Sunday, 13 April 2014

David Palm as a Canonist

1) Phil Plait and Atheist Prejudice, 2) David Palm as a Canonist, 3) To David Palm

I am glad he* is no bishop:

The Magisterium Rules: The Debate is Over
[Welcome to]
Posted on April 12, 2014 by David Palm

"In 1820, the Catholic Church officially closed the debate: Catholics are perfectly free to accept and teach modern cosmological views concerning the motion of the earth while rejecting geocentrism. In 1822, the Church went even further and declared penalties for not allowing the publication of books that present the motion of the earth as a logical conclusion of science."

That is NOT a closing of the debate.

It is NOT a doctrinal definition. It is a disciplinary measure about a potentially at least doctrinal question. But the measure is NOT a definition of the question. It is - unlike 1633 - not a definite no on earth moving. But neither is it, unlike what David Palm would like to paint it out as, a definite no against Geocentrism. It is JUST a disciplinary measure.

It means that a censor deputatus must not refuse imprimi potest because a book whose author asks for it is not geocentric. Since Paul VI (according to those who accept he was Pope at all, or according to what they are logically bound to) abolished the need to go by an episcopal approval in 1965, this disciplinary measure is no longer relevant. It is not abolished, but is of no practical significance any more.

It did NOT say anyone was forbidden or should be denied imprimi potest for defending Geocentrism.

"It is little wonder, then, that in a 1992 address to the Pontifical Academy of Science, Pope John Paul II stated, 'the debate which had not ceased to evolve thereafter, was closed in 1820 with the imprimatur given to the work of Canon Settele'"

Giving imprimi potest to a party hitherto denied it does NOT equal denying it to those hitherto enjoying it. John Paul II by saying the 1820 decision closed the debate - if he said that in 1992 - showed himself a very bad canonist.

So, what was 1820 really saying? Basically what 1950, Humani Generis, was really saying: teach the controversy. Or in less drastic words: either position may be defended until Church officially bans it.

But if John Paul II or Karol Wojtyla was a bad enough canonist to take the lifting of a ban in one position in 1820 as a kind of ban on the previously ruling position, though that was never stated, this would hardly be news to people who agreed with Michael Davies and his Apologia Pro Lefebvre that this man had shown himself a bad canonist by the sententia declarativa saying Marcel Lefebvre, Antonio Castro-Mayer and the four bishops consecrated on Sts Peter and Paul's feast in Écône by them had ipso facto incurred an excommunication. Nor to those not agreeing with Michael Davies but thinking Lefebvre and saying instead Karol Wojtyla was not even Pope and the six bishops were wrong to recognise him as such.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Palm Sunday

* I think he is distinct from my Countryman in San Diego. The latter is a golfer.

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