Catholic fact check

Catholic fact check: Father Edward Schillebeeckx and Implicit Conclusions

The following quotation (or variations thereof) is attributed to the controversial theologian Father Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P.: “We express it diplomatically [now], but after the Council we will draw the implicit conclusions.” The citation given for the quote is almost always the same: De Bazuin, No. 16, 1965 Says who? The quote has circulated for years now. Perhaps most famously, it was used in the book Iota Unum, by Romano Amerio1, and in Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics2.

Catholic fact check: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla and the final confrontation

The following quotation is attributed to Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope St. John Paul II: We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.

Catholic fact check: Pope Pius IX on Liberal Catholics

The following quotation is attributed to Pope Blessed Pius IX: Liberal Catholics are the worst enemies of the Church. (While I'm not sure that the rule is ironclad, I was taught that people with more than one title have the titles listed in order of rarity. ‘Pope’ is less common than ‘saint’ or ‘blessed,’ so I put ‘Pope’ first.) Says who? The header image is from the Lepanto Institute.

Catholic fact check: Jean Guitton, Pope Paul VI, and the liturgical reforms

Photograph: Pope Paul VI and Jean Guitton. Undated. Claim The following quotation is found all over the internet. It's attributed to the philosopher Jean Guitton: The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy…There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or, correct, or at least relax, what was too Catholic, in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist Mass.

On the Mythical Pius XII Thanksgiving Indult

Every year around Thanksgiving, a flurry of social media posts make the rounds in traditional Catholic circles, concerning a mysterious “Turkey Indult” from the 1950s.

Catholic fact check: St. John Chrysostom on wifely obedience

Artwork: Greek Miniaturist, “Homilies of Ioannes Chrysostomos.” c. 1078. Manuscript (Ms. Coislin 79) Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris The following quotation, attributed to St. John Chrysostom, is extremely popular in Catholic and Orthodox circles: When we speak of the wife obeying the husband we normally think of obedience in military or political terms, the husband giving orders and the wife obeying them. But while this type of obedience may be appropriate in the army, it is ridiculous in the intimate relationship of marriage.

Catholic fact check: Pope John XXIII and fresh air

Continuing the theme of Catholic fact-checking, today's exploration is of Pope St. John XXIII and fresh air. As the story goes, when Pope John XXIII was asked why he called for a council, he walked over to his window, threw it up, and said something like, “I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in.” This is cited in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations1 but it is the only quotation of his that has the dubious label “attributed.

Catholic fact check: St. Basil and St. Peter Damian on pedophilia and homosexuality

Every so often, a quotation attributed either to St. Basil the Great or St. Peter Damian circulates. The quotation reads: Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting into his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening.

Catholic fact check: Pope John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia, and high altars

There is an anecdote that circulates in the Catholic blogosphere about the promulgation of Pope John XXIII's apostolic constitution Veterum Sapientia. In one example, the story goes: “Veterum Sapientia is proud to announce its Fourth Annual Latin Conference for priests, deacons, religious (male and female), and seminarians, hosted this year at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from July 31 to August 6. The program is called Veterum Sapientia after the Apostolic Constitution which Saint John XXIII signed at the high altar of St.