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The call for a new Syllabus of Errors, this time on Vatican II, should be heeded

Pio Nono’s Syllabus Errorum has had an undeservedly bad press: it is still relevant today
 

By on Friday, 21 January 2011

Blessed Pope Pius IX (CNS photo)

Blessed Pope Pius IX (CNS photo)

The recent declaration of the beatification of Pope John Paul II reminded me of one attack on him sparked off by another beatification, that of Pius IX. One of the articles of indictment in John Cornwell’s very hostile book about the late pope was that this was “an early item of poor judgment”, since Pio Nono “was chiefly famous for calling the First Vatican Council, which declared the dogma of papal infallibility and papal primacy, although he was known for his infamous syllabus of errors which denounced democracy, pluralism, workers’ unions and newspapers. A fine exemplar for the 21st century to be sure!”

Cornwell, of course, got it wrong about papal primacy, which had from the earliest centuries been taken for granted: it was no purpose of the Council to “declare” it. As for papal infallibility, that, too, was widely believed; Vatican I simply defined it formally. But he also got the Syllabus of Errors wrong: not one article of it mentions democracy, workers’ unions or newspapers, and if it rejects “pluralism” (not a concept anyone at the time was familiar with) it is mostly in the sense that any religion which claims to be true rather than a matter of opinion rejects it.

The Syllabus of Errors has had a bad press over the years: but this should not deter the present Pope from responding positively to a recent request for another Syllabus, this time one spelling out the errors that have circulated within the Church about the Second Vatican Council. This request was made by the patristics scholar Bishop Athanasius [excellent name for a theologian bishop] Schneider at an important conference held last December in Rome, “for a correct hermeneutics of the Council in the light of Church Tradition”. I quote simply the passage in which Bishop Schneider calls for a document clearly spelling out the errors of the post-conciliar years:

“In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts… Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bimillennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of …  a sort of “Syllabus” of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

“There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application.
 
“Such a Syllabus should consist of two parts: the part that points out the errors, and the positive part with proposals for clarification, completion, and doctrinal clarification.”

 
This seems to me so obviously a good idea that no more needs to be said by me here. I would like to add just one thing, however. A century of modernist propaganda against Pio Nono has left the impression that the original Syllabus Errorum was so laughably reactionary a document that any attempt to repeat such an exercise should be rigorously avoided. The fact is that almost nobody today has read it, so how do they know? When I was preparing my Spectator review of Cornwell’s book (quoted above), I thought, in view of his contemptuous remarks about it, that I ought to look at this notorious text. What I found was a document of mostly impeccable Catholic common sense, designed to defend Christian theology in a time of heavy rationalist attacks. Here, for instance, are extracts from the opening section. I haven’t space to quote it all: read it for yourself, here; all the following items, remember, are what Pio Nono is declaring to be errors:

“II. MODERATE RATIONALISM
 
8. As human reason is placed on a level with religion itself, so theological must be treated in the same manner as philosophical sciences….
9. All the dogmas of the Christian religion are indiscriminately the object of natural science or philosophy, and human reason, enlightened solely in an historical way, is able, by its own natural strength and principles, to attain to the true science of even the most abstruse dogmas…..
11. The Church not only ought never to pass judgment on philosophy, but ought to tolerate the errors of philosophy, leaving it to correct itself….
12. The decrees of the Apostolic See and of the Roman congregations impede the true progress of science….
14. Philosophy is to be treated without taking any account of supernatural revelation.”

There are later passages defending the temporal powers of the papacy which wouldn’t apply today: such passages are perfectly rational when the historical context which formed so many of Pio Nono’s attitudes is given its proper weight. The “Prisoner of the Vatican” had not merely been stripped of his temporal powers: the immediate result of his new powerlessness was a vicious totalitarian attack by the secular authorities on the Church itself. In 1872 Vittorio Emmanuele signed a law which provided for the expulsion of all religious from their monasteries and convents; 476 houses were confiscated, and 12,669 religious were dispersed. In 1873, the faculties of theology were suppressed in all universities, and seminaries placed under government control; the following year, all priests in Rome were forced into military service.
 
