Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Contra Liccione on the Canon Question

A commenter at CatholicNick's place decided to copy+paste a comment from Dr. Michael Liccione and originally posted at Called to Communion on the question of the canon of Scripture.  The copy+paste begins here.  I offered my critique of the article, which I am going to cut into the comment's text here.


I should think the burden would be on RCC to give some reason to believe that it is in fact infallible.
But first, to prove that it is the only One True Church®.


the teaching that the Tridentine canon is divinely inspired is one that we accept as irreformable

1) This is an ignorant thing to say, since the Tridentine canon passed over at least one book in silence. So your canon of Scr is not closed or complete.
2) Further, for a Sola Scripturist, the canon of Scr is identical to the list of infallible teachings, since only Scr is infallible.
What is Rome's infallible canon of infallible teachings? If you can't provide it, what is Rome's fallible canon of infallible teachings?



You can’t even tell us which visible body counts as “the” Church whose allegedly fallible authority you nonetheless want to cite.

So he just got finished telling us that SS-ists don't think that the church is infallible, that we think the canon is made by a fallible church. And then he rubs it in our faces that we can't claim an infallible church? Um, isn't that what we were saying the whole time?


For if whatever-it-is you call “the Church” could always be wrong

But we don't depend on the church. We depend on and trust in God to make His revelation known. We're theists.


how do you make your case?

My case is found here.


The formation of the canon is the work of God working through the Church.

Prove it by bringing fwd:
1) your infallible canon of infallible teachings;
OR, FAILING THAT
2) your fallible canon of infallible teachings;
OR, FAILING THAT
3) your infallible canon of Scr.

....

which church is “the Church,”

Great question. If you are suggesting that we accept the RCC a priori as the infallible interpreter, please let me know why I should. After all, there's lots of competition out there for that spot! EOC, the Watchtower, the LDS, David Koresh, José Luís de Jesús Miranda, etc. If your response resembles: "Just check which church has the pedigree and the line of apostolic succession," then
1) EOC claims the same thing. How can I know who's right?
2) Is it just your non-authoritative interp that apostolic succession/pedigree are the hallmarks of The One True Church®?
3) If I were in fact to check apostolic succession, wouldn't that be non-authoritative interp on my part? If you proceed to tell me to give up on that personal interp stuff, isn't that begging the entire question?
4) If JW/LDS, for example, is the infallible interpreter, wouldn't their interpretation of church history (including a Great Apostasy and later Restoration) be correct by definition, since it's infallible?



without identifying some church as “the Church” that does the pertinent “work of God,”

But we DO identify it. It is the Church.
But "the Church" here is not "the RCC", b/c the church to which I refer is not identical with the modern RCC. But we're not reliant on the church, we're reliant on God Himself to make His revelation known.



What you give us thereby is only your opinion and that of your particular branch of Protestantism, which does not claim infallibility.

1) False dilemma - it is not true that there is either infallibility or "just your opinion". In between is an educated, argued-for position.
2) The individual RC cannot claim infallibility for himself, so this argument cuts his own position's throat. Simply citing another infallible source doesn't get you anywhere either - SS-ists do that when we cite God as infallible source.
So try as you might, I'm very sorry, but you have no epistemological advantage here in this question.



a fallible church that you can’t even identify with a visible body cannot count as such an authority.

Strawman. We DO identify a visible body - the Church. Doesn't mean it's infallible.

See, we trust our omnipotent, loving God to make His self-revelation known to His people. There is little reason to think this would require that His people be infallible. Indeed, did He not successfully make His Word known to the Old Testament people of God? And what was their infallible interpreter? The Sanhedrin which put Jesus to death? The Sadducees who denied the resurrection in the Eschaton?

We further know it through the impossibility of the contrary. If God has not spoken clearly, sufficiently, and in a way understandable to people, then let us eat, drink, and be merry, for neither today nor tomorrow do we know anything about God, eternal life, atonement, sin, judgment, resurrection, or moral law. Indeed, I'd argue we have no basis for ANY objective epistemology or metaphysics. Such an idea is certainly unlivable, and if one is inclined to argue that its unthinkability is a crutch for weak-minded people, I simply respond that if God did not speak, there's nothing right OR WRONG with being weak-minded.

111 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"What is Rome's infallible canon of infallible teachings? If you can't provide it, what is Rome's fallible canon of infallible teachings?"

Is there a Magisterial answer to this reasonable line of inquiry?

If not, shouldn't the Magisterium work hard to provide one?

John Bugay said...

I should think the burden would be on RCC to give some reason to believe that it is in fact infallible.
But first, to prove that it is the only One True Church®.


This is the heart of the issue. As I've related, with comments from Newman and Fortescue, the Roman Catholic practice is simply to assume that the Roman church is what it says it is.

But such an assumption just is spurious and wicked, given what we know about the "development" of the early church structure.

In the covenantal structure of Israel, God acted in history, and Moses and the prophets wrote down God's activity. In such a way, Scripture is the interpretation that God provides for us. Scripture itself is the infallible interpretation.

The position of those here, to say that Scripture is insufficient, is in effect to say that God is insufficient. Which is, after all, the message of the serpent. "No, God hath not really said..."

Rhology said...

If not, shouldn't the Magisterium work hard to provide one?

You'd think they would, esp given how often RCs use that cheap and empty argument. But the Mag apparently can't be bothered with little things like consistency. They've got pædophiles to protect, after all, and that's a big job.

Constantine said...

