Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Relativist, Hodgepodge Soup of Catholicism

In the combox of a recent thread, Jae writes:

Mr. Bugay said, "Around and around they go. As you say, it's a blueprint for anarchy."

So sorry to disagree but actually this more reflects protestantism...since no interpretative authority is higher than anybody else's....a relativist mentality erupted- hodgepodge soup it is.


Lets put this into action:


Martin Luther, “There are almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads; this one will not admit Baptism; that one rejects the Sacrament of the altar; another places another world between the present one and the day of judgment; some teach that Jesus Christ is not God. There is not an individual, however clownish he may be, who does not claim to be inspired by the Holy Ghost, and who does not put forth as prophecies his ravings and dreams.”


The headline news today in the Christian world is very sad, “Last week, another once-big church succumbed to the relentless, media-savvy campaign of determined secular forces...leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted to lift the ban that prohibited sexually active gay and lesbian people from serving as ministers and the blessing of the same-sex couples. Lutherans and Episcopalians join other denominational giants, Unitarians and Presbyterians aside from many independent ..."


If some evangelical pastors say that there is no biblical prerogative against embryonic stem-cell or some pastors say that gay relationship and sex (not the people with homosexual tendencies) have anything against the teaching of the Book? In fact they say that the same Jesus accepted all people regardless of their actions. To them God is all tolerance and loving.


There is a reliable survey that the younger generation of evangelical christians are more prone to liberal interpretation of the Bible.... that in the near future maybe it's ok to have same-sex marriage and "cure" our old age illness' through the destruction of other humans by stem-cell....hopefully God will not allow that to happen.


Some pastors agree with this and some don't BUT ALL have claimed they got it right with the Holy Writ and guided by the Holy Spirit.


How about Artificial Contraception prior to 1930's? Did you know that ALL Christian Churches believed and agreed that it is intrinsically evil, unnatural and thus contrary to the Will of God? What happened to your truth since then? Catholic Teaching still stands today ( Humanae Vitae) that if any christian catholic committed acts of Arti-Contraception is quity of a grave sin.


Now let's see your founding fathers take on this issue:


...


Examining sermons and commentaries, Charles Provan identified over a hundred Protestant leaders (Lutheran, Calvinist, Reformed, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Evangelical, Nonconformist, Baptist, Puritan, Pilgrim) living before the twentieth century condemning non-procreative sex. Did he find the opposing argument was also represented? Mr. Provan stated, "We will go one better, and state that we have found not one orthodox theologian to defend Birth Control before the 1900's. NOT ONE! On the other hand, we have found that many highly regarded Protestant theologians were enthusiastically opposed to it."


So what happened?


It's the old story of Christians attempting to conform the world to Christ and the world attempting to conform Christians to its ways. Protestants fought bravely, but in 1930 the first hole appeared in the contraception dike (in the Anglican Church) and lead to a flood that would engulf the other Protestant Churches, too. In the next thirty years all Protestant churches were swept away from their historic views on contraception. The most terrible point is that just a few years earlier, in 1908, the Anglican Church condemned the very contraception that they would later embrace.


These words were from your "fathers", so what is your take? So why should a christian believe in any words or interpretation from you? if you could err at all therefore it follows you could also err in any point! There is NO quarantee to any of your truth and YOU WILL BE LIABLE to God for leading others over the edge.


Jae's comments suffer from a series of problems:

i) All Jae has done is paint a picture of doctrinal chaos on modern, ethical controversies. Yet that hardly establishes his conclusion, that Protestantism is "a relativist mentality erupted- hodgepodge soup" and that "There is NO quarantee to any of your truth." It's not obvious how the mere presence of disagreement entails his conclusion.

ii) Consider this kind of epistemology applied to life as whole. People disagree over how to interpret everything from casual comments to government constitutions, basic sensory information to data from molecular-level lab experiments. When you encounter these disagreements in everyday life, does that lead you to say that there is no guarantee at all to any truth in your life whatsoever? No, we keep living and acting like we can come to reasonably strong, sometimes even certain, conclusions about a whole variety of matters. Would Jae say this intuitive response to disagreement is wrong? If so, is Jae prepared to apply his skeptical reasoning to other fields of knowledge as well?

To narrow the field, Christians in the early church disagreed over what Scripture teaches on the atonement. For example, the Ransom Theory was popular for perhaps even 1,000 years. Yet Jae, a Roman Catholic, would consider these early Christians part of his denomination. If internal disagreements between early generations of Protestants and their modern counter-parts over one theological issue render them unable to be confident in their interpretations of Scripture, the same would apply to internal disagreements between generations of early Catholics and their modern counter-parts.

iii) Presumably Jae is setting the stage for Rome's grand entrance--instead of blindly groping around in the the doctrinal chaos that is Protestantism, turn to the Magisterium of Roman Catholicism and achieve theological and interpretive certainty! However:

a) There's theological disagreement as to the proper interpretation of standard Catholic proof-texts used to prove the authority of the Roman Catholic denomination (e.g. Matthew 16:18, 1 Timothy 3:15). Presumably this theological disagreement would render any appeal to these passages fruitless. But if we can't be sure of our interpretation of these passages of Scripture, how can Catholics use Scripture to prove the authority of Catholicism to Protestants? It seems like any Scriptural case Jae would make for the authority of the Magisterium will not even be able to get off the ground.

b) There's no obvious difference between disagreement over interpreting the documents of Scripture over interpreting the documents produced from a body like the Magisterium.

c) Apropos, Catholics disagree with Catholics over how to interpret various official Catholic documents, including Scripture. For example, at Beggars All we are regularly treated by lay-Catholic apologists to dismissals of the work of Catholic scholars (who sometimes even teach at Catholic universities and have been appointed to the Magisterium as Cardinals and/or to various Pontifical Councils governed by the Magisterium). If lay-Catholic apologists disagree with Magisterium approved Catholic scholars on theological issues, how can any Catholic be sure he has properly interpreted the Magisterium himself?

The traditional fall-back is that the Magisterium corrects itself. But often clarifications of doctrine are disagreed upon as well. Consider Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on postconciliar eras of church history:
Perhaps I would like to begin with a historical observation. A postconciliar period is almost always very difficult. The important Council of Nicaea -- which for us really is the foundation of our faith, in fact, we confess the faith formulated as Nicaea -- did not lead to a situation of reconciliation and unity as Constantine, who organized this great Council, had hoped. It was followed instead by a truly chaotic situation of in-fighting.

In his book on the Holy Spirit, St. Basil compares the situation of the Church subsequent to the Council of Nicea to a naval battle at night in which no one recognizes the other but everyone fights everyone else. It really was a situation of total chaos: Thus, St. Basil painted in strong colors the drama of the postconciliar period, the aftermath of Nicaea.

