Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The "Official" Roman Catholic Philosophy?

It's been months (or perhaps a year or two?) since I've had any interactions with the person behind the Catholic Champion blog. I visit the Catholic Champion occasionally. Two recent posts deserve mentioning:

A Warning to Those Who Oppose Saint Thomas and Scholasticism: In this entry, a few quotes from Pius X are brought up in which he asserts "We will and ordain that scholastic philosophy be made the basis of the sacred sciences" and "those are to be disapproved as of Modernist tendencies who exalt positive theology in such a way as to seem to despise the scholastic."

The real gem though is the post Contradictions? You Decide... This post contains dueling quotes from various popes on scholastic philosophy. for instance:

Pope Pius X wrote: "The chief doctrines of St. Thomas' philosophy cannot be regarded as mere opinions—which anyone might discuss pro and con, but rather as a foundation on which all science of both natural and divine things rests. If they are taken away, or perverted in any way, then this necessarily follows: that the students of sacred studies will not perceive even the meaning of those words whereby the divinely revealed dogmas are uttered by the teaching of the Church."

Compare to:

Joseph Ratzinger: "To free itself from the constraining fetters of Roman Scholastic Theology represents a duty upon which, in my humble opinion, the possibility of the survival of Catholicism seems to depend."

These Catholic Champion entries are some of the best Roman Catholic blog posts I've read in quite a while. Kudos to the Catholic Champion!

Addendum: The Catholic Champion needs to update their "Cool Catholic blogs" side bar list, and weed out those who have left the cool Roman Catholic church.

50 comments:

EA said...

Cardinal Ratzinger was clearly expressing an opinion. Catholics are free to discount his statements.

Others are free to discount the statements of both he and Pius X.

john said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
EA said...

I'm sure Catholics that engage with this material would say that they have liberty to believe as they are led. However, it is beyond difficult to reconcile the statements of Cardinal Ratzinger and Pius X.

Constantine said...

I'm curious about the “freedom to discount” claimed by EA and John.

In 1879 Leo XIII writes in his encyclical Aeterni Patris, “Let carefully selected teachers endeavor to implant the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas in the minds of students, and set forth clearly his solidity and excellence over others. Let the universities already founded or to be founded by you illustrate and defend this doctrine, and use it for the refutation of prevailing errors.” (Paragraph 31)

Earlier in this letter – paragraph 21 – Leo quotes half a dozen of his predecessors in support of Thomism as the official Catholic philosophy. One indicative example is Urban V, who Leo quotes as having written, “"It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same." (emphasis added). I take it to mean that when a pope “enjoins” something, it is necessarily official doctrine – not “semi-official”. (And Leo is here reaching back into 500 years of Catholic history for support.) Is it fair to consider these writings as mere opinions?

So were one to feel free to discount Thomism as I take EA and John to mean, they would be undermining not just the opinions of one or another pope, but a whole series of them. And that, I think, casts some doubt on the idea of “Tradition”, no?

Peace.

Scott said...

Constantine,
That one may disagree with the opinions of previous popes does not undermine "tradition" - and especially not "Sacred Tradition." Would it be wise to reject sound Catholic teaching in favor of more modernist views? Probably not! But so long as what is being disagreed with is not dogmatically defined (ex cathedra) statements from popes, then Catholics may disagree with them.

EA said...

"But so long as what is being disagreed with is not dogmatically defined (ex cathedra) statements from popes, then Catholics may disagree with them."

Lumen Gentium (III,25):
In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

So there's a bit of an issue here. Pope Pius X insisted in some very assertive language that Thomism is the bedrock of and essential to Catholic teaching. But Cardinal Ratzinger stated that Thomistic philosophy needed to be discarded in order to save Catholicism.

In order to give some assent to both of these statements, somehow they need to be reconciled. Good Luck.

Constantine said...

Thanks EA,

I think Scott has to show where it is taught that the Roman Catholic in the pew has the authority to disregard papal bulls - ex cathedra or not.

Peace.

James Swan said...

I think Scott has to show where it is taught that the Roman Catholic in the pew has the authority to disregard papal bulls - ex cathedra or not.

Just an FYI, don't expect Scott to "show" anything. Mr. Windsor would rather others post material and he then comments on it. At least that's been my experience with him.

Perhaps if either one of you posts some materials, Scott can then do his version of Roman Catholic apologetics- which is simply commenting on what's researched and posted for him.

EA said...

"Mr. Windsor would rather others post material and he then comments on it."

I suppose that makes it easier for Scott. I've made my point. I'll interpret silence as a tacit admission of defeat.

CathApol said...

My, my - claiming victory so quickly?

I'll prepare a fuller response shortly, but for now let me make a couple points.

1) I never said one can "disregard papal bulls," but I will say some of THAT would depend upon the language and to whom the bull was addressed/intended.

2) James wrote: Just an FYI, don't expect Scott to "show" anything. Mr. Windsor would rather others post material and he then comments on it. At least that's been my experience with him.

