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 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy 
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Mike,

Mike wrote:
the Pope is given special graces to perform his task of being the Head and Ruler of the Church.

This is right. Mons. Fenton makes this explicit in the article referred to above, so that whilst the pope is the ambassador of Our Lord Jesus Christ, he also acts by the prompting, and under the suave but sure guidance, of Christ.


Mike wrote:
Can the pope make prudential decisions in regards to the Divine Worship of the Church which all Catholics are bound to which may lead Catholics to a less perfect form of worship of God? I think this is the crux of our issue here.

Perhaps it is. Could it not be that Providence arranges that the pope acts with wonderful prudence and wisdom to make a change which is good and produces good results, but which also inevitably has what would be regarded as concomitant effects which can be seen afterwards to be bad? God foresaw these results and permitted them for His own mysterious reasons.

Consider the relaxation of the laws of fasting in relation to Lent over the past few centuries, and how these might have in themselves all been wonderful changes which enabled more men to keep the law of the Church with perfect strictness, but which also in their own way contributed to the slackening of the spirit of penance. The primary effect was good; the secondary effect not good.

The same could be said regarding the relaxation of the fasting law in relation to reception of the Holy Eucharist.

The same could be said for the promotion of frequent Communion, which I see as one of the greatest and clearest goods promulgated by the popes in the past few centuries, but which also may ultimately have been responsible for a lessening of respect for the Holy Eucharist.

Now, all of the bad which flowed from any of these things would properly be sheeted home to the evils of fallen human nature and the general trend or tendency of our era. The popes would properly be regarded as fighting a rearguard action. It is in the essential nature of a rearguard action that one is in retreat. The retreat is not the purpose – the retreat is a means, supported by another means, the rearguard action.

In this light it seems possible to regard the liturgical movement and its various efforts to promote the understanding of the public prayer of the Church and to restore it on occasion, as both good in itself and also productive, ultimately, of evils.


Mike wrote:
I am not sure if he can do this, but even if he could do this, I don't think that I am able to judge which form of worship is better or not better, as both come from the Church. I would rather leave any judgment on liturgical matters to the pope.

I think this is a vital point and I agree entirely with you. I agree with the whole thrust and spirit of your comments on this whole issue. But I think we can be more precise in relation to how some of these things work. Do you agree?

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:10 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
I think this is a vital point and I agree entirely with you. I agree with the whole thrust and spirit of your comments on this whole issue. But I think we can be more precise in relation to how some of these things work. Do you agree?


Dear John,

Yes, I do agree wholeheartedly, and I thank you for your comments. I think there are many separate issues at play in regards to this one overall issue, which makes this complex in separating all of this and dealing with it accordingly. If I have made any errors in any of my statements, I pray that I can see this clearly, and welcome clear and consice correction.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:44 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

Thank you for your reply.

You said:

Quote:
Perhaps we can distinguish here: Berry only says that there is no guarantee that “laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances.” No theologian writes a statement like that without considering it carefully. Fr. Berry definitely did not say that “there is no guarantee that laws and precepts will always be good under the circumstances.” That was not his point and it would be at least a dangerous thing to say.


I agree fully that he did not say "there is no guarantee that laws and precepts will always be good under the circumstances." But I think even the phrasing of this rhetorical statement lacks precision for the present discussion. In giving our assent to the Church, does that mean that we must believe every law to be good? (or as Mike said.."spotless and holy")? Of course, when the Church seeks to bind in regards to revelation this is a given. But sometimes, even when she is only seeking to guide, she "binds" as well. For example, the suppression of the Jesuits. Could not one give "assent" to the Brief of Suppression, while at the same time thinking it to be hogwash? I remember reading Fortescue's "The Mass" and being struck by his sense of loss that some of the ancient collects had been removed. I think it would be fair to say, he viewed such deletions as "imprudent". Was he being impious or disrespectful to the Church? Or Benedict the XV's suppression of the Sodalitium Pianum. Is it somehow irreverent to view this "official act" as horrible and down rite wrong? I know John, you have forgotten more of these instances of ecclesiastical history than I will ever remember, but do you catch my drift? What do you think?

John wrote:
Quote:
Now, you take from this text the following lesson:


I know you were not implying certain intentions here John, but let me just be clear. The only lesson I have learned from Father Berry's quote is that Church rulers do not always make the best decisions. From this, I add the fact (of which I assume we all agree) that sometimes, Church rulers actually haven't made the best decisions. Then I juxtapose this position with a position that states.."The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions."... and claim that such a statement lacks precision and nuance, and needs to be refined. Needless to say, the Holy Ghost does not "guide" the Church into imprudent decisions and judgments.

John wrote:
Quote:
The precise point at issue is not yet completely clear, but one issue seems to be whether we may say that a given law was “imprudent” in itself, and another is whether a particular change was prudent (i.e. distinguishing the actual law from the decision to alter it – one could conceive of a decision which produced a law, good in itself, but resulting in harm accidentally, so to speak, through want of prudence or even of good intentions).


and this:

Quote:
The question of whether a law may cease to do good through a change of circumstances is one which everybody already agrees on, I think.


In regards to the former, excellent point. Though, I think both issues are running hand and hand here.

About the latter, I'm not sure. Mike seems to make a distinction between the Church's disciplinary law, which can become harmful, and the Church's liturgical laws, which cannot. This distinction is improper (I believe) because the Church's liturgical laws are contained within her disciplinary laws. If one can "become harmful", than so can the other. I quoted Van Noort on this in a previous thread, and will quote Father Berry here:

Quote:
Disciplinary Matters. Under this head are included the laws and precepts established by ecclesiastical authority for the regulation of worship or for the guidance of the faithful throughout the world. "The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise; B. Herder Book CO., pg 508


Besides, the Church has at numerous times allowed liturgical practices that, through a change in circumstance, became not only harmful to souls, but overtly sac religious. Namely, communion in the hand, taking a consecrated host home, communion under both kinds, and giving communion to infants. (I understand that with the latter two, it could be argued that the change was for other reasons..but the point is that what the Church once allowed liturgically, would be viewed today as strange and unorthodox.)

Quote:
John wrote: A lot of babies get tossed out with bathwater these days.


If I may revert to my former Protestant days......Amen Brother.

In Christ,
Bill


Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:43 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
If I have made any errors in any of my statements, I pray that I can see this clearly, and welcome clear and consice correction.


No problem, my friend. I wasn't suggesting any errors, at least that I have identified. But I don't think that either side of this discussion has precisely defined its position and supported it with texts, which apart from anything else makes me wonder if there is a real difference or only a perceived one.

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:22 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

Bill wrote:
I agree fully that he did not say "there is no guarantee that laws and precepts will always be good under the circumstances." But I think even the phrasing of this rhetorical statement lacks precision for the present discussion. In giving our assent to the Church, does that mean that we must believe every law to be good? (or as Mike said.."spotless and holy")? Of course, when the Church seeks to bind in regards to revelation this is a given. But sometimes, even when she is only seeking to guide, she "binds" as well. For example, the suppression of the Jesuits. Could not one give "assent" to the Brief of Suppression, while at the same time thinking it to be hogwash? I remember reading Fortescue's "The Mass" and being struck by his sense of loss that some of the ancient collects had been removed. I think it would be fair to say, he viewed such deletions as "imprudent". Was he being impious or disrespectful to the Church? Or Benedict the XV's suppression of the Sodalitium Pianum. Is it somehow irreverent to view this "official act" as horrible and down rite wrong?


Fascinating, isn't it? The thing to keep in view is the great number of variables involved in practical cases, especially those which affect large numbers in profound ways.

Let’s run through the list and consider some, perhaps a little startling, alternative views.

The suppression of the Jesuits could well be discovered on Judgement Day to have been an admirable decision in the circumstances. It may have avoided countless evils (the enemies who wanted it certainly threatened plenty of great evils if they did not get their way). And God, Whose ways are not our ways, may value the utterly magnificent, spotless, obedience of the Jesuits themselves above whatever educational and apologetical goods they may otherwise have secured but which were lost by their suppression. We can’t weight these things. We don’t have the data, even if we had the competence.

Fortescue, I happen to know from a source I am not at liberty to reveal, was concerned with taking the Anti-Modernist Oath since he didn't feel that it represented his true mind. I had always thought him a semi-Modernist and this only confirms the general impression. I would not give his opinion on any papal decision any weight at all, and I have long considered his views on liturgical history with a great deal of suspicion. I am not meaning to condemn him – he may have been perfectly sincere – but merely to place his opinion outside of consideration.

The Sodalitium Pianum was a most innovative and daring exercise in direct intervention in dioceses, unparalleled in the history of the Church. It did in fact do a great deal of good - it cauterised a severe wound, Modernism - but it was hardly the kind of thing that the government of the Church could tolerate long-term. It simply had to be suppressed at some point, I think. We don’t keep a hot poker near the skin of a patient after the wound has been cauterised – we put it away, because it is both unnecessary and dangerous. The recrudescence of Modernism may be seen to have been the result of many factors, of which the absence of the Sodalitium Pianum was a minor one. I am not positing that judgement as my own – I am merely suggesting it as an alternative to the usual criticism of Pope Benedict XV, who was uniquely positioned to assess the situation, and gravely obliged to make the actual decision.



Bill wrote:
I know you were not implying certain intentions here John, but let me just be clear. The only lesson I have learned from Father Berry's quote is that Church rulers do not always make the best decisions.

Yes, I understand, but I’m not sure you grasp my point. It is one thing to say that there is no guarantee of perfection – it is another thing to assert actual imperfection. Consider the following from Dom Paul Nau, in the booklet, Pope or Church? (Angelus Press, 1998), writing about infallibility. The same point applies here, I think.
Quote:
The most serious danger is not that of “overestimating the teachings of the Magisterium” but rather that of disturbing the confidence and adhesion of the faithful. It would be particularly dangerous to contrast the solemn Magisterium with the ordinary one, according to the too indiscriminating categories of fallible and infallible; so forgetting the wise warning which the Faculty of Paris gave in 1682:
Whatever opinion one may profess on the infallibility of the pope, it is just as disrespectful to proclaim publicly that he can be wrong, as to say to children: your parents may be lying to you.




Bill wrote:
Then I juxtapose this position with a position that states… "The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions."... and claim that such a statement lacks precision and nuance, and needs to be refined.

Well, I agree with that, but I expect all parties to approach the authorities and cite texts in order to discover and present that necessary additional precision.

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:58 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

Your alternative views to my examples are fine. But I was raising the questions in a larger context. I wasn't asking for a defense of the actions per se. I was instead asking if it was not only necessary to give "assent" (with all that entails) to an ecclesiastical law, but also to think the law was prudent. I'll ask again.." Could not one give "assent" to the Brief of Suppression, while at the same time thinking it to be hogwash?"....." Or Benedict the XV's suppression of the Sodalitium Pianum. Is it somehow irreverent to view this "official act" as horrible and down rite wrong?" ...Is it wrong for Father Fortescue to long for the older prayers, and wonder aloud why their deletion occured. It seems the position you entail would say, "not only do you have to give assent to a law, you have to like it as well." I'm not sure that follows. Is it not possible to be docile and obedient to the Church, and sometimes wonder..."I just don't know about that one, thank God I'm not in charge".

In your quote of Dom Paul Nau...are you sure your not spreading that quote to thin? It still is not getting at exactly what were talking about. It's speaking about "teachings of the magisterium" and saying "It would be particularly dangerous to contrast the solemn Magisterium with the ordinary one, according to the too indiscriminating categories of fallible and infallible;". No one I am aware of is doing that in this discussion. The question is much more subtle. Is it somehow impious or lacking in respect to simply question the prudence of a particular law. Given that it is granted the rulers of the Church don't always make the best possible decisions, and that they actually haven't always made the best decisions...how could it be considered as such?

John wrote:
Well, I agree with that, but I expect all parties to approach the authorities and cite texts in order to discover and present that necessary additional precision.

I'm glad you expect that. That is why I believe these forums are head and tail's above the rest. That is also why I provided the two texts in my initial post to Mike. The state of the discussion now, has changed to a more precise point. The texts you have provided John, are agreed upon, and are certainly the principles upon which any Catholic should build his love for the Church. I just don't think their inconsistent with believing that in certain cases, the Church can make an imprudent decision. Do you?

In Christ,
Bill


Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:28 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !


Quote:
The same could be said for the promotion of frequent Communion, which I see as one of the greatest and clearest goods promulgated by the popes in the past few centuries, but which also may ultimately have been responsible for a lessening of respect for the Holy Eucharist.


Me thinks we need to separate the issues regarding general laws, from decree's that effect the Church's Divine Liturgy .ie : The 1955 Holy Week Rite.

On a side note: I asked this earlier in this thread: Has anyone ever investigated the blanket claim made in traditional circles which states: "Bungni was the creator of the new Holy Week Rite?" One would think, yes he took part in this activity, but he was only a priest, and one would think it was by Committee that this Rite was designed and then presented to the Holy Father for approval.

Regarding the claim of lessening respect to the Holy Eucharist, I have not seen any evidence of this. If memory serves, the changes were directed at Jansenism , and the fact workers in general no longer kept 8-5 M-F jobs.

The lessening of respect for the Holy Eucharist ( which I witnessed first hand) was the New Mass ! When it became a meal service everyone would partake of the community “ meal “. I am thankful that given Patrick Omlors great work on this topic, that it was in reality only bread at this point anyway !


In any traditional Chapel I have attended, I see nothing but great awe and respect directed toward the Holy Eucharist. With one issue: In small chapels there are those who keep track of who received Holy Communion, and comment that. " hmm, they must have committed a mortal sin" !

