When is a hint a hint? If I say "Don't do X", I think a future historian might draw the inference that X was really happening, or might at least be a real possibility. In other words, the Slave of Clio might detect a pretty potent hint as he/she interprets such words. When I was in teaching, we did not put up notices saying "Students must not frequent the pubs in Manhattan during term time", because of the unlikelihood that students might do such a thing, or even, given the distances involved, think about it. We did put up notices regarding rather closer watering holes, particularly the Sussex Pad: a nearby hostelry at which some prankster always seemed to have removed the first three letters of the first word of its name.
The interview with Cardinal Mueller last October, published in the National Catholic Register by the admirable Ed Pentin, contained a number of things which I am surprised have not made more of an impact among people with an eye for hints. Here is one such passage.
"A certain interpretation of the document's [Amoris laetitia] footnote 351 cannot be a criterion for becoming a bishop. A future bishop must be a witness to the Gospel, a successor of the Apostles, and not someone who repeats some words of a single pastoral document of the pope without a mature theological understanding."
If this isn't a hint as to what's now going on in the Congregation for Bishops, I don't know what such a hint would look like.
Recently a kind reader sent me a copy of the oath that new bishops are made to swear (Fr Zed subsequently published it). It included these words: "I will guard the unity of the Universal Church, and therefore I will work hard to see that the Deposit of the Faith handed down from the Apostles is kept pure and whole ..."
Indeed; and how splendidly edifying. You will remind me that it is positively Irenaean. But it is preceded by three paragraphs, some of them rather slavishly expressed, about how obedient the newly consecrated bishop will be to the pope, to his legates, and [then in the final paragraph] to Uncle Tom Cobbly and all.
In my opinion, this reprents an inversion of the proper order of things. The faithfulness of a bishop to the Tradition is conceptually prior; his faithfulness to the current occupant of the Roman See is something which, by Divine Institution, ministers to that faithfulness. Reread your S Irenaeus!
The bishop is not faithful to Tradition because the pope orders or requires him to be; he is respectful towards the pope because the pope is supposed to embody the Tradition, venerable and normative, of the Roman Church.
If my discernment of the hint in Cardinal Mueller's words is accurate, then the question might arise (see my post of December 13) of ones attitude towards the 'magisterium' of those appointed to the episcopate since Amoris laetitia.
Were they selected on the grounds of their reliable heterodoxy?
It seems to me humili presbytero that the very wells of Apostolic Teaching are being deliberately poisoned, if not by PF, then by his agents (cronies, for example, in the Congregation for bishops ... I must remember to look through their names some time). Blessed John Henry Newman our Patron, writing at a time when ultrahyperueberpapalists were on the rampage, felicitously referred to them as "an arrogant and insolent faction". Surely, the same phrase applies a fortiori to the equally fanatical Ultras of our own age.
26 December 2017
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Now if only Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI had made it a condition of being appointed to both the episcopate and the cardinalate that a candidate fully agreed with the entire contents of Familiaris Consortio we probably wouldn't be in the situation we have today.
Interesting and revealing post. Thank you Father.
The Sussex Pad problem has been solved by your former employers buying the establishment up for school accommodation. As in latter days so often in Oxford, Gown 1, Town 0.
I have no doubt this is true, Father but bear in mind that most of the current crop of stinkers who have introduced the heterodoxy litmus test, were themselves appointed by either John Paul II or Benedict. Whatever JPII's merits as a pastor and anti-communist warrior, he appointed some absolutely dreadful bishops, including the former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now the occupant of the Chair of St. Peter. And if recent publications are to believed, it was done over the objections of former Jesuit Superior General Kolvenbach.
There are forces at work here which we do not fully comprehend and this is part of a longstanding and ongoing chastisement of the Church.
Surely, you jest, dear father.
In the colonies across the pond, for years, many potentially excellent candidates for the priesthood have been rejected or driven from seminaries, as I have heard.
Could then one, honestly, not expect the same throughout the priesthood?
Is this not operative in causality related to the current pig sty of a hierarchy throughout
the Catholic Church, whose choice among the elite has yielded the Papacy to its present occupant?
Does 1 + 1 = 2?
To Highland Cathedral:
Swearing the Oath Against Modernism was obligatory for all doctoral candidates of Roman Catholic Universities, all seminary professors and all bishops and religious superiors until 1967.
If taking an oath were effective in eliminating the heterodox from positions of authority in the Church, we would not be in the present lamentable situation of the corruption of the Teaching of the Faith.
I was once lamenting the dearth of bold and courageous, actually-Christian, doctrinal purity emanating from our leadership when a priest friend of mine said "Well, when the powers-that-be were recruiting queers and heretics for 20 years do you really expect those that have risen to the top to be stalwart defenders of the faith?"
Well, shucks, when you put it that way, no, I do not. Why, no, not at all....
But there is hope.
We have had Popes who are cited in the historical materials as pawns of temporal powers in the past, and bad men who were elected Pope, both scenarios of which remind us that colleges of electors are from time to time cages aux folles and somehow the Church marches on.
Today I try to dwell on the fact that Alexander VI was followed up by Pius V about a half century later. So it's possible. And I'm banking on it tho I'd prefer for the world not to have to wait for half a century to see it happen again.
The entire Church has been a "pawn of a temporal power" since the Americans began occupying Europe in 1943. Traddies remain in denial about this and blame popes, modernists and communist infiltration for our malaise. It was St. Paul Miki who first opened my eyes to the reality of our situation.
The entire Church has been a pawn of temporal power since 313...
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