What’s this you say? Popes are *not* above the law? Analysis at Commonweal.

Seen at the site of Commonweal.  This is great!

You watch… now that a liberal publication has put out something like this, pretty soon other liberals will be okay with talking about exactly what we have been discussing.  The difference will be that when they start in on it, they will claim that they are being thoughtful and reasonable, whereas when we talk about these things here, they claim that we are obsessed with lace or that we hate women or that we are fixated on rubrics… blah blah blah.

That said, here is Komonchak at Commonweal who strikes pretty close to the center.

Pontifex legibus solutus?
April 1, 2013, 3:11 pm
Posted by Joseph A. Komonchak

Conservatives and traditionalists need not be the only ones to raise questions about some of Pope Francis’ liturgical innovations, whether it was his including women and Muslims among those whose feet he washed or in the reduction of the readings for the Easter Vigil. [NB...] But shouldn’t we all be concerned when they are justified by the idea that, after all, the pope is the supreme law-giver and so is not bound by Church law. [Okay... am I reading a Commonweal entry?  Is this still 1 April?] There is an old Latin legal term for this: princeps legibus solutus, which Black’s legal dictionary translates as: “Released from the laws; not bound by the laws. An expression applied in the Roman civil law to the emperor.” As the example given shows, it is a very dangerous principle to allow into ecclesiology.  [I am rubbing my eyes.  What is he really up to?]

At Vatican II, when no. 22 of Lumen gentium was being discussed, Pope Paul VI proposed introducing into a sentence about the pope’s relationship to the college of bishops that in deciding whether to call the bishops to a collegial act a pope was “bound to the Lord alone” [uni Domino devinctus] The Doctrinal Commission refused this addition for two reasons: (1) its intent was already assured by statements about the pope’s freedom and independence, meaning by this that “there is no higher human authority which the Roman Pontiff has to observe”; and (2) because “the formula is over-simplified. For the Roman Pontiff is also bound to observe revelation itself, the basic structure of the Church, the sacraments, the definitions of previous Councils, etc.; [yep] all such things can’t be counted. Formulas of this sort, using ‘only,’ have to be treated with the greatest circumspection; otherwise countless difficulties arise.”

The Commission was pointing to elements that bind the pope in the exercise of his role. A pope is not legibus solutus. [Here's the rub, I think...] Would we["we" being...] not like to propose some conditions on what Pius XII’s claim that “the pope alone has the right to permit or establish any liturgical practice, to introduce or approve new rites, or to make any changes in them he considers necessary”? [Liberals would like to hem Popes in, you bet!] Can we be content with the view [watch...] that the Pope is not bound by Church law when he does something we like, but ought to be bound by Church law when he does something we don’t like?

So if one wishes to applaud some of the new Pope’s departures from Church law, before one gets too enthusiastic, it might be well to recall that it was also a pope who not so long ago tempted people [who?] to flee to the mountains when he obtruded the Divine Mercy devotion into Eastertide (see Mk 13:14).

Interesting!  Sounds familiar, no?  Pretty good, too.  Some reason applied to the issue.

That said…

It is the ultimate dream of liberals to restrict papal authority, just as they hope to see restrictions on bishops and the reduction of priests and priesthood to “ministry”.

BTW, liberals decry the liberal/conservative dichotomy when they are on the receiving end, but they use it too.

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33 Responses to What’s this you say? Popes are *not* above the law? Analysis at Commonweal.

  1. Lucas Whittaker says:

    When I first “saw” (through various forms media, of course) Pope Francis I was impressed in the most positive way. I still am. But it is exactly for reasons such as this artical in the dissenter magazine Commonweal that I am convinced Pope Francis must speak to these recent events. It might leave a scar on the rest of his papacy if he ignores the issue and simply moves forward. And that would be a shame because Franics has a great many wonderful things to share with his flock–things that we need desperately to hear and to live.

