Pope St Pius X explains what loving the Pope really entails.
#51
I posted the following to Rorate in two parts. Strangely, only the second part seems to have made it through, although I posted the first again in case it had been lost the first time. For that reason I'll post it here as the second part doesn't make much sense on its own.

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I think it is important to remember that we need to take into account the magisterial teaching of the Church as a whole to help us understand individual allocutions. Just as we should draw on the totality of magisterial teachings to help us understand the Second Vatican Council.

With this in mind, and with regard to these words of St Pius X, it is useful to recall a principle that the Church has taught at various times that can be summed up by the following canon from the Decree of Gratian:
Decretum Graitiani Wrote:Huius [papae] culpas redarguere praesumit mortalium nullus, quia cunctos ipse judicaturus a nemine est judicandus, nisi reprehendatur a fide devius" (Ia, dist. XL, c.6, Si papa; ex Gestis Bonifacii martyris)

"Let no mortal being have the audacity to reprimand a Pope on account of his faults, for he whose duty it is to judge all other men cannot be judged by anybody, unless he should be called to task for having deviated from the faith."

This maxim can be traced back to a Life of St Boniface written in the eighth century.

We encounter it again in the Papal Bull of Pope Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus officio:
Pope Paul IV Wrote:In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff,who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.

Therefore, whatever St Pius X says in his allocution must be brought into harmony with the totality of Church teaching.

In his essay Determining the Content and Degree of Authority Of Church Teachings (The Thomist 72, 2008: 371-407), Dr John R. T. Lamont states that,
John R T Lamont Wrote:It is also necessary to interpret particular teachings in the context of Church teaching as a whole. All these teachings are issued by the same authority, which intends them to harmonize with and to interpret each other. The fact that teachings are intended to be read in the context of the whole of the Church's teaching is often explicitly stated in conciliar documents, in such phrases as "following the saintly fathers" (Chalcedon) or "following without deviation in a straight path after the saintly fathers" (Constantinople III); it was expressed at the Second Vatican Council in Dei Verbum 1 and Lumen gentium 51. The presumption is therefore that one teaching does not reject or contradict another, unless it is impossible to understand it except as doing so. The practice in the rare instances where a previous teaching is corrected by a subsequent one is for this correction to be made explicit (as in the condemnation by the Third Council of Constantinople of the teaching of Pope Honorius on Monothelitism).

This means that the meaning that we might attach to a teaching if taken in isolation may not be the meaning that we should understand as meant by the Church, when the whole of the Church's teaching is taken into account.

Indeed, on the face of it, it is difficult to see how the statement of St Pius X - "when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed" - can be harmonised with the prior, more authoritative teaching of Pope Paul IV that obedience to the Roman Pontiff does have certain limits - that there are "ifs" and "buts", albeit grave ones. But harmonised it must be (or else withheld assent pending further clarification) unless we are not to arbitrarily reject the magisterial teaching of a Roman Pontiff, namely Pope Paul IV, on the obedience due to the Roman Pontiff. A teaching, which as we have seen, has ancient precedents.
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#52
I think you are bringing up excellent points, Scotus. In citing the Gratian Decree as well as Pope Paul IV, one can see the same exhortation St. Paul made to the Galatians:
Epistle to the Galatians, 1:6-9 Wrote:I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.

Note that St. Paul repeats himself in the grave duty the faithful have in rejecting any doctrinal contradiction anyone, even St. Paul (authorities) or an angel himself might attempt to impose.

Let's note, however, that Pius X was speaking of the Roman Pontiff, not a rogue priest (Luther) or even a rogue bishop (Cranmer, et al). I do not think that St. Pius X would have thought it ever possible that one would even have to entertain such a notion, considering that the See of Peter cannot ever be in error, but such a discussion as it applies to our present times is beyond the scope of this thread.
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#53
Phillipus Jacobus,

I'd definitely recommend careful study of the article by Dr Lamont. It's helped me see the cataclysm that came in the wake of Vatican II as something that was approaching for a very long time. The understanding of faith as a response to a trustworthy testimony, even that of God Revealing, became eclipsed by the implicit notion that faith was, rather, obedience to a command from a superior. I'm afraid that, again, that old rascal William of Ockam contributed to this by his denial of universals. Just as we must do something not because of its intrinsic goodness but because God commands it, so also we must believe something not because of its truth but because God commands it.

Thus, we have come to the pass where Catholics are being called to unconditionally assent, for example, to the novel teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty even though it is simply not clear in what it coheres with the traditional teaching on that subject. But, rather than an authoritative clarification being given, demands for obedience are heard. As if religious assent were purely a matter of the will barking orders to the intellect: "assent! assent!"

