Monday, July 09, 2007

Apologize Here

By the way...

There have been certain folks (you know who you are!) who have been rather harsh toward our holy father, really shamefully so in some cases, because he didn't issue thundering mandates and excommunications right after his first Mass as pope.

You have carped about him, accused him of terrible things, because he didn't do enough, act fast enough, and claimed he never believed anything he said about his concern for the liturgy.

As the discussion of a decree freeing the old form of Mass went along, and nothing came out, you said it would never happen, again citing all the accusations against the character of our pope.

When the exhortation came out recently about the Mass (Sacramentum Caritatis), you went into full-howl, because the absence of lightning bolts and dictates was "betrayal." No other possible reading could be considered.

Now, consider that the decree regarding the old form of Mass has come; and note, it is better (from your point of view) than expected in many ways: there is no minimum number of the faithful who may request it, it seemingly only calls for a plural, so that sounds like two; the priest is completely free to offer the old Mass "privately" -- only the people can attend! And the instructions to priests and bishops is, accommodate these requests; and it actually says, if you don't, the people can appeal to Rome.

What about the reform of the new form of Mass? Well, the pope provided for that, in a way that -- if you are really right about the old form of Mass -- makes all the sense in the world. He's proposing the celebration of the old form of Mass as the main means for bringing good things to the predominant, new form of the Mass. Wait, didn't you say all along how powerful, how awesomely superior the old Mass is? Just set it free, and see what happens? The people will flock to it? Do you mean, you weren't sincere in those claims?

Because the pope's actions presuppose that's true--or, at least, if they are true, then it will work.

So now you are invited to use the comments to apologize for all the bile and dark accusations against the pope, and so forth. Three words will suffice, and you can remain anonymous: "I was wrong."

If you wish to continue sniping at the pope for -- I dunno, he has miserably failed to dig up the corpse of Paul VI and put it on trial or something -- well, take that elsewhere; it will be deleted completely.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Father.
Annie

Anonymous said...

That was a smashingly excellent rant. Keep up the good work!

Sara said...

Well said Padre!

beez said...

I would apologize, but I have adored this Pope since his homily on the dictatorship of relativism. This Pope brought me back to the sacraments through his unswerving defense of the Truth. It is because of this Pope that I am entering the seminary this fall.

I am committed to obedience to this Pope, the last Pope and all future Popes.

Thank you, Father, for reminding some of us that the Pope, in conjunction with God, works on God's timetable, not ours.

Jeffrey Smith said...

Got it in one!

Anonymous said...

"I'm feeling anxious and I don't know why."

I guess this post only makes sense if you're in the habit of reading the comments, eh?

Matt said...

dunno, he has miserably failed to dig up the corpse of Paul VI and put it on trial or something

Father, I think the individuals that you have in mind would only be happy in that case if they dug up the corpse of Bugnini as well!

DigiHairshirt said...

Excellent commentary!

Anonymous said...

Good job, Father. I myself was a little apprehensive when BXVI was elected, but have grown to love and respect him. Far from being "God's Rottweiler", he is our loving "German Shepherd", and continues to demonstrate that each day. After all, how can you not love a fellow musician and cat fancier!! Viva il Papa!

Tom S. said...

I apologize. To Fr. Fox, to Pope Benedict XVI, and to all those bloggers I have offended.

Anchorite said...

Holy Father, I am really sorry.

David L Alexander said...

I was wrong, Father. I never believed the Pope would minimize the discretionary authority of the local bishop the way he did. I completely underestimated his nerve.

I was also wrong, because I believed that, having removed any impediments that were rumored (minimum attendance, bishop's permission, and so on), that traditionalists would be happy. And yet, alas, the bitching and moaning in some comments boxes has yet to die down, at the slightest suggestion that the Missal of 1962 would not be frozen in amber for the foreseeable future. I completely underestimated their loss of Christian joy.

It didn't help that you (at least I think it was you) let that little slip out about a "melding of the two rites" or whatever. They probably think a committee is working on the merger in the basement of the Vatican right now.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa...

Tony said...

This must be the first case I've had nothing to apologize for. I love the Holy Father to death, and have been pleased with each and every one of his acts as Pope.

However, I do have this reoccurring fantasy of the Pope Showing up unannounced at a "clown mass" and breaking his shepherd's crook over the head of the presiding clown.

Am I going to have to confess that one? :)

Argy said...

