We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Io, io sono la tradizione, io, io sono la Chiesa!"

It is almost spring and there is the unmistakable scent of Lefebvre in the air. No need to say where when it seems to be, well, everywhere.

But, I am more concerned with this, Marx's famous utterance: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." And so, for the moment, drop the concern with personages altogether: consider the First and the Second Vatican Councils. They are both two sides of the same coin, as much as sedevacantism is merely the flip-side of ultramontanism.

The First was a complete denial of reality and so, of course, reality wisely chose to interrupt the council by annihilating the Pope's temporal powers, through an annexation of the Papal territories. The ultimate upshot (a bit later) was equally un-Catholic: the imposition of a human doctrine -- neo-Scholasticism -- as the universal and univocal norm.

If the First was completely out of step with the times, the Second proved to produce a near total capitulation to them. Already a glaring anachronism (post-Napoleon), the next pitiful attempt to render this structure meaningful and relevant resembled an effort to row out, in a leaky canoe, to catch a ship that had already sailed centuries ago. The end result? Send in the clowns.

If the popes of the past had been petty tyrants, prone to seething fits of apoplexy at the slightest hint of resistance, then instead we would have rule by committee, with the assistance of the oh so helpful periti. Instead of the conciliar church, all that really emerged as lasting was bureaucracy, section men, spin control, and double talk. And there, I fear, it must remain. It makes no difference if one be in Rome or Ecône, Canterbury or 815. Human, all-too-human.

As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred;
so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies,
but also in matters of Faith.

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