Monday, January 16, 2017

BOMBSHELL COMMENTARY FROM CRUX QUESTIONING THE MAGISTERIAL AUTHORITY OF AMORIS LAETITIA!

Wow! How do you spell bamboozled?

Ethicist says ghostwriter’s role in ‘Amoris’ is troubling

Ethicist says ghostwriter’s role in ‘Amoris’ is troubling
Archbishop Victor Fernandez with Fr Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, at the Synod of Bishops. (Credit: CNS.)
It turns out that the most important footnote in 'Amoris Laetitia' may be one that's not there, because a key passage of the document is lifted almost verbatim from a 1995 essay in theology by Archbishop Victor Fernandez -- raising troubling questions about Fernandez's role as ghostwriter, and the magisterial force of his ideas.

Commentary

[Editor’s note: In this essay, Professor Michael Pakaluk of the Catholic University of America examines the role of Argentine Archbishop Victor Fernandez, a theological adviser to Pope Francis, in Amoris Laetitia, the pontiff’s document on the family. Crux invited Fernandez to respond, and his comments appear at the bottom of the article.]
The most important footnote in Amoris Laetitia may not be, as many suppose, one dealing with access to the sacraments for Catholics in “irregular” situations. Instead, it may be a footnote that’s not actually in the document but which should be, since one of the sentences in Amoris is lifted nearly verbatim from an essay published in 1995 in a Buenos Aires theological journal.
The sentence, from the notorious chapter 8, is this: “Saint Thomas Aquinas himself recognized that someone may possess grace and charity, yet not be able to exercise any one of the virtues well; in other words, although someone may possess all the infused moral virtues, he does not clearly manifest the existence of one of them, because the outward practice of that virtue is rendered difficult: ‘Certain saints are said not to possess certain virtues, in so far as they experience difficulty in the acts of those virtues, even though they have the habits of all the virtues.’” [Cf. Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 65, art. 3 ad 2 and ad 3].
One must see the Spanish to see the plagiarism clearly.  In Spanish, the Amoris sentence is this:
“Ya santo Tomás de Aquino reconocía que alguien puede tener la gracia y la caridad, pero no poder ejercitar bien alguna de las virtudes, de manera que aunque posea todas las virtudes morales infusas, no manifiesta con claridad la existencia de alguna de ellas, porque el obrar exterior de esa virtud está dificultado: ‘Se dice que algunos santos no tienen algunas virtudes, en cuanto experimentan dificultad en sus actos, aunque tengan los hábitos de todas las virtudes.’”
And the corresponding sentence from that 1995 theological journal is this:
“De hecho santo Tomas reconocia que alguien puede tener la gracia y la caridad pero no ejercitar bien alguna de las  virtudes “propter  aliquas dispositiones contrarias” (Summa Th., I-IIae., 65, 3, ad 2), de manera que alguien puede tener todas las virtudes pero no manifestar claramente la posesion de alguna de ellas porque el obrar exterior de esa virtud esta dificultado por disposiciones contrarias: “Se dice que algunos santos no tienen algunas virtudes en cuanto tienen dificultades en los actos de esas virtudes, aunque tengan los habitos de todas” (Ibid, ad 3).”
And here is the footnote that should be there, but isn’t: “Victor M. Fernandez, Romanos 9-11 : gracia y predestinaciónTeologia, vol 32, issue 65, 1995, pp. 5-49, at 24.  Cf. Victor M. Fernandez, La dimensión trinitaria de la moral II: profundización del aspecto ético a la luz de “Deus caritas est”Teologia, vol 43, issue 89, 133-163 at 157. Evangelii Gaudium 171.”
One must add the bit about Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the joy of the Gospel, because the same sentence was used there too without attribution, and one must also refer to another article by Fernandez, with yet another version of the sentence.
Naturally, I use the term “plagiarism” in its material, not formal sense.
You and I will suspect that Fernandez, now an archbishop and close friend of the pope and said to be the ghostwriter of Laudato Si, was also the ghostwriter of Amoris chapter 8 and parts at least of Evangelii Gaudium. In the sentence cited above, he was simply helping himself to his own, earlier writings.
But materially, for an author to present the words of another as his own words is still plagiarism, and Pope Francis, not Victor Fernandez, is the author of Amoris and Evangelii Gaudium.
In fact, the use in Amoris of material from Fernandez’s earlier writings is more pervasive than a single missing footnote. At one stage, an entire section of the document is largely lifted from a 2001 essay by Fernandez, though it’s of lesser theological and ethical import.
Here is a chart showing the dependence:
Amoris Laetitia 129
Victor Manuel Fernandez,
“Danza de alegria en el cielo y en la tierra,” Revista Criterio No. 2268, Dec 2001, p. 4.
La alegría de ese amor contemplativo tiene que ser cultivada.
Puesto que estamos hechos para amar, sabemos que no hay mayor alegría que un bien compartido: «Da y recibe, disfruta de ello» (Si 14,16).Puesto que estamos hechos para amar, sabemos que no hay mayor alegría que en un bien compartido: Da y recibe, y alegra tu vida (Eclo 14, 16).
Los carismas que hemos recibido son para iluminar la vida en sociedad con el gozo de dar y recibir. Por eso, dice el Eclesiastés que no hay mayor placer que gozarse en el fruto de un trabajo (Ecli 3, 22).
Las alegrías más intensas de la vida brotan cuando se puede provocar la felicidad de los demás,Las alegrías más intensas de la vida brotan cuando un don recibido provoca la felicidad de los demás,
en un anticipo del cielo.
ya que hay más alegría en dar que en recibir (Hech 20, 35) y Dios ama al que da con alegría (2 Cor 9, 7).
Cabe recordar la feliz escena del film La fiesta de Babette, donde la generosa cocinera recibe un abrazo agradecido y un elogio: «¡Cómo deleitarás a los ángeles!». Es dulce y reconfortante la alegría de provocar deleite en los demás, de verlos disfrutar. Ese gozo, efecto del amor fraterno, no es el de la vanidad de quien se mira a sí mismo, sino el del amante que se complace en el bien del ser amado, que se derrama en el otro y se vuelve fecundo en él.Cabe recordar la feliz escena del film La fiesta de Babette, donde la generosa cocinera recibe un abrazo agradecido y un elogio: «¡Cómo deleitarás a los ángeles!». ¡Qué dulce y reconfortante alegría es la de provocar deleite en los demás! Ese gozo, efecto del amor fraterno, no es el de la vanidad de quien se mira a sí mismo, sino el del amante que se complace en el placer del amado…. No basta derramarme en el otro, hacerme fecundo en él.
I wish that these lapses could stand as a regrettable but isolated fact about Amoris, but they cannot. I will point out three broader implications.
The first is that Amoris needs to be “taken back to the shop,” to have various flaws removed or corrected.  I have already pointed out how footnote 329 misquotes Gaudium et Spes, and that it must deliberately misquote that document to advance its implicit argument.
Surely no text published under the name of the Roman pontiff should contain an inaccurate quotation of an ecumenical council.
There are seven or eight other instances of poor scholarship-misquotation, misleading quotation, misattribution, and so on-which should be corrected.  I would be happy to supply a list. But there are many competent scholars, with goodwill toward the pope, who could have vetted the document in advance and who could still help clean it up now.
I suppose if Amoris were “taken back to the shop” for these relatively minor flaws, it might be good if Pope Francis at the same time definitively resolved its widely-noted ambiguities.
A second implication is that these instances of material plagiarism call into question Fernandez’s suitability to be a ghostwriter for the pope.  A ghostwriter should remain a ghost. By quoting himself, Fernandez has drawn attention to himself and away from the pope.
In secular contexts, a ghostwriter who exposed the author he was serving to charges of plagiarism would be dismissed as reckless.
