LAWLER: “And then came Francis.”

At Catholic Culture, the perspicacious Phil Lawler makes a good point about the premises of the severely cruel Plessy v. Ferguson legacy document of the Era of Francis.

The backward logic of Traditionis Custodes

Insofar as Traditionis Custodes provides any explanation for its open hostility toward Catholic traditionalists, that explanation lies in the claim that traditionalist communities have caused divisions within the Church. Therefore, Pope Francis suggests (and the Congregation for Divine Worship even more sternly insists) traditionalism must be suppressed.

That logic is backward. It was not the traditionalist movement—much less the traditional liturgy—that exacerbated divisions within Catholicism. It was the current Vatican leadership—the very leadership that is now looking for a scapegoat to blame.

Exactly. If the anti-Tradition “leadership” in Rome and elsewhere want to get to the sources of divisions they need look no farther than their own mirrors.

I continue here with Lawler’s defense, and I associate myself with it, especially in his reference to The Wanderer (SUBSCRIBE!) and “we”, for I wrote for The Wanderer for many years.  This blog grew out of my columns.

For several decades after Vatican II, Catholics who might, for want of a better term, be classified as “conservative”—and I include myself among them—looked askance at traditionalists. Even The Wanderer, a newspaper never associated with liberalism, viewed the Trads as too negative. We defended the Novus Ordo liturgy, trusting that all would be well once the excesses of the 1970s, which were certainly not authorized by the Vatican Council—were eliminated. We balked at the notion that the Council itself had introduced problems; it was, we firmly believed, the deliberate misinterpretation of the Council that had plunged the Church into chaos.

Above all, we “conservative” Catholics longed and worked and prayed for the “reform of the reform” in the liturgy. We firmly believed that, once the fads and novelties and outright abuses were corrected, we could restore reverence and dignity to the Mass. We imagined—and if we were fortunate, occasionally encountered—a Mass actually celebrated according to the guidelines laid out by Sacrosanctum Concllium, and we found it beautiful.

This was the position of the late, great Msgr. Richard Schuler in St. Paul, MN. His mantra was, “Do what the Council asked.” He took over the helm of St. Agnes parish in St. Paul on the cusp of the Novus Ordo, in 1969. The previous pastor had been a peritus at all the sessions of Vatican II and he had begun to implement the liturgical changes actually mandated, as they were described in the documents, and NOT according to the feverish vagueries of the acolytes of the nebulous “spirit of Vatican II”. The result was a liturgical ars celebrandi that was decidedly Roman and traditional. Schuler had been an internationally known Church musician, and so he brought another level to the sound liturgical praxis in place. With his stable pastorate of over 30 years, there was at St. Agnes as close to what the Council actually mandated as one could effect. Leaving aside the ongoing debate about the soundness of the Novus Ordo and whether it truly reflects what the Council Fathers wanted, one might weigh the success of Schuler’s approach of fidelity in the 30+ 1st Masses celebrated at the parish during his pastorate, as well as the good preservation of a K-12 school, no mean feat in the post-Conciliar chaos.

Lawler then swiftly enumerates the collapse of Catholic parishes, doctrine, liturgy that resulted after the Council saying that, and some will demure for different reasons, the declines  “were not, we repeated, caused by the Council. The misinterpretation of the Council was to blame.”  Some think that the devolution in the Church across the board stems from the documents themselves, purposely sewn through with ambiguities which made what some would call “misinterpretation” inevitable, given that survival of so many modernists in key positions.  At the same time, one could choose to interpret them under the safeguarding and even correcting lens of fidelity and in continuity with our Tradition.

Lawler lauds the efforts of John Paul II and Benedict XVI to hold back the tide (St. King Canute’s feast was yesterday, by the way).

And then came Pope Francis.

Sapienti pauca.

You can go to Catholic Culture for the rest, but I will leave you with this.

Within the past week I have spoken with a half-dozen other Catholics who, like me, have begun regularly attending the Traditional Latin Mass. In every case, their movement toward the TLM began during the current pontificate. We did not move toward traditionalism because the Trads attacked the Pope; it would be far more accurate to say that we moved in that direction because the Pope attacked us.

That sounds right.

I am getting anecdotal reports from all sorts of people and places that attendance at Traditional Latin Masses is up.

It is going to stay up and go up.

As Tertullian noted with his characteristic flare, the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.  Persecution stimulates the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of the faithful, such that all that is good, true and beautiful flourishes even in the harshest clime.

