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Thank goodness for Bishop-elect Egan. Humanae Vitae, he says, is infallible

On the other hand, an obituary of my chaplain in the 1960s recalls the encyclical’s very divided reception

By on Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A banner at a papal Mass in Benin (Photo: CNS)

A banner at a papal Mass in Benin (Photo: CNS)

Today I received the Fisher House Newsletter (of the Cambridge University Catholic chaplaincy) for 2012. On the cover’s list of contents it mentioned “Fr Richard Incledon RIP.” He happened to be the chaplain at Cambridge between 1966 and 1977. As I was an undergraduate between 1965 and 1968, we had crossed paths; thus I was interested to read the newsletter’s obituary, written by Peter Glazebrook.

As obituaries do, it said all sorts of kind things, mentioning Fr Incledon’s academic successes (a double First at Oxford), his generosity, his ecumenical spirit and his support for the redevelopment of the chaplaincy. Then came the last paragraph. It stated: “All this came after the publication of Humanae Vitae which, for Richard, as for many other priests, was a turning point. He made no secret of finding its reasoning unconvincing and its authority dubious: a Catholic should consider it carefully, but was not obliged to assent to it. He was summoned to Archbishop’s House. His card was marked and the institutional Church deprived itself of an outstanding (if demanding) seminary rector and a diocesan bishop who would have brought great distinction to the episcopate. Whether Richard saw it this way is not altogether clear. He undoubtedly found much fulfilment, and gained a multitude of devoted friends, as a chaplain and a parish priest.”

All this is rather speculative. Whether the “institutional church” was deprived of an outstanding bishop we will never know this side of heaven. Incidentally, the Catholic Herald of 1968, the year of Humanae Vitae’s publication, took a similar view, according to former editor Gerard Noel. It tried to steer a via media between the Universe, which said Catholics were obliged to assent to the papal encyclical, and the Tablet, for whom it was a very bitter pill: readers, the Herald thought, should make themselves acquainted with what Pope Paul VI wrote and then follow their conscience. I rather suspect this was a polite cop-out.

Alongside the obituary, Fr Anthony Keefe, a former undergraduate who had known Fr Incledon – and who had arrived the autumn after I had gone down – wrote: “In the aftermath of Humanae Vitae, Richard was particularly generous in his support of priests whose superiors had been especially heavy-handed – but then generosity was his watchword. Fisher House was always a refugium peccatorum, yet it was not permitted to be a hiding-hole. Richard demanded of Catholic students that they play their part in the wider world of the university: he disbanded the Fisher Society, which he considered too insular and as encouraging ‘chaplaincy mice’.”

Reading between the lines, this looks as if Fisher House became an unofficial centre of “loyal dissent” as the phrase goes. I also wonder how many Catholic undergraduates were influenced by their chaplain’s line on the authority or otherwise of Humanae Vitae? I mention all this partly through a sad sense of “sic transit gloria mundi” and also because in William Oddie’s recent blog about the new appointment of Fr Philip Egan as eighth bishop for the Diocese of Portsmouth, he adds, intriguingly, that Fr Egan gave a talk in 2009 on the authority of Humanae Vitae “in which he argued that its teaching was proclaimed infallibly from the ordinary magisterium”.

It seems that Fr Egan’s talk took place at St Patrick’s, Soho Square – a centre of loyal assent, I am glad to report – and this is what, inter alia, he said: “It seems to me that there is a persuasive case for believing that the doctrine of Humanae Vitae, regardless of the pastoral difficulty it causes, regardless of the philosophical and theological arguments thrown against it, regardless of the historical conditioning of its neo-scholastic framework, has been, and is being taught infallibly, that is, irreversibly and without error, by the Church’s ordinary universal magisterium.”

I hope very much that Bishop-elect Egan’s appointment will bring distinction to the “institutional Church”. Thank goodness that, for whatever reason – such as his orthodoxy? – his card has not been marked.

  • JabbaPapa

    Websters — written by non-Catholics.

    The Catechism, wonderful as it is, does not generally delve into the nitty-gritty of rigorous doctrinal theology.

    But otherwise, it would be both ungracious and uncharitable not to accept that you have put your finger on the very knot of the problem, as far as non-theologians are concerned.

    What we have here is a difference between the orthodox theologian, the generalities for the Catholic laity, the Protestant, the Orthodox, the agnostic, the atheist, the non-Christian, and the anti-Catholic definitions of “infallibility”.

    This is complicated even more by the fact that the doctrine of infallibility is not itself an infallible doctrine.

    It is VERY difficult to express the doctrine of infallibility in any kind of completely accurate manner.

    The core of the doctrine is that no Catholic can deny an infallible doctrine — except that some of those doctrines are so central, that denying them amounts to a renouncement of Christianity ; whereas others are so peripheral that denying them means that you really should go to confession, probably.

    The typical Error is to consider infallible/fallible as some sort of stark 1/0 black/white up/down binary structure.

    Neither the conservatism of those claiming that all previous officially stated teachings of the Church, or perhaps all of those prior to Vatican II, constitute the sum total of infallibility ; nor the ultra-liberalism of those claiming that everything non-infallible is entirely optional ; are in any way correct nor acceptable.

    Both false approaches to the Doctrine of the Faith fail to realise that the VAST majority of Catholic doctrines are of the Authoritative persuasion.

  • rjt1

    The Catholic Encyclopedia (online version) has quite a useful definition:

    “In general, exemption or immunity from liability to error or failure; in particular in theological usage, the supernatural prerogative by which the Church of Christ is, by a special Divine assistance, preserved from liability to error in her definitive dogmatic teaching regarding matters of faith and morals.”

