Sunday, February 16, 2014

This is where the rubber meets the, er, “infallible teaching”

What if “the Church” loses?
The Coming Roman Catholic Schism? What if “the Church” loses?

An editorial decision was made between the time that news of this article hit my inbox, and when it appeared at the website. The decision was: “remove the subhead” (circled in red at the right).

The reason for this is clear. The subhead is highly inflammatory. It’s highly challenging. The article, written by the Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D. , who is pastor of Holy Family Church, New York, NY, and a canon lawyer, originally bore this subhead: “Fr. Gerald E. Murray looks ahead to an important Vatican meeting becoming a contentious battleground. That’s fine, as long as the Church wins”.

This is instructive. This is “the Church that Christ Founded™”. This is “the Church” against which “the gates of hell shall not prevail”.

And yet, some in the fold see the possibility of failure.

In this case, however, the stakes are far higher. In this case, it’s the whole, entire group of Bishops from a single, highly influential nation. (A nation where Cardinal Ratzinger and later Pope Ratzinger ought to have had, but evidently didn’t have, a certain moral influence).

And now, with an “Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops” scheduled to meet in October, and a pope who’s ready and willing and in fact threatening to change things, this has to be one to keep “the faithful” on the edge of their seats. Because among the things that are being proposed, consider these staples of “Roman Catholic Moral Teaching”:

* “Natural Law” is being dismissed as supporting “a narrow, biological determinism” that “is said not to do justice to the Christian understanding of man”.

* “many (90%-100%) consider it irresponsible to marry without living together beforehand”.

* These “expect the Church to enable them to start again in a new relationship”

* “The canonical exclusion from the sacraments as a result of civil remarriage is perceived by those concerned as constituting unjustified discrimination and being merciless.”

* “There is a marked tendency among German Catholics to regard the legal recognition of same-sex civil partnerships and their equal treatment vis-à-vis marriage as a commandment of justice. The opening of marriage as such for same-sex couples, by contrast, is largely rejected. Large numbers however also consider it to be expedient and positive to offer a rite of blessing to same-sex couples.”

Further items note that “Humanae vitae (the 1968 papal encyclical which made the distinction between “artificial” and “natural” methods of birth control and in fact, which made one to be a “grave sin”) is “unknown” among younger Roman Catholics, “not adhered to in practice” in fact, unanimously in Germany, “not regarded as sinful”.

Anyone who remembers the papacy of Pope John Paul II know how his “theology of the body” and his extensive talks on family were virtually put on par, doctrinally, with other Roman dogmas such as transubstantiation and the veneration of Mary.

Now, the bishops of an entire country of central Europe is adopting a firm position that is firmly counter to those things that John Paul II (and others) taught.

Murray notes, “there is a total absence of regret or remorse”, and says “What we have here is a push to change Church teaching on sexual morality.”

This is where the rubber meets the, er, “infallible teaching”. And Murray, for one, is not going to back down.

The Synod risks becoming a contentious battleground. Yet perhaps it must be so for the good of the Church. The worldly spirit that treats Church teachings as mere opinions is destructive of faith. This spirit needs to be confronted and refuted.

The question remains, “what happens if the Murray-style traditionalists lose this one? What of “the faithful” in that case?

1 comment:

  1. Related, this may be of interest on The Vatican Survey:

    "Before the Vatican ACTUALLY did its OWN poll, they would blow off every poll and survey that came down the pike.

    They had to – really. To even acknowledge or lend any credence whatsoever to the results of past surveys would be to admit that there has been a never before in the life of the Church anything like it collapse of the faith.

    That would immediately necessitate a conversation of how this happened, which would lead directly back to the bishops...Every excuse in the books – anything to deny, lie or refuse to comply with the truth.

    Well, they can’t do that ANY MORE. These are the Vatican’s OWN OFFICIAL numbers – and they show – heck in some cases – results EVEN WORSE than originally thought...

    So consider the whole picture. On the one hand, we have an official Church survey PROVING what we have long known – global apostasy as John Paul termed it.

    And then we have prominent Church leaders who couldn’t care less and who come out and say it publicly. They are more concerned with the press ASKING about IT then they are with the actual IT."
    Nothing new: