Declining church attendance

by SDG

in Uncategorized

SDG here (not Jimmy) with some musings on the trend of falling church attendance, especially among Catholics..

In a combox discussion below about post-Vatican II liturgical changes, a reader suggested that post-Vatican II liturgical changes were responsible for a massive decline in Catholic church attendance. Of course church attendance has fallen everywhere, not just among Catholics — but another reader argued that Catholics have fallen away at much greater rates than their non-Catholic neighbors, implying that the fault must lie with changes in the Church:

The Church was in ascendancy until all of these shenanigans started up around Vatican II. Now? Decline in many fronts…

So what is the cause? Protestant church attendance went down by about 5-10% in the last 40 years, Catholics are down by over 60%.

Now, I’m not a sociologist. I suspect the second reader’s statistical factoid is misleading, for reasons that I may or may not touch on in a follow-up post or in the combox. Granted the statistic, though, or at least the general point behind it, I can think of a few possible factors that could contribute to such a disparity, though I don’t pretend to know what "the cause" is.

What I can say is this: Granted that the decline in church attendance has hit the Catholic Church harder than Protestant churches, it doesn’t follow that the basis for this disparity must be rooted solely in harmful changes within the Catholic Church. On the contrary, I think it is very likely that two very important factors involve ways in which the Catholic Church has not changed while the culture — including Protestant culture — has drifted further into error.

Let’s review a little history. Other than Vatican II and the 1969 missal, what other cultural changes have taken place from the 1960s onward?

Here are a few: The sexual revolution. The Pill. No-fault divorce. The Playboy Philosophy. The Me Generation. The evolution of serial monogamy. The DINK culture. The rise of what is only half facetiously called the "starter marriage."

Now, what are the most widely criticized and resisted teachings of the Catholic Church today? Here are two:

1. Divorce and remarriage.

2. Contraception.

To these two we could also add an obvious third, abortion, although there the Protestant culture is more divided, with strong areas of ongoing resistance to abortion within the Evangelical community. On the subjects of divorce and remarriage and contraception, on the other hand, the Catholic Church stands essentially alone against the culture.

Say what you like about the liberality of American marriage tribunals. The fact remains that in the Catholic Church it is still a whole heck of a lot harder to get divorced and remarried and keep on receiving communion as a Catholic in good standing than it is in any other church or ecclesial community. On this subject, what has changed over the last four decades is not the Church’s essential teaching, but the culture at large.

In an age in which skyrocketing divorce rates and multiple marriages are increasingly the norm, the Church’s ongoing fidelity to her essential teaching seems increasingly onerous and unrealistic. No other church or ecclesial community imposes the array of time-consuming, bureaucratic and potentially costly obstacles upon divorced members seeking to enter or having already entered into new unions. The Church does this out of fidelity to Jesus Christ, who declared that he who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, but the world grows ever deafer to this declaration.

As for contraception, if anything it is probably an even bigger issue. As prevalent as divorce and remarriage have become, contraception is ubiquitous, literally taken for granted. The question in our contraceptive culture is not whether to contracept, but only which type(s) of contraception to use. (The mere fact that one particular type of oral pharmaceutical has an undisputed and unambiguous claim to the definite term "The Pill" itself speaks volumes.)

Although surveys suggest that many Catholics are willing to keep coming to Mass in spite of dissenting from the Church’s teaching in both theory and practice, it remains a major impediment to fully appropriating and embracing one’s Catholic identity. It is a wedge driving untold Catholics to qualify their acceptance of the Church’s teaching and pastoral authority, making it easier to dissent and distance themselves on other issues and finally to abandon the Church altogether.

On a fundamental level, whatever mistakes and questionable decisions may have been made within the Church in the 1960s and beyond, on these two issues it is what the Church has done right that has pushed away some who might not have been pushed away in Protestant churches.

This isn’t to say that mistakes and questionable decisions haven’t made both issues a bigger stumbling-block when they need to be. For instance, I know a couple seeking full membership in the Church who have been trying to get an anullment hearing in another country for several years. Not just the Church’s teaching, but the imperfections of the Church’s leadership obstruct their way.

Nor am I claiming that liturgical changes in the 1960s and beyond — both authorized and otherwise — haven’t been factors at all.

I’m simply noting that the factors are complex, the social changes over the last few decades are complex, the issues are complex. We can’t simply conclude that if more people are falling away from the Church, the only possible explanation is limited to what the Church is doing wrong. At least in some cases, it may be what the Church is doing right.

Many disciples stopped following Jesus after his "hard sayings" in John 6, saying, "Who can accept this?" The same dynamic is at work today.

If you liked this post, you should join Jimmy's Secret Information Club to get more great info!


What is the Secret Information Club?I value your email privacy

{ 736 comments }

Gibberwock October 4, 2007 at 10:41 am

Well said, Mr. Akin. If all things in the 20th century were held equal, one might be able to blame liturgical reforms for declining Mass attendance. Of course, all things were not and are not equal; the 20th century has been a time of major deviation from Christian moral teaching, often leaving the Church alone to defend what have become very unpopular truths.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 10:45 am

Well said, Mr. Akin.
I agree — Mr. Akin has done it again!
THANKS JIMMY!!!

Different October 4, 2007 at 10:52 am

It’s rather telling that Mass attendance in the US began declining sharply in 1966 – three years before the missal of 1969.
It makes far more sense to look at all the cultural upheaval as the likely cause of decling attendance.

Pam October 4, 2007 at 10:58 am

Very, interesting analysis. And of course when Catholic’s left the Church they may have found it easier to blame it on liturgical changes rather than dissent from the teachings of the Church on Divorce & remarriage and contraception.

Tim J. October 4, 2007 at 11:00 am

Bravo, Mr. Akin!

Mike Petrik October 4, 2007 at 11:02 am

Agreed on all counts. I would only add that another very important factor has been the failure of catechesis. Catholics who grow more distant from or leave the Church seldom have any real sense of what they’re leaving. Nor, with regard to teachings with which they disagree, do they have any real understanding of such teachings or their underlying rationale. In sum, few adult Catholics today have been competently catechised.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 11:04 am

Bravo, Mr. Akin!
hehehhe…

Brian Walden October 4, 2007 at 11:12 am

Good post. While the Magisterium holds fiercely to the truth concerning marriage and sexuality, I wonder how many people are turned away from the Church because their local priest and bishop don’t preach these hard truths well.
A few years ago one of my friends who comes from a Irish-Catholic family was shocked to hear that the Catholic Church is opposed to contraception. Admittedly, that case is rare and most Catholics do know that the Church is opposed to contraception – but how many know why? It’s just not taught well (if at all). I have a hard time even finding a good priest to even confess to about sins which society as a whole doesn’t consider to be sinful, many times something like “it’s ok everybody does it” is implied in the tone of his response.
The clergy need to better and more clearly teach the parts of the faith that society is most opposed to. The laity need to do a better job of publicly living these difficult teachings in order to set a positive example for their neighbor.
For as much as the hard teachings of the Church lead Catholics to fall away, I think that the identity crisis between the official church teachings and the way the faith is taught by the average priest and lived by the average lay person turns away non- and nominal-Catholics who might otherwise be interested in learning more about the Church.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 11:15 am

I would only add that another very important factor has been the failure of catechesis. Catholics who grow more distant from or leave the Church seldom have any real sense of what they’re leaving. Nor, with regard to teachings with which they disagree, do they have any real understanding of such teachings or their underlying rationale. In sum, few adult Catholics today have been competently catechised.
Very well put!
This is precisely true on all fronts with regard to Catholics who have gone to supposedly greener pasteurs either in Protestantism or other world religions.
The fact of the matter is a majority of them never really knew/understood what the Catholic Church Taught and the rationale for such Teachings.
There are even those who take their mistaken notions of Church Teachings as actually being Church Teachings themselves — although the reality is far from it.

AnnonyMouse October 4, 2007 at 11:27 am

I think a letter to our Catholic Newpaper summed it up (not on purpose of course); Before Vatican II we went to mass to avoid mortal sin; now we go for community, singing and livliness of the community.
Good points SDG. What did you do with Jimmy?

SDG October 4, 2007 at 11:35 am

Before Vatican II we went to mass to avoid mortal sin; now we go for community, singing and livliness of the community.

And while the first half of this sentence illustrates the need for a new catechesis prior to Vatican II; the second half illustrates the failure to achieve it after Vatican II.
Going to Mass to avoid mortal sin. Yes, it’s better than not going to Mass at all, but.

Good points SDG. What did you do with Jimmy?

He puts the lotion on his skin, or he gets the hose…

Esau October 4, 2007 at 11:39 am

…now we go for community, singing and livliness of the community.
AnnonyMouse:
Thank-you for giving attention to this!
Sure, this may make Mass a little more lively, a little more interesting.
But it seems to take focus away not only from the sanctity of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the reverence we should hold for it, but also it places emphasis on “feeling” rather than on “Christ” on many levels.
For what happens if that “feeling” were to be tested?
That is, if it doesn’t feel good — if it doesn’t live up to the attendee’s expectations and the entertainment is lousy; why attend Mass at all?
I remember when one person was given the opportunity to “witness” (at least, that’s what I would’ve called it from the previous Protestant church I attended in college) by the celebrant during a homily.
I remember when the guy said that if we pray hard enough (being overcome by feeling), then perhaps Jesus might become present to us at Mass.
NEWSFLASH, folks, but aside from referring to the verse in the bible about Jesus being present ‘where 3 or more are gathered in my name’; isn’t Jesus present at all in the HOLY EUCHARIST?
Or is that just a figment of a Catholic’s imagination?
I have no qualms about “witnessing” to others and so forth; I can even tolerate the modern worship music at some points.
But then you have priests who further accomodates such innovations to the point of altering the Eucharistic Prayer as well as omitting the Nicene Creed at Mass.
Thus, to me, such things seem to laregly take focus away from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by placing emphasis on how a person ‘feels’ about Christ rather than the Mass actually being about Christ.

AnnonyMouse October 4, 2007 at 11:48 am

“He puts the lotion on his skin, or he gets the hose…” WHAT ON EARTH~?
Totally agree with you Esau! And to top it all off….in our newspaper….there was absolutely NO NONE ZILCH followup about it STILL being a mortal sin. A great Catechises moment…but it is followed up with drivel from a priest complaining about why would we want to go back….yuck.
I am sure praying, Esau, that our faith remains during these times. Because there are times when I cry at mass, get angry and want to throw my hands up and go “what is the point”! Our going to mass is more than a feeling..I can GUARANTEE that!

Mike Petrik October 4, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I largely agree with SDG.
Also, in the 1960s we retired the incomplete but true Baltimore Catechism (BC) and replaced it with … nothing. Thirty years later we finally have a new Catechism (NC), which is also true, and substantially more complete, but it reads more like a reference tool rather than a text. It is fine for adults and high school students, but not for children. I do wish we would have retained the BC for use through middle school (teaching the who, what, when, and where) in order to set the table for the NC (with its enriching explanations of why). I think such a strategy, competently executed, would have prepared college students and interested adults for authentic Catholic theology, including moral theology and its application to contemporary life.
Just a thought.

bill912 October 4, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Amen, AnnonyMouse! All masses are re-enactments of Calvary. Unfortunately, some are so in more ways than one.

bill912 October 4, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Amen to what you said, too, Mike P! I remember a homily I heard over 20 years ago. The priest preached on the first 2 questions from the Baltimore Catechism: “Who made you? God made me.
Why did God make you? God made me to know, love, and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” You could have heard a pin drop in the Church during his homily.

Smoky Mountain October 4, 2007 at 12:12 pm

SDG here (not Jimmy)
SDG,
Can you stop referring to him as J.I.M.M.Y?
To me, I keep thinking you’re saying “Just Ignore My Mother’s Yodelling”.
And I didn’t know your mother could yodel.

AnnonyMouse October 4, 2007 at 12:18 pm

B.C. is GREAT for concise answers, especially for the young! We use it and plan to still use it! Our dd (12 now) has just started to “get into” the CCC and it is definitely NOT for children. But she is taking it in stride and understand the basic meanings but only because of the B.C.
Bill, I never knew why we were made till I started teaching our children. Honest.
Also, we were taught that contraception was OUR CHOICE that the church didn’t/hadn’t really said anything on it. And in our pre marriage course, we were taught that porn was OK as long as we “ate” at home. Talk about wanting to throw up!

SDG October 4, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Smoky: Leave my mother’s yodeling out of this.

Ben Bentrup October 4, 2007 at 12:28 pm

I ultimately trace the problem to letting our pride get the better of us. Before, we recognized that we were God’s creatures in need of a spiritual father (God) and mother (the Church). Now we see the many wonderful works of our hands, and like the ancient Babylonians, and fall prey to the prime evil. We think we can take care of ourselves, making our own precepts and calling them godly. We allow relativism (egged on by materialism) to distort our notions of truth and goodness. Ultimately, even something as tragic as contraception is just a symptom of our culture of death. It’s time to get out the metaphorical sackcloths, repent, and humble ourselves before God.
I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see any way out of the current muck until God one day allows, through his Divine Love, some huge cataclismic destructive event when people will wake up and realize they are in need of a savior.
If the Tridentine Mass had gone on unsuspended, as the conjecture was originally made, I personally doubt we’d have a much different society than we do now. Personally, my favorite Mass is the Novus Ordo with as much Latin as possible in its rites. I hope that stays licit til I die.
Sad times here. However lets hope, as always, in the Lord.
Ben

Tim J. October 4, 2007 at 12:55 pm

As an adult convert, I love the old Baltimore Catechism. The art is so kitschy that it has come back into style, in a way. Very amusing for the kids. We do laugh at some of the illustrations, but… it GETS THE POINT ACROSS.
Questions followed by intelligible answers.
Last time I taught parish “yoots”, the materials were so watered down and touchy-feely, it seemed like every question the kids might have was answered with… three more questions. It gave them almost nothing they could sink their teeth into, and they left more confused than when they came.
I honestly believe that may have been the aim of the writers.

Leah October 4, 2007 at 12:56 pm

I think perhaps another item we could add to the list of teachings widely criticized and misunderstood on which the Church stands largely alone would be ordination of women – like divorce and remarriage and contraception, a question hanging on our modern misunderstanding of sexuality.
While there are some Protestants that oppose women priests/pastors/elders, the Catholic Church is by far the most visible Christian body opposing women’s ordination. And nobody knows why. As an admin assistant in a diocesan department, I had the director of Marriage and Family Life ask me why we didn’t allow women to be priests (she knew I’ve read about that sort of thing). I was shocked that the director was asking me.
Society is largely against any belief in inherent differences between the sexes (a big contribution to the rise in divorce in so many ways, beginning with the inability for spouses to understand their differences). And it’s not a topic we hear addressed from the pulpit.

John E October 4, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Great post, but first, a couple nits:
“The fact remains that in the Catholic Church it is still a whole heck of a lot harder to get divorced and remarried…”
Just to clarify terminology, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that in the Catholic Church there is no such thing as divorce, and no such thing as remarriage unless your spouse has died? There is marriage or no marriage. Divorce is a civil matter.
Not just the Church’s teaching, but the imperfections of the Church’s leadership obstruct their way.
The Church’s teaching does not obstruct, it frees. Rather than Church teaching being an obstruction, people put themselves into situations where it is sometimes very difficult to come to full communion. Sometimes this may be due to lack of catechesis or imperfections in Church leadership. Sometimes it’s due to a person’s own obstinance or selfishness. If I get mud all over my shoes and my wife tells me to take them off before I come inside, it’s not so much her instructions that are the obstruction, it’s the mud. It’s not even going to help my case if I complain that I didn’t know I would get muddy where I was walking, or that someone who I thought was trustworthy never told me I would get muddy.
At our parish we have great singing and talented musicians. They play some catchy tunes and would be great performing on Broadway. But a lot of the music is not appropriate for Mass. There are serious parts of the Mass, such as when we’re asking the Lamb of God to have mercy on us, where I shouldn’t feel like snapping my fingers.
I think when the Mass itself is celebrated by the priest, congregation, and choir with utmost reverence it is also one of our greatest tools of evangelism. Our early morning Easter Vigil Mass was mostly reverent. But during Communion the choir sang a song with the lyrics “No need to knock, just come on in”. Here on the one hand you have the RCIA group spending nearly a year or more discerning whether they should be Catholic, working on annulments, learning the faith, and preparing to be received into full communion. And then when at last they are welcomed into the Church to receive their first Holy Communion, the choir tells them and all present in the congregation, “No need to knock, just come on in!” Combine that with a homily or liturgy that focuses more on naval-gazing than Christ and it’s easy to see why non-Catholics in the congregation would conclude that there’s nothing all that special going on here. “If Catholics don’t REALLY believe it, why should I?”
It seems like many priests or liturgists must think that the Church needs to conform to the culture so that we can draw more people to church. When some finally do come to church they often realize they can get the same or better entertainment or “feel-good-about-myself” homilies elsewhere without all the uncomfortable challenges to radically change their lives. The Church needs to attract radicals, not cultural conformists.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 1:17 pm

At our parish we have great singing and talented musicians. They play some catchy tunes and would be great performing on Broadway. But a lot of the music is not appropriate for Mass. There are serious parts of the Mass, such as when we’re asking the Lamb of God to have mercy on us, where I shouldn’t feel like snapping my fingers.
John E,
Thank-you!
We have similar folks at our church.
Hand-clapping is actually incorporated into the Gloria.
Because of this, most kids and other young folks (as well as adults) concentrate more on the “fun of clapping” rather than put serious thought on the words of the Gloria and the Worship due God!
It’s to the point where they’re laughing and having fun — mind you, not at a carnival, not at a kindergarten class/preschool, or what have you — BUT AT MASS!
Like I said, I can’t wait until they incorporate Dancing with the Celebrant into the Mass as well!
It’ll make everybody wanna go have fun and attend this Carnival — I mean — Mass!

SDG October 4, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Just to clarify terminology, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that in the Catholic Church there is no such thing as divorce, and no such thing as remarriage unless your spouse has died? There is marriage or no marriage. Divorce is a civil matter.

FWIW, it was civil divorce I was speaking of in that sentence. “In the Catholic Church” refers to the ecclesial standing of those getting divorced, not to a divorce process within the Church.

The Church’s teaching does not obstruct, it frees. Rather than Church teaching being an obstruction, people put themselves into situations where it is sometimes very difficult to come to full communion.

Well, that which frees us can also be a kind of obstacle, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. (And in the case I’m thinking of, it is not only the objective situation in which the people have placed themselves, but also the obstructive processes that have kept them hanging for a number of years, that is the obstacle.)

Esau October 4, 2007 at 1:42 pm

SDG:
I believe John E was referring to your following statement:
” The fact remains that in the Catholic Church it is still a whole heck of a lot harder to get divorced ”
Anyone reading could mistake your statement to mean that divorce is possible in the Catholic Church.

Mike Petrik October 4, 2007 at 1:52 pm

“I remember a homily I heard over 20 years ago. The priest preached on the first 2 questions from the Baltimore Catechism: “Who made you? God made me.
Why did God make you? God made me to know, love, and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” You could have heard a pin drop in the Church during his homily.”
This does not surprise me one bit. The teaching is moving in its simplicity. Thanks, Bill.

SDG October 4, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Yes, Esau, I followed that, hence the clarification in my reply.

Anyone reading could mistake your statement to mean that divorce is possible in the Catholic Church.

And it depends on what you mean. Divorce IS possible in the Catholic Church in the sense that it is possible for members of the Catholic Church (who are “in the Church”) to obtain a civil divorce. That is the sense I was speaking of, although I appreciate that the sentence could easily be misread.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 2:00 pm

SDG,
On its face, your statement:
” The fact remains that in the Catholic Church it is still a whole heck of a lot harder to get divorced ”
…implies that the Catholic Church does allow divorces — only that it’s harder to obtain it.

SDG October 4, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Yes, Esau, and, again, the Catholic Church DOES allow [civil] divorces in some circumstances — potentially even where there is a valid sacramental marriage. (Having said that, the sentence concerned what was easy or difficult, and a fortiori what is possible, not what is permitted or not permitted.)

John E October 4, 2007 at 2:09 pm

SDG, fair enough. Thanks for clarifying.
Esau, we have our hand-clapping at the Alleluia. Although I don’t really care for it, I don’t have as much a problem with it in itself, except for the reasons you mentioned. Interesting that you mention the Gloria though. We have a version that we often sing in our parish where we in the congregation sing “Glory to God, glory in the highest, and peace to his people, peace to his people, and peace to his people on earth.” Then we sing that part 5 or 6 times while the soloist gets to ornately but unintelligibly sing the rest. It sounds great though. We rock! If fact, dare I say, glory to us!
Seriously though, I know that we are participating and the soloist is like our representative and singing the rest of the prayer on our behalf. It’s a package to which we each contribute and present to God as a whole. It’s just that I love that prayer. I wish I could sing it too.

Mike Petrik October 4, 2007 at 2:16 pm

“We rock! If fact, dare I say, glory to us!”
Not at all meaning to pick on you, John, but … ugh.
And I don’t at all like applause at Mass for choir “performances.” Such acts, while undoubtedly well-intended, reveal a failure of understanding. While choirs should normally lead people in sung prayer, I certainly don’t mind instances where they sing difficult and beautiful music unaccompanied by the congregation; but these are prayers to God intended for his ears, not our applause.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 2:22 pm

these are prayers to God intended for his ears, not our applause.
A-M-E-N!
Another point that I agree with M.P. here!

