Ad Tuendam Fidem, Ad Tuendam Fidem… Wherefore Art Thou ? 

JOHN PAUL II
Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio
AD TUENDAM FIDEM,
by which certain norms are inserted
into the Code of Canon Law
and into the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches

PROTECT THE FAITH of the Catholic Church against errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology, we, whose principal duty is to confirm the brethren in the faith (Lk 22:32), consider it absolutely necessary to add to the existing texts of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions.

1.From the first centuries to the present day, the Church has professed the truths of her faith in Christ and the mystery of his redemption. These truths were subsequently gathered into the Symbols of the faith, today known and proclaimed in common by the faithful in the solemn and festive celebration of Mass as the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

This same Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is contained in the Profession of faith developed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,(1) which must be made by specific members of the faithful when they receive an office, that is directly or indirectly related to deeper investigation into the truths of faith and morals, or is united to a particular power in the governance of the Church.(2)

2. The Profession of faith, which appropriately begins with the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, contains three propositions or paragraphs intended to describe the truths of the Catholic faith, which the Church, in the course of time and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit “who will teach the whole truth” (Jn 16:13), has ever more deeply explored and will continue to explore.(3)

The first paragraph states: “With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.”(4) This paragraph appropriately confirms and is provided for in the Church’s universal legislation, in canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law(5) and canon 598 of the Code of the Canons of the Eastern Churches.(6)

The third paragraph states: “Moreover I adhere with submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.”(7) This paragraph has its corresponding legislative expression in canon 752 of the Code of Canon Law(8) and canon 599 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.(9)

3. The second paragraph, however, which states “I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals,”(10) has no corresponding canon in the Codes of the Catholic Church. This second paragraph of the Profession of faith is of utmost importance since it refers to truths that are necessarily connected to divine revelation. These truths, in the investigation of Catholic doctrine, illustrate the Divine Spirit’s particular inspiration for the Church’s deeper understanding of a truth concerning faith and morals, with which they are connected either for historical reasons or by a logical relationship.

4. Moved therefore by this need, and after careful deliberation, we have decided to overcome this lacuna in the universal law in the following way:

A) Canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law will now consist of two paragraphs; the first will present the text of the existing canon; the second will contain a new text. Thus, canon 750, in its complete form, will read:

Canon 750 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.
§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Canon 1371, n. 1 of the Code of Canon Law, consequently, will receive an appropriate reference to canon 750 § 2, so that it will now read:

Canon 1371 – The following are to be punished with a just penalty:

a person who, apart from the case mentioned in canon 1364 § 1, teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff, or by an Ecumenical Council, or obstinately rejects the teachings mentioned in canon 750 § 2 or in canon 752 and, when warned by the Apostolic See or by the Ordinary, does not retract;

a person who in any other way does not obey the lawful command or prohibition of the Apostolic See or the Ordinary or Superior and, after being warned, persists in disobedience.

B) Canon 598 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches will now have two paragraphs: the first will present the text of the existing canon and the second will contain a new text. Thus canon 598, in its complete form, will read as follows:

Canon 598 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All Christian faithful are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.

§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Canon 1436 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, consequently, will receive an appropriate reference to canon 598 § 2, so that it will now read:

Canon 1436 – § 1. Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication; a cleric moreover can be punished with other penalties, not excluding deposition.
§ 2. In addition to these cases, whoever obstinately rejects a teaching that the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising the authentic Magisterium, have set forth to be held definitively, or who affirms what they have condemned as erroneous, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished with an appropriate penalty.

5. We order that everything decreed by us in this Apostolic Letter, given motu proprio, be established and ratified, and we prescribe that the insertions listed above be introduced into the universal legislation of the Catholic Church, that is, into the Code of Canon Law and into the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

 

Given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on 18 May, in the year 1998, the twentieth of our Pontificate.
JOHN PAUL II

Read document at source here, including footnotes. 

 

 

Comment:

Here we have a clear sign that Pope John Paul II wished Canon Law to be enforced against dissenters, heretics and apostates.  The above Motu Proprio spells it out clearly:  reject Catholic truths and you set yourself against the teaching of the Catholic Church – we are, one and all, to avoid any contrary doctrines.  Yet, Pope John Paul II himself did not apply it.  Odd. 

