character reconcilable with the dogmatic character? Does it suppose it? Does it contradict it? Does it ignore it?
Is it truly possible to define the Second Vatican Council as dogmatic? And consequently, is it possible to refer to it as a dogmatic council? To base upon it new theological assertions? In which sense? And within which boundaries?
Is Vatican II an event in the sense given to the word by the professors of Bologna*, i.e. something which severs the bonds with the past and establishes a new era in every aspect? Or does all the past revive in it eodem sensu eademque sententia?
Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, a priest of the diocese of Prato (Italy), has been at the service of the Holy See since 1965, especially as professor of ecclesiology and ecumenism at the Lateran Pontifical University until 1995. He is the author of about a hundred books and of several hundreds articles in reviews, dealing with three concentric fields of research: the 16th century Reform, ecclesiology and Mariology. Msgr. Gherardini is at present a canon of the Vatican Archbasilica and editor of the international review of theology Divinitas.
* Progressist historians of the Second Vatican Council grouped around Professor Giuseppe Alberigo (Ed.)
Wolves in sheeps clothing. That is what the bishops of VC II were. Remember it was a “pastoral” council. Look up what that word means. Wolves only live in certain climates, look at where wolves live and you will see where the “wolves” hailed from during that Council. When equivocation is in play, the only way to know if something was good is to look at its fruits. What we have today is a devastated vineyard.
I think I will need to read this book. I have a feeling some one has finally hit the nail on the head with respect to understanding the phenomena known as VC II.