Friday 14 March 2014

More Curious Words but from another Cardinal...

Rorate Caeli notes that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor is quoted in ‘Vatican Insider’ as saying

“...the doctrine of the Church develops by going out in a different direction.  That is to say, it changes in an indirect way. And it could develop in the question of the divorced and remarried.”

This phrase that will make progressive Catholics jump up and down in glee, but will have orthodox Catholics shaking their head in confusion and disbelief. What on earth is development that is indirect; meandering? Development that meanders this way and that; development which goes off in an indirect way, is not development but distortion. Development of doctrine must be consistent with what has gone before, just as an acorn must develop into oak, not a rosebush.

My usual analogy for development is usually that of the kitten inevitably growing into a full-grown cat and not into a dog. The latter analogy is probably better since many Catholics are making a dog’s dinner of the Faith in their desire to free people from the emotional pain they suffer as a consequence of someone choosing sin; pain which is perhaps a grace calling them back to the Gospel but a grace denied to souls so that they may have peace in this world yet -very possibly- pain in the next. It really does seem that all we care about now in pastoral care is feelings, feelings, feelings... Too many Catholics “will not tolerate sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Tim.4v3).


  1. Objective truths cannot change. That would be absurd.

    1. Thank you, and indeed.
      Unfortunately the Cardinals words imply change, rather than development. To change the Church's teaching by "going off in another direction" is not the same as developing the Faith, as when the concept of Transubstantiation came about to describe what had always been believed. The Cardinal's words imply that there is a possibility of changing what has always been believed. Such an idea is nonsense.
      God bless.

    2. Fr. Dickson, this same Cardinal was notable for his pearl of wisdom: "Unity is more important than the truth." Need I say more?
      God bless you in all that you do for HMC.

    3. Thank you for this, Deacon Augustine.
      One cannot help but wonder how there can be any unity if there is no truth; each one will be following his own path, which is intrinsically a state of separation.
      God bless you and yours.

  2. "pain which is perhaps a grace calling them back to the Gospel but a grace denied to souls so that they may have peace in this world yet -very possibly- pain in the next." Yup. Thing about the feelings, nothing more thannnn, feelings, is 'pastoral care' can be pretty brutal if, as one commenter posted on another blog recently, you 'step on my VII shoes'.

    God is a Rock. The Church, a Rock. Not a sandbank. It all seems so obvious.

    God bless and keep you, Father (keep you posting for sure!).

    1. Thank you.
      Sadly, for many God is not a rock but a sandbank. How can can they expect to build anything of value on the relativity that comes with the shifting sands of time?
      God bless.


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