Common sense, legalism, obedience, the Cardinal in white, and you.

…”Epikeia (again, a virtue according to St. Thomas Aquinas) requires we put common sense ahead of legalism.  St. Thomas is obviously not saying “the greater good” can be used to say that the end justifies the means.  Rather, when applied correctly, epikeia leads to extremely clear conclusions on Church and State today:  No prelate can obliterate the ancient Mass. No bishop can say you can’t receive Holy Communion on the tongue in fear of a flu with a 99.92% survival rate.  No priest can be suspended for preaching orthodoxy even under the pretext that such orthodoxy is “disobedient” (as happened to a priest friend of mine in Texas.) No government can say you must take an experimental drug. No Cardinal-in-white can say it’s okay to worship a pagan demon-god like a Pachamama. Nobody can be arrested and placed in solitary confinement for walking into an open Capital building on January 6th. No diocesan tribunal can end a valid marriage.

“Of course, the neo-con non-trad would reply to all of this:  “Well, who is to determine what is a just command if not your superiors in Church and State?”  The answer is quite simple:  St. Thomas Aquinas and all saints believed every person to have access to common-sense, and if any order were to go against common-sense, it is probably to be ignored.

“In fact, all of those controversies two paragraphs up go against both common sense and the Catholic Magisterium or the US Constitution.  Therefore, there is no law against them. Common-sense is indeed a part of our discernment of obedience, for we Catholics have always believed in the marriage of faith and reason, not an arbitrary and capricious obedience as found in Islam.  We priests must be obedient to God and—at a distant second—to our bishops’ just commands.  But when there is a rub between the two, we must obey God rather than man, for there’s a hierarchy of obedience.  

“And when an infiltration of the Church and State has taken place at such a deep level as of today, the ones making the unjust commands will ironically label as “outlaws” those holding to St. Thomas and the classic Magisterium of the Catholic Church.  But we know at the end of the day, as the Apostle said, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

15 thoughts on “Common sense, legalism, obedience, the Cardinal in white, and you.”

  1. Interesting article in Culture Wars magazine this month about our pope.
    Thanks. Common sense be more common!

  2. Also it is not schismatic to disobey evil or someone in office if his authority is questionable for good reasons.

  3. “No prelate can obliterate the ancient Mass.” Tell that to Paul VI. He tried pretty hard.
    And as far as hierarchy of obedience goes, in increasing order of importance, I have always thought it is 4) your boss, 3) a cop, 2) your wife, and 1) a nun.

  4. “In fact, all of those controversies two paragraphs up go against both common sense and the Catholic Magisterium….”
    Problem is, they don’t go against the current “Catholic Magisterium”…….they go against the pre-VII Catholic Magisterium. What does go against common-sense and faith is believing the Catholic Magisterium/Church headed by a valid pope can feed Her sheep stones.
    I could very well be mistaken, but it seems padre is suggesting or endorsing the R&R position….which simply is not Catholic. The perennial teaching of the Church is we must submit to the Pope and his Magisterium. We don’t get to choose which teachings to believe or ignore…that is straight up Protestantism.

    1. “It is not an act of schism to refuse obedience to a law or precept of the Supreme Pontiff or other ecclesiastical Superior, provided this refusal does not amount to a disclaimer of all subjection to him ; nor even then, if there be any doubt of his authority, as when two or more persons have plausible claims to the position; but formal schism may be committed by one who claims to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction which has not been conferred upon him by proper authority.”
      Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, Volume 1, page 332, Sylvester Joseph Hunter

    2. Padre is saying Francis is not the Pope because we already have a Pope who is still alive and is named Benedict. You can’t resist an anti-Pope, as there’s nothing there to resist, you simply ignore him and focus on the Pope you’ve already got.
      Francis is not *not the Pope* because he teaches heresy – whether he teaches heresy or no it is all hot air because he is *not the Pope* in the first place.
      It’s like musical chairs, if the seat ain’t empty, nobody else can sit there.

      1. I agree, Bergoglio is not the pope and I embraced BiP for five years. Since neither SSPX nor the Indult communities embraced BiP I took a closer look at VII, the popes who promulgated it, the SSPX position, the sede argument and have decided SVism is true. It’s the Catholic response, imo, to all the madness in the Church and the world.
        I love Abp. Lefebvre, but ultimately I believe he got it wrong. He waffled between SVism and R&R. Because we know the NO Church is wrong in canonizing Saints, I would pray TO Abp. Lefebvre (and I certainly do hope he is indeed in the Beatific vision right now)….but now I pray FOR him in case he is not.

  5. T, I don’t know the context of this quote, but I would suspect it would be related to not obeying a pope if he commanded or asked one to, go out and get him a “chorus girl” (example given by Mario Derksen at NOW).
    Besides that, what exactly would be the point of the Petrine Promise if one is allowed to pick and choose what doctrines to believe? AND, if we are now allowed to decide for ourselves what to believe, what happens if/when we get another Pope Pius X? The R&R position doesn’t work, because it’s not Catholic.

    1. By which I don’t mean that a pope can be a heretic and apostate and still in the body of the Church. Because apart from the Pachamama thing, everything listed in not technically heresy or apostasy and you can still disobey them without being a schismatic, as the priest who wrote the article indicates.
      Cardinal Bergoglio has taught heresy so his legitimacy is questionable.

    1. I’m just saying that it is possible to not listen to everything Bergoglio says without being a schismatic, even if he were the pope.

      1. There have never been popes who taught either by word or action , heresies like false ecumenism, religious liberty or collegiality.
        Morally corrupt popes were still protected from teaching error by Christ’s Divine Promise.

  6. Whenever says “nobody can be . . . ” what he should say is “nobody properly can be…” Obviously those who control the Church or State apparatus can physically do many things that are not proper. But they can still do them.

  7. I’ve heard stories of nuns in training being ordered to plant vegetables upside down to teach obedience. Going against common sense is foolishness. God has His own foolishness.
    The limit is when authorities are demanding positive evil.

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