IT BEGINS

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 | Uncategorized

Roman Catholics?  You have my deepest sympathies.  You guys are going to have a LOT of crap to put up with over the next month and a half:

The hallmark of Pope Benedict’s tenure, for better or for worse, was fierce resistance to those changes. He rejected calls by Catholic progressives for reconsideration of doctrines such as celibacy and the ban on women in the priesthood; at a time when acceptance of the rights of gays and lesbians is rapidly spreading across the world, he was outspoken in condemning homosexuality as “unnatural” and unacceptable. With sectarian tension growing in Europe as well as the Middle East, he eschewed dialogue with Muslims and infuriated many by quoting a condemnation of Islamic theology as “evil and inhuman.”

Some of Pope Benedict’s most important achievements came in response to the backlash triggered by his reactionary acts. Pilloried for having suggested before a tour of AIDS-stricken Africa that the use of condoms “increases the problem,” he later suggested that the use of a condom by an HIV-infected person to avoid infecting a partner could be a positive step. After angering Jews by rehabilitating a bishop known as a Holocaust denier, the pope prayed at Auschwitz and published a book exonerating the Jewish people for the death of Jesus.

Pope Benedict will leave behind a church facing the same debilitating problems that loomed after the death of Pope John Paul II — above all, how to remain relevant to an increasingly secular world and to its own changing membership. This pope’s response was to insist that only uncompromising adherence to past doctrine could preserve the faith. Catholics who seek a different answer will have to hope that a college of cardinals dominated by the pope’s appointees will choose a more progressive successor.

75 Comments to IT BEGINS

Kc
February 13, 2013

Interesting… So the answer to an “increasingly secular world” is to become less Catholic…. I am awed by such brilliant insight

Allen Lewis
February 13, 2013

This is the sort of twaddle that passes for profound thought from the Washington Post editorial board? They are upset because Pope Benedict XVI was not Karharine Jefferts Schori. I really believe that is why the Episcopal Church is so well-like in the DC area. It is what the Liberals want the Roman Catholic church to become.

Idiots and poltroons!

Ad Orientem
February 13, 2013

I have read a lot of articles and listened to a dozen or more talking heads on TV all of whom seem to have one thing in common. They all want the next Pope to be an Episcopalian.

Dale Matson
February 13, 2013

“Benedict XVI leaves the papacy much as he found it.” What’s not to like about the headline? Passing on the faith once delivered.

JM
February 13, 2013

The press and pundits won’t be happy unless the next Pope is non-Catholic.

Mike
February 13, 2013

Catholic liberals who are honest with themselves can look at The Episcopal club and see quite clearly what the Church would become if it followed the advice of the WaPo and HuffPo instead of the faith once delivered: smaller, sillier, and irrelevant. If that is really what they want, then they should race on over to the closest TEc franchisee in their area. They will be warmly embraced as a trophy and immediately elected to the vestry.

Matthew N.
February 13, 2013

I’ve planned to get through it by bunkering up here, at First Things, and GetReligion for the next few months; hopefully I’ll be able to come out before summer.

The Church needs the prayers of its faithful at this crucial time, no doubt. But, seeing as the gates of hell cannot overcome the Church, we don’t need to panic either. Yes, we’ll have to watch the secularists rabidly proffer their normal bile, and watch the inevitable chorus of “this may be the moment when the Church steps into the modern era blahblahblah.” But we also get to watch their hopes inevitably shatter, and that’s some schadenfreude that I’m looking forward to enjoying over the next year.

Fr. Russell
February 13, 2013

It is amazing how the media simply expects the RCC to mimic their “progressive” memes and the church will suddenly flourish. Well, the UCC, the TEC and mainline Protestants have all tried that and to what end? These people are so blinded.

SouthCoast
February 13, 2013

The babbling of the press and pundits is leading me to believe in the rising irrelevancy of the West. Being of the West, it saddens me, but we will not be the first to fade nor, most likely, shall we be the last. And if I must choose this day whom I shall serve, it’s no contest. The Lord.

Don Janousek
February 13, 2013

Benedict XVI will, IMHO, be remembered for freeing the Traditional Mass and for publicly admitting that it had never been abrogated or suppressed. Over time, this will be the end of the Conciliar Church.

As to relevance – Christ said He would be with us to the end of the world and he also said that His words would never pass away.

