Friday, October 11, 2013

Joseph Shaw on Pope Francis

I must say this is one of the best things I have read on Pope Francis over the last few weeks and I have read a lot.

Dr Joseph Shaw, the philosopher, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, has written a five part article on the Holy Father's remark that Ignatius of Loyola was a 'mystical not aesetic'.
He makes the argument that Traditional Catholics have much less to fear from the Pope than Neo-Conservatives and Liberals.

The final part, Part 5 Mystical not aesetic: a response to Pope Francis, is here.
Part 1: what his disctinction 'Mystical' vs. 'Asectic' means
Part 2: why traditional Catholics can better accomodate this perspective than 'Neo-Conservatives'
Part 3: why liberal Catholics shouldn't feel too comfortable with it
Part 4: what is going on with the reference to the life and family issues.
Joe gives interesting insights into the spirituality of Traditional Catholicism as being open to many of the things the Holy Father seems to favour such, as pluralism, de-centralisation, a loathing of ultramontanism, of papal or legal positivism. The second part especially where he deals with the evil -my word, not his- of neo-conservatism is particular worth reading, especially if you have neo-con tendencies.

Of all the documents issued by Benedict XVI I am convinced that Summorum Pontificum is the most important, it is a sort of constitution for the Traditionalist Movement, a piece of grit placed in the heart of the Church, especially amongst the young, that will slowly grow as a grass-roots movement to produce a pearl of great price. It is about the liturgy, but is more than that, it is about creating as Joe suggests, a truly Catholic spirituality and a critical intellectual counter-culture within the Church.


Gervase Crouchback said...

My one regret is that I came into the Church in my late 50's - 2 years ago- and spent too much time luxuriating amongst the cowslips of Protestantism, when in fact right in front of me was and is the richness of Traditional Catholicism. Legalism and Rules are also the hallmarks of Fundamental Evangelicalism -no smoking,dancing or drinking.
Dr Shaw's post has given me the incentive to maintain the Faith of Our Fathers with an even greater vigour.

Sixupman said...

"Decentralisation" would be a double edged sword indeed! Devolution of powers down to a lower level - I know where that would lead - trouble in spades!

Independent said...

One might also praise Anglicanorum Coetibus. It seems from Christopher Howse's piece in The Telegraph that the New Ordinariate Mass "is more clearly a sacrifice than the current translation of the Roman Mass appears".He says nothing as to which way the celebrant will face, and notes that it contains considerable chunks of the Book of Common Prayer as well as the Traditional Canon of the Mass in Tudor English.

One wonders if it will prove attractive to those members of the Anglican Prayer Book Society who bemoan the loss of the BCP in their churches?

It would seem at once to reassert traditional eucharistic theology while in its ecumenical impact gathering together those who should not be apart.

It is a fine fruit of Pope Benedict and priests such as Fr Aidan Nichols.

viterbo said...

'Mystical' vs. 'Ascetic' Shaw writes: '[Pope Francis] regards the traditional liturgies of East and West as God-centred, and that this is a good thing.' Is that not supposed to be THE thing at Mass? We have six days and twenty-three other hours to congratulate ourselves on how the buddha in me salutes the buddha in you, why has this one hour met with such enmity by cradle Catholics born on the smoke of the stubble of the Fin de siècle? The æsthetical, mystical, and ascetical in the Traditional Rite converge - our pride replaced with a self-denial - our heads rightly covered with shame - meeting the gratuitous praise offered up which fills our senses with the Holy (which all week long are put upon by the sensual world) culminating in Holy Communion with the Holy Trinity in the mystery of the True Food and the True Drink. Shaw acknowledges with regard to the TLM the ability of this Rite to make clear, and obvious the '...special role of the priest and the Real Presence, the reality of sin, grace, transcendence, the role of art and beauty, and so on...' That's about it, and so on. He finishes, 'Let's stop arguing about words, and address the realities to which they refer.' The reality - the only purpose of this fallen life is preparing for Heaven, for ourselves and for others - the Church is the Way of preparation - isn't it?

Clare A said...

Sorry, no. Part 2 makes assumptions that I don't recognise at all. 'neo-cons' (Americanism, I prefer orthodox) are ultramontane, big up the Pope all the time.... no, not really. If people like me did quote BXVI or JPII it was because their example often contradicted what we saw at the parish level. I'm a fan of Weigel but am not, and have never been, an ultramontane. Methinks Shaw is straining here to cause division between people who should not be at odds. Much of his other comments seem good; but the 'neo cons' he claims to summarise aren't people I know. And who reads Ferrara anyway? He who thinks EWTN was taken over by a fiendish plot of quasi liberals. Crumbs

Fr Ray Blake said...

Clare A,

If you aren't an ultramontane or a papal positivist, then maybe you aren't a 'neo-con'.