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Vic Biorseth, Sunday, April
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman's Development of Christian Doctrine is, in my opinion, a scholarly masterpiece of Christian doctrinal history. The thorough research that produced this book played a large part in Newman's steady conversion from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism. What he had researched and documented was what was and remains profoundly true: the Doctrines never change.
How could this be? The Church is over 2,000 years old. The Roman Papacy is the oldest continuously existing human institution on earth, by a huge margin. And yet, no doctrine that came out of the original Revelation of Jesus Christ and His original Apostles ever changed, in all that time. What Newman had uncovered was unmistakable solid historical evidence supporting the doctrine of infallibility.
We quoted him in the Infallibility Page as follows:
Development of doctrine over time always involves deeper understanding and perhaps new practices in liturgy, piety or devotions, but never any change to the core doctrines. They all remain exactly as originally preached. An example today might be Eucharistic expositions, including Benedictions and special prayers before the exposed Eucharist. These newer developments do not detract from the real Presence of the Lord in the consecrated bread and wine that is consumed by the faithful at Mass. The core doctrine remains unchanged, while the new devotions reveal an ongoing, ever deepening understanding of it.
That was the only kind of "development" Newman ever found. It was not what he expected to find. He was, after all, a Protestant. But the more research he did, the more consistency he found, and eventually it led him to enter the infallible Church Christ founded upon Peter.
Yet, today, Newman's Development theory is being quoted and used to justify actually changing Doctrine, not entirely, but in little nibbles, through "Merciful" changes in Disciplines that are related to unchangeable Doctrines. Disciplines are lesser Church laws than Revealed Doctrines. Unlike Doctrines, under the purview of Magisterial Authority of the Church, Disciplines can be created, modified or eliminated. In this case, I smell the Progressive branch of Marxism.
The ostensible motive for the newest Doctrinal Disciplines is Mercy.
In my low-level, lay, nobody opinion, Mercy is a gilly suit worn by evil, particularly when the proposed changes in Discipline involve core Doctrines of the Catholic Faith, such as Eucharist.
The ongoing wreckage of the Catholic Church began with Shepherds failing in properly teaching the faith, and even proactively teaching false doctrine. If it didn't begin with the Artificial Contraception controversy, that was certainly the most highly visible example of large numbers of Catholic Bishops opposing an original Revealed Doctrine of the Catholic Faith. And it was all downhill from there.
We've all seen the purposely modified, radicalized and nearly destroyed Liturgy of the post-Vatican II era, which was all outside Council teaching and even outside Novus Ordo Mass norms. The gigantic movement to ordain women; the movement to abandon priestly celebacy; the feminization of language even in Scripture interpretations; the softened teaching on Mortal Sin, particularly of the sexual variety, and more.
Religious Orders dropped religious garb, dropped living in Community, dropped living in strict accordance with any obvious or discernible Order, and, quite predictably, dropped in membership, moving toward extinction. If there is little or no discernible difference between a consecrated religious and a lay person, why should any lay person want to be consecrated?
Many if not most Priests stopped looking and acting like Priests, no longer demanded or expected the special recognition of their Priesthood, and, predictably, dropped in membership, moving toward extinction. If there is little or no discernible difference between a Priest and a layman, why should anyone seek the Priesthood?
Catholic Disciplines and rules of observance and requirements for Sacraments were softened and weakened to the point that there was little discernible difference between practicing Catholics laymen and Protestantism, and, predictably, Catholic Parish membership dropped, and proper Catholic practice of the faith dropped, moving in the direction of the extinction of fully practicing Catholic laity. If there is little or no distinction between Protestantism and Catholicism, why should anyone become or remain Catholic?
Now, we appear to have a New Wave of this "Progress" underway, in the name of all those untold millions of nominal Catholics who became nominal Catholics due almost solely to the piss poor shepherding of their Bishops. The "Cafeteria Catholics" who pick and chose among the Doctrines they will follow and those they will ignore, and yet still fully participate in all the Sacraments, not even recognizing their own state of Mortal Sin, still believing they are fully Catholic. Ignorance is bliss.
