Si Si No No Title

February 1994 No. 6

They Think They've Won Part IV



Let us now focus our attention upon still another representative of the "New Theology" exalted today as being the "cornerstone of the Church" (J. Meinville), that ex-Jesuit from Switzerland: Urs von BaIthasar. If Maurice Blondel can be said to personify the typical modernist philosopher and apologist, and Henri de Lubac represents modernist theologians, Urs von Balthasar is the very incarnation of the pseudo‑mystical and ecumenical aspect of modernism.

We have presently in hand the book Urs von Balthasar‑Figura a Opera (Figure and Works] written by Karl Lehmann and Walter Kasper, those eminent representatives of the "New Theology." This book was written, as we read on the dust cover, "by his friends and disciples" (Henrici, Haas, Lustiger, Roten, Greiner, Treitler, Loaser, Antonio Sicari, Ildefonso Murillo, Dumont, O'Donnel, Guido Sommavilla, Rino Fisichella, Max Shonborn... and Ratzinger) with the intention of rediscovering all of the worth and importance of his [von Balthasar's] works as well of his person." Let us also discover them, for they are indeed very important.

Urs von Balthasar



Even as a very young man, he had a great passion for music and, like Montini, for literature much more than for philosophical and theological studies (ibid. pp.29 ff.). Only Plotinus' "mystical" philosophy could hold any "fascination" for him. On the contrary, both Scholastic Philosophy and Theology used to rouse his "raging" horror and disgust: "All my studies in the course of my formative years in the Jesuit Order constituted a fierce and bitter struggle with the desolation of Theology, with what men had done to the glory of Revelation; I could simply not bear this expression of God's Word. I would have wished to strike out left and right with the fury of a Samson, and with his awesome power I would have sent the temple crashing down on us all. But, since my mission was only beginning, there was no possibility of imposing my plans; I just had to live with my infinite indignation as long as things remained the way they were. I mentioned practically nothing of it to anyone. Przywara, however, understood everything even without openly revealing it in words; as for the rest of them, no one could have understood me. I wrote the Apocalypse with that fury which proposed to destroy a world by sheer violence, with the intention of rebuilding it at all costs from the ground up" (ibid. p.35, quoted from the introduction to Erde und Himmel (Earth and Heaven).

The "mission" of this future demolisher of the Faith was taking shape. For the moment, the result of all this was that his studies with the Company of Jesus ended up with only "an ecclesiastical Bachelor's degree in Theology and Philosophy: von Balthasar never won a doctorate in these disciplines" (ibid. pp.33‑34). On the other hand, however, the young von Balthasar had also learned to jump on the bandwagon of all those restless systems and tendencies of modern "thought." In this, he received no small encouragement from "the great modernist theologians of his student years" (ibid. p.35). Erich Przywara at the University of Pullach‑Munich, who compelled him to "oppose Augustine and Thomas to Hegel, to Scheler, to Heidegger" (Urs von Balthasar, Prufet Alles, p.9) as well as encouragement from Henri de Lubac in the study center in Lyon Fourvieres.

"By chance and to my consolation - writes von Balthasar ‑ Henri de Lubac lived in the same house with us. He was the one who, besides our scholastic study material, referred us to the Fathers of the Church and used to generously lend us all (Balthasar, Danielou, and Bouillard) his very own studies and notes" (ibid.).

Thus it was that von Balthasar, "his ears stopped up with cotton wool, read all of (Saint) Augustine" and learned, through those generously loaned notes of de Lubac, to oppose with great affection, Patristics (i.e. the study of the writings of the Fathers of the Church as well as the science of their contents) to Scholasticism as personified in Saint Thomas Aquinas whose religious terminology would never allow such interpretative games as those which the "new theologians" were playing with the texts of the Church Fathers" (cf. Figure et Oeuvre p.36).

It was at this same period that von Balthasar became acquainted with French poetry: Peguy, Bernanos, and Claudel which he would translate over a period of twenty years. Having completed his "studies," he who, according to de Lubac, was "the most gifted, the most talented man of our century" (a ploy used by the modernists in bestowing upon one another a halo of non‑existent greatness: see Saint Pius X in Pascendi) set out on his career with but a sprinkling of knowledge, as vast as it was superficial, in fields wherein he later proved to be but a trifler, a dabbler. Father Labourdette, O.P., in a pointed remark, described one of von Balthasar's first articles as "a brilliant but empty page" (ibid. pp.47, 48).

