Modernist At Work
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Although Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI put on his "Catholic" cap on Friday evening, September 23, 2011, the Feast of Pope Saint Linus and the Commemoration of Saint Thecla and Ember Friday in September, when he presided over what was said to be a "Marian vespers service," a close examination of the talks that he gave after completing all but one of his "ecumenical" appearances in his homeland of Germany, reveals that the false "pontiff" must attempt to insinuate, if ever so subtly and seemingly imperceptibly, the murkiness of the "insights" of the "new theology" that so warped his mind as a seminarian.
Ratzinger/Benedict's "homily" during a Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service in Erfrurt, Germany, on Saturday, September 24, 2011, the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom, illustrates this point. Here are two excerpts from that "homily," followed by a few brief comments:
God’s presence is always seen especially clearly in the saints. Their witness
to the faith can also give us the courage to begin afresh today. Above all, we
may think of the patron saints of the Diocese of Erfurt: Saint Elizabeth of
Thuringia, Saint Boniface and Saint Kilian. Elizabeth came from a foreign land,
from Hungary, to the Wartburg here in Thuringia. She led an intense life of
prayer, linked to the spirit of penance and evangelical poverty. She regularly
went down from her castle into the town of Eisenach, in order to care personally
for the poor and the sick. Her life on this earth was only short – she was just
twenty-four years old when she died – but the fruits of her holiness have
endured across the centuries. Saint Elizabeth is greatly esteemed also by
Protestant Christians. She can help us all to discover the fullness of the
faith, its beauty, its depth and its transforming and purifying power and to
translate it into our everyday lives.
The founding of the diocese of Erfurt in 742 by Saint Boniface reminds us of the
Christian roots of our country. This event is also the first recorded mention
of the city of Erfurt. The missionary bishop Boniface had come from England and
it was characteristic of his approach that he worked in essential unity and in
close association with the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter; he knew
that the Church must be one around Peter. We honour him as the “Apostle of
Germany”; he died as a martyr. Two of his companions, who also bore witness by
shedding their blood for the Christian faith, are buried here in the Cathedral
of Erfurt: Saints Eoban and Adelar.
Even before the Anglo-Saxon missionaries, Saint Kilian, an itinerant missionary
from Ireland, was at work in Thuringia. Together with two companions he died in
Würzburg as a martyr, because he criticized the moral misconduct of the Duke of
Thuringia who resided there. Nor must we forget Saint Severus, the patron saint
of the Church here on the Cathedral Square: he was Bishop of Ravenna in the
fourth century and his remains were brought to Erfurt in 836, in order to anchor
the Christian faith more firmly in this region. From these saints, though they
were dead, came forth the living witness of the Church that ever endures, the
witness of faith that makes all times fruitful and shows us the path of life. (Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service at at Domplatz Erfurt, Germany, September 24, 2011.)
Ratzinger/Benedict has spent much time in the past nearly six and one-half years attempting to make various saints, including those who are Fathers and Doctors of the Church, into witnesses in behalf of conciliarism. One will see in the next cited passage that his elegy of praise for the saints he cited in yesterday's "homily," that what might appear to be a thoroughly Catholic was really a "set up" to exploit the Catholic example of these saints to project into their minds and hearts murky beliefs about God and how they "responded" to Him that are taught by the "new theologians."
Before explaining what this means, however, it is interesting to note that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, ever the master of historical and doctrinal manipulation, conveniently omitted any reference to the details of Saint Boniface's martyrdom. Saint Boniface was martyred after he chopped down a tree that was worshipped as a pagan idol by the Germans. Quite unlike Ratzinger/Benedict, Saint Boniface did not esteem the symbols of false religions and he did not engage in any "interreligious prayer" services with them. He sought with urgency to convert the Germany pagans as he showed no sign of respect for their false religions or their false idols. Let the pope, Pope Pius XII, that is, explain the matter for us:
When by the grace and favor of God this very
important task was done, Boniface did not allow himself his well-earned
rest. In spite of the fact that he was already burdened by so many
cares, and was feeling now his advanced age and realizing that his
health was almost broken by so many labors, he prepared himself eagerly
for a new and no less difficult enterprise. He turned his attention
again to Friesland, that Friesland which had been the first goal of his
apostolic travels, where he had later on labored so much. Especially in
the northern regions this land was still enveloped in the darkness of
pagan error. Zeal that was still youthful led him there to bring forth
new sons to Jesus Christ and to bring Christian civilization to new
peoples. For he earnestly desired "that in leaving this world he might
receive his reward there where he had first begun his preaching and
entered upon his meritorious career." Feeling that his mortal life was
drawing to a close, he confided his presentiment to his dear disciple,
Bishop Lullus, and asserted that he did not want to await death in
idleness. "I yearn to finish the road before me; I cannot call myself
back from the path I have chosen. Now the day and hour of my death is at
hand. For now I leave the prison of the body and go to my eternal
reward. My dear son, . . . insist in turning the people from the
paths of error, finish the construction of the basilica already begun
at Fulda and there bring my body which has aged with the passage of many
When he and his little band had taken departure
from the others, "he traveled through all Friesland, ceaselessly
preaching the word of God, banishing pagan rites and extirpating
immoral heathen customs. With tremendous energy he built churches and
overthrew the idols of the temples. He baptized thousands of men, women and children."
After he had arrived in the northern regions of Friesland and was about
to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to a large number of newly
baptized converts, a furious mob of pagans suddenly attacked and
threatened to kill them with deadly spears and swords. Then the holy
prelate serenely advanced and "forbade his followers to resist, saying,
'Cease fighting, my children, for we are truly taught by Scripture not
to return evil for evil, but rather good. The day we have long desired
is now at hand; the hour of our death has come of its own accord. Take
strength in the Lord, . . . be courageous and do not be afraid of those
who kill the body, for they cannot slay an immortal soul. Rejoice in the
Lord, fix the anchor of hope in God, Who will immediately give you an
eternal reward and a place in the heavenly court with the angelic
choirs'." All were encouraged by these words to embrace
martyrdom. They prayed and turned their eyes and hearts to heaven where
they hoped to receive soon an eternal reward, and then fell beneath the
onslaught of their enemies, who stained with blood the bodies of those
who fell in the happy combat of the saints." At the moment of this
martyrdom, Boniface, who was to be beheaded by the sword, "placed the
sacred book of the Gospels upon his head as the sword threatened, that
he might receive the deadly stroke under it and claim its protection in
death, whose reading he loved in life. (Pope Pius XII, Ecclesiae Fastos, June 5, 1954.)
Ratzinger/Benedict omitted these little details about Saint Benedict as overturning the idols of the temples as he believes that "religions" of all different creeds can help to fight "irreligion" even though false religions are in se sacrilegious. Indeed, it was as Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger that the current conciliar "pontiff" called such actions the work of "hotheads":
In the relationship with paganism quite different
and varied developments took place. The mission as a whole was not
consistent. There were in fact Christian hotheads and fanatics
who destroyed temples, who were unable to see paganism as anything other
than idolatry that had to be radically eliminated. People saw points in
common with philosophy, but not in pagan religion, which was seen as
corrupt. (Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World, p. 373.)
Was Saint Boniface guilty of
being one of these "Christian hotheads and fanatics who destroyed
temples," men "who were unable to see paganism as anything other than
idolatry that had to be radically eliminated"? Ratzinger/Benedict not
only blasphemes God as he denies the nature of dogmatic truth and
esteems the symbols and the "values" of false religions. He blasphemes
the work and the memory of the very saint who evangelized his own German
Ratzinger/Benedict XVI also blasphemed the memory of Saint Boniface as well as the memories of Saint Kilian and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who was married to Blessed Louis of Thuringia at the age of fourteen after having spent ten years of betrothal in Wartburg Castle in Thuringia following the arrangements her father made for her marriage, when he said the following in his "homily" on Saturday, September 24, 2011, in Erfrut, Germany:
Let us ask, then, what do these saints have in common? How can we describe the
particular quality of their lives and yet understand that it concerns us and can
have an influence on our life too? Firstly, the saints show us that it is
possible and good to live in a relationship with God, to live this relationship
in a radical way, to put it in first place, not just to squeeze it into some
corner of our lives. The saints help us to see that for his part God first
reached out to us. We could not attain to him, we could not somehow reach out
into the unknown, had he not first loved us, had he not first come towards us.
After making himself known to our forefathers through the calling that he
addressed to them, he revealed and continues to reveal himself to us in Jesus
Christ. Still today Christ comes towards us, he speaks to every individual,
just as he did in the Gospel, and invites every one of us to listen to him, to
come to understand him and to follow him. This summons and this opportunity the
saints acted on, they recognized the living God, they saw him, they listened to
him and they went towards him, they travelled with him; they so to speak
“caught” his contagious presence, they reached out to him in the ongoing
dialogue of prayer, and in return they received from him the light that shows
where true life is to be found.
Faith always includes as an essential element the fact that it is shared with
others. No one can believe alone. We receive the faith – as Saint Paul tells
us – through hearing, and hearing is part of being together, in spirit and in
body. Only within this great assembly of believers of all times, who found
Christ and were found by him, am I able to believe. In the first place I have
God to thank for the fact that I can believe, for God approaches me and so to
speak “ignites” my faith. But on a practical level, I have my fellow human
beings to thank for my faith, those who believed before me and who believe with
me. This great “with”, apart from which there can be no personal faith, is the
Church. (Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service at at Domplatz Erfurt, Germany, September 24, 2011.)
Ratzinger/Benedict always makes complex that which is quite simple.
Although the saints grew in grace over the course of time and even though some saints had miraculous stories of conversion after having led dissolute lives or having worshipped the idols of false religions, the three saints mentioned by "Pope" Benedict XVI two days ago had the Supernatural Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity infused into their souls when they were baptized as infants. They had the very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity dwelling in their immortal souls from the moment of their Baptism onward, thus being prepared for their immersion in the life of the Faith within their families and, in the case of Elizabeth of Hungary, also within the confines of Wartburg, Castle, after serenely accepting the will of God once her father had arranged her marriage to Louis of Thuringia, who was seven years her senior. Saint Kilian led a life of piety and devotion from the time he was a small boy, loving also to study the truths of the Faith, not one of which he ever placed into question.
Pope Saint Pius X explained in Pascendi Dominci Gregis that Modernists speak incessantly of "personal faith" and of faith being "ignited," meaning that the individual believer has to come to an inner consciousness that God is "near" or is "approaching" him even though God has dwells by means of Sanctifying Grace in the souls of Catholics who have not expelled Him as a result of the commission of a Mortal Sin:
7. However, this Agnosticism is only the negative part of the system of the
Modernists: the positive part consists in what they call vital immanence. Thus
they advance from one to the other. Religion, whether natural or supernatural,
must, like every other fact, admit of some explanation. But when natural
theology has been destroyed, and the road to revelation closed by the rejection
of the arguments of credibility, and all external revelation absolutely denied,
it is clear that this explanation will be sought in vain outside of man himself.
It must, therefore, be looked for in man; and since religion is a form of life,
the explanation must certainly be found in the life of man. In this way is
formulated the principle of religious immanence. Moreover, the first actuation,
so to speak, of every vital phenomenon -- and religion, as noted above, belongs
to this category -- is due to a certain need or impulsion; but speaking more
particularly of life, it has its origin in a movement of the heart, which
movement is called a sense. Therefore, as God is the object of religion, we must
conclude that faith, which is the basis and foundation of all religion, must
consist in a certain interior sense, originating in a need of the divine. This
need of the divine, which is experienced only in special and favorable
circumstances. cannot of itself appertain to the domain of consciousness, but is
first latent beneath consciousness, or, to borrow a term from modern philosophy,
in the subconsciousness, where also its root lies hidden and undetected.
It may perhaps be asked how it is that this need of the divine which man
experiences within himself resolves itself into religion? To this question the
Modernist reply would be as follows: Science and history are confined within two
boundaries, the one external, namely, the visible world, the other internal,
which is consciousness. When one or other of these limits has been reached,
there can be no further progress, for beyond is the unknowable. In presence of
this unknowable, whether it is outside man and beyond the visible world of
nature, or lies hidden within the subconsciousness, the need of the divine in a
soul which is prone to religion excites -- according to the principles of
Fideism, without any previous advertence of the mind -- a certain special sense,
and this sense possesses, implied within itself both as its own object and as
its intrinsic cause, the divine reality itself, and in a way unites man with
God. It is this sense to which Modernists give the name of faith, and this is
what they hold to be the beginning of religion.
