PopeWatch: Jesuitical



Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa alerts us to a Jesuitical touch as the Synod on families opens:

ROME, October 4, 2014 – “La Civiltà Cattolica” has waited until the eve of the synod to break the silence that it had maintained until now on the most controversial question: whether or not to allow second weddings after a failed marriage.

And in taking the field it has fully espoused the cause of the innovators, with Cardinal Walter Kasper in the lead, who is cited from the very first lines as a beacon of reference.

“La Civiltà Cattolica” is not just any sort of magazine. Written exclusively by Jesuits, its drafts pass inspection by the Vatican authorities before publication. Pope Francis and the current director of the magazine, Fr. Antonio Spadaro – who has by now become the prince of his interviewers and interpreters – have the closest of working relationships.

In order to call the synod to “openness” on second marriages, “ La Civiltà Cattolica” has made a surprise move. It has dusted off the Council of Trent, precisely that Council which more strictly than any other reaffirmed the unity and indissolubility of the bond of marriage.

That same Council, however – as “La Civiltà Cattolica” recalls – abstained from formally condemning second marriages as practiced in the Eastern Churches, not only among the faithful of the Orthodox rite, but also – in some areas of mixed confession – among Catholics in union with Rome.

What induced the fathers of the Council of Trent to make this gesture that the magazine calls one of “ecumenism” ahead of its time was the case of Catholics living in the Greek islands of the Republic of Venice, who with the permission of their Latin bishops attended Orthodox churches and services. The Venetian ambassadors asked the council to allow these Catholics to maintain their “rites,” including the possibility of contracting second marriages in the case of adultery.

After an animated discussion, the council fathers approved the request with 97 votes against 80, and reformulated the canon that reaffirmed the indissolubility of marriage, avoiding any direct condemnation of the Eastern practice of second marriages.

The author of the article, Fr. Giancarlo Pani, a professor of Christian history at the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” reconstructs the debate that took place at the Council of Trent with a wealth of details and with all the references to the passages from the Gospels and from the Church Fathers made by the bishops and cardinals who spoke at the Council.

But when his turn comes to examine the practice of the undivided Church of the first centuries, Fr. Pani falls back entirely on the reconstruction made by Giovanni Cereti in the 1977 book “Divorce, new marriages, and penance in the primitive Church” – which was also the main, if not the only, source of reference used by Cardinal Kasper in his address to the consistory in February of 2014 – ignoring all of the subsequent studies conducted by illustrious patrologists like Henri Crouzel and Gilles Pelland, also Jesuits, who tore this reconstruction to shreds.

The thesis that emerges from this article of “La Civiltà Cattolica” is that Trent made a gesture of “evangelical mercy” that the synod that is about to open should adopt and reinforce, on behalf of “those Christians who suffer through a failed conjugal relationship.”

In reality, there was no beginning of “openness” to second marriages at Trent, but simply the decision not to enter into direct conflict on this point with the Orthodox Churches, with a prudence that was also exercised over the previous centuries and maintained afterward.

Go here to read the rest.  This article is typical example of why a fair number of Catholics despise what most contemporary Jesuits have become.  Bad enough to see men paid to uphold Church doctrine actively attempt to tear it down.  That they use bad scholarship in their journals to do so, is also a betrayal of the intellectual acumen that the Jesuits have been proud of for centuries.  The Jesuits, with rare honorable exceptions, are now a very bad parody of the Company of Jesus established by Saint Ignatius Loyola.

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  1. It is true that Canon VII of the XXIV session of Trent was deliberately drafted in a way which condemned the Reformers’ interpretation of Matt 19:9, without condemning the Orthodox.

    “Si quis dixerit, ecclesiam errare, quum docuit et docet iuxta evangelicam et apostolicam doctrinam, propter adulterium alterius coniugum matrimonii vinculum non posse dissolvi… anathema sit” – If anyone says that the Church has erred, in that she has taught, and does teach, in accordance with the evangelical and apostolical doctrine, that the bond of matrimony cannot be dissolved on account of the adultery of one of the married parties…let him be anathema”

    In short, the Reformers held the church was wrong to teach that marriage could not be dissolved for adultery; the Orthodox Church agreed with Rome that it could not. Rather, according to the canon law of the Orthodox Church “economia” is “the suspension of the absolute and strict applications of canon and church regulations in the governing and the life of the Church, without subsequently compromising the dogmatic limitations. The application of economia only takes place through the official church authorities and is only applicable for a particular case.”

