Rorate Caeli

Spanish Bishops show error in German abortifacient-friendly decision
And the dangers of weakening the Roman Curia
in favor of Conferences of Bishops

Some malicious news sources are saying today that "the Spanish bishops" have "followed the lead" of the German Bishops and authorized the use of the "morning-after pill" in case of rape.

But that is not at all what happened. First, of course, it was not "the Spanish Bishops", but the secretary of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Bishop Juan Antonio Martínez Camino. Second, this is what he said, with clear irony regarding the abortifacient-friendly bishops of Germany, and it makes a world of difference:

"If there is a pill that prevents that there be a conception in cases of rape, then it is licit to prevent it." [However,] "We have no knowledge of a morning-after pill without abortifacient effects. If it does exist, it may be used, with the doctrine we have." "If it does exist, we will be sure to know it .... all morning-after pills have this possible abortive effect. Therefore, its use is illicit. If it does exist in Germany, we are not aware of it. It is not known to us that this technical possibility exists." (Several sources, including El Mundo)

Which just goes to show that, despite all the talk about the need to "reform" the Roman Curia, there is no greater division in the Church than that caused by the existence of different "national" views on what is universal doctrine, espoused by each different Episcopal Conference. A reform of the Roman Curia without a reform of the disjointed and contradictory positions of the Conferences of Bishops is faded to failure.

Or rather, there seems to be in the air in these perilous days calls of reform with the clear attempt to weaken the Roman See (by way of weakening the Roman Curia) in order to submit this same Apostolic See, of supreme Divine Constitution, to the whims of the Episcopal Conferences, "national churches" that are not of apostolic origin. Bp. Carrasco, a Spaniard, who ditched the formal opinion of the appropriate dicastery of the Roman Curia (his own) to espouse what is, in practice, an abortifacient-favorable view by the German Episcopal Conference, is a living example of that. 

One should never forget that, just as the Roman Curia exists to aid the Apostolic See "in exercising [its] mission for the good of the universal Church," (Pastor bonus, introduction), also "[t]he binding effect of the acts of the episcopal ministry jointly exercised within Conferences of Bishops and in communion with the Apostolic See derives from the fact that the latter has constituted the former and has entrusted to them, on the basis of the sacred power of the individual Bishops, specific areas of competence." (Apostolos suos, 13) When an individual Conference of Bishops distorts universal doctrine, the consequences for the fundamental doctrinal unity of the Church can be grave (cf. Apostolos suos, 22: "For this reason the Bishops are to be careful to avoid interfering with the doctrinal work of the Bishops of other territories, bearing in mind the wider, even world-wide, resonance which the means of social communication give to the events of a particular region.") It is exactly for this reason that a strong, sound, Roman See is more needed now than ever.


  1. Bishops Conferences are no good to the Church. We are a monarchy, not democracy. Collegiality on weakens the authority of the Bishops and above all, of the Pope. Collegiality must cease to be a pastoral doctrine. It is not Tradition. Its not apostolic in origin.

  2. Benedict Carter10:21 AM

    Well done New Catholic is picking this up.

    This is what lies behind the words of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Brien yesterday to the UK's "Guardian" newspaper.

    The Bishops' Conferences want the Papacy side-lined completely so they can carry out their Revolution in moral doctrine.

    Peter is the key to this battle. Will our new Peter stay firm and loyal to Christ?

    This is what the forthcoming Conclave is about.

  3. I hope Bishops Conferences is dismantled. Kyrie Eleison

  4. Archbishop Lefebvre was correct when he condemned Collegiality. He is now vindicated. He was a prophet. What he said years ago are happening alrady in its terminal stage. A major surgery which needs Divine medicine is necessary.

  5. Ben . .I would acclaim you bishop in the way the Milanese acclaimed St Ambrose . .

    After re reading the excellent article by Dr Rao who could not see the pit we have been fighting to get out of these last forty odd years.

    Cardinal O'Brien has been flung over the side to encourage the others . .my wife said this morning tha Cardinal Cormac is going to Rome . . What the hell for I asked . .

    To sow discention . . . .????

    Maybe the Pope should phone Michael O'Leary at Rayanair . .get him but off the flight for carrying too much . . "baggage" . . .all of it meaningless twaddle . . .!!!

  6. Benedict Carter11:07 AM


    You're too kind. My first ever game for the School 1st XV back in 1979 resulted in me nearly getting sent off for knocking my opposing prop out cold.

    I haven't changed much.

    I'd cause a Schism in about five minutes and would thoroughly enjoy doing so. Mass sackings of Bishops all round, entirely new College of Cardinals, Old Mass back within three years, Novus Ordo abrogated, Vatican II declared a false Council due to the presence in it of enemies of the Church.

    Hang on, that's exactly what we need.

    I am available.

  7. Benedict Carter11:10 AM

    Papa Ratzinger has taken a giant leap of faith in Our Lord by abdicating. An unacceptable risk in human terms, even irresponsible and rash.

    I AM fearful, but at the same time Our Lord won't refuse to answer this leap of faith.

    We are going to get a good Pope.

  8. GQ Rep11:11 AM

    They are going to try their best to turn us into the same as a pack of Anglicans/Episcopalians.

    No thanks!!

  9. GQ Rep11:16 AM

    "Peter is the key to this battle. Will our new Peter stay firm and loyal to Christ?

    This is what the forthcoming Conclave is about. "

    Let us pray we don't get a Pope like they are mentioning in the media....a "moderate" or "progressive"....and then they list the names.

    Two are Americans (Archbishops of Boston and New York), who would be among the worst picks for Pope!

    I hope the next Pope is not a "pastoral" Pope, but rather a man taken from the Curia, or from Italy or Latin America who is not a liberal, progressive, or a moderate but rather a hard line traditional/traditionalist man who will guide the Church in the manner and spirt NOT of a John Paul II, or a Paul VI or a John XXIII, but rather of a Pius X or Pius XII..or even a Pius V who gave us the Tridentine Latin Mass.

  10. (1) The Popes, especially this one, have promoted episcopal conferences and collegiality for 50 years. The Popes have created their own problem.

    (2) The Roman Curia is constituted by the Pope's appointments. The Pope is responsible for the weakness as well as the incompetency and heterodoxy.

    The structure of the Church is as the Popes for 50 years have shaped it -- period.

  11. The dangers of weakening the Roman Curia in favor of Conferences of Bishops...

    As it has been mentioned by several on this blog before, the lib/mods want the Church to be more like Canterbury than Rome!

  12. Lee Sylmans3:47 PM

    Collegiality, a funnel wherein evil can forthcome and do thorough damage. Get rid of these schismatic like bodies, with their Gallicanist behaviour and zeal for always wanting to 'nationalise and fordeal' us from Our Lord in the Baroque of Peter.Nothing but a Protestant mess

  13. Dear all, the matter of preventing conception when the act is practiced outside the marital bounds with violence against the woman is not explicitly defined in Casti Connubii, Humanae Vitae or Evangelium Vitae. Moral theologians have often discussed the matter, and we will not open this can of worms here, just ask a good priest. Where the elimination of existing human life is concerned (abortion), there are no possible nuances of moral theology involved, hence the differentiation. In practice, since "emergency contraception" is abortive, the question is moot; in theory, there may be moral theology details which should not be discussed in this venue.



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