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Thursday, November 20, 2003

Mea Culpa? 

Shawn demands apology over Fatima inter-faith controversey

I'm sorry Shawn, but I really don't see where Traditionalists have been proven so wrong. Let's point out a few things.

1.) The conference on the Present of Man and the Future of God is not something the Vatican is a total stranger to. Indeed, it is always one of it's chief participants in the UN forum. This is where the plan to change Fatima was formulated. To say that everyone was just ignorant of this is flat out false, or makes them completely incompetent at knowing what is going on in their flock, not a very good sign for shepards.(An Article in this Rock awhile back talked about the current Pontiff as perhaps one of the greatest teachers, but worst administrators the Church has ever seen. I've been pondering that, and I've come to see more and more truth to that.)

2.) The people and the Commission behind this statement were PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE WHERE FATIMA WAS ANNOUNCED TO BE CHANGED! So if indeed the plan is on the shelf, it is only because of the furious backlash and shock, not because of any other reason. Traditionalists should feel proud is this is the case, since it showed just how powerful the voice of Tradition can be, since Traditionalists did much to discuss this issue, while Neo-Catholics stayed 100% silent.)

3.) The rector of Fatima was at this conference, where these remarks were made, and he was in full support of them.

4.) Jacques Dupuis, the person who was "censured" by the CDF was preaching his blatantly heretical views at this conference. This brings something to mind, why at a conference the Vatican does have some role in organizing is a man who is censured for his pluralism allowed to speak on this topic. Even if the Vatican had nothing to do with helping to plan the UN conference, why is this man allowed to speak at Catholic events? (Something at Fatima should be a Catholic event.)

5.) The rector says that while centered on Our Lady, this place must examine it's place in the inter-religious world. Well, Fatima talks about people NEEDING to convert to the Catholic faith. This simply cannot survive in an inter-religious context, and must go.

6.) It talks about Fatima's "rennovation" to "modern times", an entire discussion in and of itself.

7.) Why was this plan put out there to begin with? Are you going to tell me noone in Rome knew about this? I again, find this hard to believe.

I don't really know what the exact answer is to these questions, but someone with Shawn's unbridled arrogance and glee in this posting should be able to answer these.

Diversity for Me, but not for Thee 

Another Round with Shawn

Shawn has responded to the "Inconsistencies to Ponder" post i made awhile back. No Shawn, this will not become a regular segment at Restore the Church, but was just a one-time ploy off of your regular segment at Rerum Novarum, some of which I will readily admit I like, and at times some good issues are raised and discussed.(Wow, Kevin actually likes some of Shawn's writings!) He didn't respond to much(being much wasn't written originally) so for once, this will be a rather short exchange. As Always, my original remarks are KT1. Shawn's Response is SME1. My rebuttal will be KT2.

There's not really much I'd like to comment on(me and Shawn exchange a few sarcastic blows to start things off) but he says something of substance here.

KT1: Furthermore, they talk of a pluralistic notion of the Church that history teaches us, in which I assume they mean the "unity in diversity." Sorry, but this entire argument is a fraud, simply because under the guise of plurality, Traditionalism certainly isn't allowed by today's Church!

SME1:Which of course explains why (to name one example) the Fraternity of St. Peter has grown so exponentially with numerous requests from local ordinaries who have gone from distrusting the Indult movement to actually supporting it.{3} And there are other Indult apostolates as well with similar growth rates and increased acceptance by the local ordinaries. But of course all of this is a conspiracy I suppose to mask the fact that [t]raditionalism certainly isn't allowed by today's Church according to Kevin.

KT2: I really was hoping he wouldn't bring this out. What was the name of that Protocol where Hoyos effectively gutted the original agreement the FSSP had with Rome Shawn? Why is it the FSSP is allowed the Benediction in Washington DC, but not allowed to actually say Mass in some of the bigger chapels? I would also note a few things about increased acceptance. First, the Novus Ordo Liturgy has declining attendance, as many are sick and tired of the innovations and abuses. This isn't some schismatic speaking these claims, but the very heads of the Pontifiical Councils that deal with this subject! Many are beginning to call for something the Church is known for, stability. And in the Vatican II\post-Vatican II world, stability is something that simply does not exist.

Furthermore, many are merely accepting it out of a relativistc pluralistic notion of the liturgy. They allow Gay Masses, Beach masses, folk Masses, Polish Masses, French masses, Spanish Masses, why not the Traditional one? Now I'm glad they're at least offering it, though at times the reasons are troubling. I of course attempt to avoid imputing ill motives, but with some statements and actions, one must be cautious at being TOO CHARITABLE to the point where reality is being denied.

