Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Can You Pray To Whoever You Want To? Let's Ask Jimmy Akin


Over on the CARM boards they're having a discussion on the similarities and dissimilarities between praying to deceased Saints and the spiritualist practice of consulting spirits. Other than both practices being wrong, I would not argue against the Catholic practice in such a manner.

Someone brought up the point that "Catholics can only ask for the intercessory prayers of a saint." I had always thought that as well, until I heard the magisterium's interpreter, Jimmy Akin, head apologist for Catholic Answers, say that isn't necessarily the case. In fact, Akin prays to his deceased relatives. Here is a short MP3 clip with Mr. Akin:

Akin prays to non-saints

Dr. White also reviewed this statement from Jimmy Akin on the Dividing Line broadcast a few weeks ago. This program can be found here.

Compare Akin's view with these words from James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore:

O far be from us the dreary thought that death cuts off our friends entirely from us! Far be from us the heartless creed which declares a perpetual divorce between us and the just in heaven! Do not imagine when you lose a father or mother, a tender sister or brother, who die in the peace of Christ, that they are forgetful of you. The love they bore you on earth is purified and intensified in heaven. Or if your innocent child, regenerated in the waters of baptism, is snatched from you by death, be assured that, though separated from you in body, that child is with you in spirit and is repaying you a thousand-fold for the natural life it received from you. Be convinced that the golden link of prayer binds you to that angelic infant, and that it is continually offering its fervent petitions at the throne of God for you, that you may both be reunited in heaven.

Gibbons seems to limit those who hear prayers to those in heaven. Akin appears not to. Akin refers to a state in which a dead person is able to pray for you. He could mean, one does not know if they've been released from purgatory, so go ahead and give it shot, they may be. Or, he could mean that somehow, God allows those still in purgatory to hear your prayers and intercede on your behalf since these people are still members of the church. I think Akin means the later, but well, I'm using my fallible interpretation to ascertain the meaning. Akin did though say "sure" in response to being asked if one could pray to someone deceased who is not yet a saint.

67 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

It appears to me that the Cardinal says nothing on the matter of anyone praying to them, so how do you deduce that his position is against it? I am not arguing for either position, I am just curious as to how you use a complete lack of evidence to justify a position that the Cardinal never even addresses. He appears to me to be talking about those in heaven and their ability to see us, not the other way around. Find us a passage where the Cardinal addresses that issue directly instead of finding a paragraph that is obviously addressing the other perspective and then crying because he didn't address the topic you wanted him to. Was he writing his paper just for you and your present controversies? This is the exact same flawed method that you use when you look at the Church Fathers in certain passages.

You argue from a lack of evidence rather than from substantial evidence. Maybe the Cardinal was writing or talking to someone who just lost a close relative and was telling them that their relatives were still with them in heaven. Maybe it didn't even occur to him to tell them to ask for their intercession. Isn't this a possibility? Once again it is important to know the setting that the writing or talk was given in to understand the complete context. the same is true with the Church Fathers. I am not even going ot address the issue itself. I was just curious as to why you chose the Cardinal's text to contrast against Akin's when it appears to me the two may not have been addressing the exact same topic.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Also why didn't you include the notes from the source? Upon a little more reading I found this text which seems to imply that we can ask any of those in heaven to pray for us, and the notes say, "Especially the Saints". So if he says especially the Saints then it also may include others who may not be "saints" with a a big S, am I correct? Here is the text that you left out of your quote.

Sec. "2683 The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, [Cf. Heb 12:1] especially those whom Rosary lifts people to heaven. The Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things."(Cf. Mt 25:21 NASB, NAB) Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world." Catechism of the Catholic Church.(Emphasis added.

BillyHW said...

When the caller asked if it is okay to pray to and ask for the intercession of people who aren't saints, she meant canonized saints. What Jimmy is saying is that a person does not necessarily have to be formally canonized by the pope to be a saint in heaven.

(And since those in purgatory are on their way to heaven, God could presumably give them the ability to hear our intercessory prayers as well, if it is his will to do so.)

Chuck Williams said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Constantine said...

The Catechism says that prayer is to be “wholly directed to the Father”. (para. 2564) It goes on to say that “Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ” (para. 2565) and that prayer is initiated by God (2567).

So praying to any other than the Father seems to contradict the Catholic Church’s official teaching. Further, praying to anyone other than the Father undermines the clear relational aspect of prayer that is stressed throughout the Catechism.

I don’t know how dead saints fits into all this.

Peace.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Constantine, first of all the Saints are not "dead". There are none dead in the Body of Christ. The Cardinal here was writing in his book "Faith of Our Fathers". He simply addressed this topic briefly. The Catechism tells us,

2683 The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,[41] especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things."[42] Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.


It seems to refer that not only Saints with a capital S, but all that are in heaven participate in this intercession. It summarizes this is below by referencing saints with a small s which includes everyone in heaven. As far as purgatory goes it would seem that you would pray for them rather than they would be praying for you, but I would have to look into it a bit further to comment at any length on that part of the discussion. As far as I can see the Cardinal is not contradicting anything that Akin said.


2692 In prayer, the pilgrim Church is associated with that of the saints, whose intercession she asks.

James Swan said...

Chuck Williams,

Congrats, you got your comment deleted. If you want to insult me, please use your own blog.

Regards,
James

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario wrote: "Constantine, first of all the Saints are not "dead"."

Actually ALL of their "saints" are "dead" - none are alive in the sense of walking around, living, breathing, talking, eating, and drinking.

They are dead really and physically - and you cannot (as far as I know) be beatified and canonized as a "saint" while you are still alive - so they are ALL dead.

Sure, it could also be said they are sleeping or that they are spiritually alive and in paradise. But those are non-standard uses of the word "dead." In that sense of "dead" there are plenty of folks within Catholicism today who are walking around, dead as a doornail, clinging to superstitions and hoping their observances of rituals will save them.

-TurretinFan

EA said...

"Far be from us the heartless creed which declares a perpetual divorce between us and the just in heaven!"

This is a straw man: Protestants do no insist upon a "perpetual" separation of the faithful, but a temporary one; until we are reunited in Heaven, with Christ.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin, I'm not here to play word games with you. I have demonstrated that there is no contradiction here between the Cardinal and Akin, that is what the post is on. Someone can say the sky is blue and you would conjure up an argument with them just to pick a fight. I'm not interested.

Annoyed Pinoy said...

As a Protestant, I find Paul's statement that he thought he would do better for the Philippians by staying on earth than by going to be with Christ, as counting against prayers to the saints. If the Philippians were taught by Paul that prayers to the saints was possible, then shouldn't Paul have reversed his reasoning? That is, he could do better for the Philippians by dying, being with Christ and intercedeing for them, than if he remained on earth. If there are any Catholics reading this, how would you answer this Protestant objection? Especially since neither Paul (in 2nd Timothy) or Peter (in 2nd Peter) promise to pray for them more effectively once they died in the letters they strongly suspected would be among their last. Even Obi Wan Kenobi hinted such a thing before he allowed Darth Vader to kill him. 8)

Matthew Bellisario said...
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Matthew Bellisario said...

Annoyed, if you are arguing from Scripture Alone you may possibly have a point. You know however the I as a Catholic believe that the Word is not revealed only in Holy Writ but also apostolic oral kerygma. Just because Saint Paul didn't write it down doesn't mean that it wasn't taught.

Secondly the Church has not contradicted this by saying that Saints in heaven can do "more" in heaven than on earth. The Church just says that they can intercede for us in prayer. As far as I know the Church itself hasn't said that the Saints do "more" from heaven than on earth. Their heavenly lives are a mere elevated continuation of their earthly lives as far as prayer goes. Since we can't converse and learn from Saint Paul in is human flesh from heaven it would seem that it would have been beneficial for him to be with those that he was teaching. The word "more" can be taken in many ways. Saint Paul was writing here about something specific.

I think there is a major point that you may be missing in that text of Saint Paul. Instead of looking at that passage as an apologetic against prayers of the Saints from heaven, it appears to me that Saint Paul wasn't really talking about life and death in that context at all, so I believe that topic would not even have some up. Why you ask? Let me explain.

What was Saint Paul doing doing when he wrote that text? He was establishing churches and laying down the structure of the Church, and a model that would be laid down from then until the return of Christ. I believe he was simply stating the fact that he could not go because he had not finished what God told him to do. So it was better for those around him that he stay, because without fulfilling his divine directives that he was given to do on earth, he wouldn't have been able to do it from heaven by merely praying for them. He had to instruct them and teach them before he went home to heaven. Remember when he wrote 2nd Tim he was very close to is imprisonment and martyrdom. He was merely stating that he had to finish what was given to him for the good of the Church while he was on earth.

Once again I think that Sacred Scripture must be read in the proper context. Just because something is not addressed in a particular passage doesn't mean that it wasn't addressed. The writer was not writing for future controversies, but to pass on the Written Word which must reside within the Church, not outside of it.

Turretinfan said...

"Turretin, I'm not here to play word games with you. I have demonstrated that there is no contradiction here between the Cardinal and Akin, that is what the post is on. Someone can say the sky is blue and you would conjure up an argument with them just to pick a fight. I'm not interested."

Actually, the issue of what constitutes "dead" doesn't really have any bearing on harmonizing Akin and the Cardinal.

In fact, I was just exposing your word game, in response not to Akin and the Cardinal but to Constantine's comment: "I don’t know how dead saints fits into all this."

Your prayers to "the saints" are attempted communications to the dead, and they are as futile and superstitious as the attempted communications with the dead of any of those who practice necromancy.

The dead have no ears to hear you and no eyes to watch your lips move. The righteous who have died are in paradise - the unrighteous are in hell. Both groups are, for now, cut off from the land of the living, including you.

Word games? He called dead people "dead" and you argued with him. How is that no like arguing that the sky isn't blue? Please enlighten me - or just forget it.

But lets get beyond your word game about whether the saints are "dead" or not.

What authoritative source within Catholicism tells anyone they can pray to someone other than:

God,
Mary, or
a canonized saint?

