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PopeWatch: Mission Accomplished

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Bishop Tobin of the Providence diocese has some interesting random thoughts on the Synod;

 

It’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families. Behind every arcane discussion of gradualism and natural law there are parents and children awaiting God’s grace.

— In trying to accommodate the needs of the age, as Pope Francis suggests, the Church risks the danger of losing its courageous, counter-cultural, prophetic voice, a voice that the world needs to hear.

— The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant.

— In addressing contemporary issues of marriage and the family, the path forward will probably be found somewhere between the positions of Fr. Z and the National Catholic Reporter.

— Have we learned that it’s probably not a good idea to publish half-baked minutes of candid discussions about sensitive topics, especially when we know that the secular media will hijack the preliminary discussions for their own agendas?

— I wonder what the Second Vatican Council would have looked like and what it would have produced if the social media had existed at that time.

— Pope Francis encouraged fearless and candid discussion and transparency during the Synod. I wonder if the American Bishops will adopt the same protocol during their meeting next month in Baltimore.

— Wherever he serves, Cardinal Burke will be a principled, articulate and fearless spokesman for the teachings of the Church.

— Pope Francis is fond of “creating a mess.” Mission accomplished.

— Relax. God’s still in charge.

PopeWatch is relieved that God is still in charge, but a study of history reveals that often God allows humans to have their way, as the various disasters that dot the story of Man clearly indicate.  The thoughts of the Bishop may be random, but PopeWatch suspects that they reflect many of the participants in the Synod who would believe that describing it as a mess is probably the kindest term that could be used for it.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

17 Comments

  1. “The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant.”

    Actually, it has been commonplace, ever since the Peace of the Church.

    The decrees of some provincial synods, by being ratified by the Holy See have obtained dogmatic force, such as the Council of Orange in 529. Similarly, much of the canon law originated in such synods and was later generally adopted.

  2. Michael Paterson-Seymour: ” Actually, it has been commonplace, ever since the Peace of the Church.”
    .
    I know what the Peace of Christ is and I know everyone who keeps his marriage vows has the Peace of Christ. I do not know what the Peace of the Church is except, maybe, good will. (“Peace on earth to men of good will.”) Certainly, you must admit that keeping one’s marriage vows, being ratified by the Holy See has obtained dogmatic force.

  3. “Wherever he serves, Cardinal Burke will be a principled, articulate and fearless spokesman for the teachings of the Church.”

    Cardinal Burke would be a great choice if the current pope ( retired.)

  4. Mary De Voe wrote, “I do not know what the Peace of the Church is except, maybe, good will”

    The Peace of the Church is the name commonly given to the edict of the divine and ever-august Emperors Constantine and Licinius given at Milan in 313 – “we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation….”

    Twelve years later, Constantine convened the Council of Nicea, the first general council of the Church.

  5. I suspect, knowing the Holy Spirit will guide him as he leads the Church through the tribulations we face in order to endure the just chastisement we truly deserve, the good Pope Francis understands that the mess in the Church needs to be clearly identified and its boundaries and inhabitants so noted (encouraged fearless and candid discussions and transparency) before the required cleanup can begin. I also realize the cleansing may get soap in the eyes of more than a few bishops who will call foul and they and those who stand with them may protest to some degree. And the “pastoral solutions” which Francis eventually may use to correct course for our pilgrimage could cause some to jump ship. We have been through similar waters before and survived the divide and the Church must be prepared as the Body of Christ to be willing to endure the sacrifice whenever necessary to remain faithful to its founder’s message of truth and promise of eternal guidance.

  6. Mary De Voe
    The “Peace of the Church” should not be confused with the “Triumph of the Church,” which is the name given to the edict of the ever-august Emperors Gratianus, Valentinianus & Theodosius given at Thessalonica on the 27 February 380, “We will that all the peoples ruled by the moderation of our clemency should profess that religion that was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, and which the said religion declares was introduced by himself, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus…”

  7. Bp. Tobin: “‘Pope Francis is fond of “creating a mess.’ Mission accomplished.”

    Uh-oh, Tobin is going to be forced to pay for that comment by the Francisistas: too much honesty. Their visionary leader “knows” exactly how he is following God’s will for the Church and where he shall lead it, unlike the rest of us spiritually unevolved troglodytes. Um-hum. Just listen up and follow Papa-Peron. Or else.

  8. I love Bishop Tobin’s rambling thoughts – more coherent and lucid than anything which has come out of this Papacy.

  9. “— The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant.
    — In addressing contemporary issues of marriage and the family, the path forward will probably be found somewhere between the positions of Fr. Z and the National Catholic Reporter.”

    Yes it strikes me as protestant too. The declension of congregationalsim into arminianism and then even right out of Christianity into unviversal unitarianism is a reminder of the importance of our adherence to doctrinal Teaching Authority.
    .
    In today’s world there may be a temptation to devolve into the more populist understanding of Church.
    The reformation ideas of soul competency and the priesthood of all believers creeps into our thinking and may confuse people trying to understand the Catholic view of the universal priesthood, individual conscience, biblical interp etc. Sensus fideles. Soul competency is the idea that God has endowed individuals with the ability to decide matters of faith for themselves.
    “Free” church congregations make decisions for themselves, claiming each believer has direct access to God through Jesus. Individuals acting together as a congregation vote on “doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions”
    On the sencond point, I disagree with looking for a middle way between conservatives and liberals. The solution must be true, not just a convenient compromise. Of course both “sides” claim Truth — another reason to adhere to the Magistereum.

