Monday, January 19, 2009

Hi Carrie, I think that you have a grave misapprehension of the authority of the Magisterium.

Actually, I'm simply tired of Roman Catholic double standards, and I'm sure my co-bloggers are as well.

Roman Catholics chastise Protestants continually for using "private interpretation" and having disagreements. They've got all their apologetics books, like Madrid's "Where's That in the Bible?" in which he states, "I as a Catholic look not just to Scripture alone...but also to the Church and its living Tradition" and also in coversation with a Protestant, he tells them they, "can't just assume we have the correct understanding of Scripture" (pp. 10-11). No, Madrid's got the right interpretation!

So, OK, show the beef. Show us a unified Roman Catholicism. Show us your certainty. Show us the infallible interpretation of Scripture. Show us unified historical “Tradition.” Show us how your theologians and apologists have a collective agreement down the line.

But Wait! There's small print (Mr. Hoffer, your job requires you to scrutinize the small print).

The small print tells us Roman Catholics have a wide range of freedom to interpret things however they want to, as long as it does not contradict official teaching. The small print tell us very little of the Bible has an infallible interpretation, thus giving Roman Catholics the freedom of interpretation on 99.9% of the Bible. The small print tell us even with infallibly defined dogma, those dogmas are open to interpretation. Even verses allegedly infallibly defined can still be open to interpretation.

This just stinks. I will continue to point out this double standard as long as there is breath in my body. You guys have got to admit your double standard. We’re going to continue to embarrass you.

Both DA & Sungenis should be going to their local bishop, and that bishop should be going to the authority above him and so on, until it gets back to your infallible Magisterium. Let your infallible authority tell us which of the Rock ‘Em Sock “Em Robots is right.

If you guys can’t do this, then, I suggest you Mr. Hoffer, start a movement within Catholic apologetics called “Let’s Cease The Double Standards Against Protestants” (LCTDSAP), in fact, we’ll help you over here. You appear to be reasonable person. All we need is a few reasonable Catholic apologists to face the music and admit the Catholic apologetic community has been out of tune with their argumentation for 500 years. You could be….a Catholic apologetics Reformer! You could be the guy who finally says, "enough is enough!" "We have to try a different approach here... we can't keep using a standard that we ourselves don't keep."

And then, simply argue honestly and point out that Roman Catholics want everyone to accept their authority paradigm as a beginning presupposition. That is, you guys want us to make a leap of faith and accept your unproven beginning faith claim. Sure, you can argue your church is old, and that you have all sorts of cool rituals, and the like. But these arguments that somehow Rome is unified have to stop. They're making you guys look very silly.

48 comments:

john said...

I really gotta chuckle. Most Catholic Apologists are really out of touch with their own Biblical scholars, Theologians, and Historians. Haven't they read Yves Congar, Brian Tierny, Bernhard Hasler, etc. Before talking about unity they should study some more. As a Catholic most of these Catholic "Apologists" frighten me. Of course most of them will probably say that I am "not a real Catholic" or that I am a "heretic"or "Cafeteria Catholic".

Matthew Bellisario said...

Why can't you understand that theologians do not deposit faith, morals, doctrines and dogmas? It is you who are out of touch since you can't distinguish between the Magisterium, doctrines and dogmas, and individual opinions. There is no contradiction in regards to doctrine and dogma proclaimed by the Church. If an individual whether he be a theologian or historian goes against that defined deposit of faith then they cease to be faithful Catholics, and fall into heresy or schism depending on what they refuse to follow. Carrie you obviously haven't a clue as to how the Catholic Church defines such things if you think that two apologists or theologians disagreeing over something diminishes the church and her unity of doctrine and dogma.

EA said...

Thank you, James. That's exactly right.

There's a delicious irony in play when Catholic lay apologists go from blog to blog or write books aimed at the laity that continually admonish the laity that the Magesterium is the only valid teacher of the Church.

If that's the case, then why should I concern myself with what the lay Catholic apologist has to say?

From a practical stand point, it is because the Magesterium is not taking any questions. The individual must parse the Catechism, Encyclicals, Conciliar Pronouncements, etc...using the very Private Judgment that imperils their Salvation.

Of course, they can turn to their local priest, however that is no guarantee of correct teaching either. Well then, you can ask the bishop. But there's no "infallible teaching" authority invested in the person of a lone bishop. Even the Pope himself cannot teach infallibly in individual situations.

Since the Magesterium is not talking, the laity resorts to other lay teachers. Try skimming some Catholic blogs to watch the laity ask each other what is and is not "official teaching". Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, and Dave Armstrong have become a virtual "lay Magesterium" to the average Catholic.

john said...