Armed with this "original fault," von Balthasar was now ready to swell, to increase the numbers of modernist ecclesiastics, "who, by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the solid safeguards of philosophy and theology, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines of the enemies of the Church and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not even sparing the Person of the Divine Redeemer, Whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary man" (Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi).

Lacking a solid formation in both philosophy and theology, an avid fan of poetry and music, von Balthasar set out, with unbelievable superficiality, to combine theology with literature, thinking to create a "theology all his own" using the same type of imagination as is used by an artist on his masterpiece.

"Only very much later on," he writes, "after the determination of my vocation was behind me and I had completed my philosophical studies at Pullach (under the influence of Erich Przywara) and my four years of theology at Lyon (inspired to do so by Henri de Lubac) with my fellow students Danielou, Varillon, Bouillard, and many others, did I come to realize just how great an aid, to the conception of my theology, was to become my knowledge of Goethe, Holderlin, Nietzche, Hofmannsthal, and especially the Fathers of the Church, to whom I was directed by de Lubac."

"The fundamental assumption of my work Gloria, was the ability to see a "Gestalt" (a complex form) in its coherent totality. Goethe's viewpoint was to be applied to the Jesus phenomena (sic!) and to the convergence of New Testament theologies" (Il nostro compitoOur Task - Jaca Book, p.29).



On the 26th of July 1936, von Balthasar was ordained a priest in the church of Saint Michael in Munich. In 1939, he followed once again the 30 days spiritual exercises, but with Father Steger, who, "in German circles, was one of the first to understand Ignatian spirituality, not ascetically, but mystically instead" (ibid. p.37).

This tendency of his, for mysticism, had already showed itself in his encounters with the philosophy of Plotinus (205‑270, Roman philosopher of Egyptian birth), which would later prove to be so much the more damaging for von Balthasar, since he was "lacking the solid safeguards of both philosophy and theology" (Pascendi)

Soon after this, he was appointed chaplain to the students at Basel (Switzerland) where he once again busied himself with music and poetry (German, this time). He now set himself about organizing courses for the students: inviting, among others, such speakers as Congar, de Lubac, and Karl Rahner (1904‑1984, modernist theologian whose ideas carried the day at Vatican II); to bring these evening meetings to a close "he would take his place at the piano, rendering Mozart's Don Juan by heart..." (ibid. pp.39).

It was in Basel where he met the Swiss Calvinist theologian, Karl Barth (1886‑1968) who insisted on the necessity of returning to Scriptures, as well as the need of adapting them to our modern times. This Protestant theologian "becomes (after Przywara and de Lubac) the third great source of inspiration of Balthasar's theology."

Barth's theory of predestina­tion ‑ he writes ‑ "attracted and drew me powerfully and without cease" (Unser Auftrag, p.85), but that aspect which influenced him most of all was "Barth's radical Christo­centrism" (Figure et 0euvres, cit.p.43), from which came an ecumenism intended to gather everyone around a Christ separated from His insepa­rable Church, a Christ Who ends up being Luther's solus Christus, al­though filtered, as we shall see, through Hegel.

Vatican II, however, was still relatively far off in the future and, therefore, "in those years, meeting with Protestants in Switzerland was almost always and inevitably with prospective converts" (Henrici, S.J. ibid.p.44). Thus do we find, in 1940, von Balthasar baptizing (in spite of himself?) Beguin, a leftist, who, in 1950, was to succeed Mournier, a philo‑communist, at the head of a journal by the name of Esprit (N.B. The Osservatore Romano of March 3rd, 1979, reported that Beguin and Es­prit prepared Vatican II).

Even more important and worthy of note is the fact that von Balthasar baptized the "convert" Adrienne von Speyr, doctor, twice married (her second marriage was to Professor Kaegi), a "woman noted for her wit and sense of humor as well as for her tongue, highly regarded in society" (ibid.p.45).

