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Ron Conte
20th July 2012, 11:16 PM
can the faithful still believe, without sinning?

Yes, it is possible to believe that the claimed private revelations at Medjugorje are true, even if the Church disapproves. The reason is that this type of judgment by Church authority is of the prudential order; it is a ruling, not a teaching. No one is required by faith to believe in a claimed private revelation that is approved. And no one is forbidden by faith to believe in a claimed private revelation that is disapproved.

The faithful can dissent from non-infallible teachings of the Magisterium, to a limited extent, because the non-infallible teachings are subject to a limited possibility of error. But judgments of the prudential order (rules and rulings) are of the temporal authority of the Church, not the teaching authority (the Magisterium). These judgments are generally fallible (except for dogmatic facts). So the faithful have wider latitude in disagreeing with judgments of Church authority, including the Pope.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” -- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion (http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm), General Principles (sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and made public in July, 2004), n. 3.

Ron Conte
21st August 2012, 02:45 PM
I expect that the Holy See and perhaps also the Medjugorje commission will disapprove of the private revelations at Medjugorje.

Part of the problem is the growing dissatisfaction with this private revelation among many bloggers and online commentators. They have a distorted understanding of the Catholic faith, and when they compare their own misunderstandings to the messages at Medjugorje, there is a conflict. So they assume that Medjugorje must be false, rather than assuming that they themselves are in error. It is becoming more and more common for conservative Catholics to reject Medjugorje on this basis.

Many Catholics reject Medjugorje because they say that the visionaries are being disobedient to the local Bishop. These Catholics have misunderstood the teaching of the Church on obedience. We are not required nor asked by the Church to be obedient to every decision or judgment of the Pope or of the local Bishop. Neither are we absolutely required to believe every non-infallible teaching. We must always put truth first, since God is Truth. To say that we must be obedience, regardless of truth, is a grave error.

Some even say that the Virgin Mary would never disobey a local Bishop by giving messages if he thinks the messages are false. But Mary has the Beatific Vision of Truth. So she cannot contradict that truth by cooperating with an error by a local Bishop or a Pope. Mary is absolutely obedient to God. The idea that she is also (or instead) absolutely obedient to the local Bishop is absurd. Mary certainly would act according to the will of God, even if the local Bishop disagrees and makes himself an obstacle.

The faith of the followers of Medjugorje will be tested, and most will fall away.

garabandalg
21st August 2012, 03:06 PM
How would one answer those who say that there is no example of disobedience in Garabandal as regards Church decisions? Was it just because nothing this big came up? There are numerous examples where Our Lady altered something so as not to contradict with the Church.

Ron Conte
21st August 2012, 03:50 PM
How would one answer those who say that there is no example of disobedience in Garabandal as regards Church decisions? Was it just because nothing this big came up? There are numerous examples where Our Lady altered something so as not to contradict with the Church.

Could you cite some of these "numerous examples"?

Mary does not contradict the teaching of the Church, since the teaching of the Church is true. As regards the rules and rulings of the Church, these should generally be followed, but since these things are not infallible, some disobedience and disagreement can be faithful.

Disobedience to God is never justified. Disobedience to human persons, even a Pope or a Bishop can be justified, because they are not God. There is no teaching of the Church requiring absolute obedience to the Pope or to the Bishops.

infallible doctrines (dogmas) require the full assent of faith; you cannot faithfully dissent

non-infallible doctrines require religious assent, a lesser degree and different type of assent. You can sometimes dissent faithfully from a non-infallible teaching. This is termed licit theological dissent. You need to have a firm theological basis for your dissent.

In addition to Her teaching authority, the Church also has a temporal authority, i.e. to issue rules and rulings. This is discipline, not doctrine. The rules and rulings of the Church are neither infallible, nor non-infallible; they are fallible. A Catholic can faithfully disagree with a judgment by the Pope or Bishop of the prudential order, with a rule or a ruling. A Catholic can faithfully at times disobey such a rule or ruling. The reason is that these things are fallible.

God is truth. We therefore cannot believe what we understand to be an error. Neither should we obey a fallible rule or ruling, if we understand the will of God to be otherwise.

TheGiftOfLife
21st August 2012, 03:50 PM
Ron,
With regards to the Pope's opinions on the death penalty & war, which are not teachings of the church, can you please give a good example of an actual teaching of the church that one can be disobedient to and the thought process behind it?

TheGiftOfLife
21st August 2012, 03:54 PM
Could you cite some of these "numerous examples"?

Mary does not contradict the teaching of the Church, since the teaching of the Church is true.

Ok, so I might have misread. So, we must be obedient to church teaching, but can be disobedient to Bishop & Pope comments and opinions that are not church teaching. ok, I knew that, I just misread what you wrote.

Ron Conte
21st August 2012, 04:15 PM
OK GiftofLife, let me clarify.

If you disagree with a teaching, it is dissent. If you do not follow a rule or comply with a ruling, it is disobedience. Non-infallible teachings allow for a limited possibility of error, and so a corresponding limited possibility of dissent.

Infallible teachings require belief not because they are taught with authority, but because they are certainly true. Non-infallible teachings allow for a possibility, even an obligation, of faithful dissent because non-infallible teachings can err. No authority can ever require us to believe what is false. We worship God who is Truth.