Matthew B. The "Church" is not the Magisterium, but the ENTIRE People of God. The other point is when someone is wrong they are wrong NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE. When the "Magisterium", a Bishop, or layperson tells me I MUST believe something that contradicts historical facts, the Scriptures, or the received Creeds of the Church then I cannot and will not. Period. The Church Fathers have stated that if ANYONE including Bishops teach anything against either then the Faithful are not obliged to believe it.

Carrie said...

Why can't you understand that theologians do not deposit faith, morals, doctrines and dogmas?

That's a bit simplistic. Catholic theologians appear to have a large role in formulating doctrine - look how often they are sited by popes and catechisms. Why is Aquinas so often referred to in dogmatic definitions? Why did the council fathers at Trent bring along their own theologians when trying to determine the canons?

On this blog we have been told more than once, just recently in fact, that Trent did not really anathemize Protestants as post-Trent theologians have re-evaluated Trent. It's the theologians who dispute whether a particular teaching was actually infallible or not.

This is just one more double standard. When we point out that laypeople and theologians disagree, we are told that they are not part of the magisterium. When we reference magisterial pronouncements (like Trent) and say we are anathemized, we are told that Catholic theologians say differntly.

You guys need to all find some unity in your arguments.

EA said...

"Why can't you understand that theologians do not deposit faith, morals, doctrines and dogmas?"

The laity however must rely on theologians to describe what is contained in various Magesterial pronouncements. This is due to the fact that interpretation of these documents is a specialized field.

This is further complicated when the explanations by various theologians contradict each other. For example, were any of the statements issued from Vatican II infallible? What, if any, dogmas were defined at Vatican II? etc...

The need for an explanation from a member outside the Magesterium, undercuts the argument for the necessity of Magesterium in the first place.

Matt said...

Read this book...then we can talk:

http://www.amazon.com/Magisterium-Guardian-Avery-Cardinal-Dulles/dp/1932589384

The problem is that these discussions almost always move violently between the Catholic Apologetics community, who have a very extreme notion of authority as a kind of all-purpose weapon, and some basically liberal Catholic scholars like Raymond Brown, Hans Kung, Gary Wills and others who don't have much respect for any notion of ecclesial authority (to put it a bit too simply).

Avery Dulles is obviously an "authoritative" person to discuss these matters as the only (I think) American theologian to be named a cardinal. But, if you've read Models of the Church or Models of Revelation, you know that he is very open to the most up-to-date scholarship on almost everything he talks about. Anyway...it might be a good read.

For apologetics purposes, it might be a good way for all of you to put a wedge between the Catholic Church itself and the Catholic apologetics community, per Mr. Swan's suggestion...

Anyway, as a Catholic myself, of course I believe in the importance of the Magisterium and the Holy Spirit's role in directing the community of faith in union with the Bishop of Rome in all of that. Of course, I think that these "Magisterial" statements can completely re-shape how a debate goes forward, etc.

But the idea that this means there are no theological disagreements among Catholics, that there are no serious divisions in its ranks, that we know exactly how every passage of Scripture should be understood in full, or any of that AND THAT, on the contrary, Protestantism has no way of understanding Scripture without it, that Protestants are these individual popes resorting to dangerous "private interpretations" whenever they open the Bible...is simply to turn a blind eye to history, common sense, and, indeed, the Magisterial views on the place of Protestantism in God's plan and the Body of Christ.

Matthew Bellisario said...

John, prove that the Catholic Church is teaching something unbiblical or unhistorical. That is your own flawed opinion. It is apparent that the early Church Fathers believed the Eucharist was substantial because the Liturgies proclaimed it so. The earliest manuscripts that we have of them tell us so. This leaves you in rebellion to history, and to the Scriptures which also attest to this fact.

David Waltz said...

>> The laity however must rely on theologians to describe what is contained in various Magesterial pronouncements. This is due to the fact that interpretation of these documents is a specialized field.>>

So the Catholic laity (or even anti-Catholic Prots) need further clarification on the Trinity, Christology (1 person, 2 natures, 2 wills), episcopal succession and a three-fold ministry, baptism (infant and sacramental regeneration), the Eucharist (real presence), canon, etc., etc.—you know, the major issues that divide the Protestant world…

Grace and peace,

David

Daniel Montoro said...

