Chapter 5 – Double edged damage control
Carpe Diem walked into the room, his clothes inside out and back to front, shoes untied, and wearing a helmet. He rarely sat on the floor with his back against wall, banging his head until he was too dazed to continue in favour of sensory overload, but wearing a helmet was now part of who he was. He offered the last of a box of chocolate to any takers, though passing everyone too quickly and simply giving the whole box on don Hash, who had taken the time to answer his questions. Don Hash was horrified to see that the nails of Carpe Diem’s fingers had been chewed down to their roots.
“The rules are… I can’t believe I’m saying this…” said don Hash, hesitating, thinking of Saint Lawrence and who would burn whom. He thanked Carpe Diem, who then left, flapping his hands as he so often did. “It’s just that Saint Robert Bellarmine’s rules* might have seemed to him to establish in a textual critical manner the words of Scripture in the way dogmatically insisted upon by the Council of Trent, but which, at the same time, surely seemed to him also to have the benefit of appeasing the so-called Reformers. But Trent was not followed and the Protestants couldn’t have cared less about anything Bellarmine did. His double-edged damage control, if accepted by the Church, would have to become a habit, a virtue, a ‘policy’… almost making of itself revealed Truth, manipulating Sacred Scripture as it did. Such a policy fears the authority of the Holy Father, effectively claiming that the only sources of infallibility are the temporary hypotheses of scientific methodology. For him, only science, artificially cut off from the Faith, could be the basis for the Magisterial discernment of what Sacred Scripture is in its extension, its books, sentences, phrases, words and letters. Bellarmine could not think of any other aid to judge whether one ancient manuscript was correct and another not. He ignored the fact that if a Scripture passage was consistently used in the Liturgy, though in Latin, that is how the Church could find the words of the original language manuscripts. But this was the discernment of the Fathers of the Council of Trent: the inspired words in context of the Word sacrificed. If Bellarmine’s double-edged damage control succeeded, there would have been a new inquisition in which burning truth – as that which is inexpedient to ecumenical unity – would be rewarded.”
“Ha! What in Galileo’s heavens are you talking about?” demanded Cardinal Froben with glee.
“Wake up and smell the smoke!” exclaimed Cardinal Fidèle. “Satan’s smouldering fires come to us even in the bella figura of angels of light, of saints like Bellarmine, who are canonized for their holiness, not any clever thoughts they think they might have had. Bellarmine opened the windows to let in what he thought was the fresh air of Scripture not being contradicted by science, but then with the biblical manuscripts he let Continue reading