Author Topic: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?  (Read 1106 times)

Offline TheReturnofLive

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How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« on: November 19, 2019, 05:25:22 PM »
In the history of Christianity, one fact is obvious - the centralization of the Catholic Church, consolidation of Political Power, and claims made in ecclesial authority gradually expanded over time for the Pope, up until Vatican II. Maybe not so much consolidation of political power, that ended with the Enlightenment - nonetheless Popes up to Vatican II claimed that consolidation of political power was completely legitimate.

It's an obvious historical fact that in the Early Church, while the Pope had some clear prerogatives, the Church itself was rather decentralized. Even Papal Apologists will concede this point; read Dom John Chapman and his historical works of the Early Church. There was the Church of Rome, the Church of Carthage, the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of Constantinople, the Church of Antioch, the Church of Alexandria, etc. And while they constituted one organization, each of these individual Churches had their own organization and hierarchy.

And if you don't believe there was decentralization, all you have to look to is the conflict between Constantinople and Rome over the territory of Bulgaria in the 9th century, where both sides were bickering with each other on which liturgical tradition and leadership should the territory of Bulgaria submit itself to - if it were the case that it were centralized in the Early Church, such bickering over who owns that territory would make no sense. See the Photian Schism.

This ended, however, with the Great Schism, where in Roman Catholicism, with the exceptions of attempted restorations (for example, the 4th Crusade, the various Ecumenical Council attempts, and the Maronites, who claimed to be under the continuing Patriarch of Antioch), everything fell under Rome's territory, resulting in a consolidation of organization and hierarchy. Even then, at this point, the answer about Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility wouldn't be absolutely clear - there were Ecumenical Councils which have documents which claimed that Popes were to be subject to Ecumenical Councils, there were Popes who legitimately believed that they could fall into heresy, etc. Over time, with this centralization came the expansion of Political Power and Ecclesial Claims. We've had the Gregorian reforms, Popes who went into battle like Pope Julius II, we had a Pope who tried to vassalize England (Pope Innocent III), Popes began to use anathemas as political tools to create instability in countries they didn't like, and there was a growing trend to complete submission to the Pope.

Over time, the claims to political and ecclesial authority expanded.

All of this culminated, however, with Vatican I, where it was decreed that the Pope had supreme jurisdiction over the whole Church and was infallible on Ex Cathedra statements and that each Catholic had to submit to the Pope in his speech, character, pronouncements, and orders. In fact, a great many of 19th century theology was predicated on the Pope's infallibility and authority, with some even suggesting that the Bishops are nothing more than just mere Vicars of the Pope, with the Pope being the only one with real authority.

From Pentecost until Vatican II, the Pope's claims and usage to political and spiritual power was a constant trend upwards, through the consolidation of Church hierarchy, influence and role in Political Affairs, and the claims in authority.

While there is a certain regress among Conservative, Liberal, and Traditionalists on Papal authority, with the onset of the Vatican II Popes (should we really submit to the characters of Popes who have been fundamentally contradictory to previous Popes; Popes who hated tradition, Popes who prayed with Pagans, Popes who went out of their way to destroy tradition out of Modernism), with some even questioning Vatican I's authority, many Catholics will still proclaim how this consolidation of power in both the political and ecclesial sphere was good and necessary for orthodoxy.


The real question is this - if this was the case, how far should we go?


The video game Europa Universalis IV is a history strategy game that has some clever tidbits, and much of the humor of the game is how ridiculous you can make the world. This is a video game where you can play as any country starting in the year of 1444, and you have to survive, if not conquer and expand up to the 19th century. You can play as the Papal State, and among different things, if you expand militarily enough, you can establish "The Kingdom of God" as a nation, a political entity with direct rulership by the Pope, with the College of Cardinals completely controlled by this political entity.