Worse than that, Fernandez strains the consciences of the faithful. Not a few bishops and cardinals, putatively speaking on behalf of the pope, have been saying to laypersons who find difficulties in Amoris, “It is the magisterium.  You must accept it.”  But in the plagiarized sentence do we find “the magisterium,” or Fernandez’s own theological speculations?
You may say that, as the pope has approved of the text, so he has approved those speculations. But surely each sentence in the text is approved in the manner appropriate to it.  When Francis quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., Jorge Luis Borges, and Mario Benedetti, we rightly take the quotations to have exactly the weight that should be given to what poets and activists have astutely said, and no more.
Likewise, an explicit quotation of a theological journal article would be received as having its own distinctive force and weight. To say about it, then, in an unqualified way, “it is the magisterium,” would be a kind of spiritual bullying.
In fact, there is a distortion of St. Thomas in the first line from Fernandez quoted above, as he seems to want to use St. Thomas’s sound point (that some saints have found difficulty in doing some virtuous acts easily and well) to support an unsound point (that some persons have been saints while acting contrary to some virtues). I reject as contrary to the thought of St. Thomas what the sentence seems to intend to suggest, as do other scholars.
But a third implication arises from the fact that these earlier texts were even consulted at all.  Why should someone ostensibly writing about “the joy of love” be rummaging about in obscure theological articles?
Since Fernandez did go to these articles, we should expect their bigger themes to be connected to what he wrote in Amoris.  The suspicion is not wholly unjustified that perhaps he might aim to have his own speculations win out, not through the usual tug-and-pull of theological debate, but by slipping them in as papal teachings.
If one reads the 1995 article, it presents an argument from Scripture and tradition that, by virtue of the Passion of Christ, each member of the human race, past and present, without any exceptions, and even apart from the instrumentality of baptism in any ordinary sense, has been saved and “effectively predestined” by God to eternal happiness.
He regards this view as the proper development of the tradition and, although he concedes it is not a “truth of the faith,” still, he feels so strongly about it that at the end of his article he concludes with a passionate Credo: “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.”
It follows, Fernandez says, that the Gospel needs to be presented with an emphasis on God’s mercy and in a purely positive light, emphasizing its beauty and joy.  Fear is never a good Christian motive, as the only question facing the soul is what degree of glory it will attain in the life to come.
If everyone is effectively predestined to salvation, then should everyone also be invited to share in Holy Communion?  Fernandez seems sympathetic to the suggestion, although he takes up the question only indirectly.
He says Catholics who believe that only those already in a “state of grace” should receive Communion are not simply excluding others, they also seem to be “flouting” or “boasting about” freely given grace.
Fernandez seems to prefer, in contrast, sinners who would approach the Communion table without that kind of boasting, although, he puts it delicately, this approach “points in the direction of a dialogue with Luther’s doctrine of simul iustus et peccator” (that everyone is at the same time both justified and a sinner).
Fernandez uses the plagiarized sentence in arguing that persons might be in objectively sinful situations yet still be “effectively predestined to salvation.”  To be concerned that such persons risk eternal damnation, is to suppose that human creatures just on their own could reverse God’s will.
These are the main speculations of the article.  If they are affirmed, it seems, the essential nature of Christianity as involving test and probation changes; the moral law is rendered irrelevant; and the distinction between mortal and venial sin breaks down. That is, Fernandez’s essay is deeply problematic.
Yet now an apostolic exhortation of the Holy Father references it. Worse than that, a plagiarized passage is plucked right from a line of thought which bears a superficial similarity to the Holy Father’s.
This can only cause confusion-because in the Holy Father too, of course, one finds an emphasis on mercy, including: a confidence of God’s action even among sinners in seemingly desperate conditions; a concern to hold up the appeal of a Christian way of life as beautiful and joyful; and a solicitude to welcome and foster (by “accompanying”) even the most fragile signs of movement toward God in souls.
These attractive themes are among the most loveable and helpful notes of Francis’s papacy. It seems obvious that they mark a good path for the Church now. Yet how can anything but mischief be the result if the problematic speculations of Fernandez are yoked to them?
It is not difficult to imagine the Holy Father and his ghostwriter as inadvertently at cross-purposes. This need not be deliberate; in professional ethics one speaks of a “conflict of interest.” What the pope understands as special solicitude for the weakest Christians, the theologian might view, perhaps even in spite of himself, as the fuller expression of everyone’s effective predestination.
In fact, Fernandez has a track record of distorting papal teaching to match his own theological ideas.
In the 2006 article, Fernandez applies his 1995 view to Pope Benedict’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est. After using that sentence about St. Thomas and citing the Catechism at 1735 and 2352, Fernandez says, “There can be no doubt that the Catholic magisterium has taken the position with clarity that an act which is objectively wrong, such as a premarital relationship, or the use of a condom in sexual relations, does not necessarily lead to the loss of the life of sanctifying grace, from which the dynamism of charity springs.”
Rather, in such couples who have diminished culpability (including same-sex couples, he says), it is precisely their sexual relationship which can realize subjective values which have “a theological and Trinitarian richness.” Sex for them becomes “an expression of the ecstatic dynamism of the love which imprints sanctifying grace.” It involves “a sincere and genuine search (búsqueda) for the happiness of the other,” which is the essence of charity.
To propose, then, that such couples should continue this search while refraining from sexual relations, “to exclude completely bodily desire and pleasure,” Fernandez says, would be to place eros and agape in opposition, which Pope Benedict in his encyclical “has rejected with overwhelming force.”
It follows from Benedict’s teachings, he says, that the sexual acts in such relationships have “a deep Trinitarian content, which is at the same time a positive moral reality.”
It is shocking enough that Fernandez says such things, but even more disturbing that he says that Pope Benedict is committed to them also.
As for Amoris, Rocco Buttliglione argues that its silence on some key teachings of Popes John Paul II and Benedict - silence, not a contrary assertion- can be construed as a continuous development or extension, involving a small group of problematic cases. Others, such as Ed Feser, are not so sure, and think they see, even in the absence of an affirmation, the risk of a surrender to the sexual revolution or a collapse into antinomianism.
Whatever we hold on these matters, it cannot be denied that Fernandez’s “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved,” and then what he seems to regard as the concrete pastoral implications of that doctrine in his “extramarital sex can be an expression of the ecstatic love of charity,” represents a fundamental, not a slight, difference.
Michael Pakaluk is Professor of Ethics at The Catholic University of America and author of The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God (Ignatius).

