Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adventures in the Catechism

This is another one of those instances in which the interpretation needs to be interpreted. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

460
The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81

78 2 Pet 1:4.

79 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939.

80 St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.

81 St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57: 1-4.

91 comments:

CathApol said...

Mr. Swan,
CCC 460 is out of context, it is like the summary of that section:

=================================
I. WHY DID THE WORD BECOME FLESH?

456 With the Nicene Creed, we answer by confessing: "For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man."

457 The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who "loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins": "the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world", and "he was revealed to take away sins":70

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?71

458 The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God's love: "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him."72 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."73

459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me." "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."74 On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: "Listen to him!"75 Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: "Love one another as I have loved you."76 This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.77

70 1 Jn 4:10; 4:14; 3:5.
71 St. Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. catech 15: PG 45, 48B.
72 1 Jn 4:9.
73 Jn 3:16.
74 Mt 11:29; Jn 14:6.
75 Mk 9:7; cf. Dt 6:4-5.
76 Jn 15:12.
77 Cf. Mk 8:34.
==============================

In context, the meaning is quite clear. Thank you for providing the opportunity to share the Truth with your readers here.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<
http://cathapol.blogspot.com

BillyHW said...

Interpreting the interpretation is not a logical problem for the Church, because the Magisterium is living.

If something is not yet sufficiently clear, or is being misunderstood, then the Magisterium can always further clarify, when the Magisterium decides to clarify, if the Magisterium deems the matter important enough to clarify.

Rhology said...

So when will they actually do that, BillyHW? CathApol here isn't a member, you know.

CathApol said...

Alan, what is unclear to you? Jesus is our example, we are to be like unto Him. When He reconciled our sins, those who believe in Him are made His brothers/sisters and co-heirs with Him and His crown. The Word (Jesus) became flesh so that we might know God's Love and His Love could be made manifest IN US! Love one another as He first loved us.

Thank you again for this opportunity to share in God's Truth and Love with you.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

James Swan said...

In context, the meaning is quite clear.

Working from only the context, exactly what does "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods" mean?

Where in the immediate context you posted does "might make men gods" get unpacked? Or, is the CC equivocating the phrase "son of God" with "god's"?

James Swan said...

Interpreting the interpretation is not a logical problem for the Church, because the Magisterium is living. If something is not yet sufficiently clear, or is being misunderstood, then the Magisterium can always further clarify, when the Magisterium decides to clarify, if the Magisterium deems the matter important enough to clarify.

It might not be a problem for you, but it certainly is a problem for Roman Catholics who insist they have doctrinal certainty and I don't. The fact is, a fair amount of private interpretation is rampant within the confines of Roman Catholicism.

CathApol said...

James Swan said:
JS: Working from only the context, exactly what does "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods" mean?

sw: It means what it says it means. The only-begotten Son of God came to Earth and became Man, assuming our nature and desires to make us co-heirs with Him. Now, if we're made co-heirs - what does that say to you? We "rule" with Him too.

JS: Where in the immediate context you posted does "might make men gods" get unpacked? Or, is the CC equivocating the phrase "son of God" with "god's"?

sw: And don't you know your Scripture?

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
(John 10:34-35 KJV)


sw: Of course you want to insist we take it solely from that context, but to anyone who KNOWS Scripture are not confused by this. We don't read the Catechism in a vacuum.

JS: It might not be a problem for you, but it certainly is a problem for Roman Catholics who insist they have doctrinal certainty and I don't. The fact is, a fair amount of private interpretation is rampant within the confines of Roman Catholicism.

sw: It always astounds me that you folks seem to think "we're as bad as you" is good argumentation! However, this is NOT a matter of private interpretation! It's a matter of knowing God's Word and recognizing the similitude between Scripture and the Catechism. They're both saying the same thing.

I thank you again for another opportunity to share God's Truth with you.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Rhology said...

It always astounds me that you folks seem to think "we're as bad as you" is good argumentation!

Since Romanists frequently like to trumpet their position's perceived superiority over the Reformed position, that kind of argumentation is very appropriate. The claims your position makes are what make us respond that way.

CathApol said...

AR: Since Romanists frequently like to trumpet their position's perceived superiority over the Reformed position, that kind of argumentation is very appropriate. The claims your position makes are what make us respond that way.

sw: So, using derogatory terminology like Romanists is not some sort of perceived superiority over the Catholic position? I see, and then you justify poor argumentation because you perceive some sort of superiority complex you impute upon us. Sorry Alan, bad argumentation is just bad argumentation. Like I said before, if you got caught speeding, but there were 4 others speeding along side you - just because they broke the law too doesn't mean you broke the law less - you're still guilty.

sw: You can take this as constructive criticism and learn to develop better argumentation, or you can continue to use this juvenile excuse - which only makes those whom you oppose look better. That truly is your choice.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Alex said...

It might not be a problem for you, but it certainly is a problem for Roman Catholics who insist they have doctrinal certainty and I don't. The fact is, a fair amount of private interpretation is rampant within the confines of Roman Catholicism.

