REPUBLISHED FROM THE LETTER TO THE EDITOR
at MarcoTosatti.com entitled,
“Il Dibattito sul Concilio è un Vicolo Cieco. Il Nodo sono le Dimissioni…”
by Andrea Cionci
AUTHORIZED ENGLISH TRANSLATION
It has been several months that, starting from a careful historical analysis of Monsignor Viganò – which I largely share – the criticism of the Second Vatican Council continues to be brought up as if it were the real Magna quaestio and the solution to the current impasse. I think this is a big blunder and as I will show, it leads to absolutely nothing but a claustrophobic dead end.
In the progression of modernism, someone wanted to see in Benedict XVI the step immediately preceding Francis: a bit ‘like comparing a bicycle to a freight train, in my opinion.
Moreover, Ratzinger himself, who, like everyone else, underwent the cultural moment and the influences of the Council period, publicly emended himself from those “sins of youth”. It is often contested that when he was pope he did not excommunicate modernist theologians on the spot, but the management “cum clava” of papal power is quite recent and we tend to forget that the pope, once, was a figure above all of the guarantor of the unity of the Church, even at the cost of tolerating some “red sheep”. No one is perfect and Ratzinger, too, must have had his weaknesses, but, at this point, why stop at the Council and not blame de Lammenais (1782-1854) and liberal Catholicism? Moreover, the erosive tendencies of Tradition began well before the Council, as Sergio Russo has well illustrated in Stilum curiae (Tosatti’s Editorial Series).
Continuously re-proposing the whine about Vatican II provides only two operational solutions.
The first is to get into a time machine, go back to 1962, drug and kidnap Karl Rahner.
The second is to use the criticism of the Council to refound the Catholic Church, leaving the “seat” to the de facto schismatics, at least regaining possession of the “faith”, with a speech such as: “Since, as we have abundantly demonstrated, from Pius XII onwards we have not been able to have a pope worthy of the name, we are tired: the time has come to take back a Roman Catholic Church with a true pope that we will appoint on our own. It is not as if we can remain without a pontiff for the next few centuries.”
I had mentioned that hypothesis here.
Since the solution of the time machine does not seem to be immediately feasible, only from the point of view of ratifying a schism, the paean on the Council would acquire a practical function, but apparently no one has the courage to continue on this path: “it cannot be done”, “it is a sin”, “it does not fit”, “it is uneconomic”, “they must leave”, “it would give scandal”, etc.
And so — excuse me — but to continue with recriminations about the Council is objectively useless and unproductive. It’s like a guy who one day finds himself with a bad office manager and starts complaining about the course of studies he undertook as a boy: either he uses that speech to find the strength to radically change his profession (“ok, I got it all wrong, now I’m going to open a chiringuito in the Bahamas”) or he keeps his office manager and learns to live with him. It’s not that complaining about his old choices solves anything.
What is more harmful, however, is that such speeches distract intellectual and moral energies from the REAL Magna quaestio: the validity of the resignation of Benedict XVI. We know that it is a complex matter, that it is necessary to apply oneself, document oneself and find the courage of lions. But steps forward have been made to clarify and disclose how the resignation was announced – both legally and formally – invalid and how it was never ratified. Even if only 10% of those alleged resignations were challenged, those who really wanted to could probably wipe the slate clean of the neo-church. Perhaps only canon 14 of the Code of Canon Law would suffice: “Laws, even irritating or incapacitating ones, in the doubt of law do not urge”. We have asked 20 canonists of the Rota for confirmation and no one has responded: an indicative sign.
It may displease many people, but objectively speaking, the only one who has gone on the counter-attack in full operation is Don Minutella, who, freed from any impediment thanks to two (!) excommunications (not justified by any canonical process) is in fact the only one to have taken the field with an army: he has founded a social channel, speaks on radio and broadcasts, administers sacraments una cum Papa Benedicto around Italy… in short, he really does “the devil tour de force”. You may or may not like him, but please, let’s stop pretending he doesn’t exist, it’s quite ridiculous. If he has been excommunicated, for anyone who doesn’t like Francis, this can only be a huge credit to him., if it is true, as many claim, that there is an “anti-Christic coup” underway? If you do not like what he says, attack him on the merits: from a loyal, fierce dialectical clash with Don Minutella can only remain on the ground something really useful.
The illusion of many traditionalists is that, once Bergoglio is dead or has resigned, the next conclave can put things back in place, perhaps – given the armored majority – through divine intercession. “You’d have to presuppose insanity”, an authoritative colleague told me, but it is a pious illusion: if Francis is not the pope, not even the next conclave will be valid, with the presence of about 80 invalid cardinals. It seems to me that we can agree on this.
Even Bergoglio’s successor, even if he were a hyper-traditionalist holy man, will find himself with a sword of Damocles over his head, the atrocious suspicion, of having been elected by an invalid conclave. That is why the main issue, upon which all Catholic observers should converge, is solely and only the validity of Benedict’s resignation. That is the only really important thing that should be at the heart of even the Bergoglians, since doubt delegitimizes their leader. They should be the first to ask for a “commission of inquiry”, if they have nothing to hide. (Why do they turn a deaf ear?).
Even the tight criticism of Francis and all matters of the neo-church, what is the point? If Bergoglio is not the legitimate pope, and was put there by the modernist Masons, as they say, what do you expect, that he restore the sedes gestatoria and the Noble Guard?
Besides the crux of the resignation issue, the only valid (sideways) topic of debate should be: Why is no one moving? Why aren’t the cardinals speaking out as they should? What are they waiting for? Why aren’t the clergy mutinying en masse? Is it better to ask for enlightenment directly from Benedict XVI, or to organize a synod?
These are the questions that matter: whether Ratzinger is a modernist or not is of no importance, and, in the end, it doesn’t even matter whether he himself has organized a more or less voluntary invalid resignation. That speech may be an encouragement to decide to challenge the resignation, but the point is to establish whether Benedict legally resigned or not, regardless of everything, of his intentions and even of whether Francis is, or is not, a good pope. Before judging him as a pontiff, one must verify that he really is.