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American Catholics at the crossroads
By Regis Scanlon
(get a pdf copy here)

Both Catholic and secular Americans praised the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago as "perhaps their most beloved leader in history."1 The New York Times described the Cardinal as "the last great American Catholic leader of the Second Vatican Council era . . . who rose rapidly to national leadership and who was at the center of almost every major development in American Catholicism for three decades."2

Shortly before his death Cardinal Bernardin initiated his Catholic Common Ground Project to bring factions of the Church together in "dialogue."3 The axis of his legacy was the belief that "limited and occasional dissent" from the Magisterium of the Church was "legitimate."4 The Common Ground Project was criticized by Cardinals Law of Boston, Hickey of Washington (D.C.), Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, and Maida of Detroit. Cardinals O'Connor of New York and Keeler of Baltimore chose not to comment. Cardinal Mahony appeared to be the only American Cardinal in agreement with Cardinal Bernardin's Project since he was on the Common Ground Committee that helped to initiate it. Cardinals and theologians countered that Catholics already had common ground in the Gospel, Tradition, and the Magisterium and they rejected Cardinal Bernardin's suggestion that "limited and occasional dissent" from the Magisterium was part of it.5 "The overall response among the American bishops was clearly unfavorable to the Catholic Common Ground Project." Cardinal Bernardin sorrowfully labeled this reaction as "immediate suspicion" and "grave misunderstanding."6

Since Cardinal Bernardin powerfully influenced the decisions of the Church in the United States during the past two decades, the theory of dissent found in his Common Ground Project should be carefully examined.

The Cardinal's pastoral approach and doctrine

One of the most likely reasons for Cardinal Bernardin's initiation of the Common Ground Project was that "he had been troubled by the bitter controversy aroused when Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz warned that he would excommunicate members of several dissident Catholic groups in Lincoln, Nebraska."7 This excommunication included people belonging to groups, like "Call to Action," that are well known for their support of women's ordination and contraception.8 The Cardinal, no doubt, wanted to find a way to keep these dissenters from leaving the Church.

When Cardinal Bernardin initiated his Project, he asked Catholics to "consider the view that all public disagreement or criticism of church teaching is illegitimate."9 Then, the Cardinal said: "Such an unqualified understanding is unfounded and would be a disservice to the church."10 And, quoting theologian Avery Dulles, S. J., he stated: "'Room must be made for responsible dissent in the church.'"11 Continuing, the Cardinal remarked:

Similarly, in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II distinguished between "limited and occasional dissent" and "an overall and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine." I would argue that dissent ceases to be legitimate when it takes the form of aggressive public campaigns against church teachings that undermine the authority of the magisterium itself.12

The Cardinal managed to ally the Pope's teaching with his own by inserting the phrase, "Similarly, in Veritatis Splendor," amid his own statements arguing for limited and occasional dissent. Thus, the Cardinal suggested that the Pope was open to accepting "limited and occasional dissent" from Church teaching in Veritatis Splendor.13 Avery Dulles, himself, noted: "My own reflection on the situation is that the difficulty with the statements, especially that of Cardinal Bernardin, is not so much with what they actually said as with what they seemed to imply."14

But, nowhere does John Paul II say in Veritatis Splendor that "limited and occasional dissent" is legitimate. The Pope stated in Veritatis Splendor that "It is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent, but of an overall and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine, on the basis of certain anthropological and ethical presuppositions."15 Later, he said: "Opposition to the teaching of the Church's Pastors cannot be seen as a legitimate expression either of Christian freedom or of the diversity of the Spirit's gifts."16 Obviously, the Pope didn't approve of "limited and occasional dissent," but lamented the fact that "limited and occasional dissent" had developed into something worse, "overall and systematic" dissent.

