Evelyn Waugh Would Have to Re-Write Brideshead

Phil Lawler wonders about the pastoral implications of Pope Francis’ pastoral advice in Amoris Laetitia. Consider the plight of “regular” Roman Catholics:

In any Catholic community there will always be some devout believers who, following the Lord’s advice, “Strive to enter by the narrow door.” They will pray often and ardently, try to attend daily Mass, practice their own private devotions, and seek out spiritual direction from priests who demand a lot of them. For these people—let’s call them “high-octane” Catholics—Gresham’s Law will not apply. They are the equivalent of the folks who demand payment in doubloons.

But most Catholics, in most times and places, are not of the high-octane variety. Most “regular” parishioners will do what the Church demands of them, but will not seek out extra rigors. They will attend Sunday Mass on a regular basis, raise their children in the faith, follow the precepts of the Church as they understand them, contribute to the parish. Faithful if not zealous, they will form the backbone of the Catholic community. Nourished by the sacraments and encouraged by their pastors, they will grow in faith; some will eventually become high-octane Catholics.

Now notice how these “regular” Catholics—who sincerely intend to meet their obligations, without taking on extra burdens—are likely to choose between two hypothetical parishes:

In Parish A, Sunday Mass lasts 90 minutes or more; the liturgy is “high” and solemn; the Gregorian chant is unfamiliar. In Parish B, Mass is out in 40 minutes; the hymns sound like (and sometimes are) snappy show tunes.

In Parish A, religious-education classes are demanding, and students who do not master the basic catechism lessons do not advance. In Parish B, teachers assume that “they’re good kids” and don’t worry about details.

In Parish A, when a young couple comes to discuss marriage, and the pastor notices that they list the same home address on their registration forms, he tells them that they must live separately. In Parish B the pastor “doesn’t notice” the matching addresses, and plans for the wedding can move forward.

In Parish A, priests often preach on controversial topics, driving home the Church’s least popular messages, reminding the parishioners of their sins. In Parish B, the homily is always a gentle reminder that we should be kind to one another, and not too rough on ourselves.

Needless to say, high-octane Catholics will flock to Parish A. Regular Catholics will gravitate toward Parish B. Human nature being what it is, most people will choose the less demanding of two options.

Now notice what happens to priests in these parishes when they meet a couple that has been re-married:

In his apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis sets up the model of a pastor who will meet with these couples, help them to review and assess their lives, to repent their past failings, to bring their lives closer to the Christian ideal, and to do everything that they can in their current circumstances to grow in holiness. Exactly how this process will unfold is unclear, because, as the Pope explains, it is impossible to anticipate all the unique circumstances of any individual case. But clearly the Pope is describing a rigorous process, rather than a quick solution.

But what sort of priest would insist on that rigor in his dealings with a remarried couple? The pastor of Parish A, probably. But that pastor would very likely tell the couple that if they wish to receive the sacraments they must live as brother and sister. And the couple, for that matter, if they were active parishioners in Parish A, would probably have reached that conclusion for themselves already. So Amoris Laetitiae would bring no change in their case.

In Parish B, on the other hand, the pastor—having long ago established the pattern of requiring only the minimum—would be far more likely to tell the couple that they should not worry about details, that they should feel free to receive the Eucharist. In all likelihood he would already have conveyed that message, and they would already be in the Communion line every Sunday. Again, the apostolic exhortation would cause no significant change.

But consider what might happen in the marginal cases, where change is most visible. What will happen to divorced/remarried couples who, after years away from the faith, are inspired by the Pope’s message to return to the fold? If they happen to meet with a priest who expects them to go through a long and difficult process, aren’t they likely to seek a second opinion, and maybe a third, until inevitably, they find a pastor who will welcome them back immediately, with no requirements and no strings attached? Hasn’t that pattern already been clearly established by the young couples who want their wedding scheduled without a demanding marriage-prep program, or want their children confirmed without a rigorous CCD requirement?

This is not exactly the church that was opposed to any trace of modernity for at least 150 years.

Now imagine the real life (fictional couple) of Rex Mottram and Julia Marchmain:

Julia manages to match Sebastian’s dissolute lifestyle through her own acts of intransigence. She eventually plans to marry Rex Mottram, a Protestant Canadian, who has managed to gain a seat in the House of Commons. It is this relationship with Rex that marks Julia’s descent into chronic sin. Julia learns that Rex may be carrying on an affair with a mistress. She thinks that if they become engaged, this can put an end to the affair. When it doesn’t, she then begins to reason that if she is going to keep Rex from being unfaithful, she will have to offer sexual gratification to her fiancé before they are married. Julia justifies this in her own mind and presents the proposition to a priest: “Surely, Father, it can’t be wrong to commit a small sin myself in order to keep him from a much worse one?” The Jesuit responds in the negative and suggests that she make her confession. It is this moment, when Julia does not receive what she wants, that she turns against the faith: “‘No, thank you,’ she said, as though refusing the offer of something in a shop. ‘I don’t think I want to today,’ and walked angrily home. From that moment she shut her mind against her religion.”

During their engagement, Rex agrees to receive instruction so that he can convert to Catholicism. However, matters are exasperated when it is revealed that Rex was previously married and divorced in Canada. Rex does not understand how this can be an impediment to a prospective marriage to Julia and he sees no difference between his divorce and the granting of an annulment. When it is obvious that nothing can be done with only a few weeks before the wedding, Julia and Rex agree to marry in a Protestant ceremony, separating themselves from Catholic society and the Marchmain family. Julia’s intransigence reaches its peak as she voices a modern refusal to recognize objective sin: “I don’t believe these priests know everything. I don’t believe in hell for things like that. I don’t know that I believe in it for anything.”

So which priest would Rex and Julia seek? Parish A or Parish B? This writer thinks Parish B’s priest is closer to Pope Francis’ instruction in his apostolic exhortation:

If they were alive today, would Julia and Charles have had to part ways? Amoris Laetitia offers alternatives: “Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.” Couldn’t Julia and Charles have spoken with Father MacKay in the internal forum for the sake of contributing to the “formation of a correct judgment”?

Even the idea of living as brother and sister seems to be impossible in this modern age. While Julia explains to Charles that she plans to “[j]ust go on – alone” this is not a sad revelation because she is finally able to receive God’s mercy and to return to a right relationship with Him. However Amoris Laetitia makes it seem that “going on alone” or abstaining from sexual intercourse is impossible in 2016. Pope Francis explains that “many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, ‘it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers.’” In the age of Brideshead, one didn’t die if they abstained from sexual intimacy. Apparently, in this sex-obsessed age, it is impossible for one to live without it.

Some will say that no dogma has changed. And sure the dogma of mortal and venial sins have not changed. But if priests’ pastoral counsel, with a green light from the magisterium, is defective by not warning the flock from sin, if it tolerates sinful practices under the guise of being pastoral, something has changed.

Evelyn Waugh knew that the Church of England had changed (even when dogma hadn’t). Do Roman Catholic apologists think Waugh wouldn’t notice this?

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148 thoughts on “Evelyn Waugh Would Have to Re-Write Brideshead

  1. Browse the web. Everyone not ordained or liberal knows exactly what has happened. We have a Pope who is not heretical, OK!… well, at least not officially, magisterially, thank our Marian stars… but is certainly not Catholic in any recognizable sense, at least in North America pre 1961. Despite Fr. Dwight’s Prussian mustache or Rev. James Martin’s semi-effeminate reassurances to the contrary. See, Francis is a wise Latina, so viva la difference! Once again, diversity proves itself as much a curse as a blessing. The Latin Americans may be great singers, artists, cooks, and… key phrase… *magical realists*, but they suck as theologians. Read the document for yourself and see. St John of the Corss or Luis Palau the Holy Father is not.

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  2. P.S. *Mortal* sin? Show me a modern Catholic theologian who still believes much less teaches that. Missing Mass or masturbation… those are mortal sins, right? Which means 99% of Catholics are burning in Hell as we combox.

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  3. In what meaningful sense has the doctrine of mortal vs. venial sin gone unchanged if parish B doesn’t really do anything with mortal sin and treats it all as venial? Because that’s what this document allows for.

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  4. DG quote: In any Catholic community there will always be some devout believers who, following the Lord’s advice, “Strive to enter by the narrow door.”

    advice?

    maybe if there were more “remembrance of Me.” just as Jesus commands in the Lord’s supper, – His word would be more sought out for true remembering and divine nature participation – O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8..- and more understanding that He is our only narrow gate ;that the strict requirement is His perfect righteousness alone, and entrance is granted by faith- that conversion and regeneration changes everything -ie a changed heart given -to understand it cannot be based on one’s own terms instead of God’s terms, or on the basis of good works, or thinking one will enter because God is love, or thinking one can buy into heaven, but is a way of submission to Jesus, self-denial, living for Him by the Spirit of life.

    Ie understanding there are only two gates – not a narrower, narrow, sorta-narrow, fake-narrow gate and then a wide gate nor that His word in this is His ‘advice’ but a matter of life and death
    .
    “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:9

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  5. From what I’ve heard some catholics tell me, priests in some “type A” parishes rail against the parishioners, almost weekly, about the evils of using any kind of birth control. While this is probably Old Skool according to many catholics nowadays, I wonder what Papa Frank’s opinion is on the matter.

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  6. Robert,

    “In what meaningful sense has the doctrine of mortal vs. venial sin gone unchanged if parish B doesn’t really do anything with mortal sin and treats it all as venial? Because that’s what this document allows for.”

    Well, Robert, I can understand your concern, but the fact is, there does exist such things as venial and mortal sin. And this is a good place to turn our attention. In other words, that this difference is actually teased out and specified in some religion among all the religions of the world is an interesting thing to note.

    Sin, apparently, is a genus and has two species. Perhaps this is based on the amount of privation of good in the individual when we use our free will to do things we know by our reason( through natural law and supernatural faith) are contrary to our “being”( ‘rational’ animals) and beneath our dignity as created in God’s image( rational spirits who can actively participate in the divine life).
    Sins that are venial or mortal, that are commited, or goods that should have been done but were left undone are all our real failings and we will be judged accordingly.
    This is recognized in the Catholic faith and has always been recognized here.

    The amount of variable between the truth of this and how it is received into the ears of the hearers does matter because sin matters, but it doesn’t irradicate those differences.
    No Catholic parish has stopped using the terminology and knowing the difference.
    But this isn’t mathematics.

    Is it possible that a divorced and remarried woman,(even though her first marriage is sacramentaly valid)is receiving communion somewhere?
    It is possible, I guess, but the fact that there even exists a way to be corrected, let alone that the person can go to confession to confess that they were ignorant, but are sorry, should say a lot about the truth of the faith.

    If you’re worried about someone not realizing that such and such is a mortal sin, don’t.
    For a sin to be mortal it has to meet three requirements. One is it has to he done with full consent of the will.

    On a side not, for those interested, the BBC is airing an interview of Evelyn Waugh recorded in 1960.
    I really enjoyed it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qtln

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  7. “if parish B doesn’t really do anything with mortal sin and treats it all as venial?”

    Did Parish B get rid of hearing all confessions? Because that’s what that would entail.

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  8. Darryl,

    I’m contending Parish B doesn’t exist. If you’re holding confessions, you’re affirming mortal sin exists and isn’t to be treated as venial sin.

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  9. Parish B was described as ““if parish B doesn’t really do anything with mortal sin and treats it all as venial?”’

    You really don’t think this describes what Daryl has in mind?