Fifty years later, for the First council of Constantinople, the Emperor invited St. Gregory of Nazianzus to take part in the Council. St. Gregory answered: "No. I will not come because I know these things, I know that all Councils produce nothing but confusion and fighting so I shall not be coming." And he did not go.1
Benedict then goes on to describe how these postconciliar observations apply to the post-Vatican II landscape as well.

So if we consistently apply Jae's arguments to the Pope's understanding of postconciliar situations we arrive at the unpleasant conclusion that we really can have no guarantee that we've rightly understood Catholic councils--the very councils that are meant to correct and explain and delineate the faith in times of disagreement. As Jae lays the groundwork for the Magisterium to be the happy alternative to the mire of Protestant division, he unwittingly forgets the interpretive divisions within his own denomination, creating an argument that defeats his own position.

The reality is that Protestants are in the same epistemic position as Catholics--we both have to deal with theological division over interpretations of our infallible documents. Pushing the interpretation of Scripture onto a supposedly infallible body does nothing but push the fundamental problem of interpretation onto another set of documents and words (encapsulated as they are in Catholicism in the CCC, ecumenical councils, Papal encyclicals, etc.). All of the doubt Jae has cultivated about interpretation is equally applicable to his own position.

iv) It's instructive to see how Catholics apprehend the same relativistic arguments atheists use to attack Christianity, yet fail to apply those arguments in any consistent matter; it's as if they forget that the intended target of these kinds of arguments is Christianity in general, not just Protestantism. How do Catholics deal with atheists on this point? As far as I can tell, they don't, and it's the kind of intellectual double-standard that gives you a feel for the current state of Catholic apologetics.

_____________________________

1. Pope Benedict XVI, Questions and Answers (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2008), 158.

58 comments:

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I don't have much to add to what John has said, but I would like to make a couple of observations:


The headline news today in the Christian world is very sad, “Last week, another once-big church succumbed to the relentless, media-savvy campaign of determined secular forces...leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted to lift the ban that prohibited sexually active gay and lesbian people from serving as ministers and the blessing of the same-sex couples. Lutherans and Episcopalians join other denominational giants, Unitarians and Presbyterians aside from many independent ..."

Jae makes no attempt to be fair to the multitudes of conservative individual Christians and denominations who remain faithful to the Word of God when all of American culture is screaming epithets at them for not allowing these great sins into the Church. I wonder why that is?

Some pastors agree with this and some don't BUT ALL have claimed they got it right with the Holy Writ and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Nonsense. All kinds of people have claimed all kinds of things all throughout the ages, and many today make no claim at all that they're guided by the Scriptures alone. I know for a fact that they do not claim this; many liberal homosexual-leaning congregations have completely rejected the Scriptures on the grounds that the passages in question were for another age and "culturally-oriented."

"There is NO quarantee to any of your truth."

Wrong. There are many things that the early Church got right, especially pertaining to the Trinity and the true person of Jesus, with which we fully agree. I rely on the Scriptures and men of great learning, some of whom I know personally, to help guide me, in addition to many great and powerful books that have been written throughout the ages for our edification. What Roman Catholic has not benefited from a particularly wise and astute priest? Or read a particularly well-written and moving book? Why is that not possible for the Protestant, even if we find ourselves in agreement with many of the things said by the Catholic priest or theologian? It is possible, you know, that Catholics and Protestants can find themselves in agreement in a whole host of issues, particularly pertaining to the Christian and his interaction with his environment and culture.

This myth of the individual Christian sitting in his home making great theological decisions from reading his Bible alone is a gross caricature. Does that ever happen? Surely it does. But the vast majority of conservative Protestants have recourse, just as the Roman Catholic does, to the resources provided by their local congregations, creeds, confessions, statements, and people who have done a tremendous amount of studying. No one I know learns his faith in a vacuum; there are Pastors, elders, teachers of great quality.

I would hope Jae would take a little time to think things through better before painting his prejudices with such a broad brush. Maybe take a little time to actually get to know some Reformed and other conservative Protestant folks, which, ironically, his own church calls "separated brethren." In Jae's world, how can we be that at all?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Apropos, Catholics disagree with Catholics over how to interpret various official Catholic documents, including Scripture. For example, at Beggars All we are regularly treated by lay-Catholic apologists to dismissals of the work of Catholic scholars (who sometimes even teach at Catholic universities and have been appointed to the Magisterium as Cardinals and/or to various Pontifical Councils governed by the Magisterium). If lay-Catholic apologists disagree with Magisterium approved Catholic scholars on theological issues, how can any Catholic be sure he has properly interpreted the Magisterium himself?"

Well, how about the large numbers of lay Catholics who practice contraceptive sex contrary to Church teaching?

(a) Do they disagree with Magisterial Authority and Interpretation? And that's why they keep having contraceptive sex?

(b) Were they not taught that contraceptive sex is contrary to Church teaching?

How about the large numbers of Catholics, both lay and clergy, who masturbate?

(a) Do they disagree with Magisterial Authority and Interpretation? And that's why they keep masturbating?

(b) Were they not taught that masturbation is contrary to Church teaching?

Constantine said...

Hi Matthew,


This is a cute line…that if any christian catholic committed acts of Arti-Contraception is quity of a grave sin.

I’m not sure what “Arti-Contraception” is or maybe he means “anti-contraception”. So is he against “anti-contraception” of just plain ol’ “contraception”? Hard to tell, but apparently you can somehow become “quity” of it. Interesting.

Anyway, Matthew, you have hit upon something.

One of the more persistent canards Catholics seem to hold to is the idea stated so eloquently by jae here,

How about Artificial Contraception prior to 1930's? Did you know that ALL Christian Churches believed and agreed that it is intrinsically evil, unnatural and thus contrary to the Will of God?

Unfortunately for jae, as I’ve note here earlier, the preeminent Catholic scholar on the topic disagrees:

“In the Christian era of the Empire, there seems to have been no new inhibition to the dissemination of contraceptive techniques.”

Noonan, John T., Jr. Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986. P. 19

Noonan details the diverse views of the Early Church Fathers in exhaustive detail on contraception as well as the fact that, while there was legislation and punishment against abortion, no such prohibition existed against “contraception” in any of its forms:

“As no legislation against contraception had been specifically enacted by a council, the collections of conciliar canons made in the West between 450 and 550 have nothing on the subject. They contain only the canon of the council of Ancyra on abortion.” Op. cit., p. 147.

As to jae’s assertion about the Will of God, Noonan observes:

“If abortion is so often castigated and contraception so little, contraception cannot have been regarded generally as a major offense against God.” op. cit., p.105

All of which is, of course, in line with the hodge-podge to which you refer.

Keep up the good work!

Peace.

Ryan said...

"...at Beggars All we are regularly treated by lay-Catholic apologists to dismissals of the work of Catholic scholars (who sometimes even teach at Catholic universities and have been appointed to the Magisterium as Cardinals and/or to various Pontifical Councils governed by the Magisterium). If lay-Catholic apologists disagree with Magisterium approved Catholic scholars on theological issues, how can any Catholic be sure he has properly interpreted the Magisterium himself?"

