Did Newman Say We Could Disobey the Pope?

February 06, 2024 00:40:28
Did Newman Say We Could Disobey the Pope?
Crisis Point
Did Newman Say We Could Disobey the Pope?

Feb 06 2024 | 00:40:28

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Eric Sammons

Show Notes

St. John Henry Newman lived at a time when a Catholic's obligation of obedience to the pope was hotly debated. What he wrote can be challenging today both for those who advocate for total obedience and for those who "recognize and resist" Pope Francis.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:18] St. John Henry Newman lived in a time when a Catholic's duty of obedience to the pope was hotly debated. What he wrote about the topic can really challenge all Catholics today on all extremes, from those who would say that the pope demands total obedience, to those who would say that we can recognize, but we must resist popes like Pope Francis. That's what we're talking about today on Cris Point. Hello, I'm your host and Aaron, chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, I just want to encourage people, smash that like button. Don't just tap it. Don't just press it, but smash it. Please, for the love of God, smash that like button. Also subscribe to the channel. Don't hit the notify button because you have a life outside the Internet and your phone shouldn't be telling you what to do. [00:01:06] Also, you can follow us on social media at Crisis Mag. Subscribe to our newsletter, our email newsletter. You can get our articles to your inbox every day. Just go crisismagazine.com. Scroll down a little bit. You'll see a place you can enter your email address. [00:01:22] Okay, so yesterday I published at Crisis an article of mine on the wearying pontificate nears its inn. And by that, I basically was just talking about the fact that this pontificate, we're getting close to eleven years now, the Francis pontificate has been one that has left us all weary. We're just kind of tired of it. We're looking forward to something new, because this one hasn't really been one about saving souls, about really proclaiming the strong moral teachings of the church. And it's been about controversy, about things of this world. And it's been very tiring for a lot of Catholics. And I got a lot of positive responses. I mean, I had a lot of people reach out to me and say, that's exactly what I'm thinking. I know lots of people think like this. One thing I sometimes joke is I say the things out loud that a lot of Catholics are thinking. [00:02:16] Many of the people who contacted me say they agree with me. You would know their names if I said them out loud. I'm not going to. But the point is that many Catholics feel the same way. Now, I will say, of course, as is typical when you have an article, you say something about Pope Francis, you get a little bit of pushback as well. And I did have a few people write to me contacting me saying how terrible it was. I should be more positive. Things like that one said, the church is not a democracy. You are called to obedience and humility, not the opposite. [00:02:47] And that struck me a bit, because I've been reading recently two volume biography of St John Henry Newman, who's one of my favorite saints. In fact, right over here, which you cannot see, it's off camera, but right down from my Angeles painting, is a portrait of John Henry Newman on my wall, because he is definitely one of my favorite. Mean, it's a tough battle with St Francis of Assisi and some others, but he's right there near the top. And so I'm reading a biography of his, and it's talking about the section I've been in somewhat recently is the 1860s. And in the 1860s, there was a massive debate within the Catholic Church worldwide about papal infallibility, about the pope's role in the church. And it was striking to read this because a lot of it sounds a lot like today. There were those in the church who would be, you consider, the extreme ultramotinist. [00:03:52] They were the ones who were basically arguing that the pope is essentially always infallible. Yes, there are people who said this, like, every encyclical was completely infallible. Every discipline he took, everything like that was infallible. You had to basically accept it all. [00:04:08] And two of the leaders in England at this time, where St John Henry Newman lived, were Archbishop Manning, who later became a cardinal, and also William Ward. William G. Ward, who was a layman, who ran a newspaper, I'm forgetting the name of the newspaper now, but he ran a newspaper. And basically they were the ones who argued that you have to follow the pope in all things. You can never disobey him. And he's always infallible. [00:04:35] And what's Interesting is that Newman lived during this time, of course, and he did not comment during the 1860s, very much in the run up in this debate. And there was a lot of debate within Catholicism at the time. What side is he on? Is he on the hyperpapalist side, which was, I think that's the more accurate term for it, Manning and Ward, people like that Faber, who had died earlier than the 1860s, but he was another oratorian. He ran the London oratory, whereas Newman ran the head of the Birmingham oratory. [00:05:12] But was Newman in that camp, or was he in the camp of those who rejected papal infallibility? And it's typical for Newman. He can't actually be put into one of those two categories. Now, it's very