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Morning Catholic must-reads: 06/09/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Friday, 6 September 2013

Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in St Petersburg yesterday (AP)

Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in St Petersburg yesterday (AP)

Pope Francis has urged G20 leaders to abandon “the futile pursuit of a military solution” in Syria in a letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin (full text).

Vatican Archbishop Dominque Mamberti briefed 71 ambassadors to the Holy See about Syria yesterday (video).

The Pope’s next encyclical, reportedly called Blessed Are the Poor, will “define our stance on poverty”, Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech has said.

Bishop Robert Lynch has suggested that the American Church “gave President George W Bush largely a free pass on Iraq“.

Michael Peppard posts a host of links to recent American Catholic commentary on Syria.

Sandro Magister reflects on the detente between Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and liberation theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez.

And enterprising radio host Lino Rulli makes the case for his own canonisation on the same day as Blessed John Paul II (video).

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day

  • NatOns

    ‘The Pope’s next encyclical, reportedly called Blessed Are the Poor, will “define our stance on poverty”, Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech has said.’

    Prosper Cardinal Grech would be entirely wrong and unjustifiably ignorant if it was his intention; the Holy Father would indeed do well once again to engage Catholics with the actual doctrine, understanding and practice of the Church on wealth and poverty.

    ‘Neither must it be supposed that the solicitude of the Church is so preoccupied with the spiritual concerns of her children as to neglect their temporal and earthly interests. Her desire is that the poor, for example, should rise above poverty and wretchedness, and better their condition in life; and for this she makes a strong endeavour. By the fact that she calls men to virtue and forms them to its practice she promotes this in no slight degree.’ Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum.

    Our stance on material and spiritual poverty – the former is often a result of the latter – was defined by the Lord our Saviour, and not least as set out by teaching authority based on that infallible source; that any bishop in communion with the bishop of Rome may happily ignore this magisterial lead is for him to answer.

    ‘The solidarity which binds humanity together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist.’ Blessed John XXIII, Mater et Magistra.

    PS: This is a lesson to many radical Tradition-loving souls for, it seems, they must also learn it anew – and be known to practice its implications. Rather than going into raptures over a finely crafted piece of art, be it music or plastic, or fall into a hissy-fit because a bishop’s lace is an imperfect length, they must affirm the true purpose of all these means must always tend toward the ends (and never be satisfied with the means themselves). Sacred Tradition affirms charity as the greatest element of the abiding virtues in Christian life.

  • NatOns

    ‘Sandro Magister reflects on the detente between Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and liberation theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez.’

    That Archbishop Mueller and Gustavo Gutierrez are in amicable detente is hardly news worthy as serious reflection. The Archbishop – properly if confusedly – believes the Gutierrez model of Liberation Theology is to be numbered among the most significant currents of Catholic Theology in the 20th century. This significance does not remove the condemnation of its errors; it is, after all, not true that Vatican Council II was the event that most marked the history of the Church in the past century – that place must still go to Modernism, its all-consuming Indifferentism, and the wholesale mayhem caused by bending the Faith to fit the shape demanded in passing Ideological flights of image (under the cover of Vat II spirit-led renewal).

    No, what would be news-worthy of reflection might be found in Archbishop Mueller stepping a little outside his comfort zone – in his studious affinity with Gutierrez et al – and actually engaging positively, supportively and fruitfully with the SSPX. Understanding if not embracing the all too glaring reality set out by his brother bishop, Athanasius Schneider – accepting the need to define the errors arising from false interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. And since the Sovereign Pontiff is not about condemnation (except for the things he condemns) and all about approval (except toward the things of which he disapproves), well, it is not beyond the wit of man to meet the requirements of all three .. if only in the name of the sole genuinely liberating source of theology: Sacred Tradition.

  • sclerotic

    Modernism. Indifferentism. Tell me, where do you stand on the Johannine comma?

  • NatOns

    Where the Catholic Church stands; it is an orthodox gloss that is part of an authoritative edition of Holy Scripture. The Three Witnesses belong – comma and all, complete – in the Clementine Vulgate edition (either in the passage or as a gloss); scholars cannot chop out a piece because it displeases them, because it is not in another edition, or because it is a misplaced gloss .. only the Magisterium may decide to alter or adjust it. Note well, I speak of the Clementine Vulgate not the Holy Bible per se; this Vulgate version included it as an orthodox variant standard in late Western editions of Jerome’s translation; the disputed gloss – not in any of the earlier Greek editions – belongs in the Clementine Vulgate (if not other versions) and cannot be removed other than in an authoritatively approved edition.

    That it is an ancient gloss cannot be disputed, it is understood in Priscillian’s Book of Apologetics reflecting the common presentation of Cyprian’s witness to the Heavenly Witnesses Who are One in the Unity of the Church. It does not belong in the earlier editions of the Vulgate, especially those early members of the family of variations in Jerome’s own translation – therefore it should not be inserted into these to make them fit with later editions. The Holy Office – contrary to scholarly opinion – very properly warned scholars that it was ‘unsure’ opinion that the Comma was not part of the Vulgate family of tradition .. and that since the Clementine Vulgate was the basis for approved Catholic worship so scholars could not take it upon themselves to alter this edition to fit opinion (i.e. it is not scholars who approve the Holy Bible, rather the Church Fathers approve its use), cf Actae Sanctae Sedis, 1896-7.

    The rush to follow scholars’ opinions above the mild warnings of authority is a Protestant indeed a heretical spirit (favoured by high-spirited and proud-hearted scholars from Marcion to Galileo to Loisy to …). And this whole issue shows the fantastic lengths to which that spirit of protest can go; the headlong leap into the historical sic (or put in whatever the current scholarly fashion happens to be) reading of Scripture as opposed to reading and understanding and judging its content as revelation has led many Protestants and their faith communities closer to perdition. Denying that the Comma is part of the Clementine edition of the Vulgate is not only insecure scholarship it is false scholarship; that the Comma is not part of earlier Latin and Greek editions is sound scholarship, therefore it is for the Church authority to amend, note or otherwise explain the presence (scholars to consider it, and properly advise – at very most).

    ‘This decree has been issued to repress the temerity of those private teachers who have attributed to themselves the right of completely rejecting this “comma” of St. John or at least by their final judgement of calling it into doubt.. It is in no way intended to deter Catholic writers from investigating the matter more fully, .. or from adopting an opinion opposed to the genuineness of the text, as long as they profess to be willing to submit to the judgement of the Church, to whom has been committed by Jesus Christ the duty not only of interpreting the Sacred Scriptures but also of guarding them faithfully.’ Documenta Ecclesiastica Sacram Scripturam Spectantia, Romae, apud Librariam Vaticanum 1927.

  • sclerotic

    Quite so. Pity about Jerome. And that there is no punctuation in NT Greek. And that this is not the last word on the subject.

  • NatOns