Daily Archives: December 12, 2011
Now, in conclusion, our discussion returns to Vatican II, so as to make, if possible, a definitive statement about whether or not it is part of Tradition and about its magisterial quality. There is no question about the latter, and those laudatores who for a good 50 years have tirelessly upheld the magisterial identity of Vatican II have been wasting their time and ours: no one denies it. Given their uncritically exuberant statements, however, a problem arises as to the quality: what sort of Magisterium are we talking about? The article in L’Osservatore Romano to which I referred at the outset speaks about doctrinal Magisterium: and who has ever denied it? Even a purely pastoral statement can be doctrinal, in the sense of pertaining to a given doctrine. If someone were to say doctrinal in the sense of dogmatic, however, he would be wrong: no dogma is proclaimed by Vatican II. If it has some dogmatic value also, it does so indirectly in passages where it refers back to previously defined dogmas. Its Magisterium, in short, as has been said over and over again to anyone who has ears to hear it, is a solemn and supreme Magisterium.More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven.
It is almost Christmas, and yours truly has decided to write a short post about the way Christianity has traditionally dealt – in charity – with the issue of same-sex attractions.
We all know that, whilst the Church has always condemned the actual act of sodomy – we say this in a very low voice of course, as we understand the Holy Ghost is sending different signals now, as he has been doing these last 60 years – Christianity has always been very understanding of the actual luuv experienced – no doubt, because of the influence of the Holy Ghost – by many saintly couples with same-sex attraction.You know by now that an enormous number of saints was homosexual (Saint Elton The Adopter, and Saint Stephen Fry come to mind) as was an inordinate number of bishops, cardinals, Popes, Roman Emperors, and Jedi like, say, Lucia Skywalker and Yodaola The Minute Lesbian.
Already in Roman times, same-sex ceremonies were celebrated everywhere. It is recorded what one of the first bishop, Vincentius, had to say on the matter:
“We do not oppose same-sex partnership. We recognise in Roman Law there might be a case for those. What we persistently said is that this are not the same as marriage”.
This is the reason, dear reader, why for two thousand years the Church has known two parallel institutions:marriage (destined for those of opposite sex, and having as their aim procreation) and civil partnership (destined for those with same-sex attractions, but living together in an oh so edifying chaste life; actually an example for us all, wretched sinners…..).
As you can see from the writings of this early Veterinary of the Church, same-sex couples were basically everywhere, and their oh so chaste life celebrate by other Christians as a true example of Christian virtue.
This is why we read in Romans the following words:
For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,
Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.
But those who, being filled with deceit, malignity and malice, did not have sexual intercourse, received in themselves the recompense which is due to their virtue, and stability was given to their relationship*.
As Vincentius already explained to us – and as it has been constant teaching of the Church these two thousand years – the Church’s censure does not refer to same-sex attractions, but merely to the sodomite act. The sodomite act is – at risk of being uncharitable; which we are not; or course we aren’t; perish the thought – not the best choice; suboptimal at worst; somewhat short of the ideal; and who are we to judge, anyway…
At the same time, said Vincentius, same-sex fellowships are different. For those, he said,
“we are very nuanced”. “Clearly, respect must be shown to those who in the situation within the Roman Empire use a civil fellowship to bring stability to a relationship”.
This is, my dear readers, why same-sex civil partnership have become such an indissoluble component of Christian civilisation, without which the Christian West would have been unthinkable. This is why, from time immemorial, the Church has celebrated chaste homosexual partnerships and honoured them in poetry, music, painting, and the like. Think of Raphael’s “Marriage of the Eunuchs”, or Masaccio’s “Peter Tatchell and his child-bridegroom”. This is also why your grandmother, who was justly terrified at the idea of global warming, did not object to her neighbours living in an homosexual – chaste, of course – relationship in the least, and participated to “orgoglio allegro” (which then spread to the Anglo-Saxon world, and became known as “gay pride”) together with all her female and gay friends; all of them celebrating tolerance, inclusiveness, and being oh so nice with each other. That was, you see, a Christian world. So nice!
