18 June 2023


 Recently, I reread the three sermons which, in 1960, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, preached respectively in Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Rome.

In the Roman homily, I noticed the following bit of episcospeak: "All kinds of obstacles and inherited antagonisms lie ahead--rules of behaviour or procedure in one Church which inflict real spiritual or even civil hardships on members of another Church ... "

Whatever is he really on about? Why are 'bishops' so, er, impenetrable?

I think I know. In his Barchester Pilgrimage, Knox recounts the Dumbello/Lifton engagement and, in so doing, explains carefully and at length to his readers what the teaching of the Catholic Church was, at that time, with regard to Mixed Marriages. 

And ... gracious me ... what is really going on in Brideshead in all those pages about Julia and Rex Mottram?

I think it is remarkable how the fierce preoccupations of one age so quickly become the Snooze of the next. 

And Fisher gives me the same feeling I get from the documents of the Second Vatican Council. No ... don't let anybody persuade you that they contain heresy. They don't. The problem is rather that (1) what animates them are matters about which hardly anybody any longer cares at all; and (2) the matters about which the next fifty years were to be terribly concerned, hardly show a whisker in the Conciliar pages.

Nobody guessed, among the cobwebs of Lambeth Palace or in the echoing halls of the Vatican, what were to be the problems of the actual imminent Future which was even then creeping up behind all those wise individuals, its cosh at the ready.


Arthur H said...

Dear Father,

Our Lady of Fatima said that Russia would spread her errors if the consecration was not done promptly. And so the we have the scuttling of objective truth for power with the infiltration of communist ideology.

You, Father, are carefully laying the groundwork, and building the logical argument for how and what has happened, and what, by the grace of God, we must do about it.

My experience is that instead of what the Council Fathers intended, the effect was the loss of the paternal authority of Pastors, and of the authority of the Mother Superiors of religious congregations. What this did was to unleash the proud, mean power-hungry lurkers who then so scandalized and saddened many good, holy priests and religious, seminarians and laity, and chased them away.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, you end up with the little old ladies screaming into microphones the St. Louis Jesuits "music", with their doppler-like vibrato. The children look to the priest to stop such mayhem, and he just stands there, impassive, with the clear warning to the congregation: don't expect me to protect you...

And so, the children reason, not unreasonably, if it sounds like hell...
Good Shepherd of the flock, have mercy on us.

Banshee said...

Um...no, it was pastors who did a lot of the Vatican II stuff. Ditto the mother superiors.

If an Iago or Karen is in charge, Vatican II means and meant obeying authority. If not, it means obeying the voice of Iago... er, the people.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. I persuaded my own self that D.H savors of heresy but I wait for the Church to unscramble this confusing text which seems, to me at least, to be in opposition to previous Papal Teaching.

Dignatatis Humanae

"…To this end, it searches into the sacred tradition and doctrine of the Church-the treasury out of which the Church continually brings forth new things that are in harmony with the things that are old…Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society…"

(It is both new and a development of doctrine)

"Government is also to help create conditions favorable to the fostering of religious life, in order that the people may be truly enabled to exercise their religious rights and to fulfill their religious duties, and also in order that society itself may profit by the moral qualities of justice and peace which have their origin in men's faithfulness to God and to His holy will. (6)"

Footnote 6 references Immortale Dei which teaches

(6.)" As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion…"

Pope Leo XII also issued Libertas which demands the same.

In his revealing text, "The Ecumenical Vatican Council II A much needed discussion, Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, provides a sophisticated Thomistic analysis that helped me see what I merely intuited from my own cursory knowledge of Papal Teaching vis a vis the Church and State.

The good Msgr observes about D.H. (page 34) " ..to see the innovation during the Coin cil itself which went well beyond the frontier of the contingent....Furthermore, it is strange indeed how these new confessors of Tradition, do not even bother, after having affirmed the continuity, to unveil the connections between the modern and ancient and prove this in a critical connection."

At the end of this valuable text, Msgrr published his open letter to Pope Benedict XVI "An appeal to the Holy Father" which incudes this devastating observation; You offer some clarity by responding in an authoritative manner to the question about the Council's continuity with other Councils - not with declamation, but demonstration- and about its fidelity to the ever vigorous Tradition of the Church.