    In my case, one big reason I was attracted to Catholicism myself had to do with its being a solid rock in a tumultuous sea of relativism. In particular, it was Rome’s teachings on the meaning of sex and marriage that appealed to me, precisely because I was convicted of the disorder in my own pre-conversion life. Rome offered a deep and comprehensive way to understand sex and sexuality, one that was uncompromising, Biblically sound, and because of that, merciful. Chastity was the hard teaching that I did not want to accept, but I had enough intellectual honesty back then to know that it was not an option, not for Christians who were serious about faith. The Bible, and the continuous witness of the historic Christian church, was uncontestable on this point. The world does not want to hear this, and neither did I. But the Catholic Church — particularly in the person of Pope John Paul II — proclaimed this truth.

    When I finally wanted God more than I wanted myself and my own will, I submitted. It was a miserable time, dying to myself in that way. There is nothing in our popular culture to support doing what I had undertaken; in fact, exactly the opposite. The thing I did not really understand until I became Catholic is that there is very little within the culture of ordinary American Catholicism to support it either.

    Now, if that’s not been your experience, count yourself lucky. It was my experience in a number of parishes and places. For example, my bride-to-be and I were committed to being faithful Catholics and observing Natural Family Planning. She found a teacher in Austin, Texas, where she was finishing her degree, and I looked for one in the Archdiocese of Miami, where I was then living. I had trouble finding one, and when I finally did locate a teaching couple, they told me that they had been forbidden from teaching NFP in a number of area parishes. The parishes simply did not want to deal with presenting an unpopular teaching.

    On two different occasions I got into an argument in the confessional with the priest on the other side of the screen over what’s a sin regarding sexual morality. In one case, the priest and I agreed to drop it, he said the absolution, and let me go. But it wasn’t even close to being an honest dispute. The priest flat-out rejected authoritative, binding Roman Catholic teaching. In the other case, a priest in the confessional at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC advised me to use contraception in my marriage. I challenged him, and he gave a sigh that said oh, one of those, absolved me, and sent me on my way.

    Those are some brief examples, fairly outrageous ones, from an orthodox Catholic point of view. Mostly, Catholic priests and parishes don’t even talk about this at all. Their silence says everything. What it says to Catholics like I once was, both as a single man and as a married man, struggling with chastity (= rightly ordering the gift of sexuality): You’re on your own, pal.

    Speaking only for myself here, that was enough. I knew the Egypt that had once been my dwelling place, and I preferred the desert to returning there. Still, the desert was a dry and difficult land, a place to wander all alone. In my case, I never felt all that inclined to judge fellow sinners who attempted to live by the Church’s teachings and failed. So did I! Thank God for the sacrament of confession, which was a great mercy to me. What made me really angry — really angry — was the way so many priests and lay leaders within the Church either explicitly or implicitly denied the Church’s teachings. It was one thing to deny Catholics like me the help we needed to live out the Church’s teaching. It was another to spit in our faces and call us fools for trying to do the right thing.

    Could it be that the ritual of confession is practiced by the priest because it is good for one’s mental health to unload one’s guilty feelings – it supports human flourishing after all (not like that wacky NFP stuff the latin chanters are always going on about)! It certainly sounds to me that the whole concept of moral versus venial has been washed away while the rite stays in place. I know, I know, it’s all good on paper, so nothing’s changed. Keep whistling past the graveyard.

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  10. Cletus,

    So your argument is as long as parish B is holding confessions but telling people in the confessional that it’s okay to practice contraception, all is good? Are you kidding?

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  11. Susan,

    No Catholic parish has stopped using the terminology and knowing the difference.

    Except, of course, the parish that Rod Dreher describes wherein he got into an argument with the priest over sexual ethics and was told to practice contraception.

    It is possible, I guess, but the fact that there even exists a way to be corrected, let alone that the person can go to confession to confess that they were ignorant, but are sorry, should say a lot about the truth of the faith.

    What’s the way to be corrected when the pope calls your situation irregular and the priest tells you that you can practice birth control and take the Eucharist?

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  12. classicaled says: the fact is, there does exist such things as venial and mortal sin.

    Pretty sure you already know this Susan, but probably ought not be left unstated – there is not Biblical warrant for the mortal, venial sin distinction.

    A child of God, born of His Spirit, will never be excluded from His kingdom because God has arranged for it to be so–nothing can separate us from Him (Rom 8:35-39)– He has sealed us for the day of redemption.( Eph 4:30) God is the One Who establishes us in Christ and anointed us and also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. ( 2 Cor 1:21-22)

    There is an unpardonable sin, though, and an urgency to speak of that to all who don’t know – for continued unbelief and rejection of the only means of salvation – Jesus – is eternal death .
    But as many as received Jesus, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13

    I know the Lord was talking about human marriage when saying – “what therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10:9), but how much more true for those the Father has given to Jesus – He gives us eternal life and we will never perish, and no one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:27-29).

    So please, don’t let any man speak any longer as if it were so that we could be separated. He’ll be asking those who are confusing others about that.

    Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)

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  13. Cletus and Susan,

    Not to be rude, buy your responses on this thread make it hard for us to believe that converting to your particular flavor of RCism is not a surrender of your mind. Parish B doesn’t exist? As if.

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  14. Robert,

    “So your argument is as long as parish B is holding confessions but telling people in the confessional that it’s okay to practice contraception, all is good?”

    Nope. That’s you jumping to conclusions. I was responding to your own hypothetical. Now you’re shifting.

    If Parish B exists – the one that “treats it all [mortal sin] as venial” – you should be able to name it.

    Darryl/sdb, I just realized parish B was described in your original post. Robert then defined it above, which wasn’t in the original article. I don’t deny parish B in Lawler’s article, or the one Dreher describes his experiences with, exists. I deny parish B as Robert describes it exists.

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  15. Ali:
    Pretty sure you already know this Susan, but probably ought not be left unstated – there is not Biblical warrant for the mortal, venial sin distinction.>>>>>

    Ali, I appreciate the fact that you take Scripture seriously. I am sure you believe with all your heart what you say.

    If you will, let me suggest a couple of Scriptural lines of reasoning.

    1. Mortal sins kill the soul as well as destroy the body. Such a distinction is made by the Apostle John in his First Epistle.
    1 John 5 [RSVCE]
    . 16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God[b] will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

    John 5 [ESV]
    16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God[a] will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

    2. Under the Old Testament legal system, there were sins punishable by the death penalty. Not all sins were punishable by death, but some were. So even in the OT there was a distinction made by God between mortal and venial sins – sins that would lead to death vs. sins that did not lead to death.

    So, where did the idea that there is no distinction between mortal and venial sin come from? It is not Biblical. Otherwise why would God in the giving of the Law and the Apostle John both make a distinction?

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  16. Ali,

    On one hand,
    “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”
    “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.”
    “He who does not love abides in death.”
    “The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did”
    “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
    “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
    “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a person is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
    “I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.”
    “if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”
    “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time”
    “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
    “In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

    On the other,
    “All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”
    “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”
    “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins”
    “for though the righteous fall seven times”
    “For we all stumble in many ways.”
    “though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief.”
    “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
    “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

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  17. Amen Cletus. It would be great if you would put all that truth together in a summation statement. Would be intersted to hear that. I believe we agree the sum of His word is truth.

    Mrs W., quickly, the only thing necessary to say is – if one has trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior and has been born again, born of His Spirit – that one has passed from death to life, forever, has eternal life, has been granted saving faith – therefor there is now no condemnation and nothing can separate that one from God ever and forever. Period.
    PASS OUT THAT TRUTH ….having mercy on some who are doubting it (Jude 1:22); and for others save them, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. (Jude1:23)

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

    Any further discussion about your verse references would be in light of the above truths –God never contradicts Himself – and scholarly debate on it is recorded many places I’m sure and some here likely could refer you there.

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  18. Ali,

    My point was that those passages need to be reconciled – as you say, “God never contradicts Himself”. Believers sin in one sense, but not in another – one type of sin is compatible with faith and agape, the other is opposed to it. That’s what the mortal/venial sin distinction captures.

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  19. Clete,

    I deny parish B as Robert describes it exists.

    So you are denying that Rod Dreher was a part of a parish that held confessions with the priest but that the priest therein counseled him to practice birth control?

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  20. Ali:
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

    Any further discussion about your verse references would be in light of the above truths –God never contradicts Himself – and scholarly debate on it is recorded many places I’m sure and some here likely could refer you there.>>>>

    They are not my verse references. They are the Word of God. I didn’t put them in the Bible.

    Ali, God does not contradict Himself. So, if He says through the Apostle John that there are sins that lead to death [mortal] and sins that do not lead to death, then it seems a believer is supposed to understand what that means. If He said in the OT Law that there were some sins that carried the death penalty and some that did not, then wouldn’t that show that not all sins are the same?

    Your appeal to undefined “scholars” is interesting. So, would you say you accept Scripture plus “scholarly debate” as your rule of faith and practice?

    If you want to discuss John 5:24, then let’s discuss it. If a person stops listening to Jesus’ words, and stops believing in Him who sent Jesus, then does the promise of eternal life still apply?

    Shout at me all you want, but the truth is that one must endure. One must persevere in the faith. Do you believe the heretical doctrine of “once saved, always saved”? I am quite sure you do not.

    Search the words “endure” and “persevere” in your Bible. See that eternal life is conditioned on a faith that endures to the end. You know that, though, I am sure.

    It is all of grace from start to finish. If one cuts himself or herself off from God’s grace, then they cut themselves off from Christ. Notice that Hebrews 10 says that the righteous one shall live by faith. Those were the words that Luther championed.

    Remember, too, that Luther did not consider Hebrews to be inspired Scripture. Why was that? I think that Hebrews 10 holds one clue as to why. Notice that v. 38 continues the idea of the “just shall live by faith.” That righteous one has the ability to shrink back and be destroyed. Scripture is not unclear or ambiguous on this. There is a real possibility of turning back and being destroyed. This is a clear warning.

    We need endurance, which God gives to those who seek to do His will.

    We are not left without encouragement, though. See v. 39.

    Hebrews 10
    36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
    37 For,

    “Yet a little while,
    and the coming one will come and will not delay;
    38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
    my soul has no pleasure in him.”
    39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

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  21. Mrs. W “once saved, always saved”

    Yes, that’s what ‘sealed’ and ‘ guaranteed’ means- true believers, granted saving faith, persevering to the end. A gift a of God that no one may boast.

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  22. Ali says:
    April 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm
    Mrs. W “once saved, always saved”

    Yes, that’s what ‘sealed’ and ‘ guaranteed’ means- true believers, granted saving faith, persevering to the end. A gift a of God that no one may boast.>>>>

    What do you do with the Scriptures that don’t fit your theology?

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  23. Robert says:
    April 15, 2016 at 8:46 am
    Cletus and Susan,

    Not to be rude, buy your responses on this thread make it hard for us to believe that converting to your particular flavor of RCism is not a surrender of your mind. Parish B doesn’t exist? As if.>>>>>

    Well, Robert, I hate to ask because you have generally not been rude to me.

    Who are the “us” that you are talking about? Sounds like you have surrendered your mind to a group. I hope it is not Old Life. That would be tragic, IMO.

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  24. Mrs. W – What do you do with the Scriptures that don’t fit your theology?

    It all fits together, to the glory and praise of God.
    btw, I think some of my brothers are just kidders about T4G, actually appreciating it and even wishing they had taken you, CVD,Susan with them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiyI35bf-io …for all true ‘brothers’…
    it is well with our souls. Completely.