There are no “issues” in Roman or Orthodox Christianity which need to be discussed or changed. Abortion, homo sex, women priests – these are matters that have been settled for centuries from the beginning of Christ’s church.

Abortion is first-degree murder, homo sex is intrinsically disordered and as JP II, the church can never ordain women as priets.

The liberal drum beat for a “relevant” Pope has begun. It will end with the election of a Catholic Pope, as it always has.

And the “world” will hate the new successor Simon bar Johan, just as Christ said, “The world will hate you, just as it has hated Me.”

Of course, we Orthodox are still waiting for our Roman brethren to admit the error of their ways and rejoin the Church of Christ.

FW Ken
February 14, 2013

There is a lot of good stuff at First Things.

Suburbanbanshee
February 14, 2013

Being as it’s Lent, we’ll just offer it up. :)

And if the world can’t manage to tell an ex-cop on a killing spree from a hero, and an old man who never did them any harm from a villain, why should we be surprised? People couldn’t tell the difference between bloodthirsty Barabbas and that Jesus guy. Are the servants greater than the Master, that we should expect to be exempt from such confusion?

Paula Loughlin
February 14, 2013

Not only is this piece a pile of cat vomit it also lies quite boldly in several places. Take this gem,

“he later suggested that the use of a condom by an HIV-infected person to avoid infecting a partner could be a positive step.”

No he did not, he explained how a person may develop a more mature awareness of morality. The example he gave was of a person (I think the example used was a male prostitute) with AIDs realizing that he could harm another by having sex with them and deciding to use a condom. It was not an endorsement of condoms, unless they also think the Pope was giving a high five to male prostitution.

The Church left the progress the WP wants us to embrace a long time ago. She had her birth in a world full of infanticide, euthanasia, sexual license, and abortion. Wisely she saw what embracing such values did to people and she said no and rejected them.

Now the nattering nimrods of nincompoopery want the Church to turn back the clock and call those things good? Rome fell, you idjits.

Jacob Morgan
February 14, 2013

The ideologues of political correctness can’t figure out why Rome won’t just line up and drink the Kool Aide. The Church is expanding in the South because of orthodox teaching. The Northern hemisphere is doing what Pope Benedict XVI said it would do, condense down–smaller but stronger. A body of motivated witnesses, not a mostly symbolic cultural heritage.

Those journalists, in writing about reactions, remind me of barking dogs who think they control what the mailman does. “He came here with a letter, but we barked and snarled and see, he left and went to the next house”. The condom thing was an example of how utterly imbecilic the media has become, if one spends all of about 30 seconds to read the Q and A in it’s entirety on that particular question it is clear it isn’t a back track, or track forward, or track anywhere, it is an logical answer to the question given and refers to a move towards (not to) morality when the condom would have no utility in preventing conception to begin with. What are journalists good for these days? Pot hole fillers? Ship ballast? Carbon dioxide generators? I mean, trying to figure out what they are here for is like trying to figure out why God made roaches, nothing was made by mistake, but God works mysteriously at times.

Pope Benedict XVI opened the Church to homeless Anglicans, reformed the liturgy, made the Latin Mass more available, and made an example of reason in this age of maddness. He was also man enough to not kowtow to the hyena media. All when he really just wanted to retire years earlier.

Stephen Decatur
February 14, 2013

Catholics who seek a different answer will have to hope that a college of cardinals dominated by the pope’s appointees will choose a more progressive successor.choose between Christ and the world.

FIFT

Stephen Decatur
February 14, 2013

dang, strike tag doesn’t work.

Stephen Decatur
February 14, 2013

Catholics who seek a different answer will have to hope that a college of cardinals dominated by the pope’s appointees will choose a more progressive successor.choose between Christ and the world.

FIFT

Tess
February 14, 2013

I think even more than that they want the church to change they need the church to change. Because as long as the church is faithful it is a judgement on them and their behavior and values. They have to pull the church down in order to silence the one voice which tells them they are wrong.

