A field hospital, where one of the sick, injured and dying says they are fine just as they are. There's no talk of returning to the original state of health, and especially of those medicines that do not suit the palate, certainly not. If you want to Pope Francis such an effusive metaphor that has been received by media, chattering classes and retained in the collective Catholic memory, one can not otherwise define the meaning of the speech with which Cardinal Walter Kasper opened the consistory on the family. There can be no doubt, when he says, "but we must be honest and admit that a chasm has opened up between the Church's teaching on marriage and the family and the convictions of many Christians." There is no doubt, because all of his considerations do not focus on, retrieving and returning the fugitive and lost sheep from the herd, and not on the reasons why they have been lost in the first place, but on the need to adapt to the new situation. The shepherd is not only to acquire the scent of his sheep, but especially those sheep who have gone.[Hat tip to JM]
After Kasper's Speech, No One Can Indulge in the illusion that Everything is in Order
There is something new that is taking place in the Church, it also triggered a decided stir in the world by the journalistic scoop of the daily newspaper Il Foglio, published in full as the first text of the Cardinal. Now the illusion that everything is quiet and in good order can only be indulged in by those who define the conservative and tame parts of Kasper's speech weighing them in the scale, imagining in self-delusion that they account for at least one eighth of an ounce over and above the innovative and disturbing parts. As if the shadow of the disorder would not suffice to disturb the heavenly origin of the order.
The speech is a message that affects not only the media whose nature it is to chase children who bite dogs and not the dogs that bite children. The message relates to the believers of any rank and state whatsoever, and any rational creatures existing on earth because the Church must speak to all people in everything she says without distinction, or at least should, always and everywhere witness to the same truth. If the media do report with happiness about a child that bites a dog, just because it's something new, to the faithful, the other faiths, agnostics and atheists have to understand, however, whether this is something good or bad. You can not just celebrate, just because something is new.
Strategy of Changing Practice in Keeping Meaningless Letters
It is enough to look at who would be celebrating and who is not to understand that Cardinal Kasper, who Pope Francis described at the first Angelus following his book "Mercy" as "a theologian who is on the ball, a good theologian," has this time the put a decent bite on the dog. From his paper, the image of a future Church emerges that is completely fluid and flexible and always has less idea of the Sacraments. And it is no accident that at the first brush strokes this image is recognized in the marriage that is tried and scourged by the insidious desires and therefore is most vulnerable. But apart from the contents, especially worrying is the method. A mixture of subjection to the lusts of the world and the desire to open the doors of the impregnable fortress to the raging besiegers. The strategy employed at the Second Vatican Council must be repeated, to which says the Cardinal calmly: "The council has opened doors without damaging the binding dogmatic tradition." It is the strategy with which the change in practice is hidden behind a nondescript retention of the letter. The Modernist Don Ernesto Buonaiuti theorized them in a veritable guide to action:"So far reform of Rome was wanted outside of Rome or even against Rome. We must reform with Rome so that it can pass through the hands of those in Rome to be reformed. This is the true and infallible, but difficult method. Hoc opus, hic labor. [...] The outer cult will continue to exist as the hierarchy, but the Church as teacher of the sacraments and their order will change the hierarchy and the cult according to the time: it is those simpler and more liberal and this more spiritual, and so a more gradual orthodox Protestantism and not a violent, aggressive, revolutionary and disobedient."Destructive Pastoral Comes from Problematic Teaching
One must not ascribe to Cardinal Kasper the same intentions of Buonaiuti. Different times, different dreams, different theories, but each shapes the practice in his own image and likeness. One must have the courage and intellectual honesty and admit that the pastoral, this talismanic conception that serves today to justify each yielding, is still affiliated with a teaching. It is true that the practice as a tribute to their Enlightenment origins often devours a non-vigilant Magisterium. But it is also legitimate to ask whence a decomposing Pastoral comes, if not from the womb of the problem, at least in the core teaching.
