Authority

Aug 12, 2015

There are two current examples of abuses of authority that are prevalent in Tradition these days:
 
Person A abuses people, excusing his behaviour using his authority as an excuse.
 
Person B claims not to have authority, permitting evasion of responsibility.
 
So what is authority and why do we have it?
 
 
Framework For Authority
 
We live in a society and interact with other members of the society. In order to function within the society, we are granted authority, which is the power delegated to us by God to promote the common good of the society. There are many members of society, each with a different skill set, so society institutes rules surrounding the application of authority.
 
We were created to know, love and serve God …
 
God created us to fulfill certain responsibilities appropriate to our station in life.
 
In order to fulfill our responsibilities, God ensures that we have what we need in order to do so.
 
In order to perform those duties, God grants us the rights to use things that He has created which are needed to carry out those duties. These rights are to be tempered through the use of reason and with prudence appropriate to the task at hand. This includes following the rules of the society within which we live. If the rules are evil, they have no authority in God’s eyes, and we have to work around them. Divine Law takes precedence over laws made by man.
 
So, within that framework, what are the duties of a bishop?
 
 
Duties of a Bishop
 
The key duties of a bishop are:
 
1) offer Mass (he has the fullness of the priesthood)
2) offer Confirmations and Ordinations, Sacraments which are only available through him
3) teach with the fullness of his authority – this includes all matters of Faith and morals
4) ensure the continuity of the Church
 
In order to fulfill his duties, a bishop has been granted jurisdiction over certain areas, subject to the Vicar of Christ. In cases of emergency, the Church grants supplied jurisdiction in order to ensure that he can function in his role.
 
 
Two Examples of How Bishops Use Authority
 
Person A exceeds his authority when he uses it to exceed his responsibilities by acting outside the common good. Strangely, he also acts within the Conciliar Church – a structure that interferes with his authority. He applies his authority to limit the exercise of responsibilities of people who are subservient to his authority. When this happens, God’s Will is prevented.
 
Person B evades responsibility, so again, God’s Will tends to be prevented.
 
Any bishop in Tradition will perform the first task outlined above. However, that is not enough. Consider how he performs his other responsibilities.
 
The responsibility to teach can be fulfilled by Person A only if he teaches proper Doctrine. If he deviates from what has always been taught, he fails in his responsibility. His recent actions suggest that by accepting the changes to the structure within which he operates (the new direction of the SSPX), he is greatly limited as to what and how he teaches.
 
Person B teaches without accepting responsibility for what he teaches. He offers opinions rather than making proper pronouncements about how society is to believe and how it is to act. Society then is leaderless and follows the rules of anarchy – it accepts no rules (and no opinions) – everyone makes his own rules. Therefore God’s Will is prevented.
 
Person A is not worried about the continuity of the Church – he is too focused on his authority to do what he wants now. If the structure within which he operates does not ensure the continuity of the Church, he himself will not focus on it. Therefore God’s Will is prevented.
 
Person B refuses to accept that he has the responsibility to continue the Church, therefore he does not open seminaries, supervise the training of seminarians, give tonsure, etc. Therefore, the continuity of the priesthood is not continued and God’s Will is prevented.
 
So, if these persons are the current models of the bishops available to Tradition, all we can say is “God grant us Bishops – God grant us holy Bishops!”.

 
 

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