PopeWatch: Francis the Hard Case

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Father Hunwicke unleashes Cardinal Newman on Pope Francis:

 

I am rather interested in what other Moslem scholars might have to say about this. Some of them are quite sound chaps when it comes to the errors of Relativism.

Fr Zed has given a characteristically fine and intelligent interpretation of PF’s words. As have some others.

Having perused them, I am also rather interested in what some parts of the Jewish Community might think of any suggestion that the Holocaust was willed by God as part of His “permissive will”.

What Fr Zed and others have done is (this is not irony; I mean it) absolutely essential; it is truly necessary. In the great task which some future pontificate will inherit, of putting the Papal Magisterium back up on its feet after the disasters of this pontificate, it wo’n’t do just to say “That man was repeatedly, disastrously, wrong”. Because the obvious corollary of this is that any pope may be horribly wrong. The standing of the Successor of S Peter will need to be restored, for the good of the Church and for however much time there will be before the End. So, surely, it will have to be said that there are ambiguities in his texts which need to be interpreted carefully and authoritatively in order to rescue them, and him, from apparent heresy.

But I do think it is outrageous that pastors and academics should have to waste their time dreaming up these ‘interpretations’ of yet another PF disaster. By the way: was Cardinal Ladaria shown this text?

Blessed John Henry Newman dealt succinctly with this particular heresy in the biglietto speech which he delivered on receiving the official notification that he was to be a Cardinal.

“For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth … Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy.”

Actually … come to think of it … you’d better keep quiet about all this. Newman is due to be canonised later this year; it would be a shame to put a spanner in the works (do Americans use that expression?) at this stage in the proceedings.

I have a terrible vision in my imagination of PF, dear poppet that he is, tottering out of S Peter’s, propped up as ever by poor Mgr Marini; tearing up the text prepared for him to read (he quite likes doing that) and shouting “I’m cancelling the canonisation, and actually I’m dismissing this Newman from being a Beatus. I’d never realised what a Rigid Pharisaical Pelagian Sourpuss Elitist Coprophiliac he was. AND THAT’S MAGISTERIUM!!!”

You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you? Just when we’re all looking forward to having JHN on the Calendar as a Double of the First Class with a Common Octave?

So … … ’nuff said … … Shhhhhhh!

Go here to comment.  A legal maxim states:  hard cases make bad law.  Pope Francis is the hardest case for the papacy in many, many centuries.

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18 Comments

  1. Religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. Religion is an intimate and personal relationship with “their Creator” in which the state has no say because the state is the result not the cause.
    The gift of Faith from the true God must be cherished and embraced and petitioned for every day. Those who are not yet blessed with the gift of Faith must seek God out, search for God and petition Divine Providence for the true Faith as did our Founding Fathers in the Declaration. “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence…”
    Those who refuse and reject God in all of God’s goodness are blessed with freedom to leave. They are not free to impose their faithlessness on the people of the nation.
    Principles must be judged. Persons must be tolerated but not to the point of annihilation, but to the point of correction.
    States, governments and nations, may be annihilated because they are the creation of man’s mind and heart and exist only as they are the held in truth. Patriotism is good will for the common good. The angels sang at Christ’s birth : “Peace on earth to men of good will” (the rest are free to go to hell)
    Those who have abandoned good will for the common good, common sense, are not patriots and are “persona non-grata” and must be exiled if only by their errors.
    The American Catholic and other Catholic blogs are holding the faithless’ feet to the fire. Later their whole body and soul will be thrown into the fires of Gehenna.

  2. Pope Chastisement hasn’t issued any definitive teaching, binding on the faithful. He has only belched forth flotsam that a successor will do well to confine to the dustbin of history. Perhaps, at most, it should be put on display in a museum of errors, lest anyone should forget. The papacy is fine. Clericalism might be mortally wounded, though.

  3. Unless and until the homosexualist cadres within the Church are rooted out, Clericalism has only suffered a flesh wound.

  4. I usually nod along to Fr. Hunwicke unreservedly. But while there was considerable nodding on my part, it screeched to a halt with this:

    ” In the great task which some future pontificate will inherit, of putting the Papal Magisterium back up on its feet after the disasters of this pontificate, it wo’n’t do just to say “That man was repeatedly, disastrously, wrong”. Because the obvious corollary of this is that any pope may be horribly wrong. The standing of the Successor of S Peter will need to be restored, for the good of the Church and for however much time there will be before the End. So, surely, it will have to be said that there are ambiguities in his texts which need to be interpreted carefully and authoritatively in order to rescue them, and him, from apparent heresy.”

    I think that the crisis of the Bergoglian pontificate is going to force the Church to explicate infallibility and the limits of the pontifical teaching office, I’m a bit annoyed at the casual presumptions inherent in this approach.

    This is the slacker triumphalism/magical thinking of the “biological solution” in a different form. The biological solution idea neatly absolves the proponent of having to do anything but show up. And as we can see from our Catholic schools, people who don’t have kids are delighted to indoctrinate yours.