LaVallette
February 14, 2013

Sorry Chrs, your heading is wrong: it should not be “It begins” but “So what’s new?”: The objective of the progressives has always been to remove the last bastion of western civilization holding out against the modernist, amoral, “do what you will”, self absorbed, hedonistic western society. It has its roots in the reformation movement, but it exploded during the French Revolution and has been going ever since. We Catholics have developed a very tough hide over the centuries humanly, because we have heard it before and do not really read past the headline or by-line since it is all so predictable but more importantly because of the promise of Christ Himself:” I shall be with you always ……… and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

For know nothing modern journalists and commentators who have no clue of world history, even of their own nation, nation to call out on the question of militant Islam, the head of the organization that has lead the fight against it, philosophically, morally and physically since that world domination movement disguised as a religion, came into being 13 centuries ago is the height of intellectual impertinence. Contrary to their wishful thinking not all religions or political movements, for that matter are the same. Islam’s brotherhood only extends to the Ummah. Those outside are called infidels and are perceived as an affront to Allah by their refusal to submit and have no rights in Muslim societies and ultimately even their life may be forfeit to the believers.

LaVallette
February 14, 2013

OOPS: Sorry CHRIS!!!

Jedinovice
February 14, 2013

>The press and pundits won’t be happy unless the next Pope is non-Catholic.

The press and pundits (and our elites) won’t be happy until the Catholic Church just closes down.

They only tolerate TEo because they know it’s a bunch of atheists pretending to be religious. They’re really waiting for the pretence to end.

Fuinseoig
February 14, 2013

GetReligion has been having a lot of fun posting links to news stories that are shocked, SHOCKED that the Pope is a Catholic and that – brace yourselves! – the next Pope is quite likely to be one, too.

I’m not expecting too much from the media, but this line from the above I have to take issue with:

“After angering Jews by rehabilitating a bishop known as a Holocaust denier, the pope prayed at Auschwitz and published a book exonerating the Jewish people for the death of Jesus.”

Pausing only to say “Not just no, but Hell, No!” to the charming implication that the Pope only visited Auschwitz as some kind of P.R. stunt to make up for the slip with the SSPX, let me say that, if by “rehabilitating a bishop known as a Holocaust denier”, you mean “Overtures to the SSPX brought Bishop Williamson’s views into a wider public view than he would have achieved on his own, and the resulting spotlight forced the Society to finally do something about this mess which meant that he was expelled – oh, and by the way, he’s not considered a bishop by the Vatican until and unless “in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the Church, (Williamson) will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah, which the Holy Father was not aware of when the excommunication was lifted” and did we mention that the SSPX is a breakaway organisation who think the Catholic Church since Vatican II is gone totally off the rails and that they are preserving True Catholicism from the doctrinal errors of the modern Church?”, then yes, he did indeed “rehabilitate” him.

There’s a few more clerics I’d like to see similarly “rehabilitated”, and I’m sure you all have your own candidates for same.

:-)

Fuinseoig
February 14, 2013

In agreement with the title of this news clip.

You and me both, Archbishop.

Donald R. McClarey
February 14, 2013

Contemporary liberalism is a substitute religion and the denizens of the editorial board of the Washington Post are adherents to it. They recognize in Catholicism a stumbling block to their ambitions. I thank them for the compliment!

[...] here to read the comments.  Contemporary liberalism is a substitute religion and the denizens of the [...]

unreconstructed rebel
February 14, 2013

I wonder if when Rudyard Kipling wrote the Recessional, he had any idea how badly it would all turn out.

Sigh.

Katherine
February 14, 2013

Once again the liberal press is hoping that the Church will elect a leader who is less Catholic than the last one. I remember all the hype after JPII’s death, and I was worried, and then elated when I saw Ratzinger in the window. This time, with even more of the “spirit of Vatican II” liberal cardinals in death or retirement, there is little chance that the Washington Post will be happy with the outcome.

For significant moments, how about the baptism of a prominent Muslim convert at Rome at the Easter Eve vigil? The Washington Post might swoon at the election of an African, but I think thereafter an African Pope would be not what the liberals have in mind at all.

Ed the Roman
February 14, 2013

“Benedict XVI leaves the papacy much as he found it.” What’s not to like about the headline? Passing on the faith once delivered.

Exactly. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Fuinseoig
February 14, 2013

Katherine, that is one reason I wanted Cardinal Arinze at the last conclave. Convert from animism at the age of nine (his parents later converted, so this wasn’t a case of “father decided whole family would become Catholics”)? Dis his doctoral thesis on “Ibo Sacrifice as an Introduction to the Catechesis of Holy Mass” which he later developed into a book on “Sacrifice in Ibo Religion”? Very much involved in relief efforts? Sounds like the dream candidate from the “Washington Post” view, doesn’t he? Social justice, hands-on humanitarianism, experience of non-Christian religion which he blends with Catholicism – so perfectly multi-cultural and non-exclusive! – ah, but what’s this?

