Pope's failure in Germany
(09-24-2011, 09:07 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: I know you're getting a kick of playing the pope's squire but stop and think for a minute.

What is the Pope actually concerned about in that speech? The conversion of all political and social sphere to Catholicism? The condemnation of secularism?

I agree that he isn't concerned with the conversion of the political and social sphere to Catholicism, but I think he is obviously condemning secularism in the speech.

(09-24-2011, 09:07 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: No. He's concerned that Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox), as a religious and cultural phenomenon, is under siege in the Western world. However, his concerns seem unable to overcome the mere natural level which anyone can peacefully share with people of other faiths or of no faith at all. Benedict only tells the Bundestag that the more Christianity is driven out of the political sphere, the more risk the Germans (and Europeans) have of falling into dictatorships, because Christianity (or Judeo-Christianity) is the depository of human rights and, supposedly, of western democracy.

Everything is said on a mere natural level. Germany needs Judeo-Christianity insofar as to keep its democratic institutions alive. Germany doesn't really need Christ to save the soul of the country.

I agree to to some extent. However, I think the Pope is making a much more subtle argument than he is being given credit for. In this speech, the Pope asks the Bundestag how we determine what is right and just. After noting that almost all systems of justice throughout history have been based on religion, he notes that Christianity has never set forth a revealed law in the same way that Judaism and Islam have. Instead, the Church argues that just laws can be determined through reason and nature:

Pope Benedict Wrote:How do we recognize what is right? In history, systems of law have almost always been based on religion: decisions regarding what was to be lawful among men were taken with reference to the divinity. Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God.

The Holy Father then discusses the positivist view of nature. For them, nature is only a collection of data that can tell us nothing of what is right or just:

Quote:If nature – in the words of Hans Kelsen – is viewed as “an aggregate of objective data linked together in terms of cause and effect”, then indeed no ethical indication of any kind can be derived from it.[3] A positivist conception of nature as purely functional, as the natural sciences consider it to be, is incapable of producing any bridge to ethics and law, but once again yields only functional answers. The same also applies to reason, according to the positivist understanding that is widely held to be the only genuinely scientific one.

He then argues that we need to recover the deeper, classical view of nature. In particular, he stresses the need to recognize that man has a nature:

Quote:Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled.

After this, he asks how we can rediscover a view of nature that speaks to us of the right and just. He answers that this view of nature depends on the belief in a God who created nature and set out objective ethical norms therein. He then says:

Quote:At this point Europe’s cultural heritage ought to come to our assistance. The conviction that there is a Creator God is what gave rise to the idea of human rights, the idea of the equality of all people before the law, the recognition of the inviolability of human dignity in every single person and the awareness of people’s responsibility for their actions. Our cultural memory is shaped by these rational insights. To ignore it or dismiss it as a thing of the past would be to dismember our culture totally and to rob it of its completeness. The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Roman law. This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. In the awareness of man’s responsibility before God and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable dignity of every single human person, it has established criteria of law: it is these criteria that we are called to defend at this moment in our history.

First, he says that "the inner identity of Europe" has been shaped by the encounter between Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem. I think this raises his argument above the merely natural level as you claim. He is concerned with the core identity, the soul, of Europe. For him, Europeans must reclaim the classical and Christian tradition in order to rediscover who they are.

The second point here is that he is arguing that we must look back to our Christian heritage if we are to recover a deeper view of reason and nature. So, I think his primary point in the speech is to propose a return to natural law thinking rooted in the Christian view of God and man. Yes, he doesn't demand that the German Government recognize the Social Kingship of Christ, but that wasn't the point of his speech in the first place. The speech is mainly a call to rediscover the Christian view of God, man, nature, and reason as embodied in the natural law tradition. I don't see how he can be faulted for that.

I found this to be a particularly relevant paragraph, as anyone who has studied the phenomenological views of the post-conciliar popes will recognize:
Quote:While it is obvious that Benedict cherishes traditional Catholic expressions, they are to him just mere expressions among so many other expressions, some that are not even Catholic, that are not necessarily equal, but all valid, nonetheless. The difference is of aesthetic quality, like the difference between Bach and Schubert or Reni and Caravaggio. Personal preference ought to be respected, but it doesn't necessarily make any one artist or composer superior to the other. The crucial factor is judging the appropriateness of one expression over another given circumstances, and not intrinsic value. Sometimes traditionalism is more appropriate, and sometimes Communion and Liberation is more appropriate. There is more of phenomenology to Benedict's thinking than the moderate realism of St. Thomas Aquinas.
(09-24-2011, 06:47 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(09-24-2011, 01:49 PM)Freudentaumel Wrote: Unlike the World youth day visit, this is not a pastoral visit. This is a state visit. The pope was invited as a head of state by the German head of state.

Christ cannot be absent from politics. He is the foundation of all political power.

But I guess it's complicated to bring Christ into the equation for someone who believes so strongly in "healthy laicism."
Your penchant for quoting me out of context shows again. The article complained that the pope spoke to politicians but (allegedly) had no time for Catholics. I gave the reason for that, and that was quite clear from my post. Conveniently, you forgot to quote the part the part from the article that I quoted and then answered, and act as if I had spoken about the discussion about the Social Kingship of Christ.
As always, your way of quoting speaks for itself.
If the Vicar of Christ can't mention Who he's a vicar of, what kind of vicar is he?

