Sunday, January 9, 2022

Geach on authority and consistency

If the reader will indulge me, here is one more post inspired by Peter Geach – specifically, this time, by some themes in his book Truth and Hope.  Among the topics Geach covers are logical consistency, believing something on the basis of authority, and the relationship between authority and consistency.  The points he makes are by no means purely academic.  Indeed, they are relevant to understanding current ecclesiastical and political crises.  For among the reasons so many people today have come to distrust authorities in the Church, government, science, media, etc. is these authorities’ lack of consistency.

Consistency

Logical consistency is sometimes treated as if it were something only a pedant would concern himself with.  Consider Walt Whitman’s celebrated, but quite stupid, remark: “Do I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself.  I am large, I contain multitudes.”  Similarly, Emerson asserted: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.”  The implication of such remarks is that there is something more, something deeper, in the thought of a self-contradictory person than in that of a consistent person.  In fact, the opposite is the case.  There is less in the thinking of a self-contradictory person, not more. 

As Aquinas notes, a contradiction “implies being and non-being at the same time” (Summa Theologiae I.25.3).  Hence it takes back with one hand what it seemed to be giving with the other.  Consider, for instance, the notion of a round square.  To posit a square is indeed to posit a kind of thing.  But to posit that that thing is round is, as it were, precisely to take away the squareness (since the roundness is incompatible with the squareness), and thus to take away the thing itself.  And the roundness goes with it too, since it now lacks anything in which it might inhere.  Thus, the notion of a round square does not give you both roundness and squareness.  (“Multitudes!”)  Rather, it gives you neither roundness nor squareness. 

The same is true of any system of ideas that incorporates a contradiction.  It is self-annihilating, in just the same way that the notion of a round square is.  Logic students are familiar with the dictum that anything follows from a contradiction.  The Whitmans and Emersons of the world might think: “Anything?  Great!  Multitudes!”  But once again they’d be wrong.  What follows instead is that no proposition in a self-contradictory system can stand.  The presence of the contradiction makes it possible to refute every one of them.  It is not some tonic that makes the system more fruitful, but a cancer that eats its way through the whole.  Hence, a self-contradictory system of ideas doesn’t give you everything you want.  It gives you precisely nothing. 

This brings us to Geach.  Criticizing those who characterize inconsistency as merely a kind of relation holding between statements in a discourse, he points out that in fact it inevitably has bad practical consequences:

In fiction, indeed, inconsistency is a merely internal fault, and does not matter so long as it does not offend the reader.  This holds precisely because the indicative sentences in a work of fiction do not latch onto reality: the author and the reader merely make believe that they do so.  When discourse is meant to latch onto reality, then inconsistency matters: not because falling into inconsistency means perpetrating a specially bad sort of error, logical falsehood; but because inconsistent discourse inevitably has some non-logical fault.  Like it or not, an inconsistent history will somewhere be factually false, an inconsistent set of orders or instructions cannot all be carried out, an inconsistent moral code will at some juncture be prescribing morally objectionable conduct, and so on. (p. 38)

Geach does not bring up nominalism in this connection, but he could have.  The nominalist takes our concepts to be mere artifacts of language, free creations of the mind bearing no necessary connection to mind-independent reality.   The realist, by contrast, takes concepts to reflect the natures of things themselves.  Contradiction in a system of ideas is bound to seem less dire in its practical consequences on the former sort of view than on the latter.  I’ll come back to this.

It is sometimes suggested that science might give us reason to revise logic by giving up consistency, but as Geach notes, this is simply muddleheaded.  It has the same self-defeating character that any other inconsistent positon does.  He writes:

As for proposals to bend logic, logic must remain rigid if it is to serve as a lever to overthrow unsatisfactory theories; otherwise refutation of a theory by contrary facts could always be staved off by enfeebling the logic that shows the contrariety. 

Logic can never be constrained to withdraw a thesis by reason of a rival thesis established in some other discipline; for in a sense logic has no theses, being merely concerned with what follows from what.  Logic is like a constitutional queen of the sciences: a queen who can never initiate legislation, but unlike the British monarch can put in a veto – on the score of inconsistency or fallacious reasoning. (p. 39)

The very practice of science presupposes consistency – most fundamentally, the consistency of theories with their evidential basis and with each other.  Therefore, to give up consistency, even in the name of science, is to give up science.  But neither can any claim of theology justify us in giving up consistency, as Geach rightly insists, despite his insistence having, he reports, “sometimes offended pious ears” (p. 41). 

You might think those ears are always orthodox ones, but in recent years it is those who would revise traditional teaching who are most likely to flout the demands of logic.  Typically they do so in the name of Christian mercy, but like those who would abandon consistency in the name of science, this is simply muddleheaded and self-defeating.  Suppose you argue that mercy requires us to permit unrepentant adulterers to take Holy Communion, despite this being inconsistent with the Church’s perennial and infallible teaching.  Strict consistency with traditional teaching is less important than showing mercy, or so you argue.

Yet what you are claiming is precisely that not permitting adulterers to take Holy Communion would be inconsistent with the mercy Christ commands us to show the sinner.  (To be sure, this claim is false – there is no inconsistency at all, since Christ makes repentance a condition of forgiveness – but that is your claim.)  So, you can hardly dismiss consistency when your critics point out that your view contradicts Church teaching, because your whole case itself rests on an appeal to consistency.  By rejecting logic’s demand for consistency when defending your own position, you undermine that position itself.

We must, however, immediately note a distinction drawn by Geach.  Inconsistency, he points out, is not the same thing as nonsense, though philosophers are not always careful to note the difference (pp. 41-42).  When two statements are known to be inconsistent with one another, that presupposes that each has a clear meaning.  By contrast, nonsensical assertions do not have a clear meaning.  And precisely because they do not, they cannot clearly contradict one another.  Logical methodology itself presupposes this distinction.  Geach writes:

Reductio ad absurdum works by deriving a patent inconsistency from a set of premises, which shows that one or other of the set is false; this valuable method of proof would be a ridiculous procedure if patent inconsistency were not to be distinguished from unconstruable nonsense. (p. 42)

Now, the “saving grace” (if that is the right phrase for it) of Pope Francis’s own doctrinally problematic statements on matters concerning Holy Communion for adulterers, capital punishment, and the like, is precisely that they do not have a clear meaning, and that he refuses to clarify them.  His statements thereby avoid actual inconsistency with past teaching, even as they seem to give wiggle room to those who would like to abandon it. 

But they only seem to do so.  For suppose a Catholic really does abandon past teaching.  Then he either has to give up consistency itself, which entails a self-defeating position for the reasons I have been setting out in this post; or he can preserve consistency and reject just the past teaching, but in that case we will end up with a self-defeating position of another kind, the kind described in my recent post on Geach’s critique of modernism (since by holding that the Church erred in the past, he will have undermined any reason for believing what she teaches now).  Hence there is no possible way to accept the pope’s problematic utterances except as imperfect formulations of claims that are consistent with past teaching.  Any alternative way of construing them entails a self-defeating position.

One reason people don’t think clearly about these problems is that they don’t strictly think about them at all.   Geach makes the important point that grasping the consistency or inconsistency between claims is an exercise of the intellect rather than of the imagination.  He notes that “we can imagine things that on reflection are self-contradictory,” and gives the following example:

One of Escher’s engravings shows a stairway running round the four sides of a tower, on which by continual ascent one gets back to the starting point. (p. 43)

One might suppose that, because he can form a mental image like the one in Escher’s drawing, he has thereby grasped that the scenario it represents is really possible.  But that is an illusion. 

Similarly, those deluded into supposing that allowing unrepentant adulterers to Holy Communion can be made consistent with Christ’s teaching no doubt call to mind all kinds of happy mental images and feelings.  For example, they might bring before their mind’s eye a picture of some man who has abandoned his first wife and formed a “new union” with another woman, happily leaving the communion line, being greeted with handshakes and good cheer after Mass, etc.  And they might imagine also the unpleasant feelings of guilt this man might suffer if he were told that he is committing mortal sin by doing these things.  This mélange of pictures and emotions triggers the word “mercy,” and they are thereby sold on the idea.  (Of course, it helps if they do not call to their mind’s eye any images of the wife who was abandoned, what she and her children might be feeling, etc.) 

Psychologically, this sort of process can be effective in winning over people of a certain mindset.  But logically speaking, it is completely worthless, the sheerest sentimentality.  It does exactly nothing to justify departure from the Church’s traditional teaching and practice.

Authority

Perhaps it is clear already what all of this has to do with questions about believing something on the basis of some authority.  Geach argues that “it would wholly discredit revelation if it were supposed to proceed from a deity who may lie when he sees fit” (p. 58).  To be sure, it doesn’t follow that God might not sometimes allow us to be misled, for as Geach also notes, misleading someone does not entail lying to him.  (For example, if you leave the light on when you’re away, a burglar might judge that you’re home and therefore avoid your house.  But though he’s been misled, he hasn’t been lied to.)  But to posit outright lies in some purported divine revelation would be to undermine confidence in any of it.  If what God purportedly has said in this one place is false, why suppose anything else he has said is true?

We saw Geach make a similar point when we recently considered his views about Hell, and it is related to the point he makes against modernism.  A purported source of divine revelation is either reliable as a whole, or it is not reliable at all.  To be sure, and as Geach acknowledges, we do sometimes trust human beings even when we know they have lied.  But the case of a purported divine revelation is different, for (unlike the case of human testimony) we have no independent means of verifying doctrines that are supposed to be knowable only via such revelation. 

It is crucial, then, that a purported source of revealed doctrine be consistent.  If there is any inconsistency in it, then the inconsistent statements it contains cannot all be true.  If they are not all true, then some of what it teaches is false, which (again) undermines the credibility of the whole.  This is the case not only with scripture, but also with all statements claimed to have been taught by the Church in a definitive way, such as decrees of ecclesiastical councils, infallible papal pronouncements, and doctrines constantly reiterated by the ordinary Magisterium of the Church.  To allow that there is error in any of this would undermine the credibility of all of it.  In response to the suggestion that ecclesial authority may, by fiat, put forward some new teaching that contradicts the old, Geach says:

Bishops come and bishops go; and one Pope passeth, another cometh; ay, Heaven and Earth shall pass; but from the Law of Contradiction not one tittle shall ever pass; for it is the eternal Law of God. (p. 69)

Amen!  And before you accuse Geach of subordinating theology to philosophy, note well that he is in fact simply affirming Catholic teaching.  For example, in that grand encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Pope St. Pius X condemned the modernist thesis that theology can contain contradictions.  (As the pope wrote: “But when they justify even contradiction, what is it that they will refuse to justify?”)

But there still might seem to be a flavor of paradox here.  I may decide to reject some purported source of authoritative revelation, on the grounds that it contradicts itself; or I may judge that it does not contradict itself, and (if I also have some positive reason to think it really did come from God) accept it.  But either way, am not I the one making the call?  And in that case, do I not make myself the ultimate authority?  Geach’s response begins as follows:

The question which authority to trust is difficult and inescapable.  But we must steeply, most steeply, rebut the sophists who would argue ‘In accepting an authority you are relying on your Private Judgment that the authority is reliable: so Private Judgment trumps authority.’  Inevitably my judgment is my judgment, my very own judgment, thus my Private Judgment; but this is a mere tautology, from which nothing interesting can follow. (pp. 50-51)

What Geach refers to here is, of course, a standard Protestant objection to Catholicism.  The nature of the fallacy identified by Geach might be clearer when we consider that a parallel accusation could be flung back at the Protestant, who claims to follow only scripture: “In accepting scripture you are relying on your Private Judgment that scripture is reliable: so your Private Judgment trumps scripture.”  The Protestant might respond, quite correctly, that the fact that he has judged scripture to be authoritative simply doesn’t entail that he puts his own authority above that of scripture.  For in justifying this judgement, he is not appealing to any purported authority of his own in the first place.  But exactly the same response is open to the Catholic.  The fact that he has judged the Church to be authoritative simply doesn’t entail that he puts his own authority above that of the Church.  For in justifying this judgement, he too is not appealing to any purported authority of his own in the first place.   Geach expands on the point as follows:

[W]hen I decide to follow one authority rather than another, I am not in effect setting up myself up as a superior authority.  It would be quite difficult for me to give good reasons for trusting one lawyer or doctor rather than another; but such trust on my part need not be merely blind, nor on the other hand am I claiming to know more law than my lawyer and more medicine than my doctor. (p. 51)

I may judge one doctor to be trustworthy and another to be a quack.  But it doesn’t follow that I claim to have greater medical expertise than the former.  By the same token, when I judge one purported source of divine revelation (a book, a prophet, a Church, or whatever) to be genuine, and another to be bogus, it doesn’t follow that I claim greater expertise about divine revelation than the former. 

As noted already, Geach acknowledges that in the case of fallible human beings, we do sometimes trust them even though we know them to have lied.  Similarly, we do not always reject the authority of an expert simply because he has been inconsistent on this or that occasion.  But there are limits.  It cannot fail to undermine public trust when government officials, media sources, etc. repeatedly and shamelessly say inconsistent things.  (Some recent examples: Right-wing mass demonstrations during the Covid-19 pandemic were dangerous super-spreader events, but left-wing mass demonstrations were not.  Questioning the integrity of the 2016 election upholds democracy, but questioning the integrity of the 2020 election undermines democracy.  The left-wing riots that occurred throughout the summer of 2020 were “mostly peaceful protests,” but the right-wing riot that occurred on January 6 of 2021 was an “insurrection” and “worse than 9/11.”  Skepticism about Covid-19 vaccines is reasonable when Trump is president, but irrational when Biden is president.  To fail to wear a mask in public is to put grandma’s life at risk, except when Democratic politicians or journalists fail to do so.  Preventing a woman from killing her unborn child violates her right over her own body, but forcing her to take a vaccine injection does not violate her right over her own body.  Etc.)

Churchmen too, when they exercise their fallible governing authority (as opposed to infallible ex cathedra papal definitions), risk losing the trust of the faithful if that exercise shows inconsistency.  In my essay “Pope Francis’s Scarlet Letter,” I discussed the double standard the pope has shown toward progressives and traditionalists – bending over backwards to accommodate the former even though they widely dissent from the infallible teaching of millennia, while harshly punishing the latter because some among them question more recent and fallible teaching.  (That essay was recently reprinted in Peter Kwasniewski’s excellent anthology From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War: Catholics Respond to the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes on the Latin Mass.)  The Vatican has recently doubled down on this harshness in a Responsa ad dubia prompted by Traditionis Custodes.  Into the bargain, this response has added to the double standard evident in Traditionis directives that are problematic in light of canon law. 

A recent article at Rorate Caeli notes how, if the principles of Amoris Laetitia and some other earlier pronouncements of Pope Francis were applied to the interpretation of Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa ad dubia, they would essentially gut the latter documents of any binding force.  This is exactly what we should expect, given the points made above when discussing Geach.  Since anything follows from a contradiction, an internally inconsistent set of principles inevitably subverts itself. 

Earlier I mentioned nominalism, and historically (for example, in the case of William of Ockham), nominalism has had a close connection with voluntarism.  Voluntarism holds that the will is prior to the intellect, in contrast to the “intellectualist” position defended by Aquinas, which holds that the intellect is prior to the will.  For the intellectualist, the will is and ought to be the servant of the intellect.  Hence the will cannot be rightly ordered if the intellect is not.  And legislation, which reflects the will of the legislator, cannot be good if it does not conform to reason.  For the thoroughgoing voluntarist, by contrast, the will is the intellect’s master rather than its servant, and it does not answer to the intellect’s rational scruples.  (It is because metaphysical realism would put strict rational constraints on what we might intelligibly be said to will that nominalism is attractive to the voluntarist.)

Now, intellectualism is the correct view, and as I noted in a post from a few years ago, traditional Catholic teaching clearly affirms it.  But the ecclesial and the political orders seem today to be dominated by what, in that same post, I labeled “the voluntarist personality” – a personality type which approximates what human beings would be like if voluntarism were true.  The voluntarist personality type tends to be stubbornly willful and excessively emotional, but to have a relatively weak or poorly developed intellect.  Hence it is highly impatient with calm deliberation, clear and explicit lines of reasoning, carefully drawn distinctions, and so on.  It tends to evaluate ideas and policies, not in terms of the arguments or evidence that might be adduced for or against them, but rather in terms of the motives that it sees, or thinks it sees, in those who advocate them and those who oppose them.  It thus tends toward self-righteous moralizing in defense of its favored positions, and toward ad hominem attacks against those who disagree.  Naturally, it is not inclined to try rationally to persuade dissenters, but prefers instead to get its way by dictatorial command where it can, and by rhetorical manipulation, threats, and intimidation where it cannot.

The voluntarist personality tends to conflate authority with raw power, and thus inconsistency in its demands does not bother it.  I’m in charge, and this is my will.  Just do it, and don’t bother me with quibbles about logic and evidence!”  The trouble is that voluntarism is false, and human beings are rational animals.  Thus, in the long run, when those who govern them do so in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner, they will rightly see in this not the proper exercise of authority, but rather the abuse of authority.  They will be tempted to schism and rebellion – which the ruler with a voluntarist personality will rightly decry, while being utterly oblivious to the fact that he is the one provoking it.  The voluntarist personality tends to see in dictatorial fiat the apotheosis of authority, when in fact it is the corruption of authority, and threatens its dissolution.  But here, I should note, I go beyond anything discussed by Geach.

Related posts:

Geach on Hell

Geach on original sin

Geach’s argument against modernism

Geach on worshipping the right God

Voluntarism and PSR

The voluntarist personality

161 comments:

  1. You seem to argue that if the Bible contains any contradiction, no matter how peripheral the substance matter (the names of Esau's wives or other genealogical questions), it cannot be trusted in anything else it says. I don't think that this follows.

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    1. Hi Tim,

      I was making a very general point about divine revelation, but not pretending to answer all the question that might arise when applying that point to particular cases. I assume you'd agree with the general principle that God cannot reveal both p and not-p -- no matter how trivial p and not-p are -- and that is enough for present purposes. What you are raising here are questions about whether such-and-such specific examples of statements in scripture are really to be understood as part of divine revelation, whether they amount to a genuine contradiction if they are part of it, and so on. I wasn't addressing such issues.

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    2. I certainly hold to the principle of non-contradiction. I, unlike certain theologians, also agree with the Thomistic view that God cannot do the inherently self-contradictory. Hence God cannot reveal p and not p, and that if a biblical manuscript contains the claims p and not p, one of those claims cannot come from God. But I took you to be making a stronger claim about the content of extant biblical manuscripts.

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  2. This silly idea of accepting inconsistencies comes up sometimes when people want to use some -badly interpreted- scientific findings, mainly of quantum mechanics, to show that science shows that contradictions can hold true. This is often used to support the idea that classical logic doesn't have to hold and it is more of a convenient invention. Most of the time, people who claim that have a further agenda; somehow inferring from this demonstration of muddleheadness that philosophy and theology are useless, because they are based on logical examination which has, supposedly, been discredited by modern science. That, of course, is usually paired with boring and bad analogies with bad attempts to solve empirical issues via armchair theorizing and equating metaphysics and theology with such a project.

    Now, the obvious problem that if that were true we would have no reason to accept the supposed scientific findings themselves, escapes those brilliant minds. If reality can be truly contradictory,then all the science can be wrong even though all the evidence shows that it isn't. Even resorting to weaker epistemic positions, such as that scientific facts are more likely true than not, or that they may not be true but at least they are useful enough to count as true for practical purposes, wouldn't be viable since the same problem exists.

    Perhaps notably, I didn't say anything about the validity of the scientific claims themselves. They are obviously a misinterpretation of science, quantum mechanics shows no such thing, but the real issue is not that; it is the utterly preposterous idea that any kind of scientific evidence for true contradictions could ever exist. On the other hand, and on a more positive note, I have found that demonstrating the absurdity of those claims, which most people will be forced to admit if they are pushed by someone who is patient and has nothing more interesting going on in his life, is a nice way to introduce to people the idea that reality must have some real constraints, that we can know about even before and without conducting scientific work. Tbus, there is legitimate examination to be done in another field, outside and before science which I would go and say is metaphysics.

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    1. @Zeno

      If classical logic is just a convention them it also is more that a convention, for contradictions are okay. It is like the idea gets worse every second you look at it!


      "I have found that demonstrating the absurdity of those claims, which most people will be forced to admit if they are pushed by someone who is patient and has nothing more interesting going on in his life, is a nice way to introduce to people the idea that reality must have some real constraints, that we can know about even before and without conducting scientific work."

      I can see this working out with the persons who tend to replicate these ideas because they make physics look cooler, but how to do that with these that, as you mentioned, use it as a way to undermine certain views?

      From what i can see, the average person who does that tend to look like Ed voluntarist, making the person even bother hearing the reasoning a very dificult thing. Is there a good aproach?

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  3. Academically I hold that contradictions can exist in more than a nominal sense, i.e. in the sense that something in the form of words renders words in a contradictory sentence incomprehensible, where before they were merely conjecture.

    Now this may be a mere formal distinction between the state of incomprehensibility and the state of conjecture, but in their mental existence these two different sentences, (or indeed the pseudo-change between the two), may be the catalyst (note: not cause) of an action of the will; Which implies a more than nominal existence.

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  4. Reader: so, how many posts on Geach?

    Edward: yes.


    This degenerate type of authority figure reminds of the platonic concept of the tyrannical government, the leader is this person who has this necessity of dominating others for no nobler ideal that to have his way and who clearly does not deserve his status, so tends to create a very fragile authority who has to be mantained by violent and fraudulent means. The use of coercion does reveal a lack of authority. I'am suprised that Plato was not mentioned this time.

