Among the several hobby horses this writer has been riding since beginning this blog five years ago is the notion that the present malaise we find ourselves in did not begin recently. Nor did it begin with Vatican II. The disease was well and truly entrenched in the Church since at least the middle of the 19th century. How do we know this? We know it because of the actions of Pius IX and the actions taken by Pope St Pius X against Modernism. If we forget this, and concentrate only on the daily outrages coming daily from the hierarchy of the Church, we fail to completely grasp the acuteness of the problem.
A recent adage has it that 'garbage in, garbage out", applies to computers. But we can apply that also to young minds. In the article below Mr Larson studies the "garbage in" of a young Joseph Ratzinger who learned from such flingers of refuse as Teilhard and Rahner, and the "garbage out" of his mature years, in which he applied what he learned from the bad sources who taught him. Before I am taken to task for this seemingly crude description of the thinking of Benedict I would ask that the reader consider carefully the article which follows. There is always, of course, the comments section, designed to engage in fruitful discussion.
I will add that Ratzinger does enjoy exotic restructurings of simple words in order to dazzle his readers, a trait commonly found in those who practice the art of ambiguity. "Complexification" is a favorite ! Or this gem of obfuscation directed at us simple folk: “From here it is possible to understand the final aim of the whole movement as Teilhard sees it: the cosmic drift moves ‘in the direction of an incredible ‘mono-molecular’ state, so to speak, in which…each ego is destined to attain in climax in a sort of mysterious superego’.” [Gosh !] Or this amazing statement which at least has the benefit of clarity: Revelation now appeared no longer simply as a communication of truths to the intellect but as a historical action of God in which truth becomes gradually unveiled. Indeed. Our current Pope has been "unveiling" quite a bit of revelation lately. I shudder to think what the next Pope will unveil. [After reading the 25 quotes from Father, Cardinal and Pope Ratzinger which are in the following article I recommend two aspirin and a glass of water.]
Bearing all that in mind I offer our readers an evaluation by James Larson of this malaise as it concerns a number of recent pontificates. It begins thusly:
Truth Shall Be Cast Down on the Ground
Christ’s Advent Blasphemed
Christ’s Advent Blasphemed
“And strength was given him [the Antichrist] against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground….” (Dan 8: 12)
It is extremely difficult to convince people of the depth of the crisis which we now face.
It has been standard fare among orthodox and traditional Catholics to see Pope Francis as some sort of singular aberration, and to hunger for a return to what is thought to have been the relative Catholic “sanity” of a papacy such as that of Pope Benedict XVI. As a consequence of this position, it is also a prevalent attitude that it is now just a matter of “getting beyond” Francis in order for things to return to some sort of normal.
This is a delusion. The “excesses” of Pope Francis are the fruition of a philosophy and theology which has been long in preparation, has poisoned the thinking of virtually all members of the Catholic hierarchy, and which found its most succinct and influential formulations in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. There can be no “return” to Catholic sanity until the sources of these errors are confronted, engaged in battle, and defeated.
I have therefore compiled below a series of quotations from Joseph Ratzinger’s works. I request that the reader meditate on these passages, ask themselves whether there is any truly Catholic context in which they could be considered acceptable, and then go on to read my articles in which these passages (and many others) are more closely examined. At the end of these quotations I have also linked the most relevant articles.
Before listing these quotations I also offer, in the following two paragraphs, a general synopsis of the depths of this crisis:
The “new” theology, in all its varieties, must be seen as being primarily due to the eviscerating effect of reductive science upon the minds and hearts of Catholic theologians and philosophers. It begins with the denial of substantial being as constituting the root concept of all philosophy and theology. Since all physical reality is now wrongly thought to be entirely reducible to atoms (and quantum mechanics), and since such phenomena are constantly subject to change, then all of created reality has come to be viewed in terms of the constantly changing and evolving relationships between these phenomena.
As a result of such reductive science, every concept involving a “fixed” substantial nature has been cast aside, and is replaced by the concept of ongoing and ever-changing relationships. Evolution thus becomes the necessary mistress of all human thought and spirituality. Under the influence of such thinking, it is impossible to believe in an original nature of man created in sanctifying grace; there can be no Fall from such a nature through original sin; there can be no restoration of such a nature to innocence through sanctifying grace (thus destroying the traditional doctrine concerning Baptism); and there can be no real distinction between mortal and venial sin. There can therefore be no judgment in regard to the present state of the soul of any individual person (or whether he or she is in the proper state of grace to receive Holy Communion), but only an ongoing pastoral approach of universal mercy. Also, since there is no such thing as fixed substance, and certainly no ontological distinction between substance and accidents, there can be no change of the entire substance of bread into the substance of Christ’s Body, or the entire substance of wine into the substance of His Blood. Finally, God Himself must also be seen entirely in terms of relationship, as also must His Revelation to man. Thus, all of Catholic doctrine and dogma is destroyed of any absoluteness or permanence, and must also be seen as evolving phenomena. In other words, the entire Catholic Faith is substantially destroyed.
The following 25 quotations are placed in a somewhat loose order, which will hopefully help penetrate to the interconnectedness of the heresies enumerated above. I have numbered them for easy referencing. I remind the reader again that they are all from the works or statements of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.
Read the whole article.