Can you find any authority (Akin is not a source of authority) in support of permitting prayers to others than on that list?

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin, you can't resist can you? What a chuckle I get. I already quoted from the Catechism which tells us that all saints in heaven including those without a capital S can intercede for the Church. That means all people in heaven, not just canonized Saints.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Also anyone who knows the process of canonization knows that in order for them to be canonized there needs to be a demonstration of their intercession first. That means that the actual process of canonization includes asking non-canonized souls for their intercession. That means the Church actually teaches it doesn't it? Ohh I know, the all-knowing sage Turretin will enlighten the Catholic Church as to what she teaches just like your your blunders on contraception and the many others you've made in the past that you won't own up to. Please don't waste my time. We are having a constructive exchange here, don't ruin it for everyone.

EA said...

"As far as I know the Church itself hasn't said that the Saints do "more" from heaven than on earth. Their heavenly lives are a mere elevated continuation of their earthly lives as far as prayer goes."

Not according to the Cardinal:
"The love they bore you on earth is purified and intensified in heaven."

This plainly says that they love you "more". He even goes as far as stipulating a repayment of a "thousand-fold". Of course, this can be interpreted as a literary device, this obviously is intended to convey a qualitative difference; 'more' indicating an increase of degree.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario,

In response to your first response, sorry, you've answered a question that wasn't asked.

The question is not who can pray for us, but to whom we can pray.

I don't know whether to ascribe your wrong answer to your inability to read my question or to your desire to play games.

Let's assume, for now, you just had trouble reading. To be clear, I'll repeat the question.

I ask again:

What authoritative source within Catholicism tells anyone they can pray to someone other than:

God,
Mary, or
a canonized saint?

Can you find any authority (Akin is not a source of authority) in support of permitting prayers to others than on that list?

In response to your second response, which is closer to an answer to the question, where (in any authoritative source) does it say that a request for intercession from an as-yet-uncanonized saint is itself a legitimate prayer to that saint?

And, if it is handy, does the answer from that authoritative source change if the person is not in fact a saint, but simply an un-canonized non-saint?

-TurretinFan

Rhology said...

So if I pray to someone who I think is in Heaven but is actually in Hell (say, Mother Theresa), is that forgivably ignorant on my part, like the "baptism of desire"?

Matthew Bellisario said...

It seems Turretin that you have the inability to not comprehend the English language not I. As usual you come on here and start your personal attacks. I said that the church as part of the canonization process tells the faithful to pray to the deceased. This later will determine whether or not they are to be canonized as Saints. What is so hard to understand here? Who is playing word games? Not I. You told me to prove it, I just proved it. That is how canonized Saints are determined, by asking for their intercession before they are canonized. This answers your question.

You asked,
"What authoritative source within Catholicism tells anyone they can pray to someone other than:

God,
Mary, or
a canonized saint?"

I responded by telling you that the Church as part of the canonization process is to pray to people who have died in Christ before they are canonized to determine if they can be canonized. For example, the Church encourages the faithful to ask for Archbishop Fulton Sheen's intercession, even though he is not a Saint. If there is ample reason later to believe that his intercession is substantial then he will be canonized. This is the Church that does this in her practice, not Akin or anyone else making this up.

Turretin please quit with your personal insults and paper thin arguments. You are spoiling a good substantial discussion here.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario,

Stop blaming me for your blunders.

"It seems Turretin that you have the inability to not comprehend the English language not I."

Double negatives are SO good in English {eye rolls} ... it MUST be me. It couldn't POSSIBLY be you.

(and in case you were unclear - that paragraph was sarcasm)

But, as usual, you're wrong. I understood the English I used, and it was my question that you refused to answer properly.

"As usual you come on here and start your personal attacks."

As usual, you misrepresent the situation. Anyone can scroll up and see the truth. So why do you do it? Do you think the readers here are ignoramuses?

"I said that the church as part of the canonization process tells the faithful to pray to the deceased."

What is your source for that claim?


"For example, the Church encourages the faithful to ask for Archbishop Fulton Sheen's intercession, even though he is not a Saint."

a) I presume you mean he's not canonized.

b) Where is your documentation that this is an officially sanctioned teaching of your church?

"If there is ample reason later to believe that his intercession is substantial then he will be canonized. This is the Church that does this in her practice, not Akin or anyone else making this up."

Actually, this raises an interesting question - a followup question if (in fact) there is documentation that praying to dead uncanonized people is permitted.

Is there a further distinction between beatified but not canonized? Does it take a special authorization from "the Church" as part of the modern canonization process (something totally unknown to the early church) to allow people to pray to dead not-yet-canonized saints?

But we are still waiting for the evidence (authoritative statement from your church) that even praying to Fulton (assuming he hasn't been canonized) is licit.

"Turretin please quit with your personal insults and paper thin arguments. You are spoiling a good substantial discussion here."

Quit barking up the wrong tree.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Turretinfan said...

Lest we get more empty statement that "the Church does X" without documentation, let me provide a little documentation of my own. It's from a non-authoratitive source within Catholicism, the New Advent Encyclopedia: "Canonization, generally speaking, is a decree regarding the public ecclesiastical veneration of an individual. Such veneration, however, may be permissive or preceptive, may be universal or local. If the decree contains a precept, and is universal in the sense that it binds the whole Church, it is a decree of canonization; if it only permits such worship, or if it binds under precept, but not with regard to the whole Church, it is a decree of beatification."

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin your not worth arguing with. The Church decides who is a Saint partially by miracles that are attributed to their intercession. That means that people need to ask them for intercession before they are Saints. If you can't get that then I cannot help you. Go roll your eyes.

Also don't make me go over to your website and point out all of your errors in grammar. It won't be pretty.

Turretinfan said...

"Turretin your not worth arguing with."

Your insults are you main arguments, but they refute you, not me.

"The Church decides who is a Saint partially by miracles that are attributed to their intercession."

No doubt we have all read about that in the newspapers. That doesn't answer the question.

"That means that people need to ask them for intercession before they are Saints."

a) You mean, before they are canonized.

b) But, there is the option that they could be beatified, then prayed-to, then canonized.

c) There is even the possibility that the intercession could be (gasp) unasked for. If God knows our requests before we ask them, why couldn't the saints also know them by looking into the the divine mirror, as it were?

d) And, anyway, maybe the prayers are only licit if it turns out later that the person had been a saint, but the person is not penalized for believing (in good faith) that the departed one would later be canonized.

e) In short, as long as you give us "paper thin" support for your position, we continue not to be able to conclude (as Akin does) that those in Catholicism are really allowed to give religious prayers to any deparated person that they want to.

"If you can't get that then I cannot help you."

I am not surprised that you cannot identify any support (even one single document) for your position from your own church. It's my hypothesis that the quotation from the New Advent encyclopedia that I posted above actually expanded your knowledge of what your own church teaches about this subject.

In short, I think the reason you cannot get beyond superficial claims that "the church teaches X" is that you just don't know - you're ignorant of your own church's teachings (or lack thereof) on the subject, and so you are blustering and inulting me rather than giving straight answers to straight questions.

"Go roll your eyes."

I wasn't waiting for your permission.

"Also don't make me go over to your website and point out all of your errors in grammar. It won't be pretty."

I'm shaking in my boots. (more eye rolls)

But you don't get it, do you? If you are going to claim someone else has bad reading comprehensions skills, you should at least write that sentence in good English.

I was offering your mistake in reading as an alternative to your being a devious guy who dodges my straight questions in favor of bringing up irrelevant or unsupported claims.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

You are truly remarkable Turretin. If you are so well informed about Catholicism as you claim then you should know how a Saint is canonized. I am not going to get my Canon Law book off the shelf and quote it to you on here. I'll give you a clue, it involves miracles that must be attributed to the person's intercession. That means that the faithful are asking them for intercession before they are canonized. Again a child could get this but you refuse to get it. You are not worth my time.

Turretinfan said...

"You are truly remarkable Turretin."

Why, thank you, kind sir.

"If you are so well informed about Catholicism as you claim then you should know how a Saint is canonized."

Funny thing is this, I can recognize your ignorance about something, without knowing everything there is to know about that same thing.

"I am not going to get my Canon Law book off the shelf and quote it to you on here."

a) I was pretty sure you wouldn't. You should have just said you wouldn't answer the question in the first place instead of demonstrating your petulance for all the folks who stop by here. Or better yet, said nothing. If you had kept your trap shut, people might have thought you were familiar enough with your own church's canon law to be able to provide the information requested.

b) If you did pull the book of your shelf (assuming you were telling the truth about having it on your shelf), you might discover that it is not easy to find a relevant section.

c) To save you some time, should you choose to stop playing the fool and actually pick up a book before shooting off your mouth, the relevant place would seem to be Book IV, Part II, Title IV.

Of course, if you turn there, the second canon on the list is:

1187: It is permitted to reverence through public veneration only those servants of God whom the authority of the Church has recorded in the list of the saints or the blessed.

"I'll give you a clue, it involves miracles that must be attributed to the person's intercession."

You already made that irrelevant argument, and I've already addressed it above.

"That means that the faithful are asking them for intercession before they are canonized."

a) Not necessarily, as I've already demonstrated.

b) Even if they are, it may be simply after an initial stage of the canonization process that this is permitted, but we cannot know if you don't use authoritative sources.

c) Relying on "what happens" is not the way to do theology in Catholicism.

"Again a child could get this but you refuse to get it. You are not worth my time."

Your arguments without evidence/documentation are not worth ANYONE's time, but I still manage to put up with you. It must be a miracle - quick - one more and I'll be good to go!

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Let me make this last post here before leaving this blog post for good. Below is complete letter by a bishop affirming a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II in an effort for his canonization. As we all know Pope John Paul II is not Saint, however his cause is underway. The letter is written by a bishop of the Church and affirms that prayers were offered to him and that miracles were attributed to him as well, even though he is not Saint. It is translated from the French original letter. This letter demonstrates what I have written here substantiating that in the process of canonization the prayer to the deceased is necessary, and that it is indeed a church teaching to ask for their intercession through God as is done with the Saints. Canon law also supports this but I cant find a copy online, and I don't think Turretin has earned the respect for me to take the time to write it out here. Here is the letter. Hopefully my next visit won't involve Turretin since he is not acting rationally, but obviously emotionally.