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  5. It's true that theology, or faith, or any properly human process, cannot be conducted without reason. This phrase quoted from Geach, however, doesn't seem to sit well with the Aquinian view of the relationship between theology and philosophy: "Logic can never be constrained to withdraw a thesis by reason of a rival thesis established in some other discipline".

    Theology (which is rational of course, but not philosophy per se) is another discipline and, as Aquinas says, it can certainly oblige philosophy to re-examine a thesis if this didn't square with theology, the science of what God has revealed, which has the highest certitude of all.

    This is not to affirm that philosophy can't establish things with certainty, based on logic; only that there is no guarantee it will always, or in a particular instance, do so.

    Of course Geach probably meant, in his reference to other disciplines, to exclude theology.

    Theology is the master. Philosophy the servant. I don't think St. Thomas was angry or overbearing when he affirmed that.

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  6. This post, dear Edward, is simply outstanding! And I, personally, stand in syntony with all of it.
    Just for the sake of digging further in these thoughts, I would also like to come back to the very origin of the word “authority” which refers to the power an “author” has, e.g., on his own text. The author is the only one who can comment meaningfully on his text, solve possible misunderstanding, and even correct the text later or disregarding it if his thoughts about a topic have evolved.
    In this case there is no coherence requested to the text as such as the coherence’s principle is meta-textual and lays in the author: no one can demonstrate the incoherence of a text under the authority of the author.
    There is also the notion of authoritativeness, which is properly only ascribable to the author himself and only by improper analogy to the text itself: this authoritativeness does not find its foundations in the author as such, but in its collective/social recognition.
    It is at this level that the need of coherency is required: for example, is the testimonial of the Apostle coherent? Is the “Ligo” experience on gravitational waves coherent with what this specific scientific community recognizes as meaningful?
    “Veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus”: this is a judgement which certainty is experienced firstly at personal, i.e. individual level; the author who expresses a truth must be coherent at this level. If the author considers as “res” an experience he is performing he must always stick to this fact with coherence or the cost, he will pay will be a lack of authoritativeness among his peers; if the author considers as “res” a (supernatural) revelation he must also express in his text a full-fledged coherence.
    At this point there is no formal difference between considering an experimental event or a religious revelation: both are apodictic, unique, never identical in different occurrences, unquestionable as such.

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    1. What ultimately proves the truthfulness of a statement? The fact of conforming to deductive reasoning from apodictic principles, or the fact of asserting something true in the real world?

      Reading the various comments, it would like seeming that logic is too often confused as a set of formal abstract relationships.
      Now, logic describes the very structure of reality: the Boolean understanding of logic is only a very pale subset of the A-T logic, as in its desire to mathematize the logical reasoning it looses touch with the reality.
      This is very much apparent when we contemplate syllogisms: if a BArbArA kind of sillogysm can be demostrated valid from a boolean point of view, a DArAptI will be undecidable from this boolean perspective, but always true when th mid-term is a being existing in the reality.
      Quantum mechanic logics is perfectly online with the A-T logic even though not boolean.

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  7. The Pope has a right to suppress the Old Mass or abrogate it. But so what? He has the right to do so but that doesn't mean what he is doing isn't as gravely imprudent as all heck.

    In theory ye can have a government run by a Dictatorship or absolute monarchy(on a scale larger than the square mile of Vatican Land governed by the later that is) that has legalized theoretical slavery. Having such a political society would "not be against the moral and natural law" to cite Pius IX.

    But so what? It would still be a very very bad idea to have such a political order.
    BTW a contradiction isn't claiming something is being and non-being. Rather it is claiming it is being and non-being at the same time and in the same sense.

    Anybody who says the Pope cannot abrogate the Old Mass is a heretic. He can, the issue is should he? The answer is no IMHO. Is it legitimate for us to try to get him or his future successor to change his mind? Yes it is. It it Ok for sympathetic bishops to do everything within Canon Law to work around it? ABSOLUTELY! But no formal or explicit disobedience here. The idiot who founded the SSPX did that and well I submit he set Traditionalism back 100 years.

    Just some random thoughts. Cheers.

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    1. Before making my own comment, let me direct you to someone who can argue the point more forcefully:

      https://catholicfamilynews.com/blog/2022/01/06/abp-vigano-responds-to-cdws-responsa-ad-dubia/

      You are looking at this issue inside out. The Pope does not, cannot(because it would be self defeating and contradictory) suppress the Divine Liturgy any more than he can suppress the Deposit of the Faith. His office is to preserve both. He abuses his office to create a new rite of his liking and attempting to suppress that which he received. Various Councils and Encyclicals are explicit on this.

      God is the author of His own worship. The Papal office must teach, govern and sanctify by means of that Liturgy.
      To teach it, he must preserve it.
      To govern it, he must prevent abuses and novelties.
      To sanctify it, he must venerate it; not suppress it.

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    2. Archbishop Lefebvre didn't base his opposition to the Novus Ordo on rejection of the Pope's right to reform the liturgy (though, like all Catholic-minded people, he took a dim view of changing willy-nilly what was old and venerable), but on the Short Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae, by those "idiots" Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci.

      It was directly through Lefebvre's "non" that other bishops and priests were eventually given canonical leeway to have traditional Masses said more widely.

      Your criticism of traditionalists who reject the right of the Pope to reform the liturgy is correct, but you need to address it to people like Dr. Kwasniewski. There was nobody more Roman than Archbishop Lefebvre. Not for him the the neo-Orthodox Churchy tendencies to be seen in certain quarters in the US.

      Obviously there would have been another providential path towards conserving traditional liturgy in the Church had Archbishop Lefebvre followed the trend or not existed. What has happened, however, is that the largest traditional grouping of priests is the SSPX, and other important groupings like the Society of St. Peter, Confraternity of the Transfiguration, Benedictines of Le Barroux and elsewhere, Institute of the Good Shepherd, orders of teaching Dominican nuns, etc etc, were also founded by members of the SSPX, or were ordained or confirmed in their path by Archbishop Lefevbre. This history can never be unwrittren.

      Needless to say, all of this is a holding down operation till Rome decides to act once and for all on the liturgy (inter alia). I think you would agree with most of this. You could only have made a remark like that about Archbishop Lefebvre if you you didn't fully realise what was what.

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    3. @Tim the White.

      110% disagreement here.

      The Pope cannot suppress the celebration of the Holy Mass but the Pope can suppress any specific rite of the Mass. He shouldn't do it willy nilly but he has the right.

      Fallacy of equivocation. So yer argument is faulty on the face of it.

      The Liturgy of St Pius V is not THE MASS it is one valid version of it among many. The Rite of St Mark or St Basil or Mar Mari and Mar Addi etc....one among many & yes the Liturgy of St Paul VI..

      The Pope can suppress it. It is still a jerk move to do so & gravely imprudent IMHO but he can do it and we have to obey even if it sucks.

      >He abuses his office to create a new rite of his liking and attempting to suppress that which he received. Various Councils and Encyclicals are explicit on this.

      Make up yer mind? I have heard Traditionalists complain the St Paul VI liturgy is guilty of antiquarianism. That is the "error" that just because a practice is old therefore it is good. For example the fact the early Church took communion in the hand till later developments lead them to do away with that practice.

      Now yer trying to bore me with the argument from novelty nonsense. I dinny care.

      The St Paul VI is an attempt to restore the primitive liturgy so in effect nothing new is being created. So away with yer nonsense.

      BTW did I mention I dinny CARE? I think Eastern Rite Liturgies are better. I am not interested in loving the Old Mass. I don't love it anymore than any other mass. I love them all. If it is a Mass in communion with the Bishop of Rome I/Moi by definition love it. If not & it is formally schismatic then it can go hang. I only support Trads having it if they want it and not the Vatican pooping on them fer wanting it like they.

      So people dinny bore me to death with arguments over which liturgy is "better" or "more Catholic".

      I don't think in those terms.

      Delete
    4. @Miguel Cervantes

      Archbishop Lefebvre is a traitor of the first rank who has forever tainted love of the Old Latin liturgy with the specter of schism and infidelity. I have nothing but a low opinion of him regardless of his other virtues. I only hold Williamson in lower regard then him.

      I consider it hypocrisy and foul that Trads back in the days of St John Paul II reign used to complain about him rewarding disobedience such as granting communion in the hand or Altar girls in response to parishes just doing it anyway in opposition to liturgical norms.

      Well then why is it OK when Lefebvre does it? It is not. Doing evil so good will come from it is wrong and sure Lefebvre's rebellion helped nudge the Church into being more accomodating but at what price? All you have to do is disobey and yer rewarded? Screw that!

      But that having been said....I see no good reason to suppress the Old Mass for those who like it. But pretending there have not been shenanigans going on in the Trad movement that do give Pope Francis some cover is near sighted IMHO.

      >Archbishop Lefebvre didn't base his opposition to the Novus Ordo on rejection of the Pope's right to reform the liturgy (though, like all Catholic-minded people, he took a dim view of changing willy-nilly what was old and venerable), but on the Short Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae, by those "idiots" Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci.


      I read the other side in THE LITURGY BETRAYED and I could care less about the St Paul VI vs St Pius V. It is as boring as Kirk vs Pichard to me.

      I would choose the Liturgy of St James if I played favorates.

      The Fathers of the Church teach there is no excuse for Schism and I confess that truth.

      Now all that being said I still believe Francis should just give the trads their favorate liturgy and not make it easy for them to become schismatics by suppressing it.


      I believe in liturgical diversity not uniformity outside what is required by orthodoxy.

      So people waste their time trying to get me into the SSPX camp. I'll see my children murdered in cold blood in front of me by Antifa first before I do.

      I am Catholic till death and always in communion with Rome.

      Delete
    5. @Son of Ya'Kov,
      If I were still a Catholic I would agree with you on all you say, esp about the so-called Novus Ordo's being mostly ancient! And setting people straight on the difference between the sacrament and the various rites according to which it can be/has been celebrated.

      Delete
    6. Son of Ya'kov, I'm sure you agree that obedience, even to a Pope, does not oblige if there is a serious motive. Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci in their short work on the Novus Ordo provided very serious reasons. It was not only Archbishop Lefebvre who had reservations. When the NO became obligatory, 6,000 Spanish priests sent a submission to Paul VI, and to Fr. Annibale Bugnini (11/12/69) declaring they would not say the NO, again basing their position on Ottaviani and Bacci.

      You said in your other comment that the Pope can "suppress" a rite, at least in theory. It's very doubtful this could apply to the Roman rite. In any case, the NO is obviously a version of the Roman rite. The problems are those discussed by Ottaviani and Bacci.

      Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, who represented the SSPX at the doctrinal discussions with the Vatican some years ago, has written a detailed account of its position and why it was legitimate to resist the enforcement of the Novus Ordo. The main issue is doctrinal, not the question of whether the Pope has it in his authority to modify the liturgy or not.
      https://laportelatine.org/formation/crise-eglise/nouvelle-messe/la-promulgation-du-novus-ordo-missae-a-t-elle-abrogee-celle-du-vetus-ordo

      Disobedience is "OK when Lefebvre does it" when it's warranted. You don't wish to go into the doctrinal issues at stake here (nor do I), but it's not a question of doing as one likes for the fun of it, let alone for the purposes of promoting something wrong. Your description of Archbishop Lefebvre as a disobedient traitor is the caricature used by bossy and nasty bishops and priests for a generation to silence objectors who were treated like idiots. That's finished now; don't try to keep it going.

      Your assertion that the Novus Ordo was "an attempt to restore the primitive liturgy so in effect nothing new is being created" is wrong. Antiquarianism is the "revival" of things barely known, as opposed to tradition, which is the handing down of things. Can one really say the Novus Ordo is really the Mass as it was in the first centuries?

      Yes, there were shenanigans among some traditionalists (especially in the US, as Pope Francis commented). It is these idiots, not the SSPX, which has given the Pope an excuse to crack down on the traditional liturgy.

      You are welcome to go to your local parish, Dominicans Jesuits or Franciscans for all I care.

      Delete
    7. @Miguel Cervantes

      Horsepoop!


      >Son of Ya'kov, I'm sure you agree that obedience, even to a Pope, does not oblige if there is a serious motive.

      No I won't! F*** that! Weasel words! If the Pope tells me to cheat on my wife I will tell him to go bugger himself. I am only obligated to politely ignore the Pope on matters where he has no authority over me & if in my prudent judgement I dinny fancy it. Like support of the Death Penalty (which Benedict XVI said ye can disagree with the Pope on and Francis has not explicitly un-said it) or Global Warming or his other prudent political and policy opinions I dinny fancy for "reasons"(Yay Trump! Yay Conservatives!).

      But he is supreme in matters of Church discipline and final.

      >When the NO became obligatory, 6,000 Spanish priests sent a submission to Paul VI, and to Fr. Annibale Bugnini (11/12/69) declaring they would not say the NO, again basing their position on Ottaviani and Bacci.

      Then they can lawfully resign their ministries in protest & or retire. That is fine but they cannot in public celebrate unauthorized rites contrary to discipline.

      The Pope can if he wanted too suppress the Roman Rite and make us all eastern rites(it would be fecking stupid but he can). It is like in that trad favorite end times book(which Francis likes too it seems) LORD OF THE WORLD where the Pope for some mad reason suppressed all the Eastern Rites in the end times.

      He can do it and there is no doctrinal reason why he cannot do it. Like I said to Tim the Pope cannot suppress the The Mass but he can suppress particular rites. Now can we say schismatics who defy him have a lesser culpability for their sin if the Pope is being unreasonable about it? Sure, but there is STILL objectively no excuse for schism and no forgiveness without repentance of it.

      >Disobedience is "OK when Lefebvre does it" when it's warranted.

      That is pure Protestant nominalist shite and I reject it across the board. SSPX are traitors and hypocrites and a stain on the Trad movement. If they came back to the Church then Francis would have no argument to suppress the Old Rite. But their continued rebellion gives him cover to shite on obedient trads.

      If ye can resist the Pope's lawful commands then it is open season. Ratzinger told Lefebvre he was ironically guilty of the same modernist thinking by which he justified his rebellion.

      The SSPX and their fellow travelers can bugger themselves along with the Women's Ordination Movement or New Way Ministries and that shite. They are in essence the same. Two sides of the same schismatic coin. Protestants with Rosary beads and Latin the lot 'em.

      > Antiquarianism is the "revival" of things barely known, as opposed to tradition, which is the handing down of things.

      Only if ye do it unlawfully on yer own initiative. If the Pope does it formally then it is lawful and you are a schismatic for yer disobedience.

      There is nothing coherent in SSPX thinking. It is all Protestantism with Rosary beads.

      I'm nor having it.

      Lefebvre was a disobedient traitor who God forbid might have "gone to his own place"(how can he plead invincible ignorance). I can't judge but may God have mercy on his soul.

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    8. @Ficino

      I pray for yer return from Agnostic Skepticism to Catholicism.

      But it is interesting even an Agnostic can see the SSPX is wrong and inconsistent to disobey.

      One can argue the Pope being unreasonable with Church discipline might lessen the culpability of schismatics before God but the objective intrinsic evil nature of schism remains.

      Cheers.

      Delete
    9. The SSPX is a lie! I am nor having it.

      Why I left the Society of St. Pius X: An Open Letter to Fr. Gołaski
      https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/01/10/why-i-left-the-society-of-st-pius-x-an-open-letter-to-fr-golaski/

      Delete
    10. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      The Pope cannot suppress the celebration of the Holy Mass but the Pope can suppress any specific rite of the Mass. He shouldn't do it willy nilly but he has the right.

      That's not what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says -- "For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy" (CCC 1125). In other words, no, the Pope doesn't have the right to suppress any Rite of the Mass willy nilly.

      Make up yer mind? I have heard Traditionalists complain the St Paul VI liturgy is guilty of antiquarianism. That is the "error" that just because a practice is old therefore it is good. For example the fact the early Church took communion in the hand till later developments lead them to do away with that practice.

      Those two complaints aren't necessarily contradictory -- a practice which was abandoned thousands of years ago and is now being reintroduced is novel from the perspective of somebody in the present. If the Italian government started celebrating the inauguration of a new president by sacrificing 100 white bulls to Jupiter, I think that could reasonably be described as a new development, notwithstanding the fact that their Roman ancestors once did something similar.

      (That is, of course, leaving aside the question of just how far the "antiquarianisms" of the Novus Ordo actually reflect early Christian practice.)

      BTW did I mention I dinny CARE? I think Eastern Rite Liturgies are better. I am not interested in loving the Old Mass. I don't love it anymore than any other mass. I love them all. If it is a Mass in communion with the Bishop of Rome I/Moi by definition love it. If not & it is formally schismatic then it can go hang. I only support Trads having it if they want it and not the Vatican pooping on them fer wanting it like they.

      So people dinny bore me to death with arguments over which liturgy is "better" or "more Catholic".

      I don't think in those terms.


      You might not think in those terms, but for a lot of people, their main interaction with the Church is going to Mass on Sunday, so their idea of what Catholicism involves, what it requires of them, and what it believes, will be shaped by what they see at Mass. If Mass at their ordinary church clearly reflects orthodox Catholicism, they're likely to become orthodox Catholics; if it doesn't, they're not. That's part of the reason why, for example, England during the reign of Elizabeth I went from a majority-Catholic country to one of the most anti-Catholic countries in the world: by the time Elizabeth died, an entire generation or more had grown up with Protestant worship, and their view of Christianity was accordingly a strongly Protestant one.

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    11. @Gaius (love the Roman praenomen, btw), this of yours is the sort of thing that confirms me in my ditching the Faith:

      "That's part of the reason why, for example, England during the reign of Elizabeth I went from a majority-Catholic country to one of the most anti-Catholic countries in the world: by the time Elizabeth died, an entire generation or more had grown up with Protestant worship, and their view of Christianity was accordingly a strongly Protestant one."

      My reaction isn't at the level of a philosophical argument. It's more on the "I'm just saying" level. Isn't it a piss poor job of the omnipotent deity and all the angels and saints to let England slip away from the Faith because Henry wanted an heir AND couldn't keep it in his codpiece? For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost to the Faith for centuries, at the cost of millions of souls?

      I just don't buy it. I know there are lots of ways of spinning crises so as to try to defuse the PoE. But in the Iliad, at least the will of Zeus was fulfilled within ten years. How long has England been apostate? Where were Michael and the BVM - they couldn't do anything more than what Philip could manage?

      And now we're getting a growing chorus of those saying the See of St. Peter is vacant, or whatever.

      Why should I haul my butt back to confession and mass if the purported God behind it all admittedly is losing the matches? Not a strong position, chaps.

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    12. Son of Ya'kov, bluster (or petarade) does not deal with the matter, which is that Archbishop Lefebvre's "disobedience" was motivated by the questions raised by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci and not by rejection of the Pope's right to reform the liturgy. I'll have to leave the discussion here.

      Members of the SSPX are members of the Church; this is affirmed from the Pope down, apart from you.

      Some "obedient" "traditionalists", on the other hand, spend their time fighting against "the spirit of Vatican One" (Kwasnewski) or declaring the Pope to be "the prophet of the antichrist" (Vigano). There are plenty of other Catholics like that, with no canonical blemish, who can be used by the Pope as an excuse for cracking down on the Traditional Liturgy.

      The 6,000 Spanish priests didn't resign their ministries. Nor did they get an "indult" to say the Traditional Mass. Nevertheless they mostly continued saying it, before dying off. Fray Miguel Oltra, head of the Spanish Priests Society told my parents in the late 1970s that most of its seven thousand members continued to say the Old Mass. The real crime of Archbishop Lefebvre was his creation of a seminary and the ordination of new priests. That's what got him suspended in 1976 (years after the Novus Ordo became obligatory), remember.

      Now I must leave the room; enjoy your future "contributions" on the subject.

      Delete
    13. More Radtrad sophistry and stupidly.

      @Gaius

      CCC 1125 means the average individual minister can't on his own authority change the liturgy(that does no apply to the Pope formal legal acts now does it?) and it means nobody (not even the Pope) can change what is essential to it to make it a valid sacrament & rite. For example Pope St Paul VI could NOT decree the words "Hocus Pocus" replace the words of consecration in Latin or English.
      More fallacies of equivocation.

      The St Paul VI Rite is valid and lawful and per the teaching of Trent is an occasion of piety not impiety (which is anathema to say otherwise) and if yer claiming otherwise you justify Pope Francis' reasons fer nerfing the celebration of the Old Mass and you are a heretic and a false Traditionalist.

      Yer objection reminds me of Eastern Orthodox Schismatics who claim the Pope cannot add the Filoque to the creed because Nicaea places an anathema on "those who change the creed".

      Yeh when a King decrees none of his subjects may wear a Crown it is usually implied by rational beings that such a decree doesn't apply to the King Himself or members of the Royal Family.

      So yer full of it. I have been arguing with yer kind about this for 30 years and I am bored to death over it.

      >In other words, no, the Pope doesn't have the right to suppress any Rite of the Mass willy nilly.

      Said no Church Authority ever...He does have that objective right. Now wither he is acting reasonably or rationally that is up fer grabs but yer obedience is required before God even if it sucks and it does.

      >You might not think in those terms, but for a lot of people, their main interaction with the Church is going to Mass on Sunday, so their idea of what Catholicism involves, what it requires of them, and what it believes, will be shaped by what they see at Mass.

      Wrong! You have it backwards. You must be instructed in the fundamentals of the Faith before attending Mass. That is why we make future converts leave before the consecration.

      Scott Hahn learned enough theology & doctrine so that when he attended his first Mass he was blown away. Note it was a St Paul VI liturgy he attended not a St Pius V. So nuts to this nonsense. You don't learn the Faith from the Mass. You are taught the faith and you recognize it in the Mass.

      >If Mass at their ordinary church clearly reflects orthodox Catholicism, they're likely to become orthodox Catholics; if it doesn't, they're not.

      So Scott Hahn is not an orthodox Catholic? Bugger off SSPX Protestant! I won't bother responding to the rest of yer nonsense. I have work to do....I am not in the mood.

      Every Radtrad who claims the St Paul VI liturgy is "Protestant" justifies Pope Francis' actions. Nobody wants that but keep it up and I will soon become a fan of his nerfing instead of an opponent.

      Schism is fer morons!

      Delete
    14. @Miguel Cervantes


      >Son of Ya'kov, bluster (or petarade) does not deal with the matter, which is that Archbishop Lefebvre's "disobedience" was motivated by the questions raised by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci and not by rejection of the Pope's right to reform the liturgy.

      Who cares? If the Church being ruled by wicked and sinful men is not a justification fur schism then Ottaviani and Bacci mere opinions on what they think are the short comings of the St Paul VI liturgy are not justifications either.

      If my wife was god forbid a dirty whoor (the woman is a Saint BTW especially since she endures being married to moi) and hit me in the head every morning that does not justify me getting some on the side.

      Archbishop Lefebvre's act of schism is no different than a man bonking another woman because he caught her with the Pool boi.

      Wrong is wrong and it put the stain of schism on the Old Rite by association. It was a scandal.

      >The 6,000 Spanish priests didn't resign their ministries. Nor did they get an "indult" to say the Traditional Mass. Nevertheless they mostly continued saying it,

      Then they where wrong and wicked fur doing so.

      There is no justification fur schism anymore then there could be a justification fer me bonking another woman other then me wife (which BTW I would NEVER do).

      Ye canny piss yerselfs over the lack standards of communion to the divorce out of one side of yer mouth and justify schism on the other side.


      Admit both are wrong and then we can be at peace.

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    15. @ficino:

      My reaction isn't at the level of a philosophical argument. It's more on the "I'm just saying" level. Isn't it a piss poor job of the omnipotent deity and all the angels and saints to let England slip away from the Faith because Henry wanted an heir AND couldn't keep it in his codpiece? For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost to the Faith for centuries, at the cost of millions of souls?

      Well, we don't actually know how many souls were lost, because we don't have reliable statistics on how many people get to Heaven. The Catholic visionary Maria Anna Lindmayr once said "many of those who have lived and died in Lutherdom... [because they erred out of ignorance] received from God the grace of repentance at the end of their life," and the same would surely be true of Anglicans. Conversely, we don't know how many pre-Reformation English Catholics went to Heaven, nor how this compares with the number of post-Reformation English Catholics (though we can assume a higher portion of the latter went to Heaven, since it's more meritorious to be Catholic in the face of persecution than to be Catholic in a Catholic society).

      Delete
    16. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      CCC 1125 means the average individual minister can't on his own authority change the liturgy(that does no apply to the Pope formal legal acts now does it?) and it means nobody (not even the Pope) can change what is essential to it to make it a valid sacrament & rite. For example Pope St Paul VI could NOT decree the words "Hocus Pocus" replace the words of consecration in Latin or English.

      It simply talks about "changing the liturgy", not about "changing what is essential to make it a valid sacrament".

      The St Paul VI Rite is valid and lawful and per the teaching of Trent is an occasion of piety not impiety (which is anathema to say otherwise) and if yer claiming otherwise you justify Pope Francis' reasons fer nerfing the celebration of the Old Mass and you are a heretic and a false Traditionalist.

      The Council of Trent took place four centuries before the Novus Ordo Missae was promulgated, and was referring to what we'd call the TLM in that Canon.

      If anything, Trent is more of a problem for the Novus Ordo: if "the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, of which the Catholic Church makes use in the celebration of masses, are... offices of piety," then rewriting the ceremonies is at best pointless, at worst arrogant and impious, and removing most of the outward signs (e.g., by reducing the number of genuflections or signs of the Cross) reduces the offices of piety provided by the Mass.

      Wrong! You have it backwards. You must be instructed in the fundamentals of the Faith before attending Mass. That is why we make future converts leave before the consecration.

      I'm sorry, but this isn't at all how real life works. In the first place, ordinary parishes, cathedral, etc. -- even in the Vatican -- don't make future converts leave before the consecration. In the second place, "instruction first, Mass attendance second" only works for adult converts, not for cradle Catholics (unless you're suggesting we stop parents bringing their young children to Mass). Thirdly, whilst some people are capable of arguing themselves into belief in the Real Presence in the teeth of every Catholic Mass they actually attend, others aren't, and will either conclude that belief in the Real Presence isn't actually obligatory, or else find the cognitive dissonance too great and abandon Catholicism altogether.



      Benedict XVI, back when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, commented that the Novus Ordo downplays the sacrificial nature of the Mass compared to the Vetus Ordo; Annibale Bugnini, the man who actually composed the Novus Ordo, said that he wanted to remove aspects which might offend Protestants. Are they both "rad trads"?

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    17. @Gaius

      Yer giving me more Radtrad Protestant heresy...

      >It simply talks about "changing the liturgy", not about "changing what is essential to make it a valid sacrament".

      The text you cited said " Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy" (CCC 1125).

      Clearly that refers to the validity of the sacrament. The St Paul VI liturgy is clearly NOT contrary to the obedience of the Faith nor contrary to the mystery(which is the sacrament).

      Nice try Prot boi.

      >The Council of Trent took place four centuries before the Novus Ordo Missae was promulgated, and was referring to what we'd call the TLM in that Canon.

      That is not what the text says...QUOTE" "If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments and outward signs which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of Masses are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema."

      It refers to "Masses" which applies to all approved rites of the Church not just the Latin Rite nor one specific version of it. Nowhere does Trent say this canon applies to the St Pius V liturgy alone. So this doesn't apply to the Ambrosian Rite? I think not....

      An approved liturgy of the Church cannot be an office of impiety. The Paul VI liturgy is approved. Do the math. For something that is intrinsically evil is naturally an incentive to impiety, while the Council of Trent declares dogmatically that the approved liturgical ceremonies of the Catholic Church cannot be incentives to impiety. So Trent does not allow you to claim this of any approved liturgy.

      >then rewriting the ceremonies is at best pointless, at worst arrogant and impious, and removing most of the outward signs (e.g., by reducing the number of genuflections or signs of the Cross) reduces the offices of piety provided by the Mass

      Says no Church Father or Theologian ever.

      >I'm sorry, but this isn't at all how real life works.

      That is entirely how it works. If yer not taught the faith the Mass will teach you nothing. This crisis in the Church has nothing to do with the liturgy. The faith is simply not taught to people beyond a childhood level. CATHOLIC ANSWERS has been justly complaining about that for years.

      >even in the Vatican -- don't make future converts leave before the consecration.

      My Novus Ordo Church did as far back as I remember. Yer full of it Radtrad. It showed the converts had to be prepared for the mystery.

      What you need to do with Kids is teach them the Faith. When I learned my faith beyond the bare bones I learned till confirmation the Mass came alive for me. The Old Mass would have taught me less since I didn't understand Latin.

      BTW I know yer full of it because every anti-Catholic Fundamentalist I ever know who complained about the Mass being a sacrifice cited the text of the St Paul VI Mass at me not the St Pius V.

      >Benedict XVI, back when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, commented that the Novus Ordo downplays the sacrificial nature of the Mass compared to the Vetus Ordo;

      Nope! He never said that.

      >Bugnini, the man who actually composed the Novus Ordo, said that he wanted to remove aspects which might offend Protestants.

      This is an old SSPX lie...nope!

      Radtrad are Protestants with Rosary beads and Latin. Nothing more. They are nor True Traditionalists or Catholic.

      Delete
    18. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      The text you cited said " Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy" (CCC 1125). Clearly that refers to the validity of the sacrament.

      I don't find your interpretation "clear" at all. If the CCC had meant "The Pope can change the liturgy arbitrarily, except where doing so would invalidate the sacrament," it would have said that.

      It refers to "Masses" which applies to all approved rites of the Church not just the Latin Rite nor one specific version of it. Nowhere does Trent say this canon applies to the St Pius V liturgy alone. So this doesn't apply to the Ambrosian Rite? I think not....

      Sure, it applies to other sixteenth-century Rites of the Church as well. But it nowhere says that all Rites are equally pleasing or pious. Indeed, it's difficult to see how the introduction of the NO could be justified on such an assumption -- all that conflict and division over a Mass that's actually no better than what came before it?

      Says no Church Father or Theologian ever.

      There has been plenty written over the last fifty years on how the Novus Ordo is a less perfect embodiment of the Catholic faith than the Vetus Ordo. If you're not aware of this, that's a problem at your end.

      That is entirely how it works. If yer not taught the faith the Mass will teach you nothing. This crisis in the Church has nothing to do with the liturgy. The faith is simply not taught to people beyond a childhood level. CATHOLIC ANSWERS has been justly complaining about that for years.

      The ceremonies and rites of the Mass have an inescapable catechetical effect. To quote Joseph Shaw:

      "But there is a more relevant historical example of people affected by the new liturgy who were not affected by the new catechetics, namely the non-teaching adult population of the Western world in the decade after the imposition of the New Mass. They had received traditional catechesis, but nevertheless a large proportion of them ceased to practice the faith in the course of the 1970s.

      What we don’t have is a case where the new catechetics was imposed and not the new Mass. But there is a very simple reason for this: it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do it, because in a thousand ways the prayers and ceremonies of the Mass would have contradicted it. The modernists who imposed the new catechetics did not get rid of the TLM as a convenient ‘red herring’: it was essential to their project.

      The counter-catechising nature of the Novus Ordo, as it is usually experienced, has been explored by no less a person than Pope Benedict XVI. In his book ‘The Spirit of the Liturgy’ he explains how, to give just one example, Mass facing the people creates the impression that the community is worshipping itself in a closed circle. The impression is insidious: it is repeated at every Mass one goes to, and bypasses intellectual arguments. The ‘closed circle’ is established in the mind as the objective reality of worship. The effect of ritual on belief is also the theme of Martin Mosebach’s brilliant book ‘The Heresy of Formlessness’: he talks, for example, of the shattering effect on ordinary Catholics of being told not to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. They are being told, in a way which it is impossible to evade, that the Blessed Sacrament does not have the importance which demands the posture of kneeling. Again, Archbishop Ranjith has written about how communion in the hand undermines faith in the Blessed Sacrament. The effect of the liturgy on faith cannot be ignored: lex orandi, lex credendi." http://www.lmschairman.org/2008/10/daphne-macleod-liturgy-or-catechesis.html

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    19. My Novus Ordo Church did as far back as I remember. Yer full of it Radtrad. It showed the converts had to be prepared for the mystery.

      No church I've ever been to has done this, and I've attended Masses in six different countries. I think you're making this up.

      What you need to do with Kids is teach them the Faith. When I learned my faith beyond the bare bones I learned till confirmation the Mass came alive for me. The Old Mass would have taught me less since I didn't understand Latin.

      Wait, I thought you just said the Mass isn't meant to teach people. Now you say that it is?

      Nope! He never said that.

      “Even if one leaves to one side the first affirmation of the writer as a rhetorical exaggeration, there remains a troubling problem, which we should face up to. A sizable party of catholic liturgists seems to have practically arrived at the conclusion that Luther, rather than Trent, was substantially right in the sixteenth century debate; one can detect much the same position in the post conciliar discussions on the Priesthood. The great historian of the Council of Trent, Hubert Jedin, pointed this out in 1975, in the preface to the last volume of his history of the Council of Trent: "The attentive reader ... in reading this will not be less dismayed than the author, when he realizes that many of the things - in fact almost everything – that disturbed the men of the past is being put forward anew today." It is only against this background of the effective denial of the authority of Trent, that the bitterness of the struggle against allowing the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal, after the liturgical reform, can be understood. The possibility of so celebrating constitutes the strongest, and thus (for them) the most intolerable contradiction of the opinion of those who believe that the faith in the Eucharist formulated by Trent has lost its value.” Theology of Liturgy- Pope Benedict XVI (piercedhearts.org)

      So, the TLM is a “most intolerable contradiction” to those who “have practically arrived at the conclusion that Luther, rather than Trent, was substantially right in the sixteenth century debate”, but the Novus Ordo, by implication, isn’t.

      This is an old SSPX lie...nope!

      He said: “And yet it is the love of souls and the desire to help in any way the road to union of the separated brethren, by removing every stone that could even remotely constitute an obstacle or difficulty, that has driven the Church to make even these painful sacrifices."

      Delete
    20. Gaius yer sophistry & substandard reading skills are tedious.

      >I don't find your interpretation "clear" at all.

      The burden is on you too show CCC 1125 prohibits the St Paul VI Mass or that any specific changes made are contrary to the Pope’s authority. You have not shown what changes are prohibited even by the Vatican. The natural interpretation is whatever is materially germane to the validity sacrament cannot be changed. If you disagree the burden is on you to show from this text what is specifically forbidden & how the St Paul VI liturgy crossed the line. You have not done that and I find it hysterical a so called Trad is being ‘ambiguous”.

      >Sure, it applies to other sixteenth-century Rites of the Church as well. 

      Argument from special pleading. You just moved the goal posts. If it can apply to any rite that exists up till then it logically follows it applies to all authorized rites at all times. Since the St Paul VI Mass is based on earlier existing simplified liturgies then by definition applies to the St Paul VI rite. The burden is on you to show otherwise.

      Delete
    21. Gaius

      part II
      >There has been plenty written over the last fifty years on how the Novus Ordo is a less perfect embodiment of the Catholic faith than the Vetus Ordo.

      You made a claim about Benedict XVI if you cannot produce a citation then clear off. I have no use for trolls.

      >The ceremonies and rites of the Mass have an inescapable catechetical effect.

      Nope! Unless you are taught the content of the faith properly the liturgy will teach you nothing. Bad catechetics has existed since before Vatican II where they just taught kids to memorize the Baltimore Catechism which they recited by rote and promptly forgot after confirmation. People fall away if they are not taught properly. OR taught to have a relationship with Jesus.

      >To quote Joseph Shaw:

      Who cares? My Mother in Law of happy memory was raised in the PreV2 Church and she told me it was not peaches and cream. The Priests mumbled the Mass. They taught the faith badly and people didn’t know anything. Yer pining for a romantic world that never existed.

      All yer nonsense is contradicted by THE LITURGY BETRAYED by Denis Crouan. I have no reason to believe Shaw, Mosebach or Archbishop Ranjith over him (or vice versa). There is no such thing as an infallible view of discipline.. None at all.

      >No church I've ever been to has done this, and I've attended Masses in six different countries. I think you're making this up.

      I saw it with my own eyes. So I should believe you over my lying eyes? Not happening Radtrad Protestant.

      >Wait, I thought you just said the Mass isn't meant to teach people. Now you say that it is?

      Yer sophistry is tedious. Yer trolling is boring. You sir claimed the liturgy alone is the sole means of teaching us the faith and that the St Paul VI is inadequate to the task. Well by definition if I canny understand the liturgy because it is not in a language I know then by yer own standards I would learn less from it. Now I have claimed correctly you need to be properly instructed before hand. Only then can you learn from the Mass and as I pointed out Scott Hahn learned a lot and the St Paul VI came alive to him.

      >You quote  Theology of Liturgy- Pope Benedict XVI (piercedhearts.org

      Where does that quote of Benedict say that “the Novus Ordo downplays the sacrificial nature of the Mass compared to the Vetus Ordo”? Nowhere! A text without a context is a pretext. Sorry but I have debated too many Jehovah’s Witnesses in my time who quote “the Father is Greater that I” to death to try to make it seem St John denied the deity of Our Lord.

      I foundyour text here.
      https://www.piercedhearts.org/benedict_xvi/Cardinal%20Ratzinger/theology_liturgy.htm

      Oh wow! Sorry but Benedict wasn’t complaining about the St Paul VI liturgy at all but was responding to the statements of a German Catholic liturgist named Stefan Orth (who is MY AGE born in 1968). Who made his comments long after V2. Benedict responses “I certainly don’t need to say that I am not one of the "numerous Catholics" who consider it the most appalling horror and a damnable impiety to speak of the sacrifice of the Mass. It goes without saying that the writer did not mention my book on the spirit of the liturgy, which analyses the idea of sacrifice in detail. His diagnosis remains dismaying. Is it true? I do not know these numerous Catholics who consider it a damnable impiety to understand the Eucharist as a sacrifice. The second, more circumspect, diagnosis according to which the sacrifice of the Mass is open to misunderstandings is, on the other hand, easily shown to be correct. “END Ouch! Way to misquote there buddy. Context is a bitch. Sorry I have read it a bunch of times and nowhere do I see Benedict attacking the liturgy of St Paul VI. People can read the link above for context.

      Tedious!

      Delete
    22. Gaius

      part III

      >So, the TLM is a “most intolerable contradiction” to those who “have practically arrived at the conclusion that Luther, rather than Trent, was substantially right in the sixteenth century debate”, but the Novus Ordo, by implication, isn’t.

      Except nowhere in the text do I see Benedict claim he is talking about the content of the St Paul VI Mass? He is clearly referring to Stefan Orth's claims about the opinions of certain post Vatican II liturgists and Benedict says he is not among them and that he knows of none who are of these Pro Luther opinions.

      Here people can read for themselves.
      https://www.piercedhearts.org/benedict_xvi/Cardinal%20Ratzinger/theology_liturgy.htm

      "I do not know these numerous Catholics who consider it a damnable impiety to understand the Eucharist as a sacrifice."-Benedict XVI Theology of Liturgy

      Wow! That was bad!!! Yer own source betrays you.


      >>This is an old SSPX lie...nope!

      >He said: “And yet it is the love of souls and the desire to help in any way the road to union of the separated brethren, by removing every stone that could even remotely constitute an obstacle or difficulty, that has driven the Church to make even these painful sacrifices."

      Well this is interesting! From a Trad apologetics webite.

      https://queenofmartyrspress.blogspot.com/2011/12/for-record-and-from-source-what-bugnini.html

      So Bugnini just wanted to remove the words "heretics and schismatics" to soften the 7th pray for the unity of Christians to 'all brethren who believe in Christ."?

      So what? This is ironic considering the SSPX are schismatics who want the rest of us to consider them Catholics...

      Yer scatter shot is altogether tiresome.

      Gaius I dinny know why yer still here? I WILL NEVER fall in love with the Old St Pius V Mass. I already fell for the Eastern Rites and tragically I can't attend them because my kids have autism and are too disruptive to stay still during a long liturgy. So the St Paul VI Mass is a better fit for them. But at the end of the day I get the same Body of Christ.

      Liturgy wars BORE ME. I am not interested.

      Now off you pop!

      Delete
    23. PS I am all for loyal Trads getting the liturgy they fanny but schismatic heretics who spend their time bashing the St Paul VI do NOTHING but give cover to Pope Francis' stated reasons for nerfing the celebration of the Old Mass.

      You SSPX apologists need to bugger off or return to the Church. There is no third choice.

      Delete
    24. Liturgy wars BORE ME. I am not interested.

      The fact that you've written thirteen posts on liturgical topics says otherwise.

      Anyway, I find your belligerent ultramontanism frankly rather ridiculous. The Church can and does produce wrong-headed liturgical reforms and texts which are later rescinded -- the Quignonez Breviary and the Bea Psalter are probably the best examples. Catholics aren't required to approve of every liturgical fad, even if it's backed by the Pope, and pretending otherwise isn't "loyal", it's servile.

      Delete
    25. Wrong again Gaius.

      >The fact that you've written thirteen posts on liturgical topics says otherwise.

      No I wrote posts on the authority of the Pope over the liturgy. I really dinny care which liturgy (St Pius V vs St Paul VI) is "better".

      If personal preference and personal aesthetics are the issue I choose neither. I prefer eastern rites. Yer the one obsessed with the Old Mass is "objectively" better than the New Mass meme. It is nonsense IMHO.

      >Anyway, I find your belligerent ultramontanism frankly rather ridiculous.

      Rather I find yer High Church Protestantism tedious. As well as yer apologetics for schism which is contrary to the unanimous teaching of the Fathers. Schism is NEVER JUSTIFIED even if the Church is being ruled by wicked and sinful men.

      I threw in the belligerence for free as I have no tolerance for schism wither it is Women's Ordination nutters or SSPX or SSPV wackos.

      I dinny apologize for being Catholic. Death first!

      >The Church can and does produce wrong-headed liturgical reforms and texts which are later rescinded..

      No argument and She should rescind restrictions on the Old Mass BUT I see no reason to deny or question Her authority in the process to do so. You don't need the Old Mass for salvation. You need the Mass.

      >the Quignonez Breviary and the Bea Psalter are probably the best examples.

      If a future Pius XIII or John Paul III or Paul VII or John XXIV or Benedict XVII or even Francis II wants to revoke what Francis did I am all for it. But anybody who advocates breaking with the Pope till some future Pope with commonsense gets in power to do this can f*** off.

      Schsim is evil. No and's, if's or but's. Ye dinny agree? God forgive you.

      >Catholics aren't required to approve of every liturgical fad, even if it's backed by the Pope, and pretending otherwise isn't "loyal", it's servile.

      Yer a person who clearly didn't read my first post in this tread.

      I don't approve of what the Pope has done nerfing the celebration of the Old Mass. I merely reject the greater intrinsic evil of not obeying the Pope's lawful act. No matter how stupid.

      You think Schism & disobedience is OK? Sorry you have problems if you do. If ye don't than stop yer crabing. I'm on yer side ya git!!!

      Now away with ye. The Pope has a right to suppress the Old Mass even if doing so is stupid. We obey and pray for a future Pope to change it. That isn't hard laddie!

      Delete
    26. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      First of all, I've never defended or advocated schism. You seem to be arguing strenuously with somebody who only exists in your head.