I think that you have a serious misunderstanding of what doctrinal certainty means. It doesn’t mean that our comprehension is infallible; it means that the thing taught is infallible. The Magisterium of the Church is unique in this sense in that as errors are put forward the Magisterium can correct those errors by condemning them and/or promulgating positive definitive teaching both narrowly as well as broadly, as the occasion arises. We can be certain that the doctrinal teaching is free from error, and not that our understanding of it would be free from error. Protestants on the other hand do not enjoy this certainty within their pseudo-church constitutions, confessions, or creeds as evidenced in the plethora of diversities. Sure they can hijack the Nicene Creed, but their official confessions betray their lack of fidelity to the Creed itself.

Sincerely,
Troll

Ben M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Reiss said...

Alex,

"It doesn’t mean that our comprehension is infallible; it means that the thing taught is infallible."

Cannot the same claim be made regarding the perspicuity of the Bible?

"We can be certain that the doctrinal teaching is free from error, and not that our understanding of it would be free from error."

On what basis can you be certain of this at all?

Can you even be certain you have the right infallible teaching authority?

An example: On what basis can you be certain the Majesterium's teachings are infallible, and not those of the EOC, which also claims infallibility and which denies key, infallibly proclaimed doctrines such as papal infallibility etc.?

ISTM you will have to exercise your "Private Interpretation" when choosing among several churches--just like prots do.

bkaycee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Turretinfan said...

Edward, you beat me to it. But I'd go a step further. If the Bible is materially sufficient (which some from the 7-hills side of the Tiber grant us) then we have doctrinal certainty regardless of perspicuity.

It's an absurd position ... but that's because the response to Mr. Swan was absurd.

bkaycee said...

"We can be certain that the doctrinal teaching is free from error, and not that our understanding of it would be free from error."

2 Peter 2:1
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

Acts 20:28"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
29"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

I am not getting the warm fuzzies for the certainty of magesterium.

The Scripture's were authenticated by miracles that left no doubt. How is the magesterium authenticated???

Edward Reiss said...

Turretinfan ,

Thanks.

I think the second part of my post is equally damaging; as their argument is based on the authority of the Majesterium, it becomes an existential problem as to whether or not they even have the right authority without severely begging the question. Unless they can find some irrefutable epistemological formula to prove the pope et al. are the true church, they are left with that bugaboo, "private interpretation" to determine which authority to follow. Thus they ar eno better than the prots, despite the protestations of the RCs.

Also, once they start arguing over history, what the Scriptures or the Fathers say about the pope, they are behaving just like those "chaotic" prots who supposedly lean on their own understanding. They are, in so borrow a phrase, starting with orthodoxy and establishing authority. If their interlocutor is a prot, they just keep waving the authority card in his face because they can say their church is the real deal (which I do not believe, of course) because it is "older", but when the opponent is EO, their situation is different because they make similar claims based on similar arguments, but the EOs have a different outcome.

Just watch a discussion between an EO and RC about e.g. papal infallibility or divine simplicity vs. essence/energies, and you will see that when they cannot just wave the authority card to stop discussion, they have a hard slog justifying their beliefs on purely rational grounds.

I think this is usually a problem with arguments from authority--unless everyone accepts the authority they are pretty useless. Hence the constant skirmishing with RCs stating that prots are bound by "private interpretation" while they are only following a God-ordained authority. Well, what if it isn;t a God-ordained authority, and what if there are other choices we can base om the same criteria?

If they were consistent, they would say that there is chaos among those who claim an infallible authority.

Brigitte said...

What would you do with the concept of "Vergottung" in this article on Luther on Theosis?
http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/marquartlutherandtheosis.pdf

EA said...

"The Magisterium of the Church is unique in this sense in that as errors are put forward the Magisterium can correct those errors by condemning them and/or promulgating positive definitive teaching both narrowly as well as broadly, as the occasion arises."

This is, quite frankly, a convenient fiction.

Lay Catholics (as well as others) are divided over issues like abortion, where is the INFALLIBLE teaching on that? There are encyclicals and various other writings from individual theologians which are not infallible, but there is no ex cathedra teaching on it, yet there is controversy on an issue of faith and morals.

The same can be said about creationism versus evolution. Tell me, what was the ECF's position on the literal 7 day creation account and how does the Church's teaching align with it today?

Did the Magesterium detect and expose the error and fraud of the False Decretals or the Donation of Constantine? No, rather these fraudulent documents were used by the Papacy itself to further its temporal influence.

Where was the Magesterium during the controversy over Galileo's conclusions? Both sides used the Bible to buttress its claims; one using a literal interpretation, the other a metaphorical one. Did the Magesterium clarify whether the Bible should be used and what the correct interpretations were of the verses cited.

Which version of predestination is the correct one?

Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhology said...

Erwin gives us nothing about predestination. Is that irrelevant too?

Nothing about the Isidorean Decretals or the Donation of Constantine. Let me guess, irrelevant.

And what good is an "infallible teaching" on abortion if the RCC doesn't ever do anything about it as far as disciplining deliberately disobedient members? I thought "faith w/o works is dead" and all that.

Edward Reiss said...

"Conspiracy theories are irrelevant."

That the Donation of Constantine is a forgery is not a "conspiracy theory", it is a pretty well established historic fact.

What we are seeing, BTW, is that whole the *theory* of papal infallibility sounds coherent, in *practice* it simply does not work, because there are too many instances where ut can be shown not to have worked.

A good example is, I am afraid to say, abortion. Several prominent RC politicians want to use tax payer money to fund a gravely immoral act. And yet, e.g. Nancy Pelosi receives communion and gets an audience with the pope.

You cannot have someone publicly support an intrinsically immoral act and not excommunicate them. And if you can get away with that, of what use is the moral teaching of the RC Church? Apparently there are no sanctions; and if one is prominent enough, one not only gets to say that one is a Roman Catholic while advocating for an intrinsically moral evil, but even gets an audience with the pope with nary a slap on the wrist.

I would also like to compare the condemnations of e.g. Luther one sees on popular RC apologetics blogs with the silence regarding Nancy Pelosi and Rudy Jiuliani, for two examples.

You think that we are saved by grace through faith alone? Heretic! Anathema! Bad Epistemology!

You advocate for abortion?

Well, you guys are in fellowship with them, not me. :-)

EA said...

"Since when did the magisterium claim to speak infallibly on scientific matters?"

This is a weak move, Edward.

The separation of the categories of "science" and "faith" is anachronistic with respect to the viewpoint held by Galileo and his contemporaries. There were no such distinctions in his day.

The Magesterium had the opportunity to arbitrate on the use of SCRIPTURE during Galileo's day. Did the Magesterium admonish either Galileo or his RCC rivals that the use of Scripture in "scientific" controversies was unwise? Did the Magesterium advise on what the proper interpretation of the verses of Scripture being employed were? The answers are "no" and "no".

The Magesterium elected to remain silent on the use or misuse of Scripture during a time of "controversy" and "error". This was a "feature" that Alex indicated the Magesterium possessed. I simply retrieved an historical example that contradicted his assertion.

I said nothing about the Magesterium needing to infallibly decide who was right with respect to Galileo's theories.

Besides the Creation account, are there any other parts of Holy Scripture that are outside the job description of the Infallible Magesterium?

As far as the Donation of Constantine and the Pseudo-Isadorian Decretals go, these are not conspiracy theories akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but actual historical forgeries that were employed, mostly unknowingly, by the medieval papacy to further its claims of temporal rule. The fact that a "Divinely-led" and "Infallible" authority could not detect or did not object to the use of these forgeries speaks for itself.

Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EA said...

EA: "This is a weak move, Edward."

My apologies, Edward, that should read "Erwin".

Carrie said...

“Pope John Paul II considered making an infallible declaration against abortion and euthanasia in his latest encyclical, but the idea was dropped because the teachings were considered "so evident" in Christian faith and tradition, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said. Cardinal Ratzinger, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, said the encyclical as published contains strongly worded formulas condemning both abortion and euthanasia but stopping short of the "formality of dogmatization."

source


Is this one of those areas where it is difficult to interpret whether the teaching is infallible or not?

Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EA said...

"The Magisterium never taught infallibly on heliocentrism v geocentrism."

Again, I never said that it did. Are you hard of reading?

"EA my name is Erwin, not Edward."

Again. my apologies to Edward.
(people that refer to me as a punk and moron get no apology).

"Different men will use different prudential judgment in the administration of their office."

The Borgia papacy could have used you as a spokesman. You really missed your calling. Though, if that's a picture of you on the bike, you didn't miss it by much.

EA said...

"If I had my way I would burn every single heretic at the stake."

That's right; shake the dust off of your sandals.

bkaycee said...

"The Magisterium has taught very clearly that abortion, murder, ..."

"If I had my way I would burn every single heretic at the stake."

hmmm. So killing the "seperated brethren" is ok?

Ex 20:13 Thou shalt not murder.

John 6:27"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, ..."

EA said...

"So killing the "seperated brethren" is ok?"

Just war doctrine?

Carrie said...

Carrie, can you not read?

Yes, but I've seen disputes amongst your own theologians about whether a teaching is infallible or not even though some claim it was taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

What I didn't understand in the article I linked to is why JPII "considered making an infallible declaration" if the teaching was already infallible as you claimed.

Edward Reiss said...

Erwin,

"The Magisterium has taught very clearly that abortion, murder, is wrong. This teaching is infallible Edward and EA. I find it rather distasteful and rude that you little punk liars first say that there isn't an infallible teaching, and now that I show you that there is, your argument has morphed into complaining that the hierarchy hasn't enforced this teaching in every case."

Since I never made the argument the Majesterium didn't have an infallible pronouncement regarding abortion, my argument didn't "morph" at all. I therefore didn't "lie", which means you were very sloppy reading my post. However, as a practical matter the pronouncement is ignored, so what do we make of that?

"The Donation of Constantine, whatever, or its use by you morons to attack the Church is as I said an irrelevant conspiracy. If you liars want to use this as a fall back position due to your misrepresentation of the teachings on abortion then that is your problem."

If an organization claims to be able to sift truth infallibly, even if it is in certain circumstances, I don't think it is too much to ask it not make up forged documents to get political power, or to notice the fraud and do something about it in a timely manner.

As I said earlier, I do not have a"fallback position. However, yours seems to be a species of "argument from outrage" and an almost willful disregard for what your opponents write.

Now, it is not a lie to point out that though the RCC teaches abortion is murder, it treats powerful Catholics with kid gloves, allows them to receive communion and otherwise gives them dignity, such as papal audiences. That seems a little hypocrytical, doen't it?

And finally, you are in full fellowship with these people who publicly flout the teachings of the Majesterium with no apparent discipline from said infallible Majesterium. So, until the Majesterium can be at least a little consistent, I hope you will for not taking the rather over blown claims regarding authority I hear from RC apologists.

Edward Reiss said...

"Keep in mind that Lutherans accepted Tiller the baby killer as one of their own."

"The" Lutherans did no such thing. In fact he was excommunicated from an LCMS congregation.

I suppose that makes you a liar now....(LMBO)

And I notice that the less powerful were excommunicated. What about Nancy and Rudy? They advocate for an intrinsic moral evil.

Sounds like a double standard to me.

James Swan said...

I'm super busy this week but...

Recall, recently DA stated:

"I have already stated that I'm leaving this place forever after this thread is done," "And I won't be reading [Beggars All: Reformation and Apologetics] anymore, either, after I leave this place".

OK, show of hands: how many of you think DA wrote this post because he read this very blog entry?

I'd say he probably did. I don't bet, but I think I'd win some money on this one.

Good 'ol DA. I knew he couldn't resist, or keep his word.

On the other hand, the point of this sparse blog entry was simply to point out that the interpretation of the Catechism needs to be interpreted by the individual. Those of you looking for a theosis battle with me are wasting your time.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Edward writes, "And finally, you are in full fellowship with these people who publicly flout the teachings of the Majesterium with no apparent discipline from said infallible Majesterium.

Are you serious? Do you even know what you are talking about? The Church teaches that these people are not in communion with the Church, via Canon Law and Church teaching. No one has to "excommunicate" them, they excommunicate themselves. So no, we are not in "fellowship" with those "Catholics" who endorse abortion. The Church has been very clear on that. They excommunicate themselves by professing formal heresy. Canon 1364. Learn before you write.

EA said...

"The Church teaches that these people are not in communion with the Church, via Canon Law and Church teaching."

Maybe you should be telling them that.

Matthew Bellisario said...

EA, the Catholic Church tells me that.

EA said...

"EA, the Catholic Church tells me that."

Matthew, if it wasn't clear, I was suggesting that perhaps you should witness to those that have incurred latae sententiae excommunication.

Edward Reiss said...

"Are you serious? Do you even know what you are talking about? The Church teaches that these people are not in communion with the Church, via Canon Law and Church teaching. No one has to "excommunicate" them, they excommunicate themselves.Are you serious? Do you even know what you are talking about? The Church teaches that these people are not in communion with the Church, via Canon Law and Church teaching. No one has to "excommunicate" them, they excommunicate themselves."

Yes, I know what I am talking about.

She receives communion. That takes it out of the realm of speculation about her status and into hard facts, because as a public act she receives communion from the members of the Majesterium or their priests despite the very public information what she defies the Majesterium on what is an intrinsic evil. So, you Matthew are indeed in full communion with her and we know this by the public acts of the Majesterium. Actions speak louder than words, don't they?

And if she can receive communion, even while the pope presides, well, what is one to say about the authority of the pope?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she felt very comfortable taking Communion during the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, who has said supporters of abortion rights should not receive Communion.

"Communion is the body of the people of the church coming together," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference after returning from the Mass. "I feel very much a part of that"....

Benedict's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, later said the pope was not setting a new policy and did not intend to formally excommunicate anyone. But Lombardi added that politicians who vote in favor of abortion should refrain from receiving Holy Communion."

http://tinyurl.com/yern2ho

Thin gruel that--they should refrain from receiving from the stewards of the mysteries of God. Wy aren;t they thrown out for advocating an intrinsic evil?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Edward, your Pelosi example is nice straw man to put up and knock down, but any rational thinker who knows what the Church teaches understands that no matter how many times she commits sacrilege by receiving Christ in the Eucharist, she will not be in communion until she repents of her formal heresy. Nice try, but straw-men don't cut it.

Andrew said...

Matthew, I have a question. Doesn't scripture say that people who refuse to repent of serious, public sin are to be put out of the Church by the Church? Why are the bishops so unwilling to throw these people out? It would be easier for me (I can't speak for other Protestants)to take the authority claims of the RCC seriously if she would excercise that authority in this most needful, and obvious of ways. Why let Pelosi, Biden et al to remain? Doesn't that muddle the message to a certain degree?

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

"Doesn't that muddle the message to a certain degree?"

"Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh." Matthew 18:7

"For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you...For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 30 Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep." 1 Cor 11

EA said...

"You people are the biggest bunch of lying and misrepresenting scumbags I have ever seen. I tell you that if either one of you little punks ever said any of these slanderous lies to my face, this Marine would put you on the floor"

You just did, I'm rolling on it, laughing.

Edward Reiss said...

Matthew,

"Edward, your Pelosi example is nice straw man to put up and knock down, but any rational thinker who knows what the Church teaches understands that no matter how many times she commits sacrilege by receiving Christ in the Eucharist, she will not be in communion until she repents of her formal heresy. Nice try, but straw-men don't cut it."

I don't see the straw, and you are engaging in lame rhetoric to avoid dealing with some issues. Thus, I don't see the straw. I do see a Majesterium which cannot or will not enforce its moral precepts on prominent people who very publicly:

1) Advocate for the right to murder of unborn children

2) Publicly proclaim that they see no problem in receiving Holy Communion, which is the body and blood of Christ

3) Proclaim for all they are Catholics in good standing, whih is re-enforced by their public reception of Communion no matter how many excommunication theories you introduce..