I myself was hit with such rethoric once from one of the old ladys in the back of the Chapel ! .....:)

In Xto,
Vincent


Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:46 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Hello Vince,

You asked:
Quote:
Has anyone ever investigated the blanket claim made in traditional circles which states: "Bungni was the creator of the new Holy Week Rite?"


I have not. I have only read Father Cekada's articles on the subject in which he quotes Bugnini as saying:

Quote:
“The present decree has a contingent character. It is essentially a bridge between the old and the new, and if you will, an arrow indicating the direction taken by the current restoration.…”

• “The simplification does not embrace all areas which would deserve a reform, but for the moment only the things that are easiest and most obvious and with an immediate and tangible effect… In the simplification, being a ‘bridge’ between the present state and the general reform, compromise was inevitable…”

• “This reform is only the first step toward measures of a wider scope, and it is not possible to judge accurately of a part except when it is placed in its whole.”

• “The decree ‘Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria,” promulgated by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 16 November 1955 [and introducing the new Holy Week] is the third step towards a general liturgical reform.”


I agree with you Vince, that particular comment (from the traditio site if I remember correctly) is a blanket statement (they tend to do that often, don't they?).

In Christ,
Bill


Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:09 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

I am open to being educated on the point of whether the pope in his official actions governing or teaching the universal Church can act imprudently. I ask the question, "would Christ prevent the Pope through the graces given to him from binding the flock to lesser rites of worship?" After reading your posts, I have thought on this, and I would be willing to read whatever texts you may present on this issue.

My views on the Church and the Papacy can be summed up here: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/encyc ... 3SATIS.HTM

I am sure that we have no disagreement in that you accept every word of the encyclical as I do. In regards to prudence, I am not aware of a single instance in Church history where it can be argued irrefutably that the Pope acted imprudently in the use of his office.

You have cited some examples, but as John Lane has pointed out, that is a matter of perception. In every case where a person may state that the Pope acted imprudently, I would say that this is only his opinion. If someone thinks that the Pope should not have promulgated a new rite, and that therefore the pope acted imprudently, that is only the opinion of the individual. There is no proof that this is true. I am not sure that the Church has taught officially on this point one way or the other.

But, as I have said, I, as a Catholic will always give the benefit of the doubt to the Pope that he is acting prudently, and this goes for every instance of Church history. I will always side with the Pope, unless someone can show me irrefutable evidence, that he acted imprudently in the use of his office. As of yet, I have never seen such irrefutable evidence in any case, and this included the laws of Pope Pius XII.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:13 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Very intriguing discussion, gentlemen.

Quote:
that all laws are somehow the direct will of God....is fundamentally wrong.


Concerning the 1949 instruction on Ecumenism, I can't even find the document online, is there a place it can be located?

Regarding the liturgical laws of Pius XII, the Pope has the authority to promulgate those, and do they not command obedience?

Quote:
I am not aware of a single instance in Church history where it can be argued irrefutably that the Pope acted imprudently in the use of his office.


Well, there is the case of Clement VII and Francis I in the 16th century in political treaty.
Quote:
If someone thinks that the Pope should not have promulgated a new rite, and that therefore the pope acted imprudently, that is only the opinion of the individual.


Well, coudn't we argue, then, that the conjectures of any individual in any given instance are purely their opinions, including liturgical scholars and theologians?

As with the 1955 liturgical changes, I think a commentary which spent time on this was Michael Davies complaining about Bugnini's part to play in it.

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:33 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

Bill wrote:
Your alternative views to my examples are fine. But I was raising the questions in a larger context. I wasn't asking for a defense of the actions per se. I was instead asking if it was not only necessary to give "assent" (with all that entails) to an ecclesiastical law, but also to think the law was prudent.

Yes, I think that one is definitely obliged to presume that the Holy Father's decision is prudent. More, I think one is obliged to think his decision is wise, holy, and that it will secure the good of souls and promote the glory of God. Unless you cannot think this in any given case, you ought to think it.

Now, if that were your mentality, you'd find creative ways to undermine whatever negative judgements you were tempted to form about papal acts. Do you see?

You commented before that you think me familiar with Church history. I think that's relatively true - I am more familiar with Church history than most. I am particularly familiar with the controversial cases which generally get raised by sedeplenists to prove that popes can err, disappear into heresy, destroy the Church, etc. With complete candour I assure you that I cannot think of a case in which a pope acted officially as pope (i.e. not as ruler of the papal states, and not as a private theologian) in relation to the universal Church (i.e. not in some decision affecting only a portion of the Church), which was evidently anything but magnificent. This is not to say that various popes didn't try to make bad decisions, but Providence prevented them.


Bill wrote:
I'll ask again.." Could not one give "assent" to the Brief of Suppression, while at the same time thinking it to be hogwash?"

Are you asking whether this is physically possible? Yes, it is. Is it the correct attitude for a Catholic? No, I don't think so. (I add that this case would not constitute a "general" law in that it applied only to some members of the Church, but I am not thereby granting anything, merely pointing out a distinction which may be important.)

Bill wrote:
It seems the position you entail would say, "not only do you have to give assent to a law, you have to like it as well." I'm not sure that follows. Is it not possible to be docile and obedient to the Church, and sometimes wonder..."I just don't know about that one, thank God I'm not in charge".

See how even in your own mind the distinction occurs between "liking" something and not disliking it? I think it possible to reach a point in relation to a particular act in which the state of mind is, "To my judgement this looks bad, but I am not competent in this matter, I do not have all of the relevant data, and I will suspend judgement." Thus one would not be forced to "like" something but one would be forced to hold one's mind open to the (at least) very high probability that it was indeed likeable.


Bill wrote:
In your quote of Dom Paul Nau...are you sure your not spreading that quote to thin? It still is not getting at exactly what were talking about. It's speaking about "teachings of the magisterium" and saying "It would be particularly dangerous to contrast the solemn Magisterium with the ordinary one, according to the too indiscriminating categories of fallible and infallible;".

I am employing it as an analogy. The mindset is the same.


Bill wrote:
Given that it is granted the rulers of the Church don't always make the best possible decisions,

"Best possible" is one of a continuum which includes "Superlative but not best possible," "Good," and "Less than good," and "Bad." In other words, just because it is granted that the hierarchy is not guaranteed to make the “best possible” decisions, does not imply that it is granted that the hierarchy may make “bad” decisions or even “imprudent” ones. This is a matter of logic.


Bill wrote:
and that they actually haven't always made the best decisions...

I am not granting this and I don’t think you will find a theologian who does grant it, but I could well be mistaken.

I should perhaps add that if your intention is to defend the “Nine” on the Holy Week issue you need not do any more than rest upon the notion that laws may become harmful by a change in circumstances, and in the absence of any authority it would be prudent and right to put aside such a law for the time being. I have close friends amongst the Nine and I certainly have no motive to consider their actions bad. My own SSPX priest, whom I happen to think is remarkably holy, uses the pre-55 Holy Week too.

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:11 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

Thank you again for the response. I always anticipate your posts, fully expecting to learn something new every time.

You said:
Yes, I think that one is definitely obliged to presume that the Holy Father's decision is prudent.

and this:

...I don’t think you will find a theologian who does grant it, but I could well be mistaken.

Father Berry in "Christ's Church" pg. 496 says of Liberius:

Quote:
If this be true, Liberius can be accused of nothing more than imprudence in signing a document open to false interpretation.


On pg. 498 He says in regards to Vigilius and the "Three Chapters":

Quote:
The Pope's prudence in the matter may be questioned, but not his faith.


Van Noort in "Christ's Church" pg. 307 states:

Quote:
Was, then, Honorius actually a helper of heresy? Prescinding from the question of serious subjective guilt, from which many authors excuse the pope, this much must be said: Honorius was a bit gullible in relying so readily of Sergius' advice and he acted unwisely in persuading people not to preach about the twofold operation which he himself, nonetheless, personally admitted. He acted still more unwisely by adding that odd-sounding clause about "one will in Christ". Because of these imprudences he did (unwittingly) help to fan the rising blaze of the Monotheletic heresy."


Berry at least says it's permissible to question these Popes prudence, and Van Noort flatly does question Honorius'(even calling the Pope unwise and gullible).

You also wrote this:

"I think it possible to reach a point in relation to a particular act in which the state of mind is, "To my judgement this looks bad, but I am not competent in this matter, I do not have all of the relevant data, and I will suspend judgement." Thus one would not be forced to "like" something but one would be forced to hold one's mind open to the (at least) very high probability that it was indeed likeable.

I agree with that one hundred percent. That was the point I was trying to convey with this: "I just don't know about that one, thank God I'm not in charge". But all of that still entails a certain uneasiness with the law itself. A questioning if you will, without allowing attendant doubts and hostilities to creep in.

Quote:
John wrote: I should perhaps add that if your intention is to defend the “Nine” ...


I can honestly tell you, I haven't thought of the "Nine" once during this conversation. As we both agreed earlier, there are really two topics being discussed here, only indirectly related. You can indeed defend a rejection of the Holy Week reforms without questioning the prudence of the law itself. Though many I'm sure, do look askance at the law itself, given the players involved, and the general lust for playing mix and match with the liturgy that was prevailing at the time.

In Christ,
Bill


Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:11 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
I'm not about to start citing references, but I have read enough Church history in 55 years to know that while God protects the Church from heresies, which cannot proceed from the Church, He has permitted history to be littered with imprudent papal acts. To those here who think this a rash statement, I can only only urge you to begin a 30 year reading course in Church history. There is a lot of romanticism on the subject. Papal humanity cannot be equated to Christ's humanity except rashly. A pope must cooperate with grace to overcome weakness even when God protects him from formal heresy.

Savanarola...


Last edited by paxus on Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:25 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

Bill wrote:
Thank you again for the response. I always anticipate your posts, fully expecting to learn something new every time.

Flattery will get you everywhere. :) But seriously, thank you.

Bill wrote:
Berry at least says it's permissible to question these Popes prudence, and Van Noort flatly does question Honorius'(even calling the Pope unwise and gullible).

Yes, of course, I grant all that. But none of these acts was a papal act for the universal Church. We’re not discussing whether a given pope was prudent, wise etc. We’re discussing whether his official acts for the whole Church can be judged to be imprudent etc.

Liberius certainly was not committing the Church to anything. He acted under coercion and did not publish his act at all. Both factors suffice individually to undermine the notion that this was a papal act binding the universal Church. Fr. Berry can be understood to be commenting on Liberius’s personal faith and prudence, neither of which are at issue here.

Vigilius likewise was not settling anything for the universal Church in refusing for a time to agree to a condemnation of the Three Chapters. This is another case in which papal liberty is seriously questioned and the matter itself is impossibly convoluted.

Honorius wrote two private letters to Sergius. It is far from clear to me that this was even known to others during the lifetime of Honorius. This example is also clearly outside of the parameters for consideration. But this last example would I agree be apropos if, for example, Honorius had published these letters and forbidden the term “two wills.” For in that case you would have a public act which would be very difficult to defend, even if infallibility were not at issue (which it probably would not be – the letters contained no doctrinal error as such).



Bill wrote:
But all of that still entails a certain uneasiness with the law itself. A questioning if you will, without allowing attendant doubts and hostilities to creep in.

Yes, so we are agreed that the proper reaction would be to take these privately to the Holy Father if that were considered worthwhile, but to refrain from forming a definite judgement or from criticising the Holy Father publicly?

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

You said:

Quote:
Yes, of course, I grant all that. But none of these acts was a papal act for the universal Church. We’re not discussing whether a given pope was prudent, wise etc. We’re discussing whether his official acts for the whole Church can be judged to be imprudent etc.


Well, I've always had a broader view of the topic, which includes, but is not confined to "his official acts for the whole Church...". But nonetheless, in reading both Berry and Van Noort, I don't think their making this distinction either. Their speaking in a rather "matter of fact" fashion. Especially Father Berry, who when he writes on "Disciplinary Matters", which he claims are "necessarily infallible", and making no distinctions, says clearly that "..there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence:".

I know you've read the Angelus booklet "Pope or Church" (probably a few times). I have as well. On Page 33, Dom Paul Nau is discussing the notion of "circumstantial writings". He rightfully dismantles the idea seeing it for what is was, a ploy to avoid the authoritative nature of (in this specific context) encyclicals. In doing so, he made this statement:

Quote:
It still presents the danger of forgetting that a practical directive always pre-supposes a general theory of universal range, even if its application is restricted to some precise historical occasion."


I know this text is only analogous to the present topic, but it's still relevant. Especially given the next few sentences that apply the idea of "universal range" to "historical situations"...namely Donatism and the issue of Simoniac ordinations. Weren't the issues of Liberius, and Honorius, at least universal in range? They were acting as Popes in that the positions they espoused (or did not espouse) would have an effect on much more than the current situation at the time. I agree, neither were seeking to "bind" anything upon the Church...but I think we would both agree that even when a Pope is not seeking to compel, his actions and statements still merit some credence. Isn't this (in part) why the council rebuked Honorius?....because some took his lack of condemnation and therefore apparent condoning as a sign to keep spreading their heresy? I definitely believe that the Holy Spirit prevented them from hoisting error and heresy upon the Church, but he did not prevent them from causing her difficulties through imprudent decisions.

Quote:
Yes, so we are agreed that the proper reaction would be to take these privately to the Holy Father if that were considered worthwhile, but to refrain from forming a definite judgement or from criticising the Holy Father publicly?