James, why is it so hard for you to understand that ALL of those different heretical groups you call reformed churches officially teach as doctrines teachings that other reformed churches teach as heresy, and that the true church of Jesus Christ our Savior teaches one set of doctrines and you either believe it or you're a heretic, and that the two are not the same? This is not hard to understand! In your mind is baseball and football the same because they both use a ball? Just because there is disagreement between theologians, faithful, or bishops it is not the same thing as disagreement among those heretical churches and their official doctrines. If one reformer heretic wants to believe that you can baptize infants and another doesn't, then they just form a different church. If one thinks you can baptize with Kool-Aid, and the other doesn't, then they just form different heretical churches. This does not happen in the catholic church. Our authority corrects us. One deposit of faith. Your authority, some nutcase with a bible and his own imagination, cannot correct you, you just make up your own church. So the only one you are embarrassing here is yourself, pal. I would suggest that you address the argument, and not start clapping yourself on your back just yet.

James Swan said...

some nutcase with a bible and his own imagination, cannot correct you

Daniel, I must commend you for admirable restraint on this blog. I jst visited your blog for the first time and read your front article...wow.

Daniel Montoro said...

James, it is not like you haven't seen any worse in anti-semitical writings of Martin Luther. John Calvin really has a potty mouth, don't you think?

James Swan said...

James, it is not like you haven't seen any worse in anti-semitical writings of Martin Luther. John Calvin really has a potty mouth, don't you think?

I have a strict set standards of language for this blog, because:

- I don't use such language, so I don't plan on having this blog use such language.

- People from my church read my blog, and they might be offended- as well as other people who don't approve of such language.

-I'm not in high school anymore.

Again though, after reading your blog article, I realize posting comments over here must mean biting your tongue. for that, I am grateful.

Daniel Montoro said...

You would agree that the language used by Luther was bad, right?

James Swan said...

You would agree that the language used by Luther was bad, right?

Yes. There are many things Luther said and did that I would not approve of.

john said...

MattB. Why do you bring up the Eucharist? I didn't mention it. As a matter of fact what you wrote is a non-issue for me, you are preaching to the Choir. I fully accept what the Church taught and currently teaches about it.If you want to dis me over Raymond Brown, who was on the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Yves Congar, who was made a Cardinal or a respected Catholic Biblical scholar like Joseph Fitzmyer, fine. But its those guys who are reflective of current Catholic Theology and Biblical studies, not Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, Steve Ray, Bob Sungenis, etc. I do put a wedge between them and the authentic Catholic Scholars. Most, though not all Catholics on the internet do not reflect the majority of Catholic Scholars or "real world" Catholic Laiety.

James Swan said...

Of course, they can turn to their local priest, however that is no guarantee of correct teaching either.

As a regular listener to Catholic Answers Live, many questions about what a particular priest said or did come in. Often, the Catholic Answer given is that the priest is wrong, or one should go over their heads to a higher authority

EA said...

"Often, the Catholic Answer given is that the priest is wrong, or one should go over their heads to a higher authority"

Right. A Catholic can go from priest to bishop to cardinal to Pope for the "correct" answer, but there is no "assurance" of a correct answer anywhere up the food chain.

Very few Catholics rate direct contact with someone above the "pay grade" of priest. And further, bishops are more likely in their position for their administrative skills rather than for their theological pedigrees. Hence the frequent queries to EWTN & Catholic Answer call-in shows. Where is that certainty when you really need it?

Daniel Montoro said...

It is certainly not found in your man-made-I-can-interpret-the-bible-on-my-own-and-come-up-with-my-own-doctrines religion, now is it? We have far more certainty than you can even possibly have. Sure, if someone were retarded they wouldn't be able to comprehend de fide statements of the church. But you are making up a controversy that if it existed as you claim in the catholic church, then protestant heretics would be much worse off. Face it, if it wasn't for the catholic church, you wouldn't even know what the Trinity is, the hypostatic union is, in fact, you might all be Arians right now.

EA said...

"Sure, if someone were retarded they wouldn't be able to comprehend de fide statements of the church."

Are you suggesting that the callers to EWTN and Catholic Answers are retarded?

"But you are making up a controversy that if it existed as you claim in the catholic church, then protestant heretics would be much worse off."

Which aspect of this do you think is made up?

The part about individual clerics' teachings not being protected by the charism of infallibility? The part about the average Catholic having no real contact with a member of the hieracrhy? The part about bishops being more an administrative position than a strictly teaching one? And how is a heretic worse off because the above is true?

Matthew Bellisario said...

John, you are mistaken if you think that Fitzmeyer and Brown are the premier theologians of the Church. It is well known that they are both liberals, and aside from Brown's early works the rest can be considered fit for the trash can. Theologians do not deposit faith and morals, they merely can expound upon what has been given to us to explain it in more detail. I also have never said that Scott Hahn or Tim Staples were the premier scholars either. I don't have the problem of having to split people up into camps. I take what is good from whomever it is, and leave behind what is rotten.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Mr. Swan: Thank you for suggesting that I appear to be a reasonable man. A man may often hear such a compliment from his friends, it is not so often that one hears it from a respected opponent. With that in mind, I will endeavor to answer your article in a reasoned manner. Please allow me a couple of days to respond. I have spent the day replacing a water heater and burst pipes.

