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Full Version: Bp. Williamson's Oct. 19, '12, open letter to Bp. Fellay, "On an 'Exclusion'"
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(10-27-2012, 10:58 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]Pope St. Pius X wrote that Modernism "is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church," and yet he was able to take numerous steps to curb it (e.g., Lamentabili Sane Exitu, Doctoris Angelici, Praestantia Scripturae, PBC decisions, Sacrorum Antistitum).  Realistically, couldn't the Holy Father do more than is currently being done?
Pope St. Pius X, while he was certainly a very courageous Pope, surrounded himself with many like-minded, supportive people like Card. Merry del Val, which helped back up his credibility and authority. Our current Holy Father is surrounded by ravenous wolves.

So, he must weigh the options:
Is it better for him to act forcefully, get secretly martyred, and open the papacy up to someone worse?
or
Is it better for him to hang on and maintain the status quo as long as possible?
(10-27-2012, 10:58 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]And letting the liberal -- heretical -- bishops retain their sees, what will this do for the souls entrusted to their care?  What about them?  Or are the faithful of each diocese so committed to their bishops that they'd go anywhere with them, even so far as to separate from Rome?  If the Pontiffs continually take only small steps so as to avoid a possible schism with dissident bishops, then Vatican I will almost certainly become a dead letter.  Sooner or later, it would seem that push will come to shove.
Oremus that this time comes immediately. Billions of souls are at stake.
(10-27-2012, 09:18 PM)Adeodatus01 Wrote: [ -> ]So can the Pope really just sack all the liberal bishops? How many would that be, exactly? How many schisms would that entail, how many whole countries lost to the Church? What is the dollar amount of property and assets that this would cause to be lost? I'm not particularly in favor of compromises but we're talking about the only institution to survive the fall of the Roman Empire here... a 2000 year old institution. The executive is morally required to take the long view, it seems to me.
Yes, and how would he secretly get thousands of new bishops ready to replace the old, Liberal ones without revealing his plans before he executes them? Maybe he really is counting on the SSPX priests to replace the Liberal bishops… man, that would be a Godsend, genius plan.

I seem to remember, I think Bp. Fellay or Bp. Williamson, talking about how the Holy Father will call on the SSPX for help, because they're the only group to have kept the Faith intact and free of Modernism. Can you imagine if he has been secretly calling on them to prepare a new wave of orthodox bishops?
Quæ impossibilia sunt apud homines, possibilia sunt apud Deum.  :monstrance:
(10-27-2012, 11:13 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 09:18 PM)Adeodatus01 Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 08:24 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 04:22 PM)Adeodatus01 Wrote: [ -> ]I agree.  I think that this is a golden opportunity for the SSPX to get in practically on the "ground floor", so to speak, of the hermeneutic of continuity.  The Liberals are discredited.  The LCWR is in trouble.  The Pope has denounced the hermeneutic of rupture, the abuses, and the "cult of the banal".  Now is the time for the cavalry to show up... the SSPX and the FSSP and other traditional, orthodox Catholics need to lead the charge on the authentic reading of the Second Vatican Council documents.  If Traditionalists can wrest control of the narrative from the (currently routing) Liberals, the battle is ours.

I don't mean to argue, but the Holy Father could have easily done this by himself (e.g., compose a syllabus) at any point during the past seven years, especially given his intimate knowledge of Vatican II, but he's chosen not to... He also could have disposed of liberal bishops and replaced them with younger, traditional priests, but it doesn't seem he's done much of that, either...

I think it's a fair point but you must admit it's a bit of armchair quarterbacking. Military history is a hobby of mine and a lot of times things look simpler until you learn more about the complexities. Often a given protagonist doesn't have the resources, doesn't have the time, doesn't have the manpower, doesn't have the "flexibility" (inasmuch as sometimes seizing one opportunity costs you the ability to seize a different opportunity). Often external influences totally stymie an otherwise golden opportunity.

For example, in Vietnam after Tet the VC were pretty much spent as a military force. And maybe you see that and understand that pacification as a military strategy has a chance to yield real political and operational fruit. I mean, you can deal with the NVA, especially if you start sending your BuFFs "over the fence" to light up the Trail. The problem is, Walter f***ing Cronkite doesn't see it that way. W.F. Cronkite says you're losing the war. It doesn't matter that you're stacking up Communists like cord wood. It doesn't matter that they've gone too far in places like Hue and their popularity is at a low ebb. W.F. Cronkite says you're losing, and now America thinks you're losing. So you can kiss those reinforcements and that funding goodbye. They're going to be taking troops away. The war's over, even though you just won a huge victory. The enemy gambled big and threw Snakes. But Cronkite misread the dice and said they threw Lucky 7. So you lose the whole schmear.

