- May 27, 2005 at 1:44 am #1078
From Karl Keating’s E-Letter (5-24-05)
[color=blue:2f36ta3d]THE FR. REESE FLAP
You already have heard about Fr. Thomas Reese’s ouster as editor of “America,” the Jesuit magazine. A contributor to that publication, Stephen Pope, was not pleased with the Vatican’s order that Reese find other employment. Pope, who teaches at Boston College and who wrote for “America” an article criticizing Church teaching on gay marriage, was quoted as saying about the dismissal:
“If this is true, it’s going to make Catholic theologians who want to ask critical questions not want to publish in Catholic journals. It can have a chilling effect.”
Quite true. The move can–and surely will–have a chilling effect. I hope it does. In this context “chilling effect” roughly translates as “promotes truth in advertising.”
Those holding themselves out as Catholics should write as Catholics. They should not feel free to undermine Catholic teachings in Catholic publications. They should not be able to leave readers with the idea that opinions contrary to the faith are compatible with the faith. [/color:2f36ta3d]
What do you think about this?
Pope John Paul II wrote in Veritatis Splendor (n.64) “the authority of the Church, when she pronounces on moral questions, in no way undermines the freedom of conscience of Christians”
How can a Catholic theologian who has a dissenting opinion (a Church teaching is contrary to their conscience) begin to educate themselves? Even if their intention is to open dialogue and possibly conform to Church teachings, this “policy” seems to stifle any discussion.
Remember, the great St. Thomas Aquinas himself taught that a person in a situation where “[A Church teaching] that offends against his clear conscience, should perish in excommunication rather than violate his conscience”May 27, 2005 at 3:25 am #4805
opinion does not equal conscience.May 27, 2005 at 4:07 am #4807
We have to form our consciences in the correct way. If we form our conscience agaisnt Churhc Teachings, that is a sin.May 27, 2005 at 1:51 pm #4808
The world out there is changing. Everyday we are bombarded with so many things that go against God’s teachings that little by little it seems that our minds start to accept them. We read and look to others in our religion to confirm and strenthten our beliefs. If that person is having doubts or is not following the teachings we are lost. This is why they are there to guide us. Without this guidance we are lost. There used to be a program sort of a retreat for priests to go and renew their beliefs. I don’t know if they still have them, but if they don’t maybe they should. Doubts and dissention are not really helping anyone.May 27, 2005 at 5:13 pm #4811
As you all are aware that there are certain things in the Church that are not “open for dialogue”. These matters are settled and you either submit to the Churches wisdom or you don’t. For things such as priest celibacy where we are allowed to disagree you can definately raise your opinion but you still are bound to assent and submitt to the church rules.
~VictorMay 27, 2005 at 6:00 pm #4815
Thanks for the replies…. but most of you seem to be missing the point.
[quote:35am9ah3]opinion does not equal conscience.[/quote:35am9ah3]
Never said it did…. explain, please.
[quote:35am9ah3]We have to form our consciences in the correct way. If we form our conscience agaisnt Churhc Teachings, that is a sin.[/quote:35am9ah3]
I think it is quite ridiculous to assert that conscience is not of God, but a human construct that we can shape at will…. true, conscience is something that needs to be “fed”, but to assume that anyone who has a question of conscience with a Church teaching somehow “did it on purpose” is not logical.
[quote:35am9ah3]These matters are settled and you either submit to the Churches wisdom or you don’t.[/quote:35am9ah3]
Never said that a person should not submit…. I am asking what the proper forum should be for a person who is trying to educate themselves…. assent is something quite less than total agreement, as I’m sure you know… so how does someone who assents to a Church teaching, but their conscience is leading them towards dissent…. what do they do?
