From Louie Verrecchio:
QUESTION: How many long held non-infallible Catholic doctrines do you consider subject to rejection as possibly erroneous and perhaps even dangerous?
A) I believe that only those teachings that are obviously incorrect, insufficiently nuanced, or otherwise untenable in light of present-day circumstances are subject to rejection.
B) Technically, all of them are potentially suspect and subject to rejection since they’re not infallible.
If you answered C, you gave a solid Catholic answer. You also happen to be in the overwhelming minority.
When push comes to shove, most so-called “traditionalists” (better known as tradservatives) will admit to holding position A, even if only reluctantly. For instance, following are three prime examples of long held non-infallible Catholic doctrines that tradition-minded Catholics frequently twist, gloss over, or reject altogether as they attempt to make sense of the current ecclesial crisis…
In each case one has a choice to make, to either apply what the Church has always taught to explain the present situation, or to redefine (that is, to twist or reject) what the Church has always taught to fit the present situation.
- The organization presently in Rome claiming to be the Holy Catholic Church authoritatively teaches false doctrines.
TRADITIONAL EXPLANATION: Based on what the Church has always taught about herself, the organization presently in Rome, since its doctrines endanger the faithful, cannot be the one true Church.
TRADSERVATIVE NOVELTY: The organization presently in Rome is the one true Church, despite what the Church has always taught about herself. Yes, it teaches false doctrines, but not infallibly, and so we are called to resist.
- Jorge Bergoglio fails to manifest the true faith; he actively opposes it.
TRADITIONAL EXPLANATION: Based on what the Church has always taught about membership in the Church, Jorge Bergoglio is not a Catholic of any rank.
TRADSERVATIVE NOVELTY: Jorge Bergoglio is a member of the Holy Catholic Church, despite what the Church has always taught about visible membership in her. What’s more, given that most everyone considers him pope, we have no right say otherwise.
- “Francis” attacks the true faith but claims to be the Holy Roman Pontiff.
TRADITIONAL EXPLANATION: Based on what the Church has always taught about the pope being our rule of faith, the Divine protection afforded to the pope by Our Lord, and the witness of the past nearly 2,000 years, Francis is obviously an anti-pope.
TRADSERVATIVE NOVELTY: Francis is the Holy Roman Pontiff and Vicar of Christ, despite what the Church has always taught about the papacy, the Divine protection afforded to it by Our Lord, and the witness of the past nearly 2,000 years. Even though he is the pope, we cannot treat him as our rule of faith, rather, we must defend ourselves against his false doctrines!
Having considered these three fairly common examples, one must further consider:
What’s to prevent these same tradservatives from one day calling into question the validity of other non-infallible doctrines. For example:
Public revelation ended with Christ and the Apostles.
Some readers may be surprised to discover that this doctrine has never been infallibly defined, it is, in other words, a non-infallible teaching.
If the anti-Christ arrived on the scene tomorrow, proclaiming to be God, his words no less than “divine revelation,” where will the tradservatives of today line up? One wonders, will they apply what the Church has always taught to the situation and conclude that the man is a diabolical liar, or will they accept his claims despite what the Church has always taught?
Based upon their behavior today, all indications are that many will follow the latter course of action…