It was not long before von Bal­thasar acquired his reputation of "conqueror of the converted" (op. cit.p.44). We would rather think it would be more precise to add: poorly or inadequately converted.

We have already mentioned Beguin. Concerning Adrienne von Speyr, we do well to mention even more explicitly that, in the same way that de Lubac was in an "intel­lectual symbiosis" with Blondel, so was von Balthasar in a "theological and psychological symbiosis" with Adrienne von Speyr (op. cit. p.147).


Adrienne von Speyr



Immediately following her con­version (Adrienne's), rumors and tales of miracles began to spread about miracles, which obviously occurred during conversations, dis­cussions and visits at her home. People whispered about (celestial) visions with which she seemed to be favored. As popular reports had it, "she had long and regular meetings with her spiritual director (von Bal­thasar)" (ibid.).

In order to publish Adrienne's mystical written works, von Bal­thasar founded a journal known as Johannes, then, together with Adri­enne, he set up "Johannes," a secu­lar institute. Following this, and still for Adrienne's sake, since his supe­riors evidently did not see clearly through Adrienne von Speyr's "mys­ticism," von Balthasar, on the very eve of his solemn profession, quit the Company of Jesus, choosing instead "direct obedience" to God.

From that moment on, von Balthasar worked in Adrienne's shadow, living in her husband's house, as he busied himself with literature, esthetic theology as well as with her (Adrienne's) "mystical" dictations, until 1960 Neo‑modern­ist general mobilization in "feverish" preparations for Vatican II: "Radio, TV: there was just no end to the hustle and bustle as well as to the urgent requests for my writings!" (ibid.p.59)



"This is not the place"‑ we read on p.51-"to submit Adrienne's cha­rismata to a critical and detailed theological examination."

Indeed, on the contrary, it would rather have been both the ideal time and place to do so, since von Bal­thasar himself declares: "Her work and mine are not at all separable: neither psychologically nor philo­logically. For they constitute both halves of a whole which has as its center a unique foundation" (p.60, quoted by Rechenschaft). And he begins Il nostro compito (Our Task) by writing, "The main goal of this book is simply to prevent any attempt of separating my work from that of Adrienne von Speyr, after my death" (p.130).

Our readers will recall the sen­sational eyewitness accounts of Adrienne von Speyr's two Italian "housekeepers," which testimony appeared in the Italian magazine Avvenire and Il popolo de Pordenone (see Courrier de Rome #141 (331), December 1992). We will not hark back to that. It is enough to say, as it should have been apparent to von Balthasar that all that needed to be done was to apply the Church's criteria to such cases to reject out of hand and declare Adrienne's "mys­ticism" to be utterly false.

Also, leaving aside the strange side of her "charismata," such as (a) the "stigmata" which she is sup­posed to have received while still Protestant, (b) the "possibility afforded to her confessor (von Bal­thasar) in being able to "transfer Adrienne back" to each one of her different life periods in order to record her biography," (c) her vir­ginity recovered, according to her, after two marriages, etc...

It is quite sufficient for us, as it should have been for von Balthasar, to apply the fundamental criteria in order to judge any so‑called "rev­elation" in the Church: "Any revelations opposed to dogma or mor­als must be held to be absolutely false. With God, contradiction is impossible" Antonio Rojo Marin, O.P., Teologia della perfezione cristiana (Theology of Christian Perfection, p.1077).

In the light of this fundamental rule, let us now examine, amongst many others, two particular out­standing points at the heart of two very grave conciliar and post‑con­ciliar deviations:

1) Adrienne von Speyr's "theology of sexuality."

2) her conception of the Church, the "Catholic."



According to von Speyr or to von Balthasar (we agree with von Balthasar that it is impossible to separate them), Adrienne is sup­posed to have received the heav­enly mission of "re‑thinking" the "positive value of the so‑called corporeity (or sexuality) within the religion of incarnation" (Urs von Balthasar, Il nostro compito p.25).

