Monday, September 30, 2019

A New Neocat Seminary in Macao

Sandro Magister: Neocatechumenals Heading Into the Sunset, With a Push From the Pope

Il Collegio Redemptoris Mater per l’Asia – l’Osservatore Romano – Agenzia Fides

Sarah, Burke, Savino

Sandro Magister: Amazon. Three More Cardinals Rebuff the Base Document of the Synod

Theology in the Life of the Church

Fordham: Theological Education in Focus at Orthodoxy in America Lecture


The Eucharist and the Real Presence

Is the same old catechesis coupled with more second millennium Latin (paraliturgical) Eucharistic devotions the answer?

Latin traditionalists might say yes, it is a partial solution. (A return to the EF would be an additional part.) I suppose the Latin bishops in the U.S. have a few years to try before they are overwhelmed by other developments.

Freskenzyklus mit Szenen aus dem Leben des Hl. Martin von Tours, Kapelle in Unterkirche San Francesco in Assisi, Szene: Die wundersame Messe des Hl. Martin

Master of the Rio Frio. Altarpiece of St. Martin (Spanish; c. 1500). Musée de Cluny, Paris.

Oxford. Bodleian Library. Psalter.

I think it is the typical representation of the Mass, choosing the elevation of the Host during the Consecration as the key or representative moment, and this is undoubtedly linked to the Latin notion of sacrifice as it is applied to the redemptive work of Christ, focused primarily (though probably not exclusively) on Christ's death on the cross. Even if the elevation was originally modified to a greater height for the purpose of affirming the Real Presence and showing the Gifts to the people so that they may adore Christ, in response to heresies denying the Real Presence of Christ in the Gifts, I think in the "traditional" popular Latin understanding of the Mass offering/"sacrifice" has impacted how the elevation is understood. We can see this mentality present in the association of the elevation (both before and after the reform of Eudes de Sully?) with the elevation of Christ in the cross in allegorical explanations of the Mass. Or in the theological explanation (one seemingly warranted by the liturgical texts themselves) that the Church offers Christ to the Father.

See the "Mass of St. Gregory":

End of 15th century


Diego Huanitzin

The new offertory prayer in the Pauline/Bugninian reform was probably invented and not recovered from the Roman liturgical tradition, but it does seem to be more in accord with the Eucharist being a development and perfection of Jewish Thanksgiving/korban. Who was responsible for its creation? I am not sure if Bouyer addressed that part of the reform specifically.

If sacrifice were understood instead as Thanksgiving for the gifts we receive from the Father (and ultimately the Thanksgiving of the Son to the Father), what would be the best pictorial representation of the Eucharist? The presbyteros at the altar united with the Christian people in prayer (and all facing East)? (How would this be distinguished from some other prayer service, except by inclusion of the Holy Vessels and Holy Gifts in the picture?) The reception of the Holy Gifts by the people?

See for example, this image from the 15th-century Calderini Pontifical:

The elevation could be understood as an affirmation of the Real Presence in this particular Holy Mystery (Sacrament), and one necessary component of the Son's Thanksgiving, the Son Himself, who desires that we share in His life by receiving Him in the Holy Gifts, which have been given to us by the Father. This is the core of the (Christian) Mystery, the Gospel, but I think a new catechetical explanation of the Eucharist would be required for Latins to modify their understanding.

I am curious as to how old the offertory prayer is in the DL of St. John Chrysostom, and if there are analogues in the other rites and how far back they date.

Can someone really render thanks to God if he does not respect or have holy fear of God? How many have received a counterfeit Gospel and heresy instead of the authentic Saving Message Who is Christ?

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Futile Moves to Save Dying Churches

“Recent Challenges of the Ordained Ministry in the Church”

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ohly told the symposium that it was a “gift” for priests to be able to conform their lives to Christ in such a way.

“The gift of the priest’s conformation to Christ consequently becomes his mission, in his style of life, his personal attitudes, his life of prayer as well as in the duties assigned to him.”

In her comments to the symposium, Dr. Marianne Schlosser also noted that the priesthood is not a functional role but a vocation of “personal identification with Christ, the Good Shepherd.”

