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THE CHURCH MILITANT - BELEAGUERED BY BERGOGLIANISM

Ultimo Aggiornamento: 23/10/2017 07.36
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ALWAYS AND EVER OUR MOST BELOVED BENEDICTUS XVI


October 20, 2017 headlines


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Because of the page change that occurred sooner than I expected, allow me to re-post here the last item from the preceding page.

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We all live under his evil eye...

Three in a row from Father H...

Newman on the suspense of
the functions of the Magisterium

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Oct. 18, 2017

Speaking only on my own, individual behalf, I have to say that I feel very let down by PF's apparent decision not to reply to the Correctio Filialis which I together with others sent to him at the Domus Santa Marta last August. I retain to the full my feeling of the proper respect due to the individual who currently occupies the Petrine See, but in human and affective terms, his apparent view that I and so many others are not worth bothering with introduces a sense of hurt and pain, if not alienation. I am sure that there is a providential purpose in all this, and I pray that I may be enabled ever more profoundly to embrace the humiliations permitted by the Divine Will.

The decision of PF not to fulfil the Petrine mandate to confirm (sterizein) his brethren, is a striking event not easily paralleled. And a refusal to respond to formal requests can hardly not itself constitute a formal act. So I turned, as surely we in the Ordinariate instinctively do, to our beloved Patron Blessed John Henry Newman, quo quis doctior, quis sapientior (Who can be more learned, who more wise?):

"...The body of the episcopate was unfaithful to its commission... At one time the pope*, at other times a patriarchal, metropolitan, or other great see, at other times general councils**, said what they should not have said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth ... I say, that there was a temporary suspense of the functions of the Ecclesia docens (the teaching Church). The body of bishops failed in their confession of the faith. They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after Nicaea, of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years ..."

[dim=9pt [Newman is referring to Pope* Liberius; and, in referring to general councils**, he does not mean Ecumenical Councils. He explained later that he follows St Robert Bellarmine in distinguishing between Ecumenical Councils and councils which, even if large, do not count as Ecumenical. So ... not applicable to Vatican II!]

I am testing in my thoughts (doing what we colloquially call "sleeping on it" or "thinking aloud") the possibility that PF's decision to ignore the cries for help which are sent to him, whether by Eminent Fathers of the Sacred College or by nonentities like me, may be seen as formally constituting the beginning of a period in which the functions of the Papal Magisterium are in "temporary suspense"; in a vacatio (freedom, exemption) which will be ended at the moment when the same Petrine Magisterial organ formally returns from dogmatic silence to the audible exercise of the functions rightly attributed to it in Catholic Tradition and Magisterial Conciliar definition; that is, devoutly to guard and faithfully to set forth the Tradition received through the Apostles; i.e. the Deposit of Faith.

If readers want an expansion of my way of thinking, I refer them to the masterly address on Apostasy delivered last week at the Buckfast Fatima Conference by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. "The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church's pastors in the matters of Worship, teaching, and moral discipline ... ". His dear Eminence always puts things so much better than I could! Incidentally, I suspect that the Conference ... and, not least, Cardinal Burke's powerful address ... may go down in history as one of the significant moments in the recovery, the 'fight-back', of orthodoxy. [I confess I was not aware of the address before this – must look it up!]

As if to confirm my thoughts, in the last few days PF is reported to have contradicted another of the Church's teachings: the teaching with regard to Capital Punishment; and to have done so not incidentally or in an airliner but formally, reading a written text to one of those "Pontifical Councils" which absorb so much money and effort.

This suggests to me that PF has himself consciously stopped even bothering to remain within the parameters set by the Magisterium to which he is as much under an obligation to submit as anybody else. The current careful formulation of the Church's teaching with regard to the Death Penalty, which PF said he wants changed, is precisely twenty years old. A "Magisterium" which contradicts itself every twenty years is not a Teaching Authority to which many people are likely seriously to consider themselves obliged to give assent. (I say this as a strong opponent of the use of Capital Punishment in modern states.)

I can see no present grounds plausibly to speculate that PF's divagations from orthodoxy will in future tolerate any restraints. It is as if, having discovered himself at the bottom of a hole, he has decided that the only thing to do is to keep digging with redoubled energy.

Or, like the Duke of Wellington in the Fifth Act of the Battle of Waterloo, perhaps he is saying to the world "In for a penny, in for a pound"! Or does he think that he might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb? Will his parting gift to the Church Militant be a ringing endorsement of the homoiousios? En pote hote ouk en? [’Homoiusious’ is the Greek term referring to the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son, which the Arians disputed with the slogan ‘Een pote hoe ouk een’ (There was a time when he was not), and the orthodox quickly countered with "Ouk een pete ouk een" (There was never a time when he was not).]

By joining with Newman in this analysis, I do not, of course, in any way suggest that PF and the silent or heterodox bishops have lost the right or capacity to use the Magisterium of his and their office. Precisely as Newman did, I am simply observing that, as a matter of fact, he is not and they are not using it. [Indeed, that we now have de facto, a suspended Magisterium. Better to consider the current papal 'magisterium' suspended than to have to keep questioning it - or, on the part of the Bergoglian paladins, seeking to 'rationalize' what is basically unrationalizable. Kyrie eleison!]

I am certainly not suggesting (and I do not believe) that this Suspense makes any difference whatsoever to the status or powers of the current occupant of the Roman See or of other bishops. Those who argue that PF has forfeited his See, or that his Election was for any reason void or voidable, are, in my judgement, talking piffle. Quae sit huius verbi etymologia quaero. Num verbi 'pontificalis' depravatio est? (What is the etymology of this word search? Is the word ‘pontifical’ a perversion?}

Newman and Ratzinger
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Oct. 19, 2017
A friend drew my attention the other day to a post on the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society blog, which printed an ancient piece of mine from 10 September 2009. I thought it read rather well, but then, I suppose I would, wouldn't I! Anyway, here it is again, unchanged. PLEASE remember its date! [It was several days before Benedict XVI was to beatify Cardinal Newman.]

Sept 10, 2009
The other day, in Fr Ker's admirable biography of Mr Newman, I found a diverting error in the Index. Nothing less than a description of Cardinal Manning as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ah, the might-have-beens of History. Today, I would remind you of Manning's bad-tempered criticism of Newman; that with Newman, even after his reception into Full Communion, it was still the same old Anglican, Oxford, Patristic tone. We can do worse than recall this as we approach the beatification of that very great man.

This may irritate some readers, but since this is my blog I will say it all the same: the whole point of Newman is that Manning was right; he never ceased to be an Anglican; that is to say, a superb exemplar of all that was best, God-given, grace-given, wholesome, and holy, in the life of the Provinces of Canterbury and York while in separation from the Voice of Peter. When he put off all that was schismatic, separatist, narrow, flawed, partial, heretical, in the ethos he imbibed from the Church of England, he was free to be more perfectly and fully Anglican than ever he had been before.

Because there is more to say about 'Anglicanism' than I said in yesterday's post. An Anglicanism which purports to be a doctrinally distinctive, even a superior, form of Christianity: yes, it is a diabolical mirage. But in the unhappy centuries of our separation from Peter, grace was not stopped up. A tone emerged; a style, a way of doing theology, of living the Christian life, which in itself is by no means unCatholic; a sober tone, a careful tone, a tone which read deeply and with understanding in the Fathers and looked to Byzantium and beyond as well as to Rome.

I know I surprised some readers and enraged others not long ago by describing Benedict XVI as the first Anglican Pope. But I believe it is wonderfully providential that it falls to this man to raise his fellow-Anglican John Henry Newman to the Altars of the Church.

Have you read the Ordinary Teaching that this pope gives week by week? His sympathetic exposition of the Fathers of East, West, Syria? When you read his own theologising, can you avoid a feeling (I can't) that you are reading one of the Fathers;
that you have picked up a volume of Migne [Jacques Paul Migne, 1800-1875, a French priest who published inexpensive and widely distributed editions of theological works, encyclopedias, and the texts of the Church Fathers, with the goal of providing a universal library for the Catholic priesthood. He is best known for his Patrologiae cursus completus (complete course in Patrology), published in a Latin series (Patrologia Latina) in 221 vols., a Greek series (Patrologia Graeca), first published in Latin (85 vols); then published with Greek text and Latin translation (165 vols)]. ... you aren't quite sure whether it's from the PG or the PL, and you're even less certain which volume it might be, but anyway, that's the corner of Bodley that you're sitting in, and out of the window there's Newman's Church of St Mary, with his college of Oriel just beyond. And it is very easy to feel that it would be the most natural thing in the world to raise your head from your desk in the Patristics Room and see, in the chair opposite you, the diffident, erudite face of Professor Ratzinger, verifying a reference or two before hitching an ancient MA gown round his shoulders and scuttling through the traffic in the High back to his lodgings in Tom Quad. [What an endearing image - one that can be evoked only by someone who truly loves Joseph Ratzinger and knows him viscerally in the way kindred minds can.]

Anglicanism as some self-important separatist codswallop that prides itself in its separation from the Successor of Peter: let's flush it away fast. But then the cry can go up: "Anglicanism is dead! Long live Anglicanism!"



Correcting the Correctio
[IMG]http://u.cubeupload.com/MARITER_7/BLOGFRHUNWICKE.png[/IMG] blast to the Correctio Filialis. Go and read; go and enjoy! Spread knowledge of it! It is important that journalists and the Internet do not forget our Correctio!

Strictly entre nous ... and entirely within these four walls ... the counterblast was actually masterminded in the echoing marble halls of the Correctio Secretariate as a disinformation device to keep our Correctio Filialis in the news. On no account divulge this; it is top secret. I know I can trust you.

We had no trouble collecting signatures for the Correctio Correctionis! For some reason, fear of reprisals doesn't seem to deter people from signing a pro-Bergoglian manifesto! Among the signatories we secured is the (Jesuit) Master of Campion Hall in this University. I knew he would be up for it because he authored a pro-Bergoglian document which, festooned with the word CONFIDENTIAL, was circulating earlier this year in at least one English diocese. I got a copy which, as far as my recollection goes, had fallen off the back of a lorry.

But our biggest coup was a much more interesting signatory. Martha Heizer, leader of the Austrian branch of We Are Church. Martha belongs to a very elite group: those who have been excommunicated in and by this pontificate ... yes, even under the regime of Mercy, excommunications happen!!

Why were Martha and her husband, in 2014, excommunicated? For the canonical offence of Simulating the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The pair of them hosted priestless "celebrations of Mass" in their own home. Ergo ... is it Canon 1378? Rigid, but fair!

After receiving the sentence, Martha interestingly expressed the view that they were still members of the Church because of their Baptisms, and would remain so unless they themselves left the Church.
(1) The Good News: Martha understands and accepts the dogma of the indelible Character marked upon the soul in Baptism.
(2) The Bad News: Martha seems to think that she (and hubby) do themselves have the power to wipe the Character of Baptism off their souls by 'leaving' the Church.

Rubbish! Nobody has the power to extinguish the full effects of Baptism. Not the Pope; not the Canon Lawyers; not the Heizers.

Martha's mental confusions are the reason why I am now going to disappoint all you hardline bloodthirsty Traddies: I am uneasy about this use of Excommunication. I do understand the importance of marking the seriousness of offences the Heizers had committed against the Body of Christ, the Church. But ... these poor dim silly confused creatures ... would it not be more merciful to excommunicate them formally but to suspend the full effect of the sentence to the extent of allowing their canonical pastor to use his discretion ad salutem animarum (for the salvation of souls)?

Here's Roberto de Mattei's take on that correction to the correction - though as usual, it is not a correction that responds to the merits of the Correctio, but rather, more than simply an ad hominem defense of their hubristically-driven headstrong idol, it styles itself by its very title as a 'laudation' or hymn of praise for the author of AL and all those countless and daily increasing offenses against the Catholic faith if not to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (individually and as the Trinity).

The Bergoglians' answer to the Correctio filialis:
A Laudatio of Pope Francis

by Roberto de Mattei
Translated by 'Francesca Romana' for Rorate caeli from
Corrispondenza Romana
October 18, 2017


After three weeks the first organized response to the Correctio filialis has appeared: a Laudatio published on the web, signed by a group of priests and intellectuals prevalently from the Austrian-German domain. (http://www.pro-pope-francis.com/).

