Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $39,295 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

South African bishops respond to Bishop Dowling’s criticism of Popes John Paul, Benedict

Catholic World News - August 16, 2010

The bishops of South Africa have responded to a June address in which a fellow bishop, Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, offered strong criticism of the extraordinary form of the Mass and what he characterized as the “restorationist” vision of Venerable John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

“When interpreting the signs of the times and discerning God’s will under the guidance of the Holy Spirit tensions and disagreements can arise even among bishops,” the bishops said in a statement. “This calls for tolerance and sensitivity. Above all care should be taken not to label bishops e.g. as ‘restorationists,’ conservatives or progressives but rather to address the issues.”

“We are confident that the leaders of the Church, whether the Curia in Rome or the local bishops of a country, are people of integrity who are striving to be faithful to the Gospel, despite human frailty and in some exceptional cases great human failure,” the bishops continued. “The bishops’ conferences of the various countries are the forum for open, sincere and honest dialogue as we discern what discipleship to Jesus means in our world.”

“Through our baptism we have given our lives to Christ and therefore subject our individual choices to the Gospel and the always developing teaching of the Church,” the bishops added. “While everybody is bound to their conscience it is important to remember that ‘an upright and true moral conscience is formed by education and by assimilating the Word of God and teaching of the Church’ (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 374). Certainly at times tensions can arise. In such a case it is essential that humble discourse continues.”

“The radical nature of the teaching of Christ often causes us to go against the main stream of human thinking as it did in biblical times and throughout Church history,” the bishops concluded. “Nonetheless we your bishops must be bold in our fidelity to the Gospel. We call upon all Catholics to be equally bold in standing up for the doctrinal, social and the moral teaching of the Church. Doing so is a crucial part of the evangelizing mission of the Church for transforming society.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

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!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($126,788 to go):
$150,000.00 $23,211.70
85% 15%
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!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Aug. 16, 2010 4:37 PM ET USA

    "We call upon all Catholics to be equally bold in standing up for the doctrinal, social and the moral teaching of the Church. Doing so is a crucial part of the evangelizing mission of the Church for transforming society.” To say the least... ...doing so will prevent our society from making hell look like a Sunday in the park within a decade or so.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 5 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6