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If you really think you’re more Catholic than the pope, you’re on your way to the funny farm

The interfaith pilgrimage to Assisi doesn’t compromise a single Catholic belief

By on Thursday, 13 January 2011

John Paul II prays at Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi with representatives of 12 world religions (AP Photo)

John Paul II prays at Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi with representatives of 12 world religions (AP Photo)

As my readers will have gathered by now, I worry about Catholics who think that the Magisterium of the Church is just one opinion among many, and that it is up to them to decide what a Catholic may or may not believe. But at least their view is comprehensible, if defective. To put it crudely, they may be Catholic; they’re just not Catholic enough.
 
I am much more puzzled by those who think that the Pope himself is open to criticism on the ground that he isn’t Catholic enough, and certainly much less Catholic than they are. Predictably, perhaps, the present Pope’s decision to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s meeting with leaders of other world religions to pray for peace has drawn fire from the SSPX, who have recalled Archbishop Lefebvre’s attack on that event: the Church, he pronounced, had never before been “humiliated to such an extent in the course of her history” and that “the scandal given to Catholic souls cannot be measured”. “The Church,” said the archbishop, “is shaken to its very foundations”.
 
Well, it was rubbish then and it‘s rubbish now. The Church wasn’t shaken to its foundations. On the contrary, John Paul II was the pope who, more than any other in this century, strengthened those foundations. I have to admit that I’m not particularly keen on what I have heard called “interfaith interface”. I think other religions are just wrong. But if those who adhere to them are sincerely praying for peace within their own religious traditions, however they may understand what the word “God” may mean, who am I to say that He, the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, won’t listen to their prayers? I don’t know what good the Assisi meeting did, who can? But it can surely hardly be argued that it did any harm.
 
The fact is that Pope John Paul did more to defend Catholic orthodoxy than Lefebvre could have in a thousand years: for, the fact is that Lefebvre, in separating himself from the successor of Peter in the name of orthodox Catholic belief and practice, did nothing but encourage the notion that orthodoxy, far from being the same thing as ultimate sanity, is on the contrary the mark of the extremist and the nutter.
 
What is the Pope risking by praying with those whose beliefs he does not share? This isn’t an interfaith doctrinal negotiation: he won’t compromise a single Catholic teaching. This isn’t like inviting a Muslim to contribute a prayer in the context of the Mass (as has been done in Westminster Cathedral) on the ground that “we all worship the same God”, when clearly we don’t.

This is the way Pope Benedict understands this event: “I will make a pilgrimage to the town of St Francis,” he said, “inviting my Christian brethren of different confessions, leaders of the world’s religious traditions and, in their hearts, all men and women of good will, to join me on this journey in order to commemorate that important historical gesture of my predecessor, and solemnly to renew the commitment of believers of all religions to live their religious faith as a service to the cause of peace.”
 
Well? And how is that a betrayal of the Catholic faith? You may think I’m taking the SSPX too seriously. But there are plenty of people in communion with the Holy See who think they’re more Catholic than the pope on this and other issues; if you doubt that, just look at some of the half-crazed comments to be found under the Herald’s online story headlined “SSPX leader criticises Pope’s plan to hold inter-religious meeting”.
 
Being a Catholic means believing many things, some of them more important than others. But one core principle is surely indispensable. Quite simply, you trust the pope. For, once you start thinking you are a better and more faithful Catholic than he is, you are well on your way to the funny farm.

  • CPKS

    I see plenty in Holy Scripture to confirm that God finds idolatry abhorrent.

    I see nothing in Holy Scripture about “paganism”. What do you mean by “paganism”? Does it include deism? Mohammedanism? Judaism? Buddhism? Protestantism?

    Was Socrates a “pagan” in your judgment?

  • Benedict Ambrose

    Urgh. I want to condemn “Disqus” to the flames when it does that, i.e., makes me appear to agree with CT’s comments on this thread. I was instead agreeing with Dr. Oddie that Benedict XVI is not going to allow a stunt like that at Assisi. After all, he publicly distanced himself from those ’86 proceedings.

  • Benedict Ambrose

    It’s loathsome, I know, and no-one really wants to believe it happened, but here is conclusive photographic evidence that it did: http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A169rcBuddhaAssisi.htm

    The fact also that no-one involved in the ’86 bash seems ever to have denied that it did happen rather settles the issue, I’d have thought.

