Skip to comments.Dangerous Dilution of Church Teachings: Making the Exception the Rule
Posted on 03/18/2014 5:57:43 AM PDT by marshmallow
Ask a dozen Catholics drawn at random from a typical American parish, and all twelve will tell you that the faithful are no longer expected to abstain from meat on Fridays, except during Lent. Not so.
Abstinence from meat, or some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays except major feast days, says the Code of Canon Law (1251). In 1966, the US bishops ruled that mandatory abstinence from meat would no longer be mandatory, in large part because renunciation of other things would be more penitential. Still the American bishops said the faithful should perform some special act of charity or of self-denial on each Friday, and among the possibilities we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat.
So how did it become almost universally understood, by Catholics at large, that the Friday fast was simply a thing of the past? It happened, I suggest, through a process of dilution as the original message was passed down. The Vatican said that Catholics should abstain from meat or some other food. The US bishops opened up the possibilities much further, allowing the faithful to choose from an unlimited menu of acts of mortification or good works. Pastors, unable to give clear and simple instructions, told their congregations that they were freed from compulsory abstinence, but should do some act of penance on Fridays. And finally the people in the pews, accustomed to hearing vague suggestions that they should do penance, grasped the first part of the message but not the second. At each step, people had an opportunity to interpret a message from Rome, andhuman nature being what it isinterpreted it in the way that made things easiest for themselves.
Or to put it just a bit differently, when........
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicculture.org ...
Meat of Fridays is the last thing the Catholic Church needs to be worrying about.
“Abstinence from meat, or some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays except major feast days, says the Code of Canon Law (1251).”
The Bible says:
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” (Colossians 2:16)
“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” (Colossians 2:20-23)
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 11:15)
“Where would the early church have been if they had put their faith in Rome.”
Here come the prots. I’m reminded of a favorite line from one of the threads with 3K or so entries: “Protestants do everything wrong”.
Actually Lawler doesn’t dig deep enough at all. For one, his communion-the-hand history is very sorely lacking. American ‘bishops’ among other just plain old started doing it and Montini/P6 later tagged along. The Baptist said he wasn’t worthy to loosen Christ’s sandal strap so why do you think you can actually touch Him with your hand?
More like 1.2 billion personal interpretations of the CCC.
.....Rather, I see my country getting closer to a revolt.
OK, I’ll bite; what?
“The Baptist said he wasnt worthy to loosen Christs sandal strap so why do you think you can actually touch Him with your hand?”
Agreed - Just think of some of the folks you shake hands with at the sign of peace...
When the Father destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah it has been said that just several thousand were homosexual and aborting their babies.
Look at what “Christians” in the US are doing - maybe something a little bigger than civil war is coming.
That is why I have predicted a revolt will come down the road.
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer."
The Apostle Paul - worth reposting with emphasis.
Really? Chapter and verse where abortion was mentioned as one of the reasons that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
Why not? Jesus touched people all the time.
He didn't come to this earth, be born, eat, drink, walk, help, heal, etc, without touching people.
He's not out of anybody''s reach.
It's a distortion of who He is and what He came to do to make Him seem to be beyond our ability or right to touch Him.
Luke 8:42-48 As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.
She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, Who was it that touched me?
When all denied it, Peter said, Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you! But Jesus said, Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.
And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.
Or to put it just a bit differently, when the message is not clear and precise—or when a clear message is not conveyed with precision-- people generally hear what they want to hear.
Sometimes the process works very differently, and a message from Rome, intended to allow an option, is treated as an unbreakable command. Thus for example in 1969 the Vatican allowed for reception of Communion in the hand, providing that there was “the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist.” American bishops made Communion-in-the-hand the norm. Now in many parishes the practices is treated as compulsory. Similarly, the Vatican announced in 1994 that girls could be allowed to serve at the altar, and within a matter of days, in all but a few American dioceses, pastors were required to have altar girls.
If the Church provides an opening, the faithful tend to enlarge it to suit their own wishes. During the past week we have seen a new example of this phenomenon. Pope Francis, questioned about legal recognition for same-sex unions, declined to condemn all such measures, saying instead: “You have to see the variety of cases and evaluate them in their variety.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, speaking on a nationwide television broadcast, explained that the Pope was not endorsing civil unions but saying: “let’s just ask the questions as to why that has appealed to certain people.” Nevertheless, this week I have seen dozens of headlines claiming that the Church is ready to accept civil-union legislation, and by the end of the month—I guarantee it—some priests and many lay activists will be insisting that Catholics are obligated to support such legislation.
In light of this clear tendency to stretch the meaning of Church statements far beyond their original intent, it should be easy to understand why the Synod of Bishops must be especially careful in its approach to pastoral care for Catholics who are divorced and remarried. To date, no Vatican official has suggested that divorced and remarried Catholics should be allowed to receive Communion except under the most extraordinary of circumstances. But if there are any circumstances under which they will be admitted to Communion, will it be only a matter of months before, in practice, they are always admitted? Can the Vatican allow any relaxation of the Church’s Eucharistic discipline, without thoroughly undermining the doctrine on which that discipline is based?
To keep this question in perspective, remember that it was Pope Benedict XVI who began pushing for stronger pastoral outreach to divorced and remarried Catholics. First in 2007, in Sacramentum Caritatis, he urged pastors to help these Catholics ““live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving Communion.” In 2011, in an address to the Roman Rota, he observed that many couples married in the Church do not have a proper understanding of the sacrament, and therefore may seek declarations of nullity (annulments)—which would allow them to return to the sacramental life. In June 2012, at the 7th World Meeting of Families, he offered special words of support to those who “have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation.”
Pope Francis has followed up strongly on this initiative, repeating the theme that the Church should show special pastoral care to Catholics who are divorced and remarried, reminding them that “they are not excluded from God’s mercy.”
The enormous challenge facing Church leaders now is to show that special pastoral care to people who are in objectively difficult situations, without creating the impression that those situations are normal. The Synod of Bishops could follow the advice of Cardinal Kasper, and design a penitential process that allows some Catholics who are divorced and remarried to be admitted to the sacraments. But if so, there will soon be expectations that all divorced and remarried Catholics should be admitted to the Eucharist immediately, with barely a nod toward the process.
again you are profoundly mistaken and again fractally wrong.
Wasn't Jesus born?
Did He eat, drink, walk, help, heal, etc, without touching people?
He put Himself out of people's reach?
Wasn't He jostled by the crowd with people pressing in on Him? More than once?
Didn't He touch people?
What was wrong about what I posted?
Alex is that you spewing on metmom?
or does that represent the Father spewing on our country?
What is coming is like the very end of Romeo and Juliet when the sheriff tells everyone: “All are punished!”
Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam
for the folks from Rio Lindo) For the Greater Glory of God
I think we all have a very tough row to hoe on this.
A generation may not even be enough to root it out.
Do you seriously think that Paul was condemning fasting (of which Friday abstinence is a very, very mild form) in 1 Tm 4:1-5? Seriously? Elsewhere he admits to fasting himself, IIRC.
There’s a difference between fasting because you want to and it being compulsory.
Since so much of Catholicism is compulsory, I’ve noted that Catholics just cannot see the difference.