Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Immortale Dei (1885)

In Immortale Dei Leo-13 wrote, "33. To wish the Church to be subject to the civil power in the exercise of her duty is a great folly and a sheer injustice. Whenever this is the case, order is disturbed, for things natural are put above things supernatural; the many benefits which the Church, if free to act, would on society are either prevented or at least lessened in number; and a way is prepared for the enmities and contentions between the two powers, and ho evil result to both the issue of events has taught us ony too frequently.

OK, let's look into what Leo said. The "two powers" are civil and religious government. But recently there have been several problems in the Church with China forcing bishops to make other "bishops". For which the Vatican is then forced to expel both the canonizing bishop and the newly canonized "bishop".

I do not have no problem with what was done, it was all in accordance with Church rules.

But this problem has occured several times. Even back to the emperor Justinian, who imprisoned and killed several popes who tried to express authority over the emperor. Hence, Justinian brought in his own candidate for the cardinals to name as Holy Father.

A similar case arose during the era of "two popes" when the Italian people demanded that an Italian be named as Pope, so the cardinals named an Italian pope and then, on returning to France, said the prior naming was under duress and named a second, a Frenchman, as pope. On one hand the Italians did not have the right to demand who was to be named pope. On the other hand, the Cardinals had a responsibility to name an Italian as Bishop of Rome. I, first, believe that both sides were wrong. But I do believe that the Cardinals were more wrong because after over eighty years the Italians deserve to have an Italian Bishop of Rome.

The big difference is that in the sixth century the Italians may have just been glad to get a Bishop who lived (outside of the dungeon) for longer than two or three years.

Perhaps it would be beneficial if the Vatican made efforts to improve diplomatic communication with Beijing / Peking. Because this is a case of where, after, people after having been Catholic fourty or sixty years and, not only Catholics, but priests as well - only to be excommincated. It is the right of Rome to do this, but it is the responsibility of both Beijing and Rome to come to some understanding.

take care,


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