Friday, August 24, 2007

The Church Will Never Liberalize

A bishop from Australia has voiced his view that priestly celibacy should end and women should be ordained. (Funny how those two always go hand in hand). Let me guess... he's pro-abortion too (this is a guess I don't know his position)...

In a public response to a campaign by Australian Catholic activists to end the celibacy discipline, Bishop Power said that while Vatican leaders are unwilling to reconsider the issue, among "ordinary Catholics" he has found both support and "a sense of urgency" about the need for change.
What's great about this is a reminder - Catholicism (like science) makes predictions. If those predictions turn out to be false, Catholicism ends up being false. The Church has set her reputation on the line repeatedly. What decisive event can you imagine that would falsify Protestantism? Viewing the less-than-beautiful history of this young deviation from Christian doctrine, one can rest assured if such a thing were possible, it would have already happened.

Catholicism on the other hand, makes certain claims that could easily falsify the Church's claim to authority. If the body of Mary were found, it would falsify the magisterium. If women were ever ordained priests, it would falsify the magisterium. Both of these things could easily happen (well maybe the second more easily than the first). Almost all other Christians ordain women so it's certainly not a hard thing to conceive of happening. These are mere examples; the Church has hundreds if not thousands of similar scenarios that would disprove her authenticity with objective certainty were they to occur.
Pope John Paul II closed the discussion of women's ordination with his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (doc). Pope John Paul wrote: "I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."
So there you have it. If Catholics ever ordain women, it will prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that she is not the true Church of Christ. You can hold your breath but I'm not losing any sleep over it. She hasn't gone wrong for 2,000 years, what would posses me to think she's gonna start now? Long live B16 and God bless the Catholic Church.


Joseph said...

Nevertheless, a bishop such as this that goes without some sort of reprimand by the Vatican may appear scandalous to those who desperately look for reasons to cast stones at the Holy City.

Entropy said...

We can never have women priests but celibacy could be changed, perhaps made optional--it seems likely that those with a vocation to the priest might not also be blessed with the gift of chastity, without undermining the Church.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Entropy- I agree that the celibacy rule could be altered in the future (not any time soon since the pope has recently shot that down). If this happened, it would not mean a contradiction - no pope has ever declared it an infallible doctrine - its not even a doctrine actually it's a discipline. Hence the permission in the Eastern rite for married priests.

If they changed this rule, I'd be in seminary tomorrow. But I'm not petitioning for it and there are very legitimate reasons for the discipline.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Thank you for bringing up that point.

japhy said...

"Where there is the conviction that the Eucharist is at the heart of Catholic belief and practice, there must be questions asked about disciplinary laws in the Church which have the net effect of denying many Catholics regular access to the Eucharist," the Australian bishop wrote. He said that by limiting priestly ministry to celibate men the Church was in effect restricting access to the Eucharist "because of the scarcity of priests."

Conform your life to the Eucharist, not the Eucharist to your life!

Thos said...

You can still be a deacon...

Interesting that the Pope did not say "it's wrong to ordain women", but rather that the Church does not have the authority. This highlights that he claims authority only where it has been given?

Joseph said...

Holy Orders is one of the Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ God Himself. Pope John Paul II may have been pointing out the limitation to "binding and loosing" power of the Apostles and their successors here. They could not, cannot, nor will they alter the Sacraments.

Similar to the power that Moses had. He could develop societal laws based on the Commandments given Him by God, but he was not given authority to alter those Commandments. Only God has that power.

There are unlimited theological reasons that Pope John Paul II used to explain this and even more than he didn't use, but, the nature of Holy Orders does not come down to a theological debate.

Those are just my thoughts.

Joe said...

gffiddler said "She hasn't gone wrong for 2,000 years"

Could you clarify this? Do you mean that a Pope never erred ex cathedra, or the magisterium never erred, or the RC Church as a whole never erred?

Is this RC church the only church that has never erred, with respect to your meaning?


Joseph said...


I think by RC Church, Joe disrespectfully means Roman Catholic Church. I just thought I'd clear that up for you so that you can better understand his questions. Toodleoo!

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Joe - the Catholic Church has never taught any false doctrine. If you can falsify any doctrine of the Church, you falsify the Church.

What more clarification do you need? Did you just come here to pick a fight?

bill bannon said...

God fearing fiddler,
I would just be a little cautious with this one because it is odd that John Paul II placed this statement in an apostolic letter rather than in an encyclical (lower form) and that he used language that was less than traditional for infallible statements and very brief. So that on two counts, he seems to have hedged in case he were wrong a thousand years from now: the kind of letter and the words used. Compare OS' wording e.g. with the real infallible wording in respect to abortion that is in section 62 of Evangelium Vitae and you will see what I mean....the latter is far more verbose and points to other sources than him of the resultant declaration. Just don't stake your faith on this stake it on the Evangelium Vitae condemnation of abortion because that includes the traditional signs of an infallible declaration and is not brief...and is in a higher form (an encyclical).

Joseph said...

