Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Ultramontane – all Roads Lead to Rome

An interesting book review of Martin Mosebach's book, "All Roads lead to Rome," can be found at St Hugh of Cluny.

Der Ultramontane – alle Wege führen nach Rom
(The Ultramontane – all Roads Lead to Rome)
By Martin Mosebach
Sankt Ulrich Verlag
Augsburg, 2012

It’s safe to say that no other work advocating the Traditional liturgy has had the worldwide impact of Martin Mosebach’s Die Häresie der Formlosigkeit of 2002. Now, after ten years, Martin Mosebach has published a second collection of his non-fiction dealing explicitly with matters Catholic. I say “explicitly” because a deep Catholic sensibility underlies all of Martin Mosebach’s work. In Die Häresie the essays all revolved around the question of the liturgy; in Der Ultramontane (“The Ultramontane”) Mosebach deals with a broader spectrum of issues agitating the Church today.
The very title is a confrontation with the Catholic Church of Germany. In no other country is the anti-Roman and anti-papal rage so widespread as in Pope Benedict’s own homeland. In the country where any other expression of patriotic feeling is taboo it is only in relation to the Roman Catholic Church that nationalistic sentiment flourishes. The list of demands by Catholic theologians, clergy and laity aired almost daily in the media will be familiar: recognition of divorce, abolition of clerical celibacy, women priests, homosexual marriage, greater ‘democracy” in the Church etc. The German hierarchy either avoids confronting the attacks or not so subtly cooperates in enabling the protests. Against this attitude Mosebach professes Ultramontanism: the notion that every Catholic by his loyalty to a specific man – the pope – is a member of two jurisdictions or communities. He cannot give absolute loyalty to the German state and its current ideology. Mosebach thus cleverly links the current battles with persecution of the Church by Bismarck’s Prussia in the 19th century – the Kulturkampf – a struggle waged against the despised Ultramontane supporters of the pope. He points out once more that the papacy has prevented the creation of closed, totalitarian states in Europe – an observation made as early as the 18th century regarding the caesaropapism of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.


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