Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Guess Papal Infallibility Doesn't Apply At St. Mary's
A defrocked Augustinian said the same things back in 1517
Helmet tip to the MIG Fighter

Interesting goings on at St. Mary's parish in Wilmington, NC. Take a gander at what "Father Bob" is passing onto his parishioners in the Nov 24 - 25, 2007 bulletin; (emphasis mine)


Although the kingship of Jesus Christ is seen in many parts of the Bible (e.g., Mk 11:9-10; 13:26; 15:29-39; Jn 19:1-22; Col 1:12-20), it was not until 1925 that Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King. He made this feast in the face of nationalism and Fascism, right-wing social-political movements that glorified the State. The pope wanted Catholic Christians to remember that Jesus Christ is supreme over the entire world, including all earthly governments, including the Church’s government.

So what does the feast have to do with Catholic Christians in Twenty-First Century America? Well, it reminds us that we are followers of Jesus Christ, God the Son. Government leaders may lead us astray. Religious leaders, both within the Catholic Church and outside the Catholic Church, may lead us astray. We must never, then, to blindly follow religious or secular leaders, no matter what their job title is. Only Christ, our King deserves our total allegiance.

Do we blindly follow religious or political leaders? Or do we follow Jesus Christ regardless what political and religious leaders may tell us that contradicts the love ethic of Jesus?
First things first... amazing that Father Bob cites that Pope Pius XI instituted The Feast of Christ the King as a reaction to those nasty right-wingers. I guess Father Bob-O never heard of someone called Our Lady of Fatima. Didn't she say something about "Russia spreading her errors"? You can bet that Pope Pius had the USSR in mind, and history will bear me out on that one. How interesting that atheistic Communism gets a free pass at St. Mary's.

But all that pales in comparison to the bombshell he drops in the very next paragraph. But first allow me to qualify that I do agree that we should never blindly follow a political leader. But Father Bob makes no distinctions between political and religious leaders. And amazingly enough, no distinction between Catholic and non-Catholic religious leaders. They're all thrown into one big sweaty heaving heap of questionable authority figures. Father Bob has made that abundantly clear.

And you know what? There is a religious leader who goes by various (as Fr Bob puts it) "job titles". I'm sure we're all familiar with the following: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Western Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Province of Rome, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City. Gee, I wonder who that dude is? Hell, let's throw in one more for good measure: Panzer Pabst.

Now with all that said... has Father Bob forgotten that it's a defined dogma of Catholicism that we adhere to papal infallibility? Not to be confused with any given pontiff's personal opinion, we all know this applies only when speaking Ex Cathedra and on faith & morals. But nonetheless, papal infallibility is a defined Dogma of The Faith, period.

In other words... I may not understand all the biblical nuances concerning The Gevirah as it relates to The Queenship of Mary, but I'll "blindly follow". The heady pronouncements made concerning The Transubstantiation usually fly right over me... but I believe. Has St. Jude ever personally introduced himself to me? Nope. But do I know that he's my powerful and special Patron? Sure do. Why do I believe all these things? Not only because reason guides me to such conclusions, but also because certain "religious leaders" have declared such to be true. I accept it. I believe it. No matter what "Father Bob" says.

When speaking Ex Cathedra, you bet I'll "blindly follow" a certain religious leader, as Fr Bob puts it.

Every single one of us Catholics have made a conscience decision to either become, or remain, Catholics. If any given non-Catholic agrees or disagrees with us, that's irrelevant. This is the decision we've made... we've made that leap of faith. We knowingly, willingly and intelligently accept papal infallibility. If we didn't and still called ourselves Catholics, then we could rightly be referred to as the worst sort of hypocrites. It's real simple, if you don't like the way the Catholic Church conducts herself... leave. After all, there's a word for those who go against the teachings of The Church. They're called Protestants.

Ponder this as well... we accept that when speaking infallibly, any given pope is guided by The Holy Ghost, right? As thinking Catholics, it's simply impossible for a pope to speak infallibly, and somehow possibly "contradicts the love ethic of Jesus". But good ol' Father Bob tells us that "we must never, then, to blindly follow religious or secular leaders, no matter what their job title is". Who makes the call, Bob? Who says if the pope has "contradicted the love ethic of Jesus"? Do you make that call, Bob-O? Do I? Do we form a committee and vote on it? Do we nail it to the church door? From where I sit, Bob-O has more than a little, planted a seed in his parishioners to question papal infallibility and authority.

I don't know exactly what the hell's going on at St. Mary's, but I can tell you this -- it sure doesn't pass this Caveman's smell test. Oh, and seeing how he's made everyone in authority fair game, I can't help but wonder just how loyal Father Bob is not only to Pope Benedict, but also to his own bishop. He opened this can of worms, not me.

Anyone recall John 20:29? ...Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. How about Matthew 16:19? ...And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.. Or would those qualify as "blindly following" at St. Mary's?

8 Comments:

Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

I can't lay my hands on the actual words of St. Augustine, but the paraphrase is someting like this, "I wouldn't believe a word of the Bible but for the Catholic Church having told me it is true."

Or how about his one from Pope Leo XIII, "Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue."

11:24 AM  
Blogger Fr John Speekman said...

It does seem to be the case that it always boils down to the question of authority. It's ironic that after so many words the only one Fr Bob succeeds in warning us not to follow is Fr Bob.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

"for we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

5:50 PM  
Blogger mig said...

Yes, so if not to our beloved Priests- who? I now have permission to scoff outwardly what I have inwardly seethed as masked irreverence for THE Church that I willingly joined. I thought moving into the Catholic Church was going to be a home away from silly pagan agnosticism that I was raised in only to find that my kneeler has been ransacked. What to do? What to do? Or more succinctly: Where to go? Where to go?

6:50 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Cavey I really don't see what is wrong with it, because we Odox don't blindly follow our leaders either. Nestorius, Pope Honorius and the iconoclast bishops come to mind. St. Paul warned us about it, something about if even an angel teaches something "new" he is anathema.

Granted I don't know the context of what's going on at St. Mary's.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

Well, where man closes a door, God opens a window - have you heard about St Charles Borromeo, where our Raleigh sems are?

If you haven't... well, it's on Fr Z's blog.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

Places where my proof of the necessity of infallibility seems useful and appropriate keep cropping up. Nobody let me get all egotistical about rediscovering something I'm certain the Church Fathers knew before St. Paul ever put pen to paper.

7:04 PM  
Blogger C said...

This isn't very surprising. I once asked Fr. Bob if he would ever say a Latin Mass at St. Mary's and he made the rather unbelivable comment that Gregorian Chant and Latin was a "modern" invention and that by going back to the vernacular and using tamborines, the church was being more authentic. What?

10:43 PM  

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