Pio Nono was fighting for the Church’s life. Under the circumstances, the famous article 80 of the Syllabus – which condemns as an error the proposition (with which, presumably, most Tablet liberals would enthusiastically agree) that “The Roman Pontiff may and ought to reconcile himself to, and to agree with, progress, liberalism and modern civilisation” – seems not only reasonable enough but beyond any question; it might be added that it is also entirely relevant to our own times: as Pope John Paul often said, Christians today are called on to be “signs of contradiction” in the face of secular culture. Article 80, in fact, sums up succinctly the real point at issue, even today, between the Church and the modern world.
 
It is particularly relevant to the erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council which Bishop Schneider has called on Pope Benedict to correct in a new Syllabus. I very much hope the Pope responds to this call; and that the new Syllabus will be as relevant to the Church in this new post-conciliar situation as the original Syllabus of Errors was in its own day and remains even now. I also hope that one day quite soon he will announce the forthcoming canonisation of that great and holy man, Blessed Pius IX. 

  • Profidebookstore

    Generally, it is ok, and it meets the purpose: almost everything essential is there, and most importanly: it is a product of common effort so that the bishops can’t claim that it is merely the “Roman view”.

    However, one very important doctrine is missing: the doctrine on Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium, on which not only Humanae vitae, but the whole body of the Moral Doctrine derive their strength. But it is inserted in No.185 of the Compendium.

    Another is not missing, but it is presented in so confused way that I, others might be better in understanding it, cannot figure out in what sense the Mass is a Sacrifice.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are giving yourself unnecessary work, Profidebookstore, because you think I am ignorant of the importance of true obedience to lawful superiors. I am not. What I am, however, is cognizant of the distinction that must be made between true and false obedience and, importantly, aware of the limitations – huge limitations – of the most recent Church Council – Vatican II. It does not command obedience, except where it repeats traditional Catholic teaching (such as, ironically, papal authority – see LG25 – the “liberals” not-so-favourite-passage!)

    Here’s Cardinal Ratzinger on the status of Vatican II:

    The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest. (Cardinal Ratzinger, to the Bishops of Chile…)
    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3032&repos=1&subrepos=&searchid=292734

  • RJ

    Agree with your take on Tradition and Magisterium

  • RJ

    Totally agree

  • Pofidebookstore

    I think that you too are giving yourself unnecessary work if you believe that I maintain that one must assent to everything the pope teaches, and obey everything he demands; and that I am trying to persuade others along these lines. Of course: should the pope teach error or demand evil one must not assent or obey. The problem is how an individual can be sure that such a situation obtains if another individual claims the opposite, and particularly if the pope himself, with the episcopate, claims or implies the opposite.

    I am also intrigued by the assertion that the Vatican II “doesn’t command obedience” when the decree, which deals explicitly with that issue, says what I quoted verbatim last time. The phase “except where it repeats traditional Catholic teaching isn’t there”. What the liberals make of LG. 25 is their business, but the papal authority is clearly endorsed.

    I have read all V II documents, as well as extensive commentaries on both Dogmatic Constitutions, Decree on Ecumenism, and Constitution on Liturgy. Not only that I see nothing seriously objectionable, but some doctrines proposed there are the welcome and necessary developments compared with what one reads in Vatican I, Trent and many other documents which I have read too. Some things could have been more carefully formulated, but no Council was perfect.

    The Council of Nicea clearly formulated the Divinity of Christ, but not of the Holy Ghost, which was the occasion of Macedonian heresy that denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. The Niceno-Constantinopolian Creed affirmed His Divinity, but in a muted way: He is not refereed to explicitly as God, but only Lord which can be interpreted differently; He is not referred to as “God from God”, “Light from Light” , “through whom too all things were made”, or as “consubstantial with the Father and the Son”, although He is all that. I understand that it was done deliberately in order not to push the matter too far for fear of continuation of Macedonian heresy. And this defect is still in the Creed, but it is perfectly corrected in Liturgy, in the Preface of the Holy Trinity. In Byzantine Liturgy this is done briefly and to the point before the Creed which is introduced with deacon’s singing: “Let us love one another that we may profess with one mind”…to which the people respond: “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost – the consubstantial and undivided Trinity”.

