Saturday, December 31, 2016

If the good guys win at the Synod

I first published this in October 2015. Events seem to have upheld my pessimism.

Farewell, the Year of Grace 2016! Hold onto your hats for 2017.

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IMG_7834
The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time.
The Fourth Station: Jesus is met by His Blessed Mother

I wasn't around for the Second Vatican Council and its immediate aftermath, but on the basis of what I've read about those years, I feel as if I am watching an action-replay.

One thing to remember about it is that the terrible things which happened after the Council came after the promulgation of documents which had been much tweaked in a conservative direction, documents which the more conservative bishops felt they could, after all, support, since they were quite capable of being read in a way consistent with traditional views. For example, it was quite late in the proceedings that one famous sentence of the document on liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, assumed its final form:

'there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them'

with the addition of the phrase 'genuinly and certainly', 'vera et certa'. With this in the document, what more could anyone ask?

All sorts of qualifying footnotes and subclauses went into the documents of the Council to acheive the consensus votes which were thought to be appropriate - and rightly so. But the disasters which befell the Church afterwards still happened.

Before anyone says that it was all wonderful, wonderful, wonderful after the Council, and only curmugeonly traddies like me think differently, let me just quote our three post-Conciliar Popes on the subject (not counting JP I).

Bl. Pope Paul VI: This state of uncertainty even holds sway in the Church. There was the belief that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for the history of the Church. Instead, it is the arrival of a day of clouds, of tempest, of darkness, of research, of uncertainty.  

Pope St John Paul III would like to ask forgiveness-in my own name and in the name of all of you, venerable and dear brothers in the episcopate-for everything which, for whatever reason, through whatever human weakness, impatience or negligence, and also through the at times partial, one-sided and erroneous application of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, may have caused scandal and disturbance concerning the interpretation of the doctrine and the veneration due to this great sacrament.

Pope Benedict XVI: in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

I would strongly suggest to all Catholics that, if the conservatives at the Synod declare victory, we should congratulate them heartily, and then start digging an air-raid shelter in the garden.

One thing we have to understand is the way liberals read documents. Their scriptural exegesis illustrates the point. They don't read a whole passage or letter or whatever and come to a balanced view of what points are being made there - that would be boring. Instead, they take a bit they like, and instead of reading it in the context of the rest, they use it as an 'interpretive key' of the rest: they read, or ignore, the rest of the document through that one passage. Usually it is an isolated sentence, or even a stray phrase. Thus, they see St Paul's words 'there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female', (Galatians 3:28), and instead of asking what, in context, he meant by that, they take it as meaning what they want it to mean, which today is something approaching gender theory, and proceed to interpret, or ignore, everything else St Paul wrote to fit their weird understanding of that one phrase. So despite everything St Paul says, at length and with great emphasis, about the differences between the sexes, liberals will quote this phrase to show that female ordination is demanded by Scripture. Nothing else St Paul wrote makes any difference, because it all needs to be understood through this 'key'.

The 'Spirit of Vatican II' works in a similar way. The argument here is that, again looking at an isolated passage in a particular document, the Council moved the Church from being in favour (for example) of traditional religious dress with all the trimmings, or a completely Latin liturgy, to the point at which we are asked to consider if all the trimmings are appropriate to modern conditions, or to consider the use of the vernacular for some parts of the Mass. What we need to take from the Council, the liberals claimed, is not the document's final, stated, position - habits and Latin should emphatically be retained - but the direction of movement. It is therefore a matter of 'obedience to the Council' to continue that movement: it is obedient to the Council, in fact, to violate the Council's clear words, and jettison habits, and Latin, altogether. To insist on what the Council actually said is to disobey the Council.

Conservatives were at a huge disadvantage in debating the meaning of such texts with liberals, because they wanted to adopt a balanced and docile position which drew from the documents whatever might be of value in them. They felt obliged to go along with a huge amount of very disruptive and damaging changes in the hope that they would have good results - which of course they might have had, at least in many cases, if they had stopped there - which merely conceded to the liberals a good half of what they wanted. It was then far harder to resist the further changes which the liberals undertook under cover of the confusion and controversy. The conservatives did the liberals' work for them by overcoming the inertia inherant in any stable institution, getting the ball rolling, by an often ham-fisted authoritarianism.

