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.