The late scholar Mel Bradford once used the wording “remembering who we are” as a title to a book of finely-honed essays about his beloved Southland. It seems to me, as Bradford so artfully and gracefully suggested in his writings, that it is memory, both individual and collective, which is essential not just to the passed-on heritage of any culture, but to the very existence of that culture. We remember the deeds, the sayings, the handed-down lore, the usages, and the faith of our fathers and grandfathers (and mothers and grandmothers). Their lessons, their admonitions, their successes (and failures), their examples, even their everyday customs inform us and our actions, and, indeed, help shape our lives and view of life. Historically, these are in many respects the very same accoutrements that give definition and offer the earliest structure to our existence, that define us, and that also provide an inheritance which we, in turn, impart to our offspring and descendants.
On the lighter side. . .
A debate has been raging for centuries among the Eastern Orthodox over whether Moscow is the “third Rome”. Constantinople, the capital of the eastern wing of the old Roman Empire, was the “second Rome,” the Third Romers argue. To be sure, Constantinople held out long after the “first Rome” fell to invading barbarian hordes. St. Augustine wrote City of God in the early 400s to explain why the sack of the West by the Visigoths was not the Christians’ fault, but by that time it was already too late, Third Romers say. The spirit of Rome had moved on, settling in the East until it, too, fell. When Sultan Mehmed II sacked Constantinople in 1453, there was the same panic as in Rome itself a thousand years before. Where would the third “Rome” be?
Father John Aurelio, 1979 (a mere ten years after the promulgation of the New Mass). Of course, some forty years later he was credibly accused of abusing kids.
Editor’s Note: This article (by a Professor of Law Emeritus at The Catholic University of America) first appeared in The Remnant back in 2006 under the original title: “The Great Moral Flaw in the Second Vatican Council”. We’re posting it here to reiterate the central point made in the RTV video—Before Bergoglio: John Paul II, Assisi and Vatican II—that it would be a serious sin of omission (or at least intellectual laziness) to fix all or even most of the blame for the current auto-demolition of the Catholic Church on the insufferable Pope Francis or even on the clerical sexual abuse crisis itself; two obvious and predictable effects of the crisis.