In attacking, marginalizing, tyrannizing the faithful who desire reverent traditional sacred liturgical worship and doctrine (liturgy is doctrine), the powers-that-be are sowing and accelerating their own downfall.


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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Save The Liturgy - Save The World, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Traditionis custodes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Comments

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  3. Ellen says:

    My parish doesn’t have a TLM and I very much doubt our bishop would allow it. But we do have a group of priests who at their chapel celebrate the N.O. Mass ad orientam with due reverence and solemnity. I go as often as I can. There is a TLM celebrated about 35 miles away once a month, but since it is winter, we have had bad weather for the past 3 months. I will go as soon as I can.

  4. Not says:

    I met Phil Lawler as a contractor working at his home and supporting his run for political office. One of his books (which is heartbreaking to read) is ‘Good Bye Good Men” . He gives an account of the corruption of the seminaries, radical Nuns teaching, rampart homosexuality. He talks about the old Irish families of Boston who built the churches and hospitals and schools, and the next generation lost their faith.

  5. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Dear Mister/Miss Not,

    Goodbye, Good Men was written by Michael Rose.

    Fr. Z, thanks for this. Mr. Lawler essentially describes my movement towards Tradition *because of* the pope, too.

  6. Rich Leonardi says:

    Not may be conflating Rose’s book with Phil Lawler’s “The Faithful Departed,” which documents Boston’s post-conciliar disintegration. In any event, Phil’s essay is brilliant.

  7. Markus says:

    “were not, we repeated, caused by the Council. The misinterpretation of the Council was to blame.”

    From my life experiences, altar server TLM 3 years. NO server 5 years 1966-1970, commissioned liturgical artist and vessel maker for 25 years, there was no “misinterpretation.” It was an orchestrated effort by a minority. It appeared to me that members of this minority had a chip on their shoulder or something to hide. They had (have) an agenda.

    “You have to pass it to find out what is in it” attitude by the clergy was a deferral to the “experts.” Most pastors appeared to be overwrought by administrative issues of the parish, diocesan politics and did not have the energy and/or time to challenge this direction.

    Plan A was to keep the Church frozen in one particular time period, in art and architecture. Plan B was to abandon all tradition and radicalize by abandoning all visual, symbolic language, and worship. Plan C, and envisioned by VCII and Pope Benedict, was never given a chance. Perhaps it took too much effort to fight the agenda.

  8. Zach says:

    I went to school with one of Mr. Lawler’s daughters and met another one as well. Lovely family.
    You can also count me and my family as a TLM member as a result of feeling pushed out by Francis.
    I had wrongly been under the impression that there was continuity between the pre and post conciliar liturgies (in my defense, it was told to me by Pope Benedict who was there). But then Francis said, “no! You must choose!” So, I made my choice. And it is tradition.

  9. BayviewBadger says:

    Our own situation is almost the exact same as described in this article…I feel like I almost could have written it.

    My big curiosity…is there a way that we could get a sense of:

    1 – New TLM’s since Pope Francis became the Holy Father.

    2 – Current TLM attendance numbers and trends.

    I’m sure both would be good, but it would be great to see actual data.

    In our case, one of the two TLM’s we attend started in mid-2020 and now draws over 400. Typically they get 18 servers, sometimes more. It’s arguably the most attended Mass at the parish on the weekend.

  10. Ed the Roman says:

    I’m going to guess that accurate stats on TLM attendance and celebration rates are going to be more easily obtained than numbers of intelligence officers under Non Official Cover* in each country.

    Maybe not much more, though.

    * Non Official Cover is the US term for what the KGB/FSB/GRU call “illegals”.

  11. This is pretty much my situation as well. I am still quite willing to attend a reverently offered Novus Ordo Mass attended by appropriately-dressed and appropriately-demeanored people, but I’ve just grown tired of looking for one when I can get in the TLM most of what ought to be in the Novus Ordo. I just grew weary of extraordinary ministers in jeans and sneakers or short skirts, banal homilies, banal hymns, and the like. The sign of peace (even pre-Covid) is what finally pushed me out the Novus Ordo door into the TLM. Post-Covid, it’s even more of a parody of something significant than it was and is better omitted (a legitimate option that ought to be exercised much more often– options can be good or bad).