Bill Bannon,

It's not the Pope's infallible statement that makes it impossible for women to be ordained, it's the Sacrament that Jesus Christ instituted. That's the point. Neither the Pope nor the Church as a whole has the authority to change a Sacrament. Only God has that authority.

I had earlier referenced the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God Himself. Moses was given the authority by God to create additional laws off of the foundation of these Commandments, but he was never given the authority to alter those Commandments. Only God has the authority to do that.

bill bannon said...

Christ picked a married man to be the first Pope since as you know, Christ went to the house of Peter's mother in law and later Paul says in I Cor.9:5:
"Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?"

Paul did not want to take a wife like Cephas but he meant "sisters" in his case which one Greek manuscript adds to wives above as Jerome pointed out in Against Jovinianus.

But the passage like the mother in law passage shows that Peter was married and yet the Popes never used Christ's choice of a married man as normative for all other then how does Christ's choice there not mean anything but His choice in other places does.
I do not believe in women priests for other biblical reasons but Christ's choice of men only seems conditioned by His milieu in this particular matter. Stronger are Paul's dictums against a woman having authority over men which would happen if she were priest.

Joseph said...


"I do not believe in women priests for other biblical reasons but Christ's choice of men only seems conditioned by His milieu in this particular matter."

Please tell me that you aren't suggesting that God's Will would have changed had He decided to take Flesh in 1960. I hope I'm not misinterpreting your statement.

bill bannon said...

You did not quote the entire me with the subsequent sentence.
I do not believe in women as priests because of the authority issue which is in Paul from the Holy Spirit which means that issue is also from Christ as inspirer of the Bible as God. But the argument from Christ picking only men is a weaker argument because one of Christ's character traits was that He showed defference to where his generation was culturally and hence, He was circumcized and did not need it but the surrounding Jews needed to see that Mary circumcized her 8 day old. He was baptized by John and didn't need it but He had an eye to those who did not yet know that He was God. Likewise it could be argued that He picked only men in defference to His generation of Jews. It is thus better to work from the authority issue. Unforetunately John Paul obfuscated that area and not even husband headship jurisdictionally speaking is in the catechism whereas it is in the first sentence of section 74 of Casti Cannubbi in the strongest possible terms where Pius XI links it's opposition to false prophets. My how times have changed.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Bill - I agree that the stronger argument can be made from Paul's words against women having authority over men. But there is still a valid argument to made from the selection of the disciples.

First a clarification - circumcision was not merely a cultural tradition - but the sign of the OT covenant strictly commanded by God Himself.

Second - it wasn't for fear of making waves in the culture that Jesus did or refrained to do anything. Jesus was hardly afraid of rubbing the cultural fur the wrong way - ie see His entire ministry and condemnation of the Jewish leaders and their culture (which conflicted with the Torah).

Besides, although 1st century Judaism did not have women priests, the world in which Christianity grew up in and eventually dominated was full of false religions whose female clergy were replaced by Christianity and her male only priests. The "cultural reasons only" argument I think is a bit of a weak objection. ( I'm not saying you're making that objection here I'm just pointing it out )

Joseph said...


I don't intend to offend but I think that you are taking a modernist approach to the understanding of the Person of Jesus Christ. What you are describing is one of the many problems and limitations that the critical-historical method can create.: that Christ God made His decisions "on the fly" based on His surrounding culture. That His Divinity was somehow separated from His Humanity is the only way, in my opinion, that one can come to this conclusion. Your conclusion must also suggest that the timeline in which God became Incarnate could have been different. He knew before Creation when and where He would take Flesh and Who would be His Mother. This was not dependent on any human consequence. I'm not suggesting that God predestine Adam to sin, what I am suggesting is that God knew Adam was going to sin. Hence, it was God's Will that He take Flesh when He did.

Christ's Human Nature and will was at all times compliant to the Will of the Father. His Divinity cannot be separated from His decision making process. God was not a prisoner to "the times". He transcends time.

Your train of thought is exactly what prompted Pope Benedict XVI to hurry his release of the first installment of "Jesus of Nazareth". You should probably read this book. It is written in a way that is very easy to comprehend. You should really spend some time reading the Early Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas. Your train of thought is not Catholic in any way.

bill bannon said...

Did you convert in order to be in charge of excommunicating others. This seems to be a syndrome on the net regarding some converts. If so, it is a deception of the devil when done under slight grounds.
You got all that from my saying that Christ had deference to the paradigms of His day in the matter of circumcision which He did not need since it was a sign of faith and He had vision according to Aquinas...and He had deference as to His own baptism.
Rom 4:11 And he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised
Thanks but I've read Aquinas cover to cover as to the Summa Theologica (have you?)....most of Augustine(have you?)....all of the Bible cover to cover (have you?) and had 16 years of Catholic school....half with Dominicans...half with Jesuits (have you?). And I have to listen to thee and other converts on the internet give me book assignments to a Pope who opposes the death penalty despite Romans 13:4/ Genesis 9:6 and centuries of tradition and Church involvement in the death penalty with Pius XII affirming it as recent as 1952 when modern penology was safer than it is now.

