Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Curious and curiouser"

Our clandestine underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an eastern city which knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, recently wired me the linked article below with these words:
"If Benedict XVI was sometimes an enigma, Francis is a conundrum. Either of of course is better than a debacle. THE book right now for my money on VII is de Mattei's An Unwritten History. [So is mine, I would add.] Marcheto's tome is far less willing to examine anything with a critical lens and therefore strikes me as a bit anemic in what it affirms. Whitehead translated, so I'd be interest in his comments."
The linked article: Augustinus, "Francis endorses the 'hermeneutic of reform in continuity'
Papal letter praises critic of 'Bologna School' as 'best interpreter of the Second Vatican Council'
" (Rorate Caeli, November 14, 2013):
In his latest post for his personal blog, Sandro Magister publicized the text of a letter sent by Pope Francis to Abp. Agostino Marchetto, a former Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. He is best-known as the author of The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Counterpoint for the History of the Council,which criticizes the "Bologna School' and champions the "hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity" as proposed by Benedict XVI, most notably in his speech of December 22, 2005.
"Curiouser" indeed.

[Hat tip to JM]


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

I too found Marchetto’s book somewhat “anemic” (fair warning: I lost interest after the first hundred pages or so -- those with more persistence may reach different conclusions), But a couple of points anyhow.

The book is not a reasoned, pointed argument. It is a collection of book reviews, scholarly notes, and general commentary on the theme of V2. About half of it consists of criticism of specific points made by Joseph Komonchak and others in the “Bologna school’s” five volume History of Vatican Council II. But there are reviews and allusions to other works as well, some of these never translated into English and never made available to readers in the United States. All in all, I consider Marchetto’s “counterpoint” a hodge-podge of very acute critical remarks on the writings of others on the general theme of V2.

Of course, a general point of view suffuses these disparate counterpointings. Marchetto shares Joseph Ratzinger’s later view of the council as being measured solely by its documents, rather than by the “spirit” of the men who wrote, rewrote, and endorsed those documents, and proclaimed them as expressive of an emerging “greening” of the Catholic Church. This of course contrasts with the leitmotif of the “Bolognan” history, that V2’s essence consists in its “spirit,” of which its documents are only the first lilacs of springtime. To me, this seems a patently phony antinomy, concocted by Ratzinger, and continued by Marchetto.

The book’s structure (or lack of it), makes it particularly difficult to figure out what in it Francis might be endorsing. Perhaps only a minor point, perhaps the general orientation: obviously we weren’t meant to know. Which begs the question, why were such pains taken to make the note public? Apparently it was more important to publicize a connection between the two men, than to let anyone know what that connection might be.

But given the fact that Francis has said so much to give to so many people an impression that he is a flaming “Spirit of Vatican II” partisan, whose idea of leading the Church is to raze its bastions, perhaps this totally non-informative kudo to Marchetto is meant as a sign to stressed-out middle manager bishops that they are not going to be forced to live in Motel 6 units and drive their own Ford Fiestas. After all, it is through the “synodocracy” that Francis proposes to accomplish his great feats of ecclesial transformation. He needs them. And an empty gesture of this sort costs so little

It may also serve as a silent warning to rosary-rattling “pelagians” that Marchetto-Ratzinger forms the right wing border of orthodoxy, as this pope conceives it.

Hey, maybe the “correction” consisted of informing Pope Bergoglio what a “pelagian” actually is.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

And where, outside the Balthazarian asteroid belt, is poetry referred to as a "virtue"?

El Gabo Gringo said...

Is this book and this Marcheto guy "pro-vII" or anti-ltm or something else? And it appears from the letter in Rorate the pope likes the book, is that right?

Sorry, I'm just having trouble following. This is all way too subtle for me.

Pertinacious Papist said...

El Gabo Gringo,

Marcheto opposes the "Bolognia School" interpretation of V-II, which promotes what Benedict XVI called a hermeneutic of "rupture." The Bolognia School is all about the post-Vatican II Church being a "new Church," something congenial to modern man and modernist assumptions. Marcheto opposes that. He doesn't oppose Vatican II as such, and would certainly lean toward Benedict's notion of a hermeneutic of "continuity and reform," as Pope Francis is now claiming he does.

Pertinacious Papist said...


Thanks for the review, in part at least, of Marcheto's book. Helpful, since I haven't read it yet.

I am not Spartacus said...

Prof Mattei's book is sensational and it was in reading that book that I became interested in reading a book referenced in there - Melissa J. Wilde's, "A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change"

Of the several interesting topics and points in the book is the summation of the interviews of the Fathers of the Council by one Rock Caporale who interviewed over 80 of the most consequential Bishops of V2 during the Council - or, Coup d'eglise as Erik Sengers labelled it - with the results revealing that the Modernists and New Theologians who successfully conspired to capture the council and work the coup were delighted with the results and attributed their success to the Holy Ghost which is why no Pope, modernist, new theologian, or Gigantic Grub Street Girondist will ever concede as legitimate any criticism of the council as a rupture even though not a few of the Council Fathers frankly told Mr. Coporale that what was produced by the progessives in their pogrom of phagocytizing protestantism was "politics" not the work of The Holy Ghost.

Also worth noting is her focus on Episcopal Conferences (they doubled in size during V2) and how they were crucial for the political machinations necessary for the modernists to triumph and so the fact that Our Pope would be in favor of increasing their authority while putting the final nails in the Curial Coffin is no surprise.

Such Conferences will be both the rear guard of the triumphs of the Revolutionary Gains and the Vanguard for intensifying laxity in every single area of Catholic life which will be used to subtly sneak-in and intensified pogrom of protestant phagocytizing.

During the Council, Archbishop Franc Franic of Yugoslavia averred that what was going on in the Council ...recalled the brainwashing and trials under the communists and said that this helped him understand what was happening in the commissions and the Council too.

Don't ever think that the progressive political panthers have had a change in their nature; they continue to desire more radical change and that change will come through The Episcopal Councils for the progressive political panthers are skilled in organising and agitprop while the conservatives keep lying to themselves that the worst is over when it ain't even begun.

I tell ya, Doc, even thinking about the progressive programs hurtling down the pike at us causes me to feel like I imagine a bum would feel wakmng-up to a wicked Sterno Hangover.

El Gabo Gringo said...

Thanks for the response. It makes sense now.

So... if I wanted to dive deeper into this, what would be the one book I could/should read? I've heard a book that I think is called "the rhine flows into the tiber" is good, but maybe the De Mattei "unwritten history" book is better?

The Ghost of Tyburn said...


Outside the Balthazarian Asteroid belt, is revenge a Klingon dish best served cold and is Romulan ale best served at room temperature?

The Wrath of Rahn

Pertinacious Papist said...

El Gabo Gringo,

I heartily recommend Roberto de Mattei's The Second Vatican Council - An Unwritten Story (Loreto Publications, 2012). Excellent.