Archbishop Victor Fernandez responds:
First, Fernandez said that anyone wishing to understand his views on grace and the sacraments should consult this article published in 2011.
Second, he sent two paragraphs of response to Pakaluk’s analysis:
“The article about predestination has no connection with much later articles on the Trinitarian dimension of morality. The commentator also imagines that I make a connection between predestination and the possibility of Communion of a sinner, but that is in his imagination and cannot be based on my texts, because I would never make that connection. Why? Because predestination is related to the final state of the person and therefore with the grace of final perseverance (at the last instant), but not directly with the historical path of the person.”
“I would never admit that anyone can receive Communion if the person is not in a state of sanctifying grace. This profoundly contradicts my own theology, and cannot be based on my texts. I say only that an objective situation of sin can be subjectively not guilty. In that case, the objective situation of sin would not deprive the state of sanctifying grace.”

38 comments:

Bernard Fischer said...

That's why Francis doesn't remember the infamous footnote: he didn't write it.

Anonymous said...

Ok Mark Thomas....rationalize that plagiarism by the pope is inspired by the Holy Spirit. I mean He is the author of the heretical parts right, then why not the plagiarized parts as well. Rationalize away. This will be good. We are all listening.

TJM said...

Anonymous, unfortunately, Mark Thomas will not answer you directly but will post 12 plus non sequiturs

DJR said...

Anonymous said... "Ok Mark Thomas....rationalize that plagiarism by the pope is inspired by the Holy Spirit. I mean He is the author of the heretical parts right, then why not the plagiarized parts as well. Rationalize away. This will be good. We are all listening."

Good luck with that.

Mark believes that Father Drinan, SJ, was an orthodox Catholic priest.

The fact that, for 10 years, the man consistently voted in favor of the murder of millions of unborn babies does not faze Mark and does not factor into his reasoning (or lack thereof).

If Father Drinan was "in communion with the pope" and a priest "in good standing," he was, ipso facto, orthodox.

Therefore, voting in favor of abortion, for a decade no less, is consistent with Catholic orthodoxy.

John Nolan said...

This is hardly news. Francis did not plagiarize Fernandez; for reasons best known to himself he uses him as a theological guru and ghost-writer. Spadaro, an equally unsavoury character, is also emerging as a key member of the Pope's 'kitchen cabinet'. Francis seems incapable of choosing either his words or his advisors wisely.

Mark Thomas said...

