Saturday, April 30, 2016

Council of Trent Dominican: blind defense of papacy will undermine its authority

Melchior Cano, the great Dominican theologian from the Council of Trent, said: "Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See—they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations." [Source]

As Canonist Edward Peters recently noted, Canon 212.3 is relevant here: "According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [Code for bishops] their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons."

Remember: "... with reverence toward their pastors." If they say something you think is stupid, suggest that it's "confusing," "infelicitous" or "unfortunate," and suggest a clearer alternative.

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