I think orthodox Catholics, meaning those who prefer the Church in continuity with the Church prior to Vatican II should applaud Pope Francis in streamlining the annulment procedure. It makes clear that the bishop of a diocese is the ultimate authority in his diocese and that he should not delegate that authority to priests below him or bishops' conferences or even metropolitans.
There is no structure between the bishop and his next highest authority, the pope, both of whom have to answer to the highest authority, Almighty God.
It seems to me that the authority of metropolitans and bishops' conferences over the bishop of a particular diocese was given a death blow this morning by Pope Francis. And it makes stronger the pope's role, whoever that pope might be, over local bishops.
Do you agree or disagree with me on this given the new authority given to local bishops which is actually what Vatican II wanted to do, not dilute it as has been the case through bishops' conferences nationallay and presbyteral councils in dioceses and pastoral councils in parishes.
The power play is over and the local bishop wins!
I agree with you Father. But to watching the media spin is infuriating. Now they are saying the pope approves of divorce.
The media is a mix of ignorant people who really don't know what they are talking about and evil people who are purposefully spreading error.
The bishops of this country need to open their mouths and clearly fight these errors. My god last week I had friends and family members actually believeing that the pope approved of abortion because he extended the authority to absolve this sin to all priests. How they ever came to that conclusion is beyond understanding. I basically had to sit my cousin down and inform her that the Church is not this evil, monolithic institution that hates people and wants to make their lives miserable. I explained that the Church is our loving Mother instituted by Christ Himself for our benefit. And that the pope is saying the sin of abortion is so evil and so previlent that great numbers of people are in danger of losing their souls if they don't repent and receive sacramental absolution and penance. I said the Church doesn't hate sinners but hates sin. And the pope is throwing the doors of mercy open as far as he can to help save these souls. How anyone could interpret his decision as being ok with abortion is beyond comprehention. But people do not understand that.
The pope needs to address how he is being manipulated and lied about by enemies of the Church. Ordinary Catholics are being scandalized and he needs to at least make an attempt to stop this.
Unless this is some kind of "pastoral practice" ploy to give Bishops discretionary judgement regarding things like gay marriage, homosexual Priests, and other such things this Pope would like to see loosened up...
This Holy Father is asking bishops to uphold the indissoubilty of marriage if the annulment procedure proves that it can't be annulled. People need to be told why their case can't go forward and it shouldn't be on administrative reasons, but the fact the annulment found that a sacramental marriage exists and can't be annulled. In this case, the person petitioning can appeal to Rome who has the final say, but not to another bishop apart from the pope.
To say that strengthening the local bishop allows him to have gay marriage, female priests and a liturgy out of touch with our tradition and that of the Orthodox Churches is absurd. Pope Francis in strengthening local bishops above and beyond that of bishops conferences or the metropolitan has made Catholic ecclesiology more appealing to the Orthodox, as long as orthodoxy is maintained, not novelty! Local bishops still have to answer to Peter, whoever the pope might be.
I recall when Fr. McDonald was using this blog to assure people that the Synod would merely streamline the annulment process and would not usher in any doctrinal changes.
Now that we have a streamlined annulment process that did not result from the Synod, it seems that the Synod must serve some other purpose.
Well, Fr. McDonald, what's your spin?
According to CNN, the new procedures "[g]iv[e] bishops the ability to fast-track and grant the annulments themselves in certain circumstances -- for example, when spousal abuse or an extramarital affair has occurred."
If that is true, then the pope has essentially undermined the Church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Spousal abuse and an extramarital affair have little to nothing to do with whether a marriage was valid at the time it was contracted.
The sedevacantists must be happy this morning.
Given the prevalence of annulments, it must be exceedingly difficult to contract a valid marriage. If it is so difficult to bring about this Sacrament, it makes one wonder about the other Sacraments. Using the same statistical framework, it must be the case that thousands of Masses every Sunday are invalid and that thousands of people aren't being validly absolved... maybe some of these priests and bishops running around weren't validly ordained.
L in the anuent procedure if it can be proven that the abuser or adulterer had a proclivity for this all along even in the courtship, yes these two things would be grounds,
The Synod should focus on strengthening marriage preparation so couples actually enter a sacramental marriage and also find ways to strengthen Catholic marriage and family life especially through the sacraments of Confession and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Father, with all due respect, I am not buying the argument that an underlying proclivity for spousal abuse serves as a legitimate grounds for invalidity. First, there is a practical problem with proving that in a non-tautological way. Second, the same logic is applicable to anything so that anyone could have any marriage annulled.
For example, if a marriage can be annulled due to infidelity, the action of the infidelity itself is the only evidence that the person contracted the marriage without the intention of being faithful. Therefore, every marriage wherein there is infidelity would be subject to annulment -- the infidelity itself proving the lack of validity. That cannot be the case.
