How Is The Church Guided?


#1

In the early stages of Vatican II, a pontifical commission was established to study contraception. Membership consisted of 6 men, a one-sided way to study sex.

When the commission met the second time, there were 13 members, later increased to 15. Still all male.

Things changed at the 4th meeting in 1965. Membership jumped to 58 of which 34 were laity including 5 women. The final vote was 9 bishops of 12 (3 abstentions),15 of 19 theologians and 30 of remaining 35 members voted to change church teaching on contraception.

Paul VI ignored their advice. Humanae Vitae was a disaster.

We Catholics believe that church decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit, but how? Does the Holy Spirit speak only to the magesterium, or even only to the pope or does God act through the sense of all the faithful? The deliberations on birth control illustrates the consequences of a narrow outlook.


#2

Actually the decision of Paul VI to go against the recommendation of the commission is a perfect example of the Holy Spirit Guiding the Church.

Remember that the sensus fidei includes and cannot be against the Pope just as the Pope in his decisions cannot go against the whole of the Bishops. It is through the Magisterium that the Holy Spirit Guides the Church and it is in the person of the Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ that the gift of infalability is given in matters of faith and morals so that the harmony of orthodoxy can be maintained. As lay faithful it is our duty and responsibility to be obedient to the Magisterium as is our call as Catholics.


#3

[quote=gksaoh]In the early stages of Vatican II, a pontifical commission was established to study contraception. Membership consisted of 6 men, a one-sided way to study sex.

When the commission met the second time, there were 13 members, later increased to 15. Still all male.

Things changed at the 4th meeting in 1965. Membership jumped to 58 of which 34 were laity including 5 women. The final vote was 9 bishops of 12 (3 abstentions),15 of 19 theologians and 30 of remaining 35 members voted to change church teaching on contraception.

Paul VI ignored their advice. Humanae Vitae was a disaster.

We Catholics believe that church decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit, but how? Does the Holy Spirit speak only to the magesterium, or even only to the pope or does God act through the sense of all the faithful? The deliberations on birth control illustrates the consequences of a narrow outlook.
[/quote]

Only the Pope, and bishops in union with him, may speak infallibly on issues of faith and morals. While Holy Spirit does speak to the rest of us we have no guarantee we will understand and transmit the truth the way the Pope and bishops in union with him will transmit the truth.

The Humanae Vitae issue is a perfect example of the HS guiding the Church. While many, if not most, reject the HS teaching the Pope did not.


#4

[quote=gksaoh] Paul VI ignored their advice. Humanae Vitae was a disaster.

[/quote]

Huh? A disaster? Have you read Humanae Vitae? Man! If ever there was an example of a prophetic document, an inspired document, HV is it. Paul contravened all the smart money of his time – and history is bearing out the truth of his predictions.

BTW, it is said that an energetic and brilliant young bishop named Wojtyla played a large part in drafting that encylical.


#5

Please help me understand your point. The Pope cannot teach error. If most of the bishops in the world decided that contraception was ok, the pope would not go along with it. The Pope , and bishops in union with him, are the teaching authority.


#6

[quote=gksaoh]Things changed at the 4th meeting in 1965. Membership jumped to 58 of which 34 were laity including 5 women. The final vote was 9 bishops of 12 (3 abstentions),15 of 19 theologians and 30 of remaining 35 members voted to change church teaching on contraception.
[/quote]

Well, Truth is not determined by the majority.

Paul VI ignored their advice.

Yep, always best to ignore the advice of men when it conflicts with the advice of the Holy Spirit.

Humanae Vitae was a disaster.

It’s only a disaster because so many Catholics have chosen to ignore it. The encyclical itself is an amazing piece of writing.

We Catholics believe that church decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit, but how? Does the Holy Spirit speak only to the magesterium, or even only to the pope or does God act through the sense of all the faithful?

Nope, just the Magesterium. Protestants think like you’re trying to do and that’s why you see them coming up with countless different “truths.”

The deliberations on birth control illustrates the consequences of a narrow outlook.

Yep, the consequence is staying the narrow path being lit by Christ. To be open minded once you have the Truth is quite a foolish endeavor indeed.

“Anyone who is so progressive as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.” (NAB 2 John 9)


#7

[quote=fix]Please help me understand your point. The Pope cannot teach error. If most of the bishops in the world decided that contraception was ok, the pope would not go along with it. The Pope , and bishops in union with him, are the teaching authority.
[/quote]

Very good question. The Dogma of the infalabilty of the magisterium (Ordinary and Extraordinary) requires that the Pope act in union with the Bishops and likewise the Bishops cannot act without the Pope. If this were so it would violate the sensus fidei. Also, percision in language here is necessary. I am not speaking about truth by vote which is what I think you may see in my post. The statement, “If most of the bishops in th world decided that contraception was ok, the pope would not go along with it” is correct. What would be recessary is that all the bishops beleive one thing and the pope believes another. This situation is only theological possibility and in practical use is irrelavent. However, to pose the question, if all the Bishops were against the Pope after he declared something then it would be too late. This is why the pope confers with his brother Bishops when he is going to promulgate something ex cathedra. But, taking the specific case of Humanae Vitae there was a division among the bishops as to what was to be considered correct. The pope using his authority made it clear after due deliberation and investigation on the subject. One could think of the pope in this matter as Judge Wopner as in that he is the final and unchangable arbitor of issues that may be in question and all the Bishops and faithful bind themselves by virtue of their Baptisimal vows to obey this decrees.


#8

[quote=mosher]I\ What would be recessary is that all the bishops beleive one thing and the pope believes another. This situation is only theological possibility and in practical use is irrelavent.
[/quote]

I am not sure of what you mean. Could you give an example?


#9

[quote=fix]I am not sure of what you mean. Could you give an example?
[/quote]

No I can’t give you an example because it has never happened. Like I said it is only a Theological Possibility but in practical use it is irrelavent because the likelihood of every single Bishop in the world being against the Pope is absurd.


#10

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