Esau October 4, 2007 at 2:25 pm

…have a version that we often sing in our parish where we in the congregation sing “Glory to God, glory in the highest, and peace to his people, peace to his people, and peace to his people on earth.”
John E.
Is that the same version that was done at the Papal Mass for John Paul II in Los Angeles way back then?
That one I don’t mind so much and, in fact, I find some appreciation.
However, the one in our church seems too much of a hand-slapping game rather than a song of Praise, an actual Prayer to God.

Anonymous October 4, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Just go to a mass in the extraordinary form and you won’t have to worry about whether the “band” is rocking that particular Sunday or not.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Just go to a mass in the extraordinary form…
Where? It’s adoption failed as far as many of the parishes in our vicinity go.
…you won’t have to worry about whether the “band” is rocking that particular Sunday or not.
Why worry?
I’m waiting for them to play Agnus Dei in Grunge!

Brian Walden October 4, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Seriously though, I know that we are participating and the soloist is like our representative and singing the rest of the prayer on our behalf. It’s a package to which we each contribute and present to God as a whole. It’s just that I love that prayer. I wish I could sing it too.
John E, when the Gloria is sung in a soloist/response way like that I usually sing quietly along with the soloist part. In my church the solo part is accompanied by music which is pretty easy to hide my voice under so I won’t interrupt the meditation (or daydreaming or bulletin reading, etc) of those around me. I also love the Gloria prayer and often pray it when I wake up in the morning.

Brian Walden October 4, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Just go to a mass in the extraordinary form…
Where? It’s adoption failed as far as many of the parishes in our vicinity go.

Esau what about a Mass with no music. A lot of parishes do that for either their earliest or latest Mass. It’s sad, but those are often easier to find than a Mass with good music. All things being equal I’d much rather have hymns, but I don’t yet have the strength to not let myself get distracted by unorthodox lyrics or arrangements that don’t make sense (like a happy, sing-songy Agnus Dei).

RC October 4, 2007 at 3:11 pm

The cited 5-10% decline for Protestant church attendance is not very informative even if accurate (I have no idea whether it’s correct), because it doesn’t reflect the vast differences between the shrinking Protestant groups and the growing ones.
Over the past 40-50 years, Pentecostalism exploded and once-respected old-line denominations shrank.

SDG October 4, 2007 at 3:14 pm

RC: Yes, that is PRECISELY one of the reasons I regarded the statistic as misleading.
The catechesis issue many have mentioned is another factor I included in what may become another post on this subject.

Esau October 4, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Over the past 40-50 years, Pentecostalism exploded and once-respected old-line denominations shrank.
Don’t forget non-denominational churches which, incidentally, seems to be the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

CH October 4, 2007 at 3:23 pm

The comparison between the decline in Protestant church attendance and the decline in Catholic church attendance would be more meaningful if we knew where each group started. My impression 40 years ago was that Catholics were much more likely to attend weekly services than Protestants were. I suspect that the same is true today. In any case, survey results tend to be all over the map on this issue, partly because many people are less than honest about whether they’ve been to services recently.
If you are listing factors responsible for a decline in Catholic participation, you certainly shouldn’t leave out the impact of the many clerical abuse scandals.

CatholicAudio October 4, 2007 at 3:44 pm

SDG — “He puts the lotion on his skin, or he gets the hose…”
For those wondering, this is a brilliant quotation from Silence of the Lambs:

Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb: It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.
Catherine Martin: Mister… my family will pay cash. Whatever ransom you’re askin’ for, they pay it.
Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb: It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.
[to his dog, Precious]
Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb: Yes, it will, Precious, won’t it? It will get the hose!
Catherine Martin: Okay… okay… okay. Mister, if you let me go, I won’t – I won’t press charges I promise. See, my mom is a real important woman… I guess you already know that.
Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb: Now it places the lotion in the basket.
Catherine Martin: Please! Please I wanna go home! I wanna go home please!
Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb: It places the lotion in the basket.
Catherine Martin: I wanna see my mommy! Please I wanna see my…
Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb: Put the ****ing lotion in the basket!

Inocencio October 4, 2007 at 4:06 pm

SDG,
I think catechesis is a huge part of the decline. I look forward to you next post.
As always I recommend that everyone, as much as they are able, volunteer in some way at their parish. Maybe instead of giving money support your parish with your time.
I teach the RCIA/Adult Education Class and my wife teaches the third grade CCD. We have had to deal with terrible catechetical materials but we have slowly made improvements. It took three years but this year at our parish every CCD teacher was given a copy of the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism (donated by a parishioner). The teachers were very grateful and happy with the easy and concise format of the Balitmore Catechism. I am still hoping to get the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism into the hands of each child but one step at a time.
Being very involved and willing to help in anyway we could has made a big difference in our parish. Most parishioners want to know what the Church teaches or expects but they don’t know where to look. There are some people who don’t want to know the “rules” but most do. Just by being involved we have been able to show why certain things are not allowed.
If every knowledgeable Catholic would in some way humbly and charitably volunteer with the long-term benefit in mind what a difference we could make in our own parishes and the Church in general.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

A Non October 4, 2007 at 4:23 pm

There are so many errors and problems which need to be addressed.
1) Declining numbers and arguments from it are very American-centered. Visit other places, such as in Africa, and you see a thriving, developing increase.
2)The American numbers for church attendance (and not just Catholic) was unusually high and seems to be due to issues of WWII. We are outside of its influence, and the development of a prideful, capitalistic-oriented culture has encouraged a dismissal of anything that is “priceless.”
3) The Baltimore Catechism and the Catechism of the Catholic Church cannot be compared. The BC was a local catechism (never was universal), and one can find problems with it since it does not accord with the full teaching of the Church.
4) The Universal Catechism is not meant to be used as a local catechism but a source by which one would make something similar to the BC.

Inocencio October 4, 2007 at 4:51 pm

A non,

The Baltimore Catechism and the Catechism of the Catholic Church cannot be compared. The BC was a local catechism (never was universal), and one can find problems with it since it does not accord with the full teaching of the Church.

I would point out that it is local for the United States and age-appropriate for children. I think it just cannot be beat in format or content for teaching children and what a bargin at about $3.50 each if purchase in bulk. Especially when compared to common catechetical materials.
And just so you know in our parish we use the Unites States Catholic Catechism for Adults issued by the USCCB based on the CCC.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

John E October 4, 2007 at 5:33 pm

when the Gloria is sung in a soloist/response way like that I usually sing quietly along with the soloist part
We have a version like that too, where it goes back and forth between soloist and the congregation, and many of us would sing with the soloist (maybe that’s why they switched). In the version I’m referring to, we sing the refrain continuously while the soloist attempts to sing over us. It’s not soloist then response, it’s soloist and response all at once. We’re either too loud or she’s too soft. You can hear her melody, but not the words. It would also be difficult to sing along. It would be like trying to sing along with the scoobity-doo-waps of a jazz singer — it’s too free-flowing.

AnnonyMouse October 4, 2007 at 5:37 pm

A non,
If you buy the current St. Joseph B.C. I think you will find that the only errors would be Holy Days of Obligation. Since we are using CCC and St. Joseph BC we haven’t seen any errors.

Mary Kay October 4, 2007 at 6:00 pm

With a topic like this, so many directions one could go in…
As for the catechism, I’ve never understood the either/or attitude. They’re both good in their own way.

Rick October 4, 2007 at 6:49 pm

I have not read all of the comments here but there seem to be a couple of things at work.
1) First of all correlation does not prove causation. Thus the charges that liturgical changes or the culture caused declining mass attendance must be proven before they can be claimed as causes.
2) The rhetorical dynamic here is significant. Traditionalists (and I am one) argue that the current crisis has been caused primarily by the imposition of the new liturgy. Conservatives have responded with the culture argument to protect the Novus from criticism. I understand both perspectives here.
3) The problem is that both perspectives are impossible to “prove” without data.
I would tend to agree that the cultural shifts of the 1950s and 1960s (so much for the “greatest generation” nonsense) had a negative impact on Church attendance. I would also say that because the mass is the one event that all practicing Catholics experience together every week that it must be taken seriously as an influence on Catholic behavior.

matt October 4, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Nobody suggested that Mass shenanigans are the only reasons for the decline in the Church. But they are significant and work together with all of the other things mentioned above to result in a decline. Decline isn’t just about Mass attendance either. Take Rudy Gulliani/John Kerry/Nancy Pelosi, in the 50’s and early 60’s a publicly pro-abortion Catholic politician would not recieve the Catholic vote, let alone Holy Communion, and yet today they still attend Mass regularly to my knowledge.
It is a decline in the influence of the Church in our hearts and our culture that is the essence of the problem. This occurred in a large part because many Church leaders stopped resisting the influence of secular culture on the faithful. The liberal motion of the culture acting simultaneously to this relaxation resulted in the massive and rapid decline.
God Bless,
Matt

TerryC October 4, 2007 at 8:04 pm

I would certainly agree that the void in catechetical teaching in the post Vatican II period was a factor in the decline of practicing Catholics, but I would also state that whenever a poll is conducted which attempts to compare Catholics and Protestants the data is skewed.
Edward R. Tufte says that whenever you illustrate cost over a number of years and do not compensate for inflation you lie. I would maintain that whenever you compare Protestants and Catholics and do not only include practicing Catholics you do the same. Few People who where raised Protestant, but no longer worship would claim to belong to the relevant denomination. However, even people who have not darked the door of a Catholic church for years will claim to be Catholic in a poll. Such cultural Catholics tend to skew poll numbers. Most left the Church because of disagreements with the core Catholic beliefs mentioned by SDG, not because the Liturgy changed or because of Vatican II (one way or the other, SSPX not withstanding.)
As for Catechisms take a look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is written in a dialogical format, much as was the Baltimore Catechism.

defeat heresy October 4, 2007 at 8:10 pm

SDG, I disagree with your premise.
A more appropriate comparison would be of Catholics and liberal Protestants vs. conservative Protestants.
To many formerly devout Catholics, and to those who, like me, were raised Catholic and came of age after Vatican II, the Catholic Church became indistinguishable from liberal Protestantism (except for its views birth control and abortion). As in liberal Protestantism, “social justice” took precedence over religion.
I think you’ll find Church attendance down among liberal groups generally. But groups that have held to their faith, conservative Protestants, haven’t lost members and have picked up many converts–including former Catholics.

Zachary Foreman October 4, 2007 at 10:51 pm

I’ve always found this causal narrative more persuasive:
After Vatican II, which raised expectations that anything could change in the Catholic Church, many in Europe and America (read: theologians) expected the Church to change its teaching on contraception. This was especially true after the committee charged with this recommended to Pope Paul VI that it be changed. Many theologians put their reputations on the line that the Church would alter its teaching in this regard. When Humanae Vitae came out, it caused a firestorm of controversy. The majority of married Catholics, who were contracepting, could not ignore the fact that they were dissenting from Church teaching. Not only that, but a second Magisterium had sprung up to challenge the bishops: the academic theologians. Now “faithful” Catholics could justify their dissent because professors of theology with Ph.Ds, teaching in Catholic Institutions were agreeing with them. The authority of the Church had been broken. If contraception was moral, then why not divorce, not going to mass on sunday, etc, etc. Reinforcing this was the analogy that abstaining from meat on fridays was the same as contraception. They were both arbitrary rules of the Church, and could therefore be changed. Even the possibility of changing the law on contraception allowed the idea that there were no moral absolutes hold sway (of course, this came precisely at the time that moral relativism was catching on in the secular culture in a big way.
So, yes, in a way VII had something to do with it, in that the large changes in church practice, as exemplified by the liturgical changes cast into doubt the immutability of all church teachings. But I place more of the blame on the lack of action by the Church to combat doubts concerning contraception. HV should have been promulgated in 1962, not 5 years later (in fact it was considered at VII but postponed).
The alternative magisterium provides cover for all dissenters everywhere. And we know how much damage even one person can do. I don’t think that I have read an article about Catholicism in the Main Stream Media that hasn’t quoted Fr. McBrien, and he carries a lot of weight because of his position. The bishops hesitated in their teaching authority at precisely the time that secular culture as unhesitatingly advancing an antithetical agenda.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 4:07 am

I didn’t see this post until just this morning. I am honored by SDG that he would start a whole threat base on my wild accusation. I got my information from an article in Homiletics and Pastoral Review, check out the article here: http://www.unavoce.org/Novus_ordo_record.pdf
Yes, the decline did start before 1969, but the wild liturgical experimentation also started pretty quickly after Sacrosanctum Concilium and the 1965 missal were introduced. I think that the timing of the decline is simply too coincidental to be coincidence. Sure there were other factors involved, but the liturgy was the main causal factor, it seems.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 4:19 am

By the way, I am not the only one who thinks that the collapse of the liturgy is responsible for the collapse of the faith:
“I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy” (“Milestones”)
“We left the living process of growth and development [the old missal] to enter the realm of fabrication. There was no longer a desire to continue developing and maturing, as the centuries passed and so this was replaced – as if it were a technical production – with a construction, a banal on-the-spot product.” (preface to “Reform of the Roman Liturgy” by Klaus Gamber)
Both those quotes are from our pope.

SDG October 5, 2007 at 4:49 am

Joe: “Wild accusation” is hardly how I characterized your argument. Don’t be dramatic.
I didn’t say — in fact, I explicitly denied saying — that liturgical changes haven’t been a factor. I just said the issues are more complicated than “A caused B.”
The quotations from Pre-16 you provide differ from your original comments in two important respects. First, as quoted in Milestones, Pre-16 is speaking of “the ecclesial crisis,” which is a broader subject than “declining Mass attendance.” Second, he cites liturgical problems as an important factor (“depends in great part”), not as “the cause.”

Joe October 5, 2007 at 4:54 am

I don’t think I ever wrote that it was THE cause, but I will say that it was the greatest casual factor (just as Ratzinger stated).
Also, why can’t I be dramatic? I think it is fun, and you as a film critic should appreciate that. I wasn’t putting those words in your mouth.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 4:56 am

Also, I would encourage everyone to read the HPR article I posted. I think Dr. Lothian really fleshes out the argument that the liturgy is the greatest factor in declining mass attendance. Note too that HPR isn’t an ankle-bitting arch-Traditionalist magazine.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 5:26 am

SDG,
Sorry to post so many times in a row, but I just have to mention this. The rates of those who contracept are extremely high among Catholics, even for those who attend mass. I don’t see how that is a major factor in declining mass attendance. I live in a fairly conservative diocese and attend a fairly conservative parish. On one Sunday our priest gave a talk on the immorality of contraception and many in the pews were audible grumbling during the homily and many confronted the priest after mass. I think contraception is virtually ubiquitous for Catholics, both who attends church and those who don’t.

LCB October 5, 2007 at 6:22 am

One big problem with blaming Church teaching…
When was the last time you heard Church Teaching in a homily? Read it in a bulletin?
Maybe we’ve stumbled upon the real problem– we quit being authentically Catholic, so why should people bother showing up when they can get the same thing down the street?
Dare to be different.

Megan Elizabeth October 5, 2007 at 8:44 am

I haven’t read all the comments, but I would second (or third or whatever) the statement that catechesis was very bad for a while.
I know a couple who were married in 1986, the wife Catholic and the husband not (at the time, he is now). They were told that the part of the vows that says “We will accept children,” means that you have to be willing to have 2 kids…eventually. But feel free to get to know each other first, and for goodness sakes after you’ve had the two kids don’t keep going.
Thankfully, things seem to be improving.

Esau October 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

Maybe we’ve stumbled upon the real problem– we quit being authentically Catholic, so why should people bother showing up when they can get the same thing down the street?
THANK-YOU, LCB!!!
You hit it on right on the spot!
I mean, the church where I go to has all the set-up of Protestantism in Mass.
However, if that’s the case, why would anybody even consider converting to Catholicism when they can stay Protestant and attend similar Worship Services in their church?
NOTHING SPECIAL HERE, INDEED!
In fact, with some Protestant churches, the services are even livelier and better done.
JUST WHEN WILL CATHOLICS ACT LIKE CATHOLICS AND STOP ACTING LIKE WANNABE PROTESTANTS AND START CELEBRATING THE MASS INSTEAD OF CELEBRATING A PARTY AT MASS?

Maureen October 5, 2007 at 9:32 am

Dude. No need to shout.
No need to exaggerate, either. I’ve never yet seen anything at Mass even vaguely worthy of the word “party”. (Except maybe at the “faith community” where it took ’em ten minutes to finish the Sign of Peace and five to take Communion.)

Different October 5, 2007 at 9:56 am

The problem with the hypothesis that Mass attendance dropped because of changes to the liturgy is that the “tradionalists” would be the ones who left the church. If the Mass became “very liberal” as some suggest, then why would the social-change-baby-boomers leave. After all, they were getting what they wanted – felt, kumbaya, and spineless homilies. The traditionalists, on the other hand, would be expected to know better and not abandon the Church just because of a few changes.
It seems that the pre-Vatican II conservative types DIDN’T leave the church, it was the “I know better than my parents” baby boomers who stopped going to Mass on a regular basis. Does it make sense that the mostly baby-boomers stopped going because the Mass wasn’t the traditional Latin Mass anymore??? That just doesn’t make sense.

Esau October 5, 2007 at 10:06 am

No need to exaggerate, either. I’ve never yet seen anything at Mass even vaguely worthy of the word “party”. (Except maybe at the “faith community” where it took ’em ten minutes to finish the Sign of Peace and five to take Communion.)
Look, when the priest stops at the Eucharistic Prayer in order to engage the parishoners in a jovial conversation, the priest for his homily talks about sports with the people with laughter and loud chattering in the background, the rock-n-roll band plays with hand-clapping Glorias, and the very ambience of Mass becomes one reminiscient as that of a social gathering than a Prayerful and Solemn event; yes, it becomes but a party than what it should be — the Re-presentation of the Holy Sacrifice at Calvary!
So Exaggeration? I THINK NOT!

fred123 October 5, 2007 at 10:15 am

I agree with Esau

LCB October 5, 2007 at 10:27 am

Esau SDG and I should start our own blog !

JoAnna October 5, 2007 at 11:02 am

Look, when the priest stops at the Eucharistic Prayer in order to engage the parishoners in a jovial conversation, the priest for his homily talks about sports with the people with laughter and loud chattering in the background, the rock-n-roll band plays with hand-clapping Glorias, and the very ambience of Mass becomes one reminiscient as that of a social gathering than a Prayerful and Solemn event; yes, it becomes but a party than what it should be — the Re-presentation of the Holy Sacrifice at Calvary!

But this doesn’t happen at every Mass around the country. It’s certainly never happened at any Mass I’ve ever been to, so I wouldn’t say it’s a terribly common thing. More common than it SHOULD be, yes, but hardly the norm.

Michael October 5, 2007 at 12:54 pm

“Does it make sense that the mostly baby-boomers stopped going because the Mass wasn’t the traditional Latin Mass anymore??”
If going to mass is the same as not going to mass on a Sunday morning why get out of bed at all? The traditional mass was something you could not get anywhere else.
More generally, it was not just the change into the vernacular and less reverent masses that drove all those who left away. It was the embrace of the hippy culture and explicit socialism that seemed to capture almost the entire Church that drove many out of the Church. The adoption of the new mass was only part of that change.

Leah October 5, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Does it make sense that the mostly baby-boomers stopped going because the Mass wasn’t the traditional Latin Mass anymore??? That just doesn’t make sense.

If the only reason the “social-change-baby-boomers” were attending Mass was out of habit, or because they only appreciated it because of the “smells and bells” and the Latin that were lost, it would make sense that the changes in liturgy would make them stop coming.
Yes, the external solemnity of the liturgy points to the true meaning of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, but it isn’t the cause. And for Catholics who were not well-formed, changing/abandoning the external solemnity of the Mass may have snapped their understanding of the Mass as something intrinsically important.

Dent, Arthur Dent October 5, 2007 at 1:38 pm

I have often wished I knew how to convert Catholics to Catholicism.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Leah wrote: “Yes, the external solemnity of the liturgy points to the true meaning of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, but it isn’t the cause. And for Catholics who were not well-formed, changing/abandoning the external solemnity of the Mass may have snapped their understanding of the Mass as something intrinsically important.”
Benedict XVI disagrees with you: “This [people being attached to the old missalwas especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. . . .I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.”
The disappearance of the old missal was deeply hurtful to those well formed in the liturgy and the faith of the Church. People like Dietrich von Hildebrand are examples.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Repost (need to proofread)
Leah wrote: “Yes, the external solemnity of the liturgy points to the true meaning of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, but it isn’t the cause. And for Catholics who were not well-formed, changing/abandoning the external solemnity of the Mass may have snapped their understanding of the Mass as something intrinsically important.”
Benedict XVI disagrees with you: “This [people being attached to the old missal] was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. . . .I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.” (Letter to Bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum)
The disappearance of the old missal was deeply hurtful to those well formed in the liturgy and the faith of the Church. People like Dietrich von Hildebrand are examples.

Tim J. October 5, 2007 at 2:57 pm

“I have often wished I knew how to convert Catholics to Catholicism.”
That’s where the field of evangelism is ripe here in the U.S… we need to convert a bunch of Catholics.
Fallen away Catholics are the second largest (or is it the largest now?) religious demographic in the country.

Ben Bentrup October 5, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Joe, as far as I can make out, you and Leah are agreeing with each other. The Benedict quote seems to cement her position.

Joe October 5, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Ben,
Then you aren’t “making it out” right. Leah said those who are poorly formed left the Church after the mass was tinkered with. Benedict said that those most disturbed by the liturgical changes were those most fully formed.

Ben Bentrup October 5, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Joe, I thought you were simply referring to changes in the Mass leading to general decline in church attendance and/or heartfelt pain for the old liturgy. However, if Leah is talking about those who are poorly formed, the Benedict quote referreing to those deeply rooted does not preclude her position, so now I don’t understand why you are saying Benedict disagrees with her when his quote isn’t even addressing her topic.

LarryD October 5, 2007 at 5:35 pm

I don’t anything cogent to add to this conversation, but I just read this about Mass abuses in Holland. Hoo-boy!
http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/170066?eng=y
If you have problems with the link/address, you can get to it through SpiritDaily.com.

LarryD October 5, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Not only do I not anything to add, I do not have anything to add….must proofread!

Joe October 5, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Ben,
Here is a link, read the whole thing to get the context: http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/b16SummorumPontificum2.htm
Benedict is stating that those who experienced the most pain by the banishment of the old missal were those who had a deep formation and faith in the Church. Leah is telling us that those who were upset were those who didn’t know what the mass was really about. They are totally contradictory statements, I don’t know why you don’t see that.

Ben Bentrup October 5, 2007 at 6:18 pm

No, Joe, it seems like Leah is saying group A is feeling disenfranchised by some action. You are saying group B is feeling disenfranchised by that same action. There is no reason why groups A + B can ‘t happily coexist in disenfranchisement. They are not mutually exclusive.

Tim J. October 5, 2007 at 6:30 pm

“Leah is saying group A is feeling disenfranchised by some action. You are saying group B is feeling disenfranchised by that same action.”
I don’t know about disenfranchised, but a good number of the the shallow, nominal Catholics might have been hanging on partly because of the aesthetic and sensory appeal of the traditional liturgy. How many times have you heard converts describe the sense that, even though they didn’t understand the Mass, they sensed there was something BIG happening? A profound Mystery? I don’t see that happening with the happy-clappy masses you see so much now. Would these Masses move anyone to convert?
So rather than feeling disenfranchised, I could see these nominal Catholics just plain losing interest. They got bored and – lacking real, internal, spiritual motivation to soldier on – just drifted away.

Ben Bentrup October 5, 2007 at 6:36 pm

Disenfranchised, admittedly, is probably not the term I was looking for, fair enough. I just didn’t get why Joe was attcking Leah with a quote from the pope that didn’t much address what Leah was talking about.
We have too many attacks from outside that we shouldn’t go out of our way to attack our own.

Mary Kay October 5, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Tim, having been in the Church as a child, I would venture a guess that “aesthetic and sensory” was not on the radar of appealing qualities.
Converts have a sense “there was something BIG happening” because they are coming in as converts, that is, making a fully conscious decision to be there. Nominal Catholics were bored and/or just in the pew even before the conciliar changes.
The difference was that the constraints were lifted/loosened and the nominal people high-tailed it out of the Church.

Mary Kay October 5, 2007 at 7:28 pm

Should have said “as a child with some memory of before all the changes.”

FR RP October 6, 2007 at 5:47 am

I’ll put my 2 cents in here. Vatican II wanted the priesthood to have a fuller role than that of sacral (or priestly), but wanted the prophetic (seen in preaching) and kingly (pastoral) emphasized as well. We ended up, I think, taking our cues from protestantism in how to do that..often with disasterous results. The preaching was substandard in that it oftentimes fed the growing feelings of entitlement and hedonism (avoiding ‘harsh’ topics such as Birth Control, abortion, confession, vocations) in favor of a variation of ‘once saved, always saved’ where we were taught that Jesus loved us no matter what and we could be assured of heaven even in our faith was nominal at best. Decades of devolved sense of sin were going to lead to a lesser committment to not only Mass, but to Church teaching a whole. The laity, for the most part, were only too happy to adapt this way of thinking modeled for them by the clergy. Any form of commitment to the Church, especially Sunday Mass, and then priesyly/religious vocations, and then marriage collapsed into a freefall. I would think if we wanted to turn this back, it must begin with not only sound teaching but with sound example as well from the clergy. You lay people need to start demanding as such from your priests and bishops. I know some of you do. I know you are hostily rebuffed…but keep doing it…I would hope even the most liberal priest will start questioning himself when he realizes that maybe he is not living the Gospel.

Joe October 6, 2007 at 6:51 am

Man alive, I feel like I am in crazy town. People keep saying that shallow, nominal Catholics who were just going to mass for lace, smells, bells, and choreography where the ones who left the Church when the mass was deformed. I quote from Benedict where he explicitly states that those who had the greatest liturgical formation and deepest faith in the Church were the one who were most hurt by the banishment of the old missal; and folks say that these statements are saying the same thing!!
I know several people who were deeply devout Catholics and who loved the mass, understanding that it was the sacrifice of Calvary, whose faith was destroyed when the Catholic Church’s most sacred possession was tossed aside for a liturgy that was radically different. When you compare a TLM (a rite with 1500 years of stability, according to Klaus Gamber) with your typical happy-clappy suburban mass how could anyone not be disturbed?

Mary Kay October 6, 2007 at 7:28 am

a quick drive-by before running out the door…
Fr. RP, your comment about taking cues from Protestantism is interesting. Similar results but I would say not actively taking cues but that with little or hasty preparation, the self-interpretation crept in. That’s not saying it sufficiently but will do for now.
Joe, a) the Mass was not deformed and b) no one is saying what you claim.

Joe October 6, 2007 at 7:43 am

a) ummm, yes it was:
“The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has certainly strayed from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation (renewal), but a devastation. . . .What happened after the Council was altogether different: instead of a liturgy, which was the fruit of continuous development, a fabricated liturgy was put in its place. A living, growing process was abandoned and the fabrication was begun. There was no further wish to continue the organic evolution and maturation of the living being throughout the centuries, and it was replaced — as if in a technical production — by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment.”–Cardinal Ratzinger, Preface to “Reform of the Roman Liturgy”

Joe October 6, 2007 at 7:56 am

By the way, for those interested in where I get my crazy ideas should read Ratzinger and those he promotes:
Ratzinger: “Spirit of the Liturgy,” “Feast of Faith,” and “Memoirs”
Those he wrote prefaces to:
U.M. Lang: “Turning Towards the Lord”
Klaus Gamber: “Reform of the Roman Liturgy”
Alcuin Reid: “The Organic Development of the Liturgy,” and “Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger”
Those he has publicly endorsed:
Michael Davies: “Partisans of Error,” “Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II,” “I am Always with You,” “Saint Athanasius,” among many other.
And personally I would recommend anything written by the man Pope Pius XII called the “20th Century Doctor of the Church,” Dietrich von Hildebrand, especially “Trojan Horse in the City of God.”
That should get ya started…

Michael October 6, 2007 at 8:34 am

I don’t know about disenfranchised, but a good number of the the shallow, nominal Catholics might have been hanging on partly because of the aesthetic and sensory appeal of the traditional liturgy.
There is so much wrong with this statement. Even if your characterization of those who were attached to the traditional liturgy as shallow and nominal were true, why would it not have been better to keep the thing that kept them coming back? Why would anyone who cared about their souls send them out the door with a “googbye and good-riddance”?

FR RP October 6, 2007 at 8:34 am

I had to hastily throw my thoughts together before as I had to get to our 1st saturday devotions (adoration, confessions, litany to Immaculate Heart of Mary, Benediction) and Mass.
I will put the caveat forward that I was born just as VII was ending and did not becoem Catholic until 1977. I have never seen the 1962 Ordo. But I do not believe the change in the Mass is the reason for declining attendance; I cannot believe it would’ve been any different had the Mass stayed he same. I beleive, though, that many innovations that the Council Fathers never envisioned crept in as the surrounding culture’s animosity towrd authority found a home with clergy. Many of the innovations were things taken from protestantism…particulary liberal protestantism. An emphasis on feeling..hence a switch from transcendance to immanent…became the rule of the day and true measure of the worth and validity of an event. No longer were we there to worship God…we were there to receive an emotional rush. Some got hat rush from smells and bells…some from liturgical dance and such. Clergy proceded on the path of least resistance and gave the masses what they wanted (not what they needed) because people were much more effusive in their thanks and compliments. There is nothing inherently disrespectful, anti-transcendant, or sacrilegious about the Novus Ordo. However, how some have molded it to their own ends can be all such of those things.
In the particular area of preaching we devolved. WE cannot say that we have no models of preaching in our own tradition: St. John Chrysostom, St. Dominic, St. Francis, and so on. However these were looked away from because their preaching could be seen as caustic and demanding (like..say…Christ’s was). Gone were the days when personal behavior was challenged and popular trends admonished…gone were the days were we were called to constant metanoia. No, instead we got “Jesus loves you”…we were presented with a Jesus who was weak, effeminant, a victim (in the bad sense), and would condone behavior, even though none of this was scriptural. It undermined Jesus’ authority over us and led us to mistakenly believe that we could live on our own terms, cave into every craving, be mastered by sin and our passions, live in outright rebellion against the will of God, and still call ourselves good Christians. There is nothing new in this, look at the people of Israel in the OT! Naturally Church attendance and vocations will plummet! If we do not allow ourselves to be challenged by the Gospel, this is what happens. The church has been plagued with such things through all 2000 years of her existance. That is why reformers from St. Gregory VII to St. Francis of Assisi to St. John Chrysostom to St. Bernard of Clairvaux to the saints of our own age kept calling us to return.
Unfortunately the rebellion of the 60’s-90’s has led to a far greater and deadlier beast..the indiffernce of our own age. Entitlement has become entrenched, narcissism the norm, and ease the mandate. The only way to combat indifference is to model fervor, obedience, and a devout willfulness to the will of God. For clergy, it means embracing simplicity, chastity, courage, apostolic zeal, and perserverance. It means saying what NEEDS to be said and forsake the easy route of tickling peoples ears. It means living what the Church teachings and with compassion encouraging those entrusted to our pastoral care to do the same; because the same qualities are needed in the laity as well. Lay people also need to embrace simplicity, chastity, courage , apostolic zeal, and perserverance…especially those who have the pastoral role of parent! We all need to greater grasp, through our cooperation with the grace of God, the wisdom of the Gospel..eschewing the wisdom of the world. Do these things and both Mass attendance and vocation will skyrocket. WE will more likely to commit ourselves to something that engages and challenges us that something that numbs and condones.

Mary Kay October 6, 2007 at 11:11 am

Fr. RP, isn’t it funny, when I read your post, I thought that it sounded like you were in a hurry when you wrote that. It has a condensed, shorthand sound to it. God bless you for offering that on a Saturday morning.
I essentially agree with you. There are a few details where I’d differ with you though. It wasn’t just taking the easy way out (although some probably did). I remember homilies where the priest clearly was trying his hardest to “Be Pastoral!” and it was also clear that there was a learning curve.
One of the things that I find myself repeating over and over again to you young ‘uns is that there wasn’t one separate, single factor. There was a confluence of events and happenings that I would pinpoint to the mid to late 60s. Certainly led up to in the preceding decades and played out in later decades, but the huge social and technology changes and IMO spiritual darkness came to a confluence in the mid to late 1960s.
We do have the models of preaching that you mentioned and good preaching was not entirely absent during the time period you mentioned.
A conversation to be continued :^)…….

Mary Kay October 6, 2007 at 11:25 am

Joe, the difference between you and then Cardinal Ratzinger is he that he sees what is right in the 1970 Missal, to the extent of saying that it is the normative Mass. OTOH you express only disparagement for the ordinary use. You wrote a sweeping statement and I answered when short of time, neither of which are good for discussion.
btw, I have read what then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. For you to assume that those who value the 1970 Missal have not read then Ratzinter’s writings is unwise.

Mary Kay October 6, 2007 at 11:26 am

Michael, your post has good questions, but for later. I would only say that it was not the intention to send people out the door.

Joe October 6, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Where have I totally disparaged the missal of Paul VI? I think it was, as Ratzinger stated, a “banal fabrication” and not a product of organic development. But there are some good innovations, such as the priest and congregation singing the Gloria and Credo together (the TLM High Mass is a bit awkward with the priest and schola reciting the same text at different paces). But all of the good in the NO could have been accomplished with slight modification of the 62 missal (I think the 65 missal was a step in that direction).
However, I do think that the NO was a gargantuan mistake. As Alcuin Reid (an author Ratzinger supported) stated, the NO is radical break with Tradition and is not the mass that Sacrosanctum Concilium called for.

Tim J. October 6, 2007 at 12:25 pm

“Even if your characterization of those who were attached to the traditional liturgy as shallow and nominal were true…”
That was not my point, at all. I was only saying that not EVERYONE in the pre-conciliar Church who enjoyed the TLM was a devout and serious Catholic. Some may have been attached to the TLM for reasons of personal taste, nostalgia or whatever. Is that a controversial thing to say?
For many of those attached to the TLM for all the right reasons, I understand that the changes to the liturgy were very painful, and I am thoroughly in sympathy. For others, though, it might not have been so much painful as it was just confusing. Once many of the distinctively Catholic elements of the Mass became colored with something resembling a protestant “service”, there would be that much less incentive for them to stick around. After all, they could find something of much the same “flavor” down the street.
I was not at all saying that “those who were attached to the traditional liturgy” were shallow and nominal Catholics. But certainly shallow and nominal Catholics existed before Vatican II, and many of these might have been attached to the Old Mass for more shallow, personal reasons.

Ben Bentrup October 6, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Joe, since you’re obviously passionate in your love for the TLM Mass (what does TLM stand for? however I think you are referring to what I normally term the Tridentine Mass) and, from what I can tell, highly critical of the Novus Ordo Mass, can you please put together a brief outline explaining what is wrong in the NO that the former Mass does well? I would read it with great charity and interest. I was born in 1977 so I have little concept of the former, so please assume absolute ignorance in your audience (although I hope I have some small clues). Otherwise, I feel you and I will be talking a foreign language on this topic. Post here, elsewhere with a link, or just email me. Thanks.
Two last points. First, I assume you’re inherently against the NO, and not of the opinion that it could have been great but the actual reform was bad. That correct? Secondly, although you could probably find something around the Net encapsulizing your position, if at all possible, please use your own words. Reading highly technical reading for the masses on the internet is not my strong point.

SDG October 6, 2007 at 12:43 pm

“TLM Mass” is a redundancy, like “PIN Number.” You have a PIN, not a PIN Number; it’s not a Personal Identification Number Number. And it’s the TLM or Traditional Latin Mass, not the Traditional Latin Mass Mass.
“Traditional Latin Mass” or “TLM” just won a poll at (I think) Father Z’s blog as the best way of referring to the extraordinary use of the Roman Rite (the 1962 missal, yes?). “Tridentine Mass” is not entirely accurate, and “Latin Mass” is somewhat misleading. “TLM” is somewhat imprecise but is probably clearer and easier to understand than “extraordinary use” or “1962 missal.” I’m willing to go with “TLM,” although being a bit pedantic about precision I will probably continue to use “extraordinary use” as well.

Mary Kay October 6, 2007 at 3:59 pm

Joe, how do you reconcile your view “that the NO was a gargantuan mistake” with Pope Benedict XVI saying it is the normative Mass?

Joe October 6, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Yes, as SDG wrote TLM means Traditional Latin Mass, not Tridentine (since the missal of Pius V was nearly identical to the mass of the Roman curia for centuries prior).
Ben,
I don’t have a lot of time to to an extensive out line, but I can give you an example that I think is indicative of the rest of the issues between the missals. (by the way, I too was born in 77 and I just came into the Church 2 years ago). Here is a shining example of the difference between the missals, the offertory (or the prayers over the gifts in the NO):
TLM:
Receive, O Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my countless sins, trespasses, and omissions; likewise for all here present, and for all faithful Christians, whether living or dead, that it may avail both me and them to salvation, unto life everlasting. Amen.
NO:
Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life. (then again for the wine)
You tell me, which one is overtly Catholic? Couldn’t the NO prayer be said by any Protestant minister without hesitation, the prayer has no content–it can mean whatever you wish. Whereas the TLM prayer is a compendium of everything we believe the Eucharist to be: a sacrifice offered to God as atonement for the sins of Christians living and dead (and the rest of the offertory prayers are beautiful, and are missing in the NO). The NO consistently obfuscates our Catholic distinctives and offers ambiguity.
I would encourage you to read all the books I listed above, they do a better job than I.

SDG October 6, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Couldn’t the NO prayer be said by any Protestant minister without hesitation, the prayer has no content–it can mean whatever you wish.

Not by any Protestant minister I ever met in my quarter century or so of Protestantism.
Here are some other bits any self-respecting Protestant would denounce as papistical blasphemy:

…from the many gifts you have given us we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.

Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as once you accepted the gifts of your servant Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchizedek.

Almighty God, we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven. Then, as we receive from this altar the sacred body and blood of your Son, let us be filled with every grace and blessing.
Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favor on your Church’s offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ. May be make us an everlasting gift to you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help.

Lord, may this sacrifice, which has made our peace with you, advance the peace and salvation of all the world.

Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favor on your Church’s offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ. May be make us an everlasting gift to you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help.

Lord, may this sacrifice, which has made our peace with you, advance the peace and salvation of all the world.

We recall Christ’s death, his descent among the dead, his resurrection, and his ascension to your right hand; and, looking forward to his coming in glory, we offer you his body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world.

Lord, look upon this sacrifice which you have given to your Church; and by your Holy Spirit, gather all who share this one bread and one cup into the one body of Christ, a living sacrifice of praise.

Lord, remember those for whom we offer this sacrifice…

Examples could easily be multiplied. The Mass is Catholic.

Michael October 6, 2007 at 5:27 pm

SDG,
I suspect you will find those prayers nearly if not verbatim in the English Missal used by Anglicans and Methodists. Protestants are not only Baptists.

Joe October 6, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Yup, not all Protestant are baptists: http://www.revneal.org/communionlit1.html

SDG October 6, 2007 at 6:45 pm

I suspect you will find those prayers nearly if not verbatim in the English Missal used by Anglicans and Methodists. Protestants are not only Baptists.

You suspect wrongly.
I was an active Episcopalian for many years, an acolyte in fact. On my shelf (I’ve just gotten it down) is the copy of the Book of Common Prayer I received on the occasion of my Episcopalian confirmation (personally signed, I kid you not, by John Shelby Spong).
I can assure you that I did not encounter the sacrificial eucharistic theology in the quotations above until I began attending Mass (at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC).
In the BoCP, AFAICT, “sacrifice” is used solely with reference to (a) the sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross, (b) the OT sacrifices, or (c) references to non-propitiatory spiritual “sacrifices of praise” or “our bodies a living sacrifice,” etc., according to NT idiom (Romans 12:1, Hebrews 13:15, etc.). In the Anglican liturgy, the Eucharist commemorates the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, but is not itself a sacrifice.
Here is a typical example from the BoCP:

Our Savior Christ, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and blood as a sign and pledge of his love, for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, and for a spiritual sharing in his risen life.

Note that the Eucharist is pictured here only as a remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, not as a sacrificial making-present of that one sacrifice.
It is true that in the Catechism found in the BoCP we read:

Q. Why is the Eucharist called a sacrifice?
A. Because the Eucharist, the Church’s sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, is the way by which the sacrifice of Christ is made present, and in which he unites to us his one offering of himself.

which is fine eucharistic theology, even though it works in the Protestant-butt-covering Hebrews 13:15 reference. Yet even here there is no indication of a holy and living sacrifice that brings salvation to the whole world, etc. And even this level of sacrificial language is not found in the liturgy, only in the Catechism, almost as if it were something to be explained away but not really prayed and celebrated.
Furthermore, in the Articles of Religion found in the BoCP, we read:

Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

So, no, Anglicans don’t worship according to the thoroughly Catholic prayers of the Paul VI missal quoted above.

Yup, not all Protestants are baptists.

Your own source supports everything I have said. Nowhere in this liturgical source is the Eucharist itself ever called a sacrifice, let alone a living and perfect sacrifice that brings salvation to the whole world, etc. Instead, it speaks of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the worshipers’ “sacrifice of praise,” offering “ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice,” etc.
The Mass is Catholic.

FR RP October 6, 2007 at 7:31 pm

BTW Joe, the Blessed are you…prayers said over the bread and the wine prior to the consecration are better known as the Berikah Adonai prayers. They are prayers common to the Passover, which according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke was the Last Supper…i.e. the Institution of the Eucharist. Just a point.
the case can be made that the ICEL (intentionally corrupting english language) has done a dreadful job of translating the original Latin of the Novus Ordo. But, that prayers were switched out or brought back in is another case. The study of this is more than I care to write at this late hour, but I would suggest your reading of Joseph Jungmann’s 2 volume ” The Mass of the Roman Rite”. It might help you a great deal.

