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As a young priest Benedict XVI ‘called for the Church to investigate priestly celibacy’

In 1970 Fr Joseph Ratzinger signed a petition that suggested the Church re-examine the obligation of priestly celibacy, according to a German newspapaer

By on Friday, 28 January 2011

As a young priest, Pope Benedict put his name to a document calling for the Church to seriously investigate the obligation to priestly celibacy.

Joseph Ratzinger was one of the signatories of a 1970 document calling for an examination of priestly celibacy which was signed by nine theologians.

The memorandum was drawn up in the face of a shortage of priests and other signatories included Karl Rahner and the future cardinals Karl Lehmann and Walter Kasper.

The German newspaper Die Sueddeutsche reported about the document today.

The memorandum, which was sent to the German bishops reads: “Our considerations regard the necessity of a serious investigation and a differentiated inspection of the law of celibacy of the Latin Church for Germany and the whole of the universal Church.”

According to the Sueddeutsche, the document said if there were no such investigation, the bishops’ conference would “awaken the impression that it did not believe in the strength of the Gospel recommendation of a celibate life for the sake of heaven, but rather only in the power of a formal authority”.

If there weren’t enough priests, the document said, then the “Church quite simply has a responsibility to take up certain modifications”.

The signatories who had drawn up the document acted as consultors to the German bishops’ conference in a commission for questions of Faith and Morals.

The document’s release coincides with a renewed debate on priestly celibacy after prominent German politicians called for the Church to change the teaching on priestly celibacy in the face of a serious lack of priests.

  • Mmartin

    This should surprise no one. If you ever actually read Benedict you can see that while he speaks quite eloquently of the meaning and value of celibacy (he does so every time he speaks to priests or seminarians and the emphasis is on the sacrificial nature and eschatological sign of celibacy) he does not fixate on it as do some Western (particularly American) lay armchair theologians. if you read LIGHT OF THE WORLD you will note than when he speaks of priests leaving for marriage he does so in a very nonjudgmental way.

  • Anonymous

    This pope just goes down and down and down in my estimation. To think we only welcomed him on the day of his election because he was the best of a bad bunch!

    God (please) help us.

  • Nishant Jeyaraj

    Really, EditorCT, is there no end to Papal bashing? Can you not be glad that his views evidently changed over time? The See of Peter is protected, we no more need to pray for the Pope to be protected from error than we need to pray that the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

  • Anonymous

    It should surprise no one to learn that a young Fr. Ratzinger favoured a re-think on priestly celibacy. One did not have one’s name placed on a list of those ‘suspected of heresy’ at the pre-conciliar Holy Office unless one’s orthodoxy was seriously questionable. Perhaps that’s why he played a central role in having the Holy Office scrapped after the Council. It was a move that certainly pleased a good many other clerical “suspects” on the list, who, contrary to Church law, had already been admitted as theological experts Periti at Vatican II. And we wonder why the true Faith is in crisis today!

    Now Pontiff, we must of course pray hard for Pope Benedict XVI. He is certainly more moderate a liberal than he was in those days when, through Cardinal Frings, he guided much of the conciliar revolution in his priestly(!) collar and tie. He still retains some strange ideas from those heddie days of Modernist rebellion, however, such as an un-Catholic belief that separation of Church and State is something to be desired. And, I’m afraid, the recent announcement of a third pan-religious gathering at Assisi raises serious questions about his personal fidelity to previous Magisterial teaching, which forbade such syncretist scandals as “deadly to the Catholic religion.” Yes, the Church does infallibly declare against both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, and that’s why She has a DOGMA which states: “outside the Church no salvation.”

    So much, then, for the leaders of false religions all joining together in a new Tower of Babel to pray their different gods for world peace. It ain’t going to come, but the true God’s wrath might if this infidelity to divine truth continues in our time. We must all pray for Peter, still imprisoned and chained in a Modernist mindset.

  • Anonymous

    So what about Pope Honorious I? The See of Peter is protected only in so far as matters affecting universal Faith and morals are concerned. There is no guarantee that any individual Pope in his personal theology will remain free from error. A pope can give grave scandal by his personal beliefs and conduct. Remember, the dogma is Papal infallibility not Papal impeccability.

  • Nishant Jeyaraj

    Well, Martyjo, I agree in part but not entirely. A Pope may do all manner of evil things, but he cannot be easily led astray on points of faith, even in his personal theology. As the legal theory of “innocent till proven guilty”, this is the de facto presumption and pious belief of the faithful, unless the Church decrees otherwise, as it did in the case of Honorius. Thus St.Catherine, Doctor of the Church, who herself rebuked Popes on their personal conduct: “Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to rise up against him but rather to calmly lay to rest on his bosom”

    It is most uncharitable and completely hostile to the humble spirit of the obedience of faith for us to presume to correct our Holy Father. The Church Taught remains in communion with, and subject to the Teaching Church in all things. Each member of the Teaching Church is under the authority of his superior and does not go against him. A Protestant style “great apostasy” will never happen. If a member is suspect of heresy, his superior will excommunicate him, until then we quietly trust in God to work through the Church. The First See has no superior and is judged by no one on earth. Attacking his person reveals a loss of Christian charity, and tends to lead one down the road of being utterly cut off from it, the ultimate sin of schism.

  • Nishant Jeyaraj

    And lest anyone fancy himself to be a St.Paul, let him at least be a bishop, and preferably able to speak in tongues as well as work wonders. :-P Anyway, Martyjo, coming back to a few other allegations you made, let’s see. I don’t know that much about his personal history, but I did see a documentary, BBC was it, long back about him. And if I remember right, as Prefect of the CDF, as far as I recall, he did tighten down on some liberal theologians.

    As for extra ecclesiam nulla salus, even in the “pre-Conciliar Church”, the Magisterium authentically interpreted the dogma while a schismatic, puffed up by pride, presumed to oppose even her teaching. Thankfully, Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Church. But, was that a mistaken judgment too? As for Church-State, he has called for an increased role for religion in public life, and for religious freedom in lands where Christians are actively persecuted. Martyjo, I don’t think I would disagree with you on what the Church-State doctrine is, but it is important for there to be prudence. You can’t just go and tell a secularist state that they ought to allow the Catholic Church unfetttered rights, even though they are proper to her, strictly speaking.

    Coming to religious freedom, the doctrine of the Church has been steady, before and after the Second Vatican Council, the pretensions of some to the contary notwithstanding. All men have a duty to seek the truth, which in turn confers on them the right to freely seek the truth. This is all that religious freedom, in the Church’s usage consists of. Obviously, it extends to non-Christians who haven’t correctly exercised that right yet, that they may do so. No human power, such as a State, can coerce men to act against their conscience. As the Angelic Doctor says, If a man believes his conscience tells him something, say, that one needs to pray five times a day, even if it be objectively unfounded, he would sin if he is heedless towards it.

    I think Pope John Paul II’s insistence on religious freedom was part of the revolution that helped bring down the USSR. And Pope Benedict XVI’s firm commitment to ecumenism is part of the reason a Bishop of Rome could honor St.Thomas More in the hall he was condemned. Many Anglicans are returning to Mother Church, the Orthodox themselves have considered reunion, none of which would have been possible without Vatican II. That is why I don’t agree with “traditionalism”, though I once seriously considered it. Thus my long rant. :-D I agree there are grave challenges, these remain in every age, for us it is mainly about a loss of reverence, liturgical abuse, and wayward homosexual pedersasty in the priesthood. Hardly insurmountable, to the Spirit of grace. Anyway, God bless you

  • John

    @ EditorCT

    Are you sure you’re a Catholic? Pope Benedict XVI is awesome – one of the greatest minds of our time. One cannot help but be suspicious of your claims to be a Catholic, especially as you haven’t given any examples as to why he goes down in your estimation.

  • Anonymous

    Examples:

    (1) Summorum Pontificum not enforced
    (2) Dissenters not corrected and / or removed
    (3) Hans Kung given four hours private chat with the pope on his appointment. Best of friends.
    (4) condoms exception to the absolute rule
    (5) Assisi III
    (6) visit to UK – pope speaks of aggressive secularism in a secular country but not aggressive apostasy among his own bishops, priests and laity. (see Catholic Truth, page 16 February edition, online 1st Feb)
    (7) His “non-judgmental” attitude to priests who abandon their vocation to marry, as reported in this blog article.

