L’Affaire Weinandy: A Watershed?

In yesterday’s post the subject was Fr Thomas Weinandy OFMCap’s letter to Pope Francis of 31 July, seemingly still unanswered; the release of this letter has been afforded a reception which is gaining momentum. This is for a very good reason: one who was approved by the establishment has broken ranks. Not just anyone, but an eminent theologian who had been head of the US bishops’ own doctrinal commission. One does not need to be Einstein to see in the circumstances surrounding Fr Weinandy’s resignation as theological consultant to the US bishops that the bishops’ conference has thrown him under a bus.

Prepare to see many establishment figures rushing to distance themselves from him. It is an understandable and otherwise laudable Catholic instinct that leads some to see any opposition to a pope as tantamount to blasphemy. Yet some situations are not so clear cut. This is why we must read Fr Weinandy’s letter very carefully; he is no Luther and far more a Newman.

There are two posts you might want to read for an idea of the reaction to Fr Weinandy and some of the points being raised, some of high significance and some not.

The first is by Christopher Altieri, who has cut his ecclesiastical teeth at Vatican Radio. He raises a very important point among others: that Fr Weinandy is acting entirely in accordance with Canon 212 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law. This canon allows that those of sufficient competence “have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful”. If a most eminent theologian is not competent to do this, who is? Moreover he has made his opinion known with the “reverence toward their pastors” that such critics are called to adopt.

A second point that arises from Mr Altieri’s article is that the statement issued by the President of the US bishops’ conference, Cardinal DiNardo, on the matter raises more questions than it aims to. Cardinal DiNardo lists a series of criteria to be met in engaging in controversy in the Church. The implication, which the cardinal never makes explicit, is that Fr Weinandy failed to comply with one or more of these.

DiNardo
Daniel, Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston

Yet the irony is that, on any fair reading, Fr Weinandy has complied with them all! Is Cardinal DiNardo treading a narrow path between the precipice of the party line on the one side, and the precipice of supporting Fr Weinandy on the other? Or is the cardinal oblivious to the irony entirely?

There are more points to be gleaned from Mr Altieri’s article, so it reward careful reading.

The second article of interest is by Mgr John Strynkowski, a priest from Brooklyn who was once executive director of the US bishops’ doctrinal secretariat, which is to say the secretariat of which Fr Weinandy was once head. He was also until recently the rector of Brooklyn’s cathedral. In other words, this is an establishment man. Which is fine. So does he voice a line that is one with the establishment’s reaction to Fr Weinandy?

Oh yes. His article, an open letter to Fr Weinandy in America magazine (itself establishment, leaning to the liberal side of things), takes Fr Weinandy to task. However, his attempt is wan and very unsatisfying. He answers Fr Weinandy’s concerns briefly,  one by one, but he would only satisfy those totally ignorant of the context. Anyone with a little knowledge of recent events and issues will find this open letter a failure in its object.

Thus, he counters Fr Weinandy’s concern that Amoris laetitia (AL) appears deliberately ambiguous by asserting its magisterial status as the fruit of a synod (though apostolic exhortations, which is what AL is, do not have a very heavy magisterial weight), and that the “vast majority of bishops and theologians” would not agree with him. He cites one theologian who is avidly in favour of reading AL as allowing change in the Church’s stance on allowing remarried divorcees to receive Holy Communion; and he cites Cardinal Müller, who has merely made the obvious observation that AL can be read in an orthodox way. Yet surely this only serves to reinforce Fr Weinandy’s point that AL is inherently ambiguous?

The monsignor answers Weinandy’s second concern, that Pope Francis seems to demean the importance of doctrine, by asserting that the pope’s homilies call us to a rigorous discipleship. Yet the papal homilies are striking for their ex tempore character, rarely having the doctrinal cohesion and depth in the homilies of his predecessors. That their theme is a rigorous discipleship may be true, but is hardly the point. The monsignor then exhorts never to “isolate doctrine from its source in the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ.” Well, mercy is a papal buzzword, and it is impossible to devalue the mercy of God. Is God’s mercy, however, the source of doctrine; or is God’s truth its true source? The monsignor seems to be subtly detaching doctrine from objective truth to the more subjective and necessarily flexible concept of mercy. In this way, whatever Pope Francis may have done, the monsignor certainly demeans doctrine by subjectivizing it. Yet more irony as he again validates Weinandy’s concerns.