Ben Bentrup October 6, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Strictly speaking, just because a given faith community is Protestant (I’m reading Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua the last few weeks and I think I prefer the term Rebel, but whatever), does not necessarily preclude an incorrect understanding of the sacrifice of the Mass (although the correlation may indeed be 100% these days between all unorthodox sects and a bad liturgy). Therefore, calling a given rite Protestant in its wording or understanding is not, again, strictly speaking, sufficient to condemn it.
BOTTOM LINE: Does a given liturgy contain error? Joe, you are putting the NO on trial. Skip the Protestant comparisons. Does the NO contain error? If so, where? If there is no error, then when judging between two valid liturgies, it becomes a matter of determining which is the most pastoral. To a certain extent, this requires data. Since I do not have this data, I (and I suspect most everyone here) am rather incompetent to make that decision. I am sure that His Holiness Benedict XVI does indeed have that data: through experience, anecdote, statistics, and most importantly through special guidance of the Holy Spirit. What did Benedcit do with his data? He promulgated both liturgies! My personal interpretation of that decision is that both are indeed free of error, and that both can lead different people at different points of their lives into a fuller communion into the living Church, the fullness of the faith, and the reality of God. For example, I can easily see myself switching preference to the older liturgical rites sooner or later in life (beautiful prayer example, by the way), but you will never find me dispising the beautiful Eucharistic Prayers of the Novus Ordo.
I, for one, am super glad that both forms exist. If a pope in my lifetime were to suspend the Novus Ordo (I can’t imagine how one could condemn it though), I would be very sad for I think it is a beautiful Mass. I would probably feel conscious-bound to write of my disappointment to my bishop. However, out of obedience to mother church I would joyfully begin to attend the TLM. I personally feel that the uproar over the past couple of decades by those who loved the older liturgical rites, while understandable, did not set a good example for those entering into the faith. It would have seemed better to me, like the Babylonian Jews who wept for the Jerusalem temple in captivity, for such people to respectfully remind their priests and bishops of the beautiful treasures contained in the TLM than to pick fights with those who prefer the new liturgy, especially those that never knew the difference.
Joe, I am at least very glad for you that our Servus Servorum Dei (did I get my Latin right?) gave you back the Mass you love so much. If you ever make it up to the New England area, you can invite me and my family to attend, pointing out all the different prayers in your passionate love.
God bless, Ben

Mary Kay October 6, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Fr. RP, I wanted to reiterate that I essentially agree with what you said even if I differed in a few details.

A Non October 7, 2007 at 2:29 am

So much disobedience to the Pope who calls it an extraordinary use of the Roman Rite, acting like the normative use is not the traditional mass. But – it is. And it’s Latin. Tradition is living, and not a museum piece.

Joe October 7, 2007 at 4:45 am

I don’t think the NO contains error, it is just that the many of the prayers and stripped of much of their Catholic content. SDG, I never said that the mass is completely devoid of mention of sacrifice, though admittedly most of the references are speaking of “our sacrifice.” And that Methodist liturgy does have some language that could be interpreted as sacrificial, like:
” Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ,
redeemed by his blood.”
” The bread which we break,
is it not a means of shakring in the body of Christ?”
“And the cup over which we give thanks,
is it not a means of sharing
in the outpoured blood of Christ?”
and yet they do not believe in the Real Presence: http://www.revneal.org/communionfaq.html
Compare the NO with the TLM, prayer for prayer, is the NO truly an improvement? In which missal do the doctrines or our Church shine forth? http://www.latin-mass-society.org/missals.htm
I think the NO will be like the Quignonez Breviary. One man spearheaded the creation of a new breviary, pope Paul III wholeheartedly accepted it, then five popes later (Paul IV) it was judged an error and repudiated, primarily because of the dissatisfaction of the people (Alcuin Reid, Organic Development of the Liturgy, p. 25-29). I think there are striking parallels between the NO and the Quignonez Breviary: it was a break from the traditional breviary, it was not an organic development, it was “simplified” for pastoral expediency, and the main principle of reform was antiquarianism.

Joe October 7, 2007 at 4:53 am

FR RP, so what if the Jews used the prayers? They were never in the Roman liturgy. Inserting those prayers is simply antiquarian ,which Pius XII warned against:
But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform [cough]; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments [cough]; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings [cough, resurrected Jesus crosses, cough] ; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music [cough]…This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism. (Mediator Dei, 62, 64)

SDG October 7, 2007 at 10:40 am

SDG, I never said that the mass is completely devoid of mention of sacrifice, though admittedly most of the references are speaking of “our sacrifice.” And that Methodist liturgy does have some language that could be interpreted as sacrificial … and yet they do not believe in the Real Presence

You seem to be sliding between “sacramental” and “sacrificial,” between Real Presence and propitiation.
For you as a Catholic the two concepts may seem (and indeed are) deeply connected, but Catholic theology distinguishes between the Eucharist as a sacrament and as a sacrifice, and even those Protestants who are willing to describe the Eucharist as a “sacrament” and even to affirm something verging in the direction of the Real Presence (like Lutherans) absolutely reject the notion of the Eucharist as as a propitiatory sacrifice offered by a ministerial priesthood for our salvation and the good of the whole church and the whole world. (A few high-end Anglo-Catholics kicking against the goads might claim otherwise, but their liturgy doesn’t back them up, and clearly they are fighting a losing battle.)
In particular in this Methodist liturgy one could possibly interpret “a sharing in the Lord’s body and blood” in a sacramental sense, but not in a sacrificial sense. It is against their analogy of faith, against their interpretive tradition.
The current Roman rite does not just have “mention of sacrifice.” It identifies the Eucharist specifically not only as “his body and blood” — which some Protestants might accept — but also as “the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world” — which Protestants most emphatically would not accept. It declares that this sacrifice — the Eucharist — has “made our peace” with God, and prays that it may “advance the peace and salvation of all the world.” It asks God to see in the “holy and perfect sacrifice” on the altar “the Victim whose death has reconciled us” to himself.
If you don’t see how radically different this is from the Protestant liturgy cited, perhaps you just don’t fully appreciate the difference between Catholic and Protestant thought on this subject.

Joe October 7, 2007 at 1:03 pm

SDG,
Were all those quotes from the NO from Eucharistic Prayer I? I am usually forced to endure EP 2 and 4, the Roman Canon is a rarity.

Mary Kay October 7, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Joe,
EP4 that you are “forced to endure” is where “the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world” is said. It’s the first of at least three times that “sacrifice” is mentioned in EP4.

matt October 7, 2007 at 2:03 pm

I think that the point Joe is making, is not that the Novus Ordo contains errors (in Latin at least, it demonstrably contains errors in English). The point he is making is that it’s fabrication was an error, and not in line with the history of liturgical development, the Vatican II Council, or good prudential judgement.
It is influenced by protestant theology in it’s development and especially in it’s practice (versus populum for example). It in no ways is a reasonable response to the reforms authorized by Vatican II and is in fact in opposition to them (especially in practice).
Acknowledging that something is normative is in no ways praise of it or suggesting it is superior, so that is no defence of the NO liturgy.
I believe the Holy Fathers had authority to promulgate the NO and that it is an authentically Catholic Mass, it is the liturgical details that we are criticizing here.
Don’t get me started on the English translations and the lectionary which are abysmal and clearly reveal theological agendas that are in opposition to Church teaching.
God Bless,
Matt

Joe October 7, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Besides I was comparing the old offertory with its replacement, which was a definite downgrade. The NO quote you gave, if they are from EP 1, are all contained in the TLM. In every area that the NO diverged from the TLM the new mass was impoverished, not enriched.
With Matt, I will wholeheartedly defend the validity of the NO and Vatican II. But I will not unquestioningly swallow the line that the NO is the mass called for by V2, nor has it been beneficial for the Church. I have been to parishes that offer beautiful NO liturgies, but they are rarer than hen’s teeth. In my last parish (which celebrated the NO with dignity and solemnity) my priest confided in me that celebrating the NO is a cross he is bearing, that he cannot wait to dump it for the TLM. That has to tell you something.

Elijah October 7, 2007 at 3:04 pm

“The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.”
“Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”
“There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal.”
“The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”
I like Ratzinger’s old stuff, but I like his recent stuff too. ^^

Mary Kay October 7, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Joe and Matt,
So when Joe’s questioning the Catholicity of EPs is shown to be at best “mistaken,” it doesn’t make a dent in your certitude that you know better than those in Rome.
This discussion is likely to go nowhere. You are entitled to your opinion.
That has to tell you something.
All that tells me is that that particular priest has an attachment to the extraordinary use. I could counter with clergy with have been deeply sustained by Mass celebrated according to the Missal that you and Matt consider to be so flawed. Silly them. What do they know?

Mary Kay October 7, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Elijah, thank you.

Mary Kay October 7, 2007 at 3:40 pm

On a tangential hijacking, has anyone been to Sacred Heart in Atlanta and could tell me what to expect?

matt October 7, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Mary Kay,
So when Joe’s questioning the Catholicity of EPs is shown to be at best “mistaken,” it doesn’t make a dent in your certitude that you know better than those in Rome.
I don’t know what your asserting here. The Roman Canon is in continuous use in the Roman Rite (hence the name “Roman”) for at least 1700 years and virtually unchanged for 1500 centuries. The other Eucharistic prayers are taken from dubious sources, fabricated from various sources, or from other Rites of the Catholic Church. I can’t come to a conclusion as to their “Catholicity” based ont this, furthermore, it is unheard of for a priest to have an option of choosing a Canon to use in any time in Church history. Make your own conclusions.
. I could counter with clergy with have been deeply sustained by Mass celebrated according to the Missal that you and Matt consider to be so flawed
I could counter that these clergy were sustained by the power of Holy Spirit and the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist despite the of use of the rite they celebrate, and especially the manner in which they celebrate it (assuming they do so as at least 95% of priests do).
By the way, I didn’t say the Novus Ordo liturgy was flawed as such, check my posts.
God Bless,
Matt

matt October 7, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Ooops:
1500 centuries
That would be 15 centuries.

SDG October 7, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Were all those quotes from the NO from Eucharistic Prayer I? I am usually forced to endure EP 2 and 4, the Roman Canon is a rarity.

Actually, I quoted from I, III and VI. Only II seems not to contain any explicit sacrificial language; VI is the one that mentions offering to the Father Jesus’ “body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world.”
Since you wholeheartedly defend the validity of Vatican II and the 1969 missal, it would seem we have no essential quarrel. It is not my purpose here to argue that the “novus ordo” necessarily represents an improvement on the 1962 missal, only that the current order of Mass is still essentially and inescapably Catholic and not at all equivalent with Protestant theology.
Having said that, I do think (and hope soon to write a post arguing) that major liturgical changes of the recent reform — most especially general use of the vernacular, generally audible celebration, increased vocal participation by the laity (the “dialogue mass”), and broader liturgical use of the sacred scriptures — do make for more fruitful and beneficial participation by the laity.
This is not in any way to deny the importance of Latin, the efficacy and symbolism of inaudible priestly prayers, and the possibility and necessity of participation of the laity in silence. Nor is it to say that every aspect of the reform has been helpful, to say nothing of widespread abuses.
At present, though, my humble opinion is that a liturgy that is wholly or mostly in Latin, in which inaudible priestly prayers are the rule rather than the exception, and in which the laity is meant to participate almost entirely in silence is probably not the best form of worship for the average layperson today.

Ben Bentrup October 7, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Nicely stated, SDG.

Joe October 8, 2007 at 3:24 am

Yes, SDG, but EP4 starts out that passage with, “Father, we now celebrate this memorial of our redemption.” There it is again, language that muddies the water a bit.
Is validity all that matters? Is the Roman liturgy simply pedagogical? Did modern man somehow radically change so that the last 1500 years of liturgical tradition is made superfluous?
I don’t see how any of the improvements you mentioned have helped the laity at all. The expanded readings: is a 3 and 2 year cycle that is almost completely disjointed from the sanctoral cycle an improvement? I really enjoy attending Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgies because their 1 year cycle of readings are intimately tied to the saint day celebrated, it is verbal incense rather than just verbose. Silence is something necessary in the liturgy, yet it is not build into the NO. Ratzinger pointed this out (Spirit of the Liturgy, Part 4, Ch. 2, Sec. 5), that anytime you insert silence into the NO it seems artificial. He called for the return of the silent canon, you veil what is holy. Active participation? What is to keep one from singing the parts that pertain to them and being actively receptive in the TLM? Sure you can’t carry things around the sanctuary, but is that required to feel involved?
Maybe you are right, the TLM isn’t suitable for modern man, he is a bit of a spiritual glutton these days. 1500 years of organic growth can be replaced by a committee of experts who craft a new liturgy in 4 years. Perhaps in a couple of decades another committee will form to create a new liturgy tailored for post-modern man.

Joe October 8, 2007 at 3:48 am

SDG,
To clarify, I do not think that the NO actively promotes Protestant theology, only that it doesn’t put up its dukes like the TLM. Look at the canon of the mass:
TLM:
Therefore, we humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, Our Lord, to receive and to bless these (+) gifts, these (+) presents, these (+) holy unspotted sacrifices, which we offer up to Thee
NO:
We come to you, Father, with praise and thanksgiving, Through Jesus Christ your Son. Through him we ask you to accept and bless (+) these gifts we offer you in sacrifice.
Or after the consecration:
TLM:
Wherefore, O Lord, we, Thy servants, as also Thy holy people, calling to mind the blessed passion of the same Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, His resurrection from the grave, and His glorious ascension into heaven, offer up to Thy most excellent majesty of Thine own gifts bestowed upon us, a victim (+) which is pure, a victim (+) which is stainless, the holy bread (+) of life everlasting, and the chalice (+) of eternal salvation.
Vouchsafe to look upon them with a gracious and tranquil countenance, and to accept them, even as Thou wast pleased to accept the offerings of Thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of Abraham, our patriarch, and that which Melchisedech, Thy high priest, offered up to Thee, a holy sacrifice, a victim without blemish.
We humbly beseech Thee, almighty God, to command that these our offerings be borne by the hands of Thy holy angel to Thine altar on high in the presence of Thy divine Majesty; that as many of us as shall receive the most sacred (+) Body and (+) Blood of Thy Son by partaking thereof from this altar may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grace: Through the same Christ our Lord
NO:
Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ, your son. We, your people and your ministers, recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into glory; and from the many gifts you have given us we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.
Look with favour on these offering and accept them as once you accepted the gifts of your servant Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchisedech.
Almighty God, we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven. Then, as we receive from this altar the sacred body and blood of your Son, let us be filled with every grace and blessing.
It appears to me that there is no way to interpret the TLM as anything but a true sacrifice. The NO, in my humble reading, really doesn’t stand up and say that. To me it can read by an Episcopal, or Presbyterian, or a Methodist without discomfort. Not so with the TLM.

Ben Bentrup October 8, 2007 at 5:38 am

In these two examples, I sek the language of sacrifice in both, and I actually prefer the NO language. The first is a bit redundant and has too many “thee”s to not be distracting to modern man. I could care less, as I stated earlier, if the words of the NO could be stated by a protestant. First, I highly doubt it (saying those lines at a communion esrvice would cost any Protestant minister I know of his job), and secondly even if a Protestant could say them, great for him, it doesn’t matter, the words are Catholic, Traditional, biblical, and beautiful. These banal attacks are becoming wearisome.

Elijah October 8, 2007 at 5:43 am

np, MK, but you were right – no dent. Ratzinger is apparently only worth quoting very selectively.

SDG October 8, 2007 at 6:01 am

Yes, SDG, but EP4 starts out that passage with, “Father, we now celebrate this memorial of our redemption.” There it is again, language that muddies the water a bit.

Not at all, since Catholic theology teaches that the Eucharist is both a memorial and a sacrifice, just as it both symbolizes and makes present the body and blood of the Lord.

Is validity all that matters? Is the Roman liturgy simply pedagogical? Did modern man somehow radically change so that the last 1500 years of liturgical tradition is made superfluous?

I am far from saying that validity or pedagogy is all that matters. I am quite willing to criticize and to countenance criticism of the current form of the liturgy, and to consider the advisability of proposals to reform the reform, including in some cases going back to earlier practice. Celebration ad orientum, for example, seems to me a sound proposal, if it can be done without rendering the priest inaudible.
Having said that, I do believe that pedagogy matters, and I don’t believe there is really 1500 years of liturgical tradition backing up, e.g., celebration in a language not understood by the vast majority of laity. Latin was the vernacular, the vulgar or popular tongue (hence Jerome’s Latin Bible is called the Vulgate) when and where Latin was first used, and continued to be widely understood for a long time afterwards.

I don’t see how any of the improvements you mentioned have helped the laity at all.

You say you enjoy attending Eastern liturgies. So do I. The Eastern liturgy at St. Anne’s Melkite Catholic Church that I have often attended is very Eastern in flavor (so much so that an Eastern Orthodox convert I know finds it too non-Western for her tastes).
The prayers are largely audible. There is a lot of vocal laity participation (all sung in glorious chant). And the liturgy I attend is in English. St. Anne’s also holds liturgies in Greek. That would be the vernacular language of the native culture, a language spoken by many of the parishioners.
I would be interested to know what you have experienced in this regard.

The NO, in my humble reading, really doesn’t stand up and say that. To me it can read by an Episcopal, or Presbyterian, or a Methodist without discomfort.

You keep saying that, although it is not true, and I think I’ve shown pretty convincingly that it’s not true.
You give us no clue how a Protestant might try to rationalize sayings like “we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favor on your Church’s offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself” or “we offer you his body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world” — sayings that are just clean contrary to anything that any Protestant I have met could ever say.
You just keep saying that you think that he could, although I am not aware that you have ever been a Protestant, and in any case you offer no argument on behalf of your position.
Is this an outworking of your preference for the TLM, that you must criticize the current Roman rite as not merely unfortunate in many respects but as compatible with or capable of being rationalized or reductionistically read as Protestant thought? If so, it seems to me a bitter fruit.
It looks to me, in fact, as if you believe in the Protestant-compatibility of the current Roman rite, not because you have any particularly good reasons to believe it, but because you want to believe it. That strikes me as sad.
Attachment to or preference for what is now an extraordinary use I can understand. But why would any loyal son of the Church not be glad to believe, as I think my argument suggests, that the current Roman rite is in fact soundly Catholic and incompatible with Protestant error?

Joe October 8, 2007 at 6:11 am

Ben, the thees and thous are English translation in a personal published missal. English used to differentiate between singular and plural. If memory serves thee is singular, you is plural. Latin still has this distinction, hence the archaic translation into English. It doesn’t have to be translated that way.
Also, if Catholic doctrines are different from Protestant, shouldn’t we exhault those in our liturgy. Those formulations predate Protestants by centuries, Protestants removed the overtly sacrificial references to “victim” and such for doctrinal reasons. Why should we?

Paul October 8, 2007 at 6:19 am

Joe, just for clarity, you are only objecting to the English translation of the NO canon, right? From what I remember, the corresponding Latin texts between the NO canon and TLM canon are identical.

Joe October 8, 2007 at 6:57 am

SDG,
UM Lang has recently written an article that argues that when the Roman liturgy was translated into Latin it was not into vernacular Latin. It would be analogous to translating the mass into Old or perhaps Middle English.
Anyway, my dislike for the modern rite isn’t born out of an inordinate desire to prop up the TLM. I am a convert to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism. Prior to attending my first mass I read “Spirit of the Liturgy” and some other works by folks that Ratzinger promotes. So, when I went to my first suburban parish mass I was scandalized, it looked just like my Protestant service. I looked long and hard and found a parish that offered Latin, chant, communion rails, altar BOYS, solemnity, and a million other traditional trappings. I thought, “hey this is the mass of my dreams!” Then the pastor brought in an FSSP priest for a special holy day and I felt like I had been robbed. The NO just couldn’t compete, even with all the traditional trappings. Intrigued by the differences I read “The Organic Development of the Litury” by Alcuin Reid and “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy” by Klaus Gamber and I came to the conclusion that the Council Fathers would never have approved the NO, ever.
Well, I am not the most articulate advocate of the TLM. Those authors I listed above do a much better job than I, and they are all approved by pre-16.

SDG October 8, 2007 at 7:41 am

UM Lang has recently written an article that argues that when the Roman liturgy was translated into Latin it was not into vernacular Latin. It would be analogous to translating the mass into Old or perhaps Middle English.

I dunno. I know the Mass has always used elevated language (someone [Diogenes?] recently pointed out that Roman citizens did not return greetings on the street with phrases like “And with thy spirit”). Assuming that you are accurately representing Lang’s argument, though, I would be very skeptical of any proposal that the original Latin Mass was anything like as incomprehensible to its first hearers as even a Middle English liturgy would be to a native English speaker today. (Have you ever tried reading Chaucer in the original, or even heard it recited aloud? And that’s only Middle English. If you want to go with the Old English analogy, try reading Beowulf.)
An Elizabethan English (early modern English) analogy, like Shakespeare, strikes me as potentially more plausible, although I’m more than willing to be instructed here by anyone who actually knows something about the subject.

Anyway, my dislike for the modern rite isn’t born out of an inordinate desire to prop up the TLM. I am a convert to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism.

Ah. But you’re changing the subject again. I haven’t taken issue with your dislike of the modern rite, only with your claim that phrases like the ones quoted above could possibly be acceptable to Protestants. You say you were an Evangelical Protestant, but you still don’t say how a Protestant might try to rationalize sayings like the ones quoted above. Why don’t you bring the quotations above to your old pastor and see what he thinks of them?

