Saturday, November 23, 2013
"Who in the Catholic Camp Makes Common Cause With the Enemy?" Palmaro and Gnocchi After the Telephone Call of the Pope
(Rome) The traditionalist legal philosopher Mario Palmaro, upon whom Pope Francis bestowed a phone call on All Saints Day, and the journalist Alessandro Gnocchi, deal in their recent essay with the criticism of "Denzinger", which has been in vogue. It refers to the "Enchiridion Symbolorum" which is first published in 1854 by Heinrich Denzinger, Würzburg dogmatic theologian, as a collection of the most important teaching documents of the Catholic Church. Palmaro and Gnocchi distinguish a deep-seated aversion to this dogmatic precision, which always distinguished the Church, and considered the reasons for this aversion. The starting point here is the interview that Pope Francis had granted to the atheist Eugenio Scalfari, now deleted from the Vatican website. It is an interview that caused a lot of confusion by its content, by the uncritical absorption in some Catholic circles, by defending it against internal Church criticism and not least, because of the way it was handled by the Vatican, such as the statements of Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi and the full publication without comment by the Osservatore Romano and the website of the Holy See. The two Catholic journalists were sympathetic to the recent criticism of Pope Francis in the "Spirit of the World". Consequently, however, those who make "common cause with the enemy" in the Catholic camp should also be called out by name, who makes the Catholic camp "common cause with the enemy," according to the invitation to the Pope, because the confusion is great that many Catholics no longer know what is actually Catholic and no it is hard to distinguish friend from enemy any longer. So it shall be, that Catholics, often without realizing it, defend uncatholic positions against other Catholics who hold to the Catholic doctrine.
Pope Francis thanked Mario Palmaro for the criticism that he "needs" in a telephone conversation. Radio Maria Italy had dismissed the two Catholic journalists for their comments critical of the papacy. Whether they will be reinstated after the Pope's call, is not known. Program Director Father Livio Fanzaga justified the expulsion in recent weeks several times with counter criticism of the "Denzinger-Catholics".
Palmaro and Gnocchi's essay appeared on 20 November in the daily newspaper "Il Foglio". The intertitles were chosen by the editors.
The "Denzinger" and Half-Worldly
by Mario Palmaro and Alessandro Gnocchi
It was recorded "with joy," as is customary in the Church today, defended without ifs and buts, hermeneutisized as needed and eventually deleted from the website of the Vatican, where it was published for one and a half months: the discussion of the interview Pope Francis gave to Eugenio Scalfari. It was established with a simple click on the file. It is reliable as a whole, said the director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Lombardi, but not in some single site, even if the controversial passage on the conscience is "completely compatible with the Catechism of the Catholic Church."
"Broker no Horse Trading with God's Faithfulness" or the Church as Equidistant Mediator Between God and the World?
Although it is now stored in the file folders for a mere chronicle of events, the incident remains an indicator of a degree of confusion, which is too much even for a field hospital. It's strange that no one asked the question before, and as a precaution, if the interviewer of the Voltaire-press was a patient who came to be healed, or a not particularly well-camouflaged poisoner. Seeing what the concern of the secular interlocutor was, is a question that referred to as fundamental by Pope Francis himself in his sermon in Santa Marta last Monday. Expounding on a passage from the Book of Maccabees, the Pope warned against using the faithfulness of God to engage in horse trading, because the spirit of the world negotiates everything. But the actual state of the postmodern Church has presents itself for decades more as a neutral place for mediation instead of a fortress which is determined to resist the world. It seems to be a place where many complacent standards, methods and tools to use with which both the flattery of the world are understood also as the complaints toward the Church.
The tension of a justified rigor, which under Benedict XVI had begun to return and along with asceticism and prayer protecting from the siren songs of the world, seems to evaporate. Today, it is sufficient to call the razor-sharp but loving precision in memory, with which the Church is always expressed to faith, doctrine and morals, to be disparaged as the ideologized specialist of the Logos. Woe to those who dare to mention the great work of a deserving pioneer of dogmatic theology of Henry Denzinger: he is immediately accused of wanting to replace the gospel with the Enchiridion Symbolorum, that crystal clear compendium of the main texts of the Magisterium, which should serve as a dam, where the world challenges, provokes, negotiates and corrupts. Constantly updated over the decades, the "Denzinger" is named after its first editor, one of the safest points of reference for those who want to know and practice the always valid thinking of the Church. But he is not liked. He irritates and annoys.
