the latest Catholic Theology Q&A post (closed)

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39 Responses to the latest Catholic Theology Q&A post (closed)

  1. Victor says:

    Hi Ron

    Please allow me to add another hypothetical scenario to Fr Matthew’s and Matt’s dilemma: Say that we know in advance that our employer will have a “training question” that will VERY LIKELY require that we deny our Savior, Jesus Christ. Strongly suspecting this, and in order to maintain a clear conscience, we choose to randomly select answers without reading the question OR the answers to all future training modules. After hours of hit or miss, we finally gather the perfect scores needed to satisfy the requirements. Would this be sinful?

    • Ron Conte says:

      Yes. But I will add that unrealistic hypotheticals are not very useful to moral theology, which should be mostly directed toward helping people live moral lives.

  2. Wander Marcel da Silva says:

    Hello Ron, my question is about Pope Honorius, I was reading a text where the author accuses Pope Honorius of having been condemned as a heretic using it as an argument.
    Author’s text below.

    “The Latin text “Negligendo” has a broad meaning, “Neglegere” is an antonym of
    “legere”, that is, to choose. That is, the primary meaning is one of omission, since Leo ll makes very clear an active effort on the part of Honorius (“subvertere conatus est”), interpretation as “negligence” in the sense of mere carelessness makes no sense. Cicero even uses the term in the sense of refraining from going to war, which is always a conscious act, not a of carelessness: cum et bellum ita necessarium sit, ut neglegi non possit

    Anyway, as you can see, “negligo” is even wrong, and the right thing would be “neglegend”. It is no coincidence that these texts were written in Full Darkness (conventionally 476-789), and the short was colloquially pronounced (hence “siccus” becoming dry). That said, I’m not convinced that choosing “error” instead from “haeresis” deva be interpreted as a serious conceptual difference, it may well be the choice of a Latin term in place of the
    Hellenism “haeresis”, similar not only in meaning but in sound.

    About Pope Agatho’s epistle is nothing more than an attempt to safeguard the
    unbroken tradition of orthodox popes in Rome *before* and *for* which in no way affects the decision of the council, where honorius is categorically condemned as HAVING TRIED TO SUBVERT THE FAITH. Not like a negligent, a fool, but one drawn fully consistent with the conciliar decree which reports him spreading heresies among the people.”

    My question is, this question of the Latin language of “Negligence” as being a normal language of the time, having a broader sense, wouldn’t the conviction of Pope Honorius be for heresy really?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I have extensively read the arguments for and against Honorius and heresy. The above argument is novel and untenable. Pope Saint Leo II approved of the Council’s teachings in three different Latin letters. But in each letter, he changed the condemnation of Honorius for heresy to negligence. One letter says the Latin word for negligence, which is always translated as negligence in the case of this letter. The other two letters (IIRC) use the expression “allowed”, meaning that the Pope erred by not condemning this heresy from the outset, but allowed it to continue. The different wordings used clearly indicate that Honorius was not condemned for heresy, but negligence. As for the Latin argument above, context is always important to translation. So it doesn’t matter if there are examples of the same word being used in a different sense. And this translation of the word in question as “negligence” has been constant in the history of this document. Then Pope John IV, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and Saint Maximus the Confessor all defended Honorius against the charge of heresy. Finally, nothing is “of a Council” unless approved by the Pope. So the text from the Council accusing Honorius of heresy is not valid, due to the three letters from Leo II changing the charge to negligence. The author you cite also badly misinterprets the letter of Pope Saint Agatho, which was accepted into the Council’s acts and so it is Conciliar teaching.

      In Defense of Pope Honorius

  3. Matt Z says:

    We know that the killing of someone is not intrinsically evil because in the circumstances it could be self defense. But is murder intrinsically evil? It’s the same act of killing someone which is found in the object, and I thought all intrinsically evil acts are found evil in the object itself.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Murder is intrinsically evil; the object is the deliberate direct killing of an innocent human being. Self-defense has the object of protecting innocent life.

