Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The magisterium: not frozen in time

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 13, 2009

 In his letter to the world's bishops the decision to lift the excommunication of four SSPX bishops, Pope Benedict makes it abundantly clear that he does not intend to renounce the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. This should be no surprise; the Holy Father has been as clear in his defense of Vatican II as he has been in criticizing those who see the Council as a break with Catholic tradition. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that some hard-core traditionalists, including many in the SSPX, have held out the hope that this Pope would come around to their point of view, and jettison some of the Vatican II teachings that they find objectionable. During the past week my colleague Jeff Mirus spent hours responding to email messages from traditionalists who objected to his Commentary essay criticizing the radical traditionalist position. We won't end this debate anytime soon, and I realize that I'll soon be on the receiving end of those email complaints. Still in justice it should be said that the Pope's letter clearly vindicates Jeff's position. The authority of Vatican II is not up for grabs; the Pope is not going to say that the SSPX has been right all along and the Vatican must now fall into line with the self-proclaimed guardian of "the Tradition." The reality-- the Catholic reality-- is that the Holy Spirit guides the Church at all times. And "at all times" must, perforce, include the years since the opening of the Council. Or as the Holy Father put it, "One cannot freeze the magisterial authority of the Church in 1962." 

 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($20,491 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,508.73
59% 41%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Targeting the Pope? 4 hours ago
Gregory the Great, Christ, the Church and the Soul in the Song of Songs 6 hours ago
New Ebook on Renewal and Evangelization September 15
More evidence that you can't trust the Pill September 15
Did Cardinal McCarrick compare Allah to the Trinity? September 15

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days