Thursday, October 27, 2022

From Ratzinger's New Letter

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: From Ratzinger's New Letter · New blog on the kid: Is Nostra Aetate Saying Buddhists Can Actually Achieve Complete Liberation?

Ratzinger, two quotes:

For the first time, the question of a theology of religions had shown itself in its radicality. The same is true for the relationship between faith and the world of mere reason. Both topics had not been foreseen in this way before.
Of course, the Civitas Dei is not simply identical with the institution of the Church. In this respect, the medieval Augustine was indeed a fatal error, which today, fortunately, has been finally overcome.

This essay will be dealing with the first quote:

For the first time, the question of a theology of religions had shown itself in its radicality.

Let's check with some authors clearly before Vatican II, shall we?

St. Augustine:

When Saphrus reigned as the fourteenth king of Assyria, and Orthopolis as the twelfth of Sicyon, and Criasus as the fifth of Argos, Moses was born in Egypt, by whom the people of God were liberated from the Egyptian slavery, in which they behooved to be thus tried that they might desire the help of their Creator. Some have thought that Prometheus lived during the reign of the kings now named. He is reported to have formed men out of clay, because he was esteemed the best teacher of wisdom; yet it does not appear what wise men there were in his days. His brother Atlas is said to have been a great astrologer; and this gave occasion for the fable that he held up the sky, although the vulgar opinion about his holding up the sky appears rather to have been suggested by a high mountain named after him. Indeed, from those times many other fabulous things began to be invented in Greece; yet, down to Cecrops king of Athens, in whose reign that city received its name, and in whose reign God brought His people out of Egypt by Moses, only a few dead heroes are reported to have been deified according to the vain superstition of the Greeks. Among these were Melantomice, the wife of king Criasus, and Phorbas their son, who succeeded his father as sixth king of the Argives, and Iasus, son of Triopas, their seventh king, and their ninth king, Sthenelas, or Stheneleus, or Sthenelus — for his name is given differently by different authors. In those times also, Mercury, the grandson of Atlas by his daughter Maia, is said to have lived, according to the common report in books. He was famous for his skill in many arts, and taught them to men, for which they resolved to make him, and even believed that he deserved to be, a god after death. Hercules is said to have been later, yet belonging to the same period; although some, whom I think mistaken, assign him an earlier date than Mercury.

Paul the Deacon:

9. Certum tamen est, Langobardos ab intactae ferro barbae longitudine, cum primitus Winili dicti fuerint, ita postmodum appellatos. Nam iuxta illorum linguam lang longam, bard barbam significat. Wotan sane, quem adiecta littera Godan dixerunt, ipse est qui apud Romanos Mercurius dicitur et ab universis Germaniae gentibus ut deus adoratur; qui non circa haec tempora, sed longe anterius, nec in Germania, sed in Grecia fuisse perhibetur.

My translation:

But it is certain, that Langobards (Longbeards), who at first had been called Winiles, were so called after a while from the length of beards not touched by iron. For according to their language, "lang" means long and "bard" beard. But Wotan, whom they called Godan with an added letter, is the same as who among Romans is called Mercurius and is adored as a god by all peoples of Germania; he is not presented as having lived these times, but long before, not in Germania, but in Greece.


At this time there was one Odin, who was credited over all Europe with the honour, which was false, of godhead, but used more continually to sojourn at Upsala; and in this spot, either from the sloth of the inhabitants or from its own pleasantness, he vouchsafed to dwell with somewhat especial constancy. The kings of the North, desiring more zealously to worship his deity, embounded his likeness in a golden image; and this statue, which betokened their homage, they transmitted with much show of worship to Byzantium, fettering even the effigied arms with a serried mass of bracelets.

I think the ancients and medievals had more of a theology of religions than Ratzinger has! Back to him:

The same is true for the relationship between faith and the world of mere reason.

Presumably, Ratzinger considers evolution and heliocentrism to be attainable as theorems by mere reason - and the natural theology attainable by it according to the Vatican Council of 1869 to be "over the top" ...

Both topics had not been foreseen in this way before.

Perhaps they had been foreseen or provided for in better ways.

And that means, "Vatican II" provided for them in worse ways.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Vigil of Sts Simon and Jude