Given the woefully inadequate catechetical and apologetics formation in the past 40 years through Catholic schools K-post grad, and the rampant confusion in the culture from which the vast majority of lay Catholics get the lion's share of their 'catechesis' about the Church, it stands to reason that perhaps a majority of couples approach marriage from a secular point of view, not a Catholic one.
Americans who happen to be "ethnically" Catholic are fornicating, contracepting, and thus show themselves largely ignorant (not out of malice perhaps, but ignorant nevertheless) of the Church's teaching on this most crucial of topics.... and if they are exposed to the teaching in the terminal phase 3-4 months before the wedding, their minds are so full of the practical and secular preparations that many may not be free to give consent as we understand "freedom".
Thus how many truly give themselves 100% to their spouse, in God, without holding anything back? Porn and masturbation addiction among men, contraception and a culture of easy divorce among women all point to people who are not "in their right minds", people who are not free and self-possessed to the point that they CAN truly give their full and free consent to each other! This is the tragedy of the sexual revolution, it's the tragedy of modernity which prides itself on liberation but is in fact the great enslavement, the great endarkening of intellect and wills.
Jusadbellum, you are surely correct in diagnosing part of the problem. There is the greater problem, though, of the apparent inability of the Catholic Church to adequately confect the Sacrament of Marriage. If the Church, the dispenser of graces established by Christ Himself, cannot do this correctly with its own flock, then the gates of hell have made pretty good in-roads, wouldn't you say?
Jesus' teachings on divorce are some of his hard teachings, but they are very clear. Rather than making divorce easier, the Church should be encouraging people to work on their marriage, confess their sins, and seek the help of the Church. This Pope fits very well into a Church that has been seeking the route of least resistance for a long time.
Contrasting with the clear teaching of Christ, we have this pope, who believes that doctrine must meet the person hearing it:
"Doctrine is not a closed system, with no dynamics that generate questions, doubts, queries. By contrast, the Christian doctrine has a face, has a body, has flesh, His name is Jesus Christ and His life to come is offered from generation to generation to all men and in all places. Protecting the doctrine demands fidelity to what has been received and – at the same time – taking into account the interlocutor, the recipient, who is known and loved."
In other words, the doctrine must emanate from the interior disposition of the hearer. This is the mind of a modernist at work.
No. The Catholic Church Latin Rite has some 1 billion members living in every country on earth. That 5% of this rite has problems in the United States on account of 50 years of modernist/communist/masonic skullduggery and a good helping of good old fashioned cowardice and apathy means nothing about "the Church" writ large.
There have always been local churches that have collapsed and failed to be faithful. How else do we understand that all but 1 bishop chose to side with King Henry VIII?
Besides, 'gates' aren't offensive weapons. The image Jesus used was of a the prison that hell represents. He and by extension, we, are on a rescue mission to save souls trapped behind those bars, behind those gates. Those gates will not prevail.
Or do you think our goal is to merely stand and hold ground? No! Our mission is to literally make disciples of ALL NATIONS, not by our power or ingenuity, but in cooperation with and through the power of almighty God. If demons have no choice but submit when a priest commands them to depart, why should we just take for granted that mere mortals can long resist the Church?
I don't think we are losing in the US because we've fought and failed. I think we're losing because we stopped fighting altogether.
Lefebvian, as for doctrine and modernism in that quote...I don't think it means that at all.
Christian doctrine DOES come from the person of Jesus Christ. We preach not a theory or ideology but Christ, and him crucified. The source and summit of our faith is the Mass with the zenith in the Eucharist which is not a recitation of some creedal formula but communion in the body and blood of Our Lord....
Holiness consists not in some external replication of motions but in the total dedication of our hearts and minds to the love and service of God. Just like you can't be a little bit pregnant, neither can you be a little bit holy.
But protecting a doctrine does require we grasp where transmission or interpretation (i.e. reception) has broken down! Does this not explain the whole history of theology? The North African Arius (and others) could not grasp the concept of 2 natures in a single person and instead concluded that either God faked being true man or the Christ was just the most powerful creature.... they chose to seize what they could understand rather than accept that the divine is always beyond our comprehension. We can know THAT Jesus is true God and true man, and a little bit about this wonder, but we can't "comprehend" the how, the mechanics, of this wonder.
But in striving to make ourselves understood by those with impaired reasons or ill informed minds, do we not become better acquainted with the Gospel?
If a beloved son fails to grasp the Real Presence, do we not go the extra mile to explain why it's at least not impossible, at least not irrational?
Does Jesus not show us in the Gospel the same dynamic when dealing with Nicodemus or the pagan woman? In either case Our Lord taught a doctrine (necessity to be born again of water and the spirit and the need to go first to the Children of Israel) and in both cases the known and loved soul did not initially understand Our Lord and so he dynamically went further, he explained himself further for their and our benefit.
