Recently, two persons of note – Monsignor Nicola Bux and Cardinal Walter Brandmuller – have suggested that Francis, in light of the current crisis surrounding Amoris Laetitia and the dubia, would do well to make a “profession of faith” similar to that which was made by Pope Paul the Pathetic in 1968.
In a June interview with Edward Pentin of National Catholic Register, Monsignor Bux declared:
We are in a full crisis of faith! Therefore, in order to stop the divisions now in progress, the Pope [Francis] — like Paul VI in 1967 [sic], faced with the erroneous theories that were circulating shortly after the conclusion of the Council — should make a Declaration or Profession of Faith…
More recently, Cardinal Brandmuller, expressed a similar idea in an article written for the German publication Die Neue Ordnung (translation courtesy of Maike Hickson), saying:
In a comparable situation – that is to say, in the confusion concerning the right interpretation of the Second Vatican Council … he [Paul VI] proclaimed with great concern for the truth and the clarity of the Faith … ‘Creed of the People of God.’
Francis, it seems to me, just might be willing to do precisely this, and I do mean precisely.
That is to say, Francis may be perfectly willing to repeat word-for-word the so-called “Credo of the People of God” that was professed by Paul VI on 30 June 1968.
After all, Francis has said concerning himself and his fellow seminarians, who were “formed” (if you will allow) after the Council, “For us, the great light was Paul VI.”
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at Montini’s Credo – a text that, surprisingly, seems to have largely escaped (at least in my reading) the scrutiny and the criticism that it so richly deserves.
Before we do so, let us briefly consider the widely repeated words of Paul VI, spoken nearly four years later in June of 1972, concerning the “smoke of Satan”– words that are often recalled as if to suggest that even he recognized the Council’s diabolical nature.
In truth, the exact opposite is true.
[NOTE: The Holy See website has a secondhand account of this homily, in Italian, with quotes attributed to Paul VI.]
Upon reading the entirety of the Holy See’s report, one will find that Paul VI went on to expound upon the activity of Satan as he perceived of it, saying:
We believe in something preternatural coming into the world [the Devil] precisely to disturb, to suffocate anything of the Ecumenical Council, and to prevent the Church from blossoming in the joy of having regained full consciousness of Herself.
As one can plainly see, Paul VI did not imagine that Vatican II was influenced by Satan; rather, he believed that anything that slowed the spread of the Council’s novelties and its thrust toward endless innovation was demonic!
No wonder Francis (aka “the God of Surprises”) considers him “the great light!”
With this in mind, let us now proceed to the “Credo of the People of God” wherein we find the pope who gave his approbation to each one of the Council documents, Paul VI, prefacing his “profession” by saying, in part:
We shall accordingly make a profession of faith, pronounce a creed which, without being strictly speaking a dogmatic definition, repeats in substance, with some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time, the creed of Nicea, the creed of the immortal tradition of the holy Church of God.
With some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time…
Needless to say, those “developments” are of the conciliar kind. Still prefacing his Credo, Paul VI went on to say:
We have wished our profession of faith to be to a high degree complete and explicit, in order that it may respond in a fitting way to the need of light felt by so many faithful souls, and by all those in the world, to whatever spiritual family they belong, who are in search of the Truth.
In this, we see a tip of the papal mitre to the false religions of the world; one of the rottenest fruits of the Council, and one that will reappear in the text of the Credo itself as Paul VI professes:
We give thanks, however, to the divine goodness that very many believers can testify with us before men to the unity of God, even though they know not the mystery of the most holy Trinity. (Credo, art. 9)
This is nothing less than a show of deference to those who plainly reject Jesus Christ; in particular, the Muslims and the Jews.
This, of course, is precisely one of the so-called “developments” that were allegedly “called for by the spiritual condition of our time” at Vatican II.
[NOTE: Paul VI is echoing the sentiments expressed in the conciliar document, Nostra Aetate – Latin for “our time.”]
Under Pontius Pilate He suffered—the Lamb of God bearing on Himself the sins of the world, and He died for us on the cross, saving us by His redeeming blood. (ibid., art. 12)
What would a “profession of faith” from Paul VI be if it failed to comfort Protestants in their error?
Specifically, one might note the convolution between redemption and salvation; one that is well in keeping with the Protestant error that considers Christians “once saved, always saved.”
Is the wording deliberately crafted in such a way, or is it just a moment of sloppiness?
