[2] Pope interprets the law


I got permission by e-mail today at 4:47 p.m to post letter #2 (p. 2). It literally took submitting another letter to get to this point but, when that one is officially featured – please God – on 10 April, you’ll see it was on a different topic. (I’m actually surprised it was selected.) Plus, if what I learned is hopefully correct, I don’t have to delete letter #3 to re-post it. While all of this has ended any reality of a thread, since we are moving to “the next phase” even if it turns out to be nothing, I am grateful to have been able to start something about it for general benefit.


The Sabbath was made for man, 
not man for the Sabbath. 
—Mk 2: 27

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart… 
You must love your neighbour as yourself… 
On these two commandments hang the whole Law, 
and the Prophets also. 
—ref. Mt 22: 34-40 [sic]

I have quoted the above passages in response to [this blogger’s] letter “The law of the Lord is perfect” published in your January 31 edition.

In the letter, if I understand well, the author expressed concern about the Pope using his ‘prerogative’ to modify the traditional practice of the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday. This all reminds me of the Pharisees condemning Jesus for breaking the Sabbath which they considered God’s Law and unchangeable.

Jesus’ answer as quoted above shows that man is more important than the Sabbath. God in his mercy understand that it is not a matter of bending the law but of interpreting it correctly, for as Jesus further shows, the love of God and man is God’s greatest commandment. So important is this law that it supersedes all others and we are judged by how faithful we are to it. (ref. Mt 25: 31-46). [sic]

It is also the right of the pope to interpret the law for our instruction. He was given this authority by Jesus, since he is the successor of St Peter to whom Jesus said, You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church… whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. (ref. Mt 16: 18-20). [sic]

As Catholics we believe that this authority is passed on to successive popes. The pope has, therefore, in interpreting the greatest commandment, the power, authority and permission to ‘break the law’.

Newspaper opinions on foot-washing change


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