Sunday, May 22, 2005

Why America magazine is counter-magisterial

The following article by Fr. Richard P. McBrien is just one example of why America magazine is, in my view, counter-magisterial.

Why I Shall Not Seek a Mandate
By Richard P. McBrien

The article gives a soap-box to stand upon to those, like Fr. McBrien, who openly oppose canon law and contradict doctrinal teachings. Catholic canon law states, Can. 812 "Those who teach theological disciplines in any institutes of higher studies whatsoever must have a mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority." Fr. McBrien, in the article above, tells us why he is choosing to violate canon law. I, on the other hand, have the strange view that our Catholic priests ought to obey their superiors. Call me traditionalist, but that's how it ought to be. Catholic canon law is not something that priests can merely choose not to obey.

My beef with America magazine is that it has decided to give a public voice to lousy priests and dissidents such as Fr. McBrien. America's editor, Fr. Thomas Reese has resigned, reportably due to complaints about his magazine by U.S. bishops. I pray that the magazine will decide that it best serves the Catholic Church by always teaching in accord with the lawful pastors of the Church. Perhaps an article on religiosum voluntatis et intellectus obsequium should be their next project. Or maybe an article on this declaration from Vatican I...

First Vatican Council, Session 4 (18 July 1870):

Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.


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