Infinite disagreement on Dignitas Infinita

Infinite Human Dignity? A Look at the Mixed Reactions to the Latest DDF Declaration

With its release of the declaration Dignitas Infinita on Apr. 8, 2024, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Destruction of the Faith has added more fuel to the fire of disagreement and confusion that has been raging in the Vatican II Church.

From all sides, reactions have been pouring in, and they vary widely, even within the various ideological groups. From the new document being hailed as a “dramatic” statement that is nothing short of a “masterpiece” to it being “quite possibly the most wicked statement possible” on the subject, any and all opinions are represented in the spectrum.

Interestingly enough, however, reactions vary significantly even within specific groups, such as the conservatives and the recognize-and-resist traditionalists.

Let’s take a brief look at the wide array of remarks that have been pouring in since Monday of last week: Who’s saying what?

Left-Leaning and Mainstream Sources

Novus Ordo apologist David L. Gray hails the new document as nothing short of a “masterpiece”, while Mike Lewis from Where Peter Is praises Dignitas Infinita as a “dramatic statement from the Magisterium”.

Writing for Catholic Herald, Dualta Roughneen fears that the declaration “will be misrepresented by antagonists seeking to give the impression that all dignities are equal, or seeking to ignore the fundamental nature of our ontological dignity.”

The Pillar created a special page on which various Novus Ordo moral theologians posted their thoughts on the document in a ticker format.

The founder of Catholic Culture, Jeffrey Mirus, notes that although not perfect, the text of Dignitas Infinita is nevertheless “a strong one”. His colleague Phil Lawler says there are good and bad things in the document, but he is missing the ‘fire’ in the message.

Writing for the National Catholic Register, Jonathan Liedl reports on the “widespread praise” the new document has received.

At Crisis Magazine, John M. Grondelski doesn’t think “organizing a document around ‘human dignity’ is a good idea”, and he explains why.

Writing for the Catholic World Report, Amy Welborn says the declaration “is good as far as it goes”, it just doesn’t go all that far.

David Deane at the Catholic World Report points out that “the Declaration undermines the magisterial tradition and works within a limited, naturalistic, model of the moral life. In so doing, it supports the narratives and methods that lead to the very beliefs (about abortion, gender etc.) that it critiques. While enshrining these narratives and methods, it undermines the narratives and methods on which the Catholic positions depends.”

Writing for, Christoph Paul Hartmann expresses surprise at the “tameness” of the declaration concerning gender theory, while lamenting that Rome’s “ideological blinkers are still tightly fastened and leave little room for new impulses” . The author concludes that “due to the lack of depth and diversity, the text leaves the reader somewhat perplexed as to what the Vatican actually wanted to say with this declaration, apart from its own self-assurance.”

Conservatives and Recognize-and-Resist Traditionalists

A priest writing in The Remnant makes the case that John Paul II’s phrase “infinite dignity”, which he used in a 1980 address in Germany, was but a “rhetorical flourish” and is wrongly being incorporated into the theology of Dignitas Infinita.

Robert Morrison, writing for the same publication, claims the document is “quite possibly the most wicked statement possible” on the subject, whose “unholy errors” must be rejected.

Bearded podcaster Kennedy Hall denounces the Vatican document as “heretical and satanic”.

At his personal blog, philosopher Edward Feser makes a convincing case for “two problems with Dignitas Infinita, and rebuts some of the argumentation that has been adduced in defense of the text’s orthodoxy.

The Lefebvrists of the Society of Saint Pius X released a brief critique of the declaration, saying that it “takes up, and exacerbates, the misguided or unbalanced notion of human dignity which was at the heart of Vatican II….”

At One Peter Five, T.S. Flanders lists what he considers “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in the document. In an earlier post, he uses the release of the declaration as an opportunity to accuse Pope Pius IX of instituting a regime of “clericalist iconoclasm” of which Dignitas Infinita is merely the latest expression.

At Rorate Caeli, Roberto de Mattei assures his followers that the declaration, although not perfect, is safe and ought to be accepted by Catholics, whereas Jeanne Smits excoriates it, contending that it presents a “naturalistic vision of mankind” and in fact “magnifies man to the point of facilitating the worship of man….”

The Pilgrim Priest Rev. David Nix claims to have found at least three heresies in Dignitas Infinita.

At The Wanderer, Christopher Manion throws the traditional Catholic teaching on the magisterium out with the bathwater in an attempt to rip Dignitas Infinita to shreds, demonstrating once more the impossibility of being a Catholic while recognizing Francis as the Pope of the Catholic Church.

Thomistic philosopher Peter Kwasniewski calls the main thesis of the declaration “sheer balderdash” and explains why the opening sentence alone is “not only false, but notoriously and dangerously false.” His colleague Taylor Marshall has a fairly positive attitude toward the document but criticizes its idea of an infinite dignity.

These concerns are not at all shared by Christopher Altieri, who believes “there is nothing controversial about the expression” of man’s infinite dignity. He expresses his surprise that “the pope’s inveterate antagonists elected to be sore winners.” Among them, clearly, would be Edward Feser, who also penned a brief commentary for Rorate Caeli.

Using the concrete example of the death penalty, condemned absolutely in Dignitas Infinita, Luisella Scrosati shows that it is one more “contradiction of Church teaching passed off as authentic development”. Her colleague at Daily Compass, Tommaso Scandroglio, argues the declaration is a “superficial document” containing “serious errors”.

At The Catholic Thing, Michael Pakaluk offers fairly mild criticism of Dignitas Infinita, as editor Robert Royal observes that “there’s little real fight in the Declaration, especially given the current moment, when militant activists of various stripes need to be not just observed and classified, but effectively resisted.”

A writer at Voice of the Family says the declaration is “only excellent in parts”, pointing out that it “is strangely silent on the danger posed by the worldwide promotion of the contraceptive mentality … as well as its logical extension, the homosexualist agenda.”

The Sodomite Lobby and Its Friends

The aberrosexuals at New Ways Ministry, naturally, found the document offensive to their infinite dignity, saying it “fails LGBT people”; and they dug up some ‘Catholic theologians’ who agree with them. The frightful Rev. Daniel Horan, OFM, objects to the “strawman called ‘gender theory'”, while conceding that “this document could have been a lot worse”.

The thoroughly disordered Modernists of the Vatican II Sect in Germany are outraged. ‘Catholic theologian’ Ursula Wollasch asks on the country’s official ‘Catholic’ portal: “…how are trans people supposed to feel accepted in the Catholic Church if it brands urgently needed treatment methods as an offence against human dignity?” No question, some people ‘urgently need’ to have their genitals cut off, lest their ‘infinite dignity’ should suffer!

By the way: In Switzerland, the conservative Novus Ordo theologian Rev. Manfred Hauke is currently standing trial for “publishing an article …that allegedly violated the [Swiss] ban on discrimination and incited hatred against homosexuals.” Although that is not directly related to the release of Dignitas Infinita, no doubt perverts of every stripe will now, armed with “infinite dignity”, feel even more emboldened to continue their militant fight against the last remnants of sexual morality and decency.

Thus far our reaction round-up on the latest infernal Vatican document. Our own commentary on the document will be published soon.

Image source: composite with elements from Shutterstock (Jacob_09) and YouTube (screenshot)
Licenses: paid and fair use

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