obvious he was not in the hyperpapalist camp. In fact, he had very kind of public disputes. He tried not to make them public. But they were disputes with Faber, with Manning, with Ward. [00:05:39] He was not part of the hyperpapalist camp, as we'll see here in a minute. [00:05:44] Now, Ward is famous, a quote of his is famous for saying, I'd like to have a papal bull with my newspaper and my coffee every morning, basically telling him what to do that day. He wanted the pope basically, to be telling him what to do each day. [00:06:02] This was really a prominent view in the church at the time. [00:06:07] And some people might just kind of like, oh, they didn't really think that. No, they really did. And Newman definitely did not. But Newman was one who did not court public controversy. He was involved in it a lot, but not through his own choice. And so Newman himself did not engage publicly very much with these debates in the 1860s leading up to Vatican I. He was invited to Vatican I to be a theologian at Vatican one, but he turned it down. He said he didn't want to go. Some people say he didn't want to go for his health, really, he just didn't want to go because he didn't think he could really add to it, didn't want to be part of the process. He was concerned, though, about what Vatican II. Sorry, what Vatican one would define. Would it define a papal infallibility, like the hyperpapalist said, or something else? [00:06:53] Now, note, he was never against papal infallibility. The idea. He was against the hyperpapelous interpretation of papal infallibility, which we see today, as well as we all know. [00:07:06] So, like I said, he did not comment on this publicly. [00:07:12] Vatican one happened, the definition came out. And ultimately Newman, who was not a cardinal yet, by the way, he was not made a cardinal till about ten years later, in 1879, I think it was. [00:07:26] Newman supported the definition of Vatican one because he did not disagree with the idea of papal infallibility. He just disagreed very strongly with the hyperpapalist view. [00:07:40] And so he was supportive of it. [00:07:44] But then after Vatican one, there was a lot of anti catholic sentiment among non Catholics because of this, because it was interpreted as, okay, every Catholic in the world has to follow the pope blindly, has to obey everything he says and does. Now, during the same time, there was a debate about the pope's temporal power, his political power, because that had been decreasing over the years and it was basically disappearing over time, and it would disappear completely, then come back in the Vatican City state later. But there was a big debate about that, and Newman was actually against the idea of the pope having temporal power at that time. He wasn't against it historically. Like, he didn't say it never was good, but he did not think the pope should have temporal power. That's something manning and the other hyperpapalists disagreed with him as well. [00:08:38] So, anyway, Vatican one comes out, I'm going to say Vatican II every time I feel like. But Vatican one comes out with the definition. [00:08:47] Newman is supportive of it, but a lot of non Catholics are attacking it. And, in fact, what happens is that the prime minister of Britain, William Gladstone, who was actually prime minister on and off, I think he had four non consecutive terms as prime minister. And I think this was when he wasn't a prime minister. I could be wrong about that. Around 1874. [00:09:10] So this is a few years after Vatican one, he writes a public letter where he basically, it's just a scathing indictment against Catholics that they cannot be good british citizens, an english Catholic cannot be a good citizen of the sovereign of Queen Victoria, because they have to obey whatever the pope says. [00:09:32] And when this came out, it was a blow against the Catholics. Of course, people were questioning their patriotism, their duties to the state. [00:09:41] I mean, this is Gladstone, this is the former prime minister about to be prime minister, Gabby. This is probably the highest ranking layperson, so to speak, non Catholic in the realm. So a lot of people ask Newman, Father Newman at this point, to write something in response to this. Now, Newman didn't feel like he should write directly to Gladstone, because Gladstone didn't write to him. So instead, what he did was, one of the people who asked him was the Duke of Norfolk. I think he was the highest ranking catholic layman of the time in the whole nobility system. So he wrote him a letter. It's actually called now, a letter addressed to the Duke of Norfolk, addressed on the occasion of Mr. Gladstone's recent expositionalization, his letter. So this is kind of why it's called a letter to the Duke of Norfolk, because it was just kind of a way that he could then write a public letter for everybody to read. He would address it to the Duke of Norfolk, but it'd be addressing Gladstone's arguments. So this came out in 1874, I believe. That's right, not 1875. And this is important because in it, Newman lays out kind of the boundaries of the papal office. What is our obligation of obedience to the pope? And he lays it out very clearly. And I think this is very important today. In fact, I think it's highly important today, because this is exactly a debate we're having now, is what is our duties to the pope, the hyperpapalists out there will say, basically, if