The Roman Catholic Church Response to the Pfaffer Initiative
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy Say NO to Colleagues in Austria and YES to Pope in Rome
HARRISBURG, Penn., April 6, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Five hundred priests and deacons of the national association, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, pledge their complete loyalty and obedience to the Pope and Magisterium and, by means of fraternal correction, exhort their dissident Austrian brothers of the ‘Pfarrer Initiative’ to repent and recant. Disobedience among deacons, priests and bishops is not only scandalous to the faithful but injurious to the Mystical Body of Christ (the Church). We are not just resigned to the discipline of celibacy and merely tolerant of the doctrine of a male priesthood, we totally accept and embrace them. The marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic and apostolic) are personified in the Petrine ministry. Hence, to obey the Pope is to obey the Church, the Bride of Christ. Like Judas who betrayed Christ, dissident clergy betray the same Lord by their prideful refusal of submission to lawful authority.
Dissent from Magisterial teaching and disobedience to Papal authority are incompatible with Catholic Christianity. Jesus founded the Church and instituted the Sacraments. Holy Orders is one of the sacraments and it is the essence of the hierarchy (which means an orderly chain of command). The soul of Holy Orders is obedience. Clergy must lead by example, as did Our Lord, who submitted to the will of His Father. When Deacons, Priests and Bishops disobey the Church and her chief shepherd, the Pope, they do a grave disservice to the people they have been sent to serve.
The CCC professes allegiance to the Holy Father, especially in all matters of faith and morals. We see obedience to the authority of the Church as obedience to Christ. As the Bishop of Rome, the Pope is head of the Church. Vatican II and the Catechism (1992) define his authority as, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal,” by divine institution.
As all priests renew their promise of obedience each year, we urge our fellow clergy all over the world to imitate Jesus in His humility. Pride prevents one from obeying. Jesus who was Priest, Prophet and King, founded the Church so she could continue His work of teaching, sanctifying and shepherding. He simultaneously created ordained ministry in order to implement that three-fold mission. Hence the deacons, priests and bishops of the Church exist to serve and service is substantially obedience. The cleric submits his will as did the Son to the Father.