Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Woozle And The Fish

Luise "Woozle" Rinser
It is an image out of sync with the persona of a German academic: Jesuit Fr. Karl Rahner on his knees before a woman, overwhelmed with gratitude for his love, for a passionate relationship with a 51-year-old widow and two-time divorcee that would produce some 4,000 letters between 1962 and Rahner's death in 1984. Rahner, considered by many to be the 20th century's most creative Catholic theologian, was 58 when German novelist Luise Rinser played the image back to him in a letter dated Aug. 10, 1962. "My Fish, truly beloved, I cannot express how shaken I was as you knelt before me," she wrote. "You were kneeling before the Love that you are experiencing and before which I also kneel in amazement, in reverence, with trembling and with an exultation that I hardly dare to allow myself to feel. We are both touched in the innermost part of our being by something that is much stronger than we anticipated."
The passage is from letters that Rinser wrote to Rahner over the 22 years of their relationship. Published in German, the letters hold a particular fascination for Pamela Kirk, a theologian who teaches at St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. While there has been virtually no public discussion of the letters in the United States, she has delivered two papers on the Rinser-Rahner relationship at the Catholic Theological Society of America.
As the relationship progressed, Rahner was petulant, reproachful, wanting greater loyalty from Rinser, who warned him that another man, a Benedictine abbot and her spiritual director, took priority over Rahner in her affections. All three parties to this apparently celibate love triangle -- Rinser, Rahner and "M.A.," as she refers to the abbot, connected at Rinser's second home near Rome during the Second Vatican Council. The abbot was a council participant, Rahner a theological adviser, Rinser correspondent for a German Catholic newspaper. At times during their 22-year relationship, Rahner wrote Rinser three or four letters a day. The couple called each other by nicknames: hers "Wuhschel," the German rendering for the Woozle character in A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh (a nickname first given to Rinser by her two sons); his "Fish" for its double meaning: symbol of Christianity and Pisces, the sign Rahner was born under on March 5, 1904.
Fr. Karl "Fish" Rahner, S.J.
Link (here) to National Catholic Reporter


Anonymous said...

What is the point of this posting? Are you insinuating that this Jesuit was somehow unfaithful to his vows? Please, stay with ideas, good and bad, that affect all of us, leave out gossip.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 8:28

Maria said...

Rahner did not believe that Christ instituted the priesthood on Holy Thursday. He did not believe that Christ insituted the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday. He did not believe in the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. On these grounds, the priesthood is wholly unecessary. Hence, priests are "presiders". Lesbian nuns can be your spiritual directors and lead you in the spiritual exerciese. The Eucharist is just a symbol. We know what Flannery O'Connor had to say on this subject/ So, no need to genuflect. And, we can just put the tabernacles in the storge closet and eliminate adoration altogether. It is for simpletons, as we all know. He did not believe in Adam, or original sin, or an infinite God, or in the Immanculate Conception. If there is no orginal sin then we have no need of confession or reconcilliation. He believed in "anonymous Christianity". This is the idea that we are Chrisitans even when we ourselves don't know that we are, or want or care to be. One religion is as good as another. Abortion and contraception. No problem. So, by the time he is done w/ Catholisim, as he understands it, exactly what is it about Rahner that is Catholic. Peope wonder why people have abandoned the faith? He fed all of this hertical nonsense to the Society who in turns fed it to everyone within their ambit.

Should we be suprised to learn that Rahner was swept into the vortex of some pathologically obsessive relatioship w/ a twice divorced woman? Nope.

There were hundreds and hundreds of letters he sent Risner. In this context, we might consider one of the features of Ignatian spirituality, as described by Fr. Hardon SJ:

"The Latin expression is tantum quantum because it's in the Latin that Ignatius finally learned. It's in the Spiritual Exercises and the phrase occurs in this context: Ignatius is talking about the creatures that God put into the world. They are all intended to help us reach our destiny but, needless to say, not all creatures are equally good or serviceable. Some are better; some are not so good. In fact, though in themselves some are good, they may be bad for me.

I'm a married man. She is somebody else's wife. No matter how attractive that creature may be, she is not for me. So Ignatius in that context – and this is the opening of the Spiritual Exercises – he tells the followers of Christ to study, scrutinize, screen the creatures in their lives down to the last thought on my mind or impulse in my will and to use creatures only tantum quantum, which means "in so far as."

In so far as what?

In so far as they help me reach my destiny. There is a military logic about Ignatius' thinking. Creatures are put into our lives but before we start swimming in them ask yourself, "which of these is better than others?" Which, in fact, should be skipped entirely. Which perhaps I may have become encumbered with and he uses the verb, "I must rid myself of," note tantum quantum. He used creatures "in so far as" they help you reach the destiny for which God made you and, logically, avoid them, get rid of them, sacrifice them, escape them in so far as they hinder you in your pursuit of your heavenly goal."

It looks like Rahner never asked himself whether it was apporpriate for him,as a priest, to involve himself with Risner in the manner that he did; however, his involvement w/ this woman seems besides this point, after his systematic dismantling of Catholicism and the destruction of people's faith.

