Catholic Controversies

Fr  Aidan’s proposal for procedures to rein in an errant Pope and below, Canon Lawyer Ed Peters astute and complementary thoughts.

Leading theologian: change canon law to correct papal errors, by Dan Hitchens posted Friday, 18 Aug 2017 In the Catholic Herald…

“Fr Aidan Nichols said that Pope Francis’s teaching had led to an ‘extremely grave’ situation

A prominent theologian has proposed reforming canon law to allow a pope’s doctrinal errors to be established.

Fr Aidan Nichols, a prolific author who has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the Angelicum in Rome, said that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia had led to an “extremely grave” situation.

Fr Nichols proposed that, given the Pope’s statements on issues including marriage and the moral law, the Church may need “a procedure for calling to order a pope who teaches error”.

The Dominican theologian said that this procedure might be less “conflictual” if it took place during a future pontificate, rather as Pope Honorius was only condemned for error after he had ceased to occupy the chair of Peter.”

For the rest of the article click here.

Canon Lawyer Ed Peters responds “On Fr  Nichol’s Recent Remarks

“Dominican theologian Fr. Aidan Nichols needs no introduction to readers of this blog and it suffices to say that, when a priest of Nichols’ credentials urges development of a canonical procedure to correct popes who—how exactly to put this?—leave confusion in their wake, people are going to take notice.

I have seen only news reports of Nichols’ address (not the speech itself), but a few comments occur to me that won’t come as a surprise to Nichols but that might help inform others’ reactions to them.

First, while most provisions in the Code of Canon Law are of human (albeit, ecclesiastical, usually pontifical) origin, implying the possibility of changes in them in accord with circumstances, some canons rest on divine law foundations and are not, therefore, so easily amended—however appealing such changes might seem to be.

Such is the case, I suggest, with Canon 331 on the full and supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff and Canon 1404 on the immunity of the Holy See from judgment (canonical or civil). These canons (and others besides, say, Canon 1372) serve the decision of Our Lord to leave Peter and his successors basically free to act as they see fit in guiding the Church, meaning that such canons, operating in support of a divinely-sanctioned freedom, are not liable to repeal if popes misuse that freedom. All of this Nichols takes for granted, of course.

Nichols also knows, however, that Petrine freedom has limits, that it is not something bestowed in order to make possible, say, papal plundering of Church property or dalliances with dangerous theological theories (both of which have happened in the past), but rather, it serves the Church’s need for, and the faithful’s right to, certainty and continuity in Catholicism’s witness to the teachings of Jesus.

Canon law read as a whole (and not cherry-picked to get the results one hopes for) operates in service to all of doctrine (and not just the parts that sound convenient to this generation or that)……”

For the whole article, click here.

 

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Posted by Edward Pentin on Thursday Aug 17th, 2017 at 7:56 AM

The former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura explains in a new interview how a correction on parts of the Holy Father’s magisterium would be enacted, pays tribute to the recently deceased Cardinal Meisner, and stresses the importance of true mercy.
In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has said it is “now necessary” that a declaration be issued on key areas of Church doctrine that are “not clear” in Pope Francis’ teachings.

IMG_5681The Holy Father will then be “obliged to respond” in order to bring clarification to those teachings, he said.The cardinal told The Wanderer newspaper Aug. 14 that such a formal act of correction has not been invoked “for several centuries” and until now it has never been used “in a doctrinal way.”

But he said it would be “quite simple” and involve presenting on the one hand the “clear teaching of the Church” and on the other “what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff.” The teaching in question in particular relates to doctrinal matters published in the Pope’s 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. 

The cardinal stressed that the dubiafive questions which he and three other cardinals (Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner) issued nearly a year ago, aimed to give the Holy Father the occasion to clarify these aspects of Church teaching.

They were issued in a “very respectful way and not in any way aggressive,” he said, but as the Pope has “chosen not to respond” to them, “so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth.”

wp1178dcd3_05_06“These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points,” he said.

