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David W • 2 years ago

So the Pope is saying nothing different than the Church has always said. But some people are of the opinion that the Church is in error because she will not change her teaching. But if the Church believe that this teaching is from God and therefore she has no authority to change His teaching, perhaps the quarrel they have is not with the Church, but with God.

Neighbor in Illinois • 2 years ago

No, it will be like the teaching on usury, democratic governance, artificial contraception. It will be ignored and then it will wither.

Guest • 2 years ago
jwelhwel • 2 years ago

How many Catholics of child bearing age do you know who do not usesome form of artificial birth birth? These would all be "relevant" and not in the aging category!

David W • 2 years ago

In logic we call this the "appeal to ignorance" fallacy. Basically one argues that because one is not aware of A, Not-A must be true.

Mike A • 2 years ago

Your entire argument is circular: It is predicated on the logical fallacy of ‘appeal to authority.’ Your argument reduces to “The teaching is true because the church says so.” This allows you -- it requires you -- to dismiss the contributions of history, theology, biblical studies, and the empirical sciences to our understanding of human sexuality. It also requires you to ignore the experience, reflection, and witness of gay persons and their families.

I think it best for you to avoid invoking logic in service of your argument. Your argument is profoundly dishonest and, as a matter of logic, radically flawed.

David W • 2 years ago

That would be false. I say the Church has authority because Christ says so. Time to ask yourself. Is Christ merely a man? Or is He God? If you recognize Christ is God and the Catholic Church is His Church, then what it teaches has His authority. But if you deny that Jesus is God or that the Catholic Church is His Church, then it doesn't matter what it says.

It's time for people to ask why they profess to be Christians and why they profess to be Catholic.

Mike A • 2 years ago

On December 6, 1965, the teaching of the Catholic Church was that “error has no rights”, and that the concepts of religious freedom and freedom of conscience were “anathema.” On December 7, 1965, Pope Paul promulgated the Council’s Document on Religious Liberty, affirming that ideas don’t have rights, but people do -- and that among the rights that flow from the dignity of the human person (the very name of the document, by the way: ‘Dignitatis humanae’) are the rights to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

If you are not familiar with the older teaching or the documents of the magisterium in which they are found, you are really not equipped to discuss this issue. It is intellectually dishonest to claim that the church has not changed its teaching and theologically and logically untenable to claim that it cannot.

David W • 2 years ago

I am quite familiar with documents old and new, and DH was saying the same thing in a new way. Just as Pope Francis (remember when this discussion was about him?) says the same things in a new way.

Mike A • 2 years ago

>> DH was saying the same thing in a new way. <<

Dignitatis Humanae affirmed precisely the propositions about religious freedom and freedom of conscience that the older teaching condemned. It is nonsense to say that DH said the same thing. And it is dishonest. The preposterous claim that the church cannot and does not change its teaching forces its proponents into that intellectual dishonesty. You may as well argue that black is white and up is down.

In a footnote in the Abbot edition of the Documents of Vatican II, John Courtney Murray (the principal author of DH) comments on this dramatic change. He says that it would remain for future theologians to discern a continuity between the old teaching and the new. Of course, since the new teaching simply reverses the old, no-one has shown the continuity -- because there is none. (The Abbot edition of the documents is no longer in print, but it is available as an ebook from America Media.)

David W • 2 years ago

You're comparing Apples to oranges here

Mike A • 2 years ago

I'm not comparing anything to anything. I demonstrated that the church can and does change its teaching, and I pointed to the reversal of the older teaching which "anathematized" the concepts of freedom of conscience and religious liberty to make my point. You've been defending an indefensible proposition, and I think you know it -- you've been reduced to this vacuous assertion about apples and oranges.

I noticed that the link to this article is no longer on the NCR home page. I'm thinking that few people are still reading it. I wonder if in the semi-private discussion we're having you would be willing to acknowledge that you have found it difficult, even uncomfortable, to sustain your position that the church cannot and does not change its teaching. My question is this: What happens if you do acknowledge the irrefutable fact that church teaching can and does change? Have you really staked your faith on a proposition that is demonstrably false?

Mike A • 2 years ago

That's an intellectually dishonest response to the historical fact that the church can and does change its teaching and has done so many times.

Margie • 2 years ago

How many aging people are now using contraception? A lot of the African and Asian women not using it are dying.

Neighbor in Illinois • 2 years ago

Actually, I teach high school students in a Catholic school, and my perceptions are quite different.

David W • 2 years ago

If you teach them what you profess here, I pray for them. But it seems orthodoxy is growing.

colkoch • 2 years ago

It isn't. It just seems to be growing in your filtered mind.

David W • 2 years ago

So you say. But even the Pope that people put their hopes in to "change teaching" is saying the same things his predecessors say. So whose mind is filtered now?

colkoch • 2 years ago

Not mine David. I stated after six months of Pope Francis there would be no change in teaching and that this would eventually undermine his entire papacy amongst first world Catholics. Francis can not keep asking for a change of heart when the core teachings are often heartless.

