Novus Ordo Watch recently posted an excellent analysis of Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s latest effort to find a “synthesis” between the Catholic Church’s immutable teaching on the supersession of the Old Covenant and the New and Eternal Testament. I have no intention of adding anything to that analysis, which was the first time that I had seen that the nonagenarian “new theologian” was still at the Hegelian work of finding “syntheses” out of the alleged clash between truth (the thesis) and falsehood (antithesis). What I do want to accomplish in this brief commentary is to review the antipope emeritus’s lifelong refusal to accept the certainty of dogmatic truth by providing a few other examples of his Hegelian work.
Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is constitutionally incapable of accepting truth as it is. He believes that it is impossible for human language to adequately express or grasp truth in all of its “infinite” possibilities given what he thinks is the subjective influences of the particular circumstances of the moment which gives rise to its expression. In other words, Ratzinger/Benedict, following the teaching of his Hegelian mentor, the late Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, believes that truth contains within itself the seeds of its own inherent contradiction and that the clash between the original idea, the thesis, and its opposite to which it gives birth, so to speak, the antithesis, produces a new idea, the synthesis. This is madness. It is insanity. However, it is the key to understanding who Joseph Ratzinger is and how he will be until he dies, especially since he is persisting in his refusal to accept truth in its simplicity.
It was in his capacity as the prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that Ratzinger particularly noted the supposed necessity of examining past dogmatic statements, especially those on Modernism by Pope Saint Pius X and those issued against Modernist Scriptural exegesis by the Pontifical Biblical Commission during the latter’s reign, in light of the historical circumstances which, the nonagenarian antipope emeritus contended, produced those statements, which must be subject to further modifications once circumstances change. In other words, dogmatic statements are never the “final word” as it is impossible to express truth adequately in a permanent way given the limitations of human language and the specific circumstances that may have contributed to a specific dogmatic formulation.
Here once again, therefore, one can see how Joseph Alois Ratzinger phrased his support of dogmatic evolutionism as a priest, the prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and as a supposed Successor of Saint Peter:
1971: "In theses 10-12, the difficult problem of the relationship between language and thought is debated, which in post-conciliar discussions was the immediate departure point of the dispute.
The identity of the Christian substance as such, the Christian 'thing' was not directly ... censured, but it was pointed out that no formula, no matter how valid and indispensable it may have been in its time, can fully express the thought mentioned in it and declare it unequivocally forever, since language is constantly in movement and the content of its meaning changes." (Fr. Ratzinger: Dogmatic formulas must always change.)
1990: "The text [of the document Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation] also presents the various types of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It affirms - perhaps for the first time with this clarity - that there are decisions of the magisterium that cannot be the last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition. The nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times influenced, may need further correction.
In this regard, one may think of the declarations of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on evolutionism]. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church's anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from falling into the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time."
(Joseph Ratzinger, "Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation," published with the title "Rinnovato dialogo fra Magistero e Teologia," in L'Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990, p. 6, cited at Card. Ratzinger: The teachings of the Popes against Modernism are obsolete)
Secondly, it was necessary to give a new definition to the relationship between the Church and the modern State that would make room impartially for citizens of various religions and ideologies, merely assuming responsibility for an orderly and tolerant coexistence among them and for the freedom to practise their own religion.
Thirdly, linked more generally to this was the problem of religious tolerance - a question that required a new definition of the relationship between the Christian faith and the world religions. In particular, before the recent crimes of the Nazi regime and, in general, with a retrospective look at a long and difficult history, it was necessary to evaluate and define in a new way the relationship between the Church and the faith of Israel.
These are all subjects of great importance - they were the great themes of the second part of the Council - on which it is impossible to reflect more broadly in this context. It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance.
It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church's decisions on contingent matters - for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible - should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.
On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.
Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.
It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.
The Second Vatican Council, recognizing and making its own an essential principle of the modern State with the Decree on Religious Freedom,has recovered the deepest patrimony of the Church. By so doing she can be conscious of being in full harmony with the teaching of Jesus himself (cf. Mt 22: 21), as well as with the Church of the martyrs of all time. The ancient Church naturally prayed for the emperors and political leaders out of duty (cf. I Tm 2: 2); but while she prayed for the emperors, she refused to worship them and thereby clearly rejected the religion of the State.
The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in that God who was revealed in Jesus Christ, and for this very reason they also died for freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one's own faith - a profession that no State can impose but which, instead, can only be claimed with God's grace in freedom of conscience. A missionary Church known for proclaiming her message to all peoples must necessarily work for the freedom of the faith. She desires to transmit the gift of the truth that exists for one and all. (Christmas greetings to the Members of the Roman Curia and Prelature, December 22, 2005.)
What was that Pope Pius XII wrote in Humani Generis about how the "new theologians" deny that the true meaning of doctrines may be known and understood with metaphysical certitude?
Let me remind you:
34. It is not surprising that these new opinions endanger the two philosophical sciences which by their very nature are closely connected with the doctrine of faith, that is, theodicy and ethics; they hold that the function of these two sciences is not to prove with certitude anything about God or any other transcendental being, but rather to show that the truths which faith teaches about a personal God and about His precepts, are perfectly consistent with the necessities of life and are therefore to be accepted by all, in order to avoid despair and to attain eternal salvation. All these opinions and affirmations are openly contrary to the documents of Our Predecessors Leo XIII and Pius X, and cannot be reconciled with the decrees of the Vatican Council. It would indeed be unnecessary to deplore these aberrations from the truth, if all, even in the field of philosophy, directed their attention with the proper reverence to the Teaching Authority of the Church, which by divine institution has the mission not only to guard and interpret the deposit of divinely revealed truth, but also to keep watch over the philosophical sciences themselves, in order that Catholic dogmas may suffer no harm because of erroneous opinions. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
For the likes of men such as the conciliar revolutionaries to be correct, the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity not only hid the true meaning of doctrines for over nineteen hundred years, He permitted true popes and the Fathers of Holy Mother Church's twenty true general councils to condemn propositions that have, we are supposed to believe, only recently been "discovered" as having been true. Blasphemous and heretical.
Very interestingly insofar as the latest "synthesis" developed by Ratzinger/Benedict is concerned, that infamous December 22, 2005, address to the conciliar curia contained the following passage about the "necessity" of seeking a "new way" to "understand" what he alleged to be the Catholic Church with the "faith of Israel":
Thirdly, linked more generally to this was the problem of religious tolerance - a question that required a new definition of the relationship between the Christian faith and the world religions. In particular, before the recent crimes of the Nazi regime and, in general, with a retrospective look at a long and difficult history, it was necessary to evaluate and define in a new way the relationship between the Church and the faith of Israel. (Christmas greetings to the Members of the Roman Curia and Prelature, December 22, 2005)
No event of secular history can cause the Catholic Church to breathe new life into a false religion that is hated by God.