While this game is obviously parodic, it would be the next logical step - should the Pope have rulership over a specific state and establish a Catholic Empire? Further, some ideas could include that only Popes choose the next Popes, the abolishment of all Bishops and Cardinals except the Pope, the ability to write Sacred Scripture, the ability to make definitive judgments about the soul of a person in terms of both Heaven and Hell, the ability to create New Sacraments, the ability to automatically become a Saint by virtue of the office? The abolishment of all Councils or Synods? The requirement for all laity to plead to direct, literal rulership to the Pope?


When exactly would a Pope in his authority become the very depiction which Martin Luther created in the Illustrations of his Bible?

« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 05:32:57 PM by TheReturnofLive »
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Offline abc123

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 06:33:32 PM »
It's not up to individual Catholics to determine how far to go when it comes to papal supremacy. Vatican I slammed the door on any debate. The pope is an absolute monarch who rules and governs "without the consent of the Church." Every bishop on Earth meeting in council does not equal the authority of thr pope.

Almost exactly 100 years after "I am Tradition" Pius IX declared himself infallible the chickens came home to roost and you have the situation you have now.

At least sedevacantists attempt to be consistent by simply stating that the modern claimants are not actually popes. This is less of a logical contradiction than acknowledging the current man in white as pope but then proceeding to ignore everything he says.

Vatican I made the pope the locus and decider of Tradition. Tradition is what he says it is.
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 11:55:31 PM »


Vatican I made the pope the locus and decider of Tradition. Tradition is what he says it is.

It's tradition even before he formally says it is: e.g. the Immaculate Conception.

It's not tradition because he says it is - it has truth, and was passed down, in itself, he is just protected by the Holy Ghost from speaking against it (whether this is whenever he speaks or only under defined conditions, I won't argue about that).

And he can't define new tradition.

Quote from: Galatians 1
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 06:03:19 PM »
The video game Europa Universalis IV is a history strategy game...

Kudos for having used EUIV as an illustration.

It's the most excellent historical game to have ever been created to date, in my opinion, where they have been able to mix politics, war and religion in a balanced and entertaining manner.
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 06:24:59 PM »
In order to get a right answer, we need to ask the right question.  Is the pope, as Jesus, priest, prophet, and king?  As far as I know, aside from needing to be male, which happens to be required for all three, in order to assume/exercise the office(they can be elected as a laymen), popes must be ordained to the priesthood, and be consecrated to the episcopate.  That is all.  Tradition suggests nothing else as it regards the king and prophet aspect that is identified with Christ. 

That leaves two other classes out there, prophets and kings, that are in my opinion likely undermined by ultramontanism.  And, the ways ultramontanists usurp these two other classes, are ways we should regard with reservation.  That is the prism through which I will assess even Vatican council 1.  Particularly because the canon took measure to insure that church teaching be not "reformed". 

The reformation of church teaching is exactly what happens under modernism.  Reformed teaching is formulated "in light of tradition", and that is the reason for all of the change in modernism.  Change is the vehicle needed in order to continually "reform" faith and morals.  It is convenient that the papacy would introduce such ultramontanist teaching just as sovereignty(kingship being a prime example) is disappearing in the christian world. 

I have said it many times.  The current problems in the church are traced way back, easily 1200+ years.  The papal appointed office of Holy Roman Emperor being a prime example. 

« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 07:07:18 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 06:31:36 PM »


Vatican I made the pope the locus and decider of Tradition. Tradition is what he says it is.

It's tradition even before he formally says it is: e.g. the Immaculate Conception.

Not always, e.g. Papal Infallibility. That was never a tradition prior to when Pius IX declared it himself.



And he can't define new tradition.

But he can and does. Whatever he declares, now it is tradition.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 06:35:21 PM »

in order to assume/exercise the office(they can be elected as a laymen), popes must be ordained to the priesthood, and be consecrated to the episcopate. 

Right. A layman was elected pope and died before he could be ordained. The orders he issued while he was pope were followed in the subsequent conclave.


That leaves two other classes out there, prophets and kings, that are in my opinion likely undermined by ultramontanism. 

Excellent observation.


In what ways ultramontanism usurps these two other classes, I would suggest we reject them. 

Your statement is grammatically ambiguous.