the pope writes encyclical, we have to endorse it. If a Vatican congregation issues a document, we have to obey it explicitly and fully. If the pope says something on an airplane, we have to agree with it. If the pope has certain views about politics, we have to go along with it. We have to support that. And so what Newman says here is very important. Now, I'll be the first to say, as much as I love and have a devotion to Newman, he wasn't infallible. I don't like it. I've seen people say, like St. Robert Bellarman said this. And that's church teaching. Well, no, just because even a doctorate at a church, which Newman isn't yet, I hope he is one day. Just because a saint says something doesn't make a church teaching. But I do think it's very important because it's a similar age. He's a modern saint, so to speak, only about 150 years ago. It's issues that we have today. They weren't debating these issues 1000 years ago or 1500 years ago, but they were debating them 150 years. In fact, our era we live in today of the papal office is very much shaped by the 19th century. I would argue the past 150 years have seen a reshaping of our understanding of the papacy. And in some ways, I think, not very good. [00:12:30] And Newman was right at the cusp of that. And so he's addressing this, and I think Newman really is somebody we want to look towards. [00:12:37] So he writes this letter to the Duke of Norfolk and has a lot in it. And I will admit that this podcast might have a little bit of a class feel like we're taking a course or a class. But I really think it's important that we break this down so that we can understand more properly the office of the papacy and see how Saint John Henry Newman saw it. And ironically, of course, the pope who made him a saint is our current pope, Francis. [00:13:04] So first, what we see is that one of the things, and basically, I've been rereading a letter to the Duke of Norfolk. I have a copy of it here. I've been rereading it over the past few weeks. [00:13:17] I've read it in the past, but I wanted to reread it recently, and a few things jumped out at me that I want to share because I think they're very important. So first is he's talking about, like he's addressing Gladstone, he's talking about the fact that Catholics have a whole system of says, you know, we're guided by the books of moral theology, which are drawn up by theologians of authority and experience as an instrument for our confessors. And basically, our morality is based upon the three christian foundations of faith, hope and charity, on the ten Commandments, on the six precepts of the church, all these things that guide our morality. And then he says something quite striking for us today, and he says, so little does the pope come into this whole system of moral theology by which, as by our conscience, our lives are regulated, that the weight of his hand upon us as a private man is absolutely unappreciable. [00:14:15] Think about that for a second. Think about what Newman's saying here. So little does the pope come into this whole system of moral theology, that the weight of his hand upon us as private men is absolutely unappreciable. In other words, our daily lives are not shaped by what the pope says. [00:14:31] Our decisions and morality are not shaped by what the pope says. It's not the pope who determines each day. We don't get a papal bull each day to tell us what to do. And so what Newman's saying is we have this whole system of catholic morality that's developed over the ages based upon some basic principles, faith, hope and charity, the ten Commandments, the six precepts of the Church. I'd also argue the beatitudes. This is kind of the foundation. And over the years, moral theologians have developed this full system of catholic theology which bishops have endorsed and popes have endorsed. And so that's what guides us. Not, okay, let's see what Pope Francis wrote this week about this or that topic, and that will guide us. So I think that's an important point that Newman makes. There is so little of our lives should be regulated by the pope, by Pope Francis, by Pope John Paul II when he was alive. Pope Benedict, whoever the next pope is, our lives are not guided by them. We shouldn't feel their hand upon us as somebody who's kind of directing us as almost like a puppet master, and we're just simply puppets. Newman says, no, that's not all what we do. And so he's very limited his impact on us. [00:15:56] Then he makes another point to Gladstone, and I think this is another important one. [00:16:02] Gladstone quotes Vatican one and he says, look, this is proof that it's a mortal sin. You're going to hell if you don't obey the pope in every situation. And here's his quote. He gives from Vatican one towards it, from papal jurisdiction, pastors and people of whatsoever right or dignity. Each and all are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in matters which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline regimen of the church spread throughout the world, so that unity with the roman pontiff being preserved, the Church of Christ may be one flock under one supreme shepherd. [00:16:46] This is the doctrine of catholic truth from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation. That's a quote from Vatican one. And Gladstone is saying, look, it says, you cannot deviate with a loss of faith and salvation from obedience to the