Cardinal Bernardin stated that he planned to bring factions in the Church together through "broad and serious consultation" and "move beyond the distrust, the polarization and the entrenched positions," by means of "honesty and imagination" in dialogue.17 Thus, the Cardinal invited all-including "centrists, moderates, liberals, radicals, conservatives or neoconservatives"-to "honesty" in dialogue.18 But he preempted any dialogue on dissent by predetermining that "limited and occasional dissent" is "legitimate."19 So, the Cardinal tried to exclude the teaching of the Pope, and those who maintain that dissent is illegitimate, through a pastoral coup d'ètat!

But, what about the Cardinal's suggestion that "responsible" or "limited and occasional dissent" from "church teaching" (doctrine) is legitimate? It must be noted that the Cardinal was not just speaking about dissent from disciplinary decisions of the Church. He was also speaking about dissent from "church teaching," i.e., the faith and moral decisions of the Pope, like women's ordination and contraception. Can "limited and occasional dissent" from papal teachings on faith and morals really be part of the "Catholic" Common Ground? Let's look at this.

Dissent as part of the "Catholic" Common Ground?

The Second Vatican Council teaches in its Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) that the "Word of God" comes to us from "sacred Scripture" and "sacred Tradition" under the "interpretation" of the "Magisterium."20 But, these conveyors of Revelation all testify that no one has a right to dissent from the Magisterium of the Pope (the Church). While sources that verify this are myriad, only a few examples of each can be given here.

Many know the scriptural statements supporting the necessity to obey Peter and the Church. Jesus stated: "Whatever you declare bound on earth, shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19); "He who hears you, hears me. He who rejects you, rejects me" (Luke 10:16); and "If he ignores even the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector" (Matt. 18:17).

The Church Fathers taught that the faithful are absolutely bound to obey all the teachings of the Roman Pontiff. St. Irenaeus of Lyons, for example, stated about the Roman Church: "With this Church on account of its special eminence, every other Church must agree."21 Pope St. Leo the Great stated that "the care of the universal Church would converge in the See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head."22

The Doctors of the Church also taught the same absolute obedience to the Pope during the Middle Ages. St. Thomas Aquinas stated that if a dispute arises between a theologian and the teaching authority of the Church, then, "we must abide rather by the Pope's judgment than by the opinion of any of the theologians, however well versed he may be in Divine Scripture."23 When St. Teresa of Avila described the faithful and holy soul, she pointed out: "All the revelations it could imagine-even if it were to see the heavens open-wouldn't move it one bit from what the Church holds."24 She said about a doubt or "thought" against a Church teaching, even a "small truth" of the Church: "just to pause over this thought is already very wrong."25

Venerable John Cardinal Henry Newman stated in modern times that "no one should enter the Church without a firm purpose of taking her word in all matters of doctrine and morals, and that, on the ground of her coming directly from the God of Truth."26 Moreover, he said about a Catholic who "set out about following a doubt which has occurred to him": "I have not to warn him against losing his faith, he is not merely in danger of losing it, he has lost it; from the nature of the case he has lost it; he fell from grace at the moment when he deliberately entertained and pursued his doubt."27 Thus, he judged: "a Catholic dare not in prudence attend to such objections as are brought against his faith . . . lest God should punish him by the loss of his supernatural faith."28 Newman implied that a Catholic, who "deliberately entertained and pursued his doubt" about any papal teaching on faith or morals, was guilty of mortal sin and may lose his Faith!

Similarly, the First Vatican Council stated "that the judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed, is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone permitted to pass judgment on its judgment."29 And, the Second Vatican Council taught in Lumen Gentium, no. 25:

Bishops who teach in communion with the Roman Pontiff are to be revered by all as witnesses of divine and Catholic truth; the faithful, for their part, are obliged to submit to their bishops' decision, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind. This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and that one sincerely adhere to the decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention. . . .30

On the other hand, when Fr. Charles E. Curran reviewed the history of doctrinal dissent within the Catholic Church, he admitted that during the first half of the twentieth century "the possibility of dissent remained a comparatively unknown teaching tucked away in the fine print of theological manuals."31 And, Richard A. McCormick, S. J., stated that even up until 1957, "dissent was virtually unknown in theological circles in the United States, at least in those areas where the Holy See views dissent as most threatening."32 Thus, even dissenters admit that legitimate dissent from the Magisterium was never part of Church teaching or Tradition. So, how did this notion of legitimate dissent from the Magisterium become so popular in the United States?