I don’t know, but either way, it fails, and miserably so, to reflect a “great concern for the truth and the clarity of the Faith” that Cardinal Brandmuller suggested.
He ascended to heaven, and He will come again, this time in glory, to judge the living and the dead: each according to his merits—those who have responded to the love and piety of God going to eternal life, those who have refused them to the end going to the fire that is not extinguished. (ibid., art. 12)
In and of itself, this article is defensible. When read in context with the Credo’s treatment concerning what it means to respond to the love of God, however, it is not, as we will see in our examination of article 27.
At this, we come to the Credo’s ecclesiology.
She is the Mystical Body of Christ; at the same time a visible society instituted with hierarchical organs, and a spiritual community; the Church on earth, the pilgrim People of God here below, and the Church filled with heavenly blessings… (ibid., art. 19)
Having read the Credo in its fullness, one will note the absence of any reference whatsoever – either direct or otherwise – to the Church Militant.
In fact, the traditional understanding of the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant is fully usurped in favor of the following as found in the Credo’s final article (no. 30):
We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church.
[NOTE: If anything is as repulsive to the conciliar mind as the Church Militant, it is the Church Triumphant.]
The article continues its description of the Church, calling her:
… the germ and the first fruits of the Kingdom of God, through which the work and the sufferings of Redemption are continued throughout human history, and which looks for its perfect accomplishment beyond time in glory. (ibid.)
The Catholic Church is not merely the “germ” of the Kingdom of God; i.e., that which develops into said Kingdom, rather, she is the Kingdom of God here present.
We encounter a similar line of thought in article 27:
We confess that the Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ is not of this world whose form is passing…
Bear in mind that to the likes of Paul VI and his conciliar confreres, the “Church of Christ” merely subsists in the Catholic Church. (LG 8)
Be that as it may, the impression given is that the Church on earth is not quite yet the Kingdom of God; rather, the Church herself is evolving.
Furthermore, to refer to the Church as the “first fruits of the Kingdom” (art. 19) is to blur the reality of the Mystical Body of Christ as a society both human (sinful and called to grow in virtue) and divine (resplendent with every perfection).
At this we come to the Credo’s treatment of the Mass, the deficiency of which comes as no surprise given that the author of the text promulgated the Novus Ordo.
Of particular note are his words concerning the priest and his actions as carried out within the Mass.
We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders, and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. (ibid., art. 24)
The priest does not simply “represent the person of Christ” at Holy Mass; rather, he acts in persona Christi in so profound a way that it is Christ Himself who offers the Holy Sacrifice, which is not merely offered by the priest in the name of Christ as the Credo maintains.
As promised, let us now look more closely at article 27 wherein Paul VI expounds upon “an ever more ardent response to the love of God,” which, according to article 12, will result in one “going to eternal life.”
NB: The following is presented, and appropriately so, in the text of the Credo (which was committed to writing in an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio) under the heading, “Temporal Concern.”
But it is this same love which induces the Church to concern herself constantly about the true temporal welfare of men. Without ceasing to recall to her children that they have not here a lasting dwelling, she also urges them to contribute, each according to his vocation and his means, to the welfare of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to give their aid freely to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate.
So, reading article 12 in context, we may come to understand the Credo to say that those who “promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to give their aid freely to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate” are synonymous with those who are “going to eternal life.”
This aptly describes the mission and mindset of post-conciliar Rome in general, and the Bergoglian agenda in particular, does it not?
The text immediately continues:
The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. This solicitude can never mean that the Church conform herself to the things of this world, or that she lessen the ardor of her expectation of her Lord and of the eternal Kingdom.
Don’t let the reference to the “eternal Kingdom” fool you.
As context in this case aptly demonstrates (to say nothing of the behavior of Paul VI and those who followed him), the “deep solicitude of the Church” as articulated in the Credo entails “temporal concern” first and foremost, with the salvation of souls receiving mere lip service at best.
In conclusion, like all things diabolical, the “Credo of the People of God” as professed by Paul VI is composed of both eternal truths and condemnable lies.
So too is the text of Vatican II that inspired it.
As such, when certain men-of-the-Council – like Monsignor Nicola Bux and Cardinal Walter Brandmuller – presume to suggest that Francis will do well to follow the example of Paul VI vis-à-vis his profession of faith (so-called), as if this will in any way positively impact the present crisis, we can only pray for them and those who are misled by them, that the scales may fall from the eyes of all concerned.
If you found this essay useful, please assist us in continuing this effort!