“In 2003 at Georgetown University, Arinze seemed to liken homosexuality with pornography, fornication and adultery. According the Christian moral, all of them are serious sins. There were protests at Georgetown in reaction to this.”

Oops! Just as well he is now over the age limit to vote in the upcoming conclave, because who knows what kind of reactionary candidate he’d vote for?

Surely the other African cardinal is a better bet; he has “a Methodist mother and a Catholic father…(and) had a paternal uncle who was a Muslim.” Ah, that’s more like it. “He is the current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.” Even better! “In October 2011 Cardinal Turkson called for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.” Give that man the triregnum right now!

Oh, dear, there seems to be a tiny fly in the ointment:

“In 2009, he reaffirmed the Catholic social teaching on contraception, in regard to statements made by Pope Benedict XVI that condoms were not a solution to Africa’s AIDS crisis and were taken out of context by the media. …He said abstinence, fidelity, and refraining from sex if infected were the key to fighting the epidemic. He also believes that the money being spent on condoms would be better spent providing anti-retroviral drugs to those already infected.”

Worse again:

“In 2012, in response to a speech by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging Church leaders to do more for human rights and in particular gay rights in Africa, Turkson, while recognising that some of the sanctions imposed on homosexuals in Africa are an “exaggeration,” stated that the “intensity of the reaction is probably commensurate with tradition.” “Just as there’s a sense of a call for rights, there’s also a call to respect culture, of all kinds of people,” he said. “So, if it’s being stigmatized, in fairness, it’s probably right to find out why it is being stigmatized.” He also called for distinction to be made between human rights and moral issues.”

Argh! What is it with these Catholics? Just when they look like they might be civilised, they come out with these outrageous opinions!

;-)

Bob the Ape
February 14, 2013

Nothing changes – the liberals hope
That this time they’ll get their kind of Pope;
When the smoke billows white,
They will have no delight,
For the Spirit, again, will say “Nope.”

Anne B.
February 14, 2013

Fuinseiog, thank you for the links to “Romereports” at Youtube. I couldn’t raise the link you provided yesterday (poky slow computer that I have) so I’m glad to be able to access them after all.

As for the press – back in the late 60s William F. Buckley mordantly commented how “Life” magazine liked to celebrate “the Crisis in the Church” every few issues, and that at one point had even offered to rewrite the Apostles’ Creed, “thus reaching a new high in reader service.” So that, at least, hasn’t changed much in the last few decades.

And as Jacob Morgan said:
“Pope Benedict XVI opened the Church to homeless Anglicans, reformed the liturgy, made the Latin Mass more available, and made an example of reason in this age of maddness. He was also man enough to not kowtow to the hyena media.” It’s been a short pontificate, but I’m so grateful that it was given to us.

FW Ken
February 14, 2013

The Church has always been “in crisis”: read Corinthians.

“The Catholic Church: going to hellinahanbasket for 2000 years.”

Therese Z
February 14, 2013

Bob the Ape – Bravo!

Daniel Muller
February 14, 2013

I only read the Editor’s three introductory sentences — I will get to the rest in a minute, I promise — and I thought “the Washington Post?” Should I be happy that I hit the nail on the head?

Quaeritur: If The New York Times is Satan’s Bible, what is the Washington Post?

Daniel Muller
February 14, 2013

In agreement with the title of this news clip.

I was kind of sad to see this clip because the Holy Father looks very old and very tired. I have been worried since Monday that he may not even last out the month. I hope that I am very, very mistaken.

Daniel Muller
February 14, 2013

Father Z. has already turned up one super team of copy writer and editor who think that the Pope is a potato. See above “ALL [sic] ABOUT THE POPE” (which in turn is just above “ROME’S NEXT TOP [sic] POPE”) in the right-hand column. (And you just know that they think that Dan Quayle is ignorant …)

Daniel Muller
February 14, 2013

Thinking about ROME’S NEXT TOP POPE, I would like to share this chestnut for anyone who may not know it.

- How was Karol Wojtyla elected Pope ?