    I could give more examples but am hurrying out to Mass (Traditional Latin Mass)

    Let me know, though, if this is still not sufficient evidence for you – and if it is NOT then clearly YOU have a very low opinion of all the great popes and pope saints who went before Pope Benedict – I dare say they would be too “harsh” for you, especially those who condemned ecumenism and preached conversion – starting with Our Lord Himself.

  • johnny sprite

    He is entitled to change his mind. What he said as a preist is different from when he becomes Pope. That is very natural. He might want to do certain things and introduce ground breaking changes but might get hemmed in by other curial members. He might want to make spectacular changes but his colleagues may advice “don’t be rushed”. Do things in haste, repent at leisure (that sort of thing)… Since the church is eternal it work on snail’s mode.
    So what if he met Kung? All accounts of the meeting said that Kung did the talking, Ratzinger never objected to anything and merely smiled and let the monologue go on. Nothing to be expected as in his memoirs (Volume 1) Kung already criticised ratzinger – that Ratzinger self censored his own views to seek advancement and progression in the church.
    Years before Kung had supported Ratzinger’s academic appointment (or at least not opposed it). The dinner could be Ratzinger’s way of saying thank you, no hard feelings. Ratzinger comes across as the shrewder man! My guess is that he was trying to find a way to rehabilitate Kung and make Kung a priest-cardinal (just like the US Jesuit cardinal) but that the gulf may have been too wide to bridge.

  • Nishant Jeyaraj

    I don’t know any Catholic who thinks the TLM is “not Catholic enough”, but if you think the Pauline Mass is invalid or doubtful, (which, seeing your (1) example, it seems you do) then, no offense, but that is a position that is at least erroneous and probably proximate to schism, possibly even heretical.

    And opponents of ecumenism don’t look at Catholic-Orthodox relations today. What 9 centuries of preaching did not do, 50 years of ecumenism has almost done. A Moscow Archbishop went on record about a year ago to say there were now no formal obstacles to reunion, it all depends only on how much there is a desire for it. Again, just like with Anglicans returning to the Ordinariate, who are ordained once more and accept the true faith on the Eucharist as a Sacrifice, here too, it is on terms the most “traditionalist” Catholics would find perfectly acceptable. Ecumenism stems from the realization that schisms are due to a loss of charity, and seeks to build goodwill and friendship and working together towards full communion rather than absorbing other communities.

    You must see Assisi in this perspective. It is not a meeting to pray together but separate prayers of people who have met together. As for contraception, you can’t expect the secular media to appreciate the finer points of natural moral theology. The Holy Father did not say condom use was justifiable. As for dissenters, contrary to some perception, it has never been the practice of the Church to simply excommunicate anyone and everyone with no thought to possible schisms and rebellions that may result from it. God bless

  • LeFloch

    ‘Many Anglicans’ are not returning, just a comparative few who object to women priests and bishops. There is no real sign of any reunion with the Orthodox, and I would imagine the errors of Vatican II would be a stumbling block in the path of such reunion. As for the USSR, has ‘religious liberty’ resulted in freedom for the True Religion? No, those lovely Orthodox leaders have encouraged the state to discriminate against the Catholic minority. All the problems you list, and countless others, can be laid at the door of Vatican II and the Popes (including Benedict) who have put it into practice.

  • Anonymous

    Pope Benedict XVI is awesome – one of the greatest minds of our time.”

    I can’t answer the “awesome” thingy, God alone is awesome, but I can say that Archbishop Lefebvre, speaking many years ago of a theological conversation he had with Cardinal Ratzinger, remarked that he had had to correct the Cardinal on a number of points of doctrine. Archbishop Lefebvre had been on the preparatory commission for the Council. He knew his theology and his philosophy, and he would never have said that about Cardinal Ratzinger had it not been true.

    I suppose it just comes down to this: if everyone says your good these days, then you must be good. It’s like the X factor in the Church, mass hysteria, Santa Subito!, etc., and all the wisdom and prudence of the centuries goes out of those windows opened by Pope John XXIII. You know what I mean.

    I doubt that many Catholics today even have sufficient knowledge of philosophy and theology to be able to determine anything for sure in respect to the views held and expressed by Pope Benedict XVI. Writing lots of religious books doesn’t necessarily make a Pope a man of orthodoxy.

    Modernism is very subtle, that’s why it has been so successful since Vatican II. One should read St. Pius X’s Pascendi before reading anything of Pope Benedict’s. That would be the wise and prudent thing to do. We may be sheep in the spiritual sense, but that doesn’t mean we have to be sheep in the intellectual sense. We have to know our faith if we are to recognise error, even if the person spouting it does so with the best intentions.

  • Anonymous

    Those Anglicans you speak of came back to the Catholic Church not because they recognised and repented their heresy and schism per se, but because they had issues with homosexual and women clergy within their Anglican Sect. They were not required, as is the traditional rule of the Church, to publicly repudiate their former errors when they came back to Rome, but rather given the compromise of retaining elements of their “Anglican patrimony.” None of this is borne of the traditional spirit of Catholic unity, but rather of that ecumenical ‘unity in diversity’ that Vatican II has been trying to fob off on Catholics these past fifty years.

    So now we have a Catholic/Anglican Ordinariate in the Church, we have a Catholic/Lutheran agreement, incorporating a lifting of the excommunication of Luther, and we are rapidly moving towards a Catholic/Orthodox deal that will be something along the lines of the Anglican model. So where does that leave unity in belief and unity in worship? I wonder why the Popes of old didn’t think of this wonderful initiative!!! Charity is not at all the same thing as human respect.

  • Anonymous

    Nishant, I think you’ll find that St. Catherine was advising against the danger of schism when she spoke as she did. Clearly, she believed it her duty to upbraid Popes if she thought them to be in error. She did so with love, and without bitterness. We should not, then, believe it to be an act of disloyalty or schism to highlight incompatibilities between past Magisterial teaching and the words and actions of a reigning Pontiff. Catholics are free children of God, who is the highest authority. They are bound by Magisterial teaching, yes, but they are not slaves to the personal whims of individual Popes.

    It is most uncharitable and completely hostile to the humble spirit of the obedience of faith for us to presume to correct our Holy Father.”

    If you were referring to dissent from Papal teaching on faith and morals then, yes, you would be absolutely correct. What you attempt here, though, is to employ faith and humility as weapons against the correction of genuine error. This borders on papolatry.

    A Protestant style “great apostasy” will never happen. If a member is suspect of heresy, his superior will excommunicate him, until then we quietly trust in God to work through the Church.”

    That apostasy has been in full swing since the end of the Council. Even Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of it in 1984 when referencing the Third Secret of Fatima. He has clearly announced that Europe has lost the Catholic Faith. I think you would do well to research the statistics on vocations, seminary and religious house closures, clerical sex scandals and the vast drop in attendance at Mass. Oh yes, my friend, the apostasy is, as Sister Lucy of Fatima declared, well under way.

    As regards in-house heretics, I could provide you with a litany of names of clerical heretics who have enjoyed free reign since Vatican II, spreading their poisonous doctrines through the Church. Not a single one of them has been corrected, much less excommunicated, by their superiors. Indeed, I could name some of their superiors who are already de jure, if not de facto schismatics. We could start with Germany!

    The First See has no superior and is judged by no one on earth.”

    This is most certainly true in the case of making public announcments of heresy against a Pope, whether it be formal or material. However, we should not confuse this with a correct personal judgment of a Pope’s words and actions in the light of sacred tradition, and, where necessary, to publicly announce a contradiction. We may not judge anyone’s soul, but we can, and sometimes must, judge their fruits, whether they be good or bad. Again, failure to do so in the case of a Pope is tantamount to papolatry.

    Charity demands that we correct our brethern, the Pope included, if and when they fall into error. We do them the greatest harm by remaining silent under the pretext of humility and obedience.

  • Anonymous

    And lest anyone fancy himself to be a St.Paul, let him at least be a bishop, and preferably able to speak in tongues as well as work wonders.”

    St. Catherine wasn’t a bishop, and as for speaking in tongues, this just means speaking in foreign languages. It never meant what the charismatics tried to make of it, e.g. a babbling of unintelligible garbage. I just thought I should clear that up.

