Papal Intention Focuses on Values-Based Culture
May 01, 2008 06:51 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
To all readers
My views are:
The following are a very well written article from Blavatsky.net, and aught to make some of the present day theosophists rethink their activities in life and also how they behave towards society and people the meet in general.
Pope muzzles Theologians -
and maybe others
Once again the Pope of Rome is in the news acting ever more strongly and sweepingly to bring unity to the Catholic Church. However, his actions may hasten that which he aims to forestall. To some, his actions reveal fear, and suggest the time for the undoing of the Church may be coming upon us. The latest events: the June 4, 1998 New York Times ran a frontpage headline "John Paul Moves to Stifle dissent on heated issues - Slap at Church Liberals." Five days later the Times had an article entitled "Pope's Guidance on dissent Provokes New Debate in the U.S." We have included both these articles below.
Some of the terminology is technical. Essentially, the Pope has declared that more views of his are now infallible - including controversial positions on women's ordination. He has first of all squelched Theologians. However, it is not clear where he has drawn the line - priests and even lay people may also be affected. He has announced "just punishment" for those who don't shut up.
Since infallibility is an underlying issue here we wanted to say some more. Somewhere in her writings we recall Blavatsky pointing out that the doctrine of papal infallibility is only recent having occurred around 1871 (just before she had started her active work). It is so surprising to so many people that the doctrine of infallibility is so recent that we would like to present some detail.
The First Vatican Council (1869/70) was convoked to put an end to the spiritual confusion of the 19th century, which affected even Christians, by clarifying the Catholic faith and the Catholic view of the Church. The Syllabus had been the first step. The only constitutions to be promulgated were the Dei Filius, dealing with the relation between faith and knowledge, and Pastor Aeternus, dealing with the extent of papal jurisdiction and doctrinal infallibility. The council ended prematurely with the occupation of the Papal States by Piedmontese troops as a result of the Franco-Prussian War; decrees in preparation on the Church and pastoral questions never reached the voting stage. The definition of the Pope's primacy and infallibility, intended as part of a comprehensive definition of the Church, thus remaind a torso. The primacy question presented the greater difficulty in view of the inherent rights of the diocesan bishops. But widespread alarm was aroused by "infallibility" even before the council opened. yet this definition did not have the unhappy consequences which had been feared. While excluding existing Gallican ideas, it also set limits to extreme ultramontane views; in substance it did not go beyond the traditional doctrinal teachings of the 13th and 16th centuries. The declaration of universal jurisdiction of the Pope, on the other hand, was fraught with far greater cosequences in the intensification of curial centralization. (From Encyclopedia of Theology - the Concise Sacramentum Mundi. A heavily pro-Catholic document. Entry under Council.)
In other words, the infallibility of the Pope had not been an official part of Church teaching prior to 1869! When the doctrine was raised for consideration at the council, it caused "widespread alarm"! But it turned out that some extremist positions were not adopted!
Another issue at stake in this recent round is the Pope choosing celibacy for the priests - now infallibly. You may be interested to know that as an official doctrine this was first enunciated by Pope Gregory about the year 1000. His motive, clearly known, was to avoid having the church lose financial assets to the wives and family of the priests. Lets put it more directly: it was cheaper for the church if priests did not marry. This was the real life origin of the doctrine that now this Pope has pronounced "infallible".
As evidence for this shockingly mundane origin of church policy we quote again from the same Encyclopedia of Theology (Catholic) under the entry for celibacy:
A historical factor in the promotion of celibacy in the Middle Ages was the problem which had already exercised minds in the 5th and 6th centuries - the effort to prevent the alienation of Church property, which might otherwise pass into the possession of the priest's family.
The apostolic letter expressing these views of the Pope was first offered to the world only in Latin and Italian. A temporary English translation of the letter is here. You will see phrases there that are quite alien to independent thinking.
For a refreshing contrast of view, and to close this issue, we quote Blavatsky on education:
Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves. ... We should aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects and above all things, unselfish. And we believe that much if not all of this could be obtained by proper and truly theosophical education. (p270-1 Key to Theosophy)"
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>From the Catholic papers we have The Vatican Council - 1869-1870:
C. The Question of Papal Infallibility
Also here The Vatican Council - 1869-1870
"Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.
Given at Rome in public session, solemnly held in the Vatican Basilica in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, on the eighteenth day of July, in the twenty-fifth year of Our Pontificate.
In conformity with the original.
Joseph, Bishop of St. Polten Secretary to the Vatican Council"
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Papal Intention Focuses on Values-Based Culture
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 29, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for May is for a culture that defends and promotes the values of the human person.
The Apostleship of Prayer announced the general intention chosen by the Pope, "That Christians may use literature, art and the mass media to greater advantage in order to favor a culture which defends and promotes the values of the human person."
The Holy Father also chooses a missionary intention for each month. In May he will pray, "That the Virgin Mary, star of evangelization and queen of the apostles, may still guide today with maternal affection the missionaries, both men and women, throughout the world, just as she accompanied the apostles in the early stages of the Church."
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