17 November 2019

The Temporary Suspense of the function of the Papal Magisterium

A further practical question may arise from the points I made recently about the teaching of S John Henry about the Magisterium in times of crisis and apostasy.

Should our pastoral homilies include the phrase "As our Holy Father Pope Francis has said ..."?

Personally, I was never a great addict of this sort of thing. We of the Patrimony are surely more comfortable expounding Scripture or the Fathers. How often did S John Henry Newman let drop some allusion to Pio Nono's latest bon mot? I can't even recollect one example. But times do move on and, in the last pontificate, it did seem to me that so much of what Papa Ratzinger said did sound jolly Patristic.

Is there any harm in quoting some bit of what PF says which, in itself, is quite orthodox?

I am not infallible in handling these tricky prudential questions. But it does seem to me that there are dangers in quoting even the best and most orthodox-sounding bits of PF. The risk is that one may be unwittingly spreading the notion that he is a reliable exponent of the Catholic Faith.

And, of course, it is now clear that, sadly, this is very far from being the truth. (Should we take to refering to him as Pope Liberius II?!)

Perhaps we should model ourselves on JHN's pulpit manner?? Plain and Parochial rather than Papal and Problematical!

But not on Dr Pusey. That might be Patristic Overkill!

8 comments:

Jonathan said...

I don't very often hear priests saying that but by coincidence I did hear one say it this morning. We had a missionary priest visiting and he told us that Pope Francis has said that everyone in the world has the right to hear the good news. With all the horrible things that have been in the papers lately it was refreshing to to hear someone using the Pope's words in support of a genuine Christian message.

Gregory said...

The solidly orthodox Robert Cardinal Sarah, in his latest book, occasionally quotes Pope Francis; however, it should be noted that the good cardinal quotes extensively (and at much greater length) from the Pope Emeritus or from his ante-papal Ratzinger writings. Cardinal Sarah's use of Pope Francis's pronouncements has caused some to de-value his superb book on the current crises. I don't agree with them. I think it may be Cardinal Sarah's way of inducing Pope Francis to ponder orthodoxy or, it may be the Cardinal's way of subtly distinguishing the vast amount of unclear verbiage from actual solid and clear remarks.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

(Should we take to refering to him as Pope Liberius II?!)

Dear Father. Prolly not, for as your friends on Papa Stronsay have taken pains to show, Pope LIberius is a Saint (See also Denzinger's "St. Liberius" entry between 57e and 58, and #93 St Anastasius' defense of the orthodoxy of Pope LIberius)


https://www.papastronsay.com/resources/PopeLiberius/Rohrbacher.htm

vetusta ecclesia said...


A certain cardinal, in the title of Santissimo Redentore, can hardly speak three words before quoting PF !

Unknown said...

The risk is that one may be unwittingly spreading the notion that he is a reliable exponent of the Catholic Faith...
As they say in the Rolls Royce showroom, "if you have to ask, you don't want to know".

At the risk of being brash may I cite some text from one whom, I happily suspect, Father, whom you've never read nor heard, but may clearly, succinctly, and with precision describe the man sitting in Peter's chair, those around him, and simultaneously assuage any worry about 'sources'. If when you get to Peter's gate, you are put under the lights, asked to explain how it came to be you read this material, feel free to tell them about the comments section of your otherwise fine blog..., no hard feelings here.

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name,
But what's puzzling you is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse?
Or I'll lay your soul to waste

We're at the point now where the finest minds in the world are wringing their hands as they attempt, not to explain his latest remarks in terms a layman may understand, but in an attempt to explain how the man is Catholic, or even Christian. It seems to me a worthier exercise to determine how a man like Bergoglio arrived to be in the position he's in instead of wrestling with his misadventures.

John Patrick said...

"Pope Francis has said that everyone in the world has the right to hear the good news" Not sure how that squares with his statement that we are not supposed to proseletyze.

PF's statements and their occasional orthodoxy make me think of a common saying about stopped clocks and the frequency of their rightness.

Nick said...

Perhaps Honorius II would be more fitting.

William Tighe said...

Does "Nick's" comment imply that Honorius II (1124-1130), Honorius III (1216-1227), and Honorius IV (1286-1287) were, in his reckoning, antipopes? If so, it would be interesting and useful to learn why, as nobody has previously reckoned them as such.