Mutuae Relationes 43: Too Tolerant?

SenanquecloisterRemember to refer to the full document Mutuae Relationes here. With this section we wrap up the first part of Chapter VI, discussing the pastoral mission of the Church.

In this section the Church gives a case for harm. But is it harm always, or sometimes just institutional alarm?

43. Great harm is done to the faithful by the fact that too much tolerance is granted to certain unsound initiatives or to certain accomplished facts which are ambiguous. Consequently bishops and superiors, in a spirit of mutual trust, in fulfillment of the obligations incumbent upon each and in keeping with the exercise of each one’s responsibility, should see to it with the greatest concern that such errors are forestalled and corrected with evident decisiveness and clear dispositions, always in the spirit of charity but also with due resoluteness.

Certainly, there can be acts of harm. Our tradition also reminds us of the sins of when we fail to do something. Deciding to do nothing, or to refuse to change is itself an active decision that likewise has the potential for serious consequences.

Liturgy gets attention:

Especially in the field of liturgy there is urgent need to remedy not a few abuses introduced under pretexts at variance one with another. Bishops as the authentic liturgists of the local Church (cf Sacrosanctum Concilium 22; 41; Lumen Gentium 26;Christus Dominus 15; cf. Part I, ch. II), and religious superiors in what concerns their members should be vigilant and see that adequate renewal of worship is brought about, and they should intervene early in order to correct or remove any deviations and abuses in this sector, which is so important and central (cf. SC 10). Religious, too, should remember that they are obliged to abide by the laws and directives of the Holy See, as well as the decrees of the local Ordinary, in what concerns the exercise of public worship (cf. Eccl. Sanctae I, 26; 37; 38).

You might guess I would differ with the tone here. “Adequate” renewal is insufficient. This was the case in the 70’s as it is today. Are we satisfied with adequate when excellence is possible? Thoughts or comments?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Mutuae Relationes 43: Too Tolerant?

  1. Liam says:

    How’s this: Egoism can lurk not only beneath impulsiveness but also caution. As not all impulses are ruddered by the Holy Spirit, so too we should not assume that all caution is ruddered by Prudence. Genuine understanding and wisdom requires discernment.

    • Liam says:

      PS: A footnote to an ever-apt observation of C.S. Lewis might be in order:

      “The devil… sends errors into the world in pairs – pairs of opposites. And he always
      encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse… He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one.”

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