God bless!

john said...

As a regular listener to Catholic Answers Live, many questions about what a particular priest said or did come in. Often, the Catholic Answer given is that the priest is wrong, or one should go over their heads to a higher authority




James: Good point. I also listen to CA and I hear the same thing. Also do you "lurk" on the CA Forums? It would seem that there a lot of "Magisterium" wannabes there also. The fact is Catholic Answers and EWTN have become a type of "Magisterium" for many conservative and "Traditionalist" Catholics . Sites like them foster an "US'(We the TRUE Catholics ) against "THEM" (Protestants and even worse, those awful "Liberal" and "Cafeteria" Catholics.) At my Parish most if not all the Catholics involved in Parish work are not like the CA/EWTN Catholcs. They would be called "Liberals" or "Cafeteria" Catholics by the CA/EWTN crowd. Catholics like them reflect the MAJORITY of American Catholics, not the CA/EWTN type of Catholics.

James Swan said...

Yes, sometimes CA LIve does come off sounding like their own Magisterium, representing "true" Catholicism as opposed to everyone else.

The sad thing about listening to CA LIve are all the questions on divorce and remarriage. If there is one area in which Catholic laymen are confused as to what their church teaches, this is it. I don't mean anything deragatory by this comment either.

I visit the CA forums every so often.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Look, most of the doctrines and dogmas, faith and morals speak for themselves. They are not that hard to understand. It is those who like to pick and choose what they are going to believe that have the problem, and confuse others as well. Is it that hard to understand that the Church teaches that abortion is a serious, heinous sin, and anyone who deliberately goes against that teaching is a heretic? The teaching on the Sacraments is the same. The teaching on marriage is not that difficult to understand is it? Do you need a scholar to tell you that you divorce is wrong? How many times does the Church have to come out and tell people that using contraception is disordered? Is that hard to understand or do you need a theologian to clarify that for you?

This stuff is not rocket science. It is those that do not believe, those that will not accept the truth who are living pathological lies, and they come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they don't believe. The basic teachings of the Catholic faith are pretty basic, and now they have printed catechisms in two forms, one in question and answer format to make it even easier. I do not share in this thinking that all of this is so complicated that no one can understand it without asking the Pope. Give me a break.

Yes some teachings when expounded upon sometimes need clarification to understand them more fully, but the teachings themselves are pretty self explanatory. If the Church says that there will be no women priests then that is what it means. If you wanted to explore why the Church has come to this conclusion, etc, then that may require some digging or more explanation, but there is no confusion as to the teaching itself. It is no different for a Protestant trying to decide if it OK to drink wine. You have many who interpret the Scriptures to the belief that no one should drink wine, period. Someone else would say no, that is not true, you have understood that verse incorrectly or too literally, and so someone comes to expound upon that verse. The Protestant is stuck, yet they have no place to go to find the true interpretation, nor the rest of the Oral Divine Word that expounds upon and accompanies the written.

Yes John you are right. Most of Catholics these days are Cafeteria Catholics. Many of them have separated themselves from the Church because they are heretics. Are they another form of Catholicism? No, when they cease to believe in the basic teachings of the Church, they cease to be in communion with the Church. When a "Catholic" decides for themselves that abortion is not really a sin, then they cease to be Catholic. They separate themselves. It doesn't matter what theologian told them it was OK, or what priest.

EA said...

"Look, most of the doctrines and dogmas, faith and morals speak for themselves. They are not that hard to understand."

If the teachings are so clear, then why is the laity asking the priest, theologian or CA Live in the first place?

"It doesn't matter what theologian told them it was OK, or what priest."

If the teachings are so clear, then why are the priest, theologian, or CA Live giving an incorrect answer? But more to the point, why isn't the Church itself admonishing and disciplining the wayward priest or theologian?

john said...

MattB. Well none of the Catholics I know at my Parish are "Pro-Choice" and several I know are involved in Pro-Life activities. But I do know that many, if not most do not believe in Papal Infallibility., Since I started going to that Parish there have been two Priests, Fr. L recently retired and Fr M replaced him, both have told me that if everyone who disagreed with one or more Church Dogmas were "not really Catholics" and were told that they weren't Catholic or Heretics and told to either leave or repent, most if not all would leave and the Church would be practically empty on Sat. and Sunday. For example the DRE (Religious Ed Director) and her assistant both say that the Church will change its mind about ordaining Women to the Priesthood. I told her no it won't, well we argued and she got mad and told "I'm the one who is charge here and the Parish authorised DRE, not you".