    Economia (οἰκονομία) bears some resemblance to a dispensation, although the analogy should not be pressed. Its literal Greek meaning is “household management,” hence Church government and discipline. Trent studiously refrained from addressing the question of the economia, just as it ducked the question of the Immaculate Conception in its decree on Justification. Similarly, whilst declaring that some of the prohibited degrees of marriage in Leviticus were dispensable, it declined to specify which. From such silence, no inference can be drawn.

  2. I had read Magister’s article on Saturday. I must say I was ‘surprised’ that La Civilta Catholica had waited until the ‘eve’ of the Extraordinary Synod to make its claim. As Magister himself states, La Civilta is correct in how the Council of Trent dealt with the Eastern Churches and the Orthodox who at the time were within the regency of the Venice. Trent is a great Council and gave both impetus and flesh to a reform movement that initially preceded even the Reformation but had met with great obstacles. This reform movement transformed the Church and gave expression and name to a whole era of Church history [Tridentine] as well as a cultural transformation which we now call Baroque.

    There are some important things to keep in mind while ‘reading’ Trent. While its overall purpose was the reform of the Catholic Church, a great deal (if not most of its teaching) needs to be seen as specific rejoinders to the Protestant Reformers’ positions and teaching. What they denied, Trent, needless to say, affirmed, and in response, emphasized in a way that was distinct and had not yet been experienced within the Catholic world. To the point, this is how to understand that Trent condemned the teachings of the Reformers on marriage but not the ‘practice’ of the Eastern and Orthodox Churches on marriage.

    There is a much larger issue brewing however underneath all of this-including the term “Jesuitical”. There was a tremendous shift within the Catholic Church in how the Church viewed and ‘taught’ Christian morality after 1300. From the beginning up until the time of Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure we see Christian morality as primarily a response to grace in a life of ongoing conversion and growth in virtue. After 1300, with Scotus’ teaching on God as a Being among beings [equivocal being], we turned from participating in the life of God (grace, ongoing conversion, growth in virtue) to ‘knowing His will’ enfleshed in commandments and responding to His will with obedience [I am simplifying here but this is the truth]. After ‘1300’ then the way we came to communion with God is by conforming to His will in obedience to His commandments. Once this became the normative way of explaining Christian morality, how to live with and follow the commandments, moral norms, and even rules and regulations became central concerns.

    With this ‘norm’ Christians were called to obey the commandments, moral teachings of the Church [again, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with this—it is the emphasis etc; Augustine and Aquinas certainly wanted us to keep the commandments etc. but their emphasis was the participation in the life of grace given in faith, empowered by the sacraments and lived out within the Church growing in the virtues most especially charity]. However, if all Christians had to do was ‘obey the commandments’ what about the role of grace etc. Thus we have the beginnings of the problems underlying Luther’s great crisis, so called revelation, and his split with the Church. His crisis was how could he ever be saved (even beyond the psychological issues that did plague him) His so called revelation was that it was ‘by grace’ [as if the Church had never taught this etc—but see, it was not emphasized in the way the Church was explaining Christian morality at the time]

    Trent’s teaching on Justification is superb and probably the best of its ‘teachings’ yet when the Roman Catechism was promulgated the emphasis on ‘keeping the commandments’ was preserved-for five hundred more years. After Trent a number of various ‘schools’ grew up in attempting to respond to Catholic moral teaching. They all exercised a way of moral argumentation called ‘casuistry’ [among its forms is “Jesuitical arguementation] which in turn were enshrined in ‘the manuals’: how to approach such an such moral issue, how to address it and solve its various aspects. The impression that was often left from these however is “how far can I go doing x (whatever x is) before it is a sin). Sadly the emphasis was on sin (and avoiding sin) rather than on Christ and growth in His grace

