Women to Pope: Can We Marry Our Priest Boyfriends! Pleeeeease?
#31
(05-21-2014, 11:39 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Well, that's why I conceded the possibility of a bad Pope; what I was trying to defend was the office of the Pope, pointing that the problems we get with bad Popes are not absent (in the best scenario, at least in possibility) from other ways of organizing, with the downside that other problems, such as exceeding fragmentation, arises (not to speak of the problem of dealing with Scriptural and historical basis for the papacy).

Where do you see exceeding fragmentation?

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#32
(05-21-2014, 08:00 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 10:43 AM)aquinas138 Wrote:
(05-20-2014, 11:43 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: I think people (correctly) say that the power of the Pope is limited by Tradition and so on less because there are provisions on the Canon Law to deal with a bad Pope and more because of a fundamental metaphysical and existential belief – and let's be honest, good laws never stop a determinate tyrant.
Bad leaders have always existed in the Church, maybe we have to deal with them the way we deal with a secular authority: the Apostles always urged to obey, even the bad bosses.

The pontificate of Paul VI puts the lie to the assertion that the Pope is limited by Tradition. That sounds nice to say, and perhaps he should be, but it isn't true.The Mass was changed. The Office was changed. Every Sacrament was changed. The minor orders were abolished. The Vulgate was set aside. Seminaries and convents began hemorrhaging. Countless traditions were abolished. Though the subsequent pontiffs never tire of extolling the "fruits" of Vatican II and its "liturgical renewal," no one can really offer a coherent description of what those fruits actually are. Sure, by means of mental gymnastics and sophistry we can convince ourselves that nothing "really" changed, just "mere" externals, but that is ultimately unsatisfying.

True, Paul VI's complete and utter disregard for tradition and his using his authority to jettison it certainly gives the impression that the Pope is not in any way bound by tradition but stands above it.  There is so little remaining of the traditions of Roman Catholicism after Paul VI and Vatican II that I do not really take offense when those outside the Church (who have no skin in the game) say that objectively speaking it looks like a different religion. John XXIII called a Council in order to update Roman Catholicism  and what followed was a takeover by modernist scholars and other experts who jettisoned the traditional schema and drafted the blueprint for a new religion to be used instead. Paul VI blessed their effort and went above and beyond the Council, using his authority to do what Aquinas138 mentioned above: set aside the Vulgate, create a Mass from scratch that had little to none of the prayers left speaking of a sacrifice,abolished the minor orders, change the forms of sacramental rites so that in some cases it is only context that seems to point to what is actually being conferred and the list goes on. After the Council the late Orthodox Father Seraphim Rose remarked that Paul VI wasn't the anti-Christ but he was perhaps a precursor, a tragic figure who, after the faith had died out had nothing left to offer but the empty gospel of social idealism.

Paul VI was a man that truly had no respect for Tradition at all; he trampled on it in the name of his authority. When I look at the Council along with the last several pontificates I am at times left wondering if the last 60 years or so is the greatest refutation of the necessity of the papacy in all of history. I'm honest about that too. If the Pope is so necessary than why was it not the Orthodox Church but the Roman Catholic Church under the power of the Popes that nearly wholesale abandoned it's traditions, it's rites, it's rituals, it's very mission itself? Why do I get the impression watching the modern Popes and the modern episcopate that none of them are interested in anything but the building up of a civilization of love and engaging in ecumenical lovefests?