  • JabbaPapa

    Humanae Vitae describes contraception as to be absolutely excluded.If you do not understand this to be a staterment of infallibility, then you have no understanding whatsoever of how infallibility is provided to doctrines, Your reference to the teachings of the rebel Hans Küng do not impress.

  • JabbaPapa

    Infallibility is a property of the Faith itself.

  • JabbaPapa

    I’m not — but I *have* described the difficulty inherent to the formulation of the doctrine, if that helps.

  • rjt1

    Not quite sure of the implications of what you are saying there, and I’m not qualified to expound the subject, but I would have thought that the gift of faith includes the ability to accept without erring the deposit of faith.
    I believe Cardinal Newman had something to say about how one can come to accept infallibility.

  • JabbaPapa

    In that case, you do in fact understand the principal implications of my statement.

  • Ogard

    Wrong again: it has become your routine.

  • Ogard

    Wrong as usual. They do commit a moral evil, but they are sinners only if they know that it is moral evil, and do it freely. Many are misled through no fault of their own, and to what extent they do it freely without any inner compulsion is known to God alone.

  • Ogard

    Idolatry is a specific kind of evil. Contraception is not idolatry but and evil.

  • Ogard

    Correct. JabbaPapa is wrong as usual.

  • Ogard

    I wonder what is the difference.

  • JabbaPapa

    Unbelievable !!!

    Still, what should one expect from one who consults a rebel against the Magisterium on matters of doctrine…

  • Ogard

    It is not the matter of “consulting the rebel against Magisterium” but finding in the  rebel’s writing the powerful admission that the doctrine of the Magisterium is correct on its own terms. The fact that Kung can’t accept it for other reasons doesn’t undervalue what he wrote in this respect.

    It is now generally agreed in Fundamental and Moral Theology that the doctrine on contraception in the HV is  nothing but a fresh articulation of the infallible teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium “from the beginning”, as Pius XI has put it, and Pius XII (“valid today as it was yesterday”)reiterated. In fact, the whole body of the Catholic moral doctrine is so proposed: no doctrine has been infallibly DEFINED, as different from infallibly PROPOSED bu the Ordinary Magisterium.

    Ford and Grisez are certainly not dissenters: in fact their life commitment was and is the defence of the moral teaching of the Church.
    But their essay, and, for that matter, the 3000 pp Grisez’ manual of moral theology, must be studied.

    Some might find it too difficult; but if so, they shouldn’t meddle in matters they do not understand.

  • Ogard

    “Humanae Vitae describes contraception as to be absolutely excluded.”

    In fact, it does not: the phrase refers to abortion, and for contraception the pope uses the word “similarly”. But supposing that the meaning were the same, still this STATEMENT  ITSELF woould not  AS SUCH  be infallible. Anyone could assert it.

    A pope on his own is infallible “when he speaks ex cathedra….” etc. as per Vatican I. Otherwise, he participates in infallibility of the whole episcopate whether at an ecumenical council or of the universal Ordinary Magisterium (as it is the case with doctrine on contraception).

    Let’s not make the teaching of the Church of what are our own fabrications. The subject is well elaborated in classic manuals (see L.Ott: Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma). And the basis is Vatican I, DS 3011 and 3074; Vatican II LG 18 and 25.

  • JabbaPapa

    Pariter, sicut Ecclesiae Magisterium pluries docuit, damnandum est seu viros
    seu mulieres directo sterilitate, vel perpetuo vel ad tempus, afficere.

    There is no sort of room whatsoever in the doctrine for the weaselly sorts of interpretations that you propose.

    Pariter = in the exact same way

    I understand that you have some knowledge of moral theology — fine.

    But do not be mistaken that this should constitute an understanding of doctrinal theology.

    You are confusing the various motivations why the Magisterium has declared the infallibility of some doctrines as being the nature of the infallibility itself.

    Which makes some sense, from the point of view of moral theology — but it is inaccurate as far as the actual nature of doctrine in itself is concerned.

    You do have one thing right, though — it’s the doctrines themselves that are infallible, not the statements of the doctrines.

    A pope on his own is infallible “when he speaks ex cathedra….” etc. as
    per Vatican I. Otherwise, he participates in infallibility of the whole
    episcopate whether at an ecumenical council or of the universal
    Ordinary Magisterium (as it is the case with doctrine on contraception).

    You are confusing the issue — or you’re confused yourself.

    Humanae Vitae contains a statement that abortion and contraception are condemned, “absolutely excluded” in the English.

    This is a statement which by definition must be considered infallible. It does not proceed from the ability of the Pope to pronounce infallibly ex cathedra, but from the Pope’s participation in the Magisterium — the Encyclical is in fact a statement BY the Magisterium, and the Magisterium can declare the infallibility of doctrines. This has exactly NOTHING to do with ex cathedra declarations of infallibility by Popes.

    Let’s not make the teaching of the Church of what are our own fabrications.

    Try not to make teachings based on the forbidden teachings of rebels against the Magisterium.

    DS 3011 : “Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium proposes for belief as divinely revealed”

    This teaching applies to all infallible as well as to all simply authoritative doctrines. Not pertinent.

    DS 3074 “Romani Pontificis definitiones ex sese, non autem ex consensu ecclesiae irreformabiles esse”

    This doctrine just reinforces my position, and reveals your Küng-inspired revisionism to be inaccurate.

    LG 18 does NOT define infallibility by any stretch of the imagination, it simply declares that the teachings of the Vatican II Council are specifically declared as being informed by the infallible Magisterium of the Pope.

    Nor does LG 25 define infallibility, but it simply describes the various methods whereby doctrinal infallibility is provided by the Church — oh and BTW, it’s pretty much exactly what I’ve been saying myself.

