The event in Rome is generating a lot of press, but here’s a refreshing view, from The Catholic Thing.

An excerpt.

Some old Scottish jurisprude (and I’ve forgotten which) said, “We do not break the law. We break ourselves upon the law.”

He was perhaps echoing Our Lord, as recorded in Saint Matthew (21:44): “And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken.”

The verses surrounding this are of considerable current interest, too, but to save space I will assume that gentle reader owns a Bible.

We are working today, improbable as this may sound, on the notion that law is merely something legislated. This is the only sort of law that can be considered secure – and then only temporarily – under what a certain pope emeritus called the Dictatorship of Relativism: “The dictatorship of relativism is confronting the world. It does not recognize anything as absolute, and leaves as the ultimate measure only the measure of each one and his desires.”

Our current pope, incidentally, was not slow to repeat this observation, after he was elevated to the Throne of Peter, only last year.

Our venerable Church does not recognize this Dictatorship. She never has, and so long as she is herself, she never will. What was true yesterday remains true today; what is true today will remain true tomorrow.

Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, before the conclave that elected him pope:

How many doctrinal winds we have known in these last decades, how many ideological currents, how many styles of thought. . . .The thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves, tossed from one end to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism.

For many years before, though not yet a Roman Catholic myself, I was under the impression from reading him that this Ratzinger was the finest living Christian mind. Later, I realized that the qualifier was unnecessary. (Even as an Anglican, I subscribed to Communio.)

“Today,” said the man about to be elected Pope Benedict XVI, “having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism.”

It is a label that could be applied to every one of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as it often is today to everything else that came “before Vatican II.” As worthier pundits have observed, Jesus Christ is also among the things that came before Vatican II.

Retrieved October 17, 2014 from