Wednesday, October 15, 2014


A tip of the hat to Henry Edwards for his comment that inspired me to post this:

Typically wise words today from Fr. Hunwicke:
"I would add a word of my own, to another anxious correspondent: A Catholic is obliged to be in communion with the See of S Peter (both when, as now, it is occupied, and also when, as during interregna, it is unoccupied). One is under no strict obligation to like the currently reigning Pontiff, nor to agree with him, nor to think that he is a man of prudence (although I think it is a mark of the mens Catholica to give him the benefit of any doubt). Many bishops, and even cardinals, did not like Benedict XVI, did not agree with him, did not admire his prudence. Indeed, not a few of those hierarchs, as soon as Benedict abdicated, came crawling out of their corners and said so. Presumably, as soon as Francis is either buried or abdicated, the same thing will happen."

"You have to be in communion with him and to accept anything he defines ex cathedra to be the teaching of Christ. When, in his Ordinary Magisterium, he affirms the Church's teaching (and Francis has done a lot of that) you are thankful for it. When you have a problem with some word or action, you lean over backwards to see it in the best possible light. But your duties of faithfulness to Christ do not mean that you have to be pathologically sycophantic towards whoever happens to be the current bishop of Rome."

"And you avoid the temptation to panic every time some daft bishops, or even some daft cardinal, says something ... daft."


Supertradmum said...

A good comment--the cult of personality in the 20 ad 21st century has lead to false adulation towards many Church leaders.

Only when Peter states something from the Chair of Peter must we obey--and I do not think this Pope would perjure himself and be reckless-I believe this because the Holy Spirit has promised to be with the Church until Christ comes again, even if it is a little, small remnant Church.

JusadBellum said...

Does everyone remember how the world media handled the John Jay report on the sex scandal? For weeks and weeks the world's secular media empires were fanning the flames on all their various media of communication with hints that the study would "prove" celibacy to be THE primary cause of pedophilia.

Story after story produced the good cop/bad cop outline as "heroic liberal progressives want to end celibacy to save the children while meanspirited, evil and stupid conservatives want to keep celibacy which is the cause of pedophilia".

But once the report did come out... the global media avalanche vanished. Why? Because the report clearly showed that the vast majority of actual abuse cases happened before 1979, and that most cases were of post-puberty teen boys: ephebophilia... the crisis was largely not about celibacy but about homosexuality.

So if - as it now appears - the synod fathers push back the absolute minority position, it's entirely possible that the world's secular media will do the same thing: the last impression in the Low Information folk's minds will be of some revolutionary change to Church dogma thanks to the 'heroic liberal, Francis'.... then when nothing happens (as nothing is reported), they will have the ready made template to blame "evil, meanspirited conservative killjoys".

The last thing the secular media wants to do is actually report the news 'as is'. It's too much ideological cat nip for them. This stuff practically writes itself. Report in a positive light anything that advances the secular in as negative a light (or bury it entirely) anything that would help conservatives/orthodox.

The pity is how many people are still low information and don't grasp this is the 'normal' setting.

Anonymous said...

But what are we to do if Peter abandons us?

Marc said...

Or one could believe that which is infinitely more rational and historically supportable--the pope is not infallible and there is nothing magical about being in communion with the "chair of Peter" in Rome, especially when the occupant is inventing novel doctrines.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A Catholic would be in schism a La Eastern Orthodox if that were the rational choice or Protestant

Marc said...

Unfortunately, all those Catholics in the first millennium would be surprised to know that being "in communion with the bishop of Rome" was the sole hallmark of being Catholic. That is, except the Catholics within the See of Rome. This is the patristic ecclesiology. The suggestion that to be Catholic one must be "in communion with the pope" is an anachronism not found in the fathers or the councils.

Honestly, it is silly to go thru such gyrations to believe in his personal opinions. But, alas, that is the method you must adhere to when doctrine can develop. And it is especially true when only one person assigns to himself the responsibility and authority to develop it.

JusadBellum said...

Correct me if I'm wrong (not being either a trad or a radtrad), but didn't the original SSPX justify their break not by claiming the Pope is illegitimate (sedevacantism) but that the Pope was wrong about in his prudential decisions to tacitly allow so much chicanery after Vatican II and wrong to strategically approve so much innovation out of whole cloth by substituting wishful thinking about the world, flesh, devil, and prospects of Catholics calmly sifting through dense councilliar documents for more staid traditional syllogisms?

In other words, their beef was not dogmatic or doctrinal but on praxis, on the pastoral application (or lack thereof) of the actual doctrine.

