Friday, September 25, 2015

Daneels remarks are nothing new

Nothing Cardinal Daneels does or says shocks me anymore, he has a whole history behind him. So his recent remarks about belonging to the St Gallen group and being a member of a 'Mafia' opposed to Pope Benedict, which worked for the election Jorge Bergoglio is not a surprise, nor should it disturb any intelligent Catholic. Popes have never been elected by innocent unworldly old men, oblivious to anything other than prayer and desiring nothing but to do the will of God. Men like Daneels, and so many western Cardinals have presided over the disintegration of their own Churches, why should we not expect them to the same for the Church Universal.

How wise the Holy Father was to remind people that he is not a 'Renaissance Prince', then thuggery and simony and bullying were more visible. Human nature does not change, unfortunately neither does the Church. Very few Cardinals who have power impress anyone with their holiness or Christ-centredness. very few seem to look for holiness in those they promote. As with the Popes of the Renaissance the choice of their Emminences is not who will serve Christ best but who will serve my faction best.

Sunday's Gospel Mark 9:30-37 demonstrated what we see today, the Lord speaks about his Passion and Death, the Apostles, our first bishops find that incomprehensible, 'they did not understand and were afraid to ask him' and ' they had been arguing amongst themselves which of them was the greatest'. This incomprehension about Jesus, the inability to open their minds to him is nothing new, it is there in every age, as is the fear of actually asking Jesus of going directly to him, as is grotesque power politics, the factionalism.

Austin Ivereigh, who of course was Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's press  secretary, when his book was published caused one or two Catholics to suggest that the factionalism that surrounded the Pope's election might have invalidated the election, that is just plain daft, if we were dependant on valid elections then those statistics in that sermon (what did he mean?) of Cardinal Pell gave of valid and invalid Popes would have an entirely different balance: 266th Pope and history has seen 37 false or anti-Popes. If we just took simony into account, which mediaeval or renaissance Pope was validly elected? For Catholics it is not so much the election of a Pope but the Church's acceptance of the election, urbi et orbi, that matters.

Acceptance goes further, it defines a Pope's Magisterium, God blesses the Church with both the ability to remember but also to forget a Pope's teaching. Eastern Christians have always said that it is not so much the meeting of a Council that matters but rather its acceptance by the Church, thus everyone had a merry time in 1438 at the Council of Florence, we Latins welcomed it as a great moment of oecumenical dialogue, a huge step forward in ending the Great Schism, whilst the Byzantines dismissed it as yet another 'robber' or false Council. When assessing any Pope's Magisterium it is what is remembered and what is forgotten that is important, that is what preserved in the Church's collective memory. If Popes or Cardinals throw themselves into politicking some of their contempories might be hurt, as might the Church herself but it is God and history that ultimately judges us all.

As for Cardinal Daneels, as my old gran used to say, 'you can tell a man by the friends he keeps'.


viterbo said...

There must be a word for being neither shocked or shocked, that is not the same as indifference. If there isn't there should be. What I know for certain these days is the old rosary of my great Aunt, a Dominican in the 'colonies', is passed its 'best by', if not completly obsolete. As passed it's 'best by' as her sacrifice to God, so says the New Order WAY. She and everything to do with her is defunct if I believe the update.

Fr Dickson said...

"the choice of their Emminences is not who will serve Christ best but who will serve my faction best."
Indeed, and this applies not only to who will serve them best as Popes, but who will fit into their Episcopal College or who will fit nicely into their presbyterate.
Good Post, Father. Thank you.

fairplay said...

Thank you for this realistic perspective, as I am often tempted by the 'what ifs'. You know, what if the English cardinal Reginald Pole had been elected instead of Carafa (Paul 1V) and his wordly, aggressive faction. Then I move on to the 'if onlys' - if only Suarez had backed Mary Ward as strongly as he did St Teresa of Avila, if only James ! (V1 of Scotland) had been persuaded by St John Ogilvie.
Then, of course, I feel ghastly and have a banging headache.
Yes, things have gone badly wrong. Maybe it's true that with widespread atheism in the West and Pope Francis failing to mention when he spoke to Congress that he speaks as the vicar of Christ things have never been worse.
Reading your article helped me, so I'll remember you in a grateful prayer.The crisis has brought me to the Rosary, a great gift. God Bless.

Frank Karwatowicz said...

Father Ray, I do read your blog on an irregular basis and occasionally throw in my 2 cents worth but your blog above is the most illuminating and most helpful in how to live our Catholicism in view of what is happening or is about to happen.
I thank you and even thank you again for being a true priest and doing what you can to help us and guide us.
May you be cloned, Amen.

Highland Cathedral said...