The drama of dissent in America

The opinion, that theological experts could dissent (at least internally) from non ex cathedra papal decisions on faith and morals, appeared in some theological texts used for training seminarians in the United States by the time of the Second Vatican Council.33 This theological opinion on dissent erupted publicly when Paul VI officially taught in his July 25, 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, that "each and every marriage act (quilibet matrimonii usus) must remain open to the transmission of human life."34 The bishops of the United States issued their pastoral letter, Human Life in Our Day, on November 15, 1968 to help Catholics interpret the Pope's encyclical. But, the bishops stated: "The expression of theological dissent from the magisterium is in order only if the reasons are serious and well-founded, if the manner of the dissent does not question or impugn the teaching authority of the Church and is such as not to give scandal."35 Priests' attempts to help the laity apply this statement in the confessional ended in a bishop/clergy conflict which could only be resolved through Vatican arbitration.36 Nevertheless, married Catholics with "serious" problems abstaining from sexual relations thought they could dissent from the Pope on contraception and still receive Holy Communion worthily.

Dissent from the Magisterium spread throughout the entire Church in the United States. When John Paul II visited the United States in 1987, Archbishop John R. Quinn, representing the Catholic bishops, stated publicly to the Pope before all the bishops: "We as pastors are greatly concerned that some particular areas of the Church's teaching in both sexual and social morality are at times subjected to negative criticism in our country and sometimes even by Catholics of good will."37 John Paul II replied:

It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the Church's clear position on abortion. It has also been noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church's moral teachings. 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.38

So, "dissent from the Magisterium" is an "obstacle to the reception of the sacraments." And, those who go to Holy Communion while dissenting from the Pope in the area of "conjugal morality" (e.g., contraception) are making a "grave error"!

John Paul II was literally applying Lumen Gentium, no. 25, to the situation of the Church in the United States. The faithful must "submit," or "adhere" in "mind" ("will and intellect"), to the Pope's faith and moral decisions "even when he does not speak ex cathedra." Even every bishop and priest must assent in his "mind" (internally) to the Pope's teaching on contraception to be fully joined to the Church and receive Holy Communion worthily. Lumen Gentium, no. 25, corrected the pre-Vatican II theological error, that dissent from the Pope could at times be licit.

However, American theologians disagreed with John Paul II's 1987 teaching to the bishops. Prior to the Pope's visit, Avery Dulles, S. J., stated that "one cannot make a general statement about what precisely amounts to 'religious submission of mind'" (religiosum voluntatis et intellectus obsequium)39 in no. 25 of Lumen Gentium.40 Later, Ladislas Orsy, S. J. said that religious submission of the mind can even mean being "one with the searching Church, working for clarification," with the "right to dissent."41 And, Richard A. McCormick, S. J. considered it "untranslatable."42 But, "religiosum voluntatis et intellectus obsequium" in no. 25 of Lumen Gentium means "religious submission of the will and intellect (mind)" and it is only "untranslatable" for those who ignore Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church.

In fact, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith even applied Lumen Gentium, no. 25, to theologians, and the Congregation was quite clear on the response that the theologian, indeed every Catholic, must give to the Pope's faith and moral decisions, even when the Pope does not intend to speak ex cathedra. The Congregation stated:

When the Magisterium proposes "in a definitive way" truths concerning faith and morals, which, even if not divinely revealed, are nevertheless strictly and intimately connected with Revelation, these must be firmly accepted and held.