At the conclusion to that post I wrote, “Perhaps His Eminence will be asked about this directly in a future interview (which, if history is any indication, cannot be very far removed from today).”
Well, we didn’t have to wait very long at all.
On August 14th, the Wanderer published Part 2 of an interview with His Eminence wherein he indicated that the formal act of correction is not only on the table, it may in fact be the precursor to something far more significant.
Here, I’d like to delve into the relevant parts of the discussion concerning the correction, but before we get that…
Perhaps you may have noticed that Cardinal Burke’s interviews often contain thinly veiled insults aimed directly at Francis. Well, this one was no different. In response to an invitation to recall the life of Cardinal Meisner, he said:
He was a wonderful pastor and was never one to say that those who supported the Church’s teaching were legalists and do not care about people, that they were throwing stones at them. He was a very loving pastor who understood that a good shepherd of the flock must teach the truth to the faithful in its entirety.
Here’s the translation (even though I am certain very few actually need it):
Francis is not a wonderful pastor. He says that those who support the Church’s teaching are legalists and do not care about people, that they are throwing stones at them. Nor is Francis a loving pastor who understands that a good shepherd of the flock must teach the truth to the faithful in its entirety.
This, I suppose, is how the game is played in Rome…
Returning to the main topic at hand, the interviewer asked:
Setting aside the question of timing, please explain how the process for the execution of a “formal correction” would proceed should a response to the five dubia not be forthcoming? [Sic] How is a formal correction officially submitted, how is it addressed within the Church’s hierarchal structure, etc.?
First, let me say that I am unaware to what extent, if any, the interviewer had to agree to avoid certain topics going in, but apart from this, why on earth would he set aside “the question of timing”?
I mean, the dubia is about to have a birthday for crying out loud!
In any event, it seems as if the answer to that question is, if not given, at least suggested later in the interview. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Let’s take a look at Cardinal Burke’s reply piecemeal:
The process has not been frequently invoked in the Church, and not now for several centuries. There has been the correction of past Holy Fathers on significant points, but not in a doctrinal way.
NB: His Eminence is saying that this is not a matter of discipline (as the proponents of Amoris Laetitia like to contend); it is a matter of doctrine.
It seems to me that the essence of the correction is quite simple. On the one hand, one sets forth the clear teaching of the Church; on the other hand, what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff is stated. If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church.
In other words, as things currently stand, Francis’ teaching is not in conformity with that of Christ and the Magisterium of the Church, and so he will be called upon to conform.
At this, we arrive at one of the most crucially important parts of the interview as Cardinal Burke continues:
The question is asked, “How would this be done?” It is done very simply by a formal declaration to which the Holy Father would be obliged to respond.
NB: Once a correction is issued, Francis will be obliged to respond.
In my previously mentioned post concerning the correction, I pointed out how inconsistent, and even contradictory, Cardinal Burke has been at times when commenting upon the matter. Herein lies yet another example.
In a January 2017 interview with the Italian publication, La Verità, Cardinal Burke said of the dubia:
There is no ultimatum to the Pope, but we must go forward: the faith is in danger
As I stated at the time, the dubia has always been an “ultimatum;” a proposal that essentially demands, “Do this, or else suffer the consequences.”
Now, Cardinal Burke is plainly admitting that this is the case.
Again, in the interviewer’s defense, perhaps he was forbidden to ask it, but the next logical question is obvious:
You state that he would be ‘obliged.’ What consequences will he face for failing to do so?
Though it wasn’t asked, it was in my estimation answered, and in this case, Cardinal Burke is demonstrating consistency.
Before we get to that answer, let’s consider “the question of timing.”
Cardinal Burke went on to say:
Pope Francis has chosen not to respond to the five dubia, so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth.
As we have come to learn, one cannot put too much stock in any one thing the cardinal states. Even so, one might take note that he did not say “it will be necessary” to proceed to the correction; he said “it is now necessary.”
The implication is that it is coming soon.
If I was foolish enough to place a bet on where this merry-go-round is headed, my money would be on some time shortly after September 19th – the one year anniversary of the dubia’s issuance.
As for the form of the correction, Cardinal Burke stated:
So then, the next step would be a formal declaration stating the clear teachings of the Church as set forth in the dubia. Furthermore, it would be stated that these truths of the Faith are not being clearly set forth by the Roman Pontiff. In other words, instead of asking the questions as was done in the dubia, the formal correction would be stating the answers as clearly taught by the Church.
