Don't Stop, Believin'

I wonder if Jason and the Callers were aware of statistics like these when they aligned with a communion they thought to be the arbiter of Christian truth:

One-third of divorced and remarried Catholics who have not had their first marriage annulled receive Communion, even if they have not sought the permission of their priest.

Catholics in Britain and Ireland in such circumstances were almost twice as likely to receive Communion without having sought permission as US Catholics (29 per cent vs 17 per cent). . . .

Practising Catholics said the chief threats to marriage and family life were: artificial contraception; gay marriage and adoption; pressure caused by long working hours, money worries and unemployment; and the proliferation of pornography.

Almost three-quarters of practising Catholics welcomed the presence of lay people at the Synod, with one-quarter saying they wished more had been invited to attend and to be involved in decision-making.

Twenty per cent of Mass-going women and 15 per cent of Mass-going men said they sometimes felt the Church was too focused on the family to the point where they sometimes felt alienated.

Eighty-nine per cent of practising Catholics said a child ideally needed a mother and a father, while 11 per cent said a parent’s gender was less important than his or her commitment to the child.

About half of respondents said there was a danger the synod would be dominated by Western concerns rather than those affecting Catholics in the developing world.

Some 83 per cent of practising Catholics said they regularly pray with their children, or did when they were younger, and 78 per cent said they often talk to them about faith, or did when they were younger.

Of the clergy who took part, more than a third said the ban on artificial contraception could be ignored in good conscience and that cohabitation could be an acceptable stage en route to marriage.

To put this data which is skewed toward people who read The Tablet and use its website, consider the results of a Pew survey from last year:

How do U.S. Catholics view same-sex marriage?

As of 2012, about half of U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage. This level of support has increased over the past decade, rising from 40% in favor in 2001.

How do U.S. Catholics view abortion?

Half of U.S. Catholics overall (51%) say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 44% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. Among white Catholics, 54% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. By contrast, among Hispanic Catholics, 53% say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. In the general public, 54% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% say it should be illegal in all or most cases.

How do U.S. Catholics view contraception?

Just 15% of U.S. Catholics say that using contraceptives is morally wrong. Greater percentages say contraception is either morally acceptable (41%) or not a moral issue (36%). Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week are more evenly split. About three-in-ten say using contraceptives is morally wrong (27%). Similar percentages say it is morally acceptable (33%) or not a moral issue (30%).

Maybe if you are comparing yourself to the Protestant mainline, or to the Church of England, you take some encouragement from these numbers. But if you’re the Yankees or Steelers of the ecclesiastical world and rooting for a winner is what you signed up for when you crossed the Tiber, what happens when your ecclesiastical players keep coming up short in the fantasy church league?

For this reason, as much attention as people have given to the gathering of bishops in Rome over the last two weeks, not enough has been directed at how a church with so much authority, universal jurisdiction, apostolic succession, and charism — so many trophies — has been so ineffective in shepherding its flock.

I for one cannot understand how Roman Catholicism’s defenders (whether liberal or conservative) can continue to claim superiority. For instance, from the left, Michael Sean Winters consoles himself that Rome is not the Episcopal Church (which is sort of like the Phillies’ fans saying their team is not the Cubs):

A friend forwarded me a tweet from, of all people, Mia Farrow. It read: “Disappointed Catholics – imagine no Cardinals, Popes or bankers. All welcome, gay marriage, women and married priests – the Episcopal church.” Now, I do not mean to suggest that Ms. Farrow speaks for informed Episcopalianism. But, the obvious rejoinder is “No apostolic succession, no Real Presence, no ministry of unity in the Petrine office – some deal. And hurry, before they close up shop and turn off the lights.” And, the fact is that you know and I know Catholics who think as Ms. Farrow does. Their agenda has trumped everything and that is the problem. Ideology gets in the way of the unity of faith to which Pope Francis is calling us. It is this prior commitment to a desired outcome, ideologically defined, that keeps the Holy Spirit from our counsels and charity from our discussions. In short, ideology can frustrate genuine progress.

So apostolic succession is the rejoinder to those for whom it doesn’t matter (remember “pray, pay and obey”?), or even to bishops who don’t invoke their episcopal power? Again to use the Phillies’ analogy, so the Phillies were awful this year but darn, weren’t they good in 2008 — you know, once a world champion always a world champion. Tell that to the Red Sox. But if you want to keep insisting that the Phillies invented baseball, okay, but I’m not sure what kind of conversations about baseball are really possible if you’re going to take that line even though your bishops conceded fifty years ago that other teams helped contribute to baseball.

Then from the right we have the example of David Mills who compares (admirably I should say because I’d much rather interact with a conservative Roman Catholic who tells me I am wrong) Roman Catholicism to the best house in the neighborhood:

In the preface to Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis described the Church as a house with various rooms occupied by different traditions, including Catholicism. It’s not that good an image, even from his point of view, but it does give us one way of understanding our relation to our Protestant friends. Lewis would not have accepted this reimagining of his metaphor, but Catholics, who know that the Church isn’t merely one denomination among others, will know that the Catholic Church is the house, and the rooms are occupied by the various rites within the Church. To enter the house, one must be a member of the family. Friends may set up homes in the yard. They are within the pale, the relation the Church calls “real but imperfect communion.”

The Church will share as much as she can with her separated brethren. The family living in the house and the friends living in the yard may spend a lot of time together, and greatly enjoy each other’s company, but at the end of the day they each go back to their own homes. Some living in the yard resent never being let into the house, even for a family meal. It seems unkind and irrational. They’re happy to have Catholics in their homes and cannot understand why Catholics will not let them in theirs.

The homes they set up in the yard will keep them relatively warm and dry, if they build well, as some do, though not all. Life in the yard is much better than life on the street. Yet, however pleasant the families’ lives in the yard, they would be much happier and healthier and more productive if they got to live in the house itself. They are not homeless, which is a good thing, but they’re not really at home either.

. . . Outside it they do not experience the blessings only found on the inside. The positive reason is that it is a wonderful house. It is a great place to live. It is the best place to live. The kitchen is stocked with food, and the living room filled with comfortable furniture. The bathrooms have hot showers and working toilets, and the bedrooms are good. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It has interesting architectural features and curious nooks and crannies. It is full of art, books, and music. It is where your family lives.

The Church is where the faith is found in its fullness, its plenitude, its abundance. I know this from my own experience of being outside the Church and then being on the inside. For over twenty years I was an Episcopalian of the sort called Anglo-Catholic, an active one who volunteered in various conservative organizations and taught at the Episcopal Church’s most conservative seminary. I lived in a rather nice house in the yard, one that from the outside looked very much like the Catholic house: much smaller, of course, but more tastefully designed and aesthetically pleasing, and sitting closer to the Catholic house than many of the others. But in the yard nevertheless, as conveyed by the joke, which even Episcopalians would make, that their religious body was “Catholic lite.”

But isn’t this house, as the recent synod and polls suggest, a little drafty, in need of a new roof, with a septic system in disrepair, and an owner who doesn’t want to do any work on repairing the house because he think he owns the whole neighborhood (maybe like the one the Addams Family occupied)? When will this beautiful house get the maintenance it needs? Or when will the residents of the house actually listen to what the real estate agents are saying (some of whom teach classes in the house’s universities) that the house no longer matters since it’s more fun to hang out with the homeless?

And then comes the offhand comment about the synod that you just can’t believe someone said, in this case another fellow whom I admire, Peter Lawler:

Someone was wondering whether it was my “Pope Francis” moment in which I was subtly repudiating Catholic teaching on the purposes of sex and marriage. Well, I don’t think our pope is actually doing that, although I will say he’s filled the air with mixed messages. But maybe he’s right in some way such that, although the truth doesn’t change, recent developments might suggest that the gift of talking about it lovingly and effectively is in short supply. I certainly don’t claim to have that gift.

I don’t like to have to make this connection, but Roman Catholic marriage practices that led the bishops to Rome to think about what to do occurred on the watch of one of the church’s most beloved popes, John Paul II. Not only was he revered by many (maybe not the progressives), but he also offered one of the most philosophically rich accounts of sex, the body, and marriage that Roman Catholics have ever seen. And for all this you get a group of followers who are indistinguishable from the rest of their American mainline Protestant neighbors on gay marriage?

I know that since all priests still have to take the anti-modernist oath, lots of Roman Catholics think that modernism can’t happen there. But here they need to remember that Protestant modernism arose among Presbyterians at the same time that ministers subscribed the Westminster Standards.

I get it. Roman Catholic modernism doesn’t smell (and we haven’t even begun to talk about Richard McBrien).

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908 thoughts on “Don't Stop, Believin'

  1. Darryl,

    Just keep repeating: “But they have the principled means, but they have the principled means…”

    I’m still waiting for these guys to deal honestly with the question as to how you can rely so much on Aposotlic succession when Apostolic succession guarantees nothing. Even Rome has some kind of provision for a large number of bishops—including the pope—to go apostate. But how are we supposed to know when this happens when the same bishops are telling us they are infallible?

    When your interpretation of Scripture and the Magisterium disagrees with the Magisterium’s own interpretation and application of itself, why spend so much time trying to justify how you fit with them. Won’t a good RC of the CTC mold just submit? It makes no sense.

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  2. Darryl,

    Your fantasy football analogy doesn’t quite work for CTCers. A more apt fantasy sports analogy is that they think they have Kim Jong Il in a North Korean fantasy golf league. The score is whatever the Magisterium says it is.

    Of course, Bryan’s predictable response to your post would be that the authority of the Magisterium does not depend on lay or clerical obedience/agreement in any way. It’s convenient to deal yourself a trump card in every hand.

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  3. “But if you’re the Yankees or Steelers of the ecclesiastical world and rooting for a winner is what you signed up for when you crossed the Tiber, what happens when your ecclesiastical players keep coming up short in the fantasy church league?”

    That line alone is pure gold.

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  4. Darryl,

    I for one cannot understand how Roman Catholicism’s defenders (whether liberal or conservative) can continue to claim superiority.

    That’s because, apparently, your only or primary measure of “superiority” is the percentage of members of an institution who conform fully to an institution’s formal teaching. Who that institution was founded by, or whether that institution is in schism from the institution founded by Christ, are not even on your conceptual radar as measurements of its “superiority.” Throughout Church history, rigorists (e.g. Tertullian-as-Montanist, Donatists, etc.) have measured the Church as you do. If you want at least to *understand* (which you say you presently cannot do) the Catholic position, even while disagreeing with it, you first have to learn how Catholics understand the marks of the Church, which is very different from the way Protestants such as yourself conceive of the marks of the Church.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

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  5. Bryan – That’s because, apparently, your only or primary measure of “superiority” is the percentage of members of an institution who conform fully to an institution’s formal teaching.

    Jesus –

    A Tree and Its Fruit

    Matthew 7

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

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  6. Bryan, you’re not doing well with coming along side us non-RC’s in the style that a majority of the bishops favor. Where’s the mercy? Why are you so much a rigorist when it comes to the stuff that you emphasize (even though your bishops do not)?

    I have appealed to your imagination before and been deeply disappointed. But I’ll try again. Here you have a beloved Roman bishop who goes to herculean efforts to explain the nature of sex and the body and meanwhile the bulk of the U.S. church is not even paying attention. If you don’t consider that a fly in the ointment of your call — and let’s be clear, this is CTC’s call not the pope’s — then you are in serious denial. (But at least you found work unlike Jason.)

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  7. There’s a bit of irony in Bryan & The Callers mission. They obviously recruit Presbyterian & Reformed people because:

    (A) P&R people are solid Christians and, upon conversion, make solid Catholics.

    (B) Many cradle Catholics, as these surveys show, make rather lousy Christians.

    (C) Cradle Catholics don’t really care about Bryan & The Callers ministry and won’t listen to them (because they’re newbies) so if Bryan & The Callers want to have a ministry, evangelizing P&R people is about all that is open to them.

    So if P&R people are solid Christians, why would they be attracted to a church full so many lousy Christians?

    I know, all eyes are supposed to be on the Pope, but most P&R people just aren’t buying. Only a very small number of eggheads.

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  8. I believe I win the door prize for accurately predicting Bryan’s response. Looking forward to my authentic, Deeg-used cigar butt.

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  9. Darryl,

    If you don’t consider that a fly in the ointment of your call … then you are in serious denial.

    Anyone can pound the table. Constructing an argument, on the other hand, is altogether another thing.

    But maybe the notion that those (i.e. in this case Catholics) with whom you disagree must be in serious denial is part of the reason why by your own admission you can’t understand them. There’s no reason to bother even trying to understand persons who by stipulated definition are “in serious denial.”

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

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  10. Bryan – There’s no reason to bother even trying to understand persons who by stipulated definition are “in serious denial.”

    Erik – For perhaps the first time Bryan has said something I can agree with.

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  11. What if P&R people issued a call to communion to say, Methodists. After laying out our theological arguments for the superiority of our “paradigm” the Methodists respond with some inconvenient observations such as, “Hey, we noticed that half the people who were baptized in a Reformed church don’t attend worship”, or “Hey, we noticed that 25% of the people who are in your church are living together without being married.” or “Hey, I was talking to a bunch of folks at your church and 50% of them appear to be pro-choice.”

    Would we just repeat the theological arguments and ignore their comments?

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  12. The sheep don’t always listen and the shepherds don’t always do a bang up job. The philosophical apologetic does sound a little cheap in times of crises…. nevertheless, Catholicism is more biblical, historical, and credible than reformed churches. Thats a pretty big advantage.

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  13. If a theological system has not made a profound, visible difference in the lives of the majority of those who have been involved in it since birth, why would I ever buy into that system on the basis of obscure philosophical and historical arguments? It’s a ludicrous proposition.

    Mormonism is actually a step ahead of Catholicism on the basis of the lifestyle and behavior of the average Mormon.

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  14. Bryan,

    You can attack me ad hominem and all, but when I see at CTC anything like the kind of discussions that I find at Unam Sanctam or when I see in you critical awareness of developments in Roman Catholicism like Cardinal Burke’s, then I will continue to think of you like a used-car salesman.

    Heck, it’s not like you need to look very far to see that your people are worried about where the church is heading. Just read Ross Douthat. But you seem to think that we need to be in denial — that we only need to read your call and ignore all the other stuff (and there are so many more outlets than CTC). You’re not in the PCA anymore, Toto.

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  15. This just in from Ken, get out the marble block and chisel: “The sheep don’t always listen and the shepherds don’t always do a bang up job.” I’m attracted to paradigm that produces such profundity.

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  16. Erik,

    Would we just repeat the theological arguments and ignore their comments?

    I am not able to predict reliably what you would do in such a case. But I can say this: if the rigorist position (i.e. later Tertullian, Novatians, Donatists, Cathars) looks right to you, then you haven’t yet grasped the Catholic paradigm. So by continuing to raise criticisms that build on rigorist presuppositions, you show that you don’t get the other paradigm, and don’t even get that it is a paradigm difference that is not based on a quantitative difference in the proportion of member-compliance.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

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  17. loser ken, biblical? are you kidding?

    credible? what do you say about bishops who cover up scandals in the church? Does that build confidence.

    I’ll give you historical. And yes, the Yankees have won more championships. But you’re in the land of people who root for underdogs. funny how much Christ’s own teaching about the last shall be first goes with liking the little guy instead of obeying an ecclesiastical monarch who now has his own cookbook.

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  18. Kenneth, ding! Now that’s a defense we can live with–more biblical, historical, and credible. But I know the infallibility thing is coming. Gong.

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  19. Kenneth,

    Anyone can pound the table. Constructing an argument, on the other hand, is altogether another thing.

    Simply stating that Catholicism is more biblical, historical, and credible than Reformed churches does not make it true. I think you need to go back to your Bryan Cross Logic Catechism.

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  20. Darryl,

    You can attack me ad hominem and all, but when I see at CTC anything like the kind of discussions that I find at Unam Sanctam or when I see in you critical awareness of developments in Roman Catholicism like Cardinal Burke’s, then I will continue to think of you like a used-car salesman.

    Yep, ad hominem. It leaves untouched the truth of everything I said above.

    Heck, it’s not like you need to look very far to see that your people are worried about where the church is heading. Just read Ross Douthat.

    I’m not unaware of the worriers. Their existence does not falsify anything I said above.

    But you seem to think that we need to be in denial …

    Nope, I never condone denial of the truth.

    — that we only need to read your call and ignore all the other stuff (and there are so many more outlets than CTC).

    That’s a strawman. I’ve never claimed that, nor do I believe that.

    If you want to have a real conversation, I’m willing. But it isn’t possible so long as you resort to barbs and strawmen and misrepresentations.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

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  21. Bryan,

    Like acting as if Catholic leaders aren’t divided over important issues in doctrine and practice? Or did you have another kind of misrepresentation in mind?

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  22. Darryl,

    “Why are you so much a rigorist when it comes to the stuff that you emphasize (even though your bishops do not)?”

    Which bishops are you referring to? Is this another instance of American and Western Europe-tinted glasses that ignore African and Asian bishops (maybe you can have drinks with Kasper).

    “Here you have a beloved Roman bishop who goes to herculean efforts to explain the nature of sex and the body and meanwhile the bulk of the U.S. church is not even paying attention.”

    US church – yep, once again Catholicism is reduced to just American Catholicism in your thorough analysis.

    And in your view, you have Scripture that goes to great effort to explain monergism and Calvinist doctrine and meanwhile the bulk of Protestantism is not even paying attention. But that just speaks more to the ones who reject it rather than Scripture right?

    “bv, so infallibility exists even the church errs. Perfect.”

    Atheist: So infallibility/inerrancy exists even when Scripture errs. Perfect.
    Darryl: You are not understanding infallibility/inerrancy properly.
    Atheist: Sophist in denial!

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  23. I am commenting due to the stifling arrogance from the commentators here at this site. I am a former Reformed Christian who attended a “Reformed” seminary. One of several reasons leaving is the stench of arrogance that emanated from the “Reformed” camp. Everybody was just so darn smart and “theologically correct” that they couldn’t smell the skunk. I used to think that the arrogance came from the “health and wealth” televangelists. Theirs was material and profiteering; I now see this is just as uncharitable and heartless. D.G. I am now sorry that I used to think highly of your work in Modern Reformation magazine. I’m now embarrassed that I ever carried the label “Reformed.”

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  24. CVD, glopping onto Bryan doesn’t add any credibility to you on OL.

    It’s kind of funny you only grew some hair on your chest because Bryan did his tired act again

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  25. Not me CVD, I consider the syncretistic, ignorant, blatantly idolatrous brand of Papistry/Mariolatry practiced in Central and South America, and the creepy mystical variety from Spain to be the typical, real RCism. So there.

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  26. Bryan, real conversation is likely impossible since it involves on your end regular instruction about logic and perspective.

    Here’s the thing and we’ve discussed this before. Your call is a partial view of Roman Catholicism. You have a paradigm and you look at everything through it. So you find the bits that are true and you leave out the bits that compromise that truth. Sorry for the ad hominem, but that’s dishonest. It’s like me only using the Westminster Standards and the Constitution of the OPC to talk about Presbyterianism.

    But if that gets you a job, good for you.

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  27. That’s because, apparently, your only or primary measure of “superiority” is the percentage of members of an institution who conform fully to an institution’s formal teaching [of implicit faith, for those who are ignorant of the more arcane features of the popish paradigmology]. Who that institution was[assumed to be] founded by [cannot ever be on the table], or whether that institution is in schism from the institution founded by Christ [which again any true romanists knows cannot be Rome, ], are not even on your conceptual radar as measurements of its [faithfulness to] “superiority.” [your paradigm of Scripture alone. Because as we all know Scripture cannot be read unparadigmatically, while any apology for Rome, such as this one, can].
    Throughout Church history, rigorists (e.g. Tertullian-as-Montanist, Donatists, etc.) have measured the Church as you do [thus the “get behind me Satan ” remark to His First Holiness in Matt. 16:23. But] (I)f you want at least to *understand* (which you say you presently cannot do) the Catholic position [because it appears to be incoherent to the naked eye], even while disagreeing with it, you first have to learn how Catholics understand the marks of the Church, which is very different from the way Protestants such as yourself conceive of the marks of the Church. [The emphasis – when it’s not on a “one excuse fits all” ignorant faith – is on the external such as the apostolic bones, which if you haven’t seen, you will just have to believe exist if you don’t follow the pope on Twitter.
    Except when the emphasis is not on the external and visible, such as the lost infallible authoritative apostolic oral traditions and the table of contents in the front of the comic book
    .]

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  28. foxy lady, oh you mean Pope Francis is one of those non-U.S. Roman Catholics. Or you mean that Rome is really somewhere in Asia.

    Lame.

    Look, if the OPC claimed universal jurisdiction you’d have a point. But why don’t you worry about the church that has universal jurisdiction and isn’t quite so impressive with how it works.

    Pride is still a sin for Roman Catholics, right?

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  29. I for one cannot understand how any apologist for any denomination or branch of Christianity can claim superiority over the others having read Romans 3:9

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  30. Darryl,

    So you find the bits that are true and you leave out the bits that compromise that truth.

    And there’s where you commit the fallacy of begging the question, by referring to the existence of things that with mere hand-waving you presume, without any provided argument, “compromise that truth.” To avoid that fallacy, you need to make those “bits” explicit, and then show how they falsify or refute something we’ve said. So far (i.e. since July of 2012) you have not done that, even though since then you’ve tried to do so hundreds of times.

    I wouldn’t have to engage in “regular instruction about logic” when replying to you if you didn’t regularly commit logical fallacies.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

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  31. Darryl,

    Since I was unaware of the sins, struggles with sin, personal opinions, and voting choices of Catholics and of my Protestant friends, all these things were not factors to help me figure out where orthodoxy exists in full. No Protestant ecclesial body said that contraception was a grave sin, and this is where there is a big difference. I could have gone along in my life not knowing I was committing grave sin, if the Catholic Church wasn’t so adamant that it is a sin and not a matter of personal opinion. I didn’t decide first of all that it was wrong and then find a community that agreed with me. I had friends that had a lot of children and I just thought they were trying to one-up everyone else,gaining notches in their belts because by disagreeing with my choice to decide how many kids I wanted they were acting as if their opinions were holier than mine. They used the biblical idea of a full-quiver to support their personal choice, but authoritatively speaking they had no power to bind my conscience even if the husband/ father had been my pastor. If no one speaks infallibly all we have is a host of opinions.

    “The Christian world, so called, what is it practically, but a witness for Satan rather than a witness for Christ? Rightly understood, doubtless the very disobedience of Christians witnesses for Him who will overcome whenever He is judged. But is there any antecedent prejudice against religion so great as that which is occasioned by the lives of its professors? Let us ever remember, that all who follow God with but a half heart, strengthen the hands of His enemies, give cause of exultation to wicked men, perplex inquirers after truth, and bring reproach upon their Saviour’s name. It is a known fact, that unbelievers triumphantly maintain that the greater part of the English people is on their side; that the disobedience of professing Christians is a proof, that (whatever they say) yet in their hearts they are unbelievers too. This we ourselves perhaps have heard said; and said, not in the heat of argument, or as a satire, but in sober earnestness, from real and full persuasion that it is true; that is, the men who have cast off their Saviour, console themselves with the idea, that their neighbours, though too timid or too indolent openly to do so, yet in secret, or at least in their real character, do the same. And witnessing this general inconsistency, they despise them {137} as unmanly, cowardly, and slavish, and hate religion as the origin of this debasement of mind. “The people who in this country call themselves Christians (says one of these men), with few exceptions, are not believers; and every man of sense, whose bigotry has not blinded him, must see that persons who are evidently devoted to worldly gain, or worldly vanities, or luxurious enjoyments, though still preserving a little decency, while they pretend to believe the infinitely momentous doctrines of Christianity, are performers in a miserable farce, which is beneath contempt.” Such are the words of an open enemy of Christ; as though he felt he dared confess his unbelief, and despised the mean hypocrisy of those around him. His argument, indeed, will not endure the trial of God’s judgment at the last day, for no one is an unbeliever but by his own fault. But though no excuse for him, it is their condemnation. What, indeed, will they plead before the Throne of God, when, on the revelation of all hidden deeds, this reviler of religion attributes his unbelief in a measure to the sight of their inconsistent conduct? When he mentions this action or that conversation, this violent or worldly conduct, that covetous or unjust transaction, or that self-indulgent life, as partly the occasion of his falling away? “Woe unto the world (it is written), because of scandals; for it must needs be that scandals come, but woe to the man by whom the scandal cometh!” [Matt. xviii. 7.] Woe unto the deceiver and self-deceived! “His hope shall perish; his hope shall be cut off, and his trust shall {138} be a spider’s web: he shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand; he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.” [Job viii. 13-15.] God give us grace to flee from this woe while we have time! Let us examine ourselves, to see if there be any wicked way in us; let us aim at obtaining some comfortable assurance that we are in the narrow way that leads to life. And let us pray God to enlighten us, and to guide us, and to give us the will to please Him, and the power.” JHN’s Profession without Practice

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  32. MV,

    Which camp is claiming that their church leader has never erred in his teachings? Doesn’t sound exceedingly humble to me (it sounds more like Juniper Creek). But that doesn’t fit your emotional narrative, now does it?

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  33. Commie Curt, you raving idiot. Why weren’t you in Nicaragua in 1982 fighting with the Sandinistas? I can’t figure why you AREN’T a liberation theology-loving Papist. Get thee to a socialist monkery.

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  34. Curt, it’s not the claim of superiority that troubles but the claim of super-superiority, as in infallibility. There is a difference between claiming to be correct (Reformed) and claiming unable to be wrong (Roman).

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  35. Bryan,

    This isn’t science lab. Everyone knows, plenty of Roman Catholics do, that what you present as the truth is partial. What do you imagine Richard McBrien would say about your call to communion, for instance? And do you think you can simply sneer at a reference to a theologian who has been the president of the Catholic Theological Society, has taught theology at one of your church’s Cadillacs of universities, and has been recommended reading for numerous college, high school, and parish theology classes?

    Unless you acknowledge that people with a very different understanding of the faith than you have a whole lot more clout than you in your infallible church, there’s no reason why I or anyone else should pay attention to you. Somehow we’re only supposed to notice CTC and EWTN?

    McBrien on John Paul II (for instance):

    If the Fordham group of young Catholic theologians were guilty of anything — beyond their evident good will — it may have been naivete.

    They implied that an older generation of Catholic theologians may have been somehow responsible for the polarization in the Catholic Church by fomenting the so-called culture wars of the 1960s and 1970s “through which much of the council and its aftermath were read.”

    But the Fordham group’s sense of history seems truncated. Have they forgotten that after Pope Paul VI, the man elected to the papacy was John Paul I — the Patriarch of Venice — and that he died after only 33 days in office?

    Had John Paul I not died prematurely, we would never have had John Paul II, who came into office with a clearly conceived plan to re-make the face of the hierarchy — a plan that involved the dismantling of much of what Paul VI tried to create, particularly a cadre of pastoral bishops committed to carrying out the reforms and renewal launched, under Paul VI’s direction, by Vatican II.

    Thus, if there is any single reason why polarization exists in the Catholic Church today it is because of the type of bishops whom John Paul II appointed and promoted within the hierarchy over the course of his 26 and a half years in office.

    Any other explanation of the polarization that now afflicts the Church is simply naive.

    Like

  36. Susan, some Reformed pews are made up of entire single families, and here I thought modesty was a Reformed virtue. But what do you mean “if nobody speaks infallibly”? The Bible does.

    Like

  37. Susan, “Since I was unaware . . . all these things were not factors to help me figure out where orthodoxy exists in full.”

    Way to do your homework.

    I know that sounds a bit cold. But you’re not really helping your case. Maybe you want to run these comments by your bishop before posting?

    Like

  38. Darryl,

    Everyone knows, plenty of Roman Catholics do, that what you present as the truth is partial.

    That’s the ad populum fallacy.

    What do you imagine Richard McBrien would say about your call to communion, for instance? And do you think you can simply sneer at a reference to a theologian who has been the president of the Catholic Theological Society, has taught theology at one of your church’s Cadillac’s of universities, and has been recommended reading for numerous college, high school, and parish theology classes[?]

    A question is compatible with any truth. So those two questions are fully compatible with everything we’ve said.

    Unless you acknowledge that people with a very different understanding of the faith than you have a whole lot more clout in your infallible church, there’s no reason why I or anyone else should pay attention to you.

    Even if it were true that there is no reason why you should pay attention to me, that would not refute anything we’ve said. In other words, every single thing we have said could still be true, even if there was no reason to pay attention to us.

    McBrien on John Paul II (for instance) …

    That too does not refute anything we’ve said.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

    Like

  39. Bryan, but everything I said confirms what I said. You’re truth is partial.

    Worse, your truth is not what the hierarchy is presenting.

    Unam Sanctam has much more going for it than you. Boniface believes the truths you present and he is honest enough to admit what is going on in the church.

    Face it Bryan — prepare for the logical fallacy — Richard McBrien and Boniface are much more representative than you.

    Like

  40. ZRIM,

    All you have to do is go through the list where Protestants disagree among themselves, besides disagreeing with Catholicism, to see that the inerrant scriptures can’t fix the division.

    Like

  41. Darryl,

    but everything I said confirms what I said. You’re truth is partial. Worse, your truth is not what the hierarchy is presenting. Unam Sanctam has much more going for it than you. Boniface believes the truths you present and he is honest enough to admit what is going on in the church. Face it Bryan — prepare for the logical fallacy — Richard McBrien and Boniface are much more representative than you.

    All this is fully compatible with everything we’ve said being true. As I’ve explained to you many times before, we’ve never claimed to be an exhaustive source of information about things Catholic; nor do we try to be that. We’ve only claimed that what we are saying is true. And nothing you have thrown out here, over the course of twenty-seven months of constant criticism, has falsified even one of things we’ve claimed. So again, when you claim that we “leave out the bits that compromise that truth” you never provide the argument showing that something we have not said “compromise” or falsifies any claim we’ve stated, or falsifies any argument we’ve made. Instead, you just hand-wave. And that’s easy, but worthless.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

    Like

  42. Darryl,

    Was I supposed to read an opinion poll to find out where the one church is located? Can opinion polls really help me do my homework. I don’t need to find out what everyone else agrees with;I won’t be judged for their refusal to obey Christ.

