Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quaeritur: Who are the Post-Conciliar Traditional Catholic Thomists?


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Quaeritur: Who brings a reliable scholastic tradition, into our modern times?  I am trying to find apologies for a scholastic, perennial, and Christian (if you will indulge that, if not, fine, but traditional and reliable is a must) philosophy up into our modern error, all the while defending philosophy against all the errors of modern philosophy, post Vatican 2.  Who represents tradition post Vatican 2?  In whom does the continuation of tradition reside?  Also, what am I to think of Maritain?


Respondeo: No post-conciliar philosopher, to my knowledge, has written a thorough critique of post-conciliar philosophical errors--maybe you could be the first!  

That said, post-conciliar philosophical and theological errors were already present right before the council.  There is really "nothing new under the sun."  Garrigou-Lagrange wrote plenty to refute those same errors that we are suffering today.  See Pius XII's encyclical Humani generis (Garrigou is said to be the drafter or 'ghostwriter'), Garrigou's "Where is the New Theology Leading Us?" and his "Structure of the Encyclical Humani Generis."  In addition, his Le sens commun is a superb philosophical examination of false theological views on the nature of dogma, but it is unfortunately untranslated (I hope to translate it someday). 

Very few contemporary scholars are real traditional Catholics.  Garrigou-Lagrange is, of course, the best and most faithful Thomist of the 20th Century and he died in 1964, during the Council.  Among truly traditional Thomists who continued writing after the Council are Emmanuel Doronzo (Latin and English) and Santiago Ramirez (Latin and Spanish).  Another good one that continued writing well after the council until recently was Royo Marin (who wrote in Spanish).  But these men were mainly theologians.  There are a few other minor philosophers today who are both traditional Thomists and traditional Catholics.  But they're almost all part-time scholars (such as Fr. Ripperger), or they're young scholars struggling to gain respect in academia and have to be careful with what they say. (Hint: Don Paco is just my nickname.)

Maritain (like Gilson) is good for some things, especially the more speculative, traditional scholastic topics (such as natural philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology), but is not very orthodox when it comes to practical things, such as personalism, religious liberty, ethics, art, political philosophy, cultural though, etc.  In these respects he is very much a liberal and a promoter of post-concilar ideas.  He also has a strange view of the relationship of the sciences.  

I recommend you read Peddicord's The Sacred Monster of Thomism, on Garrigou-Lagrange.  It will give you a sense of who Garrigou was and why it's important that we 'retrieve' his thought in our times (i.e., to rescue tradition) as well as shed light into the thought of Maritain and the new theologians.

Reginalde Garrigou-Lagrange, ora pro nobis!

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