Thursday, April 30, 2015

Prince of Peace

Some there are who keep themselves in peace and have peace also with others.

And there are some that are neither at peace within themselves, nor suffer others to be at peace; they are troublesome to others, but always more troublesome to themselves.

And some there are who keep themselves in peace and study to restore peace to others.

Yet all our peace in this miserable life is rather to be placed in humble sufferings than in not feeling adversities.

He who best knows how to suffer will enjoy the greatest peace.

Such a one is a conqueror of himself and lord of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of Heaven.

The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis, Book II, Chapter 3.3

"Hunduism's" (and World Religions') Cacophonous Dark Side

All religions are not the same!

The [Enlightenment] proposal that all religions are the same " already self-contradictory with respect to the religions themselves..."

"...[I]n the Indian religious cosmos ("Hinduism" is a rather misleading designation for a multiplicity of religions) there are very different forms: very high and pure ones that are marked by the idea of love, but also wholly gruesome ones that include ritual murder.

Witch burnings

"We know that human sacrifices shape a portion of the history of religion in a terrible way; we know that political religion has become an instrument of destruction and oppression; there are, as we know, pathologies in the Christian religion itself. Witch burning was a recrudescence of Germanic customs. It had, with difficulty, been overcome by the early medieval missionaries, and then it reemerged in the late Middle Ages as faith began to grow weak.

"In a word, even the gods are not all alike; there are decidedly negative divine figures, whether we think of the Greek or, for example, the Indian religious cosmos.

"The idea that all religions are equal is already disproved by the simple fact of the history of religion."  Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth, p. 23.

Christ's purification

"...[I]n the figure of Christ the truly purifying power has appeared out of the Word of God...[This power] furnishes the criterion and the orientation for the purifications that are indispensable for keeping religion from becoming a system of oppression and alienation, so that it may really become a way for man to God and to himself." Ibid., p. 24.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Evolution Myth/The Burden of Unbelief

...[I]n great measure the theory of evolution has not gotten beyond hypotheses and is often mixed with almost mythical philosophies that have yet to be critically discussed.
--Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth, Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 1997, p. 31.

The ease of unbelief is...relative. It exists in the sense that it is easy to throw off the bonds of faith and to say, I am not going to exert myself; this is burdensome; I'm leaving that aside. This first stage is what you might call the easy part of unbelief.

But to live with this is not at all so easy. To live without faith means, then, to find oneself first in some sort of nihilistic state and then, nonetheless, to search for reference points. Living a life of unbelief has its complications. If you examine the philosophy of unbelief in Sartre, Camus, and so forth, you see that readily...

...The ease of unbelief and the difficulty of belief lie on different planes. Unbelief, too, is a heavy burden, and in my opinion even more so than faith is. Faith also makes man light...We can fly, because we no longer weigh so heavy in our own estimation. To become a believer means to become light, to escape our own gravity, which drags us down, and thus to enter the weightlessness of faith.
--Ibid, 28.

N.B. For a scholarly historical analysis of the myths and hyperbole involved in modern science's rejection of intelligent design see Science and Creation by Stanley L. Jaki (Award winning author, physicist, and Catholic priest).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Armenian Genocide Was Not Designed by Religious Fanatics: They were Proto-Fascist Freemasons!

Aleteia World 
APRIL 15, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Why did Pope Francis’ controversial comments on Sunday about the “Armenian Genocide” cause such a furor in Turkey?

To help understand the true history behind the 1915-16 atrocity, Aleteia interviewed the German historian and author, Dr. Michael Hesemann, who was in Rome for Sunday’s Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica commemorating the 100th anniversary of the genocide, otherwise known as Metz Yeghern [the Great Evil]. 

The atrocity involved the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects inside their historic homeland which lies within the territory constituting present-day Turkey. The total number of people killed in what is also known as the Armenian Holocaust is estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. 

In a new book entitled, The Armenian Genocide [Völkermord an den Armeniern], Hesemann reveals for the first time the content of never-before-published documents on “the greatest crime of World War I,” and how Pope Benedict XV and Vatican diplomacy tried to stop the deportations of the Armenians into the Syrian desert, save the victims and prevent the massacre of an entire people.

Turkish troops marching the deported Armenians to die in the Syrian desert
In this interview, Hesemann shares his findings, which include evidence of Masonic involvement, and expresses both his admiration for Pope Francis for drawing attention to the genocide of Christians and ethnic minorities, and his disappointment over the absence of the German Ambassador to the Holy See at Sunday’s commemorative Mass.

Dr. Hesemann, what led you to write a book on what documents contained in the Vatican Archives reveal about the Armenian Genocide? 

Actually it was a kind of coincidence. I work as an historian for the “Pave the Way Foundation” in an intensive study of all the aspects of the life of Eugenio Pacelli, the man who eventually became Pope Pius XII. 

From 1917-1925, Pacelli was Nuncio in Munich, so I went through the files of the Apostolic Nunciature in Munich, only to discover one folder with the title “Persecution of the Armenians”. 

I opened it and found a letter of the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal von Hartmann, to the Chancellor of the Reich, Graf (Count) Härtling, in which he calls the persecution of the Armenians “not less brutal than the persecutions of the Christians in the first centuries of Christianity.” The Archbishop requested an urgent German intervention, unfortunately in vain. 

In the same file I found a copy of a letter written by Pope Benedict XV to the Sultan, asking for mercy for the innocent Armenians. These documents both touched me and aroused my curiosity. I felt I had just touched the tip of an iceberg and was sure I would find more data, and indeed I did — some 2500 pages so far. 

I soon realized that no historian had ever worked with most of these documents, and that all this information was obviously unknown even to the leading experts on the Armenocide. 

Given the importance of their content, I decided to write a book, putting the documents in the context of what we already know about the events of 1915-18.

What was the most surprising and unexpected insight you discovered in the Vatican Archives about the Armenian genocide?

The most surprising insight was that the Armenian genocide was in fact just part of a bigger plan — the extermination of all non-muslim minorities in the Ottoman Empire. 

The ruling “Young Turk” movement came in contact with European ideas of nationalism and the concept that only a homogenous state can be a strong state. That is why they believed that the weakness of the Ottoman Empire was caused by its multi-religious and multi-ethnic character. 

They wanted to “heal” this “weakness” by eliminating all foreign elements, which first meant the Christians who numbered 19% of the population in early 1914. Besides the Armenians, also Aramaic and Assyrian Christians, Catholic and Greek Orthodox Christians were persecuted and murdered.  

The Turkish claim of a conspiracy between Russia and some Armenian leaders was nothing but a lie to justify those measures. If that were really the case, why did they kill innocent women and children, too? And why didn’t they spare the other Christian groups, which were never under suspicion? Indeed, the Turkish Secretary of the Interior, Talaat Bey, quite frankly told Johann Mordtmann of the German Embassy, according to a report to Berlin: “The (Turkish) government uses the war to get rid of our internal enemies — the indigenous Christians of all denominations — without diplomatic interventions by foreign nations.” 