Aversion to "Denzinger"? Karl Rahner Knows Why
To find out the reason for this aversion, it is sufficient to read Wikipedia. In a pathetic single line it says in the Italian version: "The great fundamental theologian, the Jesuit Karl Rahner, warned students and scholars of the danger of a reductionist, Denzinger theology." When you consider that the inventor of the theory of the "anonymous Christians" has replaced St. Thomas Aquinas in the Church of today as Doctor Communis, the general dislike of the "Denzinger" of course becomes understandable, which is a severe judge against anyone who the likes to abandon it for some quite personal encounter with the Gospel. Somehow, the issue of personal conscience is coming back to the surface, which Rahner, a brother of Pope Francis, that concepts are believed with difficulty that has been made into a school without a doubt and that: Everyone follows his own conscience, whether it because he thinks he has to be Christian or non-Christian, or because he thinks he's an atheist or a believer, such an individual is accepted and accepted by God and can reach that eternal life, which we call in our Christian faith, the professed goal is for all people. In other words, the grace and justification, the unity and communion with God, the way to have eternal life, everything is just a hurdle only people's bad conscience.
Before the Gospel such a thought can't be anything else, than a revision shying away from the compelling austerity of "Denzinger", which is the compelling austerity of the Church. The Catholic Faith can not just be settled by a personal encounter with the Gospel itself. The Dominican Roger Thomas Calmel explains the why in the "Short Apologetics of the Eternal Church": "There is a strong interaction between the Scriptures and the Conciliar texts and the Catechism. So we change from the reading of the Old and New Testaments to the definitions of the Councils or the popes in order to understand the exact content of the true meaning of the holy texts. Then we return from the Councils and the Catechism back to the Scriptures to never lose the living, concrete, supernatural, inexhaustible text from the eyes, the necessary precision and the depth of the mystery is expressed in the texts of the Church's Magisterium."
Truth of Faith Incomprehensible for Modern People?
The war against the "Denzinger" and thus against the harmonious exposition and concretization of the eternally valid teaching of the Church, has come a long way. It is no coincidence, says Rahner, that the "pronouncements of the traditional faith are not suitable to a large extent, at least as regards the first and most important thing: the proclamation of the faith." Specifications such as "God consists of three persons" or "we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ," were "for the modern man simply incomprehensible". They would convey the same impression as the mythology of a religion of yesteryear. According to the Jesuit theologian, Jesus, who Lazarus was raised from the dead, has the same taste for modern man as Heracles, Hydra, or Theseus, who defeated the Minotaur. Therefore, nothing else than to reform the Annunciation remains, to adapt to the wavelength of modernity and to transpose the words for the needs of the new audience.
Giuseppe Siri, a cardinal, who was elected pope, grasped the question with a brilliant clarity when, he wrote in "Gethsemane": "With the beginning of secularization the great death began: the world contains the forces for full development of the human and is also the environment in which the purpose of human life must be achieved, and it would therefore be sufficient to abolish the distinction between the sacred and the profane, between the Church and the world." The diagnosis was thought to be acquiescence, as confirmed by Edward Schillebeeckx, who said in 1970: "In Christ, it is now possible to say Amen to the reality of the world and to consider it as a cult, because since the appearance of Jesus the perfection of God lives on earth."
Church as a Field Hospital: But in Effect, There Are The Doctors Who Cure the Patient and Those who Euthanize Him
If the world is the object of the new cult, it is obviously impossible to encounter her in any conflict. The American bishops, who resist Barack Obama, so of course do not follow Rahner and Schillebeeckx. But hundreds of Jesuits with their Catholic universities and hundreds of rebellious nuns say Amen to the U.S. President and perform the worship of the world. The real problem of the field hospital, it is therefore to identify and distinguish who it distributes the salutary medicine and on the other hand who euthanizes the patient.
If it is true that the worldly spirit even tempts God's faithfulness to negotiate, as the Pope said in his homily, then you should also have the courage to say who makes common cause with the enemy in the Catholic camp. It is not possible to point the finger to the flattery of the world, but to tolerate Rahner, who says: "With the progress of the history of grace, the world will become more independent, mature, profane and must think to realize itself. This growing historical worldliness (...) is not a misfortune that obstinately resists grace and the Church, but in the way grace slowly realizes itself in creation."
In the wake of ambiguous and obsessive "primacy of the word" and the Lutheran sola fide, the church has come so far that it is reflected in the perverted horizon of Pelagianism, denies the sin and celebrates the world.
The result is in any case a weakening of tradition and its mission as Mater et Magistra. The free conscience, subjectivism, the sola scriptura, take control and undermine the importance of the bishops and the Pope. The logical framework of this operation is, however, feebly expssed because it is tradition that precedes the word and defines it. It is the Church that determines what the Holy texts are and how they are to be interpreted. A fact that makes it ultimately impossible to label Christianity as a "religion of the book," a misunderstood term that has entered from Protestantism to the Catholic Church. The church is historically and logically in written advance and therefore, Cardinal Siri said, "whoever makes tradition subjective, undermines the Scriptures."