    One can go on and on commenting on defects of all Councils. No error was involved but an imperfection.

    As for the Ratzinger’s account on the status of Vatican II, it is perfectly true, and it was evidently addressed to those who, by trying to make of it a supercouncil, wanted to dispose with the whole Tradition. That is what the Pope Ratzinger refers to as the Hermeneutic of Rupture. But he did not say that it was an “under council”, still less that any of its teaching may be rejected. So the “false obedience” as you put it, is not applicable to the Vatican II. I guess that were it necessary, at that time in the South America, to say something addressed to “traditionalists” (they are an insignificant minority there), he would have replaced the “supercoucil” with “undercouncil”, which too is what the Holy Father covers, I think, by the Hermeneutic of Rupture. None of the two views sees the Vatican II as a continuation of the received Message.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Vatican II has NO authority – The Pope himself said it was no more than a pastoral council:

    “The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council;” (Cardinal Ratzinger to Chilean Bishops”

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Look. You ignore the words of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict who said that Vatican II defined no dogma, was a merely pastoral Council:

    “The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council…”

    I haven’t used terms like “undercouncil” – Vatican II was a MERELY pastoral Council and it defined no dogma, so said Pope Benedict – so what’s to obey except what we’ve always obeyed? Even the new Mass was given as merely an option, according to Pope Paul VI (late in the day when he saw the chaos that had resulted from that scandalous experiment – much too little, much too late.)

    But let’s move on to a practical example, before I give up the ghost. You ask how a Catholic can discern Tradition. Well here’s now.

    When a Pope tells us to do something that previous Popes have told us NOT to do (and that St Paul told us not to do) – ecumenical prayer groups and the like, for example, then we know (if we have a true Catholic sense) that there is something wrong. The whole ecumenical movement is a contradiction of the entire Christian Tradition. The Church is essentially missionary in her nature – She seeks converts not “convergence” – and it is unknown in the entire history of the Church for a Pope to enter a synagogue, fail to mention the name of Christ and allow himself to be lectured by a foul mannered rabbi. That’s how we know, Profidebookstore. The saintly popes who warned us against ecumenism and who urged the separated brethren to return to the fold Vs modernist popes who do neither – which do you think are pleasing to God?

    I’ll stick with that one simple example. I hope it helps, Profidebookstore, but I’m afraid that if you still don’t get it, I’m not the gal for you. I just don’t have the time to continue going round in circles on this. It is very obvious and clear that, despite your claim not to make Vatican II into a superdogma, that is what you are doing by persisting in say we must “obey” its decrees. We are obliged NOT to obey anything that might endanger the Faith and ecumenism has endangered the Faith to the extent that we have bishops and priests openly proclaiming that one religion is as good as another and those who would draw the line at saying that, will tell you that one “church” is as good as another.

    I hope this clarifies things for you PFBS but, whatever, Byeeeeeee!

  • Profidebookstore

    “I’m afraid that if you still don’t get it, I’m not the gal for you. I just don’t have the time to continue going round in circles on this. It is very obvious and clear that, despite your claim not to make Vatican II into a superdogma, that is what you are doing by persisting in say we must “obey” its decrees” .
    COMMENT: Very nice, thank you. You responded to my post, I welcomed you, you choose to leave, it is your decision. I respect your freedom of conscience and religion. I offered you knowledge, and you chose burial. W.Oddie said on 13th January: “If you really think you’re more Catholic than the pope, you’re on your way to the funny farm.” I already buried two “traditionalists” there. What follows is your burial rite, for others who might attend to see it.