Who are the signatories of the Laudatio? One of them, the German Monsignor Fritz Lobinger, Bishop emeritus of Aliwal (South Africa), is the “father” of the expression “community priesthood” which he explained in the book Team of Elders. Moving beyond Viri probati (2007), wherein he hopes for an introduction in the Church of two types of priests, diocesan priests and those of the community; the former full-time celibates and the latter, married with a family, at the disposition of the community where they live and work.

Another signatory, Father Paul Zulehner, a disciple of Karl Rahner, is known in turn for his fanciful “pastoral futurology” (Pastorale Futurologie, 1990). In 2011, he supported the “appeal to disobedience” launched by 329 Austrian priests, favouring married priests, priestly ordination for women, the right for Protestants and the divorced and remarried to receive Communion and for the laity to preach and lead parishes.

Matin Lintner is a Servite religious from Bolzano, teacher at Bressanone and President of Insect (International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology). He is famous for his book The Rediscovery of Eros. The Church, Sexuality and Human Relations (2015), in which he is open to homosexuality, pre-matrimonial relations, and his enthusiastic response to Amoris Laetitia, which, in his opinion is “a point of no return” in the Church. In fact, “we can no longer say that today there is a categorical exclusion from receiving the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation for those in a new union, who don’t abstain from sexual relations. Of this there is no doubt, on the basis of the text of A.L. itself” (www.settimananews.it, December 5th 2016).

It is clear at this point that the deep division running through the Church is not between the detractors and fans of Pope Francis. The breaking line runs between those who are faithful to the immutable Teaching of Popes and those who are complaining to Pope Bergoglio for pursuing the “dream” of a new church, different from the One founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. [Just a few months into this Pontificate back in 2013 - it seems decades ago the way the pope-induced attacks on the faith have simply proliferated and accreting daily - such a division was already clear because it was already clear this pope was intent on setting up his own church, shamelessly on the back of and at the expense of the one true Church of Christ.]

You don’t need to be a historian to understand that we are experiencing a completely new phase in the life of the Church. We are not at the end of the world, but with regard to our age, we can apply the words of Our Lord, when He spoke of His return at the end of time, saying with sadness: “But yet the Son of Man when He cometh, shall He find, think you, faith on earth?” (Luke 18, 8).

The loss of faith, even on the part of men of the Church, is now quite evident. On January 27th 2012, addressing the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed: “We are faced with a deep crisis of faith; a loss of the religious sense which constitutes the greatest challenge for the Church today. The renewal of the faith must therefore be the priority in the undertakings of the entire Church in our times.” This loss of faith, has today, the characteristics of a general apostasy.

[There we are! Apostasy has been my favored word for describing what Bergoglianism is - not heresy because it is virtually wholesale rejection of everything that the Catholic Church stands 0n (Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium, as we have them in the deposit of faith), and certainly not schism, because the schismatics in this case have the Church in their grip, and will not and cannot let go because without the Church, they will only have Bergoglianism, and Bergoglio has been the most astute of all Catholic apostates because as legitimately elected pope, he has virtually absolute power to do what he wants with (and to) the Church he was entrusted to lead, just that no one ever suspected he would use his office to set up his own church.

Forget the fiction that this pope is 'reforming' the Church - he has been seeking to remake the Church Christ founded into a 'better' church - which as he sees it, is into his own image and likeness and therefore, no longer the Church of Christ, but his, Bergoglio's church.

It seems to be difficult for Catholics to grasp the fact that we are witnessing and being victims of the most audacious rape ever attempted and imposed on Holy Mother Church because it is a crime that boggles the mind and until March 13, 2013, seemed and was impossible. Luther's Reformation seems trivial by comparison because Luther's poison could not act within the Church and indeed inspired a great Counter-Reformation in the Church.

Bergoglio's apostasy, on the other hand, means that the legitimately elected leader of the Catholic Church holds the Church hostage, to do with her as he pleases with the near-absolute powers he possesses as pope. Yet Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against his Church - so perhaps it will take an act of God to stop Bergoglio and Bergoglianism in their tracks once and for all. May it happen soon!]


Cardinal Robert Sarah, intervening at a meeting of the European Episcopal Conferences held in Trieste on November 4th 2013, affirmed that “even among the baptized and the disciples of Christ there is today a sort of “silent apostasy”; a rejection of God and the Christian Faith in politics, the economy, in the ethical and moral dimension and in post-modern Western culture.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke, for his part, in a homily delivered on October 13th 2017 at Buckfast Abbey, recalled how the message of Fatima “deals with the diabolical forces let loose in our time upon the world, entering the very life of the Church, leading souls away from the truth of the Faith and, thus, from Divine love, which flows from the Glorious, Pierced Heart of Jesus.”

Souls are being lost because language is ambiguous and deceiving, and errors and heresies are being disseminated every day among the faithful. Pope Francis’s Pontificate represents the result and the peak of a process of the Church’s self-demolition which has remote origins but today has reached a dizzying speed. [But this so-called self-demolition also had alongside a vigorous self-correction under John Paul II, and more so, under Benedict XVI - a self-correction that would have continued and needed to be continued under a genuinely Catholic pope and the popes after him, just to undo the damage of Vatican-II progressivism. Instead, it mutated catastrophically overnight on March 13, 2013, into a deliberately proactive destruction of the Church by the very man elected to lead it - dutybound to keep it as she has been for over 2000 years, but instead, using the opportunity of his office to trample on the deposit of faith and proceed to erect his own church as an 'improvement' on the Church of Christ. I turn apolectic everytime I contemplate Bergoglio's sheer hubris - it is as if Lucifer had finally found the perfect tool (and fool) to destroy what Christ had built, and never mind what Jesus said about the gates of Hell not prevailing, because Lucifer-Bergoglio thinks he is Jesus II and an improvement on the original.]

The Correctio filialis of October 24th 2017 has been like a ray of light piercing the darkness of the night in which souls are immersed. The denunciation of the heresies sustained and propagated by Pope Francis has resounded from one end of the planet to the other, spreading through to the Media and becoming the dominant theme of private conversations among many Catholics. In these conversations few deny the truth of the facts denounced in the Correctio. Divergences regard rather, “ the what to do” faced with a situation which has no historical precedents.

There are no lack of those who practice the double-truth: they criticize in private but render homage in public to those who are leading the Church towards disaster. This behavior was defined “nicodemite” by Calvin to indicate those Protestants who concealed their doctrine, by rendering public homage to the faith and rites of Catholics. Yet the Catholic Church too has always condemned dissimulation, indicating as a model of life, the public confession of the faith, even unto martyrdom.

Confessing the faith means denouncing the errors that oppose it, even if proposed by bishops, and a Pope, as happened to Honorius I (625-638). It is not important to know whether Honorius was a heretic or favens haeresim. The fact that he was solemnly condemned by the VI Council of Constantinople (681), presided by Pope Leo II, and that his condemnation was confirmed by two successive Ecumenical Councils, demonstrates that the possibility of a heretic Pope (admitted by all the medieval canon lawyers) is possible, independent of the fact that it has been verified historically.

Who has the authority, however, to resist and correct a Pope? First of all, this duty belongs to the cardinals who are the Pope’s advisors in the governing of the Church; then the Bishops, who constitute, in union with the Pope, the teaching Church; and lastly, the ordinary faithful, priests, monks and sisters, even lay, who, being baptized, have that absolutely certain sensus fidei which allows them to discern the true faith from heresy.

Eusebius, before becoming Bishop of Dorylaeum, was a lawyer from Constantinople. In 429, he publically interrupted a homily by the priest Nestorius who was placing the Divine Maternity of Mary in doubt. Eusebius would have done the same thing if it had been the Patriarch or the Pope himself speaking that day. His Catholic spirit would not tolerate the Blessed Virgin being insulted in front of the Catholic faithful.

Today the Church has no need of nicodemìtes, but confessors of the faith, with the temperament of a Eusebius or Maximus the Confessor, a simple monk who did not hesitate in challenging the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Byzantine Emperors. To those who wanted to oblige communicating with the heretic Monothelites, he replied: “Even if the entire universe communicates with you, I alone will not”. At the age of 80, after three trials, as a result of his fidelity, he was condemned to having his tongue and right hand mutilated, the two body parts through which his words and writings had fought errors and heresies.

He would have been able to repeat the words of St. Paul: “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge. But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished, and that all the Gentiles may hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion”. (2 Timothy 4, 16-17).

The fact of being just a few - misunderstood and persecuted - is permitted by Divine Providence in order to increase the merits of the witnesses to the Faith and render their behavior not only right and proper, but also holy and heroic. What else is the exercise of heroic virtue but the accomplishing of one’s duty in exceptional circumstances, not counting on our own strength, but on the help of God?

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Not having posted anything from Maureen Mullarkey in some time, I find the following commentary spot-on and characteristically original..

On Amoris Laetitia & the ‘Filial Correction’
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October 10, 2017

Heresy-spotting is not my forte. I have no inclination or talent for it. But the word hangs heavy in the air these days. It is impossible to ignore it. Ballots went out as soon as Amoris Laetitia hit the stands: “Does the apostolic exhortation propagate heresy? Check the box marked Yes or No. Either way, might any other words, deeds, or omissions by the Supreme Pontiff constitute encouragement of heresy? Again, check the box marked Yes or No.”

The alternatives have been dueling for two years. There is no need to detail here the moves in this formalized combat beyond a brief reprise. You know what they are. First came the widely circulated DUBIA which Francis disdained to answer. His stonewall prompted a public “filial correction” by Catholic clergy and scholars. The press seized on it, intrigued by the newsworthy gap between the 14th century contest with Pope John XXII and today’s bout with Francis the Good.

In turn, the Correctio Filialis prompted a counter correction. “Its own dubia,” Sandro Magister called it. The contest is a bloodless, ecclesial variant of England’s old conflict between Royalists and Roundheads.The absolutist temper of a monarchial papacy, in which all authority flows downward from the Chair of Peter, is a cherished model among conservative Catholics. [???]
Yet it is conservatives who are now closer to the Roundhead position in spite of themselves. (The Roundheads opposed the divine right of kings, insisting that the English monarch could not govern without parliamentary consent.)

Charles I lost that battle, and his head along with it. But Francis I is not Charles. To date, the royalist party has been in the saddle. But is that momentum beginning to reverse? Joseph Shaw, one of the original signatories to the filial correction, thinks so. He wrote recently on Rorate-Cæli:

“… that position, or refusing to clarify, is crumbling now. We have now had two Cardinals, Müller and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, calling for a serious engagement between the Vatican and critics such as the signatories and the DUBIA Cardinals. Perhaps, just perhaps, we are approaching the end game.”

[Strange optimism, with all due respect for Mr. Shaw. Might not Bergoglio have looked on the recent deaths of two of the four DUBIA cardinals (within a year of their ill-fated letter) as a ‘God-given’ sign that it is he who is in the right? Regardless, he is relentlessly single-minded in pushing his agenda through in what he typically thinks will be an irreversible way.]

We can hope so. Though it remains uncertain how much comfort there will be in the outcome of this match.

Roberto de Mattei, writing from Rome in early 2015, published in Rorate Cæli an essay that resonates just now. “A Pope Who Fell Into Heresy; A Church that Resisted” summarized the 14th century contest between John XXII and defenders of Catholic orthodoxy over the issue of the Beatific Vision after death. Read it here.

Was de Mattei’s essay, written in advance of Amoris Laetitia, prophetic? Or was it an anticipatory stroke by a well-placed historian with his ear to the ground? I cannot say. But it is no stretch to read his essay as a bugle call to the faithful to grapple with any pope who takes it upon himself to nullify the episcopate and redefine doctrine to conform to his own lights.

While John XXII came to heel eventually, any such conciliatory act by Francis seems unlikely. He is the beneficiary of two forces.
- First, there is the willed assumption — a diplomatic pretense? - that the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia is inadvertent, an oversight rather than a tactic.
- Second, there is the cult of papal veneration, a toxic bloom with tangled roots.

Singular deference to the person of the pope is the disfiguring aftereffect of conflation of papal primacy with papal inerrancy — on whatever matter the papal druthers plant a battle flag. Among the laity, the fusion exists as a species of idolatry. Papalolotry is today’s word for it.

Among the episcopate, the amalgam counts as a courtier’s safeguard against rousing the ire of a king. Few in upper management want to be exiled to an obscure diocese by lordly resentment. At court, the rightful authority of bishops is checked by courtesy and reliance on royal favor. Amenability serves job security and advancement better than debate.