The events of World War II have been used by various adherents of the Talmud to demonstrate their deeply held belief that the spilling of Jewish blood is more horrible a crime than the spilling of the blood of others. Indeed, the Zionists in Israel have treated the Palestinians, who were thrown out of their own homes and had their property seized from them in 1948 and have been subjected to all manner of degrading conditions since that time, as the same sort of subhumans as the Jews and others, especially the Poles, were treated by the Nazis. The exploitation of the crimes of the Nazis during World War II has resulted in an endless effort to impose "guilt" on anyone and everyone who dares to proclaim the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in public, no less hold to everything that He has revealed to us in the Sacred Deposit of Faith and has entrusted to the infallible teaching authority of His Catholic Church for Its explication and eternal safekeeping.
Joseph Alois Ratzinger's convoluted mind of contradiction and paradox was shaped, if you can call it that, during his years in seminary by professors who served as propagandists for the “new theology” that would be condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis on August 12, 1950. George Weigel, the hagiographer of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II (Enjoy the Party, George, Enjoy the Party) and a propagandist in behalf of all things conciliar, noted with approval that Ratzinger/Benedict was the first “non-Thomist” (Jorge Mario Bergoglio has care only for Talmudic philosophy) to serve as the head of what he thinks is the Catholic Church’s doctrinal office in centuries, citing Ratzinger’s seminary training as being responsible for this sign of “progress” that is actually, of course, a sign of apostasy:
In November 1945, Joseph Ratzinger and his brother, Georg, entered the major seminary at Freising. (Freising, a town some twenty miles north of Munich, is joined to the much larger city in the name of the local archdiocese, which is “Munich and Freising.” The diocese of Freising dates back to 739, while the double-named archdiocese into which the Freising diocese was incorporated only dates to 1818). In the seminary, which was also serving as a hospital for foreign POWs awaiting repatriation, older war veterans and youngsters like Joseph Ratzinger were united in a determination to serve the Church and, in doing so, to help rebuild a physically and morally shattered Germany. For a mind like Ratzinger’s, the return to academic life was a long-awaited feast: “a hunger for knowledge had grown in the years of famine, in the years when we had been delivered up to the Moloch of power, so far from the realm of the spirit.” In addition to the prescribed courses in philosophy and other subjects, Ratzinger and his colleagues “devoured” novels, with Dostoevsky, Claudel, Bernanos, and Mauriac among the favorites. The seminary curriculum didn’t neglect the hard sciences; as Ratzinger would later put it, “we thought that, with the breakthroughs made by Planck, Heisenberg, and Einstein, the sciences were once again on their way to God.” Romano Guardini and Josef Pieper were favorites among the contemporary theologians and philosophers.
The prefect of Ratzinger’s study hall, Father Alfred Läpple, put him to work reading books that introduced him to Heidegger, Jaspers, Nietzsche, Buber, and Bergson, philosophers most certainly not on any Roman (or American) seminary reading list in those days; the young Ratzinger immediately made an intuitive connection between the personalism of Buber and Jaspers and “the thought of St. Augustine, who in his Confessions had struck me with the power of all his human passion and depth.” Conversely, and concurrently, Ratzinger had an unhappy introduction to the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas, which were presented in what he later termed a “rigid, neo-scholastic” form that was “simply too far afield from my own questions.” The young Bavarian scholar was beginning to range freely across centuries of western and Christian thought, a lifelong process that would eventually give him an encyclopedic knowledge of theology. His seminary experience with neo-scholasticism would also mark him permanently, and would later make him the first non-Thomist in centuries to head the Catholic Church’s principal doctrinal office.
In 1947, Ratzinger went to Munich for his theological studies, encountering there a host of renowned theologians and teachers who were breaking with the rigidities of neo-scholasticism and rethinking Catholic dogmatic theology through a return to the Bible, to the Fathers of the Church in the early centuries of Christianity, and to the liturgy, the Church’s worship, which they believed was alocus theologicus, a “source” of theology. Preeminent among these teachers was Michael Schmaus, who had come to Munich from Münster after the war and was considered a theologian on the cutting edge of the renewal of Catholic thought. Ratzinger was also intrigued by the New Testament scholar Friedrich Wilhelm Maier, and while he could never accept aspects of Maier’s method of biblical interpretation, he learned from him a passion for biblical studies which, as he later put it, “has always remained for me the center of my theology.” Another influential teacher during these years was his Old Testament professor, Friedrich Stummer, who helped the neophyte theologian to understand that “the New Testament is not a different book of a different religion that, for some reason or other, had appropriated the Holy Scriptures of the Jews as a kind of preliminary structure.” No, “the New Testament is nothing other than an interpretation of ‘the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings’ found from or contained in the story of Jesus.” In Munich, under the tutelage of Josef Pascher, Ratzinger began to explore the mid-century liturgical movement more deeply and to read in the mystical theology that had grown out of one center of that movement, the Benedictine monastery at Maria Laach. The Bible and the liturgy came together for Ratzinger, intellectually, in his Munich studies: “Just as I learned to understand the New Testament as being the soul of all theology, so too I came to see the liturgy as its living element, without which it would necessarily shrivel up.” (The Making of a New Benedict.)
Has not Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI told us throughout the course of his priesthood that he dreads the clear, precise expression of dogma?"
Yes, he told us this in his own memoirs, Milestones:
Ratzinger loved St. Augustine, but never St. Thomas Aquinas: 'By contrast, I had difficulties in penetrating the thought of Thomas Aquinas, whose crystal-clear logic seemed to be too closed in on itself, too impersonal and ready-made' (op. cit., p.44). This r aversion was mainly due to the professor of philosophy at the seminary, who 'presented us with a rigid, neo-scholastic Thomism that was simply too far afield from my own questions' (ibid.). According to Cardinal Ratzinger, whose current opinions appear unchanged from those he held as a seminarian, the thought of Aquinas was "too closed in on itself, too impersonal and ready-made," and was unable to respond to the personal questions of the faithful. This opinion is enunciated by a prince of the Church whose function it is to safeguard the purity of the doctrine of the Faith! Why, then, should anyone be surprised at the current disastrous crisis of Catholicism, or seek to attribute it to the world, when those who should be the defenders of the Faith, and hence of genuine Catholic thought, are like sewers drinking in the filth, or like gardeners who cut down a tree they are supposed to be nurturing? What can it mean to stigmatize St. Thomas as having a "too impersonal and ready-made" logic? Is logic "personal"? These assertions reveal, in the person who makes them, a typically Protestant, pietist attitude, like that found in those who seek the rule of faith in personal interior sentiment.
