Friday, January 23, 2009


Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin has posted on a rumor that Pope Benedict has signed a document "removing" the excommunication that applies to four Lefebvrist bishops in the SSPX movement.
If you get a chance, take a look at the SSPX webiste. Here was an interesting tidbit:

Now our disobedience is motivated by the need to keep the Catholic Faith. The orders being given us clearly express that they are being given us in order to oblige us to submit without reserve to the Second Vatican Council, to the post-conciliar reforms, and to the prescriptions of the Holy See, that is to say, to the orientations and acts which are undermining our Faith and destroying the Church. It is impossible for us to do this. To collaborate in the destruction of the Church is to betray the Church and to betray Our Lord Jesus Christ.

6 comments:

Nick said...

They have some explaining to do the, because their home page says: "The Society of St. Pius X professes filial devotion and loyalty to Pope Benedict XVI, the Successor of Saint Peter and the Vicar of Christ."

I'm not sure how one can say they profess loyalty to the Pope when they wont submit to him. Hopefully, they will wake up and come in full communion, that will be most beneficial for all.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I agree Nick. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It would be nice to see this schism end.

Dozie said...

There is no denying however that ecumenism with Protestants has harmed the Church.

Matt said...

(I want to say upfront that I'm not a huge fun of Catholic Answers. But I want to weigh in because I don't really don't understand why this is so difficult.)

Isn't the "authoritativeness" of Catholic Answers of an entirely different sort than the Magisterium. Catholic Answers is only "authoritative" insofar as they effectively and accurately communicate teachings which have already been established by the Magisterium. They are giving a helping hand to lay Catholics who don't have the time, energy, wherewithal, or commitment to do the research for themselves. Now, it doesn't take a research degree to find out what the Catholic Church teaches, say, on infant baptism. That has been authoritatively set forth, and this is a useful thing, to say the least (given the fact that different communities of faithful Christians--Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc.--have varying perspectives on the right answer to this question). There is no widesrpead raging debate on whether infant baptism is the proper course of action for a Roman Catholic parent. I would imagine you don't get many calls to CA asking whether infant baptism is right or wrong.

Now...does the Catechism (as a shorthand "source" of Magisterial teachings) include the responses to the objections to infant baptism? Does it include the explanations about the historical development of this teaching? Etc., etc. This is where an organization like Catholic Answers can come in (per my quotations, arguably, from Gaudium et Spes). They are there not primarily to communicate the magisterial teachings (and certainly not to "develop" them), which are pretty widely known to most. They can function as their defenders and expositors, etc.

Now, it is still (arguably) useful to put the imprimatur to know that the "real authorities" believe that these explanations and defenses are in accord with the Magisterial teachings. But this doesn't demand that they are the best or most appropriate ways of addressing these points. Remember, imprimatur simply means "it may be printed" and nihil obstat simply means "nothing hinders"...in other contexts, these would be rather weak endorsements. :-)

The authority of the bishops or the pope are not based in how effectively or accurately they communicate the Magisterial teachings obviously. They are authoritative ex officio.

Well, it's a shot...

Matt said...

I put it in the wrong spot, sorry.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Mr. Swan, I guess you are seeing an instance of the Church at work to heal a division within itself. It is not instant, it often does not go smoothly, but it works. What I would like to see is an example of Protestants getting together and healing such a rift.