Coulombe on Fr. Feeney

Coulombe on Fr. Feeney

Posted by Tantumblogo – January 11, 2018

I posted some videos yesterday from the Tumblar House video interviews of Charles Coulombe.  Some folks liked the take Coulombe had on the difficult issue of the SSPX – in the video below, he tackles another very difficult issue, that of Fr. Feeney and his “excommunication.”  Once again, Coulombe covers a complex matter with subtlety and panache.  He rightly notes that if Feeney taught error, it would be very difficult to claim that many past popes, Saints, and Fathers did not similarly err.  That’s not to say Feeney did no wrong.  He may have gone a bit to excess in greatly diminishing the scope of baptism of desire, BUT at the same time the major thrust of his argument is one that cannot be rejected as false. That is to say, the process of condemning Feeney was abusive, in that there can’t be a dogmatic refutation of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus without throwing out vast portions of the Doctrine of the Faith, and condemning numerous great Catholic theologians in the process.

Another important point brought up below is the extent to which Feeney’s belief has been misrepresented.

Perhaps this take might be a bit controversial but it aligns well with my own study of the matter.  Like Coulombe, it’s not completely clear the extent to which Feeney formally taught error or was formally corrected for doing so, but I am certain that there has been a massive attempt, predating Vatican II by 20 years or more, to reduce Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus to meaninglessness, and that this move has played a primary role in practically neutering the Church’s grand 2000 year history of selfless evangelization:

Coulombe looks like he enjoys a good meal and a drink every now and then.  My kind of guy.

Note the key role Benedict XVI plays in the fleshing out of this argument.  That’s my main problem with the rejection of EENS in general and Father Feeney in particular – whatever the theological fine points, the major thrust has been the total gutting of the Church’s evangelization efforts AND a collapse in the lived Faith of tens of millions of Catholics, because the modern ecumaniacal approach that more or less everyone is saved, and in fact that one is essentially penalized by being a Catholic, has an impetuous internal logic that has eviscerated the great well of evangelical power the Church possessed until recent decades.

It is interesting to me how much venom is directed at Fr. Feeney and any perceived followers of the belief attributed to him, not by liberals, but by traditional Catholics.  It’s the reverse of the obverse side of the coin that says “SSPX = schismatic” as a knee jerk reaction, where the trads turn around and say “Feeneyites = heretics,” though the juridical standing of Feeney’s actual teachings was never fully settled, unless you want to go with the opinion of the same ordinary, Cardinal Cushing, who a few years later deliberately conspired with Planned Murderhood to overcome Catholic legislative resistance to get contraception legalized in his archdiocese and state.

Here is the book Coulombe references in the Q&A.  Seems like he rather strongly believes that the practical abjuration of EENS has played a vital role in the crisis in the Church.   If you want a little peak behind the veil at the kind of tactics used by the neo-Cath crowd (a term of convenience I don’t really like), make sure to read the really abominable review by Karl Keating.  Pure ad hominem – shocking, I know.  But I’ve already been called – in effect –  a no account scumbag almost certainly hiding some dire dark secret by Keating and his attack dog Shea for not broadcasting my “real name” on every post I make, though my name appears scores of times on this blog in various forms, so I have my own ax to grind, I suppose.

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