Saturday, April 5, 2014

Antonio Rosmini Pope's "Mystery 'Blessed?'"

Antonio Rosmini -- Heretic to Blessed

Is the "mystery 'Blessed'" alluded to in Pope Francis' Friday homily Antonio Rosmini? He would seem to fit: a thinker whose works were placed on the Index, but was apparently just ahead of his time. He wrote The Five Wounds of the Church, and  The Constitution for Social Justice. He was rehabilitated, became a favorite of Pope John Paul II, and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.

"How is it that he who was yesterday a heretic is today a blessed of the Church?" asked Pope Francis. 

How indeed, wonders the Bear. (He also wonders if the subtext is that the Church can change her mind, or "repent" of her errors, to use Pope Francis' word.)

"Those who had the power wanted to silence him because they did not like what he was saying," explained Pope Francis.

If Rosmini, that would have been Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII, reasonably trustworthy fellows in the Bear's estimation. Pope Leo condemned no less than 40 propositions, although after Rosmini had been silenced already by death. The theology makes a poor Bear's head hurt, but there do seem to be issues. Again, it is Pope Benedict, not Pope Francis, who owns Rosmini, however, from his rehabilitation by the CDF, through his beatification as Pope.

"Today the Church, who, thanks be to God knows repent [sic] says, 'No, this man is good!'" said Pope Francis.

Pope Francis' overall theme was how prophets get persecuted when they preach truth to the people of God. "Prophets fight against those who put the Holy Spirit in a cage," the Pope said, returning to a familiar theme.

Nor was Friday's homily without its moment of familiar Franciscan puzzlement. The Pope said there are more martyrs today because "they proclaim Christ Jesus to a worldly society in love with ease and desirous of avoiding problems."

Martyrdom is not a First World Problem. Christians might get run out of their jobs, or sued, but they are unlikely to face beheadings or firing squads or be suicide bombed at Mass. Not every evil can be laid at the feet of The Rich West. Our sister Abrahamic religion is probably responsible for most actual Christian martyrdoms, although the not-so-admirable sort of Marxist might teach it a thing or two.

The homily is short, and worth a look in light of recent discussions. Notice how much the Pope speaks about prophets, and often sounds like one himself. You can follow him, after all, but its a full-time job!

Now that he's solved the puzzle, the Bear would like his fish, please.

UPDATE: a quick search this morning on Google reveals speculation from a couple of other sources that Antonio Rosmini is indeed our man. There are also a couple of good comments [thanks williams2057 and wewjude] that go more into detail about Rosmini's errors. There are a number of good resources online if you want to get into the nitty gritty, i.e. enjoy reading about ontology, whatever that is.

Dodgy Christology, pantheism and the Lutheran error of consubstantiation, according to critics; brilliant thinker persecuted for not hewing to the Thomistic party line, according to admirers. Bears do not understand such things.

Ironically, it was the Jesuits who were his chief "persecutors." Pope Francis is the third pope in a row to publicly admire Rosmini. The sedevacantists are going to have a field day with this one.


  1. “…the real reason behind this “superseding” of the 40 condemned propositions of Rosmini (which occurred under Pope Leo XIII) is the attempt to supersede the metaphysics of St. Thomas and, especially, to change the meaning of the Catholic dogma of Transubstantiation…the Rosmini rehabilitation is the attempt to change our whole metaphysical understanding of reality by changing the way we understand the Eucharist…”

    The Rosmini Rehabilitation - When To Be is Not To Be
    by James Larson

  2. Also read...

    The Heart of Betrayal Introduction: The New Theology
    by James Larson


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