This is also what we read in some of the Vatican documents, e.g. a report written by Fr. Michael Liebl, an Austrian Capuchin missionary, who learned in Samsun: “Not the Armenians, the Christians were sentenced (to death) at a secret meeting of the Young Turks 5 or 6 years ago in Thessaloniki.”

What measures did Benedict XV take diplomatically to help save the Armenians from deportation into the Syrian desert?

Already in June 1915, the Vatican had a vague idea of what had happened in Eastern Anatolia. One month later, there was no doubt about the horrible massacres carried out against most of the male Armenian population. For the whole of August 1915, Msgr. Dolci — the Apostolic Delegate in Constantinople — did everything humanly possible to interfere diplomatically — without any success. 

When drastic reports reached the Vatican in September 1915, Pope Benedict XV wasted no more time and decided to act. He sent an autograph to Sultan Mehmet V, pleading for mercy for the Armenians. The Turks refused even to receive it. For two months, Msgr. Dolci tried everything to present it to its addressee, but it was not received by the Sultan. 

Only when he asked both the German and the Austrian ambassador for help was he granted an audience. When another four weeks later the Sultan answered, most of the deportations were already completed. All promises of the Turks to end the massacres or spare one group or the other — or to let them return home — turned out to be lies. 

In December, Pope Benedict referred to the failure of any diplomatic intervention in his allocution to the Cardinals at the Consistory of December 6, 1915. In it, he spoke of “those sorrowful people of the Armenians, almost completely driven into their extermination.”  

In June 1916, the Armenian Catholic Patriarch had to inform the Holy See: “The project of the extermination of the Armenians in Turkey is still going on. (...) The exiled Armenians ... are continuously driven into the desert and there stripped of all vital resources. They miserably perish from hunger, disease and extreme climate. (...) It is certain that the Ottoman government has decided to eliminate Christianity from Turkey before the World War comes to an end. And all this happens in the face of the Christian world.”

Why is this only coming to light now?

Well, good question. Of course, the files from the pontificate of Benedict XV have only been open since the 1990s. Besides this, not too many historians have access to them. And perhaps just nobody had any idea what he would find there — it’s only a guess.

Talaat Pasha, Masonic Grandmaster
The Turkish Secretary of the Interior
The man responsible for the Armenocide
Among the documents contained in your book, you include a letter written by the Superior of the Capuchins in Ezrurum, Fr. Norbert Hofer, to the Vatican in October 1915, which states: “The punishment of the Armenian nation (for alleged uprisings) is merely a pretext used by the Masonic Turkish government to exterminate all Christian elements in this country.” 

Many readers may be surprised to hear mention of the Masons in relation to the Armenian Genocide, particularly in light of the desire at the time to unite Turkey, with Sunni Islam as the state religion? Can you explain how the Masons factor into the Armenian genocide, and who are the “Young Turks” which you referred to earlier?

Yes, of course. It would have been easy and rather populist to blame Islam for the Armenian genocide, especially as we are facing the horrible events of our own time in the very same region, with Islamic States’ massacre against Christians and Yazidis in the north of Syria and the Iraq. 

But none of the responsible politicians, neither Talaat nor Enver nor Cemal Pasha, was a fanatic Muslim. The Young Turks were anything but fundamentalists. They were a young, revolutionary movement started by Turkish academics who had studied in most cases in Paris, where they came in contact with both the ideals of Masonry and European nationalism. Many of them were accepted by Masonic lodges and indeed the lodge of Thessaloniki became a kind of national headquarters for them.

Talaat Bey — the man responsible for the Armenocide — was even Grandmaster of the Grand Orient of the Turkish Masonry. That’s a historical fact. The ideology of the Young Turks can be described as “proto-fascism." Only race did not play any role as the unifying element, since there is nothing like a “racially pure” Turk. Rather, it was substituted by religion, namely Sunni Islam. 

Islam was therefore instrumentalized for political reasons. It gave all those who were involved in the killings a rationale, a justification for their deeds. But behind it was the master plan of a political ideology, which misused religion for its purposes, and so sought the homogenization of the Turkish nation.

As an historian who has studied in depth the events and circumstances surrounding the Armenian genocide, particularly those documented in the Vatican archives, what do you make of Turkey’s reaction to Pope Francis’ statements on Sunday in which he called the Armenian massacre a “genocide”?

I am very grateful to the Holy Father. On Sunday, we not only saw a beautiful, worthy and solemn commemoration of the Armenian martyrdom, we also experienced the victory of truth over diplomacy. 

If you know how fanatically Turkey tries every means to debunk the events of 1915-1916, if you follow the chronology of their threats against nations much bigger and more powerful than the Vatican — nations such as France, Germany and the US — you get an idea what it takes to stand up and call a “genocide” what was indeed the first genocide of the 20th century. Thank you, Pope Francis! What a great, wonderful, political pope who indeed acted as the moral conscience of the world and taught us that, as Christians, we should never be afraid of the truth. 

The Turkish reaction to his brave remark could be expected. It is always the same. They claim that the Pope was misinformed, although he knows the truth from his own archives. By the way, when will the Turks open theirs? 

The Turks even spoke of racism. Should we now assume that, from the Turkish point of view, it is not racist at all to kill nearly a whole nation, a religious and ethnic group, but it is racist to call this a genocide? 

It is so sad that the Turks don’t realize how they exclude themselves from the community of civilized nations by such acts. I mean, I am German and my nation committed the most horrible crime in history, the Shoah. But at least we admitted what we did, we deeply regret it and we tried anything possible for reconciliation and compensation. 

As a Catholic, I believe that every sin and every crime can be forgiven, if you only confess and regret. But what you neither regret nor confess cannot be forgiven either. Turkey only has one chance to overcome the trauma and guilt of the darkest chapter of its history, and that is to confess and regret! And we will all forgive. If not, these wounds will always be wide open, even after 100 years.

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Sedes Sapientiae

Several posts ago I conceded male superiority in chess saying "men are smarter than women." Of course, that statement must be qualified!

It matters what you mean by "smart."

A better chess player does not mean a person of greater knowledge or greater wisdom or greater understanding or greater virtue. It simply means greater concentration technical ability in this particular task, this particular type of problem solving.

Perhaps it shows that men are ultimately better at...conquering! But is conquering the greatest virtue? No. Mercy is! The greatest act of man was actually a very passive action: allowing Himself to be abused and killed in order to save his murderers.

It is instructive that the image of Mary under the title of Seat of Wisdom (Sedes Sapientiae) is the crowned Lady (Queen) with a royal robe and tenderly holding the sleeping Infant God on her breast.

Think about it. The Seat of Wisdom is the person in whom God rests secure and content, nurtured, cherished and caressed with every sweetness and understanding and spontaneous and gratuitous affection! None of this is evidenced in the game of Chess! yet this is the very place where wisdom (the highest form of knowledge) abides.