In the two years Ratzinger spent at the diocesan seminary of Freising, he studied literature, music, modern philosophy, and he felt drawn towards the new existentialist and modernist theologies. He did not like St. Thomas Aquinas. The formation described does not correspond to the exclusively Catholic formation that is necessary to one called to be a priest, even taking into account the extenuating circumstances of the time, that is, anti-Christian Nazism, the war and defeat, and the secularization of studies within seminaries. It seems that His Eminence, with all due respect, gave too much place to profane culture, with its "openness" to everything, and its critical attitude...Joseph Ratzinger loved the professors who asked many questions, but disliked those who defended dogma with the crystal-clear logic of St. Thomas. This attitude would seem to us to match his manner of understanding Catholic liturgy. He tells us that from childhood he was always attracted to the liturgical movement and was sympathetic towards it. One can see that for him, the liturgy was a matter of feeling, a lived experience, an aesthetically pleasing "Erlebnis," but fundamentally irrational (op. cit. passim.). (The Memories of a Destructive Mind: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's Milestones, found on a Society of Saint Pius X website.)
Who believes that dogmatic truths are never adequately expressed at any one time as the result of the limitations of human language and the historical circumstances in which a formulation is made?
Joseph Ratzinger and his successor, Jorge Mario Bergoglio/, who speaks down to us about the “no church” of the “past” and the “yes church” of today.
Although differing in their methodologies as Ratzinger relies on the Hegelianism of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Bergoglio is an open dogmatic evolutionist, both living antipopes believe in the mutability of dogmatic truths, a falsehood that leads to "ungraspable shiftings" of belief and pastoral praxis. The result has been massive confusion and uncertainty among Catholics as to what the Catholic Church teaches. Some even are so befuddled by the smoke blown in their direction by the conciliar revolutionaries that they permit themselves to believe that the Faith is beyond human understanding and that it can be expressed only in terms of uncertainty, paradox and ambiguity, although I would assert that there is nothing uncertain, paradoxial or ambiguous about Jorge Mario Bergolgio's rank pantheism. Bergoglio has no use for Catholic doctrine as his version of Modernism is entirely viscerally-based whereas Ratzinger has always tried to “discover” some kind of theological rationalization that represents a “synthesis.”
What the illogical, self-contradictory and ever-paradoxical mind of Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict ignores, however, is that the dialectical process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, which was later adapted by Karl Marx and turned, as Marx called it, “right side up,” is an ongoing process that is supposed to end at an “ideal” stage, which is illusory as (a) the process itself is false and (b) who is to say when the “ideal” stage has been realized?
This is all based on the believe that the true God of Divine Revelation has revealed truths to His Holy Church that are so opaque and murky that it is possible for them to be understood at different times by different generations of alleged theologians and in light of the “changing” circumstances in which “modern men” live. Ah, the specific circumstances in which men live change, but fallen human nature remains the same. More to the point, however God Himself is without shadow of change or alternation and to suggest otherwise is to deny His own very immutable nature and to make of Him whatever the human mind conjures up. No matter the window dressing of “living tradition” and/or the “hermeneutic of continuity,” though, the “new theology’s” adaptation of dogmatic evolutionism according to the dialectical process of George Friedrich Hegel is nothing other than paganism.
The antipope emeritus’s “search” for some kind of “new” truth about the supersession of the Old Covenant by the New and Eternal Covenant that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is thus nothing new as he wrote in the misnamed Principles of Catholic Theology that it was necessary to find a “middle ground” between two alleged extremes: the teaching of the Catholic Church as the one and only true Church of Christ and Protestantism’s rejection of that teaching:
Against this background we can now weigh the possibilities that are open to Christian ecumenism. The maximum demands on which the search for unity must certainly founder are immediately clear. On the part of the West, the maximum demand would be that the East recognize the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the full scope of the definition of 1870 and in so doing submit in practice, to a primacy such as has been accepted by the Uniate churches. On the part of the East, the maximum demand would be that the West declare the 1870 doctrine of primacy erroneous and in so doing submit, in practice, to a primacy such as has been accepted with the removal of the Filioque from the Creed and including the Marian dogmas of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As regards Protestantism, the maximum demand of the Catholic Church would be that the Protestant ecclesiological ministers be regarded as totally invalid and that Protestants be converted to Catholicism; the maximum demand of Protestants, on the other hand, would be that the Catholic Church accept, along with the unconditional acknowledgement of all Protestant ministries, the Protestant concept of ministry and their understanding of the Church and thus, in practice, renounce the apostolic and sacramental structure of the Church, which would mean, in practice, the conversion of Catholics to Protestantism and their acceptance of a multiplicity of distinct community structures as the historical form of the Church. While the first three maximum demands are today rather unanimously rejected by Christian consciousness, the fourth exercises a kind of fascination for it – as it were, a certain conclusiveness that makes it appear to be the real solution to the problem. This is all the more true since there is joined to it the expectation that a Parliament of Churches, a "truly ecumenical council’, could then harmonize this pluralism and promote a Christian unity of action. That no real union would result from this, but that its very impossibility would become a single common dogma, should convince anyone who examines the suggestion closely that such a way would not bring Church unity but only a final renunciation of it. As a result, none of the maximum solutions offers any real hope of unity.
As a result, none of the maximum solutions offers any real hope of unity. In any event, church unity is not a political problem that can be solved by means of compromise or the weighing of what is regarded as possible or acceptable. What is at stake here is unity of belief, that is, the question of truth, which cannot be the object of political maneuvering. As long as and to the extent that the maximum solution must be regarded as a requirement of truth itself, just so long and to just that extent there will be no other recourse than simply to strive to convert one's partner in the debate. In other words, the claim of truth ought not to be raised where there is not a compelling and indisputable reason for doing so. We may not interpret as truth that which is, in reality, a historical development with a more or less close relationship to truth. Whenever, then, the weight of truth and its incontrovertibility are involved, they must be met by a corresponding sincerity that avoids laying claim to truth prematurely and is ready to search for the inner fullness of truth with the eyes of love. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 197-198)
This statement of utter apostasy was "ratified" by Ratzinger as "Benedict XVI" when he made the following statement to an "ecumenical" gathering in Cologne, Germany, on Friday, August 19, 2005:
Benedict XVI: "We all know there are numerous models of unity and you know that the Catholic Church also has as her goal the full visible unity of the disciples of Christ, as defined by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in its various Documents (cf. Lumen Gentium, nn. 8, 13; Unitatis Redintegratio, nn. 2, 4, etc.). This unity, we are convinced, indeed subsists in the Catholic Church, without the possibility of ever being lost (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 4); the Church in fact has not totally disappeared from the world.
