This morning, where I could listen with headphones, I came a few minutes further, and to a very crucial point. But here I have no headphones. However, here I discovered something which means Dimond Brothers were in better faith than I had previously thought.
// That is obviously ridiculous when you consider the passage in context. //
// He goes in to say « and though this earth on which we live may not be the centre of the universe »//
- translation leaves out nuance of licet with subjunctive and the circumlocution by « non dicenda » so translate rather : « and though one should perhaps not say that the earth on which we live is the centre of the universe » - a very far cry from « plainly stating » that Earth may not be the centre. The Dimond Brothers may be directly quoting an official English translation, but if so it is faulty. But see further down on whose fault that is. Hint, Dimond Brothers may be innocent.
// In the midst of his comments //
on another topic
// he clearly states //
or reluctantly admits remote possibility of
// that the Earth may not be the centre of the universe. //
// And if something is a matter of faith, a Catholic is not permitted to say that it may not be true. //
A Catholic knowing that Resurrection of Christ is of faith is not permitted to say « after all, perhaps the resurrection didn’t happen ».
But Benedict XV may have been in doubt on whether geocentrism was of faith and have been unwilling to commit himself.
Obviously, whether geocentrism is materially de fide or not is less clear to our times at least than whether Resurrection happened is de fide or not. So, he could have been in doubt.
And he could have chosen the words so that, if it was of the faith, he would not damn himself or a very attentive reader by direct contradiction or voluntary doubt of a matter of faith.
While also chosing them so as not to give the impression that he was personally as supreme judge in the Church upholding its status as de fide, if such. Like a Patriarch of Moscow under the Stalin thaw or under Brezhnev, he also may very well have been pressed to pronounce himself on a matter where the rulers of Italy hoped to either destroy the faith of embarass the Church through the answer of a Church man. Note, I am not comparing to the worst periods of persecution, like under Lenin and Trotski, that would rather be what happened in the days of Pius IX of blessed memory* and of Leo XIII. I am comparing to the more lenient periods.**
// A Catholic cannot say « if history has proven Jesus is not God » - you could not say that without contradicting the faith. //
For one thing, geocentrism is not as directly as that in the Creed, as divinity of Christ is.
For another, one cannot compare a really plain hypothesis, stated without any shown reluctance, to a hypothesis stated with what could very well be reservations.
A Catholic could say « if Jesus were not God, even so the Church which stated that disappeared and the Church which called Him God remained, so in light of this, Arianism is not possible, due to Matthew 28 : you either have to accept He is God, or accept he was not even a prophet. »
By saying this, I would be showing reservations against the statement « Jesus is not God », namely by using the « if were not » rather than « if is not » form. And the hypothetic syllogism would still be true and a good point in Catholic apologetics. At least insofar as Gospels are accepted as sources for His statements, which Muslims are often not accepting.
// Therefore, Benedict XV’s statement that the Earth may not be the centre of the Universe //
My emphasis. That is like saying I had in my apologetics example above clearly stated that Jesus might be not God. Of course I haven’t.
// This is completely illogical, invalid and false reasoning.//
In other words, Peter Dimond had been told the obvious already by Elaine and by Paul before facing me.
// I’ll carefully explain why. //
// You may not call into question a defined dogma.//
But careful examination of the text In Praeclara Summorum doesn’t show Benedict XV was formally calling into question geocentrism. + he may have been doubting what others are now debating, namely whether it was defined or not. He chose the most non-committing wording possible. 5:36 just repeats the point.
// That is what Benedict XV’s statement would be doing … //
Or, as shown, would not be doing.
//… if geocentrism were a teaching of the Catholic Church. //
Supposing we were talking about an undoubted and at the time unambiguously held and upheld clear teaching.
There are teachings of the Church which at certain times have not been so upheld, but which nevertheless must have been such, since later dogmatised, and the Church cannot add teachings in dogmatising, she can only formalise teachings already held.
// But you can make an argument for the sake of an argument, when you have alrady established clearly what your position is.//
Or when you are saying you don’t have a definite position, which is what Benedict XV was basically doing. He was washing his hands like Pilate – but Pilate did not deny the Kingship of Jesus. Or his innocence.
I am sure Benedict XV’s words have already been abused for the purpose here abused by Dimond Brothers. Probably by men like Ott, or by less clearheaded ones than he.
However, in favour of Dimond brothers, I note that the mistranslation "and though this earth on which we live may not be the centre of the universe as at one time was thought," is on the site of EWTN.