The Bishops who taught them this sin now insist on Mercy for them.
Yeah; it's the laity that has the problem, and the laity that needs Mercy. The Bishops are all doing all this for the laity. See?
Cardinal Kasper is looking to modify the "Discipline" of who can receive Eucharist to include all the millions upon millions of divorced and remarried Catholics who could not or did not even try to get an official Declaration of Nullity for their previous Marriage(s). After all, they're all coming to Communion regularly now anyway; why should the Church drive all those untold millions of "faithful" Catholics away by refusing them Sacraments, when what they really need is understanding and Mercy.
Cardinal Dolan is looking to modify the "Discipline" of who can receive Eucharist to include all the untold numbers of scandalous, publicly declared, open, active and even activist practicing homosexuals, who are also practicing Catholics. After all, they're all coming to Communion regularly now anyway; why should the Church drive all those "faithful" Catholics away by refusing them Sacraments, when what they really need is understanding and Mercy.
Cardinal Wuerl is looking to modify the "Discipline" of who can receive Eucharist to include everyone on earth, but particularly politicians and others who very publicly and scandalously promote, champion and sponsor the advancement of such Mortal Sins as Abortion and Homosexual Marriage in our American culture. After all, they're all coming to Communion regularly now anyway; why should the Church drive all those "faithful" Catholics away by refusing them Sacraments, when what they really need is understanding and Mercy.
They all need Mercy because they just don't know any better. See?
I submit that the Eucharist is perhaps the central original doctrine of the Catholic Church. The Scripture supporting it is presented in the Sacraments page. These traitorous Bishops may claim to be affecting mere Discipline or even rules of application in their Particular Churches, and seeking broader approval, but what they are messing with is fundamental dogma at the very foundation of the Church herself.
The singular Cardinal who publicly opposed this "Progress" is, of course, Cardinal Burke, who, apparently, was demoted for it, and will be shown no Mercy. It begins to appear that, in sheer numbers, the heterodox Bishops predominate over the orthodox Bishops.
If it were otherwise, would there not be other Bishops speaking up, being ostracized, pilloried by the Media, perhaps being demoted and exiled in some manner by Pope Francis and his closest Cardinal friends?
But no. Burke stands alone.
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The Purpose of this grouping of links is to highlight miss-placed and miss-applied Christian Mercy, which inevitably becomes Super-Toleration of Evil, and Progressive Compromise with Evil, until Evil Rules.
The Miss-Placed Mercy Pages.
Describing the process by which formerly Christian American Culture degenerated into the corrupt, decadent and perverted mess we see today, in art, entertainment, literature, science, journalism, politics and general social behavior. Evil now dominates. Mercy is best applied to those best disposed to receive it. Note well that Biblical Mercy was not applied to the ancient Canaanites.
Does the Year Of Mercy mean the end of Moral and Spiritual Discernment? Fr. Larry Richards says the one thing you are absolutely forbidden to ever apply to anyone else is Judgment. Is that true? And is Mercy absolutely Limitless?
On The Evil One's Mal-Formed Compassion and Malignant Mercy. In malignant mercy we see that evil and untruth can infiltrate and commandeer even the virtues.
On the developing Catholic theological "Mercy War". Has Blessed Cardinal Newman's "Development of Christian Doctrine" been weaponized in the new Mercy War?
Is our Mercy to be unlimited? Should Mercy be applied even to Satan himself? Mercy for your brother, your neighbor, your political enemy; the common criminal. But what about Mercy for the murderous, rapacious horde outside the city walls?
On the Year of Mercy, Obstinate Unrepentant Sinners, and Pure Evil. In this Year of Mercy, are we to be merciful even to the evil barbarian hoard laying siege outside the city walls?
If you can't find the page you're looking for, try the