Dissent (letter)

Dissent (letter)

Clair Tieppo

Your report on Bishop Patrick Power's denigration of numerous documents of the Holy See (June AD2000) as a "deliberate regression from the teaching and spirit of Vatican ll" is compelling evidence of the doubt, confusion and corruption of faith and morals inflicted on parishioners through the statements of some bishops, priests and theologians.

There were no "new moral dilemmas" through Humanae Vitae in 1968, for Casti Connubii (Pius Xl, 1930) was just as condemnatory of contraception as "intrinsically evil", a doctrine always taught and therefore infallible. Bishop Power appears to be paying homage to dissenting theologians!

Bishop Power claims that Vatican II taught "the right to dissent". There has never been, and is no, "licit dissent", as Pope John Paul II has confirmed: "It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a 'good Catholic' and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere" (Meeting with US Bishops at Our Lady Queen of Angels Minor Seminary, Los Angeles, 16 September 1987).

The least Bishop Power can do is to quote the teaching which permits a bishop to allow dissent, much less to promote dissent, and allows him to publicly put the teaching through Vatican congregations, approved by the Pope, against the teaching of the Pope and Ecumenical Councils.

Specifically, in Christifideles Laici (On the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World), the Pope teaches: "Therefore, not simply the words coming directly from him, but also those transmitted by the various departments of the Holy See call for a loving and receptive hearing by the lay faithful" (#61).

Where is the evidence to support his inference that the development in the Council's teaching on "conscience" and "religious freedom" radically changes earlier teaching? Strangely, the Bishop does not refer to Ad Tuendam Fidem (1998), an Apostolic Letter in Motu Proprio (by his own authority) in which John Paul II tightened the disciplinary provisions of Canon Law (750 #1 and #2) that deal with theological dissent.

CLAIR TIEPPO
Oxenford, Qld

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