Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Interesting Speech

This goes back to some things I've said about Catholic-Orthodox reunion and how I've come to understand that I could accept the Orthodox wholesale today, without any changes on their part, if only they could likewise accept us without any changes on our part either:

"The Ratzinger Proposal refers to a speech made by then-Father Joseph Ratzinger in 1976 which was included in his book “Principles of Catholic Theology” published by Ignatius Press in 1987. In the speech, he proposed the following, which is very similar to Archbishop’s Zoghby’s profession (emphasis added):

Certainly, no one who claims allegiance to Catholic theology can simply declare the doctrine of primacy null and void, especially not if he seeks to understand the objections and evaluates with an open mind the relative weight of what can be determined historically. Nor is it possible, on the other hand, for him to regard as the only possible form and, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries…Although it is not given us to halt the flight of history, to change the course of centuries, we may say, nevertheless, that what was possible for a thousand years is not impossible for Christians today. After all, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, in the same bull in which he excommunicated the Patriarch Michael Cerularius and thus inaugurated the schism between East and West, designated the Emperor and people of Constantinople as “very Christian and orthodox”, although their concept of the Roman primacy was certainly far less different from that of Cerularius than from that, let us say, of the First Vatican Council. In other words, Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the Patriarch Athenagoras, on July 25, 1967, on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to Phanar, designated him as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us, as one also presides in charity, this great Church leader was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium. Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while, on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox and legitimate in the form she has always had."


sortacatholic said...

I often attend Orthodox liturgies without guilt or compunction. I do not receive the Eucharist there, but then again I am not a frequent communicant anyway. What irks me is the Roman refusal to recognize the political validity of the Orthodox rites. Why shouldn't my attendance at a Orthodox celebration of the Chrysostom rite "count" as my Sunday obligation? Rome's constant affirmation of the validity of Orthodox orders and sacraments contradicts her political refusal to recognize Catholic attendance at Orthodox liturgy.

Then again, the politics of schism cut both ways: I absolutely do not want a corporate reunion of the SSPX with the Universal Church. (Individual conversions of priests and laity are fine, so long as they affirm the Council.) Schism is schism, I suppose, no matter how small or big. An affirmation of the jurisdiction of Orthodox clergy over Catholics would imply a new meaning of schism much more porous than the one now in place. A fast hold on the invalidity of SSPX confessions and marriages would dissolve in a blanket approval of Orthodox sacramental care of Roman souls. Hence, the status quo is quite better than the consequences.

A Sinner said...

The seeming continued recognition of Orthodox valid jurisdiction over their own members, and a continuity of internal validity to their Sees even out of communion with the Holy likewise a more "porous" interpretation than what existed at the strictest of times.

At one point a lot of ultramontane theologians were teaching that any local church out of communion with Rome, even if the bishop with his whole diocese left, lost even INTERNAL jurisdiction and coherence; many rad trads still hold to this.

But the newer interpretation of the Orthodox as valid and cohesive Local Churches (even if in material schism) is a welcome change I think, and absolutely necessary recognition for corporate reunion to work.

I'm no fan of the SSPX and all the weird hatred and right-wing nonsense that goes on in it...but you really don't want to see corporate reunion? Interesting.

sortacatholic said...

I do not desire corporate reunion of the SSPX with the Universal Church for the following reasons.

First off, I don't doubt that there are individual priests and lay members of the SSPX that are charitable and compassionate people. There are laypeople who attend SSPX missions simply because no licit priest in their area celebrates the ancient Roman liturgy. Granted, these people are obliged to hear the Ordinary Form even if they cannot find an orthodox parish. Nevertheless I can sort of understand why some would opt for the SSPX if there are no Easterners in their area and the only other option is Fr. Ad-Lib. Then again, I'm restricted to the OF now even though I love the traditional liturgy. Often the Novus Ordo is such meager fare. This is life.

The SSPX's bald hatred will be nothing but a moral cancer on the Church. Does any sane and compassionate person want someone such as Williamson anywhere near a pulpit or even a faldstool? Corporate reunion would only give some SSPX priests and prelates a platform for anti-Semitism, historical revisionism, and strange political ideas. Better then to welcome back SSPX priests that are committed to human justice as well as orthodox faith.

I also accept _Nostra Aetate_ and _Dignitatis Humanae_. I affirm that the Church can live within a plural society and simultaneously affirm Christ as our salvation. I also affirm that all people possess human dignity. I am gravely concerned that the SSPX cannot distinguish between the inherent dignity of human beings and the question of plurality in religious expression inherent to (post)modern societies. The SSPX loudly proclaims that error has no rights. Yet when has the SSPX confirmed the dignity of man?

Some contend that reintegration of the SSPX will soften their hard lines. I doubt the organization is reformable. Why take the risk of letting such obtuse churchmen back into the fold?

A Sinner said...

I sympathize with what you say, because I definitely think a lot of SSPXers are nuts. But so are a lot of people in the church already. More usually on the Left and, well, doesn't that need to be "balanced" by an extreme right wing as well, lol...

Undoubtedly there is a lot of spiritual sickness in the SSPX. At the same time, I think it is important, as part of tolerance, to clarify just what are the maximum bounds of what is "acceptable" for Catholics to hold.

An "don't like what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it" sort of thing. They aren't heretics, and if they'd be willing to submit administratively, I don't see how we can exclude them just because they are distasteful to us (though perhaps you're saying no energy should be spent "negotiating")...

The Vatican II documents on other religions and religious liberty are not dogma. On the other hand, neither was the Syllabus of Errors or anything like that. On such prudential matters, Catholics ARE free to hold differing opinions. And though I think theirs are authoritarian and rather delusional in the world today, they are within the bounds of orthodoxy to hold those position.

I think it is important to clarify that for the Church lest the merely the current party-line of the current administration become identified narrowly with orthodoxy ala the Neocons, which might be a good effect of SSPX negotiations is finally dealing with a lot of this ambiguity and factionalism over interpretation of things people are already free to have differing opinions on.

The Church can certainly adapt to modern society, but it is also not required to actively promote the "modern" values. Positions on the Crusades, the Inquisition, the structure of Medieval society, many ways these are moot points today and it is silly to argue them as they aren't going to be a practical issue again any time soon. At the same time I would fear the Neocon world where they are condemned as absolutely wrong and democracy and pluralism and laicitee or secularism of the State are held up as "Catholic teachings" when really all those questions are prudential and Catholics are free to hold either and the Church has throughout history adapted to both.

Tony said...

"The Vatican II documents on other religions and religious liberty are not dogma. On the other hand, neither was the Syllabus of Errors or anything like that. On such prudential matters, Catholics ARE free to hold differing opinions. And though I think theirs are authoritarian and rather delusional in the world today, they are within the bounds of orthodoxy to hold those position."

I feel a new post brewing in your tea, dawg.

I think that if the SSPX leadership were to agree to some official deal, many of the retard-fascists would run to the woods and elect the anti-pope they've been hankering for all the while leaving more balanced men to aid the Church.

A Sinner said...

I just wonder how all the different factions will react when a Renegade Trad is elected Pope and comes out on the balcony announcing an end to communion in the hand immediately, an end to the Novus Ordo within one year, and a coronation with the papal the same breath as married priests and a vernacular Old Rite.

Tony said...

I think I might dream it tonight, only to wake up and cry for reality as it stands.