Monday, October 30, 2017

Did the Protestants win?





There is a provacative little article in the Wahington Post by a Lutheran working in various Catholic institutions entitled: The Reformation is over. Protestants won. So why are we still here? Is it true?

A Lutheran academic most probably only moves in rather restricted circles, possibly one should ask where have Protestants won? The question however provokes other questions.

Such as where do we find Catholicism?

Is it in the documents of VII, or the theology of Cardinals Cupich or Marx, or in an ecumenical gathering, or is it the congregation at weekday Mass or the Rosary Procession through London last week or is it in the millions today that would term themselves 'former Catholics' or 'of Catholic descent', who have turned their back on the Church and its teaching?


Who 'owns' or controls the Church?
Is it the 'possession' of the Pope and a small group vociferous twittering bishops, media savvy academic theologians and other clergy and journalists, or is something else?

I am no Church historian but it strikes me that Luther was the first 'theologian' in the modern sense, we had men like Aquinas and Bonaventure but they were quite different, they tried to make sense of an an already existing faith and explain it. In a sense their teaching persisted for centuries until it was actually taken up the Church, an example is Aquinas' use of 'Transubstantiation', it was only the Council of Trent that took it up as a philosophical explanation of the Real Presence, even now we can ask do we have to believe in a divide between 'substance' and 'accidents' to be a good Catholic or can we take it as analogy that explains why we prostrate before Blessed Sacrament and hold it as our greatest treasure and our contact point with God himself?

One could ague there have never been any Catholic theologians ever, even Newman (and Ratzinger at his best) were historians of theology rather than theologians in their own right, they, like good preachers tried to explain to their contemporaries an already existing faith (held always, everywhere and by all). If one follows this understanding of what a theologian is then all Catholic 'theologians' added nothing new but merely tried to bring out the treasure of the past and place it in the context of the present.

This is not what Luther or his contemporaries did, they invented something new, something personal. As soon as Protestantism emerges it is divided in itself. Luther has a different approach than Zwingli or Bucer or Calvin indeed they had savage disputes, they killed one another.

Luther himself said that before the Reformation there was one Pope sitting on seven hills, now every dung heap in Germany has its own Pope sitting on it. The creation of new 'churches' centred around particular theologians meant that princes were obliged to intervene for the sake of peace and order, so that religion became not something that somehow belonged to the people and bound them together but something imposed and regulated from above, by the 'prince'. I think until recently for example in England, atheist, nor-Christian, even Catholic Peers and Commons, actually had to vote on Church of England doctrine, and a non-Anglican, often non-believing, Prime Minister, in the name of the Queen, appointed its Bishops. Thus after the Reformation governments controlled what people believed, it became something imposed or something 'handed down', as opposed to something 'handed on'.

The Council of Trent, as a reaction to Protestantism for more or less the first time imposed a set of detailed doctrines on the glorious muddle of medieval Catholicism. Previous Councils had predominantly merely told the faithful what to avoid. Even then it is only with VII that the Catholicism becomes imposed from above, mainly in the liturgy of course, 'the Pope' or 'the Council wills it', became a standard phrase in post-Concilliar Catholicism, trumping Tradition or the feelings of ordinary Catholics, especially in liturgical 'reformation' of Vatican II was imposed with such destructive violence whereas so much else of VII was quietly rejected. For the first time the will of the Pope was seen as greater than the historic will of the rest of the Church, it seems to be attitude reaching it zenith in the present Papacy.

Authentic Catholicism is about a movement of the Spirit in the hearts of the faithful, expressed in worship and devotion. The more it is formalised, and taken away from what was taught at grandmother's knee, when it becomes the subject of documents, or individuals, even of Popes and Bishops the more Protestant it becomes, and I would suggest, therefore, the more empty our churches become.





Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Heresiarch Luther



Just one reason why I can't join the Vicar of Christ in celebration of the heresiarch Luther:
... a shocking part of Luther’s legacy seems to have slipped though the cracks of the collective memory along the way: his vicious Anti-Semitism and its horrific consequences for the Jews and for Germany itself. At first, Luther was convinced that the Jews would accept the truth of Christianity and convert. Since they did not, he later followed in his treatise, On the Jews and Their Lies (1543), that “their synagogues or schools“ should be “set fire to … in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christian.“ He advised that the houses of Jews be “razed and destroyed,“ their “prayer books and Talmudic writings“ and “all cash and treasure of silver and gold“ be taken from them. 
They should receive “no mercy or kindness,“ given “no legal protection,“ and “drafted into forced labor or expelled.“ He also claimed that Christians who “did not slay them were at fault.“ Luther thus laid part of the basic anti-Semitic groundwork for his Nazi descendants to carry out the Shoah. Indeed, Julius Streicher, editor of the anti-Semitic Nazi magazine “Der Stürmer,“ commented during the Nürnberg tribunal that Martin Luther could have been tried in his place. 
All the more stunning that Germany should proclaim a special national holiday in the name of the anti-Semitic Martin Luther only 70 years after the Shoah. Although the general public may mostly be unaware of Luther’s views, the responsible clergy certainly is aware and has still chosen to declare a nationwide holiday. 
It is no doubt laudable that the Synod of the Lutheran Church in Germany (EKD) distanced itself from Luther’s anti-Semitic statements in November 2011, and several other church representatives have done the same, yet how do they have no compunctions about declaring a major commemorative event to honor Luther, as if his sinister and hateful views and writings on the Jews are insignificant and trivial?
Times of Israel

The thing about the love of power and evil is that it casts out the work of sanctifying grace leavinf us thugish, corrupt and prone to all kinds of evil

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Priests Drinking to Conscience First

I had always thought that conscience was important to Catholics: Newman famously said he would drink to the Pope but to conscience first, Aquinas, that we must follow conscience, even if leads one out of the Church.

Pope Francis, or at least the Beroglians, appear to be saying that the divorced and remarried may receive Holy Communion if they do so in good conscience, the problem is what if the priest who is expected to give them Communion feels in good conscience that he may not do so.

I heard a rather garbled account of a young priest, not a 'Correcton' signer, placed in this situation, after a discussion with his bishop he was led by conscience not quite out of the Church but to another diocese. it could be that this priest was tactless or harsh in how he said what he said, I don't know.

I get the feeling that this seems to be a phenomena that is likely to grow in the Church. On social media and in clerical chat rooms those priests whose comscience tells them the Gospel and Church promotes the former 'pastoral' practice seem very uneasy about their ability to continue in their dioceses. It seems that in some places lay people and bishops can freely follow conscience but not priests.

The implication for priests is if you insist on following your conscience you must find a diocese where the bishop allows or tolerates such a priest with such a conscience.

In the past conscience led priests to the arena, or the gallows or concentration camp and a bishop and those involved in their formation were concerned about sharpening not blunting conscience. An 'e-friend' priest said recently, 'they want us out and gone from the Church', that is probably an over reaction but there are obviously diocese, as in Malta where the seminary gate is open, as is, presumably, the diocesan gate where other bishops have told critical Catholics to stay away from events, the implication for priests whose conscience is sensitive is frightening.

This is presumably where schism begins; 'old' believers are simply told to go away or are unwelcome. The problem is that 'old' believers are so often the young, not the men and women of the 1970s. for a diocese in Europe or the US to lose even one of its younger priests today is pretty catastrophic.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Pope changes the Church's teaching on ...


executioner of the Papal States
The Pope changes the Church's teaching on the death penalty, is running on Twitter and a few blogs at the moment. Well that is not true, Popes do not, cannot, change Church teaching on anything, not even when they speak Ex Cathedra, All Popes can do is clarify.

The two 'classical' acts of such clarification, the Immaculate Conception and Assumption in many ways were completely unnecessary at the time of their promulgation, except to promote Papal power. The Church had and always will believe the Theotakos was 'full of grace', and had been from her beginning, what the doctrine does is say that Mary's beginning (and therefore our beginning) happened not at birth or at her quickening, or ensoulment but at the moment of conception. The Assumption, with its deliberate ambiguities reconciles the western doctrine of the Assumption and the Eastern doctrine of the Dormition, it purifies the doctrine of possible unnecessary pious legends.

Better uses of infallible teaching are Paul VI's declaration that contraception, (especially/including modern forms of artificial contraception) are contrary to the constant Tradition of the Church. Similarly JPII's, and maybe more clearly Benedict XVI's, declaration that women never have been and therefore never can be ordained priest are the more usual forms of 'infallible teaching' but these statements depend not so much on supernatural inspiration but the Holy See's library and record keeping. I have always thought that amongst the many papal titles ought to be a reference to 'keeper of the archives' or 'first amongst historians'. These are Church teaching because they are historic facts handed on to us, not because a Pope signs a document.

The problem is that if some other historical sources produced contrary historical evidence then 'infallible' teaching becomes very fallible.

