There is a need to set right the parameters for Christian participation in public life if Australia is to forestall Muslim fundamentalist aspirations for an Islamic state, Jesuit Fr Frank Brennan has argued at a Jesuit conference in Melbourne.
"Muslims and other members of minority faiths in Australia should have the same opportunity and be subject to the same constraints as Christians from the major denominations when contributing to public debate," he told the "Evangelisation and Culture in a Jesuit Light" conference.
"It should be no disrespect to Muslims to insist that Australians exercise their rights including free speech without legal restraint but with due regard for the sensitivity of others," he said.
The conference, hosted by the Australian Catholic University, the Jesuit Theological College and the Melbourne College of Divinity, coincided with the 500th birthday of St Francis Xavier and the 450th anniversary of the death of St Ignatius Loyola, both founders of the Society of Jesus, now known as the Jesuits, one of the largest Catholic religious orders.
This article started out pretty good but soon degenerated.
In his address, Fr Brennan focused on the role of faith-based conscience in a pluralist democracy. He told the conference that there are no easy options between a rock and a soft place for religious citizens looking to select electable candidates in a modern democracy.
"The committed Catholic cannot be satisfied that his conscience is properly formed and informed simply by pledging adherence to Vatican declarations," Fr Brennan said.
"Authoritative church teaching is a privileged guide to be discounted only after mature reflection and prayerful discernment.
Excuse me but this paragraphs just makes me laugh out loud for its silliness. If a Church teaching is authoritative then by definition it can not be discounted no matter how much you reflect upon it and for you at the same time still be a faithful Catholic. After mature and prayerful discernment I determined that the statement by Fr. Brennan should be discounted.
History is replete with examples of religious authorities mistaking the moral good in times of changing uncertainty. A living tradition is the fruit of inter-generational affirmation of the primacy of conscience as the means for reaching truth, the primary end for which we strive," he said.
Funny that doesn’t seem to be the same thing as what the Catechism refers to as living or more accurately Apostolic Tradition.
Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions
83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.
And of course is to be interpreted by the magisterium and is not up to the "inter-generational affirmation of the primacy of conscience."
85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
Fr. Brennan has a habit of being in the news, but always for the wrong reasons. On average he says something stupid or blatently wrong every fortnight. And he always get covereage by the Australian Catholic press for some reason.
That would be the same Bishop of Rome and successor of Peter to whom the Jesuits swear obedience,right? I just want to be sure just in case my conscience isn’t properly formed and informed after all of those years of adherence without mature and prayerful discernment.
It may be helpful to throw some light on the fourth vow which seems to be interpreted today as a vow to mission (under the broad direction of the Roman Pontiff) rather than obedience across the board. It is noteworthy too that this famed fourth vow was and is not taken by all Jesuits.
Anyway, let’s pray for the sons of St Ignatius Loyola on this, his feast day!
“After mature and prayerful discernment I determined that the statement by Fr. Brennan should be discounted.”
Superb logic! They never stop to realize that one can apply the same criteria to THEIR “ex cathedra” statements.
Or, as GKC says, “the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
[GKC, Orthodoxy CW1:245]
Happy Feast of St. Ignatius! All you holy Jesuit confessors and martyrs, pray for us!
“… affirmation of the primacy of conscience.”
To quote Cardinal Pell–“What a hoot!”
Yes, well it was my understanding the Dogma of the Church is determined by SCRIPTURE and a 2000 year dose of DIVINE REVELATION. I had no idea it was so very flexible to suit the purposes of renegade priests! The Jesuits once commanded great respect. Unfortunately, they have become slaves to the material world and the politics of now. All one has to do is look to Marquette University… also teaching in the “Catholic Tradition”… it’s a joke.
What is a “… living tradition”? Isn’t tradition supposed to be concrete so that it is always there and intact? Or are traditions supposed to change with whatever is popular at the time? Reminds me of the folks who say “The constitution is a living, breathing document.”
Well, this is where most of the Protestants fall down in their understanding of what “Dogma” is (Divinely Revealed truths (ie. All life is sacred (papal infallability))), and “Tradition” (Don’t eat fish on Friday, fast an hour before the Host type of stuff). The Protestants often confuse the two. The former is unchanging, the latter is what it is: traditional habit.
I can’t help but think that Fr. Jacques Marquette is shaking his head over this in Heaven. He really lived in times (and places) of “changing uncertainty” when he was travelling in unknown lands and dealing with the mysterious indigenous cultures. Compared to that, dealing with our times is a cakewalk.
Also, does Fr. Brennan always use such odd wording? Like “times of changing uncertainty” – what’s that? And the “fruit of inter-generational affirmation” simply sounds like some lucky teen convinced grandpa to lend him the keys to the ’67 Mustang.
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