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Roman Catholic: Dissent

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Scott1, May 25, 2005.

  1. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    From Karl Keating's E-Letter (5-24-05)

    THE FR. REESE FLAP

    You already have heard about Fr. Thomas Reese's ouster as editor of "America," the Jesuit magazine. A contributor to that publication, Stephen Pope, was not pleased with the Vatican's order that Reese find other employment. Pope, who teaches at Boston College and who wrote for "America" an article criticizing Church teaching on gay marriage, was quoted as saying about the dismissal:

    "If this is true, it's going to make Catholic theologians who want to ask critical questions not want to publish in Catholic journals. It can have a chilling effect."

    Quite true. The move can--and surely will--have a chilling effect. I hope it does. In this context "chilling effect" roughly translates as "promotes truth in advertising."

    Those holding themselves out as Catholics should write as Catholics. They should not feel free to undermine Catholic teachings in Catholic publications. They should not be able to leave readers with the idea that opinions contrary to the faith are compatible with the faith.


    What do you think about this?

    Pope John Paul II wrote in Veritatis Splendor (n.64) "the authority of the Church, when she pronounces on moral questions, in no way undermines the freedom of conscience of Christians"

    How can a Catholic theologian who has a dissenting opinion (a Church teaching is contrary to their conscience) begin to educate themselves? Even if their intention is to open dialogue and possibly conform to Church teachings, this "policy" seems to stifle any discussion.

    Remember, the great St. Thomas Aquinas himself taught: [A Church teaching] that offends against his clear conscience, should perish in excommunication rather than violate his conscience"
     
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  2. oneWord

    oneWord New Member

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    Gee, God forbid real temporal issues 'of our times regarding sin' would show up and be discussed. Let's not ever 'discuss' them and they will 'go away' Then 'what becomes of the church' if it is not a leader and sounding board for the world? Nothing, dead, another withered voice with no standard to raise and lament.
     
  3. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    *points to when thread was originally posted* Speaking of being a bit late... :)

    Nevertheless, it's a fascinating topic. I'd be very interested in people's reaction.
     
  4. sixtus66

    sixtus66 New Member

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    I think Dissent is very healthy for the Catholic Church. In America we are no longer made up of uneducated immigrants but educated people who have independent thought and (rightfully so) demand answers to their questions.

    Obviously dogma can't be argued...It is the foundation of the faith. But some moral issues? Absolutely. We can start with artificial contraception, and the idea that homosexuality is an "intrinsic disorder."
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    -----------------------------Mod Post------------------------------------​
    The rules about same faith forums are best described by Maize, in a post she made to ensure that the rules are clear. I have reproduced her post here for everyone's benefit.​
    I just want to highlight these rules again for everyone.

    If you are not of the religion listed in the title of the thread, then please refrain from posting in that thread. Failure to follow this rule will result in deletion of your post and a warning being issued. You are welcome to start a new thread in the General or Religious debates forums where everyone can have a go at a topic. There is no point of having a Same Faith debates forum if members from all religions are chimming in their opinions.

    Thread-starters, please make sure you are listing the religion in the title of the thread so there will be no confusion.

    If you have any questions about these rules, please contact a Mod or Admin.


    Thank you,
    Maize
     
  6. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Michel, he is Catholic. All other post are old.

    ~Victor
     
  7. fragmentsofdreams

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    The division of teaching into different levels (dogma, doctrine, discipline, etc.) implies that a certain level of dissent is permissable. Furthermore, the ability of some to ask hard questions, even if just in the role of a devil's advocate, is necessary to prevent errors from attaching themselves to truths.
     
  8. athanasius

    athanasius Well-Known Member

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    hmmm As a catholic theology student I am really interested in this question. I have seen and believe the Catholic universities(SLUH, Aquinas and Fontbonne) here in my area(St Louis) teach clear dissent on authoritative and dogmatic pronouncments of the Church.

    For example, I was talking to a Grad student at Aquinas school of theology and she and some of her liberal classmates are actually teaching that women will someday be priestesses. This is just downright heresy. It is infallible teaching in the Catholic church that no women can ever become a priestess.

    This is made infallibly clear by the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium of the Church and was ratified by both JPII in his encyclical Orinatio Sacerdotalis , and signed off by the former head of the congragation of the doctrine of faith(Cardinal Ratzinger) now our current Holy father Benedict XVI.

    I do not think liberal Catholics get this idea through their head. It is a infallible statement! Period! A "Thus saith the Lord". Why are those people in these universities trying to overturn a infallible statement? Simple. They do not like to follow the rules.

    They do not want to really be Catholic, they want to be "Catholic under thier own rules". Sorry Liberal Catholic folks that s just not how Jesus set up the system. To reject the Church especially on a infallible teaching is to reject Christ himself(Luke 10:16). I often wondered why these people want to be Catholic at all if thier niot going to follow the rules? In the Catholic church its all or nothing.

    Jesus doesn't say "if don't agree with my churches teachings don't worry its ok". Jesus says to his church "he who hears you hears me and he who rejects you rejects me"(LUke 10:16). He gives his church the Power to bind rules on people and loose them(Matt 16:18. 18:15-20). People just like to whine.

    If these Catholics do not believe that Jesus teaches through his Catholic Church on issues of faith and Morals both declared infallible and non-infallible but authoritative, then maybe they should not really belong to the Catholic Church. We have name for people like that..... we call them Protestants.

    It also amazes me to think that these " liberal Catholics" actually believe that they are going to change a infallible declared dogma. No infallible declared dogma has ever changed in the coarse of the churches 2000 years reign. How can they be grad students in theology and not know that.

    I am Glad that my awesome Archbishop(Burke) has saw the problem with these false Catholics universities(Like Sluh) and has brought to our area a real authentic Catholic theology program from Ave Maria University, faithful to Christ Jesus and his infallible Magisterium.
     
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  9. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    That's right. Being catholic under one's terms is what many liberal students seem to want. There is a difference between wanting to be catholic under your own terms and being catholic and exploring those abstract/vague things in the Church, while trying to conform to church teaching.
     
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  10. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    .... errrr, not quite as clear as you think. Although you are correct that JPII said that this issue was closed and that a all male priesthood should be considered part of the deposit of faith, but remember not every Catholic theologian believes that this was an infallible "ex cathedra" statement..... the church as a whole is the body of Christ: "Hence the universal Church is seen to be 'a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit'" (LG 4 citing St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat 23: PL 4, 553) and without complete unity of the Magesterium and people of God, there is no such thing as an infallible statement... in my opinion, of course.
    Sheesh... not very charitable.... I remember when I was like you. Hoo boy, do a little more research and maybe you'll begin to realize the Church did not always pronounce its infallibility and has made errors in the last 2,000 years.
    Please direct me to a authentic "list" of these infallible declared dogmas please.

    Peace be with you,
    Scott
     
  11. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    You're such a trouble-maker Scott. :p
    You are going to get into the same dilema with Athanasius, that you had with me and UD, way back. Remember the whole issue we had with the word "change" and how many catholics take that word (IMO).

    I'm sure you to will end up agreeing but don't be surprised if you get a catholic jump every time you say that. I'm cheering you on buddy...:cheer:

    You have forever changed my perception. It's a good thing, don't worry. :D

    Pushing for clarity can't be a bad thing.

    Peace be with you,
    ~Victor
     
  12. athanasius

    athanasius Well-Known Member

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    Scott said
    “.... errrr, not quite as clear as you think. Although you are correct that JPII said that this issue was closed and that a all male priesthood should be considered part of the deposit of faith, but remember not every Catholic theologian believes that this was an infallible "ex cathedra" statement..... the church as a whole is the body of Christ: "Hence the universal Church is seen to be 'a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit'" (LG 4 citing St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat 23: PL 4, 553) and without complete unity of the Magesterium and people of God, there is no such thing as an infallible statement... in my opinion, of course’

    My answer
    It is held that the universal and ordinary magisterium has infallibly declared this to be true and this was ratified by the Pope and declared so to be infallible by the head of the congregation for the doctrine of faith and signed off by the Pope See here http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/w-ordination.htm It does not make a difference what any Catholic theologians believe, it only matters what the church offically teaches. Some theologians can be heretics and liberals like "Hans Kung" and "Matthew fox" thst is why these gentlemen were excommunicated. Would that the vatican ecommunicate more false catholic theologians like Scheelibeex.

    One problem you may be having with this is your misunderstandings of certain theological terms. All My University’s theology classes are approved by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy themselves, to insure othordoxy and true teaching. The definition given to us in class for the Ordinary Magisterium is as follows:

    Ordinary Magisterium: is the teaching office of the hierarchy under the pope, exercised normally, through the regular means of instructing the faithful. When this is also universal, ,that is, collectively INTENDED for all the faithful, it is also infallible.


    Scott also said

    “Sheesh... not very charitable.... I remember when I was like you. Hoo boy, do a little more research and maybe you'll begin to realize the Church did not always pronounce its infallibility and has made errors in the last 2,000 years.”

    my answer
    Ahhh, Charity is something that I have towards many non-catholics as you can view my post on the blessed Virgin Mary and see that. However, since I am studying to be a Catholic theology teacher for the seminary I have little patience for “liberal do it yourself theology catholics” also known as Cafeteria Catholics.

    They do nothing but harm to the faithful by questioning and disobeying the Authoritative documents put out by Holy Mother Church. The Church has taught that its statements are Authoritative and binding wether they be infallible or not and are to be followed and obeyed by the faithful.

    You need to read HUMANI GENERIS by Pope Pius XII. we just stidued this last semester in class. The Pope in this encyclical instructs the faithful that they are bound to obey and accept all the church teachings whether they be infallibly pronounced or not because Jesus speaks through his church Lk 10:16 as the document quotes. Liberals hate Humani Generis for this reason.

    So regardless of whether this is infallibly taught or not women's ordination being invalid IS something that has been Taught by the church and needs to be obeyed. However this teaching as I have shown is a infallible statement Therefore the liberal catholics are simply wrong and deviant. There really is not much difference in them and the protestants. Also in the early church infallibility does appear at least implicitly for example:

    “Cyprian of Carthage, writing about 256, put the question this way, "Would the heretics dare to come to the very seat of Peter whence apostolic faith is derived and whither no ERRORS can come?" (Letters 59 [55], 14).

    In the fifth century, Augustine captured the ancient attitude when he remarked, "Rome has spoken; the case is concluded" (Sermons 131, 10). “

    Of coarse this dogma of infallibility , like all doctrines of the catholic church, is something that was believed and hinted to in the early church and naturally developed from the revelation that Jesus gave us in scripture and tradition. This is called the development of Doctrine. John Henry Newman wrote a grerat book on this I would suggest you read it.

    The church has never made any errors in reguards to its infallible Authoritative statements. Can you show me one infallible statement of the church that is contradicted by another??? The Holy Spirit protects the church from error when she speaks infallibly. Your saying that the church has made errors on infallible teaching. Again Scott your opinion sounds alot like protestantism to me.

    I Used to a protestant, then I became a very liberal catholic for several years. I used to teach women's ordination. I used to teach that the Pope wasn’t infallible and made mistakes on his doctrines. I almost got my Mother to leave the catholic church for good when I argued that confession to a priest contradicted the penitential rite at mass.

    I know where your coming from I have been there brother. It wasn’t until I studied what the church actually taught and read the fathers, apologist, and the documents of the church that I realized that I was wrong.


    Scott also said
    “Please direct me to a authentic "list" of these infallible declared dogmas please.”

    my answer

    Certainly!
    The canon of the bible has been infallibly declared at the council of Florence(1438-1445). The assumption of Mary, the Immaculate conception of Mary are also two infallibly defined dogmas. You can find a general list of them in “the fundamentals of Catholic dogma” by Dr Ludwig Ott.


    In Mary's love
    Athanasius
     
  13. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Athanasius, for what it's worth you will find that Scott and you agree. You'll see...;)
    He is only trying to make you sound less robotic in your answers. :)
     
  14. athanasius

    athanasius Well-Known Member

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    Victor my friend you said;
    Athanasius, for what it's worth you will find that Scott and you agree. You'll see...
    He is only trying to make you sound less robotic in your answers. 

    My answers;
    Thank you for clarifying this for me my friend. I appreciate your input.
    I would hope you are right because I have no respect for cafeteria catholics and I would invite them to repent and come back home to the truth or leave and not poison the other catholics with there "Doctrines" of pick and choose.


    God bless you Victor in Christ through Mary,
    Athanasius
     
  15. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Again.... just because a RCC apologist says it is, does not mean it is true.... some of us Catholics (myself included) don't believe that a Pastoral Letter/encyclical is always 100% binding on the Church.... and the CDF can not pronounce anything to be infallible so it means nothing to bring that up..... and remember, infallibility pertains to faith and morals, I would argue that the gender of the Priest does not fall into this area any more that what direction the Priest faces.
    Hehe... probably not.
    Good to hear it... I'll read that post. God bless.
    You can work on maturing that virtue... I'll pray for you.
    There is a distiction here refered to as "religious assent".... we can still question these.... and we should question all parts of our faith if but to only learn more. "An unquestioned faith is not faith. It is superstition."
    Read it.... don't like the document any more than the man..... not a huge fan of pre-Vatican II dogmatic legalists..... but that's for another chat.
    We'll have to disagree.... it is a idiotic ideal that is 1,000 years behind the times... and other than knee-jerk Catholic loyalty, I have yet to hear a reasonable reason why it should not be considered.... have you?
    Oy vey.... more of this apologetics 101.... read the Augustine quote in context... he did not say this and was actually fighting with the Papacy at the time.
    Read it....
    Several.... even heretic Popes... but I'm sure you'll never believe that, so I won't try.
    An OFFICIAL list... put out by the Church... that would be an important thing, eh? Please let me know.

    All with Peter, to Jesus, through Mary,
    Scott
     
  16. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Hehe.... Who? Me?

    ..... but you know me: I want theologians who think for themselves, not RCC "shock troops" who regurgitate tired apologetics and can't think for themselves. I mean, come on.... tell someone to read Humani Generis :eek: .... you and I both know full well that Vat II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (#25) restates and carries forward Pius' teaching about "religious allegiance of the will and intellect" even to noninfallible teachings of the pope, but to not know about the obvious omission of the doctrine that forbids further public discussion on matters "settled" by the pope, even though this doctrine appeared in the preliminary draft of Nov 10, 1962 .... oh well.

    I guess he's not up to that in class yet.;)

    Beware dear friends of pride..... we follow the teachings of the Church out of love and trust in the Holy Spirit, not because our dogmatic masters on high in the Vatican said so.

    God is LOVE,
    Scott
     
  17. Uncertaindrummer

    Uncertaindrummer Active Member

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    Scott, you terrify me. I once thought you were an orthodox Catholic. Apparently, that is not the case.

    I always knew you were liberal, but crass liberality to this extreme of self righteous arrogance is unbelievable. No matter what your motives in posting this nonsense—sometimes egregiously wrong nonsense—are, the end result is bad even if you are correct, which you are often not.

    The Church is full of prideful and selfish individuals who remind everyone all the time what they think of Church teaching and policy. We don’t need anyone making us aware of that, which is what your goal seems to be. We do need to practice humble obedience to the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and that humble obedience is not only extremely lacking in society, but it is extremely lacking in your posts. If you want to help others, help them by instilling the virtue of humility. “Dissent” is not a virtue.

    The idea that infallible doctrines have contradicted each other is fallacious. I defy you to come up with anything. I have dealt with all the best shots Protestants have taken—who have much more reason to hope for infallible contradiction than you do—and the Church always remains unscathed.

    The idea that Popes have been heretical is misleading and false. First, a Pope’s personal feelings and beliefs mean nothing in the grand scale of things. Second, no Pope has ever taught heresy. Third, no Pope has ever been a heretic. If you refer to Honorious, who many like to pretend was a heretic, you are simply wrong. He was declared negligent in his duties of fighting Monothelitism, but he was not condemned as being a heretic, because he was not.

    A favorite argument of lax moralists everywhere is the argument from conscience, which, amazingly, you here espouse. This argument only works provided that the person forms their conscience correctly. A willful deformation of conscience against Church teaching is sinful. And if one knows the morality of a situation based on Church teaching but attempts to hide behind their “conscience” they are also living in sin. I would think you would be aware of this.

    Also, you are correct in that an unreasoning faith is a useless one. Working through difficulties in one’s faith is a necessary and integral part of being Catholic. But doubting that Faith would be an error of the saddest kind. You seem to be praising this error. Whether or not you intend to, only you and God know. But be aware that this is what others see.

