Saturday, July 17, 2010
“Dissent, in the form of carefully orchestrated protests and polemics carried on in the media, is opposed to ecclesial communion and to a correct understanding of the hierarchical constitution of the People of God.” (Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 113).
It should come as no surprise that dissent within the Church leads to polarization and undermines truth which is the principle of the Church’s communion. In its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, No. 40, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that, “The Church ‘is like a sacrament, a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men’ (LG, 1). Consequently, to pursue concord and communion is to enhance the force of her witness and credibility. To succumb to the temptation of dissent, on the other hand, is to allow the ‘leaven of infidelity to the Holy Spirit’ to start to work.”
We are now witnessing such polarization within the Archdiocese of Boston where a false pluralism has been advanced; a pro-abortion, pro same-sex politician has been honored; and a high-ranking priest has issued praise for those who promoted Obamacare (which includes federal-funding of abortion).
The warning of Pope Paul VI, given during his Homily at Holy Thursday Mass on April 3, 1969, has been largely ignored:
“There is talk of renewal in the doctrine and in the conscience of the Church of God; but how can the living and true Church be authentic and persistent if the complex structure that forms it and defines it a spiritual and social ‘mystical body’, is today so often and so gravely corroded by dissent and challenge and by forgetfulness of its hierarchical structure, and is countered in its divine and indispensable constituent charism, its pastoral authority? How can it claim to be a Church, that is a united people, even though locally broken up and historically and legitimately diversified, when a practically schismatic ferment is dividing it, subdividing it and breaking it into groups which are more than anything else zealous for arbitrary and fundamentally egoistical autonomy, masked by Christian pluralism or liberty of conscience?”
Indeed. And that is the question in Boston.
Pray for the Archdiocese of Boston. Pray for its leaders. That they may all come to understand that dissent leads to polarization and harms the Church’s credibility and her witness. What must change? The structure of the Church or that of the human heart?
Related reading here. And here.Labels: Archdiocese of Boston, Conscience, Dissent, Egoistical Autonomy, Father Bryan Hehir, Father Richard Erikson, Holy Spirit, Infidelity, Leaven, Pluralism, Polarization, Pope Paul VI