Friday, May 28, 2010

Papacy built on pious fiction and forgery 2

The right way to understand history is to start from the beginning.

What was it like to be a Christian in the earliest church in Rome? We have a marvellous picture of this earliest church, provided by the New Testament scholar Peter Lampe, author of the work "From Paul to Valentinus: Christians in Rome in the First Two Centuries."

The Catholic historian Eamon Duffy writes in his work, "Sinners and Saints":
"All modern discussion of the issues must now start from [this] exhaustive and persuasive analysis by Peter Lampe.”

Lampe seemingly searched and analyzed every scrap of paper from that era, every tomb, every inscription, every archaeological find, every available public record, and he pieced together one of the most intricate reconstructions of the church in this place, in this era. Lampe brings to life this ancient city, in a way that modern readers I think will see and feel and understand what was going on in that earliest church period.

Here is most of
the entire work on Google Books.

Before Christians were in Rome, there was a network of Jewish synagogues in the city.

Philo, writing in the first half of the first century ad, already knew of a number of established "proseucha," or Jewish synagogue buildings in Rome.

"The inscriptions verify a maximum of fourteen different congregations," Lampe says (p. 431-2). These are listed in Appendix 4 of his work.

These are individual communities, independently organized, each with its own place of assembly, its own council of elders, and its own community officials. These communities were only loosely associated with each other. Throughout the entire imperial period there is no evidence of a union of Roman Jewish communities under one single council of elders, a finding that is a contrast to Alexandria, where the diverse synagogues formed one big political corporation.... At least five of the communities listed above existed already in the first century c.e. The background of a fractionated Roman Jewry serves as a foil to the fractionation of Roman Christianity.
This is important for understanding how early Roman Christianity developed, because, as Lampe says, "That new communities of worship were established in a city next to already existing communities was not unusual for Jewish circumstances. A group of ten men capable of worship were enough to form a new community (footnote 1, pg 431).

It's important to note that Roman visitors were present in Jerusalem at Acts 2: Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism).... Those who accepted [Peter's] message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

So it’s not certain, but a very clear picture emerges of how Christian churches first were formed in Rome. Returning from Rome after Pentecost, new Roman Christians (likely in the early 30’s ad) traveled back home, and began to worship in and around this network of synagogues.

Here's how Lampe assesses the growth of Christian communities along the Puteoli-Rome trade axis, following the routes of Christians in Rome as early as shortly after Pentecost.

The Christian presence in Puteoli and Rome correlates with a twofold background. (a) Jews had lived in Puteoli since Augustan times (sources), perhaps Aquileia in the north, and Puteoli accommodated the only pre-Christian Jewish settlements in Italy known to us. This is one more confirmation that earliest Christianity spread along the routes that Judaism had already followed: the synagogues were the setting for the first Christian mission. (b) The Jewish as well as the Christian "axis" Puteoli-Rome has a particular economic-historical background. The stretch Puteoli-Rome was the main trade route between the East and the city of Rome in the first half of the first century. The road of Judaism and Christianity from the east to Rome followed in the footsteps of trade. ... That Judaism and Christianity made their way to Rome through Puteoli ... was typical of the entrance of eastern religions into the world's capital city. (Lampe, pgs 7, 9-10)
What kind of leadership did they have? What kind of worship? We don’t know, and can only speculate. However, we do have further evidence of the presence of Christians in Rome throughout the 30’s and 40’s. Consider Acts 18:


After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
The “Edict of Claudius” in 49 ad was reported in secular history by Suetonius, who said that Jews were expelled from Rome for creating disturbances “under the influence of Chrestus.” These must have been some severe and ongoing disturbances not only to have captured the eye of the Emperor, but to have prompted such a severe action.

Lampe continues, “Several observations suggest that Aquila and Pricilla had been expelled from Rome as Christians and had emigrated to Corinth.


