Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mr. Magister, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, and others on the Vatican-S.S.P.X. doctrinal discussions

In his commentary, [Prof. Eberhard] Schockenhoff correctly writes that the real disagreement between the Church of Rome and the Lefebvrists does not concern the Mass in Latin, but the teaching of Vatican II, especially on ecclesiology and on freedom of conscience and religion.

I'm not sure what Prof. Schockenhoff means by "the Mass in Latin"; if he's referring simply to the language in which the Old or New Masses are celebrated then he's right to say that the "real disagreement" is elsewhere, but the biggest problem is still the Novus Ordo Missæ, even when it is celebrated in as superficially 'Tridentine' a manner as possible. As bad as Dignitatis humanæ is it, it is only a single Act of the Ordinary (but certainly not the universal) Magisterium, whereas every time the New Mass is celebrated we have another Magisterial Act (at least when celebrated by a Bishop) propagating the Modernist, Protestant, humanist and Judaising influences which pervade the N.O.M.

Mr. Magister goes on:

But [Prof. Schockenhoff] also writes that Rome is wrong to whip up restrictive interpretations of the conciliar texts to offer to the Lefebvrists in the hope that these will be accepted by them. Because in Schockenhoff's view, this is exactly what is happening in the closed-door meetings organized by "Ecclesia Dei."

That is interesting. The problem with most of the Second Vatican Council's output is not that it is erroneous, but that it is ambiguous. As such, most of the documents could be rectified by the Pope promulgating 'Preliminary Notes of Explanation' like the one attached to Lumen gentium. But I fear that this would not work for Dignitatis humanæ.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf says in his post that

It seems to me that if a basic foundation of a common interpretation can be formed between the Holy See and the SSPX, then the issue of religious liberty shouldn’t have to be a deal breaker.

Now defenders of the Traditional doctrine on the proper relations between the State and 1. Christ the King, 2. Christ's Church, and 3. offenders of the Catholic religion could certainly share "a basic foundation of a common interpretation" of Dignitatis humanæ. But we can never interpret a document in such a way as to contradict its literal and grammatical sense (except, obviously, where figures of speech are used, but that is not relevant here), and that document teaches quite clearly that the criterion by which the State should judge whether or not to repress offenders of the Catholic religion is not the common good in all its elements, but only the subset of those elements which make up what it calls "public order" (see the last paragraph of its section 7.). And how is it even possible to talk of a 'right not to be restrained' from committing offences against the Catholic religion, regardless of whatever 'due limits' are involved, when the object of a true and proper right can only ever be what is true and good, never that which is opposed to truth and goodness?

As for the extract from the (rightly or wrongly) celebrated 'hermeneutic of continuity' speech by the Holy Father which Mr. Magister appends to his article, see my comment here.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Corpus Christi, A.D. 2010

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