    Fast forward-Vatican II in its Declaration on the Formation of Priests called for a complete overhaul of moral theology calling it back to its Scriptural, Patristic and Thomistic basis [dare I say pre-1300 foundations?] What many peoples remember as the moral chaos following the Council did not originate in the Council but came from various “Moral Theological Schools introducing post-Kantian categories into their teaching]. It was in response to the call of Vatican II that Saint Pope John Paul gave us ‘the theology of the body’ in sexuality and Veritatis Splendor [The Splendor (Beauty) of Truth]-the first magisterial (encyclical) teaching ever given on Catholic morality per se.

    I know this has been long, but my point simply is ‘the Jesuitical’ as well as casuistry way of argumentation is outdated-no matter who practices it. We need to return to the sources of Catholic moral teaching and avoid the mines of voluntarism and normalism

  3. A Presbyterian minister once informed me that his denomination “stood on the shoulders” of Saint Augustine.
    Is it too simplistic to conclude that some of the Reformers were attempting to restore the Church to its belief system under Augustinean…(ie., vertical worship of God) and were rejecting Thomas Aquinas’ embrace of humanism and the incorporation of Aristotelian thought into the faith?
    As to MPS’ comment regarding “economia” which he suggests is a dispensation issued sparingly by the Church on a case by case basis…are the conservatives within the Church today concerned that under the guise of pastoral care, that which was narrowly dispensed (the right to remarry) in the past will become a more general application?

  4. Slainté asks, “Is it too simplistic to conclude that some of the Reformers were attempting to restore the Church to its belief system under Augustinean…(ie., vertical worship of God) and were rejecting Thomas Aquinas’ embrace of humanism and the incorporation of Aristotelian thought into the faith?”

    There is much truth in that and the 17th century saw a (entirely orthodox) Catholic movement in the same direction. St François de Sales, Pierre de Berulle, Charles de Condren, Jean-Jacques Olier, who founded the Société de Saint-Sulpice, St Jean Eudes, who founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary and the Order of Our Lady of Charity and St Louis de Montfort, who founded the Montfort Missionaries, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of St Gabriel are among the best representatives of this reaction.
    Union with and imitation of Christ, nourished by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary was the central feature of their teaching. Their three key texts were, “It is no longer I who live, but Jesus who lives in me” (Gal 2:20); “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ” (Ph 2:5); “May Christ dwell by faith in your hearts” (Eph 3:17)
    An interesting representative of the same school is the Capuchin, Père Joseph de Tremblay, whose
    « Introduction à la vie spirituelle par une facile méthode d’oraison » (Introduction to the spiritual life by an easy method of prayer) has never been out of print. The animating principle of the Christian life was “a generous and strong love which leads a soul to despise all earthly things and itself also and unites it to God with a resolute fidelity and sincere affection.”
    Père Joseph travelled all over France to promote the 40 hours devotion. He was the friend and confidante of Cardinal Richelieu and the founder of the French intelligence service.

  5. Slainté

    The οἰκονομία is a colourable device or ex post facto rationalisation by Orthodox theologians to justify their Church’s departure from primitive practice. It has never been adopted in the West, either in theory or in practice.

  6. The Jesuits were/are a military order; its members took a fourth vow (to defend the papacy).

    What was the nature of the Jesuits response to the reformers… merely an intellectual defense of Thomas Aquinas’ humanism and the role of logic (Aristotelianism) and/or a defense of obedience to the papacy?

    When the Jesuits (and the Ursulines) educated Catholic laity in Europe during the Reformation period, what was the substance of their teaching….vertical (Augustine) and horizontal (Aquinas) worship or merely Catholic humanism and the role of reason?

  7. Slainte,

    Sorry about my tardiness getting back to your original question concerning the Reformers. There is no doubt that they rejected the scholasticism model of education. However, so did the whole Christian humanist movement. The problem which the Reformers had was that they were as steeped in Nominalism as the Catholicism which they were seeking to reform etc. Luther had a special ‘hatred’ for Aquinas but that is due to Aquinas’ high regard for the synthesis of faith and reason. As you well remember, Luther’s cry was ‘faith alone’. That was not just concerning ‘works’ but also reason. He rejected, as did almost all the Reformers, the use of reason/philosophy in proclaiming/teaching what they called, ‘the “pure” word of God’. What none of them realized was that they were immersed in the various mindsets, philosophies etc of the day themselves.