  • Berenikebationah

    The pope is infallible, not inspired, impeccable, or guaranteed-not-to-do-anything-silly-ever.

  • W Oddie

    Nobody, absolutely nobody, is talking about worshipping popes. All am saying is that a sane and normal Roman Catholic will have an attitude of general trust and confidence towards the pope, and not, as you appear to have, an attitude of automatic mistrust and contempt for the current pope, whoever he is. How is that being any better than the editor of the Tablet? You say that the Lefebvrists are doing what the Jesuits did in the 17th century: but that’s rubbish, isn’t it? The Jesuits in their great days were distinguished precisely by their loyalty to the pope. But you, editor CT, who are you actually in communion with? the pope, or Fellay? If you are a Lefebvrist, your attitude is comprehensible; loyalty is not to be expected. But if you’re an RC your attitude is simply indefensible.

    I could go on: but Horace Zagreus, see below, and CPKS have said what needs to be said about your various intellectual confusions.

  • W Oddie

    There is no evidence that these photos have anything to do with JPIIs visit to Assisi, or that he knew anything about it

  • Bridget

    The Pope by his very mention of condoms gave the impression to the world, ie through the press who twisted the comments, that condoms were acceptable. Many people in and out of the church think that the Pope has accepted condoms. Perhaps the Pope is naive? I dont think so which begs many questions.

  • Anonymous

    W. Oddie ends his observations with: “For, once you start thinking you are a better and more faithful Catholic than he is, you are well on your way to the funny farm”. Is he suggesting that the Pope is the best and most faithful Catholic on earth? Would, for example, St.Athanasius agree with this idea were he to return to earth today and review the state of the Roman Catholic Church and the leadership being provided by its Chief Shepherd?
    No one has yet mentioned why Pope Benedict XVI has allowed his Motu Proprio on the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass to be ignored by priests and bishops worldwide, nor why he has not acted to end the scandal of the Soho Masses attended by practising Gays.
    And why has he not responded to the 19 million Rosaries offered to Our Lady by the faithful for the Consecration of Russia?
    Why is he so intent on being nice to the leaders of the various religious sects and cults when he knows it is his bounden duty to bring them all into Christ’s Flock – the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, unpalatable though they may find this divinely-instituted instruction?
    No, Mr Oddie, these days it is not hard to find reasons showing that the Pope is not the best and most faithful Catholic on earth. Your assertion that anyone who differs from your view must therefore be on their way to the funny farm is provocative but easily refuted by the plentiful evidence all around.

  • Bridget

    CT editor is a great defender of the faith which she teaches with great clarity and hands on to her young relatives. She teaches the truths of the catholic Church as handed down throughthe apostles.
    The youth have lost their faith because of the relativistic nonsense that is taught in all modern RC schools other than the traditional orthodox schools.
    I do not always agree with her on some issues but would argue that she has the soundest knowledge of true Catholic doctrine than anyone I know and is not afraid to tell it how it is.
    There are elements of freemasonry in the approach to the churches teachings from the modern church because they are couched in contradictions. The masons are supposed to be a non-religious sect but they allow all the major books of the main religions to be the object of their worship adapting to the needs of the communities concerned. They are amoralistic in their that they say, there is no religion in masonry and yet their first statement in their ‘Morals and Dogma’ is “Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion”
    followed by “For masonry is no religion”
    Our faith in God is about certainties for which the saints before us have died because they could not compromise.

    St. Athanasius pray for us.

  • Anonymous

    The supporters of the SSPX (such a preferable term to “the Lefebvrists”), in common with Bishop Fellay, are all totally loyal to the Pope as they and the Bishop have many times proclaimed. They are also loyal to the Roman Catholic Church of all times, as opposed to the Modernist confections that have emerged since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council which are more loyal to Calvin and Luther and Cranmer et al than to St.Peter.
    It is silly to ask whether EditorCT is in communion with Bishop Fellay or with the Pope, because there is no doubt that Bishop Fellay is in communion with the Pope, albeit in a debatably irregular manner for the time being. That irregularity will resolve itself as soon as all things are restored to Christ.
    There is nothing indefensible in what EditorCT has written about the Pope being neither divine nor impeccable – both assertions are true.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you need to re-read the Gospels – for I doubt very much that you would find Our Lord being so convoluted and arrogant when discussing “Christian ethical thinking”. He came to save poor sinners, not have a college dorm debate about nonsense. Neither were there many “shades of grey” in his teaching: clear and simple is what the People of God need. We’re obviously not all as superiorly intelligent as yourself.