Mr. Swan does not interact with most of what I write - that being said, "his experience" is rather limited to "response" posts - which, by their nature, are responses to what others have said/written. So, I would give him that in HIS experience - that's likely a true statement.

As for Mr. Swan's criticism of my "version of Catholic apologetics," I would accept that too! I'm not here inventing new concepts! I may try to present what has already been taught in a different light - but I'm not trying to be another Luther and create new religious concepts and build a new church upon them. I'll defend what was taught and not be ashamed of that.

Scott<<<

Ryan said...

Hi James. I thought you might be interested in attempting to track down the following alleged Luther quote in its context:

‎"We must concede to the Papists that we have no knowledge of the scriptures apart from them."

Constantine said...

Hi Scott,


1) I never said one can "disregard papal bulls," but I will say some of THAT would depend upon the language and to whom the bull was addressed/intended.

So, if the language was right and the audience was right, then you could disregard papal bulls, right? I think that is your point. My question remains – where is that taught?

Earlier you wrote,

“But so long as what is being disagreed with is not dogmatically defined (ex cathedra) statements from popes, then Catholics may disagree with them.”

So, the 60+% or Catholics who disregard the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae's teaching on contraception or the nearly 50% of Catholics who do not affirm the doctrine of transubstantiation are perfectly within their rights, according to your standard. Do I understand that correctly?

Peace.

Constantine said...

James,

Thanks for the advice.

Peace.

Constantine said...

One more thing....



A quick skim of RC Canon Law discloses the following:


Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.


Can. 227 The lay Christian faithful have the right to have recognized that freedom which all citizens have in the affairs of the earthly city. When using that same freedom, however, they are to take care that their actions are imbued with the spirit of the gospel and are to heed the doctrine set forth by the magisterium of the Church. In matters of opinion, moreover, they are to avoid setting forth their own opinion as the doctrine of the Church. (emphasis added.)

Catholics are bound to follow the teachings of their pastors and the Magisterium, ex cathedra or not. Surely papal bulls and encyclicals qualify as “doctrine set forth by the magisterium.”

I don't think Scott can find a citation in Canon Law which would support his contention that Catholics are free to choose their doctrine. But maybe he will.

Peace.

EA said...

"My, my - claiming victory so quickly?"

Not at all, I was merely stating that no response would be interpreted as not having a credible response. I look forward to your responses.

"I never said one can "disregard papal bulls," but I will say some of THAT would depend upon the language and to whom the bull was addressed/intended."

Fair enough. However, since both Pius X's and Leo XIII's bulls address the importance of Thomist philosophy in Catholic teaching and stress that its emphasis needed reinforcement in Catholic education (especially Seminary) and that Joseph Ratzinger was a professor of Theology, that would seem to place him squarely amongst those to whom these bulls were addressed. Additionally, he would have been required to swear to the Oath Against Modernism which committed instructors of theology to the positions articulated in the above mentioned bulls as it was still in force at the time Ratzinger was ordained and when he served as a teacher of theology.

It appears as though what we have is a point-blank contradiction of positions between two popes and a later cardinal.

EA said...

"I'll prepare a fuller response shortly, but for now let me make a couple points."

Still looking forward to your response...

CathApol said...

EA writes: Still looking forward to your response...

Patience padawan... patience. I have not forgotten you or your request of me. I've been busy and am quickly approaching the first anniversary of my daughter's passing. While you are not forgotten, you are also not the only thing on my mind these days. I've begun compiling a response - when it is ready, I will let you know. If it is appropriate for a combox response, I'll post it here otherwise it will be on my blog (which I'll probably do as well, if I do post it here).

Godspeed,
Scott<<<

EA said...

"I've been busy and am quickly approaching the first anniversary of my daughter's passing. While you are not forgotten, you are also not the only thing on my mind these days."

First, my condolences to you and your family. May God bless you.

Secondly, I look forward to your responses.

CathApol said...

Thank you, EA. I do have a quick response but since I've kept you waiting this long, you deserve more than a quick response.

CathApol said...

OK, my response is posted here: Faithful Catholics May Disagree.

Pax vobiscum,
Scott<<<

James Swan said...

EA,

You're free to go visit Mr. Windsor's empire and continue the interaction, but you're also just as free to post any responses to Mr. Windor's recent remarks right here.

If it were me, I'd probably take a look at whetever he posted and simply comment on it over here.

CathApol said...

I have no problem with comments being posted here... and have said so. I make no claims to having an "empire" (that comment seems a bit paranoid). As for me, I invite your comments on either blog. And James... how about adding "mobile" view to you blog?

James Swan said...

that comment seems a bit paranoid

The comment about the "empire" was my feeble attempt at humorous sarcasm, based on the fact you've got a blog, a website, and, if I recall, multiple discussion forums. Perhaps you've got even more, I don't know.

It could be equally said in sarcasm that I likewise have cyber-empire, though on much smaller scale compared to your endeavors.

