The Ordinariate and the Catechism.

In the Media Release for the Erection of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross Fr Entwhistle, the Ordinary said:

Pope Benedict has made it very clear that unity between Christians is not achieved by agreeing on the lowest common denominator, and those entering an Ordinariate accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith.

For those of us in, or coming into communion with, the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate must take with all seriousness the Catechism and its teaching.  Archbishop Muller, Head of the CDF, used the term ‘cherry-picking’ to describe Catholics who adhere to an ideology that is inconsistent with the Catholic faith.

I understand cherry-picking as ‘an ideology or personal opinion’, where a person’s professed belief substitutes for their personal opinions or ideology and overrides the acceptance of church teaching and doctrine.  Google ‘catholics for’ and you will see what the myriad ways that people reject, and yes some embrace, Catholic doctrine.  People reject the parts of the Church doctrine that they do not like, and they embrace those parts of the Churches teaching that they do like.  What danger lies in wait for those who do this.  Pope John-Paul II, in talking to the United States bishops in 1987 stated,

It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the Church’s clear position on abortion. It has also been noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church’s moral teachings. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a “good Catholic” and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere. I wish to encourage you in the love of Christ to address this situation courageously in your pastoral ministry, relying on the power of God’s truth to attract assent and on the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given both to those who proclaim the message and to those to whom it is addressed.

We must also constantly recall that the teaching of Christ’s Church – like Christ himself – is a “sign of contradiction”. It has never been easy to accept the Gospel teaching in its entirety, and it never will be. The Church is committed, both in faith and morals, to make her teaching as clear and understandable as possible, presenting it in all the attractiveness of divine truth. And yet the challenge of the Gospel remains inherent in the Christian message transmitted to each generation.

Dissent is a grave error, and one that should not be encouraged.  I, as a member of the Ordinariate, do take seriously the Catechism and I do take the Catechism as ‘Authoritative’, and I will not teach anything other than what is expressed in the C.C.C.

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