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:: The Lidless Eye Inquisition ::

A weblog dedicated to the exposure of the crackpots of the lunatic self-styled 'traditionalist' fringe who disingenuously pose as faithful Catholics.
Welcome to The Lidless Eye Inquisition | bloghome
"Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the cunning statements of those who persistently claim to wish to be with the Church, to love the Church, to fight so that people do not leave Her...But judge them by their works. If they despise the shepherds of the Church and even the Pope, if they attempt all means of evading their authority in order to elude their directives and judgments..., then about which Church do these men mean to speak? Certainly not about that established on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)." [Pope St. Pius X: Allocution of May 10, 1909]

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[:::....Recent Posts....:::]

As I am planning a return to blogging in other for...

Though this weblog has been suspended "in perpetui...

After pondering this in recent days, I cannot thin...

Points to Ponder: I now come to the positive reas...

"One From the Drafting Board" Dept. The material ...

Before this weblog is formally closed in perpetuit...

On Altar Girls and General Norms of Interpretation...

Final Reflections I would like to thank Shawn McE...

On Juridical Abrogation of the 1962 Missal: [Pref...

This weblog for the lions share of the past year a...

The Inquisitors
:: I. Shawn McElhinney
:: F. John Loughnan
:: Peter J. Vere JCL
:: Greg Mockeridge
:: Apolonio Latar
:: Gregory Rossi
:: Keith Kenney
:: The Curmudgeon
:: Mark Bonocore
:: Gregg the Obscure
Affiliated Weblogs/Websites
:: Rerum Novarum [>>>]
:: Sean O' Lachtnain's Home Page [>>>]
:: Envoy Encore Weblog (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: Cooperatores Veritatis [>>>]
:: Thoughts of Apolonio Latar III [>>>]
:: Sancta Liturgia [>>>]
:: Disturber of the Peace [>>>]
:: Vita Brevis [>>>]
Specialty Weblogs
:: The (New) Catholic Light BLOG (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: John Betts' Boycott BLOG [>>>]
Ecumenical Jihad*
:: Apolonio Latar and Kevin Tierney's Culture of Christ BLOG [>>>]
Specialty Weblinks
:: A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' [>>>]
:: On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary [>>>]
:: The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard [>>>]
:: On Assisi and Catholic Principles [>>>]
:: F. John Loughnan's "Classification of Some Integrist (Lidless Eye) Websites" [>>>]
:: A Syllabus of Various (Mostly Pseudo-"Progressivist") Dissenting Authors [>>>]
:: A Canonical History of the Lefevrist Schism - Peter J. Vere's License Thesis From Saint Paul University, Ontario, Canada [>>>]
:: What Makes Us Catholic Traditionalists - written for The Wanderer December 6, 2001 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Yes Virginia, Fr. Nicholas Has Been Suspended - written for The Wanderer March 6, 2003 (Pete Vere JCL/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Squelching Fr. Gruner's 'Squawking Squire' [>>>]
:: RadTrad Watch [>>>]
:: Antisemitism and the Catholic Right [>>>]
[:::....Site Intention, Disclaimer, Copyright, Etc....:::]
:: Intentions of this Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Weblog "War and Peace Length" Disclaimer (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Site Copyright (I. Shawn McElhinney/SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Exhortation to Those Who Participate in the Message Boxes (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Linking to Tridentine Apostolates, Etc. --A Lidless Eye Inquisition Clarification Thread (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Heretical Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Mario Derksen's Catholic Insight
:: Responses to Mario Derksen--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario on EENS (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Errors on Man (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Sedevacantism--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Response to Mario --Parts I-II (Kevin Byrne) [>>>]
:: Mario's Sedevacantism and His Conscience (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -I. Shawn McElhinney's Discussion List Comments on the "Karol Wojtyla is the Pope" Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
Gerry Matatics' Apostolate
:: Gerry Matatics Too Hard Line For The Remnant (Pete Vere)[>>>]
:: Concerning Gerry Matatics and His Alleged Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Schismatic and Theologically Specious Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Catholic Apologetics International (or CAItanic)
:: Bob Sungenis' "Reply" to Richard John Neuhaus --Parts I-II (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard J. Neuhaus on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On CAItanic and the "Petrification" of their Opponents (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On Stunted Ecclesiology and Other Examples of the Arrested Development of CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Baghdad Bob Meets Bible Bob (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commentary on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sungenis/Ferrara and Double Standards (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On Sungenis’ “Novelty”--Parts I-II(Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Short Response to John Salza and Sungenis (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Brief Clarification by Your Weblog Host On "Mr. Ipse Dixit" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Matatics vs. Sungenis (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Sungenis and God's Contingent Knowledge--Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On "The Big Bang Theory" and its Pertinance to Catholic Doctrine (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Novus Ordo Watch