    I am hardly a far rightist on this. I actually think that the three-year cycle of readings is an improvement, readings in the vernacular with good translations are not an abomination, and most important, I believe that Jesus left us a strong, living Church that Jesus gave the authority to regulate her liturgy and make prudent changes as necessary. But I’m just tired of waiting… and waiting… and waiting for the abuses and nonsense to be cleaned up and the “spirit of Vatican II” to be cast out once and for all. I’m almost 60 now and I’ve been waiting… and waiting… and waiting almost all my life. I have to be more concerned than ever about making the most of what years I have left and being ready for eternal salvation– and I don’t have time to waste on substandard, distracting liturgy.

    Did I just describe the sort of person condemned in the motu proprio? Hardly. Many attached to the TLM would condemn me for what they see as a far-left view. Still, I suspect that my opinion is much closer to that of many current TLM attendees than is commonly accepted. I don’t think that those bishops who invoked Canon 87 are lying when they state that they don’t have the problems that are enumerated in the motu proprio.

    The TLM is just the lead car in the train of orthodoxy. They know that if they derail the lead car, the rest of the train will derail as well. That is their goal and that is why we can’t just see this as a attack on the TLM alone. That is why orthodox people of all persuasions must unite to resist the entire attack and not get tempted to say, “well, I don’t attend the TLM and there aren’t any near me anyway, so this doesn’t concern me.” When they are finished with the TLM they’ll start to paint anyone to the right of Cardinal Cupich as a “far right wacko” and say, “See. those far rightists really do hate the Pope.” The biggest problem right now is that orthodox Catholics really don’t hold very many of the cards, even if they have a sympathetic bishop. Unless more orthodox bishops start exhibiting far more courage than they have in the last two years in particular, things are likely to get worse before they get better.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    So right. Demons react negatively to Latin. This deserves investigation or at least, thoughtful consideration. Now why would demons who pester, infest, and at times, possess human beings, react negatively and strongly to Latin? Why not English, or German, or Spanish. No, they react to Latin, the universal tongue. This is also true for crucifixes and holy water, also, Our Lady. This has been reported by multiple exorcists, as far as I know. I’m just a Catholic observer, but this has always been reported. So Latin is unique in it’s ability to agitate demons and those from the dark realm. It certainly agitates the pope and the hierarchy, who now try to strike a fatal blow against even it’s use. It is hard to imagine the kind of hubris involved in daring to work to eliminate the ancient, Holy Mass of Ages. Does he never worry, he’s wrong? Does he never fear he moves against God Himself? You can’t do these things and fear God.
    Yes, the men who claim “division”, are the worst dividers of all.
    The TLM will increase because it is the rite that God put in place for His proper worship. On some level, we, the flock, know this to be true.
    On a human level, people do not like to be lied to nor handled. The TLM is being lied about, the actions of Francis and his assistants so over the top and obvious they have brought the TLM to the attention of many who would not have really noticed the TLM. In a time where governments are blatantly heavy-handed and threatening liberty and lives over a manipulation that grows more obvious by the day, the effort of Rome was even more likely to be resisted. People are not willing slaves. People do not want to be lied to, especially by people clearly serving themselves. People do not want to be told what they will and will not do. We have all had more than our fill of that. Tyrants and evildoers must be identified and resisted. Well, he drew the line, we didn’t.
    He picked a bad time. But his time is running out and he knows it. They didn’t have the luxury of waiting, so they made the move they’ve wanted to make for possibly centuries, who knows, maybe forever. It doesn’t matter.
    Personally, I started veiling after TC. It seemed a perfect time.

  13. John Malloy says:

    Now that “conservatives” are beginning to mix with decades long trads it is probably a good idea to have some rules of engagement. No apologies are necessary but conservatives should probably cut the word “schismatic” from their vocabulary and old trads should tone down criticism of post conciliar popes. And you may not know who you are talking to or who may be listening.

  14. Andrew says:

    /sarcasm: Response to a dubia: should a bishop grant a permission to use the Novus Ordo to any priest?

    Prior to granting any priest the concession to celebrate according to the Novus Ordo, the Bishop should “establish a fraternal dialogue with the Priest” to ascertain that his attitude does not exclude the validity and legitimacy of the Council of Trent and the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs. Specifically, an inquiry should be made about Canon 9, which states that “if anyone says that … the mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular tongue only; [] let him be anathema.” /

  15. summorumpontificum777 says:

    Kudos to Phil Lawler on A+ analysis of the situation. This is one of the most brilliant, insightful pieces on TC that has been written thus far. Although I was a TLM attendee before this pontificate, Lawler is 100% right about the premises and assumptions that form (or formed) the basis of the “conservative” Novus Ordo mentality and how Pope Francis has utterly demolished those premises. The hermeneutic of rupture has unapologetically carried the day under this pontificate and the iceberg on which “the reform of the reform” sat has melted away. Trads didn’t cause this, but we are in a position to understand it.