KT1:We live in a Church today where people are offended by the feast of CORPUS CHRISTI!

SME1:Not in my experience. Refresh my memory here, Corpus Christi is the feast celebrated the Sunday after Trinity Sunday right??? One of my confessors in fact preached on this subject if I recall correctly. I do not recall anyone getting up and leaving, I do not recall any protests, I do not recall a single person who afterwards expressed "offense" at this feast. But they all must have because, after all, people are offended by the feast so says Kevin.{4} But that is okay because I know he means well.

KT2: Well, I hope Shawn ends the "Ready Fire Aim" Approach here, because he launched quite a salvo. July 28, 2003, where Fr. John Perricone came under fire for using a little too much Latin, and the people objected to his reverent observance of Corpus Christi. Surely Shawn remembers this story(though when you're so busy making excuses for everything, I guess you forget the occasional one, eh my friend. :-) )
(It's only available for purchase off of New York Times online) In the archives for this week at Restore The Church, both myself and Michael comment on this story. So not SO SAYS KEVIN. So says this was a fact! As Mike said in commenting on this, everything seems allowed except God Forbid Corpus Christi. Now since I do have a factual basis for this, let's see if Shawn practices his oft quoted "Spiritual maturity" and retracts.

SME1:"I do not know very many Catholics whom I would say hate the past. But presumably because most of them are not interested in the form of Catholicism Kevin is{5} that must mean that they indeed hate it."

KT2: My Dear Shawn! I thought there were no "Forms of Catholicism" in particular to Benedict XV's remark! Remember, the one you kept on telling me I violate by talking about "forms of Catholicism?"

SME1: But as I noted previously when responding to Adam Kolasinski, with regards to Vatican II or any other council or papal pronouncement, all that is required is accepting the teaching set forth, not the opinions of the legislator on the merit of the teaching.

KT2: Of course, since noone really knows what Vatican II taught, or where Vatican II taught something dogmatically not taught before, noone really knows what to give assent to, other than that which was already taught before in Tradition. is there something new we must give assent to?

Well that's about all in this post I really have to say to Shawn. I just ask him to please be consistent, if he's going to say we're guilty of "classifying forms of Catholicism" when attacking Neo-Catholicism, I will not allow him to do the same. And hopefully a retraction of his snide remarks above RE: the Corpus Christi issue, since I have provided more than sufficient citation.(It's in the NYT on the said date, also available online, and 2 commentaries on it.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Continuation of Response to Shawn, the Clarification 

If everyone remembers in the previous post, I announced I would clarify something, since it seems me and Shawn miscommunicated, and given the problems with the comment boxes, such is understandable. Well, I finally got the comments back, so let's past what Shawn had said.

As the Church has struck out in another direction since Vatican II -a more traditional direction actually- to some extent certain elements of the period before Vatican II are not applicable anymore. But lest this be misunderstood, let me clarify what has not changed.

SME: The doctrine is still applicable; however some ways of expressing it which were less-than-complete were given the axe by the Council and the subsequent popes have approved of this approach.{1} Areas of discipline or previous guidance on approaching certain subjects have been loosed with new directives bound.{2} And of course certain theological opinions which were never actual Church teaching (but nonetheless were often treated as such) were given the axe or were clearly designated as areas of opinion.{3} Likewise, certain areas previously focused on to an extreme were balanced with complementary elements which were often not focused on before.{4}

This was in regards to what has vs hasn't changed. I labeled these as the Propositions. These obviously have nothing to do with pantheism. Let me re-post what I had said.

KT: Now in regards to your statements on what has and hasn't changed in the Syllabus issue, here's one serious criticism I have of Neo-Catholics. Propositions 1 and 4 it seems cannot be challenged, and must be accepted as inherently a great change, even though they are of a discplinary nature(since they were obviously changed to begin with!) Disagreeing with the change does not mean rejecting the authority to change, something John Q. Neo-Catholic seems unable to get into his head.

Response: I would first point out I meant to say Propositions 1 and 3. Proposition one was in relation to things being loosed, and others being bound. These were of a discplinary nature in the majority of areas, as Shawn agrees(she sheds her accidents but not her substance.) Of course Traditionalists say shedding her accidents makes her substance appear not as strong and healthy. Whenever you bring this point up, our Neo-Catholic friends rather than debate the prudence and effectivness of a measure, merely debate the validity and the authority to do such. In other words, even if a policy is disastarous, we should still continue doing this since it's valid. Apolonio seems to admit this much when he says we should continue to dialogue even if it's been a continious failure in achieving it's intentions.