Peace in Christ,
ScottMay 27, 2005 at 6:20 pm #4817
Scott, actually you posed 2 questions and I was sharing my thoughts. I never addressed the second question which now reads:
[quote:186lkd4r]so how does someone who assents to a Church teaching, but their conscience is leading them towards dissent…. what do they do?[/quote:186lkd4r]
Pray, wrestle with it in your own mind, and don’t write about it. What will a man gain in trying to write about his “dissenting opinion”? What is he trying to accomplish? Is he trying to warn people? Is he trying to change the teaching of the church?
This is of course assuming your talking about doctrinal issues.
~VictorMay 27, 2005 at 7:21 pm #4819
[quote:2bq5iy7y]Scott, actually you posed 2 questions and I was sharing my thoughts. I never addressed the second question which now reads:[/quote:2bq5iy7y]
Sorry I was not clear…. this “second” question was the one I wanted to discuss all along….. …… I’ll blame it on my atheist days and rotted brain cells! Hehe
[quote:2bq5iy7y]Pray, wrestle with it in your own mind, and don’t write about it. What will a man gain in trying to write about his “dissenting opinion”? What is he trying to accomplish? Is he trying to warn people? Is he trying to change the teaching of the church?
This is of course assuming your talking about doctrinal issues.[/quote:2bq5iy7y]
What would have happened to our faith if all the Early Church Fathers did this?May 27, 2005 at 7:31 pm #4820
[quote:3vcchl6d]What would have happened to our faith if all the Early Church Fathers did this?[/quote:3vcchl6d]
Absolutely nothing but less early church writings to read. ” title=”Very Happy” />May 27, 2005 at 8:23 pm #4821
[quote:rhaxy8ux]Absolutely nothing but less early church writings to read. ” title=”Very Happy” />[/quote:rhaxy8ux]
Some food for thought:
http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/artic … ticle=1244May 27, 2005 at 10:03 pm #4829
Actually, the Cathechism, as far as I know, is QUITE clear that we form our own conscienses. Are you telling me everyone in this world who has a mishapen conscience was jjust neglected by God because He did not give them a True conscience? I refuse to believe that. WE are responsible for forming our consciences.
Is it possible to unintentionally form our conscience incorrectly? Sure. But even then, you should CHANGE it if the Church is in disagreement with you, because Christ speaks through the Church, and if your conscience disagrees with Christ, you have problems! lolMay 28, 2005 at 2:04 am #4836
[quote:2y7x8wm0]Actually, the Cathechism, as far as I know, is QUITE clear that we form our own conscienses.[/quote:2y7x8wm0]
We inform it, educate it…. but it’s source is God, is it not?
[quote:2y7x8wm0] Are you telling me everyone in this world who has a mishapen conscience was jjust neglected by God because He did not give them a True conscience? [/quote:2y7x8wm0]
No, not at all…. don’t know where you are getting that.
You might think that conscience and it’s formation are the product of human effort and discipline, but I respectfully disagree. The conscience indeed can be educated and formed, but never forget that it is a gift from God and is not 100% in our power:
1776 “Deep within his conscience man discovers [color=red:2y7x8wm0]a law which he has not laid upon himself [/color:2y7x8wm0]but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . [color=red:2y7x8wm0]For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.[/color:2y7x8wm0] . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”
Peace be with you,
ScottMay 28, 2005 at 4:19 am #4838
Well of course I agree it comes from God. Without God, we cannot do ANYTHING. But the way I understood what you said–maybe I misunderstood it–would be tantamount to saying:
“God gives us grace to believe in Him. If we do not believe in Him, it is not our problem, because GOD is the one who is giving us the grace”.
Please clarify, I am slightly confused. I mean, basically, if you have not formed your conscience according to Church law on PURPOSE, that is wrong. If you have unintentionally done so, you need to try to correct it.May 29, 2005 at 6:30 pm #4855
Sounds like you guys are getting into a little bit of Pelagianism.
The relationship between man’s will and grace is not entirely man’s work or God’s work. It’s both. The Council of Orange goes into this type relationship. Here is a good dialogue that goes into the details.
