Friday, November 21, 2014

The National "Catholic" Reporter proves itself to be a menace to individuals and society: Will Pope Francis respond as a true Shepherd?

The National "Catholic" Reporter assures us that, "The priesthood of the future will include married and celibate, male and female, gay and straight." See here.

In his book "Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today," then Cardinal Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict XVI, writing about futile reform and the "naive arrogance of the self-appointed enlightener who is convinced that previous generations did not get it right, or else were too fearful and unilluminated," explains the thinking of such deluded souls: "It thus appears [for these adolescent Catholics] as the most normal thing in the world to make up for lost time, which means first establishing once and for all this basic patrimony of structures of freedom [elaborated by the Enlightenment].

We must move - it is maintained - from the paternalistic Church to the community Church; no one must any longer remain a passive receiver of the gift of Christian existence.  Rather, all should be active agents of it.  The Church must no longer be fitted over us from above like a ready-made garment; no, we 'make' the Church ourselves, and do so in constantly new ways.  It thus finally becomes 'our' Church, for which we are actively responsible.  The Church arises out of discussion, compromise and resolution.  Debate brings out what can still be asked of people today, what can still be considered by common consent as faith or as ethical norms.  New short formulas of faith are composed...

But questions immediately arise concerning this work of reform, which in place of all hierarchical tutelage will at long last introduce democratic self-determination into the Church.  Who actually has the right to make decisions?  What is the basis of the decision-making process?  In a political democracy the answer to this question is the system of representation: individuals elect their representative, who makes decisions on their behalf.  This commission has a time limit, its mainlines of policy are clearly defined by the party system, and it embraces only those spheres of political action that are assigned to representative bodies by the constitution.

Questions remain even in regard to representation: the minority must submit to the majority, and this minority can be quite large.  Furthermore, there is no infallible guarantee that my elected representative actually does act and speak as I wish.  Once again, the victorious majority, seen from close up, can in no case consider itself entirely as the active subject of political events but must accept the decisions of others, at least in order not to jeopardize the system as a whole.

But there is a general question that is more relevant to our problem.  Everything that men can make can also be undone again by others.  Everything that has its origin in human likes can be disliked by others.  Everything that one majority decides upon can can be revoked by another majority.  A church based on human resolutions becomes a merely human church.  It is reduced to the level of the makeable, of the obvious, of opinion.  Opinion replaces faith.  And in fact, in the self-made formulas of faith with which I am acquainted, the meaning of the words 'I believe' never signifies anything beyond 'we opine.'  Ultimately, the self-made church savors of the 'self,' which always has a bitter taste to the other self and just as soon reveals its petty insignificance.  A self-made church is reduced to the empirical domain and thus, precisely as a dream, comes to nothing." (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today, pp. 136, 138-140).

Pope Francis would have us believe that charity is at the heart of his papal mission.  If this be true, then he must publically deal with the National "Catholic" Reporter in clear and unambiguous terms.

Pope John XXIII, in Ad Petri Cathedram-  On Truth, Unity and Peace - had this to say:

"All the evils which poison men and nations and trouble so many hearts have a single cause and a single source: ignorance of the truth--and at times even more than ignorance, a contempt for truth and a reckless rejection of it. Thus arise all manner of errors, which enter the recesses of men's hearts and the bloodstream of human society as would a plague. These errors turn everything upside down: they menace individuals and society itself.

And yet, God gave each of us an intellect capable of attaining natural truth. If we adhere to this truth, we adhere to God Himself, the author of truth, the lawgiver and ruler of our lives. But if we reject this truth, whether out of foolishness, neglect, or malice, we turn our backs on the highest good itself and on the very norm for right living." (Nos. 6, 7).


David said...

Inter Mirifica, No. 14 says that:

"...a good press should be fostered. To instill a fully Christian spirit into readers, a truly Catholic press should be set up and encouraged. Such a press-whether immediately fostered and directed by ecclesiastical authorities or by Catholic laymen-should be edited with the clear purpose of forming, supporting and advancing public opinion in accord with natural law and Catholic teaching and precepts."

The National Catholic Distorter does not advance public opinion "in accord with natural law, Catholic teaching and precepts."

Time for Rome to ask this dissenting publication to cease using the name Catholic!

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Cardinal George is asking the right questions. The same questions I've been asking here.

Such is the right of the Church's loyal sons.

Derek said...

Comments from the Pope such as, "Who am I to judge," are damaging the Church and her credibility.

The Pope has received the Keys of the Kingdom. Whatever he binds on earth is bound in Heaven and whatever he looses on earth is loosed in Heaven.

If the Vicar of Christ doesn't know who he is or what his vocation consists of, God help him and the Church.

Peter said...

Under the principal of subsidiarity, the issue should be dealt with locally. The local bishop asked NCR to cease calling itself a Catholic publication ages ago; they ignored him. It is not the Pope's duty to admonish local magazines, but the bishop's. He's done that and so there is nothing more can be done except maybe the local bishop excommunicate the NCR staff.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Actually, the principle of subsidiarity should NOT be invoked here.