:: On "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: More on "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Props to David Alexander (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Remnant
:: Beyond Lunacy (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: The Remnant Gets it Right (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commending Christopher Ferrara (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)
:: Points to Ponder - on the SSPX (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On the "Reconciliation" Rumours of the SSPX (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: SSPX Demotes Key Priest Hoping For Reconciliation (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Three Cheers for Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Fr. Paul Aulagnier (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Schism For One Dollar (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Bishop Rifan the Prophet (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Is the SSPX Still Lefebvrist? (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Civil War Breaks Out in the SSPX's French District (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Apostolates...:::]
Kevin Tierney and His Apostolate
:: Responding to Kevin Tierney's Criticism (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Some Brief Comments on Kevin Tierney's Response to Gregg the Obscure (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Response to Kevin Tierney's Response to I. Shawn McElhinney (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More Sophistry From Kevin Tierney --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Obedience and Kevin Tierney's Appeal to Canon Law 212 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Tiernam Dubiosum --Parts I-III, Addendum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Note About A Blog (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtrads Again (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On True and False 'Traditionalism' With Kevin Tierney --Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, and Global Government --Parts I-III(Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: Clarification on Global Government (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Brief Response to Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings on Diversity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: An Example of the Honesty That Must Accompany Dialogue (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Muttering On Many Subjects (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Detailed Response to Kevin on The Revised Missal, Corpus Christi, Church Attendance, Church Forms, Protocol 1411, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussing the Liturgy and Various Contrastings With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Refuting the “He’s Not Disobedient. He's Just Stupid.” Defense (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Subjects and People in General....:::]
:: Response to a Self-styled "Traditionalist" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Term "Inquisition" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Addressing a Sedevacantist Heretic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: February's Quote of the Month (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: On TAN Books (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: On Defining Modernism (Chris Burgwald) [>>>]
:: Refuting the Late 'Trad' Michael Malone's Errors on Vatican II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From His Beatitude Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh, Cardinal of the Roman Church (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Catechism and Radical Traditionalists (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Screwtape Parody on Radical Traditionalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a Rad-Trad --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Hell and the Catechism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Sola Fide Trads (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Some Traddie Fallacies Examined (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With Adrian a Self-styled 'Traditionalist' --Parts I-VIII (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Opatus of Milve (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Mr. Smith's Misunderstandings --Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Integralist-'Traditionalist' Conection --Parts I-V (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussion With Christopher Blosser on Reflections on Covenant and Mission (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Morality of Promoting Conspiracy Theories (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Question About the Magisterium (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Islam (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Have 'Traditionalists' Been Too Hard on the Pope Viz Islam (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: A Conversation --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney/Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Fatal Flaws of False 'Traditionalism' With Albert Cipriani--Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Conversation on Spiritual Maturity and the Traditional Catholic Approach to Difficulties --Parts I-III (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Is it Okay to Complain? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Obedience: The Rise of True Catholics --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtradism and Mother Teresa (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Common 'Traditionalist' Errors in Dogmatic Theology and the Ordinary Magisterum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Notes on the Ordinary Magisterium (SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Some Self-styled "Traditionalist" Mendacity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Posting Rules for Radical 'Traditionalists' (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Thoughts on Radtradism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Why Garrigou-Lagrange? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: The Syllabus (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refutation of Some Common Radtrad Misuses of Citations (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Errors of Michael Malone Revisited (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting an Attempted Justification for Schism --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Another Assisi? Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -Maximus the Abbott as quoted by Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum §13 (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a 'Traditionalist' (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: "To Be Deep in Catholic Theology is to Cease to Be a (Pseudo) 'Traditionalist'" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Pope Benedict XV (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Charles de Nunzio (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: For Those Interested (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refuting Mike's Errors (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Mike Tucker (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Will it Merely Be More Uncatholic "Business As Usual"??? (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. John Bosco (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Irenaeus of Lyons (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue/Debate on Pascendi (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Cardinal Ratzinger on the Revised Roman Missal (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Hibernius (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Material (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Dance (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Humanism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Humanism and Vatican II (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Universalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Scruples (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Tony Blair and Receiving Communion (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part I (Mark Bonocore) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part II (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Wast-ing A-way A-gain in Se-de-vac-ant-a-ville" Dept. (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the McElhinney Media Dictum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Tomorrow Christendom (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Correcting a Common Misperception of This Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Response to a Guimaraes Article (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Fr. Nitoglia (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More on "Tomorrow Christendom" (Dom Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Surprised by Canon Law (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Michael Davies' Passing (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Redemptionis Sacramentum and Canonical Implications for Ecclesia Dei (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Notification of Assisi Essay, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard John Neuhaus on the Vatican and "Americanism"--Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: 8 Things You Can Do to Stop the Judaizers (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Circumspection in Speech and Public Writing (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On the Revised Missal Ordination Rites and Other Tidbits (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - John Laux on an Interesting Parallel from History on the Subject of "Preserving Tradition" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: In Fairness to Michael Forrest (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews (Pete Vere) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - Pope Gregory XVI on the Authority of the Popes (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews--Part II (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Miscellaneous Dialogual Subjects...:::]
:: Real Catholic Traditionalism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: An Open Challenge to Catholic Traditionalists (Dom Gerard Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Quo Primum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Traditionalist Debate of the Millenium: Pete Vere vs. Shawn McElhinney (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Dialogue on Ecclesia Dei With Mark Downey (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sister Lucia of Fatima, Ora Pro Terri Schiavo (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Ecclesia Dei And Respect for Traditionalists (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: On "The Vile Spectacle of Traditionalists Rooting for Bad News" --Dialogue With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>> [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Nonsense, Recent Restore Rants, Church Music, Etc (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Briefly Revisiting an Old Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Examining Kevin Tierney's "Catholic Contract" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Guest Editorials...:::]
:: The Problems Some Have With Interfaith Outreach (Guest Editorial by Gary Gubinski) [>>>]
:: On the Liturgical Movement (Guest Editorial by the Society of St. John; Prologue by I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Jacinta's Vision (Guest Editorial by Fr. Thomas Carleton) [>>>]
:: Guest Editorial on Private Revelation (Kevin M. Tierney) [>>>]
Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies (cf. Welborn Protocol)

