Let's Adore Jesus-Eucharist! | Home >> Directory of sheep and wolves
1) Deacon X13 (2008, a few days before June-30, MS-Word document)
2) S. Jetchick (2008, a few days before June-30, annotations in same MS-Word doc.)
3) Deacon X13 (2008-June-30, annotations in uppercase in same MS-Word doc.)
4) S. Jetchick (2008-July-01)
Deacon X13's original text is in red, green and yellow (because I annotated it using this method). My comments are in italics
by Deacon X13
[Green] As so many of us already know, the Winnipeg Statement has been-and to a much lesser extent continues to be-used to support the contention that contraception is a matter of «personal conscience» for married couples. Some have even held that couples who find it difficult or impossible to accept Humanae Vitae in its entirety and choose to act on the basis of their own personal convictions do so in good conscience.
[Yellow] I will argue that one need not say a negative word about the Winnipeg Statement in order to show that the above contention is simply false. All we need to do is accept it on its own terms, read it carefully, and it should become clear that such a contention is an abuse of the bishops' attempt to reduce the anxieties of some of the faithful in this country at a particular period of its history.
OK, that is your thesis. It's clearly stated and placed correctly (in the beginning of this text).
[Yellow] Firstly, the Winnipeg Statement is not and was never intended to be a qualification of Humanae Vitae. According to Cardinal Carter, it was nothing more than a pastoral response to the Encyclical: «...there was no question of dissent from our beloved Paul VI...we were about our pastoral business and were not trying to write a theological dissent» (The Whole Truth About the Winnipeg Statement of 1968).
Footnote? (I've never heard of this document) Authority of same document? Was Carter speaking in his own name? or in the name of all Canadian Bishops?
Carter in that quote says with his mouth that WS was not about dissent, but does he back that up with facts elsewhere in that document?
[Green] Whether or not such a pastoral response was prudent, whether it did more harm than good, is a question that is irrelevant to my task at hand and, I'd have to say at this point, entirely outside my competence to answer.
OK, so right from the start you assert WS is a "pastoral" document. Based on what? What is a "pastoral" document?
[Green] Nonetheless, a pastoral response is one that bears upon a particular people, situated in a particular place at a particular time in history. As such, it necessarily lacks that universal breadth that characterizes moral assertions of a theoretical nature, which is precisely what Humanae Vitae is.
Touchy. Universal moral precepts have, by definition, an eminently practical nature. They have no exceptions.
[Green] Almost immediately, the bishops declare they are in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Father. In sections 4 through 7, they express their solidarity with the people of the time: «Many married people experience a truly agonizing difficulty in reconciling the need to express conjugal love with the responsible transmission of human life...We know that we are unable to provide easy answers to this difficult problem made more acute by the great variety of solutions proposed in an open society.»
I won't repeat my comments on the WS contained in my analysis of it. See my web site.
[Green] To appreciate the truth of this last point, one should keep in mind that 1968 was a time when the birth control pill was ten times the dosage it is today. As such, it was thoroughly contraceptive, unlike today's low dose pill, which acts as an abortifacient about 25% of the time. The side effects of the high dose pill were very harmful, but at the time it was not known just how adverse. Only later, in 1980, did the Guttmacher Institute report that there were 500 fatalities annually-and close to 10,000 hospitalizations-related to pill usage. Natural Family Planning (Billings) was not invented at the time, and Catholics did not enjoy the benefits of a huge weight of theological and philosophical literature that clearly articulates the contra-life nature of contraceptive birth control-not that they had to in order to be faithful. Those who believed that the Church was ready to change its teaching and lift the ban on contraception made sure their views were aired. Also aired were false claims that new medical, biological, demographical, sociological and psychological factors had begun to cast doubt on traditional Church teaching.
I don't know whether your scientific assertions are true, but they sound OK, based on what little I know.
[Green] This is the air that Catholics were made to breath at the time, and so many couples in preparation for marriage were no longer guided by a teaching that many thought was coming to an end.
Yes, mostly because the Bishops were very lame. But that's another discussion!
[Green] After the announcement, dissent was widespread among priests and theologians of repute,
You are leaving out a very important fact here: "and most Bishops were scandalously complacent in dealing with these heretics,, and so it is understandable that there was a tremendous confusion..."
This historical fact should not be omitted.
[Green] and so it is understandable that there was tremendous confusion among the laity. It must have been very difficult and confusing indeed for married couples to suddenly discover that the advice they were given was wrong and that they could no longer continue to use any kind of contraceptive device. Moreover, one can appreciate how difficult it must have been for priests, who did not have the information, literature, support, and facts available today, surrounded as they were by dissenting theologians and journalists of questionable integrity.
[Yellow] And so in that light, expressions of solidarity as we find at the beginning of the Winnipeg Statement are not out of place.
[Red] Section 7 is very important because it clearly shows that the Winnipeg Statement is a thoroughly historical and open statement, having an essential reference to the future: «A clearer understanding of these problems and progress toward their solution will result from a common effort in dialogue, research and study on the part of all, laity, priests and bishops, guided by faith and sustained by grace. To this undertaking the Canadian bishops pledge themselves.»
No, HV has settled the question.
By saying that "the solution will be found in the future", the Bishops are dissenting. They are stating that the question has not been settled.
[Yellow] That common effort in dialogue, research and study on the part of all has taken place and continues, and the result has been
I agree with the following facts, but the above-mentioned "cause" is hard to prove. The people who dissented from HV are precisely NOT the people who worked hard at NFP, etc.