Facts are facts, she received communion at a mass presided over by the pope himself, and she does so at her own parish. Basically, you are reduced to admitting that while she does publicly receive from the ordinary Majesterium--somehow that doesn't matter. Put another way, you deny the reality of what she is doing by asserting she is excommunicated despite the brute fact the ordinary Majesterium gives her communion. To borrow an argument popular with you guys--why should I take your private interpretation of her status with the Church when I can watch her receive communion at amass over which the pope himself presided?

EA said...

Matthew,

Why doesn't the priest distributing the Eucharist withhold it from parishioners like Pelosi? After all her stance is a public one, it is not as if the clergy is unaware of her heresy. This is not the same as an average unknown layman harboring an undisclosed belief that abortion is acceptable.

Edward Reiss said...

Erwin,

Your sputtering rage at simply, verifiable facts is rather telling, isn't it? And as I said, Pelosi receives communion in such a way that you are in fellowship with her, even if you don't like that. She receives from the ordinary Majesterium, as do you. And, instead of raging against such a sacrilege against the body and blood of Jesus Christ, you try and pick a fight with the messenger.

Fascinating.

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

Edward said, "I do see a Majesterium which cannot or will not enforce its moral precepts on prominent people who very publicly:

1) Advocate for the right to murder of unborn children

2) Publicly proclaim that they see no problem in receiving Holy Communion, which is the body and blood of Christ

3) Proclaim for all they are Catholics in good standing, whih is re-enforced by their public reception of Communion no matter how many excommunication theories you introduce..

My response

1. The Church does not endorse people who advocate abortion. This is simply a lie. The Pope himself has declared, "Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4).

Clearly the Church has defined this clearly. If bishops obstinately do not follow the Church's teaching then they will be held accountable by God. The Pope can't police the thousands of bishops around the world. You also seem to think that the Pope is like a dictator that goes around policing everyone. That is also a mischaracterization of his role.

2.The Church has never publicly proclaimed that these people are in good standing with the Church. That is also a lie. There have been people excommunicated or reprimanded publicly by the Church and her bishops over the issue of abortion. Examples, Archbishop Don Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz, to name a few. You have no clue as to what you are talking about.

Andrew said...

Matthew said: "Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh." Matthew 18:7

"For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you...For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 30 Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep." 1 Cor 11

I understand those things, but what of the scripture's command to throw these people out? I respectfully suggest that you've avoided the thrust of my question. Let me put it another way: Newman argued that an infallible bible is of no use to us without an infallible interpretation. Apply that logic to the authority claims of the RCC. How useful is an infallible authority without infallible execution of that authority? Does it not become a funtionally fallible authority?

Andrew said...

Erwin F said: "I tell you that if either one of you little punks ever said any of these slanderous lies to my face, this Marine would put you on the floor."

Well Erwin, this Christian would turn the other cheek.

Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EA said...

"EA I'm in great shape. Anytime you would like a makeover, I can arrange it for you. There's no need to pay for botox, I'll supply the results for free friend."

No thanks. I'm married.

"The problem with this generation and their lack of respect."

Huh?

"Where I come from you say yes sir, no sir to those older or wiser than you."

Even to a woman?

Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erwin Fleischer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EA said...

"I will not degrade myself any further to your sinful nature."

You called me a punk, a liar, a moron, a queer, and equated me with a Nazi and yet you demanded my respect?

You have not earned my respect, but you have earned my pity. You sound like a twisted, angry, old man. I pray that you find the Peace of Jesus Christ, because apparently you haven't found it yet.

Andrew said...

Erwin, Judas was being used as God's instrument. Now please answer my question: What lie have I told?

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Erwin Fleischer,

Since the example of Jesus suffering lies, slander and mockery--even physical death--without physical retaliation is too low for you to follow, perhaps I should remind you that you are making threats of physical violence on a public blog. These can, and probably should, be reported to the police.

The brutal and rude name-calling also seems much more in-line with the Pharisees than Jesus.

As for this:

I bet you two unthoughtful little punks would attempt to ridicule Our Lord for not throwing Judas out too. It's very interesting how neither one of you two addressed that point.

It's like when we Protestants point out that the thief on the cross was not baptized and yet he was justified before God. Catholics generally claim him as an exception to a salvific rule not yet established.

In this case, the Church is commanded to remove certain people from fellowship after Jesus ascended and Judas was dead, rendering your example moot (not to mention that Judas had a specific role to play that would not be applicable to the general principle of Church discipline and excommunication). Automatically excommunicating yourself does not meet the standards put forth in passages like 1 Corinthians 5 and Matthew 18:15-17. It seems your denomination continues to treat pro-abortion (false) Catholics in the same manner (offering them the Eucharist, for example) as true Catholics in good standing with the Church. Your denomination truly does prefer its traditions to the Word of God.

Erwin Fleischer said...

Schultz I'm just being a little over the top and dramatic for the silly effect. Never meant to be taken seriously. I thought that this was blatantly obvious. Since you did not take it that way, and took it seriously, I removed all the comments.

EA seemed to realize this when he said, "You just did, I'm rolling on it, laughing."

I got too involved in being perceived as the angry old man. As I said, this was all in jest. I'm sorry for causing real confusion. It was a bit immature of me.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Andrew writes, "How useful is an infallible authority without infallible execution of that authority? Does it not become a funtionally fallible authority?"

