So, does this bother you?

According to a story posted at Rorate Caeli, Cardinal Ratzinger told a German translator:

It was also Cardinal Ratzinger who, according to her own testimony, advised Sigrid Spath to remain a Protestant, and not to convert to the Catholic Church, as she had considered in a moment of crisis. She could do more for both churches if she remained a Protestant, said the Cardinal. The Carinthian remained in the Protestant Christuskirche in Rome [the Evangelical-Lutheran community of Rome] throughout her life.

This is not something I am going to get all in a tizzy about. I have no idea what the Lutheran body she belonged to was like.  Maybe she was more in spiritual communion with the Pontiff than many of the Catholic bishops in Germany at this present time, you know, the ones who would not shake Pope Benedict’s hand when he visited there.

This is the thing about some Trads.  They are so juridical, as if the legal thing is all that matters.

It all has to be in black and white, like a legal contract.  No salvation outside the Church. Juridical. End of story.

Same thing about marriage. You say the vow, it’s juridical and it makes no difference whether the person making the vow had the capacity to make it.

Now we did hear a version of this in the run-up to the Ordinariates, with some camps saying, better we stay Anglican and continue to have ecumenical talks than to join the Catholic Church (camps within the Catholic Church mind you).

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8 Responses to So, does this bother you?

  1. Benedict Marshall says:

    It doesn’t bother me at all. After JPII died, lots of folks in the media had a caricature of him overblown as a “former-nazi-hitler’s-youth-god’s-rottweiler-archconservative” but anyone with a brain then would have used the internet to research that he was a liberal. I think he was still a liberal when he became pope, but the sort who said “Hey, Tradition ain’t so bad.”

    But what they did to him was terrible, all through his pontificate. The media, and he even hinted people from within attacking him “People who know they shouldn’t.”

    I think if he was this untouchable conservative, he wouldn’t have established the ordinariates.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Benedict,

      You wrote: After JPII died, lots of folks in the media had a caricature of him overblown as a “former-nazi-hitler’s-youth-god’s-rottweiler-archconservative” but anyone with a brain then would have used the internet to research that he was a liberal. I think he was still a liberal when he became pope, but the sort who said “Hey, Tradition ain’t so bad.”

      There’s no doubt that the caricature of the major media is, and always was, completely off the mark, but Pope Benedict XVI is not exactly a liberal by any means. Rather, he is quite conservative, especially in doctrinal matters.

      What many people don’t realize is that a multivolume translation of the writings of the church fathers into German became available some years before the Second Vatican Council, making this important element of our tradition accessible to German theologians. As a result, the theologians of the curia — most of whom were familiar only with the short quotations from the church fathers that appeared in the theological manuals — found themselves completely outgunned during the council. A typical exchange might have gone something like this.

      Curial official: “St. Augustine wrote, ‘Christ is present in the eucharist because he is present in the minister.'”

      German theologian: “Well, yes, but St. Augustine actually wrote, ‘Christ is present in the eucharist because he is present in the minister, and he is present in the minister because he is present in the people.'”

      Thus, what emerged from the council is actually more orthodox (that is, more original and thus more authentic) than the popular understanding of the day — truly conservative reforms that restored elements of tradition that had been deemphasized and forgotten.

      That said, there’s no doubt that many of those conservative reforms were implemented poorly, with little catechesis and consequent widespread misunderstanding. There’s also no doubt that there were many abuses in the 1970’s and 1980’s based upon some alleged “Spirit of Vatican II” — a euphemism for badly warped and distorted misunderstanding of the council’s clear intent. These abuses were far from praiseworthy, just as disobedient as those who obstinately refused to implement the legitimate reforms, and equally deserving of condemnation by the magisterium and sanction of those responsible by diocesan bishops and tribunals.

      You wrote: I think if he was this untouchable conservative, he wouldn’t have established the ordinariates.

      Why not? Does a conservative not have the obligation to heal schism? To be “conservative” does not mean to preserve existing custom at all costs. Rather, it means to ensure that changes to existing practice are fully orthodox.

      In this regard, our theology of the papacy as an essential instrument of Christian unity, as expressed in the encyclical Ut unam sint — which then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger probably ghost-wrote as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — is profound.

      Here, also, there is clear precedent for all aspects of the ordinariates.

      >> 1. The Roman Rite has never been the sole rite of worship in the western church. The Ambrosian Rite continues to be the norm of the Archdiocese of Milan, the celebration of the Mozarabic Rite continues at a chapel in Toledo, and historically the Gaulican Rite and the Saram Rite were celebrated throughout France and England respectively for several centuries before the reformation.

      >> 2. The establishment of parallel ecclesial structures for those who return to full communion of the Catholic Church also is far from novel. The sui juris ritual churches for non-Roman Rite came into being centuries ago. Also, Pope John Paul II canonically erected the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, with the same territory as the Diocese of Campos in Brazil, to reconcile the former Sacerdotal Society of St. John Mary Vianney that entered into schism with Bishop Antônio de Castro Mayer on 18 January 2002, establishing clear precedent for such jurisdictions within the Roman Rite. The only thing that’s distinctive here is that the new jurisdictions are called “ordinariates” — an intentional accommodation to permit married presbyters to hold the office of “ordinary” without receiving episcopal ordination — but there is also precedent for a presbyter to hold this office the many “apostolic vicariates” and “apostolic prefectures,” and even in some “military ordinariates,” throughout the world.

      >> 3. Popes going back to Pius XII routinely granted indults for ordination of married former Anglican and former Protestant clergy in the Catholic Church.

      Thus, the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus does nothing that has not been done before. Rather, it simply applies past precedent to a new situation — which is precisely what a true conservative would do.

      Norm.

      • Norm,

        I think you will find that Anglicanorum Coetibus did in fact do something which had not been done before (except in JPII’s Pastoral Provision).

        It opens the Catholic Church to a church of the Reformation.

        It recognises certain developments which took place outside the Church of Rome and within a Protestant church as treasures which should be shared with all in the Catholic and Apostolic Church and initiates a new canonical structure to accommodate this.

        Now this has nothing to do with conservative and liberal, but with openminded and openhearted. If conservative means bolting down the hatches and keeping the Church pure in its traditional form, then Benedict was not a conservative. He is often misquoted. He did not talk of a “hermeneutic of continuity” but of a “hermeneutic of reform” adding the words “, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us”.

        I don’t think more needs to be said.

        David Murphy

  2. Benedict Marshall says:

    Also, watching that video, it doesn’t bother me at all. It pisses me off. That’s a whole category above “bothered”

    You don’t do that to your father, ever. Even if you disagree with him, he is still your father.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Benedict,

      You wrote: You don’t do that to your father, ever. Even if you disagree with him, he is still your father.

      I agree!

      Norm.

  3. Musings says:

    Or just maybe the claim is untrue or at least was misunderstood by Sigrid Spath.

  4. Pingback: So, does this bother you? | Catholic Canada

  5. Dear Deborah,

    The prelates shown on this video who do not shake the Pope’s hand are NOT the German bishops!! If you look carefully you will see that the Pope is holding out his hand not to be shaken but tointroduce the various people to the German President whoindeed does shake their hands.

    They are cardinals, bishops and monsignori who accompanied the Pope to Germany plus the Nuncio and his staff. I am assuming that some of them felt it strange to be shaking hands with the Pope as though they were Germans being introduced to him. What do you think?

    The one or two German archbishops among them (Zöllitsch, Woelki) do indeed shake his hand.

    David

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