Okay. So the faction which favoured Cardinal Ratzinger won the day in 2005. Then Pope Benedict appointed several Cardinals who, presumably, tended towards the Pope’s view of things. Then this presumably even-more-Ratzingerist group of Cardinals elects Jorge Bergoglio. I don’t get it. If it’s all about factions how come we didn’t get another Pope in the Ratzinger mould? Or did the Cardinals choose Cardinal Ratzinger because he was such a leading figure at the time and they guessed he would not last long so let him have the title for a few years – he can’t do much harm - and then we can have a Pope we really want? Or did some Cardinals who voted for Ratzinger change their minds after they had seen what sort of Pope he was? As in, 'Let's have somebody completely different'?

Cesare said...

Austin Ivereigh, who of course was Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's press, when his book was published caused one or two Catholics to suggest that the factionalism that surrounded the Pope's election might have invalidated the election

I guess I'm wondering if such machinations were not officially excommunicable offenses before Universi Dominici Gregis in 1996. What was John Paul II thinking of if not what Marco Tosatti seems to have described?

I fully realize there's no way to really know, which is unfortunate.

Simple Simon said...

By their friends…… Pope Francis is best of friends with (and now leader of) the detractors of Benedict and John Paul 11. The levers of power in the Church today are in the hands of a parcel of rogues. Or so it seems to me. May God have mercy on all of us.

Simple Simon said...

Dear Highland Cathedral, factions, like the poor, are always with us. What is deadly about the faction that has power now is that before and after they had power, they had rejected absolutely any accountability to the living tradition of the church. Tradition and natural law are anathema
to them. Without as much as a blush they thrashed the magisterium of JP 11 and Benedict. Benedict was detested because he had the measure of each one of them and all of them together. On the issue of communion for the divorced and remarried he dealt with Kasper, and on the supposed primacy of the local church, he dealt swith Marx. Kung, McBrien, Curran et al were sent homewards to think again. Unable to have recourse to the living tradition for their unCatholic agenda, they seek validation from the mysterious 'God of Surprises'. The actual real God gave them all a very nasty surprise with he trumped their machinations with the wonderful Humane Vitae. Doubtless another such unwelcome surprise is on its way, please God.

Cosmos said...

The issue Cesare makes about excommunication is important.

What is the point of such a drastic penalty under Canon Law if we are just supposed to cynically role our eyes when a violation occurs.

Is Canon Law a big joke?

Matthew Roth said...

It depends on the penalty being latae sententiae and yet the general wisdom in the bishop declaring that in fact an action did warrant a canonical penalty. If we eliminated those penalties latae sententiae and went to them only being declared (like in the Eastern Churches) we would actually face these questions instead of avoiding them.

Paul Goings said...

So general acceptance validates an invalid election. Presumably that also works for masturbation, fornication, contraception, and abortion, which is the usual NCR line?

It is difficult to imagine that even the existence of such a faction, never mind what they might have said or done, did not exert some degree of pressure on Pope Benedict to resign. And if the the putative resignation involved even the slightest bit of duress then canonically it is invalid. And if invalid, then does the acceptance, urbi et orbi, of an antipope retroactively validate the resignation and election?

Sadie Vacantist said...

Benedict was never a full-time pope and continued writing books and delivering lectures as if 2005 hadn't taken place. The Church is finished and the Hungarian PM is right to accuse us of being nothing more than moral imperialists acting as agents on behalf of the post-war hegemonies.

Gregkanga said...

Everything you say about Cardinal Daneels could be said about many bishops in the West. For far to long, the trend in the West has been for incumbents to nominate to the episcopate as their successors, priests of their own ilk, to continue the process of decay in their diocese. Subsequently, many orthodox fatherly priests like yourself are never promoted, and many of these diocesan bishops have become nothing more than undertakers. Take sacked bishop William Morris for example, he was just the tip of the iceberg here in Australia. The 90 percent of Catholics who no longer practice the Faith of the Church have been following these bishops out of the Church, and over the cliff so to speak.

Jacobi said...

I lived in Belgium from 1970 for over twenty years and watched a soundly Catholic Church (and country) dissolve into the shambolic mess it is today under the leadership of the likes of Daneels. Some people I know have gone to the extraordinary length recently of having their children brought to the UK for first Holy Communion rather than in Belgium.

The Church in Holland, by the way, is I understand, in an even worse state.

Now for the good news. I am reliably told that there are two thriving, growing, Catholic communities based in Brussels and not surprisingly they are FSSP and SSPX.

That such orders as SSPX are under some sort of censure while the Daneels/ Kasper lot are within the Church is crass, to use a non-theological term!

An aside.