Joseph said...


Did you convert in order to be in charge of excommunicating others. This seems to be a syndrome on the net regarding some converts.

Huh... Wha...?

I believe that you've read all of what you say you've read, perhaps you didn't understand it. Also, I'm I to believe that you think the Pope is in opposition to Scripture? Were you born into the Catholic Church in order to be in charge of excommunicating the Pope (you didn't say that, I'm just using your own argument against you)? That position sounds familiar... who else thought that... hmmm... oh... Martin Luther!

You don't have to agree with me, the Pope, God, or the gas attendant. You have free will. I'm not imposing my thoughts on you, I'm just pointing out that your thoughts are not in line with Catholic teaching. That is hardly a bull of excommunication. You are not alone in your exegetical confusion.

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph said...


My vanity called me to delete my last post for bad spelling and re-post it.

I forgot to point this out:

"Thanks but I've read Aquinas cover to cover as to the Summa Theologica (have you?)....most of Augustine(have you?)....all of the Bible cover to cover (have you?) and had 16 years of Catholic school....half with Dominicans...half with Jesuits [!!!!!] (have you?)."

It all makes perfect sense now. Thank you, there isn't any need for me to argue with you on this topic in the future.

bill bannon said...

AHHHHH....the Jesuits are heretical is your insinuation. That's fine. They are under the immediate control of the Pope by a special vow that they take to him. Explain to your readers why the last two Popes did zilch about closing them down despite their dangerous nature... whereas the new internet Catholics would have closed the order down immediately.
Here is the new tune: "The last two Popes are great but the Church is filled with heretics whose monitoring is the job of the two Popes who are great but they were and are writing instead of in what does their greatness lie if they are neglecting the harder part of the job of Pope which we internet new Catholics would take care of were we Pope in a hurry????"

New converts by the way were not allowed to become bishops according to the New Testament.... I Tim.3:6
He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil's punishment.."
Hence you have compared me to Luther while not knowing that Cardinal Newman noted that we must not totally surrender to what a Pope says per se since in the 4th century, the Pope subtly went Arian along with most Bishops. Here is Newman:
"Nicene dogma was maintained during the greater part of the 4th century 1. Not by the unswerving firmness of the Holy See, Councils or Bishops 2. but by the "consensus fidelium"."
"On Consulting the Faithful on Matters of Doctrine" 77 in the Sheed and Ward version.
But you will say that Lumen Gentium 25 demands such surrendering. It does and it left the completion of Lumen Gentium 25 in the moral theology tomes that post date Lumen Gentium 25 and note the right to sincere, studious and prayerful dissent and with imprimaturs and nihil obstats to such books which post date Lumen Gentium 25. So that the whole answer is not in LG 25 which is only part of the whole answer. The whole answer is LG 25 plus the imprimatured books that post date it and are taught in seminaries to Rome's knowledge. That by the way is why Fr. Karl Rahner dissented on birth control...said that laity could do so with study prayer and counsel....and after he died, Archbishop Amato of the CDF (2nd in command) in 2002 mentioned to John Allen at a Rahner Conference in the Lateran Library..that Rahner was an orthodox all those names and you'll find the story.
But the new interent Catholics see Rahner as heretical over birth cotnrol et al while the two Popes that internet Catholics praise each day did nothing about Rahner..the Jesuit concerning birth control. And the reason the two Popes did nothing about Rahner was that they knew that heresy in canon law cannot involve issues that have questionable infallibility...see canon 749c...and see canons 750a and 751.
I Tim.3:6
He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil's punishment.."
And so on the net, we have a half version of Catholicism (LG 25 only...minus the sincere dissent of the imprimatured moral theology tomes) that cannot explain how two tough Popes did nothing about the droves of heretics in the church. Errr.....well....maybe those Popes knew that heresy is only about those matters that are "proposed" as "divinely revealed"...and the host of issues that internet Catholicism sees as heresy is not at all accurate.

Joseph said...

"AHHHHH....the Jesuits are heretical is your insinuation."

Dude, stop.

Joseph said...

You and I both know that the Church is here to bring us all to Christ, without Whom we'd be lost for eternity. The last two Popes haven't been sitting idly by while modernist theologians (many, but not all, of whom are Jesuits) whose writings are known to be in opposition of the Church's teachings. A good Pope doesn't run around shouting "off with his head!" and slapping bulls of excommunication in the face of everyone that doesn't agree with him. Neither should Catholics. I was not insinuating that the Jesuits are heretics. I'm not in an authoritative position to do so. I have not stated that you are a heretic. Do some, not all, Jesuits ahere to teaching that is in opposition to the Church? Yes. Are some of those views heretical? Arguably, yes.

The Society's founder was St. Ignatius of Loyola. They haven't always been critical and openly opposed to the teachings of the Church as many of them have become today. Should the Jesuits be silenced? I don't know. Ask the Pope. Until then, I don't have to listen to the teachings of those Jesuits who aren't correct. More of them are being censured from Rome.

Rahner is gone. I've been forced to read some of his stuff and it is riddled with problems. Does that mean that the Pope has to drop the hammer on every little bug? These problems were generated over time. They will take a while to fix. First of all, it's the bad catechesis that needs to be repaired. Catholic schools and universities need to become Catholic in teaching and not just nominally. The Liturgy needs to be restored to what the Second Vatican Council Fathers actually wanted instead of the rampant creativity that has spawned from the wild and deliberate misinterpretations of the documents.

All of this is taking place as I type this. Is it going to happen tomorrow? Probably not. It may take decades before the bad teaching is irradicated. How many centuries did it take for the Church to finally rid Herself of the Arian heresy?

Not all Jesuits have fallen into error, and the Society itself is noble. It wouldn't do justice to St. Ignatius if the Pope pulled the plug. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. This bad teaching will pass.

If you claim to have received your knowledge from your years of "Catholic" teaching, then it falls under the category of bad teaching that I'm explaining. That's not because I'm a convert on the internet, that's because I'm reading Church Magisterial documents, Early Fathers, and writings in line with Church teaching and not opinions of dissident authors. It has nothing to do with me being a convert. You don't like Pope Benedict's writing? So be it. You prefer Karl Rahner? So be it. But, rest assured, in your doubts of everything from Christ's Divinity, His Authority to institute the Sacraments, His not being a product of a culture, the infallibility of the Pope, to married priests, you are not thinking according to authentic Church teaching.

Don't get upset with me for pointing that out to you. I'm not just a convert, I'm a Catholic, we are part of the same Body. I don't want you dead, I want you healed. This isn't a political game we're playing. I can't declare you a heretic, let alone declare entire St. Ignatius' Society heretics, I don't have the authority nor do I know enough. That's why the Spanish Inquisition happened: Catholic kings and laymen declaring who was a heretic and who wasn't without seeking the authority of the Church.

Don't start throwing out the word heresy because of the resurgence of orthodoxy you see taking place right now. This trend may be the best thing that happens to you. I hope that you reconsider your position for Christ's sake.

Joseph said...


I'm also concerned that there seems to be a "we found a loophole" theme in your final post. You quote Cardinal Newman as if he is the Supreme Authority of the Church. You speak as if you are more unhappy with the Church's authority than anything. I'm not trying to add to our embarrassing argument by being even more arrogant. I'm troubled that you don't see that you are attacking me because I'm orthodox, and are not noticing that your arguments are filled with nothing but dissent and personal autonomy. I don't see any respect at all for the Magisterium or the Pope in your posts. If you are really still a Catholic, I hope that you realize what you are doing.

Don't hate converts because they know that all of the visible problems in the Church today do not reflect the Church Herself, but individuals who have gone astray. Don't you see the greatness in that? Despite the obviously bad (unscriptural even) theology that has erupted, despite the harm done to the Liturgy by overexhuberant misinterpretors of the Vatican II documents, despite the gay clergy and child abuse scandal, despite the decrease in priestly ordinations, despite the horrid result of bad catechesis that can be seen in cradle Catholics over the last few decades, despite the ecclesiology that has deemed promotion and diocesan management more important than caring for Christ's flock, despite the control of parishes handed over to liberal laity, despite all of these things, we have come to the Church. Why? Because we know that these problems do not represent Her and that She will defeat the Enemy because Christ is Her Head. He will not let the Body die from the poisoning that has obviously been taking place.

It's amazing to see so many Protestant converts come to the Church in the midst of all of these visible problems. Protestants of all people! We aren't trying to change the Church. The Church hasn't changed. That's why were are here. We know it. Those who want to "change" the Church don't understand that this cannot and will not happen. Why are you so upset with this inconceivable movement that is taking place? It is amazing!

Join us, don't be against us. Doesn't this impossibility that is taking place make you question your positions all? Why don't you read "Jesus of Nazareth"? If you don't enjoy it, fine. But, I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

bill bannon said...

That actually wasn't too bad but it had little to do with me. wrote:

"But, rest assured, in your doubts of everything from Christ's Divinity, His Authority to institute the Sacraments, His not being a product of a culture, the infallibility of the Pope, to married priests, you are not thinking according to authentic Church teaching."

Hello....I don't doubt Christ's Divinity or His authority to institute the Sacraments or the infallibility of the Pope. I wish Popes would use infallibility instead of language short of that which only pretends to being definite while they use lower document forms to hedge in case they are wrong a thousand years from now.

By going short of infallibility, that is when the trouble starts. Here is Pope Pius
IX being totally wrong on freedom of religion in an encyclical in 1864:

" they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity,"2 viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way."

That is "Quanta Cura" and here is the line that makes the laymen think it is infallible ( was reversed by the Vatican Council II..see way below). Here the Pope continues and all readers of LG 25 would see themselves bound completely:

"Section 6 Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned. is what an Ecumenical Council...VAtican II... said on that matter:

Vatican II

2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.
The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

My point....under LG 25, Catholic lay would have been shaking in their boots and would have condemned freedom of religion so as to be orthodox and loyal to the Pope and a century later, they were proven foolish shall we say.

Nicholas V in 1455 gives Portugal the right to "enslave in perpetuity" "all enemies of Christ" and the next three popes confrim that in their writing...Callixtus III is first to do so and then two after him and then Pope Alexander VI gives the same right to Spain.
Had you lived at that time, you would have said amen to their actions and may not have been able to convert if you said that you disagreed with it....actions which are now condemned in Vatican II/ Splendor of the Truth/ and in the Catechism.

No Joseph....I want far more use of infallibility because I am fed up with fallibility pretending it is sure of itself and which may be corrected 300 years down the road. I want infallibility to be used...not left in the top drawer.
This is what caused the massive dissent on birth control in 1968 by people also who had been obedient with inaccurate rythmn methods (the Family Life Movement which petitioned the Birth Control Commission for change) and had more children than they could afford unless they were going to send all their children to inferior schools.
Just 14 years prior a Pope used the charism of infallibility for the Assumption which is not a doctrine that is's nice....but it is not critical. Therefore the 1963-66 generation who did not have the accurate NFP which would have been a Godsend to them but had rythmn...understandably waited two years for that same charism of infallibility to be used in the 1968 encyclical.
What they got was an encyclical and an immediate admission by its presenter, Msgr. Lambrushini...that was not infallible. And he noted that twice...not once. So the Pope could be infallible about whether Mary was assumed but 14 years later he could not on a laity critical issue in a document that now amounted to them as a "maybe I'm right but it is possible theoretically that I am not right" (which in fact pertains to all statements short of the infallible). No papal document...including the slavery commissions to Portugal and Spain... ever received less acceptance by was catastrophic and Paul VI never again wrote an encyclical and he had ten more years of rule til August of 1978. It was not just the issue of birth was the issue that a Pope could be infallible about the non critical in 1954 and in 1968 somehow could not be that sure so as to use the language of infallibility.
Use the charism of infallibility. Use it...was the message. We believe in it. If you can use it for the non critical, then how does it make sense that you can't use it for the critical.

I'm done.
I do all this for free on the net...never made a penny....but like John the Baptist...that makes me free to say what some paid people can't say or their Catholic careers would be over since most Catholic positions go with the mandate of mentioning Lumen Gentium 25 and never mentioning the sincere dissent permitted in the moral theology books with imprimaturs post dating Lumen Gentium 25. Remember that if you are ever a Catholic teacher...or magazine writer....ask yourself: am I telling the whole truth and if I'm not is that because my mortgage depends on me not doing so? Tradition unforetunately historically has been partly financial. If a monk objected to the Pope giving the right to enslave in perpetuity in Romanus Pontifex in 1455, he might find himself out in the cold and released as a monk...if he was lucky. If he was not lucky, he may not be cold at all...but very warm and a little too close to the fire that was making him warm.

Joseph said...


I'm sad.

bill bannon said...

It can't be about the monk and fire. After 1252, it is Popes who command the secular state to kill with burning at the stake though the Popes would not do it themselves due to Aquinas et al saying that they should not kill themselves. Go to new advent's Catholic encyclopedia on the Inquisition:

"The aforesaid Bull "Ad exstirpanda" remained thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicholas IV (1288-02), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake."

Remember that passage because I read a priest on the internet declare that the Popes never killed anyone....he was not being honest at all.

Joseph said...


No, it wasn't about the monks and the fire. I'm sad for you.

bill bannon said...

It's simple. Wherever there is the notion that absolute obedience to the Pope makes sense....there you will find either no knowledge of the historical papal mistakes or what is more bizarre, the constant whitewashing of them as though for example, the slavery confirmations in the latter part of the 15th century by at least 5 Popes did not in fact make the lives of countless blacks a horror with Portugal being the last nation to leave the slave trade in the 19th century.
Lumen Gentium 25's demand for "religious submission of mind and will" would fall to pieces placed next to the historical anecdotes like the ones I gave. So Lumen Gentium 25 permitted no historical examples near itself. It's appearance of truthfulness depends on Catholics not reading and it can depend on that pretty easily.

When we attain an honest magisterium, it will make sure that it qualifies its demands of obedience with the sincere dissent that it gives the imprimatur to in the moral theology books which it knows no one will read. Right now we do not have an honest magisterium in this area....we have a sales job....tell part of the truth about the used Toyota and don't tell the whole truth.
One day the magisterium will be honest and group the requirement for obedience with the sincere dissent permission in plain sight.
And it will present the historical mistakes so that the laity sees why sincere dissent is necessary in the non infallible.... and our Mass attendance drop out rate will not be astronomical.

Joseph said...

I'm trying to understand what prompted you to go down this path. Basically, you have begun to rant, and you haven't really proved anything to anyone that they weren't already aware of. Of course, your own slant was added to your posts. Plus, I have no idea what I said that sent you off on a tangent that is so completely unrelated to the topic at hand. Perhaps it was in relation to my comment on the Spanish Inquisition. In that case, I don't see how you disproved my point. It certainly wasn't meant to be a red herring on my behalf.

So, your frustrated with the Church. So, your angry. I get it. I don't think anyone here is under the delusion that some of the Successors of the Apostles throughout the history of the Church have failed in their duty as such, and have done some very bad things. If they were perfect there would have never been a Great Schism or a Reformation. I don't think that was ever part of the debate. It seems to me that you scattered an entire basket of red herrings about. There is no way to address every complaint you launched against the Church, that you claim to be a part of, without getting completely lost.

By suggesting you read the Pope's book, I wasn't telling you that the Pope is perfect. Do you think that, because I'm a convert, I'm an idiot?

Once again, it's sad that this seems to be all that the Jesuits taught you... to hate the Church. Either that or you learned to do so at some later time.

If you don't hate the Church, then I'm sorry for the false accusation. That is just my perception of your violent and random rant spanning every point in history that you have chosen to vent your criticisms; conveniently glossing over the fact that though these problems exisited, though there have been bad Popes (nobody denies that), the integrity of the doctrines and dogmas of the Church has not been compromised. When Our Lord said that "not even the gates of hell will prevail against" Her, He did not mean that the Successors of St. Peter and the other Apostles would be free from sin or concupiscence. He didn't guarantee that the shepherds of the Church would be perfect. He guaranteed that the teachings of the Church would remain intact and, because of that, She will always remain the Inn (the parable of the Good Samaritan) for the People of God until He returns.

Basically, I don't know who you were trying to educate and exactly what you intended by your rant, but it isn't news that human beings fall to sin, even priests and bishops. Your rant, then, is just that: a long-winded complaint. It doesn't serve to add anything to the discussion.

I assume it is an explosion that took place because I illustrated how your points of view are not in line with Catholic teaching. That is what Catholics are supposed to do. Not out of spite, but out of love. I don't know where your rants served to admonish my points of view at all. I think you wasted your time typing and you uselessly blew a gasket. Sorry if my admonition made that happen. I still suggest you read "Jesus of Nazareth". Perhaps you should read the "Apostles" too.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

I'm not really qualified to speak on this subject - my historical knowledge of the Church is limited mostly to the first 3 centuries and even then - it's lacking! (I'm working on it...)

Bill - I can understand some of your frustration but a teaching doesn't have to be under the specific charism of papal infallibility to be true and/or to be the official Church teaching.

The pope has a special charism of infallibility unique to him but an ex-cathedra declaration is hardly the only way a doctrine may be infallibly defined.

As Joseph said, we converts came in spite of the Church's many imperfections. Her human leadership and members will cause her to be imperfect perpetually until the resurrection.

But the infallibility of the Church does not mean that the magisterial teaching authority will never act in an imperfect way, but that it is protected by divine power from teaching as true anything which is a false doctrine.

Should the pope have invoked an 'ex cathedra' statement to prove women can never be priests or that contraception is intrinsically evil? There is no need. The magisterium and sacred tradition have both repeatedly taught these things to be true. These are doctrines, not disciplines (especially the latter). They are infallible teachings.

I think Joseph is right, you seem to have concocted a clever loop-hole system for what you consider infallible and what you don't.

Now I am a new convert but don't call me 'an internet convert' or an 'internet catholic'. I'm a Catholic. I use the internet. The internet had absolutely nothing to do with my conversion (save for easy access to early Church father writings).

So I have a lot to learn about the Church and about her doctrines and her laws. It's a long journey and I'm not pretending to know any more than I do. But there is a reason I converted - and that is because I believe that the Church in Acts 15 (with all her imperfections) is still alive and well - the Catholic Church (with all HER imperfections).

I don't have an answer for your example regarding the Quanta Cura. I'll put that on my list of studying. And I'm under no delusion that this prohibition and or animosity towards the death penalty extends back any further than 1960s or that 'separation of church and state' extends back any further than the beginning of the American experiment and or European Revolutions.

But my answer isn't that the Church has contradicted her doctrine at all. Certain things do change with culture (like commerce, social government etc...) certain things don't (like the intrinsic evil of contraception or the very nature of men & women and their God given roles).

In Abraham's day, bigamy was permitted (and even commanded under certain circumstances). The Church said - this is no longer permitted. Has she contradicted God's law? Not at all as I think we would both agree. But how much clearer of a supposed contradiction is this than your example which deals only with politics and socio-ethics?

This is but one example from the OT - there are many others as I'm sure you're well aware of.

bill bannon said...