Far from modernism this is the classic way theology is actually done. The Modernists like all heretics, twist pre-existing truth into logical cul-de-sacs. But they start with the truth.
Indeed so, Lefebvrian. Doctrine is a closed system...dogmatics may be discussed and "interpreted," and that with fear and trembling. If doctrine is not a closed system, that leaves every article of the Creed up for grabs. Christ's life and life to come are offered from all eternity in a salvation history that lies beneath "generations" of men. This doctrine, based upon God's revelation breaking into time and history, needs no "protection," and certainly none predicated upon the recipient. It needs only to be properly embodied in the worship of the Church and relentlessly evangelized by believing Priests and Catholics. I think Il Papa needs to re-read his Doctrine of God texts.
Jusadbellum, it is certainly the case that modernists take the existing doctrine and twist it. They do this in a way that is more cunning than any of the heretics that preceded them. Modernists are able to use the existing theological language in a way that eviscerates the doctrine. They do this by, among other things, arguing that the doctrines are not stable, but subject to change over time and dependent upon the hearer. This instability comes from the nature of doctrine as conceived by the modernist -- for these heretics, the doctrines come from the individual consciousness of the person who emanates the doctrine into existence. This is why dialogue is so important for the modernist -- without dialogue there is not theological system into which the collective can emanate their beliefs and practices. It is nothing other than an inversion of reality.
This is apart from the usual method of defending doctrines and evangelizing peoples. The Church usually starts from the reality that is the existent doctrines and comes up with way to impart the doctrine to the people. Taking your example of the Real Presence, at different times, the Church might use different methods to explain this doctrine to the people. There might arise Eucharistic Adoration to reinforce the belief; there might be a Feast of Corpus Christi; the Chalice might be removed from the people during Holy Communion.
For the modernist, though, the doctrine itself has no independent existence. If the people's belief in the doctrine changes, for the modernist, this indicates that the doctrine itself has changed (since the doctrine has no existence aside from the people who emanate it). To return to the Real Presence example, where the teaching subsides, instead of seeing practical methods to reinforce the teaching, one would see that the doctrine is discarded by, among other things, allowing for Communion in the hand, reducing the reverence to the Blessed Sacrament during and apart from the Mass, and reducing processions.
With regard to the current issue of the Sacrament of Matrimony, you can adduce from the discussion above a similar manifestation of "dialogue" and lack of belief from the current practical situation. This is how modernism operates.
Calvin, dogma is axiomatically "unquestioned". It's a dogma that Jesus is true God and true man. Doctrine on the other hand is hand maiden to dogma. It's a dogma that Jesus gave the Apostles the power to forgive sins in His Name. The doctrine of how this is done has evolved over the centuries and across cultures and liturgies.
Originally post-baptismal forgiveness of grave sin was rare and involved public penance and public confession. But the school of hard knocks (Roman persecution) led the Church to accept that post-baptismal sin could be forgiven more than once and in private.
Far from nullifying the dogma, this doctrinal development applied it more broadly.
But with respect to modern times and the sexual and socialist revolutions, the dogmas being challenged or disputed (that marriage is between one man and one woman and that the state is not god) don't give us reason to think doctrinal evolution will slowly morph into repudiations or 180 turn arounds.
Modifying annulments is very distinct from accepting that a valid marriage may be broken and one may marry another licitly....or that abortion is OK or sodomy/fornication is OK....
If there is a culture of infidelity (Hollywood, for example) what stops the "marriage-go-round"?
Jusad, according to the way I was taught, doctrine is primary and related to revealed theological truths. Dogma is collective beliefs and opinions regarding these doctrines that have been authoritatively affirmed and handed down. The articles of the Creed are doctrine, not dogma. Dogmatics is the speculation and theologizing about doctrine. We are talking at cross purposes, but probably agree on most of the important stuff.
Jusadbellum, usually it would be true that modifying the annulment process is distinct from abortion and sodomy; however, these are not the usual times. If we lived in times where Sacramental marriages abounded, it would be prudent to reduce the process for annulments where, for instance, two Catholics were married by a Protestant minister on a beach. There is no need to undergo a drawn-out process where there is an evident lack of form.
Since the annulment process is being modified in the midst of a disastrous synod and turning a cultural tumult during which the very definition of marriage is being destroyed, one must conclude that, at the very least, reducing the strictures on this Sacrament lacks prudence.
In this instance, though, modifying the annulment process is more than a lack of prudence. It seems the pope intends to enshrine divorce since the process will allow for annulments on the post hoc basis of things such as infidelity. Coupled with his blatant attempt to allow the divorced and remarriage to receive Holy Communion, one is hard-pressed not to notice the emergence of a pattern.
