Obedience and Freedom (Main Forum)
Dawn-Elaine said – “As for .. the current Pope and other Church Leaders, I guess I never have really seen them as `moral leaders’ – probably because I’m a convert.”
I “envy” converts. Being a “Cradle Catholic” – I was not present at my own “Christening” – not consciously so. Only 3 weeks “old” at the time, I remember absolutely nothing about my own Baptism. I didn’t ask to be Christened. I was more than 5 when my father introduced me to the Holy Name of “Jesus” and my mother to His “Sacred Heart.” I was about 7 when Josephite Sisters of Blessed [soon to the Saint] Mary MacKillop introduced me to Jesus as the “Bridegroom of my Soul.” At my “Confirmation” in Warwick at age 13 as a Christian of the Roman Catholic variety, we were more aware of “taking the Pledge” than of being “Baptised in the Spirit.” Born in 1888, Basil Roper was Bishop of Toowoomba during 1938-52 and then “resigned” for reasons unknown to the Laity. He died 12 years later, aged 76. His successor – Bishop Bill Brennan [Senior] attended Vatican Council II [1962-65] but allegedly slept during most of the proceedings. “Carefully” hemmed in by the local “Praetorian Guard” [aka Knights of the Southern Cross], he died in 1975, aged 70.
DAWN continued – “In one Catholic discussion group .. we had a lengthy discussion about whether members saw the Pope as the infallible moral leader traditional Catholicism teaches. Many of the group did not.”
Papal Infallibility – as such – applies only when a Pope – acting “ex cathedra” - dogmatically defines a doctrine as “binding” on the conscience of every Catholic. Since the Solemn Declaration of Papal Infallibility by Vatican Council I on 18 Juky 1870, this power has been used only once. In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined “The Assumption of Mary” as an “Article of Faith” for Roman Catholics. Prior to 1870 – Pope Pius IX [supported by the vast majority of Catholic Bishops] had proclaimed “The Immmaculate Conception of Mary” as an “ex cathedra” dogma of the Church in December 1854.
Apart from such infallible declarations, Catholics are expected to be OBEDIENT [“ob-audire” – to heed or listen] to our Popes- and to the Voice of Conscience. Likewise – our Popes are expected to heed or listen not only to what the Spirit is saying to the churches, but also to the Laity – not least through the least of Christ’s brethren – in the “Cry of the Poor.”
DAWN continued – “I suppose I see this crisis as a necessary “shaking” in the Church – to borrow a phrase from my SDA past. – Necessary to shake out what is not helpful – both in belief and in those individuals who undertake to put themelves or the Institutional Church in the place of GOD and the Community of Believers. Just my own possibly heretical viewpoint [grin!]”
What you are saying, Dawn, is not “heretical.” Our God is the Great Icono-Clast or “Idol-Smasher” – “I shall make the Earth shake once more,” He says, “and not only the Earth but the Heavens as well” (Heb.12:26)
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