Except for the fact that this "posi­tive value" is so "positive" that she ends up by nullifying the conse­quences of original sin as well as the Holy Ghost's solemn warning that "he who loves danger will perish in it." "The recommendations or ex­hortations of keeping away from one another, not to see one an­other, are, as far as the corporal domain is concerned, nowadays worn out," she writes in her journal (p.1703; see Il nostro compito p.91). All of this clearly flies in the face of the Church's traditional teachings in the field of morality.

True to her "sexual revolution," Adrienne conceived and ex­pressed her "spiritual" relationship with von Balthasar through the crudest of sexual terms. Thus does she describe the genesis or origin of “Johannes,” their secular institute, “as a period of pregnancy, where the institute is the child, Adrienne the mother and von Balthasar the father” (Communio May-June 1989,p.91)

According to Adrienne, this is how “Ignatius” (i.e. Saint Ignatius) explained the above relationship to her: “even though (Adrienne and von Balthasar) were virgins, this was a means by which a man could mark a woman” (Communio, May-June 1989, p.91 et seq. quoting par.1645 of Erde und Immel, Adrienne's posthumous work).

And, in order to put to rest any doubt as to the language attributed by the "mystic" Adrienne to "Ignatius," she wrote the following "Man's spiritual fecundity is to be deposited in the woman's body that she may bear fruit. In this sense Hans Urs von Balthasar's fertility was deposited in the stigmata, which Adrienne had received for him” (ibid., from Erde und Immel, II, par.680).

All of this is quite sufficient for us to reasonably ask ourselves if we are not here in the presence of a case of pseudo‑mystical sensualism. At this point, however, it is especially important to underline and call to the reader's attention the fact that in "the intelligence (or understanding) of the positive value of one's corporeity" on Adrienne’s part, is to be found one of the causes, if not the determining one, of the present‑day exaltation of sexuality unfortunately so much in fashion even with the religious, and hiding behind the popular slogan of "affective integration."

And von Balthasar? What about him? He also could not bear the thought "that the significance of the masculine and feminine body could be in any way diminished” (A. Siccari O.C.D. Communio, Nov-Dec. 1991,p.89).

And, in his aesthetically pleasing conception of theology, he lamented: "And whatever became of the ‘eros’ in theology as well as the commentary on the Canticle of Canticles (understood as an erotic poem, of course) which constitutes a part of the center of theology?" (Figura e Opera, p.58 sq.).

There is, however, something even worse. Von Balthasar is very much aware of the fact that the "mystical theology" of his visionary friend can in no way at all conform to Catholic doctrine. "In Adrienne's global theological works," he writes, "are to be found certain passages which, out of context, could some­times seem to be quite strange"­ - and which remain thus even in their context (Il nostro compito, p.14).

Then, in the preface, he clearly admits that Adrienne's works are "at the outset, astounding and maybe even disconcerting or bewildering for some readers" (ibid.p.9). Yet, all of this was not sufficient to raise doubts in von Balthasar's mind re­garding Adrienne's charismata, on the contrary... his doubts were now directed towards Catholic doctrine! "Things," he wrote, "are often such that today's theology is not (or is not yet) able to grasp or to comprehend what is indicated in Adrienne's vi­sions or in her dictations" (ibid.p.16).

All of which he could say only by admitting that Catholic doctrine is liable to evolve into self‑contra­diction, seeing that Adrienne's "mys­tical theology" is not obscure, or rather, not only obscure, but in utter opposition with Catholic theology. Unfortunately, von Balthasar failed to apply (maybe because he did not know them) the necessary theologi­cal criteria to see his way clearly through Adrienne von Speyr's "mys­ticism," but he did share, together with Blondel and de Lubac, that new vitalist and evolutionist notion of truth which claims that in God and therefore in the development of Catholic doctrine "contradiction is possible."

This will appear even more clearly in the second point which we intend to examine and which will help us to understand the storm of ecumenical madness which has, in its unabated fury, swept along many highly‑placed dignitaries of the Catholic Church.



Adrienne maintained that Heaven had entrusted an ecclesias­tical mission to von Balthasar and to herself. Urs von Balthasar mentions this in Il nostro compito (p.61). In a "Marian" vision, Adrienne says to God: "We both (Adrienne and von Balthasar) wish to love You, to serve You, and to thank You for the Church You have entrusted to us."