So, what happened?  Why was it never invoked?  Or, did I miss it?  Whatever, is there any offender (or a million) at the present time, to whom, one might think, the penalties might be applied, which Pope John Paul II inserted to strengthen Canon Law against dissenters, heretics and apostates?  Only asking, not least because Ad tuendam fidem seems to have disappeared into thin air, which is why we ask:  Ad tuendam fidem, Ad tuendam fidem… wherefore art thou, Romeo, Ad tuendam fidem ?   

Vatican Protocol & Doctrine – Linked?

The Vatican Secretariat of State had specifically looked into changing the protocol, at Pope Francis’ request. As it turned out, the protocol was applied for the first time on the occasion of the visit by Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri to the Vatican, where he attended an audience with Pope Francis on Saturday 27 February. From now on, Catholic heads of state in irregular marital unions will be able to meet the Pope along with their spouse and the latter will also be able to appear in official group photos when gifts are exchanged. Until today, in such cases, the husband or wife had to wait in another room and the Pope greeted them separately at the end of the audience. 

Pope Francis hugs US gay couple at the Vatican embassy, in 2015

Pope Francis hugs US ‘gay’ couple at
the Vatican embassy, in 2015

 Argentinian journalist Elisabetta Piqué was the first to announce the change in protocol in an article published by daily newspaper La Nación

 Secretariat of State sources confirmed to Vatican Insider that this change is in force as of now and applies to all Catholic heads of state on official visits to the Vatican. According to traditional protocol, only in cases of Catholic heads of state – being spiritual children of the Church – did the “regularity” of a marital state need to be take into consideration respecting Canon Law. 

 Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri and his third wife, Juliana Awada, were the first to experience this change in etiquette. The decision was taken in light of something that occurred two years ago when a Latin American head of state who had married his wife in a civil ceremony met the Pope who then greeted the wife in a separate location. That was when he started thinking about changing the protocol that had been in place until then. In a statement about remarried divorces during his interview with journalists on the return flight from Mexico on 17 February, Francis said: “The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera.” The change in protocol is a small step in that direction.  Source

Comment

The feeling out on the street these days is that Pope Francis will come perilously close to making one of his many errors binding on Catholics – perhaps his assurance to Protestants and atheists that they needn’t worry about salvation, no need to convert,  or perhaps his confusing messages about marriage and the family (all shapes and sizes acceptable) or similar. The feeling out on the street is that this is likely to come about soon, and will provoke some major activity, either through the concerned members of the hierarchy or by direct divine intervention.  This news of a change in Vatican protocol seems to support the voices on the street. IS this a significant change, or does it really not matter that much?

General Discussion (9)

group-discussion-213800If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.   Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here (5) click here (6) click here (7) click here (8) click here   

October Synod: Is Schism Inevitable?

Do you agree with the commentators who believe that Vatican permission for Communion for couples in sinful unions is “a done deal”? 

Is schism inevitable?  If so, what on earth are Catholics to do to keep the Faith?  Do you agree with the solutions proposed by the commentators in the video?

Same-Sex Vote: Priests For YES – Resign!

FrEgan2Fr Adrian Egan (above) published a letter in the Irish Times, 30 April, in which he asserted his intention to vote YES in the same-sex marriage referendum to take place in Ireland on 22nd May. Click on the photo to read his letter, published on a new website called Priests For Yes – I mean, can it get any worse?  Brazen priests boasting about their support for unnatural and immoral sexual behaviour, basing their opinions on a childish understanding of “love” and “equality”.  

Then another priest, Fr Brian O’Fearraigh, announced (to his congregation at Mass) that he, too, would be voting YES.  It’s not a Church matter, it’s a state matter was his crackpot defence.  What was that about “diabolical disorientation”?  You bet… For if the Devil isn’t working in these priests, I can’t think what’s driving them – definitely not logic, theology, scripture or even elementary knowledge of the natural moral law.   Here’s the report from the Irish Examiner – brace yourself…

“In voting Yes we are saying that the state will be recognising and cherishing all of it’s citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or who they are,” said Fr O’Fearraigh.      FrBrianOFearraighDonegalPriestMarRef_large

Fr O’Fearraigh said that his conscience is clear with regard his decision, regardless of the fact that his bishop, Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce, had publically declared he would be voting No.

“The reality of same-sex marriage is a reality that in no way threatens me or in no way offends me as an individual, as a priest and ultimately as a citizen of this state.”