  10. “The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant. Yes, it is also the ecclesiastical equivalent of a constitutional convention…every couple years, changing whatever doctrine that gets in the way. I wonder of Jesus Christ will survive a straight up/down vote with this well-fed, well-dressed, well-travelled cohort of shepherds.

  11. I enjoyed now B. Tobin homilies and viewpoints many times during his residency in the Youngstown, O diocese. One could tell then he was chair worthy.

  12. Art, I know nothing of the event you refer to. Please fill us in.

    Bishop Tobin (one of several in the US from Pittsburgh, and, yes, +Wuerl is from here) was someone I though was headed for big things. Not in this papacy, he isn’t.

  13. Anzlyne: “In today’s world there may be a temptation to devolve into the more populist understanding of Church. The reformation ideas of soul competency and the priesthood of all believers creeps into our thinking and may confuse people trying to understand the Catholic view of the universal priesthood, individual conscience, biblical interp etc. Sensus fideles. Soul competency is the idea that God has endowed individuals with the ability to decide matters of faith for themselves.”
    .
    The ordained priesthood, the hierarchy, as opposed to the priesthood of the laity: “the priesthood of all believers”, and “the Catholic view of the universal priesthood” must be understood as the Catholic Church as instituted by Jesus Christ. That without the ordained priesthood, these is no church, there is no priesthood of the laity, nor universal priesthood. Without the ordained priest, we have no Real Presence, no Jesus Christ on the altar. We have only what Abraham had: a “Sensus fideles”, a soul competency. “Soul competency is the idea that God has endowed individuals with the ability to decide matters of faith for themselves.”
    .
    Soul Competency is the gift of the Holy Spirit that enables every layman of the lay priesthood to offer to the ordained priesthood in the Magisterium, as Our Lady did for the good of building up of Jesus Christ’s Church.
    .
    Michael Paterson-Seymour: “The Peace of the Church is the name commonly given to the edict of the divine and ever-august Emperors Constantine and Licinius given at Milan in 313 – “we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation….””
    .
    Wow. The First Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America.
    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    .
    ““The “Peace of the Church” should not be confused with the “Triumph of the Church,” which is the name given to the edict of the ever-august Emperors Gratianus, Valentinianus & Theodosius given at Thessalonica on the 27 February 380, “We will that all the peoples ruled by the moderation of our clemency should profess that religion that was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, and which the said religion declares was introduced by himself, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus…””
    .
    The acknowledgment of the truth of the Catholic Faith as evangelized by Peter. Jesus Christ said: “I am the Truth, the Life and the Way”.
    .
    My gratitude to you, Michael Paterson-Seymour for your sharing your scholarship. I am amazed.

  14. It appears to me, Michael Paterson-Seymour, that the “Peace of the Church” is political and a peace given to the church by rulers (The First Amendment) as opposed to a peace given BY the church to the universal priesthood of the laity through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

  15. Mary De Voe

    The Peace of the Church marks the end of the Age of Persecution, of which there were ten.
    1. Nero (Roman emperor AD 54–68), persecution stirred up in AD 64. In this persecution was the Apostle Paul killed and the apostle Peter crucified in Rome. This first persecution ceased under Vespasian (reigned AD 69–79).
    2. Domitian (Roman emperor AD 81–96). John, the apostle and evangelist was exiled to Patmos during this persecution. After the death of Domitian, John was released and came to Ephesus in AD 97, where he wrote his Gospel and where he lived until the time of Trajan.
    3. Trajan (Roman emperor AD 98–117). Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch suffered in this persecution.
    4. Marcus Aurelius, his other name being Antoninus Verus (Roman emperor AD 161–180). Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna, and the Christian martyrs of Lyons and Vienne, two cities in France, were martyred in this persecution. Polycarp was the last of the Apostolic Fathers – those who had conversed with the Apostles.
    5. Septimius Severus (Roman emperor AD 193–211). This persecution extended to northern Africa, which was a Roman province.
    6. Maximinus, Gaius Julius Verus (Roman emperor AD 235–238).
    7. Decius (Roman emperor AD 249–251). In this persecution was Fabian martyred; Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, forced into exile; and Origen imprisoned and tortured.
    8. Valerian (Roman emperor AD 253–260).
    9. Aurelian (Roman emperor AD 270–275).
    10. Diocletian (Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, reigned AD 284–305) and Maximian (reigned AD 285–305) governed as emperors together. Diocletian began his furious persecution against the Christians in 303. The emperor ordered the doors of the Christian church at Nicomedia, the capital, to be barred, and then burnt the edifice with 600 Christians within. Many edicts were issued by him against Christians. Churches were demolished, Christian books were seized and burnt, Christians were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed.

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