    PART ONE
    “You ignore the words of Cardinal Ratzinger” that the “council defined no dogma”.
    COMMENT: I don’t, but what is now clear is that, the dogmas apart which you think you believe (I am not sure that you know what they are all about), the “traditionalists” maintain, that from the overwhelming richness of the Church’s teaching which the Catholics accept, they can pick and choose only what suits their notion of what they believe to be the Catholic Faith, an attitude which is fundamentally Protestant.

    That apart, there is here an example of strange inconsistency (I am not referring to that one which “traditionalists” display all the time, picking and choosing what pleases them from what the Pope says): the division of ecumenical councils to “pastoral” and “dogmatic” is a unique novelty, nothing traditional, which you so willingly accept, in spite of the fact that the Ratzinger’s statement was not infallible. Why? Because you think that it suits you. But even there you are mistaken: it doesn’t suit you, as I explained it last time, you failed to grasp it. All I can tell you: is read it again.

    If a doctrine is not a defined dogma, and Ratzinger refers to these, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t dogma at all. A doctrine can be a dogma without being defined, and Ratzinger did not rule out the presence, in conciliar documents, of these non-defined dogmas. If anyone is interested in details I will explain on another occasion, because this burial will take some time. But briefly, a dogma can be proposed by the Universal Ordinary Magisterium and these propositions are not formulated as definitions but taught in day to day teaching. We have to be grateful to God for the Vatican II, which was the first to articulate this doctrine and stipulate conditions which should be verified (LG 25/1).

    So, a dissent from any document proposed by the Magisterium, even if it is not ex-cathedra, is contrary to the Catholic morality for yet another reason: one may, materially, deny a dogma, not knowing that it is the dogma. Google: The Way of the Lord Jesus by Germain Grisez, select Vol.II, find the table of content and open Chapter I, question (i) and Chpter 3, question (d).

    “You ask how a Catholic can discern Tradition. Well here’s now.”
    COMMENT: I did not, because I know what is Tradition (DV 8), tried to explain, but in vein. The problem with all “traditionalists” is not only that they are not willing to change their views – that after all one can respect, but their mind-set is so fixed that they are not capable to understand others, let alone discuss with them. If one tells them something that doesn’t suit them they “disagree” before they have understood what you have told them.

    “When a Pope tells us to do something that previous Popes have told us NOT to do ….- ecumenical prayer groups and the like, for example is something wrong.”
    COMMENT: It isn’t because, in matters of discipline, the pope can change decisions of previous popes, particularly of those, which have no long tradition. But in fact I don’t know of any pope having forbidden common prayer, and even if there were isolated cases they cannot possibly be considered as representative of Tradition.
    .
    It is difficult to believe that, at the two Union Councils, the Orthodox and the Catholics did not pray together. When Constantinople was under siege, they definitely did. Father Michael Mary has published on their webpages series of examples of intercommunion between Catholics and the non-Catholic Eastern Churches (and by the way found it prudent to cease because of abusive letters that were sent to him). Each time when a Mixed Marriage is celebrated a Catholic party either administers or receives the Sacrament from a non-Catholic. Pius XII approved of mutual prayer during the meetings among the Protestants and Catholics (Holy Office 1949). What is baptism but an element of communion: those who come from other Christian communities do not receive it again. Not to mention Vatican II.

    “The whole ecumenical movement is a contradiction of the entire Christian Tradition.”
    COMMENT: The ecumenical doctrine of Vatican II is sound (I am not, of course, talking about “ecumenical movement” of the kind that has nothing to do with the magnificent Vatican II project, which demands, first of all, our own conversion.), but one must read it, and understand it in the sense intended, not with a fixed mind-set of “traditionalist” kind; it is a response to the present tragedy of division which is contrary to the Will of Christ, obstacle to spreading the Gospel, scandal to the non-Christian world; the Catholicity (universality) is, at present, a joke, the meaningless “Mark”.

    As Ratzinger has put it in his Principles of Catholic Theology, we have to “inquire always not just about defensibility of union…but even more urgently about defensibility of remaining separate, for it is not unity that requires justification but the absence of it.” We are not infallible, and woe to us if on the Day He finds in us the slightest fault; exactly because the fullness of Revelation is entrusted to us, our responsibility is higher than that of others. On the other hand, what the “traditionalists” have done for it during the last 40 years – nothing but obstruction.