Don’t look for an infallible list. According to Cardinal Congar, that would be a “gratuitous” thing for the Magisterium to provide. In fact, it may even be "hazardous".


“Every possible “definition” of a particular point of doctrine comes under the Magisterium and is referred to it. Those, therefore, who imagine that the ideal aimed at in exercising the Magisterium is to produce as many gratuitous “definitions” as possible, assigning their elaboration to the theologians, are sadly mistaken. The essential thing is not to define, but to keep the deposit faithfully and to bear witness to its totality by respecting the balance of its different parts. The extreme course of “defining”, which the Fathers unanimously consider as a hazardous undertaking…which it is hoped may be avoided, is resorted to only when necessity decrees that this is the sole way to safeguard the integrity and purity of the apostolic testimony, whose content is the truth of the bond of Covenant sealed in Jesus Christ.” Congar, Yves. The Meaning of Tradition. San Francisco. Ignatius Press, 2004, p. 65


In other words, trust me until you can’t trust me. And then I’ll tell you to trust me again.

A Hobson’s choice if ever there was one.

Peace.

Rhology said...

Makes you wonder why even educated men like Dr Liccione bring the canon question up all the time. So dishonest.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hey Constantine,

I read that extremely revealing excerpt that you provided from Cardinal Congar.

What a crock! A diaper full of baby crap.

Dat stuff stinks. Too bad so many folks eat that scheiss up. Even worse, they ask for seconds and thirds.

natamllc said...

I don't like the tone of some comments in here!

It does nothing to edify Christ's Body, ah, as in those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death on the other side of the Tiber who might be led to read them.

As John and I can attest and there maybe others, we were wet with Tiber's flow at one time ourselves.

God does the electing by the proclamation of the Gospel because of His foreknowledge.

God can use the message of this thread, "Contra Liccione on the Canon Question" without such comments that are pejorative and derogatory in jest, don't you think?

Having made that comment, I would highlight a couple of comments above.

John wrote: In the covenantal structure of Israel, God acted in history, and Moses and the prophets wrote down God's activity. In such a way, Scripture is the interpretation that God provides for us. Scripture itself is the infallible interpretation.

I would submit the thoughts and writings of the Apostle Paul to amen John's insightful comments:

Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


And Constantine's comment:

The essential thing is not to define, but to keep the deposit faithfully and to bear witness to its totality by respecting the balance of its different parts.

While the Emperor fiddled and Rome burned, the words of Agur the son of Jakeh reminds us this:

Pro 30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle. The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Pro 30:2 Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.
Pro 30:3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Pro 30:4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!
Pro 30:5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Pro 30:6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.


Again, I do protest some of the comments seeing we are the Saints, washed, sanctified and justified from our own sin and darkness as well. It seems unseemly to me to spew forth even in comments like some hereon both fresh and foul waters, don't you think?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

No.

Lvka said...

I just thought I'll link this...

Rhology said...

The Faith which these deciders and compilers of the New Testament canon held is significantly

That's so crazy! It's as if that's never been addressed before!

John Bugay said...

From Metzger's "Canon of the New Testament":

This section on “Attempts at Closing the Canon in the East’ may be brought to a close by calling attention to a most astonishing conciliar decision taken by the Trullan Synod held near the end of the seventh century. In 691 and 692 this council of the Eastern bishops met in the domed room (trullus) of the Emperor Justinian II’s palace at Constantinople in order to pass disciplinary canons by way of completing the work of the Fifth (533) and Sixth (680) General Councils. By one of its first decrees it determined the series of authorities which were to make law in the Church. Among these were the eighty five so-called Apostolic Canons (reproduced in the Appendix of this book), then the decrees of a certain number of Synods, notably those of Laodicea and Carthage; and finally a great number of Fathers, including, among others, Athanasius and Amphilochius. The Council thereby sanctioned implicitly, so far as the list of Biblical books is concerned, quite incongruous and contradictory opinions. Thus, as we have seen earlier, the Synod of Carthage and Athanasius recognized the minor Catholic Epistles and the Book of Revelation, while the Synod of Laodicea and the eighty-fifth Apostolic Canon omitted them. Furthermore, this same Canon includes as canonical the two Epistles of Clement which the other authorities did not receive. Such an extraordinary situation can be accounted for only on the supposition that the members of the Council had not even read the texts thus sanctioned.

In view of the confusion implicit in the pronouncement made on the canon at the Trullan Synod, it is not surprising that the later history of the Bible in the East continues to exhibit uncertainty and vacillation. According to a tabulation made by Westcott, in the tenth century no fewer than six different lists of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were received in the Greek Church.


(Metzger, “The Canon of the New Testament,” pgs 216-217)

Lvka said...

Such an extraordinary situation


:-)


What's so "extraordinary"? There are also other "contradictions" in the penitential canons. :-) The same for the Biblical canon as well.

Lvka said...

[...unless you thought that all Fathers gave the exact same penitence for the same sins...] :-)

John Bugay said...

The same council ratified, sanctified, gave its infallible imprimatur, to multiple variations of the NT canon.

The point is that the Eastern Orthodox have no "high ground" when it comes to having made an authoritative decision on the canon of the NT.

Lvka said...

I think we do, since we got you rid of all the dozens of Gnostic writings, as well as defended the authenticity of the books rejected by Marcion's canon.

John Bugay said...

That's pretty ridiculous.

Lvka said...

I don't think so.

John Bugay said...

Most of us here do think so. And if you think so strongly enough, you might say more precisely that it happened, rather than giving us your "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" act.

