Dat autority doe…

“[B]y God’s permission, the field of ‘the good man of the house’ is ever exposed to the evil practices of ‘the enemy,’ it will never come to pass that no work will be necessary to prevent the growth of ‘the cockle’ from damaging the good harvest… [Thus] it will be Our constant and strenuous endeavour, as far as it is in Our power, to prevent evil of every kind and to promote whatever is good, until it shall please the Prince of Pastors to demand an account of Our discharge of Our office. …

“The success of every society of men, for whatever purpose it is formed, is bound up with the harmony of the members in the interests of the common cause. Hence We must devote Our earnest endeavours to appease dissension and strife, of whatever character, amongst Catholics, and to prevent new dissensions arising, so that there may be unity of ideas and of action amongst all. The enemies of God and of the Church are perfectly well aware that any internal quarrel amongst Catholics is a real victory for them. Hence it is their usual practice when they see Catholics strongly united, to endeavour by cleverly sowing the seeds of discord, to break up that union. …

“[Where] there is room for divergent opinions, it is clearly the right of everyone to express and defend his own opinion. But in such discussions no expressions should be used which might constitute serious breaches of charity; let each one freely defend his own opinion, but let it be done with due moderation, so that no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith or to discipline.

“It is, moreover, Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as ‘profane novelties of words,’ out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: ‘This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved’ (Athanas. Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim ‘Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,’ only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself.”

Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum of Benedict XV, 1 November 1914

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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2 Responses to Dat autority doe…

  1. PFFFTT.. softball 🙂

    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Scared Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith;

    The text also presents the various forms of binding authority which correspond to the grades of the Magisterium. It states – perhaps for the first time – that there are magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter as such but, despite the permanent value of their principles, are chiefly also a signal for pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional policy. Their kernel remains valid, but the particulars determined by circumstances can stand in need of correction. In this connection, one will probably call to mind both the pontifical statements of the last century regarding freedom of religion and the anti-Modernists decisions of the beginning of this century, especially the decisions of the then Biblical Commission.

    O, and M.J. wonders if it ever occurred to him that he was effectively acting as a sapper vis a vis the authority of any future Pope?

    Look if these great Popes of the past – who attached lasting anathemas to one or more of their encyclicals if they were not adhered to – can just have the sacramental of defenestration applied to them, then what about the entirety of the V2 rocket which was launched without any infallible fuel?

    O, yeah, M. J. is quite aware of how many times he has used these words in the past but one must remember that in the hermeneutic of continuity there is both continuity and incontinuity.

    Isn’t the modern Church fun?

  2. OK, incontinuity was a bit rebarbative. M.J should have simply written continuity and discontinuity which is the way Cardinal Ratzinger expressed his hermeneutic

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