On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one's own faith history. Absolutely not!
It does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline. Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity: in my Homily for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul on 29 June last, I insisted that full unity and true catholicity in the original sense of the word go together. As a necessary condition for the achievement of this coexistence, the commitment to unity must be constantly purified and renewed; it must constantly grow and mature. (Ecumenical meeting at the Archbishopric of Cologne English)
It matters not to Ratzinger/Benedict that his belief in the new ecclesiology's "partial communion" of non-Catholics with the Catholic Church has been condemned (see His Excellency Bishop Donald Sanborn in The New Ecclesiology: An Overview and The New Ecclesiology: Documentation and Ratzinger's Dominus Jesus: A Critical Analysis and Communion: Ratzinger's Ecumenical One-World Church) or that Pope Pius IX, Iam Vos Omnes, September 13, 1868, specifically called for the return of Protestants to the Catholic Church and that Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI called for the return of Protestants and the Orthodox to the true Church in, respectively, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1894, and Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928
No, what matters to Ratzinger/Benedict is to deconstruct the nature of dogmatic truth so as to find what is "really" true in dogmatic pronouncements from what is an "historical development" so that "impediments" to "unity" may be overcome, which is why it is so necessary to understand Ratzinger/Benedict's warfare against the nature of dogmatic truth, which is really a warfare against the very nature of God as He has revealed Himself to be through His Catholic Church, in order to understand the entirety of his Modernist agenda.
Pope Pius XI specifically rejected “distinctions” between “fundamental” and “non-fundamental” truths as a condition of effecting the reunion of non-Catholics with the true Church:
We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith. (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.)
It is because of such pronouncements that Ratzinger/Benedict, like Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, must rely almost entirely, save for some gratuitous references in “cf” (confer) footnotes now and again, upon the documents of the counterfeit church of conciliarism and the statements of the conciliar "pontiffs" to justify their apostasies, including the “new ecclesiology” that can be used to place a Protestant syncretist, Roger Schutz, in “Heaven” even though he was a lifelong Protestant. And it is the new ecclesiology of effecting “unity” by means of “spiritual reconciliation,” which is a variation on the theme of “spiritual ecumenism” of the late Abbe Paul Couturier, a direct disciple of the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., who believed that God Himself was in "the process of becoming" and that our “understanding” of Him must ever evolve as He “evolves,” that Ratzinger/Benedict himself directly endorsed on numerous occasions, including explicitly in his August 19, 2005, address to “ecumenical” leaders in Cologne, Germany. Ratzinger/Benedict used this same “understanding” as the basis of his, Ratzinger/Benedict’s efforts to forge “unity” between the heretical and schismatic rump “church” in Red China with the underground church of suffering Catholics there that is being brought to its ultimate conclusion of a complete sellout of those Catholics by Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Ratzinger/Benedict also provided us in Principles of Catholic Theology with the method by which “unity” could be forged between the Catholic Church and the heretical and schismatic Orthodox churches:
After all, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, in the same bull in which he excommunicated the Patriarch Michael Cerularius and thus inaugurated the schism between East and West, designated the Emperor and the people of Constantinople as "very Christian and orthodox", although their concept of the Roman primacy was certainly far less different from that of Cerularius than from that, let us say, of the First Vatican Council. In other words, Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 198-199.)
Perhaps influenced by his chief ideologist, "Cardinal" Ratzinger, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, this distortion of Catholic history found its way into the text of Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995, which was the complete and total contradiction of Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:
Whatever relates to the unity of all Christian communities clearly forms part of the concerns of the primacy. As Bishop of Rome I am fully aware, as I have reaffirmed in the present Encyclical Letter, that Christ ardently desires the full and visible communion of all those Communities in which, by virtue of God’s faithfulness, his Spirit dwells. I am convinced that I have a particular responsibility in this regard, above all in acknowledging the ecumenical aspirations of the majority of the Christian Communities and in heeding the request made of me to find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation. For a whole millennium Christians were united in “a brotherly fraternal communion of faith and sacramental life … If disagreements in belief and discipline arose among them, the Roman See acted by common consent as moderator“.
In this way the primacy exercised its office of unity. When addressing the Ecumenical Patriarch His Holiness Dimitrios I, I acknowledged my awareness that “for a great variety of reasons, and against the will of all concerned, what should have been a service sometimes manifested itself in a very different light. But … it is out of a desire to obey the will of Christ truly that I recognize that as Bishop of Rome I am called to exercise that ministry … I insistently pray the Holy Spirit to shine his light upon us, enlightening all the Pastors and theologians of our Churches, that we may seek—together, of course—the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned“.
This is an immense task, which we cannot refuse and which I cannot carry out by myself. Could not the real but imperfect communion existing between us persuade Church leaders and their theologians to engage with me in a patient and fraternal dialogue on this subject, a dialogue in which, leaving useless controversies behind, we could listen to one another, keeping before us only the will of Christ for his Church and allowing ourselves to be deeply moved by his plea “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:21)? (Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995.)
It was twelve years later, October 13, 2007, the ninetieth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, that an "unofficial" official document, the Ravenna Document, was issued by William "Cardinal" Levada on behalf of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church that formalized the musings of Ratzinger in Principles of Catholic Theology and of Wojtyla/John Paul II inUt Unum Sint:
It remains for the question of the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches to be studied in greater depth. What is the specific function of the bishop of the “first see” in an ecclesiology of koinonia and in view of what we have said on conciliarity and authority in the present text? How should the teaching of the first and second Vatican councils on the universal primacy be understood and lived in the light of the ecclesial practice of the first millennium? These are crucial questions for our dialogue and for our hopes of restoring full communion between us.
We, the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, are convinced that the above statement on ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority represents positive and significant progress in our dialogue, and that it provides a firm basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church. We are conscious that many difficult questions remain to be clarified, but we hope that, sustained by the prayer of Jesus “That they may all be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17, 21), and in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we can build upon the agreement already reached.Reaffirming and confessing “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4, 5), we give glory to God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has gathered us together. (The Ravenna Document)
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI put his “papal” seal of approval on The Ravenna Document just forty-one days after its issuance on the ninetieth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal:
This year we thank God in particular for the meeting of the Joint Commission which took place in Ravenna, a city whose monuments speak eloquently of the ancient Byzantine heritage handed down to us from the undivided Church of the first millennium. May the splendour of those mosaics inspire all the members of the Joint Commission to pursue their important task with renewed determination, in fidelity to the Gospel and to Tradition, ever alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in the Church today.