With a few qualifiers (the most important of which is that the law could actually be imprudent), I would say yes, we agree. So would you agree that believing some laws may be imprudent, (in the sense mentioned above) is not incompatible with a docile and passive love for the Church's authority?

In Christ,
Bill


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

I'll come back to this, but in sum, here is what I think:

“When one loves the pope one does not stop to debate about what he advises or demands, to ask how far the rigorous duty of obedience extends and to mark the limit of this obligation. When one loves the pope, one does not object that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to repeat into the ear of each individual his will, so often clearly expressed, not only viva voce, but also by letters and other public documents; one does not call his orders into doubt on the pretext – easily advanced by whoever does not wish to obey - that they emanate not directly from him, but from his entourage; one does not limit the field in which he can and should exercise his will; one does not oppose to the authority of the pope that of other persons, however learned, who differ in opinion from the pope. Besides, however great their knowledge, their holiness is wanting, for there can be no holiness where there is disagreement with the pope.”
St Pius X, to the priests of the Apostolic Union, 18th November 1912, AAS 1912, p. 695.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John Lane wrote:
Yes, I think that one is definitely obliged to presume that the Holy Father's decision is prudent. More, I think one is obliged to think his decision is wise, holy, and that it will secure the good of souls and promote the glory of God. Unless you cannot think this in any given case, you ought to think it.

Now, if that were your mentality, you'd find creative ways to undermine whatever negative judgements you were tempted to form about papal acts. Do you see?

In normal times this "creativity" is required. Of course what we might call "creativity" is just a way for us to explain away our deficiency in understanding a papal act.

That all being said, what are the limits of this "creativity"? It is not limitless is it?

Doesn't the situation with John XXIII muddy this up? I don't think we can just put his case aside when discussing this subject. How many of us are trying to find a creative way to understand Pacem In Terris? Should we be trying?

What I see is the beginnings of a way to deny facts on principle. This is the "argument" of the "conservative Catholic".

Robert


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

You said:

Quote:
I'll come back to this...


Sure thing.

As to the quote you have provided. I remember your using it in a controversy on angelqueen. I wish you could appreciate how queer it seems to me to have those statements used
against me as if I may even slightly have a problem with them. :) I think the last question I asked will go a long way in helping us at least see the ground upon which we stand (ground I don't think is very different).

In Christ,
Bill


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert wrote:
Doesn't the situation with John XXIII muddy this up? I don't think we can just put his case aside when discussing this subject. How many of us are trying to find a creative way to understand Pacem In Terris? Should we be trying?

What I see is the beginnings of a way to deny facts on principle. This is the "argument" of the "conservative Catholic".


Good points. Thoughts I have been pondering, and thinking of adding to the conversation but have not yet had the opportunity.

This question is even more pertinent to those (such as myself) who tend to think Paul VI was a validly elected Pope who fell into heresy. If I may ask Robert's question a different way....at what point do perfectly valid principles, give way to facts? For example, Van Noort said, in regards to Popes becoming formal heretics...."The more probable and respectful opinion, followed by Suarez, Bellarmine and many others, holds that just as God has not till this day ever permitted such a thing to happen, so to he never will permit a pope to become a formal and public heretic."...but would any today, given what has occurred , believe this more "probable and respectful opinion", is actually still the more "probable and respectful opinion"? Sure, you could say, "I don't believe any of the VII Popes were ever Popes"....but even if you do hold such a position (which incidentally, I believe causes more problems than it solves), would you still claim that it would be a mistake to run contrary to the more "probable and respectful" idea that God would never allow a Pope to fall? My point is that if you think it disrespectful to judge a particular Papal law "imprudent"....you should literally jerk and recoil at the very notion of a Pope becoming a heretic. And given that most theologians believe the more "probable and respectful" opinion, you could cite dozens of authors to support your case. After all, should you not give the "benefit of the doubt" to the Pope? Who is judging that this or that Pope is a heretic....you? Shouldn't you no matter what, "stand with the Pope"..(I know I don't need to say this, but those questions are rhetorical, not directed at anyone)? I hope this broadens the discussion a little, and better conveys the idea I am sometimes struggling to set forth.....that while certain principles may be agreed upon generally (like complete respect for and acceptance of all Church laws, and love for all the Pope does), you can given a particular situation, have some serious questions regarding this or that decision, without completely obliterating the principles we all agree upon.

In Christ,
Bill


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
Cristian, I can only assume you did not read the quote I provided from Father Berry. Here it is again.

Quote:
"The Church is necessarily infallible in this doctrinal judgment, for if she were not, the faithful might be led into errors of doctrine at any time. But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances. Neither is the Church infallible in applying her laws to particular cases.


You have asked me to "prove" that a "law made by a Pope may not be the most prudent at the time". Father Berry says "But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances."
This quote..."...prudence may dictate it's abrogation or modification." was from Van Noort. I'm using the word "prudence" because it seems to be the word of choice when talking about this issue in the manuals. In return, may I ask you... do you have any authorities who state that every law of the Church is most prudent, and the best given the circumstance?


Bill excuse me, you are right, i didn´t see that quote.

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Hi everybody, i promissed to translate a letter of Leo XIII i believe is pertinent to this topic.
First i will translate a commentary of this document, made by a Spaniard priest and then some parts of the short letter.

All this is taken from BAC, "Doctrina Pontificia", vol 5, "Documentos juridicos", pag 3 to 10.

"An "unpleasent" incident, due, unwillingly, by an inappropriate letter made by Cardinal Pitra, caused Leo XIII´s intervention with this letter, sent to Card. Guibert, archbishop of Paris.
Till 1895, Card. Pitra was known except by few persons, but the day after he (Card. Pitra) sent a letter to fr. Browers his name, became very famous.
In this letter (Card. Pitra´s) he praised and quoted by name some catholic journalists and politicians from France, Spain and Italy, some of whose ideas, excessively intransigent, were just reproved by the Pope... Card Guibert sent immediately to Leo XIII a letter of adhesion... saying "it is the duty of all good Christians, and above all if they are digantary of the Church, to group together, in those difficult days, around the Pope". Leo XIII answerd to him with the following letter.
... the most serious of Card. Pitra´s letter is that he made a comparison, absolutely inadmissible, between Pio IX and Leo XIII.
... Card. Pitra sent a letter of submission to Leo XIII, ending with these words "I hate what His Holiness hate, i wish what H. H. wish; I condemn what H. H. condemn".
"From the point of view of doctrine this document is interesting because of the distinction Leo XIII made between "the fundamental duties the apostolic ministry imposses upon the Pontiff" and the concrete solutions each Pope has to make in order to resolve the problems regarding the whole Church in a specific moment. The first ones point at the line of the permanet in the history of the Roman pontificate, whereas the last ones point at the variable way (or perhaps "side", not sure) of the contingent applications, subordinated to the common good (bonum commune) of the Church, and must be decided just by the Pope, in view of the circumstances. That is why, it remind us the Pope, it is completely wrong to compare one Pope with another. In the line of the permanent all Popes have fulfilled with the same perfection theire duties, and in the line of the appretiation of the practical criteria, each Pope has more elements of judgment and more supernatural assistence, to get right (acertar) the solution that, hic et nunc , is the most suitable to the usefulness of the whole Church. This doctrine has a permanent value for those who, easily, pretend to see changes, contradictions or pendular movements (sound familiar?) in the action of government of the Roman Pontiff."

Bold and parenthesis mine.

Well... till here the introduction.

In a footnote it is quoted a paragraph of Card. Guibert´s letter to Leo XIII: "During my long career of 44 years as Bishop... more than once i thought the Pope had to make such decision o to avoid another. But God by His grace, made me to understand that i had not received from Jesus Christ the personal assitence promissed to Peter and His sucessors, and experience had prove me that the Popes under which i lived had govern the Church wisely, as did their predecessors during 18 centuries" (ASS 17 (1885/6) 10-11)

(In the following post i translate part of the letter along with its original, i just don´t want to be too long).

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
paxus wrote:
I'm not about to start citing references, but I have read enough Church history in 55 years to know that while God protects the Church from heresies, which cannot proceed from the Church, He has permitted history to be littered with imprudent papal acts. To those here who think this a rash statement, I can only only urge you to begin a 30 year reading course in Church history. There is a lot of romanticism on the subject. Papal humanity cannot be equated to Christ's humanity except rashly. A pope must cooperate with grace to overcome weakness even when God protects him from formal heresy.

Savanarola...


I think the following link speaks to a case of papal "mystery" (imprudence ?) directed to the whole Church. It has yet to be resolved: it appears to some to be a case of 'ex cathedra' infallibility; to others, as infallible through the ordinary, universal Magisterium; to still others, as a non-infallible, centuries-old teaching of the Holy See. It's a fairly long document, but well worth the time invested: it speaks for itself.

"From the early nineteenth century onwards it has been more or less universally admitted among Catholic scholars that Catholics are free to espouse heliocentric doctrine and in practice almost all have done so. While this relieved the pressure of requiring Catholic scientists to reject heliocentrism despite its being commonly accepted as an established scientific truth, it created the new embarrassment of explaining how the Church had changed her mind and authorised her faithful to believe what they had previously been forbidden to believe on the grounds that it was incompatible with the Divine revelation contained in Holy Scripture committed to the authoritative interpretation of the Church." (The Theological Status of Heliocentrism, John S. Daly, page 1)

"2. While it is not intrinsically unorthodox to hold, as some theologians have done, that in a very rare and exceptional case a doctrinal precept of the Holy See may be inaccurate and need subsequent revision, a loyal Catholic can only be exceedingly reluctant to admit that this has occurred in any concrete case. His reluctance is based on his pious respect for the Holy See and docility to all its decisions and his faith in the protection accorded by the Holy Ghost to all the acts of the Church. And he would be especially reluctant to admit error on the part of the Holy See in the case of Galileo both because of the gravity of the censure originally applied to heliocentrism and because everyone knows perfectly well that the Galileo affair is the only serious example proffered of a case in which error on the part of the Holy See in noninfallible doctrinal decisions is thought by some to have been established, and even admitted. The recognition of this view inevitably weakens faith and starkly opposes the filial attitude every good Catholic nurtures towards the Holy See." (ibid. pgs. 54-55)

http://www.ldolphin.org/geocentricity/Daly.pdf

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
First the original and then the translation.

Quote:
"Epistola Tua", cf. Leonis XIII Acta (Romae 1891 ss)

"...Ex certis quibusdam indiciis haud difficulter colligitur, in catholicis hominibus, fortasse temporum vitio, non deesse, quid haud satis contenti subesse, quod est ipsorum proprium, se posse arbitrentur partem aliquam in gerenda christiana republica attingere, aut saltem existiment, de rebus, quas qui presunt gesserint, licere sibi quaerere et pro arbitrio suo iudicare. Prepostera sane ratio: quae si valeret, summum inde detrimentum caperet Ecclesia Dei, quam divinus auctor sic tempravit, ut, personarum discrimine constituto, omnino iusserit alteros docere, alteros discere oportere... populo autem imperatum, ut eorum (i.e. pastorum) praecepta sequeatur...
Qua in re violatur officium non solum abiiciendo palam aperteque obedientiam Episcopis summoque Ecclesiae Principi debitam, sed etiam resistendo per obliquum perque ambages tanto periculosiores, quanto magis simulatione tectas. In eodem genere peccant qui potestati iuribusque favent Pontifcis romani, Episcopos tamen cum eo coniunctos non verentur, eorumque vel auctortatem minoris faciunt, quam par est, vel acta vel consilia, praeoccupato: Sedis Apostolicae iudicio, in deteriorem partem interpretantur. similiter animi est minus sincere in obsequio pemanentis, alterum Pontificem cum altero committere. Ex diversis duabus agendi rationibus, qui praesentem despiciunt ut praeteritae assentiantur, ii parum obnoxios potestati impertiunt, cuius imperio ipsos regi ius et officuim est, iidemque aliquam habent cum iis similitudinem, qui, sua causa damnata, ad futurum Concilium vellent, vel ad Pontificem, cui melius de causa liqueat, provocare.
Quam ad rem hoc fixum persuasumque sit, in Ecclesiae gubernatione, salvis officiis maximis, quibus Pontifices omnes apostolicum munus adstringit, unicuique eorum integrum esse eam rationem sequi, quae, spectatis temporibus ceterisque rerum adiunctis, optima videatur. Idque ad solius Pontificis iudicium pertinet: propterea quod is ad eam non solum singulari quodam donatur consilii lumine, sed etiam perspecta habet totius christianae reipublicae tempora, quibus apostolicam providentiam suam convenienter respondere necesse est. Is curam gerit de communi Ecclesiae bono, cui singularum partium servit utilitas: ceteri vero, quotquot hoc ordine comprehenduntur, debent summi rectoris coepta adiuvare, et que ille spectat, obedienter sequi. Sicut una est Ecclesia, et unus qui Ecclesiae preest, eodem modo una est rectio, cui oportet subesse universos.
Euismodi doctrinae si semel animo effluxerint, continuo in catholicis non eadem manet erga ducem sibi divinitus datum verecundia, non idem obsequium, neque fiducia: relaxatur amoris atque obedientiae vinculum, quo christianos omnes cum Episcopis suis, eosdemque et Episcopos ipsos cum suprmo umnium Pastore coniunctos esse mecesse est, quod quidem vinculum incolumitatem et salutem publicam maxime continet. Pari modo late fit, aditus ad catholicorum dessidia, intereunte concordia, quae habenda est velut nota sectatorum Iesu Christi, quaeque omni quidem tempore, sed nunc potissimum, tot coentibus in foedera inimicis, suprema omnium lex esse deberet, cui quamlibet privatorum rationem utilitamque omnino cedere oporteret..."