Proposition 3 says that to balance out the "Extreme"(of course there is no real definition. I agree there were some elements, but he needs to be more precise so I can say whether or not I will agree with him. To say that people must become Catholic of course is not extreme, yet under this model, I would argue it has been augmented with a thinly veiled "Communio" ecclesiology, where noone knows where it's going, and tells everyone since they are in the "Church of Christ" in some sense, that's the bare-bones. And if we know anything about Protestants, the majority today are Mere Christians as C.S. Lewis put it, why the need for more?) they focused on other areas not covered. The reason traditionalists contest this is that some areas "Not covered" we were cautioned by the voice of the past not to cover, for it's dangerous to do so. The teaching on invincible ignorance is one of these things. Continuing delving into this was cautioned against by BL. Pius IX because we could goto the dangerous extreme that everyone is saved by "invincible ignorance" and with the idea of anomoyous Christians, we come VERY close to that if the proper distinctions are not made, and all too often, they aren't.(Note I disagree with the former notion, but understand the reasoning, just think they go off the track in certain areas.)

Hopefully this clears this up for Shawn.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Brief Counter to Shawn McElhinney 

Shawn has decided to give me a little response over at the lidless Eye Inquisition. I will hereby quote his remarks. This originally started on the Lidless Eye Blog, when I squared off against him, Jim Scott, and Apolonio Latar. Yet the comment boxes were turning into full length novels, so we decided to break it off into private, or other blog postings. Shawn's Original comments will be SME1, my originals will be KT1, his response will be SME2, and my newest response to him will be KT2. Let's get started.

SME1:"As the Church has struck out in another direction since Vatican II -a more traditional direction actually- to some extent certain elements of the period before Vatican II are not applicable anymore. But lest this be misunderstood, let me clarify what has not changed."

KT1:Well of course the entire debate was if it was actually a "Traditional" strike or not

SME2:Those who know their pre-"reformation" history are aware that it is.

KT2: This is one thing that just aggrivates me about my good friend Shawn. It is impossible to respond to such snide remarks. Yet as far as "Pre-Reformation" history, let me try and go with that.

It seems Shawn would just like to ignore the past developments of 500 years of history, civilization, etc when taking into account ecclesial matters. Though I thought Vatican II needed to get in touch with modern times, yet in reality, modern times is "Pre-Reformation." Well, the leaders of Vatican II say something refering to modernizing, Shawn interprets it for us to mean traditional. Does anyone think that's a little odd!

A Second notion I find problematic with Shawn is antiquarianism, just because something's old let's get excited about it. He frequently does this when issues such as communion in the hand, and many things with the Novus Ordo Liturgy come up. Simple, if you can find an obscure reference in the Fathers, it's automatically traditional. There are two errors with this, what is "traditional" and how is that made. Just because something is old surely does not make it "Traditional." The Ransom to Satan Theory of the Attonement is quite old, yet that doesn't make it right. Second it's not just one source that mentions it is which makes it traditional. Something which is traditional is consistently advocated. In other words, while communion in the hand did exist, as we grew to a more developed understanding of the Eucharist and what it entailed, the valid development in discpline of communion on the tounge developed, and in the context of the times, and I believe such still is around today, the majority of those who are out there consistently advocating(not just permitting) communion in the hand and other liturgical innovations do not have the Catholics best interest at heart. Indeed, that's why Fr. Hardon said any attempts we make to stop it would be rewarded by God! Blessed Theresa even said nothing made her more sad than this. So I can readily argue the consensus of the Fathers in this particular area, is in line with me. Now being it's discplinary it can of course be changed, don't get me wrong. One does not committ a sacrelige automatically by communion in the hand, but I think some evidence for this practice being beneficial, and indeed superior to the old way(with evidence of course to prove this) should be presented before such a change is made.

The Church does not change for change's sake. While it's open to change, it is not something that should be done easily. That's one of the key divides since Vatican II, is how to change, when to change, what should be changed, and why should we change it. We Traditionalists hold that there should be evidence before things are just castaway and new things are tried. Evidence what we had before wasn't working, and what is there now works better. Otherwise, we will continue to push for the former restored.

KT1:Now in regards to your statements on what has and hasn't changed in the Syllabus issue, here's one serious criticism I have of Neo-Catholics.

SME2:Before moving onto this point, I remind you of the teaching of Benedict XV on such attempts to add qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism.