    Like

  43. BV,

    “Which camp is claiming that their church leader has never erred in his teachings? Doesn’t sound exceedingly humble to me (it sounds more like Juniper Creek).”

    So…does your statement err? And how should I know? If Scripture doesn’t err…then are the author’s who penned them not humble as well? May I ask, who is your infallible teacher?

    “(it sounds more like Juniper Creek).

    …ahh… what’s that I smell? I’ll assume you meant that in the best Christian way possible.

    Like

  44. Susan, get this. Those people answering the polls are the ones your infallible bishops have identified as Roman Catholic. You know, those sacraments always work.

    Like

  45. Darryl.

    “Susan, get this. Those people answering the polls are the ones your infallible bishops have identified as Roman Catholic.”

    But surely you understand that the Church isn’t asking the question to see if the Church should make her views reflect opinion, right? The rules haven’t change nor will they, but if the Church bishops want to find a way to be more loving to families who have loved ones who are struggling with sin or feel alienated from Godand the Christian Church then this is a very pastoral move. The Church is always calling peole to communion with Christ.

    “You know, those sacraments always work.”

    “Sacrament means: I give what I myself cannot give; I do something that is not my work; I am on a mission and have become a bearer of that which another has committed to my charge.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

    Like

  46. Susan,

    But surely you understand that the Church isn’t asking the question to see if the Church should make her views reflect opinion, right? The rules haven’t change nor will they, but if the Church bishops want to find a way to be more loving to families who have loved ones who are struggling with sin or feel alienated from Godand the Christian Church then this is a very pastoral move. The Church is always calling peole to communion with Christ.

    Except that you have European cardinals saying that they are ignoring the conservative bishops and you have lots of trial balloons about valuing homosexual orientation. What we’re seeing is a slow motion repeat of what happened to the PCUSA. It’s moving so slow that by the time it does happened, you guys will believe that the church has always endorsed homosexuality.

    Like

  47. Zrim,
    But we aren’t that far behind with the emphasis we put on the Westminster Standards. That means though we aren’t making parallel claims, we are on the same continuum.

    Like

  48. So CW, you think that I should have fought against the terrorist tactics practiced by the US backed contras? BTW, to be technically precise, I am more in line with libertarian socialism and prefer the Russell-EInstein manifesto’s opposition to war.

    Like

  49. DG,

    “Matt, you’re not this perky in teacher/staff meetings are you?”

    Yep. Sure am. If interested, maybe we should hang out sometime.

    Like

  50. US church – yep, once again Catholicism is reduced to just American Catholicism in your thorough analysis.

    Well the argumentalso applies internationally. Roman Catholicism does not seem to bear good fruit anywhere.

    Like

  51. Bryan’s apparently come up with a new catch phrase to throw at those who point out how the bishops are divided on important moral issues — “rigorist”.

    He’s also added “bang the table”.

    “Strawman” and “Paradigm” haven’t gone anywhere, though. They’re still prominent in the tool kit.

    Glad to have him back.

    Like

  52. Every since Vatican II every confab seems to be about lowering standards, not raising standards. That’s how liberalism works.

    We come out of the PCUSA & the CRC so we know.

    Like

  53. All you have to do is go through the list where Protestants disagree among themselves, besides disagreeing with Catholicism, to see that the inerrant scriptures can’t fix the division.

    But, Susan, all you have to do is survey worldwide Catholicism to see that the (allegedly infallible) magisterium doesn’t fix divisions either. Have you read the post proper? Yours is a house as divided as ours. Not to sound superior, but the difference is that we take Paul’s outlook that there must be divisions among us to show who has God’s approval. You act not only as if division doesn’t exist over there but that it’s inherently a bad thing.

    Like

  54. Curt, Curt, Curt, you’re confusing a high view of the confessions with an infallible view. Your eeeevangelical slip is showing again.

    Like

  55. Man these guys (and Susan) are really feeling their oats after the bishops refrained from flushing centuries of Catholic moral teaching down the tubes this week.

    They need to check back in a year after Francis shares his views.

    Like

  56. Reading Bryan is a good reminder of why philosophers usually drive 20 year old Volvos, wear jackets with patches on the elbows, rarely trim their ear hair, and live in houses with the gutters hanging down, all the while thinking they’ve got the world by the tail.

    Like

  57. Susan – All you have to do is go through the list where Protestants disagree among themselves, besides disagreeing with Catholicism, to see that the inerrant scriptures can’t fix the division.

    Erik – It’s only a problem if that bothers you. It bothered you.

    Like

  58. Bryan – We’ve only claimed that what we are saying is true. And nothing you have thrown out here, over the course of twenty-seven months of constant criticism, has falsified even one of things we’ve claimed.

    Erik – That may be a better track record than the Pope.

    Since most of what you say is opinion and is not verifiable how would you suggest we falsify it?

    Contrary to your fondest wishes, this stuff is religion, not math.

    Like

  59. We’ve only claimed that what we are saying is true.

    Factual and logical accuracy is not sufficient to be true. “I heard Darryl is a child molester.” Every thing I just typed is true even if the meaning being communicated is false. By leaving out important information (I heard it by mumbling the phrase as I typed here), I am misleading the people who read the post. This is a game politicians, advertisers, and hucksters play.

    Given your interest in the use of paradigms to describe your religion, you might be interested in Richard Feynman’s famous speech on “Cargo Cult Science”. The key bit is:

    It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

    If you aren’t willing to reveal the warts of your faith, you aren’t being honest even if everything you say is technically true. Further, paradigms, by their nature, are not falsifiable. You can always “save appearances”. But eventually the apparatus used to buttress the paradigm gets too clunky (requires too much Jesuitical arguments?) even if everything it claims is “true”. Then a more elegant (useful) paradigm comes along and displaces it.

    The biggest problem you have is that your infallible magisterium only exists in theory. Who do I go to interpret it for me? The Cardinals are lying liars who celebrate their fellow cardinals who rape little boys. As Dreher has demonstrated, this is intrinsic to RC ecclesiology. So who can I trust to guide me through the magisterium? Do I turn to Fr. McBrien? You? Who? I guess I’m left with my private judgment. But if that is the case how am I better off epistemologically as an RC than as a prot? The ecclesiastical justification rests on a tradition that has been largely discredited by scholars within your own communion.

    So the call is to a bunch of new rules, a lack of assurance, and the knowledge the bishop may deny my access to the table if I bring charges against a molesting priest. When you catalog the warts (i.e. you are utterly honest), it doesn’t sound like much of a call. I’ll stick with a small insignificant church that preaches the Gospel and properly administers the sacraments. We may not have very nice looking buildings, great art, or a rolodex filled with famous scholars, but I can live with that.

    Like

  60. Zrim,
    No I am not. I am saying that the two are along the same continuum, but just in different places. And what moves the two together is how we treat that high view of confession.

    Like

  61. Susan – All you have to do is go through the list where Protestants disagree among themselves, besides disagreeing with Catholicism, to see that the inerrant scriptures can’t fix the division.

    Either can the magisterium. The Bishops voted on the final Synod report 104/74. If this is infallible doctrine that can’t be changed, why don’t these princes of the church agree? Which camp should I listen to?

    Like

  62. Can we get back to the picture of Journey please?

    I see them saying in both song and look-

    Do stop believing
    Give up on that feeling
    Catholics, truth, oy oy oy oy…take it away Steve Perry

    Like

  63. Erik,

    “Man these guys (and Susan) are really feeling their oats after the bishops refrained from flushing centuries of Catholic moral teaching down the tubes this week.”

    Yes, well after the earlier threads here leading up to and during the synod where everyone was clucking over Rome is so about to overturn its teachings on homosexuality and/or marriage (it’s PCUSA all over again!), then the revised final report comes out and now we get “They need to check back in a year after Francis shares his views.” I know, I know, it’s gonna happen – it just has to. Next year for sure (except if it doesn’t, well then uh, McBrien!)

    Darryl,

    “Lame”

    What’s lame is so-called analysis of Catholicism that never takes into account Asia or Africa (and it’s not on just this topic). I wonder why they (along with western conservative bishops/cardinals) were invited to the synod? Just for appearances I guess.

    Like

  64. Hi Steve,

    “But, Susan, all you have to do is survey worldwide Catholicism to see that the (allegedly infallible) magisterium doesn’t fix divisions either.”

    Steve, yes it does. Do you know that Catholicism has official teaching even though there are some or many who ignore it? What was that % again who want things to go their way( against a real concrete, metaphysic of right and wrong), compared to the number of Catholics in the world? is is large or small considering? My friend( and I’m not being sarcastic; you know this and that I think you and your family are lovely), can’t you see that there is an official, on the books, teaching, that is authoratitive because it is in accordance with reality? You haven’tgiven up that there is objective teaching, that can issue anthemas and have the authority behind them have you/

    Like

  65. Cletus,

    I’d be concerned that the bishops are even entertaining the thought of finding a way to “value homosexual orientation.” The fact that they backpedaled might soothe you, but why don’t you go ask the conservative Episcopalians how great a position they’re in after decades of the E. Church “listening pastorally” to the views of its people.

    Like

  66. Susan,

    Do you know that Catholicism has official teaching even though there are some or many who ignore it?

    But if groups that disagree on the meaning and application of “official teaching” are welcomed with open arms to the Eucharist, how do you know which group is ignoring it?

    Like

  67. “Susan, if only you’d been that gullible patient with the URC.” ( for some reason the strike through didn’t copy)

    Anyways, I didn’t hate the URC( or any member personally, they are in fact wonderful people that I love very much), it’s the doctrine that bothered me. Do you mean by patient to infer that as a denomination they were going to stop their protest? The Swiss Reformation wasn’t a good thing after all. History says that Calvin was run out of France and took to the French speaking Switzerland and had even fellow Protestants run out of Geneva. He essentially established a theocracy in Geneva and then proceeded to fing a way to harmonize Lutheran theology with Zwinglianism.( subordinationism was hard to rectify) He did well, as his Institutes attest, but that still begs the question about who it is that “knows” rightly.

    Like

  68. Robert,

    “But if groups that disagree on the meaning and application of “official teaching” are welcomed with open arms to the Eucharist, how do you know which group is ignoring it?”

    I think that you have good questions. First of all, I don’t necessarily agree that there is a group confusion. There may be some who are confused, and I’m just speculating, but at the end of the day when everything finishes up there will be coherency;all we have to do is wait for it. So even if someone or a few are confused there is a way to straighten out the confusion sooner or later, just as there was regarding other doctrines from the past. Also, anyone going up to receive our Lord is going to be doing so with a heart of sincere repentance and devotion. God knows when a person wants to submit fully to Him, so if there is a right intention, that is what is our Lord will see and care about.

    Like

  69. All this is fully compatible with everything we’ve said being true [implicit claim]. As I’ve explained to you many times before, we’ve never ****** to be an exhaustive source of information about things Catholic; nor do we try to be that [two implicit, one explicit claim]. We’ve only ****** that what we are saying is true. And nothing you have thrown out here [a claim], over the course of twenty-seven months of constant criticism, has falsified even one of things we’ve ******. So again, when you ****** that we “leave out the bits that compromise that truth” you never provide the argument showing that something we have not said “compromise” or falsifies any ****** we’ve stated, or falsifies any argument we’ve made. Instead, you just hand-wave [another implicit claim]. And that’s easy, but worthless [ditto].

    We gets it, we gets it. How many times must Bryan [explicitly for now] claim something for it to be a true claim?
    The answer my friend, if not blowing in the wind, is writ large above. Four times to the prot one. And because his four claims are all in good faith and honesty, therefore he doesn’t need to prove his claims assertions or provide an argument, he just has to claim that he does. Four times. (Easy peasy pumkin pie, pal. This common core philosophy stuff is a cinch.)

    Why one might even say that he widens the church’s explicit claim for implicit faith to include his four claims, which is of course exactly what I take them to be, four empty explicit claims. And since Bryan’s hand waving and table pounding four claims are always truly and performatively hand waving and table pounding claims that cannot be falsified, because he has claimed four times that his four claims are unfalsifiable, therefore ergo pergo fergo his four claims are unfalsifiable.
    Which is to border on sainthood at least one time.

    Just remember where you heard this claim first, boys and girls.
    That’s right, it wasn’t CalledTo******union

    Like

  70. foxy lady, it’s called R-O-M-A-N Catholicism. If you’re going to go all in on infallibility and magisterium, I’m now supposed to look to Asia or Africa? What Basilicas do they have? What secret archives? What relics? But when things don’t go well, switch to another part of the world.

    That’s exactly what Luther and Henry VIII did. Think German princes and English monarchs. Forget Rome.

    Double lame.

    Like

  71. Susan, do you know that the URC has official teaching even though the rest of the world doesn’t believe it?

    Oh, wait. Rome has better buildings, fancier garb, and a bank.

    Do you know what “front runner” means?

    Like

  72. Susan, you do realize that until 1870 the pope was a temporal prince who had real armies and ruled the political sphere of the Papal States. He was also responsible for the Roman Inquisition which restricted Jews to ghettos.

    Are you really going to justify your conversion by going theocratic Geneva on us?

    Again, run your remarks past your bishop. You’re only making Roman Catholicism look bad.

    Like

  73. Susan, here’s a blogger for you:

    I got to thinking of the argument between the Lost Boys and Rufio, on the movie Hook, about the real identity of this lawyer. After the young boy looks deeper into the contours of the face of the lawyer, he realizes Peter Pan is still the same person, though he’s not what they’d expected. He’s older, smarter, more responsible and all the while he still has his wit and charisma.

    The argument begins as to whether or not the lawyer is a mere lawyer or really is who he says he is. And the little lost boy, Pockets, speaks an incredible bit of wisdom:

    “Wait! If Tink believes, maybe he is” with Tinkerbell soon yelling “Give ‘em a chance!”

    An identical thing happens when we meet our conversion heroes in books, blogs or the Bible. We realize they are just like us. While reading their story, we start believing that the story is actually about us, and have to remind ourselves that it’s not. It’s moving, and it makes the conversion story one of two things: more attractive, or more daunting.

    Like

  74. DG,

    “MV, the nerve. Why would I (superior) want to hang out with you (inferior)?”

    Easy…Because you have all the answers. I will take copious notes. I shall sit at your feet and you in the chair.

    Like

  75. Susan,

    I think that you have good questions. First of all, I don’t necessarily agree that there is a group confusion. There may be some who are confused, and I’m just speculating, but at the end of the day when everything finishes up there will be coherency;all we have to do is wait for it.

    But as a Protestant I can say the exact same thing, which is why pointing to Protestant division as evidence that sola Scriptura doesn’t work is counterproductive and flat out wrong unless you are willing to note that division in Rome disproves the claims it makes. If you’re just waiting for things to someday all work out, that’s not substantially different than Protestantism.

    So even if someone or a few are confused there is a way to straighten out the confusion sooner or later, just as there was regarding other doctrines from the past.

    But what is unclear is why this necessitates that the church is infallible whenever the church says it is.

    Also, anyone going up to receive our Lord is going to be doing so with a heart of sincere repentance and devotion. God knows when a person wants to submit fully to Him, so if there is a right intention, that is what is our Lord will see and care about.

    I think you mean that this is what SHOULD be the case because it is self-evident that more than half of American RCs go up with the intent to receive the Lord even though they are practicing or approving of what you and other conservative RCs call mortal sin. I’m sympathetic to the most conservative reading of the Magisterium, but all that ends up being is what confessional Protestants do with their own documents. If we can’t have confidence that we are reading them correctly because we don’t claim infallibility for the church, I have no idea why you can have confidence that your reading of the infallible church is correct, particularly when you yourself do not have the gift of infallibility and the Magisterium is not acting in any tangible way to confirm that your reading is correct.

    Like

  76. …can’t you see that there is an official, on the books, teaching, that is authoratitive because it is in accordance with reality? You haven’tgiven up that there is objective teaching, that can issue anthemas and have the authority behind them have you…I didn’t hate the URC…it’s the doctrine that bothered me.

    Susan, now you’re asking me to employ private judgment to sort out what accords with reality. Isn’t that what leads to self-popery? Or is that only when the sorting out concludes Protestant? The self-serving dilemma has been pointed out repeatedly, but the point never seems to land with anybody over there. Here it is again (because my forehead isn’t quite flat enough to rest my beer on confidently): When you use private judgment to conclude Catholic, it’s kosher. When we use it to conclude Protestant, it’s schismatic.

    I am reminded of a human communications professor who once brilliantly summed up female-to-male communications with one hand gesturing “come hither” and the other “go away.” You CtCers are the females of Catholic-to-Protestant communications.

    Like

  77. I think I still prefer RC to broader evangelicalism. The problem is that isn’t saying much. Though it makes perfect sense of the prot-fundies turned trad-RC. It tracks similar to moving from PCA to FV(CREC). It’s interesting the elevation of bishops and cardinals and RC apologists among the trads. I want to say the rad trads brought the celebrity impulse with them, but I guess we already had JPII, Sheen and even Angelica, not to forget every possible manifestation of our Lady. Maybe it’s just that RC do evangelicalism better, including transforming the city with outreach and religious orders.

    Sdb, Bryan is just a noumenalist. He made a supernaturally inspired faith move into his paradigm, he can’t exchange it for a better one unless he recants his faith. Bryan has now doubled down by getting paid for his faith paradigm. He can’t stop believing.

    Like

  78. Clete,

    Call us when the OPC & The URCNA even have a Synod on the Family or whatever this thing is called.

    You’re heading in a dangerous direction and you know it.

    Bryan taking this new “rigorist” tack is so telling. He’s got to shape-shift to defend whatever the Church comes up with. He’ll end up a raging liberal if necessary to stay in step with the Pope.

    Like

  79. So we are at a maximum two more synods away from the RCC accepting any form of sexual lifestyle as valid and eligible for ordination?

    Nearly all of the dozens of RCs in my life are anxious to applaud this

    Like

  80. Susan – Do you know that Catholicism has official teaching even though there are some or many who ignore it?

    Erik – Why no church discipline against those who ignore it?

    Does the trend appear to be toward discipline or toward accommodation?

    Are you a Rigorist or a liberal? Or just one with blind trust in the Roman Catholic Church whatever happens?

    Like

  81. Indeed, is there a religious organization (now or ever) anywhere in the universe with worse discipline than RCism? From abortion-loving liberal politicians, to socialist liberationists, to assorted murderous fascists of yesteryear — what must one do to be disciplined? OK, get divorced. I get it.

    Like

  82. Susan – I think that you have good questions. First of all, I don’t necessarily agree that there is a group confusion. There may be some who are confused, and I’m just speculating, but at the end of the day when everything finishes up there will be coherency;all we have to do is wait for it. So even if someone or a few are confused there is a way to straighten out the confusion sooner or later, just as there was regarding other doctrines from the past. Also, anyone going up to receive our Lord is going to be doing so with a heart of sincere repentance and devotion. God knows when a person wants to submit fully to Him, so if there is a right intention, that is what is our Lord will see and care about.

    Erik – Can I get the name and number of your Pharmacist?

    Like

  83. All kinds of RCs in my life got divorced and all they do is say that earlier marriages were a mistake and they are declaeed scott free to do whatever they want to do with whomever and whenever

    Like

  84. D.G. – Oh, wait. Rome has better buildings, fancier garb, and a bank.

    Erik – With free checking and a choice of either a cooler or a set of jumper cables for opening a new account (while supplies last).

    Like

  85. DG

    “doubleMV, but that’s not how you introduced yourself. Call me wary.”

    Darn…you’re good. You shouldn’t be such a literalist.

    Like

  86. Susan,

    “History says that Calvin was run out of France and took to the French speaking Switzerland and had even fellow Protestants run out of Geneva. He essentially established a theocracy in Geneva and then proceeded to fing a way to harmonize Lutheran theology with Zwinglianism.( subordinationism was hard to rectify)”

    I know Bryan isn’t a fan of learning from historical scholarship (something about an appeal to authority fallacy), but you really should read some professional historians who have examined Calvin and Geneva if you’re going to make such claims.

    The day CTCers start taking secondary historical literature seriously (i.e., engaging with the claims of historians who disagree with your historical claims) is the day I start taking CTCers seriously. As it is, CTC is oddly anti-intellectual. I don’t mean this to be a snarky jab, but an observation from a professional historian.

    Like

  87. Erik,

    “You’re heading in a dangerous direction and you know it.”

    Thank you for demonstrating my point. The synod didn’t implode Catholicism (despite the nate silver predictions here), but surely next year it will, or the year after, or whenever.

    Darryl,

    “it’s called R-O-M-A-N Catholicism.”

    Yes, it’s called Roman C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C-I-S-M – you know that whole “universal, world-wide” thing? I know it’s hard to take off the western glasses in suburban Pennsylvania but maybe you can give it a try.

    “If you’re going to go all in on infallibility and magisterium, I’m now supposed to look to Asia or Africa? What Basilicas do they have? What secret archives? What relics?”

    Yep you and Kasper definitely would enjoy drinks together. Why do you think Francis invited these lame-o’s from Asia and Africa to the synod? Why do you think conservatives from the west were invited (“but he reassigned Burke!”). He’s just trying to make things look good? I guess next synod he’ll not invite them since he’s got that liberal agenda thing he needs to push.

    Like

  88. As far as I know, Cletus grew up RC so he has a bit of an excuse for not understanding. But anyone who went to a Reformed seminary and studied the history of Machen and Princeton has no excuse. It was the formal statement of orthodox Christianity and the tolerance of ministers who actually disagreed with it in practice that was the spark that lit the fuse. When you have a bunch of people looking to tow the orthodox line on marriage in the RC but then want to develop new pastoral practices that contradict them, you’ve got the PCUSA all over again. Sure, the teaching on the books hasn’t changed, so you improperly divorced people are still guilty of sin (wink, wink)—here’s the Eucharist cause you can interpret the infallible Magisterium anyway you want.

    Or as Francis said, “Who am I to judge.”

    Like

  89. CVD: Yes, it’s called Roman C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C-I-S-M – you know that whole “universal, world-wide” thing?

    Well, yes.

    Historically, the reason for that is that the Roman church claimed to be the universal, world-wide church. Everyone else recognized that it was merely Roman. The English language decided to split the difference.

    Like

  90. Cletus,

    Why do you think Francis invited these lame-o’s from Asia and Africa to the synod? Why do you think conservatives from the west were invited (“but he reassigned Burke!”). He’s just trying to make things look good? I guess next synod he’ll not invite them since he’s got that liberal agenda thing he needs to push.

    Yeah, and the PCUSA invites all of its ministers, even the conservative ones to their general assembly. And the Lambeth conference invites them all as well, coming up with the brilliant solution to allow the liberals and conservatives to both be in good standing and fellowship with archbishop of Canterbury despite opposing beliefs on, well, just about everything. Invitation doesn’t mean anyone’s listening. And since you’ve got a substantial number of bishops wanting to value homosexual orientation, if you’re not concerned they you aren’t paying attention.

    And on what basis can you criticize Kasper? He’s a cardinal in good standing with the Vatican. Unless they give him the boot, His reading and intent is at least as equally valid as the conservatives.

    Like

  91. Jeff said:

    Historically, the reason for that is that the Roman church claimed to be the universal, world-wide church. Everyone else recognized that it was merely Roman. The English language decided to split the difference

    Hard to take the whole universal thing seriously when for centuries the only way you could get to the papacy was to be Italian. But historical facts are convenient to ignore when you want to.

    Like

  92. Erik

    “Thanks for doing us a big favor and dropping out.”

    You’re welcome!

    I realized I was a cull and didn’t quite have the academic acumen and stuffiness to keep up. Was I with Frame or DG? Was I with FV or with PCA? Was I with pope Sproul or pope Keller? Or maybe I should feel my oats and go with a little Piper or MacArthur? “Grace To You..”..oh..only if you agree with me! But what about my baby’s baptism…I should…I shouldn’t…I should…I shouldn’t. I like how MacAruthur spinkles in a little dispensationalism just to keep it interesting. So, should I be covenental or new covenental? Or better yet…I think I will follow Driscoll–he keeps it real! I don’t even want to bring up the New Perspective…N.T. Wright is just a lightweight anyway! I’m starting to feel schizophrenic! So many pope’s…I mean pastors/scholars…Would the real shepherd please stand up?! I mean unity is just a suggestion anyway–well I guess that depends on who you ask, right? Should I take that literal or figurative? How in the heck should I worship…Regulative or Not?

    But what about you Erik? You must be a smart guy. You’ve got it figured out….what are the Scripture’s telling to you today? I admit…I can’t hang with you guys!

    Like

  93. Darryl,

    That blog article that used a analogy to “Hook” was very sweet, but I didn’t convert because I had read or viewed inspiring conversion stories. In fact I had not read of one story or watched one story from Marcus Grodi’s show before I was received, not even Scott Hauns story. I was reading CtC because the articles were intellectually convincing. I wasn’t reading history to see which people had the most crime and evil acts, because that wasn’t going aid me since I knew that men have done atrocious things to each other.

    As I’ve said before, I went through a period of ecclesial agnosticism and didn’t have a safe place to rest my faith in Christ. A couple of times while I was driving songs would come on the radio that would cause me panic attacks because I was so confused and distraught. Songs like Depech Mode’s, Own Personal Jesus, REM’s, Losing My Religion, The Beatle’s, Let It Be, and Zeplin’s Stairway to Heaven.

    The decision came down to the truth that there must be one visible church or there is no way to know if Christianity is a myth. I take comfort in the truth that God has not left us orphans. It is the only way to know what heresy is and the only way schism can be some a phenomenon. It’s absolutely a requirement and behold ther She is. It’s truly an incredible grace that there is a place that has authorization to distribute more sacramental grace, and tender nuture.To give us a book and tell us to read it for ourselves would be unloving. Like parents educate and train their children, the church does the same.

    Like

  94. DG

    “MV, so you don’t like the diversity. Where do you find unity? Prayer in public schools?”

    Did I say I don’t like diversity? Come on DG, you’re a smart guy. There’s a difference between diversity and unity, right? Maybe I’m not correct–as I’ve mentioned I’m just an academic and theological cull. Maybe if I get a plaid checkered sport coat, pipe, and a library card I can get this dang thing figured out.

    Like

  95. Sorry that my writing is so fussy and choppy. My thoughts are scattered, and I’m on an ipad as well as trying to do other things at the same time.

    Like

  96. What these Catholic apologists remind me of is a seasoned citizen who continues to hold to something for decades even though what they are holding to bears no resemblance to what they originally embraced.

    My late grandpa was a retired small business owner who was still a Democrat four decades after the Democrats ceased giving a crap about small business.

    If FDR was for small business then, doggone it, so is Bill Clinton & Al Gore.

    O.K. Grandpa. It didn’t help that he was also a Methodist.

    Like

  97. Clete,

    O.K. Then all is well.

    If Francis doesn’t deliver the goods to liberals do we conclude he is:

    (A) Senile
    (B) A con man
    (C) A tease
    (D) Not infallible or able to impose his will on conservatives

    None of these are good news for Catholics.

    Like

  98. MV- But what about you Erik? You must be a smart guy. You’ve got it figured out….what are the Scripture’s telling to you today? I admit…I can’t hang with you guys!

    Erik – Just chillin’ with Jesus man.

    Mostly looking for a place I can stay awake and not miss brunch.

    Like

  99. MV,

    First step is to stay away from all Reformed Baptists.

    Second step would be to be wary of any PCA unless you really know the minister.

    Third step would be to consider becoming Lutheran if there is no URC or OPC in your neighborhood.

    Like

  100. Susan – A couple of times while I was driving songs would come on the radio that would cause me panic attacks because I was so confused and distraught. Songs like Depech Mode’s, Own Personal Jesus, REM’s, Losing My Religion, The Beatle’s, Let It Be, and Zeplin’s Stairway to Heaven.

    Erik – I can relate. Last night a radio station cut down “Free Bird” when I was trying to educate my boys and I just about lost it.

    How about just focusing on Jesus and tuning out ecclesiology for awhile?

    What station still plays Depeche Mode?

    Like

  101. If anyone hasn’t heard of him, I LOVE THIS guy. If ever I were to become a papist, I would get Micheal Voris to disciple me. 😀 Which he would do. His office is 15 minutes from where I sit typing this comment.

    He and especially his personal assistant Simon would burn me at the stake, today, if they could. I mean this quite literally. I respect that. Truly I do. I want the church of Trent back. Where the canons and decrees make it perfectly clear who is who and what is what. I WANT to be anathematized by those standards. Voris agrees. He is NOT down with all this groovadelic dialectic progressivism wherein magisterial dogma doesn’t necessarily inform pastoral practice. I’d love it if they made the man pope. Nancy Pelosi would not though.

    I keep trying to meet him, but Simon keeps telling me I’m an enemy of Christ and emissary of Satan because of my opposition to the holy see. A few days ago Voris himself agreed to meet with me if I could tell him I wasn’t fatally opposed to my eventual communion with the one true holy apostolic church. I haven’t answered him yet.

    The RCC will never overtly embrace homosexuality. To do so would be to mortally undermine the very authority by which it could be done. She will however continue down this primrose path of perversity. Ironically I suspect we’ll see the ordination of men who lean decidedly limp wristed long before we do the ordination of women.

    Like

  102. I do think Erik is the star of this blog. He makes me laugh even when it’s at my expense. Chortles, you don’t like the song, “Lights”?

    Like

  103. Darryl,

    You haven’t been where I have. Try believing in the God you can’t see but having no shortage of “biblical” communities. It ‘s quite a trip.

    Like

  104. Erik,

    “First step is to stay away from all Reformed Baptists.Second step would be to be wary of any PCA unless you really know the minister.Third step would be to consider becoming Lutheran if there is no URC or OPC in your neighborhood.”