8. But we have not yet reached the end of their philosophizing, or, to speak
more accurately, of their folly. Modernists find in this sense not only faith,
but in and with faith, as they understand it, they affirm that there is also to
be found revelation. For, indeed, what more is needed to constitute a
revelation? Is not that religious sense which is perceptible in the conscience,
revelation, or at least the beginning of revelation? Nay, is it not God Himself
manifesting Himself, indistinctly, it is true, in this same religious sense, to
the soul? And they add: Since God is both the object and the cause of faith,
this revelation is at the same time of God and from God, that is to say, God is
both the Revealer and the Revealed. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
This is not a minor point at all. It is quite essential to Ratzinger/Benedict's discussion of God "approaching" man and thus "igniting" a love for Him since he does not believe that Baptism is a washing away of Original Sin, which he calls an "imprecise term," but is merely a rite of incorporation as a member of the Church, placing him in very close proximity with Greek Orthodoxy, which is why he has such an affinity for Greek Orthodox "theology" as it is the source of much of the murkiness and paradoxical nature of the his own "new theology." The infusion of Sanctifying Grace into our souls at Baptism is not truly the origin of our Faith, which must a "personal response" to an "initiative" from God, Who then "ignites" the soul. This is not only very similar to Orthodox theology. It is quite similar to that of Martin Luther himself.
Mr. James Larson, who is very much opposed to the canonical doctrine of sedevacantism or that it applies in these times, explained Ratzinger's long held views on Original Sin, quoting a passage from then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger's In the Beginning…A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, which was published in 1995:
In my article titled Heart of Betrayal, I explored what I
consider to be the root error of modern phenomenological and
personalistic heresies: the denial of Being as the fundamental
theological and philosophical concept, and its replacement by the
category of relationship. As Cardinal Ratzinger has written, “God is
wholly relationship.” God therefore comes to be seen as Something or
Someone in a state of development and in a process of unfolding through
history, and not as the Supreme Being Whose Truth has been revealed in
Its fullness for all ages.
In order for such a heresy regarding the most fundamental truth about
God’s Divine Nature to triumph, the whole edifice of the faith must be
shaken. And, according to Pope St. Pius X, the key to this shaking is a
denial of the Church’s doctrine concerning original sin. Cardinal
Ratzinger has done just that. The following is taken from his book In the Beginning…A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (William B. Erdmans Publishing Co., 1995). [bold-type emphasis is Mr. Larson's]:
“In the story that we are considering [Ch. 3 of Genesis], still
a further characteristic of sin is described. Sin is not spoken of in
general as an abstract possibility but as a deed, as the sin of a
particular person, Adam, who stands at the origin of humankind and with
whom the history of sin begins. The account tells us that sin begets
sin, and that therefore all the sins of history are interlinked.
Theology refers to this state of affairs by the certainly misleading and imprecise term ‘original sin’.
What does this mean? Nothing seems to us today to be stranger or,
indeed, more absurd than to insist upon original sin, since, according
to our way of thinking, guilt can only be something very personal, and
since God does not run a concentration camp, in which one’s relatives
are imprisoned because he is a liberating God of love, who calls each
one by name. What does original sin mean, then, when we interpret it
Finding an answer to this requires nothing less than trying to
understand the human person better. It must once again be stressed that
no human being is closed in upon himself or herself and that no one can
live of or for himself or herself alone. We receive our life not only
at the moment of birth but every day from without – from others who are
not ourselves but who nonetheless somehow pertain to us. Human beings
have their selves not only in themselves but also outside of
themselves: they live in those whom they love and in those who love
them and to whom they are ‘present.’ Human beings are relational, and they possess their lives – themselves – only by way of relationship. I alone am not myself, but only in and with you am I myself. To be truly a human being means to be related in love, to be of and for. But sin means the damaging or the destruction of relationality. Sin is a rejection of relationality because it wants to make the human being a god. Sin is loss of relationship, disturbance of relationship, and therefore it is not restricted to the individual. When I destroy a relationship, then this event – sin – touches the other person involved in the relationship.
Consequently sin is always an offense that touches others, that
alters the world and damages it. To the extent that this is true, when
the network of human relationships is damaged from the very beginning, then every human being enters into a world that is marked by relational damage. At the very moment that a person begins human existence, which
is a good, he or she is confronted by a sin- damaged world. Each of us
enters into a situation in which relationality has been hurt. Consequently each person is, from the very start, damaged in relationships and does not engage in them as he or she ought. Sin pursues the human being, and he or she capitulates to it.” (P. 71-73).
First of all, I would suggest that we might search 2,000 years of
history and never find another statement so clearly and profoundly
heretical made by a member of the Church in as high a position as that
occupied by Cardinal Ratzinger. What Cardinal Ratzinger here denies, of
course, is the dogma of the faith that original sin is passed down from
Adam to all men through generation. Cardinal Ratzinger considers such a
view of sin misleading and imprecise and, in fact, ridicules it as
stemming from a view of God which sees Him as the Commandant of a
Consecration Camp Who imprisons one’s relatives just because of the fact
that they share a common descent. In so doing, of course, he is
directly contradicting Scripture and the clearly defined teaching of the
Church. The following is from the Decree Concerning Original Sin of the
Council of Trent:
“For that which the Apostle has said, ‘By one man, sin entered
into this world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men in
whom all have sinned.’ (Rom 5:12), is not to be understood otherwise
than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere hath always understood
it. For, by reason of this rule of faith, from a tradition of the
Apostles, even infants who could not as yet commit any sin of
themselves, are for this cause truly baptized for the remission of
sins, that in them that may be cleansed away by regeneration which they
have contracted by generation. For, ‘unless a man be born again of
water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’” (John 3:5).
Adam’s original sin was, first of all, a denial of the immutable
Nature and Being of God. It was a calling into question of His Supreme
Being and Authority as expressed in His commandment and prohibition to
man. Secondly, it was a repudiation of man’s wholly contingent and
dependent nature, as expressed in Satan’s temptation to Eve, ”No, you shall not die the death.” Finally, it culminated in a profound lie concerning the true relationship of man to God: “For
God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes
shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil." Original sin is, in other words, a violation of the truth about nature and being at all levels.
As explored in my article Heart of Betrayal, it is this ontological
reality of things which is the object of the war conducted by Modernism
against the Faith. Modernism, especially as found in Phenomenalism and
Personalism, seeks to make the Faith primarily a matter of an ongoing
and developing relationship. Cardinal Ratzinger, in the paragraph quoted
above in which he tries to give new meaning to original sin, uses some
form of the word relationship 13 times. Not once, however, in all this
overdone discussion of “relationality” is there a consideration of man’s
relationship to God. The focus is exclusively on our relationship to
our fellow man.
It follows quite logically, therefore, that since our Faith is one of
ongoing relationship, and not fundamentally a matter of God’s Immutable
Being (and the truth of our nature created in the image of
God),virtually everything else must also be subject to re-interpretation
and change. In previous articles I have dealt with specific heresies of
Cardinal Ratzinger concerning Transubstantiation, and also the
Universal Sovereignty of God as expressed in the Catholic doctrine
concerning the Social Kingship of Christ. We must realize, however, that
what is at stake here is the very truth of Revelation itself. All truth
must be made relational to this same process of historical development
as exemplified in the Cardinal’s “re-doing” of the doctrine of original
sin. ((James Larson, The Point of Departure; please do read Mr. Larson's superb article in its entirety as it focuses on
Ratzinger's view that " since our Faith is one of ongoing relationship,
and not fundamentally a matter of God’s Immutable Being (and the truth
of our nature created in the image of God), virtually everything else
must also be subject to re-interpretation and change.")