Father,
The only thing I read about him was how cranky and bullyish he was. His Ragensburg speech opened my eyes and mind and I have read most of his books and been sincerely delighted with him ever since. I have no cause to concern myself now that he is Pope.

By the way you might want to pick up David L alexander for pointing out the failing of others!

Doh!

I've pointed out the failures of David L Alexander. Darn it, I always fall for that one.

Anonymous said...

I've loved Pope Benedict from day one. You should have seen me dancing around the office at work the day he was elected. It's a wonder I didn't get fired. I was whooping.

I've been happy with him ever since but sometimes one has to listen closely to hear the profundity of what he says.

I do think you had a good rant there, Fr, but I think that many people were understandably depressed about the state of the church. Don't be too hard on them. It's been tough sledding the last 40 years. The "hate" level on the near left was much higher than I can ever imagine the near right projecting. I think it's been true and I think it's still true.

Pope Benedict spent 25 years in the CDF. I cannot imagine how many home videos of awful liturgical spectacles he has witnessed! He has heard us. God bless his fatherly heart!

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Good job Father, for saying what needed to be said and what we all were thinking!

Pope Benedict is wonderful! I've never had had a bad thing to say about him......maybe that's why I became Catholic!

Dr. Malcolm C. Harris, Sr. said...

Dear Mr. Alexander,

There is no committee in the basement.

The organic development of the liturgy implies that change is slow and natural. Small changes are made to the calendar and prayer added here. This is typically in response to local innovations that percolate up.

The priests and faithful who gain experience with the extraordinary form of the rite will start changing how they participate in the ordinary form leading to its renewal.

This is what I mean by a "cross pollination" of the two forms.

Dr. Malcolm C. Harris, Sr. said...

Dear Mr. Alexander,

There is no committee in the basement.

The organic development of the liturgy implies that change is slow and natural. Small changes are made to the calendar and prayer added here. This is typically in response to local innovations that percolate up.

The priests and faithful who gain experience with the extraordinary form of the rite will start changing how they participate in the ordinary form leading to its renewal.

This is what I mean by a "cross pollination" of the two forms.

Tom McKenna said...

Father:

Kudos indeed to Papa Ratzi for further freeing the traditional liturgy. I would never have thought to have lived to see even this much.

I am also grateful for the recent attempt to clarify the "subsitit in" problem in Gaudium et Spes. The Pope clearly realizes the difficulty this phrase presents. While I wish he simply and plainly would reject it as ambiguous at best and heretical at worst, I appreciate that he hopes to give an authoritative interpretation of it that would accord with orthodoxy. Such a treatment is probably all we could hope for, and hopefully will go far to meeting the objections raised by the SSPX and other (rightly, in my view) to this unfortunate phrase in G&S.

The Pope is indeed doing and saying many extraordinary things that many of waited in vain to come from his predecessor.

Viva il Papa!

Christopher Mandzok said...

I do not feel the need to apologize for wanting a strong Pope that would stamp out the deceitful web of Modernism that has infected the One True Church. Additionally, I am not so enamored with his Motu Proprio expanding the Tridentine Mass.

There are numerous "outs" for our modernist priest and Bishops. First, tell me where the properly trained priests for the praying of the Tridentine Mass will come from? Do not be so naive as to believe the seminaries teach Latin or the ins and outs of the Tridentine Mass.

Secondly, and more profoundly, the Modernist truly won out. The One True Mass is completely banned during the holiest time of the year - the Sacred Triduum. Show me a "traditionalist" that longs for and attends the Tridentine Mass all year long that will be happy to attend the modernist mass of the novus order during the holiest time of the year.

The Arian heresy was a long, hard fought battle. The battle against Modernism, which has harnessed the One True Church, will take longer and be harder fought.

Dr. Malcolm C. Harris, Sr. said...

A clarification:

The extraordinary form of the Roman rite is not banned during the Easter Triduum. Private masses are banned.

Any public masses, whether offered in a parish dedicated to the extraordinary form, or by a religious order, or in response to a request by the laity is licit.

I also apologize for accidentally double posting my comment above.

Father Martin Fox said...

Tom McKenna:

The "subsists" statement appears not in Gaudium et Spes, but where it properly belongs, in Lumen Gentium, the dogmatic constitution on the Church.

I do not know if the language used in the constitution is just as it should be, but I think it is rash to dismiss it; it is certainly not "heretical."

