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Oh well, that didn’t take long!
As they say, “those” observations about the Pope Benedict XVI LETTER™ didn’t age well…
As my readers know, our last post was titled Don’t Follow The Shiny Object… This post tried to dissuade my fellow Catholic writers and blogger from taking gratuitous potshots at His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, but look at the wider CONTEXT of what was happening around this LETTER™.
So today, your humble blogger will try to put Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI into some perspective, in order to better understand the contents and meaning of … you guessed it… the LETTER™.
Now this “Benedict is a Modernist, therefore…” theme is easy to construct. The main reason for this is that Pope Benedict has been a prolific writer for over 50 years, so there is much material that can be reviewed and which can be rightly criticized. Make that: “selectively” criticized and taken out of the WIDER CONTEXT.
Furthermore, what makes it easy for Pope Benedict’s critics is that Joseph Ratzinger has been on a “journey” from holding intellectual (politically correct according to the contemporary post-Modernist zeitgemäß, i.e. can mean “modern,” “suitable,” or even “appropriate,” and often carries all of these shades when applied to the Church) positions in his youth, which were squarely lodged in the neo-Modernist, Nouvelle Théologie camp, then descended into what can be called Rahnerism (German Hegelian Relativists). In about the late 1970’s, after sensory data clearly dictated to Ratzinger that the “new springtime of the spirit of Vatican II was a colossal FAILURE, a middle-aged Joseph Ratzinger began changing his theological positions. These changes of position by Joseph Ratzinger were seen as a betrayal to the entire Rahnerist movement, hence the hatred of the “progressives” for Pope Benedict and his work.
Yet, the degree of this hatred and its severity, when observed through an objective prism, also allows us to gauge the degree to which the German Relativists see Raztinger’s mental “brain power” as a threat to their “socially constructed artificial” IDEOLOGY, i.e. that which is called the German Theological School.
So moving on, what we have seen over this period is Joseph Ratzinger being transformed (rebranded) by the #faketheologians, #fake“c”atholic media and their #fakenews media contacts, from a flaming Relativist and Rahnerist in the 1960’s to an arch-conservative “papal rottweiler” in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and on to a quasi-Thomist Restorationist as Pope Benedict XVI.
And all along, the less observant have been doing nothing more than “following the shiny object”.
Given the above, what is the official Deus ex Machina take on Joseph Ratzinger the theologian and the subsequent Pope Benedict XVI, you may ask dear and loyal reader?
Well, your humble blogger doesn’t accept the conventional wisdom that there is this “wide variance” in Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict “system of belief”. On the other hand, your humble blogger also doesn’t accept the self-refuting notion that Ratzinger’s “system of belief” was static (fixed) over the 50+ years of his writing, teaching and thinking. The true “Ratzingerian system of belief” has been dynamic and “subsists” somewhere in the middle of these two extreme views moving from left to right.
It is this “movement from left to right”, especially by someone with Ratzinger’s intellectual prowess that has the post-Modernists and neo-Modernists in a tizzy!
However, even this above explanation is much too simple…
What can be legitimately claimed about Joseph Ratzinger, the theologian and philosopher is that he is endowed with a staggering intellect. He is by far one of the most brilliant men, in terms of intellectual prowess of the 20th and 21st century. And the problem with brilliant people is that they have an ability to recognize OBJECTIVE REALITY when others around them can’t. And to the less intelligent IDEOLOGUES, this is a very dangerous PHENOMENON.
The reason why this is important to understand is that Joseph Ratzinger spent most of his clerical life in a relatively isolated environment. Therefore, certain key aspects of his life have an exaggerated meaning– hence the “wide variance” view. Understanding these aspects though, allows us to get a better handle on Ratzinger the man and his life’s work.
This isolated environment is one where the “spirit of the new springtime” crowd has complete control of the NARRATIVE. Actually, one can say that these people have a fanatical adherence to this “new springtime of the spirit of VII” NARRATIVE.
This fanaticism has allowed these people to have completely suppressed REALIST philosophy from the wider debate, not to mention Thomism from Catholic theology and from wider ECCLESIASTICAL affairs. And they did it in the most brutal manor. The manner in which they suppressed Realism/Thomist is by what can be called “poisoning the well”, i.e. linking it with Antisemitism.
To provide a good idea of how this was accomplished, here is John Lamont to explain who this mechanism worked in the post-Modernist liturgical movement: (see here)
Fr. van Hove’s abuse of Garrigou-Lagrange is a characteristic example of anti-Thomist propaganda. His attempt to discredit any revival of interest in Garrigou-Lagrange’s work raises questions in an inquiring reader’s mind. Why single out this particular Thomist as a target, especially if his work was ‘minor at best’?
The answer is that Garrigou-Lagrange played a crucial role in the battle over the revival of modernism in the mid-20th century. In a series of articles in the late 1940s,17 he called attention to the revival of modernist ideas, stated that these ideas were heretical, identified the principles of this neomodernism, and subjected the principles to devastating criticism. Other theologians did some of these things as well,18 but Garrigou-Lagrange was the only one to both thoroughly refute neomodernism, and to state that it was heretical and needed to be treated as such. His initiative was an important precursor to the later condemnation of neomodernism by the encyclical Humani Generis, as Fr. Van Hove states. But it is his intellectual contribution to the defence of the faith that is most significant for neomodernists today, because it makes his scholarly rehabilitation a danger to that school of thought.
