Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Pope Benedict's Big Edit."

Old news, for the record: Dale Price, "Pope Benedict's Big Edit" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, November 18, 2014):
It appears that Pope Benedict XVI did not care at all for Cardinal Kasper's attempt to press-gang him into supporting the latter's assault on indissolubility. 

How do we know that? According to the largest newspaper in his homeland, the Pope Emeritus has removed his previous (1972) support for giving communion to civilly-remarried divorcees from the official collection of his theological works. Instead, he now favors a revised annulment process. The editorial framing notes this development with disapproval, calling it "political."

For those who have made politics a substitute religion, I imagine it is.

For those who care about the Catholic teaching on marriage, this is big news. And a most welcome note of support.

[Update, 11/19/2014: Father Zuhlsdorf has more detail about the story, including the fact Pope Benedict addresses his change of mind in the introduction.]




Fr. Z is good, but he is engaging in some of the unreality here the mainstream Catholic media practice daily:

"What is important to remember, however, before people on the Left and on the Right start with their respective spittle-flecked nutties, is that… changing your mind is exactly what theologians do when they are looking back at their life’s work."

What is important to remember is also that no other pope has resigned and then begun issuing his theological output as a definitive set of works. How are the faithful NOT supposed to be confused? Pope 1 says this, Pope 2 says otherwise. But neither are really exactly saying just how we should think, are they, but instead are engaging in speculation amidst media spin and cultural gawking.

While I am glad the former Benedict XVI (or is it Pope Emeritus ... ) appears to have a more orthodox view, I also tend to think, "And exactly what else were you expecting to happen, given the theological leanings of the majority of bishops?" "Spittle-flecked nutties"? I dunno, who can blame them. Augustine nothwithstanding, we are left with a spectacle.

Ralph Roister-Doister


Benedict is in a hopeless situation. He started out as a collaborator of Rahner's at V2, then backed off from the "spirit" of the council when he saw its results. However, instead of admitting that the fruit of his council was tainted, he denied that that spirit was in fact the spirit of the council, but rather averred that it popped up out of nowhere AFTER the council was over. Reality compromises his rather cowardly averral in so many ways. This latest act of contrition is yet another case of "too little too late," which is in some ways an appropriate epitaph for his aborted papacy.

In the long run, no one will pay particular attention to Benedict's works, no matter how many volumes he issues. Volume after volume will trail off into insignificance. But the "spirit" of V2, which the majority of council fathers clearly meant as an avatar of permanent change -- THAT will be his legacy, whether he wants it or not.