Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Litany of Heresies #3

Claiming that dissent from Church doctrine is acceptable in some circumstances, without mentioning what any of these alleged circumstances might be.

Such a statement is prohibited in Church law by virtue of Canon 750:

A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firmly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

There are no exceptions here. This, and other provisions of Canon Law[1] were specifically inserted in order to reject the sort of “Cafeteria Catholicism” that you decried in your address to the candidates and catechumens at the Rite of Election. Rejection of the teachings of the Church or the Holy Father is not an option, running afoul of both the above canonical provisions, countless infallible statements of anathema throughout the ages, and the decrees of the Second Vatican Council.[2] The instructors neglected to discuss the portions of our RCIA materials that explicitly discussed the need for obedience, choosing instead to say that dissent in some situations (left nameless) does not offend the Church. Those members of the class who had read the materials departed from that session with no idea of what to believe on this topic. This is a recipe for complete confusion as many are left with the impression that certain aspects of doctrine and dogma are "optional."

[1] Cf. Pope John Paul II, Motu Proprio Ad Tuendam Fidem.
[2] Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church) §25.


sleeping said...

How can one be human and not doubt just one small segment of the doctrine? Is it innate as a human to have doubts about such a thorough lengthy list of church law? I don't know that is cafeteria catholic or natural order

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Sleeping, doubt and dissent are two entirely different things.

Throwback said...

Having difficulty or doubts about something isn't the same thing as what's at issue here. We are talking about outright denial of dogma.

In their private judgments, people might deceive themselves into thinking that belief in the Assumption of Mary is somehow optional or unimportant in being Catholic. They decide they don't believe in it. According to Pius XII, they have made a "shipwreck of their faith" by doing so.

In context, the rationale used by this RCIA group was their method for getting past all the heresies that they were spreading. Statements to the tune of "We know this is tough to believe, but it's ok if you don't. You can still convert." Of course, this is false.

On a side note, genuine doubt of something that you KNOW is definitively declared by the Church is a problem that should probably be discussed with a priest. Struggling with stuff is ok, but actually thinking the Church got something wrong is not spiritually healthy.