Good point.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

How Many Catholics Follow the Vatican's Ban on Contraception?

Excerpts:

"A year after the Pope proclaimed the teaching on contraception unchanged and unchangeable in the Humanae Vitae encyclical on July 29, 1968, 44% of Catholic women of childbearing age who were regular churchgoers were using artificial contraception. Women already had an unequal role in the church, and many stopped listening to priests on issues of sexuality and morality. Although women are the most directly affected by the ban on artificial contraception, they are not the only ones who oppose it. By 1974, 83% of Catholics said that they disagreed with Humanae Vitae, and many prominent theologians and bishops dissented. By 1980, over 75% of Catholic women in the US had used artifical contraception, and only a third of US priests believed that it was immoral. With increasing acceptability of ignoring this teaching of the Church arose tremendous tension and questioning of the overall credibility of the Church. In 1963, 70% of Catholics believed that the Pope derived teaching authority from Christ through St. Peter, but in 1974, this group had dropped to 42%. By 1999, only 20% of Catholics thought that the Church held the final moral authority on divorce, abortion, and homosexuality, 23% for premarital sex, and 11% for birth control. Ironically, Pope John Paul II’s fear that the Church’s authority on other matters would be undermined if the teaching on contraception was changed came true because it was not changed.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention 2002 National Survey of Family Growth revealed that 97% of American Catholic women over age 18 have used a banned form of contraception, which is the same percentage as the general population. A 2005 nationwide poll of 2,242 U.S. adults by Harris Interactive showed that 90% of Catholics supported the use of birth control."

John Bugay said...

Constantine -- "arti-contraception" is "artificial" contraception, as opposed to "natural family planning."

90% of Catholics supported the use of birth control.

One might imagine the exhaustion of all the priests, handing out penances of Hail Marys to all these practicers of birth control. But I have heard that the Vatican has somehow relaxed the stricture on this point -- that is, you can practice artificial contraception, confess it, and you don't even have to say the Hail Marys.

Rhology said...

It's not as if "Sacred Tradition" fares better in unifying the faithful.

Constantine said...

Thanks, John.

I stand corrected.

Peace.

Henry said...

But I have heard that the Vatican has somehow relaxed the stricture on this point -- that is, you can practice artificial contraception, confess it, and you don't even have to say the Hail Marys.

This sort of falls into your other horrible sources. Please show us where the Vatican relaxed the stricture on this point. Let me guess, you found some liberal theologian to tell you this? I don't know which is more telling, that you consider appeals to only those in dissent of Church teaching to be credible, or that the protesting heretics who follow this blog buy into it.

You should visit the womenpriests website. You could probably find more material there that would fit your liking.

John Bugay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Bugay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Bugay said...

Henry - thanks for stopping by. I'm sure you'll find Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family adequately conservative for your liking. Maybe not. It is a Vatican directive though:



Pastoral Guidelines for Confessors



Sacramental absolution is not to be denied to those who, repentant after having gravely sinned against conjugal chastity, demonstrate the desire to strive to abstain from sinning again, notwithstanding relapses. In accordance with the approved doctrine and practice followed by the holy Doctors and confessors with regard to habitual penitents, the confessor is to avoid demonstrating lack of trust either in the grace of God or in the dispositions of the penitent, by exacting humanly impossible absolute guarantees of an irreproachable future conduct (45).



http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_12021997_vademecum_en.html



So what this means is, someone can practice contraception, confess, get absolution, go back and practice contraception, confess, get absolution, etc., their "relapses" notwithstanding.



[Imagine someone committing some OTHER kind of "grave sin" and confessing it, repeatedly. "Bless me father for I have sinned, I committed multiple murders/robberies/homosexual acts/etc. last week..." And imagine the directive, "the confessor is to avoid demonstrating lack of trust..."]

Henry said...

In order for a confession to be valid John, the penitent must have contrition for their sin and the firm resolve to sin no more.

VII. THE ACTS OF THE PENITENT

1450 "Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction."49

Contrition

1451 Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52


I suggest you apologize for your missreading of Cardinal Trujillo by imputing to him something he did not say.

John Bugay said...

I don't need to apologize for anything. I was still Catholic when that document came out; I read it and the news reports on it, and I didn't misunderstand it at the time, and I understand it now. It was definitely a relaxation, or an accommodation to the massive percentages of Catholics who practice birth control.

It's just another example of the equivocal doublespeak that "the Holy See" has to use in order to function in the world.

Henry said...

Then you must have issues with your faculty of reasoning.

Some other parts of the document:

Therefore, among the fundamental moral principles of conjugal life, it is necessary to keep in mind "the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning".11

Contraception, directly opposed to the transmission of life, betrays and falsifies the self-sacrificing love proper to marriage, "altering its value of total self-giving"22 and contradicting God's design of love, in which it has been granted to married couples to participate.

4. The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity; it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life (the procreative aspect of matrimony), and to the reciprocal self-giving of the spouses (the unitive aspect of matrimony); it harms true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life.33

2. The minister of Reconciliation should always keep in mind that the sacrament has been instituted for men and women who are sinners. Therefore, barring manifest proof to the contrary, he will receive the penitents who approach the confessional taking for granted their good will to be reconciled with the merciful God, a good will that is born, although in different degrees, of a contrite and humbled heart (Psalm 50:19).37

5. The confessor is bound to admonish penitents regarding objectively grave transgressions of God's law and to ensure that they truly desire absolution and God's pardon with the resolution to re-examine and correct their behaviour. Frequent relapse into sins of contraception does not in itself constitute a motive for denying absolution; absolution cannot be imparted, however, in the absence of sufficient repentance or of the resolution not to fall again into sin.40

7. On the part of the penitent, the sacrament of Reconciliation requires sincere sorrow, a formally complete accusation of mortal sins, and the resolution, with the help of God, not to fall into sin again. In general, it is not necessary for the confessor to investigate concerning sins committed in invincible ignorance of their evil, or due to an inculpable error of judgment. Although these sins are not imputable, they do not cease, however, to be an evil and a disorder. This also holds for the objective evil of contraception, which introduces a pernicious habit into the conjugal life of the couple. It is therefore necessary to strive in the most suitable way to free the moral conscience from those errors42 which contradict the nature of conjugal life as a total gift.

Henry said...

It is apparent that you don't understand the document John. Please enlighten us with how the document relaxed and accomodated on the sin of contraception. Especially in light of the fact that the very document you cited refers to contraception:

The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity...

I guess in John Bugay speak, there are two different meanings to intrinsic evil.

John Bugay said...

Henry - a well-respected Reformed theologian has noticed this trend toward "doublespeak" and equivocation. He wrote about it in his 1972 work, "Revolution in Rome":

One kind of interpretive problem, then, which an analyst of the documents faces concerns the existence of those passages which are so brilliantly ambiguous as to be capable of serving the interest of both parties. The statement on biblical inerrancy best illustrates this problem. The council affirmed: 

“since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.”