A celibate life seems to follow as part of this vocation, she added, because it was “Christ’s own way of life, who gave his life for humanity, even unto death.”

“Celibacy is a telling witness of the faithful person’s hope for eternal life. By renouncing marriage and the founding of a family, celibacy wants to foster a generous love for the entire (family of Christ) as well as a personal bond with the Lord,” she added.

But all Christians are personally identified with Christ; why shouldn't they be called to celibacy as well?


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fr. Z's Opinion on Deacons

ASK FATHER: Are permanent deacons necessary?

An excerpt, but the whole is worth considering.

With the shortage of priests in these USA at least, one can see how having deacons who can help with Communion calls and so forth, sacramental prep, service at the altar for solemn worship is desirable. Frankly, I wish I had a couple of permanent deacons around whom I could train up for Solemn Masses. That would make my life a lot easier.

It seem to me that, while priests are existentially necessary for the life of the Church (e.g. Mass, confessions, anointing), and permanent deacons are not in the same way necessary (e.g. they do none of those), having them in service depends a great deal on both the urgency of the need and the quality of formation. That isn’t very definite, I know. First, every cleric ought to be well-formed.

We can’t do without priests, and so we can get on with priests who aren’t so sharp. But we can get along very well without deacons who aren’t so sharp.

Are they necessary? Well… it depends. It depends on if you want to work priests into their early graves and it depends on the level of formation.

Lastly, reception of Holy Orders means that there was a vocation from God to be ordained. We humans can and do get in the middle of that through formation programs, etc. However, God’s involvement means that if permanent deacons are necessary, then they are going, somehow, to be ordained, just as a flower finds purchase and manages to spring up in the crack of a sidewalk. I cannot pass any sort of judgment on God’s role in this matter of the permanent diaconate.

One of the first things that the Apostles did was choose men for the diaconate. That tells us something.

If the same conditions pertain in our day, deacons will be necessary for us just as for the Apostles. Circumstances play a role, and we can discern something of God’s will in the circumstances, as the Apostles did.

Cardinal Sarah Visits the Monastère Saint-Benoît

More photos

Friday, September 27, 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Latin Defense of Transubstantiation

1P5: Substance and Accidents: A Beginner’s Guide to Defending the Eucharist

Both the application of substance and substance/accident as applied to bread must first be corrected, and then we can see if verbally, the theologoumenon that is transubstantiation can still be maintained. Regardless, a naive application of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics is no longer viable given how sophisticated received opinion on material reality has become.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Action Versus Contemplation: Why An Ancient Debate Still Matters

Blakey Vermeule (Stanford University), Jennifer Summit (San Francisco State University), Lisa Ruddick (University of Chicago), and Fr. Peter Funk, OSB (Monastery of the Holy Cross), on Vermeule and Summit's book Action Versus Contemplation: Why An Ancient Debate Still Matters (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

Fr. Rutler and the John Paul II Institute

Crisis: How to Write Your Own Encyclical by Fr. George W. Rutler

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Latin Traditionalists Are Picking Up On This

Sandro Magister: Everyone To the School of the Antichrist. But One Cardinal Rebels

Crux News: Pope to launch global educational pact next year by Inés San Martín

Human Fraternity Meeting

Mary Ann Glendon on World Over


Friday, September 20, 2019

Part 2 of Trabbic's Series

CWR: Thomism and Political Liberalism, Part 2

The Natural Law

So, the natures of things determine what’s good and bad for them, what they should pursue and avoid and, again, that is true for us too. Our nature, in this sense, is the “law” that we should live by. When Thomas talks about the “law of nature” (lex naturalis) or “natural law” this is partly what he has in mind. In part our nature is this law, but our reason, insofar as it grasps what is naturally good for us, and directs us to pursue it, belongs to natural law too.
Thomas’s account of natural law, however, does not stop there. For Thomas, our nature and our reason are created by God. Hence, he teaches that the natural law ultimately comes from God. By following the natural law – which is nothing more than living in conformity with our nature – we are following God’s will. When we act against it, we are acting against God. Thomas calls the “plan” for creation as it exists in God’s “mind” the “eternal law.” This plan not only includes our nature and purpose but the nature and purpose of everything else too. To say that the natural law comes from God is the same as saying that it is derived from the eternal law. What Thomas calls the “divine law” (lex divina) is likewise derived from the eternal law. I will come back to that in a moment.

