An unlikely question
#11
I'm not going to say that you are wrong WW, for you could be correct, but is it necessary that we compartmentalize the two?  Isn't it possible that the Church is just very, very sick and that the hierarchy, while remaining legitimate, is very much compromised by heresy?

While sedevacantists and neoCaths have a problem with this, I think it's a rational and satisfactory answer for the sedeplenist trad.
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#12
Study St. Athanasius and the Arian heresy, as well as the actions of Pope Liberius during that time, and ask the same unlikely question.
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#13
(06-21-2012, 03:53 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Is the Pope really doing anything 95% percent of the time that has a direct impact on our life? Think of what has occurred since 2005. I can maybe point to up to five acts which affected me, and even in that case it was somewhat indirectly. Why do I have to figure this all out when my Catholic life would essentially remain the same with the answers? I can't speak for other people, but I have never even felt compelled due to my faith to answer a question about the Pope's status.

This seems to have really changed since the 19th century, and maybe to some extent since the Reformation.  I don't think the vast majority of Catholics living in antiquity or the Middle Ages really gave much thought to the Pope at all - not that they were his opponents or anything, but he just didn't "matter" in the day-to-day practice of the faith.  The parish priest certainly mattered to them - he said Mass, heard confessions and baptized, married and buried them - and the local bishop mattered, as he confirmed them, made new priests and proclaimed indulgences - all things that mattered much more to the average Catholic.

But since the 19th century, the Pope has steadily drifted away from being primarily the governor of the Church, intervening doctrinally only to settle disputes, to being revered as some sort of super-theologian whose every comment on any issue is spread around the worldwide Church as if it were divinely inspired.  A lot of this is an overreaction to the definition of papal infallibility, a woefully misunderstood doctrine, and the popes have frankly done very little to counteract it; the problem is exacerbated by the modern "cult of the papacy" (the push to beatify and canonize so many of the modern popes), which is obviously most clearly seen in the case of Bl. John Paul II.
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#14
And the advent of mass communication. You can't escape the good or the bad ... every day. The Pope's in the news every day. If it was 1227, I'd probably never hear much of anything about the Pope's actions unless they were very serious. The trend, though, is world-wide. Nation states are different, as our their leaders. It's the life of post industrialism with mass communication. I think we are in the cusp of change to a new era, but the shift is hard. It would be hard on its own, but our disobedience to grace makes it harder.
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#15
(06-27-2012, 08:03 PM)aquinas138 Wrote:
(06-21-2012, 03:53 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Is the Pope really doing anything 95% percent of the time that has a direct impact on our life? Think of what has occurred since 2005. I can maybe point to up to five acts which affected me, and even in that case it was somewhat indirectly. Why do I have to figure this all out when my Catholic life would essentially remain the same with the answers? I can't speak for other people, but I have never even felt compelled due to my faith to answer a question about the Pope's status.

This seems to have really changed since the 19th century, and maybe to some extent since the Reformation.  I don't think the vast majority of Catholics living in antiquity or the Middle Ages really gave much thought to the Pope at all - not that they were his opponents or anything, but he just didn't "matter" in the day-to-day practice of the faith.  The parish priest certainly mattered to them - he said Mass, heard confessions and baptized, married and buried them - and the local bishop mattered, as he confirmed them, made new priests and proclaimed indulgences - all things that mattered much more to the average Catholic.

But since the 19th century, the Pope has steadily drifted away from being primarily the governor of the Church, intervening doctrinally only to settle disputes, to being revered as some sort of super-theologian whose every comment on any issue is spread around the worldwide Church as if it were divinely inspired.  A lot of this is an overreaction to the definition of papal infallibility, a woefully misunderstood doctrine, and the popes have frankly done very little to counteract it; the problem is exacerbated by the modern "cult of the papacy" (the push to beatify and canonize so many of the modern popes), which is obviously most clearly seen in the case of Bl. John Paul II.

I think the present pope completely understands all of this.  It could be one reason why most of the "clarifications" doctrinal or otherwise that have happened under this papacy have come from some dicastery instead of from his own pen.  Summorum Pontificum was not simply because he had reverse an error of one or more of his own office-holders predecessors regarding use of the "un-modern" Roman missal.
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