In Corinth, Paul baptized only Gaius, Crispus, and the household of Stephanas (1 Cor 1:14-16) – not Aquila or Priscilla. The first person converted in Greece by Paul was Stephanas (1 Cor 16:15) – Not Aquila or Priscilla. That is startling, because, at the very beginning in Corinth, Paul stayed, lived, and worked not with Stephanas, but with Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:3). The logical conclusion is that the couple were already baptized when Paul appeared as the first Christian missionary in Corinth. (Lampe, 11-12)
If this occurred in 49 ad, we know for certain that there were Christians again in Rome by 57 ad, when Paul wrote to the church there. Lampe associates the earliest churches (he even includes a map), with the "house churches" that Paul greeted in Romans 16, "ecclesiastical regions" along with population centers of the city (pg 477 in the book).

Later Roman records are very detailed, and Lampe later uses records of established churches (known from attendance records at councils) and actually traces the locations from Romans 16 into these “tituli” churches.


Lord willing, I'll give more details of these "house churches," and pictures of ordinary life for the first Christians at Rome, in future postings.

38 comments:

Lvka said...

Don't confound baptism with conversion, which is the result of preaching: 1 Corinthians 1:17.

John Bugay said...

And what, specifically, is the point you are trying to make?

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

John wrote, "What kind of leadership did they have? What kind of worship? We don’t know, and can only speculate. "

Exactly, you don't know, then you have no ground to reject the founding of the papacy in Rome. We know Peter died in Rome and we know his tomb was marked for Christian pilgrimages from the earliest centuries. As far as house churches go, do you know what the earliest house church in existence is? Guess what, it had images of Christ in it and attests to a form of Catholic worship, not Protestant worship.

John wrote, "So it’s not certain, but a very clear picture emerges of how Christian churches first were formed in Rome."

What does this mean? Its either certain or uncertain, it can't be uncertain, yet very clear. What kind of jargon is this? If you are going to write something, write it in clear, certain terms and ideas instead of using two opposing definitions in the same sentence. Its like saying, "we don't know for sure, but we know very clearly..."

As far as forgery goes, all you have done so far is speculate about something you know little about. Hardly a proof for the non-existence of the primacy of St. Peter.

John Bugay said...

John wrote, "What kind of leadership did they have? What kind of worship? We don’t know, and can only speculate. "

Exactly, you don't know, then you have no ground to reject the founding of the papacy in Rome.

We do know with certainty that there were Christians there, and that there was no Peter.

And in this case, your bombast works both ways. You have no ground to establish the founding a papacy here.

We know Peter died in Rome and we know his tomb was marked for Christian pilgrimages from the earliest centuries.


And that is all that we know: Peter likely died in Rome. Absolutely nothing else is known about Peter in Rome.

John wrote, "So it’s not certain, but a very clear picture emerges of how Christian churches first were formed in Rome."

What does this mean? Its either certain or uncertain, it can't be uncertain, yet very clear.


We know what we know -- there were Christian churches in Rome prior to Peter and Paul getting there. There are other things we don't know with certainty. You are so quick to jump on something, you don't watch what you're jumping on.

Hardly a proof for the non-existence of the primacy of St. Peter.

I am building a case for a Rome without Peter, for a Roman church where the presence of an emperor gives the leadership in that church delusions of grandeur (see this post):

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/05/spirit-of-roman-church.html

I am building a case for a presence of Christianity in Rome which featured a network of house churches, and elders who "fought among themselves as to who was greatest."

I am building a case for a Christianity that is well-attested in history, not one that is dogmatically asserted.

Dogmatic assertion from Catholicism gives us unverifiable dogmas such as the Assumption of Mary, which stems from fifth century heretical literature. It gives us "the Immaculate Conception of Mary," which stems from speculations borne in the spurious Protoevangelion of James.

Dogmatic assertion from the contentious church leaders in the city of Rome led to the emergence of a boastful unified leadership that never hesitated to find opportunities to usurp power that is not its own.

Now, what was YOUR positive evidence in favor of an early papacy?

T

Matthew Bellisario said...

