Attack on the Pope by a group of European “rupture” theologians

A regular reader/commenter sent the following blurb from the "European Society for Catholic Theology".

Have you ever heard of this group?   Has anyone?

My interlocutor begins with a dry observation.

Joke of the day: "As Catholic theologians working in the service of the Church …. "

I have added my emphasesThen I will present it again with my added comments.

Extra ET-Newsletter of the European Society for Catholic Theology
17/02/2009

This special ET-Newsletter contains a multilingual statement of the Curatorium of the European Society for Catholic Theology on the current crisis [!] in the Catholic Church.

We, Catholic theologians from 20 countries, gathered together in Ghent for a meeting of the Curatorium (Board) of the European Society for Catholic Theology, are deeply concerned by the current crisis within the Church. We are especially worried that the unconditional lifting of the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X threatens the internal unity of the Church and the credibility of its witness in the world (Gaudium et spes). This considerably weakens the ability of theologians to dialogue with other disciplines in the academy.

Fundamental issues are at stake with regard to the reception of the Second Vatican Council and must be clearly reaffirmed:

•    The dynamic character of revelation and tradition, Church teaching and liturgy (Dei verbum, Sacrosanctum concilium)
•    The collegial exercise of Church governance (Lumen gentium)
•    Full respect for the freedom of conscience and the freedom of religion (Dignitatis humanae)
•    The active commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue (Unitatis redintegratio, Nostra aetate)

Members of other Christian Churches, with whom we have been in dialogue for several decades, now question whether the Catholic Church will take concrete steps toward fuller communion. Recent events demonstrate that a great majority of Christians have lost confidence that Rome is committed to taking seriously the newness of Vatican II. This crisis of confidence is grave.

As Catholic [?] theologians working in the service of the Church, we hope that every effort will be undertaken to restore confidence in order that the gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed.

Ghent, 15th February 2009.

Okay…. let us go at this again and pull it apart.

First, there is a premise: virtually everyone whom this group likes (basically Protestants) have "lost confidence" in the Church’s commitment to ecumenical dialogue.

What they are really saying is that they don’t like the present trend in dialogue, that is, more and more the Holy See under Pope Benedict is refusing to compromise Catholic teaching for the sake of dialogue.  For example, the CDF put out a document clarifying that the Church doesn’t consider some Protestant groups even to be "churches" in the strict sense, it will be possible to have a group of conservative Anglicans come into communion, and it is possible that the SSPX – with their own views of tradition – might really be Catholics too.

Notice that they focused on the lifting of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops as the spark for their "crisis".  

The SSPX has introduced into the internal conversation of the Church the need to clarify what the Second Vatican Council taught about a range of issues have to do with religious freedom and ecumenism.  If the SSPX can have a voice, they will change the way Catholics will read and receive the Council.

Time and time again I have made this point on this blog.  The SSPX represents a terrifying probability that more than one view of the Council is possible, that people can disagree about it and still be Catholic. 

Note also their alarm about liturgy.

So, let’s look at this again.

We, Catholic theologians [It might be hard to reconcile this first claim with the CDF's document on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian.] from 20 countries, gathered together in Ghent for a meeting of the Curatorium (Board) of the European Society for Catholic Theology, are deeply concerned by the current crisis within the Church. [The "crisis" being that their grip on power is slipping.  The "spirit" of the Council may no longer be a super-dogma.  The "hermeneutic of rupture" may no longer prevail.] We are especially worried that the unconditional lifting of the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X threatens the internal unity of the Church and the credibility of its witness in the world (Gaudium et spes). [They do not state what the condition might have been, but I am sure it is along the lines of unconditional acceptance of everything these guys think the Council meant, regardless of how our past teaching might seem out of harmony with what they are proposing about the Council.  Note also how the reintegration of a separated group, for them, threatens internal unity!  Just what is their vision of unity?] This considerably weakens the ability of theologians to dialogue with other disciplines in the academy. [This is cowardly. The Pope's Regensburg Address and what he did at La Sapienza gives the lie to this craven statement.]

Fundamental issues are at stake with regard to the reception of the Second Vatican Council and must be clearly reaffirmed: [This is the important part.  For them, only one reading of the Council, according to the "spirit" they no doubt are privileged to discern, is permitted.]