pope. [00:17:01] But Newman says, wait a second, you're misreading what Vatican I says. [00:17:06] Actually, it says something very different. [00:17:10] It's like three times does Gladstone make the pope say that no one can disobey him without risking his salvation. Whereas what the pope, through the council, does say is that no one can disbelieve the duty of obedience and unity without such risk. Let me make sure that's clear. So what Newman is saying is that Vatican one isn't saying that if you don't obey the pope in every situation, you are going to hell. What he says is if you reject that we have a certain duty to obedience and unity to the pope, that itself would be risking our salvation. So if you just simply say, I don't think there's any duty towards the pope, none whatsoever, I don't think we have to obey him in any way, shape or form, then, yes, you risk your salvation. That's what St. John Henry Newman is saying. [00:18:00] You have to be taking consideration. It's not saying in each and every situation, this is what Newman's saying. It's not saying in each and every situation, we have to obey him. Instead, it's saying what we have to do is we have to acknowledge and recognize that we do have a certain duty to obedience. Now, what that duty is, he is then going to explain more in his letter. [00:18:22] So he goes on, and he makes it clear that we do not have to obey every single command of the pope. [00:18:32] In fact, he quotes St. Robert Bellarman, the great doctor of the church. [00:18:39] He quotes him and says, bellarmin, speaking of resisting, the pope says, quote, in order to resist and defend oneself, no authority is required. Therefore, as it is lawful to resist the pope, as it is lawful to resist the pope if he assaulted a man's person, so is lawful to resist him if he assaulted souls or troubled the state, and much more if he strove to destroy the church, it is lawful, I say, to resist him by not doing what he commands and hindering the execution of his will. [00:19:13] So what he's saying is that we don't have to, Newman is quoting Bellarman that we absolutely can resist the pope if he assaults a man person, but also if he assaulted souls or even troubled the state. That's an interesting point. [00:19:31] We have a certain duty to him. If he does something, a certain duty to resist him. If the pope does something that troubles the state in a way that we believe is against the common good of the state, we absolutely can resist him. And more importantly, if we feel like he is assaulting souls, we can resist him. This is something that both Newman and Bellarman, he quotes, says very clearly. [00:19:59] And then Newman goes on to say, there is no rule in this world without exceptions. And if no sec. There's no rule in this world without exceptions. And if either the pope or the queen demanded me of an absolute obedience, he or she would be transgressing the laws of human society. I give absolute and absolute obedience to neither. [00:20:22] That's very strong terms. Absolute obedience is due only to God and God alone. Now, of course, Newman is just taking this. I'm sure he even knows this when he's writing this. He doesn't quote him, but he's taking this from Aquinas as mean. Aquinas makes the same point, that absolute obedience is only due to God alone, due to no man or woman. And so here's Newman living in the time of Queen Victoria, saying, queen Victoria cannot demand absolute obedience to me. [00:20:52] If Queen Victoria had said to newman, you have to pinch your incense to the Anglican Church, he would just say, no, I refuse. But he says, also, for the pope is the same. The pope cannot demand an absolute obedience. There are limits to the obedience given to the pope. Newman makes this very clear that this is the case. [00:21:15] And then he goes on to say, and I feel like this is the money, quote, so to speak. This is the one that kind of makes the main point. [00:21:23] He says that, is this the right one? [00:21:27] Oh, I think I pulled up the wrong one. Hold on a second. Oh, no, I'm sorry. Let me take the step back. I skipped ahead. [00:21:34] Newman then says that. Okay, how is this different from protestant private judgment? That would be the accusation. We hear this accusations all the time. [00:21:45] We Catholics who say we need to resist the pope at certain times, we need to resist Pope Francis. They say, you're just protestant. Now, when we say, for example, that scripture and tradition, the deposit of faith, that's what guides our faith. And if the pope transgresses that, we don't have to follow him, they would say, you're just protestant. You're just being like Luther, who is saying, oh, you don't have to follow the church, the authority of the church, because you just follow the Bible. [00:22:17] Newman addresses that as a former Protestant, he knows of what she speaks. He says here, of course, it will be objected to me that I am, after all, having recourse to the protestant doctrine of private judgment. Not so is the protestant doctrine that private judgment is our ordinary guide in religious Matters. But I use it in the case in question in very extraordinary and rare, nay, impossible emergencies. So what he's saying is, you absolutely can at times resist the pope. However, that's not your ordinary guide. Your ordinary guide should be to follow the teaching of the Church, follow the pope as well. [00:22:56] Whereas Protestants, their