mpls/stpaul: AOTM Club 1/12 Ferrara on Vatican II and the Spirit of Woodstock
this should be pretty good:

St. Augustine’s Catholic Church
In the basement of St. Augustine's Catholic Church.

408 3rd St N.
South St Paul, MN 55075

January 12th 2010, Vatican II and the Spirit of Woodstock!

Author and pro-life attorney Christopher A. Ferrara (who worked on the Theresa Schiavo case) will argue that current condition of the Church arises from a failed experiment in liberalism that has never risen to the level of binding Catholic doctrine.  Hence the title of his widely acclaimed study of changes in the Church after Vatican II: The Great Facade.

Mr. Ferrara will address what the book calls “a regime of novelty in the Roman Catholic Church” since Vatican II and what he contends are its disastrous effects on virtually every aspect of the Church’s health and well-being. In one of his most controversial statements Mr. Ferrara declares that ”The Council’s much-vaunted ‘opening to the world’ was, in truth, a suppression of the Church’s immune system, resulting almost immediately in the many-faceted disease that now afflicts her.”  He contends that the Church is quite capable of putting Vatican II and the changes that followed behind her, because neither the Council nor the Popes since the Council have imposed on the faithful any real change in what a Catholic must believe or do in order to be Catholic.  He considers “getting over the Council” a matter of urgent priority for the Church.

More than a monologue, the presentation will involve Mr. Ferrara stating his case and then letting the moderator and the audience “have at him” (with Catholic decorum and good humor, of course!) in the manner of an appellate argument before judges.  As Mr. Ferrara told us: “I love a hot bench.”  This will indeed be a spirited evening in the tradition of the Argument of the Month.
This is lay apologetics gone wrong in the trad world, IMO.  I don't see a difference really between what Mr. Ferrara is doing and what the Neo-Catholic apologists do, and I think that's a bad idea.  Public confrontations and debate won't solve the problems.

However, at least he is up front that he is promoting his position (though one I have a fair amount of agreement with) rather than "what the Church wants" - if one goes by the blurb below.


Mr. Ferrara needs a better hobby.
I don't get it - what is wrong with holding a debate and discussing the thesis of one's book?
It sounds like an interesting evening and if I were in the area I would try and attend...
Don't get the criticism at all....................??????????????
First, let me be clear this is my personal opinion and I'm not condemning anyone of sin or any such thing.  That said...

A layman speaking about theology from a podium gives a false sense of theological authority.  I don't like it when Hahn does it, and I don't like it when Ferrara does it.

It might be slightly different if it were an actual debate between two parties (though I would still have issues with it), but this is, in a sense, pontificating a non-authoritative theological opinion.  The only theological opinion that should be spoken authoritatively from a podium (i.e., virtual pulpit)  is the Church's and by those who have authority to do so - bishops and pastors they delegate that authority to.  In a classroom setting, it should be by those who have a license or permission from the proper people.

What happens as a result of this is a few things:

1) People develop a "cult of personality" even if they don't intend to, and their words somehow become authoritative and, often as a result, erroneous ideas go unchallenged.  This should be self-explanatory.

2) Errors are propagated because people rely on the "expertise" of the speaker.  I have a great example of this.  Dr. Scott Hahn, who is in fact a theologian and has permission to teach theology, propagated a rather large error that has been used to promote Sciptural study among Catholics.  You can google and see lots of people using this misattributed quote, especially the Prima Scriptura crowd (another one of Dr. Hahn's personal opinons gone doctrine by his followers).

In a well-popularized lecture (I think the audio is available), Dr. Hahn said this:

Quote:"The problem begins and the problem ends with me and with you. I mentioned earlier this afternoon (Program 2) one of the most astonishing statements that comes to us from a Doctor of the Church, St. Theresa of Avila, declared a Doctor this century, one of the two women Doctors, along with St. Catherine of Siena. Here's what she says. St. Theresa of Avila was taught by God that, "All troubles of the Church, all the evils in the world, flow from this source: that men do not by clear and sound knowledge and serious consideration penetrate into the truths of Sacred Scripture." Period. That's strong. All the troubles in the Church and all evil in the world could be alleviated by our learning, and loving and living God's Word in Sacred Scripture. Do we trust God? Do we trust the Church? Do we hear what the Doctors of the Church have declared? This has been the consistent testimony of the Saints and Doctors and all the way back to the Fathers of the Church in the first few centuries. We cannot afford this neglect anymore. "

-Lecture by Dr. Scott Hahn "The Bible and the Church: Both or Neither"

That in fact is a huge error.  She never said that.  I researched this somewhat, and she never said that at all.  The sole source of people attributing this to St.Theresa is this lecture by Dr. Hahn.  But where did that quote come from?  Did he make it up out of whole cloth?