If the Bible is an infallible authority shouldn't all who read it and call themselves a Christian act accordingly to what it teaches? If it cannot function in its execution as an infallible authority does it not become a fallible authority? Do you see how bad of an argument that is? Just because the Church teaches infallible doctrine does not mean it can infallibly correct everyone by force who call themselves a Catholic. Where on earth do you get these ideas Andrew? Does the Pope and Catholic Church ever claim they can correct everyone who call themselves Catholic with infallible execution? This is ridiculous. Please think before you make these attacks. They don't help your casue.

Alex said...

The problem still seems to be that on the one hand we have what the Church teaches and one the other we have what some here think the Church should teach or mistakenly believe the Church teaches.

What infallibilty means is that whe the Church defines a teaching as de fide, this teaching is free from error. It doesn't mean that in the execution of their office ever bishop acts infallibly. It doesn't mean that every bishop in applying the teachings of the Church will do so infallibly. If any of that were true then the bishop would cease to be human with their own will.

The counter arguments that are intended to be against the teaching of infallibility are not because they are not addressing the teaching.

Matt's example of the Scripture hits dead on target. Scripture is inerrant. Therefore, as God's holy word it is free from error. Because the de fide teachings of the Church are also part of the deposit of faith, these teachings are free from error.

There is nothing stated in Church teaching that it will address every error conceived by the mind of man. It would be impossible for it to do so. All I have said is that it can address errors as they arise, and when it does, the de fide teachings are free from error. This is functionally different from what we find in protestantism, and it has to be, because there are many confessions, catechisms, and creeds that are all at variance with one another. Law of non-contradiction would apply here.

Rhology said...

If the Bible is an infallible authority shouldn't all who read it and call themselves a Christian act accordingly to what it teaches? If it cannot function in its execution as an infallible authority does it not become a fallible authority? Do you see how bad of an argument that is?

I sure do. So why do Romanists make it wrt to the Bible all the time?

And you're missing what he's saying. If the Mag is supposed to be infallible, then why don't they ever do anythg about it?

And I'd really like to know your reply to the Pelosi question. Why does she still get the Eucharist?

Matthew Bellisario said...

No I'm not missing the point Rhology, you are. The Magisterium is not infallible in policing the Church, get it? Do you not comprehend this? The Church has never claimed to be an infallible police force, understand? It teaches infallibly Christ's Gospel. You are making up your own definitions of what the Church claims in infallibility. Where does the Catholic Church claim that it can police each and every person infallibly?

Rhology said...

Where does the Catholic Church claim that it can police each and every person infallibly?

Is it really too much to ask that an infallible church governing body occasionally perform church discipline? You know, the minimum?

If Pelosi went to my church, she'd've been disciplined and kicked out forthwith.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Rhology said, "Is it really too much to ask that an infallible church governing body occasionally perform church discipline?"

Are you saying that the Church and her bishops never perform any disciplinary action? Can you prove that? I have already provided examples of the Church and its bishops doing just that. If I provided a long list of disciplinary actions the Church has taken against people would that change your mind? I doubt it, because you are not interested in truth. You are only interested in opposing the Catholic Church, nothing more.

What is too much, is that you assume your own definitions of infallibility to the Catholic Church as being able to police the Church infallibly. This is ridiculous. As I stated before, the Church's teaching is clear. The fact that some who call themselves Catholic do not follow the Church's teaching does not have any bearing on the Church's ability to teach infallibly.

Rhology said...

You're a lousy mindreader, Matthew.

And I asked a very specific question. Pelosi. Answer it.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Rhology, did you not read my earlier posts pertaining to Pelosi? Do I look like the bishop who runs her diocese? Why don't you email him or the pastor who runs her church and ask them? This has no bearing on the Church's ability to teach infallibly. For you to make such an argument is absurd.

Edward Reiss said...

Matthew,

"1. The Church does not endorse people who advocate abortion. This is simply a lie. The Pope himself has declared, "Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist."

And yet, as far as "ground truth" goes, these people still receive communion. The objective situation is more important, because the objective situation is what people see and hear the church proclaim. There is also the objective reception of Jesus' body and blood even if e.g. Jiuiani "automatically" excommunicated himself. Where is the proest supervising the mysteries of God? AWOL apparently, along with the bishop and in the case of Pelosi, to the pope himself as she received ad a mass over which he himself was presiding.

"Clearly the Church has defined this clearly. If bishops obstinately do not follow the Church's teaching then they will be held accountable by God. The Pope can't police the thousands of bishops around the world. You also seem to think that the Pope is like a dictator that goes around policing everyone. That is also a mischaracterization of his role."

I never said th epope is a dictator. You, however, make him sound impotent in the extreem. Are yo usure you believe that?

Anyway, Pelosi received communion at a service over which *th epope himself was presiding* and later crowed about it. Surely the pope has some influence, nay power, over local bishops even if it is not "dictatorial"--and surely he has authority over a mass over which he himself presides!

You see, Matthew, you are left in a difficult position because you are using the Church's teachings to correct the public ministry of the Majesterium and/or its priests. It doesn't matter how many documents you put forth--the teaching office of the Church allows people who publicly disagree with key RC moral teaching to receive the highest sacrament. As long as you quote the writings of the Majesterium against its public practice, you act like, well, a Protestant citing the Scriptures over and against Church practice because the public ministry of th eRCC differs from his "private interpretation" of Majesterial documents.