Barry Jones, a spokesperson for StandUp4Marriage, a group advocating a No vote was speaking on the same station to Greg Hughes and said that the referendum was “a matter for every individual, it’s as simple as that, and that is a matter for him whatever way he wants to vote. It certainly sounds to me that he [Fr O Fearraigh] is misguided”.

The referendum takes place on May 22Source – note, includes short audio clip of Fr O’Fearraigh defending his indefensible position.

Comment

We’ve had a number of threads to discuss the forthcoming referendum in Ireland.  This thread is not about that. It’s about the following:  

1)  how come these priests have no awareness of the nature and purpose of conscience?  

2) why is their Superior/Bishop not insisting that they resign from active priestly ministry? Do you think they should resign?

3) What should Catholics do if their priest publicly announces his intention to vote for same-sex marriage or otherwise publicly attacks dogma or morals?  I once told a priest after Mass that if he did that again, I would publicly correct him. Should we do that, even though, I’m told, technically it’s against the law of the land. Does anyone care?

Finally….

The key question MUST be asked and answered:  is it possible for a Catholic priest to “disagree” with God’s natural moral order and undermine the Church by handing over guardianship of God’s objective moral law to the State?  Is that possible? And still remain in a position of influence over the Catholic people, to feed them stones instead of bread?  What does Canon Law have to say on the matter?

Latest Novelty: Baptism of Unbelievers?

Francis to New Priests:     Pope Francissmiles

 Forget what the Church has always practiced!  Baptize anyone who asks.

 by Christopher A. Ferrara

 May 1, 2015

 Another day, another novelty from the lips of Francis. This time, in remarks following the ordination of new priests, he declared: “Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks! (my emphasis)”

 Never refuse Baptism? Under any circumstances? That is hardly what the Church always taught before Francis. For example, in a 1980 Instruction on Infant Baptism, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that “infant Baptism must be governed by two great principles, the second of which is subordinate to the first.” The first great principle, of course, is that “Baptism, which is necessary for salvation, is the sign and the means of God’s prevenient love, which frees us from original sin and communicates to us a share in divine life…”

 But the second great principle, which Francis would apparently ignore, is that: “Assurances must be given that the gift thus granted can grow by an authentic education in the faith and Christian life, in order to fulfill the true meaning of the sacrament.” Accordingly, “if these assurances are not really serious there can be grounds for delaying the sacrament; and if they are certainly non-existent the sacrament should even be refused.”

 As the Instruction further teaches: “In fact the Church can only accede to the desire of these parents if they give an assurance that, once the child is baptized, it will be given the benefit of the Christian upbringing required by the sacrament. The Church must have a well-founded hope that the Baptism will bear fruit.” If sincere assurances are given, then, naturally, “the priest cannot refuse to celebrate the sacrament without delay…” But if, on the other hand, “they are insufficient, it will be prudent to delay Baptism.”

 Take, for example, a “gay couple” that has no intention of raising their immorally acquired child in the Christian faith but rather in their own version of it, which includes the “right” of homosexual “couples” to live in an adulterous union based on the practice of sodomy, call it a “marriage,” and adopt children — all in violation of the Church’s infallible teaching on faith and morals.

 Vatican Insider reports Francis’ remark as “words that may be interpreted to rebut priests who refuse to baptize children of same-sex couples…” It would be hard to deny that interpretation in the face of his use of the word “never” without qualification. Never means never, unless one adds a qualifier, and none was added here. But this would seem to be in line with the thematic ambiguity Francis has been cultivating for the past two years, always tending in a liberalizing direction, however. Call it guided ambiguity.

 Worse, Francis did not limit his remark to the case of infants, where the urgency of Baptism would militate in favor of the sacrament, but rather included those who ask for it themselves, meaning adults. Is there to be no process of discernment by the priest in this regard? Is he to baptize even someone who openly “disagrees” with fundamental teachings on faith and morals? That would be a sacrilege. Indeed, not a few have presented themselves for Baptism in defiance of the Church precisely in order to legitimate their own errors or immoral “lifestyles,” as if the sacrament were some kind of entitlement instead of a gift of the Blood of Christ.

 Yet again one has the impression that Francis simply says whatever he wishes and does whatever he pleases with little or no regard for what came before him in the Church if he deems it unnecessary. As he declared in the interview with Civiltà Cattolica that so delighted the liberal media: “The Church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.”

 Really? Which rules are those? The process of discerning fitness for Baptism, according to the perennial teaching of the Church, appears to be one of them. According to Francis. Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!

Comments invited…