•    The dynamic character of revelation and tradition, Church teaching and liturgy (Dei verbum, Sacrosanctum concilium)   [They connect doctrine and liturgy and call it dynamic.  But by "dynamic" they mean "changing", in the sense of rupture, not continuity.]
•    The collegial exercise of Church governance (Lumen gentium)  [They don't believe the Pope should actually have the ability to govern.  They want a reduction of the power of Rome and autonomy for local communities.]
•    Full respect for the freedom of conscience and the freedom of religion (Dignitatis humanae)  [What they mean here is that people's own determinations, apart from the teaching of the Church or natural law, should have precedence.  They want a man-centered, man-oriented religion.]
•    The active commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue (Unitatis redintegratio, Nostra aetate)  [What they want is to abandon clear expression of Catholic doctrine for the sake of a false unity.  And who are they talking about among these other Christians?  What groups?]

Members of other Christian Churches, with whom we have been in dialogue for several decades, now question whether the Catholic Church will take concrete steps toward fuller communion. [Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.] Recent events demonstrate that a great majority of Christians have lost confidence [Who says?  These clowns?] that Rome is committed to taking seriously the newness of Vatican II. This crisis of confidence is grave.

As Catholic theologians working in the service of the Church, we hope that every effort will be undertaken to restore confidence in order that the gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed.  [In other words, Pope Benedict, stop doing what you are doing.]

Ghent, 15th February 2009.

Right now the liberal progressivists have sensed, as wolves do, that the Pope has been weakened.  They are therefore striking at him from all sides.

This organization, to which I doubt anyone very serious has ever paid attention, is another example of how these disciples of rupture, worshiping at the ever shifting altar of a man-centered religion, under the aegis of the Doctor Equivocus, Father Rahner, are striking out at the Vicar of Christ.

That means the Pope is doing something right.

I remember years ago in the corridor of the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio, I asked Cardinal Ratzinger how he took the constant unfair criticism.  I had read that day a terrible article about him in an Italian daily.

He said, "If I don’t read an article like that every week or so, I have to examine my conscience."

If it weren’t so sad and damaging to the faithful, watching them flail around like wounded lampreys might have been entertaining.

 

PS: I wonder if His Eminence Card. Brady wants to appear at the conference this group sponsors.

 

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40 Responses to Attack on the Pope by a group of European “rupture” theologians

  1. widukind says:

    Perhaps this whole thing needs a turn around. Using their own words, we can put this to them:

    “Members of other CATHOLIC PARISHES, with whom we have been in dialogue for several decades, now question whether the SOCIETY FOR CATHOLIC THEOLOGY will take concrete steps toward fuller communion. Recent events demonstrate that a great majority of CATHOLICS have lost confidence that THE SOCIETY FOR CATHOLIC THEOLOGY is committed to taking seriously the TRUE TEACHINGS of Vatican II. This crisis of confidence is grave. As CATHOLIC FAITHFUL working in the service of the Church, we hope that every effort will be undertake[BY THE THEOLOGIANS]to restore confidence in order that the gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed.”

  2. BlessedKarl says:

    As I read this I started laughing and thinking to myself “oh that Fr. Z. He really does have an excellent ense of humor.” That is, of course, until I realized how this was meant to be serious.

    As for your question, Father: No, I have never heard of these people. Like the “eminent” theoligian who asked the pope to dstep down because of his “pre-Vatican II” mentality, they have apparently slipped of my radar. But I guess that such brilliant elites as these “theologians” have no time to deal with the lesser people such as myself. In that way it makes sense. Such an ignornat and lowly one as myself should have heard of such brilliance.

    In all seriousness, however:

    1) Thankyou for your stories about the pope. Reading about his personality and how he acts is interesting. I deeply love His HOliness and I thank you for defending him and educating us all more about him.

    2) THis is more of a general question: HAS ANYONE HEARD OF THESE PEOPLE BEFORE?! I never heard of this “esteemed” organization. I wonder how old the membership is…

  3. Sal says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

    How do you mean “the Pope has been weakened?” In whose eyes? According to whose standards?

    Perhaps the Holy Father takes all this as he did when he was Prefect, with a certain amount of equanimity.

  4. Fr. BJ says:

    The “loss of confidence” they speak of sounds like the language of economics. Quick! We need a stimulus package to restore the delicate internal balance of the Church!

