So even more sewage from the ABL forum—aka the We Hate Matthew forum—spills across the road and pollutes CI!
Does anyone here disagree with the proposition that every priest (with the possible exception of completely cloistered contemplative monks), whatever the specific duties of his particular priestly situation may be, is a primary bearer of the Great Commission: to preach the Faith?
Does anyone here disagree with the proposition that every priest, even one whose duties do not routinely include close biblical study and interpretation (i.e., exegetics), ought to have done formal study of the Bible long enough to know a good deal about it and how it has been read and interpreted by reliable and fully sanctioned Catholic authorities, at the very least? Surely no one thinks that those authoritative Catholic commentaries were written by saints and scholars who learned about the views they were answering and rebutting by hearsay! (Think about it. What would you think of a priest who told a sola scriptura Protestant with a serious interest in our Faith that he should go bug someone else with his questions because he, the priest, didn't know enough about exegetics generally and about how leading Protestant scholars have influenced both mainstream and offbeat approaches to Bible study to give him an informed answer to even an entry-level question—at any rate an answer beyond "Bultmann is bad bad bad! Come back and see me when that fact sinks in to your thick skull, and then we'll talk"?)
Put another way, does anyone here disagree with the proposition that even an ordinary SSPX priest ought to know rather more about these matters than a typical commenting layman at CI who has moved on to this thread because he's grown tired of looking at pictures of Michelle Obama's manly butt?
Here are a few hard sayings. Like them or not, I don't give a tinker's dam. If you want to be an expert on baseball, you have to learn as much about other teams as you do about your own. (You don’t just say, “It’s evil to look at the Yankees! Watching them will poison your soul.”) If you want to be an architect, you have to learn enough about the properties of materials to realize why it’s a bad idea even to think about building a skyscraper out of clarinet reeds and scotch tape. (Saying “Well, everyone knows you can’t do that!” tends to win very little applause from a potential client’s review committee.) If you are going to teach the history of the drama at even a Trad-oriented Catholic college (if there is such a place nowadays), you have to have heard of Seneca, you have to know he was acclaimed for his plays for 1,700 years, and (if I’m doing the hiring!) you have to have read some of them and be able to tell which plots of his Shakespeare recycled. (Mutatis mutandis with the architect story, “everyone knows his stuff is crap” is not a sufficient answer.)
So too for a priest who studies the Bible—that is, every priest, in a properly ordered world. Bultmann was about as big a deal in Protestant exegesis as the twentieth century has to show. If a priest can say nothing but “he’s bad bad bad!” about Bultmann without having a mastery of the specifics, it won’t be long before he says even less substantive things about Melanchthon and Luther.
Why does this stuff even need explaining? Why do born-yesterday laymen commenters who’ve never spent even a day studying Latin in preparation for close reading of Jerome or Augustine get to decide what should or shouldn’t be taught in a seminary to young men who will be held to account, not by Matthew, Mater, or even a true genius like Telesphorus (SARCASM ALERT!), but by God Himself for his success or failure in being ready to preach the Faith to all those who need it preached to them, even educated Protestants?
Does Father Hewko pray thus at night: “Heavenly Father, thanks for exempting me from defending the Faith to Protestants. That Bultmann stuff is really bad news!”
Addendum: If Father Hewko genuinely thinks that “hermeneutics” began with or was popularized by Bultmann, he deserves to be lightly mocked. If he has any Greek, I suggest he start by looking at the writings of another B-initialed guy: Bessarion.