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Present at the Demolition<br> An interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
The Latin Mass ^ | Summer 2001 | Dr. Alice von Hildebrand

Posted on 07/27/2002 4:57:56 PM PDT by narses

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The Latin Mass: Chronicle of a Catholic Reform


Summer 2001 Issue

Present at the Demolition
An interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand

A Philosopher Remembers and Reminds

The following conversation with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand opens our discussion of this issue’s focus: The Crisis in the Church: Scenarios for a Solution. Dr. von Hildebrand, professor of philosophy emeritus of Hunter College (City University of New York), has just completed The Soul of a Lion, a biography of her husband, Dietrich.

 

TLM: Dr. von Hildebrand, at the time that Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council, did you perceive a need for a reform within the Church?

AVH: Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.

 

TLM: In terms of the present crisis, when did you first perceive something was terribly wrong?

AVH: It was in February 1965. I was taking a sabbatical year in Florence. My husband was reading a theological journal, and suddenly I heard him burst into tears. I ran to him, fearful that his heart condition had suddenly caused him pain. I asked him if he was all right. He told me that the article that he had been reading had provided him with the certain insight that the devil had entered the Church. Remember, my husband was the first prominent German to speak out publicly against Hitler and the Nazis. His insights were always prescient.

 

TLM: Had your husband ever talked about his fear for the Church before this incident?

AVH: I relate in my biography of my husband, The Soul of a Lion, that a few years after his conversion to Catholicism in the 1920s, he began teaching at the University of Munich. Munich was a Catholic city. Most Catholics at the time went to Mass, but he always said that it was there that he became aware of the loss of a sense of the supernatural among Catholics. One incident especially offered him sufficient proof, and it greatly saddened him.

When passing through a door, my husband would always give precedence to those of his students who were priests. One day, one of his colleagues (a Catholic) expressed his astonishment and disapproval: “Why do you let your students step ahead of you?” “Because they are priests,” replied my husband. “But they do not have a Ph.D.” My husband was grieved. To value a Ph.D. is a natural response; to feel awe for the sublimity of the priesthood is a supernatural response. The professor’s attitude proved that his sense for the supernatural had been eroded. That was long before Vatican II. But until the Council, the beauty and the sacredness of the Tridentine liturgy masked this phenomenon.

 

TLM: Did your husband think that the decline in a sense of the supernatural began around that time, and if so, how did he explain it?

AVH: No, he believed that after Pius X’s condemnation of the heresy of Modernism, its proponents merely went underground. He would say that they then took a much more subtle and practical approach. They spread doubt simply by raising questions about the great supernatural interventions throughout salvation history, such as the Virgin Birth and Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, as well as the Resurrection, and the Holy Eucharist. They knew that once faith – the foundation – totters, the liturgy and the moral teachings of the Church would follow suit. My husband entitled one of his books The Devastated Vineyard. After Vatican II, a tornado seemed to have hit the Church.

Modernism itself was the fruit of the calamity of the Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt, and it took a long historical process to unfold. If you were to ask a typical Catholic in the Middle Ages to name a hero or heroine, he would answer with the name of a saint. The Renaissance began to change that. Instead of a saint, people would think of geniuses as persons to emulate, and with the oncoming of the industrial age, they would answer with the name of a great scientist. Today, they would answer with a sports figure or cinema personality. In other words, the loss of the sense of the supernatural has brought an inversion of the hierarchy of values.

Even the pagan Plato was open to a sense of the supernatural. He spoke of the weakness, frailty and cowardice often evidenced in human nature. He was asked by a critic to explain why he had such a low opinion of humanity. He replied that he was not denigrating man, only comparing him to God.

With the loss of a sense of the supernatural, there is a loss of the sense of a need for sacrifice today. The closer one comes to God, the greater should be one’s sense of sinfulness. The further one gets from God, as today, the more we hear the philosophy of the new age: “I’m OK, You’re OK.” This loss of the inclination to sacrifice has led to the obscuring of the Church’s redemptive mission. Where the Cross is downplayed, our need for redemption is given hardly a thought.

The aversion to sacrifice and redemption has assisted the secularization of the Church from within. We have been hearing for many years from priests and bishops about the need for the Church to adapt herself to the world. Great popes like St. Pius X said just the opposite: the world must adapt itself to the Church.

 

TLM: From our conversation throughout this afternoon, I must conclude that you don’t believe that the accelerating loss of the sense of the supernatural is an accident of history.

AVH: No, I do not. There have been two books published in Italy in recent years that confirm what my husband had been suspecting for some time; namely, that there has been a systematic infiltration of the Church by diabolical enemies for much of this century. My husband was a very sanguine man and optimistic by nature. During the last ten years of his life, however, I witnessed him many times in moments of great sorrow, and frequently repeating, “They have desecrated the Holy Bride of Christ.” He was referring to the “abomination of desolation” of which the prophet Daniel speaks.

 

TLM: This is a critical admission, Dr. von Hildebrand. Your husband had been called a twentieth-century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. If he felt so strongly, didn’t he have access to the Vatican to tell Pope Paul VI of his fears?

AVH: But he did! I shall never forget the private audience we had with Paul VI just before the end of the Council. It was on June 21, 1965. As soon as my husband started pleading with him to condemn the heresies that were rampant, the Pope interrupted him with the words, “Lo scriva, lo scriva.” (“Write it down.”) A few moments later, for the second time, my husband drew the gravity of the situation to the Pope’s attention. Same answer. His Holiness received us standing. It was clear that the Pope was feeling very uncomfortable. The audience lasted only a few minutes. Paul VI immediately gave a sign to his secretary, Fr. Capovilla, to bring us rosaries and medals. We then went back to Florence where my husband wrote a long document (unpublished today) that was delivered to Paul VI just the day before the last session of the Council. It was September of 1965. After reading my husband’s document, he said to my husband’s nephew, Dieter Sattler, who had become the German ambassador to the Holy See, that he had read the document carefully, but that “it was a bit harsh.” The reason was obvious: my husband had humbly requested a clear condemnation of heretical statements.

 

TLM: You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration, there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, “Not another conspiracy theory!”

AVH: I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.”

Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans “smell conspiracy wherever they go.” But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions. Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy.

 

TLM: Do the two books by the Italian priest you mentioned before the interview contain documentation that would provide evidence of this infiltration?

AVH: The two books I mentioned were published in 1998 and 2000 by an Italian priest, Don Luigi Villa of the diocese of Brescia, who at the request of Padre Pio has devoted many years of his life to the investigation of the possible infiltration of both Freemasons and Communists into the Church. My husband and I met Don Villa in the sixties. He claims that he does not make any statement that he cannot substantiate. When Paulo Sesto Beato? (1998) was published the book was sent to every single Italian bishop. None of them acknowledged receipt; none challenged any of Don Villa’s claims.

