St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers’ (S. Thomas, Summa theologiae, II-II, quaest. 3, art. 2, ad 2).
To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. […] Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.
Or, in a more modern vein “all that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.”
Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals
Speaking at the symposium ‘Catholic Church: Where are you heading?,’ Cardinal Brandmüller said “when Catholics en masse consider it legitimate to remarry after divorce or use contraception … this is not a mass witness to the faith, but a mass departure from it.”
Food for thought then … when is it bad to refrain from attesting to the Truth?
Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Rome, April 7, 2018, Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in Rome, April 7, 2018, quoting an encyclical from 1890, said: “Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: “Have confidence; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). […] The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power” (Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890).
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII taught: “All the evils which poison men and nations and trouble so many hearts have a single cause and a single source: ignorance of the truth—and at times even more than ignorance, a contempt for truth and a reckless rejection of it. […]
Anyone who consciously and wantonly attacks known truth, who arms himself with falsehood in his speech, his writings, or his conduct in order to attract and win over less learned men and to shape the inexperienced and impressionable minds of the young to his own way of thinking, takes advantage of the inexperience and innocence of others and engages in an altogether despicable business.”
Blessed John Henry Newman
Blessed John Henry Newman’s 1859 essay On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine. emphasized the laity’s role in matters of doctrine, and sought to distinguish what is a true sensus fidei (sense of the faith) of believers and what is not.
“In the history of the people of God, it has often been not the majority but rather a minority which has truly lived and witnessed to the faith,” he said. “The experience of the Church shows that sometimes the truth of the faith has been conserved not by the efforts of theologians or the teaching of the majority of bishops but in the hearts of believers.”
Church Militant …
Having a majority does not automatically confer “truth” and “good” and “just” upon any particular sociopolitical direction of a society or group. Can we still tell the difference between right and wrong, or is our moral compass broken irreparably?
“Michi Haruka”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi” (2013)
So the last few posts have been focused on the reported goings on in the Roman Curia, the Vatican, and a few other items which I believe might give rise to problematic behaviour amongst the leaders and faithful of our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the back of my mind, I am hearing ” 20Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” (Mathew 7) but also I hear “1Judge not, that you may not be judged,” (Mathew 7)
Monsignor Dario Vigano, image from article by By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Mar 21, 2018
The latest event of note seems to reflect on the integrity of Vatican media and possible Vatican indulgence in “Fake News” even though Pope Francis is on record as having serious problems with secular media and their fake news. The two links below go to the news article in the Waco Tribune-Herald:
Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt … well, it works in California.
My understanding of these things finds some resonance in the story of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago and their refusal to accept false gods in the book of Daniel. In scripture, King Nebuchadnezzar commanded a new way of worship and belief as:
15Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
16Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to King Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter. 17For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king. 18But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
(Daniel 3:15-18) Douay-Rheims Bible
And in the book of Genesis we see how the father of lies works through Gnosis, through man’s desire to be like God through interpretation and gaining knowledge
1Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? … the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.
4And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. 5For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. … 7And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.
8And when they heard the voice of the Lord God … Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise. 9And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou? (Genesis 3:1-9) Douay-Rheims Bible
Whither art thou … indeed … separated at birth … separated ourselves … broke with our creator … self inflicted wounds … will not serve … and death entered in. But it is all a misunderstanding, isn’t it? At times it is easy to shy at shadows, to take some things personally when it is just men being men, as they have been for thousands of years. And again I find myself pondering Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s explanation that this apparent controversy in the Catholic Church is simply a misunderstanding.
Gerhard Cardinal Müller
Yes, a misunderstanding by the hypersuperueberpapalists, the Bergoglio clique, the “cool” crowd, in this high school melodrama, the clique embracing the most problematic heretical grouping currently at work in the Church Militant.
On the other hand, there also seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of those who have been resisting the Nomenklatura of the “New Paradigm”. The “Traddies”, subject of much vilification by the “Nomenklatura”, seem to have missed the memo.
The memo regarding the Nomenklatura, and rope, and hanging themselves and the curious silence, or lack of clarity, on the part of the reigning Holy Father on virtually everything concerning the controversies arising since he was elected. What’s with that, eh? The Roman Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia. And yet, concern enters in. I am not alone in experiencing uncertainty, doubt and frustration … with … what?
So, uncertainty, doubt and frustration with … I don’t know what … calmer, likely more pious heads, urge caution and restraint. In the tradition of Aquinas we might, no, must give the fullest charitable interpretation of motives while pointing out the observed inconsistencies separating the “New Paradigm” from the Tradition, the Magisterium, the Teachings as protected, conserved, and handed down by every Pope for 2000 years.
Pope Francis has not actually “officially” commanded a specific change in direction. He has refrained from ordering the Body of Christ, the laity, to follow the interpretations and instructions coming from the Progressive Nomenclatura. Everything is couched in obscure references to good will and mercy and being sensitive to the circumstances of those with difficulties. This soft soap approach reminds me of the way “Liberation Theology” was explained to the faithful in South America. Remember “Liberation Theology” in the 70’s? More on that little kettle of fish later.
That seems to be why the Dubia Cardinals and others are asking for clarification and warning that ubiquitous errors in teaching are difficult to fix once they become entrenched. They are warning about a repeat of “the Spirit of Vatican II”.
“Well, it could be a rabbit in disguise…” (but most likely it isn’t)
But, all my life I have mostly followed the maxim “if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, then it is likely a duck”. And a lifetime of experience tells me I will sooner or later have to make duck soup, or be faced with a monumental clean-up.
I am a survivor of Vatican II and the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops and their Winnipeg Statement of September 27th 1968. Been there, done that, got the T Shirt. Cognitive dissonance is an insidious poison … a poorly formed conscience and lack of clarity can and does lead many away from the narrow path to the broad highway.
We certainly have lack of clarity and direction and when was the last time you met a “well formed conscience” in the last three generations or so? I think “conscience” requires knowledge of self, and knowledge of good and evil, both apparently and singularly lacking in the majority of players these days. Every new deviance has become “a matter of conscience.”
And instead of “grace abounding everywhere,” we have the laughter of hyenas. That mocking laughter, which echoes down the corridors from 1968, our very own V-II weapon of Mass destruction, proves that conscience isn’t working, and hasn’t been working for a long time. From the Winnipeg Statement a multi-lane freeway of deviance straight into the dock at Amoris Laetitia.
Published two months after Humanae Vitae, the Winnipeg Statement was an attempt by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to address widespread concern within the (Canadian) Church (clergy and religious) about the prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception, and to counsel its members (priests and religious) on how to respond to those who have difficulty (parishioners) accepting the directives. The Winnipeg Statement:
“ … recognized that “a certain number of Catholics”, in spite of being bound by the encyclical, find it “either extremely difficult or even impossible to make their own all elements of this doctrine”. These “should not be considered, or consider themselves, shut off from the body of the faithful.
But they should remember that their good faith will be dependent on a sincere self-examination to determine the true motives and grounds for such suspension of assent and on continued effort to understand and deepen their knowledge of the teaching of the Church.”
With regard to those in that situation, “the confessor or counsellor must show sympathetic understanding and reverence for the sincere good faith of those who fail in their effort to accept some point of the encyclical.”
(Paragraph 26 stated:) “In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology, if these persons have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.“ (Emphasis added.)
Enough for now, sleep calls me to sweet dreams … more tomorrow perhaps, always assuming that God gives me another day, another do-over by His grace.