    None of the Eastern Catholic Churches restored the unity by “conversion”, they came to us as they had been before, and they are a blessing. Current movement among our Anglican brothers would be inconceivable had the Catholic Church taken the line of Mortalium Animos, which is after all one odd statement of an individual Pope, not about ecumenism but about Pan-Christian movement, which the Protestants themselves have abandoned long before the Vatican II.

  • Profidebookstore

    This is not to comment you statement but I am interested what you mean by the “distortions of Vatican”.

  • Profidebookstore

    Thanks. DV is a compact and, in my view, the best document of the Vatican II. It resolved the problem of Revelation (words and deeds) and the “two sources” , the long standing dispute of what is Tradition (handing on in doctrine, life and worship), it has put in proper place the Scripture and its relation to Tradition (in this aspects it is a photograph of the Orthodox doctrine as presented by Bishop Kallistos), both in relation to the Magisterium, it resolved the issue of “mouth to mouth” transmission of Revelation, reafirmed the Canon of Scripture inclusive of DC books, inspiration of the Scripture, its truth (“innerancy”) and interpretation (literal sense, unity, living Tradition, analogy of Faith). Two scripture commentaries that follow DV are Hahn and Mitch, Ignatius, and Navarre Bible, Opus Dei. Recently, I heard that Hahn is now Opus Dei member. Very helpful guide on this complex subject, and loyal to the Magisterium, is Grisez, vol. I, scattered in many chapters. Otherwise, the majority of commentaries stick to the literal sense alone, which is not good, as both Ratzinger and the Pope Benedict said, and misleading.

  • Profidebookstore

    PART TWO (the part one is below)
    “The Church is essentially missionary in her nature.”
    COMMENT: I don’t dispute this as it stands, but I am afraid that you don’t understand what it means.
    If it is essential, how do you see yourself as part of this “essential” element of the Church? And others of your orientation? What the entire “traditionalist” movement in so far as it is organized, has done or intends to do, in addition to giving lessons to the “conciliar” Church? It is easy to criticize “them” and watch, doing nothing.

    Vatican II has promulgated documents that are directly relevant in all three kinds of missionary activity. Decree on Apostolate of Laity for missionary activity within the Catholic community, on Ecumenism for the work on reunion of Chastens, and for the Missionary activity in the non-Chasten world. And there is also separate decree on Non-Christian Religions, with a brief section about Judaism. I think these documents are worth reading before being dismissed as “conciliar”.

    There can be no question of “conversion” unless we are converted. The Church doesn’t need those who are climbing on pulpit, but those who are climbing on cross. You can’t convert anybody by shouting his errors – he wouldn’t listen, may take offence, shun you forever, and rightly so. It only creates an illusion that you have done something, while in fact you have done nothing, undermined that little that you could have done, and washed your hands.

    Whatever situation was in old days, today’s man is conscious of his human dignity, both as an individual and as a leader of any religion. The work of early missionaries was great, but it is impossible to deny that much of “success” was due to various kinds of political, moral and material pressure on those converted, the pressure which is now over and will never return, thank God. I say “success” because I have the first hand information of the consequences of evangelization the practical aim of which was to get the unbelievers “join the club”. I do not dispute the legitimacy of such approach in the past, but doubt in its applicability and prudency today.

    Today, you can’t convert anyone if he doesn’t want to listen, and he will not listen as long as he doesn’t see that you unselfishly want to listen him; if you are in any way reluctant, instead of being sincerely thankful to God and pleased, with whatever truth and good you find in his religion, and support that truth and good in whatever way you can; if he doesn’t see Christ in you as coming from your Catholic Faith.