"On June 2, 2005 at the evening, a nun of the institute of the Little sisters of catholic Maternities, Maternity of Star, in Puyricard close to Aix-en-Provence, was cured of a disease diagnosed like Parkinson's disease and who had reached a advanced stage. This cure, in bond with the prayer that the Sisters of all the institute made go up towards God by the intercession of Jean Paul II since the death of this one, occurred exactly two months before, occurred in manner such as the archbishop of Aix and on Arles, at the request of Postulateur of the cause of canonization of Jean Paul II, decided to open an in-depth survey. This “informative lawsuit” which lasted one year required the co-operation of several experts. It has just been concluded, in Aix-en-Provence, this Friday March 23, 2007. The acts of this lawsuit will be transmitted soon to the Roman Congregation for the Causes of the Saints who will judge if the case must be proposed to Pape Benoît XVI, for the recognition of a miracle due to the intercession of his predecessor. It is that the conclusion of this lawsuit inhabitant of Aix practically coincides with that of the lawsuit on the life and the virtues of the Servant of God Jean Paul II, educated in the diocese of Rome, which will be held on April 2, 2007 at midday, in the Basilica Jean Saint of Lateran. The serious one of an investigation to be led in the greatest serenity and the respect of the private life of the nun concerned, which fully took again its activities since its cure, explains why no information on this subject was given by the archbishop's palace of Aix-en-Provence until now. A press conference will take place at the House diocésaine of Aix-en-Provence (7, cours de la Trinité) this Friday March 30 with 10:30. Contact: P. Luc Marie Lalanne - 04 42 17 58 03. Appendix: 1) The Little sisters of Catholic Maternities the Little sisters of Catholic Maternities, founded in Bourgoin-Jallieu (38), there is nearly sixty fifteen years, by Mgr Emile Guerry, archbishop of Cambric, and Mother Marie Jean-Baptiste Lantelme, work with the service of the family, especially of the reception of the life to be born. Their institute was declared of pontifical right by the Pope Jean Paul II in 1982. Present in four houses in France and one at Senegal, they received the encyclical of Jean Paul II on “the Gospel of the Life” like the large charter of their life and their action. The Catholic Maternity of Provence, “the Star”, was founded in 1975, in Puyricard. Recognized for its high technical skill and the quality of its reception to the mothers and the families, it belongs to the hospital sector of the Country of Aix. More than 56.000 newborns were born there since its creation. 2) The procedure of recognition of a miracle When a cure with the extraordinary character occurs in the context of a made prayer with God by the intercession of faithful late, it is allocated to the bishop diocesan to judge opportunity of opening an investigation to determine the exact circumstances of them, as well in the medical plan as spiritual. If he judges it good, the bishop, after having consulted experts, constitutes a court in charge to inform this investigation according to the standards of the canonical right. At the end of this lawsuit, the acts are transmitted to the Roman Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. At the conclusion of a procedure rigorous, with the intervention of many medical experts and theologists, the assembly of the congregation, made up of cardinals and bishops, decides if it is advisable to subject the case to the final judgement of the Pope. He returns to this one to decide recognition of a miracle allotted to the intercession of a Servant or a Maidservant of God. A miracle is a confirmation of the presence of the Kingdom of God on the ground (Concile Vatican II, Constitution Gentium Lumen, N. 5). Its recognition supposes that the extraordinary phenomenon examined either unexplainable in the actual position of the scientific knowledge, and that it appears in bond with the prayers addressed to God by the intercession of the Servant or the Maidservant of God. Let us recall finally that the beatification of faithful - except for a martyr - requires the recognition of a miracle which has occurred after the death of this one and by its intercession. The same applies to canonization" Archbishop of Aix and Arles † Claude FE

Matthew Bellisario said...

I couldn't help myself, but I wanted to share with others a nice article on the canonization of saints written by Msgr. P. E. Hallett. If you want to understand the process better I highly recommend it. In it the Msgr says, "Whilst we are at liberty privately to venerate and invoke the intercession of any one whom we may think to be in heaven, yet the Church will not allow any act that betokens religious honour or cultus to be paid publicly to any one whom she has not declared blessed."

The link is here

http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/CANONIZE.htm

for the full article. Although the Church only publicly allows for the intercession of Saints, private prayers to the deceased are allowed, and in the canonization process it is encouraged such as the cases of Fulton Sheen and the late JPII. As I said before Akin is not contradicting the Church, but merely repeating what the church teaches and does in its practice. Enjoy.

Turretinfan said...

a) The Article doesn't say anything about the prayers being made to JP2.

b) Even if something in the machine translation of this text got lost, and it does say that in the original, there is certainly nothing saying that such prayers were licit.

c) A letter from a single bishop is not "authoritative" in the sense of being an official source of church doctrine/practice.

d) "Let me make this last post here before leaving this blog post for good."

We both know that we won't be that lucky.

e) "As we all know Pope John Paul II is not Saint, however his cause is underway."

You are still confusing "not canonized" and "not a saint." Possibly this is due to the fact that you don't know the difference.

Maybe you should leave and let one of your co-religionists who knows more about your religion answer the question.

f) "Canon law also supports this but I cant find a copy online, and I don't think Turretin has earned the respect for me to take the time to write it out here."

More like you don't actually know where to look ... I presume that the chiming telling me that you've ALREADY posted another post is telling me you've gained new insight from my post above.

In case you have not, here's a link (Code of Canon Law).

"Here is the letter. Hopefully my next visit won't involve Turretin since he is not acting rationally, but obviously emotionally."

Hopefully your next visit will involve you sticking to the facts and leaving your personal antipathy for me out of the picture.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Ah yes - the argument that "private veneration" is ok. So, a single priest says that. At least we are making some headway. That's not an authoratitive source, but at least its a source that kind of deals with the topic at hand.

But where is the official, authoratitive source saying that "private veneration" of just anyone is ok?

The argument from the fact that Canon 1187 says "public" but doesn't say "private" (which is undoubtedly the argument you'd have to make, if you knew canon law), is logically fallacious.

Surely private veneration of Satan, for example, is wicked, even if canon law doesn't specifically prohibit it. So, where is the canonical authority to privately venerate non-saints?

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

What???
Turretin says,

a) The Article doesn't say anything about the prayers being made to JP2

What are you talking about? I don't know what article your reading, but this one says that he interceded after his death. Are you really that far gone? In case you have trouble reading the translation, here is the English letter by the nun who prayed along with her sisters for his intercession after his death.

"On May 13, feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced the special dispensation for the start of the cause of beatification and canonization of servant of God John Paul II. Starting on May 14, my fellow sisters from all the French and African communities started asking John Paul II to intercede for my healing. They prayed incessantly, tirelessly, right up to the news of my healing."

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

"He interceded" does not mean that he received prayers from anyone.

I'm not sure why that's hard for you to grasp.


Yes, this new quotation you provided says that the nuns asked JP2 to intercede. It doesn't say that this was licit, and it doesn't explain WHY (on what authoratitive basis) it was licit, if it was. It also doesn't say it was a private process, but that's another issue.

But I thought you had taken your marbles and gone home. Just kidding. I knew you weren't serious about leaving this thread. I'm sure we'll hear from you again soon.

Matthew Bellisario said...

What???

"He interceded" does not mean that he received prayers from anyone."

It is plain that the nuns prayed to him. are you really serious here?

Turretinfan said...

"It is plain that the nuns prayed to him. are you really serious here?"

It is plain, now that you provided a further item.

The fact that somebody interceded doesn't mean anyone asked them to.

This is really quite elementary.

Matthew Bellisario said...

The fact is somebody did pray to him, that is elementary. How many excuses are you going to come up with? The fact is, prayer to non-canonized deceased is practiced by the Church say what you will. It is part of the canonization process and it has been demonstrated to be in practice in the present cause for canonization with JPII. You can stand there and stomp your feet all day long, it isn't going to change. Akin has not come up with his doctrines or teachings.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin says, "this new quotation you provided says that the nuns asked JP2 to intercede. It doesn't say that this was licit, and it doesn't explain WHY (on what authoratitive basis) it was licit, if it was. It also doesn't say it was a private process, but that's another issue."

Of course it is licit because the Pope himself opened the cause which includes the verification of miracles from those people who are asking for the person's intercession. Did you even read the documents I provided? I am beginning to wonder since you have asked questions that are plainly in the documentation I provided.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario,

See above, where I acknowledged that the nuns did pray. Try to keep up with the flow of the conversation.

The question is whether the prayers were licit, and - if so - why.

So far, you have not provided us with any authoritative source that says so. In fact, you haven't shown us an UNauthoritative source that says that the pope authorized the prayers. But that is a moot point.

Furthermore, as the canon I provided (me, the person who apparently is more familiar with your church's canon law) mentions, religious veneration of both canonized and "blessed" "saints" are permitted.

So, perhaps the canon itself answers my original question (since being a "blessed" person does not necessarily equate with being canonized). It does not, however, justify Akin.

Let's assume, though, for the sake of the argument that it happens that even before the people are "blessed" there are prayers offered to them, requesting their intercession.

Just because it happens doesn't make it right in Catholicism.

Now, the priest you linked to presents an informal argument regarding how it is that one can pray to just about anyone. That is based on the idea that the veneration is "private veneration" as opposed to "public veneration."

So, if you wanted to advance the discussion (and perhaps your own knowledge of your religion), you would be looking for some authoritative source that backs up what the priest says.

So far, what you have you shown?

1. That people sometimes do pray to dead folks who they think are saints, before they are canonized.

2. That this prayer is at least implicitly authorized by some of the leaders within Catholicism.

What haven't you shown?