John wrote, "We know what we know -- there were Christian churches in Rome prior to Peter and Paul getting there."

Again, something cannot be uncertain and yet clear. No one writes using wording like that. It is unintelligible. Secondly, it makes no difference if other Christians arrived in Rome prior to St. Peter. Once he arrived he was viewed as the leader. So far you are not building any kind of solid case against the papacy. As you wrote earlier, it is all speculation on your part.

John writes, "And that is all that we know: Peter likely died in Rome."

No we know St. Peter did die in Rome and few scholars today would even argue that point.

John, "I am building a case for a presence of Christianity in Rome which featured a network of house churches, and elders who "fought among themselves as to who was greatest."

The apostles fought among themselves as to who was the greatest, so what? It does negate the fact that Christ presented Peter as the leader.

John says, "I am building a case for a Christianity that is well-attested in history, not one that is dogmatically asserted."

Obviously these things are not certain as you yourself claimed in this post. Then it is not well attested history is it? It is you trying to manipulate what little historical information there is and trying to interpret it in a fashion that fits your liking. The same historical data can be interpreted a myriad of ways.

John says, "Dogmatic assertion from Catholicism gives us unverifiable dogmas such as the Assumption of Mary,"

What does that have to do with the historical data you are talking about now concerning Peter's primacy in Rome? You can worry about the Assumption once you have proven that the papacy is a forgery as you claim it is.

John wrote, "Now, what was YOUR positive evidence in favor of an early papacy?"

I will write something up on that soon.

John Bugay said...

Again, something cannot be uncertain and yet clear. No one writes using wording like that.

Your fixation on this is pathetic. "So it’s not certain, [that Christians migrated to Rome from the very earliest years of Christianity], but a very clear picture emerges of how Christian churches first were formed in Rome. It's not certain in the sense of being "epistemological certain" but it is nevertheless very clear what was happening.

Secondly, it makes no difference if other Christians arrived in Rome prior to St. Peter. Once he arrived he was viewed as the leader. So far you are not building any kind of solid case against the papacy.

I am just beginning, and so far, the statement in question from Irenaeus, that "Peter and Paul founded the church at Rome" is very tenuous indeed.

No we know St. Peter did die in Rome and few scholars today would even argue that point.

The fact is, though, that other scholars continue to argue convincingly that he was not there. Peter Pike, for example, recently published an account of an ossuary in Jerusalem with the inscription "Tu Es Petrus." What might that tell us?

The apostles fought among themselves as to who was the greatest, so what? It does negate the fact that Christ presented Peter as the leader.

If Christ's presentation of Peter as the leader was so clear and decisive, then why were they still fighting about it? That is just an indication that Peter's "leadership" was not clearly understood at all.

What does that have to do with the historical data you are talking about now concerning Peter's primacy in Rome? You can worry about the Assumption once you have proven that the papacy is a forgery as you claim it is.

Because this is the pattern of the whole Roman Catholic religion. From the foundation of its authority to the dogmatic assertion of the Assumption of Mary, it's all just dogmatically asserted make believe. The pattern is very clear.

I will write something up on that soon.

Good luck with that.

John Bugay said...

it's all just dogmatically asserted make believe.

This, by the way, is one huge reason why the world scoffs at Christianity.

louis said...

"you know what the earliest house church in existence is? Guess what, it had images of Christ in it...."

Surely you mean the earliest house church discovered, not the earliest in existence. What is the dating for this house... do you have a reference?

John Bugay said...

The Earliest House Churches

Positively speaking, the Christians of the first and second centuries celebrated their liturgy in rooms that were used in everyday life. This means that the rooms used for Sunday worship had no special immoveable cultic equipment. This explains the absence of any archaeological evidence for Christian assembly rooms in the city of Rome for the first two centuries. Christian circles met someplace in the basilica privata of a wealth Christian or on the third floor of an insula (cf. Acts 20:7ff.), in a rented lodging "over the bath of Myrtinus" (Justin, Acta 3), or in a suburban villa on the Via Latina (chap 27). Justin witnesses that the gatherings of Christians in Rome took place where one preferred it or where it was possible. One was not limited to special cultic rooms.