I'm Orthodox and of course I agree that the papacy is not necessary. The two greatest tragedies I think are the fact that the Catholic mindset is so fixated on the idea of papal supremacy, a supremacy that in most Catholic's minds extends to far more than questions of doctrine, that the faithful have totally abrogated their responsibility as members of the Body of Christ to maintain tradition. To use the Orthodox as an example there was a major schism in the Russian Church because a patriarch made relatively minor changes to the liturgy, such as crossing yourself with three fingers instead of two and saying alleluia three times instead of twice! If the Catholic faithful had understood their role Vatican II would have never been accepted. Second the fact that the with the dogmas of papal infallibility and supremacy the Catholic Church has painted itself into a corner it can never back out of. No matter how bad things get or how many traditions are destroyed you can never step back and reassess your beliefs. In fact so ingrained are these ideas that some Catholics, instead of admitting the idea that the papacy may be flawed, and despite all the evidence before their eyes, simply refuse to believe there have been so called true popes for fifty years or so. To me that is simply breathtaking.
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#33
(05-21-2014, 10:33 PM)Silouan Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 11:39 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Well, that's why I conceded the possibility of a bad Pope; what I was trying to defend was the office of the Pope, pointing that the problems we get with bad Popes are not absent (in the best scenario, at least in possibility) from other ways of organizing, with the downside that other problems, such as exceeding fragmentation, arises (not to speak of the problem of dealing with Scriptural and historical basis for the papacy).

Where do you see exceeding fragmentation?


Its quite clear that there is exceeding fragmentation within Protestantism. And like I said, since I don't know Eastern Orthodoxy very well I can't speak much about them, but the anecdote I told do show an unflattering fragmented aspect of Orthodoxy – actually, from what I hear (and so this cannot bear the weight of a personal witness, so, beware) people can go parish shopping in Orthodoxy, to see which is best suited for their morals, politics, etc.
My point was quite simple, really. I wasn't much concerned about the contingencies of the East, but more with the fact that (and, again, assuming the best scenario) there is at least the possibility of rotten power in other structures. So you see, I was responding to arguments (to paraphrase yourself) that would go something like “there were some damages done with the approval/incentive of the Pope, therefore the papacy is flawed”, but with this sort of argument any kind of authority can be undermined, e.g., some Easterns priests and bishops cooperated with communism, therefore the structure of Eastern Orthodoxy is flawed; or, the Eastern bishops often accepted doctrines just because of the Emperor, therefore the structure of Eastern Orthodoxy is flawed; or, the Pope was crucial in defending orthodoxy against doctrines adopted by the secular aristocracy, therefore the papacy is not-flawed. These are all silly ways to argue.
So, my point was purely negative. I see you are an Eastern Orthodox, so you'd probably demand not only negative but positive arguments for the papacy, but I'll not do that – there are more apt people that can do that.
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#34
I think it's because at heart a Catholic's faith is inextricably bound up with the papacy. The papacy is supposed to be the guardian of orthodoxy and tradition and a visible sign of unity but in modern times he has been none of those things. The most logical positions available to Catholics are the Jimmy Akin/Mark Shea neoconservative approach or sedevacantism, the idea that no true Pope (based on the idea of the papacy as guardian of doctrine,dogma and tradition) could have done to the Faith what men like the last several Popes have done to the Church.and actually remain credible as true Popes. The neo catholic rightly sees that what the pope and the magisterium purposes MUST be given assent, and since they recognize men like Paul VI as Pope they assent to his utter novelties like the Novus Ordo Missae and even go as far as to convince themselves that it's all perfectly well and good and traditional and that nothing has changed. As long as the Mass and the various rites maintain.bare bones "validity" it's all well and good. The sedevacantist looks at previous papal teachings, as well as the opinions of theologians and canonists from before the Conciliar revolution and see that things HAVE changed so radically that these men certainly CANNOT be true Popes since the Popes are supposed to be the guardian of dogma,doctrine and tradition. As far as being a principle if unity goes that too is bogus in the modern era,as ever since the Council there are several different groups with different contradictory beliefs all claiming allegiance to the Pope who himself never says which group is actually Catholic or not.  Somehow the Orthodox have maintained the apostolic faith,sacramental rites, reverent liturgy and basic unity of faith, all in hostile environments and all without the papacy. It's been compelling to me for years now but aside from being a one time catechumen with the GOA and having a bias in favor of Eastern theology and praxis I'm still a Roman Catholic. The evidence of the last 60 years seems to favor the bizarre but impeccably and rigorously logical  world of sedevacantism or more likely Orthodoxy.
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#35
(05-21-2014, 11:17 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: So you see, I was responding to arguments (to paraphrase yourself) that would go something like “there were some damages done with the approval/incentive of the Pope, therefore the papacy is flawed”, but with this sort of argument any kind of authority can be undermined, e.g., some Easterns priests and bishops cooperated with communism, therefore the structure of Eastern Orthodoxy is flawed; or, the Eastern bishops often accepted doctrines just because of the Emperor, therefore the structure of Eastern Orthodoxy is flawed; or, the Pope was crucial in defending orthodoxy against doctrines adopted by the secular aristocracy, therefore the papacy is not-flawed. These are all silly ways to argue.