You and I most certainly have a hard time communicating. I'm not sure if it's me, or you, or both of us.

But, if it makes you happy, feel free to think I'm paranoid. Interpret my words however you wish with my blessing.

Constantine said...

Scott,

I’m sorry to have read about the impending anniversary your family is anticipating and I pray that God will console you all.


Because it’s been a few days, let me just establish that the issue James brought to us is that of the contradictory nature of Roman Catholic teaching and the anthropocentric means to resolution suggested by the “champ” – i.e. ‘you decide’.

You have subsequently added on your blog, “You can see below where I point out even our first pope is disagreed with, so "where is that taught?" is answered in Scripture for you.”

First, let me applaud you for relying on Scripture. But Scripture nowhere makes the claim you do that Peter was a “pope”; in fact, it everywhere makes quite the opposite claim.


Secondly, Vatican I has this to say on the issue of obedience to the pope:

Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world. (Decrees of the First Vatican Council, First Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Session 4, chapter 2, section 2.) emphasis added.


V1 goes on to say that any departure from this teaching is a danger to one’s “faith and salvation”.

So, according to this most sacred council - and your example - the Apostle Paul is in danger of losing his salvation!

At any rate, we are still where James brought us originally. And that is, how can a Catholic know what is acceptable to believe?

Peace.

CathApol said...

Constantine said:
First, let me applaud you for relying on Scripture.

Thank you, I did indeed - but not "Scripture alone!" ;-)

Constantine continues:
But Scripture nowhere makes the claim you do that Peter was a “pope”; in fact, it everywhere makes quite the opposite claim.

1) Your point is irrelevant to the position of a Catholic! Whether or not YOU agree that St. Peter was our first pope - the challenge was from OUR perspective what is OUR teaching that a pope can be contradicted, right? So, based on this fact it is our position that St. Peter was indeed our first pope AND he was contradicted, as recorded in Scripture, by St. Paul. Thus, I have fulfilled the request to demonstrate from OUR TEACHING and OUR PERSPECTIVE how even a pope can be contradicted. The point here was NEVER whether or not you agree with our view of the papacy - that's a whole different argument!

2) At the risk of digressing a bit, I disagree with your opinion that Scripture "everywhere makes quite the opposite claim." Why is St. Peter almost always listed first in lists of Apostles? Why is it that St. Peter is constantly THE spokesperson for the apostolic choir? Why does Jesus Christ single out Simon Bar-Jonah and rename him Cephas (Peter)? Why does Jesus Christ make mention of "keys" to St. Peter ALONE and NEVER mentions "the keys" to the other Apostles? Why does Jesus Christ single out St. Peter in the presence of all the other Apostles and tell HIM to "Feed My sheep" in a three-fold command of THE Good Shepherd passing on the reins for one to do HIS JOB just as He is about to ascend into Heaven? So to state "everywhere" Scripture makes the opposite claim is simply false.

Now, as for what Vatican I taught, I do not disagree! IF a given pope is addressing ME, directly or indirectly (by addressing the entire Church and demanding obedience) then YES, I am so bound to obey his instruction. However, as I pointed out, THIS IS NOT THE CASE in the examples cited above!

Constantine continues:
So, according to this most sacred council - and your example - the Apostle Paul is in danger of losing his salvation!

No, not really - because St. Peter YIELDED to St. Paul's correction! Now, IF St. Peter had come back and stated St. Paul was wrong and demonstrated HOW St. Paul was wrong - IF St. Paul had remained insubordinate to St. Peter THEN there may be some danger to his soul - but that was not the case! St. Peter was properly rebuked and accepted it.

Constantine concludes:
At any rate, we are still where James brought us originally. And that is, how can a Catholic know what is acceptable to believe?

No, we're not still where James brought us originally! I was asked where it is taught that one can contradict a pope - and I demonstrated it. The question was not "how can a Catholic know what is acceptable to believe?" In fact, James' ONLY participation in this discussion have been:
1) Presenting Matthew Bellisario's article and commending him on it.
2) He presented his opinion of my apologetic (completely ignoring the topic at hand).
3) He commented on my alleged "empire."
4) He minimized his "empire" comment and explained it as "a feeble attempt at humorous sarcasm."

CathApol said...

A possibility I overlooked, perhaps someone else here is named "James" and I am unaware of this?

That being said, I will accept that James (Swan) was attempting to be humorous and will withdraw my "paranoid" comment and offer my humble apologies.

I stand by the fact, however, that I have answered the challenge given to me here, regardless of whether or not non-Catholics assent to what I've said - it does not change the Catholic perspective on the matter of St. Peter being contradicted by St. Paul - FOR US St. Peter was indeed our first pope.

Respectfully,
Scott<<<

CathApol said...

Perhaps lightening things up a bit, please take a venture at my (hopefully) not-so feeble attempt to be humorous...

The Empire Barks Back

:-)

Enjoy!

CathApol said...

EA said: I'll interpret silence as a tacit admission of defeat.

EA said...