Still at the beginning of the third century, Minucius Felix lets the pagan Caecilius Natalis complain on the beach at Ostia about the Christians: "Why do they take pains to hide the object of their worship...Why have they no altars, no known sanctuaries? Why do they never speak publicly, never meet openly? ... "

This may be valid until the third century. Minucius Felix, nevertheless, indicates in another passage the difference between the second and third centuries. He is the first to document the use of the term "sacraria" for the Christian places of assembly, i.e., "cultic places," rooms that are apparently set apart for one specific function. (Lampe, 368-369.)

Keep in mind that in talking about the earliest church at Rome, it is in the years 30-70. The "sacraria" only came about in the year 200, at the earliest.

Lvka said...

That St Paul may have converted them without later baptising them, as seems to have usually been his style.

John Bugay said...

That St Paul may have converted them without later baptising them, as seems to have usually been his style.

Paul made a point to keep names straight about who he baptized in Corinth. Acts is clear that they were expelled from Rome in the "disputes over Chrestus." Christianity was seen to be a sect of Judaism at the time. Jews in Rome disputing over Chrestus.

Lampe is arguing that they were Christians at the time -- which he says is more probable than not. But even if they were not, their mere presence with Paul in 49 ad represents a significant historical marker, legitimizing the whole case that Lampe is making.

Matthew Bellisario said...

John says, The fact is, though, that other scholars continue to argue convincingly that he was not there."

Anyone who would argue that St. Peter did not got to Rome is simply denying all the historical and archeological facts that prove he was there as the leader in Rome, he was martyred there, and he was buried there. If you are going to scoff at these facts then you obviously cannot be taken seriously.

Matthew Bellisario said...

John writes, "The fact is, though, that other scholars continue to argue convincingly that he was not there"

Anyone who would dismiss the historical and archeological evidence that proves St. Peter went to Rome, was martyred in Rome, and buried in Rome is simply delusional. If you are going to buy into that it is no wonder that you buy into all of this other nonsense.

"Peter Pike, for example, recently published an account of an ossuary in Jerusalem with the inscription "Tu Es Petrus." What might that tell us?"

It tells us that a tomb possibly has an inscription on it that says, "You are 'Rock'"? Many people had different inscriptions on their tombs relating to Scripture verses, you are really making a stretch to suggest that it was St. Peter's tomb. Again we can see your methodology here and it is not convincing.

John Bugay said...

Matthew, me thinks thou dost protest too much, while not giving any serious evidence at all.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

(Off-topic)

Hi Matthew Bellisario,

I see that you're doing a series on the De-Sacralization of the Holy Eucharist on your blog.

I have some questions for you:

"Suppose a cradle Catholic, baptised and catechised, eventually does not believe in transubstantiation or the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Let's say that he or she thinks it's symbolically meaningful.

Does this Catholic still receive the Real Presence even though she or he doesn't believe in the Real Presence?

If so, and he/she still receives the Real Presence despite not believing in the Real Presence, then why does the doctrine of transubstantiation matter?

Furthermore, let's say that there are some Catholic priests who don't believe in transubstantiation either when they confect the elements. It doesn't matter, right?, because the elements will still have the Real Presence for the partakers of Communion.

So if I understand this correctly, you could have a Catholic priest who doesn't believe in Transubstantiation, and yet his confected elements will still have the Real Presence, AND you could have a Catholic communion participant who likewise doesn't believe in the Real Presence, but he or she would still receive the Real Presence anyways.

Soooooo, why all the hullabaloo over the doctrine of transubstantiation when by the Eucharistic dogma of the Church, the priests and the people will still receive the Real Presence whether they believe in it or not?

Naturally, the worship behavior may be altered by the folks who don’t believe in the Real Presence, but the fact remains that they will still receive the fullness of the Real Presence whether they believe in it or not (per the Eucharistic dogma of the Catholic Church), yes?