"Some signs show us clearly that there are some Catholics, perhaps due to the influx of these times, who dissatisfied with obedience, which is their duty, think that they may have some intervention in the government of the Christian life, or at least, think they may judge according to their caprice, the decissions of those who govern the Church. This criteria, which is absolutely wrong, if it would prevail, would cause a great harm to the Church of God, because she was established by Him under the distinction of persons and the express order that some have to teach and others obey... it has been commanded to the people to obey the precepts of their Pastors...

And in this question you infringe this duty not only with the open rejection of obedience towards Bishops and Pope, but also resisting them indirecty.
Incur in the same sin those who defending the authority of the Roman Pontiff, nontheless disobey their Bishops, or do not appreciate their authority as it is due, or interpret their decree or decisions in a bad way, bringing forward in that way to the judgment of the Apostolic See. It indicates also a certain unsincerity in obedience to compare one Pontiff with another. Those who, before 2 different ways of acting, reject the actual one and praise the past one, show not much obedience to whom you have to obey in order to be goberned and are, in a certain way, similar to those who, being condemned, appeal to a future Council or to the Roman Pontiff in order to examine their cause again.
In this question, have all in mind that in Church´s government, excepting the fundamental obligations the Apostolic ministry imposes to the Popes, each Pontiff is free to follow the way he thinks is the most appropriate, according to the times and other circumstances. This competence is exclusive of the R. Pontiff, becuase he has for these cases an special light of the gift of counsel, and he has a more complete vision of the situation of the whole Church, in order to give an answer according to his apostolic providence. It is he who takes care of the common good of the Church, to which subordinates the particular utility of her different parts. Everybody else, without exception, must cooperate with the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and follow his plans.
If this doctrine would fall into oblivion, the reverence, trust and respect due to the guide given by God would be lost. The bond of loving obedience would be relaxed, bond that keep together faithfuls with their Bishops, and them with the Pope...
Also, a great division among Catholics would follow, becuase of the death of concord, which must be always be considered as a characteristic of the followers of Jesus Christ, and in all times, and most above all now, when so many enemies get otgether, must be the supreme law for all..."

This are Leo XIII´s words, obviously i wrote the original latin text in order that those who may read it, correct the errors i made in the translation.

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Wonderful, Cristian, thank you.

Consider also this text from the article of Mons. Fenton referenced above. He is speaking about the office of Our Lord as Teacher within the Church. However, Our Lord has three offices - priest, prophet (i.e. teacher) and king (i.e. ruler). He rules the Church as definitely as He acts as Teacher within her. I do not say, and I am careful not to say, that He rules in exactly the same manner as He teaches, because I don't have full information - and I have just sufficient information to be sure that there is a real difference between the modes of instrumentality which He employs in ruling and teaching. However, whatever differences might exist, there are similarities, and this text is an eminently clear discussion of the manner in which Our Lord is truly the Teacher in the Church.

Further, it refers to special graces, analogous or parallel to the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which are granted to the hierarchy in order to enable them to act as docile instruments of Our Lord. The three named are the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. This notion it seems to me is exactly the same one referred to by Pope Leo XIII above, as a "special light of the gift of counsel" - counsel, of course, being especially required in the application of eternal principles to contingent facts, one of the vital tasks of government, and of course it is also a gift of the Holy Ghost. I submit that Leo refers here not to the gift of the Holy Ghost, but rather to what Fenton describes as gratiae gratis datae. That is, Fenton distinguishes them from the Gifts of the Holy Ghost precisely on the ground that they have a social purpose, the fulfilling of the duties of the office, rather than primarily an individual purpose, the perfecting of the individual.

Anyway, anybody should be able to see where this leads, which is to a very great reticence to form any judgement which differs from that of the Holy Father, in any circumstance at all. And this because one knows that Christ rules His Church in some instrumental but very intimate manner, so that we feel that in criticising the Holy Father we are risking criticism of Our Lord Himself. And I further submit that this is the meaning of that text from St. Pius X, who certainly is not referring solely to matters of Faith, but who is speaking very deliberately about the entire submission of intellect and will to the authority of Rome.

None of this answers the precise question at issue here, but it certainly encourages us to answer it in a certain way, I think.

From: Monsignor Joseph Fenton, Christ the Teacher and the Stability of Catholic Dogma: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/fento ... 0Dogma.pdf
Quote:
Our Lord, on the other hand, lives now, precisely as Teacher, within His Church. The books of which He is the Author are expounded and explained by men whom He has commissioned, by men who act and teach in virtue of the power which He communicates to them here and now. Thus the work of expressing and of carrying the truth to the disciples within the Church, the function which is pre-eminently the task of the teacher, is something which He is actually performing within the Church at every moment, and which earns for Him, from this point of view, the title of the Church’s Teacher or Magister in the strict and proper sense of the term.

But, though this be true with reference to the part of divine Christian revelation which is contained in the inspired books, particularly those of the New Testament, we may well ask ourselves about Our Lord’s doctrinal function within the Church with reference to the revealed public message as a whole, or even with reference to that portion of it which is not contained in the Sacred Writings. The encyclical Mystici Corporis contains adequate instruction on this point also. In this document the Holy Father points to the fact that Our Lord Himself enriches the ecclesia docens and particularly the Bishop of Rome with the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, “so that they may faithfully reserve the treasury of the faith, defend it energetically, and explain and support it in a devout and diligent manner.”

Despite the fact that the expression “divinitus ditat” is employed in this passage, there is no doubt about the pertinence of this teaching to Our Lord, to the sacred humanity of Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body. As God, or by His divine nature, Our Lord most certainly is the ultimate Source of all the supernatural and natural benefits which come to His creatures. But it is not precisely as God that He is the Head of the Church, and that we are His members. Thus the functions which the Holy Father ascribes to Him in the Mystici Corporis are those which He accomplishes in and through His human nature. The granting of the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to the members of the ecclesia docens is one of these functions. It is obviously something done “in a divine manner (divinitus),“ since the granting of these spiritual gifts is something of which God alone could be the principal Cause Here the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ once again acts as an instrument intimately conjoined to the divinity through the gratia unionis.

Our Lord’s sacred humanity thus performs a real though instrumental work in the granting of these necessary gifts to the leaders of that Church with which He promised to remain until the end of time. The gifts are described, not merely as empowering the ecclesia docens to teach and to guard the deposit of Catholic faith infallibly and effectively as long as the Church militant will endure: they are rather depicted as bringing about that actual infallible conservation and teaching. The message which the apostles heard from the lips of Christ, and which they handed over to the Church as divinely revealed doctrine to he preached in the Church militant accurately until the end of time, is taught and guarded infallibly precisely because of the supernatural gifts in the order of cognition which Our Lord in his human nature grants to the ecclesia docens.

The three gifts to which the encyclical refers explicitly are all to be found in the list of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. Obviously, however, the benefits named in the encyclical are not precisely those listed among the qualities which sacred theology knows as the dona Spiritus Sancti. The gifts of the Holy Ghost, as we know them in theology, are classed in the category of gratia gratum faciens. They are thus listed as supernatural gifts which have to do primarily with the spiritual perfection of the individuals who possess them. The benefits to which the encyclical refers are, on the contrary, gifts conferred upon the immediate possessors for the sake of the universal Church of God. Thus, ultimately at least they are to be classified among the gratiae gratis datae. They are given to move the ecclesia docens to the accomplishment of the work for which Our Lord Himself commissioned it. Consequently they can only be understood in terms of that commission.

Our Lord gave His apostles, and thus their successors in the ecclesia docens, all the authority indicated by His statement that “He that heareth you heareth me and he that despiseth you despiseth me: and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” In other words, their teaching is presented as Our Lord’s own. Acceptance of their teaching constitutes belief in His message, and the rejection of their teaching involves a rejection of Our Lord and of God Himself. The members of the ecclesia docens and of course the ecclesia docens as a whole must he considered as an instrument of Christ the Teacher.

It is important to realize, however, in just what sense these men must be called the instruments of Jesus Christ. In the first place, it is at once obvious that they are not instruments in the full and complete sense that the inspired human authors of Sacred Scripture were the instruments of God in the production of those books of which God Himself is truly the Author. The end-product of the process of inspiration, in which these men were employed as God’s instruments, consisted of books of which God is the Author, and consequently of books which can be ascribed to God in every statement and expression. We can take any one of the statements contained in inspired Scripture, and say that God teaches this definite truth, this definite statement. On the other hand, we do not say that some definite teaching of the ecclesia docens is a statement of God Himself. Thus, merely for the sake of example, when the present Holy Father defined the dogma of the Assumption he did not say that the words of the definition were the actual words of God, as is the case with Holy Scripture. He stated that he made this definition “by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by Our own authority.”8 What was defined was a divinely revealed dogma of the Catholic faith, one of the truths which had been taught to the apostles and handed over to the Church to be taught accurately until the end of time.

In this way the Holy Father (and consequently the entire ecclesia docens), has what we may call an ambassadorial instrumentality. The message which the ecclesia docens is charged to preach infallibly, the one body of truth with which it is primarily and essentially concerned, is the divine teaching given by Our Lord. With reference to the message itself, they are the instruments of Christ, in such a way that the teaching is attributed to Our Lord as a principal Cause. It is not their doctrine, but His. The effect is not attributed properly to the instrument but rather to the principal cause.

But, as far as the statement or expression of the doctrine is concerned, the members of the ecclesia docens act as principal causes rather than merely or exactly as instruments in the employ of Christ. Thus, for example, the doctrine of papal infallibility is Our Lord’s own teaching, but we do not say that Christ defined this teaching as a dogma of the Catholic faith. That definition we rightly call the work of the Vatican Council.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

Quote:
Here is what Father Sylvester Berry says in: "The Church of Christ: An Apologetic And Dogmatic Treatise, B. Herder Book CO, 1941 pg. 509";


Quote:
"The Church is necessarily infallible in this doctrinal judgment, for if she were not, the faithful might be led into errors of doctrine at any time. But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances. Neither is the Church infallible in applying her laws to particular cases.


Perhaps Father Berry is posting a minority view on this topic? Given the many quotes regarding the Churches infallibility on the Divine Liturgy, one might think so.

In Xto,
Vincent


Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:21 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Vince,

You wrote:
Quote:
Perhaps Father Berry is posting a minority view on this topic? Given the many quotes regarding the Churches infallibility on the Divine Liturgy, one might think so.


Van Noort says the same thing on page 115 of "Christ's Church".

Van Noort wrote:
Although it would be rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to be infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment. For the Church's rulers were never promised the highest degree of prudence for the conduct of affairs.


The Catholic Encyclopedia has a passage from it's article on "Ecclesiastical Discipline" that relates to the current topic as well.

The Catholic Encyclopedia wrote:
To claim that disciplinary infallibility consists in regulating, without possibility of error, the adaptation of a general law to its end, is equivalent to the assertion of a (quite unnecessary) positive infallibility, which the incessant abrogation of laws would belie and which would be to the Church a burden and a hindrance rather than an advantage, since it would suppose each law to be the best. Moreover, it would make the application of laws to their end the object of a positive judgment of the Church; this would not only be useless but would become a perpetual obstacle to disciplinary reform.


I only quote the Encyclopedia to show that the notion of the Church not making the best decision in every instance is not novel, and that it seems assumed by many.

Your question implies that there has been a plethora of quotes about the liturgy which indicate Father Berry held a minority opinion. Which quotes are those? And how do they contradict Fr. Berry?

Please, also keep in mind that no one is talking about infallible vs. fallible. We're talking about prudent vs. imprudent.

My involvement in this conversation began when I saw two particular ideas being advanced that I thought were at least, over reaching, and at most, flawed. Namely, the idea that the Holy Spirit directs every official action of the Church, and that every law of the Church is spotless and holy. The quotations I offered were given to refine such statements.

The conversation now (for my part), has been narrowed down to determining if it is inherently wrong to believe a law imprudent. Vince, I'm assuming from your question, that you see the "tension" between the Berry quote, and the view that one is obliged to believe every ecclesiastical law prudent?

In Christ,
Bill


Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:12 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:
The conversation now (for my part), has been narrowed down to determining if it is inherently wrong to believe a law imprudent.


Well, the question I am now asking myself, as a result of reading this thread with much interest, is whether it is prudent to believe a law imprudent. At this point, I am tending towards "perhaps not".

AMW


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
First the original and then the translation.