    Like

  25. Ali says:
    April 16, 2016 at 8:49 am
    Mrs. W – What do you do with the Scriptures that don’t fit your theology?

    It all fits together, to the glory and praise of God.
    btw, I think some of my brothers are just kidders about T4G, actually appreciating it and even wishing they had taken you, CVD,Susan with them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiyI35bf-io …for all true ‘brothers’…
    it is well with our souls. Completely.>>>>

    James 4:9
    9 Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.

    Like

  26. Ali:
    It all fits together, to the glory and praise of God.>>>>>

    Let me give you a more complete answer. If you ask me whether or not I am saved, here is my answer. Catholic Christians are Bible Christians.

    1. Yes, I am saved. [justified by grace through faith-Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8 2]. Yes, I am being saved. [being sanctified-1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12] 3. Yes, I have the hope that I will be saved. [future glory-Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15] I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling, just as all Christians are or should be [Phil. 2:12] I am trusting in the promises of Christ, as I expect you are.

    Here Hebrews 10 comes into play. I have no plans to shrink back. However, I have read about some of the tortures, humiliations, and martyrdom that Christians have faced even in recent times. I know that if I am called to suffer in that way for Christ, He will make His grace available to me. Will I shrink back?

    I think that all Christians need to face that question.

    Also, if I begin to live a careless life, – which I am not planning to do – can I presume that “once saved always saved” will get me through? See Ezekiel 33:18. I don’t see in Scripture that God gives us that kind of assurance.

    Hebrews 10
    36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
    37 For,

    “Yet a little while,
    and the coming one will come and will not delay;
    38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
    my soul has no pleasure in him.”
    39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

    Ezekiel 33:18
    18 When the righteous turn from their righteousness, and commit iniquity, they shall die for it.

    Phil 2:12
    Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

    Like

  27. Mrs W: Hebrews 10:38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

    Mrs W. live by faith and don’t shrink back from faith – ie from total trust in God, and start trusting in yourself .. for ..
    “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” (Hab 2:4)

    Like

  28. Mermaid, “Yes, I am saved. [justified by grace through faith-Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8 2]. Yes, I am being saved. [being sanctified-1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12] 3. Yes, I have the hope that I will be saved. [future glory-Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15] I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling, just as all Christians are or should be [Phil. 2:12] I am trusting in the promises of Christ, as I expect you are.”

    How do you know?

    How do you know you have no mortal sins outstanding?

    When you become a Roman Catholic do you receive a version of HAL 9000 and so have comprehensive knowledge of mind, body, soul, and will?

    Wow.

    If it were that easy, Luther never would have become a Protestant.

    Like

  29. Ali says:
    April 17, 2016 at 12:28 am
    Mrs W: Hebrews 10:38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

    Mrs W. live by faith and don’t shrink back from faith – ie from total trust in God, and start trusting in yourself .. for ..
    “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” (Hab 2:4)>>>>

    So, you are arguing Scripture against Scripture?

    Like

  30. Mrs. W. So, you are arguing Scripture against Scripture?

    against? Scripture interprets Scripture; never a conflict, though it may seem so sometimes to our limited human minds. All Scripture fits perfectly together. Reconciling some tradition to His word though… well that’s another matter.

    Anyway, speaking of ’ limited human minds’, there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Prov 14:12, 16:25)……..
    so, did you read my last comment. The Lord says: “Behold, as for the proud (ie those who rely and trust in themselves), his soul is not right within him, but the righteous will live by his faith.” (Hab 2:4)

    Anyway 2, I see in a prior comment, you referenced James 4:9. Not sure why? but I do love that set of verses . See the bookends there?
    But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:6 -10

    Like

  31. ..and Mrs W, as I tell my daughter, you can believe anything you want, but it doesn’t change reality. If you want a god different from the True One as He reveals Himself in the Bible, then so be it, but that would be puzzling, though not very uncommon, if you think about the world. The true One is faithful to all of His promises- never reneges. He does not un-adopt His sons; He does not un-born His reborn ones, etc, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ali, thank you for your time, and for a reminder of why I love being Catholic. If your religion makes you happy, then be happy.

    Like

  33. D. G. Hart says:
    April 17, 2016 at 5:45 pm
    Mermaid, “If your religion makes you happy, then be happy.”

    Now Protestants are a different religion? Good thing you converted.>>>

    Protestants think I am of a different religion from theirs – at least Ali does. What is wrong with hoping she is happy? Maybe I should have said joyful? I trust she is, and you as well.
    ————————————————————–

    From a homily on the Gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
    Christ the good shepherd

    I am the good shepherd. I know my own — by which I mean, I love them — and my own know me. In plain words: those who love me are willing to follow me, for anyone who does not love the truth has not yet come to know it…

    So our Lord’s sheep will finally reach their grazing ground where all who follow him in simplicity of heart will feed on the green pastures of eternity. These pastures are the spiritual joys of heaven. There the elect look upon the face of God with unclouded vision and feast at the banquet of life for ever more.

    Beloved brothers, let us set out for these pastures where we shall keep joyful festival with so many of our fellow citizens. May the thought of their happiness urge us on! Let us stir up our hearts, rekindle our faith, and long eagerly for what heaven has in store for us. To love thus is to be already on our way. No matter what obstacles we encounter, we must not allow them to turn us aside from the joy of that heavenly feast. Anyone who is determined to reach his destination is not deterred by the roughness of the road that leads to it. Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveler who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going.

    Like

  34. mrswebfoot says: Ali, thank you for your time be happy

    no problem, anytime. btw, blessed may be a better word.
    Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. Jer 17: 7

    Like

  35. Rules about marriage need context:

    “Are there new concrete possibilities that did not exist before the publication of the exhortation, or no?” asked the journalist.

    “I can say yes,” responded Francis. “Period.”

    The pontiff then suggested that people looking for more information consult the presentation given by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn at the Vatican April 8, the day the new exhortation, titled Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), was released.

    In his presentation that day, Schönborn said the document had made some “organic development” of the church’s pastoral practice for divorced and remarried couples.

    “I recommend to all of you to read the presentation that Cardinal Schönborn made,” the pope said Saturday. “He is a great theologian.”

    “He knows well the doctrine of the church,” said Francis. “In that presentation, your question will have its response.”

    Amoris Laetitia was written by Francis in response to two Synods of Bishops at the Vatican on family life issues in 2014 and 2015.

    In the expansive document, the pope touches on many issues and says that Catholic bishops and priests can no longer make blanket moral determinations about so-called “irregular” situations such as divorce and remarriage.

    “It … can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace,” states the pontiff at one point in the document.

    “It is reductive simply to consider whether or not an individual’s actions correspond to a general law or rule, because that is not enough to discern and ensure full fidelity to God in the concrete life of a human being,” the pope writes later.

    Like

  36. Rules on immigration are absolute:

    In a joint declaration signed during the visit, the leaders sharply proclaim: “We appeal to all followers of Christ to be mindful of the Lord’s words, on which we will one day be judged.”

    Quoting Jesus’ words in Matthew’s Gospel, they state: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

    In the declaration, signed at a center housing some 2,500 refugees — where the walls had been whitewashed and the barbed wire removed for the high-level visit — Francis, Bartholomew and Ieronymos say they had traveled together to demonstrate “profound concern” for the migrants’ treatment.

    “The tragedy of forced migration and displacement affects millions, and is fundamentally a crisis of humanity, calling for a response of solidarity, compassion, generosity and an immediate practical commitment of resources,” they state.

    “From Lesbos, we appeal to the international community to respond with courage,” they continue. “We call upon all political leaders to employ every means to ensure that individuals and communities … enjoy the fundamental right to live in peace and security.”

    The three leaders’ joint trip to Europe’s outer periphery, while described by the Vatican as “strictly humanitarian and ecumenical,” appears as an almost unprecedented unified Christian push for politicians to do more in the face of the continuing refugee crisis.

    Mainline Protestantism anyone?

    Like

  37. Obviously, Father Dwight hasn’t read Brideshead:

    One Pastoral Method Does Not Fit All – While we uphold the simple definition of Christian marriage as between one man and one woman for life, the situation of a polygamous culture in Africa and a no fault divorce culture in America and a machismo culture in Argentina and a cohabiting culture in Europe means that while we uphold the ideal, matching our lives to that ideal is increasingly complex and it is impossible to set out one pastoral methodology which will apply to everyone.

    The Church is Welcoming Not Excluding – Pope Francis wants us to open the doors to those who are caught up in the Marriage Mess. This does not mean we sacrifice or compromise the ideal, but it does mean that we listen to the real life situations of real people. Jesus was in the dust with the woman caught in adultery and he condemned the self righteous scribes and Pharisees who stood apart with stones a-ready. The Pope calls us to be with Jesus in the dust not with the Pharisees in their lust.

    Like

  38. But Father Dwight has seen the BBC series:

    Is divorce a crime? One of the greatest aspects of Brideshead Revisited is to observe the results of Lord Marchmain’s abandonment of his family. He claims on his deathbed that ‘We were fighting for freedom. I took my freedom. Was that a crime?’ In a devastating moment Cordelia (as always) speaks the truth. “I think it was papa.” In the film version, at that point Marchmain is visibly shaken, and from then on he declines into death, and his final reconciliation. . . .

    Cara tells us that Lord Marchmain hates Lady Marchmain and cannot even breathe the same air as her. Does he hate her, or does he hate himself? I think the latter. Doubtless Lady Marchmain is difficult to love, but had he loved her rather than projecting his own self hatred on to her, the marriage may have survived. At very least they should have ‘stayed together for the children’. This option is laughed at nowadays as being hypocritical and hopelessly idealistic. I disagree. Such a choice may very well be the first time a couple begin to be selfless in a marriage, and it may be the decision which saves all.

    Waugh beautifully interweaves the characters so that if we really want to see what Lord Marchmain is like we need only look at his progeny. He is the adulterous Julia. He is the self indulgent, spoiled runaway child Sebastian. He is the twisted, self righteous, emotionally cold introvert Bridey all wrapped up in one.

    I wonder if Amoris Laetitia will change the Father’s enjoyment of the series.

    Like

  39. DG; reference quote: The Pope calls us to be with Jesus in the dust not with the Pharisees in their lust.

    Amen. For as Jesus says: in the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts and all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever – . Jude 1:18; 1 John 2:16-17

    Will have to think on how that reconciles with…
    “While we uphold the simple definition of Christian marriage as between one man and one woman for life, the situation of a polygamous culture in Africa and a no fault divorce culture in America and a machismo culture in Argentina and a cohabiting culture in Europe means that while we uphold the ideal, matching our lives to that ideal is increasingly complex and it is impossible to set out one pastoral methodology which will apply to everyone. The Church is Welcoming Not Excluding – Pope Francis wants us to open the doors to those who are caught up in the Marriage Mess”

    Like

  40. Just curious. Do you here at Old Life ever apply the Bible and preach the Gospel to yourselves? Just wondering. Since you claim a salvation that no one can boast about, why is there so much boasting here at Old Life? Why are you glad you are not sinners like the rest of us poor slobs who are going to hell according to Ali’s theology?

    You seem happy that others are lost and you are saved.

    Phil 2:12
    Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

    Like

  41. mrswebfoot says: Phil 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

    Why do you keep stopping before the end of that thought Mrs.W?
    ……13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

    please try to give credit where credit is due

    Like

  42. ““It … can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace,” states the pontiff at one point in the document.”