EA said...

"she got mad and told me "I'm the one who is charge here and the Parish authorised DRE, not you"."

This is a familiar vignette. You are expected to dutifully follow the marching orders from your ecclesiastical betters whether they are clergy or appointed by the clergy.

Matt said...

EA,

I hope you obey your pastor as well per Hebrews 13:17, etc.

Also, I find the discussion between Matthew B. and John to be somewhat unfortunate. On one side, we have a defense or at least a presentation of the position of the many Catholics who dissent from key teachings of the Church outright. On the other hand, we have a presentation of the view that the works of an important, though admittedly flawed, Catholic scholar like Raymond Brown, who was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission and all of that, should be put in the trash can.

There is a middle way. There is a way to be faithful to the clear teachings of the Catholic Church as Matt B. recommends without--and I am not accusing Matt B. of such...just certain elements in the CA crowd--thinking about dogma as merely a list of propositions with which to beat up the uninformed or obstinate.

On the other hand, one can be engaged with the (at the very least) moments of sustained brilliance in the scholarship of individuals like Fitzmeyer, Brown, and others (have you ever see Fitzmeyer's commentary on Romans!--amazing!), without reserving for yourself the right to throw out the First Vatican Council outright.

That is the position, I would argue, of the great Catholic theologians and thinkers of our era like Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, Avery Dulles, von Balthasar, and JPII and BXVI themselves!

john said...

Matt. I agree you can't simply "trash" Raymond Brown,the Pope put him on the Pontifical Biblical Commision. I am neither "liberal or "conservative" just someone who is a Catholic who tries to follow Jesus. As far as Vatican I goes many have called for a fresh look and re-assesment of Vatican I. I have read a good deal about that "council" and I simply cannot accept it as legitimate on numerous grounds. It was a rigged Council and the Fathers there were hamstrung at every point, it was not a free council with open debate and discussion like Vatican 2. The Bishops were threatened,and not free to confer with one another etc. The Historical evidence used to justify Papal Infallibility was flawed and contrary to actual reality, I could go on. When Theologians like Yves Congar say that Vatican 1 needs to be looked at again and re-assesed then you know something is wrong.

Yes it's true the type of Catholics on CA/EWTN want to beat people over the head with the Catechism and say "all or nothing" either you must believe EVERYTHING in here or else you are not a Catholic in good standing or a heretic, well that approach simply is unrealistic and out of touch of the Pastoral reality of day to day life of Catholics in the real world.

EA said...

"On the other hand, we have a presentation of the view that the works of an important, though admittedly flawed, Catholic scholar like Raymond Brown, who was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission and all of that, should be put in the trash can."

So, the Catholic must be engaged in vetting the writings of tranined theologians to weigh whether they adhere closely enough to the teachings of the Church? I thought that was the purpose of seeking and receiving the Imprimatur?

Further, Raymond Brown was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission by a pope (or at least served with the pope's knowledge and aquiesence). How are lay Catholics in a position to gauge any better than the pope and cardinals whether Brown's scholarship runs afoul of Church teaching? IOW, if it's good enough for the pope, why isn't it good enough for the laity?

The issue really is that much of the laity is a good deal more conservative than the hierarchy.

john said...

I agree some of the laity are more conservative, but all of the Catholic Apologists certainly are. I mean they are still defending Trent's view on Justification and Catholic Biblical Scholars and theologians are saying "not so fast", maybe the reformers weren't that far off", also it was Official Rome which agreed to and signed the "Joint Catholic-Lutheran Statement on Justification" which is not what Trent said exactly.

EA said...

"I agree some of the laity are more conservative, but all of the Catholic Apologists certainly are. I mean they are still defending Trent's view on Justification and Catholic Biblical Scholars and theologians are saying "not so fast", maybe the reformers weren't that far off"..."

So for 500 years the definitions from Trent have been inculcated to the laity and they still have not got it right? The same could be said for the hierarchy. Trent was supposed to define these things so there was no misunderstanding, and yet disagreements remain.

So we need to parse the statements of the Councilor Fathers and theologians past and present to weigh the various positions and decide for ourselves what they mean.

This does not represent any epsitemic advantage over Protestantism that I can see.

Tim Enloe said...

John,

You are an absolutely refreshing phenomenon in the world of discussions with Catholics. Thanks for pointing the way past the many intellectual morasses of the pop-apologetics movement.

Matt said...

EA,

Will you admit, at least, that the history of Conciliar and papal statements can limit the possibilities of "legitimate opinion"?

