A great sermon on the Papacy

audiosancto.org/sermon/20131027-The-Vicar-of-Christ-the-King-True-Devotion-to-the-Pope.html

The summary:

We are passing through a difficult moment in the Church Militant’s pilgrimage through time. The voices of the King’s ambassadors and vicars have not harmonized with that of their most sovereign Lord and King. As a result the trumpet is not sounding clearly… leading the faithful to stop fighting the world, the flesh and the devil and fight each other instead. At such times the Church Militant becomes the Church Suffering! It is an awesome task to be a Prelate of the Church… an ambassador or Vicar of the King. What they say can rally the soldiers of Christ and lead to great victories. Similarly, if what they say is not in harmony with the King’s voice, they can also initiate a painful Passion for the Church. The Church Militant must fight… if we do not fight the enemy, we will fight each other! We are in one of those times. Fr. Fredrick Faber in his sermon on Devotion to the Pope provides much guidance and wisdom on what to do in difficult times like these. We must be sensitive to the Holy See and love the Papacy because devotion to the Pope is indispensable for Catholic piety. This time is a test… let us pass it by not damaging or even losing our faith in trying to defend our faith.

Spot on!!!

very good sermon.It calls each and every one of us to take our responsibilities as members of the Church, to be loyal to the pope and and strengthen the Church Militant.:slight_smile:

Yes and lest we forget, also to resist anything that the Pope might say which is contrary to tradition.

The Pope can dispense with 't’radition whenever he feels it appropriate.

If the Pope actually did do or say something contrary to Sacred 'T’radition, then yes, one would be obligated to not follow. But when has that happened in the past few centuries?

Yes and No. The Pope cannot just invert tradition as he pleases. Some traditions he indeed can change but some traditions are imprudent for even the Pope to change.

So if the Pope were to suddenly say tomorrow that he wants to dispense with all traditions of the Church and start with just pure doctrine, the faithful can resist that. In fact, it would be the sensible thing to do?

Yes he can.

Again. The Sacred 'T’raditions of the Church are immutably dogmatic, and cannot be changed even by the Supreme Pontiff. The Holy Spirit protects the Pope from doing such a thing.

't’raditions, no matter how ancient or commendable, can in fact be dispensed by the Supreme Pontiff, even for arbitrary or factually dubious reasons. If the Pope says, for example, “we will no longer have the red candle to indicate the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the color will henceforth be blue”, then one is disobeying and thus sinning if he were to dissent from this.

Now, there is such a thing as faithful dissent; if this change were to happen, you could certainly write a letter to the Pope begging him to retract his decision, or at the very least, to leave the older tradition as an option. But, it would be sinful if you were to say, “I disobey, the Holy Father has erred in doing this and I will fight his decision”.

If you mean the freedom of the will, yes he can. But if he does, there is no guarantee that it is good, prudent, or of benefit.

Given that a certain act he chooses to do is either imprudent, lacks any benefit, confuses, and is also contrary to tradition, one can then decide to resist it and even have an obligation to do so.

Too bad. Disobedience of one’s superior (and the Pope is the Supreme Pontiff of the Church) is sinful, except in cases where one is directly ordered to do something blatantly sinful, which is not what we are discussing at the moment.

If you only obey your superior when you agree with him, it’s not your superior you are following but yourself.

So maybe you can help me. Are you saying that one must always obey ones superior? When would you, if ever, disobey the Pope?

Notice that I did not also say I disagree with my superior based on my own personal preference. I disagree because he himself is in disagreement with what past superiors with his own level of authority have said as good and prudent. In fact, it would seem that there is a contradiction and adoption of what these past superiors said to be bad, imprudent or outright dangerous.

I would disobey the Pope if he ordered what was obviously sinful. Exercising his lawful authority does not fall under this umbrella, even if I think he is doing something wrong.

Notice that I did not also say I disagree with my superior based on my own personal preference. I disagree because he himself is in disagreement with what superiors with his own authority have said as good and prudent.

That is not for you to judge. It is possible that the previous Popes were in error themselves. Even if that weren’t the case, you are still bound to obey your current lawful superior.

Popes cannot bind future Popes except by exercising the charism of infallibility, which then would count under Sacred 'T’radition.

It is sinful to act imprudently. How would you tackle that?

Where does that law come from? How can two authorities disagree on what is the right thing to do? If they do disagree, what authority do they have to reject the other authority before them?

I am not speaking of Tradition here but tradition. Popes cannot bind future Popes, I agree with you. BUT, when a Pope makes a decision, I assume its meant to be a reflection of the truth. In other words, and objective decision. So this truth cannot change from Pope to Pope.

