Thursday, February 12, 2015

CDF and Lefebvre Pars III (Religious Liberty and the Unity of the True Religion)

Pars I
Pars II

Religious Liberty and the Unity of the True Religion.

The elements expounded in section 1 clarify in large measure the problem presented in section 2. For this reason our project here will be more brief and content with completing certain aspects what have already been mentioned.

The doctrine on religious liberty, contained in DH, absolutely does not include a relativist conception about truth, nor a negation of the fact that the Catholic religion is the unique true religion. The dubia on this subject were formulated so as to propose certain affirmations about DH, in particular, on sections 3, 4 and 6:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Side note concerning the Dubia of Marciel Lefebvre

For those who want not only to read the response, but also to review the original dubia, Angeleus Press published them in 2001 under the title Religious Liberty Questioned.

A copy may be ordered from Amazon or any number of other sites.

If there is a public domain source for them in English, or even in French or Latin I would gladly post them if it should be made available to me.

CDF and Lefebvre pars II (Religious Liberty and Human Dignity)

Pars I


1. Religious liberty and human dignity according to the Declaration Dignitatis humanæ (hereafter, DH):

           The right to religious liberty has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. (DH, 2/a).

Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. (DH, 2/b).

Would, therefore, the conciliar doctrine, according to which the foundation of the right to religious liberty is located in the objective dignity of the person, based, in turn, on human nature, be incompatible with the traditional Catholic doctrine, such as what is expressed for example in the affirmation given by Leo XIII?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Response to the dubia presented by His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre- Pars I

Response to the dubia presented by His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre

At the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, I have studied with care the large dossier prepared by His Excellency Msgr. Lefebrve, in which a certain number of dubia are presented on the possibility of reconciling Vatican II's doctrine on religious liberty and the prior magisterium.

Already in the different stages of the preparation of the Declaration Dignitatis humanæ, this question was very present and the definitive text of the Declaration itself, within its preamble, explicitly affirms that “the Council of the Vatican searches the sacred tradition and holy doctrine of the Church from whence it draws from the new in constant accord with the old” (DH no. 1). Likewise, afterwards, many theological studies, in commenting on the conciliar Declaration, tried to show how the indisputable newness which this document represents was in continuity and harmony with the prior magisterium.1

However, in order to respond to the question posed by Msgr. Lefebvre, it is not sufficient to publish from what is already handed down in the existing bibliography, and it was judged necessary to conduct a more detailed study, the result of which will be presented in the following pages.


Msgr. Lefebvre and the CDF- Certain Dubia Concerning Religious liberty

A while back I started translation an unsigned response the CDF gave to a series of dubia presented by Archbishop Marciel Lefebvre on religious liberty. I then left it off distracted by other things. As far as I am aware this has not been widely disseminated nor translated into English before. The text is divided into four main parts, the most important of which is the third.

  1. Presentation of the dubia of Msgr. Leferbve.
  2. Presentation of this Response to the "dubia" - an explanation of procedure and why they chose not to directly list and answer the dubia as is normally done
  3. Response to Fundamental Points - which is divided into four:
    1. Religious Liberty and the Dignity of Man
    2. Religious Liberty and the Unity of the True Religion
    3. Duties of the State to religion. The Church and State
    4. On the comparison of Quanta Cura and Dignitatis humanae.
  4. Conclusion
The text is in French, but makes frequent use of quotations both in Latin and Italian. They often quote from the same document, in one place the French translation, and in another place the Latin. As a rule I have tried to follow the Latin unless the French had some notable difference.

At this point I am merely presenting the text. In the near future, after editing, I will make available, either here or on another site, the full document, annotated and with commentary.

For now I will post sections of it at a time. The first shall be parts I, and II. The next four will be of part III and the conclusion.

Monday, February 9, 2015

January 1st- Circumcision or Holy Mary Mother of God?

A day late and a dollar short. Or rather a month late and c-note short. Though belated, I could not help but post on this great feast and point out an element of the traditional approach to liturgy in these feasts.

