Saturday, January 18, 2020

Benedetto Plazza's Help(?) in the Immaculate Conception Debate

In Mr. Albrecht's debate with Tony Costa on the immaculate conception, Mr. Albrecht raised a question as to the popes who denied the immaculate conception during one of the cross-examinations. Tony pointed to Schaff, who in turn pointed to Launoy. Mr. Albrecht followed up by asking if Tony had a citation to where John XXII said what he is identified as saying. He went on to insinuate that Launoy was just making things up, calling him a Socinian and so on (we addressed some of that ad hominem in a previous post).

I respond:

1) Note that Launoy himself identified this as John XXII or Benedict XII. He was not certain which pope wrote this. This is actually a mark of honesty, integrity, and caution on the part of Launoy.

2) Benedetto Plazza is about the only author I could find (possibly this reflects more on my searching than on extant disputations) who tried to discuss Launoy's assertions. In itself, this is a massive argument from silence, but it also explains why Schaff was willing to pass on the list without presenting counterpoints.

3) BP (in his Cause of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, p. 226) points us to Codex 4163 in the Royal Gallic Library, which contains manuscript sermons of Pope John XXII. Launoy pointed us to a manuscript sermon in the library of Cardinal Mazarin. The sermon evidently was a sermon on the feast of the assumption of Mary - the first sermon on that subject in the collection. Thanks to the French National Library, and BP's help, I was able to locate the very manuscript that corresponds to these indicators:

Here's the entry:
Cote : Latin 3290
Ancienne cote : Mazarin 1031
Ancienne cote : Regius 4163
Johannes XXII papa , Sermones.

The page with the quotation can be found here (link to page)(related link)(another related link), which also provides context for the quotation (highlighting of the original Latin is mine):

Evidently Launoy as uncertain as to whether the title page indication of authorship was correct, which attributes the sermons to John XXII (though note that the original hand of this manuscript identifies it as a papal sermon). The scholar Noël Valois, in "Jacques Duese, pape sous le nom de Jean XXII," concludes that the sermons in this manuscript are John XXII's, and I see no other more recent scholarship to the contrary. To be fair, John XXII isn't the most notable pope of all time, though part of the Avignon papacy.

There is also a manuscript collection of John XXII sermons in the Vatican library if you are interested (link 1)(link 2). I don't think that this particular sermon is in that collection, but I have not fully read the Vatican manuscript.


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Thiago Dutra said...

Dear brother, Grace and Peace. I'm a Brazilian apologist, and I'm searchin' for good material against Immaculate Conception. Do you have something about this?

God Bless you.