Saturday, November 02, 2019

And what does it mean for him?

A return to a first-millenium proclamation of the kerygma, something more patristic?

VOCES8: Pie Jesu by Gabriel Fauré

Friday, November 01, 2019

The Abbey of St. Columbanus


Arvo Pärt: Passio / St. John Passion / Johannespassionen

Whose Latin Christianity? Which Hermeneutic?

Another essay on... Vatican II.

Reading the Signs of the Times by Douglas Farrow

The Church,” says Gaudium et spes, “has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.” A few paragraphs later, that duty is parsed in a positive way. The Church, we are told, “labors to decipher authentic signs of God's presence and purpose in the happenings, needs and desires in which this People has a part along with other men of our age” (emphasis added). 

What happened to the Church being the sign of God's presence and purpose to the world?

The Idolatry of Human Niceness Masquerading as Mercy

First Things: Why Biden Was Denied Communion by Edward Peters

CNA/CWR: Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’
“If only saints could receive Holy Communion, we wouldn’t have anybody at Mass, including myself, alright?” Dolan said.

Fake Synodality

This is Faggioli pushing for fake synodality, that has no resemblance to what was or may have been practiced in the early Church.

Dealing with Death

CWR Dispatch: November and remembering our beloved dead by Adam A. J. DeVille
The vacuous talk used today in addressing death is becoming common, but it is the disappearance of practices around death that is infinitely worse.

I need to reread what St. Augustine recounts is St. Ambrose's objection to the following practice:
Edifying in an even more physically basic fashion is to have a picnic in a cemetery, which may seem the height of weirdness to some, but it was a wonderfully jovial and human thing to do. After the prescribed panachyda was prayed (a short memorial office in the Byzantine tradition) we relaxed by sharing drinks and food while recounting stories of those whose graves became makeshift tables for our libations. Our solemn prayers and tears were mingled with laughter and shots of vodka as we feasted in anticipation of the wedding feast of the Lamb, where there will one day be neither mourning nor dying, but all of us reunited around the table of eternity.

Latin Claims Concerning Clerical Continence

"Apostolic" in origin.

Sandro Magister: Married Priests? Yes, But in Perfect Continence. The Lesson of the Church’s First Centuries

Tracey Rowland Reviews A Poetic Christ: Thomist Reflections on Scripture, Language and Reality

CWR Dispatch: New book by French Dominican skillfully defends Gospels, uniqueness of Christ by Tracey Rowland
A review of Olivier-Thomas Venard’s A Poetic Christ: Thomist Reflections on Scripture, Language and Reality

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Response to a Latin Polemicist on Clerical Celibacy

A comment found here:

The Council of Trullo, to which Father referred, was a synod held in the palace of the Byzantine Empire, in 692. Its members included bishops of the Church of Constantinople and other Eastern churches in communion with it. (It is also well to remember that this was when Constantinople was in communion with Rome.) The council enacted a number of disciplinary decrees that are, to this day, observed among both the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. This included recognition of the already long-established custom wherein married men could submit themselves for all degrees of Holy Orders, save the episcopate—and who could likewise continue to licitly exercise their conjugal rights. Like the familiar modern discipline of the “permanent” diaconate in the West, Trullo also provided that only already-married men could be ordained; if widowed, they could not remarry. Also, like the Latin Church in general, single men were prohibited to marry with ordination to the diaconate.

While the provisions of the Trullan council were not enacted in the Latin West, their canons are regarded by Rome as absolutely normative and legitimate in the Christian East. This includes a married (non-monastic) priesthood, with all that would imply for Christian men.

The institution of continence among married clergy, while certainly widely practiced in the early Medieval period, was by no means the only legitimate discipline among the married clergy (as Fr. Stravinskas seems to imply). It perhaps was regarded as an “ideal,” but this practice was by no means general or universal. While existing in both East and West for a time, it by no means invalidates the exercise of intimacy among married clerics. In fact, it affirms the truth that marriage may rightly be lived in all its aspects among the clergy. It is, and has been for most of the history of the Church, a righteous way of life—just as it is, in a different fashion, also a righteous observance among the clergy who have renounced their marital rights while remaining together. (In fact, some clergy and their wives have voluntarily observed such abstinence into the modern period.)