Quote:
"Epistola Tua", cf. Leonis XIII Acta (Romae 1891 ss)

"...Ex certis quibusdam indiciis haud difficulter colligitur, in catholicis hominibus, fortasse temporum vitio, non deesse, quid haud satis contenti subesse, quod est ipsorum proprium, se posse arbitrentur partem aliquam in gerenda christiana republica attingere, aut saltem existiment, de rebus, quas qui presunt gesserint, licere sibi quaerere et pro arbitrio suo iudicare. Prepostera sane ratio: quae si valeret, summum inde detrimentum caperet Ecclesia Dei, quam divinus auctor sic tempravit, ut, personarum discrimine constituto, omnino iusserit alteros docere, alteros discere oportere... populo autem imperatum, ut eorum (i.e. pastorum) praecepta sequeatur...
Qua in re violatur officium non solum abiiciendo palam aperteque obedientiam Episcopis summoque Ecclesiae Principi debitam, sed etiam resistendo per obliquum perque ambages tanto periculosiores, quanto magis simulatione tectas. In eodem genere peccant qui potestati iuribusque favent Pontifcis romani, Episcopos tamen cum eo coniunctos non verentur, eorumque vel auctortatem minoris faciunt, quam par est, vel acta vel consilia, praeoccupato: Sedis Apostolicae iudicio, in deteriorem partem interpretantur. similiter animi est minus sincere in obsequio pemanentis, alterum Pontificem cum altero committere. Ex diversis duabus agendi rationibus, qui praesentem despiciunt ut praeteritae assentiantur, ii parum obnoxios potestati impertiunt, cuius imperio ipsos regi ius et officuim est, iidemque aliquam habent cum iis similitudinem, qui, sua causa damnata, ad futurum Concilium vellent, vel ad Pontificem, cui melius de causa liqueat, provocare.
Quam ad rem hoc fixum persuasumque sit, in Ecclesiae gubernatione, salvis officiis maximis, quibus Pontifices omnes apostolicum munus adstringit, unicuique eorum integrum esse eam rationem sequi, quae, spectatis temporibus ceterisque rerum adiunctis, optima videatur. Idque ad solius Pontificis iudicium pertinet: propterea quod is ad eam non solum singulari quodam donatur consilii lumine, sed etiam perspecta habet totius christianae reipublicae tempora, quibus apostolicam providentiam suam convenienter respondere necesse est. Is curam gerit de communi Ecclesiae bono, cui singularum partium servit utilitas: ceteri vero, quotquot hoc ordine comprehenduntur, debent summi rectoris coepta adiuvare, et que ille spectat, obedienter sequi. Sicut una est Ecclesia, et unus qui Ecclesiae preest, eodem modo una est rectio, cui oportet subesse universos.
Euismodi doctrinae si semel animo effluxerint, continuo in catholicis non eadem manet erga ducem sibi divinitus datum verecundia, non idem obsequium, neque fiducia: relaxatur amoris atque obedientiae vinculum, quo christianos omnes cum Episcopis suis, eosdemque et Episcopos ipsos cum suprmo umnium Pastore coniunctos esse mecesse est, quod quidem vinculum incolumitatem et salutem publicam maxime continet. Pari modo late fit, aditus ad catholicorum dessidia, intereunte concordia, quae habenda est velut nota sectatorum Iesu Christi, quaeque omni quidem tempore, sed nunc potissimum, tot coentibus in foedera inimicis, suprema omnium lex esse deberet, cui quamlibet privatorum rationem utilitamque omnino cedere oporteret..."


"Some signs show us clearly that there are some Catholics, perhaps due to the influx of these times, who dissatisfied with obedience, which is their duty, think that they may have some intervention in the government of the Christian life, or at least, think they may judge according to their caprice, the decissions of those who govern the Church. This criteria, which is absolutely wrong, if it would prevail, would cause a great harm to the Church of God, because she was established by Him under the distinction of persons and the express order that some have to teach and others obey... it has been commanded to the people to obey the precepts of their Pastors...

And in this question you infringe this duty not only with the open rejection of obedience towards Bishops and Pope, but also resisting them indirecty.
Incur in the same sin those who defending the authority of the Roman Pontiff, nontheless disobey their Bishops, or do not appreciate their authority as it is due, or interpret their decree or decisions in a bad way, bringing forward in that way to the judgment of the Apostolic See. It indicates also a certain unsincerity in obedience to compare one Pontiff with another. Those who, before 2 different ways of acting, reject the actual one and praise the past one, show not much obedience to whom you have to obey in order to be goberned and are, in a certain way, similar to those who, being condemned, appeal to a future Council or to the Roman Pontiff in order to examine their cause again.
In this question, have all in mind that in Church´s government, excepting the fundamental obligations the Apostolic ministry imposes to the Popes, each Pontiff is free to follow the way he thinks is the most appropriate, according to the times and other circumstances. This competence is exclusive of the R. Pontiff, becuase he has for these cases an special light of the gift of counsel, and he has a more complete vision of the situation of the whole Church, in order to give an answer according to his apostolic providence. It is he who takes care of the common good of the Church, to which subordinates the particular utility of her different parts. Everybody else, without exception, must cooperate with the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and follow his plans.
If this doctrine would fall into oblivion, the reverence, trust and respect due to the guide given by God would be lost. The bond of loving obedience would be relaxed, bond that keep together faithfuls with their Bishops, and them with the Pope...
Also, a great division among Catholics would follow, becuase of the death of concord, which must be always be considered as a characteristic of the followers of Jesus Christ, and in all times, and most above all now, when so many enemies get otgether, must be the supreme law for all..."

This are Leo XIII´s words, obviously i wrote the original latin text in order that those who may read it, correct the errors i made in the translation.

Cristian


Dear Cristian,

Thank you very much for taking the time to translate and post this. You have done a great service to the Church in doing this, as this text is very much needed at this time in Church history. I hope that it spreads wide and far.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:44 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Hello AmWills,

You wrote:

Quote:
Well, the question I am now asking myself, as a result of reading this thread with much interest, is whether it is prudent to believe a law imprudent. At this point, I am tending towards "perhaps not".


I agree with that statement as the basic Catholic disposition towards the laws of the Church. The broader question is whether one is obliged to believe what the Church has not promised. The Church hasn't promised prudence in every law, and in every decision, so why would she oblige us to think so?

Though again, I agree, our attitude towards the Church should always be one of ready acceptance and docility. But I don't see this as being contrary to the belief that one could, given the circumstance, think..."boy, I don't get that one.".

In Christ,
Bill


Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:34 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Christian,

I also wanted to thank you for your translation of said text. Fantastic.

In Christ,
Bill


Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:52 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:
Hello AmWills,

You wrote:

Quote:
Well, the question I am now asking myself, as a result of reading this thread with much interest, is whether it is prudent to believe a law imprudent. At this point, I am tending towards "perhaps not".


I agree with that statement as the basic Catholic disposition towards the laws of the Church. The broader question is whether one is obliged to believe what the Church has not promised. The Church hasn't promised prudence in every law, and in every decision, so why would she oblige us to think so?

Though again, I agree, our attitude towards the Church should always be one of ready acceptance and docility. But I don't see this as being contrary to the belief that one could, given the circumstance, think..."boy, I don't get that one.".

In Christ,
Bill

It seems to me that once again the element of time is critical here.

Van Noort wrote:
Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment.


It would appear to be most imprudent to question a law at the time it is promulgated.

Robert


Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:59 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert Bastaja wrote:
It seems to me that once again the element of time is critical here.

Van Noort wrote:
Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment.


It would appear to be most imprudent to question a law at the time it is promulgated.

Robert


That is precisely the conclusion that I had reached. Which brings me to a question, could a priest living at the time of the promulgation of the Holy Week changes have legitimately questioned thoses changes and further not subjected himself to them? Due to him believing perhaps they were a departure from tradition, for example?

In Xto,
Clement


Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:30 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
Dear Cristian,

Thank you very much for taking the time to translate and post this. You have done a great service to the Church in doing this, as this text is very much needed at this time in Church history. I hope that it spreads wide and far.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Thanks Mike. I believe the same, this document is important, not only for this question but for others as well, i think for instance in Bp Sanborn´s issue "The pendulating Papacy", and issue i don´t agree at all.
That which cause me a great pain is to see (please note i´m not saying this is happening here) how easely some persons criticize the Pope´s actions, think for instance in Leo XIII´s ralliement or Pius XI´s condemnation of L´Action Francaise of Maurras.
One thing we seem to forget is, first, as Leo XIII says, that the Pope knows many things we don´t, and he has to take care of the whole Church, not just a part of it, and also is that we are far away in time from those events. To me is enough to know that the voice of the Pope ("Pope" means Father) is like an echo of that of Our Lord´s. It´s hard to believe that, knowing BXVI is not Pope, some persons seem not value what the Pope ("My sweet Jesus on Earth" as S Catherine used to say, or the one i most like, "I´m the Tradition" (Pius IX) means for every Catholic.
And in the same way as Pius XII says that there is nothing better for a person than being Catholic, personally there is nothing more important to me on this moment than to have a Pope (that doesn´t mean i support conclavism!), and i usually pray to Our Lord not to die before seeing a Pope.
Please excuse me these thoughts, not very much pertinent to this topic, i just needed to... and as Saint Theresa of Avila used to say: "Patience gets everything" ("La paciencia todo lo alcanza").

May Our Most Blessed Mother bless us and give us soon one of His Son´s Vicar on Earth!

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

Bill posted;

Quote:
involvement in this conversation began when I saw two particular ideas being advanced that I thought were at least, over reaching, and at most, flawed. Namely, the idea that the Holy Spirit directs every official action of the Church, and that every law of the Church is spotless and holy. The quotations I offered were given to refine such statements.

The conversation now (for my part), has been narrowed down to determining if it is inherently wrong to believe a law imprudent. Vince, I'm assuming from your question, that you see the "tension" between the Berry quote, and the view that one is obliged to believe every ecclesiastical law prudent?



Bill,

Many thanks for the reviewing where your at in this fascinating discussion. My point, while not being well made was to contrast laws that involve the Divine Liturgy as opposed to ecclesiastical laws in general. I am not convinced one can take a Law directed toward the Divine Liturgy and place the " imprudent" label upon it.

In Xto,
Vincent


Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:26 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi !

Bill posted;

Quote:
involvement in this conversation began when I saw two particular ideas being advanced that I thought were at least, over reaching, and at most, flawed. Namely, the idea that the Holy Spirit directs every official action of the Church, and that every law of the Church is spotless and holy. The quotations I offered were given to refine such statements.

The conversation now (for my part), has been narrowed down to determining if it is inherently wrong to believe a law imprudent. Vince, I'm assuming from your question, that you see the "tension" between the Berry quote, and the view that one is obliged to believe every ecclesiastical law prudent?



Bill,

Many thanks for the reviewing where your at in this fascinating discussion. My point, while not being well made was to contrast laws that involve the Divine Liturgy as opposed to ecclesiastical laws in general. I am not convinced one can take a Law directed toward the Divine Liturgy and place the " imprudent" label upon it.

In Xto,
Vincent

Vince,

Why do you think this? The quote from Van Noort did not differentiate...why do you?

Robert


Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:46 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert wrote:
It would appear to be most imprudent to question a law at the time it is promulgated.


Agreed. Though, even within the statement from Van Noort, he offers the qualifier... "..still the Church does not claim to be infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment.".

He states a valid principle, then qualifies it. The second part of the statement implies that there is at least the possibility that a situation may arise in which this "rashness" may not apply.

In Christ,
Bill


Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:17 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Robert,

Robert Bastaja wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Yes, I think that one is definitely obliged to presume that the Holy Father's decision is prudent. More, I think one is obliged to think his decision is wise, holy, and that it will secure the good of souls and promote the glory of God. Unless you cannot think this in any given case, you ought to think it.

Now, if that were your mentality, you'd find creative ways to undermine whatever negative judgements you were tempted to form about papal acts. Do you see?

In normal times this "creativity" is required. Of course what we might call "creativity" is just a way for us to explain away our deficiency in understanding a papal act.

Yes, I agree, that is precisely what it is. Another word for it is "humility."


Robert Bastaja wrote:
That all being said, what are the limits of this "creativity"? It is not limitless is it?

The limit is the limit of reason. That is, we ought to find ways to defend the Holy Father and the Church - unless we can't. This is why we're sedevacantists. Not because we like to criticise, but because we can't reconcile Vatican II with tradition. The principle of contradiction causes us to stop and ask, "How can infallible authority teach contradictory doctrines?"


Robert Bastaja wrote:
Doesn't the situation with John XXIII muddy this up? I don't think we can just put his case aside when discussing this subject. How many of us are trying to find a creative way to understand Pacem In Terris? Should we be trying?

Other factors impact on this situation, as you rightly suggest. We have the benefit of hindsight. But yes, at the time men like Fenton, who must have been apoplectic when he read it, kept silence. I don't think it is right to accuse him of cowardice or ignorance - I think his attitude was utterly Catholic, and understood correctly, even heroic.


Robert Bastaja wrote:
What I see is the beginnings of a way to deny facts on principle. This is the "argument" of the "conservative Catholic".

Well, the problem with the Conservatives is not that they are prepared to sacrifice "facts" to principles - this could be nothing more than a noble diffidence, a recognition that principles can't be wrong but the knowledge of contingent facts can be. The problem with the Conservatives is that they elevate their knowledge of one "fact" - "Vatican II was an infallible General Council" - over and above all facts and principles.

Consider carefully this commentary by Mons. Fenton on Pope Pius XII's Humani generis. The Holy Father was addressing the "positive sciences" - including history.

Quote:
From, JC Fenton, The Lesson of the Humani Generis, AER, Vol. CXXIII, No. 5, November 1950, p. 375.

ERRORS IN THE FIELD OF POSITIVE SCIENCE

This portion of the encyclical opens with a statement of general norms. Noting that many persons insist that the Church should take serious cognizance of the teachings of the positive sciences, where these doctrines come into contact with the truths of the faith, the Holy Father designates this insistence as something laudable where it has reference to facts actually demonstrated by these positive disciplines. He reminds us, however, that mere hypotheses set forth in these sciences must be handled with great caution when they touch upon doctrine contained in the sources of divine revelation. Hypotheses that are opposed directly or even indirectly to revealed truth must not be accepted in any way.


This describes with great accuracy the procedure of sound Catholic historians (such as Von Pastor or Darras) to the facts of history. It is apparent that when men like Dollinger went wrong, as they did, it was precisely in elevating their own grasp of "fact" above that of doctrinal or philosophical principle. This results in a failure of Faith, but it is in itself a failure of reason even before that final catastrophe occurs.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:
He states a valid principle, then qualifies it. The second part of the statement implies that there is at least the possibility that a situation may arise in which this "rashness" may not apply.