The cardinal, a former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court, did not give a timeframe for the correction, but hinted at its urgency by stressing that the Church is “being torn asunder right now by confusion and division” and that unity is at stake.

“The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this,” he said.

Cardinal Burke first suggested a possible formal correction of the Pope in an interview with the Register last November, saying it is “clearly quite rare” but if there was no response, then it would be a “question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.” He spoke then of “tremendous division” that is “not the way of the Church.”

In his latest interview, he said he finds the situation “has only worsened” and pointed to groups of lay faithful, priests and bishops he has met who are “practically in desperation” over what is happening.

Any fraternal correction is expected to be undertaken in the first place in camera caritatis, in other words, not in public, according to Cardinal Brandmüller.

In his interview with The Wanderer, the cardinal warned of the danger of schism if universal doctrinal discipline is not restored, but reiterated his firm opposition to that ever happening. “A schism can never be correct,” he said, adding that what is happening is a situation of apostasy that the Blessed Mother warned about in her Message of Fatima.

“There can be apostasy within the Church and this, in fact, is what is going on,” he said. “In connection with the apostasy, Our Lady also referred to the failure of pastors to bring the Church to unity.”

In a speech last month, Cardinal Burke observed that disorientation and error had entered into the Church “in a diabolical way,” but encouraged the faithful to remain steadfast in the faith as well as courageous and serene, knowing Christ’s victory is “already written.”

Read the whole article here.

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An excellent and insightful article by Fr. Mark Pilon on The Catholic Thing website (worth subscribing to). This article accurately, I think, describes and explains the current rift between this Pope and the vast majority of clergy, including bishops and cardinals.

A recent article in L’Osservatore Romano by an Italian priest who teaches biblical theology is yet another example of the way the present papacy seems to look at priests and bishops who do not join in lockstep with the pope. I’ve never heard of this priest, Giulio Cirignano, but, evidently, he has some standing with the present regime.

The good father is clearly echoing an attitude that is prominent among the closest members of the papal entourage when he says: “The clergy is holding the people back, who instead should be accompanied in this extraordinary moment. . . .The main obstacle . . . is constituted . . . by the attitude of a good part of the clergy, at levels high and low . . . an attitude, at times, of closure if not hostility.”

This has become a frequent refrain in the pope’s own comments, i.e., that many clergy are rigid, closed, and hostile when it comes to his innovative teaching and practice. In my lifetime, I’ve never witnessed this kind of hostility coming from the papal office toward those who are meant to be co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord.

The Drunkenness of Noah by Giovanni Bellini, c. 1515 [Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie de Besançon, France]

I try to imagine how such badgering of the clergy would have been looked at if it were a so-called “conservative” pope doing this. Suppose Pope John Paul II had been using this kind of language toward priests who were resisting his teaching. That great pope was anything but naïve, and he understood well that many clergy, including some bishops and cardinals, were resistant to the constant teaching of the church on matters like contraception, women priests, and divorce and remarriage.

(Artwork: The Drunkenness of Noah by Giovanni Bellini, c. 1515 Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie de Besançon, France)

 Yet never – to my knowledge – did he demean clergy who disagreed with him.Or I try to imagine what would have been the response of the world’s press, secular and Catholic, if it had become known, say, that John Paul II had refused an audience to a group of cardinals who rejected his teaching on communion for the divorced and remarried in Familiaris Consortio. Imagine how outraged the secular and liberal Catholic world would have been had that pope treated his own privileged counselors in such a manner.

 

And yet Pope Francis seems to be the “Teflon” pope. No matter what he says or does in relation to his beloved clergy and cardinals, it doesn’t seem to affect his image as the compassionate, merciful, open pope……

For the whole article on The Catholic Thing website, click here.

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EWTN and Reporter Pentin on Bishops Asking Pope for Meeting to Clarify “Amoris Laetitia”

June 25, 2017

Why is the Pope refusing to respond to Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals to clarify whether Amoris Laetitia is intended to allow divorced and civilly remarried to participate in the sacraments?