    Anyway, Martyjo, coming back to a few other allegations you made, let’s see. I don’t know that much about his personal history, but I did see a documentary, BBC was it, long back about him. And if I remember right, as Prefect of the CDF, as far as I recall, he did tighten down on some liberal theologians.”

    I’m not aware of any such cases, but suffice it to say that Cardinal Levada, the present Prefect of the CDF, was instrumental in eastablishing the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in California, his old Episcopal See, as a parish for practicing homosexuals. You can still view the Youtube video of ‘the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,’ essentially men in drag dressed as nuns, receiving holy communion from the bishop. Cardinal Levada was also known for his opposition, to establishing the Tridentine Mass in California following the motu proprio. What did Pope Benedict do? He raised this Cardinal to the highest position in the Church after himself.

    As for extra ecclesiam nulla salus, even in the “pre-Conciliar Church”, the Magisterium authentically interpreted the dogma while a schismatic, puffed up by pride, presumed to oppose even her teaching. Thankfully, Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Church. But, was that a mistaken judgment too? As for Church-State, he has called for an increased role for religion in public life, and for religious freedom in lands where Christians are actively persecuted. Martyjo, I don’t think I would disagree with you on what the Church-State doctrine is, but it is important for there to be prudence. You can’t just go and tell a secularist state that they ought to allow the Catholic Church unfetttered rights, even though they are proper to her, strictly speaking.”

    Coming to religious freedom, the doctrine of the Church has been steady, before and after the Second Vatican Council, the pretensions of some to the contary notwithstanding. All men have a duty to seek the truth, which in turn confers on them the right to freely seek the truth. This is all that religious freedom, in the Church’s usage consists of.”

    I beg to differ. It was the clear and unmistakable teaching of the Church before Vatican II that non-Catholics must enter the Catholic religion if they would be saved, excepting invincible ignorance. ecumenical and interfaith initiatives were absolutely condemned.

    Since Vatican II that teaching has been completely silenced in favour of equality for all religious beliefs. The Popes have stood side by side with heretics and pagans and have prayed with them without ever mentioning the dogma ‘outside the Church no salvation.’ Indeed, apart from Pope John Paul’s confirmation of the equality of false religions with the true one (Assisi), Pope Benedict XVI has entered both a Jewish Synagogue and a Mosque, and addressed his hosts thus: “we are all the children of Abraham.” Oh really! And what about Christ, who said to the proud Pharisses who claimed the same: “God can raise up children of Abraham from the stones of the earth”? Being a child of Abraham isn’t enough to save their souls. Why did the Vicar of Christ not state this clearly, as his predecessors certainly did? There are even examples of Catholic prelates telling the leaders of false religions that the Church is not interested in converting them. It’s not at all the same teaching as before the Council, regardless of how the conciliar documents are worded.

    pre-Council, conceded that even in a Catholic State those who were not Catholic should not be forced to adopt the Catholic religion. It did, however, make clear that under no circumstances must those who hold to false religions be permitted to proselytise, nor must Catholics under any circumstances whatever hold congresses with them or attend any of their ceremonies

    The Church was correct both in its excommunication of Fr. Feeney and in receiving him back, if reports of his deathbed repentance are true. We have no reason to doubt this, although it is a great pity that many still hold the erroneous doctrine of Fr. Feeney.

    In respect to Church/State relations, the Church cannot alter what is divine truth in order to appease men. I suggest a read of Pius XI’s Quas Primas ‘On the Feast of Christ the King.’ The Church is supposed to be Militant, not compromising. Besides, after Vatican II the errors of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience were used by the Vatican as a means of having the word ‘Catholic’ removed from the constitutions of the then-Catholic States of Europe. All promptly obliged to the great detriment of the true religion established by Christ Our Lord for the salvation of souls.

    I think Pope John Paul II’s insistence on religious freedom was part of the revolution that helped bring down the USSR.”

    A study of Communism, not to mention the testimony of top Communists who fled Russia and sought asylum in the West in the 1950s and 60s, shines a different light on what happened in the USSR in 1989.

    It is reasonably well documented that the Kremlin had planned Glasnost and Peristroika (openness and restructuring) for a long time before Pope John Paul II. The plan was to lull the West into a false sense of security under the pretence that Communism was being abandoned in favour of democracy. In fact, it was the democratic world, not Russia, that was to become open and restructured; open to global Communism, which is today called Socialst democracy, and restructured without Christianity.

    Ring any bells? All the nations of Europe today are Socialist democracies bent on the persecution and suppression of Christianity. Our nations have been bankrupted both morally and financially while the economies of Russia and China have rocketed. There is a media silence on the persecution of Catholics in China, as there was in East Timor, and very little is said about the Communist-style rule of Vladimir Putin. There are no more Catholics in Russia today than there were at the height of the Cold War. We need to look beyond the superficial and weigh matters spiritually.

    And Pope Benedict XVI’s firm commitment to ecumenism is part of the reason a Bishop of Rome could honor St.Thomas More in the hall he was condemned.”

    Was that before or after he shook the hand of a priestess and prayed with the immoral and heretical Archbishop (actually arch-layman) of Canterbury before embracing him publicly as a brother in the faith? And yet the teaching of the Church forbids Catholics, under pain of mortal sin, from joining in prayers with heretics. Go figure!

    I agree there are grave challenges, these remain in every age, for us it is mainly about a loss of reverence, liturgical abuse, and wayward homosexual pedersasty in the priesthood. Hardly insurmountable, to the Spirit of grace. Anyway, God bless you”

    I, too, have ranted on a bit, but I think that’s because we care. I do not agree that the challenges of past ages can be remotely compared to those of today. For a start, past challenges were usually local ones. Today they are universal. You mention liturgical abuses and clerical pederasty, both of which came to prominence after the Council. There is hardly a case of homosexual pederasty in the Church before the Council, and certainly not one that has been proved beyond any doubt.

    As regards the more widepsread liturgical abuses, nothing of its like has ever been seen in the Church before. The Protestant Reformers would have been so proud, and would have felt so vindicated if they were alive today. God bless.

  • Anonymous

    “He might want to make spectacular changes but his colleagues may advice “don’t be rushed”. Do things in haste, repent at leisure (that sort of thing)… Since the church is eternal it work on snail’s mode.”

    It was always the way of the Church to move slowly and prudently, never in haste. Vatican II changed that and gave us fast lane reformation. Everything, and I do mean everything, has been turned on its head and thrown into confusion since that Council. Nothing, it seems, was too sacred to tamper with. The result? Not a single aspect of the Traditional Catholic Faith has been left in tact.

    Even the sacred liturgy of the Mass, which, from the time of the Apostles, had never had a single prayer removed from it, was stripped of almost every reference to sacrifice and oblation in the new rite. It was as Archbishop Bugnini, the chief architect of the rite, promised in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano: “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is for the Protestants” (19 March, 1965).

    He succeded! In the December 22, 1972 issue of The Catholic Herald, a prominent Anglican minister was quoted as stating: “Today’s liturgical study has brought our respective liturgies to a remarkable similarity, so that there is very little difference in the sacrificial phrasing of the prayer of oblation in the Series Three (Anglican “Mass”) and that of Eucharistic Prayer II in the Missa Normativa (New “Mass”).”

    Well, then, did Archbishop Lefebvre predict in 1974: “”All these changes in the Mass have but one justification, an aberrant senseless ecumenism that will not attract a single Protestant to the Faith but will cause countless Catholics to lose it, and will instill total confusion in the minds of many more who will no longer know what is true and what is false.”

    And now we see the same imprudent haste with regard to certain beatifications. While the prepared cause of Pius XII remains on the back burner for fear of a Jewish backlash, those of Paul VI and, more notably, John Paul II are being rushed along. In the case of the latter, even the miniscule five-year waiting period was waived. Even the saints who worked numberless miracles were not accorded such preferential treatment. Some of their causes took centuries to complete. So what’s going on here?

  • LeFloch

    Good post Martyjo, but I think it was in reply to Nishant not me!

  • Hieronymus

    It only shows that intelligent people grow wiser with age.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, LeFloch! How on earth did I manage that? There’s a sprite at work here!!

  • Anonymous

    “And lest anyone fancy himself to be a St.Paul, let him at least be a bishop, and preferably able to speak in tongues as well as work wonders.”

