Sunday, September 22, 2013

A retrospective on Benedict XVI

[11] There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance with them that shall be in the latter end. [12] I Ecclesiastes was king over Israel in Jerusalem, [13] And I proposed in my mind to seek and search out wisely concerning all things that are done under the sun. This painful occupation hath God given to the children of men, to be exercised therein. [14] I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit. [15] The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite.
 -- Ecclesiastes 1:11-15
I was re-reading my posts from the time that Benedict announced his retirement until now. In this short time, the Church has changed; the world has changed.

Before the election of Francis, my prayer was "for a new Pope that is as un-cool as Benedict. Who sees his mission not in making the Church popular with growing numbers, but in protecting and preserving the souls of the few that truly believe in the teachings of the Church."

Instead we have the uber-cool Francis. (My motto is "don't be cool, be Catholic", which is obviously not the motto of Francis.)

My opinion of Benedict has changed because Francis is the "fruit" of Vatican II, which Benedict/Ratzinger was so deeply involved in. At the Council he was the chief peritus (theological adviser) of the highly influential Archbishop of Cologne, Joseph Frings.
At the council, Ratzinger was much sought after as a rising theological star. He worked closely with senior Jesuits, including Karl Rahner, Alois Grillmeier, and Otto Semmelroth, all of whom kept in steady communication with the German bishops. The German Cardinals Josef Frings of Cologne and Julius Döpfner of Munich and Freising, strongly supported by theologian-bishops such as the future Cardinal Hermann Volk, exercised a powerful influence, generally opposing the schemas drawn up by the preparatory commission under the guidance of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Father Sebastian Tromp, S.J.

Late in the first session Ratzinger was named a theological adviser to Cardinal Frings, a position he held until the end of the council. Many of his biographers suspect that he drafted Frings' speech of November 8, 1963, vehemently attacking the procedures of the Holy Office. In combination with other events, this speech undoubtedly influenced Paul VI to restructure the Holy Office and give it a new name, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
I now think of Benedict as arrogant, because he thought that he could control the interpretation of the council documents. Francis proves that this is not the case. On the one hand. the council documents are open to widely diverging interpretations; on the other hand, it seems obvious now that they were written that way for the purpose of gradually implementing changes which most of the bishops at the time of the council could not foresee.

This was how Ratzinger and others were able to manufacture a revolution in the Church which was disguised as a minor reform -- not even that. It was described as merely re-stating the timeless teachings of the Catholic Church in a manner that would make it more comprehensible to "modern" man. (As if this were some new species that did not exist in the prior history of the Church.)

Notice the mention above of Ratzinger's role in the abolition of the Holy Office. This was once known as the Inquisition and after the council became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And guess who was put in charge of the CDF under John Paul II? That's right it was Ratzinger himself.

The reason that it was necessary to abolish the Holy Office was that it was the source of discipline in the Church prior to VC II. For example it blacklisted books by theologians which contained heretical materials.
On 7 December 1965, Pope Paul VI issued the Motu Proprio "Integrae servandae" that re-constituted the Holy Office as the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."[42] The Index was not listed as being a part of the newly constituted Congregation's competence, leading to questioning whether it still was. This question was put to Cardinal Ottaviani—Pro-Prefect of the Congregation—who responded in the negative.[43] The Cardinal also indicated in his response that there was going to be a change in the Index soon.

A Notification of 14 June 1966 from the Congregation, which was published on the 15 June 1966 issue of the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano,[44] announced that, while the Index maintained its moral force, in that it taught Christians to beware, as required by the natural law itself, of those writings that could endanger faith and morality, it no longer had the force of ecclesiastical positive law with the associated penalties
The reason you don't see any ex-communications of pro-abortion politicians is because there is no Holy Office. The CDF is not the Holy Office. It speaks, but the bishops do not listen. This was the intent of Ratzinger and his fellow revolutionaries.

Let's put an end once and for all to any sort of naive view of the post VC II Church. The current state of the Church is not an accident -- it happened by design. And one of the architects was the theologian Joseph Ratzinger.

It's all a matter of degrees.

Ratzinger preferred to turn the temperature of the water up gradually, so that the frogs would not jump out. And then let the water simmer.

While Francis simply sets the burners to "high" in order to quickly achieve a "messy" state of full boiling -- betting that the frogs will be caught off guard and will never have a chance to jump out of the proverbial pot.

If the Holy Office had never been abolished, then priests like Bergoglio would never have had a chance to become bishops, much less archbishops, much less cardinals, much less a pope.

Remember that it was the cardinals appointed by John Paul II and Benedict which elected Bergoglio....

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