    It is important to note that the Jesuits and Ursulines were both founded after the Reformation. All the other religious orders suffered through the convulsions of the Reformation period, losing many members of their orders as they did so. It is fascinating in fact to see how the Reformation effected the older orders, what “Reformers” came from which religious community. For example Martin Luther was an Augustinian Friar (OSA’s) who eventually married a former Cistercian nun who was smuggled out of her monastary in a beer barrell in order to marry Luther. Martin Bucer was a Dominican. John Calvin and of course Henry VIII were not members of religious orders but lay men.

    The Jesuits wer founded by St Ignatius 1539-1540. The Ursulines were founded by Saint Angela Merici in 1535. What people do not know is just how far spread the Reformation went before these orders started (before the Council of Trent 1545-1565) reforming the Church through catechesis etc. At the local level [parish etc] they taught catechism. Saint Peter Canisius SJ who was a secoond generation Jesuit produced a magnificent catechism. He also produced a non-conflictual Catholic apologetics in order to dialogue with and correct Protestant errors. It was in the universities that the Jesuits would teach Aquinas

  8. Slainte,

    An interesting parallel is frequently forgotten:
    Martin Luther’s [1517] battle cry was ‘faith alone”!——Reformation
    Renee Descartes [in roughly 1644] battle cry was “Reason alone”—Enlightenment

  9. Botolph, Thank you for responding. Was Christian humanism a response to secular humanism…ie, a Catholic interpretation of a secular phenomenon or did these two forms of humanism develop separately and arise from different sources?
    DId Thomas Aquinas independently formulate the idea of a synthesis of faith and reason or was he merely charged with explaining, with particularity, what was already known and appreciated by popes and/or the magisterium?

  10. MPS. why was Jansenism deemed a heresy and the Port Royal nuns treated so shabbily?… because the movement and the nuns affirmed Augustineanism and declined to embrace Aquinas’ scholasticism?
    Thank you.

  11. Slainté asks, “MPS. why was Jansenism deemed a heresy..?”

    Basically, it was an argument over grace and free will. Their quarrel was not with St Thomas, but with his commentators, especially Francisco Suarez SJ and the “School of Salamanca.” The Dominicans, too, objected to the Jesuit interpretation of “their” Angelic Doctor. In particular, both Dominicans and Jansenists rejected the teachings of Luis de Molina SJ on grace.

    For the Molinists, sufficient actual grace itself is either efficacious from its effect, or from our consent foreseen by God’s “mediate knowledge,” or else inefficacious and merely sufficient. For Thomists, internal actual grace is twofold: one is efficacious of itself, producing of itself the virtuous act; the other is merely sufficient but inefficacious. For the Jansenists, following Cornelius Jansen’s interpretation of St Augustine, internal actual grace is twofold: one is efficacious of itself, the other inefficacious and insufficient as well.

    The Jansenists accused the Jesuit followers of Molina of reviving the Pelagian heresy. For the Pelagians, actual grace (such as the preaching of the gospel) is either efficacious on account of man’s consent to the good, or inefficacious on account of the evil will of man. Pelagianism is far from extinct, even in our day, as both Pope Benedict XVI and our present Holy Father have warned.

  12. Slainté

    As for the condemnation of Jansenism, matters came to a head when, in the Bull Cum Occasione of 31 May 1653, Pope Innocent X condemned the Five Propositions, without any discussion or explanation.
    1.” Some of God’s precepts are impossible to the just, who wish and strive to keep them, according to the present powers which they have; the grace, by which they are made possible, is also wanting” – Declared and condemned as rash, impious, blasphemous, condemned by anathema, and heretical.
    2. “In the state of fallen nature one never resists interior grace” – Declared and condemned as heretical.
    3. “In order to merit or demerit in the state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from external compulsion is sufficient” – Declared and condemned as heretical.
    4. “The Semi-Pelagians admitted the necessity of a prevenient interior grace for each act, even for the beginning of faith; and in this they were heretics, because they wished this grace to be such that the human will could either resist or obey” – Declared and condemned as false and heretical.
    5. “It is Semi- Pelagian to say that Christ died or shed His blood for all men without exception” – Declared and condemned as false, rash, scandalous, and understood in this sense, that Christ died for the salvation of the predestined, impious, blasphemous, contumelious, dishonouring to divine kindness [divinae pietati derogantem], and heretical.