Inklings of futility lurk in the Correctio‘s terms of address to Francis. It opens on bended knee by pledging “filial devotion toward yourself.” Filial, rather than fraternal, is a telling genuflection. So is the signatories’ reference to themselves as “subjects” (“subjects have by nature a duty to obey their superiors in all lawful things”). [I am sure the signatories were only too aware they had to observe respectful and deferential form by using these terms, otherwise they would have been accused a priori of insulting the ‘Holy Father’ not just by questioning his teaching but by being such jerks as to fail to observe expected form in terms of addressing him. JMB can be a boor as he often is, but that does not excuse being a boor yourself. In accordance with traditional usage, they couldn’t properly say ‘fraternal’ rather than ‘filial’, because somehow, the ‘Holy Father’ part has overshadowed the mandate to ‘confirm thy brethren in their faith’, for which ‘fraternal’ would be appropriate. However, the use of the word ‘subjects’ is truly jarring, as the faithful are by no means considered ‘subjects’ of the pope (except when the popes had temporal power and you happened to live in a papal state, then you were also a subject of the pope).]

Wording echoes the tone of Pius X’s comments in 1906 that “the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led...like a docile flock.” Francis’s pontificate illustrates the hazards of such cast of mind.

The people of God are not children. Rightly ordered in their relationships to one another — include clergy here — neither are they subjects. Certainly not as that word is commonly understood. Catholics are subject to the Gospels and to the magisterium oriented toward them. But neither we nor the episcopate are subjects of a pope in the menial, subservient sense carried by that plural noun. The Bishop of Rome serves as “first among equals,” not as an imperial monarch ascendant over an episcopacy reduced to the status of delegates for papal sovereignty.

Bishops are not vassals of the throne. Apostolic ministry does not exist to rubber stamp the politics or subversive cunning of a willful or wayward pope. In the increasingly bureaucratized structure of Church governance, however, that appears to matter less than it should.

It does not serve Francis’s objectives to clarify the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia. He has only to allow the vagueness of “pastoral discernment” to stand. It will come by degrees to be the default position in pastoral care. Moral thinking will evolve — develop — to further accommodate the subjectivity implicit in discernment and in such fluid standards as accompaniment in weakness.

A discretionary end run around indissolubility will gradually assume the authority of Tradition, thereby deflecting need for clarification. Longevity will short-circuit any lingering effort to undo what will have become standard pastoral practice.

Not a word need be uttered to modify doctrinal insistence on the indissolubility of marriage or to palliate eucharistic prohibitions for the divorced and remarried. In the name of “complex realities” and “difficult situations,” a hit-or-miss, sentimental concept of charity will quietly displace adherence to outworn disciplines. Give Amoris Laetitia another generation or two and indissolubility, traditionally invoked, will molder in the archive of insensitivities for which some future pontiff can permit himself to apologize.

And the above practical facts of life are precisely what Bergoglio is counting on for his changes to ‘live on’ in the Catholic Church, not just in the church of Bergoglio. Look how all but a relative few in the vast Catholic world willingly threw out the Traditional Mass literally overnight - it didn't take even a few years for the Novus Ordo to be completely and universally accepted as 'the Mass'.]

It discomforts me to say so, but the names on the initial letter of correction are not ones to cause undue anxiety in Casa Santa Marta. They are names best known and respected among conservative Catholics — those rosary-counting, neopelagian irritants already under Francis’s skin.

Where were the world’s bishops when the letter was initially circulated? Bernard Fellay, an SSPX bishop, lent his name to the document afterward; retired Bishop René Gracida of Miami did the same. At the outset, no active member of the USCCB risked his signature. By the USCCB’s own numbers, there are 446 active and retired bishops plus 6 cardinals and another 7 retired cardinals. Only one retiree could hazard signing? The numbers bespeak an episcopacy reduced from one of agency in its own right to mere spokesmen for the pontificate.

A gelded episcopacy is a sorry omen. It augurs Francis’s ultimate success in capsizing the perennial understanding of the nature of Christian marriage. There need be no de jure change in doctrine. Indissolubility will remain on the books where it will retain its aura of prescribed authority. But in pastoral practice varieties of a hardship exemption will gradually enfeeble the rule.

No one should be surprised. Francis’s revised, user-friendly annulment process comes on the heels of decades of profligate dispensing of annulments in major jurisdictions and/or for persons of influence. It follows a trajectory that has already weakened the principle of life-long marriage. (Annulment was little more than a religious fiction in the Archdiocese of Brooklyn under Francis Mogavero.) Misuse of a just and necessary procedure has given annulment the tag “Catholic divorce” for good reason. Then tally in last year’s capricious declaration by Francis that some half of all sacramental marriages are invalid. Indissolubility has been dissolving for some time.

Francis’s divorced and remarried Catholics purportedly clamoring for admission to the Eucharist parallel Barack Obama’s Dreamers. Both populations find their illicit situations stressful. Existing civic and sacramental protocols designed to amend dereliction in both sets of circumstances are deemed onerous. Absolutes are inconsiderate, unwieldy. Relativism is more workable. It appears kindly in the short term, however mischievous in the long. Francis’s flexible magisterium, packaged in the rhetoric of mercy — pious-sounding gift wrap [and Bergoglio's all-purpose gift-wrapping for all problems, at least those he deigns to answer] — negates those ancient obligations that define a community. No dream should be deferred.

Political historian Paul A. Rahe, a practicing Catholic, did not mince words in his September 15 essay for Ricochet, “An Unworthy Pope:”


Francis is a student of theology — not an especially astute student, but he knows a thing or two. What makes him a very great
fool is that he is not a student of economics, climate science, or national security, and that this defect does not in
any way discourage him from pontificating (I use the word advisedly) on these subjects and making a great display
of his ignorance.

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Rahe’s professional interest in the history and character of political regimes makes him particularly suited to view the Bergoglian regime with a clear eye. He strikes the proper tone — a lovely acid bite — in addressing Francis’s pretensions to statecraft. No courtly flattery. At stake are issues too grave for ceremonious bowing and scraping.

It turns out that Dr. Peters has the same reservation about a statement by Mullarkey in the above article...

On 'conservative Catholics' and the papacy
Orthodox, conservative Catholics are both
ecclesial monarchists and are ecclesial collegialists

by Edward N. Peters
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October 20, 2017

Maureen Mullarkey’s recent post on Amoris laetitia contains a line that bears nuancing not just because it is misleading, and not just because it is widely held, but because getting the principle that underlies it correct would reinforce Mullarkey’s mention of “a bugle call to the faithful to grapple with any pope who takes it upon himself to nullify the episcopate”.

Mullarkey writes: “The absolutist temper of a monarchial papacy, in which all authority flows downward from the Chair of Peter, is a cherished model among conservative Catholics.” Hmmm.

If by “conservative Catholics” Mullarkey means conservatives who are Catholic or Catholics who are conservative maybe she’s right. I wouldn’t know. But if by “conservative Catholics” Mullarkey means ‘Catholics who hold demonstrably orthodox views in doctrinal matters and accept the disciplinary consequences that flow from such views’ (which is what I think Mullarkey means), then her assertion that these Catholics ‘cherish’ a model of the papacy according to which “all authority flows down from the Chair of Peter” is seriously deficient.

“Conservative Catholics” are, to be sure, very comfortable with (though they might not be able to quote) Canon 331 as it sets out, among other things, the Roman Pontiff’s “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church”. They cherish papal power and thank Jesus that He left such authority to St. Peter and his successors. So far, so good.

But well-informed “conservative Catholics” will also know that, per Canon 336, the college of bishops “is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church,” in other words, that there are two foci of “supreme and full power” in the Church, a pope (who can act alone) and a college of bishops (i.e., a pope and the bishops in communion with him who cooperate with each other in a magnificent and mysterious manner distinguishable from a pope acting on his own).

It is this second focus of supreme and full power in the Church, one overlooked by Mullarkey but which Francis’s manner of governing is causing prelates and professors alike to begin to re-examine after several decades of post-conciliar quiescence, that bears closer examination — certainly closer than a blog post can offer.

In short, “conservative Catholics” are both ecclesial monarchists and they are ecclesial collegialists; noting the latter aspect of their ecclesiology (theirs, because it is the Church’s), instead of just noting the former, might help Mullarkey to demonstrate how Francis is setting lots of people to thinking about lots of things these days.

In this respect, Bergoglio has made many more Catholics aware of Canon 212 which prevents (or ought to prevent) any Catholic from thinking that 'The Pope says...' is always right and therefore binding, that they can and should, in fact, express their protest and disagreement with whatever papal statement or action manifestly appears to be not in conformity with the deposit of faith.
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Last year, a young American who works as a producer and operations manager for EWTN’s West Coast Studio at the Christ Cathedral campus in Orange County, California, wrote this book on Benedict XVI which went straight to paperback. The Amazon blurb for it reads:

Pope Benedict XVI is widely considered to be the greatest theologian and Catholic thinker of our time. In these pages, author James Day unpacks the voluminous teachings of Pope Benedict and presents his remedies for the many ills afflicting the Church and our culture, including individualism, materialism, secularism, and godlessness.

At a time when the many “isms” of our day are pulling people away from the Faith, Father Benedict presents a hope-filled future, but only if we are to follow the guidance of Pope Benedict and the path he presents to us in every aspect of life: the formation of the Christian faith, in loving others, in personal vocation, in education, and in how we see the natural world.

Pope Benedict XVI offers our generation one of the clearest understandings of our world today, tirelessly championing the New Evangelization and a sacramental return to Christ and His Church. Father Benedict offers a compelling case for the Christian way, guiding us through the thoughts and writings of the Bavarian priest who became the Holy Father, and who now simply wishes to be called “Father Benedict.”


Mr Day has now written this essay that amounts to yet another tribute to Benedict XVI...

From Bukowski to Benedict
The cinema was once the light in which I sought purpose and escape -
And then I read a challenge I could not escape:
To 'believe as if God existed' (J. Ratzinger, 1965)

by James Day
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October 21, 2017


“Of course I am disappointed. By the continued existence of lack of interest in the Church. By the fact that secularity continues to assert its independence and to develop in forms that increasingly lead people away from the faith. By the fact that the overall trend of our time continues to go against the Church.”
– Pope Benedict XVI, Light of the World, 2010

“In celluloid we trust.”
– Werner Herzog, The White Diamond, 2004



Imagine an autumn Saturday night in 1965. The Agony and the Ecstasy is playing at a local, one-screen theatre. A family of four takes in the show. The next morning, the very same family tailored in their Sunday best attends their local parish along with other members of the town community, some of whom they noticed at the movie house the previous night. They discuss the picture after Mass, agreeing that while they enjoyed seeing the Renaissance and Michelangelo depicted on screen, it was not one of Hollywood’s better epics.

Later that day, the family takes a drive in the country to see the changing leaves. With businesses closed on Sundays, there is little traffic on the roads. There is a quiet peace. Likely unconsciously, this family basks in living with clean consciences, spurred not only by church that morning, but in the entertainment value provided the previous night.

This keeping-holy-the-Sabbath-day-scenario is not intended as Norman Rockwell idyllicism, but a snapshot of the life of many throughout American history: hard-working people embracing the fortifying pillars of a successful civilization — family, faith, and mutual ethics.

Yet by the time of its release, October 1965, The Agony and the Ecstasy showed a Hollywood sagging. The sword-and-sandals pictures and Biblical epics of the 1950s had culminated with Ben-Hur’s 11 Oscar wins. The 1960s attempted to continue the formula, but El Cid, Cleopatra, and The Fall of the Roman Empire proved the thrill was gone.

By the time Charlton Heston climbed the scaffold of the Sistine Chapel, it was clear that change was in the air — social change and ethical change. The Second Vatican Council was two months from closing, the three year sessions arguably the imprimatur the world was waiting for to usher in a more relaxed new world order. With the abandonment of the motion pictures' Hays Code, the content of movies also entered a new era.

If that same family ventured to the movie house five years after The Agony and the Ecstasy, they would find the likes of Love Story and Myra Breckinridge [Hollywood's first transgender protagonist?] The disconnect between culture and church had begun its devastating divorce.