    OK. Thanks! I thought that was the ordo salutis. Now I can sleep well tonight. It just seems so easy…how can we get people to believe this, though? Is that spelled out in the Westminster Divines? I think you should publish a book..”The 3 step process to finding the church Christ founded.” What do you think? If it wasn’t for that Joel Osteen guy that keeps flooding the airwaves and bookshelves.

    Like

  105. Eric: “Third step would be to consider becoming Lutheran if there is no URC or OPC in your neighborhood.”

    No, look for an RPCNA before going Lutheran.

    Like

  106. DG,

    “MV, what’s your point other than than you’re stupid humble?”

    I don’t know…maybe I’m just “stupid” but not “humble” or maybe “stupid humble”?

    What would be your suggestion to figuring this church thing out? How did you do it? I mean, how did you wade through all the theological “stuff” and “teachings” and “diversity”? What led you to the solid rock of the OPC? Did your bosom burn when you read the Westminster in light of the OPC for the first time? Was there a shekinah that canopied a pic of Machen and said “move over Joseph Smith”? I need some answers….this is getting tiring!!

    Like

  107. MV, the path is simple

    Childhood Fundy

    Take ten years off from 22 to 33, give or take

    Reentry by means of huge Evangelical thingy

    Reformed Baptist

    Finally a True Reformed church, either a good one or one for total nutjobs, nature has a way of leading you to the one you will be happier at

    Like

  108. Susan,

    Let’s not get confused – Tom Van Dyke is the star of this blog, when his PET Computer and 1995 modem allows his comments to get through.

    Him and Greg The Terrible when he gets it rolling.

    They’ve both claimed the crown that was formerly shared by Doug Sowers and Richard Smith.

    Without these stars I would stick to the religion chat room on AOL.

    Catholic antagonists are minor starts but they just don’t bring it quite like non-Catholic characters.

    Like

  109. Matt, well if you read me other than in Modern Reformation, you might be able to figure it out.

    Somehow, I don’t think you really care.

    So why don’t you come clean? We have a sense of what you don’t like, but what are your turn ons?

    Like

  110. Kent,

    Now that’s funny! I like a little light humor.

    “nature has a way of leading you to the one you will be happier at”

    I agree! I’m still trying to figure out which one makes me the happiest! A church next door has a great breakfast bar with a great sound & light show with some great guitar solos for worship. Oh, and the pastor is 6’9 and benches 350lbs! But, then again it depends on which mood I’m in. This “nature” thing has me reeling.

    Thanks for the help!

    Like

  111. DG,

    “Somehow, I don’t think you really care.”

    Nope. You are wrong this time. I do care. I’m serious. Maybe you are misreading me?

    “come clean”?

    With what? I’m an open book. You seem to know me already. Teacher meeting? Prayer in public schools? I did a google search too! Are you sure you have the right guy? I told you we should hang out sometime…but then you deferred.

    “What do you like?”

    Truth! What else is there? I used to like Santa…but then I realized he wasn’t real.

    Like

  112. Erik Charter
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
    Susan,

    Let’s not get confused – Tom Van Dyke is the star of this blog, when his PET Computer and 1995 modem allows his comments to get through.

    Him and Greg The Terrible when he gets it rolling.

    They’ve both claimed the crown that was formerly shared by Doug Sowers and Richard Smith.

    Without these stars I would stick to the religion chat room on AOL.

    Catholic antagonists are minor starts but they just don’t bring it quite like non-Catholic characters.

    Merci, Erik, but Susan illustrates Thomas More’s argument against William Tyndale perfectly: In the end, unless you’re a massive scholar of Hebrew and Greek, you’re going to have to take someone else’s word for translating and interpreting the Bible.

    She believes that the only solution is to trust in the Holy Spirit, that Christ wouldn’t leave his church in error and darkness for 1000 years until the Reformation showed up.

    As in More’s day, you have no answer for that, except Darryl’s mockery. Darryl’s mockery is the REAL star of this blog, because it’s an admission of defeat. The game inside the game. ;-P

    Like

  113. Erik Charter
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
    MV,

    First step is to stay away from all Reformed Baptists.

    Second step would be to be wary of any PCA unless you really know the minister.

    Third step would be to consider becoming Lutheran if there is no URC or OPC in your neighborhood.

    Now THAT’S interesting!

    Like

  114. Tom, if you are going protestant confessional it’s better to team up with people who actually read and preach their confessions than those who post it in their website and ignore it the rest of the time

    Like

  115. MV, then be truthful about who you are and what your interest in OL (or more) is. You’re playing cutsie. Aw shucks, me I not know like you guys have knowledge.

    Like

  116. Maybe interesting but not acceptable to me due to worship (opposed to idolatry) priority. Most Lutherans are way too close to Romish errors with regard to sacraments and images. And here’s a disturbing image: TVD’s old ‘do was about as much like that nasty Steve Perry’s as it was like a true mullet (French pronunciation: MUH-lay). TVD, your sincerity level reminds me of S. Perry, too.

    Like

  117. The Synod, even if it does embrace Cardinal Kaspers proposal, will still not be reversing Catholic Dogma. Would such a change be disastrous? Sure. Would it be incredibly misleading and confusing? Yes. Would it negate the RC apologetic? Hardly. The fear is not that the Pope is *changing* church teaching but that he *undermining* it.

    On a non-polemical side note…. anyone think this could be the spark that derails the liberal V2 agenda and moves the Church back on track? How long has it been since we have had *numerous* Cardinals openly criticizing and confronting the pope? Anyone know? Its been a hot minute. Most “conservative” catholics have preferred to maintain the status quo and allow liberals to run rampant and trads to be marginalized for decades….. Things are getting interesting.

    Like

  118. Kenneth,

    Yeah that’s coherent, the pope can undermine church teaching. What happened to infallibility? And what good is ecclesiastical infallibility if the church can undermine itself? Sounds awfully Protestant.

    As far as your speculation, you’re acting like the laity has a responsibility to hold the magisterium accountable. Welcome to Protestantism. Of course Rome has no mechanism for holding the magisterium accountable because by definition it doesn’t need that. What right do you have to question the good Kasper?

    Like

  119. Tom
    She believes that the only solution is to trust in the Holy Spirit, that Christ wouldn’t leave his church in error and darkness for 1000 years until the Reformation showed up.

    Newsflash. The reformed don’t believe this. To say the church can be wrong doesn’t mean that it has been wrong on everything. We’re not Mormons. Even Rome gets that–for now until they start accepting lds baptisms anyway.

    Like

  120. @KW

    You keep bringing up Africa and Asia as if they are somehow exceptional. The thing is that internationally there is a positive correlation between the percentage of RCs in the population and percentage agreeing that divorce and gay sex are morally acceptable. The pressure from the laity is overwhelmingly pointing in one direction, and the “sense of the faithful” doesn’t align with Rome.

    Looking in finer detail at the situation in the US, RCs with their superior paradigm, unity, and epistemological status are to the “left” of protestants on divorce and gay marriage. Clearly there is a break between the theory and the observations. Of course you can save the appearance of any paradigm with post-hoc assertions that explain away the putatively spurious results. That’s perhaps a good reason not to use the concept of the paradigm to describe your faith.

    Perhaps I am being a rigorist, but doesn’t it give you some qualms that the more Catholic and less protestant a group is, the less (o)rthodox the theological and moral beliefs are (meaning things like belief in the trinity, deity of Christ, hell, etc…). Why doesn’t the superior paradigm result in greater orthodox belief or moral fruit?

    Like

  121. Kenneth,

    I know it’s hard when Rome is infallibly undermining dogma, but you’re the one who said that the infallible magisterium is infallibly undermining 1000s of years of unaltered dogma. For some reason, Luther was an arch-heretic for doing what you’re doing, but you’re not. Talk about being your own pope.

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  122. koser ken, ” How long has it been since we have had *numerous* Cardinals openly criticizing and confronting the pope? Anyone know?”

    Protestants? Jansenists? Americanists?

    A guy who thinks the papacy is what saves Roman Catholicism from Protestantism thinks bishops dissenting from the pope is a good thing? Roman Catholic intellectual tradition? Psshaw.

    Like

  123. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
    Maybe interesting but not acceptable to me due to worship (opposed to idolatry) priority. Most Lutherans are way too close to Romish errors with regard to sacraments and images.

    Yes, that’s why Erik’s comment was so interesting.

    As for the rest of your comment, it’s not interesting. Calvinist humor is even worse than English food.

    Like

  124. sdb,

    You keep bringing up Africa and Asia as if they are somehow exceptional. The thing is that internationally there is a positive correlation between the percentage of RCs in the population and percentage agreeing that divorce and gay sex are morally acceptable. The pressure from the laity is overwhelmingly pointing in one direction, and the “sense of the faithful” doesn’t align with Rome.

    That is because most Catholics are woefully ignorant of their religion and probably wouldn’t identify themselves as “Catholic” if they knew what the Church was all about. We need to do a better job of educating lay-people on the faith, no doubt about it! I think protestants definitively do a much better job where this is concerned. I don’t see how any of this makes African and Asian Christians unexceptional? I have had several protestant friends tell me that they are likewise impressed with the growth and maturity of Christianity in Africa. Perhaps you aren’t getting the same reports?

    Looking in finer detail at the situation in the US, RCs with their superior paradigm, unity, and epistemological status are to the “left” of protestants on divorce and gay marriage. Clearly there is a break between the theory and the observations. Of course you can save the appearance of any paradigm with post-hoc assertions that explain away the putatively spurious results. That’s perhaps a good reason not to use the concept of the paradigm to describe your faith.

    A couple of points. 1. Lay Catholics are to the “left” of which protestants? The PCUSA? The ELCA? The Anglicans? The simple fact of the matter is that the bulk of *all* so called christians are infected with modernism. The reason why you think your group is better off is because “schism” is a live option for protestants while it isn’t for Roman Catholics. If you don’t like the way things are going… you just start up your very own “pure” church and marvel at how wonderful everything is. I have written on this phenomena before here….

    http://www.coffeehouseinquisition.com/defense-catholic-land/

    2. Meanwhile, when it comes to doctrine (or as you call it… “theory”) The Catholic Church sets an amazing standard for the Christian world with its teachings on sex and the family. I don’t think any other denomination can come close in this area of theology. Is there dissent? Well, sure, but who said there wouldn’t be?

    Perhaps I am being a rigorist, but doesn’t it give you some qualms that the more Catholic and less protestant a group is, the less (o)rthodox the theological and moral beliefs are (meaning things like belief in the trinity, deity of Christ, hell, etc…). Why doesn’t the superior paradigm result in greater orthodox belief or moral fruit?</blockquote?

    In short, poor discipline and a lack of religious education. However, i can't resist pointing out that whenever there does exist a percentage of the population that holds to all that the Church teaches, said population is the only orthodox group in the bunch. Lets say that in Madagascar:

    40% of the population represents lapsed, ignorant, dissenting Catholicism
    10% represents faithful, educated, obedient, pious, Catholicism
    45% conservative protestant
    5% liberal protestant

    The only group in the mix that actually represents "orthodox" Christianity is the 10%. So the presence of the Catholic Church, far from polluting orthodoxy, is actually the only reliable source promoting christian truth on the planet. Everything else is just a cheap copy.

    Like

  125. DG,

    “MV, then be truthful about who you are and what your interest in OL (or more) is. You’re playing cutsie. Aw shucks, me I not know like you guys have knowledge.”

    Who said I wasn’t being truthful? Playing “cutsie”? You don’t understand? I think you do. I read a lot of your “cutsie” comments on here. I’ve asked questions and you have not answered. You avoid the questions or you revert to “cutsie” comments about who you think I am. The problem is that at the end of the day you don’t know how to answer the questions because you have no way to prove what you are proposing here on this site except by your own academic intellect and conformity with your own standards. So, is that a form of theological Pelagianism? Semi? But wait…is Pelagianism wrong? Semi? How did the OPC deal with the Pelagian controversey in the 5th century? Oh wait…the OPC wasn’t around then. But, the Catholic Church couldn’t be right either because they are full of themselves with tyrant popes and councils and all sorts of man made traditions. They even had disagreements amongst themselves then, as they do today. I bet they ruled against Pelagius just because he was a threat to the throne…or some other concocted reformed/protestant idea.

    Did I say I was Catholic? Orthodox? Baptist?? I can’t stand baptist–especially the southern type. Seems a little too “local” if you ask me.

    No. I’m just a seeker of truth. I’m my own man looking for a few followers to start my own church. But, I can’t stand the misrepresentation that I read on this site against the Catholic Church.

    I will leave you alone now. Did I have you intrigued? You were worried. You looked me up–or at least you thought you did. Good thing I fabricated my email since I know the integrity around here. “Your email is NEVER published nor shared.” I guess it depends on your interpretation of that, right? You are as bad as though wicked popes. Was I in your database? You do have a lot of time and access to info on the job. You should check into the sacraments–they do transform you know. They are not mere symbols (darn Zwinglians/Baptists). Have you read Calvin? He liked the sacraments. Luther especially. Calvin rode the fence a little more though. You should read Mathison sometime. Then again I’m not sure he’s got that whole solo & sola thing figured out.

    Keep up the good work! Maybe we can get together again sometime.

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  126. T – Ironically I suspect we’ll see the ordination of men who lean decidedly limp wristed long before we do the ordination of women.

    Erik – By “we’ll see” you mean not counting the last 20 or so Centuries?

    It takes a unique man to not want to marry a woman. Either a unique man or a man who does not like what you do with a married woman.

    Keep trying meet with that local priest. You guys sound like you would hit it off.

    Like

  127. Robert,

    The Catholic Church does not claim to be infallible in matters of church discipline. Please do try and keep up with he conversation. We have only been having it for years now. Neither the Pope nor Cardinal Kasper attempted to “infallibly change” Church dogma. The indissolubility of a sacramental marriage was never called into question. The more liberal theories pertaining to Church discipline were removed by a 2/3 majority of Cardinals. I am not criticizing Church teaching. I am criticizing what a minority brought up for consideration…. and which was rejected overwhelmingly. If you think that is “uncatholic” of me, please feel free to quote catholic canon law to prove your case…. I wont hold my breath waiting, O King of unsupported assertions.

    Like

  128. Susan – Darryl,

    You haven’t been where I have. Try believing in the God you can’t see but having no shortage of “biblical” communities. It ‘s quite a trip.

    Erik- You can look at this in one of two fundamentally different ways. You can say there is one true church that is full of both tools & very cool people and many false churches that are full of both tools & very cool people

    OR

    You can say that churches are various degrees of true or false and are full of both tools & very cool people.

    I do the latter & deduce that the very cool people are the ones that the Holy Spirit is working in.

    The former just doesn’t make much sense because the one true church would not contain so many tools.

    Like

  129. DGHART,

    I can think that it was a good and righteous thing when Paul “withstood Peter to his face” and still hold to Peter as the rock. Sometimes, Peter and his successors need to be checked. Although, never abandoned or separated from

    Like

  130. Kenneth,

    “The fear is not that the Pope is *changing* church teaching but that he *undermining* it.”

    Do you not see how Robert took from this statement that you think it is possible for an infallible pope is able to undermine church teaching? Or by “church teaching” did you mean “discipline”? If so, then you shouldn’t be surprised when readers misunderstand your intended meaning.

    Like

  131. MV – A church next door has a great breakfast bar with a great sound & light show with some great guitar solos for worship

    Erik – Have seconds at the breakfast bar and wait to go into the service until that other junk is over.

    Like

  132. Tom – In the end, unless you’re a massive scholar of Hebrew and Greek, you’re going to have to take someone else’s word for translating and interpreting the Bible.

    Erik – Only problem is when the translator/interpreter thinks he has the power to view the text as optional and overrule it where convenient (not to mention profitable).

    That’s a poor translator/interpreter.

    We’re not all lonely, lost kittens in search of a guide through life.

    Like

  133. MV, the board is what it is, it is not going to be taken over by other agendas

    Good luck finding any other board that is open for comments, deleting a few deserved ones (had my share on here) and punishing only the most incorrigible knuckle heads

    Like

  134. @KW

    That is because most Catholics are woefully ignorant of their religion and probably wouldn’t identify themselves as “Catholic” if they knew what the Church was all about. We need to do a better job of educating lay-people on the faith, no doubt about it!

    I’m not sure that’s exactly right. I mean it may be true that you need to do a better job of educating, but I interacted with a number of thoughtful RC as a grad student at ND. The problem was not that they didn’t know better, but that they knew and rejected the official teaching (or rejected that it was a legitimate official teaching) – it was about the spirit not the letter as they liked to say. Note as well as that the teachers (priests) in many cases reject church teaching (as Rod Dreher relates the example of the priest in Dallas recommending that he and his wife go on birth control). If you don’t like the demands from one parish, you can always move to another more to your liking. Almost sounds…protestant.

    A couple of points. 1. Lay Catholics are to the “left” of which protestants? The PCUSA? The ELCA? The Anglicans? The simple fact of the matter is that the bulk of *all* so called christians are infected with modernism. The reason why you think your group is better off is because “schism” is a live option for protestants while it isn’t for Roman Catholics. If you don’t like the way things are going… you just start up your very own “pure” church and marvel at how wonderful everything is.

    Roman catholics are to the left of the US generally (christian and non) on the issues of divorce and ssm, not just protestants. They are much further left than protestants as a whole. Your hypothesis that this is because we can schism doesn’t hold water. Let’s say that we all held on to our same beliefs and united under one umbrella…a single united protestant church – we’d be significantly to the right of the catholic church on the issues of divorce and ssm. Further, I’m not sure it is quite right to call the “divisions” among protestants schisms – my baptism is recognized in all these protestant churches, and I am welcome to take communion in them as well. We really are in a broader communion in that sense. If the divisions have done anything among protestants, they have quarantined the craziest folks… not such a bad deal.

    I don’t see how any of this makes African and Asian Christians unexceptional? I have had several protestant friends tell me that they are likewise impressed with the growth and maturity of Christianity in Africa. Perhaps you aren’t getting the same reports?

    When you look at all the countries in the world where there is a measurable Catholic presence (including Africa and Asia), the larger the share of the population that is Catholic, the more accepting the society is of divorce and ssm. The rise of Catholicism in a country is positively correlated with support of SSM and divorce. Now I understand that correlation doesn’t imply causation, but at the very least it ought to give one pause. Most of the “growth” in Christianity in Latin America and Africa is intimately tied to the prosperity gospel, and it infects every group (RC and prot alike).

    Meanwhile, when it comes to doctrine (or as you call it… “theory”) The Catholic Church sets an amazing standard for the Christian world with its teachings on sex and the family. I don’t think any other denomination can come close in this area of theology. Is there dissent? Well, sure, but who said there wouldn’t be?

    95% of Catholic women of childbearing age use birth control. That’s not dissent, that’s wholesale rejection. Sensus fidelium indeed. More to the point, the RC church adds to the restrictions laid out in scripture and thus creates a new burden. They’ve overstepped their authority.

    However, i can’t resist pointing out that whenever there does exist a percentage of the population that holds to all that the Church teaches, said population is the only orthodox group in the bunch.

    Natch… It was my attempt at a generous ecumenism to allow that a conservative Catholic could be orthodox. Of course, you guys rejected the gospel and added to the demands of scripture to such an extent that your’s is no longer a legitimate church. But I’ll allow you’ve retained an orthodox understanding of the nature of God, Christ, the trinity, etc… on paper at least. Your mass goers don’t seem to believe all that stuff though, I know, I know, the paradigm is perfect – it’s just putting it into practice that’s a problem. It seems to me remarkably irresponsible to call people to a communion that does such a rotten job communicating the most fundamental basics of the faith to her members.

    Sometimes, Peter and his successors need to be checked. Although, never abandoned or separated from…

    That’s not consistent with Paul’s opening lines in his epistle to the Galatians.

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  135. MV, oh, well, aren’t you so elusive. Just a seeker of truth. So please tell me what I have written about Roman Catholicism that isn’t true. Is it the whole truth? No. But it’s not the features that you hear from the apologists or from would be apologists like myself. Go ahead, take the plunge wherever you are in So. Illinois. I P Addresses don’t lie.

    And I might even try to answer your questions if you asked less than 10 each comment, and if you didn’t give them all away with a manner that says they’re rhetorical.

    “Keep up the good word!”

    Liar.

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  136. loser ken, first Rome is never good at discipline. Then Paul is good at disciplining Peter.

    In point of fact, your church was pretty good at discipline before Vatican 2. Pray, pay, obey was a cliche for a reason. The Index of Banned Books. The Spanish and Roman Inquisitions?

    You sell your church short.

    But then it went all in on modernity and has to be careful about saying “sin.”

    Boo!

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  137. sdb, you’re baptism is also recognized by Rome (which after Vatican 2 is promiscuously flexible):

    Baptism by immersion, or by pouring, together with the Trinitarian formula is, of itself, valid. Therefore, if the rituals, liturgical books, or established customs of a church or ecclesial community prescribe either of these ways of baptism, the sacrament is to be considered valid unless there are serious reasons for doubting that the minister has observed the regulations of his/her own community or church. (DE 95.a)

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  138. loser ken, do you know how incredibly stupid this is:

    Let us imagine that Daryl and Pope Francis are next door neighbors. When they move in to their respective houses, the yards are watered, beautifully maintained, and just overall lovely. However, as time goes on, the weeds begin to creep in. The grass grows knee deep and the neighborhood association is stuffing mailboxes full of threats and angry letters. Now here is where things get interesting. Daryl, who hails from Protestant Land, has no lawn mower. He has no mechanism that will allow him to get his yard back in shape. He knows that the weeds and overgrown grass are unacceptable, but has no way to actually do anything about it. So, full of despair, he packs up his moving boxes and moves into the house next door. For all those in Protestant Land, every time the weeds creep in, it becomes time to abandon ship. In his wake there are left hundreds of empty houses with weed infested, overgrown, and messy yards. On the other hand, Pope Francis does have a lawn mower (and he is humble enough to use it!).

    Let’s say Protestantism doesn’t have a mechanism and that Rome does. Then why doesn’t Francis mow his lawn? Is he shiftless? Is he blind? Does he want to protect the environment?

    Whatever the answer, you have just indicated that the mechanism you have is fallible. If the pope knows the church has problems and won’t use the tools he has, why do you trust him? Why do you even go on to insist that the tools are infallible? You’ve only made a better case than I against your church.

    At some point you really do need to wonder how good your pastors are and whether your case for a superior or existent mechanism is not precisely the reason why your church is in the state it is. When you depend on monarchy, you may eventually get tyranny. Even Aquinas knew that.

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  139. Matt, not if 2k counts for anything. Sure, it’s not a mark of the church, but if it matters then the Lutherans beat the Covenanters.

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  140. Herrera for the Royals throwing 101 MPH in the 6th & 7th for the Royals.

    That is sick.

    Now a rookie coming in to finish off the 7th. Pitched in the College World Series this summer.

    This is what happens when you are bad for years and figure out how to scout and draft players.

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  141. Erik, the speed gun is inflated from 5-10 mph for the fans.

    I was in Cincy and they claimed 4 relievers hit over 100 in one game

    That was as real as certain high school dropouts claiming they’ve read 45,000 of poorly scanned Puritan works in Olde English

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  142. Susan and Ken on the Pope getting his house in order are really similar to Doug Wilson and our Postmillennialist brothers on Postmillennialiam. When questioned on the issue they ultimately always resort to “well, this isn’t all going to come to fruition for thousands of years.” When your time horizon is virtually limitless you can affirm about anything without having to undergo any scrutiny. I can always promise that my garage is going to get organized eventually — just not this weekend.

    Ken also makes the error in setting Roman Catholicism against “Protestantism”, as if those are the only two options. Not all Protestants are created equal, nor do they all have fellowship with one another. The proper response to that error is “that’s your paradigm, man.”

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  143. One pitcher told of coming back from injury and saw he was throwing 93-94 on the scoreboard and felt great

    He was pulverised and when he saw the game tape it showed he was only reaching 86 tops

    All those in the room has a good laugh when he said the scoreboard dhoelwed mid-90s

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  144. Curt- Why didn’t you state earlier you are an Anarchist? That something worth talking about. What strand do you follow?

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  145. “The Catholic Church does not claim to be infallible in matters of church discipline. Please do try and keep up with he conversation. We have only been having it for years now. Neither the Pope nor Cardinal Kasper attempted to “infallibly change” Church dogma. The indissolubility of a sacramental marriage was never called into question. The more liberal theories pertaining to Church discipline were removed by a 2/3 majority of Cardinals.”

    Yes, that’s the point, isn’t it? And of course discipline can also be situated in the context of the hierarchy of truths. The dogmas of triadology and christology are not comparable with church discipline.

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  146. sbd,

    I’m not sure that’s exactly right. I mean it may be true that you need to do a better job of educating, but I interacted with a number of thoughtful RC as a grad student at ND. The problem was not that they didn’t know better, but that they knew and rejected the official teaching (or rejected that it was a legitimate official teaching) – it was about the spirit not the letter as they liked to say. Note as well as that the teachers (priests) in many cases reject church teaching (as Rod Dreher relates the example of the priest in Dallas recommending that he and his wife go on birth control). If you don’t like the demands from one parish, you can always move to another more to your liking. Almost sounds…protestant.

    Oh, puh-lease. The people filling up the statistics are not “thoughtful ND grads” or seminary professors. They are your average, run of the mill, ignorant, cultural catholics.

    Roman catholics are to the left of the US generally (christian and non) on the issues of divorce and ssm, not just protestants. They are much further left than protestants as a whole.

    Based off of what? Where are you getting these numbers? So far as i can tell, there are virtually ZERO major protestant denominations who forbid divorce and several of the largest bodies have already officially endorsed and condone SSM. Polling “catholics” throughout the US is misleading because to many being “catholic” is like being “jewish”. People identify themselves as Catholic as a kind of cultural thing. Catholic by birth. Show me the numbers on Catholics who attend mass on a weekly basis and lets see what the polls show.

    Your hypothesis that this is because we can schism doesn’t hold water. Let’s say that we all held on to our same beliefs and united under one umbrella…a single united protestant church – we’d be significantly to the right of the catholic church on the issues of divorce and ssm. Further, I’m not sure it is quite right to call the “divisions” among protestants schisms – my baptism is recognized in all these protestant churches, and I am welcome to take communion in them as well. We really are in a broader communion in that sense. If the divisions have done anything among protestants, they have quarantined the craziest folks… not such a bad deal.

    This is delusional on so many levels. Of course it is appropriate to call protestant division “schism”. What other word is there? The defacto mechanism to preserve “orthodoxy” in your paradigm is the sin of schism. Period. Sure, your current micro-denomination champions what you call “orthodoxy”, but will it in another 80 years? Or will we need three more denominations in that time span? Unfortunately, your “churches” decide what “orthodoxy” is by popular vote. Which is why you are so proud of the fact that abunch of red necks in the bible belt would vote no to SSM. The majority of those same people would probably have no clue what “sola fide” means or how they are justified but they will definitely vote no to ssm. Honestly, whats the value of a pew poll? Official Church documents, creeds and confessions are so much more useful…..

    When you look at all the countries in the world where there is a measurable Catholic presence (including Africa and Asia), the larger the share of the population that is Catholic, the more accepting the society is of divorce and ssm. The rise of Catholicism in a country is positively correlated with support of SSM and divorce. Now I understand that correlation doesn’t imply causation, but at the very least it ought to give one pause. Most of the “growth” in Christianity in Latin America and Africa is intimately tied to the prosperity gospel, and it infects every group (RC and prot alike).

    If correlation does not imply causation, why would it give me pause? Plus, I still think your numbers are bogus. All of the data that i can find implies that nearly ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all African Catholics polled rejected SSM. In only two countries (The U.S. and Spain) was there a majority of Catholics that favored it, and only by small margins. I think that there is more going on over seas than the prosperity gospel. But if you want to contest that based off of your imaginary statistic generator, so be it.

    95% of Catholic women of childbearing age use birth control. That’s not dissent, that’s wholesale rejection. Sensus fidelium indeed. More to the point, the RC church adds to the restrictions laid out in scripture and thus creates a new burden. They’ve overstepped their authority.

    There you go again with your imaginary statistic generator. Your getting your numbers from Nancy Pelosi now? Goodness…. That poll has been debunked a million times.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-claim-that-98-percent-of-catholic-women-use-contraception-a-media-foul/2012/02/16/gIQAkPeqIR_blog.html

    Natch… It was my attempt at a generous ecumenism to allow that a conservative Catholic could be orthodox. Of course, you guys rejected the gospel and added to the demands of scripture to such an extent that your’s is no longer a legitimate church. But I’ll allow you’ve retained an orthodox understanding of the nature of God, Christ, the trinity, etc… on paper at least. Your mass goers don’t seem to believe all that stuff though, I know, I know, the paradigm is perfect – it’s just putting it into practice that’s a problem. It seems to me remarkably irresponsible to call people to a communion that does such a rotten job communicating the most fundamental basics of the faith to her members.

    Your argument is hugely undermined by the fact that you have no idea what you are talking about and pull numbers from either A. out of thin air or B. From freaking Nancy Pelosi.Things are not great currently and the Church is factually in crises…. but things are (thankfully) not half as bad as what you are making them out to be

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  147. Robert,

    “Yeah, and the PCUSA invites all of its ministers, even the conservative ones to their general assembly…Invitation doesn’t mean anyone’s listening.”

    I have no idea if conservative ministers even exist in the PCUSA today given the constant wailing here. So let’s grant that they exist and go to these conferences – are they heard? Do they make any difference? Now for Rome during the synod, were the conservatives heard? Did they make any difference?

    “And since you’ve got a substantial number of bishops wanting to value homosexual orientation, if you’re not concerned they you aren’t paying attention.”

    I’d be concerned if the “Rome’s totally gonna approve or open the door to SSM” predictions came to fruition. They didn’t. Do you think liberals in the church is a new phenomenon? It’s really not that exciting anymore.

    “And on what basis can you criticize Kasper? He’s a cardinal in good standing with the Vatican. Unless they give him the boot, His reading and intent is at least as equally valid as the conservatives.”

    Just to clarify, I was bringing that up in reply to Darryl in the context of his apparent and continued refusal to analyze Catholicism outside of the West – when he said “what basilicas are in Asia and Africa”, it was similar to Kasper’s tone in his much publicized and criticized comments about Africa and its bishops – http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/10/dont-listen-to-the-africans-says-catholic-cardinal

    “Hard to take the whole universal thing seriously when for centuries the only way you could get to the papacy was to be Italian. But historical facts are convenient to ignore when you want to.”

    The PCA is headquartered in Georgia. OPC in Pennsylvania. Does that mean PCA isn’t really the presbyterian church of America but just Georgia?

    Darryl,

    “foxy lame, you think Francis is against the West’s progressives?”

    Why’d he invite the conservatives? Seems odd to torpedo his own liberal machinations. As you could tell from his closing speech, he wants to avoid both trad and liberal extremes so amazingly, he conducted the synod in a manner consistent with that goal.

    “Burke? I missed it. Where’s he from? Africa?”

    The point again is he attended (along with other outspoken and vocal western conservatives like Pell and Napier) when he easily could have been left out given his reassignment.

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  148. loser ken, who died and made you pope? I’m glad you’re not afraid to use the word sin.

    Of course it is appropriate to call protestant division “schism”. What other word is there? The defacto mechanism to preserve “orthodoxy” in your paradigm is the sin of schism. Period.

    But your own infallible hierarchy doesn’t speak that way. They come along side Protestants in the same way that a majority of the bishops want to come along side gays and divorcees.

    Perhaps you remember this:

    The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.

    Or this:

    The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.

    It follows that the separated Churches(23) and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

    Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim.

    Look mom, no “sin.”

    Maybe you’re the problem with Roman Catholicism. Maybe you’re the guy going rogue and not submitting to the discipline of the infallible magisterium.

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  149. foxy lame,

    Perhaps you’ve heard but Benedict and John Paul appointed bishops and cardinals. Perhaps you’ve also heard the progressives prize tolerance and diversity.

    But if Burke thinks Francis needs to clear things up, why do you think you know the score more than Burke?

    You’re smarter than this. These feeble defenses are closer to Susan than to the Callers. Why not simply double down on abstract truth with Bryan?

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  150. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.

    Who own earth does LG have in mind here except a few dozen Anglicans who wish they were full-blown papists but for some reason haven’t swam yet? I call BS.

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  151. Cletus,

    I have no idea if conservative ministers even exist in the PCUSA today given the constant wailing here. So let’s grant that they exist and go to these conferences – are they heard? Do they make any difference? Now for Rome during the synod, were the conservatives heard? Did they make any difference?

    If you know PCUSA history, you know that the conservatives were able to stave off changes to the church language at every assembly for about 2 decades or so, except that at each assembly and presbytery voting, their margin of victory got smaller and smaller. Meanwhile, while that was happening, everyone in the PCUSA knew that you could go to another church that blessed gay unions and not be disciplined. Similar things happened in the ELCA and other mainline bodies.

    The point is that the exact same thing is happening in the RC Church. When you’ve got at least a third of your bishops happy with language that “values homosexual orientation,” then you’ve got serious liberal rot slowing capturing your leadership. And the demotion of individuals such as Burke indicates that at least the current pope is likely not going to be appointing a lot of conservatives.

    Why’d he invite the conservatives? Seems odd to torpedo his own liberal machinations. As you could tell from his closing speech, he wants to avoid both trad and liberal extremes so amazingly, he conducted the synod in a manner consistent with that goal.

    The same reason why the Episcopalian church is supporting sexual deviancy and yet creating some kind of option for those who oppose it to be supervised by conservative bishops—all that matters is the appearance of visible union. And, nobody wants to lose the property and income of the conservatives. And the leaders have a vested interested in maintaining the bureaucracy, which is the only way in which Rome is united.

    And this idea that Francis wants to avoid both liberal and conservative extremes proves my point. That is exactly what the mainliners do—until the liberals take full control. You aren’t paying attention because your “paradigm” defines the evidence and not the other way around. Liberals aren’t stupid and they are very, very patient. If Francis is the liberal that he seems to be, all he has to do is continue to do things like demoting Burke to shift the church into a liberal direction that will bear the fruit the liberals want.

    Trying to steer a course between liberals and conservatives indicates that Rome believes what it has been doing is wrong—that it has wrongly interpreted its infallible dogma. If the church cannot infallibly interpret infallible dogma, the charism of infallibility is useless. You are holding to a more Protestant view that there is infallible revelation—the Bible—that the church is not guaranteed to be infallible in interpreting and applying. All you guys do is add whatever you feel like calling tradition to Scripture. The Magisterium then fallibly interprets and applies its own documents and teaching. Which is why you are having this synod in the first place.

    Keep on saying dogma doesn’t change. Dishonest liberals do the same thing with the Bible. The Bible doesn’t change, but they find all sorts of creative ways of interpreting it.

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  152. loser ken, and then there is this troubling little nugget:

    Dear Dr. A. Gnocchi,

    I see that Andrea Tornielli, on his Vatican Insider blog, reports the voting results of the Synod with respect to the two principle topics that were debated: admission to the Sacraments of those divorced and remarried: 104 in favor, 74 not in favor; with respect to gay unions: 118 placet and 62 non placet. That signifies that the majority of two thirds that was called for as a basis for specific passages to be considered as “the expression of the Synod” was not there. But this also shows that we came close to that two thirds majority…How can a bishop of the Church, even those who voted against, think that he could put truth to a vote, that truth of which he is the custodian, defender, witness and guarantor? Why did they arrogate to themselves the right to decide by voting what is good and what is bad, not caring at all about God?…

    With cordial greetings,
    Fabio Baioni

    Dear Baioni,

    Among your observations, there is one that shows the reality of the situation in a dramatic and acute way: more than half of the bishops present at the Synod, not yet the two-thirds needed but almost, have already switched (what we know as our) religion. Perhaps it still has something vaguely Christian, but it is far away from being Catholic. We find ourselves confronting a Synod in which the majority of Cardinals and Bishops threw at least three Sacraments overboard: Matrimony, Confession, and the Eucharist. Church history teaches us that schisms have been consumed by much less. The dramatic point is in the fact that there are Bishops and Cardinals who are in substance schismatics in playing out their roles, with no sense of contradiction, in response to the pressure exerted by Bergoglio towards “the new”.

    It does not count for much that Pope Bergoglio has now administered a few reproofs to those on the right and those on the left, to the “intellectual traditionalists” and the “progressive do-gooders”. To some this will seem to be an intelligent gesture of expediency coming from Jesuit roots.. Others will try to interpret this piously as showing the great and balanced equanimity of the Pope in a stormy context. But this is not about equanimity, but rather the deliberate act of seeming fair to everyone for public effect. And this has nothing to do with being a Jesuit. But, sadly, it has everything to do with “democratic Christianity”.

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  153. How is it that the rad-trad RC convert who wasn’t there for Vat II and writes off much of the pastoral application of Vat II and the entire subsequent generation of cradle RCs, clergy and laity, such that they even bemoan the papacy of Francis as confusing, come on here and try to teach us in the ways of faithful RC’s? You boys and gal, need to bend the knee to your papi. If you would like instruction on the ways of your papi, I might give you my fake email address and teach you in the ways of the sanctity of religious conscience, liberation theology and Ignatian spirituality. But hear your papi:

    “This motto,” the pope continues, “offers parameters to assume a correct position for discernment, in order to hear the things of God from God’s ‘point of view.’ According to St. Ignatius, great principles must be embodied in the circumstances of place, time and people. In his own way, John XXIII adopted this attitude with regard to the government of the church, when he repeated the motto, ‘See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.’ John XXIII saw all things, the maximum dimension, but he chose to correct a few, the minimum dimension. You can have large projects and implement them by means of a few of the smallest things. Or you can use weak means that are more effective than strong ones, as Paul also said in his First Letter to the Corinthians.

    “This discernment takes time. For example, many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change.And this is the time of discernment. Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later. And that is what has happened to me in recent months. Discernment is always done in the presence of the Lord, looking at the signs, listening to the things that happen, the feeling of the people, especially the poor.

    “When you express too much, you run the risk of being misunderstood. The Society of Jesus can be described only in narrative form. Only in narrative form do you discern, not in a philosophical or theological explanation, which allows you rather to discuss. The style of the Society is not shaped by discussion, but by discernment, which of course presupposes discussion as part of the process. The mystical dimension of discernment never defines its edges and does not complete the thought. The Jesuit must be a person whose thought is incomplete, in the sense of open-ended thinking.
    “Ignatius is a mystic, not an ascetic,” he says. “It irritates me when I hear that the Spiritual Exercises are ‘Ignatian’ only because they are done in silence. In fact, the Exercises can be perfectly Ignatian also in daily life and without the silence. An interpretation of the Spiritual Exercises that emphasizes asceticism, silence and penance is a distorted one that became widespread even in the Society, especially in the Society of Jesus in Spain. I am rather close to the mystical movement, that of Louis Lallement and Jean-Joseph Surin. And Faber was a mystic.”

    “I say these things from life experience and because I want to make clear what the dangers are. Over time I learned many things. The Lord has allowed this growth in knowledge of government through my faults and my sins. So as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I had a meeting with the six auxiliary bishops every two weeks, and several times a year with the council of priests. They asked questions and we opened the floor for discussion. This greatly helped me to make the best decisions. But now I hear some people tell me: ‘Do not consult too much, and decide by yourself.’ Instead, I believe that consultation is very important.

    “The consistories [of cardinals], the synods [of bishops] are, for example, important places to make real and active this consultation. We must, however, give them a less rigid form. I do not want token consultations, but real consultations. The consultation group of eight cardinals, this ‘outsider’ advisory group, is not only my decision, but it is the result of the will of the cardinals, as it was expressed in the general congregations before the conclave. And I want to see that this is a real, not ceremonial consultation.”

    “The image of the church I like is that of the holy, faithful people of God. This is the definition I often use, and then there is that image from the Second Vatican Council’s ‘Dogmatic Constitution on the Church’ (No. 12). Belonging to a people has a strong theological value. In the history of salvation, God has saved a people. There is no full identity without belonging to a people. No one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships.

    “The people itself constitutes a subject. And the church is the people of God on the journey through history, with joys and sorrows. Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together. This is what I understand today as the ‘thinking with the church’ of which St. Ignatius speaks. When the dialogue among the people and the bishops and the pope goes down this road and is genuine, then it is assisted by the Holy Spirit. So this thinking with the church does not concern theologians only.
    “We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

    Here’s the kicker:

    “This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

    “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”

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  154. igasx,
    I’d qualify anarchist the way Zinn would, I am an anarchist as long as I get to define it. And in reality, I am a mix. I am not a total anarchist because I see the need for the state. And I do not support any use of violence. But I do believe that we need bottom up democratic structures and we need an economic system that allows to participate in these structures. We need to note that some forms of anarchism resemble other kinds of anti-capitalist systems.

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  155. “Among your observations, there is one that shows the reality of the situation in a dramatic and acute way: more than half of the bishops present at the Synod, not yet the two-thirds needed but almost, have already switched (what we know as our) religion.”

    It sounds like what the Catholics really need is a Machen to write an updated “Christianity and Liberalism”.

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  156. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

    So if the church talks too much about morality, the moral edifice of the church will fall like a house of cards. O.K. I guess we had better give up reading the law each Sunday in Reformed Churches. We don’t want to turn people off.

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  157. igasx,
    There are some things he says that work against each other. What I like is his observation about the causes of revolution. I also like his worker control of the workplace. I too hate the consolidation of wealth but believe that you don’t stop that consolidation by mandate as much as you do by extending democracy to the workplace of large industries. After all, we have to realize that there are some needed products that require accumulation of wealth to produce just as there are some services of gov’t that require more power or ability than others.

    BTW, I don’t believe that the state necessarily intrudes on liberty as long as we realize that there are two kinds of liberty: individual liberty and group liberty. The latter allows groups of people to decide how they will live with each other.

    In addition, you have employs Marx’s distinction between two kinds of property so I wouldn’t say that all property is theft other than what one produces. Then add Debs’ statement that what is jointly needed should be jointly owned and democratically managed.

    In addition, the state owning property or other items is not necessarily socialism. That is because the most basic tenet of socialism, worker control of the means of production, is missing in many states that exercise ownership of industries and their products. Please note Rosa Luxemburg’s criticisms of Lenin and Lenin’s rebuking of the Left in Russia.

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  158. DGHART,

    Let’s say Protestantism doesn’t have a mechanism and that Rome does. Then why doesn’t Francis mow his lawn? Is he shiftless? Is he blind? Does he want to protect the environment?

    Whatever the answer, you have just indicated that the mechanism you have is fallible. If the pope knows the church has problems and won’t use the tools he has, why do you trust him? Why do you even go on to insist that the tools are infallible? You’ve only made a better case than I against your church.

    I don’t think so. The very next few lines in the post that you quoted from addresses that very concern

    Now, suppose that a few weeks go by and that Pope Francis is either to lazy or undisciplined to use his lawn servicing mechanism. The weeds creep in, the grass is knee deep and the neighborhood association is stuffing mailboxes with threats and angry letters. Would it be logical for Daryl to look over the fence of his hundredth house, smile, and say “Welcome to protestant land!” “You are the same as us after all!”. Of course not! No one from Catholic Land would ever consider jumping ship and moving into the next best house just because things got a little untidy. Everyone in Pope Francis house would know that eventually things would be put back in order. They would take pride in the fact that no one from Catholic Land had ever had to abandon ship. They could all relax, and enjoy living in the exact same house that all of their family ancestors had grown up in.

    As i have already said, boasts of the Roman Catholic “principled means” for handling disputes does ring cheap when our own yard is messy and over grown…. Its like bragging about our lawn mower even though we havent pulled it out of the garage in quite some time… I can see how that would make people roll their eyes. Still, at the end of the day, here we are, in the same house that Christ built two thousand years ago…. and there you are, in protestant experiment number 33,452.

    Look mom, no “sin.”

    Maybe you’re the problem with Roman Catholicism. Maybe you’re the guy going rogue and not submitting to the discipline of the infallible magisterium.

    I am in perfect submission to the Catholic Church. I believe all that she teaches. You are reading ecumenically minded documents are drawing false conclusions. The Church does not teach that schism is no longer a sin. You can read below to further your education.

    http://www.coffeehouseinquisition.com/brothers-in-christ/

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  159. Victim of the Crises Sean,

    How is it that the rad-trad RC convert who wasn’t there for Vat II and writes off much of the pastoral application of Vat II and the entire subsequent generation of cradle RCs, clergy and laity, such that they even bemoan the papacy of Francis as confusing, come on here and try to teach us in the ways of faithful RC’s? You boys and gal, need to bend the knee to your papi. If you would like instruction on the ways of your papi, I might give you my fake email address and teach you in the ways of the sanctity of religious conscience, liberation theology and Ignatian spirituality.

    Oh lord. You are now the second old person this week to tell me that because I wasn’t alive at V2 that is somehow reason to doubt my assessment. Old man logic at its worse. I was alive during the “war on terror” therefore, according to old man logic, subsequent generations of historians can never know about the event better than I do….. Because they weren’t there… and i was…. so HA!

    No one cares about your theology Sean becausethe road that you went down leads people to…. well, where you are today. Apostacy. No thanks!

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  160. Erik- philosophical anarchism is far more interesting than the pedantic sophistry of Romanists. Been there, done that, laughedmao. In sum, someone experiencing epistemological angst finds relief following a league of pedophiles who wear robes and Prada shoes. Nuff said.

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  161. Ken,

    I do appreciate that you acknowledge that the church has problems — big ones, even. Bryan acknowledges this not so much. He just calls people who point out problems “Rigorists” or questions their paradigm.

    If you had been around at the time of the Reformation, what would you have done?

    How long are you willing to wait today for the church to clean house and solve its problems?

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  162. Kenneth,

    If you had been around at the time of the Reformation, what would you have done?

    How long are you willing to wait today for the church to clean house and solve its problems?

    What do you do once it becomes clear that the Vatican ISN’T going to clean the house?

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  163. I’d qualify anarchist the way Zinn would, I am an anarchist as long as I get to define it.

    And like what does this have to do with eggs from China?

    Oh, it should read something like: I’m a Romanist as long as I get to define it.
    Got it.
    The One True Church of a Thousand Qualifications in a Day of Individual Diversity and an Infallible Jesuitical pope. What’s not to like/take cover behind?

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  164. I am in perfect submission to the Catholic Church. I believe all that she teaches.

    Quote from guess who? Nancy Pelosi? Bryan Cross? All of the above?

    But when you have a church which officially teaches the doctrine of implicit faith, everybody’s in. Because then Justification by Implicit Faith is that Sacred Cow from which the priest milks out the sacramental grace to sprinkle on the flock of the (implicit) faithful and confirm them in their damnable ignorance.
    Which is an improvement over protestantism.
    So now you know.
    Where do I sign up?
    I like this kind of nominal faith.

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  165. While I do disagree with Ken, I think that as Protestants we can at least show some appreciation for his approach,

    As i have already said, boasts of the Roman Catholic “principled means” for handling disputes does ring cheap when our own yard is messy and over grown…. Its like bragging about our lawn mower even though we havent pulled it out of the garage in quite some time… I can see how that would make people roll their eyes.

    Ken doesn’t think this necessarily means that he has to give up his Catholicism, and that’s fine. The level of cognitive dissonance one is willing to put up with in a given paradigm is subjective, so Kenneth finds the sorts of arguments at CtC and elsewhere as a a way to make sense of the dissonance. The fact that he acknowledges problem areas is a step in the right direction (whether it means ultimately abandoning the paradigm or not), and for that I say thank you, Ken.

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  166. Bob,
    Considering that there are a number of different forms of each of the following:

    1. Capitalism
    2. Socialism
    3. Communism
    4. Anarchism

    It doesn’t really matter if it has anything to do with eggs from China.

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  167. Oh, puh-lease. The people filling up the statistics are not “thoughtful ND grads” or seminary professors. They are your average, run of the mill, ignorant, cultural catholics.

    Of course not and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. The point is that these are the folks doing the teaching. More teaching by these guys won’t result in what you are looking for.

    Based off of what?

    I linked to the data in my previous comment (last one on page 3). If you are interested in engaging the data, follow it and try to understand it. If the data is irrelevant to your stance, then feel free to ignore it of course.

    So far as i can tell, there are virtually ZERO major protestant denominations who forbid divorce and several of the largest bodies have already officially endorsed and condone SSM.

    I think you are confusing mainline with mainstream. Of the 15 largest, I’m aware of three that have approved SSM (ELCA #5, PCUSA #8, and Episcopal church #12).

    Of course it is appropriate to call protestant division “schism”. What other word is there? The defacto mechanism to preserve “orthodoxy” in your paradigm is the sin of schism.

    You really don’t see a difference between the relationship between the PCA and SBC on the one hand and the RCC and EOC on the other? Really? Let me help you out, I can go to an SBC and be invited to communion. You can’t go to the EOC and take communion. But that is really beside my point. Your claim is that our “schisms” is what makes protestant churches purer than the RCC. That is statistically false. If you put all of the protestants in one bin and all the RCs in another, the RCs are to the left of the prots (as a whole) on matters of divorce and ssm. If you compare RCs to the general population, they are to the left of all non-RCs.

    Official Church documents, creeds and confessions are so much more useful…..

    Not to the actual lived experience of the congregants as the data shows.

    If correlation does not imply causation, why would it give me pause? Plus, I still think your numbers are bogus. All of the data that i can find implies that nearly ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all African Catholics polled rejected SSM. In only two countries (The U.S. and Spain) was there a majority of Catholics that favored it, and only by small margins. I think that there is more going on over seas than the prosperity gospel. But if you want to contest that based off of your imaginary statistic generator, so be it.

    I provided a link to my source (last comment on page 3). The argument is not that the majority of Catholics in Africa support ssm. The argument is that the larger the share of the population that is catholic, the more open that population is to ssm. While this doesn’t prove that a larger catholic presence causes a country to decline morally, but if your paradigm is so great and true one might expect that an increasing catholic presence would turn the tide on these issues. It doesn’t. I’m not saying it should drive you to despair, but I would think it would give you pause. If all the people in your house (to borrow from you metaphor) are getting sick, maybe there is something to be said for the healthier folks out in the tree house. Of course your roof caved in a long time ago and the walls have a pretty serious mold problem – maybe you can’t prove this is why everyone in your house is dying of asthma, but I would think it would give you pause (or at least take the edge off of our triumphalism). My treehouse may be small, but we’re dry and healthy and everyone is welcom. It’s a legitimate house even if the decor leaves something to be desired- yours is a shell of one.

    Try again. The data is consistent with 98% of catholic women of child bearing age having used artificial birth control (I was off by 3pts). Let’s hear it for the sense of the faithful…oh wait… there aren’t any.

    Your argument is hugely undermined by the fact that you have no idea what you are talking about and pull numbers from either A. out of thin air or B. From freaking Nancy Pelosi.

    As I’ve noted, I cited the source of my data. You should look at the data before drawing such conclusions.

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  168. @KW In case your paradigm doesn’t allow you to click on hyperlinks, here is are links you can cut and paste at your leisure:

    Comparison of RCs to non-RCs in the US as well as the relationship between RC population in a country and support for ssm and divorce in that country:
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/catholics-are-more-progressive-than-the-vatican-and-almost-everyone-else/

    Evidence that 98% of sexually active Catholic women of childbearing age have used birth control (points out the errors in the supposed errors in the column you linked):
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/feb/17/keeping-facts-straight-98-catholic-women/

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  169. Erik quotes me as saying: T – Ironically I suspect we’ll see the ordination of men who lean decidedly limp wristed long before we do the ordination of women.”
    And then responds with:
    Erik – By “we’ll see” you mean not counting the last 20 or so Centuries?
    I mean a circumstance where it is commonly known at ordination that this person is possessed of this propensity.

    Erik says: “It takes a unique man to not want to marry a woman. Either a unique man or a man who does not like what you do with a married woman.”
    As you know, the apostle tells us in the 7th of 1st Corinthians that some folks of both genders are legitimately gifted to celibacy. Barring that, any attempt at one’s own self exalting pursuit of extra godliness without being so gifted, is a recipe for…. well… the Catholic priesthood.

    Erik says: “Keep trying to meet with that local priest.”
    Oh no sir. He’s a laymen. Who knows historic Catholicism better than 99.9% of of the priests you’re likely to stumble over and probably most of the college of Bishops too I wouldn’t doubt.

    Erik says: “You guys sound like you would hit it off.
    I have the distinct impression that there is sarcasm in this remark. That’s ok. I do suppose we have a long way to go before we’ll be even.

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  170. loser ken, I quoted your infallible magisterium. You’re telling me they are wrong.

    Why won’t JPII, Benedict XVI or Francis mow the Richard McBrien? How can you relax and say the lawn will be mowed when it isn’t? Think Georgetown, BC, Catholic U., and Notre Dame.

    Don’t stop, denyin’.

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  171. Brandon, let’s get this straight. Rome used to think it was sin to read banned books. They don’t anymore. Rome used to think only those in the church were saved. They don’t anymore.

    Do you have any confidence that Rome is not increasingly approaching the universalism of liberal Christianity where sins and eternal punishment matter little compared to human flourishing?

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  172. Does Rome still insist on fasting after midnight for all participants in the mass?

    That used to be one that bound consciences of a few in my life.

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  173. Ken, I quote you your papi and you redirect your dissentious keyboard at me? Don’t get upset with me just because I know your mother better than you do. I was there. We were tight. We are, how they say? Familiar. In fact, I still circulate with RC clergy and Baltimore Cat and Vat II RCers. My finger is on the pulse. I can almost tell you what Francis is going to do before he does it, almost. I inherited my faith and then left, with the blessing of any number of RC clergy and was even asked to come teach at OST. I know your people better than you. It’s not bragging or ‘old man logic’, it just is. So, if it helps, you can yell at me and spittle in my direction. I understand how frustrating it must be for you.

    In the peace of christ

    Sean

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  174. Curt, when you can tell me what yours had to do with the OP, I’ll tell you what mine had to do with the free market price of eggs in China.
    Until then, other than the Roman church being socialistic, it does beat all.

    But your off topic comment still applies to the romanists we are seeing over here.

    But then maybe some people idolize a particular economic system just like some idolize a visible church.
    OK, but don’t complain when some people comment on the similarities.

    FTR and just so ya know, Marxism is not an utopian Christian millenial heresy that denies original sin and private property property/the 8th commandment.
    Rather it is a debunked heresy.
    cheers

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  175. @ sdb: I read the rebuttal to the rebuttal and am not convinced that 98% is either correct or meaningful.

    Correct? Guttmacher has an agenda. They also have a decent reputation, but they are not an unbiased source. But real issue is …

    Meaningful? The question was to sexually active women about whether they had *ever*, in their lives, used anything other than NFP. That question sweeps up all of those who, that one time … And then they felt bad about it …

    So while I would be unsurprised at an 82% support rate for birth control among Catholics, the 98% number doesn’t seem to accurately reflect how many reject the church’s teaching.

    @Ken: 82%, man. Bet you an eBeer that some of those are priests.

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  176. Dr. Hart says: “Rome used to think only those in the church were saved. They don’t anymore.”
    You forgot the closely related solemn ANATHEMA which used to mean THIS (please note the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur at the bottom of the page. Not ex-cathedra, but got some magesterial muscle behind it)
    —————————————————————————–
    Anathema remains a major excommunication which is to be promulgated with great solemnity. A formula for this ceremony was drawn up by Pope Zachary (741-52) in the chapter Debent duodecim sacerdotes, Cause xi, quest. iii. The Roman Pontifical reproduces it in the chapter Ordo excommunicandi et absolvendi, distinguishing three sorts of excommunication: minor excommunication, formerly incurred by a person holding communication with anyone under the ban of excommunication; major excommunication, pronounced by the Pope in reading a sentence; and anathema, or the penalty incurred by crimes of the gravest order, and solemnly promulgated by the Pope. In passing this sentence, the pontiff is vested in amice, stole, and a violet cope, wearing his mitre, and assisted by twelve priests clad in their surplices and holding lighted candles. He takes his seat in front of the altar or in some other suitable place, amid pronounces the formula of anathema which ends with these words: “Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N– himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment.” Whereupon all the assistants respond: “Fiat, fiat, fiat.” The pontiff and the twelve priests then cast to the ground the lighted candles they have been carrying, and notice is sent in writing to the priests and neighbouring bishops of the name of the one who has been excommunicated and the cause of his excommunication, in order that they may have no communication with him. Although he is delivered to Satan and his angels, he can still, and is even bound to repent. The Pontifical gives the form for absolving him and reconciling him with the Church. The promulgation of the anathema with such solemnity is well calculated to strike terror to the criminal and bring him to a state of repentance, especially if the Church adds to it the ceremony of the Maranatha.
    ——————————————————————————————
    (Emphasis of course mine)
    Micheal Voris and his guy Simon are THE only Catholics I’ve ever met who think I have this coming. 😀 That’s why I love the guy. I tell Catholics all the time that was a born and now apostate papist, baptized, communion and confirmation. I also qualify for EVERY single anathema of the whole body of the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Nobody will affirm it though 😦 I feel so left out. I am assured that I can still go to hell if I try hard enough, but nobody can tell me how.

    Dr. Hart says to Brandon: “Do you have any confidence that Rome is not increasingly approaching the universalism of liberal Christianity where sins and eternal punishment matter little compared to human flourishing?”
    JPII had one and a half feet in this door a couple decades ago and if they ever let Francis actually loose without adult Catholic supervision he’ll have the Vulcans, Romulans, and Borg all saved too.

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  177. JPII is not a liberal according to liberal Protestant standards.

    He is for the trads and sede vacantists in the Church.

    Furthermore, on morals, JPII maintained the Church’s teaching.

    The closest one can get to read Protestant liberalism into Catholicism is Kung’s proposal to liberalise the doctrine of infallibility.

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  178. The difference between Vat 1 & 2 is the difference in emphasis.

    In fact, Vat is rooted in Vat 1. Vat 1 is about affirming the pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth and the Church as the fulness of divine grace. Once the doctrinal position or FRAMEWORK is made clear, so to speak, the Church can then proceed with the pastoral application. That’s what Vat 2 was about. That Vat 2 has caused division amongst the trads and liberal-minded only means that both groups have different visions of what the Church should look like, i.e. the external appearance. Incidentally aggiornamento can be translated as meaning just that, namely a “facelift.”

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  179. In fact, Francis seems to grasp the distinction between law and gospel better than the descendants of the Reformation. Sometimes more of the law doesn’t help at all. It either maintains things as they are or things will get worse.

    The distinction between law and gospel is not marked by continuity but discontinuity. At least that was how Luther understood it. Thus, there will always be a tension between the law and the gospel. This requires a two-dimensional way of thinking (not one) – exactly like the 2k position.

    The law is not the gospel and the gospel is not the law. In fact, both are opposed to each other – both are bound to each other as its polar opposite. Both imply each other but as opposites.This means that there is no logical bridge between the two but both has its own operational logic.

    The preaching of the law kills; the preaching of the gospel makes alive. The law curbs and restrains for a time but does not transform; the gospel re-creates anew. The law has its limitations; the gospel is boundless.

    The law cannot cure; the gospel heals.

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  180. Are we to conclude that there has not been a single “anathema” worthy Catholic in my lifetime? Or any of yours? From the looks of American Catholicism, I doubt if 5% could actually withstand pre Vat. II scrutiny and yet see if you can ANY Romanist robe alive today who can name you the last actual “anathema” without looking it up in some dusty pre-digital archive somewhere.

    A toothless, harmless giant, yawned at by her own pew dwellers. I’m not trying to be unkind. Truly I’m not, but this IS the way it is.