  2. r7blue1pink says:

    “After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the Pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an Ecumenical Council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the Pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The Pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith…”

    —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy,

  3. Gus Barbarigo says:

    Because the Holy Thursday Mandatum has become Francis’ Regensburg Address, in that he has provoked enormous controversy (but hopefully no riots!) whether he has mean to do so or not, I also hope the Pope will address the surrounding controversies. Benedict saw explaining his controversy as a global catechetical opportunity, and accepted the negative emotions stemming from (the coverage of) his address as a fact (whether such emotions were hysterical or not); may Francis do likewise.

  4. wolfeken says:

    The only explanation I can think of is that the aged editors of Commonweal are still bitter toward President Richard Nixon. “When the president does it that means it is not illegal.”

  5. WesleyD says:

    Gus Barbarigo wrote:

    Because the Holy Thursday Mandatum has become Francis’ Regensburg Address, in that he has provoked enormous controversy….

    I’m skeptical about this claim. In the first few weeks after the election of a new pope, the mainstream press has a huge amount of Church-related and Pope-related coverage. What the Pope did on Holy Thursday has generated exactly one AP article that I am aware of, and now it has generated one blog post at dotCommonweal (not even an article in the actual magazine).

    It is true that conservative Catholic bloggers in the English-speaking world have focused on this a tremendous amount in the five days since it happened. But I suspect that a poll of American Catholics would show that 99% aren’t aware of this controversy. So while it’s theoretically possible that in the future this issue will continue to grow, and could someday be as major as the Regensburg address, it certainly hasn’t happened yet.

  6. Richard S. says:

    Joe Komonchak is a”liberal”?

  7. servusmariaen says:

    I’m happy to see that a magazine like Commonweal commented on this issue. I wasn’t really surprised by what happened but I’m still really taken aback by it all. I really have to believe that Mgr Marini counseled his holiness AGAINST carrying this out. I don’t know. I don’t want to put into question the holy Father’s humility but isn’t a big part of being humble accepting and carrying out the rubrics? going against what one might prefer to do? and perhaps taking on the so called “trappings” (mozetta, style of vestments etc) that one would normally flee out of humble respect for the office of the papacy? I’ve committed since the beginning of his papacy to praying an extra 5 decades of the rosary for him. I would suggest that everyone do the same.

  8. Mandy P. says:

    “So if one wishes to applaud some of the new Pope’s departures from Church law, before one gets too enthusiastic, it might be well to recall that it was also a pope who not so long ago tempted people [who?] to flee to the mountains when he obtruded the Divine Mercy devotion into Eastertide (see Mk 13:14).”

    Nice little dig at JPII there, Commonweal. Sheesh.

    I was confirmed on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2011. I spent a lot of the time leading up to that reading Saint Faustina’s diary (which reaulted in my taking her name as my confirmation name) and unless I am misremembering didn’t Jesus ask Saint Faustina to relate that this is when he wanted the devotion to happen? I know we’re not bound by private revelation, but if we assume this is worthy of belief (as it is declared by the Church) then why would it freak people out? It’s not like it’s inconsistent with the message of Easter. I don’t get it.

  9. brhenry says:

    Remember that Our LORD was accused of “breaking the law” many times.
    And, in fact, in the strictest sense, He DID. But He is LORD of the Sabbath,
    just as the Vicar of Christ is Lord of Ecclesial Law. No one on Earth has the
    moral (or legal) authority to judge the Holy Father.

  10. Nancy D. says:

    Father John, you are mistaken, Father Joseph is not a dissenter.

  11. eulogos says:

    Tempted people to flee to the mountains? That’s pretty extreme. Is that why I never heard anything about the Divine Mercy devotion or Divine Mercy Sunday in the Diocese of Rochester? I never heard a whisper of it until I started freqenting Catholic blogs. I still didn’t realize it was anything official until Catholics who go to the EF in a nearby city started referring to the week after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. I was like….but isn’t that Doubting Thomas Sunday? Be not unbelieving, but believing, and all that? “I guess that’s what it was in the old days” the young person said. The old days. Put me in my place, I guess.