ordinary guide is private judgment. That's how they judge everything. [00:23:01] But that's not the case with the Catholic. The Catholic uses the magisterium teachings of all popes and all scripture, tradition. That's the norm. But in rare, very extraordinary emergencies, one can resist the pope. One can say, no, I will not follow the pope in this. I think that's an important point that we have to note. And then he goes on to say, and this is when I was talking about, is kind of the money quote, where he kind of lays out in one sentence his beliefs. Here he says, it seems then, that there are extreme cases in which conscience may come into collision with the word of a pope and is to be followed in spite of that word. In other words, conscience is to be followed over the pope in extreme cases. Now I'm going to talk about what Newman says means by conscience, because this is very important. This is where liberal Catholics, progressive Catholics, under the reign of J. P. Two and Benedict, they would claim that their rejection of Paul six, even they claim their rejection of humane vitae, for example, is a case of their conscience. And so it's one of these cases where they have to follow their conscience rather than the pope. But that's not what conscience is. Conscience isn't just, oh, I don't like this teaching or something like that. It's rooted in the magisterial teachings of the church over the centuries. But here's the point, though, that most important to remember, Newman says there are extreme cases in which conscience may come into collision with the word of a pope and is to be followed in spite of that word. In other words, you don't follow the pope. Instead, you follow your conscience. [00:24:37] Like I said, I'll talk a little bit more about conscience in a second. Here but the important thing also to remember here is you notice he says the word extreme cases in this quote, and in the other quote I gave, he said rare, very extraordinary, nay, impossible. Now, the impossible, he's not actually saying it's impossible, because that would make no sense with everything else he says. But he's kind of being hyperbolic and saying it should be so rare, it should almost seem impossible. And so that is something to note, is that Newman does not think it should be the norm to resist the pope to do things that he doesn't say. But here's the. So a lot of people today would say, well, you seem to be resisting Pope Francis a lot. You seem to be resisting him all the time. How can you say that? [00:25:27] You're following Newman, who says this should be rare, extreme, very extraordinary cases. [00:25:35] I think we have to look at, like Newman would look at it. Newman does not look at things from the perspective of right now. He looks at them through the lens of history, everything. He's such a deep mean. He's the one who made the quote to be deep in history, to cease to be protestant. He knows his history. He knows of when popes were following good, some bad stuff like that. And so when we say rare, we don't mean rare for this year, what we mean, and what Newman would have meant was rare over the course of 2000 years. If it was the case that you look back at popes in history and you're constantly saying, no, I don't agree with him there. No, I think he's wrong there. I think he's wrong there. If you're saying that, then you're going against what Newman would say. That is the norm should be to follow what the pope says. That should be the norm. [00:26:30] But there are extreme rare cases where we don't. And so if we have a pope of eleven years who has done numerous things, according to what numerous things that are problematic, that assault souls, as Newman would put it, in eleven years, if he's done that, let's say, I mean, I don't know how many times, but a number of times in eleven years, that's still the drop in the bucket compared to a 2000 year history of the church. You'll see sometimes that, you'll see sometimes pope explainers, the hyperpapalists will say, well, we have this kind of guarantee of infallible guarantee of safety, meaning we're not going to be led astray over the course of a certain amount of time. But it's very subjective what this means. Eleven years is nothing in 100 years. In 500 years, when we look back at this time, when historians look back, they're not going to think of Pope Francis's time as like, the end all, be all of Catholicism. [00:27:30] Like I said, it's a blip on the radar, a drop of the bucket. And so I would say that while we do need to keep in mind that Newman's saying this should be rare and extreme, it doesn't mean it's only rare for a pope, like one pope, like we only do it once for a pope. You might do it multiple times for one pope, but you shouldn't do it over the course of the history of the church. [00:27:53] Now, also, remember, I put there about the conscience, he said, there are extreme cases in which conscience may come into collision with the word of the pope. And you follow conscience. So what is conscience to comes? And this comes up again. This is one of his famous quotes where he says, and often abused, he says, certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after dinner toast, which indeed does not seem quite the thing, I shall drink to the pope, if you please, still, to conscience first and to the pope afterwards. [00:28:25] So what he's saying here is conscience comes before the