Saturday, 7 December 2013

The "State of Necessity" explained

As I sit in my study in the Bishop’s palace, here in the Diocese of Nowhere, I love to gaze out of the window at the clear blue sky, the snow topped mountains and the eagles swooping majestically above.  The Alpine air is crisp and barely a sound can be heard apart from a young girl yodelling in the distance.  All seems to be calm, but there is storm brewing.  You may have read a scurrilous article attacking the Society of Such Pious Gents and its venerable founder Archbishop Le Havre.  This article implies that because the stance of Our Society contradicts certain pre Vatican II teachings, we are really no different from the very liberals and modernists that we oppose.  This is utter nonsense!  When the liberals and modernists dissent from the teaching of the church, they do so because they are liberals and modernists!  When the Society dissent from certain teachings of the church (which is only done after much prayer and soul searching) it is done because there is a crisis in the church – it is done through necessity.  If someone in good conscience dissents from the teaching of the church as a reaction to a crisis, this is what theologians call “a state of necessity”. 

The authors of these vicious attacks on the Society point out that Pope Pius XII taught that it was absolutely forbidden to consecrate a bishop in defiance of the express will of the Pope.  They say that Pius XII described such illicit consecrations as ‘criminal and sacrilegious’.  How can it possibly be a ‘necessity’ to do something which a pre Vatican Pope taught was absolutely forbidden under any circumstances?  I think most of you will agree that it is extremely disrespectful to question the wisdom of our venerable founder Archbishop Le Havre, but allow me to address this point.  Pope Pius XII was referring to the consecration of Chinese bishops.  As you will be aware, none of the bishops that Archbishop Le Havre illicitly consecrated were Chinese – they weren’t even vaguely Oriental - so that argument fails!