      Now away with ye. The Pope has a right to suppress the Old Mass even if doing so is stupid. We obey and pray for a future Pope to change it. That isn't hard laddie!

      If that's the case, it's impossible for the Church to have a stable liturgical life, and impossible for the faithful to have a stable prayer life, because the Pope might at any moment decide to completely upend their prayer life for any reason, or for no particular reason, if his whims lie in that direction. But since having a stable prayer life is a prerequisite for living a Christian life, the Papacy, if it did indeed have the power to suppress a Rite of Apostolic origin, would be an obstacle to those seeking to live a Christian life. But it's absurd to suppose that Christ would institute an authority which would provide an obstacle to those seeking to live a Christian life. Therefore, either the Pope doesn't have the power to suppress a Rite of Apostolic origin, or the Papacy was not instituted by Christ -- in which case, of course, Catholicism is false.

      Delete
    27. Gaius you started this. Remember that.

      >First of all, I've never defended or advocated schism. You seem to be arguing strenuously with somebody who only exists in your head.

      Excuse me but yer the one making the wacko claims CCC 1125 prohibits the Pope from instituting the St Paul VI Mass. Yer claims are wacko jacko. Yer the one violating the Council of Trent attacking the St Paul VI Mass.

      Yer Protestant reasoning is tedious.


      >If that's the case, it's impossible for the Church to have a stable liturgical life, and impossible for the faithful to have a stable prayer life, because the Pope might at any moment decide to completely upend their prayer life for any reason, or for no particular reason, if his whims lie in that direction.
      Then what are ye yammering at me fur?

      So here ye reject Vatican I and the general teaching of the Church on the supreme authority of the Pope over Church discipline. Pius IX said "I am Tradition". Yer argument is with him.

      As for yer claim we cannot have a stable prayer life I cry Bullshit! Yer off yer gob. I could go on youtube learn some Latin Prayers and pray what I like when I like in whatever language I fancy using whatever prayer books I like and there isn't a thing Pope Francis can do about it.

      I can attend ANY authorized liturgical rite in the Catholic Church. Discipline is not doctrine and it can change and has changed and will change till the Second Coming.

      >But since having a stable prayer life is a prerequisite for living a Christian life, the Papacy, if it did indeed have the power to suppress a Rite of Apostolic origin, would be an obstacle to those seeking to live a Christian life.

      Nope! Since there would always be a Mass. The Pope can suppress any rite but He cannot abolish the Mass. The St Paul VI rite is Apostolic too. It is Pope St Paul VI lawful version of it like the St Pius V Mass was St Pius V lawful version of the Roman Rite. In essence they are identical.

      Yer wacko belief the Pius V Mass is the sole Mass deserves my mockery and scorn because it is batshit insane.

      >But it's absurd to suppose that Christ would institute an authority which would provide an obstacle to those seeking to live a Christian life.

      You are yer own obstacle. If you cannot love God save by the St Pius V rite well you made an idol of a rite over the Mass.

      You just make Pope Francis look correct here.

      >Therefore, either the Pope doesn't have the power to suppress a Rite of Apostolic origin, or the Papacy was not instituted by Christ -- in which case, of course, Catholicism is false.

      Said no Catholic Theologian ever..this is Lutheran shite!

      The Pope can suppress any rite. Now if you want to argue he shouldn't suppress this one I am on yer side. But you sir do NOT have a Catholic mentality but a Lutheran one.

      What you said above is heresy!

      Delete
    28. @Gaius
      Who do I believe? You or Pius XII?
      Pope Pius XII Mediator Dei:

      58. ...[T]he Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship…
      59. The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days--which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation--to other dates; those, finally, who delete from the prayer-books approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.
      60. The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth. In spite of this, the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites may be of much advantage to the people. But the Apostolic See alone is empowered to grant this permission. It is forbidden, therefore, to take any action whatever of this nature without having requested and obtained such consent, since the sacred liturgy, as We have said, is entirely subject to the discretion and approval of the Holy See... [6]END QUOTE

      Yer belief the Pope is not supreme in the matter of liturgy or cannot suppress old rites or develop existing ones is nonsense and contrary to Catholic teaching.

      Delete
    29. Excuse me but yer the one making the wacko claims CCC 1125 prohibits the Pope from instituting the St Paul VI Mass. Yer claims are wacko jacko. Yer the one violating the Council of Trent attacking the St Paul VI Mass.

      I never claimed that CCC 1125 prohibits the Pope from instituting the Novus Ordo, I claimed it prohibits him from abolishing the Vetus Ordo. Even if I had made that claim, that's still different to advocating schism.

      So here ye reject Vatican I and the general teaching of the Church on the supreme authority of the Pope over Church discipline. Pius IX said "I am Tradition". Yer argument is with him.


      If Pius IX really said that, then that was very foolish of him. Tradition is bigger than whoever happens to be the current Pope.

      As for yer claim we cannot have a stable prayer life I cry Bullshit! Yer off yer gob. I could go on youtube learn some Latin Prayers and pray what I like when I like in whatever language I fancy using whatever prayer books I like and there isn't a thing Pope Francis can do about it.

      The Mass is "the source and summit of the Christian life"; how then can you live a Christian life, if the source and summit of that life is subject to arbitrary change? And then there's the position that priests and religious find themselves in, if they have to completely overhaul their prayer books and missals. It's probably not a coincidence that so many thousands abandoned their vocations after the Novus Ordo was imposed on them.

      Nope! Since there would always be a Mass. The Pope can suppress any rite but He cannot abolish the Mass. The St Paul VI rite is Apostolic too. It is Pope St Paul VI lawful version of it like the St Pius V Mass was St Pius V lawful version of the Roman Rite. In essence they are identical.

      The Novus Ordo was drawn up by a liturgical committee in the 1960s. It's no more of Apostolic origin than the Book of Common Prayer.

      Yer wacko belief the Pius V Mass is the sole Mass deserves my mockery and scorn because it is batshit insane.

      That would indeed be a wacko belief. Fortunately it's not one I've ever defended, either here or elsewhere.

      Said no Catholic Theologian ever..this is Lutheran shite!

      Ah yes, Luther, that famous fan of the traditional Roman Mass.

      58. ...[T]he Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship…

      Pius XII, of course, was writing during a period when Popes claimed unprecedented authority over the wider Church. This isn't how things worked in previous centuries, when liturgical changes originated in all parts of the Catholic world, and spread through imitation rather than through Papal fiat. The Filioque, for example, was first added to the Creed in sixth-century Spain, wasn't used in Rome itself until 1014, and didn't become universal in the Latin Rite until well into the thirteenth century. For that matter, it's also not how things have worked in recent decades, with many of the distinctive features of the Novus Ordo -- use of the vernacular, Mass said versus populum, altar girls, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, etc. -- having been adopted by local parishes and only later given official permission by the Pope. So, in short, Pius XII's statements here represent an (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to centralise power, and can't be taken as normative even for the Latin Rite, much less the Church as a whole.

      Delete
    30. Gaius yer back peddling harder than the media post Biden's press conference and yer even less convincing to me.

      >I never claimed that CCC 1125 prohibits the Pope from instituting the Novus Ordo, I claimed it prohibits him from abolishing the Vetus Ordo.

      That later claim CANNOT be justified from a literal reading of the text or from the intent of the authors and or the teachings of Pius XII. It is yer Protestant novelty.

      >Even if I had made that claim, that's still different to advocating schism.

      If you deny the Pope's authority you are proximate to schism and the SSPX is schismatic as Cardinal Bruke correctly noted. Yer defending their errors. If a liberal Catholics complains to me about the Church oppressing women and that male leadership is the pits one need not wait for him/her to explicitly call for women's ordination to see the writing on the wall.

      You advocate extremist heterodox views contrary to the faith & yer giving cover to Francis' complaints. I am nor having it.
      You also make legitimate & lawful traditionalist criticism that much harder.

      >If Pius IX really said that, then that was very foolish of him. Tradition is bigger than whoever happens to be the current Pope.

      This is where false Traditionalism leads. You reject Vatican II in favor of the pre-Vatican II church(specifically ye custom made version of it) and in the end you reject even the Pre Vatican II Church teaching as well if it doesn't fit yer schismatic narrative.

      You know better than Pius IX or Pius XII? Clear off Orangemen!

      >The Mass is "the source and summit of the Christian life";

      No sir the divine Eucharist is. Any Traditional Anglican can celebrate a Latin "Mass" that would have all the smells and bells ye like and in the end it is just "bread and wine" since the Man celebrating it has no Holy Orders as noted by Pope Leo XIII.

      >how then can you live a Christian life, if the source and summit of that life is subject to arbitrary change?

      So you really don't believe Sacraments works ex opere operato? So how did Catholics Pre St Gregory I manage it? The Paul VI liturgy is in essence a restoration of that?

      >And then there's the position that priests and religious find themselves in, if they have to completely overhaul their prayer books and missals.

      They are under obedience. God will reward them for it. If Pope Francis is acting out of malice God will judge him. What is that to you? Shut up and obey or learn to "resist" lawfully without doctrinal error.

      >It's probably not a coincidence that so many thousands abandoned their vocations after the Novus Ordo was imposed on them.

      Catholic blogger Steve Kellmeyer pointed out that is largely a myth.

      >The Novus Ordo was drawn up by a liturgical committee in the 1960s. It's no more of Apostolic origin than the Book of Common Prayer.

      Nope! Also by that non-logic logic the Pius V liturgy is not Apostolic but was drawn up by Pope Pius V. Yer inconsistent and incoherent. Typical Protestant.

      >Ah yes, Luther, that famous fan of the traditional Roman Mass.

      Yer hero obviously since you have his mentality.

      >Pius XII, of course, was writing during a period when Popes claimed unprecedented authority over the wider Church.

      Called it! You reject Papal Authority. Yer a Protestant! Pius XII isn't claiming authority. He has it already. That is Tradition.

      >So, in short, Pius XII's statements here represent an (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to centralise power, and can't be taken as normative even for the Latin Rite, much less the Church as a whole.

      Wow! I called it. No need to get into the weeds here. You reject Tradition.

      >This isn't how things worked in previous centuries

      We didn't have mass communication then.

      Radical Traditionalism is Protestantism with Rosary beads. It is evil and a blight on authentic Traditionalism.

      Called it!

      Delete
    31. Geez Gaius! If Pius IX and Pius XII aren't good enough fer you then we have nothing in common! Yer just not Catholic. Yer a Protestant with Rosary beads.

      This why rejecting Vatican II is intrinsically evil and why the SSPX refusal to submit to Vatican II is intrinsically evil. Argue all you like over the "ambiguous" language of V2 (seems clear enough to moi) or how it should be interpreted or whatever problems you think it creates but when you reject one lawful Church authority you will soon reject two then three then four.

      Geez man! Pius IX and Pius XII are hardly Hans Kung and you reject their teaching in favor of "Tradition". Well SOD THAT!

      Go away you have nothing to teach me or anything to say I care to hear.

      Delete
    32. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      Your ultramontanism is absurd and incoherent. To prove it, let me point to the Apostolic Bull Auctorem Fidei, issued by Pope Pius VI to condemn the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia. Among the eighty-five condemnations is this:

      33. The proposition of the synod by which it shows itself eager to remove the cause through which, in
      part, there has been induced a forget-fulness of the principles relating to the order of the liturgy, "by
      recalling it (the liturgy) to a greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language, by
      uttering it in a loud voice"; as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church,
      had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated,—
      rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable to the charges of heretics against it.
      https://web.archive.org/web/20120426051714/http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=10742#p10742

      Greater simplicity? Use of the vernacular? Saying the Mass in a loud voice? Why, it's as if someone were summarising the principles behind the liturgical reforms of the 1960s -- but unfortunately, Pope Pius goes on to condemn such changes as "rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, and favourable to the charges of heretics against it."

      I'm afraid there's no getting out of this one. Either Pius VI was right to issue this condemnation, in which case Paul VI was wrong to promulgate the Novus Ordo Missae; or Paul VI was right to promulgate the Novus Ordo, in which case Pius VI was wrong to issue this condemnation. So, you schism-inclining crypto-Lutheran, which Pope do you think you know better than -- Pius VI, or Paul VI?

      Delete
    33. Comparing Auctorem Fidei with the Novus Ordo Missae is, I think, sufficient to dispatch the ultramontanist claim that we're obliged to agree with every official Papal document. However, since there were a few errors of fact in the above post, which might perhaps lead simple souls astray, I thought I'd rebut some of the more egregious:

      This is where false Traditionalism leads. You reject Vatican II in favor of the pre-Vatican II church(specifically ye custom made version of it) and in the end you reject even the Pre Vatican II Church teaching as well if it doesn't fit yer schismatic narrative.

      I believe, with St. Vincent of Lerins, that we should assent to "what has been believed always, everywhere, and by everyone", and that, when some claim departs from the historical common opinion of the Church, we should hold to the common opinion. So when a Pope claims greater authority than he was traditionally viewed as having, I hold to the traditional view. It has nothing to do with pre- or post-Vatican II, or with trying to fossilise Church teaching and practice in 1961, or any other year for that matter.

      So you really don't believe Sacraments works ex opere operato?

      Of course they do, but it doesn't follow that we all receive the same fruits regardless of our interior disposition. As St. Thomas Aquinas says in the Corpus Christi chant, "Sumunt boni, sumunt mali, sorte tamen inaequali, vitae vel interitus" -- "The good take, the bad take, yet with unequal destiny, of life or of ruin." Or is St. Thomas isn't a good enough authority for you, here's what St. Paul says: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord" (1 Cor. 11.29).

      So yes, our interior disposition absolutely does make a difference to the fruits we receive from the Sacrament. And the form of liturgy does make a difference to our interior disposition -- heck, the entire justification for the liturgical reform of the 1960s was that it was necessary to stimulate active participation on the part of the laity, without which the Sacrament would be less efficacious for them.

      Nope! Also by that non-logic logic the Pius V liturgy is not Apostolic but was drawn up by Pope Pius V. Yer inconsistent and incoherent. Typical Protestant.

      Compare the liturgy of Pius V with the liturgy of the preceding Pope, and then compare the liturgy of Paul VI with the liturgy of the preceding Pope. There is absolutely no comparison regarding the sheer scale of the changes that took place.

      Delete
    34. Yer hero obviously since you have his mentality.

      Yes, my mentality is absolutely the same as that of Martin Luther, who abolished the Apostolic Roman liturgy as far as he was able and replaced it with a new liturgy he'd made up from scratch. Proper galaxy-brain moment there.

      We didn't have mass communication then.

      So? If the Pope has the power, it's part of the Church's very constitution, which can't be changed and is always valid. For as the German Bishops said post-Vatican I (in an explanation which Pius IX said "leaves nothing to be desired", lest we think their views represent some kind of rad-trad, schismatic tendency):

      "The decrees of the Vatican Council give not even the shadow of a foundation to the assertion that the pope has been made by them an absolute ruler (principem absolutum), and, indeed, by virtue of the Infallibility, "a monarch more absolute than any in the world". ... even as far as concerns ecclesiastical matters, the pope cannot be called an absolute monarch (monarchus absolutus), since indeed he is subject to Divine Law and is bound to those things which Christ set in order (disposuit) for His Church. He cannot change the constitution (constitutionem) of the Church which was given to it by its Divine Founder, after the manner of a civil legislator who can change the constitution of the state. The constitution of the Church in all essential matters is founded in the divine arrangement (ordinatione) and is therefore immune from every arbitrary human disposition." (Denzinger 3114)

      So, the Pope cannot change the constitution of the Church. If he has a power, he has it always, no matter how advanced communications technology is; if he doesn't have a power absent mass communications, he doesn't have that power, full stop.

      Geez man! Pius IX and Pius XII are hardly Hans Kung and you reject their teaching in favor of "Tradition". Well SOD THAT!

      Heavens above, sir, Pius VI is hardly Marcel Lefebvre, and yet you reject his teaching in favour of the Novus Ordo! ;)

      Delete
    35. Gaius you sound more like a Baptist than a Catholic. Yer responses are getting stupider by the minute.

      You reject Pius IX own teachings and Pius XII clear teachings. Thus you are no better than Luther giving me yer own impressions on what constitutes tradition.

      Yer fallacies of equivocation here are comical.

      >Your ultramontanism is absurd and incoherent.

      You make mere disciplines into dogmas which is irrational and non-Catholic. You reject Papal authority and substitute your own.

      You are a heretic & schismatic sir pure and simple.

      >To prove it, let me point to the Apostolic Bull Auctorem Fidei, issued by Pope Pius VI to condemn the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia. Among the eighty-five condemnations is this:

      The Pope is supreme in matters of discipline. So what? Whatever disciplines Pius VI wants to deep six I do not deny his right to do so(unlike some of us specifically you). What is insane is you are treating these statements as doctrinal statements. Sorry they are not.

      Also the actions of a Synod of heretics aka Jansenist Synod of Pistoia is not the same as an Ecumenical Council called by a sitting Pope specifically John XXIII and upheld by all of his successors. Again Fallacy of equivocation.

      This is just stupid. If Pius VI condemns communion in the hand he who takes communion in the hand is wicked for disobedience. If Pope John Paul II permits communion in the hand he is wicked who says John Paul II many not do so & is guilty of the same sin disobedience.

      "Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven. Whatever you lose on Earth will be lose in Heaven". You deny the Pope these powers which Christ Himself gave. That is just evil.

      You make disciplines into dogmas and you reject Papal Authority like the Arch heretic Luther.

      >I'm afraid there's no getting out of this
      one.

      Except that is a clear fallacy of equivocation & yer sophistry is nor impressive. The disciplines instituted by a Synod of heretics on their own authority can be lawfully condemned by the Pope just as the Pope can condemn the SSPV or SSPX going their own way.

      Disciplines are not doctrine. Pope's may forbid or allow them according to their prudent judgement. At best you can doubt their judgement or choices but not their authority to implement them or forbid them. Or their successor to reverse them.

      If you could show me Pius VI teaching God is a Trinity and Pius XII or even Francis saying God is a Quaternity you would have a case and I would have joined the Eastern Orthodox long ago. But all you show me is changing mere disciplines.

      Sorry yer comical "example" is not of that nature. Catholicism does not teach disciplines & practices are irreformable. Only Dogma and morals are irreformable.

      >Either Pius VI was right to issue this condemnation, in which case Paul VI was wrong to promulgate the Novus Ordo Missae; or Paul VI was right to promulgate the Novus Ordo, in which case Pius VI was wrong to issue this condemnation.

      But neither is a case of Faith and Morals but practice and discipline. Geez did you get this from Chick Comics? This Baptist level bad polemics. You are either an idiot or yer trolling me.

      Also if you claim Pius VI "contradicts"
      St Paul VI well by yer own standards he contradicts Pius XII and Pius IX.

      Delete
    36. Part II
      >So, you schism-inclining crypto-Lutheran, which Pope do you think you know better than -- Pius VI, or Paul VI

      Neither. Disciplines and Practices are not matters of Faith and Morals. Pius VI may forbid vernacular language in the Mass and Paul VI may allow it. Bind and lose. Now if you can show me Pius VI teaching Mary was sinless and Paul VI formally teaching she was a mortal sinner then you would have a case.

      Also by yer own standards Pius XII "contradicts" Pius VI.

      Radtrads believe pastoral practice is the same as dogma and is as immutable. You are insane to believe that.

      >Heavens above, sir, Pius VI is hardly Marcel Lefebvre, and yet you reject his teaching in favour of the Novus Ordo!

      He wasn't teaching anything. He was imposing his discipline on schismatics. Lefebvre and you are equivalent to the Jansinists. Acting on their own authority in defiance of the Pope's Lawful right to impose discipline. Talk about a lack of self awareness.

      Pius XII taught the Pope has the right to suppress old rites create new ones and revise existing ones on his authority given by Christ. You reject Pius XII. You said it yerself.

      Changing disciplines does not change the Constitution of the Church.

      > So when a Pope claims greater authority than he was traditionally viewed as having, I hold to the traditional view.

      Except traditionally the Pope may change rites and revise existing ones or abrogate old rites and institute new ones. He cannot change the essence of those rites. He cannot as I said make the words of consecration "Hocus Pocus" but he can allow or forbid the venacular and only his successor may overule him.

      Radtradism is Protestant to it's rotten core. May Our Lady the Destroyer of Heresy crush yer evil schismatic movement so true Traditionalism may thrive.

      Delete
    37. Gaius yer not paying attention. I think you are trolling.

      >Comparing Auctorem Fidei with the Novus Ordo Missae is, I think, sufficient to dispatch the ultramontanist claim that we're obliged to agree with every official Papal document.

      Did you hurt yer back moving that goalpost? We are arguing the Pope'd right to impose discipline not agreeing with his prudent choices. I don't agree with Francis here but I uphold his right given by God to impose these disciplines no matter how much I think they suck.

      You really don't understand the difference between Matters and Faith and Moral vs Practice and Discipline?

      Yeh is it not part of the Constitution of the Church to say the Mass in any particular language but to obey the directives of the Pope till a later one changes it.

      Delete
    38. Gaius

      Pius XII said the Pope has the power to change any rite or create new ones or modify existing ones. The only limits are what is required by faith and morals. The Pope cannot abolish the Mass but he can suppress any rite of it or abrogate any rite of it. Obviously he could not suppress every rite and leave nobody a Mass but he can suppress the Pope St Pius V version. Even if doing so is gravely imprudent or unwise (Which it likely is).

      Then there is yer Protestant reading of Denzinger 3114. Let us go line by line.

      >"The decrees of the Vatican Council give not even the shadow of a foundation to the assertion that the pope has been made by them an absolute ruler (principem absolutum),

      Yes which means the Pope can't do what he wants. But he can do what is in his authority to do and ye canny say boo about it laddie other than to politely request he change his mind or lobby his successor to do so. He can suppress or abolish the Old Mass and his immediate or much later future successor can reverse it. If I live to see that happen I will tell the moron bitching about it to SHUT IT! Like I am telling you Prot boi.