[Green] the creation of various methods of Natural Family Planning, a better understanding of the adverse medical side effects of the pill as well as its abortifacient nature, a better understanding of the anti-procreative intention involved in projecting and acting to prevent a possible baby from becoming an actuality, a better understanding of the nature of conjugal love, not to mention awareness of demographical, sociological and psychological factors that support--not oppose--traditional Church teaching on the matter.
[Red] Part III of the Winnipeg Statement summarizes Catholic principles on the nature of conscience
Precisely not! It summarizes SOME of those teachings, leaving only the loopholes necessary to work around HV!
[Green] and its relationship to divine law and Church teaching, pointing out that although the dignity of man consists in his ability to achieve his fulfillment in God through the exercise of a knowing and free choice, «...this does not exempt a man from the responsibility of forming his conscience according to truly Christian values and principles. This implies a spirit of openness to the teaching of the Church which is an essential aspect of the Christian's baptismal vocation.» In connection with this summary, the bishops sensed the need to highlight man's propensity to sin and selfishness and thus his capacity for self-deception: «Man is prone to sin and evil and unless he humbly asks and gratefully receives the grace of God this basic freedom will inevitably lead to abuse.»
[Green] Section 11 in Part IV underscores the importance of a right attitude toward the teaching office of the Church: «Belief in the Church which is the prolongation of Christ in the world, belief in the Incarnation, demands a cheerful readiness to hear that Church whose first apostles Christ said: «He who hears you hears me». True freedom of conscience does not consist, then, in the freedom to do as one likes, but rather to do as a responsible conscience directs.»
[Green] This is further strengthened in section 12, and section 13 once again supports Paul VI's announcement and challenges the faithful to examine «in all honesty» their reaction to what he has said, clearly in light of man's proneness to sin and evil and his need to pray for divine grace. Sections 14 and 15 remind us of our duty to submit to the teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium (Lumen Gentium, 25), and section 16 reminds those commissioned by the Church to teach in her name of their responsibility to refrain from public opposition to the encyclical.
I won't repeat my comments concerning those paragraphs of the Winnipeg Statement contained in my analysis of it.
[Red] Section 17 does not suggest that for some people, a complete acceptance of the teaching of the encyclical is impossible. It only states what was then a fact: «...a certain number of Catholics, although admittedly subject to the teaching...find it either extremely difficult or even impossible to make their own all elements of this doctrine.»
[Red] Indeed, there are people today who find it extremely difficult or even impossible to accept that abortion, euthanasia, and in vitro fertilization, to name a few, are morally unacceptable, but this is not to suggest that it really is impossible for them, nor that these people have not been given sufficient grace to embrace Church teaching.
Yes, your interpretation of that passage is orthodox, but that passage doesn't say that.
If WS actually did say: "this is not to suggest that it really is impossible for them, nor that these people have not been given sufficient grace to embrace Church teaching", then WS would have been much better! But the Bishops didn't say that. You did.
[Green] And it is indeed true that «the argumentation and rational foundation» of the encyclical, «which are only briefly indicated», failed to win the assent of some men of science and education. If we keep in mind the cultural no man's land that this period represented in regard to this very issue,
[Red] it is reasonable to suggest that these people who at the time withheld their assent «should not be considered or consider themselves shut off from the body of the faithful.» Suspension of assent is understandable, if not justifiable.
No, the formal cause of Faith is God who cannot deceive or be deceived. Not the opinions of some academics. Real Catholics follow the Pope not because they have a Ph.D., but because they have Faith.
[Yellow] Moreover, «suspension of assent» (sec. 17) is not quite the same as dissent, and section 17 does not sanction dissent.
If the Pope speaks as Pope on matters of Natural Law, you must submit your intelligence and your will.
How suspending assent can be different from dissent is known only to language lawyers.
[Yellow] Part V of the Statement is a preliminary pastoral guidance, and it is here where confusion originates.
[Green] Section 22 highlights the importance of the sacrament of penance as the means of growing towards a complete espousal of the encyclical. The sections that follow underscore the importance (on the part of the confessor) of creating an atmosphere of mercy and understanding in which couples are urged to persevere and continue having recourse to the sacrament of penance.
[Yellow] It is section 26, however, that has been misused and abused in the years that followed, as a result of being read in isolation from every other section. Some pastors have given section 26 a scope and breadth that pastoral statements simply do not enjoy.
Section 26 is pretty plain English! You are the first person I've come across in my entire life who claims WS doesn't say what Section 26 clearly says!
[Green] The first half of this section merely points out that counsellors may meet certain others who, because of particular circumstances, find that «they are involved in what seems to them a clear conflict of duties».
[Yellow] This does not at all suggest that there actually exists a clear conflict of duties, but only that some are involved in what seems to them a conflict of duties. That is all.
Once again, your interpretation is orthodox, but that is not what the text says.
[Green] The second half of section 26 bears upon «these persons», that is, a particular number of people-not everyone-,
... just those who disagree with HV!
Which is precisely the people who needed to be given true doctrine!
Why write a declaration for all the faithful who do what the Pope tells them to do? The target audience of the WS are the dissenters!
[Green] whom the counsellor may come across. It does not bear upon people in general. Rather, if «these persons» have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience».
[Green] Indeed, this is a dangerous way of phrasing a directive, as history has shown.
