Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga is the coordinator of the “gang of eight” cardinals that Pope Francis has designated to spearhead the reforms he seeks to implement within the Church. Some wags have referred to him as Vice Pope. He gave a, well the diplomatic term to use would be “interesting”, speech at a conference in Dallas on October 25. Go here to read the speech. PopeWatch was going to fisk this speech, but learned that two superlative fisks have already been undertaken.
First up is the fisk of Father Longenecker. PopeWatch would note that Father Longenecker is not a firebrand, but is rather a judicious commentator. You can get a taste of the fisk from this section:
The first read through sounds like the old “Spirit of Vatican II” stuff warmed up. It’s all about reaching out in mercy and no condemnation to show people what the love of Christ really looks like. Okay, but as many commentators have observed, in the American Church the liberal mainstream have been doing that steadily for the last fifty years and all we have to show for it are plummeting vocations, religious evacuating their orders en masse, churches built in a brutal modernist style, a wholesale abandonment of the rich teachings and traditions of the faith, widespread disregard for the moral teachings of Catholicism, the priest sex abuse scandal, financial abuse and a church in crisis.
So we want more of the same? This is the definition of insanity isn’t it? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
I understand that in Central and South America many Catholics associated with “the right” were also associated with right wing political figures. Those who loved the Latin Mass and church traditions and disciplines were also at the table with the moneyed aristocracy and the right wing dictators. I can understand the egalitarian talk of Cardinal Maradiaga therefore, and I acknowledge the truth of what he says about the church being “the pilgrim people of God” and the need to “get back to Jesus” and the need for the compassionate face of Christ to be seen in the church. I accept and agree with his proposal that the new evangelization is ultimately about meeting Christ through the shining examples of authentic Christians.
I don’t have much of a problem with what he affirms, but I am concerned about what he denies. Maybe the Cardinal needs to remember the life changing aphorism by F.D.Maurice that a man is right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies. Whenever I hear a pastor say “The truth is X but not Y” I’m suspicious because usually the truth is both-and.
Go here to read every insightful world.
The second fisk is from Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings. The fisk has just begun but it begins with a bang:
2. Vatican II The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council. On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue. Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person.
3. If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema. As StrongBad might say, “I’m no theologist, but I think ‘anathema’ is bad.” And, if I may be so cheeky, let me point out what modernism meant to the Saint who decided to brain it: Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ’s kingdom itself. Soooo…Vatican II was an armistice with the enemies of the cross of Christ? Who were just poor ol’ misled social justice crusa–er, collaborators trying to make the world a better place? No no no. NO. Modernism is better thought of as an attempted palace coup against God Himself, staged within the Church herself. Sure, all revolutions cloak themselves in good motives, in terms of justice. That doesn’t justify them, much less their tactics.
Go here to read the rest. PopeWatch longs for the day when the speeches of cardinals were snooze fests.