Say What, Father Cantalamessa?
Thomas A. Droleskey
Ambiguity is one of the special tools of Modernists of the counterfeit church of conciliarism to cloud their sentences so that they be interpreted in many different ways, going up to the brink of denying a certain dogma of the Church without appearing to have done so. We will not know until the Last Day, at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead, how many thousands of hours that truly faithful Catholics spent in trying to discern the "true intent" of the "Second" Vatican Council and of the statements of the postconciliar "popes" and their appointees to various ecclesiastical positions in the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M Cap., the Preacher to the "Papal" Household, has been anything but ambiguous in his clear rejection of Limbo and in his clear rejection of the necessity of seeking to convert Jews to the Catholic Faith so that they can save their immortal souls before they die. Father Cantalamessa has been anything but ambiguous when preaching on Good Friday in 2002 in the Basilica of Saint Peter, right in the presence of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, that Protestant "churches" enjoy God's favor simply because they exist.
There are times, however, when Father Cantalamessa uses a bit of ambiguity to veil his contempt for a literal interpretation of Sacred Scripture when said interpretation has been the only one sanctioned by the Fathers and thus by Holy Mother Church herself over the centuries. A dispatch from Zenit, dated July 28, 2006, provides an illustration of this:
For several Sundays, the Gospel has been taken from Jesus' discourse on the bread of life in the synagogue of Capernaum, to which the Evangelist John refers. This Sunday's passage comes from the multiplication of loaves and fishes, which is an introduction to the Eucharistic discourse.
It is no accident that the presentation of the Eucharist begins with the account of the multiplication of loaves. What is stated with it is that, in man, the religious dimension cannot be separated from the material dimension. Provision cannot be made for man's spiritual and eternal needs without being concerned, at the same time, about his earthly and material needs.
It was precisely the latter which for an instant was the temptation of the apostles. In another passage of the Gospel one reads that they suggested to Jesus that he dismiss the crowd so that it would find something to eat in neighboring villages.
But Jesus answered: "You give them something to eat!" (Matthew 14:16). With this, Jesus is not asking his disciples to perform miracles. He is asking that they do what they can. To place in common and share what each one has. In arithmetic, multiplication and division are two opposite operations, but in this case they are the same. There is no "multiplication" without "partition" (or sharing)!
Is Father Cantalamessa attempting to propagate the Modernist "spin" on Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's multiplication of the loaves and the fishes, that the "real" miracle was not any actual multiplication of the loaves and the fishes but a prayer from Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that inspired the people in the crowd to share with others what they had brought but were keeping for themselves? That construct can certainly be applied quite reasonably to the passage above.
No, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did not ask His disciples to perform miracles. He performed the miracle of actually multiplying the loaves and fishes. What Patristic evidence can Father Cantalamessa produce to justify any implication that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did not actually miraculously multiply loaves and fishes, feeding five thousand and four thousand people, respectively, on two different occasions in His Public Ministry to proof His Sacred Divinity?
Oh, yes, true enough. Father Cantalamessa did not come right and deny the miracle of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's actual multiplication of five barley loaves and two fishes, as recorded in Saint John's Gospel, and His multiplication of seven loaves and a "few" fishes, as recorded in Saint Matthew's Gospel. He certainly implied it, though, believing that such an implication, which is commonplace amongst--and is made much more straightforwardly by--many priests in diocesan parishes under the control of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, will not in the least cause him any problems with the false "pontiff," Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI.
Father Cantalamessa, however, has to reckon with the entire patrimony of the Catholic Church, which upholds without any deviation whatsoever that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ actually did multiply loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes who heard Him preach and were hungry because they did not have enough to eat.