With hindsight, it would have been better to say that, since the Council's comments on these and many other matters were nothing more than recommendations on matters of prudential judgement, the vast can of worms they offered to open should remain closed until a more auspicious moment presented itself.

With the Synod on the Family, that won't be an option in the same way, but the liberals' ability to snatch victory from the jaws of stalemate is undiminished. The very fact that the issues are being debated is a huge gain for the liberal side of the argument. The very fact that certain frankly disedifying statements from the bishops' interventions are being quoted in the press - accurately or not - moves the debate immeasurably in their favour.

I read today that one bishop thought the 'language of indissolubility' needs to be changed. Words fail me. That this should be said at a Synod in Rome undermines the certainty of doctrine which has, on this topic, survived in the public perception of the Church. That certainty, in public perception, is of immense value. Take that away, and all hell breaks loose.

If the good guys win at the Synod, the liberals will still win. If the good guys clearly and publicly lose, then the results will immediate and catastrophic. I expect, however, that some formula will be found to maintain a consensus, a formula which could be seen as a victory for the conservatives, at least by comparison with the demands of some of the liberals. The point is, this will still be a victory for the liberals. They will take the concessions made to them, they will act as if they won twice as much, and they will be back for more.

I don't believe in an inevitable victory for the liberal side of the debate in the long term - quite the contrary - but the Synod, like Vatican II, has brought together a balance of forces which is clearly not going to conclude with a triumphant reassertion of the traditional view. Things are going to get worse, a lot worse, before they get better.

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34 comments:

  1. I fear your analysis is spot on. The fact is the jinn cannot be put back in the bottle. Doubtless a general impression will be allowed to gain ground that wicked conservative bishops, out of touch with the real world, have thwarted Good Pope Francis, who wants mercy. And so it will be far more loyal to the Spirit of Pope Francis to do what he is presumed to want.

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  2. Ironically, the Liberal Synod has become a St Gallen for more traditionally-minded Cardinals, who can begin to weigh each other up as we approach Pope Francis's 80th birthday.

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  3. Good piece. A couple of thoughts:

    1) The clarity of the final document, or what the Pope says next year, could make a big difference. If after all this controversy and debate there were a crystal-clear exposition of orthodox Catholic teaching, surely that would be immensely powerful?

    2) I think it is important to distinguish between the "nice to haves" and the "absolutely essentials". For example, "traditional religious dress with all the trimmings" is surely, even from the traditionalist perspective, a "nice to have", whereas the indissolubility of marriage, or the reverent celebration of Mass, are absolute essentials. If someone insists on everything with equal force without regard to its ultimate importance (and I'm not saying you do, of course!), he/she becomes easier to marginalise.

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    1. 1) Yes it would be powerful, though it would be misrepresented by the media, but that isn't going to happen.
      2) I agree. The example of religious dress is simply to illustrate the modus operandi.

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  4. The result of the Synod is irrelevant when the guy who writes the Apostolic Exhortation is one of the bad guys.

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    1. Not *entirely* irrelevant, but greatly reduced in relevance - no question.

      We ought to have learned that lesson in the 1960's.

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  5. I was there and this piece is spot on...


    A
    CHILD
    OF THE
    SIXTIES

    (or "fool me once, shame on you")

    Daily Mass
    In uniformed plaid
    Then suddenly
    Adults went mad

    Priests danced round
    Nuns turned hip
    Fathers, mothers
    All jumped ship

    Michael rowed
    His boat ashore
    Through the Sanctuary
    Door

    Simoned-sermons
    Garfunked too
    Jesus loves you
    Coo-ka-choo

    Jesus Christ
    Superstar
    God is dead
    So who You are?

    Morning pills
    Eat the Bread
    Grace Slicked-souls
    Will feed your head

    All were Virgins
    Female Ghost
    Solitary
    Feminist boast

    Tell what's happening
    What's the buzz
    Bishops do
    What never was

    But one Bishop
    Stood up straight
    Great man-Mitred
    Gainst the gate

    Great man-Mitred
    Took the Cross
    Plugged the hole
    To stop Priest loss

    And to this day
    Green fields, no dream
    Because of him
    Vocations stream

    And along the
    River banks they line
    Rosaries in hand
    For both Tiber and Rhine

    We believe in God
    Four marks...the Creed
    If this flow continues
    Your waters will bleed

    But not with Christ’s
    Most Precious Blood...
    A mitred-muck
    Of sin-scabbed mud!