BROhthor • 2 years ago

Yet, it is - by most any standard - far too early to tell what this papacy will and won't do. There is so much yet to unfold, I sort of cringe when statements of such finality are made. I urge a wait-and-see approach. We have even yet to hear what reforms of the curia are, but it seems they will come fairly soon.

BROhthor • 2 years ago

It is called "wish fulfillment." Characteristic of the thinking used by very young children in looking for "magical" solutions and answers to problems.

Mike A • 2 years ago

On the other hand, if the teaching is wrong, then it is not from God and the church can, should and must change it -- and the claim that it cannot change it is nothing more, and nothing less, and nothing other than a manifestation of the sin of pride. The claim that the church cannot change its teaching is not a claim about God; it is a claim of and about human beings who are trying desperately to cling to power and control over other human beings.

David W • 2 years ago

If the Church can teach error, then she is not the Church established by Christ in the first place and she has no authority to teach anything.

Mike A • 2 years ago

To further this discussion, would you be willing to take a one question, True/False quiz? Of course, you don’t have to participate, but if you do, I ask you to provide a clear, unambiguous response: True or False. Obviously, ou may explain or expand your answer as you see fit, but please answer the question unambiguously:

In 1965, the Catholic Church changed its teaching on freedom of conscience and religious liberty.

True or False?

1LittleBear • 2 years ago

The Holy Spirit came to enlighten all. But the Holy Spirit does not FORCE anyone [including the leadership] to ACCEPT enlightenment.
God doesn't force anybody to do anything. Our church's history is filled with examples when it taught plenty of error. And what is more, it enforced it.

David W • 2 years ago

So, you deny that God protects His Church? Why be a Catholic then?

1LittleBear • 2 years ago

God cares for everyone! And I'm not a Catholic because I believe that God PROTECTS the Church. Christians died as martyrs in the past and do so today.

The dedication is to God and how Christ taught and demonstrated for us to love God and neighbor. It is not a task for shivering, shaking cowards.

Truth is discovered, bit by bit----and mistakes are often made. But one has to take a chance----just as Jesus taught in his parable of the servants given money by their master---who left for a long time. On his return---he demanded an accounting. The two servants, who took chances and invested the money, so that it would make more [and it did] were praised and put in charge of more. The last servant, was too afraid to do anything---he didn't take any chances---hid the money and returned the single coin to his master. He was rebuked and what he had was taken away and given to the first servant.

We are not Catholic/Christians to be huddling under bushel baskets afraid to move, to act, to grow---even if it means possibly making mistakes. I pray, reflect, and follow the inner voice of God within me and proceed. If I fail---I trust in God's mercy and forgiveness.

BROhthor • 2 years ago

The term "protects" is a far cry from the notion that the Church is as inerrant as God is. And the long history of our Church shows that, indeed, it is far from being without error. So either God can be in error, or the Church as a man-made institution is clearly prone to error. But there are ways to tell of the Church got it right about something. However, the Church is not availing itself of that methodology at present - and not a whole lot in the past, either. Indeed, God protects us, our Church. But that does not mean the Supreme Being has chosen to keep us from our own nature. We sin, and the Church sins. We can be in error, and the Church can be in error. It is arrogant, and her_tical, to think or state otherwise.

Guest • 2 years ago
BROhthor • 2 years ago

And all that I know from all that I have learned and from all I believe and from all of the prayer I do rather constantly, that option does not exist for me. Praise be to the Lord.

Guest • 2 years ago
BROhthor • 2 years ago

It is you who use the term infallible. I and all who know me well on these threads would be quick to tell you that infallible is not a term that I have ever used to describe myself, and no one else has or would, either. So save your game of insults and re-read my comment without malice, if you can.

David W • 2 years ago

No malice. You insist you cannot err in this matter but the Church can. As if the Church did not take part in the love and prayer and discernment you claim to have done. That is simply incredible.

But let me share something from the Pope's book:

"Mercy exists, but if you don’t want to receive it… If you don’t recognize yourself as a sinner, it means you don’t want to receive it, it means that you don’t feel the need for it. Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what happened. Sometimes you might feel skeptical and think it is impossible to get back on your feet again. Or maybe you prefer your wounds, the wounds of sin, and you behave like a dog, licking your wounds with your tongue. This is a narcissistic illness that makes people bitter. There is pleasure in feeling bitter, an unhealthy pleasure.

If we do not begin by examining our wretchedness, if we stay lost and despair that we will never be forgiven, we end up licking our wounds, and they stay open and never heal. Instead, there is medicine, there is healing, we only need take a small step toward God, or at least express the desire to take it. A tiny opening is enough. All we need to do is take our condition seriously."
Pope Francis (2016-01-12). The Name of God Is Mercy (Kindle Locations 510-517). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

BROhthor • 2 years ago

Again, let me correct you for the record that I never stated that I "cannot err in this matter." I have, again, never used the term "infallible" in any way, shape or form. What I have done consistently, is present an understanding that contradicts your own, and that appears to inflame your distortions of what I indeed state in plain terms. Your quote from Pope Francis' recent book is, once more, an unnecessary and inapplicable entry into the original topic of the discussion, and, once again!, does not in the slightest contradict the facts of God's unconditional love for each of us. God even sent his/her son to us to teach us that lesson. So, I feel that I have made my points clearly, as have you, we change nothing for one another, and I am content to leave it now. I will remember you in my prayers tomorrow. Peace to you.