So if a Pope in 500 AD determined that a certain act was imprudent and unacceptable, it was also held the same way for 1500 years, and then a Pope wants to change it, there is a problem.

The question is not one of binding or loosening. It is one regarding the objective facts. It is more likely that the view held for 1500 years is correct than the one that is proposed now. This has nothing to do with binding but plain old reasoning.

The only way it is possible to hold your view, at least to me, is to assume that none of the prudent decisions or judgements by any Pope (including this one and the ones in the future) are grounded on any objective facts. If that is the case, then indeed there is no need to stress out when a Pope decides to change the way he does things. BUT, if that were truly the case, then the Popes are just people who make arbitrary decisions based on their preference. None of the laws they make or even the decisions they make are worthy of being respected because they are just arbitrary.

Is that what you are saying here?

It’s not imprudent to obey your lawful superior on matters you disagree with him on. Again, you can PERSONALLY OPINE that he is doing the wrong thing, but if you do not acknowledge his authority even when you disagree with him, then you are following yourself, not him.

Where does that law come from? How can two authorities disagree on what is the right thing to do? If they do disagree, what authority do they have to reject the other authority before them?

Their authority does not bind each other. The only supreme authority is the currently reigning Bishop of Rome. Legislation that was passed by former Popes are still validly in force until they expire or are dispensed with, which is why there is continuity between Papacies, but everything – canon law, liturgical rubrics, etc. (except for the Holy Scriptures and infallible decrees of other Popes and ecumenical councils) – is subject to alteration or termination by the current Pope.

Your question is how they can disagree with each other; it’s because they’re not infallible in all matters. Or perhaps something which was timely during Pope X’s reign is no longer timely during Pope Y’s reign, which means the matter has substantially changed between Papacies.

I am not speaking of Tradition here but tradition. Popes cannot bind future Popes, I agree with you. BUT, when a Pope makes a decision, I assume its meant to be a reflection of the truth. In other words, and objective decision. So this truth cannot change from Pope to Pope.

't’raditions only reflect the truth, they are not The Truth in and of themselves. It is not imperative to your salvation that the color of the tabernacle candle is the same as it was a thousand years ago.

So if a Pope in 500 AD determined that a certain act was imprudent and unacceptable, it was also held the same way for 1500 years, and then a Pope wants to change it, there is a problem.

Perhaps the first Pope was in error, or the matter has changed over time for some reason. It makes no difference. If the proclamation wasn’t made infallibly, then it is fallible, which means it is mutable.

The question is not one of binding or loosening. It is one regarding the objective facts. It is more likely that the view held for 1500 years is correct than the one that is proposed now. This has nothing to do with binding but plain old reasoning.

Not necessarily? 1500 years ago we didn’t know the physical age of the Earth. We didn’t have mass public education so that people can read the Bible or Missals on their own. During Trent, it was decided that it was not the time to introduce vernacular into the liturgy – not because it was an objectively and immutably bad idea, but because it was imprudent due to the quibbles over specific terminology that could be distorted in the vernacular. The same wasn’t true in 1965, hence why the Second Vatican Council allowed the vernacular that was previously largely prohibited.

Look, this is where our disagreement lies. So lets discuss that instead of trying point fingers at me as being anti authority.

My point is not that a Pope before him has bound the Pope legislatively. I am saying that the Pope before has either looked at a situation and based his decision on facts or that he has not.

Now if the previous Pope has done so, then me or you can still use these facts to evaluate if things have changed. In other words, it is an objective decision. If a Pope today were to say I am changing it, then we can still look at that situation and decide if that is reasonable.

In doing so, we do not follow our own authority. That is a stretch. It is merely following the authority of the previous Popes. Since the new Pope does not have greater authority than the previous Popes, it makes reasonable sense to do that.

Now can you help me understand your side?

Suppose you’re in a war. Your general tell you, “defend this hill. We need to hold it.” So you dutifully fortify the hill. The war goes on for a bit, and now the enemy army has moved considerably away and no longer threatens your hill. But the general that gave you the order was killed in action, so your new officer tells you “we don’t need the hill anymore. Regroup here.”

Only a madman would say, “but our previous general knew the situation, so I’m going to follow his order and not yours.”

That’s what you’re doing; you’re telling the current officer that you received an order and you won’t follow any orders that contradict it. He’s not telling you to draw a square circle (which would contradict the immutable Truth), and he’s not telling you to kill your squadmates (blatantly sinful). He’s practically addressing the situation and binding you under his authority. You can tell the current general that he’s being imprudent and you disagree with him, but you’re still committing an act of mutiny if you don’t follow the order.

