Ratzinger and Hegel
Reposted here from The Catacombs archives

Dear friends, 

I am always loathe to reference sedevacantist sources. However, it has long been the custom here on The Catacombs that if an article exposes or speaks the truth, it shouldn't be ignored just because of who the author is/was [e.g. St. Thomas Aquinas referencing Aristotle]. With this in mind, we repost the following article, adapted to filter out the sedevacantist references. Please keep in mind that Bishop Tissier de Mallerais' study on the 'Hermeneutics' of Joseph Ratzinger highlight many of the points made below though not [to my memory] this particular example.

Ratzinger, Hegel, and “Summorum Pontificum”
Thesis – Antithesis – Synthesis

[Image: ?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.traditioninaction.or...f=1&nofb=1]

Novus Ordo Watch [All emphasis mine.]| June 6, 2017

As we quickly approach the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI’s unjustly celebrated motu proprio that supposedly “freed” the Traditional Latin Mass by permitting every presbyter of the Vatican II Sect to use the 1962 Missal for the celebration of at least private Masses, we are starting to see a number of articles in the Novus Ordo press about what has been accomplished ten years after Benedict XVI’s landmark decision.

About three months after the release of Summorum Pontificum on July 7, 2007, we published our own critical analysis of the “papal” document we have justly termed a “motu inapproprio“: “One and the Same Rite”? How Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum Aims to Destroy the Traditional Latin Mass.

While many of Benedict’s recognize-and-resist cheerleaders were hailing Summorum Pontificum as a gift from above and were acting as though Pope Ratzinger had just overturned Vatican II, Novus Ordo Watch was among the unpopular few who pointed out that, contrary to the impression a superficial reading of the document might give, Summorum Pontificum was but the latest dangerous ploy [by one ...] who has been undermining Faith and Liturgy pretty much from the beginning of his priesthood (ordained in 1951, the young Fr. Ratzinger was suspected of heresy by the Holy Office during the very same decade).

One of the most obvious blasphemies Benedict XVI’s document contains is the bold, gratuitous, and easily-disproven claim that the traditional Roman rite of Pope St. Pius V and the Modernist Novus Ordo rite of Pope Paul VI are but “two usages of the one Roman rite”. Not only does our response to Summorum Pontificum, linked above, refute this absurd position, it also points out that the celebrated motu proprio appears to contain one of Ratzinger’s favorite tools: Hegelian philosophy.

In a nutshell: The German idealist philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) held the idea that all reality is Absolute Spirit, which manifests itself in world history. History consists of and advances by means of a constant interplay of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. According to Hegel, contradictions (in his terms, a “thesis” being opposed by an “anti-thesis”) are necessary to arrive at a “higher level of truth” (the so-called “synthesis”). This triad is called the Hegelian dialectic, and it repeats itself continuously (with each synthesis becoming a new thesis, which is then opposed by its corresponding antithesis, both of which in turn generate another synthesis, etc.) until it culminates in the Absolute at the end of history. Needless to say, Hegelianism is radically incompatible with Catholicism.

In our 2007 critique of Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, we pointed out that the distinction between “ordinary form” and “extraordinary form” of the “one Roman rite” was just Ratzinger shrewdly utilizing the Hegelian dialectic to diffuse the controversy over the liturgical “reform” of Paul VI. In fact, we believe that Benedict XVI applied Hegel twice to facilitate the imposition of Summorum Pontificum: In the motu proprio itself he used Hegel to advance the “synthesis” of two forms of the one Roman rite to overcome the “thesis” that there are two Roman rites (traditional and Novus Ordo), which is contradicted by the “antithesis” that obviously there is, and can be, only one Roman rite at a time. By saying that both the Novus Ordo liturgy and the traditional liturgy are the Roman rite, just expressed in a different “form” (whatever that means), Ratzinger was able to concede to the traditionalists that the two liturgies are quite different, while at the same time not having to admit that Paul VI created an essentially new rite. The only drawback to this clever synthesis is that it isn’t true, but we will leave that aside for the purposes of this post.