    But seriously, reading this — “whether the Catholic Church will take concrete steps toward fuller communion” — I wonder: when are these clowns going to demand that other ecclesial communions do more to take concrete steps toward fuller communion? After all, the problems are more with the other ecclesial communions than with the Catholic Church!

  5. Cathy says:

    I looked up what Lumen Gentium says about collegiality. The following quote from LG seems to be ignored by many Catholic theologians, priests, and bishops:

    “But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff.”

  6. Peggy says:

    While you are right, it is serious, I can’t help one humorous note:

    It’s not a “man-centered” or “man-made” church they seek. That’s been the problem after all in their minds. They would rather have “wymyn” centered/made; or the old “humankind” centered/made church.

    I pray for our courageous Holy Father stepping out into the fray every day facing evil and sin in this world.

  7. Steve K. says:

    Like Emperor Claudius said in the “I, Claudius” series, “let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out.” The silver lining to this dark, dark cloud of heresy and informal schism is that the secret enemies of Peter and the Church are declaring themselves. I believe there must be a reckoning, however – error has no right to be declared and proposed within the Church, and those who do so must be prevented from during so further, else they must leave the Church (formally – I realize most have done so already in their hearts).

  8. Aaron says:

    Are they attacking because he’s been weakened, or because they feel threatened by him? They never felt a need to attack before, but Summorum Pontificum made them edgy, and now the SSPX thing has them worried he might really be trying to take back some of the “progress” they’ve made over the past few decades.

    Anyone who uses “dialogue” as a verb is full of horse hockey.

  9. Ed Francis says:

    With Sal -

    “have sensed, as wolves do, that the Pope has been weakened.”

    Has the Pope mentioned being weakened? I hadn’t heard so.

    He needs our prayers, more than ever, yes. Does that mean he’s less able to do his work as Vicar of Christ on Earth?

    Are his position and responsibilities in any dependent upon or constrained by political acceptance or strength?

    I’d say no to both questions.

    So how is Pope Benedict XVI “weakened” by doing Christ’s work on our behalf?

    “Strengthened” is a better description. Pray for him, with us.

  10. QC says:

    I love how they reference Vatican II document but without ever citing a specific paragraph–pretty much everything they said is contradicted in the very documents they appeal to.

  11. Jim says:

    What arrogant pomposity! These guys do not have an ounce of humility in their souls.

  12. Steve K. says:

    He’s weakened because recent events have given the enemy a pretext to attack the Pope, misreading and willfully distorting current events to present a facade that their opposition to the Holy Father is out of some altruistic motive, like anti-Semitism, rather than their real reason, which is of course they’re attacking because the Pope has the temerity to be, you know, Catholic. Understand our enemy – they live by deception, deceit is a key part of everything they do. They would never just come out in the open, declare themselves, and struggle before the eyes of the world. That’s not how they roll. Remember also, that in their hearts these are people of the world, and it is from the world that they draw their strength, so they needed something that would allow them to appeal to the world outside of the Church. The flap over Bishop Williamson’s remarks certainly did attract the attention and “concern” of the world at large.

    This attack has been in the offing since the day Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope; they have merely been awaiting for an auspicious occasion, which now they feel they have.

  13. Mary Rose says:

    I am just getting into G.K. Chesterton. His words sound fresh, even after all these years:

    “…in the modern world, the Catholic Church is in fact the enemy of many influential fashions; most of which still claim to be new, though many of them are beginning to be a little stale. In other words, in so far as he meant that the Church often attacks what the world at any given moment supports, he was perfectly right . The Church does often set herself against the fashion of this world that passes away; and she has experience enough to know how very rapidly it does pass away. But to understand exactly what is involved, it is necessary to take a rather larger view and consider the ultimate nature of the ideas in question, to consider, so to speak, the idea of the idea.

    Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes. The Catholic Church has for one of her chief duties that of preventing people from making those old mistakes; from making them over and over again forever, as people always do if they are left to themselves. The truth about the Catholic attitude towards heresy, or as some would say, towards liberty, can best be expressed perhaps by the metaphor of a map. The Catholic Church carries a sort of map of the mind which looks like the map of a maze, but which is in fact a guide to the maze. It has been compiled from knowledge which, even considered as human knowledge, is quite without any human parallel.