Sorry that it has taken me a while to pick this back up. I have been very busy lately and have had other matters to attend to.

I will be posting a response shortly. I appreciate your patience.

John Lollard said...

Mr. Windsor,

You had said:
So, based on this fact it is our position that St. Peter was indeed our first pope AND he was contradicted, as recorded in Scripture, by St. Paul. Thus, I have fulfilled the request to demonstrate from OUR TEACHING and OUR PERSPECTIVE how even a pope can be contradicted.

We read in Scripture
"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong... The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabbas was led astray." Galatians 2:11-13

So we see, your first pope was not only contradicted, but he was clearly wrong and through following him many - even Barnabbas - were led astray.

It's a strange situation, you insisting that popes can be wrong and induce their followers to moral error according to Scripture, the Protestants that you "are bound to submit to this power" as per Vatican I.

How did we end up in opposite world?

All the same, I'm glad that you apparently no longer believe in the authority of the pope; he's just some guy saying stuff, and whatever, who cares what he says if he doesn't make any sense with it. He doesn't have any more authority to teach than you do, or than anyone does, 'cause he's just some German guy living in Italy. You should really look at whether what he's teaching is right, not on the office of the person teaching it.

Bravo! I'm glad you're willing to make such an admission! :P

In Christ,
JL

CathApol said...

Sorry that it has taken me a while to pick this back up. I have been very busy lately and have had other matters to attend to.

I will be posting a response shortly. I appreciate your patience.


:-) Not a problem. May you be guided by God's Truth.

Scott<<<

CathApol said...

John,
The subject we were discussing here was the "official" Roman Catholic philosophy - or more precisely, as it pertained to me anyway, how a faithful Catholic may hold a position contrary to a sitting or past pope. Your topic was more on papal authority so rather than divert this discussion on BeggarsAll I have responded here. Your subject IS tangentially related, but not directly and was more about me and your perception that somehow I have rejected papal authority. There's a difference between having a disagreement on some things and wholesale rejection of authority.

Scott<<<

EA said...

SW: First off, I'd like to say that the encyclicals from Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X are essentially stating that the scholasticism of St. Thomas Aquinas should be used by Catholic schools and universities. While they use some pretty strong language to "exhort" such to use St. Aquinas' works, it is not "demanded." In fact, Pope St. Pius X says in Doctoris Angelici: "We renew and confirm them and
order them to be strictly observed by all concerned."
This sounds very forceful, and the document is even a "moto proprio" - BUT - it is directly addressed to "Italy and the adjacent islands," therefore is specifically NOT binding upon the whole Church!


EA: It may be true that Doctoris Angelici is addressed in such a way to as to limit its geographical reach. However, the encyclical PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS from POPE PIUS X is addressed "to the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See." Also, AETERNI PATRIS is addressed to "the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops of the Catholic World in Grace and Communion with the Apostolic See". Both of these encyclicals praise, recommend, and enjoin fidelity to the "Angelic Doctor of Scholasticism".

The below is from Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

45. In the first place, with regard to studies, We will and ordain that scholastic philosophy be made the basis of the sacred sciences...We, therefore, declare that all the ordinances of Our Predecessor (viz. Leo XIII - AETERNI PATRIS) on this subject continue fully in force, and, as far as may be necessary, We do decree anew, and confirm, and ordain that they be by all strictly observed. In seminaries where they may have been neglected let the Bishops impose them and require their observance, and let this apply also to the Superiors of religious institutions. Further let Professors remember that they
cannot set St. Thomas aside, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave detriment.

48. ...Anybody who in any way is found to be imbued with Modernism is to be excluded without compunction from these offices, and those who already occupy them are to be withdrawn...

49. ...For the future the doctorate of theology and canon law must never be conferred on anybody who has not made the regular course of scholastic philosophy; if conferred it shall be held as null and void. The rules laid down in 1896 by the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars for the clerics, both secular and regular, of Italy concerning the frequenting of the Universities, We now decree to be extended to all nations.

Clerics and priests inscribed in a Catholic Institute or University must not in the future follow in civil Universities those courses for which there are chairs in the Catholic Institutes to which they
belong. If this has been permitted anywhere in the past, We ordain that it be not allowed for the future. Let the Bishops who form the Governing Board of such Catholic Institutes or Universities watch with all care that these Our commands be constantly observed.

EA said...

55. But of what avail, Venerable Brethren, will be all Our commands and prescriptions if they be not dutifully and firmly carried out? And, in order that this may be done, it has seemed expedient to Us to extend to all dioceses the regulations laid down with great wisdom many years ago by the Bishops of Umbria for theirs.

