What the Pope says is what the Roman Catholic Church is.
You might disagree--and I might disagree--but we don't get to interpret what Catholicism is. That, in the Catholic church, is up to the Pope. Regardless of what Aquinas, Luther, or Jesus said.
I'm NOT saying the Roman Catholic church isn't Christian, merely that the Pope is its leader on earth and if you want to be Catholic that's who you follow unquestioningly. No fair pretending to be Catholic and acting like you get to vote on it or something.
posted on 12/18/2003 6:33:15 PM PST
(When laws are regularly flouted, respect of the law and law enforcement diminishes correspondingly.)
What the Pope says is what the Roman Catholic Church is. You might disagree--and I might disagree--but we don't get to interpret what Catholicism is.
Obviously you're not Catholic. What you describe is just not the case. In some sense the pope has no more ability to decide what is Catholic than you or I. In fact, he is even more bound to uphold the constant teaching of his predecessors because he takes an oath to faithfully hand down what he has received and to change nothing of the faith.
the Pope is its leader on earth and if you want to be Catholic that's who you follow unquestioningly.
This is a common misunderstanding about the Catholic faith. No one is required to follow the pope "unquestioningly." Normally that is a safe thing to do, even if it's not required, but there have been other historical circumstances like our own in which it has been necessary to cling to the Catholic faith when the pope went astray. His personal opinions in particular, for example on the death penalty, have no obligatory force whatsoever.
Not exactly, though the overall sentiment you state is correct. The Pope is the leader of the Roman Church, however, he is unable to overturn centuries of Church doctrine, he can just more clearly focus doctrine. If the Pope were to say Abortion is ok, the Church would not. I think that is a needed distinction to make.
And I will admit, my own feelings on the death penalty are quite conflicted. But I also firmly believe that the theological justification for the current Church stance on the death penalty is highly suspect. The current opposistion to the Death Penalty (though not condemnation) lies with the need for the State to defend itself. I Think that is a dangerous primary reason to either have or not have the death penalty. It is also a big departure for the past on the Death penalty, with focused on the retributive side of the Death Penalty. To build support or opposistion completely on Defense of the State is dangerous, because one could argue that other things are necessary to protect the state even if they are morally evil. Just a thought.
"That, in the Catholic church, is up to the Pope. Regardless of what Aquinas, Luther, or Jesus said."
Regardless of what Jesus said???
posted on 12/19/2003 8:31:43 AM PST
Your entire post displays a poorly formed "knowledge" of the Church. Are you RC or just a wanna-be?
posted on 12/19/2003 9:11:08 AM PST
(So many cats, so few recipes)
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