22 July 2014

Long Live the Nice Old Gentleman

I'm a poor ex-Anglican with very inadequate theological formation; nor was I a peritus at Vatican II; and I am not trained as a historian. All these shortcomings leave me rather floundering when I read what a certain clergyman, a very Nice Old Gentleman (hereinafter 'NOG'), writes in a certain 'catholic' newspaper. (I omit specificities so as to avoid falling into argumentum ad hominem in the sense in which those who have not read Locke sometimes, unfortunately, understand that phrase.)

I think it was at the beginning of June that NOG wrote about our blessed Lady's titles, and claimed "Pope Paul VI cheated, and referred to Mary as 'Mother of the Church' during one of his private documents during the Council".

The Acta Synodalia of the Council (AS III/8 909-918 vide praesertim 916) give the texts of what was done in the Council. According to this source, Paul VI, in his final allocution to Sessio III of the Council, proclaimed that Mary is the Mother of the Church. Some questions:

(1) Is what a Pope says in a formal allocution to an Ecumenical Council 'a private document'?
(2) Does NOG have evidence that these Acta are lying?
(3) Is it consonant with the respect due to a Sovereign Pontiff when speaking formally, to call him a cheat?
(4) Was NOG present during the Pope's Allocution?
(5) Since 1964 was quite a long time ago, is it possible that NOG's memory is failing him quite a lot nowadays?
(6) Is there a list of those who were Conciliar periti?

At the end of June, NOG's column spoke as if Pope S Gregory VII ... Hildebrand ... came historically before Charlemagne. Some more questions:

(7) Is it possible that NOG's memory is failing him quite a lot nowadays?
(8) Is it a good idea for a 'catholic' newspaper to give free rein each week to a NOG whose memory seems to failing him quite a lot nowadays?
(9) Would such a 'catholic' newspaper give regular space to a lefebvreist NOG who called a Pope, when speaking with the utmost formality in an Ecumenical Council, a cheat?
(10) Authority sometimes very properly admonishes the writers of blogs to be careful what they say. Does Authority take the same sort of close and laudable interest in what clerical newspaper columnists writing for a popular readership are saying?
(11) What sort of respect towards the plebs sancta Dei does it show to treat them as if they are so far beneath contempt that any sort of inaccuracy or misrepresentation can cheerfully be unloaded upon them because they are, in the writer's view, too thick and ignorant to be aware that they are being taken for a ride?


Osmund Kilrule said...

I was recently embroiled in a heated discussion with a French version of the NOG who denied in the most categorical terms the FACT that Benedict XVI ever lifted the excommunication of the Econe Four. Besides he also stated quite clearly that no Eastern Orthodox priest could refuse communion to a Roman Catholic. At this point, I stared into my plate of lentils and murmured "Ichabod". And when later I pointed out to him that the Orthodox (with whom he seemed to be on some terms of, pardon the expression, eucharistic chumminess) do, in fact, celebrate ad orientem, and would not dream of doing otherwise, the reply came that they have a different eucharistic theology, which reasoning, if followed, implies, that after Inter Oecumenici, or thereabouts, the eucharistic theology of the Latin did in fact change...

NOGs in rupturist nonsense mode. And as you say, no respect for the plebs sancta Dei, or for her Head, Truth Incarnate.

Sue Sims said...

Father, would this be the NOG of whom Dr Shaw writes in such unemollient tones? The NOG who single-handedly caused me to cancel my subscription to the Catholic Times? The NOG who threatens to sue fellow priests who disagree with him (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100060215/mgr-basil-loftus-world-class-bore-shuts-down-a-priests-blog-with-threats-of-legal-action/)? The NOG whose noggin has never quite descended from the SpiritOfVaticanTwo cloud?

Ah well. The biological solution will eventually do its work.

RichardT said...

"(6) Is there a list of those who were Conciliar periti?"

Father, if you really want you could try the book "Vatican II: a gift and a task" (Kavunkal, d'Lima & Monteiro, 2006, The Bombay St Paul Society, Mumbai). Although it does not have a list itself, it seems to cite sources that do.

It cites (at page 102) L'Osservatore Romano of 28th September 1962 as having a list of the initial 224 periti appointed.

However it then says that there were 348 by April 1963, and it seems there were 394 altogether, some presumably having dropped out (or off).

Those are the Conciliar periti; here were also Private periti brought by individual bishops.

Sadly, although parts of it are available on Google Books, the necessary references that might enable one to find a list of those other periti are not available online. However from the statistical information it gives it looks like lists are available, and I suspect a full copy of the book would provide the necessary citations.

A decent library should be able to track down a copy, if anyone feels up to a little reference-chasing, and would no doubt also have back-issues of L'Osservatore Romano.

Sorry, that is the best I can find with a short search; you clearly need a research assistant.

Ben Whitworth said...

The NOG was hardly a peritus; more like a member of the typing pool, I believe.

Anonymous said...

What exactly does the word Peritus describe. I understand it was some kind of choirboy back in the middle ages. Give us the benefits of your knowledge Father. Perhaps in your ancient and venerable mind there is a recollection of who they were???

Titus said...

A "Peritus" was, in this sense, a theological adviser (or perhaps an adviser on some other topic, such as the liturgy or canon law) appointed to assist the bishops at the Second Vatican Council. They were like research librarians, or witnesses at a Congressional hearing.