I'd say "stupid" and "heretical", but just saying "dangerous" might let you keep your job as a deacon! ;-)
[Red] Nevertheless, this does not say that couples in 2008, for example, may practice contraception if such a course of action seems right to them. Cardinal Carter wrote: «Paragraph number 26 was never meant to be a blank cheque for people to go contrary to the teaching of the encyclical» (Ibid).
See comments at beginning on lack of authority of one Bishop speaking in his own name.
[Red] To pursue the analogy, when a person is given a blank cheque, it is up to him to fill in the amount he so needs or desires. According to the Canadian bishops, it is not up to Catholics to decide whether contraception is right for them. The Church has already clearly taught that it is not, and the Winnipeg Statement clearly underscores the duty of the faithful to submit to the teaching.
Section 26 says the exact opposite. In plain English.
[Yellow] The principal objective of the Statement - and section 26 in particular - was to prevent a serious misconception in the minds of married couples who «found that it was impossible to follow the directive of the encyclical», namely, that they were being excommunicated.
If they obstinately refuse the authority of the teaching Magisterium, they ARE excommunicated!
Moreover, once again, Section 26 says in plain English: "whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience".
[Yellow] Cardinal Carter writes: «We didn't want people thinking that the Church had rejected them because they could not live up to the very difficult terms of this issue...What we were trying to achieve was that confessors and other guides of morality would assure those who could not live up to this high ideal that the Church was not excommunicating them, not pushing them away. It was meant as a pastoral guidance, not at any time as a dissent from the Holy Father» (Ibid).
[Yellow] In other words, the objective was not to assert that for some couples it is simply not possible to live up to the teaching of the encyclical; for it is not impossible at all, and it would be heretical to suggest otherwise.
Of course, your interpretation is orthodox, but once again not founded on the actual text of the WS.
[Red] Nor does section 26 address couples of the 80s, 90s, or later.
No, it addresses ALL couple of ALL ages! The text says: "In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology". They are clearly talking in terms of universally valid moral principles. It doesn't say: "For the couples of the sixties"...
[Yellow] Pastoral directives cannot be given to people whose circumstances one is entirely unfamiliar with, and the bishops at the time had no idea what the future would bring along these lines.
Well, intelligent Bishops would have known, but anybody signing the WS had to be pretty moronic! ;-)
[Yellow] I believe the directive is very similar in intent to one that I find myself having to give every semester when teaching sexual ethics. Inevitably, someone raises his hand and inquires whether masturbation is morally permissible. After teaching them that it is self-centered and trivializes the sexual act and is thus morally wrong, some students look like they've seen a ghost. The situation calls for a pastoral directive.
[Yellow] In light of the fact that adolescent boys are in their sexual peak, that they are almost continually subjected to a barrage of sexual imagery on television and in film, that most of them have never been taught a thing about sexual morality, and that it is thus much more difficult for a teenager to cultivate chastity today than it was thirty years ago,
There are many debatable statements here. But I agree with the general idea that chastity is impossible without God's grace.
[Red] one should probably assure them they need not fear of being forever damned were one of them to get hit by a bus crossing the street on the way home from school.
OK, I'm stopping here. Not much use arguing if you redefine the teachings of the Catholic Church! The Church teaches that if you die in a state of mortal sin, you go to Hell. Period.
In this case, "pastoral advice" means talking about the Act of Contrition, without delay, not telling them they don't need to worry about Hell! See The "Pastoral" Approach.
Anyway, if that is the kind of advice you give, and I were your Bishop, you would be told to be in my office tomorrow morning at 7 AM!
Deacon X13's comments on my annotations are in UPPERCASE. (I know, using all caps is a bad idea, but it wasn't my idea.) Originally he just inserted them in the MS-Word document, but I pulled them out to increase readability.