1. You haven't shown any authoritative basis for praying to anyone other than those to whom public veneration is permitted by Canon 1187.

2. You haven't shown any reason for us to believe that prayers to the as-yet-uncanonized saints are not simply being offered to beatified saints, which would still (assuming that "blessed" and "beatified" are corresponding concepts) fall within Canon 1187.

3. You haven't provided an authoritative source that would rule out the possibility that the prayers to as-yet-uncanonized saints are only permitted on a case-by-case basis, when authorized by a bishop.

So, you're still short of harmonizing Akin with the bishop. And your arguments still amount to a bunch of "Yeah-huh!" instead of citing to authoritative sources. In fact, as I scroll up, I discover that I'm the only one actually citing to authority from within your religion.

Do you see the problem with your approach? So, if you want to come off looking better, take a little time (and perhaps a deep breath) and find out what authoritative sources (if any) support the practice, and come back and tell us what they are, providing appropriate documentation for your claim.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Answers to Turretin

What haven't you shown?

1.You haven't shown any authoritative basis for praying to anyone other than those to whom public veneration is permitted by Canon 1187.


I did show this because Pope Benedict XVI himself authorized it in the process of John Paul II. JPII is not a canonized Saint. The Pope himself, backed up by the local bishop supports this. The nuns veneration was not public read the letter. Next accusation please..

2.You haven't shown any reason for us to believe that prayers to the as-yet-uncanonized saints are not simply being offered to beatified saints, which would still (assuming that "blessed" and "beatified" are corresponding concepts) fall within Canon 1187.

We are only talking about Sainthood here, not anything else. JPII is not a canonized Saint...next accusation please.

3.You haven't provided an authoritative source that would rule out the possibility that the prayers to as-yet-uncanonized saints are only permitted on a case-by-case basis, when authorized by a bishop.


Logical fallacy here. Just because I quoted a bishop for a source doesn't mean that it is a case by case basis only. If I would have quoted a layperson you would have cried that the layperson is not a bishop and has no authority. I quoted an authoritative source and now you turn it into another argument which has nothing to do with the discussion. The authoritative source I provided was the Pope and a bishop. The cause is open and JPII is not yet a Saint. You also completely dismissed the Catechism of the Church which I quoted as well which tells us that all witnesses of the Church can be asked for prayer, not only Saints.. In fact it says "especially the saints", which denotes another group which are not! You just pranced around the blog like the Mick Jagger of apologetics world insulting me and yet conveniently left that out didn't you? Next accusation please..

Turretin...“So, you're still short of harmonizing Akin with the bishop. And your arguments still amount to a bunch of "Yeah-huh!" instead of citing to authoritative sources.”

The only “Yeah huh” nonsense here is yourself who keeps making personal attacks on me because you are an emotional wreck. I took my source from the official case for the Church on the cause for canonization for John Paul II, which is endorsed fully by the Pope, who fully endorses prayers to non-canonized Saints. The Pope never says that praying to non-canonized Saints is only on a case by case basis with a bishop. Prove that is only a case by case basis. I have proven that this does happen in Catholicism and it is endorsed by bishops and the Pope himself. Also Akin and the bishop have never contradicted each other form the beginning based on the sources provided in the opening blog article. If you want to come out looking better you'll quit with personal attacks and use real logic for a change.

Lastly your not worth my time, and your not worth anyone's respect on this blog. You like to try an bully people with your personal attacks and insults which you think make you look clever. Readers however can tell otherwise.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Here is the complete text from the Catechism which tells us that all witnesses who have gone on before us can be prayed to. You can see it notes "especially the saints". This means that others besides the canonized saints are included as well. I posted this earlier but Turretin chose to ignore it.

"The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives... They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world." Pg. 645, #2683

Matthew Bellisario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Discipled by Him said...

"Lastly your not worth my time, and your not worth anyone's respect on this blog. You like to try an bully people with your personal attacks and insults which you think make you look clever. Readers however can tell otherwise."

Bellisario are you really this dense? You are the only one casting personal attacks in this thread, and the fact that you see otherwise is very disturbing. Facts are facts - TF is clever, and smart, and rational, and charitable, and posted many questions that you have not answered but have done a fine job of dancing around them. He asked for authoritative documentation - you provided nothing.
You have no reason to write so arrogantly, especially when TF charitably addresses you and engages your assertions and you reply with unpious jibberish. Tf certainly has the upper hand in this discussion, chalk one up for the good guys.

Constantine said...

Matthew,

Which takes precedence; paragraph 2564 prayer is “wholly directed to the Father” or paragraph 2683, “We can and should ask them (the saints) to intercede for us and for the whole world”? If you follow 2683 you necessarily violate 2564.

It’s very interesting that 2683 does not say “pray to the saints” but leaves a lot of wiggle room with “we should ask them”. Of course, you will say, “Prayer is how we ask the saints”, but when push comes to shove somebody is going to say, “We never said pray to the saints!”

I guess it all depends on what your definition of “is” is.

Peace.

Rhology said...

I should think it depends more on what the definition of "to" is.

Ben Douglass said...

From the Catholic Encyclopedia: "It must be obvious, however, that while private moral certainty of their sanctity and possession of heavenly glory may suffice for private veneration of the saints, it cannot suffice for public and common acts of that kind."

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02364b.htm

Ben Douglass said...

Which takes precedence; paragraph 2564 prayer is “wholly directed to the Father” or paragraph 2683, “We can and should ask them (the saints) to intercede for us and for the whole world”? If you follow 2683 you necessarily violate 2564.

Both are true. Praying to the saints is ultimately directed to the Father because when we pray to the saints, the saints pray to the Father in turn.

Chuck said...

"Both are true. Praying to the saints is ultimately directed to the Father because when we pray to the saints, the saints pray to the Father in turn".

Ben, would you like to retract this statement?

Think about it for a moment b4 you answer.

Turretinfan said...

1) I had noted that Bellisario hasn't shown any authoritative basis for praying to anyone other than those to whom public veneration is permitted by Canon 1187.

Bellisario answers: "I did show this because Pope Benedict XVI himself authorized it in the process of John Paul II. JPII is not a canonized Saint. The Pope himself, backed up by the local bishop supports this. The nuns veneration was not public read the letter. Next accusation please.."

I answer:

a) Showing that he opened up the path to canonization does not equate to saying that people can pray to him.

b) (a) is true simply as a matter of logic. The two ideas are not equal.

c) But, if you knew what you were talking about, you'd know HOW people are encouraged to request JP2's intercession. Here's the official prayer:

"O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen."

That sounds like a prayer to God, unless you are an extreme idiot who thinks that JP2 is a person of the Trinity (which would be a blasphemy unworthy even of you).

d) So, we still don't have any authoritative source from you even given that B16 encourages people to pray to "Blessed Trinity" requesting JP2's intercession.

2) I had also pointed out that Bellisario hasn't shown any reason for us to believe that prayers to the as-yet-uncanonized saints are not simply being offered to beatified saints, which would still (assuming that "blessed" and "beatified" are corresponding concepts) fall within Canon 1187.

Bellisario answered: "We are only talking about Sainthood here, not anything else. JPII is not a canonized Saint...next accusation please."

I answer: Actually, Akin is talking about people who are not even on the path to canonized sainthood, and who we have no reason to think ever will be on that path.

3) I had pointed out that Bellisario hadn't provided an authoritative source that would rule out the possibility that the prayers to as-yet-uncanonized saints are only permitted on a case-by-case basis, when authorized by a bishop.

Bellisario answered: "Logical fallacy here. Just because I quoted a bishop for a source doesn't mean that it is a case by case basis only."

I answer: No, it would be a logical fallacy if I said that your citation proved it was done on a case-by-case basis. Read more carefully.

B continued: "If I would have quoted a layperson you would have cried that the layperson is not a bishop and has no authority."

I answer: Well, duh.

B continued: "I quoted an authoritative source and now you turn it into another argument which has nothing to do with the discussion."

I answer: Hypothetically speaking, if I find a bishop, say, denying the Holocaust, does that mean it is an authoritative source? Of course not. Lone bishops (aside from the pope) have a very limited sphere of authority.

B continued: "The authoritative source I provided was the Pope and a bishop."

I answer: No, you didn't. You made a reference to a bishop's comment that didn't address the matter, and a claim about what you thought that pope said. You probably had no idea how you were supposed to request the intercession of JP2 according to B16, which wouldn't surprise me, because I'm seeing a theme of you being unfamiliar with the nuances of your own religion.

B continued: "The cause is open and JPII is not yet a Saint."

I answer:

a) You still conflate not being a saint with not being canonized.

b) But, in your own church's theology, canonization is recognition of an objective fact that was true immediately upon the person's death.

B continued: "You also completely dismissed the Catechism of the Church which I quoted as well which tells us that all witnesses of the Church can be asked for prayer, not only Saints."

I answer: That's not quite what it says. I'll address that further below.

B continued: "In fact it says "especially the saints", which denotes another group which are not!"

I answer:

a) Given that your "saints" have to be dead (in the literal sense of that word), you must be correct, unless I'm typing this from beyond the grave (in which case, hey - I'm doing miracles - better sign me up for the whole canonization thing).

b) Of course, the Scriptural definition of "saints" includes living folks who, like me, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

B continued: "You just pranced around the blog like the Mick Jagger of apologetics world insulting me and yet conveniently left that out didn't you? Next accusation please.."

I answer: I guess I should be flattered to be compared to a popular rock star like Mr. Jagger, though I get the feeling that you meant something else by your remark.

4) I had pointed out that Bellisario was still short of harmonizing Akin with the bishop. And that his arguments still amount to a bunch of "Yeah-huh!" instead of citing to authoritative sources.

Bellisario answered: "The only “Yeah huh” nonsense here is yourself who keeps making personal attacks on me because you are an emotional wreck."

I answer: Dude (as Mick might say), buy a mirror.

Bellisario continued: "I took my source from the official case for the Church on the cause for canonization for John Paul II, which is endorsed fully by the Pope, who fully endorses prayers to non-canonized Saints."

