Letter to the Magisterium: Why were the findings of the birth control commission discounted?
Forum participants, I'd like to see a few responses to the excerpt
below, which was taken from an old Letter to the Editor at this site. It read,
Follow me on the following:
A series of quotes:
" Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, ... We must first of all show the inviting splendour of that truth which is Jesus Christ himself. ... ... ... in him we are able to interiorize the law, to receive it and to live it ..." JPII-VS
"The Second Vatican Council clearly recalled this
"Nor does divine Providence deny the helps that are necessary for salvation to those, who, through no fault of their own have not yet attained the expressed recognition of God, yet who strive, not without divine grace, to lead an upright life." JPII-VS
End of Quotes.
How much we might take encouragement, those of us raised from conception to resurrection as Catholics, that our consciences may assuredly be formed as upright and mature ! For the Spirit animates all good people, everywhere.
From the above quotes we can be heartened, we who are able to interiorize the law, who are able to put into effect the will of God as known through the dictates of conscience, who strive to live an upright life ...for in all of this we are never denied that divine Providence, divine grace ...necessary for salvation. How wonderful to know that all people, in their inmost being, can hear the voice of God who alone is good, who alone is love!
In setting forth The Splendor of Truth, said John Paul II: "I now pass this evaluation on to you ... in order to clarify and aid our common discernment."
Toward the end of clarifying and aiding common discernment, many councils and synods have been gathered over the years and papal commissions have been appointed. The Chair of Peter has thus often turned to his fellow bishops and pastors for prayerful and deliberative discernment, that they may collegially discern in their collective inmost beings, the voice of Jesus Christ, the voice of God, the voice of truth about good and evil. This collegial discernment is not denied divine Providence, is accomplished, not without divine grace, the same Providence and grace that animates exculpable nonbelievers. Enlightened by the Gospel, such collegial discernment gatherings are assuredly positioned to interiorize, receive and live the law necessary for salvation.
The Church has stored the abundant riches as have been harvested by such gatherings to be distributed in the grand economy of salvation. At the same time, the Church recognizes the possible limitations of the human arguments employed by its Magisterium as they instruct the faithful. For those instructions obfuscated by nonpersuasive, noncompelling logic, the Church still seeks assent and calls for us to make a good faith attempt to develop a deeper understanding of the reasons for its teachings even as it expounds the validity and obligatory nature of such obfuscated proposed precepts.
In the light of all that I set forth above, let us inventory what possibly went awry with the one certain pontifical commission:
They were apparently unable to interiorize the law, to receive it and to live it ???
They were unable, under the influence of grace to put into effect the will of God as known to them through the dictate of conscience ???
Those who would follow their recommendations would be unable to attain salvation???
They appeared to have been denied that divine Providence that enables all people, in their inmost being, to hear the voice of God who alone is good, who alone is love???
They were unable to clarify and aid any common discernment ???
What happenned ???
What dynamic was at work considering that in most such commissions, collegial discernment is not denied divine Providence, is accomplished, not without divine grace ????
Were they insensitive to the same Providence and grace that animates exculpable nonbelievers ???
Enlightened by the Gospel, aren't such collegial discernment gatherings assuredly positioned to interiorize, receive and live the law necessary for salvation ???
The Church, historically, has stored the abundant riches as have been harvested by such gatherings to be distributed in the grand economy of salvation. Why, in the grand economy of salvation, was this commission ultimately declared morally bankrupt ???
According to John Paul II:
"At all times, but particularly in the last two centuries, the Popes, whether individually or together with the College of Bishops, have developed and proposed a moral teaching regarding the many different spheres of human life."
What happenned with this particular pontifical commission (chosen by the Pope himself and expanded by his successor)?
Why, in the first place, were Cardinals, Bishops, Pastors and Lay People commissioned by two Popes to explore matters previously declared intrinsically evil ???
Why were the commission recommendations rejected ???
Paul VI answered this question in 1967: "Far be it from Christians to be led to embrace another opinion, as if the Council taught that nowadays some things are 'permitted' which the Church had previously declared intrinsically evil. Who does not see in this the rise of a depraved "moral relativism" one that clearly endangers the Church's entire doctrinal heritage ?"
Why don't we just declare ourselves a Pilgrim Church and allow ourselves a few foibles, allow for growth and transformative processes ? Why don't we just own up to the fact that the Magisterium has not always been right on certain matters and recognize that the doctrinal heritage is not in half as much jeopardy as is the credibility of our Prophetic Voice ?
Some things, like slavery, were once permitted but have now been declared intrinsically evil. Why, for instance, as an integral part of our upcoming Jubilee, are we seeking forgiveness for past wrongs done by the Church ?
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Wow wow wow!
Those are all the right questions, Mom!
All you need to do is read some of the exchanges on this board to see the view of Papal teaching that's come down since that time. Instead of a Papacy that leads by clarifying for the Church what we actually do believe through consultation with the Ordinary Magisterium and sense of the faithful, we have a view in which the Pope, who is considered enlightened by God beyond all other finite creatures, passes on to us what we should believe. That's not what either the first or second Vatican Councils said Papal teaching was supposed to be, of course. But that's what's happened, and in the name of preserving some illusion about needing to always have been correct in all matters or else people would doubt! Well, they don't doubt the Magisterium now, they just mostly ignore them. Your questions show why. They have only themselves to blame!
Editor: Instead of a Papacy that leads by clarifying for the Church what we
actually do believe through consultation with the Ordinary Magisterium and
sense of the faithful, we have a view in which the Pope, who is considered
enlightened by God beyond all other finite creatures, passes on to us what we
James wrote: Of course the reason for this is clear. The Magesterium and Pope became frightened because of the apparent trend in which it saw morality heading and thought the only answer would turn out to be blind submission. Over the course of the last several decades it has been shown that this was not the solution and only made the faithful question the institution itself further. Finally, it is clear that a man who chooses morality when given freedom to choose is much more moral than one who is forced to make the moral choice out of obedience to the law.
re: The Magesterium and Pope became frightened because of the apparent trend in
which it saw morality heading and thought the only answer would turn out to be
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Sounds like they took an ends justifies the means approach
Also, some were shaken by all the souls whom they would have sent to hell for no good reason vis a vis an erroneous teaching. The infamous anecdote reads thus:--> And when Jesuit Father Marcelino Zalba pondered the fate of the millions the church had sent to hell in vain if its teaching on birth control were now found to be in error, Patty Crowley countered, "Father Zalba, do you really believe God has carried out all your orders?" <--