" ... the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith ... The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition."
I hope that our beloved Holy Father understands these elegant and focused words of Joseph Ratzinger. My great fear is that we may be where we were in the pontificate of Montini: a situation where dangerous men successfully plotted to get their hands on the levers of power in Rome. Another quotation from Ratzinger: "After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything ...".
I think that the greatest risk at the present moment, doctrinally, is just such a corrupt maximalisation of the powers asserted on behalf of the Papacy. This is so immensely dangerous because it could be the prelude to the promotion of innumerable gross errors in the fields of Faith and Morals.
If the one man whose primary function is to resist innovation is himself made a front for innovators ...
20 January 2016
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Dear Fr Hunwicke,
The most positive gloss that can be applied by anyone who doesn't want to see or hear what the reigning Bishop of Rome is doing and saying is that he has made himself a front for innovators not that he is "made a front for innovators".
I believe he is at the front of and very much behind all the innovators who have emerged during this pontificate.
Breathes there a rational man who thinks the conclave electors did not know who he was or what his personal creed was?
Although there has been a lot of talk about surprises, he was not one of them.
He is who the electors knew he was which tells one nearly all he needs to know about who is currently in control of the Church.
As for the idea that Franciscus is being used, it reminds this American of the Ronald Reagan Presidency when conservatives said, Let Reagan be Reagan as though the programs and policies they rejected were not the programs and polices of Ronald Reagan.
On a side note, Father. ABS recently toured the Tower in London and learned of the death of one of the Ravens (great prophecy accounting for their presence there) and actually literally laughed out loud learning that a contest held to name the replacement Raven was won by a gentleman who advanced the name, Ronald Raven.
The term Liberal Ultramontanism has appeared. It describes so well the potential crisis which could afflict the Church. The manipulation of Pope Paul VI was the first example of this.
There are powerful forces at work at present in the Church.
The solution? Two, better still, three more Popes, and then a Council to sort things out!
The great thing I see lacking here is observance and understanding of the 4th/5th commandment, which is seen by the rabbis as being, not part of duty to neighbor, but to God. This is because the first people charged with teaching us the faith are our parents, We are failing to honor our fathers and mothers in the faith, by failing to honor the tradition they have passed down to us. And just as "covetousness" is the way our duty to our neighbor begins to be undermined, so lack of respect for tradition is the way our duty to God begins to be undermined.
Jacobi, in a conversation with an episcopal personage about this matter, "a perverse ultramontanism" was the label we agreed best described the current mindset. Though "Liberal Ultramontanism" no doubt describes the same phenomenon, it is by no means confined to those who think of themselves as liberals.
Far too many "conservatives" are woefully ignorant of the teachings of Vatican I, both in relation to the office of Supreme Pontiff and in relation to the genuine development of doctrine.
I agree with your observations, Father. Very pithy and sound. We must pray much for the Holy Father (Our Lady constantly encouraged this) and that he be healed of whatever it is that might afflict him, be it spiritual, mental, or physical.
I recall the words of Luke 22:3:
"And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them." (ref. John 13:27)
Ours must be the same prayer as that of Our Dear Lord:
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:32)
God grant us all the gift of discernment for the Truth that we may be both wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
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