KT2: I note in passing we only continued what was started by our good friend Shawn. "Rad-trads" have not committed open schism, at least not the majority of them, nor was a declaration of schism by proper authority given upon them in most cases. Indeed, Restore the Church is not in "schism" yet his colleagues have hurled the epithet towards us before. Shawn also refers to us as "Self-styled Traditionalists" and a host of other names. So Shawn, if it's ok for you to do so, surely it's ok for us to point this out as well!

There have always been adjectives to describe people's persuasions, and those adjectives in themselves are not inherently evil, but how they are used can be. If I were to state a Neo-Catholic, by being a Neo-Catholic was not really a Catholic, then I would suppose I violate this teaching. Yet i state everywhere, they are Catholics in good standing, they just have a thirst for novelty and something new, and to defend these things no matter what the results. Though if Shawn drops the whole "Rad-trad" or "self-styled traditionalist" mantra, I'll impose an order by fiat at Restore the Church for everyone to cease using Neo-Catholic. Yet somehow I think I can acquire a bridge in Brookyln before he does this...

"KT1:Propositions 1 and 4 it seems cannot be challenged, and must be accepted as inherently a great change, even though they are of a discplinary nature(since they were obviously changed to begin with!)

SME2:Those were proscriptions against pantheist notions. Here they are with the key points that nuance the condemnations bolded:"

There was some miscommunication here, and once Haloscan gets off their lazy butts and shows the comment boxes again, I will work at clearing this up. Propisitions 1 and 4 were what Shawn thinks they were. He states a true statement, but applies it to something I wasn't applying "Propositions 1 and 4 to" so we'll clarify that later.

SME2: I have over the years read no convincing arguments from those who oppose the magisterium of the Church Kevin.

KT2: Here we see Shawn's unfortunate arrogance and begging the question showing through. He's yet to really show that we are "opposed to the magesterium of the Church." Was Catholic World Report "opposed to the Magesterium of the Church" when it stated Guaidum Et Spes was far too optimistic, and that the last Pope that actually "Ruled" was Pius XII? Was George Weigel being "opposed to the living Magesterium" when he cited several reasons the Anglican Dialogue was doomed, when in reality Traditionalists have been making these same arguments for years and being dismissed by Wiegel's ilk as "prophets of doom" and "Rad-trad schismatics"? Of course that was what I meant, yet it seems Shawn has just ignored that, or glossed over, since it was a short response. I'm allowing the latter to be possible, since he himself stated it was a short response. As we're both busy men(And I'm still awaiting the negotiations on a future dialogue we are having) I'm hoping in the future if he does respond to this part, he will keep these things in mind.

SME2:This is the reason why radtrad arguments for the most part fail to persuade those who are of the proper Catholic mindset and are prone to the usual desires for corroborating support.

KT2: Does that "Proper Catholic mindset" include calling the Novus Ordo a "Fabricated Liturgy" or praising a book which called it the Roman Rite's "Destruction." The view that Vatican II might not have been prudent, but indeed her reforms have caused more harm than good is not an obscure argument, but an argument that has over 40 years gained acceptance, to where now even mainstream publications are willing to admit this.

I'll keep mine short and sweet as well, and when haloscan is fixed, give a clarification on the one point.

Other than that, I will let Jacob choose to respond to Apolonio if he wills, since it's his writing, and I really don't wanna deal with all those math equations!

Monday, November 17, 2003

The New Mass: Uncrowning the King 

Continuing in our on-going comparisons of the prayers of the New Mass with the prayers of the Traditional Mass, we come to this coming Sunday's liturgy, the Mass for November 23, 2003.

This is, as you may know, the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. The next week, November 30, we begin the new Liturgical Year with the First Sunday of Advent.

We have only come this far in the discussion, and already there is one serious difference in the two Masses which will be celebrated this coming Sunday: Traditionalists will be celebrating the 24th and Last Sunday after Pentecost. The Novus Ordo Catholics will be celebrating... The Feast of Christ the King.

That's right, what Traditionalists celebrated a few weeks ago, on the last Sunday in October, the Novus Ordo crowd is just getting around to observing.

There is a reason for this. Traditionalists celebrate the Festo Iesu Christi Regis at the end of October, obedient to the wishes of the pope who instituted the Feast. I am, of course, referring to Pope Pius XI, who decreed that this Feast should be celebrated as a permanent part of the Liturgical Year, in order that the faithful should have before their eyes a yearly reminder of the Social Kingship of Christ - that is, the reign of Christ over nations and societies, as well as individual persons. The pope said:

"Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October - the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints...