I think my hang up is that the Pope is alleged to be different from other bishops. Considering the case of Orthodoxy, a heretical or otherwise terrible bishop doesn't trouble me as much - there's recourse. The other bishops can break communion, he can be deposed, etc. Even the tensions naturally present in the confederation of autocephalous Churches exert a pressure on bishops not to go on a wayward path. Additionally, the lay faithful will resist erring clergy - this has been woefully lacking among the Catholic laity. I remember a few years back reading an article about a German Catholic bishop whose crozier was a processional cross that had replaced the Corpus with A LEGO TRUCK, apparently to be "relevant" to children. Anyway, the comments on the article were telling. Most commenters were Catholic, and the responses tended to be along the lines of "Well that's dumb, but what can you do?" An Orthodox commenter pointed out that this is what puzzled him about Catholics. Had that bishop brought that abomination into an Orthodox Church, the men of the parish would have risen as one and tossed His Grace through the door on his hindquarters. Whether or not that is strictly true, there's something to it - the faithful Catholic laity are going to have to take back the Church somehow, and in the process of restoring Tradition, not bring back a servility toward the clergy that leaves them to the whims of their pastors.

Yes, there have been terrible Popes in the past. However, almost always we're talking about venal men or sensualists. They did not concern themselves with doctrine or liturgy. It is not troubling for a scoundrel to attempt to use a position of power to feed his appetites. What is troubling is that the very office that is supposed to guard Catholic doctrine can rather blatantly contradict itself while still claiming supremacy and infallibility. It is also troubling that in order to NOT believe conciliar and  post-conciliar teaching have defected, we have to perform all sorts of sophistries and suspensions of disbelief to do it. When the Popes say the Jewish covenant is still valid, we still find a way to say that he's not really saying that, or even more incredibly, that the Church always taught that! Were he just another bishop, he could be disciplined. But the Pope is answerable to no one but God, and so we are saddled with a whole bunch of baggage.
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#36
(05-22-2014, 02:34 AM)aquinas138 Wrote:
(05-21-2014, 11:17 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: So you see, I was responding to arguments (to paraphrase yourself) that would go something like “there were some damages done with the approval/incentive of the Pope, therefore the papacy is flawed”, but with this sort of argument any kind of authority can be undermined, e.g., some Easterns priests and bishops cooperated with communism, therefore the structure of Eastern Orthodoxy is flawed; or, the Eastern bishops often accepted doctrines just because of the Emperor, therefore the structure of Eastern Orthodoxy is flawed; or, the Pope was crucial in defending orthodoxy against doctrines adopted by the secular aristocracy, therefore the papacy is not-flawed. These are all silly ways to argue.

I think my hang up is that the Pope is alleged to be different from other bishops. Considering the case of Orthodoxy, a heretical or otherwise terrible bishop doesn't trouble me as much - there's recourse. The other bishops can break communion, he can be deposed, etc. Even the tensions naturally present in the confederation of autocephalous Churches exert a pressure on bishops not to go on a wayward path. Additionally, the lay faithful will resist erring clergy - this has been woefully lacking among the Catholic laity. I remember a few years back reading an article about a German Catholic bishop whose crozier was a processional cross that had replaced the Corpus with A LEGO TRUCK, apparently to be "relevant" to children. Anyway, the comments on the article were telling. Most commenters were Catholic, and the responses tended to be along the lines of "Well that's dumb, but what can you do?" An Orthodox commenter pointed out that this is what puzzled him about Catholics. Had that bishop brought that abomination into an Orthodox Church, the men of the parish would have risen as one and tossed His Grace through the door on his hindquarters. Whether or not that is strictly true, there's something to it - the faithful Catholic laity are going to have to take back the Church somehow, and in the process of restoring Tradition, not bring back a servility toward the clergy that leaves them to the whims of their pastors.