- The cardinals could not decide by a vote, so they just took a Poll.

(Since this is my fourth comment, I will understand if this gets stuck in the spam filter or the groaner filter.)

Fuinseoig
February 14, 2013

As a sorbet to cleanse the intellectual palette, let us turn to a prime example of evidence that deranged speculation and conspiracy theorising about leaders has a long pedigree.

I have just been introduced to the delights (if I may phrase it that way) of the 1902 publication entitled “The Copperhead” (I omit the remainder because it’s too long to reproduce here) by one Dr. Fayette Hall, in which we are given the inside scoop on Abraham Lincoln’s career and political philosophy.

A man of the people, driven by principle? Not at all! The best scientific evidence of the day proves that Lincoln was an example of the degraded ape-man, and Dr. Hall is in a position to reveal that Lincoln’s motivation was down purely to “the superstitious phantasies of a freak, aroused to action by Negro voudooism and spirit mediums.”

Dr. Hall knows this, because he has been told about the séances held by a family of Washington socialites interested in abolition where “Mr. Laurie purported to be entranced and controlled by the spirit of Robert Rantoul of Boston, and then and there under those circumstances Abraham Lincoln was announced and declared by those spiritualists and abolitionists to be the next President of the United States.”

But wait, there’s more! These séances weren’t patronised by any old spirits; oh no, we get a higher (or lower, by Dr. Hall’s lights) class of entity being channelled; after Lincoln managed to wangle his way into the Presidency, his ambition was only whetted by this first taste of blood:

“It was through the Lauries that he established communication with the spirits and through them that Attila King of the Huns assured him of regal power and a dictatorship for life.”

There you have the horrible and sordid truth. Those of you whose ancestors suffered in the War of Northern Aggression are doubtless nodding in agreement and saying “I knew it!”

;-)

Donna
February 14, 2013

The resignation was announced at a consistory which also announced that these guya are to be canonized :

http://www.catholic.com/…/how-the-800-martyrs-of-otranto-saved-rome

Donna
February 14, 2013
Scott W.
February 14, 2013

–You guys are going to have a LOT of crap to put up with over the next month and a half:–

yep this is why about three hours after I heard the news, I put a Papal Resignation Asshat Watch on my blog. I’m adding this to the list. Thanks.

Katherine
February 14, 2013

Daniel Muller, they must have fixed whatever gave you the potato vision. However, the article at your link about the nuns and how Benedict is a big meanie and they’re hoping for a Pope who will recognize the Spirit of Vatican II is a hoot.

Mark Windsor
February 14, 2013

Quaeritur: If The New York Times is Satan’s Bible, what is the Washington Post?

Toilet paper on the 7th circle.

trespinos
February 14, 2013

Daniel, yes, he did look deathly tired. But today, Rome time, he gave an extemporaneous talk to a packed hall on his view of the Second Vatican Council. The talk lasted 46 minutes. It is no mean feat to talk for 46 minutes, even if you’re a young man. For a university professor drawing on his lifetime experience of expounding on theological topics, perhaps it is a little less astounding, but good Lord, it still amazes me. (And all fluently in his second language, Italian.)

Upstate
February 14, 2013

Benedict alone stopped the influence and corruption of Fr. Maciel. End.of.story.

Oh yeah, and he was great at the canonization mass this past October.

Daniel Muller
February 14, 2013

Daniel Muller, they must have fixed whatever gave you the potato vision.

No, it is still there as of 3:00:

VIVA LA PAPA

FW Ken
February 14, 2013

I should have, at 61, the pope’s energy at 85!

PNP, OP
February 14, 2013

No worries. . .we’ve been listening to demonic whiners and their enablers in the media since Judas settled for his 30 pieces of silver.

Fr. Philip Neri, OP

Katherine
February 14, 2013

Oh, thanks, Daniel. I’ll blame it on the cold medication I’m taking.

Katherine
February 14, 2013

Daniel, maybe it’s an advertisement:

http://www.vivalapapa.net/a/us/home

FW Ken
February 14, 2013
Steve
February 14, 2013

I would think that the Washington Post would do well to consider how “above all,… to remain relevant to its own changing membership”.