I agree. But in this instance, all the 'dialogue' in the world can't contradict the Gospel and the 2,000 year trajectory of doctrinal development on the reality and purpose of marriage (i.e. it's not purely subjective related to the feelz of adults).
Thus, one can't accept Humane Vitae as genuine magisterial doctrine (as Pope Francis does) and then claim that by golly, we just don't have a clue as to the make up of holy matrimony, what it's for, how it is lived and what's a sin in marriage or not!
I have found it very useful when dealing with modernists to do a 1, 2 punch.
1) point out to them that they are not nearly as intelligent or well read as they PRESUME TO BE (in this they are very much like Gnostics claiming hidden secret knowledge, the grown ups, the initiated, the elites). and 2) to point out that when it comes to Christianity, we take the witness of saints and martyrs over the opinions of theologians and so, one, they're not "elite" at all, and two, their ideas lead no one to evident holiness of life.
Now, if Germany's Catholic presence was booming, if seminaries were packed to the rafters with zealous young men....if every order of women religious was packed to the ceiling with eager young women... if there was standing room only and long lines seeking admission to Catholicism then they MIGHT have a plank to stand on to preen and pride themselves on being mature adults and possessed of brilliance.
But the facts on the ground *and the facts from across all the centuries show beyond all doubt that for all their claims of intellectual smarts, Germans and most Europeans and American theologians and their schools are neither smart nor effective.
This line of approach is useful because it's simultaneously true and infuriating to their position inasmuch as they do tend to be greying radicals full of themselves and so proud of how 'mature' they are/how superior they are to us knuckledragging 'breeders' down here in the pews.
It's really, really important for their own good to be put on notice that we think they're ridiculous and so is their new doctrine. I suspect this is the sole reason Jesus lit into the Pharisees as He did: to jar them out of their sense of supremacy and self-sufficiency.
But we need the long game: in 10 years most LCWR sisters will be dead or retired. Most CURRENT bishops will likewise be dead or retired. We'll have a new Pope and 1/3 of the college of cardinals will be beyond voting age. The vast majority of priests and bishops WON'T BE White Europeans or Americans and most priests won't be raving mad children of the 1960s but members of Gen X unburdened by the baggage of the 1960s (sex revolution, Vietnam, civil rights...)
So hold out for 10 more years folk and in the meanwhile network, network, network and evangelize all your neighbors and peers in the truth that doesn't change. We're smarter than these guys and we are younger than most of them....
OK, Here is a slightly dark view of this: Could this end up being Vatican III or maybe Vatican IIB? Supposedly nothing in Vatican II spoke to the changes in liturgy, even physical structure, that occurred. It didn't out law Latin, but people,were told that it did and in keeping with Vatican II we would rip out altars and translate Liturgy to what we want it to mean. So what is going to keep the Bishops from thinking that marriage is now a 'soft' sacrament, to be followed if things are going well, not so much if things get tough in the modern world? I seem to recall headlines to the effect that the Church was changing its view on homosexuality. I do not recall the storm of Bishop press conferences correcting that misinterpretation.
Calvin, all dogmas are doctrine (or more accurately, made up of doctrine). Not all doctrines are dogma.
So, for example, the creed is dogma. But each line of the creed is essentially the title of an entire book that could be written to 'unpack' that statement and each chapter a doctrine...
The resurrection of the dead = dogma. How long the soul remains in or 'with' the body around the time of death is the realm of doctrine. Ensoulment was a theological theory, not quite a doctrine. The Incarnation of the Word at the moment of Mary's "fiat mihi" is a dogma. That the unborn John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth's womb (at 6 months gestation) to be in the proximity of the Incarnate Word in Mary's womb (perhaps 1-2 weeks gestation) is dogma.
It's a dogma that there are 7 sacraments and marriage is one of them. To open the definition of marriage to include sodomy is impossible.
But to point out as probable that given the disaster of the past 50 years' worth of catechesis and social upheaval that many undereducated or maleducated Catholics have such a deficient understanding of marriage that they can no longer be presumed to understand what the Church means when we say "marriage" is no repudiation of the dogma or doctrine but a further development of logic.
If you aren't free to give your assent because no one has told you that Christian marriage is permanent (until death) and monogamous and chaste, and is to be open to life.... then you may have had a party and wedding ceremony but you weren't married in the eyes of the Church because you wouldn't have been free to agree to the reality.
It's sort of like saying that to have Eucharist you need unleavened bread and wine. No unleavened bread.... no Eucharist.
Pointing out that one needs to be in the proper frame of mind and believe what the Church teaches about marriage is a no brainer.... it's no modernist gnostic 'spin' that redefines doctrine at odds with the sacramental dogma.
and yadda yadda yadda...
it's: "Yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time, we'll have a gay old time".
And by 'gay time' what was meant was a carefree happy party, not a sodomite orgy since Fred was married to Wilma and Barney to Betty and they each had kids.