So, Pope Francis has declared the death penalty is contrary to the Church's teaching, well the office of executioner to the Holy See has been unfilled for some time now and the Old Testament laid down quite clear rules about about when the death penalty must be enforced, so one can hardly say that the death penalty is historically contrary to Christian doctrine, however one of the strands that has been developed in Catholic theology, really since the declaration of the Immaculate Conception, is that Life, all life, is sacred, that Life is the fundamental right of all human beings.

For the Pope to say that the death penalty is contrary to the constant teaching of the Church is historically untrue. Obviously he can say that the death penalty is contrary to the Church's teaching but that is his opinion and should be taken seriously as he is Supreme Pastor. The problem is that an incoherent Pope or confused Pope damages the whole concept of Papal teaching. What Francis teaches us is to be sceptical about such teaching.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What does Fatima say about Amoris Laetitia?



My friend, the rather brilliant theologian Fr Serafino Lanzetta asked me the question: What does Fatima say about Amoris Laetitia? It is a good question, a bit like the Zen master's question, 'what is the sound of one hand clapping?' On one level both questions could be answered by the simple answer, 'Nothing', but then both questions are to be pondered, sipped slowly, with no rash conclusion, both questions are in fact are profound.

I was 'formed' in a relatively liberal theological climate of the 1970s, it was fundamentally apophatic, to an almost snobbish degree, in our age it has reappeared with a vengeance. Apophatic (negative) theology isn't a bad thing in itself, it is a frank admission that God is beyond us, his ways are not our ways, there is always something unknowable about, ultimately he is Mystery but always it needs to be balanced with Cataphatic (positive) theology which tell us God gives us reason and revelation, especially through Jesus Christ allow us the know and love him. God became incarnate, so that in our flesh we might see him.

In the 1970s there was such a push against anything that spoke of mystery, of the supernatural, of the other, of anything that said we might actually be able to 'touch' God, it is fundamentally Arian, the belief that God did not become Man, Jesus was not what the anti-Arian Nicene Creed says so strongly that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father (Et ex Patre natum ante ómnia sǽcula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine, Deum verum de Deo vero, Génitum, non factum, consubstantiálem Patri: Qui propter nos hómines et propter nostram salútem Descéndit de cælis. Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto Ex María Vírgine, et homo factus est. Per quem ómnia facta sunt.), Arius could say none of this because Jesus for him was not fully God, just a form of God.

The theology that dominated this period was that of men like Hans Küng, which was far removed from the Catholicism of ordinary Catholics, it was very deeply rooted in the protestant Tübingen school which pioneered the historical-critical analysis of biblical and early Christian writings, which in certain hands could reduce the 'historic' Jesus' - who is different to the Jesus of faith - words to a message that could be written on the back of a postage stamp. Miracles like the feeding of the 5000 could be reduced to an act of sharing, the Incarnation and Resurrection to a mere myth, the Eucharist to a sharing in bread and wine, 'a meal for people today rather than the sacrifice of yesterday offered to God', Mary of course, who in Catholic/Orthodox theology is the resolute defender of true belief in the doctrine of the Incarnation lost her place of the triumphant Immaculate and becomes a doubter like any other woman, her sinlessness becomes an embarrassment and myth, a kindly mum, of doubtful virginity rather than the pure Theotokos, As Lumen Gentium says what can be said of Mary can be said of the Church, and so the Church becomes an old fashioned human institution that is in need of constant updating rather than the sacred bride of Jesus Christ.

It was of course against this background that Vatican II and the ecumenical movement and relationships with non-Christians grew up, it was in this environment that modern liturgy came into being and was implemented and all the world's bishops were chosen, and this environment in which the priests of my generation grew up.

Fatima, which I must admit for years I had difficulty with - Walsingham is ancient it is pretty harmless, Lourdes at least is useful, it is about healing. Fatima on the other-hand is different it is about so many unpalatable issues: judgement, penance, heaven and hell, condemnation and divine wrath, it is hot knife cutting through butter. It is so unsophisticated, a reflection of child-like peasant belief. In a world, a Church that has grown uncomfortable with the supernatural, it is profoundly super-natural, illogical, unscientific; God intervenes, the sun dances this is such a contradiction of what has now become the 'theological norm'.

Amoris Laetitia is from one world whereas Fatima from another.



Saturday, October 07, 2017

Rosary: against the Pope?