Certainly, scholarship can be conducted on the intentions of the Tridentine Fathers and the extent to which the anathemas of Trent still apply (or ever did!), but even these scholars to whom John is referring don't dismiss Trent outright. In serious Catholic theology, on the whole, there is a hermeneutic of continuity that attempts to weave in the ancient, medieval, and modern ecclesial statements and the reflections of scholars and theologians on Scripture most of all as well as the Patristic heritage.

For instance, we might be able to talk about new languages or new ways of explaining them, but an ecclesial tradition which sees itself in continuity with the ancient churches, will never dismiss the conclusions of Nicaea or Chalcedon. These statements are, at the very least, benchmarks for the community of the faithful, guided by the Holy Spirit, which set the terms of any future theological debate.

EA, you seem very disposed to be dismissive of how Church authority works and its "epistemic advantages". And I think there is a reason for this. I will concede that historical reality and even Church teaching today are rather different from what some Interent apologists are saying. It does undermine their seemingly crystal clear argument about how much the authority of the Catholic Church can give surety and firmness to the confusion of modern Protestantism and all of that. You are right, in my view, to point out that things are much, much more complicated than that.

To a great extent, I think, many (not all!) of the problems of interpretation and the possibility of disagreement and argument are the same for Catholics as they are for Protestants, especially those who "do" theology in dialogue with the ancient Christian tradition...

And one more thing. The reality of how theological debate work in the Catholic Church belies some of the comments here as well. It's really frustrating when people say things like: "what right do you as laity have to say this or that?" and "why don't you just go write a letter to the pope and shut up?"

That's never how things worked. Theologians (who were clerics but not generally part of the episcopate) were major advisors at Trent! This is an interesting piece by Congar that might be relevant here:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbooks.google.com%2Fbooks%3Fid%3DaezGH7vcWMEC%26pg%3DRA1-PA126%26lpg%3DRA1-PA126%26dq%3DYves%2BCongar%2BMagisterium%2BScholars%26source%3Dweb%26ots%3DlmVmQnaoRI%26sig%3DZWzwOEY9m2kMTKIn6QlnQlzAA4M%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26oi%3Dbook_result%26resnum%3D1%26ct%3Dresult&ei=pBd2SZmbHZjAtgfz_Y3hCA&usg=AFQjCNEV8YuGC-LizvKD9-4jAL9f1TJvGQ&sig2=NkS1E-BKjBY9cZEn3fJrcg

Anyway...just a few thoughts, I guess.

Matt said...

A few relevant statements from Gaudium et Spes:

Furthermore, it is to be hoped that many of the laity will receive a sufficient formation in the sacred sciences and that some will dedicate themselves professionally to these studies, developing and deepening them by their own labors. In order that they may fulfill their function, let it be recognized that all the faithful, whether clerics or laity, possess a lawful freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought and of expressing their mind with humility and fortitude in those matters on which they enjoy competence.(16)

For, from the beginning of her history she has learned to express the message of Christ with the help of the ideas and terminology of various philosophers, and and has tried to clarify it with their wisdom, too. Her purpose has been to adapt the Gospel to the grasp of all as well as to the needs of the learned, insofar as such was appropriate. Indeed this accommodated preaching of the revealed word ought to remain the law of all evangelization. For thus the ability to express Christ's message in its own way is developed in each nation, and at the same time there is fostered a living exchange between the Church and' the diverse cultures of people.(22) To promote such exchange, especially in our days, the Church requires the special help of those who live in the world, are versed in different institutions and specialties, and grasp their innermost significance in the eyes of both believers and unbelievers. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it is the task of the entire People of God, especially pastors and theologians, to hear, distinguish and interpret the many voices of our age, and to judge them in the light of the divine word, so that revealed truth can always be more deeply penetrated, better understood and set forth to greater advantage.

Although the Church has contributed much to the development of culture, experience shows that, for circumstantial reasons, it is sometimes difficult to harmonize culture with Christian teaching. These difficulties do not necessarily harm the life of faith, rather they can stimulate the mind to a deeper and more accurate understanding of the faith. The recent studies and findings of science, history and philosophy raise new questions which effect life and which demand new theological investigations. Furthermore, theologians, within the requirements and methods proper to theology, are invited to seek continually for more suitable ways of communicating doctrine to the men of their times; for the deposit of Faith or the truths are one thing and the manner in which they are enunciated, in the same meaning and understanding, is another.(12) In pastoral care, sufficient use must be made not only of theological principles, but also of the findings of the secular sciences, especially of psychology and sociology, so that the faithful may be brought to a more adequate and mature life of faith.

