Skip to comments.Papacy and Doctrine (A Little Firestorm at my School Paper)
Posted on 04/26/2005 4:18:26 AM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat
The disappointment of Cafeteria Catholics and the Liberal Media Establishment to the election of Pope Benedict XVI is sadly, not surprising. They seemed shocked that the Holy Spirit would choose a Catholic to lead the Catholic Church. But then, they are prisoners of the dictatorship of Relativism where there is no absolute truth, no absolute right and wrong.
Catholic Doctrine is unchangeable. Moral Truth does not change because of the desires of our age or because it is inconvenient. It stands throughout the winds of time as a beacon of Truth. Abortion will always be intrinsically evil. Women can never be priests. Contraception will always represent an attack upon the family, sexuality, and the human person. Homosexuality will always run counter to natural law. The doctrines of the Church cannot change. The manner in which the truth is taught and conveyed can change, but the fundamental doctrines do not change. The Truth is the Truth and will always be the Truth.
The Pope is the defender of the Roman Catholic Faith. He is a servant to Christ and the Deposit of Faith. He will preach that faith unequivocally and uncompromisingly. A Catholic has a duty to inform his or her conscience according to the teachings of the Church which were handed to her by Christ and are protected by the Holy Spirit. A Catholic is free to accept the truth of the Church or to deny it. However, that choice will in the end have eternal ramifications.
Like pope, dogma changes
Following the recent appointment of Pope Benedict XVI, many Catholics, myself included, have struggled when dealing with general criticism and media skepticism aimed at the Catholic Church. We must remember that our pope strives to unify, not alienate, members of the Church and the world at large. Sadly, J---- ---, in a letter published Monday, does not seem to share that vision.
Instead of expressing hope for a promising future that brings Catholics together, ---'s letter incites polarization and hatred, neither of which are expressed in the Catholic doctrine --- so frequently cites. Catholic doctrine is by no means "unchangeable." Vatican II revolutionized Catholic theology and liturgy in the 1960s, shocking many who would rather leave something broken because they were too afraid someone would fix it incorrectly. If the Church were static, it would have never made the contributions to its people and to the world that it has made over the last century alone.
It is disheartening that someone feels as though they can dictate the beliefs of the Church in such a dividing and patronizing manner, declaring "women will never be priests" -- which is a tradition of the Church, not a doctrine. That decision is up to the new pope and not up to J---- ---. Regardless of one's personal views, criticism of the beliefs, hopes or sexualities of others is not only unnecessary, but un-Christian.
Having been a Catholic my entire life, I am infuriated that someone would choose to represent my faith in this manner. Instead of the tolerance and compassion the Church preaches incessantly, this letter reeks of judgmental elitism. It leaves one questioning what makes J---- --- so much more "Catholic" than the rest of us.
Firestorm over Doctrine and Benedict XVI
Some people just don't get it. Or know the history they cite to make a point. Using Vatican II as a change in theology? Heaven help us.
The writer tips his hand.
I stay away from publishing stuff in my paper. I have a communist professor who will see it :)
Stick this up their gullet:
Gal 1,6 "I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. 7 Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. 9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Is that ozone I smell?
"Instead of the tolerance and compassion the Church preaches incessantly, this letter reeks of judgmental elitism. It leaves one questioning what makes J---- --- so much more "Catholic" than the rest of us."
This is another take on the gnostic heresy that has overtaken our civilization. Second one I've read this morning. Man knows what God does not.
What was the zot?
I believe that the troll, being found naughty in the sight of God, hath been zotted.
It is so sad to see in that persons response how ill formed they are as a member of the Catholic Faith. All we can do is educate and pray for them to walk out of the the darkness they are in of pride, ego, and relativism.
Development of doctrine means the elaboration and the detailed application to specific circumstances of the truths of the deposit of faith given by Christ to the apostles and taught in the Church by the apostles' successors down through the centuries in Scripture and Tradition. There can be no reversal of truths forming part of the deposit of faith, whether general concepts on faith and morals that have always been taught in the Church, or specifically defined dogmas with fixed words set forth by ecumenical councils or popes speaking ex cathedra. What can change are disciplinary matters and teachings that are not part of the deposit of faith. At least that is my nutshell understanding of the matter having studied the documents of Vatican I and II and Cardinal Newman on the development of doctrine.
