Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Is the Pope a Catholic?

This used to be the classic hypothetical question, which required no answer.

No longer. The new Roman Pope just keeps on speaking, and the question keeps on coming up:

Q. Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?
A. "Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good."

Q. Jesus in his preaching said that agape, love for others, is the only way to love God. Correct me if I'm wrong.
A. "You're not wrong. The Son of God became incarnate in the souls of men to instill the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. (Continues).
If you put your trust in the merits and guidance of the supposedly never-changing church of Rome, instead of in Christ and his Word alone, then you must be finding this new Pope's teaching very confusing. Good! Follow that thought. See where it leads!

And this is unbelievable:
Q. But just a few days ago you appealed to Catholics to engage civilly and politically.
A. "I was not addressing only Catholics but all men of good will. I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres. All my predecessors have said the same thing, for many years at least, albeit with different accents.
Compare the line I highlighted in italics with this:

"[It is error to believe that] The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church." Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, Section VI, "Errors About Civil Society, Considered Both in Itself and in its Relation to the Church", #55.

"For many years at least" - is this an implicit concession that the Popes from the beginning of the Papacy until the 20th century were universally wrong on this question? What are the implications of that?

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