So it's not simple. And even that example is a gross oversimplification. The point is: with anything important, there are always lots and lots of factors and most people don't even see most of them, let alone all of them. So I'm disinclined to second guess an executive's action. That's not to say that people don't make mistakes. Fruitcake Hitler sending panzer divisions around on wild goose chases during Barbarossa so that Typhoon starts too late in the year and the Germans lose the whole ballgame right there. Obvious mistake. And it's also obviously true that sometimes people just act out of plain malice and/or insanity (see again Hitler or any random Communist). But often the situation is very complicated!

So can the Pope really just sack all the liberal bishops? How many would that be, exactly? How many schisms would that entail, how many whole countries lost to the Church? What is the dollar amount of property and assets that this would cause to be lost? I'm not particularly in favor of compromises but we're talking about the only institution to survive the fall of the Roman Empire here... a 2000 year old institution. The executive is morally required to take the long view, it seems to me.

I like to think that if I somehow blundered my way into the Papacy, my first acts would be to abolish CitH, altarettes, versus populum and EMHCs. I'd declare V2 a "closed council" and suspend all its initiatives pending review. Anybody who disobeyed would be anathematized. That's what I'd want to do. But could I? How many fruits of the sacrifices of poor Catholics would be lost, how many charitable institutions would collapse, how many good works would be scattered because of that forceful action? It would be insane to think that there would be no cost. There would be a very high cost indeed. Myself, I tend to favor bold strokes (in my opinion, history has borne out the wisdom of this). However, not everyone is in agreement about that or cut out for it. How many Julius Caesars or Pattons have there been?

If the Pope has acted as he has thus far, then even if it is a mistake I think he must have had good reasons. Without that sort of attitude you'll never have a nuanced reading of things!

If we want the Pope to take bold measures (and I find SP and UE to be rather powerful), then we must according to subsidiarity act to improve the conditions for HH to do so. He has to have the support of the faithful and the clergy at all levels. This takes time. But I think that there are opportunities. The Year of Faith is just such an opportunity. So there are to be reading and discussion groups on the V2 documents. These probably exist in your diocese. Who is leading them? Is it you? This is what I'm talking about: the Pope has already said that the old narrative (the Liberal party's version) of V2 is wrong. Well, who is spearheading the propagation of the right one? If it's not Trads then shame on us.

Those are just recycled JPII excuses.  You're advocating the "lead from behind" strategy.  We have to make conditions for the Pope suitable for him to take "bold" steps.  C'mon.  That's putting a show on, not leading. 

The best things the current Holy Father ever said were said before he became Pope.   And they weren't even that bold.  (the Church has a lot of filth in it)  If he'd focused on doing something substantial in the manner of condemning errors, he would have some credibility.  Chopping off a few heads of the most agregious bishops would have done wonders to set an example and give the rest of the bishops opportunity to straighten up and fly right. 

But the harshest things this Pope has ever said are about traditionalists and he said them in the context of dealing with his bruised ego.  (the SSPX has to stop calling him names.  He's shocked that when he's nice to the SSPX the rest of the world calls him names "even the Pope" and trade are an awful bunch of arrogant creeps but he's gotten a few compliments from some of them so, they can't be all that bad.) 

This papacy is more and more looking like an ego trip than a shepherd leading the flock towards Heaven. 

Don't write a Syllabus of Errors of Vatican II, write over 700 pages of non-Magisterial novel musings in "Jesus of Nazareth" that just create more controversy and confusion.  At least a Syllabus would be controversial for the right reasons: correcting error. 

No.  People with a real desire to do something, find a way to do it.   He's wanted to do his "thing" and he doesn't want Vatican II "corrected" he wants traditional resistance to it squelched. 

