[Advisory: Rules ##7-9]:
Guest editorial by Joseph Martin:
Guest editorial by Joseph Martin:
The man behind Catholicam is hitting nails squarely on the head [here]. And in the process diminishing the bling generated by some venerated church figures. He clarifies even as he depresses. Can Catholics be Catholics without cult-colored glasses? A rude and impenitent comment, or a troubling question?First there was this, diagnosing all of Postconciliarism in one paragraph:You can't create continuity just by saying it exists. You can't tell us the traditional teaching is untouched when the context of the words seems to suggest otherwise - and if we are wrong, then please explain how. Please explain how things are not in discontinuity. You cannot create continuity by fiat decree. You cannot substitute a phantasm for substance.
Now there is his newer item on Ganswein's presentation. Extremely helpful, as it underscores what James Larson has been saying: Benedict XVI may be a 'friend' of Tradition, but he is not actually a consistent exponent of it. I recall visiting a small, growing Catholic college that prides itself on its orthodoxy: all the theology guys had all the Ignatius Press Ratzinger books lining their shelves. Using an analogy I've invoked elsewhere, I felt sort of like I was in Salt Lake City listening the LDS hype the Mormon prophet. "Truth and Tolerance" or "Teachings of Thomas S. Monsoon" ... Take your pick: both are written by "general authorities" that followers refer back to with a lavish-sort of deference. Even the wanting-to-sound-sane Fr. Z goes out of his way to fall back on lengthy quotes of from the newest "living prophets" JPII, Benedict, and of course now Francis.
Catholicism has become a pope or pope-as-prophet movement, with the unique problem of having popes that hardly seem too keen on Catholicism. Ganswein always was appealing as a masculine priest who seemed no nonsense. Now we have this turn which seems more George Clooney, and makes him seem like some power politics sell-out or Stockholm Syndrome victim, simply because what he is saying is such obvious, transparently novel and forced two-headed bunk. He and Benedict both are contributing to a legacy's epic fail. That sounds extreme, but Francis is the purposeful fruit of Benedict XVI's exit strategy, for heaven's sake!
In a highly out-of-character move, George Weigel just weighed in over at Catholic World Report with a sweeping verdict that the Archbishop and Ratzinger-right-hand-man is plain wrong. "There aren't 'two popes' in any way, shape, or form," he declares authoritatively.
But of course Ganswein is a papal insider, and Weigel cites no sources, so he becomes a man of the Council sawing off the branch he has been sitting on. "It's a Ford or Toyota. You're either baptized or you're not," he analogies. But what about the salvation of pagans, baptism of desire, and blah blah blah? Suddenly postconciliar theologies aren't self-justifying? You mean Garrigou-Lagrange might not have been quite the stuff he was later painted to be, and DeLubac might have been as fanciful as certain Georges?Still, most conservatives line up behind Ratzinger like he is the noble equivalent of the liberals' Obama. Um, no, he's not. I like Benedict XVI too, like I liked Mark Hatfield or Norman Vincent Peale. Nice, well-intentioned man, godly, and sympathetic to conservatives. But consistently conservative at the flash points? Not necessarily so. Again quoting Catholicam [brackets and bolding added]:
Ed. - Yet discussions continue to abound suggesting the theme of continued 'renewal' in the Church: The Franciscan Institute for Ecclesial Renewal and The Henkel's Family Foundation are sponsoring a "Symposium on Pope Francis's Vision for the Renewal of the Church" at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Nov. 10-12, 2016.This is one issue Traditionalists need to get over: Benedict XVI is not the 'traditional' pope as opposed to Bergoglio the progressive pope. [I add: just read his Principles of Theology or Introduction to Christianity!! The fact these are never, ever addressed with an questioning is a huge indictment of the 'sheeple cloak' that remains cast over conservative Catholic theology]. Benedict had a certain nostalgia for the traditional liturgy (and in my opinion it was nothing more than nostalgia), but he was a theological progressive in many ways. And with his abdication the "traditional" Pope Benedict perpetrated the greatest novelty of the modern papacy.
Anyone who has really studied the writings of Joseph Ratzinger knows that much of his theology is severely problematic. In fact, it is easier to find objectively heretical statements in the writings of Ratzinger than it is in John Paul II.