29 September 2019

A futuristic "Bloody Question"

The Bloody Question, so I recall, was put when Elizabeth Tudor's interrogators asked: "If a papist army invaded this realm, would you fight for the Queen or the invaders?". Bloody, because it puts you on the horns of a very painful dilemma: "the Queen" means you would be fighting against coreligionists; "the invaders" means you are a self-confessed traitor.

Back in the 1990s, people who had trouble accepting the women-priests dogma and who sought communion with the Holy See tended to get asked: "But what will you do if Rome herself changes her mind?" If the answer was "I will follow Rome", then the come-back is available that "If you're happy enough to change your mind when Rome changes, why are you making such a fuss? Why not wait and see if Rome does change?" Alternatives, such as "I'll join the Orthodox*" meant that one is confessing to being Protestantissimus; one is not accepting the Church's Magisterium, but testing the Church by one's own Magisterium. Whether one selected Orthodoxy or Cathiolicism should depend upon a more profound discernrnment than the ecclesiatical controversies of the moment ... and, after the discernment, one should enact that decision and accept the package.

Politicians have more sense that to get into discussions with journalists about possible contingencies. They are wise. Since contingencies, some probable, others improbable, are literally, logically endless; following the interviewer down this path means that, sooner or later, he will succeed in making a fool of you.

What I think one can do is to throw oneself into the contingency game as a willing player, rather than leaving the richly dangerous quagmire of Contingency-land in the exclusive possession of the enemy.
Example will follow.

6 comments:

Unknown said...

This dilemma is giving me ulcers

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. "If you're happy enough to change your mind when Rome changes, why are you making such a fuss? Why not wait and see if Rome does change?" Alternatives, such as "I'll join the Orthodox*" meant that one is confessing to being Protestantissimus; one is not accepting the Church's Magisterium, but testing the Church by one's own Magisterium.

Well, it is one thing if what is being changed is a discipline that does not effect doctrine but if it is a change of discipline that is also a change of doctrine one is supposed to oppose that proposed change or one becomes a protestant who accepts a change in doctrine is permissible because of earthly authority.

Too many men think of the Magisterium as purely papal positivism which could or not include a praxis actualised on the basis of a pope's personal passions, proclivities, prejudices, and politics.

A magisterium that does not perdue over time is just politics.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

perdure was intended

vetusta ecclesia said...

An Ordinariate priest told me that if Rome accepted women priests he would not find it a problem which I thought odd in view of tradition, pronouncements of previous Popes and our position vis-à-vis the Orthodox.

Banshee said...

If somebody asks you if you would theoretically save the baby or the crowd of people, the answer is that one would theoretically bonk the questioner over the head, thus saving all the theoretical people and babies.

People who ask silly questions deserve silly answers.

John Fisher said...

Any pope that contradicted scripture, dogma and Tradition would expect to face a real problem.