Yes, but do you see the parallel with infallibility? The Roman congregations are not infallible - yet what do you think the reaction of a pope would be if one of the faithful announced this fact loudly and proceeded to question the decisions of one of them in public?

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Thanks Mike. I believe the same, this document is important, not only for this question but for others as well, i think for instance in Bp Sanborn´s issue "The pendulating Papacy", and issue i don´t agree at all.
That which cause me a great pain is to see (please note i´m not saying this is happening here) how easely some persons criticize the Pope´s actions, think for instance in Leo XIII´s ralliement or Pius XI´s condemnation of L´Action Francaise of Maurras.
One thing we seem to forget is, first, as Leo XIII says, that the Pope knows many things we don´t, and he has to take care of the whole Church, not just a part of it, and also is that we are far away in time from those events. To me is enough to know that the voice of the Pope ("Pope" means Father) is like an echo of that of Our Lord´s. It´s hard to believe that, knowing BXVI is not Pope, some persons seem not value what the Pope ("My sweet Jesus on Earth" as S Catherine used to say, or the one i most like, "I´m the Tradition" (Pius IX) means for every Catholic.
And in the same way as Pius XII says that there is nothing better for a person than being Catholic, personally there is nothing more important to me on this moment than to have a Pope (that doesn´t mean i support conclavism!), and i usually pray to Our Lord not to die before seeing a Pope.
Please excuse me these thoughts, not very much pertinent to this topic, i just needed to... and as Saint Theresa of Avila used to say: "Patience gets everything" ("La paciencia todo lo alcanza").

May Our Most Blessed Mother bless us and give us soon one of His Son´s Vicar on Earth!

Cristian


What an exquisite post!

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:53 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

Quote:
Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment.


This quote does not seem to apply to the ordering of the Liturgy. And, I doubt a priest circa 1955 could reject the restored Holy Week Rite. I know some Catholics want, and do reject the New Holy Week, but under a standing Pontiff, and the fact the ( Restored) Holy Week was not even remotely a departure from Tradition, nor, did it contain rubrics that are unorthodox, I think one would conclude a rejection of the Rite in 1955 would appear rash.

In Xto,
Vincent


Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:24 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi !

Quote:
Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment.


This quote does not seem to apply to the ordering of the Liturgy.

Why?

Quote:
And, I doubt a priest circa 1955 could reject the restored Holy Week Rite. I know some Catholics want, and do reject the New Holy Week, but under a standing Pontiff, and the fact the ( Restored) Holy Week was not even remotely a departure from Tradition, nor, did it contain rubrics that are unorthodox, I think one would conclude a rejection of the Rite in 1955 would appear rash.

When? In 1955 or now?

Quote:
I doubt a priest circa 1955 could reject the restored Holy Week Rite.

I agree. But my perception is that you believe this proves that no one could ever reject it for any reason.

Quote:
and the fact the ( Restored) Holy Week was not even remotely a departure from Tradition, nor, did it contain rubrics that are unorthodox

Isn't this impossible anyway? The infallibility of the disciplines of the Church guarantees this.

Robert


Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:50 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:

My involvement in this conversation began when I saw two particular ideas being advanced that I thought were at least, over reaching, and at most, flawed. Namely, the idea that the Holy Spirit directs every official action of the Church, and that every law of the Church is spotless and holy. The quotations I offered were given to refine such statements.

In Christ,
Bill



Hi Bill,

I've been thinking about the above statements you made, and I don't have a position one way or another. But I'd like to. I'd like to focus on the first idea only that you are dealing with, and leave the part on law for now.

Could you define what you mean by "official action of the Church'?

Could you tell me why you think that the idea that the Holy Ghost directs every official action of the Church is over reaching or flawed?

Do you think the Holy Ghost can direct an official action that is either not the best for the faithful or imprudent?

Further, do you think that the Holy Ghost sanctions every official action of the Church? Do you think the Holy Ghost can sanction an official action that is either not the best for the faithful or imprudent?

Bill, I want to emphasize that I am not out to challenge you but to find out what your thoughts are and why, as it is obvious that you have done some quite some thinking about these things.

In Xto,
Clement


Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:36 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi

Quote:
I agree. But my perception is that you believe this proves that no one could ever reject it for any reason.


Given it came from the Church, is part of the Divine Liturgy, and approved by a true Pontiff. Yes.

In Xto,
Vincent


Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:01 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Hello Clement,

Thank you for the questions Clement. They will give me a chance to more simply state my position in this thread.

Clement wrote:
Could you define what you mean by "official action of the Church'?


Please remember that within the context of the quote you gave from me at the beginning of your post, the expression "official action of the Church" was not mine. I was reacting to it, as opposed to expressing it. But, if you want to know what I would assume someone meant by such a statement, I would simply say any law or action of the heirarchy meant for the governance or guidance of the faithful in regards to worship and discipline.

Clement wrote:
Could you tell me why you think that the idea that the Holy Ghost directs every official action of the Church is over reaching or flawed?


"Official actions" would include administrative norms, actions taken by local Bishops, the decrees of a national or provincial council, annulments, excommunications, descisions in regards to marriage banns, the choosing of a Bishop, the placement of a Bishop, where to build a Church, whether or not to remove or "re locate" a toublesome priest or Bishop...etc....All of these are "official actions". To state that the Holy Ghost directs every one of these actions is "over-reaching". I added "flawed" to that statement because of the issue of "prudence", hence my quotations from Fathers Berry and Van Noort. I understand now, that some may have been discussing the issue of prudence from a narrower perspective, namely any and all actions of a Pontiff, or only laws pertaining to the universal Church....but either way, I think the issue of prudence applies to all "rulers of the Church", and universal laws. Also, the issue of prudence has nothing to do with intenetions. I wonder if that has been confused at points? I'd also like to add that I am not implying that an "imprudent" descision or law is a "harmful" (to the soul that is) descision or law.

Clement wrote:
Do you think the Holy Ghost can direct an official action that is either not the best for the faithful or imprudent?


No.

Clement wrote:
Further, do you think that the Holy Ghost sanctions every official action of the Church? Do you think the Holy Ghost can sanction an official action that is either not the best for the faithful or imprudent?


No to both.

Clement wrote:
Bill, I want to emphasize that I am not out to challenge you but to find out what your thoughts are and why, as it is obvious that you have done some quite some thinking about these things.


I understand Clement. Though I must say, if you would like to have a "position" on this issue, I can do nothing but direct you to Mr. Lane. He is in a much better position to assess the material within the manuels. He certainly has a much broader view of all matters theological. I am not in a position to teach anyone, I just enjoy asking questions, and engageing in conversations. They both, enable me to pick the minds of those more knowledgeable than myself, and if needed, to correct erroneous interpretations of what I have read.

In Christ,
Bill


Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:17 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi

Quote:
I agree. But my perception is that you believe this proves that no one could ever reject it for any reason.


Given it came from the Church, is part of the Divine Liturgy, and approved by a true Pontiff. Yes.

In Xto,
Vincent


Vince,

In 1955 I agree. But am I to understand that the passage of time makes no difference? Can the practical judgment be less that opportune? If you say no, then do you disagree with Van Noort?

Van Noort wrote:
When the Church's rulers sanction a law, they implicitly make a twofold judgment:

1. “This law squares with the Church's doctrine of faith and morals”; that is, it imposes nothing that is at odds with sound belief and good morals. (15) This amounts to a doctrinal decree.

2. “This law, considering all the circumstances, is most opportune.” This is a decree of practical judgment.

Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment. For the Church's rulers were never promised the highest degree of prudence for the conduct of affairs. But the Church is infallible in issuing a doctrinal decree as intimated above — and to such an extent that it can never sanction a universal law which would be at odds with faith or morality or would be by its very nature conducive to the injury of souls. The Church's infallibility in disciplinary matters, when understood in this way, harmonizes beautifully with the mutability of even universal laws. For a law, even though it be thoroughly consonant with revealed truth, can, given a change in circumstances, become less timely or even useless, so that prudence may dictate its abrogation or modification.


Robert


Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:07 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi

Quote:
Vince,

In 1955 I agree. But am I to understand that the passage of time makes no difference? Can the practical judgment be less that opportune? If you say no, then do you disagree with Van Noort?


It appears Van Noort is speaking in general terms, about general laws. What passage of time has in your view made the 1955 Holy Week Liturgy imprudent?

In Xto,
Vincent


Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:45 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:
Hello Clement,

Thank you for the questions Clement. They will give me a chance to more simply state my position in this thread.


Thank you for your clear answers, which have now prompted me to more questions. :-)

Bill wrote:
Clement wrote:
Could you define what you mean by "official action of the Church'?


Please remember that within the context of the quote you gave from me at the beginning of your post, the expression "official action of the Church" was not mine. I was reacting to it, as opposed to expressing it. But, if you want to know what I would assume someone meant by such a statement, I would simply say any law or action of the heirarchy meant for the governance or guidance of the faithful in regards to worship and discipline.


Yes, I understand the term was not supplied by you. I had assumed "official action of the Church" pertained to any action for the faithful by the Pope only. When Berry used the term "rulers" of the Church was he referring to all the heirarchy or only the Pope? I had assumed he was talking only about the Pope and the making of laws for the universal Church. Therefore, assuming that "official actions" (law making being particularly under discussion) pertained also only to the Popes. Do bishops make laws regarding worship and discipline? I am not talking about dispensations here for particular dioceses.

Bill wrote:
Clement wrote:
Could you tell me why you think that the idea that the Holy Ghost directs every official action of the Church is over reaching or flawed?


"Official actions" would include administrative norms, actions taken by local Bishops, the decrees of a national or provincial council, annulments, excommunications, descisions in regards to marriage banns, the choosing of a Bishop, the placement of a Bishop, where to build a Church, whether or not to remove or "re locate" a toublesome priest or Bishop...etc....All of these are "official actions". To state that the Holy Ghost directs every one of these actions is "over-reaching". I added "flawed" to that statement because of the issue of "prudence", hence my quotations from Fathers Berry and Van Noort. I understand now, that some may have been discussing the issue of prudence from a narrower perspective, namely any and all actions of a Pontiff, or only laws pertaining to the universal Church....but either way, I think the issue of prudence applies to all "rulers of the Church", and universal laws. Also, the issue of prudence has nothing to do with intenetions. I wonder if that has been confused at points? I'd also like to add that I am not implying that an "imprudent" descision or law is a "harmful" (to the soul that is) descision or law.


With the understanding that "official actions" include all of the above, particularly actions taken by local Bishops, I would also say it would be wrong to say that the Holy Ghost directs all of them. I would need to see a source that says otherwise before believing such a proposition to be true. As I said above, I had thought these official actions to pertain only to the Pope, and were therefore far more limiting and that the Holy Ghost directing these actions was in His capacity of governing the Church through the Pope only. I wonder under this context what Mike would think?

Now, what "official actions" do you think the Holy Ghost does guide, if any, and what are your reasons? Do you think the Holy Ghost guides all the official actions of the Pope? If you don't have the answers or sources for these questions, by all means, throw them to John or anyone who does have the answers, btw.

Bill wrote:
Clement wrote:
Do you think the Holy Ghost can direct an official action that is either not the best for the faithful or imprudent?


No.



I'm not sure I agree with you here. But that is because I had understood the term "official action" differently, perhaps. More questions. Would you say that a law made by the Pope for all the faithful is an official action of the Church? Would you say that this law made by the Church is infallible? Would you say that infallible laws are made under the guidance of the Holy Ghost? Therefore, with Berry and Van Noort, would you say that the Holy Ghost can direct infallible laws but that they can be either imprudent or not the best for the faithful, therefore the Holy Ghost can direct an imprudent action or one that is not the best for the faithful? Now to be clear, I am not talking about application of laws, or the laws being in use at a different time, but the laws at the time of their making and promulgation.

Again, has anyone got the answers to these questions?

Bill wrote:
Clement wrote:
Further, do you think that the Holy Ghost sanctions every official action of the Church? Do you think the Holy Ghost can sanction an official action that is either not the best for the faithful or imprudent?


No to both.


I don't agree with you on this one, but that is with the qualifier that I understand an "official action" to be an action taken by the Pope for the Church. I understand the promise of Peter being given the keys to the Kingdom to mean that the Holy Ghost binds and looses whatever Peter binds or looses. So, I think that the Holy Ghost sanctions all the Pope's official actions for the Church, but I don't know that the promise is that all these actions are promised to be for the best. (I hope that is not a heresy!) So, if you were to narrow down "official actions" to mean actions only by the Pope for the Church, would your answers be in the affirmative? And if not, why?

For example, do you think the Holy Ghost sanctions (not directs) every law made by the Church? If so, with Berry and Van Noort, this would mean that the Holy Ghost can sanction an imprudent law, would it not?

John, could please give me any corrections on this?

Finally, could "official actions" of the Church mean any actions by the Pope, and the bishops as a body - actions that are protected by infallibility? I think for this discussion to be really fruitful there needs to be a definitive answer of what "official actions of the Church" means. John?

Bill wrote:
Clement wrote:
Bill, I want to emphasize that I am not out to challenge you but to find out what your thoughts are and why, as it is obvious that you have done some quite some thinking about these things.


I understand Clement. Though I must say, if you would like to have a "position" on this issue, I can do nothing but direct you to Mr. Lane. He is in a much better position to assess the material within the manuels. He certainly has a much broader view of all matters theological. I am not in a position to teach anyone, I just enjoy asking questions, and engageing in conversations. They both, enable me to pick the minds of those more knowledgeable than myself, and if needed, to correct erroneous interpretations of what I have read.