P.S. There are four (of the seven) gifts of the Holy Spirit that have to do with knowledge and human judgment enlightened by faith.

  • Wisdom (sapientia): judging of divine things.
  • Understanding (intellectus): penetrating the truth.
  • Knowledge (scientia): judging of created things.
  • Counsel: judging our actions.

P.S.S. Von Balthasar emphasizes the Church of Office (Saint Peter) and the Church of Love (Saint John the Beloved) in the context of the indispensable and unique role of the women in the Gospel. Love has the primacy but is always submissive to Office.

To [the] resurrectio in fieri, [Mary Magdalene] must give her consent by not holding back the Risen One (John 20:17), but letting him go free, in the same way that Mary as Mother had to let the Spirit act when it covered her with its shadow, and Mary of Bethany, in her loving gesture of anticipation, accorded with all that the Lord decided, even with his burial, even with his Passion. For the three chief articulations of the redemption in fieri, the "Yes" of the three Marys is required. Beyond all contestation they symbolise here the believing and loving Church (personam Ecclesiae gerens).
Mysterium Paschale, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1990, p. 250.

The Seat of Wisdom is ultimately feminine! Cf. Wisdom 7:22b-8:1.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The opinion that faith as such knows absolutely nothing of historical facts and must leave all of this to historians is Gnosticism: this opinion disembodies the faith and reduces it to pure idea. --Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger CDF

Below is the Preface by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the document of the Pontifical Biblical Commission: "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church" April 23, 1993
The above quote comes from the Cardinal's 2005 CDF address further down given on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Commission.
The Preface is an excellent introduction to that address. Enjoy!
Ratzinger demonstrates why Faith and Science are necessary to the study of Sacred Scripture!

The study of the Bible is the spirit of theology, according to the Second Vatican Council (Dei Verbum 24), echoing a statement of Pope Leo XIII.
Such a study is never over. Every age should, in its own way, try to understand the Sacred Books. In the history of Biblical interpretation, the historico-critical method marked the start of a new era.

Thanks to this method, new possibilities arose to understand Biblical text in its original sense. Like any human reality, this method brings, along with its positive possibilities, some hidden dangers.

The search for 'original meaning' can lead to confining the Word exclusively to the past, so that its present relevance is no longer perceived.

The outcome can be that only the human dimension of the Word appears real. Its true author, God, eludes the grasp of a method which was elaborated only in the light of human understanding. The application to the Bible of a 'profane' method is necessarily subject to question.

Everything that helps to better find the truth and to discipline one's own ideas offers a valid contribution to theology. In this sense, it was right that the historico-critical method was accepted in theological work.

But everything that restricts our horizon and keeps us from bringing our attention and our hearing beyond what is merely human must be rejected in order to maintain an open horizon.

Therefore the emergence of the historico-critical method soon aroused a debate about its utility and its right configuration, a debate that has by no means ended.

In this debate, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church has taken a stand more than once in some important documents.

In the first place, Pope Leo XIII set some directives for the orientation of exegesis in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus of November 18, 1893. At a time when liberalism was manifesting itself to be extremely self-assured and even dogmatic, Leo XIII expressed several criticisms without excluding the positive aspect of the new possibilities.

Fifty years later, thanks to the fruitful work of great Catholic exegetes, Pope Pius XII could give more encouragement, inviting theologians, through his encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu of September 30, 1943, to avail of contemporary methods to better understand the Bible.

The Constitution of the Second Vatican Council on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, dated November 18, 1965, puts this altogether, unites the lasting perspectives of Patristic theology with the new modern methodologies, and gives us a synthesis which remains authoritative.

Meanwhile, the methodological range of exegetical studies has been amplified in a way that was not foreseeable 30 years ago. New methods and approaches have been proposed, from structuralism to an exegesis that is materialist, psycho-analytical and liberationist.

Similarly, new attempts are being made on the other side with the goal of gaining from the new use of Patristic methods of exegesis and to propose new forms of spiritual interpretation of Scriptures.

Thus, the Pontifical Biblical Commission undertook the task - 100 years after Providentissimus Deus, and 50 years after Divino afflante Spiritu - to define the Catholic position on exegesis in the present situation.

In its new conformation following Vatican-II, the Pontifical Biblical Commission is not an organ of the Magisterium, but rather, a commission of experts who, aware of their scientific and ecclesial responsibilities as Catholic exegetes, take positions on essential questions about the interpretation of Scripture, know ingthat they have the trust of the Magisterium in doing this.

That is how this document was drawn up and elaborated. It presents an overview, well-established, of the panorama of present methods and offers, to those who want it, orientation on the possibilities and limitations of these methods.

With this background, the document considers the question of the sense of Scripture: in what way is it possible to recognize this meaning, in the compenetration of human words with the divine Word, the singularity of a historical event and the constant validity of the eternal Word which is contemporary to every age?

Biblical text has its origin in a real past, but not only in the past - also from God's eternity. It leads us to God's eternity, passing through time which includes past, present and future.

I think that the document will bring valuable help to clarify the question of the right way towards understanding Sacred Scripture, while opening up new perspectives. It proceeds along the line of the encyclicals of 1893 and 1943, and extends it in a very fertile manner.

I wish to express my gratitude to the members of the Biblical Commission for their patient and often arduous work, with which this text gradually came to being.

I wish the document will be widely disseminated so that it may effectively contribute to the search for a more profound comprehension of the Word of God in Sacred Scripture.

Rome, Feast of St. Matthew Evangelist, 1993

On the 100th anniversary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission

Relationship between Magisterium and exegetes

May 10, 2003

I chose the topic of my report not only because it concerns the questions which rightly belong to a retrospective of the 100 years of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, but also because it enters, so to speak, into the problems of my own biography:  for more than half a century my personal theological journey has taken place within the particular sphere of this theme.

Two names appear in the decree of the Concistorial Congregation of 29 June 1912, De quibusdam commentariis non admittendis, which have crossed my own life. Friesing professor Karl Holzhey's Introduction to the Old Testament would in fact be condemned; he had died by the time I began my theological studies on the hill of the Cathedral of Friesing in January 1946, but colourful anecdotes about him still circulated. He must have been a rather proud and sensitive man.

The second name which appears is more familiar to me, that of Fritz Tillmann, the editor of a Commentary on the New Testament labelled as unacceptable. In this work, the author of the comment on the Synoptics was Friedrich Wilhelm Maier, a friend of Tillmann, at the time a qualified lecturer in Strasbourg. The decree of the Concistorial Congregation established that these comments expungenda omnino esse ab institutione clericorum. The Commentary, of which I found a forgotten copy when I was a student in the Minor Seminary of Traunstein, had to be banned and withdrawn from sale since, with regard to the Synoptic question, Maier sustained the so-called two-source theory, accepted today by almost everyone.