Perhaps God has permitted this terrible situation, in part, to demonstrate how the notion of faith had imperceptibly changed in the Church.
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#54
(11-20-2012, 05:46 PM)Scotus Wrote: Phillipus Jacobus,

I'd definitely recommend careful study of the article by Dr Lamont. It's helped me see the cataclysm that came in the wake of Vatican II as something that was approaching for a very long time. The understanding of faith as a response to a trustworthy testimony, even that of God Revealing, became eclipsed by the implicit notion that faith was, rather, obedience to a command from a superior. I'm afraid that, again, that old rascal William of Ockam contributed to this by his denial of universals. Just as we must do something not because of its intrinsic goodness but because God commands it, so also we must believe something not because of its truth but because God commands it.

Thank you for this recommendation, Scotus. I currently have "free" time for reading, so I'll look into it.

Ultimately, with origin arguments one can go back to the Fall itself, but the deterioration and even rot of Christendom and the strength of the Church goes back a long may. A friend of mine believes it to have started with the Black Death, and I recently heard a trad bishop reference another trad bishop, then give his own opinion that Sciarra Colonna, a henchman of Philip the Fair of France, slapping Pope Boniface VIII in the Faith began the demise to the deplorable state the Church is in today.

That opine really had me thinking, since Philip the Fair was a mere grandson of one of the holiest men to ever live, St. Louis IX. The Church did not have to deal with Protestantism, liberalism, humanism, or the Enlightenment, yet even in the 14th century did the rot begin, and ever since, there has been a constant bombardment, one after the other, against the Church.
Quote:Thus, we have come to the pass where Catholics are being called to unconditionally assent, for example, to the novel teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty even though it is simply not clear in what it coheres with the traditional teaching on that subject. But, rather than an authoritative clarification being given, demands for obedience are heard. As if religious assent were purely a matter of the will barking orders to the intellect: "assent! assent!"

Indeed, there is a constant demand placed upon traditional Catholics to accept Vatican II, even though heretics and other scoundrels have often been given free reign to do as they please, in liturgy, doctrine, or discipline. Only truly radical heretics are ever disciplined, along with traditional Catholics.

I would argue that the Council's novel teaching is not unclear, but is quite a contradiction to, say, Quanta Cura. One can argue to the contrary and attempt to spin the document, but it's proper interpretation rests with the authorities who promulgated it, and in their subsequent words and deeds, it has proven to be a contradiction.
Quote:Perhaps God has permitted this terrible situation, in part, to demonstrate how the notion of faith had imperceptibly changed in the Church.

He could have, but I always think that God specifically placed all of us where we are, when we are for a specific purpose. Right now is the time God has willed that we serve Him in the best manner possible, and some greater good must come out of the situation God is permitting to occur.
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#55
(11-20-2012, 05:19 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote: Let's note, however, that Pius X was speaking of the Roman Pontiff, not a rogue priest (Luther) or even a rogue bishop (Cranmer, et al). I do not think that St. Pius X would have thought it ever possible that one would even have to entertain such a notion, considering that the See of Peter cannot ever be in error, but such a discussion as it applies to our present times is beyond the scope of this thread.

I don't know. Even assuming that Pius X's statement can be reconciled with the teaching of Pope Paul on this issue, I think we have to acknowledge that many people in the 19th and 20th centuries had a somewhat inadequate view of the papacy in certain respects. The solution to our current troubles is not simply to turn the clock back to those times in the hope that somehow the same exact thing would not happen again, but instead to understand and resolve the misunderstandings that caused things to happen as they did. 

(11-20-2012, 05:46 PM)Scotus Wrote: I'm afraid that, again, that old rascal William of Ockam contributed to this by his denial of universals. Just as we must do something not because of its intrinsic goodness but because God commands it, so also we must believe something not because of its truth but because God commands it.

Good point. I think it is important to remember that many modern theological and philosophical problems have their roots in issues going back to the Middle Ages. Although he is not entirely unproblematic, the theologian John Milbank once put the issue in interesting terms:
Quote:we still live within a Franciscan Middle Ages, and this can be shown to be as true of our politics as it is of our philosophy. The question is whether an alternative, Dominican Middle Ages can yet be revived in order to shape, in the 21st Century, an alternative modernity.
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#56
(11-20-2012, 06:29 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: Good point. I think it is important to remember that many modern theological and philosophical problems have their roots in issues going back to the Middle Ages.

