Pope St Pius X explains what loving the Pope really entails.
I posted the following to Rorate in two parts. Strangely, only the second part seems to have made it through, although I posted the first again in case it had been lost the first time. For that reason I'll post it here as the second part doesn't make much sense on its own.


I think it is important to remember that we need to take into account the magisterial teaching of the Church <b>as a whole</b> to help us understand individual allocutions. Just as we should draw on the totality of magisterial teachings to help us understand the Second Vatican Council.

With this in mind, and with regard to these words of St Pius X, it is useful to recall a principle that the Church has taught at various times that can be summed up by the following canon from the <i>Decree of Gratian</i>:
Decretum Graitiani Wrote:Huius [papae] culpas redarguere praesumit mortalium nullus, quia cunctos ipse judicaturus a nemine est judicandus, <b>nisi reprehendatur a fide devius</b>" (Ia, dist. XL, c.6, Si papa; ex Gestis Bonifacii martyris)

"Let no mortal being have the audacity to reprimand a Pope on account of his faults, for he whose duty it is to judge all other men cannot be judged by anybody, <b>unless he should be called to task for having deviated from the faith</b>."

This maxim can be traced back to a Life of St Boniface written in the eighth century.

We encounter it again in the Papal Bull of Pope Paul IV, <i>Cum ex Apostolatus officio</i>:
Pope Paul IV Wrote:In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff,who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, <b>may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith</b>.

Therefore, whatever St Pius X says in his allocution must be brought into harmony with the totality of Church teaching.

In his essay <i>Determining the Content and Degree of Authority Of Church Teachings</i> (<i>The Thomist</i> 72, 2008: 371-407), Dr John R. T. Lamont states that,
John R T Lamont Wrote:<b>It is also necessary to interpret particular teachings in the context of Church teaching as a whole. All these teachings are issued by the same authority, which intends them to harmonize with and to interpret each other</b>. The fact that teachings are intended to be read in the context of the whole of the Church's teaching is often explicitly stated in conciliar documents, in such phrases as "following the saintly fathers" (Chalcedon) or "following without deviation in a straight path after the saintly fathers" (Constantinople III); it was expressed at the Second Vatican Council in Dei Verbum 1 and Lumen gentium 51. <b>The presumption is therefore that one teaching does not reject or contradict another, unless it is impossible to understand it except as doing so</b>. The practice in the rare instances where a previous teaching is corrected by a subsequent one is for this correction to be made explicit (as in the condemnation by the Third Council of Constantinople of the teaching of Pope Honorius on Monothelitism).

<b>This means that the meaning that we might attach to a teaching if taken in isolation may not be the meaning that we should understand as meant by the Church, when the whole of the Church's teaching is taken into account.</b>

Indeed, on the face of it, it is difficult to see how the statement of St Pius X - "when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed" - can be harmonised with the prior, more authoritative teaching of Pope Paul IV that obedience to the Roman Pontiff <b>does</b> have certain limits - that there <b>are</b> "ifs" and "buts", albeit grave ones. But harmonised it must be (or else withheld assent pending further clarification) unless we are not to arbitrarily reject the magisterial teaching of a Roman Pontiff, namely Pope Paul IV, on the obedience due to the Roman Pontiff. A teaching, which as we have seen, has ancient precedents.

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Re: Pope St Pius X explains what loving the Pope really entails. - by Scotus - 11-20-2012, 04:53 PM

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