The response by the special people was certainly to be expected. Jonathan Swift said it well so many centuries ago: “When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him”

Don Janousek
February 14, 2013

Fuinseoig

Cardinal Arinze is no friend of Holy Tradition and he has made his immense dislike of the Traditional Latin Mass well-known. I view him as a poseur who loves the limelight. Thank God he too old to be Pope now and too old to vote in the Conclave.

His African counterpart, Cardinal Peter Turkson, is also a poseur. “I am ready to serve?” “Alternative lifestyles?” Puh-leeeeze.

There will be an African Pope eventually due to the explosion of the growth of Roman Catholicism in Africa, and there will be a South American Pope eventually.

Fortunately, the African Pope will not be Arinze or Turkson and the South American Pope will not be that fool Cardinal from Argentina or that marxist Cardinal from Brazil.

The next Pope will be one who did not attend the anti-Council, Vatican II. That in itself will be a good thing.

My choice? Cardinal Brangasco of Genoa or Cardinal Ranjith from India, with Cardinal Canzares from Spain.

Also really like Anthasius Schneider from Kazakhstan.

Daniel Muller
February 14, 2013

Daniel, maybe it’s an advertisement:

[Viva La Papa! Web site]

That was cool. I had not seen the El Corte Inglés logo since being in Spain for a week thirty years ago, as a student. [Wistful pause.] And now I find out that “anticucho BBQ” flavor potato chips, whatever they may be, are for sale just a couple miles from my home! Now there is an idea to celebrate Easter … or the selection of a Peruvian potato by a consistory!

dominic1955
February 15, 2013

Papal Resignation Asshat Watch-excellent term, and a perfect way to describe the opinion screed from the NYT from that Shanley chap. Ooh, must be one of dozens of former Catholics who have their panties in a bind about some moron thing they did and project their inadequacies on the Church.

Annoying, yes, but nothing new although from my sinister side, I kinda wish we could torch aptly named asshats again…

Daniel Muller
February 15, 2013

I kinda wish we could torch aptly named asshats again…

Now, now, even when after an audience, rather than a mob, determined that the death sentence was appropriate, capital punishment was always administered by the state. That Dominicans were ever state employees in Spain in the first place, as anything besides academics, was a big part of the problem.

one of dozens of former Catholics who have their panties in a bind about some moron thing they did and project their inadequacies on the Church.

Here you go. Even some Muslims found some nice things to say about him.

Daniel Muller
February 15, 2013
FW Ken
February 15, 2013

To bad it isn’t only the media… The worst is from our own:

http://cardinalrogermahonyblogsla.blogspot.com/2013/02/called-to-humiliation.html?m=1

Katherine
February 15, 2013

FW Ken, that is appalling. He asks God to bless them and to forgive them, not himself.

FW Ken
February 15, 2013

A piece of work, isn’t he!

Katherine
February 15, 2013

I am glad there will not be too many like him at the consistory.

Sasha
February 15, 2013

To “LaVallette”: I don’t blame the Protestant Reformation for the start of the “progressive” movement one iota!! Don’t forget that Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus were Catholic priests at the outset (Erasmus remained Catholic through his death), while Jean Chauvin (Calvin) was as devoted to Christianity as anybody. The same with Philip Schwartzert (Melanchthon) and many others.

The ones to blame are 1) the Renaissance HUMANISTS!!! [Yes, Erasmus can be included in that group, but much worse are such as Konrad Zelt (Celtis, "der Erzhumaniste" - 'the archhumanist'), who as good as turned his back on Christianity.] 2) One then continues on to their real successors, the “Enlightenment” philosophers like Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, d’Alembert and Montesquieu, whose ideas were pivotal to what blew up in the French Revolution – and which then led to other philosophers like Hegel, Marx, Engels and the whole accursed lot of those wretches; particularly when the Marxists infiltrated the Churches (particularly via the work of the Frankfurt School). When they did that, THEN we really got the death of mainstream Protestantism going in addition to the heresies like the “spirit of Vatican II”…

Daniel Muller
February 15, 2013

To bad it isn’t only the media… The worst is from our own:

Even putting aside anything related to sexual abuse, I never wanted anything to do with that man.