David W • 2 years ago

All right, after sleeping on it, I apologize for my tone. It didn't help in a civil discussion of issues. This will be my final comment on this article.

I think my main point despite the rhetoric still stands. There are a lot of people who, when it comes to their personal preference vs. the Church, assume that the Church is always wrong and they are always right. I find that troubling. Either the Church is what she claims to be or she is not.

If she is what she claims to be, then people need to be evaluating their personal preferences by the standard of what the Church teaches. But if she is not what she claims to be then she has no authority whatsoever, and there is really no sense in being a Catholic in the first place.

Regardless of the issue under discussion, that is the underlying concern which has to be addressed by each individual. Remember, there was no error where people *knew* they were in error and went ahead anyway. Whether the Arians or the Nestorians or any other group, they believed themselves to be right and that the Church had gotten it wrong up to that point. But once one thinks that way, they open a Pandora's Box: How can we justify our own disobedience to the Church on an issue we disagree with and then turn around and condemn someone for rejecting a different teaching that we happen to like.

In other words, the liberal who dislikes the Church teaching on sexual morality cannot rebuke the conservative who dislikes the Church teaching on social justice without being a hypocrite (and vice versa).

Ultimately, I consider the Church to have authority to bind and loose because I believe Our Lord gave the Church that authority and therefore, when I find my preferences in contrast to what the Church teaches, I strive to change my preferences.

This will be my last response to this article.

BROhthor • 2 years ago

Thank you for your apology. And yes, your position is well known and remains unchanged.

David W • 2 years ago

You're the one who, in response to the question to consider whether you were in error, responded with "that option does not exist for me."

BROhthor • 2 years ago

**self-deleted.**

Patricksday • 2 years ago

David, there is no quarrel with God, I have God no matter where I go as Gay man, I no longer give the Roman Catholic Church permission to create or dictate my Divine experience, they forced me to do that when I was called "disordered" and "evil", something Jesus Christ would not say to a child of God such as myself. Burned out celibate men furious that they could not live an honest and open life in their youth with family and friends, must be very painful. The youth of today have Gay friends and family and are turned off by the old celibates who dont live in their world or care to embrace the family and friends these young people hold dear to them. The church will have its small purer self with all the Costumes, Latin, Organ music, Pomp and Circumstance that old world people need to feel close to God. Nothing wrong with that, I went through my phase of that too.

David W • 2 years ago

If God gives the Church His authority, then to reject the authority of the Church is to reject Him (Luke 10:16)

1LittleBear • 2 years ago

Jesus is NOT the church. The church IS NOT God.

David W • 2 years ago

The Church is the body of Christ, and Christ affirmed that rejecting His Church is rejecting Him. Why try to create a straw man with a claim nobody made?

1LittleBear • 2 years ago

Christ never said anything about "If you reject the church, you reject me."
Jesus lived and died a Jew. The Apostles, Jesus' relatives, Mary, Mary Magdalene---lived and died Jews. Jesus DID NOT begin a church. The church developed from Christian communities that were all around the middle east and parts of Europe. This took at least 100+ years to begin to form.

So don't cite the malarkey that the official church has been peddling for so long---that they even believe it. History clearly demonstrates the development of various Christian communities---with differing backgrounds, social and cultural roots---into the concept of Christianity as occurring over TIME---not a pre-packaged concept that everyone understood and accepted.

And Jesus didn't found any church. In fact, the Apostles believed that Jesus would return before they died. If they were supposed to be the foundation of a church----Jesus certainly didn't tell them about it!

Patricksday • 2 years ago

I was brainwashed too, until they called me "disordered" and "evil" then I finally saw the Light of God, I was being lied to and betrayed by men who once had me believing God hated me because of how I was created by God. Cling to your fear based Faith, I have found true connection with Jesus and its based on Love, not fear.

David W • 2 years ago

Name calling is not rebuttal. I follow God from love, and because of that love I seek to set aside those parts of my life that go against what He teaches.

Patricksday • 2 years ago

So glad that is working for you, Peace- Patrick

BROhthor • 2 years ago

Well, that is very nice of you. But I'm waiting for some proof from David W.

Patricksday • 2 years ago

Our faith in God is driven by Love or Fear, I choose Love. And I finally understand, not everyone is capable of Love, its a sign of weakness to them.

colkoch • 2 years ago

Perhaps the quarrel is with a Church that claims the power of the Keys when it's convenient and then denies it has that power when it becomes inconvenient.

David W • 2 years ago

The Church has never claimed that it has the power to overrule what God has taught.