Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Claudio Pierantoni answers Buttiglione

Professor Claudio Pierantoni, a signatory of the Filial Correction, addresses in an interview with Diane Montagna on LifeSiteNews the key claims of Rocco Buttiglione when the latter criticised this initiative. Piernatoni know Buttiglione well and the two have corresponded on the subject, so this is of particular interest.

See the whole interveiw here; below I copy a key passage.

As Professor Seifert explained in a now famous article, which cost him the chair in Granada (and as I then sought to clarify in a subsequent article in defense of Seifert: “Josef Seifert, Pure Logic and the Beginning of the official persecution of Orthodoxy within the Church”), Amoris laetitia affirms, regarding a situation that “does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel” (viz. the prohibition of adultery), that one may “come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits” (AL 303). This is an extremely problematic claim. In the first place, AL distorts reality when it calls what is actually a commandment to be strictly observed, a mere “ideal” (Latin “exemplar”). Note that in the same sentence it calls it “demand” (“mandatum”). But there is something worse: we realize that here it is said that “a given situation [that] does not correspond objectively to the commandment of the Gospel” would be “what God himself is asking.” (emphasis added). This implies, just as situational ethics holds, that there are not absolute commandments. The text in question does not speak of a decrease in guilt, or of ignorance, but instead says that the subject discovers, based on “the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor” that the action is good: it is nothing less than “what God is asking.”
Now Buttiglione defends even this truly indefensible passage very cleverly, but to do this he is obliged to introduce an element that doesn’t appear in the text at all. Indeed, Buttiglione states: “The Pope does not say that God is happy with the fact that divorced-and-remarried continue to have sexual intercourse with each other. The conscience recognizes that it is not in conformity with the law. However, the conscience also knows that it has begun a journey of conversion. One still sleeps with a woman who is not his wife but has stopped taking drugs and going with prostitutes, has found a job and takes care of his children. He has the right to think that God is happy with him, at least in part.” (emphasis added.)
For Buttiglione, then, God would be happy, with the person in question, not in relation to the situation that does not correspond objectively to the commandment of the Gospel (the adulterous situation), but with other (good) things. And really, if AL said this, no one would object. Unfortunately, however, the text does not say this, since it does not refer to other aspects, but it says loud and clear, to quote it once more, that “a situation that does not correspond to the commandment of the Gospel” — this situation, not something else — is “what God himself is asking.” So AL 303says something completely different from what Professor Buttiglione would like it to say. And yet Buttiglione claims that it’s us who are making the Pope say what he didn’t really say.
Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

13 comments:

  1. Dear Dr. Shaw,

    I have made a reply of sorts to some of your remarks, particularly in debate with Dr. Fastiggi and Dr. Goldstein:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2017/10/dr-joseph-shaw-apes-reformers-ambiguous-catholic-documents.html

    I'm a professional Catholic apologist (ten published books to my name and currently a regular columnist at National Catholic Register).

    God bless you,

    Dave

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You think it is significant that Luther thought that Trent was ambiguous, but you don't explain why. Just because he thought that of Trent, hardly perseveres AL of ambiguity five centuries later.

      You need to do better, I'm afraid.

      Delete
  2. I didn't analyze Luther's reaction to Trent (he died a year before it began and I don't think he wrote much about it), but rather, his reaction to Erasmus, leading me to wonder if you actually read my article. Did you?

    Moreover, my present argument is not at all whether Vatican II or Trent or AL are ambiguous (that's your burden of proof, since you claim it: at least for AL), but rather, to note the *analogy* between the opinions of three Protestant "reformers" regarding ambiguity of Catholic councils or major Catholic scholars (Erasmus), and your own, regarding Catholic apostolic exhortations and at least one pope.

    All analogies are (I'm pretty sure) partial in nature. I never claim more for mine than exactly what I am highlighting in a given argument.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moreover, my present argument is not at all whether Vatican II or Trent or AL are ambiguous

      Not good enough, I'm afraid. The analogy is only valid and meaningful is Trent and V2/AL are similarly ambiguous ("Calvin falsely said that an unambiguous document is ambiguous, and Shaw accurately said that an ambiguous document is ambiguous" isn't a valid analogy), so if you're going to make the analogy, you need to show that V2 and AL are no more ambiguous than Trent was.

      Also, in the case of AL specifically, people, including prominent churchmen, have given diametrically opposed interpretations of it (AL allows communion for the divorced and remarried vs. AL doesn't allow communion for the divorced and remarried). This would seem pretty strong evidence that the document is in fact ambiguous, unless perhaps you want to claim that one side or the other is either stupid or lying.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for at least responding with more than fluff, but since I critiqued Dr. Shaw, I'll pass on interacting with his friends. Nothing personal . . .

      Delete
  3. Luther died a year *after* Trent began, rather . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I skimmed it because it's verbose and not really worth responding to. My point stands. Someone argues that X is F in the 16th Century. We argue that Y is F today. That's not an analogy, that's just two historical observations. So what?

      Part of why your screed is not worth responding to is that you've clearly not bothered to read (or absorb) any of the principle authors of the view you criticise, otherwise you'd not say that they don't give examples of ambiguities in Vatican II (or in Amoris, come to that). Their works are full of examples.

      So you might say I'm returning the compliment by not reading you very thoroughly.

      Delete
  4. So you condemn me for supposedly not reading certain folks in question, all the while refusing to read *my* post (which we know for sure because you confirmed it, by both error and assertion). I do appreciate the comedic irony there. Have a great day and may God abundantly bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. You can't be bothered to write a properly researched critique, you don't get taken seriously.

      High time you learned that lesson.

      Delete
    2. I'm a professional Catholic apologist (ten published books to my name and currently a regular columnist at National Catholic Register). ... So you condemn me for supposedly not reading certain folks in question, all the while refusing to read *my* post

      Aren't we a precious little snowflake?

      Delete
  5. Oh, I've learned a lesson alright, but it's not at all what you think it is.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Firstly, how to make a nuisance of yourself.
    Secondly, how to use the Lord's name in vain.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Pope is of the view that 50% of marriages are possibly invalid. What is it to be then? 50? 51? 60? 90? In addition and under certain circumstances, Our Lord's words on the indissolubility marriage are also non-binding just as 50%(?) of marriages.

    Against this background, I see no reason why a future Pope could not declare 50% of Vatican II no longer binding on the Church. AL will also indure a similar categorization.

    Buttiglione is a politician from an occupied country who has spent his professional life pretending it isn't occupied. Trust me it is. I have visited one of its "NATO" bases. Italian "democracy" is the equivalent of a shotgun wedding. It's a joke. Buttiglione might as well have become a school teacher.

    ReplyDelete