When he visited England, Pope Benedict wore a stole of Pope Leo XIII; at the time, some Clever People saw this as a Cunning Sign of the Pope's devotion to that all-important document, for some people the very heart and centre of their Catholic Faith, Apostolicae curae.
I found (and find) it very hard to believe that Dr Ratzinger would have shared the sort of sniggering adolescent nastiness exemplified in such a hermeneutic. I consider it much more likely that the nice old Bavarian gentleman had in mind the fact that it was Papa Pecci who had raised Blessed John Henry to the dignity of Cardinal, thus giving him dignity and status after the previous less-than-happy decade.
He, too, may be aware of Newman's fond sense that Leo's gesture was that of one Christian who had been out of favour during the previous pontificate towards another such. He may even have heard that Leo XIII, at his first consistory, honoured with the Cardinal's Hat two others who had been on the losing side at Vatican I: Haynald and Fuerstenberg (and later Meignan and Foulon). Indeed, at the Council Cardinal Pecci had himself at times taken a rather independent line. It is not surprising that as pope he should have rebalanced the ship.
Most striking was Pope Leo's strong and vigorously expressed admiration for Kenrick, Archbishop of S Louis, who at the Council had been not just an inopportunist but had positively believed that the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was not part of the depositum fidei.
I would be delighted to hear that PF had followed his predecessor by taking that stole out of retirement, and using it at the imminent canonisation.
I would be even more over-the-moon if PF then followed the example of Papa Pecci, and elevated to the Purple a cohort of admirable men who have appeared to be out of favour during the ultrahyperueberpapalism of the last few years. That would be a practical way ... not just words and hot air ... of indicating real admiration for Newman (and for Leo XIII). Go to the Peripheries!
Chaput and Vigano would be a good start to such a list. Ad multos annos!!
1 October 2019
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It has long puzzled me that Papa Pecci has missed out on what seems to have become automatic beatification or canonisation. This could explain why.
He deserves beatification not just for his personal holiness (CF the Leone prayers) bu also or his doctrinal perspicacity: the promotion of St Thomas, Rerum Novarum, and the magnificent Divinum Illud Munus, which says more and better in less than five pages than the present occupant can do in 200.
Dear Father. Isn't it interesting that at Vatican 1 more than one Bishop threatened to walk out and tell the world why they were walking whereas during the assembly of the V2 rocket that blowed-up Tradition nobody threatened to walk out and tell the world they were walking away from the revolution.
Here is Father Hughes on the heroic men of an earlier generation:
It was in the second month of the council, January 1870, that the "infallibilist" bishops began to move, various groups sending in petitions to the pope that the question be added to the agenda. In all, nearly five hundred bishops signed one or another of these petitions. There were five petitions in the contrary sense, signed by 136 more. The pope sent the petitions to the deputation For Requests, and after some debate the deputation, by a vote of 25 to 1, advised the pope on February 9 to add a statement about the infallibility to the draft On the Church already given out to the bishops on January 21.
On March 1 Pius IX accepted their advice, and five days later the new addition was in the hands of the bishops. It was not a satisfactory text at all. Drawn up months before the council met, in case some such draft would be needed, it was inevitably not suited, from its extreme tone and indefinite terminology, to the hour in which it now appeared. And almost simultaneously rumours began to spread among the bishops that the extremists were working for a decision "by acclamation," and without any debate.
Four bishops,thereupon, sent in a protest to the presidents, saying that if this were to be allowed they would immediately leave the council "and make public the reason of our departure." To whom the presidents replied that the "acclamation" scheme none but madmen (insensati) would even think of, while the text now sent out was but a draft for the bishops to shape as they chose. But it is a fact that some of the madmen had actually sent in petitions to this effect.
The four were the archbishops of Cincinnati, Purcell and St. Louis , Kenrick, the bishops of Little Rock, Fitzgerald, and Kerry , Moriarty
The Most Holy Trinity is at the heart and centre of my Faith. I hope it won't be considerd gauche to mention that Apostolicae curae was mentioned in the semi-official CDF commentary on Ad tuendam fidem.
This is fascinating. I am from the archdiocese of Cincinnati, and had never heard that Archbishop Purcell did anything exciting at V1, other than show up! Interesting! Eye-opening!
Hey! I looked it up, and sure enough, neither of the local histories mentions Purcell as more than a leading "inopportunist" and a good speaker and Latinist.
Given the criminal shame of Bernardin and the shameful inaction of Pilarczyk, Purcell should be pushed into more local historical prominence.
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