A bizarre, empty-headed, Feminist "professor" of Sociology (I say "professor" since she seems to know very little about anything) has posted this long, ignorant rant about the Church and about changing its doctrine (which is, of course, impossible). It unfortunately shows what sort of ill-instructed person can nowadays attain the title and position of "professor" despite knowing so very little.
|"Professor" Melissa Wilde|
The Conversation - Professor Dimwit
I have responded as follows.
A few corrections to your article.
“These include everything from reforming canon law to elevating nuns to the position of Cardinal”
No-one has seriously suggested nuns should be cardinals.
“Speaking infallibly is an incredible burden, in no small part because a pope must do it alone. It has only been done once since papal infallibility was officially declared by the First Vatican Council in 1898. That was in 1950, when Pius XII declared the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary, that she was bodily assumed into heaven upon her death.”
First, the bishops in communion with the Pope, whether gathered in General Council, or spread round the world, when they teach consistently on a matter of faith and morals, definitively, also teach infallibly as Vatican II taught (see Lumen Gentium 25). This is called “the Ordinary Magisterium”.
Second, the First Vatican Council was held from 1869-1870, not 1898 (look it up on the internet, lazybones!).
Third, papal infallibility has been taught since the very beginning of the Church (by the maxim “Papa non potest errare” – “the Pope cannot err” i.e. when teaching infallibly). All that Vatican I did was to re-affirm this solemnly.
Pastor Aeturnus of Vatican I decreed that the Pope can teach infallibly in the following circumstances (again, look it up lazbones!):
“9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith…we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”
So, he teaches infallibly when:
(1) in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
(2) in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
(3) he defines,
(4) a doctrine concerning faith or morals,
(5) to be held by the whole Church.
Who are you to say this has only happened once since Vatican I?
You are simply nobody.
In fact, the Popes have taught infallibly many times since Vatican I and in many encyclicals.
Cardinal St John Henry Newman said that Bl Pope Pius IX had taught infallibly in his encyclical Quanta Cura. If a pope can teach in that encyclical infallibly then other popes can also do so in other encyclicals. So long as the criteria of Pastor Aeturnus are met, the Pope teaches infallibly.
|St John Henry, Cardinal Newman|
“In fact, only a pope can call a council, and he does not have to do so in concert with anyone else.”
It was the prerogative of the Emperor to call a Council and, indeed, the first 8 Councils of the Church, for the first 1,000 years of the Church, were all called by the Emperor. Indeed, Nicea II was called by a woman, the Empress Irene.
“An ecumenical council, by definition, means a gathering of all of the leaders of the world church.”
No, it does not.
It means a Council of all the Catholic bishops in communion with the Pope, called to advise the Pope on important matters usually of doctrine and discipline.
“Prior to Vatican I, the church had not held a council since the Council of Trent in 1563”
The Council of Trent was called in 1545. It only ended in 1563 (again, look it up!).
|The Council of Trent, 1545-1563|
“When Pope John XXIII called the council in 1958, the world was surprised as were, by all accounts, the Vatican bureaucracy. The council created a “political opportunity” in the church for those who wanted to bring change.”
Councils are called to re-affirm Catholic doctrines, not to change them (see Lumen Gentium 25 of Vatican II which expressly teaches against changes in doctrine).
“But when the opportunity came to change the church, they took it””
The Fathers of Vatican II expressly said that they were re-affirming the Church’s doctrines, not changing them.
“The initial drafts of statements about church doctrine that the Curia prepared before the council, did nothing other than enumerating errors and reiterating current church doctrine. These, however, were rejected in a dramatic confrontation during the first days of the council.”
Current doctrines were not ever “rejected”. Not at the Council and not since. That is because they cannot be changed.
“As I demonstrate in my book on Vatican II, such progressive victories were a result of the efforts of a group of bishops who believed in the ‘doctrine of collegiality’.”
Attempting to change and subvert doctrine is not “progressive”, it is regressive, and is also the essence of heresy. Anyone attempting to do so is automatically excommunicate, according to both canon law and the Church’s teaching.
That includes you, sunshine!
“Approved at Vatican II, this doctrine states that the bishops convening together have the same authority to discuss, debate or change doctrine as the pope.”
You will find no such teaching in the entire documents of Vatican II.
It is a fantasy in your fevered and grossly egotistical imagination (and doubtless your book).
“Thus, for example, bishops who carried historic animosities toward Protestant missionaries learned how important it was to improve those relationships.”
That is not a change in doctrine. It was a change of diplomacy and one that the Church had begun to practice long before Vatican II. The Church’s teachings about the errors of Protestantism are totally unchanged.
“Among the noteworthy ones were those that changed the way the church worshipped. The altar, for example, was turned around to face the people. Mass was changed to be in the vernacular, no longer in Latin. And women no longer had to cover their hair in church.”
Total and utter rot.
None of these changes were approved by Vatican II, still less mandated, as any fool can discover simply by reading Sacrosanctum Concilium, the decree on the liturgy.
Go and read it, lazybones! It is on the internet.
Indeed, that decree expressly states:
“36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.”