Andrew said...

John,
Try as you might, you will not be able to get Matthew to argue like a rational adult. I've tried:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/03/skip-middle-man-as-middle-man-requested.html

Only read that of you really want a migraine.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Truth writes,"So if I understand this correctly, you could have a Catholic priest who doesn't believe in Transubstantiation, and yet his confected elements will still have the Real Presence, AND you could have a Catholic communion participant who likewise doesn't believe in the Real Presence, but he or she would still receive the Real Presence anyways."

No you do not understand correctly. It matters a great deal. A baptized Catholic who does not believe the teaching of the Church concerning the Eucharist receives it in a state of sacrilege, and so they do not receive grace from the Sacrament, and they only upset the state of their soul by receiving it in such a state. As St. Thomas says, they receive it Sacramentally but not spiritually.

Concerning the priest, as long as he intends to do what the Church intends him to do concerning the consecration, then the Sacrament is confected in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. There are many distinctions that must be made and understood in order to see clearly how particular events or personal actions effect the celebration and reception of the Most Holy Sacrament.

I would recommend that you read St. Thomas' ST-Tertia Pars Q73-83 to learn more about this particular topic so that you understand this subject correctly before making assumptions about what matters and what does not matter concerning such things. In fact, many of the misunderstandings Protestants make concerning the Catholic Church could be solved if they would spend some time and read the Summa.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Matthew Bellisario: "A baptized Catholic who does not believe the teaching of the Church concerning the Eucharist receives it in a state of sacrilege, and so they do not receive grace from the Sacrament, and they only upset the state of their soul by receiving it in such a state. As St. Thomas says, they receive it Sacramentally but not spiritually."

So a baptized Catholic who doesn't believe in transubstantiation receives the Host sacramentally, but doesn't receive the Host spiritually, is that right?

So non-belief by the baptized Catholic can spiritually nullify the Real Presence for that unbelieving Communion participant, is that right?

Matthew Bellisario said...

You have to be clear when using terminology here. Christ is still present in the Sacrament in every way, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The person receiving Him sacrilegiously however receives no spiritual benefit despite actually partaking in the Sacrament. Again St. Thomas addressed this long before my time and he explains it in depth. Again please go to ST Tertia Pars Q73-83.

Link here.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4.htm

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"You have to be clear when using terminology here."

Sorry. That's why I'm asking these questions. This subject is not very clear to me.

"Christ is still present in the Sacrament in every way, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The person receiving Him sacrilegiously however receives no spiritual benefit despite actually partaking in the Sacrament."

Okay, I think I've got it. The unbelieving Communion participant cannot nullify the Real Presence, but she or he can nullify the spiritual benefit that can be derived from the Real Presence because of their unbelief.

No belief in Transubstantiation = No spiritual benefit from the Real Presence for the unbelieving Communion Participant.

Have I understood this properly now?

John Bugay said...

Andrew: Try as you might, you will not be able to get Matthew to argue like a rational adult.

Thanks for the caution Andrew. That's not my job anyway. :-)

Matthew Bellisario said...

"No belief in Transubstantiation = No spiritual benefit from the Real Presence for the unbelieving Communion Participant.

Have I understood this properly now?"

Properly speaking yes that is correct. Saint Thomas writes, "...it can be considered in comparison with the recipient of the sacrament, in so far as there is, or is not, found in him an obstacle to receiving the fruit of this sacrament. Now whoever is conscious of mortal sin, has within him an obstacle to receiving the effect of this sacrament; since he is not a proper recipient of this sacrament, both because he is not alive spiritually, and so he ought not to eat the spiritual nourishment, since nourishment is confined to the living; and because he cannot be united with Christ, which is the effect of this sacrament, as long as he retains an attachment towards mortal sin. Consequently, as is said in the book De Eccles. Dogm.: "If the soul leans towards sin, it is burdened rather than purified from partaking of the Eucharist."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Now whoever is conscious of mortal sin, has within him an obstacle to receiving the effect of this sacrament; since he is not a proper recipient of this sacrament, both because he is not alive spiritually, and so he ought not to eat the spiritual nourishment, since nourishment is confined to the living; and because he cannot be united with Christ, which is the effect of this sacrament, as long as he retains an attachment towards mortal sin."

