Monday, June 04, 2007

When does this guy turn 75?

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, fearless crusader against inclusive language in the Catechism and the liturgy, and now crusader against even modern English in the liturgy, has now proposed oaths of allegiance of Catholic school principals and upper-level educators. The oath would require teachers to publicly promise fidelity to church teaching on--get this--homosexuality, birth control, and women's ordination, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Women's ordination? As if...

For goodness' sake, we have really entered the realm of the ridiculous here. None of the above are matters of faith, and solid majorities of Catholics disagree on at least on birth control, if not the other two as well. I can see expecting these teachers to actually explain the church's teaching, but an oath? And it's not like these aren't disputed questions, even among bishops!

And it's utterly ironic that, in an effort to maintain obedience, the archbishop of Sydney is going to order principals to actually disobey a teaching of Jesus; check out Matthew 5:33-37 if you want to know which one.


At 2:24 AM, Blogger Barry said...

The sooner he retires the better. What an embarrassment for the Catholic church. Let the women take over, They couldn't do any worse.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger John D. Enright said...

I have to disagree with you entirely with regard to your blog entry. On the issues of birth control and contraception, the Church has identified its teachings on the issues as matters of faith or morality.

Dr. Germain Grisez and Fr. John Ford, S.J.maintain that the teaching contained in Humani Vitae is infallible and irreformable, by virtue of having been taught constantly and definitively, over a period of many centuries, by a consensus of Popes and Bishops around the world - a consensus which was virtually unanimous until the early 1960s. (cf. "Contraception and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium," Theological Studies, Vol. 39, No. 2, June 1978, pp. 258-312). Fr. Ermegegildo Lio is a Professor of Moral Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He also asserts that the teaching of Humanae Vitae is infallible. He maintains that Humanae Vitae, art. 14, contains an ex cathedra definition of the intrinsic immorality of contraception: that is, an exercise of papal infallibility as solemnly defined by Vatican Council I, in the Constitution Pastor Aeternus. (cf. Humanae Vitae e Infallibilità: il Concilio, Paolo VI e Giovanni Paolo II, by Ermenegildo Lio, O.F.M. Published in Vatican City, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, l986)

I really don't think that it is ridiculous for a Catholic cleric to require Catholic schools and their teachers to adhere to Catholic doctrine.

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your citation to Matthew is not appropriate. That verse stands for the proposition that we should not make false vows and oaths but that we should be true to our word. We are reminded that the Law of God teaches us to fulfill our vows to the Lord. As we have said before, God intended that the taking of oaths be an affirmation of truth. In Hebrews 6:16 we read this about oaths: "For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute." An oath was a solemn thing never to be entered into casually.

What the Cardinal requires is a solemn promise before God to teach authentic doctrine.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger CtotheL said...

Grisez's argument on the infallibility of Humanae Vitae is ludicrous. The broad consensus of theologians has judged that HV is not infallible because papal infallibility must be explicitly invoked, and Paul VI did not do so. (Nor did JPII on the ordination of women.) I've no idea how Grisez could claim to know the mind of the entire episcopate over the centuries; he's overreaching to say the least.

As for "vows" of this nature, they are means of control unworthy of the people of God, and the archbishop has no cause to bind the consciences of the faithful on matters that are still open to development.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger John D. Enright said...

What authorities can you cite which indicate that Humanae Vitae is not an infallible teaching? Most theologians disagree with you. That, however, is not the central issue.

Do you really think that a Catholic prelate should should stand aside while one of his employees attacks the position of the Church? Should he turn a blind eye to a Catholic school teacher who denies the divinity of Christ?

If some Catholic school teachers have a problem with teaching Catholic doctrine, they should look elsewhere for employment.


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