Regular readers of this space may recall my multi-part series with Robert Siscoe concerning whether or not Francis is a formal heretic. I argued that he is; Robert that he is not. We both agreed, however, that the sacred hierarchy has a duty in such cases to make a formal declaration.
Such a declaration is not a matter of judging, properly speaking, since a pope (if you will allow in this case) is judged by no man, rather it is a matter of announcing to the Church what he himself has revealed.
The purpose of the declaration, as described by 18th century theologian, Fr. Pietro Ballerini, is as follows:
So that he might not cause damage to the rest, he would have to have his heresy and contumacy publicly proclaimed, so that all might be able to be equally on guard in relation to him.
This is essentially what Cardinal Burke is talking about:
…a formal declaration stating … that these truths of the Faith are not being clearly set forth by the Roman Pontiff.
Granted, Cardinal Burke chose to employ less precise wording than Fr. Ballerini.
No surprise there. After all, if the interview didn’t amount to a certain number of puzzle pieces for the reader to assemble one would have to wonder if it was “fake news”!
Perhaps the most noteworthy part of the interview pertains to Cardinal Burke’s response to a question about the CDF.
He was asked:
During his tenure as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Gerhard Cardinal Mueller was a steadfast defender that confusing statements in Amoris Laetitia must be interpreted in line with the Church’s traditional teaching on reception of Holy Communion by civilly divorced and remarried Catholics. Do you foresee any possibility of a reversal in this teaching from the CDF in the aftermath of his non-renewal as Prefect?
Pay close attention to Cardinal Burke’s response:
It is not possible for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to declare otherwise. If it did, it would be out of communion with the Church. What Cardinal Mueller has set forth is exactly what has always been taught by the Church. In more recent times, paragraph 84 of Pope St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio has pronounced the Church’s constant teaching. So then, that type of reversal is simply not possible.
When the pieces are assembled, it would seem that this is His Eminence’s answer to the unasked question:
You state that Francis would be ‘obliged’ to respond to the formal correction; presumably, in conformity with what has always been taught by the Church. What would be the consequences of his failure to do so?
The answer: He would be out of communion with the Church.
In this, there is consistency.
Recall Cardinal Burke’s December 2016 interview with Catholic World Report wherein he was asked:
Some people are saying that the pope could separate himself from communion with the Church. Can the pope legitimately be declared in schism or heresy?
To which Cardinal Burke replied:
If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic. And so, that could happen.
As I suggested, no one knows where this merry-go-round is headed. What we have before us is a series of puzzle pieces that, once put together, may or may not tell the tale.
Even so, it seems that the formal act of correction, which now appears likely, is not the end game, but rather just might be (please, God) a step in what may lead to Francis being openly declared an anti-pope.
Yes, all of this speculating is growing tiresome, but these are the cards we’ve been dealt.
In any event, it looks like the next month or so (as October 13 approaches) is going to be very interesting indeed.
Case in point, First Things has published an article (which also serves as a Foreword to Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s recent book on the sacred liturgy, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness) from German writer Martin Mosebach that amounts to a canonization of Pope Benedict XVI.
Big deal, I know…
Benedict XVI is perhaps the only man alive with a more rabid fan base than Cardinal Raymond Burke, but the writer in this case is noteworthy.
Martin Mosebach has long enjoyed a rather solid reputation as a “traditionalist;” in particular as it concerns matters liturgical.
He has also been critical of Amoris Laetitia and widely quoted in favor of the dubia.
In other words, he’s not just another disoriented neo-con.
Or is he?
The First Things article is some 5,500 words long, but here are just a few of the highlights, beginning with Mosebach’s treatment of the Council:
We all can recall how bishops and theology professors, pastors and the functionaries of Catholic organizations proclaimed with a confident, victorious tone that with the Second Vatican Council a new Pentecost had come upon the Church—which none of those famous Councils of history which had so decisively shaped the development of the Faith had ever claimed.
So far so good. I mean, every “traditional” Catholic worth a wooden nickel realizes that this phrase, “new Pentecost” is a magnificent insult hurled straight in the direction of the Holy Ghost.
Mosebach goes on to explain why:
A “new Pentecost” means nothing less than a new illumination, possibly one that would surpass that received two thousand years ago; why not advance immediately to the “Third Testament” from the Education of the Human Race of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing? In the view of these people, Vatican II meant a break with the Tradition as it existed up till then, and this breach was salutary.
