Faith Victorious

Faith Victorious posted in Eleison Comments on August 6, 2011

By way of answer to Bishop Tissier de Mallerais’ persuasive criticism of Pope Benedict’s thinking, laid out briefly in the last four numbers of these “Comments,” what then shall we say (Rom.VI, 1)? Let us look at three arguments by which good Catholics might seek to defend the Pope from the accusation that his thinking is not Catholic.

A first line of defence might claim in general that to attack in any way the Pope is to help the enemies of the Church. But is not the primary duty of the Pope to “confirm his brethren in the Faith” (Lk.XXII, 32)? If then a Pope’s thinking seriously strays from the Faith, to point out to him, with all due respect, where he is going astray, is not to attack him, or to do the work of the enemies of the Church. It is to help him to see clear to do his duty, and to remind him of the one and only means he has of conquering those enemies, who are today more powerful than ever – “This is the victory which overcometh the world – our Faith” (I Jn.V, 4).

A second objection to Bishop Tissier’s argument, particular to our own time, might be that Pope Benedict is a prisoner in the Vatican, so he is not free to defend Catholic Tradition as he would really wish to do. Now it is true that the post-Conciliar Popes have been surrounded by high-up Church officials who are Freemasons secretly bent upon destroying the Church. It is also possible that since Vatican II the money-men have had more and more of a financial slip-knot around the Vatican’s neck. But enough dollars would follow the true doctrine, if only it were proclaimed, and if Benedict’s faith were not imprisoned by Hegelian errors, it would easily have the victory over the Freemasons all around him. Victory by martyrdom? It might take a series of martyr Popes, but if only we deserved them, as in the early Church, the Vatican would soon again be free!

A third more direct objection was alluded to in the last “EC”: Benedict XVI might claim that he believes not only in Faith and Reason correcting one another, but also in the Traditional Faith. Thus, he might say, he himself absolutely believes that Jesus’ own crucified body rose alive with his human soul from the tomb on Easter morning, so if he also tells modern man that the real meaning of the Resurrection is not a material body coming out of a material tomb, but spiritual love conquering death, that is merely to make the Resurrection accessible to disbelieving modern man.

But, Holy Father, did or did not that crucified body rise alive from that material tomb? If it did not, stop believing that it did, stop even pretending to believe that it did, and resign from being the Pope of delusional Catholics. But if it did rise from the tomb, then THAT is what you must proclaim to poor modern man, and you must – pardon my language – cast his disbelief in his teeth. Modern man does not need to be told about luv, luv, luv. He hears it all day long! He does need to hear the rational argument, not pre-supposing faith, that only Our Lord truly risen could have both stopped his implacable enemies in their tracks and turned his totally dispirited Apostles into world-conquerors.

Holy Father, it is useless trying to get through to the world on its own rotten terms. Conquer it on Our Lord’s terms! And if you are obliged to give to us an example of martyrdom, do believe that that is the example that many of us may need in the not too distant future. We humbly pray for you.

Kyrie eleison.

True Pope? – II

True Pope? – II posted in Eleison Comments on May 7, 2011

By no means everybody agrees with the opinion laid out here one week ago (EC 198) whereby subjective good faith or good will on the part of Conciliar Popes prevents their hair-raising objective heresies from invalidating them as Popes (see Prof. Doermann for John-Paul II’s teaching of Universal Salvation, see Bishop Tissier for Benedict XVI’s emptying out of the Cross). The opposite opinion is that these heresies are so hair-raising that #1, they cannot possibly have been uttered by true Vicars of Christ, or #2, no amount of subjective good faith can neutralize their objective poison, or #3, subjective good faith is excluded in the case of Conciliar Popes trained in the old theology. Let us gently take each argument in turn:—

Firstly, just how far the Lord God can allow his Vicars to betray him (objectively), God alone knows for sure. However, we do know from Scripture (Lk. XVIII, 8) that when Christ returns, he will hardly find the Faith still on earth. But is the Faith yet, in 2011, reduced to that point? One may think not. In which case God may allow his Conciliar Vicars to do worse yet, without their ceasing to be his Vicars. Does not Scripture declare at exactly the moment when Caiphas was plotting the crime of crimes against God, namely the judicial murder of Christ (Jn. XI, 50–51), that he was High Priest?

