20 March 2019

CENSORSHIP: Postscriptum

Some thoughts about points of reference in an atmosphere of intimidation.

(1) Cardinal Mueller continues to make lively and relevant comments. These include doctrinal matters (for example, his Profession of Faith)  but also frank comments on matters which are not doctrinal or are not solely doctrinal. For example: the poor quality and theological illiteracy of many who are currently being promoted in and to the Episcopate; the true status of Episcopal Conferences and their chairmen and their bureaucracies ...

His Eminence signed his Profession with the information about his tenure of the position of Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This implied a guarantee of the authenticity of his teaching.

I do not see how lesser people could be criticised, still less disciplined, if their remarks are in line with Mueller's and Mueller has himself not been condemned.

(2) Watch the CDF and its current prefect Cardinal Ladaria. Not long ago, after PF made some particularly silly remarks about Gnosticism and Pelagianism, the CDF put out a very sensible statement on those heresies. While not criticising PF by name, it was clearly a put-down ... er ... clarification. The situation, of course, may change, particularly when His Eminence retires and if he is replaced by someone like the Graf von Schoenborn or even 'Tucho' 'Kiss me quickly!' Fernandez.

(3) It appears that Blessed John Henry Newman will be canonised this year. It would hardly be elegant for anybody to be leaned on for subscribing to his views, or, indeed, to the example he set by how he referred to Pio Nono and Cardinal Manning and the other ultrasuperhyperueberpapalist extremists of his own time. I have found the 1870 volume of his letters to be endless fun!

(4) PF himself still calls for Parrhesia. While it is contextually clear that what he means by this is "If you agree with me, say so loudly and often!", it can be rhetorically amusing to turn his own repeated topos against him.

(5) Mgr Knox's preface to his own collected Essays in Satire is a fine account of the importance of demonstrating how naked Emperors commonly are.

(6) Do not forget Canon 212, especially the admirable sense and fine balance of its third paragraph.

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