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  6. This is a very good article but it leaves out two crucial facts. The first is that the reason why conservatives went along with and even enforced the destructive changes after the Second Vatican Council is that they were backed up with papal authority. Paul VI enforced them, by his personal actions and by the bishops and curial officials he appointed. His main focus was on the introduction of the Novus Ordo, and he even objected to a few of the other changes (without however doing anything about them), but his personal involvement was the key both at and after the council. The conservatives thought they could do no wrong by obeying the Pope, and placed this obedience above faith and the good of souls. The second fact is that the 'liberals' are in fact not Catholics - something that is entailed by what you say in this article, but a conclusion that you do not draw. Conservatives refused to publicly state this, and acted as if it was not true. But if you do this, you cannot tell the truth about 'liberal' measures - you cannot say that they are essentially destructive of the faith. As a result you cannot effectively oppose them

    These two facts are connected. Since Paul VI and now Francis are promoting the 'liberal' measures, for conservatives to say that 'liberals' are in fact modernist heretics would mean saying that the Pope is personally a heretic and is working to undermine the faith as a result. This is impossible for them; partly because it contradicts their psychological and intellectual commitment to blind obedience to the pope, and partly because they simply lack the courage and principle needed to oppose the pope for the sake of the faith. Even now, when the heretical beliefs of Francis are as clear as day, they will not take this step.

    The only hope for effective opposition to modernism is for conservatives to drop their conservatism and take up traditionalism. This is what Archbishop Lefebvre did. he took the lead in trying to moderate the documents of Vatican II, but when he found this approach did not work - because Paul VI was fighting on the other side - he adapted to circumstances and opposed the papal line. I recommend this interview with him: http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Interview_With_Archbishop_Lefebvre.htm

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  7. Well, that's sobering analysis.

    It's also almost certainly dead on.

    But when the other side has control of the papacy, it is almost certainly inevitable. And that was really the greatest reason why the post-Vatican II period turned out the way it did, as opposed to too conciliatory postures by conservatives. They had Paul VI - not a radical liberal, but liberal enough, and deferential enough to the radicals.

    Which is why, if I were Robert Sarah and got elected in a conclave next year, I'd make expanding and packing the College of Cardinals with the most traditional prelates I could find. Personnel is not just policy; in the Church, personnel determines who the next pope is, and all that follows from it.

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    1. I doubt the next Conclave will see the election of an out-and-out conservative. In the first place, the last one didn't, when it was substantially more conservative than it is today (it is now packed with far more gray-faced organization men with no opinions). In the second, the major fear now is schism, and the major concern avoiding schism, so they will not elect a perceived partisan whom (they fear) will provoke schism. No Mueller, no Sarah. They will elect another gray-faced organization man with no opinions. A placeholder who will rule for a time while passions die down and change almost nothing.

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    2. What do you mean when you say 'conservative'? I think the linking of attatchment to liturgical tradition with (often enough) neoliberal politics one of the key reasons the old Mass remains niche, despite the chaos of the new Mass situation. It certainly puts me off - Capitalism is a good image of hell to me.
      There was nothing conservative about BXVI; if anything his embracing of so many Catholic charisms, from the traditional to the charismatic, was a good lesson in postmodern pluralism. His association and academic jousting with Habermas, for example, display a solidly late/ post-modernist mind. FI is not so smart as his predecessor (any of them?) but he's just continuing a pattern already set within the church.

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    3. It's hard to say. I share the concerns about the makeup of the college (probably a wee bit more liberal thanks to Francis's consistory), which did, after all, elect him. The real wonder to me now is that Benedict was elected, even knowing what I do about how it unfolded.

      That said, there's at least one report that a cardinal has conveyed that if the election were held again today, only ten cardinals might vote for Papa Bergoglio. Many have "Francis Fatigue." And if we follow past patterns - the old Italian aphorism that skinny pope follows fat pope - all we can say is likely is that the next pope will be different in some real measure from this one. What is harder to make out is just what the difference will be.

      I have no idea what Sarah's chance will be, honestly - I picked him out at random. He's known as a conservative, but not a hard core trad type, not in Burke territory; he's charismatic, from Africa (where the demographics are favorable), is a polyglot, old enough that he won't have too long a pontificate, with a heightened profile now, so it's not *inconceivable* that he might be elected, or at least get some votes.

