Zero-ing In? Neumayr on Setting the Ecclesial Clock Back – 40 Years!

I received this via email from our man in Rome, John Vennari, this morning.

He describes it as “…a terrific piece.”

( My analogical response follows… )

Reading the Papal Tea Leaves
In what direction will the Church move under Pope Francis?

By Geroge Neumayr – American Spectator

“I was overwhelmed by joy,” said Hans Kung, the dissenting European theologian, in a radio interview after the elevation of Pope Francis. “There is hope in this man,” gushed Kung, who predicted that Pope Francis will conform to the progressive interpretation of Vatican II and not follow the “line of the two popes from Poland and Germany.”

Leonardo Boff, one of the fathers of liberation theology, was quoted in the German press as saying that Francis is “more liberal” than commonly supposed.

Cardinal Roger Mahony took to Twitter to proclaim that the Church would move from high church to “low” church under Francis: “So long Papal ermine and fancy lace!”

The National Catholic Reporter approvingly quoted an unnamed Vatican diplomat as saying that “the Traditional Latin Mass brigade is finished.”

Esteban Paulon, president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals, told the Washington Post that Pope Francis is “known for being moderate” and when “he came out strongly against gay marriage, he did it under pressure from the conservatives.” According to Sergio Rubin, whom the Post calls his authorized biographer, Pope Francis initially “urged his bishops to lobby for gay civil unions” as an alternative to gay marriage.

Benedict’s speech on Islam at the University of Regensburg didn’t sit well with Francis, according to the Telegraph in the United Kingdom. “These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last twenty years,” it quotes him as saying.

Reports on his compliance with Benedict’s authorization of wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass are conflicting, but it is safe to say that he was less than thrilled by it. According to columnist E.J. Dionne, “an American bishop noted that the choice of Francis would not be greeted as a clear victory by conservatives,” since on “liturgical issues, he has opposed those who seek to roll back changes instituted by the Second Vatican Council.”

The picture that is forming of Pope Francis from all these bits and pieces is not that of a Ratzingerian restorationist but of a centrist prelate whose theological views, tone, and emphases are characteristic of the post-Vatican II period. He is no Hans Kung. He is too pro-life and Marian for that level of theological conjecture. But it is a stretch to think that he shares Benedict’s rigorous critique of the crisis within the Church and the modern world. There is a reason why the progressive bloc within the previous conclave saw him as a desirable alternative to Ratzinger.

It was telling that Pope Francis in his first address from the papal window pointed to Cardinal Walter Kasper as a theologian whom he admires. Kasper is known for his hyper-ecumenism and taste for theological novelty.

“We are on good terms with the Archbishop of Canterbury and as much as we can we are helping him to keep the Anglican community together,” Kasper said in 2010, referring to a group of disaffected conservative Anglicans that wanted to join the Catholic Church. “It’s not our policy to bring that many Anglicans to Rome.”

Apparently Kasper and Francis agreed on this issue. Greg Venable, an Anglican prelate in Latin America, has told the press that the future pope “called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans.”

Francis has the benevolent and winning personality of John Paul II and the humility of Benedict (though his took a less celebrated form), but his theological views mark him out as more centrist than his two predecessors. They attributed the collapse of Catholic institutions largely to a misapplication of Vatican II. Referring to the liturgy, Benedict spoke of the need for a “reform of the reform.” Francis appears happy enough with the first reform.

Francis’s papacy may not so much move the Church into the future as back to the recent past, circa 1970. Quarrels over the proper interpretation of Vatican II are more likely to explode than end. Emboldened liberal bishops under him may seek a reform of the “reform of the reform,” and they may push for a revisiting of settled moral, theological, and disciplinary stances. None of this repositioning will take place at the level of official teaching but at the murkier levels of tone, emphasis, and appointment.

That the Catholic left considers his election a shot in the arm can’t be chalked up simply to projection. There are enough nuances here to give them hope. They believe that this is their moment to try to undo the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict and return to the casual, informal, and spontaneous liturgical spirit of the 1970s while reviving a more poll-friendly situational ethics. Tweeted Mahony: “Don’t you feel the new energy, and being shared with one another?”

Hans Kung accepts that Pope Francis can’t adapt to “everything” in the modern world, but just hopes the general trajectory of his pontificate will be progressive. In Pope Francis’s apparent emphasis on individual conscience (he dispensed with the traditional spoken papal blessing when speaking to journalists last Saturday on the grounds that some of them weren’t Catholic or believers), toned-down morality, and Seamless Garment-style prioritizing of poverty, peace, and the environment, Kung and company see a pope with whom they can at long last “dialogue.”

on line at: www.oltyn.org/page48/files/0091cb283d878b867b65be24bceaf69b-43.html

Response: The new papal motto – Tora! Tora! Tango! ???

