Wednesday, September 17, 2008

French Bishops Challenge Pope’s Authority
Did they look down their Gallic noses at His Holiness?

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris and president of France’s Conference of Bishops, stressed that the relationship between the Pope and the bishops “is not a servile relationship of subordination.”

“The relationship of the Pope with the bishops is not a boss/employee relationship. He is not the CEO of a multinational corporation who is coming to visit a branch office,” said the Cardinal during a press briefing after the meeting between the Pope and the French bishops.

“We have welcomed him and listened to him as a brother who has come to reinforce the faith of those with whom he works and with whom he is in communion....We are in a relationship of communion, of affection, and of collaboration. And when we have things to say to him, we say them,” said Cardinal Vingt-Trois.

What?!?!? Is there something about "Vicar of Christ" and "upon this rock I will build My Church" that the Frenchies missed? Every Pope refers to himself as "the servant of the servants of God" out of humility. He is also Shepherd Numero Uno! He is the one who will be called to give an accounting of his stewardship come Judgment Day.

Can you imagine the gall (pun intended) of those guys? If Jesus Himself showed up they'd probably thank him for coming out from headquarters to check out their smooth-running (in their minds only) branch office!

11 Comments:

Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

HE is right insofar as the fact that the Pope isn't the CEO. I'm french, and I talk in this manner sometimes, so I'm going to have to come to the defense of HE Vingt Tois: I'm sure HE means that he can mention his concerns (things he needs to say)...but of course the Church is an absolute monarchy :)

Autonomy within submission. All Bishops are subject to the Pope, but the Bishops' have control over their individual dioceses.

I've yet to read the original French, this is just my humble understanding of what was said, and me having a little French within me, haha.

11:59 PM  
Blogger byronfrombyron said...

Ok, I'm not a Catholic(at least, not yet), but from what I've read of the the CCC, it's pretty apparent that the Pope is in charge. It's an authority issue, which is the reason I started to look at Catholic doctrine. That, and GKC. Once you begin to challenge the idea of religious authority, it does not stop. These days, many Protestant churches are having issues with remarried people in leadership, the doctrine of scriptural inerrancy, and other core beliefs. Why? Because they think interpretation is all that's needed, instead of following someone who's been entrusted to lead and teach from an unbroken line.

There's a word for Catholics who don't agree with the church: Protestant.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

This guy is starting to sound like that other french guy, Archbishop Lefebvre. Must be something uniquely french about disobedience.

5:48 AM  
Blogger zillionaire said...

The issue is primacy versus collegiality. Even Peter was challenged by Paul, and his decisons were appealed to James.

Over time, the Church has drifted from one extreme to the other, with the French reflecting the Vatican II perspectrive and the Pope reflecting the Vatican I perspective.

Papal appointment of bishops, papal infallibility, papal veto of bishops' positions are all recent developments. Technically, the Pope is first among equals or a senior partner, not a superior.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Byron,
Welcome! It sounds like you are on the road to being an understanding Catholic.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Zill,
Papal supremacy wasn't a defined dogma until fairly recently, but that doesn't mean it hasn't existed until then. Case in point, the fairly new Marian Dogmas, etc.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

Zillionaire:
Papal appontment of many bishops is recent, but receiving the pallium by archbishops as a sort of confirmation is not. In any case, this proves nothing. The pope does not have to appoint directly to exercise his role as Vicar of Christ. Thus, Eastern patriarchs are often just confirmed in Communion.

Papal infallibilty was formally and definitively defined at Vatican I. It was always believed and held, but when attacked in the modern age, needed firm definition.

What is the "pope's veto of a bishop's position?" It sounds like a strawman argument.

Sts. Paul and James challenged St. Peter's disciplinary practices. However, the yielded to Peter at Council of Jerusalem.

The Pope is not "technically" first among equals. Just read Sts. Clement of Rome, Dionysius of Rome, Damasus, Leo the Great, Innocent I, Gregory the Great, etc. They did not pretend that the bishop of Rome's derived from a secular authority, but pointed to the divinely inspired decision of St. Peter to establish his cathedra at Rome.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Hail3N1 said...