"In order," they say, "to extirpate the errors already propagated and to prevent their further diffusion, and to remove those teachers of impiety through whom the pernicious effects of such diffusion are being perpetuated, this sacred Assembly, following the example of St. Charles Borromeo, has decided to establish in each of the dioceses a Council consisting of approved members of both branches of the
clergy, which shall be charged the task of noting the existence of errors and the devices by which new ones are introduced and propagated, and to inform the Bishop of the whole so that he may take counsel with them as to the best means for nipping the evil in the bud and preventing it spreading for the ruin of souls or, worse still, gaining strength and growth" (Acts of the Congress of the Bishops of Umbria, Nov. 1849, tit 2, art. 6). We decree, therefore, that in every diocese a council of this kind, which We are pleased to name "the Council of Vigilance," be instituted without delay. The priests called to form part in it shall be chosen somewhat after the manner above prescribed for the Censors, and they shall meet every two months on an appointed day under the presidency of the Bishop...

56. Lest what We have laid down thus far should fall into oblivion, We will and ordain that the Bishops of all dioceses, a year after the publication of these letters and every three years thenceforward, furnish the Holy See with a diligent and sworn report on all the prescriptions contained in them, and on the doctrines that find currency among the clergy, and especially in the seminaries and other Catholic
institutions, and We impose the like obligation on the Generals of Religious Orders with regard to those under them.

EA: I'm confident that the practices of providing a diligent and sworn report every three years to the Holy See, as with diocesan Councils of Vigilance held every two months and holding scholasticism in the highest regard, though enjoined by the
Holy Father on the bishops of all dioceses, are no longer observed.

Scott has responded that Catholics can disagree with popes under certain circumstances. Even if I granted that premise in the example of Peter and Paul, how is that in the slightest exculpatory to the charge that the direction of two popes specifically addressing the instruction of Scholastic Philosophy to the clergy has been flouted? Are any Catholics taking the position that these popes were wrong? It seems to me to be more a case that there are new occupants of the papal and diocesan chairs and that perhaps what was said many years ago by others is of little value. I'm puzzled that Catholics expect Protestants to take seriously the utterances of a magesterium pertaining to faith and morals that Catholics themselves ignore.

EA said...

SW: The next thing I'd say is that the quote from then Fr. Ratzinger is an obscure quote from an obscure source making it very difficult to check on the context. Therefore, without being able to see the context, I reject this quote from Fr. Ratzinger.

EA: The source for the quote in question is from a German Theological Journal article which has not been translated into English; Zum Problem Unfehlbarkeit (Karl Rahner editor, 1971). I have found references to this quote on-line only in citations from German and Portugese sources. Two English sites have a translation of the quote. Both however, are hyper-traditionalist Catholic sites and I doubt you would rely on their word for it. I have located an original edition in German and will have the pertinent section translated myself. I'm sure that your rejection of the quote will be renewed, though on different grounds at that point.


SW: Now, the above being said, it is clear that Catholics CAN disagree with papal statements - and I reiterate that we Catholics see St. Peter as our first pope - and Scripture provides evidence that faithful Catholics can contradict and confront even the sitting pope.

I'm not sure that those over on Beggars All will be satisfied with these answers - but clearly I have presented the case where we CAN contradict a pope - within reason. Below I provide opinions of other Catholics and I will respectfully consider further challenges by those who have initially challenged me.

EA: Since your evidence from the Bible trades on anachronistic Catholic equivocations as to the roles of Peter and Paul, apostolic succession, and the like, I reject it. Regardless, it is clear to me that the direction of the Holy See (to ALL bishops) with regard to the diligent instruction of Thomistic Philosophy and the rooting out of Modernist thought in opposition to that philosophy has been abandoned by modern(ist) Catholics.

EA said...

To tie up the loose ends,
a review Lumen Gentium (III,25) once more is required:

In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

The encyclicals cited above are directed to ALL bishops in communion with Rome.

The instructions contained within have no expiration date.

The instructions and exhortations were issued by more than one pope regarding the same theme; Scholastic Philosophy and its critical role within Catholicism, the errors of modernism and what should be done to correct those errors.

I question why it is that bishops and others involved in theological training such as the former Cardinal Ratzinger failed to show the required religious submission of mind and will or acknowledge with reverence the judgments made by more than one Roman Pontiff on more than one occassion in a serious manner or to sincerely adhere to them.

CathApol said...

EA, thank you for the replies. I am preparing one (or more) for you as well. Simply put though, you do not seem to understand the nature of the decrees. More later.

EA said...

"EA, thank you for the replies."

You're welcome.

"I am preparing one (or more) for you as well. Simply put though, you do not seem to understand the nature of the decrees. More later."

Looking forward to it.

CathApol said...

EA said: Scott has responded that Catholics can disagree with popes under certain circumstances. Even if I granted that premise in the example of Peter and Paul, how is that in the slightest exculpatory to the charge that the direction of two popes specifically addressing the instruction of Scholastic Philosophy to the clergy has been flouted?

Scott replies: Even if you granted the premise of Sts. Peter and Paul? How can you NOT grant that premise? The fundamental challenge for Catholics is: "How can a pope be contradicted?" It really doesn't matter if that person challenging is a fellow bishop, a later pope or even laity, fundamentally speaking. Now keeping the fundamental premise in mind - for Catholics St. Peter IS our first pope and he was contradicted by St. Paul. If you're not accepting the premise based upon OUR point of view - then we're pretty much done here as I cannot speak for a premise which is not mine.