This statement, over which there was a considerable tussle both in private and in public, seems at first sight to affirm Rome’s traditional stance on this matter. For this reason, conservatives in the Council agreed to it, and some Protestants subsequently have been led to think that Catholicism’s historic stance on this matter is unaltered….



But is this really the case? A careful scrutiny of the Council’s statement shows that it can be interpreted in an entirely different way, one which a majority of Catholic scholars are now following.

In perhaps the most lucid account of the Council’s theology, B.C. Butler the English bishop and progressive theologian, explains how….


I won't go into his somewhat lengthy explication of it.

But I have noticed this trend, and have commented on it, in a couple of places, just in case you think I'm kidding about this:

http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/romes-institutionally-sanctioned-lying/

http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/the-catholic-historical-method/

http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/the-catholic-hermeneutic/

John Bugay said...

Henry -- Raymond Brown, in his 1980 work "The Critical Meaning of the Bible," in discussing this same Dei Verbum passage that I've just posted, explained the philosophy behind the writing of documents that "are so brilliantly ambiguous as to be capable of serving the interest of both parties:

Essential to a critical interpretation of church documents is the realization that the Roman Catholic Church does not change her official stance in a blunt way. Past statements are not rejected but are requited praise and then reinterpreted at the same time. It is falsely claimed that there has been no change towards the Bible in Catholic Church thought because Pius XII and Vatican II paid homage to documents issued by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV and therefore clearly meant to reinforce the teaching of their predecessors. What really was going on was an attempt graceful to retain what was salvageable from the past and to move in a new direction with as little friction as possible. (pg 18)

Your infallible Magisterium in action.

In case you don't believe me, read the three paragraphs in the CCC on homosexuality. It follows Brown's formula precisely. For the sake of brevity, I'll just give the third paragraph:

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm#2357

In spite of the stern admonitions, what do you think a practicing homosexual is thinking about how he might "gradually and resolutely reach Christian perfection"? Maybe you know what sexual sins are like. "I can gradually stop doing this…"

That's the same sense in which the document I posted on contraception can be read. And with 90+% of American Catholics practicing artificial contraception, how many of those folks do you think are just thumbing their noses at Humane Vitae, and how many do you think are earnestly trying to get artificial birth control out of their lives?

Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Henry; "It is apparent that you don't understand the document John. Please enlighten us with how the document relaxed and accomodated on the sin of contraception. Especially in light of the fact that the very document you cited refers to contraception:

The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity...

I guess in John Bugay speak, there are two different meanings to intrinsic evil."


Henry, John understands the document very well. Henry, do you understand with some semblance of comprehension that there are large numbers of Catholics who have contraceptive sex? What about their understanding of the document?

Please look at the comment above on July 22nd, 2:48 am.

Highlights:

By 1974, 83% of Catholics said that they disagreed with Humanae Vitae, and many prominent theologians and bishops dissented.

By 1980, over 75% of Catholic women in the US had used artifical contraception, and only a third of US priests believed that it was immoral.

By 1999, only 20% of Catholics thought that the Church held the final moral authority on divorce, abortion, and homosexuality, 23% for premarital sex, and 11% for birth control.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention 2002 National Survey of Family Growth revealed that 97% of American Catholic women over age 18 have used a banned form of contraception

Rhology said...

Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity

Ppl say that a lot. What argument could you possibly bring in support of it?

Also, Henry and Alexander, please let us know on what basis and authority you correct such a man as Raymond Brown. Thanks!

Jae said...

Friends, for clarification, Ms. Noonan, any bishop , priest or Saint is not the Magisterium or Teaching Authority of the Church....my point is actually an example of the Church Teaching Authority in action, viz. defining the ACT of Artificial Contraception and those who commit this act are guilty of grave sin. Regardless of 80% or 90 % of catholics or even bishops and priests who disagree with this teaching, the definitive proclamation and teaching of the Church is final, THAT IT IS A SIN contrast that with the protestant churches who PROCLAIM AND TEACH that it is Biblically alright and in fact recommend to newly married christian couples. I hope you see the big difference.

Yes, the problem is not with the Bible, but with men. But now the question is how do you determine who's interpretation to follow and avoid spiraling into doctrinal relativism? Sola Scriptura does not answer this question, and that is precisely the problem with Sola Scriptura: it doesn't answer the question of interpretation.

What was said above regarding Catholic unity is a total misunderstanding of the Catholic system. Doctrinal unity exists in Catholicism because anyone who wants to consider themselves Catholic must not knowingly deny a Catholic teaching. This has nothing to do with "liberal" versus "conservative" per se, it is a matter of deliberately denying a Catholic teaching.(viz Artificial Contraception). There are no set doctrines in Protestantism (because they deny Church infallibility), and thus doctrinal unity is impossible by definition. A Protestant cannot tell another Protestant they must believe X, because that would require the very Church authority Protestants condemn Catholics for exercising.

The first issue is a binding doctrine which is taught and not obeyed, the second is the inability to teach binding doctrine. If you look carefully at the quote Rhology provided, you will see it is Catholics not being obedient to the Church, which is not at all the same as each Catholic having the ability to define their own doctrines. If Rhology (the Church) gave a patient (the layman) some specific instructions (doctrine) of how to get healthy, and the patient does not follow those instructions (disobedience), then it is not Rhology to blame nor does it mean he mislead them. The problem is disobedience to Authority. If the Catholic Church teaches that "X is wrong," it doesn't matter how many Catholics are disobedient, the doctrine that "X is wrong" is still true, and any Catholic desiring good standing must accept that doctrine.

There is doctrinal confusion among adherents of Sola Scriptura precisely because it is impossible, according to the definition of Sola Scriptura, for those in authority to make binding (infallible) doctrine. Without the ability of the Church to make binding doctrines, the job falls upon the head of every individual Protestant to determine for themselves what they want to be doctrine, and at that point the Truth becomes relative to each individual.

The issue regarding disobeying a binding doctrine, and the issue regarding the inability to make a binding doctrine. When it comes to Catholicism, the only disunity is due to disobedience, in Protestantism the disunity is due to each man determining what is a doctrine and what is not. Big difference.


Peace to all.

John Bugay said...

Jae: What was said above regarding Catholic unity is a total misunderstanding of the Catholic system. Doctrinal unity exists in Catholicism because anyone who wants to consider themselves Catholic must not knowingly deny a Catholic teaching.

Then the 80 or 90% of those who "commit this act" and "are guilty of grave sin" de facto exclude themselves from this "doctrinal unity" that you want to claim. They "deliberately deny a Catholic teaching."

And yet the document that I linked to above gives them license to continue to "deny Catholic teaching," over and over again, with impunity. With that document, the Roman Church is both "teaching that X is wrong" and also winking when people do "X". It is doublespeak.

