18 February 2019

Cardinal Mueller's Manifesto (2)

So why didn't Cardinal Mueller mention the Petrine Ministry in his Manifesto? I'm sure his attachment to the Decrees of Vatican I on the Primacy and Infallibilty of the Pope is as strong as my own.

(1) The question has been raised: does the question of the papal Magisterium concern the Christian Faith: or is it about the circumstances under which one might be told something about the Christian Faith? If the latter, then it may be that statements like "The pope is infallible" have a greater similarity to claims like "The Bible is true" than they do to such dogmatic teaching as the Hypostatic Union and Transsubstantiation or moral teachings such as the indissolubility of Marriage. And it would be very understandable for Cardinal Mueller to have left the papal function out of the equation at a time when the papal function is ... well, to put it bluntly ... not functioning. [To those might argue that some of what PF teaches is orthodox, I would reply that such a confused situation is more dangerous that a situation in which everything is untrue.]

(2) The Anglican dogmatic theologian Eric Mascall raised the question of how essential the Papacy is to the Church. I am sure that, as a permanent element in the Church's divine constitution, it is in one sense completely essential. It was placed within the Church to be, as an institution, the centre of Unity; of government; of teaching (most solemnly, when that teaching is ex cathedra). But is it essential in the sense that the Church ceases to exist during a papal Interregnum? Hardly. Mascall writes about an "extreme difficulty" produced "by the fact that, between the death or abdication of one pope and the acceptance of election by his successor, the Church is ... without an earthly head. ... it is a good thing for the Church to have a pope; it does not in the least show that it is necessary ... the pope is not of the esse but only of the bene esse of the Church. If he were of the Church's esse, we should have to hold that, during a papal vacancy, the Church simply ceased to exist. And this is no merely theoretical point; after the death of Clement IV in 1268 the papacy was vacant for two years, nine months, and two days."

I would add that, according to the Archbishops of Westminster, there was an interregnum of some seven years between the death of "Alexander V" [whom Westminster, rather oddly, claims to have been a true pope] and the election of Martin V in 1417.

But I rather doubt whether this is the sort of consideration Cardinal Mueller has in mind.

(3) I think a nimbler hare would be Blessed John Henry Newman's terminology about the Arian Crisis. He said that the Church's Teaching Authority was "in suspense" for about sixty years, during which time popes, bishops, and councils failed to Teach or failed to give orthodox teaching. (One of the English bishops tried to delate JHN to Rome for this analysis, but without success ... perhaps Pio Nono's business managers felt they enough hassle on their hands with Doellinger and Hefele ...)



I take Mueller's fine Manifesto as a sensible and valuable action to fill the gap at a time when PF has placed his Magisterium in Suspense by improperly employing his office to promote oddities, errors, and ambiguities which sound like heresies, instead of teaching the Faith which he received from his predecessors. The Manifesto looks like the nearest thing we shall get to reliable Magisterial teaching during this pontificate. It deserves to be used as such by those whose duty it is to set forth God's saving truth.

The Manifesto is an admirable and orthodox initiative to supply a need, and to forward the process of working towards the eventual restoration of what we have sadly lacked since the abdication of Benedict XVI: videlicet a teaching papacy.

9 comments:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

The mild-mannered Karl Keating (He created "Catholic Answers") made this observation about our Universal Shepherds and their refusal to use their coercitive powers:

+++++++++++ begin quotes +++++++++++

Karl Keating’s E-Letter (March 8, 2005), he noted that for 26 years of the John Paul papacy, of which Ratzinger was the doctrinal watchdog for 24 years, only 24 people were disciplined.

Keating comments: “That is fewer than one per year!… The Catholic Church boasts 1.1 billion members. This means that, on average, over the last quarter century, the Vatican has disciplined only one out of a billion members per year. This is about as close to zero as you can get.

Is there any social, commercial, or governmental organization that disciplines such a small percentage of its people?…

If the Church had the kind of inquisitorial bureaucracy that its critics imagine, the Vatican would be disciplining 24 people each week…. However you look at it, 24 cases in 26 years is…laughable.”

+++++++++ end quotes++++++++

While it is of course, necessary the Pope continue to teach/reiterate The Faith once delivered (repetitio est mater studiorum) he will have failed as the Universal Shepherd if he lets the vicious villains and wicked wolves have free reign to ruin the lives and kill the souls of his sheep.

Victor said...

@ABS: but the Church is not "any social, commercial, or governmental organization". Why on earth should it be treated, or behave like one?

Nahbdy said...

How is (your posited) "suspension" of the church's teaching authority different from sedeprivationism, if it is? Please do not see malice, or sedevacantism, in this question (though I have my sympathies to the sede nun's nearby who sell raw honey in traditional habits), I'm simply curious if it is different, as I try to figure out my own appropriate place in Christ's church.

Cherub said...

880 When Christ instituted the Twelve, "he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them."398 Just as "by the Lord's institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another."399

881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.400 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

I think that the papacy is of the esse of the Church and, at the very least, the plene esse of the Church. The office of the papacy may be vacant for a time due to death or abdication but still subsists in the Church. In the meantime, the bishops, in unity with Peter, continue to promote the Catholic faith.

What then if the Pope is an apostate, the college of bishops is dominated by heretics. The offices of papacy and episcopacy still remain as of the esse of the Church even though they are not discharging their office correctly. The office is greater than the occupant.

