View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A son of the Church

At Vatican I, a number of bishops disagreed with the idea of papal infallibility.

Among those bishops was Bernard McQuaid, the first Bishop of Rochester.

He argued vigorously against the doctrine up until it was clear that it was what the pope wanted, and was going to be supported by enough bishops for it to be approved. At that point, he (an some other bishops) left Rome without voting rather than to cast a vote against it and thereby embarrass the pope and show disunity in the church.

Once the doctrine was announced, however, he declared he accepted it and spoke no more about opposing it.

My own positions on some church teachings are similarly nuanced.

While I might not agree with some ideas intellectually, and am quite willing to debate them in certain circles, my public position is that I acknowledge church teachings and the authority of Rome.

Part of this is becuase I acknowledge that I am a lay person, not a theologian. While I am well read, I am not a scholar or an expert.

An analogy: I know the basic principles of how to operate, but I am not a surgeon. I might voice opinions about what is the best way to go about operating, but I leave the actual procedure to the experts.

So I kneel and say, Rome has spoken.

I just hope on some issues Rome might reconsider!


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