This means that the English speaking world were already facing In Praeclara Summorum in a falsified text variant, a wording which Benedict XV, writing in Latin, had not actually signed. Because it is certain that Church documents were translated into major languages (Documentation catholique in France etc in French is translations of Acta Sanctae Sedis and of Acta Apostolicae Sedis. This means that the mistranslation must have appeared in some English language counterpart of Documentation catholique already in 1921. The year when In Praeclara Summorum was issued on the 600'dth anniversairy of Dante's death and by occasion thereof. Note that the Dante encyclical means we DO have a right to read "theology fiction", like Divina Commedia (despite an error far weightier than pre-Tychonian scientific ones, namely condemning to Hell a man probably identical with a blessed), but of course also like Silmarillion (which departs from the Biblical timeline, and where angelic beings do what Peter Lombard would have called and St Thomas Aquinas refused to call "ministerial creation") or Narnia (where, at least according to author's own representation, in another Universe, God the Son has ANOTHER incarnation). Or fiction about a man being saved after selling his soul (Krabat, by Otfried Preussler - the historic character was probably only though of as having sold his soul by Lutheran peasants, he was a faithful Catholic), or about Apocalypse (though I haven't read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman). We may read it. Since we may read Dante.
Harry Potter is another matter, since based on a non-Christian and indeed non-Thomistic and non-Theist metaphysics, but also since giving close to instructions and very clear incouragement for practising witchcraft. Not sure if Earthsea would come in hear due to Shamanism (which is the philosophy Ged lives by and the universe he lives in).
Most things by Lloyd Alexander wouldn't, since most are not cosmic in any sense, only political (Westmarch series, The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha, Vesper Holly series - where last book celebrates the good emperor of Brasil who liberated slaves) and what is cosmic, namely Prydain series has another precedent for being licit : the precedent of Thélémaque and so many other works by Christians (I just learned of Chaucer's The House of Fame the day before yesterday) and it is fairly classically a featuring of pagan deities in mythological setting. Even more, the only pagan deity actually given in the series is Arawn, and his depiction agress better with "all the gods of the pagans are demons" than with Arawn in Mabinogion.
So, In Praeclara Summorum AND other things mean we may certainly read most books labelled as fantasy. Not saying this is the case for Harry Potter or for some sci-fi stories by Ted Chiang (Tower of Babel and Hell is the Absence of God). But in general, we can read fantasy whether written by Christians (Dante, CSL, JRRT, see In Praeclara Summorum) or from a Pagan persepective (Prydain or Thélémaque) or from a perspective of agnosticism, like Lloyd Alexanders, as long as it doesn't directly prone doubt in existence of God. As I don't think they do. There may be specific reasons for avoiding specific works, notably Harry Potter.
I mention this, because some of the guys really towting In Praeclara Summorum as proof for saying "heliocentrism doesn't sin against the faith" at the same time also tend to say "theology fiction" (as I term it) = confabulating about matters of faith = forging heresies (or committing a kind of sacrilege by treating matters of faith as material for fictional writings).
It is conspicuous that Dimond Brothers are NOT saying about In Praeclara Summorum the one obvious point, that we may read Dante's Divina Commedia. They are only trying to take a secondary point and squeeze it into the definitions of being a formal definition that Heliocentrism is licit. One can just as easily, nay even better, say that Humani Generis is a formal definition that Evolution is licit, provided one doesn't deny Adam and Eve were first human's and Adam's soul was specially created by God. In one of his Letters, Tolkien congratulates himself on being guided by the Church after resuming what his parish priest had resumed Humani Generis as - that being just that point. And that is ALSO not what the document actually states. But it is less dishonest to do so with Humani Generis, which Dimond Brothers rightly reject, than with In Praeclara Summorum, where the subject is totally other than the question of cosmology and it only comes up as a side issue.
However, as to their treatment of the side issue, as said, I had accused them of falsely translating a Latin document, when in fact they were probably following someone else's false translation into an English document. Something tolerated, apparently, in 1921, as much as when later "Missal of Paul VI" has a Latin original stating "pro vobis et pro multis" and an English, Spanish, French translation stating "pour tous", "pro todos", "for all". Sth "Benedict XVI" rightly did away with. Even if for other reasons he's more suspect of being Antipope Ratzinger.
Back in 2013, I was not aware that Dimond Brothers were not mistranslating themselves. THIS I owe to repair their honour, though my attack on it was by mistake and sloppy ignorance of a fact. And a corresponding paragraph has been inserted as a visible comment in the correspondence post.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Sts Simon and Jude
* Note what I am doing here. Antipope Wojtyla « beatified » Pius IX. If I had said « Blessed Pius IX » I would have been giving impression that definitions by Wojtyla are somehow affecting the faith. If on the other hand I had said just « Pius IX », I would have been giving the impression not only that Wojtyla was no Pope (which is true), but also that he was wrong in considering Pius IX as a holy man. That I do not. Not because of Wojtyla, but because of « blessed are you when they persecute you for my name’s sake », Matthew 5, I think.
** The cessation of formal perecution came with Mussolini. In that sense, he can be compared to Gorbatchev, Ieltsin and Putin. However, unlike these, he also banned abortion, so he was better than any of these. Even if he also supported some low intensity continuing persecution by anticlericals in Fascist Party, as noted by Non abbiamo bisogno.