This exchange is becoming excessively polemical.
At 03:15 PM 12/28/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>At 03:45 PM 12/27/00 -0500, you wrote:
>> From Cardinal Merry de Val, "Forward," in the Index of Prohibited
>>Books, revised and published by order of His Holiness Pope Pius XI (new
>>ed.; [Vatican City]: Vatican Polyglot Press, 1930), pp. ix-xi:
>>[p. ix] What many, indeed fail to appreciate, and what, moreover
>>non-Catholics consider a grave abuse — as they put it
>yes, welcome to the modern world where multiple voices get heard. as this
>posting so disturbingly illustrates, there are some catholics who do not
>like to be accused of grave abuses, but do not hesitate to accuse others
>of precisely the same thing... and, when they had power, to use coercion
>to impose such a "reading".
>>of the Roman Curia, is the action of the Church in hindering the printing
>>and circulation of Holy Writ in the vernacular.
>>Fundamentally however, this ac- [p. x] cusation is based on calumny.
>okay, so the roman curia considers it not a good thing to be accused of
>hindering layfolk from having access to the bible.
>>During the first twelve centuries Christians were
>>highly familiar with the text of Holy Scripture,
>you've got to be kidding. if by xns he means layfolk, there is no way
>anyone can say this with a straight face about europe from ca. 500-1200.
>>as is evident from the
>>homilies of the Fathers and the sermons of the
>not at all evident. leaving aside the fathers (who, in the west, at
>least, were dealing with a vernacular bible, appropriately known as the
>"vulgate"), i wd argue that the sermons of the medieval preachers neither
>assume knowledge of scriptures and certainly no specific, textual
>knowledge of them.
>>nor did the ecclesiastical authorities ever intervene
>>to prevent this. It was only in consequence of
>heresy, for the historian, is a political category (see Talal Assad's
>article, "Medieval Heresy: An Anthropological View," Social History, 11
>(1986), 345-62). one generation's heretics are another's church renewers
>(from waldo, who thought himself fully committed to catholic orthodoxy and
>wanted to fight the cathars, to francis). to invoke heresy as if it were
>an objective category comes back to the problem of "objective
>exegesis." obviously, altho perhaps not to cardinal de val, most of these
>heretics believed that they were reading the texts honestly and
>spiritually, and that the malice came from the church. to assume the
>heretics malice and then use it as a justification for burning vernacular
>bibles, strikes me as a very bizarre defense against the alleged calumny.
>>introduced particularly by the Waldenses, the Albigenses,
>>the followers of Wyclif, and by Protestants
>>broadly speaking (who with sacrilegious mutilations of Scripture
>good grief. i've heard of lack of exegetical modesty, but this is just
>not acceptable discourse among historians. you can't do good history if
>you treat those who disagree with the catholic church as engaged in
>sacrilegious mutilations of scripture.
>>and arbitrary interpretations vainly sought to justify
>>themselves in the eyes of the people; twisting the text of the Bible to
>>support erroneous doctrines condemned by the
>>whole history of the Church)
>ouch. here is where i think we see modernity and the magisterium collide,
>if i might digress onto a relevant but modern issue of epistemology. the
>point that all these "heretics" were trying to make was that this
>"twisting of texts to support erroneous doctrines" describes precisely
>what the catholic church was doing. as a historian it's not my job to take
>sides (even if as a person of faith i have my own opinions), but it is my
>place to point out that when the church cdn't win the fight with
>persuasion (ie commonfolk were convinced that these wandering preachers
>without institutional support who ran the risk of persecution were more
>correct in their reading of scripture than the priests), she turned to
>coercion, a sure sign of spiritual trouble. (for a good treatment of the
>shift from persuasion to coercion, see the Edward Peters book on Heresy in
>the MA. to invoke the "whole history of the church" in support of a
>reading that used force to impose itself is not exactly what i wd call a
>>that the Pontiffs and the Councils were
>>obliged on more than one occasion to control and
>>sometimes even forbid the use of the Bible in the vernacular...
>in order to protect their interpretation. how can this be a refutation of
>the argument that the catholic church tried to control access to the
>bible? just because they may have felt (and may apparently still feel)
>justified in controlling what people read and think for the sake of the
>church's determination of what's good for their souls, this hardly
>obviates the claim that they tried to prevent people from reading the
>text. so if everyone had read the bible their way, catholics wd have been
>happy to have people read it, but since layfolk didn't, they tried to stop
>them from reading it... is this the defense against the calumny that the
>church tried to keep layfolk from reading the bible?
>the fact that the present church (at least as represented by Cardinal de
>Val), even finds this claim -- which they accept with explanation -- as a
>"calumny" suggests all kinds of interesting forms of cognitive dissonance
>as a result of modern, liberal society.
>>This quote from his Eminence Cardinal Merry de Val, shows that Michale
>>Shelfer's web site, quoted above, is not being straightforward in this
>>presentation of texts. He avoids the obvious context of all the
>>disciplinary quotes he makes: namely that the vernacular translations being
>>condemn or prohibited were erroneous translations
>my goodness gracious. and the latin vulgate makes no mistakes? think how
>embarrassing such a claim is in the context of those knowledgeable in both
>hebrew and greek.
>>motivated by those who
>>intended to protray the meaning of scripture other than that which its
>>historical authors intended.
>this sounds like "strict reconstructionism". you realize of course, that
>one cd conceivably make the case, based on this kind of argument, that
>xnty, in all its shapes and forms, was a malicious little jewish heresy
>that had the nerve to challenge the historical weight of biblical
>interpretation by the rabbis for over a millennium; that these xn heretics
>insisted on twisting the meaning of scripture (young maid becomes
>virgin!), on inserting texts even into their own NT (on the trinity); and
>that, if only the 1st cn jews had been as "disciplinary" as the 13th
>catholics, there wdn't have been a xnty (e.g., they wd have started by
>burning all septuagints).
>as far as i can make out, the only justification for this apologia is the
>claim to have a "lock" on true interpretation -- dare i say, "objective
>exegetical truth". what wd such people do, had they the power to enforce
>it? i return to my question, brother alexis, what do you make of the
>franciscan participation in the inquisition. which, i believe, returns us
>to the subject of the list -- medieval history.
>>But then again that is M. Shelfer's intent on his web site: ergo..
>>A scholar should consider the context of his sources, primary and secondary.
>brother alexis, if there's anything in this discussion you wish to pursue
>with me that is not relevant to the list, i'd be happy to do so. i was
>visiting your franciscan website and noticed that there was no mention of
>joachim of fiore. did i miss it?