      My real point, however, is that if you are a so fortunate (burdened) as to be elected as a conservative or traditional pope, you might think very hard about who you are handing out red hats to. If it were me, I'd do an FDR court-packing scheme.

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    4. My last comment here was directed to Sean W, by the way.

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    5. Gillineau: I am completely baffled by your linking of attachment to tradition with 'neo-liberal' politics. I hope you see no such linkage on this blog. Where do you see it? I am not aware of any major Traditional Catholic writer or blog who espouses neo-liberal politics.

      There's a linkage, unsurprisingly, between neo-conservatism in terms of Catholic theology and neo-liberalism in politics, among Americans - it would be easy to reel off a list of names, with George Weigal at the top of the list. But Traditionalists?

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    6. Joseph Shaw, I appreciate that attachment to traditional liturgy and neo-liberal politics are not necessarily linked. However, I think the semantic differentiation between what might be seen as natural trading behaviour (making, growing, selling, etc) and Capitalism as it is imposed by western governments everywhere is a bit subtle. I'm all for the former, of course, but too often the latter is justified on the grounds that it somehow relates to the former, which I don't think it does. And this is why I baulk at the use of the term 'conservative' in relation to the Church because it has been defaced by its links to neoliberalism, which pretends to be a sort-of big-scale version of it. Consequently I think many people labour under the idea that a conservative pope would/ should stand up for neoliberal capitalism. The word people should use is 'faithful'. We want clerics faithful to Catholic teaching, particularly on money (at this time); Her refusal to speak as one on issues of debt, usury and labour exploitation at the hands of neoliberal economics is stain on Her reputation.

      Of course I seen no link in what you/ this blog writes, but the comments tell us something do they not?

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    7. I wasn't even aware particularly of the neo-liberal tendency in the comms box either; I don't often post on economics or international politics.

      But if you can't name a single identifiable Trad who espouses neo-con views, then I think you should re-think your generalisation. Yes, a 'conservative' Pope (Pell, say) would likely be more sympathetic to capitalism than many of the liberals, who identify with the political left, but it is trads who have been pushing the critique of capitalism inherent in the Tradition - see for example Chris Ferrara's book 'Liberty, the God that Failed.'

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  8. I'm not sure about the reference to the good guys winning in your title, as the scenario you describe is not a win. A win would be a clear condemnation of proposals opposed to faith and morals, and a binding condemnation of these proposals. Here are some relevant excerpts from the interview with Abp. Lefebvre I mentioned above:

    "I believe there were a number of cardinals assisted by theological experts who were in agreement with liberal ideas.

    Q. Who, for example?

    Cardinal (Augustine) Bea (a German Jesuit), Cardinal (Leo) Suenens (from Belgium), Cardinal (Joseph) Frings (from Germany), Cardinal (Franz) Koenig (from Austria). These personalities had already gathered and discussed these resolutions before the council and it was their precise aim to make a compromise with the secular world, to introduce Illuminist and modernist ideas in the church doctrines.

    ...

    Q. What about those bishops who are not liberals but still oppose and criticize you?

    Their opposition is based on an inaccurate understanding of obedience to the pope. It is, perhaps, a well-meant obedience, which could be traced to the ultramontane obedience of the last century, which in those days was good because the popes were good. However, today, it is a blind obedience, which has little to do with a practice and acceptance of true Catholic faith.

    At this stage it is relevant to remind Catholics allover the world that obedience to the pope is not a primary virtue.

    The hierarchy of virtues starts with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity followed by the four cardinal virtues of justice, temperance, prudence and fortitude. Obedience is a derivative of the cardinal virtue of justice. Therefore it is far from ranking first in the hierarchy of virtues.

    Certain bishops do not wish to give the slightest impression that they are opposed to the holy father. I understand how they feel. It is evidently very unpleasant, if not very painful.

    I certainly do not like to be in opposition to the holy father, but I have no choice considering what is coming to us from Rome at present, which is in opposition to the Catholic doctrine and is unacceptable to Catholics.

    Q. Do you suggest that the holy father accepts these particular ideas?

    Yes. He does. But it is not only the holy father. It is a whole trend. I have mentioned to you some of the cardinals involved in these ideas."

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  9. Further:

    "Do you suggest that some cardinals could have been members of such secret societies?