You sought in the thread outside the combox to posit Ordinatio Sacerdotalis as definitive on women priests and that if ever it were reversed, the Church is not true...those were your them.....but I showed that things that look definitive from Popes are rarely so...rarely so...the IC and the Assumption are definitive. I maintain that there will be no women priests because the NT says that women are not to have authority over men...but I could be wrong.
By your making the Church's truth dependent on Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, you weakened the faith of others and yourself potentially in the future since I've showed that seemingly definitive statements of Popes are now contradicted by the current Church.
You erred and potentially weakened faith in people toward the Church by staking the Church's truth on something that was not clearly infallible....Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. And I showed through the history of mistakes that you should not have staked the Church's truth on the seemingly infallible (an apostolic letter no less) should only be staked on the clearly infallible like the IC and the Assumption.
And you have a tendency toward false far...only at the venial level. There was no "violent...rant" nor do I hate the say it and then apologize while maintaining it must some new type of sin you've invented.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Bill - First of all, you're getting me confused with Joseph. I never mentioned an "violent rant" or whatever. You've been speaking with Joseph for the last day or so as I was too busy to reply yesterday.

The Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is hardly an arbitrary declaration by a lone voice (JPII) but rather the affirmation of sacred tradition in case there is any confusion on the subject. Sacred tradition is also infallible. Here is the magisterium affirming it. No such thing could be said of your example.

So I don't retract my dare. If they ever started ordaining women - I'd be the first out the door. But that won't happen.

If you want to convince me otherwise by an example, what you're going to need is an example of a tradition that extends to the apostolic era with a pope affirming its truth by an official teaching and then it later being reversed. I don't believe such a thing exists but if it does, again I'm allowing myself to be disproven.

The state practice of coercing individuals by force into practicing or adhering to a certain religion is hardly an apostolic tradition. The pope in your letter assaulted those who held that such practices were irrecoverably inconsistent with Christian doctrine - (as I understood it).

bill bannon said...

I apologize to him and you....I thought you were both the same person switching names maybe due to some great similarity in ideas and writing style.

You wrote: "Sacred tradition is also infallible."

Nothing is more contradicted by history.

Inherited Slavery through the mother and slavery as the result of war (not the trade nor new native slavery in the Americas which bulls attacked) was permitted by God to the Jews in the Old Testament...believed in by all Fathers of the Church except Gregory of Nyssa....Affirmed by Aquinas as to those born of slave mothers whereupon he gave the canons that supported his view (see Supplement to ST)....forwarded by 5 Popes at the end of the 15th century who gave enslaving rights in perpetuity to Portugal and Spain...affirmed by the two best moral theologians of the 16th century Cardinal Juan de Lugo and the 17th St. Alphonsus....and continued on the canon law books in 1917 that a slave could not be given Holy Orders.
Now it...domestic slavery... is condemned by Vatican Splendor of the Truth....and by the catechism.
Long standing tradition is not as iron clad as people imagine....note how John Paul tried to reverse the death penalty and husband headship (whose lineage is 1900 years straight).... which is now not in the catechism at all and is 6 times in the NT and is strongly in Casti Cannubii and encyclicals before it.
The forbidding of any interest on a normal not business loan perdured from the Fathers until the 19th century ....1400 years....when we finally saw what Calvin saw in 1545.
Long standing tradition requires only people who simply accept what was before them and does not signify enthusiastic belief for what they are accepting.
From Augustine til the 19th century, people accepted Augustine's bizarre claim that asking for the marriage debt (not paying it) was venial sin unless one intended child birth explicitly. Aquinas copied him in that and sometimes tradition is nothing more than copying. Aquinas copied him on the IC also and thus both men were wrong on that. When the natural methods were approved in answers to dubia from priests to Rome in the 19th century, finally Augustine's view lost strength but still took a while to die and as a result, Arthur Vermessch for example still saw the natural methods as negative and as they became more accurate, he warned against them as did the local bishops council of Malines who said the natural methods would lead to abortion when people had an unintended child.

Bottom line....longstanding not a sure thing though some times it should be.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

I didnt say "longstanding tradition" I said "sacred tradition" and further qualified it by adding "apostolic" later.

The traditions which we were taught by the apostles and which have been handed down are infallible. This is a teaching of the Catholic Church (not an internet convert
misinterpretation). Of course, in order to know for sure which doctrines those are, we need the magisterium.

This doesn't mean that everything that Christians have done for a "long time" is infallibly correct.

We could go on for a very long time on the issues you brought up. You are right that the Bible and early Church fathers did not condemn slavery - but again this is mostly a socio-economic issue. The "slaves" in antiquity (even as recently as the 19th century) weren't beaten ruthlessly by their owners (as a general rule) but rather most were indentured servants etc...Why would anyone harm their own means to economic prosperity? In the economic climates up until the 19th century, this type of slavery was not condemned by either the Church or the Scriptures etc...

As society progressed (I'm speaking economically and technologically not morally) we don't have the need and any slavery today would by virtual necessity be the wrong type that was never ok to begin with. (The golden rule condemns the 'wrong' kind of slavery).

Now your point would stand if you could produce a papal document saying something like "We affirm that all slavery is a good thing and this is to be held by all the faithful". That simply isn't happening. They approved of the right to slave trade in an economy where slave trading was normal - accepted and even depended on to a large degree.

This is hardly an apostolic tradition being ratified by the magisterium. It's not even close.

As for the headship of the husband - you are right - there can be no reversal of Scripture. No one has the authority to do that.