As also found in Kasper's speech, many points represented a problem in themselves, one can not deny that each paragraph or line breathes the idea of unnatural dialogue between the values of the world and of Christian morality. A Trojan horse has entered the Catholic fortress that is the purpose and means to an end simultaneously. The one and the other have come together in their work of destruction of the ideas of nature and person, which are characterized by theology in their origin.
True Nature of Man is to Have no Nature?
The now prevalent thinking in the Catholic Church that underlies the speech of Cardinal Kasper, is anticipated in a line by Enrico Chiavacci of 1973 published in the Dictionary of Moral Theology: "The true nature of man is to have no nature." It follows that the moral of the metaphysical foundation of human nature is autonomous and that love, understood in a purely physical level, is the only rule of human behavior.
Roberto de Mattei wrote in this regard:"The new moralists who have been referred to by someone as 'porn theologians', have replaced the objectivity of natural law by the 'person', understood as a planned will, divorced from any normative foundation and immersed in a historical and cultural context, in other words, in a situational ethics. And because sex is an integral part of the person, the role of sexuality is named as the 'primary function of personal growth', also because, according to her testimony, the Council taught that only in the dialogic relationship is only realized with the other person, they quoted in this context the notion, I need the other in order to be myself ', based on the number 24 of Gaudium et Spes , the Magna Carta of the post-Conciliar Progressivism."1966 published the French Bishops' Conference, the " Documentation catholique", in the only Catholic was the title, and with the end of classical theology was announced. The French bishops said:"After the Council Christology requires special attention. In theology it is, for example, the need to maintain the fundamental concepts of nature and person. In this regard raises the modern philosophy of new problems: the meaning of the terms 'nature' and 'person' is a philosophical spirit other than that of the fifth Century or of Thomism. [...] What are the concepts of nature and person are to be used, so that they can express the truth of the dogmatic definitions of our contemporaries?"The end result of this premise could only be the impossibility of finding access to the truth of dogmatic definitions, of which the French bishops said in words, that it was still close to their hearts.
The attack on the theology of 5 Century and Thomism did not happen by chance, but he meant to destroy the definition of person who formulated by Boethius and was then taken up by, among others, St. Thomas. "Persona est naturae individua substantia rationalis" Boetius said. "The person is the individual substance of rational nature."
Kasper's Speech Made From the Fabric of the White Flag for Surrender
The speech of Cardinal Kasper is made of the stuff, which is only suitable for being raised as a white flag in the besieged citadel of God. To say that one must resort to the modern categories of thought and morals, is, to embezzle the necessary mediation of ideas and a language that are the true "natural" way.
The truth is not only dogmatic and supernatural, as the truth of the dogma is not only the fixed point, the aim is to preserve the Catholic thinking. There is a "natural" truth of the language and the concepts that is absolutely indispensable for exclusively religious purposes. Therefore, the classical ideas of nature and person can not be interchanged for the modern with impunity.
You can not explain to the Hegelians the truth of the dogma with Hegelian terms, the Cartesians with those of Descartes, the Kantians with those of Kant, the Marxists, by using the Marxist concepts and so on, because modern philosophy is essentially anti-natural and the grace's impact on nature, not the anti-nature.
Jean Madiran and the Phenomenon of Theological Debacle
In his book "The Jeresy of the 20th Century" Jean Madiran refers to this phenomenon as a theological debacle which "is based on the imagination. There is a mythology. It's not a misconception between nature and grace, but from a radical challenge to the natural order, which results in a denial of the supernatural order in itself. It is not based on one aspect of reality in which other aspects are canceled or defaced: it is completely beyond any reality, in an ideological-verbal limbus. It does not deny the natural reality and also does not betray itself: It rejects it, it draws souls away from her to them to steer elsewhere to nowhere "
The basic element of this action is as described in Buonaiutis instruction, the attack on the Sacraments, on what the character of the Divine in the world, the presence of God among men, what is ultimately principle and guarantee of the earthly order because it conveys its descent of the divine order of graces. Therefore, the goal is to penetrate into the Catholic theology and to pervert it to the roots.