This is an important, but very difficult, point to make; and I will attempt to make it as best I can briefly:

The Catholic Church is the true Church; but "the Church" is not, and cannot be, strictly and completely identified with the Catholic Church. You have to account for the Orthodox, for one, and other Churches of the East that have all seven sacraments, apostolic succession, and have preserved the Deposit of Faith. You especially have to account for the Orthodox since the real nature of the division between Catholic and Orthodox is maddeningly unclear. You will simply have to go elsewhere for more on that, but for now, even to say there is a schism is not clearly true! It is not at all clear that there is anything the Orthodox have to do, to regain communion. This is a very deep subject, too deep for me: I'm just reporting what very well informed and very faithful people say: it's not clear.

So folks who post here, flaming me for that, who say it is clear: please post your credentials on this very, very, thorny and obscure topic.

Finally, although it is absolutely true that the Protestant bodies are not proper churches as Catholic theology understands that word, that doesn't mean therefore that none of those folks are not part of "the Church." By baptism, they are.

So, fine: assert, if you wish, that Catholic Church is the true Church, period -- but you still have to account for those non-Catholic Christians; they are, in some way, part of the Church; as are, by the way, any and all unbaptized people who may ultimately be saved.

That much more complicated matter is what Lumen Gentium tried to address; the problem, as I see it, isn't really "subsists" but rather, the reality that is being expressed. It's very hard to express.

Father Martin Fox said...

Christopher:

Some people just can't be happy. Sorry about that.

Christopher Mandzok said...

"...unbaptized people who may ultimately be saved..." This is a prime example of watered down, modernist Catholicism. I hate to burst the modernist bubble, but the unbaptized will not be in heaven. Although the Father Fox will not agree, this is basic Catholic truth, pre-Vatican II.

When, Father Fox, you state your objection, note your credentials, and more importantly, show me one Ex Cathedra statement from a pre-Vatican II Pope that promises Heaven to the unbaptized. The idea is preposterous. Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

By the way, Father, I am happy. Happy that I have the One True Mass offered to me by dedicated, non-Modernist priests, who offer Confession prior to every Mass, who do not mock those who see the need to receive the Eucharist on the knee, directly on the tongue, not from a lay minister, and who do not force their parishioners to listen to protestant songs during Mass without mention of the Saints and Ever Virgen Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of God. So, yes, Father, I am happy, and even happier be martyred by Modernists, something sorely lacking in our Bishops and priests.

Father Martin Fox said...

Christopher:

It is not and never has been a defined doctrine of the Church that no one not baptized can be saved. You had your chance to cite a source, other than yourself, and you missed it.

My comment, as all will see, did not assert that any unbaptized person will be saved, as I do not know. But I did, per Catholic tradition, leave open the possibility.

For example, I was unaware that St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory Nanzianzen, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, among others, were Modernists, for they assert what you deny is Catholic: that it is possible to be saved without baptism, allowing for baptism of desire and martyrdom, which are, not baptism per se. (Readers can go here to read these comments, as well as find references to the Catechism.

You are singularly rude, and until you apologize, your presence and comments here are no longer welcome.

I thought about deleting this bilious comment, but I think I will leave it.

Fr. Ron Williams said...

How to apologize; let's see. In the words of Cardinal Ottaviani, "Bea culpa, Bea culpa, Bea Maximos culpa."

Tom McKenna said...

Ooops... Lumen Gentium, indeed. Mea culpa.

I think the difficulty you have in explaining the meaning of "subsistit in" underscores the problem.

One could suggest simply explaining things according to the traditional understanding: The Church of Christ is the Catholic Church; the Orthodox and Protestants may indeed be saved-- but not by virtue of anything their corporate bodies provide... the Orthodox sacraments are effacacious solely because of what they retain from the time they were united with the Church; Protestants are saved if invincibly ignorant of the Church's nature and claims they lead lives free of mortal sin (an exceedingly difficult task without the sacramental wellsprings of grace).

The difficulty with the conciliar view is that it risks or implies the view that other denominations actually have in and of themselves some means of sanctification which are not directly attributable to what they retain from having once been attached to the one true Church.

Nevertheless, I am gratified that the Holy Father is attempting to clarify the issue in a way that more clearly shows the unique role of the Church in salvation.

Credential-wise, all I can offer is a BA in theology from Christendom College and a law degree. I am not, therefore, a theologian, although I could play one on TV.

Laura Mertens said...

