30 May 2014

Public Opinion Poll on Catholic Dogma

Seems some people in Kalamazoo think they can change Catholic dogma by polling public opinion. Of course, changing Catholic dogma is like changing God: It is impossible. Only the Sacred Magisterium of the Catholic Church has the infallibly authority through the workings of the Holy Spirit to define Catholic dogma, so the only opinion that counts is the unchanging and perfect opinion of God. And, once God has inspired His Church to define a dogma, the Church is unable to contradict God and change this definition. Thus, public opinion polls on a defined dogma only encourage rebellion against God.

Now that we’ve established the true objective of such a poll (rebellion against God), lets take a look at whether there is any honesty in this poll, or does it simply present the usual straw man fallacy to encourage uninformed rebellion against God and His Church.

This is the question of this public opinion poll:

Do you support Lillian Lewis in trying to be Catholic priest?

I just posted something on this topic last week. The topic is the question of ordaining women to the priesthood, which was “set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium” by saying: “[T]he Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.” This makes it quite clear that this public opinion poll is actually asking: “Do you support Lillian Lewis in rebelling against God?”

This poll gives us four options:

Absolutely not. She deserves to be excommunicated for defying church rules.

This is slanted right from the beginning by presenting excommunication as a punishment. Someone is excommunicated solely because this person is in grave error and to receive any sacrament, other than the Sacrament of Reconciliation to heal this grave offence, the person is harming himself or herself even more. Excommunication is the only pastoral and caring way to help such a person.

The second thing I noticed, other than not capitalizing the word church, is the assumption that ordaining women is simply defying Church rules. As stated above, doing so is not simply defying Church rules, but defying God. Defying Church rules is still rather grave and can even have you excommunicated, such as ordaining bishops in the Roman Church without a papal mandate; like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre did. However, the priests Lefebvre ordained bishops still became bishops. They were automatically excommunicated (this excommunication was eventually lifted), but that didn’t make their ordination invalid. Since it is impossible to ordain a woman, if such an act is attempted, the woman the act is attempted on is not only excommunicated, she is still not a priest. It would be no different than trying to consecrate Pepsi and Doritos during the Mass (I thought that suggested commercial was quite funny); no matter what happens, it is impossible for Pepsi and Doritos to become Eucharist.

Lewis is right: The real outrage is not her actions, but the Catholic stance on women.

What is the Catholic stance on women? They have great dignity and must be served and protected by men. Not only that, the most venerated and respected person that is not of the Three Divine Persons is a woman: The Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, choosing this option would imply that one believes women should serve men and be abused by them. It would also imply changing all Marian Dogmas so that Mary is no longer respected and venerated. I really don’t think the actually Catholic stance on women is assumed here.

Churches get to set their own rules. If Lewis doesn't like those rules, she should choose another church.

This option implies the Catholic Church is no different than any other church and that the fallible leaders of the Church make up their own rules. This denies the working of the Holy Spirit in the Church and contradicts all four marks of the Church as defined by the Council of Nicaea in 325: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

I think Catholics should allow women priests, but Lewis is going about this the wrong way.

Again, this option implies that the fallible members of the Church can make infallible decisions, and then change their decision infallibly. This not only contradicts the infallible nature of the Church (not to mention simple logic), but suggests the persons participating in this poll can make infallible decisions. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel qualified to make such a decision.

Life is an opinion poll with only two options. The question is:

Do you support God and His attempt to have you with Him for all eternity?

You have two options:

  • God is good and I submit to His loving care.
  • I know better than God and I will not serve Him (“Non serviam”).

Thankfully, we have a lifetime to keep changing our minds and God will mercifully know what our final opinion is. However, your lifetime might be over before you finish reading this sentence. I guess it wasn’t. That was a close one. What about this sentence? This may seem silly, but it’s actually far more serious than some people in Kalamazoo make it out to be.