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does not truly believe in God as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through the Catholic Church.
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily dismiss dogmatic pronouncements as being but the products of the particular historical circumstances in which they were formulated, rejecting entirely the fact that such pronouncements were made under the infallible direction and guidance of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost. (See Ratzinger's War Against Catholicism.)
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily deny the doctrine of Transubstantiation (see James Larson, To Belie the Obvious Truth.)
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily deny the doctrine of the actual, Bodily Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (see Bishop Donald Sanborn's Modernism Resurrected: Benedict XVI on the Resurrection.)
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily deny the doctrine of Our Lord's Ascension into Heaven (see Atlila Guimaraes, Benedict XVI's Different Religion.)
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily deny the Catholic teaching on Purgatory (see From Sharp Focus to Fuzziness.)
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily deny the traditional Catholic teaching about Limbo (see No Need to be in Limbo Any Longer.)
A man who believes what Ratzinger/Benedict does can easily deconstruct the whole nature of Papal Primacy by revising the history of the First Millennium in order to arrive at a new "understanding" of what he calls the "Petrine Ministry."
In other words, Ratzinger/Benedict is a very good "partner" in the practice of "interreligious dialogue," which is why he could say the following to members of the various Orthodox Churches who were gathered in Freiburg in Breisgau on Saturday, September 24, 2011:
It is a great joy for me that we have come together here today. From
my heart I thank all of you for coming and for the possibility of this friendly
exchange. I offer a particular word of thanks to you, dear Metropolitan
Augoustinos for your profound words. I was especially moved by what you said
about the Mother of God and about the saints who encompass and unite all the
centuries. And I willingly repeat in this setting what I have said elsewhere:
among Christian Churches and communities, it is undoubtedly the Orthodox who are
theologically closest to us; Catholics and Orthodox have maintained the same
basic structure inherited from the ancient Church; in this sense we are all the
early Church that is still present and new. And so we dare to hope, even if
humanly speaking constantly new difficulties arise, that the day may still be
not too far away when we may once again celebrate the Eucharist together (cf. Light of the World. A Conversation with Peter Seewald, p. 86).
With interest and sympathy the Catholic Church – and I personally – follow the
development of Orthodox communities in Western Europe, which in recent decades
have grown remarkably. In Germany today, as I have learned, there are
approximately 1.6 million Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians. They have
become a constitutive part of society that helps bring alive the treasury of the
Christian cultures and the Christian faith of Europe. I welcome the increase of
pan-Orthodox cooperation, which has made significant progress in recent years.
The founding of Orthodox Episcopal Conferences in places where the Orthodox
Churches exist in the Diaspora – of which you spoke to us – is an expression of
the consolidation of intra-Orthodox relations. I am pleased that this step has
been taken in Germany in the past year. May the work of these Episcopal
Conferences strengthen the bond between the Orthodox Churches and hasten the
progress of efforts to establish a pan-Orthodox council.
Since the time when I was a professor in Bonn and especially while I
was Archbishop of Munich and Freising, I have come to know and love Orthodoxy
more and more through my personal friendships with representatives of the
Orthodox Churches. At that time the Joint Commission of the German Bishops’
Conference and the Orthodox Church also began its work. Since then, through its
texts on pastoral and practical questions, it has furthered mutual understanding
and contributed to the consolidation and further development of
Catholic-Orthodox relations in Germany.
Equally important is the ongoing work to clarify theological
differences, because the resolution of these questions is indispensable for
restoration of the full unity that we hope and pray for. We know that above all
it is the question of primacy that we must continue patiently and humbly
struggling to understand aright. In this regard, I think that the ideas put
forward by Pope John Paul II in the Encyclical Ut Unum Sint (no. 95) on
the distinction between the nature and form of the exercise of primacy can yield
further fruitful discussion points. (Meeting with representatives of the Orthodox Churches in the Seminary Hörsaal (Freiburg im Breisgau,
September 24, 2011.)
Although Pope Leo XIII had spoken of the closeness of the Orthodox to the Catholic Church insofar as their structures and many of their doctrines when he issued Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1884, much has occurred since that time, including support given by many Orthodox churches to the use of contraception, which is, of course, a denial of the Sovereignty of God over the sanctity and fecundity of marriage, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI feels particularly close to the Orthodox because he holds views on some theological points that are close to those of the Orthodox, especially as pertains to Original Sin. (see Appendix A below). Other areas of major differences do not matter to Ratzinger/Benedict all that much as he does not think much of doctrinal differences, believing that "theologians" who deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Lord Himself nevertheless "continue believing in a Christian manner" (see Appendix B below), or that they can impede the "building" of the "better world" or the fight against irreligion and the "dictatorship of relativism."
Cognizant of the fact that there might be a new reader of two to this site, permit me to demonstrate yet again Ratzinger's long held contentions about the nature of the "Petrine Ministry" in the First Millennium, contentions that made their way into The Ravenna Document, October 13, 2007 (one of those "unofficial" conciliar documents that supposedly "bind" no one but wind up being referred to incessantly), despite their having been eviscerated by Pope Leo XIII nearly a century before they were expressed publicly:
After all, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, in
the same bull in which he excommunicated the Patriarch Michael
Cerularius and thus inaugurated the schism between East and West,
designated the Emperor and the people of Constantinople as "very
Christian and orthodox", although their concept of the Roman primary was
certainly far less different from that of Cerularius than from that,
let us say, of the First Vatican Council. In other words, Rome
must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of
primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 198-199)
It remains for the question of the role of the
bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches to be studied in
greater depth. What is the specific function of the bishop of the “first
see” in an ecclesiology of koinonia and in view of what we have said on
conciliarity and authority in the present text? How should the
teaching of the first and second Vatican councils on the universal
primacy be understood and lived in the light of the ecclesial practice
of the first millennium? These are crucial questions for our dialogue and for our hopes of restoring full communion between us.
We, the members of the Joint International
Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic
Church and the Orthodox Church, are convinced that the above statement
on ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority represents positive
and significant progress in our dialogue, and that it provides a firm
basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church. We
are conscious that many difficult questions remain to be clarified, but
we hope that, sustained by the prayer of Jesus “That they may all be
one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17, 21), and in
obedience to the Holy Spirit, we can build upon the agreement already
reached. Reaffirming and confessing “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”
(Eph 4, 5), we give glory to God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy
Spirit, who has gathered us together. (The Ravenna Document)
Future discussion of "primacy at the universal level
in the Church? Difficult questions remain to be clarified? God the Holy
Ghost needs to help reach "an agreement" on Papal Primacy? Apostasy.
Pope Leo XIII dealt with these false assertions in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1894:
First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look
upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of
the world. Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive
and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so
illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the
fold they have abandoned. We hope it all the more, that the distance
separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions,
we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic
Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the
teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.
The Principal subject of contention is the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. But
let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them
consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine
what the oldest Traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident
to them that Christ's Divine Utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build My Church, has undoubtedly been realized in the Roman
Pontiffs. Many of these latter in the first gates of the Church were
chosen from the East, and foremost among them Anacletus, Evaristus,
Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho; and of these a great number,
after Governing the Church in Wisdom and Sanctity, Consecrated their
Ministry with the shedding of their blood. The time, the reasons, the
promoters of the unfortunate division, are well known. Before the day
when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the
Apostolic See was held in Reverence by all the nations of the Christian
world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its
obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the Legitimate Successor of St.
Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth.
And, accordingly, if we refer to the beginning of the dissension, we
shall see that Photius himself was careful to send his advocates to
Rome on the matters that concerned him; and Pope Nicholas I sent his
Legates to Constantinople from the Eternal City, without the slightest
opposition, "in order to examine the case of Ignatius the Patriarch with
all diligence, and to bring back to the Apostolic See a full and
accurate report"; so that the history of the whole negotiation is a
manifest Confirmation of the Primacy of the Roman See with which the
dissension then began. Finally, in two great Councils, the second of
Lyons and that of Florence, Latins and Greeks, as is notorious, easily
agreed, and all unanimously proclaimed as Dogma the Supreme Power of the
We have recalled those things intentionally, for
they constitute an invitation to peace and reconciliation; and with all
the more reason that in Our own days it would seem as if there were a
more conciliatory spirit towards Catholics on the part of the Eastern
Churches, and even some degree of kindly feeling. To mention an
instance, those sentiments were lately made manifest when some of Our
faithful travelled to the East on a Holy Enterprise, and received so
many proofs of courtesy and good-will.
Therefore, Our mouth is open to you, to you all of
Greek or other Oriental Rites who are separated from the Catholic
Church, We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should
meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by
Bessarion to your forefathers: "What answer shall we give to God when He
comes to ask why we have separated from our Brethren: to Him Who, to
unite us and bring us into One Fold, came down from Heaven, was
Incarnate, and was Crucified? What will our defense be in the eyes of
posterity? Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we
must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for
ourselves and for our Brethren."
Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our
request. It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity
and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the
reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect
and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else
was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of
Belief and an intercourse of Fraternal love. The True Union between
Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church,
instituted and desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity
Nor is there any reason for you to fear on that account that We
or any of Our Successors will ever diminish your rights, the privileges
of your Patriarchs, or the established Ritual of any one of your
Churches. It has been and always will be the intent and Tradition of
the Apostolic See, to make a large allowance, in all that is right and
good, for the primitive Traditions and special customs of every nation.
On the contrary, if you re-establish Union with Us, you will see how,
by God's bounty, the glory and dignity of your Churches will be
remarkably increased. (Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1884.)
Most of the Orthodox churches, it should be pointed out, have something that the Latin Rite of the counterfeit church does not have: true bishops! The Orthodox lack the Catholic Faith. Most of them have apostolic succession.
Ratzinger/Benedict's denunciations of relativism, made several times during his now concluded visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, including in Meeting with the Council of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZDK) in
the Seminary Hörsaal Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, September 24, 2011, are laughable as he is one of the greatest relativists known in salvation history, rarely missing a chance to revise history and doctrine in order to suit his Modernist agenda by way of his "new theology."
An address to young Catholics at an evening "prayer vigil" on Saturday, September 24, 2011, contained only one reference to Our Lady, included in the context of making a completely erroneous statement:
Dear friends, again and again the very notion of saints has been caricatured and
distorted, as if to be holy meant to be remote from the world, naive and
joyless. Often it is thought that a saint has to be someone with great ascetic
and moral achievements, who might well be revered, but could never be imitated
in our own lives. How false and discouraging this opinion is! There is no
saint, apart from the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has not also known sin, who has
never fallen. Dear friends, Christ is not so much interested in how often in
our lives we stumble and fall, as in how often with his help we pick ourselves
up again. He does not demand glittering achievements, but he wants his light to
shine in you. He does not call you because you are good and perfect, but
because he is good and he wants to make you his friends. Yes, you are the light
of the world because Jesus is your light. You are Christians – not because you
do special and extraordinary things, but because he, Christ, is your life, our
life. You are holy, we are holy, if we allow his grace to work in us. (Prayer vigil with the young people at the trade fair grounds of Freiburg im Breisgau, September
There are two errors here.
The first is a matter of phraseology. That is, one possessed of the sensus Catholicus that Our Lady was conceived immaculately without any stain of Original or Actual Sin. Defenders of all things Benedict might retort that their "pope's" words implied the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Perhaps. What is incontestable, however, is that Ratzinger/Benedict takes great strides to avoid using the language of Catholic doctrine. If one does not believe in the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin, obviously, one will not believe in the doctrine of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception as proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854.
The second error, however, is clearly opposed to Catholic teaching.
Ratzinger/Benedict's contention that there is "no saint," other than Our Lady, "who has never fallen" is false on its face.
Saint John the Baptist, although conceived with the stain of Original Sin on his immortal soul, was sanctified in the womb of his mother, Saint Elizabeth, at the time of the Visitation of Our Lady and her preborn Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Saint John the Baptist never "fell."
Secondly, it is the teaching of several theologians, including Saint Alphonsus de Liguori and Francisco Suarez, that Saint Joseph was sanctified in his mother's womb and never sinned. The sinlessness of Saint Joseph is a part of Catholic patrimony.
There was also an error of omission in Ratzinger/Benedict's address to young Catholics in Freiburg in Breisgau on Saturday evening, September 24, 2011: his refusal to exhort or even invite them to pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. What was good enough for the Mother of God when she gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic to fight the heresy of Albigensian heresy and was good enough for Pope Saint Pius V and King Jan Sobieski of Poland to pray in battles with the Mohammedan forces of Turkey and was promoted by Our Lady herself to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 is not good enough for "Pope" Benedict XVI, who made not one reference, that's right, not one, to Our Lady's Rosary during his now concluded trip to Germany.