I really wish we had emoticons here.
Jus, I agree with you that it is a good strategy to point out how ridiculous modernism is. It is essentially a revamping of Gnosticism, as you say. But it is more pernicious in that it is able to disguise itself.
With regard to the specific issue of sacramental marriage, again, I agree with your points as such. We must ask, though, how it can be the case that the Church is so ineffectual at handing down the doctrine that so many people are simply incapable of contracting a valid marriage.
Here's my point: From this news about annulments, we can conclude that the clergy are largely to blame for capitulating to secularity in marriage preparation, which has led to the inability of marriages to be Sacramentally valid. This being the case, we must ask why the clergy are only incapable of properly securing this Sacrament and not the others... There is an intentional element to the confecting of each Sacrament. If the clergy have so utterly dropped the ball on marriage, then it follows that many ordinations, Masses, and absolutions similarly lack the proper intent. And so you see that, in a certain sense, simplifying the annulment process undermines the Church since it tends to indicate that the Church's clerics are incapable of dispensing valid Sacraments. Without valid Sacraments, there is no grace. Without grace, there is no salvation. Without salvation, there is no point in the Church's existing in the first place.
So, the question arises as to how much the hierarchy wants to press this issue of annulments since it ultimately leads to the conclusion that they are a false "Church," a necessary conclusion reached from the fact that they are an institution against which the gates of hell seem to be prevailing rather handily.
Good point, rcg (as always!). And a very good counterpoint to "Fr. C" ruminations in a previous thread. There were many counterpoints, but in a very emotion-laden topic, yours makes the most sense without emotional trappings and long, drawn-out expositions.
Jusad, I don't really have any argument with that. All dogmas ARE (based upon) doctrine.
Calvin, I think we're saying the same things. Sorry for being as clear as mud.
Lefebvrian, the Church is only 25% of the US population. The difference it seems to me is that before 1950, the hierarchy and religious orders were by and large populated by Catholics with fire in their belly and a pride in being Catholic that got watered down, and then dispirited in the upheavals of the sexual and socialist revolutions. It could be that the Silent generation gave way to the Boomers - we tend to adopt the general culture as our own while Catholicism becomes more and more intentional or optional.
Moving into the suburbs and thus breaking up extended families and organic communities for anonymity and 'intentional' communities... the infiltration of seminaries by commies and gays (Goodbye Good men etc.), the Vietnam war/civil rights/upheavals due to drugs etc. and related crazes that Fr. McDonald reminds us of - that all took a toll on morale and morals, on theology and general outlook.
I'm certainly a different type of Catholic than my older siblings. So I think culture has a lot to do with it and we can't claim it was all a big plot. More like the natural effect of a thousand little sub-plots. A perfect storm.
Still, things are turning around. Homeschoolers: there now more children in homeschools than in Catholic education. More and more seminarians are coming from traditional pockets. Of 250+ Catholic universities how is it that one, Franciscan U of Steubenville can, alone, account for 10% of all priests ordained per year? That's a huge impact on the overall tone of men.
To be sure many of them (all of them) need prayers and on-going formation. Few are as well rounded and prepared as we'd like. But the times are changing.
I think that because so much of the past was the fruit of personnel problems, to the degree the personnel is replaced by attrition, the problems will clear up too.
But culture still plays an oversize role and we're still reactionary rather than seizing the initiative. Too few laity are actually sitting down to map out what it would take to literally convert everyone and then putting in plans to do just that!
I'd hazard a guess I'm one of the rare birds even talking about this. But I learned it from some others whose optimism or is it " evangelical hope"? shocked and intrigued me. John Paul II had a bold, can-do, optimistic zeal.... and to a less clear degree so does Pope Francis. Maybe its their youthful spirit and child-like trust that with God all is possible.
We believe God can forgive us our trespasses and can convert hearts...so why not sit down and actually chart out what it would take to convert American and then Western society to Christ rather than just assume we're all going to hell?
Ya' know, this could all just be about money. The Church loses a lot of divorced people and their tithe. A guy gets divorced, gets a new wife, but the Church won't let him take Communion, so he joins some protestant church down the street and starts tithing there. That would fit the picture, certainly. So, it may just all be about those thirty pieces of silver...
CH, is being cynical apart of Calvinism? It sure isn't Catholic.
Well, Fr., you know how it is...money talks, doctrine walks. Total Depravity does come in handy sometimes when reviewing the behavior of our fellow man. LOL!
Jus, the entire point of all of this is to keep people from going to hell. I agree with you that we should be making strides in that direction everyday -- we search work out our own salvation so that those around us might also be saved.
Does allowing people to divorce and enter into adulterous relationships help them to avoid hell or set them on the path toward it?