>> OK, so right from the start you assert WS is a "pastoral" document. >> Based on what? What is a "pastoral" document? NOT SO MUCH A PASTORAL DOCUMENT AS A PASTORAL RESPONSE. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS PASTORAL THEOLOGY, AND SO PASTORAL THEOLOGY WILL MAKE UNIVERSAL ASSERTIONS. BUT A PASTORAL RESPONSE TO A PARTICULAR SITUATION IS SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY. A STUDENT COMES TO A PRIEST-NOT A THEOLOGIAN-AND SHARES WITH HIM THE DIFFICULTIES SHE IS EXPERIENCING WITH REGARD TO A PARTICULAR MORAL MATTER IN HER LIFE. HE IS A PASTOR, HE HAS TO HAVE NOT ONLY THEOLOGY, AN UNDERSTANDING OF UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES, BUT A NUMBER OF OTHER VIRTUES, SORT OF LIKE THE PARTS OF PRUDENCE: IE., MEMORY, SHREWDNESS, FORESIGHT, CAUTION, CIRCUMSPECTION, ETC.,. AS AQUINAS OUTLINES IN THE SUMMA. A PASTOR NEEDS THAT AND MORE. HE NEEDS EXPERIENCE, A SENSE OF HIS OWN WEAKNESS, A SPIRIT OF MERCY AND COMPASSION, AND UNDERSTANDING OF HOW SATAN OPERATES, A KNOWLEDGE OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, ETC. IT IS MUCH MORE THAN SIMPLY TELLING SOMEONE MORAL TRUTHS THAT ARE UNIVERSALLY TRUE. >> Touchy. Universal moral precepts have, by definition, an eminently >> practical nature. They have no exceptions. MORAL PRECEPTS ARE PRACTICAL, AS OPPOSED TO SPECULATIVE. BUT IF THEY ARE UNIVERSAL, THEY ARE THEORETICAL IN THE SENSE THAT ARISTOTLE WOULD USE THAT WORD IN THE NICHOMACHEAN ETHICS. MORAL SCIENCE IS PRACTICAL. BUT THEORETICAL IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF PRACTICAL. SPECULATIVE IS THE OPPOSITE. YES, UNIVERSAL MORAL PRECEPTS ARE UNIVERSAL. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. BUT PASTORAL DIRECTIVES ARE NOT THEORETICAL, BUT BEAR UPON A PARTICULAR PERSON. I DON'T USE THEORETICAL IN THE SENSE OF 'THEORY'. MY ARTICLE ON CONTRACEPTION AND NFP, THE MORAL DIFFERENCE, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD BE 'THEORETICAL' IN THE SENSE OF SCIENTIFIC. >> I won't repeat my comments on the WS contained in my analysis of it. >> See my web site. I'VE SEEN IT AND READ IT. I FOUND IT USEFUL. >> Yes, mostly because the Bishops were very lame. But that's another >> discussion! WELL, WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL HERE. IT'S EASY FOR ME TO SAY THEY WERE LAME, BUT I'M JUST A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, AND I HAVE A HUGE WEIGHT OF THEOLOGICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL LITERATURE BEHIND ME TO BACK ME UP, TO GIVE ME STRENGTH. BISHOPS ARE SUBJECT TO TEMPTATIONS THAT I NEVER HAVE TO DEAL WITH. WHO WILL THE DEVIL GO AFTER WITH MORE THOUGHT AND INTENSITY? ME OR A BISHOP? THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUS. SO IT IS WAY TOO EASY FOR ME IN MY POSITION TO SIT BACK ON TOP OF THE INTELLECTUAL SUPPORT THAT WE HAVE BENEFITED FROM IN THE LAST 40 YEARS AND CALL THEM (BACK THEN) LAME, COWARDLY, ETC. I KNOW MY OWN WEAKNESS AND FRAILTY ENOUGH THAT I WILL HESITATE TO DO THAT. I FEAR THE LORD WILL PULL BACK A BIT AND LET ME FALL ON MY BUTT, AND THEN I'LL RETRACT. >> This historical fact should not be omitted. WELL, I'LL LET GOD BE THE JUDGE OF THAT. PERHAPS IT IS TRUE. THIS ARTICLE IS NOT MEANT TO DEFEND THEM. I WON'T CONDEMN THEM NOR DEFEND THEM. ALL I WANT TO DO IS CLOSE OFF AN AVENUE THAT MANY PEOPLE TAKE, NAMELY APPEALING TO THE WINNIPEG STATEMENT TO SUPPORT THE DECISION TO USE CONTRACEPTION NOW, IN 2008. CAN'T DO IT. >> And so in that light, expressions of solidarity as we find at >> the beginning of the Winnipeg Statement are not out of place. STEFAN, IF YOU ARE AROUND MY AGE (46), THEN WE WERE 7 AT THE TIME. CAN WE REALLY SAY FOR SURE THAT EXPRESSIONS OF SOLIDARITY AND UNDERSTANDING WERE OUT OF PLACE? I THINK WE HAVE TO GIVE THEM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT HERE. MOST PEOPLE NEED UNDERSTANDING, PERHAPS NOT EVERYONE. >> No, HV has settled the question. STEFAN, AGAIN YOU DIDN'T READ CAREFULLY. IT'S NOT HUMANAE VITAE THAT IS AN HISTORICAL AND OPEN DOCUMENT, RATHER THE WINNIPEG STATEMENT IS AN OPEN STATEMENT THAT HAS REFERENCE TO THE FUTURE. THAT'S THE KEY TO THIS. THE WINNIPEG STATEMENT IS AT THIS TIME IN HISTORY AN OUTDATED STATEMENT. WHY? PROOF? BECAUSE IT SAYS THAT IT IS AN OPEN DOCUMENT, UNSETTLED. NOT HUMANAE VITAE. >> By saying that "the solution will be found in the future", the Bishops are >> dissenting. They are stating that the question has not been settled. NO, YOU MISUNDERSTAND THE CITATION. THEY ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE QUESTION AT ALL. THEY ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE MORAL QUESTION, THE MORALITY OF CONTRACEPTION. THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT THE DIFFICULT PROBLEM THAT MARRIED PEOPLE EXPERIENCE IN RECONCILING CONJUGAL LOVE AND THE RESPONSIBLE TRANSMISSION OF HUMAN LIFE. THAT WAS A PROBLEM NOT FOR EVERYONE, BUT FOR SOME PEOPLE AT THE TIME, THOSE WHO HAD FINANCIAL PROBLEMS OR WHO WERE TOLD THAT THEY CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CHILD OR ELSE THEY WILL DIE, AS MY MOTHER WAS TOLD (ALTHOUGH IT TURNED OUT TO BE FALSE). YOU ARE MISREADING THIS. YOU ARE TOO MUCH ON THE DEFENSIVE. >> The people who dissented from HV are precisely NOT the people who >> worked hard at NFP, etc. THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID, THOUGH. TIME CONTINUED AFTER 1968, IT DID NOT COME TO A STANDSTILL. SINCE THEN, MANY GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED, JUST WHAT THEY HOPED FOR IN THE ABOVE SECTION, IE «COMMON EFFORT IN DIALOGUE, RESEARCH, AND STUDY. PEOPLE CONTINUED TO STUDY AND RESEARCH. THAT'S ALL I'M SAYING. >> Precisely not! It summarizes SOME of those teachings, leaving only the >> loopholes necessary to work around HV! BUT THE WS DIDN'T HAVE TO DO A THOROUGH AND EXHAUSTIVE ACCOUNT ON CONSCIENCE. IT WAS NOT NECESSARY. WE ALREADY HAD ONE FROM VATICAN II, AND THE WS APPEALS TO THAT. IN DOING SO, IT PRESUPPOSES A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF CONSCIENCE. THE LATER DOCUMENT ON CONSCIENCE BY THE CANADIAN BISHOPS, I BELIEVE IT WAS 1974, CORRECTS MANY OF THE MISUNDERSTANDINGS OR MISCONCEPTION ABOUT CONSCIENCE. YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE WS CYNICALLY, BUT MY POINT IS THAT ONE NEED NOT LOOK AT IT CYNICALLY, BUT SIMPLY TAKE THE WORDS FOR WHAT THEY ARE, AND ONE CAN CLOSE THAT AVENUE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO TAKE IN ORDER TO USE CONTRACEPTION TODAY. THAT'S ALL. >> Church teaching", then WS would have been much better! But the Bishops >> didn't say that. You did. THAT'S FINE. THEY DIDN'T SAY THAT. BUT I THINK THE USE OF THE WORD 'IMPOSSIBLE' IN THE WS IS MORE COLLOQUIAL THAN DOCTRINAL. >> Real Catholics follow the Pope not because they >> have a Ph.D., but because they have Faith. WELL, I SORT OF AGREE WITH YOU HERE, BUT NOT EVERYONE HAS THE FAITH YOU HAVE. YOU HAVE VERY STRONG FAITH. SOME PEOPLE DON'T. SOME PEOPLE JUST COME TO CHURCH, THEY DON'T KNOW WHY, THEY DON'T KNOW A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE CHURCH, ABOUT SCRIPTURE, HAVEN'T HAD GOOD PRIESTS IN THEIR LIVES GROWING UP, ETC. SOME PEOPLE ARE WEAKER, THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT. SOME PEOPLE STRUGGLE. I THINK YOU ARE EXPECTING PEOPLE AT THAT TIME TO HAVE THE SAME FAITH AS YOU HAVE NOW, THE SAME STRENGTH, THE SAME COURAGE, ETC. >> How suspending assent can be different from dissent is known only >> to language lawyers. NOT REALLY. IT'S LIKE REFUSING TO SAY A THING AND OUTRIGHT LYING. TO WAIT BEFORE YOU GIVE YOUR FULL ASSENT IS NOT THE SAME AS DISSENTING. JUST LIKE CHOOSING NOT TO CAUSE A BABY (NFP) IS NOT THE SAME AS CHOOSING TO PREVENT A POSSIBLE BABY FROM COMING TO BE. SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT'S SEMANTICS AS WELL. >> Once again, your interpretation is orthodox, but that is not >> what the text says. SORRY STEFAN, BUT 'IN WHAT SEEMS TO THEM' IS PRETTY CLEAR. I HAVE A STUDENT WHO IS NOW PREGNANT, A FORMER STUDENT. SHE'S PROLIFE, BUT SHE'S BEING TEMPTED BY OTHERS TO ABORT. THE PRESSURE IS ON HER. I HAD TO REASSURE HER, COMFORT, HER, REASON WITH HER, BECAUSE IN HER MIND, IN WHAT SEEMS TO HER, SHE IS INVOLVED IN A CONFLICT OF DUTIES, THE DUTY TO GO TO SCHOOL, WORK, AND THE DUTY TO GIVE BIRTH. NOW, THERE'S NO CONFLICT, BUT IN HER MIND, SHE IS INVOLVED IN A CONFLICT OF DUTIES (IN WHAT SEEMS TO HER A CONFLICT OF DUTIES). >> Which is precisely the people who needed to be given true doctrine! I THINK IT IS A BIT MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT. PEOPLE NEED GOOD TEACHING, BUT THEY NEED GOOD PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES, PEOPLE WITH FAITH, PEOPLE WHO CAN ASSURE THEM, STRENGTHEN THEM, GIVE THEM HOPE, WITNESS TO CHRIST, ETC. IT WAS NOT A GOOD TIME FOR PEOPLE. I THINK THE WS WAS URGING PRIEST AND CONFESSORS TO BE VERY MERCIFUL AND UNDERSTANDING, NOT NECESSARILY LIBERAL. >> The target audience of the WS are the dissenters! NO, THEY WERE NOT THE TARGET. THE TARGET AUDIENCE WERE THE FAITHFUL WHO WERE CONFUSED, WHO DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY CONTRACEPTION WAS WRONG, WHO WERE MISTAUGHT, WHO WERE SURROUNDED BY MEDIA RIDICULING CHURCH TEACHING, PRIESTS AND MONSIGNORS WHO DISSENTED FROM HUMANAE VITAE, ETC. IT WAS THE FAITHFUL. >> I'd say "stupid" and "heretical", but just saying "dangerous" >> might let you keep your job as a