Then Cardinal Bergoglio observed that Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul II, "referring to the singular hierarchical structure of the Church, existing by the will of Christ, exclude an application of the principle of subsidiarity to the Church, which was univocal with the way this principle is intended and applied in sociology."

The cardinal explained that a bishop possesses the power needed for the exercise of his office, which is autonomous and protected. This power, however, "coexists with the supreme authority of the Pope, who is also episcopal, ordinary and immediate over all the churches and over all the shepherds and faithful." It would not be correct to seek some kind of automatic resolution of the tension between these two functions by means of an appeal to the principle of subsidiarity, said Cardinal Bergoglio.

Subsidiarity first came to prominence in the Church's teaching in Pius XI's 1931 social encyclical "Quadragesimo Anno." Nos. 79-80 clearly state subsidiarity is intended as a "principle of social philosophy" that seeks to protect individuals and smaller bodies from an unjustified loss of authority through an excessive concentration of power at higher levels.

Pope John XXIII reaffirmed subsidiarity in both "Mater et Magister" and "Pacem in Terris." In the first encyclical, Nos. 51-58, John XXIII applied the principle to the exercise of authority by public authorities, particularly in the economic field. In the second encyclical, Nos. 140-141, the Pope extended the application of subsidiarity to the international level, but always restricting it to the exercise of power in the area of politics or economics.

"Centesimus Annus," No. 48; Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1883-5—have not changed the essential meaning of the principle, or tried to apply it in any way to the structures of the Church.

The reluctance of not a few participants in the synod to apply the principle of subsidiarity to Church government stems from the nature of the principle as a sociological concept intended to regulate authority in political and economic spheres. While the Church is also a social reality, it is much more than a political structure.

In its document on the nature and mission of the Church, "Lumen Gentium," the Second Vatican Council employed the theologically rich concept of collegiality rather than that of subsidiarity in describing how episcopal functions should be exercised in relation to the authority of the Pope and Curia.

The collegiality between the bishops goes further than a restricted political reading of authority. The Church is not the same as a civil authority, where a balance of power needs to be maintained between the parts of the organism. Nor does ecclesiastical authority draw its validity from the will of the governed as a delegated power, but proceeds rather from the divine plan for the Church as revealed by Jesus Christ.

A collegial exercise of authority where union with Rome is maintained avoids the danger of a decentralized structure where a bishop or group of bishops could act in a way that endangers the unity of the Church.

John Paul II touched on this matter in his apostolic letter Novo Millennio Inuente. In No. 44 he wrote of the value of the Petrine ministry and episcopal collegiality. "These are realities which have their foundation and substance in Christ's own plan for the Church," John Paul II stated, "but which need to be examined constantly in order to ensure that they follow their genuinely evangelical inspiration."

Nice try. Perhaps rather than making asinine attempts to "correct" me (and in the process making yourself look foolish), maybe you could channel that energy into fighting the evils of our time.

I have written about the principle of subsidiarity. And I possess a firmer grasp of the concept than you do.

Peter said...

Paul, by your logic, Pope Benedict failed as a shepherd because he didn't publicly condemn the NCR - they were at the same antics then as they are now. The Roman Pontiff has better things to do than speak out against what is a small-time and dying American dissenting publication. That's it. That magazine is finished and probably won't exist in 10 years. If anything, you might call for the local bishop to take further action, but to use this as a litmus test for Pope Francis is very mistaken.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Peter, your accusation that I'm using this issue as a "litmus test" for Francis is not only dishonest but serves to highlight your animus toward me.

Your ignorance of Catholic teaching and Canon Law is appalling. I cite two canons not for your sake as you are obviously too proud to admit when you are wrong about subsidiarity applying to the Church, but for the sake of those who do not have an agenda as you do to serve as apologist for negligence in the Church:

Can. 823 §1. In order to preserve the integrity of the truths of faith and morals, the pastors of the Church have the duty and right to be watchful so that no harm is done to the faith or morals of the Christian faithful through writings or the use of instruments of social communication. They also have the duty and right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgment and have the duty and right to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals.

§2. Bishops, individually or gathered in particular councils or conferences of bishops, have the duty and right mentioned in §1 with regard to the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the supreme authority of the Church, however, has this duty and right with regard to the entire people of God.

Read that last sentence very carefully.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

The Pope is the supreme authority of the Church here on earth. And it is [his] right and DUTY to, "demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to [his] judgment and have the duty and right to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals."
Back to the drawing board huh?

Again, channel some of that energy into fighting the Church's enemies.

Jonathan said...

"..the supreme authority of the Church, however, has this duty and right with regard to the entire people of God."

That could not be more crystal clear. No doubt "Peter" will tell us now that the Code of Canon Law is somehow incorrect or "outdated."

Ban this guy Paul. It's probably Barn anyway.

Anonymous said...

How hard would it be for the Pope to tell the NCR to remove the name Catholic from its masthead? Not very. His authority is supreme. To suggest that the NCR doesn't fall under the Pope's authority is nonsense.

Site Meter