pope. Now, again, progressive Catholics have used this over the years to great destruction, because they'll say things like, my conscience is against humanevite, and so therefore, I'm not going to follow it. [00:28:43] But what is conscience? Newman makes very clear, conscience is not simply what he calls a fancy or an opinion. It's not just something that my feelings about something, conscience has nothing to do with your feelings. And that's a big issue, you see with progressive Catholics is they kind of equate it. I don't feel like this is what God is calling me to do. That's not conscience. That's just your feelings. You maybe had a bad dessert or something like that after dinner, and so you're just kind of feeling queasy now. You don't feel like believing in something that's not conscience. Conscience, instead, for Newman, is a duty of obedience to a divine voice. It's a practical matter. It's not just a theoretical matter. It's like, can I do this or not? What is God telling me? And it's formed by the teachings of the church, by scripture, by tradition, by the magisterium. That's why, for example, you can't say your conscience is against Humana Vitae, because all Humana vitae did in condemning artificial birth control was simply to follow what the church had always believed, always taught. [00:29:52] So your conscience can never truly, rightly tell you something against what the church has always taught. Now, if you get to a situation where you truly believe your conscience is telling you to do a certain thing, then you would definitely need to follow it rather than what a pope says, assuming your conscience has been well formed. And honestly, the conscience in this doesn't really touch on papal infallibility, because papal infallibility is always on kind of the general, not your specific actions. It doesn't direct individuals. This is a big point we're trying to make here. Papal infallibility does not direct individuals. That's what Newman's trying to say to Gladstone back then. He's saying to us today, so this idea that we look to Francis for all our actions, what do we do day to day, or things like that? Or even like, okay, how do I think about politics? How do I do that? No, that's not what papal infallibility has to do with. [00:30:55] And so, for example, he says at one point, newman says, a pope is not infallible in his laws, nor in his commands, nor in his acts of state, nor in his administration, nor in his public policy. I'll read that again. A pope is not infallible in his laws, nor in his commands, nor in his acts of state, nor in his administration, nor in his public policy. So, for example, if the pope appoints a terrible pervert like Fernandez, Victor Fernandez, Cardinal Hert Fernandez, as head of DDF, he's not infallible in that. If our conscience tells us that's a terrible thing, we absolutely can follow that conscience, because what we're saying is a terrible thing. In light of what the church has always taught on basic, just human morality, what moral theology tells us that you shouldn't have somebody like Cardinal Fernandez in charge of doctrine. [00:31:47] He's not infallible. Newman says that very clearly, and he continues on with this, with some examples. He says, was St. Peter infallible on that occasion when Antioch, when St. Paul withstood him, was St. Victor infallible when he separated from his communion in the asiatic churches, or Liberius, when in light manner, he excommunicated Athanasius? And to come to later times was Gregory XI, when he had a medal struck in honor of the Bartholomew massacre, or Paul IV, in his conduct towards Elizabeth, or Sextus the fifth, when he blessed the armada, or urban the 8th, when he persecuted Galileo. No Catholic ever pretends that these popes were infallible in these acts. [00:32:28] I don't think Newman would be alive today or would understand today. People probably would say he was infallible in these acts. But you notice all these things. He brings up various actions of popes in the past, and he basically is like, well, look how ludicrous it would say to act like the popes are infallible in these acts. And some of these were just kind of like sexist fifth when he blessed their know, obviously, this is something that an Englishman would not be very supportive of. [00:33:01] It's a political act. Even though it's kind of wrapped up in a spiritual act of blessing, it's a political act. And Newman's like, yes, we don't have to believe that's infallible. We don't have to support that. Like Urban VI, when he persecuted Galileo. [00:33:14] We don't have to say, okay, we have to be on team Catholic, team pope. And so we're going to just act like Urban's persecution of Galileo is fine, or victor, when he separated the asiac churches over the dating of Easter and how Easter was celebrated back in the second century. So these are historical examples that he gives. [00:33:39] And then he goes on to say, since then, infallibility alone could block the exercise of conscience. And the pope is not infallible in that subject matter in which conscience is of supreme authority. No deadlock such as is implied in the objection which I am answering can take place between conscience and the pope. So this is a great point. [00:34:02] Nothing about the Church's teaching on the papacy binds us, binds our conscience, except infallibility. [00:34:12] And so when the pope is speaking infallibly, that does bind our conscience, because