How This Crisis Ends
(04-06-2021, 02:49 PM)ChairmanJoeAintMyPresident Wrote:
(04-06-2021, 02:46 PM)Evangelium Wrote: It sounds like a moral judgment to me.

Moral judgments use words like "evil" and "sin".  You may want it to be a moral judgment, but the text doesn't support that conclusion.

What kind of judgement is it, then?  The revised paragraph in the CCC quotes Pope Francis.  Here is that quote, with the preceding paragraphs to provide context:

Quote:Along these same lines, I would like now to bring up a subject that ought to find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a more adequate and coherent treatment in the light of these expressed aims.  I am speaking of the death penalty.  This issue cannot be reduced to a mere résumé of traditional teaching without taking into account not only the doctrine as it has developed in the teaching of recent Popes, but also the change in the awareness of the Christian people which rejects an attitude of complacency before a punishment deeply injurious of human dignity.  It must be clearly stated that the death penalty is an inhumane measure that, regardless of how it is carried out, abases human dignity.  It is per se contrary to the Gospel, because it entails the willful suppression of a human life that never ceases to be sacred in the eyes of its Creator and of which – ultimately – only God is the true judge and guarantor.  No man, “not even a murderer, loses his personal dignity” (Letter to the President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, 20 March 2015), because God is a Father who always awaits the return of his children who, knowing that they have made mistakes, ask for forgiveness and begin a new life.  No one ought to be deprived not only of life, but also of the chance for a moral and existential redemption that in turn can benefit the community.

In past centuries, when means of defence were scarce and society had yet to develop and mature as it has, recourse to the death penalty appeared to be the logical consequence of the correct application of justice.  Sadly, even in the Papal States recourse was had to this extreme and inhumane remedy that ignored the primacy of mercy over justice. Let us take responsibility for the past and recognize that the imposition of the death penalty was dictated by a mentality more legalistic than Christian.  Concern for preserving power and material wealth led to an over-estimation of the value of the law and prevented a deeper understanding of the Gospel.  Nowadays, however, were we to remain neutral before the new demands of upholding personal dignity, we would be even more guilty.

Here we are not in any way contradicting past teaching, for the defence of the dignity of human life from the first moment of conception to natural death has been taught by the Church consistently and authoritatively.  Yet the harmonious development of doctrine demands that we cease to defend arguments that now appear clearly contrary to the new understanding of Christian truth.  Indeed, as Saint Vincent of Lérins pointed out, “Some may say: Shall there be no progress of religion in Christ’s Church?  Certainly; all possible progress.  For who is there, so envious of men, so full of hatred to God, who would seek to forbid it?” (Commonitorium, 23.1; PL 50). It is necessary, therefore, to reaffirm that no matter how serious the crime that has been committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person.

I'll grant you that this might not be a teaching on morals.  However, he frequently mentions how the death penalty is contrary to the Gospel.  That would seem to make this a teaching about an aspect of the faith, would it not?  Do not the teachings of the Gospels fall under that?
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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It would only be a major problem if we considered the CCC to be infallible. But we don't.

It's also self-contradictory. If the Church has taught "the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death" "consistently and authoritatively," and that same Church has also approved the death penalty in the past, then the death penalty is not "injurious of human dignity."
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(04-06-2021, 02:59 PM)Evangelium Wrote: I have difficulty with the development of the teaching on usury.
They changed the meaning of the word "usury". Just like in modern times they have changed the meaning of the word "annulment".  they claim that they have always given marriage annulments in the past, but the meaning of the word annulment and what constitutes marriage annulment today is different from what the word annulment meant in the past.
The explanation I have read is that the understanding of money changed.

This article helped me:

I hope to see some good commentary on why the pope's teaching on the death penalty is a legitimate development.

I don't agree with you on annulments.
I don't really want to step into the fray here, but Evangelium, I thought you might find Zippy Catholic's website helpful regarding usury. He vehemently disagrees that our understanding of the nature of money has changed, and he contends that usury is still sinful... but convincingly (to me) argues that some kinds of interest are not usury.

While you're there, say a prayer for his soul; he was killed by a hit-and-run driver a couple of years ago while riding his bike.
Dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens atque benignius
     deprome quadrimum Sabina,
          O Thaliarche, merum diota.

Permitte divis cetera...
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(04-06-2021, 02:59 PM)Evangelium Wrote: I understand that this must be very difficult for you.

What do you mean by "this"?

It's pretty difficult to discuss when you are not clear about what you are saying or to whom you are saying it.

(04-06-2021, 02:59 PM)Evangelium Wrote: I have difficulty with the development of the teaching on usury.

Where do you find this teaching and the difficulties?