If one longed for the days of Bing Crosby as Fr. O’Malley, he or she would be hard pressed; new Hollywood had overtaken the crumbling studio system with brash abandon, bulldozing such sentiment out of its way. Rosemary’s Baby in 1968 gave way to The Exorcist and Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973.

In 1972, Paul VI lamented that the smoke of Satan, from some fissure, had entered the temple of God. The assault was underway, and relativism was the new mantra of this Age of Aquarius.

A quiet underground toward this new age had been developing for decades. In 2006, the Getty Center in Los Angeles ran “Cinema of Grace,” a film series of art house classics by filmmakers Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928), Fritz Lang (Destiny, 1921), F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, 1922), Robert Bresson (Diary of a Country Priest, 1951), and Werner Herzog, (Heart of Glass, 1976 and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, 1974). “These directors depicted what they saw with their ‘spiritual eye,’ finding beauty, goodness, and the transcendent in what others might see as ugly and dark,” the event advertised.

As a film student at the time, I took no issue with this program lineup. I did not fully realize — or perhaps did not want to realize — that often such praises of the kind the Getty heaped on these works came at the expense of the tenets of faith.

“Like other films in this series,” it touted for the 1951 Bresson adaptation of the Georges Bernanos novel, Diary of a Country Priest, "infused with a sense of the shallowness of everyday life and of the constraints of organized religion in the realm of the divine.”

Healthy skepticism means lucid objectivity. Agnosticism means true faith. Human experience and articulating it — that is what matters. On Dreyer’s Joan of Arc: “The struggle between the material and the spiritual, between institutionalized religion and pure faith, is a common thread.” Yes, those who condemned Joan to the stake were hierarchical prelates. But Joan became the saint, not them. Yet, it did not occur to me to question any of this verbiage. For this was art! This was truth! I also find it no coincidence that I had not yet even known of the concept of relativism at that time.

Today, asking a family to enjoy a Saturday night taking in a wholesome Hollywood entertainment is near impossible: so natural and casual does a script call for blasphemy against the Second Person of the Trinity, littered with routine curse words, all while pornography melds into mainstream, it becomes startling clear: Nowhere here does God exist.

“I fell away from you, my God, and in my youth I wandered too far from you, my true support,” lamented St. Augustine. “And I became a wasteland of myself.” But depicting that wasteland that is precisely what is considered art these days with maybe a glimmer of secular hope at the end, for wallowing and wasteland implies profundity and depth and meaning.

The God learned in second grade has long been packed away. Tragically, so many artists unconsciously steeped in the Catholic imagination as youths have not yet had a mature encounter of that God. Such an encounter was considered a frightening prospect. “Christ is an abyss of light,” Kafka warned a friend, “into which, unless you close your eyes, you will fall headlong.”

Something was gnawing at me. This was a mentality spilling out not just in entertainment but commanding an entire worldview. It was the first time I felt nervous about the state of the faith — and felt some responsibility towards its preservation. Despite knowing that to some degree or another Martin Scorsese, Luis Buñuel, Francis Coppola, or Alfred Hitchcock continually dipped in the fountain of Catholicism in their films, I began to wonder how many of our heralded Catholic filmmakers could be found on their knees Sunday after Sunday before the consecrated host?

Should the personal beliefs of artists matter in contemplating their art? “I had a dramatic religious phase at the age of fourteen and converted to Catholicism,” Werner Herzog admitted in 2002. “Even though I am not a member of the Catholic Church any longer, to this day there seems to be something of a distant religious echo in some of my works.”

Robert Bresson saw no distinction: “Must one look at the life of someone to judge his work? This is his work. And that is his life.” And Martin Scorsese has never been shy in expressing his youthful enrapturement with pre-conciliar Catholicism before setting out on a career depicting characters struggling — consciously or not — with faith.

And so if the life and the work are intertwined, what messages are our artists sending? Is it that in order to be truly alive one must shrug off the shackle of faith, of orthodoxy? That thinking for oneself is the true path to enlightenment — without realizing such a notion is free will, and to reach enlightenment one cannot avoid the presence of Jesus Christ along the way, the very path being trod?

Witness relativism run rampant, its effects on relationships with each other, in communities, how we process and receive information as citizens; its effects on the Church, from customized liturgical styles to debatable and faddish beliefs, to no longer being able to discuss matters of the faith with peers without being found polemical or proselytizing; its effects on our brains, what we choose to watch; and on art itself.

The most harrowing effect is the palpable absence of God in the world, as if experiments are conducted on our immortal souls to test their very immortality. Their destruction is possible, even for the pure of heart. “Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused. The wish to yield it would be too great for my strength,” Gandalf admits to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring.

A theologian writing in the 1960s, seeing the seismic cultural shifts occurring, urged his students to hold fast the horizontal and dimensions of the Cross — the divine and the human dimensions, the personal and the communal, the questioning and the confession of faith. “And if you do doubt,” the theologian advised, “etsi Deus daretur — believe as if God existed.” Later, he would say this, something Herzog and Scorsese and the Getty Center might contemplate: “People are afraid when someone says, ‘This is the truth,’ or even ‘I have the truth.’ We never have it; at best it has us.”

Pursuing the truth found in the ugly and dark, in the messy, also defined the underground lit scene of Los Angeles. “Ah Los Angeles! Dust and fog of your lonely streets, I am no longer lonely. Just you wait, all of you ghosts of this room, just you wait, because it will happen, as sure as there’s a God in heaven,” mused the main character in John Fante’s Ask the Dust.

By the time Ask the Dust debuted in 1939, Fante had already established a life that would alternate between deeply personal writing and heavy drinking and gambling. He published his first short story at age 23, titled “Altar Boy.” Both Fante and later his protégé, Charles Bukowski, would halo those lonely streets of Los Angeles in their writing with depictions of the sordid real world as guided by alcoholism, of rotating women, and constant agitation, out of which came prolific odes to that world.

Cult fame would follow. Though raised Catholic, Bukowski eventually drifted. He evidently gravitated to Buddhism later in life. The idea of a lifelong postal worker turned writer, who embraced his own booziness and womanizing and acting as if beyond redemption, captivated many. “Food is good for the nerves and the spirit,” read a passage in his novel Post Office. “Courage comes from the belly — all else is desperation.”

I first read Bukowski during the last months of the life of another poet: John Paul II. “Church needs art. Does art need the church?” he asked in his 1999 “Letter to Artists.” But who by then was listening? Some, like Bukowski, choose to delve into agony. Others, at the risk of being labeled as puritanical, take the leap into the transcendent. A writer familiar with the trending atheism of Europe aptly identified the inner turmoil of its youth:

The dismal and destructive ecstasy of drugs, of hammering rhythms, noise, and drunkenness is confronted with a bright ecstasy of light, of joyful encounter in God’s sunshine. Let it not be said that this is only a momentary thing. Often it is so, no doubt. But it can also be a moment that brings about a lasting change and begins a journey.


This writer, the same I earlier quoted about believing as if God existed and that we don’t have the truth, it has us, is Joseph Ratzinger—Benedict XVI. There he was, I discovered, hiding in plain sight as the then-bishop of Rome down sending forth one masterpiece after another in his weekly audiences.

And then something even more startling occurred: he evoked within me the same sense of awe and identification once felt with the masters of cinema. What did it mean that the successor of Peter, the vicar of Jesus Christ, would be the one who so perfectly articulated the malaise and acedia of our time?

“Again and again man falls behind the faith and wants to be just himself again; he becomes a heathen in the most profound sense of the word. But again and again the divine presence becomes evident also. This is the struggle that passes through all of history.”


Of course, the great works of art indeed attempted to delve into the heathen world and the divine presence, but it was the expected reproach that anything having to do with the Church must be undermined that I simply could no longer stand nor wanted to contribute in the attempt to destroy it.

What continually frustrated me was how capable filmmakers and artists failed to realize that the story of faith in the world is the hard fought journey of the sinner to redemption — from one Gospel account after another of transformed, nameless sinners through Peter, Magdalene, Augustine, Ignatius, Chesterton, Dorothy Day, and the working class penitent who defies the standard of the day by hunkering down in the confessional and puoring out his faults. Gradually, I grasped what I read the Pope himself voice:

Of course I am disappointed. By the continued existence of lack of interest in the Church. By the fact that secularity continues to assert its independence and to develop in forms that increasingly lead people away from the faith. By the fact that the overall trend of our time continues to go against the Church.


The effort of moving outside oneself, of making it to Mass, to carve out time amid what could have been far easier, more lackadaisical, relaxing weekend choices, was difficult with so much disposable attraction available. But the physical action of getting into that church itself said something.

Benedict in 2006, speaking to journalists on the plane back to his Bavarian homeland, somehow understood this millennial stagnation. “I can continually do whatever I want with my life,” he stated, evoking the freedoms one has. “By making a definitive decision,” he continued, “am I not tying up my personal freedom and depriving myself of freedom of movement? Reawaken the courage to make definitive decisions: they are really the only ones that allow us to grow, to move ahead and to reach something great in life. Risk making this leap.”

While I remained indebted and committed to the truth of film, I gradually lost much interest in Werner Herzog and Jean-Luc Godard while still admiring their feats, some of which, like Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and Godard’s Contempt, are pillars of filmmaking. I suppose I decided to be less like them and more my own person. This meant I now had a duty.

I could no longer risk witnessing the withering of my own spiritual capacity, the precariousness of my own immortal soul. As Dorothy Day wrote, “I felt the need to go to church more often, to kneel, to bow my head in prayer.” Benedict XVI quoted this in his first Wednesday audience after announcing his intention to resign.

I still had no doubt film is able to reach into the transcendent, but I believed it only goes so far. The majority of cinema, reduced to crass entertainment, simply lacked the substantive push and desire that Benedict managed to prompt within me: to think about God and the world, who Jesus was and is, and our place within that Trinitarian circle of light that Dante dreamed. I began to see belief meant not a crutch to dogma, but an active, daily setting out, even especially during times of doubt and darkness. I went to confession more, and meanwhile consumed every available book by Benedict XVI.

When reading Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, and meeting Blaise Pascal in the process, I knew I reached a crossroads. Previously, my only recognition of the name Pascal (other than a vague memory about his famous “wager”) was Werner Herzog’s Lessons of Darkness, which opens with a quote attributed to Pascal: “The collapse of the stellar universe will occur — like creation — in grandiose splendor.” Of course it is well known in film lore that Herzog wrote that line himself, and gave it to Pascal because to him it was something Pascal would have said. That is an undeniably fabulous anecdote, but then one comes across the real Pascal, such as in his “Night of Fire” sequence at age 31 (1654) that resulted in sewing “The Memorial” into his jacket and immediately one realizes he is before a master.

His Pensées remains a touchstone of inspiration: “A fine state for the Church to be in when it has no support left but God!” (#845). Pensées also served as a precursor in style to Robert Bresson’s book, Notes on the Cinematographer. And it was Pascal who originated the line Ratzinger quoted in Introduction to Christianity: Believe etsi Deus valetur: Believe as if God existed.

Eventually, something had to give. It took much discernment, but soon many books and films of and by Godard, Herzog, Buñuel, Oliver Stone, Woody Allen, coupled with Bukowski and Fante and others made their way to the donation chest at the local library. Bresson remained. Not only was life too short, but I simply had to make room for Guardini, von Balthazar, Belloc, Pieper, Chesterton, de Lubac, Lewis, Tolkien, Dickens, let alone the von Hildebrands and Fulton Sheen and James Schall and Flannery O’Connor, Bernard Lewis’s studies on the Middle East, Fr. Robert Spitzer’s quartet, T.S. Eliot’s Christianity and Culture, and the unceasing outpouring of current minds from a Catholic perspective, such as Paul Scalia’s That Nothing May Be Lost.

I took delight that Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy in 2000 was a spiritual remake of Guardini’s own The Spirit of the Liturgy from 1918. I had seen this before — in film. The Nouvelle Vague had given way to the Nouvelle Theologie.

And while I certainly continue to admire great film and the struggles and triumphs of those who see their vision through, godly matters had proven far more edifying than mundane trivialities. Even in a time so secular, agnostic, and atheistic, and even when the Church sometimes seems more focused on the human than on the supernatural, the sacred was still visible and still worthy of pursuit.

I immersed contemplatively in the music of des Prez and Respighi, gazed more appreciatively at the art over the centuries, the wonder of architecture, and gave thanks I had the opportunity by way of a faith pilgrimage to stand enveloped by Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Gaudí, Benedict XVI said at that very spot in 2010, “accomplished one of the most important tasks of our times: overcoming the division between human consciousness and Christian consciousness, between living in this temporal world and being open to eternal life, between the beauty of things and God as beauty.” Little to nothing could be added to the truth of that insight.

Werner Herzog likes to tell this story: After Michelangelo had finished the Pieta in Rome, one of the Medici family forced him to build a snowman in the garden of the family villa. He had no qualms about it; without a word he just went out and built the snowman. I like this attitude and feel there is something of absolute defiance in it.

If anything is certain in surveying modern culture, it is that the defiance Herzog speaks of in Michelangelo creating the snowman is needed for an artistic reclamation of this cynical world, to once again dare to glimpse the transcendent, or rather, the joyful encounter of God’s sunshine. Will the next Michelangelo or Dante please stand up?

In this age of remakes and reboots, it would be wonderful to see the triumph of the human condition portrayed in appropriate grandeur, but only with the authentic dignity toward the human person that once epitomized the art of the cinema, that lifted consciences, and actually inspired flocks of peoples from the theatre on Saturday to the pews on Sunday.
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As Jorge Bergoglio's year of 'celebrating' Luther and his Reformation winds down, Aldo Maria Valli cites egregious historical facts about how Luther was
a fiendish hater - of peasants and Jews, among others (what he thought of the popes, and worse, of Jesus, is a bit better known). But despite all that - on top of
having split the Church in a manner far more traumatic than the Great Schism of 1054 - Bergoglio has chosen to virtually canonize this fiend, whose apostasy
and contempt for Catholicism Bergoglio is seeking to surpass and not just replicate.



Historical facts about Luther militate against
the very idea of Bergoglio's church celebrating him

Translated from
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Oct. 18, 2017

“Just look at this!” When Santa Subito says that, it means she is about to ask me to do something. In this case, to read something. But actually, more than to read something, to look at it. ['Santa Subito' is Valli's endearment for his wife Serena, which says a lot of their relationship.]

It was the current issue of a Catholic weekly, the issue being completely dedicated to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the occasion of a new edition presented by Pope Francis. [I find this rather outrageous chutzpah on the part of someone who, if he has his way, is seeking to change many important points in the Catechism (I cling to my belief that he already has some work group preparing those changes, led by the very person who chaired the editorial committee that had prepared this Catechism in 1985-1992, the Cardinal from Vienna who has done a most spectacular act of turncoatism, in effect, from being a reputed Ratzingerian before March 13, 2013, to now being the semi-official defender of every new Bergoglian blow to Catholic teaching, from AL to abolition of the death penalty. Schoenborn simply claims that none of the Bergoglian propositions contradict the Catechism in any way!]

So then what? Santa Subito opens the magazine and shows me the dossier on the subject, in which the article “The Catechism in the life of the Church”, is illustrated with three paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder, a 16th century German master who was a Lutheran. Indeed, two of the paintings have Martin Luther in the picture.

Santa Subito looks at me and says: “Really? Luther? Was that at all necessary?”

I can understand why she is disconcerted. Perhaps they might have illustrated it with something that has to do with St. Pius VI, who published the firt modern Catechism of the Church following the Council of Trent. Or with St. Pius X, who published for the Diocese of Rome a Catechism that eventually was distributed everywhere. But then, I reminded Santa Subito, Luther himself had written two catechisms - the Large Catechism and the Small Catechism – so perhaps that justified it. [But they were not Catholic Catechisms, both having been published in 1529, the large one for clergymen to aid them in teaching their congregations, and the small one for children.]

Actually, the presence of the Cranach paintings showing Luther in the latest edition of the Catholic Catechism prompted me to reflect on something else. Which has to do with the climate of celebration in many Catholic circles in the year 2017, marking 500 years since the Protestant Reformation. It is a climate that in certain aspects, has taken on the aspect of a canonization of Luther – at the price of distorting history.

Let us consider a subject which is very dear to this pope and what the Catechism says about it: the death penalty. Presenting the new edition of the Catechism, the pope, speaking to the officials and personnel of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, expressed a strong and unequivocal position against the death penalty, which the Catechism considers an ‘extrema ratio’ – a last resort, if need be – but this pope says that the deth penalty is always inadmissible.

Well, let’s get back to Luther and Cranach the Elder. Let’s start with the painter – who was not just an artist, but had been elected several times by the municipal council of Wittenberg as treasurer and mayor. But he was also a judge, and as such, in 1540, imposed the death penalty by beheading on several persons who had been accused of assassination, black magic, and above all, witchcraft.

At that time, in effect, members of Luther’s Reformed Church were rather zealous and even pitiless in their [literal] witch hunts, persecution of those suspected as witches being far worse in the Protestant lands than in catholic countries. Luther himself advocated without any reservations the need to burn such women for being possessed of the devil (“For such women,” he wrote, “skip the niceties and just torture them!”). Likewise Melancthon (Luther’s premier theologian) and John Calvin.

Not surprisingly, the great number of executions of women accused of witchcraft were in Scotland, in Germany, and the Swiss canton of Vaud – all Protestant territories. And when the Puritans colonized America, they brought with them this persecution of witches, famously exemplified by Salem, Massachusetts, where 19 women were burned at the stake. The last witch execution took place in Switzerland in 1782 [after which it presumably became illegal]. Nor should we forget the brutality against prostitutes who were persecuted in Protestant lands with unparalleled cruelty.

As for Luther, let us recall with what violence he denounced the Peasants’ War, using words that were an exhortation fo systematic homicide:

“These rebels are proscribed by God and the emperor, therefore anyone who wishes to kill them is acting very correctly: against anyone who is manifestly seditious, every man should be both judge and executioner. Therefore, anyone can strike them, cut their throats and massacre them in public or secretly, keeping in mind that there is nothing more poisonous, harmful and diabolical than a seditious man, who must be killed like a rabid dog, because if not, he will kill you and with you, the whole nation. Therefore, dear sirs, liberate, save, aid and have mercy on poor people, but hurt, strangle and kill who you can, and if in doing so, you find death, then be happy, because you will not find a more blessed death, dying in obedience to the word and will of God and in the service of charity to save your neighbor from hell and the snares of the devil.” (Martin Luther, 1525, ‘Against the Murdering, thieving hordes of peasants”) [Yes, that was really the title of his tract!]

[Everytime I think I have read the worst of Luther – at his most sanctimonious irrational rage – there’s always something even worse. In this case, he was denouncing the peasants because he was currying favor with the princes for his new religion. I was thinking that JMB may never really have read a good biography of Luther (or done any serious study of him at all, other than superficial dabbing for something to say in his many encounters with Lutherans) or has only read saccharine pieces on him by his idolators, but imagine ignoring all of Luther’s egregious sins and faults to go as far as to thank the Lord for the ‘blessings’ Luther and his Reformation have brought to the Church!]

To disobey civilan power was, for Luther, a crime meriting the death penalty. The danger of subversion and anarchy must be repressed without pity, such that he himself would teach civil authorities the need to use the sword:

“Now is not the time to sleep or to be patient or merciful: this is the time of rage and the sword, not that of grace… Therefore, let the authorities proceed in good spirits and strike [the rebels] with good conscience for as long as a breath of life remains in them. They can then boast of taking the peasants out of their evil thinking and unjust case, and whoever among themis killed for this, is totally lost, body and soul, and eternally prey for the devil. But the authorities will have good conscience and a just cause on their side.”

[Gosh! The man was either a pervert or a lunatic or both. Bergoglio may not have gone so far in his rages against those he does not like because they do not think like him, but I can see the same streak of lunacy and/or perversion that ran through Luther running through his Argentine ‘spiritual son’.]

And could we forget Luther’s invectives against the Jews? One can only be rudely shaken by reading the words with which the former monk vents himself against them, calling on his followers to burn the synagogues, demolish their homes, deprive them of their religious books, prohibit the rabbis from teaching, deprive the Jews of safe-conduct passes and any juridical protection, sequester their wealth and oblige them to manual labor. [Four hundred years later, Hitler obeyed him to the letter – and beyond - to bring on the Holocaust. How does Bergoglio square all these barbaric Lutheran thoughts with his own voluble protestations of love for the poor and for the Jews? But if he has been deliberately glossing over all of Luther’s sins in order to make his case for ‘the cause of Luther’s canonization’ in the Church, then he’s an even worse hypocrite than I already think him to be.]

Of course, at that time, Luther was not alone in thinking all that, but he certainly stood out for his fervor in scapegoating peasants and Jews, so much so that Lutherans themselves acknowledge that the ‘Great Reformer’ did not change anything in this respect, but on the contrary, reinforced and disseminated these prejudices with devastating consequences.

Luther was totally a man of his time, but it cannot be ignored that he behaved like a true and proper retrograde old fogey who never subjected his own thought to self-criticism [Hmmm, why does that remind me of someone?] and embraced the most intolerant positions.

Just to make it clear, I repeat: Lutherans subsequently distanced themselves from certain far-out ideas of their founder, and have mostly opposed the death penalty as well as Luther’s anti-Judaism.

On the other hand, regarding the death penalty, we Catholics can recall, for instance, that St. Thomas Aquinas approved of it in some cases (reasoning that not only is it licit but also dutiful to extirpate a sick member in order to save the whole body); and that the death penalty was legitimate in the papal states until they were abolished in 1870. But that is not the point I wish to underscore on this occasion.

My point is that since, in 2017, with regard to Luther and Lutheranism, 500 years since the Reformation, we Catholics have been told, repeatedly ad nauseam, that from Luther’s world and its ‘spirituality’, we are exhorted to purify ourselves [as if the Church does not do that constantly], and that Luther was ‘medicine’ for the Church, [according to Bergoglio, repeatedly] looking back at historical facts is not at all a useless exercise.
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Here is a review by Fr. Rutle rof George Weigel's third biographical volume on John Paul II... Don't be put off by the inexplicably frivolous title
that the Herald chose to give it.


St John Paul II was a sublime visionary,
but had an Achilles heel

by Fr George Rutler
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Oct. 20, 2017

George Weigel’s Witness to Hope was written before its subject was canonised, but that exhaustive biography vibrated with confidence that the day of universal recognition would be inevitable. Weigel has become something of a pontifical Boswell, and his third volume about John Paul II is like the last wing on a vivid triptych by Memling or Rubens.

The first two books were analytical, while this one – Lessons of Hope (Basic Books, £25) – is a portrait more ruminative and personal, and not without humour. It may even be more valuable precisely for that. History is disserved by those who think that private asides and impressions are secondary to major dates and deeds.

Weigel’s classical theological formation and his own urbane humanism made him a good fit for understanding Karol Wojtyła, and it would seem that the Holy Father sensed the same, enjoying his company and table talk. Through that association, Weigel was able to perceive the pope’s sources and initiatives, beginning with his pastoral work in Poland.

Wojtyła’s Polishness was not something to be thrust aside when he became Universal Pastor, like some gnostic shedding of irrelevant skin. Poland was an icon of Christ in its heroic deeds and salvific suffering, far more than most nations. That land, with trembling borders but unflagging chivalry, was crucified over centuries, only to rise with valour when its people cried out in 1979: “We want God.” And Wojtyła was there to hear them.

Carl Jung spent considerable effort trying to explain a dimension he called “synchronicity”, commonly shrugged off as mere coincidence. For the Christian, that dimension is often Divine Providence at work, and it would be pedantic to think that Wojtyła’s early suffering and experience of socialised atheism were not part of a supernatural scheme to prepare him for the papacy. Weigel’s familiarity with Polish culture may be the most important theme in what he writes of hope.

Another subject for another day is how the theological dissidents and dilettantish revisionists who patronised Wojtyła and loathed Ratzinger burrowed into the cultural underground, suborning the media and academies, waiting for their moment which, if tenuous and fragile, they think had arrived. The geriatric modernists are breathing fresh air, and the test will be how long their moment will actually last.

With scholastic realism, John Paul II believed that, in theology, 2+2 = 4. He did not subscribe to a Hegelian synthesis whereby truth is what is left after “making a mess”. His Theology of the Body was of a vision loftier and more demanding than instruction in how to kiss.

If anyone could express that even more clearly than Wojtyła it was Ratzinger, whose masterful articulation confounded all stereotypes of German obscurantism. John Paul evidently recognised that himself, which he is why he relied on him so much, and that may have been another instance of the wheel of Providence at work.