  16. Mike says:

    I grew up in the Boston area. I live in the DC area. The difference in Church attendance is striking. In DC, in my experience, you get very good priests, boomer musical liturgies, lots of children (lots of parents with two teens, say, a boy and a girl, but hey, it looks odd, but you never know).

    Boston: a sea of white and gray haired oldies in parishes that have been consolidated. I mean, last summer, one of my daughters in her 20s was with me at Sunday Mass in Boston area–she was the only one. The only 20-something in the whole Church. I think the 2002 crisis went off like a nuke up there.

  17. Jim Dorchak says:

    I do believe that many of the people who love TLM never, NEVER, had a love for the N.O. So for example, no one wants to be part of a losing team. For my wife and I we did not want to have anything to do with what we have come to see as Anti Catholic.
    It is that simple for us. We do not long for banners and butterflies. Never liked that whole idea. We just felt that if other catholics wanted the kindergarten approach then God love them, but that was not what moved us to REMAIN CATHOLIC.

  18. CatholicNerdGirl says:

    It seems that Francis hates Catholicism and Catholics in general. :(

    He seems to be very mean spirited and self-centered.

  19. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh Andrew, it should be exactly that way. The Catholic Church should be hard identity Catholic. We see now in retrospect that to give in on even the small details (if anything is truly small) is to let the whole thing fall apart and become what it wasn’t. If a thing is to be held together, it must be held down to the smallest dot. Many eyes must be on it, holding people accountable for the slightest alteration.
    And for God’s sake don’t elect a Communist as pope.

  20. The Egyptian says:

    The exact thing that drove me away from the church back in my youth in the late 70’s.
    An egotistic pastor who demanded that everything was about HIM, all attention all the time. He was caustic and nasty, also very insecure and grasping. Informed us that his transfer to our tiny country parish was beneath his abilities and if he didn’t get his way he would close the parish. He burnt our lovely HUGE Christmas creche and put the statues in front of the altar, “the children are looking at the crib when they are supposed to be looking at me” From 1977 to 1985 I went Easter and Christmas and that was it, then met my future wife and she converted, I started to explore my faith, started a blog, now deceased, Was looking forward to the Latin mass starting at my old rural home parish. The lock down started the day the Latin mass was scheduled to start. After the year long plus closure and now this crap, I am back to really being ambivalent about church, go sometimes but then i just don’t care anymore, we’re back to the 70’s again . At 63 I resigned to praying but feeling like Job.

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  22. N.O. Catholic says:

    What Pope Francis has been doing to faithful Catholics who are attached to the TLM is unconscionable. And foolish.

    Fr Z’s many articles on this site have made clear that (deliberately or not) the directives of Vatican II on the Mass and the liturgy were vastly exceeded. But given that the Novus Ordo Mass can be reverently celebrated (and I am fortunate enough to have access to such Masses), and that it has been in placed for over 50 years, it can’t simply be replaced. That would be as wrong as the abrupt replacement of the TLM was in 1970.

    Pope Benedict wisely chose to repair the liturgy by his provisions in Summorum Pontificum to allow both to co-exist and allow the liturgy to evole naturally. But Pope Francis wants to sweep that away.

    That is both foolish and unfair.

  23. MrsBridge says:

    I guess Tertullian’s flare is more impressive than a lesser man’s flair. Makes me want to read him.

  24. Lurker 59 says:

    I have previously found “traditionalists” to be quite the appropriate term; neo-Thomistic or more broadly, neo-scholastic, seems more suited. The ONLY, and I mean ONLY, valid criticism that can be leveled at the orthodox quotient of the group is the tendency towards being myopic and either not being aware of, allowing, or a priori discounting non-(neo)Thomistic theology. (One can see this in action in the phenomenal Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ott.) It is the same criticism of the pre-VII groups Nouvelle Théologie and Ressourcement.