And then something on happiness...

The “knowing” of God that we are talking about in both the natural and supernatural cases is an act of contemplatio or “contemplation.” For Thomists, Jordan Aumann explains, contemplation is “a type of knowledge accompanied by delight and a certain degree of reason’s wonder before the object contemplated.”4 Contemplation can be pretty pedestrian, as when I appreciate the dark gold color of the scotch in my glass, or more exalted, as when I marvel at the starry sky. But the beauty of creation can and should be a ladder we ascend to the divine.

Our lives as human persons and as Christians should have divine contemplation at their center. This is what we are ultimately ordered to by nature and by grace. That doesn’t mean that we should all pack up and move to a monastery. Most basically in means a way of life faithful Catholics already live: one of regular prayer and participation in the Church’s liturgy marked in general by an appreciative and celebratory attitude toward reality, including the reality of other people.5 As Thomas uses the term, vita contemplativa or “contemplative life” does not necessarily refer to the life of cloistered religious. As Aumann points out, it is something that we all practice – laypeople, religious, and priests – inasmuch as we engage in contemplative acts.6



Divine Sovereignty

Fr. Stephen Freeman: The Sacrament of the Soul

In point of fact – there is no such thing as “secular.” All things are created by God, and exist only because they are sustained by His good will. Everything points towards God and participates in God who is the “Only Truly Existing One.” When the Orthodox speak of the world as a “sacrament,” it is simply stating this fact.

But Unity in What Form?

Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops: Executive Committee of the Assembly of Bishops Recommits to Orthodox Unity in the USA

Kyrie Eleison!


When Papal Positivism Replaces Tradition

Is it linked to the Jesuits, and what St. Ignatius of Loyola recommended in his Spiritual Exercises? "We should always be prepared so as never to err to believe that what I see as white is black, if the hierarchical Church defines it thus."

Robert Fastiggi:

7. Feser’s rejection of the new teaching of the Church on the death penalty is in direct violation of what Lumen Gentium, 25 teaches about the need to adhere to teachings of the ordinary papal Magisterium “with religious submission of mind and will.” His rejection also violates canon 752 of the 1983 CIC and no. 892 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Feser and his followers do not seem to understand the “argument from authority” that applies to teachings of the ordinary papal magisterium and judgments of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Catholics who support the new formulation of CCC 2267 are being faithful Catholics. Prof. Feser’s attempt to put such faithful Catholics and the Pope on the defensive suggests that he believes he has more authority than the Roman Pontiff. If he has difficulty accepting the Church’s new teaching on the death penalty he should, in a spirit of humility, make every effort to understand the teaching “with an evangelical spirit and with a profound desire to resolve his difficulties” (CDF, Donum, Vertiatis, 30). I have no difficulty with the new teaching. I hope and pray that Prof. Feser and his followers will overcome their difficulties.

Again, Fastiggi does not realize that he undermines his own case if his claim that capital punishment is a defined [Roman Catholic] dogma is true. If it isn't, then it isn't part of Tradition and any claim pertaining to its moral goodness or evil or permissibility must be a conclusion of moral theology and evaluated in accordance with the logic of sound reasoning. Justifying a claim based on an appeal to the person who said it or his authority (in this case, Pope Francis) would be an appeal to authority, as his authority does not extend to competence with respect to matters of moral theology per se. Perhaps Fastiggi is too attached to his own Latin opinions regarding the role of the pope to realize this.

Regardless of where they stand on various issues, Latins, traditionalists, "conservatives," or "progressives" will not let go of their belief in the [exaggerated] authority of the pope.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Did Eastern Catholics Really Need the Pope to Tell Them This?

If so, what does it say about how they perceive themselves? If they didn't, could he have handled this better?

Pope to Eastern Catholic Churches: love heals divisions
Pope urges unity among Eastern Churches of Europe by Claire Lesegretain
In times of conflict, religious should set an example and promote reconciliation, Francis tells bishops


And then there is the Code of Canons of Eastern Churches, whose own legitimacy is doubtful given that they were promulgated from Rome and approved by Rome, and there is one code issued to all non-Latin Churches, as if they could be grouped together solely for being non-Latin, even if only for the sake of "convenience."

