Thursday, February 12, 2015

When is the Pope no longer the Pope?

  • Catholic integralism: not standoffish like I assumed. By the way, traditionalists are not all alike. There are schools of thought, just like in the pre-conciliar church. For example, I'm liturgically traditionalist and have no problem with American religious liberty rightly understood (no to indifferentism: the Catholic Church as a mere denomination, "a choice with which to amuse yourself Sunday mornings"). My main difference with the SSPX, but that doesn't mean I hate the society. In principle, the order exists because it objects to Vatican II's policies (not doctrine; the council didn't define any) on that and, closely related, ecumenism. It's Not About Latin™.
  • When is the Pope no longer the Pope? What I believe, subject of course to the magisterium. Another reading from Gabriel Sanchez, from one of his epistles. I do not understand why it is not possible that a pope who intends to promulgate error under the cover of infallibility could not be considered at that point an anti-pope whose declaration would carry no magisterial weight since he would, by becoming a material heretic, lose his office. The tricky part is when this occurs. Certainly an attempted infallible declaration would be contemplated in advance. The Pope does not simply utter an infallible statement on the spot. And so it seems to me that even before he makes the declaration, he has fallen into heresy and, perhaps, loses his office. Once the declaration is made, it is simply an affirmation that he is, indeed, a material heretic whose statements no longer bind the Catholic faithful. It's about the church, not the Pope's person; his office belongs to the church. If he steps outside of the church by trying to change its teachings, he's no longer Pope. (I think cf. St. Robert Bellarmine.)
  • On the second anniversary of Benedict the Great's abdication. I would have begged him not to: "Stay with us!" We need another one of him who will stick around for 20 years to finish what he started. Unlike St. John Paul the Overrated, a cult of personality who wasn't traditionalists' friend really (Assisi, the Koran incident, altar girls, and the coverup of the priestly underage gay sex scandal), Benedict the Great's reign wasn't about him but about principles. What the papacy really means. Benedict is orthodox but not even really that conservative (a man of Vatican II but sound), yet he changed the church's way of operating to make it hospitable to traditionalists. I think we'll see another of his kind, because the liberals are dying out.
  • The Ukraine. Yes, the fault line between Catholicism and Orthodoxy (American on the street: "You mean Jewish?"), between Western Europe and Russia, runs through it now. Simply put, the old Polish west, partly Catholic, wants to belong to the capital-W West while the east wants to be Russian as it was for centuries. (I understand the capital, Kiev, is literally and figuratively in the center: Russian-speaking but wanting to be independent, like Austria and Switzerland are not parts of Germany.) If the west could overthrow the lawful elected government to distance itself from Russia (President Yanukovych got a better deal with the Russians, triggering the revolt), "why," reason the easterners, who never wanted to leave Russia, "can't we decide our destiny likewise?" The West of course wants a liberal puppet in Eastern Europe: stick it to Russia. But the fault line hasn't always been that clear nor stayed in the same spot. For one thing, starting in 1596, much of the Ukraine and Byelorussia was Catholic and Byzantine Rite. Tsarist expansion through the 1800s ended that (they persecuted Catholics: Orthodoxy as worship of the tribe and the state; the Soviets tried it in the old Polish Ukraine too). I don't think Putin should invade. Regular readers know: the Ukraine is nothing to do with us politically or economically (we don't trade with them or Russia really) so we should stay out of it, I have nothing against the independent Ukraine, and I hope it will be a Catholic-friendly (different from Russia that way, though I don't think it will become a Catholic country) Russia Jr., a naturally conservative Slavic state, not what the Western powers want. The Crimea is part of Russia.
  • Greece, with its near fanatic desire to be petulant, may help bring down the EU and help bring some sensibility to the streets.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:19 pm

    Your point on the manifest heretic on the Papal throne seems reasonable. I think the only problem is that there has to be some predictable procedure, as the Church must maintain a visible unity and there must not be confusion and lack of certainty. I think this essay by Robert Siscoe, rom the Remnant is very helpful:


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