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 8:36 am

Joe,

I came to the conclusion that the Council Fathers would never have approved the NO, ever.

Pope Paul VI approved the council and approved the missal. That is the approval as Catholics we acknowledge and accept for both.
And as Elijiah pointed out Pope Benedict XVI has clearly asked us to recognize the value and holiness of the current rite.

“There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.”

“The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”

Letter to the Bishops
Then Cardinal Ratzinger argues against the abuses of the ordinary rite not the rite itself. He has stated that the average lay person would be hard pressed to distinguish the difference if both Masses were sung in Latin.

An average Christian without special liturgical formation would be hard pressed to distinguish a Sung Mass in Latin according to the Old Missal from a Sung Mass in Latin celebrated according to the New Missal. The difference, by contrast, can be enormous between a liturgy faithfully celebrated according to the Missal of Paul VI and the concrete forms and celebrations in the vernacular with all the possible freedom and creativity! With these considerations we have already crossed the threshold between theory and practice where matters are naturally more complex since the question of human relationships arises.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Liam October 8, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Given what the Council fathers who were ordinaries did – most with considerable enthusiasm – after the Council, it’s a huge stretch to think anything but a small minority of them would have rejected the postconciliar ritual. Talk about re-inventing history. The Ottavianis and Krols were noted for being exceptions.
That’s not to say that, once the reforms were implemented and digested, people did not have second thoughts about the speed and unequality of certain aspects of their implementation. But those second thoughts came largely after a wave of considerable enthusiasm. Which is to be expected.
Had I been asked in the 1960s – which was impossible because I was still a minor – with what I know now, I would perhaps have recommended that the reforms be undertaken in a different order. But the optimism of the time that encouraged a bold timetable was something it’s hard to recapture today. That kind of energy has, historically speaking (both within the Church and without), tended to run out of steam within 5-7 years. As it did in this case. And will likely again someday.
Overall, however, I am deeply grateful for the reform.

matt October 8, 2007 at 6:25 pm

If the Council Fathers would have approved the Novus Ordo liturgy, why does it bear little resemblence to the 1962 Missal with the modest reforms called for by the Council? It seems to me that there is a disjoint there that none of the defenders have responded to in the slightest.
SDG,
Having said that, I do think (and hope soon to write a post arguing) that major liturgical changes of the recent reform — most especially general use of the vernacular, generally audible celebration, increased vocal participation by the laity (the “dialogue mass”), and broader liturgical use of the sacred scriptures — do make for more fruitful and beneficial participation by the laity.

They have resulted in more “active” participation for certain, but have they resulted in more “actual” participation? Which is what the Council called for? Action is not the same as the internal participation that was called for? Look at the state of belief in the Blessed Sacrament. What caused that? The change in liturgy has had a horrendous negative effect on liturgical catechesis, a very important part of Catholic formation. The percentage of Catholics in pews is down, and the faith of those few in there every Sunday is shallow and poorly formed.
God Bless,
Matt

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm

I claim that all the Catholics leaving the church are going to the Protestant churches, because their catechesis is more rigorous. The Medieval traditions of the RCC are neither Biblical nor relevant for the 21st century.

SDG October 8, 2007 at 7:53 pm

The change in liturgy has had a horrendous negative effect on liturgical catechesis, a very important part of Catholic formation.

Certainly liturgical abuses are horrendous catechesis, but I don’t see how you can sustain this claim in regard to the changes I cited.
Is the claim that inaudible prayers in an unknown language while the laity engage in silent prayer are vastly superior catechesis compared to audible prayers in a known language with the dialogic participation of the liturgy?
Granted that there are things to be learned kneeling in silence while the priest speaks words you can’t understand in a voice you can’t hear, is that one lesson really so catechetically priceless that disaster ensues if he raises his voice and utters the words in a language known to the people?
(I am not saying that catechesis is the be-all and end-all of liturgy, but you raised the subject, so.)

bill912 October 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Hey, Fred: What do you think of the traditions of the BCC? Or the UCC? Or the SCC? Or the MCC? Or any of the other churches that make up the Catholic Church?

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Go into any Christian bookstore and you will see that the devotional section is predominately Evangelical. This tells me that Evangelicals have a much better Catechesis than Catholics. Returning to pre-Vatican II is utter foolishness. The Catholic church has lost its way and has not been on the forefront of Theology for the past 60 years. Evangelicals have been winning converts away from Catholicism. Why? Because they are blessed of God and present a fuller and more complete Gospel message.

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 8:14 pm

Just because something has been practiced for over 1000 years does not make it correct. Catholic scholars readily admit that much of Catholic tradition is an attempt to Christianize pagan practices. Paul warned the Early Church against Judaizers, maybe someone needs to warn the masses that the RCC is stuck in vain traditionalism that is divorced from the purposes of God.

matt October 8, 2007 at 8:24 pm

SDG,
I’m glad you responded this way, because you’re defending 2 distinct elements. First, the missal, second the typical practice which is permitted in the current liturgical milieue.

The change in liturgy has had a horrendous negative effect on liturgical catechesis, a very important part of Catholic formation.
Certainly liturgical abuses are horrendous catechesis, but I don’t see how you can sustain this claim in regard to the changes I cited.

I didn’t mention liturgical abuses, I’m referring to the liturgy and it’s practice.
You pick up a couple of areas of distinction as if that was my argument, it is not. The points you mention are examples of difference, they do not form the foundation of my argument. Nonetheless, I will respond with suggestions has to how those particular practices may have contributed to the mess we are in.

Is the claim that inaudible prayers in an unknown language while the laity engage in silent prayer are vastly superior catechesis compared to audible prayers in a known language with the dialogic participation of the liturgy?

No, the claim is not a vast superiority to inaudible prayers and the use of Latin. Let’s not generalize. The vast majority of the prayers of the TLM are audible, many of them are responded to by the faithful in the typical way they are celebrated today and as was authorized by the 1962 Missal. Having some of the prayers inaudible helps us to understand that GOD HEARS the prayers and that’s the point of praying them, not so we can hear them, we are not GOD. Inaudible prayers allow us to pray along or our offer our own prayer in unity without distraction. Inaudible prayers emphasize the sacredness of the words being uttered. When you’re speaking in reverent tones do you shout? By the way, the prayers are said aloud just not loud.
As to the language, the Council Fathers said it was important for Latin to be retained and normative, and remains the normative language of the Novus Ordo. Since we’re talking about optional practices, how does it help catechesis for the faithful and priests to turn inwards towards each other? Typically turning the priest into an entertainer? Is that good catechesis? As opposed to turning towards the East facing the rising Christ TOGETHER.
Do you really think that people don’t understand the words of the Mass in Latin after listening and reading the translations for many years? I’ve only been assisting at TLM for 2 years and I know most of the language already.

Granted that there are things to be learned kneeling in silence while the priest speaks words you can’t understand in a voice you can’t hear, is that one lesson really so catechetically priceless that disaster ensues if he raises his voice and utters the words in a language known to the people?

You’re repeating yourself here. There are many elements beyond the obvious ones you bring up, that sound more like liberal talking points than a reasoned study of the differences between the missals which go much deeper than the language and audibility of some of the prayers.
Why do we still use Amen, Hallelujah, Kyrie Eleison, etc? Those aren’t understood, so you think we should change them to the vernacular: sounds good, hurray, and Lord have mercy.
Paul
Joe, just for clarity, you are only objecting to the English translation of the NO canon, right? From what I remember, the corresponding Latin texts between the NO canon and TLM canon are identical.

Which Canon are you asking about there are 4 typically available in the NO and the one that is in common between the two (Roman Canon) is a rarity (I wonder why). In any event the Roman Canon is not identical between NO and TLM. The NO makes optional a number of invocations, genuflections, and signs of the cross… I wonder why. This is part of the loss of catechesis.
God Bless,
Matt

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Maybe God had His hand in removing Latin from the Church. Nobody speaks Latin and the Jews translated the Old Testament into Greek so the common man could understand it. Latin was the vernacular of the Greek/Roman world by the end of the 3rd century. So why would God want us to pray in Latin. This is what pagan religions do. They pray in babbling tongues with many words that only grieve the Holy Spirit. Maybe SDG should watch and review his movies in Latin to be in full harmony with Rome.

matt October 8, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Fred,
Go into any Christian bookstore and you will see that the devotional section is predominately Evangelical. This tells me that Evangelicals have a much better Catechesis than Catholics.
Ummm…. if you go to a PROTESTANT bookstore you find mostly PROTESTANT books. IF you go to a CATHOLIC bookstore you find mostly CATHOLIC books.
Have you read ANY Christian Theologians of before 1600? If you did you were reading CATHOLIC theology.
Have you ready any 20th century Catholic theologians?
God Bless,
Matt

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 8:41 pm

matt,

If the Council Fathers would have approved the Novus Ordo liturgy, why does it bear little resemblence to the 1962 Missal with the modest reforms called for by the Council? It seems to me that there is a disjoint there that none of the defenders have responded to in the slightest.
Then Cardinal Ratzinger seems to think they do bear a resemblance:
“An average Christian without special liturgical formation would be hard pressed to distinguish a Sung Mass in Latin according to the Old Missal from a Sung Mass in Latin celebrated according to the New Missal.”
As Pope he has the same understanding:
“There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.”
I know you of all people understand that the council needs the approval of the pope not the other way around.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Matt,
For your information it is 2007 and not 1600. Doctrine develops, thus you support my argument that the RCC has not advanced for 400 years. By the way I have been to both bookstores. Catholic material is stuck in some time warp that is trying to rediscover some Golden Era of Catholicism. Many books are trying to defend against the attacks of Protestants. On any topic the Evangelical material is vastly superior.
Dead religion is always focused on the past. Living religion focuses on the present and future.

Tim J. October 8, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Fred, you embarrass yourself when you talk about things of which you are obviously ignorant.
I have BEEN an Evangelical. Even if “the devotional section is predominately Evangelical” quality is more important than quantity, don’t you think?
Catholic devotions ROCK!

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Catholics defending Latin Liturgy makes as much sense as Muslims defending that Quran can not be translated from Arabic into any language. God is not a Roman or an Arab, so let us leave this dead religious thinking behind. The Latin mass overstayed its welcome way to long.

matt October 8, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Fred,
So you don’t read the Bible because it is 2000 years old?
If you believe in Sola Scriptura, how can doctrine develop?
Which Catholic theologians have you read of the 20th Century?
God Bless,
Matt

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 8:51 pm

fred123,
With your vastly superior Evangelical mind will you read the Da Rulz please.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Latin mass is a way to deceive the naive to think something is spiritual when it is actually archaic. Latin mass is an overdone religion based on Medieval tradition, not even Early church tradition. However with the poor state of education in America, especially among Catholics, it is no wonder that dead religion continues. Sacradotalism is a pagan construct that has infiltrated the church for 1000 years. However no Catholic is smart enough to recognize this.

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 8:57 pm

fred123,

However no Catholic is smart enough to recognize this.

Does charity have a place in your understanding of Christianity?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

matt October 8, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Inocencio,

If the Council Fathers would have approved the Novus Ordo liturgy, why does it bear little resemblence to the 1962 Missal with the modest reforms called for by the Council? It seems to me that there is a disjoint there that none of the defenders have responded to in the slightest.
Then Cardinal Ratzinger seems to think they do bear a resemblance:
“An average Christian without special liturgical formation would be hard pressed to distinguish a Sung Mass in Latin according to the Old Missal from a Sung Mass in Latin celebrated according to the New Missal.”

It does not follow. Of course someone who doesn’t understand Latin would not know the difference in Latin, but read the missals in English (even with a good translation) and you will see the difference. This comparison also depends on observing an incredibly extraordinary celebration of the ordinary form of the rite with an ordinary celebration of the extraordinary form. He also makes no judgement in this statement as to whether the Council Fathers would consider it as the 1962 + the reforms of the Council. The Holy Father has made it clear that HE does not think it is the 1962 + reforms, since he refers to it as a “fabrication”.

“There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.”
I know you of all people understand that the council needs the approval of the pope not the other way around.

It’s true that there is difficulty in reconciling this statement with other statements of the Holy Father. I would say that in a supernatural way there is no rupture, but looking at the missals and the associated rubrics there is a big difference, and especially in PRACTICE.
I think a big part of the problem with the Novus Ordo liturgy is what is allowed by it’s rubrics versus what is allowed by the rubrics of the 1962. Many of the poor liturgical practices are only OPTIONAL in Novus Ordo, and not required by it… but that in itself is a problem.
God Bless,
Matt

matt October 8, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Fred,
So you don’t read the Bible because it is 2000 years old?
If you believe in Sola Scriptura, how can doctrine develop?
Which Catholic theologians have you read of the 20th Century?
Are you afraid to answer?
God Bless,
Matt

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:05 pm

matt,
Did you read the article I linked to above?
Excerpt:

Primarily the Council defined what liturgy is and this definition gives valid criteria for every liturgical celebration. If one wishes to scorn these essential rules and to put aside the normae generales which are bound at numbers 34 to 36 of the Constitution “De Sacra Liturgia”, then one violates obedience to the Council! One must judge liturgical celebrations, whether they be according to the old or the new liturgical books, based on these criteria.

I would be interested in your thoughts.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 9:05 pm

When Catholics are defeated, they always refer to Charity. True Charity is warning a person that they are perishing in the quagmire of man made Medieval tradition. Membership in the Catholic or Evangelical church can not save anyone. No sacrament can save anyone. Only a faith based relationship, accompanied by born-again event, can save anyone from the fires of Hell.
So I am being charitable, but you have been deceived so long, that you can’t recognize the deception of your dead traditionalism and ritualism.

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Matt,
I read the Bible in English, German, and Ancient Greek. I have read much of the church fathers and find most of them consistent with a Protestant perspective. I have also read much of John Paul II writings. The church fathers of the first 5 centuries gave the Reformers much ammunition in their split with Rome. Unfortunately, uneducated and brainwashed souls still seem to think that Peter was the first Pope, when the Bible clearly demonstrates otherwise. The RCC kept the Bible from lay people for 1000 years and thus could develop much false doctrine and tradition. God finally had enough and separated the TRUE church from Rome.

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:15 pm

fred123,

No sacrament can save anyone.

Baptism now saves you – 1 Peter 3:21
Hmm superior Evangelical mind or Sacred Scripture?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:17 pm

fred123,
Have you read the Church fathers on the Eucharist?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 9:18 pm

Inocencio,
Unfortunately you Catholic upbringing prevents you from understanding what the word saved means in this context. This is an example of a Catholic taking the word saved out of context. Read the 3 verses before this one. Catholic hermeneutics has distorted the simple truths of the Bible. This is a result of reading scriptures outside their context, a common problem among poorly Catechized Catholics.

matt October 8, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Inocencio,
I hereby accept with the assent of intellect to the articles of Sacrosanctum Concillium below, and pledge in obedience to the council that my critiques of liturgical books will be in accord with there prescriptions:
34. The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.
35. That the intimate connection between words and rites may be apparent in the liturgy:
1) In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from holy scripture, and it is to be more varied and suitable.
2) Because the sermon is part of the liturgical service, the best place for it is to be indicated even in the rubrics, as far as the nature of the rite will allow; the ministry of preaching is to be fulfilled with exactitude and fidelity. The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.
3) Instruction which is more explicitly liturgical should also be given in a variety of ways; if necessary, short directives to be spoken by the priest or proper minister should be provided within the rites themselves. But they should occur only at the more suitable moments, and be in prescribed or similar words.
4) Bible services should be encouraged, especially on the vigils of the more solemn feasts, on some weekdays in Advent and Lent, and on Sundays and feast days. They are particularly to be commended in places where no priest is available; when this is so, a deacon or some other person authorized by the bishop should preside over the celebration.
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above.

SDG: will you assent to item 36. 1?
Nothing in this suggests remotely the transformation from 1962 to 1970 missals and especially the numerous options which were introduced in clear opposition to article 34.
I would also like to point out from article 23:
there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.
God Bless,
Matt

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:28 pm

fred123,
So you know I was raised very anti-Catholic.
Was Christ poorly catechized as well?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
You didn’t answer me about the Church fathers on the Eucharist?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

matt October 8, 2007 at 9:28 pm

fred,
reading scriptures outside their context, a common problem among poorly Catechized Catholics.

True, and a problem for ALL protestant Christians.
God Bless,
Matt

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:31 pm

matt,
I hereby accept and accent to all changes approved by Pope Paul VI, do you?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Inocencio,
The discussion on the Eucharist is a classic one. First it must be stated that one can have a Real-Presence without Transubstantiation. Unfortunately, most Catholics are not aware of this important fact. They assume Transubstantiation is the same as Real-Presence, well it is not. This is another example of Catholics not properly reading the Church fathers. The Medieval church overclocked the text of the church fathers and added false doctrine to the writings of the church fathers. Unfortunately, Americans watch too much TV to take the time to research this themselves correctly. I propose for Lent everyone on this blog give up TV and read their Bible.

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:35 pm

fred123,
It is clear that the Church fathers (as well as St. Paul) disagree with your understanding of the Eucharist.
I have read the Sacred Scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church side by side from cover to cover over an eleven month period. I still study them daily, even with my inferior Catholic mind.
But thank you for the wonderful suggestion.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio October 8, 2007 at 9:39 pm

fred123,
I wish I could say it has been fun.
matt,
I am sure we will have this discussion again.
To both I wish you a good-night. It is time to put my seven children to bed.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 8, 2007 at 9:39 pm

This is because you don’t understand what a metaphor is. Westerners don’t understand the Jewish mind and read many thing from a literal perspective and not a metaphorical perspective. Jesus said, He was the bread of life. Does this mean that he was a loaf of bread. Jews understand metaphors, but 21st century Americans and Medieval Europeans do not.

SDG October 8, 2007 at 11:45 pm

You pick up a couple of areas of distinction as if that was my argument, it is not.

But you were responding to my original point, which called out certain specific elements of change. Unless your comment was a non sequitur, it is reasonable to apply what you said in your reply to what I wrote in the first place.

Having some of the prayers inaudible helps us to understand that GOD HEARS the prayers and that’s the point of praying them, not so we can hear them, we are not GOD.

Yes, that’s all good, and I’m with you there. I wasn’t kidding or being ironic when I said that there are things to be learned kneeling in silence while the priest speaks words you can’t understand in a voice you can’t hear.
But when the whole canon of the mass is celebrated this way, is the pedagogical value of this one lesson, as valuable as it might be, worth the loss of the value of having heard and understood and assented to the greatest prayer Jesus Christ has given His Church?
We are not Gnostics or Quietists for whom sense and perception are neither here nor there. Nor does the possibility and value of active silent spiritual participation moot the need and value of active vocal participation.
St. Augustine said, “He who sings prays twice.” Is song necessary? Does God hear harmonic progressions or polyphony or plainchant better than spoken words? No, of course not — but we participate in a different way, with more levels of our being, when we sing.
One might similarly say, “He who (a) hears, (b) understands, and (c) vocally assents prays at least three times.” If it is sung, as in the Eastern liturgy with which I am most familiar, make it four times. That is a truly glorious experience. (Not that it’s all about “experience,” but oh, how I touch the gates of heaven at that liturgy. Incidentally, I have never found a parish in which the principles about singing in the liturgy attested in the Instruction on Music in the Liturgy were observed — even at my parish where liturgy is done with enormous reverence and the music is particularly excellent. I wonder why more conservatives don’t make a big deal about this?)
I say again: I am far, far from denegrating the value of participating in silence as prayers are said which I can neither hear nor understand. But I value more the prayer that I can hear and understand and join my spirit to as a creature whom God gave ears and capacity for language.

When you’re speaking in reverent tones do you shout? By the way, the prayers are said aloud just not loud.

A prayer I can’t hear is a prayer I can’t hear, whether the priest hears it or whether he says it in the silence of his heart where only God can hear it. Not to say that it doesn’t edify my soul to know that the priest really is saying the words.
Reverence and audibility are not mutually exclusive. On those occasions when I have acted as a lector I have read the scriptures with all the reverence I can. I have also read them to be heard in the last pew in the church.
Jesus preached to crowds of thousands, and was surely audible to thousands at a time. It used to be a discipline to learn to speak (in the days before amplification) to be heard by large crowds. There is no reason why it can’t be done reverently. I’m not saying every prayer needs to be audible to everyone.
Just being able to hear the prayer, even if I can’t understand it, is a huge step forward in participation for me. It shows forth more clearly the public nature of the Mass; it engages my attention and helps avoid distraction. As creatures of flesh and blood, these things matter.

As to the language, the Council Fathers said it was important for Latin to be retained and normative, and remains the normative language of the Novus Ordo.

I love Latin and am all for the use of Latin in vernacular Masses. It is very easy to learn the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei in Latin, and I’m willing to tackle the Gloria and the Creed at least sometimes, especially with singing.
For most of the liturgy, especially the Eucharistic prayer, I find the use of the vernacular to be pedagogically preferable. As a father of five, I know a little about pedagogy. I’ve watched my kids grow up in the Church and learn from prayers they can hear and understand, and I value that. They’ve had some exposure to Latin and can sing the the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, but I can confidently say that they could listen to the Eucharistic prayer in Latin (assuming they could hear it at all) for many years and never absorb it the way they do in English. Of course I could get the older ones a a parallel English-Latin text, but that isn’t going to help the younger ones the way English does.

