12 December 2016

Madmen and sycophants in the Vatican: nothing new under the sun.

Everybody knows that Blessed John Henry Newman wrote critically about the "aggressive insolent faction" which attempted, unsuccessfully, to foist doctrinal aburdities upon the Church at the First Vatican Council. Let's zoom the camera in on that fascinating period.

In the feverish Roman atmosphere of 1870, as the hypersuperueberpapalists at the Council ran around propagating extreme and barmy notions of the papal office, this little bit of nonsense did the rounds: "The three incarnations of the Son of God are: in the womb of our Lady; in the Eucharist; and in the Pope". We appear now in 2016 to have moved on from that, because instead we have Pintos and Farrells and other hypers telling us that whatever Bergoglio utters is the utterance of the Holy Spirit. What has stayed the same is that the hypers in each age appear to have the same disordered passion to see the Roman Pontiff as some sort of incarnation of one of the Persons of the Blessed and Undivided Trinity. Seems to me close to blasphemy and idolatry. Did I say 'close'?

Feverish indeed it was, that time of Vatican I, just like our own age. In their enthusiam to push their program through megafast, the hypers had a brilliant thought: "Definition by Acclamation" (hypers not unusually have an eye for the Short-Cut). Four brave Fathers opposed this, and announced that if it happened, they would walk out of the Council and tell the world why. They were the admirably principled Archbishop Kenrick and his two fellow Americans, Archbishop Purcell and Bishop Fitzgerald of Little Rock; and an Irishman, David Moriarty. I think Four is a good number.

More recent visitors to this blog may be unfamiliar with that last name. Dr Moriarty was Bishop of Kerry (the ancient see once known as Ardfert and Aghadoe); and he was a very close friend and correspondent of Blessed John Henry Newman, our Patron in the Ordinariate (Kenrick, also, was influenced by Newman's thought). If we ever have a posthumous category of goodies labelled "Historical Honorary Chums of the Ordinariate", I shall nominate David Moriarty, Scourge of the hypers.

Long live the 'Kingdom of the West'! Long live the Ordinariate! Down with aggressive insolent factions!


Gillineau said...

Austin 'The Work' Ivereigh is yer man for all this. In his article at Crux, and speaking of how doubters are becoming dissenters (his own strawman distinction), he states 'It is to cast into doubt that the development of the Church under this Successor of St. Peter is a fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit.' There you go: Francis as perpetual mouthpiece of God. Far be it for me to question the theological pedigree of the Great Ivereigh, but he rather foolishly compares the dissent against JP2 with the current dissent, forgetting of course that the former dissenters wanted unscriptural innovation, whereas the dissenters this time just want some recognition that Scripture might be scriptural at all. A mild difference, indeed, but rather important, imho (to use youth vernacular).

Every time I tire of this mindless debate (Are some similar misdemeanors punished differently? Of course.), I find some pontification by a Francis Fanboy along the lines of 'He's merciful and compassionate and haters gonna hate', and simply seethe. The fact that Francis has changed marriage theology to the detriment of women, specifically, insofar as women almost always end up the victims of abandonment and faithlessness, seems to have almost completely passed them by. That the apparent requirement to embrace homosexuals and their lifestyles (there but for the Grace of God go I, apparently) presupposes a de facto equivalence between a man's bottom and a woman's generative organs, just as the tranny debate implies in general that women are just men without a winky, a sort-of undercooked version of the Ideal.

Lord save us from them all.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps these 'hypers' tell themselves that serving such an incarnation of divinity so feverishly is some sort of short-cut to sanctity and reflected glory for themselves. Apart from the absurdity and blasphemy of the proposition in the first place, maybe Our Lord's answer to the mother of the sons of thunder in Matthew 20: 21-23 should be a compulsory meditation every morning for everyone in the Curia.

Ben of the Bayou said...


Doesn't Scripture say that the characteristic spirit of Antichrist is that he arrogantly arrogates to himself divine status? Now, this is NOT a sedevacantist comment. In no way do I affirm that Francis is antichrist (God forbid!) or is not pope (a plain fact that be is). Rather, I only mean to pose the thought that some around the pope are possessed of the *spirit* of Antichrist.

Perhaps this is a fulfillment of some of Our Lady's messages that the demonic will reach high up, even to Rome. Surely it is not wrong to see the Lord Cardinals (as the ancient Clergy of Rome) stands in for "Rome".

DJR said...

