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As Bishop Robinson has made public his call for 'alterations' to the Catholic Church, he ought not to mind being asked to respond in public to one particular point which in fact makes nonsense of his whole position.
My complaint is not the Bishop's denial of a catalogue of doctrines held in perpetuity by all Catholics (see Kevin McManus for a short list, November letters), nor does it concern individual propositions of which some were addressed by Archbishop Coleridge. Rather I ask Bishop Robinson to consider the simple logic of the Church's account of itself, not merely inherent in its structure but stated explicitly again and again from its beginning and down through all the centuries.
The Church says, relying on Christ's authority and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, (a) that it is infallible in its doctrines, (b) that the meaning of those doctrines can never be changed.
How can you expect this same Church to proclaim by changing doctrines that it has been fraudulent for the whole of its existence, and indeed never had any right to exist? Your radical overhaul of the Church would be in fact a complete demolition. After this ecclesiastical hara kiri, why would you or anyone else wish to have converse with an exploded myth? Surely you must realise how farcical your position is ?
And please, could we be spared the kind of reasoning which states that 'Since the Council of Trent we have come to realise that the story of Adam and Eve was not based on an eyewitness account.' In 70 plus years of reasonably close acquaintance with Church history I've never heard any authority make any claim remotely resembling that amusing furphy.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 11 (December 2007 - January 2008), p. 13
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