Secondly, it is true that the objective heresy of well-intentioned heretics is much more important for the Universal Church than their subjective good intentions, and it is also true that many objective heretics are subjectively convinced of their own innocence. For this double reason when Mother Church is in her right mind she has a mechanism for forcing such material heretics either to renounce their heresy or to become fully-fledged formal heretics, and that is her Inquisitors, whom she endows with her God-given authority to define and condemn heresy, to maintain the purity of doctrine. But what happens if it is the highest authority in the Church that is swimming in objective heresies? Who is there above the Popes that has authority to correct them? Nobody! Then has God abandoned his Church? No, but he is putting it through a severe trial, all too deserved by the tepid mass of today’s Catholics – and, alas, Traditionalists?

Thirdly, it is true that both John-Paul II and Benedict XVI received a pre-Conciliar training in philosophy and theology. But by their time the worms of Kantian subjectivism and Hegelian evolutionism had already for over a century been eating the heart out of the concept of objective and unchanging truth, without which the concept of unchangeable Catholic dogma can make no sense. Now one may well argue that both those Popes were morally at fault – say, love of popularity, say, intellectual pride – for falling into material heresy, but moral faults cannot replace authoritative doctrinal condemnation for purposes of turning them from material into formal heretics.

Therefore since only formal heretics are excluded from the Church, and since the only sure way of proving someone to be a formal heretic is not available in the case of Popes, a certain range of opinion on the problem of Conciliar Popes must remain open. “Sedevacantist” does not deserve to be the dirty word that liberal “Traditionalists” have made of it, but on the other hand the arguments of the sedevacantists are not as conclusive as they might wish or pretend. In conclusion, sedevacantists may still be Catholic, but no Catholic is yet obliged to be a sedevacantist. I for one believe the Conciliar Popes are valid Popes.

Kyrie eleison.

Conciliar “Theologian” – I

Conciliar “Theologian” – I posted in Eleison Comments on June 5, 2010

The havoc wrought upon souls throughout the world by the 1960’s collapse of the mass of Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council, is immeasurable. So one can hardly reflect too much on the essential problem, because it is still very much with us, in fact more so than ever. It threatens to send all of our souls down to Hell. Last year the Italian fortnightly periodical, Si Si No No, published an article summarising the main errors of a pioneer “theologian” of Vatican II, the French Dominican Fr. Marie-Dominique Chenu. Laid out still more briefly below, his six errors point to the heart of the problem: the putting of man in the place of God (I have changed their order – thereby hangs a tale for another “EC”):

Turning to man, as though it is God that needs to be adapted to modern man, and not modern man to God. But Catholicism strives always to fit man to God, and not the other way around.

Submitting divine Revelation to modern ways of thinking, e.g. Descartes, Kant, Hegel. No more is there any absolute, objective Truth. All religious statements become merely relative and subjective.

Submitting divine Revelation to the historical method, meaning that every truth arose merely in its historical context, so that just as every historical context was or is changing, so no truth is unchanging or unchangeable.

Believing in pantheistic evolution, meaning that God is no longer the Creator essentially distinct from creation. He becomes no different from creatures, which come into being by evolution, and by evolution are constantly changing.

Putting feelings first in matters of religion, i.e. putting religious sentimental experience above either supernatural Faith in the mind or supernatural Charity in the will.

Denying the difference between good and evil, by claiming that the mere existence of a human act makes it good. Now it is true that every human act that happens has the goodness of being, but it only has moral goodness if it is ordered to its end, which is ultimately God. Human acts not ordered to God are morally evil.

The six errors are obviously inter-connected. If (1) religion is to centre on me, then (2 & 3) I must unhook my mind from reality, where religion centres on God. With the mind crippled, then (4) “nothing is but what is not,” so everything evolves, and (5) feelings take over (whereupon religion is by the fault of men feminized, because emotion is women’s prerogative). Finally, where feelings replace truth, (6) morality collapses.

In the Vatican II documents themselves, these errors are rather implicit than explicit, because the errors had to be disguised for the documents to get the vote of the mass of Catholic bishops who were attending the Council but were not yet sufficiently up-dated. However, these errors represent the fully up-dated “spirit of Vatican II,” which is where the Council was headed, and that is why the official Church has been on a path of self-destruction for the past 45 years: 1965 to 2010. For how many more years?

Kyrie eleison.