"And in some, rare cases it might lead, yes, to being admitted to Communion where the lack of subjective culpability is beyond doubt, where, for example, an annulment is impossible, where the marriage is irrecoverable, where there are children by a new union, where a conversion has taken place in a person that creates a new state, and where the notion of ‘adultery’ simply fails to capture a reality. (Father Thomas Reese has suggested the kinds of distinctions Pope John Paul II had in mind in Familiaris Consortio.)"

And that, Mr. Ivereigh, is the "crux" (pardon the pun) of the matter.

No. Non possumus.

If "the church" leaves the station with that "teaching" intact, then She will have defected from the Faith.

These people need to be careful, as they have no idea what they are toying with.

You see, there's this... well... entity we refer to as "God." And He has opinions about this matter.

If "the church" attempts to do something that God does not... shall we say... agree with, He just may decide to press Control-Alt-Delete.

The more the matter is pushed, the closer to the correction we come.

A rural hamlet in Japan named Akita comes verily to mind.

Simple Simon said...

I ask myself the question why it is that whenever Cardinals or Bishops or Spokespersons favoured by Pope Francis speak on matters concerning the faith, that they invariably induce in me the heebie-jeebies. A cliché from old Cowboys and Indian movies may provide the answer. ‘White Man speak with Forked Tongue’. And I surmise that an 'aggressive insolent forked tongue persona' would lack the wherewithal to be a skilled practitioner of the much-desired art of 'accompaniment'.

El Codo said...

The voice of the Master in the writing of the Blessed! "Lead kindly LIght,amid the encircling gloom..."

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve said...

Good historical perspective.

Tony V said...

Only 2 bishops had the chutzpah to stick around to the end of the council and vote non placet, an Irish-born American and a Sicilian. Interestingly, only 2 bishops I know of stood up against the imposition of the Novus Ordo, a Frenchman and that Brazilian chappy. (If you know of any others, don't tell me, as it would ruin the symmetry.)

Papal infallibility is the elephant in the fridge when it comes to reunion with our separated brethren. Since hierarchs can apparently never admit they got anything wrong, we're going to have to find some means to explain it away. I like to think we're all infallible, as long as we're very carefully about what we say. And the less we say, the more infallible we are. Surely there's the germ of doctrinal development in there somewhere?

Sadie Vacantist said...

The Council was the logical extension of the American century project which has morphed into PNAC - Project for the New American Century. Until the American empire collapses then the confusion is set to continue.

The Lance Armstrong scandal might prove to be paradigmatic. Everyone knew a fraud was taking place but he was deemed an untouchable as his recovery from cancer gained him special victim status an essential prerequisite for untouchability in the modern World. In the end, it was his own people who destroyed him due to a banal dispute over money and favours. Something similar will happen at a macro level to the USA.

Until such time prepare to weep.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Talking about aggressive, insolent factions and Councils, I seem to remember one at Lateran II in favour imposing an obligation of celibacy upon the clergy.

Anonymous said...

@Albrecht von Brandenburg

According to Roman Cholij, who is one the foremost experts on the subject, and an Eastern Rite priest (The Secretary of the Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain), the second Lateran Council did not impose celibacy on the clergy as a novelty. It re-emphasised, along with earlier councils and synods, a discipline of clerical continence which is tracebale back to apostolic times. You can read him here:


Albrecht von Brandenburg said...


Roman Cholij recanted - he's now married.

There was no discipline of:

1) Clerical celibacy

2) Clerical continence within marriage

3) Not marrying after having received holy orders.

A faction, which keeps rearing its ugly head at various points in history (the latest being the entire counter-reformation period), infected with neo-platonism/encratitic tendencies/gnostic ones, was, and is, responsible for the above three points allegedly becoming law in the Latin church. It had nothing to do with the rightness of their cause, but everything to do with who could exercise the most influence over the papacy at the relevant times.

I suggest you consider this study, by an eastern catholic theologian:


There are also insuperable theological and jurisprudential problems with the above three points, concerning which I recommend the study by Vogels "Celibacy: Gift or Law?".

I don't know whether or not you are a fellow Traddy, but Dr Bill Tighe made a telling observation that often, the positions traditionalists adhere to reflect particular Roman stances rather than constitute points of faith or morals. This is certainly correct, and "clerical" celibacy is definitely one such issue.

Nicolas Bellord said...

DJR: You have quoted what I regard as the key paragraph in Ivereigh's article and it is quite amazing. Just take the first example which says that if you cannot get an annulment then adultery in a second marriage does not bar you from communion. So if you cannot get an annulment of your first marriage because it was a valid marriage adultery becomes okay.

If this is the best the defenders of Amoris Laetitia can come up then they obviously do not have a leg to stand on.