Against Neo-Ultramontanism

I typically do not encourage readers to go check out other web-logs until my Friday “Weekly Reading” posts; but it comes as no surprise to me that Fr. John Hunwicke compels me to make an exception. Yesterday’s post, “Pope or Tradition?,” beautifully and succinctly expresses, through direct recourse to the Church’s magisterium, the authentic role of the Pope as the defender of Sacred Tradition.

Many Catholics today rightly express dismay over doctrinal dissent, but precious little effort has gone into the matter of certain prelates and laity manufacturing their own magisterium. The phenomenon of hyper-Papalism, or what I and others have referred to as “Neo-Ultramontanism,” is as real as it is troubling. For an alarmingly high number of Catholics, “the Pope is the Faith and the Faith is the Pope”; the Vicar of Christ has become the Oracle of God; and the desire for concrete representation as an earthly affirmation that the Church is “real” now loses sight of what that representation is truly of and for.

Don’t expect this grave confusion to go away this year. Expect it to intensify in the coming months.