    No, that’s simply not right. You can’t hope a future pontificate will set things right, especially since the future pontificate will be decided by a raft of Bergoglian cardinals. The issue has to be forced now. The crisis is upon us, and those who prefer to keep silent have to be confronted with it. It cannot wait.

  5. A raft of Wojtylan and Ratzingeran cardinals gave up Bergolio, so maybe his cardinals will do better than you suppose.

  6. Ernst:
    Yes, that thought had crossed my mind. The Holy Ghost could say “enough of the chaos” and prod the electors accordingly.

    Or He could say “you get to drink this bitter draught to the dregs.”

    I will hope for the best. If nothing else, it is difficult to see how it could get worse, short of ceremonies seen in Daniel or Revelation.

  7. I agree with Dale Price. I had read Father Hunwicke’s post and sputtered to a stop over the quote Dale gives us. My opinion isn’t worth very much, but I say depose this Pontiff (if that’s at all possible), and anathematize him and all his works. Give up arguing about whether he’s a valid Pope or not. I really could care less because I pay him not one bit of attention except for what I read here (it’s far better for me to pay attention to my priest’s homilies than to get all burnt up over the idiotic musings of a Marxist Peronist). He’s just one great big mistake that the Cardinals made. He hasn’t done what Vatican Council I says (excerpted below), so just trash can the garbage that spews forth from his mouth and be done with it.

    “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

  8. Human solutions of the We got to do something, and we gotta do it NOW! variety tend to go sideways, if not pear-shaped.

    There’s a scene late in Lawrence of Arabia where General Allenby’s medical officer wants to immediately take over the hospitals. “We can’t just sit here,” he says. “Why not? It’s usually for the best.” Is the reply. I think it was Allenby. But maybe it was Dryden.

    Popes come and Popes go. The curia has always been a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The Church remains.

  9. I, for one, will no longer allow myself to get in a tizzy when Pope Francis opens his mouth. We are now in the 6 year of his pontificate and all we seem to have gotten is confusion. Confusion does not come from God. Yes, he is our Pope and I will give respect due to the office of Peter. I have a job to do and that is to pray for my soul and love my neighbor as myself. That means praying for them and it includes the Pope. I cannot fire the Pope if he says things I perceive as wrong. I can only pray for him.
    St. Peter was plowed under by St. Paul for being a coward when he pandered to the Jews instead of doing the right thing with the Gentiles. Peer vs. Peer. I am not the Popes peer. There is a hierarchy in His Church. If the Pope is to be reprimanded at all then it is his peers, Bishop, Cardinals et al that should do it. St. Paul vs St. Peter. Me? I need to know the Truth and what the Church teaches. If the Pope teaches contrary to what the Church teaches I am not held by his words and I will certainly not be go into a frenzy. The time is coming. I’m sure most have read below.
    Sometimes a refresher is needed.

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: 1969
    “We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself. What will remain is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church that believes in the God who has become man and promises us life beyond death. “…“Let us go a step farther. From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges…”.
    ” But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship….”
    “But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret…”
    “And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

  10. “…it won’t do just to say “That man was repeatedly, disastrously, wrong”. Because the obvious corollary of this is that any pope may be horribly wrong.”

    And yet, this is exactly what a subsequent pope and ecumenical council said about Pope Honorius.

    It happens rarely, and it happens with certain qualifiers, but it *does* happen.

  11. I think it was Allenby. But maybe it was Dryden.

    “Don’t just do something. Stand there!” was a famous Reaganism.

  12. Here’s the problem with the silent treatment: it’s considered assent.

    The faithful have less regard for their shepherds than ever before, but if their bishops still matter at some level. If a Catholic reads Bomfog: The Missive and gets queasy, that’s the right reaction. The Sensus Catholicus is working. Especially after Amoris, capital punishment, rabbits, every airline press conference, etc. But for some, if their bishop doesn’t say anything, then they’re going to think it must be ok. Especially when there’s the history of Catholic bishops amending papal statements sotto voce. “Well, I was queasy before, but nobody said anything then, so apparently I was wrong then and probably am now, too.”

    But over the past five years, we’ve had the fascinating spectacle of virtually unanimous episcopal acquiescence in whatever blurts from his tonsils or pen.

    And not only does it wear down the Catholic sensibility of the faithful, it also emboldens him to put the pedal to the metal. And so he is, and here we are.

    I’m not asking for the ordained to sound like the Remnant’s editorial page, but if you can’t even clear your throat once in a while? This is the way whatever he says becomes Catholicism.

  13. The history of the papacy from the end of the 8th c to about the end of the 10th c. was unedifying. This ruin may be an enduring condition.

  14. Hello Dale,

    “But over the past five years, we’ve had the fascinating spectacle of virtually unanimous episcopal acquiescence in whatever blurts from his tonsils or pen.”

    For over a century, advancing ultramontanist sentiment, papal legal centralization, and clerical psychological conformism were employed as certain guarantors of orthodoxy in a liberalizing world.

    Lo and behold: It turns out they could be used just as easily to dismantle it, once the heterodox gained power.

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