Yes, there have been terrible Popes in the past. However, almost always we're talking about venal men or sensualists. They did not concern themselves with doctrine or liturgy. It is not troubling for a scoundrel to attempt to use a position of power to feed his appetites. What is troubling is that the very office that is supposed to guard Catholic doctrine can rather blatantly contradict itself while still claiming supremacy and infallibility. It is also troubling that in order to NOT believe conciliar and  post-conciliar teaching have defected, we have to perform all sorts of sophistries and suspensions of disbelief to do it. When the Popes say the Jewish covenant is still valid, we still find a way to say that he's not really saying that, or even more incredibly, that the Church always taught that! Were he just another bishop, he could be disciplined. But the Pope is answerable to no one but God, and so we are saddled with a whole bunch of baggage.


I see your point, I guess I just have a view of the papacy that is not so inflated (and which I admit, most Traditionalists here might not agree with me), like the one expressed at the Catechism; grosso modo I think that (besides being the foundation of unity and guaranteer of the authority of bishops) the Pope is the man that when there is a dispute in a Council his role is to pray to God until he has an answer. And I don't think this somewhat low view of the papacy is a novelty: just think how a monk in Ireland in the High Middle Ages would relate to the Pope. Popes have erred with regard to doctrines too, I mean, St. Peter right after the institution of the papacy and foundation of the Church denied the Crucifixion.
And of course, the Pope is not beyond criticism, and not only saints can criticize the Pope (Dante even placed some Popes in hell – and I doubt Dante causes much scandal, but he does leads, even to this day, people to Christ); Pope Francis himself accepted the sharp criticisms of Mario Palmaro, saying that he saw it came out of charity.

While I indeed get very angry thinking of how the Vatican itself made great damage to Tradition and to the Liturgy, I must admit I don't have such strong struggles like some people here have. Maybe this is due to some privileges I have, like the access to a good, beautiful and rich traditional church, while most people only have access to the TLM in small, faraway parishes. Indeed, in other circumstances I might go to Eastern Orthodox churches (though when I visit Orthodox churches they seem too much of an ethnical thing, most people seem to go there just out of custom; and there are doctrinal issues I would struggle, like the filioque stuff). So, maybe there's some vanity in my part. But really, conversion occurs only in the Church, and it was in the Catholic Church that I was converted, in the [TL] Mass that I found God and true worship of Him, so if indeed I could abandon her, it would be quite painful.

Now, regarding the lethargy of Catholics, this is a real problem. But its not a problem of Catholicism in itself, that is, they are not lethargic and uncritical because they are Catholics; I think this is more of a modern western phenomena (in the past we had brave men like the crusaders, the martyrs of the French revolution, so on and so forth). While it is a great problem that the Church and ourselves must face, its not ubiquitous. I know plenty of courageous Catholics, and not that this proves much, but one of the very few western countries that had some real opposition to gay marriage was the Catholic France.

Finally, I think we all must be very careful not to act as modern voluntarists, that is, not submitting to any authority but the authority of our will: it might be that all this choosing churches is due (maybe not the only cause, but mostly the condition of possibility) to our will choosing what we obey, instead of our obeying what is supposed to be obeyed. Acting thus is plain rebellion.
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#37
(05-23-2014, 12:31 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: I see your point, I guess I just have a view of the papacy that is not so inflated (and which I admit, most Traditionalists here might not agree with me), like the one expressed at the Catechism; grosso modo I think that (besides being the foundation of unity and guaranteer of the authority of bishops) the Pope is the man that when there is a dispute in a Council his role is to pray to God until he has an answer. And I don't think this somewhat low view of the papacy is a novelty: just think how a monk in Ireland in the High Middle Ages would relate to the Pope. Popes have erred with regard to doctrines too, I mean, St. Peter right after the institution of the papacy and foundation of the Church denied the Crucifixion.
And of course, the Pope is not beyond criticism, and not only saints can criticize the Pope (Dante even placed some Popes in hell – and I doubt Dante causes much scandal, but he does leads, even to this day, people to Christ); Pope Francis himself accepted the sharp criticisms of Mario Palmaro, saying that he saw it came out of charity.