Consider this passage from Pope Leo XIII's Providentissimus Deus, November 18, 1893:
But he must not on that account consider that it is forbidden, when just cause exists, to push inquiry and exposition beyond what the Fathers have done; provided he carefully observes the rule so wisely laid down by St. Augustine -- not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires; a rule to which it is the more necessary to adhere strictly in these times, when the thirst for novelty and unrestrained freedom of thought make the danger of error most real and proximate. Neither should those passages be neglected which the Fathers have understood in an allegorical or figurative sense, more especially when such interpretation is justified by the literal, and when it rests on the authority of many. For this method of interpretation has been received by the Church from the Apostles, and has been approved by her own practice, as the holy Liturgy attests; although it is true that the holy Fathers did not thereby pretend directly to demonstrate dogmas of faith, but used it as a means of promoting virtue and piety, such as, by their own experience, they knew to be most valuable. The authority of other Catholic interpreters is not so great; but the study of Scripture has always continued to advance in the Church, and, therefore, these commentaries also have their own honorable place, and are serviceable in many ways for the refutation of assailants and the explanation of difficulties. But it is most unbecoming to pass by, in ignorance or contempt, the excellent work which Catholics have left in abundance, and to have recourse to the works of non-Catholics -- and to seek in them, to the detriment of sound doctrine and often to the peril of faith, the explanation of passages on which Catholics long ago have successfully employed their talent and their labor. For although the studies of non-Catholics, used with prudence, may sometimes be of use to the Catholic student, he should, nevertheless, bear well in mind -- as the Fathers also teach in numerous passages-- that the sense of Holy Scripture can nowhere be found incorrupt out side of the Church, and cannot be expected to be found in writers who, being without the true faith, only gnaw the bark of the Sacred Scripture, and never attain its pith.
What necessity compels Father Cantalamessa to imply that it might be acceptable to go beyond the literal sense of the Gospels in the instances of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Is he trying to say that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was incapable of such a miracle? Is he trying to say that the Apostles gave a false report to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that they had overlooked the fragments that the people in the crowd were supposedly hiding from each other? Is he trying to say that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ knew about these alleged fragments and wanted to show forth a "miracle of the heart"? Any way you slice it, Father Cantalamessa, you are deviating from the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church and of her Fathers, to whom she defers on these weighty matters from which no one prior to the onset of Modernism has ever dared to put into question.
Lamentabili Sane, July 3, 1907, listed the following as one of the chief Scriptural errors of the Modernists"
17. The fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.
Pope Saint Pius X, writing in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, noted the following just two months and five days after the issuance of Lamentabili Sane:
And if it be objected that in the visible world there are some things which appertain to faith, such as the human life of Christ, the Modernists reply by denying this. For though such things come within the category of phenomena, still in as far as they are lived by faith and in the way already described have been by faith transfigured and disfigured, they have been removed from the world of sense and transferred into material for the divine. Hence should it be further asked whether Christ has wrought real miracles, and made real prophecies, whether He rose truly from the dead and ascended into Heaven, the answer of agnostic science will be in the negative and the answer of faith in the affirmative yet there will not be, on that account, any conflict between them. For it will be denied by the philosopher as a philosopher speaking to philosophers and considering Christ only in historical reality; and it will be affirmed by the believer as a believer speaking to believers and considering the life of Christ as lived again by the faith and in the faith.
This passage is particularly pertinent. It applies not only to Father Raniero Cantalamessa's implication that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did not actually multiply the loaves and fishes as recorded in each of the four Gospels. The passage applies also to the incredible inconsistency which can see the then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger personally "consecrate" a "priest," "Father" Bruno Forte, as the conciliar "archbishop" of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, ten years after he had written an article placing into question the actual, bodily Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from the dead on Easter Sunday while at the same time he, "Cardinal" Ratzinger, who has written that there is a resurrection of persons, not bodies, was helping to prepare a document for the Spanish "bishops" of conciliarism that criticized theologians who put the Resurrection into question. Contradiction is, of course, no problem in the minds of those whose minds are shaped by Hegelianism and its Catholic offshoots, including Chardinianism.
