Interesting question. Free will certainly has its limitations, and that is one of the principles I think ought to be used to address this question.
For example, we are not able to use our free will to shoot lasers out of our eyes. Another example is that we are not able to use our free will to erase our own souls, and I think that counts as something really evil that God won’t let us use our free will to do.
But I don’t think God prevents such actions out of horror of how disturbing they are. God is not a man. When men and women imagine up certain horrifying acts, we are emotionally disturbed, and God is not. He permits the most horrifying acts we can imagine because He knows, even if we do not, that there is some greater good involved in permitting it.
Human beings have an in-built survival instinct, which can be viewed as a hindrance to our free will. It makes it very difficult for us to commit suicide. Suicidal people are often forced devise ways to weaken or short circuit this instinct in order to carry out the act.
And it is because of our free will that some people can choose to devise ways to weaken or short circuit that instinct, or to choose against it.
I agree with 1ke. Having a free will is part of being human and if God would suspend our free will, even for a time, He would have denied us our full humanity and temporarily “robotized” us.
That doesn’t mean that He cannot work to help us and influence the choices we make by bringing people,events, or situations into our lives that may aid our decision making. But our choices are still made by us freely.
I don’t think so. I think that your free will is conditioned on the circumstances in which you find yourself. For example, if you are born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and your parents are making $30 a month, I doubt that you would be able to go and live in Tokyo Japan without any money or support even though you might freely will to do so.
The evil and self-destructive act we can choose it to go to hell - - absolute self-destruction and the embracing of emptiness for eternity. God allows us to use our freewill to choose the greatest evil possible.
Free will does not mean that you could do whatever you want to and God will be there to help.
It means that you have FREE WILL to choose; usually referring to a moral choice but it could be a temporal choice too; such as which job to accept because you feel it is more in line with your christian beliefs.
You should do a study on this, if you haven’t already done so. It’s important.
My 2 cents worth is that we relatively seldom have the capacity to engage our free will. Satan has the world under a strong spell that limits free will, but there exists critical moments where God tests us by allowing free will.
Grace can be divided into two types: prevenient grace and subsequent grace. In prevenient grace, God acts without our consent or cooperation. He gives grace to our mind and will, to allow our minds to understand transcendent truths, and our will to be truly free. You cannot refuse to cooperate with prevenient grace; it is God operating, not cooperating.
In subsequent grace, we are offered graces from God, and we can freely choose to accept or reject those graces.
The worst sinners in the world, hardened unrepentant sinners, as well as the holiest Saints and everyone in-between, all receive prevenient grace. Even the Virgin Mary received prevenient graces, which were not subject to her cooperation.
I think you have confounded free will with freedom. They are not the same. The Pope is absolutely free to will any change, orthodox or not. However he is not free to implement that will if it would be to teach error.
I don’t feel comfortable commenting on this too much because we don’t know what is going to happen. But yes, though maybe not rising to the level of infallibility, my faith is shaken by what could happen. I just have to trust it will not. Should the Church prove false I would be devastated. But I have to trust it will not ever be proven false. It has not yet. And we have been through closer calls to destroying sacraments than this…
My personal view is that if the Church permitted divorced and remarrieds to receive the Eucharist that the Church would be proven false to me personally. But it would be argued that it is merely a practice and does not rise to the level of infallible teaching. However, the defacto eradication of marriage and the obvious contradiction to Jesus own words along with the desecration of His Body and Blood would be enough for me to conclude the Church had failed in His promise to us.
In short if the Church herself allowed the sacrament of marriage and the sacrament of the Eucharist to be substantially changed or allowed sacrilege of the most precious Body and Blood to happen on purpose and with permission, then I would not be able to accept that.
The mere fact that this is debated at all publicly as if it were some sort of majority committee on Doctrine is enough to have caused me to stumble in my faith.
But hopefully this will be a media fabrication and attempt to change the Church and it will fail. Hopefully all the hand wringing will be for naught. And perhaps the next pope could learn from the manipulation that Francis has had thought the media.