DJR said..."Mark believes that Father Drinan, SJ, was an orthodox Catholic priest."

Please correct me if I'm wrong about the following: You believe that Father Drinan was a heretic. Is that correct? I believe that I am correct about that. However, I am confused as to why you hold to the following:

You believe that Father Drinan was unorthodox. However, you declared also that Father Drinan "was "in communion" with the pope at the time, never had his faculties suspended, and was a priest "in good standing" the entire time he was in Congress."

I am puzzled as to how a priest can be unorthodox and in good standing with the Church simultaneously.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Je regret, Santita is a South American, classless, thug. The Peron's would LOVE him!

Mark Thomas said...

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, UK, has tweeted the following:

https://twitter.com/BishopEgan

Amoris Laetitia is in the news again. For my position as Bishop of Portsmouth, see my message here:

http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/bishop/docs/20160424-BoP-Pastoral-Message-Amoris-Laetitia.pdf …

"Has the Church’s teaching changed with Amoris Laetitia? No.

"Does the Pope leave a lot of matters to individual conscience, as some media
commentators have suggested? No, he doesn’t, if by conscience they mean
‘What I feel.’ Christians always see themselves first and foremost as belonging
to Christ, as members of His Body, the Church. They live ‘under’ the Word of
God.

"So a Christian’s conscience is never ‘What I feel’ or ‘What I think’ but a
conscience informed by Catholic teaching, which seeks to apply authentically
the teaching and principles of Jesus to daily life and concrete situations."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Poor Mark Thomas, more sad news for him from the Bishops of Malta:

"MALTA, January 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The bishops of Malta have given the green light to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in their dioceses to receive Communion if they are “at peace with God.”

The bishops say it might be “humanly impossible” to follow Church teaching and live chastely while civilly remarried, a requirement for receiving the Eucharist in this situation.

The affirmation comes from the Bishops’ new document “Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia,” in which they say their guidelines are “in line with the directions given by Pope Francis.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-maltas-bishops-to-allow-civilly-remarried-divorcees-to-receive-com

Francis needs to answer the dubia of the four Cardinals without delay to prevent the Church from slipping further into confusion. MT quotes one bishop with one view while Lifesite News quotes the whole of the Maltese bishops who have different interpretations of AL, which proves what Cardinal Burke has said that the Church is in utter confusion and in the mess that Francis said he wanted to create.

Jan

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... "I am puzzled as to how a priest can be unorthodox and in good standing with the Church simultaneously."

Why in the world does that puzzle you? All it means is that someone is not doing his job, that's all.

If your ideas were correct, which they are not, every single Catholic would be considered orthodox unless the hierarchy issued some formal statement about a person.

Thus, a Catholic who denies the Virgin birth is orthodox, just the same as a person who affirms it. In your view, both persons are orthodox as long as no one in authority has said otherwise to either person.

Your views are about as far from reality as could be.

Have you considered discussing these things with your confessor in order to ascertain whether you have a proper understanding of these things?

TJM said...

Jan,

Unfortunately, Mark Thomas has descended into papalotry. He's beyond hope.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas stated... "I am puzzled as to how a priest can be unorthodox and in good standing with the Church simultaneously."

If you're puzzled about that, don't you think you should try to learn the truth about it, or do you not care to know?

It's your self-imposed definitions/assumptions that cause you to misunderstand because you assume, wrongly, that you are correct in those assumptions. You're not.

You're looking at things backwards.

This is where you should start: Two opposing views cannot both be orthodox. It's not possible.

You believe in papal infallibility. Hans Kung denies it.

The fact that both of you appear to "in communion with the pope" cannot possibly change the fact that one of the two views MUST be unorthodox.

A person that denies that, denies truth.

Jusadbellum said...

Distinctions, as usual, are the answer to "puzzles".

A priest may be validly ordained but illicit in his ministry (so he really was ordained but is currently serving in a capacity without permission from the local bishop).

A priest might be formally "in good standing" which only means that as far as the chancery knows, he's validly ordained and licitly in his role as a local pastor...but he might still be spouting off nonsense if not heresy from the pulpit. Until/unless the Bishop drops the formal hammer on his head, his valid and licit status remains good even as his actual words and intentions are wrong.

To make a lay analogy...a man may be validly and licitly married but carrying on an illicit affair with a mistress. 3rd parties may become aware of this travesty and adultery and warn his family and his wife of this situation. But is his marriage's validity and licitiety at doubt? No! It's not his status as a Catholic layman or husband that's at doubt but his PERSONAL FIDELITY TO CHRIST AND HIS WIFE.

Similarly, any pastor can (and many have over the centuries) fallen into de facto apostasy while formally remaining "in good standing". Happens ALL.THE.TIME. The sex abuse scandal of the past decades is proof positive of this as well. How many of the thousands of priests involved were "in good standing" and yet were actually serial abusers of the utterly defenseless and innocent? ALL.OF.THEM.



Mark Thomas said...

Mark Thomas said... "I am puzzled as to how a priest can be unorthodox and in good standing with the Church simultaneously."

"Why in the world does that puzzle you? All it means is that someone is not doing his job, that's all.

If your ideas were correct, which they are not, every single Catholic would be considered orthodox unless the hierarchy issued some formal statement about a person."

1. We are talking about specific persons — namely, Cardinal Kasper, and Fathers Kung, Curran and Drinan (requiescat in pace — not "every single Catholic."

2. Therefore, our task is reduced to having to determine simply whether a Cardinal, two current priests, and one deceased priest are in good standing with the Church.

