Sedevacantism and the index of Forbidden Books

Started by AlNg, September 15, 2023, 10:05:55 PM

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AlNg

The Index of Forbidden books was active from 1560 to 1966 and its censures are currently not in effect for N.O. or Conciliar Catholics as it was abolished by Pope Paul VI, who according to SV, was not a legitimate Pope. And according to https://novusordowatch.org/2016/03/year-of-condemnation-07/ "In a nutshell, the Index of Forbidden Books (or just "Index" for short) is a list of books that no Catholic is permitted to read or possess under pain of excommunication ..."  Do SV regard the censures associated with reading or possessing a book on the Index of Forbidden Books to be in effect today?

Michael Wilson

"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers

AlNg

Quote from: AlNg on September 15, 2023, 10:05:55 PMDo SV regard the censures associated with reading or possessing a book on the Index of Forbidden Books to be in effect today?
Quote from: Michael Wilson on September 16, 2023, 08:21:47 AMYes.
So in your view then, Sedevacantists are forbidden to read or possess works such as:
Pensees by Blais Pascal
Meditations by Rene Descartes
Contes et Nouvelles by Jean de La Fontaine
The Reasonableness of Christianity by John Locke
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
I suppose a SV could read abstracts of these, but is is too bad that SV are forbidden to read these in the orginal.


Miriam_M

I don't have time at the moment to go through all of these, but I will comment on a couple of authors on The Index.

One is Descartes, who was covered recently by Fr. Ripperger in his discussion of the collapse of Catholic intellectualism, of which Rene Descartes was one phase in that collapse.

A second, not on your list, is Alexandre Dumas. My students love the swashbuckling tales of The Count of Monte Cristo, for example. Here's how one blogger explains the logic of Dumas's inclusion:

"why was Dumas banned by the Catholic church? The Catholic Church banned both Dumas père and fils, and the list states that père is prohibited because of 'Omnes fabulae amatoriae' which with my rusty GCSE Latin, I translate as 'all love stories'. I imagine The Count would be part of this, as it is very much a story about love and hate. When reading it I could see why the Church may not like it; the Count is a man who sees himself as a vessel of God, doing His bidding when carrying out his revenge, a twisted view of religion. It also contains scenes of illegitimate birth and extra-marital affairs. It doesn't seem much of a reason to ban an author, but maybe it was enough in the mid- 1800s."

https://liberatorum.blogspot.com/2008/03/count-of-monte-cristo-by-alexandre.html

Now, I am not a person who easily confuses fictional characters with models of virtue, since I teach literature, but I can see how other Catholic readers might become carried away with the "heroism" and valor of various protagonists while minimizing their flaws.  It is easy to become "intoxicated" by an author like Dumas.

Michael Wilson

As I suspected and (was not wrong), a "trap" question by our ever persistent resident anti-sed AINg
QuoteSo in your view then, Sedevacantists are forbidden to read or possess works such as:
Pensees by Blais Pascal
Meditations by Rene Descartes
Contes et Nouvelles by Jean de La Fontaine
The Reasonableness of Christianity by John Locke
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
I suppose a SV could read abstracts of these, but is is too bad that SV are forbidden to read these in the orginal.
What the gist of the question is: "Does the Church have the authority to ban the reading of certain books which it deems could be harmful to either the faith or morals of the faithful?"
If the answer is "yes", then a faithful son of the Church will obey the Church's direction; if not then he admits that for himself the Church has no true authority over him, or only in so far as he himself will allow.
Now as to the list above; not all the works that are above were on the Index when it was abolished; and there have been works that were deemed dangerous or harmful under certain circumstances and which latter on when these changed, were not.
For example Pascal's "Penses"; were tainted with Pascal's own Jansenistic views and during the Jansenists controversies, he was used by the Jansenists to attack the Jesuits; so his works were placed on the Index, and latter when the controversy had passed, the Pensees was removed; I've seen it quoted in several works by traditional Catholic authors before the Council.
Victor Hugo was a great novelist, but also anti-Catholic; and his novels often reflect his twisted views of the Church and morality; some of the scenarios he represented in the 19C. Would have been considered scandalous to faith and morals then, but latter on were no longer deemed as such.
The Reasonableness of Christianity by John Locke.
Erroneous philosophycal concepts about government and also Catholicism. Why would you want to read a book on Christianity by a non-Christian?
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
An apostate Catholic who in his magnus opus blames Catholicism for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. A poisoned pen and we were not allowed to read his blather. Thank goodness.
Finally, a Catholic should avoid reading books that would harm their faith or morals even if the Church has not officially condemned them; the same goes for movies, T.V. Shows etc. There used to be "The Legion of Catholic Decency" in the U.S. which rated movies for Catholics; this was a great help for Catholics in guiding them in regards to which movies to avoid and which ones could be viewed.
Again and again the issue comes up with you: "Do you consider the Magisterium of the Church to be your proximate rule of faith, or not?" You have publicly contradicted Church teaching on Slavery; and here you are attempting also deny its authority in matters of faith and morals.  
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers

AlNg

#5
Quote from: Michael Wilson on September 17, 2023, 09:22:05 AMAs I suspected and (was not wrong), a "trap" question by our ever persistent resident anti-sed AINg
QuoteSo in your view then, Sedevacantists are forbidden to read or possess works such as:
Pensees by Blais Pascal
Meditations by Rene Descartes
Contes et Nouvelles by Jean de La Fontaine
The Reasonableness of Christianity by John Locke
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
I suppose a SV could read abstracts of these, but is is too bad that SV are forbidden to read these in the orginal.
What the gist of the question is: "Does the Church have the authority to ban the reading of certain books which it deems could be harmful to either the faith or morals of the faithful?"
If the answer is "yes", then a faithful son of the Church will obey the Church's direction; if not then he admits that for himself the Church has no true authority over him, or only in so far as he himself will allow.
Now as to the list above; not all the works that are above were on the Index when it was abolished; and there have been works that were deemed dangerous or harmful under certain circumstances and which latter on when these changed, were not.
For example Pascal's "Penses"; were tainted with Pascal's own Jansenistic views and during the Jansenists controversies, he was used by the Jansenists to attack the Jesuits; so his works were placed on the Index, and latter when the controversy had passed, the Pensees was removed; I've seen it quoted in several works by traditional Catholic authors before the Council.
Victor Hugo was a great novelist, but also anti-Catholic; and his novels often reflect his twisted views of the Church and morality; some of the scenarios he represented in the 19C. Would have been considered scandalous to faith and morals then, but latter on were no longer deemed as such.
The Reasonableness of Christianity by John Locke.
Erroneous philosophycal concepts about government and also Catholicism. Why would you want to read a book on Christianity by a non-Christian?
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
An apostate Catholic who in his magnus opus blames Catholicism for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. A poisoned pen and we were not allowed to read his blather. Thank goodness.
Finally, a Catholic should avoid reading books that would harm their faith or morals even if the Church has not officially condemned them; the same goes for movies, T.V. Shows etc. There used to be "The Legion of Catholic Decency" in the U.S. which rated movies for Catholics; this was a great help for Catholics in guiding them in regards to which movies to avoid and which ones could be viewed.
Again and again the issue comes up with you: "Do you consider the Magisterium of the Church to be your proximate rule of faith, or not?" You have publicly contradicted Church teaching on Slavery; and here you are attempting also deny its authority in matters of faith and morals. 