      >and, indeed, by virtue of the Infallibility, ...etc...since indeed he is subject to Divine Law and is bound to those things which Christ set in order (disposuit) for His Church.

      He can't change faith and morals. Duh! He can't change discipline as it pertains materially to faith and morals. He cannot make rice cakes valid matter for the bread used in the Eucharist. He cannot substitute grape juice for the wine like the wee Baptists do. He cannot give a nun the priesthood or the power to absolve people etc.

      He can reverse the disciplines of a predecessor. Like allowing communion in the hand or using the common language in Mass over Latin. If you say otherwise ye a heretic.

      Pius VI can tell Schismatic Jansenists(the SSPX of his day) they can't change the liturgy on their own authority and he can force them to do the liturgy as he thinks it ought to be done. Francis in a like manner can suppress the Old Mass etc....

      That is Catholic Tradition which you clearly reject.

      >he cannot change the constitution (constitutionem) etc etc

      Yes we all know he cannot change Faith and Morals. In other news Water is wet at room temperature.

      I hate to break it to ya but celebration of the St Pius V rite is not part of the constitution of the Church otherwise it would be needed for salvation and the Church would have to make the St Pius V the sole rite and ban every eastern rite and every pre V2 Roman rite still being practiced.

      Which is nuts.

      > The constitution of the Church in all essential matters is founded in the divine arrangement (ordinatione) and is therefore immune from every arbitrary human disposition." (Denzinger 3114)

      Yeh celebration of the Pope St Pius V rite is not essential to the Faith otherwise it would be the sole rite. Also it would beg the question how Catholics could be saved prior to the reign of St Pius V before it existed?


      >Yes, my mentality is absolutely the same as that of Martin Luther, who abolished the Apostolic Roman liturgy as far as he was able and replaced it with a new liturgy he'd made up from scratch.

      Admitting yer problems is the first step in solving them.

      There is nothing Lutheran in the New Mass. I've visited Lutheran Churches and witnessed their services. Their "mass" is nothing like ours.

      OTOH at best Lutherans try to copy the pre Gregorian Liturgies and very early apostolic liturgies but they are just stealing from us as all Protestants do.

      Now kindly Bugger off.

      Delete
    39. What Saint Paul (the First) a Jansenist when he told Saint Peter to pull his socks up?

      Delete
    40. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      Also the actions of a Synod of heretics aka Jansenist Synod of Pistoia is not the same as an Ecumenical Council called by a sitting Pope specifically John XXIII and upheld by all of his successors. Again Fallacy of equivocation.

      Pius VI didn't simply condemn the Jansenists for acting ultra vires in reforming the liturgy without authorisation, he condemns "the proposition of the synod" as contrary to "the principles by which it [the liturgy] should be regulated". "Rash" and "offensive to pious ears" are judgements used in doctrinal censures; see here for a fuller explanation: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03532a.htm

      In other words, no, this isn't just a matter of changeable Church discipline. Pius VI is censuring the Jansenist reforms on doctrinal grounds.

      Yes we all know he cannot change Faith and Morals. In other news Water is wet at room temperature.

      Is the authority of the Pope part of the constitution of the Church? If it is, then the Pope can't change it, e.g., by giving himself more authority. If it isn't, how should we best describe it?

      Delete
    41. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      He wasn't teaching anything. He was imposing his discipline on schismatics. Lefebvre and you are equivalent to the Jansinists. Acting on their own authority in defiance of the Pope's Lawful right to impose discipline. Talk about a lack of self awareness.


      "Rash" and "offensive to pious ears" are terms of doctrinal, not disciplinary, censure. See here for more details: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03532a.htm

      In short, no, Pius VI wasn't making a prudential judgement or slapping the Jansenists down for making a neutral or positive reform without authorisation. He was saying that the very principles behind their reform were (to quote the Catholic Encyclopaedia article) "detrimental to faith and morals", that they were theologically unsound, that they were contrary to Catholic teaching.

      Yes we all know he cannot change Faith and Morals. In other news Water is wet at room temperature.

      Is the power of the Pope part of the Church's constitution or not?

      Delete
    42. Gaius,

      Wrong again. Sorry but yer interpretation of Pius VI contradicts Pius XII thus by definition you are wrong.

      >Pius VI didn't simply condemn the Jansenists for acting ultra vires in reforming the liturgy without authorisation,

      Pretty much he did & he condemned their false teachings.

      > he condemns "the proposition of the synod" as contrary to "the principles by which it [the liturgy] should be regulated".

      So? The heretics contradicted the principles by which the liturgy should be regulated as set down by the Church at that time? Sorry but there is no dogma that says the Pope cannot change the liturgy or abolish rites. Pius XII said differently.

      >Rash" and "offensive to pious ears" are judgements used in doctrinal censures; see here for a fuller explanation: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03532a.htm

      Um a Jansenist Synod by definition taught the heretical doctrines of Jansen! Hello McFly! They taught limited atonement and no doubt revised their liturgy in light of their errors. So wrong again.

      https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/jansenism

      >In other words, no, this isn't just a matter of changeable Church discipline. Pius VI is censuring the Jansenist reforms on doctrinal grounds.

      Jansenist mix Calvinism with Catholicism. So what is wrong with him censoring a Jansenist liturgy that teaches pseudo Calvinism? Or do you imagine it being in the popular language is the sticking point with Pius VI? Oh honey no...

      >Is the authority of the Pope part of the constitution of the Church? If it is, then the Pope can't change it, e.g., by giving himself more authority. If it isn't, how should we best describe it?

      Sounds a lot like the complaint made by the Old Catholics (who where influenced by Jansenism) over the decree on infallibility? Sorry but you sound like a Jansenist to me.

      >Rash" and "offensive to pious ears" are terms of doctrinal, not disciplinary, censure

      How are the teachings of Jansenism not rash and offensive to pious ears? You really think it was about the liturgy not being in Latin? That is just stupid!

      >In short, no, Pius VI wasn't making a prudential judgement or slapping the Jansenists down for making a neutral or positive reform without authorisation.

      He wasn't when he condemned the false doctrines of Jansenism that mixed Catholicism with the five points of Calvinism. You are really confused.

      >He was saying that the very principles behind their reform were (to quote the Catholic Encyclopaedia article) "detrimental to faith and morals", that they were theologically unsound, that they were contrary to Catholic teaching.

      So liturgical reforms carried out by idiots who mix the 5 points of Calvinism with Catholicism are "detrimental to faith and morals"? In other news water is wet.

      Sorry but I don't see how that applies to Pius XII or St Paul VI as neither authorized any liturgical reforms based on Jansenism?

      >Is the power of the Pope part of the Church's constitution or not?

      Clearly you don't think so my Protestant friend. You deny Pius XII's clear teaching on the matter and place yer personal interpretation of Pius VI.

      I will never join yer cult Gaius now go away.

      Delete
    43. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      Pius VI lists the propositions which he's condemning:

      "by recalling it (the liturgy) to a greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language, by uttering it in a loud voice"

      All your bluster notwithstanding, he says nothing about the Jansenist liturgy teaching limited atonement. Instead, he specifically says that he's condemning the Jansenists for saying that the liturgy should be simple, audible, and said in the vernacular.

      Sorry but I don't see how that applies to Pius XII or St Paul VI as neither authorized any liturgical reforms based on Jansenism?

      Paul VI authorised reforms simplifying the Mass, having it said in the vernacular, and removing most of the silent prayers.

      Clearly you don't think so my Protestant friend.

      I'm asking what you think.

      Delete
    44. Gaius yer Sola Pius VI nonsense is Protestant to the core.

      Pius XII says "The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification."


      He also says: "The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth. In spite of this, the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites may be of much advantage to the people. But the Apostolic See alone is empowered to grant this permission. It is forbidden, therefore, to take any action whatever of this nature without having requested and obtained such consent, since the sacred liturgy, as We have said, is entirely subject to the discretion and approval of the Holy See."END QUOTE

      Clearly Pius VI statement here is disciplinary only. Pius XII is the only lawful interpreter of Pius VI actions and clearly he knows nothing of yer novel view the Pope is not really Supreme in the matter of discipline or that saying or not saying the mass in the Vernacular is a matter of doctrine.

      That Jansenists took action on their own authority like the SSPX their spiritual successors. Pius VI has a right to oppose them as John Paul II did with the SSPX.

      >All your bluster notwithstanding, he says nothing about the Jansenist liturgy teaching limited atonement.

      Nor does he say he is making a doctrinal pronouncement. Yer reading that into the text and it is nor there. I am reading him in light of the whole tradition which includes Pius XII. Yer answer last time is to reject Pius XII.

      >Paul VI authorised reforms simplifying the Mass, having it said in the vernacular, and removing most of the silent prayers.

      I already answered this in the past up thread. The Pope can do this a Synod of heretics cannot on their own authority. They are not matters of faith and morals.

      Show me where Pius VI explicitly says saying the Mass in the Vernacular is a matter of doctrine?

      Yer reading yer own novel ideas into the text.

      I am sorry but Radtradism is a lie and I think you are a heretic and inconsistent.

      > Instead, he specifically says that he's condemning the Jansenists for saying that the liturgy should be simple, audible, and said in the vernacular.

      Are the Jansenist saying the liturgy must or should be said in the vernacular or that it could be?

      Because it seems to me the former concept is clearly in error(it is not doctrine the Mass must be in the vernacular. But the later is compatible with St Paul VI and Pius XII.

      So again I think yer a Protestant too yer core.

      Delete
    45. additionally:

      >All your bluster notwithstanding, he says nothing about the Jansenist liturgy teaching limited atonement.

      Here is the text of the Papal Bull Auctorem Fidei.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20120426051714/http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=10742

      There are plenty of condemnation of Jansenist heresies. Here is the part you left out.

      The proposition of the synod by which it shows itself eager to remove the cause through which, in part, there has been induced a forget-fulness of the principles relating to the order of the liturgy, "by recalling it (the liturgy) to a greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language, by uttering it in a loud voice"; as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church, had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated,—rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable to the charges of heretics against it.END

      So the text does take issue with doing the liturgy in the Vernacular per say but with the Jansenist Synod saying it was the only legitimate way to do the liturgy contrary to the liturgy approved by the authority of the Church?

      Yeh the Jansenists look more like modern Radtrads. Not St Paul VI.

      Delete
    46. edit: So the text does NOT take issue with doing the liturgy in the Vernacular per say but with the Jansenist Synod saying it was the only legitimate way to do the liturgy contrary to the liturgy approved by the authority of the Church?

      Delete
    47. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      Wrong again. Sorry but yer interpretation of Pius VI contradicts Pius XII thus by definition you are wrong.

      "But what if Pius XII said that it was raining outside, and it actually wasn't?"
      "Well then, I suppose it would be spiritually raining, only we were too sinful to see it."

      Show me where Pius VI explicitly says saying the Mass in the Vernacular is a matter of doctrine?

      He condemns it using terms used in doctrinal censures. Why is that not enough for you?

      as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church, had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated

      So why does Pius VI talk about "as if the present order of the liturgy... had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated," if in fact there are no principles by which liturgy should be regulated and it's all down to whatever the Pope wills?

      Delete
    48. One more comment, and then I think I'll bow out. The Catholic case for the papacy rests largely (not exclusively, but largely) on Matthew 16.18, "You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church." A rock implies stability, firmness, and reliability. If the Pope has the power to abrogate an ancient liturgy and force everyone to celebrate a completely different liturgy, then the papacy wouldn't be a force for stability, but rather for instability, since no-one could have any certainty that Catholic praxis next year would be the same as it is this year. Hence the papal maximalist position ends up turning Our Lord into either a liar (if he knowingly gave the Pope such great powers as to disturb the stability of his Church) or an incompetent (if he unknowingly gave him these powers).

      Delete
    49. @Gaius

      Bad analogy. Here is a better one. Suppose Pope Eugene IV said extra ecclesiam nulla salus but Pope Pius IX & Pope St Pius X said ". If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best as he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.”?

      So do you do what the Feeneyites do and proclaim Pius IX a heretic and deny St Pius X authorized the Catechism in his name? Then dogmatize Feeney's error? Or do you reconcile the two Popes?

      Clearly Piuas VI did not teach it as a matter of doctrine Mass in the Vernacular is heresy. No doubt the Jansenist ideas on Vernacular Masses where heretical but that is not the same thing.

      >He condemns it using terms used in doctrinal censures. Why is that not enough for you?

      But is not what the text says? Your reading that into it. It is not clear and what is not clear should be interpreted by what is clear and Pius XII is pretty clear.

      >as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church, had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated.

      Yes according to Pius VI the authorized order of Mass at the time (Pius V Mass) is legitimate and according to the principles put down by the Church authority. Contrary to the Jansenist claim only their Vernacular Mass is legitimate.

      How is this Pius VI making a dogmatic claim the Pope can never authorize Vernacular Masses like Pius XII said they could?

      >So why does Pius VI talk about..etc

      Did ye miss the part about how the Jansenist taught only their Mass was done according to the correct principles?

      >if in fact there are no principles by which liturgy should be regulated and it's all down to whatever the Pope wills?

      Um the principles here where set down by previous Popes including St Pius V? Also where did Pius VI say future Pope's can revise the principles like Pius XII said they could?

      Sorry but yer High Church Protestant religion is false. The SSPX is a lie! Ratradism is not Catholic.

      Delete
    50. @Gaius

      >One more comment, and then I think I'll bow out.

      Good.

      >If the Pope has the power to abrogate an ancient liturgy and force everyone to celebrate a completely different liturgy, then the papacy wouldn't be a force for stability, but rather for instability, since no-one could have any certainty that Catholic praxis next year would be the same as it is this year.

      Who cares? Whatever you are given is sufficient to salvation. God can allow this to happen. At best you can (& should) argue against this on the grounds of prudence but yer foul Protestant novelty the Pope is not supreme on the matters of liturgy is Lutheran to the core. It is not the way to answer something like this. Rather it is a concession to the false "Reformation" lies.

      >Hence the papal maximalist position ends up turning Our Lord into either a liar ...

      No sir that would be yer evil novelty and heresy. Jesus gave Peter the Power to Bind and Loose. YOU demand Peter only bind and never loose....that is not Catholic.

      Yer not smarter than Jesus buddy. Nobody is...

      Now away with yer false Traditionalism. Yer doing nothing but making Francis look good!!!

      Oyi!

      No rational orthodox Catholic theologian teaches the Church dogmatically condemns vernacular liturgies. That is not a dogma or doctrine and is not taught anywhere least of all by Pius VI whom you slander.

      Repent!

      Delete
    51. One more comment, and then I think I'll bow out.

      Looks like I'm a glutton for punishment. Oh well...

      Who cares? Whatever you are given is sufficient to salvation. God can allow this to happen. At best you can (& should) argue against this on the grounds of prudence but yer foul Protestant novelty the Pope is not supreme on the matters of liturgy is Lutheran to the core. It is not the way to answer something like this. Rather it is a concession to the false "Reformation" lies.

      Your counter-arguments are irrelevant. Even if you could completely overhaul someone's religious devotions without affecting their spiritual life (and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any spiritual writer who'd defend such a position), the Pope would still be acting as a force for instability in the Church, and you would still therefore be making our Lord into a liar.

      BTW, if you don't trust me, you could always see what the future Pope Benedict said in 1997:

      "A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today?"

      Note that he says a community *is* calling its very being into question, not that it *seems to be* calling its very being into question. In other words, banning the Old Mass is objectively problematic for the coherence of Catholicism; this isn't just a false problem existing solely in the minds of rad-trads.

      But then, I'm sure Pope Benedict was just a crypto-Jansenist Lutheran. ;)

      BTW, I'm still waiting for you to tell me whether the Pope's powers are part of the Church's constitution.

      Delete
    52. Another one from Benedict:

      "For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?"

      In other words, if we reject the Church's past, we have no reason to trust her in the present -- and if we have no reason to trust her in the present, why be Catholic?

      Delete
    53. @Gaius

      Enjoy the pain. Offer it up. This will hurt and it is for yer own good. Like Sister with the ruler only worst.

      >Your counter-arguments are irrelevant. Even if you could completely overhaul someone's religious devotions without affecting their spiritual life

      Sir if you never get to go to a St Pius V Mass again in yer life because it is effectively banned there is NOTHING stopping you from still using the older devotions. I can't get to Eastern Rite Masses and haven't been to one in years. But I still have my copy of the Philokalia in my coat pocket.

      I get the same Jesus in every valid Mass regardless of rite.


      >the Pope would still be acting as a force for instability in the Church, and you would still therefore be making our Lord into a liar.

      There is nothing in Church teaching that says God won't let the Pope run the Church badly. He is only infallible under a limited set of circumstances regarding teaching faith and morals & there are ways to oppose him without schism or adopting heretical views on authority like you are doing here confusing mere discipline with doctrine. Stop being a Lutheran wuss!

      >BTW, if you don't trust me, you could always see what the future Pope Benedict said in 1997:

      I don't trust you. Are we reading two different B16's?

      This reads like the Pope questioning the prudence of taking away the Old Rite. Not the authority to do so. It seems he presupposes Popes have the authority to do this but he councils it is gravely imprudent that they do so. I agree!

      Hello I said that above. Go up thread and read it yerself.

      > In other words, banning the Old Mass is objectively problematic for the coherence of Catholicism; this isn't just a false problem existing solely in the minds of rad-trads.

      No shite Sherlock! But the Pope has the authority to do it. Doesn't mean doing it is a good idea. A General may have the authority to promote the most slacker idiot enlisted man to an officer by a field commission. But just because he has the legitimate authority to do it doesn't mean it was smart?

      How do you not get this and hold to yer filthy Lutheran and Jansenist belief the Pope doesn't have supreme authority on discipline?

      What is wrong with you?

      >BTW, I'm still waiting for you to tell me whether the Pope's powers are part of the Church's constitution.

      I have already been telling you Jesus Christ gave the Pope the power to bind and loose. You OTOH seem to believe the Pope may only bind and never loose. How is that part of the Church's Constitution? It is not.

      Yer the heretic and false trad here buddy. Cut it out! Be Catholic or bugger off!!! God forgive ye if you do the later in that last sentence.

      Delete
    54. Sir if you never get to go to a St Pius V Mass again in yer life because it is effectively banned there is NOTHING stopping you from still using the older devotions. I can't get to Eastern Rite Masses and haven't been to one in years. But I still have my copy of the Philokalia in my coat pocket.

      Sacrosanctum Concilium thinks that the liturgy is rather more important than you do:

      "10. Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord's supper.

      The liturgy in its turn moves the faithful, filled with "the paschal sacraments," to be "one in holiness" [26]; it prays that "they may hold fast in their lives to what they have grasped by their faith" [27]; the renewal in the Eucharist of the covenant between the Lord and man draws the faithful into the compelling love of Christ and sets them on fire. From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way."

      I get the same Jesus in every valid Mass regardless of rite.

      As I showed above, the effects of receiving Communion vary depending on your interior disposition, and your interior disposition is affected by, among other things, the liturgy you're attending. Maybe you're just so holy that you can summon up equal reverence in a Clown Mass celebrated in a McDonald's car park where Communion is handed out in a crisp packed, but most people aren't.

      There is nothing in Church teaching that says God won't let the Pope run the Church badly. He is only infallible under a limited set of circumstances regarding teaching faith and morals & there are ways to oppose him without schism or adopting heretical views on authority like you are doing here confusing mere discipline with doctrine. Stop being a Lutheran wuss!

      It's not that the Pope might run the Church badly. It's that the mere fact of the Pope having these powers would make the Papacy an inherently destabilising force in the Church, even if the Pope refrained from using his powers. Trying to live as a Catholic would be like working for a boss who reserved the right to unilaterally rewrite your contract whenever he felt like it, or being married to a woman who openly said she might choose to walk out on you for any reason whatsoever, or living in a despotic country whose ruler could have you imprisoned or executed arbitrarily. Even if they never actually did these things, the fact that they could would mean that you could never be secure, because the rug might be pulled out from under you at any moment. That is, to be blunt, a toxic sort of environment to live in, and you'll never convince me that Our Lord wanted his Church to be toxic.

      I have already been telling you Jesus Christ gave the Pope the power to bind and loose.

      That's a very vague statement, so I'll be clearer:

      Did Our Lord give Peter and his successors the sole authority to regulate the liturgy?
      If yes, why did no Pope claim this authority for the first ~1800 years of Church history?
      If no, when did the Popes acquire this authority, and why?

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    55. @Gaius

      >Sacrosanctum Concilium thinks that the liturgy is rather more important than you do:

      This would apply to any liturgy even the St Paul VI. Sorry I have been to the St Pius V Masses a few times and found them disappointing. The Eastern Liturgies are so much better but personal aesthetics is not spirituality. They are a means not ends in themselves.

      >As I showed above, the effects of receiving Communion vary depending on your interior disposition, and your interior disposition is affected by, among other things, the liturgy you're attending.

      Nope! Grace is what makes the liturgy good. Any High Church Traditonal Anglican Mass looks externally as beautiful as a St Pius V Mass. Except they have mere bread and wine and no real Priest.

      >It's not that the Pope might run the Church badly. It's that the mere fact of the Pope having these powers would make the Papacy an inherently destabilising force in the Church, even if the Pope refrained from using his powers.

      Sorry but the Pope does have the power to act lawfully and stupidly. Matt 16:18 and Vatican One and Infallibility don't prevent that.

      >Even if they never actually did these things, the fact that they could would mean that you could never be secure..