Having thus “resolved” the contradiction between the Traditional Catholic Mass and the Modernist worship service, Benedict then proceeded to the next level, that is, to a new triad: The “ordinary form” of the Roman rite (Novus Ordo) opposes the “extaordinary form” of the Roman rite (traditional), giving rise to a new synthesis, that of a de facto hybrid rite. Benedict did not complete this last step, but he strongly hinted at its validity and laid all the necessary groundwork for it, not in the motu proprio itself but in the accompanying explanatory letter he sent to all the bishops of the Vatican II Sect, in which he maintained that “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal.”

Here the door is opened to allowing the 1962 Missal to become Novus Ordoized to whatever degree “pastoral prudence may suggest”, as Modernist parlance would have it. Modifications to the traditional Roman rite have thus been permitted in principle. Whether this ends up meaning that the indult Mass will soon have proper prayers for the feast of “St. John Paul II”, or whether there will be bidding prayers coming soon, “Communion” in the hand, or altar girls — it’s anyone’s guess, but the point is that nothing can be excluded in principle. Via Hegel, Benedict XVI made sure of that.

Here is how we alluded to Benedict XVI’s Hegelianism in our critique ten years ago:
Quote:Nor does Paul VI here offer to introduce an “ordinary” form of Mass, which has its complement in the “extraordinary” form of the St. Pius V Missal — that’s a distinction that Benedict XVI simply made up in order to “synthesize”, in somewhat Hegelian fashion, the two contradictory ideas that the New Mass replaced the Missal of St. Pius V and that there can be only one Roman rite of Mass at a time. 

…It is no stretch to predict that what will come out of this “co-existence” of the “two forms” of “one and the same rite” will, at the end of the day, result in a total butchering of the 1962 Missal, so that, eventually, Benedict XVI can stop the nonsense of “two forms” of “one rite” and simply synthesize them together (here comes Hegel again), and the result will probably be a New Mass with a bit of Latin and a little more incense, or some sort of a hybrid missal like the one that was already in use in 1965. (“‘One and the Same Rite’?”, Novus Ordo Watch, Oct. 12, 2007)

Whoever thought at the time that our allusions to Hegel were irrelevant or uncalled-for, surely but the result of a deluded sedevacantist mind that should not be taken seriously anyway, will now be disappointed. Our analysis has just recently been vindicated by — drumroll! — a Novus Ordo source: the German writer Martin Mosebach, author of the book The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy, a work popular among non-sedevacantist traditionalists. Published in English by Ignatius Press in 2010, it has been sold by the indult Roman Catholic Books as well as the SSPX’s publishing house, Angelus Press.

On June 2, in view of the upcoming 10-year anniversary, the German Die Tagespost published a lengthy interview with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller and Mr. Martin Mosebach on Summorum Pontificum and the problem of the “liturgical reform” after Vatican II. Mosebach’s response to the question of whether Benedict XVI’s motu proprio fulfilled people’s expectations, confirms that our analysis ten years ago was spot-on:
Quote:Pope Benedict saw his role as that of a reconciler. The adherents of Tradition and the adherents of the progressivist wing [of the Church] both equally hold the view that the Second Vatican Council and the reform of the Mass constitute a genuine rupture with Tradition. It is true that in terms of doctrine the notion of [the Mass as] sacrifice was still being upheld, but in many cases this was no longer true in practice: We now celebrate a meal. Pope Benedict tried to transcend any such confrontation by opting for a hermeneutic of continuity, saying: The old and the new Ordo [=order of Mass] are two different forms of the same rite. That was a bold thesis for anyone who uses his eyes and ears. I view it as a diplomatic formula [which Benedict advanced] to help heal the obvious rupture. Based on this, Pope Benedict then expressed his hope that the old and the new Ordo would be able to influence each other, perhaps in order to arrive at a synthesis of old and new Ordo in accordance with the Hegelian model of dialectics. However, this would require the old Ordo to be celebrated in a great many places — otherwise there could hardly be a fruitful exchange concerning it. Moreover, one would have to accept that the old [rite of] worship cannot change — it would surely then have to be the Novus [=new] Ordo which gradually moves towards the sacredness of tradition so that the commonality of both forms can be recognized. (“‘Liturgie heißt: Gott agiert'”, Die Tagespost, June 2, 2017. Translation by Novus Ordo Watch.)