Lvka said...

It did happen, as we know from history.

John Bugay said...

We know nothing of the kind.

Lvka said...

You don't know about the historical opposition of the Church to the very short, respectively very long, canons of Marcion and Valentinus?

John Bugay said...

Why don't you tell us.

Lvka said...

Link 1.

Link 2

youtube.com/watch?v=wpmHZzURwZY
youtube.com/watch?v=yVEM-vZXWOI

John Bugay said...

Why don't you give us the Readers Digest version?

Lvka said...

Because, -unlike other Orthodox-, I have a great deal of respect for St. Thomas Aquinas, and agree with him on the number of se7en deadly sins, of which one is sloth. ;-)

John Bugay said...

It's not a matter of sloth. It's a matter of you introducing a rabbit trail that I'm not going to follow you on. You have actually said nothing of substance that relates to the original post. And I have more important things to do than track down your nonsensical claims.

If you want to make a point, make it, but don't think you can come here and whine about folks not following every link you want to throw up.

Dozie said...

"In the covenantal structure of Israel, God acted in history, and Moses and the prophets wrote down God's activity. In such a way, Scripture is the interpretation that God provides for us."

Which "Scripture is the interpretation that God provides"; the Scripture that God has or the one on your shelf? I hope you do not believe this foolishness.

Jae said...

You guys keep on harping and mocking the Teaching authority of the Universal (Catholic) Church...well, if that is the case then we can't cancel the other side of the equation which is inevitably...YOUR VERSION OF TEACHING!.....YOU!

There is no middle ground and point to the Bible as your only authority, it's just a novel excuse, ultimately it's you, your version of your own interpretation and teaching! (don't worry we won't contest it - if you are happy with it, fine with us!)

If christian doctrine is indeed Divine revealed Will under the pain of eternal lost, then infallibility is necessary for His Church because if she could err at all she could err in ANY POINT, there is NO guarantee to any truth whatsoever, since you deny and reject everything that is against your concept of truth it follows then the burden of responsibility falls ON YOU GUYS! (don't worry on our Catholic side it is the Magisterium _Latin word: Teaching Authority)

If you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible:

JN 16:13

"Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into ALL truth. He will not speak on his own accord, but will speak whatever He hears and will declare to you the things that are to COME".

Jesus said ALL, not one, two or three ....but ALL Truth. (dictionary means: every one, wholeness, FULLNESS).

1 Cor 11:2b, "Maintain the TRADITIONS even as I have delivered them to YOU."

2 Thess 2:15, "So the, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which YOU were taught by us, either by WORD OF MOUTH or by letter."

2 Tim 1:13, "Follow the pattern of the sound words which YOU have heard from me."

1 Timothy 3:15, "...God's household, which is the Church of the living God, the PILLAR and FOUNDATION of the TRUTH."

When you say the words "PILLAR and FOUNDATION of TRUTH" it is what it is - not one's meaning of the "church" as a collection of differing churches who proclaims different truths according to their understanding of the Scripture.

How could the Bible call the FOUNDATION OF TRUTH is the CHURCH, if the truth is just subjective to men or majority votes? (viz. gay-marriage, artificial contraceptiom etc).

Lastly, ypu guys have the "office" that Paul speaks so abundantly:

Col 1:25 - Paul calls his position a divine "office." An office has successors. It does not terminate at death (viz the Office of the President of the U.S.A. - must be traced back all the way to the Numero Uno - George Washington) See also Heb. 7:23 – an office continues with another successor after the previous office-holder’s death.(more Deut. 34:9, Sirach 45:15, 1 Tim. 4:14)

These verses that falls squarely on your shoulders (you can't escape it and point finger to the Bible because it clearly says the word "YOU" not the word "Scripture").


Responsibility anyone? (since you insist, don't wiggle out)

Peace and sleep tight.

Jae said...

Rhology said, "They've got pædophiles to protect, after all, and that's a big job."

What a low, low remark that belongs to the "blindly and ignorantly hateful" people.

So sorry for you mate... just like Mr. Christopher Eric Hitchens you lost it baby.

John Bugay said...

Jae -- your screechy tone lets us know that we're getting under your skin.

Couple of things:

There is no middle ground and point to the Bible as your only authority, it's just a novel excuse, ultimately it's you, your version of your own interpretation and teaching! (don't worry we won't contest it - if you are happy with it, fine with us!)

This is a false dilemma, because there is a huge middle ground in the form of the Protestant confessions. They may not totally agree in every area, but they largely agree on most things, and they are virtually unanimous on core doctrines of the faith. And within this paradigm, keep in mind: "in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." This is a tremendously fine paradigm for Protestants to operate with.

then infallibility is necessary for His Church because if she could err at all she could err in ANY POINT, there is NO guarantee to any truth whatsoever,

This is moot, because "His Church" did err and over time it has erred on many points. That's why we have the written Scriptures -- God's own interpretation of his redemptive work in history -- we come back to the Scriptures, and we know that we cease to err.

On the other hand, Rome has set itself up as the master of God's Scriptures -- the master of God's interpretation. "God is really allowing wiggle room for these "implicit" interpretations of ours," Rome says.

JN 16:13

"Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into ALL truth. He will not speak on his own accord, but will speak whatever He hears and will declare to you the things that are to COME".


