24 October 2017

Ecumenical Agreements

"Catechismus Catholicae Ecclesiae fidem Catholicam exprimit, quam Ordinariatus sodales profitentur". So says Anglicanorum coetibus. Accordingly, the CCC is an integral part of the structural grammar of the Ordinariates ... wired into their DNA, as people curiously say nowadays.

How appropriate is it for PF unilaterally to change this document? But he has recently said that he wishes it to be changed. Has he consulted the three Ordinaries? News of such consultation has not reached me.

If the Catholic Church subsequently signs an agreement to re-establish canonical links with the XYZ Church, will a later pope be able to change that agreement, and to do so without any sort of previous bilateral consultations with the XYZs?

Some of the hyperultraueberpapalists have argued that Amoris laetitia is Magisterial, and hence binds in conscience. Have these individuals explained to the XYZs and to the Church's other Partners in Ecumenical Dialogue that, should they sign up to Unity, they would be obliged to accept de Fide papal diktats issued by this or a subsequent pope without bilateral agreement?

Or is it their thinking that for those already in canonical union with the See of S Peter, a more draconian system of demanding assent to the whimsies of each successive pope can be required than will be asked of the XYZs when they enter into unity?

How would such a system, in any case, be possible? If the XYZs were in Full Communion with the Catholic Church, then a member of the Latin diocese of Outopia who disagreed with some particular recently imposed papal eccentricity, could abandon Outopia and join the XYZs ... and still be within a fully Catholic Particular Church, but one in which the eccentricity concerned would not demand assent.

When PF goes around embracing leaders of Churches and ecclesial bodies, does he whisper in their ears "Of course, while I very much hope you will come into unity, if you do so you will need to understand your obligation to accept whatever novelties I or my successors unilaterally and suddenly promulgate"?

Or is there a bizarre and gigantic hiatus between PF's frothy ecumenical enthusiasms, and his tyrannous and tight-lipped treatment of his own subjects, together with his absolutist praxis of changing doctrine and practice?

This pontificate has seen the wilful attempted imposition of doctrinal novelties upon the Catholic Church; some of these have contradicted teaching explicitly repeated by previous popes as little as a decade before. If I were Superior of the SSPX, I would sign no agreement with the current regime unless the Society were therein assured complete liberty in law to choose its own Superiors; and had all its property legally secured in such a way that no power in Rome ... or anywhere ... could get their hands on it.

These are no less dangerous times than when the Wolves were let loose on the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

24 comments:

Woody said...

Patriarch SVIATOSLAV, speaking in Toronto in Fall 2016: “That is why I find it important to be able to stand before you today at this great university and state the following in the most unequivocal terms. The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches is not in any way opposed to the Orthodox Churches. We are an Orthodox Church, with Orthodox theology, liturgy, spirituality and canonical tradition that chooses to manifest this Orthodoxy in the spirit of the first Christian millennium, in communion with Rome. We are witnesses to the fact that Christian East and West not only have an obligation to seek some vague rapprochement, but are called by our Savior Himself to actually live the unity of one Body of Christ, not in the subjugation of one to another, but in the loving union of the Three Divine Persons who live not three lives parallel to each other, but one life: a life of self-emptying love, that gives life rather than take it.” From http://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/remarks-by-patriarch-sviatoslav/

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Accordingly, the CCC is an integral part of the structural grammar of the Ordinariates"

I got an unpleasant impression it is not Thomistic right at the beginning when it denies the title "scientific proofs" to the proofs for existence of God. The ensuiinng words (as I recall from back last millennium or a review early this one) seem to indicate they are just probable arguments.

I got an equally unpleasant impression it was considering heliocentrism and if not evolution at least deep time as good scientific knowledge.

I also got an impression which was queezy when seeing a word like "homosexuals are called to chastity" that this was more like that of Joseph Sciambra (known person) than that of Josh Weed (also known person). The latter being a married man.

Have I somehow misjudged these points?

DrAndroSF said...

I came of age during the Vatican Council (which means I also remember in my formative years The Old Church) and was a great enthusiast for ecumenism. For decades. But as with so many things now, with the witness of a half century and more of the actual outcome of these Vatican II enthusiasms, as well as the concomitant or at least parallel cultural and demographic self-dismantling of the Western nations, I consider it to be a virtually unmitigated disaster for all concerned.

Hope and original intention, I have learned, cannot determine the character of the unfolding processes of history. The real effect of ecumenism is to make doctrine, actual articulated and serious belief, a dirty word. It elevated a formless benevolence to the role of regulating virtue. Who can say that one single Western church is strong for it? And this is why the Orthodox intuitively declined the invitation.

The Church and the churches were built out of centuries of hard-identity, the only kind of identity which perdures in this sublunary and infralapsarian vale. By making niceness more important than truth (and ordaining females, for whom this is dominant), they sent a message to their constituents that they were not serious, that the truths their ancestors had died for, often gruesomely, were now inconvenient misunderstandings. No wonder the people have fled in droves. Men especially.

B flat said...

Dear Father, I am unsure if what I wish to share violates your policy on criticism of the Pope, or indeed if I am permitted by copyright to quote a comment now six weeks old on a thread in https://ricochet.com/455486/an-unworthy-pope/#post-455486

It is the second comment on the thread and reads:
"In the last few decades, the Roman Catholic Church has been fortunate in those whom it has elected to the Papacy. John Paul II was a great man — perhaps the greatest student of philosophy to have ever occupied the chair of Peter. If you doubt my claim, read his encyclicals. Many a Protestant minister, despite sectarian proclivities, has devoted considerable time to this task.

"Benedict XV was also a great man — perhaps the finest theologian to have ever occupied the chair of Peter. Reading his encyclicals is also worth your time, whether you are a Catholic or not.

"The two of them back to back made staying a Protestant harder than it otherwise would have been.

"Then Frank pops up and pops off and suddenly it is back to “oh yeah, that’s why.” (Quotation ends)
The writer means Benedict XVI, since he is considering the two of them "back to back."
Could all this lio be a quiet sabotage of the ecumenical efforts of the past sixty years? Maybe the Pope Emeritus could repay the compliment which the ex-cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires paid him after the Regensburg address of Sept 2006, by pointing out what you have done today.

Banshee said...

The CCC is correct in saying that "proofs" as a philosophical, logical, or theological term (or even as a mathematical term) and "proofs" as a scientific term, are not the same thing.

For one thing -- in science, nothing is ever definitively proved. If you go with someone really rigid about physical sciences, like Popper, the best you can get is "this is a really well-supported theory," or "there is no evidence to the contrary, as yet."

Mario Josipovic said...

Dear Father,

Without at all intending to sound pedantic, your quotation is missing the word "authentice"! This is translated into English as "authoritative", into French as "officielle" and into Italian as "autentica".

(As an aside, I wonder why the English translators didn't use the word "authentic" - does that capture the concept better?)

I think this adjective is useful to ponder over in considering the use to which the CCC was put at this time in Church history. Most readers of your blog know the story of how the CCC came to be used in this fashion better than me. I recall it as a bold and humble act of consent to the most authoritative expression of the Catholic Faith c.2009. I don't think it was intended to make the CCC a juridical document akin to a "constitution" requiring formal amendment (even though it is referenced within an Apostolic Constitution). It is simply the "best" snapshot at this time of the Catholic Faith that may not necessarily capture the entire Faith (i.e., there may be magisterial teaching not expressly covered in the CCC - I am positing that as a principle, not because I know of anything material that was missed!).

I am weak on my Church history, and so can think only of the Council of Trent as having similarly captured as broad a "snapshot" of magisterial teaching. (Of course, there is the wonderful Baltimore Catechism!)

One can think forward two hundred years, when aspects of the Faith may perhaps be more fully expressed than as currently found in the CCC. That won't invalidate the CCC or require a change to AC - it will simply mean members of the Ordinariate in c. 2209 will have a slightly fuller understanding the Faith Once Delivered than their ancestors.