    This is where matters get complicated. The leading Jansenists condemned the Five Propositions, too, but they refused to condemn them “in the sense of Jansen” ; they claimed that they could not condemn them “in the sense of Jansen,” for the simple reason that Jansen had never taught them. They accepted that the pope was infallible when he condemned a particular doctrine as heretical (the “question of law”) but not when he insisted that the Augustinus contained it (the “question of fact”). It goes without saying that M Arnauld, Mère Angelique’s brother, who first proposed the distinction, was a lawyer.

  13. Slainté

    Just to finish the story, in the Brief Ad Sanctam Beati Petri Sedem of 16 October, 1656, Alexander VII confirmed the Five Propositions had been condemned “in the sense of Jansen.” The Jansenists continued to argue that the Holy See had no right to determine the sense of the Augustinus – the Question of Fact – and so, on 15 February 1664, he issued the Bull Regiminis Apostolici, requiring the subscription of the clergy and religious, men and women, to a formula, repudiating “the five propositions extracted from the book of Jansenius entitled Augustinus” and condemning them “in the very sense expressed by that author.” Four bishops refused to subscribe as did many of the clergy and religious, including the nuns of Port Royal.

    The upshot was that, in January 1669, following a petition by 19 more bishops and of the King, Clement IX, in effect, accepted “respectful silence,” on the question, inaugurating the “Peace of Clement IX.” (not unlike Paul VI and Humanae Vitae). This ended abruptly under Clement XI, who, on 12 February 1703 in Cum Nuper condemned the distinction of Law and Fact and, some two years later, on 16 July 1705 in the bull Vineam Domini Sabaoth he condemned the proposition that respectful silence on the vexed “Question of Fact,” without interior assent was sufficient for the obedience due to the constitutions of his predecessors. That proved the death-knell of Port-Royal-des-Champs and marks the end of the first phase of the Jansenist controversy.

  14. Slainte,

    Christian humanism arises from the Gospel: the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. We can trace it through the Apologists, especially Justin. It was codified by the Nicene Council (325 AD) “Incarnatus est” and was further developed in the Council of Ephesus (431 AD) and Chalcedon (451 AD: Jesus Christ is true (fully) God and true (fully) man).

    While the Gospel of Matthew ‘synthesized’ Judaeo-Christianity (uniting Gospel with the Old Testament and Judaism), the Gospel of Luke ‘synthesized’ Western civilization: uniting Judaeo-Christianity with Graeco-Roman culture—-these started that early! Needless to say however, it took centuries for these to take root and develop. In the Middle Ages in the Universities (all established by and under the auspices of the Church) educating both clerics and those who would be doctors and lawyers etc in the quadrivium and trivium, the classical liberal arts etc. Every aspect of society was touched and elevated by the Gospel and the Christian vision of ‘man’.

    WIth Petrarch (1304-1374) we see the stirrings of humanism. This would indeed be a Christian humanism. It would be grossly inaccurate to say otherwise, however this humanism was a definite response/reaction to the scholasticism [the dialectical forms of questions, refutations and answers common in the universities at the time and which we readily see in the Summa of Aquinas]. With Petrarch we see a pursuit of such studies as the study of ancient languages, rhetoric (eloquence), the classical authors, etc. This in turn eventually led to the Renaissance.