    So I guess I will celebrate Doubting Thomas Sunday with the Eastern Rite and Divine Mercy with the Western. I do think he could have picked a different Sunday for Divine Mercy. I really identified with old Doubting Thomas.

    Although in practice I have applauded most of the actions of recent Popes, so I was glad that we have a strong Pope, in theory I would prefer that we had not stepped up the role of the Pope so far beyond what it was in earlier centuries. Sure, it can be seen as legitimate development, and maybe God knew we would need it in these times, but at the same time, it has made reunion with the Orthodox so much more difficult. I wish we could have held off on so much development until East and West could have developed together. I really think one thing Benedict was doing by resigning was making a small movement towards reducing the symbolic role of the Pope, perhaps looking East as he did so.

    I would have preferred for the rule to be changed first. Personally I never understood why folks here were so up in arms about women getting their feet washed. In the East only the bishop does this in the Cathedral, and he washes the feet of 12 priests, and this is good as representing what Jesus did with the disciples the same night he made them priests. But if you do it in a parish, it becomes a rite mostly about leaders in the Church being the sevants of all, and in that case leaving out women doesn’t send a good message. I would have preferred for Pope Francis to write something saying this, before he did it. But I guess to him not leaving out the girls in the prison was more important. I am not sure he is right about that. (I also worry about the reaction of the relatives of that Moslem girl when she gets out of prison.)

    I do think this article shows more self awareness, and awareness of the implications of actions, than one usually finds in liberal publications.
    Susan Peterson

  12. Nancy D. says:

    That being said, in order to be the Pope of The Catholic Church, Pope Francis must be in communion with Christ’s Church, to begin with. If it is true that Pope Francis, while still a Cardinal, supported the idea of recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples, even if he was on record as being “absolutely adamant on the impermissibility of homosexual marriage”, he would be condoning same-sex sexual acts in direct violation of The Deposit of Faith. We need to investigate these press accounts in order to determine if they are accurate.

  13. boko fittleworth says:

    I do find it troubling that Divine Mercy Sunday has replaced Low / Quasimodo Sunday. That said, Day 5 of the novena today.

  14. John Nolan says:

    The first Sunday after Easter is known as Low Sunday, Quasi Modo Sunday, or Dominica in Albis (Depositis). By naming it Divine Mercy Sunday I felt that JP II was imposing on the Universal Church a cult which he felt personally attracted to, but which had been controversial in quite recent times. Sr Faustina’s writings had been placed on the Index by John XXIII in 1959.

    Pope Francis’s kissing the feet of a Moslem woman would probably offend Moslem sensibilities more than it would Catholic opinion. JP II’s kissing of the Koran was far more controversial.
    Can the Pope suspend the law? James II knew that parliament would not vote to repeal the laws against Catholics and Dissenters, and so used the royal prerogative to suspend or dispense with these laws. After the ‘Glorious Revolution’ Article 1 of the 1689 Bill of Rights declared this practice illegal.

    I personally believe that Paul VI acted ultra vires when he ordered in 1969 that the Roman Rite could no longer be used, although he stopped short of formally abrogating it.

  15. CharlesG says:

    I think people should keep in mind that “Divine Mercy Sunday” is simply a new title for the Octave of Easter, and an optional one at that. JPII made absolutely no change in the mass, readings or office of the day. If you want to call it Low, Quasimodo or Doubting Thomas Sunday, go right ahead. I think it is a completely different issue than ignoring rubrics.

  16. Can we be content with the view that the Pope is not bound by Church law when he does something we like, but ought to be bound by Church law when he does something we don’t like?