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus

Short summary, from a simple source, which is not conservative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extra_Ecclesiam_Nulla_Salus

While the following is truth, there are very confined parameters, not easily achieved in our international world:

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16).

By the way, great display of the Vatican II, ecumenical movement.

Victor said...

I dunno ... digging up a corpse and putting it on trial would be the awesomest spectacle in the history of awesomeness. Try Paul VI for the murder of JP I, say.

You could bilk the networks for millions in broadcast rights. Have Johnnie Cochran be the defense attorney and hire Paris Hilton as correspondent in charge of the Humanae Vitae charges -- it'd get smash ratings.

Mary Margaret said...

Father, I have never heard a discussion of Orthodox/Catholic couched in the terms that you cited. The Catholic/Orthodox may not actually be in schism? Wow, that would be great. Do you, by chance, have a source that discusses this (preferably in words of 3-4 syllables or less--I'm not a theologian myself) (:->)).

I have never posted anything disrespectful about the Holy Father, but I will apologize for being concerned about him when he was first elected. I very foolishly listened to the American MSM, and was concerned that he was a "former Hitler youth", and a nasty, brutish theologian who "cracked down" on those who were just trying to "better explain the Faith". OK, I was a MORON! Mea Culpa. It took a teenage daughter to point out to me that I should trust the Holy Spirit to guide the Church, and that maybe I should read something by Joseph Ratzinger before I freaked out. Out of the mouths of babes--she was right and I was sooooo wrong! I love PBXVI, and I am sure glad I am not now, was not then, and never shall be in charge of the Church.

BTW, I have been very impressed with the way that you plan to address the Motu Proprio. Obedient, humble, and still a leader such as a pastor should be. Sorry I'm so far away in Kansas--I'd love to attend a Mass at one of your parishes. God Bless, Father.

Alexander said...

The Holy Father did this the best way he could. A genius move that in essence will not alienate the faithful when the dust settles (maybe a few people here and there and some bishops).

This could be the begging to the road of restoration, we can only pray.


Father Martin Fox, you wrote:
Finally, although it is absolutely true that the Protestant bodies are not proper churches as Catholic theology understands that word, that doesn't mean therefore that none of those folks are not part of "the Church." By baptism, they are.

So, fine: assert, if you wish, that Catholic Church is the true Church, period -- but you still have to account for those non-Catholic Christians; they are, in some way, part of the Church;


They are not.

A valid baptism only yields justification and sanctifying grace on the recipient if they are Catholic. The only way this happens in protestant sects is if the recipient if below the age of reason of mentally disabled or something that would obstruct them in this way.

It would contradict past teaching if one were to say a non-Catholic was apart of the Church.

Their valid baptism gives them a link to the Church, it does not make them members (unless they fall under certain circumstances explained above such as under the age of reason). A common link in a valid baptism and profession that Christ is God does not make them members of the Church.

I am serious to say that this would contradict past teaching. I have read many dogmatic statements about this.

Here yet again is another ambiguity in the council text that has been manipulated. We must interpret Vatican II in light of Tradition.



as are, by the way, any and all unbaptized people who may ultimately be saved.

For anyone to be saved they must someone be joined to the Catholic Church before they die, even in ways only known to God.

Anonymous said...

Father, I was proud of your rational and firm response to "christopher". Unfortunately his attitude is not unique. Do you happen to know why a fair number of Catholics are so bitter toward nonCaths and why they express such unChristian judgmentalism and even hatred toward those of other faiths? Some of these pseudo-apologetic "Catholic" rants actually sound psychotic and creepy. What does it mean when Catholics act this way? Where is this anger coming from?
Thanks for your correction of the aforementioned individual. People like that give our faith a very, very bad name. How do they dare presume to speak for God by announcing who will be in hell and who won't. They may end up very surprised.
Annie

Father Martin Fox said...

Annie:

Christopher appears to have been a "Feeneyite." You can look them up for more information, but many of them tend to be rather nasty in their monomania for "no salvation outside the Church" -- a true statement from the Deposit of Faith, but one that has to be rightly understood.

Alexander:

I am not a systematic theologian, and even what resources I have, I don't choose to marshall for a quick post online.

My argument would be simply this: a valid baptism is a valid baptism. A valid baptism does, in fact, make one a member of the Body of Christ.

And unless you are prepared to separate "Body of Christ" from "Church" -- and that certainly would contradict Church teaching! -- then you have to say that all who are validly baptized are somehow part of the Church; they have some -- but not full -- communion with the Church.