While the meeting in Ravenna was not without its difficulties, I pray earnestly that these may soon be clarified and resolved, so that there may be full participation in the Eleventh Plenary Session and in subsequent initiatives aimed at continuing the theological dialogue in mutual charity and understanding. Indeed, our work towards unity is according to the will of Christ our Lord. In these early years of the third millennium, our efforts are all the more urgent because of the many challenges facing all Christians, to which we need to respond with a united voice and with conviction. (Letter to His Holiness Bartholomaios I, Archbishop of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch, on the occasion of the feast of St. Andrew, November 23, 2007.)
So much for the “unofficial” nature of The Ravenna Document.
Conciliarism's mythical view of how the authority of the papacy was exercised in the Fist Millennium prior to the Greek Schism of 1094 was eviscerated by Pope Leo XIII in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 29, 1894:
First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of the world. Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold they have abandoned. We hope it all the more, that the distance separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions, we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.
The Principal subject of contention is the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. But let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine what the oldest Traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident to them that Christ’s Divine Utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, has undoubtedly been realized in the Roman Pontiffs. Many of these latter in the first gates of the Church were chosen from the East, and foremost among them Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho; and of these a great number, after Governing the Church in Wisdom and Sanctity, Consecrated their Ministry with the shedding of their blood. The time, the reasons, the promoters of the unfortunate division, are well known. Before the day when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the Apostolic See was held in Reverence by all the nations of the Christian world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the Legitimate Successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth.
And, accordingly, if we refer to the beginning of the dissension, we shall see that Photius himself was careful to send his advocates to Rome on the matters that concerned him; and Pope Nicholas I sent his Legates to Constantinople from the Eternal City, without the slightest opposition, “in order to examine the case of Ignatius the Patriarch with all diligence, and to bring back to the Apostolic See a full and accurate report”; so that the history of the whole negotiation is a manifest Confirmation of the Primacy of the Roman See with which the dissension then began. Finally, in two great Councils, the second of Lyons and that of Florence, Latins and Greeks, as is notorious, easily agreed, and all unanimously proclaimed as Dogma the Supreme Power of the Roman Pontiffs.
We have recalled those things intentionally, for they constitute an invitation to peace and reconciliation; and with all the more reason that in Our own days it would seem as if there were a more conciliatory spirit towards Catholics on the part of the Eastern Churches, and even some degree of kindly feeling. To mention an instance, those sentiments were lately made manifest when some of Our faithful travelled to the East on a Holy Enterprise, and received so many proofs of courtesy and good-will.
Therefore, Our mouth is open to you, to you all of Greek or other Oriental Rites who are separated from the Catholic Church, We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by Bessarion to your forefathers: “What answer shall we give to God when He comes to ask why we have separated from our Brethren: to Him Who, to unite us and bring us into One Fold, came down from Heaven, was Incarnate, and was Crucified? What will our defense be in the eyes of posterity? Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for ourselves and for our Brethren.”
Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request. It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of Belief and an intercourse of Fraternal love. The True Union between Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity of Government.
Nor is there any reason for you to fear on that account that We or any of Our Successors will ever diminish your rights, the privileges of your Patriarchs, or the established Ritual of any one of your Churches. It has been and always will be the intent and Tradition of the Apostolic See, to make a large allowance, in all that is right and good, for the primitive Traditions and special customs of every nation. On the contrary, if you re-establish Union with Us, you will see how, by God’s bounty, the glory and dignity of your Churches will be remarkably increased. May God, then, in His goodness, hear the Prayer that you yourselves address to Him: “Make the schisms of the Churches cease,” and “Assemble those who are dispersed, bring back those who err, and unite them to Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.” May you thus return to that one Holy Faith which has been handed down both to Us and to you from time immemorial; which your forefathers preserved untainted, and which was enhanced by the rival splendor of the Virtues, the great genius, and the sublime learning of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzum and St. John Chrysostom, the two Saints who bore the name of Cyril, and so many other great men whose glory belongs as a common inheritance to the East and to the West. (See also the excellent discussion of the history of what led up to the Greek Schism that is contained in Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki’s Tumultuous Times.)
Such “crystal-clear logic” has always been rejected entirely by the nonagenarian protégé of Hans Urs von Balthasar.
Consider how Joseph Ratzinger was trained to accept the very Modernist methodologies and presuppositions that had been condemned so clearly by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, and would be condemned during his final year in seminary by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950. Those seeking to praise the men responsible for the warping of the mind of the currently governing “pontiff” have to dismiss the following warnings that these Pope Saint Pius X and Pope Pius XII gave us about the contempt that Modernists have for the truths contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith and for the Fathers and Doctors of the Holy Mother Church who have explicated and defended them:
42. Would that they had but displayed less zeal and energy in propagating it! But such is their activity and such their unwearying labor on behalf of their cause, that one cannot but be pained to see them waste such energy in endeavoring to ruin the Church when they might have been of such service to her had their efforts been better directed. Their artifices to delude men's minds are of two kinds, the first to remove obstacles from their path, the second to devise and apply actively and patiently every resource that can serve their purpose. They recognize that the three chief difficulties which stand in their way are the scholastic method of philosophy, the authority and tradition of the Fathers, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war. Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method. Let the Modernists and their admirers remember the proposition condemned by Pius IX: "The method and principles which have served the ancient doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science." They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those "who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church"; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: "We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church." Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: "I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.''
The Modernists pass judgment on the holy Fathers of the Church even as they do upon tradition. With consummate temerity they assure the public that the Fathers, while personally most worthy of all veneration, were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived. Finally, the Modernists try in every way to diminish and weaken the authority of the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character, and rights, and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries. To the entire band of Modernists may be applied those words which Our predecessor sorrowfully wrote: "To bring contempt and odium on the mystic Spouse of Christ, who is the true light, the children of darkness have been wont to cast in her face before the world a stupid calumny, and perverting the meaning and force of things and words, to depict her as the friend of darkness and ignorance, and the enemy of light, science, and progress.'' This being so, Venerable Brethren, there is little reason to wonder that the Modernists vent all their bitterness and hatred on Catholics who zealously fight the battles of the Church. There is no species of insult which they do not heap upon them, but their usual course is to charge them with ignorance or obstinacy. When an adversary rises up against them with an erudition and force that renders them redoubtable, they seek to make a conspiracy of silence around him to nullify the effects of his attack. This policy towards Catholics is the more invidious in that they belaud with admiration which knows no bounds the writers who range themselves on their side, hailing their works, exuding novelty in every page, with a chorus of applause. For them the scholarship of a writer is in direct proportion to the recklessness of his attacks on antiquity, and of his efforts to undermine tradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium. When one of their number falls under the condemnations of the Church the rest of them, to the disgust of good Catholics, gather round him, loudly and publicly applaud him, and hold him up in veneration as almost a martyr for truth. The young, excited and confused by all this clamor of praise and abuse, some of them afraid of being branded as ignorant, others ambitious to rank among the learned, and both classes goaded internally by curiosity and pride, not infrequently surrender and give themselves up to Modernism. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 2007.)