In this book, he relates something that no ecclesiastical authority has refuted or asked to be retracted – even though he names particular personalities in regard to the incident. It pertains to the rift between Pope Pius XII and the then Bishop Montini (the future Paul VI) who was his Undersecretary of State. Pius XII, conscious of the threat of Communism, which in the aftermath of World War II was dominating nearly half of Europe, had prohibited the Vatican staff from dealing with Moscow. To his dismay, he was informed one day through the Bishop of Upsala (Sweden) that his strict order had been contravened. The Pope resisted giving credence to this rumor until he was given incontrovertible evidence that Montini had been corresponding with various Soviet agencies. Meanwhile, Pope Pius XII (as had Pius XI) had been sending priests clandestinely into Russia to give comfort to Catholics behind the Iron Curtain. Every one of them had been systematically arrested, tortured, and either executed or sent to the gulag. Eventually a Vatican mole was discovered: Alighiero Tondi, S.J., who was a close advisor to Montini. Tondi was an agent working for Stalin whose mission was to keep Moscow informed about initiatives such as the sending of priests into the Soviet Union.

Add to this Pope Paul’s treatment of Cardinal Mindszenty. Against his will, Mindszenty was ordered by the Vatican to leave Budapest. As most everyone knows, he had escaped the Communists and sought refuge in the American embassy compound. The Pope had given him his solemn promise that he would remain primate of Hungary as long as he lived. When the Cardinal (who had been tortured by the Communists) arrived in Rome, Paul VI embraced him warmly, but then sent him into exile in Vienna. Shortly afterwards, this holy prelate was informed that he had been demoted, and had been replaced by someone more acceptable to the Hungarian Communist government. More puzzling, and tragically sad, is the fact that when Mindszenty died, no Church representative was present at his burial.

Another of Don Villa’s illustrations of infiltration is one related to him by Cardinal Gagnon. Paul VI had asked Gagnon to head an investigation concerning the infiltration of the Church by powerful enemies. Cardinal Gagnon (at that time an Archbishop) accepted this unpleasant task, and compiled a long dossier, rich in worrisome facts. When the work was completed, he requested an audience with Pope Paul in order to deliver personally the manuscript to the Pontiff. This request for a meeting was denied. The Pope sent word that the document should be placed in the offices of the Congregation for the Clergy, specifically in a safe with a double lock. This was done, but the very next day the safe deposit box was broken and the manuscript mysteriously disappeared. The usual policy of the Vatican is to make sure that news of such incidents never sees the light of day. Nevertheless, this theft was reported even in L’Osservatore Romano (perhaps under pressure because it had been reported in the secular press). Cardinal Gagnon, of course, had a copy, and once again asked the Pope for a private audience. Once again his request was denied. He then decided to leave Rome and return to his homeland in Canada. Later, he was called back to Rome by Pope John Paul II and made a cardinal.

 

TLM: Why did Don Villa write these works singling out Paul VI for criticism?

AVH: Don Villa reluctantly decided to publish the books to which I have alluded. But when several bishops pushed for the beatification of Paul VI, this priest perceived it as a clarion call to print the information he had gathered through the years. In so doing, he was following the guidelines of a Roman Congregation, informing the faithful that it was their duty as members of the Church to relay to the Congregation any information that might militate against the candidate’s qualifications for beatification.

Considering the tumultuous pontificate of Paul VI, and the confusing signals he was giving, e.g.: speaking about the “smoke of Satan that had entered the Church,” yet refusing to condemn heresies officially; his promulgation of Humanae Vitae (the glory of his pontificate), yet his careful avoidance of proclaiming it ex cathedra; delivering his Credo of the People of God in Piazza San Pietro in 1968, and once again failing to declare it binding on all Catholics; disobeying the strict orders of Pius XII to have no contact with Moscow, and appeasing the Hungarian Communist government by reneging on the solemn promise he had made to Cardinal Mindszenty; his treatment of holy Cardinal Slipyj, who had spent seventeen years in a Gulag, only to be made a virtual prisoner in the Vatican by Paul VI; and finally asking Archbishop Gagnon to investigate possible infiltration in the Vatican, only to refuse him an audience when his work was completed – all these speak strongly against the beatification of Paolo VI, dubbed in Rome, “Paolo Sesto, Mesto” (Paul VI, the sad one).

That the duty to publish this depressing information was onerous and cost Don Villa great sorrow cannot be doubted. Any Catholic rejoices when he can look up to a Pope with boundless veneration. But Catholics also know that even though Christ never promised He would give us perfect leaders, He did promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Let us not forget that even though the Church has had some very bad popes, and some mediocre ones, she has been blessed with many great popes. Eighty of them have been canonized and several have been beatified. This is a success story that does not bear parallel in the secular world.

God alone is the judge of Paul VI. But it cannot be denied that his pontificate was a very complex and tragic one. It was under him that, in the course of fifteen years, more changes were introduced in the Church than in all preceding centuries combined. What is worrisome is that when we read the testimony of ex-Communists like Bella Dodd, and study Freemasonic documents (dating from the nineteenth century, and usually penned by fallen-away priests like Paul Roca), we can see that, to a large extent, their agenda has been carried out: the exodus of priests and nuns after Vatican II, dissenting theologians not censured, feminism, the pressure put on Rome to abolish priestly celibacy, immorality in the clergy, blasphemous liturgies (see the article by David Hart in First Things, April 2001, “The Future of the Papacy”), the radical changes that have been introduced into the sacred liturgy (see Cardinal Ratzinger’s book Milestones, pp. 126 and 148, Ignatius Press), and a misleading ecumenism. Only a blind person could deny that many of the Enemy’s plans have been perfectly carried out.

One should not forget that the world was shocked at what Hitler did. People like my husband, however, actually read what he had said in Mein Kampf. The plan was there. The world simply chose not to believe it.

But grave as the situation is, no committed Catholic can forget that Christ has promised that He will remain with His Church to the very end of the world. We should meditate on the scene related in the Gospel when the apostles’ boat was battered by a fierce storm. Christ was sleeping! His terrified followers woke Him up: He said one word, and there was a great calm. “O ye of little faith!”

TLM: I take it by your remarks about ecumenism that you don’t agree with the current policy of “convergence” rather than “conversion”?

AVH: Let me relate an incident that caused my husband grief. It was 1946, just after the war. My husband was teaching at Fordham, and there appeared in one of his classes a Jewish student who had been a naval officer during the war. He would eventually tell my husband about a particularly stunning sunset in the Pacific and how it had led him to the quest for the truth about God. He first went to Columbia to study philosophy, and he knew that this was not what he was looking for. A friend suggested he try philosophy at Fordham and mentioned the name Dietrich von Hildebrand. After just one class with my husband, he knew he had found what he was looking for. One day after class my husband and this student went for a walk. He told my husband during this time that he was surprised at the fact that several professors, after discovering he was Jewish, assured him that they would not try to convert him to Catholicism. My husband, stunned, stopped, turned to him and said, “They said what?!” He repeated the story and my husband told him, “I would walk to the ends of the earth to make you a Catholic.” To make a long story short, the young man became a Catholic, was ordained a Carthusian priest, and went on to enter the only Charter House in the United States (in Vermont)!

 

TLM: You spent many years teaching at Hunter College.

AVH: Yes, and several of my students became Catholics. Oh, the beautiful conversion stories I could relate if I had time – young people who were swept up by truth!