N.O. Catholics are asked to exercise caution and beware of writings which could endanger faith and morals but they are no longer subject to the severe penalties imposed under preVatican II ecclesiastical law associated with reading or possessing books on the index. So for example, for a N.O. Catholic there is no penalty attached to possessing a book by Alexander Dumas or other authors on the Index.  However, if I understand it correctly, SV do not recognize the authority of Pope Paul VI, so for SV there would be rather severe penalties attached to reading or even possessing a book on the index, such as one written by Alexander Dumas?
You bring up the question of slavery. I am going by the papal encyclical  of Pope Leo XIII In Plurimis which reads in part:
"In the presence of so much suffering, the condition of slavery, in which a considerable part of the great human family has been sunk in squalor and affliction now for many centuries, is deeply to be deplored; for the system is one which is wholly opposed to that which was originally ordained by God and by nature. The Supreme Author of all things so decreed that man should exercise a sort of royal dominion over beasts and cattle and fish and fowl, but never that men should exercise a like dominion over their fellow men. "
https://www.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_05051888_in-plurimis.html

Michael Wilson

AINg.
QuoteN.O. Catholics are asked to exercise caution and beware of writings which could endanger faith and morals but they are no longer subject to the severe penalties imposed under preVatican II ecclesiastical law associated with reading or possessing books on the index. So for example, for a N.O. Catholic there is no penalty attached to possessing a book by Alexander Dumas or other authors on the Index.  However, if I understand it correctly, SV do not recognize the authority of Pope Paul VI, so for SV there would be rather severe penalties attached to reading or even possessing a book on the index, such as one written by Alexander Dumas?
N.O. Catholics can read anything that they want; so what? Given the low percentage of N.O. Catholics that still believe in the teachings of the Church and the even lower percentage that still practice the faith; maybe it wasn't such a good idea to abolish said Index. 
Would you obey the Index if it was still in force?

Again Leo XIII did not condemn slavery as intrinsically evil and contrary to the natural law; and in the very next paragraph in the same Encyclical he stated the following:
QuoteFrom this it follows that "the state of slavery is rightly regarded as a penalty upon the sinner; thus, the word slave does not occur in the Bible until the just man Noe branded with it the sin of his son. It was sin, therefore, which deserved this name; it was not natural."(4)
So slavery would not have occurred if Adam had not sinned; and is a penalty for sin and is not contrary to the current state of mankind.
Here is the letter from the Holy Office:
Quotenevertheless, servitude itself, considered in itself and all alone (per se et absolute), is by no means repugnant to the natural and divine law, and there can be present very many just titles for servitude, as can be seen by consulting the approved theologians and interpreters of the canons.
Also the Holy Office goes on:
QuoteIndeed, just as slaves can be licitly bought, so they can licitly also be sold, but it is altogether necessary that the seller is the legitimate possessor of the slave, and does nothing in the sale by which the life, morals or Catholic faith of the slave to be sold would be harmed.
In the Wiki article Cardinal Avery Dulles is quoted on the status of the teaching of the Church on slavery:
QuoteB]Development of Church teaching[/B]

One reason for this insistence is that authors who argue that the Magisterium has changed have pointed to this purported shift in teaching as setting a precedent that Church teaching has changed to be compatible with changes in social mores and morality.[121]

Cardinal Avery Dulles makes the following observations about the Catholic Church and the institution of slavery

 1.For many centuries the Church was part of a slave-holding society.
 2.The popes themselves held slaves, including at times hundreds of Muslim captives to man their galleys.
 3.St. Thomas Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin were all Augustinian on this point. Although the subjection of one person to another (servitus) was not part of the primary intention of the natural law, St. Thomas taught, it was appropriate and socially useful in a world impaired by original sin.
 4.No Father or Doctor of the Church was an unqualified abolitionist.
 5.No pope or council ever made a sweeping condemnation of slavery as such.
 6.But they constantly sought to alleviate the evils of slavery and repeatedly denounced the mass enslavement of conquered populations and the infamous slave trade, thereby undermining slavery at its sources.[33]
Finally in the same article:
QuoteIn a modern work that denies any fundamental change in the church's teaching over the centuries, Father Joel Panzer writes:

    The development of [the Church's teaching regarding slavery] over the span of nearly five centuries was occasioned by the unique and illicit form of servitude that accompanied the Age of Discovery. The just titles to servitude were not rejected by the Church, but rather were tolerated for many reasons. This in no way invalidates the clear and consistent teaching against the unjust slavery that came to prevail in Africa and the Western Hemisphere, first in Central and South America and then in the United States, for approximately four centuries.[122]
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers

AlNg

Quote from: Michael Wilson on September 18, 2023, 05:19:25 PMAgain Leo XIII did not condemn slavery as intrinsically evil and contrary to the natural law;
Pope Leo XIII: "the system is one which is wholly opposed to that which was originally ordained by God and by nature."