    Post VII, I think, we can broadly categorize groups as:

    Aggiornamento Catholics — those that want to see the Church interact more directly with the world following the “Spirit of the Council” — moving out of the “Catholic ghetto” and into more direct engagement with the modern world. Very dominant at Vatican II and just after. I am not sure that this group viably exists anymore and cannot think of a single modern luminary or writer.

    “Spirit of VII Catholics” — Those that see VII as a rupture with the past (hermeneutic of rupture) and a bringing of a new age into the Church. They see themselves as heralds of a new utopia, a new model of Church, and engagement with the world. Their theology and morality is heterodox to outright non-Christian by any historical standard of orthodoxy, but they agree with this and state that the Spirit of VII has moved being Christian into a new modality. Can be really aggressive.

    “Hermeneutic of Continuity Catholics”. This is the Ratzingerian wing of the Church. They see VII as being in conformity with pre-VII, IF interpreted correctly, lament that VII has not been implemented correctly, and are opposed to the “hermeneutic of rupture” interpretation of the Council. They are sort of the Catholic underdogs, tend to not want to make waves while shifting praxis and doxology back to ortho.

    “Traditionalists”. These see VII in the light of the “hermeneutic of rupture”. Generally speaking, they don’t want anything to do with the post-VII Church’s mission or liturgy and want to be left alone to do “what Catholics have always done”, in sort of a neo-Thomistic sort of way. Can be cranky due to neverending beatings.

    —-

    I think that Pope Francis has reshuffled the deck. I know that this pontificate has caused me to do a lot of rethinking about things. I am a convert (so I have a strong interest in truth, don’t have a problem in being wrong, want to move to stronger positions of truth, and have a strong distaste for liars, cheats, and theaves) who is way more Eastern in spirituality than Western. My affinity has thus been towards the Ressourcement group and by training, I am Ratzingerian (which is to say “hermeneutic of continuity” with the mission to get the Church back on track.)

    I’ve come to view the “hermeneutic of continuity” as much more of an academic argument. This Pontificate is deadset against such a thing, the degree of TC in TC (and the rest), and the ongoing codification (canonically, “theologically”, praxis, who holds power, etc.) to expunge the HfoC at an official level, I don’t see how the HofC can exist beyond an academic argument (not an epistemological reality) that might be capable of fixing the problems between post-VII, VII, and pre-VII Catholicism. And if you don’t anathema the whole ball of wax of this Pontificate, is HofC not a defunct argument, even if a BXVII comes along and the Church just permanently ignores this Pontificate? (This seems to be the option that is being opted for and hoped for by those HofC who have positions of power, rather than direct confrontation and the pandora’s box of declaring a pontiff a formal heretic). I suppose that the only other option (the long slow defeat of history) is just to soldier on, as HofC tends to do, while being forced into compromising positions or gradually shoved into the Traditionalist concentration camp.

    Not thrilled.

    The other real thinking of things has been due to the COVID lockdowns and denial of access to the Sacraments. Either way that you slice it, HofR or HofC, the powers that be have shown that, when the TC hits the fan, they don’t think that the sacraments are salvific. And YES there are good bishops and priests out there who acted according to the Faith, but it is a dogma of the Faith that, as we are all part of the Mystical Body of Christ, that the sins of one impacts the rest, especially when it comes from those that have positions of headship.

    Not thrilled, again.

    Not sure where this all leaves me. Thinking about the Faith is a process, I have found — one where you want to be closer to Christ, to have His mind, the be in the light of His truth. It is almost like a patch of sunlight moving across the ground, the blades of grass, the leaves of the tree, bend ever to be in it and capture its fullness.

    Speaking of which, let me again plug THE MIND THAT IS CATHOLIC by the late Fr. Schall https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081DKM4LL/ . I have found this to this book to be that which has most undone the snarl of this Pontificate for myself.

  25. Gaetano says:

    For us it was painfully awful music & terrible preaching that prompted our move out of the N.O.

    We looked East, finding a small Ruthenian Byzantine parish with a beautiful Divine Liturgy and solid preaching. It was a helpful move. Eastern Christian theology was a healthy corrective that opened up many perspectives, while the fasting disciples were equally helpful.