I want to make one point very clear, however. I did not convert my students. The most we can do is to pray to be God’s instruments. To be an instrument we must strive to live the Gospel every day and in every circumstance. Only God’s grace can give us the desire and ability to do that.

It is one of the fears I have about traditional Catholics. Some flirt with fanaticism. A fanatic is one who considers truth to be his personal possession instead of God’s gift. We are servants of the truth, and it is as servants that we seek to share it.

I am very concerned that there are “fanatical” Catholics who use the Faith and the truth it proclaims as an intellectual toy. An authentic appropriation of the truth always leads to a striving for holiness. The Faith, in this present crisis, is not an intellectual chess game. For anyone not striving for holiness, that’s all it will ever be. Such people do more harm to the Faith, particularly if they are proponents of the traditional Mass.

 

TLM: So you see the only scenario for a solution to the present crisis as the renewal of a striving for sanctity?

AVH: We should not forget that we are fighting not only against flesh and blood, but against “powers and principalities.” This should elicit sufficient dread in us to make us strive more than ever for holiness, and to pray fervently that the Holy Bride of Christ, who is right now at Calvary, comes out of this fearful crisis more radiant than ever.

The Catholic answer is always the same: absolute fidelity to the holy teaching of the Church, faithfulness to the Holy See, frequent reception of the sacraments, the Rosary, daily spiritual reading, and gratitude that we have been given the fullness of God’s revelation: “Gaudete, iterum dico vobis, Gaudete.”

 

TLM: I cannot end the interview without asking your reaction to a well-worn canard. There are those critics of the ancient Latin Mass who point out that the crisis in the Church developed at a time when the Mass was offered throughout the world. Why should we then think its revival is intrinsic to the solution?

AVH: The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church. It was my husband who gave me this insight about the Mass. The problem that ushered in the present crisis was not the traditional Mass. The problem was that priests who offered it had already lost the sense of the supernatural and the transcendent. They rushed through the prayers, they mumbled and didn’t enunciate them. That is a sign that they had brought to the Mass their growing secularism. The ancient Mass does not abide irreverence, and that was why so many priests were just as happy to see it go.

 

TLM: Thank you, Dr. von Hildebrand, for this time and the opportunity to speak with you.

 

 


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KEYWORDS: alicevonhildebrand; cardinalmindszenty; catholiclist; ling; mindszentyreport; vonhildebrand
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1 posted on 07/27/2002 4:57:56 PM PDT by narses
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To: GatorGirl; tiki; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
Ping.
2 posted on 07/27/2002 4:58:22 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses
The Catholic answer is always the same: absolute fidelity to the holy teaching of the Church, faithfulness to the Holy See, frequent reception of the sacraments, the Rosary, daily spiritual reading, and gratitude that we have been given the fullness of God’s revelation: “Gaudete, iterum dico vobis, Gaudete.”

I don't know what the Latin means (I'm sure I should!), but Mrs. Von Hildebrand is wonderful. She's also tough to discredit.

A few times I've been fortunate enough to hear her on EWTN. She is clear and concise and always, IMO, spot on.

3 posted on 07/27/2002 5:29:38 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: narses
This is the viewpoint of those born a long long time ago who saw their perspective lose the battle and then saw no incremental approach, just overnight change.
4 posted on 07/27/2002 5:30:00 PM PDT by Domestic Church
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To: narses
But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Only a blind person could deny that many of the Enemy’s plans have been perfectly carried out.

One should not forget that the world was shocked at what Hitler did. People like my husband, however, actually read what he had said in Mein Kampf. The plan was there. The world simply chose not to believe it.

The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church.

Thank you, narses. Dr. von Hildebrand speaks the truth and there are those who want to ignore it.

But grave as the situation is, no committed Catholic can forget that Christ has promised that He will remain with His Church to the very end of the world.

His words give me hope.

5 posted on 07/27/2002 5:33:43 PM PDT by ELS
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To: Domestic Church
True, I hadn't thought of it like that at all. She would have a different viewpoint than a post Vat II Catholic (like me, born in 1959).

For some years I was a "non-practicing" Catholic. Each time I attended Church it seemed like there was a new change and/or practice. Taken in total, I still sometimes feel like I am attending a different Church altogether. Not better or worse, just different.

6 posted on 07/27/2002 5:39:04 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
It is from the prayers of the third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when the Church can no longer contain her joyful longing for the coming of the Savior. We light the rose candle and rejoice that our redemption is so close at hand. Gaudete comes from the Latin Antiphon, which begins, "Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.." [Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice...].
7 posted on 07/27/2002 6:32:46 PM PDT by narses
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To: american colleen
The change was very hard on those of us who received First Sacraments in latin. And it was excruciating for those like the Hildebrands or my parents who also met with Pope Pius XII. I have heard of some who became physically ill. It was very important to recognize the Cross in it all. I think there is a lesson for the current age...we might, or our children might be given a bigger Cross down the road.
8 posted on 07/27/2002 6:33:56 PM PDT by Domestic Church
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To: Domestic Church
I can somewhat relate, although I barely remember the Mass in Latin - I just remember not understanding what the priest was saying but not understanding why I couldn't understand. I think I was 5 or 6. I received my First Holy Communion on my knees, with a platen held by an altarboy. I remember hearing the words of the priests during Consecration and hearing about 50 names of saints - and being on my knees a lot longer. I remember lines at confession at the "booths" and lighting candles for our beloved dead and, you could walk into our parish at any time of the day because it wasn't locked (although that probably is necessary these days) and I miss those wonderful things, a part of the Catholic identity that sadly, IMO, is missing today. One of the only "new" things I do like, off the top of my head, is the song "Here I am Lord" - that does bring tears to my eyes.
9 posted on 07/27/2002 7:18:35 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: narses
Thank you narses. I'll add that Latin to my "amo, amas, amant...
10 posted on 07/27/2002 7:20:00 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
My pleasure.
11 posted on 07/27/2002 7:37:48 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses
Alice Von Hildebrand is an amazing woman....filled with the Holy Spirit, and unafraid to speak the truth. I enjoy her lectures on EWTN.
12 posted on 07/27/2002 8:49:44 PM PDT by Palladin
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To: Palladin
I have no cable and so I am EWTN challenged, but what I read of her work I respect.
13 posted on 07/27/2002 8:53:29 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses
"Considering the tumultuous pontificate of Paul VI, and the confusing signals he was giving, e.g.: speaking about the “smoke of Satan that had entered the Church,” yet refusing to condemn heresies officially; his promulgation of Humanae Vitae (the glory of his pontificate), yet his careful avoidance of proclaiming it ex cathedra; delivering his Credo of the People of God in Piazza San Pietro in 1968, and once again failing to declare it binding on all Catholics; disobeying the strict orders of Pius XII to have no contact with Moscow, and appeasing the Hungarian Communist government by reneging on the solemn promise he had made to Cardinal Mindszenty; his treatment of holy Cardinal Slipyj, who had spent seventeen years in a Gulag, only to be made a virtual prisoner in the Vatican by Paul VI; and finally asking Archbishop Gagnon to investigate possible infiltration in the Vatican, only to refuse him an audience when his work was completed – all these speak strongly against the beatification of Paolo VI, dubbed in Rome, “Paolo Sesto, Mesto” (Paul VI, the sad one)."