These last words, Adrienne con­tinues, were uttered in an impro­vised manner and were dictated by the Mother of God, that is to say, by us (the Mother of God and Adri­enne); "we spoke those words both of us together, and for a fraction of a second, she placed the child in my arms, but it was not only the child, it was the Una Sancta (the Church) in miniature, and seemed to me, to represent a unity of everything that has been entrusted to us and which constitutes a work in God for the Catholic."

And just what are we to under­stand by this other "child" of Adri­enne and von Balthasar, this "Church" called "Catholic" that God is supposed to have entrusted to them? In the introduction of Bar­bara Albrecht's book, La Mystique Objective d’Adrienne von Speyr (Jaca Book, p.72), we come across this astounding affirmation concerning Adrienne the "mystic": "Even though [Adrienne] clearly and deci­sively broke away from a Protestant form of Christianity by some inte­rior necessity, her own concept of ‘Catholic’ is lacking in any sort of confessional limits whatsoever." Therefore, although Adrienne's break from Protestantism was clear and decisive, her conversion was, on the contrary, anything but clear and decisive, unless we are forced to give to the word "Catholic" a new meaning altogether different from that which it had in the past.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that what Barbara Albrecht has writ­ten, tallies perfectly with the pub­lished testimony of Adrienne von Speyer's truly Catholic house­keeper, who clearly affirmed: "I, also, have read ...this story about a `Mystic.' And I do not like any of this at all. Why do they write such stupid nonsense? Madam (Adrienne) was not (truly) of the Church do you know that she used to go to Mass only twice a year, at Christmas and Easter? (Il Popolo di Pordenone, August 16,1992). See also Courrier de Rome, no. 141 (331), December 1992: "Summer Misfortunes," Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyer.

This same concept of the word "catholic," stripped of “any confessional determination whatsoever” is also to be found in von Balthasar's writings, wherein he declares his indebtedness to Adrienne for it. In his book Katholisch (Catholic) a work also published in 1975, he writes, "this little volume is meant as an homage to my masters (and men­tors) E. Pryzwara and H. de Lubac, as well as to Adrienne von Speyer, all of whom, in the face of a scholas­tic theology, revealed to me that dimension of catholic reality vast as the world itself."

In this "catholicity, which leaves nothing out" (ibid. p.32), everything finds its place together with its justi­fication: the true as well as the false religions, the Catholic Church and the heretical and/or schismatic sects, the sacred and the profane, religion and atheism. In a word: truth and error, goodness and evil. Exactly as in Hegelian dialectics.



Going more deeply into the matter, the review Communio ad­mits that today Urs von Balthasar stands exalted in his role of "theolo­gian of beauty" and "is simulta­neously criticized for his impen­etrable and complicated style" (May-June, 1989, p.83). Moreover, according to Communio, what we do know and what is said about him "constitute only the tip of the iceberg ‑ and honni soit qui mal y pense (evil be to him who evil thinks)."

Let us turn therefore our attention to that submerged part of the iceberg, that is to say, to that which is concealed beneath that obscure and complicated style in order to find out if there is actually any rea­son to think evil of it.

At first sight, von Balthasar's writings seem to be obscure and impenetrable while his behavior defies all understanding. For example, while working at demolish­ing Catholic theology and Catholic Rome, he bitterly and fiercely criti­cizes Karl Rahner and the so‑called "anti‑Roman complex"; he preaches an ecumenism as wide ranging as possible which embraces even pagan and idolatrous religions while criticizing the post‑conciliar Catholic's "tendency to liquidate" the Church.

However, all one needs is to have the right interpretative or ex­planatory key to his particular the­ology and everything becomes crystal clear. This key is to be found in idealism in general, as well as Hegelian logic in particular, which is diametrically opposed to Aristotelianism as well as to Thomistic logic and simple com­mon sense.

Whereas, in fact, Aristotelian logic is founded upon the principle of identity and non‑contradiction, according to which opposites ex­clude one another, Hegelian logic is based exactly on this contrary prin­ciple: opposites not only do not exclude one another, but they con­stitute the very soul of reality, being necessary although abstract mo­ments of reality. It is a synthesis of opposites wherein the said opposites (affirmation and negation; "thesis" and "antithesis") will break through their limi­tations and find their true reality.

