Saturday, October 05, 2019

The ring of power

RadTrads obsess over Vatican II. They wish to see it repealed. Yet the deeper problem for RadTrads (indeed, for Catholicism generally) isn't Vatican II but Vatican I. That's what gave the papacy an ace in the hole. It represents the culmination of a centuries' old turf war between conciliarism and ultramontanism. When Pius IX succeeded in arm-twisting his bishops into decreeing papal infallibility, it was like God got tired of running the universe and created a regent, whom he gave the ring of power, with the power to annihilate the world, including God, on condition that the regent not abuse his authority. The regent promised not to abuse his authority, but having given the regent the ring of power, God couldn't take it back. The regent could break his promise at any time with impunity. 

There's really no limit on what a pope can do. To be sure, he can act in a way that falsifies Catholicism. Vatican I is a ticking timebomb. 

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