LaVallette
February 15, 2013

@ Sasha:

The reformation leaders were all christians who knew better than the Pope and the Catholic Church,( with its already 15 centuries of experience of teaching and of building the Christian tradition tracing back to the Apostles,) what Christianity ought to be and how to re-interpret the Bible and deny traditional teaching to support their own new vision. They did not do it without vitriol and spreading the worst calumnies about Catholicism and “Popism” in the process. Does it remind you of the current situation outside and even within the Church? To attribute any form of “christian renewal” and motivation to the Anglican Reformation in particular would require the suspension of intellectual discipline, and their vitriol against Catholicism and “Popery” was second to none’s. It was all for the sake of the King’s right to get a divorce and the establishment of the “needs of the Monarchy and the State” above Christ’s very own injunction against divorce. The valuable church lands were also an issue given the bankruptcy of HVIII regime after having wasted a healthy State Treasurey bequeathed to him by his father HVII.

William Tighe
February 15, 2013

Oh, come on, Sasha, don’t pontificate on subjects about which you clearly know little. A Renaissance “humanist” was someone whose study was literature, Classical Greek and Roman literature. They weren’t what was called in the 1980s “secular humanists,” nor even Enlightenment philosophes avant le temps. Some were pious, some were rather laodicean, but they were not enemies of Christianity (cf. Petrarch, for example, the first “humanist”). With Erasmus we get to “Christian humanism,” so called not because his predecessors were not Christians, but because the writings of Early Christian Fathers, as well as, later on, the Bible, both the focus of his scholarship and the inspiration for the kind of ethical (and rather refined) form of Christian piety which he was trying to inculcate and promote.

Deacon Michael D. Harmon
February 16, 2013

Unreconstructed rebel: Yes, Kipling did know what was going on. Not only did he write “Recessional,” but he wrote “The City of Brass” and “The Gods of the Copybook Headings.” Haven’t read them? They are poems for which the poker term, “Read ‘em and weep” is perfectly appropriate.

Sasha
February 17, 2013

Dr. Tighe:

I never said nor claimed that the Renaissance humanists were already like the “Enlightenment” philosophes, let alone the secular humanists of today. All I claim is that the progression is there, starting with what those initial humanists thought, particularly when thinking of people like Zelt (Celtis) or Mutianus Rufus. [One indicator thereof is how one of these men claimed that the Classical era felt closer to him than the Middle Ages.]

Obviously I don’t know that much; however, telling somebody to “shut up” is almost NEVER helpful – and it also indicates the kind of contempt that turns people off!!!

To LaVallette: I don’t know if Luther started off thinking he knew better than the Pope and his Church (that seems to have come later). Most certainly one can charge Chauvin and Knox with that – but given the examples of people like “Cardinal” David Beaton or Leo X themselves, it seems to me to have made the trap that much easier to fall into, as if such rogue-prelates were greasing the skids… [Yes, MUCH verbal vitriol was present: it was part of that closing phase of the Middle Ages, alas... Also, please be careful not to insert words and/or ideas into my mouth - e.g., yours truly didn't attribute ANYTHING like "Christian renewal" to the Anglican Reformation (a much more sordid and nasty kind of affair compared to elsewhere in Europe!!)!]

William Tighe
February 17, 2013

“I don’t know if Luther started off thinking he knew better than the Pope and his Church (that seems to have come later).”

He didn’t, and it was only at the Leipzig Disputation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig_Disputation

that he decided that his view of Justification was correct, even if unsupported by any past popes, councils, or, for that matter, any and all Church Fathers.

Sasha, it was not my intention to tell you to “shut up,” but even when a Renaissance humanist like Petrarch wrote, as he did, “that the Classical era felt closer to him than the Middle Ages,” he meant it in a purely literary sense. I am not at all an expert, or even well-read, in Celtis or Mutianus Rufus, but are you sure that they meant something different from Petrarch when they made such statements? (Zwingli, btw, was a devoted student and disciple of Celtis in his student days.)

Sasha
February 18, 2013

Dr. Tighe:

The Leipzig Disputation was when he was backed by Johann Eck into having to say that even Ecumenical Councils could err, which really jarred him into his path of rebellion…

Nor am I even that well-read at all for Konrad Zelt or Konrad Mutenruf (could that be the proper form of the name that was Latinised into Mutianus Rufus? – ah, how I hate having things then Latinised or Hellenised!!!!) – all I’ve read in the case of the latter is what William Manchester wrote in his “A World Lit Only by Fire: The Mediæval Mind and the Renaissance”. [Zelt is dealt with a little bit also by the Durants in Volume 6 of their "Story of Civilisation: the Reformation".]

