Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Liturgy

Can. 213 Christ's faithful have the right to be assisted by their Pastors from the spiritual riches of the Church, especially by the word of God and the sacraments.

All Christians have a right to receive help from the spiritual goods of the Church.  This right is rooted in baptism; it is not a privilege granted by church authorities, but a claim rooted in the action of Christ that empowers Christians to seek the services of the sacred pastors.  These latter have the obligation to see that this help is available.
-- The Code of Canon Law, a Text and Commentary, The Canon Law Society of America, edited by James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green and Donald E. Heintschel, Paulist Press, New York, NY/Mahwah, NJ, © 1985 by the Canon Law Society of America.

What does this say about the Ordinary Form of the Mass? For many years after Pope Paul VI's Mass was instituted, the translation used was very poor, and the variations from one parish to another, from one priest to another, were disturbing, at best.

If we are to take responsibility for our own understanding of what the Church teaches, we must face some difficult teachings. We must be prepared to distinguish right and wrong, of course, but must also develop an understanding of what is heretical.

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

"Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt...." Consider then, that we routinely hear that 98% of Catholics make use of artificial contraception. From the Catechism:

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:159
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.160

I shall not provide the information referred to by the footnote numbers. For those who desire more study, the relevant sections of the catechism may be found online at St. Charles Borromeo parish, Picayune, MS. An excellent site, worth exploration.

So, given the definition of heresy, the reality of CCC 2370, and the poll results which claim 98% of (presumably fecund) Catholics in America practice artificial birth control, does that make 89% of American Catholics heretics?

Hard teaching in need of deep reflection.


  1. Very cool new blog name etc. Your post is packed. I am sure if you only studied all the works of the Pius's done in the past 150 years, that would keep you busy for the rest of your life.

    God bless and keep up the good work.

    1. Yes, I am sure of your estimate. And to that, add the Councils of Trent, and Vatican I, without which any comprehension of the documents of Vatican II will be badly flawed.

  2. And I cannot believe I got the number 42 for my robot check...too funny