ON THE ELECTION OF BENEDICT XVI
Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D.
The death of John Paul II and the advent of “Pope” Benedict XVI provides traditional Catholics with no real hope for a change in Rome. Quite apart from his public statements about continuing the policies of JP II and furthering the Church’s “irreversible” commitment to ecumenism. Let us listen to his statement reported by Zenit (April 25, 2005): “Following the footsteps of my predecessors, in particular Paul VI and John Paul II, I feel intensely the need to affirm again the irreversible commitment assumed by Vatican II” to journey on the “path toward the full communion desired by Jesus and his disciples.”
Ratzinger himself can hardly be considered a Catholic. Perhaps most significant are his published writings such as his “Principles of Catholic Theology” in which he says such things as “The Resurrection cannot be an historical event in the same sense as was the Crucifixion” despite the fact that Scripture tells us that if there is no Resurrection, our faith is false and the Resurrection of the Body is part of the traditional Creed. Like his predecessor, he praises evolution and tells us “The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted a wide influence. With daring vision it incorporated the historical movement of Christianity into the great cosmic process of evolution.”
He is clearly soft on Lutheranism, telling us that “Luther’s historical instinct is clearly proving itself right.” And again, he asserts that “Both the Catholic and Protestant interpretation of Christianity have meaning each in its own way they are true in their historical moment. . ,. ,Truth becomes a function of time. . . fidelity to yesterday’s truth consists precisely in abandoning it in assuming it into today’s truth. . .”
In his Begrundung Christicher Existenz (The Sacramental Reason for Christian Existence), he tells “Eucharistic devotion such as is noted in the silent visit by the devout in church must not be thought of as a conversation with God. This would assume that God was present there locally and in a confined way. To justify such an assertion shows a lack of understanding of the Christological mysteries of the very concept of God. This is repugnant to the serious thinking of the man who knows about the omnipresence of God. To go to church on the ground that one can visit God Who is present there is a senseless act which the modern man rightfully rejects.” Such statements clearly deny the “Real Presence.” Of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist.
Further, Cardinal Ratzinger also claims that Catholics are now free to reject the great 1864 Syllabus of Errors of Venerable Pope Pius IX, because, says the Cardinal, without apology, Vatican II is a “counter syllabus.” ( Father Joseph Sainte-Marie, Cath. Family News, July 2000 Ratzinger). This is in essence a rejection of the teachings of Vatican I which in essence held that this syllabus was de fide.) Again, Ratzinger “un-condemned” some false propositions of Antonio Rosmini, which had been condemned by Leo XIII. The principle that he used was that of historical criticism. In short, it means that the condemnation was true when it happened but now it is no longer true. We understand better now. Leo XIII understood as best he could, but given his time and circumstances. Now we understand better. (Letter of Father Sanborn, March 7 2002.)
With regard to those who are opposed to Vatican II, Ratzinger has this to say: “We must be on guard against minimizing these movements. Without a doubt they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them to firmly.”
Ratzinger’s seeming conservative stance is self explained. He tells us that he was a radical leftist theologian during the Second Vatican Council (a close associate with Hans Kung), but is now considered the most conservative of the cardinals. His eminence has admitted that he has not moved to the right in four decades, but that the world has moved so far to the left that even a progressive of his conviction looks traditional. Editorial, Washington Times, September 30, 2003.
Finally, it must be clearly understood that the only corrective action that can satisfy truly traditional Catholics is a return to the traditional Sacraments of the Church and a valid Catholic priesthood. Such is virtually impossible in the present situation. Let me explain. In order to achieve unity with the various Protestant sects that JP II and Benedict XVI so ardently desire, it was and is necessary to destroy all the Sacraments that depend on a valid Catholic priesthood for the simple reason that the Protestant sects deny any need for a genuine priesthood. (For them, every man is his own priest.) This is precisely what the post-Conciliar Church has done and which is reflected not only in the new “mass,” but above all in the destruction of the Apostolic Succession which is so clearly reflected in the new “rite” for consecrating “bishops.” (Ratzinger himself was “consecrated” a “bishop” using the new and false rite in 1977.) And so it is that however conservative Benedict XVI may appear, he remains in radical opposition to the true Apostolic Catholic Faith.
©Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D., F.A.C.S. +