When the Magisterium, not intending to act "definitively", teaches a doctrine to aid a better understanding of Revelation and make explicit its contents, or to recall how some teaching is in conformity with the truths of faith, or finally to guard against ideas that are incompatible with these truths, the response called for is that of the religious submission of will and intellect. This kind of response cannot be simply exterior or disciplinary but must be understood within the logic of faith and under the impulse of obedience to the faith.43

So, "religious submission of will and intellect" does not just mean an "exterior" or external acceptance, but it also means an interior or internal acceptance, i.e., with the "mind."

Even though John Paul II personally and publicly taught all the bishops of the United States that dissent from the Magisterium bars one from the sacraments, his teaching was never handed down to the faithful. If any bishop made John Paul II's 1987 statement on dissent the subject of a pastoral letter to the faithful in his diocese, it never reached the media. Clergy, religious, and laity continued to celebrate the sacraments and to express their dissent from the Pope's teaching on contraception through the media.

It was said about Cardinal Bernardin: "For years he had been the master politician of the bishops' conference, smoothly arranging majority support for his favored initiatives."44 As Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago and the most politically powerful member of the bishops' conference during the Pope's 1987 visit, Cardinal Bernardin had the bureaucratic muscle to ensure that Catholics in the United States would be clearly informed about the Pope's interpretation of Lumen Gentium, no. 25. He certainly could have notified the faithful in Chicago of the Pope's teaching that dissent from the Magisterium bars one from Holy Communion. But, he didn't!

Consequently, the 1992 Gallup Poll showed that about 70% of so-called Catholics today in the United States dissent from papal teaching in various areas, especially in the area of human sexuality.45 And Cardinal Bernardin, himself, commented on this same poll by saying that: "according to a Gallup poll only 30% of our faithful believe what the Church teaches on the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist."46 According to Newman's theology, the 70% who dissent from the Pope and the 70% who have no faith in the Eucharist could very well be the same people. Could God be punishing those who receive Holy Communion while dissenting from the Pope with a loss of their "supernatural faith" in Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist?

Cardinal Bernardin's legacy to the Church

Perhaps now we can get a clearer grasp of what lies behind Cardinal Bernardin's theology of dissent in his Common Ground Project. Cardinal Bernardin's proposals in his Project clearly revealed his basic belief. The Cardinal's Project proposed as a condition for dialogue:

That we reaffirm basic truths and stand accountable to Scripture and Catholic tradition, witnessed and conveyed to us by the Spirit-filled, living church and its magisterium exercised by the bishops and the chair of Peter.47

But then the Project proposed: "That the complexity and richness of this tradition not be reduced or ignored by fundamentalist appeals to a text or a decree."48 Thus, the Cardinal's Project shrewdly implied that the traditional teaching or meaning of a dogmatic text or decree (e.g., "that the judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed, is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone permitted to pass judgment on its judgment") cannot establish tradition or what Catholics must believe to be Catholic and be saved. Proof that this was the mind of the Cardinal lies in the fact that the Cardinal rejected the traditional meaning of texts and decrees on absolute obedience to the Magisterium (Pope) in favor of limited and occasional dissent.

Cardinal Bernardin's fundamental theology, then, is based on the principle that the real meaning of Scripture, Tradition, and the decrees of the Magisterium is not necessarily the traditional meaning. So, Cardinal Bernardin salutes the texts of Scripture and Tradition along with the decrees of the Magisterium, but he is open to giving them a different meaning.

However, the First Vatican Council declared: "Hence, also, the understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding."49 And, Pius X' s "The Oath Against the Errors of Modernism" stated: "I reject the heretical invention of the evolution of dogmas, passing from one meaning to another, different from that which the Church first had."50 Thus, while tradition cannot be reduced to a text or a decree, one can quote from a text or a decree to obtain the exact meaning of an unchangeable dogma or teaching of the Church which binds all Catholics.

So, Cardinal Bernardin rejected the Pope's interpretation of Lumen Gentium, no 25, for a modernist interpretation! But how serious is this rejection of Lumen Gentium, no 25?