At the time, this also brought Tillmann's and Maier's scientific career to an end. Both, however, were given the option of changing theological disciplines.

Tillmann took advantage of this possibility and later became a top German moral theologian. Together with Th. Steinbüchel and Th. Müncker, he edited a manual of avant-garde moral theology, which addressed this important discipline in a new way and presented it according to the basic idea of the imitation of Christ.

Maier did not want to take advantage of the offer to change disciplines as he was, in fact, dedicated body and soul to work on the New Testament. So, he became a military chaplain and in this capacity took part in the First World War; following this he worked as a prison chaplain until 1924, when, with the nulla osta of the Archbishop of Breslau (today Wroclaw), Cardinal Bertram, in a by-then more relaxed climate, he was called to the chair of New Testament Studies at the Theological Department there. In 1945, when that Department was suppressed, he went to Munich with other colleagues, where he worked as a teacher.

He never quite got over the humiliation of 1912, notwithstanding the fact that he could now teach his subject practically without restrictions and was supported by the enthusiasm of his students, to whom he was able to transmit his passion for the New Testament and a correct interpretation of it. From time to time in his lessons, recollections of the past came up. I was especially impressed by a statement he made in 1948 or 1949. He said that by then, as a historian, he could freely follow his conscience, but that he had not yet arrived at that complete freedom of exegesis of which he had dreamed. He said, furthermore, that he probably would not live to see this but that he desired at least, like Moses on Mount Nebo, to be able to gaze upon the Promised Land of an exegesis freed from every control and conditioning of the Magisterium.

We note that on the soul of this gifted man, who led an exemplary priestly life founded on the faith of the Church, weighed not only that decree of the Concistorial Congregation, but also the various decrees of the Biblical Commission - on the Mosaic authenticity of the Pentateuch (1906), on the historical character of the first three chapters of Genesis (1909), on the authors and the composition of the Psalms (1910), on Mark and Luke (1912), on the Synoptic question (1912), and so forth - impeding his work as an exegete with fetters which he deemed to be undue.

The impression continued to persist that, due to those Magisterial decisions, Catholic exegetes were hindered from carrying out unrestricted scientific work, and that in this way Catholic exegesis, as opposed to Protestant, could never meet the standard of the times and its scientific seriousness was questioned, in part rightly, by the Protestants.

Naturally, the conviction that a rigorously historical work could authentically ensure the de facto objective data of history, or rather, that this was the only possible way to understand the biblical books which are, precisely, historical books in their true meaning, also had an influence. He took for granted the authenticity and the unequivocal nature of the historical method; the idea that philosophical presuppositions entered into play in this method and that reflection on the philosophical implications of the historical method could become necessary did not affect him, either.

For him, as for many of his colleagues, philosophy seemed a disturbing element, something which could only pollute the pure objectivity of the historical work. The hermeneutical question did not arise, that is, he did not ask himself to what extent the outlook of the questioner determines access to the text, making it necessary to clarify, above all, the correct way to ask and how best to purify one's own questioning. Precisely for this reason, Mount Nebo would surely have held some surprises for him which were completely beyond his horizon.

I would now like to attempt to ascend Mount Nebo with him, so to speak, to observe from that perspective the ground which we have covered in the last 50 years. It might be useful, in this regard, to recall the experience of Moses.

Chapter 34 of Deuteronomy describes how it was conceded to Moses on Mount Nebo to gaze upon the Promised Land, which he saw in its entirety. The look he was conceded was, so to speak, purely geographical, not historical. Nevertheless, one could say that chapter 28 of the same book presents a glance, not on geography, but on the future history in and with the land, and that this chapter offers a very different, much less consoling, perspective:  "And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other.... And among these nations you shall find no ease, and there shall be no rest for the sole of your foot" (Dt 28: 64ff). What Moses saw in this interior vision could be summarized in this way:  freedom can destroy itself; when it loses its intrinsic criteria, it is self-destructive.

What could a historical glance of Nebo over the land of exegesis in the last 50 years have perceived? In the first place, many things that would have been consoling for Maier, the realization of his dream, so to speak.

Already in 1943 the encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu introduced a new way of understanding the relation between the Magisterium and the scientific exegesis of the historical reading of the Bible.
Following this the 1960s represent the entrance into the Promised Land of exegetical freedom, to continue the metaphorical image.

First, we encounter the Biblical Commission's instruction of 21 April 1964 on the historical truth of the Gospels, and then, above all, the Conciliar Constitution Dei Verbum of 1965 on divine revelation, with which, in fact, a new chapter in the relation between the Magisterium and scientific exegesis is opened. There is no need to emphasize here the importance of this fundamental text. This primarily defines the concept of Revelation, which is not to be wholly identified with its written testimony which is the Bible, and thus opens the vast historical and theological prospect in which Biblical interpretation takes place, an interpretation that sees in the Scriptures not only human books, but the testimony of divine speech. It thus becomes possible to determine the concept of Tradition, which also goes beyond Scripture while having it as its centre, since Scripture is above all and by nature "tradition".

This leads to the third chapter of the Constitution, dedicated to the interpretation of Scripture; in this chapter, the absolute necessity of the historical method convincingly emerges as an indispensable part of the exegetical effort, but then the precisely theological dimension also appears, which - as has already been said - is essential, if that book is more than human words.

Let us continue our investigation from Mount Nebo: Maier, from his vantage point, could have especially rejoiced in what took place in June of 1971. With the motu proprio Sedula Cura, Paul VI completely restructured the Biblical Commission so that it was no longer an organ of the Magisterium, but a meeting place between the Magisterium and exegetes, a place of dialogue in which representatives of the Magisterium and qualified exegetes could meet to find together, so to speak, the intrinsic criteria which prevent freedom from self-destruction, thus elevating it to the level of true freedom. Maier could also have rejoiced in the fact that one of his best students, Rudolf Schnackenburg, became a member not of the Biblical Commission itself, but of the no less important International Theological Commission, so that he now found himself, as it were, almost a part of that Commission which had caused him so much worry.

We recall another important fact that, from our imaginary Nebo, might have appeared in the distance:  the 1993 document of the Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, in which the Magisterium no longer imposes norms on the exegetes from above, but they themselves are the ones who determine the criteria that indicate the way for a fitting interpretation of this special book, which, when seen only from the outside, constitutes fundamentally nothing other than a literary collection of writings whose composition extends over an entire millennium. Only the subject from whom this literature is born - the pilgrim people of God - makes this literary collection, with all of its variety and apparent contrasts,one single book.

This people knows, however, that it neither speaks nor acts by itself, but is indebted to the One who makes them a people:  the same living God who speaks to them through the authors of the individual books.

So did the dream come true? Have the second 50 years of the Biblical Commission cancelled and overridden what the first 50 years produced?

I would respond to the first question that the dream has become a reality and that it has also been corrected at the same time.