Let those who teach theology in seminaries and universities strive to collaborate with men versed in the other sciences through a sharing of their resources and points of view. Theological inquiry should pursue a profound understanding of revealed truth; at the same time it should not neglect close contact with its own time that it may be able to help these men skilled in various disciplines to attain to a better understanding of the faith. This common effort will greatly aid the formation of priests, who will be able to present to our contemporaries the doctrine of the Church concerning God, man and the world, in a manner more adapted to them so that they may receive it more willingly.(14)

OK...

Matthew Bellisario said...

John said, But I do know that many, if not most do not believe in Papal Infallibility., Since I started going to that Parish there have been two Priests, Fr. L recently retired and Fr M replaced him, both have told me that if everyone who disagreed with one or more Church Dogmas were "not really Catholics" and were told that they weren't Catholic or Heretics and told to either leave or repent, most if not all would leave and the Church would be practically empty on Sat. and Sunday. For example the DRE (Religious Ed Director) and her assistant both say that the Church will change its mind about ordaining Women to the Priesthood. I told her no it won't, well we argued and she got mad and told "I'm the one who is charge here and the Parish authorised DRE, not you".


My response...
Well for one papal infallibility is dogma, plain and simple. You have been brainwashed by these people. DREs don't deposit faith into existence, God does through His Church. I had the same situation with a DRE several years back. Guess what no matter how much that DRE wants women priests, there aren't any, and there never have been nor ever will be. She can stomp her feet and wish away reality, but facts are facts and dogma is dogma.

The sad fact is that these people are in charge of catechism at these parishes. You mention the fact that if these people were asked to repent the Churches would be empty. That would be a a great day when those who do not believe cease to to fill the pews on Sunday. I would rather have 2 full small churches of the faithful who can effectively evangelize to those who want and need it than to have 2000 churches filled with reprobates who do everything they can to subvert the Gospel. The Gospel is what is whether you believe it or not.

Carrie said...

The basic teachings of the Catholic faith are pretty basic, and now they have printed catechisms in two forms, one in question and answer format to make it even easier. I do not share in this thinking that all of this is so complicated that no one can understand it without asking the Pope.

So a person can read the catechism and understand it w/out asking the Pope, but they can't read a bible and understand it w/out the Pope. Why is this? Is the magisterium more capable of writing a clear guide for its followers than God? Did God write the bible in some secret code that only the magisterium can decipher?

That would be a a great day when those who do not believe cease to to fill the pews on Sunday. I would rather have 2 full small churches of the faithful who can effectively evangelize to those who want and need it than to have 2000 churches filled with reprobates who do everything they can to subvert the Gospel.

So you believe it is possible that your church is full of reprobates and only a small remnant are true believers? What happen to the visible church and the gates of hades not prevailing (context in previous comment thread).

Sorry to cherry-pick, but your comments here are surprising in light of some of the standard Catholic apologetic tactics which I'm rather sure you have used yourself. The irony was just too much.

john said...

So you believe it is possible that your church is full of reprobates and only a small remnant are true believers? What happen to the visible church and the gates of hades not prevailing.





Carrie Matt would consider Catholics who are "orthodox" in everything except say that they don't believe that Papal Infallibility is true as "out of communion" and "reprobate" unlews they repent.

Lvka said...

So, basically, James, Your complaint is that since the Pope was the first Protestant after all, he should just shut up and let Y'all be ... right? :D

Lvka said...

Your comment has been saved

Sheesh! What a Protestant thing to say, guys! You've even managed to brainwash Your own computers! :D

beowulf2k8 said...

Prominent Calvinist bloggers deny that Jesus is God

Ree said...

beowulf2k8,

LOL

Do you know the context of the Triablogue post claiming that "Jesus is a sinner?" I rarely visit that site anymore, but I just happened to browse it the other day and I saw that post and although the post, itself, doesn't provide any context, it was obvious to me what point he was making in light of the usual discussions that go on over there.

I don't know who you are. I don't even know if you're Catholic or Protestant. But just in case you happen to be a Catholic who's trying to make a point about Protestantism, and maybe even Reformed Protestantism in particular, being a unique breeding ground for heresy, you might want to think again. Follow the link from the website you linked to, and see if you can figure out what point the blogger was really trying to make. I can assure you, he doesn't really believe that Jesus is a sinner or that Jesus isn't God.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Hey whats the deal with erasing my last post then closing the topic on the subject of Transubstantiation and the Orthodox church? Here is my final post, and I would appreciate it if you post it up to summarize my points. It is not cool to erase my last post and leave your biuddies post up there without any chance to refute it. ..

So here is a summary of the vast evidence provided against Turretin Fan’s claim that the Orthodox Church does not believe that the wine and bread are changed in substance as the term transubstantiation defines by the Catholic Church.

