Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: "Guidelines" re: discussions of Liturgy, other prudential decisions?
Posted on 07/30/2002 10:54:47 AM PDT by Polycarp
Can I suggest "Guidelines" for our Catholic Caucus regarding Liturgy and ask for imput?
1) Popes have authority over discipline. The Liturgy is a matter of discipline. As such, changes in discipline are prudential judgements, and not necessarily protected by the Holy Spirit from error. However, since Liturgy is the primary means of catechesis in Faith and Morals, such changes are grave matters. And criticism of these prudential decisions is valid BUT can only be undertaken knowing that such criticism itself is a grave matter and should only be undertaken by those with a deep enough understanding of these issues that their criticism itself does not cause scandal or lead the innocent into schism or disobedience where obedience is due.
2) Since Popes have authority over discipline, any Eucharistic Liturgy they promulgate ---if it has the proper matter and form--- is by its very nature Valid and Licit. No Pope is bound in disciplinary matters by previous Popes.
3) These are difficult times. Simply questioning and searching, honestly, does not make one a schismatic. Questioning the link between the current grave scandals and the changes in the Church since Vatican II and the promulgation of the Novus Ordo mass does not make one a schismatic, though some conclusions drawn may clearly and onjectively be incorrect.
5)Denying Papal authority over the discipline of the Liturgy does make one schismatic.
6) Denying the Novus Ordo is valid and licit or that Pope Paul VI had the authority to promulgate it does make one schismatic.
7) Questioning the fruits of the Novus Ordo, the quality and quantity of its catechesis, and pointing out where and when it becomes illicit or invalid is not schismatic.
8) Questioning the prudential judgement of the Pope can be done charitably in some circumstances but most often lately such questioning has itself been imprudent.
Can all non-schismatic orthodox Catholics here agree with these points?
The definition of schism in these matters is clear:
Denying the authority of the Pope over matters of discipline, including the Liturgy, is schismatic. Denying the validity of the new mass, its inherent licitness, or the right of the Pope to promulgate it is schismatic. Denying that Vatican II was not a valid council is schismatic.
Some things are not schismatic, so much as imprudent or possibly dissenting or disobedient. Some things are none of these, only simple honest differences of opinion.
One last thought:
The hallmark of those firmly and recalcitrantly mired in schism and dissent is disproportionate anger, bitterness, and vitriol.
An objective observer, not knowing whether the schismatic or orthodox Catholic debator is correct, should at least find a firm clue in the kind, patient, charitable witness of the orthodox Catholic in comparison to the hallmark anger, bitternes, and vitriol of the schismatic.
When the debating tactics of the orthodox Catholic apologist are no different than the anger, bitternes, and vitriol of the schismatic apologist, and the sarcastic and cynical remarks outwiegh those done with patience and charity, something is seriously wrong with the approach of the orthodox Catholic apologist (at a minimum.)
The peace and love of Christ must shine through in the posts of a stable, orthodox Catholic apologist
It might help bring us back together and unite to fight the current problems in the Church.
The current scandal in the Church is homosexual predatory abuse of teenage boys by priests.
Many of the guilty priests were ordained before Vatican II and the Novus Ordo mass.
Discussion of the post-conciliar Church and its merits and problems is important, but the sexual immorality of the present age began before 1960.
I saw this over at the other thread. I'm not ignoring it. I'm just thinking and praying. Not necessarily in that order. ;-)
I think you summarized what to do quite well:
I dismiss such posts as rantings of a person who is frustrated to the point where he loses any ability to seperate anger from reason.
I have also found it to be advantageous occasionally to take it to private FReepmail where words and posts are not so wrapped up in personal pride and saving face. Much progress can be made in this fashion even while similar efforts on the thread itself will bear no fruits whatsoever.
And I'll openly admit that I have been guilty of rantings of a person who is frustrated to the point where he loses any ability to seperate anger from reason lately, both regarding the homopederasty issue and the Catholic infighting here where I have been maligned and blatant lies have been spread about me.
Please don't laugh at this suggestion, but I'd like to suggest that:
"6) Denying the Novus Ordo is valid and licit..."
be changed to:
"6) Denying the Novus Ordo is valid, licit, and orthodox..."
I actually read somewhere someone claiming that the Mass of Pope Paul VI was valid, licit, but heretical.
Speaking in a private, personal opinion sense, I can agree with your points. I sometimes hesitate to actually and openly call someone schismatic even for denying the validity of the Mass though. It may be my opinion, but I try, normally, to wait for the Holy See's judgment on the matter. It is easy to call the SSPX schismatic because the Pope said that. It is easy to call the Sedevacantists and guys like ultima ratio schismatic becuase they either deny the Pope is the Pope or they so aggressively attack him that its entirely clear.
There are others though, who fall squarely on lots of different shades of gray. I suspect there are some who doubt the Novus Ordo's validity but are not in fact schismatic. Clearly one can say that denying the validity of the Mass is inidicative of schismatic sensibilities, as are many other things. Until the Church speaks authoritatively on the issue.
