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Full Version: "Eleison Comments" by Mgr. Williamson - Issue CCLXIX - 269
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APRIL AMBIGUITY
In mid-April there was submitted to Rome on behalf of the Society of St Pius X a confidential document, doctrinal in nature, of which it was said that it laid out Catholic principles that all the SSPX authorities could subscribe to. In mid-June Rome rejected the document as basis for a Rome-SSPX agreement. Thank goodness, because it contained a supremely dangerous ambiguity: in brief, does an expression like “The Magisterium of all time” mean up until 1962, or up until 2012 ? It is all the difference between the religion of God, and the religion of God as changed by modern man, i.e. the religion of man. Here are some of the principles, as summarized for SSPX authorities:--

“1/ ...Tradition must be the criterion and guide for understanding the teachings of Vatican II. 2/ So the statements of Vatican II and of the post-conciliar papal teaching with regard to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue or religious liberty can only be understood in the light of Tradition complete and uninterrupted, 3/ in a manner that does not clash with the truths previously taught by the Church’s Magisterium, 4/ without accepting any interpretation opposed to, or breaking with, Tradition and that Magisterium...”.

The 1962 or 2012 ambiguity lurks here in the words “Tradition” and “Magisterium”. Are these two words being taken to exclude doctrines of the Council (1962-1965) and its aftermath, or are they including them? Any follower of Tradition will read the passage so as to exclude them, because he knows that there is a huge difference between the Church and the Newchurch. But any believer in Vatican II can so read the passage as to be able to pretend that there is a seamless continuity between the Church before and after the Council. Let us take a closer look at how the Traditionalist and the Conciliarist can each read the passage in his own way.

Firstly, the Traditional reading:-- “1/ Pre-conciliar Tradition has got to be the measure and judge of Council teachings (and not the other way round). 2/ So Conciliar and post-conciliar teaching must all be sifted according to the whole of Traditional teaching prior to the Council, 3/ so as not to clash with anything that the Magisterium taught prior to the Council, 4/ accepting no interpretation or text that breaks with the pre-conciliar Tradition or Magisterium.”

Secondly, the Conciliar reading (certainly that of the Romans in charge of today’s Church) :-- “1/ Tradition from before and after the Council (because there is no difference) must be judge of the Council. 2/ So Conciliar teaching on controversial subjects must be sifted according to the Church’s one complete pre- and post-conciliar Tradition (because that alone is the “completeness” of Tradition), 3/ so as not to clash with the Church’s pre- or post-conciliar Magisterium (because they teach the same), 4/ accepting no interpretation that breaks with pre- or post-conciliar Tradition or Magisterium (because there is no break between all four of them).”

This Conciliar reading means that the Council will be judged by the Council, which means of course that it will be acquitted. On the contrary by the Traditional reading the Council is utterly condemned. Ambiguity is deadly for the Faith. Somebody here is meaning to play games with our Catholic minds. Let whoever it is be anathema !

Kyrie eleison.
Good stuff. Bishop W is like a goalie.
This comment does not make any sense.

SSPX: “1/ ...Tradition must be the criterion and guide for understanding the teachings of Vatican II.
BW:  "The 1962 or 2012 ambiguity lurks here in the words “Tradition” and “Magisterium”. Are these two words being taken to exclude doctrines of the Council (1962-1965)[...]?"

So Bishop Williamson thinks that the SSPX statement could also mean "Vatican II must be the criterion for understanding Vatican II". Err, OK...

SSPX: "3/ in a manner that does not clash with the truths previously taught by the Church’s Magisterium, 4/ without accepting any interpretation opposed to, or breaking with, Tradition and that Magisterium...”."
BW: "The 1962 or 2012 ambiguity lurks here in the words “Tradition” and “Magisterium”. Are these two words being taken to exclude doctrines of the Council (1962-1965) ) and its aftermath?"

Note that Bishop Williamson conveniently ignores the word "previously taught" in the SSPX's statement, and instead insinuates it also include the aftermath. So the SSPX is talking unambigously about previous teachings, Bishop Williamson removes the word "previous" and inserts "aftermath" instead. Then he complains about ambiguity.

That was a very cheap trick. Unfortunately, the "All Hail Bishop Williamson, defensor fidei" crowd doesn't want to see through it.
(09-09-2012, 07:06 AM)Freudentaumel Wrote: [ -> ]This comment does not make any sense.

SSPX: “1/ ...Tradition must be the criterion and guide for understanding the teachings of Vatican II.
BW:  "The 1962 or 2012 ambiguity lurks here in the words “Tradition” and “Magisterium”. Are these two words being taken to exclude doctrines of the Council (1962-1965)[...]?"

So Bishop Williamson thinks that the SSPX statement could also mean "Vatican II must be the criterion for understanding Vatican II". Err, OK...

He's opposing the premise that Vatican II is somehow protected by the Holy Ghost and can be salvaged.  You know, the junk that Pope Benedict believes about the texts. The same texts Roger Mahony was a master at citing to justify his abominations. 

