Is modernist Catholic doctrine based on settled misunderstandings of the truth of things?

2plus2

Although it is very difficult for those who see Catholicism through political lenses to grasp this, popes are not like presidents or state governors, and doctrine is not like public policy. Which means that a change of papal “administration” does not—indeed cannot—mean a change of Catholic “views.” Doctrine, as the Church understands it, is not a matter of anyone’s “views,” but of settled understandings of the truth of things.

Nor are popes free agents who govern by the seat of their pants, if you‘ll permit the phrase. Prior to the completion of Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pope Paul VI proposed adding to that seminal document a sentence stating that the pope is “accountable to the Lord alone”—an effort, I suspect, to protect papal authority and freedom of action from potential civil or ecclesiastical encroachments. But the council’s Theological Commission rejected Pope Paul’s proposed amendment, noting that “the Roman Pontiff is . . . bound to revelation itself, to the fundamental structure of the Church, to the sacraments, to the definitions of earlier Councils, and (to) other obligations too numerous to mention.”

Those “other obligations” include honoring the truth of things built into the world and into us. At an academic conference years ago, a distinguished Catholic philosopher remarked (perhaps hyperbolically) that “If the pope said that ‘2+2 = 5,’ I’d believe him.” An even more distinguished Catholic philosopher gave the correct, and far more Catholic, response: “If the Holy Father said that ‘2+2 = 5,’ I would say publicly, ‘Perhaps I have misunderstood His Holiness’s meaning.’ Privately, I would pray for his sanity.”

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Seen on the web: Man’s got to know his limitations.

Willaim P. Walsh on Saturday, December 21, A.D. 2013 at 3:50pm

A&E went after Phil Robertson because St. Paul of Tarsus is beyond their reach.

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Critical Care and Hospital Paperwork: “As the Catholic Church teaches, and my healthcare agent consents if I am unable to consent.”

Currently, in today’s healthcare world, there is a document for medical care that one can sign even before going into the hospital called, “Aging With Dignity: Five Wishes.” [According to the website of Aging with Dignity, the Five Wishes document ” has become America’s most popular living will”.]

There is a section in this document that asks a future patient the following: “If I wish to omit life-support treatment, I write this limitation in the space below,” which is very dangerous.  The problem with this request is that most of us are not good doctors to be able to give such directives.  As a result, it would be possible for us to die based on poor care that we authorized in the first place.  We never can know when new procedures for curing make be discovered, which if used, could give us years of a productive life.  Finally, it is possible that a poor and ambiguous sentence or two in this document could be used by a hospital to force us out so that the hospital can have the bed for another patient.

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