Hope this helps.
~VictorMay 29, 2005 at 7:19 pm #4861
Victor that is pretty much exactly what I am trying to say.May 29, 2005 at 7:36 pm #4866
Uncertaindrummer, I figured you were but I wasn’t completely sure. This was more directed at SOGFPP.
~VictorMay 29, 2005 at 9:36 pm #4867
Actually, this discussion has nothing to do with the Council of Orange… we are not talking about grace, but about the formation of conscience.
I guess I am not explaining things well enough….. oh well.May 30, 2005 at 3:46 pm #4875
But isn’t formation of consciense and grace unseperable when speaking of supernatural law? Saying YES on a daily basis is what it’s about. God assist and you say YES. Am I misunderstanding?
If your conscious is being formed in such a way that does not match the Churches teaching then obviously that is a clear sign that I am not heading in the right direction. Otherwise how would I know any better?
There is nothing deep inside me that says: you must get baptized, you must take the Eucharist, etc.
Even with natural law although it comes from the hearts of men I can always deviate from it and there would be nothing to tell me otherwise.
THANK GOD FOR THE CHURCH!!!
Please clarify if I misunderstood.
~VictorMay 30, 2005 at 4:17 pm #4877
[quote:3qozek2k]But isn’t formation of consciense and grace unseperable when speaking of supernatural law? Saying YES on a daily basis is what it’s about. God assist and you say YES. Am I misunderstanding?[/quote:3qozek2k]
Well…. I won’t pronounce that you are misunderstanding…. contrary to some members I have observed on this forum, I don’t see myself as an infallible judge…. not to mention the fact that we may agree on many things once this thread is over and we’ve cleared up some details.
That being said….
Grace is is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.
Conscience is a law which we have not laid upon ourselves, but which he must obey.
I would say that I agree… conscience is a grace, a supernatural gift, to be sure….. but in spirit, not in practice.
Conscience is born of God, but inherent in humanity…. call it a part of our human nature…. all humans have it, even atheists.
Grace, however, can be rejected or lost…… you can not hide (yes, one could ignore— but never totally) from your conscience.
We are splitting hairs here… but I think it’s an important distinction to differentiate habitual grace and conscience.
[quote:3qozek2k]If your conscious is being formed in such a way that does not match the Churches teaching then obviously that is a clear sign that I am not heading in the right direction.[/quote:3qozek2k]
…. but your conscience is inseperable from the supernatural law and grace (you said so yourself)…. so how/why could/would you turn away from grace?
John Paul II writes in Veritatis Splendor, ” conscience is the [i:3qozek2k]witness of God himself[/i:3qozek2k], whose voice and judgement penetrate the depths of man’s soul, calling him from fortier et suaviter to obedience. (n.58 Italics in original)
How can you say that the “witness of God himself” is in error?
[quote:3qozek2k]There is nothing deep inside me that says: you must get baptized, you must take the Eucharist, etc.[/quote:3qozek2k]
What’s your point? Salvation is also found outside the Catholic Church…. so the Sacraments are not inherent in human conscience.
[quote:3qozek2k]Even with natural law although it comes from the hearts of men I can always deviate from it and there would be nothing to tell me otherwise.
THANK GOD FOR THE CHURCH!!![/quote:3qozek2k]
Well….. pep rally aside, I do see your point….. I hope you can see mine as well….. I do believe the “answer” is somewhere in the middle.
ScottMay 30, 2005 at 5:12 pm #4879
NO! Salvation is NOT found otuside the Catholic Church! Other churches can HAVE part of Catholicism in them, or non-Catholics can have part of it in them, but there IS NO SALVATION outside of the Catholic Church, which the Catechism is VERY clear on.
And are you telling me that an atheist who finds nothing wrong with abortion has a correct conscience? That is what you seem to be saying. God gives us everything, but we also have FREE WILL, and can form our consciences erroneously. If that happens, it is a problem.
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