Ancient Popes said the liturgy shouldn’t be in the vernacular. Great. That’s OK. That’s even binding to some extent until the currently reigning Pope abrogates that. That’s why he’s in charge, and our authority isn’t old history chronicles of what previous Popes did, which is ultimately just a more sophisticated form of Sola scriptura.

Ok first, lets get somethings out of the way. I am not speaking here of the Liturgy. Though I do think the changes in the liturgy could have been handled better and there need not be such a drastic difference between the vernacular version and the original Latin form. But that is not really important here.

My point is the following. Assume that there is a set of books and guidelines issued (protocols) that if one were to capture the hill, one must hold it and the reasons for such a protocol and the dangers that take place without it are outlined.

Now assume that the general dies and a new general changes the protocol. You as a soldier can then evaluate whether those reasons given earlier are no longer valid. Admittedly if you had no prior decision in history, you must obey right away. But given that there was a different protocol before, you can and perhaps should always check. Now upon looking, you can see if the dangers are valid. The reason why you can do so is because these were not supernatural truths (faith and morals). There are decisions based on objective and empirical facts. So given what you see, you can then conclude if the new general is being reckless or not.

But once and if you see that the decision is reckless, it is no longer clear that you should just obey him. Right?

That’s the thing: no you can’t! Even if you’re a strategic genius, even if you’re much more competent than the general himself, that’s not for you to decide. You’re not the general. The whole chain of command makes absolutely no sense if that’s the case.

But once and if you see that the decision is reckless, it is no longer clear that you should just obey him. Right?

No! Ask anybody in the armed forces what they think of that and I’m sure you’re going to hear a much different answer than you’re expecting.

Just like you have to obey your officer’s orders even if you disagree with them, you must obey your Pontiff even if you think he’s wrong (unless [a] he orders blatant sin or ** he attempts to contradict the infallible dogmatic Truth). Otherwise you’re not accepting the Pontiff as your authority, YOU are the authority. Even if you’re justifying that by saying you’re following the commands of an older general/Pontiff, you’ve shunned the authority of the guy in charge in favor of past orders that are no longer valid.**

I am not sure I understand. What is the basis for saying I cannot? For to say so suggests that I must act contrary to the truth. Because all such decisions are based on empirical facts and standards, I can arrive a the truth of the decision independently. If I can evaluate the facts and see the action to be reckless, are you saying I must still go along with it?

That is because the ones under the general are always considered to not have the required information during war. It is also a very quick decision that cannot be explained to others before heading off to combat. Analogies are great but there is a point where they fail to convey the exact problem. This is where that limitation arises here with the war analogy.

In our current lives, we can evaluate decisions made by pontiffs and some can educate themselves of the reasons for making such decisions and then evaluate them. Surely, once you know a decisions is bad, you cannot just obey?

So if you like the war analogy, lets make a slight amendment to it so that time and knowing are possible. In such a case, if a general commands to bomb a village and you have now come to know that the village only as civilians and no actual enemy combatant targets, you cannot just obey?

Then there’s no such thing as authority, is there? The only thing that matters is your interpretations and beliefs, and your conscience. This is Protestantism: there’s no authority but God and so you can read the Bible however you think it’s right.

In our current lives, we can evaluate decisions made by pontiffs and some can educate themselves of the reasons for making such decisions and then evaluate them. Surely, once you know a decisions is bad, you cannot just obey?

Not only can you, but you must. Because YOU cannot be the judge if it’s a prudential decision. St. Jerome didn’t think the deuterocanon was inspired by God, but he still bent to the authority of Pope Damasus; that’s the model of obedience that Christians must follow. God gave us a Pontiff, and we must obey, even if we think differently.

For an example, if a general commands to bomb a village and you have now come to know that the village only as civilians and no actual enemy combatant targets, you cannot just obey?

That would fall under blatant sin.

No. See, you are not listening to me and instead painting me up as either anti-authoritarian or Protestant.

You are forgetting that I am already basing my reasoning, in resisting in the examples I gave, on previous decisions and protocols by men of same authority. So it is not correct to just say I am Protestant.

I am also speaking of decisions rather than teachings on faith and morals. The decisions are based on objective data that is available to anyone. Now if I were resisting the teaching authority, you would be correct to conclude me as Protestant. But I am not. So even if you want to attack me as pseudo-Catholic, you have to stop calling me names or categorizing me in these groups.

That is because the decision in the case of St. Jerome was not a matter of prudence. It was a matter of teaching on faith. Even if I was St. Jerome, I would not have ground to disagree with the Pope.

But in the case of a decision, that is different. The matter is not based on supernatural facts that are yet unknown to man. Even the Pope has to base his decisions on the teachings of faith and morals that exist and the empirical facts available to him.

For disobeying to bomb the village?

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