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The Locus of Catholic Orthodoxy

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Written by Basil on 08/15/2002 8:42 AM. Filed under:

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Mark Shea, speaking about a recent document by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops:

Well, first of all its just some bishop’s committee. Second, even if the American bishops signed off on it, we have to ask ourselves ‘Should I have bailed on the Church when most of the bishops were Arian in the 4th century?’ If not, then what should I have done?

Mr. Shea is absolutely dead right on 99.9% of the time. I used to read with joy and fascination his articles in Roman Catholic magazines during my short stint as a Roman. However, here his papalism comes to bear.

For the Roman Catholic, the center of catholic orthodoxy is the Pontiff, the Patriarch of Rome, the Pope. The Second Vatican Council (if I remember correctly) begins making some important moves back toward the ancient model of conciliarity, wherein each bishop is responsible for upholding the catholic faith. But, utlimately, it does not matter if your bishop is a rank heretic — it’s the Pope’s job to rap him on the knuckles.

I’m a little confused by Mr. Shea’s statement quoted above. Does he not think that the orthodox bishops bailed on the Arians? Of course they did! They blasted them as heretics and excommunicated them and pronounced anathemas against them. It is only the hindsight of history that allows us to make sense of it all. (And that, with great difficulty and much learning — which I do not have.)

Mr. Shea seems to forget that schisms are started over very little things. Little things like single words interpolated into ecumenical creeds by local councils and then approved by one bishop too big for his britches.

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2 Responses to “The Locus of Catholic Orthodoxy”

  1. namegale markus Says:

    Is there a Fundamental Catholic?

  2. namegale markus Says:

    Is There Fundamental Catholisism?