The mere objectivity of the historical method does not exist. It is simply impossible to completely exclude philosophy or hermeneutical foresight. This was already shown while Maier was still living, for instance, in Bultmann's "Comment on John", in which Heideggerian philosophy served not only to make present what historically was distant, so to speak, to transport the past to our today, but also as a bridge which carries the reader into the text.

Now, this attempt has failed, but it has become evident that the pure historical method - as in the case of secular literature as well - does not exist. It is certainly understandable that Catholic theologians, at the time in which the decisions of the Biblical Commission of that time impeded them from a pure application of the historical-critical method, looked with envy at the evangelical theologians who, in the meantime, with their most serious research, were able to present results and new findings on how this literature which we call the Bible was born and grew during the journey of the people of God.

Heinrich Schleir
With this, however, the fact that the opposite problem existed in Protestant theology was taken too little into consideration. This is clearly seen, for example, in the conference on the ecclesial responsibility of the student of theology, held in 1936 by Bultmann's great student, Heinrich Schlier, who later converted to Catholicism. At this time evangelical Christianity in Germany was involved in a battle for survival:  the encounter between the so-called German Christians (Deutsche Christen), who, subjecting Christianity to the ideology of National Socialism, distorted its roots, and the Confessed Church (Bekennende Kirche).

In this context Schlier addressed these words to students of theology: "...Reflect a moment on what is better:  that the Church, in a legitimate way and after careful reflection, remove from teaching a theologian of heterodox doctrine, or that the individual freely charges one or another teacher of heterodoxy and protects himself from him? It must not be thought that judging is eliminated when each is allowed to judge ad libitum. Here the liberal vision is consistent in affirming that no decision on the truth of a teaching can exist, that therefore every teaching has something of truth and that thus all teachings must be admitted in the Church. But we do not share this vision. This denies in fact that God truly made a decision among us...".

Those who recall that then a great number of the Protestant Theology Departments were almost exclusively in the hands of the German Christians, and that Schlier had to leave academic teaching for affirmations such as the one just cited, can become aware of the other side of this problematic as well.

We come thus to the second and conclusive question:  how should we evaluate, today, the first 50 years of the Biblical Commission? Was everything only a tragic conditioning, so to speak, of theological freedom, a collection of errors from which we had to free ourselves in the second 50 years of the Commission, or should we not consider this difficult process more articulately?
The fact that things are not as simple as they seemed in the first enthusiasm of the beginning of the Council, emerges perhaps already from what we have just said. It is true that, with the above-mentioned decisions, the Magisterium overly enlarged the area of certainties that the faith can guarantee; it is also true that with this, the credibility of the Magisterium was diminished and the space necessary for research and exegetical questions was excessively restricted.

But it remains likewise true that faith has a contribution to make with regard to the interpretation of Scripture, and that therefore the pastors are also called to offer correction when the particular nature of this book is lost sight of, and objectivity, which is pure in appearance only, conceals what the Sacred Scripture itself specifically has to offer. Laborious research has therefore been indispensable in order that the Bible has its just hermeneutic and historical-critical exegesis its proper place.

It seems to me that two levels of the problem in question, both then and now, can be distinguished.

On a first level, it must be asked how far the purely historical dimension of the Bible extends and where its specificity, which escapes mere historical reasoning, begins. A question within the historical method itself could also be formulated:  what can it in fact do, and what are its intrinsic limits? What other modes of understanding are necessary for a text of this type?

The laborious research to be undertaken can be compared, in a certain sense, to the effort required by the Galileo case. Until that moment it seemed that the geocentric vision of the world was connected in an inextricable way to what was revealed by the Bible; it seemed that those in favour of a heliocentric vision of the world demolished the core of Revelation. The relation between the external appearance and the true and proper message of the whole had to be thoroughly revised, and only slowly would criteria be able to be developed that would permit the placing of scientific reason and the specific message of the Bible in right relation.

Certainly, the contention can never be said to be completely resolved, since the faith testified by the Bible includes the material world as well and affirms something about it, about its origin and that of man in particular. To reduce all of reality as we meet it to pure material causes, to confine the Creator Spirit to the sphere of mere subjectivity, is irreconcilable with the fundamental message of the Bible. This involves, however, a debate on the very nature of true rationality; since, if a purely materialistic explanation of reality is presented as the only possible expression of reason, then reason itself is falsely understood.

A similar affirmation must be made with regard to history. At first it seemed indispensable for the authenticity of Scripture, and therefore for the faith founded upon it, that the Pentateuch be indisputably attributed to Moses or that the authors of the individual Gospels be truly those named by Tradition.

Here too, so to speak, it was necessary gradually to redefine the spheres; the fundamental relation between faith and history was rethought. A similar clarification was not undertaken since it could not be made from one day to the next. Here as well there will always be room for discussion. The opinion that faith as such knows absolutely nothing of historical facts and must leave all of this to historians is Gnosticism: this opinion disembodies the faith and reduces it to pure idea. The reality of events is necessary precisely because the faith is founded on the Bible. A God who cannot intervene in history and reveal Himself in it is not the God of the Bible. In this way the reality of the birth of Jesus by the Virgin Mary, the effective institution of the Eucharist by Jesus at the Last Supper, his bodily resurrection from the dead - this is the meaning of the empty tomb - are elements of the faith as such, which it can and must defend against an only presumably superior historical knowledge.

That Jesus - in all that is essential - was effectively who the Gospels reveal him to be to us is not mere historical conjecture, but a fact of faith. Objections which seek to convince us to the contrary are not the expression of an effective scientific knowledge, but are an arbitrary over-evaluation of the method.

What we have learned in the meantime, moreover, is that many questions in their particulars must remain open-ended and be entrusted to a conscious interpretation of their responsibilities.
This introduces the second level of the problem: it is not simply a question of making a list of historical elements indispensable to the faith. It is a question of seeing what reason can do, and why the faith can be reasonable and reason open to faith.

Meanwhile, not only those decisions of the Biblical Commission which had entered too much into the sphere of merely historical questions were corrected; we have also learned something new about the methods and limits of historical knowledge. Werner Heisenberg verified in the area of the natural sciences, with his "Unsicherheitsrelation", that our knowing never reflects only what is objective, but is always determined by the participation of the subject as well, by the perspective in which the questions are posed and by the capacity of perception. All this, naturally, is incomparably most true where man himself enters into play and where the mystery of God is made perceptible.
Faith and science, Magisterium and exegesis, therefore, are no longer opposed as worlds closed in on themselves. Faith itself is a way of knowing. Wanting to set it aside does not produce pure objectivity, but comprises a point of view which excludes a particular perspective while not wanting to take into account the accompanying conditions of the chosen point of view. If one takes into account, however, that the Sacred Scriptures come from God through a subject which lives continually - the pilgrim people of God - then it becomes clear rationally as well that this subject has something to say about the understanding of the book.