The last Sunday of October seemed the most convenient of all for this purpose, because it is at the end of the liturgical year, and thus the feast of the Kingship of Christ sets the crowning glory upon the mysteries of the life of Christ already commemorated during the year, and, before celebrating the triumph of all the Saints, we proclaim and extol the glory of him who triumphs in all the Saints and in all the Elect." (Quas Primas, 28-29)

The Holy Father decreed to the Bishops, "see that sermons are preached to the people in every parish to teach them the meaning and the importance of this feast." And what is the "meaning and the importance of this feast," which Pope Pius XI so strongly desired that all the faithful should comprehend?

"Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ...

...his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.

The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal.

...He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ.

He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God.

He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone.

He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls..." (Quas Primas, 32-33)

This emphasis upon Christ's rule over nations and secular rulers gives us a further insight into why the Feast is celebrated - or is supposed to be celebrated - on the last Sunday in October.

The Liturgical Year is a kind of on-going allegorical picture, representing the calendar of history. As we draw near to the end of the Liturgical Year, we are figuratively drawing near to the end of Time itself. As Archbishop Lefebvre explained, the Feast of Christ the King is situated within the Liturgical Calendar so that there are still a few Sundays left before the New Liturgical Year begins. This signifies that the Kingship of Christ is here, is now, is present within space and time.

The revolutionaries have relocated the Feast so that it marks the very end of the Liturgical Year - and this is not without significant reason. What the displacement of the Feast signifies is the Novus Ordo belief that the reign of Christ does not come until the end of time. It reflects the common Modern belief that Christ does not exercise His Kingship over all men and nations until He returns in Glory at the end of the world. In the meantime, Church and State should be separate, and all men should enjoy religious freedom - the liberty to worship according to the dictates of their conscience, even if their conscience dictates that they should worship no one at all.

Well then. Enough about the significance of why the Novus Ordo populace will be celebrating the Feast of Christ the King this Sunday, instead of celebrating the Last Sunday after Pentecost.

We now turn to the prayers of the two Masses (we will be comparing the prayers of Christ the King, not comparing the NOM Christ the King liturgy to the 24th Sunday after Pentecost), where we will see in black and white from the liturgy what we only see by inference from the calendric location of the feasts.

"Let us pray: Almighty and merciful God, you break the power of evil and make all things new in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the universe. May all in heaven and earth acclaim your glory and never cease to praise you." (Opening Prayer, Christ the King)

"Almighty and everlasting God, who in Thy beloved Son, the King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things, mercifully grant that all the kindreds of the nations that are divided by the wound of sin, may be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule." (Collect, Christ the King)

I will only mention in passing the usual shortcomings of the New Prayers that we have examined in other Masses, such as the failure of the NOM prayer to include phrases like "the wound of sin." Instead, I wish to focus on how well these prayers conform to the purpose for which Pope Pius XI instituted this Feast.

The NOM prayer appeals to God that "all in heaven and earth acclaim your glory." All well and good. But there is nothing in this prayer that explicitly points us to the Social Kingship of Christ in the here and now. The traditional prayer does this by requesting that "the kindreds of nations... be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule."

Where the traditional prayer points directly to "nations" in the here and now as the subjects of Christ's "yoke," the NOM prayer places before us "all in heaven and earth," not as subjects of the rule of Christ, but as those who "never cease to praise you."

Now, granted, only those who are under the "sweet yoke" of Christ will acclaim His glory and never cease to praise Him. But the point is, the NOM prayer is decidedly generic, and tends more towards the reign of Christ at the end of time than it does His Kingship over Nations at the present time.

"Lord, we offer you the sacrifice by which your Son reconciles mankind. May it bring unity and peace to the world." (Prayer Over the Gifts, Christ the King)

"O Lord, we offer unto Thee the Victim of man's reconciliation: grant, we beseech Thee, that He whom we immolate in this present sacrifice, may Himself bestow on all nations the gifts of unity and peace, even our Lord Jesus Christ." (Secret, Christ the King)

We may take just a moment again to note the usual superiority in clarity of the traditional prayers when referring to the Mass as a sacrifice, before we move on to examine the heart of our discussion on Christ's Kingship. The NOM prayer does use the word "sacrifice," for which I am glad - at least it's not the generic "gifts" again. But it must be admitted that the traditional prayer dwarfs the NOM prayer absolutely, by referring to the "Victim... whom we immolate."