Monsignor Strynkowski then takes Weinandy to task for the latter’s third concern, that the pope is appointing as bishops some men “who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them”, challenging Fr Weinandy to name them lest his “gratuitous assertions” damage the unity of the Church. The monsignor is being disingenuous, surely? Cardinal Cupich? Bishop McElroy of San Diego? Archbishop Scicluna of Malta? These are just some of the bishops appointed by Pope Francis who have challenged Church teaching in the area of morality.

The monsignor then castigates Fr Weinandy for his concerns about synodality, again for failing to enumerate examples. One can only suspect that the monsignor would have preferred Weinandy’s letter to have been an essay. Of course, then far fewer people would have read it. And again the monsignor seems to be disingenuous again. The dangers of synodality are exemplified well enough in the well-known examples of the Maltese bishops allowing Communion to remarried divorcees, and the Polish bishops steadfastly refusing to do so. Why must Weinandy detail in a letter what is well enough known to anyone following the current affairs of the Church?

Lastly the monsignor, in addressing Weinandy’s fifth concern that “the pope is not open to criticism and indeed resents it”, restricts himself again to asking for details, rather than addressing the concern itself. Again, one can only conclude that Strynkowksi is being disingenuous. Since he is keeping up to date with Cardinal Müller, he must know how upset the cardinal was when order to dismiss summarily three of his staff at the CDF for their privately expressed doubts about papal policy, and to make this cull at Christmas. And then of course there is Müller’s own removal from the CDF, about which he is also upset not least for its manner, the pope having informed him that he was not renewing his term of office on the last day of the current term. It is hard to believe the monsignor did not know of these examples, or that he expects no one else to know of them.

hqdefault

In a parting shot Strynkowski admonishes Weinandy for going public, but the irony is breathtaking:

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, urged that dissent from ordinary Magisterium should be disclosed privately to church authority—see “Donum Veritatis” (No. 30). In a world and even an ecclesial environment of sound bites and facile partisanship, that becomes even wiser advice.

By citing Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, the monsignor seems to be employing a cunning tactic, playing off one orthodox theologian against another. But this is really an own-goal for the monsignor, on two counts. First, as we saw Mr Altieri point out, Weinandy is acting in full compliance with Canon 212 by manifesting his concerns to both pope and faithful. Secondly, the admonition of then-Cardinal Ratzinger is hardly relevant, as Weinandy is seeking to uphold the ordinary magisterium of the Church, not to “dissent” from it.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the monsignor, in his rush to defend the establishment, has cast stones at Fr Weinandy, all of which are bouncing back into his own face. It may be that Monsignor Strynkowski may come to regret his open letter to Weinandy. It is not very good. How could it be? It reads as all politics and no substance, an example of the “facile partisanship” of which he accuses Weinandy.

And at the end of it all, Fr Weinandy’s points still stand. And it leaves this writer feeling that something of a watershed moment has been reached. More and more are revealing their true colours, and the quality of their arguments.

 

50 thoughts on “L’Affaire Weinandy: A Watershed?

  1. Pace Christopher Altieri, a radio pundit,and with all due deference to Canon 212, when Churchmen choose to engage in public wrangling about the interpretation of this, or of that, to whom should the faithful turn for an answer ? And if the answer is already writ clear …. ? Roma locuta est; causa finita est…. Tu es Petrus…..

    Like

    1. The exact problem re Amoris laetitia is that the pope refuses to clarify things, but tacitly encourages those who seek to change the teaching of the Church. So this is not a case of Roma locuta est at all. Moreover, no pope has power to change irreformable Church doctrine. Doctrine has the answer if one were to pretend to do so: he ceases to be pope. History has examples of popes who erred and had to be corrected, eg John XXII who in fact recanted before his death.