The Promised Land of freedom is more fascinating and multiformed than the exegete of 1948 could have imagined. The intrinsic conditions of freedom have become evident. It presupposes attentive listening, knowledge of the limits of the various paths, full seriousness of the ratio, and also a readiness to limit and surpass oneself in thinking and living with the subject, which the different writers of the Old and New Covenant guarantee us is a single work, the Sacred Scripture. We are profoundly grateful for the openings the Second Vatican Council has given us, as the fruit of a long effort of research.

Yet, neither do we lightly condemn the past, even if we see it as a necessary part of a process of knowing which, considering the greatness of the revealed Word and the limits of our abilities, continually places new challenges before us. But its beauty lies precisely in this.

And thus, at the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Biblical Commission, despite all the problems which have arisen during this length of time, we can still look, thankfully and hopefully, upon the path which lies ahead of us.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger 

President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
and Dean of the College of Cardinals

Below is a link to an extraordinary assessment of the Papal abdication's meaning.

"The Theologian Pope of Simple Words:" Cardinal Muller's Birthday/10th Anniversary Homage to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

The primacy of Peter. On Wednesday April 17 2015 at the College of Campo Santo Teutonico, during a meeting on "The primacy of Peter in the pontificate of Benedict XVI," organized on the occasion of the birthday of the Emeritus Pope and the tenth anniversary of his election to the papacy, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - and editor of the complete works of Ratzinger - Gerhard Muller, gave a speech of which we publish an excerpt. Jesus, the cardinal pointed out, did not want to build his Church as an abstract reality; the papal service is always realized by the very concrete personality of the one who is called to build the house of God in the world.

(Gerhard Muller) An important feature of the pontificate of Benedict XVI was his extraordinary theological talent. Not simply meaning the impression deriving from the activity of a teacher, but the molding of the most important themes of the Doctrine of the Faith through the high originality of his theology. To the Supreme Pontiffs also applies what is true all Christians in general: the different charisms are given by the Spirit of God that they may be useful to others so that the Body of Christ be built up in knowledge and love of God. So the entire body, through the joint action of its members, grows on its way to meet Christ. Those who have received the gift of teaching, teach! And this is in accordance with the faith (cfr. Romans 12: 7). This analogy of faith, understanding the intimate connection between the revealed truth and the end of salvation for every man, is based on the analogy of being, that is, created reason's capacity for truth too, that in the real being of the world recognizes being, verum et bonum (the truth and the good), which is a reflection of and a parable for God's reason and love. On the basis of the analogia entis (analogy of being), theology as the science of revealed truth is possible as tha analogia fidei (analogy of faith).

Theological knowledge does not serve intellectual curiosity, which delights itself in the closed circle of a few experts and takes delight in its own intelligence. Without theology, as it has been developed in different schools by the Church Fathers, the great theologians of the Middle Ages and the modern era, the magisterium can not fulfill its responsibilities. In fact, the Magisterium of the Church bears witness to the revealed truth of the Church in the profession, in the auditus fidei (hearing of the faith), while the intellectual representation is carried out in a rational and conceptual way, so that the inner rationality of the deposit of faith shines forth in theological teaching. In her authority as authentic witness to what has been revealed, by virtue of the assistance of the promised Holy Spirit, the magisterium certainly stands above academic theology, but she uses it out of strict necessity. The Pope and the bishops can teach in a pure and complete way and propose for the faith only what is contained in the historical revelation of God. But as for the linguistic and conceptual form: "the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in view of their office and the seriousness of the matter, apply themselves with zeal to the work of enquiring by every suitable means into this revelation and of giving apt expression to its contents; they do not, however, admit any new public revelation as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith "(Lumen Gentium, n. 25). In fact, unlike Peter and the other apostles, the Pope and the bishops are not personal carriers of revelation. However, for the faithful transmission of the faith, in their ministry they have the assistance of the Holy Spirit (assistentia Sancti Spiritus).

Peter himself in his first letter, an "encyclical", urged the Christians, and especially priests and bishops, to respond to all those who would ask them for the "logos of the hope" that is in us through faith in Christ the Lord, "the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" (1 Peter 2, 25).

One issue that was very dear to Joseph Ratzinger the theologian, but also to the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the Pope, was to show the intimate connection for the faith between and understanding, between the auditus (hearing) and the intellectus fidei (understanding of the faith).

In this the faith is not measured by an external instrument of subjected to a standard which is foreign to it. Faith as being illuminated by the light of Christ (lumen fidei) is quite rational in itself, in conformity with the Logos of God, a rationabile osequium (a logos offering [cf. Rom. 12:2]). Scientific theology has the task of mediating between the knowledge of God in faith and knowledge of the world through natural reason (lumen naturale), as it is represented in the natural sciences and humanities, so that in the awareness of the faithful the truth of the faith and natural knowledge are not divided.

Of course the overall activity of a pontificate and its fruitfulness for the Church, which, however, only God can judge, can not be reduced to a single subject. However, the theological development of the intimate unity and interpenetration of faith and reason is something that gives the papacy of Benedict XVI a special character. Faith and reason do not limit each other, nor are they mutually exclusive; but rather they serve the completion of man in God and in his Word, who became flesh like us, and in his Spirit, who reveals the being and the deepest life of God: God is love, as the great encyclical Deus Caritas Est explains.

So it can be said: Benedict XVI was one of the great theologians of the Chair of Peter. In the long line of his predecessors, it is easy to compare him to an extraordinary scholarly figure of the eighteenth century, Benedict XIV (1740-1758). Similarly one could think of Pope Leo the Great (440-461), who formulated the decisive insight for the Christological creed of the Council of Chalcedon (451). In the long years of his academic work as professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology, Ratzinger has developed an autonomous theological work, which places him in the ranks of the most important theologians of the twentieth and twenty-first century. For over fifty years, his name is synonymous with a total original project of systematic theology. His writings join the scientific knowledge of theology to the living form of faith. As science with its rightful place in the Church, theology can show us the particular vocation of man as a creature and the image of God.

In his scientific work, Benedict XVI has always been able to take advantage of an extraordinary knowledge of the history of theology and dogma, which he has transmitted so as to make man's vision of God shine, on which everything depends. This is made accessible to many thanks to Joseph Ratzinger's use of words and language. The complex contents are not removed from common understanding through complicated reflections, but made transparent in their interior simplicity. At the center of it all there is always the fact that God wants to speak to every man and that his word becomes a light that enlightens all men (cfr. John 1: 9).

L'Osservatore Romano

Plinthos translation (ever correcting and improving Google Translate!).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The False Ideology of Liturgical Sloppiness

There has been for some time now (viz. the past fifty years with an definite hiatus during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI) a certain promotion of spontaneity and the whimsical in liturgy, which is accented anew by Pope Francis' style.