At the same time, the present papolatry of some needs to be called out for what it is. Father Hunwicke does this as a faithful priest and theologian, as does Cardinal Muller a little less directly, but nevertheless powerful. But in reaction to these abuses, we need to continue to make a distinction between the office and the bearer. Popes come and go as do other bishops. But the Office of Papacy remains and is of the esse of the Church.

cyrus83 said...

I think the omission can be explained by the overexposure of the man holding the office in recent years thanks to media, particularly in situations not really connected to the office. I can understand why recent popes opted to increase their presence in the lives of the faithful - the local bishop ceasing to function as a shepherd in a lot of places, for one - but the danger of the cult of personality is showing now with the present occupant.

Once the present crisis passes, there will probably be further reflection on the Petrine Ministry on the office, the man who holds the office, and the exercise of the office. It is evident from the Arian, Liberian, and now Francisan crises that the man holding the office can fail to exercise it, and there is also past evidence that there can be confusion over who legitimately holds the office.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Victor. 15. When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
16. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
17. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.


A secular business leader would be derelict in his duty were he to allow employees to poison the food produced by, say, McDonalds.

Well then, how much more incumbent is it upon the leader of the Church on earth to punish those who poison the minds and souls of those whom he has been ordered by Jesus Christ to protect and feed?


The opening speech at Vatican Two essentially promised those intent on poisoning the minds and souls of the sheep and lambs of Jesus Christ that they could poison away at will because the leaders of The Church on earth would rather be loved than to discharge their duties.

There is a reason the revolutionaries at the Council chose the first day of The Council to strike at Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani and The Holy Office

They imagined the poison of their New Theology/Modernism was quality feed fit for the sheep and the lambs and they had to rid the Church of men like Cardinal Ottaviani and the guardians of The Faith in The Holy Office so they could gain control of the sheep gate and feed the sheep and lambs the new feed and toss into landfills and The Tiber the feed of Tradition but once they assumed power, they demanded everybody eat their poison or else..

Perfectly orthodox and faithful men like Mons Lefebvre and his followers just wanted to be left alone and be allowed to dine on the Feed Tradition had always provided them but the revolutionaries refused to allow such a thing to occur and they punished him and his followers while uncountable numbers of freaks and fools , pinheads and perverts, in the priesthood were allowed to poison the sheep and lamb.

ABS thinks that might be what Mr. Keating was getting at.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Victor. 15. When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
16. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
17. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.


A secular business leader would be derelict in his duty were he to allow employees to poison the food produced by, say, McDonalds.

Well then, how much more incumbent is it upon the leader of the Church on earth to punish those who poison the minds and souls of those whom he has been ordered by Jesus Christ to protect and feed?


The opening speech at Vatican Two essentially promised those intent on poisoning the minds and souls of the sheep and lambs of Jesus Christ that they could poison away at will because the leaders of The Church on earth would rather be loved than to discharge their duties.

There is a reason the revolutionaries at the Council chose the first day of The Council to strike at Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani and The Holy Office

They imagined the poison of their New Theology/Modernism was quality feed fit for the sheep and the lambs and they had to rid the Church of men like Cardinal Ottaviani and the guardians of The Faith in The Holy Office so they could gain control of the sheep gate and feed the sheep and lambs the new feed and toss into landfills and The Tiber the feed of Tradition but once they assumed power, they demanded everybody eat their poison or else..

Perfectly orthodox and faithful men like Mons Lefebvre and his followers just wanted to be left alone and be allowed to dine on the Feed Tradition had always provided them but the revolutionaries refused to allow such a thing to occur and they punished him and his followers while uncountable numbers of freaks and fools , pinheads and perverts, in the priesthood were allowed to poison the sheep and lamb.

ABS thinks that might be what Mr. Keating was getting at.

Victor said...

@ABS: I unterstand perfectly what Mr Keating, and you, have in mind. But I doubt it is appropriate to compare Holy Church to McDonald's. Do you?
The number of individuals disciplined by the Church is of as little importance as the number of people belonging to the Church. As one wise bishop once quipped: the Church started out with 12 men, one of which immediately became a traitor and whose leader defected temporarily. God promised us that the Church would prevail, he never promised it would be bigger than the original 12.
To take sheer numbers as a benchmark to measure success is worldly thinking which has no place in the Church, for it is "not of this World."

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Victor. Jesus Christ bequeathed to His Church a threefold power of Government; Legislative, Judicial, and Coercetive and He expects the coercetive power to be used as evidenced by the many Ecumenical Councils whose Canons and Decrees resulted in creeps, kooks, and criminals - even in the clergy- being anathametised.

Once the kooks and creeps were identified, the Faithful could confidently ignore their malign musings. How is that to occur now when the very worst of heretics are feted and favored by the Hierarchy and solicited to become members of The Hierarchy?

The fact that the modern Church chose to stop using 33% of its divinely constituted power at the same time spiritual error. heresies, and schism, began to explode worldwide evinced a rash prudential error in reading the signs of the time and the objective and cataclysmic collapse of Catholicism since then is witness to that prudential error which The Hierarchy refuses to acknowledge was an error.

Unless the hierarchy admits the problem, it will remain unaddressed and uncorrected.

Now. the modern Church has no problem issuing apologies for the putative malign actions of long dead Catholics (pretty easy thing to do when no dead man can face his accusers and proffer a defense) but it never apologies for its prudential error which has contributed mightily to the collapse of Catholicism.

Dear Victor. If actualising the coercitive power in defense of the Faith is unimportant, then why do you think Jesus considers it crucial? Are you aware of the many times in both the Old Testament and New Testament God told His followers to mark heretics and shun them?