21 January 2017

Cats, skinning of, different ways of.

UPDATE: On 22 November 2016, I published the post I repeat below. Recently, Cardinal Mueller has again been the victim of criticism in some Traddy circles. This, in my view, is totally unjustified. His stance on Amoris laetitia is perfectly rational and it doesn't need me to guarantee its perfect orthodoxy. His is one way to skin a cat. The other skinning method is that of the Four Cardinals; to seek a clarification which will put its orthodoxy beyond the doubt which they judge some prelates and some hierarchies have created. Each Feline Modality is directly aimed at the affirmation of the same orthodoxy. Whether as a matter of fact there is 'doubt' about what AL teaches, is for individuals to assess. And an  assessment might change, obviously. If enough prelates and hierarchies were to claim that AL affirms their own personal unorthodoxy, then it is obvious that Cardinal Mueller's present judgement, that AL does not require any resolution of doubts, might need reconsideration. If, on the other hand, the Conferences and bishops of the world conclamantly and unambiguously assert the Mueller view, then I imagine the Four Cardinals might wonder whether they need spend their time composing Fraternal Corrections.

What is important is that the cat gets skinned. Not whether journalists can get some good copy about Rifts in the Vatican.

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 of others, 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? UPDATE: Why do you think he has proclaimed the Graf von Schoenborn as the Official Interpreter of AL? Why do you think he has personally weeded out some good men from the CDF and shouted at them down the phone?

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia is another very skilled skinner of cats. He worked hard and fast and got his diocesan guidelines out. No grass grew under his feet or those of his cats. Kevin "Bergoglio-is-the-voice-of-the-Holy-Spirit" Farrell then criticised Chaput and yet again dragged the Holy Spirit into his expression of his own divisively factional 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? The first pope with genuinely Native American blood?

I, personally, 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 were not yet saying so publicly. Why else 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 and uncontrolled outbreaks of Parrhesia during the synods.

And according to the commentators, it rather looks as though, in the pleasant anonymity of their polling booths, the American bishops were contentedly unwilling to vote in any great numbers for Bergoglio's cronies and favourites.

MiaOW! Or, to approach the question from quite a different angle, 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 so-transparent individual!

25 comments:

El Codo said...
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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.

Christopher Boegel said...

Beautifully said and spot on.

neilmac said...

@Savanarola
In one sense, of course, you are correct about not knowing the whole background to a Pope's words and decisions - and that, of course, is true of anyone -, yet we do need to make judgements about people's actions.

Furthermore, it would take either someone who buried their critical faculties and common sense deep in a dark, ultramontanist hole, or someone who was so partisan that it warped judgement not to see that this Pope bullies, sneers at and persecutes those with whom he personally disagrees (no matter how loyal these people are to the Church and her teachings) while encouraging many who dissent from the Church's teachings or who are actively opposed to them.

There is, perhaps, another possibility (very slight though it is) that the Pope knows something that has been hidden from the rest of us, something that excuses the way he behaves. If there is, perhaps we should be told; or are we outside the gnostic elite?

mark wauck said...

Time, of course, will tell. My personal view is that time is on Bergoglio's side and that we're now seeing bishops of lesser cities moving to Bergoglio's camp with the hope of meteoric rises, a la Cupich. My personal preference in re Mueller is that one's yes should be yes and one's no should be no--but maybe that's just me. I see nothing to be gained by dissimulation.

John Fisher said...