      Pace your good self John, but this is far more complex and important than a slogan can determine.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Roma locuta est; causa finita est

      So when Rome forbade giving Communion to the divorced and remarried, was the case closed then? If so, how do you justify changing Rome’s judgement now? Or, if the case wasn’t closed and was open to revision, why must we accept the current Pope’s views as final?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Is the Pope, as Supreme Pastor, to be continually having to explain, or modify, what he says or writes so that it may accord with the susceptibilities of those forever barking at his heels ? There is an injunction in Scripture addressed to those who have ears to hear.

    Like

    1. To answer your question: Yes, in a manner of speaking. That is, it is the pope’s job to “confirm the brethren” in truth, not sow ambiguity. So yes, he should explain or modify his words not to accord with anyone’s susceptibilities (for that is not relevant) but to accord with Christ’s clear teaching and the deposit of faith. That you invoke “susceptibilities” suggest that you read this whole situation subjectively, as a matter of mere personal opinions, and not as a matter of revealed truth and the relationship of authority to it. Papal primacy and authority is not an absolute dictatorship, as Pope Francis would certainly agree. It has conditions to which is must conform to be legitimate.

      Your scriptural reference is apt, and applies equally to popes and bishops as to the general run of us Christians. But if one has not heard the clear voice of the Lord in scripture and through the consistent teaching of the Church, it is unlikely you will hear the Lord’s more subtle voice of truth, though it can only say what scripture and Church teach as truth with Christ’s authority.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. One camp seems to be able to offer reasoned questions and criticism; the other only sycophantic agreement, that goes no further than, “Rome might have once spoken and was wrong because Pope Francis now says …..”. The problem in Church now ruled by papal whim, or even insight, everyone must either become a sycophant or a dissident.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And there’s the rub! We are being reduced to factions vis a vis the papacy. On one level this may bear fruit for many such as me who, being lulled into an unwitting cypto-papolatry by the recent succession of inspiring popes, needed to adjust our thinking to the proper scope of the papal role, which even properly contextualised is of the essence to the life of the Church. On the other, it undoes all the progress of the last 30 years in pulling the Church back to her natural, proper centre. For all the talk of collegiality and synodality we obsess and focus on the pope far more than we ever did before.

      To see myself as a dissident is quite discomfiting, but it seems more and more likely that I, as so many of us, will have no other label under which to shelter.

      Pax!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The susceptibilities I refer to are not mine since I am happy objectively to follow the Pope’s teaching, but rather the emotions of those who deploy their own personal understanding of Church teaching, often ill informed, challenging, and based on self-righteous argument, to contradict the Pope. If being loyal to the Pope and to his supreme teaching authority is ‘only sycophantic agreement’, it is a new understanding of traditional fidelity once shown by Catholics to the Pope.

    Like

    1. What you refer to as “traditional fidelity” is not that traditional at all. Traditional fidelity would have to include the anathemas heaped upon Honorius I by a Council and his successors when he favoured the perversion of true Catholic doctrine. Traditional fidelity to the Pope would have to include the Roman populace pelting Vigilius with sticks and stones for his connivance with the monophysite Empress Theodora and having a hand in the early demise of his predecessor Silverius. In fact the traditional fidelity of Catholics towards the Pope has always been secondary to their fidelity to the Faith itself. Ideas like “I am tradition” have been of fairly modern origin.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No. By agreeing with this pope, you reject the teaching of 265 previous popes. That’s what makes your agreement with this pope sycophantic.

      You are obviously unwilling to discuss the real issues, and prefer to take refuge in mindless conformity to a single individual’s whim, pretending that this is what Catholics mean by respect and obedience to the pope.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have read 4 of Weinandy’s books. He is outstanding. I don’t know if this is a watershed, with the USCCB circling the wagons, but it certainly is encouraging for us in the pews that such a strong and well-respected theologian has had enough of this “confusion.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, that such a man, who has obviously put his personal feelings second to the demands of truth, has felt compelled to utter a warning we may have turned a corner. For now, it is best to pray for all involved.