*Ecumenical Jihad listing is for weblogs or websites which are either dedicated to or which to the webmaster (i) are worth reading and (ii) characteri ze in their general outlook the preservation of general Judeo-Christian morality and which are aimed at positively integrating these elements into society. (Such sites need not even be Catholic ones.)

As society has grown more estranged from its founding principles, I wish to note sites which share the same sentiments for the restoration of society even if the means advocated in this endeavour differ. The Lidless Eye Inquisition does not necessarily endorse particulars with sites under this heading.

:: Thursday, September 28, 2006 ::

"U Thant Touch This" Dept.

[Note: This thread was posted earlier today at Rerum Novarum. -ISM 9/28/06 7:05pm]

I wanted to note here briefly that the posting from September 9th has been updated in light of two more recent developments. For those who are interested in the whole Sungenis saga, I refer you to that subject here where some of the subsequent developments can be noted. For those who do not find these subjects of interest, consider the other threads posted earlier today and what will follow this one.

Those who do find this subject of interest, I hope they approach it with the regret that such episodes should entail as watching a mental meltdown is not (and should never) be treated as something to be celebrated.{1} It is quite disturbing to see the sorts of illogic and outright contradictions which agenda provocateurs of an apologetics mindset will go through to avoid admitting when they have bitten off more than they can chew. Noted in that update is a public statement by Bob Sungenis which originally looked promising and I hold out the hope that it is genuine though and that what we are seeing is the slow agonizing process of Bob seeking to revise a previously revised worldview. However, now -in light of Jacob Michael's solid logic and reasoning- that public statement is one that can unfortunately be called into question.


{1} I only use the post title I do as a kind of playful jab at Jacob as it was a rhetorical device used by this writer in the past when the waters between us were a lot colder (metaphorically speaking). In light of the seriousness of what is involved here, a little levity somewhere is in order even if it is (admittedly) somewhat half-baked.

:: Shawn 7:08 PM [+] | ::

:: Monday, September 11, 2006 ::
On Ecumenism and Clearing Up Certain Presumed Inconsistencies:
(A Response to John TOP)

This was posted to Friends of La Nef yesterday. -ISM]

Prefatory Note:

In light of Joe's recent piece on ecumenism and catechesis, I decided to respond to someone in the comments box of that thread by digging into my writing archives and pulling up some of the material I wrote years ago on the whole subject of presumed "magisterial inconsistencies" viz. Unitatis Redintegratio and Mortalium Animos. The material excepted below is from an essay drafted in early 2001 and published in September of that year. The words of my interlocuter in that writing (Fr. Chad Ripperger, FSSP) will be in fire coloured font whereas any sources I quoted in the text will be in darkblue with source citations noted and hyperlinked where applicable. My other words will be in blue font.

This has had several effects on the members of the Church. The first is that those things, which pertain to the extrinsic tradition and do not touch upon the intrinsic tradition, are ignored. This manifests itself in the fact that some ecclesial documents today do not have any connection to the positions held by the magisterium prior to the Second Vatican Council. For example, in the document of Vatican II on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, there is not a single mention of the two previous documents which deal with the ecumenical movement and other religions, viz. Satis Cognitum by Leo XIII or Mortalium Animos by Pius XI. The approach to ecumenism and other religions is fundamentally different from the approach of the Vatican II document or Ut Unum Sint by Pope John Paul II. Moreover, the problem is not just with respect to magisterium prior to Vatican II but even with the magisterium since the Council.

The approach to evangelization and inculturation before the Council of Trent was different than it was afterwards. The Church historically has made paradigm shifts in emphasis before and thus to postulate this as it occurs today as some kind of "problem" is to not be completely consistent. Ecumenism is conducted today differently for a reason: the Church is again in the mode of evangelizing nations and no longer playing the "Fortress Catholicism" mentality which set in after the Council of Trent. We no longer live in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, or nineteenth centuries. As circumstances and situations change, the Church adapts her approach. This is by no means a novelty despite how it might appear. The pope has the right to set the tone for what is proper in our day and age as far as the approach that will be undertaken (much as his predecessors did before him in their respective periods). The self-styled 'traditionalist' though does not seem to understand this as they often confuse policy with doctrine consistently — which it seems at times that Fr. Ripperger does in this essay.