Since we’re talking about optional practices, how does it help catechesis for the faithful and priests to turn inwards towards each other?

But we weren’t talking about optional practices generally, and already in this thread I’ve expressed my openness to celebration ad orientum as a sound proposal. Why do you put this question to me, as if I had set myself to defend generally every liturgical change that has come along since the Council of Trent?

You’re repeating yourself here. There are many elements beyond the obvious ones you bring up, that sound more like liberal talking points than a reasoned study of the differences between the missals which go much deeper than the language and audibility of some of the prayers.

I repeat myself a lot, so please bear with me. I find it helpful to say the same thing in different ways, though I can understand someone else feeling differently.
I find the terms “liberal” and “conservative” slippery and often unhelpful, and the precise nature of the distinction between “talking points” and “reasoned study” eludes me; it sounds more like rhetorical gesturing than a real argument. I am saying what makes sense to me, not following a script, or at least not more than anyone else with a less-than-original point of view in a larger discussion that’s been going on for a lot longer than I’ve been a part of it.

Why do we still use Amen, Hallelujah, Kyrie Eleison, etc? Those aren’t understood, so you think we should change them to the vernacular: sounds good, hurray, and Lord have mercy.

Look. I’m already spending way more time than I should on this discussion, and if we can avoid wasting time I would appreciate it.
In which dimension of the multiverse do English speakers older than three “not understand” “Amen” and “Hallelujah”? What rationale exists for introducing banalities like “Sounds good” and “hurray” into the discussion? Did I miss the part of the conversation where one of us was a card-carrying ICEL member? Does “Et spiritu tuo” render in English as “Same to you, pal”? And in case you hadn’t noticed, “Lord, have mercy” IS used at a lot of vernacular Masses, although I like the Kyrie in Latin quite.

SDG: will you assent to item 36. 1?

I should think my answer to this was clear even prior to the foregoing, from my earlier participation in this thread.

SDG October 8, 2007 at 11:52 pm

When Catholics are defeated, they always refer to Charity.

This is my one and only response to Fred, a man not interested in and quite possibly not capable of having a discussion.
Note well the man who jeers at the appeal to charity. Who jeers most against “legalism”? Lawbreakers. Who jeers most against “escapism”? Jailers.
Those with ears to hear, let them hear.

Joe October 9, 2007 at 3:32 am

“German liturgists have explicitly stated that, of all things, the Eucharistic Prayer, the high point of the Mass, is in crisis. Since the reform of the liturgy, an attempt has been made to meet the crisis by incessantly inventing new Eucharistic Prayers, and in the process we have sunk farther and farther into banality. Multiplying words is no help–that is all too evident. . . .It is no accident that in Jerusalem, from a very early time, parts of the Canon were prayed in silence and that in the West the silent Canon–overlaid in part with meditative singing–became the norm. To dismiss all this as the result of misunderstandings is just too easy. It really is not true that reciting the whole Eucharistic Prayer out loud and without interruptions is a prerequisite for the participation of everyone in this central act of the Mass. . . .Anyone who has experienced a church united in the silent praying of the Canon will know what a really filled silence is. It is at once a loud and penetrating cry to God and a Spirit-filled act of prayer. Here everyone does pray the Canon together, albeit in a bond with the special task of the priestly ministry.” (Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 215) The whole section on the silent canon is worth the price of the book.
I can certainly tell you that a “filled silence” is much more satisfying than having a constant barrage of words thrown at me. Ancient church architecture is filled with examples of how the Church used to protect the sacred action at the altar from “profane gaze.” In the West there were rood screens, drapes around the altar, and the universal practice of the silent canon. When rood screens and drapery fell into disuse, the West kept the silent canon to veil the most sacred part of the mass. In the East you have the iconostasis, and some rites do have a silent canon. It is my opinion that ad orientem and a silent canon are necessary to fix the liturgical insanity found in many parishes. It is hard for a priest to be an entertainer when he is facing the altar in silent prayer to the Father.

bill912 October 9, 2007 at 4:07 am

Fred sure made a lot of statements without offering a scintilla of evidence to back them up.
And he still didn’t answer my question about what he thinks of the other 22 churches that make up the Catholic Church.

fred123 October 9, 2007 at 4:35 am

Bill912,
My discussion first rests on doctrine. All the other 22 churches most subscribe to RCC doctrine. Thus all the flowery Roman language and repetitive prayers( pagans pray in repetition) further prove that Catholics remain in a state of deception.
People prefer to stay in deception than find the truth. Jesus said the truth would set you free. Not Sacraments, the Rosary( repetitive Pagan prayers), or submitting to infant baptism will save the lost Catholic.

Joe October 9, 2007 at 5:23 am

Don’t feed the troll.

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 5:48 am

Joe,
Good morning! I wholeheartedly agree with you about the Spirit of the Liturgy being an excellent book. Have you read Feast of Faith by Cardinal Ratzinger?
Also any thoughts or response to my Oct 8, 2007 8:36:49 AM comment?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Joe October 9, 2007 at 6:01 am

Inocencio,
Benedict does offer some contradictions that we must deal with. In writting pre-16 bemoaned the “fabrication” that is the NO missal. Sure the the NO can be celebrated in Latin with such solemnity that to the untrained eye it would appear similar to the TLM. But the Latin text itself shows a radical departure from the TLM. We shall see as B16’s pontificate progresses what will happen to the reform of the liturgy. But already I can see him making the changes he wrote about as a cardinal. I really do hope for a “Benedictine” missal.

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 6:22 am

Joe,

“Benedict does offer some contradictions that we must deal with.”

To my untrained mind this seems a little presumptuous to say that Pope Benedict XVI contradicts himself. Perhaps we should look at our own perspective before stating that Pope Benedict XVI contradicts himself when we don’t agree with what he has said.
Having read many of Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings the thing I appreciate most about him is his consistency.
Again, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI rightly and strongly has condemned abuses of the liturgy (by priests, “liturgists”, and communities) and not the Pauline Missal itself.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Joe October 9, 2007 at 6:22 am

And yes, I have read Feast of Faith. However that was written in the 80s. Keep in mind that the good cardinal has grown more conservative and traditional as the years passed. By his own admission he was quite liberal when a peritus at Vatican II, but quickly became disenchanted when he saw the results of liberalism in Germany. Michael Davies actually wrote an apologia in defense of Ratzinger, and against the majority of the traditionalist movement, stating that Ratzinger’s beliefs had grown more traditional and that he is a sort of closet traditionalist. This, Davies asserts, was the result of numerous face-to-face meeting he had with Ratzinger.

Joe October 9, 2007 at 6:25 am

He did not simply condemn abuses, he also criticized the missal itself. Read the intro to Gamber’s book, it is clear he is referring to the NO missal itself (which is a key point of Gamber’s, and Ratzinger called him the “father of the reform of the reform.”

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 8:16 am

Joe,
I have read the intro to the book. Cardinal Ratzinger talks about fabricated liturgy, liturgists, liturgical teams, etc. If you have read any quotes where he directly condemns the Missal of Pope Paul VI I would very much like to read them.
In the intro he also talks about the other extreme in liturgy:

On the other hand, there is the conservation of ritual forms whose greatness is always moving but which, when pushed to extremes, manifests an obstinate isolationism and leaves, ultimately, a mark of sadness.

This is what SDG has been commenting on through out this post.
All of Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings show a consistency that comes to the same conclusion as Pope Benedict XVI in the recognizing the value and holiness of the new rite. I would suggest that shows just how consistent he has been in his thought and writings about liturgy.
Did you read the article I linked to above. It is very interesting to read his thoughts especially since he is giving this talk in regard to the tenth anniversary of the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei.
Also you didn’t respond to the fact that Pope Paul VI approved both the council and the missal and that is the approval we should acknowledge. Even if you have come to the conclusion that the council fathers would have never approved the new order of the Mass.
Again, I would suggest we need to be very careful in recognizing how much influence are preconceived notions affect our conclusions.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 8:17 am

close link
So sorry.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 9, 2007 at 9:12 am

Thus all the flowery Roman language and repetitive prayers(pagans pray in repetition) further prove that Catholics remain in a state of deception.
Fred123,
Are you really that ignorant?
I suppose the Jews are pagans as well?
You really are showing off just how clueless you are.
I would suggest you study the Jewish Prayers.
Then, you might shut your mouth and apologize to both Jews and Catholics whom you have seriously offended by your ignorant remark here.

SDG October 9, 2007 at 9:32 am

Another crucial passage from the 1996 Ratzinger essay linked by Inocencio:

On the other hand one has to admit that the celebration of the ancient liturgy was too lost in the realm of the individual and the private. One must admit that the communion between the priest and the faithful was lacking. I have great respect for our ancestors who during the Low Mass, said the prayers “during Mass” which their prayer book recommended. Certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of the liturgical celebration! Perhaps, these reduced forms of celebration are the fundamental reason why the disappearance of the ancient liturgical books had no importance in many countries and caused no pain, There was never any contact with the liturgy itself.

This seems to significantly converge with and reinforce some of my own impressions.

Esau October 9, 2007 at 9:54 am

Inocencio:
All of Cardinal Ratzinger‘s writings show a consistency that comes to the same conclusion as Pope Benedict XVI in the recognizing the value and holiness of the new rite.
Is this any surprise?
He is, after all, the very same person! ;^)
As for your latter remark re: recognizing the value and holiness of the new rite
I believe you are not properly reflecting Ratzinger/B16’s views in their entirety.
After all, as I have posted in the past:

One big clue to the pope’s thinking came in his 1997 book, titled “Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977” and written when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in which he sharply criticized the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969.

For more info:
MORE UPDATE RE: THE MOTU PROPRIO

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 10:09 am

Esau,
I was paraphrasing Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter to the Bishops.
“There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.”

“The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”
Since this is his most recent writing (and of course the most official) on the subject I would maintain that it is a reflection of his thoughts on the matter.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

SDG October 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

As for your latter remark re: recognizing the value and holiness of the new rite

I believe you are not properly reflecting Ratzinger/B16’s views in their entirety.

Esau, if you think Inocencio is not properly reflecting Pre/B-16’s views with respect to the new rite in itself, you will have to make a more persuasive case.
First, you are quoting a secondary source (a reporter writing for CNS), not Pre/B-16 himself.
Second, you seem to be quoting out of context. Your post seems to imply that what Pre-16 was sharply critical of had something to do with the actual new rite itself. Pre-16 may indeed have had criticisms of the new rite in itself, but in context your quotation does not support this assertion. The next sentence in the story reads: “The almost total prohibition of the old missal, which had been used for 400 years, was unprecedented in the history of the liturgy, he said in the book.”
Your source does not give us any reason to think that the “drastic manner” of the Paul VI reform which Ratzinger “sharply criticized” necessarily had anything to do with “the value and holiness of the new rite” in itself. Rather, it was the “almost total prohibition of the old missal” that the CNS story suggests Pre-16 was sharply criticial of — a prohibition which B-16 has now alleviated with the Motu Proprio.
Thirdly, your own source also goes on to say that Pre-16 “considered the new missal a ‘real improvement'” in many respects, and that the introduction of local languages made sense,” while the old “‘low mass, with its whispered prayers at the altar and its silent congregation, ‘was not what liturgy should be, which is why it was not painful for many people’ when it disappeared.”
The evidence cited seems to suggest that in affirming “the value and holiness of the new rite,” Inocencio was indeed “properly reflecting Ratzinger/B16’s views” with respect to the new rite in itself.

Esau October 9, 2007 at 11:03 am

Evidently, you did not read the posted link.
Perhaps it would be best for you to read it first prior to having formed your hasty judgment of what you believe is my position on the matter.
As my linked post clearly indicates:

But the picture is not so clear-cut. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he said he considered the new missal a “real improvement” in many respects, and that the introduction of local languages made sense.

Esau October 9, 2007 at 11:04 am

In Other Words, Ratzinger’s/B-16’s views is not as clear-cut as y’all are making it out to be.
Yes, there are some good he saw in the New Rite; yet, nevertheless, there is also some bad.
If you had actually read his works, perhaps you might have a better clue on it.

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 11:22 am

Esau,
I have read many of his writings and quoted from them. And I still maintain that his Letter to the Bishops reflects his conclusion on the value and holiness of the new rite. As I was discussing with Joe that is completely consistent with his earlier books such as The Ratzinger Report, Feast of Faith and Spirit of the Liturgy not to mention the essay I linked to above and other essays I have read of his.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

SDG October 9, 2007 at 11:24 am

Esau:
Actually, I had read your posted link, and had already noted that you had quoted the lines you quoted. I was aware that you knew that Pre-16 had defended the new rite as an improvement in some respects, and that you had quoted the same bits I quoted above.
I was not commenting on your overall assessment or characterization of Pre/B-16’s stance. I was commenting on your specific charge that Inocencio was not properly reflecting Ratzinger/B16’s views — a charge that, as I noted, is not supported by the CNS quotation you cited.
Anyway, Inocencio never denied that Pre/B-16 has been critical of defects in the new rite (just as he has been critical of defects in the old). All he said was that Pre/B-16 has consistently recognized the value and holiness of the new rite.
This would have been a perfect opportunity for you to say something like, “True, although he has also been critical of defects in the new rite. For example…”
There was no need to criticize Inocencio for something he didn’t say, by charging that he was “not properly reflecting Ratzinger/B16’s views.”

If you had actually read his works, perhaps you might have a better clue on it.

Deep breath, Esau. You aren’t doing yourself any favors.

Mary October 9, 2007 at 11:52 am

Given
Latin mass is a way to deceive the naive to think something is spiritual when it is actually archaic.
and
I read the Bible in English, German, and Ancient Greek. ,
chose one.
Why do you read the Bible in an archaic language?

Dan Hunter October 9, 2007 at 11:54 am

The Tridentine Mass is far and away an unimaginably greater expression of the sacrificial nature of Holy Mass, and this is what Holy Mass is:The unbloody representation of Calvary.
God bless the Church and God bless our Holy Father.

Mary October 9, 2007 at 11:56 am

Again, given,
First it must be stated that one can have a Real-Presence without Transubstantiation. Unfortunately, most Catholics are not aware of this important fact. They assume Transubstantiation is the same as Real-Presence,
and
This is because you don’t understand what a metaphor is. Westerners don’t understand the Jewish mind and read many thing from a literal perspective and not a metaphorical perspective. Jesus said, He was the bread of life. Does this mean that he was a loaf of bread. Jews understand metaphors, but 21st century Americans and Medieval Europeans do not.,
chose one.
And then if you chose the first, explain the Real (not figurative) Presence in other terms.
And if you chose the second, explain why those Jews who understand metaphors rejected Jesus because of what he taught of the Bread of Life. The only time any follower left for doctrinal reasons.

Mary October 9, 2007 at 11:58 am

Thus all the flowery Roman language and repetitive prayers( pagans pray in repetition) further prove that Catholics remain in a state of deception.
When his followers asked him to teach them how to pray, he gave them fixed words to use — over and over again.

SDG October 9, 2007 at 12:06 pm

The Tridentine Mass is far and away an unimaginably greater expression of the sacrificial nature of Holy Mass

Yet Pre-16 has stated that in the older rite “the celebration of the ancient liturgy was too lost in the realm of the individual and the private” and “the communion between the priest and the faithful was lacking” — particularly in the low mass where for the silent congregation “[t]here was never any contact with the liturgy itself,” hardly “the ideal of the liturgical celebration.” He has also called the new missal a “real improvement” in many respects, specifically supporting use of the vernacular.

Dan Hunter October 9, 2007 at 12:49 pm

SDG,
I assist, exclusively, 3 days a week at the Tridentine Mass and have for the past 3 years.
I have never felt as close to the action of the Holy Mass, the priest or Christ Himself as I do now.
It is unspeakably communal in nature. We are all facing God together. It is not an enclosed circle.
In my previous 38 years of assisting at a Novus Ordo Mass there has never been this union with Christ, Priest and people as is now the fact.
In fact in my many years at the Novus Ordo Mass it was very isolating and individualistic. Some priests would make up their own words and rubrics, even going so far as to invalidate the Holy Mass by changing the words of Consecration.
Everyone would do their own thing.ie:holding their hands up to imitate the priest, kissing everyone in sight during the Kiss of Peace. Women wearing halter tops during the Holy Sacrifice etc.
At the every single Tridentine Mass I have assisted at there has been unity in almost everything.
Uniform modesty.
Uniform following of rubrics.
Everyone is united in no individualism but Catholic Oneness. Unity.
God bless you.

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Dan Hunter,
You seem to disagree with the Pope Benedict XVI since that is who SDG was quoting.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Dan Hunter October 9, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Innocencio,
Yes I am disagreeing with the Holy Father on SDG’s point.
And I am allowed to on the above point for His Holiness is not speaking with papal infallibility on this matter.
God bless you.

Inocencio October 9, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Dan Hunter,
I should have said you seem to disagree with Pre-16 instead of PBXVI.
Thank you for your response I appreciate your honesty.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 9, 2007 at 1:28 pm

SDG,
Thanks for the course on tactful communications!
I appreciate it!
Tell Jimmy to give you a raise, brutha! =^)

Elijah October 9, 2007 at 1:35 pm

fred123,
Are you some kinda robot?
…And if so, what kind of powers do you have?
Do you use them for good? Or for awesome?

Tim J. October 9, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I haven’t seen fred on the thread since 4:30 am this morning. Please don’t leave bait laying around for him.

J.R. Stoodley October 9, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I don’t have the patience to read this entire thread, but I think some balance is needed.
Neither the TLM nor the NO are perfect. This is especially the case with the Low Mass, which is essentially a Medieval/post-Medieval simplification of the traditional Roman Liturgy and not what it was ever intended to be. There were other simplifications and accretions to the liturgy in general over the years that were sometimes good but not always.
On the other hand the revision of the 60s eliminated the unity and sacrificial sense provided by the ad orientem positioning, the reverence and connection to the past of the traditional prayers especially the Canon which had been virtually unchanged from St. Gregory the Great on, the sense of mystery and tradition and Catholic identity that comes with Latin, etc.
I personally would like to see, rather than just a better translation of the NO which is better than nothing, a return to much that was lost, including the old vestments, ad orientem, many of the old prayers especially the canon, and mandatory Latin in places. On the other hand some of the changes called for by Vatican II were beneficial and often a return to tradition that had been lost. If I’m not mistaken many of the parts limited by early modern times to the deacon and schola were originally intended for the entire congregation, as they are now in the new liturgy. Also some use of the vernacular especially for readings and a greater variety of scripture readings helps people benefit from the mass, which is in fact important. The liturgy is among other things an encounter between man and God, so while it can’t be the sole focus it is valid to consider what people are “getting out of” the liturgy, even besides the Eucharist itself which of course is by far the most important part.
I completely sympothize with liturgical traditionalists and prefer the TLM to the NO certainly as they are practiced but probably in overall theory as well, but we shouldn’t condemn the good with the bad just because they came about simultaniously. Also, not that all traditionalists disagree, but we need in all things to be obedient to our bishops, and above all to Rome, even when we personally disagree with them.

Esau October 9, 2007 at 3:20 pm

J.R. Stoodley,
Great post!
Also, great to have you posting once again!
Although, as I have mentioned previously, do hold respect for the Novus Ordo Missae; nevertheless, there is an egregious break with our Catholic Heritage, our very Catholic identity (as even you’ve put it in your post) that has been lost there.
Indeed, there is not much (if any) organic development where one evolved from the other; instead, there is more so a mutation.
However, this does not mean that the N.O. masses are invalid or, worse, heretical; but that they are deficient in the same regard that you have treated it here:
On the other hand the revision of the 60s eliminated the unity and sacrificial sense provided by the ad orientem positioning, the reverence and connection to the past of the traditional prayers especially the Canon which had been virtually unchanged from St. Gregory the Great on, the sense of mystery and tradition and Catholic identity that comes with Latin, etc.
I have often spoken thus in the past; but you have put it far more articulately.
God bless!

Ben Bentrup October 9, 2007 at 4:22 pm

I claim that every drop of my blood is Catholic. I haven’t ever been (so far as I can recall) to a Tridentine mass. How can you say I’ve lost part of my Catholic identity?
Do you identify yourself with how the Mass is celebrated? God forbid that the Holy Mass be suspended in my country for a thousand years, but nevertheless I would still call myself Catholic. Me? I serve the one true God and the Church that Jesus established that, as it seems most on here forget, is guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is alive – it has probably metamorphasized (spelling?) over the past generation – but it is the same Church as the holy apostles. I submit myself to my bishop and serve my fellow Christians and fight the spiritual battles as best I may. This is my identity.
We’re called to love and to serve. TLMers (if I may coin the term), is it not obvious to you that the TLM is going to alienate most children and potential converts, not to mention a lot of the lukewarm Catholics who have strayed from Christ’s call at the moment? Those people just aren’t ready yet for the TLM (if the anecdotal and statistical data is to be believed). Your preferred liturgy is, beyond a doubt, very beautiful and should be promulgated as there are many who still desire it. However, these posts of yours are divisive after a point. The NO is here to stay in some form. Please be charitable and let’s spend our energies correcting legitimate liturgical abuse (not simply repeating that you prefer some alternate form), discussing ways of improving the NO liturgy, and energizing our lapsed brethren in worship (period, not the way therein).
SDG, I’ve especially enjoyed your concise and well-thought out NO defense posts of the NO, a lot better than I ever could have done. Time for me to stop writing and get back to praying!