    Of course, your real problem remains that you wrongfully insist on thinking infallibility to be associated with a concept of inerrancy, whereas it is in fact closer to the concept of irreformability/irrevocability, as shown in DS 3074, as well as to the concept that Catholics may not therefore deny any infallible teachings.

  • JabbaPapa

    Wrong as usual. They do commit a moral evil, but they are sinners only if they know that it is moral evil, and do it freely.

    This is so grossly inaccurate as to be uncatholic !!!

    We are all of us sinners, and whether we sin knowingly or from ignorance is irrelevant to that fact.

    Furthermore, any and all actions that constitute an objective moral evil are inherently sinful.

    You are gravely confusing the fact that the Church considers that the charge of sin can be viewed as being diminished in certain circumstances with some strange idea of your own fabrication that the sin might somehow be non-existent if the sinner happened to be ignorant.

    Or what — in addition to Protestant notions about the nature of infallibility, do you also have Protestant ideas about the nature of sin ?

  • Ogard

    The Holy See English rendering of the Latin text refers to abortion as “absolutely excluded”, while the sterilization is “equally condemned” and contraception “similarly excluded”. Even if the latter were absolutely excluded it would not make difference to my point, i.e. that the teaching is not proposed infallibly by the pope on his own.

    As for the rest of your comment it is – to employ your terminology – wrong and an absolute tosh. But I will have to place the full (and killing) response at the beginning of comments because this “thin” column is not sutable for it. Your familiarity with the Catholic doctrine is lesser than the the “zero” doctrinal authority of Fr.Kung.

  • JabbaPapa

    that the teaching is not proposed infallibly by the pope on his own.

    Nobody outside of your own imagination has suggested any such thing.

  • Ogard

    Yet another tosh.

  • Ogard

    If so, all 31 episcopal conferences which replied to HV (book by J. Horgan, 1972) had the same imagination.

  • JabbaPapa

    You’re not actually paying attention to your own comments, are you.

    What a complete time-waster.

  • Ogard

    PART ONE. The assertion of the bishop-elect Fr. Egan suggests, at
    least, that there is now growing consensus among the Catholic (I do not mean
    nominal Catholic), theologians that the doctrine on contraception has been
    proposed infallibly by the, as he has put it, “universal ordinary magisterium”
    (UOM).

  • Ogard

     PART TWO. Vatican
    I, LG 25/2, has articulated the doctrine on UOM infallibility thus:

    “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the
    prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine
    infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still
    maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of
    Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in
    agreement on one position as definitively to be held.” – Here the LG refers to
    the Vatican I document Dei Filius (DS 3011, which I mentioned earlier and
    JabbaPapa kindly quoted but, regrettably, misunderstood); and to the two drafts
    of the Constitution De Ecclesia, and to the Pius IX’ letter Tuas Libenter, DS
    2879. The quotes from these three documents will follow soon.

  • Ogard

    PART THREE. So, to put the LG 25 clearly: (1) pope and bishops in
    communion, (2) even if dispersed through the world, (3) teaching (not ruling)
    (4) authentically (in official capacity, not as private individuals) (5)
    doctrine on faith and morals, (5) in agreement that one position is (6)
    definitely to be held.

    When all this is met the doctrine is proposed infallibly by
    the OUM, and, throughout the history it had been the basis of all infallible
    definitions. I have already mentioned the excellent summary of this when
    quoting Hans Kung, and mentioned the elaborated study of this matter
    (Contraception and Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium) by Ford and
    Grisez.

  • Ogard

    PART FOUR. They quote Bishop Martin of Paderborn, who in
    a speech at Vatican I explained what
    the Deputation of Faith intended with the fragment (see the quote below) of
    the SECOND draft of the Constitution De Ecclesia (with Klautgen’s commentary),
    to which fragment Vatican II  refers in
    note 40 (76), and in which fragment it formulates the point that the ordinary and
    universal magisterium determines an object of faith when it proposes something
    to be believed even without defining it.

     

    Martin’s example was this: “All Catholic bishops believed
    in the divinity of Christ before the Council of Nicaea, but this doctrine was
    not openly defined and openly declared until that Council; therefore, in the
    time before the Council of Nicaea, this dogma was taught by the ordinary
    magisterium” (p.273).

     

    JabbaPapa denies this, and makes an irrelevant claim that
    “several infallible doctrines are included in the New Testament, just for
    starters: ‘Jesus is the Son of God’”. Reply: for a doctrine to be infallible it
    is not enough to to be contained in Revelation, but has to be declared to be in
    Revelation by the Magisterium whether in solemn definition or by the UOM (DS
    3011).  

  • Ogard

    PART FIVE. The fragment (of the SECOND draft) referred to
    above reads:

    “And so we now define that this very high gift, by which the
    Church of the living God is the pillar and bulwark of truth [1 Tim 3:15],
    is placed in it so that neither the faithful as a whole in believing nor those
    who are appointed with the power of teaching the whole Church in exercising
    this office can fall into error. Therefore, all those points which in matters
    of faith and morals are everywhere held or handed down as undoubted under
    bishops in communion with the Apostolic See, as well as all those points which
    are defined, either by those same bishops together with the Roman pontiff or by
    the Roman pontiff speaking ex cathedra, are to be held as infallibly
    true” (p. 271).

     

    The fragment of the FIRST draft is based on Bellarmine:

    “Therefore, our view is that the Church absolutely cannot err, either in things
    absolutely necessary [for salvation] or in other matters which she proposes to
    us to be believed or to be done, whether expressly included in the Scriptures
    or not. And when we say ‘The Church cannot err’, we understand this to apply
    both to the faithful as a whole and to the bishops as a whole, so that the
    sense of the proposition ‘The Church
    cannot err’ is this: that what all the faithful hold as of faith,
    necessarily is true and of faith, and similarly what all the bishops teach as pertaining
    to faith, necessarily is true and of faith”.