    “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Mt 5:37… I know this quote is immediately out of context, but if you read it within the Sermon on the Mount as a whole, you will soon realise that there is no room for moral confusion or debate in the Kingdom of Heaven!

    I doubt very much that Our Lord himself would know what you were rabbiting on about!

  • Bridget

    God is indeed listening to them and to those who do not teach the truth for them to hear. Those in a position to teach the truth in all its beauty are not allowing the doubters to hear the truth. Instead they are being confused by the lack of clear guidance from the Chair of Peter and his ‘grey’ tinged apostles who would rater listen to an Anglican or Methodist giving a sermon(sorry a homily!)

  • http://jamiemacnab.wordpress.com/ Jamie MacNab

    Indeed, Bridget, there are opportunities presenting themselves on these occasions. Do our leaders have the skill and wisdom to use them to God’s purpose? I think so. What concerns me more is the conduct of those Christians who seem to take delight in presenting us all as a disharmonious, indeed rebellious, crew. Who would wish to join a Church of peace which appears to be at war with itself?

  • Rtsully1297

    Very well said.

  • Bridget

    Lets hope the that when the Pope speaks at Assisi he will say,” And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them alsoI must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” St. John: Ch. 10; 16
    We need to hear him speak out against things such as allowing the Bishop of Fatima take part in a Hindu ceromony on the holy shrine of Fatima.
    Didn’t Christ tell the apostles that brother would be against brother and that He came to ‘bring the peace that the world cannot give.’

  • http://jamiemacnab.wordpress.com/ Jamie MacNab

    We do not know what advice and instruction the Pope has given privately to the Bishop of Fatima, Bridget. But we may guess that he is astute enough to know that the last thing the world needs is news of the Church airing its disagreements in public. We have been through all that kind of thing, and it hasn’t worked.

    If the Church is to be more than a closed shop, then it must actively engage with all kinds of people in the world at large ; and here, good intentions are not enough ; great skill and diplomacy are needed. We must trust our leaders and refrain from undermining their efforts. No easy task, for them or us, but we must do our part.

  • Anonymous

    “I think other religions are just wrong.”

    And what makes you so certain that your religion is right? It is such misplaced certainty that leads to so much religious conflict in the world.

  • Anonymous

    “I think other religions are just wrong.”

    And what makes you so certain that your religion is right? It is such misplaced certainty that leads to so much religious conflict in the world.

  • Michael

    Dear EditorCT You wrote that Buddhists were “praying to false gods in a Catholic Church”. Whereas I can’t say that I know enough about what happened in Glasgow to comment either way, I do know enough to say that Buddhists do not believe in God or gods,nor do Buddhists pray to anyone; they cannot since they do not believe in dieties.

  • Anonymous

    Michael,

    You make a common mistake by confusing belief in a Creator God with belief in “gods”
    http://www.parami.org/buddhistanswers/what_about_god.htm

    It’s along the same lines as those who argue that Buddhism is not a religion. You’ll hear that, often, However, it has all the features of a religion. If you take a look at the Discovering Religions series of RE textbooks popular in secondary schools, you will see that (in addition to the information provided in the link above) people CONVERT to Buddhism; the Buddha is the supreme example to his followers. Buddhists observe “worship” and have a wheel and the three jewels as symbols of their “worship”. They have their own scriptures and celebrate Buddhist festivals. They are “ordained” and have monastic communities of monks and nuns. What they don’t have, is the equivalent to Catholic Truth – well, you can’t have everything.

    Worry not, Michael, it is a very common mistake and one easily made. I used to share a flat with a Buddhist and it is certainly true that some of them claimed to be atheists (Jews can also be atheists, since Judaism is a race as well as a religion) but to say that Buddhists don’t believe in gods is inaccurate. Objectively speaking. They deny a Creator God but they’re big on pantheism and spiritual beings of one kind or another.

    And having attended some of that Singing Bowls Concert in St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Glasgow (where the Blessed Sacrament was hidden away – one lady thought, in a cupboard – while this desecration took place) I’d wager a bet that the rather ominous chanting attracted the sort of spiritual beings that have no place being invoked in a Catholic Church. But then, who do you think prompted the organizers to seek permission for the use of a Catholic Church, instead of one of the multitude of Protestant churches available to them in Glasgow? Rhetorical question.