    And let’s not assess our success by counting heads, but by the invisible number of those whose life is transformed because of our Catholic Faith, not spelled out by name, but seen in our imitation of Christ. Let’s not expect visible results in our lifetime, but leave it to God. Difficult? Yes. But let’s not preach lessons to those who try, if we don’t want to do it ourselves; and let’s not make their work difficult by shouting errors, particularly not if we are too lazy to study the faith of those whom they want to bring to Christ, and before we have managed to convert ourselves.

    By assuming human nature He has solidarized himself with every man and divinized not only him but also all material creature. Look at the sign of this divinization in every human being, and don’t be preoccupied with what Devil has done because that is exactly what he expects from you. He is delighted when you refuse to go into synagogue – the holy place in which Jesus and the early Church prayed and preached, and the chance for you to show who is Jesus.

  • Profidebookstore

    After I have cornered you in the correspondence above, you ceased to be involved, but now you are back. Welcome! The “Pope” did not say that this merely pastoral council had “NO authority”; there is no suggestion that its teaching may be rejected. The “traditionalists” make too much use of the word “pastoral”, which in official statements in no way suggests what they, the “traditionalists”, would want. This is perfectly clear in the explanatory note attached to the documents, which I have never seen in “traditionalist” quotations: they quote the paragraph they think suits them but omit the concluding one, which runs:
    “All the other (refers to what is not defined) statements that it (i.e. the Council) proposes are the teaching of the supreme magisterium. They must therefore be welcomed and accepted by each and everyone of the Christ’s faithful in the way in which the sacred Council intended. This intention is conveyed either by the subject matter or by the manner of utterance, according to norms of theological interpretation”.

    May I add that there is similar statement in LG. 25, referring also to the Pope, which gives more about the “intention conveyed”. And these matters are elaborated in Grisez’ moral theology (details in the previous debate), and the whole manual is accessible on his website. Briefly, the violation of these norms is sinful.

    And even the paragraph they think suits them, doesn’t suits them, because a dogma can be proposed by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium without being defined, i.e. it can be contained in the teaching of the Council, but the difficulty is in its identification. It is the matter of theological research. Dogma or not, there can be no question of dissent.

  • RJ

    Thank you for your informative post.

  • RJ

    By the way, I already have the Navarre version of the Wisdom books. Looks like very sound Catholic commentary.

  • Profidebookstore

    PART THREE – the end. PARTS 1,2 are below.

    “The saintly popes who warned us against ecumenism and who urged the separated brethren to return to the fold Vs modernist popes who do neither – which do you think are pleasing to God? “
    COMMENT: As far as ecumenism is concerned, definitely the latter: God sees and blesses what they do. The saintly popes had no clue what is ecumenism. To apply their warnings addressed to quite different matters is nonsense. If they knew, they would have spelled out anathemas on “traditionalists” (only my hypothesis; fortunately there was none in their days) who would have preferred to leave our separate brethren on their own to the delight of the Father of Lies, than give up their construct which they believe to be the Catholic Faith.

    “We are obliged NOT to obey anything that might endanger the Faith to the extent that we have bishops and priests openly proclaiming that one religion is as good as another and those who would draw the line at saying that, will tell you that one “church” is as good as another.
    COMMENT: If you mean all bishops or an overwhelming majority, it amounts to spreading desinformation. And is incompatible with moral norms. I you mean some bishops, than you may “disobey” those bishops – the UR has nothing to do with it – and should notify the Holy See, but not blame the ecumenism proposed in UR for endangering the Faith.

    What endangers the Faith is desinformation. In no way may one charge the pope, the majority of bishops, or the Decree of Ecumenism (which you evidently misinterpret, if you have read it at all) for “openly proclaiming that one religion is as good as another and those who would draw the line at saying that, will tell you that one ‘church’ is as good as another”. We have seen the ecumenism at work recently, in Westminster Cathedral, the work, which is still in progress.

  • Profidebookstore

    Not knowing the circumstances but only what has been reported, I would say that the kissing Koran was a kind of show which the Pope would have been better off without, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong in kissing a book, even it were Koran. What was his intention we don’t know, but I am sure that he doesn’t accept any tenet of Islam that is incompatible with the Faith. And I know that there are many that are compatible, and should be welcomed. Silly things happen to each one of us; the difficulty of the Pope is that he is exposed to media. I would think that we should always give to our neighbour a benefit of doubt.