Here's my take on what it means to be "guided into all truth" and you see if my look isn't closer to reality than some kind of nebulous promise to a Roman Magisterium that it will never err:

http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/on-being-guided-in-all-truth/

And note here for how you've misused 1 Tim 3:15:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/05/pillar-and-support-of-truth.html

One could go on and on this way. I hope you'll stop and read these links, rather than just leave a hit-and-run comment, the way you did with Luther's "as many doctrines as there are heads."

Lvka said...

in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity


This are the words of another man; who spoke Latin; and the Latins have a proverb: "non idem est si duo dicunt idem". So --if I were you--, I would first of all make sure that *HIS* 'essentials' and 'non-essentials' are the SAME as mine: just a thought.

Lvka said...

..and here's yet another link..

John Bugay said...

"non idem est si duo dicunt idem"

This is precisely why Sola Scriptura is a better rule of faith than relying on a Magisterium or on the "doctrine of the church" -- Scripture is one thing. Church doctrine (for whatever church) is at least one step removed from the sure foundation of Scripture. Claiming to have "a living Magisterium" that can "interpret" these things is dangerous, because, as we know, "interpretations" change over time, all the time.

The firm place to stand is on Scripture.

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

Rhology: "What is Rome's infallible canon of infallible teachings? If you can't provide it, what is Rome's fallible canon of infallible teachings?""

Me: "Is there a Magisterial answer to this reasonable line of inquiry?

If not, shouldn't the Magisterium work hard to provide one?"


Constantine: "Don’t look for an infallible list. According to Cardinal Congar, that would be a “gratuitous” thing for the Magisterium to provide. In fact, it may even be "hazardous"."
-------

Catholic: "Protestants don't have an infallible canon of infallible Scripture. Sola Scriptura is garbage."

Protestant (taken aback from the unprovoked attack): "Oh? If that's your argument, then show me the Magisterium's infallible canon of it's infallible teachings."

Catholic (sputtering, grasping and gasping for some response to this hitherto unexpected pushback to what he thought was an unassailable position): "Uh, uh, buh, buh, pwt, eh, weeell, ahh, oh here it is, it's from Cardinal Congar:

"Those, therefore, who imagine that the ideal aimed at in exercising the Magisterium is to produce as many gratuitous “definitions” as possible, assigning their elaboration to the theologians, are sadly mistaken. The essential thing is not to define, but to keep the deposit faithfully and to bear witness to its totality by respecting the balance of its different parts. The extreme course of “defining”, which the Fathers unanimously consider as a hazardous undertaking…which it is hoped may be avoided,...."

Mr. Protestant, the Magisterium does not have an infallible canon of its infallible teachings because of all the things that Cardinal Congar said.

Protestant: "Well then, Protestants can take the same approach as Cardinal Congar can then.

Protestants don't have to produce an infallible canon of infallible Scripture for all the same reasons that Cardinal Congar expressed.

What's good for you guys is good for us too.

Catholic (sputtering in rage): "You can't do that. We get to knock you down, but you can't knock us down with the same ammo that we knocked you down with."

Protestant (smiling at the Catholic's predicament): "You should read Jesus's words about the Pharisee with a log in his eye complaining about the speck in someone else's eye. Pharisees were legalists with man-made traditions and known for being crass and gross hypocrites. You might want to think about that."

Catholic: "@&!%#!!!"

Alexander Greco said...

And yet you still can't tell us if masturbation, divorce and remarriage, in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption, contraception, etc. are in keeping with the Gospel. The only reason why you reject homosexuality is because Scripture says so, but even at that point you are at a loss as to why.

Rhology said...

Gosh, thanks Alexander.

The only reason why you reject homosexuality is because Scripture says so, but even at that point you are at a loss as to why.

Right, b/c "God said so" is not nearly a good enough reason.

Alexander Greco said...

Not surprisingly Rhology, you've missed the point and was able to include a fallacy within a one sentence reply. Good Job!

I've only alloted myself to waste 5 min on this blog.

Rhology said...

Oh man, I'm super bummed to hear that.

And BTW, please identify the fallacy! Thanks!

John Bugay said...

I've only alloted myself to waste 5 min on this blog.

Well, rejoice, cause the Lord can work his miracles within 5 minutes, too.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"And yet you still can't tell us if masturbation, divorce and remarriage, in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption, contraception, etc. are in keeping with the Gospel."

Alexander Greco,

Are you saying that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that masturbation (or not masturbating) is in keeping with the Gospel?

Can you provide more clarity, please?

John Bugay said...

Truth: It's a mortal sin, you know.
You MUST confess it, or you'll go to hell.

At least, it used to be that way in the old days.

[And of course, only if you're Catholic. I guess in our enlightened, post-Vatican II days, Protestants can masturbate and not go to confession with impunity.]

I couldn't say for sure, but I'd suspect this was how all those dirty old molester priests found their victims.

Of course, the secrecy of the confessional is absolute.

Alexander Greco said...

TUAD: All of the above are taught definitively by the Church to be against the Gospel.

Alexander Greco said...

More stupidity from Bu gay. Then again, he is only concerned with sins taking place among Catholics. If a Protestor does it, then they are saved anyways so its fine. There's no need to discuss it.

Rhology said...

1) All sin is "against the Gospel". So you're saying it's a sin.

2) "Definitively"? Where? How do you know that document/pronouncement or whatever is definitive and/or infallible?

John Bugay said...

If a Protestor does it, then they are saved anyways so its fine. There's no need to discuss it.

Correct.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"TUAD: All of the above are taught definitively by the Church to be against the Gospel."

I just want to take one issue at a time.