From the Catechism:

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."5

4 Cf. Council of Florence: DS 1314: vitae spiritualis ianua.

5 Roman Catechism II, 2, 5; Cf. Council of Florence: DS 1314; ⇒ CIC, cann. 204 # 1; ⇒ 849; CCEO, can. 675 # 1.

(Bolding added by me.)

Or, would you prefer to say that Christ has more than one Body?

As to the non-baptized; of course, if they are saved, they are saved in the Church -- i.e., they are members of the Church in some fashion, known only to God, as you say.

Alexander said...

Ah, well here is what I mean.

It is dogma that sacramental graces cannot operate outside the Church unless the recipient is under some kind of hindrance such as if the person is under of the age of reason.

There is one Body which is the Catholic Church. If that infant, for example, in a Lutheran Church is validly baptized he will become a member of the one Body – the Catholic Church.

But when someone is not subject to the Supreme Pontiff, rejects dogma, embraces heresy and they do not profess the Catholic faith (which is the true virtue of faith given by God’s grace) then they are severed from the Body. This would be the case for people in protestant sects over the age of reason.

However, if the person is above the age of reason and not hindered by any other things (like mental disability) then they may find salvation if they fulfill many conditions (such as free from mortal sin, invincibly ignorant, etc.). They would then be apart of the Church in some way because that is where salvation comes from. So, in any of these circumstances and individual outside the visible boundaries may achieve salvation but they are still achieving it by being Catholic in some way.

Thus the dogma of “no salvation outside the Church” is preserved and explained even in light of the ambiguous Vatican II documents, recent popes being vague (perhaps through no fault of their own) etc.

Ben D. said...

Alexander,

It is dogma that sacramental graces cannot operate outside the Church unless the recipient is under some kind of hindrance

Please cite your source(s), with dates. I'm wondering if this dogma was defined at a time when it would be impossible to be a Protestant and not be fully aware of the Church's claims. Perhaps during the Council of Trent?

It seems that these days, nearly five centuries after the Reformation, it's perfectly within reason, and in fact quite common, that would one could be raised a (validly baptized) Protestant and not know a thing about the Catholic Church. I've met people like this, and I haven't exactly ranged far and wide.

"some kind of hindrance" is awfully vague and I wonder if "not knowing a thing about the Catholic Church" constitutes such a hindrance. But we'd have to see the dogmatic definitions before we could even begin to think about that. So please, cite 'em.

Alexander said...

Hindrance means something like they are mentally disabled or below the age of reason. To embrace error, reject dogma, and not be subject to the Roman Pontiff means you do not profess the true faith (i.e. the Catholic faith) and this is the faith that is salvific and pleasing to God. An infant cannot do this so a valid Baptism would make them a member of the Church.

Dogmatic definitions have escaped me right now and I will try to dig them up. However I will post a constant picture of what the Church has taught. None of these statements have been condemned. Even though my first one comes from a council it is not an ecumenical council which I believe you are looking for or perhaps an ex cathedra statement from a Pope. I’ll get back to you on that though.

Here are statements I have though for now (I believe the first is not dogmatic):



The XII Council of Carthage, A.D. 419: "Canon LVII. Those who as were baptized by the Donatists, and not yet being able to know the pernicious character of their error, and afterward when they had come to the use of reason, had received the knowledge of the truth, abhorred their former error, [...] having anathematized their error may be received by the imposition of the hand into the one Church, the pillar as it is called, and the one mother of all Christians, where all these sacraments are received unto salvation and everlasting life; even the same sacraments which obtain for those persevering in heresy the heavy penalty of damnation. So that which to those who are in the truth lighteneth to the obtaining of eternal life, the same to them who are in error tends but to darkness and damnation."

Notice that even in ignorance the sacrament does not yield salvation.



"Moreover, the Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice, and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. [...] All other societies arrogating to themselves the name of "church," must necessarily, because guided by the spirit of the devil, be sunk in the most pernicious errors, both doctrinal and moral. [...] In Jerusalem only was it lawful to offer sacrifice to God, and in the Church of God only are to be found the true worship and true sacrifice which can at all be acceptable to God." (Pope Saint Pius V, Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part 1 article 9)





Other input on the matter:

Pope Leo the Great:
"For they who have received baptism from heretics are to be confirmed by the imposition of hands with only the invocation of the Holy Ghost, because they have received the bare form of baptism without the power of sanctification." (Pope Leo the Great, Letter CLIX)

There is no reason to suspect that some heretics at this time who receive baptism are under some kind of ignorance, such as the children of heretics above the age of reason but cannot comprehend what was going on.