Thank you very much for all this, Bill. I appreciate your attitude, as I too am not in a position to teach anyone and and am here to further my education. Your input has been very thought provoking and has made for interesting discussion. I am sure John will dive in, if and when he has anything to add, as is his wont. :-) I also look forward to whatever else you can add or anyone else who has the answers.


In Xto,
Clement


Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:55 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Vince Sheridan wrote:
It appears Van Noort is speaking in general terms, about general laws. What passage of time has in your view made the 1955 Holy Week Liturgy imprudent?


Dear Bill, Clement, Vince and Robert,

A couple of precisions, if I may.

1. I don't think the argument would be that the new Holy Week is "imprudent" - an act is prudent, not a rite. I think that the argument would be as follows. The passage of time has resulted in circumstances in which the faithful view the 1955 changes as the beginning of the Vatican II liturgical revolution. This was obviously not the case in 1955, but it is a view that the faithful can and do take now. Therefore now, in today's circumstances, it is better not to use the new Holy Week in order to avoid scandalising or shocking the faithful.

I consider this argument to be most improbable and unconvincing, but in 1983 the Nine found it forceful and they still do. (I spent a little time on Angelqueen a few weeks ago and noticed that this attitude to the 1955 Holy Week seems to have spread to sedeplenist SSPX supporters. It is difficult to assess how much this might be the fruit of Fr. Cekada’s efforts and how much it might be “natural” if you see what I mean. In either case it is an interesting phenomenon.)

2. Van Noort does not state that the Roman Pontiff does not receive special gifts of wisdom and prudence in order to assist him to govern the Church. Nor could he state this, as it is not true. Pope Leo XIII has explained, "This competence is exclusive to the Roman Pontiff, because he has for these cases a special light of the gift of counsel, and he has a more complete perspective of the situation of the entire Church, in order to give an answer according to his apostolic providence." All that Van Noort says is that "the Church's rulers were never promised the highest degree of prudence for the conduct of affairs." The wording is slightly ambiguous, but we understand what he means. He could have meant, that the Church's rulers were never promised a degree of prudence higher than any other - but that is not what he meant. He meant that they were not promised that degree of prudence which is absolutely perfect. This is clear even from a cursory examination of the matter, for surely there is no office in this world for which Our Lord grants greater gifts of prudence and wisdom that those He gives to the Roman Pontiff.

3. I think I may have been the one who introduced the term, "official acts." It is important to distinguish the acts of the Roman Pontiff directed to the universal Church from those of the same person acting as the ruler of the papal states, or acting for a narrower set of persons than the whole Church. This may sound complicated but Mons. Fenton says that if the Roman Pontiff publishes something in the Acta then it is for the universal Church, even if it were originally a letter to one individual. The Holy Ghost is the soul of the Mystical Body, the Church. He informs it in a manner analogous to that of a human soul informing the human body. The major difference lies in the fact that the Mystical Body is made up of component parts which each have their own intellect and will, unlike a physical body of which the parts obviously do not act consciously for themselves. But whatever differences exist, Our Lord wants us to go to heaven together, and He has established the Church as His kingdom precisely in order to gather together His sheep into the one fold, so that the One Shepherd may shepherd us to our final end, happiness with Him for eternity. The union within this kingdom is so intimate, the cooperation so close, that He designates it as His Body, with Himself as Head, and the Holy Ghost as Soul. He employs the hierarchy as instruments in an ambassadorial mode. That is, their acts are their own but they are also His because He ratifies them and also because He in some sense and in some manner inspires them. He ratifies the acts of the hierarchy – what ye shall bind upon earth shall be bound in heaven – but also before they act He gives special graces in order to ensure that these acts are good and holy and prudent.

Our question, it seems to me, is precisely how we are to think of these universal acts of the Roman Pontiff. Are these graces given to the Roman Pontiff infallibly efficacious graces, or some lesser grade of grace? We know that such acts are infallible (i.e. they cannot state or imply doctrinal error), but are they also necessarily prudent? I suspect that they are, but that does not mean that they are always the most prudent that they could be – that guarantee has certainly not been given. Nor does it mean that acts of a lesser status enjoy the same assistance.

Clement – great questions. :)

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Clement wrote:
Do bishops make laws regarding worship and discipline?

Yes, they can and do.


Clement wrote:
Therefore, with Berry and Van Noort, would you say that the Holy Ghost can direct infallible laws but that they can be either imprudent or not the best for the faithful, therefore the Holy Ghost can direct an imprudent action or one that is not the best for the faithful?

I don't think Berry or Van Noort states or implies that universal laws can be "imprudent" or "not the best for the faithful" (that's ambiguous). See above for my other comments on this distinction.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, pp. 318-324

ART. IV. PETER THE LAW-GIVER

Thesis.—Primacy of universal jurisdiction over the Church was promised to St. Peter under the symbol of binding and loosing

PROOF. Having promised the keys of the kingdom, Our Lord continued to address St. Peter with these words: “And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”(1)

It cannot be denied that Christ was directly addressing St. Peter in these words; neither can there be any doubt that some extraordinary power was promised to him. Our Lord seems to be fairly struggling, as it were, to convey in human language an adequate idea of the unprecedented powers to be conferred upon St. Peter. He is to be the rock foundation, upon which the Church will stand secure against the natural forces of decay and all the powers of evil; he shall be its supreme ruler, subject to Christ alone. Now he is told that these powers shall be limited in extent only by the confines of the earth: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth.” Nay more, his every official act on earth shall be ratified in Heaven!

What can be the nature of this most extraordinary power? What must St. Peter and the other Apostles have understood by the words bind and loose? These words are often taken as a continuation of the preceding symbol of the keys, with special reference to the power of forgiving sins. But it must be evident to all that keys are for opening and closing, not for binding and loosing. In Sacred Scripture keys are never mentioned in connection with binding or loosing, but in five of the seven passages in which keys are mentioned, they are connected with opening and closing. Consequently there is a new and distinct symbol presenting the powers of Peter under a different aspect. It refers directly and primarily to the power of jurisdiction; it makes St. Peter the law-giver in the Church as was Moses in the Synagogue. This supreme power of jurisdiction includes the power to forgive sins, but only implicitly.

POWER OF LEGISLATION. Since Christ evidently used the words bind and loose in a figurative sense, He must have intended them to be accepted according to the meaning current at the time; otherwise neither St. Peter nor the other Apostles could have understood their meaning without explanations, which were not given. Hence the words must be interpreted according to their acceptation in the time of Christ, with only such changes as the context demands. They are found in hundreds of passages in the Talmud, and in almost every case to bind means to declare unlawful, while to loose is to pronounce lawful. In the Jerusalem Talmud, for instance, we read: “They do not begin a sea voyage on the eve of the Sabbath nor on the fifth day of the week. The school of Shammai binds it even on the fourth day, but the school of Hillel looses,” (2) i.e., the followers of Shammai declare it unlawful to undertake a sea voyage on the fourth day of the week, whereas the followers of Hillel maintain that it is lawful.

If the person who declares a thing lawful or unlawful, does so officially, he thereby imposes an obligation in conscience, i.e., he commands or forbids, makes laws or abrogates them. Consequently, the terms to bind and to loose assumed by natural transition the sense of making and unmaking laws. There can be little or no doubt that the terms were used in this sense by the rabbis in the days of Our Lord. In fact, Christ himself used the words in this sense: “Do not think that I am come to destroy [Greek, to loose] the law or the prophets.” (3) In this passage the word to loose evidently means to repeal or abrogate. Again He said of the Pharisees: “They bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders.” (4) The context shows clearly that the insupportable burdens were foolish laws and precepts which the Pharisees imposed (bound) upon the people.

“The doctors of the Mosaic Law interpreted it and accordingly determined what was lawful and what was unlawful. In like manner Peter is to interpret the Law of Christ; he is to determine and prescribe what is licit and what is not licit according to the mind and doctrine of Christ. . . . This he shall do by the promulgation of laws, precepts, and prohibitions. Hence no one can rightly deny that these words of Christ confer a lawgiving power.” (5) Mason, a non-Catholic, gives the same interpretation: “Authority is given to St. Peter to say what the law of God allows and what it forbids; and the promise is added that his ruling shall be upheld in Heaven,—and is consequently to be regarded as binding upon the conscience of Christians. The power of binding and loosing is in fact the power of legislation for the Church.” (6)

JUDICIAL AND COERCIVE POWERS. The legislative power explicitly promised to St. Peter necessarily implies the judicial and coercitive powers without which laws would be useless. The very words of Our Lord also imply these powers, since no restrictions or limitations of any sort are added: whatsoever Peter prohibits, whatsoever he permits by legislative, judicial, or coercive power, shall be prohibited or permitted by Christ in Heaven. Thomas Arnold, a non-Catholic, makes some pointed observations on this matter. He says:
“To bind and to loose are metaphors certainly, but metaphors easy to be understood. They express a legislative and judicial power. To bind legislatively is to impose a general obligation; to say that a thing ought to be done, or ought not to be done; to bind men’s consciences either to the doing of it, or to the abstaining from it. . . . Again, to bind judicially is to impose a particular obligation on an individual, to oblige him to do or to suffer certain things for the sake of justice, which, if left to himself, he would not choose to do or suffer. Again to loose judicially is to pronounce a man free of any such obligation. . . . But such legislative and judicial power is the power of government; government, in fact, consisting mainly of these two great powers.” (7)

PRIMACY OF POWER. The power of government promised to St. Peter under the figure of binding and loosing, extends to the whole Church and to everything subject to the Church. It is a power to be exercised on earth without restrictions as to time or place, and includes within its scope all persons or things subject to the Church,—”whatsoever thou shalt bind … whatsoever thou shalt loose.” In a word, the power here promised to St. Peter is the supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church,—the primacy of jurisdiction.

The fact that Christ afterward addresses these same words to all the Apostles (8) does not militate against the primacy of Peter. On that occasion Our Lord addressed the Apostles collectively; He conferred upon them as a body complete authority to rule, but in subjection to St. Peter, their head, to whom alone the words of Christ were addressed individually: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose.” (9)

LIMITATIONS. The words of Christ to St. Peter are absolutely universal and contain no restricting clause. Therefore, the power promised to him is subject to no limitations save those incidental to all authority, i e., it must be subject to the divine law and be conformed to the nature of the society in which it is exercised. Consequently the power of binding and loosing extends to every bond or obligation that may be imposed or removed by divine law, but since it is to be exercised in the Church, it extends only to persons and things subject to her authority. The power of Peter is measured by the power of the Church. The Church has no authority to change the teachings of Christ, to increase or diminish the number of Sacraments or to sever the bonds of a consummated marriage; neither was such authority promised to Peter. The Church has authority to define doctrines, to make or repeal laws, to inflict punishment, to constitute or remove pastors; the same authority was promised to Peter when Christ said: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind, whatsoever thou shalt loose.” In fact, the Church has authority only in so far as it was conferred upon the Apostolic college, of which St. Peter was the head.

1. Matt. xvi, 19.
2. J. Lightfoot, “Horae Hebraicae in Evang. Matt.,” xvi, 19.
3. Matt. v, 17.
4. Matt xxii, 4.
5. Knabenbauer, “Commentarium in Matt.,” Vol. II, p. 68.
6. A.J. Mason in Hasting’s “Dictionary of the Bible,” art. “Power of Keys.”
7. Thomas Arnold, “Fragment on the Church,” pp. 35—36.
8. Matt xviii, 18.
9. See below, p. 338.


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear John,

Thank you for bringing a more precise view of the term "official acts." I think you have said it far better and more clearly than I have or could have.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
"Official actions" would include administrative norms, actions taken by local Bishops, the decrees of a national or provincial council, annulments, excommunications, descisions in regards to marriage banns, the choosing of a Bishop, the placement of a Bishop, where to build a Church, whether or not to remove or "re locate" a toublesome priest or Bishop...etc....All of these are "official actions". To state that the Holy Ghost directs every one of these actions is "over-reaching". I added "flawed" to that statement because of the issue of "prudence", hence my quotations from Fathers Berry and Van Noort. I understand now, that some may have been discussing the issue of prudence from a narrower perspective, namely any and all actions of a Pontiff, or only laws pertaining to the universal Church....but either way, I think the issue of prudence applies to all "rulers of the Church", and universal laws. Also, the issue of prudence has nothing to do with intenetions. I wonder if that has been confused at points? I'd also like to add that I am not implying that an "imprudent" descision or law is a "harmful" (to the soul that is) descision or law.


Well... i always thought we were talking about Papal laws for the Universal Church, or those made by the whole Church... and hence my quotes. It´s good to clarify the meanings of the words.

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
John Lane wrote:
Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, pp. 318-324

ART. IV. PETER THE LAW-GIVER

Thesis.—Primacy of universal jurisdiction over the Church was promised to St. Peter under the symbol of binding and loosing

PROOF. Having promised the keys of the kingdom, Our Lord continued to address St. Peter with these words: “And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”(1)

It cannot be denied that Christ was directly addressing St. Peter in these words; neither can there be any doubt that some extraordinary power was promised to him. Our Lord seems to be fairly struggling, as it were, to convey in human language an adequate idea of the unprecedented powers to be conferred upon St. Peter. He is to be the rock foundation, upon which the Church will stand secure against the natural forces of decay and all the powers of evil; he shall be its supreme ruler, subject to Christ alone. Now he is told that these powers shall be limited in extent only by the confines of the earth: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth.” Nay more, his every official act on earth shall be ratified in Heaven!