    Organic development: Change = tomato/tomahto

    “This does not mean we sacrifice or compromise the ideal, but it does mean that we listen to the real life situations of real people. Jesus was in the dust with the woman caught in adultery and he condemned the self righteous scribes and Pharisees who stood apart with stones a-ready.”

    Jesus also called the woman to repentance (go and sin no more). Sounds like repentance isn’t necessary if the sacrifice is too great… taking up your cross is just so last millennium I guess. Very sad…

    Like

  43. “Sounds like repentance isn’t necessary if the sacrifice is too great”

    Good thing Dwight disagrees considering the very statement cited says: “This does not mean we sacrifice or compromise the ideal,”

    along with:
    “The “accompaniment” and “walking with the wounded” which the Holy Father recommends is a plea for us priests and all the people to meet the woman taken in adultery in the dust and to grant her forgiveness and say “Go and sin no more” and then to help her live that way. That this is a process which often takes time, care, compassion and concern is all the pope is pointing out. He is making the plea that we priests and people listen to the full, often complex and difficult situations and help people understand church teaching and move step by step to that place and time where they can be completely reconciled, ransomed, healed restored, forgiven and receive the medicine of communion.”

    “many are genuinely wounded, genuinely repentant and genuinely want to belong to the church and follow Jesus Christ despite their “irregular relationships.” In other words, they want to find peace, they’ve messed up and they know it and they want to find reconciliation and the way forward.”

    “Pope Francis want us to welcome and integrate those whose relationships are “less than ideal”. We should remember that those whose relationship are “less than ideal” are not just the divorced and remarried. There are numerous complex relationships that fall short of the Catholic ideal. These people should be welcomed into the church and asked to participate in prayer, Bible study, charitable activity, fellowship and full life in the parish except for the reception of communion”

    Darryl, where was the call-out to the article Dwight linked to in all your collating? Not interesting enough I guess. http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/pope-francis-no-communion-for-divorced-and-remarried

    “In response, Pope Francis emphasized, “The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etc.”
    Thompson then asked, “Does that mean they can receive Communion?”
    Pope Francis, with unusual clarity, responded, “This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving Communion.”
    The Pope immediately gave an anecdotal story to make clear his point.
    ‘I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want Communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration; all doors are open. But we cannot say from here on they can have Communion. This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration.’

    The Pope gave a similar response in March 2015 concerning the admittance to Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried during an interview conducted by Vatican Radio in Rome with a Mexican correspondent from Televisa. The interview was published one week later in L’Osservatore Romano on March 13.
    The journalist, Valentina Alazraki, asked Pope Francis, “Will the divorced and remarried be able to receive Communion?”
    The Pope responded, “What the Church wants is for you to integrate yourself into the life of the Church. But there are those who say, ‘No, I want to receive Communion, and that’s it’ — like a rosette, an honorary award. No. Reintegrate yourself.”

    Like

  44. Fascinating how the pope, who is supposed to be the answer for all of our epistemological problems, can’t speak clearly enough for anyone to agree on what he says. Like Luther and Calvin or not, you know what they mean.

    Like

  45. What is also fascinating is that if Dwight is right that the pope wants the church to forgive, how can one at the same time refuse communion. If the sin has been pardoned, why isn’t the table opened?

    When will CTC explain all this. I’m so confused.

    Like

  46. Robert, if you were raised under Vat II or simply have been in the RC more than ten years, Francis is readily understood. None of this is new. Pastoral application has been the RC shibboleth for fifty years now and Francis’ liberation theology is as old. You’ve had this breadth of application going on at the parish level for decades now. CtC, is quite honestly some red headed stepchild.

    Like

  47. “Fascinating how the pope, who is supposed to be the answer for all of our epistemological problem”

    The “answer” is not the pope – the pope is one component of the answer. If he was the sole piece, that would mean popes couldn’t be corrected or in error. But RCism teaches popes can be corrected or in error.

    “Like Luther and Calvin or not, you know what they mean.”

    Are Luther and Calvin clearer than Scripture? When did RCism ever claim the pope is always clear?

    “the pope wants the church to forgive, how can one at the same time refuse communion.”

    To spur them to seek out forgiveness and reconciliation in the sacraments – as he said the confessional is not a “torture chamber”.

    “If the sin has been pardoned, why isn’t the table opened?”

    The table is open to those whose mortal sins are forgiven. The pope and AL did not say all mortal sin is now automatically forgiven and no big deal. That wouldn’t be “reintegrating” ones self into the church.

    Like

  48. Sean, you mean the converts converted because of two smart popes that they mistook for real Roman Catholicism? Not that anyone is actually going to subject the smart popes’ writings to critical scrutiny. Roman Catholics may not. Non-Roman Catholics don’t care.

    Like

  49. somewhat encouraging Cletus, now if He would just say ‘the clue to knowing the voice of Christ’ is when what is spoken is in accord with God’s infallible word; and then if He would just say that the vicar of Christ is the Holy Spirit

    Like

  50. James Young, right. Crucifixion for “the way forward.” And what’s up with breaking the second commandment? Should a pope really put his hand there?

    Like

  51. Clete,

    The “answer” is not the pope – the pope is one component of the answer. If he was the sole piece, that would mean popes couldn’t be corrected or in error. But RCism teaches popes can be corrected or in error.

    To read the audacity of pope by CTC, one would think that the papacy solves all. Further, your church puts such an emphasis on the pope as the cornerstone of unity, it’s awfully hard not to view him as the “sole piece,” particularly when if he says he’s saying something infallibly, he can’t be corrected. He’s infallible whenever he says he’s infallible, remember.

    Are Luther and Calvin clearer than Scripture? When did RCism ever claim the pope is always clear?

    So the pope doesn’t help us. Thank you.

    To spur them to seek out forgiveness and reconciliation in the sacraments – as he said the confessional is not a “torture chamber”.

    So now you can be forgiven of that second marriage in the sacrament, no need for an annulment? Cause that’s how the document is being read.

    The table is open to those whose mortal sins are forgiven. The pope and AL did not say all mortal sin is now automatically forgiven and no big deal. That wouldn’t be “reintegrating” ones self into the church.

    No, the pope said that you can go to your priest and let him make the decision about reintegrating you. Or at least that is how the liberals are reading this. And they have no problem finding a priest who will agree. So what has been accomplished except to give tacit approval to what wayward priests (as defined by conservatives) were doing anyway?

    Like

  52. Robert,

    “To read the audacity of pope by CTC, one would think that the papacy solves all. ”

    The papacy is an essential component, but not the only component.

    “he’s saying something infallibly, he can’t be corrected.”

    Yup. So popes can be corrected in their practice, prudential judgments, theology, etc. – Vat1 didn’t say the pope is always speaking infallibly 24×7 since that would be kind of dumb to assert given history.

    “So the pope doesn’t help us. Thank you.”

    I asked, When did RCism ever claim the pope is always clear? The ‘always’ qualifier was purposeful.

    “no need for an annulment? Cause that’s how the document is being read.”

    This sounds like how you asserted the document was being read that mortal sin no longer exists – please find me the parishes or dioceses that are banning or doing away with annulments now based on AL.

    “No, the pope said that you can go to your priest and let him make the decision about reintegrating you”

    Which doesn’t contradict what I said – The table is open to those whose mortal sins are forgiven. The pope and AL did not say all mortal sin is now automatically forgiven and no big deal. That wouldn’t be “reintegrating” ones self into the church.

    Like

  53. Ali says:
    April 18, 2016 at 10:53 am
    mrswebfoot says: Phil 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

    Why do you keep stopping before the end of that thought Mrs.W?
    ……13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

    please try to give credit where credit is due>>>>>

    Ali, you told me I was worshipping a false god.

    sdb:
    Jesus also called the woman to repentance (go and sin no more). Sounds like repentance isn’t necessary if the sacrifice is too great… taking up your cross is just so last millennium I guess. Very sad…>>>>

    So, you are not one of those who wish to remove the pericope adulterae from Scripture?

    Please stop slandering Catholics, or at least all Catholics and all of Catholicism. Stations of the Cross, The Sorrowful Mysteries, the emphasis on sacrifice, especially in the Liturgy of the Hours. The Sacrifice of the Mass. etc. all give evidence to the centrality of the cross of Christ not just as an historical event but as a present reality.

    Catholics do believe in the priesthood of all believers. In fact, the believer is both priest and victim.

    The crucifixes we wear and that hang on the walls of our homes have Christ on them to remind us of His sacrifice and ours.

    What are you talking about?
    —————————————–

    From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop
    Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest

    I appeal to you by the mercy of God. This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God’s desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.

    Listen to the Lord’s appeal: In me, I want you to see your own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood. You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion. Do not be afraid. This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart. My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love. I count it no loss to shed my blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.

    Listen now to what the Apostle urges us to do. I appeal to you, he says, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. By this exhortation of his, Paul has raised all men to priestly status.

    How marvellous is the priesthood of the Christian, for he is both the victim that is offered on his own behalf, and the priest who makes the offering. He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is to immolate to God: with himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice he is to offer God for himself. The victim remains and the priest remains, always one and the same. Immolated, the victim still lives: the priest who immolates cannot kill. Truly it is an amazing sacrifice in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered without being shed.

    The Apostle says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Brethren, this sacrifice follows the pattern of Christ’s sacrifice by which he gave his body as a living immolation for the life of the world. He really made his body a living sacrifice, because, though slain, he continues to live. In such a victim death receives its ransom, but the victim remains alive. Death itself suffers the punishment. This is why death for the martyrs is actually a birth, and their end a beginning. Their execution is the door to life, and those who were thought to have been blotted out from the earth shine brilliantly in heaven.

    Paul says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy. The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me. Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering of your free will.

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  54. Clete,

    Yup. So popes can be corrected in their practice, prudential judgments, theology, etc. – Vat1 didn’t say the pope is always speaking infallibly 24×7 since that would be kind of dumb to assert given history.

    Vat1 said the pope is speaking infallibly whenever the pope says he is speaking infallibly. So if Francis were to say, “I am now speaking infallibly: Homosexual marriage is a-ok.” He could not be corrected. If he could, then papal infallibility is vacuous, but we already knew that.

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  55. Meanwhile, Ross Douthat sees problems:

    Rather, conservative Catholicism has been on a kind of quest, ever since the crisis atmosphere of the 1960s and 1970s, to define certain essentials of the faith in a time of sweeping flux and change, while effectively conceding (to borrow Linker’s architectural image) that reformers can rearrange and remove the bricks of Catholicism so long as they don’t touch those crucial foundations. For a long time this conservative quest was lent a certain solidity and rigor and self-confidence by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. But the advent of Francis has made it clear that conservative Catholicism doesn’t have as clear a synthesis as conservatives wanted to believe, and that in some ways the conservative view of the post-Vatican II church is a theory in crisis — or the very least that it lacks a clear-enough account of itself, and of what can and cannot change in its vision of Catholicism, to navigate an era in which the pope himself does not seem to be “on side.”

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  56. D. G. Hart says:
    April 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm
    Mermaid, back at you. All the converts seem happy that they are uptown and Protestants are slobs.>>>

    I do not think that at all. I have never said that Protestants are slobs. In fact, I have expressed gratitude for all that I learned from the many fine Evangelical Protestant teachers and pastors I have sat under.

    What I didn’t realize is that my favorite Protestant teachers – Jonathan Edwards and R.C. Sproul – were and are actually Thomists. What hadn’t fully dawned on me was that the great fathers and doctors of the Church were all Catholic. Every last one of them expounded on the Eucharist – the Real Presence. So, don’t fault me for wanting to be what they were. Or, go ahead and fault me.