I answer:

a) The theology and/or practices described in letters to the cause for beatification are not "fully endorsed" by the pope - they may not even (yet) be fully read by the pope.

b) But, if anything is endorsed, the "Official prayer" is probably endorsed - but the official prayer is not to JP2, as shown above.

c) So, no, sorry - try again.

B continued: "The Pope never says that praying to non-canonized Saints is only on a case by case basis with a bishop."

I answer: So far, you haven't shown him saying it is ok at all. You haven't given us one word from the mouth or pen of Benedict XVI (unless I somehow missed it among all the irrelevant stuff that you have been posting).

Bellisario continued: "Prove that is only a case by case basis."

I answer:

a) LOL - why on earth would I want to prove something as dumb as that?

b) If you try to prove a general rule, giving an example doesn't do. It's necessary for you to give us some reason to expect it to be something other than a case-by-case basis (i.e. when the pope authorizes you to pray to someone, then it's ok, but you can't just going around praying to whoever you want to).

Bellisario continued: "I have proven that this does happen in Catholicism and it is endorsed by bishops and the Pope himself."

Proving that something happens, even with the endorsement of the pope, is a very ignorant way to do theology within Catholicism.

Shall we conclude that because simony was endorsed by bishops and popes of Rome that, at that time, it was an authoritative teaching of the church of Rome that simony was righteous? Of course not.

Bellisario continued: "Also Akin and the bishop have never contradicted each other form the beginning based on the sources provided in the opening blog article."

I answer: I think you have a stronger case with that one, but I am willing to entertain Mr. Swan's hypothesis about the implications of the bishop's article.

Bellisario continued: "If you want to come out looking better you'll quit with personal attacks and use real logic for a change."

I answer: As demonstrated above, you errantly identify things that are not logical fallacies, as though they were. Perhaps you should redirect your advice inwardly.

Bellisario continued: "Lastly your not worth my time, and your not worth anyone's respect on this blog. You like to try an bully people with your personal attacks and insults which you think make you look clever. Readers however can tell otherwise."

I answer: Maybe if worried less about trying to evaluate the worth of someone who you don't know, you could spend more time looking for those elusive authoritative sources that grant you permission to pray to anyone you want to.

Bellisario continued (in the next post): "Here is the complete text from the Catechism which tells us that all witnesses who have gone on before us can be prayed to."

I answer: If it told us that, you'd just put that in bold when you quoted the text. It doesn't, which is why you felt compelled to add a tag line.

Bellisario continued: "You can see it notes "especially the saints". This means that others besides the canonized saints are included as well. I posted this earlier but Turretin chose to ignore it."

You did post it earlier, and I thought it was an already-beaten dead horse. But, since you have asked me to give it another couple of whacks, here goes (I'll get to your "especially" claim in a second).

Bellisario quoting CCC: "The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives... They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world." Pg. 645, #2683"

a) It's good that you indicated your snipping of the text with elipses.

b) But, if you do something like that, it should be clear to you that you are not presenting "the complete text." That's really quite a simple concept. The complete text is: The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,41 especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things."42 Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.(41 Cf. Heb 12:1. | 42 Cf. Mt 25:21.)

These are specifically people who have entered into joy and have been put in charge of many things. This is not "whoever you like." You place an emphasis on the word "especially" but you fail to notice the word "recognizes." This is part of an overall theme in which you fail to note that there are "saints" (within Catholicism) who are not (yet - and perhaps not ever) recognized as such. Given the footnote to Hebrews 12:1, it's not very reasonable to assume that the CCC means "everyone who was a 'Catholic' and who died."

So, in short, no - there is nothing there saying you can pray to whoever you want to.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin says,
"That sounds like a prayer to God, unless you are an extreme idiot who thinks that JP2 is a person of the Trinity (which would be a blasphemy unworthy even of you)."

Uhmm did you read the prayer? Did you think that everyone reading the prayer would miss the part where it asks for JPIIs intercession? Like where it says, "Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will," Do you really think that prayer to the saints in Catholicism is ever separated from the God himself who put them in heaven? This shows that you do not understand Catholicism at all. Next straw man please...

Regarding the Catechism quote you have once again misrepresented the text. The "Especially" applies to whom the text was written about which means that it included both Saints and those witnesses who are not. Please read!. "We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world." That means all witnesses not just Saints. It is clear you are here to win an argument and not interested in the truth.

Turretinfan said...

I had pointed out that the official prayer sounds like a prayer to God.

Bellisario responded: "Uhmm did you read the prayer?"

Yes. Naturally, I read it, posted it to this thread, and commented on it. How could you miss that?

Bellisario: "Did you think that everyone reading the prayer would miss the part where it asks for JPIIs intercession?"

I answer: I hope they would not miss it. It does not, however, ask JP2 for his intercession.

It is a vain and stupid prayer, one that amounts to a prayer "in the name of" JP2 rather than in the name of Jesus.

But it is not phrased as a prayer to JP2 himself. You surely are not so stupid as to have missed this fact.

So why not just acknowledge the fact that the pope didn't authorize prayers to JP2? It baffles me why you cannot admit your mistakes, even when they are so plain even to yourself.

Bellisario continued: "Like where it says, "Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will,""

I answer: That "his" shows that JP2 is being referred-to in the third person. Consequently the prayer is not specifically to him, though it certainly is about him, and is (in effect) sacreligiously in his name.

Bellisario continued: "Do you really think that prayer to the saints in Catholicism is ever separated from the God himself who put them in heaven? This shows that you do not understand Catholicism at all. Next straw man please..."

I answer:

a) Hopefully all the readers of your comment got a good chuckle from the irony of your assigning an argument to me, drawing a conclusion from it, and then accusing me of a straw man. Terrific! Classic jesuistical argumentation.

b) You asked: "Do you really think that prayer to the saints in Catholicism is ever separated from the God himself who put them in heaven?" In theory, it is not supposed to be. In practice - well - you and I both know that practice and theory are not always the same thing. But that's not the issue here. You're trying to bring up a different issue - one you think is stronger for you, but I'm content to stay on the topic, where your inability to provide authoritative sources for your church's alleged position is becoming evermore evident.

Bellisario continued: "Regarding the Catechism quote you have once again misrepresented the text."

I answer: Something needs to be made clear to you: my disagreement with you does not equal misrepresentation of the text. It would be helpful if you kept that in mind.

Bellisario continued: "'Especially' applies to whom the text was written about which means that it included both Saints and those witnesses who are not."

I answer:

a) I already addressed this argument you made, and (as I pointed out once already) the text does not say "especially the saints" (the way it apparently reads in your head) but "especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints."

b) You (Bellisario) need to get it through your head that saints are saints in your own chuch's theology, whether they are recognized by the Church or not. Your church does not claim to recognize every saint that exists.

Bellisario continued: "Please read!." (double punctuation in the original)

I answer: Done, and (apparently) better than you.

Bellisario continued (quoting from the CCC): "We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world."

I answer: The question is what "them" refers to. I already discussed that above, in a lengthy discussion to which (apparently) you are unable to respond.

Bellisario: "That means all witnesses not just Saints."

I answer: I already addresssed this claim above.

Bellisario: "It is clear you are here to win an argument and not interested in the truth."

I answer: Of course it is nice when the two things coincide, as here. But, unlike you, I have no vested interest in being right about your church's theology.

In other words, perhaps there is room in your chuch's theology for praying to anyone you like (though we certainly couldn't get that from the part of the CCC). I'm open to that possibility.

I would bet that the reality is that there is a lot of fuzziness in your chuch's teaching on the issue, which gets reflected in the potentially ambiguous "them" reference in the sentence you mentioned above (which have disingenuously tried to clarify by omitting and jumping over a large chunk of the text).

I wouldn't be surprised if (upon people who are even more familiar than I am digging up the more relevant authoritative sources) the "real position" was that you could pray to saints, whether recognized or not, as long as they were objectively saints, and as long as you had a sufficient basis to reasonably believe that.

Mr. Douglass' encyclopedia source (while not authoritative) does tend to point one in that direction - as does the non-authoritative source I had presented earlier.

By the way, I should add a fruther monkey-wrench into your works.

Your "especially" argument might seem compelling (especially if one leaves out the bulk of the text) in English, but have you considered that the Latin orginal is "speciatim"? Are you aware that this can reasonably be translated "namely" or "specifically" rather than "especially"?

I'm guessing you didn't bother to check the Latin before you made your argument - in fact - I'm kind of hoping you were just ignorant of the Latin ambiguity rather than deceptively making a dogmatic argument based on an ambiguous authoritative original.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin regarding the Catechism quote says, The question is what "them" refers to. I already discussed that above, in a lengthy discussion to which (apparently) you are unable to respond."

I did respond, it refers to all witnesses who have gone on before us, both canonized and those that are not as the text that you are avoiding says.

Turretin says, "I would bet that the reality is that there is a lot of fuzziness in your chuch's (original text where he can't spell church!)teaching on the issue, which gets reflected in the potentially ambiguous "them" reference in the sentence you mentioned above (which have disingenuously tried to clarify by omitting and jumping over a large chunk of the text)."

There is no fuzziness in the Church's teaching, the fuzziness remains somewhere else. Those reading your text can draw that conclusion. I did not jump over a large "chunk" of text. I wrote the text like I did because I knew what kind of sophistry you were going to apply to the text to twist it around like you always do. There is no ambiguity to the text. It includes all witnesses who have gone on before us like its says, and especially the Saints.

Then Turretin tries to bring the Latin text of the document into the argument because the English text defeats his argument. I guess TF is now a great Latin scholar is now going to school us in the original Latin text. What a chuckle.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Since the Turretin wants to bring up the original Latin language of the text I quoted, (I guess the English text is too ambiguous for him) I have a question. Do you TF always go back to the original languages for every source that you quote? I am just curious.

Turretinfan said...

1) I had pointed out that the question is what "them" refers to, that I already discussed that above, in a lengthy discussion to which (apparently) Mr. Bellisario was unable to respond.