As to the purpose of the feast itself, again the traditional prayer finds its target, while the NOM misses the mark. Notice, the NOM prayer mentions the reconciliation of mankind and "unity and peace" for the "world." Wonderful, but where is the Social Kingship of Christ? It is found in the traditional prayer, which once more speaks specifically of "nations," that is, constituted societies, each of which must individually acknowledge publicly the Kingship of Christ.

Let me make a pre-emptive strike here: "the world" and "all nations" are not two terms that describe the same thing, only in different ways. They are similar, but in the particular context of this feast, the slight difference between them is magnified. "The world" refers to one collective group of individuals; but this group is, in reality, further separated into smaller collective groups of individuals who are united under particular secular authorities - in other words, "nations." A "nation" can be defined as a constitutional group of individuals united under one governing authority. "The world" cannot be defined as such, for "the world" is not united under one secular ruler, bound to one particular constitution.

Thus, when the NOM prayer refers to "the world," it is most assuredly not speaking of "all nations." The only way that Christ can be King over "the world" is if He is first recognized by all of the individual "nations" that make up "the world."

As I said, the difference is slight - almost so slight as to be inconsequential. But given the stated purpose of this feast, to proclaim Christ's Kingship over secular rulers and nations, the difference is magnified and becomes quite critical.

It is significant that both prayers ask for "unity and peace," for Pope Pius XI repeatedly made reference to this as being the over-arching goal of bringing all nations under Christ's rule. Observe:

" long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations." (QP 1)

"Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." (QP 1)

" seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord." (QP 1)

"When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony." (QP 19)

"If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King... The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity..." (QP 19)

"Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together..." (QP 19)

" If the kingdom of Christ... receives... all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth." (QP 20)

"...then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored." (QP 20)

"If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day... The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected... There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God... The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences... we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace..." (QP 24)

It seems strange, then, given that Pope Pius XI explicitly and repeatedly reminded the clergy that the only path to true world peace was through the acceptance of Christ's rule by all nations, and given that the Novus Ordo in general seems pre-occupied with world peace and unity, that the NOM prayers should fail to faithfully present to the laity the teaching of Pope Pius XI and the purpose of this feast. Could it be that the Novus Ordo Church is seeking to establish world peace by some alternate means? Why would they ignore the one guaranteed solution?

"Lord, you give us Christ, the King of all creation, as food for everlasting life. Help us to live by his gospel and bring us to the joy of his kingdom, where he lives and reigns forever and ever." (Prayer after Communion, Christ the King)

"We who have received the food of immortality, beseech Thee, O Lord: that we who glory in our warfare under the banners of Christ our King, may reign with Him for ever in His heavenly dwelling place." (Postcommunion, Christ the King)

This is, perhaps, the most explicit example of the disparate orientations of the two liturgies. The NOM prayer once again runs off in the direction of generality, referring to Christ as "the King of all creation." Where is the specific reference to nations in this prayer? The prayer concludes by betraying the very sentiment that I earlier said was behind the relocation of the Feast to the end of the Liturgical Year: it prays that we would be brought "to the joy of his kingdom, where he lives and reigns."

This is a decidedly eschatological anticipation. As we will be brought "to the joy of his kingdom" in the future, when He returns at the end of time, so also this is the chronological location where "he lives and reigns." He is the King, says the prayer, but His kingdom is then, and we will eventually be brought to it - but not right now, and not right here.

In contrast, the traditional prayer finds us, the Ecclesia Militans, currently engaged in "warfare under the banners of Christ our King." The battle is here, the battle is now, and we are soldiers who fight for our presently-reigning King, to the end that His Empire may be extended to all nations - even today.

This is a spiritual war, in which we struggle to bring about the realization of Christ's reign over all nations, over secular rulers, over society. Only in this way will true peace and unity be achieved throughout the world. As baptized Catholics, this is our duty, our solemn obligation. With that in mind, I leave you with this most appropriate prayer:

"O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge Thee to be the King of the universe; all that hath been made is created for Thee. Exercise over me all Thy sovereign rights. I hereby renew the promises of my Baptism, renouncing Satan and all his works and pomps, and I engage myself to lead henceforth a truly Christian life. And in an especial manner do I undertake to bring about the triumph of the rights of God and Thy Church, so far as in me lies. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee my poor actions to obtain the acknowledgement by every heart of Thy sacred kingly power. In such wise may the kingdom of Thy peace be firmly established throughout all the earth. Amen."

