Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alexander Greco knows best

This is from a comment that Turretinfan deleted yesterday [he deleted a number of comments because they were getting off topic]. But I though it perfectly illustrated the lack of unity among those who believe that they exhibit "unity" merely by being Roman Catholics [and even "good" Catholics]:
You stated that you are a seminarian, so I believe that it would be well to find out who you are, what you have written, and see how orthodox you really are. We have enough incompetent priests and bishops as it is. Better to help convince them of their errors prior to ordination. If the rectors of seminaries were doing their job of weeding out those not fit for clerical office, then the Church would be in much better shape than it is currently in. I've seen the mess first hand while in the seminary for two years in Mexico.

18 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

Does the Catholic Church propose that the mere profession of people being Catholic to be enough for unity of Catholic faith? In my understanding, unity is only found when people actually live their lives by the Gospel that the Catholic Church officially teaches from the Magisterium, not by the mere fact that many people proclaim themselves to be "Catholic." I fail to see your point here. Perhaps you can explain why you seem to think that people in the Catholic Church who do not beleive what the Church teaches proves some sort of disunity in the Catholic faith itself.

John Bugay said...

In my understanding, unity is only found when people actually live their lives by the Gospel that the Catholic Church officially teaches from the Magisterium,

My point is that this judgmentalism on Alexander's part -- decrying the lives of seminarians, rectors, priests and bishops -- On the one hand you want a "living magisterium," but on the other hand, it's comprised of people who have made a mess of things.

How do you know these incompetent people haven't really made a mess of the infallible Catholic teaching?

How do you know that Alexander Greco's charge does not ring truthful all the way back through history?

How do you know that they haven't slipped corrupted doctrine (as we maintain) in on you, under the guise of "infallible teaching"?

On the other hand, what of those who would say that Alexander Greco is full of doo-doo? After all, there are bishops whom he is decrying, who would say, "walk a mile in our moccasins before you render judgment"?

It is that "blueprint for anarchy" right in front of our eyes.

Alexander Greco said...

Must be a slow news day I guess.

Alexander Greco said...

We could always look at what the Church promulgated as doctrine. Then compare that with what the Bishops, priests, etc teach. That in itself is in line with Catholic teaching. Unless you can demonstrate from promulgated teaching anything to the contrary, I don't see any reason why your comment should provoke any serious thinking on my part.

John Bugay said...

We could always look at what the Church promulgated as doctrine.

I think this is an excellent suggestion. In fact, this is what we do here. But instead of comparing it with those low-level priests and bishops, we compare it with Scriptures.

I don't see any reason why your comment should provoke any serious thinking on my part.

I would never hope to provoke you to serious thinking.

louis said...

They are on record now as saying "disunity" doesn't matter. Good, can we then dispense with all those arguments about protestant disunity? About how those 22,000 denominations prove that protestantism is unworkable, etc.?

Jae said...

The point of the problem is, the so called "disunity" of Catholics is due to an act of disobedience to a definitive teaching of the Church (viz. artificial contraception, gay-marriage, Deity of Christ, Incarnation, Truine God etc). Does it matter if 50 or even 80% of catholics who disagree with these teachings somehow invalidate them? Resounding NO!

Now for the so called "disunity" of protestantism it is due to doctrinal separation. Simple!

The former is plain disobedience the latter is a "blueprint for anarchy" right in front of our eyes - down to moral relativism.

Matthew Bellisario said...

No one has said that disunity does not matter. We are giving you the proper means to determine unity concerning the Catholic faith. When you can tell us what the essentials of the Christian faith are, as we can from the Catholic Church which promulgates the true Gospel, then you can talk. Comparing the two situations is not tenable.

John Bugay said...

The point of the problem is, the so called "disunity" of Catholics is due to an act of disobedience to a definitive teaching of the Church

This was not the problem for Alexander Greco's interlocutor. Likely not for any of them who were "priests, bishops, rectors, seminarians." Likely for them, the problem would be Alexander Greco.

What you call "definitive teaching" is no guarantee that anyone will understand it correctly.

louis said...

"disobedience to a definitive teaching of the Church" stands in the same place as "disobedience to a definitive teaching of Holy Scripture."

"Does it matter if 50 or even 80% of [protestants] who disagree with these teachings somehow invalidate them? [sic] Resounding NO!"

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

John Bugay: "What you call "definitive teaching" is no guarantee that anyone will understand it correctly."

Snicker. So much for the usefulness or helpfulness of the institution of Infallible Interpreter.

Alexander Greco said...

Can any of you identify, anywhere, in any Church document, something that even remotely states that each and every catholic will understand all of the Church's teachings? Let me save you the trouble by telling you that you won't. It doesn't exist.

What the Church does claim is that, unlike the abundance of protestant denominations, every promulgated de fide teaching of the Church is infallible. On the other hand, Protestants assure us that only the non-essentials differentiate themselves from one another; however, they can never tell us what the essentials are. They cannot tell us what is de fide. Saying that the Bible is inerrant is all well and good because it is, but when it comes to applying it as a judge, it is at this point that the Protestants divide because someone has to do the applying and their application as doctrine is less than unified.

Truth, Louis and John, snicker away, but it seems you've unfortunately missed the point. Suggesting that definitive teaching will not guarantee correct understanding has no bearing on our faith. It is only a fallacious missrepresentation of our beliefs.

We see people like ChaferDTS over at Turretinfan's blog assuring us that, But we are to search the Scriptures for essential doctrines relating to our knowledge of God and matters relating to our salvation. And this is exactly what we see in John 5. Really? Well, what are they then? Can you distinguish between the non-essentials from the essentials?

natamllc said...