While I indeed get very angry thinking of how the Vatican itself made great damage to Tradition and to the Liturgy, I must admit I don't have such strong struggles like some people here have. Maybe this is due to some privileges I have, like the access to a good, beautiful and rich traditional church, while most people only have access to the TLM in small, faraway parishes. Indeed, in other circumstances I might go to Eastern Orthodox churches (though when I visit Orthodox churches they seem too much of an ethnical thing, most people seem to go there just out of custom; and there are doctrinal issues I would struggle, like the filioque stuff). So, maybe there's some vanity in my part. But really, conversion occurs only in the Church, and it was in the Catholic Church that I was converted, in the [TL] Mass that I found God and true worship of Him, so if indeed I could abandon her, it would be quite painful.

Now, regarding the lethargy of Catholics, this is a real problem. But its not a problem of Catholicism in itself, that is, they are not lethargic and uncritical because they are Catholics; I think this is more of a modern western phenomena (in the past we had brave men like the crusaders, the martyrs of the French revolution, so on and so forth). While it is a great problem that the Church and ourselves must face, its not ubiquitous. I know plenty of courageous Catholics, and not that this proves much, but one of the very few western countries that had some real opposition to gay marriage was the Catholic France.

Finally, I think we all must be very careful not to act as modern voluntarists, that is, not submitting to any authority but the authority of our will: it might be that all this choosing churches is due (maybe not the only cause, but mostly the condition of possibility) to our will choosing what we obey, instead of our obeying what is supposed to be obeyed. Acting thus is plain rebellion.

Many of my problems could be mollified or go away completely if I adopted your view of the papacy; however, I personally cannot reconcile such a conception of the papacy with the decrees of Vatican I (and, incidentally, their confirmation by Vatican II) - he has supreme, immediate and universal jurisdiction, full stop. That "immediate" part means something, and it doesn't reduce him to an appellate court or an arbiter in a disagreement. Sure, he is supposed to work in concert with the College of which he is head, but there is nothing to prevent him from going it alone. There's nothing to prevent him from administering a particular diocese if he wanted to. At the same time, I do not think your view is a novelty - the record of the first millennium does not support the Vatican I definition nearly as much as most Catholic apologists allege; most Patristic evidence points to primacy, which does not necessarily mean the same thing as supremacy, and all the ancient statements saying the Roman Church has never erred do not say the Roman Church cannot err.

But if the traditional Roman Catholic view is true, then the Roman Church certainly seems to have erred, does it not? Or is Vatican II itself not a Council? I keep coming back to sophistry and mental gymnastics - the Church is for the learned and the simple, the sinner and the saint. If our submission to the Pope is necessary for salvation, as Unam Sanctam explicitly says, why is it that the Pope, along with an ecumenical council, can spread confusion about the very content of the Catholic Faith, which is obviously itself necessary for salvation? That he can destroy the liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite? That he can persecute those who cling to Tradition while coddling and promoting those who trample on Tradition? This is the guarantor of episcopal authority? The visible principle of unity? The learned distinguishes between the extraordinary and the ordinary and the merely authentic, laying waste to common sense and plain meaning and reducing the faith to a dry series of philosophical propositions and syllogisms, while the simple, unable to make such distinctions, are infected with errors like indifferentism and syncretism and spend their lives as material heretics, all out of a well-intentioned but misguided obedience.

Living between Scylla and Charybdis is not easy, and for the Church to be the source of so much consternation is deeply troubling.
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