You're saying that the Roman Catholic Church (hitherto "the Church") definitively teaches that masturbation is against the Gospel.

In short:

Masturbation is against the Gospel.

Suppose a Catholic priest or bishop masturbates without going to confession prior to giving the homily. Is his masturbation going against the Gospel that his parishioners hear?

This doesn't make any sense to me. The parishioners still get the Church's Gospel even if the priest/bishop masturbates, don't they?

And with the donatist heresy, the parishioners still get the Real Presence even if the priest/bishop masturbates immediately prior to confecting the elements, don't they.

So I'm not sure what you mean when you say that masturbation is against the Church's Gospel when given priest/bishop masturbation.

Alexander Greco said...

TUAD: ?

If this is your idea of a clever rejoinder, then I doub't any reply I make will be helpful. I think that you are more interested in being obnoxious than in discussing the issue from the Catholic perspective.

Besides, the issue is that you cannot tell me whether masturbation is sinful in any definitive way. The most you'll do, I assume, is state that it is up to each person to decide, or that it is a non-essential. The last thing you'll do is definitively state that it is immoral.

Rhology said...

Translation: I don't have an answer, so I'm just going to insult you.

Cheers!

Alexander Greco said...

TUAD:

Let's take this to the other recent post from Rhology.

Alexander Greco said...

Rhology: The Church is very clear in its teachings on masturbation, the sin of the celebrant and the confecting of the Sacraments. There is no reason why I should go over them.

Besides, like I said to TUAD, you guys are completely inept at definitively making any statements on any of the issues.

John Bugay said...

Good news Alexander!

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.


You're definitely affectively immature. And if you're anxious, it can reduce your moral culpability!

Jae said...

John Bugay said, "in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." This is a tremendously fine paradigm for Protestants to operate with."

Got it from Augustine, eh?

This the the problem Mr. Bugay, by saying which "one is essential and not essential" in the Scripture is ALREADY AN AFFIRMATION of Authority by ITSELF which obviously you are exercizing and hated the Catholic Church for, irony, huh?


Besides the fact that EVERYTHING in the Bible is important because of the fact it is the Word of God and furthermore, your idea of "we got the essentials and the rest are not important slogan" is NOWHERE found in the Bible and thus unBiblical.

John said, "because, as we know, "interpretations" change over time, all the time."

Then you admitted it yourself, you are the ONE doing the INTERPRETING against to what you've said before that Scripture interprets Scripture, eh? From your mouth you are found***! NO QUARANTEE of truth...then it follows, WHY should any christian take your version if all you have is uncertainty? Oh, as usual it's not you and will point to the Bible as the source, pillar and foundation of truth, eh? ultimately you don't trust the Promise of God to guide His Church unto ALL TRUTH from day one until He comes back.(without any gaps in history!) Oh don't worry I read your links regarding this but to put it simply, your take is against the plain "reading of the text" and you have totally wiggled out and misused the verse (same with James 2:14-17 RSV)


John said. "Scripture interprets itself".

Oh really? well even the Book of U.S. Constitution needs to be interpreted by a living authority named the "Supreme Court," then I guess we should tell the Supreme Court that they don't have the monopoly - what a scenario...a nirvana of chaos and disunity.

John said, "your screechy tone lets us know that we're getting under your skin."

Oh noooo, I assure you it takes more than that for anyone to get under my skin....it's just the total lack of logical sequence, no guts and utter blatantly hateful and ignorant remarks (Rhology-from James White))that gets my attention but anyways, may God bless them still.

Alexander Greco said...

John B.

Let's take it to the other post from Rhology, if you will, and leave insults elsewhere. I'm willing to bet that Beggars All and friends will be the first to insult, not I, and I hope I'm proven wrong. I'm genuinely interested in your perspective. The question is, can you give us any definitive answers? Do these actions offend God as sin or not? Are they in keeping with the Gospel.

John Bugay said...

Alexander -- I have a hard time taking you seriously, especially when you say you're interested in "leaving insults elsewhere."

Alexander Greco said...

What I mean by that is that I am not interested in insults. In other words, I can be free from insults towards all of you, but I'm not sure the same can be said of you all towards me. The proof of this can be seen in the other post. Can you all substantively engage the issues without insults? We Catholics are constantly charged with being the insulting ones. I beg to differ. It has been my experience that we are insulted first.

Are you using this as an excuse to not engage the issues? Are those topics not important to the Gospel?

John Bugay said...

What I mean by that is that I am not interested in insults.

Since when?

John Bugay said...

Evidently since your sincere and heartfelt repentance some time after your 3:11 pm (today) post.

Alexander Greco said...

Since now. I'm willing to give you all the benefit of the doubt that you are likewise not interested in insults, and would be willing to engage the issues (in this case at the other post) in a fair and substantive fashion.

I give you my word that I will not consciously engage in insults. If I happen to do so, I'll do my best to listen to reason, repent and apologize accordingly. I grant and admit that I have willingly insulted in the past (both as a means to offend, and as a means to point out inconsistancies from the members of Beggars All), and such actions have ultimately failed to be productive.

Mea culpa!

I'm willing to move on.

Alexander Greco said...

And your 3:07 post was not meant to be offensive and insulting in the least? If you are to say it wasn't, then how in the world would that reply not be directed at insulting my intelligence?

Are you willing to tell me, as a member of God's Elect, that there was zero intent on being offensive with your 3:07 comment?

Jae said...