    St. Catherine wasn’t a bishop, and as for speaking in tongues, this just means speaking in foreign languages. It never meant what the charismatics tried to make of it, e.g. a babbling of unintelligible garbage. I just thought I should clear that up.

    “Anyway, Martyjo, coming back to a few other allegations you made, let’s see. I don’t know that much about his personal history, but I did see a documentary, BBC was it, long back about him. And if I remember right, as Prefect of the CDF, as far as I recall, he did tighten down on some liberal theologians.”

    I’m not aware of any such cases, but suffice it to say that Cardinal Levada, the present Prefect of the CDF, was instrumental in eastablishing the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in California, his old Episcopal See, as a parish for practicing homosexuals. You can still view the Youtube video of ‘the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,’ essentially men in drag dressed as nuns, receiving holy communion from the bishop. Cardinal Levada was also known for his opposition to establishing the Tridentine Mass in California following the motu proprio. What did Pope Benedict do? He raised this Cardinal to the highest position in the Church after himself.

    “As for extra ecclesiam nulla salus, even in the “pre-Conciliar Church”, the Magisterium authentically interpreted the dogma while a schismatic, puffed up by pride, presumed to oppose even her teaching. Thankfully, Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Church. But, was that a mistaken judgment too? “

    The Church was correct both in its excommunication of Fr. Feeney and in receiving him back, if reports of his deathbed repentance are true. We have no reason to doubt this, although it is a great pity that many still hold the erroneous doctrine of Fr. Feeney.

    “Coming to religious freedom, the doctrine of the Church has been steady, before and after the Second Vatican Council, the pretensions of some to the contary notwithstanding. All men have a duty to seek the truth, which in turn confers on them the right to freely seek the truth. This is all that religious freedom, in the Church’s usage consists of.”

    I beg to differ. It was the clear and unmistakable teaching of the Church before Vatican II that non-Catholics must enter the Catholic religion if they would be saved, excepting invincible ignorance. ecumenical and interfaith initiatives were absolutely condemned.

    Since Vatican II that teaching has been completely silenced in favour of equality for all religious beliefs. The Popes have stood side by side with heretics and pagans and have prayed with them without ever mentioning the dogma ‘outside the Church no salvation.’ Indeed, apart from Pope John Paul’s confirmation of the equality of false religions with the true one (Assisi), Pope Benedict XVI has entered both a Jewish Synagogue and a Mosque, and addressed his hosts thus: “we are all the children of Abraham.”

    Oh really! And what about Christ, who said to the proud Pharisses who claimed the same: “God can raise up children of Abraham from the stones of the earth”? Being a child of Abraham isn’t enough to save their immortal souls. Why, then, did the Vicar of Christ not state this clearly, as his predecessors certainly did? There are even examples of Catholic prelates telling the leaders of false religions that the Church is not interested in converting them. It’s not at all the same teaching as before the Council, regardless of how the conciliar documents are worded.

    I accept that the Church pre-Council conceded that even in a Catholic State those who were not Catholic should not be forced to adopt the Catholic religion. It did, however, make clear that under no circumstances must those who hold to false religions be permitted to proselytise, nor must Catholics under any circumstances whatever hold congresses with them or attend any of their ceremonies

    “As for Church-State, he has called for an increased role for religion in public life, and for religious freedom in lands where Christians are actively persecuted. Martyjo, I don’t think I would disagree with you on what the Church-State doctrine is, but it is important for there to be prudence. You can’t just go and tell a secularist state that they ought to allow the Catholic Church unfetttered rights, even though they are proper to her, strictly speaking.”

    In respect to Church/State relations, the Church cannot alter what is divine truth in order to appease men. I suggest a read of Pius XI’s Quas Primas ‘On the Feast of Christ the King.’ The Church is supposed to be Militant, not mealy mouthed. Besides, after Vatican II the errors of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience were used by the Vatican as a means of having the word ‘Catholic’ removed from the constitutions of the then-Catholic States of Europe. All promptly obliged to the great detriment of the true religion established by Christ Our Lord for the salvation of souls.

    “I think Pope John Paul II’s insistence on religious freedom was part of the revolution that helped bring down the USSR.”

    A study of Communism, not to mention the testimony of top Communists who fled Russia and sought asylum in the West in the 1950s and 60s, shines a different light on what happened in the USSR in 1989.

    It is reasonably well documented that the Kremlin had planned Glasnost and Peristroika (openness and restructuring) for a long time before Pope John Paul II. The plan was to lull the West into a false sense of security under the pretence that Communism was being abandoned in favour of democracy. In fact, it was the democratic world, not Russia, that was to become open and restructured; open to global Communism, which is today called Socialst democracy, and restructured without Christianity.

    Ring any bells? All the nations of Europe today are Socialist democracies bent on the persecution and suppression of Christianity. Our nations have been bankrupted both morally and financially while the economies of Russia and China have rocketed. There is a media silence on the persecution of Catholics in China, as there was in East Timor, and very little is said about the Communist-style rule of Vladimir Putin. There are no more Catholics in Russia today than there were at the height of the Cold War. We need to look beyond the superficial and weigh matters spiritually.

    “And Pope Benedict XVI’s firm commitment to ecumenism is part of the reason a Bishop of Rome could honor St.Thomas More in the hall he was condemned.”

    Was that before or after he shook the hand of a priestess and prayed with the heretical Archbishop (actually arch-layman) of Canterbury, before embracing him publicly as a brother in the faith? And yet the teaching of the Church forbids Catholics, under pain of mortal sin, from joining in prayers with heretics. Go figure!

    “I agree there are grave challenges, these remain in every age, for us it is mainly about a loss of reverence, liturgical abuse, and wayward homosexual pedersasty in the priesthood. Hardly insurmountable, to the Spirit of grace. Anyway, God bless you”

    I, too, have ranted on a bit, but I think that’s because we care. I do not agree that the challenges of past ages can be remotely compared to those of today. For a start, past challenges were usually local ones. Today they are universal. You mention liturgical abuses and clerical pederasty, both of which came to prominence after the Council. There is hardly a case of homosexual pederasty in the Church before the Council, and certainly not one that has been proved beyond any doubt.

    As regards the more widepsread liturgical abuses, nothing of its like has ever been seen in the Church before. The Protestant Reformers would have been so proud, and would have felt so vindicated if they were alive today. God bless.

  • Anonymous

    When Pope John Paul II broadcast a radio message to Russian Catholics in the 1990s the Russian Orthodox Patriarch called it “an invasion of Russia.” That’s what ecumenism has achieved, a big fat zero.

  • RJ

    Shock, horror! Man changes his mind!

  • Admbradshaw

    How can anyone come here and say they are a devout Catholic and go on retaliating against our Holy Father and the Church since Vatican II? No matter how much you quote or how much knowledge you have on Canon Law, or theology or whatever; when the Pope, in communion with the Holy Magisterium, make a proclamation, such as a council, we are bound to believe it or be in schism with the Body of Christ. This is elementary cathecism. Martyjo, you can keep on quoting Archbishop Lefebvre as much as you like, but the fact of the matter is is that he was excoummicated for denying simple doctrine that even school children know: the authority of the Pope and the Holy Magisterium. Christ Himself gave Peter, and his successors, the authority to bind and loosen. Believe me, I am horrified by all the abuses and it must be called out but I wouldn’t dare call it the work of Vatican II, lest I attack the teaching set by the Holy Spirit Himself!

  • TeaPot562

    Is it the belief of the critics of the actions of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI that the Holy Spirit guided the Church for nearly two millenia, and abandoned it at the time Archbishop Lefebvre rejected the documents of Vatican II?
    Think about your position. Does this make sense?
    TeaPot562

  • Nodrogezwoh

    Not a Roman Catholic, myself, but some from the Anglican background, I still foind it of great concern that we are sitnessing what seems to be an undercurrent of rebellion within the RCC, the primary goal of which is to undermine the authority of the Pope.