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5 comments on “Zero-ing In? Neumayr on Setting the Ecclesial Clock Back – 40 Years!

  1. RC really came out its shell on that one. Good for ’em!

  2. Actually, Glornt should be doing the expert “discography” commentary here but it would seem that the folk music being presented as “sacred” is of some intrinsic ARTISTIC worth – I guess – to those who actually like dissonance and are seeking to experience some sort of fusion between Claudio Monteverdi and Senor Wences…

  3. “that the Church would move from high church to “low” church”
    [gasp]
    “They believe that this is their moment to try to undo the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict and return to the casual, informal, and spontaneous liturgical spirit of the 1970s while reviving a more poll-friendly situational ethics. Hans Kung accepts that Pope Francis can’t adapt to “everything” in the modern world, but just hopes the general trajectory of his pontificate will be progressive. In Pope Francis’s apparent emphasis on individual conscience (he dispensed with the traditional spoken papal blessing when speaking to journalists last Saturday on the grounds that some of them weren’t Catholic or believers), toned-down morality, and Seamless Garment-style prioritizing of poverty, peace, and the environment, Kung and company see a pope with whom they can at long last “dialogue.” ”

    In other words, a clown Pope. There, I’ve said it.
    That feels better now.

    National Catholic Distorter: Father Küng?

    Hans Küng: Vell, ja, it ist ze joy of modernist clowning, ja.
    Ze clowning of ze progressive interpretation of Vatican II.
    I vuz overwhelmed by zat. Vith a social justice clown Pope from South America
    vee have a chance to get ze neo-Kantian stuff going again.
    Is it time to plug my book?

    National Catholic Distorter: But, Father, won’t the informal modernist liturgical style also drive many Catholics nuts?

    Hans Küng: May I be frank vith you?
    Ziss reminds me of ze time I vuz at ze Deconstruction conference vith Doctor Strangelove und Professor Derrida
    ven vee vere throwing back ze shots of tequila at zome place in Dupont Circle, ja.
    Derrida vuz busy comparing und analyzing ze Enneagram numbers of Erich Fromm und René Descartes in between ze shots, ja.

    Vuz ze Enneagram number of Erich Fromm und Descartes ze same or different from Kiekegaard’s und Jimmy Carter’s?
    Vould George Will or Bill Buckley know? Vuz zere a study of a Lacanian analysis of ze Enneagram?
    Did Garry Wills or Fahzer Curran have a book on zat und could vee drive over to pick it up?
    He vuz in zat kind of mood, ja.
    Signing autographs und reflecting on ze neo-Kantian epistemology of post-structuralism in relation to Heidegger’s concept of time, ze hermeneutics
    of ancient Egyptian obelisks, Elvis as a harvest deity, und ze fertility symbolism of Kermit the Frog as a window to the unconscious und modern culture, ja.
    Plato’s pet dog, Nietzsche’s zex life, Foucault as Superman.
    Typical rational Frenchman concerned vith hermeneutics, the impossibility of knowledge, und ze end of metaphysics as vee know it.
    Vee vere so happy vee started singing.

    Doctor Strangelove:Ja, vee did. Vee did do dat thing, ja.
    Ze Geworfenheit of modernism had overtaken us, you see.

    National Catholic Distorter: The Modernist Mash song by the Altar Wrecker Five?

    Hans Küng: You know zat one! Ja, ja, but now vee are singing
    La Cucaracha, ja.

    La cucaracha, la cucaracha,
    ya no puede caminar
    porque le falta, porque no tiene
    marihuana pa’ fumar.

    Zose vere ze days of renewal und aggiornamento, ja.
    So now vee have a real chance to bring ziss full circle vith a South American Pope who ist pleasing to progressive modernists.
    It is like Carnivale und Mardi Gras, ja.
    Vee have our puppets ready.

  4. Welcome back to the idiocy, lunacy, and kookiness of 1970s Novus Ordo liturgies.
    There is something of Rousseau in this, the notion that primitivism and tribal cultures are superior or more desirable. The National Geographic spin of modernism.

    If you go back and read about many of the 20th-century converts it is the High Church aspects of Catholicism that are desirable.
    What would Evelyn Waugh or G.K. Chesterton do at a Novus Ordo clown Mass with happy clappy South American music and a Situation Ethics progressive modernist sermon? Would they have converted to that?

    If this is the progressive spin, they are really talking about a Retro Papacy.

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