Both of them were like Bunyan’s pilgrim contending against “dismal stories” but they did so without subjecting doctrine to casuistry, or condescending to rudeness and insults.

The way John Paul focused on the horizon may at times have distracted him from what was going on around his doorstep. His episcopal appointments sometimes were perplexing and his idealism beclouded his willingness to acknowledge abuses within the clerical system.

My friend Fr Stanley Jaki once expressed to me his caution that phenomenology might be Wojtyła’s Achilles heel rather than the strength of his philosophical narrative. It is curious that such a sublime visionary should have been remarkably atonal in matters liturgical and artistic. His pontificate boasted no Borromini, and its cultural landscape was pockmarked with such offences as the Jubilee Church in Rome, the Divine Mercy Shrine in Kraków, Los Angeles Cathedral and the pharaonic John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington DC.

With John Paul II and Benedict XVI now distant if venerable echoes, and even censored in some quarters, we find ourselves now much like Bernard of Chartres’s nanos gigantum humeris insidentes – dwarfs on the shoulders of giants.

Weigel’s generous spirit hoped for the best when the Church’s present ambiguities and unprecedented confusions began. He is enough of an authority about hope to know that hope is sturdier than optimism. While his completed triptych goads the reader to realise what great things the Holy Spirit has done, it also makes us something like the men in their doldrums on the Road to Emmaus. But there is still the Lord reminding us that all these things had to have happened.

These are perplexing and even scandalous days for the faithful. But if Bernard of Chartres thought himself a mere afterthought and unworthy heir, his image of dwarfs on the shoulders of giants is radiantly depicted in the south transept window of Chartres cathedral whose glorious construction began just a few years after he died. That then vindicates hope as a virtue, more than optimism as a wish.

Weeks ago, CWR published an interview with George Weigel by its editor Carl Olson but that was when I was hors de combat. But it's not too late to post it:

George Weigel on the 'lessons in hope'
he received from John Paul II

The papal biographer’s new book describes his relationship with Pope John Paul,
as well as the great challenges the pope faced in the final years of his life

Interview by Carl Olson
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September 18, 2017

George Weigel’s two biographies of St. John Paul II — Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning — are widely considered the authoritative volumes on the life and work of the Polish pope.

Weigel has a new book out, Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II (Basic Books), which focuses on his decades-long friendship with St. John Paul and on the inspiring witness the pope offered the world in the face of great suffering in the last years of his life.

Weigel recently spoke to CWR editor Carl E. Olson about his new book.

At the start of Lessons in Hope, you note that you thought Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning, which totaled about 1,600 pages, contained all you could or would say about St. John Paul II. Why this third book? In what ways is this “album of memories,” as you describe it, different from the two biographies?
Lessons in Hope is almost entirely anecdotal; it tells the stories that wouldn’t have “fit” into two volumes of biography, but that illuminate, in one way or another, interesting facets of John Paul II’s personality and way of conducting the papacy. I’ve discovered in recent years that this is what people want, now: not so much analysis of a remarkable personality and his accomplishment, but story-telling that brings him alive in a personal way.

You write that the “experience of learning John Paul II and his life taught me a new way of looking at events in my own life…” What are some examples of that? And what are some of the events that paved the way for you to become John Paul II’s biographer?
At Fatima in 1983, one year after the assassination attempt that came within a few millimeters of taking his life, John Paul said, “In the designs of Providence, there are no mere coincidences.” What we think of as “coincidence,” or just happenstance or randomness, is actually a part of God’s providential guidance of history that we just don’t understand yet.

That insight of his helped me to see how, for example, my philosophical and theological studies in college and graduate school, my work as a columnist and essayist, the people I met at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1984-85, and a week in Moscow in 1990 fomenting nonviolent revolution were all providential experiences that prepared me to take on the job of being John Paul II’s biographer.

One point made in several places is the importance of understanding John Paul II’s philosophical perspective and project. What are some key features of his philosophical work? And how has this been either misunderstood or even misrepresented?
John Paul II is persistently misunderstood as some sort of pre-modern mind, when in fact his was a thoroughly modern mind with a distinctive critique of modernity. At the heart of that critique was
- the conviction that ethics had come unglued from reality;
- that the moral life was wasting away into subjectivism and sentimentality; and
- that human beings (and society) were suffering as a result.


The entire philosophical project he and his colleagues at the Catholic University of Lublin launched in the 1950s was an attempt to get the moral life back on a sound footing: not from top down but from bottom up —through a rigorous and compelling theory of the human person, our capacity for responsibility, and the dynamics of our moral decision-making. That’s why his philosophical masterwork was called “Person and Act.”

How did you first meet John Paul II and how did your friendship develop?
Our first real conversation was in September 1992, when I gave him a signed copy of The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism, which he had already read on galley proof. Things snowballed after that, both in terms of personal conversations and correspondence, and both conversation and correspondence continued after the publication of Witness to Hope. The details of how our relationship evolved over the course of my preparing Witness to Hope and afterwards — during the dramas of the Long Lent of 2002, the Iraq War, and his last illness — are described in detail in Lessons in Hope.

John Paul II strongly encouraged you to meet with many of his friends from his time in university. Why was that so significant to him? How did that period of time shape the rest of his life?
It was not so much his friends from his own time in university (although I did meet with the surviving members of his underground wartime theatrical troupe, the Rhapsodic Theater), but the friends he made while he was a university chaplain in the late 1940s and early 1950s. As he was helping form them into mature Catholic adults, they were helping form him into one of the most dynamic and creative priests of his generation. He thought that story was crucial to understanding him “from the inside,” so he encouraged me to talk with these men and women, several of whom are now close friends of mine.

You emphasize, as you have many times over the years, that your two biographies of John Paul II were not “authorized biographies.” What does that mean and why is it so important?
An “authorized biography,” in the usual sense of the term, is one that has been vetted (and perhaps edited) by the subject or the subject’s heirs, in exchange for access and documents; so an authorized biography should be read with a certain reserve, given what one has to assume was the vetting involved.

At the very outset of the Witness to Hope project, I told John Paul over dinner that he couldn’t see a word of what I wrote until I gave him the finished copy of the book, and he immediately responded, “That’s obvious.” He knew, as I knew, that there could be no one looking over my shoulder as I wrote if the book was to be credible; he also thought that the book was my responsibility and he wasn’t about to change a lifelong pastoral habit of challenging others to be responsible without imposing his own judgments.

So while I hope Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning are as authoritative as possible, they are in no sense “authorized.” I also hope that Lessons in Hope ends, once and for all, the urban legend that John Paul II asked me to write his biography. He didn’t. I suggested the project and he agreed to cooperate with it.

What were some of the more challenging aspects of researching the life of John Paul II?
There were a lot of people in the Roman Curia who weren’t as eager for me to have full access to people and documents as John Paul II was, and the stories of my adventures in getting through that Italianiate obstacle course are very much part of Lessons in Hope. [That would explain Weigel's habitual negative appraisals of the 'Roman Curia' as a whole.]

Then there were the problems posed by my predecessors in the papal biographers’ guild, like Tad Szulc and Carl Bernstein: people who had spoken freely with them felt that they had been burned, in the sense that Szulc and Bernstein had slotted their reflections into what these men and women who knew John Paul II well thought were nonsensical analyses. And it took a while for me to convince some of them that I was different.

There was also the challenge of inviting a man with a deep sense of privacy to talk about aspects of his life he had rarely if ever discussed before; but John Paul answered every question I posed to him and in fact pushed me into exploring areas of his life to which I might otherwise have given short shrift.

In discussing the “Long Lent” — the clerical sexual abuse scandal that broke in early 2002 — you explain that there existed an “information gap” between Rome and the United States. Why did that gap exist? How well or poorly was John Paul II informed of what was happening?
The gap existed because of curial incapacity and the general Roman sense that “things can’t be as bad as all that,” which is too often applied to crises. The story of how the Pope got more fully informed of the situation, and my role in helping facilitate that, is told in detail in Lessons in Hope.

What are some lessons from John Paul II that you think are especially apt now, in 2017?
In this time of turbulence in the Church, it’s important to remember that we’re not in 1978. The growing parts of the Church throughout the world are the parts of the Church that have embraced what I’ve come to call “all-in Catholicism” as exemplified by the teaching of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and the dying parts are those parts that continue to embrace Catholic Lite.

This distinction is true of pastoral life, Catholic intellectual life, and the Church’s public witness. And that makes for a very, very different circumstance than the situation in 1978, when Catholic Lite pretty well ruled the roost. Catholic Lite is a failure and has no future; there is a compelling alternative to it, created by the Second Vatican Council as authoritatively interpreted by John Paul II; and if we all remembered that, things would be a little calmer these days.
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October 21-22, 2017

Canon212.com
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Seeing the headline above, my first thought was 'Soylent Green', that futuristic movie where it was thought that human corpses - and not
plankton from the sea as advertised - were being recycled into a food product rationed to hungry people; or, to take the above headline
literally, that garbage (food garbage, presumably) was being recycled for distribution to poor people. Thankfully, that is not the story at all -
and the Canon212 editors should observe a basic rule of journalistic responsibility: Do not knowingly lie and mislead.
cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/10/21/brazilian-cardinal-supports-controversial-food-policy-sa...
And since Canon212 is a Catholic site, surely they must know that falsifying what a news report says by tagging it with a certifiably wrong
headline violates the Eighth Commandment! Yet Canon212 has been merrily doing this with a lot of other stories as well. It is just flat-out,
malicious lying, and it should stop.

As much as I appreciate the site's news aggregation effort for the convenience it provides, it is completely unnecessary for Canon212 to
invent eyecatching but false headlines. While I am at it, there is no need either to attach the prefix 'Francis-' to anything the C212 editors
disagree with or disapprove of. Readers are well aware of C212 biases and don't have to be bludgeoned in the eye by self-evident facts.

I personally do not see anything wrong with recycling soon-to-expire or just-expired (according to the recommended 'sell-by' date) grocery
products that are uncontaminated instead of the groceries simply incinerating them, because in Brazil, right now, apparently, they are
not allowed to donate such products.



PewSitter.com
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The link for the banner headline is to a Google translation of a Spanish report, but the gist is that recently, InfoVaticana in Spanish, La Nuova
Bussola in Italian and L'Homme Noveau in French simultaneously published a letter by Cardinal Sarah saying that despite the authorization
given by the pope in the motu proprio Magnum Principiam for national bishops' conferences to publish their own translation of the Roman Missal
to the vernacular, the Vatican still retains the final authority to recognize and accept such translations.

The pope has since written Cardinal Sarah to 'correct' him, and I shall translate Bussola's account of it - in which the Vatican tells Bussola that
the pope wants his 'correction' to Sarah published in full - a probably unprecedented papal demand on a media outlet. (One assumes
the two other sites which published Sarah's letter also received the same communication from the pope.)

Anyway, I shall translate Bussola's account of this probably landmark event, but my immediate reaction goes even beyond editor Riccardo Cascioli's
guarded comment on the consequences implied by the pope's position: It used to be that because of all the local 'initiatives' by priests
imposing themselves on the Novus Ordo Mass, Catholics could no longer as in centuries past be sure that they could attend the same Mass wherever
in the world they happened to be.

Now, it is not just the rubrics and external aspects of the Mass that can be autonomously determined by a parish or a Mass celebrant, and therefore
differ from place to place. Now the pope has just authorized even the content of the Mass itself to be autonomously determined by the
bishops'conferences - because that is what they can do by authorizing a translation they approve of.
One can expect that it will no longer
be just a 'translation' from the Latin, but even a free-form rendition of what the bishops' conference thinks the Mass should be saying. (First 'victim'
of this autonomy, since it already is - despite Benedict XVI's correction - is the wrong and wrong-headed translation of 'pro multis' in the words
of the Consecration of the Wine to 'for all' instead of 'for many'. But then Bergoglianism finds 'pro multis' exclusivist so it ought to have no
place in the Mass
,
whereby JMB is once more editing words attributed to Jesus himself, these ones at the Last Supper.)

This is nothing less than liturgical anarchy - parallel to the pastoral anarchy proliferated by Amoris laetitia, it makes Catholicism
the victim of Bergoglian laissez-faire: "Let everyone do as they discern", being the euphemism for "Let everyone do as they please"
and an alternate formulation for "Let everyone follow his own conscience".