It is rather polemic, but why is your interpretation of RC teaching more authoritative than the public teaching and acts of the Majesterium?

BTW, I understand that formally the RC teaches against abortion. But a formal teaching with no effect in real life is in effect not a formal teaching. We must do good works--remember? Just like faith without works is dead, so a teaching not acted upon is dead.

"2.The Church has never publicly proclaimed that these people are in good standing with the Church. That is also a lie. "

Who is allowed to receive communion in the RCC? Am I wrong to say that it is Catholics in good standing, or can anyone join the party even if they "automatically excommunicate themselves" like, say, a Lutheran?

What the Church *does* it publicly proclaims. So, if the Church gives communion to an unrepentant public sinner, the Church says that person is a Catholic in good standing--no matter what documents may say.

BTW, my father was RC before he passed. At his funeral the RC priest asked me if I would be receiving. I told him I would not as I am a Lutheran, and he agreed with my non-reception. This is because receiving communion is, among other things, the highest form of fellowship for RCs and Lutherans. That is why I say you are in fellowship with Nancy Pelosi--it is because objectively *you are*.

Would that the RC teaching office was so solicitous in the case of prominent, powerful people as with little old me.

Rhology said...

Oh sure, he'd listen to some no-name like me. Please.

Why doesn't his superior do sthg? If not him, then HIS superior? If not him, then the Pope?

Rhology said...

And if not, then what good is an "infallible teaching" that abortion is wrong if the church doesn't do anythg to punish those within her ranks that do it?

Edward Reiss said...

"This has no bearing on the Church's ability to teach infallibly. For you to make such an argument is absurd."

This is because you see teaching an dinfallibility as an abstraction: as long as the documentation is OK and the priests say the right combination of words, it doesn't matter that flagrant, public sinners receive communion.

Shouldn't teaching and infallibility have a practical component, too? And if they don't, isnpt that a lot like faith without works?

Rhology said...

Exactly Edward Reiss.
What does it profit them if they say they have infallibility but have no works?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Edward said, "That is why I say you are in fellowship with Nancy Pelosi--it is because objectively *you are*."

No I am not objectively in fellowship with Pelosi. She is excommunicated by formal heresy. What is so hard for you to understand here? Are you that dense? Someone who is excommunicated because of formal heresy is no longer in communion with the Body of Christ. Therefore just because she receives Communion does not make her formal heresy disappear. Therefore, no, I am not in fellowship with her. You have made another false statement here. You apparently do not understand how excommunication works. Study up on that and then come back when are able to discuss these matters rationally.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Edward writes, "Shouldn't teaching and infallibility have a practical component, too? And if they don't, isnpt that a lot like faith without works?"

Prove there are no Catholics living the infallible teaching of the Church, then you would have an argument. Unfortunately using examples like Pelosi doesn't help your case. The example of the Saints and how they lived Catholic doctrine proves that the infallible teaching is lived out in many lives. Therefore your argument is not a tenable one. Try again.

Edward Reiss said...

Matthew,

"Prove there are no Catholics living the infallible teaching of the Church, then you would have an argument. Unfortunately using examples like Pelosi doesn't help your case. The example of the Saints and how they lived Catholic doctrine proves that the infallible teaching is lived out in many lives. Therefore your argument is not a tenable one. Try again."

The point isn't whether or not there is a RC somewhere who lives according to Church teachings, but that Pelosi publicly and prominently defies Church teaching and yet is allowed into the highest form of fellowship. We are not talking about some obscure person who has an opinion he keeps in his heart, but very prominent people who go around and call themselves Catholic, and are objectively in fellowship with the Church. That is simply a brute fact.

It is as if a King said everyone in his court had to be born of noble blood on both sides, and one of his courtiers went about loudly proclaiming that he is the son of peasants and yet he is till a member of the King's court--just look at how I attend to the king--as opposed to someone who had a milkmaid for a mother and keeps quiet about it. Both are contrary to the law, so to speak, but one is flagrant about it, and absent public punishment it calls the seriousness of the king into question. It also akes the king's law an abstraction, an idea one keeps in ones head. One doesn;t in that case obey the law because of the authority of the king, but because one, well, privately decides to do so.

It is as simple as that, other, pious Catholics are not the issue.

And I find it interesting that you keep trying to change the subject.

Edward Reiss said...

Matthew,

"No I am not objectively in fellowship with Pelosi. She is excommunicated by formal heresy."

That is just your private opinion, as one can watch her take part in the highest form of fellowship with the approval of the Ordinary Majesterium despite her supposed excommunication and public sin.

And who are you to determine whether she is a "real" Catholic or not, when the acts of the Majesterium contradict it?

Remember, we are talking about public, flagrant violations of Church teaching here. Why can she approach the altar and receive?

Rhology said...

Pelosi and Matthew B are apparently in two different denominations of Romanism. Both are apparently OK with the RC hierarchy, 'cause they haven't done anythg to stop the Pelosi flavor.

But I thought denominations = disunity = evil.

I don't expect Matthew to change his lame arguments or even follow this one. It's not that he's necessarily stupid, it's that he's blind and far too emotional.

Alex said...

In other words Edward, if we were to follow your example of the king, if he doesn't execise strict judgment on every person who acts against his law then he in truth doesn't have the authority to exercise judgment or his laws are not really law?