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  181. Bob,
    Does it matter whether it has anything to do with the OP (and OP stands for ?). You interrupted a conversation I was having with someone else.

    BTW, which form of Marxism are you talking about. It has been called a Christian heresy because though it denies God, it brings up pertinent issues of injustice which the Church has been sinfully ignoring. In addition, whether the direction that Lenin took the Soviet Union in was really Marxist or Socialist is really for debate. Regardless of that answer, what is not up for debate was that Lenin took a right hand turn and brought the Soviet Union with him.

    In addition, one can be Christian and agree with part of what Marx said. I happen to agree with his analysis of Capitalism, I don’t agree with his denial of God, moral relativity, or proletariat dictatorship. Should note that the last item is actually a form of democracy but where only workers and soldiers could be elected to workers councils (a.k.a., soviets). Those in the councils would also keep their day jobs. Lenin dismantled the soviets in favor of elite-centered government and thus his form of gov’t was called a bourgeoisie dictatorship.

    BTW, what brought down the economy of the Soviet Union was the arms race and the war in Afghanistan. Otherwise, its economy could have very well continued.

    But how about neoliberal capitalism? Note that its first appearance came on the heels of a coup where a democratically elected gov’t was overthrown and replaced with dictatorship that protected this new form of Capitalism (Chile in 1973). It was tried again under military rule in Argentina in the 70’s. Yeltsin dismantled Russia’s Parliament in order to preserve Neoliberal Capitalism and from Yeltsin came Putin. It has been introduced here gradually by the Reagan Administration and it has contributed to destroying the middle class here. BTW, it is every bit materialistic as Marxism. And considering it has led us into wars, destruction of the environment, and sweatshop and trafficked labor, I am not sure if I would call the Capitalism du jour a success either.

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  182. D.G.,
    If you want to talk about universalism in the Roman Church’s doctrine, then you will want to look up what the Roman Church says about anonymous Christians. The teaching has been around for at least decades.

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  183. Curt says: “anonymous Christians.”
    This is called “inclusivism”.

    I call it heresy. The scriptures just destroy this idea. It IS what made protestants “separated brethren” or whatever the exact term they came up with at Vat II was.

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  184. Does it matter whether it has anything to do with the Original Post (and OP stands for ?). You interrupted a conversation I was having with someone else.

    I did nothing of the sort, Curt. Your conversation is out to lunch on this thread. I still can’t find where it started or came from, but since it’s here, I riffed on a comment. You took offense.
    But if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen, please or at least have the good grace to take comments by others for what they are, accelerants to the pursuit of non Marxist/socialist the invincible and ineffable truth.

    Ever heard of von Boehm Bahwerk?
    More than that, Marxism cannot be anything but an epic failure because Marxism is economic materialism.
    Because man does not live by bread alone.
    End of Marxist fairytale.

    Just like Romanism is an epic failure.
    Justification by Implicit Faith Alone in The One True Visible Church Alone is to put the cart in front of a one trick pony.

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  185. The kulaks and Trotskyite wreckers are everywhere these days. Those dogs must be shot down in cold blood and left to rot in the streets where they lie while the proletariat marches upward and onward.

    ……non Marxist/socialist the invincible and ineffable truth.

    Ever heard of von Boehm Bahwerk?
    More than that, Marxism cannot be anything but an epic failure because Marxism is economic materialism.
    Because man does not live by bread alone.
    End of Marxist fairytale.

    Just like Romanism is an epic failure.
    Justification by Implicit Faith Alone in The One True Visible Church Alone is to put the cart in front of a one trick pony.

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  186. Sean, and the most beautiful home in the neighborhood still has its grass uncut. At about 2 months in, a mower (the great mechanism) won’t work. Then what will the home owner do?

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  187. Jason, okay, whatever you say. But this is what JPII taught:

    841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

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  188. Jason, if the law does not transform, why do you find so many RC historians describing the thick culture that existed in Roman Catholic parishes and neighborhoods before Vat 2? Seems to me as a historian that when Rome was disciplined, cultures were pretty well transformed.

    Oh, but then the bishops didn’t like ghetto culture and went all “let’s embrace modernity.” Smart move.

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  189. JPII was a Protestant liberal on the matter of human sexuality, though he didn’t do all that much about the Protestant liberal RC theologians in his church who were. To be fair, he did try—a little. How many did he excommunicate, though? And how many of the bishops who are now going all squishy were appointed by him?

    JPII was most definitely a Protestant liberal on the matter of universalism. Its the only way to explain how he—following in V2’s change in dogma—could write a catechism in which the door to heaven is open to Trinty-hating, deity-of-Christ denying Muslims. Ironically, if you read RC documents, it seems at times that its a greater sin to be Protestant and affirm classical Christology than it is to be a Muslim and openly denounce it.

    It all makes sense if the main concern of the church is to exalt itself, and not Christ.

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  190. Brandon,

    Your logic is the sort of logic that Jason started out with.

    “The level of cognitive dissonance one is willing to put up with in a given paradigm is subjective, so Kenneth finds the sorts of arguments at CtC and elsewhere as a a way to make sense of the dissonance.”

    I would generally look to people who have been Catholic more than two weeks to resolve my dissonance.

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  191. T – Erik says: “Keep trying to meet with that local priest.”
    Oh no sir. He’s a laymen. Who knows historic Catholicism better than 99.9% of of the priests you’re likely to stumble over and probably most of the college of Bishops too I wouldn’t doubt.

    Erik – Never mind, then. Laymen aren’t worth a damn under that paradigm.

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  192. Erik,

    I do appreciate that you acknowledge that the church has problems — big ones, even. Bryan acknowledges this not so much. He just calls people who point out problems “Rigorists” or questions their paradigm.

    If you had been around at the time of the Reformation, what would you have done?

    How long are you willing to wait today for the church to clean house and solve its problems?

    I do think that its good for Catholics to acknowledge the problems in our world from time to time, even if the peanut gallery wants to take advantage of the opportunity to pile up rhetorical points and take cheap shots.

    Personally, I don’t find the reformers biblical or historical arguments compelling (at all), and so would not have been affected by the reformation.

    How long am I willing to wait today? So far as I am concerned there is no time limit. You could look through Church history and see all kinds of confusion that people didn’t always get to live to see resolved (thinking especially of the Arian controversy). I am fine with that possibility. Plus, i really don’t feel like the current situation is very confusing as much as it is frustrating. Even you guys, if pressed in an honest moment, could probably give an easy summary of the RC positions on justification, the sacraments, authority, etc. I hear people like Horton, Sproul, and James White give fantastically accurate summaries of RC positions all the time. So, its not like Church teaching is shrouded in mystery.

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  193. Brandon Addison,

    Ken doesn’t think this necessarily means that he has to give up his Catholicism, and that’s fine. The level of cognitive dissonance one is willing to put up with in a given paradigm is subjective, so Kenneth finds the sorts of arguments at CtC and elsewhere as a a way to make sense of the dissonance. The fact that he acknowledges problem areas is a step in the right direction (whether it means ultimately abandoning the paradigm or not), and for that I say thank you, Ken.

    I always think that conversations are more interesting if both sides are willing to be vulnerable and honest. Thanks for the charitable comment ( you don’t fit in around here 🙂 )

    Like

  194. Sdb,

    Of course not and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. The point is that these are the folks doing the teaching. More teaching by these guys won’t result in what you are looking for.

    Yes, that is a problem. But there are a multitude of other (not so mainstream) Universities that are still doing a great job.

    I think you are confusing mainline with mainstream. Of the 15 largest, I’m aware of three that have approved SSM (ELCA #5, PCUSA #8, and Episcopal church #12).

    3 of 15 have already gone gay, and 100% condone divorce. Out of all those remaining that have not officially gone gay, the people in the pews would probably like them too…. to varying degrees of course.

    You really don’t see a difference between the relationship between the PCA and SBC on the one hand and the RCC and EOC on the other? Really? Let me help you out, I can go to an SBC and be invited to communion. You can’t go to the EOC and take communion. But that is really beside my point. Your claim is that our “schisms” is what makes protestant churches purer than the RCC. That is statistically false. If you put all of the protestants in one bin and all the RCs in another, the RCs are to the left of the prots (as a whole) on matters of divorce and ssm. If you compare RCs to the general population, they are to the left of all non-RCs.

    I do not judge “purity of doctrine” on a PEW POLL of uneducated lay people. Doctrine is judged on confessions, creeds, and authoritative church teachings. As it stands currently, precisely 0% of all protestant religious communities are “pure” because 100% of them are heretical. Beyond that, each of us has to deal with dissent from time to time from within. We solve such controversies with infallible ecumenical councils and excathedra papal teachings. Once the boom is lowered, we have certainty of doctrine and know where everything stands. In your world, once dissent reaches its highest forms, you can do nothing but schism. It is your only recourse. The track record of the protestant experiment speaks for itself. Sure, now that Daryl has the OPC he can sit back with a smile and say everything is grand….. but for how long? How long will the OPC last before we get another 10 denominations? You have no mechanism to handle disputes in a fashion that provides certainty for the next generation. We do, and thats awesome.

    Not to the actual lived experience of the congregants as the data shows.

    Doctrinal purity is not determined by counting heads in the pews. Besides, as I have already said, 100% of your side is unorthodox, even those that hold to your heretical standards of faith. If the Catholic Church can only achieve educating 50% of its members, thats more than the entire protestant world combined. If only 10%, well, that would still be the only orthodox population on the planet.

    I provided a link to my source (last comment on page 3). The argument is not that the majority of Catholics in Africa support ssm. The argument is that the larger the share of the population that is catholic, the more open that population is to ssm. While this doesn’t prove that a larger catholic presence causes a country to decline morally, but if your paradigm is so great and true one might expect that an increasing catholic presence would turn the tide on these issues.

    This is exactly why your argument is so silly. nearly 100% of African Catholics defy SSM… and yet, according to your polls, the higher the Catholic population in Africa the more people that will be for SSM. This still adding up to you? Now you see why correlation does not imply causation. Again, whats the value of a poll? Creeds, confessions, and authoritative church teaching is so much more meaningful.

    It doesn’t. I’m not saying it should drive you to despair, but I would think it would give you pause. If all the people in your house (to borrow from you metaphor) are getting sick, maybe there is something to be said for the healthier folks out in the tree house. Of course your roof caved in a long time ago and the walls have a pretty serious mold problem – maybe you can’t prove this is why everyone in your house is dying of asthma, but I would think it would give you pause (or at least take the edge off of our triumphalism). My treehouse may be small, but we’re dry and healthy and everyone is welcom. It’s a legitimate house even if the decor leaves something to be desired- yours is a shell of one.

    My house is a hospital for sinners not a museum for saints. The sick and poor are exactly who we want coming in. For example, the idea that 99 percent of all catholic women have used some form of contraception in the past…. even if true, would not show that they are actually FOR contraception, but only that they are sinners (or at least have been at some point in their lives). Your house is not dry and healthy. Your house is anathema. No one will ever get to heaven because they were a protestant. Although they might get to heaven despite that unfortunate fact, if they can escape through ignorance. You heretics may not be fighting amongst yourselves…. but thats only because you start up your own gig every time there is a dispute. The sin of schism, every protestants best friend.

    Try again. The data is consistent with 98% of catholic women of child bearing age having used artificial birth control (I was off by 3pts). Let’s hear it for the sense of the faithful…oh wait… there aren’t any.

    This poll isn’t an indication of all the women who are actively having sex right now on contraception…. but only of women who have ever used even one time in their lives some form of contraception. Huge difference.I am sure that 99% of all men that are catholic have masturbated at some point in their lives. What does that prove? That we all disagree with the Church? Or that we are all sinners? You tell me.

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  195. DGHART,

    loser ken, I quoted your infallible magisterium. You’re telling me they are wrong.

    Why won’t JPII, Benedict XVI or Francis mow the Richard McBrien? How can you relax and say the lawn will be mowed when it isn’t? Think Georgetown, BC, Catholic U., and Notre Dame.

    Don’t stop, denyin’.

    I can relax and trust in the promises of Christ to Peter that have borne fruit over 2000 years of history. The gates of Hell have never prevailed and they never will, Resting easy over here…. you better have your movin boxes ready

    Like

  196. Victim of the Crises Sean,

    Ken, I quote you your papi and you redirect your dissentious keyboard at me? Don’t get upset with me just because I know your mother better than you do. I was there. We were tight. We are, how they say? Familiar. In fact, I still circulate with RC clergy and Baltimore Cat and Vat II RCers. My finger is on the pulse. I can almost tell you what Francis is going to do before he does it, almost. I inherited my faith and then left, with the blessing of any number of RC clergy and was even asked to come teach at OST. I know your people better than you. It’s not bragging or ‘old man logic’, it just is. So, if it helps, you can yell at me and spittle in my direction. I understand how frustrating it must be for you.

    You know the “Spirit of vatican 2” better than I do, but sadly you have never received a Catholic education.

    Like

  197. Ross Douthat, Rigorist…

    Is Bryan following all this?

    The Pope and the Precipice

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-the-pope-and-the-precipice.html?_r=0

    OCT. 25, 2014

    TO grasp why events this month in Rome — publicly feuding cardinals, documents floated and then disavowed — were so remarkable in the context of modern Catholic history, it helps to understand certain practical aspects of the doctrine of papal infallibility.

    On paper, that doctrine seems to grant extraordinary power to the pope — since he cannot err, the First Vatican Council declared in 1870, when he “defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.”

    In practice, though, it places profound effective limits on his power.

    Those limits are set, in part, by normal human modesty: “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly, but I shall never do that,” John XXIII is reported to have said. But they’re also set by the binding power of existing teaching, which a pope cannot reverse or contradict without proving his own office, well, fallible — effectively dynamiting the very claim to authority on which his decisions rest.

    Not surprisingly, then, popes are usually quite careful. On the two modern occasions when a pontiff defined a doctrine of the faith, it was on a subject — the holiness of the Virgin Mary — that few devout Catholics consider controversial. In the last era of major church reform, the Second Vatican Council, the popes were not the intellectual protagonists, and the council’s debates — while vigorous — were steered toward a (pope-approved) consensus: The documents that seemed most like developments in doctrine, on religious liberty and Judaism, passed with less than a hundred dissenting votes out of more than 2,300 cast.

    But something very different is happening under Pope Francis. In his public words and gestures, through the men he’s elevated and the debates he’s encouraged, this pope has repeatedly signaled a desire to rethink issues where Catholic teaching is in clear tension with Western social life — sex and marriage, divorce and homosexuality.

    And in the synod on the family, which concluded a week ago in Rome, the prelates in charge of the proceedings — men handpicked by the pontiff — formally proposed such a rethinking, issuing a document that suggested both a general shift in the church’s attitude toward nonmarital relationships and a specific change, admitting the divorced-and-remarried to communion, that conflicts sharply with the church’s historic teaching on marriage’s indissolubility.

    At which point there was a kind of chaos. Reports from inside the synod have a medieval feel — churchmen berating each other, accusations of manipulation flying, rebellions bubbling up. Outside Catholicism’s doors, the fault lines were laid bare: geographical (Germans versus Africans; Poles versus Italians), generational (a 1970s generation that seeks cultural accommodation and a younger, John Paul II-era that seeks to be countercultural) and theological above all.

    In the end, the document’s controversial passages were substantially walked back. But even then, instead of a Vatican II-style consensus, the synod divided, with large numbers voting against even watered-down language around divorce and homosexuality. Some of those votes may have been cast by disappointed progressives. But many others were votes cast, in effect, against the pope.

    In the week since, many Catholics have downplayed the starkness of what happened or minimized the papal role. Conservatives have implied that the synod organizers somehow went rogue, that Pope Francis’s own views were not really on the table, that orthodox believers should not be worried. More liberal Catholics have argued that there was no real chaos — this was just the kind of freewheeling, Jesuit-style debate Francis was hoping for — and that the pope certainly suffered no meaningful defeat.

    Neither argument is persuasive. Yes, Francis has taken no formal position on the issues currently in play. But all his moves point in a pro-change direction — and it simply defies belief that men appointed by the pope would have proposed departures on controversial issues without a sense that Francis would approve.

    If this is so, the synod has to be interpreted as a rebuke of the implied papal position. The pope wishes to take these steps, the synod managers suggested. Given what the church has always taught, many of the synod’s participants replied, he and we cannot.

    Over all, that conservative reply has the better of the argument. Not necessarily on every issue: The church’s attitude toward gay Catholics, for instance, has often been far more punitive and hostile than the pastoral approach to heterosexuals living in what the church considers sinful situations, and there are clearly ways that the church can be more understanding of the cross carried by gay Christians.

    But going beyond such a welcome to a kind of celebration of the virtues of nonmarital relationships generally, as the synod document seemed to do, might open a divide between formal teaching and real-world practice that’s too wide to be sustained. And on communion for the remarried, the stakes are not debatable at all. The Catholic Church was willing to lose the kingdom of England, and by extension the entire English-speaking world, over the principle that when a first marriage is valid a second is adulterous, a position rooted in the specific words of Jesus of Nazareth. To change on that issue, no matter how it was couched, would not be development; it would be contradiction and reversal.

    SUCH a reversal would put the church on the brink of a precipice. Of course it would be welcomed by some progressive Catholics and hailed by the secular press. But it would leave many of the church’s bishops and theologians in an untenable position, and it would sow confusion among the church’s orthodox adherents — encouraging doubt and defections, apocalypticism and paranoia (remember there is another pope still living!) and eventually even a real schism.

    Those adherents are, yes, a minority — sometimes a small minority — among self-identified Catholics in the West. But they are the people who have done the most to keep the church vital in an age of institutional decline: who have given their energy and time and money in an era when the church is stained by scandal, who have struggled to raise families and live up to demanding teachings, who have joined the priesthood and religious life in an age when those vocations are not honored as they once were. They have kept the faith amid moral betrayals by their leaders; they do not deserve a theological betrayal.

    Which is why this pope has incentives to step back from the brink — as his closing remarks to the synod, which aimed for a middle way between the church’s factions, were perhaps designed to do.

    Francis is charismatic, popular, widely beloved. He has, until this point, faced strong criticism only from the church’s traditionalist fringe, and managed to unite most Catholics in admiration for his ministry. There are ways that he can shape the church without calling doctrine into question, and avenues he can explore (annulment reform, in particular) that would bring more people back to the sacraments without a crisis. He can be, as he clearly wishes to be, a progressive pope, a pope of social justice — and he does not have to break the church to do it.

    But if he seems to be choosing the more dangerous path — if he moves to reassign potential critics in the hierarchy, if he seems to be stacking the next synod’s ranks with supporters of a sweeping change — then conservative Catholics will need a cleareyed understanding of the situation.

    They can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.

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  198. Kenneth,

    You know the “Spirit of vatican 2″ better than I do, but sadly you have never received a Catholic education.

    Sean’s point is that the “Spirit of Vatican 2” IS what it means to be RC today. You just haven’t gotten the memo. At least when Bryan et al kiss Francis’ ring it makes some sense in line with the idea that Rome is supposed to be what you say it is. When you presume to pick and choose from the Magisterium and hate on a lawful ecumenical council, not so much.

    Like

  199. Ken, what Robert said. In the spirit of Ricky Bobby, “THAT (Vat II) Just happened”. “Pastorally apply, the sanctity of religious conscience” (shake and bake).

    Like

  200. Ken, just to be clear, you’re saying that Francis and I got the same catholic education? Yep, that’d be the case. And he’s your papi. Wow, so what you’re feeling, is what it must feel like to be a foster child in a home where they’re in it for the money. Or when you realize your siblings are all step siblings? Papa was a rolling stone………… or being gender egalitarian, momma was a ‘working girl’

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  201. Robert,

    Thats what it will mean as soon as you can quote some authoritative teaching that supports the liberal point of view. As it stand, orthodoxy is not determined by polls and popular opinion. (it may be in your world, but not mine). Come back and let me know when your argument has teeth.

    Sean,

    Its so sad reading your comments. I guess every crises has its victims. Collateral damage. Its too bad you were never brought up in the faith. I pray you can escape from your crimes against the faith through ignorance. Your comments read like there might be a chance….

    Like

  202. A great comment from “the callers”

    “I, for one, upon reading the history of the Church, was very aware that the unity and holiness of the Catholic Church was not predicate on a perfect history. In fact, quite the opposite. Instead, what emerges is an improbable history. We see dissension like it that has caused in a Protestant context schism too numerous to mention. We have seen entire denominations permanently led into error. For the Catholic Church, instead, the Holy Spirit has preserved her. For some, that might be less important, they might long for a pure group for which they can share their purity with and remain pure. I argue that Christ did not leave us with such a group. He left us with a very big Church, full of people as ugly as we are. The people in the Church are just as apt to err as we are. In fact, the Catholic argument against Protestantism isn’t that only Protestants err, but rather, that people unaided by the power of the Holy Spirit err – and err often. As a very large Church, we are full of sinners who err. And, yes, priests and bishops are people too.

    What is miraculous is such a large Church has been preserved in her integrity, despite the murderers, fornicators, and the like running about us. Not even to mention the great saints she has produced. So, yes, I was aware of the “statistics,” and sadly I have often been a part of a statistic for which I am deeply sorry: sinner. If the Catholic Church were not having this debate, if at least some men shaped by our times were not swayed by the convincing appeals to emotion in the debate, I would be concerned that the Church were made up of robots, angels disguised as men, or had devolved into a sect. This is not a matter of being on the right side of history, it is a matter of being on the side of the Holy Spirit.

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  203. Ken, in the immortal words of the Maddona, the like a virgin, one….. Hmmm, not enough distinction, the one of ‘papa don’t preach’ fame, not to be confused with the similarly sentimental one who was mystified that her son had left them and was in the temple teaching; ‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina’.

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  204. Kenneth,

    Thats what it will mean as soon as you can quote some authoritative teaching that supports the liberal point of view. As it stand, orthodoxy is not determined by polls and popular opinion. (it may be in your world, but not mine). Come back and let me know when your argument has teeth.

    You aren’t paying attention. Unless and until Rome cleans house of all its liberals, liberalism is as orthodox as your radical traditional brand of RCism. You can take comfort that you have some documents from some councils all you want, but all you are doing is that which you disparage us for doing—applying private interpretation to an infallible source. Your source is just bigger and ill-defined.

    Don’t tell us how much we “need” an infallible interpreter when the infallible interpreter can’t decide whether to value homosexual orientation or not on the first pass.

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  205. Btw, Kenneth, if you think JPII and Ratzinger didn’t drink deeply from the well of the German higher critics, you really are lost in the woods of your own imagination. Notice where Ratizinger draws the line with Kung, Papal authority. Rather convenient.

    Like

  206. Jason,

    Francis getting the law/gospel distinction right would be more convincing if he got the gospel right.

    Plus, Bryan & The Callers seem to be a lot more focused on the Pope than on Jesus.

    Like

  207. Curt – You interrupted a conversation I was having with someone else.

    Erik – A conversation completely, utterly, unrelated to the thread. As always. you mistake this site for karlmarx.com.

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  208. loser ken, you keep missing the obvious. Your church was very disciplined before Vat 2. It is possible to use the mower. Popes did, even after they lost their lands. Have you ever wondered why the popes are not as forceful as the Piuses?

    Probably better that you don’t. It would keep you up.

    Like

  209. loser ken, “as soon as you can quote”? Now you’re going all logocentric on us? The very conceit of Protestantism to think that something has to be written to change or provide proof. Tradition was never so literal.

    But think of it. The bishops who have all the authority of the apostles and half the charism of the pope — over half of them voted for the interim report to welcome gays and divorcees to the church.

    You better find the sleeping pills.

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  210. Kenneth,

    What is your opinion on the selling of indulgences and on simony (the selling of church offices)?

    These were an issue at the time of the Reformation.

    Should someone who donates a lot of the money to the church (say for a building project) receive more favorable consideration in a request for an annulment than someone of modest means?

    Do you just trust the Pope and Bishops on these sorts of things? After all, they’re the ones who have to balance the books.

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  211. Jeff,

    Way to go.

    If Bryan Cross comes back, you go as long as you need to.

    You’ve been known to take him to the woodshed (although he’ll never admit it).

    Feel free to go long on Kenneth, too. He needs his youthful ears boxed.

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  212. CW, Muddy clarity happens about as often as Catholic discipline, so I rush to the combox before it gets all blurry again. Maybe I oughta have implicit faith in my insights. Yeah, that’s a paradigm which makes 20 cents and darn it everything’s blurry again.

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  213. DGH & Erik,

    Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think that Kenneth is effectively arguing for his position. But I do think that Ken’s approach to the topic allows for there to be an actual conversation.

    Would you rather have someone telling you why none of the myriad of problem areas are actually problem areas or would you rather deal with someone who tells you about how everything you’ve said is compatible with their paradigm? We can at least explain to Ken why he’s off his rocker. With the other approach, however, you can’t even begin to have a conversation because that paradigm swallows any cognitive dissonance as being a figment of an outside paradigm’s imagination.

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  214. D. G. Hart
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
    loser ken, and this is exactly how Yankees’ fans think when it comes to A-Rod. All those titles, so many sinners. Just pile it on.

    “Loser” Ken be kicking your butt, D.

    Like

  215. Brandon Addison
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 11:43 pm | Permalink
    DGH & Erik,

    Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think that Kenneth is effectively arguing for his position. But I do think that Ken’s approach to the topic allows for there to be an actual conversation.

    You must be new around here.

    Pleased to meetcha. This game could use somebody to call fouls.

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  216. Robert,

    You aren’t paying attention. Unless and until Rome cleans house of all its liberals, liberalism is as orthodox as your radical traditional brand of RCism. You can take comfort that you have some documents from some councils all you want, but all you are doing is that which you disparage us for doing—applying private interpretation to an infallible source. Your source is just bigger and ill-defined.

    Don’t tell us how much we “need” an infallible interpreter when the infallible interpreter can’t decide whether to value homosexual orientation or not on the first pass.

    Oh lord. So, just to set the record straight, during the height of the Arian controversy, was arianism “orthodox” just because the polls would have said so? I mean, Nicea was cool and all, but at the end of the day Athanasius was just “quoting from some documents” right? Your entire argument is so historically naive. popular opinion does not determine othodoxy. That is how things go down in your world, but not in ours. It is in these very controversial moments that I am so thankful for an infallible magesterium. Oh, and in case you didnt read the papers… the good guys won at the synod. But I guess that doesn’t matter, because some poll said this, and some professor said that, and the pope gave an interview that said such and such, and some bishops agreed…. Your argument is so weak its almost painful to refute. The Roman Catholic apologetic has never been that we are a Church of automatrons that never experience controversy, crises, or dissent. If you think that dissent is relevant to our conversations, it is you who havent been paying attention. Try arguing against our actual paradigm and not what your imagination demands of ecclesiastical infallibility.

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  217. Erik,

    Kenneth better go on protein powder and a good multivitamin if he hopes to keep running his mouth at this kind of pace.

    haha whatever dude. 6’4 270lbs… I need to lean out if anything.

    What is your opinion on the selling of indulgences and on simony (the selling of church offices)?

    These were an issue at the time of the Reformation.

    Yes they were, but i think that Luther and the reformers would agree with me that they were relatively minor issues. The solas are where we must do battle. Abuse of power is bad…. embracing heresy is worse.

    Should someone who donates a lot of the money to the church (say for a building project) receive more favorable consideration in a request for an annulment than someone of modest means?

    No, of course not.

    Do you just trust the Pope and Bishops on these sorts of things? After all, they’re the ones who have to balance the books.

    Yes, I do trust the bishops.

    If the Roman Catholic Church turns out to not be who she says she is, what sins would she be guilty of?

    Guilty of schism from the E.O….. 🙂

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  218. DGHART,

    loser ken, you keep missing the obvious. Your church was very disciplined before Vat 2. It is possible to use the mower. Popes did, even after they lost their lands. Have you ever wondered why the popes are not as forceful as the Piuses?

    Yes, I know that we have used the lawn mower before. Numerous times actually. Thats why we are still one and not 33,000. What I don’t see is how your point is relevant?

    loser ken, “as soon as you can quote”? Now you’re going all logocentric on us? The very conceit of Protestantism to think that something has to be written to change or provide proof. Tradition was never so literal.

    But think of it. The bishops who have all the authority of the apostles and half the charism of the pope — over half of them voted for the interim report to welcome gays and divorcees to the church.

    Which was not enough for the liberal agenda to go through. Too bad for the bad guys. Too bad for the protestant apologetic. You guys keep crossing your fingers and hoping we slip up some time…. maybe in the next thousand years or so…… Dont hold your breath….

    loser ken, and this is exactly how Yankees’ fans think when it comes to A-Rod. All those titles, so many sinners. Just pile it on.

    If we are the yankees, you are the Sugarland Skeeters

    http://www.sugarlandskeeters.com

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  219. Ken: Oh ****. So, just to set the record straight, during the height of the Arian controversy, was arianism “orthodox” just because the polls would have said so? I mean, Nicea was cool and all, but at the end of the day Athanasius was just “quoting from some documents” right? Your entire argument is so historically naive. popular opinion does not determine othodoxy.

    Neither does papal opinion.

    You have two choices. Either truth is determined — created, defined — by popes and councils.

    Or else it is objectively true.

    And if objectively true, then it is logically possible that popes and councils might get it wrong. The bad guys might win a round. Or two.

    And if the latter is the case, then you have no principled way of knowing whether your current church doctrine is actually true, or whether you just happen to believe it because the credentials hanging on the wall look so pretty.

    If the former is a case, well, you’re just a fideist.

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  220. Kenneth,

    Oh lord. So, just to set the record straight, during the height of the Arian controversy, was arianism “orthodox” just because the polls would have said so? I mean, Nicea was cool and all, but at the end of the day Athanasius was just “quoting from some documents” right? Your entire argument is so historically naive. popular opinion does not determine othodoxy. That is how things go down in your world, but not in ours.