This anarchy is the logical and foresseable consequence of Bergoglio's idea, expressed in Evangelium gaudium, to allow bishops'
conferences full doctrinal authority, presumably without regard to what the rest of the Church is doing. This is no longer
the Catholic Church, in which 'catholic' means universal. Bergoglianism is now imposing a fragmentation of the universal Church
through a series of fiats effectively dissolving the unity and universality of the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church. No
Correctio, filial or fraternal, will remedy this - only an act of God will
.

If anyone still thinks this pope is not anti-Catholic and is not apostate, please wake up and face the facts!


Consider also the plethora of pro-Luther Bergoglian hype in the headlines these days - but I will come back to that later. Aldo Maria Valli
already did an excellent kick-off for this expose of growing Berglutheranism preached by the apostate Jorge Martin Bergluther.



Pope sends ‘Correctio fraternalis’
to Cardinal Sarah

by Riccardo Cascioli, Editor
Translated from
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Oct. 22, 2017

Cardinal Robert Sarah’s interpretation of the motu proprio ‘Magnum Principium’ is incorrect – the spirit of the papal document is precisely to allow bishops’ conferences to carry out their own liturgical translations with autonomy and [the pope’s] trust which Cardinal Sarah would like to limit.

Pope Francis himself makes this clear in a letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, a letter we are publishing in full at the explicit request of the pope himself.

It was our news outlet that had published Cardinal Sarah’s note last Oct. 12 in which, taking note of already manifested reactions, he proposed the right interpretation of the motu proprio.

Having done that, we are now being asked by the pope to publish his own letter – an unprecedented gesture on the part of a pope.
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Beyond the questions of merits discussed below, we are honored and thankful for this attention from the Holy Father which objectively confers on LNBQ the authority to host a debate on subjects fundamental to the life of the Church in which it has been a protagonist along with some cardinals.

But let us get to the point of the controversy – which has to do with the translations from the official Latin editions of liturgical texts used in different countries. Till now, the translations (versions and eventual adaptations) have been
prepared by each national bishops’ conference which then seek the approval of the Holy See. This is done through two instruments – confirmatio and recognitio – which, however, the motu proprio seeks to redefine.

At this point, here are the existing interpretations:
Cardinal Sarah says that confirmatio and recognitio are different and distinct in their effects, in which confirmatio refers to approval of a translation from the editio typica Latina of the missal [in Church language, the editio typica is the official source text of a particular document or book, and it always used to be in Latin, from which all translations should be made], whereas recognitio refers to approval of new texts and ritual modifications that are not substantial, yet they are identical acts from the point of view of the responsibility of the Holy See. Thus, in both cases, the Vatican can analyze every request for translation approval – translations from the typical Latin edition, changes in ritual, and new texts.

Cardinal Sarah’s concern, as CDW Prefect, is evident: to keep the unity of the Church even in the liturgy, while respecting the autonomy of bishops in each country to elaborate their own local liturgy [in conformity with the universal Church].

But now the pope has let it be known that this is not the spirit of his motu proprio, which must instead be seen as a true and proper liturgical ‘devolution’. He argues that confirmatio and recognitio are not identical [Sarah did not say that!], and that in the exercise of these two actions, the responsibility is different for the Holy See from the responsibility of the bishops’ conferences. [But it looks like he is taking away any responsibility from the Holy See regarding liturgical translations.]

He makes these distinctions:
a) Recognitio “only refers to the verification and preservation of conformity to canon law and to the communion of the Church”. It is a rather hermetic term, but it should probably be interpreted in the words used by Mons. Arthur Roche, CDW secretary, which accompanied the publication of Magnum Principium: “Recognitio… implies the process of acknowledgment on the part of the Apostolic See of legitimate liturgical adaptations, including ‘more profound’ ones, that the episcopal conferences can establish and approve for their territories, within allowed limits. On this ground of encounter between liturgy and culture, the Apostolic See is therefore called on to recognize – that is, to review and evaluate such adaptations by way of preserving the substantial unity of the Roman rite.
[Is that not precisely what Cardinal Sarah is saying???]

b) Confirmatio is the act on which the pope’s letter chooses to focus. In which he says very clearly that the judgment regarding the faithfulness of liturgical translations to the typical Latin edition belongs to the bishops’ conferences “in dialog with the Holy See”, which, in conceding the confirmation, will no longer carry out a “detailed word-by-word examination” of such translations, with the exception of evident questions in important formulations such as the Eucharistic Prayers or the formulas used in sacramental rites. In short, much more freedom is allowed to the bishops’ conferences. [But any examination of any ‘official’ translation ought to be ‘word by word’ – it can’t be a generic examination - “Well, it looks like, in general, it is saying what it ought to say, so it should be OK”, and has nothing to do with whether the part examined has ‘substantial’ or ‘insubstantial’ content.]

In his letter to Cardinal Sarah, the pope points out that his motu proprio effectively re-interprets or abrogates some part of Liturgiam Authenticam (2001), which has been the normative document for liturgical translations till now. Nos. 79-84 of LA regarding the approval and recognition of translations by the Apostolic See must be ‘re-understood’; while Nos. 76 and 80 have been abrogated. The latter is about recognition, and has obviously been re-formulated in MP, while No. 76 called on the CDW to participate “very closely in the work of translating into the principal languages” [So now the pope is saying that this has been abrogated - there is no longer going to be any close collaboration on translation? I'm not being 'discriminatory' but would the very small dioceses that the pope has been honoring with new cardinals really have people competent enough to translate from liturgical Latin to say, the vernacular in Myanmar? I'm not even sure we have such competent clerical translators in the Philippines where there are like 70 million Catholics!]

One other part of the pope’s letter demands attention. He says, “Magnum Principium no longer sustains that translations should conform in all points to the norms of Liturgiam Authenticam, as required in the past”. This statement, along with the statement that a ‘faithful’ liturgical translation ‘implies a three-fold faithfulness’ (to the text, to the language of translation, and to the comprehensibility of the translation to those who will use it) – tells us that MP is intended as the start of a process that can go very far indeed.

And here is the significance of this new ‘conflict’ in which the pope corrects Cardinal Sarah, who has only acted along the lines laid down by Benedict XVI on the liturgy. Indeed, there is no doubt that the spirit of MP, as defined and stressed in Pope Francis’s letter to Cardinal Sarah, is to move towards ‘national’ Missals that will inevitably be increasingly different among themselves, rather than a shared ‘spirit of the liturgy’.

The issue goes beyond the merely liturgical aspect, as Cardinal Ratzinger (and later as Benedict XVI) insisted repeatedly, about the very idea of ‘Church’ and the Church’s own understanding of what she is. The larger issue here is the role and powers of the bishops’ conferences, to whom Pope Francis intends to give ‘authentic doctrinal authority’, as he wrote in Evangelii Gaudium No, 32.

But on the contrary, as early as his 1985 book-length interview with Vittorio Messori, Rapporto sulla Fede (pubished in English as 'The Ratzinger Report'), Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while commenting positively on the proper appreciation of “the role and responsibility of a bishop” as defined by Vatican-II, lamented a negative post-conciliar drift in this respect:

The idea of reaffirming the role of a bishop has in fact been diluted or even outright suffocated by the assertiveness of prelates in bishops’ conferences that are increasingly organized and heavily bureaucratic.

"But we must not forget that bishops’ conferences do not have a theological basis, they do not form part of the Church’s ineliminable structure as Christ wished it, and that they only have a practical, concrete function.
[Principally, to coordinate actions of the different diocesan bishops in each country, and to provide them with a locus of interaction with one another.]

He was saying that the collective cannot replace the individual bishop.
“This is a decisive point, because it has to do with preserving the very nature of the Catholic Church, which is based on an episcopal structure, not on some kind of federation of national churches. The ‘national’ level is not an ecclesial dimension.

"It is necessary to make clear once more that in every diocese, there is but one pastor and teacher of the faith [the bishop as a successor to the Apostles], in communion with other bishops and with the Vicar of Christ.”


BTW, call it quibbling over 'trivia', but please note how the pope signs himself in the letter - simply as 'Francesco'.
[IMG]http://u.cubeupload.com/MARITER_7/PFMISCSIGNSHIMSELFFR.png[/IMG]
Should not any communication from the pope qua pope (he is not writing an informal personal note to Sarah here, from one friend to another, but an official 'correction' of a curial dicastery head) be formally signed, in this case, "Francesco PP", as all other popes have signed themselves officially with the qualificative PP?

Since I have not really been following the minutiae of his pontificate, I do not know if he has ever signed himself 'Francesco PP', or if it has always been just 'Francesco', as if he were the only 'Francesco' in the world or in history. I do not know whether to say he is doing an ego trip a la popstar one-namers like Madonna and Cher, or the ultimate ego trip as in "God" who requires no prefix, suffix or qualifier.


I shall post a translation of the pope's letter itself later - not so much for what he says but for how he says it, and the tone of the letter, in general. Its ending is particularly sarcastic.

P.S. Before I go into a translation of the Pope's letter, I must post earlier material for proper backgrounding. On Oct. 13, Edward Pentin had this article:


Cardinal Sarah confirms that Vatican
retains last word on translations

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship discusses
the effects of the Pope’s recent revisions to canon law
governing the translation of liturgical texts

by Edward Pentin
[IMG]http://u.cubeupload.com/MARITER_7/LOGONCReg.png[/IMG]

VATICAN CITY, Oct. 13, 2017 — Cardinal Robert Sarah has weighed in on Magnum Principium, Pope Francis's motu proprio on liturgical translations, reassuring the faithful that the Vatican will continue to safeguard any changes or new liturgical translations to ensure they remain faithful to the original Latin.

In an article in the French Catholic journal L’Homme Nouveau, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) confirmed that the motu proprio’s changes to Canon 838 — which shifts some responsibility for translating liturgical texts away from the Vatican to local bishops — will still require the Vatican to give approval to any such changes or translations.

The article, officially dated Oct. 1 — the day on which Magnum Principium (The Great Principle) came into effect — bolsters the guidance issued with the motu proprio by Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the CDW. Archbishop Roche stressed that the Vatican’s role in confirming texts remains an “authoritative act” presupposing “fidelity” to the original Latin.

Cardinal Sarah’s statements on the matter contradict those who see the motu proprio as a gateway to more liberal vernacular interpretations of liturgical texts, inconsistent with their Latin original.

The Holy Father, who signed Magnum Principium Sept. 3, authorized changes to Canon 838 that decentralized the translation process, giving local bishops responsibility for translating liturgical texts, while retaining the Vatican’s authority to approve or reject a proposed translation. [But the Pope's Oct. 15 letter directly contradicts what his Motu Proprio says, as follows (in the English version provided by the Vatican):

§2. It is for the Apostolic See to order the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, publish liturgical books, recognise adaptations approved by the Episcopal Conference according to the norm of law, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere.

§3. It pertains to the Episcopal Conferences to faithfully prepare versions of the liturgical books in vernacular languages, suitably accommodated within defined limits, and to ]b]approve and publish the liturgical books for the regions for which they are responsible after the confirmation of the Apostolic See.

[The boldface parts are in the original, the underscoring is mine.]

The CDW will no longer instruct bishops to make proposed amendments, but retains authority to confirm or veto the results at the end of the process.

Among other consequences, this means that the Vatican commission Vox Clara, which was established by Pope John Paul II in 2002 to help the CDW vet English translations, will no longer be needed.

The Pope said he made the changes because of “difficulties” that unsurprisingly have sometimes arisen between the Vatican and bishops’ conferences. He added that he wanted “a vigilant and creative collaboration full of reciprocal trust” between the Holy See and bishops’ conferences, so that the renewal of “the whole liturgical life might continue.”

It, therefore, “seemed opportune,” he said, “that some principles handed on since the time of the Council should be more clearly reaffirmed and put into practice.”

Pentin's article, however, unduly condenses what Cardinal Sarah wrote. I am translating from what was published in Bussola, one of the three media outlets to which Cardinal Sarah provided the following commentary on ‘Magnum Principium’. Its very title indicates his intention was to help in the correct understanding of the motu proprio…

A humble contribution towards a better and
more correct understanding of ‘Magnum Principium’

The ‘recognitio’ of adaptations and the ‘confirmatio’ of translations in Canon 838

by Cardinal Robert Sarah
October 12, 2017

On September 2, 2017, the Holy Father promulgated the motu proprio Magnum Principium on liturgical translations, modifying Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Canon 838 in the Code of Canon Law. We welcome with respect and adknowledgment this initiative of the Supreme Pontiff which allows a clearer and more rigorous definition of the respective responsibilities of episcopal confeences and of the Holy See towards a collaboration of fraternal and utter trust in the service of the Church.

