Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Debate Over the Council Continues

I saw this piece a few days ago on Chiesa and it struck me as not merely interesting but as rather important. I say this because, wherever one might fall with regard to these particular questions, this particular debate is both important and necessary.

In brief, the question comes down to one of continuity and rupture; assuming we accept rupture is "not good" the question then becomes whether the rupture is to be found within the post-conciliar reforms or whether it is to be found within the very Council itself. This really reaches to the heart of the debates which we see occuring amongst those like Marchetto, de Mattei, Gherardini and others.

Here is a taste of Sandro Magister's piece, which introduces two further names into the debate; that of Fr. Divo Barsotti and Professor Enrico Maria Radaelli.

Fr. Barsotti wrote:

"I am perplexed with regard to the Council: the plethora of documents, their length, often their language, these frightened me. They are documents that bear witness to a purely human assurance more than two a simple firmness of faith. But above all I am outraged by the behavior of the theologians.”

"The Council is the supreme exercise of the magisterium, and is justified only by a supreme necessity. Could not the fearful gravity of the present situation of the Church stem precisely from the foolishness of having wanted to provoke and tempt the Lord? Was there the desire, perhaps, to constrain God to speak when there was not this supreme necessity? Is that the way it is? In order to justify a Council that presumed to renew all things, it had to be affirmed that everything was going poorly, something that is done constantly, if not by the episcopate then by the theologians.”

"Nothing seems to me more grave, contrary to the holiness of God, than the presumption of clerics who believe, with a pride that is purely diabolical, that they can manipulate the truth, who presume to renew the Church and to save the world without renewing themselves. In all the history of the Church nothing is comparable to the latest Council, at which the Catholic episcopate believed that it could renew all things by obeying nothing other than its own pride, without the effort of holiness, in such open opposition to the law of the gospel that it requires us to believe how the humanity of Christ was the instrument of the omnipotence of the love that saves, in his death.”

These words of Fr. Divo Barsotti are striking in two respects.

First of all, these criticisms come from a person of profound theological vision, with the reputation of sanctity, most obedient to the Church.

And in the second place, the criticisms are not aimed against the deviations following the Council, but against the Council in itself.

They are the same two impressions that can be gathered from reading the new book by Radaelli, entitled: “The tomorrow - terrible or radiant? - of dogma.”


In Radaelli's view, the current crisis of the Church is not the result of a mistaken application of the Council, but of an original sin committed by the Council itself.

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