Pope Francis: 'Canon law is essential for ecumenical dialogue'


If He's No Theologian

is he a historian or a sociologist? Maybe it isn't so easy as he thinks it is.

Body, Soul, and Spirit?

1 Thessalonians 5:23
Hebrews 4:12

David Clayton poses a question:


Someone points to Rosmini as having some things to say.


Does Scheeben discuss this as well?

What is the correlation between the spirit of man and the Holy Spirit?

OCA: Orthodox Spirituality
Forming the Soul -- Spirit, Soul, and Body
"The unity of the human person: The body-soul relationship in Orthodox Theology? by Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia

A Thomist perspective: Do we have spirit, soul, and body or just soul and body? by Dr Taylor Marshall

John Pepino to Give a Talk in Vancouver


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Eastern Christian Books: The Very Long History of Vatican II

Eastern Christian Books: The Very Long History of Vatican II

The Synod of Pistoia and Vatican II: Jansenism and the Struggle for Catholic Reform by Shaun Blanchard
When Bishops Meet: An Essay Comparing Trent, Vatican I, and Vatican II Hardcover by John W. O'Malley

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bishop Robert Barron on Henri de Lubac

CWR Dispatch: Cardinal Etchegaray, Henri de Lubac, and Vatican II by Bishop Robert Barron
What is still very much the needful thing today is the de Lubac attitude.
Are both left-wing and right-wing rejections of Vatican II on display today? Just go on the Catholic new media space and you’ll find the question readily answered. What is still very much the needful thing is the de Lubac attitude: deep commitment to the texts of Vatican II, openness to ecumenical conversation, a willingness to dialogue with the culture (without caving in to it), reverence for the tradition without a stifling traditionalism.

Often because of the post hoc fallacy, Ressourcement theology is being ignored by Latin traditionalists. Others merely are committed to their version of Thomism, and critique Ressourcement theology accordingly. Another approach taken by some contemporary Thomists is to take what was good in the return of the sources and employ it in Thomism, hence Ressourcement Thomism. Do Latins have what is necessary to reset their ecclesial tradition and teaching? Arguably that is what the best of Ressourcement theology was trying to do, though whether they were able to do so is questionable, as those who were orthodox had to stay within the bounds of second millenium Latin "dogma," rather than question whether those teachings by Latin councils were actually definitive.

Viganò vs. The Vatican: The Uncensored Testimony of the Italian Journalist Who Helped Break the Story by Marco Tosatti

CWR: The case for Viganò’s case against the Vatican by James Baresel

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Chalcedonian Orthodox...

Triumphalism? Stubbornness?

The “Smoking Gun” of Non-Chalcedonian Christianity by Fr. Alexander Webster

Has it been established that certain Coptic authorities are monothelites? Or are they being misunderstood, just as their miaphysitism is misunderstood as monophysitism?

Instead of engaging in long-distance polemics, would it not be better to seek face-to-face dialogue with others, or if that is not possible, to abstain from commenting on the ongoing dialogue and wait until the duly-appointed representatives of the various churches have done their work? After all, other Orthodox do recognize that the Oriental, or non-Chalcedonian Orthodox, are not heretical. Should we at least not talk to them and ask them their reasons why, rather than engaging in a hermeneutics of suspicion?

And then there is the so-called "heresy" of ecumenism... when it is the same as relativism or indifference to truth then it should be condemned as such, rather than as "ecumenism." What are we doing to live in accord with Christ's prayer that "they may be one"?

Monergism and Monothelitism
Monophysitism Reconsidered

The Nicene Creed

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Sufficiently Realistic Model of Synodality?

CWR: Synods and Sausages: Making a mess in Germany by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille
Three things need to be sorted out when it comes to the covert agenda being pursued by the German bishops.

Responders have focused on what DeVille has written on clerical continence/celibacy. It is a discipline that they cannot even consider being slightly modified.

