Augustinian Benedict Points to Thomism, but as you say he is a Confused Thinker unlike Francis who is a Pure Modernist & the COVID
The doctrinal position of Luther on predestination and original sin was greatly influenced by what Augustine wrote. He completely agreed with Augustine on the principle of sola gratia, that a person reached heaven solely by the grace of God, and without any necessary or possible contribution on the part of the person concerned. Luther wrote that human pursuits after salvation and righteousness are unable to cause election, and therefore man receives no merit. The human will has no ability to thwart the sovereign purposes of God.
For the elect, proclaims Luther, predestination is "the sweetest of all doctrines," but to carnal persons it is "the bitterest and hardest of all." For Luther predestination and original sin were essential theological tenets, ensuring comfort and hope for the believer who had been rescued by the Sovereign grace (gratia in Latin) of God.
In summary, it has been said that the mainline Protestant Reformation can be considered an acute "Augustinianization" of Christian belief, a hallowing of the theological thought of Augustine more extensively than the Roman Catholic Church has done either before the Protestant Reformation or afterwards. - Augnet [http://www.augnet.org/en/history/people/4341-martin-luther/4344-luther-and-augustine/]
Lately, the Catholic Monitor has notices that even some traditionalist Catholics are relying on St. Augustine's teachings more than on St. Thomas Aquinas, "the supreme model of Christian philosophy" as Pope Leo the XIII declared him. It might be helpful to share a correspondence I had on problems with Augustine with a mentor of mine, James Larson, last year before he pasted away:
Getting back to the sometimes confused philosophical teachings of Augustine and some who claim he is their mentor.
The heresies that denied free will were Protestantism and Jansenist which proclaim that their teachings came from Augustine.
Might a promoter of banning and limiting the Mass, because of the COVID, One Peter Five publisher Steve Skojec be infected with the heresy of Jansenism?
The heresies of semi-Protestant Jansenism and the semi-Protestant Modernism of the Nouvelle theologie school, that dominated the proceedings of Vatican II, claimed to be returning to the "early Church" teachings of Augustine and others.
Jansenism emphasized pessimism due to original sin and predestination as did Calvinism and Lutheranism with the denial of free will.
One of the main tenets of Jansenism was
that Holy Communion shouldn't be received frequently. In the early
twentieth century, Pope Pius X, the hammer of Modernist heretics,
condemned this tenet and endorsed frequent Communion.
It appears that Skojec agrees with the Jansenist heretics and opposes Saint Pope Pius X's endorsement of frequent Communion.
In a podcast of Rules for Retrograde, Dave (although it might have been Tim because their voices are similar), in a conversion about the "early Church" and why apparently because of original sin infrequent Communion was seemingly good for the reason of the veneration due to the Eucharist, said:
"The frequent reception of the Eucharist, as Steve [Skojec] I think was speaking about in the Mike Church Show, the frequent reception of the Eucharist is a really relatively new thing."
(Rules for Retrograde (Tim Gordon & Dave Gordon), R4R#43: Coronavirus & Catholicism w/ Steve Skojec," March 20, 2020, 18:00-18:11)
Theologian Jessica Murdoch of Villanova University quotes Pope Pius X saying this type of thinking is Jansenistic:
"'[T]he poison of Jansenism, which had infected... under the appearance of honor and veneration due to the Eucharist, has by no means entirely disappeared'... this same pontiff declared: 'Let frequent and daily communion... be available to all Christians... it is enough, nevertheless, that they be free from mortal sins, with the resolution that they never sin in the future.'"
(First Things, "A Pessimism that would Canonize All'" February 21, 2017)
Jansenist's pessimism led them to say that Holy Communion shouldn't be received frequently because they thought like Luther and Calvin that man had no free will to cooperate with God's grace to overcome mortal sin and make a "resolution that they never sin in the future."
Apparently, Francis by his Lutheran/Calvinist denial of free will affirms the semi-Protestant heresy of Jansenism which denied love for "love under compulsion is hardly love." It appears that Francis "removes the very essence of love—freedom."
"Thus the Jansenists reduced morality to meaninglessness. There is no hope here—one inescapably acts according to a delectation that does not in any way correspond to one’s free will. Both merit and damnation are possible without true freedom."
