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(01-23-2013, 12:08 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]We could have an argument in which both sides find quotes from "experts" to support their views, but since almost nobody here is an expert, everyone will accept the quotes that support what they already believe.  The truth is that relatively few people here are qualified to understand the finer points of theology.  Our ability to objectively know the Faith and recognize error is, for most of us, at the level of knowing the Creed. If there were popes denying the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection, we could discuss it.

The logical conclusion of this argument is that it is not directly useful for the faithful that the Pope should define anything.  Only the theologians will be able to adequately understand it.  This, of course, is what you would claim is the situation with respect to Vatican II.  It would mean that there is little the pope can do to fix the situation, because even if he were to make infallible definitions, only the theologians would be able to understand them adequately.

Your argument ironically makes the office of the papacy much less useful than it seems to me that it should be.  Shall we cue Alanis again?

I will agree with you, however, that in order for an SV subforum to work, the rule against asserting that the Holy Father might espouse heresy would have to at least be suspended.

The up side of that, if there is one, is that it could then be enforced much more rigorously outside said subforum.

Take for what you will.
(01-23-2013, 12:08 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]We could have an argument in which both sides find quotes from "experts" to support their views, but since almost nobody here is an expert, everyone will accept the quotes that support what they already believe.  The truth is that relatively few people here are qualified to understand the finer points of theology.  Our ability to objectively know the Faith and recognize error is, for most of us, at the level of knowing the Creed. If there were popes denying the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection, we could discuss it.

. . .  That's my cue to bow out.  Let us suppose, however, if we were to discuss the aspects/nature of Christ's Resurrection: would this be, in your opinion, beyond our understanding?

The last thing I'll say is that both sides also fall back on experts to explain the finer points of theology.  But as Vatican I taught, it is not enough to avoid heresy, we must also, however, shun that which approaches heresy.  This implies, I think, the necessity — in relation to our state in life — of having at least some understanding of the finer points of theology.
(01-23-2013, 12:31 PM)JuniorCouncilor Wrote: [ -> ]The logical conclusion of this argument is that it is not directly useful for the faithful that the Pope should define anything.  Only the theologians will be able to adequately understand it.  This, of course, is what you would claim is the situation with respect to Vatican II.  It would mean that there is little the pope can do to fix the situation, because even if he were to make infallible definitions, only the theologians would be able to understand them adequately.

What the Holy Father has done about the situation is make it clear that everything in the Vatican II documents must be interpreted in the light of Tradition.  Certain common interpretations that are incompatible with Tradition have been specifically condemned.  While there is more to be done in that regard (and it will never be far enough or fast enough for some people) he has put a principle in place that will eventually fix the situation.
(01-23-2013, 12:36 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]The last thing I'll say is that both sides also fall back on experts to explain the finer points of theology.  But as Vatican I taught, it is not enough to avoid heresy, we must also, however, shun that which approaches heresy.  This implies, I think, the necessity — in relation to our state in life — of having at least some understanding of the finer points of theology.

Different people are called to different degrees of understanding of theology.  People who are using their understanding of theology, whatever its degree, to attack the Pope, are doing something wrong.
(01-23-2013, 12:51 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 12:36 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]The last thing I'll say is that both sides also fall back on experts to explain the finer points of theology.  But as Vatican I taught, it is not enough to avoid heresy, we must also, however, shun that which approaches heresy.  This implies, I think, the necessity — in relation to our state in life — of having at least some understanding of the finer points of theology.

Different people are called to different degrees of understanding of theology.  People who are using their understanding of theology, whatever its degree, to attack the Pope, are doing something wrong.

Stating that it is an attack belies an underlying assumption (i.e. that the Holy Father is right).  The "attacker" would reply that he criticizes the Holy Father in order to preserve the purity of the Faith, i.e. he believes himself to be upholding the truth.  Why is the Holy Father assumed to be totally immune from doing something wrong when there exists an Apostolic Constitution (and Canon Law) which deals precisely with this matter (Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio)?
(01-23-2013, 01:04 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 12:51 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 12:36 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]The last thing I'll say is that both sides also fall back on experts to explain the finer points of theology.  But as Vatican I taught, it is not enough to avoid heresy, we must also, however, shun that which approaches heresy.  This implies, I think, the necessity — in relation to our state in life — of having at least some understanding of the finer points of theology.