It is convenient that the papacy would introduce such ultramontanist teaching just as sovereignty(kingship being a prime example) is disappearing in the christian world. 

Yes this is a very interesting historical parallel.
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 06:51:51 PM »
Look I've said this before, if Vatican I, a dogmatic Council can teach error, then the Catholic Church is not the true Church, but just another false religion alongside the other false religions. Why even bother to argue about its teachings? The proper Catholic attitude is not to question the teachings of the Church but to accept them. Vatican I's declaration on Papal infallibility, is infallible and must be held and believed in order to retain the right to be considered a Catholic.
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 06:59:20 PM »
I struggled with that sentence.  How about this?

"And, the ways ultramontanists usurp these two other classes, are ways we should regard with reservation."
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 07:07:42 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 07:11:56 PM »


Right. A layman was elected pope and died before he could be ordained. The orders he issued while he was pope were followed in the subsequent conclave.


Was that a sarcastic "right"?  What follows after suggests that as a rule such as I said is not correct.  Peter was elected pope before the last supper.  Perhaps I am wrong.  However, when I said ordained, I am referring to generally speaking the sacrament of orders, which is distinguished from the state of laymen.  The priesthood is a little ways up the degrees in orders.  Perhaps a deacon could be elected pope, then die before the next orders, yet still have given valid commands.  Or, perhaps not. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 09:41:28 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2019, 09:19:09 PM »
Look I've said this before, if Vatican I, a dogmatic Council can teach error, then the Catholic Church is not the true Church, but just another false religion alongside the other false religions.

Same reasoning can, and should, be applied to Vatican II.

Vatican II is the creation of the same Church that gave us Vatican I.
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2019, 11:17:37 PM »


Right. A layman was elected pope and died before he could be ordained. The orders he issued while he was pope were followed in the subsequent conclave.


Was that a sarcastic "right"?  What follows after suggests that as a rule such as I said is not correct.  Peter was elected pope before the last supper.  Perhaps I am wrong.  However, when I said ordained, I am referring to generally speaking the sacrament of orders, which is distinguished from the state of laymen.  The priesthood is a little ways up the degrees in orders.  Perhaps a deacon could be elected pope, then die before the next orders, yet still have given valid commands.  Or, perhaps not.

No, I wasn't being sarcastic. You were correct when you stated that a layman can be elected pope. You were also correct that the layman-pope should be ordained as soon as possible. In the case from the 15th century, the intention was to ordain him as a priest as soon as they could return to Rome, but he died along the way before reaching Rome. He was pope for about a month. During that time he changed the voting rules for the next conclave. His changes were adhered to after his death, despite the fact that he was never a bishop or a priest during the time that he was pope.

I guess this was seen as comparable to St. Ambrose who went from unbaptized layman to Bishop of Milan in the space of 8 days.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2019, 11:20:56 PM »
Look I've said this before, if Vatican I, a dogmatic Council can teach error, then the Catholic Church is not the true Church, but just another false religion alongside the other false religions. Why even bother to argue about its teachings? The proper Catholic attitude is not to question the teachings of the Church but to accept them. Vatican I's declaration on Papal infallibility, is infallible and must be held and believed in order to retain the right to be considered a Catholic.

Look, I've said this before, if Vatican II -- a dogmatic Council -- can teach error, then the Catholic Church is not the  true Church, but just another false religion.

Why even bother to argue about the teachings of Vatican II?

The proper Catholic attitude is not to question the teachings of Vatican II but to accept them.

Vatican II's declaration on Religious Liberty is infallible and must be held and believed in order to retain the right to be considered a Catholic.
 
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Offline james03

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2019, 11:24:11 PM »
Quote
But he can and does. Whatever he declares, now it is tradition.
That's never happened.
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Offline james03

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Re: How far should Papal Ultramontanism go?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2019, 11:25:44 PM »
Quote
Why even bother to argue about the teachings of Vatican II?
The council itself states it is not binding.  I accept that.

A pope declared it is fallible.  I accept that.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 
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