Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Call for a moratorium on papal interviews, synods, and 'non-magisterial' documents

Well, certainly one can dream.... It would do us a lot of good, I'm sorry to say. Just imagine what a decade (or even a year) of blessed silence would be like!

I do not speak for the majority of Catholics, obviously. I am a lowly convert, an interloper, a pew peasant in the back row just happy to be in my parish church on Sunday. So I speak for myself and perhaps, to a degree, for other converts.

Too many Catholic converts, like myself, have had to learn the hard way that the Church's "official teaching" isn't necessarily to be found in what any given local pastor or bishop may say, or even what this or that pope may say in an interview. Sad to say. Where do you go to find it then? You have to dig for it. It's in the catechisms, at least if you have an accurate catechism (not like, say, the notoriously revisionist Dutch catechism); it's in the conciliar documents (at least where they're relatively clear); it's in papal encyclicals (at least where they're not weighing in on topics about which they have no expertise); it's in the sedimented records of Sacred Tradition.

Converts who have awakened to this fact have had to push back against a fairly recalcitrant sort of post-Vatican II Ultramontanism, which insists on taking every word of the reigning pope as the distilled nectar of authoritative magisterial Church teaching for our day. It's especially hard, for some, to learn that papal infallibility doesn't eliminate the fact that any given pontiff has feet of clay. It's good to remember that it was St. Peter, who betrayed our Lord and on one occasion had to be corrected by St. Paul who resisted him "to his face," that was the first in line (hand-picked by Christ) for that venerable office.

In that vein, Michael Voris' latest Vortex is a great tonic for this sort of ailment, and puts Pope Francis' recent foibles in historical perspective. I highly recommend it. It's called "A Disgrace to the Chair of Peter" (Church Militant, February 23, 2016).


Marcel Ghost


A tonic? I was glad to find another take on this: https://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/index.htm#.Vs237k10yUk

The truth is refreshing to the soul.

Marcel's Bane


Hey Marcel's mini-me,

You guys are so brilliant. But it pains me to no end to see you bitch-slapping your buddy in the fox hole beside you because he's not wearing the same color skivvies with purple fleurs-de-lis on his ass. Really.

I know you want to label Francis a heretic and be done with him. (Well, no, you've already been there, done that.) The point being that formal heresy is very hard to pin on a pope, because you have to establish obstinate resistance to correction; and so tell me how you and whose army of bishops has done that?

But seriously. Go 'refresh' yourself with your circular firing squad elsewhere. Already.

Marcel Ghost


The disagreements between my "buddy" and I aren't insignificant. Until you understand the gravity of the situation and abandon the minimalistic approach, the disagreements will not cease.

There is a distinction between the sin of heresy and canonical crime of heresy. When one knowingly and willingly expresses a judgment at odds with the Church's magisterium, one is formally heretical (the sin of heresy). Are we to believe that Francis is ignorant of the Church's teaching on contraception? Even when an opportunity was offered to "clarify" the remark, the original point made was reiterated by his spokesman. [Further, the reason for which contraception was being justified is so outrageous that it adds to the gravity, so it seems to me. Yet, neither motive nor form is relevant to the matter. Knowledge and opposition are.]

So then, the warnings from the Church and the trial by bishops you allude to is not a condition for the sin of heresy. It enters into the picture in the context of establishing the canonical crime of heresy.

Analogy: if I commit a murder, I am guilty of sin. There is no juridical process or decision needed to establish that. In fact, no such thing is possible because sin is an offense against divine law (as is heresy). There is, though, such a process and decision required to establish the crime of murder and subsequent punishment (or the canonical crime of heresy). Such is an office against civil (or Church) law. When the Church deposes a pope, this is for procedural reasons in order to lawfully elect a new one (and possibly punish the "pope" for his crime of heresy). And, analogous to a canonization, a person is not "made a saint" by the Church as if it were the Church's decision that placed such a one in Heaven; such a one was already a saint in reality and the Church's decision is simply affirming the reality already in existence.

If one, then, is "merely" guilty of the sin of heresy, one ipso facto loses his office in the Church (per Bellarmine).

Pertinacious Papist


Relevant to the discussion between Marcel's Ghost and his reader(s) is the following discussion by Robert J. Siscoe a propos the issue of the 'canonical crime' of heresy (as opposed to the 'mere' sin of heresy), and the question of under what conditions (and how) the Church can depose an heretical pope.