The main page of our web site currently features a triumphalistic image of Pope Benedict XVI, with the words, “Thank you, Holy Father, for Summorum Pontificum!” Some have criticized us for this gratitude to the Roman Pontiff because of certain weaknesses they detect in the document. Their ingratitude betrays a pusillanimous spirit in my estimation. The Holy Father has just virtually moved a mountain to help traditionalists, affirming, among other things, that the Classical Roman Rite was “never abrogated.” Rome was not built in a day and the ecclesiastical mess we are in will not be fixed in a day. So, thank the Pope and pray for him.
The Church of Christ is identical to the Catholic Church: A document released by the CDF on July 10 affirms the identity of the Catholic Church with the Church of Christ. The document is a question-and-answer clarification of the famous passage in Lumen Gentium 8, wherein the Church of Christ is said to “subsist in the Catholic Church.” In many places the new document is being interpreted, along with Summorum Pontificum, as a return to the bad old days of exclusivism, triumphalism, and thumb screws. See, for instance, the take of two liberal “former priests” who are now professional anti-Catholics: “Pope’s latest moves setting church apart”; and “Pope Benedict’s mistake.” Over on Taki’s Top Drawer, Scott P. Richert gave his own brief and worthwhile commentary on the document: “A Subsistence Existence.” A much longer commentary, including an informative interview with CDF secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato, has been posted by Sandro Magister. Signore Magister also posted the official commentary on the document published by the CDF.