AlNg

#8
Quote from: Michael Wilson on September 18, 2023, 05:19:25 PMN.O. Catholics can read anything that they want; so what?...Would you obey the Index if it was still in force?
At one time Catholics were forbidden to read or to possess a book on the Index such as the Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas. If (before 1966) this book had been required reading for a literature class or for some other scholarly endeavor,  the procedure was to write a letter to your local bishop requesting permission to read the book. Generally these type of dispensations from the ecclesiastical penalties attached to reading forbidden books on the Index were granted readily. "The Count of Monte Cristo" was placed on the Index of forbidden books because it was considered to contain elements that were dangerous to Catholic faith or morals.  For example, the novel explores themes of revenge and retribution, and it includes scenes of violence. Without the required permission from your bishop, it is my understanding that before 1966 Catholics were forbidden from reading, possessing, or distributing books on the Index under possible penalty of serious sin and excommunication.
Some SV consider the Index to be in effect today since they do not accept the authority of Pope Paul VI. Further some SV say that many Catholic bishops today are not really Catholic bishops but belong to some sort of a counterfeit non-Catholic Church, so I don't know how they would be able to read or possess the Count of Monte Cristo without incurring the severe penalties as were imposed before 1966. Today, (N.O.)  Catholics are no longer bound by any ecclesiastical penalties or restrictions related to books that were once included on the Index.
If for some reason, Catholics are in a position where it is appropriate to read a forbidden book, they should read the text critically, keeping in mind their Catholic faith and morals. So, today, as long as they exercise caution,  (non-SV) Catholics are free to read a wide range of literature, with the understanding that they should exercise discernment and prudence in their reading.
"The Count of Monte Cristo" is considered to be a classic work of literature,  praised for its engaging narrative, its thematic depth, and exploration of timeless themes. There have been various movies and stage productions based on it. Some people might argue that by being forbidden to read the Count of Monte Cristo, SV are missing out on its compelling storytelling and thought provoking content.

Miriam_M

Quote from: AlNg on September 18, 2023, 06:44:06 PMIf for some reason, Catholics are in a position where it is appropriate to read a forbidden book, they should read the text critically, keeping in mind their Catholic faith and morals. So, today, as long as they exercise caution,  (non-SV) Catholics are free to read a wide range of literature, with the understanding that they should exercise discernment and prudence in their reading.


Except that the problem is that the Roman Church has suffered from "the total collapse of moral theology" according to what Fr. Ripperger has recently documented, and it is a collapse that has been occurring over a significant period of time -- culminating in the situation that has unfolded most vividly since the Council.



Combining that intellectual reality with the breathlessly vacant Church leadership, and then expecting an unformed Catholic laity to "exercise discernment and prudence" in reading choices, is a wee unrealistic.  In fact, we see what kinds of moral choices modern Catholics have been making -- while later surprised to learn that their behaviors violated permanent Church teaching... You know, minor things like Mass attendance, fornication, contraception, and even abortion.


Quote"The Count of Monte Cristo" is considered to be a classic work of literature,  praised for its engaging narrative, its thematic depth, and exploration of timeless themes. There have been various movies and stage productions based on it. Some people might argue that by being forbidden to read the Count of Monte Cristo, SV are missing out on its compelling storytelling and thought provoking content.

I may not be the object of your reply, but I am a literature teacher who is well acquainted with the narrative talents of Alexandre Dumas. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is not in the business of art criticism but rather moral guidance.  I think the issue is not the novelist's talents and the recreational value of his work but the impressionability of the readership most inclined to view Dumas's characters as their own heroes, regardless of the heroes' significant moral flaws and gravely immoral decisions.

