Monday, 11 February 2013

Comments thus far...

It's unsettling to think that as little as 8 years ago I welcomed the sight of pope Benedict XVI on the balcony of St Peter's as proof that the Roman communion was guided by the Holy Ghost. These days I would say in spite of the Holy Ghost, but that's not what I've come to say.

The comments on Rorate Caeli are quite nauseating, one of which says:

Let's hope the next Pope takes the title Pius XIII as Popes with the name Pius have been the most effective is stemming heresy and heterodoxy.

Boob! In fact, someone already did take the title of Pius XIII, his name was Lucian Pulvermacher, a nutcase who set up shop at home. Imagine:

Lucian, dinner's ready!
But, mummy I'm still celebrating mass!

And another comment on Rorate:

My beloved Pope Benedict, I will always love you. I owe you so much. I am so very sorry - very distressed. Prayers from my heart for you, Your Holiness.


''GQ Rep'' worries about the next liberal. Why, exactly, would you have anything to fear? If your Tradition is so solid, so unshakeable, so true, and the gates of Hell, and blah, blah, blah, then surely it is the liberals who should be in fear of you? Or are you worried perhaps that the next pope will come along and tear down everything pope Benedict has built up? I'm not going to pass comment on them all, but the general thrust of these comments seems to be an unreasoned fear of the next incumbent and a lot of judgement on Benedict for not abolishing the Novus Ordo Missae, failure to fully reconcile the Society of Pius X and so many other castles in the air not worth repeating.

I'm not going to tell you what my hopes are for the next pope, but perhaps you can guess some of them. As I said in the previous post, the coming weeks promise to be quite interesting.


  1. There is nothing left of historic Roman Catholicism apart from the papal cult of personality. What I can't figure out is how intelligent RCs live with the cognitive dissonance. On the one hand there is the pretense that the barque of Peter is eternal and assailable. But the reality is that Roman Catholicism no longer has any objective content. When an RC uses the word Tradition, what he really means is "what the current pope and the bishops in communion with him teach at this moment." It has little or nothing to do with historical reality. Therefore, every new conclave, and the election of every new bishop, is a source of terror and uncertainty. How do they keep from losing their minds?

    1. How do you keep from online attacks? Out of charity I will say no more.

  2. I'm a former Roman Catholic myself. This isn't intended as an attack but as a description of my experience as a conservative Roman Catholic, and as a question. How do Catholics reconcile their abstract beliefs about the nature of Roman Catholicism with the war on Catholic tradition, waged at the highest levels of the hierarchy, during the past fifty years? Every time I ask this question I get stone silence. Which I suppose is a sort of answer.

    1. There is no conflict if one is not an ultramontanist. For papolators, there is. It's that simple. The present Pope, by the way, isn't one--and this latest action is further confirmation of that fact. One would think anti-papalists like yourself and Patricius would appreciate the relative humility and generous collegiality with which this Pope has exercised his office. It is no wonder that he is the most well-liked pope among Orthodox hierarchs for centuries.

      And anyway, I believe you aren't truly interested in an answer; too much sneering in your potshots to convince me of that. Your identity seems more "former Roman Catholic" than "Orthodox". Until that changes, you won't be truly interested. However, I would recommend to you the graceful statement of your own Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew:

      "It is with regret that we have learned of the decision by His Holiness Pope Benedict to retire from his Throne, because with his wisdom and experience he could have provided much more to the Church and the world.

      "Pope Benedict leaves an indelible mark on the life and history of the Roman Catholic Church, sealed not only by his brief papacy, but also by his broad and longstanding contribution as a theologian and hierarch of his Church, as well as his universally acknowledged prestige.

      "His writings will long speak of his deep theological understanding, through his knowledge of the Fathers of the undivided Church, his familiarity with contemporary reality, and his keen interest in the problems of humankind.

      "We Orthodox will always honor him as a friend of our Church and a faithful servant of the sacred proposition for the union of all. Moreover, we shall rejoice upon learning of his sound health and the productivity of his theological work.

      "Personally, we remember with emotion his visit to the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate over six years ago, together with the numerous encounters and excellent cooperation, which we enjoyed throughout the duration of his primatial ministry.

      "From the Phanar, we pray that the Lord will manifest his worthy successor as the head of the sister Church of Rome, and that we may also continue with this successor on our common journey toward the unity of all unto the glory of God."

      I believe His All-Holiness says all that needs to be said. And if you dispute this, perhaps you can take it up with him.

    2. Sorry but since when does the ''ecumenical patriarch'' speak for the Orthodox Church? He is but the patriarch of one of the smallest autocephalous churches, and is not even bishop of an Apostolic See. Each Orthodox bishop has as equal a status as the next Orthodox bishop; it matters not whether their title is ''ecumenical patriarch,'' a meaningless political title.

      To even quote Bartholomew in this context seems to suggest that he is the Orthodox ''equivalent'' to the pope of Rome - there isn't one. And I doubt that most Orthodox, even to-day, would view the Roman communion as a ''sister church.''

    3. It is easier to admire Benedict at a distance, when you don't have to deal with the collapse of ecclesiastical discipline and Catholic culture that he inherited and perpetuated. Remember that Gorbachev and Thatcher were far more popular in America than either of them ever were in Russia or the UK.

  3. What I find interesting is that Traddies have this utmost reverence for the pope, as ''successor of St Peter,'' but nothing but scorn for bishops.

    1. You are generalizing far too much. I'm not sure which "Traddies" you are referring to, but no Pope is immune from criticism among the traditionalists I know.

  4. That's part of the cognitive dissonance I referred to earlier. The pope issues Summorum Pontificorum (traddies cheer) and then appoints bishops who block its application, or does nothing to reign in bishops appointed by his predecessors who do the same (traddies refuse to connect the dots). It's a mad house.

  5. Patrick, please, you do know that Pat. Bart would luv to be considered the Orthodox Pope, and very much takes it upon himself to be viewed that way. That said, Orthodox did see Benedict as a kindred spirit in many ways, a churchman very deserving of respect, even without any hoopla about sister churches.

    Childermass, at the same time, there are strong reasons why the Orthodox do not, have not, and will not embrace Roman Catholicism, and Tawser, I believe, was alluding more to those reasons than anything personal regarding Benedict. In this light, I would very much like to know your thoughts on how traditionalists can discount - if not outright reject as heretical - the Mass of Pope Paul VI, for example, and at the same time not discount or reject the machinery by which that Mass came into being, namely the modern Papacy.

  6. It is interesting to read so many expressions of fear on the 'Traddieland' blogs on what the next pontificate might bring. Underneath the bravado, or stupidity, of posts with titles such as 'Shut it' etc there is clearly the worry that the bubble has burst. What if the next pope took a pastoral approach, which if the papacy has any function at all it should surely be that, and decided that the interests of the vast majority of Catholics who have not the slightest interest in the rite of Mass in use between June 1962 and Advent 1964 were more important than those of the small, if vociferous, 'lace brigade'? It does appear that a significant factor in the general failure of this pontificate has been Benedict's obsession with Lefebvrism to the exclusion of the vast majority of his flock.

  7. Patrick,

    Are you an Anglican? If so, are you in communion with Canterbury, or are you a member of one of the "continuing" churches?

    Your Holiness Benedict XVI the Bishop Emeritus of Rome. Thoughts on the title change?