Anonymous said...

"This is not a fr Hardon blog."

True, but that doesn't stop Maria. She is strangely silent about the good father's criminal coverup of a sexual predator.

Anonymous said...


Maria said...

After his ordination, Fr. Hardon was sent for two years of special doctoral studies in theology to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Hardon was appointed director of the graduate library as well. He suffered greatly when asked by his superior to personally retrieve all of the heretical volumes which had been borrowed by graduate students. Hardon writes, “Before I had retrieved one-half of the heretical books, I had become the agent of orthodoxy and therefore the sworn enemy of the modernists, who were updating the Catholic faith to its modernist theology. I had doors slammed in my face. I lost friends whom I had considered believers,”[6] he grieved. He further comments:

The lessons I learned were invaluable. … It taught me that the faith I had so casually learned could be preserved only by the price of a living martyrdom. This faith, I was to find out, is a precious treasure that cannot be preserved except at a heavy price. The price is nothing less than to confess what so many others either openly or covertly denied.”[7]

Father Hardon received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from the Gregorian University in 1951, with a dissertation entitled, A Comparative Study of Bellarmine’s Doctrine on the Relation of Sincere Non-Catholics to the Catholic Church. He later commented, “I could not have chosen a better subject in preparation for a lifetime of teaching Catholic doctrine.”[8] He pronounced his final vows in the Society of Jesus on February 2, 1953, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Fr. Hardon then began an illustrious teaching career, spanning both centuries and continents. He served as an associate professor of Fundamental Theology at West Baden College, Indiana, from 1951-62, and as an associate professor of Religion at Western Michigan University from 1962-67. Hardon was then sent to teach as a professor of Fundamental Theology at Bellarmine School of Theology, in North Aurora, Illinois, and Chicago from 1968-73. In 1973, he became a research professor at the Jesuit School of Theology in North Aurora. From 1974-88, he taught as a professor of Advanced Studies in Catholic doctrine at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, and served as a visiting professor of Comparative Religion at St. Paul University, in Ottawa, Canada, from 1968-74. Fr. Hardon also taught as professor at the Notre Dame Institute, a Pontifical catechetical institute, in Virginia, from 1981-90.

In all of these years, Fr. Hardon never wavered in his orthodoxy and loyalty to the teaching of the Magisterium. As he noted about his teaching years in his Spiritual Autobiography:

All these years of remaining faithful to the Catholic Church in spite of widespread opposition to what I believed, these were the years when I learned clearly and deeply that to remain a bonafide Catholic teacher of Catholic Doctrine was, honestly, the most demanding enterprise of my whole life.[9]

Maria said...

Throughout his life, Fr. Hardon was a confessor and spiritual director, offering with tireless generosity to those who sought it. He became the Vice President of the Institute on Religious Life, and a director of countless retreats for priests and religious. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Catholic Voice of America, Inc. In his widespread work in pastoral care, Fr. Hardon’s emphasis was on the importance of prayer. As he noted, “I doubt if there is any element in man’s relationship with God that is more important than prayer.”[10]...

Among the dozens of books authored by Fr. Hardon on the topics of religion and theology, his most defining works include his authorship of The Catholic Catechism (1975). This work stands as a significant contribution to Catholic orthodoxy, written at the request of His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, with whom Fr. Hardon had a close working relationship. Fr. Hardon also wrote the Modern Catholic Dictionary (1980), a detailed Catholic reference dictionary. He served as the executive editor of The Catholic Faith magazine, editor of Gospel Witness, and a contributing editor of Challenge magazine, London and Canada. Fr. Hardon also served as a consultant for the drafting of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, edited by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) and promulgated by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II in 1992.

I will stop here.

Anonymous said...

the Magisterium can eat chick-fil-a

Anonymous said...

"His Holiness," Pope John Paul II also harbored criminal like Fr hardon

Maria said...

Fr. Hardon, to the TOWER,lol.

Anonymous said...

maria LOL is a comment meant to be used by people who are cool - you are corny

Anonymous said...

fr Hardon is useless - the more i read his BS the more he sounds like an EWTN blowbag

Maria said...

"He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant."

Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Feast Day August 2

bill bannon said...

Either you or Bishop Amato of the CDF at that time, early 2000's, is in danger of slander or sinful flattery respectively. He called Rahner an
" orthodox theologian" at the Lateran retrospective of Rahner's theological work to John Allen. Easily googled. Rahner wrote in such a prolix manner that one would have to quote him extensively to judge him on any issue because a latter paragraph could correct a mistaken impression.
One thing is certain. Either you or Bishop Amato of
the Vatican are in danger of slander or flattery respectively. Both of you can't be correct.

L1011 said...

It is important that Fr. Rahner's positions and actions be evaluated in there totality. It is disordered thinking and action to have this obviously detrimental relationship. He may or may not have broken his vow/gift of celibacy, however his actions were not helpful to Luise Rinser who needed pastoral leadership from Fr. Rahner.

Maria said...

Karl Rahner defamed the Church and destroyed his own reputation. He needs no help from me.