  • Bridget

    St. Stephen aired his differences in public and look what happened to him.
    We nmay be called to do the same but diplomacy will not get us into the kingdom of heaven.

  • http://twitter.com/RCYouthWorker Jack Regan

    James makes a good point there. A very valuable point in fact. The example he gives is only one of many examples of Popes stuffing up big time over the years.

    Wherever infallibility is not in play, conscience always must be. I know the word ‘conscience’ is a dirty one for many – indeed it is often abused – but nevertheless it is a vital part of who we are. If we just blindly follow, then we contribute nothing to our own moral and spiritual growth. It is only by understanding what we are following that it changes us in a positive way.

    That point aside, I generally like this article. As a general comment (i.e. not specifically in response to James) The more-Catholic-than-Rome types would have had a fair point back in John XII’s day, but now they just make themselves look ridiculous. The Assisi gathering was important because it built bridges. Far from being a wishy-washy liberal compromise, that’s actually very important. As I have said on these pages more than a few times, I think we need to get away from a way of conversing which is just about trying to see how much we can p**s people off. We need to find common ground with other religions. That way, if what we have really is the truth, then that truth will have its foot in the door.

  • Ratbag

    I pray that our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will hold his own at this meeting – having said that, I know he will but my prayers are that he will be further galvanised. The Roman Catholic Church needs to be more self-confident in the rise of secularism and atheism etc.

    Besides, the terms ‘Funny Farm’ and ‘Loony Bin’ are offensive to people with real mental health problems.

  • Auricularis

    “It goes without saying that the Pope can have private opinions that are wrong.” – Pope Benedict in ‘Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times.’

    His private opinion (that calling another Assisi is a good thing) is one we are free to dispute. It is not an act of schism as Mr. Oddie would have it. Indeed acting as if every single prudential decision of the Holy Father is inspired by the Holy Spirit is not simply absurd but makes a mockery of the papal office.

    Bishop Fellay is free to disagree with the Holy Father on this one. You could argue that he should have done it more charitable but you cannot argue he did not have a right to voice his concerns – and would the Holy Father deny him that opportunity too.

  • Anonymous

    He was referring to the intention – not the [gravely sinful] means of actuating that intention – do keep up editrix darling!

    ….and ‘permissible’ ?
    When did His Holiness say permissible ? Oh sweetheart – not even you could have thought you could get away with that ‘economic fiscal turndown on the truth front’ ???!

    You don’t care much about the 8th commandment do you?

  • Christina

    ‘……that would tend to suggest it is a false/illusory and immoral solution’.

    Therein lies the problem EzraQuid. Christ’s vicar on earth should speak plainly, particularly in such a grave matter, rather than ‘tending to suggest’. If he chooses to speak or write publicly, rather than privately, then his meaning should be plain. Christ said ‘Go and teach’, not ‘Go and tend to suggest’!

  • Anonymous

    paulpriest, I know that the Pope was referring to intention – but what was he saying about it? You say it’s got nothing to do with condoms. So, I’m confused.

    He never used the word “permissible” but it seemed to me to be implicit in that he was saying that, if someone had a good intention in doing x, even though x is evil, then it might be permissible as a first step to morality.

    Show me where I’ve gone wrong. Please and thank you.

  • Anonymous

    The media did NOT twist the Pope’s words. They merely reported what he said. What is wrong with you people that you cannot believe that a pope in conversation with a journalist might err? NEWSFLASH Chats with journalists are not covered by papal infallibility.

  • Christina

    ‘All things are good to some extent’. Really? Wilful murder? The sin of Sodom? Oppression of the poor? Defrauding labourers of their wages? Well, what a woefully inadequate education I had. I was actually taught that mortal sin, provided that the necessary conditions are present, ‘kills the soul’, It’s consoling to know now that one can go to hell with a less dead soul than the next man!

  • Anonymous

    You are being facetious about the use of condoms, so I smile at the joke.

    However, every other pope who has spoken on the subject has condemned their use outright. And it is very elementary theology that we cannot every justify doing evil on grounds that our intention is good. That’s why we condemn abortion and euthanasia. It’s why the feminists approve abortion if the mother’s intention is to spare a disabled child a difficult life and it’s why the proponents of euthanasia argue that it’s ok to kill your granny if your intention is to cut short her pain.