Of course, anything that is not an authentic development of doctrine won't be juridically ultra vires the CCC - it will simply not be of the Faith.



Sam Sham said...

Oh, I wouldn't worry about this. After signing the recent correction, a document which does not involved sycophants and modernist apostates, Bishop Fellay will not be waiting for a phone call from Jorge Bergoglio.

cultul said...

Not being a theologian, unable to finely sieve the post Vatican II documents to excise certain ambiguous, quasi-heretical and/or Modernist tendencies in these documents and the CCC, I reference the Catechism of Pope St Pius X, Trent, and theologians like Tanqueray and Garigou-Lagrange as sure beacons of truth amidst the chaotic wasteland of modern Catholicism when I have questions about the Faith.

Kathleen1031 said...

Why on earth the SSPX would contemplate making any agreement with PF is utterly beyond understanding, and the fact that Bishop Fellay signed the recent letter against AL should have quashed this discussion once and for all. However, we are in full apostasy, let us face it, and the flock is scattering, as I type this, but there is naught a word from anyone at the SSPX, or any other quarter! Where are Christ's defenders today!! Where is the man, it is too much to hope for more than one, who will put himself on the firing line from this vindictive man who squats on the Chair of Peter! Who says "This is the end of my career, but I will not stand silent while the Bride is raped in my sight...". There are NONE. Careerists, ALL. A pox on them! Curse their silence, it is more unbearable than this apostate savaging the faith and the Church. It is worse than this man insulting and denigrating the sheep. It is more intolerable than his twisting Catholicism into his disturbing vision of a One World Religion, this humanist, Communist nightmare into which he has thrown us. Insufferable sycophants, they stand by and watch it with minds whirring at how they can save their miserable carcasses and stay out of the crosshairs. You abandon Christ, you abandon His Church, you abandon His flock.
Accursed destroyers and weak-kneed enablers! You have your reward.

Kathleen1031 said...

And please allow me to clarify, that was in no way directed at YOU, Fr. Hunwicke, my word, I do not mean you at all. You have been a voice crying out in the wilderness, and a comfort. God bless you for your faithfulness.

Charles Wilson said...

I pray that the Ordinariates will play the role that Kathleen suggests. So far, I am not terribly encouraged.

Nicholas Mitchell said...

You took the words right out of my mouth, Kathleen1031 - thank you!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I do beg those who comment to be careful. It was made clear to me five years ago by a bishop that bishops regard clerical bloggers as responsible for the comments on their blogs. I suspect that is why so many blogs nowadays do not accept comments. I would vastly regret going down that path, because I retain a little bit of the old 1960s belief in free speech!

We live in a very narrow and harshly vindictive ecclesial world in which bullies roam unchecked. I do not want to find myself banned from blogging.

Pope Francis does not "squat" on the cathedra Petri. He occupies it by right. That is the problem!

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"For one thing -- in science, nothing is ever definitively proved. If you go with someone really rigid about physical sciences, like Popper, the best you can get is "this is a really well-supported theory," or "there is no evidence to the contrary, as yet.""

This is one view on the nature of scientific proof, and not one shared by all scientists.

If correct, it would make scientific proof weaker than philosophical proof.

However, as I recall, CCC did not just say the proofs were "not scientific proofs" but also more like they were something like probable arguments, i e weaker than scientific proof even on that low level of ambition. It should be the other way round.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"I am weak on my Church history, and so can think only of the Council of Trent as having similarly captured as broad a "snapshot" of magisterial teaching. (Of course, there is the wonderful Baltimore Catechism!)"

So, if the two snapshots show non-identity, perhaps CCC is not same faith as Catechism of Trent?

Mario Josipovic said...


"So, if the two snapshots show non-identity, perhaps CCC is not same faith as Catechism of Trent?"

Yes and no.

I start with Bl. Newman's Development of Doctrine. Two statements following one another in time may have formal non-identity, and yet the latter is an authentic development of the former.