     

    Finally, Pius IX’ Tuas Libenter:

    “We desire to reassure ourselves that they did not mean
    to limit the obligation, which strictly binds Catholic teachers and writers, to
    those things only which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Church
    as dogmas of faith to be believed by everybody. In a like manner, We are
    convinced that it was not their intention to state that the perfect adherence
    to revealed truths..can be maintained, if the submission of faith is given only
    to those dogmas expressly defined by the Church. The reason for this is the
    following: even supposing that we are treating of that subjection which is to
    be made by an explicit act of divine faith, this must not be limited to those
    things which have been defined in the express decrees of the ecumenical
    councils or of the Roman Pontiffs of this See; but it must also be extended to
    those things which, through the ordinary teaching of the whole Church
    throughout the world, are proposed as divinely revealed and, as a result, by
    universal and constant consent of Catholic theologians are held to be matters
    of faith.

  • Ogard

    PART SIX. Now Ford and Grisez are explaining, on pp
    270-272, the significance of these documents for Vatican II, LG 25 (which
    refers to them in the note 40 (76)), as follows:

     

    Constitution Dei Filius (for the quote see JabbaPapa) “is
    relevant to the teaching of Vatican II insofar as it definitively teaches that
    the scope of what must be believed is not restricted to what is defined, but
    extends to points proposed by the universal and ordinary magisterium.”

     

    The First Draft of De Ecclesia “refers explicitly not
    only to things which are to be believed but also to things which are to
    be done” (i.e. morals, my note) and “also excludes limiting the scope of
    infallibility to matters treated explicitly in Scripture” (i.e. includes
    tradition).

     

    The Second Draft of De Ecclesia: “This formulation of the Church’s infallibility, including the
    infallibility of the bishops dispersed throughout the world, is very close to
    that finally adopted by Vatican II, especially in avoiding the limitation of
    infallibility to points divinely revealed and proposed for acceptance with an
    assent of divine faith. The parallel to Vatican II’s ‘to be held definitively
    in Vatican I’s  schema is ‘held or
    handed down as undoubted’.”

     

    Tuas Libenter
    brings out the point that “the universal and constant consensus of Catholic
    theologians holding a point as pertaining to faith is evidence that the matter
    is one handed on by the ordinary magisterium of the Church dispersed throughout
    the world.”, which is particularly relevant to Moral Theology.

     

    These passages
    will be helpful in clarification the full meaning of LG 25/2 on infallibility of
    the UOM (in preparation).

     

  • JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa denies this

    No I don’t.

    for a doctrine to be infallible it is not enough to to be contained in Revelation, but has to be declared to be in Revelation by the Magisterium whether in solemn definition or by the UOM

    All direct teachings of the Christ are provided of a higher Authority than any other part of the Magisterium of the Church.

    As usual, you don’t really know what you’re talking about, most likely because you do not pay attention to the detail of what is being said. This whole thing is completely irrelevant to any of my statements, except in some sort of foolish nit-picking manner whereby you want to pick over the remnants of what I’ve said to try and find some sort of “fault” in the detail of it, to prop up your misguided views of what constitutes orthodox Catholic theology.

    Someone who pays no attention to detail, like yourself, is in no position to engage in any sort of serious theological discussions.

    Furthermore, unpublished drafts of doctrinal texts are of no doctrinal value whatsoever, but are of a more historical and a certain degree of theological interest ONLY.

  • JabbaPapa

    1) Unpublished drafts of doctrinal texts are of no doctrinal value
    whatsoever, but are of a more historical and a certain degree of
    theological interest ONLY.

    2) “We desire to reassure ourselves that they did not mean to limit the obligation, which strictly binds Catholic teachers and writers, to those things only which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Church as dogmas of faith to be believed by everybody. In a like manner, We are convinced that it was not their intention to state that the perfect adherence to revealed truths..can be maintained, if the submission of faith is given only to those dogmas expressly defined by the Church. The reason for this is the following: even supposing that we are treating of that subjection which is to be made by an explicit act of divine faith, this must not be limited to those things which have been defined in the express decrees of the ecumenical councils or of the Roman Pontiffs of this See; but it must also be extended to those things which, through the ordinary teaching of the whole Church throughout the world, are proposed as divinely revealed and, as a result, by universal and constant consent of Catholic theologians are held to be matters of faith.”

    This is entirely consonant, in both generals and details, with the contents of my statements.

  • JabbaPapa

    Unpublished drafts of doctrinal texts are of no doctrinal value whatsoever, but are of a more historical and a certain degree of theological interest ONLY.

    You have IN NO WAY addressed any of my actual objections to your statements.

    This whole exercise on your part resembles nothing other than some gigantic strawman argument.

  • JabbaPapa

    the Vatican I document Dei Filius (DS 3011, which I mentioned earlier and
    JabbaPapa kindly quoted but, regrettably, misunderstood

    DS 3011 applies to all infallible as well as to all simply authoritative doctrines.

    As does : “We desire to reassure ourselves that they did not mean to limit the
    obligation
    , which strictly binds Catholic teachers and writers, to those
    things only which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the
    Church
    as dogmas of faith to be believed by everybody. In a like manner,
    We are convinced that it was not their intention to state that the
    perfect adherence to revealed truths..can be maintained, if the
    submission of faith is given only to those dogmas expressly defined by
    the Church. The reason for this is the following: even supposing that we
    are treating of that subjection which is to be made by an explicit act
    of divine faith, this must not be limited to those things which have
    been defined in the express decrees of the ecumenical councils or of the
    Roman Pontiffs of this See; but it must also be extended to those
    things which, through the ordinary teaching of the whole Church
    throughout the world, are proposed as divinely revealed and, as a
    result, by universal and constant consent of Catholic theologians are
    held to be matters of faith.