      Like

    1. As this Pope has scorned those who “crave doctrinal security” in one of his encyclicals, I would be very interested to know what you think “the Pope’s notion of Catholic doctrine” is.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think it boils down to whether the pope’s acts/omissions are promoting error. If the current pope’s teaching contradicts the Church’s teaching, I don’t think the solution is to follow whatever the most recent pope states.

      Like

  6. “Weinandy is seeking to uphold the ordinary magisterium of the Church, not to “dissent” from it.”

    I agree with you, Fr., but i’m sure his critics like Strynkowski would assert that the Pope’s nudges, winks and innuendo about the meaning of AL is what the new ordinary magisterium is. Hence they can argue that Weinandy is dissenting from it. Their problem is that they don’t have a clue what Catholics understand by the term “ordinary magisterium” and more specifically the “ordinary and universal magisterium”.

    Like

  7. Deacon Augustine. My question was ironic. I am not doing battle with the Pope’s teaching of Catholic doctrine. Those who are, and who invoke Newman’s aphorism, seem very certain that he is in error. I don’t

    Like

  8. Deacon Augustine,
    I was making the point that those who oppose the Pope wrongly imagine him to have only a notion of Catholic doctrine which they alone uniquely and completely possess, thereby giving them a licence to challenge and to criticize. I believe that the Pope’s understanding of Catholic doctrine is better than that of his opponents, and is more authoritative and worthy of acceptance in what he has said and written. Catholic doctrine in its fullness is scarcely a subject that can be set out in exchanges on a blog.

    Like

    1. Catholic doctrine in its fullness is scarcely a subject that can be set out in exchanges on a blog.

      Augustine was quite reasonably asking you, as you assert that the Pope is not in error in his beliefs, what exactly *are* those beliefs of his are that you are so sure he correctly holds?
      It’s not a complicated matter – if you assert that a person X correctly holds a belief, but then refuse to say what it is and why it is correct, then your ‘view’ is not to be taken seriously. ‘Loyalty’ alone is no virtue at all. Nor is agreement. Himmler was loyal, and Beria never disagreed.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I just love this blathering on and on about ‘true doctrine’ and the idea that this pope knows best. He does not know best. The man at the helm in Rome is already a heretic and it is obvious to see. As I write this there is an ‘ecumenical ‘mass’ planned for tomorrow near St. Peter’s in Rome. There are in the works plans for a new ‘mass’ which will include protestants and a Catholic priest officiating. When the point of the Consecration is reached, there will be silence, according to the word on the street. Recently a Roman ‘theologian’ stated that ‘Transubstantiation is not a doctrine’. With all of this rebellion against what the Church has always taught, Bergoglio remains silent, quietly shouldering on with his agenda to ally with the world. There is a conference planned soon between the Vatican and the Masons. Catholics are not allowed to join this luciferian organization according to our former Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger, otherwise known as Pope Benedict. I expect there will be a rush to ask me for names and dates about these statements of mine so you will know that my facts are correct. No matter, this news is coming out fast and you will remember what I said in this post, so save your umbrage and outrage for later.
      I read last year, when Bergoglio was speaking about the Year of Mercy to the priests of the Rome diocese that he told them, if a penitent enters the confessional and does not say anything, give him absolution as his mere presence in the confessional is proof of his contrition. In other words, Bergoglio was advocating invalid confessions. This constant ‘processing’ of the true meaning of AL is just sickening. Jesus said, “Let your speech be ‘Yes! Yes! and No! No!'” Pope Francis does not want clarity. He wants ambiguity so that he can manipulate Truth. He is creating confusion and license.
      It will not be long before the true Mass will be invalidated and the true Church of Christ will be underground. You think that is fantastic? Just wait. It will not be long. It is time to name what Bergoglio is. It is time to state who he is not. Keep telling yourselves that ‘he is the pope. All I have to do is follow him.’ Yeah, right. Your obedience and your fidelity belong to Christ and the fullness of the Faith, not to a pretender to the papal throne.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I beg to differ with you, John. ‘Doctrine in its fullness’ is very easy to know when one knows one’s Catholic Faith. It is not a matter of ‘a notion of Catholic doctrine which anyone alone uniquely and completely possesses’. There is only one Catholic Faith and any person who was taught it, will know it. Unfortunately, many today do not know their Faith and so they are unable to recognize doctrinal error.
      Your post indicates that you think Bergoglio knows the Catholic Faith better than anyone else. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps he knows the true Faith, but he is not teaching it. His role is meant to be the one who UPHOLDS the true Faith in its fullness. He is instead savaging the Faith, and this is why the Catholic Church is on the verge of schism. Those who cling to the ‘obedience to the pope’ when he is teaching errors are failing God.