If a modern day prosecutor doesn't prosecute someone who violated the law, does that mean that the law isn't law or that the prosecutor doesn't truly have the authority to prosecute?

If a particular bishop doesn't exercise swift puishment when the canon law or Church teaching requires, then the argument would be made against him as an individual and not his office.

The arguments from you side on this issue are so full of fallacious reasoning that I am surprised that you continue to pursue them. It is as if you have this conception of Church teaching that is at odds with reality, and it is from this fantasy which you wish to pursue an argument.

Edward Reiss said...

Alex,

"In other words Edward, if we were to follow your example of the king, if he doesn't execise strict judgment on every person who acts against his law then he in truth doesn't have the authority to exercise judgment or his laws are not really law?"

No, if you read my post you will see I made a distinction between public, willful defiance of the king and someone who violates the law but no one except perhaps he and his mother and father know about it.

So yes, if the king does nothing about the flagrant violator, the one proclaiming I am the son pf peasants and yet I attend to the king, functionally the law is inoperable. At best there is completely arbitrary enforcement of the law so long as the flagrant, public violator goes free.

I believe I have been consistent in keeping this distinction.

Finally, I don't expect the Majesterium to peer into the hearts of everyone--but if someone blatantly and publicly goes against Church teaching while participating in the highest form of fellowship, is it too much to expect a public rebuke, including public excommunication?

Put bluntly, why, if it is acknowledged Pelosi/Biden etc. have excommunicated themselves, do they continue to receive? It seems the acts of the Ordinary Majesterium would contradict the claims of excommunication.

Andrew said...

Matthew, you've missed my point entirely. See, I don't claim that anyone has an infallible interpretation of scripture. The argument that is used against my position is that I need an infallible interpreter or my infallible book is only as useful as my fallible interpretation. I was simply applying that logic to the issue of the RCC'c authority claims. An infallible authority which is fallibly applied is functionally fallible. You claim that this is a bad argument, and you would be right except for one thing. It is your church's argument against my position applied back to what your church says about itself. My argument stands because of the grandiose claims of your church.

Turretinfan said...

Pelosi took part in communion when the pope visited her country (link).

Andrew Suttles said...

I think this has all gotten far away from the point at hand.

"sw: And don't you know your Scripture?

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
(John 10:34-35 KJV)

sw: Of course you want to insist we take it solely from that context, but to anyone who KNOWS Scripture are not confused by this. We don't read the Catechism in a vacuum."


Scott -
Are you claiming that you are a god or that you will be one? Since you claim to KNOW Scripture, can you explain what you mean?

EA said...

"Prove there are no Catholics living the infallible teaching of the Church, then you would have an argument. Unfortunately using examples like Pelosi doesn't help your case. The example of the Saints and how they lived Catholic doctrine proves that the infallible teaching is lived out in many lives."

This is repesentative of RCC apologetics. Have you ever noticed that no example presented ever gains traction? It's a "heads I win, tails you lose" type of argumentation.

Catholic Apologist: "Look at all the 'saints of the church', that proves the RCC is the One True Church."

Protestant: "What about the Great Schism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Borgia popes, the sex abuse scandal?"

Catholic Apologist: "Those don't count except to show that the Gates of Hell won't prevail against the One True Church."

Ya' can't argue with "logic" like that!

Matthew Bellisario said...

What about the Inquisition and the Crusades? What do you know about them?

EA said...

"What about the Inquisition and the Crusades? What do you know about them?"

Matthew,

Since you've elected to avoid the main thrust of my comment, I will do likewise to yours.

Scott said...

Andrew said:
> I think this has all gotten far
> away from the point at hand.

I agree Andrew, and I prepared a post on my blog which deals more directly with the "authority" issue. It's nearly impossible to format it appropriately in the comments section, so I posted to my blog.

http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2009/11/authority-of-church.html

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Edward Reiss said...

Not that Matthew thinks it actually matters:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/22/report-kennedy-barred-communion-stance-abortion/

Report: Kennedy Barred From Communion for Stance on Abortion

I actually rejoice if this is true.

Alex said...

Not that Matthew thinks it actually matters:

Why would you say this? What has Matthew said that would lead you to believe that it wouldn't matter to him when Church teaching is being carried out?

Thanks,
Troll

Edward Reiss said...

"Why would you say this? What has Matthew said that would lead you to believe that it wouldn't matter to him when Church teaching is being carried out?"

Because his argument was that since these people are automatically excommunicated anyway, there was no need for them to be formally excommunicated. As he himself said:

"Are you serious? Do you even know what you are talking about? The Church teaches that these people are not in communion with the Church, via Canon Law and Church teaching. **No one has to "excommunicate" them, they excommunicate themselves.** So no, we are not in "fellowship" with those "Catholics" who endorse abortion. The Church has been very clear on that. They excommunicate themselves by professing formal heresy. Canon 1364. Learn before you write."

(Emph. added)

Now, in my opinion this is not a considered position by Matthew, but a function of the common habit on the Internet of acting like everything an opponent says must be either objectively wrong, a product if stupidity, a gross misunderstanding or just the product of malice--and possibly all of them. It cannot be that the opponent has a point.

Suffice it to say that the bishop in question does not seem to agree with Matthew's claims re: automatic excommunication.

I should also point out the the bishop in question is still a little mealy mouthed, but he seems to be on the right track.