    On its face value, I would consider the statement that Pope “permitted” a bare breasted woman to read the Gospel at his Mass, a calumny; but the benefit of doubt would make me think twice. Perhaps, the user of the word meant: “tolerated instead of stopping it in some way”, although cannot think of more appropriate one under the fait accompli circumstances; or perhaps the information is available to him according to which the Pope was asked for permission and granted it.

    Likewise, I would think that people who marked his forehead intended to honour him, and that it would have been discourteous to refuse. There is nothing intrinsically wrong in having “the mark of Hindu goddess on the forehead”.

    The fundamental issue is should the Pope go out into the world, and accept the risk of having to put up with events like that with the bear breasted woman; or stay enclosed within walls and send around syllabuses of condemnation. I would suggest that staying in a corner doing nothing is not the way of avoiding mortal sin.

    He “sat in the Synagogue of Rome with head bowed while a Rabbi prayed for the coming of the Messiah.” – What is wrong in sitting in a Synagogue, as did Jesus and the apostles? The apostles too had “prayed for the coming of the Messiah”, before they learned who He was, and the fact that the Rabbi hasn’t yet learned it, might well have been our failure to bring it to his attention. The fact that we were sent to proclaim the Gospel and yet did not manage to show to the Jews that it is the message of God they worship, might have been due to our failure to proclaim the Gospel in an appropriate way. Shouldn’t we reconsider our ways?

    Why the “pan-religious gatherings of Assisi” couldn’t be the start? Why should we worship those few unfortunate incidents during the first gathering, instead of making future gatherings more appropriate?

    And the Pope quite rightly preaches “the inalienable rights of man to freedom of conscience and religion.” I looked at the recommended “scholarly” article and was disappointed at the very start when reading about the criticism of the “new” interpretation of the Genesis’ account of creation of man as God’s image and likeness, and compared it with the “classic” one which is the author’s favourite. At the first glance, the latter seems to imply dualism, and leads to conclusion that the non-baptised do not have human dignity. But one would have to go into it more thoroughly than the “traditionalists” go into the Council’s documents; and at moment, cannot afford time for it.

  • Anonymous

    “Not knowing the circumstances but only what has been reported, I would say that the kissing Koran was a kind of show which the Pope would have been better off without, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong in kissing a book, even it were Koran. What was his intention we don’t know, but I am sure that he doesn’t accept any tenet of Islam that is incompatible with the Faith.”

    Why, then, did the Martyrs choose death rather than burn a single grain of incense before the gods of the pagans? Pope John Paul’s action in kissing the Koran was an outrage against the True Faith. There is no other way of assessing it. That’s what the Church teaches.

  • Profidebookstore

    “Pope John Paul’s action in kissing the Koran was an outrage against the True Faith.”
    If anyone shall contradict this infallible doctrine of Ours let him be anathema.

  • Anonymous

    “If anyone shall contradict this infallible doctrine of Ours let him be anathema.”

    The above is your response to my claim that Pope John Paul II’s kissing of the Koran was an outrage against the True Faith. Are you actually saying that kissing the Koran is now infallible doctrine because a Pope did it? Or, are you just saying that the Pope is divine and cannot ever make mistakes? A short and concise answer would be appreciated, thank you.

  • Profidebookstore

    .“Are you actually saying that kissing the Koran is now infallible doctrine because a Pope did it? “
    ANSWER: No.

    Or, are you just saying that the Pope is divine and cannot ever make mistakes? – ANSWER: No

  • Profidebookstore

    “It would not have been difficult for Pope John Paul II to have silenced these wolves”
    COMMENT: (if it is about Kung and co.): How? A recipe would be enlightening.

    “The Popes have always dealt swiftly and firmly with heretics by means of a range of Church censures”
    COMMENT: sweeping. Perhaps, we could have, say, five examples of the “always”.