    I regularly call all of you my brothers and sisters in Christ because we share the one baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The Church teaches me that we are all Christians because of the common baptism. In fact, the Catholic sources that I read and learn from often quote Protestant Biblical scholars in a positive light.

    It is you, dear Brother Hart, who leads the way in trashing Catholics and Catholicism, calling us names if we do not see the world like you do. You have especially targeted me, mocking my screen name and calling me Mermaid and insulting me about my looks.

    You have especially targeted Susan, telling her to THINK, when she is one of the more thoughtful people around here. She thinks deeply and expresses herself well. You and your followers mock her.

    Now, if you really believe that you are teaching the truth, then fine. Go ahead, but expect some push back as you push and push back.

    So, if you are happy – as in satisfied that you are on the right track theologically – then I am happy for you.

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  57. Mermaid, catch up. The bishops at Trent did not believe in the priesthood of believers:

    And if any one affirm, that all Christians indiscrimately are priests of the New Testament, or that they are all mutually endowed with an equal spiritual power, he clearly does nothing but confound the ecclesiastical hierarchy, which is as an army set in array; as if, contrary to the doctrine of blessed Paul, all were apostles, all prophets, all evangelists, all pastors, all doctors.

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  58. The attitude of Rome towards Protestants in Trent and in the modern world is striking. You simply can’t have an attitude change of that magnitude without a fundamental change in an understanding of what the church is. Heretics, be they formal or material, can’t be separated brethren. So if we’re separated brethren, we’re not heretics and not in danger of hell. If we’re formal or material heretics, we’re in serious danger of hell. Dogma with respect to Protestants has fundamentally changed.

    Rome has become all about looking nice to the watching nonChristian world. We’ve seen it at V2. We’ve seen it with Francis’ “Love is a beautiful thing” encyclical. We’ve seen it with Francis’ “End global warming now” encyclical. Luther would have had a much easier time if he’d have been born in 1950 or so.

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  59. Robert, we were in danger in 1943, but that was so, you know, then:

    “Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. “For in one spirit” says the Apostle, “were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.” As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”

    – MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII, ON THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST, #22

    BTW, notice who Divine Spirit Pius refers to – the Church’s, not the Holy Spirit. One more wince:

    “The visible Church…is the Son of God himself, everlastingly manifesting himself among men in a human form, perpetually renovated, and eternally young – the permanent incarnation of the same.”

    Adam Mohler, Symbolism or Exposition of the Doctrinal Differences Between Catholics and Protestants as Evidenced by their Symbolic Writings, 259.

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  60. Noon,

    MCC also stated, “Likewise, We must earnestly desire that this united prayer may embrace in the same ardent charity both those who, not yet enlightened by the truth of the Gospel, are still outside the fold of the Church, and those who, on account of regrettable schism, are separated from Us…. We have committed to the protection and guidance of heaven those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church, solemnly declaring that after the example of the Good Shepherd We desire nothing more ardently than that they may have life and have it more abundantly. Imploring the prayers of the whole Church We wish to repeat this solemn declaration in this Encyclical Letter in which We have proclaimed the praises of the “great and glorious Body of Christ” and from a heart overflowing with love We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church. Therefore may they enter into Catholic unity and, joined with Us in the one, organic Body of Jesus Christ, may they together with us run on to the one Head in the Society of glorious love…. Though We desire this unceasing prayer to rise to God from the whole Mystical Body in common, that all the straying sheep may hasten to enter the one fold of Jesus Christ”

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  61. Hey Cletus,

    “We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation.”

    Lol. No RC is sure of their salvation. I am, for Christ has saved me by His vicarious death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father’s right hand, and i in him (Eph. 2:5). You guys are at your best selling reduced time in purgatory because you prey on the doubting. Not best as in good, but best as in successful.

    Unicorns and wiffle dust is your religion.

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  62. Noon,

    “No RC is sure of their salvation”

    Sure? No – that risks the sin of presumption and snuffing out the virtue of humility. Confident and hopeful? Yes.

    “Unicorns and wiffle dust is your religion.”

    Is that also true for all Protestant churches denying Calvinist assurance?

    Are you sure you’re assured? Or might you be confused and self-deceived? Heed Calvin’s warning:

    “experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption… Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed, as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and steadfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate…. Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.”

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  63. Robert, repeat after me. What has happened to Rome is what happened to mainline Protestants. The Westminster Confession didn’t change. How the PCUSA applied it (or ignored it and followed some unstated doctrine) sure did. But at least the PCUSA rejected conservatives. Rome had a pope who condemned modernism. Yet Roman Catholics act like modernism can’t happen to them.

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  64. James Young, does heeding both sides of pontiff’s mouth lead to this?

    Former president Bill Clinton will address the graduating class at Loyola Marymount University next month. The president of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, Cecile Richards, will give a speech at Georgetown University this week. The University of Notre Dame welcomed former Texas state senator Wendy Davis to campus recently, and the school will bestow a prestigious honor, the Laetare Medal, on Vice President Joe Biden in May. These schools share three things in common: they are all Catholic universities, they are all providing a platform for speakers who are in direct contradiction to the Catholic Church’s doctrine on the value of human life, and they are all extraordinarily expensive, with tuition well over $40,000 excluding room and board and other fees.

    Families sending their kids to these supposedly Catholic schools are on the losing end of this investment.

    Come on. Everything is fine.

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  65. Darryl,

    I have to admit, it’s hard to wrap my mind around it at times. Maybe its my evangelical/fundamentalist upbringing, but I can’t see why the RC apologists don’t see it. Point out the evidence and Susan will say, “Well at least the mass is being said every day”; Mermaid will say, “Everything good in Protestantism comes from [didn’t exist until Trent but who cares anyway] Catholicism; and James will say, “But no one has stopped holding confessions.” What is it about Rome that makes people believe that Rome simply can’t have its lamp stand taken away. All those Apostolic churches in Revelation received the warning.

    I could get the argument that one should be Roman Catholic because its old, because its so large, etc., but the idea that you should become Roman Catholic because it allows you to differentiate between your opinion and divine revelation and that it can’t ever err is mind-boggling. Rome has changed substantively. Some of the most liberal Christians I have known have been mass-going Roman Catholics. And now Francis. I guess I understand the desire for certainty that Rome purports to provide, but that was the Rome of pre-V2. That Rome doesn’t exist anymore. Sedevacantism I get. Francis and Pius IX teaching the same unbroken religion I can’t.

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  66. Cletus van Damme says: Noon,“No RC is sure of their salvation ”Sure? No – that risks the sin of presumption and snuffing out the virtue of humility. Confident and hopeful? Yes.

    This brings to mind maybe why you keep quoting the book of Hebrews scripture so much, Mrs W.
    I haven’t responded to you because you keep accusing me on saying things that I have not said. So, here I will say this harsh thing to you and then you can say that I said it, and it will be actually true.

    “The epistle to the Hebrews is a study in contrast, between the imperfect and incomplete provisions of the Old Covenant, given under Moses, and the infinitely better provisions of the New Covenant offered by the perfect high priest, God’s only Son and the Messiah, Jesus Christ.”

    “A proper interpretation of this epistle requires the recognition that it addresses three distinct groups of Jews: 1) believers; 2) unbelievers who were intellectually convinced of the gospel; and 3) unbelievers who were attracted by the gospel and the person of Christ but who had reached no final conviction about him.”

    “The primary group addressed were Hebrew Christians The letter was written to give them ENCOURAGEMENT AND CONFIDENCE in CHRIST, their Messiah and high priest. They were an immature group of believers who were tempted to hold on to the symbols and spiritually powerless rituals and traditions of Judaism.”
    [*MacArthur study bible)

    Mrs W, here’s the harsh thing -don’t be one of those.
    The Lord wants His children to KNOW they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). I mean, what good earthly parent would love to leave there children in uncertainty, love to see them never quite sure about critical matters; how much more will our Father in heaven not do that. (Matt 7:11, Luke 11:13)

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  67. Darryl,

    “The Westminster Confession didn’t change.”

    So the OPC subscribes to the original version?

    “How the PCUSA applied it (or ignored it and followed some unstated doctrine) sure did.”

    The PCA held a GA which added amendments approving SSM. Where did Rome do that again?

    “But at least the PCUSA rejected conservatives.”

    So Rome hasn’t rejected conservatives. How about that.

    “Rome had a pope who condemned modernism. ”

    Modernism is still condemned.

    “at least Calvin encourages self-awareness.”

    I thought you were against all that Puritan navel-gazing. Btw, in case you were unaware – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Examination_of_conscience

    What on earth does a lineup of speakers at a few American Catholic college commencements have to do with the RC faith? If someone has their faith shaken because Joe Biden spoke at their kid’s graduation, they’ve got bigger problems.

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  68. Cletus,

    What on earth does a lineup of speakers at a few American Catholic college commencements have to do with the RC faith?

    It shows that your church doesn’t care about doctrine. Where are the bishops disciplining the leaders of these schools?

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  69. Clete,

    You also miss Darryl’s point. The outrageously clear doctrinal heresy of the PCUSA of today was preceded by the failure to enforce its standards yesterday. I’d be careful about thumping your chest about Rome not coming up with a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions. Your church is tracking on the same path as mainline Protestantism, you are just several decades behind.

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  70. Robert,

    “It shows that your church doesn’t care about doctrine.”

    Some American colleges are churches now? What happened to all the 2k love?

    “The outrageously clear doctrinal heresy of the PCUSA of today was preceded by the failure to enforce its standards yesterday”

    Vat2 that “liberalized” the church and upturned everything according to your lights happened over 50 years ago. The PCUSA was founded in 1983. How much longer do we need to wait for your prognostications to finally pan out?

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  71. Clete,

    Some American colleges are churches now? What happened to all the 2k love?

    So an institution proudly claiming to be Roman Catholic, with Roman Catholic departments of theology, teaching Roman doctrine (or its view thereof) to students doesn’t merit the bishop saying “Hey, wait a minute!”? You’d think that at least the church would be concerned about parents spending tens of thousands of dollars for a RC education getting their money’s worth. I guess not.

    Vat2 that “liberalized” the church and upturned everything according to your lights happened over 50 years ago. The PCUSA was founded in 1983. How much longer do we need to wait for your prognostications to finally pan out?

    Ah yes, the RCC penchant for dating a denomination according to its articles of incorporation in the United States and ignore everything that came before it. Unless, of course you are Rome, and then you get to go all the way back to Peter. Because, Rome.

    Of course the institutions that became the PCUSA started ignoring the dogma decades earlier, but whatever. Kasper is jumping for joy but nothing has changed. No true innovations. It’s all good.

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  72. Robert,

    “So an institution”

    Right, an institution that isn’t the church … isn’t the church. Georgetown and Notre Dame probably have some atheist professors teaching and non-Christian scholars giving seminars and pro-choice coaches and office workers working and ssm-advocating cooks cooking – quelle horreur! People are supposed to get the vapors when Clinton talks at a commencement? Please. I know you’re not 2k obsessed like Darryl but if you plan to speak for him to clarify missed points, don’t undermine his own position trying to score points.