So is it a sin for Catholics to not believe in Transubstantiation? If so, is it a venial sin or a mortal sin to not believe in Transubstantiation?

P.S. What would be your rough guess as to the percentage of Catholics (or range of percentages of Catholics) who don't believe in transubstantiation or the Real Presence in the Eucharist?

Matthew Bellisario said...

"So is it a sin for Catholics to not believe in Transubstantiation? If so, is it a venial sin or a mortal sin to not believe in Transubstantiation?"

I believe it would be rejecting a core tenet of the faith and would be the mortal sin of heresy.

St. Thomas says, "Falsehood is contrary to truth. Now a heretic is one who devises or follows false or new opinions. Therefore heresy is opposed to the truth, on which faith is founded; and consequently it is a species of unbelief.

I answer that, The word heresy as stated in the first objection denotes a choosing...Accordingly there are two ways in which a man may deviate from the rectitude of the Christian faith. First, because he is unwilling to assent to Christ: and such a man has an evil will, so to say, in respect of the very end. This belongs to the species of unbelief in pagans and Jews. Secondly, because, though he intends to assent to Christ, yet he fails in his choice of those things wherein he assents to Christ, because he chooses not what Christ really taught, but the suggestions of his own mind.

Therefore heresy is a species of unbelief, belonging to those who profess the Christian faith, but corrupt its dogmas."


"P.S. What would be your rough guess as to the percentage of Catholics (or range of percentages of Catholics) who don't believe in transubstantiation or the Real Presence in the Eucharist?"

I have no idea. Too many I suppose.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"I believe it would be rejecting a core tenet of the faith and would be the mortal sin of heresy."

"Concerning the priest, as long as he intends to do what the Church intends him to do concerning the consecration, then the Sacrament is confected in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy."

Okay, let's say that there's a Catholic priest who doesn't believe in the Real Presence, who doesn't believe in Transubstantiation. This unbelieving priest confects the Elements and despite his unbelief, the parishioners still receives the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist when the Elements are dispensed.

The unbelieving priest then partakes of the Elements he confected. As you've said previously, he has committed the mortal sin of heresy and he will not receive the spiritual benefit of the Real Presence for his soul because of his unbelief in the Real Presence.

Is that correct?

John Bugay said...

Matthew -- what would St. Thomas say about the concept, "garbage in, garbage out"?

The reason I'm asking is because, as you may know, he thought that Pseudo-Dionysius was, um, from the Apostolic age (when in reality, he was a 6th century neoplatonist).

Nevertheless, Thomas relied quite heavily on him, second only to Aristotle among his sources.

Matthew Bellisario said...

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4082.htm#article7

Matthew Bellisario said...

John it doesn't really matter what era Pseudo-Dionysius was from. What is important are the principles of reality that he pulled from the works which were based on Platonic thought. St. Augustine was also a great source for Aquinas among others. As far as garbage in garbage out, I have no idea to what you are referring to.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4082.htm#article7

I looked at Article 7 and I did not see how it addressed my question:

"The unbelieving priest then partakes of the Elements he confected. As you've said previously, he has committed the mortal sin of heresy and he will not receive the spiritual benefit of the Real Presence for his soul because of his unbelief in the Real Presence.

Is that correct?"

John Bugay said...

What is important are the principles of reality that he pulled from the works which were based on Platonic thought. St. Augustine was also a great source for Aquinas among others. As far as garbage in garbage out, I have no idea to what you are referring to.

You're just assuming that "platonic thought" is on par with "biblical revelation."

Matthew Bellisario said...

John says, "You're just assuming that "platonic thought" is on par with "biblical revelation."