There is doctrinal confusion among adherents of Sola Scriptura precisely because it is impossible, according to the definition of Sola Scriptura, for those in authority to make binding (infallible) doctrine.

There is far more unity among Protestants, who, understanding that the Scriptures place no restrictions on contraception. The adherents of Sola Scriptura make no "binding doctrine" because there is no such doctrine in Scripture. And we do not presume upon God.

Henry said...

John you are an outright liar as evidenced in the quotes I've provided from the document.

You have not been able to deal with the documentation.

John Bugay said...

Henry, I've explained, too, why it's doublespeak. Thanks for sharing!

Sacramental absolution is not to be denied to those who, repentant after having gravely sinned against conjugal chastity, demonstrate the desire to strive to abstain from sinning again, notwithstanding relapses. In accordance with the approved doctrine and practice followed by the holy Doctors and confessors with regard to habitual penitents, the confessor is to avoid demonstrating lack of trust either in the grace of God or in the dispositions of the penitent, by exacting humanly impossible absolute guarantees of an irreproachable future conduct (45).



John Bugay said...

"Past statements are not rejected but are requited praise and then reinterpreted at the same time."

Henry said...

How does the statement give them license to continue to sin? Do you know what contrition means, are you just too stupid to understand it, or are you just a lying son of Satan?

Henry said...

The quote you just posted two comments above refutes your asinine argument, therefore, you are either extremely stupid or a liar.

John Bugay said...

I know what "contrition" means. I know what human nature is, too. And I know how the Roman Church practices talking out of both sides of its mouth.

Thanks again for sharing :-)

Henry said...

And I know how the Roman Church practices talking out of both sides of its mouth.

You might believe you know it (hence the being too stupid part), but you sure haven't demonstrated it. The fact that the Church has taught that for an act of reconciliation to be valid the penitent must have contrition for his or her sins contradicts the stupid argument you are making.

John Bugay said...

This is too funny Henry. Because we've got statistics of American Catholics here, more than 90% of whom admit continuing to practice artificial contraception.

Either they're not confessing, so they're going to hell, or they're confessing without contrition, so they're going to hell, or they're going to confession, the priest is wagging his finger and saying "don't do that, wink wink, now say three Hail Marys and go and sin no more," [to the "habitual penitents"] and they're saying, "Ok Father, we won't do that," and then they go do it again.

I find it hilarious because so many people are just thumbing their noses at your precious Rome. That's the real thing that's got you cheesed off here, isn't it?

Because it is a "whole cloth." You have to accept every jot and tittle of Roman dogma, or, in rejecting one small piece of it, you reject it whole.

Rhology said...

It'd be better for everyone if Rome would drop its ridiculous, arbitrary ipse dixit prohibitions on non-abortifacient contraception. Not as if NFP doesn't accomplish the same thing, only it's "baptised". What hypocrisy.

Henry said...

This is too funny Henry. Because we've got statistics of American Catholics here, more than 90% of whom admit continuing to practice artificial contraception.

Okay, so how does this prove a relaxation in the Church's teaching? Simple, it doesn't. You have yet to demonstrate how the Church has relaxed its teachings. All you have been able to do is show how people, like yourself, disregard Church teachings. That is not under dispute. Sinners like yourself have disregarded Christ from the beginning.

Henry said...

It'd be better for everyone if Rome would drop its ridiculous, arbitrary ipse dixit prohibitions on non-abortifacient contraception. Not as if NFP doesn't accomplish the same thing, only it's "baptised". What hypocrisy.

I keep forgetting that protestants often lack philosophical abilities to reason well. How sad that you are unable to reason through the differences between contraceptive intercourse and natural intercourse in stating that they accomplish the same thing. Ignorant indeed.

Rhology said...

How sad that you are unable to reason through the differences between contraceptive intercourse and natural intercourse in stating that they accomplish the same thing.

No, AVOIDING intercourse so as to AVOID GETTING PREGNANT is the same thing as using a condom. Sheesh.

Henry said...

No, AVOIDING intercourse so as to AVOID GETTING PREGNANT is the same thing as using a condom. Sheesh.

Same end, not the same "thing." In fact, even the end is different, so no, they are still not the same (except for people who live on planet Rhology).

Even if we were to agree that the end is the same, that of avoiding pregnancy (which I still disagree, acts inform the end), are you suggesting that as long as the end is the same, then the means used to acheive the end are the same? More protestant consequentialism I'm afraid. Any honest truth-seeking protestant here should be quite alarmed at Rhology's ethical approach.

Rhology said...

Yes, same end. And the end is what concerns Rome.
You're acting like quite the drama queen, Henry.


as long as the end is the same, then the means used to acheive the end are the same?

Of course not.


More protestant consequentialism I'm afraid.

Or just your unwillingness to realise when someone is speaking loosely for the sake of effect.
So, what's the MORAL difference between NFP and a condom?

Henry said...

And the end is what concerns Rome.

No, the immoral means are what concerns Rome.

So, what's the MORAL difference between NFP and a condom?

I'm not so sure you would be able to comprehend it if I were to tell you. So far you haven't demonstrated the ability to comprehend the subject. Besides, consequentialists hardly apprehend why acts are to be considered intrinsically immoral to begin with. You'd have to be able to move past your consequentialist sympathies for starters.

Jae said...

@John Bugay, your arguments just further strenthens my position. You put some very incoherent statements. You don't seem to understand the difference between the issue regarding disobeying a binding doctrine, and the issue regarding the inability to make a binding doctrine. When it comes to Catholicism, the only disunity is due to disobedience,(viz contraception, gay-marriage etc) in Protestantism the disunity is due to each man determining what is a doctrine and what is not. A HUGE , big difference.... at the heart of your answer is just plain DENIAL.


You said, "There is far more unity among Protestants, who, understanding that the Scriptures".

Really? If a christian happen to disagree with another fellow christian, who would say which one got it right and which one got it wrong?YOU?

Any document including the Bible can't make a decision and pass a judgment of who got it right and wrong! Sola Scriptura doctrine which is unheard of for 1,500 years of Christianity until Luther and after 500 years still couldn't able to address this problem....since no authoritative interpretation is higher than anybody else's a relativistic mentality resulted...some say Jesus is not God some say otherwise, some say you can't lose your salvation regardless of sinning some say you could lose, some say God is one not a Truine God (like your brothers Unitarians, Jehovahs etc), some say we need to observe sabbath day in order to be saved some say we don't...how about gay-marriage? Some say it is biblically alright some say it is prohibited, some pastors and christian churches say abortion is ok because the embryo has no blood some say it is killing, how about artificial contraception where before 1930's ALL CHRISTIANS CHURCHES taught and agreed it is unnatural, intrinsically evil thus against the Will of God, what happened since then? what happened to the unchangeability of truth? Do you know that the founding fathers of protestantism like Luther, Calvin, Wesley were ALL against Artificial contraception? Then why should a protestant christian believe your version when it's the opposite of your "fathers"? Then contrast that to the promise of Jesus Christ to guide His Church into ALL TRUTH (ALL- means every single one, wholeness, fullness).JN 16:13

Oh, by the way they are ALL claiming to have Biblical Truth and guided by the same Holy Spirit.