    This is not a very important matter at this stage whether they are or not. What is very important and grave is that they, for all intents and purposes, act just as if they were agents or servants of humanist secret societies.

    Do you suggest that these cardinals could have taken up such ideas deliberately or were they given the wrong information or were they duped or a combination of all?

    I think that humanist and liberal ideas spread throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. These secular ideas were spread everywhere, in government and churches alike.

    These ideas have penetrated into the seminaries and throughout the church. And today the church wakes up finding itself in a liberal straitjacket.

    This is why one meets liberal influence that has penetrated all strata of secular life during the last two centuries, right inside the church. Vatican Council II was engineered by liberals; it was a liberal council; the pope is a liberal and those who surround him are liberals.

    Are you suggesting that the pope is a liberal even if he has never declared himself to be a liberal?

    The pope has never denied that he was (a liberal).

    When did the pope indicate that he was a liberal?

    The pope stated on many occasions that he was in favor of modernist ideas, in favor of a compromise with the world. In his own words, it was necessary.’to throw a bridge between the church and the secular world.'

    The pope said that it was necessary to accept humanist ideas, that is was necessary to discuss such ideas; that it was necessary to have dialogs. At this stage, it is important to state that dialogs are contrary to the doctrines of the Catholic faith. Dialogs presuppose the coming together of two equal and opposing sides; therefore, in no way could (dialog) have anything to do with the Catholic faith.

    We believe and accept our faith as the only true faith in the world. All this confusion ends up in compromises, which destroy the church's doctrines, for the misfortune of mankind and the church alike."

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    1. People influenced by 'secret societies', freemasonry etc? We tend to forget Satan who does the influencing. Bernanos in his book 'Under Satan's Sun' explains how the devil works very clearly. He is not worried by intention or motives - many of his victims see their motives as good - so long as they dance to his tune. They know not what they do.

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  10. Yet further:

    "Q. You had difficulties with Pope Paul VI. Do you have the same difficulties with Pope John Paul II?

    A. Pope Paul Vl and Pope John Paul II are both Liberal and Modernist, favorable to the Conciliar Revolution. We have the same reasons to mistrust John Paul II as Paul VI. In practice they have adopted all the consequences of a false principle which may be expressed thus: "All religions are means of salvation." Therefore the Church is no longer the unique means of salvation. "

    Until more bishops will say things like this, the problems in the Church cannot be fixed.

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  11. Can someone tell me when was the last time a sodomite, a fornicator, an adulterer etc. were refused Communion in a Catholic Church?

    How many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are adulterers? sodomites? etc.

    In my experience the average Catholic does not know what a mortal sin is, and everyone goes to Communion. Does anyone have a different experience of the average Catholic?

    The Soho Masses? well they seem to be pretty welcoming and non-judgemental. Hmmm, this Synod is tackling yesterdays problems! If the 'bad' guys win will we see our Churches packed again with all these public sinners? I am sure they must be waiting to be officially welcomed back...

    A so called Catholic country, Ireland does not seem to have a clue about marriage, what damage could possibly be caused there if the 'bad' guys win?

    Now that reminds me, where is the countdown showing when there will be fewer N.O. priests, than E.F priests in France, is there one for Germany?, Switzerland, etc. By their fruits you will know them, but not for long.

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  12. The bishop who wanted/wants the language of indissolubility changed was/is Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.

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    1. I was referring to a report of the words of Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia.

      I'm not aware of Cardinal Nichols referring to it, though he may have.

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    2. lhttps://soundcloud.com/catholicchurch/cardinal-nichols-synod-pathway-is-becoming-clear

      One of at least two – quite disturbing – instances. Despite its colour, this example is arguably the least sinister of Cardinal Nichols' "Synod of the Media" dispatches, especially concerning the subject "indissolubility". There is another, less emotionally framed, communication given by the Cardinal in his (eight or so) SoundCloud bulletins from Rome over the last few weeks which I would say is far more worrying. It's clear that he has been pushing an agenda.

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    3. https://soundcloud.com/catholicchurch/cardinal-nichols-synod-pathway-is-becoming-clear

      Hopefully this link works. If not, the search terms are: Sound Cloud / Cardinal Nichols / Synod Pathway is becoming clear

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    4. Gregory M: Thanks for the link. Cardinal Nichols clearly says that he and his colleagues did not like the word 'indissolubility'. Quite what he means by that I do not know. Is he objecting to the word and wants some euphemism? Or is he objecting to the concept?