Esau October 9, 2007 at 4:25 pm

TLMers (if I may coin the term), is it not obvious to you that the TLM is going to alienate most children and potential converts, not to mention a lot of the lukewarm Catholics who have strayed from Christ’s call at the moment?
For your information, J.R. Stoodley and I are not exactly TLMers.
Also, you seem to forget that many of those here who have an attachment to the TLM are actually Protestant converts — including J.R. Stoodley!

Esau October 9, 2007 at 4:28 pm

However, these posts of yours are divisive after a point.
Oh, please!
I take it you’ve never seen my defense of the Novus Ordo against the Rad Trads.
That still does not take away from the fact that, as I have said time and again, the TLM is a part of our CATHOLIC HERITAGE and, yes, our very CATHOLIC IDENTITY!
Please be charitable and let’s spend our energies correcting legitimate liturgical abuse (not simply repeating that you prefer some alternate form), discussing ways of improving the NO liturgy, and energizing our lapsed brethren in worship (period, not the way therein).
Why don’t you PRACTICE charity instead of PREACHING it!
SDG might give you some pointers.

fred123 October 9, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Watching Catholics argue about the Novus Ordo Missae is quite amusing. It is like arguing about the proper placement of deck chairs on the sinking Titanic.
Martin Luther rejected parts of the Roman Rite Catholic Mass (specifically the Canon of the Mass) as heretical and not conforming to the Bible,[citation needed] he replaced it with a revised rite, and later with the venacular Deutsche Messe. His argument was based on Hebrews 7:27, which contrasts the Old Testament priests who needed to make a sacrifice for sins on a regular basis with the single priest Christ who only offers his body once as a sacrifice, and also on Hebrews 9:26, 9:28, and 10:10.

SDG October 9, 2007 at 6:34 pm

Do. Not. Feed.

Dan Hunter October 9, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I was born a Catholic and suffered through the Novus Ordo for 38 years before finally identifying myself through the Tridentine Mass with Christ.
Thank you God Almighty for this stupendous gift and also thank You for giving me CATHOLIC parents who taught me the TRUE catechism.
And thank you Lord for keeping protestantism away from my doorway, along with paganism and atheism.
Viva Christo Rey!

fred123 October 9, 2007 at 7:14 pm

A few interesting facts about the ever changing doctrine of the man made institution called the Catholic church. FACT: Although Roman Catholics are permitted to eat the bread (body) of the Lord’s Supper, they are generally not allowed to drink the wine (blood) of the Lord’s Supper, as any Catholic knows from his own experience from attending Mass. The laity are withheld the cup of the Lord and it is usually reserved for church leaders only.
However, two early popes condemned withholding the cup, Pope Leo I and Pope Gelasius; but in the 12th century the practice was begun, and formally approved by the Catholic Council of Constance in 1415 AD. So for the first 1000 years, the Catholics in the Pews drink the cup, then the Pope changed this apostolic tradition.
Praise God that he has delivered over 700 million Protestants from the clutches of heresy and the deception of Rome.

Dan Hunter October 9, 2007 at 7:22 pm

fred123,
Ya wanna throw down?
Physically, that is.
I feel like it.

Tim J. October 9, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Pray for fred. He knows not what he does. Or says. Or thinks.
His last post was just 180 degrees, completely, factually wrong, and he will never be able to admit it, let alone consider the truth.
God help him.
I’ll think of you, fred, when I receive the Blood of Christ from the cup this Sunday – as will literally MILLIONS of Catholics.

fred123 October 9, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Dan,
You remind me of your Muslim brothers( as quoted from Catechism). Instead of using reason you use emotion and dogma. Catholics and Muslims must both resort to physical violence because they instinctively know that they don’t have the truth.
Your foolishness is so readily exposed.

Mary Kay October 9, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Dan, don’t take the bait.
Fred, you’re wasting your time here.

fred123 October 9, 2007 at 7:50 pm

Tim,
Since you claim to be a former Protestant who back-slid into Catholicism. Here are a few things to ponder.
1. Transubstantiation is a false doctrine because Jesus instituted Lord’s Supper before his blood was shed and body broken! He spoke of His blood being shed, which was still yet future. This proves it was a symbol.
2. The very record of historically, (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian and Hippolytus) which the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches love to quote as authority, proves that before 200 AD, the church viewed the bread and juice as symbols. Conversely, the earliest historical hint of transubstantiation was in the 4th century.

Ben Bentrup October 9, 2007 at 8:01 pm

Fred123, http://www.catholic.com offers this which may assauge the specific concerns of your last post.
[I]Should Communion under both kinds automatically be offered to the faithful, or are there circumstances in which it should not be offered?
The chalice should not be ministered to lay members of Christ’s faithful where there is such a large number of communicants that it is difficult to gauge the amount of wine for the Eucharist and there is a danger that “more than a reasonable quantity of the blood of Christ remain to be consumed at the end of the celebration.” The same is true wherever access to the chalice would be difficult to arrange, or where such a large amount of wine would be required that its certain provenance and quality could be known only with difficulty, or wherever there is not an adequate number of sacred ministers or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion with proper formation, or where a notable part of the people continues to prefer not to approach the chalice for various reasons, so that the sign of unity would in some sense be negated (102; cf. GIRM 285a).[/I]
To further explain my earlier post regarding Catholic identity with a certain liturgy: I am not denying that doing so is a bad thing, especially since the Mass itself is God’s perfect way of arranging for our redemption and giving us a foretaste into heaven.
However, if it were possible that God had not sent his only begotten Son to sacrifice himself freely on the cross to redeem me, still I would serve Him. Even given that, if Jesus had not entrusted his divine mission to his apostles, I would still serve Him as a Catholic. Even given that, if those apostles had not carried out Jesus’s command to institute the Eucharist within the context of a liturgy or even a specific liturgical construct, I would still serve Him.
Granted our Catholic faith is identified with so many outward accidents. Beautiful ones, instituted by God for our benefit, but ultimately they are just agents that God uses to help me to know Him and worship Him. Once Catholic Christians are all in Heaven worshipping Him at the end of time, our Lord’s holy cross can be safely discarded, for all the cross represents is the sign of the deeper reality of what Divine Love means; in Heaven we will know that perfectly anyway through his supreme gift. That vision of worshipping him in heaven is how I identify myself as Catholic.
Arguing over a liturgy our pope promulgates seems to be hollow in comparison. I just don’t see the point on why you would want to spend your energies in that endeavor. Let’s work on saving our souls and the souls of others rather. The NO and the TLM both seem to be adequate in that regard.
I can see how a few terms of my previous post could raise the hair on the backs of a few posters. I stand by my last post in message, but the tone may have come across as arrogant (and may have been), and I apologize for any and all offense you have taken. I just want to mention that what I desired then and previously and now was/is for this debate to conclude peacefully.
In Christ, Ben

SDG October 9, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Dan,
While the Pre-16 speech I quoted earlier doesn’t carry magisterial weight and you are free to disagree, Pope Benedict’s recent Letter to the Bishops for the Motu Proprio is somewhat more weighty — not infallible, but an authoritative letter from the Vicar of Christ deserving of filial respect.
The Holy Father states that there are not “two Rites,” but “a twofold use of one and the same rite.” Within this twofold use, he declares, “[t]here is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.”
He even warns against a total rejection of the “novus ordo,” since “[t]he total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”
I sympathize with your experience of having “suffered through” decades of a liturgical observance that you found to be seriously defective. I question, though, to what extent this was due to the novus ordo itself, however reverently and appropriately celebrated, and to what extent it was due to the unapproved “deformations” of false “creativity” criticized by the Holy Father.
You seem to feel a strong negativity toward the novus ordo itself. I would respectfully encourage you to consider the extent to which such an attitude is in keeping with the spirit of our Holy Father’s authoritative pastoral teaching on this subject.
P.S. To Ben: Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your reply to Fred, though my own hearty recommendation would be to seriously consider the relevance potential of our Lord’s teaching regarding pearls and swine.

Paul October 9, 2007 at 8:06 pm

1. Transubstantiation is a false doctrine because Jesus instituted Lord’s Supper before his blood was shed and body broken! He spoke of His blood being shed, which was still yet future. This proves it was a symbol.
Oh my goodness! You’ve cracked the case! Why didn’t the church see this before? God can’t possibly have made a miracle happen at the last supper. I mean, where in the Bible does Christ ever perform a miracle?
2. The very record of historically, (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian and Hippolytus) which the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches love to quote as authority, proves that before 200 AD, the church viewed the bread and juice as symbols. Conversely, the earliest historical hint of transubstantiation was in the 4th century.
The Bible alone is enough for a conclusive case that the Eucharist is not purely a symbol. The protestant concept of a symbolic Eucharist is completely alien to the church until Bengarius of Tours started spouting heresy.
It’s also pretty hilarious that you call it “juice”.

fred123 October 9, 2007 at 8:22 pm

It is amazing to see Catholics parrot the same phrases over and over again. Find me one Catholic with sound reasoning ability and I will make him a Protestant. Find me a fool and I will make him a Catholic or an Atheist.
1. Why do Roman Catholics always use 2 Timothy 2:2; 3:14 as Bible proof that extra-biblical oral tradition is to be followed through apostolic succession, when tradition says Timothy became the bishop of Ephesians, which through succession, is now part of the Greek Orthodox church headed out of Constantinople? If 2 Timothy 2:2 proves succession, doesn’t this prove the Roman Catholic church is not part of that succession?
2. When you see the word tradition, why do you always assume it to be oral tradition rather than scripture tradition, when the Bible calls scripture tradition in 2 Thess 2:15, and Athanasius call scripture tradition: “the Apostolic tradition teaches in the words of blessed Peter, ‘Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the Flesh” Athanasius then quotes: 1 Peter 4:1; Titus 2:13; Heb 2:1 (Athanasius, To Adelphius, Letter 60, 6)?

Dan Hunter October 9, 2007 at 9:23 pm

fred123,
I am really John Calvins great great great great great great great great grandson and I am trying to expose all those evil rapscallion Papists for what they really are:Devil lovin’ troglydytes.
Why don’t you look up a good ol boy seance and conjure up M.Luther from his eternal fire…I mean rest and then we can give them thar Roman Lucifers a good scare.
Sola Fide, bro
Long live Heresy!

J.R. Stoodley October 9, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Dan,
Let Fred talk to himself. If everyone ignores him he will go away sooner.
Unless he starts making well reasoned and respectful points of course. There’s nothing wrong with protestants posting here, just troll-like ones.

J.R. Stoodley October 9, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Regarding the original point of the post, my own opinion is that both the unideal way in which the liturgy was reformed and the declining mass attendance were symptoms of a more general loss of faith and of maturity in general in the 60s and 70s. The reduced and often abused liturgy certainly played a central role in the loss of many liturgical traditionalists to schism or illicit masses at least, and has served as an excuse for some individuals to skip mass, but in general I suspect it played a minor role in the general loss of faith. It was designed, more and more at each level of its coming about (VII, Missal of 1970, permissions granted by Rome, and finally the actual practice each created a more extreme break from the past) for those who in the past would have been called modernists, so it didn’t drive many them from the Church. Sudden repression of the new mass would do that, however, and we would be reminissing on the days when the percentages of Catholics who went to mass on Sunday were often in the double digits. It’s sad but true.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 3:35 am

Dan,
I appreciate you confessing that Catholics are non-Christian uneducated cave dwellers. Therefore it is important that Protestants share the real Gospel message, and evangelize these deceived people. There is no need to live in darkness. Catholics don’t realize that their teaching on Transubstantiation, the Assumption of Mary, and the forged Papal decrees can be attributed to one very satanic man from the 9th century.
Radbertus argued that the bread is transubstantially flesh born of Mary, which had suffered on the Cross and risen again, and which is multiplied by God’s omnipotence at every celebration. However, he insisted that this was spiritually the case and not physically so, and yet, unlike Thomas Aquinas later, he never specified how and to what degree it is spiritually true. This ontological understanding of eucharist was attacked by Ratramnus and Rabanus Maurus, who argued for a more spiritual conception of the divine presence. It is also probable that he was the author of the Pseudo-Jerome’s epistle ix, Cogitis me, which is an important document in the history of the belief in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the western church.
Recent research has assembled evidence that Radbertus may have been the mastermind behind the forgeries of the Pseudo-Isidore, a vast complex of forged and genuine texts from papal letters, council texts and Carolingian legislation composed during the second quarter of the ninth century in Corbie.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 3:36 am

Dan,
I appreciate you confessing that Catholics are non-Christian uneducated cave dwellers. Therefore it is important that Protestants share the real Gospel message, and evangelize these prehistoric and deceived people. There is no need to live in darkness. Catholics don’t realize that their teaching on Transubstantiation, the Assumption of Mary, and the forged Papal decrees can be attributed to one very satanic man from the 9th century.
Radbertus argued that the bread is transubstantially flesh born of Mary, which had suffered on the Cross and risen again, and which is multiplied by God’s omnipotence at every celebration. However, he insisted that this was spiritually the case and not physically so, and yet, unlike Thomas Aquinas later, he never specified how and to what degree it is spiritually true. This ontological understanding of eucharist was attacked by Ratramnus and Rabanus Maurus, who argued for a more spiritual conception of the divine presence. It is also probable that he was the author of the Pseudo-Jerome’s epistle ix, Cogitis me, which is an important document in the history of the belief in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the western church.
Recent research has assembled evidence that Radbertus may have been the mastermind behind the forgeries of the Pseudo-Isidore, a vast complex of forged and genuine texts from papal letters, council texts and Carolingian legislation composed during the second quarter of the ninth century in Corbie.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 4:00 am

Mary,
When Roman Catholics are challenged from the Bible to defend their faith, they are unwilling or unable to defend what they believe and say the priest has the answer and never search the truth out for themselves. Priests and Bishops never get permission to have open public Bible discussions with honest Bible students . Imagine a local parish priest publicly defending infant baptism against a Christian who taught the practice contradicted the Bible! It never happens! Forget what the Bible says, just trust the priest!
Jesus knew that Pharisees and Sadducees held people in spiritual bondage. This is why he alway used the Old Testament Scriptures to refute them. Today the battle is no different. Catholic Priests hold 1 billion souls in bondage, while Protestants use the Bible to set the captives free from the false hope of Catholicism.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 5:27 am

I appreciate you confessing that Catholics are non-Christian uneducated cave dwellers.

Fred: Consider this your quasi-official RULE #1 WARNING. Railing against the Church will not get you banned on this blog, only ignored. Rudeness and insults will get you banned, and you will have to carry on elsewhere.
You are a GUEST on this blog, just like Jesus was a guest at the Pharisee’s house. You are welcome to dissent and criticize the beliefs of other guests and of your host, but do so courteously, if not charitably, within the house rules of your host.
Finally, a personal note. Your risibly ignorant schoolyard attacks are not impressing anyone, possibly not even yourself. If anything, they are encouraging Catholics on this blog who may not not had as much experience with knowledgeable and virtuous Protestants as I have (being a convert from Evangelical Protestantism) in complacent anti-Protestant attitudes, as if one would HAVE to believe the fatuous lies you are spouting in order not to be Catholic.
I expect I’m wasting my virtual breath, but why not look at the big picture, take the long view? Why not try a little charity and humility, like St. Francis de Sales used with the Protestants of Chablis when he converted thousands of them back to the true Faith? St. Francis saw himself as the servant of Protestants in bondage to error. You don’t come off like a servant trying to help anyone. I was going to tell you what you come off as, but then I decided that you can figure that out for yourself, if you want to know.
I know, I know. That’s not what you’re here for, is it? Well, I had to try.

LarryD October 10, 2007 at 5:52 am

“Forget what the Bible says, just trust the priest!”
Fred: Catholics are not obliged to solely trust any priest – we are primarily obliged to trust the Church, then to trust priests in union with the Church. Just trusting the priest (Martin Luther, for instance?), is a large part of the reason why there is division, especially among the Protestant denominations.
I’m inclined to agree with SDG, though – wasting virtual breath and keystrokes…..

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:00 am

SDG,
Then please inform your Catholic brother Dan, not to hurl insults either. A double standard is not appreciated.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:05 am

SDG,
Jesus would always correct someone in error. I bring facts that show where the Catholic church went astray. Otherwise you are using an ad-hominem attack, which is also very uncharitable.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 6:18 am

Then please inform your Catholic brother Dan, not to hurl insults either. A double standard is not appreciated.

I will do my best to be even-handed, Fred, though I freely confess I’m no Solomon, and am only standing in for the blog owner in any case.
I haven’t read every word either you or Dan has written; from what I saw of Dan’s comments, he was satirizing your rhetoric by hurling insults at Catholics. Also, he jokingly challenged you to a fisticuff. His comments have been provocative, but while there was provocation on both sides, so far I don’t see that you or Protestants generally have been insulted, per se.
Having said that, I will ask everyone to stand down the level of rhetoric and try to reason together in a sober fashion. An Idea: Let’s pretend that atheists and agnostics might read this blog, and that we have an opportunity to show them that the love of Christ actually makes a difference in how we treat one another despite our differences in belief.
I hope that is fair enough.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 6:24 am

Jesus would always correct someone in error. I bring facts that show where the Catholic church went astray. Otherwise you are using an ad-hominem attack, which is also very uncharitable.

Fred: I’ve already made clear that you are not barred from trying to show where you believe the Catholic Church has “gone astray.”
I have exhorted you to do so in as charitable a fashion as possible, without insulting Catholics (e.g., by calling them “uneducated cave dwellers”).
St. Francis de Sales corrected those he believed were in error. So did Torquemada, though in a very different way. Or, on the Protestant side, so did the English Reformers who executed countless Catholic martyrs. Just because we are correcting people we believe are in error, it does not follow that we are doing what Christ would do.
I have also encouraged you on a personal level to consider that your approach may not be the most effective way to make your point, since you seriously don’t know what you are talking about.

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 6:37 am

“For My flesh is food indeed, and My Blood drink indeed.
If you do not eat My Flesh and drink My Blood you cannot have life within you.”
Straightforward Transubstantiation, and Christs command to recieve the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Mass.
God bless you fred123

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 6:44 am

SDG, you are a better man than I.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:56 am

Dan,
You are quoting a Synecdoche. Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which:
* a term denoting a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing, or
* a term denoting a thing (a “whole”) is used to refer to part of it, or
* a term denoting a specific class of thing (a “species”) is used to refer to a larger, more general class (a “genus”), or
* a term denoting a general class of thing (genus) is used to refer to a smaller, more specific class (species), or
* a term denoting a material is used to refer to an object composed of that material.
Synecdoche is closely related to metonymy (the figure of speech in which a term denoting one thing is used to refer to a related thing); indeed, synecdoche is often considered a subclass of metonymy. It is more distantly related to other figures of speech, such as metaphor.
Examples where a part of something is used to refer to the whole:
* “The hired hands [workers] are not doing their jobs.”
* “His parents bought him a new set of wheels [car].”
* Similarly, “mouths to feed” for hungry people, “white hair” for an elderly person, “The Press” for news media.
— John states the Word became flesh. Thus the ‘flesh of Jesus’ is the Word of God is food and the ‘drink the Blood’ means that the ‘fellowship of suffering’ is life.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 7:03 am

Fred: You are quite correct. Jesus is using synecdoche, using a part (flesh and blood) to denote the whole (the whole Jesus).
Thus, it is not enough to eat his flesh and blood only. We must eat the whole Christ, body and soul, humanity and divinity.
What Jesus is not doing is using a mere metaphor to say something that he does not literally mean. We must eat his flesh and drink his blood — must do more than that, but not less.
Jesus emphasizes the literal, non-figurative truth of his words when he says: “For my flesh is food INDEED, and my blood is drink INDEED” — or as it is also rendered, “My flesh is REAL food, and my blood is REAL drink.” He doesn’t say “I am INDEED a door” or “You are REAL salt of the earth.” Those are only metaphors.

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 7:07 am

The Word is substantially Christ. Christ became Incarnate of the Holy Ghost and dwelt amongst us.Read the Roman Catechism some time,Fred. It is also called the Catechism of the Council of Trent. If you give me your information I shall send you a copy of it.
Fred123, do you realize that the Catholic Church was established by Christ Himself and existed for 1500 years before ex Father Luther fell to the sin of pride and broke from Peter.
In Christendom, only the Catholic Church existed before the Protestant Deformation.
Deo Gratias.

erick October 10, 2007 at 7:15 am

Dan Hunter—
I wonder what kind of Biblical/Historic-(1st or 2nd cent.) evidence you can offer to substantiate that Roman Catholicism was established by Christ Himself….?
Notice I say “Roman”.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 7:20 am

Notice I say “Roman”.

So noted. Please do not mislabel our Church on this blog. See Rule 23 for more information.