Now, that being said you're still talking a matter of DISCIPLINE when it comes to a thought process a given pope or even group of popes wishes to be taught at Catholic universities. Matters of DISCIPLINE CAN CHANGED!

EA continues: Are any Catholics taking the position that these popes were wrong?

Scott replies: No! Because NONE of them are "wrong" on this matter!

EA continues: It seems to me to be more a case that there are new occupants of the papal and diocesan chairs and that perhaps what was said many years ago by others is of little value.

Scott replies: There is "value" to BOTH positions! Again I reiterate, the type of philosophy taught in universities is NOT a matter of faith or morals - it's a matter of DISCIPLINE.

EA continues: I'm puzzled that Catholics expect Protestants to take seriously the utterances of a magesterium pertaining to faith and morals that Catholics themselves ignore.

Scott replies: That would be the "magisterium" you refer to, but again - the topic being discussed here is that of DISCIPLINE and NOT of faith and morals.

EA said: I'm confident that the practices of providing a diligent and sworn report every three years to the Holy See, as with diocesan Councils of Vigilance held every two months and holding scholasticism in the highest regard, though enjoined by the Holy Father on the bishops of all dioceses, are no longer observed.

Scott replies: I too would be confident in this, as well as saddened. I am of the OPINION that Thomist scholasticism should be the philosophy of ALL Catholic universities too.

(breaking here)

CathApol said...

(continued...)
EA also said (quoting me first):
SW: The next thing I'd say is that the quote from then Fr. Ratzinger is an obscure quote from an obscure source making it very difficult to check on the context. Therefore, without being able to see the context, I reject this quote from Fr. Ratzinger.

EA: The source for the quote in question is from a German Theological Journal article which has not been translated into English; Zum Problem Unfehlbarkeit (Karl Rahner editor, 1971). I have found references to this quote on-line only in citations from German and Portugese sources. Two English sites have a translation of the quote. Both however, are hyper-traditionalist Catholic sites and I doubt you would rely on their word for it. I have located an original edition in German and will have the pertinent section translated myself. I'm sure that your rejection of the quote will be renewed, though on different grounds at that point.


Scott replies: If you wish to spend the time to get this quote AND its context translated, fine - but you'll just be spinning your wheels. Even if contextually it says exactly how the "hyper-traditionalist Catholic sites" have represented it, it's still a matter of DISCIPLINE and NOT one of faith and morals. I rejected the citation because it is obscure, not due to its accuracy. Accurate or not, you're not talking a matter of dogma here so the entire premise of this discussion is based in ignorance. So I would not necessarily "reject" the quote itself, but I would reject the relevance of it to this discussion.

I do appreciate your efforts and zeal, but sofaras this matter is concerned they seem misdirected.

Scott<<<
Posted here too (easier to read)

EA said...

Scott contends that the subject of the encyclicals issued by Pius X and Leo XIII do not deal with issues of faith and or morals.

Pascendi Dominici Gregis was issued on the heels of Lamentabili Sane (Syllabus Of Errors). From the opening of Lamentabili Sane:

"after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed."

Pascendi Dominici Gregis builds upon the the preceding Lamentabili Sane, they are of a piece. One outlines condemnable errors, the other specifies the corrective actions.

The reason the errors are condemnable is the fact that the pope regarded them as a threat to the faith. By definition, it is about faith. By extension and definition the cure to a threat to the faith also is about FAITH.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has the following to say about encyclicals:

"From the nature of the case encyclicals addressed to the bishops of the world are generally concerned with matters which affect the welfare of the Church at large. They condemn some prevalent form of error, point out dangers which threaten faith or morals, exhort the faithful to constancy, or prescribe remedies for evils foreseen or already existent. In form an encyclical at the present day begins thus — we may take the encyclical "Pascendi" on Modernism as a specimen..."

These encyclicals ARE about faith and morals, despite your denials. They have been abbrogated by Catholics that meanwhile pay lip service to the importance of the magisterium. Peace.

CathApol said...

EA, I am so pleased that you THINK you know MY FAITH better than I do! That the decree Pascendi Dominici Gregis (PDG) was "issued on the heels" of Lamentabili Sane does not make it equivalent to it! Such equivocation is quite invalid in debate! Now are there topics of morality brought up in PDG? Certainly, but the matter of which philosophy is to be taught in Catholic universities/schools is NOT a matter of faith or morals! It is a matter of DISCIPLINE! You may remain stubborn in your ignorance, if you so choose, but your are truly making a fool of yourself in doing so - at least to those who KNOW Catholicism. Need I remind you that NO "document" in its entirety is an infallible "document" - but PARTS OF THEM may be. Your taking a piece of one, out of context, and comparing it to another one (also out of context) is NOT valid argumentation and those who may OBJECTIVELY look at this discussion will certainly see this.