And who exactly are “these people” to whom Mosebach critically refers?
We’ll get to that in a moment, but before we do, note that just a few sentences later Mosebach states:
To be fair, we should remember that the popes attempted to counter this [notion of a “new Pentecost”] —with a weak voice and above all without the will to intervene in these aberrations with an organizing hand as the ruler of the Church.
To be fair? To be delusional is more like it.
Apparently, Mosebach doesn’t realize that the phrase “new Pentecost” comes from the Apostolic Constitution of Pope John XXIII, Humanae Salutis, wherein he formally convoked the Second Vatican Council; concluding with a prayer to the Holy Spirit that begins:
“Divine Spirit, renew your wonders in our time, as though for a New Pentecost…”
In other words, the concept of Vatican II as a “new Pentecost” isn’t the brainchild of rascally “bishops and theology professors, pastors and the functionaries;” it’s in the Council’s DNA.
He also appears not to know that Pope John Paul II, who dedicated his more than quarter-century long pontificate to implementing the Council, was pleased to take up the phrase:
The Catholic charismatic movement is one of the many fruits of the Second Vatican Council, which, like a new Pentecost, led to an extraordinary flourishing in the Church’s life of groups and movements particularly sensitive to the action of the Spirit.
More surprising still is that he doesn’t seem to realize that Benedict XVI – the man undergoing canonization antemortem at his hand – did his part to keep the lie alive as well:
The East affected him [John XXIII] so deeply that it led him to convoke the “new Pentecost of the Council” in docility to the Spirit and cordial openness to all peoples.
Let it be said that where Benedict has spoken of the conciliar “new Pentecost” as a desire as yet unrealized, he consistently does so in terms of blaming a faulty “interpretation” or “hermeneutic,” and not because the very notion is offensive in itself.
For his part, Mosebach does admit that the notion of a “new Pentecost” style break between the Church of tradition and that of Vatican II has some appeal. He states:
Anyone accustomed to trusting his eyes and ears could no longer convince himself that this was still the Church that had remained faithful for thousands of years, through all the changes of the ages.
He very quickly, however, dismisses the idea as mere illusion:
The Church can never exist in contradiction to itself, to tradition, to revelation, to the doctrines of the Fathers and to the totality of the Councils. This she cannot do; even when it appears as if indeed she has done so, it is a false appearance. A more profound hermeneutic will finally always prove that the contradiction was not a real one.
That “more profound hermeneutic” refers, of course, to the one invented by Benedict; namely, the “hermeneutic of continuity.”
One also notes that Mosebach does not hesitate to lump Vatican II in with “the totality of the Councils,” as if the 1960’s “pastoral” meeting bears resemblance to the likes of Trent and Nicea in some way other than by name.
Mosebach eventually turns his attention to Benedict’s relationship with the sacred liturgy; a topic considered to be well within his “wheelhouse.”
Already as Cardinal, Pope Benedict had pointed out again and again how greatly the Mass had been distorted and its meaning obscured by the celebration’s false orientation. He said that Mass celebrated facing the people conveyed the impression that the congregation is not oriented towards God, but celebrates itself. This correct insight, I admit, never made it either into a binding document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or into papal legislation.
Into the papal liturgies of the man he is all-too-pleased to canonize even before death.
If interested, you may read the rest of Mosebach’s article for yourself.
While he does make any number of good points with respect to the liturgy, the one thing that stood out to me overall is that here we have yet another example of what Cornelia Ferriera has dubbed a “traditional-conservative.”
Unfortunately, it appears that their numbers are steadily growing…
In the January 2003 edition of Si Si, No No, the Society of St. Pius X published the first installment of an eight part series on “The Errors of Vatican II.”
This valiant effort to warn the faithful of the dangers posed by the conciliar novelties began, well, at the very beginning – with the Opening Address that was delivered by Pope John XXIII on October 11, 1962.
The very “first error” treated in the exposé concerns a so-called “pastoral” approach that not only continues to thrive in the Novus Ordo church to this very day, but one that has also come to infect any number of heretofore solid defenders of tradition.
As such, the insights provided in this article are as timely now as ever – nay, they are more important now than ever!
Let’s take a look…
Speaking to the more than 2,000 bishops assembled in St. Peters Basilica on the Council’s opening day, the pope said:
The Church has always been opposed to these errors [the false opinions of men.] She has often condemned them with the greatest severity. Now, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to employ the medicine of mercy rather than that of harshness. She is going to meet today’s needs by demonstrating the validity of Her doctrine, rather than by renewing condemnations.