21. It is also true that theologians must always return to the sources of divine revelation: for it belongs to them to point out how the doctrine of the living Teaching Authority is to be found either explicitly or implicitly in the Scriptures and in Tradition. Besides, each source of divinely revealed doctrine contains so many rich treasures of truth, that they can really never be exhausted. Hence it is that theology through the study of its sacred sources remains ever fresh; on the other hand, speculation which neglects a deeper search into the deposit of faith, proves sterile, as we know from experience. But for this reason even positive theology cannot be on a par with merely historical science. For, together with the sources of positive theology God has given to His Church a living Teaching Authority to elucidate and explain what is contained in the deposit of faith only obscurely and implicitly. This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church. But if the Church does exercise this function of teaching, as she often has through the centuries, either in the ordinary or extraordinary way, it is clear how false is a procedure which would attempt to explain what is clear by means of what is obscure. Indeed the very opposite procedure must be used. Hence Our Predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, teaching that the most noble office of theology is to show how a doctrine defined by the Church is contained in the sources of revelation, added these words, and with very good reason: "in that sense in which it has been defined by the Church."
22. To return, however, to the new opinions mentioned above, a number of things are proposed or suggested by some even against the divine authorship of Sacred Scripture. For some go so far as to pervert the sense of the Vatican Council's definition that God is the author of Holy Scripture, and they put forward again the opinion, already often condemned, which asserts that immunity from error extends only to those parts of the Bible that treat of God or of moral and religious matters. They even wrongly speak of a human sense of the Scriptures, beneath which a divine sense, which they say is the only infallible meaning, lies hidden. In interpreting Scripture, they will take no account of the analogy of faith and the Tradition of the Church. Thus they judge the doctrine of the Fathers and of the Teaching Church by the norm of Holy Scripture, interpreted by the purely human reason of exegetes, instead of explaining Holy Scripture according to the mind of the Church which Christ Our Lord has appointed guardian and interpreter of the whole deposit of divinely revealed truth.
23. Further, according to their fictitious opinions, the literal sense of Holy Scripture and its explanation, carefully worked out under the Church's vigilance by so many great exegetes, should yield now to a new exegesis, which they are pleased to call symbolic or spiritual. By means of this new exegesis the Old Testament, which today in the Church is a sealed book, would finally be thrown open to all the faithful. By this method, they say, all difficulties vanish, difficulties which hinder only those who adhere to the literal meaning of the Scriptures.
24. Everyone sees how foreign all this is to the principles and norms of interpretation rightly fixed by our predecessors of happy memory, Leo XIII in his Encyclical "Providentissimus," and Benedict XV in the Encyclical "Spiritus Paraclitus," as also by Ourselves in the Encyclical "Divino Affflante Spiritu."
25. It is not surprising that novelties of this kind have already borne their deadly fruit in almost all branches of theology. It is now doubted that human reason, without divine revelation and the help of divine grace, can, by arguments drawn from the created universe, prove the existence of a personal God; it is denied that the world had a beginning; it is argued that the creation of the world is necessary, since it proceeds from the necessary liberality of divine love; it is denied that God has eternal and infallible foreknowedge of the free actions of men -- all this in contradiction to the decrees of the Vatican Council (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XV’s rejection of Scholasticism is directly responsible for his believing that errors of all kinds can be useful in “understanding” what is already very clear of its very nature: the Sacred Deposit of Faith. Our true popes have warned us that those who are so reckless as to cast aside the Scholasticism of Saint Thomas Aquinas will be open to, if not always suspect of, heresy as their minds are incapable of accepting truth in clear, immutable terms that can never be subjected to reinterpretation or reformulation at any time:
But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull 'In Ordine;' Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull 'Pretiosus,' and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows luster from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull 'Mirabilis' that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors; others, such as Clement XII in the bull 'Verbo Dei,' affirm that most fruitful blessings have spread abroad from his writings over the whole Church, and that he is worthy of the honor which is bestowed on the greatest Doctors of the Church, on Gregory and Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome; while others have not hesitated to propose St. Thomas for the exemplar and master of the universities and great centers of learning whom they may follow with unfaltering feet. On which point the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: 'It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same.' Innocent XII, followed the example of Urban in the case of the University of Louvain, in the letter in the form of a brief addressed to that university on February 6, 1694, and Benedict XIV in the letter in the form of a brief addressed on August 26, 1752, to the Dionysian College in Granada; while to these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: 'is teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.'
The ecumenical councils, also, where blossoms the flower of all earthly wisdom, have always been careful to hold Thomas Aquinas in singular honor. In the Councils of Lyons, Vienna, Florence, and the Vatican one might almost say that Thomas took part and presided over the deliberations and decrees of the Fathers, contending against the errors of the Greeks, of heretics and rationalists, with invincible force and with the happiest results. But the chief and special glory of Thomas, one which he has shared with none of the Catholic Doctors, is that the Fathers of Trent made it part of the order of conclave to lay upon the altar, together with sacred Scripture and the decrees of the supreme Pontiffs, the 'Summa' of Thomas Aquinas, whence to seek counsel, reason, and inspiration.
A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man -- namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony. (Pope Leo XIII, Aeterni Patris, August 4, 1879.)
Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Antipope Emeritus Benedict XVI, puffed up with overweening pride and oozing with hubris, believes that he knows better that Pope Leo XIII. He knows better than Pope Benedict XIII. He knows better than Pope Saint Pius V. He knows better than Pope Clement XII. He knows better than Blessed Urban V. He knows better than Pope Innocent VI. He knows better than the man whose thought was good enough for “his time” but has become obsolete now, the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas. Ratzinger/Benedict's rejection of and contempt for the Scholasticism of Saint Thomas Aquinas that he acquired in his seminary days was the pathway by which he would come to embrace and serve as an apologist for the new ecclesiology, false ecumenism, Modernist Biblical exegesis, inter-religious prayer services, religious liberty, episcopal collegiality and separation of Church and State
Ratzinger/Benedict’s rejection of and contempt for the Scholasticism of Saint Thomas Aquinas makes it possible for him to distort, pervert and misrepresent the lives and work of various Fathers and Doctors and saints, including Saint Robert Bellarmine and Saint Francis de Sales, to make them appear to be precursors of his own revolutionary agenda. He has done this even with Saint Paul the Apostle (see Attempting to Coerce Perjury). H did this during his antipapal years with various other doctrines, including that of Purgatory (see From Sharp Focus to Fuzziness.) Indeed, the antipope emeritus started off the year 2011 with yet another attempt to justify the falsehood of “religious liberty” (see Another Year of the Same Conciliar Apostasy, part one, Another Year of the Same Conciliar Apostasy, part two and Another Year of the Same Conciliar Apostasy, part three), using this as a springboard to announce plans for Assisi III (see Bearing "Fruits" From Hell Itself, part one, Bearing "Fruits" From Hell Itself, part 2 and Not Interested in Assisi III.)
It matters not that Ratzinger may write and speak like a Catholic now and again. What matters is that he defected from the Faith in his seminary days and has been a destroyer of Its “bastions” ever since. Please refer to the following articles for a review of just some of the contemporary manifestations of Ratzinger/Benedict's lifelong apostasies that he learned to embrace in his seminary days and has promoted ever since: Impressed With His Own Originality, Accepting "Popes" As Unreliable Teachers, Obeying The Commands of a False Church, Boilerplate Ratzinger, "Cardinals" Burke and Canizares, Meet The Council of Trent, Vesakh, Not Miller, Time at the Vatican, Saint Vincent Ferrer and Anti-Saint Vincent Ferrers, Celebrating Apostasy and Dereliction of Duty, To Be Loved by the Jews, As We Continue To Blaspheme Christ the King and His True Church, Coloring Everything He Says and Does, part one, Coloring Everything He Says and Does, part two, Perhaps Judas Was the First to Sing "A Kiss is Just a Kiss", Enjoy the Party, George, Enjoy the Party, Anticlimactic "Beatification" for an Antipope, Open Letter to Pretended Catholic Scholars, Scholarship in Conciliarism's Land of Oz, As the Conciliar Fowler Lays More Snares, part one, As the Conciliar Fowler Lays More Snares, part two, As the Conciliar Fowler Lays More Snares, part three, As the Conciliar Fowler Lays More Snares, part four, Peeking into the Old Conciliar Fowler's Lair, part one, Peeking into the Old Conciliar Fowler's Lair, part two, Future Home of the "Reform of the Reform", Quite Right, which contains a summary of some of the false "pope's" warfare against the immutability of dogma and a listing of the major ecclesiological errors of the Society of Saint Pius X that undermines and, indeed, makes a mockery of the papacy itself and of their priests' defense of the Social Reign of Christ the King, Excuse Me, Father, While I Look For My New Paperwork From Rome, Just A Personal Visit, Conversion of Russia Update, So Much For Charles Martel, So Much for the Crusades, So Much for Pius V and Jan Sobieski, So Much for Catholic Truth and Let's Play The Let's Pretend Game.
An insightful essay, published as part of a series by Si, Si, No, No in 1994, got to the very roots of the Modernist thought that penetrated deep into the heart, mind and soul of Joseph Ratzinger in his seminary days as he became part of the school of the "new theology" that was advanced at the "Second" Vatican Council and thereafter by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI and, of course, by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II:
Pope Paul VI's discretion and persistence most effectively handed over supreme control and power to the “new theology” in the Catholic world. There is absolutely no room for doubt on this score. However, the triumph of this "new theology" has not meant a triumph for the Catholic Faith. The German theologian Dormann, referring to the last Council (The Theological Way of John Paul II and the Spirit of Assisi) writes, "Never before has a Papal encyclical, written barely fifteen years previously, been repudiated in so short a time and so completely by those very persons whom it condemns, as Humani Generis (1950)." The Jesuit and "new theologian" Henrici has given us a portrait of the present situation:
"Nowadays, when theological professorships are in the hands of our Concilium colleagues, almost all of the theologians who have been named bishops in the last few years have come from the ranks of Communio (a more moderately progressive journal)…Balthasar, De Lubac, and Ratzinger, the founders [of Communio], have all become cardinals" (30 Days, December 1991).
Presently, in the Church-affiliated universities, including Pontifical universities, the founding fathers of the "new theology" are being studied; doctoral theses are being prepared on Blondel, De Lubac, and Von Balthasar. The Osservatore Romano as well as Civilta Cattolica praise these modernists and their ways of "thought" and the Catholic press falls in line: Everyone falls into line with the one occupying Peter's throne.
At the present time, a "new theologian" holds the exalted position of President of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. . . .
Must anything else be added to prove that Ratzinger the Prefect is in perfect accord with Ratzinger the "theologian"? Yes, we do owe it to our readers to point out the fact that Elio Guerriero; chief editor of Communio (Italian edition) is in perfect agreement with us on this score. In order to illustrate the new theology's victorious march in his journal Jesus (April, 1992), he wrote, "Anyway, in Rome we must bring to your attention the work done by Joseph Ratzinger, both as a theologian and as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." The only thing left of Ratzinger the "restorer" is the myth.
It is not difficult to see what gave rise to this myth. In his Preface to Introduzione al Cristianismo (1968 Italian edition of Ratzinger's book Einfuhrung in das Christentum) for example, Ratzinger writes, "The problem of knowing exactly the content and meaning of the Christian Faith is presently shrouded in a nebulous halo of uncertainty, thick and dense as has never been seen before in history." And this because "those who have followed at least in some small way the theological movement of the last decade and have kept a certain distance from the herd of unthinking souls who consider anything new as being always and automatically better," have been quite anxious to know if "our theology ...has not gone in the direction of an interpretation reducing the rightful claims and demands of our Faith which seemed overly oppressive, for the simple reason that since nothing of any great importance seemed to have been lost and so many things still remained, the new theologians could immediately dare to go still one step further" (p.7).
What Catholic who loves the Church and who is suffering such a heartache in the midst of the present universal crisis would not wholeheartedly agree with these affirmations? Already in this Preface, which has remained unchanged since 1968, we find sufficient matter to give rise to that popular myth of Ratzinger the "restorer."
