19 March 2021

The Blessing of Same-sex Unions. The German Vice (1)


The cosiddetto President of the Conference of German bishops has responded to the CDF document answering a dubium about the Blessing of Same-sex Unions. This gentleman ... if he didn't exist, he would need to be invented ... dismissed the words of the CDF as merely an account of "the state of Church teaching as expressed in several Roman documents", and, with deliciously Teutonic condescension, promised that "the points of view [sic] put forward today by the CDF must and will naturally find their way into these discussions [which will be held during the German Synodical Way]."

Beautiful!! Imagine this: a German cosiddetto bishop has rebuked an errant presbyter within his jurisdiction about something or other. In return, he gets this cheerful reply from Father:

"Dear Bishop 

"Thank you so much for telling me about diocesan teaching as expressed in several of your terribly interesting diocesan documents. The points of view you put forward must and will definitely find their natural way into some discussions I plan to have with some chums of mine next time we get together in a beer cellar.

"Yours until our beautiful German Cows come home to roost ..." 


Often, CDF documents conclude with a statement that the Pope has ratified and confirmed the document in such-and-such an audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect. Almost (?) always, they end with a statement that he has ordered the text to be published (e ne ha ordinato la pubblicazione). But not this CDF document, about the Blessing of same-sex unions. It merely says that PF has been informed and has assented to its publication (e stato informato e ha dato il suo assenso alla pubblicazione).

That seems to my (ill-informed and uncanonical) mind to represent not only a change but a highly significant change. Rather than being an endorsement, the words look more like a careful distancing by PF from the CDF Responsum ad dubium

My impression is that PF is habitually careful to avoid words which might conclusively prove him to us or to Posterity to have been a heretic, but has a powerful instinct not to commit himself unambiguously to Truth, a commodity he regards as unnecessary and, indeed, profoundly dangerous.

In other words, the Petrine Magisterium is currently in Suspense ... a phrase used by Saint John Henry Newman to describe the situation, during the Arian crisis, when the Pope and most of the Bishops no longer exercised their duty to teach the Truth and to oppose heresy. Pope and bishops had in no way lost their Magisterium, but, by their own volition, were declining actually to exercise it.

Which is pretty well ... yes? ... where we are now. E stato informato e ha dato il suo assenso alla pubblicazione ...!


Ana Milan said...

Any Pope or prelate that pertinaciously refuses to exercise his duty & carry out the functions of his Office is not fit for purpose & must either remove himself or be removed.

Compton Pauncefoot said...

Dear Father,
If I may say so, a fascinating and illuminating post.
As an untutored layman, it seems quite clear to me that the Petrine Magisterium is in suspense. The Pope's refusal to respond to the Dubia could not make this more plain.
I have been deeply upset by many aspects of this papacy, but nothing still shocks me more than that contemptuous refusal even to engage, let alone teach.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Who does he think he is filing?



1 Corinth 9:16 16. For if I preach the gospel, it is no glory to me: for a necessity lieth upon me. For woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.

Cornelius a Lapide commenta:

Ver. 16.—Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel. It appears from this that strict injunctions were given to the Apostles (S. Matt. xxviii. 19) to preach the Gospel and teach all nations, insomuch that, if they had neglected to do so, they would have sinned mortally. For on those that neglect this their duty he pronounces the woe of the wrath of God and of hell. By the same injunctions all pasters, Bishops, and Archbishops are now bound. Cf. chap. i. 17


Now, he may think this is a political game but his soul is literally in the balance. I pray for him every day...

As to the Popes and Prelates and Priests since the 1960s and their many trips to synagogues and mosques and protestant buildings where they refused to preach the Gospel of Christ, one knows not what to think....

ABS is reading Acts and how the Apostles in Synagogues did then what Bishops and Popes refuse to do now but we are continually told that we must go back to the old ways and that there has been no rupture...HA!!!

Anonymous said...

Pope Janus the ambiguous by coming from your comment

El Codo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paulusmaximus said...

The only sense I can make of the comment by "El Codo" is that he appears to subscribe to the idea that we must accept everything that the Pope says whether or not it is in conformity with Holy Scripture or established Church teaching. Under this approach, the clock goes back to zero with the advent of each papacy and the incumbent is free to interpret the will of God as he so chooses, and we, the faithful, are bound to obey and never criticise. If, that is what he means, it is not Catholicism. And, it is certainly not in line with the definition of the papacy set out in Vatican I where the Pope is there to protect Catholic teaching, not to indulge his own flights of fancy. The "obey the pope no matter what he says" idea seems to me to turn Catholicism into a papal personanality cult. No thank you.

Jesse said...

@El Codo:

I am troubled by your comment, being quite ignorant of the disobedience on Fr. Hunwicke's part to which you have referred. Perhaps you would enlighten me?

I ask, because Fr. Hunwicke has always struck me as scrupulously obedient, in practice and in spirit, both to the law of the Church (about which he has taken pains to educate himself) and to the commands, and even the requests, of those in authority over him. (I am thinking not only of the suppression of his blog when he was received into the Ordinariate and of his submission to a long period of waiting before he was admitted to the Roman Catholic presbyterate, but also of the careful expositions of liturgical law, supported from the writings of acknowledged authorities, that he has so often shared with us.)

But being myself both a schismatic and a heretic, enjoying the freedom of an Anglican layman to ignore or to oppose, without fear of material consequences, any overreach by the clerics of his ecclesial community, perhaps I have an inadequate understanding of the obedience required of priests in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

If what you say is true, and this teacher and guide whom I have previously thought to be so sound has in fact misled me, I will be indebted to you for setting me straight.

Inutilissimus Servus said...

The words "dato il Suo assenso alla pubblicazione," while not common, are not novel: they were used at the conclusion of the Presentazione of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes' "Religious and Human Promotion" (1980), in which Pope St. John Paul II was described as having given his assent to the publication of guidelines from the Congregation's 1978 plenary.


coradcorloquitur said...

Obedience: the most misunderstood of the virtues and the preferred tool of the heretics to silence and marginalize the orthodox. One only has to look at the case of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. They tried to stifle, in vain, his sound voice and actions in preserving the ancient Mass and the Faith of the saints and martyrs through the accusations of disobedience and "schism." In fact, he was being disobedient only to those disobedient to the traditional faith. The script of the ecclesial enemies of the Faith is worn and always the same; and pious fools are always ready to faint in dismay at the "disobedience" of the truly obedient. St. Paul: "If an angel from Heaven came and taught you a gospel different from the one I am giving you, do not believe him." Wow! Quite a warning to today's papolators---but, of course, unheeded by them. Father Hunwicke: you are clearly by all the evidence in this blog a most obedient priest---and I am not in the nasty habit of stroking clerical egos.