    This doctrine teaches that theologians are required to adhere BOTH to infallible AND to authoritative teachings of the Church — it requires that Catholic theologians MUST adhere to ALL of the authoritative teachings of the Magisterium, infallible or fallible. (although there are certain well-defined exceptions to this general rule, such as in internal theological debate, during Ecumenical Councils for example, and teachings that are essentially disciplinary or pastoral in nature, rather than dogmatic.

    Oh and BTW — that quote has been cherry-picked, and it does not contain a description of what “it” is, the precise obligation that’s being discussed — the “it” in question is obedience to the Catholic Faith.

    This is, in other words, a disciplinary doctrine.

    Here’s one in the eye from Pius IX for your friend Küng from Tuas Libenter :

    Un fatto, questo, come Tu certamente sai,
    assolutamente nuovo e fuori di ogni consuetudine nella Chiesa. Pertanto abbiamo
    voluto farti conoscere, Venerabile Fratello, il Nostro punto di vista, affinché
    sia Tu, sia gli altri Venerabili Fratelli che sono a capo della Chiesa in
    Germania, foste in grado di giudicare il vero scopo, esaminando il programma, del
    Congresso, cioè se fosse effettivamente tale da recare una vera utilità alla
    Chiesa. Nello stesso tempo eravamo certi, Venerabile Fratello, che Tu, con la
    sollecitudine pastorale e lo zelo che ti distinguono, ti saresti adoperato in
    ogni modo perché in quel medesimo Congresso non venissero intaccate minimamente
    né l’integrità della fede e della dottrina cattolica, né l’obbedienza che tutti
    i cattolici di qualunque grado e di qualunque condizione debbono prestare
    all’autorità e al magistero della Chiesa. E non possiamo tacere che siamo stati
    fortemente preoccupati, perché temevamo che con questo Congresso, indetto senza
    l’autorizzazione ecclesiastica, si instaurasse a poco a poco un metodo di
    lavoro che toglie qualcosa ai diritti del potere ecclesiastico e di
    quell’autentico magistero che per divina istituzione spetta al Romano Pontefice
    e ai Vescovi uniti e concordi con il Successore di San Pietro; e così, a causa
    del disordine entrato nella Chiesa, in alcuni cristiani si indebolissero
    alquanto l’unità e l’obbedienza della fede. Temevamo anche che nello stesso
    Congresso fossero fatte delle affermazioni e fossero accolte opinioni e teorie
    che, soprattutto se poste in circolazione, mettessero in pericolo e in
    discussione la purezza della dottrina cattolica e la dovuta obbedienza. Con
    grandissimo dolore del Nostro animo, Ci ricordavamo, Venerabile Fratello, che
    per dovere, in forza del suo altissimo ufficio, la Sede Apostolica in questi
    ultimi tempi ha dovuto censurare e proibire le opere di alcuni Scrittori della
    Germania
    , i quali, per non rinunciare a principi e metodi di una falsa scienza
    o di una fallace filosofia moderna, (forse inconsapevolmente, così speriamo)
    sono arrivati ad affermare e ad insegnare dottrine in contrasto con il vero
    senso e la vera interpretazione di alcuni dogmi della nostra santissima fede;
    in questo modo essi hanno riproposto errori già condannati dalla Chiesa e hanno
    gravemente alterato il senso e la natura della divina rivelazione e della fede.
    Sapevamo anche, Venerabile Fratello, che alcuni cattolici che si dedicano allo
    studio delle scienze esatte, fidandosi troppo delle capacità della ragione
    umana, non si sono guardati da un pericoloso errore: quello di oltrepassare,
    nell’affermare l’ambigua e non sempre oggettiva libertà della scienza, quei
    limiti che l’obbedienza dovuta al magistero della Chiesa – voluto da Dio per
    conservare l’integrità di tutto il dato rivelato – non permette di
    oltrepassare. Ne deriva come conseguenza che questi cattolici, tratti
    miseramente in errore, si schierino a loro volta con coloro che protestano
    contro i decreti di questa Sede Apostolica e delle Nostre Congregazioni,
    blaterando che quei decreti impediscono il libero progresso della scienza; in
    tal modo si espongono al pericolo di infrangere quei vincoli di obbedienza in
    forza dei quali sono legati a questa Sede Apostolica, costituita da Dio stesso
    come maestra di verità e incaricata di difenderla.

    Non ignoravamo che in Germania si era diffusa
    una falsa opinione contro la vecchia scuola e contro la dottrina di quei
    grandissimi Dottori che per la loro ammirevole sapienza e santità di vita sono
    venerati da tutta la Chiesa. Con questa falsa opinione si mette in discussione
    la stessa autorità della Chiesa, dal momento che proprio la Chiesa
    ininterrottamente per tanti secoli ha permesso che la scienza teologica venisse
    insegnata con il metodo di quei medesimi Dottori e con i principi sanciti dal
    consenso comune di tutte le scuole cattoliche, e anzi spessissimo ha elogiato
    ed esaltato la loro dottrina teologica, raccomandandola insistentemente come
    valida difesa della fede e arma terribile contro i suoi nemici.

    I mean really — Tuas Libenter as a whole is a clear condemnation of disobedience, error, Protestantism, and dissidence and rebellion on the part of theologians.

    The very essence of Hans Küng’s positions is directly condemned in this Encyclical to the German theologians.

  • JabbaPapa

    You do not understand the nature of Authoritative teachings of the Church, just as you are using a false, Protestant-inspired definition of infallibility itself, hence your failure to understand this doctrine of the Church.

    You are misusing doctrines whose purpose is to establish the necessity of upholding the Authoritative teachings of the Magisterium, as if those doctrines concerned its infallible teachings only.