And there is not a word about “turning the altar around”. Not a single word.
Neither is there a word about veils or hair-covering for women.
You are simply lying your head off again.
“Many of the bigger doctrinal changes were those that most Catholics were oblivious to, or knew about only in passing. The biggest of these was the Declaration of Religious Liberty.”
More total rot.
First, DH is not taught infallibly, or even authoritatively. It is a statement of policy by the Council as to religious freedom in civil society in our times when most states are not Catholic.
Paragraph 1 of DH teaches:
“Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfil their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore, it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.”
Thus, the decree expressly states that there will be no change in doctrine.
“By declaring that the only just form of government was one under which people were free to worship as they pleased, the church relinquished centuries-old preferential treatment for particular governments. Prior to the declaration, the church had benefited from governments that either repressed other religious organizations, or otherwise provided financial or legal support for the Catholic Church.”
This is the most colossally dishonest and mendacious statement you have made so far.
You simply lie through your teeth, barefacedly.
DH teaches nothing of the sort but, on the contrary, sets out conditions that expressly allow for the restriction of religious freedom in certain circumstances (see DH para 7).
DH does not at all prevent the government of a Catholic country giving special favour to the Catholic religion, as the true religion, nor does it prevent such a government restricting other, non-Catholic religions, in certain circumstances.
Indeed, the Church has taught – infallibly – that the idea of complete freedom of religion is not permissible in a Catholic state and one pope went so far as to describe it as “deliramentum” – insanity (Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos).
|His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI|
“But today, the Catholic Church is facing a crisis: In many places of the world, mass attendance is down and a growing number of young Catholics are leaving the church.”
This is perhaps your first true statement. But you do not analyse why this is happening and yet, as a sociologist, this is right up your street and ought to be something you could provide a commentary upon.
But you totally funk it! You fail in the very area you claim to be a professor! How useless!
Instead, your stray into an area where you clearly have zero competence, namely theology, and, unsurprisingly, come up with ignorant, ill-conceived and ill-researched ideas that have nothing to do with Catholic doctrine and everything to do with your own over-inflated ego.
“…fewer and fewer men are willing to enter the priesthood. This trend, which began long before the clergy sex abuse scandal, is raising questions around whether the church needs to reconsider its insistence on a male, celibate priesthood.”
The Church has no power to change its infallibly taught doctrine that the “matter” of the Sacrament of Ordination is a “baptised male”.
That has been infallibly taught by the Ordinary Magisterium since the very beginning of the Church and so cannot ever change.
It was re-affirmed – infallibly – by Pope St John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of 22 May 1994.
It is no good you telling us that you “don’t agree”. Whether YOU agree or not is of zero consequence. You are not the Magisterium. You are but one person and a very ignorant person at that.
If Christ had wanted to ordain women, He could have said so. After all, plenty of pagan religions had women priestesses in Christ’s time. But He did not.
If you don’t like it, then you had better have your argument with God.
As to clerical celibacy, that is a discipline and married clergy are not forbidden. There are married clergy in the Eastern Church and in the Ordinariate already.
What is forbidden theologically is for major clergy to marry.
They may have a wife and be ordained but, once ordained, may not marry. That is the discipline and teaching of the Church, East and West. Even the Eastern Orthodox also teach this.
“And, of course, there are many other concerns that the church might want to engage with – for example, whether the 98 percent of practicing Catholics who use “artificial means” of contraception – meaning anything other than the rhythm method – are sinners.”
More total bilge.
You have no proof whatsoever that 98% of Catholics use artificial contraception but, if they do, then they are undoubtedly sinners.
Not only has the Church taught since the very beginning that such artificial impeding of birth is gravely sinful but it was taught by the Old Testament Jews to be an “abomination”.
It is also very unhealthy and damaging to women’s health.
Moreover, it is wholly unnecessary. If, for serious reasons, births need to be spaced, then use of natural methods is not immoral since it is working with nature, and not against it. Such methods are, accordingly, entirely natural and healthy and do not damage women’s health by requiring them to take a potentially dangerous overdose of hormones or by requiring them to intrude pieces of metal or other objects into the womb with potentially serious consequences.
“It seems possible to me that given the depth and breadth of the issues it is facing, the Church needs more than reflection. The Church, I would argue, needs change. It needs another council.”
What you mean is that the Church should stop obeying and imitating Christ and become more like you and heretics and neo-heathens like you.
Since the vocation of a Christian is to conform himself or herself to Christ, then you are embracing the very opposite – an anti-vocation – and thus are conforming yourself not to Christ but to Satan.
Good luck with that. I hope you enjoy being with him eventually, for that is where you are heading.
In fact, what is needed is for you to get over your pathological egotism and think about re-joining the human race.
And you also need to stop lying.
And how anyone who makes such colossal mistakes and blunders of fact could ever be a “professor of sociology” one can only guess at.
But it will certainly have something to do with your being chosen for your political views and not for your knowledge (or abysmal lack of it).
If you were chosen for your knowledge (or abysmal lack of it) you would fail miserably.
Have a nice day, "professor".