So there we go: Mosebach has also come to the conclusion that all this talk about two forms of the same rite is just so much Ratzingerian bunk that will ultimately result in a “a synthesis of old and new Ordo in accordance with the Hegelian model of dialectics”.

Alas, Hegel is still alive and well even almost 200 years after his death. The Modernist Nouvelle Theologie (“New Theology”) that emerged in the 1930s and prevailed at Vatican II, of which virtually all Novus Ordo theologians are loyal disciples, especially Joseph Ratzinger, is heavily influenced by Hegel. This is perhaps most evident in its emphasis on history as a proper locus of Sacred Theology, and in what they call “historical theology”. Or think of ecumenism, for example. Its unattainable goal is the “synthesis” of a supposed and as-yet-undefined “Christian unity” that transcends the old “all must convert to Catholicism” theology (thesis) as well as its opposite, the indifferentist “it doesn’t matter what you believe, we’re all Christians” theology (antithesis).

Utilizing the Hegelian dialectic allows Modernists to make themselves appear as mature, sophisticated thinkers who “transcend” the “simplistic” and “outdated” notions of traditional Catholic theology, which they have the intellectual wherewithal to overcome in an “advanced” and “higher” theology. Sound familiar? Once you understand how Hegel works, you will discover that his false philosophy is omnipresent in the Vatican II Church. This is why, by the way, you always hear [Pope]Francis talk about “moving forward.”

As Summorum Pontificum turns 10 years old on July 7, countless “traditional Catholics” will be celebrating. [...] Too comfortable are the traditional externals to which they can attach themselves so easily while remaining under the auspices of the Vatican II Church, thanks in large part to their hero, Benedict XVI — and thanks to his hero, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
The SiSiNoNo's 'They Think They've Won!' series, later republished by the SSPX, is but one example that adroitly highlights and exposes how pervasive Hegelian dialectics are found throughout the writings of the 'architects' of Modernism and Vatican II. Indeed, Hegel's name can be found 17 times throughout that one particular eight-part series. 

That great defender of the Faith, Fr. Garriou-Lagrange has this to say about the application of Hegel's dialectics: 

Quote:"Thus does this new Christology suppose that the material world has evolved towards the spirit, and the spiritual world has evolved naturally, so to speak, toward the supernatural order as well as towards the plenitude of Christ. Thus the Incarnation of the Word, the Mystical Body and the Universal Christ are to be understood as moments or stages of Evolution…This is all that remains of Christian Dogmas in that theory which seeks to destroy our Creed in the same measure that it favors Hegelian evolutionism" (La Nouvelle Theologie: ou va-t-elle?).

Also exposed in that series is how Hegelian logic created a flowering of the false ecumenism we see rampant everywhere, particularly in the writings of Urs von Balthasar: 

Only out of Hegel's "philosophical delirium," could the present-day ecumenical delirium be born. The truth is that with the above‑mentioned key in hand, it is now possible to discern and comprehend all of von Balthasar's enigmas as well as today's brand of ecumenism of which he is the "master" and "author." We also now see, in fact, why in the ecumenical dialogue "only one thing remains: we must rely on the various Church and theological structures and rivalries between them" (Figure et Oeuvre, p.417).

It is the necessary interplay of opposites which alone leads to synthesis:
Quote:"If this formula is to be taken to heart... we must rely... on rivalries," writes von Balthasar, "it will require much from those who struggle in a Christian way for catholicity: they should make it a point of attaching themselves [Catholics as well as non­ Catholics] to no particular system which a priori we would consider to be all encompassing, offering the widest perspective and leaving behind any opposing points of view" (ibid. quoted by Aunspruch auf Katholizitat, p.66).