Try saying that ten times fast.
(09-24-2011, 05:22 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Please, the man has been preaching "healthy laicism" for years.

Interestingly enough, that phrase actually comes from Pius XII who said that “the legitimate healthy laicity of the State is one of the principles of Catholic doctrine.”

Discourse Alla vostra filiale, March 23, 1958: AAS 50 (1958), p. 220

Siano parte viva della Chiesa le vostre città. Vi è, in Italia, ehi si
agita, perchè teme che il cristianesimo tolga a Cesare quel che è di Cesare.

Come se dare a Cesare quello che gli appartiene, non fosse un
comando di Gesù ; come se la legittima sana laicità dello Stato non fosse
uno dei principi della dottrina cattolica; come se non fosse tradizione
della Chiesa il continuo sforzo per tenere distinti, ma pure, sempre secondo
i retti principi, uniti i due Poteri ; come se, invece, la mescolanza
tra sacro e profano non si fosse il più fortemente verificata nella storia,
quando una porzione di fedeli si è staccata dalla Chiesa.

Le città saranno parte viva della Chiesa, se in esse la vita dei singoli,
la vita delle famiglie, la vita delle grandi e piccole collettività, sarà
alimentata dalla dottrina di Gesù Cristo, che è amore di Dio ed è, in
Dio, amore del prossimo, tutto.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/aas/documents/AAS%2050%20[1958]%20-%20ocr.pdf pg.220
(01-27-2012, 06:29 PM)Dewi Wrote: If the Vicar of Christ can't mention Who he's a vicar of, what kind of vicar is he?

Try saying that ten times fast.

Not only is that disrespectful and not true, but what possible good can come from making a statement like that?
Here is a translation of Pope Pius XII's words:

"As if to give to Caesar what belongs to him, not a command of Jesus, as if the sound legitimate secular state was not one of the principles of Catholic doctrine, as if it were not the tradition of the Church, the ongoing effort to keep separate, but also, according to the right principles, united the two powers, as if, instead, a mixture of sacred and profane was not as strong in history occurred when a portion of the faithful broke away from the Church."

Original: "Come se dare a Cesare quello che gli appartiene, non fosse un comando di Gesù; come se la legittima sana laicità dello Stato non fosse uno dei principi della dottrina cattolica; come se non fosse tradizione della Chiesa il continuo sforzo per tenere distinti, ma pure, sempre secondo i retti principi, uniti i due Poteri; come se, invece, la mescolanza tra sacro e profano non si fosse il più fortemente verificata nella storia, quando una porzione di fedeli si è staccata dalla Chiesa."


This echoes what Pope Leo XIII taught:

"The Almighty, therefore, has given the charge of the human race to two powers, the ecclesiastical and the civil, the one being set over divine, and the other over human, things.  Each in its kind is supreme, each has fixed limits within which it is contained, limits which are defined by the nature and special object of the province of each, so that there is, we may say, an orbit traced out within which the action of each is brought into play by its own native right. But, inasmuch as each of these two powers has authority over the same subjects, and as it might come to pass that one and the same thing -- related differently, but still remaining one and the same thing -- might belong to the jurisdiction and determination of both, therefore God, who foresees all things, and who is the author of these two powers, has marked out the course of each in right correlation to the other. ...

"There must, accordingly, exist between these two powers a certain orderly connection, which may be compared to the union of the soul and body in man.  The nature and scope of that connection can be determined only, as We have laid down, by having regard to the nature of each power, and by taking account of the relative excellence and nobleness of their purpose.  One of the two has for its proximate and chief object the well-being of this mortal life; the other, the everlasting joys of heaven.  Whatever, therefore in things human is of a sacred character, whatever belongs either of its own nature or by reason of the end to which it is referred, to the salvation of souls, or to the worship of God, is subject to the power and judgment of the Church.  Whatever is to be ranged under the civil and political order is rightly subject to the civil authority.  Jesus Christ has Himself given command that what is Caesar's is to be rendered to Caesar, and that what belongs to God is to be rendered to God. ...

"In like manner it is to be understood that the Church no less than the State itself is a society perfect in its own nature and its own right, and that those who exercise sovereignty ought not so to act as to compel the Church to become subservient or subject to them, or to hamper her liberty in the management of her own affairs, or to despoil her in any way of the other privileges conferred upon her by Jesus Christ.  In matters, however, of mixed jurisdiction, it is in the highest degree consonant to nature, as also to the designs of God, that so far from one of the powers separating itself from the other, or still less coming into conflict with it, complete harmony, such as is suited to the end for which each power exists, should be preserved between them" (Immortale Dei, nn. 13, 14, 35).