@ Alex, you won't have an answer that will sufficiently quench your thirst in the pursiut of truth especially in the issues of LIFE (where the Author of Life is God Himself), WHY? well, because these folks here without admitting (self-denial) - that they lack any organic Apostolic authority to pass, declare and promulgate and make a binding teaching. (viz. artificial contraceptio, gay-marriage, abortion etc)

For Pete's sake they don't even agree with their "founding fathers" so why do we take their word seriously?

Binding doctrine falls on every individual's head or pastor.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Rhology: The Church is very clear in its teachings on masturbation, the sin of the celebrant and the confecting of the Sacraments."

The Church is clear.

So if the celebrant masturbates without penance prior to confecting the Elements and preaching the homily, the parishioners still receive the Real Presence and the Church's Gospel.

So then the priest/bishop's masturbation is not against the Church's Gospel. To be sure, it is a sin according to infallible Magisterium teaching, but the priest/bishop's masturbation will not negate the Church's Gospel.

That has to be right.

So this idea of "masturbation is against the Gospel" has to be reformulated or re-phrased in order to be coherent.

Alexander Greco said...

Sorry TUAD, I am not following your line of reasoning.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Honestly, I'm not understanding you either, Alexander. You effectively said that masturbation is against the Gospel.

And I'm just saying that the Roman Catholic Church's Gospel is not negated by the priests and bishops who are masturbating.

Alexander Greco said...

No, it isn't.

If they are masturbating, then they are acting against it. The Gospel isn't dependent upon their personal nature.

I still fail to see the logical connection which you are making.

John Bugay has just provided the Church's condemnation of masturbation as an intrinsically and gravely disordered action. Are you stating that the Church doesn't teach that?

Can't we take this conversation to the other post Rhology created?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Are you stating that the Church doesn't teach that?"

Of course not. Didn't you read my earlier comment where I wrote "The Church is clear [that masturbation is a sin]."

Incidentally, google research shows the following percentage estimate of priestly masturbation:

"Pepe Rodriguez published his book length study of the sexual life of clergy in Spain (La Vida sexual del Clero 1995). He concluded that among practicing priests 95% masturbate;.... (Click Here).

Wow! "among practicing priests 95% masturbate"

That is a lot!!

Maybe that's just in Spain. So let's just take a whopping 30% off that figure. That would still be 65% of the priests are masturbating. That's still a lot of masturbating priests!

And what you wrote earlier was: "If they are masturbating, then they are acting against it." In which case there are a lot of priests acting (and masturbating) against the Church's Gospel.

Alexander Greco said...

Well I can't say how many priests masturbate. I'm not sure how well conducted the poll you cite was done, so I can't really comment on it one way or the other. None of this negates the Church's teaching. Masturbation is a sin. Levels of culpability are dependent upon a variety of factors, but nevertheless, the act itself is sinful.

Can't we take this conversation to the other post?

Are you willing to provide your opinion on the issues listed there?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

It doesn't matter to me how many Roman Catholic priests and bishops are masturbating contra formal Church dogma. But then again, I'm a Protestant.

I'm guessing that a lot of Catholic laity don't care about how many Catholic priests and bishops are masturbating, and they probably don't care whether their own priest and bishop masturbates either.

My guess is that a lot of "sinful" masturbation occurs among Catholics, both laity and clergy, and that a lot of it goes unconfessed (maybe because a lot of their masturbation is forgotten and not even remembered.)

Constantine said...

Hay, wil sumbudy git JAE a spelchikr?

Hiz stuf iz hart two rede.

natamllc said...

As a former Catholic, now a reformed brother in covenant and communion with reformed brethren now over 35 years, I object to this sentence:

They've got pædophiles to protect, after all, and that's a big job.

And to this one too:

What a crock! A diaper full of baby crap.

Dat stuff stinks. Too bad so many folks eat that scheiss up. Even worse, they ask for seconds and thirds.


Now, with the additional comments by some of the Catholics above, I request a retraction from both Rhology and TUAD and an apology to them.

Here's the basis for my request:

1Co 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1Co 10:32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,


I can assure both of your brothers that if you were in my Congregation, we would have a bit more to say about that disgraceful and distasteful conduct.

And TUAD, your quib one word answer to my question, "NO" is noted and I personally now ask you to retract and apologize.

Waiting.

Turretinfan said...

"Are you willing to provide your opinion on the issues listed there?"

Have you ever seen someone so eager for an opinion that he does not respect in the least?

Alexander Greco said...

Turretinfan, your insult has been noted. If you choose to have anything of substance to add at the other post, I will be interested to read it.

Turretinfan said...

I fail to see how my comment is an insult. Could you enlighten me?

Alexander Greco said...

Making unwarranted assumptions and thereby attacking my character is pretty insulting. Needless to say, you are not a mindreader.

I respect his opinion. I respect that he has an opinion. This does not mean that I have to agree with his opinion.

Turretinfan said...

Ah, I see - the insult is that I said you don't respect his opinion, when in fact you do respect his opinion.

You are seeking to sit at his feet and learn something from him, and I'm casting unwarranted aspersions on your name as though your motives were not those of a disciple, but those of something entirely different.

I think I follow. If you are indeed his disciple, then I have surely given cause for offense to you. But if not, your claim that you are insulted seems a little hollow.

All hyperbole aside, what difference does his opinion make to you? There's the real test of whether you respect his opinion.

- TurretinFan

Alexander Greco said...

Your further insult and condescending remark has been noted Turretinfan.

Again, I do invite you to express your opinion over the issues in a more substantive way over at the other post.