    I sometimes think if we had a way to excise or suppress all writing and speech based upon this principle, we wouldn’t have much left. “The Pope is good, as long as he agrees with me.” “The Church is good, as long as she agrees with me.” “My pastor disagrees with me; he is bad.” So much of what is written, from left to right and even in the center, is lacking any reason or logic whatever and is nothing more than sentimentalism and emotionalism. So few people actually try to understand why something is done the way it is done or why something is the way it is or why it ought to be some other way; they just let their buttons be pushed and a stream of emotional reactions immediately issues forth.

  17. phlogiston says:

    Count me among those who thinks that Divine Mercy Sunday was and is out of place during Easter season. Would you append a private revelation to, say, Epiphany? And starting a novena on Good Friday? Not that there’s ever a “wrong” time to say a novena, but this seems to me to be a distraction from what should be our focus during a particularly important time in the liturgical year. Just my $0.02 worth.

  18. Maria says:

    Dear Phlogiston,

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

    “Count me among those who thinks that Divine Mercy Sunday was and is out of place during Easter season … And starting a novena on Good Friday? ” — God so loved us that He gave His Son to be crucified for our redemption — what an awesome mercy He showed and showered us.

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

    Maria

  19. Nancy D asked“If it is true that Pope Francis, while still a Cardinal, supported the idea of recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples, even if he was on record as being “absolutely adamant on the impermissibility of homosexual marriage”, he would be condoning same-sex sexual acts in direct violation of The Deposit of Faith. We need to investigate these press accounts in order to determine if they are accurate. I’ll let Fr Z have the final word on this one. He knows more than i do.However,i did want to point out that there was also a press account the His Holiness Benedict the XVI was supporting condom use. The liberal media happens to be on the other side.
    IF that’s true(have doubts)it’s possible that same sex civil unions was on the horizon anyway or ALREADY law and in order to prevent same sex ‘marriage’ you MIGHT not condone civil unions but it may be that in order to PREVENT same sex marriage you might not have a choice. IF this story is true at all. I always read Fr Z’s blog and NEVER anything that’s in the press. They’re diabolical. They are definitely on the other side. It’s not beneath them to take quotes out of context, twist ppls words around or even OUTRIGHT lie. IF there’s a story Fr Z gets it,checks it out and posts it here. He gets the real story. I think in an extreme circumstance where there are no choices you can tolerate what will do the least harm. IE you have two candidates and there are no other choices-both of them are pro abortion-but one offers more protection than the other i think we could with a clear conscience elect the less pro abortion candidate. Hate the choice;but there are circumstances just like that. Maybe Fr Z can clear this up. I believe that is the case but could be wrong.

  20. Random Friar says:

    Popes did other liturgical “innovations,” such as adding St. Joseph to the Canon. Wait, was that Bl. John XXIII? Your move, Commonweal.

  21. vetusta ecclesia says:

    I am sure I am not alone in finding distasteful the Uriah Heep “look at me, I’m so ‘umble” style of humility. Bergoglio entered the conclave in the choir dress of a cardinal; why could he not come out of it in the choir dress of the Bishop of Rome? I am reminded of the UK Labour politician who, on being apponted Attorney-General, refused the “customary” knighthood, apparently oblivious of the fact that the style and rank were not for him but to add dignity to the office.

  22. JLCG says:

    The Bishop of Rome was not washing feet as bishop. He was doing it as deacon. A French blogger alerted us to the fact that he had taken down his skullcap and moved his stole upon the left shoulder and tied it on the right side. He was acting as a deacon.
    A deacon, someone offering a service.
    Little details that say much and most of us are unable to decipher.

  23. phlogiston says:

    @ Maria, that’s kind of my point. Does the Good Friday message of God’s mercy need to be supplemented? To me, that’s what it seems like the Divine Mercy devotion and its timing are saying.

  24. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Remember that Our LORD was accused of “breaking the law” many times.
    And, in fact, in the strictest sense, He DID.”