Still, there may be other issues -- if we have not had any sort of functional synodality within the (Chalcedonian) churches for some time, can it be recreated from a priori premises? Or will we need to rely on the Holy Spirit as not only the source of ecclesial reform but the ratifier?
But that in no way precludes women from being, say, fully elected members of a diocesan synod and of a parish council where they could and should vote for a bishop or priest and vote on his annual budget in a binding way, as I have proposed.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bishop Milan's Letter to the Eparchy of Parma


CNA/CWR: ‘If we are spiritually sterile, we will have no future,’ bishop tells Ruthenian eparchy

The Separation of Chalcedonian East and West

Fr. Behr and Fr. Bouteneff in Bose

Illicit and Invalid?

Sandro Magister: In the Amazon Married Deacons Are Already Saying Mass. And the Pope Knows It


That's why we need Latin as a sacred language, to preserve the "sense of mystery." But it's ok for people to use hand missals to follow the Mass, if they wish to do so. But even for some traditionalists, having the priest break the silence is too much -- let the people just meditate during the Eucharist! (See the combox.)


Fr. Augustine Thompson:

Having celebrated (with permission under the 1969 indult and those following) the Dominican Rite Mass since my ordination in 1985, as well as the Mass of Paul VI, and, having watched the business that goes on at John XXIII Roman Masses, especially those with the bishop, I am ever more convinced that the supposed comment of a father (not a Dominican) at Vatican II that all the reform of the liturgy needed was for the Church to adopt the Dominican Rite WAS CORRECT.

Okay, do you prefer the age of Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi, and Innocent III, and their liturgical tastes? That is the Dominican Rite. Or do we need to resurrect the court rigmarole of 18th-century absolutist princelings, promoted by Jesuits, as our style of liturgy? That is essentially the style of the “Tridentine Mass.” And many of its promoters are happy to say YAH!

Yes, the Mass of John XXIII is now the “traditionalist” norm, but Fr. Z’s urge for “mutual enrichment” is right. Nevertheless, the mutual enrichment should not mean a compromise between 18th-century absolutist Rococo liturgy and the post-1960s hippy perversions of that liturgy. Let’s think about alternatives, that are just as authentically traditional, like our actual thirteenth-century liturgy, still alive (in many places and ever more so) today.

Change Must Start Locally and by Small Steps

OSV: Could a proper implementation of synodality help save the Church? by Adam A.J. DeVille

Properly constituted synods elect their bishops, meet at least annually under his presidency to pass legislation for the diocese, and vote the bishop’s budget up or down. In many synods, the bishop presents an annual report on his conduct and specifies his priorities for the upcoming year, and the people (composed of elected lay and clerical delegates from every parish) have a chance to challenge him on both his priorities but especially his failings. The great Ukrainian Catholic metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (declared “venerable” by Pope Francis in 2015) in September 1899 immediately following his episcopal consecration, noted with singular humility that “the people are completely right to demand certain things from a bishop, and it is absolutely correct to censure him if he shirks the task that he has to perform on behalf of the Church and his people.”

A bishop’s shirking or incompetence could, under carefully considered canons, trigger his indictment and trial in a properly constituted tribunal, which would include his peers in the episcopate. If found guilty, he could be disciplined or even deposed from office. He would have the right to appeal this to a regional appellate court, and finally to Rome, whose decision would be final. (Scholars agree that Rome as an appellate tribunal for bishops dates back to the Council of Serdica in 343/4.) These latter two processes are safeguards against the risk of a synod refusing to obey a bishop who is “imparting the word of truth without deviation” (2 Tim 2:15). Safeguards are necessary so that no bishop would be run out of town by a people who “will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth …” (2 Tim 4:3-4). On this point it is important to note that a diocesan synod never votes on doctrine or changes to, e.g., a catechism or creed.

Under this system, then, when it would be time to elect a successor of a bishop, the people of the diocese would have the right to propose the names of local clergy they know well and trust. Neighboring bishops could also propose names. And Rome would have the right both to propose its own set of names or to veto — for manifest and grave reasons — those proposed at the local and regional levels. The synod would then investigate each candidate thoroughly before electing a new bishop.

First, does the patriarch of Rome have this right by divine institution? And should he have the right to veto for his patriarchate? Or should his patriarchate be broken up?

Secondly, how can there be such lay involvement in the "governance" of the local Church if there is first not stability of communities and mutual accountability of the Christian people (including the clergy)?