Bellisario comments: "I did respond, it refers to all witnesses who have gone on before us, both canonized and those that are not as the text that you are avoiding says."

I answer: I see that my words have confused you again. Let me make myself less ambiguous. You did not address the arguments I presented, and you are lying when you claim that I am "avoiding" the text. You know that's not true, and you say it anyways. What's up with that? Is that how you represent your religion?

2) I had pointed out that I suspect that the reality is that there is a lot of fuzziness in Mr. Bellisario's church's teaching on the issue, which gets reflected in the potentially ambiguous "them" reference in the sentence Mr. Bellisario mentioned above (which he had disingenuously tried to clarify by omitting and jumping over a large chunk of the text)

In addition to mocking my misspelling of the word "church," Bellisario commented: "There is no fuzziness in the Church's teaching, the fuzziness remains somewhere else."

I answer:

a) Well, there's no clarity in the answer that the CCC or the Code of Canon Law gives to the question.

b) But even the CCC and the Code of Canon Law are viewed as fallible sources of authority within Catholicism. Even if they gave a clear answer, they could be wrong. They do get revised from time to time, and were significantly revised within the last 50 years.

c) But we do not have to address the fact that they are fallible authoritative sources as contrasted with infallible authoritative sources, and we do not have to address the issue of revisions to them, because (as noted repeatedly) we haven't yet even found a clear teaching in them on the subject.

Bellisario continued: "Those reading your text can draw that conclusion."

I answer: My text? The Code of Canon law and the Catechism of Catholic Church (while they are documents that I reference to better understand the theology of your religion) are not my text.

Bellisario continued: "I did not jump over a large "chunk" of text."

You are either a fool or a liar. See above, where I provide the full text compared with your hacked quotation that you tried to pass off as the "complete text" in an earlier post.

Bellisario continued: "I wrote the text like I did because I knew what kind of sophistry you were going to apply to the text to twist it around like you always do."

I answer:

a) If letting the text speak for itself and provide its own interpretation is "sophistry" - then I'm happy to be guilty as charged.

b) But actually, sophistry is probably better illustrated by claiming you're providing the whole text when you're not.

c) And, actually, trying to justify your hacking up of the original text by your alleged prediction of then-future misdeed by me, based on your antipathy for me, just reveals to us that you don't have a rational explanation for your actions.

d) Even if my response was "sophistry" on any level, did you really think that hacking up the quotation would stop me from doing what (according to you) I always do? Of course you didn't. You're just making up excuses for your dishonest behavior.

e) So stop making excuses. Man up and admit you cut up the quote to try to strengthen your claim that "them" means more than just the saints. We already know that's why you did it, so why try to hide the fact and blame me for your editing?

Bellisario continued: "There is no ambiguity to the text."

I answer: I already proved that there is ambiguity. Since you haven't addressed my arguments that demonstrate that, I'm willing to conclude that you cannot address them. Either way, my arguments may be found above.

Bellisario continued: "It includes all witnesses who have gone on before us like its says, and especially the Saints."

I answer: I've already addressed this non-argument above.


3) I had additionally identified that the Latin original text, which is still the authoritative language from what I recall, lends itself to another translation than "especially."

Bellisario commented: "Then Turretin tries to bring the Latin text of the document into the argument because the English text defeats his argument."

I answer: No, I brought up the Latin text because the Latin text further undermines Mr. Bellisario's argument.

Bellisario continued: "I guess TF is now a great Latin scholar is now going to school us in the original Latin text. What a chuckle."

I answer:

a) I'm guessing that these remarks are an implicit acknowledgment that Mr. Bellisario is himself ignorant of the Latin language, and consequently assumes that I must be as ignorant of the Latin tongue as he is.

b) Regardless of whether my guess is right, this snide remark is not an answer to the issue. It's something one sees over and over again.

In another post, Bellisario continued: "Since the Turretin wants to bring up the original Latin language of the text I quoted, (I guess the English text is too ambiguous for him) I have a question."

I answer:

a) I am not THE Turretin, I am just A fan of THE Turretin.

b) Actually, since my hypothesis is fuzziness, it would make more sense for you to argue (as you did, inconsistently, above) that the English is too clear for me.

c) But actually, I just wanted to see whether, in fact, the Latin said something equivalent to "especially" or not, since I want to know what the real position of Rome is on the subject, and since the Latin is the official language (as far as I know).

Bellisario continued: "Do you TF always go back to the original languages for every source that you quote? I am just curious."

I answer:

a) What a silly question. Phrased that way, the answer is - of course - no.

b) But, when a particular wording matters in my own authoritative source (the Bible), I do try to carefully consider the original languages.

c) So, asking you to consider the Latin before making all your argument hang from a particular English word seems to me to be fair game, since (as far as I know) it is the Latin original that is considered authoritative. That is especially the case when (as here) the original is readily accessible.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin has outdone himself in his pathetic attempt to avoid admitting that he is once again wrong. The text says what it says. TF just ignores the English text and throws false accusations and personal attacks instead. The Catechism proves that Catholics can ask for intercession from witnesses other than canonized Saints. Thats the end.

TF says, "I already proved that there is ambiguity."

Where did he prove it? Just because he says so? Sorry, that isn't going to cut it. He is the one who can't seem to understand the English text, or refuses to. Since its says something that he doesn't like then his pitiful defense is to claim it is ambiguous. Well if that's the best defense he has to offer then Catholic Church is safe.

Then TFs final futile attempt is to bring in the original Latin language of the Catechism. He pulls the Latin card and says he has proven something from the Latin text which he has never quoted...

Tf said,
"I answer: No, I brought up the Latin text because the Latin text further undermines Mr. Bellisario's argument."

Where does it undermine it? Where is his proof? Or can he just make statements like that and assume everyone is going to believe it?

You see everyone knows that if TF was so sure that he was right about his argument he would have never pulled the Latin card on me. The English text is so clear that his only hope now is to divert attention away from it and instead insult my character by pulling the Latin card. He makes an accusation that he cannot possibly substantiate. He calls me ignorant of the Latin language without any knowledge of me or my educational background. All I said was that I found it humorous that he was now going to call into the discussion the original Latin. It is plain to see there is no need to do that because the English text is clear. That is, it is clear unless someone realizes it defeats their argument. Then they have to spin it. That's what TF does. He attacks my character, he tells me that he's guessing that I am ignorant of Latin.

Turretin Fan, let me ask you, is that how you represent your religion? By making personal attacks that you cannot possibly justify? I am now done with this posting war with you. It is plain to see that you are now emotionally too far gone in this exchange. The English text of the Catechism is enough to prove my point, say what you will.

It seems with the latest barrage of personal attacks you have much more to be worried about than posting on blog sites.

Turretinfan said...

1) Bellisario: "Turretin has outdone himself in his pathetic attempt to avoid admitting that he is once again wrong."

I answer: This charge is absurd. While on many issues I could be thought to have a vested interest in being right, not so on this one. If Catholicism teaches "x" or "y" with respect to prayers to just anyone, it does not benefit me. On top of that, I've demonstrated that I'm right, which is what Bellisario should do (if he thinks he's right), rather than just repeating his assertions while insulting and belittling.

Bellisario continued: "The text says what it says."

I answer: It does indeed.

Bellisario continued: "TF just ignores the English text and throws false accusations and personal attacks instead."

I answer: That this accusation is a lie can be seen from the thread above. Why Bellisario feels compelled to lie in such an obvious way beats me. Does he really think no one will scroll up to check whether I addressed the English text? If so, he's not just insulting me with his lies, he's insulting the intelligence of his readers who can scroll up and see that I addressed the text.

Bellisario continued: "The Catechism proves that Catholics can ask for intercession from witnesses other than canonized Saints. Thats the end."

I answer: This is what I've seen from Bellisario for about the last three rounds of discussion. Just a reassertion of the same conclusion in louder and more forceful terms. I suppose that is because Bellisario is simply unable to address the arguments I presented but hopes that by reasserting his conclusions and insulting his opponent, he will somehow achieve whatever objective he has in mind.

2) I had previously pointed out that I already proved that there is ambiguity.

Bellisario responded: "Where did he prove it?"

I answer: (link)

Bellisario continued: "Just because he says so? Sorry, that isn't going to cut it."

I answer: Nope. Not just because I say so, because I have shown so.

Bellisario continued: "He is the one who can't seem to understand the English text, or refuses to."

I answer: Another insult rather than argument.

Bellisario continued: "Since its says something that he doesn't like then his pitiful defense is to claim it is ambiguous."

I answer: No. The shoe is on the other foot. Since Bellisario cannot show that the text says what he needs it to say, he resorts to louder and more dogmatic assertions, particularly since he is unable to argue logically, as seen from the series of posts above. He hasn't addressed the counter argument, which he would still need to do if he wanted to be taken seriously.

Bellisario continued: "Well if that's the best defense he has to offer then Catholic Church is safe."

I answer:

a) This issue is not itself one on which the Roman Catholic church stands or falls. By comparison, Islam doesn't stand or fall on the issue of whether Mohamed required the extreme feminine modesty practiced within certain sects of Islam. So, here, Catholicism doesn't stand or fall on whether Catholicism authorizes prayers to non-saints (or to uncanonized saints). Unfortunately, a fanatical zealot cannot see that.

b) As noted above, if Catholicism officially permits prayers to non-saints (or to uncanonized saints), so be it. Not being a part of Catholicism at this time, I don't have a vested interest in its teaching being "X" rather than "Y" on that topic.

c) Nevertheless, since I have to respond to those in Catholicism, it would be nice to have something more than Jimmy Akin's word as to what Roman Catholicism actually teaches, since Akin (while a knowledgeable and prominent lay apologist) is not an authoritative source in the strict sense of the term.

d) Unfortunately, Bellisario is apparently so unfamiliar with his own religion that he cannot provide the relevant authoritative source that clearly permits prayers to anyone, such as to a deceased relative.

Bellisario continued: "Then TFs final futile attempt is to bring in the original Latin language of the Catechism."