      Like

  9. The only really interesting point in Fr Strynkowski’s essay – the one where it felt like more than mere rodomontade – is in regards to Fr. Weinandy’s concern that the Holy Father is appointing and encouraging bishops “who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.” It’s here that one can feel the hackles rising; and it is here that you see the surest sign that Fr Weinandy was deliberately falling on his own sword. He might well have escaped termination (at least of the immediate variety) with his other arguments; but leveling such a direct and harsh attack on certain U.S. bishops ensured his relief. Even bishops who respected Weinandy might find it hard to deny Cupich and Farrell their scalp. And it would cut especially close to the bone for Fr. Strynkowski, who is so closely allied with the bishops in question (Cupich, Farrell, McElroy).

    And perhaps it is fair to ask Fr. Weinandy to name names. Perhaps it’s time for a lot more candor, given the grave nature of the crisis. There is precedent: one sees no such reticence in doctrinal battles in the Patristic Era.

    Like

    1. Agree 100%! But I don’t think naming names is necessary. Everyone who doesn’t have their head in the sand knows who those are. This has become so disheartening. While I fully recognize I am stealing St Jerome’s material, the world has groaned and was astonished to find itself Modernist.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. mancunius,
    The Pope’s beliefs which are relevant to this debate are those which he has expressed in what he has said and in what he has written. If you go back to my post on Nov 3 at 12.33 pm you will see that that is precisely the point I raise.
    I am happy as a Catholic to accept those beliefs as stated; you along with others on this blog choose to dispute them. In this matter you will find yourself in good company with Luther who also found himself at odds with the Pope.

    Like

    1. No, in that post you did not refer to any beliefs of the Pope, you merely replied to a query as to their nature with an evasive and defensive rhetorical question, i.e.: ‘Is the Pope, as Supreme Pastor, to be continually having to explain, or modify, what he says or writes…?’
      To which the answer is
      1. Of course he must, when that Pope has spoken or written on Catholic doctrine in such ambiguous terms as to undermine it, as he has done in AL.
      2. As the “Supreme Pastor”, every pope has a pastoral responsibility, and conversely, he has no right at all to behave without any rational accountability.
      3. The word ‘continually’ is inappropriate here, as the Pope has not ‘continually’ – or even once – explained anything he writes: he merely adds to the confusion with non sequiturs.
      No, on the contrary, the Pope is being ‘continually’ *asked* to explain one single point. The reason for the ‘continual’ questions is that he never addresses the reasonable queries that have been put to him.

      A trait that you seem to share…:-)

      Like

      1. Mancunius,You would hardly expect the Pope to answer every contentious query put to him on his statements which are clear to the bona fide reader, merely to gratify the desire for self-justification. That was the way of the Pharisees. Christ knew how to deal with their argumentative questioning.The problem besetting many on this blog is their overpowering desire to reconstruct a form of Catholicism which accords with their own rigid individual views,often retained from pre Vatican II days, with which everybody else must agree. I am afraid,however, that you and I must agree to disagree.

