22 November 2016

The Good News: cats, skinning of, different ways of.

I sense a feeling in some quarters of disquiet, or even panic, because more prelates than the Four haven't made more noise about Amoris laetitia. I would remind such critics that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Very soon after this document was published, Cardinal Mueller, addressing seminarians, explained that nothing has changed; that the teaching of Familiaris consortio and Sacramentum caritatis is still fully in place. He concluded his assertion with the cheeful "it's-obvious-isn't-it" observation that, if a Roman Pontiff wanted to change such important teaching, he would so explicitly and with full explanations.

The widespread opinion, which seems to me plausible, is that Bergoglio in fact is trying to create ambiguity and confusion and grey areas so that, in the fulness of time, heterodox conclusions will emerge from the mess ... while he, Bergoglio, will be immune to any accusation of teaching explicit heresy. OK; if that's right, do you really expect Mueller to say it? Do you in effect expect the Muellers of this world to resign noisily and thus vacate areas of power for dodgy Bergoglians to be put into? Do you think Bergoglio is happy with Mueller? Why do you suppose he sent von Schoenborn, instead of Mueller, to do the Amoris laetitia News Conference?

Or take Archbishop Chaput. He worked hard and fast and got his diocesan guidelines out. No grass grew under his feet. Kevin "Bergoglio-is-the-voice-of-the-Holy-Spirit" Farrell criticised him and yet again dragged the Holy Spirit into his expression of his opinions*. Chaput neatly replied that Farrell had not in fact been a witness of the first synod and had clearly not read the Philadelphia regulations. He then very defly dealt with the idea that Episcopal Conferences should get themselves behind Amoris laetitia, by pointing out that diocesan bishops, not conferences, were responsible for their dioceses ... and that each bishop individually really loves the Holy Father simply to bits! This man is no fool and no coward. The first American pope?

I rejoice in the initative of the Four. I suspect that other prelates may have whispered in Pope Francis' ear that they agree with the Four; but out of affection and loyalty are not saying so publicly. Why do you think Bergoglio cancelled the talking-shop before the Consistory? Perhaps he, unlike the amnesiac Kev, remembers that there were some quite amusingly noisy episodes during the synods.

And it rather looks as though, in the pleasant anonymity of their polling booths, the American bishops have been contentedly unwilling to vote for Bergoglio's cronies and favourites.

Oh dear!

Miaow! Or, to put it quite differently, Miaow!


*"Each bishop in his diocese has to set certain rules and parameters, but at the same time, I think that they need to be open to listening to the Holy Spirit ..."  Ah, the naive, the child-like arrogance of this individual! 

17 comments:

El Codo said...

When I taught Soviet tactics,one of the key messages was the enemy's practice of spreading confusion and disinformation.Regular troops would be dressed as civilians and cause panic and chaos in the build up to the massed tank assaults.It was a sort of softening up process and is well known by NATO.The Russians have apparently been doing the same in the Ukraine.I don't suppose that this is a tactic favoured by other bodies,is it?

mark wauck said...

Bishop Wróbel of Lublin, Poland, praised work of The Four and criticized AL as slipshod and ambiguous. He also added his views on the substantive moral issues involved as well as re migration. While Lublin isn't one of the larger dioceses in Poland, it is the site of the major Catholic university there, KUL.

In addition, the "recognition" by the Polish bishops of Christ as King of Poland should probably be seen, in part, as a calculated snub directed at the Vatican.

Similarly, the American elections for the bishops conference have been characterized as a referendum on Bergoglio--one which he lost in an utter rout. Coming at this juncture, that has to be seen as having wider implications.

Savonarola said...

Dragging the Holy Spirit into the expression of his opinions ... ? Is that not what everyone does? "It seems to me, and therefore it must seem to the Holy Spirit too ... " Call your opinions 'the teaching of the Church' if you want, it comes to the same thing. At least one might acknowledge that those whose opinions differ from mine are not automatically guilty of bad faith. The slur on the Holy Father here - that he is deliberately sowing ambiguity in order deviously to conceal his own heresy - is shameful and quite disgraceful in a 'Catholic' blog.