So what we see is that the suppression of Thomism wan’t based on philosophical or rational grounds, but rather on emotionalism and propaganda. By assassinating (taking out of CONTEXT) Garrigou-Lagrange’s character, the neo-Modernist’s were able to stigmatize the most dangerous opponent of their IDEOLOGY, and by extension stigmatize Thomism, the foundational philosophical (Realist) infrastructure of Catholic theology (formation of vocations), in the process.
The other important aspect to understand “Ratzinger-the man” is that he is German. And for a German who had the misfortune to live in post-WWII Europe, there were certain logical, realist and rational positions that he as a post WWII Germans could not take. Here is a great post via the Radical Catholic blog titled Church in Crisis: Diaspora Germany, written by Markus Günther and appearing on December 29, 2014 in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the largest and most reputable newspapers in Germany. It provides us with CONTEXT: (see here)
On the night of December 13, almost exactly 50 years ago to the day, a student named Franz (Kamphaus) wandered through the streets of Münster. He could not sleep. He was too upset by the homily he had heard in the cathedral earlier that evening, delivered by a young priest and professor (Fr. Josef Ratzinger) only a few years older than himself, which interpreted Advent and Christmas in an entirely different, even revolutionary way: the old doctrine, according to which human history falls into a time of darkness and a time of salvation – namely, into the time before and the time after the birth of Christ – is one which no one today can take seriously, said the young theologian. Who, after the World Wars, after Auschwitz and Hiroshima, could still speak of the ‘Time of Grace’ which began 2000 years ago in Bethlehem? No, the dividing line between the darkness and the light, between captivity and salvation, does not divide history, but rather our own soul. Advent is not an event which takes place in the calendar, but rather in our hearts – or it founders there fruitlessly. That’s strong stuff, and one can easily understand why the young student had trouble finding sleep after this homily, and instead wanted to be alone to think it all through.
So what we see above is what we now would call the “musings” of a young, impressionable, albeit highly intelligent priest, trying to understand that which has happened around him since his seminary days. This national trauma that the German nation went through after the Second World War has a fundamental impact upon the psyche of not only the nation, but especially on those who could be considered as part of the national intelligentsia.
On a metaphysical level, the above two cases can be viewed as examples of what Dr. Jordan Peterson calls the twisting or TEARING of the FABRIC OF REALITY.
Hold that thought…
Today, we would call it the mistakes of the youth. And it is quite evident that young Josef Ratzinger made those. He made grave mistakes questioning the Immutable Doctrine of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The questioning of the Catholic doctrine was widespread among the post-war European elites and reached directly to the top. This is the reason why it was the Western Europeans who were instrumental in the calling of the “pastoral” council and rebelled against the Card. Ottaviani’s schema, forcing through the blueprint of destruction of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. And young Fr. Ratzinger played an instrumental part.
So what we later see is a middle-aged Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect for the Holy Office (CDF) and later Pope Benedict XVI, with this considerable baggage of his youth. Further, he is surrounded by individual who don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to recognize and understand the destruction that Vatican II has wrought. The reason could be that they were and still are blinded by their ambition.
And this is the environment in which Pope Benedict XVI is functioning in and living to this day.
Nota bene: Now, this doesn’t include the intrinsically disordered who have a vested interest in the post-conciliar church guided by the “god of surprises”.
Concluding, what we see is a man who has made mistakes in his youth. The mistakes he has made are far larger than most, if not all young men, in that he has aided and abetted in the destruction of the Catholic Church, i.e. the only means of salvation provided to man.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Josef Ratzinger/Pope Benedict believes in Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, but what he does understand is that the Catholic Church is special in that it has “maintained continuous operations and has been an ongoing concern” since Anno Domini 33 and that if the Institutional Church collapses, it will be in a large part due to him.
I will end here because I think that this is the point where we all, as Faithful Catholics should be able to agree.
It is also at this point where our views of Josef Ratzinger/Cardinal Raztinger/Prefect of CDF/Pope Benedict XVI would diverge.
Yet not wanting to cross this threshold today, your humble blogger needs to mention one very important aspect of Pope Benedict XVI’s accomplishments that stands out above all others. It comes in the form of what I consider the greatest sentence ever written outside those that appear in Holy Scripture.
This sentence on a philosophical level can and SHOULD be interpreted as one that tries to MEND the TEAR in what Dr. Peterson terms the “FABRIC OF REALITY”.
Here is that sentence and I would like all you dear readers to meditate on it for a day or two. Please think about the consequences that MUST arise from the proper course of action implied by this sentence!
In the next post, I will return and comment on the second part of the LETTER™.
So here goes:
“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”
And one more video by Dr. Peterson on the Nature of Reality and the consequences of “breaking the universal law”: