Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Count Neri Capponi, R.I.P.

Count Neri Capponi, second from the left, photo dated 2001 (Source: Controrivoluzione)
Count Neri Capponi, a prominent Florentine legal scholar and canonist, and one of the great traditional Catholic personalities, died on 13 December 2018 in Florence, Italy. Count Capponi taught for many decades at the University of Florence. He also served on the marriage tribunal of the Archdiocese of the same city and was recognized as a canon lawyer with the credentials to speak before the Roman Rota. Neri Capponi was also a Vice-President of the FIUV and was also Honorary President of the same Federation for many years. He also corresponded with the former President of Pro Tridentina (Malta).
 
Capponi was known for having defended the right of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to continue his apostolate without being labelled schismatic.
 
“You cannot apply the standards of the new code of canon law and the mentality of the old code. According to the new code, Lefebvre could do what he did with a Catholic intention, and he did what he did in ‘sincerity’ and invoked the ‘state of emergency’ argument, which the new code permits. You might not like the new code, but it’s what governs the Church.” 
Neri Capponi was also very much in favour of Summorum Pontificum. He considered the post-Vatican II period as a time of crisis:
"When asked why I believe the crisis we now face is worse than Arianism, I give these reasons: (a) The principal vehicle of the faith, the liturgy, was untouched by the Arian crisis; (b) whereas the Arian crisis was precipitated and sustained by the intervention of secular power, the post Vatican II crisis comes from within the Church and is therefore more difficult to fight; (c) in the fourth century, Pope Liberius finally signed the excommunication of St. Athanasius under duress—in the twentieth century Pope Paul VI was admittedly taken in and hoodwinked by his misguided optimism, but there was no duress; (d) the present crisis is not only one of faith but of morals as well. In addition, today not only one dogma, albeit a very important one, is denied as with Arianism, but all dogmas, be it even the existence of a personal God!" Times of Crisis, Times for Faith, lecture delivered in 1995.