St. Thomas:
If, however, a person without [the] true faith receives baptism outside the Church, the sacrament does not work to his salvation. Hence, Augustine says, "The Church compared to Paradise indicates to us that men can receive her baptism even outside her, but the salvation of blessedness no one can receive or hold outside her." (St. Thomas, Summa Theologica III, 68, 8, 2. As above.)


Here we see St. Thomas stating the same thing and using the authority of St. Augustine.


Finally notice this in Pope Eugene’s Bull:

The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.


Notice that even heretics who die for Christ are not saved because they do not profess the true faith. How can someone who dies for Christ not be saved while someone of our modern times be able to accomplish this without being killed in the same way?
(notice I did not use the word martyr because a martyr is someone who dies for the true faith; the Catholic faith)



Also do you have dogmatic statements that indicate that people outside the church when receiving a sacrament and who posses the ability to profess the true faith but do not receive sanctifying grace from that sacrament?

I need an explicit statement not an ambiguous passage from Vatican II that can be interpreted 3 different ways. But you are welcome to quote Vatican II so that it can be reconciled with Tradition (as JPII says, Vatican II must be interpreted in Light of Tradition).

I will give the possibility that an adult protestant receiving a baptism may in fact be justified at that moment, receive sanctifying grace and be incorporated into the Church but very shortly thereafter (extremely shortly) he will loose this.

Margaret Mary Myers said...

No comment on the comments. I just want to say that I understand and appreciate your post, Father...but as someone who was a traditionalist from my conversion to Catholicism 30+ years ago until very recently, I rejoiced when this Pope was elected! I don't need to apologize there. But I do "apologize" to God for not trusting Him for many years to know how to run His Church. God is good, all the time! We need to trust Him.

Kimberly Wasson said...

Bless you, bless you, Father! Thank you for your wisdom!

Ben D. said...

alexander,

I don't have time at the moment to respond in full, but for now I'd like to address the passage you quoted from the Summa. You (or perhaps the source you used) inserted a bracketed "the" into the text before "true faith"; I'm wondering why? The Latin original has "sine recta fide"; literally, "without right faith", which in itself does not indicate the need for an extra definite article.

And interestingly enough, if you read just past where you quoted, to the reply to the next objection (STh IIIp q. 68 a. 8 ad 3), St. Thomas says "Even he who has not right faith on other points, can have right faith about the sacrament of Baptism". So, at the very least, his point is not as clear as it would seem from the text you quoted -- and in fact the reply-to-the-third directly contradicts the sense that the bracketed "the" imposes on the reply-to-the-second. St. Thomas is not talking about "the true faith," in the sense of full assent to Catholic doctrine.

I don't have the time at hand to examine your other citations in context, so I can only reply to that one for now.

I'm a little troubled, though, by what you said below the quotes:

I need an explicit statement not an ambiguous passage from Vatican II that can be interpreted 3 different ways. But you are welcome to quote Vatican II so that it can be reconciled with Tradition. (as JPII says, Vatican II must be interpreted in Light of Tradition)

It sounds like you might be suggesting that there was no ambiguity in magisterial statements before Vatican II; but maybe that's an overstatement of your position. At any rate can you cite the place where Pope John Paul II said that? I'd look to look at it in context.

One thing that bothers me sometimes when I hear that said (that Vatican II must be interpreted in the light of Tradition) is the unspoken implication that somehow Vatican II is distinct from Tradition. But as the teaching of an ecumenical council confirmed by the Pope, the documents of Vatican II are Tradition. They're not the whole of Tradition, but they're certainly part of it.

And I think it may be just as true to say that prior Tradition must be interpreted in the light of Vatican II. Doctrine does develop. And it's possible that Vatican II introduced genuine developments in the Church's understanding of the deposit of faith entrusted to her.

As for citing sources of my own, here's a passage from article 3 of Unitatis Redintegratio, the Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican II. It doesn't strike me as ambiguous in the slightest, but perhaps I'm missing something. I've added the italics for emphasis:

"Moreover, some, even very many, of the most significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit . . . ."

Paul said...

Another resource...

http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2007/07/parish-priests-what-resources-do-you.html

For Parish priests on what they need to say the Latin Mass...