Still, what Mr. Manchester writes strikes me as pretty damning (page 111, 3rd paragraph): “Nowhere was the faith of humanists so fragile as in Celtis’s homeland [Germany]. Elsewhere, his adversaries, the German defenders of Christianity, would not have been considered Christians at all.(!!) One of them, Conradus Mutianus Rufus, gave lip service to the Church, arguing that ceremonies and creeds should be judged on their moral effects, not their literal claims… If so, his efforts (to “marry skepticism with religion”) “ended in the divorce courts, and the blame lay with him… In Gotha, J.M. Robertson writes, Mutianus taught his students that Masses for the dead were worthless, fasts ineffectual, and confessions both pointless and embarrassing. The Bible, he said, was a book of fables…”

Assuming that Mr. Manchester and Will + Ariel Durant weren’t twisting things themselves (and I know Mark Windsor for example wouldn’t give too much credence to the latter pair!), it definitely sounds considerably different from anything of a literary bent.

Take it as you will: I’m no expert in the least. However, my point about humanism having a progression from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment to today’s crypto-Communism (a.k.a. known as “secular humanism”) so far stands…

William Tighe
February 18, 2013

“At the disputation in Leipzig, Luther’s opponents demonstrated irrefutably that his ‘new teaching’ went not only against the papacy but also against tradition, expressed clearly by the Fathers and the Councils. Luther was compelled to admit this and then declared that even ecumenical councils had erred. This means that the authority of the exegete is put over the authority of the Church and her tradition…. Thus the relationship between the Church and the individual, between the Church and the Bible, is fundamentally altered…. Catholic theology interprets THE CHURCH’S FAITH (emphasis added); where it departs from the interpretation and becomes autonomous reconstruction, something entirely different is being done.” (Ratzinger, J., The Ratzinger Report)

Katherine
February 20, 2013

Sasha,

Please don’t trust either Manchester or the Durants any further than you can throw them.

Sasha
February 20, 2013

Katherine:

Yes, Mark Windsor warned me about the Durants all right, and I can see where at times they are in error (and not merely on Catholic theology – they in “The Age of Napoleon” also were too hard on Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve relative to his losing the Battle of Trafalgar to Nelson). How about Barbara Tuchman?

Dr. Tighe:

I’m well aware that Johann Eck DID as of that day score an apparently overwhelming triumph. So, that was part thereof, that his teaching went against tradition in addition to opposing the papacy? [Likely he (Luther) probably was at ease with the latter part because of what he had seen for himself in Rome a number of years earlier (negative experience!) in addition to feeling that the Bible had to be #1 in the scheme of things.]

Sasha
February 20, 2013

Ah, mea culpa: The second sentence of my reply to you concerns Luther.

William Tighe
February 21, 2013

“How about Barbara Tuchman?”

Better, but it depends on her topic; that is, the further it is in the past, the more doubtful it becomes. IMO, Manchester is at least as bad as the Durants.

Luther was a thoroughgoing Augustinian, and his reaction to what he saw in Rome, seems to have been sadness, but not surprise. Eck’s triumph at Leipzig came when he accused Luther of holding some of the same opinions for which Jan Hus had been condemned as a heretic. Luther’s immediate response was one of indignant denial, but when the debate resumed some time later, he declared that now that he had read Hus he had concluded that Hus’s views were right, and that those who condemned those views were wrong.

It is an interesting exercise to search out Luther’s later statements concerning Church Fathers such as St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, and even (and especially) St. Augustine, in which he censures their views and animadverts on their “ignorance” of the “right meaning” of the Scriptures and especially of St. Paul (the “right meaning,” in this context being, of course, his own views).

Sasha
February 25, 2013

Sorry for the lateness of this reply, but many thanks indeed to Dr. Tighe and Katherine for their warnings!! Reading up in Wikipedia about the “Ballet of the Chestnuts” DOES make things dicier about what Manchester and the Durants wrote about that occasion of 1501/10/31…

One paragraph in Barbara Tuchman’s “The March of Folly” where she discusses the attempts of some revisionist historians to whitewash the papacy of Alexander VI stands out when she finishes it! When she writes to the effect that those people fail to take into account one thing – the disgust and loathing people felt about him – that seems to be the real clincher.

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