Never before has a Roman Pontiff claimed the right to bowdlerise the text of Holy Scripture so as to make it fit his own ideas.
The game is made even nastier when the monstrously mendacious claim is advanced that this is just a matter of 'correcting the translation'.
And there are, surely, ecumenical considerations. PF has recently been to Greece and Cyprus; at least in the latter of these two countries, he once again spoke about "complete Unity". But what on earth can he mean by this? If he has in mind such a unity as will enable a Pope to change Scripture ... not to mention trying to sweep away (simply by a signature) ... entire ancient liturgical traditions ... I find it hard to believe that many Orthodox would be prepared to swallow such a toxic pill. Indeed, I pray that they would not. If, on the other hand, his hopes are that union would leave the Byzantine Churches free from hyperpapalist agressions, while the worst excesses of that disorder would continue to be visited upon Western Christians, one can only ask why unfortunate Westerners should continue to be the subjects and victims of this tyranny.
For me, matters are even closer to home.
When I was an Anglican, keen to do whatever I could to bring about the healing of the schism of 1559/1560, I kept a close eye on the proceedings of ARCIC and its successive reports.
I cannot remember any point at which any ARCIC document ever claimed for the Roman Pontiff the right to change the texts of what Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel record, actually said, in order to make them prop up what an all-wise Pope now thinks He ought to have said.
Had ARCIC proposed any such ultrahyperpapalist notion .... or do I mean superueberpapalist ... I suspect that Partners In Dialogue, not least the Evangelical ones, would very quickly have made clear that this was not a sort of Papacy on board which they had any desire whatsoever to clamber. I suspect I might even have joined them.
Indeed, it's not the sort of papacy I have ever advocated. I have spent a lot energy over the decades of my life as an Anglican Papalist in explaining that this is very precisely not how the papacy was defined by Vatican I. It is not the Papacy which S John Henry was so relieved to recognise in the Vatican I definition.
I feel let down
I feel that we who entered into Full Communion under Benedict XVI have, under his self-aggrandising successor, been made fools of.
I wonder what S John Henry Newman would have made of this unscrupulous perversion of Catholic Doctrine; this gross over-magnification of the munus Petrinum.