    “Of course the institutions that became the PCUSA started ignoring the dogma decades earlier”

    You said, “The outrageously clear doctrinal heresy of the PCUSA of today was preceded by the failure to enforce its standards yesterday” – the “its standards” refers to the PCUSA in your statement. PCUSA was founded in 1983. Even if we go back to PCA breaking away a decade earlier as the clear mark, we’re still later than Vat2 which according to you and Darryl is the liberal watershed for RCism. So how much longer do we wait until we see “outrageously clear doctrinal heresy” like women’s ordination and ssm PCUSA affirms? Or will it be endless doomsaying every 5 years or so?

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  73. James Young,

    First you contradict Pius who sez you can be sure of your salvation as a Roman Catholic. You say you can’t.

    If that isn’t mortal then its at least Triple A venial.

    Now you send me to Calvin who speaks of the reprobate four times in your short quote. Thanks, because this is from your Calvin quote:

    “In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.”

    If you knew this kind of confidence in the gospel you would unswim the Tiber and shed those filthy rags. But like I said, the best you offer is doubt, never confidence. Doubt, with man-centered false humility.

    As a RC, what you can’t say and know, like I know, is this:

    “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ?”

    You’re over there, doubting the God who elects and hoping in the Mary who sinned greatly at the of Matt. 13.

    Unicorns and whiffle dust. Tinkerbelle in heaven and Ubermensch in Vat City.

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  74. Noon,

    Pius doesn’t believe in Calvinist assurance/perseverance. One can have a moral certainty they are currently in a state of grace due to “those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church” as Pius affirms and which informs his urging of those outside the fold to enter.

    “doubting the God who elects”

    Why would I doubt God and the salvation of the elect? I agree the elect are all saved, by definition. I disagree all who are justified are elect. But I guess that means all non-Calvinist Protestants who affirm the justified can be lost also believe in unicorns and whiffle dust by your lights. Very ecumenical of you.

    “Now you send me to Calvin who speaks of the reprobate four times in your short quote. ”

    Yup. So are you a reprobate being hoodwinked by God’s evanescent grace and inferior operations of the Holy Spirit deluding yourself into thinking you’re elect when actually you are not?

    “But like I said, the best you offer is doubt, never confidence. ”

    I just said I affirm confidence and hope, not doubt, in the very post you were replying to.

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  75. James,

    Like i said, you can’t say and know, like I say and know:

    “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;” (Romans 8:31)

    You come back and claim:

    “I disagree all who are justified are elect.” (Cletus 1:3)

    Why would I listen to your doubt?

    You would do well to listen submissively to Peter:

    “Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

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  76. Noon,

    “You would do well to listen submissively to Peter:”

    Considering the majority of Christians past and present disagree with your view of the justified and assurance, I believe you may want to take Darryl’s advice and engage in more self-awareness regarding Peter’s passage.

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  77. James Young, “What on earth does a lineup of speakers at a few American Catholic college commencements have to do with the RC faith?”

    Now all that comprehensiveness and universality doesn’t sweat details? Index of Books anyone?

    Modernism still condemned? Which Roman Catholic cares?

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  78. James Young, “Right, an institution that isn’t the church … isn’t the church.”

    Don’t sell yourself short. What about Europe?

    Here are some of the characteristics of Belloc’s view of history. Its
    central theme is the linking of European development with the
    Catholic Faith, so that he goes so far as to say on the very first
    page of this book, “Europe is the Church, and the Church is Europe.”
    And the last two lines of his book read: “Europe will return to the
    Faith, or she will perish. The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the
    Faith.”

    Modesty is unbecoming all those championship rings.

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  79. James Young, “So are you a reprobate being hoodwinked by God’s evanescent grace and inferior operations of the Holy Spirit deluding yourself into thinking you’re elect when actually you are not?”

    And you’re a reprobate being hoodwinked by a magisterium that says the magisterium is infallible? God’s ways are inscrutable? The magisterium’s? Obvious.

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  80. Darryl,

    Belloc is the church now instead of Georgetown? I am Spartacus.

    “then who is pastorally condemning and disciplining modernism? Modernism still condemned? Which Roman Catholic cares?”

    Can you point me to the liturgical and worship changes post 1910 in which the sacraments are no longer celebrated, Scripture’s no longer read as the Word of God, Christ’s divinity and Resurrection are denied or not referenced, lesbian priests are being ordained, etc? Dogma is affirmed every mass (regardless of the specific rite) in the actions, prayers, etc. – in doing so, modernism is condemned and disciplined. Lots of RCs still care – I hear priests on national radio condemning modernism often – does that mean it’s not a problem? Nope.

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  81. Cletus,

    “Considering the majority of Christians past and present disagree with your view of the justified and assurance, I believe you may want to take Darryl’s advice and engage in more self-awareness regarding Peter’s passage.”

    Then they like you disbelieved Romans 8:31. And your point is?

    “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he?” (John 7:48).

    All you got is doubt.

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  82. CVD
    One of Rome’s many flaws is its rejection of 2k. As far as whether what happens at Catholic Universities is “the church”, I think it is hard to escape that in light of “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”. Your bit about the vapors regarding Biden, might well be directed towards the trads who freaked over Obama and Cuomo.

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  83. “Considering the majority of Christians past and present disagree with your view of the justified and assurance…”
    The way is wide that leads to destruction… Maybe being the biggest ain’t all that?

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  84. Considering the majority of Christians past and present disagree with your view of the justified and assurance…

    Is there a survey out there of the millions and billions of professing Christians who have lived throughout history?

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  85. James Young, can you answer for America, Commonweal, NCR, Marquette, Georgetown?

    You want all the glory but none of the Joe Pepitone years.

    Are you in car sales?

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  86. sdb,

    Double ding.

    Moral certainty is the refuge of the Pharisee who believes himself to have merited grace.

    OTOH, sin exposed in the light of a satisfactory propitiation humbles before God – “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

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  87. Considering the majority of Christians past and present disagree with your view of the justified and assurance…

    Another question—Is there are survey of present professing Christians that tells us how many of them even know what “Justified” means. Because if the broadly evangelical church is any indication of Romanism—and it is since RCism is far more nominal—almost nobody professing Christianity will recognize the term “justified,” let alone be able to define it.

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  88. Here’s the thing—if Roman Catholicism wants to beat its chest about being so big and so “catholic,” that’s fine. It must then justify what it believes in light of the Magisterium’s abject failure to deal with Commonweal, Notre Dame, Boston College, etc. If you go all in on the Magisterium, then RCism must be limited only to those who actually believe what the Magisterium says—if you can even figure that out. If we take the most conservative, grammatical-historical meaning of the Magisterium, that’s going to leave us with a number of true RCs that’s really quite small. Which should impact one’s definition of catholicity and universality. Not that it will, however. Blind obedience to a religious institution is really quite strong on the part of RCs who even care about apologetics. Most mass-going RCs are content to believe that all roads lead to heaven.

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  89. Robert says: Another question—Is there are survey of present professing Christians that tells us how many of them even know what “Justified” means. Because if the broadly evangelical church is any indication of Romanism—and it is since RCism is far more nominal—almost nobody professing Christianity will recognize the term “justified,” let alone be able to define it.

    Amen Robert. Reminds me of Zrim saying the other day that if one thinks many don’t say “I am ‘a’ bride of Christ”, they need to get out more, his meaning that many do say that; I was thinking then, that likely what is more true is to get way out more of the cocoon and see many likely don’t know much about ‘the’ bride, period, and the Lord and His character, plans, purposes, ways, word, etc., relatively speaking.
    We keep hearing this next generation has ‘belief’ but just don’t need ‘the church’?

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  90. Noon,

    Now humility is good? I thought it was no bueno and leads to doubt which is bad. But then certainty or confidence is also Pharisaical now according to you. This may shock you – RCs and EOs and Arminians and Lutherans and church fathers (you know, all the reprobates who believe in unicorns and whiffle dust) who reject your view of justification and assurance and were exegetical dummies and “disbelieved Romans 8:31 – and your point is?” (I definitely feel your humility there) also pray ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ There’s 3 ways it can be said at every mass – http://www.ourcatholicfaith.org/mass/penitentialrite.html

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  91. Cletus van Damme says: Sure? No – that risks the sin of presumption and snuffing out the virtue of humility. Confident and hopeful? Yes.

    thinking ‘not being sure’ about one’s salvation is not really ‘humility’ at all -on the surface, at first seeming reasonable, but in reality is the opposite ? – the poor in spirit (having nothing to offer) are relying totally on the Lord and trusting totally in Him and He says we can be sure and wants us to be sure. Humility is the proper estimation of oneself.

    Our hope – Jesus – has entered within the veil – and is sure – and God’s promises never fail those who trust for them in Him, those who have taken refuge in Him, by His grace and mercy.

    -See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

    -This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil Hebrews 6: 19

    -Faith is the assurance of things hoped for Heb 11:1.. MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK (from faith) , MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Heb 10:38-29

    -we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end Hebrews 3:14

    good post here Cletus this am for you : http://www.gty.org/Blog/B160422

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  92. This may shock you – RCs and EOs and Arminians and Lutherans and church fathers (you know, all the reprobates who believe in unicorns and whiffle dust) who reject your view of justification and assurance.

    That’s a rather large brush. Sure, modern RCs reject our views of justification and assurance, but that’s been dogma only since the Reformation. And of course, how many RCs in the pew actually embrace Protestant ideas? Hard to say.

    EOs are a bit of different matter, not even talking in legal terms like RCs and Protestants do when it comes to justification.

    Then of course, Lutheranism shares our view of justification, as do many Arminians. There’s also not a whole lot of difference on actual assurance of salvation with Lutheranism and even with many Arminians. The difference is over the perseverance of the justified. And anyone who denies that has failed to exegete the text correctly. It isn’t a matter of intelligence. Smart people make mistakes. Tradition is hard to overcome. And most people can’t see that the failure of the justified to persevere turns God into someone who is really hoping hard that we’ll be saved, He just can’t really do anything about it.

    And then the church fathers—which church father are we talking about? And on which day? As if their views on justification and assurance were monolithic. I guess if you ignore the writings and men who disagree with you. Remember, RCism gets to define the consensus of the fathers. It is equivalent to “whatever the current Roman Church believes.”

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  93. Robert, isn’t the point whether anyone in the episcopate cares about justification? If they didn’t, it sure would make sense of the current disarray and the pope’s prayer videos. It also explains why dogma doesn’t change. It doesn’t have to. No one follows it.

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  94. Cletus,

    Now you want me doubting I’m actually justified and elect. Which is what you doubt about yourself, being RC.

    You claim to be a believer in Christ but you don’t believe His promise in Rom. 8:31. You have the same kind of humility as Caitlyn.

    She has the kind of humility that claims to be true to her actual nature, but when she pisses, a fact’s a fact.

    All you sell is doubt.

    I got Christ, and His sure word spoken through His holy apostles.

    Like

  95. Not that it’s going to make any difference to the discussion, but something you said, Robert, IS important to the doctrine of “sola” scriptura.

    “And then the church fathers—which church father are we talking about? And on which day? As if their views on justification and assurance were monolithic. I guess if you ignore the writings and men who disagree with you. Remember, RCism gets to define the consensus of the fathers. It is equivalent to “whatever the current Roman Church believes.””

    “About what issues was there consensus?” would be a trail worth investigating.
    If “Fathers” and tradition mean something to sola scriptura rather than solo scriptura, then nobody gets to cherry pick, right?
    If we deviate from the consensus of the Father’s, in what way can we claim to be heirs of Christian Tradition?
    We have to be holding to the consensus in order to claim the tradition of the Father’s.

    Who is holding to the consensus of The Father’s?