Unfortunately, we do not live in times where we have a reasonable evangelical hope for people's salvation. In such times as our's, realism about the state of affairs should give us evangelical zeal. This is especially true since most of the clerics seem to have lost the faith, as shown by their quickness to capitulate to any and every worldly whim demonstrates. We have to make up for their failings now more than ever and also evangelize them in hopes of saving their souls as well.
....yadda yadda yadda....
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In Genesis it is written that God said: Let there be light, and there was light.God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. "
Now the darkness that God separated from the light was due to sin and it effects, brought into existence by the Fallen Angels. The darkness that mankind was to subsequently reside in was due to the the Sin of Adam. God, having created man on the Sixth day, and having completed His Creation, rested on the Seventh day.
Now God knowing His Divine plan, saw present before His Divine Majesty the Eighth day in which the light of the Eternal Sun would rise in splendor on that Glorious morn of the New Day of Salvation. Christ, the Son of God, would come forth as the Divine Light in triumph over the darkness of sin and death, and He would in time rise and come forth from the darkness of a cave.The Son of God came into our existence, the Light of the New Day of Salvation, in order to bring man out of the darkness of the Night of Sin. On that Eighth Day, the New Covenant would fulfill the Old Covenant.
Now, between the night and the coming of a new day is the twilight. The Blessed Virgin was that twilight of that glorious dawn from whom forth would come the Light of Christ. Just as the first light of dawn heralds the appearance of the sun from which it comes forth, so the Blessed Virgin was that first light of the Dawn of Redemption from which the Son of God would spring forth.
So it is fitting that we honor the Blessed Virgin's nativity on the eight day of our present calendar which supersedes those calendars which came before it. It is fitting that we honor her nativity on the eight day, she who was chosen by God to be His Divinely ordained means to bring the Light of God to the Eight day, the Day of our Salvation.
When Gob stands before Christ in judgement, and he will, you know, I'm sure he will be reciting all of his good works. Won't it be funny when he is cast, headlong to bottomless perdition and he hears the great forged door of Eternity slam shut, and the rattle of the chain, and the snap of the lock...and God's last words to him...yadda, yadda, yadda.
Who was the commediene who used to do the gag like "Momma always told me, if you don't have nothing good to say about someone....come and whisper all about it to me".
So instead of 'yadda, yadda, yadda" GOB should waste his time venting to us cobs or morons or whatever we call ourselves on this blog.
Maybe it's code for "whatevah"?
Lefeb, I don't think the change to the annulment procedure is about "letting" people commit adultery. They're cutting out the automatic appeal - if the decree of nullity is contested either party can still appeal to the Roman Rota.
Now, the thing I think we need to keep in mind is that the Church is universal - this thing is for EVERYONE not just Americans or Westerners. We have our culture war here but the Nigerians or Chinese or Brazilians.... what they're dealing with is poverty and a less capable social support network - so some woman who is in the limbo between a marriage that may or may not be a genuine sacrament is not as secure as one might be here... thus speeding things up makes sense.
But to go from this to accepting adultery (much less sodomy) as acceptable is a whole nuther issue entirely.
CofH, did you ever stop to think that that could happen to you too? Father has warned you about the mortal sin of calumny on here numerous times, but you don't listen and instead continue to slander our Holy Father.
Militia, you really need to develop a sense of humor...I mean like really soon. And, where is slander of the Pope?
It's oh so comforting to know that I can point my browser to this backwater blog, ignore the Catholic bishops, the Catholic canonists, the sociologists, and every other member of any "elite" group whatsoever, and find out all I need to know about history, theology, canon law, biology, numerology, etc from Calvin (G) of Hippeaux and LeFebrian.
Indeed, Bemused, you should be thankful for such high-level resources, lifting you from the depths of the cave and guiding you through the swamp of ignorance. However, since you reference this blog as "backwater," perhaps there are other blogs where you would be more comfortable and might find the more "hip" and au courant intellectual companionship which you seek.
Lordy, lordy, folks on other forums are now referring to this as "Henry VIII's revenge. Man, the entertainment value of this Pope is reaching unprecedented levels.
Bemused, if a Catholic bishop, canonist, sociologist or random theologian contradicts Church doctrine or dogma then even a school boy can take them to the wood shed.
But here's the thing.... when was the last time you heard one of these so-called "elites" actually making an argument for why their novel teaching is in fact in continuity with the deposit of faith and hence is obligatory to every believer to hold fast to? Don't we instead get a mass of obfuscation, equivocal language, vague, non-committal arguments that allow people to have their cake and eat it too?
Take your pick among the elites' statements in favor of the sexual or socialist revolutions and what you'll find are arguments that could just as easily be turned around on them. Either they're too stupid to realize that if their criteria for judgment against the deposit of the faith is correct then the deposit of faith itself may be dispensed with...or they realize it but figure it would be a bridge too far for most people to immediately jump. But if we can dispense with Catholic doctrine on marriage and sexuality then we certainly can jettison Catholic doctrine on Christ's divinity and the hierarchical structure of the Church and what sin is and what redemption is.....
