Thursday, April 02, 2020

The Book of Pastoral Rule

Part 3

Parts 2 and 1.

They Attend Byzantine Catholic Churches

But are they Byzantine in their thinking? Matt Fradd and Trent Horn:

full episode

And here is that podcast by Trent Horn: #250 – Why I attend a Byzantine Catholic parish (with my pastor!)

Of course the papacy is the key controversy, and it is not clear to me that Trent Horn has left behind Latin theology. Applying the model of the civil government of Israel, the monarchy and the vizier (vicar), to the understanding of the Church is not straightforward if the power of the keys given to St. Peter is passed on to all of the bishops, not just the bishop of Rome. Who is the pastor of the Church? The bishop of the local church, if we accept the monoepiscopate as a fixed norm. (And it is not clear to me that it is so.) But if the Church Universal is a communion of bishops and their flocks, is there a place for a primus? A leader or a facilitator and spokesman? A leader may be a facilitator and spokesman, but one can be a facilitator and spokesman without being a leader, in the sense of having authority over those one represents as a spokesman. There is no historical evidence that St. Peter exercised primacy as it is defined by the Latin Councils of Florence, Trent, Vatican I, and Vatican II or claimed by various bishops of Rome over the past 1500 years. So if the primus episcopus is overstepping his boundaries and attempting to lord his primacy over the church, what recourse or sanctions do other bishops have? What else is there besides warning the bishop of Rome that he is in danger of cutting himself off from the communion in charity that is proper to the Church Universal? If a Latin thinks that there is no recourse whatsoever, and that other bishops must just suffer or bear it though not necessarily obeying commands the bishop of Rome has no authority to give, he still thinks like a Latin.

And Trent Horn's latest podcast: St. Peter: Pope or Nope?

Downloadable versions of the two podcasts can be found at and podbay.

Matt Fradd did do a subsequent interview with Fr. Michael O'Loughlin, which I will have to finish.

Matt Fradd and Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. on Prayer and Devotions

Full episode

A previous episode with the same guest.

"Jesus Wept"

A Latin understanding of the passions of Christ...

First Things: Meditating on COVID-19 by Hans Boersma

The fifth Sunday of Lent is traditionally known as Passion Sunday. During the two weeks between Passion Sunday and Easter, we are called upon to meditate on Jesus’s suffering and death. For the most part, our preoccupation with suffering and death leaves Jesus out, so as to focus strictly on ourselves.

An interpretation of Christ's weeping in line with St. Maximos the Confessor?
We do well to attend to Jesus’s tears, for it is only by meditation upon his tears that we are able to process our own. Why does Jesus weep? The question is pressing because Jesus cannot possibly be weeping in the same way that Martha, Mary, and the bystanders are weeping. The narrative doesn’t allow us to think that Jesus is mourning the loss of his friend. He has travelled to Bethany with the precise aim of raising Lazarus from the dead (11:4, 11). Hippolytus of Rome adroitly observes: “He wept but did not mourn.”

Why, then, does Jesus weep? He weeps because he meditates upon our passion. Just as we are called to “weep with those who weep” (Rom.15:12), so Jesus weeps with those who weep. (In fact, Saint Augustine suggests that the reason Jesus weeps here is to teach us to weep; this must at least be part of the picture.) Jesus weeps with Martha and Mary, with the Jewish bystanders, and with a world struggling with illness, suffering, and death.

We should not miss the intensity of Jesus’s emotional upheaval. He was “deeply moved,” suggest many recent translations—a hopeless sentimentalizing of his passion. Jesus’s grief is mixed with furious anger and indignation. The Greek term here, embrimaomai, is reminiscent of a bristling, snorting stallion.

What upsets Jesus so? Is it Martha and Mary’s confounded reproach, “Lord, if you had been here . . .” (11:21, 32)? Is it the bystanders’ unwarranted censure that he should have kept Lazarus from dying (11:37)? Is it the grief and pain that he reads in all of their faces? Is it the havoc that illness and death cause in the lives of the people he loves? It is all of these. Jesus meditates on our passion and weeps.

Merit? Participation? Or something else?
Reflect for a moment on the incomprehensible depth of these words, “Jesus wept.” His passion deliberately and fully exposes him to the virus we carry. When Jesus weeps, he opens himself up to our illness; he takes on our passion; he enters our grief. We meditate on Jesus’s tears, but comprehend them we cannot. Why not? Their flow contains nothing less than the pooled passion of the entire human race.

The biblical lessons and the Psalm appointed for Passion Sunday remind us of the depth of Jesus’s tears. They depict the valley of the dry bones—the mass grave of exiles (Ezek. 37). They cry out from the depths (de profundis) of the psalmist’s iniquities (Ps. 130). And (depending on the assigned reading in your church), they speak of slavery to sin (Rom. 6). When Jesus weeps at Lazarus’s graveside, he weeps for all of this.

Still, Jesus’s tears are not just tears of lament. I suspect they are tears of joy at the same time. Dry bones come to life when the Spirit of God breathes on them. Iniquities are forgiven when the Lord sends redemption to Israel. And slaves of sin become slaves of righteousness when in faith and baptism we are united to Christ Jesus. Each of the readings offers resurrection hope beyond passion and death. Jesus’s tears are a promise that grief of illness and death will be overcome by joy of life eternal.

The church fathers were fond of saying that whatever our Lord did in his incarnation, he did “for our sake.” His weeping is no exception. Jesus weeps “on account of the people standing round” (11:42). That doesn’t mean his tears are fake. Quite the contrary, as we have seen. But it does mean that Jesus’s tears are infinitely dissimilar to ours. They are not tears of impotence. They are the tears of God. And when God weeps, we may be sure our passion is about to yield to resurrection.

What about assuming our nature to heal human passions? Does Christ feel the loss of Lazarus on an emotional level? Is it possible for him to do so without experiencing sin? Or can he weep only out of love for us, and not for Lazarus?

2017 Beatty Memorial Lecture - Charles Taylor

"The Challenge of Regressive Democracy"

An Academic Rebuttal to Cochini Is Required

Latins mounting a defense of the claim that priestly celibacy is a norm of apostolic origin continually and consistently refer to the book by Christian Cochini, the English translation of which is published by Ignatius Press, The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy. But it is not at all clear to Byzantines and others that Concini has the historical evidence necessary to establish this claim.

Here is another Latin apologia: The Charism of Priestly Celibacy by Fr. Frederick L. Miller, STD