  26. sendero says:

    How to put the current situation on non-religious terms to bypass the emotions of religion? It would be similar as an Argentinian inviting me to his drag strip to race my older car against his mid-1970s “Muscle car” .
    The Argentinian’s car is a resto-mod 73 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coup with pea green vinyl seats and exterior, a slant six engine, open differential, and single exhaust. In charity, I say it is a “nice car” and point out some odd modifications to the car and ask him why he made those changes, such as shag carpeting and welding the doors shut to prevent the virus’ from getting inside the car.
    I arrive at the dragstrip with a older numbers-matching original 1970 Plymouth Cuda, 426 Hemi engine, 4-speed, Posi differential, go-mango orange exterior, and white leather interior.
    Both cars were made by Plymouth factory and have Barracuda bodies, but the acquaintances newer model was bean- countered to eschew all the performance attributes and manufactured with the most mundane options and then “personalized” with out-of-place modifications
    Predictably, the older performance-designed Hemi Cuda’ out-performed the mundane 6-cylinder Barracuda during the race – to such an extent that embarrassment hurt the Argentinian’s pride. Far Worse! The spectators started to line up to see the faster car up close and even ride in it- for its doors were not welded shut during Covid.
    The Argentinian reactively declared to use his position as CEO of the race track to bar the Hemi car from the dragstrip, thus promoting, by dictate, the slower car as the only classic muscle car that spectators could appreciate.
    Despite the goal of the dictate, the spectators gradually became more aware that the performance car propelled a soul from point A to B far faster and with more awe than the slower car that the track’s owner was promoting. Track attendance kept dropping as spectators sought out the faster car to ride in. Soon, a new track owner will come and fix the injustice of the Argentinian. Perhaps in the future, the pea green car will be seen for what really is: a pea-green 6 cylinder automobile with shag carpeting and welded doors.

  27. Not says:

    Thank you , Midwest St. Michael & Richard Leonardi for correcting the confusion on the titles and authors. Much appreciated.

  28. Danteewoo says:

    When Church authorities can finally agree on what Vatican II was all about, I’ll listen. Until then, I will accept the Council as I would accept a cancerous tumor — cut the thing out.

  29. robtbrown says:

    Lurker, sorry for the delay, but I wanted to respond to your cpmments above.

    The thought of St Thomas (Thomism, to some) should not ever be considered similar to Neo-Scholasticism. Neo-Schol was much influenced (read: infected) by Rationalism. Thus, certain distinction and terms used by St Thomas that indicated distinctions in Reality became in Neo Scholasticism little else than intellectual distinctions that were handy but did not reflect Reality. This is especially true in Suarez SJ, whose works were the basis of Jesuit intellectual formation for hundreds of years.

    IMHO, the German Existentialism that emerged in Jesuit theology is little else than their reaction to their own Neo-Scholasticism.

    The Ratzinger phrase Hermeneutic of Continuity

  30. robtbrown says:

    Lurker, sorry for the delay, but I wanted to respond to your cpmments above.

    The thought of St Thomas (Thomism, to some) should not ever be considered similar to Neo-Scholasticism. Neo-Schol was much influenced (read: infected) by Rationalism. Thus, certain distinction and terms used by St Thomas that indicated distinctions in Reality became in Neo Scholasticism little else than intellectual distinctions that were handy but did not reflect Reality. This is especially true in Suarez SJ, whose works were the basis of Jesuit intellectual formation for hundreds of years.

    IMHO, the German Existentialism that emerged in Jesuit theology is little else than their reaction to their own Neo-Scholasticism.

    The Ratzinger phrase Hermeneutic of Continuity

  31. robtbrown says:

    I take the Ratzinger Hermeneuttic of Continuity to refer principally to documents of Vat II, which on the one hand contain much sound theology on true reform but on the other are usually surrounded by a ideas from Ecumaniacs intended to undermine Catholic life. JRatzinger is saying pay attention to the former and ignore the latter. Included in the Ecumaniacal approach seems a willingness to
    replace the Holy Spirit with the Hegelian Geist, which brings with it a fantasy that some New Age will produce a doctrine-free Church (It will be so spiritual) I think it’s very relevant that JRatzinger understands the problems of Joachim di Fiore and his followers.

    I know many who consider themselves Trads and we have liturgical opinions with much in common. They are very serious Catholics. I find , however that they seem to want a return to the Counter Reformation Church (hello, Neo Scholasticism). I have to admit that their proclivity for translating Spiritus Sanctus as Holy Ghost, a remnant of Anglicanism, as Holy Ghost is a head- scratcher. Aside from the fact that Ghost comes from the Geist (see above), there is also Jn 16:13. Should Spiritus veritatis be translated as the Ghost of Truth?

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