Dei Verbum

Benedict’s Ecumenism – V

Benedict’s Ecumenism – V posted in Eleison Comments on May 19, 2012

Because of the need to break a long argument into several pieces, readers may have lost the thread of the several EC’s on “Benedict’s Ecumenism.” Let us sum up the argument so far:—

EC 241 established a few basics: the Catholic Church is an organic whole, amongst the beliefs of which if anyone picks and chooses, he is a “chooser,” or heretic. Moreover, if he takes with him a Catholic belief outside the Church, it will not remain the same, just as if oxygen is taken out of water by electrolysis, it ceases to be part of a liquid and turns into a gas. Conciliar ecumenism supposes that there are beliefs which non-Catholics share with Catholics, but in fact even “I believe in God” is liable to be quite different when it is incorporated in a Protestant or in a Catholic system of belief, or creed.

EC 247 used another comparison to illustrate how parts of the Catholic whole do not remain the same when they are taken out of that whole. Gold coins may remain identical gold coins when they are taken out of a heap of coins, but a branch cut off a living tree becomes something quite different, dead wood. The Church is more like the tree than like the coins, because Our Lord compared his Church to a vine-plant, in fact he said that any branch cut off it is thrown into the fire and burnt (Jn. XV, 6 – interestingly, no living branch is so fruitful as the vine-branch, no dead wood is so useless as vine-wood). So parts cut off from the Catholic Church do not remain Catholic, as ecumenism pretends.

EC 249 would show how Vatican II documents promote these false ideas of ecumenism, but EC 248 had to issue a preliminary warning that those documents are notorious for their ambiguity, So it gave the example of how Dei Verbum (#8) opened the door to the modernists’ false notion of “living Tradition” Then EC 249 presented three Council texts, crucial for the modernists’ ecumenism: Lumen Gentium #8, suggesting that Christ’s “true” Church reaches beyond the “narrow” Catholic Church, and Unitatis Redintegratio (#3), suggesting firstly that the Church is built up of “elements” or parts that can be found the same inside or outside the Catholic Church (like coins in or out of a heap), and secondly, that these elements can therefore serve to save souls inside or outside the Catholic Church.

EC 251 came at last to the ecumenism of Benedict XVI in particular. Quotes of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger given by Dr. Schüler in his book Benedict XVI and the Church’s View of Itself,” showed how the young theologian in the 1960’s thought entirely along the lines of golden coins in or out of the heap. Later quotes indeed showed that the older Cardinal and Pope has continually tried to keep his balance between the Church as a heap of coins and the Church as an organic whole, but as Dr. Schüler argues, this very balancing act presupposes that half of him still believes in the Church as a heap of coins.

Unless readers demand textual quotes of Joseph Ratzinger to prove that these are not being twisted or taken out of context, the last EC in this series will conclude with an application of its lessons to the situation of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X. On the one hand the SSPX is part of the true Catholic whole, “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.” On the other hand it had better avoid making itself part of the diseased Conciliar whole. As a healthy branch grafted onto the unhealthy Conciliar plant, it would necessarily catch the Conciliar disease. No way can a mere branch heal that disease.

Kyrie eleison.

Conciliar Ambiguity

Conciliar Ambiguity posted in Eleison Comments on April 14, 2012

Imagine a strong and well-armed foot-soldier who in hot pursuit of the enemy walks into a quicksand. That is what it is like for a brave Catholic armed with the truth who ventures to criticize the documents of Vatican II. They are a quicksand of ambiguity, which is what they were designed to be. Had the religion of man been openly promoted by them, the Council Fathers would have rejected them with horror. But the new religion was skilfully disguised by the documents being so drawn up that they are open to opposite interpretations. Let us take a clear and crucial example.

From section 8 of Dei Verbum comes a text on Tradition which John-Paul II used to condemn Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988: “A/ Tradition . . .comes from the Apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. B/ There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are passed on. This comes about in various ways. C/ It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. D/ It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. E/ And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession to the apostolate, the sure charism of truth.”

Now true Catholic Tradition is radically objective. Just as common sense says that reality is objective, meaning that objects are what they are outside of us and independently of what any subject pretends that they are, so the true Church teaches that Catholic Tradition came from God, and is what he made it, so that no human being can in the least little bit change it. Here then would be the Catholic interpretation of the text just quoted: “A/ With the passage of time there is a progress in how Catholics grasp the unchanging truths of the Faith. B/ Catholics can see deeper into these truths, C/ by contemplating and studying them, D/ by penetrating more deeply into them, and E/ by the bishops preaching fresh aspects of the same truths.” This interpretation is perfectly Catholic because all the change is placed in the people who do indeed change down the ages, while no change is placed in the truths revealed that make up the Deposit of Faith, or Tradition.

But see now how the same passage from Dei Verbumcan be understood not objectively, but subjectively, making the content of the truths depend upon, and change with, the subjective Catholics: “A/ Catholic truth lives and grows with the passing of time, because B/ living Catholics have insights that past Catholics never had, as C/ they discover in their hearts, within themselves, newly grown truths, D/ the fruit of their inward spiritual experience. Also, E/ Catholic truth grows when bishops preach things unknown before, because bishops can tell no untruth (!).” (In other words, have the religion that makes you feel good, but make sure that you “pay, pray and obey” us modernists.)

Now here is the huge problem: if one accuses this text from Dei Verbum of promoting modernism, “conservative” Catholics (who conserve little but their faith in faithless churchmen) immediately reply that the real meaning of the text is the Traditional meaning first given above. However, when John-Paul II in Ecclesia Dei Adflictaused this text to condemn Archbishop Lefebvre, and therewith the Consecrations of 1988, obviously he can only have been taking the text in its modernist sense. Such actions speak far louder than words.

Dear readers, read the text itself again and again, and the two interpretations, until you grasp the diabolical ambiguity of that wretched Council.

Kyrie eleison.