        Like

      2. “Pharisees.”

        So that’s the response (which we hear so often): Not an argument, but an ad hominem.

        This is disappointing. It makes no effort to seriously engage the serious arguments of concern offered by Fr Weinandy, let alone other petitions, about the implications of these changes in the understanding of marriage, the moral law, and the sacraments apparently favored by this pontificate.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Spot on as always, Father!
    These “rebuttals” of Fr Weinandy’s letter merely go to prove his point, viz. that the Pope’s views apparently “cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by ad hominem arguments”, or by any other kind of vacuous argument for that.
    I’m probably reading too much into it, but I must say I like the added attraction of Fr Weinandy being a son of saint Francis. You know, the saint whose name was chosen by the current successor of saint Peter. The real saint Francis would never have countenanced the divorce between theological reason and pastoral practice as suggested by the manner of the Pope’s teaching, and as almost explicitly taught by some of the Pope’s most ardent zelanti. Once you start invoking the Holy Spirit in order to justify a departure from the truth of God’s Logos, you find yourself on a very slippery slope indeed.
    I cannot help thinking that future generations will be at a loss to understand how the reign of one the greatest theologian-Popes of history could be followed by such an anti-intellectual, such a sentimental pontificate!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you Fr High for the clarity of your whole article – but thank you particularly for your enlightening categorization of the Mgs Strynkowski attack on Fr Weinandy: ” It reads as all politics and no substance, an example of the “facile partisanship” of which he accusers Weinandy.”

    Like

  13. Richard Malcolm,

    I presume that you intend this as an insult to me. The usual low and unwarranted discourse when no argument can be advanced. Surprising on a Catholic blog with such a high-sounding title ‘Dominus Mihi Adjutor and with a Benedictine priest as patron.

    Like

    1. Hello John,

      I think it’s quite obvious you didn’t come here to discuss, but to provoke.

      Fear not, however: Only I am responsible for my own comments. Fr. Hugh is fairly obviously a gentler soul. He shouldn’t be held responsible for anything I say (at least not so long as he hosts an unmoderated combox).

      But I would urge you to invest yourself a little more in papal history, which doesn’t start with John XXIII, or even for that matter with Pope Cadaver himself, Stephen VI. Only thereby can you appreciate the true nature – and limits – of the charism imparted to the successors of Peter, among whom are numbered, I’m afraid, an impressive rogue’s gallery along with the saints. Not everything a Pope does or says is infallible or correct. If a Pope puts his predecessor’s corpse on trial, hosts an orgy, or praises a heresiarch (as both Honorius and Francis have done), the faithful are not out of place to say: “We pray for you, but this is an outrage. Repent.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Richard, It is very strange indeed if you see my support of the teachings of Pope Francis as provocation.  Many I think would justifiably say that the attacks on Pope Francis and the disrespect shown to him on this blog, simply because he chooses to exercises his teaching function, are provocative. You have now changed from insult of me to questioning my knowledge and education. I am a lawyer with several post- grad academic degrees including one involving a study of papal history and of its influence on the development of Western civilization. I have taught at University. I am not as ignorant as you think that I am.I  am fully aware of the limits of papal infallibility. Pope Francis has not claimed that any of his statements are infallible. However, papal statements falling below the level of infallibility still merit respectful consideration and its author is entitled to due respect. What is lamentable is the mindset, evident on this blog among others,of theologians manqué who consider that it is now open season to attack the statements of Pope Francis because they do not accord with some fanciful and nostalgic idea of how Catholicism was in the past, and should now be, and that they are not now going to have any of it. I do not see that any statement of Pope Francis is outrageous or that there should be a call for him to repent. I think that it is a question of agreeing to disagree.

