Monday, November 12, 2007

John XXIII Petition online for signing

Thanks to Andrew for sending me the address for the online copy of the John XXIII petition for you to sign. You might not agree with the tone of the letter and you might think there are better explanations for our shortage of priests than simply blaming "dissidents" in the Church, but I would recommend you sign it for no other reason than that it asks the bishops to make:
a strong reaffirmation that the Church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." ( Ordinatio Sacerdotalis )
and to ensure:
the prompt removal of dissident Catholics from positions of influence in Catholic institutions across the nation, and their replacement with suitably qualified men and women of faith.
Both actions would be a step in the right direction. They are up to 981 signatures as of the current moment. I don't think there is a prize for being the 1000th signature, nor do I think there is much hope that they will get as many signatures as "that other petition", but the other one had a head start!

5 Comments:

At Monday, November 12, 2007 2:13:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

I’m a little worried, David, at your endorsement of the call for the removal of “dissident Catholics from positions of influence”. In terms of the petition, these must be understood to be the same “dissidents” who are responsible for “systemic undermining . . . over several decades, of Catholic principles in the areas of theology, philosophy, spirituality, liturgy and catechetics”, and it’s very hard to read that as not referring primarily to bishops.

Your own open letter urges people “never [to] criticise the church in the presence of a young person”, a point to which Brian Coyne has taken exception. Yet here you are, specifically endorsing a point in the J23 petition which, putting it as charitably as I can, is likely to be interpreted as the strongest possible condemnation of many Australian bishops.

 
At Monday, November 12, 2007 10:15:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Peregrinus, I AM shocked!!! You aren't suggesting, are you, that there are (gasp) dissidents among the bishops???? Lordy, you go too far!

Seriously, I told you I don't endorse the tone of the petition, but there can hardly be anything wrong with asking our shepherds to take care not to promote those who display attitudes of opposition to the teaching of the Church nor to allow them to have positions of influence in the dioceses? Nothing to radical there, I would have thought.

And to ask them to do such is hardly "criticising the Church". It is rather, to criticise the enemies of the Church.

Thus, old chap, I plead "Not guilty" to your accusation!

 
At Tuesday, November 13, 2007 12:26:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Peregrinus, I AM shocked!!! You aren't suggesting, are you, that there are (gasp) dissidents among the bishops???? Lordy, you go too far!

Dear me, no, I don’t suggest that, David. You do.

The petition complains of a “systemic undermining” by dissidents which extends to “theology, philosophy, spirituality, liturgy and catechetics”.

Now who, I ask myself, would be able to bring about such a systemic undermining, i.e. an undermining from within, which comes from the heart of the organism and affects every part of it? Who has a vocation or ministry which extend to theology, philosophy, spirituality, liturgy and catechetics?

I need hardly spell out the answer to this question. It’s true that the word “bishop” doesn’t appear here, but it defies believe to suggest that the class of dissidents referred to here must be taken not to include bishops. At the very least, it has to be acknowledged that the complaint, on the face of it, applies to bishops, and there is not a whisper of language anywhere in the petition to suggest that there is an invisible line just below the episcopal office, beyond which the criticisms of the petitioners are understood not to cross.

And, while I cannot speak for the authors of the petition, many of those who have been prominent in advocating it have a track record of calling for the resignation or dismissal of this or that bishop who has incurred their displeasure. If you assume that bishops are taken to be excluded from the ranks of the “dissidents”, it’s not an assumption that seems to be universally shared.

Seriously, I told you I don't endorse the tone of the petition, but there can hardly be anything wrong with asking our shepherds to take care not to promote those who display attitudes of opposition to the teaching of the Church nor to allow them to have positions of influence in the dioceses? Nothing to radical there, I would have thought.

The petition doesn’t ask for people “not to be promoted”; it asks them to removed, and promptly, which is a materially different thing. And, of course, the “positions of influence in Catholic institutions” from which people are to be removed, on the face of it, embraces the episcopacy. Again, if the petitioners are not calling for the removal of bishops they don’t like, their language is very ill-chosen.

And to ask them to do such is hardly "criticising the Church".

Even if the criticisms extend to the bishops?

It is rather, to criticise the enemies of the Church.

We can find “enemies” wherever we are minded to. Some see dissent on doctrinal matters as enmity towards the church; others might point to activity aimed at destroying communion as enmity towards the church. Even if the only problem with this petition were the tone, the tone really matters.

 
At Wednesday, November 14, 2007 5:54:00 am , Blogger eulogos said...

I think the point is for the bishops to get the idea that there are significant numbers of people who are faithful to the teachings of the church and who do not sympathize with "that other petition."

The only person on whom one could call to remove bishops would be the Pope. This petition isn't addressed to him, right? So it can't be a call for the removal of bishops. If a bishop had the self awareness to realize he fell into the category described....well, then either he would repent and change, or he would reject this petition out of hand, while realizing that there are more obstructive troglodytes out there than he knew.

On the whole, I think if I were an Australian I would sign it, even with reservations about the tone of it.

Susan Peterson

 
At Sunday, November 18, 2007 5:16:00 pm , Blogger LYL said...

I've signed it, David. Thanks.

 

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