I would agree that the Development of Doctrine only refers to the nature in which it is taught (Theology of the Body as an example). I have no idea where the person who responded to me came up with V2 as changing theology.
"I have no idea where the person who responded to me came up with V2 as changing theology."
Probably read it in the NY Times or something like that!
It is very sad to me to see how poorly educated the majority of Catholics are in the faith. We must pray that priests begin to teach during their homilies, rather than sugar coat the Gospel of the Cross. And perhaps that people actually take some interest in reading the Bible or the Catechism.
It's simply an application of the will.
you said "...You are assuming the writer is Catholic. I get the idea that she is just a loud mouth."
I agree with your second statement, Dominick, but she herself declares the following:
"Having been a Catholic my entire life, I am infuriated that someone would choose to represent my faith in this manner"
I stand by my statement that Catholics are poorly educated as a group.
No, Jesus never did anything like that. </sarcasm>
Six more weeks and you can shake the dust of that place off your feet for good. :-)
"Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers."
Well. Except for the statement that there is no absolute truth. That's absolutely true, right?
Inherent contradiction? Whazzat?
Maybe that is what he was taught. I have taken classes, taught by the the same priests who teach seminarians in our diocesan seminary, who have studied and received degrees from pontifical academies at Rome, who teach the same thing.
I have heard from their lips that doctrine has changed and doctrine will continue to change, that some day the Church will approve of homosexual relationships, women priests etc. The enemy is within.
Quite the little scholar.
They must still be handing out 400 points on the SAT just for getting your signature on the correct line.
"The CCD suffered a body blow in the 1960-70s. It is coming back, but if it was healthy, we would not have as many catholics, and we would instead have more Catholics."
That is all fine and well, but how do I, as someone interested in adult education in the Church, bring people to classes? How do we go about educating the adults with such crazy ideas of what the Church teaches? When we initiate classes here at our parish, it seems the same few people are showing up, with exception to some classes we did on the Passion movie last year.
I say it has to start in the pulpit. The homily is going to have to begin teaching the faith, with the assumption that those in the pews have a first grade CCD level education. How many Catholics do you think read the Bible? The Catechism? I would venture to say that it is proportional to the numbers of people who do not believe in the Real Prescence, or that the Church has a DUTY to excommunicate those within the fold who scandalize the flock. Read Paul's 1 Cor 5 to see this stuff is even in the Bible!
"A lot of info gets across, and guys listen to other guys in the presence of Budweiser"
LOL I have considered such an option at a small-group level with wine and cheese (brings in couples, rather than just the guys). I have to flesh it out some more, though. The practical stuff always gets in the way of the theory!
Your comment regarding one person at a time is very true. We try to do this whenever we can. Of course, in today's society, you take the risk of "hurting feelings" and coming across as being dogmatic or something like that, when you hold to the teachings of the Church that aren't popular. I have learned that you must develop thick skin and have logical arguments prepared in advance to put aside the "wisdom of the masses", which is basically listening to what the culture teaches.
"if you have an idea tell me."
That is what I was hoping for! But your Knights idea is not bad. I'll have to check into that.
"The Church has a duty to excommunicate, you are correct, but it also has a duty to save as many as possible"
True, and if you read 1 Cor 5, you'll see that excommunication's goal was to save souls by forcing one to repent of their actions. The Church must take its supernatural duty more seriously if it wants to continue to maintain its position in society. That is why the Church has lost so much relevance in society today. That is why the Church is often not taken seriously even by its own members. That is what happened with the sex scandal and the politician scandals that are allowed to continue. Bishops are not considering their supernatural duties of shepherding their flocks and are considering the Church as more a social welfare organization.
The liberal movement that hurt Vatican 2 and the dissent allowed within the US following Paul VI's ruling on contraceptions in the 1960's show this infection within the United States. Continue to pray for more Bishops who are taking their jobs seriously, realizing they have a higher power to answer to then public opinion polls. "To those who have been given much, more will be expected".
Would you be able to give me the Vatican II documents and citations which go to the fact that theology did not change with the Council.
I am looking to perhaps establish a dialogue with this person and to that end I would like to be more prepared than I am at this time. To that end, having Vatican II conciliar documents (with the citation) would be enormously useful so as to respond to her contention that theology changed with Vatican II.