Savonarola said...

Dragging the Holy Spirit into the expression of one's opinions ... Is that not what everyone does. "It seems to me ... and therefore it must seem to the Holy Spirit ... " Call it the teaching of the Church if you want, it comes to the same thing. At least we might in charity (if we have any) acknowledge that the fact that someone holds different opinions from mine does not automatically mean he must be guilty of bad faith. The slur on Pope Francis here - that he is deliberately sowing ambiguity in order deviously to conceal and promote his own heresy - is shameful and disgraceful in a Catholic blog. I imagine you, Fr. H., speak in good faith. Why cannot you believe the same of the Holy Father? Disagree with him by all means, but not like this!

A Daughter of Mary said...

While we discuss what Francis is doing, and who is protesting and who is not, the Faith changes in the pew. I don't really care how those devils play the game. I care that in fact there are souls being confirmed in mortal sin.

Isn't that worth speaking up for? Those priests, bishops, and cardinals who know Francis is causing scandal, causing sinners to remain in grave sin, yet who won't speak up because of 'loyalty and affection' will be judged on that very thing. Francis' soul is also in danger! True affection must cause those who see his objective error to act.

Christ won't ask them if they were loyal to Francis. He will ask them if souls were lost because they were loath to speak out.

A Daughter of Mary said...

While we discuss what Francis is doing, and who is protesting and who is not, the Faith changes in the pew. I don't really care how those devils play the game. I care that in fact there are souls being confirmed in mortal sin.

Isn't that worth speaking up for? Those priests, bishops, and cardinals who know Francis is causing scandal, causing sinners to remain in grave sin, yet who won't speak up because of 'loyalty and affection' will be judged on that very thing. Francis' soul is also in danger! True affection must cause those who see his objective error to act.

Christ won't ask them if they were loyal to Francis. He will ask them if souls were lost because they were loath to speak out.

Pulex said...

Auxiliary bishop of Lublin (Poland) in an interview has supported the submitting of the 'dubia': "They (the four cardinals) have done well and they have exercised correctly the provisions of canon law. I think it is not only a right, but even a duty. It would have been just to answer to their observations. They asked no questions about the next day’s weather, but on issues concerning the Church’s teaching and therefore the faithful."

Sue Sims said...

"The slur on Pope Francis here - that he is deliberately sowing ambiguity in order deviously to conceal and promote his own heresy - is shameful and disgraceful in a Catholic blog."

Is it true, though? If so, it would be more shameful and disgraceful not to note it. Pearl-clutching no longer works, Savonarola. How is it possible not to see what the Holy Father is doing?

Mariana said...

Ah,Bishop Wróbel. He was our dear Bishop of Finland,and always called a spade a spade.

Thomas said...

"Dragging the Holy Spirit into the expression of one's opinions ... Is that not what everyone does. 'It seems to me ... and therefore it must seem to the Holy Spirit ... ' Call it the teaching of the Church if you want, it comes to the same thing."

If that is how things are then there can really be no truth and no Holy Spirit, or at least no possible access the actual transcendent and divine Holy Spirit, which amounts to the same thing. Because what you have described is just the clashing of purely human opinions, each claiming some superior inspiration but actually they all come from our own very subjective spirits. If the "teaching of the Church" is no more than the jumped up opinions of a few religious people with no more validity than your opinion or mine, then the Incarnation of The Eternal Word Incarnate is just a pious myth at best and a sad deceiving lie at worst. For if the Truth does not live on earth and is incapable of speaking with an authority that goes beyond human opinion, then Jesus was not God Almighty but just another man with some strong opinions and a more than usually assertive claim to channel the 'holy spirit'. The teaching of the Church is not the passing opinions of popes and bishops, but that which the Apostles received from The Way, The Truth and The Life in Person and has been handed on to us. The Magisterium proclaims, explains, defends and expounds that Deposit of Faith. The Church ponders on all its mysteries in her heart like Mary the Mother of The Word made flesh and draws out its treasures and implications over the centuries, but what is taught as definitive is not just a matter of opinion, otherwise we cannot honestly say that we believe in an objectively existing God and revelation at all.

