The Archdiocese of Chicago acted fairly quickly in posting Fr. Pfleger so-called apology.
“On Sunday, April 11, while preaching a sermon on the power of fear, I was referring to the fear that paralyzed the apostles, locking them in a room, leaving only John and the women at the foot of the cross. I stated that is why I believe women ought to be able to be ordained, as well as priests ought to be able to get married.”
“While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings, and I am sorry I failed to do this.”
No doubt Cardinal George will feel himself off the hook now, though would surely love to be totally wrong on this.
How about an Archdiocesan teaching moment here on Church teaching and the levels of Church teaching?
Fr. Pfleger seems to have taken the Catholic politician “personally opposed but …” dodge and stood it on its head. “I’m personally for, but …” The lasts sentence make zero sense and is itself opposed to Church teaching.
Fr. Pfleger can have whatever opinion he wants on the issue of priest celibacy in regards to Church discipline. Women ordination is another matter.
How about taking a gander at what Vatican II said in Lunem Gentium. And let us start with just the fourth level of Church Teaching.
LG 25: “Religious submission of mind and of will must be shown in a special way to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff even when he is not defining, in such a way, namely, that the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to according to his manifested mind and will, which is clear either from the nature of the documents, or from the repeated presentation of the same doctrine, or from the manner of speaking.”
So at first glance “Religious submission of mind and will” must be given to the teaching that women can not be ordained. There is no room for personal view here, There is either “Religious submission of mind and will” or there is not. Fr. Pfleger needs to recant and to repent of his support of women’s ordination. This is not an “oops” situation where personal beliefs accidentally got inserted into preaching taken care of by a quick apology.
His apology further confuses the issue by making it seem acceptable to have a personal opinion against Church teaching. He really needs to apologize for his apology.
The problem is actually worse since this teaching goes beyond “Religious submission of mind and of will”, as serious as that is. When the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was asked about the level of teaching contained in Pope John Paul II’s Ordination Sacerdotalis the Responsum ad Dubium stated.
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.
This is something that must be believed with “Divine and Catholic Faith.” The apology seemingly accepted by the diocese makes a mockery of what Catholics are to believe. I looked all through Lunem Gentium and I just can’t find the “my personal opinion” exception.
“While it is my personal opinion that Fr. Pfleger should be dragged out and shot after severe torture, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings, and I am sorry I failed to do this.”
Yeah that sentence really makes a lot of sense in light of Church teaching – or as much sense as Fr. Pfleger’s did.
I do pray that Fr. Pfleger recants and repents of this error and that the good Cardinal clarifies the error in the apology.