Quote:SSPX: "3/ in a manner that does not clash with the truths previously taught by the Church’s Magisterium, 4/ without accepting any interpretation opposed to, or breaking with, Tradition and that Magisterium...”."
BW: "The 1962 or 2012 ambiguity lurks here in the words “Tradition” and “Magisterium”. Are these two words being taken to exclude doctrines of the Council (1962-1965) ) and its aftermath?"

Note that Bishop Williamson conveniently ignores the word "previously taught" in the SSPX's statement, and instead insinuates it also include the aftermath. So the SSPX is talking unambigously about previous teachings, Bishop Williamson removes the word "previous" and inserts "aftermath" instead. Then he complains about ambiguity.

Previously taught by who?  You think that is some kind of protection?  Ever hear of Resourcement Theology? It was an effort to bypass Thomism by appealling to the Fathers of the Church and putting a mystification on them in order to blur all the clarity of the faith.  Lowering of defenses is not the same as heterodoxy, but it is just as dangerous.

Quote: That was a very cheap trick. Unfortunately, the "All Hail Bishop Williamson, defensor fidei" crowd doesn't want to see through it.

Oh yeah, you're the guy in the know that we should all turn to.  You've got the score.  Sorry, You're going to have to do a better job than that half-baked attempt at a hatchet job.
(09-08-2012, 02:28 PM)CollegeCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]APRIL AMBIGUITY
In mid-April there was submitted to Rome on behalf of the Society of St Pius X a confidential document, doctrinal in nature, of which it was said that it laid out Catholic principles that all the SSPX authorities could subscribe to. In mid-June Rome rejected the document as basis for a Rome-SSPX agreement. Thank goodness, because it contained a supremely dangerous ambiguity: in brief, does an expression like “The Magisterium of all time” mean up until 1962, or up until 2012 ?

I'm surprised the Bishop doesn't realize the problem with this. Someone like Cardinal Mahoney wants to pretend that the magisterium began in 1962, Bp. Williamson wants to pretend that it stopped in 1962.
(09-08-2012, 02:28 PM)CollegeCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]APRIL AMBIGUITY
Firstly, the Traditional reading:-- “1/ Pre-conciliar Tradition has got to be the measure and judge of Council teachings (and not the other way round). 2/ So Conciliar and post-conciliar teaching must all be sifted according to the whole of Traditional teaching prior to the Council, 3/ so as not to clash with anything that the Magisterium taught prior to the Council, 4/ accepting no interpretation or text that breaks with the pre-conciliar Tradition or Magisterium.”

Secondly, the Conciliar reading (certainly that of the Romans in charge of today’s Church) :-- “1/ Tradition from before and after the Council (because there is no difference) must be judge of the Council. 2/ So Conciliar teaching on controversial subjects must be sifted according to the Church’s one complete pre- and post-conciliar Tradition (because that alone is the “completeness” of Tradition), 3/ so as not to clash with the Church’s pre- or post-conciliar Magisterium (because they teach the same), 4/ accepting no interpretation that breaks with pre- or post-conciliar Tradition or Magisterium (because there is no break between all four of them).”

The bishop seems to be saying, in the traditional measure, that the judge of a council has only to do with the whole of traditional teachings from before the Council. But is this what the Church has always taught? Why even bother having any councils if everything is judged in exactly the same way as from before a council? For example, why did they bother having the council of Trent? According to the bishop's logic, it would seem that any problems that the Church was having should have been dealt with according to Tradition from before Trent.

And the bishop states that... '1/Tradition from before and after the Council (because there is no difference) must be the judge of the Council.' But I don't see that the Pope or current magisterium has said that there is no differences from before and after the Council. There are obvious differences in how Church teaching is interpreted. And isn't there a certain amount of latitude that the Pope and magisterium have in interpreting Church teaching? Rather than a rigid Thomistic interpretation (which may not have even been a proper interpretation of St. Thomas before the Council) there seems to be more of a Franciscan peace and love interpretation. Neither interpretation is necessarily wrong, but they can seem to clash, because they take different views of the same teaching.
(09-09-2012, 09:34 AM)Aragon Wrote: [ -> ]I'm surprised the Bishop doesn't realize the problem with this. Someone like Cardinal Mahoney wants to pretend that the magisterium began in 1962, Bp. Williamson wants to pretend that it stopped in 1962.

The magisterium, in any era, is supposed to teach and defend the deposit of faith.  The deposit of faith was complete and closed around the year 100 A.D., with the death of St. John the Evangelist.  There is no more truth to be revealed.  I don't care whether it is your favorite Marian apparition or a pernicious council like Vatican II.  You seem to think, like the new Prefect for the CDF, that we "range from peak to peak," continually modifying Catholic teaching.  Changes in teaching have been presented as development of doctrine.  It's a euphemism and I'm tired of it.

St. Vincent of Lerins, pray for us.
(09-09-2012, 10:36 AM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]The bishop seems to be saying, in the traditional measure, that the judge of a council has only to do with the whole of traditional teachings from before the Council. But is this what the Church has always taught?

That bishop was actually St. Paul. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema."

Quote: Why even bother having any councils if everything is judged in exactly the same way as from before a council? For example, why did they bother having the council of Trent?