Although several of the false "pontiff's" talks have not been made accessible on the Vatican website in English, there is no need to belabor these points any further. Those who have the eyes to see that Ratzinger/Benedict does not hold the Catholic Faith and thus cannot hold ecclesiastical office in the Catholic Church legitimately will do so. Others will not. That's one of the reasons our post office box has been devoid of non-tax-deductible gifts for most of the past two months. Blessed be the adorable will of God.
Oh, yes, there is one other point of interest to note before concluding this series.
Upon arriving in Freiburg in Breisgau on Saturday morning, September 24, 2011, the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom, a feast that was nowhere mentioned by Ratzinger/Benedict and does not appear on the universal calendar of the conciliar church's Novus Ordo service, Ratzinger/Benedict went out of his way to praise his hosting "archbishop," a chap named Robert Zollitsch:
With great joy I greet you all and I thank you for the warm welcome you have
accorded me. After the wonderful meetings that took place in Berlin and Erfurt,
I am happy now that I can be here in Freiburg with you, in the warm sunlight. A
special word of thanks goes to your dear Archbishop Robert Zollitsch for the
invitation – he was so insistent that in the end I had to say, I really must
come to Freiburg – and for his gracious words of welcome. (Greetings to the citizens gathered at Münsterplatz Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, September 24, 2011.)
Ah, yes, you remember Bobby Zollitsch, the man who denied back on Holy Saturday, April 11, 2009, the Catholic doctrine that Our Lord died on the wood of the Holy Cross in atonement for our sins without ever once being sanctioned or reprimanded by his fellow countryman, "Pope" Benedict XVI. Surely, few readers, you must remember him.
What? You say that Ratzinger/Benedict does not want to "contradict" Zollitsch, a man who sponsored a lavender-themed get-together for the young prior to the "pope's arrival in Germany a few days ago, as a matter of "compassion" and "gentleness." Dream on. Dream on. Ratzinger/Benedict believes the exact same thing that Zollitsch does, that is, he believes in heresy:
studying the roots of Pope Benedict's thinking (EC 209), Bishop Tissier
in his Faith Imperilled by Reason proceeds to study its fruits. If that
thinking is rooted above all in the systematic subjectivism of Kant
(1724-1804), those fruits cannot be good. How can the objective truths
of the Faith be made in any way intrinsically dependent on the
participation or reactions of the subjective believer ? The Gospel,
dogma, the Church, society, Christ the King and the Last Ends will be,
one after another, mortally stricken.
Let us start with the
Gospel. Its value lies no longer in telling the historical facts of the
life and death of Our Lord, but rather in the power of its narrative to
evoke existential problems of our own time. For instance whether Our
Lord's very own body sprang re-united with his human soul out of the
tomb on Easter morning is not important. What matters is the modern
meaning behind the narrative : love is stronger than death, Christ lives
on by the force of love, and guarantees that we too will survive by
love. Forget the reality, the facts. "All you need is love."
needs likewise to be purified of the past and enriched by the present.
Now the present-day philosopher Heidegger teaches that the person is a
"self-surpassing". Then Christ was the man so totally self-surpassing,
so completely striving for the infinite beyond himself, that he
fulfilled himself to the point of becoming divine. So the dogma of the
Incarnation no longer means that God became man, but that man became God
! Similarly the Redemption must mean no longer that Jesus paid to his
Father by his terrible Passion the debt for all men's sins, but that by
his Cross he loved God in our stead as God should be loved, and he
attracts us to do the same. Sin has ceased to be a mortal offence
against God, it is merely a selfishness, a lack of love. So Mass no
longer needs to be a sacrifice, and the priest becomes merely the
animator of the communal celebration. No wonder Benedict believes in the
Novus Ordo Mass.
As for the Church, since the existent person
is the supreme value (cf. EC 209) and all persons are equally existent,
then away with a Church of hierarchical inequalities, and away with the
Catholic Church as the one and only Ark of Salvation, because the
followers of every religion are existent persons. Let ecumenism replace
all Catholic missionary efforts. Also, making the person into the
supreme value will dissolve society by subordinating the common good to
the individual's rights, and it will undermine both marriage and society
by putting the mutual company of the male and female persons in front
of children. As for Christ the King, he will be dethroned by the
bestowing upon every person such dignity that the State must protect
that person's right to choose his own religion.
from a penalty, becomes a remedy for our ills. The particular judgment
means only a reward. Hell is no more than an irrevocably selfish state
of soul. Heaven will be "an ever new immersion in the infinity of being"
-- what being? -- and so on.
Here is a new religion, comments Bishop Tissier, rather more comfortable - at least here below -- than the Catholic religion. (Bishop Richard Williamson, From Eleison Comments, July 23, 2011.)
I am going to resume work on my book, Conversion in Reverse. I can assure you, however, that the North American Martyrs did not shed their blood for the spread of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's false religion. They shed their blood for the Catholic Faith, which is far removed from the falsehoods that the false "pontiff" propagated in Germany the past four days, falsehoods that he has believed and promoted throughout the course of his sixty years as a priest.
We need to pray to Our Lady to assist us in this time of apostasy and
betrayal as we seek shelter in her loving arms and as we have recourse
in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance to the mercy that has been won for us
by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of her
Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on the wood of
the Holy Cross so that we may be ransomed from our attachment
even to the slightest Venial Sin and as we seek to live more
penitentially each day by making sincere acts of reparation for our
sins, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our state in
Isn't it truly time to pray a Rosary now?
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the North American Martyrs, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalande, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John De Brebeuf, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Various Ways in Which the Orthodox Defect From the Deposit of Faith Entrusted to the Catholic Church
1. Papal Primacy.
2. Papal Infallibility.
3. The doctrine of Original Sin as defined
dogmatically by the Catholic Church. The ambiguous doctrine of the
Orthodox was noted by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794, when discussing the Greek rejection of Limbo that is, of course, shared by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:
Very few Greek Fathers dealt with the
destiny of infants who die without Baptism because there was no
controversy about this issue in the East. Furthermore, they had a
different view of the present condition of humanity. For the
Greek Fathers, as the consequence of Adam's sin, human beings inherited
corruption, possibility, and mortality, from which they could be
restored by a process of deification made possible through the
redemptive work of Christ. The idea of an inheritance of sin or guilt -
common in Western tradition - was foreign to this perspective, since in
their view sin could only be a free, personal act.