3. By all accounts by Holy Mother Church, She recognizes that Cardinal Kasper is in good standing with Her.

4. You have acknowledged the following: Father Hans Kung has never been suspended a divinis by the Church. He was never excommunicated by the Church. He is in communion with Pope Francis.

Father Hans Kung is a priest in good standing with his diocese.

5. You have acknowledged the following: Father Charles Curran has never been suspended a divinis by the Church. He was never excommunicated by the Church. He is in communion with Pope Francis.

Father Charles Curran is a priest in good standing with his diocese.

6. You have acknowledged the following: Father Robert Drinan (requiescat in pace) never was suspended a divinis by the Church. He was never excommunicated by the Church. From his priestly ordination in 1953 A.D. to his death in 2007 A.D., the Church recognized him as having been in communion with Popes Venerable Pius XII, Saint John XXIII, Blessed Paul VI, John Paul I, Saint John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.

Father Robert Drinan was in communion with his bishops.

In light of all of the above, which you have acknowledged, I remain puzzled as to how the above Cardinal/priests are/were (in regard to deceased Father Drinan) heretics — heretics, according to you — while remaining in good standing, which you have acknowledged, with the Catholic Church.

You offered the following to attempt to support your unsupportable claim: "Why in the world does that puzzle you? All it means is that someone is not doing his job, that's all."

Ummm...excuse me, but that "someone" is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church never, never, ever, as you acknowledged, suspend a divinis the above priests...She always recognized them as a Cardinal/priests in communion with their bishops and Popes...She always recognized the Cardinal/priests in question as in good standing with the Church.

Therefore, you have placed yourself above the Catholic Church as you have overruled Her recognition of the above Cardinal/priests as men in good standing with Her.

What is also puzzling to me is that in light of what you've done, you
asked whether I've "considered discussing these things with your confessor in order to ascertain whether you have a proper understanding of these things?"

Anyway, it is untenable that a Catholic priest can be in communion with the Pope, his (the priest's) bishop, in good standing with the Church, but simultaneously, is to be denounced as a heretic.

Pax.

Mark Thomas




Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas...you are a mess. Just formally become the Episcopalian that you are and take Francis, Kasper and the rest of those thugs with you.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... "Therefore, you have placed yourself above the Catholic Church as you have overruled Her recognition of the above Cardinal/priests as men in good standing with Her.

Being "in good standing" is irrelevant to orthodoxy. That's the point you continually ignore.

It is possible to be a priest "in good standing" and be heterodox, just as it's possible to be "in good standing" and be a sodomite priest.

If your views were correct, then the denial of papal infallibity is orthodox.


Anyway, it is untenable that a Catholic priest can be in communion with the Pope, his (the priest's) bishop, in good standing with the Church, but simultaneously, is to be denounced as a heretic.

It may be untenable to you, but it's not untenable to the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II did that very thing to Hans Kung.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas stated... "1. We are talking about specific persons — namely, Cardinal Kasper, and Fathers Kung, Curran and Drinan (requiescat in pace — not 'every single Catholic.'"

That doesn't change the point.

Is every single Catholic (except for those who have been excommunicated) in communion with the pope?

If so, then every single Catholic is orthodox.

That's what you believe.

Pro-aborts, gay married Catholics who are in good standing in their parishes, deniers of the Virgin birth, deniers of papal infallibility you name it.

Your views are not Catholic.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas stated... "Therefore, you have placed yourself above the Catholic Church as you have overruled Her recognition of the above Cardinal/priests as men in good standing with Her."

Quote from Vatican Document promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II December 18, 1979: "Professor Hans Küng, in his writings, has DEPARTED from the integral truth of Catholic faith."

You asked for a Vatican document in that regard, and I gave it to you. You have consistently ignored it because it destroys your basic premise.

The pope stated that Hans Kung had DEPARTED from the integral truth of the Catholic Faith.

Your view is that someone can DEPART from the integral truth of the Catholic Faith and still be orthodox.

Your views are not Catholic.

Mark Thomas said...

Sometimes "distinctions" don't answer puzzles.

A Catholic doesn't have the right to declare "heretical" a Cardinal who is recognized by the Church as being in good standing with Her. A Catholic doesn't have the right to denounce as "heretics" priests who are recognized by their bishops, who are in communion with the Pope, as priests in good standing.

Never did the Church attach heresy to Father Robert Drinan. Never. Therefore, a Catholic does not have the right to label Father Drinan a "heretic."

Based upon his having been recognized by the Church as a priest in good standing with Her, we don't have any reason to insist that at some point during his priestly ministry, that Father Drinan had fallen into heresy.

The same applies to the Cardinal Kasper, and Fathers Curran and Kung.

All of the above priests (Cardinal) are viewed by Holy Mother Church as having remained in good standing with their bishops. Therefore, there isn't any reason to presume that the above men trafficked in heresy.
=============================================================================

A priest falls into apostasy. However, his sin is unknown to the Church. God is aware of the priest's sin. But as the sin is unknown to the Church, we are called to presume that the priest is in good standing with the Church.

Nevertheless, the reality is that the priest is not actually in good standing with the Church. He could not be as he is an apostate. We understand that. That is not the question at hand.

God is aware of the priest's sin. God is aware that the priest is not truly in good standing with His Church. Nobody can be an apostate and in good standing with the Church.

Again, that is understood. But that isn't the dispute at hand. The dispute is whether a priest who is presumed by the Church to be in good standing with Her can be labeled by us a "heretic."

The answer is "no."

In regard to Cardinal Kasper, as well as Fathers Drinan, Curran, and Kung, if any of them embraced heresy, then, obviously, they had broken communion with the Church. They were not in good standing with the Church.