This is strange. I wonder why the very pope who had the vision about the "smoke of Satan" was not as strong as he could have been.

14 posted on 07/27/2002 10:39:59 PM PDT by Theresa
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To: Domestic Church
Lost the battle? You don't follow the news. The traditionalists are growing by leaps and bounds--and they are mostly comprised of the young. They have no vocation shortage and the men entering their priesthood are in the prime of life. It is the liberal Amchurch that is dying. It simply cannot reproduce itself and is comprised of a rapidly aging clergy.

15 posted on 07/27/2002 10:56:24 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: Loyalist
FYI
16 posted on 07/29/2002 10:13:42 AM PDT by narses
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To: Theresa
It is passing strange, however all men are stained by Original Sin and all men are fallible. Pray for him is the best answer I have.
17 posted on 08/10/2002 10:10:29 AM PDT by narses
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To: livius
Ping. The end result of this is the USCCB decision to repudiate Chritianity, at least as regards our Jewish brethern.
18 posted on 08/13/2002 7:39:30 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses
Yes, all of the things she said are true, and we are indeed seeing its fruits in things like the Bishops' statement on conversion. I just keep asking myself what more they could do to make 2000 years of faith vanish.
19 posted on 08/14/2002 4:56:02 AM PDT by livius
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To: GatorGirl; tiki; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
A new ping.
20 posted on 11/03/2002 10:14:18 AM PST by narses
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To: narses; Domestic Church; american colleen
Let me add my ping to this. Her husband was a saint, and she is spot on in her critique.

With regard to Domestic Church's statement about the generational pain in the unfolding of the Novus Ordo, I know that my father and mother died a thousand deaths as the Church was twisted about by hierarchs, clergy, and religious whose loyalties were somewhere outside of the Church. What a cross so many have had to bear!

21 posted on 11/03/2002 1:00:05 PM PST by Siobhan
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To: ultima ratio
"The traditionalists are growing by leaps and bounds--and they are mostly comprised of the young. They have no vocation shortage and the men entering their priesthood are in the prime of life. It is the liberal Amchurch that is dying. It simply cannot reproduce itself and is comprised of a rapidly aging clergy."

I agree. The liberal bishops have empty seminaries, while those who are strict and faithful to the Magisterium have seminaries that are bulging at the seams. I can hardly wait...

22 posted on 11/03/2002 4:13:34 PM PST by redhead
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To: narses; ThanksBTTT
both Freemasons and Communists

Sisters ... Sisters ... there were never such devoted sisters.

23 posted on 11/06/2002 10:53:47 AM PST by Askel5
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To: Askel5; saradippity; GatorGirl; tiki; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; ...
A reminder that sara's concerns regarding infiltration are not unfounded. Since they are not, shouldn't Pat B's "Index" article be re-examined in the light of reason rather than simple personal attacks?
24 posted on 12/11/2002 8:56:19 AM PST by narses
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To: narses
TLM: Dr. von Hildebrand, at the time that Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council, did you perceive a need for a reform within the Church?

AVH: Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.

<> I remember reading this in TLM when it first came out. I thought the question impertinent and the answer a tragic example of Pride

I cannot think of a single reason why this intelligent woman's personal opinion or the personal opinion of her intelligent husband ought to be considered revelant when opposed to the equally intelligent, but also Saintly, and orthodox, Pope John 23rd.

He, after all, occupied the seat of authority that is Divinely-Constituted<>

25 posted on 12/11/2002 9:32:58 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: narses
Modernism itself was the fruit of the calamity of the Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt, and it took a long historical process to unfold. If you were to ask a typical Catholic in the Middle Ages to name a hero or heroine, he would answer with the name of a saint. The Renaissance began to change that. Instead of a saint, people would think of geniuses as persons to emulate, and with the oncoming of the industrial age, they would answer with the name of a great scientist.

<> With all due respect, Ma'am, TLM is trading on your reputation as an intellecttual to label an Ecuemnical Council a demolition. You happen to be correct that many, including especially TLM editors and subscribers, adhere to the influence and advice of intellectuals to oppose an Ecumenical Council but you do not appear to realise the trap into which you have walked<>

26 posted on 12/11/2002 9:37:49 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: Theresa
<> Pope Pual has been described by some as one with great strength and patience. I recall some saying Jesus was weak....<>
27 posted on 12/11/2002 9:50:29 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
What did you perceive as in error in the following?

Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.

Do you deny that enemies of the Church existed before, during and after V2? That they tried (and in some cases succeeded) in creating and using ambiguity to attack the True Church?

28 posted on 12/11/2002 9:55:39 AM PST by narses
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To: narses
<> All Ecumenical Councils are, similarly, from God. So are their decisions.

Call me a KJPL, but I value the thoughts and decisions of a Saintly Pope and the decisions of an Ecumenical Council over the personal opinions of lay intellectuals when it comes to this matter.

IMO, TLM used her as a hammer to beat upon the Divinely-Consituted authority and I think she, naively,allowed herself to be used (even while calling us Americans naive)

The error consists in thinking the Teaching of the Church is untouchable. Doctrine develops and the First Vatican Council finished with its work uncompleted.

The "not one iota is to be changed..." in relation to the Church's Teaching, sounds, to me at least, like the complaints of the Orthodox in re "changing" the Creed.

Doctrine develops and our ever-deeping understandimg of the Original Deposit of Faith is infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit and nobodyincluding intellectuals, can contend against an Ecumenical Council. Period.<>

29 posted on 12/11/2002 10:52:30 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: narses
<> All Ecumenical Councils are, similarly, from God. So are their decisions.

Call me a KJPL, but I value the thoughts and decisions of a Saintly Pope and the decisions of an Ecumenical Council over the personal opinions of lay intellectuals when it comes to this matter.

IMO, TLM used her as a hammer to beat upon the Divinely-Consituted authority and I think she, naively,allowed herself to be used (even while calling us Americans naive)

The error consists in thinking the Teaching of the Church is untouchable. Doctrine develops and the First Vatican Council finished with its work uncompleted.

The "not one iota is to be changed..." in relation to the Church's Teaching, sounds, to me at least, like the complaints of the Orthodox in re "changing" the Creed.

Doctrine develops and our ever-deeping understandimg of the Original Deposit of Faith is infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit and nobodyincluding intellectuals, can contend against an Ecumenical Council. Period.<>

30 posted on 12/11/2002 10:52:45 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: american colleen
"“Gaudete, iterum dico vobis, Gaudete.”"

"Rejoice! Again I say, Rejoice!"

31 posted on 12/11/2002 4:00:42 PM PST by redhead
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To: narses
"With the loss of a sense of the supernatural, there is a loss of the sense of a need for sacrifice today. The closer one comes to God, the greater should be one’s sense of sinfulness. The further one gets from God, as today, the more we hear the philosophy of the new age: “I’m OK, You’re OK.” This loss of the inclination to sacrifice has led to the obscuring of the Church’s redemptive mission. Where the Cross is downplayed, our need for redemption is given hardly a thought."

Just thought this bore repeating...