Let me just say for the record that liturgical shabbiness is no sure sign of humility, poverty or authenticity or real concern for people. Liturgy is first of all the explicit and dignified worship and adoration of God, and the cleric who emphasizes that supreme aspect need not be less humble, less poor, less authentic and less concerned for the people than the liturgical buffoon.

Notice today the Holy Father had two priests of Rome join him at the window for the Regina Coeli. Neither of the two was clean shaven (priestly beards are back in the diocese of Rome), at least one of them did not know that basic Christian prayer in Latin, and at the end the Holy Father audibly tells them to join him in giving the blessing which they did in the triple episcopal fashion!

There were record crowds in Saint Peter's Square today (undoubtedly swelled by those who had attended the Basilica Papal Ordinations just before). The Piazza is filled for the midday Papal prayer, address, greeting and blessing, Pope Francis style! He does draw the crowds like no one else!

Cf. On the logic of uniforms.

Το φάρμακο της αθανασίας (The Immortality Drug)

We must revise our whole conception of what redemption is.

Rationalism is still deeply rooted in us, with its insistence on the spiritual alone in after-life.

But redemption is more than an intellectual process, an interior disposition or emotion; we must learn all over again to grasp its divine concrete reality.

Redemption is an integral and vital part of man's existence; so much so that St. Paul (whom certainly no one can accuse of being a worshiper of the body) actually defines it as a process that begins with bodily renewal. This then the gloriously illustrated promise of the Resurrection! Hence Paul's "...and if Christ has not risen, vain then our preaching, vain too is your faith" (I Cor. 15:14). Romano Guardini, The Lord, p. 414

...[N]ot only the spirit of Christ, but his resurrected flesh and blood, his whole, transfigured humanity is redemption!

...[C]ommunion in his flesh and blood is the remedy of immortality, the φάρμακο της αθανασίας as the Greek Fathers called it, of an immortality not only spiritual, but also corporal; of man caught up into the abundance of pure corporal and pure spiritual life in God. Ibid. p. 415

Below, I do not intend to confuse the issue but to make it more incisive by presenting what the latest technology can do by way of producing a man. Nada! Keep at it! and come and follow Jesus!

10 reasons why human level Artificial Intelligence is a false promise.

But we can keep on trying, always, of course, under God!
Cf. A Roadmap to Immortality

Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο (And the Word was made flesh)! John 1:14
On this all of our earthly existence hangs, and that of heaven, and all eternity.

TLC: Women Give More than Men

God endowed ladies with a permanent extra dose of the tenderness, vulnerability and innocence of the child; for the extra consideration and care of men, and for the edification of all!

The greatest gift is to be needed!

She engenders in man a will to serve, tugs on the heart much as the infant does! dilates the heart! by needing it and thereby gives more than she takes; namely cardial-expansion, increases the love capacity. She gives everything. She gives her heart! By giving her heart hearts grow!

Much like our Blessed Mother!

He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:11

Saturday, April 25, 2015

CATHOLICA NON LEGUNTUR (Do not read the Catholics!)

Saint Peter's Cathedral, Regensburg

Do not read Catholic material! That has been the standing Protestant policy for five-hundred years. Why? Well, if you do and persist at it with an open heart, and you have at least ordinary intelligence, you will see and be convinced of the irresistible truth of the Catholic Faith against which the gates of Hell shall never prevail!

I first noticed the influence of this policy in my USA high school liberal arts courses: e.g. English Literature, American History. The literature courses completely omitted works by such huge 20th century English authors as Belloc, Chesterton and Tolkein, C.S. Lewis (a Protestant with a thoroughly Catholic mind). As a matter of fact, the greatest 20th Century English intellectuals include a disproportionate number of Catholics among their ranks.

N.B. Unfortunately this German Protestant well known doctrine mantra of rejecting all Catholic thought and literature "Catholica non leguntur" is seldom discussed outside of Germany, but it is a bias which brought world revolutions to us and an essential ingredient for the rise of the Third Reich.

That close-minded anti-Church Protestant fideism was the seedbed for the French Revolution and the later totalitarian regimes which logically followed from the closing of the mind to truth in the name of freedom, cooperation and world peace: "liberty, equality and fraternity and death to the Church!"

Cf. The Regensburg Address.

The Catholic Regions of Germany Resist Nazi National Socialism Far More Than the Protestant

I had heard that the Nazis were most successful in the Protestant regions of Germany and most resisted in the Catholic regions (that was first expressed to me a couple of years ago by a long time high school teacher friend of mine in Aachen, Germany).

Now I have been seeing repeated and consistent evidence of this in my present research in the life of Joseph Ratzinger.

Bavarian Resistance

"[Bavaria's] Roman Catholic and separatist tendencies threatened to lead to serious opposition to the government set up at Berlin by Adolf Hitler (1933), but Bavaria acquiesced, with the other German states, in the loss of autonomy (1934)." The Columbia Encyclopedia In One Volume, New York 1947, "Bavaria".

Bishop Resistance

Consider the outspoken and Nazi detested resistance of the great German Prelates of the Catholic Church at that time.
  • Cardinal Faulhaber (Freising-Munich)
  • Bishop Preysing (Berlin)
  • Bishop Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, (Munster)
  • Archbishop Frings (Cologne)
The young Joseph Ratzinger was very close to at least two of these (Cardinal Faulhaber was the Cardinal of his youth and who ordained him, and the later Cardinal Frings made Ratzinger his closest theological advisor and speech writer).

Priest Resistance/Torture/Execution

Of the 2720 clergy at Dachau, 2579 (95%!) were Catholic priests (1034 there died)!

Catholic Intellectuals (in the highly anti-Catholic Protestant academic climate; n.b. "Catholica non leguntur")

And it was above all the age old Catholic intellectual and cultural heritage which was the greatest power to resist and respond to the violation of persons and social confusion caused by false ideologies. One key figure was Romano Guardini "the traditional glue that allowed Germany to find some peace and justice after the 12 years of evil under Hitler. Certainly, fewer Germans would have held as much cultural sway in the post-war world as did Guardini. Young Germans especially adored him (e.g. Ratzinger)." Bradley J. Birzer, "Romano Guardini and the Personality of Man".

Guardini taught that the Catholic liturgy is an antidote to rationalism and moralism; the Catholic Church--Body of Christ--is a safeguard against the godless extremes of communism and anarchic individualism.
"Guardini's Catholic message struck a chord with the non-Catholic world, earning him the chair of Philosophy of Religion and Catholic Weltanschauung at the very Protestant, and still largely anti-Catholic, University of Berlin." Christopher Shannon, "Romano Guardini: Father of the New Evangelization"

"The Third Reich would not have come to power, Ratzinger reminds us in the words of Guardini, if the German university had not met its 'downfall' due to the removal of the question of the truth on the part of the dominant academic models." [Viz. secular humanism]  Silvano Zucal, "Ratzinger and Guardini, a decisive encounter". "

"[The relationship between faith and the world is a perennially timely Guardini theme]. Guardini saw the university above all as a place for seeking truth. The university can be so, however, only when it is free from all exploitation for political advantage or other ends...[May students refine their] sensibility to the Christian foundations of our culture and society." Pope Benedict XVI Address on Romano Guardini, 29 October 2010.