      If the former then I cannot imagine anyone getting married objecting to the word when they take a vow ... till death do us part. Is it non-U like toilet instead of loo?

      If the latter then he is an apostate.

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  13. It is very close to an action replay. One difference is that during Vatican II, the laity trusted the hierarchy. Now a sufficient minority know otherwise.

    It is clear today that the Modernist factions, then surreptitiously active in the Church, used the post-Vatican II period to slip through their heretical interpretations. They will use the same tactics after this Synod.

    And they will persist. They seem to consider they have time on their side and have after all been at it for well over 200 years.

    The outcome will be schism. A diminished Catholic Church will continue, and various other factions will sooner or later, reluctant to give up the “catholic” label, drift away. But that will take decades, and more.

    One thought that did occur to me. Given the rapid and no doubt increasing decrease in Mass attendance in the Church, which will get worse after this confusing Synod, the income of the Church will continue to drop sharply. The loss of German tax revenue will not help. Future Popes will simply not be able to afford the Vatican.

    Any one recommend a good hotel in Avignon?

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  14. Once the 1965 cultural revolution had taken hold Vatican II became an irrelevance. The Islamic World is currently rejecting (or has a record of rejecting) the 1965 cultural revolution which seeks to undermine religious or theocratic tradition when applied to their environment. The main weapon against Catholicism in this revolutionary phase was Courtney-Murray’s Dignitatis Humanae and the privatization of religious faith. What “Western interests” sought to do was reduce religion to a wholly private matter. Faith became no more than an added amenity of the welfare state (which is what Catholic schools have become in the UK) or an extra option of choice in a consumer society. This latter approach is presently how a priest like Bishop Barron in America presents the Catholic faith. His “Catholicism” series together with his YouTube videos compete in the free market place for the viewers’ attention. Faith is now synonymous with marketing and engaging presentational techniques but no more than that or else incur the wrath of “Western interests”. As I say, the Islamic World resists where the Catholic World has succumbed. It’s a measure of the total collapse of the Church we even take pride in our own destruction: “at least I am not like that Muslim over there” is the Catholic response. I seem to recall there was a parable from the New Testament which uses similar vocabulary.

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  15. I agree that your analysis is spot on. However the Synod has been helpful in clarifying the position of many Bishops. Whilst in the past I puzzled about what made certain prelates tick I now know them to be simple apostates. As to the future this will all have been a fudge. The liberals will carry on and dissolve their local churches as in an acid bath and will themselves eventually disappear down the plughole. Reading such documents as those presented to the Shadow Synod my suspicions about the value of academia have grown whilst the most positive thing has been reading Cardinal Sarah's 'Dieu ou rien' - every page is brilliant. I confidently believe he will be the next Pope.

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    1. Brilliant analysis Nicolas!The Novus Ordo Church,with its liberal Prelates,and congregation.is collapsing.I am 63 yrs of age and have witnessed the destruction of The Faith by these people for years.Tradition is back and here to stay.

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  16. Cardinal Nichols says that his group did not like the word 'indissolubility' but preferred the idea of faithfulness till death do us part. What the difference is escapes me but the effect of this statement is to give the impression that 'indissolubility' is no longer the teaching of the church. As to 'faithfulness' as one of the speakers at the shadow synod suggested this should be seen as serial faithfulness or rather serial adultery.

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  17. Many thanks for reposting this.

    I see from the comments thread that the connection between Traddishness and neo-liberalism (or rather the lack thereof) came up, and you referred to Christopher Ferrara’s book “Liberty: The God that Failed”.

    I for one would be very interested to know more about the Trad critique of neo-liberalism , having been intrigued by HJA Sire’s discussion of that subject in “Phoenix from the Ashes”. If you find yourself with a spare moment sometime, might you fancy giving us readers a few pointers please?

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    1. Well, it comes up on Rorate Caeli from time to time. Apart from Ferrara another published author is Brian McCall. And (I don't know if he is a trad) online Zippy Catholic is worth a look.

      In a word, if you take seriously the doctrines which have been memory-holed by Modernism you have to tackle not only the notion of the Catholic State but also the condemnation of Usury. There isn't much in neo-Liberlism which is going to survive those ideas.

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    2. Great, thanks very much for that! Happy New Year, by the way, and thank you for your ever-interesting blog.

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