deacon! ;-) I DON'T GET PAYED, NO BENEFITS, NO TIPS, NO MEDICAL, NOTHING. ZILCH, NADA! REMEMBER, THE GOAL IS TO GET PRIESTS AND DEACONS WHO ACCEPT THE WS TO STOP USING IT TO JUSTIFY THEIR DISSENT. IT CAN BE DONE. BUT YOUR APPROACH WILL NOT WORK. THEY WILL NOT FOLLOW YOU, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THE WS IS A CHURCH DOCUMENT, AND THEY ACCEPT ALL CHURCH DOCUMENTS. BUT IF WE ACCEPT IT ON ITS OWN TERMS, WE CAN ARGUE AGAINST THEM AND WIN. >> See comments at beginning on lack of authority of one Bishop >> speaking in his own name. IF CARTER SAYS THE WS IS NOT A BLANK CHEQUE FOR PEOPLE, THEN WHY NOT TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD? WHY NOT USE THIS TO SHOW PRIESTS TODAY THAT THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING THAT CARTER DID NOT ENVISION? >> Section 26 says the exact opposite. In plain English. WELL, IF YOU INSIST, THEN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A HARD TIME CONVINCING THOSE WHO DISSENT BASED ON THEIR READING OF WS THAT THEY OUGHT NOT TO. TAKE CARTER AT HIS WORD, AND YOUR JOB BECOMES MUCH EASIER. >> If they obstinately refuse the authority of the teaching >> Magisterium, they ARE excommunicated! NOT REALLY. THAT'S NEVER BEEN THE CASE WITH THE CHURCH. DISSENTERS ARE NOT EXCOMMUNICATED. >> Moreover, once again, Section 26 says in plain English: "whoever honestly >> chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience". NOPE. IT DOES NOT. YOU TOOK IT OUT OF CONTEXT. YOU TOOK THAT PART OF A LARGER STATEMENT AND SEPARATED IT OUT. BUT THE WHOLE OF SECTION 26 HAS TO BE READ IN LIGHT OF THE WHOLE DOCUMENT. >> It doesn't say: "For the couples of the >> sixties"... IT DOESN'T SAY COUPLES OF THE 60S, BUT A PASTORAL DIRECTIVE CANNOT BE GIVEN TO COUPLES OF A LATER PERIOD. NOT POSSIBLE. THE CANADIAN BISHOPS CANNOT ADDRESS ALL COUPLES OF ALL AGES. NO WAY. THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH ADDRESSES ALL PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. THE CANADIAN BISHOPS CAN ONLY DEAL WITH THEIR PEOPLE LIVING AT THAT TIME. THEY WERE AWARE OF THAT. >> Well, intelligent Bishops would have known, but anybody >> signing the WS had to be pretty moronic! ;-) NOT EVEN INTELLIGENT BISHOPS WOULD HAVE KNOWN. WHAT IS THE CHURCH GOING TO LOOK LIKE IN 40 YEARS? WHAT WILL SOCIETY BE LIKE IN 40 YEARS? WE HAVE NO IDEA, SO WE CAN'T INSTRUCT COUPLES 40 YEARS IN THE FUTURE. WE CAN TELL THEM THAT A CERTAIN BEHAVIOUR IS MORALLY WRONG, BUT THE FUTURE WILL BRING NEW CIRCUMSTANCES, NEW MORAL PROBLEMS, NEW SOLUTIONS TO OLDER DIFFICULTIES, ETC. >> The Church teaches that if you die in a state of mortal >> sin, you go to Hell. Period. SO YOU ARE SAYING THAT A TEENAGER, IN HIS SEXUAL PEAK, LIVING AT A TIME WHEN THERE IS SEXUAL IMAGERY ALL OVER THE PLACE, WEAK CATECHESIS, NO RELIGION IN SCHOOLS, IS GOING TO HELL, AN ETERNAL STATE OF UNIMAGINABLE SUFFERING, FOR «CHOKING HIS CHICKEN» IN A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS? YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS! >> not telling them they don't need to worry about Hell! See The "Pastoral" Approach. WELL, I TELL THE DRUG DEALERS THAT THEY OUGHT TO WORRY ABOUT HELL. SINS OF THE SPIRIT ARE FAR MORE SERIOUS THAN SINS OF THE FLESH. THERE'S MORE FREEDOM INVOLVED. SINS OF THE FLESH, ESPECIALLY IN ADOLESCENCE, MITIGATE AGAINST FREEDOM OF THE WILL. AND IT ISN'T SO MUCH THAT THEY NEED NOT WORRY ABOUT HELL. I WANT THEM TO GROW IN THE GIFT OF FEAR. RATHER, I DON'T WANT THEM TO LOSE SLEEP, THINKING THEY ARE DAMNED, BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN «WACKIN' WILLY». THEY NEED TO COMMIT TO ACQUIRING DOMINION OVER THEIR SEXUAL APPETITE. THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN OVER NIGHT, NO PUN INTENDED. >> Anyway, if that is the kind of advice you give, and I were your >> Bishop, you would be told to be in my office tomorrow morning at 7 AM! BUT YOU ARE NOT A BISHOP. YOU ARE NOT A PRIEST EITHER. GOD HAS NOT CALLED YOU TO BE A PASTOR, AND SO YOU DON'T HAVE THE GRACES AND CHARISMS TO BE ONE. BUT A BISHOP, AN ORTHODOX ONE, READ THIS ARTICLE TWO DAYS AGO AND WAS VERY HAPPY WITH IT AND GAVE ME THE GREEN LIGHT TO PUBLISH IT. BUT HE DID SUGGEST I CHANGE THIS EXAMPLE REGARDING MASTURBATION, NOT BECAUSE HE DID NOT AGREE WITH ME. HE DID AGREE WITH IT. BUT HE SAID THAT CERTAIN PEOPLE WILL CRITICIZE THAT AND GET OFF TRACK AND LOSE A SENSE OF WHAT THIS ARTICLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT, AND YOU HAVE PROVEN HIM RIGHT. YOU LOST TRACK OF WHAT THIS ARTICLE WAS ABOUT. MOREOVER, HE DID NOT CALL ME INTO HIS OFFICE. NOW, YOU CAN WRITE HIM OFF AS A HERETIC OR DISSENTER, BUT HE ISN'T. HE'S A FAITHFUL BISHOP, A SOLID