Nothing, but a bunch of flipping Masons!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Boy what a can of worms this is going to open.

"Papal infallibilty was formally and definitively defined at Vatican I. It was always believed and held, but when attacked in the modern age, needed firm definition."

Oh no it wasn't! I don't recall his name but a French priest was hired to prove it, and given full access to the Vatican Library. To his surprise he proved the opposite. Never in the history of the Church has there been Papal Infallibility. That priest then joined the Orthodox Church.

"The Pope is not "technically" first among equals. Just read Sts. Clement of Rome, Dionysius of Rome, Damasus, Leo the Great, Innocent I, Gregory the Great, etc. They did not pretend that the bishop of Rome's derived from a secular authority, but pointed to the divinely inspired decision of St. Peter to establish his cathedra at Rome."

Yes he is. I've read most of those guys. Pope Gregory himself said that he was first among bishops only because the Council of Chalcedon made him so. In response to the Emperor giving St. John the Faster the title of "Ecumenical Patriarch" (which in Greek meant "Imperial Patriarch" but translated in Latin to "Universal Patriarch") Pope Gregory said that whoever claimed to be the universal bishop was a precursor of the anti-christ.
St. John the Faster never had a chance to respond because he died.

Second Peter wasn't the Bishop of Rome, he was the Bishop of Antioch. He was merely martyred in Rome. Antioch has a far better claim to Peter's throne. Jerusalem has the best, since the Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost occurred there and it's the seat of David.

No offense guys but Rome's innovations didn't begin with the death of Pope Pius XII, and Augustine was wrong about original sin, he had a bad translation. Your not going to convince me otherwise so don't waste your energy.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

VSO,
I could type all sorts of historical and ecclesiastical facts to counter your point, but I don't feel like it.

Essentially --

1. I'm right.

2. You're wrong.

3. My blog.

(insert evil grin here!)

Keep postin' buddy!

4:17 PM  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

VSO, just because a priest falls into heresy or schism because he does not accept a new conciliar definition of a non explicit article of faith does not mean he is correct. Otherwise, you have to also defend the archheretic Arius for rejecting homoousios.
What about bishop Nestorius' rejection of Theotokos?

St. Peter was first bishop of Antioch, but he "transferred" his see to Rome. I doubt you want to deny the witness of the Church Fathers who acknowledge this. The fathers assembled at Chalcedon exclaimed, "Peter has spoken through Leo." Even Constantinople could not deny that St. Peter was bishop of Rome so it invented the story that St. Andrew, his elder brother, was bishop of Constantinople. [N.B. And the Bishops of Rome consistently rejected the attempt of Constantinople to usurp the position of Alexandria based on its being the capital.]

Examples of exercise of Papal authority: St. Clement of Rome chastized the Church of Corinth for deposing its bishop and demanded he be restored. St. Dionysius of Rome corrected Dionysius of Alexandria in a matter of doctrine. St. Stephen declared over St. Cyprian that there can be no rebaptism. St. Damasus claimed Petrine authority as did St. Leo the Great, St. Innocent I, and St. Gregory the Great.

Can anyone deny that the see of Constantinople is noteworthy for its being occupied by heretics? It was the pawn of the Emperor in his attempt to Hellenize Eastern patriarchates as well a lands technically under the Roman patriarchate in southern Italy and the Balkans. It is no surprise that Constinople has always tried to exalt itself and downplay the authority of Rome. Rome, however, was always regarded as the bastion of orthodoxy.

The following excerpts from St. Gregory Dialogos' letters are enough to demonstrate his assertion of Roman Primacy as derived from St. Peter: http://www.globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/gregory.htm

Finally, the translation of "ecumenical" merely as "imperial" is strange as it would seem to demand that it be reliquished since there has been no Empire since 1453. Yet, the title is still asserted.

10:23 PM  

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