    There is no other case of one continuous intelligent institution that has been thinking about thinking for two thousand years. Its experience naturally covers nearly all experiences; and especially nearly all errors. The result is a map in which all the blind alleys and bad roads are clearly marked, all the ways that have been shown to be worthless by the best of all evidence: the evidence of those who have gone down them.” (Why I Am a Catholic)

    I don’t sense any “crisis.” I love the Catholic church more and more and hope it stops trying to be all things to all religions. Dialogue can only go so far until it’s necessary to either compromise or stand resolute. I hope to see even more “resolute.” Since my return to the Church a year ago, I have been extremely impressed by Pope Benedict’s level of wisdom, grace, and character. I need to pray for him even more.

  14. Dr. Eric says:

    I honestly think that the most recent controversies are only because we have been having a few weeks of slow “news.”

    If this were any other time these stories would have been buried and would only have been mentioned in passing by the talking heads.

  15. shadrach says:

    Let’s pray for the Holy Father. Ad multos annos.

  16. depeccatoradvitam says:

    Let us pray that Peter speaks from his chair

  17. Sal says:

    Steve K.

    From what I can tell, they’ve just turned up the volume. It wasn’t as though Pope Benedict was getting rave reviews before the SSPX “crisis” or even Regensburg. I remember all the sour comments the day he was elected and it hasn’t stopped since. Yes, it’s a feeding frenzy now, but they did it after Regensburg, they did it after Benedict made some comment during a summer vacation. I mean, hell, any occasion will do.

  18. Fr Edward says:

    I am afraid that this is a fairly ‘high powered’ organisation, at least among some minds. And it has the ear of some bishops in Europe.

    Its membership is often made up of professors and lecturers in Catholic universities, colleges and seminaries in Europe (SJ often appears after names of members). I think its the case that in each European country there is some sort of Catholic Theological Association (thats the name of the British group) or self-selecting and self-perpetuating Catholic theologians, and one of these national members goes on to form the European group.

    I used to be a member the CTA (and still get the European news letter, even though I now read Rahner only as historical theology). Still a bishop will be present to nod at things he doesn’t understand (their style of theology tends to make quite simple things as complex as possible…back to Rahner). There are some sharp intellects there, often Catholics teaching theology or in theology departments, which is not, as we know the same as being a Catholic theologian.

    To be fair, the Catholic philosophers and historians are pretty good, but the theologians – oh dear!

  19. Mitchell says:

    And these same Bishops expect obedience from the sees? With their blatant, disrespectful remarks against not only Pope Benedict but the symbol of The Chair Of Peter. It is repugnant. This is why so many of them are a joke to their flocks. Teach by example, and that they do not. They will never be respected unless they teach the faithful what respect is all about. Open conflagration against our Holy Father is the most decisive line of action they can take…Their message to us faithful sitting in the pew is “We the Bishops can disagree with the Pope and openly defy him and so can you”. And if they think that is not what they send out they better think again. Rotten the whole bunch….

  20. RobertM says:

    Let us pray to Pope Benedict’s predecessor of Blessed memory, Pope Saint Pius X, that St. Pius X will gain for the Holy Father the grace to persevere in the face of the wolves. They are modernists, plain and simple. Merely MENTIONING the pre-Vatican II church of SPX is like holding a crucifix up to a vampire….they scream and turn away

  21. Ed Francis says:

    Steve K -

    “recent events have given the enemy a pretext to attack the Pope”

    The enemy doesn’t need a pretext to attack Pope Benedict XVI, beyond the reality that he is Pope of the Catholic Church, and a man whose writings and decades of prior work, as well as the work he is now engaged in on behalf of Unity, have had far-reaching effects, to the good. We haven’t seen the half of the good that will come from the papacy of Benedict XVI.

    If you haven’t read one of his books, do. It will change your life. If you have read him, you’ll corroborate, I’m sure.

    That he is being attacked doesn’t mean that he is weakened. That this man, one of the most intelligent, articulate, holy and loving people on the planet, is going to be caught off guard, or stumble under a media blitz is, well, absurd is the word.

    We, on the other hand, this flock of Christ’s that Benedict is trying to shepherd, are in need of bolstering, perhaps; not jingoist rhetoric that “informs” the non-Catholic world, and our brothers and sisters in the Faith that we are more interested in furthering media controversies than we are in doing our duty–to love one another as Christ has loved us.

