VON BALTHASAR: THE FATHER OF ECUMENICAL APOSTASY
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.).
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).
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.
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).
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.
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."
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 compito ‑ Our Task - Jaca Book,
CONQUEROR OF THE (POORLY) CONVERTED
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).
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)
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).
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."
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.
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).
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).
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.
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).
TANDEM WITH ADRIENNE
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.).
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
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)
IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
is not the place"‑ we read on p.51-"to submit
Adrienne's charismata to a critical and detailed theological
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).
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.
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,
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).
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:
von Speyr's "theology of sexuality."
conception of the Church, the "Catholic."
AND VON BALTHASAR SAY GOD CAN CONTRADICT HIMSELF
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).
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
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)
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
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).
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."
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,
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
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
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).
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."
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
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."
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."
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
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.
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
"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.
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)."
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.
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"
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.
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
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.
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.
"PHILOSOPHICAL DELIRIUM" TO ECUMENICAL MANIA
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).
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.
"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"
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.
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
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.
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).
(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).
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.
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!
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.
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).
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."
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
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."
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
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
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.
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."
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)
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,
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
FOR THE MAGISTERIUM
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
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).
in the field of ecumenism, we have passed the stage of fantasy
and have reached the point of sheer delirium.
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
 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).
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.
from Courrier de Rome June 1993
reconciliation of conflicting or opposing beliefs.
of ideas bringing together opposites and attempting to resolve
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)