THEOLOGIAN, A PROFESSOR, WHO HAS A GREAT DEAL OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE FAITHFUL. I APPRECIATE YOUR REFLECTION VERY MUCH. BUT I SHOULD SAY THIS: I HAVE GOOD FRIENDS THAT I DEBATE WITH, VERY BRIGHT AND ORTHODOX GUYS, AND THEY DO DISAGREE WITH ME AT TIMES. BUT WHEN THEY DO, THEY DO CARRY WITHIN THEM A REAL SENSE OF THEIR OWN LIMITATIONS, AND SO THEY DEBATE WITH A REAL OPENNESS THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE OVERLOOKED SOMETHING-SINCE THEY'VE DONE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE. I DON'T SENSE THAT OPENNESS IN YOU. I SENSE A VERY RIGID AND DOGMATIC SPIRIT THAT LURKS BEHIND ORTHODOXY. YOU'LL NEVER CATCH ME DISSENTING FROM CHURCH TEACHING, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT. PEACE AND BLESSINGS, DEACON X13
-----Original Message----- From: Stefan Jetchick Sent: 1 juillet 2008 14:15 To: Deacon X13 Subject: RE: agree to disagree Hello again Deacon X13, >> HE IS A PASTOR, HE HAS TO HAVE NOT ONLY THEOLOGY, >> AN UNDERSTANDING OF UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES, BUT A NUMBER >> OF OTHER VIRTUES [...] IT IS MUCH MORE THAN SIMPLY >> TELLING SOMEONE MORAL TRUTHS THAT ARE UNIVERSALLY TRUE. Amen! A Pastor doesn't just say: "Heaven is this way", he also "empowers" (to use a popular buzz-word) his sheep to actually take that road. A practical example of a pastoral approach involving "a number of other virtues" is given here: 4) What would my pastoral approach look like? >> WELL, WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL HERE. IT'S EASY FOR ME >> TO SAY THEY WERE LAME, BUT I'M JUST A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER >> [...] I KNOW MY OWN WEAKNESS AND FRAILTY ENOUGH THAT I >> WILL HESITATE TO DO THAT. Distinguo. There is a difference between saying: "I would have done better", and saying: "This is against the Faith, do not eat this poisoned grass, do not listen to this pastor." The first one is the sin of pride. The second one is Summa Theologica, IIa-IIae, q. 33, a. 4, ad. 2. >> ALL I WANT TO DO IS CLOSE OFF AN AVENUE THAT MANY PEOPLE TAKE, >> NAMELY APPEALING TO THE WINNIPEG STATEMENT TO SUPPORT THE >> DECISION TO USE CONTRACEPTION NOW, IN 2008. And of course, once again, I fully applaud and approve of your excellent intention! >> THE WINNIPEG STATEMENT IS AT THIS TIME IN HISTORY AN OUTDATED STATEMENT. As I've said, that is not what the wording says. For example (ad nauseam): "In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology..." It does not say: "And given that we have clearly stated a sunset clause for this document, we now temporarily assert that..." Moreover, the Canadian Bishops have never formally retracted that statement, or corrected its widespread interpretation (or "misinterpretation", according to you). See my example below about traffic lights and a rash of accidents at intersections. >> YOU ARE TOO MUCH ON THE DEFENSIVE. Well, I do have a web site called "www.inquisition.ca" ;-) >> BUT THE WS DIDN'T HAVE TO DO A THOROUGH AND EXHAUSTIVE ACCOUNT >> ON CONSCIENCE. IT WAS NOT NECESSARY. WE ALREADY HAD ONE FROM >> VATICAN II, AND THE WS APPEALS TO THAT. The gist of WS is an assertion on conscience which can be intentionally interpreted in two ways, one Catholic, one heretic. The fact WS points to other documents which can eventually be interpreted correctly is another proof that the ambiguity is intentional. These people knew exactly what the Catholic doctrine on conscience was. They wanted to misrepresent it, while maintaining plausible deniability. Think about it. Suppose you wrote a document with the intention of telling car drivers that: "Red light, stop. Green light, go". The next day, a rash of accidents at intersections occured, and all drivers involved claimed your document gave them the right to plow through an intersection on a red light. Would you wait 40 years to correct their misinterpretation? Now, where is the Quebec City Statement? >> I THINK YOU ARE EXPECTING PEOPLE AT THAT TIME TO HAVE >> THE SAME FAITH AS YOU HAVE NOW, THE SAME STRENGTH, THE SAME >> COURAGE, ETC. Yes and no. Yes, I expect all Catholics to have the One Divine Catholic Faith, without which one is automatically excommunicated. No, I don't expect everybody to be able to rattle off quotes of Encyclicals and the Denzinger, while simultaneously offering up their bodies for martyrdom. >> TO WAIT BEFORE YOU GIVE YOUR FULL ASSENT IS NOT THE SAME AS >> DISSENTING. "The obedience of faith is to be given to God who reveals" [Dei Verbum, #5] >> PEOPLE NEED GOOD TEACHING, BUT THEY NEED GOOD PEOPLE IN >> THEIR LIVES, PEOPLE WITH FAITH, PEOPLE WHO CAN ASSURE THEM, >> STRENGTHEN THEM, GIVE