It is really, really unfortunate that after two thousand years of celebrating diversity, of authentic Christian tradition of homosexual partnership, these miserable Birkenstock-wearer and assorted Sixty-Eighters should try to re-invent Christianity and tell us same-sex attraction is….. a perversion!
I blame Vatican II!
Just stop and think……
how charitable we all were!
* this is an ancient text, in the past believed an interpolation but now proved authentic after it was found in Vincentius’ own Bible text.
Both Messa in Latino and Rorate Caeli, (the latter in English) report about the now imminent refusal of the Preambolo Dottrinale from the side of the SSPX.
Whilst it is sad for me – as, I hope, for every Catholic – to have to write these lines (there might still be further changes and an agreement in the end; but at this point I am not holding my breath), it is easy to see what is happening: the SSPX will only accept an agreement allowing them to continue to fire with all cannons at the “Spirit of V II” and the toxic rests still polluting the Church, or will continue to remain in imperfect communion.This was the main aim of the request for clarification from Rome, and the result is in front of our eyes.
In times of Assisi III and of Archbishops astonishingly expressing themselves in favour of “civil partnerships” ( a practice, as you all know, widely practiced during twenty centuries of Christianity and only now… no, wait!!) one is really not surprised at the Bishop’s stance; then to renounce to thunder against the continuing state of popularity-seeking drunkenness of too large a part of the clergy would be tantamount to giving up the reason the SSPX exists in the first place.
Allow me, on this occasion, to comment on what I have read around: that Bishop Fellay be more or less forced to refuse the agreement because of the internal pressures from the right wingers, and assorted killjoys.
Frankly, I think it’s bollocks.
The senior members of the SSPX have met in Albano and have held talks all together about what was the real – I think this meant: the unspoken, the implicit – deal offered to them. You will remember Bishop Williamson was not even present. It can, therefore, not be said that the “hawks” have managed to somehow highjack the gathering and impose their extremes views. On the contrary, the fact that the mainstream within the SSPX – which is, I am tempted to think, pretty much the very best the Church has to offer nowadays – has decided not to approve the Preambolo Dottrinale is in itself a clear indication that, after careful consideration, this was seen as not giving enough guarantees that the SSPX would be free to continue his work unmolested.
I am rather sure a clear majority among my thirteen readers will be persuaded that whilst the SSPX is not immune from isolated cases of extreme religious grumpiness, the majority of their religious members sincerely desire the end of the strife and full reconciliation, if this can be made in the right way.
Alas, they have decided – without Bishop Williamson even being there – this is not the case. I admire their courage and determination; and their, well, chutzpah. Whatever faults you may attribute to them, the absence of cojones is not among them.
Secondly, I do not agree with this idea of the SSPX so jealously interested in remaining in a state of imperfect communion, because this would promote their work and leave them in a golden spot at the margin, but still inside the edifice of the Church. Besides the fact that these are not really the kind of people putting ambition first – otherwise they would have tried to become, say, the one or other of the 27,000 bishops in full communion, some of them cowards and/or heretics in astonishing measure, but undisturbed- it seems clear to me that the day the Society is in full communion its expansion will be massive, as the stigma of “rebellion” would be lost but the fame of doctrinal integrity would be intact. The SSPX has much to gain from an agreement, and if they had been driven by ambition this is exactly what its members would have done.
The brutal truth is, if you ask me, that the men of the SSPX put doctrinal orthodoxy before personal interest and ambition for their order, as this rather spectacular refusal of an agreement without full guarantees of being able to continue Archbishop Lefebvre’s work shows.
What a difference with the thousand big and small testimonies of cowardice and appeasement with the world coming from people who are and continue to be in full communion.
Seriously, I never liked the SSPX so much as these days, as they have showed in the most impressive way the cloth they are cut from. It is really a pity they should – unavoidably – attract so many protosedevacantist – or outright sedevacantist – elements. Can’t be helped, I am afraid, sedevacantism being so fragmented and litigious that the attraction of a substantial, rock-solid organisation with spread presence must be irresistible to many of them.
Still: thank God for the SSPX!