I read this interesting one-page letter from Bishop Williamson, and I saw a list of topics here that I'd like to discuss with someone, and I thought,
"Gosh, I wonder if anyone on CathInfo would like to talk about these things?"
Maybe I was overly optimistic.
But you would never suspect I had any "optimism" by the replies alone...
Incidentally, this EC was posted in the wee hours of Saturday morning (American time) and then lay in the tomb of NO COMMENT for THREE DAYS. Then I made two posts to discuss it and whammy
-- several replies, but to what effect?
Number CCCLXVI (366) July 19, 2014
The word “Magisterium,” coming from the Latin for “master” (“magister”), means in the Church either the Church’s authoritative teaching or its authorised teachers. Now as teacher is superior to taught, so the Magisterium teaching is superior to the Catholic people being taught. But the Catholic Masters have free-will, and God leaves them free to err. Then if they err gravely, may the people stand up to them and tell them, however respectfully, that they are wrong? The question is answered by truth. It is only when most people have lost the truth, as today, that the question can become confused.
On the one hand it is certain that Our Lord endowed his Church with a teaching authority, to teach us fallible human beings that Truth which alone can get us to Heaven – “Peter, confirm they brethren.” On the other hand Peter was only to confirm them in that faith which Our Lord had taught him – “I have prayed that thy faith fail not, and thou being converted, confirm thy brethren” (Lk. XXII, 32). In other words that faith governs Peter which it is his function only to guard and expound faithfully, such as it was deposited with him, the Deposit of Faith, to be handed down for ever as Tradition. Tradition teaches Peter, who teaches the people.
Vatican I (1870) says the same thing. Catholics must believe “all truths contained in the word of God or handed down by Tradition” and which the Church puts forward as divinely revealed, by its Extraordinary or Ordinary Universal Magisterium (one recalls that without Tradition in its broadest sense, there would have been no “word of God,” or Bible). Vatican I says moreover that this Magisterium is gifted with the Church’s infallibility, but this infallibility excludes any novelty being taught. Then Tradition in its broadest sense governs what the Magisterium can say it is, and while the Magisterium has authority to teach inside Tradition, it has no authority to teach the people anything outside of Tradition.
Yet souls do need a living Magisterium to teach them the truths of salvation inside Catholic Tradition. These truths do not change any more than God or his Church change, but the circumstances of the world in which the Church has to operate are changing all the time, and so according to the variety of these circumstances the Church needs living Masters to vary all the time the presentation and explanation of the unvarying truths. Therefore no Catholic in his right mind disputes the need for the Church’s living Masters.
But what if these Masters claim that something is inside Tradition which is not there? On the one hand they are learned men, authorised by the Church to teach the people, and the people are relatively ignorant. On the other hand there is for instance the famous case of the Council of Ephesus (428), where the people rose up in Constantinople to defend the divine Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary against the heretical Patriarch Nestor.
The answer is that objective truth is above Masters and people alike, so that if the people have the truth on their side, they are superior to their Masters if the Masters do not have the truth. On the other hand if the people do not have the truth,
thay [they] have no right to rise up against the Masters. In brief, if they are right, they have the right. If they are not right, they have no right. And what tells if they are right or not? Neither Masters (necessarily), nor people (still less necessarily), but reality, even if Masters or people, or both, conspire to smother it.
..Therefore I made a couple of posts regarding one paragraph among these six paragraphs, and what are the replies?
(I'm glad there were some replies, don't get me wrong. Replies are better than no replies, I suppose.)
It would appear that you are patronising His Excellency. I rather read his always solid and simple writings than your alarmingly frequent ramblings. You seem to be everywhere in this forum, all the time. It's not normal.
To me, this says, "Hey buddy, don't disturb my Nirvana. I like to read +W's ECs like I read the funny page, and then fuggedaboudit!
Know-what-I'm-sayin'? Gimme my quiet (quite misspelled) corner of subjective reality and gitoutahmahface
Well, okay, go on back to your cave and pretend this is not real. (Cf. "... if the people have the truth on their side,... what tells if they are right or not? ...reality, even if ... [other] people... conspire to smother it..")
Translation: When you have the truth on your side, you have the right to ask questions and to hope for a substantive discussion, and even intelligent answers, according to truth properly defined [which it is not, in this EC, but it could easily have been, in exactly 8 (eight) words -- do you know what those 8 words are?]. Nor should you be afraid of the impropriety of malicious hecklers who would attempt to shout you down, or even less noisily, by conspiracy, attempt to ignore your reasonable comments and/or questions by smothering them with group nattering or even avoidance (cf. Pascendi domenici gregis
His Excellency is obviously appealing to common sense... getting into specifics won't help people with hardened hearts..
But, "getting into specifics" is what these threads are supposed
to be for.
Am I expecting too much, or what?
...you are patronising His Excellency... your... you... [i.e., ad hominems]
Correction: If you don't mind, I was hoping for a substantive discussion regarding the objective material in the EC. Is that a foreign concept?
It would appear that you are patronising me. I am in good company.
Why, did you write an EC somewhere of which I would somehow be a patron? Do you have something to discuss here? Or do you use the ECs as a bird cage liner and FUGGEDABOUIT? "Can you answer the questions, or, are you embarrassed of your inability to answer them?"
It would appear "the truth"
would be in the latter. Speaking of "the truth,"
(For new readers, I didn't want to repeat the questions here, but you can read them here
It seems to me that the Bishop would be flattered to know that readers are using his ECs to have productive and fruitful discussions, even if it is only on the Internet. Is that possible here? Did you ever think that maybe, JUST MAYBE, H.E. omitted any definition of "the truth" to see JUST SEE, whether there is one soul, JUST ONE SOUL on planet Earth who dares to sit up straight and take notice of the conspicuous omission of same, and raise the question, and, after having so raised it, whether there's perhaps one other soul -JUST ONE- on planet Earth who might rise to the occasion of answering the question? Dya think?
Why does it so often happen that any question regarding the content of any EC is met by either a chorus of whimpers or else utter silence on this forum?
Is there no one out there who would like to actually talk about these topics? ~ (There is more than one topic in this EC)
P.S. In America we say, "patronizing," while in Britain you say, "patronising." You must be British. Consequently, perhaps you're ignorant of the American way. In America, we have a thing called "freedom of speech," whereby you can actually speak your mind in public and not be hauled off to jail for having done so. Maybe that's a foreign concept to you. This Internet forum (CathInfo) is owned by a fine American who allows open discussion on these Eleison Comments every week for those who would like to discuss their objective content. Thank you, Matthew.