    You probably don’t realise the irony of your using Tuas Libenter to shore up the precise sort of doctrinal Error that the Encyclical directly condemns !!!

  • Ogard

    You are confusing the disobediance to the Church authorities with disobedience to the civil authorities, and also the concept of motal sin with the concept of moral evil.

  • Ogard

    Disobedience is a mortal sin if it is a grave evil, if one knows that it so, and does it with full freedom. 

  • Ogard

    The “non-infallibility” of HV doesn’t “simply” mean “that it is not a mortal sin to disagree with it”, but that what it teaches, supposing the thesis of non-infallibility were correct, was not propesed infallibly; in which case it would be an evil to reject it. Whether it would be a mortal sin would depend on whether the three condition for a mortal sin were met or not.

  • Ogard

    That “Hans Küng is forbidden from teaching theology” doesn’t mean that all he says is wrong, but only those things for which he is suspended. The rest of what he says should be judged on its merits.

    No theologian has “authority to declare this or that doctrine as infallible”, but it does not follow that one may not accept, on its merits, what he says.

    As it happens, the Bishop-elect shares Fr. Kung’s view on infallibility of the HV doctrine on contraception, whether he knows it is his view or not.

    Infallibility of a particular doctrine doesn’t mean that “that all Catholics must adhere to the doctrine” (that is only a consequence) but that it is true, because it is either revealed or intrinsically connected with the Revelation, and has been proposed as such by a solemn definition (ecumenical council, or pope) or by the Universal Ordinary Magisterium (UOM). And it is BECAUSE of this that it demands acceptance “Fide Divina and Catholica” or “Fide Catholica” depending on whether it is revealed or intrinsically connected with Revelation (see DS 3011).

    “Several doctrines exist which are infallible for essentially disciplinary reasons” - makes no sense. Disciplinary decrees are not part of doctrine, and command obedience, not an acceptance of Faith or religious assent.

    Kung doesn’t say that “the fact that the ordinary Magisterium must be considered in its entirety as being infallible… require(s) that every single doctrine provided in that Magisterium is therefore infallible.” – Your should read first 60 pages of his book (not other pages, because you might fall victim of his persuasion). 

    His “attacks against the doctrine of infallibility” would be impossible if he did not first present that doctrine as it stands, as it is generally accepted by the Fundamental Theology; and it is the latter that have been talking about all the time. If you are capable of getting out of your ghetto and embarking on serious study you will find the confirmation of what I say in classic manuals. See for example L. Ott, and don’t venture your own “interpretation” of DS 3011.

    The clear evidence of your DIY nonsense is the statement: “Several infallible doctrines are included in the New Testament, just for starters. ‘Jesus is the Son of God’ “. From the DS 3011 it is clear that for a doctrine to be proposed infallibly it is not enouth that it be contained in Revelation, but that is has to be declared by the Magisterium see (above) as being so contained. And no such declaration has been SOLEMNLY during the forst two centuries, but only proposed by the UOM.

    The example I gave you is taken from debate on infallibity at Vatican I, where bishop Martin of Paderborn, presenting the draft made by the Deputation of Faith said:  “All Catholic bishops
    believed in the divinity of Christ before the Council of Nicaea, but this
    doctrine was not openly defined and openly declared until that Council; therefore,
    in the time before the Council of Nicaea, this dogma was taught by the ordinary
    magisterium”.

  • Ogard

    See above my comment to JabbPapa, and don’t tosh.

  • Ogard

    “Only some doctrines of the Faith have been declared as infallible”. 
    If by “declared” you mean “solemnly defined” one might not find more than
    fifty, but if you mean “infallibly proposed”, it is all that we believe with certainty, including most of the moral doctrine. It would be a nonsense to believe all that, if we were not certain that is is true. The martyrs would have undergone their sacrifice for what is possibly a mistake. 

    “No human beings are infallible.” – True, in so far as they are merely dependant on their natural capacities, but the Magisterium is protected from errors by divine gift. This is itself an infallibly proposed doctrine (which might help Philothea as well). 

  • Ogard

    You might well stop too, because, although you believe that what you propose is the Catholic Faith, you are actually promoting errors which, in principle, do not differ from Julia’s.

  • Ogard

    Although HV “has not… been declared officially as infallible by either the CdF or the Pope” it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been infallibly proposed by the UOM, and there is a growing consensus among the Catholic theologians that it has been so proposed.

    The question the “disagreeing with it (HV)” would or “won’t remove you from Communion with the Church” depends on how one conceives the Communion. It is practically impossible to be both fully removed and fully incorpotated, seeing that the Communion includes worship, government and doctrine. There is such thing as gradual incorporation into the Church, and while it is primarily applicable to those on record in Catholic parishes, it is also applicable to those outside. Vatican II speaks of “full incorporation” (LG 14) and then continues with others (LG 15 and 16). In UR it refers to other Christians as having “broken away from FULL felowship” (3).  The Baptism being valid in all Christian bodies, there is no difference in the status of babies; and the knowledge and appropriation of doctrine being generally low by all there is no difference between adults – in many cases.

    We are all invited to work endlessly on our own fuller incorporation, rather than arguing about minimal requirements.  

  • Ogard

    “Declarations of infallibility by the Magisterium are the only proof of infallibility.” 

    They are not. The infallible teachings by the UOM are, by their very nature (see LG 25/2), never declared infallible, but the infallibility is infered from the actual state of affairs, i.e. when the conditions laid by LG/2 ((1) pope and bishops in communion, (2) even if dispersed through the world, (3) teaching (not ruling) (4) authentically (in official capacity, not as private individuals) (5) doctrine on faith and morals, (5) in agreement that one position is (6) definitely to be held) are met.