Pax tecum,
Scott<<<

EA said...

SW: "That the decree Pascendi Dominici Gregis (PDG) was "issued on the heels" of Lamentabili Sane does not make it equivalent to it!"

EA: That's good to know, except I never claimed they were equivalent. I said that one built upon the other.

Here's a quote from Mgr. Joseph Fenton regarding these documents: "September 1 of this year (1960) marked the fiftieth anniversary of the last, and in some ways the most important, of the three main anti-Modernist pronouncements issued by the Holy See during the brilliant reign of St. Pius X. This document was the Motu proprio Sacrorum antistitum. The other two basic anti-Modernist documents are, of course, the Holy Office decree Lamentabili sane exitu, dated July 3, 1907, and the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis, issued September 8 of that same year."

Monsignor Fenton regarded these documents as belonging to the same group (of a piece), thematically related, etc. After reading his biography, I consider him qualified on this subject.

SW: "Need I remind you that NO "document" in its entirety is an infallible "document" - but PARTS OF THEM may be."

EA: Where did I claim that the documents in question were infallible?

SW: "Your (sic) taking a piece of one, out of context, and comparing it to another one (also out of context) is NOT valid argumentation and those who may OBJECTIVELY look at this discussion will certainly see this."

EA: Would you care to demonstrate how I've taken anything out of context by providing the proper context or are you going show your objectivity by calling me an ignorant fool while using bold face uppercase type?

Though, it's not like I wasn't warned about this,
JS: "Mr. Windsor would rather others post material and he then comments on it. At least that's been my experience with him."

CathApol said...

EA: That's good to know, except I never claimed they were equivalent. I said that one built upon the other.

SW: You appear to be equivocating them because one came "on the heels" of the other.

EA: Monsignor Fenton regarded these documents as belonging to the same group (of a piece), thematically related, etc. After reading his biography, I consider him qualified on this subject.

SW: Whether or not he's qualified is irrelevant to the fact that you take snippets out of context and treat them as infallible and necessarily equivalent statements.

EA: Where did I claim that the documents in question were infallible?

SW: You are applying concepts of infallibility (faith and morals) to them! You're implying that once a pope says something/anything that it can never be changed or even contradicted by another pope or even faithful Catholic laity. You're simply wrong.

EA: Would you care to demonstrate how I've taken anything out of context by providing the proper context or are you going show your objectivity by calling me an ignorant fool while using bold face uppercase type?

SW: First off, you've not quoted CONTEXT - you've quoted snippets. I know, it's hard to present much context in a combox reply. Secondly, the portion (or should I say "PORTION?") of PDG which speaks of Thomist philosophy is NOT a matter of faith or morals! How many times must I repeat this to you?! The MEANS of teaching is a matter of DISCIPLINE and Pope Pius X (among others) is stating the MEANS used by Catholic schools is to be Thomistic philosophy. If another pope or theologian offers another MEANS, that does not become a violation of faith or morals - but a change in DISCIPLINE. Thirdly, I did not call you an "ignorant fool" - that was a CONDITIONAL statement that IF you wanted to continue in your ignorance you COULD do so, but in doing so you would be making a fool of yourself. So you're NOT an ignorant fool UNLESS you continue your folly after you have been corrected.

EA said...

"You appear to be equivocating them because one came "on the heels" of the other. "

Yes, "one came on the heels of the other". One was published in July, the other in September of the same year, 2 months apart,
additionally, both dealt with the same issue. Mgr. Fenton (a professor of dogmatic theology, editor of an ecclesiastical review, and a peritus to Vatican II) likewise groups them together. On the other side we have you. I stand by this characterization as you have provided no reason to consider them otherwise.

"Whether or not he's qualified is irrelevant to the fact that you take snippets out of context and treat them as infallible and necessarily equivalent statements."

These are papal encyclicals addressed to bishops and others involved in teaching Catholic theology and emphasizing Thomism as a curative to the errors of modernism. I'm quoting Pius X and Leo XIII using their own words. What kind of context are you looking for? I quoted them at length from documents on the Vatican's website. If the Vatican does not see fit to provide a commentary or gloss of these documents then a reasonable inference is that these documents speak for themselves. Additionally, I provided a link to Fenton's article on the background on the Oath Against Modernism in which he deals with Pius X's encyclicals at length.

"You're implying that once a pope says something/anything that it can never be changed or even contradicted by another pope or even faithful Catholic laity."

This is an interesting statement. To be clear, this discussion is not about the pope's opinion about the weather or who will win the Super Bowl, we're talking about the contents of encyclicals in which the pope is engaged in an exercise of his pastoral perogatives.

I would think that a dogmatic decree from an ecumenical council would override a papal encyclical, that seems obvious. But rather than talk in hypotheticals, can you produce a source that actually contradicts the encyclicals in question? If not, why would they not still be in force? To save you some time, I do recognize that the Oath Against Modernism is no longer mandated, though it is my understanding that some still swear to it out of personal conviction.