      We have no lasting city here. Get over it. No assurance the Pope isn't gonna f word up. None at all. But who cares? The Church will be preserved by Christ's promise and divine providence.

      Worst things can happen then loosing yer fav liturgy.

      >That's a very vague statement, so I'll be clearer:


      Hypocrite. You have done nothing but cite vague statements. I cited the clear words of Pius XII pre Vatican II and you rejected them.

      I can do nothing for you.

      >Did Our Lord give Peter and his successors the sole authority to regulate the liturgy?

      More like the final authority.

      >If yes, why did no Pope claim this authority for the first ~1800 years of Church history?

      By that specious Protestant reasoning why didn't Peter declare the Immaculate Conception a dogma? Why wait for Pius IX?

      The Popes do claim that authority by virtual of the fact they had the final say on what liturgies to do and how they are to be done. Pope St Gregory the Great changed the liturgy that was done since the second and fouth century. St Pius V changed him and now St Paul VI. If Francis II or Benedict XVII doesn't change Francis someone will and my descendent will argue with some idiot who will be claiming the centuries Old St Paul VI Mass is being replaced by the liturgy of John Paul VIII.

      The Pope has always had the final authority over the liturgy. Pius VI rebuking the Jansenist shows that. If you are right then the Jansenist could have told him to screw off like ye bois in the SSPX.

      Now get lost. I will NEVER be a SSPX heretic.

      Death first which is better then going to Hell for the sin of schism and heresy.

      You deny the Pope who can bind can loose. Stop it!

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    56. @ Son of Ya'Kov:

      Your problem is that you have a weird dualist outlook, whereby the concrete circumstances of somebody's life have no impact on their spiritual life. So a person's religious practices can be in continual flux without it affecting their spiritual lives, or they can be in an environment where the Blessed Sacrament is continually insulted, including by priests in good standing with the Church, without it affecting their belief in or devotion towards the same. You deny the incarnational nature of the Christian religion, and reject the body-soul union (taught by St. Thomas, whose thought Pope Leo XIII held up as worthy of special regard) for a mess of Cartesian potage.

      Delete
    57. You reject the clear teaching of Pope Pius XII.

      The funny thing about SSPX sympathizers and their fellow travelers is they reject the very tradition they claim to follow.

      Delete
    58. A couple of liturgical scholars (sound ones, not modernists) to back up my point.

      First, Gregory Dix:

      "There is remarkably little foundation for the [Anglican] idea which has been assiduously propagated of late years in England that 'the catholic priest. at least if he has any tincture of the true catholic and priestly spirit, would rather say the most jejune and ill-arranged rite, which was that imposed upon him by authority, than the most splendid liturgy devised by himself'. Either the whole church from the second century to the sixteenth was devoid of 'any tincture of the true catholic and priestly spirit', or such statements are comprehensively mistaken. ...

      " ... in every century every liturgy borrowed where it chose, without the intervention of 'authority' in the matter at all, till we come to the edicts of Byzantine emperors and Charlemagne. It is true that in every church the rite was from time to time codified in a revision by the local bishop -- a Sarapion, a Basil, a Gregory. But it is also true that their work never endures as they leave it. The same process of unauthorised alteration and addition and borrowing begins again ...

      "The proof is written in almost every liturgical MS in existence. The primitive bishop had control of the text of the prayers because their recitation was his special 'liturgy'; he was the normal celebrant. When he passed on that 'liturgy' to individual presbyters, in practice if not in theory the same control tended to pass to the new normal celebrant, however objectionable in principle the fact may now seem to us. The presbyter was largely ruled by tradition-- as the bishop had been. But I have a not altogether inconsiderable experience of ancient liturgical MSS. Setting aside mere copyists' errors, I do not remember any two professing to give the same rite which altogether agree on the text of the celebrant's prayers."


      And Hoher, on Anglo-Saxon service books:

      "An existing liturgical manuscript is often, I should say usually, not the clean lineal descendant of the approved typicum of some edition, but copied from a "practical" book, based on some much older form of the text than the one it purports to represent. This will have been brought more or less up to date at successive recopyings by collating what was supposed to be a "good" text...

      Dom Deshusses's admirable dictum that each successive copy of a liturgical manuscript was "une petite édition critique" is liable, though I should hesitate slightly about the word critique, to be true down to the thirteenth century."


      The notion that the Pope is the sole arbiter of the liturgy is completely alien to the attitude of the Church for the first thousand-plus years of her existence. And of course, whatever the merits or demerits of giving the Pope complete authority over the liturgy, a power which nobody ever ascribed to the Pope for over a thousand years cannot be part of either the Church's constitution or the Deposit of Faith, unless we subscribe to a Protestantising doctrine of a true Church which is both invisible and completely different in doctrine and character to its visible manifestation.

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    59. @Gaius

      Who cares?

      No Pope or Church Father teaches yer novel claims about the Pope not having supreme authority over Church discipline.

      >The notion that the Pope is the sole arbiter of the liturgy is completely alien to the attitude of the Church for the first thousand-plus years of her existence.

      Vatican I and Pius IX and Pius XII disagree with you son. Pius XII is rather clear" "The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. etc"

      You reject Pius XII & you have nothing to say to me. You are not a "Traditional" Catholic or any type of Catholic. You are no better than a modernist or Protestant. I WON'T HEAR YOU!

      >And of course, whatever the merits or demerits of giving the Pope complete authority over the liturgy, a power which nobody ever ascribed to the Pope for over a thousand years

      You sound like a wee Baptist who complains "Oh nobody taught the Immaculate Conception till Pius IX! Oh nobody required belief in the Assumption for the past 2000 year till Pius XII."

      Away with yer gobshite Protestant reasoning.

      You reject Pius XII clear teaching. You are a Protestant heretic. I believe Pius XII unto DEATH. You I reject him and thus reject Christ (he who hears you hears me)and I shake the dust from my feet as a testimony against you.

      Now get lost. I will NEVER SUPPORT THE SSPX OR SCHISM LIKE YOU!

      You reject Tradition.

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    60. You sound like a wee Baptist who complains "Oh nobody taught the Immaculate Conception till Pius IX! Oh nobody required belief in the Assumption for the past 2000 year till Pius XII."

      Not only did the Church for the first thousand years not teach that the Pope has the sole authority to modify the liturgy, but everyone acted in such a way as to make it clear that they didn't believe this, and no Pope ever contradicted them. For your analogy to work, you'd have to find an instance of a Pope requiring belief in something which was rejected by the Consensus Patrum -- which would, in fact, be a theologically problematic thing for him to do.

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    61. First you dodged the point. If yer argument is valid then not only must we reject what Pius XII said about the Papal Authority over the liturgy you must reject his authority to proclaim the Assumption of Mary as dogma.

      The burden of proof is on YOU TO PROVE the Popes positively & dogmatically taught they did not have the final word on the liturgy.

      Till you do, Pius XII has the final word on the matter and I do well to believe him over you Luther boi.

      Also Pius VI acted like he had final and sole authority over the liturgy vs the Jansenists.

      If yer right then Pius VI was wrong and Jansenists can claim the Consensus Patrum for their activities.

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    62. Vatican One puts the lie to yer satanic claim Gaius.

      This is from Vatican One and it is Infallible.

      Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.

      Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff.

      “9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.”END

      You are a liar Gaius.

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    63. The burden of proof is on YOU TO PROVE the Popes positively & dogmatically taught they did not have the final word on the liturgy.

      So you reject the idea of the Ordinary Magisterium then?

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    64. When did the Church pro-claim yer nonsense as the Ordinary Magisterium?

      NOWHERE! That is yer novelty.

      Also isn't Pius XII clear teaching on this matter part of the Ordinary Magisterium? Well? Also Vatican I is an expression of the Extra Ordinary Magisterium so that trumps everything.

      I believe in Pius XII and Vatican I. You believe in the SSPX. You might as well believe Luther.

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    65. Also Vatican I is an expression of the Extra Ordinary Magisterium so that trumps everything.

      I think I'll side with Pope Benedict here:

      "A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today?"

      No Father, Doctor of the Church, or Ecumenical Council says that the Pope can command something which is destructive of the faith. Abolishing an apostolic rite and replacing it with something made up in the 1960s is destructive of the faith, as is demonstrated both by Pope Benedict and by the history of the last fifty years. Therefore, etc.

      You might as well believe Luther.

      Given the current Pope's celebrations of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, shouldn't that be a good thing? Wouldn't want to go against Pope Francis' clear pro-Lutheran teachings, now, would we? ;)

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    66. Yer a sore loser Gaius.

      Where does Benedict in that quote Unsay what Vatican I says or what Pius XII said?

      Nowhere.

      >No Father, Doctor of the Church, or Ecumenical Council says that the Pope can command something which is destructive of the faith.

      That statement is more ambiguous & subjective than anything Fr. James Martin or Hans Kung might say on a good day. It is meaningless to a scholastic mentality.

      >Abolishing an apostolic rite and replacing it with something made up in the 1960s is destructive of the faith, as is demonstrated both by Pope Benedict and by the history of the last fifty years. Therefore, etc.

      It was fine when St Pius V did it and or St Gregory the Great did it in their day when they revised the rites of the Mass. Sorry but it cannot be destructive to the faith. Ye get the same Jesus in the Eucharist & the St Paul VI Mass as you do in the St Pius V Mass and you do in the St James Mass etc and hundreds of other authorized rites.

      Also the Paul VI mass is not "new". If it was then charges of antiquarianism could not be leveled against it. It is based on the primitive pre-Gregorian liturgy. If it was good enough for our Catholic ancestors it is good for us.

      >Given the current Pope's celebrations of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, shouldn't that be a good thing?

      What does that have to do with yer heterodox denial of Vatican I and Pius XII?

      >Wouldn't want to go against Pope Francis' clear pro-Lutheran teachings, now, would we? ;)

      I am a critic of Pope Francis these days except unlike you I am not a neo-Lutheran heretic. I accept Pius XII and Vatican I & II. You do not therefore you are a Protestant with Rosary beads. I have credibility when I criticize the Pope because I am orthodox. You do not since you spout heresy in denying the Pope is supreme in matters of discipline. He has the right to restrict to even abrogate the St Pius V Mass and that is binding till it is lose by his successor.

      That is how it has been for 2000 years. Get over it.

      Delete
  8. In the OP: "The nominalist takes our concepts to be mere artifacts of language, free creations of the mind bearing no necessary connection to mind-independent reality. The realist, by contrast, takes concepts to reflect the natures of things themselves."

    Does the negation of nominalism entail the thesis that concepts bear a NECESSARY connection to mind-independent reality?

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    1. Not necessarily. You can reject nominalism and be a conceptualist* or be a realist about some but not all concepts. For instance, aristotelians normally do not defend that concepts like "stone heap" or "iphone" pick something real because these "things" have no intrinsic principle of unity that unites the parts. Perhaps this post can help:http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/04/nature-versus-art.html?m=1


      *can the view last? A diferent question

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    2. According to what it says above, it would be necessary when the concepts are about concrete as opposed to "fictional" matters:

      "In fiction, indeed, inconsistency is a merely internal fault, and does not matter so long as it does not offend the reader. This holds precisely because the indicative sentences in a work of fiction do not latch onto reality: the author and the reader merely make believe that they do so. When discourse is meant to latch onto reality, then inconsistency matters: not because falling into inconsistency means perpetrating a specially bad sort of error, logical falsehood; but because inconsistent discourse inevitably has some non-logical fault. Like it or not, an inconsistent history will somewhere be factually false, an inconsistent set of orders or instructions cannot all be carried out, an inconsistent moral code will at some juncture be prescribing morally objectionable conduct, and so on. (p. 38)"

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    3. @Talmid, re this of yours: "You can reject nominalism and be a conceptualist* or be a realist about some but not all concepts."

      over on Strange Notions Dennis Bonnette and I had a discussion about abstract objects and concepts, and for a lot of it, I think we were talking past each other due to using terms of art from different philosophical perspectives. As I could make out, Bonnette seemed to say that A-T holds conceptualism, i.e. that universals exist only as concepts in a mind (the mind need not be human), which the intellect abstracts from external things. I was holding the Quine/van Inwagen view that when we make particular affirmative statements, we are committed to the existence of that over which we are quantifying - so that abstract objects as well as bodies etc. exist.

      Do you agree that A-T affirms conceptualism?

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    4. @ficino4ml

      "Do you agree that A-T affirms conceptualism?"

      It depends on the definition of conceptualism. Some use the word to make a contrast with realism in general. By this type of "conceptualism" i understand the view that essences or natures are mental constructs that do not map up to reality but that nevertheless there is a kinda of universality in that our minds can't help but use these concepts. A-T clearly is not this type of conceptualist, for we hold that natures do exist and the human mind can know these.

      Another meaning is used when conceptualism is contrasted with platonic realism. By this type of "conceptualism" i understand the view that there are no abstract objects but nevertheless natures or essences are real features of reality that either exists in things and minds(aristotelian realism) or in things and minds and also on God mind(divine conceptualism)*. A-T is clearly conceptualist on this sense because we hold that God knows all the possible essences and create using they as basis, with each created thing having a objective essence that we can know(how much will depend). Thomists are a kind of divine conceptualists.

      Seeing that you guys were discussing abstract objects and also this:

      "that universals exist only as concepts in a mind (the mind need not be human), which the intellect abstracts from external things."

      It seems that Dennis means conceptualism on the second meaning, seeing how he takes the concepts as abstracted from things. If taken on the second meaning, them the answer to your question is "yep". Essences are real but we don't need abstract objects, God mind does the trick pretty well!


      I don't know how easy to find it is, but Dr. Feser book Five Proofs of the Existence of God has a chapter dedicated to the augustinian proof were he goes on to diferenciate nominalism from conceptualism and the diferent forms of realism and ends up arguing to the A-T type of divine conceptualism. He even use Quine argument to defend his type of realism, so i'am sure it would be very helpful.


      *there is also another type of non-platonic realism used by the greek church fathers, but i admit that i can't summarise that one

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    5. @Talmid, thank you for the reference to Five Proofs. I shall go back to that chapter when I clear out some other stuff in my "to do" queue, aargh.

      Delete
    6. @Talmid, I don't know whether anyone at this point is going to come back to this thread. Anyway, I read in Marsilio Ficino (the real Renaissance guy, not me the wannabe) Platonic Theology book 5 an argument that sounds like what you referred to. Haven't gotten back to Feser's Five Proofs yet.
      Meanwhile, I just received this review of a book by David Charles on the undivided self in Aristotle. Charles some years ago in a reading group said that "we are all compatibilists now". But here he argues that in Aristotle, the cause of an enmattered effect is an enmattered cause:
      "Chapter 2, the book’s longest and most technical, in which Charles presents his distinctive and exciting vision of Aristotle’s hylomorphic metaphysics in general, a vision that is likely to set an agenda for those studying multiple areas of Aristotle’s philosophy. This argument, which principally draws from Physics 2 and Metaphysics 7–8, hinges on what I will call “the per se cause principle,” which is that if x is a per se (rather than incidental) efficient cause of an inextricably enmattered effect, then x is inextricably enmattered. This is a nuanced version of a more familiar principle, the causal closure of the physical. Since Aristotelian forms are, according to Charles, such causes of such effects, these forms themselves are inextricably enmattered. That is to say, Aristotelian forms refer in their definition to matter. (Charles distinguishes between “matter as a principle of form” and “spatially divisible matter” and says that forms refer in their definition only to the former.) For example, Charles argues on the basis of such passages as Physics 2.3, 195b21–25 and Metaphysics 7.7, 1032a32–b14 and 12.4, 1070b28–35 that the skill of the builder, a form, is a per se cause of inextricably enmattered effects, effects that make reference in their definition to such things as bricks and wood, and therefore must itself be inextricably enmattered.[1] With this controversial and interesting interpretation of Aristotle’s hylomorphism in hand, Charles leverages the per se cause principle to do important work throughout the book. Desire, perception, imagination, and practical intellect are per se causes of inextricably enmattered effects and so are themselves inextricably enmattered."

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    7. "Talmid, I don't know whether anyone at this point is going to come back to this thread."

      Someone did!

      I don't know Ficino, need to study rennaissance philosophy, are you refering to the quinean argument for realism on universals? That a rennaissance guy would use something similar does not suprise me, for one finds similar thinking on the already mentioned St. Augustine and on Leibniz Monadology, so that a third philosopher on the platonic tradition would find it makes sense.

      And about Aristotle, that view seems to make sense. If i got it right, it does fit with the A-T insistence that memory, imagination, sensual appetite etc are bodily, contra most modern dualists.

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  9. I've come across people who claim that, if you judge a particular authority to be defective, then you are setting yourself as an authority higher than that one. I'm glad you covered that argument Feser. I also like the sarcasm you used to deal with those who reject the law of non-contradiction. "Multitudes!"

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    Replies
    1. I've come across people who claim that, if you judge a particular authority to be defective, then you are setting yourself as an authority higher than that one.

      I don't understand Feser's counterargument.

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    2. The argument in question is a variation of what David Stove called "the world's worst argument." Basically, it relies on the tautology that your judgment is yours and concludes from that something that would destroy any position. It'd be like arguing from the fact that I use my senses to receive information to the conclusion that my senses are the source of that information.

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    3. The counter argument would be that you're not setting yourself up as a higher expert in a given matter if your just making judgement as to which expert you find to be the most sane, consistent, and trustworthy as a person, before you accept their interpretation in a great matter.

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  10. "Logic students are familiar with the dictum that anything follows from a contradiction."

    A paraconsistent logic is one that denies that every proposition follows from a contradiction. The motivation for Relevant Logic, one of the paraconsistent logics, is to resolve Classical Logic's paradoxes of implication. Another is to allow room for the following:

    "A most telling reason for paraconsistent logic is, prima facie, the fact that there are theories which are inconsistent but non-trivial. If we admit the existence of such theories, their underlying logics must be paraconsistent (though see Michael 2016)."

    "2.1.1 Non-Trivial Theories
    Examples of inconsistent but non-trivial theories are easy to produce. One example can be derived from the history of science. Consider Bohr’s theory of the atom. According to this, an electron orbits the nucleus of the atom without radiating energy. However, according to Maxwell’s equations, which formed an integral part of the theory, an electron which is accelerating in orbit must radiate energy. Hence Bohr’s account of the behaviour of the atom was inconsistent. Yet, patently, not everything concerning the behavior of electrons was inferred from it, nor should it have been. Hence, whatever inference mechanism it was that underlay it, this must have been paraconsistent (Brown & Priest 2015)."

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    1. This is just a fancy way of saying, "We don't know enough to say which is the more consistent yet, if either."

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    2. Not exactly a fancy way of making the point, I think -- more of a 'get down into the plumbing so that one can have the confidence one knows what one is talking about' level.

      I think you may be edging towards the (correct) assertion that if we are dealing with INCOMPLETE knowledge, we need to avoid Classical Logic's principle of explosion (i.e, everything follows from a contradiction). A complete knowledge of course is a different matter altogether.

      I am not fond, however, of "We don't know enough to say which is the more consistent yet, if either". A body of propositions is either consistent or it is not. There is no 'more or less'.

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  11. I look forward to what Feser has to say about the interpretation of authority. Nowadays the interpretation of an authority (like a text) is taken to trump the authority.

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  12. My bad -- I forgot to post the link to the above. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-paraconsistent/

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  13. Re "It cannot fail to undermine public trust when government officials, media sources, etc. REPEATEDLY AND SHAMELESSLY say inconsistent things."

    Clear logical thinking consists of recognizing, acknowledging and following the meanings of facts such as this cited pattern.

    What does it mean, what does it clearly point to, in conjunction to a myriad of related patterns/evidence?

    What does a CONSISTENT PERSISTENT pattern (a pile of solid evidence) of public indoctrination with absurdities/nonsense/lies mean?

    It means the following...

    A network of manipulating psychopaths ARE governing big businesses (eg official medicine), nations and the world -- the evidence is irrefutable as is obvious with the Covid Scamdemic (see “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room –The Holocaustal Covid-19 Coronavirus Madness: A Sociological Perspective & Historical Assessment Of The Covid “Phenomenon”” at https://www.rolf-hefti.com/covid-19-coronavirus.html

    “It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated [=be a complete idiot; e.g., be a fact-filled, “officially educated” moron]; the facts must be used as a basis for thought and criticism.” [312] [explanation & emphasis added] (from cited article above)

    "2 weeks to flatten the curve has turned into...3 shots to feed your family!" --- Unknown



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  14. "Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself." - Wittgenstein

    Wittgenstein must've had a time machine and met the "hermeneutic of continuity" types today attempting to co-opt the label "traditional Catholic".

    I wonder how Providence will deal them for their blasphemy.

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    1. So anyone who believes in Vatican II is blaspheming? That's a bit extreme.

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  15. It seems that without the intellectual formation, virtue, and disposition, Catholics will either remain so by convention or in a voluntarist fashion. A combination of social enticements, bad arguments, and appeals to emotion are bound to loosen those who are Catholics by convention, and indeed that seems to be the case. The cultural incentives to remain Catholics and the inertia that has kept people ostensibly "in the flock" are dissipating. What remains are voluntarist Catholics who present themselves as Catholics, even traditional Catholics, but whose modus vivendi is voluntarist. Some may engage in what on the surface may to naive observers appear to be rational discourse, but the mode is thoroughly rationalizing and emotional and the methodology voluntarist. The decision to be Catholic is taken as a premise willed by fiat that apologetics merely rationalizes, not the conclusion of some rational process. They are likely to raise their children in a Catholicism that is imposed and demanded rather than taught and shared. Any questions raised by these children are bound to be met with hostility as the voluntarist does not know the answers, has no patience with deviation from his expectations, and cannot tolerate the presence of doubt in his militaristic household. This way, Catholicism is instilled through intimidation. A child raised in this environment will either replicate the process since that is the kind of Catholicism he knows, or he will abandon it as an abusive cult that lacks intellectual substance and integrity. In other words, voluntarism is the death spiral of the faith unless there are enough Catholics to form a healthy intellectualist base and culture.