How on earth did you come to that erroneous assumption? Where did I ever say that? I find it truly amazing how you can have such knowledge unless you think are God Himself now. In fact, why don't you enlighten us all and show me where I have said that Platonic thought is on par with Divine Revelation, or where any Catholic has ever claimed such as thing. Please enlighten us all John.

John Bugay said...

the principles of reality that he pulled from the works which were based on Platonic thought.

I would think that the "forms," rather than being "principles of reality," are more like a negative drag on the Scriptures.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I looked at Article 7 and I did not see how it addressed my question:

"The unbelieving priest then partakes of the Elements he confected. As you've said previously, he has committed the mortal sin of heresy and he will not receive the spiritual benefit of the Real Presence for his soul because of his unbelief in the Real Presence.

Is that correct?"

-----

Hi Matthew Bellisario,

Can you verify the above understanding please?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Jon says, "I would think that the "forms," rather than being "principles of reality," are more like a negative drag on the Scriptures."

We use our intellects to read Scripture no? God gave us intellects. Try using yours for a change and quit making false accusations. Try reading the Summa maybe you will learn something.

Truth, the effect is the same for anyone receiving the Sacrament in a state of mortal sin.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Truth, the effect is the same for anyone receiving the Sacrament in a state of mortal sin."

That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure.

It just seems somewhat peculiar that a priest could confect Elements that have the Real Presence, but he himself cannot receive the spiritual benefits of the Real Presence when he partakes because he himself doesn't believe in the Real Presence.

Somewhat weird. He doesn't get the spiritual benefits of his own cooking, so to speak.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Article 5 gives a full explanation.

"I answer that, As was said above (1,3), the priest consecrates this sacrament not by his own power, but as the minister of Christ, in Whose person he consecrates this sacrament. But from the fact of being wicked he does not cease to be Christ's minister; because our Lord has good and wicked ministers or servants. Hence (Matthew 24:45) our Lord says: "Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant?" and afterwards He adds: "But if that evil servant shall say in his heart," etc. And the Apostle (1 Corinthians 4:1) says: "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ"; and afterwards he adds: "I am not conscious to myself of anything; yet am I not hereby justified." He was therefore certain that he was Christ's minister; yet he was not certain that he was a just man. Consequently, a man can be Christ's minister even though he be not one of the just. And this belongs to Christ's excellence, Whom, as the true God, things both good and evil serve, since they are ordained by His providence for His glory. Hence it is evident that priests, even though they be not godly, but sinners, can consecrate the Eucharist.

Reply to Objection 1. In those words Jerome is condemning the error of priests who believed they could consecrate the Eucharist worthily, from the mere fact of being priests, even though they were sinners; and Jerome condemns this from the fact that persons defiled are forbidden to approach the altar; but this does not prevent the sacrifice, which they offer, from being a true sacrifice, if they do approach."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Matthew Bellisario,

Thanks for posting Article 5. It seems to draw out in more specific detail how the Donatist heresy does not affect the consecration of the Real Presence in the Eucharistic Elements by an unworthy priest.

In this case, a priest who doesn't believe in the doctrine of Transubstantiation. And I think that you've said above that not believing in the doctrine of Transubstantiation is a mortal sin and one is denied the spiritual benefits of the Real Presence because of that denial.

So would you say that believing that Christ's Body actually becomes the Flesh and Blood in the Lord's Supper is Catholic literalism? And that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is Catholic fundamentalist dogma?

And if a priest doesn't believe in the Real Presence and he also knows that some of his parishioners also doesn't believe in the Real Presence, but doesn't try to educate them otherwise in Catholic fundamentalist dogma, is the priest committing the sin of omission by allowing them to partake of the Eucharist in an unworthy manner?

Further, suppose a parishioner who believes in the Real Presence knows that the priest who confected the Elements doesn't believe in the Real Presence, what is the obligation of this parishioner, if any? Does he or she have to report this to the priest's superior, or can they just let it go and be silent about the matter?