Polish bishops are urging a million Catholics to pray along the nation's 2,000-mile border next week. Pictured: Catholics wait for Pope Francis in Poland last year
Today millions of Poles are going to the peripheries of their country to say the Holy Rosary, which is a wonderful way to celebrate the feast of the Holy Rosary, it is also a demonstration of the power of the Polish Church. Could our English bishops or the Germans across one of Poland's borders be able to motivate such numbers of people?

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is of course 'political', it marks the destruction of Islamic forces at the Battle of Lepanto, in the same way the importance of the conversion of Languedoc through St Dominic and the Rosary was important, because of the need to have strong Christian Lords on the borders of Christendom to counter the insurgence of Islam on the Iberian peninsula.

One political strand which I find interesting are the ecclesiastical politics of this event in Poland. Though Polish bishops would deny this was an anti-immigrant demonstration, the borders with Russia and the tensions there since the rise of Russian aggression against Ukraine and its other neighbours are as much a concern as the immigrant crisis. In Poland national identity is linked to its Christian identity. The British media see this event as an indication of Poland's far rightness.

For Catholics there has to be the question, "What would Pope Francis say? " though he has backtracked on open borders, as has Mrs Merkel, it seems pretty likely he would strongly disagree with the Polish bishop's and their people's actions. Yet the Polish bishops seem often in strong disagreement with the Pope, over Amoris Laetitia and JPII's magisterium, as much as over the issue of borders.

Here, a small group of Poles and their families want to come to the Church today to join their Rosaries to that of their compatriots, one of them said it was important to him because, "The Pope was so opposed to closing borders to immigrants who do not share Polish culture". I suspect he might oppose the Pope on numerous other issues, including those mentioned in the Filial Correction.

So for him and presumably other Poles the Rosary today is in part in opposition to the Pope Francis.

Friday, October 06, 2017

It's What Cardinals Do


Apparently, just before the last Conclave Cardinal Murphy O'Connor held a meeting for Anglophone Cardinals at the Venerable English College, just opposite in the window of a restaurant in full view sat Cardinal Pell ostentatiously noting the names of those who turned up, he himself had not been invited. Pell was obviously totting up who was in Murphy O'Connor's gang and Murphy O'Connor was obviously trying to extend its influence. These meetings were happening at colleges, universities, and interestingly, embassies through out the pre-Conclave period they are as much part of the pre-Conclave season as the official gatherings, the Congregations, organised by the Cardinal Dean, nothing in law forbids them and little governs how they operate, except good taste.

In the time of John Paul's long period of dying they were happening on a more ad hoc basis over a much longer period, similarly they were taking place from the period of the announcement of Benedict's resignation.

There are still stories going the around on the internet that the canvassing that took place before the last Conclave somehow invalidated the election of Pope Francis, I can't emphasise enough it really is nonsense. What happens during the election is bound by strict rules to maintain secrecy but they govern Conclave itself, those thinks that happen behind locked doors, presumably to stop the faithful from being scandalised and protect the new Papacy beginning in the shadow of scandal.

Certainly Pope John Paul established rules governing what happened inside the Conclave, the new rules were necessary because no longer were elderly Cardinals to be literally locked away and living in the makeshift unhygienic airless garrets and galleries in and around the Sistine Chapel. This is why John Paul built Santa Martha, it was for Cardinal Electors, not another Papal residence. Using it means Cardinals are bussed from there to the Sistine Chapel and rather than being served cold food by a few stewards, mainly clerics, the whole lay staff of what is really a luxurious hotel are employed, together with an increased gang of others to ensure they are kept incommunicado. Modern technology of course makes this much more difficult than a hundred years ago.

Amidst the changed circumstance John Paul's rules attempt to maintain a retreat like atmosphere in the Conclave and for its proper ordering, and yes there are rules against causing scandal to the faithful by openly soliciting votes for individuals; putting up posters or adverts on the television for example but what actually happens or did happen is bound by secrecy on pain of excommunication, so no-one really knows.

Before the Conclave, especially during the period of Congregations, their Eminences are free to do what they always have done. During the Conclave today they are less likely to be intimidated by foreign armies or starved into making a decision and who nowadays would even contemplate removing the roof of the Sistine Chapel if they were dilatory in their decision making.


The rest of the time, what do Cardinals do? Years ago I asked the disagreeable Cardinal Daneels this in an attempt to make conversation, his reply was short, "We look for the next Pope". It would be a fool who thinks that when Cardinals meet they do not talk about the state of the Church and who might best deal with it, or most probably who are the most unlikely candidates to solve its problems. It would be a dereliction of duty if Cardinals didn't do this, or if they didn't introduce to their friends someone who they thought might be overlooked in the next Conclave.

