17 January 2017

Pope Francis and the Temporal Powers of the Papacy (1): Bring Back DORA

Bishop 'Anglican Patrimony' Andrewes, sadly, found himself having to refute some accusations which S Robert Bellarmine had made against King James VI and I. The Saint had accused the King of denying the Primacy of S Peter: NO, said Andrewes, "immo asserit" ["nay rather, he asserts it"]. And he goes on to explain that what the King does deny is the idea that this involves an earthly monarchy by which the pope has the right [ius et potestas] to strip kings of their authority [imperium] over their subjects and to absolve subjects of their sworn allegiance to their king (it will be remembered that this is only a generation after Regnans in excelsis).

That Andrewes had consulted his Sovereign about his wording is suggested by King James' own use of similar language in his Praefatio Admonitoria of 1610: "Sit [Papa], per me licet, primus Episcopus inter omnes Episcopos; sed eo sensu Episcoporum Princeps quo Petrus Apostolorum Princeps fuit ... pernego terrestrem esse aliquem Ecclesiae Monarcham, cuius verba pro legibus esse debeant, quique infallibilitate spiritus nunquam in suis sententiis errare possit".

Gregory Dix commented: "This, with its nunquam, does not even formally contradict the carefully guarded Vatican definition of Infallibilty in faith and morals only". I would add that this is a passage which, a century and more before Vatican I, could have secured the assent of the Catholic French Bourbon monarchy; and that these possibly 'Gallican ' sentiments seem to have been shared by a monarch, King James VII and II, who lost his thrones because of his dogged adherence to the Catholic Faith.

The hypersuperueberpapalists of Pio Nono's time did, I believe, agitate for a 'dogmatic definition' of the Temporal Monarchy of the Pope; unsuccessfully, of course. But it has commonly been thought that all such notions (except as regards the minuscule Vatican City State) had long since disappeared from the consciousness both of Catholic people and of the Papacy itself.

Until, that is, the larger-than-life figure of our present Holy Father Pope Francis came bouncing on to the scene. Now, apparently, the notion that the Roman Pontiff has absolute monarchical, indeed, imperial, jurisdiction over Kings and Princes is alive again and well. Apparently, a pope can demand prompt obedience from the Order of Malta, a body which in law is an international Sovereign Entity. It looks as if the Most Eminent Prince, the Grand Master, is going to be dragged along to the Headmaster's study and bent over a chair. Journalists discuss whether the Pope has a Nuclear Option available in his dealings with the Knights!

Nuclear Options! Lor, luvaduck! Perhaps Mr Trump and Vladimir Vladimirovich ought to have their Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles retargetted onto the Real Threat, the Casa Santa Marta! Perhaps Elizabeth II had better check that her Crown Jewels have not been snaffled from the Tower of London (and given to 'the poor', i.e. Divorced Germans) by some perfervid Ultra-Bergoglian! At the very least, Mgr Rio Tinto and Cardinal 'Fenian' Farrell ought, under a new Defence of the Realm Act,  to be declared personae non gratae in these Three Kingdoms. Come back, Dr Ian Paisley! All is forgiven! No surrender! Not an inch! Not a nanometre!


12 comments:

El Codo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben of the Bayou said...

My dear Father Hunwicke,

I am terribly saddened that you have invoked here the name of that odious Dr Paisley. His anti-Catholicism is infamous and his own role as a political operative in the Troubles is well-known. At every turn this man was an opponent of peace and reconciliation. In no wise was he a representative of honest Christian charity and forgiving as we have been forgiven.

I am, as I said, terribly disappointed in you, whom I have avidly read these past years. Now I am in a quandary.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Ben

But that whole paragraph was meant to be ironic! Of course I know about Dr Paisley and his pathological conviction that the Sovereign Pontiff was Anti-Christ (I think he knows better now). I do not really think that America and Russia ought to defend themselves against papal aggression by aiming their nuclear warheds at Pope Francis. Indeed, I don't think even Papa Bergoglio is wild enough to try to depose Trump or Putin. I don't really think it possible that Archishop Tucho might steal the Crown Jewels! Nor do I think that anybody is going to bend FraFesting over a chair.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Senor Codo

Good bye, and very best wishes. Now I must go and scratch my protestant itch in preparation for my hysterectomy.

John Fisher said...

Father Hunwicke you always raise good points. Yes you are right to point out Pope Francis has no authority over the Knights of Malta who are a sovereign country or territory just as the Vatican has been since Mussolini's concordat. Perhaps the Knights should take the Vatican to the International Court for mediation over a boundary dispute. What is behind it? Is if Francis punishing Burke using spurious "legal" means to trump Burke's use a of legal means to formally correct the Pope in private? We know the Encyclical the Joy of Concupiscence was ghost written by his little buddy he brought with him and made Archbishop. It is just gifts for friends. I have read Francis sent Burke a letter instructing him to act. Now it looks like a set up to me. The Germans! What have the German ever done for us? unlike the Roman who they also did little for nothing!

kyle coffey said...

Fr. John, is there a way to subscribe to your blog via email? Merry Christmas, Kyle

Ben of the Bayou said...

Dear Father,

You are certainly right about the irony. I admit that I read too hastily. Only, my heart was sick at reading the name of that man on this good blog.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Americans don't really do irony, Father.

Victor said...

@John Fisher: I am by no means a fan of the German Cardinals populating the current Papal court. However, I would like to point out that Benedict XVI, a German Pope, brought us Summorum Pontificum and the Ordinariates. That is not nothing, I think...

rmichaelj said...

@ Victor: Well, there are germans, and there are Germans. After all the original Jesuits (Jesuit Classic?) only got so far North :).

John Fisher said...

The redeeming characteristic of Pope Benedict XVI is while initially being part of the hijacking of the Council by the Germans, he later realized where it would lead particularly during the student uprisings while a professor. He must have thought better of his youthful enthusiasms and because he is intelligent saw the folly of it. When I mentioned Germans I had not thought about Pope Benedict but was imagining the massacre of Roman legion by Goths which took place in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. In my mind the Germans have been so anti Roman since then it seems to be part of a cult of spite. They are guilty of physical and spiritual massacre!

RichardT said...

Father, have you seen the latest example of hyperpapalism?

Apparently the official terms of reference of the Papal investigation into the Knights of Malta say that it is taking place not because the Pope has special responsibility for the Knights, or that they have special obligations to him, but that the Pope's authority to investigate derives from:
"the authority he exercises directly and immediately over all baptised faithful, whether lay or clerical"
(as reported by EWTN, here: www.ewtn.co.uk/news/holy-see/grand-master-of-knights-of-malta-resigns-following-meeting-with-pope)

Since you mentioned the late Dr Paisley (Baron Bannside), it seems he was right; we Catholics should not be allowed to hold any government office, or to be politicians, judges or military officers, or indeed to hold any position of lay responsibility outside the Church, because anything that we do is subject to Papal scrutiny.