    In the strictest sense, He didn’t because He is the Law and cannot contradict Himself. I think you meant to say, “in the loosest sense.” In other words, He broke what was, incorrectly, considered the Law, by human misinterpretation or accretion.

    “But He is LORD of the Sabbath,
    just as the Vicar of Christ is Lord of Ecclesial Law.”

    The Sabbath is a commandment of God; ecclesial law is of human origin, although it codifies wtihin it many principles of Divine Law. The two Laws have different ontologies.

    “No one on Earth has the moral (or legal) authority to judge the Holy Father.”

    Not, strictly speaking, true. No one has the right to judge his legal application of the human portions of Ecclesial Law, but one may certainly judge a hypothetically incorrect application of the Divine Law reflected in Ecclesial Law (which, thanks be to God, cannot happen, since it would result in the teaching of error). Certainly, one may judge the moral stance of Holy Father, himself, since he is not impeccable. The Pope could (and some may have in the past) commit either fornication or adultery. Both are in violation of the Divine Law and these are reflected in some portions of Ecclesial Law. If, God forbid, the Pope were to attempt to absolve his mistress, it would be invalid, per Canon 977. It is an interesting question which, perhaps, Dr. Peters might answer, whether or not if the Pope were to violate the seal of the confessional, he would incur a latae sententiae excommunication and create a sede vecante state (since no one who is excommunicant can hold ecclesial office). Certainly, if I see the pope kill a man in anger, I may, likewise judge him to be a murderer. It is definitely not true that one may not morally judge a Pope, under certain circumstances. Certainly, his confessor does so at every confession, since one must have at least venial sins to go to confession. Absolution makes no sense without a presumption of some sin.

    I am nit-picking, to be sure, but there are subtle issues of ontology concerning the different areas of authority of a pope. As I am out of my depth with this question, I will submit to more competent commentary.

    The Chicken

  25. William Tighe says:

    “Can the Pope suspend the law? James II knew that parliament would not vote to repeal the laws against Catholics and Dissenters, and so used the royal prerogative to suspend or dispense with these laws. After the ‘Glorious Revolution’ Article 1 of the 1689 Bill of Rights declared this practice illegal.” I would add to “declared this practice illegal,” even though many previous monarchs had routinely used the same royal prerogative.

    A better example might be Louis XIV of France. He was an “absolute monarch,” which in the French context did not mean that the monarch was “above the law,” but that no earthly person (like the pope) or institution (like the French parlements) or group (like the nobility) had any authority over him, such as would enable them to declare any of his actions or decrees illegal, and order them to cease. It was widely agreed that the French monarch was morally obliged to “obey the law” (in general), although it was also accepted that, as legislator, he could also alter any particular law. It was also widely held, however, that there were a few “fundamental laws” which a king of France could not alter. These included: the necessity of the king to be a Catholic, the inalienability of any historic part of the French realm and the inability of the king to alter the succession to the Crown by infringing upon the “Salic Law” which required the succession to be limited to males, and to be transmissible only through males. Towards the end of his life Louis XIV, concerned that his heir, his young and, as a child, frail, great-grandson, the future Louis XV (b. 1710; king 1715-1774) might die without issue, and that were that to happen there would be strife between Philip V of Spain (b. 1683; king 1700-1746), Louis XIV’s younger grandson, who had renounced his claim to the French throne (a renunciation, though, which was arguable illegal in French law) when he became King of Spain, and the Duke of Orleans (1674-1723), the only son of Louis XIV’s younger brother, issued a decree altering the law of succession so as to insert his two illegitimate sons and their male descendants into it. The royal decree was met with private grumbling, but no more — but when Louis XIV died in September 1715 the first act of the Parlement of Paris (which claimed to be the highest court in the realm) was to declare the late king’s decree to be illegal and ultra vires (its second action was to declare the Duke of Orleans to be Regent during the nonage of Louis XV).