    Perhaps if we did our jobs, Pope Benedict would have an easier time doing his. He gives us best; how much are we prepared to accept?

  22. Confiteor says:

    European Society of Catholic Theology — what a pathetic joke. The Faith in Europe is dead, and these people are the prime suspects in the crime. As RobertM said, they are modernists, plain and simple. “Dynamic character of revelation”? That is the very first principle of Modernism. This is the “synthesis of all heresies” in full flower. The Pope needs to bring the full force of papal authority down upon these heretics. Excommunicate them.

  23. Steve K. says:

    Ed, Sal – by “weakened” I don’t mean the man himself is weaker, but that his position has been weakened by the above-mentioned events, and this will make it harder for him to carry out his mission. I think that’s fairly self-evident. I don’t mean to imply that he will not be up to the task now, to the contrary, I think he will master his opponents, and above all because he has the support of God. But he is still subject to reversals, however temporary, and these have made matters more difficult for him. And I am sure he is suffering very much – betrayal is most bitter, and he has suffered many betrayals recently, even by some whom he had considered friends previously (like Card. Schoenborn).

    And I have by now acquired a small library of the works of Joseph Ratzinger, so I will indeed corroborate Ed, reading him is life changing. He is a most remarkable and formidable man, and we are extremely fortunate to have him as our Pope. I believe he is the foremost mind in the West today, indeed, like Oriani Fallaci used to day, he’s the true leader of Western Civilization (or what’s left of it, anyway).

  24. Luigi says:

    The SSPX represents a terrifying probability that more than one view of the Council is possible, that people can disagree about it and still be Catholic.

    Yes, Father, but my sense is that what liberals really fear are those authentic interpretations that would effectively nullify the ones they most favor, not so much those points that are truly debatable.

    E.g., those who engage in ultra-progressive “interpretations” to use the words very loosely, and insist it is out of step with the Council to proclaim Jesus as the unique way of salvation cannot truly disagree with this as they wish.

    On the other hand, those who insist that the Council violated the sacred deposit of faith in Dignitatis Humanae with doctrinal error and reject interpretations that are in continuity with Tradition – as labored as they may be – cannot have it their way either.

  25. leo says:

    For being theologians and council-groupies they surely have a weird understanding of what Unitatis Redintegratio meant by “false irenicism”.

  26. Tim says:

    I read a headline about this conference on the Cathobel news service. A week never goes by without someone in Belgium expressing “inquiétude” about Summorum pontificum, lifting of the SSPX excommunications, etc. Other aspects of Catholic life in Belgium — low and falling numbers of church attendance, acute shortage of priests, empty seminaries, liturgical abuses too numerous to name, etc. do not seem to be causes for worry however.

  27. Joe says:

    “Recent events demonstrate that a great majority of Christians have lost confidence”. The structure of this sentence implies that “a great majority of Christians” have been doing something to demonstrate this. What are the authors referring to?

  28. Daniel Latinus says:

    Fr. BJ: The “loss of confidence” they speak of sounds like the language of economics. Quick! We need a stimulus package to restore the delicate internal balance of the Church!

    I believe that package was called Summorum Pontificum….

  29. Ruben says:

    I don’t pretend to know, but I wonder if any of these theologians or their like possesses any real devotion to Christ, to his wounds, to his precious body and blood, to his Blessed Mother, to his saints, or to his angels. I wonder what their prayer life is like really. I would almost wager these devotions are absent from the lives of most if not all of these thorns in the head of Christ. It’s difficult to understand the theological positions they hold unless one has come to the conclusion that they have essentially lost most, if not all, of their faith. In my mind that is the only way I can decipher why they would hold what they profess. Again, I don’t pretend to know, but I wonder. After all, faith isn’t just a set of beliefs, but a relationship with a living person, Christ. How can anyone who is truly configured to Christ be opposed to that which works toward the healing and the re-integration of the body of Christ, his Church? It seems to me that if you are not working toward the building of the body of Christ as does our Pope, then you are working toward its destruction. I can’t imagine there being much more which is more dear to the heart of Satan then the work of disintegrating Christ’s body, the Church.

  30. Aelric says:

    Dear members of the European Society for Catholic Theology,

    ‘The Episcopal Church welcomes you.’

    We shall leave the light on for you in case you ever see past the shadows of your own egos.