then the pope is saying, you do have to believe this to be a faithful Catholic. [00:34:26] So, for example, the immaculate Conception, that's binding on our conscience. We can't reject that. But then Newman saying that in most cases, infallibility does not apply. [00:34:42] In the vast majority of cases, like 99.9% of the time, probably even more than that, infallibility does not apply. And therefore, we absolutely can go along with our conscience over some action of the pope. [00:35:00] And so I feel like this is kind of the thing we have to remember. The thing we have to really understand is that the role of the pope is not to direct our lives individually, not to tell us what we need to do to do these things. But instead, he is basically the head of the Church. He has authority to administrate the church and to make these decrees like that, but we can, in conscience, at times, disobey them. Now, somebody already said, what are you going to say if an arch conservative pope comes next or later, which that term is just kind of stupid arch conservative. But let's just. A cardinal, Sarah, or cardinal Burke, and some progressive Catholic says, no, I'm not going to follow him. I'm going to follow my conscience. What I'm going to say is, okay, is what the pope, Sarah, or Pope Burke or whoever, Pope Schneider, what they say, is it contradictory to tradition, to scripture? Does it go against the magisterium in any way? If not, you don't have a right to disobey it. You don't have a right to go against. [00:36:09] Basically, we do have to basically understand that in general, over the course of history, what popes have said and done are to be followed. But there are cases, as Newman says, where we can and should disobey. [00:36:24] So let me finish with this. What would Newman do? Wwnd what would Newman do? I think a few things. I think, first of all, I do think he would hesitate very much, very much to go against Francis. I don't think he would have jumped down on Francis like from day one, like we saw some Catholics do. He would have given him the benefit of the doubt as much as possible. I think he would have stayed quiet for a long time. I don't think he would have said much publicly. In fact, he might not have ever said, let's say he lived the whole eleven years. He might not have never said anything publicly against the pope. I also don't think he would cheerlead for the pope. He wasn't the type to do that. He would never put his ecclesiastical career, he wouldn't attack those who criticize the pope either. But he might not himself come out against the pope and say things against Pope Francis. [00:37:16] But he would argue that it is possible to disobey, to not follow what the pope says. And that's what I mean. He wouldn't attack those who are challenging what the pope says. And so ultimately what we have to remember is that Francis is an anomaly. He is a of, and I'm going to speak to my own crowd now. The recognize and resist. I don't like that term. I use it because it's familiar with people, this idea that we recognize that Francis is the pope. We're not, we haven't gone crazy or anything like that, but at the same time, we resist a lot of what the pope says. The reason I don't like about it, it makes it sound like that's our general attitude, is just always to resist. And I don't think that's a healthy attitude for a Catholic. I don't think Newman, St. John Henry Newman would have thought that either. So when we say we recognize and resist, I think we need to be clear in our own heads that we take everything that pope says and does, and we look at it in light of the magisterial teachings over the centuries, tradition, scripture, and only when it goes against that undermines it, assaults soul, so to speak, then, yes, we do resist. So, for example, under John Paul II, John Paul II overall had many great things about his papacy, many things that were fine. Nothing really wrong with it as well. He did have a few areas in which he did do things that I would argue in my own conscience, did go against the teachings of church. I bring up a few of them in my book, deadly indifference. Just the idea of, for example, the ceremony, Assisi, the interreligious ceremony, prayer ceremony at Assisi. I think that was a terrible mistake. So I resist that. I would have resisted that then if I was Catholic then and old enough, but I wouldn't resist J. P. Two, everything he did and said. And technically, I don't do that with Francis either. I mean, there's some things I've praised Pope Francis for what he said about, against war, against the situation in Ukraine. [00:39:29] So I do think this is something Newman, I think, is the challenge of Newman to hyperpapalist is. Stop being hyperpapalist. Don't be dumb like that. The pope is not our divine oracle. He's not somebody we have to follow every single word he says and does. [00:39:45] But I think the challenge of Newman to the recognize and resist crowd, people like me, to be honest, is we can't have an attitude of resistance. Like, we just automatically resist no matter what. Instead, our attitude should be one of, okay, let's look and evaluate first. And if, and only if it goes against or undermines church teaching, then we are right. According to St. John Henry Newman, we are right to resist. Okay, I'm going to leave it there until next time, everybody. God, love.

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