    “Pope John Paul II just failed to act as he should“
    COMMENT: How he should have acted, say, with Kung?

  • Anonymous

    “If anyone shall contradict this infallible doctrine of Ours let him be anathema.”

    What has the above response to do with this statement of mine: “Pope John Paul’s action in kissing the Koran was an outrage against the True Faith.”

    Please explain how you conclude the kissing of the Koran by a Pope to be “infallible doctrine.” That’s what your saying, no doubt about that.

  • Anonymous

    I wrote: “The Popes have always dealt swiftly and firmly with heretics by means of a range of Church censures”

    You replied: “COMMENT: sweeping. Perhaps, we could have, say, five examples of the “always”.

    I thought you were “Aristotle” in comparison to me, yet you need me to provide five examples of Papal action against heretics? Ok, the excommunications of the heretics Jan Hus, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Fr. Leonard Feeney (later lifted), Feliksa Kozlowska, Alfred Loisy, Napoleon I of France, the ‘Old Catholics,’ All who become Freemasons, all who support Communism, Fidel Castro. There now, just a few of many.

  • Profidebookstore

    “Syllabus relating to post-Vatican II errors …was written with great foresight by Pope St. Pius X in 1907 and is called Lamentabili Sane.”
    COMMENT: So, Pius X was prophet with knowledge of future errors, I have never seen it in documents of the Magisterium. An interesting, yet another, infallible pronouncement.

    “For an in-depth understanding of the spirit that pervaded the Council itself, resulting in such deadly revolutionary initiatives as ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, I recommend the same saintly Pontiff’s Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis in which Modernism is exposed as ‘the synthesis of all heresies.’ ”
    COMMENT: Recommendation declined as irrelevant. See above.

  • Profidebookstore

    You have skipped my first and third questions, haven’t you.
    Regarding the second, all I asked for was five examples of swift (“swiftly”) excommunicatin, and I see no demonstration that any was swift, let alone beneficial for the Church. Are you suggesting that the excommunication of Luther was a better move than would have been a mere condemnation of his errors, with suspension of his licence to teach?

  • Profidebookstore

    “Why, then, did the Martyrs choose death rather than burn a single grain of incense before the gods of the pagans?”
    COMMENT: The Martyrs did not believe in the existence of the gods of pagans, as you believe. There was nothing intrinsically wrong in incensing “gods”. The reason why they were prepared to undergo the Martyrdom (and by the way, although there was no defined dogmas in those days they did not ask, as you do persistently, whether what the Church expected of them was defined or not) was in the public meaning of the required incense i.e. denial of the God they believe, and you – as I have demonstrated in another Post (about the opening prayer of the Kuran) – don’t.

    It is exactly because you don’t believe in God in whom Pope believes, that you think “he” has assumed the nature of a book, that must not be kissed.

  • Profidebookstore

    “Please explain how you conclude the kissing of the Koran by a Pope to be “infallible doctrine.” That’s what your saying, no doubt about that.”
    COMMENT: It wasn’t mine but you attribute it to me, in the same way as you attribute to Pius X what is only your understanding of his decrees (another Post), and to JP II kissing the Kuran what is your understanding of its signifance. Actually, in both cases it is your misunderstanding. OK?

    Now to explain what is worrying you, the statement “Pope John Paul’s action in kissing the Koran was an outrage against the True Faith” is your statement not mine. You do not admit of error in it, do you?
    You do not amit even in the possibility of error, do you? So, it is an invallible statement. Anyone who denies it A.S., including the Pope.

  • Profidebookstore

    No doubt you are right. What gets on my nerves – but that is merely how if experience it – is that the comments are unecessarily “long-winded”, they could have been shorter AND they can’t help quoting their Founder “in and out of season”. I prefer Hahn’s series which are compact and to the point, seem shorter because of the font size, but I don’t think they say less.

  • AJ

    Wow, it’s just awesome, many thanks Profidebookstore for your contribution and defending the Holy Church from those who seek her destruction from within and without.

    “Where Peter is, there is the Church” St. Ambrose.