To stamp out heresy and confirm the brethren so they would not fall into error with the new,false ideas of the Protestants. 

Quote: According to the bishop's logic, it would seem that any problems that the Church was having should have been dealt with according to Tradition from before Trent.

Pope John XXIII wanted  a "different" council.  He got one.  Instead of errors being condemned and problems solved, errors were ignored and circumstances were made beneficial to them.

Quote: But I don't see that the Pope or current magisterium has said that there is no differences from before and after the Council. There are obvious differences in how Church teaching is interpreted. And isn't there a certain amount of latitude that the Pope and magisterium have in interpreting Church teaching?
  Because Popes have ignored and refused to invoke the Magisterium in favor of policies like ecumenism and religious liberty that are doctrinally dangerous.

Quote:  Rather than a rigid Thomistic interpretation (which may not have even been a proper interpretation of St. Thomas before the Council) there seems to be more of a Franciscan peace and love interpretation. Neither interpretation is necessarily wrong, but they can seem to clash, because they take different views of the same teaching.
  St. Francis would be appalled at what is going on in the Church today.  And even after his own time, the excesses of his order presented an anti-intellectual problem for the Church.  The solution to that problem for the Church came in the form of a Dominican by the name of Thomas and was specifically dealt with in the Franciscans with the advent of St. Bonaventure. . 
(09-09-2012, 02:32 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ][
Quote:  Rather than a rigid Thomistic interpretation (which may not have even been a proper interpretation of St. Thomas before the Council) there seems to be more of a Franciscan peace and love interpretation. Neither interpretation is necessarily wrong, but they can seem to clash, because they take different views of the same teaching.
 

St. Francis would be appalled at what is going on in the Church today.  And even after his own time, the excesses of his order presented an anti-intellectual problem for the Church.  The solution to that problem for the Church came in the form of a Dominican by the name of Thomas and was specifically dealt with in the Franciscans with the advent of St. Bonaventure. . 

The theology of St. Francis is different from that of St. Thomas. This is what I was getting at. St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure did agree on some things, and disagreed on others. Doesn't mean that either are heretics (not saying that you were insinuating this).. St. Thomas was even kicked out of the Universtiy of Paris because the Franciscans there thought he was combing pagan Aristotlian teachings with that of Catholicism. But they were wrong. They were convinced they were right - but they weren't - and they were better educated in the Faith than you or I. But did St. Thomas complain when they kicked him out? Did he write a treatise on how unfair it was, or how unCatholic it was? No! That's called saintly virtue. And eventually he was not only vindicated, but held up as one of, or perhaps even the greatest Doctor of the Church.

And no matter how appalled St. Francis might be at the situation in the Church today, I don't believe he would EVER resort to the strategy of Bp. Williamson. St. Francis, like St. Thomas was uber-obedient.
(09-09-2012, 04:28 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]The theology of St. Francis is different from that of St. Thomas. This is what I was getting at. St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure did agree on some things, and disagreed on others. Doesn't mean that either are heretics (not saying that you were insinuating this).

But the Church adopted St. Thomas's theology officially and the pre-conciliar Popes warned in the strongest terms the dangers of abandoning St. Thomas in favor of modernist theologians (who oftentimes were indulging in a Bonaventure style of theology that was watered down.

Quote:  St. Thomas was even kicked out of the Universtiy of Paris because the Franciscans there thought he was combing pagan Aristotlian teachings with that of Catholicism. But they were wrong. They were convinced they were right - but they weren't - and they were better educated in the Faith than you or I.

I don't know about St. Thomas being kicked out of the U of Paris, but ultimately they were wrong and the post-conciliar theologians and the de facto abandonment of Thomism was equally wrong. If it was wrong to abandon his teaching at the U of Paris, it was wrong to abandon it as a result of the 2nd Vatican Council. 

Quote:  But did St. Thomas complain when they kicked him out? Did he write a treatise on how unfair it was, or how unCatholic it was? No! That's called saintly virtue.

No it isn't. It wasn't necessary for St. Thomas to defend himself or his ideas from people that were not his superiors as either religious or intellectuals, but he did attack their errors in defense of the truth. St. Thomas' virtue was in his militancy to defend and promote the truth. St. Thomas was lauded in academia and papal circles during his life.

Quote: And eventually he was not only vindicated, but held up as one of, or perhaps even the greatest Doctor of the Church.

Again, a small cadre of Franciscans in error regarding Thomas and Aristotle was not the popular position on him. 

Quote: And no matter how appalled St. Francis might be at the situation in the Church today, I don't believe he would EVER resort to the strategy of Bp. Williamson. St. Francis, like St. Thomas was uber-obedient.

We can only guess at how St. Francis would react to the crisis in the Church today. He might be far less prudent than Bp. Williamson. St. Francis was for his day and his crisis. St. Thomas was given to the Church for all time.  Bishop Williamson was given to us for this time and he rests his arguments on the indestructible arguments of St. Thomas concerning true and false obedience and St. Thomas' teaching backed by the authority of some of the greatest Popes in the entire history of the Church. 


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