I hardly think that Cardinals Mueller, Burke and Sarah discuss the weather and the use of the doctoral birreta in the Rite of Braga or kitten pictures on Facebook when they are in private conversation, or at least most of us would hope not. One of the reasons for Cardinals coming to Rome other than being a splash of scarlet at Papal events is to discuss the succession and lobby for or against their preferred candidates with all the scheming and guile one would expect of high ranking clerics.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Clericalism and Optionism

I loathe it when people talk of "Fr Ray's Church" or "Fr Ray's Mass". I loathe it because it suggests a  clericalism which my whole being revolts against. The problem is that although the Mass is the Mass is the Mass, the great difference between the New Mass and the Gregorian Mass (TLM) and indeed the Divine Liturgies of the Eastern and Oriental Rites, is the options.

Though at one time parishes might have had a Liturgy Committee that decided whether or not to sing the Introit or Kum by yah or a hymn of doubtful theology, or which penitential rite, whether to have the Kyrie of the season from the Gradual or the one that goes to the tune of Humpty Dumpty, which Gloria or even which collect, etc., etc., these committees have by and large disappeared or else they continue with the same people they had thirty years ago and continue with their iron grip imposing their choices on everyone else, or else they have disappeared and Father now makes the decisions and imposes his will. Whether it be priest or committee it is a new form of clericalism, moving something that had a certain objectivity to something entirely subject to an individual's or group's whim.


The Missal of Paul VI introduced the idea 'options' into the Catholic Church and these options were imposed from above, by priest or a committee. I understand in the US some dioceses' Liturgy Committees make these decisions and so the whole diocese ends up by singing from the same Mass sheet, despite what be in the Gradual or even the Missal, this is only going to increase following Magnum Principium, Pope Francis Moto Proprio of September this year.


The old Mass reflects the old theology, it is without many options and personal choices. The Old Mass, the Gregorian Mass reflects a certain pneumatic egalitarianism where priest and people served something over which they had no control, they continued to do what their fathers had done before them and which their sons would do after them. They were not the imposers of liturgy anymore than they were the imposers of theology or doctrine or morality, the clergy like the faithful were servants of what had been passed on to them, fidelity rather than innovation was the watch word.

The parallel seems to be the enclosure in 19th Century England, where land from time immemorial was held in common for the good of everyone suddenly became the property of a few individuals, thus robbing the masses not only of a source of sustenance but also of that which symbolised their common culture and rootedness.

The Missal of Gregory the Great, like the more recent liturgies of the East and Orient come from the same school of thought as the writings of the great St Vincent of Lerins. 

The "old" theology which we see in Vincent of Lerins (see below) and sometimes better preserved in the East than the West, identifies a certain pneumatic egalitarianism in which the whole Church served the same ends. The Gregorian Mass, like the Divine Liturgy was is part of that and therefore differs from the many optioned Missa recentior, in which it is clerics who day to day choose the preferred option. The old theology seemed to understand the faith was given in its entirety at baptism (What do want? Faith) by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, teachers and pastors gave it form or helped its recipient to articulate it, they were there to serve it they were certainly not its masters.


Lex orandi, Lex credendi, Lex vivendi: it is not liturgy alone but morals, doctrine that is effected, by this Optionism, in fact every aspect of the Church's life, even its banking and relationships with its employees and the poor. Everything becomes an option because nothing is set, everything is in flux, everything becomes a choice, not according to Divine Revelation because even that has become a choice and option.


This is something that suits and maybe gives rise to the new hyper-uber-Ultramontanists because in the world of options everything depends on the spider at the centre of the web, which is of course as East and West would have said is positively anti-Catholic




Thanks to Mark Lambert: Saint Vincent Of Lerins once said:
“If one yields ground on any single point of Catholic doctrine, one will later have to yield later in another, and again in another, and so on until such surrenders come to be something normal and acceptable. And when one gets used to rejecting dogma bit by bit, the final result will be the repudiation of it altogether.”

“All novelty in faith is a sure mark of heresy.”

“True piety admits no other rule than that whatsoever things have been faithfully received from our fathers the same are to be faithfully consigned to our children; and that it is our duty, not to lead religion whither we would, but rather to follow religion whither it leads; and that it is the part of Christian modesty and gravity not to hand down our own beliefs or observances to those who come after us, but to preserve and keep what we have received from those who went before us.”

