Friday, December 13, 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Not Getting It

Latin traditionalists still failing to grasp that the problem is not Vatican I or Vatican II or even the Council of Florence; it is Latin ecclesiology concerning the primacy of the bishop of Rome, as Latin pretensions concerning the primacy of the bishop of Rome arguably go back to the first millenium. Did any other Apostolic Church accept them? Would it have even made sense for them to, in an age of limited communication and an already multiethnic and multicultural Church? Perhaps the claim could have been sustained when the whole Church still understood and spoke Greek, including the bishop of Rome, but once that linguistic unity passed? How could the bishop of Rome possibly be competent to teach Christianity in any other language except his own? No man can be fluent in every single human language, and there is no special divine gift or charism that makes the bishop of Rome such a panglot.

What sort of rationalist apologetics for such an exaggerated notion of primacy can Latins pull out of their hats now?

1P5: The Second Vatican Council Is Now Far Spent by Peter Kwasniewski

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What Is the End of Political Life?

CWR: Thomism and Political Liberalism, Part 3 by Joseph G. Trabbic
St. Thomas says that “the whole of political life seems to be ordered to contemplative happiness.” What would a life ordered to divine contemplation look like? And how would politics support it?

A take on this comment.

Is Thomism too rationalist in its conception of eudaimonia? More and more I think that it is unsatisfying, as it is usually presented, and perhaps Pinckaers' modification may not be sufficient. A political life should have sufficient members and organized in such a way that it makes a local ecclesia possible, including the selection of men to become presbyters/episkopos to minister the Holy Mysteries. Through the Holy Mysteries and the Christian life is the ultimate end attained, the encounter of God and man in love, and this Christian life includes prayer and "contemplation." While the
he political community is ordered to human happiness, which according to Christianity is supernatural, a Divine gift of friendship with God, its immediate end is political friendship, and it is on this point primarily that liberalism, which serves the state and statism, differs from Aristotelianism and arguably Thomistic political theology. It is also a first principles that is obscured in Roman Catholic social teaching, written mostly or wholly by men who have no experience living in an authentic political community. It is because of this that RC social doctrine is easily exploited to serve the purposes of the state, and I expect more to be written about obedience to the secular authority in the future.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

[Active] Participation


What is done in the liturgy is done by Christ, not by us. For the liturgy is the worship offered by Christ in His Church through the power of the Holy Spirit to God the Father. It is not something primarily that we do. We certainly, by right of our baptism, are able to participate in that offering. Indeed, it is our baptismal duty to do so to the best of our ability and according to our particular vocation. But the liturgy is first and foremost Christ acting in the world today through the rites of His Church. Because of this, through this, we are able to share in His saving acts—the Redemption He wrought for our sins on the cross, and the hope of eternal life made manifest in His glorious resurrection. In short, the sacred liturgy is Christ’s saving action in our world today. ...

The understanding that the liturgy is an action, not a text, and indeed that it is first and foremost the action of Christ Himself, is crucial if I am to participate in any liturgical rite, if I am truly to engage consciously and actually in that action, if I am in fact to pray the sacred liturgy. Otherwise I shall be a mere spectator, possibly a bored one, or maybe even a well-entertained one. But the liturgy is not a spectacle or entertainment to be watched. It is an action in which I must be engaged. It is worship. And it is prayer. ...

Therefore praying the liturgy, which is simply true or actual (sometimes called ‘active’) participation in the liturgy, is not so much saying the right words, ‘making the responses’ or ‘joining in the singing’ (these are means, not ends) as it is immersing myself in, losing myself in, allowing myself to be caught up in, the action of the liturgy.”

What is it to immerse one's self or to be caught up in the action of the liturgy if there is no act on my part? Is it simply comprehension and the proper will act? On the other hand, does this not undermine the traditionalist case against the reform if the main or essential acts of participation are to be found in the intellect and will? So long as these are present, what difference does it make if one says the "right words" or "makes the responses" or uses the EF? And who is to say that the subjective experience of the typical participant in the OF, in the vernacular and with contemporary worship music, cannot be ordered by these essential of participation? If those fundamental acts are present and sustained, then what difference do the means make? Would Reid argue that the some means are more proportioned to the end?

More importantly, what are these fundamental acts, if not the Son's knowledge and love of the Father, in which we participate thanks to Baptism and Confirmation/Chrismation? And is worship to be identified with these acts? A Thomist might respond that worship or prayer are acts of religio, not acts of the theological virtues but acts ordered by the theological virtues. I wouldn't disagree with that, though I would emphasize that Christian worship, our participation in the Son's praise of and thanksgiving to the Father, are secondary acts motivated by filial knowledge and love of the Father, and so Reid is incorrect on this point. However, if he does argue that the texts, singing, etc. are important in so far as they serve these secondary and some forms are more better suited than others (and at this point I don't have any reason to think that this is not his position, though I would disagree with him as to which forms are better suited, at least some of them), I think that part can be retained.