Peace to you.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I think Rhology needs to take a logic course so he can tell the difference between the means and an end. For him it makes no difference how you arrive at the end. Good thing for us he is not writing the laws of the land in which we live, we'ed all be screwed! What a joke.

John Bugay said...

Jae -- I'm sorry about my typo. But I get your distinction between disobeying a doctrine and, as you say, "the inability to make binding doctrine."

We were having a little bit of fun laughing at the medieval notion that a pope can make a binding doctrine, and maybe commiserating in a good way with the fact that so many Catholics who are supposed to be "bound" by this binding doctrine are just laughing it off at the cost of their immortal souls. Of course, what we really believe is that Rome's claims to authority -- all of them -- are just simply laughable. We agree with Reymond:

Rome’s exegesis of Matthew 16 and its historically developed claim to authoritative primacy in the Christian world simply cannot be demonstrated and sustained from Scripture itself. This claim is surely one of the great hoaxes foisted upon professing Christendom, upon which false base rests the whole papal sacerdotal system.

He doesn't just make that claim. He argues for it. He shows his position with exegesis of Matt 16:17-19. Others have demonstrated from history the falseness of these claims, the mere threads by which they hang.

So forgive our lack of desire to really spend time interacting with you seriously.

On the other hand, Turretin noticed a long time ago that Roman Catholicism's claim is nothing more than that "the very thing in question is imposed upon us as the principle of faith to be believed." I wrote about it in one of the Fortescue posts. Roman Catholics just simply "assume" that the Roman Catholic Church is the "one true church." And yet, that is the most viciously tight circles that one can possibly imagine. "The Roman Catholic Church is in charge because the Roman Catholic Church says it is in charge."

If it is not a vicious circle, then prove to us that Rome's claims to authority are authentic.

Meanwhile, we will plod along with Turretin's preferred method for dealing with this laughable claim: "The [exceedingly dishonest] arts of our opponents impose upon us the necessity of this disputation that we may distinguish the real face of the church from its counterfeit; not suffer ourselves to be deceived by those specious and splendid names which they are accustomed to repeat with perpetual crowing and great clamor, that they may be considered the sole heirs--others being driven from that possession. Like the Jews, boasting that they were the people of God and reiterating the temple of the Lord, persecuted the prophets, the pious servants of God, and with rage cast out and cruelly treated the Lord of the vineyard himself."

So when you traditionalist Catholics start coming on and just simply working with the assumption that Rome is all authoritative and correct about everything, it's just that, we shake our heads and say, "here we go again." I know I do.

I'm going to ask you to not simply to assume that Rome is what it says it is; I'm going to ask you to argue, exegetically, that Rome is what it says it is.

Until we get such an argument, it will just simply be hard to take you seriously.

Henry said...

John do you normally win converts by saying that you laugh at their positions after you have already demonstrated that you are clueless as to what their positions actually are? So far you have not been able to demonstrate how there is a relaxation in Church teaching on contraception. All you have been able to do is show us that you don't know what the Church teaches and that you enjoy using the fallacy of equivocation when referring to the "Church."

I'm going to ask you to not simply to assume that Rome is what it says it is; I'm going to ask you to argue, exegetically, that Rome is what it says it is.

Until we get such an argument, it will just simply be hard to take you seriously.


Why should we assume that your presupposition is correct, that everything must be proven exegetically in Scripture when you can't even show us from Scripture where it teaches that all Christian doctrine (and morality) must be proven exegetically from Scripture? You assume that this is the way it has to be, but you can only base this on your own authority, or engage in circular yet faulty reasoning in order to get there.

Meanwhile, so-called reformed protestants are unable to agree on essential ethical issues such as divorce and remarriage, in vitro fertilization, masturbation, etc. etc.

You can laugh and shake your head at us all you want, but the utter weakness in the protestant man-made system is unreasonable and unappealing to us God-centered folks.

John Bugay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Bugay said...

Henry: You assume that this is the way it has to be, but you can only base this on your own authority, or engage in circular yet faulty reasoning in order to get there.

No, you start from the beginning. I can't account for everything that generations of Protestants have done wrong. (Well, I can -- the doctrine of total depravity).

But Rome is not what it says it is. It's easy to trace the story through history (though time consuming). Rome was not what it claimed to be, before the first Protestant ever existed. And after you've eliminated all the other possibilities, what you're left with, no matter how improbable, is your answer. -- Sherlock Holmes, "Sign of Four"

Matthew Bellisario said...

Bugay writes, "No, you start from the beginning...It's easy to trace the story through history (though time consuming)."

We start from the beginning and see that neither Jesus nor the apostles, nor their successors taught Sola Scriptura, or anything even close to the man-made dotrine.

Bugay is nothing more than an ex-Catholic with a chip on his shoulder as well as a historical revisionist who places his faith in the historical "scholars" of his choice. Quite simply, he has no faith in God, but only in his own ability to wade through the historians who he thinks agree with him, nothing more. Quite sad indeed.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Henry writes:

I keep forgetting that protestants often lack philosophical abilities to reason well.

Yes, because lay Catholics are known for their philosophical acumen.

How sad that you are unable to reason through the differences between contraceptive intercourse and natural intercourse in stating that they accomplish the same thing. Ignorant indeed.

Yet instead of demonstrating the (relevant) differences, you merely condescend.

And it's not as if sophisticated philosophical critiques of the Catholic understanding of contraception (grounded as it is in faulty biology and philosophical categories) haven't been offered by Protestants. Deal with standard critiques or, if we're too "stupid" to understand theses issue, just leave. No one is interested in you standing around and just repeating how dumb you think we are. I spend enough time with Pharisees as it is.

John do you normally win converts by saying that you laugh at their positions after you have already demonstrated that you are clueless as to what their positions actually are?

Henry, do you normally win converts by repeatedly calling Protestants stupid and failing to interact with their arguments?

Why should we assume that your presupposition is correct, that everything must be proven exegetically in Scripture when you can't even show us from Scripture where it teaches that all Christian doctrine (and morality) must be proven exegetically from Scripture? You assume that this is the way it has to be, but you can only base this on your own authority, or engage in circular yet faulty reasoning in order to get there.

Scripture teaches that God's commands are normative. Since Scripture contains all of God's commands available to us, all doctrine must be derived from Scripture.

Of course, even if this appeal failed, that would hardly discharge your burden of proof in demonstrating that Rome really does have the authority to arbitrate moral issues like contraception.

Meanwhile, so-called reformed protestants are unable to agree on essential ethical issues such as divorce and remarriage, in vitro fertilization, masturbation, etc. etc.

