Opposition is not inconsistent with solidarity. The one who voices his opposition to the general or particular rules or regulations of the community does not thereby reject his
membership; he does not withdraw his readiness to act and to work for the common good.

Karol Cardinal Wojtyla [John Paul II], The Acting Person
[Osoba i Czyn] (1969).


In the process of assimilating what is really rational and rejecting what only seems to be rational, the whole Church has to play a part. This process cannot be carried out in every detail by an isolated Magisterium, with oracular infallibility. The life and suffering of Christians who profess their faith in the midst of their times has just as important a part to play as the thinking and questioning of the learned, which would have a very hollow ring without the backing of Christian existence, which learns to discern spirits in the travail of everyday life.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. "Magisterium of the Church, Faith, Morality." In Curran and McCormick.
Readings in Moral Theology, No. 2., p.186.



The magisterium of the Church, cannot propose moral norms until it is certain of interpreting the will of God. And to reach this certainty the Church is not dispensed from
research and from examining the many questions proposed for her consideration from every part of the world. This is at times a long and not an easy task.

Pope Paul VI AAS 58 [1966]: 219


The specific role of the theologians] calls them to explore the implications of Church teach, to investigate it, to refine it, to probe it, to push back its horizons. If not all Church teaching is guaranteed to be infallible, then some of it could be fallible, reformable, conceivably even incorrect. It is part of the theologian's responsibility to speak to Church teaching which he or she conscientiously believes to be inexact or erroneous.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk (former head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) in his Pastoral Letter on Dissent to the Cincinnati Archdiocese, 6 June 1986. Reported in Origins 16:9 (31 July 1986), p. 177.


But it is in fact also part of the tragic and impenetrable historicity of the Church that in practice and theory it defended moral precepts with bad arguments, based on
problematic, historically conditioned preconceptions, "prejudgments," which it did not
itself abandon but which other historical causes eliminated; only then did the Church finally find the new conviction obvious and (unfortunately) proceeded to act is if the new
global conviction was obvious and the Church had never had any doubts about it.

Karl Rahner, S.J. "On Bad Arguments in Moral Theology,"
Theological Investigations XVIII, 1984. p. 79.



Nowadays, however, the spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations.

Pope John XXIII, from his Opening Address of Vatican II


Those who are doubtful whether they can accept it [Humanae Vitae] have to study it thoroughly, have to read it with good will, but they also have to accept other information in the church. They cannot dissociate the pope from the whole of the church. They have to study it, consider it, but not alone, not isolated.

Bernard Häring, C.Ss.R. in a speech at Holy Cross Abbey,
Commonweal 12 September 1980, p. 497.



Brothers and Sisters, are you familiar with the Liturgical Press at http://www.catalog.litpress.org/ leading publishers of Catholic lectionaries, mass guides, bulletins and such, a ministry of the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/ or http://www.sja.osb.org/ ?

I encourage you to visit the Abbey, in cyberspace or Collegeville, especially the website of Rev. Philip S. Kaufman OSB, Monk, Author and Catholic Priest at http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/kaufman/index.html or http://www.sja.osb.org/kaufman/

A Benedictine monk for more that fifty years, he lives at Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, and spends much of his time giving comfort to Catholics through workshops on topics from his books. Father Philip, now 88 years old and still in good health, continues to write on controversial subjects in the Catholic Church.

I especially encourage you to read “Probabilism: The Right to Know of Moral Options”, which is the third chapter of __Why You Can Disagree and Remain a Faithful Catholic__ and available online at http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/kaufman/chapter3.html

Some may be interested in Chapter 7, "Divorce and Remarriage", also available online at http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/kaufman/index3.html

For you southerners, take heart, though now a long-established northernr, Fr. Philip was born in Mississippi and got his master's degree in government from Louisiana State University. He has something to say to us all, I believe.

pax et bonum,