The White Lily Blog


Shepherds Run, Advise Flock To Fight the Wolves

Former pope Benedict XVI and present pope Francis are not opposites, and Joseph Ratzinger is not a friend to tradition, in spite of the enthusiastic assertions  to the contrary resurrected by the synod on the family, where we euphorically applauded bishops who voted no to the most extreme modernist positions but kept Ratzinger’s language on the subject, his still-standing prohibition against ‘discrimination’ directed at homosexual behavior. This is a position only slightly less liberal than the Synod’s rejected paragraphs, and was the potent seed, the legal door,  for the two decades past of the homosexual marriage movement, who seized their chance in this chink in the Catholic defense against sodomy. To make us unable to discriminate against them on pain of sin is all they needed to win everything they wanted, an inability to discriminate against them on pain of law: no discrimination in jobs, in housing, in the military,  in ‘marriage,’ and there is no leeway in the prohibition to deny them communion in the near future. With that single potent legal phrase, Ratzinger enabled the Democratic party to pursue its sex socialist agenda.  Trad hero?

Rorate Caeli’s translation of Ratzinger’s first public statement following his resignation proves the point.  I speak of the Message of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for the naming of the reformed Aula Magna of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, in which our former pope attempts to reconcile a thorny problem to modernists, the very real opposition between ecumenism on the one hand and our Catholic mission to give the world the Truth as Christ bid us do on the other. How he does it is pure Council.  Just a few paragraphs give the game away. Some inessential parts are elipsed.

Ratzinger first makes this statement:

Today many have the idea, in effect, that religions should respect each other, and . . .  become a common force for peace. In this way of thinking, most times there is a presupposition that the various religions are variants of one and the same reality; that “religion” is a category common to all, which assumes different forms according to different cultures, but expresses, however, one and the same reality. The question of truth, which at the beginning of Christianity moved Christians more than anything else, in this mode of thinking is placed within parentheses. It presupposes that the authentic truth about God . . .is unobtainable . . . . This renunciation of truth seems convincing and useful for peace among the religions of the world.

This, however, is lethal to faith.

It sounds as if Ratzinger were going to speak against this idea.  Thank God!

Guess again! Let’s continue, skipping ahead:

Religion in itself is not a unitary phenomenon . . . On the one side there is the prominence of reaching out beyond this world towards the eternal God. On the other side we find  elements that have arisen from the history of men and from their practice of religion. Among these elements certainly there are beautiful things but also things that are base and destructive, wherever the egoism of man has taken over religion and, instead of an opening, has transformed religion into a closure within its own space.

And nevertheless it is correct to affirm that every religion, to remain on the side of what is right, at the same time must also be always critical of religion.

It stands to reason that the Christian faith again and again must develop such a critical power even with respect to its own religious history.

So, after affirming that leveling all religions is an error and harmful to faith, in subsequent paragraphs Christianity is nevertheless reduced to the same errors of egoism and ‘closure to openings’ as all the rest. We, too, must be ‘critical’ of our own religious history. Just like the rest.

Vintage Council.

Ratzinger does not continue on to name those events or beliefs in our ‘religious history’  which deserve criticism, but without clarifying them, he names a solution to the problem he has described in which ecumenism jeopardizes or blocks our mission.  Individuals may take up the burden! The Church itself will remain quiet and critical of itself, but individuals are not so bound. The task of evangelization belongs to individuals. The Church may not be triumphant, but we Catholics on the ground may be so.

Here is now he puts it:   “[T]here is a second way, more simple, to justify this undertaking today. Love demands to be communicated . . . . That love, which is realized and reflected in multiform ways in the saints of all times, is the authentic proof of the truth of Christianity . . . . We proclaim Jesus Christ not to get as many members as possible for our community, and least of all for the sake of power. We speak of Him because we feel that we have to share that joy with others that has been given to us.”

That captures practice since the Council very well. The Church itself opts out of a whole range of activities which have in the past been criticized rightly or wrongly.  He leaves it open by not naming any.  Included of course would be the possibility of the Catholic state where Catholic morals would form the philosophical basis for all legislation, and further, even the promotion of legislation by the Church in a secular state, like laws which would seem to limit the freedom of other faiths to practice as they wish, even though it might mean the murder of the unborn or the sanction of sterile sodomy or divorce. The Church cannot interfere with the secular government on these matters, since it has been cleverly established that She makes too many mistakes and has learned Her lesson.

That is the practice of the Church since the Council,  no one can deny it, and the stamp of it is clearly seen in Ratzinger’s own solution first to homosexuality: say the truth, say the old Catholic teaching, say it all you want, but permit no discrimination in the legal arena.  You will hear this disastrous alternative put another way, as well:  ‘our job is to form consciences. ‘ Unspoken: not make laws. ‘Therefore does Chicago’s new Bishop Cupich forbid Catholic priests in his old diocese to participate in Forty Days for Life–because they push the envelope toward the criminalization of abortion.  Their shocking signage is not there merely to shock, but to cause us to realize this activity is bloody murder and must be ceased by order of the courts. Cupich told his priests it isn’t ‘Catholic.’  And it isn’t–not the new Vatican II Catholic.  Ratzinger has simply rephrased it here.