The problem many of them have is a lack of philosophical and logical rigor - which is why we no longer see "anathema sit" statements. They don't make curt statements that pin themselves down. They hide in ambiguity and a fog of plausible deniability.
It's a winning move only against others who aren't trained in the Philosophical and logical art of thinking.
Against actual thinkers they're revealed to be both naked and stupid pretty quickly.
Jus, I am a lawyer, and I cant tell you that one thing that works against "justice" is speed. In other words, eliminating the automatic appeals will, in practice, mean that more mistakes are made. When the mistake involves an erroneous determination with regard to the validity of a Sacrament, the stakes are very high. Even if it was a good idea to streamline the process, doing so at this time lacks prudence.
Still, I am more reacting against the reports of the expansion of the grounds for annulment than I am the tweaking of the process. Since it seems that the subjective intention of one of the parties, viewed with the benefits of hindsight, will now be sufficient grounds for a declaration of nullity, I see little practical difference between these tweaks and divorce.
Any subsequent subjective disruption to the vows can now justify the declaration of nullity post hoc -- for example, if a husband wants an annulment, he can simply leave his wife and claim that he didn't enter the marriage with an understanding of its permanence (due to bad catechesis or maybe her family forced him or maybe he never intended to be faithful or maybe he didn't want children or maybe he didn't want more than one child). What's stopping him from doing this?
Yes, Jusad. As I said above, by their logic all doctrine is up for grabs. But, they do not believe the articles of the Creed anyway, most of them.
Nothing is stopping Catholics from divorce right now. Certainly not the sexual culture.
In Canon Law, marriage is by far the most complex subject. I think the code is like 30 pages for every other sacrament but something like 300 pages for marriage since there are so many different scenarios and factors to take into consideration.
What the vast majority of Catholics are is Low Information People. Most lay people have only a basic grasp of the faith. It was the culture of Christendom and our ethnic tribe that did most of the heavy lifting in the past. Strip those cultural props away that informed children of the proper roles of men and women, husbands and wives, what constituted a gentleman and a lady.... and you suddenly have a very thin reed indeed to hang your faith on.
With this backdrop, I think the problem is not so much about abuse on the backside of husbands unilaterally seeking divorce and remarriage to chase trophy wives or mistresses, but both parties bringing their mostly secular mindset to the wedding (contracepting, fornicating ahead of time...) and then when things break down, just leaving the faith entirely to go marry "again" outside the Church. It would seem to me that we're talking tens of millions of people just in the US in this category.
If they come to realize that a decree of nullity means they never had the sacrament to begin with - lack of form - they could see that the Church does say they can receive communion, that they are free to marry (not 're-marry) and this time get it right.... that their children aren't bastards, etc. I think there's so much confusion surrounding the issue (and almost complete ignorance of NFP etc.) that this may very well start the ball rolling to a re-evangelization or a first evangelization if we play our cards right and not cede the field to the modernists who will jump at every chance to get their hooks in.
Half the battle is just showing up. Right now the modernist show up. They contribute huge sums to foundations and then give scholarships to up and coming church professionals to attend seminars, workshops, and retreats sponsored by other modernists with the idea of penetrating the bureaucracy.... and we? We sit back and complain but don't do likewise!
Volunteer for your parish...get involved.... and soon you'll be in a place to effect practical, actual change in your corner of the Church.
Nothing has ever stopped those intent on securing an annulment from lying. They lied under the previous regulations and they will lie under the new regulations.
The automatic appeal had existed for only about 35 years. It was not necessary for a very long time, yet the anullment process worked reasonably well.
Jusadbellum, I don't think you are authorized or competent to determine whether or not something does or does not contradict doctrine or dogma. That's why I rely on those who are for accurate info.
Jus, let's consider this from the standpoint of the actual Catholic believer.
When I was married, I was an atheist. According to this pope, my marriage is essentially voidable at will by either party. Under these "rules," I could go to the cathedral a couple blocks away and get an annulment rather based on my "lack of faith" at the time of the vows.
The only thing that makes my marriage Sacramental right now is that I don't do that. That is not reality -- either some is or something is not. Sacraments cannot be voidable since they are reality.
The pope's actions are a slap in the face to faithful Catholics.
"Jusadbellum, I don't think you are authorized or competent to determine whether or not something does or does not contradict doctrine or dogma."
I guess you can't point to the doctrine or dogma that says that Jus is not authorized or competent to determine whether something is doctrine or dogma since it would violate your own principle that only certain people are authorized or competent to determine whether something is doctrine or dogma.
The Church's teaching is not hiding from us, you gnostic.