Urs von Balthasar applied to ecclesiology this obscure and impen­etrable logic because he was not at all acquainted with the "fear of contra­diction," a fear which is inborn in anyone pos­sessing good common sense, but which is to­tally lacking in the preoccupations of…present ­day ecumenism. All those "Churches," all those diverse "reli­gions," those "atheisms" with their contradictions cause von Balthasar no fear at all. They should not, ac­cording to his way of thinking, frighten anyone since they simply constitute the moments (thesis and antithesis, affirmation and negation) of that process which will inevitably lead, through intrinsic or inherent necessity, to that synthesis which will be the "Catholic" one ("the catholicity which leaves nothing out," that universality which ex­cludes absolutely nothing of any kind) and in which the true Church of Christ will (finally, after two thou­sand years) be achieved.

Once we have this "key" in hand, von Balthasar's "impenetrable" theology becomes unmistakably clear and everyone can fathom and realize at last the tremendous enormity of that iceberg as it sails against God's Holy Church.



Only out of Hegel's "philosophi­cal delirium," could the present‑day ecumenical delirium be born. The truth is that with the above‑men­tioned key in hand, it is now pos­sible to discern and comprehend all of von Balthasar's enigmas as well as today's brand of ecumenism of which he is the "master" and "au­thor." We also now see, in fact, why in the ecumenical dialogue "only one thing remains: we must rely on the various Church and theological structures and rivalries between them" (Figure et Oeuvre, p.417). It is the necessary interplay of opposites which alone leads to synthesis: "If this formula is to be taken to heart... we must rely... on rivalries," writes von Balthasar, "it will require much from those who struggle in a Chris­tian way for catholicity: they should make it a point of attaching them­selves [Catholics as well as non­ Catholics] to no particular system which a priori we would consider to be all encompassing, offering the widest perspective and leaving be­hind any opposing points of view" (ibid. quoted by Aunspruch auf Katholizitat, p.66).

This encompassing of all will only be attributed to the "Catholic" position, which will constitute the synthesis, and will not be attributed to any of the presently existing sys­tems (including today's Catholic "system"), which are simply theses and antitheses destined to be over­reached by utterly vanishing into a synthesis.

Of the "systems" presently in place, only two things are asked: on the one hand, in order to favor or facilitate the synthesis, "the slacken­ing and thawing" of their own fixed stand regarding a point of view ex­cluding opposite points of view; on the other, "competition," that is, the promotion of "rivalry" between sys­tems, including those "anonymous forms of Christianity" (ibid. pp.69‑70).

In fact, what is known as the synthesis springs forth as a result of the interplay of opposites. All of this remains incomprehensible to Aris­totelian‑Thomistic logic, which, unlike Hegelian logic, is the logic of common sense.

Now we are in a position to understand why the present day ecumenism (take Assisi for example) puts the various "religions" on an equal footing, while at the same time separating them ("we do not want anything to do with syncre­tism" ‑ and this is true.) This ecumenism exhorts Buddhists to be good Buddhists, Catholics to be good Catholics (according to the New Theology, of course!), Protes­tants to be good Protestants, etc.

Thus are "competition," the in­terplay of "rivalries," of contradictions and of oppositions deemed essential in that process leading to the Ecumenical Super‑Church, the "catholic" synthesis of all the world's religions wherein only the contra­dictions and oppositions will become obsolete and disappear.

Now we are also able to under­stand why von Balthasar, just like de Lubac, went through his own personal post‑conciliar "crisis" which, however, led neither of them to conversion (see Figure et Oeuvre, cit. pp.434 ff.). For it simply could not fit into his own brand of logic (which he had borrowed from Hegel) that Catholics would simply sell off their identity ‑ Catholic be­ing also or rather above all, "com­munion between (opposites) which seem to exclude one another" (Communio, July‑August, 1992, Urs von Balthasar; Communion: a programme).