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Divine Math and Clearing the Subsistit Fog 

When Pope Pius XII sought to define the term "Church of Jesus Christ," he said the following:

"...we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ - which is [est] the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church..." (Mystici Corporis, 13)

"Some say they are not bound by the doctrine... which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing." (Humani Generis, 27)

Thus the Holy Father taught that there is a one-to-one equality between the terms "Church of Jesus Christ," and "One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church." "Est" is the best term to describe this relationship - it "is." The mathematical equivalent of this declaration is J=C, where J = "The Church of Jesus Christ" and C = "The Catholic Church."

The Second Vatican Council, and subsequently the document Domine Iesus, chose a different word for defining this relationship:

"This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists [subsistit] in the Catholic Church..." (Lumen Gentium, 8)

"Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church." (Domine Iesus, 17)

The shift has been made from "is" to "subsists in." What is the difference? Apolonio makes a valiant attempt at explaining this:

"This means that the Catholic Church possess the Church of Christ fully as its own. But does it mean that the Church of Christ can also subsist in other non-Catholic churches? The answer is simply no since there is only one Church of Christ."

Note already the departure from the definition of "est" that is being made: whereas Pius XII made "Church of Jesus Christ" and "Catholic Church" synonymous, i.e., two ways of describing one single entity, Apolonio makes them two separate entities, with one "fully" possessing the other. Already, then, we have a radical contradiction of Pope Pius XII.

Whereas Pope Pius XII's statement translates into J=C, Apolonio's statement translates into J={C}, or, the "Church of Jesus Christ" is a superset that contains the "Catholic Church" as one of its elements.

Is this "Church of Jesus Christ" and "Catholic Church" one entity, the two terms describing one reality? Or are they two entities, the one possessing the other "fully?"

We are not concerned with the latter inquiry made by Apolonio, whether non-Catholic churches can also fully possess the "Church of Jesus Christ." This is irrelevant. What we want to know is if "Church of Jesus Christ" is one entity, while "Catholic Church" is another entity.

Apolonio continues:

"Simply, when Pope Pius XII used the word "is", he spoke of the Church as a being and her nature. When Vatican 2 used "subsist", she spoke of the Church as a subject and that the nature is actualized in the Catholic Church for it is not the nature which exists, but in the subject."

This is only so much smoke-blowing that - unfortunately - is becoming the hallmark of the neo-Catholic apologetic. Words begin to take different shapes, fine nuances are introduced, new phrases are invented, old phrases are resurrected with new meanings, and the intent of it all is to leave the average layman dizzy and perplexed. It is hoped that he will simply conclude that his partner in dialogue knows so much more than he does, that his partner obviously knows what he's talking about, and since he doesn't want to appear ignorant, he will uncritically accept what his partner says with no further questions.

Again, as I have said before in other posts, this is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam, arguing to the ignorance of your opponent. It is quickly climbing to the top of the list of my most-hated fallacies, nearly surpassing even the ad hominem argument, because while the ad hominem is rooted in ignorance (i.e., the opponent has nothing of substance to say, so he turns to insults), the ad ignorantium is rooted in pride. It is calculated to make its advocate look superior in knowledge, but in reality, most of the time even the advocate doesn't know what he's talking about.

Let's break down this ad ignorantium, shall we?

Apolonio suggests the Pius XII was speaking of the "Catholic Church" as "a being," and Cardinal Ratzinger/Vatican 2 was speaking of the "Catholic Church" as "a subject." This nifty little nuance comes nowhere near to addressing the matter under debate, namely, the change in formulation from "J = C" to "J={C}"

The former implicitly excludes such statements as "J = B," where J = "The Church of Jesus Christ" and B = "The Baptist Church," or "J = E," where E = "The Eastern Orthodox Church." The latter statement does not exhaust the content of J, which means that while "J={C}" is true, it is also legitimate to say that "J={C, B, E}". More on this in a moment.

Apolonio goes on:

"Subsistence is the metaphysical root, the ontological foundation of personality."

More fog, more smoke, more introductions of technical terms which are intended to leave the objector simply shaking his head in confusion. Unfortunately, these further nuances still do nothing to address the matter of debate - which is what makes this argumentum ad ignorantium the logical fallacy that it is. Apolonio is essentially trying to circumvent the real issue by creating irrelevant diversions. We are beginning to see the emptiness of Apolonio's argument. He cites Ratzinger:

"The Council instead chose the word subsistit precisely to clarify that there exists only one ‘subsistence' of the true Church, while outside her visible structure there only exist elementa Ecclesiae."

Here is the root of the problem, the technical loophole that is created by destroying Pope Pius XII's definition in favor of the new definition. Pope Pius XII made "the Church of Jesus Christ" equal to "the Catholic Church," thus effectively sealing off any escape routes by which another false sect might claim to be "the Church of Jesus Christ."