But just what does he oppose to this progressive onslaught and demolition of the Faith being perpetuated by present-day (new) theology? His opposition consists in a general absolution of this very same "theology" concerning which - he declares - "one cannot...honestly ...affirm that, taken as a whole, it has taken this kind of direction." By way of "corrective action," he suggests the repudiation of Catholic Tradition along with the Church's Magisterium by which the new theology of the last few decades has succeeded in shrouding "the content and meaning of the Christian Faith. For the deplorable tendency of this new theology to reduce the Faith, Ratzinger remarks, "We will surely not find the solution by insisting on remaining attached to the noble metal of fixed formulas of former times and which, in the final analysis, turn out to be simply a heap of metal which weighs heavily upon our shoulders instead of favoring, by virtue of its worth, the possibility of reaching true liberty [which in this way, has underhandedly replaced the truth]" (Preface to Introduzione al Cristianismo, p.8). The fact that his foreword is certainly heading in the same direction as contemporary "theology" seems to have completely escaped Ratzinger. Long ago, Pope St. Pius X noted that all modernists are in no way able to draw from their erroneous premises truly inevitable conclusions. (cf. Pascendi).
Ratzinger is always the same: those excesses or abuses from which he keeps a "respectful" distance (often by cutting remarks) he never opposes with Catholic truth but only with some other apparently more moderate error which, however, in the logic of error, nevertheless leads inevitably to the same ruinous conclusions.
In his book Entretien Sur La Foi (Discourse on the Faith), Ratzinger labels himself as a "well-balanced progressive." He favors a "peaceful evolution of [Catholic] doctrine" without, however, "solitary breakaways ahead of the flock," yet "without nostalgia nor regret for times irretrievably past"; meaning, of course, quietly leaving behind the Catholic Faith (pp. 16-17). Although he shrinks back from extreme "progressivism," Ratzinger cares even less for Catholic Tradition: "We must remain faithful to the present day of the Church [l'aujourd'hui de l’Eglise], not to its past [non a l'hier], nor its future [ni au demain]" (Entretien sur la Foi, p.32).
For this reason, a Catholic who cherishes the Catholic Faith and loves the Church is able to favor or subscribe to a number of Ratzinger's central affirmations, but, on closer observation of what this "restorer" proposes in place of the current universally-deplored "abuses," he will find himself unable to approve even a single sentence. And this is because the downward neo-modernist path leads us down the same slippery slope, even though it does so more gradually, it still ends up with the very same complete rejection of Divine Revelation, that is, in apostasy. No doubt about it: the writings of Ratzinger the "Theologian" are there for all to see, demonstrating an undeniable proof of this flagrant apostasy. (They Think They've Won! Part VI; one wonders why anyone in the Society of Saint Pius X could have believed that Ratzinger/Benedict had not expelled himself from the Catholic Church, no less that he could have been a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter.)
Do not be deceived by the appearance of Catholicism that Ratzinger/Benedict may give now and again even in his recent effort to find that mythical “synthesis” about Judaism that could be acceptable to Jews and Christians. It is only the appearance, not the substance. No one who believes and says and does what he has done in the past sixty-six years can maintain membership in the Catholic Church. Our true popes have taught us this. Why do we fail to believe them?
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88). (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
The Modernists completely invert the parts, and of them may be applied the words which another of Our predecessors Gregory IX, addressed to some theologians of his time: "Some among you, puffed up like bladders with the spirit of vanity strive by profane novelties to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers, twisting the meaning of the sacred text...to the philosophical teaching of the rationalists, not for the profit of their hearer but to make a show of science...these men, led away by various and strange doctrines, turn the head into the tail and force the queen to serve the handmaid."
18. This will appear more clearly to anybody who studies the conduct of Modernists, which is in perfect harmony with their teachings. In their writings and addresses they seem not unfrequently to advocate doctrines which are contrary one to the other, so that one would be disposed to regard their attitude as double and doubtful. But this is done deliberately and advisedly, and the reason of it is to be found in their opinion as to the mutual separation of science and faith. Thus in their books one finds some things which might well be approved by a Catholic, but on turning over the page one is confronted by other things which might well have been dictated by a rationalist. When they write history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when they are in the pulpit they profess it clearly; again, when they are dealing with history they take no account of the Fathers and the Councils, but when they catechize the people, they cite them respectfully. In the same way they draw their distinctions between exegesis which is theological and pastoral and exegesis which is scientific and historical. So, too, when they treat of philosophy, history, and criticism, acting on the principle that science in no way depends upon faith, they feel no especial horror in treading in the footsteps of Luther and are wont to display a manifold contempt for Catholic doctrines, for the Holy Fathers, for the Ecumenical Councils, for the ecclesiastical magisterium; and should they be taken to task for this, they complain that they are being deprived of their liberty. Lastly, maintaining the theory that faith must be subject to science, they continuously and openly rebuke the Church on the ground that she resolutely refuses to submit and accommodate her dogmas to the opinions of philosophy; while they, on their side, having for this purpose blotted out the old theology, endeavor to introduce a new theology which shall support the aberrations of philosophers. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
Sounding like a Catholic does not make one a member of the Catholic Church. One must subscribe faithfully to everything contained within the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted exclusively to her teaching authority for Its eternal safekeeping and infallible explication. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI believes that Catholic dogma can never be expressed adequately at any one time, meaning that God the Holy Ghost has failed Holy Mother Church in directing the work of our true popes and the Fathers of Holy Mother Church's true councils. This is impossible. It is also impossible for anyone to believe such a thing and to remain a member of the Catholic Church.
In the midst of Antipope Emeritus Benedict XVI's incredible sixty-year career of apostasy, blasphemy and sacrilege, which has included esteeming the symbols of false religions with his own priestly hands and calling places of false worship as "sacred" as he has been content to be treated as an inferior in those places and as he has given "joint blessings" with the "ministers" in some of those theaters of false worship, we must have recourse to Our Lady as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit and as we keep her company in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in our time in fervent prayer before her Divine Son's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Conciliarism is not nor can ever be Catholicism. However, "opaque" one may believe Ratzinger's heresies are, no one can have any doubt about his successor's open hatred for all to do with the Catholic Faith.
While each person must come to recognize this for himself (it took me long enough to do so; I defended the indefensible for far too long!), we must nevertheless embrace the truth once we do come to recognize and accept it without caring for one moment what anyone else may think about us as we make reparation for our sins, which did indeed transcend time and served to help to motivate the Jews of Our Lord's day to cry out for His Crucifixion just as we mock Him by means of our disordered self-love and stubborn refusal to obey His Commandments, and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
As I noted nearly nine years ago, we can never grow accustomed to apostasies that can never become acceptable with the passage of time. We can never grow accustomed to offenses given to God by the conciliar "popes" and their conciliar "bishops." We must never "spin" in their behalf.
We must cleave to the Catholic Church, not to the counterfeit church of conciliarism, as we attempt to plant the seeds for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we seek to live more and more penitentially, making reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary for our own many sins and for those of the whole word, praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.