    Also, the notion that the Church’s teaching on priestly gender has no foundation is pathetic. You pretend to be learned when you have never even heard a good argument for maintaining the sanctity of the priesthood? I am deeply troubled by this. I make no conceited claims of knowledge regarding this subject and yet it seems I have a more well rounded view than you, who want there to be women priests because... well, I don’t know why you want them, beyond maybe the fact that wanting a liberal idea simply because it is liberal is a facet of “liberal” theology. Perhaps you should come out of your box and read some of the strong reasons there are for continuing the priesthood the way it was always meant to be. (Speaking of which, the reason from where all other reasons are spawned is simply that: God made it this way). Also, this incredibly absurd idea that "the gender of the priest has nothing to do with morality, therefore the Church has no jurisdiction" is laughable. Really, laughable. I knew you had gone off the deep end when I read that. That is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard.

    I will pray for you, Scott. I hope you get off your high horse and gain a little perspective. Until then I will continue to defend the Church against those who would impugn its honor, ability and authority.
     
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  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    What an unsettling turn this has taken. :(

    Maybe I’m a simpleton but this topic is about how a catholic is to exercise his/her conscience in conjunction to unofficial proclamations. Whether official or not, things always seem to flow from the bottom to top.

    The Church has always been slow in defining and clarifying matters (dogma). So if a catholic is forming his/her conscious and asks a question in good faith about a doctrinal issue, then that catholic should not be shunned and exiled because of it.

    Now I’m not sure if this is what Scott means but that’s certainly my understanding of it. Although I will say that as far as the Church has developed (2006) it becomes more difficult to dissent. We all know where to go for answers and if we dissent without searching and praying, then I would be wary of that dissention.
     
  19. athanasius

    athanasius Well-Known Member

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    Victor I always appreciate yoru comments and I understand what you are saying. If a person is not fully formed in thier faith then questioning can be good. That is what I did and that is what brought me back to the church.

    But when the Pope proclaims that the universal and ordinary magisterium of the church has infallibly spoken on this, then it would just seem scandelous to the faith to contradict this teaching. I have no problem with questioning to try to understand this doctrine privately. I usd to wrestle with many doctrines, but to deny publically certain doctrines and teach the opposite is just wrong.

    Not only is it wrong to deny the teachings of ordinatio sacerdotalis but to deny that the Pope is infallible at all, or to say that infallible statements have contradicted other infallible statments in the past is just to deny catholic teaching all together and allow for scandel. This is the problem we are having with Mr Scotts opinions.

    If Scott says that the Church's infallible teachings contradict one another, then this proves that the Catholic church isn't really infallbile. Then why be a Catholic in the first place when I could easily have a easier time beign protestant. I could get divorces, use birth control, and not even attend sunday service and still not worry about my salvation or relationship to Christ. If the church lied about some of its statements that are infallible then what else did it lie about? How can I even trust he Canon of the bible? The canon was infallibly stated. You see the delimma here?

    As a Catholic educator who goes to a Catholic theology School where the classes are approved by the Vatican congregation for the clergy themselves, I must simply say that to teach what Mr Scott teaches is to deny the essense of what it means to be Catholic. All the arguments he uses are the same arguments that protestants and dissenters in the church use, and that should be a red flag to us.

    I understand if he is going through doubt but he shouldn't formally teach this. Victor you know as well as I do that all the orthodox teachers of the faith such as Hahn, Pacwa etc would not teach what Scott is teaching. Our consious needs to be formed by the church and her teachings. This may take time to study and understand all the dogmas I will give him that. We cannot simply be a android who follows by blind faith. We must have faith and reason and study these issues.

    But there is no such thing as being a loyal or good dissenter. We cannot in good consious allow someone who is teaching something like the "the church has contradicted itself in prior infallible statements" to go on teaching this as a valid Catholic belief. I hope you see my point. I do really like you victor and appreciarte your input.

    God bless all
    In Jesus through Mary,
    Athansius
     
  20. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Masterfully said Athanasius. :)
    But here is the deal. I think (Scott can correct me if not) Scott is talking about unofficial proclamations, not official ones. That's why, when you said:
    The Church has taught that its statements are Authoritative and binding wether they be infallible or not....
    Scott responded that he can dissent in the sense that he intends to push the Church to clarify the issue. That is, in essense the difference between doctrine and dogma. Dogma has been clarified and defined, where as doctrine is something we believe and is true, but can be further clarified.

    Now if Scott was out teaching that condoms are ok in a parish then that would certainly be dangerous, but I don't think that is what Scott is talking about.

    St. Agustine for example was a genious and yet he struggled with certain things and wrote about them. Was this wrong?
     
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