  4. Ben says:

    The suffering and sacrifice always required in the mystic apparitions (not in all apparitions but those involving stigmata, and generally speaking, yes, in most of the known apparitions) put the reasonable question: are the common Catholics capable of offering them if that is the price to pay to follow an apparition, since most of the good behaving people already suffer enough in their lives? Recently I heard a statement by the Vatican (can’t quote it in the information sea we are flooded with) that when an alleged apparition wants the illness and even death(?) of its followers, it could be a sign of a false apparition. I know Ron you have a long list of false apparitions. Your thoughts on that? How can we discern when an alleged “Our Lady” wants way too much for a real Mother from Her faithful children? Because those “apparitions” will be read by the faithful Catholics, not by those who come on feasts, even less by atheists. And the requirements are always towards the faithful in first place. Is it reasonable then to require even more from the faithful, when they have already given the utmost efforts, and many of them are on the brink – be it with health issues, financial, of family issues? I will refrain to name apparitions here because I don’t want to change anyone’s mind regarding belief and acceptance of what he perceives as true words of Our Lady or Jesus.

    • Ron Conte says:

      We have to always follow the Gospel as taught by the Bible and the Church. When an alleged apparition’s messages are contrary to the Gospel, or preach a new Gospel, then it is false. Jesus’ yoke is light, and it is the false teachings of the Pharisees that tie up heavy burdens for the people.

  5. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Dear Ron,

    On May 12, 2023, Bishop J. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, posted the following tweet:

    Please allow me to clarify regarding, “Patrick Coffin has challenged the authenticity of the Pope Francis.” If this is accurate I disagree, I believe Pope Francis is the Pope but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith. Follow Jesus.
    11:13 PM · May 12, 2023
    Does this tweet qualify as an act of schism or is it simply not well thought out? According to canon 751 of the 1983 CIC and no. 2089 of the CCC, schism is “the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” It seems difficult to understand how Bishop Strickland could be in submission to a Pope whom he believes has a “program of undermining the deposit of Faith.” Others, though, believe a moral formal refusal of submission is needed for there to be actual schism on the part of Bishop Strickland. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    • Ron Conte says:

      In the context of someone else challenging the authenticity of Pope Francis, i.e. his validity as Pope, Bishop Strickland is saying Francis is the valid Pope. His statement that he rejects Pope Francis’ “program of undermining the Deposit of Faith” is, I think, not in itself schismatic, as it might be interpreted to mean certain fallible opinions or non-infallible decisions that might undermine the Deposit of Faith in a limited way. On the other hand, this very public statement is not clear in the extent that the Bishop intends. The Bishop should clarify that this rejection is limited, and (hopefully) does not apply to the entire body of decisions of Pope Francis on doctrine and discipline. So my opinion is that the statement by Bishop Strickland is not, as it stands by itself, necessarily or clearly schismatic.

    • Robert Fastiggi says:

      Thank you for this helpful and charitable response.

  6. A Recent Reader says:

    Mr. Conte, if you please,
    Is Our Blessed Mother Mary in a singular category of creation by virtue of the immaculate conception that allows her to occupy the preeminent position as greatest creature ever created, while at the same time not contradicting Jesus’ statement that amongst them born of women, none is greater than John The Baptist (and Saint Joseph as well, according to the Prayer Of Praise To Saint Joseph)?

    Thank you.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The greatest created thing is the human nature of Christ the Lord. Mary is the greatest created person, as Jesus is a Person both human and Divine. Mary and Jesus are excluded from the expression “born of women”, because that expression means those conceived and born in the usual condition, i.e. the fallen state. Also, the expression does not exclude that some are equal to John the Baptist, but none in the fallen state are greater.

    • A Recent Reader says:

      Grateful to have such a clear and simple delineation!

      Thank you very much!

  7. James Belcher says:

    For a while now, I have held the belief where the Warning and Miracle will occur
    for when the world is at its worst. It is getting closer but I believe two things
    have to happen first:
    1. Socialism’s ever ending war against Merit succeeds.
    2. Artificial Intelligence presents itself in manipulating our attention, to manipulate
    our opinions and to manipulate the information that we’re given.
    Once these two things happen, self-esteem is completely lost and our free will is compromised.
    I would think the compromising of our free will is a direct threat and contrary
    to God’s design of the human race.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree at all. I think the expression “when things are at their worst” is based on sin, rather than mere disorder is society. And sin is of free will. I also think AI is over-rated as a threat. I also don’t think the expression is meant in an absolute sense. The absolute worst of human affairs will be when the Antichrist reigns, during the last half of his reign, and the Warning certainly occurs well before his reign begins or is even close.

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