History is instructive on this point. Between the end of the Middle Ages and the late seventeenth-century, nearly all of the current Eastern Catholic Churches reestablished ecclesial communion with Rome. In no case did the Holy See require, in any fashion, the abrogation of Trullo’s provisions among the Byzantine churches. The imposition of diaconal or priestly celibacy (as observed in the Latin Church) as a general condition before or after reunion was never required or even sought. (It was only in the twentieth century that the American Roman Catholic hierarchy tragically pressured the Holy See to impose Latin-style celibacy upon Eastern Catholic secular priests in the US. This was eventually extended worldwide, outside of Europe and Asia. Thankfully, the Holy See reversed this injustice in 2014.)

While celibacy is a counsel of the Lord, its imposition by the Church upon clergy was and has always been a purely ecclesiastical (i.e. in this instance, man-made) requirement. It has existed in various forms—all of which are legitimate, when so recognized by the Church. While the exercise of marital continence is always meant to anticipate the coming Kingdom of God, “where men will neither marry or give-into marriage” (cf. Mt 22:30), it by no means makes clergy who are legitimately married and fully enjoy a Christian marital life any “less” than those who, for the sake of the Kingdom, do not. How could it when permitted and recognized by the Church (even if not in the Latin West) for at least two-thirds of the Christian era?

Like the Church’s disciplines, the grace of God also comes in a variety of forms. While it may be argued by some that, in one sense, the “sign value” of a celibate clergy might be “higher” than one which is not, divine grace can be fully and richly operative in both ways of life. The lives of the saints and the general experience of the Holy Church have proven it so.

A Different Take on Vatican 2

The Vitality of Vatican Council II
A presentation by Massimo Faggioli of the University of St. Thomas, followed by a conversation.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Letters from the Amazon Synod Part 9

I didn't post the last 2 installments as they were primarily Weigel's ruminations on Weigel's favorite topics.

First Things: LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD-2019: #9

First something on liberation theology:
The fact that “the project” is a northern European export has long been clear, although digging deeply into the history of ideas in modern Catholicism is necessary to grasp the point. For over forty years now, the world media’s presentation of liberation theology as an indigenous, populist phenomenon native to Latin America—a bit of fake news amplified by Catholic enthusiasts for “the project”—has done a good job of obscuring who-taught-what-to-whom. The fact of the matter, however, is that virtually nothing in the various Latin American liberation theologies criticized by St. John Paul II at the 1979 Puebla conference of the Latin American episcopate, or rejected in the 1984 Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Theology of Liberation issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was native to Latin America. The reading of history, the ecclesiology, the concept of the sacraments and the ministry that shaped most liberation theologies was exported to Latin America from Belgian, French, and German theological faculties through which Hegelian and Marxist winds had blown with considerable force in the late 1960s. Those radical reconsiderations of the nature of the Church, its mission, and its relationship to both the unconverted and to politics—some of it the work of very intelligent but deeply wrongheaded men—was carried home by romantic and passionate young Latin American priests who had studied in those faculties, and who would become bishops in the latter part of the twentieth century. These currents of thought were highly influential in the Brazilian bishops conference in particular.
And he raises a good question, but it may be too late for such an untangling to resort, at least not without drastic changes in the practices of the "institutional" Church.
In several major cities of Latin America, especially the old viceroyal capitals,  the visitor cannot help but notice the proximity of the viceregal palace to the cathedral, usually in a great plaza. Has that historic linkage between Church and state power—whatever its historic accomplishments—become an obstacle to realizing the evangelizing mission of the Church in the twenty-first century, especially when the alliance today is with failed socialist regimes? That certainly ought to have been a topic of discussion in a synod dedicated to “new paths for the Church.” Was it? If so, its echoes outside the Synod Hall were faint.

