Thursday 19 August 2010

Joseph Ratzinger, On Conscience and Dissent.

Fr Joseph Ratzinger, Vatican peritus

"Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one's own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism".
Joseph Ratzinger, 1967
(in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II )

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

I first heard this quotation a few months ago, but was unable to write it down. I have been looking for an on line text ever since, so was delighted to find this in Bishop Kevin Dowling's notable talk on the watering -down of Vatican II decisions since the council and especially under the papacies of John-Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI
(For extensive commentary on the main substance of Bishop Dowling's remarks, see Bill Lindsey's post, and follow his links to further analysis elsewhere.)

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