The peace and love of Christ must shine through in the posts of a stable, orthodox Catholic apologistIt appears I will have to content myself with being an orthodox Catholic apologist, rather than a stable one. ;-0
Can you point out "most often lately such questioning has itself been imprudent?" There is a fine line here, and I don't want to cross it. I know whatever the Pope does, he does with far greater wisdom and knowledge and holiness than we have, but I do enjoy some of the discussions of his actions (Assisi, etc) because I always learn from the posters on FR, and the bigger global picture is starting to make sense to me. I'd hate to be labeled a "schismatic" or similar labels (I'm undermining the Faith or trying to undermine the Pope or I don't believe in the Pope's authority, etc), because I ask questions in order to understand something.
Can you point out "most often lately such questioning has itself been imprudent?"See nearly every post by ultima ratio.
There is a fine line here, and I don't want to cross it.If I may make a suggestion, before you make a post criticizing the Pope or an action of his, or questioning it, etc., simply ask yourself why you are posting that statement. Does it give glory to God? Will it help your spiritual life? Will it help the Church? Will it help others? If the answer to the first question (why are you posting it) is not a good reason, think about it. If the answers to all four of the other questions is no, dont post it.
It takes longer to post that way, and at times you will forget to do it and will make mistakes (see nearly every post by patent).
I ask questions in order to understand something.There is a fundamental, almost unmistakable, difference between those who ask questions to learn, and those who ask questions to attack. It is possible that the former can at times ask attacking questions, especially when wounded, but the latter still stands out as something of an entirely different nature.
I don't believe I've ever posted anything critical of the Pope, but I do see the value of posting something like the article by Bob Sungenis "Another loyal son says no to Assisi" (paraphrasing the title), because although it was highly critical of JPII, there was some wonderful counterpoints to the article posted by FR posters. I had read that article previous to it being posted here, and since I had viewed Sungenis as an orthodox Catholic (he does wonderful work with someone like James White), the column he wrote on Assisi was confusing for me. No, the article did not give "Glory to the Church" and it didn't help my spiritual life, it didn't help the Church, but the answers to it that were posted on FR certainly did.
I might be a little bit "gun shy" because it seems to me that lately (ultima ratio excluded) I've noticed posters questioning the motives of other posters, calling them all sorts of names and I don't like that unless the poster in question is obvious in his hatred for the Church or the Pope or even Vatican II.
But your post is well taken, nevertheless.
but I do see the value of posting something like the article by Bob Sungenis "Another loyal son says no to Assisi" (paraphrasing the title), because although it was highly critical of JPII, there was some wonderful counterpoints to the article posted by FR posters. I had read that article previous to it being posted here, and since I had viewed Sungenis as an orthodox Catholic (he does wonderful work with someone like James White), the column he wrote on Assisi was confusing for me. No, the article did not give "Glory to the Church" and it didn't help my spiritual life, it didn't help the Church, but the answers to it that were posted on FR certainly did.My view here, and take this as merely my personal opinion, which you are entirely free to reject, despise, fold, bend, spindle or mutilate, is that the original posting did not give glory to God, and I would not have posted it here.
If I had a question on the issue, I would either research it online, being very careful about the sources I trust, or I would approach someone I trust and discuss it privately. Bring the article, or give a link if discussing by e-mail or freepermail. Tell the person you read this article, and it gives you some concerns and questions. That is entirely legitimate, and does not give rise to scandal, a much ignored sin these days.
Posting it online gives opportunity to those who hate the Church to take cover behind your posting and attack. Some threads they show up, others they dont.
Again, this is entirely my opinion, nothing more. (I bumped narses to this comment not because Im criticizing him here, my opinions were already made known. I think its only polite to ping him since he posted the article we are talking about, and I dont want to talk about it behind his back.)
Excellent advice that I will try to heed. Thank you.
A preponderance of bishops'opinions,in one country,over a couple of generations does not Christ's Church on earth make.What's more it may not even be a numbers question,it may be that a few bishops and their able syncophants make more noise,or even that they get more face time and sound bites,because they appeal to the enemy.
Anyway its a good idea to try to work together for the Church Christ established.
I actually read somewhere someone claiming that the Mass of Pope Paul VI was valid, licit, but heretical.
Hmmm...not sure how any reasonable Catholic could say such a contradictory thing, but these are strange days, you're probably correct in the need to add "orthodox" to "valid and licit."
I feel there would be a great loss here if all that we posted gave only Glory to the Church. I think the responses most often do that. Heck, I'm wondering if some of Fr. Neuhaus' columns would make that criteria? Or some (all) of the newspaper accounts of the homosexual scandal? On the other hand, I wouldn't post a critique of the Catholic Church by someone like a James White or a rant against John Paul II by the SSPXers.
"Hmmm...not sure how any reasonable Catholic could say such a contradictory thing,..."
LOL. Yeah, I know. I'm sure the author of the article that I found that in thinks he's a reasonable Catholic. ;-)
Truer words were hardly ever spoken. I really wish that more people would take that to heart and not request that others be banned. Sometimes there is no more effective way to evangelize than to present both sides of the story.
Also one of the most important principles of war according to some guy,like von Clausawitz or Sun-tsu or Che Guevera is "know your enemy" And certainly if this isn't a war it ia a major battle.
Finally,even if we're not evangelizing,or preparing for "war",it is always good to learn,and as you said,on another post Colleen,you (and I)also learn so much from the responses of posters responding to the article or post in question.
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