Such reforms must be implemented first, but the local Churches, at least in the urban areas, must recognize that they are in combat with a socioeconomic system which works against communal stability. And if they cannot be reformed then perhaps an alternative solution must be found for those areas.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Raymond de Souza on the Choicers for the Next Consistory

Also bypassed – for the sixth time by Pope Francis – is Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Even his predecessor during communist persecution was named a cardinal. Despite the concern that Pope Francis showed for the UGCC this past July at a special Vatican summit, it appears that the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow – and behind him, Vladimir Putin – still get a veto on matters Ukrainian, and their hostility to Shevchuk and the UGCC has been manifest for years. The day after the new cardinals were announced, the Holy Father received Shevchuk and the UGCC governing council of bishops in a long-planned audience. It must have been a bit awkward.

All heads of Eastern Churches should automatically be "elevated" cardinals once they have chosen to become the head, or at the next consistory. But even that wouldn't be sufficient "representation" by the Church universal.

Or, the patrirach of Rome could recognize that the Roman Curia is to assist him with affairs pertaining to his own see, and maybe his patriarchate, but not with the Church Universal.

Catgikuc Gerakd

Divine Adoption

Catholic Herald

John Hittinger, "Maritain and Deely on the Renewal of Intellectual Life in the Modern World"

How Strong the Boff-Bergoglio Connection?

LSN: 47-year-old photo shows future Pope Francis with dissident priest who helped engineer Amazon synod by Maike Hickson

See also:
What Pope Francis Unveils by Rod Dreher

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The ZdK

CWR: Analysis: Who are the Central Committee of German Catholics? By Ed Condon

Updated (9/9):

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Franciscan Reform

Sandro Magister: Two Reforms Dear To Francis Flunk the Test. Too Full of Errors

This phantom chapter has the title “Council of Cardinals” and would concern that band of nine cardinals, in reality now reduced to six, called by Francis to accompany him from the beginning of his pontificate so that he can be precisely assisted by them in the reform of the curia and in the governance of the universal Church.

Does the text refer to the universal Church, or is that an interpolation by Magister? Who will be the one to sever the Roman Curia from the Pope's responsibilities concerning the universal Church?


Here the sloppiness of the writing is even more serious, because this is not a matter of a draft, but of a definitive text produced by a university-level pontifical institute, and which moreover has received the approval of the congregation for Catholic education.

"Abrahamic" Religions

New English Review: The Abrahamic Fallacy by Mark Durie


From 2017: What Is Communion and Liberation? by Sofia Carozza

Thursday, September 05, 2019

A Latin Synod with Teeth?

CNA/CWR: German bishops to green light binding ‘Synodal Assembly’

Newman and St. Philip Neri

Called to Life in Christ

The Latin Traditionalists React

Just as they can't admit that maybe the Ressourcement movement might have had a point.


Latin traditionalists can't concede anything. "Everything was A-ok with the Church [i.e. the patriarchate of Rome] before the Pian reform of Holy Week in 1955 [or choose some earlier liturgical reform]." As if they were alive at the time and had the omniscience to know that this was true. "Vatican 2 ruined everything!"

Did Ressourcement fade because of the hard-headedness of some of the Latin clergy and religious and the ignoring of Ressourcement by "progressives"? Or maybe the patriarchate of Rome didn't deserve such a gift and God withdrew it.

Kwasniewski writes this howler:
"Many more examples can be given in the realms of clerical vestments, church architecture, and liturgical hymns and orations. And then there will be simply issues of pluralism: some churches give the sacraments of initiation all at once to infants, while others spread them out in acknowledgment of the role of reason and free will. Is one necessarily right and the other wrong? Couldn’t they both be right, because they’re looking from different legitimate angles?"

Would he concede such pluralism on the question of ecclesiastical divorce? I am doubting it, even if he begrudgingly grants it with respect to the Eastern discipline of ordaining married men to the presbyterate. Show me a Latin author who justified the delay of Confirmation on the basis of "the role of reason and free will" rather than ecclesiological considerations centered on the office of the bishop.