Absolutely positively.
(10-27-2012, 11:13 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 09:18 PM)Adeodatus01 Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 08:24 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 04:22 PM)Adeodatus01 Wrote: [ -> ]I agree.  I think that this is a golden opportunity for the SSPX to get in practically on the "ground floor", so to speak, of the hermeneutic of continuity.  The Liberals are discredited.  The LCWR is in trouble.  The Pope has denounced the hermeneutic of rupture, the abuses, and the "cult of the banal".  Now is the time for the cavalry to show up... the SSPX and the FSSP and other traditional, orthodox Catholics need to lead the charge on the authentic reading of the Second Vatican Council documents.  If Traditionalists can wrest control of the narrative from the (currently routing) Liberals, the battle is ours.

I don't mean to argue, but the Holy Father could have easily done this by himself (e.g., compose a syllabus) at any point during the past seven years, especially given his intimate knowledge of Vatican II, but he's chosen not to... He also could have disposed of liberal bishops and replaced them with younger, traditional priests, but it doesn't seem he's done much of that, either...

I think it's a fair point but you must admit it's a bit of armchair quarterbacking. Military history is a hobby of mine and a lot of times things look simpler until you learn more about the complexities. Often a given protagonist doesn't have the resources, doesn't have the time, doesn't have the manpower, doesn't have the "flexibility" (inasmuch as sometimes seizing one opportunity costs you the ability to seize a different opportunity). Often external influences totally stymie an otherwise golden opportunity.

For example, in Vietnam after Tet the VC were pretty much spent as a military force. And maybe you see that and understand that pacification as a military strategy has a chance to yield real political and operational fruit. I mean, you can deal with the NVA, especially if you start sending your BuFFs "over the fence" to light up the Trail. The problem is, Walter f***ing Cronkite doesn't see it that way. W.F. Cronkite says you're losing the war. It doesn't matter that you're stacking up Communists like cord wood. It doesn't matter that they've gone too far in places like Hue and their popularity is at a low ebb. W.F. Cronkite says you're losing, and now America thinks you're losing. So you can kiss those reinforcements and that funding goodbye. They're going to be taking troops away. The war's over, even though you just won a huge victory. The enemy gambled big and threw Snakes. But Cronkite misread the dice and said they threw Lucky 7. So you lose the whole schmear.

So it's not simple. And even that example is a gross oversimplification. The point is: with anything important, there are always lots and lots of factors and most people don't even see most of them, let alone all of them. So I'm disinclined to second guess an executive's action. That's not to say that people don't make mistakes. Fruitcake Hitler sending panzer divisions around on wild goose chases during Barbarossa so that Typhoon starts too late in the year and the Germans lose the whole ballgame right there. Obvious mistake. And it's also obviously true that sometimes people just act out of plain malice and/or insanity (see again Hitler or any random Communist). But often the situation is very complicated!

So can the Pope really just sack all the liberal bishops? How many would that be, exactly? How many schisms would that entail, how many whole countries lost to the Church? What is the dollar amount of property and assets that this would cause to be lost? I'm not particularly in favor of compromises but we're talking about the only institution to survive the fall of the Roman Empire here... a 2000 year old institution. The executive is morally required to take the long view, it seems to me.

I like to think that if I somehow blundered my way into the Papacy, my first acts would be to abolish CitH, altarettes, versus populum and EMHCs. I'd declare V2 a "closed council" and suspend all its initiatives pending review. Anybody who disobeyed would be anathematized. That's what I'd want to do. But could I? How many fruits of the sacrifices of poor Catholics would be lost, how many charitable institutions would collapse, how many good works would be scattered because of that forceful action? It would be insane to think that there would be no cost. There would be a very high cost indeed. Myself, I tend to favor bold strokes (in my opinion, history has borne out the wisdom of this). However, not everyone is in agreement about that or cut out for it. How many Julius Caesars or Pattons have there been?

If the Pope has acted as he has thus far, then even if it is a mistake I think he must have had good reasons. Without that sort of attitude you'll never have a nuanced reading of things!

If we want the Pope to take bold measures (and I find SP and UE to be rather powerful), then we must according to subsidiarity act to improve the conditions for HH to do so. He has to have the support of the faithful and the clergy at all levels. This takes time. But I think that there are opportunities. The Year of Faith is just such an opportunity. So there are to be reading and discussion groups on the V2 documents. These probably exist in your diocese. Who is leading them? Is it you? This is what I'm talking about: the Pope has already said that the old narrative (the Liberal party's version) of V2 is wrong. Well, who is spearheading the propagation of the right one? If it's not Trads then shame on us.