And consider something else about what it means, to say that Catholics and the Church itself must cultivate a critical stance toward our own history. There is no distinction whatsoever made in Ratzinger’s statement between the errors of individuals, which surely happened, and errors of the Church itself. Perhaps individuals exploited Indian labor in our own American West, let us choose one alleged horror, but it can be demonstrated in that event that the Church itself at the time held the correct doctrine, the one which does not change from age to age, which the individuals violated. The same can be said for slavery, in which the Church’s teaching and practice was correct, for sexual predation, and for every other item on the wish list of the let’s-hate-a-Catholic-today gang.  The Church has not been ‘wrong’ in any age.

Which actions or historical events or teachings of the Church, not of individuals, are those of which we must always maintain a critical attitude?  Please tell us!  Contraception? The inquisition? Divorce? Homosexuality? The eucharist? The resurrection?

Please, my dear fellow Catholics. This is heresy. It is bold modernism. It is Conger and Teilhard de Chardin and Bugnini and all of their girlfriends. It’s so ugly we ought to cry.  Or vomit. But at least, will we please stop saying this man is traditional? And this is not his first slip, something off the wall, uncharacteristic; the others are just longer and denser, like Caritas in Veritate which the Ratzinger fan club needs to plow their way through while the Synod’s language is fresh in their mind,  always asking, which church is he talking about here?

By the way, may I please say, to criticize a pope or former pope is not to criticize the authority of the papacy. If one proves that a pope is in error, it does not compromise the infallibility of the Church, it invites the hierarchy of the Church to do their duty, and call the error, and un-elect said pope by declaring him a Manifest Heretic (please get The Papacy, clear and short, thorough on the canon laws and theology that apply). This is the cry we must raise about Francis now, but we need not elevate Ratzinger to do so. We must raise this cry about Francis, or we will lose all.


3 Comments so far
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I see several problems here. One is labeling the person and not the behavior, which is rash judgment. The second is that, for instance, the Catholic religious history cannot be conflated to Catholic teaching. We have had some inglorious moments in our history due to sinners in the clergy as well as the faithful and he is saying that. Overall, I think it’s time for everyone who is doing it to stop attacking the Popes and spend more time on our relationship with Jesus and bringing the joy of the Gospel, including the hard sayings of Jesus, to those not in full possession of the truth. Thirdly, to the extent that other world religions have any element of truth in them, those elements provide the doors through which we can bring their adherents to Christ and into the Catholic Church. This is the truth behind Benedict’s choice of words, I believe. I refuse myself to get caught up in the debates over Vatican Council II because I consider them a distraction from proclaiming the truth.

Comment by barbaraschoeneberger

“One is labeling the person and not the behavior, which is rash judgment. The second is that, for instance, the Catholic religious history cannot be conflated to Catholic teaching.”

But I didn’t! I didn’t say Benedict was a heretic, I said the insinuation that the Church was in error is heresy, and that’s attacking the false doctrine, not the man. Which it is. He said it–fight with that. Fight with what he said. If you won’t, then it is you who are conflating history–the actions of individuals–with doctrine, Catholic teaching, in objecting to my objecting. : ) And second, it is not I who conflated religious history with Catholic teaching, but Benedict who did. And it’s ambiguous enough to confuse us, just as your post feared! We deserve the leadership of the Church in all matters. It is not up to the laity alone to provide the Church’s teachings, primarily that She alone is the True Church, when the Church Herself is silent on the matter, or performs actions which suggest otherwise.

Criticize the popes too much? Would that we have begun earlier! Criticize heresy everywhere–but especially when spoken by popes. Nicely, of course.

Comment by thewhitelilyblog

I agree 100% with your analysis, but I read as one “biased” by what I know of the man. Ratzinger could be the most dangerous of the evil popes we have had since 1958 because he has a keen intellect and is respected by the most conservative Catholics for it. Not to minimize Wojtyla (John Paul II), but Ratzinger is more direct than esoteric, as was his predecessor, and can thereby pass the infection more deeply to his adherents.

To justify my remarks, I’d highly recommend reading the first several articles at http://waragainstbeing.com that analyze and expose Ratzinger’s mind as an adherent of modern thinking. He is clearly opposed to the “triumphalist” Church (read glorious and powerful society of Christ the King), The Syllabus of Ven. Pius IX, the thinking of St. Thomas, while he is quite firmly aligned with the evolutionist thinking of Teilhard. The address above flows naturally from his thinking, and your analysis is not taking him out of context, or exaggerating his ideas.

Comment by Cyprian




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