Friday, October 24, 2014
In Praise of Pedantry
After Pope S John Paul and Pope Benedict I was hoping for a pope who really resembled Captain Mainwaring, Dad's Army's bean-counting bank manager of Walmington-on-Sea, someone with absolutely no imagination, its what I think a pope should be: as dull as possible.
It is this that is being described by that wise old, he would love the adjective, pedant of the Ordinariate Fr Hunwicke, he quotes Professor Roberto de Mattei, "perhaps the greatest Church historian of our time". De Mattei points out that no Bishop of Rome was a innovator, "[I]t is one of the reproaches urged against the Church of Rome, that it has originated nothing, and has only served as a sort of remora or break in the development of doctrine. And it is an objection which I embrace as a truth; for such I conceive to be the main purpose of its extraordinary gift. ".
Fr Hunwicke goes on to point out: This is the selfsame Papacy, acting in precisely the same way, which gave Marcion the brush-off when he turned up in Rome in the 140s with his proto-Nazi claptrap. The condemnation of Marcionism is not weakened by the fact that it rested on no "Conciliar Mandate", or by the complete absence of any brilliant teaching document issued by some wonderfully clever Roman Pontiff.
He ends up saying, "Very occasionally, a Pope is, in addition to being Pope, also an important Teacher. One thinks of Innocent III, Benedict XIV, Benedict XVI. Thank God for such rare and glorious exceptions, such uncovenanted coincidences. But they are not what the Papacy is about. At base, the Pope is just the man who goes around sticking into the ground the notices which say BEWARE OF MINES."
Enjoy! but the apposite section starts at 25:00
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