On the morality of the death penalty and on the morality of war, the Church has teachings that are required beliefs. Some of the teachings on this topic are infallible: the three fonts of morality, the absolute immorality of intrinsically evil acts, regardless of intention or circumstances. etc.

The Church does teach that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil, and so it can be moral in some circumstances. This teaching is a required belief. But a prudential judgment is needed as to whether a death penalty law is needed in particular circumstances. We can disagree with the Pope's judgment on that point, but not with the teaching (which I think is infallible).

The same applies to war. We are required to believe the infallible teachings of the Church on war: that some wars are intrinsically evil, but other wars may be just. However, we can disagree with the Pope's judgment as to which wars are just or unjust.

If a Pope or a Bishop expresses an opinion, even a theological opinion, all are free to disagree, since it is not a teaching, nor even a rule or ruling.

Ron Conte
21st August 2012, 04:26 PM
Examples of errors in non-infallible teachings:

The CCC originally defined lying as:
"To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth."

This non-infallible teaching was in error because speaking or acting against the truth is a lie regardless of the circumstances, e.g. whether or not someone has the right to know that truth.

The corrected version now says:
"To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error."
And it also says:
"A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving."

However, these two sentences, and the passage from the CCC in general, still contains an error. Lying is intrinsically evil, just as the CCC correctly says:
"By its very nature, lying is to be condemned."

"1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means."

The Magisterium, in Veritatis Splendor and in the CCC, clearly teaches that intrinsically evil acts are immoral regardless of intention. So it is an error to define lying, an intrinsically evil act, as if it were only a lie if there is an intention to deceive.

Ron Conte
21st August 2012, 04:29 PM
Here is an example of a doctrinal error in a USCCB statement:
http://ronconte.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/doctrinal-error-in-the-usccb-statement-on-religious-liberty/

Here is a doctrinal error by Cardinal Burke on the ethics of voting:
http://ronconte.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/voting-ethics-usccb-cardinal-burke/

Here is a theological argument by Cardinal Dulles that Veritatis Splendor errs in its list of intrinsically evil acts:
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/development-or-reversal-37

But I disagree with Dulles on his point about slavery. We can define slavery narrowly, so that it is intrinsically evil. Dulles is using a broader definition of slavery that would include indentured servitude. Even so, he may be right that not every item on the list in VS is intrinsically evil.

Ron Conte
22nd August 2012, 12:53 PM
I moved Gift of Life's post on voting and abortion to a new thread
http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?p=40859#post40859

LittleBrother
29th August 2012, 07:36 PM
As I understood the problem with Medjugorje is with the visionaries not living the life the way it would show people good example (expensive cars, homes, etc.). Visionaries of Fatima became spiritual persons who lived very humble spiritual life style.

In terms of obedience my favorite example is Padre Pio. Although he was going through real punishment and disrespect from Church, he would always say, that if it comes from Church, it comes from God, with the meaning that even if it doesn't please you, it might have the goal that you cannot understand yet.

Ron Conte
29th August 2012, 08:00 PM
That is one of the objections. However, not every visionary becomes a Saint. The main criteria for recognizing true private revelation is found in the content of the messages. All visionaries are sinners.

In addition, I should point out that all six visionaries are living as believing and practicing Catholics. Although they are criticized sharply from some quarters, they have not been found to have committed any grave sins. It seems to me that the criticisms are exaggerated.

I believe that the messages of Medjugorje are true private revelation because when I read the messages, I recognize the subtle yet profound wisdom of God. I have read thousands of messages from false private revelations. These are easily understood to be false by the numerous doctrinal errors that they contain. I find no such doctrinal errors in the messages of Medjugorje, and whenever I hear of a claim of a doctrinal error in the messages, and I consider what is being said, there is no error.

But the faithful are free to hold varying opinions on Medjugorje.

LittleBrother
29th August 2012, 08:15 PM
Answering your initial question: "If Medjugorje is disapproved... "

we still have Bible :-D

Personally I agree that Mother of God has great role for the Church and community, but we don't need to go nuts about personal revelations. We can spend whole life just studying Bible and become holy. Can't we?

Perhaps better question would be "can we live without private revelations?" or "will we become less holly without the messages revealed through them?".

Instead of reading spiritual literature, praying or doing good deeds, people are spending their precious time arguing... that's really a win for evil :(

Ron Conte
29th August 2012, 08:50 PM
If Medjugorje is disapproved, the faithful may still believe in the message and apparitions there, without sin. I will certainly continue to believe, since I recognize the voice of the Blessed Mother in those messages.

But even true private revelation is not essential to the Faith. We have Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium as the three pillars of truth in the Catholic faith.

TheGiftOfLife
5th December 2012, 06:54 AM
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=16418

Marija's message on Dec 2nd, one report says that it seemed Dire.

http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv/8199/marija-mankinds-future-still-more-at-risk/

Here is the video, her face didnt seem any different that usual.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxGI88tTzSY

TheGiftOfLife
7th December 2012, 04:17 AM
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said the speculation was “not true” and that the commission’s findings will take longer.

Earlier this week, the French magazine La Vie said the commission, established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 and chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, was expected to present its report to the Holy Father by the end of December.

“I have spoken with Cardinal Ruini and I can assure you that it will take longer,” Fr. Lombardi said. “Among other things, the commission must first give its opinion to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to discuss, so it’ll be a long time yet.”