"Abolition" of Sin Gagging and Choking Catholic Theology
The real knot, with which Catholic Theology is gagged and choked is the abolition of sin and the separation of faith and sacraments. The Sacraments are the support and resources to keep the creature from sinning. This is the basic, but forgotten and neglected topic: sin. That is the scandal, the shame, without which man can not be understood. It's already in order: the Paschal Mystery, the Resurrection, the triumph of the rolled away stone. But there is no guarantee that our souls will be saved from inevitable death. Sin brings the mystery of eternal damnation with it.
At this point, together with the Incarnation the sacrament enters in the story, the mystery that is also essential for the salvation of man from his condition as a sinner. A Church without sacraments is simply unthinkable, it's a no man's land, or if it goes well, a field hospital, where everyone saves himself. The discussion around the approval of the remarried divorced couples to Communion is grueling and in some ways even absurd. The real question is much simpler: How is man to save himself? How is he to save himself, if one preaches or gives to understand that hell does not exist or if it exists, is empty?
Christ Was not be Crucified to Save us From War, Poverty and a Failed Marriage
Christ has not crucified in order to save the people before the war, poverty, envy, the marriage gone awry or sadness. He did it to save them from eternal damnation. And the sacraments are the means of grace to get out of this terrible disease. The old Catechism of Saint Pius X said: "The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Jesus Christ to sanctify us." And further, that "they are efficacious signs of grace, because they have the tangible parts of this invisible grace, signify or show that they give, and they are effective characters because they really give the grace that they signify."
When they brought Jesus to the deaf and dumb and asked that he lay his hands upon them, he put his finger in the eye and with the saliva He touched his tongue, then he turned his eyes to heaven, he sighed and said "Ephphatha" and the man was healthy. Jesus, who was God, could have returned hearing to the deaf and speech with a simple command of his will. However, the contact of the fingers and saliva signified and really gave the grace of healing. It was the sign of the sacrament, the occurrence of grace in the life of the man that turns the actions and the material of everyday life to the Rite. The Church can not do without signs till her end, except as a punishment in the end. In a world that is deprived of both carnal and spiritual anchoring of the sacraments, sin can not be defeated because it is no longer recognized and attacked for what it is. And man loses his way, everyone is no one, and as Marshall McLuhan says, "could be the greatest statesman is to be confused with a footman. In liturgical terms of loss of identity it means the loss of religious vocation, and the moral permissiveness means the inability to recognize the necessity of confession. Then, where many went to confession and relatively few went to Communion, very few now confess, while many go to Communion. "
"We need a Church that Moves the World"
As GK Chesterton said, like like such a Church is pleasing to the world, but she does her no good:"The Church cannot move with the times; simply because the times are not moving. The Church can only stick in the mud with the times, and rot and stink with the times.. (...) And the Church has the same task as it had at the beginning of the Dark Ages; to save all the light and liberty that can be saved, to resist the downward drag of the world, and to wait for better days. So much a real Church would certainly do; but a real Church might be able to do more. It might make its Dark Ages something more than a seed-time; it might make them the very reverse of dark. It might present its more human ideal in such abrupt and attractive a contrast to the inhuman trend of the time, as to inspire men suddenly for one of the moral revolutions of history; so that men now living shall not taste of death until they have seen justice return.... we need, however, as the newspapers say, not a church that moves with the world. We need a church that moves the world."
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Mario Palmaro and Alessandro Gnocchi, "Language World's Crisis Instead of Dogmatic and Supernatural Truth?" published as part of the post, "Mario Palmaro's Last Essay --- 'Kasper's Speech is Made From the Stuff of White Flags'" by The Eponymous Flower (March 13, 2014):