THEM HOPE, WITNESS TO CHRIST, ETC. Amen. See my comment above about the bar and the "empowerment" go jump over the bar. >> REMEMBER, THE GOAL IS TO GET PRIESTS AND DEACONS WHO ACCEPT >> THE WS TO STOP USING IT TO JUSTIFY THEIR DISSENT [...] >> THEY WILL NOT FOLLOW YOU, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THE WS IS >> A CHURCH DOCUMENT, AND THEY ACCEPT ALL CHURCH DOCUMENTS. Now you must have written this very late at night, because that is one whopping contradiction in terms! Priests who reject Humanae Vitae "accept all Church documents"? I hope you just teach theology, and not Logic! ;-) >> IF CARTER SAYS THE WS IS NOT A BLANK CHEQUE FOR PEOPLE, THEN >> WHY NOT TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD? WHY NOT USE THIS TO SHOW PRIESTS >> TODAY THAT THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING THAT CARTER DID NOT ENVISION? Why not believe Father Raymond Gravel, who teaches that sodomy and abortion are fine? Because Fr. Raymond Gravel is just one clergyman who has an opinion. One Bishop (Carter) against an official document signed by all Canadian Bishops just doesn't work. If all Canadian Bishops signed the Quebec City Statement, then we would be in business! >> NOT REALLY. THAT'S NEVER BEEN THE CASE WITH THE CHURCH. >> DISSENTERS ARE NOT EXCOMMUNICATED. ... since Vatican II. Read the Code of Canon Law, and interrogate the "dissenters" to find out what they obstinately reject, and connect the dots. >> THE CANADIAN BISHOPS CANNOT ADDRESS ALL COUPLES OF ALL AGES. "Bishops [...] are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent" [Lumen Gentium, #25, §1.] >> NOT EVEN INTELLIGENT BISHOPS WOULD HAVE KNOWN. WHAT IS THE >> CHURCH GOING TO LOOK LIKE IN 40 YEARS? Section 26 is inexcusable. At any period in the Church's history, whatever the circumstances. >> IS GOING TO HELL, AN ETERNAL STATE OF UNIMAGINABLE SUFFERING, >> FOR «CHOKING HIS CHICKEN» IN A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS? YOU CAN'T >> BE SERIOUS! I claim, once again, that God decides who goes to Heaven, and who goes to Hell. Not me. Notice that you claim they don't go to Hell. I claim that decision is not my decision. There is a big difference between our positions. Once again, the Holy Catholic Church teaches that to commit a mortal sin, you need grave matter, knowledge and freedom. Grave matter? Check. Knowledge? [Romans 2:14]. Check. Freedom? Are they interned in a mental institution? No. Check. The reason why we have to work out our salvation in fear and trembling is that Hell is a real possibility. The reason why we have to go out and teach the Faith and spread the Sacraments is because without them, going to Hell becomes very easy. Does this particular young man deserve Hell? That is God's decision. But my job is to tell him how high the bar is, then help him jump over it. Not lower the bar to where he currently is. >> SINS OF THE SPIRIT ARE FAR MORE SERIOUS THAN SINS OF THE FLESH. Yes, but sins of the flesh are also mortal sins. >> THEY NEED TO COMMIT TO ACQUIRING DOMINION OVER THEIR SEXUAL APPETITE. >> THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN OVER NIGHT, NO PUN INTENDED. :-) But yes, I agree it doesn't always happen overnight, although it certainly can (read up on the history of Saints). >> BUT YOU ARE NOT A BISHOP. I know. Hence the "if" in my sentence. >> GOD HAS NOT CALLED YOU TO BE A PASTOR Once again, you must have been writing this late at night. Another big juicy logical mistake. If you are a Bishop, you can say God has not called me. If not, you are talking way out of your pay grade. Remember I put "if" in my sentence... I know I'm not a Bishop! >> BUT A BISHOP, AN ORTHODOX ONE, READ THIS ARTICLE TWO DAYS AGO >> AND WAS VERY HAPPY WITH IT AND GAVE ME THE GREEN LIGHT TO PUBLISH IT. Name? E-mail address? >> NOW, YOU CAN WRITE HIM OFF AS A HERETIC OR DISSENTER, BUT HE ISN'T. >> HE'S A FAITHFUL BISHOP, A SOLID THEOLOGIAN, A PROFESSOR, WHO HAS A >> GREAT DEAL OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE FAITHFUL. Name? E-mail address? >> I DON'T SENSE THAT OPENNESS IN YOU. I SENSE A VERY RIGID AND >> DOGMATIC SPIRIT THAT LURKS BEHIND ORTHODOXY. "Rigid", or "Tenacious"? The Problem Of The Rigid Seminarian ;-) To conclude, I guess we can agree to disagree. You apparently will always claim the Winnipeg Statement can be interpreted in an orthodox way. I will always claim in can be both interpreted in an orthodox way, and in a heretical way. Intentionally. Anyway, swing by my place next time you come to Quebec City! We can gab about this and other things over a cup of coffee. Cheers! Stefan Jetchick
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