I lean towards your beliefs on the death penalty. I know JPII was basically a lone voice on this issue standing in stark contrast to tradition and Scripture. But this is akin to his comment on evolution being "more than a theory". It simply isn't a moral teaching of the Church - and his view of society progressing to the point where we don't need the death penalty is not a moral argument but a scientific one (and flawed IMO as I have mentioned before).

Joseph said...


My apology came with an "IF" statement. I didn't give it and retract it creating a new kind of sin.

IF "I mistakingly accused Bill of 'hating the Church'

THEN "I apologize"

ELSE "I have nothing to apologize for"


Also, you seem to be confusing [t]radition with [T]radition.

bill bannon said...

God Fearing

You are incorrect on slavery and you are prettying up history by conjecture for the purpose of your authority-theology.
Your litmus test is rigged in your favor in asking for a papal document affirming slavery positively...

...but humorously that very litmus test defeats the entire Vatican position on birth control because prior to the 20th century, there is no Papal document by any Pope on that topic for more than a paragraph or two and those proved erroneous...there is the Didache, fragmentary passages of the saints,nothing by married people, the decretals (which also affirmed slavery if born to a slave mother), and a passage by Pope Gregory I on intercourse that couples must expiate the pleasure of intercourse (now rejected by the Church when it accepted natural methods in answers to dubia in the 19th century not before) and there are the laws of Pope Sixtus V who gave excommunication for contraception and that penalty was removed by his immediate successor Pope Gregory XIV... (Sixtus had executed about 5000 people but mostly criminals...he was prone to severity)...the Trent or Roman catechism.... but no full length document by a Pope until 4 Popes in the 20th century
(out of 265 total) in the 20th century and all at once. If those four in one tight time span are Tradition....I'm Simeon Stylites, the pole sitting saint.

But neither birth control nor slavery should have to meet your test.
Papal Documents in the sense of thought-only theological pieces only begin after the printing press which alone made it possible to reach all they are hardly the whole test of what the ordinary magisterium taught...prior to that a Pope's letter would reach few people and were thus action oriented (bulls) and actions teach what one believes by implication....that's why you cannot find encyclicals prior to a certain date even on the net.
The Third Lateran Council gave slavery as a punishment for piracy so obviously they did not give a harmless form of slavery as a punishment of pirates.
While there were bulls against the trade and enslaving new South American natives rather than blacks, slavery due to being born to a slave mother particularly of blacks perdured in the Church's teaching and it was not nice slavery. If you look in the Trent catechism on line (1566 AD and postdating two bulls against slavery in the Canaries and of new natives), you will see in the section on coveting that one is not to covet their neighbor's slave since he is your neighbor's property....which is not the same as being an indentured servant who worked off debt and were free.
When the Sulpicians were selling land to the Jesuits in the early 19th century, they sold a mother away from its child in the process and the Jesuits objected not to that... but to the fact that the two slaves were not included in the assets they paid for. How many thousands or hundreds of thousands were sold away from their mothers even in the 19th century by Catholics is something the Church should one day investigate. She does not investigate because She has been on the defense since 1517...that's why we are not right now investigating why our diocesan press failed to uncover the sex abuse of 4 decades.

Bishop John England defended in the 19th century slavery as of the natural law in his newspaper Catholic Misselany and he had personally talked to the Pope who condemned slavery in 1839 and maintained that that Pope excepted the just titled slavery of those born to slave mothers and so if you check the Catholic Historical Society's periodicals in a Catholic library, you will see religious orders still having slaves after the 1839 bull which was against all slavery but not really. You'll notice that CAtholic apologetis sites only give the bulls against the trade and never note that Trent's catechism after two of the bulls affirms slavery itself. Avery Dulles must have used these short hand lists of apologetics sites when he criticized Noonan's book while he showed that he did not really read Noonan's book but skimmed it or he would have known how bad the apologetics sites are on this topic because they are pure salesmanship and pure defense.
There were two tiers: A.)bulls against the trade and against new American slaves generally.....and B.)just titled slavery derived from Roman law which perdured in Catholic canon law even after 1917 and was supported by Councils, Fathers, canons and imprimatured moral theology...ergo the Church taught it in the ordinary magisterium and it was wrong despite having a longer and clearer and far more multi sourced and repeated lineage than birth control questions.
Avery Dulles disease is not easily defeated because it is attached to a paradigm wherein authority is right 99% of the time and that is not the record at all...I wonder if the slave children who saw their mother for the last time would agree with me or Dulles. I'm thinking me. The last word is yours. I'm gone and this time....I'm gone. Joseph says you all knew these things anyway. :)

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Bill - No I didn't know all those things - thanks for the education.

I'll leave this discussion alone as well. I think we agree on the ends (except for birth control) but not the means.

Joseph said...

"There was no "violent...rant" nor do I hate the say it and then apologize while maintaining it must some new type of sin you've invented."

Bill, if you ever come back. I apologize for thinking that you hate the Church.

bill bannon said...

Apology accepted. Peace.