I have generally been a fan of Pat Buchanan for quite some time. And I must confess to have voted for him in the Republican primaries back in the ‘90’s. He seems to me to be a man of principle and a man who is willing to stand up for those principles. Which is why I found this question which Pat asks in a recent Human Events article so interesting.
In that piece Pat is examining the stance of the new pope on several issues: redistribution of wealth, “social issues”, etc. And Pat gives high marks to the new pope in these regards. Pat pronounces that Pope Francis “adheres to orthodox teaching” which is important because, “To be Catholic is to be orthodox.”
But what, really, is Catholic orthodoxy?
Pat gives us his idea by antithesis:
…let us presume the impossible — that the Church should suddenly allow the ordination of [sic] woman, and decree that abortions in the first month of pregnancy are now licit, and that homosexual unions, if for life, will henceforth be recognized and blessed. This would require the Church to admit that for 2,000 years it had been in error on matters of faith and morals, and hence is not infallible.
But we have shown here that the Church of Rome has historically held a contrary position on abortion. In that article, we noted that St. Jerome had no problem with “abortions in the first month of pregnancy” nor did Aquinas nor did Pope Innocent III nor did the very Council of Trent! Think of that, friends. What Pat Buchanan decries as heterodox was actually Catholic orthodoxy for at least fifteen hundred years!
My point then is not so much that the Roman Catholic Church was wrong before Trent or that it has been wrong after it. But rather that it was necessarily wrong during at least one of those periods. And according to Mr. Buchanan that “requires” Rome to admit that “it had been in error on matters of faith and morals, and hence is not infallible.”
Since we have objective, verifiable historic proof that Rome is not, indeed, infallible Buchanan’s question stands: What argument would be left for remaining Catholic?
I can’t think of one.
Soli Deo Gloria.