Category: Magisterium

0

Respecting Continuity in Church Teaching

There are, unfortunately, Catholics who think that defending Pope Francis involves tearing down his predecessors. Throughout his pontificate, they have portrayed almost everything Pope Francis has done as “finally correcting” the bad practices of his predecessors and ignoring the good that they accomplished. This is a problem because these Catholics fall into the same error as those who claim that Pope Francis is a “disaster” for the Church. Both factions falsely believe there is a...

0

Confusion in the Church is not caused by the pope

Throughout the history of Christianity there have always been people who read Scripture, Patristics, Magisterial documents and other things and used the conclusions they drew to argue that the Church—whether through the teachings of Pope or Council—had gone wrong and, to get back in the right, needed to adopt their own interpretation of these things. This goes back as far as the Gnostic heresies of the First Century AD and continues throughout history to the...

0

The False Authority of Personal Interpretation

Certain Catholics who oppose the decisions and teachings of Pope Francis (or other recent popes) proudly announce their “orthodoxy” by citing certain Scripture and Church documents—the latter frequently from the time of St. Pius X—in order to argue that the more recent statements they dislike must be heretical. Their behavior is very much like that of those Protestant Christians who claim to rely solely on the authority of the Bible. The reason I say the...

0

Bizarro World Catholicism

As the antics of some Catholics continue, I am reminded of the DC Comics Bizarro World. The basic concept here is whatever is seen as right, true, and good on Earth is seen as wrong, false, and bad in Bizarro World. It’s played for laughs in the comics, and it works because we know what is supposed to be right. In the Bizarro-Catholic world, we’re seeing cases of Catholics who are ignorant of past Church history...

0

The Motherhood of God

“The Breasts of His Own Tender Love” Motherhood needs a cultural reboot. Perhaps no institution is as roundly mocked, belittled, and discounted as motherhood. Our society neglects mothers and discards them when it finds them burdensome. There’s an urgent need for a renaissance of the mom. Above all, we need a rebirth of faith in the Motherhood of God. Some think seeing God as our Mother will  undermine the fact that he is our Father,...

0

A Response to Ross Douthat

Where Peter Is was recently mentioned in the New York Times, in a column by Ross Douthat entitled, “What Will Happen to Conservative Catholicism?” In the piece, he surveys the ways that conservative Catholics in America have responded to Pope Francis. He also analyzes two  potential paths forward for Catholic conservatives other than that of Cardinal Burke or that which he describes as a “schismatic plunge.” The first is: A conservative Catholicism that strains more...

2

Tribalist Catholicism

Most Catholics, if they take their faith seriously, harbor some critique of modernity, even if they cannot articulate it in detail. This almost goes without saying, since there is much in modern culture that conflicts with Catholic teaching and the Catholic way of life. Many Catholic converts can trace the path of their conversion back to a period of dissatisfaction with modern culture and with the tenets of liberalism. That’s certainly where I started from...

On the Need For Dialogue

On the Need For Dialogue Therefore, let us not be provoked with these men, let us not use anger as an excuse, but let us talk with them gently and with kindness. Nothing is more forceful and effective than treatment which is gentle and kind. This is why Paul told us to hold fast to such conduct with all the earnestness of our hearts when he said: “The servant of the Lord must not be...

The Death Penalty, Doctrine or Personal Opinion?

I’ve seen a lot of confusion in the past year about the Church’s new teaching on the death penalty that was issued last summer when Pope Francis changed paragraph 2267 of the Catechism. One of the key misconceptions I’ve heard is that this new teaching is simply the prudential opinion of the pope and therefore nothing has actually changed and Catholics are free to respectfully disagree. However, I think an attentive reading of the new...

Cardinal Burke: “This is an opinion of Pope Francis as a man”

Recent remarks by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, captured on audio, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Burke explicitly rejects the revised teaching on the death penalty in Catechism #2267 and urges catechists not to accept or teach the change that Pope Francis has mandated. On this site, we have long been tracking the views of those with extremist viewpoints who criticize Pope Francis. We have also noted a more mainstream contingent whose members strongly oppose...

The Pope-less Church of Tradition

It seems that hardly a week goes by without another bold intervention into the affairs of the Church by one of the disaffected members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, usually delivered via channels like the National Catholic Register or LifeSite and then spread throughout social media. By now, the gallery of personalities is well-established: Cardinals Müller, Burke, and Brandmüller; Bishop Athanasius Schneider and of course the elusive Archbishop Viganó. Although not all of them are “traditionalists,”...

How the Infallibility of the Church Works

Catholic teaching holds that the Church is indefectible.  She can never fall away into error, but will forever hold fast to the true faith. The teaching authority of the Catholic Church resides in the “Magisterium,” which is simply the body of bishops who govern the Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.  God has given what I’ll call the “gift of reliability” to the teachers of the Church, so that what they...

You Will Not Become Like the Roots

There is a trend in Pope Francis criticism that makes a big deal about the fact that “anything [the pope says] can be made to sound orthodox”. I’ve seen Feser and now Dan Hitchens bringing it up as if it were a profound point. In an article called “Pope Francis Forgets” Hitchens says: practically any statement can be reconciled with Church teaching, if you try hard enough. Give me a minute, and I can probably...

sentire cum ecclesia

Do you believe everything the Church teaches? But do you really?   When candidates make their profession at the Easter Vigil, they are asked, “Do you believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God?” The question cannot really be asking, “Do you in fact have specific knowledge of each and every thing that the Church teaches? If so, do you assent to those teachings?” It’s...

St. Francis de Sales: the Pope is the Guarantor of Orthodoxy & Unity

Below you will find a selection from St. Francis de Sales’ great work The Catholic Controversy.  St. Francis is a Doctor of the Church and was a very successful missionary to the Calvinists of his day (he lived from 1567 to 1622), in addition to being a very well-loved and respected devotional writer.  In this section of the book, addressing Protestants and encouraging them to abandon their Protestant ministers who have led them away from the...

When are Catholics permitted to dissent from teachings of the Pope?

Throughout history, there have always been Catholics who have wanted to dissent from the teaching of the popes.  Today, we see this attitude in theological “liberals” who do not like some of the “old fashioned” teaching of the Church, particular with regard to sexual matters.  We also see this attitude today in theological “conservatives” who dislike some of the more recent teaching of popes since Vatican II, some of whom find especially distasteful some of...