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To: Campion
This is true. But it is at the sufferance of Rome. Rome has infallibly proclaimed an absolute and particular jurisdiction over the entire universal church. It will last as long as the Pope of Rome and his successors choose to permit it.

"Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman
church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and
that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and
immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly
and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical
subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith
and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the
church throughout the world.

In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of
the same faith , the church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme
shepherd50. This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart
from it without endangering his faith and salvation. This power of the supreme
pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal
jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles
by appointment of the holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular
flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs
is asserted, supported and defended by the supreme and universal pastor; for St
Gregory the Great says: "My honour is the honour of the whole church. My honour
is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honour, when it
is denied to none of those to whom honour is due."51 Furthermore, it follows
from that supreme power which the Roman pontiff has in governing the whole
church, that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to
communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire church, so that
they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation. And therefore we
condemn and reject the opinions of those who hold that this communication of the
supreme head with pastors and flocks may be lawfully obstructed; or that it
should be dependent on the civil power, which leads them to maintain that what
is determined by the apostolic see or by its authority concerning the government
of the church, has no force or effect unless it is confirmed by the agreement of
the civil authority.

Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs
the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that
he is the supreme judge of the faithful52, and that in all cases which fall
under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment53. The
sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not
subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment
thereupon54. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that
it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical
council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff.

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of
supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction
over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but
also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church
dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part,
but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his
is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over
all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema."

From the Canons and Decrees of the First Vatican Council

4 posted on 09/09/2006 3:48:26 PM PDT by Calvin Coollidge (The last really great president.)
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To: Calvin Coollidge
I do not claim to be an expert on theology, nor have I thoroughly reviewed the promulgations of Vatican I. However, the Catholic Church's Councils have historically been called in a reactive manner to events and challenges facing the Church. In reviewing the section you provided, I do not take it as directive aimed at other churches but rather at governmental interference. This was a big problem with France, Germany and England at the time of Vatican I. An appropriate present day application would be in the Chinese government's appointing of bishops.

As to a practical application of this on normal Church governance, most Catholics you will correspond with here on FreeRepublic would wish that Rome were as active in the everyday governance of their particular Church as non-Catholics fear. The left-wing nun who is running my kid's religious education program in my parish this year takes many heretical stands. When I confronted her about her positions she responded that there was nothing wrong with a loyal opposition. I can only wish that Pope Benedict would personally come to my parish and chastise this nun, but know not to hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

While the primacy of Rome is presented as a big sticking point, I do believe that there is already substantial unity on the big issues of faith. The rest, to me at least, seems to be a matter of politics and procedures. As the author points out, willingness to unite and forgiveness for the past can go along way towards resolving those issues.

54 posted on 09/11/2006 6:06:18 AM PDT by Armando Guerra
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