  26. Imrahil says:

    As to the Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope the Bl. John Paul II never commanded the Church to do take part in the specific cult established by St. Faustina, except perhaps hearing a sermon about it (which, here, almost never happens). It remains Quasimodogeniti, White Sunday, and First Communion Sunday (even though the latter seldom happens anymore around here, as families won’t appear in Church during school vacation). Low Sunday, if you permit, never has so really been a fitting name.

    And this cult is beautiful, at that; and recognized by the Church. (What Pope John Paul did, I think it was he, was to remove the censures previously imposed on it.)

    Dear @Nancy D,
    before you do something as dangerous as to remotely suggest a Pope’s losing office, let me tell you that you are a bit rash in doing so. Theologians have said that such happens upon the Pope committing public obvious heresy. It does not happen upon condoning immoral behavior (which could be weakness, or bad expression, or necessary incompleteness of statements depending on the situation in which they were uttered). First, there never has been a dogma (except perhaps one of the Ordinary Magisterium) about homosexuality. Sure, we do know that it is sinful, but if it comes to suggesting a Pope’s losing office, that does make a difference. Second, it is undoubted that the Pope does not condone homosexual marriages. Third, the issue on homosexual civil unions is far less morally clear than that on homosexual marriages. Of course, they revolve around sin, but so do some other things the state, which cannot fight all evils at a time (or, maybe, indeed because of culpable inaction) gives legal form to (think of a brothel). The cause against civil unions is that they are meant to be marriages in disguise, are of no use for State and Society, and are not worthy to receive the material benefits meant for them; but it cannot be absolutely said that they mean acceptance of homosexuality. Indeed, the law on marriage says that the spouses owe each other cohabitation; the (German) law on civil unions says nothing but “a man and a man or a woman and a woman who entered into a civil union”, without any reference to any carnal nature of the relationship. Fourth, it is not nothing if at least the name “marriage” is reserved in law for what it is reserved for in reality. In Germany, we have civil unions for some 15 years or so; and it is true that we are subject to silent equalization of its surrounding conditions with marriage; but it must also be said that we have been almost totally spared, perhaps due to civil unions, any ideas of formally calling it “marriage”. Fifth, there is, as we know, a difference between objective and subjective sins; and while it is true that those in responsibility have a duty to remind people of the objective nature of their deeds also, if they fail to do so and go by reasonable assumptions on the subjective nature, it may be breach-of-duty, but it is not heresy.

    Dear @brhenry,
    I used to be thinking that the Lord, who came to fulfil the law, fulfilled it to the letter. In the instances reported in Holy Writ, He almost always gives reasonable justification of his actions from Jewish casuistry; we see that with the Sabbath healings, we see it with the taking of the crops on the Sabbath (where interestingly property never comes into discussion, the dispute is about work only). Only He does not follow the stricter, and overly-strict, interpretations and additions of the contemporary scholarship.
    It has been said that some of his disciples (representing the Heathens, if I may dare to go into the other of the four senses of Scripture) do not follow the law (excuse me for not being more exact, I’d have to look it up). Perhaps, if that is not also only scholarship and social expectation but really law, Our Lord may have silently dispensed them (He did defend them against Pharisee moralizing). But Our Lord seemed to have fulfilled the law to the letter, himself.

    Dear @Chicken, some points
    1. I think the dogma that the Pope cannot teach error (read: from the Chair of Peter) does not include that he could not fail to correctly apply Divine Law in any other matter than teaching error from the Chair of Peter. In fact, as teaching error seems to be a clear case of not correctly applying Divine Law, the possibility exists always when he teaches outside the situations creating infallibly. And it seems to me that looking at Exsurge Domine No. 33 and Dignitatis humanae, some fallible decision has actually been erroneous.