    No it wasn’t, but neither did anyone think that Nicea had automatically been blessed with guaranteed infallibility. Where is the teaching in the aftermath of Nicea that it was impossible going into it for Nicea to have gotten it wrong. Athanasius stands his ground based primarily on Scripture, especially since other councils and bishops are convening to make Arianism orthodox. What’s naive is this view of history that says Athanasius view of Nicea is the same as your view of Nicea, especially when even your view of ecumenical councils is inconsistent since you reject V2 and its open embrace of Trinity-denying groups as on the way to heaven—which Nicea explicitly rejected.

    It is in these very controversial moments that I am so thankful for an infallible magesterium. Oh, and in case you didnt read the papers… the good guys won at the synod. But I guess that doesn’t matter, because some poll said this, and some professor said that, and the pope gave an interview that said such and such, and some bishops agreed…. Your argument is so weak its almost painful to refute.

    Well since technically the synod hasn’t even happened yet, there is nothing to win. You aren’t paying attention to church history because the evidence is not what determines your position. What happened at the meeting is EXACTLY what happened at any number of Protestant gatherings that eventually went full-on, let’s-not-hide-it-anymore liberal.

    As far as popular opinion, that’s a bit hollow when you have your own bishops surveying their own popular opinion to determine whether or not homosexual orientation is something that should be valued. What in the world has the infallible Magisterium settled if it even has to debate THAT particular issue?

    The Roman Catholic apologetic has never been that we are a Church of automatrons that never experience controversy, crises, or dissent. If you think that dissent is relevant to our conversations, it is you who havent been paying attention. Try arguing against our actual paradigm and not what your imagination demands of ecclesiastical infallibility.

    Kenneth—when you are jumping up and down singing the praises of a LIVING infallible Magisterium as necessary and that LIVING Magisterium is having LIVING dissent on LIVING issues that are supposed to be settled, then dissent is most certainly relevant to the conversation.

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  221. Kenneth,

    Thats why we are still one and not 33,000.

    What, so now are you denying that liberalism has infected your church? Apparently so, since the only way you can make such a claim is to pretend that the liberals aren’t considered fully orthodox by your Magisterium.

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  222. “No one will ever get to heaven because they were a protestant.”

    I think all the protestants here agree 100% with that statement (at least I hope). There’s a lot of anti-Reformation Day sentiment on this blog.

    Kenneth, I’m agreeing with everything you’re saying (except I’m on the other side of your position). I especially appreciate you using the word “anathema” toward us separated brethren (not speaking sarcastically), and pointing out the irrelevancies of the gross sins of the laity (and pastors) to the truth of any confession.

    I almost went papist, then read the Angelic Doctor and became Lutheran. Post-Tridentine (and especially post-Vatican I, which really painted her in a corner) Rome is as schismatic as any First Apostolic Church of the Orthodox Universal Brethren in Christ Jesus of Crumpler, WV.* It’s just bigger, and older (but not so old as her members claim).

    (But Evanglisch do believe Pr. Berglogio has a legitimate call to St. John Lateran. I don’t think the Reformed think that, though)

    *This is a made up church. But Crumpler, WV is for real.

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  223. Jeff!

    C’mon, you can’t come around now and bring up the subject of objective truth. Really? Did you time-travel from the 16th century or something?

    Get on with the times mah-man! According to most of the testimonies at CtC, it appears the real reason why most Reformed people converted to Rome is that they questioned not just the ‘source’ of truth, but the very existence of truth itself…

    Maybe they read way too much Barth when they were still ‘Reformed’. Just maybe… they should all just save us the trouble, confess now (to being former ‘Barthians’) or forever hold their peace.

    Just sayin’.

    Like

  224. Eric quotes me as saying: “That’s ok. I do suppose we have a long way to go before we’ll be even.”
    And then responds with
    Erik says: “I appreciate your switch from Red Bull laced with Jolt Cola to Sanka.”
    Erik I do believe you may have meant that positively. 🙂 I must say though, I’m a green tea man. I say again. You had me wrong this whole time. I’ll take at least some of the responsibility for that.

    Erik says: “Even Greg is speechless, although he is getting the anathemas he’s been seeking.”
    I haven’t had a chance to read the rest yet, but I’ll take all the RCC anathemas I can get,

    Erik says: “Keep trying to meet with that local priest.”
    And the quotes me as saying: Oh no sir. He’s a laymen. Who knows historic Catholicism better than 99.9% of of the priests you’re likely to stumble over and probably most of the college of Bishops too I wouldn’t doubt.
    Then himself further responds with:
    Erik – Never mind, then. Laymen aren’t worth a damn under that paradigm.
    I don’t think I know what you mean by this.

    Like

  225. loser ken, and where was the pope during the Arian controversy? If not for Constantine, who knows what happens? But you can’t give Roman Catholicism credit for that.

    Like

  226. loser ken, so the bishops you trust are the “bad guys”? Let’s see, some bishops are good and some are bad and loser ken decides. And I thought I was Protestant.

    Like

  227. Brandon,

    If you’re asking me if I think Bryan and Kenneth are all wet, yes.

    Bryan thinks the paradigm solves every problem and Kenneth thinks the Pope (maybe not this Pope, but some righteous Pope some time in the future) solves every problem.

    It’s like asking if I would rather have my arm gnawed off by a wolf or a wolverine.

    Like

  228. Kenneth – popular opinion does not determine othodoxy.

    Erik – Even the popular opinion of a majority of Bishops, ratified by the Pope?

    The difference between Bryan & Ken is that Bryan will bend his will and interpretations to the Pope and the Bishops (just watch) and Ken will write off a Pope and generation of Bishops, believing that a better generation is just around the corner.

    Either way, their faith is in men, not in Scripture and in Jesus.

    Like

  229. Ken – Which was not enough for the liberal agenda to go through. Too bad for the bad guys. Too bad for the protestant apologetic. You guys keep crossing your fingers and hoping we slip up some time…. maybe in the next thousand years or so…… Dont hold your breath….

    Erik – Address Vatican II and the fact that Protestants and Muslims can now go to heaven. Slip ups?

    And that bad liturgical music?

    Like

  230. When those in the RCC hold the presupposition that the Pope and RC Church are perfect in every action and always have been, there is no room for conversation

    We disagree about this perfection and when we point out stark examples they go LaLaLaLa and off to their happy planet

    There is no room for conversation with people like this.

    Besides the term “conversation” has been ruined by extreme liberal views that pretend to be Christian

    Like

  231. I think all the protestants here agree 100% with that statement (at least I hope). There’s a lot of anti-Reformation Day sentiment on this blog.

    Kenneth, I’m agreeing with everything you’re saying (except I’m on the other side of your position). I especially appreciate you using the word “anathema” toward us separated brethren (not speaking sarcastically), and pointing out the irrelevancies of the gross sins of the laity (and pastors) to the truth of any confession.

    Katy, would that more Reformed were more skeptical of Reformation Day than Halloween.
    But there is something admirable about relating to Protestants per Trent (anathema), but the problem for Kenneth seems to be that his infallible magisterium has determined we’re brethren without repealing the anathema. I get simultaneously sinful and justified. What I don’t get is simultaneously anthematized and fraternalized. Maybe Kenneth is siding more with Trent than V2, but then that seems awfully Protestant-y, which raises the question of why he can employ private judgment in relation to his church without a problem but when we do it’s schismatic?

    It’s true that the sins of her members aren’t relevant to the truth of their confession (though also as with Protestants there is the problem of credibility). But the point has to do with the claim of having Thee Principled Means© (infallible magisterium) to settle disputes of faith and morals. Well, if things are so settled then why so much fracture and on-going dispute in the ranks? They love playing the 30k-Protestant-denoms card, but from over it sure looks like a lot of denial and hand waving. The gross sins and even the fracture wouldn’t be such a problem if it weren’t for the prior audacious claims—either show more settled faith and morals or dial down the prior claims.

    Like

  232. Zrim, but if you can have Trent as dogma and Vat 2 as pastoral practice, then maybe you keep homosexuality and divorce as sin as dogma and find a synodical way of regarding gay marriage and second marriages merely part of pastoral practie.

    You really can make it up as you go.

    Like

  233. If Kenneth doesn’t make sense to you, know that his fellow RC’s have noticed, too. Long debates with other Catholics at Stellman’s blog.

    He’s kind of homeless, just like Tom Van Dyke. The only difference is that Kenneth can post from his own computer.

    Keep that Marina Del Rey, library card, Tom.

    Like

  234. Eric,

    Wow, that youtube Halloween Mass/Mess clip is so revolting. They have outfits on and one guy has a Rickebacker bass! Why is such a great bass being wasted there? Sadly, many Prots are no better. But ya, Rome doesn’t have the gospel.

    Like

  235. MPS,

    The thing about that clip is the priest absolutely knows he’s a scoundrel. But hey, he’s in fellowship with the Bishop of Rome and apparently that’s all that counts these days.

    Like

  236. Jeff,

    “You have two choices. Either truth is determined — created, defined — by popes and councils.
    Or else it is objectively true.”

    This seems to be a false dichotomy or a conflation of ontology and epistemology. Objective truth can be identified/recognized – identification does not necessitate lack of objectivity. The OT had objective truth that was brought out by Christ and the Apostles.

    “And if objectively true, then it is logically possible that popes and councils might get it wrong. The bad guys might win a round. Or two.”

    Assuming Rome’s claims, it is no more logically possible for them to get it wrong as it was for the Apostles to get it wrong. Neither case implies there is no objective truth.

    Like

  237. kent
    Posted October 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
    Hopefully Tom and Ken get to hear the Gospel some day and believe.

    Don’t worry about l’il ol’ me. Or the Pope. Pray for your fellow Presbyterians.

    Like

  238. Amazing… I don’t log on for a day or so and get left in the dust. I think the most surprising thing I read is that I won’t be getting into heaven on account of being a protestant…uh oh! Oh wait, I’m not trusting in my association with other believers to get into heaven – I’m trusting in Christ’s work…whew!

    Like

  239. Clete – Assuming Rome’s claims, it is no more logically possible for them to get it wrong as it was for the Apostles to get it wrong. Neither case implies there is no objective truth.

    Erik – But didn’t Peter get it wrong? Paul corrected him.

    Who corrects Francis?

    Like

  240. Erik,

    “But didn’t Peter get it wrong? Paul corrected him.”

    So why don’t you think Peter might have gotten it wrong in 1/2 Peter? Maybe Paul got it wrong in his epistles as well unless he’s somehow just more special than Peter.

    “Who corrects Francis?”

    You don’t think popes have been corrected in the past?

    Like


  241. Kenneth,

    Any progress on the Church recognizing your marriage?

    If not, do they not view you as one of the fornicators you mention above?

    Oooo, that’s really dirty pool, dude.

    Darryl, at some point you’re responsible for the doings of your henchmen. I mean this blog is fronting for your religion/denomination/sect. Do you need to win this badly?

    [As for “Erik” referring to the truck stop thing, there has been some question about whether Dr. Hart has been blocking me from commenting.]

    [But if you don’t see me, it’s likely I’m either dead or blocked and this is my last will and testament. You may inquire about my health at esqtvd at aol dot com. If you see me on Twitter @DykeVanTom but not here, ask Darryl if he murdered me and whether it was with the knife or the candlestick.]
    _______________

    As to what the discussion is about besides Erik’s badgering and monkey-wrench tossing, yes, “fideism” figures into the Catholic belief in the papacy and magisterium. Thou art Peter, and ‘I will always be with you’ bit, which Thomas More used to argue both Christ and the Holy Spirit remaining with the church for some 1500 years.

    It’s fine to disagree about Bible interpretation, but I don’t think you should sneer at other people’s sincere beliefs like you do, Darryl. [Your henchmen merely follow suit. Not pretty. Not feeling the love of Jesus in all this.]

    [Not to mention your own Presbyterian Church is in much worse shape than the Catholic Church is or has ever been, theologically or cohesively.]

    Like

  242. Dr. Hart: “Zrim, but if you can have Trent as dogma and Vat 2 as pastoral practice, then maybe you keep homosexuality and divorce as sin as dogma and find a synodical way of regarding gay marriage and second marriages merely part of pastoral practice.

    You really can make it up as you go.
    Just watch. This is exactly what we’re gonna see. Maybe sooner than we think.

    Like

  243. @EC Yeah, interesting to compare the Athanasian Creed with the modern RC catechism. What was once “necessary” is now “necessary unless”… If that isn’t a change in doctrine, then I suspect that prohibitions on ssm and divorce today can “evolve” (ssm and divorce forbidden unless…). I wonder if these caveats are applicable retroactively? When your faith is a paradigm any number of post hoc addenda are admissible.

    Like

  244. Tom – Oooo, that’s really dirty pool, dude.

    Erik – Not really. Kenneth is the one who told us that the church views him as living with his sister instead of with his wife since she is Catholic, divorced, and remarried.

    Whatever allows the Church to sleep at night.

    Like

  245. Cletus,

    You don’t think popes have been corrected in the past?

    How many popes have been corrected since infallibility was invented at V1?

    Why does a pope need correction if He is infallible? Can’t he just pull the “what I just said was infallible card?

    Why can popes think they are being infallible when in fact they are not being infallible? (as in, the history of viewing Protestants as going to hell, The application of Unam Sanctum)?

    Oh yeah, the doctrine is infallible, not its application. Whatever. If the infallible interpreter can’t apply the doctrine infallibly, then infallibility is a shell game.

    Like

  246. foxy lady, “Assuming Rome’s claims, it is no more logically possible for them to get it wrong as it was for the Apostles to get it wrong. Neither case implies there is no objective truth.”

    there you go again putting the magisterium on a par with Scripture. Who ever said that the popes were inspired? When did anyone ever put together a canon of papal scripture?

    Oh, wait. Denzinger. Roman Catholics wouldn’t know what’s authoritative without a nineteenth-century German theologian. Talk about Protestant dilemmas.

    Like

  247. Darryl said:

    there you go again putting the magisterium on a par with Scripture. Who ever said that the popes were inspired?

    Ironically, the RC argument would be more coherent logically if they would claim that the popes and Magisterium were inspired in exactly the same way as the Apostles. Maybe one day they will, explicitly.

    Like

  248. Curt: I too hate the consolidation of wealth but believe that you don’t stop that consolidation by mandate as much as you do by extending democracy to the workplace of large industries.

    Me: How do you account for the fact that pure democracies always descend into group think and the tyranny of the mob? Athens, Jacobians, Fascists, to name a few. This blog is one example of millions of how group think functions. The minions gather and disparage anyone who falls outside of their particular orthodoxy; they cheer lead their fellow minions and call for the silencing the offenders (which to diggy’s credit he has denied). Erik’s diarrhetic posting of youtube links and stream of consciousness miasma act as a pagan mantra to reinforce the orthodoxy. This is almost like a law when it comes to group dynamics. OTOH, you say that some governmental coercion is necessary but you give no operating principle on how that works within a pure democracy?

    Like

  249. Mediating between Kenneth and CtC we have Ross Douthat, who is someone that I think is an admirable Catholic. I don’t think that the current controversy over the redefinition of Catholic doctrine *necessarily* undermines Catholic claims, but the reason that Douthat is such a breath of fresh air is that he is actually willing to admit that cognitive dissonance actually exists.

    In the week since, many Catholics have downplayed the starkness of what happened or minimized the papal role. Conservatives have implied that the synod organizers somehow went rogue, that Pope Francis’s own views were not really on the table, that orthodox believers should not be worried. More liberal Catholics have argued that there was no real chaos — this was just the kind of freewheeling, Jesuit-style debate Francis was hoping for — and that the pope certainly suffered no meaningful defeat.

    Neither argument is persuasive. Yes, Francis has taken no formal position on the issues currently in play. But all his moves point in a pro-change direction — and it simply defies belief that men appointed by the pope would have proposed departures on controversial issues without a sense that Francis would approve.

    And Douthat’s closing comments are incisive,

    [Conservatives] can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.

    These don’t refute Catholic truth claims, but they do temper the epistemological superiority bandied about by certain Catholic apologists.

    Like

  250. Darryl,

    “there you go again putting the magisterium on a par with Scripture.”

    No there I go again just stating what the magisterium claims – it has divine authority. So did the Apostles. But divine authority does not necessitate inspiration. Nor does it necessitate a lack of objective truth which was the original assertion being replied to.

    “Roman Catholics wouldn’t know what’s authoritative without a nineteenth-century German theologian.”

    I think RCs knew the faith before Denzinger. How could Denzinger be written otherwise?

    Erik,

    “Exactly.
    No monopoly on correct biblical interpretation — either in a particular man or men or in a particular city.”

    Uh, so 1/2 Peter might be wrong? If so, how can you perform “correct biblical interpretation” if Scripture must interpret Scripture? Who corrected Paul on his command for women to cover heads?

    Robert,

    “How many popes have been corrected since infallibility was invented at V1?”

    Erik was asking who corrects Francis. V1 took into account cases where popes had been corrected in how it crafted its decree on infallibility. So popes are not beyond correction.

    “Why does a pope need correction if He is infallible? Can’t he just pull the “what I just said was infallible card?”

    Sure, if he meant for something to be defined infallibly.

    “Why can popes think they are being infallible when in fact they are not being infallible? (as in, the history of viewing Protestants as going to hell, The application of Unam Sanctum)?”

    Formal membership in the RCC as a prerequisite for salvation was never an infallible doctrine nor taught by US, which is why you see witness to inclusivist views before and after US.

    Like

  251. foxy lady, well isn’t that convenient. But does the Bible claim divine authority for the popes?

    And oh by the way, is divine authority dogma or practice? How do you know?

    Like

  252. Cletus,

    Formal membership in the RCC as a prerequisite for salvation was never an infallible doctrine nor taught by US, which is why you see witness to inclusivist views before and after US.

    I guess all of those medieval popes and bishops that did things such as execute Hus and put a price on Luther’s head must have been wrong then. And we’re supposed to trust them?

    Like

  253. Robert, again everything done by the RCC is perfect to these folk, CVD and this ilk don’t even allow crimes and evil and contradictions to sink into their skulls.

    They can’t do it.

    Like

  254. Brandon – These don’t refute Catholic truth claims, but they do temper the epistemological superiority bandied about by certain Catholic apologists.

    …named Bryan.

    Like

  255. Papal infalliabity? How about God-al infallibility?

    From Ligonier’s new survey:

    “God is a perfect being and cannot make a mistake”

    Agree strongly 48%
    Agree somewhat 15%
    Disagree somewhat 13%
    Disagree strongly 10%
    Not sure 14%

    Self-identified Evangelicals who attend church Once a month or more (89%) are
    more likely to Strongly Agree than Other Christians (52%) and Non-Christians
    (23%). Black Protestants (71%) and Evangelicals (77%) are more likely to Strongly
    Agree than Catholics (44%) and Mainlines (45%)
    .

    http://ligonier-static-media.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/thestateoftheology/TheStateOfTheology-FullSurveyKeyFindings.pdf

    Like

  256. And in at least one area many Romanist believe with Da Papa:

    “There are many ways to get to heaven”

    Agree strongly 21%
    Agree somewhat 23%
    Disagree somewhat 12%
    Disagree strongly 30%
    Not sure 14%

    Self-identified Evangelicals who attend church Once a month or more (80%) are
    more likely to Strongly Disagree than Other Christians (24%) and Non-Christians
    (19%). Catholics (31%) are more likely to Strongly Agree than Mainlines (22%), Black
    Protestants (16%), and Evangelicals (7%)
    .

    http://ligonier-static-media.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/thestateoftheology/TheStateOfTheology-Whitepaper.pdf

    Like

  257. No cognative dissonance here. Now if the church officially had contradicting doctrine, then there would be some serious confusion. Be certain that no one leaves Protestant doctrinal disunity and becomes a Catholic if the Church is having the same problem. I wouldn’t have left a Reformed congregation if I wasn’t,epistemically, sure that a visible Church guided by the Holy Spirit did exist. What does everyone think that a lay Catholic is defending if not something that Protestants poke sticks at?
    I get my notion of there being such a thing as The Church from reading the scriptures that The Church has said are inspired. If it weren’t for The Church’s declaration that the scriptures are inspired, I wouldn’t know that they are. I don’t mean to say that they aren’t inspired,but that without the Church’s role as pillar and foundation of Truth being guided by the Holy Spirit, the congregation who desire to know all that God has revealed in writing, would only have a fallible assurance.

    Like

  258. *sigh*, so many errors, so little time between classes.

    Jeff,

    Neither does papal opinion.

    You are correct sir, Papal opinion does not determine orthodoxy. Which is a nuance most of you guys are missing. Papal opinion should be respected. Papal opinion should be studied. But it does not determine orthodoxy. For that, we turn to the official teachings of the magesterium, which may or may not include excathedra statements and papal encyclicals.

    You have two choices. Either truth is determined — created, defined — by popes and councils.

    Or else it is objectively true.

    This is a false delima. You have confused and conflated matters of ontology with epistemology (one of Roberts favorite errors). Objectively, the truth exists apart from any human beings approval. The million dollar questions are;

    1. How do we know what the truth is

    and

    2. How much certainty can we have of this truth?

    Your paradigm offers an answer to question 2 that I find utterly unacceptable.

    And if objectively true, then it is logically possible that popes and councils might get it wrong. The bad guys might win a round. Or two.

    And if the latter is the case, then you have no principled way of knowing whether your current church doctrine is actually true, or whether you just happen to believe it because the credentials hanging on the wall look so pretty.

    If the former is a case, well, you’re just a fideist.

    Because this dangles from the horns of a false delima it barely deserves a response…. but because I am such a nice guy ill give you one anyways 🙂

    The objective truth of a proposition doe snot entail the fallibility of the magesterium. Truth can exist objectively…. and part of that truth can be that the magesterium of the Catholic Church does not err when teaching to the entire church on faith and morals… the two are not mutually exclusive.

    Like

  259. Kenneth,

    Your paradigm offers an answer to question 2 that I find utterly unacceptable.

    By your own standards, then, you have to impute infallibility to yourself to be consistent and find Rome acceptable.

    Like

  260. Robert,

    No it wasn’t, but neither did anyone think that Nicea had automatically been blessed with guaranteed infallibility. Where is the teaching in the aftermath of Nicea that it was impossible going into it for Nicea to have gotten it wrong. Athanasius stands his ground based primarily on Scripture, especially since other councils and bishops are convening to make Arianism orthodox. What’s naive is this view of history that says Athanasius view of Nicea is the same as your view of Nicea, especially when even your view of ecumenical councils is inconsistent since you reject V2 and its open embrace of Trinity-denying groups as on the way to heaven—which Nicea explicitly rejected.

    Lets look at what the wonderful SAINT Athanasius had to say about Nicea.

    But the word of the Lord which came through the ecumenical Synod at Nicea, abides forever. (Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa 2; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)

    For the statements are not fit for Christians to make or to hear, on the contrary they are in every way alien from the Apostolic teaching. . . . It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this. But lest the ‘inventors of evil things’ make entire silence on our part a pretext for shamelessness, it will be well to mention a few points from Holy Scripture, in case they may even thus be put to shame, and cease from these foul devices. (Letter LIX to Epictetus, 3; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)

    Either then deny the Synod of Nicæa, and as heretics bring in your doctrine from the side; or, if you wish to be children of the fathers, do not hold the contrary of what they wrote. (Letter LIX to Epictetus, 4; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)

    Lest you think I take him out of context let us turn to Dr. Schaff

    The authority of these [ecumenical] councils in the decision of all points of controversy was supreme and final.

    Their doctrinal decisions were early invested with infallibility; the promises of the Lord respecting the indestructibleness of his church, his own perpetual presence with the ministry, and the guidance of the Spirit of truth, being applied in the full sense to those councils, as representing the whole church. After the example of the apostolic council, the usual formula for a decree was: Visum est Sprirtui Sancto et nobis. Constantine the Great, in a circular letter to the churches, styles the decrees of the Nicene council a divine command; a phrase, however, in reference to which the abuse of the word divine, in the language of the Byzantine despots, must not be forgotten. Athanasius says, with reference to the doctrine of the divinity of Christ: “What God has spoken by the council of Nice, abides forever.” The council of Chalcedon pronounced the decrees of the Nicene fathers unalterable statutes, since God himself had spoken through them. The council of Ephesus, in the sentence of deposition against Nestorius, uses the formula: “The Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has blasphemed, determines through this most holy council.” Pope Leo speaks of an “irretractabilis consensus” of the council of Chalcedon upon the doctrine of the person of Christ. Pope Gregory the Great even placed the first four councils, which refuted and destroyed respectively the heresies and impieties of Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, and Eutyches, on a level with the four canonical Gospels. In like manner Justinian puts the dogmas of the first four councils on the same footing with the Holy Scriptures, and their canons by the side of laws of the realm.

    (History of the Christian Church, Vol. III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity: A.D. 311-600, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974, from the revised fifth edition of 1910, 340-342; available online: see this particular portion online: § 65. The Synodical System. The Ecumenical Councils)

    Hmmmm….. Is Dr. Phillip Schaff naive too? On a side note, I think that one of the “rules of engagement” for dialog should be that we represent each others views accurately. You know that I do not “reject” Vatican 2 as a valid ecumenical council. I do not believe the texts involved teach error. I merely reject the pastoral programs offered (which are not infallible or binding on the faithful) such as the new ecumenism. I know that you know my views, we have been discussing them for years, why not at least try to give an accurate summary?

    Kenneth—when you are jumping up and down singing the praises of a LIVING infallible Magisterium as necessary and that LIVING Magisterium is having LIVING dissent on LIVING issues that are supposed to be settled, then dissent is most certainly relevant to the conversation.

    Well sure its relevant. It deserves to be mentioned. However, you are making no room for any of the nuance we have introduced in regards to ecclesiastical infallibility. You do not even take it into consideration. Its like talking to an atheist who continues to crow over and over again that there are discrepancies in the gospels and so therefore the bible contains errors. Or who who ridicules the Genesis account of creation a mere 6000 years ago in six literal days. Don’t you find those people annoying? Especially if they are aware of the nuance involved in the christian doctrines of biblical inerrancy and just ignore them to make some ridiculous point against the strawman of their own imagination. No one wants to be that guy…. at least I hope not? You should try to model Brandon Addison and Katy who seem, so far, to be the only people here willing to have an honest conversation.

    Like

  261. Susan,

    If there truly is no cognitive dissonance at all then you need to ask yourself why you feel fine with Francis’s liberal delegates (whom Douthat argues appear to be Francis’s own envoy) advocating a more “pastoral” approach to Catholics engaged in sexual immorality but an intellectual like Douthat, who shares a lot in common with you, recognizes that things are heading in a dangerous direction. Elsewhere Douthat has said he doesn’t believe that it’s even possible for the pope to reverse direction, but he acknowledges that current developments are cause for alarm.

    Again, this doesn’t falsify Catholicism (as Bryan seems to believe that DGH is attempting to do with his posts), but it does temper some of the rhetorical bravado about the superiority of the “CIP”. If some of your apologists took a page out of Douthat’s book I think the dialogue would be far more fruitful.

    Like

  262. Katy,

    I think all the protestants here agree 100% with that statement (at least I hope). There’s a lot of anti-Reformation Day sentiment on this blog.

    Kenneth, I’m agreeing with everything you’re saying (except I’m on the other side of your position). I especially appreciate you using the word “anathema” toward us separated brethren (not speaking sarcastically), and pointing out the irrelevancies of the gross sins of the laity (and pastors) to the truth of any confession.

    Well, you are welcome I suppose. I find ecumenism particularly annoying because it so often brings forth (at least what appears to be) intentionally ambiguous language in an attempt to foster unity. I prefer nice crisp lines.

    I almost went papist, then read the Angelic Doctor and became Lutheran. Post-Tridentine (and especially post-Vatican I, which really painted her in a corner) Rome is as schismatic as any First Apostolic Church of the Orthodox Universal Brethren in Christ Jesus of Crumpler, WV.* It’s just bigger, and older (but not so old as her members claim).

    I consider myself to be a student of Aquinas. I am completely mystified at how you think his writings led you to the Lutheran church. (I converted from the LCMS btw) Its always gives me vertigo whenever people read the same works and come to such radically different conclusions. Lord help us! lol

    Like

  263. Brandon Addison,

    I agree that our apologetic needs to be understood in a more realistic light. For better or worse protestants are getting a very cartoonish view of ecclesiastical infallibility. I dont think that any of the arguments presented at CtC are wrong…. but they do need to address the dark side of the coin as well. If people convert to the Catholic Church and expect to find some kind of ecclesiastical utopia they will be very disappointed. If they come in wanting the authentic version of what they left behind I think they will be very pleased.

    Like

  264. No there I go again just stating what the magisterium claims – it has divine authority. So did the Apostles. But divine authority does not necessitate inspiration. Nor does it necessitate a lack of objective truth which was the original assertion being replied to.

    (And some like sbd are worried about getting left behind in the “discussion”? Don’t you fret honey chile’. The romanists have already been raptured and live in their own universe from which they occasionally sally out and impart the truth to the inferior separated brethren. That, if it doesn’t remind one of Gulliver’s third to the flying island of Laputa populated by intelligent idiots which hovers over the land of Balnibari.)

    The suppressed premise that our theological better leaves out of his apologetical bon mot is that Rome claims infallibility for its magisterium’s ipsit dixit, inspiration or no. Mark that. Because said ipsit dixit is the fideistic cornerstone/magic wand for the Roman mindset/paradigm.
    Just so you know.

    True, when we ask a romanist how he knows this, the half hearted flip flop is a drive by appeal to “He who hears you, hears me”.
    But ultimately it boils down to ‘because the magisterium said so’.
    Because the magisterium teaches implicit faith in what the church believes – regardless if one knows what the church believes – is saving faith.

    IOW this is just more of the same old schlock. If it is not the defense of a thousand clarifications/equivocations – the “Nothing you have said falsifies what I have said” routine – it is the “No true infallible romanist believes or teaches that” fallacy paradigm.

