The Church is Apostolic

It is wrong for the laity and priests to rebel against the Pope and the Bishops, who are the successors to the Apostles.

A recent and most foolish example of this rebellion is the complaint against about 60 Bishops who voted not to write a document on the Eucharist. They were utterly condemned as if they had committed some grave sin, by many commentators. And what would have been in that document? We do not know. They were not voting on an existing document. How can they be condemned for simply voting against a document the contents of which we cannot anticipate? They cannot.

Perhaps these Bishops thought it best to let the Roman Pontiff decide the question of Communion. We do not know that the document would have decided the question of communion for politicians. I would think a document on the Eucharist would have to have at least a large section on the Eucharist in general. And the Church already has clear teachings on the Eucharist.

As for Canon Law, the Pope and the Bishops have the right to make exceptions to the law. The Pope is absolutely above all that is per se of the law in Canon law.

The Coalition for Cancelled Priests is schismatic. They reject the authority of Bishops. They usurp the authority to decide what is and is not Catholic truth. They usurp the pretended authority to judge the decisions of Bishops.

Moreover, the CFCP is encouraging and assisting priests in celebrating the Sacraments, while suspended, while lacking faculties. This is an act of public formal schism against the authority of the Church over the Sacraments and over Her priests.

A priest is not an independent preacher appointed directly by Christ. Rather, even the Bishops have no authority apart from their head, the Supreme Pontiff (LG 22). And the priests have only the role to assist their Bishop in preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments. Priests who presume to threaten their Bishops or who speak against them with open malice are sinning gravely, are in a state of manifest schism, and may be justly suspended, excommunicated, or laicized.

A group of lay persons and priests has no authority to stand in the face of the Pope and Bishops and oppose their teachings or decisions. Do not be deceived, whoever opposes a Bishop in communion with the Pope, opposes the Pope and opposes Christ. For he who hears you, hears me, says the Lord.

But it was only to Peter that the Lord said, “You are Peter, and on this Rock…” and also “that your faith may not fail”. The Bishops have their authority from the Roman Pontiff, and he from Christ.

A 501(c)3 organization, that is, a registered charity in the United States, with lots of funding and online support, has absolutely ZERO authority in the Church. They do not have the authority to provide locations and laypersons to receive the Sacraments from suspended priests, from priests without faculties, from priests acting in direct opposition to their Bishops.

It is contrary to the very nature of the Church for the laity and priests to assert authority over doctrine and discipline by means of accusations against the Pope and the Bishops. The Church is Apostolic: the Pope and Bishops are the successors to the Apostles. The Church is one. A group of laity and clergy who break away from the authority of the Pope and Bishops are not the Church. The Church is holy. She can always be trusted. The Church is catholic, meaning universal. A small breakaway group is not the Church.

Those who rebel against the Bishops have their excuses. The one excuse is that some Bishops voted against writing a document on the Eucharist. The complaint assumes what would have been in the document, and assumes the Bishops voted against that presumed content. What a trivial complaint on which to base rebellion against Church authority.

Another complaint of the priests who rebel against the Bishops is the Church’s abuse crisis. But most of the abusers have been priests. And this Pope has done more than any other against that problem. It is a problem of sin and of influence from fallen angels and from the sinful world. It is not a problem that is inherent to the character of the Church.

And I should point out here that if an accuse abuser is conservative, he is steadfastly and blindly supported by clergy and laity who are conservative. So how can they complain about the Bishops in this regard, when they are part of the problem themselves? The Bishops should do more, esp. in cases where evidence is not sufficient for secular courts to act or where the accused is high-ranking in the Church.

Then the complaints include that these suspended priests supposedly only want to preach traditional Catholic truths. Who decides truth in the Church? It is the supreme Pontiff and the body of Bishops led by him who decide truth. A priest cannot teach whatever he and his online supporters have decided is “Catholic truth”. The one Apostolic Church decides what is truth.

And the liturgy is under the authority of the Church, as are all the Sacraments. The Coalition for Cancelled Priests is formally cooperating in schism and in the ministering of Sacraments by priests without faculties, in contradiction to the orders of Bishops. This organization is sinning gravely and openly opposing the authority of the Church over the Sacraments.


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