    I studied numerous videos, last night, on You Tube, which were a clear and definitive attack upon the papacies of your current Pope Benedict, as well as on his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, John XXiii, and several others during modern times, and at least a dozen others further back in time, claiming that they are not :real and authentic Popes”, but rather anti-popes, which is a term that I’ve only heard used used in reference to the period during which there were several persons, all contending they were the “real Pope”, and struggling to capture and hold the office, even outside Rome. I fear that Roman Catholics find themselves being led by many disloyal bishops and cardinals, who would love nothing better than to unseat Pope Benedict, and prevent John Paul II from being made a saint.

    The RCC has and always has had a distinct advantage over the Anglicans, to name one “catholic” sect, in that she has always enjoyed strong leadership, and a tradition of discipline that wouldn’t dare to question the aurhority of the Holy Father. The lack of strong leadership at Canterbury has led to the downfall of the Anglican Communion and all its affiliated churches, not so much due to the weakness or lack of loyalty of the ABC, as much as the fact that the ABC was never more than an administrative seat of honor in the Anglican Communion, with hardly any “teeth” to forbid or enforce anything, being no more than another Bishop, himself. We’ve always belieeved tht Deacons, Priests and Bishops were the only three valid ordained ministries given to Christianity by Holy Scripture, and thereby historical and valid, and that Archbishops and Cardinals and Popes were man-made offices, not found in the early church, and therefore not part of the core of the faith. While this philosophy was great for freedom and democracy and all the rest of modernism, the Anglicans were only as strong as their particular local bishops, so if you had a strong bishop, and a strong priest, withi well-educated and loyal deacons, you’d be just fine, but given guidance from a renegade or rebellious bishop, who laughted at or winked at this thing we call doctrine, it was all over. Back in the 1960;s and 1970′s, when the ultra left-wing bishops were testing their wings, writing critical books, and speaking out against church doctrine and tradition, as if they no longer mattered, retired left-wing bishops, many of then senile, I’d suspect, joined in the outrageouos spectacle of thumbing noses at the conservative seminaries and at Canterbury, itself, and then joined by women desiring ordination to holy orders, along witih gay clergy “coming-out” publicly, the Episcopal and other Anglican chuirch governing bodies became very much like our current-day U.S. Government, being led by ultra-liberals on the White House staff, in the Congress, and even infiltrating into the military and the supreme court. In a coalition with women, gays, blacks, hispanics, atheists and every other minority group, they formed a powerful voting voice for the conservatiuves and traditionalists, to the point that the American government is in a state of chaos, like the Anglican Communion, and like the RCC is heading toward being, if the conservatives lay back and play passive. The Roman Church, and Christianity, itself, may be experiencing the beginnings of death rattles, and once they set in, to reverse that evil trend will be an impossibility. With all its many human-caused and human-perpetuated faults, She is a Great Lady, who has done more good on this earth, than porobably any other institution, public, private, or otherwise. She has built hospitals and cared for the sick, the poor, She has educated at every level of learning from Pre-Kindergarten through Elementary and then High School through University-levels up to and including post-doctoral, and has provided meals, housing and other relief for both Catholics and non-Catholic, for almost two thousand years. To see the Catholic Church and their Papacy fall, now, would add one more nail to the coffin of modern society, as we know it.

    Maintain flexibility and the ability to respond to changing needs of the times, is okay. Lay participation is fine, too. But the Papacy is the blue that has held the Church together for all time, the only glue that can!

    Don’t allow the fenatic liberals, and the cast-in-stone conservatives to chart the course toward destruction of God’s Church. Be sensible enough that you can correct error from the past, wherever you find it, but don’t let groups of extremist come together, and become the tail wagging the dog. This is what’s happening in American Government, the Anglican Communion, and if not stopped in its tracks, the Roman Catholic Church, too. The handwriting is on the wall. The spray paint is, too. Be forewarned! My apology for lack of spell-check and polish.

  • John

    Pope Benedict NEVER said condoms were acceptable. You’ve fallen for the media propaganda. The media hates Catholicism and Pope Benedict – and will do whatever it can to lie about him, such as is the case with the fabricated story about condoms. The media are shameless.

    As for dissenters, surely they should be tackled at the local level, considering a key Catholic principle is subsidiarity. Thus, it is surely up to the incompetent Bishops etc. who need to sort out their own back yards.

  • Anonymous

    Intelligence and wisdom are not remotely connected, the former being of the order of nature and the latter being divine. That’s why many very intelligent, mature professional men go around sporting adolescent body piercings and pony tails. How many times have you heard it said that such and such is very intelligent but has no common sense. Common sense is just another term for wisdom. Not all old people are wise.

  • Anonymous

    Nodrogezwoh, I wouldn’t read too much into those videos of the sedevacantists, as these extremists are called. They are really quite marginal in number and not remotely linked with those Traditional Catholic groups such as the SSPX who take issue with many errors that followed from Vatican II.

    The presence of these extreme sedevacantists, however, does tell us something quite important. It is that their existence was brought about by the scandals that followed the Council. There were no sedevacantists in the Church before Vatican II, so it’s another aspect of the confusion that this Council has created amongst Catholics.

    By the way, before anyone tries to make the comparison, sedevacantism is not the same as Protestantism. The sedevacantist, in serious error as he is, rejects only certain Popes of the modern era. Protestants, on the otherhand, reject the entire Papacy. I suppose the one similarity between the two is that neither will be saved so long as they are in schism with the Vicar of Christ.

  • Anonymous

    TeaPot562, I am not aware of a single honest traditional Catholic who claims that the Holy Spirit abandoned the Church during the reigns of the above mentioned Popes. Sedevacantists might claim something as ridiculous as this, but not the SSPX and other faithful Catholics.

    Archbishop Lefebvre did not reject the documents of Vatican II. He certainly took issue with the ambiguous wording contained in some of those non-infallible documents, the more so when his worst fears were realised and the wrong interpretation of them became manifest in the life of the Church, but he did not reject Vatican II per se. That’s a common falsehood levelled against his good name by liberals.

    Ultimately, the rule is to judge the novelties that most certainly appeared during and after Vatican II with what the authentic Magisterium has always taught (and condemned). Ecumenism and interfaith initiatives are both novel and condemned doctrines. The condemnations of them by the Popes of old were the work of the Holy Spirit. How, then, can it be against the Holy Spirit to reject these novel doctrines, unless you’re suggesting that Divine Truth is subject to alteration?

    Here’s a wee quote from Cardinal Mercier on just those two false doctrines that you claim are the work of the Holy Spirit: “In the name of the Gospel, and in the light of the Encyclicals of the last four Popes, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X, I do not hesitate to affirm that this indifference to religions which puts on the same level the religion of divine origin and the religions invented by men in order to include them in the same skepticism is the blasphemy which calls down chastisement on society far more than the sins of individuals and families.” (Pastoral Letter, 1918).

  • Anonymous

    As I have stated several times before, and as Pope Benedict himself has stated, Vatican II was not a dogmatic, infallible Council like those of the past. It was Pastoral in nature. This makes a huge difference in terms of those previously condemned novelties of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue that Vatican II introduced.

    I’m happy that you think yourself more learned in the matter than Archbishop Lefebvre who was sixty years a faithful priest of the Church, superior General of the Holy Ghost Order, a senior member of the Preparatory Commision of the Council, Apostolic Nuncio under Pius XII, who called him “the best of my Apostolic Nuncios,” and one whose name is inscribed in marble at the doors of St. Peter’s as a participant in the declaration of the dogma of Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven. You must be a really blessed and holy person indeed to see fit to ridicule such a prelate of the Church.

    As regards ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, please see Cardinal Mercier’s 1918 remarks in my response to TeaPot562 above. Perhaps His Eminence was also lacking even a childs grasp of Catechism?

  • Anonymous

    The problem with Modernists, says St. Pius X, is that they are two-minded, one minute traditional the other liberal.

  • Gandalf

    Lefebvre died an excommunicate and his followers are not Catholics in any meaningful sense. Indeed, as shown by this thread, they spend most of their time attacking the Pope, whose authority they recognize in only a nominal sense, and the bishops, whose authority they do not recognize at all, unless they were bishops illiciltly consecrated by Lefebvre. There are leftwing Catholics who believe the Holy Spirit did not guide the Church until 1965; the followers of Lefebvre believe the Holy Spirit stopped guiding the Church in 1965. The Catholic position, of course, is that the Holy Spirit has guided the Church from its beginning and continues to do so.