But as Holy Mother Church has neither suspended a divinis nor convicted Cardinal Kasper and the priests in question of heresy, we are not permitted to claim that they are suspended/heretical.

We are called to presume that they are in good standing with the Church. We don't have any business to embrace the notion that in secret, the Cardinal and priests are not in good standing with the Church.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2478: "To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:"

#2479: "Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

DJR said...

Here is Mark's understanding of the Catholic Faith.

1. The pope IS infallible under the conditions defined by the Church (a position held by Pope St. John Paul II, a priest who was obviously "in good standing" with the Catholic Church).

2. The pope IS NOT infallible under the conditions defined by the Church (a position held by Hans Kung, another priest "in good standing" with the Catholic Church).

Mark Thomas says: Because both priests above were/are "in good standing" with the Catholic Church, both views are orthodox.

That's Mark's understanding of Catholicism in a nutshell.

Adam Michael said...

"A Catholic doesn't have the right to declare "heretical" a Cardinal who is recognized by the Church as being in good standing with Her. A Catholic doesn't have the right to denounce as "heretics" priests who are recognized by their bishops, who are in communion with the Pope, as priests in good standing."

But you and I certainly have the right (and the grave obligation) of examining our conscience and repenting of material heresy if we depart from the Faith, even if we remain uncondemned by Rome. Explain this, Mark. How are the laity able to conduct this examination, pass personal judgment on themselves through recognizing their sins against Faith, and repent of their sins against Faith, if everyone is to be presumed orthodox until officially recognized as in error by the Church?

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Sounds like you need to inform Pope Francis he is in violation of 2479, big-time. I have NEVER heard a Pope engage in the ad hominem that he does.

Joe Potillor said...

There is a difference between the objective measure of a situation and the subjective reading of hearts. The latter, of course, we can't do, that's reserved for God alone. The former is more than within our pay grade as laymen. When we're calling person x, y, or z a heretic, it's because the position they are holding is objectively heresy, and writing out material heretic takes way too long. Unfortunately, I think Mark Thomas is confusing the process for the finding of someone to be a formal heretic versus the comparison of the position that a particular clergyman holds with respect to the objective Truth of the Faith. Formal heresy can only be declared by the Church, in that regard, he's right. But he is completely wrong that actions can't be pointed out as heretical, or being a material heretic.

Everyone is of course entitled to a good name, and no one doubts that at all, that said, if their actions are something else, charity demands that it be called out for what it is.

The thing that being a positivist unfortunately does is make major mental gymnastics to defend the obvious screw ups of various people.

Anonymous said...

TJM, I certainly agree about MT and his papolatry. I also think MT simply refuses to admit that he is wrong. I have never heard him defend any other pope in the manner he defends Francis.

Jan

Jusadbellum said...

Mark, please re-read canon 212 and get back to us. Thanks.

Oh and while we're all waiting for Mark, consider the cases of St. Catherine of Sienna who questioned and condemned the Pope's prudential decision with respect to his residency in France and not Rome..... and St. Joan of Arc's being burned at the stake by a local tribunal of feckless bishops who declared her a heretic.

In one case a 'mere' lay woman challenged a Pope on prudential decisions....and won him over.

In the other case a 'mere' lay woman not only told kings and princes what to do, led armies to victory etc. and flummoxed the best "theologians" the English could bring to bear, she was condemned by these "theologians" for heresy. Does their credentials make their conclusions more reliable than her testimony?

One needs to consider this point: being called a "Cardinal" or even a bishop does not make every act and utterance of one's mouth infallible. Ergo, everyone can err. And if a brother or sister errs who has standing to correct them? EVERYONE!

But on whose authority? NOT THEIR OWN! We must make our case based on Catholic tradition, scripture, and magisterial teaching we know and are responsible for as disciples.

So if German cardinals - who pride themselves with their erudition but often are too clever by half - make a mistake, anyone on earth can call them out provided you show your homework and it's not your whim against their whim.

ANYONE can challenge a theologian (especially a theologian) to show them homework and then proceed to blow their syllogisms out of the water. All it takes is patience and a notebook and the time to jot down their definitions and distinctions until they invariably make a logical error or use equivocal terms or improperly jump from an analogy to make a claim of equality where only an analogous relationship exists.... that's where most heretics go off the rails and they mostly go off the rails PRETTY QUICKLY.

Hans Kung and Charlie Curran and Cardinal Kasper's work are not as densely tough to figure out as the Summa. Take any of their works in hand and within 5 minutes you can spot the mistakes. Then it doesn't matter who you are or where you went to school. The only thing that matters is the argument and evidence you raise to show the error of their ways.

Mark Thomas said...

DJR said..."Quote from Vatican Document promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II December 18, 1979: "Professor Hans Küng, in his writings, has DEPARTED from the integral truth of Catholic faith."

"You asked for a Vatican document in that regard, and I gave it to you. You have consistently ignored it because it destroys your basic premise."

I have not ignored the document. I am familiar with the document. I have responded to your references to the document.

Once again...

We know what Pope Saint John Paul II said about Father Hans Küng. We know that Father Hans Küng is not permitted to teach theology.

We know also that...

-- The Church has not suspended Father Küng a divinis.

-- The Church has not declared that Father Küng is a heretic.

-- Father Küng is a priest in good standing with his diocese.

-- In turn, Father Küng is recognized by his bishop as a priest in good standing with the Universal Church.

Like it or not, those are the undeniable facts in regard to Father Hans Küng.