Different people are called to different degrees of understanding of theology.  People who are using their understanding of theology, whatever its degree, to attack the Pope, are doing something wrong.

Stating that it is an attack belies an underlying assumption (i.e. that the Holy Father is right).  The "attacker" would reply that he criticizes the Holy Father in order to preserve the purity of the Faith, i.e. he believes himself to be upholding the truth.  Why is the Holy Father assumed to be totally immune from doing something wrong when there exists an Apostolic Constitution (and Canon Law) which deals precisely with this matter (Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio)?

There are correct procedures to take if one suspects that the Pope is teaching in error which can be seen in Donum Veritatis.  Publishing one's criticism on the Internet is contrary to this.
(01-23-2013, 11:31 AM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]Long story short:  Sedevacantism is theologically possible (past Popes, Doctors and canonists can be quoted to give force to this opinion), but we must, as per the rules of the forum, pretend as though the Holy Father is impeccable in matters relating to faith.  It's possible that he can sin against the faith, but we simply cannot talk about it, because that would be disrespectful (even if it were in fact true).

"Respect" now refers to something other than that which is (or may be) true.

P.S. — Why should we not give obviously heretical priests and nuns the benefit of the doubt, who, like the Holy Father, are also our superiors?  What principle is at play here?

Parmandur Wrote:Since Benedict XVI is, factually speaking, the Pope, then sedevacantists are indeed wrong about him not being the Pope.

It seems to me that you assume that which is to be proven.  Yes, Pope Benedict is recognized as the Bishop of Rome, but more is required for him to be the Pope in fact (i.e. the profession of the Catholic Faith).

I actually hear the Pope profess the Nicene Creed on the radio fairly often.  LOL

Seriously, it's less an assumption and more a judgement along the lines of "the sky is blue."  Benedict XVI is the bishop of Rome, universally recognized as the Pope of the Catholic Church.  Unlike the Western Schism, there is not an open question as to who the Pope is at this moment.  It is well known.
(01-23-2013, 11:53 AM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 11:41 AM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 11:31 AM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]It seems to me that you assume that which is to be proven.  Yes, Pope Benedict is recognized as the Bishop of Rome, but more is required for him to be the Pope in fact (i.e. the profession of the Catholic Faith).

This shows the problem. An SV sub-forum means a place where people will consider the fact that Pope Benedict is the pope is something to be proven and yet will never accept the proofs.  How could this be a good thing?

Why would some people never accept the proofs?  Is it because they are of bad will, or perhaps because the proofs are lacking in strength of argument?  And what of people who, when presented with damning evidence against the Supreme Pontiff, reply with, "Oh, it's too complicated for us to understand.  You must be interpreting document X incorrectly"?  That seems to go against the idea that we can objectively know the Faith and likewise recognize error.

One immediate rebuttal will be, "But the Holy Father is infinitely more intelligent than we are.  You are not qualified to criticize him."  What then when I refer to other men who are of his intellectual capacity and who vehemently disagree with him?  How shall their arguments be treated?

I likewise envision a second rebuttal to be, "But doctrine has developed, and we need to give the Magisterium time to work out the kinks in the admittedly novel points of doctrine which have appeared since 1964."  It's the Magisterium's task to teach clearly the truths revealed by God, and yet it has utterly failed in this regard for the last 50 years.  Besides that, there's nothing wrong with applying logic and known doctrines to the novelties to see if they are truly in continuity with what was taught in the past.  I think we're obliged to do this in order preserve our faith, for which we are personally responsible.