This point, which in some way constitutes the heart of the motu proprio, is amplified in depth by a letter sent on Sept.26 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments to the various episcopal conferences. It is in this perspective that I have drawn up this humble contribution, starting from the following observation: on the part of our dicastery, collaboration in the work of adaptation and translation done by the episcopal conferences is totally included in tw words from Canon 838: recognitio and confirmatio. What do they mean exactly? The purpose of this simple text is to reply to that question.

Canon 838 before ‘Magnum Principium’:
Can. 838 — § 1. Sacrae liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet: quae quidem est penes Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, penes Episcopum dioecesanum.
§ 2. Apostolicae Sedis est sacram liturgiam Ecclesiae universae ordinare, libros liturgicos edere eorumque versiones in linguas vernaculas recognoscere, necnon advigilare ut ordinationes liturgicae ubique fideliter observentur.
§ 3. Ad Episcoporum conferentias spectat versiones librorum liturgicorum in linguas vernaculas, convenienter intra limites in ipsis libris liturgicis definitos aptatas, parare, easque edere, praevia recognitione Sanctae Sedis.
§ 4. Ad Episcopum dioecesanum in Ecclesia sibi commissa pertinet, intra limites suae competentiae, normas de re liturgica dare, quibus omnes tenentur.

Translation:
Can. 838 §1. The direction of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church which resides in the Apostolic See and, according to the norm of law, the diocesan bishop.
§2. It is for the Apostolic see to order the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, piblish liturgical books and review their translations in vernacular languages, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere.
§3. It pertains to the conferences of bishops to prepare and publish, after the prior review of the Holy See, translations of liturgical books in vernacular languages, adapted appropriately within the limitscdefined in the liturgical books themselves.
§4. Within the limits of his competence, it pertains to the diocesan bishop in the Church entrusted to him to issue liturgical norms which bind everyone.



Canon 838 after “Magnum Principium”:
Can. 838 - § 1. Idem
§ 2. Apostolicae Sedis est sacram liturgiam Ecclesiae universae ordinare, libros liturgicos edere, aptationes, ad normam iuris a Conferentia Episcoporum approbatas, recognoscere,necnon advigilare ut ordinationes liturgicae ubique fideliter observentur.
§ 3. Ad Episcoporum Conferentias spectat versiones librorum liturgicorum in linguas vernaculas fideliter et convenienter intra limites definitos accommodatas parare et approbare atque libros liturgicos, pro regionibus ad quas pertinent, post confirmationem Apostolicae Sedis, edere.
§ 4. Idem

Translation:
Can. 838 - §1. [Remains the same]
§2. It is for the Apostolic See to order the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, publish liturgical books, recognise adaptations approved by the Episcopal Conference according to the norm of law, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere.
§3. It pertains to the Episcopal Conferences to faithfully prepare versions of the liturgical books in vernacular languages, suitably accommodated within defined limits, and to approve and publish the liturgical books for the regions for which they are responsible after the confirmation of the Apostolic See.
§4. [Same as before]

NOTE: c 838 § 3: the word ‘aptatas’ (in the old canon) and ‘accomodatas’ (in the new canon) are synonyms, thus, the only translation is ‘suitably accommodated within defined limits’. The word change is justified in Latin by its context, because of the elimination of the reference to ‘in ipisis libiris liturigicis’ (in the same liturgical books) in the new Canon 838.3.

Comment:
1. It must be stressed that the reference text for liturgical translations remains the Instruction ‘ Liturgiam authenticam’ (LA) of March 28, 2001. Faithful (fideliter) translations that are realized and approved by the episcopal conferences must consequently conform in every point to the norms of that Instruction. Therefore, there is no change to the necessary requirements and mandatory result for every liturgical book.
As will be seen later, given that the words recognitio and confirmatio, though not strictly synonyms, are nonetheless interchangeable, it is enough to simply replace the first with the second in LA, particularly for numbers 79-84.

2. The changes to Canon 838 only affect Sections 2 and 3, in particular these two points:
a. The distinction between ‘adaptation’, for which recognitio is requested, and ‘translation’, for which confirmatio is requested, from the Apostolic See.
b. As for liturgical translations, it is explicitly stated that the episcopal conferences must faithfully (fideliter) prepare the translations (versions in the vernacaular) of liturgical books, and to approve and publish these books after obtaining the confirmation of the Apostolic See.

It is important to underscore this: The novelty only concerns Point A – the distinction made between recognitio and confirmatio. Point B is the inscription ‘in stone’ by the Code of Canon Law of the habitual and constant practice that has been followed since the first Instruction on liturgical translations, ‘Comme le prevoit,’ in January 25, 1969, and a fortiori, by the promulgation of ‘Liturgicam authenticam’ in 2001.

3. Recognitio was defined by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in a 2006 document as “a conditio iuris (juridical condition) which, by the will of the Supreme Legislator, is requested ad valitatem (as a condition of validity) (Cf. Communicationes 38, 2006, 16).

Consequently, if recognitio is not granted, the liturgical book cannot be published. The purpose of recognitio is to verify and safeguard conformity to the law and to the communion of the Church (i.e., her unity).

4. Confirmatio is uised in the Code of Canon Law in different circumstances. Here are three examples:
a. In the case of an election that needs to be confirmed by a superior authority (cf. c. 147, 178, 179)
b. Confirmation of the decrees of an Ecumenical Council by the Roman Pontiff before they are promulgated (c. 341 § 1).
c. The decree of expulsion of the member of a religious order which can only take effect after a confirmation by the Holy See or the diocesan bishop, depending on wheher the institute is one of pontifical right, or of diocesan right (c. 700).

In all these cases, there is a responsible person who acts according to the authority vested in him, and a superior authority who must confirm that person’s decision with the end of verifying and safeguarding its conformity to the law.

Consequently, if an episcopal conference has prepared and approved the translation of a liturgical book, it cannot publish it without previous confirmatio by the Apostolic See. In the cases cited that require confirmatio, the superior authority, before granting it, is bound to verify conformity with the law in current force. Likewise, the Apostolic See should grant a confirmatio only after having duly verified that the translation is fideliter (faithful), namely, conforming to the text of the editio typica Latina, based on the criteria enunciated in LA on liturgical translations.

5. Like recognitio, confirmatio is in no way a mere formality, namely, a kind of approval given after a rapid examination of the translation approved by the episcopal conference on the basis of a priori favorable presumption that the translation is indeed fideliter. Moreover, just as in the old C838.3, confirmatio presupposes and implies a detailed verification on the part of the Holy See, and the possibility for the latter of making it a condition sine qua non for the confirmatio to be given, to require changes in some points that may be considered non-conforming to the criterion for ‘faithfulness’ (of translation) as previously provided in the Code of Canon Law.

Therefore, the decision of the Holy See is imposed on the episcopal conference. Note that, in this regard, this is the spirit of this norm (838.3) which corresponds to the interpretation given by Mons. Arthur Roche, secretary of the CDW, in his comment accompanying the motu proprio (MP).

The confirmatio of the Apostolic See is therefore not to be considered as an alternative intervention in the process of translation, but rather as an authoritative act by which the competent Dicastery ratifies the approval of the bishops. Obviously, this presupposes a positive evaluation of the fidelity and congruence of the texts produced in respect to the typical editions on which the unity of the Rite is founded and, above all, taking account of the texts of greatest importance, in particular the Sacramental formulae, the Eucharistic Prayers, the prayers of Ordination, the Order of Mass and so on.


Thus, for example, if in the Credo of the Mass, the expression ‘consubstantialem Patri’ is translated in French as «de même nature que le Père» (“of the same nature as the Father”), the Holy See can – and should – impose the translation «consubstantiel au Père» («consubstantial with the Father”), as a condition sine qua non for confirmation of the French translation of the Roman Missal in its entirety. [I wish the example given had been the ‘pro multis’ in the Consecration of the wine, as that has been such a messy – and totally unnecessary – controversy.]

It must be noted however that the change in Canon 838.3 (recognitio is replaced by confirmatio) does not in any way change the responsibility of the Holy See, nor consequently, its competences with respect to liturgical translations: the Apostolic See is bound to verify that the translations made by the episcopal conferences are fideliter to the typical Latin edition in order to guarantee, safeguard and promote communion in the Church, i.e., Church unity.

7. The words recognitio and confirmatio are not strictly synonymous for the ff reasons:.
a. The wordrrecognitio is reserved for adaptations approved by the episcopal conferences according to the law
whereas the word confirmatio refers to liturgical translations (C838.3). This differentiation is positive since it has the merit of distinguishing, from hereon, and in a clear way, two very different areas: adaptation and translation.

Although they are interchangeable insofar as the level of responsibility exercised by the Holy See (cf No. 6), the two words are not strictly synonymous with respect to their effect on the typical edition [of the liturgy].

Above all, the adaptations realized ad normam iuris modify the editio typica in certain cases determined by law (cf. for the Roman Missal, by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani – General Order of the Roman Missal, Chap. 9, nos. 386-399), thus the necessity for a recognitio. But translations do not modify the editio typica – on the contrary, they must be faithful to it (fideliter), thus the need for a confirmatio.

It is necessary to underscore anew this important point: far from being a kind of attenuated or weakened recognitio, the weight of confirmatio is as strong as the recognitio referred to in the old C838.3.

b. In the second place, compared to recognitio, confirmatio seems to have a more unilateral character, since it comes at the end of the iter (process) of preparation/approval by the episcopal conference. In fact, one may say that since, by its nature, recognitio, which like confirmatio, comes into play a posteriori, it presupposes a prior agreement during the process of the translation work, which would allow the preparation of a text that is acceptable to both sides. [Yet Bergoglioo implies that the Vatican should keep hands off the translation process.]

In C838.3, as modified by MP, the confirmatio on the part of the Holy See must be paced in perpective with fideliter and approbatio on the part of the episcopal conferences. To the degree in which the episcopal conference is called on explicitly, by Canon Law norm, to ‘approve’ translations ‘faithful’ to the Latin editio typica, the Holy See trusts the episcopal conference a priori. Thus, usually, the Holy See intervenes in the work of the episcopal conference only at the time of confirmatio which constitutes a final or conclusive act (nonetheless, see No. 5 in this regard). It is evident that the procedure of confirmation can also involve preliminary exchanges when the episcopal conference sends a question to the Holy See, or when a process of coming to a mutual agreement by both parties is foreseen, which is to be desired.

Conclusion
The reality of recognitio and confirmatio is inscribed in our daily life: indeed, aware of our limitations, we naturally ask someone else to ‘verify’ the work we have done to the best that we can. In this way, based on that other person’s observations, or corrections if need be, we can improve our work. This is the responsibility of a professor to a student working on a thesis, or more simply, of parents overseeing their children’s homework, and in general, that of academic or guardian authorities.

Our life is woven out of recognitio and confirmatio which allows us to progress towards greater faithfulness to the demands of reality and all the areas of knowledgedin the service fo God and our neighbor (cf the parable of the talents, Mt 25,14-30).

Recognitio and confirmatio on the part of the Holy See, which presupposes a collaboration of fraternal and intense trust with the episcopal conferences, enter into this purview. As the Holy Fahter’s motuo proprio says admirably, it is about rendering more easy and more fruitful the collaboration between the Apostolic See and the episcopal conferences”.

Vatican City
Oct. 1, 2017


Two n I a not clear about:
1) whether Cardinal Sarah was ever involved in, or even consulted about the motu proprio, or was it just sprung on him just like that? (And why is it Mons. Roche who wrote the accompanying commentary?);
2) whether the pope himself read his own motu proprio before writing the letter to Cardinal Sarah in which he, Bergoglio, flatly contradicts some of what the motu proprio clearly says in its amendments to Canon 838 - no ambiguities there (unless I have suddenly lost my knowledge of Italian, that is what I have to conclude from reading his letter).
[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 23/10/2017 07.36]
[IMG]http://u.cubeupload.com/MARITER_7/B16BNRFORUMFIRMAtemp.png[/IMG]
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