If Trent tells us something about the Eucharist and Vatican II which is a pastoral, not a dogmatic council attempts to tell us some vague something or other, aren't they on safest ground by reverting to the known praxis (pre-1962)? Isn't the fall back, safe position always the settled dogmatic one?

They weren't saying Paul VI didn't have the authority to do what he did with the Mass, discipline etc. but that he chose unwisely.

Their second beef was with the very nature of Vatican II documents being open to easy equivocal interpretations such that no one could say for sure what the Church's direction was to be...hence, "clown masses".

I've had arguments with them that impress on me that they at least have read the documents of Vatican II (and Vatican 1 and Trent...)

I could have this all mixed up, so I'm putting it to the peanut gallery. thanks.

John said...

Father McDonald:


States in part:

"This gift, then, of truth and never-failing faith was conferred by Heaven upon Peter, and his successors in this Chair, that they might perform their high office for the salvation of all; that the whole flock of Christ, kept away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished with the pasture of heavenly doctrine; that the occasion of schism being removed, the whole Church might be kept one, and resting in its foundation, might stand firm against the gates of hell."

It seems to me, infallibility of Popes is contingent on teaching only revealed Truth.

The Petrine office is to keep the flock from "poisonous food of error" and thus "remove the occasion os schism". How is what is going on in the Synod consistent with the conditions that promise infallibility? I am confused!

In the current situation a Pope teaching contrary to Jesus's very words and long defined dogmas on the nature of the marriage sacrament may prevent the Pope from infallibly teaching to the contrary; at least teach it infallibly, no?

George said...

The following statement is correct but incomplete:
"You have to be in communion with him and to accept anything he defines ex cathedra to be the teaching of Christ. When, in his Ordinary Magisterium, he affirms the Church's teaching. "

There is dogma, which is a truth which must be accepted by all Catholics and is proclaimed "ex-cathedra" by the Holy Father. There is also the "depositum fidei" which must likewise be accepted and held by the faithful. There is also the ordinary teaching on faith and morals. Many of the teachings and doctrines in the catechism have never been formally defined.

Anonymous said...

" I'm putting it to the PEANUT GALLERY"?? Wow....A grand example of your opinion of yourself compared to the rest of us....the "peanut gallery". Your pomposity is exceeded only by your pretentiousness.

Anonymous said...

I will never obey a pope who says sacrilegeous communions are fine.

I will never obey a pope who betrays Christ by implying second marriages are allowable.

I will never obey a pope who says active homosexual sex is acceptable. By the way isn't that the excuse all the pedophile priests gave to their victims. Gee and I wonder why all the pedophilia was hidden. This synod is shinning a bright lifht on a lot of filth in the Church. The fish is rotting from the head. Sorry the truth is the truth.

Gene said...

Speaking of nuts, Anonymous…don't leave your windows open or the squirrels will grab you.

George said...

When one looks at the occupant of the Chair of Peter, the administrator of the Petrine ministry, the Bishop of Rome, the head of the Roman Church, the Holy Father, that this is a person who occupies a position of a different order and nature than that of a mere president or king. To me, I believe that we as Catholics are obligated to pray for this person and give him every deference to matters having to do with faith and morals since he can err in neither. That this is so is part of the substance of our belief in that the Holy Spirit will always guide him in these matters. There have been Popes in the history of the Church who have led the most irresolute of lives that is true. There have been none however who have corrupted her Holy teaching.

Anonymous said...

True, Gene....the "peanut gallery" is a dangerous place. But I guess it's OK. Us peanuts aren't worth a great deal.

George said...

The SSPX came about because of its founder's belief that the Second Vatican Council promoted heretical teachings on such things as freedom of religion and ecumenism. It wasn't explicitly about Pope Paul VI. A pre-eminent part of this of course was the institution of the Novus Ordo..Are they schismatic? Code of Canon Law defines schism as "refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (canon 751). They would seem to be from that definition The Pontifical Commission has consistently discouraged the faithful from attending their Masses though unless there is no other alternative.

Benedict XVI
"As long as the Society [of Saint Pius X] does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church…. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church."

There are no shortage of people who will argue about the Society

JusadBellum said...

"peanut gallery" is a term of endearment. We're all of us here the peanut gallery. We're here "for free" are we not? None of us paid to be here did we?

No. Ergo, 'peanut' gallery.

As for me being pompous etc. well....if I'm wrong, then show me where I'm wrong.

If you don't like my "tone" well, one can't argue about taste. I don't like your tone either, so there. ;-)

But I do enjoy actual argument based on substantial differences that can be enumerated and substantiated.