In my ordinary Catholic opinion we have not been well served by our Popes from and including St John XXII onwards. I know that some earlier Popes are now criticised, but I suspect that future generations will look back on the last 55 years as a disasterous period caused by ineffective/bad Popes

Cosmos said...

Highland Cathedral,

As much as it makes our message more easy to digest rhetorically, there is not always an equivalence between sides. There is not one set of rules that both teams obey. The anti-Ratzinger team played by a different set of rules and, consequently, they got better results.

Benedict appointed some of his own faction, but he also appointed, promoted, and retained many of the rival faction. Why? He (and at least some of his faction) believed that the Church needed to be open and generous and not persecute the other faction! His faction was anti-faction, and Benedict was as ideological as they come. He was going to do it the "right way," even if it seemed like squandering his mandate.

Ratzinger said things like, "we can't give the impression that the Pope is all-powerful and that the Church just changes every time there is a new administration. . . while the damage was inflicted over a few short years or decades, it may take decades or centuries to fix things the right way, through love and persuasion. It has to be fixed on an organic timeline." Therefore he refused to impose his positions with the same force and that his rivals used.

So the Modernists threw out almost the entire form of the Old Mass and many ancient traditions of the Church over the course of a few years. But we restore the mass by debating the translation of single words for decades!

Long story short, Benedict's faction was not "playing to win," as they say. Unlike JPII, Benedict was not a leader, but a teacher. (JPII was part of an earlier generation who could still pretend that the mess the Church was in was just an inevitable post-conciliar period of confusion, that would gradually work itself out).

Moreover, the anti-Ratzinger faction is not nearly as concerned with law or truth-telling, so there are a lot of men whom Benedict trusted who he should not have. This is disregarding the large numbers of political survivors and company men who will switch allegiances on a dime.

Finally, a lot of the men who elected Ratzinger did so on pretty shallow grounds (think, "he was just really impressive and took charge after JPII died, his loyalty was emotionally powerful...") and a lot of the people who voted for Francis did so on pretty shallow grounds ("It sure would be nice to be popular again, and a South American who takes the subway sure would get a break from the progressive media.").

Gillineau said...

Here's a thought: the quality of leaders is manifestly lacking (in both church and state) because the gene pool of western man has been radically reduced in quality by the conflicts and abortion of the C20. In war, logically I think, physically adept people must be more likely to perish - the strong, brave, strategic, etc. are most likely to go to the fight and are consequently more likely to die. The cunning and cowardly are more likely to survive, because they'll stay behind polished desks in Whitehall, 'directing operations'. Wikipedia says that 17 million people died in the Great War, but that WW2 took the lives of 3% of the 1940 world population! That has to be significant on future breeding quality - it would be in any animal species. Abortion randomly annihilates however but the numbers are probably even more staggering. The numbers of good people lost to it must have an effect on the quality of the gene pool. I think the mass killings of the C20 must have weakened the species to a considerable degree.

I therefore propose that conflict and the culture of death are responsible for the inept, logically incoherent, mealy-mouthed, cunning and gutless characteristics of contemporary leaders such as Daneels who could not have risen to positions of seniority in ages past. And as we all know through work-place experience, when somebody half-decent rises up, the mediocre always pull them down for fear that they'll be exposed as the charlatans and fools they really are.

JARay said...

Well my first thought is the saying that the road to hell is lined with the skulls of bishops. I am sure that I am not the only contributor here who also receives the blog of Eccles and Bosco is saved. The latest is a beauty about the shepherds who are making a mess of looking after their sheep and then come up with the idea of asking the sheep (and wolves and foxes and hyenas) just how they would like to be looked after. These shepherds are then delighted with many of the answers which they have received, especially those answers which suggest a new direction, with new ideas and a rejection of the lines put forward by the original shepherd!
A friend, to whom I sent this latest email, suggested that perhaps it is a bit too near the truth for many to bear!

JARay said...

Sorry, but I must take issue with "Sadie Vacantist" about Pope Benedict never being a full-time Pope and of course that silly claim that the Church is finished!
We, faithful Catholics, know that the Church cannot, ever, be finished because we have God Himself telling us that He is with us, even until the end of time.
I KNOW that this is true because, as I learned in my catechism as a child at school, He has said it and His Word is true.

John Fisher said...

Before the last conclave knowing how scheming these sorts of worldly men are I thought Mahoney, McCarrick, Daneels, Kaspar might scheme. Now it has been admitted. the citadel is betrayed from within. Francis does not grasp what continuity is and any appeal he makes to Church teaching on issues is confined to what HE thinks and understands is. Benedict was not liked by creatures like Daneels and the Modernist mafia. He called them to order. How long must we endure these crafty servants of evil?