Thursday, September 18, 2008

Does Heresy Get Easier As You Get Older?

It does if you're Waclaw Hryniewicz (or, as we've seen previously, anybody at a Call to Action conference). Good Oblate Waclaw is a Polish guy who has claims of being a famous theologian. Why does it seem that most famous theologians these days have completely lost their minds?

Anyways, Good Obalate Waclaw seems to have written an article where he outs himself as an indifferentist who enjoys long walks on the beach and blaspheming the name of Christ by maligning his sacrifice on the Cross. From CWN:

A spokeswoman for the Catholic University of Lublin, Beata Gorka, said in a Sept. 12 interview with CNS that Father Hryniewicz was well-known for views on ecumenism and universal salvation "which some theologians consider controversial," but added that staff at the Catholic university were responsible for their own opinions. . .

In September 2007 his Polish-language article, "The Savior uses many tunes," was published in Open Theology, an interfaith Web discussion group. The 1,100-word article was critical of a July 2007 doctrinal congregation document, "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church."

For those who would like to see the CDF document, it's here.

Let's see what Waclaw found so objectionable.

[T]he Vatican document had "disappointed many theologians engaged in ecumenical dialogue" by "stressing what divides, not what unites Christians," and had been a "serious regression" by "seeking to interpret the Second Vatican Council in the spirit of pre-conciliar teaching."

Newsflash for Waclaw. The stuff that divides is the important stuff. If that wasn't there, then we wouldn't have heretics and schismatics. And that last bit is just hilarious. Any Pope who has ever written anything about Vatican II has said that it didn't change anything. I wonder if Waclaw ever noticed all the 10-point font at the bottom of the pages for all the VII documents. For the curious, they are called footnotes. Guess what? They are all pre-conciliar teaching and it's what every single VII document draws upon.

Does the fact that the CDF has demanded that he retract his heresy or face canonical penalties faze Waclaw at all? No. Why? Because he's old.

"I am close to death and do not see how I can now go against my conscience by writing an article with clarifications and rectifications, even though I've been told to expect disciplinary sanctions. What worries me most of all is that this judgment may now be expanded to cover all my previous work as well, in which I expressed similar views and convictions."

So I guess being old makes it all ok, then. This is a guy who definitely needs prayers. He is probably right in saying he isn't long for this world, so we must ask God to give him the grace to make a holy entry into the next world.

Believe it or not, Waclaw's story isn't the most disturbing part of this article. We've had heretics of this sort since the Church was founded. Get this bit, though, from the secretary of the CDF who sent the retraction demand:

The French-language letter, shown to CNS, added that the congregation "deplored above all" Father Hryniewicz's "gratuitous judgment that the Roman Curia is going back to the old ecclesiology and ecumenical theology before Vatican II" and "wishing to have a monopoly of the truth."

What the hell is this? Newsflash #1. The Church does have a monopoly on the Truth. Newsflash #2. There is nothing wrong with the "old ecclesiology and ecumenical theology before Vatican II." Did this guy even read the CDF document that he's supposed to be defending? It's in the very first response.

Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it. This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council. Paul VI affirmed it and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium:

There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation”.

The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention.

And this was the part that was "deplored above all"? You've got to be kidding me. Somebody get Cardinal Levada on the phone. The guy has issued heretical statements in public, and we're worried about the stuff he said that actually looks like it might have been correct? It's like 1984. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery. Orthodoxy is Heresy.


Turgonian said...

Actually, the Church doesn't have a monopoly on the Truth. That is a rather poor choice of words. She is protected from error.

Jesus Christ is the Truth, the Light who enlightens every man coming into the world, whether inside or outside the Church.

Throwback said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Throwback said...

That is so, but the Church does have a monopoly on the authoritative proclamation of Truth. Given the arguments being made in the CWN article, it's probably the same thing.