Between pre and post-Vatican II doctrinal teachings on ecumenism, there is nothing contrary. The difference is in emphasis. The Church handled herself as she always has done when approached with new philosophies and movements. The first step is negative in the sense that she outlines what is not acceptable within the given philosophy. This is usually in the form of condemning erroneous core doctrines in various philosophical approaches. (Pope Gregory XVI, Bl. Pope Pius IX, Vatican I, Pope Leo XIII, St. Pope Pius X, and Pope Pius XI all did this.) Once the areas of a philosophy that are not acceptable are outlined, it is from there that the Church looks at what is acceptable. In doing this, she incorporates the acceptable elements along with principles that enable the good elements of the particular erroneous philosophy to be harnessed in the service of the Gospel. (Pope Pius XII, Bl. Pope John XXIII, Vatican II, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II have all done this.) As this writer noted in his treatise on the subject of ecumenism:

Vatican II (VC II) defined the term "ecumenism" and outlined an acceptable policy for Catholics to follow in this endeavour: embracing what was good in the previous errors while reaffirming what was condemned. The core doctrinal teaching of Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter Mortalium Animos (MA) - that reunion cannot come at the expense of truth - was reaffirmed in the Decree. The errors outlined in MA §7 are worth noting in brief. Among them include (i) the idea that Our Lord's prayer for unity was merely an expression or desire that still lacks its fulfilment (ii) the opinion that the unity of faith and government, has hardly ever existed and does not currently exist (iii) that the unity of faith and government may one day be attained but in the meantime can only be regarded as an ideal. Further still, (iv) the Church either itself or its nature is divided into sections comprising of several churches or communities that remain separate, and though there are agreements on some doctrines and disagreements on others, that all of them enjoy the same rights (v) that the Church was one until the first Ecumenical Councils. Not only that but (vi) controversies must be entirely set aside and (vii) of the remaining doctrines "a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, and in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers" (cf. MA §7). Since every single one of these errors is directly opposed to the teaching of the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio, there is no reason to quote that encyclical letter in the Decree itself. (The policies of MA were modified because the Church unlike in the time of Pius XI was becoming an active partner in the ecumenical movement. However, the methodology of the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio was far removed from the methodology of the Pan Christian methods condemned by Pope Pius XI.)

The Second Vatican Council marked a definitive turning point in the realm of ecumenism wherein the Catholic Church "committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture" (Ut Unum Sint §3) and outlined the principles that would guide her in directly involving herself in the ecumenical movement. Pope Pius XI did not set any sort of policy but was instead aiming to condemn certain errors at the heart of the Pan Christian movement for unity. The core error of course was indifferentism - an error that Unitatis Redintegratio declared was "foreign to the spirit of ecumenism" (UR §11). However, Unitatis Redintegratio sought to formulate an active policy for working towards Christian unity. By contrast, Mortalium Animos took the approach of reiterating the same "come back to Rome" speech which is hardly an approach that had any hope of working as long as every jot and tittle of orthopraxy was treated as immutable. (Not to mention the clergy of the Church continuing the charade of blaming the non-Catholics for leaving without taking any responsibility for the schisms herself because of certain actions committed by prelates in the past.)

As long as self-styled 'traditionalists' continue to prooftext documents instead of actually reading them, they will continue to tilt at windmills ala Cervantes' "Don Quixote" and fight a figment of their own imaginations. [I. Shawn McElhinney: "A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism'" (c. 2000)]

The major paradigm shift at the Second Vatican Council on the subject of ecumenism was to take the ecumenical movement seriously after watching its progress for some time. That many have disregarded what the Council actually taught is unfortunate; however the recent Declaration Dominus Iesus was issued to correct these misunderstandings and assert the authentic understanding of VC II’s Decree on Ecumenism. Not surprisingly, the response to this reaffirmation was that the Vatican was "abandoning the ecumenical movement" for "pre Vatican II policies". Of course this was not true at all. Nonetheless, such outbursts did highlight just how far from the straight path that many people had actually tread. (Some of good will and others of repute that is more dubious.)

To touch on a pre-Vatican II example of ecumenism, the 1595-96 Treaty of Brest with the Ruthinian church comes to mind. Here was an Eastern church which presented their own "requirements" for reunion which Pope Clement VIII accepted. Consider some of those "requirements" as compiled by the Ruthinians:

3. That the Mysteries of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ should be retained entirely as we have been accustomed until now, under the species of bread and wine; that this should remain among us eternally the same and unchangeable.