    In point of fact, I know of no “declaration of infallibilty” in which the word “infallible” occurs. It is infered from the formulation, and has (usually, but not always) an anathema attached.

  • Ogard

    You evidently do not know what the Kung’s book is all about, and, generally, which specific doctrines he denies and what in fact he was forbidden to teach. He was certainly not forbidden to say that there was such thing as the infallibility of OUM.

    It is not sinful to promote those views of his which articulate the Church doctrine in an orthodox way. On the contrary, it is sinful to attack these views.

    I woulf suggest thaty attacking persons for their views if these are not to one’s taste is sinful. The Church has never addessed Kung as “rebel”: that is an offence against a person.

    If you find that he “is deliberately promoting an understanding of both the nature of infallibility and its area of application that is inaccurate as to the Catholic conception of doctrinal infallibility” could you enlighthen us by quotations from his writing, precisely what he is “promoting”, which doctrine is at stake, and what the CDF has judged to be wrong with it. If you can’t, it is plainly a calumnly.

    Another one is against me. What have I asserted against the Catholic Faith, what proof can you offer that what you consider to be the “Catholic Faith” is really the Catholic Faith. I do not want any product of your fantasy, any tabloid article or popular book, but the quote from the Church documents, or at least from an approved author of fundamental, dogmatic or moral theology.

    Kung’s account of the doctrine on infallibility (please, take on board that I am not talking about his doctrinal position) of the UOM is perfectly correct, can be found, for example, in L.Ott, pp 3-5, 8-9, 297-300. Ott was a German professor, who published his manual in 1952. There were five English edition between 1955 and 1963. See also Can. 749, para 2, and Can. 750.

    But, according to you, even the Code of Canon Low is influenced by Kung and should not be read or promoted.

    Ford and Grises knew about the Kung’s book, but from the text of their essay it doesn’t seem that they have perused it. Kung has published it in 1970. Earlier, Ford and Grisez were helping the pope to formulate his Encyclical which was published 1968. At the time, they did not go into correlation between the teaching of LG 25/2 on infallibility of the UOM, and their persuasion that the teaching of contraception, being undeniably consistent throughout the history, cannot be but true. So, and alrady at that stage, the pope was well informed of the historical data, as you can see from HV 6 and 12 which were nothing but re-articulation of Pius XI, and XII as I said before. Prior to that there was Canon Si Aliquis, incorporated into the pre-1917 Code, and went back to the thirteenth cent. at the latest. Then the Roman Catechism, which was written for parish priests, as requested by the Council of Trent, and so on…I said more earlier. When presented with all this, the pope couldn’t do anything but to go along with it as he himself said in the Encyclical.

    It took ten years of reflection, to Ford and Grisez to realize that all this evidence, not to mention their perusal of the 18/19th cent. manuals, that there was an undeniable correlation between this constant teaching and the LG 25/2 doctrine on infallibility of the UOM, as they put it in their powerful essay, which every Catholic, who is capable of coping with the text, should read until he has fully familiarized himself with it.

     

  • Ogard

    “That is why it’s infallible (my note: ref. to doctrine on contraception in HV), not for any other reason”. Your reason: “specifically described in such a manner that leaves no room for doubt concerning infallibility”.

    No. The only way a pope, on his own, can exercise infallibility is by formal, solemn definition, and hardly anyone believes that it is the case with HV articulation of the doctrine on contraception; no Vatican spokesman and none of the 31 episcopal conferences in any case, as I said earlier. Can. 749, para 3 says: “No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated”. This was more than clear to everyone with the two Marian dogmas: no need to  argue.

    But with regard to the infallibility of the UOM (which the said spokesman choose to ignore, and the episcopal conferences failed to address) which is not “defined” but proposed (in techical language it doesn’t mean “suggested for acceptance” but taught), it is the other way round: it is never “manifestly demonstrated” but is based on accummuation of contemporary and historical evidence (see Ford/Grisez’ essay: Contraception and Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium, pp 277-302). In general, approved manuals of dogmatic, fundamental, or moral theology should be consulted (example L. Ott, pp 286-289, 297-300).  Or Can. 749 -750. Or CDF’s Instruction the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian 15-17.

    What the pope said on contraception in HV is infallible not on the basis of his own theaching but his teaching itself was part of the teaching of the UOM, as he himself said in Nos 6 and 12 (I might have put wrong numbers earlier, in which case I apologize).

    But even if it were as you believe, all that Kung would have had to do was to replace his 60 pages’ account with what you say, and he would have had the same basic argument for assertion that the Church is not infallible because it teaches as infallible what is de facto an error. Do you see the point: it doesn’t matter whether the doctrine on contraception is infallible on the basis of the UOM or on the basis of what you say - in either case the Church claims that the doctrine ON CONTRACEPTION is infallible, while it is on Kung’s terms an error. So, this is to him an example that the doctrine on infallibility IN GENERAL is itself untenable -  do you take the point?

    The reason why I brought Father Kung into this dispute was not to support his erroneous doctrines for which is suspended, but (1)to show to those who like you (in earlier contributios) do not believe that the doctrine on contraception has been proposed infallibly, is infallible even on a de facto admission of a dissenting theologian, and (2)to show that the infallibility is not restricted to doctrines that are solemnly defined.

  • Ogard

    The statement: “HV describes contraception as to be absolutely excluded” is itself a statement, which says nothing about its own status. If you really claim that it is a solemn definition compare it with two Marian definitions. If you don’t (claim), are you suggesting that there are infallible papal (on his own) teachings that are infallible in spite of not being solemn definitions? If you aren’t suggesting such thing, what are you talking about? If you are suggesting such thing show us the reference in Magisterial documents or approved manuals. But you won’t even try, will you?