In other words J = C, and C = J, and since B <> C, therefore J <> B. The content of J is fully described, for it is the same as the content of C. By introducing the concept of "subsist," that is, that the "Catholic Church" fully possesses the "Church of Jesus Christ," there is now a loophole by which we may say that false sects also possess the "Church of Jesus Christ," although not "fully." J={C} is true, but J={C, E} is also true. For that matter, it may be true that J={C, B, E, L, P, ...} on into infinity (L=Lutheran, P=Presbyterian).

This is what is meant when Ratzinger says that there exists "elementa Ecclesia" - elements of the Church - in Baptist sects, Luther sects, etc.. In this statement, J={C, E}, but C is closer to J than E, yet C and E are related to each other by their relation to J.

Before we all bow down before this developed understanding, we should remember that Pope St. Pius X already highlighted this sort of reasoning as a hallmark of Modernist heresy:

"In the conflict between different religions, the most that Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic has more truth because it is more vivid, and that it deserves with more reason the name of Christian because it corresponds more fully with the origins of Christianity." (Pascendi, 14)

This is precisely what Apolonio is arguing, albeit in a slightly modified form. To paraphrase Pope St. Pius X, we may put it this way:

"In the conflict between different churches, the most that Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic has more "churchness" because it is more closely related to the Church of Jesus Christ, and that it deserves with more reason the name of "Church" because is possesses more fully the nature of the Church of Jesus Christ."

What logically flows from this flawed way of thinking is that the "Church of Jesus Christ" is a larger entity than the "Catholic Church," which encompasses all false churches, albeit to varying degrees.

This is precisely the opposite sense, then, in which Pope Pius XII defined the terms, because - far from making "the Church of Jesus Christ" a superset which contains the seperate entity of "the Catholic Church" as a subset, along with all the other sects - he declared them to be one and the same entity. To speak of the "Church of Jesus Christ" is not to refer in any way to the false sects, because it has only one reference: the Catholic Church.

Perhaps you think I am exaggerating when I say that the introduction of the term "subsists" was calculated to engender the idea that the "Church of Jesus Christ" cannot be identified exclusively with the "Catholic Church." But this is exactly how liberal theologians are explaining the relationship between the "Church of Jesus Christ" and the "Catholic Church." Cardinal Kasper said:

"Ecumenism is not countersigned by loss but by mutual enrichment, the authentic understanding of which is not that we convert to the other Church but that all convert to Christ; and in him, who is our unity and our peace, we shall truly be one." (Cardinal Walter Kasper, "May They All Be One? But how?", Conference of the Society for Ecumenical Studies, 5/17/03)

Notice the distinction he makes between converting to the Catholic Church and converting "to Christ," as though one is not the other in an exclusive sense. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus said the same thing in even more explicit terms. When speaking on the subject of the desired unity between the Catholic Church and the other false sects, he said:

"...there wouldn't even be something we would call the Catholic Church. That is, certainly not the Roman Catholic Church, because that makes it sound as though it is a church among the churches. There would simply be the Church of Jesus Christ." (Fr. Richard Neuhaus, Address, 11th Annual Wheaton College Theology Conference, 4/13/02)

Fr. Neuhaus here creates a precise distinction between the "Roman Catholic Church" and "the Church of Jesus Christ," indicating - contrary to Pope Pius XII's statement - that the two cannot be exclusively related, that the one does not exhaustively describe the other. You might say Fr. Neuhaus' statement is that J <> C - a direct contradiction of Pope Pius XII.

Apolonio concludes, quite missing the point:

"Vatican 2 improved the Church's doctrine on the Church of Christ. She taught that the Church is not just any kind of being, but a special being, a person; it taught that the Church was not a something, but a "somebody", a "someone", a person."

It may well be that Vatican 2 defined the Church as a "somebody" as opposed to a "something," but this is quite irrelevant. What is under debate here is whether or not the Church, regardless of whether She is a thing or a person, can be exclusively identified with the "Church of Jesus Christ." Or, if you prefer to use the "somebody" motif, is the Person of the Church exclusively identifiable as the Person of Jesus Christ?

If the "Church of Jesus Christ" est "the Catholic Church," then J = C. But if the "Church of Jesus Christ" subsistit in "the Catholic Church," then J <> C, because "J = C" does not accurately reflect the full content of J.

Apolonio has waxed philosophical for us, but in the midst of all the fog he has generated, he has clouded his own vision so that he cannot see the reversal of a Divine mathematical formula.

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