“I cannot sufficiently be astonished that such is the insanity of some men, such the impiety of their blinded understanding, such, finally, their lust after error, that they will not be content with the rule of faith delivered once and for all from antiquity, but must daily seek after something new, and even newer still, and are always longing to add something to religion, or to change it, or to subtract from it!” 
“What, then, shall a Catholic Christian do … if some novel contagion attempt to infect no longer a small part of the Church alone but the whole Church alike? He shall then see to it that he cleave unto antiquity, which is now utterly incapable of being seduced by any craft or novelty.”


To Sign or Not to Sign #3



Reconciling our today with yesterday, seems important. The Fourth Commandment, with its promise is important: Honour your father and mother, and you shall live long in the land, is about much more than being nice to mum and dad, it is about roots and continuation, a society that forgets it past has no future.

The leitmotif of  Benedict XVI's papacy was the 'hermeneutic of continuity', a return to actual texts, whether it was to the scriptures or the documents of the Vatican II. There was an intellectual rigourism which frightened many. He was disarming with his gentleness whilst at the same time terrifying in his intellectual honesty, which often discomforted the intellectually shallow, for example, his words about the Missa Normativa, that it was "created ex nihil".

He believed in the triumph of truth, the Augustinian in him echoed the saint's words. ‘The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.’ Some, both positively and negatively, have suggested that his greatest work was Summorum Pontificum, I don't think he intended that every priest or even every parish would be offering what he described as the Gregorian Mass and certainly not that it would replace the Missa recentior, what he did intend was to create an environment in which, "What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too."

It was a reminder of where we had come from, an attempt to provide something which was "created ex nihil". and is essentially 'rootless', 'often without much scholarship' with a counter balance and introduce a gravitational pull towards historic Catholicism, and not by imposition from above but by creating a grassroots movement.

The greatest abuse of the faith for Benedict was the idea of 'rupture' that somehow with the close of Vatican II, a new Church was sung into being, or that the Church somehow encountered a Pol Pot-like 'year zero' with no past and consequently no roots and, in his opinion, therefore incapable of bearing fruit and consequently with no future.


One of the 'semi-official' news agencies Rome Reports (is Mr Greg Burke involved in that?) actually claimed that the signatories 'rejected the Second Vatican'. Whilst I have difficulty interpreting the actual meaning of certain ambiguous passages I would be inclined to sign the Correction precisely because I accept VII. I am not sure about the wisdom of Bishop Fellay's name on it, personally I am glad it is, but even he says he accepts 98% of the Council, which is probably a lot more than your average Prelate both in Rome and in the peripheries.

A few of the names, like Dr Joseph Shaw's are very much associated with the Traditional Mass, bur more so concerned with the truth itself, "What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too." It isn't about a prissy archaeologist's attachment to a certain liturgical style but about the immutability of Christ's teaching and divine promises of God's presence within the Church and within history.

Massimo Faggioli rather starkly underlines the problem:


The phrase "theologiocal views that are not Catholic anymore", stands in direct opposition to any thought of 'continuity' and direct opposition to all earlier generations considered sacred.
On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us.                                      Benedict XVI - Christmas Address to the Curia 2005
Faggioli would would place himself alongside those who would claim, like the Maltese Bishops or recent appointees to the College of Cardinals such as Blaise Cupich, that all the previous teaching of the Church can be dispensed with except the current Pontiff's. The words of the present Jesuit Superior General express the real problem:
At that time, no one had a tape recorder to capture the words. What we know is that the words of Jesus have to be contextualized, they’re expressed in a certain language, in a precise environment, and they’re addressed to someone specific.
Sosa is right about the importance of contextualising Jesus' words, what is said to the Apostles is not necessarily to be applied to other disciples for example, but Sosa goes further by suggesting the actual words and teaching of Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, the Second Person of the Trinity are not to be taken at face value or are reliable. This is an undermining of the very essence of Catholicism which is about the immanence of God through the Incarnation, through the sacred texts, through the sacraments, through sacred history and through the authoritative teaching of the Church, by the one who promises to be with his Church until the end of time, who won't leave us orphans but will send the Holy Sprit to lead us into all truth.

The patristic scholar Bishop Athanasius Schneider identifies the situation in the Church as being comparable to the Arian Crisis: Arianism was essentially about distancing Man from God by denying that the True God became Emmanuel that is Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin. This seems precisely where we have got to.