Therefore, nobody has the right to declare that Father Hans Küng is a heretic.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Jusadbellum,

I don't need to re-read canon 212. I am familiar with said canon. Canon 212 does not grant unto a Catholic the right to trample a person's name and dignity. The canon does not grant unto a Catholic the right to declare Person "X" a "heretic" when Person "X" is recognized by the competent Church authority as a Catholic in communion with the Church.

You reference to canon 212 is way off course in regard to the discussion at hand.

That applies as well to your reference to priests who, unbeknownst to the Church, may have fallen into apostasy.

Your references do not apply to the discussion in question.

We don't have the right to insist that Person "X" is heretic when, like it or not, the competent Church authority has declared that Person "X" is in good standing with the Church.

Neither canon 212 nor your reference to a priest who may have fallen into apostasy secretly grants us the right to declare that Cardinal Kapser, as well as Fathers Drinan, Curran, and Kung are "heretics."

LIke it or not, the Cardinal and priests in question are recognized by the competent Church authority as men in good standing with the Church.

Canon 212 does not give us the right to, if you will, lynch a person spiritually.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Joe Potillor said..."Unfortunately, I think Mark Thomas is confusing the process for the finding of someone to be a formal heretic versus the comparison of the position that a particular clergyman holds with respect to the objective Truth of the Faith. Formal heresy can only be declared by the Church, in that regard, he's right. But he is completely wrong that actions can't be pointed out as heretical, or being a material heretic.

"Everyone is of course entitled to a good name, and no one doubts that at all, that said, if their actions are something else, charity demands that it be called out for what it is."

Mister Potillor,

Hello.

We agree that everybody in entitled to his good name. But I am not wrong as to my opposition to folks who label this or that Catholic a "heretic" (unless the competent Church authority has labeled said person a "heretic").

Various Catholics each day declare His Holiness Pope Francis heretical...an apostate...satanic. They have the right to do so? I don't think so.

But they follow your line of reasoning. They insist that Pope Francis' words and actions condemn him as a satanic heretic/apostate. They "prove" each day that the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, is an apostate.

To employ your words, in regard to Pope Francis' supposed heresy, "charity demands that it be called out for what it is."

Therefore, the daily denunciation of Pope Francis is justified. Really?

Michael Voris (he is far from alone in regard to the following) insists that Bishop Fellay and the remaining SSPX bishops and priests are heretics. Michael Voris has insisted time and again that the evidence is undeniable in that regard.

Therefore, Michael Voris is justified in his condemnation of the SSPX? Really?

Anyway, so be it should everybody here be keen to denounce this or that Catholic as a "heretic." I will refrain from participating in spiritual lynchings.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Mister Joe Potillor,

You said: "Everyone is of course entitled to a good name, and no one doubts that at all, that said, if their actions are something else, charity demands that it be called out for what it is."

I offer to you the following: Bishop Frankiskos Papamanolis, head of the Greek bishops followed your line of reasoning. That is, he determined that the words/actions of the Four Cardinals constituted heresy/apostasy.

Therefore, charity "demanded" that the Four Cardinals "be called out" for what they are...heretics and apostates, according to Bishop Frangiskos Papamanolis.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/greek-bishop-rips-four-cardinals-its-you-who-receive-communion-sacrilegious

Head of Greek bishops rips Four Cardinals: You receive Communion ‘sacrilegiously,’ not the divorced

GREECE, November 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A Roman Catholic Greek bishop, who, during the Synod on the Family stated “it is not easy to sin,” has accused four Cardinals of “two very serious sins” for presenting Pope Francis with a set of yes-or-no questions that seek to clarify his recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Retired Bishop Frangiskos Papamanolis, who serves as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Greece, wrote in a scathing open-letter dated Nov. 20 to the Cardinals that they should have renounced their title as “Cardinal” before presenting the Pope with their “dubia,” and thereby committing the sins of “apostasy” and “scandal.”
================================================================

Bishop Frankiskos Papamanolis concluded his open letter to the Four Cardinals as follows:

"Dearest brothers, may the Lord enlighten you to recognize as soon as possible your sin and to repair the scandal you have given. With the charity of Christ, I greet you fraternally.

+ Frankiskos Papamanolis, o.f.m. cap

Bishop emeritus of Syros, Santorini, and Crete President of the Episcopal Conference of Greece

Mr. Potillor (as well as others who wish to respond), do you accept that Bishop Frankiskos Papamanolis acted properly via his "charitable" desire to recall the Four Cardinals from their supposed grave sins of heresy and apostasy?

Thank you.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Jan said..."I have never heard him defend any other pope in the manner he defends Francis."

Jan, I don't know what that means.

Thank you.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Jusadbellum said...

St. Athanasius was excommunicated by various local councils during the Arian heresy and had to flee into exile repeatedly.

All to say, yes, the charge of heretic is a two way street and I gladly accept the challenge! If I'm wrong about X then the proper authority should be equipped to spell out explicitly where I've gone wrong and why. If the proper authority CAN'T explain explicitly why I'm wrong.....then they haven't backed up their claim of heresy.

Similarly, with respect to the aforementioned theologians....Curran led the 'dissent' against Humane Vitae. This is in the historical record. He dissented on the basis of a completely novel theory of how inter-personal morality works so as to justify the use of artificial contraception. His "theological" peers among the various religious orders and universities all praised him to the skies as super-smart.

But his arguments flounder upon inspection in that given how human nature works, morality is not in a box. If you can use an argument in sexuality then you can use the same one in every OTHER sphere of human interaction.