Those are just recycled JPII excuses.  You're advocating the "lead from behind" strategy.  We have to make conditions for the Pope suitable for him to take "bold" steps.  C'mon.  That's putting a show on, not leading. 

The best things the current Holy Father ever said were said before he became Pope.   And they weren't even that bold.  (the Church has a lot of filth in it)  If he'd focused on doing something substantial in the manner of condemning errors, he would have some credibility.  Chopping off a few heads of the most agregious bishops would have done wonders to set an example and give the rest of the bishops opportunity to straighten up and fly right. 

But the harshest things this Pope has ever said are about traditionalists and he said them in the context of dealing with his bruised ego.  (the SSPX has to stop calling him names.  He's shocked that when he's nice to the SSPX the rest of the world calls him names "even the Pope" and trade are an awful bunch of arrogant creeps but he's gotten a few compliments from some of them so, they can't be all that bad.) 

This papacy is more and more looking like an ego trip than a shepherd leading the flock towards Heaven. 

Don't write a Syllabus of Errors of Vatican II, write over 700 pages of non-Magisterial novel musings in "Jesus of Nazareth" that just create more controversy and confusion.  At least a Syllabus would be controversial for the right reasons: correcting error. 

No.  People with a real desire to do something, find a way to do it.   He's wanted to do his "thing" and he doesn't want Vatican II "corrected" he wants traditional resistance to it squelched. 

I just do not understand why you think you are capable of judging the pope.  Have you ever been in charge of an organization involving millions of people?  Adeodatus makes excellent points about this kind of criticism.
(10-28-2012, 10:33 AM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]I just do not understand why you think you are capable of judging the pope.  Have you ever been in charge of an organization involving millions of people?  Adeodatus makes excellent points about this kind of criticism.

How do you know they are excellent points unless you have a standard of judgement?  And are you as confused when people think they are capable of judging a  Pope on a job he's done in a positive way?  Or is only negative judgment considered "judgment"?

If I said, "Pope St. Pius X was a great Pope."  would you be so up in arms?  If not, why the double standard?  If I pointed to his humility with particulars why can't I point to the indicators that show a lack of humility in another Pope?

Was Bishop Athanasius Schneider capable of "judging the Pope" when he suggested that what was needed was a new syllabus? 
Just a couple notes about sacking all the bad bishops.  Here are some similar situations and the advice of saints. The first is St. Bernard's advice to Bl. Eugene III on the best way to go about reforming a corrupt and faithless curia and episcopate, the second is St. Peter Damian's defense of St. Leo IX not sacking all the simoniac bishops, and the last is a letter from St. Vincent de Paul to a bishop telling him how to reform his diocese made up of faithless and corrupt clergy and religious:

St. Bernard Wrote:But what can you do? If you suddenly devote yourself completely to this philosophy, although it is not customary for a pope to do so, you will indeed annoy many people. You will be like a person who abandons the footsteps of his ancestors, and will be seen as an affront to them. You will be censured with the common saying, 'Everyone wonders about a person who behaves differently.' It will seem that you only want attention. You cannot suddenly correct every error at once or reduce excesses to moderation. There will be an opportunity at the proper time for you to pursue this little by little, according to the wisdom given you by God. In the meantime, do what you can to utilize other people's evil for good.
On Consideration, Book 1, Ch. IX
[NB: "this philosophy" is the Pope's desire for reform, and the "the footsteps of his ancestors," is his predecessors' indulgence towards all the bad things the clergy were doing]

St. Peter Damian Wrote:"Hence it would be proper that they who are eager to depose all by group action should observe the moderate solution proposed by Innocent, of whom we spoke above.  "As often," he said "as a sin is committed by whole peoples or by a large group, since it cannot be avenged on all because of their great number, one usually lets it go unpunished."
Letter 40 (citing Innocent I, Epistola 17.6)."

St. Vincent de Paul Wrote:And then, after having preached to them by way of example (Our Lord preached in that way for thirty years), he should deal with them graciously and charitably and, in the end, firmly, without however making use of suspensions, interdicts, and excommunications and without depriving them of the exercise of their faculties. That, Sir, is how Our Lord acted. Now, I am firmly convinced that a prelate who acts in this manner will do more good to such persons than all ecclesiastical censures put together. Our Lord and the Saints effected more by suffering than by acting, and it was in this fashion that the blessed Bishop of Geneva [St. Francis de Sales] and, following the latter's example, that the late Bishop of Comminges both sanctified themselves, and brought about the sanctification of thousands of souls.