If you don't mention the particular difficulty then we cannot begin to see if there is any substantial development, nor if you are understanding correctly the teaching (if there is any) on the subject.
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(04-06-2021, 03:07 PM)ChairmanJoeAintMyPresident Wrote: It would only be a major problem if we considered the CCC to be infallible.  But we don't.

It's also self-contradictory.  If the Church has taught "the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death" "consistently and authoritatively," and that same Church has also approved the death penalty in the past, then the death penalty is not "injurious of human dignity."

I think it's worth an effort for all of us to understand what is meant by "infallibility" and the "magisterium."

Firstly, the prime analogate and therefore primary meaning of "Magisterium" is the teaching authority of the Church given to her by Christ. In a secondary analogous sense it is the body of teachings which this authority has produced. In a tertiary sense, it is the individuals who have participated in giving this teaching.

This is where we often find issues in talking about the "magisterium". We incorrectly identify one Pope, who has the authority as being the magisterium, when he, at best, only participates in the power, and then only when he is authentically using this power. We know, for instance, that Popes do teach without engaging this power, and in such can be in error. For instance, we have John XXII and his error (later defined as a heresy by his successor) on the Beatific Vision. Despite preaching about this even as Pope and not backing down for a long time against the loud voices against him, John XXII did not engage the use of the magisterium when he taught these errors.

So, in that vein while a bishop or even a Pope may participate in the use of the magisterial authority, they are not the magisterium, properly speaking. This is an important distinction, else when we come to the necessary infallibility of the magisterium, we can incorrectly transfer qualities of the magisterium to those who can participate in its exercise. This would be a four-term fallacy, equivocating on the word "magisterium".

Secondly, on "infallibility". This means the inability to be in error, and thus the guarantee that what is said is true (in the sense it is said). The Magisterium in its first sense is merely a power (a potency), so is not "infallible" as such. Only actions or the results of actions can be infallible in this sense. So, the teaching power of Christ given to the Church is not itself "infallible", but it is in the use of this power, where judgements and teaching which necessarily lack error are found. This infallibility is a result of the fact that the teaching is from God "who can neither deceive, nor be deceived." While we can use the term "infallible" for the authority itself, this is only improperly, given it is a potency.

We know that because we need to profess certain truths in order to be saved, there must be an infallible authority to teach these truths, else we would never know what to do to be saved. This is why the authority must be "infallible" in the sense that it is able to make judgements and teaching which are without error.

It is in the second sense of "magisterium", the body of authoritative teachings emanating from the the authority given by Christ to the Church to teach these things is without error, or "infallible". This is why it cannot change, because that would admit that the teaching was in error before. It can only "develop" in the sense that it can be made more explicit and be more clearly applied to particular circumstances that were not previously considered. The "development" cannot contradict the previous teaching because this would make it infallible.

We can then, also improperly, call those who possess the authority to use this power "infallible" when they are using the power (since, again, a lack of error can only exist when there is an action, or the result of this action).

The conditions for using that power are very clearly enunciated in Vatican I, which include among other things that when teaching positively, the matter must be one which is part of Revelation, and a matter on which the whole church is bound to profess by Faith (i.e. if one denies it he would be a heretic), there is the intention to invoke this teaching authority.

When condemning errors, the matter must only touch on Faith. Thus an infallible condemnation does not necessarily teach anything except the contradictory.

If the phrase "All X are Y" is infallibly condemned, then the Church is not teaching "X are not Y" but rather "Some X are not Y".

These kind of considerations need to be brought into play when thinking about "magsiterium" and "infallibility" else we're going to be in a world of hurt.
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By "this" I mean what we were discussing -- the pope's teaching on the death penalty.  You are having difficulty reconciling this teaching with the previous magisterium.  I don't agree with you that accepting the pope's teaching violates the infallibility of the magisterium.  I have to believe as a Catholic that it is a development. We owe the pope's teaching religious submission of intellect and will.  I can see, however, why you have difficulty with it.

I learned about the change in the teaching on usury from multiple sources.  They all say that the Church's understanding of the nature of money changed.  One thing that troubles me is that the nature of money changed only because people disobeyed the Church and loaned money at interest.
(04-06-2021, 07:10 PM)Evangelium Wrote: You are having difficulty reconciling this teaching with the previous magisterium.

If you want to talk down to me, that's one thing, but I don't think it's going to impress the other guy.
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(04-06-2021, 07:10 PM)Evangelium Wrote: I have to believe as a Catholic that it is a development. 

And THAT is the problem with the so-called 'living Magisterium'. If the Faith was 'once delivered to the saints' (Jude 3:3), it CANNOT 'develop' in such a way as to contradict not only the previous teaching of every Pope to address the problem, but also to contradict Holy Scripture, the Fathers, and the Doctors, which is exactly what this so-called 'development' on the death penalty does.
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