Christopher Boegel said...

Savonarola:

I am sure that most Errors involving heresy are done with some good intentions.

Heresy doesn't require bad intentions.

On the other hand - Pope F does show something unseen in Pope JP2 and Pope B16, a habit of acts and statements that seem intended to wound and smear certain people.

Christopher Boegel said...

Savonarola:

I must also add that Pope F acts like bully and a coward.

Jacobi said...

The word “Gradualism “ comes to mind.





Savonarola said...

Unfortunately for Thomas the Deposit of Faith is not a fixed static body of knowledge whose meaning is totally clear and unchangeable. It can only be known and expressed through our human receiving and interpretation of it which change and develop as human life itself changes. But this does not mean that there is no objectively existing God or revelation from God, only that we must expect our apprehensions of God to be imperfect, limited and provisional , hence subject to differences of opinion. An objectively existing God must always go beyond our understanding of him and his will - as St. Augustine said, "If you can understand it, it is not God." We would do well to be honest about that, but religious people, especially traditionalists, often want an absolute certainty which in the nature of things is not available. Their faith seems more to be in doctrines and institutions and rituals than it is in God.
Christopher should have said that in his opinion the Pope acts like a bully and a coward. A lot of the background to his words and decisions is unknown to most of us.

Thomas said...

@Savanarola: To know something with certainty does not necessarily mean that you know it exhaustively. A child knows with experiential certainty who their parents are, and therefore also loves without hesitation or caveat. But this does not mean that the child grasps all the implications and realities of what it means to be a parent. As they grow, their understanding and articulation deepens considerably, but it does not fundamentally change (at least in a healthy family) in its character of certainty and conviction through personal belonging.

If a child comes to doubt fundamentally who and what their parents proclaim themselves to be, it breaks the family and provokes the deepest identity crisis in the child. This is sadly true in many human families due to the damage of sin in parent or child or both. But it can never be true of God. Doctrinal truth and spiritual experience are not contradictory categories. The acceptance of God's Word is the necessary condition of coming to know and loving Him as he really is. This cannot be simply a vague yearning after an inexpressible feeling or nebulous experience which can never be accessed in human terms except through subjective opinions. That is how things were before the Incarnation. If nothing is changed by that then it is a lie and an illusion. Faith in Him must involve intellectual assent to doctrines that teach existential and historical truths about who He is, what He has done, who we are before Him and what He commands us to do. Otherwise we are just making 'god' in our own image and likeness and worshipping ourselves.

There is also a world of difference between 'development' and 'change'. Of course the Church's teaching develops over time as its full implications are gradually seen. But there can never be contradiction. We can know with absolute certainty that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but that does not mean that we grasp everything that this means. How could we? That is what St. Augustine meant. But that does not mean that we are wrong to believe in the Blessed Trinity or that this is a mere human opinion, nor that this doctrine could be changed in essentials or abandoned at some future date. Yes, the expression of this doctrine is given in human words which do not exhaust the mystery of the Godhead, but they can and do express certain and trustworthy truth about who and what God is and how we should adore Him.

If human words and concepts cannot contain and communicate the things of God with authority and continue to do so through the ages in his Church, then God never became Man and Jesus Christ is not The Word Incarnate. The crowds hung on His every word and followed Him precisely because He taught them with authority unlike the Scribes and Pharisees (Mark 1:21-28). That certainty which comes from accepting His teaching with full assent of both and heart is not something childish and psychologically rigid. It is the gateway to spiritual maturity. As the Peter himself said to Him when the crowds drifted away because Jesus taught things that were hard to take: "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life." (John 6:68)

Christopher Boegel said...

No - it is an objective fact that he is a bully and a coward. Just like it is a fact that he repeatedly promotes sex predator cover-up artists, and according to them, he even owes his election to them.

carl said...

I believe that indeed "more prelates than the Four /have/ made more noise about Amoris laetitia", and that the four can more easily exercise parrhesia, and publicly so.