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  #1  
Old 21st November 2010, 11:19 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default norms of licit dissent

It is not licit to dissent from an infallible teaching, such as the teaching that the Church does not have the authority to ordain women to the priesthood, or the teaching that direct abortion is always gravely immoral.

Infallible teachings have no possibility of error, and require the full assent of faith (theological assent).

However, non-infallible teachings allow for some limited possibility of error, and only call for the religious submission of will and intellect, not the full assent of faith. Some licit dissent from non-infallible teachings is possible, but the extent of dissent that is possible is similarly limited.

Judgments of the prudential order by the temporal authority of the Church (as opposed to teachings) also allow for some legitimate dissent, and this can occur to a greater extent than licit dissent from a non-infallible teaching because the extent of error possible is greater when the Church is not teaching, but only judging temporal circumstances.

Within the Church, there is a certain degree and type of licit freedom of thought as well as general norms of licit dissent.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 04:26 PM
Jeanne D'Arc
 
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Ron,
Could you please cite some examples of each?
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  #3  
Old 22nd November 2010, 04:51 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeanne D'Arc View Post
Ron,
Could you please cite some examples of each?
Examples:

1. Infallible teaching - direct abortion is intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral

Dissent from this teaching is heresy; it is not licit dissent.

2. Non-infallible teaching - I will give several examples of licit and illicit dissent

A. Cardinal Dulles: "In 1993, in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor, John Paul II took, from Vatican II’s pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world, a long list of social evils: “homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide . . . mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as sub-human living conditions, arbitrary imprisonments, deportation, slavery, prostitution and trafficking in women and children; degrading conditions of work which treat laborers as mere instruments of profit, and not as free responsible persons.” Where Vatican II had called these practices “shameful” (probra), John Paul II calls them “intrinsically evil.” In the same encyclical the pope teaches that intrinsically evil acts are prohibited always and everywhere, without any exception."

Dulles dissents licitly from this teaching of JP2 that the list of social evils is a list of acts which are intrinsically evil.

B. Cardinal Burke has taught that Catholics may not vote for pro-abortion candidates. The USCCB document on voting ethics has taught that Catholics may sometimes vote for pro-abortion candidates. A Catholic cannot believe both of these contradictory teachings. We must choose to dissent from the one or the other. The teachings in both cases are non-infallible. This is licit dissent.

C. Pope John XXII taught in a series of sermons that the faithful souls in Heaven do not have the beatific vision of God until after the Resurrection. At the time, various theologians dissented from this teaching. The Pope supported their right to disagree. A subsequent Pope (Benedict XII) taught, now infallibly, that the faithful souls in Heaven have the Beatific Vision as soon as they entire Heaven.

D. Some Catholics treat non-infallible teachings as if these were entirely optional, and as if one may substitute one's own opinions for any non-infallible teaching. This is NOT licit dissent. Neither is it licit dissent to reject all or most non-infallible teachings, as a body.

E. The Canadian Bishops Conference dissented from the teaching of Humanae Vitae, and issued a statement on that dissent; their dissent was illicit.

Licit dissent is limited; it applies to one or a few specific points, and must be based on Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium, not merely on one's own reasoning nor (what is more common) on the majority views of society.

3. Judgments of the prudential order

A. a Bishop decides to close a parish church; some of the faithful might licitly disagree with that decision

B. The Bishops' Conference decides to approve of changes to the wording of the Mass; some of the faithful might licitly disagree with the fittingness of those changes.

C. The Holy See decides to condemn a particular war, judging it to be unjust, or decides to condemn a particular law permitting the death penalty in a particular nation or state. The faithful may licitly disagree.

Cardinal Ratizginer: "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."
http://www.priestsforlife.org/magist...erommunion.htm

Colorado Catholic Conference: "In some moral matters the use of reason allows for a legitimate diversity in our prudential judgments. Catholic voters may differ, for example, on what constitutes the best immigration policy, how to provide universal health care, or affordable housing. Catholics may even have differing judgments on the state's use of the death penalty or the decision to wage a just war. The morality of such questions lies not in what is done (the moral object), but in the motive and circumstances. Therefore, because these prudential judgments do not involve a direct choice of something evil, and take into consideration various goods, it is possible for Catholic voters to arrive at different, even opposing judgments."
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  #4  
Old 22nd November 2010, 05:40 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Ron,

Is the following correct?...

Quote:
The morality of such questions lies not in what is done (the moral object), but in the motive and circumstances. Therefore, because these prudential judgments do not involve a direct choice of something evil, and take into consideration various goods, it is possible for Catholic voters to arrive at different, even opposing judgments."

The quote above is regarding "votes", but it can also apply for others "opinions" from Bishops, priests, etc. In other words, changing the word "voters" with the word "opinions" from the above quote.

For example:

A man has a good intention to marry a woman, they both love each other and are both open to life, willing to live a marriage according to the teachings of the Church.

However, the priest who is going to marry them says the man that he should not marry that woman because he is too old for her (he is 40 and she 20).

The man can licitly dissent from the priest's opinion because there is nothing in T,S,M that forbids marriage because of age differences.
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  #5  
Old 22nd November 2010, 06:25 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother View Post
Ron,

Is the following correct?...

Quote:
The morality of such questions lies not in what is done (the moral object), but in the motive and circumstances. Therefore, because these prudential judgments do not involve a direct choice of something evil, and take into consideration various goods, it is possible for Catholic voters to arrive at different, even opposing judgments."

The quote above is regarding "votes", but it can also apply for others "opinions" from Bishops, priests, etc. In other words, changing the word "voters" with the word "opinions" from the above quote.

Yes, it applies to opinions of the faithful on matters of prudential judgment. The motive (or intention) is the first font of morality. The circumstances is the third font of morality. A judgment of the prudential order is used to evaluate those fonts. Judgments may reasonably vary. The same is true when judgments pertain to temporal decisions, how best to proceed, (which of several moral choices to make,) rather than to whether or not a particular act is moral.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother View Post
For example:

A man has a good intention to marry a woman, they both love each other and are both open to life, willing to live a marriage according to the teachings of the Church.

However, the priest who is going to marry them says the man that he should not marry that woman because he is too old for her (he is 40 and she 20).

The man can licitly dissent from the priest's opinion because there is nothing in T,S,M that forbids marriage because of age differences.

Yes, he can disagree with the priest's opinion. This is not really classified as 'dissent' since the priest lacks the ability to exercise the Magisterium. But it is licit.
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