4. That the Mystery of Holy Baptism and its form should remain among us unchanged as we have served it until now, without any addition…

7. That we should not be compelled to take part in processions on the day of Corpus Christi - that we should not have to make such processions with our Mysteries inasmuch as our use of the Mysteries is different.

8. Likewise that we should not be compelled to have the blessing of fire, the use of wooden clappers, and similar ceremonies before Easter, for we have not had such ceremonies in our Church until now, but that we should maintain our ceremonies according to the rubrics and the Typicon of our Church.

9. That the marriages of priests remain intact, except for bigamists…

22. That the Romans should not forbid us to ring bells in our churches on Good Friday, both in the cities and everywhere else.

23. That we should not be forbidden to visit the sick with the Most Holy Mysteries, publicly, with lights and vestments, according to our rubrics.

24. That without any interference we might be free to hold processions, as many as are required, on holy days, according to our custom. [Treaty Of Brest Document: "Articles Concerning Union With The Roman Church" (c. 1595)]

Now Fr. Ripperger would probably claim that these were eastern "extrinsic traditions". However, any knowledge of Church history would reveal to him that these matters of western practice were still ones in which some in the west sought to impose on the east. (An example of untraditional theological and disciplinary uniformity which they sought to impose on the east for which the west should be ashamed.) This is one of the elements that led to the schism between east and west. It also fed into the polemical attitudes of many of our eastern brethren who speak so derisively of the traditions and practices of the west. They did not like having their liturgical, theological, and disciplinary "extrinsic traditions" expunged by the Latins and the resentment has reverberated as a result for over nine hundred years. (And it was a strong undercurrent behind the failure of the General Councils of Lyons II and Florence to reunite the west and east.)

And now we deal with the Latin obsession with legalities and find that since the Popes possessed the authority to make modifications to the various parts of the ceremonial (mass, sacramental forms, etc.) we find that the west modified the forms in accordance with the times, circumstances, and places. The east never saw this policy as a viable one for to them the "extrinsic tradition" was part and parcel to the Great Tradition as a whole. Consider the irony here for a moment.

The modification of various customs over time played no small part in the rift between west and east because in the east there is often not a distinction made between doctrine and practice. (Much akin to the problems in the self-styled 'traditionalist' movement as few make the kinds of distinctions that Fr. Ripperger is seeking to make here.) Bearing that in mind, we must apply these principles consistently. If the current magisterium is at fault for this than consistency demands that the magisterium in previous eras be chastised as well. Of course this will not be done by the self-styled 'traditionalist' for whom consistency is a foreign concept.

It does not take too long to unscramble these eggs if one reads with the eyes of faith and trusts that even if they do not fully understand the rationale that God protects the Church in these instances. That does not mean that the judgments made are necessarily the best ones but that can be said about any period in history where such modifications were made. There is no justification for presuming that the Tridentine modifications were the apex of disciplinary manifestation. And thinking that today's disciplinary provisions are superior would not constitute a de facto getting into bed with the Modernists either. On the topic of ecumenism this principle of altering the policy while reaffirming the doctrine comes to mind. Ecumenism as Vatican II defined the term was practiced at Brest. This differs markedly from the kind of Pan-Christian false ecumenism which the popes before Vatican II condemned (and which Vatican II and the subsequent popes have likewise condemned). [I. Shawn McElhinney: Excerpt from the Essay Distinctions of Outlook (c. 2001)]


I later on dealt with the issue of ecclesiology with greater precision in writing on various ecclesial models but at the time the above material was written, I did not have as precise an understanding in this area as I would later have. Nonetheless, what is revisited above hopefully dispels with the notion that there is any kind of doctrinal "reversal" or "correction" by Vatican II of post magisterial teaching.

:: Shawn 12:39 PM [+] | ::

:: Saturday, September 09, 2006 ::
A Post of Possible Interest for Lidless Eye Inquisition Readers:
(From Rerum Novarum)

On Robert Sungenis and the Jews

:: Shawn 2:21 PM [+] | ::


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