19 December 2018

Disobedience UPDATED

Gerhard Cardinal Mueller has rightly raised the question of the duties of disobedience in a Church in which orthodoxy is subverted from above.*

The longer the Church is run by PF and/or by Bergoglians, the more acute this problem will become.

In the Church of England, the oath of Canonical Obedience sworn by clergy at their ordination included the limiting phrase " ... in all things lawful and honest ... ".

I presume that such limitation must be implicit in all such oaths.

Perhaps traddy-sympathetic scholars competent in Canon Law should be excavating from canonical sources, and from the judgements of the authentic and classical writers on Moral Theology, a broadly and deeply based praxis concerning this question.

Who knows how long we may be needing it!

*A statement printed on Lifesitenews on Thursday December 11, concluding
"[a priest] is not bound by Divine Law to administer Holy Communion to a non-Catholic, and, in any case, he certainly cannot be bound by any episcopal order - purely according to Church Law - to commit an act which violates the sacramentality of the Church. A bishop who imposes penalties against priests who rightly disobey him in this case thereby abuses his apostolic authority in a grave manner ..."

7 comments:

Dr. Adam DeVille said...

I've been working on an article for some months about the nature and limits of obedience in the Church. Can you post a source or link for Cardinal Mueller's remarks as I should very much like to read them? Many thanks.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Vatican 1 infallibly taught:

Vatican 1

Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense “Catholic,” which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.

Footnote 36 cites St. Vincent of Lerins and his Commonitorium as the source and os it is a wise man who regularly consults this classic defense of Tradition against novelty.

Here a few choice excerpts:

[7.] What then will a Catholic Christian do, if a small portion of the Church have cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What, surely, but prefer the soundness of the whole body to the unsoundness of a pestilent and corrupt member? What, if some novel contagion seek to infect not merely an insignificant portion of the Church, but the whole? Then it will be his care to cleave to antiquity, which at this day cannot possibly be seduced by any fraud of novelty.

[8.] But what, if in antiquity itself there be found error on the part of two or three men, or at any rate of a city or even of a province? Then it will be his care by all means, to prefer the decrees, if such there be, of an ancient General Council to the rashness and ignorance of a few. But what, if some error should spring up on which no such decree is found to bear? Then he must collate and consult and interrogate the opinions of the ancients, of those, namely, who, though living in various times and places, yet continuing in the communion and faith of the one Catholic Church, stand forth acknowledged and approved authorities: and whatsoever he shall ascertain to have been held, written, taught, not by one or two of these only, but by all, equally, with one consent, openly, frequently, persistently, that he must understand that he himself also is to believe without any doubt or hesitation.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

more excerpts from St Vincent

[20.] But to return to the matter in hand: It behooves us then to have a great dread of the crime of perverting the faith and adulterating religion, a crime from which we are deterred not only by the Church's discipline, but also by the censure of apostolic authority. For every one knows how gravely, how severely, how vehemently, the blessed apostle Paul inveighs against certain, who, with marvellous levity, had “been so soon removed from him who had called them to the grace of Christ to another Gospel, which was not another;” Galatians 1:6 “who had heaped to themselves teachers after their own lusts, turning away their ears from the truth, and being turned aside unto fables;” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “having damnation because they had cast off their first faith;” 1 Timothy 5:12 who had been deceived by those of whom the same apostle writes to the Roman Christians, “Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such serve not the Lord Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” Romans 16:17-18 “who enter into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth;” 2 Timothy 3:6 “vain talkers and deceivers, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake;” Titus 1:10 “men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith;” 2 Timothy 3:8 “proud knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, destitute of the truth, supposing that godliness is gain,” 1 Timothy 6:4 “withal learning to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle, but tattlers also and busy-bodies, speaking things which they ought not,” 1 Timothy 5:13 “who having put away a good conscience have made shipwreck concerning the faith;” 1 Timothy 1:19 “whose profane and vain babblings increase unto more ungodliness, and their word does eat as does a cancer.” 2 Timothy 2:16-17 Well, also, is it written of them: “But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.” 2 Timothy 3:9

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

St Vincent teaches that these novelties arise as the way God tests us to see if we love Him:

[27.] But some one will ask, How is it then, that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics? A proper question, certainly, and one which ought to be very carefully and fully dealt with, but answered at the same time, not in reliance upon one's own ability, but by the authority of the divine Law, and by appeal to the Church's determination.

Let us listen, then, to Holy Moses, and let him teach us why learned men, and such as because of their knowledge are even called Prophets by the apostle, are sometimes permitted to put forth novel doctrines, which the Old Testament is wont, by way of allegory, to call “strange gods,” forasmuch as heretics pay the same sort of reverence to their notions that the Gentiles do to their gods.

[28.] Blessed Moses, then, writes thus in Deuteronomy: “If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams,” that is, one holding office as a Doctor in the Church, who is believed by his disciples or auditors to teach by revelation: well — what follows? “and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spoke,”— he is pointing to some eminent doctor, whose learning is such that his followers believe him not only to know things human, but, moreover, to foreknow things superhuman, such as, their disciples commonly boast, were Valentinus, Donatus, Photinus, Apollinaris, and the rest of that sort! What next? “And shall say to you, Let us go after other gods, whom you know not, and serve them.” What are those other gods but strange errors which you know not, that is, new and such as were never heard of before? “And let us serve them;” that is, “Let us believe them, follow them.” What last? “You shall not hearken to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams.” And why, I pray you, does not God forbid to be taught what God forbids to be heard? “For the Lord, your God, tries you, to know whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines — “That the Lord your God may try you;” he says. And assuredly it is a great trial when one whom you believe to be a prophet, a disciple of prophets, a doctor and defender of the truth, whom you have folded to your breast with the utmost veneration and love, when such a one of a sudden secretly and furtively brings in noxious errors, which you can neither quickly detect, being held by the prestige of former authority, nor lightly think it right to condemn, being prevented by affection for your old master.

This may be seen as counter-intuitive but ABS thinks we ought to Thank God daily for these trials because that is the way He desires to test me and thee to see if we love Him.

Leaving His one true Church over this, that or the other scandal is the way to fail this salvific test.

Martin McDermott said...

Outis writes,
While on the subject of obedience, we might think too about fidelity to vows. After making during Mass his profession of the four solemn vows (poverty, chastity, obedience and special obedience to the Pope regarding missions), the Jesuit returns to the sacristy and pronounces five additional simple vows.
The fourth is: “Furthermore I promise I will never ambition any prelature or dignity outside the Society, nor will I consent to my election, as
far as in me lies, unless I am forced by obedience to him who can command me
under pain of sin.” (Promitto praeteria numquam me curaturum extra Societatem praelationem aliquem vel dignitatem; nec consensurum in mei electionem, quantum in me fuerit, nisi coactum obedientia eius, qui me praecipere potest sub poena peccati). [Formula Instituti Societatis Jesu, 454, n.1]
If a Jesuit priest is named bishop, he is the Pope’s pick, for only the Pope can bind him under sin. In a consistory, there is no pope, and the electors cannot bind under sin the one they elect. They have to ask him if he accepts. If a professed Jesuit accepts, he breaks his vow, which binds under mortal sin.

Martin McDermott said...

Sorry, in the fourth line from the last, I should have said: "in a CONCLAVE there is no Pope..."

tony romabarian said...

Not quite. When a Jesuit is made bishop, he is released from his specifically Jesuit vows and promises (i.e. retaining his clerical ones). Thus once he is made a bishop, subsequent nominations are not regulated by the 4th promise.