Pope Saint Pius X reiterated these points a little over two months later. Writing in Praestantia Scripturae, November 18, 1907, the sainted pontiff declared:
Wherefore we again and most earnestly exhort the ordinaries of the dioceses and the heads of religious congregations to use the utmost vigilance over teachers, and first of all in the seminaries; and should they find any of them imbued with the errors of the modernists and eager for what is new and noxious, or lacking in docility to the prescriptions of the Apostolic See, in whatsoever way published, let them absolutely forbid the teaching office to such; so, too, let them exclude from sacred orders those young men who give the very faintest reason for doubt that they favor condemned doctrines and pernicious novelties. We exhort them also to take diligent care to put an end to those books and other writings, now growing exceedingly numerous, which contain opinions or tendencies of the kind condemned in the encyclical letters and decree above mentioned; let them see to it that these publications are removed from Catholic publishing houses, and especially from the hands of students and the clergy. By doing this they will at the same time be promoting real and solid education, which should always be a subject of the greatest solicitude for those who exercise sacred authority
Father Cantalamessa is certainly dabbling in novelty, both theologically and Scriptually, as he serves as the Preacher to the "Papal" Household. He is evidently oblivious to or contemptuous of these clear statements, issued by men who were universally and pacifically accepted as popes, that one must rely upon the Fathers of the Church when discoursing on Sacred Scripture.
Writing in Divino Afflante Spiritu, September 30, 1943 (the Feast of Saint Jerome), Pope Pius XII warned preachers from departing from the genuine sense of Scriptures even to make a figurative point:
Let Catholic exegetes then disclose and expound this spiritual significance, intended and ordained by God, with that care which the dignity of the divine word demands; but let them scrupulously refrain from proposing as the genuine meaning of Sacred Scripture other figurative senses. It may indeed be useful, especially in preaching, to illustrate, and present the matters of faith and morals by a broader use of the Sacred Text in the figurative sense, provided this be done with moderation and restraint; it should, however, never be forgotten that this use of the Sacred Scripture is, as it were, extrinsic to it and accidental, and that, especially in these days, it is not free from danger, since the faithful, in particular those who are well-informed in the sciences sacred and profane, wish to know what God has told us in the Sacred Letters rather than what an ingenious orator or writer may suggest by a clever use of the words of Scripture. Nor does "the word of God, living and effectual and more piercing than any two-edged sword and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" need artificial devices and human adaptation to move and impress souls; for the Sacred Pages, written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, are of themselves rich in original meaning; endowed with a divine power, they have their own value; adorned with heavenly beauty, they radiate of themselves light and splendor, provided they are so fully and accurately explained by the interpreter, that all the treasures of wisdom and prudence, therein contained are brought to light.
In the accomplishment of this task the Catholic exegete will find invaluable help in an assiduous study of those works, in which the Holy Fathers, the Doctors of the Church and the renowned interpreters of past ages have explained the Sacred Books. For, although sometimes less instructed in profane learning and in the knowledge of languages than the scripture scholars of our time, nevertheless by reason of the office assigned to them by God in the Church, they are distinguished by a certain subtle insight into heavenly things and by a marvelous keenness of intellect, which enables them to penetrate to the very innermost meaning of the divine word and bring to light all that can help to elucidate the teaching of Christ and to promote holiness of life.
Pope Pius XII, concerned about the numerous errors of his day, each of which were variations on the Modernist theme, addressed himself to another conciliarist error, that the Mystical Body of Christ is not contiguous with the Catholic Church, a heretical belief held by Benedict XVI and by Father Cantalamessa. Writing in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, Pope Pius wrote:
Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago [Mystici Corporis], and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith.
These and like errors, it is clear, have crept in among certain of Our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science. To them We are compelled with grief to repeat once again truths already well known, and to point out with solicitude clear errors and dangers of error.
Ultimately, you see, Father Raniero Cantalamessa is able to preach with impunity because the former Joseph "Cardinal Ratzinger" sees no contradiction between professing his "love" for Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and entertaining notions contrary to what the Church has taught consistently.
Consider Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's own words, found in the June 27, 1990, edition of L'Osservatore Romano, in this regard:
The text [of the Instruction on the Theologian's Vocation] also presents the various forms of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It affirms -- perhaps for the first time with this clarity -- that there are decisions of the Magisterium that cannot be a last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition. Its nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times have influenced, may need further ramifications.