        WordPress.com |

        Richard Malcolm commented: “Hello John,I think it’s quite obvious you didn’t come here to discuss, but to provoke. Fear not, however: Only I am responsible for my own comments. Fr. Hugh is fairly obviously a gentler soul. He shouldn’t be held responsible for anything I say (” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

        | | | |

        | New comment on Dominus mihi adjutor | |

        | | | Richard Malcolm commented on L’Affaire Weinandy: A Watershed?. in response to John: Richard Malcolm, I presume that you intend this as an insult to me. The usual low and unwarranted discourse when no argument can be advanced. Surprising on a Catholic blog with such a high-sounding title ‘Dominus Mihi Adjutor and with a Benedictine priest as patron. Hello John,I think it’s quite obvious you didn’t come here to discuss, but to provoke. Fear not, however: Only I am responsible for my own comments. Fr. Hugh is fairly obviously a gentler soul. He shouldn’t be held responsible for anything I say (at least not so long as he hosts an unmoderated combox). But I would urge you to invest yourself a little more in papal history, which doesn’t start with John XXIII, or even for that matter with Pope Cadaver himself, Stephen VI. Only thereby can you appreciate the true nature – and limits – of the charism imparted to the successors of Peter, among whom are numbered, I’m afraid, an impressive rogue’s gallery along with the saints. Not everything a Pope does or says is infallible or correct. If a Pope puts his predecessor’s corpse on trial, hosts an orgy, or praises a heresiarch (as both Honorius and Francis have done), the faithful are not out of place to say: “We pray for you, but this is an outrage. Repent.” | Reply |    Comments |

        |

        |

        | Want less email? Unsubscribe from all follow-up comments or modify your Subscription Options. |

        |

        | |

        |

        | Thanks for flying with WordPress.com |

        |

        Like

    2. You trolls are so predictable. You insult everyone, and you display infuriating irrationality. When someone calls you on your stupidity, you whine that you’ve been spoken to rudely. Of course, you pretend that this means that you “win” the argument.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Fanciful and nostalgic idea of how Catholicism was in the past, and should now be, Jude Punch? Ecclesia semper reformanda est? Küng that Kumbaya…

    What makes this crisis different from previous ones is that there is no longer a sensus fidei fidelium in the West, heck, there is hardly even any Catholic tribalism left.

    Like

  15. Jude Punch: “…because they do not accord with some fanciful and nostalgic idea of how Catholicism was in the past, and should now be, and that they are not now going to have any of it.”

    It is people who want to take the Catholic Church back to the 1960s and 1970s who have some “fanciful and nostalgic idea of how Catholicism was in the past, and should now be.” That appears to include the pope.

    Pope Francis is in his eighties. The younger generation of priests does not have the same hangups the pope’s generation, stuck in the past, does. Rather, the young priests look to the future.

    When the pope and his confreres are gone, the young crowd will be there to clean up the mess left by them.

    Deo gratias.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. John, Jude Punch or whichever sock puppet you are using at the moment, you missed the point of what I was asking when I said “What do you understand as the Pope’s notion of doctrine?” I did not expect you to elaborate on the contents of the doctrine of the faith, rather I was asking what you thought that the pope understood by the meaning of the word “doctrine”? i.e. what is the difference between “doctrine” and “personal opinion”? What is the difference between “doctrine” and the latest load of rancid excrement that strains forth from his bowels a la Martin Luther – no doubt inspired by the “god of surprises”?

    The man considers his interviews with Scalfari to be part of his “magisterium”, his back of an aeroplane interviews to be part of his “magisterium”. I would suggest that he doesn’t have a clue what constitutes “doctrine” in the Catholic understanding of the term, and he doesn’t give a damn about objective truth or even the clarity of the so-called “truth” which he novelly foists on the Church and the world in defiance of all principles of logic. He doesn’t “teach”, he “emotes”. Rather than following Christ’s “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no, anything else is from the devil.”, he chooses to follow the evil one’s ambiguity, suggestive hinting and innuendo. So much of his “teaching” follows exactly the same m.o. as the serpent’s manipulation exemplified in Genesis 3.

    Your Mottramism has never been part of Catholicism, but rather a ridiculous caricature of it – a parody so beloved of Protestant fundamentalists.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s