This same point is made by Ratzinger regarding grade school and high school education: that the formation in the Greek and Latin classics immunizes the mind from easy sectarian manipulation because of the universal world vision it provides. Cf. Milestones, 23-24.

Another extraordinary Bavarian hero of those days was The Blessed Rupert Mayer SJ. (+1945)


An undivided Catholic Germany could have never produced the Third Reich.

May that be a lesson for the Western world in the face of the present threat from the tyranny of The Islamic State.

The West needs to rediscover itself in Jesus Christ it's Lord and Builder (the Houses of Europe were all built by the Catholic Christian Faith in Jesus Christ), with all due respect to everyone else in the world and in the West. We respect everyone but we must boldly promote, cherish and defend our Christian heritage above all the rest, especially the Rock of it all: The Catholic Church!

"...Although the old order of Christendom no longer exists, we Christians are not a negligible minority, and every Christian, whatever his special vocation and technique, has a general interest in the Christian past and a common responsibility for the preservation of the inheritance of Christian culture." Christopher Dawson, The Historic Reality of Christian Culture. Greenwood Press: Westport Connecticut, 1960, p. 110.

"We must overcome the schism between religion and culture which began in the age of the Renaissance and Reformation and was completed by the Enlightenment and the Revolution. This schism is the great tragedy of Western culture. It must be solved if Christian culture is to survive. And the survival or restoration of christian culture involves not only the fate of our own people and our own civilization but the fate of humanity and the future of the world." Ibid., p. 113.

P.S. Most of the Protestant academia was Nazi! and pushed out Schlier who went and became Catholic! The quote below illustrates that fact regarding the Evangelical German academia of the time, from a 2003 address of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

With this [Magisterial excessive caution of the first half of the 20th century], however, the fact that the opposite problem existed in Protestant theology was taken too little into consideration. This is clearly seen, for example, in the conference on the ecclesial responsibility of the student of theology, held in 1936 by Bultmann's great student, Heinrich Schlier, who later converted to Catholicism. At this time evangelical Christianity in Germany was involved in a battle for survival: the encounter between the so-called German Christians (Deutsche Christen), who, subjecting Christianity to the ideology of National Socialism, distorted its roots, and the Confessed Church (Bekennende Kirche).

In this context Schlier addressed these words to students of theology: "...Reflect a moment on what is better: that the Church, in a legitimate way and after careful reflection, remove from teaching a theologian of heterodox doctrine, or that the individual freely charges one or another teacher of heterodoxy and protects himself from him? It must not be thought that judging is eliminated when each is allowed to judge ad libitum. Here the liberal vision is consistent in affirming that no decision on the truth of a teaching can exist, that therefore every teaching has something of truth and that thus all teachings must be admitted in the Church. But we do not share this vision. This denies in fact that God truly made a decision among us...".

Those who recall that then a great number of the Protestant Theology Departments were almost exclusively in the hands of the German Christians, and that Schlier had to leave academic teaching for affirmations such as the one just cited, can become aware of the other side of this problematic as well.

P.S.S. The German Center Party was the Catholic political party which did have some effect in preserving as much as possible the freedom of thought in academia: e.g. the founding of chairs of Philosophy of Religion and Catholic Weltanschauung in the State Universities in which Roman Guardini was a shining star. Cf. The National Institute for the Renewal of the Priesthood "Who Was Romano Guardini?"

The Dynasty of Lies

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hollywood Pedophilia Exposed: ABC Special

Plinthos posted on this four years ago.

Why May is For Mary: The First Marian May Hymn ("Dear Mary Expel the Moor from Spain, and May God Forgive our Sins!")

Apparently it was King Alfonso X of Spain (1239-1284) who first associated Mary with the month of May. Among his poems entitled Cantigas de Santa Maria (Songs to Saint Mary) there is one which begins:"Welcome May!"...In it the "Wise King" praises the return of May, because with its serenity and joy it invites us to pray to Mary with our songs before her altar so that she might free us from evil and shower us with benefits. It seems therefore that already toward the end of the thirteenth century the custom was well established of gathering before Mary's altar in the month of May to praise and call on her.
A little later, in the fourteenth century, we find it in Blessed Enrique Suson, O.P. (+ 1365), who, among his various displays of tender love for Mary, was accustomed to consecrate Spring to her, the season of the flowers.
Plinthos translation from La Virgen Maria, Antonio Royo Marin, O.P., Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos: Madrid, 1968, p. 497.

Ben Vennas, Maio

Ben vennas, Maio, e con alegría;
porên roguemos a Santa María
que a séu Fillo rógue todavía
que el nos guarde d' érr' e de folía.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio con toda saúde,
por que roguemos a de gran vertude
que a Déus rógue que nos sempr' ajude
contra o dém' e dessí nos escude.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, e con lealdade,
por que roguemos a de gran bondade
que sempre aja de nós pïadade
e que nos guarde de toda maldade.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con muitas requezas;
e nós roguemos a que á nobrezas
en si mui grandes, que nos de tristezas
guard' e de coitas e ar d' avolezas.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, cobérto de fruitas;
e nós roguemos a que sempre duitas
á sas mercees de fazer ên muitas,
que nos defenda do dém' e sas luitas.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con bõos sabores;
e nós roguemos e demos loores
aa que sempre por nós pecadores
róg' a Déus, que nos guarde de doores.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con vacas e touros;
e nós roguemos a que nos tesouros
de Jeso-Cristo é, que aos mouros
cedo cofonda, e brancos e louros.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, alégr' e sen sanna;
e nós roguemos a quen nos gaanna
ben de séu Fillo, que nos dé tamanna
força, que sáian os mouros d' Espanna.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con muitos gãados;
e nós roguemos a que os pecados
faz que nos sejan de Déus perdõados,
que de séu Fillo nos faça privados.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con bõo verão;
e nós roguemos a Virgen de chão
que nos defenda d' óme mui vilão
e d' atrevud' e de torp' alvardão.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con pan e con vinno;
e nós roguemos a que Déus mininno
troux' en séus braços, que nos dé caminno
por que sejamos con ela festinno.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, manss' e non sannudo;
e nós roguemos a que nóss' escudo
é, que nos guarde de louc' atrevudo
e d' óm' e~aio e desconnoçudo.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, alégr' e fremoso;
porend' a Madre do Rei grorïoso
roguemos que nos guarde do nojoso
óm' e de falsso e de mentiroso.
Ben vennas, Maio.

Ben vennas, Maio, con bõos manjares;
e nós roguemos en nóssos cantares
a Santa Virgen, ant' os séus altares,
que nos defenda de grandes pesares.
Ben vennas, Maio.

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