As a thought experiment, insofar as we are limited to Holy Scriptures and extant writings, what did the Apostles teach of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father through the Son? What was their teaching of our Lord's Godhead and humanity as compared to the Chalcedonian Definition? Yes, there is formal non-identity between earlier inchoate statements and later more precise definitions, but no substantive conflict.

Kathleen1031 said...

Fr. Hunwicke, I forgot where I was. My apologies to you, most sincerely. We must consider the venue, and I will be sure to carefully consider my comments when visiting your blog, out of the deepest respect for you.

Jonathan Dandridge said...

"Where are Christ's defenders today!! Where is the man, it is too much to hope for more than one, who will put himself on the firing line ..."

For a start Cardinals Sarah and Burke who have already paid the price for speaking the truth in their various demotions and humiliations.

Kathleen1031 said...

Yes, but Jonathan, even they do not speak with the bold directness we must have. We'll all know it when we hear it, if we ever hear it, because it will attach names with the label "apostate" or "heretic", with a bold warning to the faithful not to have anything to do with such persons or their teaching.
Anything short of that, is waffling. Waffling leaves the flock unsure of which way to turn, and what to do. That is inexcusable.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

ABS is in receipt of a calming email from Professor Herman NuDix of Continuity College in Rome;

ABS, I do agree with you that at one time the idea of having two or more supreme subjects was confined to the City of Man and manifestly popularised by the beautiful and talented three member girl group from Motown, The Supremes, led by Diana Ross, but in their wisdom, during the most recent ecumenical council, the Fathers at that council taught in Lumen Gentium that there are now two subjects which are to be considered as possessing supreme and universal power - the Pope and the College of Bishops - and so we can be thankful that the church, in her prudential wisdom, has grabbed a cot, as it were, in the tent of the hospital in amor downtown Mal parking lot in the midst of the City of Man,and has kicked-back, relaxed, and has abandoned the stressful matter of having always to adhere to the principle of non-contradiction (Who says only one subject can be supreme?) and so we can relax not only in that area but now, as we now know, the continuity remains even in the midst of captious controversies and as a Professor of the hermeneutics of continuity I am always constrained to note that even when it appears that the Holy Father has a praxis 180 degrees in opposition to what the previous 265 Popes have done and taught, that is no cause for concern for he is the 266 Pope and America, the home of the super group, the Supremes, has had only 45 Presidents, and they are way more are in disagreement with one another than Pope Francis is in disagreement, one imagines, with the 265 Popes who proceeded him; so not to worry, ABS, the continuity resides in the Papacy no matter what his praxis is and even if he be a dream and deal breaker; indeed, especially when he does what no other Pope has ever done is that continuity manifested, maintained, and even, I dare say, mutilated owing to Mercy.

O, the College of Bishops, who also have full, supreme, and universal power? Well, ABS, this Professor notes The College is on a grade-yourself marking system and it is now on an extended quarterly trimester break. Amen?

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"I start with Bl. Newman's Development of Doctrine. Two statements following one another in time may have formal non-identity, and yet the latter is an authentic development of the former."

Development of Doctrine was written as a first explanation of his conversion, before his Catholic Catechism was complete.

It was deliberately and on orders of the priests receiving him, not corrected from a theological standpoint.

It is a snapshot of JHNewman's journey to the faith.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"As a thought experiment, insofar as we are limited to Holy Scriptures and extant writings, what did the Apostles teach of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father through the Son? What was their teaching of our Lord's Godhead and humanity as compared to the Chalcedonian Definition?"

Nothing contrary to Chalcedon, and if there is something contrary to filioque, we are on the wrong side of 1053. But I think this is not the case.

That is not formal non-identity, that is incompletely documented identity.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Amateur Brain Surgeon" - US of A may be a "state with the soul of a Church", though in a different way from Spain, as CSL considered.

But US of A was not promised doctrinal indefectibility, unlike the Church.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Did I write CSL, I meant GKC!