In yesterday’s post, we read that bishops are responsible for planning and consultation in their dioceses. Today we read that religious are obliged to attention and docility, especially in regard to situations in which they teach and form people. Likely this means especially members of their own communities. But remember we also read in MR 31 that the Church urges some combination and collaboration of theological training for clergy, religious, and laity. It seems that some religious would be in a position of teaching clergy. That is an important responsibility.
33. Religious have the special and delicate obligation of being attentive and docile to the Magisterium of the Hierarchy and of facilitating for the bishops the exercise of the ministry of authentic teachers and witnesses of the divine and catholic truth (cf. Lumen Gentium 25), in the fulfillment of their responsibility for the doctrinal teaching of faith both in the centers where its study is promoted and in the use of means to transmit it.
A word about publishing houses:
a) As to the publication of books and documents, edited by publishing houses of religious or by organizations under their care, the norms given by the S. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (March 19, 1975) regarding the competent authority for the approval of texts of Sacred Scripture and their translation, liturgical books, prayer books and catechisms or any other type of work containing topics which are connected in a special way with religion and morals are to be observed. Disregard of these norms, at times speciously and cleverly contrived, can cause serious harm to the faithful. This must be avoided at all costs and with sincerity, especially by religious.
A word about non-published documents:
b) The necessary understanding with the competent Ordinaries is always to be safeguarded, even in the case of documents and editorial initiatives of religious institutes, local or national, which, although not destined for public consumption, can nevertheless exert a certain influence in the pastoral sphere of activity, as, for example, texts dealing with the new and serious problems on social, economic and political questions connected in one way or another with faith and the religious life.
A word about “social communications.” 1978 was way before the internet, not to mention that peculiar platform, the blog. Read with a consideration to that:
c) Bishops, taking into careful consideration the special mission of some institutes, should encourage and support religious who are engaged in the important apostolic field of the written word and social communications. In this regard, they should foster wider apostolic collaboration, especially on the national level; likewise they should be concerned about the formation of specialized personnel for this activity, not only as regards their technical competency but also and especially as regards their sense of ecclesial responsibility.
I suppose that a revision and update of Mutuae Relationes would include an expanded look at Catholic online presence. In pondering the urge to attention and docility, it would seem to be a challenge for Catholics in and out of religious life, and all over the ideological spectrum, wouldn’t you say?
Any thoughts or comments? You can check the full document online here.