Be Used, one does not have to be a scholar to know when something contradicts doctrine. Besides, those who are supposedly "authorized and competent" have not done such a sterling job of it over the last 50 years.
Competency... in the RCC's hierarchy...??? Surely you jest!
Thanks Lefeb, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Gnostics believed in "secret" knowledge that only the elite initiates were "in" on while the rest of the hoi poloi were left with simpleton parables and faith. So only the initiates can say whether Jesus is divine or not, or whether contraception is a sin or not because golly it's all sooooooo difficult and sooooooo hard to read the scripture, read the early Church councils, the early Church fathers, the saints, mystics, and great popes.
In the name of overthrowing the great authorities of the past they set up their own parallel magisteria of the present. Just because you do it in German doesn't automatically make it more accurate or smart.
How many of their theologians led vast numbers of their Europeans TO the faith vs. led them and their disciples right out of the faith? There's wisdom in looking at their fruits not just their claims.
If priests and bishops govern dying parishes and dioceses, if their seminaries are empty of seminarians.... if their local Church is mute before the culture and has nothing challenging to say except the most bland of PC gibberish...then they've not much fruit to show for their erudition (or claims thereof).
So again, how is it that we have 200+ Catholic universities in the USA but a single one, FUS in Ohio routinely turns out 10% of the entire country's ordinands? How is it possible that the erudite, brilliant, "authorities" you defer to to figure out what is and is not dogma can't manage to fill seminaries? If the Holy Spirit is what illumines their minds where is the life?
St. Theresa of the Little Flower is a Doctor of the Church. Last time I checked she wasn't a theologian, bishop, or cardinal. She didn't study at the Greg or NAC. But her life produces abundant fruit years after her death. Did she need to wait for some mumbling theologian before speaking of the Faith?
Calvin/Gene - You, also, are not competent to judge the bishops who, by the charism granted them at their episcopal ordination, are made the teachers of the Faith. You reject their teaching on a regular basis, because it does not match your own peculiarly Protestant/Congregationalist proclivities.
I reject no doctrine of the Catholic Church nor any infallible teaching of the Church. Bishops are fallible and very often, too.
I believe all that the Catholic Church teaches as explicitly written in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the creeds, and the councils. But I'm with Calvin in pointing out that individual bishops can (and have) over the years erred in both factual prudential decisions and in their preaching about faith and morals.
So I think we ought to obey priests and bishops as we ought to obey our own parents and cut them all as much slack as we can, to the point that they cross the threshold into egregious error or command us to do something sinful.
If my pastor wants me to sing in the choir rather than teach CCD, then I'm not going to disobey him by insisting on teaching CCD. I MAY just not sing so as to avoid annoying the whole community or I may just sing 'sotto voce' for the sake of at least being where he wants me to be for whatever reason.
If on the other hand, my pastor claims from the pulpit that Hillary Klinton is a saint, Reagan was a warmonger, guns are icky (unless safely in the hands of police) and abortion, while lamentable perhaps, is the price we must pay to make the welfare trains run on time, I'm going to challenge him on it.
I'm not going to make a scene though. I would remonstrate with him privately if at all possible one on one.
Those are - in my mind- just errors of judgment having little bearing on the Faith.
If my pastor stands up and says in a homily that Jesus didn't know he was God and maybe he didn't really rise from the dead after all, I am going to stand up during that scandalous homily and call him on it. To sit silently by while scandal is given to the children and heresy propounded to the whole congregation is to be tacitly in approval (and to be a gutless coward). I'm a sinner, but I have decided to no longer be a gutless coward. Zero tolerance for heresy - and that goes for my bishop too (though, fortunately our bishop is about as solid as they come.)
Otherwise, why bother teaching the laity to think for ourselves if we are not to bear witness to the truth and defend before error or heresy coming from any direction?
If I say "My opinion as Jusadbellum is that everyone ought to own a machinegun" It's an opinion that anyone may disagree with. But if I declare "it is the Gospel of Christ and the Church's infallible teaching that every homeowner must own a machine gun" I am in error and anyone ought to tell me I'm wrong - that there's no such teaching.
So a priest believes in global warming...well that's nice. But it's completely besides the point. He might also like the New York Yankees too. But if he believes contrary to the Church in faith and morals, then that suddenly is a challenge to every believer and cannot be taken sitting down and silent.
If the Pope tells us to forgive sinners - that sounds perfectly legit. If the Pope sorta,kinda, intimates in a round about fashion that golly gee, maybe sodomy isn't a sin after all and neither is masturbation.... well he's going off the reservation and needs fraternal correction. He's still the Pope, I'm still a sinful lay man, He still has all his other power and authority and I still have none other than my faith.... but he'd still be wrong and I'd still be conscience bound to defend the deposit of faith.
I feel compelled to point out that Eusebius of Nicomedia was a bishop.
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