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In today’s post we will transition from the POLITICAL to the ECCLESIASTICAL subset of the Visibilium Omnium. The transition itself will be structured, in that it will pivot around one idea. That one idea can be defined as textual criticism.

What we will do today is take one example of the employment of textual criticism in the POLITICAL subset and through the LEX ARMATICUStransition into the ECCLESIASTICAL.

Today we begin with the infamous #ComeyMemo and its textual criticism by none other than Stefan Molyneux. I will not bore you with the transcribed text, but you dear reader should listen to the video to get an idea of what a textual criticism PROCESS should entails.

On a different level, what can be discerned from the above video is that the above mentioned PROCESS is derived from one of the two sources of our Faith, i.e. those things known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”. This is the foundation for the textual criticism PROCESS that Mr. Molyneux employs when discerning the VALUE, or the lack there of, of the #ComeyMemos.

And if there is one overriding PRINCIPLE that can be termed as the HIGHEST STANDARD (some would say “rigid”) for Mr. Molyneux critical examination of the facts surrounding the #ComeyMemos, it is the old Roman legal maxim:

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

Now we transitioning to the ECCLESIASTICAL subset of the Visibilium Omnium. The observation that your humble blogger has noticed and is putting out for your consideration is the following:

all pre Vatican II papal documents have never violated the Roman legal maxim of “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus”.

Let this sink in for a minute or two…

So why am I bringing this matter up at this time?

The reason is that this textual criticism methodology that is known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”, when applied to ALL papal documents promulgated post Vatican II, can serve as the OBJECTIVE MECHANISM that can separate that which is grounded in Truth, from that which is not.

In other words, before allowing a “definitive” interpretation of a papal document, a textual criticism methodology should be performed of that document. A textual criticism methodology, using OBJECTIVELY defined techniques would check for things stemming the range from violating the rules of logical thought and other basic editing errors to more advanced techniques that the field of textual criticism currently offers.

What’s more important, all documents produced after the Second Vatican Council should need to undergo this thorough evaluation.

And finally, a few paragraphs about why this is so important. Over at the Rorate Caeli blog, a post appeared titled Latest statistics: seminarians down in the USA and the world, priests worldwide in decline, catastrophic decline in women religious. Will vocations survive the new Bergoglian priestly formation document? 

And as you dear reader no doubt guessed, and as your humble blogger has been predicting, vocations are tanking. Here is how the author describes what we call the Real FrancisEffect or conversely the FrancisDisaster:

The summary notes that “In 2015 there is decline in the number of priests from the previous year, thus reversing the upward trend that characterized the years from 2000 to 2014.”

  So how bad is it?

It’s BAD.

Relatively speaking, it is as if Francis, the bishop of Rome is extending the disastrous post-Bergoglio Buenos Aires seminary into the Universal Church. Once again I ask: How is it that no one seen this coming? But I digress…

And what is one aspect of the Francis seminary EPIC FAIL that the author of the post has identified? Here is that passage:

In December of last year, the Congregation for the Clergy released a new document on priestly formation that, among other things, lays down (in p. 21) that seminarians should be “helped to recognise and correct ‘spiritual worldiness’: obsession with personal appearances, a presumed theological or disciplinary certainty, narcissism and authoritarianism, the attempt to dominate others, a merely external and ostentatious preoccupation with the liturgy, vainglory, individualism, the inability to listen to others, and every form of careerism”. With “theological and disciplinary certainty” now considered a defect that must be eradicated from seminarians, only God knows what kind of priests we’ll be getting (and how many) in the future.

So right about now, you dear reader are asking: isn’t this a small, insignificant sentence or two, that has very little if no impact on anything having to do with seminary enrollment and future vocations? And in the same paragraph, the author responds to exactly that observation as follows:

Some might argue that we need not worry about this little passage and that most of the document is sound, but the past year has shown us how brief passages and even footnotes in an official document can cause immense chaos in the Church.

Even so, why is this passage so important, you still might be asking?

Well, it just so happens that at the next Conclave, it is the VOCATIONS AND SEMINARY FRANCISDISASTER that will be the overriding theme. I say again:

V. O. C. A. T. I. O. N. S. 

Here is Andre Gagliarducci from the MondayVatican blog with that information:

“… rumors are circulating about the Cardinals’ moves and expectations for the next Pope. At the same time, there is a need to understand what the Church needs, and what is the natural continuation of a Church that is “outward bound” and heading “toward peripheries,” two themes that characterize Francis’s pontificate along with the agenda of mercy. All of those involved in these conversations give a unanimous response: the next election will be about the seminaries.”

And there you have it.

So what is the moral of this story?

It would appear that if the future electors at the next conclave want to seriously address the vocations and seminaries issue, they should be putting in place an OBJECTIVE METHODOLOGY that assess what went wrong over the last 50 years.

A good place to start would be to eliminate any confusion that has been caused by issues arising from a lack of “editing” and a thorough textual criticism of any documents pertaining to this issue. Kind of like Stefan Molyneux did with the #ComeyMemo.

And the benchmark threshold of acceptance should be falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

This should be done so that the men and women who may have a calling to the religious life, know exactly where they stand!

And once that is performed, the cardinals can take that same methodology and apply it to the rest of the post Vatican II docs. Also using the benchmark falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. This will allow the rest of us Faithful to know exactly where we stand!

So FALSUS IN UNO, FALSUS IN OMNIBUS should be our Catholic battle cry!

Come to think of it, I just got an idea for a felt banner…