Lumen Gentium, no. 25 is a matter of faith

It is true that the Second Vatican Council did not close its documents with canons ending in an "anathema sit" (let them be condemned), nor teach anything infallibly. John XXIII stated in his opening address to the Second Vatican Council, that the Church always opposed errors, "Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity."51 But, after the Council, Paul VI stated:

In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statement of dogmas that would be endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium. This ordinary magisterium, which is so obviously official, has to be accepted with docility and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents.52

The teachings of Vatican II, therefore, must be accepted by all the faithful according to the mind of the Council on the "nature and aims of the individual document." But, the Council titled Lumen Gentium, the "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church," which indicates that the "nature" of Lumen Gentium is "dogmatic."53 While there are no "extraordinary" dogmas in Vatican II, there are ordinary dogmas. Even though the Pope did not exercise his infallible authority to teach Lumen Gentium, the contents (teachings) in Lumen Gentium are dogmas drawn from Scripture, Tradition, or previous teachings of the Magisterium. Thus, each Catholic must accept no. 25 of Lumen Gentium as a matter of faith, even though the form of the document itself is not infallible.

So, Cardinal Bernardin's proposal, that "limited and occasional dissent" from the Magisterium is "legitimate," contradicted the dogmas found in Lumen Gentium, no. 25, and the constant and consistent teaching of the Church on the necessity of absolute obedience to the Pope found in Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. The Cardinal's proposal contradicted the faith!

Tasks ahead!

John Paul II says that "The best preparation for the new millennium, therefore, can only be expressed in a renewed commitment to apply, as faithfully as possible, the teachings of Vatican II to the life of every individual and of the whole Church."54 This would include applying no. 25 of Lumen Gentium to every pope, cardinal, bishop, priest, and theologian. But, as Cardinal Bernardin correctly pointed out, "For three decades the church has been divided by different responses to the Second Vatican Council and to the tumultuous years that followed it."55 The Cardinal suggested that the problem was caused by many factions in the Church: "centrists, moderates, liberals, radicals, conservatives or neoconservatives." But, while there are many differences among Catholics on each side of the dividing line, there is really only one major division: there are those who believe that at least some dissent from the Magisterium (of the Pope) is legitimate and those who believe that dissent from the Magisterium is never legitimate.

Cardinal Bernardin also stated that "the Catholic Church in the United States (will) enter the new millennium as a church of promise" only if "American Catholicism can confront an array of challenges with honesty."56 Similarly, he recommended "honesty" to the hierarchy when he stated that "many of us are refusing to acknowledge disquieting realities, perhaps fearing that they may reflect poorly on our past efforts or arm our critics within the church."57 But, one of these "disquieting realities" is that Cardinal Bernardin and the American bishops have never publicly acknowledged that Human Life in our Day contradicted Humanae Vitae. Another "disquieting reality" is that the faithful were never clearly told that John Paul II taught in 1987, that "dissent from the Magisterium" is an "obstacle to the reception of the sacraments." So, the first step in an "honest" dialogue aimed at restoring unity to the Church in America is for the bishops to publicly acknowledge these two realities by communicating this information to the faithful.

But, there is no common ground between yes and no, or as Cardinal Newman observed, "there is no medium between assenting and not assenting."58 Nor does Cardinal Bernardin's "limited and occasional dissent" represent a middle or central position, or "common ground," between assent and dissent. Similarly, there is no common ground between Cardinal Bernardin's teaching that "dissent" is sometimes "legitimate" and John Paul II's teaching that dissent "cannot be seen" as "legitimate." These two teachings are in fact irreconcilable and inimical. Thus, while Catholics can dialogue, no amount of dialogue can solve the division in the Church in America. Each and every Catholic, especially each Cardinal and bishop, must decide to follow either John Paul II's interpretation of Vatican II or Cardinal Bernardin's.