As usual with regards to the Amazon synod, he overestimates the problem because he cannot see that the patriarchate of Rome is not identical to the Church Universal, but he is probably correct in identifying the difficulties posed by the synod and the current pontificate of Francis, which serve not to undermine the Church but actually Latin claims about the office of the bishop of Rome with respect to the Church Universal.

See also Rod Dreher, The Pachamama Synod Ends and Marco Tosatti

Weigel's essay was also republished at EPPC.

50th Anniversary of?

Catholics who do not give themselves trustingly to the 2,000-year tradition of the Church will not be in contact with the whole doctrine and morality of Catholicism. This is hard to hear, but so is much of the teaching of Our Lord: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16, 24). The same is true, in a way, of tradition: we have to deny our modern prejudices, take up the blessed burden of our tradition, and follow it, in order to be integrally Catholic.

Let us be more precise:

Roman Catholics Latins who do not give themselves trustingly to the ecclesial tradition of the patriarchate of Rome...

Battling Over Latin Christianity

Latin traditionalists and "conservatives."

1P5: Bishop Barron and the ‘Unhappy’ Renewal of the ‘Trad’ Movement by Timothy Flanders

Pope Benedict would later write concerning his formative years before the Council about his “anti-Roman resentment … imparted to us by our studies” [1] and that “we all had a certain contempt for the nineteenth century; it was fashionable then, somewhat kitsch piety and over-sentimentality — we wanted to overcome all that. We wanted a new era of piety” [2].
He recalls that when he saw the original document on revelation at Vatican II (on behalf of which Ottaviani had pleaded), he wished to circumvent the Magisterium in order to impose his own interpretation of Tradition upon it [3]. He “wanted out of classical Thomism[.] … Thomas’s writings were textbooks, by and large, and impersonal somehow[.] … I didn’t want to operate only in a stagnant and closed philosophy, but in a philosophy understood as a question — what is man, really? — and particularly to enter into the new, contemporary philosophy” [4].
Such castigation of the fathers of the immediate past and the imposition instead of their own interpretation of Tradition seems to be the defining characteristic of the Nouvelle Théologie party. This was the party that, in Barron’s words, “won the day at Vatican II.” This attitude on display by these men appears to run contrary to piety, opening up questions about the continuity that is claimed.
Is the reference to piety here when talking about Tradition and its expressions misplaced? Is a particular linguistic and theological expression of Tradition more important than the Person of Christ?
But at Vatican II, the conservatives switched sides and allied themselves with the liberals in order to overcome the prior Magisterium. They successfully convinced enough bishops to throw out all the original documents (save one, written by Bugnini). They suppressed all the warnings from Ottaviani and others, who stated that their dreams of a springtime were naïve. But after the Council was done, Barron notes, the liberals and conservatives immediately broke into two warring parties, represented in the journals Concilium and Communio.
 But was reconciling the Church with modernity or the modern world the only goal of these "conservatives" or these reformers aligned with or following Ressourcement?
This crisis will be overcome when conservatives renounce forever their alliance with the liberal heretics and unite themselves in charity to the traditionalists they once shunned. They must renew their filial piety toward the pontificates of Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X.
This is to be stuck in an ecclesiological and theological rut, and of course merely re-confirms the Latin belief that Magisterium of the Church is to be centered in the person of the bishop of Rome.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

St. Demetrios


More on the Pachamama Cover-Up

CWR Dispatch: Analysis: Why ‘Pachamama’ took a dip by JD Flynn

Eduardo Echeverria on Latin Moral Teaching

CWR: No, @JamesMartinSJ, the analogy between slavery and homosexuality does not hold by Eduardo Echeverria
The moral laws, whose core is the Ten Commandments, retain their direct and unchanging validity, on the grounds of the objective moral law.

Can We Say "Rigged" Yet?

CNA: Amazon synod document calls for married priests and increased role for women
In his remarks in the synod hall on Saturday, Francis said that he hoped to issue an exhortation before the end of the year, time permitting.