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Cardinal Müller Discusses Islam, “Amoris Laetitia”, Liturgy, Pope Firing People and more

May 27, 2017

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), was interviewed recently by Raymond Arroyo about his book The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church. This was an excellent interview. I would not want this man’s job. But I found him insightful, brilliant and […]

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MEDJUGORJE – the Beginning of the End?

May 18, 2017

Patrick Coffin summarizes situation at Medjugorje.

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Dr. Peter Kreeft is the Devil: Advising How to Win the World!

April 23, 2017

What a delightfully fun hour of wit and wisdom! If you have two brain cells that connect and wish to understand God and the world — and if you aren’t afraid of the truth and talk about sex — you will LOVE this. If you aren’t politically correct about atheism and Islam and other such […]

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The Maltese directive makes answering the ‘dubia’ urgent

January 15, 2017

Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer wrote two days ago about the Maltese Disaster. The excellent article on The Catholic Thing Here is his latest entitled “The Maltese Directive (allowing divorced and remarried easy access to Communion) Makes Answering the “Dubia” Urgent When highly placed Italian prelates declare that “only a blind man cannot see” that […]

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Follow up by Dr. Ed Peter’s: “The Maltese directive makes answering the ‘dubia’ urgent

January 1, 2017

The Maltese Disaster, by Canon Lawyer Dr. Edward Peters as I reported yesterday. Here is his follow up related to the dubia and the Pope. January 15, 2017 When highly placed Italian prelates declare that “only a blind man cannot see” that confusion is the ecclesiastical order of the day, and that such confusion has as its […]

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Excellent EWTN World Over interview With Cardinal Burke on the Pope’s Encyclical

December 16, 2016

Let me speak my mind clearly. I support Cardinal Burke and the others 100%. God bless them!

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My Final Post on Pope’s Exhortation: A Catholic World Report Symposium with Links Galore

April 13, 2016

From Catholic World Report: Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On love in the family,” has been one of the most widely anticipated papal documents in recent years, following the closely watched and sometimes controversial Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in 2015. It is also one of the […]

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Jimmy Akins: “Pope Francis Speaks on Hot-Button Issues: 9 Things to Know and Share”

February 20, 2016

[Also see Janet Smith’s Article in Catholic World Report also: Contraception Congo Nuns Choosing the Lesser Evil and Conflict of Commandments]  Pope Francis Speaks on Hot-Button Issues: 9 Things to Know and Share During his plane flight back to Rome from Mexico, Pope Francis gave an interview in which he touched on a number of […]

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Nevada Catholic churches targeted in bizarre string of protests

December 11, 2015

Las Vegas, Nev., Dec 10, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Las Vegas Catholics are disturbed after self-described Muslim-turned-Christian protestors disrupted Masses at several churches in the metropolitan area within the past few weeks. In at least three incidents, the group “Koosha Las Vegas” have walked in to churches in the middle of Mass, shouting […]

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Watching Rush of Wind and Flutter of Wings over the Vatican

October 23, 2015

This morning  Janet and I are in Rome for a few days awaiting our pilgrimage group as we embark across Italy and then by ship voyaging around Greece and Turkey to follow the footprints of St. Paul and the Early Church. This morning, from the rooftop of our rented apartment as we eat breakfast, we’re looking […]

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Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople rebukes Moscow, underlines importance of ties with Rome

September 5, 2015

  Catholic World News – September 04, 2015Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople underlined the importance of ecumenical ties with Rome, and criticized the resistance of the Russian Orthodox Church, in an August 29 address.  The Ecumenical Patriarch—recognized as the “first among equals” of the world’s Orthodox leaders—stressed the primary importance of ecumenical affairs, and reiterated […]

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June 26, 2015

The Pope has made it known that a decision on Medjugorje soon. Many things are being said and much speculation is swirling about. Jimmy Akin breaks down the latest reports and suggestions in this excellent article Waiting for a Medjugorje Decision, 12 Things You Should Know. If you have an interest in this issue, this […]

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