    2. As the Pope has supreme and complete jurisdiction over the Church, if he absolved his mistress, it would be valid being the one (of two) unmentioned exception to can. 977. At least that’s my opinion.
    [If a priest is in an island or a desert with his mistress, without hope to find another priest for reasonable time, and they both suddenly decide to come back to a moral life, then he can validly absolve her, it being the second unmentioned exception; again after my opinion. Absolving one's own mistress has been forbidden with heaviest penalties to remove an easy path into unbounded immorality, but in itself it is not bad if the mistress gets her sin absolved. Of course no jurisdiction allows to command actual sins to be done.]

    3. Can the Pope be excommunicated? Interesting. But it would not, unless it were one of the crimes that directly, at least if publicly, end Church membership (apostasy, heresy, and schism, according to Ludwig Ott; and about the latter, it is doubtful that the Pope can technically commit it) create a sede-vacante state. It would forbid him to function licitly (can 1331 § 1) outside, I guess, some cases of necessity (which would have to be looked up); but there is no attached invalidity per can 1331 § 2, because this would require a judgment and the Pope cannot be judged.

  27. William Tighe says:

    “Not, strictly speaking, true. No one has the right to judge his legal application of the human portions of Ecclesial Law, but one may certainly judge a hypothetically incorrect application of the Divine Law reflected in Ecclesial Law (which, thanks be to God, cannot happen, since it would result in the teaching of error).”

    Pope Honorius I, anyone? My point is, a pope’s successor (whether his immediate successor, or a later one) as pope can certainly judge his predecessor’s actions, just as Pope Leo II (681/2-683) accepted and promulgated the condemnation of Honorius I (d. 638) by the Sixth Ecumenical Council.

  28. Maria says:

    Dear Phlogiston,
    (3 April 2013 at 5:56 am)

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

    “that’s kind of my point. Does the Good Friday message of God’s mercy need to be supplemented? To me, that’s what it seems like the Divine Mercy devotion and its timing are saying.” — You used the word supplemented, I would say complemented. In practical terms for example, a person can be called by different names: real name, pet name and etc, but is still the same person. I am called by different names but I am still the same. In the death and resurrection of Christ, people can have different understanding of what is revealed to them: it can be full of hope that there is an assurance of redemption, it can be full of love that everyone is invited to God’s love because He died for us, it can be full of mercy that in our sinfulness even though we are judge, there is mercy in the end, it can be full of faith because Jesus, God, could have escape the chalice of pain and suffering but did the will the Father, and I think a lot more. What is awesome is we can see the many facet of Christ that we can worship, adore and thank Him for. In the Blessed Trinity, we have God the Father, God the Son and the God the Holy Spirit, but it is One God.

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!
    Maria

  29. can’t locate the name (apologies to the one who wrote it)but someone commented, “The Bishop of Rome was not washing feet as bishop. He was doing it as deacon. A French blogger alerted us to the fact that he had taken down his skullcap and moved his stole upon the left shoulder and tied it on the right side. He was acting as a deacon.
    A deacon, someone offering a service.
    Little details that say much and most of us are unable to decipher.”
    can that be done? Does it make a difference?

  30. Nancy D. says:

    No one is above The Law. One cannot condone and affirm same sex unions without condoning and affirming same-sex sexual acts. If it is true that Pope Francis, when he was Cardinal supported same-sex sexual unions, we are in serious trouble. For the sake of Christ, His Church, and all who will come to believe, Pope Francis must make it clear that under no circumstance can any person support same sex sexual relationships and remain in communion with The Catholic Church. There is nothing that precludes our Pope from mandating that every Catholic Mass begin with a statement making it clear that those who dissent from The Deposit of Faith in regards to The Sanctity of Human Life from the moment of conception, and the Sanctity of Marriage and The Family, are no longer in communion with The Catholic Church and should not present themselves to receive The Holy Eucharist.

  31. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Dear r7blue1pink: Thank you for posting that quote from Spirit of the Liturgy: It’s perfect!

    “After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the Pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an Ecumenical Council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the Pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The Pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith…”

    —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy,

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