Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Who Said It Quiz

Catholics enjoy an "exalted status."

1. The Council of Trent
2. Pope Francis
3. Vatican II
4. St. Josemaria Escriva

Answers in the combox, please. Winners will enjoy a day-long time-traveling excursion* to the year 1956 and a general audience with His Holiness Pius XII, followed by marmalade sandwiches with the Bear in the Villa Borghese Gardens.** (Also they will appear smarter than the other participants.)


*Subject to availability of practical time travel. Safety not guaranteed. Not responsible for time paradoxes like running over your own father and preventing your own birth.

** Subject to Bear's ability to elude capture by carabiniari  and not consuming all the marmalade sandwiches himself.


  1. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

    I Googled it, so can only take partial credit.

  2. Seriously? You GOOGLED it, and expect "partial credit?" My, aren't we the optimistic one, Elizabeth. Just for that, you get to travel back to 1938 in an UNTESTED prototype for a private meeting with HANS KUNG. And while you're there, you must persuade, by any means necessary, no matter how long it takes, the 10-year-old Kung to be a Volkswagen repairman. Oh, and, warn FDR to get all of our BATTLESHIPS out of Pearl Harbor before December 7, 1941. The Bear has every confidence in you, Elizabeth.

    The temporal dislocation field already has a fix on your IP Address. Try to stay as close to your computer as possible over the next few days. See you in 78 (for you) years. Don't worry, we'll probably have Mark II ready before then, and figure out something about locating your time signature for return earlier than 78 years.

    Imagine the excitement of living through the historic years of WWII, the Cold War, Beatlemania and Vatican II ! The Bear almost envies you, but, then again, he did live through those years, and has no wish to revisit them.

    1. I plead that your original post had no restriction regarding Google (I did check that, actually, and was surprised by the omission).

      However, going back to 1938 sounds appealing, despite the required meeting with Hans Kung (particularly difficult since my German is minimal). I lived through all but the first 11 of those years, and it would be interesting (possibly in the Chinese sense) to try a do-over. Of course, if the Mark II is not available I doubt I will live to see you again.

    2. Still here? Hmmm... I'm sure the transducers are just warming up. And of course you'll see me again! I was in a nearby circus in 1938 at your target coordinates! (Why do you think we're not sending you to Buenos Aires?) Just explain it all to the exceptionally clever Bear in the circus and I will provide all needed assistance. Bring salmon.

  3. I'll say (3) Vatican II, Bear. Is "exalted status" in the original language or is it a rendering from Latin or Spanish?

  4. "All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged."

    1. The only person LG unequivocally sends to Hell is a Catholic who falls away. LG is a mess. Yet, to the extent a lengthy, gaseous, compromise document without a single anathema, and thus representing the Church "thinking out loud" in a pastoral council during the middle of the 20th century demands the Bear's duty to study it and understand it he accepts it.

    2. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Bear, but did I get 'exalted status' right or no? There was insufficient foundation laid for your little snipe hunt...or maybe there was.

    3. Yes, you got it right. There's sort of a point that Vatican II per se was not the source of our problems. I'm surprised you haven't gone back to 1956 yet. Hey, imagine the surprise as you lucky winners notice other oddly-dressed people and make the connection!

    4. Whadda ya mean not gone back to 1956 yet? Speaking of all things VII and of later vintage, two songs by The Platters from 1956 keep playing in the background of my thoughts these days, i.e. 'The Great Pretender' and 'My Prayer'.

      Of course there's always 'Que Sera Sera' though its too defeatist for my liking.

    5. Your Honor, has it escaped your attention that the prize is a trip back to 1956 for a general audience with Pope Pius XII and afterwards marmalade sandwiches with the Bear in the Villa Borghese Park? Of course it hasn't. Please forgive me. Perhaps Your Honor meant that you DID travel to 1956, but have already returned, although that is unforeseen, because, frankly, we're still working out the bugs on the return to present day.

      Sadly, the first is inapposite, and the second is cold comfort.

    6. Well, Bear, I should say that my sojourn through 1956, albeit at the age of 7 and under the example of an orthodox Catholic family and tutelage of some rather theologically and pedagogically astute nuns, set the immutable baseline for the manner in which I would strive to live my life thereafter.

      And though I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death many times until the present moment, I have not abandoned the armour and weaponry I was given in 1956, though I did have to accustom myself to it through trial and error.

  5. Bear,
    I did not cheat (yet). Your challenge reminds me of the Iocaine powder scene from The Princess Bride--one of the top 10 best movies of all time. Viz (that's lawyer talk, as I understand it, meaning "lookit here"):

    VIZZINI: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet, or his enemy's? [pauses to study the MAN IN BLACK] Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I'm not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

    So, the phrase is clearly orthodox which means that Trent or St. Escriva are the obvious choices. But, is this a Bear-induced trick? If so, Vatican II and Pope Francis should be selected. Now, Occam's Razor suggests that the orthodox answer should be selected. But, you have been a practicing criminal coddler for many years and so you are used to lying to Judge and jury to help murderers escape justice. Therefore, you have deceived us. I make my choice--Vatican II.
    The Troll

    1. Hilarious. Since you did not cheat, you will indeed be time-travelling for a general audience with Pope Pius XII in 1956 by means of our most reliable equipment. Please stay close to your computer for the next few days as we use your IP Address to get a fix on your time signature. Since it has not been tested on trolls, you may experience some temporal variation up to 5000 - 60,000,000 years. Good luck!

    2. Yes, but if you remember in the Princess Bride, the poison was in both cups, In this case, both Trent and St. Escriva said that Catholics enjoy an exalted status, though perhaps in different words.

      In the case of Trent, the status is so exalted, that non-Catholics should despair. In particular, from the Catechism of Trent: “The most Holy Roman Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her".

      WRT St. Escriva, the entire mission of Opus Dei is to highlight the exalted status and to ensure that none take it for granted.

      Unfortunately, I haven't found a reference to Pope Francis stating that Catholics have an exalted status, so perhaps that cup is safe to drink.

  6. No offense to any sedevacantists that may or may not be out there, as they are welcome and their comments are often good. But the rule here is that we don't go there. Just plain old vanilla Roman Catholic Church here. Having said that, the Bear does not blame anyone for trying.

  7. In case it is not clear, the Vatican II document "Lumen Gentium" contained the excerpted language.

  8. Pope Francis is the best friend the sedevcantists have. I suspect that every time he opens his mouth their numbers increase.

    My (conservative Novus Ordo) point of view is under severe pressure, not least because I can't understand why those I look to for guidance seem to grin and bear it.


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