The Si Si, No No article went on to state the obvious (or at least what was obvious to all lovers of tradition at the time):
With this renunciation of employing proper, God-given authority to defend the deposit of the faith and to help souls through condemning errors that ensnare souls and prevent their eternal salvation, Pope John XXIII kicked aside his duties as Vicar of Christ. In fact, condemning error is essential for maintaining the deposit of faith, which is the Pontiff’s first duty, and with it, always confirming sound doctrine, thus demonstrating the efficacy of doing so with timely application.
The words contained in this excerpt were very well chosen indeed:
Condemning error is essential; i.e., it’s not one option among many, like leather seats and a sunroof in an automobile. Rather, if one wishes to make any headway in the effort to defend the deposit of faith and to lead souls to their eternal salvation, it is not enough to simply confirm sound doctrine.
Underscoring the necessity of condemnations, the article continues:
Moreover, from a pastoral point of view, condemning error is necessary because it supports and sustains the faithful, the well-educated as well as those less so, with the Magisterium’s incomparable authority. [Emphasis added.]
Far from simply a matter of “shouting” down falsehoods (or whatever derogatory expression one may wish to assign to the act), condemning error is truly merciful:
By its exercise [condemnations] they [the faithful]are strengthened to defend themselves against error, whose “logic” is often astute and seductive. This is not the only point: condemning error can lead errant souls to repent, by placing the true sustenance of their intellect before them. The condemnation of error is, in and of itself, a work of mercy.
Certainly, the condemnation of error may be employed for the wrong reasons, but its intrinsic quality remains even if obscured; namely, to protect and to sustain the faithful in the face of danger.
One of the reasons why I chose to cite this article from Si Si, No No is because it explains the logic behind the editorial approach taken here at akaCatholic perhaps even better than I can.
While most everyone with a public voice in traditional Catholic media would have wholeheartedly agreed with the Si Si, No No article when it was written back in 2003, today that doesn’t appear to be so – and this in spite of the fact that the dangers we are facing are even more pressing now than they have ever been.
Sure, I can hear our growing list of detractors now:
But akaCatholic has no authority! This article is speaking about the pope and the Magisterium!
Indeed, which is why the astute reader will notice that even though the contributors and commenters here may not always get everything just right, we do not make claims based on our own authority. Rather, we claim recourse to tradition and the authority of the Church and her divine Founder.
Not only is condemning error “the Pontiff’s first duty,” as the article states, it is the duty of all “soldiers for Christ” to so defend the doctrine of the Faith to the best of their ability.
So, what exactly merits condemnation and what is perhaps best overlooked?
The article states:
Not only heresies and theological errors in the strict sense have been [throughout the Church’s history] objects of condemnation, but every one of the world’s ideas that is not Catholic, not only those adverse to the Faith, but also those to whom Our Lord’s words apply, “He who does not gather with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Mt. 12:30).
Certainly, one must be prudent concerning the way in which errors are condemned, but by this measure, all of them must be engaged. Overlooking error in the hope of a happy outcome isn’t just unrealistic; it is a dereliction of duty.
The article concludes its treatment of this novel “pastoral approach” wherein truth is preached apart from the condemnation of error saying:
The Church’s enemies-inside and out-appreciate this heterodox position.
Indeed, and I am certain that the Church’s enemies appreciate it even more today given the magnificent gains they have made since this article was written.
And this, my friends, is why we do what we do the way we do it.
Die 14 Augusti. In Vigilia Assumptionis Beatæ Mariæ Virginis.
Fr. José Miguel here… Marian Antiphon Sub tuum præsídium (ancient antiphon from the III century), in traditional Gregorian chant, sung by yours’ truly, beautifully accompanied by our young Basilica organist, Ramón Villoria Blanco.
In these, our very troubled times for Holy Mother Church, let us always have filial recourse to Our Lady, destroyer of all heresies…
Sub tuum præsídium confúgimus,
Sancta Dei Génetrix.
ne despícias in necessitátibus.
Sed a perículis cunctis,
líbera nos semper,
Virgo gloriósa et benedícta.
We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Bajo tu amparo nos acogemos,
Santa Madre de Dios.
No desoigas la oración
de tus hijos necesitados.
Líbranos siempre de todo peligro,
oh Virgen, gloriosa y bendita.