An (open) letter to a fine essayist

by Bernard Brandt

Dr. Adam De Ville, a gentleman and a scholar, has recently written another of his fine essays, entitled, Sovereign is He who Destroys the Exceptional. That essay can be found here. I will not sully Dr. De Ville’s good work by offering a précis of it.

Nonetheless, I found his work worthy, not only of citation, but of comment. This is what I had to say:

Dear Professor DeVille,

I would like to thank you for this well-reasoned and thoughtful essay. As one who myself had been reared in the Roman Catholic Church for the first half of his life so far, but who has been a communicant in an Eastern Catholic Church for the other half to date, I have had to wrestle with the problem of my relationship as an Eastern Catholic with the Roman pontiff.

While I had early flirted with the folly of ‘Orthodox in union with Rome’ then and still current, I came quickly to the conclusion that that position was untenable. In viewing both the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and my rights and duties under the recently promulgated Eastern Catholic Code of Canon Law, I came to the conclusion that I owed and owe His Holiness the duty of an attentive and respectful hearing of His thought, as expressed in officially promulgated documents.

Fortunately for me, I have found that the official writings of Pope Saint John Paul Magnus, Pope Benedict XVI, and of Pope Francis have been wholly in accord with Scripture and Tradition. While at first I had some difficulties with some of the ‘off the cuff’ statements of that last pontiff, I found that they were largely resolved when I got my information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’, rather than from the media, who appear lately to have taken on the function and character of that worthy beast’s other end.

That said, I believe that the charism of the clergy, be they deacon, priest, bishop, or pontiff, is fulfilled when they are obedient to and act in accordance with Sacred Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the Teaching Authority of the Church. On the other hand, it is a matter of great sadness to me to find clergy who appear to say: ‘Obedience for thee, but not for me’. It is these who appear to me to undermine the very authority which they seek to arrogate to themselves.