Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Pp. Francis IS Limited by the Nature of the Church

Regardless of Pp. Francis' excessive hubris, and that of such as +Bugnini, +Martini, +Kasper, +Cupich, and +McCarrick (same hubris, different manifestations), they are strictly limited by the Church herself, if properly understood.  And Benedict certainly understood properly as you will see below.

Fr. Hunwicke cites his mentor/teacher, Dr. Eric Mascall.

....They would have understood, poor things, how obvious it is that the Church Universal, the Body of Christ throughout Space and Time, is ontologically [in the order of Being] prior to individual Particular Churches.

The Church is not merely "a society formed by the voluntary association of those individual Christians who are now on earth"; it is "rooted in the concrete historical events of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ ... we who are now on earth are only the last of sixty or so generations of Christians who have each in its turn made up the earthly Church ... There is a fine phrase in which tradition has been described as 'the democracy of the dead' ... But, since Christ has overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, the Church which was once militant here upon earth in the
past is the Church which is now triumphant and expectant beyond the grave. This is therefore not just the democracy of the dead but of the living, as God himself is not of the dead but of the living. "

" ... the Church ... is not just the empirically manifested Church now militant on earth, but the archetypal Church which is nothing less than Christ's own manhood into which generations of Christians have been incorporated ..."

" ... at any particular epoch the Church militant is only a minute fraction of the Church Catholic
... in the great living and growing organism which is the Body of Christ, we who are now on earth are not the successors of those who are now at rest and sleep in the sleep of peace or of the saints who now enjoy the beatific vision; we are their contemporaries, united with them by incorporation into the ascended Lord who is the Body's Head ..."

"If we identify the Church of God simply with the Church Militant, we shall look upon it as a society with membership that is constantly changing as new members enter it by baptism and old ones leave it by death, after the pattern of any other earthly society. If, however, we remember that the Church militant is only the lower fringe of the whole Church, we shall see the Church as an organism, a body which is constantly growing, which is being built up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"....

IOW, were we merely "successors," Francis I could do any damn thing he pleases and make it stick.  But we are not "successors," therefore Francis I does not have that power.  That is certainly true in matters of infallible doctrine and dogma, but one could also argue that it is negatively reflected by the "return" of the Old Rite Mass.  Recall that Benedict was clear:  that Mass was never "suppressed" except in the fevered imagination of the "reformers."


Of course, this does not mean that +Francis and his co-conspirators cannot damage the Church.  Clearly, others have done so in the past, and it's reasonable to assume that such will happen in the future.  But the permanence of The Church, properly understood, will eventually erase Francis-ism, as it did Borgia-ism and Judas-ism.

Pray and work that the corrections happen quickly.

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