We Several Orthodox Bishops who signed an agreement wit the Pope that they agree to all 7 sacraments including the doctrine on the Eucharist being transformed…
"The Spirit transforms the sacred gifts into the body and blood of Christ". (Taken from the JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE)

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese says, “But whatever were the various forms of the Divine Liturgy of the primitive Church, as well as of the Church of the final formation of the Divine Liturgy, the meaning given to it by both the celebrants and the communicants was one and the same; that is, the belief of the awesomechange of the sacred Species of the Bread and Wine into the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lord."

Another example from a Greek Orthodox Parish website..
"In this sacrament, the bread and wine offered to God become the Most Holy Precious and Life-Giving Body and Blood of Christ. This is known as transubstantiation. Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox recognize each other as "Sister-Apostolic" churches."

Turretin doesn’t like the source because it wasn’t updated since JPII??? What that has to do with anything is anyone’s guess. Just another futile attempt to dodge the fact that he is wrong.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia said on their website the following..
"While Orthodoxy has always insisted on the reality of the change- the bread and the wine become in very truth the Body and Blood of Christ, it has never however attempted to explain the manner of the change. It is true that sometimes Orthodox theologians will make use of what came out of Latin scholasticism, the term “transubstantiation” (in Greek μετουσίωσης)."

Finally I provided an excellent source that was drawn up by the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and then signed by 86 Orthodox Bishops including the Russian Orthodox that confirms everything that I have said. But the best Turretin could come up with was that the document was accidentally written, and somehow this teaching slipped in unnoticed because of Latin influence. Yet when we go on the Ethereal Library online it holds this council as being one of the most important ever in modern history of Orthodoxy. It says in reference to the council which Turretin is now trying to claim a mistake.. Synod of Jerusalem and the Confession of Dositheus, A.D. 1672) as follows,…I quote..” It is dated Jerusalem, March 16, 1672, and signed by Dositheus, Patriarch of Jerusalem and Palestine (otherwise little known), and by sixty-eight Eastern bishops and ecclesiastics, including some from Russia. This Synod is the most important in the modern history of the Eastern Church, and may be compared to the Council of Trent.”

These are all creditable sources either from the Archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church or one of their parishes, and the last example by Patriarchs and bishops drafting a specific document to attest to their beliefs, specifically in reference to the heresy of Protestantism. There is no possible way that they could have written such an in depth description of Transubstantiation by some freak accident which somehow slipped in. I frankly still can’t believe that someone would try to use such an argument, and think that everyone would buy into it. I guess TF thinks that if he presents a pile of crap to someone, as long as he presents it with a bold face, someone will buy it.

Finally I find it amusing that Turretin will outright reject the Patriarchs and bishops of the Orthodox Church who are charged with defining doctrine in favor of a couple of Orthodox theologians who have no charge and no authority to define anything. In fact all they can do is present their opinions and writings to the bishops to be examined and ultimately accepted or rejected by the bishops. This is never demonstrated and the overwhelming majority of the Orthodox hierarchy agrees with the Catholic Church on the doctrine of the Eucharist.

Rhology said...

I'll be calling the Triabloggers' home churches immediately to get them to initiate church discipline against them. Sarcasm is unacceptable in the blogosphere.

Agellius said...

Mr. Swan:

You are stretching this way out of proportion. If a Catholic argues that Protestant *divisions* -- i.e. the proliferation of separate Protestant ecclesial bodies -- are a result of their lack of an interpretative authority, the Catholic is not necessarily implying that those within the single Catholic body are entirely in agreement on every issue. That implication does not logically follow from the argument.

It would be a double standard if a Catholic were to argue that it's OK for Catholics to break up into a multitude of ecclesial bodies but not for Protestants. But show me a Catholic who has argued that.

Shawn said...

Don't post often,just a spectator.

The problem really is Carrie that Protestant churches DO rely on tradition, but are unable to affirm the general source or weight of that tradition. All those Trinitarian doctrines especially are the fruit of tradition, not solely a pure biblical reading.

Which protestant has ever derived Trinitarian doctrine before their some church or another informed them of orthodoxy? It just doesn't happen. You must admit that if simply left alone, in the absence of any prior or external knowledge about such things, it would be quite possible a man or woman read the bible like Arius. That's just
being honest. Yet, the church struggled and labored for these victories and it is thoroughly wise to inherit them.

Protestants (of which I am one--a Wesleyan really) thus have undertaken to saw off the branch upon which they sit. They are confused and conflicted because nothing conspicuously Protestant had any voice in early Christian history.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Swan, I have published a response to your untitled letter to me over on my blog "Spes me Christus": http://capriciousness.blogspot.com/2009/01/cygnus-and-humble-hope.html

Thank you for giving me the excuse to read some great apologetics works. I would be greatly interested in your thoughts.

God bless!