Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fr. Alfonso Llano Escobar, S.J. Silenced By The Superior General For Writing This Article About The Holy Fathers New Book

The Infancy of Jesus. That’s the title of the third volume of the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth by theologian Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. It has been published in nine languages, including Spanish, and will be published in a first global edition of one million copies. With a series of articles in the press and interviews on radio and television, I would like to guide readers of this book by the Pope, which offers a special difficulty — the virginity of Mary — which will give theologians and the media a lot to talk about.

To begin with, the latter are wondering why the Pope is going back to a point that seems now passé, namely, Mary’s virginity. Answer: for three reasons, one of which is obvious, and that is that theologian Ratzinger set out to write a trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth. He had already taken care of Jesus’ public life and his Passion, death, and Resurrection. He lacked this third volume, already announced, about Jesus’ infancy. And now he does it, a subject that necessarily leads him to talk about Mary’s virginity. Second, because Jesus is the central figure in the Catholic faith, and it’s the Pope’s duty to preach Jesus whether it’s convenient or inconvenient, in good times and bad, as Saint Paul advises Timothy (2 Tim 4:2). Third, because the subject of Mary’s virginity is being revisited by some Catholic theologians and requires clarification.

Talking about Jesus isn’t easy, because he’s a mystery, the central mystery of the Catholic faith, which confesses that Jesus is true (son of) man and true (son of) God. This double reality implies a double birth. Saint Paul, in the letter to the Philippians tells us that Jesus was a common man (Phil 2:6-7). Saint Matthew, the same one who tells us about Jesus’ divine conception (1:26), presents Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph (13:53 ff.) and with several brothers and sisters. It’s appropriate to clarify that, in the judgment of North American Catholic biblical scholar John Meier, who has studied the problem in depth, in the four Gospels it’s about real blood brothers of Jesus (A Marginal Jew, I, 341). It’s time to leave behind the fairy tale that they’re Jesus’ cousins. This assumption is argued to safeguard Mary’s corporal virginity. The Pope cites the work of this great biblical scholar several times in his trilogy, without contradicting his interpretation of the corporal non-virginity of Mary. 
So that the Pope’s position in this third volume can be understood, it’s useful to take into account that in theology there are two complementary ways to get to Jesus: a descending way, which is the one the Pope follows, and that the first four councils followed, which leans on John 1:14: “The Word became man”, a way that emphasizes Jesus’ divinity, as the Pope does; and the other way is ascending, which was the historical way, that starts with the man Jesus and ends with his exaltation as Son of God, according to which Mary had a big family. 
In sum: the reader of this work by Ratzinger will find the affirmation of Mary’s virginity. Given that the Pope follows the descending path in this work, he emphasizes his divinity, which gives rise to the theological virginity of Mary (Mt 1:26) and silences his humanity, whose origin isn’t virginal (Mt 13:53 ff). In other words: Mary conceived the Son of God virginally, in the theological sense, without the intervention of Joseph, as is narrated in Matthew 1:26, by the work of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, as mother of Jesus the man, just like us, she conceived him through an act of love with her legal spouse, Joseph, with whom she had four sons and several daughters (Mt 13:53 ff).

Let’s wait for the book and talk more knowledgeably.

Link (here) to read the whole story surrounding this article by Fr. Alfonso Llano Escobar, S.J.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

St. Ignatius would not be pleased. From the Autobiography of St. Ignatius:

While he journeyed on, a Saracen [Pg 33]mounted on a horse came up with him. In the course of the conversation mention was made of the Blessed Virgin.

The stranger remarked that though he admitted that the Mother of Christ had conceived without detriment to her virginal purity, yet he could not believe that after the conception of her divine Son she was still a virgin.

He was so obstinate in holding this opinion, that no amount of reasoning on the part of Ignatius could force him to abandon it.

Shortly afterward the Saracen rode on, leaving the pilgrim to his own reflections. These were not of the most peaceful nature. He was sorely troubled as he thought over the conduct of his recent fellow-traveler, and felt that he had but poorly acquitted himself of his duty of honoring the Mother of God.

The longer his mind thought upon the matter, the more his soul was filled with indignation against [Pg 34]himself for having allowed the Saracen to speak as he had done of the Blessed Virgin, and for the lack of courage he fancied he had shown in not at once resenting the insult.

He consequently felt impelled by a strong impulse to hasten after him and slay the miscreant for the insulting language he had used.

After much internal conflict with these thoughts, he still remained in doubt, nor could he decide what course to follow. The Saracen, who had ridden on, had mentioned to him that it was his intention to proceed to a town not far distant from the highroad.

At length, Ignatius, wearied by his inward struggle and not arriving at any determination, decided to settle all his doubts in the following novel way: he would give free rein to his horse, and if, on coming to the cross-road, his horse should turn into the path that led to the destination of the Moor, he would pursue him and kill him; [Pg 35]but if his horse kept to the highroad he would allow the wretch to escape.

Having done as he had decided, it happened through the Providence of God that his horse kept to the highroad, though the place was distant only about thirty or forty yards, and the way leading to it was very wide and easy.

Anonymous said...

"Therefore I ask Blessed Mary EVER-VIRGIN, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, our God."

"He came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the VIRGIN MARY, and became man."

Fr. Alfonso Llano Escobar, S.J. needs some remedial catechetical instruction, not to mention quite basic theological corrections. I wonder how many students and souls he has misled about this and about other topics in Catholic faith and morality.

Nancy Danielson said...

As we are living in the Time of the great deception, I often how many have been led astray and become part of The Great Apostasy due to the false ecumenism of Vatican II which did away with the charitable anathema, which exists for the sake of Christ, His Church, all who will come to believe in The Only Word Of God, and those prodigal sons and daughters who, hopefully will return to The Fold.

Nancy Danielson said...

That should read, I often wonder...I often wonder how even some of the elect do not see how heresy has been allowed to remain within Christ's Church, causing chaos and confusion. Oh what a tangled web that is weaver by those who deny the inherent personal and relational essence of the human person, created in The Image and Likeness of God to reflect Love.

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

At least in this occasion the authorities have taken action. While in others the error is left unchallenged and it festers in the mind of the Faithful.