    Until they do. Or Number One says so. Then the semper eadem freedom doctrine to recalibrate the ecclesiastical chameleon’s posture in conjunction with justification by ignorant faith kicks in, willing minds get airbrushed into conformity and the autopilot is reactivated.

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  265. Kenneth,

    Yes Athanasius believed that Nicea didn’t err. Now show me proof that He believed it could not have erred. That’s the rub. I don’t believe that Nicea erred on the Trinity either. But that’s the benefit of a backward glance, just with Athanasius.

    Hmmmm….. Is Dr. Phillip Schaff naive too? On a side note, I think that one of the “rules of engagement” for dialog should be that we represent each others views accurately. You know that I do not “reject” Vatican 2 as a valid ecumenical council. I do not believe the texts involved teach error. I merely reject the pastoral programs offered (which are not infallible or binding on the faithful) such as the new ecumenism. I know that you know my views, we have been discussing them for years, why not at least try to give an accurate summary?

    Part of the problem is that you keep vacillating on what you think actually happened there. Often you come off as thinking that the Satan almost won but the Spirit just barely was able to hold him back but wasn’t strong enough from keeping him from using the council to throw the church into all manner of confusion.

    And you can’t reject the ecumenism without rejecting Lumen Gentium. So, you can tell me all you want to that V2 was valid, but your complaints betray the fact that you don’t really. It’s absolute torture what you are doing with V2.

    Well sure its relevant. It deserves to be mentioned. However, you are making no room for any of the nuance we have introduced in regards to ecclesiastical infallibility. You do not even take it into consideration. Its like talking to an atheist who continues to crow over and over again that there are discrepancies in the gospels and so therefore the bible contains errors. Or who who ridicules the Genesis account of creation a mere 6000 years ago in six literal days. Don’t you find those people annoying? Especially if they are aware of the nuance involved in the christian doctrines of biblical inerrancy and just ignore them to make some ridiculous point against the strawman of their own imagination. No one wants to be that guy…. at least I hope not? You should try to model Brandon Addison and Katy who seem, so far, to be the only people here willing to have an honest conversation.

    I understand the nuance. The problem is that you all complain about us having no infallible interpreter when in practice you guys end up with the same thing. You don’t have an infallible interpreter of the infallible Magisterium because you aren’t infallible and you aren’t the Magisterium. You are effectively left on your own to fallibly interpret and apply infallible decrees, which is Protestant epistemology through and through.

    It’s not dishonesty—its pointing out problems that you all will not honestly acknowledge. It won’t even cause you to think twice. You all (you are a slight exception to be fair) are calling us to commune with an interpreter that is supposed to make things clear, but the interpreter doesn’t make things clear in the sense you want simply by speaking when it tolerates what an honest interpretation of its documents in context should prohibit. Basically what you guys do is make church statements self-interpreting and self-authenticating but you simply will not allow that for Scripture. That is the problem.

    If we need the church to be infallible, it must be infallible all the time. The parallel with atheism doesn’t work. I’m willing to take context into account. The problem is that when I do, your church looks even more fallible. The only way it won’t is if I buy into tortured ahistorical interpretations of your church’s documents. It’s the only way to reconcile US and LG and the behavior of your church.

    I get the nuance, but it doesn’t help your case. I provides more evidence that your case is faulty. When it is clear that what Trent or any other earlier council did not mean what Rome says they mean today, you have only a few possible choices:

    1. It doesn’t matter what the authors of Trent or anything earlier meant, it only matters what the church says it means today. (This is the radical apologetic I get from people such as Jonathan over on CCC).

    2. The church has changed its dogma and can err.

    The first is not defensible on anything but fideistic grounds, and it makes sense on fideistic grounds. The second actually accords with the evidence on the ground. What doesn’t make sense is the “well the church declared doctrine infallibly, but its current Magisterium is getting it wrong, but nevertheless we should continue to believe the church is infallible and submit to the Magisterium” (the position that you are trying oh so inconsistently to maintain).

    When we say Scripture is infallible, we are talking about everything it affirms, not just half a sentence here and there.

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  266. The objective truth of a proposition does not entail the fallibility of the magesterium. Truth can exist objectively…. and part of that truth can be that the magesterium of the Catholic Church does not err when teaching to the entire church on faith and morals… the two are not mutually exclusive.

    And this is the problem with “honest” romanist conversations.
    Neither does the objective truth entail the infallibility of the magisterium, which is The performative paradigm/silent partner/objective truth presumed in all the above.
    To posit otherwise is to assume the prot paradigm and therefore is categorically off the chopping block table.
    Because it is uncharitable, sarcastic, patronizing etc. etc.

    But Snow White has no mirrors at her house?
    Do tell.

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  267. The problem is that you all complain about us having no infallible interpreter when in practice you guys end up with the same thing. You don’t have an infallible interpreter of the infallible Magisterium because you aren’t infallible and you aren’t the Magisterium. You are effectively left on your own to fallibly interpret and apply infallible decrees, which is Protestant epistemology through and through.

    Come on, Robert. You telling me that if the shoe fits, wear it and Cinderella ain’t barefoot?
    You have ruined my day.
    Besides the pope already has some dainty little pointed slippers, so he isn’t looking for an excuse to loot some Nikes.

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  268. Brandon,
    An substantial change in (T)raditional teaching as in dogma would falsify Catholicism. The law of contradiction must need apply to all things.
    The reason myself and other Catholics aren’t alarmed is that we still know that morality cannot be changed. Yes, there are probably liberals who would like an anything goes ecclesial world, but Catholic marriage won’t give up the conserving aspect of its nature, and that ontologically. It can be nothing else but between one man and one women.
    The worry that an intellectual like Douthat has is that Pope Frances is too left leaning, because it will have peripheral consequences for The Church, as in continued media confusion and maybe even confused pastors who perhaps won’t do their homework and learn what the final word of the synod actually means. So we as members of Christ’s Body are still called upon to pray for the synod, our cardinals, bishops, and the Pope,that God will lead His Church into all truth, but it isn’t with fear that we do so, as if we believe that God has forgotten His promise to us.

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  269. What I’m trying to say is that if we believe that God has infallibly guided the church in the past, preserving her from error by people who were within the Church herself then why wouldn’t we trust that she will still be kept from error. To my thinking it is problematic to say that she narrowly missed running upon the shoals of a host of Christological errors through the centuries, but she wrecked the ship at Trent. If she wrecked at Trent, I have no guarantee that she was correct prior or will be correct from Trent on into the future.

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  270. CW,

    I’m not sure that many of our RC interlocutors will see a fall if/when it happens. The notion of ecclesiastical infallibility is so qualified, and Bryan is so verbose, that they can make the Magisterium say square when plainly they said circle in the past.

    Its credulity.

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  271. Susan,

    To my thinking it is problematic to say that she narrowly missed running upon the shoals of a host of Christological errors through the centuries, but she wrecked the ship at Trent. If she wrecked at Trent, I have no guarantee that she was correct prior or will be correct from Trent on into the future.

    Why? Why is it inherently impossible for the church to be right on some things and wrong on others? Why does leading people into all truth mean that the church has to get it right the first time every time?

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  272. Susan.

    Douthat’s whole point is summarized by his statement in his latest column [http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/why-i-am-a-catholic/?module=BlogPost-ReadMore&version=Blog%20Main&action=Click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body#more-20448]:

    I’ve written at length, as have others more qualified than myself, on why this allegedly-pastoral change would, in fact, represent a substantial alteration of doctrine on a very consequential issue — either the doctrine surrounding marriage, the doctrine surrounding sin, confession and the Eucharist, or by effect and implication both.

    Douthat also links to an article composed by Dominican theologians at various Catholic institutions that Douthat indicates says that same thing (I haven’t read it myself). You can find that article here: http://nvjournal.net/files/essays-front-page/recent-proposals-a-theological-assessment.pdf

    All that to say, Douthat’s concern is *not* media coverage. As I quoted him at the conclusion of his Sunday Op-Ed, he even suggested that faithful Catholics may need to rebel against their Papa in order to retain papal infallibility!

    I’m truly concerned for you because I believe that you’ve bought something that you don’t fully understand and I’m afraid you may soon have buyers remorse. The fact that you don’t see these changes looming makes me even more concerned for you.

    I don’t claim to be a prophet, but mark my words that disillusionment with the RCC is on the horizon for converts. As one person privately told me (someone you would identify as someone friendly to the project at CtC), “The converts who came in for Benedict are going to come out because of Francis.My hope is that they do not abandon the faith entirely.” That is my hope as well and if you ever want to drop me a line, you have my personal e-mail.

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  273. Susan – I get my notion of there being such a thing as The Church from reading the scriptures that The Church has said are inspired. If it weren’t for The Church’s declaration that the scriptures are inspired, I wouldn’t know that they are.

    Erik – So you trust the Scriptures because the Church tells you they’re inspired.

    Who are you trusting to tell you that the Church is trustworthy?

    It can’t be the Scriptures, so what or who is it?

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  274. Brandon,

    Listen, I believe that you are concerned for me, but to be honest, I think that concern is a glib and gleeful kind if you are offering that I can give you a personal call so that you can direct me to somebody/anybody else’sversion of the true church, when the church that has been the church from Christianity’s inception goes to rot. No thank you, if that happened my foundation would crumbled and so would yours because it would mean that Christianity is not true.
    Yes, there are many Catholics who think Pope Francis is shooting from the hip, and are concerned, but the Holy Spirit will guide the church through these rough waters too. People may leave but they will leave because they think that there can still be Christianity without Papal infalliblity. They simply don’t understand the implications. You don’t leave because things get bad, you stick around and pray for her. Through the consenus of the Cardinals things will straighten out, because a nuanced and middle way will be found. So while doctrines “surrounding” those issues may be affected the sacraments themselves will not be altered in such a way that undermines their integrity and efficacy

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  275. Susan (who seems a very nice lady) says: “Now if the church officially had contradicting doctrine, then there would be some serious confusion.”
    I have seen nothing BUT confusion from Rome in my 50 years on this earth.

    Susan says: “I get my notion of there being such a thing as The Church from reading the scriptures that The Church has said are inspired. If it weren’t for The Church’s declaration that the scriptures are inspired, I wouldn’t know that they are. I don’t mean to say that they aren’t inspired,but that without the Church’s role as pillar and foundation of Truth being guided by the Holy Spirit, the congregation who desire to know all that God has revealed in writing, would only have a fallible assurance.”
    This is fatal and is the primary reason why WCF I:IV is so incredibly important. All the mischief starts right here. (I apologize if somebody already said that.)

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  276. Susan: An substantial change in (T)raditional teaching as in dogma would falsify Catholicism. The law of contradiction must need apply to all things.

    The reason myself and other Catholics aren’t alarmed is that we still know that morality cannot be changed.

    And there’s the issue in a nutshell. You know ahead of time that substantial changes cannot occur. Ergo, any appearance of a substantial change is merely illusory.

    The law of contradiction need not apply if the conditions for contradiction are not established ahead of time!

    Meanwhile, here is a substantial change. Paul declares that elders should be husbands of one wife, able to manage their children well — for if they cannot manage their own households, how will they manage the house of God?

    The RC church declares that elders shall be husbands of no wife at all, for their care is solely for the church.

    This is clearly, obviously, and certainly a substantial change. But not if we are first certain that no substantial change will ever happen!

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  277. Susan,

    You seem to have this faith that good will prevail in the Church, but what you fail to realize is that once you’ve bought in, it will be your view of what “good” is that will change. Once you’ve bought in, what alternative do you have?

    A book that comes to mind is Tom Wolfe’s excellent “I am Charlotte Simmons”. Charlotte is not the same young woman at the end of the book that she is in the beginning. She starts out counter-cultural but ends up fully assimilated. That’s how life works once we’ve bought in.

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  278. Jeff,

    If that is the issue in a nutshell, then perhaps this will help clear it up.

    “First, whenever there is an exercise of ecclesiastical authority that binds the conscience, we must obey it. We can never rightly disobey what binds our conscience. Second, we must distinguish between authentic Magisterial teaching on faith and morals on the one hand, and on the other hand prudential judgments, disciplines, or practices. The former do not change by contradiction; they develop only in continuity. The latter, however, can come and go, and even contradict previous decisions, because they are temporally conditioned, and the Church’s leaders are fallible with respect to them. (On prudential judgments, see “The “Catholics are Divided Too”” post.) In the case of the latter [i.e. prudential judgments], we are to be guided by an informed conscience (informed by the natural law and the authentic Magisterial teaching on faith and morals). It is incumbent upon us all to seek to inform our conscience, so that it may be a more reliable guide. As the Catechism teaches:

    Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings. (CCC 1783)”

    This was copied from CTC and was written by Bryan Cross.

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  279. Susan
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    “…and the Church’s leaders are fallible with respect to them”

    Susan, this is their straw man. If the Catholic Church is ever wrong on anything, it is wrong on everything. Yet the Church doesn’t claim perfection from stem to stern.

    Meanwhile, these sola scripturists avoid explaining how they themselves permit divorce and remarriage when Christ is explicitly on the record against it. Who is the more faithful keeper of the scriptural Word, them or the Magisterium?

    Don’t let them bully you or diminish you with their pettiness. Testify, sister. The Reformation needs a helluva lot of reforming itself.

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  280. Jeff,

    You also said:”Meanwhile, here is a substantial change. Paul declares that elders should be husbands of one wife, able to manage their children well — for if they cannot manage their own households, how will they manage the house of God?”

    There has been no change here. The Elders in the Catholic Church that I’ve met so far, or heard about, have all been married. If there are unmarried elders I don’t know about them.
    Rgarding Priest’s, it is a different story. I know Priests that are unmarried, but there are ministers who have come into full communion with the Catholic Church through Pope Benedict XVI Personal Ordinariate. These men are former Anglican Priests who gave up their protests.

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  281. Susan
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink
    Thank you, Tom

    Even though Darryl’s letting his henchman “Erik” do his ridicule thing, my comments are being blocked. If you don’t see me again, that’s why.

    Very risible considering Darryl writes entire posts to sites that don’t accept comments. I used to give Darryl credit for allowing my comments, but he blocks me when I cut to close to the bone.

    Keep it up. My only question remains whether they don’t understand what you’re saying or they just pretend not to.

    BTW, except for the fundies, Protestantism is going to hell.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/last-episcopalian-been-born/

    I wonder whether Calvinism will even be around in another century or two. Perhaps it was just a fad…

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  282. Susan,

    Can Tom stop by and post from your home computer?

    Not every day, just occasionally as he keeps moving to fool Darryl’s blocking technology.

    Keep testifying and he just might go to church.

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  283. Susan,

    Nice bob and weave. You’re learning.

    Why does the RCC forbid clergy from marrying when Scripture does not?

    Jewish clergy could and can also marry and they predate the RCC by hundreds of years.

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  284. Tom,

    While I was still investigating the Catholic Church(and I did so because of the confusion within mainline Protestantism), someone told me that Pentacostalism was rapidly growing in South America. I heard him, understood him, but was honestly wondering what “that”had to do with the fact that there has to, by necessity, be ecclesial authority or every doctrine we debate and argue is relegated to the field of opinion and forces us all to just be quiet. If there is no way to have doctrinal unity then all we will ever do is argue and splinter.

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2012/11/the-catholics-are-divided-too-objection/

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  285. Susan,

    If there is no way to have doctrinal unity then all we will ever do is argue and splinter.

    But at least its more honest than arguing while the Magisterium ignores division. Explain to me again how the infallible Magisterium keeps welcoming both anti-abortion and pro-abortion politicians to the Eucharist with open arms and that not be division?

    And what is the principled means by which you know that your understanding of the Magisterium is correct but Nancy Pelosi’s isn’t?

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  286. Jeff!

    I sincerely apologize! I don’t know how I messed that up. The married men I was speaking of are deacons, not elders. So sorry for that.

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  287. And some like sbd are worried about getting left behind in the “discussion”?

    Not worried…just too lazy to go back and read all the comments I missed. I remain convinced that the triumphalist claims from the RC apologists need to candidly confront the failure of their communion to pass on their faith to their own people or measurably improve their communities. Simply pretending the stats are made up or aren’t relevant because the theory is really, really true is a form of denial and intellectual dishonesty (Cargo Cult Theology?). In addition, they need to allow the very significant changes that flow through the teaching. A good example is the Athanasian Creed which makes remarkably absolutist claims about one must believe to avoid eternal damnation on the one hand and the modern RC catechism that gives everyone and their brother an out. The post hoc explanations to keep the artifice standing is simply not compelling to folks not already convinced…nor is it necessary to establish the reliability of the Christian faith (and the authority of the scriptures in particular). For those in love with the paradigm motif, the data/theory relationship (and fallibility) should be a compelling model for making sense of the infallibility of data without an infallible authority. So we are left with a “paradigm” that is ineffective and unnecessary.

    It is interesting to contrast Douthat’s caveats and case with what one hears from the CtC and coffeehouse gadflies. I found this statement quite interesting…

    the search for authority in Christianity began not with pre-emptive submission to an established hierarchy, but with early Christians who “wanted to know whether the teachings of their bishops and priests were in conformity with what Christ taught” — is crucial to my own understanding of the reasons to be Catholic: I believe in papal authority, the value of the papal office, because I think that office has played a demonstrable role in maintaining the faith’s continuity, coherence and fidelity across two thousand years of human history. It’s that role and that record, complicated and checkered as it is, that makes the doctrine of papal infallibility plausible to me, rather than the doctrine that controls my reading of the record, and indeed if you asked me to write a long defense of “infallibility” as a concept I’m sure I’d end up caveat-ing it a lot more heavily than some Catholics of fiercer orthodoxy

    I’m sympathetic, but I think the problems with comparative religion are deeply problematic:
    1) Perhaps it wasn’t the Pope, but the political power that mattered
    2) Islam is a religion of the book that has not splintered, yet is without a pope (though that isn’t exactly true in the US context where it has splintered to a much greater degree than in lands without freedom, wealth, and the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the US – perhaps these are far more crucial than one’s epistemological theory).
    3) Eastern Orthodoxy seems to have done pretty well sans Pope for 1000 years. Again, perhaps it is temporal power that matters. It’s a lot harder to start a new evangelical church in Russia or Greece than in London or NYC.

    I worry about those who have converted to Rome in a search for certainty (particularly those who have broken up their families to do so). Mixed religion families do a particularly poor job of passing any faith at all onto their kids. Rome is big on rules in a way that sets up people for failure (EO has a much more sane approach to marriage for example – more in keeping with Christ’s caveats than Rome) and lacks Gospel to give people hope (buying out some time in purgatory by attending a youth rally isn’t quite the same as trusting Christ to keep the law for me and having his righteous imputed to me). In my experience the RC model tends to lead to folks who give up and become recovering catholics or cafeteria catholics on one hand and folks who double down all the way to the Latin Mass on the other. Moderate orthodox RCs seem to rest on an unstable saddle point. But what do I know? I’ve never won a game show and don’t even have my own blog.

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  288. Robert,

    Dissenting Catholics are not the magisterium. I can read the Catechism and see that there is a place from which dissenters dissent. The Catholic Church does not “welcome” anyone who chooses to ignore morality but will receive them again when they sincerly repent. This is good news for all of us, Robert.

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  289. And in the time between when I started typing my comment at work today to when I posted it, a whole new page of comments has been added.

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  290. Dissenting Catholics are not the magisterium. I can read the Catechism and see that there is a place from which dissenters dissent. The Catholic Church does not “welcome” anyone who chooses to ignore morality but will receive them again when they sincerly repent. This is good news for all of us, Robert.

    How do you know? Some RCs tell me it is the spirit, not the letter that matters. Why is your textual rendering of the catechism to be preferred?

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  291. Susan
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    While I was still investigating the Catholic Church(and I did so because of the confusion within mainline Protestantism), someone told me that Pentacostalism was rapidly growing in South America. I heard him, understood him, but was honestly wondering what “that” had to do with the fact that there has to, by necessity, be ecclesial authority or every doctrine we debate and argue is relegated to the field of opinion and forces us all to just be quiet. If there is no way to have doctrinal unity then all we will ever do is argue and splinter.

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2012/11/the-catholics-are-divided-too-objection/

    There is no question that the Catholic Church–like any gathering of human beings–needed and needs and will always need reforming.

    Thje problem is that the “reformers”–or The Reformers–are no better than that which they aspre–or presume–to reform.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchers?

    Darryl sit back in his bunker shooting at ducks, but when does he have to defend HIS religion, his version of Christianity?

    Meanwhile, these sola scripturists avoid explaining how they themselves permit divorce and remarriage when Christ is explicitly on the record against it. Who is the more faithful keeper of the scriptural Word, them or the Magisterium?

    This Darryl cannot answer. So he tries to block me, and his defenders are hushed.

    As for his Renfield, his Igor, the man he lets do his dirty work, one “Erik Charter,” Erik recently shocked his Old Life compatriots [and Darryl remained silent] that it would be better to join a Lutheran congregation than a liberal Calvinist [PCUSA?] one.

    Now THAT was interesting. Unfortunately, Darryl and his sub-sub-sect don’t listen to Erik either. Sorry, Erik, but you’re just a useful idiot for Darryl. Cannon fodder. Susan and I treat you with more respect than your co-religionists do.

    Calvinism is a tough town.

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  292. cw, you’re missing the point. RC’sm is an abstraction. Doesn’t matter what people do. They have THE truth and THE mechanism. Everything else is gruel.

    Though it is curious how the abstractions that buttress apologists’ claims make Roman Catholicism one of the most gnostic and antinomian forms of Christianity imaginable. It doesn’t matter what anyone does — bishops or laity — the abstractions are still in force.

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  293. Susan,

    I wouldn’t have left a Reformed congregation if I wasn’t,epistemically, sure that a visible Church guided by the Holy Spirit did exist. What does everyone think that a lay Catholic is defending if not something that Protestants poke sticks at? I get my notion of there being such a thing as The Church from reading the scriptures that The Church has said are inspired. If it weren’t for The Church’s declaration that the scriptures are inspired, I wouldn’t know that they are.

    Lots of “I’s” there for someone who left behind Protestant opinions.

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  294. loser ken, part of the reason for the cartoonish view is that the Callers (and you sometimes) say that having an infallible magisterium fixes everything. Sure it doesn’t make the church everywhere holy in all it does. But what you don’t seem to recognize is that if you can agree that bishops do make mistakes or even err or disagree among themselves, how do you know that the dogmatic stuff taught by the infallible teachers is correct? You seem to say that above it all, the church has truth on its side irrespective of what the bishops do — they can never change the truth. Well, then you know the truth apart from the bishops and you judge them by the truth.

    That’s Protestant. It’s not pray, pay and obey.

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  295. Loser Ken,

    Was Nicea infallible about this:

    Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail.

    Rome’s jurisdiction wasn’t universal.

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  296. Susan, from the article:

    …but they are incapable of being promoted to sacred orders unless they separate from their wives, and make a vow of perpetual continence.

    From Jesus: What God has joined together, let no man separate.

    What kind of evidence would actually persuade?

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  297. igasx,
    No form of gov’t can guarantee a decent life, but some are more prone than others and, because it distributes power, a full democracy, unlike that which was started by the Jacobins, gives us the best structure at stopping the abuse of power–btw, you did make a bit of an overgeneralization about democracies. But by itself, it can’t make any guarantees. Below is link to one of my blogposts that describe the continuums involved in improving things from the current status quo.

    http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/2014/06/reviewing-cultural-case-for-capitalism.html

    One other factor can be found in the consciousness of the people. That factor is the extent to which people externalize evil. The more they do, the more they will act as some of the groups you mentioned from the past. Avoiding the externalization of evil is an area where Martin Luther King Jr excelled with his prohibition against internal violence, his passion for winning opponents over, and his ability to blending views from opposing schools of thought.
    .

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  298. Susan – While I was still investigating the Catholic Church(and I did so because of the confusion within mainline Protestantism)

    Erik – The URCNA is Mainline Protestant?

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  299. Tom,

    Clint from Carmel-by-the-Sea called and said he would leave the screen door unlocked and the IPad is on the endtable off of the dining room. Don’t worry about the dog — he’s harmless. He says post all you like and bring in the milk in the morning on your way out.

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  300. (I think she meant mainstream Protestantism. But how she thinks it’s more divided than worldwide Catholicism is anybody’s guess.)

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  301. TVD: Very risible considering Darryl writes entire posts to sites that don’t accept comments. I used to give Darryl credit for allowing my comments, but he blocks me when I cut to close to the bone.

    Any post with two or more hyperlinks goes to Post Purgatory. Dunno if that’s your issue.

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  302. Robert,

    Yes Athanasius believed that Nicea didn’t err. Now show me proof that He believed it could not have erred. That’s the rub. I don’t believe that Nicea erred on the Trinity either. But that’s the benefit of a backward glance, just with Athanasius.

    As Schaff and I have already noted, the language Saint Athanasius uses is evidence that he believed it could not err.

    But the word of the Lord which came through the ecumenical Synod at Nicea, abides forever.
    Is it possible that the word of the Lord err? I dont think soooooo….

    For the statements are not fit for Christians to make or to hear, on the contrary they are in every way alien from the Apostolic teaching. . . . It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this. But lest the ‘inventors of evil things’ make entire silence on our part a pretext for shamelessness, it will be well to mention a few points from Holy Scripture, in case they may even thus be put to shame, and cease from these foul devices. (Letter LIX to Epictetus, 3; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)

    I follow Saint Athanasius lead. I am content with the fact that the reformers do not uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold to their errors…. but, if i feel like it, I may just peg you with a few scriptures for good measure. You fail to understand the full scope of Church authority in the early church…. This is not a new error… all heretics make the same mistake.

    Had Christ’s enemies thus dwelt on these thoughts, and recognised the ecclesiastical scope as an anchor for the faith, they would not have made shipwreck of the faith, . . . (Against the Arians III, 58; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)

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  303. “Any post with two or more hyperlinks goes to Post Purgatory. Dunno if that’s your issue.”

    Don’t falsify TVD’s persecution complex. It makes him feel special.

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  304. Robert (part II),

    you can’t reject the ecumenism without rejecting Lumen Gentium. So, you can tell me all you want to that V2 was valid, but your complaints betray the fact that you don’t really. It’s absolute torture what you are doing with V2.

    Lumen Gentium does not dogmatically define ecumenism. Lumen Gentium uses ecumenical language but does not somehow enshrine ecumenism into the deposit of faith for all time. So, yes, I can reject the new ecumenism and still hold that LG does not teach error.

    1. V2 was a valid (non-dogmatic) ecumenical council. As such, it is infallible when teaching on faith and morals.

    2. Various pastoral programs were offered at the council, none of which are binding on the faithful.

    3. Ecumenism is one such program.

    4. Ecumenism sucks.

    How is that torturous? Regardless of what you may think of my views (or where you think those views inevitably lead) it is uncharitable to present them in a way that I do not recognize. I will link to a video with Mike Horton on “how to disagree”. Maybe you will find it useful.

    I understand the nuance. The problem is that you all complain about us having no infallible interpreter when in practice you guys end up with the same thing. You don’t have an infallible interpreter of the infallible Magisterium because you aren’t infallible and you aren’t the Magisterium. You are effectively left on your own to fallibly interpret and apply infallible decrees, which is Protestant epistemology through and through.

    Our complaint is not that you are not infallible. Our complaint is that the protestant paradigm doesnt offer certainty of doctrine.We do not suffer from the same pitfalls are sola scriptura because we adhere to the STM triad. Each leg of authority infallibily identifies, authenticates, and expounds upon the others. No single leg of authority can offer religious certainty on its own. The failures are by now well documented with the sola scriptura experiment. Scripture, taken all by itself, can not be divinely authenticated (without circular reasoning) and can not be expounded upon with any certainty of accuracy (witness the many religions that appeal to scripture to prove competing claims). You say that we are “in the same boat”, but we are not, because we do not defend or proclaim sola ecclesia. You say we “do not have an infallible interpreter of the infallible interpreter” but in a very real sense we do. If ever confusion occurs on some teaching of the magesterium, some document of V2 for example, the faithful simply turn to Scripture and Tradition. If the feud continues (as it sometimes does) we await clarification from the infallible LIVING magesterium. In each instance, every leg we turn to offers us divine guidance and an authoritative voice. This is all obviously lightyears ahead of sola scriptura.

    If we need the church to be infallible, it must be infallible all the time. The parallel with atheism doesn’t work. I’m willing to take context into account. The problem is that when I do, your church looks even more fallible. The only way it won’t is if I buy into tortured ahistorical interpretations of your church’s documents. It’s the only way to reconcile US and LG and the behavior of your church.

    You do not believe that the words written in your bible “are infallible all the time”. You nuance that to death. You believe there are entire chapters of your bible that are not inspired but are just later additions or scribal errors. Anyone who has read the Chicago statement understands a WHOLE HOST of qualifications on biblical inerrancy. The atheism exampel works perfectly. In both cases people are just arguing against what their own imagination tells them infallibility should look like. Selective skepticism. Selective acceptance of nuance. Wack. Super wack.

    I get the nuance, but it doesn’t help your case. I provides more evidence that your case is faulty. When it is clear that what Trent or any other earlier council did not mean what Rome says they mean today, you have only a few possible choices:

    That is an unsupported assertion. The Church does not corrupt the teachings of previous councils although they may expand upon the existing truth of said works through doctrinal development.

    1. It doesn’t matter what the authors of Trent or anything earlier meant, it only matters what the church says it means today. (This is the radical apologetic I get from people such as Jonathan over on CCC).

    2. The church has changed its dogma and can err.

    With option 3 being that the Church has never contradicted itself and what the Church teaches today in in perfect harmony with what it has always taught in the past. I understand you do not like that option, but it isn’t just taken off the table because you want there to be only 2 choices instead of three.

    When we say Scripture is infallible, we are talking about everything it affirms, not just half a sentence here and there.