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

well even the Book of U.S. Constitution needs to be interpreted by a living authority named the "Supreme Court," then I guess we should tell the Supreme Court that they don't have the monopoly - what a scenario...a nirvana of chaos and disunity.

There is no chaos. The US Supreme Court is a function of the US Constitution, and operates within its constraints. In a similar way, the Protestant confessions provide for orderly decisions within the context of the churches.

Christianity does not have a "constitution" per se. The apostles left a network of churches and a local leadership structure in place -- and these frequently resorted to local councils and synods to "ministerially" decide as the WCF 31.3 says:

It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially, to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his Word.


Alexander: Turretinfan, your insult has been noted.

I don't see Turretinfan's observation to the effect that you are eager to solicit "an opinion you will not respect" to be an insult.

Rhology said...

Hi natamllc,

I find it far more disgraceful and horribly sinful that the Magisterium leads RCs astray by the 100s of 1000s with the carrot of infallibility, only to never use it in real life and yet to spend tons of time at the highest levels of the RC hierarchy hiding, transferring, and protecting pædophiles from prosecution.

Also, I'd like to request that in the future such things like these be first dealt with via email. I don't know what help you expect to render to our RC friends around here by publicly calling out things like that. I'm not angry with you or anything, but I think it would've been wiser not to air dirty laundry when it's not a matter of grievous public sin.

I can see you calling me to acct if I'd used obscenities, and I can think of a few I could've used. Pædophiles is highly accurate and precise, and I don't cuss, so there you go. I'm not sure what else you'd prefer I say.

Grace and peace to you,
Rhology

Turretinfan said...

"Your further insult and condescending remark has been noted Turretinfan."

There's really no insult, as I've demonstrated.

-TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

A thread always takes a turn for the better when...

... when discussions are conducted about what is an insult and whether an insult was made.

... when there's a concern about tone.

... when there's a request for an apology.

Threads that go in that direction are uplifting and such matters are more important than the actual topic under initial consideration.

Alexander Greco said...

I can see that you folks are incorrigibly set on being insulting towards me, and then denying it or making excuses for it. I have kept my word, but Beggars All and friends (except for natamllc it seems) still prefers to belittle, ridicule, and insult my intelligence instead of treating me with any charity. Instead of responding in kind, or wastefully using up my time in going over again and again how Turretinfan manifestly intended to insult me in both his initial comment, and more so in his second snide remark, I shall leave. It seems that soom of you folks prefer to derail any meaningful conversation by not holding yourselves accountable to a more preferable discourse. Had I made the same comment at Turretinfan's blog it would have been deleted in less than 5 minutes.

There is no accountability. For example, Rhology does the very thing to natamllc that he chides him for.

I am willing to wager that you cannot find one known Catholic to agree with you that Turretinfan was not attempting to insult me. If you claim that it is because the Catholic is biased, then how can we be sure that John Bugay isn't biased? There was absolutely no purpose for his comment other than to disparage me. Even if you don't find his first comment insulting, I find it beyond belief that you would claim his second comment wat not insulting either. How can I remain and have a discourse in good faith where I'm urinated on, and then told it's raining?

I stated that I would not knowingly insult anyone here, and if I happen to do so, I would listen to reason and apologize accordingly. If you didn't happen to find Turretinfan's first comment insulting, then what about the second where he is clearly attempting to belittle me?

If I happen to see an apology, I'll accept it.

Rhology said...

1) There's a big difference between calling out BEHAVIOR as objectionable/childish and insulting someone.
It is often a sign of immaturity when someone is unable to distinguish between the 2.

2) (Though this doesn't remove the wrong from us, if indeed wrong we have done) Where have you ever apologised for the numerous insulting and childish comments you've left over the course of time at BeggarsAll?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Wow. I was prophetic in my earlier comment that the thread will continue to take a turn for the better.

Rhology said...

Heh, indeed.
I'm out of here unless someone brings up something that
1) is worth responding to; and/or
2) is not from the Tone Police, and all the less if it's from the Hypocritical Tone Police.

Turretinfan said...

"Had I made the same comment at Turretinfan's blog it would have been deleted in less than 5 minutes."

I do normally delete Alex's comments in less than 5 minutes, especially when they deal with a sexual topic. That part of his accusation is true (assuming that's what he meant), although I leave it to the reader to decide whether I insulted Alex or not in my previous comments.

John Bugay said...

Alexander, I really don't know what you're upset about. You were the one, two threads down, demanding that we answer your question, "is masturbation a sin?" Among others.

Then when the conversation gets a little bit rowdy, you, who have been the master of giving insults, now take offense. Please forgive us if we don't fully believe that your recent conversion was totally sincere. I personally think you could go a long way toward proving that to us by spending much less time worrying about what the intentions are behind each and every post.

I've been willing to put in the time to answer your questions up in the other thread. And I do believe that has been conducted in a respectful way.

TUAD is right to point out the amount of time that is focused on issues of who insulted whom, or who intended to insult whom, rather than on discussing the topic at hand.

Nestorius was blamed for something he never did or said, and in the process, the Eastern church was cut off from the Mediterranean church, the Egyptian church went its own way, and some of these have never recovered from it.

Alexander Greco said...

I give you my word that I will not consciously engage in insults. If I happen to do so, I'll do my best to listen to reason, repent and apologize accordingly. I grant and admit that I have willingly insulted in the past (both as a means to offend, and as a means to point out inconsistancies from the members of Beggars All), and such actions have ultimately failed to be productive.

