11 October 2015

Hot off the Press ...

I advise you to get it now. It is a book which was 'put to bed' only days before the opening of the current Synod, and is absolutely up to the moment. In a month's time, in a year's, five year's time, it will still be a book you will value, and which not sit unvisited upon your bookshelves. You will find it a valuable resource for understanding what has happened to the Church since the Election of Pope Benedict XVI. But get it now ... don't waste an hour ... because you will find it a mind-widening exposition of where we are at this precise moment and how we got here.

The Great Facade  The Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church from Vatican II to the Francis Revolution is its title. But don't get it second hand because you might find yourself getting the First Edition. This is the Second Edition. And, if you already have the First Edition, 2002, don't think 'this will do'. Because the Second Edition has an extra 250 pages, a new book, really, in itself. The First Edition was a collaboration between Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E Woods, Jr.. The second edition has six new long chapters by Ferrara; a New Preface by Ferrara; and a new Foreward by the great John Rao (which will be a sufficient recommendation in itself if you very naturally feel that my commendation is insufficiently weighty). The Publisher is the Angelico Press.

I wanted to get this message out to you fast. I will write again about the book in a day-or-two's time. But ... just for now ... the new chapters are The Benedictine Respite; The Rise of Bergoglianism; Year of the Synod; The Gathering Storm; The regime of Novelty Goes Green ... and Red; and Synod II. There is a degree to which the new chapters are a Palinode ... you will remember that Stesichorus became so unpopular after his poem about the adulterous sex-pot Helen eloping to Troy that he wrote a new poem in which Helen, now chaste and modest, never went anywhere near Troy! The First Edition of this book drew to a conclusion with a less than fulsome judgement upon Cardinal Ratzinger (and especially his Dominus Iesus), and a pessimistic analysis of the state of the Church. In his new chapters, Chris Ferrara, like the great S Augustine in his Retractationes, revises his judgements in the light of events since the end of the Pontificate of S John Paul II. 

Ferrara begins his new chapters with a passage from Cardinal Ratzinger himself (in 1998). It is a passage I was not familiar with when I wrote a recent post about how very improper it is when publishers, even the Vatican Press, put out translations' of major papal documents in which the Nos [We] of the Latin originals is translated as "I". "When the Pope speaks, he does not speak in his own name. For ultimately it does not matter what private theories or opinions he has worked out for himself over the course of time, even if they should be of high intellectual calibre. The Pope does not speak as a private scholar, with his personal 'I', as a soloist, so to speak, on the stage of intellectial history. He speaks in another mode, from the 'We' of the faith of the entire Church, and the first person singular must step behind it. ... Thus in many respects it is not an entirely inconsequential thing to replace the 'We' with 'I'". Nice to be reassured that I was right!

From this starting point, Ferrara details the significance of Papa Ratzinger's historically significant interventions: 'Fixing the False Translations'; the declaration in 2007 that the Mass of Ages had never lawfully been abolished; the lifting of the SSPX excommunications; his teaching about the proper hermeneutic to be applied to Vatican II.

I would have added to this list the implied correction of false styles of Ecumenism implicit in Pope Benedict's erection of the Ordinariates; an Ecumenism of Return was thus put back in place; nuanced with an acceptance of those elements which, by the work of the Holy Spirit, separated Christians had held in their separation. This bold move thus revived the methodology employed when the Ukrainians and the Melkites returned to unity with S Peter in, respectively, 1595 and 1724.

To be continued.

5 comments:

AnthonyMunday said...

Thanks boss. I've just ordered it.

Athelstane said...

I would have added to this list the implied correction of false styles of Ecumenism implicit in Pope Benedict's erection of the Ordinariates...

Indeed. To the extent that the "Reform of the Reform" has nay lasting legacies, there are really only two concrete ones we can point to: the new MR3 English translation, and Anglicanorum Coetibus, including the new Ordinariate Missal and and other Sacrament rites. And the Ordinariate rites are far more edifying.

Rose Marie said...

Ordered! How refreshing to find a scholar ready to change his assessment. And I miss Benedict. I fear this book will make me miss him all the more. But the Head of the Church is still Jesus Christ our Lord.

AndrewWS said...

If this is the same Woods (the economist and commentator of whose writings I am very fond) then this is a remarkable collaboration. I was under the impression that he and Ferrara disagreed about virtually everything and were almost at daggers drawn.

Yet another reason to buy the book.

Jonathan Dandridge said...

Oh no - still working my way through Sire, plus I have "Trojan Horse in the City of God" next in the queue. I hope that my comptroller doesn't object to the increasingly frequent charges to Amazon starting to appear on the family credit card statement. But if it is anywhere near as good as Sire is proving to be, I'll have to get it.