  • Anonymous

    Well, why did you post one with your article up there?

  • Anonymous

    A fan at last! Well said, Bridget!

  • Anonymous

    Cheque in the post, leprechaun! All very well said!

  • Anonymous

    W Oddie, the reason why the Jesuit were loyal to the Pope in the Middle Ages, is that the Pope had commanded them to go out and restore The Faith. The key point is that our first duty is to the Faith – not to any pope. Your article and comment reflects the thinking (ignorance, in fact) of most contemporary Catholics who don’t actually know this. They think the Pope is the head of the Church and thus he will always do the right thing. Thus, they think our first loyalty is to the Pope. Whereas, our first loyalty is to the Faith. Great saints and doctors of the Church (e.g. St (Cardinal) Robert Bellarmine, teach clearly on this subject. http://www.romancatholicism.org/duty-resist.htm

    So, if we see a Pope acting contrary to Catholic Faith and morals, we have a DUTY to oppose him. You would realise that only too well if (God forbid) news broke that the Pope had a mistress and perhaps children (as happened in centuries past). You just couldn’t argue that the Pope was right. I know paulpriest would argue that there was no mistress, no children, even if the pope appeared at a press conference with the lot of them to confess his sins, but the fact would remain that he had caused scandal.
    Why can you not see that the same truth applies to matters of Faith? The Pope has not made an infallible declaration that we must hold to the belief that all religions are equal, so the papacy is intact. It’s one particular pope who is erring (and his predecessor of course) by giving the impression that one religion is as good as another. So, forgive me for using the term “worshipping” but that is the impression I’m getting from so many of the posts here – that there are far too many (probably most) Catholics who fall into one of two categories: some think the Pope doesn’t matter at all and his opinion is but one among many and they will live their lives as they see fit; and the second category believe, in effect, that the Pope is perfect, that he can do no wrong, that he is, if not divine, next door to it. They all but worship him. You, W Oddie, appear to me to fall into that second category. If you fall into the fist category, I apologise (!)

    Finally, think it is very telling when someone speaks of the “Lefebvrists.” So much anxiety not to offend the adherents of false religions, but nothing but contempt for an Archbishop who manifestly loved the Faith above all else, so much so that he sacrificed his popularity with Pope John Paul II, on record as describing him as his best bishop (I forget the exact words but they were much stronger than that.)

    I hope the link I’ve provided above will relieve your mind about my perceived “intellectual confusions.” It is not I who am confused.

    God bless.

  • Anonymous

    God cannot change. He does NOT say different things to different people and at different times. His law stands forever and we have to conform to it. Christ said “Not one jot or tittle of the Law will pass away…”

  • Anonymous

    Irrelevant. The fact that he is ORGANIZING it, and PARTICIPATING in it, is scandal enough.

  • http://jamiemacnab.wordpress.com/ Jamie MacNab

    True, CT, God’s law is constant. So, given that different people have different understandings of that law, it must be we who vary. I wonder why that is?

  • http://jamiemacnab.wordpress.com/ Jamie MacNab

    I think the diplomacy of the Church during WW2 saved many lives, Bridget. Both Jewish and Christian lives. I wonder if that had any influence on who was ultimately saved and who was not?

  • Torkay

    Being more or less Catholic than the Pope is nothing more than a clever red herring. Much as Pope Benedict’s infamous scandal over condom use being a gradual path to morality, there is no greater or lesser state of Catholicism any more than there is a greater or lesser morality (which the SSPX also pointed out). One is either Catholic or one is not, period. One is either moral or one is not, period. And “Catholic” would be defined as submitting oneself fully, wholly, unreservedly, and joyfully to the teachings of the Magisterium.

    As for Mr. Oddie’s perspective in general, one wonders which planet he has chosen for his residence. Certainly not Planet Earth, where the Catholic Church is in ruins, Popes cause scandals, bishops and priests undermine the Faith at every turn, disobedience is rife, and the laity – faithfully imitating their so-called shepherds – pick and choose which teachings suit them, if they pay any attention at all to any of them. So apparently, the Church, having been transformed into another Protestant sect by the Vatican II Revolution, has not been shaken to her foundations at all. What ignorant rubbish, fitting to stand alongside the remark that Abp. Lefebvre caused orthodoxy and tradition to be viewed as extremism. No, Mr. Oddie, it was the internal enemies of the Church who accomplished that, in response to Lefebvre’s noble efforts. You are not only ignorant, you are guilty of spiritual blasphemy, and therefore you should recuse yourself from any further writing about the Church.