American Catholics have arrived at a crossroads. Those, who stall in the middle of the road by endlessly politicking over the teachings of Vatican II under the guise of "dialogue," risk being left behind in some synthetic national American Catholic Church. It wouldn't be the first time this has happened after a council. No matter how small and poorly financed, the true Church is moving on to the Third Christian Millennium by applying "the teachings of Vatican II to the life of every individual and of the whole Church"-with or without American Catholics. n

1 Editorial Staff, "Millions Mourn Cardinal Bernardin and His 'Kind and Gentle'" Leadership," National Catholic Register (Dec. 1-7, 1996), 2.

2 "Death as a Friend," New York Times Magazine (Dec. 1, 1996), 112.

3 Joseph Bernardin, "Address on the Common Ground Project," Oct. 24, 1996, Origins: CNS documentary service (Nov. 14, 1996), 353.

4 Ibid., 356.

5 Pamela Schaeffer, "Initiative seeks 'Catholic Common Ground,'" National Catholic Reporter (Aug. 23, 1996), 3; Philip F. Lawler, "Debate Over Dialogue," Catholic World Report (Oct. 1996), 36; "Cardinal Bernardin Argues for 'Limited, Occasional' Dissent," National Catholic Register (Nov. 3-9, 1996), 1 & 8.

6 Joseph Bernardin, "Bernardin answers Common Ground critics," National Catholic Reporter (Sept. 6, 1996), 9.

7 Philip F. Lawler, "Debate Over Dialogue," 35.

8 Domenico Bettineli, Jr., "Excommunications in the Heartland," Catholic World Report (May 1996), 28; Pamela Schaeffer, "Reform group faces attack, competing petition," National Catholic Reporter (Dec. 20, 1996), 5.

9 Joseph Bernardin, "Address on the Common Ground Project," 356. My emphasis.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid. Partially my emphasis.

13 Jay Copp, "Cardinal Bernardin Argues for 'Limited, Occasional' Dissent," National Catholic Register (Nov. 3-9, 1996), 1.

14 Avery Dulles, S. J., "Context of Christian Proclamation Sets Parameters of Dialogue," National Catholic Register (Dec. 8-14, 1996), 7.

15 John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, August 6, 1993, no. 4.

16 Ibid., no. 113.

17 Joseph Bernardin, "Address on the Common Ground Project," 353.

18 Joseph Bernardin, "Called to Be Catholic: Church in a Time of Peril," Origins: CNS documentary service (Aug. 29, 1996), 168.

19 Joseph Bernardin, "Address on the Common Ground Project," 356.

20 Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, no. 7-10.

21 St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Adver. Haer., III 3, 2, found translated in Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 5th edition (St. Louis: B. Herder Bk. Co., 1962), 288.

22 St. Leo the Great, Pope, "Letter of Pope Leo I to Anastasius, Bishop of Thessalonica," The Faith of the Early Fathers, trans. by William A. Jurgens, Vol. III (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1979), 270.

23 St. Thomas Aquinas, "Quodlibetum Nonum," Quaestio VIII, in Quaestiones Quodlibetales, edited by Raymond Spiazzi, O. P., 8th edition (Rome: Marietti, 1949), 149. "Unde magis est standum sententiae Papae, ad quem pertinet determinare de fide, quam in iudicio profert, quam quorumlibet sapientum hominum in Scripturis opinioni." The translation comes from Peter Finnegan, O. P., "The Faith, the Magisterium, the Theologians," The Priest: The Word of God and the Magisterium, edited by the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, 1977), 91.

24 St. Teresa of Avila, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, trans. by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriquez, O.C.D. (Washington, D. C.: ICS Publications, 1987), 218.

25 Ibid. My emphasis.

26 John Henry Newman, Discourses to Mixed Congregations (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1919), 231. My emphasis.

27 Ibid., 217. My emphasis.

28 Ibid., 225.

29 Enchiridion Symbolorum (Denzinger), 30th edition, no. 1830. Henceforth all citations from the Enchiridion Symbolorum will be taken from this source and be indicated by Denz.