I answer: I couldn't really object to this sort of characterization IF Bellisario demonstrated that the attempt was futile. But he doesn't. He doesn't even address the issue, presumably because he is unqualified to do so.

Bellisario continued: "He pulls the Latin card and says he has proven something from the Latin text which he has never quoted..."

I answer:

a) This truly is feeble on Bellisario's part. I did quote the Latin word in question. I did not provide the whole CCC 2683 in Latin. I also did not pay for Bellisario to take classes to learn Latin. Furthermore, I did not sit down and rap Bellisario's hands with a ruler every time he made a mistake, so as to encourage progress in his study. His whining is pretty selective, though, don't you think?

b) And Bellisario doesn't even say that I'm wrong. Perhaps he knows I'm right and just doesn't want to admit it. Perhaps he is as unable to find a copy of the Latin original as he was unable to find the code of canon law when we were discussing that topic. Does Mr. Bellisario require some Internet assistance? Ok ... here's the link to the Latin Catechism (link) and here's the Latin text of CCC 2683:

2683 Testes qui nos praecesserunt in Regno, speciatim illi quos Ecclesia tamquam « sanctos » agnoscit, viventem orationis traditionem communicant, suae vitae exemplo, suorum scriptorum transmissione et sua hodierna oratione. Deum contemplantur, Eum laudant et curam de eorum habere non desinunt quos in terra reliquerunt. Iidem, intrantes « in gaudium » Domini sui, constituti sunt « supra multa ». Eorum intercessio est altissimum eorum servitium consilio Dei. Possumus et debemus orare ut pro nobis intercedant et pro toto mundo.(footnotes omitted - but can be found here)

c) Perhaps now Mr. Bellisario will stop whining about us not providing him with enough research assistance.

3) I had pointed out that I brought up the Latin text because the Latin text further undermines Mr. Bellisario's argument.

Bellisario responded: "Where does it undermine it? Where is his proof? Or can he just make statements like that and assume everyone is going to believe it?"

I answer: See above, where I discuss the word "speciatim."

Bellisario continued: "You see everyone knows that if TF was so sure that he was right about his argument he would have never pulled the Latin card on me."

I answer: This is just idiotic. Apparently, in Bellisario's fantasy world, people don't argue from languages that he doesn't know unless he's right. Two words for Bellisario: "Grow up."

Bellisario continued: "The English text is so clear that his only hope now is to divert attention away from it and instead insult my character by pulling the Latin card."

I answer:

a) I already showed that the English is not clear. The Latin is even less clear than the English, for the reasons I already provided above.

b) Your lack of knowledge of Latin isn't an issue of character. Your failure to admit your mistakes is an issue of character. Your failure to deal honestly in your representations of me is an issue of character. Your ignorance of Latin is not an issue of character.

c) You, Bellisario, are the one heading us down the rabbit trail of observing your lack of erudition. If you had just done as you said, when you earlier declared this: "Let me make this last post here before leaving this blog post for good," then your ignorance on this issue would be just speculation on my part.

d) Instead, Mr. Bellisario, for whatever reasons, you choose to continue to come here and let yourself be shown to be a pompous blowhard. If I was losing a discussion as badly as you are here, I hope I'd have the sense to acknowledge that I need to study the issues more.

Bellisario continued: "He makes an accusation that he cannot possibly substantiate."

I answer: The "accusation" starts as a suspicion, which then gets confirmed cicumstantially. Sure, it cannot be proved. The alternative that you DO know Latin and have read the Latin original and are still making these arguments would be a still more serious accusation. Then you'd be a deliberately dishonest fellow, who was hoping to trick people into thinking that the just doesn't know Latin.

Bellisario continued: "He calls me ignorant of the Latin language without any knowledge of me or my educational background."

I answer: That's not true. But, of course, since you haven't told us, my picture of your educational background may be incomplete. I guess we could imagine that you might possibly be getting your Ph.D. in Latin - but it seems a little unlikely, don't you think?

Bellisario continued: "All I said was that I found it humorous that he was now going to call into the discussion the original Latin."

I answer:

a) The fact that you find humor in Latin is interesting.

b) It's not so much what you say, as what you didn't say, that leads one to conclude that you don't know Latin (or don't know it very well).

c) Nevertheless, I am open to being wrong on this. Mr. Bellisario has never told me explicitly that he hasn't learned Latin, and if he insists that he does know it (though he hasn't insisted that), then there's really no way for me to prove otherwise.

d) Thus, I hereby retract any excessively dogmatic statements suggestion, implying, or leading the reader to infer that I had omniscience regarding Bellisario's educational background. I have seen zero evidence that he knows Latin, but it is possible that he is a great Latinist that prefers to be obtuse.

Bellisario continued: "It is plain to see there is no need to do that because the English text is clear."

I answer: This is like saying that because the text of Scripture is clear in the KJV, we don't need to check the original Greek and Latin. Hopefully most of the readers (leaving aside the KJVO-ists) will realize that this is an improper hermeneutic as applied to Scripture. Hopefully even Mr. Bellisario would recognize that. If so, it is unreasonable to refuse to consider the Latin even assuming (what Bellisario hasn't proved, namely) that the English were clear and unambiguous.

Bellisario continued: "That is, it is clear unless someone realizes it defeats their argument."

I answer: This silliness is addressed several times above.

Bellisario continued: "Then they have to spin it."

I answer: This is also addressed above, but to repeat: I have no vested interest in the outcome of this investigation. If Catholicism's official teaching is "X" or "Y", it is no skin off my nose.

Bellisario continued: "That's what TF does."

See above to determine whether Bellisario is blowing smoke or telling the truth.

Bellisario continued: "He attacks my character, he tells me that he's guessing that I am ignorant of Latin."

a) Ignorance of Latin isn't a character defect.

b) And the attacks on your character, Mr. Bellisario, are all substantiated ...

c) As is my guess about your knowledge of Latin.

Bellisario continued: "Turretin Fan, let me ask you, is that how you represent your religion?"

I answer:

a) I seem to recall my asking a similar question above. Could it be that you got the question from me?

b) When I make mistakes, I fess up to them. I deal honestly with the issues, and I expect the same from my theological opponents.

c) So, I do try to represent the Christian religion faithfully, although I recognize that I am human and make mistakes

Bellisario continued: "By making personal attacks that you cannot possibly justify?"

I answer: I can justify guessing that you don't know Latin. So, please, don't pretend otherwise. As noted above, however, to the extent that my words would, in any way, lead a reasonable reader to conclude that I had omniscience of your knowledge of Latin, I hereby recant such statements and substitute for them, statements in which I guess that you don't know Latin, based on the factual record above, and various other evidence that I could present if you or the readers require.

Bellisario continued: "I am now done with this posting war with you."

I answer:

a) I'd be happy if you were done - you been addressing few of the arguments presented, and you've been responding to few of the counter-arguments offered. It's not a very profitable exchange when one side sets forth arguments and the other side sticks its fingers in its ears and shouts "It ain't so."

b) Also, if you were done, it would leave space for someone more calm from your side of the Tiber to step in and provide authoritative sources to back up Akin.

c) But, given that you had previously made basically this same claim, I would be truly surprised if I don't see another post from you here and soon.

Bellisario: "It is plain to see that you are now emotionally too far gone in this exchange."

I answer: Does anyone else see both a double-standard and a lack of self-awareness here?

Bellisario continued: "The English text of the Catechism is enough to prove my point, say what you will."

I answer: The fact that my counter-arguments have gone unrebutted is enough to convince me that you simply are unable to respond to them rationally.

Bellisario continued: "It seems with the latest barrage of personal attacks you have much more to be worried about than posting on blog sites."

I answer: Again, this really doesn't address any of the arguments at hand. Could it be that this is supposed to be itself a personal attack? Who woulda thunk it?

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF, this statement that you've written "When I make mistakes, I fess up to them" is a lie. We all know that from your many past posts like your feeble knowledge on contraception and the Catholic teaching on it. I have the evidence to back up what I say. Just by calling me liar isn't going to to cut it. You are the one who needs to grow up. You can come on here and tell everyone that you have proven something, but we all know that you haven't proven anything that even remotely proves your argument on the English text of the Catechism being ambiguous. It clearly tells us that witnesses before who have gone on can be asked for intercession as well as those who are canonized Saints. You lose.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario wrote: "TF, this statement that you've written "When I make mistakes, I fess up to them" is a lie."

I answer:

a) This is a good chance to illustrate the general weakness of your personal attacks (which consist of you lying about me).

b) So, let's consider my statement: "When I make mistakes, I fess up to them." For that to be a lie, we have to consider three things:

1) We have to consider what the expression means and doesn't mean.

2) We have to consider what would make that statement true or untrue.

3) We have to evaluate the evidence available.

What does the expression mean? Does it mean that I've fessed up to mistakes I'm unaware of? Of course not. Does it even mean that in absolutely every case (without any exceptions) I've always fessed up? That would be a pretty strained meaning. So, what does it mean? It means that, as a general rule, I fess up to the mistakes that I make that I become aware of.

So, what would make this true or false? Well, if I had actually identified and fessed up to mistakes in the past, that would confirm the verity of my claim. You yourself, Bellisario, ought to recall that I did make a mistake and did fess up to it during our (your and mine) Sola Scriptura debate. That tends to confirm the truth of my statement. It would be pretty much impossible to prove a general rule to be true, but that instance provides some evidence.

But, what would make it false? Well, if there were a significant number (i.e. more than one or two) of mistakes that I was reasonably aware of and that I didn't fess up to.

So, what is the evidence here? You've got nothing, and we both know that. What you have are a few instances where you want to claim that I made a mistake, but - in fact - it was you who made a mistake.

But you continue to perpetuate your lies about me. Shame on you. I hope you don't receive the just judgment of God that comes upon a lying tongue (or fingertips).

Bellisario continued: "We all know that from your many past posts like your feeble knowledge on contraception and the Catholic teaching on it."

