“Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’ Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.’”
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Father Z is troubled by the recent change in the teaching of the Church on the death penalty by Pope Francis:
When the change was made to the Latin text of CCC 2267 – concerning the death penalty (claiming that it is now always “inadmissible”) – I both said in sermons and wrote here that the change was troubling and for more than one reason.
First, when changes are made to doctrinal statements, they should make the teaching of the Church clearer, not less clear. The change to CCC 2267 created confusion.
Second, it struck me that perhaps this was a trial-balloon, floated before attempting to change CCC 2358 on objectively disordered homosexual inclinations.
Also, I explained that something doesn’t become true by the fact of it being put into the CCC. It is put into the CCC because it can be demonstrated to be true. Look at pages in your CCC and you will find lots of footnotes with pertinent references to Scripture and the Fathers and Councils, etc. Look at CCC 2267 and you find one note, referring to a statement that Francis’ himself made in a speech a short while before. That’s it. It’s a bit self-referential. Of course it would be challenging to find references in Scripture or the Fathers or Councils etc. to uphold the position asserted in 2267, for, using all those, the Church has always upheld that capital punishment is admissible in some cases.
Hence, I refer you back to my first point.
Look. You can be, personally, sincerely against any application of the death penalty in any circumstance, but you should still be really concerned about this change. It’s puzzling… and that’s not what catechisms are for. Catechisms might make you stop and think and scratch your head as you work it out, but they are not supposed to leave you puzzled.
People are confused by CCC 2267. It appears to be a radical change to the Church’s teaching. You have to read a lot of things into the vague word “inadmissible” to get to a place where 2267 doesn’t look like a reversal.
The other day, the US Bishops voted with only 8 NO votes – who are those guys, I wonder – to approve a change to the US edition of the Catechism to bring it into line with the Latin of CCC 2267.
Go here to read the rest. This is ring binder Catholicism where anything about the Faith can be changed by the Pope at a moment’s notice, and all the rest of us are to pretend that the prior teaching next existed. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. There are many words that could be used to describe this type of blind obedience to the man at the top, but Catholicism, as traditionally understood for the past 20 centuries, is not one of them.