  31. Julie Michelle says:

    Amused at the response of the then Cdnl Ratzinger…

    Now singing ‘God Bless Our Pope’………

  32. Ed says:

    Good Lord, Ghent! This is nothing more than insignificant people trying to desparately to be significant. If as a theologian you aren’t with Peter and the Church, you are nothing.

  33. henri says:

    Given the Holy Father’s courage in service of the Truth, and the violence of the attacks, I worry about the Holy Father’s personal safety.

  34. E Francis says:

    Thanks, Steve K., when the focus is shifted from “them,” to Pope Benedict XVI, I can read your concern more clearly, as when you note,

    “I am sure he is suffering very much – betrayal is most bitter.”

    Your shift from “them” to him, to concern for the Pope, rather than whatever opponents are on the field on any given day (as Sal notes), opens a way; I find a way for myself, where my heart can guide my prayer.

    “He is a most remarkable and formidable man, and we are extremely fortunate to have him as our Pope.” Amen. More prayers.

  35. Michael says:

    The SSPX, if they were not entrenched in their nonsense-theology and accepted Vatican II in its true sense, not in what these usurpers of the Teaching Office have made out of it, they could transform the Church. They should think about the good an ex-territorial, world-wide diocese, independent of local bishops, would be able to do. To start with, to be able to discredit, legitimately, this group of self-appointed mini-popes, which is squandering our resources and destroying the Church. Then, to bring sanity to the Holy Mass of which these mini-popes are making an unholy mess. Then to restore morality, which they are destroying; to open confessionals which are now empty because they have eliminated the sense of sin from the mind of an ordinary Catholic; and so on.

  36. Kevin V. says:

    ” The dynamic character of revelation and tradition, Church teaching and liturgy (Dei verbum, Sacrosanctum concilium) [They connect doctrine and liturgy and call it dynamic. But by "dynamic" they mean "changing", in the sense of rupture, not continuity.]
    • The collegial exercise of Church governance (Lumen gentium) [They don’t believe the Pope should actually have the ability to govern. They want a reduction of the power of Rome and autonomy for local communities.]
    • Full respect for the freedom of conscience and the freedom of religion (Dignitatis humanae) [What they mean here is that people’s own determinations, apart from the teaching of the Church or natural law, should have precedence. They want a man-centered, man-oriented religion.]
    • The active commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue (Unitatis redintegratio, Nostra aetate) [What they want is to abandon clear expression of Catholic doctrine for the sake of a false unity.]”

    Oh, I get it now. They are Anglicans…

  37. Ed says:

    Michael,

    From what I’ve read about the SSPX, I believe that those in charge do accept Vatican II, what they have never accepted is the idea that Vatican II was, is, or ever will be, as the Holy Father put it “a superdogma”. We must remember that both extremes are in error and have, at times, employed the most un-Christian methods in their rhetoric and practices concerning Vatican II and its implimentation.

  38. GOR says:

    The lessons of history…

    Recent events put me in mind of conditions forty years ago in the wake of Humanae Vitae. Then there was open opposition to the Holy Father from all sides in the Church. The faithful were confused when theologians, Episcopal conferences and their local pastors trashed Pope Paul VI, trumpeting “freedom of conscience” over the Magisterial Teaching of the Church. We have seen the fruits of that dissent these past forty years – and they are not the fruits of the Holy Spirit!

    Back then we didn’t have the modern means of communication – like WDTPRS and The Hermeneutic of Continuity – to provide balance, direction and orthodox teaching. Today, thank God, we do. The Gates of Hell didn’t prevail back then and they will not today – or ever.

    Thank you Fr. Z, Fr. Tim, Fr. Ray, Fr. Dwight, Fr. Trigillo, The Owl and all the other fine priests and faithful laity who are keeping us on the ‘straight and narrow’…!

  39. The modernists counter-attack the return to Tradition led by Pope Benedict XVI. It reminds me of the dream of St. John Bosco with the Pope captaining the Barque of Peter, and the enemies shooting books e.g. also ideas, blogs, etc) among other things. But we know who wins.

  40. Dan says:

    May I quote His Holiness of happy memory; Pope Pius XI in his monumental Encyclical on the reunification of men to the Church, “Mortalium Animos”:

    “So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: “The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly.” The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that “this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills.” For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.”