American Catholics at the crossroads
By Regis Scanlon
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
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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,
2 "Death as a Friend," New York Times Magazine (Dec. 1, 1996),
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
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,
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),
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.,
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),
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.
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
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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