    Like

  96. Ali,

    “Humility is the proper estimation of oneself.”

    Correct – the proper estimation in God’s eyes. I can’t estimate what I’ll be in the future. One can have a moral certainty they are in a state of grace and are presently justified. One cannot presume they will be in that state at death and have the final grace of perseverance – the virtue of hope is not presumptuous certainty – one is to pray and depend upon God for His continuing sustaining grace and final perseverance. Was Paul engaging in false humility when he stated, “in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts” or “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

    As the CCC states, “reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty. A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: “Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.'”‘ That’s not false humility.

    Like

  97. Robert,

    “The difference is over the perseverance of the justified. And anyone who denies that has failed to exegete the text correctly.”

    Yup. So the justified are not coterminous with the elect. So Arminians, Lutherans, RCs, EOs past and present along with all the church fathers blew it. But of course that’s no indication that Peter’s warning about distorting Paul could possibly apply to Calvinism – Rom 8:31 is so obvious and self-evident duh. So every non-Calvinist who denies your view on perseverance believes in unicorns and whiffle-dust and are doubting gospel-deniers. Lovely.

    Darryl,

    “It also explains why dogma doesn’t change. It doesn’t have to. No one follows it.”

    Every time someone celebrates a sacrament, attends mass, reads Scripture, prays the divine office or rosary, etc., they follow it.

    “pope’s prayer videos”

    Can you tell me which dogma is denied or not followed in the pope’s prayers videos?

    Like

  98. Clete,

    So the justified are not coterminous with the elect. So Arminians, Lutherans, RCs, EOs past and present along with all the church fathers blew it.

    Depends on the Arminian, Lutheran, RC, EO, and church father. But yeah, whoever denied that the justified are coterminous with the elect blew it. Big time.

    But of course that’s no indication that Peter’s warning about distorting Paul could possibly apply to Calvinism – Rom 8:31 is so obvious and self-evident duh. So every non-Calvinist who denies your view on perseverance believes in unicorns and whiffle-dust and are doubting gospel-deniers. Lovely.

    Sure it’s possible. Which is why we go to the text and exegete. It’s possible Calvinism is distorting Paul. Not likely, but not logically impossible. It’s also not logically impossible that the world is a virtual reality machine, but there’s good reason to believe it’s not.

    Rom. 8:39: “nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” is pretty comprehensive. Nothing in creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. That really leaves you with only three options:

    1. Calvinism
    2. Universalism
    3. God really wants to save you but your will is stronger than his love

    I’ll go with #1

    Like

  99. Susan,

    <i.If we deviate from the consensus of the Father’s, in what way can we claim to be heirs of Christian Tradition?
    We have to be holding to the consensus in order to claim the tradition of the Father’s.

    Depends on what you mean and how you identify the consensus. But the fathers aren’t what is final definitional of Christianity—God is. And the fathers aren’t bearers of God’s special revelation. They are fallible interpreters of it, which is why you really can’t get even Rome to tell me what is infallible in Augustine and what isn’t.

    So you hold to them where they agree with Scripture and reject them where they don’t. That’s exactly what Rome does, except substitute “magisterium” for “Scripture.”

    Who is holding to the consensus of The Father’s?

    First we have to determine what the consensus is. Does every church father have to believe something in order for it to be consensus? Obviously not, because then nobody would follow the consensus, Plenty of fathers disagree with both Protestants and RCs and EOs.

    What I reject is the idea that the consensus of the Fathers is finally determinative of truth and that Rome tells me what the consensus is.

    Like

  100. @Susan

    If “Fathers” and tradition mean something to sola scriptura rather than solo scriptura, then nobody gets to cherry pick, right? If we deviate from the consensus of the Father’s, in what way can we claim to be heirs of Christian Tradition? We have to be holding to the consensus in order to claim the tradition of the Father’s. Who is holding to the consensus of The Father’s?

    There are at least three options regarding the consensus of the Fathers (ECFs):
    1) it doesn’t matter. They are men just like us, so whatev… In fact those compromiseres were totally corrupt, so we should be skeptical of any beliefs that formed a consensus: solo scriptura
    2) The holy spirit never left the church, but he his primary means of enlightening the church is through the passing on of an oral tradition from the apostles to today. Since less time passed between the apostles and the ECFs, they were more enlightened than us today, so we should always defer to their consensus – the historical majority view cannot be wrong: infallible tradition
    3) The holy spirit never left the church, but everyone in the church is tainted by sin. We are limited by our culture and make all sorts of mistakes (think of Augustine’s view that women were not made in the Image of God or Tertullian’s unsavory views about women ). However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t get anything right either, and we are limited by our culture and make all sorts of mistakes as well. By looking back to the ECFs we have a chance to examine the scriptures through a different lens and perhaps rise above the prejudice of the contemporary. However, all of these men could (and did) err, so their perspectives (including those of popes and councils) have to be judged against scripture: Sola Scriptura

    Now once one adopts one of these modes of engaging with the ECFs, one has to decide what counts as consensus and among whom. What still survives? How did their views evolve? Is it the consensus in a given age or across the ages? Is it one person in a generation sufficient to establish consensus? Who counts as an ECF? If I draw my target and then exclude people from various eras based on their disagreement with “orthodoxy”, then I am begging the question…oops! But if I include the ideas of every ordained church member, I find a huge about of variation (and not a small amount of heresy). But the fact that I judge who counts as an ECF on the basis of orthodoxy means that I can’t count them as support for what should count as orthodoxy. Uh oh… there goes one of the legs of the stool. And if history requires a standard by which to judge what counts and what doesn’t, then I can’t use history as an authority either…the magisterium is getting quite shaky – the MOCs just flew out the window. But of course if I need an authority that can provide a foundation for me so that I am justified in believing the scriptures I have trouble too – how do I identify the authority? History and tradition are out the window. I don’t even have scriptures now…YIKES! Maybe the problem is with foundationalism…

    Maybe the Holy Spirit enlightens us and confirms for us God’s Word – the sheep know his voice! Further, perhaps we can learn from teachers (contemporary and historical) even while always testing everything against God’s Word. Of course, most people would rather rule in hell than bow in heaven (to co-opt Milton), and submitting to God’s Word goes against every fiber of our being (flesh) – thus most people do not see the Bible as a book that judges us, but rather a book to be judged by us. The fact that the way is narrow and there are few who find it (and have new hearts that bow in submission to their shepherd’s voice) is not evidence that this way is false…

    Like

  101. Robert,
    I was hoping you’d listen to the podcast I linked.

    Was the liturgy of the Church and the rubric of The Mass held by consenus of the Father’s?
    It seems to me that it is important to find out if it was part of eucharistic worship service from the very beginning. If it wasn’t, there should be record of it being an abomination and harshly dealt with since it is such a serious matter.

    Last night I listened to a podcast by Scott Hahn about “the fourth cup”. It was an incredibly enlightening explanation about how Jesus celebrated Seder at Passover when he instituted the New Covenant. How after the cup of the third blessing, Jesus intentionally halted the Seder service to pray in the Garden, asking for the cup( the fourth cup; the one of consummation) be taken from Him. Then how He finally drank it on the cross, when wine was lifted up to him on hissop branches( ‘coincidentally’the same instrument the blood from the paschal lamb during the Passover sacrifice is sprinkled on the altar).
    I have never heard such depth and breadth of scriptural knowledge.
    Say what you want but it just makes sense.

    If you are serious, you will dig deeper.

    https://stpaulcenter.com/media/audio/the-fourth-cup

    I’m out of here, again.

    Peace,
    Susan

    Like

  102. sdb,

    “Who counts as an ECF? … I include the ideas of every ordained church member, I find a huge about of variation”

    I’ll make it simple. Can you name and cite some people from 100AD – 1000AD who held the justified could not lose their salvation and were coterminous with the elect? Since it’s apparently an “essential” to the gospel and thus perspicuous by some here, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Like

  103. Susan,

    Was the liturgy of the Church and the rubric of The Mass held by consenus of the Father’s?

    I don’t understand this question. Was there a Eucharistic liturgy held in common by many fathers? Sure. Was it similar in at least some ways to RC and Protestant liturgies that followed. Sure. Does that means the fathers held to transubstantiation or consubstantiation or Calvin’s idea of spiritual presence? Or something else? Depends on the father. Does that mean the fathers held to the mass as an ongoing sacrifice of propitiation? Depends on the father.

    We know there was no consensus beyond some very basic things about the Eucharist. Augustine held that in the Eucharist we offer up ourselves, which is very different from any notion of the priest offering up Christ. There goes “consensus” on what is being offered.

    Like

  104. “We know there was no consensus beyond some very basic things about the Eucharist. Augustine held that in the Eucharist we offer up ourselves, which is very different from any notion of the priest offering up Christ. There goes “consensus” on what is being offered.”

    Well, actually no it doesn’t. No need to be mutually exclusive. We do offer up ourselves as well. Did Augustine say that the Mass was idolatry? That’s the question.

    What’s the good of the term “consensus”if nobody knows what things there is consensus about?

    Like

  105. Cletus van Damme says: Ali,Was Paul engaging in false humility when he stated, “in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts” or “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

    oh Cletus, so be it; you prefer doubt, have doubt
    as for me, I hear my Shepherd’s voice and He gives me complete assurance…. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

    thanks, though, for the reminder in those passages you mention–definitely needed – for leaders to seek God’s approve alone, not man’s, watching their doctrine and life, for each one’s praise comes to him from… GOD. (1 Cor 4:5)

    Have a good weekend , one not-TOO-much-in-doubt

    Like

  106. Susan,

    Did Augustine say that the Mass was idolatry? That’s the question.

    Not that I’m aware of, but the mass in Augustine’s day isn’t the mass of Trent. I’m fairly certain that the Reformers didn’t condemn ancient liturgies, at least in any significant way. But the worship of the 2nd century wasn’t the same as the worship of the medieval church.

    What’s the good of the term “consensus” if nobody knows what things there is consensus about?

    It’s a fine term as long as it isn’t used artificially. Most RCs that I know who talk about the consensus of the fathers are very selective. There was a consensus that the bishop of Rome did not have universal jurisdictional authority. But you wouldn’t know that from reading RC apologists.

    If you want to appeal to “consensus,” do it consistently. As it is, when RC apologists appeal to it, what they mean by consensus is anything that might possibly remotely look sorta Tridentine as long as you ignore other stuff they say that doesn’t sound so much like it.

    If you want to talk about consensus among the orthodox, sure there was consensus on the deity of Christ and several other matters. There wasn’t consensus on justification, the Eucharist, the infallibility of the church, and a host of other issues. Basically the issues that still divide Prots and RCs. There was a reason why both sides could appeal to the fathers for support during the Reformation.

    The use of patristic sources is fraught with problems depending on how you approach them. There are all sorts of unjustified and undefended assumptions that various sides bring to them. I’m still waiting for someone to prove that a fourth century writer is necessarily a better exegete than a twenty-first century writer, for instance. I’m still waiting for Rome to justify its picking and choosing of Augustine by anything other than what Rome says currently.

    Like

  107. Susan, “Was the liturgy of the Church and the rubric of The Mass held by consenus of the Father’s?”

    Hello. Some used Latin, some used Greek, some used Coptic.

    Avoid (and THINK) associating Rome’s centralization of church life with the U.S. federal government’s nationalism.

    Like

  108. Darryl,

    Augustine wrote the following:
    “It is, indeed, to be wondered at, and greatly to be wondered at, that to some of His own children–whom He has regenerated in Christ–to whom He has given faith, hope, and love, God does not give perseverance also.”