I answer: You keep making that hollow claim, but people can go back and check out what happened in the discussion you are talking about. What happened is that Mr. Gene Bridges schooled you. I invite people to check it out. It can be found, along with a catalog of most of my interactions with you at the Bellisario Index Page on my blog.

Bellisario: "I have the evidence to back up what I say."

I answer: No, you don't. I welcome any evidence you might think you have though, just in case I am mistaken, so that I can fess up and correct my mistake.

Bellisario: "Just by calling me liar isn't going to to cut it."

a) Interesting double-standard, in view of the start of your post.

b) Unlike you, I don't just call you a liar: I demonstrate places where you lie - and I do so with respect to issues relevant to the discussion at hand, rather than trying to dredge up some unrelated conversation from months ago.

Bellisario continued: "You are the one who needs to grow up."

I answer: I have to say, that's exactly the sandbox response. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.

Bellisario continued: "You can come on here and tell everyone that you have proven something, but we all know that you haven't proven anything that even remotely proves your argument on the English text of the Catechism being ambiguous."

I answer: Your repeated assertions aren't a rebuttal to my arguments demonstrating ambiguity. They are the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "la-la-la-la."

Bellisario continued: "It clearly tells us that witnesses before who have gone on can be asked for intercession as well as those who are canonized Saints."

I answer: You've made that assertion like 4 times already. It doesn't start to get true once you say it enough times.

Bellisario continued: "You lose."

I answer: Since you have no answer to the points I've raised, by any reasonable standard, it's vice versa, which (being interpreted) means the shoe is on the other foot.

As much fun as it is to continue to point out the big rubber nose you are wearing and the large floppy shoes, perhaps you should act on your own previous claims that I am not worth your time and find other uses of your time. Right now you're adding nothing at all to the discussion.

-TurretinFan

Chuck said...

Several weeks back in a different blog that MB partook of it was mentioned that he was probably unaware that the blog was "public." In other words, a few of us were able to "see" what he was posting. After careful investigation we concluded that he was aware and understood the definition of the word PUBLIC. We couldn't help but have pity on him.

Apparently,he is unconcerned about the portrait he is painting of himself.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Hey Churck, unlike Turretin Fan, I use my real name and back up what I say and what I write. I don't hide behind a dead heretics name and pretend I am scholar, twisting and marring the English language to win arguments.

Turretinfan said...

"Hey Churck, unlike Turretin Fan, I use my real name and back up what I say and what I write."

You don't back it up by responding to the rebuttals of your positions, unless you call insulting people "backing it up."

But your anti-anonymity kick is interesting. Aren't there members of your "Anthema Sit" blog that are not using their real names?

Have you scolded them today?

No, I didn't think so. Why? Because you only apply that standard to people who you view as your enemies.

"I don't hide behind a dead heretics name and pretend I am scholar, twisting and marring the English language to win arguments."

There are some many things wrong with that statement, that I'll just let it set there serving as a sort of paragon of distilled Bellisarian argumentation.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Hey Turretin, I looked at the Latin text and it appears to say what the English text says. There is no difference, and it does not give any substance to your argument. I also consulted a Latin scholar to confirm what I read and interpreted form the specific text and this is also what he says, First the text, then then your defeat...

2683 Testes qui nos praecesserunt in Regno, 166 speciatim illi quos Ecclesia tamquam « sanctos » agnoscit, viventem orationis traditionem communicant, suae vitae exemplo, suorum scriptorum transmissione et sua hodierna oratione. Deum contemplantur, Eum laudant et curam de eorum habere non desinunt quos in terra reliquerunt. Iidem, intrantes « in gaudium » Domini sui, constituti sunt « supra multa ». 167 Eorum intercessio est altissimum eorum servitium consilio Dei. Possumus et debemus orare ut pro nobis intercedant et pro toto mundo.

2683 The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,41 especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things."42 Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.

The Latin scholars reference to the text.

"All the plural references in the Latin paragraph have "testes" as their antecedent. There is nothing in the subsequent phrases that would indicate a separation between the "testes" and the "speciatim... tamquam sanctos agnoscit." We can pray to any saint in heaven canonized or not. Canonization is nothing more than the official recognition by the Church that a particular individual lived the virtues in this life to a heroic degree and is now definitively in heaven. But every saint in heaven (canonized by the Church or not) can be prayed to. At Mass we ask the intercession of the Church triumphant which includes everyone in heaven regardless of canonized status."

Sorry Tf, you are the one left holding the stick of dynamite, as usual.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

Your anonymous Latin scholar (ah the irony is so delicious) who doesn't address the further issue I discussed above about the Latin itself, backs up my original comments about the English.

I quote myself from earlier:

These are specifically people who have entered into joy and have been put in charge of many things. This is not "whoever you like." You place an emphasis on the word "especially" but you fail to notice the word "recognizes." This is part of an overall theme in which you fail to note that there are "saints" (within Catholicism) who are not (yet - and perhaps not ever) recognized as such. Given the footnote to Hebrews 12:1, it's not very reasonable to assume that the CCC means "everyone who was a 'Catholic' and who died."

So, in short, no - there is nothing there saying you can pray to whoever you want to.


****

a) I already addressed this argument you made, and (as I pointed out once already) the text does not say "especially the saints" (the way it apparently reads in your head) but "especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints."

b) You (Bellisario) need to get it through your head that saints are saints in your own chuch's theology, whether they are recognized by the Church or not. Your church does not claim to recognize every saint that exists.

****

Thanks for the dynamite. I assume a retraction from you, in light of your anonymous Latin scholar's comments will be forthcoming?

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

By the way, there is an important difference between the Latin and the English that helps to weigh the balance in favor of the "canononized and uncanonized saints" view of the CCC item. That difference is the quotation marks (double chevrons) in the Latin.

That helps to emphasize that the word translated "especially" refers not so much to the fact of sainthood as to the label of sainthood.

The last sentence is interesting. The English says that we pray to them, but the Latin says: "Possumus et debemus orare ut pro nobis intercedant et pro toto mundo."

That is:

We-can and we-ought to-pray THAT for us they-intercede and for [the] whole world.

A little more grammatically put:

We can and we ought to pray that they intercede for us and for the whole world.

(In other words, the Latin does not specifically indicate that we pray to them to intercede for us or to God for their intercession.)

The English translation is a bit loose. But don't take my word for it. Run it by your own Latin scholar, along with the comment about the possibility of "speciatim" introducing an appositive clause, if you are interested in his opinion on this.

I apologize for not bringing this to your attention earlier, so that you could have asked all the questions at once.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

What??? Did you read??? Are you even on the samel planet as the rest of us are?

"All the plural references in the Latin paragraph have "testes" as their antecedent. There is nothing in the subsequent phrases that would indicate a separation between the "testes" and the "speciatim... tamquam sanctos agnoscit." We can pray to any saint in heaven canonized or not."

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario,

Go back and re-read my comments above your latest outburst. I explain it all there.

-TurretinFan

Constantine said...

Hi Ben,

Both cannot be true because “wholly” excludes any other option, by definition.

But let’s suppose you are correct. It seems the following conditions would have to apply:
1. The “dearly departed saints” participate in God’s omniscience. Otherwise, they would not possibly be able to receive the dozens/thousand/millions of prayers offered simultaneously to them. The Church has never taught that any other than God is omniscient.
2. Jesus is not the sole mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5, much of Hebrews, etc.) So this doctrine puts a lie to the clear teaching of Scripture and further contradicts CCC 107 which says, the Scriptures“,,, without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.” That truth “without error” is that Jesus is the sole mediator.
3. This doctrine makes of mockery of the teaching that Jesus gave His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray. (Matt. 6, Luke 11). If Jesus needs additional intercessors, why didn’t He tell His disciples?
4. The Apostle Paul was apparently wrong when he instructed the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

Those are all pretty drastic things to have to support if you really believe what you say, Ben.

Peace to you.

Constantine said...

Matthew wrote:
Once again I think that Sacred Scripture must be read in the proper context.

I reply:

True enough. But the context of Philippians is Paul in prison, writing a thank you note to the Philippians. There is nothing about church building here.

Matthew wrote:
Since we can't converse and learn from Saint Paul in sic (h)is human flesh from heaven it would seem that it would have been beneficial for him to be with those that he was teaching.

I reply:

Where is that in the context? Paul clearly says in verse 23 that it “…is better by far” that he depart!

Matthew wrote:

What was Saint Paul doing (sic) doing when he wrote that text? He was establishing churches and laying down the structure of the Church, and a model that would be laid down from then until the return of Christ.

I reply:

Nope. When he wrote that text he was in prison. Philippians is a thank you note to an existing church and not instruction on church building. He never said anything here about “structure”. Besides, Church building is God’s work, not man’s. (Jer. 31:31-34; Eph. 1:4;John 6:37).

Matthew wrote:

I believe he was simply stating the fact that he could not go because he had not finished what God told him to do. So it was better for those around him that he stay, because without fulfilling his divine directives that he was given to do on earth, he wouldn't have been able to do it from heaven by merely praying for them. He had to instruct them and teach them before he went home to heaven.

I reply:

If we are going to do as you say, Matthew, and read “Sacred Scripture …in the proper context” where do we find any of this? It was better if he stayed? Then why did Paul start this Epistle with his assertion that it is God, alone, who begins, carries-on and completes the work being done in the Philippians?(1:6) Why did Paul expand in Chapter 2, by saying, “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. “ (2:13) If God is at work in the Philippians from beginning to end and causing them to “act according to his good purpose”, what possible benefit would it have been for Paul to stay? Did God need help? Could Paul do it better than God? Matthew, I think you are twisting things a bit here.

Well, we got a little off topic so let’s use Philippians to get us back on the “prayer” track.

Chapter 4 ends with Paul’s command to the Philippians about how to pray. They are to present their requests to God, directly. No saints, no angels. Just God. So if the Catechism is true, that God is the author of Scripture (105) and that He put everything in Scripture “without error” and “for the sake of our salvation” (107), then we must not pray to any other than God.


Peace.