The Eternal and Unique Beauty of the Catholic Church
The eternal and unique beauty of the catholicity consists in the ability to put together all these elements and harmonize. In the constant tension between reason and mystery, between worldly desire and heavenly, there is an impression in patience, in which the magmatic and formless creature prays to rise again like a butterfly from pupa. For to know the doctrine, he is called to love and follow by one agrees with its forms and definitions, and she accepts. There are prayers according to formulations that were formulated by unfathomable inspiration, but with precision, from others. Then it fulminates, away from feelings, digressions, unnecessary speeches and without one iota too much, what is granted by the happiness on this earth, a whisper, a practice and life instead of prattling: "Whoever gives many speeches does not benefit the soul", teaches the Imitation of Christ, "but a good life gives strength to the spirit".
The Annunciation to Mary by St. Luke the Evangelist, would not produce in the praying soul the same tension for the God bearer, as St. Ambrose preached, had not the Council of Ephesus in 431 so permeated and defined the truth in teaching the Virgin as Theotokos, Mother of God. There it is, if anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth and the Holy Virgin is therefore Theotokos because she gave birth to the incarnate, Who came from word of God according to the flesh, let him be anathema. The Christians loved nothing more than this clarity. "All the people of the city waited from morning to evening on the decision of the Holy Synod," says the Saint Cyril of Alexandria, who was instrumentally involved in bringing about the decision. "When we stepped out of the church, we were escorted to our accommodation. It was evening, the whole town was illuminated, women went ahead with incense. Those that flew to His name, the Lord showed His omnipotence."
To those who read it, who read it in a loving interaction with Scripture, which is told in "Denzinger" these testimonies of history and thus nourishes the righteous life, which in turn nourishes the spirit. This is the life of the Church, which flows through the centuries and gives them shape, it is the tradition, which always anew and imperiously, knocks on the soul and calls it to make a decision.
There is no Alternative to the Fight Against the Spirit of the World
There is no alternative to the fight against the spirit of the world. The temptation, even to negotiate the faith and faithfulness of God, one can only oppose the immutability and eternal validity of the Magisterium. For its entire life, the church has done this by disputing the world of time and space, the two dimensions in which tradition unfolds. The definitions that are collected in "Denzinger" were passed without change over the centuries, they came up with no change to the farthest ends of the earth and of faith. These pages, which you can so easily purchase in bookstores today, put the most adventurous way back through all the continents, as Arold Innis told in his epic work of Empire and Communications (Oxford 1950). They traveled on parchment, "heavy support", suitable for the preservation of unchangeable and eternally valid religious truth as opposed to what went on papyrus and paper, "ephemeral carriers", as they are preferred in secular bureaucracy, transitory and illusory.
Thus the Church of Rome has announced the kingdom of Christ and won from soul to soul for souls of simple and more sophisticated intelligence, but all require the same food. If the Blessed John Henry Newman had not seen the truth expressed in constant statements in space and time, he would never have had the strength and the desire to leave the Anglican community in order to belong to the Church of Rome. In his Apologia, explained the Cardinal, as he only made the big move back home when he became aware that the arguments of the Anglicans against the Council Fathers of Trent were the same that were also raised against the Fathers of Chalcedon, and that to condemn the popes of the 16th century, meant to also condemn the Popes of the 5th Century. The drama of religion, the struggle between truth and error was always the same. The principles and procedure of the Church today are the same as those of the Church of that time. The principles and procedure of the heretics of that time are the same as those of the Protestants of today. "I have noted with horror," said Newman.
But the Church can not have a soul alone before a truth, which could frighten. Each offers them the strict and gentle caress of the Rite. The tradition of the people is becoming through a sacred poem, in its catholicity, which has its heavenly expression in the Eucharistic Celebration as Domenico Giuliotti writes: "It is the Holy Mass, and not the Divine Comedy, which is really sacred', applied to the heavens and the earth have on hand (...) God, the Trinity, and all the angels form the argument. The conversion, which renews the Incarnation, is the highlight of this immense mystery. And the priest is at the same Thaumaturge and Poet". The radiance of the heavens to the earth, tradition and liturgy are almost consubstantial even in the method by which the people have contributed to their formation. While one is the repertory of thought, purified from all that is purported not to be definitely divine, the other is the composition of gestures and words unchanging, free from all that is human.
The Church has always Forgave the Sinner. Forgives Sin Today?
There are two approaches to the same world where everyone always gets what is due to him, wherever he is located and in whatever age he lives. On earth there is nothing fairer. John Henry Newman explained this with gentle precision in his novel Loss and Gain (London, 1848), when he describes the thoughts and impressions of the young main character who attends a Catholic Mass for the first time. At that time, the same doctrine and the same liturgy were good for all, for the saints and for sinners, for the living and for the dead, for the Romans and the barbarians. There was still not that complaint, which Nicolas Gomez Davila should perceive later: "The Church once forgave sinners, now It has decided to forgive sins."
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: publisher / Polis (assembly)
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
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