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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fraying and unravelling

I can't exactly remember why retired bishop Geoffrey Robinson came to my attention today. In any case, it has been an occasion of sadness. He certainly seems to be an up and coming hero of some dissenting Catholics. It looks like he has not gone as far as some of his new fans seem to have gone, but I am not surprised that they would project their own aspirations on him.

I haven't read his book, of course, but this interview is enough to raise alarms for me.

His heart is most certainly in the right place when he raises grave concerns about the sexual abuse crisis, but he seems to get a few things wrong (in my opinion) and he seems to be bordering on heterodoxy. :-( I get a feeling that, in worrying the edges of the tapestry, he will end up unravelling more than he meant to at first. It's odd when he notes the weakness of synods in that the bishops are not professional theologians, but on the other hand, there he is contesting some rather serious dogma. I may have gotten that out of context, however, but my point seems to be relevant anyway.

It was probably Mark Shea in his book, "By What Authority?", who impressed upon me the slippery slope of unravelling the lines of authority in the Church. Or, more importantly, I learned to appreciate the lines of authority that, naturally, come from Christ himself. When one starts doubting the authority on earth of the pope and bishops, one has got to wonder where it all ends. No authority, no councils, no creed, no canon of Scripture -- gasp! What bedrock of authority do we have left to stand on??

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