Thus, (according to him) contrasts are essential in bringing about the said "communion," exactly in the same way as in Hegelian logic, wherein thesis and antithesis are essential in the attainment of the synthesis. If the thesis were to with­draw from the "competition," it would then also become (an) antith­esis, and there would never be a synthesis realized (see Figure et Oeuvre, cit. pp. 417‑18).

This is why the Catholic Church (according to von Balthasar) must not "put between parentheses" but rather "integrate" (this is the key word for von Balthasar) into the "catholic whole" (that is, von Balthasar's Super‑Church) all that which is considered today as being a "Catholic surplus" (ibid. p. 446). In his highly publicized, obtrusive and quite misunderstood book The Anti‑Roman Complex, carrying the incredible yet highly revealing sub­title (which is in most cases omitted) How is the Papacy to be integrated into the Universal Church?," von Bal­thasar suggests precisely the man­ner in which to integrate "this ele­ment, which seems a burden and a nuisance, into the Catholic whole," which is most clearly and un-mis­takenly not the Holy Catholic Church.

This is the method that he sug­gests: the Church must no longer be only of Peter, but also of Paul, of Mary and of John (ibid. p.447). And thus does the primacy of jurisdic­tion, (dogmatically) defined by Vati­can I, disappear behind some vague primacy of charity invented by von Balthasar (and by his "separated brethren"), and in favor of which John‑Paul II has, for many years now, been traveling all over the world and explaining to journalists that he has not only received Peter's charisma, but also that of Paul!



Yet, it is quite sufficient to know the catechism of the Catholic Church (this does not refer to the new one) to realize and understand that von Balthasar's ecumenism is nothing but a veritable proposition leading directly to apostasy.

Christopher Schonborn, edito­rial secretary (Let the reader be warned!) for the New Catechism, on the occasion of the first anniver­sary of von Balthasar's death, explained and illustrated this so‑called ecumenism in Saint Mary's Church in Basle, Switzerland (see Figure et Oeuvre cit. pp.431 ff).

And just what is meant by von Balthasar's ecumenism? It consists in "the integration in the whole of the Catholic" (ibid. p.448), a Catho­lic, which does not yet exist and remains for the moment "but a promise, an eschatological hope." Here, in fact, is how Schonborn explains the "ecumenical signifi­cance" of the "figure" of Mary in Balthasar's ecumenism: "In Mary, the Church appears as the holy and immaculate Church, in which the full figure of the Church, its ‘Catho­licity,’ is not only a promise, an eschatological hope, but rather its fullness already achieved."

Thus, in flagrant contradiction with the constant and infallible Faith of the Church repeated by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium animos, and contrary to the dogma that each Catholic is duty‑bound to profess, (Credo Ecclesiam Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam), the catholicity is not (according to von Balthasar) a real­ity which has already been existing for two thousand years, but rather a reality which is yet to be realized. It is simply "a promise, and eschatological hope," in which we are not told why we should have any trust, for if things were really so, all the promises of immediate real­ization made by Our Lord Jesus Christ would have come to nothing.

In what, then does the actual Catholic Church consist, according to von Balthasar? It consists simply in one "system" amongst so many others; in one of the many "ecclesial configurations," theses or antitheses, and which will, one day, become obsolete and utterly vanish in the "catholic" just as will all the various sects, idolatrous and pagan religions together with all of the different "marxisms."

In fact, according to von Bal­thasar, in Catholicism no less than in Protestantism, "the negation of the other, the refusal of commun­ion" has supposedly produced "a unity which in substance merely consisted in their gathering about a rigid point of view" (see Figura et Oeuvre p.407).

He considers the Catholic Church as being "the Roman real­ization of Catholicity" (ibid. p.405). The Catholic Church, exactly in the same way as the heretical and/or schismatic sects, Judaism itself and the other "anonymous forms of Christianity," constitutes "the whole in the fragment," wherein the whole is the "Catholic" and the Catholic Church is but one of the many frag­ments, which inevitably recalls the whole.

"Each fragment," writes von Balthasar, "immediately recalls to mind that sacred vessel from whence it came. Each piece is read by the mind, starting from the entire vessel still intact" (Figure et Oeuvre, p.409), and the Catholic Church is simply considered to be but a "fragment," a "piece" amongst others.

