Author Topic: St Robert Bellarmine  (Read 245 times)

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Offline poche

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St Robert Bellarmine
« on: September 17, 2015, 12:15:04 AM »
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  • He was born at Montepulciano in Tuscany on October 4, 1542, the feast of the Poverello of Assisi toward whom he always cherished a special devotion. The day on which he died, September 17, is now the feast in honor of the stigmata of St. Francis.

    In 1560 Robert Bellarmine entered the Society of Jesus. He easily ranks among its greatest men, illustrious for learning as well as for piety, humility, and simplicity of heart. If it were possible to summarize his life in a single sentence, one that would resolve all the varied activities and accomplishments of his long career, a verse from the psalm might serve: "If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand be forgotten." His most important work was controversial in nature but the impact of his presentation "resembled the final chord in a mighty cantata, a chord that resounded through all the vice and scandal resulting from the internal corruption of the Church of that day, and that chord heralded Mother Church as one, holy, and Catholic" (E. Birminghaus).

    Bellarmine also acted as confessor to the youthful Aloysius and John Berchmans. It might be asked why three hundred years passed before the beatification and canonization of Bellarmine. Long ago Bishop Hefele pointed to the reason when he wrote: "Bellarmine deserves the highest degree of respect from Catholics, even though he has not been canonized. Those who labored to besmirch him have only erected a monument of shame for themselves!" Finally in 1923, he was beatified; canonization followed in 1930, and on September 17, 1931, Pope Pius XI declared him a doctor of the Church.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2015-09-17

    Offline Cantarella

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    St Robert Bellarmine
    « Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 10:21:00 AM »
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  • Comments of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on St. Bellarmine:  

    Quote
    Permit me to provide another fact from his life: St. Robert Bellarmine was the spiritual director of St. Louis Gonzaga. This alone would be honor enough in the life of a man.

     What can be said about St. Robert Bellarmine? He was praised as “the hammer of heresies.” There was a time, before Vatican II, when this was a great eulogy. Pope Benedict XV granted him this title. Various other great saints who worked considerable damage on the heresies received similar epithets. He wrote many books demonstrating the Catholic truth and attacking the heretics. His arguments were forceful and hard, but they converted many of them.
     
     Theodore of Blaise, an important Protestant leader who succeeded Calvin, was fearful of St. Robert Bellarmine’s work. This man had a famous debate with St. Francis of Sales. Elizabeth I, the Queen of England, was also in a panic over his works, given the number of conversions they had occasioned. She was so fearful that she decreed that whosoever was not a doctor in theology was forbidden to read his works.

     St. Robert Bellarmine understood that one cannot do away with a heresy only by preaching the truth. It is also necessary to attack and smash the error. Using this method he converted heretics, bringing them back into union with the Church. When the Catholic Church canonized him, she approved this method. She said that St. Bellarmine had practiced all the virtues to a heroic degree. Therefore, he acted according to charity, since it is one of the three theological virtues – faith, hope, and charity. He also acted according to justice and prudence since they are included in the four cardinal virtues: justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. If his method was wrong, the Church would not have canonized him.

     This is an important point to remember, since from the time of Vatican Council II, we have been taught that to attack heresy and heretics is harmful to the union of the churches. According to this conciliar mentality, every work of an apostolate should praise and applaud the heretics, and never forthrightly combat their errors. The life of St. Robert Bellarmine proves precisely the opposite.

     It is also interesting to note the presence of harmonic contrasts in the life of St. Robert Bellarmine. He was a champion of orthodoxy and a great fighter, but at the same time he was a man able to direct the sensitive soul of St. Louis of Gonzaga, and guide him to sanctity. St. Louis Gonzaga was very pure and so concerned about guarding his chastity that some bad persons close to him spread that he was unbalanced. St. Robert Bellarmine was the one who understood that difficult-to-understand soul, knew how to deal with him, and guided him to become a masterpiece of sanctity.

     Therefore, at the same time that he was a very busy polemicist, St. Robert Bellarmine took the time to direct souls and wrote profound spiritual treatises that earned him the title of Doctor of the Church. This capacity to revert back and forth from the mêlée of a fight and the direction of souls, while maintaining a spirit of meditation to write his books, is only possible when a man has a great calmness of spirit. This calm is, in a certain sense, one of the most profound notes of the soul of St. Robert Bellarmine.

     Let us admire such a great saint and ask him to do with each one of us what he did with St. Louis Gonzaga, that is, to lead us on the road of sanctity.


    Still today, St. Bellarmine represents a wall of Catholic defense against Protestantism, Liberalism, Modernism & Progressivism.
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.


    Offline poche

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    St Robert Bellarmine
    « Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 12:57:53 AM »
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  • Today’s saint, Robert Bellarmine, was a brilliant Jesuit theologian (1542-1621) who was assigned to lecture on controversial topics at the Roman Collage and was eventually appointed to the Holy Office (what we now call the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). By about 1605, he was the principal theological advisor to the Holy See.

    In this capacity, the problem of heliocentricity was put before him, both by Paolo Antonio Foscarini and Galileo Galilei, two proponents of Nicholas Copernicus’ earlier theory of the revolution of the earth around a stationary sun. This theory, which was ultimately proven correct, contradicted the ordinary perceptions of people on earth, and it was considered by most theologians to be contrary at least to the literal sense of Scripture, and to Scripture as generally interpreted by the Fathers.

    Bellarmine actually took a balanced position on the subject. He tried to dissuade the Holy Office from condemning the Copernican theory, and he advised Foscarini and Galileo to propound heliocentricity as a hypothesis which was very useful to astronomical calculations, but not as a certain view of reality. The general consensus was that one should not challenge the common interpretation of Scripture unless the evidence for an alternative view was conclusive.

    In a letter to Foscarini, Bellarmine wrote:

    I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the center of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than that what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown me.
    Nor is it the same to demonstrate that by assuming the sun to be at the center and the earth in heaven one can save the appearances [e.g., explain certain calculations, etc.], and to demonstrate that in truth the sun is at the center and the earth in heaven; for I believe the first demonstration may be available, but I have very great doubts about the second, and in case of doubt one must not abandon the Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Holy Fathers.
    This was a perfectly reasonable position, which permitted scientific investigation to continue without condemnation by the Church. In fact, it was not until 1633—twelve years after Bellarmine’s death—that Galileo got into significant trouble with the Holy Office and the Inquisition for pressing his case less cautiously than Bellarmine advised.

    Sadly, while Galileo could be brusque and even rash in his claims, the biggest problem was that there were not more theologians of Bellarmine’s quality. If the other Roman theologians had had St. Robert Bellarmine’s intelligence, fairness and patience, a great deal of trouble could have been avoided.

    But this is nothing new. Over the centuries, on nearly all sides of every question, the need for theological intelligence, fairness, patience—and, yes, sanctity—has been amply demonstrated to both the Church and the world!

    http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1144

     

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