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  16. This issue perplexes me.

    Student: Dr. Feser, I have some doubts about your lecture, but I guess I'll just accept your views.

    Feser: No! By all means think and read criticisms of my view!

    Friend: Ed, my doctor made a recommendation for surgery. But I'm not sure. Well, I guess I'll just do it. He's never been wrong before.

    Feser: No. By all means get a second opinion!

    Scientist: I really doubt that catastrophic global warming is happening. But I'll shut-up and not doubt the consensus.

    Feser: That's immoral and cowardly!

    Friend: My mechanic says I need $4000 worth of repairs in my car. I'll leave it with them today. They've been in business since the invention of cars.

    Feser: Hey friend, you might wanna get at least one more estimate and make sure it's that big a problem.

    Intelligent searcher for the truth: Hi Dr. Feser. I really have a doubt about the truth about this Catholic doctrine
    I'm going to think and decide if it's true based on my reason and education.

    Feser: No! When the church speaks on these matters, you know the truth.

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    1. If Feser and the Searcher hold the same Faith, then that answer is sufficient: unless Infallibility is the doctrine in question.

      This seems like kind of a teenage argument.
      Son: I've only had one drink. By my calculations, I should be good to drive home.
      Father: You shall not! When experience speaks on this matter, you should hold it as truth.

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    2. Truths in the areas of philosophy, medicine, climate science, and auto mechanics fall within the range of natural reason to discover. That is why comparing experts in these fields is appropriate. In fact, if one had the time, talent and means; one could acquire the relevant expertise in each of these areas one’s self.

      Revealed doctrines, such as the trinitarian nature of God or the divinity of Christ, are doctrines which are beyond the powers of natural reason to discover. Such doctrines are known directly, only to God. If we are to have access to them, then by necessity, we will have to accept such doctrines on the word of some authority which we have reason to believe speaks on God's behalf. That's the very nature of divine faith. The notion that one could discover revealed doctrines by use of one's reason and education is something like an epistemological category mistake.

      Using reason and education to explore the evidence or motives of credibility put forward by some authority to underwrite its claim to speak on God’s behalf – yes: but using reason and education as a methodology for discovering truths which, in principle, are known directly only by God, and indirectly by creatures only through trust in the word of a divinely sanctioned authority - no.

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    3. Thank you monk68. But by what rational standards could I possibly judge a source to be authoritative? For instance, both Eastern and Western Catholics claim to hold the original deposit of faith. How could I decide between them outside of a personal leap of faith, no more valid than anyone else's?

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    4. @ jmchugh,

      "This issue perplexes me."

      As you climb up one side of an isoceles triangle, there is always the other side in opposition to your position. Yet it is not so at the apex. There is only one position there.

      What is so perplexing about that?

      Tom Cohoe

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    5. Tom Cohoe-How do I know I'm at the apex?

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    6. When you write “Eastern and Western Catholics”, I am taking you to mean Eastern Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians, since Eastern rite Catholics and Western rite Catholics are both in communion with Rome, and therefore have no disagreement about the identity of that Church to which God has entrusted the deposit of faith. If I’ve misunderstood, please let me know.

      With respect to identifying those revealed doctrines which comprise the deposit of faith, the primary disagreement between Eastern Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians concerns the structure of the Church Christ founded. Knowing the structure of the Church is crucial for both identifying Christ’s Church through time (and thereby identifying where the deposit of faith has been deposited); as well as for explaining how Christ’s Church might defend, clarify, and promulgate the deposit of faith in a definitive way through time. More specifically, the primary structural disagreement between Eastern Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians concerns the role of the Bishop of Rome as a constituent element of the Church. Both agree that the Bishop of Rome is a constituent element of the Church in *some sense*. The ultimate question is whether the Bishop of Rome servers merely an honorary role within the Church – perhaps born only of historical contingencies; or whether Christ established a Petrine succession to serve as a watershed for identifying the Church through time, and as an authority by which disagreements over the scope of the deposit of faith might be settled in a definitive way.

      That ultimate question is one which can be assessed by natural reason on both historical and philosophical grounds. The question, therefore, falls within the orbit of apologetics. Part of a complete Catholic apologetic will include historical evidence and arguments showing that Christ established a Petrine succession as a constituent element of the Church, roughly in accord with the Catholic conception thereof. It will also include philosophical arguments showing that (1) without something like the Petrine succession as a structural principle of unity within the Church, it becomes impossible to actually identify the Church through time, and therefore impossible to identify the locus of the deposit of faith; and (2) that without something like the Catholic construal of Petrine authority, the Church is bereft of an actionable mechanism by which to defend, clarify and promulgate the deposit of faith in a definitive way through time. This is not the place to make or defend those historical and philosophical arguments. The point, however, is that assessing historical evidence and philosophical arguments in route to identifying the Catholic Church as the Church to which the deposit of faith has been entrusted, is a rational, evaluative, methodology far removed from a mere personal leap of faith.

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    7. @ jmchugh,

      "How do I know I'm at the apex?"

      That is a completely different question. Initially you were perplexed about Ed, that he could acknowledge two sides to many issues that he himself sees from one of them, but not himself for his higher conclusion.

      Now you are asking about yourself. I did not tell Ed where he would not find there to be an alternative point of view. Similarly, I cannot tell you where you will find the peak. Have a will to keep climbing that mountain and keep discerning.

      Tom Cohoe

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    8. Monk68, yes certainly I was talking about the Eastern Orthodox vs. the Catholic Christians. To me, that's the clearest case of where it is a matter of a leap of faith to choose one or the other. The historical issues are hotly contested. And there is no doubt that the EO church has a mechanism for preserving what they regard as the deposit of faith ("Holy Tradition" and the body of bishops united). It seems that they have done a better job of preserving tradition than the Western Church. And, they trace their lineage as far back as the Western Church.

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    9. Tom Cohoe-Thanks for your reply. If everyone's peak discernment is different then there really is no clear-cut path to seeing once and for all which institution or organization is the final authority to speak for God. Is that what you"re saying that in the end it's an intuitive place different for each individual?

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    10. @ jmchugh,

      "If everyone's peak discernment is different then there really is no clear-cut path to seeing once and for all which institution or organization is the final authority to speak for God. Is that what you're saying that in the end it's an intuitive place different for each individual?"

      Since everyone starts from a different place there is a different path of discernment for each individual. That includes different errors and fallings off the way for each individual. I can't find truth for you.

      Here are four rules to follow:

      1. Put your trust in God who desires your salvation.

      2. Do not trust yourself.

      3. Pray always for God's help, even if you feel no faith at all. The Our Father is a good start. Meditate prayerfully on God as much as possible through the day.

      4. Do spiritual exercises like asking for the intercession of the saints, going to confession, going to mass, getting involved in Eucharistic Adoration, reading the doctors, and discerning and acting on God's will for you.

      I am assuming that you are a baptised Catholic.

      Tom Cohoe

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    11. Do not forget the Blessed Virgin. It was She who first gave Christ to the world, and still does.

      Do not lose Faith in today's crisis. The world and the Church are being punished. That is why the Church is in eclipse, and the world on the brink of war.

      The Papal Office is the apex. No one in the East questioned it until a certain person decided it was in the way of their being an apex themselves. The East and West reunified once the fever died down until another sought to be an apex.
      The East recognizes the Roman primacy, just not all of it's prerogatives.

      When Our Lady of Fatima asked for the consecration of Russia by the Pope and bishops, she was asking for an act of Faith to end the schism and prevent Communism. The Popes sought to appease through diplomacy; deliberately avoiding the request in favor of human means. Thus, we had WWII, the Cold War, everything foretold at Fatima (except the annihilation of nations which entails WWIII).

      The Church will be reunified under Peter as She foretold once the punishments bring the men of the Church to their knees.

      And for those who maintain the Consecration has been done already, then the Pope and Bishops had better renew it. (I think we'd know if we were in the Marian Age by now instead of facing nuclear war with you know who).

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    12. Tom Cohoe-Thank you for your reply. I genuinely appreciate it. I agree with what you have to say though #2 is a question. This is not because I'm so big-headed as to believe I have all the answers but because I see trusting my mind as inescapable. After all, only I can make these decisions. Is what I'm experiencing a genuine revelation or emotionalism? Is it what I want or what God wants? My friend in the Protestant church has had a powerful, life-changing experience at his church. Does that make him right to go to that church? These questions and many more ultimately must be based on a decision in one's mind. But if that is the case then one needs clear standards to make a decision. Your apex is unclear to me. These remarks I hope will not be taken in the manner of an argument but rather of discussion.

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    13. @ jmchugh,

      Regarding #2, trusting yourself is the alternative to trusting God. We are stubborn, proud, easily deceived, and easily misled. Of course you have to make decisions but that doesn't mean you can trust yourself to pilot a 747 without getting into trouble.

      I am citing these 4 points from a book called "Spiritual Combat" by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, a priest wrongly accused of something for which he suffered for about 30 years before he was found to be innocent. As punishment, for the whole time he was not allowed to function as a priest, to which he had dedicated his life. This was his personal cross and a sign of contradiction.

      His book was released around 1570, but I believe his 4 points are commonly held among saints. I cannot explain better without pretending to be more than I am, but you could read one of these books. I read an article from the Scupoli book every morning based on the endorsement of Saint Francis de Sales who always carried his copy in his pocket. It has been through up to 600 editions in many languages.

      As for Protestants, I am not one of those who thinks there are no Protestant Saints.

      Get the book.

      Another more recent daily book is "Divine Intimacy", compiled from the writings of Carmelite (discalced) Saints by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, OCD. It is tough stuff.

      I must now resign from advising you, but I pray for you.

      Our Father, through Jesus and with the intercession of our Mother Mary, increase your illumination of the way before Jmchugh to the grace we cannot merit but can obtain through your mercy.


      Tom Cohoe

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    14. Tom Cohoe-Thank you. You are retiring with grace and dignity. I did not mean to enlist you as my spiritual advisor. You've been very kind and patient. Doubtless we will meet again here but I shall endeavor not to tax you.

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  17. YOU HAVE AMORIS LAETITIA ALL WRONG

    In the few days since the Vatican’s release of Amoris Laetitia, there has been talk of footnote 351 being a “smoking gun” that endorses communion for the divorced and remarried who lack an annulment.

    In the text preceding this note, Pope Francis observes that, while certain individuals may be objectively in sin, they may not be fully culpable. This is nothing new; the Church has long taught that mortal sin requires the presence of three criteria: grave matter, full knowledge and freedom of the will (CCC 1857). So the pope is saying that, though grave matter is always present in an irregular union, the other two criteria may not be.

    In such cases, the pope says, the Church can not merely state a rule as though it were “a stone to throw.” Rather, it must be a source of help for the couple to “grow in the life of grace.” And then he adds this footnote:

    In certain cases [emphasis added], this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy.” … I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
    In “certain cases,” but which? If the text that precedes the note is of any help, the pope would seem to be referring to cases where there is grave matter but not the other two criteria for mortal sin. If there is no mortal sin, nothing bars one from the Eucharist. Only a pastor who knows and has counseled the individuals in question can make this determination.

    Canon lawyer Edward N. Peters, in an article that’s worth your time, points out, however, that the pope cannot, in an apostolic exhortation, change the law about withholding the Eucharist from those who (as canon 915 puts it) “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin.”

    Still, it must be said that the language surrounding footnote 351 does not at all describe people who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin.” The pope speaks of those who are not fully culpable due to the presence of “mitigating factors.”

    Nor does the pope say that priests should allow couples to remain in sin once they are convicted of the grave matter. He speaks elsewhere (cf. §222) of the need for pastors to help couples develop a “fully formed conscience.” One the conscience is formed, the grave matter must end.

    And here is where footnote 329 becomes of help. In this section, the pope restates a point that St. John Paul II had made in Familiaris Consortio 84, which is that the good of children might mean that couples in an irregular union cannot separate (i.e., divorce or live apart). John Paul II is at pains to point out that celibacy is required of couples in this situation.

    In note 329, Pope Francis adds:

    In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters,” which the Church offers them,[emphasis added]point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers.”

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    1. [Francis] ]point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers.”

      What "faithfulness" is endangered? A couple that acknowledges and admits that the (second) faux-union they entered into is not actually marriage, and the so-called "vows" they said to be faithful to each other could not be binding vows because they ALREADY had binding vows to their first spouses, cannot fail marital faithfulness to each other because they never had binding vows of faithfulness to each other. Failing to enter into "certain expressions of intimacy" with each other cannot lead to faithlessness against their ORIGINAL spouses, of which binding vows remain in place.

      JPII explicitly rejected the notion that a couple living objectively disordered lives due to living in a condition of repeated sexual relations without the benefit of real marriage vows, could claim that they "should" continue to live that way for the sake of some other objective obligation, like raising children, on the grounds that they would (likely) FAIL that other obligation without the support of emotional and physical pleasure of the sexual relations. He called such a thesis specious, and insisted that the Church has ALWAYS taught that "God's grace is sufficient". The objection that God will not provide the grace needed is a rejection of God's own promises. The recognition that "I will likely often fall in spite of the graces offered" is, again NOT a reason to refuse to try, it is a reason to try hard, and to repeatedly get up from a fall and try again. (A similar cast of argument would apply to a person habitually given to the sin of gluttony: he cannot refuse to eat merely because he knows that (in spite of intending, now, not to sin), he is likely to sin in this way in the future. And a refusal to take on the intention not to sin in this way in the future merely because he knows he is likely to fall represents a formal rejection of God's grace.)

      The sinner must want to go forward forsaking the sin in order to be repentant enough to receive the grace of absolution, and a formal intention to continue the sinful sexual misbehavior, even "for the sake" of some other "good" is not an intention to forsake the sin.

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    2. So your illustrating what lengths Francis went through to try and bend morality over backwards to appease lax the Catholics, right?

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    3. https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/03/14/180314d.html

      "We know that one who has committed a serious sin should not approach Holy Communion without having first obtained absolution in the sacrament of Reconciliation.-Pope Francis to a bunch of Polish Pilgrims 3/14/2018.

      So the Pope has upheld doctrine here but.....

      Amoris basically is like a town that takes away all the stop signs and traffic lights from its streets. Sure there will be overly careful drivers who will still by habit stop at every corner and look carefully both ways so as to avoid getting hit but there will be more traffic fatalities.

      Who a Minister gives communion to is a matter of discipline and in making this discipline more lax the Pope has made it easier for the stupid to take communion illicitly. Pope Francis has an unrealistic believe people will police themselves which his personal anecdotes of family members he knows who are in invalid marriages who still refrain from communion.

      That is the real problem. Not that the Pope has taught error.

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    4. edit: " Pope Francis has an unrealistic belief people will police themselves in this matte which is why he gives his personal anecdotes of family members he knows who are in invalid marriages who still refrain from communion.

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    5. Bergolio knows exactly what he's doing. He's trying to make the rules so lax that they become irrelevant.
      It's the same thing the modernists did at the council. Make things so murky that you can say, or do, or believe whatever you want.

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    6. @Tim the White - That the Holy Father is speaking in a way that may very well have that effect is not the same as having intended that effect. I am no fan of the evasive, ambiguous, and even misleading language he has been (as quoted) known to use, but I do not especially care for the accusations that he is intentionally doing what you claim he is. Plenty of trads are guilty of this sort of contempt, ever ready to accuse instead of restraining their judgement to the effects without divining intent. I wish people understood how serious of an accusation they are making.

      Ultimately, his intent doesn't matter because regardless of whether his intentions are good or bad, the damage is done, and we ought to focus on the damaging effects of his words and not what motivated them.

      Or so I humbly submit.

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  18. I think what the Walt Whitmans of the world mean, and by no means do I agree with it, is that they somehow *transcend* the very metaphysical thinking about contradictions or logical inconsistencies. In a sense, they are saying they, or their modus operandi or modus vivendi, are *beyond* that kind of thinking altogether. So all of the ensuing logical analysis would be pointless, in the sense that it would completely miss the mark of what they were trying to say. Theirs is a poetic expression that does not yield (in their mind) to the "crude", rigid logical analysis. It operates beyond assertions and negations, consistencies and inconsistencies and ultimately, as a consequence, even beyond truth or non-truth. In this kind of thinking, I often detect a sort of Nietzschean undercurrent as well. An emphasis on will over reason certainly and a hard rejection of clear metaphysical thinking or any sort of categorization. In my mind, this is just an attempt to jump to a sort of false sense of freedom and empowerment, that ultimately falls flat on its face. However, and this is highly concerning, it is highly contagious, often personally beneficial (materially and superficially, nobody sane would argue that is good for your soul on the other hand) and incredibly effective at breaking down social order.

    I've noted this "movement" in the world for a while now and it's highly effective at destroying things that are well-ordered, whether it's norms, functional institutions, authorities, philosophical thinking, art...really anything you can think of. Today, it's very easy to be transgressive and peddle a sort of false freedom. The whole world calls people like that "brave" and "intellectual".

    I am not sure how this will end. It seems far easier to tear down every instance of logical order and normative behavior. In fact, I think the West's whole societal mechanism now is ordered towards destroying any sort of positive assertion whatsoever, in the most abstract sense of the term. Any structure, again even in the most abstract sense, must be broken down in the name of "freedom" and/or "social justice". And people who are transgressive in that way are often even given accolades for doing just that. The West's whole hierarchical structure of what or who is to be praised and rewarded and what or who is to be criticized and denounced seems now to be almost completely inverted from anything I'd consider sane and functional. It seems like the camp that is breaking things down is winning the battle. In fact, now I fear what kind of dystopia we would wake up in if they were given free reign, clear from vestiges of old order, to create something of their own with no restraints.

    Hearing that ethos in the line you quoted from Whitman (my intention here is to use the line, I've got nothing against Whitman) is just another proof of what I've thought for a while about this whole ordeal. This development is something that's been going on at all social levels for more than a century. Of course, I'm not naive enough to think that things were ever perfect at any point in history, I have no desire to go back to some fictional past that never existed. What I do hope to see, is a reversal of the trend towards a virtuous and functional society. This society will no doubt take on a new form, rather than recreate some identical copy of the past. What I do think will remain the same is the worship accorded to God, since I do not think a sustainably virtuous society can exist apart from God. And since God is the first and the highest principle by which society can order itself, all the ensuing virtues, hierarchies and norms will flow from that center. I'm not sure I'll still be around to see a society like that in the West (and I'm in my 30s), but I think the first inklings are starting to show, even though things might get still worse before they get better.

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    1. So all of the ensuing logical analysis would be pointless, in the sense that it would completely miss the mark of what they were trying to say. Theirs is a poetic expression that does not yield (in their mind) to the "crude", rigid logical analysis. It operates beyond assertions and negations, consistencies and inconsistencies and ultimately, as a consequence, even beyond truth or non-truth. In this kind of thinking, I often detect a sort of Nietzschean undercurrent as well. An emphasis on will over reason certainly and a hard rejection of clear metaphysical thinking or any sort of categorization. In my mind, this is just an attempt to jump to a sort of false sense of freedom and empowerment, that ultimately falls flat on its face.

      Anon, you have a great deal correct here. Bravo.

      It is my sense that - at least among Christians - the above sentiment about something "beyond" the understood categories strikes a sympathetic chord, because we know that God is indeed transcendental, and our (natural) knowledge of him is really negative: he ISN'T limited, or imperfect, or changing, etc.

      Further, our knowledge of him by faith is "through a glass darkly", and this implies that even when we can rightly say something positive about God, it either needs qualifying, or it is imperfect enough to bear improvement later. And this gives rise to the notion that words and sentences - and even concepts and thoughts - are simply inadequate to the reality of God, and thus He is "beyond both 'yes' and 'no' ".

      And thus "faith" has more than one meaning. In one sense, it includes the (true) statements that we can make about God and eternal things. In another sense it includes the underlying indwelling / infusion of The Truth beyond our ability to say. In the latter sense, we are dealing with transcendence.

      But what is forgotten in all this is that even when we are unable to properly and fully express, in words, the reality, we can fully and properly express in words and statements that certain things are FALSE. Maybe "God is good" is inadequate. But the proposition "God is evil" is wholly wrong, and (in this example) we don't need to rely on transcendence of faith seeing through a glass, darkly, to know it, either.

      The Scriptures, the public, revealed word of God, gives us hard, prosaic, guardrails for when certain ways of proposing that "God is like..." are not just inadequate, but wrong. This facet of Scripture isn't the entirety of Scripture, but it is an essential component of revelation: we CAN know that certain things are wrong even when we cannot express what is the (full) reality.

      In this way, while transcendent truth is in a sense beyond our utterances, it is still not wholly and absolutely beyond the category of the true (and the implicit negative, the false). Even when our categories are incomplete, they are not wholly irrelevant: reality itself cannot be unreal, and so our words (about God) are true even granting their limitations. Anyone who insists "God is love" is (like all statements about God), not even close enough to be 'right' or 'wrong' is off the mark.

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  19. " ... any system of ideas that incorporates a contradiction ... is self-annihilating"

    I said that I would leave it to practicing Catholics to argue matters of faith and fidelity. And I will.

    But it seems to me that there are enough inconsistencies within the present Church when compared with the Pre-Vatican II church, that it amounts in fact to a living contradiction.

    In fact, by the looks of it, there are fewer and fewer Novus Ordo modernists who even pay lip-service to the so-called "hermeneutic of continuity".

    And after all, one need not look far to find progressive prelates, or at least their pet mouthpieces, who blithely celebrate a theory of "rupture" and the emergence as they unabashedly believe it to be, of a new, man-centered, Church.