32 posted on 12/11/2002 4:17:02 PM PST by redhead
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To: Catholicguy
I was surprised that you overlooked this:

It is one of the fears I have about traditional Catholics. Some flirt with fanaticism. A fanatic is one who considers truth to be his personal possession instead of God’s gift. We are servants of the truth, and it is as servants that we seek to share it.

I am very concerned that there are “fanatical” Catholics who use the Faith and the truth it proclaims as an intellectual toy. An authentic appropriation of the truth always leads to a striving for holiness. The Faith, in this present crisis, is not an intellectual chess game. For anyone not striving for holiness, that’s all it will ever be. Such people do more harm to the Faith, particularly if they are proponents of the traditional Mass.

33 posted on 12/11/2002 5:04:03 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: Catholicguy
You never did answer:

Do you deny that enemies of the Church existed before, during and after V2? That they tried (and in some cases succeeded) in creating and using ambiguity to attack the True Church?
34 posted on 12/11/2002 5:36:38 PM PST by narses
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To: narses
Do you deny that enemies of the Church existed before, during and after V2?

<> I assumed this part was rhetorical<>

That they tried (and in some cases succeeded) in creating and using ambiguity to attack the True Church

<> I am not sure what you are getting at. I htink I do, but, could you elaborate a bit?<>

35 posted on 12/12/2002 4:57:20 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: RobbyS
<> LOL, I didn't. I was just focusing on another aspect of the piece<>
36 posted on 12/12/2002 4:58:27 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; livius; ...
Ping.
37 posted on 05/09/2003 7:42:39 PM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Ping Two.
38 posted on 06/29/2003 4:43:26 PM PDT by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Carindal Arinze of Nigeria)
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To: sinkspur; GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
Here you go "deacon".
39 posted on 10/04/2003 9:00:33 PM PDT by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria)
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To: narses
The Faith, in this present crisis, is not an intellectual chess game. For anyone not striving for holiness, that’s all it will ever be. Such people do more harm to the Faith, particularly if they are proponents of the traditional Mass.

I love Alice Von Hildebrand. I have a couple of books by her husband Dietrich... he's brilliant as well.

40 posted on 10/04/2003 9:18:09 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
"Rejoice, I say again unto you: Rejoice!!"

It is the Introit sung for the Third Sunday of Advent.

Here's the entire Introit: (Phillipians, 4, 4-6):

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men: for the Lord is near. Have no anxiety, but in everything, by prayer let your petitions be made known to God. (Ps.) You have blessed, O Lord, your land; You have turned away the captivity of Jacob...

The understanding is that "land" of Hebrew is equivalent to "Church" in the NT. Hebrew is concrete--thus, "land." The 'New Israel' is the Church.
41 posted on 10/05/2003 6:39:04 AM PDT by ninenot (Democrats make mistakes. RINOs don't correct them.--Chesterton (adapted by Ninenot))
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To: Catholicguy
One good reason to consider the Hildebrands' opinions is that John XXIII was not infallible in these matters. Thus his opinion on such is equivalent to the H's...
42 posted on 10/05/2003 6:41:57 AM PDT by ninenot (Democrats make mistakes. RINOs don't correct them.--Chesterton (adapted by Ninenot))
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To: Catholicguy
So? VII was specifically NOT a doctrinal Council.
43 posted on 10/05/2003 6:43:52 AM PDT by ninenot (Democrats make mistakes. RINOs don't correct them.--Chesterton (adapted by Ninenot))
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To: ninenot
Of course it wasn't. And CG knows that. He clings to obedience the way Trads do to Latin. He ignores the greater issue, the disobedience, heresies and crimes of the Modern hierarchs. By attacking TLM, Una Voce and the like he tries to distract from the 900 lb dead horse in the living room.
44 posted on 10/05/2003 8:47:01 AM PDT by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria)
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To: ninenot
LMAO..and Rush Limbaugh's opinion about Donovan McNabb is equivalent to those NFL players who voted him to three consecutive pro bowls.<>
R U taking Oxycontin? :)
45 posted on 10/05/2003 7:28:21 PM PDT by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: ninenot
The Magisterium of the Church

85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."48

87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me",49 the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

You have interesting opinions. However, you have no authority. Neither do the Hildebrands. The Magisterium does.
46 posted on 10/05/2003 7:56:22 PM PDT by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Catholicguy
The good Doctor is one of the most brilliant theologians of the XXth Century and his widow is nearly his equal. What do their legitimate, orthodox opinions have to do with your post? They SUPPORT the Magesterium in everything they write or have written, so far as I have ever seen. They simply OPPOSE Modernism, the heresy that has infected the Church so greviously.
47 posted on 10/05/2003 8:14:22 PM PDT by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria)
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To: narses
What do your statements have to do with my post?

You must have some reason for resurrecting this dead thread.

I think TLM used her to begin with and I haven't changed my mind.

TLm can't get over the fact the Council wa called and they weren't firstconsulted. Boo hoo.

.Before you get side-tracked, again, this little quote is from Newadvent.com "dogmatic Theology." Pastoral theology, which embraces liturgy, homiletics, and catechetics, proceeded from, and bears close relationship to, moral theology; its dependence on dogmatic theology needs, therefore, no further proof.

Most trads try and dodge their Christian duty to obey Vatican Two by saying, endlessly, "it was a Pastoral Council. irrelevant

48 posted on 10/05/2003 8:43:48 PM PDT by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Catholicguy
Pastoral Theology,. (From Newadvent.com)