What I have said to you, Sir, may seem rather strong, but that can't be helped. I feel so profoundly convinced of the truths which Our Lord taught us, both by word and example, that I cannot but see that whatever is done in this way will always prove perfectly successful, and that contrary lines of conduct will prove the reverse. Yes, but they will contemn a prelate who acts like this. That is quite true, and it must be so if we are to honour the life of Our Lord in all His states in our persons, as we do in our various conditions in life. But it is also true, that after having suffered for some time and as much as Our Lord pleases and in union with Our Lord, He will bring to pass that we shall do more good in three years of our life than we should otherwise have done in thirty. But what am I saying? In truth, Sir, I do not think that one can otherwise do any good whatsoever. Rules and regulations may be made without end; censures may be inflicted; the right of hearing confession, of preaching and of collecting alms may be withdrawn, but for all that, no amendment will be produced, and the empire of Jesus Christ will never be spread or preserved in souls by those means--never! God, in past times, armed Heaven and earth against man. Alas! to what profit? And was it not necessary for Him to humble and abase Himself before man to induce His creature to accept the sweet yoke of His empire and sway? And what God with all His power could not do, how can a bishop effect with his? 
Letter 418
(10-28-2012, 10:50 AM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-28-2012, 10:33 AM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]I just do not understand why you think you are capable of judging the pope.  Have you ever been in charge of an organization involving millions of people?  Adeodatus makes excellent points about this kind of criticism.

How do you know they are excellent points unless you have a standard of judgement?  And are you as confused when people think they are capable of judging a  Pope on a job he's done in a positive way?  Or is only negative judgment considered "judgment"?

If I said, "Pope St. Pius X was a great Pope."  would you be so up in arms?  If not, why the double standard?  If I pointed to his humility with particulars why can't I point to the indicators that show a lack of humility in another Pope?

This so-called double standard is the basic Catholic approach to situations.  When we do not know otherwise, we are supposed to assume the best of people.  We are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt.  Negative judgments are not the equal of positive judgments.

Quote:Was Bishop Athanasius Schneider capable of "judging the Pope" when he suggested that what was needed was a new syllabus? 

Suggesting that a new syllabus is needed is not a judgment on the Pope.
(10-28-2012, 11:21 AM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]This so-called double standard is the basic Catholic approach to situations.  When we do not know otherwise, we are supposed to assume the best of people.  We are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt.  Negative judgments are not the equal of positive judgments.

The key point is "knowing otherwise."  I think the Pope has been Pope long enough and we know enough of both what he says and what he ultimately does to render judgement on his intentions, attitude and actions.  We just don't have the authority to judge him as if to depose him. 

And giving someone the benefit of the doubt is to wait until the evidence is contrary to the positive, not to refrain from making a judgement ever.

Quote:
Quote:Was Bishop Athanasius Schneider capable of "judging the Pope" when he suggested that what was needed was a new syllabus? 

Suggesting that a new syllabus is needed is not a judgment on the Pope.
 

Correct. But the FACT that a new syllabus was a lesser or non-existent priority than his books as a private theologian and a Syllabus is not as important as "celebrating 50 years" of Vatican II (errors or not)  is something someone can reasonably judge
(10-28-2012, 01:01 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-28-2012, 11:21 AM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]This so-called double standard is the basic Catholic approach to situations.  When we do not know otherwise, we are supposed to assume the best of people.  We are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt.  Negative judgments are not the equal of positive judgments.

The key point is "knowing otherwise."  I think the Pope has been Pope long enough and we know enough of both what he says and what he ultimately does to render judgement on his intentions, attitude and actions.  We just don't have the authority to judge him as if to depose him. 

No, we don't know enough.  That is the point that Adeodatus was making and that I was agreeing with.  It is always difficult to judge the intentions and attitude of an other and, since a great deal of information is unknown to us, even his actions are difficult to judge.
The Holy Father's Jesus of Nazareth books are breathtakingly beautiful. There's too much senseless mud-slinging round here sometimes. Maybe it's a good thing that the Church and more extremist elements of the SSPX are drifting irreconcilably apart. It will be difficult and there will be even more heartbreak, but at least it'll put things in perspective.
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