I have the Catechism, Ordinatio Sacredotalis, Humanae Vitae, Donum Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, Theology of the Body to discuss the moral Truths, but Vatican II is the battleground.
I'm a little slow, I'm trying to figure out how you are responding to the writer of that quote. Is our application to try and be the best Catholic we can that makes us more Catholic than others?
You're trying to prove a negative, don't, call for the dissenters to back up their claim that dogma changed. The silence will be deafening...except for them trying to pass off changes in discipline and small "t" tradition as "theology". When they do that, and they will, blow 'em out of the water;)
"Would you be able to give me the Vatican II documents and citations which go to the fact that theology did not change with the Council."
Do you mean "theology did not change" or do you mean "doctrine did not change"?
There are changes in the Council documents when compared with traditional Catholic teaching, and there are errors and ambiguities in the documents which give the unwary the impression that doctrine has changed. The authority of such changes is very debatable, however, as the Council does not make it plain or obvious that it is actually trying to set forth any new teaching as being definitive.
However, in restating the previous Magisterium, the Council does give the basis for the reason why doctrine cannot change, in that revelation is closed and no bishop, council or Pope has any authority to alter that:
Lumen Gentium 25:
"But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)"
This last footnote here (47) refers to the 4th session of Vatican I which took place on 18 July 1870 and issued the Constitution Pastor Aeternis. More specifically it refers to Ch. 4 n.6 of Pastor Aeternis which is found in n.1836 in Denzinger where we read:
"For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter
not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine,
but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles."
The bottom line is that the Church is not in the business of making new doctrine, and this is affirmed by Vatican II. This should be the paradigm through which the whole Council is viewed, i.e. in accordance with Tradition.
In case you wanted to see the brilliance of university debate, another response posted in the online feedback section:
"Thank you for writing this response. James Fee is an embarrassment to any Catholic with a high school diploma or the equivalent thereof. Besides his problematic statements about the operation and teachings of the Catholic Church, he writes like an idiot. As an admissions employee, I cannot believe we let someone who uses phrases such as "the liberal media establishment" and "Cafeteria Catholics slip through the cracks. Grow the fuck up; NU students are (read: should be) too intelligent and too skeptical to accept this conservative propaganda bullshit. Also, why did he even write in to the forum? It was not clearly a response to anything in particular - just a bunch of misguided passion some reactionary douche bag who likes to hear himself talk.
Enjoy and Cheers!
When they spit venom, you know you've hit a nerve.
And I can't believe that anyone who resorts to that sort of language in writing is an admissions employee.
And if you read 2 Cor 1-11 you'll see that it worked!
Coffee. Kettle. Black.
Now we know your name, but we won't tell!
"And if you read 2 Cor 1-11 you'll see that it worked!"
Ah, you ruined it for me :-)
I am working my way through the NT, one epistle a week, and next week is 2 Corinthians, this week, 1 Corinthians. Amazing that Paul could have addressed much of 1 Cor. to the United States.
I've been called a bigot and a member of a cult since Benedict XVI was elected for expressing exactly the same facts as in your letter. I feel your pain. ;-)
You are not slow. I am vague due to time constraints.I've got a sec now; I'll elaborate.
I think your letter was spot on. To be described as more Catholic than others in a pejorative way is typical and familiar. But it's true, only because you have made the decision, by exerting your will, to learn the mind of the Church through her immense paper trail. You have truth and knowlege on your side and that makes you more Catholic than others because they have lies and myths on their side.
2 Cor 2:1-11 to be more exact. Particularly around vs 5.
Talk about a seaport city. Corinth was a double seaport city!
Ha Ha sounds like you upset a real DUmmie.
Of course, even the idea that one can be more Catholic than another, and have a resentment or malice because of it, stinks of some kind of egalitarian sentiment. It's not that you are more Catholic. It's actually the fact that your correspondent isn't Catholic enough. Certainly V2 didn't change one iota of "Catholic theology", and it would be perfectly proper to hammer facts home, at every opportunity. Sure, one is going to be called judgemental, rigid, hyper-religious, but damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. A spontaneous negative reaction that vilifies the speaker of truth is often replaced by understanding, and it is understanding that your opponents desperately need.