30 Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, no. 25. My emphasis.

31 Charles E. Curran, "Dissent, Theology of," New Catholic Encyclopedia, Supplementary Vol. 16, 128.

32 Richard A. McCormick, S. J., The Critical Calling (Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989), 27

33 Dr. Ludwig Ott, 10; J. M. Herve, Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae, 19th edition, Vol. 1 (Westminister, Md: The Newman Bookshop, 1943), 523

34 Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, July 25, 1968, no. 11.

35 National Conference of Catholic Bishops of America, Human Life in Our Day, Nov. 15, 1968, found in Official Catholic Teachings: Love & Sexuality, edited by Odile M. Liebard (Wilmington, N.C.: McGrath Pub. Co., 1978), no. 1295, 366. My emphasis.

36 Sacred Congregation of the Clergy, "The Washington Case," April 26, 1971, found in Vatican Council II: More Post Conciliar Documents, edited by Austin Flannery, O. P. (Northport New York: Costello Pub. Co., 1982), 417-422.

37 John Paul II, "Meeting with the Bishops of the United States: Our Lady Queen of the Angels Minor Seminary," Los Angeles, CA., Sept. 16, 1987, found in Unity in the Work of Service (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, Inc., 1987), 142.

38 John Paul II, "Meeting with the Bishops of the United States: Our Lady Queen of the Angels Minor Seminary, " Los Angeles, CA., Wednesday, September 16, 1987, 144. My emphasis.

39 Sacrosanctum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum II, Constitutio Dogmatica De Ecclesia, no. 25, in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, An, et vol. LVII, 30 Jan. 1965, N. 1. My emphasis.

40 Avery Dulles, "Authority & Conscience," Church (Fall 1986), 12.

41 Ladislas Orsy, S.J., "Magisterium: Assent and Dissent," Theological Studies, 48 (Sept. 1987), 487-491, especially 490-491.

42 Richard A. McCormick, S.J., The Critical Calling (Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989), 102-103.

43 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian," no. 23, Origins: CNS documentary service (July 5, 1990), 122. My emphasis.

44 Philip F. Lawler, "Debate Over Dialogue," 37.

45 Arthur Jones, "Gallup Poll results unlikely to please Vatican," National Catholic Reporter (July 3, 1992), 6.

46 Joseph Bernardin, in Gianni Cardinale, "Clinton and Us," 30 Days, no. 12, 1992, 32.

47 Joseph Bernardin, "Address on the Common Ground Project," 357.

48 Ibid.

49 Denz. 1800 & 1818.

50 Ibid. 2145.

51 John XXIII, "Pope John's Opening Speech to the Council," Oct. 11, 1962, found in The Documents of Vatican II, edited by Walter M. Abbott, S. J. (New York: Guild Press, 1966), 716.

52 Paul VI, "After the Council: New Tasks," The Pope Speaks, Vol. 11 (Winter 1966), 154. Partially my emphasis.

53 Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, Title, 350.

54 John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Nov. 10, 1994, no. 20. My emphasis.

55 Joseph Bernardin, "Called to Be Catholic: Church in a Time of Peril," 167.

56 Ibid., 165. My parenthesis and emphasis.

57 Ibid., 167. My emphasis.

58 John Henry Newman, A Grammar of Assent, introduced by Etienne Gilson (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Bks., 1955), 148.

Juan Eduardo Alvear

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For we all are pilgrims and immigrants in a foreign land. We have become citizens and nationals of Heaven through our baptism. We are sons of God. By Eduardo Alvear, Catholic. Please note that Jesus Christ got crucified by the Jews and Pilate for making this claim. He was accused of subversion.
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"Jesus is the lodestar of human freedom: without him, freedom loses its focus, for without the knowledge of truth, freedom becomes debased, alienated and reduced to empty caprice. With him, freedom finds itself." Benedict XVI, Address to Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (10 February 2006): AAS 98 (2006), 255. EUCHARIST: SOURCE AND SUMMIT


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