  • Anonymous

    The linked photograph looks very much to me like Pope John-Paul II kissing the Koran, unless he had mistaken it for a giant pizza in disguise and didn’t know what it was that he was doing.
    I would say that he was giving bad example to all those who thought that he had been charged with teaching all Nations that Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation and that all other sects, religions and cults are misleading their adherents.

  • Anonymous

    “pagan – any person following any (esp polytheistic) pre-Chrsitian religion.”

    The Chambers Dictionary, 10th Edition.

  • Anonymous

    Original Sin.

  • Anonymous

    Here is an excellent article on the subject of obedience to the Pope, thoroughly documented from Tradition/Church Fathers etc. This article really says it all – and blows the sedevacantists theory right out of the water at the same time.
    http://www.sspx.ca/Communicantes/Dec2004/Is_That_Chair_Vacant.htm

  • http://jamiemacnab.wordpress.com/ Jamie MacNab

    Well, yes, CT, but I’m none the wiser for your comment. Let me go back to my initial opinion (above). I said, “I do believe that God is trying to educate us, CT. It is to be expected that He will say different things to different people and at different times – according to their understanding and circumstances.”

    Now, in looking up a reference to original sin, I found this :

    “This is a difficult point and many systems have been invented to explain it: it will suffice to give the theological explanation now commonly received. Original sin is the privation of sanctifying grace in consequence of the sin of Adam [...] (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm)

    Does this not strongly suggest that our understanding was previously incomplete? Does it not also suggest that our understanding is still incomplete? Does it not suggest that we must continually seek new revelations, new understandings? Does it not also imply that we are dependent on our leaders to interpret any new discoveries? Perhaps we should be wise and trust our leaders more in these matters.

    To get closer to the topic again, what objection do you have to Christians meeting with unbelievers, provided that the procedures are dignified?

  • Anonymous

    Spot on Mr Oddie; this needed to be said, even if it does strike a nerve. Biting the hand of the shepherd is a disordered activity.

  • Dwight Lindley

    Thus speaketh Pope Torkay.

  • Dwight Lindley

    Dear Mr. Leprechaun,

    Your comment runs off the rails in its second sentence: “Is he [Oddie] suggesting that the Pope is the best and most faithful Catholic on earth?” The question you beg in asking this is whether “the best and most faithful” person around should de facto be the leader of the Church, and that is a premise that no properly Catholic person would accept, for in presuming it you essentially announce yourself a Protestant: Ecce meum, all of you–I choose (fill in the blank) as “the best and most faithful,” on which account I and whoever I get to come with me will now following this man. This is precisely the reason why a thousand fledgling fundamentalist churches are founded every day of the year, continuing the ever-more-fragmented legacy of the Reformation.

    Mr. Oddie points out, on the other hand, that submission before authority, however fallible the individual who happens to fill the chair, is the mark of true Catholics. This means not simply approving the idea of the papacy, but submitting oneself to the pope himself. He make mistakes, but we’re with him.

    best,
    –Dwight

  • Anonymous

    If the conduct of the shepherd is contrary to the teachings of the Church as demonstrated by the Church’s position down through the ages, then it is quite in order to correct him. Disordered activity is a relative term, and in this case, the correction is not only required, it is also justified.

  • Anonymous

    Where would the Church be if St. Athanasius had submitted to the Arian heresy? Where would the Church of today be were it not for the determination of Archbishop Lefebvre to maintain loyalty to Tradition?
    We can be loyal to the Pope, and indeed are, but that does not mean we are bound by every whim he expresses. [I am expressly excluding ex cathedra statements]. You say that “Mr Oddie points out, on the other hand, that submission before authority, however fallible the individual who happens to fill the chair, is the mark of true Catholics. This means not simply approving the idea of the papacy, but submitting oneself to the pope himself”.
    That is not true! Our over-riding loyalty must be to the Faith, not to the Pope as an individual.
    It is not I who have run off the rails – it is you, who have based your response on a false premise.
    And to save a second post, I entirely agree with the comments made by Torkay which you dismiss so lightly.

  • RJ

    Agree entirely with your postings on the interpretation of the Pope’s words.