Forgotten Truths
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The Faithful Are Permitted & Commanded
to Resist Bad Doctrine

Influenced by the progressivist idea that no one is allowed to judge anyone else - an idea so widespread in America that is becoming almost a paranoia - many tradionalist Catholics become insecure to say that a doctrine or a person is wrong and that it or he goes against the past teaching of the Church.

In the text below, Fr. Sarda y Salvany makes it clear that the layman has not only the right but the duty to make weighty judgments on important matters of faith based on human reason duly enlightened by God.

Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany

Yes, human reason, as the theologians say, has a place in matters of religion. Faith dominates reason, which ought to be subordinated to faith in everything. But it is altogether false to pretend that reason can do nothing, that it has no function at all in matters of faith. It is false to pretend that the inferior light of the human understanding illuminated by God cannot shine at all because it does not shine as powerfully or as clearly as the superior light of faith.

Yes, the faithful are permitted and even commanded to use reason to serve their faith, to draw out its consequences, to make applications of it, to deduce parallels and analogies from it. It is, thus, by using their reason that the faithful are enabled to suspect or measure the orthodoxy of any new doctrine, presented to them, by comparing it with a doctrine already defined. If it be not in accord, they can combat it as bad and justly stigmatize as bad the book or journal which sustains it.

They cannot of course define it ex cathedra, but they can legitimately hold it as perverse and declare it such, warn others against it, raise the cry of alarm and strike the first blow against it. The faithful layman can do all this, and has done it at all times with the applause of the Church.

Nor in so doing does he make himself the pastor of the flock, nor even its humblest attendant; he simply serves it as a watchdog who gives the alarm. Oportet allatrare canes. "It behooves watchdogs to bark" very opportunely said a great Spanish Bishop in reference to such occasions.

Liberalism Is a Sin, chap. 23, TAN Books, 1995, pp. 153-154.


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Posted January 6, 2018

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