Pastoral theology is the science of the care of souls. This article will give the definition of pastoral theology, its relations to other theological sciences, its history, sources, and contents. A. Definition Pastoral theology is a branch of practical theology; it is essentially a practical science. All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (I Cor., iv, 1). Pastoral theology presupposes other various branches; accepts the apologetic, dogmatic, exegetic, moral, juridical, ascetical, liturgical, and other conclusions reached by the ecclesiastical student, and scientifically applies these various conclusions to the priestly ministry. B. Relation to Other Theological Sciences Dogmatic theology establishes the Church as the depository of revealed truth and systematizes the deposit of faith which Christ entrusted to His Church to hand down to all generations; pastoral theology teaches the priest his part in this work of Catholic and Christian tradition of revealed truth. Moral theology explains the laws of God and of the Church, the means of grace and hindrances thereto; pastoral theology teaches the practical bearing of these laws, means, and hindrances upon the daily life of the priest, alone and in touch with his people. Canon law collects, correlates, and co-ordinates the laws of the Church; pastoral theology applies those laws to the care of souls. In brief, pastoral theology begins, where the other theological sciences leave off; takes the results of them all and makes these results effective for the salvation of souls through the ministry of the priesthood established by Christ. C. History The name pastoral theology is new; the science is as old as the Church itself, as appears from the manifold instructions given by Jesus to His Apostles for the care of souls (Matt., x, 6 sqq.; Mark, vi, 8 sqq.; Luke, ix, 3 sqq.; x, 4 sqq.; xxii, 35) and from the pastoral letters of St. Paul and the very detailed instructions they give to Timothy and to Titus in regard to the sacred ministry. The writings of the Fathers, from the Apostolic age onward, are replete with pastoral instruction. St. Ignatius of Antioch [A.D. 110 [Harnack]) scatters such advice throughout his epistles -- see, for instance, "Ad Magnesios" (Harnack's ed., "Patres apostolici", II, 29). The letters of St. Cyprian (A.D. 248) are, many of them, either wholly or in part written about the care of souls (cf. P. L., IV, 194 sq.) -- "Qui Antistites in ecclesia eligendi?", "Qualis esse debeat vita sacerdotum?" etc. His "De lapsis" (P. L., IV, 477) is a classic among pastoral instructions. St. Gregory Nazianzen (A.D. 389), explaining his flight to Pontus, tells his ideas of the pastor of souls in "Oratio apologetica de fuga sua", a work sometimes called "De sacerdotio" (P. G., XXXV, 408), and sets down pastoral care as a great science and art, "Ars quædam artium et scientia scientiarum mihi esse videtur hominem regere". Other landmarks in the history of pastoral theology are St. Ambrose, "De officiis ministrorum" (P. L., XV1, 25); St. John Chrysostom, "De sacerdotio" (P. G., XLVIII, 623); St. Isidore of Seville, "De institutione clericorum", ''De institutionibus monachorum", "De regulis clericorum" (P. L., LXXXIV, 25, 45, 77); St. Bernard's letters and treatises "De consideratione", "De moribus episcoporum", "De conversione ad clericos" (P. L., CLXXXII, 727, 809, 833). The great classic among patristic works on the care of souls is "Regulæ pastoralis liber" (P. L., LXXVII, 13), written by St. Gregory the Great (c. A.D. 590) to John, Bishop of Ravenna. During the Middle Ages, there was not yet a separated and systematized science of pastoral theology. Scholasticism did not recognize this science apart from other branches of theology. Dogma and moral were so taught as to include the application of their conclusions to the care of souls. Still, even then writings of the great Doctors of the Church were at times purely pastoral; such were the "Opuscula", 17-20, of St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Bonaventure's "De sex alis seraphim", "De regimine animæ", "Confessionale"; the "Summa theologica" (Books II, III), together with the ''Summa confessionalis" of St. Antoninus, Bishop of Florence. At the same time, writers on mystical theology (see V. MYSTICAL THEOLOGY) have often entered into the domain of pastoral theology. Not until the period of the Counter-Reformation did the science of pastoral theology take its present systematized form. During the latter half of the fifteenth century, in certain places, pastoral duties were very much neglected. By the dawn of the sixteenth century, the care of souls was to many priests and not a few bishops a lost or a never-acquired art, with the result that the laity were ready to throw off what was deemed to be a useless clerical yoke. In such places, a reform of the clergy was sorely needed. The Council of Trent set itself to bring about a true reformation of the priesthood. Catholic bishops and theologians followed the lead of the council. The result was the treatment of the care of souls as a science by itself. During the following centuries of true reform and of battle with false reform, the most scientific treatises on pastoral duties and rights were written. John of Avila, Louis of Granada, Peter de Soto, Claude le Jay (Institutiones practicæ), Neumayr (Vir apostolicus), Possevin (Praxis curæ pastoralis), Segneri, Olier, Molina, Toledo (De instructione sacerdotum), Cardinal Cajetan, St. Charles Borromeo (Instructio pastorum), the works of St. Francis de Sales, of Rodriguez, of Scaramelli -- such are a few of the scientific treatises that did much to illumine and to strengthen the pastors of the Counter-Reformation, In 1759 St. Alphonsus Liguori issued his great pastoral theology, "Homo apostolicus". He epitomized the conclusions reached by him in his "Moral Theology", applied these conclusions practically to the work of hearing confessions, and added four appendices bearing specifically upon such pastoral duties as the direction of souls, the assistance of the dying, the examination of those to be ordained priests, and the duties of confessors and pastors in regard to their own as well as their flock's sanctification. This work, together with the legislation of Benedict XIV in the matter of diocesan synods, gave a great impetus to the science of pastoral theology. D. Sources Tradition and the Holy Bible, in so far as they portray the ideal Priest, Teacher, and Pastor, and hand down to us His ideas for the care of souls, are the first sources of pastoral theology. As evidence of Tradition the decrees of general councils are of the highest moment. Next come pontifical Constitutions -- Bulls, Briefs, and Motu Proprios; decrees of Roman Congregations; the works cited in Sanford-Drum, op. cit. below; the various sources of dogmatic and moral theology and of canon law, in so far as they bear directly or indirectly upon the care of souls. Decrees of various provincial councils and diocesan synods together with pastoral letters of archbishops and bishops are also among the sources whence pastoral theology draws. For ecclesiastical legislation, one must follow the "Acts Apostolicæ Sedis", a monthly official bulletin published in Rome; the promulgation of laws, authentic interpretations, decisions and rescripts of the Roman Curia is now effected ipso facto by publication in this periodical. For past decisions the various decreta authentica of different Roman Congregations must be consulted. Such are "Thesaurus resolutionum Sacræ Congregationis Concilii", from 1718 (Rome); "Decreta authentica Congregationis Sacrorum Rituum" (Rome, 1898); "Decreta authentica sacræ Congregationis Indulgentiis Sacrisque Reliquiis Præpositæ", from 1668 to 1882 (Ratisbon); Pallottini, "Collectio omnium decretorum Sacræ Congregationis Concilii" (Rome, 1868); Bizarri, "Collectanea Sacræ Congregationis Episcoporum et Regularium" (Rome, 1863, 1885); "Collectanea Sacræ Congregationis de Propaganda Fide" (Rome, 1893, 1907). A handy reference work in this matter is Ferraris, "Prompta bibliotheca", together with its supplement edited by Bucceroni (Rome, 1885). Ojetti, "Synopsis rerum moralium et juris pontificii" (Prato, 1904), is also useful. For the pastoral care of religious communities, necessary information may be obtained from Vermeersch, "De religiosis et missionariis supplementa et monumenta", together with the periodical supplements thereto (Bruges, 1904--), and Dom Bastien, "Constitution de Léon XIII sur les instituts a voeux simples et leur relations avec les autorités diocésaines" (Bruges), a work which has been translated into English by Lanslots (Pustet, New York). Periodicals giving current direction and information as to the care of souls are: "Acta Sanctæ Sedis" (Rome, from 1865), now discontinued; "Analecta juris pontificii" (Rome, 1833; Paris, 1869), replaced by "Analecta ecclesiastica" (Rome, 1893-1911); "II Monitore Ecclesiastico" (Rome, 1876); "The American Ecclesiastical Review" (Philadelphia, 1889); "The Irish Ecclesiastical Record" (Dublin, 1865); "Nouvelle Revue Théologique" (Tournai, 1869); "Theologischpraktische Quartalschrift" (Linz); "Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie" (Innsbruck, 1877). E. Contents From the days when St. Gregory the Great wrote his classic "Regulæ pastoralis liber", the duties that make for the care of souls have been conveniently divided into those of the teacher, of the minister of the sacred mysteries, and of the shepherd; pastoral theology purposes to impart the knowledge of these duties and of the treatise known as "pastoral medicine", the medical knowledge requisite for the proper care of souls. Under the head of teacher are treated the duty of teaching, the qualities of the teacher, his training, the models of teaching left us by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as well as by distinguished preachers and catechists, and the occasions and forms of instruction suited for the various needs of the faithful, young and old, literate and illiterate. The Council of Trent, in the fifth session, lays down a twofold duty of the teacher, to preach on Sundays and festivals, and to give catechetical instruction to children and to others who have need of such instruction. Benedict XIV, in his Constitution, "Etsi Minime", calls special attention to this latter most important duty. Pius X, in his Encyclical on the teaching of Christian doctrine (15 April, 1905), insists once again on the paramount need of catechetical instruction. All parish priests, and all others to whom the care of souls is committed, must teach the catechism to their young girls and boys for the space of one hour on all Sundays and holy days of the year without exception, and must explain to them what one is bound to believe and practise in order to be saved. These children shall, at stated times during each year, be prepared by more extended instruction for the Sacraments of Penance and Confirmation. Daily instruction during Lent, and even after Easter, will make the young children of both sexes ready for their first Holy Communion. Moreover, an hour every Sunday and holy day shall be devoted to the catechetical instruction of adults. This lesson in catechism, in plain and simple language, is to be given over and above the Sunday homily on the Gospel and the children's instruction in Christian doctrine. As minister of the sacred mysteries, the priest must not only know the nature of the sacraments, so far as dogmatic theology explains it, besides what is needed for their valid administration, as taught in moral theology, but must also possess such additional knowledge as may serve him in his spiritual ministrations -- for instance, in attending the sick, in advising what is lawful or unlawful in critical operations, especially in such as may affect childbirth; in directing others, when necessary, how to baptize the unborn child; in deciding whether to confer extreme unction or other sacraments in cases of apparent death, etc. Finally, as pastor, a variety of duties have to be mastered, which keep growing and varying in number constantly with the complicated conditions of modern life, especially wherever there is a tendency to mass people together in large cities, or wherever migration to and fro causes frequent change. This, perhaps, is the main part of pastoral theology. The organization of parishes; the maintenance of a church and other institutions that grow up around it; the management of parish schools; the formation of societies for men and women, young and old; the vast number of social works into which a priest in a modern city is almost necessarily drawn -- all these points furnish material for instruction, which, as the fruit of experience, can rarely be conveyed through books. Usually the priest acquires sufficient knowledge of all these things from prudent directors as he goes through his seminary course, or from his own experience under a competent pastor; but gradually an extensive literature on these subjects has accumulated during the past half century, and it is the systematization of such writings that constitutes pastoral theology

