Fr. Thomas J. Reese.
Reese operated largely under the pretext of that form of dissent which claims the theologian is not bound to adhere to any Magisterial teaching unless it is infallible. The theologian would accordingly be totally free to raise doubts or reject the non-infallible teaching of the Magisterium, particularly in the case of specific moral norms.
However, Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution On The Church (25) teaches that "loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak "ex cathedra."
Pope Benedict XVI, when Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also stated in Donum veritatis, that "The freedom proper to theological research is exercised within the Church's faith.... Argumentation appealing to the obligation to follow one s own conscience cannot legitimate dissent. This is true, first of all, because conscience illumines the practical judgment about a decision to make, while here we are concerned with the truth of a doctrinal pronouncement. This is furthermore the case because while the theologian, like every believer, must follow his conscience, he is also obliged to form it. Conscience is not an independent and infallible faculty."
This is also why the "Winnipeg Statement" (26) which was written by the Canadian Bishops [in 1968 in response to the encyclical Humanae vitae] and which permits the use of contraceptives according to one's own conscience is incorrect and needs to be changed.
See also News in Brief under United States, p. 29.
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|Title Annotation:||LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2005|
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