    A united Christendom and a united Western Catholic Church entered the Renaissance. However, this period of transition between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era [much like our own period of transition] was very confusing and rocky. Some did not know or even refused to believe that the former age was ‘passing away’ etc. Others embraced with full energy, but naively (sound familiar?) and lost the underlying unity and meaning that they originally had. Seen from the perspective the Protestant Reformation is a ‘conservative’ resistance movement which sought to end the complexities and compromises they saw the Church making during the Renaissance. They sought to bring the Church back to its pure form-without Greek and pagan influence that they believed the Catholic Church had accrued during the Renaissance and all the way back to the time of Constantine.

    However Christendom and the Catholic Church were ‘hit’ by another more ‘progressive’ force-begun right within Florence during the Renaissance. Such personages as Machiavelli and certain Italian Renaissance philosophers sought to turn philosophy etc on its head, rid of the shackles of the Catholic Church—the birth of what would be known as secular humanism. It was in Florence that the Church first was excluded from its right to take part in the Public Square. This is literally true in Florence. The Cathedral, the ruling house of government and the banking system all faced the main square. But in the 1400’s the Church was excluded from consultation etc and the government and economic system went ahead with their own plans etc—this was all in the 1400’s!

    The Council of Trent did indeed respond to the crisis of the Protestant Reformation, but it never dealt with the birth of both secular humanism and the secular state. By 1565, the hear Trent closed, what had been a united western Catholic Church was divided really into three (not two as traditionally stated). In 1565 you have the Tridentine Catholic Church, Protestant Christianity and Secular Humanism. Secular humanism in turn came into ascendancy with the Enlightenment.

  15. Slainte,

    Thomas Aquinas, while giving new energy and vigor to the Catholic synthesis of faith and reason did not give this synthesis birth. You really find the birth in “Verbum Caro Factuam Est”. The Greek word is “Logos” which also means ‘reason’. Our One God is Triune: Logos and Agape.

    The Apologists, especially Justin really are a great place to start—not here though lol. Although Tertullian would quip “What does Jerusalem (faith) have to do with Athens (reason)?” He himself would contradict his own addage, and his ‘protestation’ was never accepted within the Catholic world.

    In the late second century in Alexandria a Platonist by the name of Ammonius Saccus [some say he was a former Christian] had a school that would become the seedbed of Neoplatonism. In the same classroom he had Origen (great Church writer) and Plotinus (author of neoplatonism and philosophical forebear of Saint Augustine). Here we have the source of both the Eastern Church and Western Church’s philosophy and theology. Origen became the source of Eastern Christian thought. Augustine would become the source of Western Christian thought.

    There is a missing piece here however. What happened to Aristotle? The Byzantine Emperors (Putin acts like them if you want to know what they were like) banned all teachers and books of Aristotle. These (mostly pagan) teachers fled east of the Byzantine Empire. There, they (and Aristotle) were picked up by the forces of Islam-which at the time were not fundamentalist and not anti-reason and learning etc. Making a long story short, Islam brought Aristotle with them into then Islamic (conquered) Spain. It was not long before Aristotle was translated into Latin and started ‘raising hell’ in the Christian university scenes [original meaning of ‘left’: University of Paris was on the left bank of the Seine river]
    “Aritsotle” seemed to undo the very nice synthesis which the Augustinian-neo-platonists had been producing for centuries. (Saint) Albert (the Great) a member of the new Order of Preachers (Dominicans) saw in a young student of his the energy and will to study Aristotle and bring him to assist in explaining and teaching the Catholic Faith and philosophy-that young student was Thomas of Aquino, Thomas Aquinas. Thomas united Aristotle with the Augustinian Catholic theology and philosophy. A new synthesis of faith and reason had been born.

    Hope this helps.

  16. Botolph and MPS…I want to acknowledge your responses. Thank you.

    I am caught up in meetings and will read and respond at my earliest opportunity.

    Thank you both..again… for being so kind.