This encompassing of all will only be attributed to the "Catholic" position, which will constitute the synthesis, and will not be attributed to any of the presently existing systems (including today's Catholic "system"), which are simply theses and antitheses destined to be overreached by utterly vanishing into a synthesis. [Think again about then-Pope Benedict XVI's theses and antitheses (the traditional Roman Rite of Mass vs. the Novus Ordo Rite) 'utterly vanishing into a synthesis' of a hybrid Mass - the groundwork for which was laid in Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum. - The Catacombs]

Of the "systems" presently in place, only two things are asked: on the one hand, in order to favor or facilitate the synthesis, "the slackening and thawing" of their own fixed stand regarding a point of view excluding opposite points of view; on the other, "competition," that is, the promotion of "rivalry" between systems, including those "anonymous forms of Christianity" (ibid. pp.69‑70). [Again here, a 'thawing' of rigidity when it comes to the Traditional Rite of Mass with a concomitant 'rivalry' with the Novus Ordo Mass... to enable a synthesis of a hybrid Mass. - The Catacombs]

In fact, what is known as the synthesis springs forth as a result of the interplay of opposites. All of this remains incomprehensible to Aristotelian‑Thomistic logic, which, unlike Hegelian logic, is the logic of common sense.

Now we are in a position to understand why the present day ecumenism (take Assisi for example) puts the various "religions" on an equal footing, while at the same time separating them ("we do not want anything to do with syncretism" ‑ and this is true.) This ecumenism exhorts Buddhists to be good Buddhists, Catholics to be good Catholics (according to the New Theology, of course!), Protestants to be good Protestants, etc.

Thus are "competition," the interplay of "rivalries," of contradictions and of oppositions deemed essential in that process leading to the Ecumenical Super‑Church, the "catholic" synthesis of all the world's religions wherein only the contradictions and oppositions will become obsolete and disappear. [Again we see the groundwork being laid for a One-World Religion through the application of Hegelian logic.  - The Catacombs]
Archbishop Viganò too has exposed the heavy influence of Hegelian logic employed by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI - apparent once again in his resignation and creation of the title 'Pope Emeritus'. The following is an excerpt from an interview given by Archbishop Viganò to Radio Spada, March 11, 2021:

Archbishop ViganòMany acts of the government of Benedict XVI are in line with the conciliar ideology, of which the theologian Ratzinger was always a staunch and convinced supporter. His Hegelian philosophical approach led him to apply the thesis-antithesis-synthesis scheme in the Catholic context, for example, by considering the documents of Vatican II (thesis) and the excesses of the post-conciliar period (antithesis) things to be reconciled in his famous “hermeneutics of continuity” (synthesis); nor is the invention of the Emeritus Papacy an exception, where between being Pope (thesis) and no longer being Pope (antithesis), the compromise was chosen to remain Pope only in part (synthesis). The same mens [mind, mentality] lay behind the decision to liberalize the traditional liturgy, while flanking it with its conciliar counterpart in an attempt not to upset either the proponents of the liturgical revolution or the defenders of the venerable Tridentine rite.

The problem is therefore of an intellectual, ideological matrix: it emerges every time the Bavarian theologian wanted to give a solution to the crisis that afflicts the Church: on all these occasions his academic formation influenced by the thought of Hegel believed he could put opposites together. I have no reason to doubt that Benedict XVI desired, in his own way, to make a gesture of reconciliation with the hopes of Catholic traditionalism; nor that he is not aware of the disastrous situation in which the ecclesial body finds itself. But the only way to restore the Church is by following the Gospel, with a supernatural gaze and with the awareness that Good and Evil, by God’s decree, cannot be put together in an unreal juste milieu [happy medium] but that they are and remain irreconcilable and opposed, and that serving two masters ends up making them both unhappy.

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