No, it was most likely an honest mistake on his part.  I am guessing he either misremembered it or misspoke. Here is the source of the quote:

Quote:"Sacred Scripture is the art of arts, the science of sciences: it is the Pandora of Wisdom. In our own time, S. Theresa, a woman endowed with the spirit of prophecy, and renowned throughout all Spain for the glory of her miracles, and the sanctity of her life, was taught by God that all the troubles of the Church, all the evils in the world, flow from this source, that men do not, by clear and sound knowledge, and serious consideration, penetrate into the verities of Sacred Scripture. See Franciscus Ribera, her Life"

-The Great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide

This was a conclusion that someone drew based on her life - that she was taught this by God.  But Dr. Hahn has her saying this as a fact.  So now we have a quote misattributed to a Doctor of the Church being used to promote a theological posit (and one that is erroneous, IMO) and practice of "Prima Scriptura".

Now, if this wasn't Dr. Hahn whom many Catholics read as if it were the Gospel, someone may have said, "Well, interesting - the Church always taught us to read and know Scripture, but I don't remember the same emphasis he places on it - let's look into this" which is exactly what I did because I don't drink that kool-aid.   We can talk about what that "kool-aid" is and why I won't drink it another time.  The point is that his cult of personality, from his speaking and books, has removed a "safety check" to what he publicly says.  People eat him up which is great if he 1) doesn't make mistakes, and, 2) doesn't promote his opinions and speculative theology in a way that can be interpreted as "officially" Catholic.

So, here is Mr. Ferrara doing the same thing in my mind.  Though I would agree more with Ferrara than Hahn, it's still a bad idea.  It's one thing to argue theology with your buddies over a beer; it's one thing to argue on a forum where your mistakes can be caught and you are required to defend things you say.  But it's quite another to take the dais and say the same types of things.  At the very least, I see it as irresponsible.

Edit to add:  If someone can find evidence she said that and it wasn't a gloss from Lapide, let me know and I will retract what I said.  I searched high and low, and Hahn's quote matches Lapide almost word for word, yet nowhere in the published items of St. Theresa can I find her saying anything remotely equivalent.
Its fun and they have beer.
One of the problems today especially is that we can't trust the duly elected or appointed or ordained people to tell us the truth from the pulpit or stage either. 

I have a fear that this crisis is going to get glossed over.  As we can see and I started a thread on this, the narrative is constantly being spun about this crisis in the Church and the place of tradition.  I've felt this ever since the first Rosary crusade went unacknowledged by Rome.  JPII will be canonized and modernism will move forward in a more conservative form.  I think in the sense that Ferrara wants to call the Church leaders to task for what they have done to the Church is a good thing even with the risk of him becoming a personality. 

I can definitely see the danger of the cult of personality.  Strangely one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was from Gerry Matatics when he said, "Don't believe anything I tell you because I said it.  Go do the research yourself."  That actually is one of the factors that prevented me from going sedevacantist even though Gerry has gone that route, hopefully just temporarily.

Cult of personality is dangerous no matter who is the subject.  Too many clerics have imbibed in it and caused incredible damage.  JPII, Benedict has had the Cardinal Ratzinger fan club,  Fr. Benedict Groeschel does widespread damage with his shows, talks and books. 

But on the other hand, others have turned out beneficial to listen to,  in general Fr. Corapi, Bishop Sheen,  Bishop Williamson and numerous SSPX priests, Chesterton and others have been incredibly helpful.  I would say, they generally have "fans" but not "fanatics" in the cult of personality sense.

Deitrich Von Hildebrand,  Romano Amerio, Michael Davies, Daphne McLeod  the list could go on.
Neither  trained theologians nor ordained.
(01-13-2010, 12:20 PM)jgpc Wrote: Deitrich Von Hildebrand,  Romano Amerio, Michael Davies, Daphne McLeod   the list could go on.
Neither  trained theologians nor ordained.

1)  Von Hildebrand and Amerio were trained philosophers and far above Davies, McLeod, Ferrara, etc.

2) Just because they did it doesn't make it right.

3) In the case of McLeod, there is a difference promoting what the Church has already taught as authentically Catholic (traditional Catholicism) and what people believe to be authentically Catholic (the EWTN version of things).  The former we know to be authentically Catholic because the Church has said so; the latter, we don't know because the Church hasn't said "EWTN is the appropriate interpretation of post-Conciliar 'Catholicity'".

4) There is also a difference between making an intellectual argument and selling something.  Von Hildebrand, Amerio, and Davies for sure made intellectual arguments.  Too often I see apologists engaged in not selling Catholicism, but in selling their version of Catholicism.
I can't see much wrong on Dr. Ferrara's lecture, really, besides the known dangers of lay apologetics. It's a way of getting the message across more effectively, especially given the fact that we live in a time when most of the clergy have altogether abdicated their faith and functions. Many catholics in the pew don't know about the SSPX or any other people fighting against Modernism and pushing to restore Tradition in the Church; their bishops and priests won't tell them anything if they're not pushed to do so (and then, only to malign traditionalists), so many are just left on their own.

Indeed, there's a spirit of novelty and rebellion within the Church. To call it "Spirit of Woodstock" is rather nice, I'd call it "Satanic Perversion".

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