Thursday, November 06, 2014

What's Going On in Rome, Part II

Cdl. Burke, inter alia, has been sounding an alarm about the goings-on in Rome--specifically, the goings-on in the recent Synod, where several Bishops have proposed what will be, in effect, a schism between doctrine and discipline surrounding the sacrament of marriage.  It would be similar to retaining the law prohibiting first-degree murder while at the same time eliminating any penalty for the crime.  (Please don't bring up "nuance" here.  This is a blog, not a theological journal.)

Rorate brings another dimension to the discussion, focusing on 'synodizing' v. the infallibility of the Pope.

...the Church is not a democratic assembly, but a monarchical and hierarchical one, divinely established on the institution of the Papacy, which symbolizes the irreplaceable stone. The progressivist dream of “republicanizing” the Church and transforming Her into a permanent synodal state is destined to infringe upon the constitution Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I which defined not only the dogma of infallibility, but primarily the full and immediate power of the Pope over all the bishops and the entire Church....
...In the discussions of Vatican I, the anti-infallibility minority, echoing the conciliarist and Gallican theses, affirmed that the authority of the Pope did not reside only in the Pontiff, but in the Pope being united to the bishops. A small group of Council Fathers asked Pius IX to affirm in the dogmatic text, that the Pontiff is infallible with the testimony of the Churches (“nixus testimonio Ecclesiarum”), but the Pope revised the schema in the opposite clarify definitively, that the assent of the Church did absolutely not constitute the condition of infallibility. On the 18th July before an immense multitude crowded in the Basilica, the final text of the apostolic constitution Pastor aeternus was approved with 525 votes in favour and 2 against. Fifty five members of the opposition abstained. Immediately after the vote, Pius IX, solemnly promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Pastor aeternus as a law of faith.

That doesn't mean that there will be no problems.

...The infallibility of the Pope does not mean in any way that he enjoys unlimited and arbitrary power in matters of government and teaching. The dogma of infallibility, while it defines a supreme privilege, is fixed in precise boundaries, allowing for infidelity, error and betrayal......the betrayal of Peter is the example of possible infidelity which has loomed over all of the Popes through the course of history, and will be so until the end of time. The Pope, even if he is the supreme authority on earth, is suspended between the summits of heroic fidelity to his mandate and the abyss of apostasy which is always present.

These are the problems that the First Vatican Council would have had to deal with if it hadn’t been suspended on the 20th of October 1870, a month after the Italian army had entered Rome. These are the problems that Catholics bound to Tradition must study in-depth today. Without in any way denying the infallibility of the Pope and his supreme authority in government, is it possible (and in what way) to resist him, if he fails in his mission, which is to guarantee the unaltered transmission of the deposit of the faith and morals consigned by Jesus Christ to the Church

You may submit your essay-responses below.  Footnotes required.

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