What can be the nature of this most extraordinary power? What must St. Peter and the other Apostles have understood by the words bind and loose? These words are often taken as a continuation of the preceding symbol of the keys, with special reference to the power of forgiving sins. But it must be evident to all that keys are for opening and closing, not for binding and loosing. In Sacred Scripture keys are never mentioned in connection with binding or loosing, but in five of the seven passages in which keys are mentioned, they are connected with opening and closing. Consequently there is a new and distinct symbol presenting the powers of Peter under a different aspect. It refers directly and primarily to the power of jurisdiction; it makes St. Peter the law-giver in the Church as was Moses in the Synagogue. This supreme power of jurisdiction includes the power to forgive sins, but only implicitly.

POWER OF LEGISLATION. Since Christ evidently used the words bind and loose in a figurative sense, He must have intended them to be accepted according to the meaning current at the time; otherwise neither St. Peter nor the other Apostles could have understood their meaning without explanations, which were not given. Hence the words must be interpreted according to their acceptation in the time of Christ, with only such changes as the context demands. They are found in hundreds of passages in the Talmud, and in almost every case to bind means to declare unlawful, while to loose is to pronounce lawful. In the Jerusalem Talmud, for instance, we read: “They do not begin a sea voyage on the eve of the Sabbath nor on the fifth day of the week. The school of Shammai binds it even on the fourth day, but the school of Hillel looses,” (2) i.e., the followers of Shammai declare it unlawful to undertake a sea voyage on the fourth day of the week, whereas the followers of Hillel maintain that it is lawful.

If the person who declares a thing lawful or unlawful, does so officially, he thereby imposes an obligation in conscience, i.e., he commands or forbids, makes laws or abrogates them. Consequently, the terms to bind and to loose assumed by natural transition the sense of making and unmaking laws. There can be little or no doubt that the terms were used in this sense by the rabbis in the days of Our Lord. In fact, Christ himself used the words in this sense: “Do not think that I am come to destroy [Greek, to loose] the law or the prophets.” (3) In this passage the word to loose evidently means to repeal or abrogate. Again He said of the Pharisees: “They bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders.” (4) The context shows clearly that the insupportable burdens were foolish laws and precepts which the Pharisees imposed (bound) upon the people.

“The doctors of the Mosaic Law interpreted it and accordingly determined what was lawful and what was unlawful. In like manner Peter is to interpret the Law of Christ; he is to determine and prescribe what is licit and what is not licit according to the mind and doctrine of Christ. . . . This he shall do by the promulgation of laws, precepts, and prohibitions. Hence no one can rightly deny that these words of Christ confer a lawgiving power.” (5) Mason, a non-Catholic, gives the same interpretation: “Authority is given to St. Peter to say what the law of God allows and what it forbids; and the promise is added that his ruling shall be upheld in Heaven,—and is consequently to be regarded as binding upon the conscience of Christians. The power of binding and loosing is in fact the power of legislation for the Church.” (6)

JUDICIAL AND COERCIVE POWERS. The legislative power explicitly promised to St. Peter necessarily implies the judicial and coercitive powers without which laws would be useless. The very words of Our Lord also imply these powers, since no restrictions or limitations of any sort are added: whatsoever Peter prohibits, whatsoever he permits by legislative, judicial, or coercive power, shall be prohibited or permitted by Christ in Heaven. Thomas Arnold, a non-Catholic, makes some pointed observations on this matter. He says:
“To bind and to loose are metaphors certainly, but metaphors easy to be understood. They express a legislative and judicial power. To bind legislatively is to impose a general obligation; to say that a thing ought to be done, or ought not to be done; to bind men’s consciences either to the doing of it, or to the abstaining from it. . . . Again, to bind judicially is to impose a particular obligation on an individual, to oblige him to do or to suffer certain things for the sake of justice, which, if left to himself, he would not choose to do or suffer. Again to loose judicially is to pronounce a man free of any such obligation. . . . But such legislative and judicial power is the power of government; government, in fact, consisting mainly of these two great powers.” (7)

PRIMACY OF POWER. The power of government promised to St. Peter under the figure of binding and loosing, extends to the whole Church and to everything subject to the Church. It is a power to be exercised on earth without restrictions as to time or place, and includes within its scope all persons or things subject to the Church,—”whatsoever thou shalt bind … whatsoever thou shalt loose.” In a word, the power here promised to St. Peter is the supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church,—the primacy of jurisdiction.

The fact that Christ afterward addresses these same words to all the Apostles (8) does not militate against the primacy of Peter. On that occasion Our Lord addressed the Apostles collectively; He conferred upon them as a body complete authority to rule, but in subjection to St. Peter, their head, to whom alone the words of Christ were addressed individually: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose.” (9)

LIMITATIONS. The words of Christ to St. Peter are absolutely universal and contain no restricting clause. Therefore, the power promised to him is subject to no limitations save those incidental to all authority, i e., it must be subject to the divine law and be conformed to the nature of the society in which it is exercised. Consequently the power of binding and loosing extends to every bond or obligation that may be imposed or removed by divine law, but since it is to be exercised in the Church, it extends only to persons and things subject to her authority. The power of Peter is measured by the power of the Church. The Church has no authority to change the teachings of Christ, to increase or diminish the number of Sacraments or to sever the bonds of a consummated marriage; neither was such authority promised to Peter. The Church has authority to define doctrines, to make or repeal laws, to inflict punishment, to constitute or remove pastors; the same authority was promised to Peter when Christ said: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind, whatsoever thou shalt loose.” In fact, the Church has authority only in so far as it was conferred upon the Apostolic college, of which St. Peter was the head.

1. Matt. xvi, 19.
2. J. Lightfoot, “Horae Hebraicae in Evang. Matt.,” xvi, 19.
3. Matt. v, 17.
4. Matt xxii, 4.
5. Knabenbauer, “Commentarium in Matt.,” Vol. II, p. 68.
6. A.J. Mason in Hasting’s “Dictionary of the Bible,” art. “Power of Keys.”
7. Thomas Arnold, “Fragment on the Church,” pp. 35—36.
8. Matt xviii, 18.
9. See below, p. 338.


Interesting quote... one question does anybody know if Fr. Berry´s treatise on the Church is available somewhere in the net?

Cristian

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Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:09 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian,

I would like to thank you once again for your efforts in this thread. They have been most edyfying.

Cristian wrote:
Well... i always thought we were talking about Papal laws for the Universal Church, or those made by the whole Church... and hence my quotes. It´s good to clarify the meanings of the words.


Please understand Cristian, I was only saying (as I said in a previous post) that I have always percieved the discussion as being broader than "Papal laws".....including but not limited to. The coversation has indeed been focused on "Papal laws"...I was just pointing out that this was not necessarily so.

Christian wrote:
Interesting quote... one question does anybody know if Fr. Berry´s treatise on the Church is available somewhere in the net?


I haven't seen it anywhere for a while. I stumbled across my copy a while ago at an extremely fair price. I would say that periodic visits to abebooks would be your best bet....though, the people who sell this book there, seem to know it's value to traditioanlists. :) I've seen it anywhere from $75 to $125.

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:45 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian wrote:

Quote:
Well... i always thought we were talking about Papal laws for the Universal Church, or those made by the whole Church... and hence my quotes. It´s good to clarify the meanings of the words.

Cristian


I was thinking the same, my friend, but for the sake of clarity, I think it is good to get this point refined.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:54 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike,

Just so we are clear...you wrote, "The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions." Official actions include alot more than "Papal Laws". So we are in agreement that the Holy Ghost does not direct every official action of the Church?

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:00 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

You wrote:

Quote:
Our question, it seems to me, is precisely how we are to think of these universal acts of the Roman Pontiff. Are these graces given to the Roman Pontiff infallibly efficacious graces, or some lesser grade of grace? We know that such acts are infallible (i.e. they cannot state or imply doctrinal error), but are they also necessarily prudent? I suspect that they are, but that does not mean that they are always the most prudent that they could be – that guarantee has certainly not been given. Nor does it mean that acts of a lesser status enjoy the same assistance.


I think that my "epiphany" moment is beginning. :D By this, do you mean that even universal laws may not be the "most prudent"? Are you saying that Berry is not discussing prudence vs. imprudence but simply degrees of prudence? I think I see now, that I was equating imprudence with a lesser degree of prudence.

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:18 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

Our Lord stated that He would be with us always even to the end of the world. Regarding the official acts of the Church not protected by Papal Infallibility, I would like to see what the theologians have to say on the subject. Clearly, God's Providence is present in the Church and the world at all times. He permits things to happen, and always has the power to not permit things to happen. Jesus Christ our Lord is the Head of the Church, so to what extent does he allow popes in their non-infallible authority to deviate from His Will, or from the truth?

I had written you in a previous post that I would be willing to be educated by you on this point, and would look at the sources you would present. I am trying to get this clear in my own mind as well before modifying my position (or restating it with more precision) on this, as the only position I wish to take is the true and Catholic position. I am not aware of any instances in Church history in which Popes using their non-infallible teaching authority taught error to the universal Church, or used their authority to command Catholics to perform an evil or impious act, even in particular cases.

Does this mean that a pope could do these things? It may be possible, but I would like to see it written by approved sources.

Regarding the appointments of bishops, annullments, etc., it would appear that the Pope is given graces to help him govern the Church, so does this include these acts? I would like to see what the theologians say on this. Clearly, bad bishops have existed in the Church, who have done great harm, so we might ask whether the pope is given the wisdom in this regard to pick the right bishops, or does the pope receive this wisdom and not follow it due to his free will? If the pope receives this wisdom, and uses his free will to choose bad bishops, could we still say that he is guided in his official act of choosing bishops, but is not cooperating with that grace, or would we say that he is not given a special grace of wisdom in choosing bishops for the Church? I would like to see what the theologians say on this point.

In regards to annullments, I am not aware of any instance where the Church has stated that a mistake was made by the pope in granting an annullment. Does the pope have a special grace to not err on this matter? I would like to read what the theologians say on this as well.

It may be that this is uncharted territory, and I am reluctant to go where the approved sources do not lead. I would ask John Lane to give his thoughts on this issue.

Lastly, Theresa Ginardi posted an excerpt from John Daly in a previous post which stated:

Quote:
"2. While it is not intrinsically unorthodox to hold, as some theologians have done, that in a very rare and exceptional case a doctrinal precept of the Holy See may be inaccurate and need subsequent revision, a loyal Catholic can only be exceedingly reluctant to admit that this has occurred in any concrete case. His reluctance is based on his pious respect for the Holy See and docility to all its decisions and his faith in the protection accorded by the Holy Ghost to all the acts of the Church. And he would be especially reluctant to admit error on the part of the Holy See in the case of Galileo both because of the gravity of the censure originally applied to heliocentrism and because everyone knows perfectly well that the Galileo affair is the only serious example proffered of a case in which error on the part of the Holy See in noninfallible doctrinal decisions is thought by some to have been established, and even admitted. The recognition of this view inevitably weakens faith and starkly opposes the filial attitude every good Catholic nurtures towards the Holy See." (ibid. pgs. 54-55)

http://www.ldolphin.org/geocentricity/Daly.pdf


(boldfacing added by myself for emphasis)

If John Daly is reading this forum, I would also ask him for help in clarify exactly what the Church says on this matter, so we can all be clear in understanding this accurately and with precision.

Thank you Bill for your thoughts, you have made me wish to be more clear and accurate on this point.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:
By this, do you mean that even universal laws may not be the "most prudent"? Are you saying that Berry is not discussing prudence vs. imprudence but simply degrees of prudence? I think I see now, that I was equating imprudence with a lesser degree of prudence.


Yes, that's what I am suggesting. If you go back to my original post in this thread you'll see I tried to explain the various kinds of acts and also that I tried to caution against equating "less than most" with "none or little." viewtopic.php?p=8056#p8056

All in all it seems to me that infallibility is our best analogue for this question. Popes have done things which do appear to be grossly imprudent - but not in relation to the universal Church. Further, popes have been accused of imprudence (and worse), yet so few of the cases stand up to much scrutiny, so that we are left with a small number of cases which bear any deep consideration, and it is not even clear that we must concede definite imprudence in any of them. On either of these counts we may defend the actions of St. Marcellus with the holy books (assuming he did it, it was a personal act, not a law for the Church), Liberius with the profession of faith (ditto), Pascal II in relation to investitures (we may also undermine this as being only a provisional act which he withdrew), or Clement XIV in relation to the Jesuits (not a universal law - in fact, it was specifically restricted to enaction in each location in which it was "published" - house by house - which saved the Society in Russia, of all places), Pius XI and the Cristeros (not an act directed to the universal Church but rather an order or advice given to men in one country). etc.

At any rate, St. Alphonsus expressed what ought to be our general outlook when commenting on Clement XIV's act. "Poor pope! What could he do in the circumstances in which he was placed, with all the Sovereigns conspiring to demand this Suppression? As for ourselves, we must keep silence, respect the secret judgment of God, and hold ourselves in peace".

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
It may be that this is uncharted territory, and I am reluctant to go where the approved sources do not lead. I would ask John Lane to give his thoughts on this issue.


Dear Mike,

I posted whilst you were posting, so I didn't see yours. I agree with you, although the theologians who might comment on this in more depth are beyond my reach. I would be looking at Cajetan or De Lugo for further in-depth commentary. (Cristian, have you checked Billot?). The manuals are concise text-books for beginners - they generally don't get beyond sketching out the skeleton.

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Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:01 pm
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