I’ve been distracted from the revision of Jackass for the Hour, a pre-Pope-Francis ecclesiastical novel on the murderous intrigue of interreligious politics. In the next chapter to be put up on this blog (chapter 27 – You will burn, burn I say!) there is an attempt to demonstrate how the rejection of the encyclical Humanae vitae (man and woman being the image of God, a kind of revelation) is merely a symptom of something much more fundamental in the rejection of Sacred Scripture as being part of the revelation of God. Think about that for a second. Get the connection? (1) Scripture is revelation; (2) man and woman is a kind of revelation: the “image of God” as Scripture puts it. When one rejects Scripture, it is easy to make the next step in rejecting man and woman as a kind of revelation as the “image of God.”
We’ve seen a widespread rejection of Humanae vitae, the rejection of man and woman as the image of God. We’ve seen a widespread acceptance of the ambiguity of Amoris laetitia. But few know that the Church has been subjected to a wholesale rejection of Scripture, which is the foundation upon which the rejection of Humanae vitae and the acceptance of Amoris laetitia could take place. The said rejection of Scripture has a long list of premises in the tumultuous 20th century, and culminated with documents issuing from “Ecumenism”, that is, from the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.
Let’s do a quick review. I will try not to let my own eyes glaze over. It’s not that the subject matter is difficult to understand. It’s that seeing such betrayal of the Church at such high levels by those who should know better is so obnoxious. Let’s tough it out.
Basically, the idea was to take the early manuscripts of Scripture and subject them to scientific principles of critica textus, that analysis which attempts to determine which letter, word, phrase, sentence or other portion of a written work is more original among the various handwritten copies that have been made through the centuries, with the dating, of course, being one of the least important aspects to consider. While most of the scientific principles are reasonable, those who delve into this exercise immediately realize how easy it is to manipulate the facts into the fiction of one’s own relativism. Those weak in faith see this, and lose their faith altogether when considering differences in copies of manuscripts, becoming angry with God for allowing a situation in which we are forced not to be a “religion of the book” (since we actually really do like to manipulate the facts for our own convenience) but rather a religion that has its members belonging to a family of faith which needs Peter for guidance in appraising revelation, in other words, a family of faith which will have us die to ourselves to live for Him who is Truth and Love.
Instead of turning to Peter, as we are bidden to do by our Lord in Matthew 18:17-18 regarding Matthew 16:18-19, some give up and sarcastically go the other way. Ironically, they then reject even the necessary scientific work and reduce the choices to be made among the variations of manuscripts to criteria which are merely – and I quote – “small t” traditional, pastoral, liturgical, apologetic, sociological, organizational, cultural, political, geographical, psychological, intellectual, attitudinal or even economic. Really truly: even economic considerations. That, my friends, is demonic. In other words, Scripture is subjected to the tyranny of relativism and the role of Peter is irrelevant. Ecumenism is reduced to making future division a certainty. It is the principle of no principles, what they themselves call the Prinzip der Prinzipienlosigkeit. This reduction is said to have the sum total of authority. Like most everything in the dialogue of Jackass for the Hour, that phrase – sum total of authority – is a direct quote, in writing, of those who should know better, but who have chosen to reject revelation, the church, and the good of mankind before God. They think that they have brought the Church to reject herself. If I remember correctly, the phrase is summam habet auctoritatem, as found in the Praenotanda of the Nova Vulgata.*
It’s the big lie. My eyes glazed over when I saw this. How about you?
Anyway, as a preparation, let’s slice out a few paragraphs in media res of the trial in the next chapter. Here we begin with Father Alexamenos explaining the matter to Cardinal Froben:
“Many think that burning the Truth is expedient for ecumenical unity. The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity has for a long time been suppressing the Faith, suppressing Tradition, and trampling upon the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church, giving Scripture away to the Protestants, letting them decide what is or is not to be included in Scripture in view of the myriad differences in so many of the ancient manuscripts, just like an Erasmus redivivus, beginning another Reformation within the Church.”
“Our Protestant friends,” said Cardinal Froben, “use scientific knowledge of manuscript traditions which so many Roman Pontiffs have eagerly embraced…”
“Oh yes!” interrupted Father Alexámenos. “But there’s more to it than scientific input, more than what you think is “small t” traditional, pastoral, liturgical, apologetic, sociological, organizational, cultural, political, geographical, psychological, intellectual, attitudinal or even economic. Your principle of having no principles, your Prinzip der Prinzipienlosigkeit, neglects Revelation understood as Scripture and Tradition, while ignoring that Revelation has the Magisterium as its privileged custodian.
===== * Please excuse me if I here descend into sarcasm and say that those penning these prefatory notes for the New Vulgate misquoted that which was said about Druids back in the day, that there was, for all Druids, among themselves , just one who had the sum total of authority: Omnibus Druidibus praeest unus qui summam inter eos habet auctoritatem. Dropping inter eos (“among themselves”) is rather self-serving, implying that those involved with textual criticism of Scripture have more authority than does Peter. And that was the explicit, published purpose of those who began this “scientific” process of “Scripture alone” back in 1897. The fourth session of Trent and the Magisterium and Peter are to be replaced by science, by the leaders of science, those who have the sum total of authority for revelation, some Protestant self-proclaimed literary science guys. (By the way: their scientific principles have nothing on the work of Saint Jerome.) If revelation is reduced to some private interpretation of some self-proclaimed Druid guys, then man and woman as a kind of revelation as the image of God (as said in Scripture) is also just another manipulatable construct of whoever thinks of himself like a Druid having the sum total of authority over all mankind, kind of like, it seems, the ghost writer of Amoris laetitia.
Back to Amoris laetitia as a smokescreen. Amoris laetitia obscures in all its ambiguity that man and woman are the image of God, a kind of revelation. The foundation for that ambiguity rejecting that kind of revelation of the image of God is the rejection of revelation itself. Everyone throws a tantrum about some “dialogue” volley which is Amoris laetitia (which is hurtful to the Church and the world, I know), and in so doing ignores the foundation which made Amoris laetitia possible in the first place, the rejection of revelation as revelation, the rejection of the authority of the Church, of Peter.
Do you see what has happened? People have so trumped up Amoris laetitia as some sort of infallible Magisterial statement that therefore the Church is to be said to have failed, or that Peter is therefore not infallible, and therefore the Church doesn’t exist. But Amoris laetitia is only a volley in dialogue (as it says of itself in the opening paragraphs). The much deeper rejection of Scripture needs to be addressed. I realize that that rejection of Scripture is not even a part of the ordinary Magisterium, but it is pervasive, and that pervasiveness changes the conversation, as it is said, and makes utter travesties like Amoris laetitia possible.
We’re talking about society-changing realities here. The Reformation rejected Scripture with its “Scripture alone” and “private interpretation” rubbish. The textual criticism of Scripture as cut off from Peter was the primary objective. The counter-Reformation was all about textual Criticism being united with Peter. The rejection of Peter and Scripture brought the violence of the Thirty Years War, a genocidal rebellion taking out thirty to fifty percent of the population across Europe. Couple that with today’s mirror effort along with the rejection of man and woman as the image of God and what do you expect will happen?
That’s why the subtitle to Jackass for the Hour is The murderous intrigue of interreligious politics.