"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". "Church's teaching develops over time as its full implications are gradually seen". I would think we need to avoid the linear fallacy, calling change improvement simply because time moves on. Because time moves on, the old must be replaced or superseded by the new. The movement of time or throwing away is never automatically progress and improvement. What about the idea of gradual corruption, decay of doctrine and chaos through doctrinal mutation in the age of invention? What about the sad mutation of error as we are forgetful and disdainful of what has been received. Many Popes, clergy, laity, perversely feel it obligatory to make things up and introduce abuses novelties and error. Its rather like spiritual cancer. I would think definition and preservation of the truth taught by Christ is the only authenticity. The stark confronting of every human, society and culture with this truth. Paul VI and many in the Church had little respect or reverence in passing on what has been received. The act or communicating this truth is not the same as distorting it to fit in with the age. Wasn't it Dietrich Von Hildebrand who said definition is the sign of the living Church. Definition means defining and accurately expressing truth. Not waffle, vagueness, distortion, omission and manipulation which seems to me is what has gone on for many decades now. The truth obscured by a disconnect and quite frankly fraud. The Faith is a divine recapitulation. We are not progressing anywhere. Its simply a journey and progress improvement are not automatic. Humankind can and does wonder in circles, especially if it does not follow the map of the Faith or those with the Faith (like Luther) change, mutilate, and throw the map away substituting it with their own.

Grumpy Beggar said...

Fr H. said :"What is important is that the cat gets skinned. Not whether journalists can get some good copy about Rifts in the Vatican."

Yet journalists contribute in a gigantic way to the ambiguity surrounding AL , and oh how they love the Rifts - they feed off them as well as feeding them . . . somewhat fortuitous perhaps that the Devil's MO is always the same : Divide and conquer.

Precisely how may one proceed to skin a cat when all the while, that cat continues to behave like a slippery fish ?

Elizabeth said...

A Daughter of Mary - One of the many problems with Francis is that he is totally out of touch with normal human beings, and only focuses on the politically correct people presented to him by his "advisors" - that is, "transgender," Muslim "refugees," the nearly fictitious "divorced and remarried" who are perishing because they can't go to Communion, etc. - but has no knowledge of the reality of human life and how necessary faith and truth are for normal human beings.

Francis is the child of well-off Italian immigrants to Venezuela and didn't speak Spanish - except a few words with the family's housekeeper - until he started school. He did not do very well in school, was sent to a lab tech training course by his father and did that briefly, and then decided - as in Le Rouge et Noir - that the real route to success was in the Church. And then he discovered that the key to success was to adopt the German/Latin American version of power politics and VII "theology." And the rest is history.

The man neither knows nor cares that he is scandalizing the little ones and driving souls to misery on this earth if not hell - because if simple, uninstructed souls do wrong because they believe the Successor to Peter is telling them to do so, I doubt that God would condemn them. But those simple people who could have lived good, rich lives in the here and now have been condemned by Francis to provisional, morally confused and never happy lives in the here and now. God will decide after that, but even by earthly standards, Francis the foolish, upper middle class "radical" is destroying lives. And he will be held responsible and that millstone is going to be very heavy for this plump, self-satisfied, arrogant and nastly little Argentinian.

Valdemar said...

I'm not sure where to start...

Let's see, how about the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1697. See, it refers to the need for CLARITY in the presentation of the Gospel, something cowardly Catholic priests and bishops seems to shun while, in fact, many of the secular men they preach to are faced with job/family/security-oriented challenges EVERY DAY in their Christian life. And then there is the Synod of Pistoia, condemned not only for explicit heresy, but for...ambiguity.

But somehow "skinning cats" in the most finessed way is a virtue of Catholic prelates?

Well, we have skinned our cats...wasn't too long ago my son skinned a lion he shot on the ranch here...but first he had to kill it. And killing cats seems to be the problem for Catholic prelates. They...don't.

As for "The first pope with genuinely Native American blood" well, let's by all means add that "?" at the end.

See, ALL of us here are natives if we were born here. Some, like my folks, go back to the 1600's. No essence difference for the Chaputs of the world whose ancestors might have arrived some time before, but still, nevertheless, from somewhere else. I submit that this statement is below you Father Hunwicke, ad reveals a lack of sophistication in your world view.

I wonder if you refer to yourself as a "native Briton"? I'm going to make a wild {educated} guess and say you really don't know, since yours, like mine, were immigrants of an earlier age.

You have skinned your cats, Father. I would suggest you don't give such a pass to those like Müller who aren't so skillful with the knife and who nick the hide too many times. Too many holes in it and...it ain't worth the drive to the taxidermist.

El Codo said...
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