    What about the long ending of mark? What about the story of jesus drawing in the sand? “Let He who knows no sin cast the first stone”. Is that inspired? How do you know for sure?! Is James inspired? Luther didnt think so….. how do you know that it is for sure? The whole Catholic world ha sbeen waiting on the answer to these questions for centuries…. we probably wont get one before your microbrand of Christianity fades into obscurity and out of the history books all-together.

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  305. Kenneth,

    As Schaff and I have already noted, the language Saint Athanasius uses is evidence that he believed it could not err.

    But the word of the Lord which came through the ecumenical Synod at Nicea, abides forever.
    Is it possible that the word of the Lord err? I dont think soooooo….

    You’re flailing. Athanasius is looking back on the council and is noting that it did not err and because it did not err that is evidence of it being the word of the Lord. You and I both know that if Nicea had come to a different conclusion, he would not have said such a thing.

    Where is the evidence that Athanasius believed going into Nicea that it would have been possible for it to err. And if he did believe it was impossible for ecumenical councils to err, on what basis could he refuse to submit to the Arian councils that were called after Nicea. Nobody knew at the time that these would be rejected as ecumenical councils. The standards for ecumenical councils come later, not before. Take off your Rome-colored glasses.

    Athanasius’s ecclesiology may not have been Calvin’s, but it wasn’t Rome’s or Constantinople’s either.

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  306. This was copied from CTC and was written by Bryan Cross.

    If that is the issue in a nutshell, then perhaps this will help clear it up.

    No it just confirms the all around bias/incompetence of romanists to the question.

    “Second, we must distinguish between authentic Magisterial teaching on faith and morals on the one hand, and on the other hand prudential judgments, disciplines, or practices.”

    “We must distinguish”. This is the mark of the beast, the dead giveaway, the blindman’s poker tell that no matter how much Bryan tries to philosophically doublecross his hearers with a shell game of red herrings, epistemologically he ultimately has to appeal to the believer’s private judgement. End of story. The guy is a prot in wolf’s clothing.

    But that’s been the case all along and it has been amusing to see the various permutations dandled before our eyes in hopes that like babes in Toyland we will join the vicious delusion.

    Priests?
    They offer sacrifices. As divinely directed.
    But after Christ, a high priest after the order of Melchizedek accomplished his work at Calvary Heb.7-10, there no longer remains any sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
    IOW the Aaronic priesthood of the OT Jews has been permanently retired and the pseudo Aaronic priesthood of Romanism is a blasphemous presumption that denies Christ even as fulsomely and nominally it professes to honor him in the sacrifice of the mass.

    Yeah, I know what the Catechism says. Yeah, I know sean needs a real Roman Catholic upbringing. Yeah I know the Magisterium is supposed to be infallible because Athanasius said so . . . . yadda yadda yadda.

    Would it be too much to ask Bryan & Co. to at least come up with something new for a change?

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  307. DGHART,

    loser ken, part of the reason for the cartoonish view is that the Callers (and you sometimes) say that having an infallible magisterium fixes everything. Sure it doesn’t make the church everywhere holy in all it does. But what you don’t seem to recognize is that if you can agree that bishops do make mistakes or even err or disagree among themselves, how do you know that the dogmatic stuff taught by the infallible teachers is correct? You seem to say that above it all, the church has truth on its side irrespective of what the bishops do — they can never change the truth. Well, then you know the truth apart from the bishops and you judge them by the truth.

    The magesterium is very helpful…. but it doesn’t fix *everything*. You are also lacking in the area of Sacred tradition. We know that the “dogmatic stuff” is correct because of said Tradition and also from Sacred Scripture. All three legs of authority are needed or else you get…. well… the circular reason that is so common place with sola scriptura adherents

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  308. The magesterium is very helpful…. but it doesn’t fix *everything*. You are also lacking in the area of Sacred tradition. We know that the “dogmatic stuff” is correct because of said Tradition and also from Sacred Scripture. All three legs of authority are needed or else you get…. well… the circular reason that is so common place with sola scriptura adherents

    Thus spaketh Pope Kenneth.
    (But not to worry. The Nihil Obstat Imprimatur rubber stamp will arrive shortly by Fed Ex. The pontiff’s Dagon’s fish hat mitre will take a little longer. )

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  309. Loser Ken, “Our complaint is that the protestant paradigm doesnt offer certainty of doctrine.”

    How certain is RC doctrine when everyone I ask about church teaching refers me to a reference work that aggregates all the church’s teachings (Denzinger) even though only two church teachings are infallible?

    Please tell us, lk, where we can find RC teaching? Catechism of Trent, Baltimore Catechism, JPII Catechism?

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  310. Kenneth,

    All three legs of authority are needed or else you get…. well… the circular reason that is so common place with sola scripture adherents

    Unlike the non-circular Roman reasoning:

    Scripture and tradition point us to the church

    How do we know what Scripture and tradition are?

    The church tells us infallibly.

    The church tells us what points to the church. Brilliant.

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  311. Darryl,

    How certain is RC doctrine when everyone I ask about church teaching refers me to a reference work that aggregates all the church’s teachings (Denzinger) even though only two church teachings are infallible?

    Talk to a Romanist long enough and the answer will be “We only have to produce one infallible teaching to show we’re better, nyah, nyah, nyah.” Then, when you cite a Bible verse as our infallible teaching, you’ll get a “well what’s the infallible interpretation of that.”

    For some reason, US and LG notwithstanding, RC doctrine is perspicuous.

    Meanwhile, the bishops can’t figure out that homosexuality is a sin on their first go-round. Things would have been so much better for the Arians if they had waited until today to make their move.

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  312. At least some conservative Catholics are thinking more honestly about the fallibility of infallibility:

    Even if such “annulment reform” did not explicitly change the Church’s doctrine on sacramental marriage, it would be a de facto evasion of the doctrine’s principles; this would seemingly be tantamount to the Pope effectively contradicting dogma and, hence, seriously undermining the plausibility of papal infallibility if not rendering it an ecclesial fiction. Why the latter? Consider the immense challenge of believing in papal infallibility (or possibly even in the traditional deference given to the pope as a spiritual father) in a context where the pope, as the one officer of the Church who is capable of invoking such supreme authority, is also effectively and intentionally destroying the Church’s previously established infallible dogmas (and possibly prior ex cathedra teachings) via an artful “back door” means that does not require him to issue new “ex cathedra” teaching. It would be difficult to believe that “ex cathedra” pronouncements from such an office are always (and guaranteed by God to be) correct if the very same office can and is used to creatively nullify established infallible dogmas. The office’s undermining of truth in one instance would render it insufficiently reliable (at least to the extent necessary for meeting the high threshold of infallibility) for revealing truth in another instance. Furthermore, one’s doubt in the papal office might also be compounded through considering the possibility of such truth-undermining papal actions becoming a practice, especially once a clear precedent for such creative undermining is established; this pope and other popes could intentionally use various creative means to effectively destroy all sorts of inconvenient dogma beyond those related to marriage without ever changing the Church’s official teaching…

    http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2014/10/papal-permissiveness-via-annulment-reform/

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  313. Kenneth – The objective truth of a proposition doe snot entail the fallibility of the magesterium.

    “doe snot en tail?”

    Q: What was the result of a buck backing up to a doe with a cold?

    A: doe snot en tail

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  314. Zrim,

    The best quote from the piece you linked to is this one:

    Perhaps the best route for traditionalists Catholics hoping to dissuade Francis from pursuing such permissive “reforms” is for them to consciously and cunningly organize themselves into a formidable intense minority/majority within the Roman Church. This would at least preclude Francis from indulging in the self-delusion that traditionalists Catholics will be reliably docile and compliant if he pushes the Church off what Douthat calls “the precipice.”

    So, because the infallible pope in the exercise of his teaching office (which he is supposed to do infallibly) might teach error, the solution is for the true RCs to form a large enough voting block to counter him? This is how infallibility works? It sounds more like the U.S. Senate.

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  315. Ken: The objective truth of a proposition does not entail the fallibility of the magisterium.

    Right, but it does mean that infallibility, if true, is synthetic and not analytic: It is (hypothetically) a special property of the magisterium that has to be argued for, and it not simply true by definition.

    The way that Susan and others are arguing is that there just *has* to be an infallible magisterium, or else no way of knowing the truth.

    The very notion of objective truth speaks against this. If there is, in fact, objective truth, then we might well be able to know it outside of an infallible magisterium. There does not *have* to be an infallible magisterium.

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  316. Curt- Yours is a classic example of Doublethink which is a dynamic of groupthink. Your mantra regarding externalizing violence, blending schools of opposing thought, use of the word democracy with a meaning that conflicts with it’s normal usage creating an assumed association is a conscious act of unconsciousness. There’s no there there. It’s all a mishmash of conflicting ideologies. It has no application in the real world except as a tool for tyrants. The irrationality built into “class consciousness” by way of conformity can only lead to dehumanizing actions directed against outgroups or individuals. Your ideal “democracy” is by definition an existential fallacy. The actions of a group does not necessarily lead to the betterment of a particular individual.
    Carl, the reason the progressive elites push class consciousness is because it stunts critical thinking, distorts reality, and impairs the moral judgement of the sheeple who drink the elixir. With the sheeple in a confused state the progressive elites convince them that evil is good and that authoritarianism is democracy.

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  317. Is Peter Daniel Haworth is a Roman Catholic or an “insider”?

    Why not read the perspective of a Catholic to gain proper insights and understanding and a more balanced or nuanced perspective? There are plenty around …

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  318. Robert, kind of like playing with a Ouiji board (happy Halloween). Or shooting marbles to decide which parts of the Bible are infallible (Jesus Seminar).

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  319. Jeff, and this is how CtCers remind me of theonomists. For the former, the Bible is insufficient to norm ecclesiastical life so we need a pope to give us doctrinal certainty; and for the latter, natural revelation is insufficient to govern civil life so we need special revelation to give us political certainty. The lack of faith in God’s respective books to do what they are ordained to do in their respective orders is staggering, not to mention the high octane demand for certainty in this life that has never been promised.

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  320. From Zrim’s link:

    “Take, for instance, the hypothetical case of a well-meaning, but misguided, pope who is more concerned with advancing his sentimentalized view of “love” than he is in understanding the importance of correct doctrine (let alone providing doctrinally correct leadership to his church). Is it not plausible that such a pope might run rough-shod over important doctrine in hopes of better advancing the church’s “love” to the world? Furthermore, might such a pope find it necessary to accomplish this through a de facto evasion of long-standing doctrine via a pastoral directive that effectively undermines such doctrine?”

    Just a hypothetical, of course…

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  321. Igasx,
    Your last note simply tries to label to discredit. And unfortunately, unfortunate because this is not only a Christian site, this is a reformed site, your note is par for the course here.

    You label without documents or proving. That others have tried to develop hybrids of competing schools is not new. Martin Luther King Jr. did that when he compared and contrasted Capitalism with Marxism (see starting with page 92, http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/ows/seminars/aahistory/Pilgrimage.pdf). All such hybrids do is to recognize valid concerns of competing views and try to blend them together.

    Also, there are a number of definitions of democracy in play and how many one considers depends on one’s location. In America, democracy is fully exhausted by restricting voting to candidates of one of two parties every x number of years. Here, republic and democracy are synonyms despite the limits we put on the implementation of democracy. Back during the founding fathers’ time, the democracy they recognized as such was more of a pure democracy. Go to Europe and both the Left and Right here and you will see that democracy includes protests and other actions. The general concept behind democracy is that the people rule. What I just mentioned are ways by which that rule takes place.

    Finally, I didn’t say democracy would guarantee wanted results. All I said is that structurally speaking, democracy distributes power. Other factors need to come into play to give the democratic structure a chance to improve things for more people. So if you are going to try to discredit what I am saying, at least be accurate in what you try to discredit.

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  322. Curt, presumably you want democracy to evenly redistribute “power” to individuals. Why not reject the use of power instead of redistributing it? It seems to me that power is the ability to control other people’s behavior. Why does gaining power appeal to you? I think you should be kind to your neighbors, not try to gain power and control over them.
    You are using democracy as power to redistribute power. This is still taking something from certain individuals to give to other individuals. I don’t see why democracy should be appealing to anyone except those without power that want power. I distrust people who are trying to gain power over people; that’s the domain of sociopaths.

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  323. Ross Douthat is someone we can do business with, unlike the Callers who are locked away in their bunker with their fingers in their ears and the Kenneth/Susan team who post from their Roman Catholic colony on the Planet Lovetron where logic and objectivity go to die.

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  324. Zrim,

    “The lack of faith in God’s respective books to do what they are ordained to do in their respective orders is staggering”

    Of course RCism views Scripture as ordained to function authoritatively within the scope of tradition and the ecclesia. If you mean the lack of faith in God’s respective books to function as the sole infallible authority in faith and doctrine, then yes, because that’s not their ordained purpose.

    “not to mention the high octane demand for certainty in this life that has never been promised.”

    Do you have high octane certainty what you identify as God’s respective books are indeed God’s respective books? Presumably you base your view that such certainty in this life has never been promised upon your reading of those books as teaching such. RCism isn’t stark rationalism so to characterize it as promoting certainty in that light isn’t warranted.

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  325. CvD, not high octane certainty but infallible assurance. Or like the man once said, I could be wrong but I doubt it. Can the pope say that? Only when the little red light of ex cathedra is off. But who is in charge of the light? Maybe the man behind the curtain. Keep your eye on the shell.

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  326. As the merry go round continues to turn.
    Or here we go again with the non sequiturs and serial inanities.

    Of course RCism views Scripture as ordained to function authoritatively within the scope of tradition and the ecclesia. If you mean the lack of faith in God’s respective books to function as the sole infallible authority in faith and doctrine, then yes, because that’s not their ordained purpose.

    There’s no doubt that history and the church play an important part in Christianity, but the marked inability of Bryan & Co. to deal with 2Tim.3:17 remains. If “every good work” does not include the good work of determining where the true church is to be found, words have no meaning and any idea of revelation revealing truth is nonsensical.
    Not to worry though, all this is categorically beyond the noumenal realm for B&C.

    Do you have high octane certainty what you identify as God’s respective books are indeed God’s respective books? Presumably you base your view that such certainty in this life has never been promised upon your reading of those books as teaching such. RCism isn’t stark rationalism so to characterize it as promoting certainty in that light isn’t warranted.

    But over and above this our theologicall parvenu insists that he does have high octane assurance that the church trumps Scripture at every turn outside of Matt. 16:18 narrowly considered.

    And Romanism isn’t raw fideism; a meretricious fraud and vicious circle, delusion, superstition.
    No indeedy, that can’t be because it can’t be.
    Never mind that Rome’s claims are self serving and a conflict of interest, while Scripture stands outside, above and before all other pretenders to supremacy, including the magisterium.

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  327. Bob,

    RCism agrees that Scripture is useful and profitable – that’s why it’s authoritative. Saying something is useful and profitable does not necessitate something is the sole infallible authority.

    “If “every good work” does not include the good work of determining where the true church is to be found”….”that the church trumps Scripture at every turn outside of Matt. 16:18 narrowly considered.”

    I take it you just weren’t thinking clearly.

    “Never mind that Rome’s claims are self serving and a conflict of interest, while Scripture stands outside, above and before all other pretenders to supremacy, including the magisterium.”

    That would be the Scripture you identify as a collection of books that has asterisked passages and remains ever-provisional and fallible right? Semper reformanda.
    And if Rome’s claims are self serving and a conflict of interest just because it claims divine authorization, I fail to see how the Apostles’ claims should not be cast in the same light (just as atheists and Jews would likely charge).

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  328. Cletus,

    That would be the Scripture you identify as a collection of books that has asterisked passages and remains ever-provisional and fallible right? Semper reformanda.

    If the presence of asterisked passages means there is no certainty as to what Scripture is, then you need to call up Francis and tell him to excommunicate all the RC textual critics who have worked alongside Protestants to tell us what should be asterisked and what shouldn’t be based on, you know, actual textual evidence.

    But we’re not holding our breath because Scripture for Rome is at best an afterthought. Rome could function just fine without the Bible. Synod’s on the family that can’t figure out what the Bible says about homosexuality and cohabitation on the first pass don’t lie. It doesn’t need tradition either. Remember one of your own claimed to be the tradition. Was he speaking ex cathedra then?

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  329. Like I said, more of the same old seriatum from the usual suspects.

    Blah blah blah. Of course we already know Romanists don’t agree that Scripture is the sole infallible supreme authority. So what?

    Thinking clearly?

    Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    No, it doesn’t say what it clearly says. It says what Rome clearly wants it to say.

    Koolaid? Red herring? Scripture is “ever provisional and fallible”? Ecclesia reformata est semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei/The reformed church is always being reforming by the word of God?
    Nah, don’t bother us with the facts, our paradigm is already made up.

    Ah yes, the old standby canard and unassailable/circular delusion: The magisterium = the Apostles.
    Never mind that Scripture clearly makes that claim for the Apostles, but never Rome.

    Get a new schtick please.

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  330. ‘Parvenu,’ now that’s a great word. It’ll be difficult to work that into everyday speech, though. I’ll give it a shot.

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  331. DGHART,

    How certain is RC doctrine when everyone I ask about church teaching refers me to a reference work that aggregates all the church’s teachings (Denzinger) even though only two church teachings are infallible?

    Please tell us, lk, where we can find RC teaching? Catechism of Trent, Baltimore Catechism, JPII Catechism?

    Any of those catechisms would be perfect. Again, I keep on hearing from you guys how *nobody* understands RC teaching…. but the weird thing is, people Like Michael Horton, RC Sproul, James White, etc. seem to be able to understand it perfectly. I hear them each give fantastic summaries of RC dogma whenever asked to do so. Gee, I wonder how they ever sifted through Pelosi, Biden, and all those various catechisms?

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  332. Robert,

    Unlike the non-circular Roman reasoning:

    Scripture and tradition point us to the church

    How do we know what Scripture and tradition are?

    The church tells us infallibly.

    The church tells us what points to the church. Brilliant.

    Its encouraging that after several years you have at least *almost* learned something. Progress.

    How do we know about Scripture? Magesterium (Hippo, Carthage, Trent, etc) and Tradition (just read a book by Dr. Kruger.)

    How do we know which Church? Scripture (Matt 16 & 18, Acts 15, etc) and Tradition (Petrine primacy, apostolic succession, etc)

    How do we know what constitutes Tradition? Scripture (material sufficiency, 2 Thess 2:15), and the magesterium (unanimous consent of the fathers, dogmatic declarations, etc)

    Without all three working in harmony you fail. All three must be together. STM triad>sola scriptura

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  333. Jeff,

    Right, but it does mean that infallibility, if true, is synthetic and not analytic: It is (hypothetically) a special property of the magisterium that has to be argued for, and it not simply true by definition.

    The way that Susan and others are arguing is that there just *has* to be an infallible magisterium, or else no way of knowing the truth.

    The very notion of objective truth speaks against this. If there is, in fact, objective truth, then we might well be able to know it outside of an infallible magisterium. There does not *have* to be an infallible magisterium.

    I think you have really nailed it! I am not sure if i would agree with the infallibility of the magesterium not being analytic…. but we will shelf that, its a minor point. I think you are absolutely correct. People make choices all the time without infallibile guidance. Many of these with great degrees of certainty. There are two ways to certainty that I can see

    1. Reason

    2. Divine authentication

    Unfortunately for protestants, option 2 is off the table (no divine church no divine tradition). The problem that Catholics have with sola scriptura is that when it comes to questions of canon or biblical interpretation, option 1 just doesn’t get us to where we need to be. Hence, the perceived advantage between paradigms.

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  334. Ken: Unfortunately for protestants, option 2 is off the table (no divine church no divine tradition).

    Wait, I missed the part where “Scripture” is not option 2?

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  335. Robert,

    “If the presence of asterisked passages means there is no certainty as to what Scripture is”

    Zrim says there’s no certainty on anything, let alone identification of Scripture.

    Bob,

    “Thinking clearly?”

    Yes because you first criticized Rome for not allowing Scripture to attest to the identification of the church, then in next breath criticize one of those primary appeals to Scripture because it is used to attest to her identification – you were just being inconsistent.

    “No, it doesn’t say what it clearly says. It says what Rome clearly wants it to say.”

    Yes and what it clearly says is not “Scripture is the sole infallible authority”. How could it anyways in the first place since SS wasn’t operative when that passage was written?

    “The reformed church is always being reforming by the word of God?”

    Sure so it seems kind of important that the word of God be identified as infallible, not as fallible and ever-provisional for that to actually work – how can the church always be reformed by a standard that itself can always be reformed? Semper reformanda.

    “The magisterium = the Apostles.”

    The point was that the basis of your criticism (divine authorization claims are bad) indicts the Apostles as well. You’re free to retire that and make a new criticism in place of it though.

    “Never mind that Scripture clearly makes that claim for the Apostles, but never Rome.”

    That would be the Scripture you identify as a collection of books that has asterisked passages and remains ever-provisional and fallible right? Semper reformanda.

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  336. Kenneth,

    If Rome tells us what tradition is and why tradition means, as well as Scripture, Rome is king. Rome doesn’t allow for the thought that maybe, just maybe, the Apocryha ain’t inspired. Rome ignores casts swaths of tradition that specifically deny the claims the pope makes for himself.

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  337. Kenneth,

    IOW, You have a one legged stool. You all, on paper, explicitly deny that the Magisterium is inspired in the same way as Scripture. You all can’t tell us what tradition is. For some reason the church must infallibly declare what the canon of Scripture is, but not the canon of tradition.

    “Just trust the Magisterium” isn’t compelling when it can’t figure out that homosexuality is a sin on the first pass, Makes false promises of safety to its opponents, and ranks among the most worldly institutions the world has ever seen.

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  338. Joel,
    So if I as an individual reject power, that power will disappear? You didn’t quite get the gist of what I was writing. There are two options: democracy or the consolidation of power. Democracy involves self-rule. Unfortunately, too many people are following your suggestion and that leads to elite-centered rule.

    In addition, power can be exercised for other means than self-interest. Having a collective consciousness, hope that doesn’t sound too progressive, allows one to use the small bit of power that democracy affords for the benefit of others. Also, the idea of democracy is that the interests of many are put in the same pot so that, hopefully, legislation would be more balanced than favoring special interests like it does today.

    And for those who are too caught up in intramural doctrinal battles and culture wars, the love of money is what is ruling most of the world. Considering the scriptural warnings against such a love, us Christian bloggers are discussing what?

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  339. Curt: There are two options: democracy or the consolidation of power.

    There is one option: consolidation of power, by democracy or by some other means. A memo went out right around the election of 1800 — political parties are inevitable.

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  340. Kenneth,

    One of these days hopefully you’ll wake up and realize that the reason that Catholicism may be superior to Reformed Protestantism is not because it’s obviously more logical. Insisting on this just makes you look dumb.

    Circumspection is not a strong suit of Catholicism and circumspection and logic go hand in hand.

    Get older, in other words.

    Bryan’s past 40 and he still thinks he can write logically airtight 10,000 word articles dealing with religion. He can’t.

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  341. All Bryan can resort to is insisting no one has refuted anything he’s said, while at the same time censoring 80% of the comments from people refuting things he’s said. After awhile, no one bothers to read him or to try to comment, which just increases his confidence that he can’t be refuted.

    Whatever.

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  342. Robert,

    But Tradition tells us who the Church is and what the Church teaches! In fact, Tradition also tells us what scripture is and what scripture teaches…. So why isnt Tradition King? Your conclusion (Sola ecclesia) doesnt following from your premesis.

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  343. Erik,

    One day you will wake up and realize that anyone can make unsupported assertions. Making an actual argument is hardly (or at least trying to take the ones presented). “Rome isnt more logical just because I say so” isnt compelling.

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  344. Meanwhile at CTC we get logic like this. Apparently it’s o.k. to get a “civil divorce” as long as you don’t get divorced in the church’s eyes. And people think us 2K people are out there:

    (From a commenter, not an author — but approved through moderation and not corrected by an author):

    August – I know the anxiety and fear of which you speak, but I would encourage you not to be afraid. Our Lord commands us not to be afraid, because He has made great promises to the Church – even when we are confused about what’s happening within her.

    As for your example about the wife, I would say that a “disagreement about mainly money” can actually be quite a few different things: she wants to spend it on clothes and he wants to spend it on food; she wants to spend it on private school and he wants to spend it on cars; she wants to spend it on higher quality food and he wants to spend it on a greater quantity of food; she wants to spend it on food and he wants to waste it on alcohol. Or it could be that it’s a disagreement “mainly about money” because he doesn’t give her access to any of the family’s money because he wants to isolate her from contact with the outside world so he can manipulate, frighten, and abuse her. Or it could be a disagreement “mainly about money” because she won’t let him spend the money on internet porn. These may sound like once-in-a-blue-moon kind of stories, but it happens. I am sincerely glad if you do not know anyone in these circumstances, but sadly, I know of at least a handful.

    Depending upon the circumstances, civil divorce actually might be recommended for her to protect herself and her children from the man squandering all they have. Or maybe she just needs to be told to try a little harder to work it out. I don’t claim to be able to have adequately evaluated every case of civil divorce in the U.S. to determine whether it was a necessary protection for one of the spouses or whether it was simply a failure of fidelity and charity on the part of both. Either way, civil divorce does not mean their marriage is invalid or annulled, it only means that legally she can protect herself and her children, and provide for their legitimate needs. It’s tricky, it’s not always clear what’s really going on in that relationship, and as far as I know, the Church should always require the spouses to maintain the hope of reconciliation – seeking it earnestly and not re-marrying. But the point is that things are not always as they seem in troubled relationships. Sometimes legal separation is a legitimate protection (for either spouse) against the abuse of the other, quite apart from the question of re-marriage. When one spouse (sadly) needs such protection, it would be a grave injustice for the Church to refuse such an individual the consolation of the Eucharist.

    Beth

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  345. Kenneth,

    I’m saying logic is poor grounds for establishing religious truth claims. Once you pile assertion upon assertion and assign probabilities of each assertion being true, you eventually refute yourself.

    Catholicism boils down to looking at the Church today and trying to argue backwards using shaky concepts like “development of doctrine” and “The Magisterium” to root the Church of today in Jesus.

    This is like looking at ourselves and arguing how miraculous we are since we can trace our origins all the way back to the beginning of mankind. The only problem is, so can every other person.

    Protestant churches have as much history as the 21st Century Roman Catholic Church does. We just have different paths on our family trees.

    Unless you can get all the way back to Jesus using pure, unquestioned logic you have nothing on me as a Protestant.

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  346. The entire edifice for the truth of Roman Catholicism is supposed to be the Motives of Credibility — things outside of Roman Catholic belief that point to the church and show her to be true. Examine these Motives sometime and ask yourself how rock solid these “proofs” for someone who hasn’t previously believed Catholicism to be true.

    Another interesting thing to look at is how fertile the ground was at the time of the Reformation for dissent. How in the world would the Reformers have been allowed to live if there weren’t hundreds of thousands if not millions of others who were ready to accept their teachings and to provide material and political support. Obviously the church had not been “one” in spirit for quite a long time — hundreds of years.

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  347. Ken: There are two ways to certainty that I can see

    1. Reason

    2. Divine authentication

    Or 3. Empirical methods, which are distinct from reason.

    Unfortunately for protestants, option 2 is off the table (no divine church no divine tradition). The problem that Catholics have with sola scriptura is that when it comes to questions of canon or biblical interpretation, option 1 just doesn’t get us to where we need to be. Hence, the perceived advantage between paradigms.

    The advantage is only perceived, and the perception comes about by tucking the uncertainties under the rug.

    Consider these two different epistemological approaches:

    (1) The motives of credibility are sufficient for me to trust in the church. The church now tells me the canon and its interpretation.
    (2) The collective judgement of the church is sufficient for me to establish that the canon certainly includes the 66 books.

    In the first case, you have conditional certainty: IF your assessment of the MoC is correct, then you have certainty. But you only have X% certainty that your assessment of the MoC is correct. Hence, your certainty can never rise above X%.

    In the second case, you also have conditional certainty: IF my assessment of the church’s ability to recognize the canon is correct, then I have certainty.

    In other words, both of us have uncertainty. Yours, however, is hidden away from view.

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  348. The point was that the basis of your criticism (divine authorization claims are bad) indicts the Apostles as well. You’re free to retire that and make a new criticism in place of it though.

    Ever feel like you are talking to a brick wall?
    Is the inability to follow an argument endemic to romanism?

    The Apostolic Scripture makes claims for itself and the Apostles that it never makes for Rome.

    As for the supposed unanimous monolithic consent of the church fathers that Peter was pope because of Matt. 16:18, it doesn’t exist. You know, the ‘taught everywhere, at all times, by everyone’ of Vincent of Lerins that Rome “claims” justifies its “claims” to fulfilling the same, hence its claim to fame.

    And Carthage and Hippo really really are in Italy and Scripture wasn’t inspired or Scripture until The Church Said So.

    IOW truth is what we say it is or nominalism, Bry’s old bugaboo. Truth does not exist apart from the Church’s imprimatur. But since like all Roman apologists, you don’t have the infallible papal chrism, pound sand. (And get ready to whitewash/tarbrush your credulity after Francis calls a couple more synods of bishops.)

    Neither does Scripture define itself as including “Tradition” in the roman sense of uninspired practice/history, while only once in 2 Thess 3:6 does it refers to apostolic teachings/practice as tradition. Every other time it reprobates the traditions of men.
    So where were we?

    The circular/suppressed premise that the magisterium is on par with the Apostles. The golden calf, sacred cow, holiest of the holy/wholly invisible and unquestionable presuppositions of Romanism for Romanists. The defense of which, as above, consists in the outright denial that such a thing is even possible. Like square circles. (Or homosexual marriage. Until the bishops come round to Francis’s infallibly jesuitical way of looking at things. Wait for it. )

    Well, if you want to make the argument for the magisterium, go ahead, but so far all you have done is gratuitously assume it, not prove it, which is incidentally your burden over here.

    Of course, over at CtC it’s another story.
    That’s where Scripture, reason and history take a beating from its so called friends.

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