And so, it is now clearly seen why we are no longer taught that Christ's Church is the Catholic Church, but rather, we are continu­ally taught with Vatican II (see the New Catechism) that the Church of Christ "subsistit in," that is, subsists in the Catholic Church, exactly in the same way as "the whole in the fragment."

This is why in "ecumenical dia­logue," Catholics, in matters of Faith, must, just as in all the other reli­gions, learn: "For Catholics, it is supremely imperative that they si­lence the voices of those who sug­gest and refer us to some missing piece ("fragment") or some almost worthless piece attached to the in­tegrity of the Faith" (Urs von Bal­thasar in Klein Fibel, p.92, quoted in Figura e Opere, p.444)

That is why today ‑ as Romano Amerio has written ‑ "they openly declare that unity must not come through individual conversions but through agreements reached by large bodies [the various theses and antitheses] such as are the Churches, and this unity must not be achieved by a return of the separated breth­ren to the Catholic Church, but rather ‘by a movement of all confes­sions towards a center to be found outside of each one of them [the evolving synthesis]" (R. Amerio, Iota Unum, Nouvelles Editions Latines, p.461).

At this point, his propositions favoring apostasy, that is, the aban­donment of the entire Doctrine of the Faith, have become simply fla­grant. Indeed, where are we to find Divine Revelation in all its purity and integrity, if not in the Catholic Church? Such an underhanded pro­posal calling for the exodus of Catho­lics from the Catholic Church is tantamount to apostasy: "Faith in Jesus Christ will not remain pure and uncontaminated unless it be sustained and defended by faith in the Church, pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15)" (Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge).



In conclusion, it must be noted that von Balthasar, following the example of Blondel and de Lubac, cultivated "his" theology in open contempt for the Magisterium of the Church, particularly for Pope Saint Pius X, who in his encyclical Pascendi (1907), condemned that brand of ecumenism, which leads inevitably to the naturalism of the modernists. He was also filled with scorn for Pope Pius XII, who in Humani generis condemned any at­tempt at conciliating idealism, and therefore Hegelianism, with Catho­lic theology while also condemning that ecumenism in which they would have been "unified, yes, but in a common ruin."

“Just where is the new theology, inspired by its new masters, leading to? Where, indeed, if not directly to the path of scepticism, fantasy and heresy?" wrote Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange in 1946. And the new "masters" were Hegel and Blondel, whom Fassard, (a member in de Lubac's "gang") used to call "our Hegel" (see A. Russo, H. de Lubac: Theology and Dogma in History: The Influence of Blondel).

But nowadays in the field of ecumenism, we have passed the stage of fantasy and have reached the point of sheer delirium.

In one of the most scandalous "ecumenical" documents, "Useful sug­gestions for the proper presentation of Judaism" by the Commission for Relations with Judaism presided over by Cardinal Willebrands, (see Courrier de Rome, no.64 [254] Octo­ber 1985), we read that Catholics and Jews "even if they start off by holding different points of view [i.e. opposite] tend toward analogous [sic!] or similar goals: the coming or the return of the Messiah." This represents exactly the thought (if it can be so called) of von Balthasar, who like Hegel, seeks a way of bring­ing into accord opposites by doing violence to the reality of facts: "Peter, the renegade, leaving it up to the Lord to judge, seeks solidarity [sic!] with the Jews [who crucified Jesus Christ]... together with you Jews, we Christians are also awaiting the coming ‑ second coming of the Messiah" (Urs von Balthasar, Communio: A Program, reprinted in Communio, July‑August 1992, p.57).

Nevertheless, von Balthasar, to­gether with his new theology com­rades, could never have imposed their foggy misconceptions and delusions, lacking as they are in the strength or virtue of reason as well as in the power of divinely revealed truth, if Giovanni Battista Montini (Pope Paul VI) had not acceded to the throne of Peter, but... this inept philomodernist theologian put his very high authority at the service of the "new theology" while his suc­cessor has been its euphoric propa­gator throughout the world. But we will be coming back to this later.


Translated from Courrier de Rome June 1993



The attempted reconciliation of conflicting or opposing beliefs.


Any play of ideas bringing together opposites and attempting to resolve them.



Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)

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