    “The faith of these, which worketh by love, either actually does not fail at all, or, if there are any whose faith fails, it is restored before their life is ended, and the iniquity which had intervened is done away, and perseverance even to the end is allotted to them. But they who are not to persevere, and who shall so fall away from Christian faith and conduct that the end of this life shall find them in that case, beyond all doubt are not to be reckoned in the number of these, even in that season wherein they are living well and piously. For they are not made to differ from that mass of perdition by the foreknowledge and predestination of God, and therefore are not called according to God’s purpose, and thus are not elected”

    “”Let the inquirer still go on, and say, ‘Why is it that to some who have in good faith worshipped Him He has not given to persevere to the end?'”

    “All mortal sins are to be submitted to the keys of the Church and all can be forgiven; but recourse to these keys is the only, the necessary, and the certain way to forgiveness. Unless those who are guilty of grevious sin have recourse to the power of the keys, they cannot hope for eternal salvation. Open your lips, them, and confess your sins to the priest.”

    Feel free to try again.

    And if you THINK, you’d realize that various rites and churches within RCism have their own language, customs, etc in their liturgies – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_rites_and_churches – so your reply to Susan is off the mark.

    Like

  109. James Young, good, you took the bait. You can find quotes. When I find papal quotes about the crusades or papal supremacy over the emperor, it’s only discipline.

    Heck, think of it this way. Development of Augustine leads to Luther. Development works all sorts of ways. You’re so literal and so anachronistic. Catch up with your holy father.

    Like

  110. Augustine via CVD:

    Augustine wrote the following:
    “It is, indeed, to be wondered at, and greatly to be wondered at, that to some of His own children–whom He has regenerated in Christ–to whom He has given faith, hope, and love, God does not give perseverance also.”

    “The faith of these, which worketh by love, either actually does not fail at all, or, if there are any whose faith fails, it is restored before their life is ended, and the iniquity which had intervened is done away, and perseverance even to the end is allotted to them. But they who are not to persevere, and who shall so fall away from Christian faith and conduct that the end of this life shall find them in that case, beyond all doubt are not to be reckoned in the number of these, even in that season wherein they are living well and piously. For they are not made to differ from that mass of perdition by the foreknowledge and predestination of God, and therefore are not called according to God’s purpose, and thus are not elected” citing Treatise on Rebuke and Grace, ch16,18.

    Let’s read this carefully.

    According to Augustine, there are two groups. There are those who have faith that works by love. For this group, their faith does not fail, or else it is restored before life is ended.

    Then there are those whose faith does fail. In this case, we find that they are at no time to be reckoned among those whose faith works by love; they are not made to differ from the mass of perdition.

    So members of the second group (a) does not have faith that works through love, and (b) are no different from the mass of perdition.

    Augustine’s words are perfectly consistent with Westminster, but not with the CCC.

    In that same Treatise on Rebuke and Grace, Augustine continues (ch 20)

    Nor let it disturb us that to some of His children God does not give this perseverance. Be this far from being so, however, if these were of those who are predestinated and called according to His purpose,—who are truly the children of the promise. For the former, while they live piously, are called children of God; but because they will live wickedly, and die in that impiety, the foreknowledge of God does not call them God’s children. For they are children of God whom as yet we have not, and God has already, of whom the Evangelist John says, “that Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God which were scattered abroad;” and this certainly they were to become by believing, through the preaching of the gospel. And yet before this had happened they had already been enrolled as sons of God with unchangeable stedfastness in the memorial of their Father. And, again, there are some who are called by us children of God on account of grace received even in temporal things, yet are not so called by God; of whom the same John says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us, because if they had been of us they would, no doubt, have continued with us.” He does not say, “They went out from us, but because they did not abide with us they are no longer now of us;” but he says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us,”—that is to say, even when they appeared among us, they were not of us.

    Augustine’s solution is identical to Calvin’s: There is a church as seen by God, and there is a church as seen by man; the former only are genuine believers. Those who depart were never of us.

    It is clear that this group cannot be aside to be justified in God’s eyes in any meaningful sense. At most, Augustine would say that they appear to be justified in our sight.

    The Roman Catholic solution is not identical to Augustine’s. In RC teaching, we ourselves must cooperate with grace in order to receive the grace of perseverance:

    162 Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: “Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.” To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be “working through charity,” abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church. — CCC 162.

    For Augustine, apostasy teaches that “the Lord knows who are His.” (Rebuke ch 16). For the CCC, apostasy teaches that we can make a shipwreck of our faith.

    Night and day.

    Like

  111. Erratum: It is clear that this group cannot be aside to be justified in God’s eyes in any meaningful sense

    /s/aside/said

    Like

  112. amen Jeff.

    Jesus: All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:37,40

    as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12…The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, Rom 8:16… If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5: 9 -13

    Cletus says: …that to some of His own children–…whom He has regenerated in Christ–….God does not give perseverance also.

    selective quoting like that seems to indicate Cletus may prefer that kind of father. Can’t imagine why. What good earthly father would declare one a child and then say, oh never mind, you are no longer my child, how much will it never happen by our True heavenly Father… maybe that’s partly why Jesus said:
    Little children, guard yourselves from idols.(1 John 5:21)

    ‘ course, also, if one follows the pope’s lead in calling everyone a ‘child of God…. confusion is going to reign.

    Like

  113. Dang, Cletus. more doubt.

    ““Our main difference with Roman Catholicism is that we do not believe that the Pope has the power to sit on the throne and declare dogma,” Delvaux said. “The church is infallible only in the areas of faith and morals; we can trust what the church teaches, but the Pope cannot have infallibility on his own.” He explained that most people in the Independent Catholic movement believe that Papal decrees are only infallible when they are made with the consensus of a council of bishops.”

    http://www.signaltribunenewspaper.com/?p=1381

    Like

  114. sdb says:
    April 20, 2016 at 9:18 pm
    “Considering the majority of Christians past and present disagree with your view of the justified and assurance…”
    The way is wide that leads to destruction… Maybe being the biggest ain’t all that?>>>>>

    Does Scripture support your view of justification and assurance or not?

    Remember. The JWs are small as well. Not speaking against them personally, but against their Arianism.

    Given the fact that justification by faith alone is presented in a very negative light in Scripture, maybe you need to rethink Luther’s theology. Maybe he is the one who needs to be put in the dock.

    Remember. Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation were not in his canon of Scripture. What does that tell you? Why would you follow his lead on “justification by faith alone”?

    You don’t even have to be a Catholic to notice his glaring errors, not the least of which is taking away from and adding to Scripture.

    Sola fide? Sola scriptura? What faith and what Scripture?

    Like

  115. D. G. Hart says:
    April 19, 2016 at 4:30 pm
    Mermaid, catch up. The bishops at Trent did not believe in the priesthood of believers:

    And if any one affirm, that all Christians indiscrimately are priests of the New Testament, or that they are all mutually endowed with an equal spiritual power, he clearly does nothing but confound the ecclesiastical hierarchy, which is as an army set in array; as if, contrary to the doctrine of blessed Paul, all were apostles, all prophets, all evangelists, all pastors, all doctors.>>>>

    1. Exactly. Not all believers are ordained priests, as in authorized to administer the visible sacraments, especially that of the Holy Eucharist.
    —————————
    CHAPTER I.

    On the institution of the Priesthood of the New Law.

    Sacrifice and priesthood are, by the ordinance of God, in such wise conjoined, as that both have existed in every law. Whereas, therefore, in the New Testament, the Catholic Church has received, from the institution of Christ, the holy visible sacrifice of the Eucharist; it must needs also be confessed, that there is, in that Church, a new, visible, and external priesthood, into which the old has been translated. And the sacred Scriptures show, and the tradition of the Catholic Church has always taught, that this priesthood was instituted by the same Lord our Saviour, and that to the apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, was the power delivered of consecrating, offering, and administering His Body and Blood, as also of forgiving and of retaining sins.
    Council of Trent
    ————————————————————-

    2. All believers are called priests as Scripture states, but not all are ordained to the visible priesthood. One kind of priesthood does not rule out the other. All believers are able to offer spiritual sacrifices.
    ——————————–
    Reply to Objection 2. A devout layman is united with Christ by spiritual union through faith and charity, but not by sacramental power: consequently he has a spiritual priesthood for offering spiritual sacrifices, of which it is said (Psalm 1:19): “A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit”; and (Romans 12:1): “Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” Hence, too, it is written (1 Peter 2:5): “A holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices.”

    St. Thomas Aquinas
    Summa Theologica III – Article 1
    ——————————————–
    D. G. Hart says:
    April 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm
    Mermaid, consider that your love feels like pity.>>>>>

    There is always an element of pity mixed with love. As you like to say, life is hard. We’re all in this together, and all seeking God’s will for us. Well, at least all serious Christians. Pity is not a bad thing.

    However, I don’t feel sorry for you guys if you are happy in your faith in Christ. Why should I? I am sorry that you don’t wish to actually study Catholic theology, but that is your choice.

    “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”
    – Prince

    I know you’re a fan. 😉 The quote sounds quite 2Kish.

    Like

  116. Mermaid, “I am sorry that you don’t wish to actually study Catholic theology, but that is your choice.”

    Ah, but it spares us having to study Francis and John XXIII.

    Like

  117. A modern-day Rex?

    Penitent: “Bless me Father for I have sinned, my last Confession was a month ago. Here are my sins. Father, I returned to the practice of the Faith last month after the Holy Father’s letter on marriage. After seven years of marriage (we married in the Church), my first marriage fell apart. After hearing about the changes the Holy Father made, I spoke to a priest in Confession, explaining the exceptional circumstances of the divorce and he told me to follow my conscience. I feel the marriage wasn’t valid because we were two different people who didn’t share the same dreams.”

    Priest: “Did you attempt marriage again?”

    Penitent: “Yes, I married my high school girlfriend, justice of the peace…”

    Priest: “Did you receive a decree of nullity from the Catholic Church for your first marriage?”

    Penitent: “No, I was told it would take over a year to process the request and I wanted to get married immediately and then forgot about it. But that’s why, after hearing about the changes made by Pope Francis, I spoke to the priest in Confession.”

    Priest: “Perhaps we should talk about this outside of Confession….”

    Penitent: “The reason I’m here is because I failed to mention something in my last Confession.”

    Priest: “Did the priest grant you absolution?”

    Penitent: “Yes, because he said I should follow my conscience with respect to the validity of the first marriage. But I was so embarrassed about a sin, I concealed it last time; I didn’t mention it. It has been bothering me ever since. You see, one of the factors that contributed to the breakup of my marriage was my wife’s abortion of our second child. I didn’t really approve, but we were having so many fights I thought it would help keep the marriage together if I kept my mouth shut. So I drove her to Planned Parenthood for the procedure. It has bothered me ever since.”

    Like

  118. What happens when the pope refuses your call to communion:

    The Holy Father wisely chose not to respond to the five dubia, or questions, posed to him by four cardinals who objected to Amoris Laetitia. Unlike our president, Pope Francis can’t be easily baited. “The dubia are not really expressions of doubt or questions but rather assertions that ‘Amoris Laetitia’ appears to have abandoned or altered key teachings of Catholic tradition,” as Fr. Lou Cameli pointed out in his splendid essay at America. Answering them publicly would have only emboldened those few who resist the pope’s pastoral approach. Where do they go now with their complaints?

    Why the Roman Catholic church isn’t reformed.

    Like

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