This is what the
Orthodox still believe, which makes them fit "partners" for "ecumenical
dialogue" with Ratzinger/Benedict, who has told us in his own murky way
that he is of one mind with them on the matter of Original Sin, which he
called in 1995 an "imprecise" term (!). Here is a statement on Original
Sin from the Orthodox Church in America:
With regard to original sin, the difference between Orthodox Christianity and the West may be outlined as follows:
In the Orthodox Faith, the term "original sin" refers to the
"first" sin of Adam and Eve. As a result of this sin, humanity bears
the "consequences" of sin, the chief of which is death. Here the word
"original" may be seen as synonymous with "first." Hence, the "original
sin" refers to the "first sin" in much the same way as "original chair"
refers to the "first chair."
In the West, humanity likewise bears the "consequences" of
the "original sin" of Adam and Eve. However, the West also understands
that humanity is likewise "guilty" of the sin of Adam and Eve. The term
"Original Sin" here refers to the condition into which humanity is born,
a condition in which guilt as well as consequence is involved.
In the Orthodox Christian understanding, while humanity does bear
the consequences of the original, or first, sin, humanity does not bear
the personal guilt associated with this sin. Adam and Eve are guilty of
their willful action; we bear the consequences, chief of which is death.
One might look at all of this in a completely different light.
Imagine, if you will, that one of your close relatives was a mass
murderer. He committed many serious crimes for which he was found guilty
and perhaps even admitted his guilt publicly. You, as his or her son
or brother or cousin, may very well bear the consequences of his action
- people may shy away from you or say, "Watch out for him - he comes
from a family of mass murderers." Your name may be tainted, or you may
face some other forms of discrimination as a consequence of your
relative’s sin. You, however, are not personally guilty of his or her
There are some within Orthodoxy who approach a westernized view of
sin, primarily after the 17th and 18th centuries due to a variety of
westernizing influences particularly in Ukraine and Russia after the
time of Peter Mohyla. These influences have from time to time colored
explanations of the Orthodox Faith which are in many respects lacking.
(Orthodox Church in America, Questions and Answers on Original Sin)
This is not Catholic doctrine. This matter cannot be "bridged" by concerts of music composed by Russians.
4. The Filioque, that God the Holy Ghost proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
5. The doctrine of Purgatory as defined by the authority of the Catholic Church.
6. The doctrine of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception as defined by the authority of the Catholic Church.
7. The doctrine of Our Lady's Assumption body and soul into Heaven as defined by the authority of the Catholic Church.
8. The doctrine of the indissolubility of a
sacramentally valid, ratified and consummated marriage; the Orthodox
hold that a person can marry up to three times following two divorces.
Here is the Orthodox "consensus" (as there is no ultimate ecclesiastical
authority within Orthodoxy to decide doctrinal matters) on the issue:
Marriage is one of the sacraments of the Orthodox
Church. Orthodox Christians who marry must marry in the Church in order
to be in sacramental communion with the Church. According to the Church
canons, an Orthodox who marries outside the Church may not receive Holy
Communion and may not serve as a sponsor, i.e. a Godparent at a Baptism,
or as a sponsor at a Wedding. Certain marriages are prohibited by canon
law, such as a marriage between first and second cousins, or between a
Godparent and a Godchild. The first marriage of a man and a woman is
honored by the Church with a richly symbolic service that eloquently
speaks to everyone regarding the married state. The form of the service
calls upon God to unite the couple through the prayer of the priest or
The church will permit up to, but not more than,
three marriages for any Orthodox Christian. If both partners are
entering a second or third marriage, another form of the marriage
ceremony is conducted, much more subdued and penitential in character.
Marriages end either through the death of one of the partners or through
ecclesiastical recognition of divorce. The Church grants
"ecclesiastical divorces" on the basis of the exception given by Christ
to his general prohibition of the practice. The Church has frequently
deplored the rise of divorce and generally sees divorce as a tragic
failure. Yet, the Orthodox Church also recognizes that sometimes the
spiritual well-being of Christians caught in a broken and essentially
nonexistent marriage justifies a divorce, with the right of one or both
of the partners to remarry. Each parish priest is required to do all he
can to help couples resolve their differences. If they cannot, and they
obtain a civil divorce, they may apply for an ecclesiastical divorce in
some jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church. In others, the judgment is
left to the parish priest when and if a civilly divorced person seeks to
Those Orthodox jurisdictions which issue
ecclesiastical divorces require a thorough evaluation of the situation,
and the appearance of the civilly divorced couple before a local
ecclesiastical court, where another investigation is made. Only after an
ecclesiastical divorce is issued by the presiding bishop can they apply
for an ecclesiastical license to remarry.
Though the Church would prefer that all Orthodox
Christians would marry Orthodox Christians, it does not insist on it in
practice. Out of its concern for the spiritual welfare of members who
wish to marry a non-Orthodox Christian, the Church will conduct a "mixed
marriage." For this purpose, a "non-Orthodox Christian" is a member of
the Roman Catholic Church, or one of the many Protestant Churches which
believe in and baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity. This means that
such mixed marriages may be performed in the Orthodox Church. However,
the Orthodox Church does not perform marriages between Orthodox
Christians and persons belonging to other religions, such as Islam ,
Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any sectarian and cult group, such as
Christian Science, Mormonism, or the followers of Rev. Moon. (The Stand of the Orthodox Church on Controversial Issues.)
9. The absolute prohibition against the use of any
form of contraception whatsoever. This is from the website of the Greek
Orthodox Church in America:
General agreement exists among Orthodox writers on the following two points:
- since at least one of the purposes of marriage is the
birth of children, a couple acts immorally when it consistently uses
contraceptive methods to avoid the birth of any children, if there are
not extenuating circumstances;
- contraception is also immoral when used to encourage the practice of fornication and adultery.
Less agreement exists among Eastern
Orthodox authors on the issue of contraception within marriage for the
spacing of children or for the limitation of the number of children.
Some authors take a negative view and count any use of contraceptive
methods within or outside of marriage as immoral (Papacostas, pp. 13-18;
Gabriel Dionysiatou). These authors tend to emphasize as the primary
and almost exclusive purpose of marriage the birth of children and their
upbringing. They tend to consider any other exercise of the sexual
function as the submission of this holy act to unworthy purposes, i.e.,
pleasure-seeking, passion, and bodily gratification, which are held to
be inappropriate for the Christian growing in spiritual perfection.
These teachers hold that the only alternative is sexual abstinence in
marriage, which, though difficult, is both desirable and possible
through the aid of the grace of God. It must be noted also that, for
these writers, abortion and contraception are closely tied together, and
often little or no distinction is made between the two. Further, it is
hard to discern in their writings any difference in judgment between
those who use contraceptive methods so as to have no children and those
who use them to space and limit the number of children.