Michael Wilson

Quote from: AlNg on September 18, 2023, 06:28:44 PM
Quote from: Michael Wilson on September 18, 2023, 05:19:25 PMAgain Leo XIII did not condemn slavery as intrinsically evil and contrary to the natural law;
Pope Leo XIII: "the system is one which is wholly opposed to that which was originally ordained by God and by nature."
Yes, if man had not sinned, there would not be any slavery. But slavery was introduced by God Himself as a penalty for sin, as we read in the account of Noe and his sons; as the Pope himself mentions.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers

Michael Wilson

AINg.
QuoteIf for some reason, Catholics are in a position where it is appropriate to read a forbidden book, they should read the text critically, keeping in mind their Catholic faith and morals. So, today, as long as they exercise caution,  (non-SV) Catholics are free to read a wide range of literature, with the understanding that they should exercise discernment and prudence in their reading.
So the ordinary Catholic can judge for himself whether a book is not spiritually harmful; and that's even before reading the book? So Catholics no longer need the Church to advise them what to read or not?
Quote"The Count of Monte Cristo" is considered to be a classic work of literature,  praised for its engaging narrative, its thematic depth, and exploration of timeless themes. There have been various movies and stage productions based on it. Some people might argue that by being forbidden to read the Count of Monte Cristo, SV are missing out on its compelling storytelling and thought provoking content.
"is considered"; but that doesn't make it not dangerous to the faith or morals, does it? Does "what everyone think", now the standard of Catholic morality?
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers

LausTibiChriste

Why was The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon put on there?

Never read it but want to.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy On Me A Sinner

Acolyte

I know nothing about Gibbon but found this....

"Edward Gibbon's central thesis in his explanation of how the Roman Empire fell, that it was due to embracing Christianity, is not widely accepted by scholars today. Gibbon argued that with the empire's new Christian character, large sums of wealth that would have otherwise been used in the secular affairs in promoting the state were transferred to promoting the activities of the Church. However, the pre-Christian empire also spent large financial sums on religious affairs and it is unclear whether or not the change of religion increased the amount of resources the empire spent on religion. Gibbon further argued that new attitudes in Christianity caused many Christians of wealth to renounce their lifestyles and enter a monastic lifestyle, and so stop participating in the support of the empire. However, while many Christians of wealth did become monastics, this paled in comparison to the participants in the imperial bureaucracy. Although Gibbon further pointed out that the importance Christianity placed on peace caused a decline in the number of people serving the military, the decline was so small as to be negligible for the army's effectiveness.."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire



"From the moment we awake in the morning, let us pray continually in the words of holy David: Turn away my eyes, that they may not behold vanity"
St Alphonsus

"I will set my face against you, and you shall fall down before your enemies, and shall be made subject to them that hate you, you shall flee when no man pursueth you"
Leviticus 26:17

"Behold, O God our protector : and look upon the face of Thy Christ" (Ps. 79:20) Here is devotion to the face of Jesus Christ as prophesized by David."
Fr. Lawrence Daniel Carney III

AlNg

Quote from: Michael Wilson on September 19, 2023, 03:52:52 PMSo Catholics no longer need the Church to advise them what to read or not?
What is dangerous to read changes over time. For example, the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri was originally put on the index, but it was taken off later, I think  in about 1881.
https://study.com/academy/lesson/index-forbidden-books-history-works-impact.html
Today, Pope Francis urges Catholics to read the Divine Comedy.
https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2021/09/10/dante-pope-francis-700-241375
In any case it seems that SV who do not recognize the authority of Pope Paul VI,  are subject to harsh penalties for reading a book on the index, whereas NO Catholics are not subject to these ecclesiastical penalties. As explained in "The Roman Index of Forbidden Books," by Francis S. Betten, the preVatican II penalty for reading a book on the index was a mortal sin.