Usccb

No money at all for any purpose?

All of these issue are well connected to matters of faith and morals. “Love thy neighbor” is relevant to all of them.

Ultimately the Bishops are making prudential judgements about what actions are or are not best aligned with this exhortation. Such judgements are not binding on you, but it would be appropriate to assume the Bishops are not routinely wrong in such judgements.

A relevant piece of information for sure. But the debate is about whether/how that applies to the breadth of actual episcopal utterances.

“Love thy neighbor” in some cases is very clear. If your neighbor has a different viewpoint from you, and you respond by threatening him or beating him or calling him nasty names, then obviously that’s not loving your neighbor. Many of the issues presented by topics like climate change or immigration are not as clear-cut as all that, and I think everyone here is aware of it.

Like I said, it’s good to thoughtfully reflect on what the bishops say on these types of matters, and take it under advisement, and be respectful of their opinion that they likely thought about for a long time. But in the end, if you have a good faith disagreement with the bishops over something like climate change, that has a tenuous connection to church teaching and a scientific background that is still evolving, I doubt that it is sinful or disrespectful to hold a different view. It is also not a “loving” act for other Catholics to tell a Catholic that, on a matter not clearly involving a church doctrine, she needs to go along with what the bishops say because canon law requires that she agree.

Episcopal conferences enjoy binding power in some matters (fasts, age of marriage, days of obligation, etc.). Their prudential application of general principles of faith and morals (immigration, capital punishment, climate change, etc.) require respectful attention and consideration, but they are not binding in conscience, except inasmuch as they are not prudential but plainly apply principles directly to their proper matter (partial birth abortion is illegitimate law, etc.).

I base this analysis on Cdl. Ratzinger’s famous statement on Catholics and political life, where he said people could disagree with the Holy Father on using capital punishment, going to war, etc., but not abortion, etc.

The laity are commanded to be docile, not debate.

A bizarre interpretation. The episcopate have authority in a limited context.

Right. And it’s the “not clear cut” where reasoned advice ought to be most valuable.

…But in the end, if you have a good faith disagreement with the bishops over something like climate change, that has a tenuous connection to church teaching and a scientific background that is still evolving, I doubt that it is sinful or disrespectful to hold a different view.

To be clear, the Bishops are not teaching the science pertaining to climate change. They are taking as a premise [and here they could be mistaken] that it is happening in large part in ways attributable to man. Given that backdrop, they are teaching on our duty to be good stewards of the earth. The latter is not really disputable. The particular lengths to which one might need to go, to that end, is a matter of judgement, so feel free to form your own view on that.

It is also not a “loving” act for other Catholics to tell a Catholic that, on a matter not clearly involving a church doctrine, she needs to go along with what the bishops say because canon law requires that she agree.

I’m not sure what precise instance your refer to here, but I repeat my earlier statement that all these matters (whether or not “clear cut”) do involve Church doctrine.

If you read back my posts, I have said (I think repeatedly) that I am fine with being a good steward of the earth, that I recycle, try not to waste water or other things, even pick up other people’s trash, try not to use Roundup to kill weeds, turn off lights when I leave the room, et cetera, et cetera. No one is debating the general concept of “be a good steward” any more than one is debating “love thy neighbor”. I also don’t even need a bevy of Bishops to tell me to do that - it’s something any kind, thinking person trying to follow Christ would do, and the more so if they grew up during the ecology movement and the energy crisis, like I did.

Having said that, I also noted that climate change has become a political football and I don’t like that and it has turned me off to most pronouncements about the subject for the time being.

The OP, if you read her initial posts, said that she was basically being bullied by other people who told her that she had to agree (somehow; not clear even what she was disagreeing with) with bishops’ letters on things like climate change because canon law required it. That is the particular instance I am referring to.

Another poster has noted, correctly, that the bishops’ pronouncements on matters like this do not have binding power. So nobody is violating any canon law if they read the bishops’ climate change letter and make a thoughtful decisionn themselves on how to proceed that may not be exactly what the bishops wrote or had in mind. This does not necessarily mean running out and being a “bad steward” to the earth. Reasonable minds differ on the responses to these complex problems. It is possible to disagree with the bishops without repudiating the principle they’re trying to address.

In any event, I think at this point I am repeating myself (and have done so several times over), so my point should be clear, and I will depart the thread. Peace.

No, the bishops have all authority.

The laity have none.

While you say that, we live on a planet that we have mightily polluted for many, many decades and in times, man did so without giving a second thought to it. And many people continue to do so without giving a second thought to it. Not all are as ecologically sensitive as you perhaps.

The OP, if you read her initial posts, said that she was basically being bullied by other people who told her that she had to agree (somehow; not clear even what she was disagreeing with) with bishops’ letters on things like climate change because canon law required it. That is the particular instance I am referring to.

And this is the very matter that I and others have sought to clarify.

Another poster has noted, correctly, that the bishops’ pronouncements on matters like this do not have binding power.

That depends of course on what you think they are saying or advocating. And note that it is not “documents” that have such a status, which is the problem with the OP’s post. “May we disagree with the Bishops’ letter?” presumes the letter as a whole can be pigeon-holed as “binding” or “not binding”. You have to look within.

In any event, I think at this point I am repeating myself

That could be, and though you have responded to a number of my posts, you don’t actually appear to disagree with or reject anything I’ve said. :slight_smile:

On matters within their purview, and subject to the usual constraints of justice.

Should a bishop exercise his authority in a manner so as to conceal a serious crime, would you oppose that bishop? Or would you feel obliged to be “docile”?

I would pray for the grace not to imagine such horrible things about the pastors God has put in authority over the Church.

Too late… :blush:

"For this reason no one has excuse to say, “I am doing no harm, nor am I rebelling against holy Church. I am simply acting against the sins of evil pastors.” Such persons are deluded, blinded as they are by their own selfishness. They see well enough, but they pretend not to see so as to blunt the pricking of conscience. If they would look, they could see that they are persecuting not these ministers, but the Blood. It is Me they assault, just as it was Me they reverenced. To Me redounds every assault they make on My ministers: derision, slander, disgrace, abuse.

“Whatever is done to them I count as done to Me. For I have said and I say it again: No one is to touch My Christs. It is My right to punish them, and no one else’s.”

Dialogue 116, Saint Catherine of Siena

4kingdoms.com/dialogue_of_st_catherine_of_Siena_chapter_14_newest.pdf

Yet Catherine of Siena opposed the pope’s decision to move to Avingion.

I suggest you will not find a Bishop or indeed a Priest on the planet that takes the “Catherine of Siena defence” if/when charged with a crime. Moreover, there is not a Bishop or a Priest on the planet who asserts they ought not be punished under the law for breaches of the law.

What I can’t handle is politics in a homily. If a priest consistently engages in such practices I am out of there. I already get enough of that sort of discourse outside the church and go to mass for schooling in my faith and worship, not who the pastor thinks is a bad or good politician.

Game, set, match.

One must read private revelation through the lenses of public revelation and the life of the recipient himself/herself!

Saint Catherine of Siena never criticized the Pope publicly. She always wrote her concerns to the Pope, respectfully and in private.

Publicly she commanded absolute obedience to the Pope:

“For divine obedience never prevents us from obedience to the Holy Father: nay, the more perfect the one, the more perfect is the other. And we ought always to be subject to his commands and obedient unto death. However indiscreet obedience to him might seem, and however it should deprive us of mental peace and consolation, we ought to obey; and I consider that to do the opposite is a great imperfection, and deceit of the devil.”

drawnbylove.com/Scudder%20letters.htm

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