Those readers familiar with both forms of the Roman Rite are aware that January 1, the Octave of Christ, is titled Holy Mary Mother of God in the new calendar, but (usually) Circumcision in the old calendar. And not a few sources will claim that this feast of Mary has been restored, as if it had not been celebrated in the pre-1970 Missals.

But in reality the feast as formerly celebrated was Marian, in addition to being primarily an extension of Christmas (as the Octave) and the Circumcision. Also included, of course, would be the naming of Jesus.

When we examine the 1st Vespers, we find that they are Marian. The antiphons are all Marian, e.g. the 3rd antiphon- In the bush which Moses saw unconsumed, we recognize the preservation of thy glorious virginity: holy Mother of God, intercede for us.

The collect at Vespers and Mass continues the Marian theme. O God,  Who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the rewards of eternal salvation

The post-communion also invokes Mary under the title of Mother of God.

The Introit, Puer natus est nobis  is taken from the Mass during the day of Christmas. The same is true of the Gradual, Offertory and Communion antiphons.

The Gospel, of course, recounts His circumcision and naming.

It was seen fit, in recent times, to give these different aspects of the feast, their own proper liturgical days. October 11th was the Divine Maternity. The Sunday in between January 1st and January 6th, or January 2nd if there was no Sunday, was the Holy Name of Jesus. With the institution of the new calendar, they removed those extra feasts (though Holy Name was restored with the 2003 MR on January 3rd). But it was deemed better to focus on a single central"theme" of the Mass. So rather than a restoration of a lost Marian feast, we have instead a simplification of a feast that is multi-faceted.

The same dynamic is observed with January 6th (Epiphany and also the same day Christ is held to have been baptized, hence Pius XII re-christened the Octave of Epiphany as the Baptism of the Lord (though oddly enough abolishing the octave of Epiphany, which was older and of higher rank than Christmas's!). There we have two aspects of the same day separated, or at least one of them given a separate feast, in order to emphasize all aspects of the feast.

And recently we have observed the Presentation of Our Lord (NO), or the Purification of Mary (TLM). This is a feast where one might think a Mariological feast was turned to a Christological feast. But though titled the "Purification of the B.V.M," one is struck that the preface of the Mass is not that of the BVM, but rather of the Incarnation. And the prayers will likewise refer to one or both aspects rather equally.

What these feasts illustrate are two things. One is the connection of various truths of the faith to one another, especially Mariological and Incarnational connections. Two is a tendency, both before and with the new liturgy to want to have a simpler presentation, ether by separating the mysteries into different liturgical days, or by shifting focus onto one of them rather than the others. This tendency to compartmentalize, as you might say divide into specializations, liturgical commemorations is, while itself relatively minor, indicative of a trend of certain rationalization of the faith. One I believe that, while often well intended, has more often than not undermined not just the beauty and depth of the faith, but has often dumbed it down to the point that much of the faith falls into oblivion. I choose to use the liturgy as a segue to this because it is precisely through the liturgy that the faith is presented to the faithful and hence the liturgy which bears the marks of underlying currents in the Church.

Return from Hiatus

I have had many ideas for blog posts, but little determination to pursue any course. I have been thinking, perhaps too much, on what the focus of the blog should be. So I haven't even viewed the blog until now.


I blame the lack of this. ^

I have had many ideas for blog posts, but little determination to pursue any course. I have been thinking, perhaps too much, on what the focus of the blog should be. So I haven't even viewed the blog until now. Because my schedule may be more erratic, I should note that I will not necessarily get around to responding to comments in a timely fashion or pursuing every debate. Or even approving posts right away. Because of am Stomachosus (meaning cantankerous) I am NOT going to public comments from those that complain that I will not devote my time to arguing with them on some pet issue they have. If you have a charitable criticism, I will allow it to be posted. Whether I engage you further has more to do with my priorities and less to do with the substance of your criticism. Merely submitting the same comments or variations of the same will get me to just delete them.

Back on the subject of the blog, I have decided to (mostly) steer clear of "news items." Partially for my own sanity sake, partially because I am not very timely and partially because every other blog already covers that. I intend to focus primarily on liturgical, philosophical, legal and theological notes of interest.