Edward Pentin’s talk at the Catholic Identity Conference 2017

Edward Pentin – at present the best English language Vaticanista in Rome – gave a talk at a conference. There is a video of his talk.

You might give it a shot.

Pentin, a sharp and reasonable guy, touches on a lot of sore points.

We have to stop blowing happy gas all around, as if everything in the Church was great. It’s not great. Some things are great, but a lot of really important thing aren’t good at all.

Before we can get to being great together, we need to figure out what has to be corrected.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Benedict Joseph says:

    Clear, concise, balanced, sober. The plain truth.
    Perhaps the frightening element is that things are exactly as they seem to be even from a perspective of great distance and the lens of common sense, reasonable intelligence, faith and devotion.
    One would hope that the catastrophe had something of genius about it so that you might be misreading it – but no, just lads in the sandbox pushing things around so that they are “their way.” The banality of evil.
    Of course the Church is all and only about her Spouse Who Is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
    It really always does come back to pride and a lack of supernatural faith, doesn’t it?
    Mr. Pentin is a remarkable journalist, and I must believe a remarkable man. He really is gifted to dish out news in a manner that discourages panic. Of course if you are trying to get people out of a burning building he might not be the right guy, but if you want to keep them from hysteria he be the one.
    God preserve him. One can’t help but believe someone has their crosshairs on him. God reward him.

  2. frjim4321 says:

    I watched it. He articulated the issues and concerns of the far right wing (“conservative”) camp quite capably. [I don’t think we will accept your premise. This isn’t “far right”. It tends very much into the “center”… of practicing Catholics, who are somewhat aware of what is going on.] The introduction, in my view, was quite poor, in its casting of this particular perspective as “real” as opposed to all others being fake; and I consider that entirely disingenuous. There is a continuum of valid Catholic thinking on a variety of matters, and to pretend, while digging in at one extreme or the other, that one’s own views are the only valid ones is elitist and shuts down dialogue. I have no problem with this speaker being a right wing conservative, and I’m sure he’s able to own that, just as I am proud to admit that I tend toward the moderate-to-progressive band of the spectrum. [Again, I am not sure that we will accept this premise.] I have friends and classmates on either side of me, and although I disagree with them, I don’t consider their positions to be invalid.

  3. Fern says:

    Thank you, Father, for posting this video. The report simply repeats what many of us lowly pew sitters have seen unfold for many years. My approach is to consider these times “teaching” or maybe better yet “learning” times. Study, pray, and don’t worry!! God wins in the end! :)

  4. Filipino Catholic says:

    frjim4321 — “that one’s own views are the only valid ones is elitist and shuts down dialogue.”

    Would you therefore say that extra ecclesiam nulla salus is a position that cannot be held because it is “elitist and shuts down dialogue” with our separated brethren?

  5. Benedict Joseph says:

    frjim4321: One need ask when the fifth mark of the Church — “debate club” — was legitimized. Having written that I am left to wonder which of the words which composing the notion is most to be emphasized. Debate, or club — and of the later, in what sense?
    You appear to consign Mr. Pentin to the barrel of traditionalism in order to undermine his credence. Mr. Pentin stands as an honest and forthright Christian man who understands that we are graced with the gift of God’s revelation of Himself to us in the unique, incomparable treasure of the Catholic Church – never to misapprehended as a display window requiring reconfiguration on a weekly basis by the new genius who lands the job of “artiste extraordinaire en résidence.”
    Priests who don’t understand that they are called to a life of dropped jawed awe before the face of the living God while upholding men and women daily under supernatural assault in the spiritual battle for souls have underestimated the responsibility they shoulder.
    The drama in which we stand is far greater than spotlight grabbers would have us understand.
    One might saunter over to Father Hunwicke this morning for a refresher course on human reason and the development of doctrine.

  6. Unwilling says:

    It is a mark of the excellence of this site that very few of the issues in Pentin’s talk were new to us. Two thoughts stood out, though.

    Near the end he notes the benefit of PF’s line forcing us to an examination of conscience against any creeping formalism (even if the examination find small need for change). It does not hurt to challenge intellectuals with reflections on the social demands of the Gospel.

    But most concerning to me was the remark near the beginning when he described the current drift with papal encouragement of Catholic education to abandon classical philosophical discipline so that the intellectual formation of students leaves them tolerant of logical (self) contradiction. If such mental insensitivity becomes widespread, it will require huge resources of effort and time to rectify. And longterm strategic offenses are typical off leftist ideology.

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  8. Antonin says:

    I listened to it and am with Fr Jim in terms of its ideological trajectory. Also, Pentin, falls into usin Democratic principles suggesting that the Pope needs to consult with various diacastries to make decisions – he doesn’t. Furthermore the mandate of this Pope was to address the problems with the Curia that include but are not limited to homosexual conduct, careerism, clericalism, etc. all of which Pentin accurately identifies. Pope Francis’ approach in this is consolidating and making the Curia smaller, devolving decision making to appropriate Bishop conferences (themselves not binding on individual bishops but at least these vehicles are more in line with the Catholic principle of subsidiarity). Finally Pentin echoes, Felllay’s and the SSPX mantra that making the Secretary of State higher than the CDF is a modernist ploy making man higher than God. Insulting and wrong. The reason the State was vaunted was because VII and Paul VI saw the need to evangelize in what was and is and now has become a post Christian world. Even Benedict stated that we are in a pre Constantinian world where the state no longer supports the Church and this changing socio-political landscape requires a different strategy on the part of the Church. The move was part of being wise as serpents and engaging in the world as it is and not climbing back into Catholic ghettos

  9. Aquinas Gal says:

    I usually don’t listen to these videos because of the time involved, but this one was worth every minute. It’s an eye-opening and mind-boggling account of what’s really going on in the Vatican.
    Pentin is very balanced and informed. The saddest line for me was that one cardinal said “he feels so sad and so sick to see the pope and some bishops trying to destroy the Church!”

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  11. Glennonite says:

    Thank you for this, Father. Riveting and stunning.

  12. Mike says:

    It is unsurprising that those who insist on trying to shackle the Faith to a Marxist political narrative would react with dudgeon to those like Mr. Pentin and Fr. Weinandy who are concerned about the Church establishment’s accelerating drift from the Great Commission.

    For those of us who reject Marxism (as well as Americanism, Jansenism, immanentism, and whatever happens to be the ism du jour), there is much cause for concern but none for lack of hope. Catholic Truth didn’t stop being true in 1965. Observance of the Commandments and of the Church’s precepts, along with prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and frequent reception of the Sacraments, are sure guides to Heaven now as ever, so long as we don’t displace them with worldly and self-centered nonsense.

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