This article actually defends the post-conciliar Pontiffs: http://www.seattlecatholic.com/a050615.html

David Palm Wrote:Statements of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith concerning "the rightful autonomy of the political or civil sphere from that of religion and the Church" 30 and by Pope John Paul II of a "legitimate and healthy secularity" 31 - taken by some to signal a complete about-face on the matter of Church/State relations-are each found in the context of reaffirmations of the rightful (and necessary) separation of powers between Church and State. This, as I have noted above, was firmly taught prior to Vatican II as well and so forms no break with pre-conciliar teaching. And certainly these statements must be read in light of both DH §6 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, not to mention the solemn teaching of the pre-conciliar Popes.

So, although this post-conciliar content remains somewhat muted from the direct and forceful teachings of the pre-conciliar Popes insisting on the State's obligation to "favor [the Catholic] religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws", it in no way contradicts their teaching. As Fr. Harrison has stated: "From the fact that the Church (wisely or unwisely) decides no longer to ask for a clear-cut implementation of the doctrine of Christ's social kingship in the traditional manner, it by no means follows that she has renounced the doctrine itself as a matter of principle." 32
Right, the point is, a "healthy laicism" does not preclude the ideal harmony that should exist between the two powers. I don't think Pope Benedict would disagree with this. For example, here's an address he gave to the Canadian bishops a while back (my emphasis):

Quote:2. Dear Brothers, your own Diocesan communities are challenged to resonate with the living statement of faith: "we know and believe the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16). These words, which eloquently reveal faith as personal adherence to God and concurrent assent to the whole truth that God reveals (cf. Dominus Iesus, 7), can be credibly proclaimed only in the wake of an encounter with Christ. Drawn by his love the believer entrusts his entire self to God and so becomes one with the Lord (cf. 1 Cor 6:17). In the Eucharist this union is strengthened and renewed by entering into the very dynamic of Christ's self-giving so as to share in the divine life: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him" (Jn 6:56; cf. Deus Caritas Est, 13).

St John's admonition, however, still holds. In increasingly secularized societies such as yours, the Lord's outpouring of love to humanity can remain unnoticed or rejected. By imagining that withdrawing from this relationship is somehow a key to his own liberation, man in fact becomes a stranger to himself, since "in reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear" (Gaudium et spes, n. 22). Dismissive of the love which discloses the fullness of man's truth, many men and women continue to walk away from the Lord's abode into a wilderness of individual isolation, social fragmentation and loss of cultural identity.

3. Within this perspective, one sees that the fundamental task of the evangelization of culture is the challenge to make God visible in the human face of Jesus. In helping individuals to recognize and experience the love of Christ, you will awaken in them the desire to dwell in the house of the Lord, embracing the life of the Church. This is our mission. It expresses our ecclesial nature and ensures that every initiative of evangelization concurrently strengthens Christian identity. In this regard, we must acknowledge that any reduction of the core message of Jesus, that is, the 'Kingdom of God', to indefinite talk of 'kingdom values' weakens Christian identity and debilitates the Church's contribution to the regeneration of society. When believing is replaced by 'doing' and witness by talk of 'issues', there is an urgent need to recapture the profound joy and awe of the first disciples whose hearts, in the Lord's presence, "burned within them" impelling them to "tell their story" (cf. Lk 24:32; 35).

Today, the impediments to the spread of Christ's Kingdom are experienced most dramatically in the split between the Gospel and culture, with the exclusion of God from the public sphere. Canada has a well-earned reputation for a generous and practical commitment to justice and peace, and there is an enticing sense of vibrancy and opportunity in your multicultural cities. At the same time, however, certain values detached from their moral roots and full significance found in Christ have evolved in the most disturbing of ways. In the name of 'tolerance' your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse, and in the name of 'freedom of choice' it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children. When the Creator's divine plan is ignored the truth of human nature is lost.

False dichotomies are not unknown within the Christian community itself. They are particularly damaging when Christian civic leaders sacrifice the unity of faith and sanction the disintegration of reason and the principles of natural ethics, by yielding to ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls.
Democracy succeeds only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person. Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle; otherwise Christian witness to the splendour of truth in the public sphere would be silenced and an autonomy from morality proclaimed (cf. Doctrinal Note The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, 2-3; 6). In your discussions with politicians and civic leaders I encourage you to demonstrate that our Christian faith, far from being an impediment to dialogue, is a bridge, precisely because it brings together reason and culture.

(01-27-2012, 08:04 PM)Guardian Wrote:
(01-27-2012, 06:29 PM)Dewi Wrote: If the Vicar of Christ can't mention Who he's a vicar of, what kind of vicar is he?

Try saying that ten times fast.

Not only is that disrespectful and not true, but what possible good can come from making a statement like that?

The point is the Vicar of Christ ought to mention Christ! What is disrespectful about that? Get a sense of humor, eggshell.
(09-24-2011, 10:09 PM)dymphna17 Wrote: But the whole "I'm ok, you're ok" attitude of the Vatican is just fine.   ::)

Yet everytime the Holy Fathers seems to imply such an attitude, he follows up with this:

"VATICAN CITY, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI said Friday at the Vatican the world faces a crisis of faith and warned against indifference to doctrine in the name of religious unity."

Most days I'm not sure what to think, but I give the HH the benefit of the doubt and a decade of my Rosary intentions. I also grieve for all the Catholics who give up on orthodoxy because of the apparent ambiguity in our days. God help us.

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