I wrote earlier of people who continue to profess being Catholics but act contrary to or in defiance of Catholic doctrine and teachings. The recent events in the Diocese of Bacolod is an appropriate time to take a look at what makes a person or entity Catholic or what is not.
Of course, the first thing for a person is to be baptized in the Catholic Church but does that person remain a Catholic although he could be acting and believing in doctrines that are anathema to the Catholic faith? Surely not.
The leaders of the religious revolt in the 16 th century and from thence on, were baptized Catholics, some bishops and priests. The King of England was called Defender of the Faith but established his own church so he can enter into an adulterous union that is prohibited by Catholic teaching.
By heresy a Catholic severs his ties from the Church. For these people, the “extra ecclesiamnullasalus” (outside the Church there is no salvation) would apply.
To be a Catholic and to remain so, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (832) says that the legitimately organized faithful must be “united with their pastors” and that they are (833) “in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession.”
There are people who carry the title “bishop” but unless they can show they were consecrated in and by the Catholic Church they cannot claim “apostolic succession” and therefore are heretics and so are their followers. The bishops are the successors of the apostles and only when legitimately consecrated in accordance with Church law and in communion with the Pope, are they truly bishops.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (894) defines “the bishops as vicars and legates of Christ” and as such they “govern the particular Churches assigned to them by their counsels, exhortation and example, but over and above also by the authority and sacred power.”
This is clear: the bishop deserves respect, reverence and obedience and to disparage or to be disrespectful to him is to insult Christ. The bishop is the legate, the representative, and actions against him is attack against the one who sent him.
In the US there are the so-called “CINO” (Catholic in Name Only; no pun intended). They are people who claim to be Catholics because they were baptized but act otherwise. Thus they cease to be Catholics, “extra ecclesiam”.
There are many CINOs in Born Again, Ikthus, Pentecostals, Charismatics and even those who do not belong to these groups but act contrary to Catholic teachings. We can call CINOs those who support abortion, contraception, divorce, gay marriage, and unfounded assault against the Church in various ways, like spreading lies.
Is this being popish than the Pope? No, just being Catholic. Read the CCC. It is high time to call a spade a spade although some priests are reluctant. They just want to be “nice.”
In civil courts when a decision has been made, the doctrine of sub judice ceases and ordinary citizens can discuss the case openly. Now that the controversy between the Diocese of Bacolod and the Board of Trustees of St. John Institute has been terminated with the issuance and enforcement of the episcopal decree we can discuss the subject without fueling the fire.
Of course it cannot be helped that in this contentious issue and the manner in which the controversy was fought will hurt but we cannot remain “nice” when there is a need for frank discussion. The intent is to clear matters with the public, the Catholic faithful especially because there are misunderstandings and confusion. It is necessary to put things in their proper perspective.
I began by defining the office and person of the bishop because I believe had the BOT and its supporters understood this clearly they would have been more retrospect and avoided the words to spite, intimidate or show frustration and disrespect.
Fortunately, the Diocese held its patience but information (not from the priests but from SJI partisans), says that some members of the BOT were belligerent, vociferous and disrespectful that one pointed her finger at the bishop as if she was scolding a child, while another raised his voice and pounded the table.
Their behavior is tantamount to severance from and antagonism to the office and authority of the bishop, no different from the actuation of heretics and schismatics.
Continued on Monday.*
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