Second Guessing the Conclave Before It Happens

This brings us to a short meditation on our current pre-Conclave period. That there are in some sense factions among contemporary cardinals is clear. Tension among these factions ought to be quite intense, given the fact that the road that the Church will tread will be very different depending upon which of three possible “parties” comes out of the Conclave victorious: one that will follow Pope Benedict XVI’s lead, but perhaps more consistently brake the Revolution within the Church and ultimately realize that it must reverse it entirely; one that will more openly and enthusiastically join in the dismantling of the pitiful remains of Catholic Christendom; or one that will continue mindlessly to smile and praise the “fruits of the Council” as the Mystical Body of Christ is mocked, outraged, and reduced to utter impotence.

Dr. John Rao

Dr. Rao’s assessment is a good summary of the traditionalist/crypto-traditionalist habit of mind.  As a writer for The Remnant, he can hardly be characterized as a crypto-traditionalist, but I believe his tripartite division of the partisanship within the conclave betrays the evangelical bent of the crypto-traditionalists.  It is a bit of having it both ways in the interests of “conversion.”

So, according to Dr. Rao the three parties of the conclave are as follows:

  1. Party of Pope Benedict on Steroids
  2. Party of Modernist Dismantlers
  3. Party of Conciliar Disaster Denial

Rao and the crypto-traditionalists would have us believe that they are on the side of Pope Benedict, who they claim agrees with them in principle, but for one reason or another (lack of moral fortitude, blackmail from the homosexual cabal, fear of the Jews or whatever) has not found himself able to follow through with his own beliefs.

But this is where Rao wants to have it both ways.  The crypto-trads wave the Holy Father’s flag when it suits them.  Rao claims to be following “Pope Benedict’s lead,” but with perhaps with “more consistency” than the Pope himself.  Under the banner of the Holy Father and against those who wish to see the Second Vatican Council implemented properly, Rao hopes to stop the Revolution which is the Council and turn back the clock. This we are told is, in principle, the position of Pope Benedict, which he has not been able to apply consistently.

But more transparent traditionalists would say that this is just silly, because clearly the Holy Father has not abandoned his support of the Council at very fundamental levels of principle.  Take, for example, Pope Benedict’s most recent defense of interreligious dialogue, which traditionalists claim is undeniably contradictory to the position laid out by Pius XI in Moralium Animos.  Likewise, in his last substantive address on the matter of Vatican II, the Holy Father renewed his defense of the hermeneutic of continuity, which is hardly something that the traditionalists, such as Professor Roberto de Mattei, to whom Rao refers, except.  I wonder how far Dr. Rao will go to follow the following “lead” of Pope Benedict XVI:

It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force. And it is our task, especially in this Year of Faith, on the basis of this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, be accomplished and the Church be truly renewed.

If Dr. Rao were not trying to engage of boilerplate traditionalist propaganda he would more logically realize that there are actually four parties in the conclave to be reckoned with:

  1. Party of Benedict XVI’s Hermeneutic of Continuity in Reform
  2. Party of Trad/Crypto-Trad Counter-Revolution
  3. Party of Modernist Dismantlers
  4. Party of Conciliar Disaster Denial

In actuality, I believe the fourth party is rather small.  Rao tries to invoke Pope Benedict as his leader and places the hermeneutic of continuity in the Party of Conciliar Disaster Denial because that is what the propaganda requires.  The moment the traditionalists admit that the current situation is more complex than they imagine, and thus, that the solution is more nuanced, is the moment that their show is over.  In all actuality, those who are neither modernists or traditionalists are quite willing to engage in the reform of the reform.  They just wish to do in on the basis of the sound principles laid down by the Council and taught by the postconcilar popes. Continue reading

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Chivalric Resource: Dr. John Rao

In our franciscan communities it is our custom on most days to listen to a religious conference of some sort at breakfast. Lately we have been listening to downloads from Keep the Faith‘s website.

Of particular interest to those who read MaryVictrix are the some of the conferences by Dr. John Rao, associate professor of history at St. John’s University and director of the Roman Forum.

Of further interest are some of his series on Church history especially his ones on the Crusades.  Very Good.

I admire Keep the Faith and the Roman Forum very much.  The late Dr. William Mara was a giant among the great Catholic American thinkers of the last century.

Not being a Traditionalist myself, though celebrating the Traditional Rite, I can’t vouch for everything on the website.

God bless them for defending the crusading spirit.