    Thus one is always tempted to wish that the hierarchs of the present institutional Church could somehow be forced to sit still in a chair until they answered the following question:

    "Since what you preach now clearly contradicts in effect what was taught us then [as per, say, the Baltimore Catechism], were you lying to us then, or are you lying to us now? And if what we were taught then can be ignored, why should we take seriously that which you teach now?

    Especially if, you know, all dogs go to heaven anyway.

    At the risk of mentioning it a third or fourth time here over the least 6 or so years, let me highly recommend the 1980 "Firing Line" episode, 'The Fight Over Catholic Orthodoxy'; readily available online for free viewing: featuring Wm. Buckley; Malachi Martin; Joseph Champlin; and an astonishingly well-informed and articulate Michael Davies. It's worth watching several times just to fully grasp all the points being covered.

    An astonishingly relevant presentation ... which demonstrates that everything old, in this regard at least, has become new again

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    1. it seems to me that there are enough inconsistencies within the present Church when compared with the Pre-Vatican II church, that it amounts in fact to a living contradiction.

      If this is correct, then Catholicism is false.

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    2. The Catholic Church is the standard.
      The Counciliar "church" is imposing itself on the real Church as in an eclipse.
      With the desperate act of suppressing the real Mass, the eclipse is in totality.
      Totality does not last very long.

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    3. The "Counciliar Church" is the Catholic Church, not whatever schismatic sect you claim to be Catholic. The Church doesn't teach error, and if you think it does, then you're wrong.

      The Catholic paradigm doesn't allow for you to decide which ecumenical councils to ignore and which you accept. Once you do that, you wind up in heretic-land, where there is nothing but theological anarchy. Your paradigm has no principled response to someone who decides to reject Vatican I or the Council of Trent.

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    4. Mister GeoconJanuary 13, 2022 at 7:44 PM

      " ' it seems to me that there are enough inconsistencies within the present Church when compared with the Pre-Vatican II church, that it amounts in fact to a living contradiction. '

      If this is correct, then Catholicism is false."


      I make no claims for the truth of Catholicism as you may imagine it; just for the incoherence of the moral worldviews of those opposed to the apostolic tradition, and moderate realism.

      But I suppose that those inclined to papalolitry [and I do not say you are] have quite the conundrum on their hands. Who are they going to trust, the deposit of apostolic faith and their lying eyes, or Bergoglio?

      This can be put into a somewhat comical form, if one tries to calculate what a pliable Roman Catholic might do if confronted by a pope who announced that he had discerned that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit was all a misunderstanding and henceforth it would not be taught. And then when challenged as to his authority to proclaim such an innovation, declared that he had such authority through his office by virtue of the anointing of the Holy Spirit manifesting itself through his election.

      "Stare decisis for thee, and not for me; for I am beyond all manifest contradictions, whereas your job is to shut up and blindly obey"

      Neat trick, if you can pull it off. It's one of the progressive crowds' favorite routines.

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    5. I see no contradiction between Vatican II and the Deposit of Faith. If you think otherwise, then show me the text.

      My position is simple: "Traditionalists" who think Vatican II was heresy are in the same position as Protestants who think the Council of Trent was heresy or Arians who think the Council of Nicaea was heresy. If you deny Vatican II, you leave the Catholic paradigm and enter into a Protestant one that leads to one elevating a private interpretation of the Deposit of Faith over the authority of Christ.

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    6. If you deny Vatican II, you leave the Catholic paradigm and enter into a Protestant one that leads to one elevating a private interpretation of the Deposit of Faith over the authority of Christ.

      And the authority of the Catholic paradigm (or its construction) is based on what exactly?

      And the establishment of those categories which stipulated declensions allow you to conjugate and inflect the term properly and understand its right sense are determined how?

      All that does not come out of nowhere. There are understandings and usages which the paradigm merely makes systematically explicit.

      When it comes to traditionalists, though I cannot speak for them, it seems to me that what they are saying is not that Vatican 2 was called improperly, and produced heretical documents per se, but that the paradigm was itself subsequently hollowed out by people claiming to follow the pattern and using the traditional inflections, but meaning and intending something else; in a conscious, planned, undermining of the historic tradition.

      In order for you to understand this you need only to read the biographical testimony of men like Gregory Baum who consciously and deceptively hid his inclinations and agenda in order to continue to participate in the life of the very church he intended to change.

      Unlike the illiterate who uses the wrong historically settled form of the word while intending the proper meaning - say past tense - the closeted innovator while introducing new slogans carefully continues to use the proper grammatical forms while intending, and eventually substituting, different meanings.

      In the case of those confidently ensconsed within the body of the Church, who, now emboldened triumphantly proclaim Vatican 2 requires and if understood IS a hermeneutic of rupture, and demand the recognition of it as inaugurating a new Church, there is no mystery or reason to debate the matter.

      Others however: cardinals, bishops, and priests, are even now not so bold. Nonetheless, their intentions can be discovered merely by reading what they have communicated among themselves. And here I would cite Rembert Weakland's manifesto-like pronouncements as a young liturgist as quoted by historian James Hitchcock in his book The Liturgical Revolution, available online. No clearer statement advocating the aim of a man-centric liturgy could be made than was made by [the later notorious homosexual Bishop] Rembert Weakland.

      I strongly urge anyone interested in these matters to view that old Firing Line episode, and to view it repeatedly, in order to let the logical distinctions being made fully settle in. The exchanges on the differences between the Novus Ordo rite, and its focus, and the "Mass of the Ages' " focus on efficacious propitiatory sacrifice offered by an ontologically marked priest, requires particularly close attention, as the the critical distinctions - and trend lines - are found in the details.

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  20. Thanks. This is gold! I enjoyed the link to intellectualism vs voluntarism as well.

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  21. As this applies to the pontificate of Pope Francis, the position I have chosen to take is that perceived inconsistencies must be apparent rather than real. I don't think it's willfully irrational to believe that my human intellect is fallible, and to prefer to make that judgement rather than believe the Pope is in error.

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    1. As a presumption, I think it is a good one to make, though as Ed has written, it is one that needs to be modulated as we learn more about the authority. We do not presume a new pope is a bad pope until he has given us reasons to believe that he is, but of course, we likewise do not assume he is a saint either. We assume basic goodwill and competence.

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    2. I also think that this works better as a starting point than a continued stance regardless of all further evidence.

      It's one thing when a pope issues a teaching document that takes earlier teaching and nudges it forward a small amount, in a way that I cannot see is necessarily so, but I can sort of see its plausibility. Or when the pope takes an earlier teaching and DISTINGUISHES it (showing an apparent ambiguity in its earlier formulations), so that he shows how in one pathway, its teaching is not only feasible but sound and wholesomely interlocks with other doctrines, whereas in another pathway we arrive at nonsense or inconsistencies with other doctrines, and so he resolves the ambiguity along the first pathway and declares the second to be contrary to doctrine. Or if the pope offers a new teaching that seems uncanny and not-easily situated with old doctrine, but expresses it as "maybe" and does not use firm language.

      It's another thing entirely if the pope takes an old teaching, says something about 179 degrees opposed, doesn't make an effort to clarify, and indeed denigrates those who ask for clarification, and uses firm, insistent language for his new teaching. See, part of the job description of "pope" is to preserve what was received, and another part of the job description is to clarify what is unclear. So, even if his new teaching is stated in (somewhat) clear terms considered on its own, the APPARENT lack of compatibility with prior teaching means that his statement is "unclear" taken in toto. And this constitutes an important failure to satisfy the meaning of his office. In that context, it seems appropriate to give to the new teaching something lesser than the kind of affirmative assent we might have given the pope in the first and second example above.

      Regarding this: magisterial teachings come as fallible or infallible. The infallible ones demand of us unreserved assent. The fallible ones (that fall under the category of "religious assent") require of us, instead, "reserved" assent. This is, per se, qualified, not "unreserved." And, critically, it is capable of degrees. There are stronger and weaker reservations, hence stronger and weaker qualified assent. A pope who nudges forward an old teaching with a new point that is explained in a plausible way merits a stronger assent (less reserved) than a pope who seems to be saying what is 179 degrees opposed to prior teaching, without clarification. The latter merits strong reservations to our assent. In effect, we are allowed to say: "yes, to the extent that is compatible with the eternal doctrine of the Church." The "reservation" is a hedge for what is not right now clear, since the pope declines to be clear.

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  22. The characteristics of the voluntarist personality match those described in Fanaticism | The Politics of Tyranny - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-QfljS4fjM&t=7s

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  23. Replies
    1. I doubt very much Mrs. Feser believes women can be Priests much less Popes.

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    2. In my country Women are allowed to think differently than their husbands, so I do not know what Mrs Feser believes.

      Anyway, I wish Mrs Feser a long life, so I very much doubt professor Feser can be a priest.

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    3. In theory Prof Feser can be a Priest since he is a validly baptized male. Mrs. Feser is not.

      I have no reason to believe Mrs. Feser is not a good Catholic. Charity demands I assume she is till I have shown hard evidence to the contrary.

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    4. There are countless good Catholicd who do not agree that wormen cannot be priests, but of course only People who think like you are good Catholicd.
      Anyway,thé way things are now, unless Mrs Feser were to die, Ed can only become a priest if he breaks his marriage vows and I doubt Mrs Feser Will like that.


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    5. "There are countless good Catholicd who do not agree that wormen cannot be priests, but of course only People who think like you are good Catholicd."

      Don't be an idiot. Pope St. John Paull II taught definitively that women cannot be priests. To deny this is to deny an authoritative teaching of the Pope, and given the divine constitution of the Church, it is to deny the authority of the Church; depending on the level of the denial, this constitutes heresy. An heretic is not in communion with the Church, ergo an heretic is not a "good Catholic".

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    6. Never understood why some non-christians insist that there is no official definition of what a catholic is when there is literally dogma saying the criteria.

      I mean, can't we decide who is part of our group?

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    7. Grodrigues

      That John Paul's teaching was really authoritative is highly controversial. Lots of Catholic theologians dispute it.
      Anyway, of course I don't think there will be a female Pope in the near future, just as I don't expect world peace, but that doesn't mean I think it would be a good thing if those things were really possible.
      But, even if it were possible, I cannot vote for either Dr or Mrs Feser, and unless you are a Cardinal, neither can you.

      Talmid

      The problem with this is that the Catholic Church is all too eager to declare how many Catholics there are in the world and that Catholicism is growing, and in doing so, they count grodrigues' "heretics" as Catholics.
      So, maybe you can decide who is part of your group, but the Catholic Church apparently can't.

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    8. "That John Paul's teaching was really authoritative is highly controversial. Lots of Catholic theologians dispute it."

      No, it's not "highly controversial", you are making stuff up out of thin air. It is simply a matter of reading the language of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

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    9. "The problem with this is that the Catholic Church is all too eager to declare how many Catholics there are in the world and that Catholicism is growing, and in doing so, they count grodrigues' "heretics" as Catholics."

      The problem with this is that you keep misunderstanding and changing the terms of the discussion. Yakov of Yakov speaks "I doubt very much Mrs. Feser believes women can be Priests much less Popes." and you somehow manage to transmogrify that as "In my country Women are allowed to think differently than their husbands, so I do not know what Mrs Feser believes." What the heck? Yakov of Yakov speaks of "good Catholics", in the sense of Catholics faithful to the Magisterium, you blurt out "There are countless good Catholicd who do not agree that wormen cannot be priests, but of course only People who think like you are good Catholicd." which presumably means that "good Catholics" are the Catholics that according to van Acker, whose knowledge of Catholicism can charitably be counted as non-existent, are good, in whatever sense of "good" van Acker has in mind. I expound the sense in which "good Catholic" was to be understood, Talmid comments on it concurring that the Church has the authority to say who are the Catholics in good standing, and you respond hah but the problem is that the Catholic Church is overcounting its members including 'grodrigues' "heretics"'. Why are you trying this hard to pick up a fight? Whatever the answer, go pound sand.

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    10. grodrigues

      "In 2017, German bishop Gebhard Fürst supported the ordination of women to the diaconate.[104] In October 2019 German bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck said many Catholic people don't understand why women are unable to be deacons or priests, which he thinks should be changed.[105] German bishop Georg Bätzing supported women ordination.[106] In August 2020 German archbishop Stefan Heße supported ordination of women in Roman Catholic Church.[107] Catholic theologians call for the ordination of women to be discussed in the Synodal consultations initiated by Pope Francis"

      Out of thin air?

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    11. I have no idea who "van Acker" or "Yakov of Yakov" is, but the only person to judge what Mrs Feser thinks or believes is Mrs Feser.
      The rest is speculation.
      And yes, the Catholic Church is overcounting its members, so it may have the authority to say who are Catholics in good standing, but it uses this authority to declare various people Catholic whenever it fits its purposes.
      Serious authority is consistent, Catholic authority isn't, so it should not be taken seriously.

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    12. Women could be priests (please note the subjunctive there) if, and only if, Christ had instituted the priesthood so as not to be comprised of males only. Christ had the power to do so, but he chose not to. Because Christ is the one who instituted the sacraments, and who alone had the power to do so, (the Church does not institute sacraments), Christ alone and not the Church could have made it so women could be priests.

      Given the fact that Christ constituted the priesthood to have, as its proper subject, males only, women cannot be priests. The Church has definitively declared this, such as in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Because the Church has definitively declared this, nobody who speaks approvingly even of the possibility, or open consideration of the possibility that women should be ordained priests is not being a good Catholic - he is rejecting definitive teaching, which is a wrong behavior for a Catholic.

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    13. Tony

      Did Christ definitely declare that only males can be priests? No, he did not.
      Christ also chose to only have Jewish priests. He had the power to choose a Romans or Samaritans, but he chose not to. Therefore, only males of jewish decent can be priests.

      Christ had the power to condemn slavery, but he chose not to.

      Technically, you are right, of course. If the club decides what you have to believe to be a member, then you should believe it, no matter how irrational this belief is.
      But then I am afraid that there are only very few "good Catholics" left in this world, so the Catholic Church should be consistent and admit that it has become a quite insignificant minority cult instead of bragging that Catholic Faith is growing.

      But, this is not the issue. The issue is that, only knowing some things about her husband, I have no idea what Mrs Feser's opinion on this matter is. It's not because Ed Feser is a "good Catholic" that Mrs Feser is also a good Catholic. Charity does not demand me to think she is or she isn't. Charity only demeads me to believe she has the capacity and the right to make up her own mind.

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  24. I continue to believe that the root turning point towards erro in the history of philosophy, science and theology goes back to nominalism which affects all these branches of thought in a very negative way. It is the denial of real essences and natures in things that introduces a error ridden and immorral path into modern culture. Of course the potential for this error and the effects of the Fall were active from the beginning. However, the root error can give us a starting point at correcting that error through orienting us toward right and true thinking in science, philosophy, theology and all the elements essential to a human thriving oriented culture.

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  25. “I may judge one doctor to be trustworthy and another to be a quack. But it doesn’t follow that I claim to have greater medical expertise than the former. By the same token, when I judge one purported source of divine revelation (a book, a prophet, a Church, or whatever) to be genuine, and another to be bogus, it doesn’t follow that I claim greater expertise about divine revelation than the former.”
    I don’t know that you have fully explained why, in these cases, that it does not follow that you claim greater expertise than the doctor/lawyer/religion of your examples. I agree that it is true that, while evaluating my two options for a doctor, I will readily admit that I do not claim that I have more medical knowledge, on the whole, than one (perhaps both) doctor(s). However, it seems to me that in the process of making the decision, and relying on my own decision-making process with a criteria that I have chosen, that I am indeed setting myself up as the higher authority.

    Taking the example of choosing a doctor. Perhaps I will look to opinions of the doctor’s colleagues in her field, or look to what the doctor’s patients say about the doctor’s results in their cases, and this may appear to shift the authority off my shoulders. But I still chose which criteria to use! If I instead attempt to judge the doctor’s credibility against my own “knowledge” or perceptions of medical doctrine, then I am even more clearly setting myself up as the authority. If I decide against hiring a doctor because I know the doctor believes that homeopathy is effective, and I believe homeopathy is not effective, have I not set myself up as an authority higher than the doctor I am evaluating? Suppose this doctor’s belief in homeopathy is (internally) logically consistent, and so I cannot rely on mere consistency to reject him. Doesn’t my choice come down to my weighing of the doctor’s views and methods against my own beliefs or perceptions?

    I think this is what is going on with people who, like myself, object that there is no way to get away from the “private judgment” that leads a person to a particular church’s doors. Say I have been convinced of the things which can be known by natural reason – the existence of God, his perfections, his being in some sense personal, etc. I decide I want to pursue becoming in right relation to God and consider my options. I can evaluate logical consistency, like this post advises; but suppose I am choosing between options which are internally logically consistent (and that I can possibly make that determination) – how then will I avoid setting myself up as the highest authority on various topics which would help me decide between alternatives? Am I not going to fall into things like, “I find American Baptism unacceptable because it relies on biblical inerrancy, which I believe with good reason is clearly false,” or perhaps “it is clear that the Catholic Church is mistaken on the issue of contraception within marriage, so I am hesitant to join it,” etc? The church I eventually join (if I do ever join one) is the one which comports with my authority, my judgments, my beliefs.

    I think the (unsatisfying) answer to this quandary is that God’s grace leads the believer to the correct church/denomination, but unfortunately, they ALL say that! What am I to do?

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    1. You're getting into the territory of Dave Stove's worst argument. "Since I use my senses to know things, I can never know things in themselves."

      Of course, you're going to use your private judgment, but there's a difference between using your private judgement to find the correct authority and following that and elevating your private judgment into an authority of its own. That's the difference between the Protestant and Catholic paradigms.

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    2. but suppose I am choosing between options which are internally logically consistent

      In point of fact, when we are judging between doctors or car mechanics or plumbers, we (very often) locate things that (to us) stand out as inconsistencies and thus are sound, rational bases for judging against one or more of the options. For example, I saw this during COVID: my brother sent me an article by a doctor that seemed - to my brother - a reasonable source. I back-checked on the bona fides of that doctor and his 2 co-authors, and found that all three had notable strikes against them in terms of reliability. For the worst of the 3, she had 15 years ago published a study with X conclusions, it was later proven to be an unsound study, and she retracted it. Still later, it was proven that she had engaged in outright (academic) fraud in concocting the study. Years later, she was publicly promoting the 'results' of that study, without any new basis supporting those results. That's a pretty heavy load of inconsistency. It doesn't take having an MD or a Ph.D. after your name to reasonably lower this doctor's reliability below that of other experts. Judging that one (or several) medical experts are not reliable because their claims are inconsistent does not require knowing more medicine than they.

      A similar approach can be taken in moral or religious matters: a person can set aside the claims of some proclaimed guru or prophet, not because you know more about God and religious things, but because his claims are inconsistent with what you know from other sources, or internally inconsistent with what they themselves have said.

      Traditionally, the early preaching of the Christian gospel was attested by 2 important supports for the message: miracles, and holy living by the saints, apostles, missionaries. And by "holy living" I mean two things, more or less: those preaching Christianity were actually living the same truths they were preaching, including living poor / not accepting material gain by being the leaders of a large group; and visibly living heroic virtues that everyone can admire but are so unusually high that even other religions would (typically) say they are too hard. Christ points out that a friend might, perchance, be willing to die for his friend - but this is great love. The Christian saint goes a step further, and is willing to die for, or forgive, his enemies, even those who are right now killing him. Forgiving your enemies is a god-like act, it is not naturally humanly possible (in our common fallen state), but it is possible with divine aid.

      This kind of evidence is not the sort that proves as a mathematical demonstration that Christianity is the true religion, so there remains room for not believing it. But these kinds of evidence are justifiable bases for putting at least SOME other claims at a lower level of reliance, i.e. setting them aside as improbable or unworthy of further pursuit.

      Which is not the sort of sifting that requires you to be more expert in religious matters than the so-called expert before you.

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  26. Did God of the old testament have a wife/consort named Asherah? If so, does this mean Christianity was originally polytheistic?

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    1. No. Just because some ancient Israelites thought that Yahweh had a wife doesn't mean he actually had a wife since those Jews were wrong. Also, Christian doctrine is not based on the human theological opinions of the ancient Jewish polytheists but on divinely-revealed truth.

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  27. What about Chesterton's view on consistency:
    "The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that."

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    1. What i got from that part of the book was that the ordinary man finds truth not because he literally accepts contradictions, but because when he sees two clear truths that seem to contradict he has no problem thinking "perhaps i just can't find the solution, but it is there." There are some questions whose answers are mysterious and the ordinary man can accept mystery.

      The intellectuals that Chesterton is criticizing don't do that, though. When they see two truths that seems to contradict they think that because they can't see a way to harmony them there is none and so they reject one truth and pick the other. If i remember right this part is after Chesterton talks about the matematicians who try to "fit heavon on their heads". The problem here is one of not accepting the human mind limitations.

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  28. Dr Feser comparing Pope Francis to Pope St Victor(in a past post) was just too on the noise. Well done.

    I love it.

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  29. "Criticizing those who characterize inconsistency"

    (...)

    Quoting myself from another context(amateur& thought-provoking):

    "Text/Title: Why I never knew someone/ Limits of the Human Potential.

    In my opinion(amateur); psychology allows the understanding of behaviour patterns. But can we retain absolute knowledge of who others are?

    Do we in the unacknowledged of others individuals thought; also respecting the not observable, the individuals' acquired culture and education; their self-development, through the passage of "years/time"; do we believe in the myth, that we know others, or who they are?

    Do we from the partial time of observation of others individuals, understand, also the smallest part of their identity?

    Luis Maduro."

    In the resume and regarding logical inconsistency, does to observe an individual and his actions is purely subjective, or not "exaction"?

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