Like the West, the East has its “black boxes” into which people are not supposed to look too closely, lest they find tensions, contradictions, reversals, laxities, and other odds and ends. Above all, their systematic theology and moral theology are a mess, because they have no authoritative framework for interpreting the Fathers. Their own version of scholasticism, a bit like Islam’s, imploded and fell apart, unlike the West’s, which with figures like Bonaventure and Thomas attained a rare perfection and magnificence. Above all, there is no one in the East who is as biblical, patristic, ecumenical, synthetic, broad-minded, and comprehensive as the Angelic Doctor. Aquinas makes frequent, sympathetic, incisive use of dozens of Western and Eastern Fathers — indeed, more Eastern authors than Western — so it’s a bit silly to say our theology starts in the 12th century.

Except it is arguable that theology in general did not have that place in the life of the Church that the Latins have given to theologians. Perhaps the Orthodox would here claim that it is the reception of a theological opinion, its incorporation in the liturgical and prayer life of the Church, that matters, rather than what the majority of theologians might say. And anyways, Aquinas is not the end-all, be-all of Latin theology, even if Thomists and Latin traditionalists like Kwasniewski would like to think that his theology holds this primacy of place.

Moreover, what the hieromonk doesn’t seem to grasp, or perhaps doesn’t wish to acknowledge, is the many great spiritual figures the West has always had, and still has. He does not mention figures like St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Bd. Charles de Foucauld, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and Bd. Columba Marmion, let alone countless martyrs and saints of every state in life. He mentions St. Pio of Pietrelcina only to suggest that he was opposed by the Church, which is only partially true. The writings of Fr. Jacques Philippe are every bit the equal of many contemporary books published by the Orthodox. One might also take a look at the pre-Reformation volumes of the Classics of Western Spirituality series from Paulist Press to get a rough sense of the richness of our mystical tradition.

I bet Kwasniewski rejects Bouyer's claims about the separation of Latin spirituality from Latin liturgical experience. But this is not a theological claim but a historical claim that must be evaluated accordingly, not in accordance with some a priori position that is taken to be a truth of Divine Faith -- "The Holy Ghost has not abandoned any of the apostolic-sacramental churches, since all of them give abundant evidence of the operations of the Spirit: faith, hope, charity, the gifts and fruits, miracles." Just because the Holy Spirit sanctifies does not mean that a church or group of churches does not have defects which the Holy Spirit must remedy.

I posted a link to the English translation of the original here.

On the Suppression of the Society of Jesus: A contemporary account.

by Guilo Cesare Cordara, SJ, from Loyola Press (out of print - Google Books)

Fr. Z: Jesuits. Corruptio optimi pessima.

The Institute of Jesuit Sources is now associated with Boston College.

The Radical Proposal of Sacred Art

The One Church: A Plea for Diversity

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Eastern Christian Books: The Poison of Papal Centralization

Eastern Christian Books: The Poison of Papal Centralization

A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop by Rembert Weakland

Primacy and Synodality in the Orthodox Church

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Not Well-Known

Is There an Ur Tradition?

Had time to look up something that I had been considering but had put aside.

Latin polemics against Orthodox tradition on divorce and remarriage generally focus exclusively on the Byzantines, arguing that the tradition was a human innovation arising from capitulation to human weakness and state pressure or accomodation. Those polemicists do not look at divorce and remarriage within the Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Churches.

So I took a quick look -- it appears that there is ecclesiastical divorce (and remarriage) in at least the Assyrian, Armenian, Syro-Malankara/Syriac Orthodox, and Coptic Churches. So how would the Latins respond to that? Most likely: "Only Rome has maintained the purity of the Apostolic Tradition, because the pope is the sucessor of St. Peter!"

Is the origin of the Latin tradition on divorce and remarriage linked to the origin of the Latin tradition on clerical continence/celibacy? Latin polemicists, again: "Apostolic Tradition!"

Related: NEW BOOK – Divorce and Remarriage in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition
Oikonomia, Divorce and Remarriage in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition by Rev. Dr. Kevin Schembri (an article published in Melita Theologica)

Related: Divorce and Remarriage of Orthodox Copts in Egypt: The 2008 State Council Ruling and the Amendment of the 1938 Personal Status Regulations by Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Newman and the Laity

Sunday, September 01, 2019