Daily Archives: February 6, 2009

Assessment of the Maciel Situation at "Whispers in the Loggia"

Does it work both ways?? One-sided "interfaith relations"

In Oct. 2007, admidst all the controversy over the traditional Good Friday prayers, Francis Cardinal George, OMI, made a simple request that Jews give some tit-for-tat and change the parts of the Talmud that refer to Jesus as a “bastard” and a “sorcerer.”

To date, there’s no sign of a response to that request.

The Last Column

It’s already all over the Net, but Amy Welborn’s husband, Michael Dubruiel, died of a heart attack at the gym the other day. In the spirit of the “last lecture” phenomenon, Amy has posted Michael’s “last column,” the column he was working on for the Diocese of Birmingham newspaper before he died. As it happens, he was reflecting on how we don’t know when death will happen, and it’s pretty profound.

The Real Reason for all the Frustrations over SSPX

When Pope Benedict issued _Summorum Pontificum_, everyone from the most radical feminazi nun to the average “conservative,” “pro-life,” “JPII” Catholic was in some level of distress. “We dont’ want to lose the English Mass!” They cried. The media fed into paranoia that Vatican II was “going away.”

Now, with the mere lifting of the excommunication of the Society of St. Pius X bishops, without any other levels of reconciliation or rehabilitation achieved, there’s a similar brouhaha. Bishop Williamson’s crackpot ideas have made him a convenient lightning rod. But if there wasn’t a single anti-Semite or holocaust denier among the membership of the SSPX, people would find something else to harp about.

This idea was inspired by a comment made by Fr. Z. at What Does the Prayer Really Say.”

There are two views of Vatican II. *Most* people think, in some way or another, that Vatican II means a “break” with the past. To traditionalists, that’s a bad thing. It’s not just the fact that the Mass was celebrated the same way for hundreds of years (arguably well over a thousand) and then changed practically overnight to something very similar to Protestant services. It’s that ideas that previous Popes and Councils had condemned as “anathema”–such as freedom of religion–were suddenly turned on their head. Suddenly, the old “anathema” was now a required belief of the Church. And while Vatican II issued no “anathemas,” there was a de facto anathema–enforced by public disapproval–against anyone who expressed even a question to the Council’s change, and especially against anyone who preferred to express the teaching of the Church “the old fashioned way.”

“That’s gone now. Vatican II got rid of that.” That pretty much sums up the answer to every question I ever asked in CCD or religion class.

This coming from a Council that was described by both John XXIII and Paul VI as something different, not a “doctrinal” council, but a “pastoral” council, a council intended to discuss how the Church *expressed* Her teachings but not to formulate any new doctrines.

Yet plenty of “new” doctrines have come out of Vatican II. And, while part of the Council’s Zeitgeist was “new tone” Catholicism (“Let’s not use words like anathema or heresy anymore, shall we?”), again, to even question them is to be labeled a “RadTrad” and immediately lumped in with anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists.

There is an alternate view: what Pope Benedict calls the “hermeneutic of continuity”; what Dietrich von Hildebrand calls distinguishing between “incomplete truth” and falsehood.

However, if a poll were to be done, I’d say more than 90% of Catholics–traditionalists, radical traditionalists, progressives, and “the average Joe”–agree that Vatican II represents a “new Church,” a break with the past. Of those, the vast majority think that “break with the past” was a good thing, because they think the past of the Church was horrible (even though the present state of the Church is probably the worst in Her history).

*This* is why the *attempted* rehabilitation of the SSPX is so horrifying to many people. If the SSPX are in schism, then they can say that anyone who goes to the Extraorindary Form of the Mass is secretly a schismatic “like those kooks in the SSPX.”

If the SSPX is able to be rehabilitated into the Church, that means there is truth to Benedict’s hermeneutic of continuity, that there is *not* a huge break representated by Vatican II.

It’s not that anyone seriously thinks Vatican II will be “overturned”. It’s that any acknowledgement that there was truth to pre-Vatican II teaching is considered “turning the clocks back” by the average progressive, Charismatic or Cursillista.

And that is precisely why it’s such a priority for Pope Benedict.