“…Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord. Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date. But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?…
The significance of this to me isn't as much in what Pope Benedict said, as it is in how he said it. (dissenters and non-dissenters know that the question of women's ordination was closed by John Paul II…problem is they don't believe in teaching authority, much less the doctrine of papal infallibility established at Vatican I. He didn't need to cite documents.)
The significance is first in the fact that the Holy Father had statement that was more strongly worded than anything Cardinal Schönborn has said up until this point.
Cardinal Schönborn is the vicar in the diocese where the problem originated and usually problems like these are left to the local bishop to deal with. It is rare, especially given Pope Benedict's support at Vatican II of a reduction of the role of the Pope in his involvement in individual diocesan affairs, that he would become so publicly involved in trying to resolve the issue. It suggests that someone, either isn't doing their job or feels they are unable to. When 600 priests publicly state that they are no longer obedient to their bishop, and the bishop does not condemn the action, the system is breaking down somewhere. That would be like half of a platoon telling their commander they will no longer follow their commander. Passivity can either be a sign of fear, despair or sympathy for their complaints. I wonder if Cardinal Schönborn requested that Pope Benedict say something, or if Cardinal Schönborn didn't even know it was coming.
The second reason this is significant is the simple fact that, while addressing the world, the Holy Father chose Holy Thursday, the important day of the founding of the priesthood to call out a specific group of people as an example of “how priest's should not act” if they wish to be faithful to Christ's idea for his priesthood. How embarrassing! If these men have anything left in them that resembles Catholicism and the vows of obedience they took at their ordination, they would disperse from embarrassment. Obedience is what redeemed the world, obedience of Christ to his Father and it has become a virtue very much forgotten today.
In English…excuse the accent, Minute 1:10 is perhaps the most disturbing
Pope Benedict was really on a roll this Easter season.
UPDATE from Rorate: 12/04/2012
Following two more incidents since the Holy Father's sermon….
Austria, Ireland… His Holiness is moving.
Sounds like good news….we'll see what happens
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