So you assume a particular depth and breadth of ethical guidance is appropriate and then fault Protestantism for not falling in line with that depth of ethical guidance. But how is that an argument against the Protestant system? It's not as if Catholics are unified when it comes to ethical deliberation within Magisterium-approved boundaries. All you've done is impute Catholic values of what is essential onto Protestantism and then faulted it for failing to agree on those essentials.

zipper778 said...

Matthew D. Schultz, I couldn't have put it better myself. I know that it's partly due to people like Henry that make me dislike Roman Catholic pride. I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in religious superiority, I just want people to know that Jesus died once and for all of our many sins.

John Bugay said...

We start from the beginning and see that neither Jesus nor the apostles, nor their successors taught Sola Scriptura, or anything even close to the man-made dotrine.

We start from the beginning and see that neither Jesus nor the apostles, nor those who followed in the church had any concept of a church like Rome, or anything like that man-made bureaucracy.

Bugay is nothing more than an ex-Catholic with a chip on his shoulder as well as a historical revisionist who places his faith in the historical "scholars" of his choice.

If I'm a historical revisionist, it's because the early chroniclers of the church were highly unreliable, dependent on fictitious accounts, and it needs to be sorted out. Major historians agree in this.

Quite simply, he has no faith in God, but only in his own ability to wade through the historians who he thinks agree with him, nothing more. Quite sad indeed.

Quite simply, I have tremendous faith in Christ, and I'm firmly convinced that as the Reformation continues to be written about in the context of its 500th anniversary, we'll see more and more how bankrupt the Roman church had become and what a heinous trick that Rome continues to pull on the world today.

Rhology said...

OK, I made a mistake in conflating the means and the end.
It was silly to write so quickly, so, sorry about that.
Now, please stop with the red herrings. I asked a specific question:

What's the MORAL difference between (the means of) NFP and (the means of) a condom?





Jae,

If a christian happen to disagree with another fellow christian, who would say which one got it right and which one got it wrong?YOU?

If a Romanist happens to disagree with another fellow Romanist, who would say which one got it right and which one got it wrong? YOU? In other words, click here and read this. Read it now, and don't come back until you do. Until you read this, I mean. You really need to read it. Please read it. Click here. http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2009/12/special-pleading-of-sola-ecclesia-ists.html Click here, and read the article that appears.

I'm treating you like a child b/c, like a child, you ignore counterarguments. Grow up and stop using that stupid argument.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

With regards to the Early Church Fathers and Contraception, here's a recent blogpost titled: Patristic Prooftexting.

Excerpts:

"[A] post on contraception in the church fathers. Perry Robinson then left some comments which draw attention to the perils of facile quote-mining to which many converts (to Catholicism, and I daresay, Orthodoxy) are prone.

Yes, you lumped him [Lactanius] in with the fathers. I took that to be you saying he was a father. If you don’t think he’s a father, why list him with them? If he isn’t, what he thought is of limited value as far as normative teaching goes.

Do Catholics take “Father” in relation to church fathers to be an ambiguous term? Aren’t there conditions for one to be a father in the Catholic Church or has the Magisterium left that undefined? Where would I look for the magisterial definition on what constitutes a Father?

As for Chrysostom, I accept him as a Father. Now if we look at the citation you posted, he is arguing against castration and abortificants and takes castration in terms of preventing “conception” to be tantamount to murder. He does so because he thinks that the seeds are human beings in small. This is why the reference to the Manicheans is relevant. I can’t see any reasoning here that applies if the seed isn’t a human being and so that applies to non-abortificant methods. If so, can you point them out to me?"

Jae said...

@ Rhology, "I'm treating you like a child b/c, like a child, you ignore counterarguments. Grow up and stop using that stupid argument"

Oh please don't treat me like a child and thanks for your compliments. (besides the fact I have PhD in Mathematics).Your argument is based upon comical philosophy of begging the question with regards to the Magisterium. It's like when a mother says to her child, "do not to do this" then the child ask his mother, "mom where did you get the authority to say not do this?" and then followed up, "then, where does it say in your authority to say not to do this?" And on and so forth without end asked the child.

I have have already given a good and practical example of the Church TEACHING on artificial contraception where the Church says IT IS A GRAVE SIN to commit regardless of 90% of catholics who disagree or disobedient doesn't necessarily void the TEACHING! IT STILL BINDING AND TRUE! DO NOT USE CONTRACEPTION! I don't know how much more plainer I could be.

Rhology, you just can't make a sensible and logical answer which obviously you got from Mr. James White. I really think this child fits you perfectly.

Peace

Jae said...

@ Rhology your dissertation , "when a romanist disagree with a romanist" is such a pathetic dissertation that even middle school drama contest won't contemplate to accept.

Just to be in modern lingo, I guess you obviously don't have any idea behind, "This is where the buck stops"....how do you run your life and how do you deal with parental authority if you have a family?

Hmmm...

Jae said...

@Rhology,

May I add that calling us "romanist" is tantamount to a prejudice, bigoted slur. I just hope you wrote it without malice. Do you think it's too much to ask if you just call us Catholics or RC?

Peace.

Rhology said...

Jae,

besides the fact I have PhD in Mathematics

Then I'd expect you to use your mind occasionally. Aren't PhDs trained not to ignore opposing argumentation?


Your argument is based upon comical philosophy of begging the question with regards to the Magisterium

Clearly you do not know the meaning of "begging the question".
YOU'RE begging the question with respect to the Mag, b/c your appeals to Rome's authority come down to "Rome said so, that settles it."



"then, where does it say in your authority to say not to do this?"

What is your argument that the Magisterium is where the buck stops, then?


the Church says IT IS A GRAVE SIN to commit regardless of 90% of catholics who disagree or disobedient

So the Magisterial teaching hasn't been enough to prevent disobedience or dissent, has it?
Yet you have the gall to accuse Scripture of being insufficient for the same reason?



IT STILL BINDING AND TRUE! DO NOT USE CONTRACEPTION!

And the Scr says quite a few things like that too.
For example, it says "DON'T WORSHIP PICTURES OF DEAD PEOPLE" and "JUDGE ALL TRADITION BY SCRIPTURE" but plenty of people dissent from that.
So it looks like the Magisterium doesn't get us any closer to uniformity than does the Scr. So any argument along those lines is dead. (Which has been a major theme of my argumentation ever since I came to Beggars All.)


even middle school drama contest won't contemplate to accept.

I assume you mean "debate" contest.
But even then, w/o an argument, I can have no idea what you're getting at.


I guess you obviously don't have any idea behind, "This is where the buck stops"

It stops with God, and God speaks in His Word.
What is your argument that this is insufficient, but that the Magisterium is? And why, if that's the case, is there dissent from the Mag? And why can't I simply say the same thing about the Scr, that dissent from it simply shows that the dissenters do not recognise its rightful authority?


Peace,
Rhology

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Jae writes:

May I add that calling us "romanist" is tantamount to a prejudice, bigoted slur. I just hope you wrote it without malice.

How is it "tantamount to a prejudice, bigoted slur"?

