… How is it … that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics? …  … The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines— “That the Lord your God may try you;” he says. And assuredly it is a great trial when one whom you believe to be a prophet, a disciple of prophets, a doctor and defender of the truth, whom you have folded to your breast with the utmost veneration and love, … secretly and furtively brings in noxious errors, which you can neither quickly detect, being held by the prestige of former authority, nor lightly think it right to condemn, being prevented by affection for your old master. …
[72.] Therefore, as soon as the corruption of each mischievous error begins to break forth, and to defend itself by filching certain passages of Scripture, and expounding them fraudulently and deceitfully, immediately, the opinions of the ancients in the interpretation of the Canon are to be collected, whereby the novelty, and consequently the profaneness, whatever it may be, that arises, may both without any doubt be exposed, and without any tergiversation be condemned. … But whatsoever a teacher holds, other than all, or contrary to all, be he holy and learned, be he a bishop, be he a Confessor, be he a martyr, let that be regarded as a private fancy of his own, and be separated from the authority of common, public, general persuasion, lest, after the sacrilegious custom of heretics and schismatics, rejecting the ancient truth of the universal Creed, we follow, at the utmost peril of our eternal salvation, the newly devised error of one man.
— St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory (ca. 434)
Let me start with a brief follow-up on what Ed Peters has named “the O’Malley dabbing”. Not long ago I expressed my worries about the indifferentist message which O’Malley’s stunt sent to an already religiously bewildered age, and I think it’s worth showing one more facet of the “mess” which his imprudence has made. This American Life League article (17 Jan 2014) gives some key background on Rev. Robertson, which O’Malley has implicitly blessed in the eyes of the world. Robertson is “the same woman who wrote a book in 2005 entitled God’s Top 10: Blowing the Lid Off the Commandments. In this book, she supports contraception, legalized abortion, and same-sex marriage.” From a zealous defense of Ted Kennedy to a public act of valorizing a heretical minister of what she likes to call the Gospel–one may legitimately wonder if O’Malley’s accelerated rise to the top comes in spite of, or is due to, such indifferentist shenanigans.
Whatever the case may be, O’Malley seems to have gotten on the right train. How nice that he can pal around with a newly minted Cardinal who once publicly offered flowers to Hindu gods and compare notes with perhaps the closest cardinal to Pope Francis, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who recently explained, among other things, that no less than the head of the CDF, Gerhard Müller, needs to taker’easy on the ol’ dogma sauce.
“I strongly believe that the Church has reached the dawn of a new era, as it did fifty years ago when John XXIII opened the window to let some fresh air in.” “Francis is close to people, without looking down on them, but going among them,” Maradiaga added. “The Church is not in the hands of humans, it is the work of God. I am certain that God intervened in the March 2013 election because if the choice had been left up to humans, someone else would now be Pope.” …
No cultish monophystism here, nope. Nuh-uh.
“The Church is bound by God’s commandments and by Jesus’ teachings on marriage: man must not separate what God has united. But different approachescan be taken to make this clear. [Genesis 3:4!] “What God has united, man must not separate. When a marriage fails, we may ask ourselves for example whether they were really united by God. This is certainly an area that is open to further reflection. But we must not go down the “what is black today is white tomorrow” road. [*] …
“I asked the Pope why it was necessary to hold a new Synod on the family” after the one held in 1980 and John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris Consortio”. “The Pope replied that these dealt with things as they were 30 years ago but most families today are no longer what they were back then. [*] …
“All these things require answers in today’s world and it is not enough to say: this is what traditional doctrine is for. Of course traditional doctrine will be maintained [in cryo-stasis],” Maradiaga went on to say. But there are modern “pastoral challenges” that cannot be addressed by adopting an “authoritarian and moralist attitude” because this “is not new evangelisation.” …
So, according to Maradiaga, and whoever else may agree with him, “New Evangelization” explicitly means rejecting traditional doctrine as irrelevant, in favor of modern solutions, based on changing earthly realities? Got it. Kids, you might want to make a T-shirt for that.
In response to a specific question about the Prefect Müller (in reference to the article – written ahead of the meeting on the family – in which the newly-nominated cardinal completely rejected any possibility of opening up the sacraments to remarried divorcees), Maradiaga said: “I think I understand him. He is German, it has to be said. He is above all a German Theology professor [Say, wasn’t there some other German theology professor heading the CDF not so long ago? Didn’t he get a lot of limelight for a few years after that? Gosh, what was his name, again?] and he only thinks in black-and-white terms. [*] But “the world isn’t like that, my brother. You should be a bit flexible when you hear other voices, so you don’t just listen and say, ‘here is the wall’.” The Honduran prelate claims he is certain that Müller “will eventually come to understand other points of view as well,” even though for now “he only listens to his group of advisors.”
After all, Abp. Gänswein rather quickly learned to play along, so Maradiaga has every confidence that Müller will, too.
What rot. Sadly, though, it’s just just more bullshit from Maradiaga.
Maradiaga has got to be the looniest bird in the whole bin, yet I’ve not heard a peep of critcism from, well, from whomever might be competent to judge him. Handily enough, though, his kind has already been judged.
Of such Catholics, St. Pius X said in Pascendi §49, “Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!”
Of such Catholics St. Vincent Lerins wrote in Commonitory §51, “I cannot sufficiently wonder at the madness of certain men, at the impiety of their blinded understanding, at their lust of error, such that, not content with the rule of faith delivered once for all, and received from the times of old, they are every day seeking one novelty after another, and are constantly longing to add, change, take away, in religion, as though the doctrine, “Let what has once for all been revealed suffice,” were not a heavenly but an earthly rule—a rule which could not be complied with except by continual emendation, nay, rather by continual fault-finding”
Of such casuistry Pope Clement XIII, “Diabolical error, when it has artfully colored its lies, easily clothes itself in the likeness of truth while very brief additions or changes corrupt the meaning of expressions; and confession, which usually works salvation, sometimes, with a slight change, inches toward death” (In Dominco Agro).
You get the picture.
Does Pope Francis?
Let’s pray he takes more of an active hand keeping his top cardinals in line with his clear vision of traditional orthodoxy.