"By rendering the will passive, Jansenius removes the very essence of love—freedom. For love under compulsion is hardly love. In the view of Jansenius, our storm-tossed souls merely crest and fall with no possibility of self-control. The upshot: Sin is ultimately God’s fault, rather than ours, because God could place the irresistible love of virtue in our souls, yet chooses not to."
"... But [Francis's Amoris Laetitia Lutheran/Calvinist and Jansenist] moral and anthropological pessimism do not do justice to God’s mercy. For God’s superabundant mercy extends to redemption in Christ, who takes on our very nature in the hypostatic union and truly sanctifies our nature interiorly. By sanctifying us in a startlingly intimate way, the merciful God creates love in us—makes us lovable, draws our hearts into his own, and makes us fully free and capable of living the Christian life with vigor and joy. The moral norms of the Church are grounded, therefore, in what we might call a supernatural realism. Contrary to the sentiments of our age, realism is not found in an anthropological pessimism that settles for the 'grey' of continually 'missing the mark' and denies God’s transformative love. Rather, through faith we know that God’s grace makes us capable of virtue, even at times heroic virtue, as we see in the lives of the saints, who we might say are the most real among us."
"We are, indeed, plagued by a new sort of Jansenism, one rooted in presumption rather than despair. The 'old' Jansenism arose from both anthropological and theological despair—the Catholic absorption of total depravity, and the loss of hope in the possibility of salvation. Ironically, those who criticize the four cardinals—and anyone who believes that Amoris Laetitia is in need of clarification—often fall into a new form of Jansenism. This 'new' Jansenism is marked by a similar pessimism with respect to human nature—total depravity under a new name, whether 'weakness' or 'woundedness' or 'greyness.' And like what preceded it, the new Jansenism articulates a loss of hope in the power of grace to regenerate the soul. The difference is that the new Jansenism tends towards presumption. Whereas the Jansenism of old despaired that anyone could really be loved by God, be good enough to receive Holy Communion, or be saved, its newer version has so little faith in the power of God to change hearts that it presumes God does not care for something so insignificant as the human heart. No, God is too busy to care about my paltry sins. None are loved personally as they are, but rather all are loved in a great, amorphous mass of humanity that could not but be saved. One need not be in a state of grace to receive Holy Eucharist, because the state of grace is not a real possibility for most people."
"At first blush, the new Jansenism sounds encouraging—none are guilty, all are saved! In truth, however, a pessimism that would canonize all is only a shade less pessimistic than one that would condemn all to hell. As St. Thomas notes, both despair and presumption are sins against hope."
Is it possible the Jansenistic pessimism against receiving Holy Communion frequently has infected Skojec because of his fear of death from the COVID?
Remember that Murdoch in writing the above said she thought that the Francis document "Amoris Laetitia... often fall[s] into a new form of Jansenism":
"At first blush, the new Jansenism sounds encouraging - none are guilty, all are saved! In truth, however, a new pessimism that would canonize all is only a shade less pessimistic than one that would condemn all to hell. As, St. Thomas noted, both despair and presumption are sins against hope."
Theologian Dr. Lawrence Feingold explains the Lutheran sin against the theological virtue of Hope which is presumption:
"[T]he original doctrine of Luther presumed to be certain of salvation without the necessity of contrition."
(Course Notes for Fundamental Moral Theology, December 2009, Page 160)
Why is Hope called a theological virtue?
"Hope is termed a theological virtue because its immediate object is God."
(Catholic Encyclopedia: New Advent, "Hope")
It may be that for Francis and Skojec in their obsession with the COVID that their "immediate object is [not] God," but their "immediate object is" fear of death" since they apparently think the new virus is supposedly the new Black Plague.
As St. Athanasius said the real "disciple of Christ despise death... instead of fearing it."
Note on this post: After the above was posted, the Catholic Monitor received an email from a scholar who assumed that the quote from the Augnet website was the "base premise" of the piece. It was not the premise, but an example of what many Protestant and Catholic theologians appear to think. The premise of the post was as the scholar Fr. William Most has shown that St. Augustine's thought on a number of issues can lead to problematic teachings if not looked at from the prism of St. Thomas Aquinas' teachings and Revelation.
of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt
the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church
in such a situation:
"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
- LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial
weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"
- On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."
- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
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