I think we can trace a thread back through the arguments of the Islamic philosophers, which spilled over into the Catholic Schools, about whether faith is knowledge or obedience, back to the dilemma described by Plato in the Euthyphro: "Is a thing pious because the gods love it or do the gods love it because it is pious?" Well, that's the Hellenic thread, at any rate.

If faith is no more than obedience to a command from a superior, in this case God Revealing, then might not that species of belief which is owed to the non-infallible teachings of the authentic magisterium, viz. religious assent, be equally something to be commanded by the magisterium qua subject? I do not attend a chapel of the SSPX but I was struck by what Fr Matthias Gaudron said regarding relations with the Vatican: "We submit a problem and one answers us with pretexts or with appeals to obedience". There seems to be an implicit assumption that the will is what is primary in man and not the intellect. But, then, is the SSPX itself entirely free of that attitude?
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#57
(11-20-2012, 07:15 PM)Scotus Wrote: If faith is no more than obedience to a command from a superior, in this case God Revealing, then might not that species of belief which is owed to the non-infallible teachings of the authentic magisterium, viz. religious assent, be equally something to be commanded by the magisterium qua subject?

I would say that the teaching of the Church, Sacred Scripture (e.g. St. Paul on "let him be anathema") etc. would show that it is not mere obedience to a superior. No one can command me to believe that e.g. Mary was not conceived without Original Sin.
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#58
(11-20-2012, 05:56 AM)TraditionalistThomas Wrote:
(11-20-2012, 03:50 AM)John Lane Wrote:
(11-19-2012, 08:59 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote:
(11-19-2012, 08:13 PM)SaintRafael Wrote: With Papal Infallibility and the Papal office reaching its highest levels of respect and deference after Vatican I, no one except maybe Cardinal Newman saw the danger of this backfiring when bad Popes emerged.

Don't forget Fr. Adrian Fortescue:
Quote:Centralization grows and goes madder every century. Even at Trent they hardly foresaw this kind of thing. Does it really mean that one cannot be a member of the Church of Christ without being, as we are, absolutely at the mercy of an Italian Lunatic?

Fortescue was a Modernist.  When you find yourself relying on Modernists like Fortescue to put your case, you have already lost the debate.

Your comments come as a shock, Mr. Lane! Mind explaining yourself further?

Thomas

The quote from Fortescue concerns the anti-Modernist oath.  He is saying that he does not wish to take it, and is lamenting that the others whom he knows to agree with him are likely to take it anyway.  His reference to true submission to the pope as being "absolutely at the mercy of an Italian Lunatic" illustrates his mentality pretty well.
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#59
(11-20-2012, 07:38 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:
(11-20-2012, 07:15 PM)Scotus Wrote: If faith is no more than obedience to a command from a superior, in this case God Revealing, then might not that species of belief which is owed to the non-infallible teachings of the authentic magisterium, viz. religious assent, be equally something to be commanded by the magisterium qua subject?

I would say that the teaching of the Church, Sacred Scripture (e.g. St. Paul on "let him be anathema") etc. would show that it is not mere obedience to a superior. No one can command me to believe that e.g. Mary was not conceived without Original Sin.
Yes, but what I am saying is there has developed a mentality that sees faith as essentially obedience and this has influenced how recent Popes have approached the office of teaching.

This is what Dr Lamont writes in this regard:

Quote:This conception of faith as obedience to authority, and the general nominalist outlook from which it sprang, had an important influence on the debate over religious liberty and the production of Dignitatis humanae. It meant that objections about Dignitatis humanae contradicting previous teaching were not taken very seriously by most bishops at the council. If one's fundamental model of faith is that of obeying a command rather than that of grasping reality, it is psychologically easier to accept a Church pronouncement that seems hard to reconcile with earlier teachings, because it is quite permissible--and even necessary-- for an authority to issue one command at one time, and a contrary command at a later time. The effect of this fundamental model can be seen in the expression "the contemporary magisterium." Theologically this expression is nonsensical, because there is only one Church with one teaching office, and the pronouncements of this teaching office, from the apostles to our own time, are to be interpreted as a whole. If however these teachings are seen as commands, it is reasonable to conceive of a "contemporary magisterium" distinct from the past magisterium, and to conceive of the deliverances of the former as superseding those of the latter. The continued debates over the morality of contraception and the possibility of women's ordination reflect this conception of the faith (as well as the acceptance of notions of the historical conditioning of doctrine criticized above). Church teachings on these subjects are conceived of as orders that could in theory be countermanded, rather than as what they in fact are--descriptions of reality that are true beyond a reasonable doubt.
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#60
Has the Society of St Pius X read this?
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