  17. ROME, October 4, 2014 – ““La Civiltà Cattolica” has waited until the eve of the synod to break the silence that it had maintained until now on the most controversial question: whether or not to allow second weddings after a failed marriage.”
    It is called an annulment declaring that a first “marriage” never really existed. “…second weddings”? Really, perhaps the synod will renew polygamy or let men have four wives as per Mohammed. Maybe Cardl. Kasper was beheaded by ISIL, but does not know it yet. (snark)

  18. Botolph wrote, “With Petrarch we see a pursuit of such studies as the study of ancient languages, rhetoric (eloquence), the classical authors, etc. This in turn eventually led to the Renaissance.”
    The Renaissance was a period of almost frenzied activity, artistic, cultural, intellectual and political. It was also quite remarkably irreligious. The starkest illustration of this is that sixty years elapsed from the inventing of printing and thirty thousand titles passed through the presses before any publisher thought it worth his while to being out an edition of the original text of the New Testament.
    You are right that “the Protestant Reformation is a ‘conservative’ resistance movement,” but so was Humanism – the recovery of the ancient learning. It led to a profound admiration for classical models in art, architecture, law, literature and philosophy and a corresponding depreciation of mediaeval civilization. It was a spirit that endured for centuries. Thus, Bl John Henry Newman wrote (1846) “I cannot deny that, however my reason may go with Gothic, my heart has ever gone with Grecian. I loved Trinity Chapel at Oxford more than any other building”
    [and so do I, a fellow Trinity man – MPS] http://tinyurl.com/q5sb9xb
    “There is in the Italian style such a simplicity, purity, elegance, beauty, brightness, which I suppose the word “classical” implies, that it seems to befit the notion of an Angel or Saint. The Gothic style does not seem to me to typify the sanctity or innocence of the Blessed Virgin, or St. Gabriel, or the lightness, grace, and sweet cheerfulness of the elect as the Grecian does.”

  19. MPS

    Humanism was ‘conservative’ but secular humanism, denying the transcendent dimension to all of what pertains to humanity is a whole different ball game. It was in fact a radical rejection of all that is truly human in its quixotic, utopian pursuit of pure reason and pure freedom

  20. Many who reside, sometimes for a lifetime, on the margins of life, including those who have remarried sans annulment, those who experience and have acted on same sex attraction, protestants who earnestly subscribe to a non conforming understanding of the faith, those who have aborted children, those whose sins seem unforgiveable…yearn to be part of the Body of Christ and to be reconciled with Him through His bride, the Church.
    Yet some within the Church, will remind those sitting on the margins that they are not worthy of Caritas, sometimes rebuking them for violations of the Law, recounting their transgressions, and reminding them that they have no place in God’s kingdom. So they have remained outside the circle of His love, peering into the Church from outside, yearning for the love and comfort of a God who is Grace and a Church which reflects this truth.
    So the mission of Vatican II is to reclaim the lost sheep; to bring them back within the fold; to assure them that they are worthy brothers and sisters; and to cover them with God’s Grace.
    I suspect that the allure of the early Church, and in particular the life of Augustine himself, represents to many, especially those separated from the Church, a time when Grace prevailed as the highest good over unbending strictures of the law; a reflection of God’s new covenant with the Gentiles.
    Mindful of these considerations, Cardinal Kasper will likely argue that Christ is Grace and that Pope Francis, as the Good Shepherd, must rebuild His Church by gathering God’s sheep wherever they may be, especially those most in need of His Grace and mercy, and return all of them to the fold of His bride to be nurtured and cared for. Those who understand Our Lord as exclusively a manifestation of a strictly applied law will be exhorted to consider that the law is a road to Grace whose application must be ordered by love.
    The Jesuits will defend a Pope who is one of their own.
    Thanks Botolph and MPS.

  21. Botolph wrote, “secular humanism, denying the transcendent dimension to all of what pertains to humanity is a whole different ball game.”

    Indeed it is, but it entered European though about 200 years after the daw of the Renaissance.

    The first philosopher to reject the transcendant tout court was Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), with his “Deus sive natura” [God or nature] and his “Deus quatenus consideratum est ut constituens essentiam humanæ mentis” [God, considered as constituting the essence of the human mind] The transcendant is utterly excluded. Chesterton saw where this immanantism or pantheism leads, ” Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. Any one who knows any body knows how it would work; any one who knows any one from the Higher Thought Centre knows how it does work. That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones.”
    From Spinoza to Hegel to Feuerbach to Marx –
    “From hence a passage broad.
    Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to hell”

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