Actually, none of what you say here sounds like a real conversation that goes down on these forums.  Eye-roll
Jayne,
I would have to look into whether some clergy have actually petitioned Rome in the past before posting articles on the Web.  A question that arises, though, is what measure of obedience or piety/loyalty does one owe to another whom he views as not even being a superior?

Parmandur,
The Eastern Orthodox profess the Nicene Creed as well, and yet no one would argue that we share the same faith with them.

And yes, I've seen those arguments used on this forum several times over the past couple of years.  I don't want to drag anyone else into this, but I wonder if INP would concur with what I've said.
(01-23-2013, 01:35 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 01:04 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 12:51 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-23-2013, 12:36 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: [ -> ]The last thing I'll say is that both sides also fall back on experts to explain the finer points of theology.  But as Vatican I taught, it is not enough to avoid heresy, we must also, however, shun that which approaches heresy.  This implies, I think, the necessity — in relation to our state in life — of having at least some understanding of the finer points of theology.

Different people are called to different degrees of understanding of theology.  People who are using their understanding of theology, whatever its degree, to attack the Pope, are doing something wrong.

Stating that it is an attack belies an underlying assumption (i.e. that the Holy Father is right).  The "attacker" would reply that he criticizes the Holy Father in order to preserve the purity of the Faith, i.e. he believes himself to be upholding the truth.  Why is the Holy Father assumed to be totally immune from doing something wrong when there exists an Apostolic Constitution (and Canon Law) which deals precisely with this matter (Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio)?

There are correct procedures to take if one suspects that the Pope is teaching in error which can be seen in Donum Veritatis.  Publishing one's criticism on the Internet is contrary to this.
Well said:

37. By virtue of the divine mandate given to it in the Church, the Magisterium has the mission to set forth the Gospel's teaching, guard its integrity, and thereby protect the Faith of the People of God. In order to fulfill this duty, it can at times be led to take serious measures as, for example, when it withdraws from a theologian, who departs from the doctrine of the faith, the canonical mission or the teaching mandate it had given him, or declares that some writings do not conform to this doctrine. When it acts in such ways, the Magisterium seeks to be faithful to its mission of defending the right of the People of God to receive the message of the Church in its purity and integrity and not be disturbed by a particular dangerous opinion.

The judgment expressed by the Magisterium in such circumstances is the result of a thorough investigation conducted according to established procedures which afford the interested party the opportunity to clear up possible misunderstandings of his thought. This judgment, however, does not concern the person of the theologian but the intellectual positions which he has publicly espoused. The fact that these procedures can be improved does not mean that they are contrary to justice and right. To speak in this instance of a violation of human rights is out of place for it indicates a failure to recognize the proper hierarchy of these rights as well as the nature of the ecclesial community and her common good. Moreover, the theologian who is not disposed to think with the Church ("sentire cum Ecclesia") contradicts the commitment he freely and knowingly accepted to teach in the name of the Church.(37)

38. Finally, argumentation appealing to the obligation to follow one's own conscience cannot legitimate dissent. This is true, first of all, because conscience illumines the practical judgment about a decision to make, while here we are concerned with the truth of a doctrinal pronouncement. This is furthermore the case because while the theologian, like every believer, must follow his conscience, he is also obliged to form it. Conscience is not an independent and infallible faculty. It is an act of moral judgement regarding a responsible choice. A right conscience is one duly illumined by faith and by the objective moral law and it presupposes, as well, the uprightness of the will in the pursuit of the true good.

The right conscience of the Catholic theologian presumes not only faith in the Word of God whose riches he must explore, but also love for the Church from whom he receives his mission, and respect for her divinely assisted Magisterium. Setting up a supreme magisterium of conscience in opposition to the magisterium of the Church means adopting a principle of free examination incompatible with the economy of Revelation and its transmission in the Church and thus also with a correct understanding of theology and the role of the theologian. The propositions of faith are not the product of mere individual research and free criticism of the Word of God but constitute an ecclesial heritage. If there occur a separation from the Bishops who watch over and keep the apostolic tradition alive, it is the bond with Christ which is irreparably compromised(38).
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