    Indeed, I wonder why the Lefebvreites cling to Catholicism at all: if the Holy Spirit could not prevent an ecumenical council and the hundreds of bishops who participated in it and the two Popes who presided over it from falling into error, of what use is Christ’s promise to Peter?

  • simple

    Some saints’ canonizations took less than five years…if we include in the definition of saint all those canonized from the primitive Catholic Martyrs to the middle ages and to the present.
    For example, in the medieval times: St Francis of Assisi was canonized in less than two years or so and ST Thomas Aquinas in about a year…I am sure there are more. Besides some were not Popes and the early martyrs were immediately receognized as “saints” by “private” acclamations whether in catacombs or in devotion. The canonization process was much demanding than what is now-still that blessed method in only a method for the glory of God and the glory of the Catholic Church.

    Second, do call to mind that such peritii were and still are dogmatic experts and genius who knew what is exactly dogma and what is not. One will do well to make sure that every Catholic teaching is not immediately raised to the level of (irreversible-infallible) defined Divine Catholic Faith/Dogma. It will help anyone to know the difference and save the most noble of reputation and a keen intellect in the simplicity of the Catholic Faith well informed.

  • simple

    St Francis of Assisi was canonized two years after his death! I am sure there are more saints whose canonization was close to the their death. With JP2 it has been already almost 6 years.
    Hmm.

  • simple

    Correction: St Thomas Aquinas was not canonized in less than a year….yet the Pope defended him and his teaching prior to his death. St Alber the Great also defended it….

  • Nishant Jeyaraj

    Well, this isn’t really a place very conducive to discussion owing to the awkward manner in which comments can be posted. But let me offer in one place my thoughts in response to all you have said.

    Firstly, about the Petrine See. St.Peter was intended as Prince and Head of the Apostles, chief Shepherd of Christ’s flock, foundation stone of the House of God. The members of the body persist in the body only so long as the remain in communion with him, never should they, under any pretext whatsoever, presume to separate themselves from being “one in heart and mind” with each other, and most especially with him. He is related to us not just as a “brother” but also as father to his sons and daughters, as a Head to the body, as the foundation stone to other stones. Indeed the very sin of schism is defined in this way by the Church’s Magisterium. He holds the keys to the Kingdom of heaven, where he opens, no man shall shut, where he shuts, no man shall open. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a democracy with a left and a right as in a Senate, there is no traditionalism and liberalism, there is only the faithful Catholic. Everything our Mother hands down to us through the Head in her sacraments and liturgical life we accept as venerable, good and holy for the time, everything she teaches her with the one mouth of the body we assent to. Tradition is inseparable from the living magisterium of the Church, from the body of bishops, at the head of whom is the Pope.

    This is what schism is to separate oneself from the Pope knowingly and willfully, and the members of the Church in full communion with him. Peter is the principle of unity and stability in the Church.

    Not only that, this puffed up disobedience is the very root cause of every heresy and schism, old and new. There is scarcely the person who has left the Church who has not invented some pained theological contrivance to justify his disobedience to the Roman See.

    There is no polite way to say this, but it was Lefebvre’s interpretation of the Second Vatican Council that was in error, at least on some points. As to invincible ignorance and baptism of desire, he was spot on for the most part. As to religious freedom, to this day advocates of his view obfuscate the distinction between the right of the individual to follow what he sincerely believes, within due limits, as necessary to freely accept the truth, with the absolute right to hold the fullness of Christian truth. Never has the Church taught there is a right to error. That is a strawman.

    And no, Martyjo, the SVC was the 21st Ecumenical Council and dissent from it is not lawful for Catholics. As to ecumenism, I’m guessing you know what Pope Pius XII really was, despite the prejudice against him. In the same way as he was silent before Hitler, a silence some falsely and calumniously assert implies assentWell, this isn’t really a place very conducive to discussion owing to the awkward manner in which comments can be posted. But let me offer in one place my thoughts in response to all you have said.

    Firstly, about the Petrine See. St.Peter was intended as Prince and Head of the Apostles, chief Shepherd of Christ’s flock, foundation stone of the House of God. The members of the body persist in the body only so long as the remain in communion with him, never should they, under any pretext whatsoever, presume to separate themselves from being “one in heart and mind” with each other, and most especially with him. He is related to us not just as a “brother” but also as father to his sons and daughters, as a Head to the body, as the foundation stone to other stones. Indeed the very sin of schism is defined in this way by the Church’s Magisterium. He holds the keys to the Kingdom of heaven, where he opens, no man shall shut, where he shuts, no man shall open. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a democracy with a left and a right as in a Senate, there is no traditionalism and liberalism, there is only the faithful Catholic. Everything our Mother hands down to us through the Head in her sacraments and liturgical life we accept as venerable, good and holy for the time, everything she teaches her with the one mouth of the body we assent to. Tradition is inseparable from the living magisterium of the Church, from the body of bishops, at the head of whom is the Pope.

    This is what schism is to separate oneself from the Pope knowingly and willfully, and the members of the Church in full communion with him. Peter is the principle of unity and stability in the Church.

    Not only that, this puffed up disobedience is the very root cause of every heresy and schism, old and new. There is scarcely the person who has left the Church who has not invented some pained theological contrivance to justify his disobedience to the Roman See.

    There is no polite way to say this, but it was Lefebvre’s interpretation of the Second Vatican Council that was in error, at least on some points. As to invincible ignorance and baptism of desire, he was spot on for the most part. As to religious freedom, to this day advocates of his view obfuscate the distinction between the right of the individual to follow what he sincerely believes, within due limits, as necessary to freely accept the truth, with the absolute right to hold the fullness of Christian truth. Never has the Church taught there is a right to error. That is a strawman.

    And no, Martyjo, the SVC was the 21st Ecumenical Council and dissent from it is not lawful for Catholics. As to ecumenism, I’m guessing you know what Pope Pius XII really was, despite the prejudice against him. In the same way as he was silent before Hitler, a silence some falsely and calumniously assert implies assent, because he was engaged in a clandestine struggle against his policies, it is sometimes necessary for the Popes to be silent before schismatics and heretics. This is because the Church is working towards the far more important goal of corporate reunion, as She did between 1054 and Florence. The Church doesn’t think in terms of years or even decades but in the centuries. Throughout, the obligations of conscience to assent to truth, and the culpability of knowingly, against one’s better judgment, refusing to do so remains with ghastly consequences for those who do not.

    And no, unity doesn’t mean uniformity. That’s why there are 23 rites in the Catholic Church. I stay in India, Martyjo, and if you know your history, you know what the Portugese did when they came here. That led to “St.Thomas Christians” taking the Coonan Cross Oath and has led to such resentment among them towards Catholics as you will scarcely believe. Yet, in Pope John Paul II they found someone they admired. A different, though similar story could be said for American Evangelicals. I hope you see Jack Chick’s organization and others affiliated with it, and their lament that so many Evangelicals today are so favorably disposed toward the Catholic Church, with many leading figures even coming home.

    Coming to Russia, I agree some of the Orthodox still are unreasonable, but things are still so much better. I wouldn’t put down a Communist resurgence as impossible, but I still think credit is due to both him and Ronald Raegan. Another thing, I’ve read a bit on this, the world changed a lot during the “revolutions” of the 1960′s and all, and it is to a large extent to that that clerical pedersasty must be laid to. Ungodly men who did not wish to get married found the priesthood an easy reason to avoid people asking them why they remained single. This at least played a part, and the general increase in depravity contributed to it as well. Again, the Church has seen far, far worse. Far more endemic wickedness and worldy filth, and on abuse relating to indulgences and similar issues.

    Prayers with non-Catholic Christians are a matter of Church discipline, and what the Church binds, she can loose. The Church is not inconsistent in doing so, and should not be calumniously accused of being. Would any dare to accuse the Lord of incoherence when He said at one time “He who is not with Me is against Me” and at another “He is who not against Me is for Me”? It refers to a differing judgment of their relative disposition. And the same is true, at least of some Protestants before and after the SVC. Like I said, the Keys are in his hand and he has opened. The body does not have a mouth of its own, Martyjo, and with good reason, in the Creator’s providence. So let it speak in union, and never apart, from its head.

    , because he was engaged in a clandestine struggle against his policies, it is sometimes necessary for the Popes to be silent before schismatics and heretics. This is because the Church is working towards the far more important goal of corporate reunion, as She did between 1054 and Florence.