49 posted on 10/05/2003 8:44:40 PM PDT by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Catholicguy
Pastoral Theology,. (From Newadvent.com)

Pastoral theology is the science of the care of souls. This article will give the definition of pastoral theology, its relations to other theological sciences, its history, sources, and contents.

A. Definition

Pastoral theology is a branch of practical theology; it is essentially a practical science. All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (I Cor., iv, 1). Pastoral theology presupposes other various branches; accepts the apologetic, dogmatic, exegetic, moral, juridical, ascetical, liturgical, and other conclusions reached by the ecclesiastical student, and scientifically applies these various conclusions to the priestly ministry.

B. Relation to Other Theological Sciences

Dogmatic theology establishes the Church as the depository of revealed truth and systematizes the deposit of faith which Christ entrusted to His Church to hand down to all generations; pastoral theology teaches the priest his part in this work of Catholic and Christian tradition of revealed truth. Moral theology explains the laws of God and of the Church, the means of grace and hindrances thereto; pastoral theology teaches the practical bearing of these laws, means, and hindrances upon the daily life of the priest, alone and in touch with his people. Canon law collects, correlates, and co-ordinates the laws of the Church; pastoral theology applies those laws to the care of souls. In brief, pastoral theology begins, where the other theological sciences leave off; takes the results of them all and makes these results effective for the salvation of souls through the ministry of the priesthood established by Christ.

C. History

The name pastoral theology is new; the science is as old as the Church itself, as appears from the manifold instructions given by Jesus to His Apostles for the care of souls (Matt., x, 6 sqq.; Mark, vi, 8 sqq.; Luke, ix, 3 sqq.; x, 4 sqq.; xxii, 35) and from the pastoral letters of St. Paul and the very detailed instructions they give to Timothy and to Titus in regard to the sacred ministry. The writings of the Fathers, from the Apostolic age onward, are replete with pastoral instruction. St. Ignatius of Antioch [A.D. 110 [Harnack]) scatters such advice throughout his epistles -- see, for instance, "Ad Magnesios" (Harnack's ed., "Patres apostolici", II, 29). The letters of St. Cyprian (A.D. 248) are, many of them, either wholly or in part written about the care of souls (cf. P. L., IV, 194 sq.) -- "Qui Antistites in ecclesia eligendi?", "Qualis esse debeat vita sacerdotum?" etc. His "De lapsis" (P. L., IV, 477) is a classic among pastoral instructions. St. Gregory Nazianzen (A.D. 389), explaining his flight to Pontus, tells his ideas of the pastor of souls in "Oratio apologetica de fuga sua", a work sometimes called "De sacerdotio" (P. G., XXXV, 408), and sets down pastoral care as a great science and art, "Ars quædam artium et scientia scientiarum mihi esse videtur hominem regere". Other landmarks in the history of pastoral theology are St. Ambrose, "De officiis ministrorum" (P. L., XV1, 25); St. John Chrysostom, "De sacerdotio" (P. G., XLVIII, 623); St. Isidore of Seville, "De institutione clericorum", ''De institutionibus monachorum", "De regulis clericorum" (P. L., LXXXIV, 25, 45, 77); St. Bernard's letters and treatises "De consideratione", "De moribus episcoporum", "De conversione ad clericos" (P. L., CLXXXII, 727, 809, 833). The great classic among patristic works on the care of souls is "Regulæ pastoralis liber" (P. L., LXXVII, 13), written by St. Gregory the Great (c. A.D. 590) to John, Bishop of Ravenna.