3:58 PM, August 18, 2010

Rhology said...

I grant and admit that I have willingly insulted in the past (both as a means to offend, and as a means to point out inconsistancies from the members of Beggars All), and such actions have ultimately failed to be productive...and for all of my many insulting remarks and childish name-calling, I am sorry on behalf of myself and of the RCC for bringing disgrace on it by my actions as a so-called faithful adherent to it would be a good start.

Alexander Greco said...

Was this meant, or not meant to belittle me:

Ah, I see - the insult is that I said you don't respect his opinion, when in fact you do respect his opinion.

You are seeking to sit at his feet and learn something from him, and I'm casting unwarranted aspersions on your name as though your motives were not those of a disciple, but those of something entirely different.

I think I follow. If you are indeed his disciple, then I have surely given cause for offense to you. But if not, your claim that you are insulted seems a little hollow.

All hyperbole aside, what difference does his opinion make to you? There's the real test of whether you respect his opinion.

- TurretinFan


Secondly, I am a reader and I feel that it was insulting and detracting from the conversation. Secondly, Turretinfan has deleted numerous of my posts of non-sexual nature. If I had written the same thing that Turretinfan did, I'd be labeled a troll.

My wife read the same comment and agreed that it was insulting. A coworker read the same comment and agreed that it was insulting. That's three readers. I'm willing to discuss the issues. You are willing to insult and then pretend it didn't happen.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Descartes: "I think, therefore I am."

Militant Muslim: "I feel I've been insulted, therefore I have been insulted. Jihad!"

Anyways,

An interesting 4-part series about Professor Beckwith's return to Rome has just concluded today. Here's part 1:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4121

Turretinfan said...

Alex:

Read this to them: "Besides, like I said to TUAD, you guys are completely inept at definitively making any statements on any of the issues."

Then ask them whether it is an insult for me to suggest that you don't really respect the opinions you are soliciting.

-TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

(slight change)

Descartes: "I think, therefore I am."

Militant Muslim: "I think I've been insulted, therefore I have been insulted. Jihad!"

Alexander Greco said...

Turretifan, was this meant mock me, yes or no:

Ah, I see - the insult is that I said you don't respect his opinion, when in fact you do respect his opinion.

You are seeking to sit at his feet and learn something from him, and I'm casting unwarranted aspersions on your name as though your motives were not those of a disciple, but those of something entirely different.

I think I follow. If you are indeed his disciple, then I have surely given cause for offense to you. But if not, your claim that you are insulted seems a little hollow.

All hyperbole aside, what difference does his opinion make to you? There's the real test of whether you respect his opinion.

- TurretinFan

Alexander Greco said...

(slight change)

Descartes: "I think, therefore I am."

Militant Muslim: "I think I've been insulted, therefore I have been insulted. Jihad!"


And the mocking continues. Is this an example of Christian charity? Can I accurately state that this is in accord with the virtues of the Elect? Yes or no.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Contra Liccione on the Canon Question"

What an utterly useless topic to discuss.

Far more profitable to all involved is to discuss

- insults delivered and received.

- giving and taking offense.

Perception is ultimate reality.

If someone thinks and feels insulted and they take offense, then their thoughts and feelings trump everything else.

Any comments arguing that no insult was made or intended, or that the offended person should not have perceived it as an insult are automatically invalid.

The resolution?

Simply this: Everyone become offended and everyone feel insulted. Eg. "I'm offended that you're offended."

"If you're offended at what I said, then I'm offended that you're offended."

"You can't be offended at me because you started it first."

"Well, I'm offended. You need to say you're sorry."

"You need to say you're sorry first."

"How about we say sorry at the same time?"

"Okay, then let's hug each other for good measure."

"Sorry-sorry. Hug-hug."

See how easy that was to resolve?

Much better than discussing Liccione and the Canon.

Alexander Greco said...

TUAD, can I identify your continuing mocking of me as the fruits of your election? I seriously doubt it, and if my doubt is correct then wouldn't you be forced to agree with me that you are being insulting? Just own up to it.

If I'm wrong, and this is the fruit of election, then just say that. Tell me that mocking others is Christian virtue as you know it.

Rhology said...

ATTENTION: NO FURTHER OFF-TOPIC COMMENTS WILL BE TOLERATED. EITHER WRITE A COMMENT THAT IS CLEARLY IN LINE WITH THE TOPIC OF THIS POST, OR YOUR COMMENT WILL BE DELETED IMMEDIATELY.

This goes for everyone. The thread's title is not "Contra Alexander on how fragile his ego is."

natamllc said...
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natamllc said...
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natamllc said...
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natamllc said...
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Rhology said...

Anyone who disagrees with my comment policy on this thread can email me.

natamllc said...
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Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Rhology: "So he just got finished telling us that SS-ists don't think that the church is infallible, that we think the canon is made by a fallible church. And then he rubs it in our faces that we can't claim an infallible church? Um, isn't that what we were saying the whole time?"

Aren't Protestants simply being consistent, logical, and coherent when they say that the RCC is fallible and that their own church or denomination is fallible?

I'm not sure I understand the objection.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

(missing a word at the end)

Aren't Protestants simply being consistent, logical, and coherent when they say that the RCC is fallible and that their own church or denomination is fallible too?

natamllc said...
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natamllc said...
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Alexander Greco said...
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Rhology said...

Please, people, let it go.
I'm available via email anytime. See my Blogger profile.

Alexander Greco said...
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