Tuesday, April 12, 2016
CAN A PERSON PERSONALLY DISSENT FROM PASTORAL POSITIONS OF AN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL AND/OR A POPE? YES, BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO CAUSE DISSENION AND DIVISION IN THEIR DISAGREEMENT OR DERIDE THE MAGISTIERIUM FOR PURSUING A PASTORAL PROGRAM LEGITIMIZED BY AN ECUMENCIAL COUNCIL OR A PARTICULAR POPE
What seem to be insurmountable obstacles for their complete canonical reintegration came from the fundamentalist of those who adhere to the teachings of ecumenical councils, such as Vatican II, but do not make distinctions within the documents of those teachings which are doctrine and/or dogma, which are immutable, and pastoral policies set forth as an agenda for the Church.
Thus, conservative and liberal Catholics said the SSPX have to accept the revised Mass and its liturgist and the spiritualities that flow from these. They had no choice as though the 1962 Missal and pre-Vatican prayer and spirituality were at odds with the teachings of the Church.
In addition, when the SSPX questioned the directions of the Church in regards to ecumenism, interfaith relationships, relationships with the secular agnostic/atheistic world and other political ideologies, those Vatican II fundamentalists found it unacceptable.
Today, we know that one can dissent from the exclusive use of the revised Mass and still be Catholic. (However, to denigrate the rest of the Church which embraces legitimate liturgical reform is not wise and should be condemned).
We also know that if one feels that unbridled ecumenism, interfaith relations and dialogue with the ideologies of the world that are either agnostic or atheistic could lead to the watering down of the Faith by rank and file Catholics or a new form of the heresy of universalism, then one can dissent from these aspects of Vatican II.
If one does not want to elevate the ecclesiology of Vatican II above Christology, one can dissent when it appears that this is what is being done by some.
It really means being flexible about pastoral positions of the Church, even those promoted by Pope Francis in "The Joy of Love." What we should never do is to call Vatican II or any formal teaching of the pope anathema, because, quite frankly, the laity have no authority whatsoever and no bishop does without do so in concert with the Vicar of Christ.
Trusteeism or vestryism is alive and well among many Catholics who think they are more Catholic than Vatican II or Pope Francis. Sad, very sad indeed. But in pastoral positions, one may question and politely dissent and be loyal to the pope and the Magisterium.