During the Middle Ages, there was not yet a separated and systematized science of pastoral theology. Scholasticism did not recognize this science apart from other branches of theology. Dogma and moral were so taught as to include the application of their conclusions to the care of souls. Still, even then writings of the great Doctors of the Church were at times purely pastoral; such were the "Opuscula", 17-20, of St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Bonaventure's "De sex alis seraphim", "De regimine animæ", "Confessionale"; the "Summa theologica" (Books II, III), together with the ''Summa confessionalis" of St. Antoninus, Bishop of Florence. At the same time, writers on mystical theology (see V. MYSTICAL THEOLOGY) have often entered into the domain of pastoral theology. Not until the period of the Counter-Reformation did the science of pastoral theology take its present systematized form. During the latter half of the fifteenth century, in certain places, pastoral duties were very much neglected. By the dawn of the sixteenth century, the care of souls was to many priests and not a few bishops a lost or a never-acquired art, with the result that the laity were ready to throw off what was deemed to be a useless clerical yoke. In such places, a reform of the clergy was sorely needed. The Council of Trent set itself to bring about a true reformation of the priesthood. Catholic bishops and theologians followed the lead of the council. The result was the treatment of the care of souls as a science by itself. During the following centuries of true reform and of battle with false reform, the most scientific treatises on pastoral duties and rights were written. John of Avila, Louis of Granada, Peter de Soto, Claude le Jay (Institutiones practicæ), Neumayr (Vir apostolicus), Possevin (Praxis curæ pastoralis), Segneri, Olier, Molina, Toledo (De instructione sacerdotum), Cardinal Cajetan, St. Charles Borromeo (Instructio pastorum), the works of St. Francis de Sales, of Rodriguez, of Scaramelli -- such are a few of the scientific treatises that did much to illumine and to strengthen the pastors of the Counter-Reformation, In 1759 St. Alphonsus Liguori issued his great pastoral theology, "Homo apostolicus". He epitomized the conclusions reached by him in his "Moral Theology", applied these conclusions practically to the work of hearing confessions, and added four appendices bearing specifically upon such pastoral duties as the direction of souls, the assistance of the dying, the examination of those to be ordained priests, and the duties of confessors and pastors in regard to their own as well as their flock's sanctification. This work, together with the legislation of Benedict XIV in the matter of diocesan synods, gave a great impetus to the science of pastoral theology.

D. Sources

Tradition and the Holy Bible, in so far as they portray the ideal Priest, Teacher, and Pastor, and hand down to us His ideas for the care of souls, are the first sources of pastoral theology. As evidence of Tradition the decrees of general councils are of the highest moment. Next come pontifical Constitutions -- Bulls, Briefs, and Motu Proprios; decrees of Roman Congregations; the works cited in Sanford-Drum, op. cit. below; the various sources of dogmatic and moral theology and of canon law, in so far as they bear directly or indirectly upon the care of souls. Decrees of various provincial councils and diocesan synods together with pastoral letters of archbishops and bishops are also among the sources whence pastoral theology draws. For ecclesiastical legislation, one must follow the "Acts Apostolicæ Sedis", a monthly official bulletin published in Rome; the promulgation of laws, authentic interpretations, decisions and rescripts of the Roman Curia is now effected ipso facto by publication in this periodical. For past decisions the various decreta authentica of different Roman Congregations must be consulted. Such are "Thesaurus resolutionum Sacræ Congregationis Concilii", from 1718 (Rome); "Decreta authentica Congregationis Sacrorum Rituum" (Rome, 1898); "Decreta authentica sacræ Congregationis Indulgentiis Sacrisque Reliquiis Præpositæ", from 1668 to 1882 (Ratisbon); Pallottini, "Collectio omnium decretorum Sacræ Congregationis Concilii" (Rome, 1868); Bizarri, "Collectanea Sacræ Congregationis Episcoporum et Regularium" (Rome, 1863, 1885); "Collectanea Sacræ Congregationis de Propaganda Fide" (Rome, 1893, 1907). A handy reference work in this matter is Ferraris, "Prompta bibliotheca", together with its supplement edited by Bucceroni (Rome, 1885). Ojetti, "Synopsis rerum moralium et juris pontificii" (Prato, 1904), is also useful. For the pastoral care of religious communities, necessary information may be obtained from Vermeersch, "De religiosis et missionariis supplementa et monumenta", together with the periodical supplements thereto (Bruges, 1904--), and Dom Bastien, "Constitution de Léon XIII sur les instituts a voeux simples et leur relations avec les autorités diocésaines" (Bruges), a work which has been translated into English by Lanslots (Pustet, New York). Periodicals giving current direction and information as to the care of souls are: "Acta Sanctæ Sedis" (Rome, from 1865), now discontinued; "Analecta juris pontificii" (Rome, 1833; Paris, 1869), replaced by "Analecta ecclesiastica" (Rome, 1893-1911); "II Monitore Ecclesiastico" (Rome, 1876); "The American Ecclesiastical Review" (Philadelphia, 1889); "The Irish Ecclesiastical Record" (Dublin, 1865); "Nouvelle Revue Théologique" (Tournai, 1869); "Theologischpraktische Quartalschrift" (Linz); "Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie" (Innsbruck, 1877).

E. Contents

From the days when St. Gregory the Great wrote his classic "Regulæ pastoralis liber", the duties that make for the care of souls have been conveniently divided into those of the teacher, of the minister of the sacred mysteries, and of the shepherd; pastoral theology purposes to impart the knowledge of these duties and of the treatise known as "pastoral medicine", the medical knowledge requisite for the proper care of souls.

Under the head of teacher are treated the duty of teaching, the qualities of the teacher, his training, the models of teaching left us by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as well as by distinguished preachers and catechists, and the occasions and forms of instruction suited for the various needs of the faithful, young and old, literate and illiterate. The Council of Trent, in the fifth session, lays down a twofold duty of the teacher, to preach on Sundays and festivals, and to give catechetical instruction to children and to others who have need of such instruction. Benedict XIV, in his Constitution, "Etsi Minime", calls special attention to this latter most important duty. Pius X, in his Encyclical on the teaching of Christian doctrine (15 April, 1905), insists once again on the paramount need of catechetical instruction. All parish priests, and all others to whom the care of souls is committed, must teach the catechism to their young girls and boys for the space of one hour on all Sundays and holy days of the year without exception, and must explain to them what one is bound to believe and practise in order to be saved. These children shall, at stated times during each year, be prepared by more extended instruction for the Sacraments of Penance and Confirmation. Daily instruction during Lent, and even after Easter, will make the young children of both sexes ready for their first Holy Communion. Moreover, an hour every Sunday and holy day shall be devoted to the catechetical instruction of adults. This lesson in catechism, in plain and simple language, is to be given over and above the Sunday homily on the Gospel and the children's instruction in Christian doctrine.

As minister of the sacred mysteries, the priest must not only know the nature of the sacraments, so far as dogmatic theology explains it, besides what is needed for their valid administration, as taught in moral theology, but must also possess such additional knowledge as may serve him in his spiritual ministrations -- for instance, in attending the sick, in advising what is lawful or unlawful in critical operations, especially in such as may affect childbirth; in directing others, when necessary, how to baptize the unborn child; in deciding whether to confer extreme unction or other sacraments in cases of apparent death, etc.

Finally, as pastor, a variety of duties have to be mastered, which keep growing and varying in number constantly with the complicated conditions of modern life, especially wherever there is a tendency to mass people together in large cities, or wherever migration to and fro causes frequent change. This, perhaps, is the main part of pastoral theology. The organization of parishes; the maintenance of a church and other institutions that grow up around it; the management of parish schools; the formation of societies for men and women, young and old; the vast number of social works into which a priest in a modern city is almost necessarily drawn -- all these points furnish material for instruction, which, as the fruit of experience, can rarely be conveyed through books. Usually the priest acquires sufficient knowledge of all these things from prudent directors as he goes through his seminary course, or from his own experience under a competent pastor; but gradually an extensive literature on these subjects has accumulated during the past half century, and it is the systematization of such writings that constitutes pastoral theology

50 posted on 10/05/2003 8:46:29 PM PDT by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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