PopeWatch: Tradition

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa notes that Pope Francis is leaving no doubt as to who is in charge:

With Francis the papacy has ended up in a pool of shadow. The light is all for him, the pope. Not the institution, but the person.

He feels himself free from the canonical norms. In just one year he has already suspended six times the ironclad rule that demands a new miracle before a blessed may be proclaimed a saint. John XXIII is the last of the six. Francis wanted at all costs that John Paul II should be canonized not on his own but balanced by another pope with a different profile, less combative, more merciful.

And so it will be on Sunday, April 27. The congregation for the causes of saints has bowed to his will and has offered the pretense of asking Francis for the dispensation, benevolently granted right away.

In addition Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who still figures as president of the Italian episcopal conference, has asked Francis that it be he, the pope, who delivers the inaugural discourse to the plenary assembly of the bishops to be held in May, something no pontiff has ever done.

The cardinal’s request, the official statement reads, “met with the ready willingness of the Holy Father, who confided that he had the same intention in mind.” Indeed. It had been known for at least for a month that Francis had made this decision.

Since he has been pope the CEI has been virtually annihilated. Francis has asked the Italian bishops to tell him how they would like the appointment of their president and secretary to take place, whether by the pope as has always been done in Italy or by independent voting as is done in all the other countries. Taking the hint, the intention of almost all the bishops is to leave the appointment to the pope. And if he himself wants there to be a consultative vote beforehand, this will take place, but in secret and with no examination of the ballots. They will be delivered to the pope still closed, and he will do want he wants with them.

The CEI is the living refutation of the intentions of decentralizing and “democratizing” the Church attributed to Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Go here to read the rest.  Pio Nono famously thundered at a bishop who cited tradition against Papal Infallibility. “Tradition!  I am the Tradition!”  In the short run that is a completely accurate statement.  In the long run it is not.  Pio Nono’s establishment of Papal Infallibility remains, but much of what he did, said and wrote, the Syllabus of Errors for example, is one with Nineveh and Tyre as far as the contemporary Church is concerned.  That is true with most of the actions and statements of most Popes.  Time works as a sorting mechanism as to what of any particular papacy becomes part of the Tradition that guides the Church.  History is long and papal reigns tend to be short.  Each Pope has a usually brief opportunity to lead the Church and after they are gone there are no guarantees that their successors will look upon what they attempted to do as a path to be followed or an aberration in the life of the Church to be shunned.

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  1. “History is long and,,,,” something about this papacy makes me wonder if history is not going to be be much longer!

  2. This “contemporary Church” of which you speak is much more dead than the Syllabus of Errors — precisely because it is busy being contemporary.

  3. “Two of his predecessors made saints instead of only one. The Italian episcopal conference annihilated. The men of the old guard still at the helm of the IOR. All as Francis commands” Sandro Magister

    I don’t know what to make of all this. The article starts out talking about pope bergolio aggrandizing power, the light being for him, not for the Church; and goes on to show him managing appearances of collegiality with a firm hand, and further about siding with the 4 bad guys instead of the one good guy, and then ends by saying the course of the pope is still uncharted. Don’t we get the drift? He’s going thataway.

  4. This Pope in his love of Democracy and Equality is such a dictator. True, a kindler, softer, gentler, dictator. Pink. Lavender. Tolerant. Inclusive. Non-divisive. Nice.

    It is consistent that the dictatorship of an Autocrat be one with the dictatorship of Democracy – majority rules and the individual must surrender his rights.

    We need a Monarch and a people answerable to God. Indeed, we all shall answer to God. I fear that day because I know what I deserve. Nevertheless:

    Vox populi NON est vox Dei. Vox huius Pontificis NON est vox Dei. Vox Iesus Christi EST vox Dei – vox Traditionis Sacrae et Scripturae Sacrae.

  5. To be perfectly clear: Not all the Church thinks the Syllabus of Errors is nonsense. Only the part of the Church thinks the Syllabus is nonsense. That part of the Church does not deserve attention, whether or not Donald R. McClarey belongs to that part. Perhaps at some later point he will share his evaluation of whether “history” has judged the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament in a positive light.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t.

  6. “Not all the Church thinks the Syllabus of Errors is nonsense.”

    No, Howard, I am sure that most Catholics haven’t read it so they certainly wouldn’t think it is nonsense because they do not know it exists. Of those who do, I doubt if several of the propositions would find many fans among Catholics, especially those contradicted by more recent, well-known Church stances. For example current Church teaching on religious liberty basically embodies error 15 condemned by Pio Nono:

    “15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.”

    The Church is changing all the time, but the Tradition of the Church mutes and absorbs the changes over time. Pio Nono wished to freeze the Church to a certain point of history. As great a Pope as he was, and he was very great indeed, he failed miserably in that effort.

    As for my opinion on deuterocanonical books I accept them as scripture, although what that has to do with my post is beyond me. History of course cannot make a determination as to whether the deuterocanonical books are scripture since that determination is not based upon the history of these books but rather by the Church.

  7. Francis’s two,predecessors were great men,something Francis so far has not shown himself to be. But neither had great administrative or managerial skills–and, or at least one is told, they left the Church bureaucracy in a mess. Despite his persona, my impression is that Pope Bergoglio is not really all that much a Nice Guy. He comes across, rather, as a tough, mean, cold little bastard: and maybe, on balance, that is what the Church needs at this point.

  8. “as a tough, mean, cold little bastard:”

    I do not necessarily agree with that characterization PRM, but if the Pope has been cold and mean it has been with orthodox Catholics, while enemies of the faith have often received soft words and embraces from Pope Francis.

  9. The awful transience of power! Thanks Mr. McClarey. I went back and read the Kipling poem per your ref. Ninevah and Tyre

    God of our fathers, known of old—
    Lord of our far-flung battle line—
    Beneath whose awful hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies—
    The Captains and the Kings depart—
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    Far-called our navies melt away—
    On dune and headland sinks the fire—
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
    Or lesser breeds without the Law—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust
    In reeking tube and iron shard—
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
    And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
    For frantic boast and foolish word,
    Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

    My thoughts: How quickly the present becomes past. Though Tyre reminds of faded glory, Ninevah reminds me of the willingness of a pagan people, when warned, to repent.
    The Syllabus also warns us- read carefully there is food for thought there!
    (I’ll make the claim here that I am NOT an idiot ).
    Newman wrote:
    “What does the word “Syllabus” mean? A collection; the French translation calls it a “Resumé;”—a Collection of what? I have already said, of propositions,—propositions which the Pope in his various Allocutions, Encyclicals, and like documents, since he has been Pope, has pronounced to be Errors.”
    The value of the Syllabus can be in that it leads us to deeper reading on issues still important today.
    There has even been a call for a new listing of errors and misrepresentations since Vatican II:

    In that article Oddie defends the Syllabus.

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