    It is in fact “you” who has “no understanding whatsoever of how infallibility is provided to doctrines”. If you think you have, demonstrate it by reference to Magisterial documents or approved manuals. But you won’t even try, will you?

    I have tried to explain you about Fr. Kung on three occasions at least….

    It is well known that the Protestants shared the doctrine on contraception until recently. Are you suggesting that the HV was written in support of the Protestant heresy? Or, that I would have supported their heresy had I welcomed the fact that they had shared with us the doctrine on contraception?

  • Ogard

    What, on earth is a difference between the “moral theology” and the “doctrinal theology”?

    There is a “doctrine of Faith” (the usual term which covers the subject of “Dogmatic”, now called “Systematic” theology) and “doctrine of Morals” (which covers the Moral theology), BUT BOTH ARE THE DOCTRINES, and could be proposed infallibly, i.e. could be dogmas (of “Faith” about what the things are, and of Morals about what the things ought to be; see DS 3074 and LG 25/2).

    There is a bit of terminological confusion here, because the Moral doctrines can also be dogmas, and they are definitely a part of Faith – but there we are.

    The doctrine on Infallibility itself (as different from infallible propositions in Dogmatic and Moral theologies), is dealt with in both Dogmatic and Moral theologies, but strictly speaking it is a part of Fundamental Theology.

  • Ogard

    “Infallibiliity is the impossibility of falling into error” (L.Ott p. 297) and is the attribute of the Church Magisterium. .
     
    I am not confusing anything but following manuals. The possesors of infallibility are the pope when he speaks ex cathedra, and the episcopate (including the pope) either assembled in general council or scattered over the world. Magisterium is the name for the teaching office and refers to the pope and the episcopate, and can infallibly propose the doctrine either by solemn definition (pope ex cathedra, episcopate at the general council) or by the ordinary day-to-day teaching if it meats the conditions summarized in LG 25/2 (I listed these earlier), and is usually referred to as the teaching of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium (UOM). This is taken from L. Ott pp 299-300, and can also be found in Canon Law (Can. 749 and 750).
     
    What you say about HV and contraception is a cock-up. Pope alone can infallibly teach only ex cathedra. Otherwise, he either does not teach infallibly or teaches infallibly together with the episcopate. In the latter case it is either a definition of an ecumenical council which similar to an ex cathedra definition, or it is an infallible proposition of the UOM. As you admit that his assertion of infallibility with regard the contraception is not ex cathedra, and it is certainly not a not a definition of an ecumenical council, it must be his “non-infallible” teaching or his teacing in so far as he is a part of the UOM. Now if the latter is what you mean by “the Pope’s participation in the Magisterium” that is exactly what Fr. Kung says and you reject. In other words you “make teachings based on the forbidden teachings of rebels”.
     
    DS 3011 is a Vatican I doctrinal account of what is a dogma in the strictest sense. The assertion that it applies “to all simply authoritative doctrines” displays a theological diletantism. In fact, it doesn’t even applies to “all infallible doctrines”, but only to those of them that are contained in the Revelation. But you don’t understand what I am talking about because of diletantism.
     
    DS 3074 refers to ex cathedra definitions, which, once proposed, have the consensus Ecclesiae already built into it. It has nothing to do with the popes’ rearticulation of the teaching of the UOM by which he merely reinforces the latter because he himself is a part of it.
     
    I nowhere said that the LG 18 defines infallibility; in rearticulates the four Vatican I dogmas on papacy, as an introduction to the doctrine that the Vatican II is about to propose on episcopacy.
     
     
     
     
     

  • JabbaPapa

    No I’m not.

    Disobedience to Church authorities can sometimes be just as virtuous as disobedience to the moral evils of a secular régime.

    How do you think the Christ was being “obedient” to “church authorities” when He chased the moneylenders from the Temple, and was eventually sentenced to death by those same authorities for blasphemy ???

  • JabbaPapa

    Slander.

    Your protestantism-informed notions do not constitute any form of Catholic orthodoxy.

  • Ogard

    (in continuation to what is published further down)… Nor did I say that “LG 25 define infallibility”. The principal reason why I referred to this number is in LG 25/2, where in the first sentence there is a description of infallibillity of the UOM, which instead of being “pretty much exactly what” you have “been saying” is what you have been denying all the time accusing me that I follow rebelious teaching of Fr. Kung…

    This passage elaborates what Bishop Martin, in official capacity, explained at V1 (see my earlier account), and which that council refers to in the phrase “by her ordinary and universal magisterium” in DS 3011. You also have it in Can. 750.

    The relevant section of LG 25/2 reads: “… individual bishops… proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though (2)dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of (1)communion among
    themselves and with the successor of Peter, and (4)authentically (3)teaching matters
    of (5)faith and morals, they are in (5)agreement on one position as (6)definitively to be
    held”.

    You have it also in Can. 749, para 2, second part.

    The numbers in the above quote are mine, and I have put them in to show that conditions correspond to what I summarized earlier. Actually there are seven, but I overooked at the time my repetition of 5. Ford/Grisez have condensed it into four, putting together what have split;  and Kung has also made four but somewhat differently; but all are listing everything.

    So, on your account, V1, V2 and Canon Low have adopted the rebelious doctrine of Kung.

    Infallibiliity is the impossibility of falling into error” (L.Ott p. 297) – I quoted this earlier.
    I did not use the word “inerrancy”, because it is usually referred to the Bible, not to the Magisterium, although the infallibility and innerancy are closely related. The main point is that when a docrine has been proposed infallibly, it is true, and can’t be revoked.

    It demands assent of Faith, as different from doctrines which are not proposed infallibly and demand “religious assent”; and different from ruling (Canon Law, other regulations) which demand obediance.