His argument about why the Pill is OK would - if applied in any other field - immediately reveal itself to be unworkable. Take an employer not paying his workers a just wage or polluting the environment..... if we can no longer look at discrete acts and their telos but must stop at the actor's intentions and 'general' attitude an enormous range of human interactions condemned by the Church as sinful suddenly become valid "alternatives". Suddenly the sex abuse of a minor has to be re-interpreted in light of the general attitude, the total sum of all interactions and not reduced to a one-time event. Subjective states and flights of fancy must be taken into account to reduce to null the pedophile's actions insofar as he sincerely means well and seeks a 'higher good'. etc. etc.

But suppose I have 20 interactions with Fr. Curran but only one of them involved me punching him in the nose. Might I not argue that the general tenor of my actions are peaceful?

Take sex out of the equation and we spot the error in his "thinking" immediately.

But none of the 'too clever by half' theologians have thought it through.

With respect to Cardinal Kasper's ideas the same flaw exists - if we take his teaching at face value then not only is the sacrament of marriage suddenly no longer a certain thing, neither is the sacrament of orders..... that he hasn't figured this out is saying a lot.

Now that we can't possibly be sure whether a couple had explicit intent and thus can err on the side of presuming there was no sacramental union just a secular one, how can we be so sure Cardinal Kasper's ordination itself is a given?

They never thought the implications of their arguments through.

But see, if I'm wrong about the above thumb prints of their teaching, we can actually have a debate on them and conclude I'm all wet, partially wet, or right as rain. It's not about who they are or who I am but about their doxis.



Joe Potillor said...

Mark Thomas,

I believe the Bishop Papamanolis had a right to say what he said. I do not think he was correct in the substance of what he said, but he was free to say it.

I do see where you are coming from, don't misunderstand me. But a person can be heretical without formally being declared so. At most they can be material. (For any charge of formal heresy, would have to be determined by the Church)

When it comes to Fr Kung, let's say this, he may be in good standing with the Church, but his ideas are heretical. In his academic writings, he denies various dogmas, he may well not teach these ideas in a parish setting, I have no way of knowing that, but I can state that his ideas are heretical, without convicting him of the crime of formal heresy (which as I've mentioned is the job of the Church). I can say he's a material heretic because the idea that is held is heresy with respect to the Faith, but being a material heretic does not mean one is a formal heretic in any way shape or form.

Or put another way, one need not be formally charged with heresy to be in heresy. It's kind of a paradox in a way, we can't judge hearts, but at the same time, we're allowed to judge actions, strange isn't it?

In regards to the various instances of the Pope speaking way too much, the same principle applies, you, nor I, nor anyone within this comment thread or anywhere in the world has a right to depose of a Pope. We can state that various ideas are heretical, or that when it comes to subject x, he basically has zero clue what he's speaking about. Denouncing actions is different then denouncing the person, the latter, we can't do, the former we can. I happen to be of the mind that the SSPX are not in heresy or schism....Or put another way, a person has a right to an opinion, even if they're wrong.

Again, we need to be able to separate the formal process against the objective measure of an action. If I was to accuse a priest/bishop or pope of formal heresy, I would be in the wrong in that regard. And that'd be true for any of us here. In that regard, you are absolutely correct, and I do not think any of us disagree with you on that point.

Maybe this analogy will help (it's not perfect, but bear with me). A person robs a store of some money. This person is able to get away and go about his daily life as usual. What is his status with respect to the law? He has none, as there haven't been a criminal case filed so one could say he's in good standing with respect to the Law. What is his status objectively? He committed a crime, he'd be a thief, even though no charges have been filed to prove that crime. Similarly, when it comes to the status of some deacons/priests/bishops/popes, they can have heretical ideas, and may never be called to trial to face charges of formal heresy, but they'll objectively be so even though no charges have been filed. In both situations, we're not the authority that can file the charges, but we can point things out.

Most of us here would rather not be pointing these things out, but no one is doing anything about it, so some kind of attention needs to be brought to it.

DJR said...

Mark, how about responding to this.

1. The pope IS infallible under the conditions defined by the Church (a position held by Pope St. John Paul II, a priest who was obviously "in good standing" with the Catholic Church).

2. The pope IS NOT infallible under the conditions defined by the Church (a position held by Hans Kung, another priest "in good standing" with the Catholic Church).

Both priests above were/are "in good standing" with the Catholic Church; therefore, both views are orthodox.

Is my last statement correct?

Jusadbellum said...

Here's an example of a layman arguing against the Kasper position. Note where the good cardinal does NOT define his terms.... indeed much of the arguments of Kung, Curran and Kasper HINGE on them not defining their terms.

So they'll cast about phrases like 'failed marriage' as though that's a theological or even anthropological thing. If you are sacramentally married then the MARRIAGE is not failed....the relationship is. The Covenant is perpetual - until death. But the friendship - that can 'fail' and yet can just as well be restored! But to hear them "argue" it, a failed marriage is permanent, irrevocable, and has no hope...

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3887/A_Layman_Responds_to_Cardinal_Kaspers_Proposal.aspx

TJM said...

Mark Thomas just talks in circles and never squarely addresses valid points raised by the various commentators probably because he lacks the logic or ability to do so. I think he gets his jollies commenting here, so I plan to ignore his inane and voluminous posts in the future.

Henry said...

"Don't feed the troll."

Looks like this blog has a really bad case of it. And so, what was once a prime go-to blog for informed discussion is now pretty boring in its comments sections. Am I missing something? Admittedly, I don't bother to read lengthy comments that look vacuous and repetitive at first glance.

TJM said...

Henry, you got it!

Jusadbellum said...

I personally only read my own first paragraphs. :-)