In this regard, one may think of the declarations of Popes in the last century about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church's anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from immersion in the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of the determinations they contain, they become obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at the proper moment.
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, you see, has a view of magisterial teaching that is novel, relying upon a fellow practitioner of the New Theology, Father Johann Baptist Metz. The consistent teaching of the Church, reiterated by popes from Gregory XVI through Pius XII, never becomes obsolete. The Ordinary Magisterium of the Church clothes teaching that has been taught "always and everywhere" and believed by everyone with the charism of infallibility. The teaching of the Divine Redeemer is not subject to change. He is immutable. His teaching is immutable. And no legitimate development of doctrine can in any way contradict that which has preceded it. The novelties of the "Second" Vatican Council concerning religious liberty--and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's rejection of the confessionally Catholic state--are contradictions of the Deposit of Faith. The same holds for the novelty of ecumenism. And the same holds for the Modernist approach to Biblical studies, which is evidenced by Father Raniero Cantalamessa's preaching on so many occasions.
In contradistinction to Ratzinger/Benedict's words above concerning the decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission as "hasty and superficial adaptations," the plain words of the First Vatican Council state the following:
Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmata is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be an abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.... If anyone says that it is possible that at some given time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmata propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has always understood and understands: let him be anathema.
"Let him be anathema." Is there anything more that needs to be said. The very theological underpinnings of conciliarism, condemned as Modernism by Pope Saint Pius X in any number of encyclical letters and critiqued so well by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, have been anathematized by the [First] Vatican Council.
This is why, ladies and gentlemen, it is so important to have nothing whatsoever to do with the counterfeit church of conciliarism. It is indeed a counterfeit religion. There is a lot of Catholicism, to be sure, that one can find in various texts and statements and pronouncements. There is also a lot of error. Even one drop of error, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896, is enough to poison even a statement that seems so very Catholic. There is much more than one drop of error as conciliarism promoted ecumenism and ecclesiology and religious liberty and Scriptural novelties that have no justification in the actual teaching of Holy Mother Church.
Without condemning a single, solitary soul, any exposure to the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service leads ultimately to a spirit of quiet acceptance about things as they are, things that many a martyr gave up his life rather than even to give the impression that he embraced or endorsed in any manner whatsoever. It is easy to give up in the midst of the difficulties of the moment. It is much hard to persist in the path of Catholic truth despite criticism and the hardships involved, which might even require leaving our earthly "homes" to find spiritual oases in the catacombs where we can better get ourselves home to Heaven.
We must embrace the fullness of Tradition without compromise to conciliarism or its false shepherds. We must try to save our souls in the catacombs by consecrating ourselves to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves. We must spend as much time as our states-in-life permit before her Divine Son's Real Presence. And we must protect ourselves and our family members from the efforts of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the conciliar church to take us away from the sure path that is Tradition, which has been handed down to us by the Apostles themselves and is to be kept unchanged until Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Second Coming in glory on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead.
Asking Saint Martha, who was busy doing many things while her sister, Saint Mary Magdalene, listened to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to help us to busy ourselves in the business of sanctifying our souls and treating all of our fellow Catholics with Charity in these confusing times, may we recognize the errors that confront us and stay firm in our embrace of the fullness of the truths of the Faith, hoping and praying that we will die in a state of Sanctifying Grace and thus be able to enjoy the victory of the martyrs themselves in the presence of the glory of the Beatific Vision, in the company of the Communion of Saints, headed by the Queen of the Angels and Saints, Our Lady herself, remembering that the best path to Heaven after the Mass is Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Good Success, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us.
Saint Martha, pray for us.
Saint James the Greater, son of Zebedee, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, son of Zebedee, pray for us.
Saint Anne, pray for us.
Saint Joachim, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saints Nazarius, Celsus, Innocent and Victor, pray for us.
Saint Pantaleon, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.