By the way, homosexuals think that your denomination's denial of recognizing homosexual marriage as true marriage is tantamount to the worst kind of racial bigotry. Should you, therefore, accommodate your definition of "marriage" to include homosexual unions?

Do you think it's too much to ask if you just call us Catholics or RC?

As long as you don't mind calling us "The Most Godly and Faithful to the Gospel of Christ."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Jae: "It's like when a mother says to her child, "do not to do this" then the child ask his mother, "mom where did you get the authority to say not do this?" and then followed up, "then, where does it say in your authority to say not to do this?" And on and so forth without end asked the child.

I have have already given a good and practical example of the Church TEACHING on artificial contraception where the Church says IT IS A GRAVE SIN to commit regardless of 90% of catholics who disagree or disobedient doesn't necessarily void the TEACHING! IT STILL BINDING AND TRUE! DO NOT USE CONTRACEPTION! I don't know how much more plainer I could be."


Ummmmm, while true, this really misses the bigger picture. And please know that the swing-and-a-miss is understandable, and it's really not too bad of a discredit to the one who whiffed.

Here's the miss, and one that a lot of others miss on too (so don't feel bad): Not realizing that enforcement (or repeated emphasis) is an essential component of teaching.

Although teaching and (re) enforcement are distinct, they are not separable.

Here's an imperfect example that should help: There are signs that say something like "55 mph limit." Now say something like 1,000,000 cars pass that sign in a 1 year time period driving 62 mph or faster. And suppose further that not one of those speeding drivers gets ticketed.

Now if people got ticketed for exceeding the 55mph, that's teaching them via enforcement. Enforcement and (re-)emphasis is effective teaching.

So when John Bugay writes: "It was definitely a relaxation, or an accommodation to the massive percentages of Catholics who practice birth control.

It's just another example of the equivocal doublespeak that "the Holy See" has to use in order to function in the world."

What he means by the equivocal doublespeak by Rome/Vatican/Magisterium/Catholic Apologists in this particular sense (because "equivocal doublespeak" has various forms) of the contraception discussion is that lay Catholics and many, many priests and bishops are not going to enforce or (re-)emphasize the formal Church teaching on contraception. It's like, "We got this on the books, we're not going to change what's on the books, this is church dogma, and the teaching is the teaching" and most of the lay Catholics and many of the priests and bishops in Apostolic Succession respond by behavior with a message that says "Whatever. It's equivocal doublespeak."

Many lay Catholics and many Catholic clergy see through this equivocal doublespeak, the disjointed disconnect between Magisterial dogma and practice. If lay Catholics have practices that are contrary to dogma and there are no consequences (no enforcement, no repeated teachings), then the teaching office of the Catholic clergy and Magisterium is partially culpable for dogma being so widely ignored by Catholic clergy and laity.

Cited again from above:

By 1980, over 75% of Catholic women in the US had used artifical contraception, and only a third of US priests believed that it was immoral.

PeaceByJesus said...

I know this is an old thread, but it just came across it from the sidebar and found it thought provoking, and below are some my inadequate offerings.

A Protestant cannot tell another Protestant they must believe X, because that would require the very Church authority Protestants condemn Catholics for exercising.

Actually they can, if, like two RCs must, they agree on some basics. An RC can tell another RC that he must assent to the Assumption of Mary, if both hold that Rome defines certain doctrines and has spoken clearly enough on this, in a literal way, as to expect obedience.

If one RC dissents, perhaps by invoking an allegorical understanding of the Assumption, then based upon the aforementioned premise, and what Rome has clearly said, the other RC can tell him that he is not an RC.

Likewise a Protestant can tell another Protestant that to be such he must hold to the literal death, burial and resurrection of Christ, if they both assent to one of the defining aspects of Protestantism, that of the supremacy and sufficiency of Scripture, and that it has spoken clearly and basically literal in historical narratives.

If however, one of the Prots denies this, perhaps by relegating it to being allegorical, then the other Prot can state that the dissenter is not really a Christian, or a Protestant, based upon the aforementioned premise, and (as regards a defining characteristic of Protestantism) what the historical understanding of it has been.

Thus both parties require some presuppositions. And in both cases while it is presumed that the respective authority has spoken clearly, dissent is based upon interpretation of what the authority said.

The RC can claim that it has an infallible living authority (or a name that it lives), that one can interact with (however ultimately difficult), yet holding to sola scriptura affirms the magisterium of a church as having qualified authority, and thus individual Protestant denoms have magisteriums which define doctrine.

But unlike that of Rome, its authority relies upon corroboration from an authority that is spirtually alive.

The issue then is one of authority, as it was as regards the Lord Jesus, (Mk. 11:28-30) and thus the next assertion.

PeaceByJesus said...

The first issue is a binding doctrine which is taught and not obeyed, the second is the inability to teach binding doctrine.

The issue as regards the first is why something is to be obeyed when the basis of its authority effectively rests upon its own infallibly declared infallibility.

As for the second, any Prot magisterium can teach binding doctrine, and Rome is just one centralized authority among many. The difference is that, rather than resting upon a formulaic infallibility, which may claim Scriptural warrant but is held as infallible due to a presumed charism which is assuredly operative under certain criterial conditions, authentic Scripturally binding doctrines are dependent upon demonstrable Scriptural corroboration and its manner of attestation to Truth.

To wit, what gave the decision in Acts 15 authority was not that the council spoke on faith and morals to the whole church, but that it had clear warrant from Scripture, and the manner of supernatural testimony to truth, the latter however being in subjection to the former. And we know of this from Scripture, which, being material we can verify from ages past, in contrast to amorphous unwritten "Tradition," the veracity of which effectively presumes Rome is like on the inspired writers of holy writ, but channeling mysterious oral tradition, which it differs from the EOs with even in such a fundamental issue as papal infallibility.

And as regards Scriptural warrant and attestation, it is the preaching of the evangelical gospel that effects manifest regeneration, versus its institutionalized counterpart.

A RC response to this would be that you have competing magisteriums in Protestantism, but Rome competes with EOs as well as other "Catholic" churches. (http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2009/12/special-pleading-of-sola-ecclesia-ists.html)

Truth being exclusive by nature, it is true that only one can be right in any conflict, but while Rome asserts the power to declare only she is, those who hold to SS (versus sola ecclesia) and its basic literal Scriptural and historical hermeneutic, find their greatest unity in core teachings we agree with Rome on, such as those of the Apostle's Creed, and the supremacy and formal and material (a big one)( sufficiency of Scripture, and salvation by grace, versus morally earned.

And which corresponds to the few dogmas an RC must give assent of faith to, while allowance of some interpretation is allowed in non-infallible teachings -IF one can tell the differences, which often is open to a good degree of interpretation.

In addition, this unity is seen in a common opposition to those who effectively make a mortal or an office superior in authorty to Scripture, an attribute which Rome shares with most every cult, from Mormomism to Camping.