    And no, unity doesn’t mean uniformity. That’s why there are 23 rites in the Catholic Church. I stay in India, Martyjo, and if you know your history, you know what the Portugese did when they came here. That led to “St.Thomas Christians” taking the Coonan Cross Oath and has led to such resentment among them towards Catholics as you will scarcely believe. Yet, in Pope John Paul II they found someone they admired. A different, though similar story could be said for American Evangelicals. I hope you see Jack Chick’s organization and others affiliated with it, and their lament that so many Evangelicals are so favorably disposed toward the Catholic Church.

    Coming to Russia, I agree some of the Orthodox still are unreasonable, but things are still so much better. The Church doesn’t think in terms of years or even decades but in the centuries. I wouldn’t put down a Communist resurgence as impossible, but I still think credit is due to both him and Ronald Raegan. Another thing, I’ve read a bit on this, the world changed a lot during the “revolutions” of the 1960′s and all, and it is to a large extent to that that clerical pedersasty must be laid to. Ungodly men who did not wish to get married found the priesthood an easy reason to avoid people asking them why they remained single. This at least played a part, and the general increase in depravity contributed to it as well.

    Again, the Church has seen far, far worse. Far more endemic wickedness and abuse, and on indulgences and related issues,

  • Nishant Jeyaraj

    Oops, sorry for the repetition in the above. I dunno how to edit the post. :D

    Anyway, God bless you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SH6SVZGO76NTVRKD4D7ZIBUPGU Diffal

    I suppose that when the Holy Father praised celibacy at the close for the year of priests back in June that in your estimation he was also in error somehow. You once said that worshipping the pope is a sin, it is, but so is the hatred you continually display towards him. It is no secret that the young Fr. Ratzinger was on the liberal side of things, but some people EditorCT can change when they realise that they are wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Such nastiness and religious ignorance is not worthy of a response. You would do better to leave writing alone and spend more time in prayer asking Our Lord for some charity!

  • Anonymous

    Gandalf: Archbishop Lefebvre died before the excommunications of himself and his four bishops were lifted, but lifted they were, because they had been wrongly made from the outset. It was clear that the Archbishop had done nothing more than try to preserve the Catholic Faith in line with the Sacred Magisterium, with Tradition, and with Holy Scripture. He sought to keep the Catholic Church true to what had gone before, which is no more than the oath that all Popes used to take on being elected to the Chair of Peter.
    Mankind has free will and the Holy Ghost is not some sort of intervening censor who blocks the use of that free will. In the case of Vatican II, certain German bishops, collectively known as “the Rhein Fathers” managed to manipulate the outcome of the Council with the results that we see today.
    It may take a hundred years, but this latest storm threatening the Barque of Peter will eventually subside, just as Arianism subsided due to the stance taken by St. Athanasius and his followers.
    The reason supporters of the Fraternal Society of St.Pius X cling to Catholicism is to safeguard its continuity, to preserve and restore the Tridentine Mass with all the graces it carries, and to pass on the Faith as they received it. That is the substance of Christ’s instruction to St. Peter.

  • Anonymous

    Nishant, for the sake of space I shall not reprint here your lengthy opening paragraph on the Petrine See. Suffice it to say that the general accusation you make is that Archbishop Lefebvre was an excommunicated schismatic, and that the Society of St. Pius X founded by him is also schismatic. You are completely wrong on both counts!

    What I intend with this post, then, is to clear up this oft-repeated liberal calumny against both the Archbishop and the SSPX. Please note here that I do not consider you to be deliberately malicious by re-stating the liberal party line in the Church. Rather, I consider you to have accepted, as true, what others in high places have maliciously reported.

    First, let’s tackle the so-called excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre. When a bishop consecrates another bishop without Papal mandate, he does not thereby commit a schismatic act and incur automatic excommunication. The reason for this is twofold: In the first place the accusation of schism can only be substantiated in cases where the Petrine authority is entirely rejected, as in the case of the Protestants and the Orthodox. Secondly, the sacramental act of consecration is quite distinct from the administration of jurisdiction, which is reserved to the Holy See alone. Any bishop can consecrate another bishop, but only the Pope can give jurisdiction.

    In other words, the act of consecrating a bishop without Papal mandate only becomes a schismatic act if the consecrator entirely rejects the Papal authority, and/or attempts to administer jurisdiction to the new bishop, thereby setting up a parallel Magisterium.

    Archbishop Lefebvre was very explicit when he consecrated those four bishops in 1988 that he was neither rejecting the Petrine authority nor administering jurisdiction, which power lies solely with the Holy See.

    So the question comes down to a single act of disobedience to the Pope with regard to the consecration of the SSPX bishops in 1988, which act Archbishop Lefebvre declared was “the most painful thing I have ever had to do.” Hardly the words of a schismatic!

    Now, the 1917 code of canon law allows for any bishop to consecrate another without fear of punishment if he genuinely beliefs that there exists a danger to the Faith. Indeed, it goes so far as to declare that no punishment may be levelled against such a bishop even if he is mistaken in this belief.

    The new code of canon law (1983) alters matters in that it steps down the punishment for almost all of the manifold offences related in the 1917 code, yet upgrades the punishment for the consecration of a bishop without Papal mandate. How odd!

    Nevertheless, even the 1983 code must be interpreted and applied in line with the Church’s juridical process. This did not happen with Archbishop Lefebvre. What happened instead was that Pope John Paul II issued a 1988 motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei adflicta, in which he proposed that Archbishop Lefebvre committed an act of schism thereby incurring excommunication Latae Sententiae.

    Quite apart from the fact that an act of schism is only present when the offender in question renounces the entire Papal authority, which is not the case here, such a serious punishment requires, in justice, and according to Church teaching, juridical ratification in the court of the Church, which did not happen.

    Therefore, not only was Pope John Paul II mistaken when he considered Archbishop Lefebvre’s single act of “disobedience” to be a schismatic act, but he also failed to have his proposition ratified by the Church’s court, which he was bound in justice to do.

    This is the conclusion reached by senior canonists and prelates in the Church. The best canonical and juridical study available is a 2001 undertaking by Rev. Dr. Denzil Meuli, s.t.d., u.j.d., ph.l., ll.b., Advocate for the Holy Roman Rota, Barrister for the High Court of NZ. No one can question his objectivity, his qualifications or his standing in the Church. Here’s the link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/15052554/meuli-letter-re-sspx

    In the meantime, it should be noted that on June 4, 1993, Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, annulled the excommunication imposed by the Bishop of Honolulu on six SSPX Mass attendees who had invited one of the so-called excommunicated SSPX bishops to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation in their independent church. A strange annulment indeed if the Cardinal truly believed with Pope John Paul II that the SSPX bishop in question was an excommunicated schismatic!

    Now, let’s see what others have said in the matter:

    LETTER OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    Under signature of Edward I. Cardinal Cassidy, President (May 3,1994)

    “The situation of the members of this Society [SSPX] is
    an internal matter of the Catholic Church. The Society
    is not another Church or Ecclesial Community in the
    meaning used in the Directory. Of course, the Mass
    and Sacraments administered by the priests of the
    Society are valid. The bishops are validly consecrated.”

    INTERVIEW OF DARIO CARDINAL CASTRILLON HOYOS
    PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION “ECCLESIA DEI”
    Interview with Gianni Cardinale, of 30 Giorni

    November 2005

    “Unfortunately Monsignor Lefebvre went ahead with the consecration. Hence the situation of separation came about, EVEN IF IT WAS NOT A FORMAL SCHISM.

    ON THE PURPORTED “EXCOMMUNICATION” OF ABP. MARCEL LEFEBVRE

    ROSALIO JOSE CARDINAL CASTILLO LARA,
    J.C.D. (DOCTOR OF CANON LAW)
    President of the Pontifical Commission
    for the Authentic Interpretation of Canon Law
    President of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia

    “The act of consecrating a bishop [without explicit papal
    permission] is not in itself a schismatic act.”