A.G.

let me give you an essential.

It goes like this by way of exhortation and teaching:

A Pastor, gathered with a group of men of his Church charge, says to them in a regular morning men's meeting at 7 a.m., to start the conversation going, for the Glory of God, this: we are all wrong here because the Scripture rightly concludes us all wrong, quoting this outloud from the letter to the Romans: Rom 3:9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
Rom 3:10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
Rom 3:12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
Rom 3:13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
Rom 3:14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
Rom 3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Rom 3:16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
Rom 3:17 and the way of peace they have not known."
Rom 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."


One of the men replies, "yes Pastor, you are right"!

Now, you see the conflict don't you?

The Pastor says we are all wrong and he is right!

So is it wrong for the man to affirm that the Pastor is wrong and right, seeing he agrees with the Pastor and the Word of God, that he too is wrong correctly?

Your position that the pope when ex cathedra gives a spoken or written edict is always infallible is right for you but wrong for me. I don't think we will ever agree on much more than that.

Your definition of understanding what is right about those verses is wrong because you define justification by Faith conflating it from the wrong essential understanding.

Consider:

Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
Act 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.


The RCC's historical position to burn Bibles and heretics as defined by her dogma is not in keeping with the repentance Paul addresses there before King Agrippa!

Alexander Greco said...

Turretinfan says:

Jesus left us with Scriptures that perspicuously convey the gospel. But folks like the Romanists insist that an infallible interpreter is necessary. Yet their infallible interpreter virtually never interprets infallibly.

It's kind of amusing for them to be so insistent that we desperately need one, but when the rubber meets the road, nothing happens.


This sort of goes along with the irrelevant arguments posed above. Unless one is willing to argue against an actual promulgated teaching, then there really isn't a need for us to respond to such comments like Turretinfan's if he can't ground it in Church teaching.

Here is how the Council of Trent expressed it:

Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, --wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold...

As you can see, the issue isn't merely interpreting the Bible. The issue is doing so ending in a doctrine contrary to what the Church has defined ,de fide. Once this distinction enters into the discussion, we can see that the strength of Turretinfan's point is drastically reduced. The Church is the authentic interpretator, we agree here with St. Thomas Aquinas:

...Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will... ST II-II 5,3.

We see the same problems arise when Protestants claim that the Church burned Bibles. Once the important qualifier that the Bibles in question were poor venacular translations enters into the conversation, the sting of the initial charge suddenly disappears.

natamllc said...

Alex,

here is where you stand wrong!

The True Church does not burn Bibles and never has.

She also endures the hardships put on her by the RC faith which does burn Bibles, their heretics and at times goes crazy off the deep end and exhumes the remains of decaying souls and holds court for what because the deed lives and must be silenced?

Dirt in the process of coming home from whence it came!

Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."


Don't you see the silliness and vulgarity of such practices?

It seems your head is so far embedded underneath the sand you are blinded to the fate that awaits you?

Isn't this enough for you, then:

Isa 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Isa 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
Isa 1:20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."


No?

Jae said...

@John said, "What you call "definitive teaching" is no guarantee that anyone will understand it correctly."

Maybe true in a sense either the one who's reading is not mentally and intellectually "normal" by human growth standards or ignorantly inculpable or the majority it's just plain willing disobedience.

Examples:

1. The Catholic Church says, Artificial Contraception is unnatural and against the will of God and whoever commits the act is guilty of a grave sin.

--Which part of the sentence you don't understand?

2. The Catholic Church says, abortion is killing and those who commmit such an act is guilty of a very grave sin.

--Which part of the sentence you don't understand?

3. The Catholic Church says homosexual acts are unnatural, intrinsically evil and against the will of God and whoever commits the act is guilty of grave sin.

--Which part of the sentence you don't understand?

4. The Catholic Church says, Jesus is both human and Divine was incarnated, died on the cross for our redemption and whoever rejects this is anathema?

--Which part of the sentence you don't understand.

We don't need to be rocket scientists in order to understand these.

John Bugay said...

Jae: 1. The Bible says nothing about Artificial Contraception. The Bible says nothing about it being against the will of God, and therefore, with no explicit such statement, it is a good part of God's creation (like rocket science) and therefore we may use it with moderation, as we may accept all of God's creation as a gift.

2. The Bible says "you shall not commit murder," and we know abortion to be murder and therefore a sin.

3. The Bible condemns homosexuality, and therefore we know it to be a sin.

4. The Bible says "the Word became Flesh" and therefore we worship Jesus as God.


But the Catholic Church continues to leave a lot of room for doubt, everything from how one interprets Scriptures, to how Scripture and Tradition relate, and things echoing off. These are areas where some rocket science is helpful.

See this for example:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/08/catholic-augury.html

Jae said...

@John,

Thanks.

The reply are very convenient for your own mistaken position. Anyways the point I'm making is that the teachings of the Catholic Church doesn't require for us to be rocket scientists to understand and not of what you're trying to imply, "everything from how one interprets Scriptures, to how Scripture and Tradition relate.."

Convenient in way the artificial contraception was based on the teaching of Paul about Natural Law together with his rejection of homosexual acts. Besides the fact the dissertations of Luther, Calvin, Wesley and in fact your own Reformed church before 1930's and against the tide of early christian writings are well against your own interpretation , how do you deal with this contradiction?

About gay-marriage among you protestants you don't even agree to which the Evangelical Lutheran Church and a lot more using the same King James Bible say there is nothing contrary to it but according to you it's the opposite, so which one is correct? Both can't be right.