Other Orthodox writers have challenged this
view by seriously questioning the Orthodoxy of the exclusive and
all-controlling role of the procreative purpose of marriage (Zaphiris;
Constantelos, 1975). Some note the inconsistency of the advocacy of
sexual continence in marriage with the scriptural teaching that one of
the purposes of marriage is to permit the ethical fulfillment of sexual
drives, so as to avoid fornication and adultery (1 Cor. 7:1-7). Most
authors, however, emphasize the sacramental nature of marriage and its
place within the framework of Christian anthropology, seeing the sexual
relationship of husband and wife as one aspect of the mutual growth of
the couple in love and unity. This approach readily adapts
itself to an ethical position that would not only permit but also enjoin
sexual relationships of husband and wife for their own sake as
expressions of mutual love. Such a view clearly would support the use of
contraceptive practices for the purpose of spacing and limiting
children so as to permit greater freedom of the couple in the expression
of their mutual love. (For the Health of Body and Soul: An Eastern Orthodox Introduction to Bioethics.)
These are not minor matters. And this all going to be "bridge" by means of appeals to the "heart"? Preposterous.
A mutual dislike of Scholasticism and a
desire to "re-read" the Church Fathers without the "filter" provided by
Saint Thomas Aquinas links Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's "New
Theology" and the ambiguous doctrinal views of the Orthodox. I explored
this in an article seventeen months ago now:
The following passages from Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis,
August 12, 1950, describe--and condemn--the entirety of the
intellectual work of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. Joseph
Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is using his "vague notions" and outright
heresies to appeal for "unity" with the schismatic and heretical
Orthodox churches without forcing them to accept the dogmatic
pronouncements of the Second Millennium that were made without their
"participation" and that were "distorted" by Scholasticism as a result:
Hence to neglect, or to reject,
or to devalue so many and such great resources which have been
conceived, expressed and perfected so often by the age-old work of men
endowed with no common talent and holiness, working under the vigilant
supervision of the holy magisterium and with the light and leadership of
the Holy Ghost in order to state the truths of the faith ever more
accurately, to do this so that these things may be replaced by
conjectural notions and by some formless and unstable tenets of a new
philosophy, tenets which, like the flowers of the field, are in
existence today and die tomorrow; this is supreme imprudence and
something that would make dogma itself a reed shaken by the wind. The
contempt for terms and notions habitually used by scholastic theologians
leads of itself to the weakening of what they call speculative
theology, a discipline which these men consider devoid of true certitude
because it is based on theological reasoning.
Unfortunately these advocates of
novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect
of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself,
which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology.
This Teaching Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to
progress and an obstacle in the way of science. Some non Catholics
consider it as an unjust restraint preventing some more qualified
theologians from reforming their subject. And although this sacred
Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate
and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has
been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith -- Sacred
Scripture and divine Tradition -- to be preserved, guarded and
interpreted, still the duty that is incumbent on the faithful to flee
also those errors which more or less approach heresy, and accordingly
"to keep also the constitutions and decrees by which such evil opinions
are proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See," is sometimes as little
known as if it did not exist. What is expounded in the
Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and
constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by
some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they
profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The
Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of
dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early
sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church
must be explained from the writings of the ancients.
Such is not the foundation of any kind of true reconciliation between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church,
admitting that the counterfeit church of conciliarism can indeed "live"
with these differences in the name of a false notion of "unity" and
Ratzinger's Belief That Those Who Deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Lord Continue "Believing in a Christian Manner"
Up to the very end of his conference, Card. Ratzinger
resolutely continues on this road of agnosticism and now logically
comes to the most disastrous of conclusions. He writes:
In conclusion, as we contemplate our present-day
religious situation, of which I have tried to throw some light on some
of its elements, we may well marvel at the fact that, after all, people
still continue believing in a Christian manner, not only according to
Hick's, Knitter's as well as others' substitute ways or forms, but also
according to that full and joyous Faith found in the New Testament of
the Church of all time.
So, there it is: For Card. Ratzinger, "Hick,
Knitter, and others" who deny the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His
Church, His sacraments, and, in short, all of Christianity, continue "despite everything" "believing in a Christian manner," even though they do so using "substitute forms of belief"!
Here, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith leaves us
wondering indeed, just what it is he means by "believing in a Christian
Moreover, once the "preambula fidei" have been
eliminated, that "full and joyous Faith of the Church of all time" which
seems [for Card. Ratzinger] to be no different from modern-day
apostasies other than by its style and total character, is utterly
lacking in any rational credibility in comparison with and in relation
to what he refers to as "substitute ways or forms" of faith. "How is it," Card. Ratzinger wonders, "in fact, that the Faith [the one of all time] still has a chance of success?" Answer:
I would say that it is because it finds a
correspondence in man's nature…..There is, in man, an insatiable desire
for the infinite. None of the answers we have sought is sufficient [but
must we take his own word for it, or must we go through the exercise of
experiencing all religions?]. God alone [but Whom, according to Card.
Ratzinger, human reason cannot prove to be truly God], Who made Himself
finite in order to shatter the bonds of our own finitude and bring us to
the dimension of His infinity [...and not to redeem us from the slavery
of sin?] is able to meet all the needs of our human existence.
According to this, it
is therefore not objective motives based on history and reason, and
thus the truth of Christianity, but only a subjective appreciation which
brings us to "see" that it [Christianity] is able to satisfy the
profound needs of human nature and which would explain the "success"
[modernists would say the "vitality"] of the "faith" ["of all time" or
in its "substitute forms," it is of but little importance]. Such,
however, is not at all Catholic doctrine: this is simply modernist
apologetics (cf. Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi), based on their affirmed
impossibility of grasping metaphysical knowledge (or agnosticism or
skepticism), which Card. Ratzinger seemed to want to shun in the first
part of his address.
Now we are in a position to better
understand why Card. Ratzinger has such a wide-open concept of
"theology" and of "faith" that he includes everything: theology as well
as heresies, faith and apostasy. On that road of denial of the
human reason's ability of attaining metaphysical knowledge, a road which
he continues to follow, he lacks the "means of discerning the
difference between faith and non-faith" (R. Amerio, op. cit., p.340)
and, consequently, theology from pseudo-theology, truth from heresy:
All theologies are nullified, because all are
regarded as equivalent; the heart or kernel of religion is located in
feelings or experiences, as the Modernists held at the beginning of this
century (Amerio, op. cit., p.542).
cannot see how this position of Card. Ratzinger can escape that solemn
condemnation proclaimed at Vatican I: "If anyone says...that men must be
brought to the Faith solely by their own personal interior
experience...let him be anathema" (DB 1812). (Cardinal Ratzinger. This article, by the way, appeared in a publication of the Society of Saint Pius X, Si, Si, No, No in January of 1998.)