    COUNT NERI CAPPONI,
    D.CN.L. – LATERAN (DOCTOR OF CANON LAW)
    LL.D. – FLORENCE (DOCTOR OF LAWS)
    Professor Emeritus of Canon Law at the University of Florence
    Accredited as an Advocate of the Holy Roman Rota
    (the Holy See’s highest marriage tribunal)
    Accredited as an Advocate of the Apostolic Signatura
    (the Holy See’s highest appeals tribunal)

    “The fact is that Msgr. Lefebvre simply said: ‘I am creating
    bishops in order that my priestly order can continue. They do
    not take the place of other bishops. I am not creating a
    parallel church.’ Therefore, this act was not, per se,
    schismatic.”

    PROFESSOR GERINGER, J.C.D.
    Canon Lawyer at the University of Munich

    “With the episcopal consecrations, Archbishop Lefebvre was
    by no means creating a schism.”

    REV. FR. PATRICK VALDINI, J.C.D.
    Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Catholic Institute of Paris

    “It is not the consecration of a bishop that creates the schism.
    What makes the schism is to give the bishop an apostolic mission
    [which Abp. Lefebvre never did].”

    REV. FR. GERALD E. MURRAY, J.C.D. (PONTIFICAL GREGORIAN UNIVERSITY)
    Title of Doctoral Thesis Accepted: “The Canonical Status of the Lay Faithful
    Associated with the Late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of
    Saint Pius X: Are they Excommunicated as Schismatics?”

    “They’re not excommunicated as schismatics, because the Vatican
    has never said they are. You can show that Lefebvre himself was not
    excommunicated and therefore no one else was….
    I come to the conclusion that, canonically speaking, he’s not
    guilty of a schismatic act punishable by canon law. In the
    case of the Society of Saint Pius X, the Vatican never
    declared any priest or lay person to have become a schismatic.”

    These are just some examples that show the truth of things.

    By the way, regarding the false ecumenism that you defend in the Church today, here’s another quote, this time from Cardinal Mercier, that reflects the immemorial teaching of the Church:

    “In the name of the Gospel, and in the light of the Encyclicals of the last four Popes, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X, I do not hesitate to affirm that this indifference to religions which puts on the same level the religion of divine origin and the religions invented by men in order to include them in the same skepticism is the blasphemy which calls down chastisement on society far more than the sins of individuals and families.” (Pastoral Letter, 1918)

    Whether spoken or unspoken, and despite what the Conciliar documents said in the matter, it is precisely this un-Catholic pan-religious outrage that we are witnessing now in such scandals as Assisi. Every kind of ecumenical and interfaith initiative is consistently and solemnly condemned by the Magisterium of many Popes throughout history. Indeed, even St. John the Evangelist, “the Apostle of Love” forbade communication with heretics. So this whole ecumenical and interfaith business of today is a novelty of Vatican II and a clear breach with the Church’s past teaching. I dare anyone who disagrees to provide support for this novelty from past Magisterial teaching. Popes are there to preserve and hand on the doctrines of the Faith, not to invent new ones.

  • RJ

    Somewhat unfair to call it two-minded to change one’s mind after many years. One can honestly come to a different conclusion.

  • Anonymous

    In his book Light of the World, the Pope (as he always does in public) upheld celibacy. However, when asked about priests who had abandoned their vocation to attempt marriage, he was “non-judgmental”

    Maybe if he had warned that Christ warns that “those who put their hand to the plough and look back are not worthy of Me” he might have influenced some waverers, some of those engaged in affairs, to think again.

    His job is to be “judgmental” – to make sound judgements about those over whom he has authority.

    After all, he was VERY “judgmental” when, right after his appointment to the papacy, he spoke about the “filth” in the Church and asked us all to pray that he would not “flee the wolves.”

    Then, of course, he appointed one of the wolves to the key office of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – Archbishop (now Cardinal) Levada, infamous for his cover-up of child abuse cases in his diocese in the USA.

    Diffal, I don’t hate anyone. This trick of turning the tables, turning the argument into a personal attack, is pointless.

    Nobody accused the Daily Telegraph of hating MPs when they exposed the thieving going on in the expenses scandal. Those MPs were doing wrong. the newspaper was merely reporting the facts. Nobody was stupid enough to confuse their concerns to expose the corruption in Parliament, with hatred of MPs.

    So, why do you think I hate the Pope when I point out his failure to do his job properly?

    Of course people can change – but I think as we are fast finding out, Pope Ratzinger really hasn’t changed all that much at all. Not at all. Or as they would say in Ireland, not at all, at all…

  • Anonymous

    John,

    Pope Benedict: “She (the Church) of course does not regard it (use of condoms) as a real or moral solution BUT IN THIS OR THAT CASE, THERE CAN BE, NONETHELESS, IN THE INTENTION OF REDUCING THE RISK OF INFECTION, A FIRST STEP IN A MOVEMENT TOWARDS A DIFFERENT WAY, A MORE HUMAN WAY OF LIVING SEXUALITY” END OF QUOTE.

    Pope Benedict then gives an example:

    MALE PROSTITUTE….(then, through Vatican clarification, Fr Lombardi says he is quoting the Pope’s own words) POPE DID NOT MEAN MERELY MALE PROSTITUTES BUT ALL PROSTITUTES, WOMEN, AND TRANSEXUALS. END.

    Please stop this silly nonsense of blaming the media. The media merely quoted the Pope’s own words. Buy the book and read it for yourself (then you can blame the publisher for making it all up.)

    The Pope is wrong on condoms; he is wrong on the beatification of Pope John Paul II and he is wrong on Assisi III.

    Live with it.

    As to your final point – of course the bishops should deal with dissenters locally but the bishops are dissenters themselves – hence, again, all roads lead to Rome.

    You really have to get your head round the fact that we do not have a good Pope.

    Pray for him, of course, but don’t try to defend the indefensible. Would you have defended any of the other scandalous popes in history? It’s rather like saying you are opposed to burglarly, but since you like the personality of the burglar you caught robbing your living room, that’s all right then.

    Gimme strength.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SH6SVZGO76NTVRKD4D7ZIBUPGU Diffal

    Thats because the telegraph made made accusations based on the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Cite, with evidence, anything I have said that is not true.

  • RJ

    One or two people have already had the argument about the condom remarks with EditorCT, myself included.

  • Anonymous

    I would normally agree with your assessment, but in this case I think it’s fairly conclusive that Pope Benedict XVI does suffer from the Modernist two-mindedness.

    On the one hand His Holiness restores the Mass of all time (TLM) to every priest, not that it had ever been forbidden (the bishops only pretended that it had), and on the other he states his intention to stage another Assisi event to the great detriment of the true religion.

    Is this what Sister Lucy of Fatima meant when she spoke of the text of the Third Secret of Fatima as referring to “a diabolical disorientation” within the Church?

    Pope Pius XII may have thought so when he said: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul…. I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

    A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken Him?” Sounds exactly like events after Vatican II.

    “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.” (Address of Pope Paul VI on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, October 13, 1977). Even more convincing!

    “In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.” (Cardinal Ciappi in a personal communication to Professor Baumgartner in Salzburg, Austria. Card. Ciappi was the Papal Theologian of Pope John Paul II.)

    “What happened in 1960 that might have been seen in connection with the Secret of Fatima? The most important event is without a doubt the launching of the preparatory phase of the Second Vatican Council. Therefore I would not be surprised if the Secret had something to do with the convocation of Vatican II… I would not be surprised if the Third Secret alluded to dark times for the Church; grave confusions and troubling apostasies within Catholicism itself…” (Cardinal Oddi).

    “I cannot reveal anything of what I learned at Fatima concerning the Third Secret, but I can say that it has two parts: one concerns the Pope; the other logically (although I must say nothing) would have to be the continuation of the words: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved”” (The Whole Truth about Fatima, Vol. III, p. 74). (Comments are those of Fr. Schweigle who was sent by Pope Pius XII to interrogate Sr. Lucia about the Third Secret in 1952).

    Assisi runs directly contrary to what Our Lady requested at Fatima for the gaining of true world peace. The Blessed Mother asked that the Pope together with the bishops of the world make a public and solemn consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Instead, the modern Popes have chosen to place their trust for peace in the combined prayers to false gods offered at Assisi. Is this likely to bring down the grace of the true God, or His wrath? It shouldn’t be difficult for any Catholic to work out the answer to this question.

  • RJ

    That was in the discussion about the controversy over the Pope’s book