"First off, you've not quoted CONTEXT - you've quoted snippets. I know, it's hard to present much context in a combox reply."

You keep complaining about missing context, please enlighten us with the context that you feel has not been provided. I notice that you're not complaining about Pius X not providing context. I'm simply quoting his words.

"If another pope or theologian offers another MEANS, that does not become a violation of faith or morals - but a change in DISCIPLINE."

That's fine to postulate in the abstract. However, has such a change actually been made? If so, where? Again, if not, why would
these encyclicals not be in force?

EA said...

Correction:

This should read "the pope is engaged in an exercise of his pastoral prerogatives."

CathApol said...

SW: "You appear to be equivocating them because one came "on the heels" of the other."

EA: Yes, "one came on the heels of the other". One was published in July, the other in September of the same year, 2 months apart,
additionally, both dealt with the same issue.


SW: Thank you for admitting to the equivocation. Now, did PARTS of one deal with the same thing as PARTS of another? Yes, I have not denied this.

EA: However, has such a change actually been made? If so, where? Again, if not, why would these encyclicals not be in force?

SW: First off, I do not know for a fact that Catholic universities do NOT still teach Thomistic philosophy. I have no doubt many teach other philosophies as well - but not necessarily to the exclusion of Thomism. Secondly, because (then) Fr. Ratzinger expressed an opinion does not equivocate to that opinion being acted upon. Thirdly, none of the encyclicals you're citing are binding in perpetuity - thus they CAN be changed.

SW: Personally, I'm on the side of maintaining Thomistic philosophy as the foundation in Catholic universities. I would AGREE that such helps thwart the rise of Modernism. That being said, I still maintain that what popes said, even decreed over 100 years ago is not binding upon the current pope. An encyclical is not and does not necessarily contain (and rarely does) a dogmatic definition which would be binding in perpetuity. Thus what a later pope would decree would override what earlier popes may have said UNLESS such an encyclical contained an ex cathedra definition.

Scott<<<

EA said...

"SW: "You appear to be equivocating them because one came "on the heels" of the other."

EA: Yes, "one came on the heels of the other". One was published in July, the other in September of the same year, 2 months apart,
additionally, both dealt with the same issue.

SW: Thank you for admitting to the equivocation."


Um, no. When I stated "Yes" I was reiterating that the encyclicals came one on the heels of the other, NOT that I was admitting to equivocating. I also reaffirmed that these encyclicals were "of a piece". That is what the inclusion of Mgr. Fenton's article was intended to convey. Sorry if that was confusing.

"SW: "Secondly, because (then) Fr. Ratzinger expressed an opinion does not equivocate to that opinion being acted upon."

An interesting take, though I'm not convinced that that really makes any difference. As compared to Pius' day the the hierarchy of the RCC is much more modernist / liberal today. For instance, both Benedict XVI and JP2 both subscribed to liberal biblical interpretation.

"Thirdly, none of the encyclicals you're citing are binding in perpetuity - thus they CAN be changed."

Another interesting take, though I'm not sure that that interpretation is sustainable when you look at the actual texts. I notice that you don't spend an awful lot of time interacting with the actual text of the encyclicals; it's just one bald assertion after another with no supporting evidence.

For instance here are two paragraphs from PDG:

"49. ...For the future the doctorate of theology and canon law must never be conferred on anybody who has not made the regular course of scholastic philosophy; if conferred it shall be held as null and void. The rules laid down in 1896 by the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars for the clerics, both secular and regular, of Italy concerning the frequenting of the Universities, We now decree to be extended to all nations.

Clerics and priests inscribed in a Catholic Institute or University must not in the future follow in civil Universities those courses for which there are chairs in the Catholic Institutes to which they
belong. If this has been permitted anywhere in the past, We ordain that it be not allowed for the future. Let the Bishops who form the Governing Board of such Catholic Institutes or Universities watch with all care that these Our commands be constantly observed."


Again, this seems like pretty clear language. Please provide the contexts from which you derive the notion that this was not intended as being binding (even as a "discipline") in perpetuity.

Thanks.

CathApol said...

The fact of the matter is that NO "discipline" is perpetually binding. I'm sorry you do not seem to be able to grasp that concept.

I do appreciate that you seem to be so concerned with my consistency with the Catholic Faith - I assure you, I am a faithful Catholic. I stand firmly upon THE Church which Jesus Christ Himself built - just as He promised He would do. I do NOT stand on the shifting sands of the multitude of Protestant "denominationalism." My prayer is that one day you too will have that board removed from your eye (as I did) and that we can work together to remove the specks from each other's eyes.

Scott<<<

EA said...

"The fact of the matter is that NO "discipline" is perpetually binding."

So you say, however you've not demonstrated, despite numerous requests, where these disciplines have been superseded. For instance, clerical celibacy is a discipline still in effect because it has not been overridden. You insist that Pius' directives are no longer in effect but produce NO evidence of them being overridden.

Invective is not evidence.

Thanks.