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 7:46 am

Erick,
I never said Roman Catholic.
You are most likely making reference to the Roman Catechism, which I mentioned.
That is the official name of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which I was referring Fred123 too.
God bless you.

erick October 10, 2007 at 7:58 am

—–What is “rule 23”?.
Icould not get it.
Don’t want to step in anyones toes!.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 8:01 am

23. The following terms are pejorative and their use as actual descriptors (as opposed, for example, to quoting someone else’s use of them for purposes of critique) constitutes rudeness: “Romanist,” “Romish,” “Roman” (when used to mean or as a substitute for “Catholic”), “Roman Church” (when used to mean the entire Catholic Church, as opposed to the Roman church sui iuris that exists within the Catholic Church), “Papist,” Papistic,” “Papistical,” “Popish,” and any cognate terms based on the terms “Roman” or “Pope.”
The term to be used on this blog is Catholic, without scare quotes.
This is a Catholic blog, and Catholics are to be called Catholics on it.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

SDG October 10, 2007 at 8:11 am

What is “rule 23”?.

The Catholic Church, led by the Bishop of Rome and those bishops in communion with him, consists of 22 particular Churches, one of which is called Roman or Latin.
“Roman Catholics” are members of that particular Roman or Latin Church.
The only correct name for the whole communion of all 22 particular Churches led by the bishops in communion with the bishop of Rome is the Catholic Church.
Rule 23 stipulates that misuse of “Rome”-cognate language, whether “Romanist,” “Romanism,” “Roman Church,” or “Roman Catholic” (when not used specifically of the particular Latin Church), constitutes rudeness.
The rule has been discussed at length here and even more here.
I am somewhat partial to some of my own previous comments on the principles underlying the rule.

erick October 10, 2007 at 8:25 am

“…In Christendom, only the Catholic Church existed before the Protestant Deformation.”
I wonder if I could consider “Deformation” a PEJORATIVE…?-(see rule 23).
But be that as it may (double standard), How do you prove that this “Catholicism” of which you speak, can be traced back to Christ Himself?.

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 8:29 am

SDG,
Whom may I ask has used the exprssion “Roman Catholic”, in the last few postings?
I most assuredly have not.
The Orthodox Catholic Churches in union with the Holy Father are Catholic indeed.
God bless you.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 8:35 am

Erick,
Jesus and the Apostles made it very clear. They said, that the church would be corrupted from within, but God would protect His Word and it would never be corrupted. Hence every cult must appeal to its teaching body as it final authority. Muslims appeal to Muslim Clerics, Catholics to the Papal Decrees and College of Bishops, Mormons to the Elders. Only Protestants follow the tactics outlined by Jesus. They always appeal to the Bible. Jesus defeated Satan by always quoting scripture. Jesus never appealed to the Rabbis or Synagogue as a defense for his faith; neither should you.
I was raised Catholic and after reading John 3 times it was so obvious that there was a disconnect between Catholics and Protestants. God is merciful and has given every American the opportunity to read the Bible, so no one is with excuse. Paul commended the Bereans for searching the scriptures to verify if what he said, was true. Similarly don’t believe Catholic revisionist history, the truth can easily be found if you search with a sincere heart.
Catholics have left a long paper trail of conflicting doctrine, inconsistencies, corruption, and forged documents that expose her as an organization that teaches ‘a false gospel’.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 8:35 am

Dan: Not to worry. I was speaking to Erick, who referred to “Roman Catholicism” (and even specifically called out “Notice I say ‘Roman'”).

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 8:46 am

Fred123,
Read the Baltimore Catechism and you will be able to see and understand that the Catholic Church teaches a clear and concise catechism.
The Baltimore Catechism is based on the Magisterial teaching of the Church and will help you in your quest for Veritas.
If you want I can send you a copy of the Baltimore Carechism replete with Sacred Scripture references confirming the perrenial Teaching of the Church.
I am sorry if I insulted you with my previous antics.
I have a fallen nature darkened by the stain of Original Sin and I tend to battle unrighteous anger .
Please pray for me and forgive me, as I will you,as you continue your journey to the Church.
God bless you.

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 8:47 am

“I wonder if I could consider “Deformation” a PEJORATIVE…”
Quite. I have used the term myself, in the past, and will refrain from doing so in the future. Even though I believe that Luther deformed, rather than reformed, the Church, using that term is just not nice and doesn’t help.
“Roman Catholic” is fine, but anything like “Romish”, “Popish”, “Papist”, or just “the Roman Church” is meant to be degrading.
There is plenty of evidence that Jesus is the true founder of the Catholic Church. You will not find the absolute proof that many demand, but history is full of evidence.
Of evidence of early Bible-Only, Me-n-Jesus, Sinner’s Prayer Protestants, there is none.
None.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 9:08 am

“Roman Catholic” is fine

Just to clarify, “Roman Catholic” is fine if you happen to be talking about me or Tim J or Dan Hunter or Jimmy, since AFAIK we all do happen to be Roman Catholics, members of the Latin Church.
“Roman Catholic” is not fine as a way of referring to the whole Church of all Christians united under the leadership of the bishops in union with the successor of St. Peter, the bishop of Rome.
Dan and Tim J, just want to say I appreciate your contributions to improving the spirit of this discussion. Dan, the humility of your last post is edifying to me.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 9:13 am

Martin Luther rejected parts of the Roman Rite Catholic Mass (specifically the Canon of the Mass) as heretical and not conforming to the Bible,[citation needed] he replaced it with a revised rite, and later with the venacular Deutsche Messe.
Fred123,
Again you demonstrate just how much of an IGNORAMUS you are!
Is that the reason why a Lutheran Mass almost exactly mirrors the Catholic Mass and that there is actually a semblance of a belief in the Real Presence there?
Go ahead — try me out!
A professor friend of mine is a staunch Lutheran and even he had mentioned just how close the Rite of the Catholic Mass is to his Lutheran Mass.
In terms of the Real presence, where we might differ is that Luther’s notion of it was more so inclined toward Consubstantiation.
Also, did you not know that Luther was so fond of the Rite of Mass that most of the colorful vestments that have come forth over time were actually of his making?
Particularly, look into Christmas and Luther’s contribution in this regard.
Again, before you demonstrate just how IGNORANT you are about such matters; SHUT YOUR PAGAN MOUTH AND RESEARCH FIRST!

erick October 10, 2007 at 9:21 am

Wow….I think I’ll come back later!.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 9:22 am

SDG,
Are you going to let Esau speak to me this way? Is this a charitable Catholic? Notice he supports my position that Real Presence can have multiple meanings.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 9:29 am

Is this a charitable Catholic?
Oh, that’s right —
As if you’ve been charitable.
PLEASE!
Hypocrisy and Ignorance seems to be your style, I see.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 9:30 am

Dan,
I have read the Baltimore Catechism and it does not highlight the real theological differences that divide Catholics and Protestants. To the casual observer it seems there is very little difference between Catholics and Protestants. However to the trained theologian the differences are vast.
I find it interesting that Catholics place their trust in the church. So do Mormons, and other sects. Only Protestants trust in the Bible. I spend much time with many different Evangelicals and Protestants and we get along great. Diversity of Protestants gives the church strength and we are thus united by the Holy Spirit.
I see more division among Catholics than I do among Protestants. Probably because most Catholics are not lead of the Holy Spirit and do not have a personal relationship with Christ.

erick October 10, 2007 at 9:30 am

…””Roman Catholic” is not fine as a way of referring to the whole Church of all Christians united under the leadership of the bishops in union with the successor of St. Peter, the bishop of Rome.”
Excuse my ignorance… but why?.
It seems to me that if these Christians are united under the leadership of the bishop of ROME… then what disqualifies them as ROMAN Catholics?.
As you can see I don’t understand much about these things.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 9:31 am

Esau,
You claim to be a Christian and I a pagan. Maybe the Catholic needs to turn the other cheek and be charitable?

Esau October 10, 2007 at 9:33 am

Notice he supports my position that Real Presence can have multiple meanings.
Where did I espouse any such notion?
Just because my professor friend happens to hold a different belief than I in that regard doesn’t necessarily mean that I AGREE with it OR that I am actually open to different meanings of the Real Presence!
You are quite the expert in putting words in people’s mouths in addition to what I’ve previously mentioned.
Dan Hunter might believe you’re worth his time in a physical challange; I, on the other hand, believe you’re hardly worth one iota of such.
You can’t even muster a right rendering of even the actual viewpoint of your Protestant ilk!

Esau October 10, 2007 at 9:35 am

Maybe the Catholic needs to turn the other cheek and be charitable?
AMAZING!
After a hypocrite spouts venom from his mouth; he actually has the gall to declare that folks should be chartiable?
I’m sorry; unlike my patient Catholic brethren here, I am one who possesses the very thunder of temper not unlike a familiar Apostle I studied from the past!

SDG October 10, 2007 at 9:39 am

Esau: Fred has been called on his previous rudeness. I have to call you on yours too. “IGNORAMUS” is just as out of bounds as “uneducated cave-dwellers.”
Fred’s previous rudeness does not justify anyone else being rude back. We are called not to return evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.
Moreover, rudeness is a RULE #1 violation. All blog participants must follow Da Rulz.
Please, I’m begging all sides to step down the rhetoric and show one another the love of Christ rather than the wrath of man.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 9:39 am

Let me say it again: Do not return evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 9:40 am

Esau,
It is interesting when I debate Muslims they get all hot and bothered. This shows that they really don’t know what they believe. Look 1 billion Muslims are all drinking the same Quranic cool-aid. You are drinking the Catholic cool-aid and are not able to rightly divide the Word of Truth. I can give you ten questions that would absolutely shake your foundational trust in the Catholic Church. However you would probably not take the time to do the research. The Bible gives explicit contradictions that Peter was ever the first Pope. The New Testament completely removes the Aaronic priesthood and thus totally destroying any power in sacraments as practiced by Catholics. Jesus said, “the road is narrow and their are few that find it.”

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 9:40 am

Fred123,
Christ loves you.
So does His Blessed Mother.
Why don’t you assist at a Tridentine Mass sometime.
It is very beautiful and uplifting.
God bless you.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 9:44 am

You claim to be a Christian and I a pagan.

If you profess Jesus Christ, and have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, the Catholic Church does not consider you a pagan, but rightly accords you the dignity of the name of Christian.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 9:49 am

If Peter was not made Pope by Jesus and the Sacraments where not instituted by Jesus, what kind of religion is Catholicism? Catholic religion rests on the pillars of Peter and Sacraments. Protestantism rest only on the Bible. If one can prove that Peter was never Pope the whole Catholic fascade crumbles. By the way Catholic Theologians at one time believed there where 30 sacraments.

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 9:55 am

Fred123
Per my previous posting.
My wife and I live in North Carolina which as you know is overly Protestant.
We have had the great privelege of bring 10 of our protestant friends an relatives to the Tridentine Mass in our state.
We are glad to report that because of the beauty of the liturgy, the Gregorian Chant, the utter reverence of the hundreds in attendance and most of all the Holy Ghost working through the Canon of the Mass, 5 of these Protestants are taking Catechism lessons to enter the Church.
They are three Methodists and two Baptists.
And they, thank the Lord, believe in Transubstantiation and ALL the teachings of the Church which are based on the infallible TRUTH of Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.The others will soon follow.
Please come join us!
God bless you.
Yours in our Crucified Lord,
Dan Hunter

Esau October 10, 2007 at 9:56 am

SDG,
I appreciate your comments —
However, it seems that sometimes here, people (specifically, Catholics) are allowing themselves to be treated like ‘doormats’.
That is one thing that even a Theologian such as Scott Hahn does not advocate.
There’s a time for charity; but that doesn’t mean ‘easy pickings’.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 9:57 am

Catholic religion rests on the pillars of Peter and Sacraments. Protestantism rest only on the Bible.
Bible?
Mmmmm… just where’d that come from?

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

Adolf Hitler said, ‘if I tell a lie one thousand times it will become a truth”.
If the church practices false doctrine for one thousand years does it become Tradition? This is was basically the claim of the Reformers. Thus Trent had to formalize the doctrine of Tradition, because it could not use history or the Bible to defend her practices.
I believe every Protestant who became Catholic, did so because they deceived themselves by not properly understanding the Bible, ancient idioms, church history, and rightly reading the church fathers. If these Catholic converts would step up to the plate and rigorously re-analyze the data, they would come to their senses and as prodigal children return to Protestantism.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

Esau: There is not “a time for charity.” The maxim is “In ALL things charity.
I am not advocating being a doormat (although I think there may be a time for that).
I am saying that any anti-doormat policy must be pursued without unacceptable rudeness and name-calling.
We do no one any favors when we tell a fellow Christian to “shut your pagan mouth,” for instance.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 10:03 am

Adolf Hitler said, ‘if I tell a lie one thousand times it will become a truth”.

Actually, the line is attributed to Goebbels, not Hitler, although it’s almost certainly apocryphal. (You see, Catholics can distinguish apocryphal from non-apocryphal… we just disagree where the line is.)

I believe every Protestant who became Catholic, did so because they deceived themselves by not properly understanding the Bible, ancient idioms, church history, and rightly reading the church fathers. If these Catholic converts would step up to the plate and rigorously re-analyze the data, they would come to their senses and as prodigal children return to Protestantism.

That’s once. You can say it 999 more times, but it won’t make it the truth.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 10:03 am

I can give you ten questions that would absolutely shake your foundational trust in the Catholic Church.
Go ahead, Fred123 — try me!
You don’t even know my past nor the Anti-Catholic groups I used to hang out with; amongst which are my very friends!
I can even morph Catholicism to appear as if it were the spawn of Satan himself — but, again, it’s all in how one presents their facts and under what context the Anti-Catholic engages the discussion.
I know the tricks — I know the ploys.
Nothing new here.
But, as for you, can you tell me what is the bible and just how do you know the books you’ve got there are what actually comprise the bible and are, in fact, ‘inspired’?

Michael October 10, 2007 at 10:05 am

Mmmmm… just where’d that come from?
He gave it way by mentioning the Bereans. Fred is most likely a follower of Dave Hunt, publisher of the “Berean Call”, and determined anti-Catholic and sola-scripturaist. I have encountered such on another forum. Do not be surprised if your attempted conversations with him became extremely repetitive and frustrating.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 10:05 am

Esau,
I would ask myself, if the Catholics gave us the Bible, how come they don’t follow it? Why does the Catholic church contradict the teachings of the Bible? So if the Catholics gave us the Bible then they are held even more accountable than lowly Protestants in following it.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 10:05 am

‘if I tell a lie one thousand times it will become a truth’
Yup! And that’s how the Anti-Catholics have been doin’ it all through the centuries (e.g., Pope Pius XII)!
However, that’s where they’ll fail —
You cannot hide the SUN (i.e., TRUTH) with your finger; hence, PROTESTANT CONVERTS to Catholicism!

SDG October 10, 2007 at 10:07 am

Fred: Is the book of Hebrews inspired scripture? How do you know?

Esau October 10, 2007 at 10:07 am

Fred123:
1. I would ask myself, if the Catholics gave us the Bible, how come they don’t follow it?
Why do Protestants say they believe in the bible but rarely do most follow it?
2. Why does the Catholic church contradict the teachings of the Bible?
Do YOU even KNOW what the Catholic Church actually teaches versus the ROMISH RENDERINGS you keep spouting of out of ignorance?
3. So if the Catholics gave us the Bible then they are held even more accountable than lowly Protestants in following it.
Of course Catholics are more accountable since ‘the more one is given, the greater is expected of him’!

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 10:09 am

“Only Protestants trust in the Bible.”
BZZZT! Wrong. It was through studying the Bible that Christ led me into the Catholic Church.
Protestants such as yourself trust only in their own *opinions* about the Bible. Catholics trust in Christ, which is why we trust the Church He founded (“He who hears you, hears me”).
You ARE aware that the Bible grew out of the Church, and not the other way around? Refute that, if you like.
The Sacred Scriptures can not be separated from Sacred Tradition and the sacred teaching authority of the Church (“What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven”… “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you retain them, they are retained”).
It is when these things (which God joined together) are separated that we get loose cannons like Luther and, well… Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith and the whole lot.
Have you started your own church yet, fred, or are you still following the traditions of men?
You still haven’t provided any evidence of early Protestants. I’m all ears.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 10:12 am

Tim J. has entered the ring.
He’s not only a Protestant Convert as well; but one that’s a great Defender of the Faith.
I’ll leave these rounds to him.
Besides, SDG is here.
I’ve definitely overstayed my welcome.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 10:13 am

Esau: YOU are always welcome as far as I’m concerned, my friend.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 10:16 am

Tim and Esau,
Let give you first a little story. It is not possible to teach Calculus to someone who can not do basic algebra.
Tim by your own testimony you read the Bible and it lead to Catholicism, so where does it say Peter was Pope. Thus you probably can not read the Bible correctly, so you must take remedial Bible courses before I can converse with you further.
Esau your project is to use the Bible and prove that Peter was the first Pope. Only then can you be considered a worthy intellectual opponent.

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 10:17 am

“I would ask myself, if the Catholics gave us the Bible, how come they don’t follow it?”
‘Cause they are not good Catholics.
“Why does the Catholic church contradict the teachings of the Bible?”
It doesn’t.
“So if the Catholics gave us the Bible then they are held even more accountable than lowly Protestants in following it.”
So, you admit that the Catholic Church gave you your Bible? Of course, we can’t take credit for the abridged version that Luther left you when he was finished chopping it up, but… I’ll be happy to send you a copy of the COMPLETE Bible.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 10:21 am

Esau: YOU are always welcome as far as I’m concerned, my friend.
SDG:
Thanks as always!
But I believe I leave this thread in good hands with you and Tim J. on the field.
God bless you both for your faithfulness!
I only wish other Catholics were as faithful and loyal as you two are!

SDG October 10, 2007 at 10:27 am

you must take remedial Bible courses before I can converse with you further.

I thought “God is merciful and has given every American the opportunity to read the Bible, so no one is with excuse.”
I guess that should have read “God is merciful and has given every American the opportunity to read the Bible, along with remedial Bible classes if necessary, so no one is with excuse.”
I must confess, though, I didn’t realize that I might have to take a class before a true believer could converse with me further.
I sure don’t remember anything in the Bible about the Apostles making people take Bible classes before they would talk to them.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 10:30 am

SDG,
I was trying to be polite. I think the two individuals need to take basic reading courses.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 10:33 am

I was trying to be polite.

Is that what you were trying to do! Thanks for clearing that up, Fred. I would have been confused on that point for a long time.

I think the two individuals need to take basic reading courses.

Is that your prerequisite for anyone who wants to talk to you? Or is it only Catholics who need qualifying literacy skills?

erick October 10, 2007 at 11:04 am

Hey Fellas….
Hows’ about my question…. up there lost somewhere?….I would really like to have that explained to me!…somebody?…..anybody?…!.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 11:09 am

Hows’ about my question…. up there lost somewhere?….

If you’re asking about “Roman Catholicism,” Erick, I explained briefly in this post above, along with a number of links to more detailed discussions. Hope that helps.

erick October 10, 2007 at 11:11 am

“The only correct name for the whole communion of all 22 particular Churches led by the bishops in communion with the bishop of Rome is the Catholic Church.”—-
WHY?.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 11:18 am

erick,
Here is the defintion from the Catholic Dictionary of Fr. John Hardon.
CATHOLIC. Its original meaning of “general” or “universal” has taken on a variety of applications in the course of Christian history. First used by St. Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 35-107) (Letter to the Smyrneans, 8, 2), it is now mainly used in five recognized senses:
1. the Catholic Church as distinct from Christian ecclesiastical bodies that do not recognize the papal primacy;
2. the Catholic faith as the belief of the universal body of the faithful, namely that which is believed “everywhere, always, and by all” (Vincentian Canon);
3. orthodoxy as distinguished from what is heretical or schismatical;
4. the undivided Church before the Eastern Schism of 1054; thereafter the Eastern Church has called itself orthodox, in contrast with those Christian bodies which did not accept the definitions of Ephesus and Chalcedon on the divinity of Christ.
In general, today the term “Catholic” refers to those Christians who profess a continued tradition of faith and worship and who hold to the Apostolic succession of bishops and priests since the time of Christ. (Etym. Latin catholicus, universal; Greek katholikos, universal.)
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 11:19 am

erick –
“It seems to me that if these Christians are united under the leadership of the bishop of ROME… then what disqualifies them as ROMAN Catholics?.”
Sorry to have left you hanging, erick. SDG can probably answer that better than I can (in fact, I need to get back to work, so I’ll pick up this thread later… maybe). But I suspect one reason is that this is not how these Churches refer to themselves. The underlying principle is that we call people by the name they prefer for themselves.
These preferences touch not only on ecclesial authority, but on geography and culture. Being united under the Pope does not make one “Roman”, it makes one Catholic. The Pope *just happens* to be the Bishop of Rome.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 11:20 am

WHY?

Did you look at the links I gave?
Because that is the one name by which she has consistently identified herself and been known to others for nearly 2000 years, during the time of Martin Luther, Cyril of Jerusalem, Augustine, Ignatius of Antioch. (As Augustine pointed out, “when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house.”)
Because the name by which a group has consistently identified itself over a long period of time and by which it is known to others is usually the clearest and best way of referring to it.
Because there is no other term that is not misleading, inaccurate or objectionable. (“Roman Catholic” means the Latin Church, period. To apply it willy-nilly to Byzantine Catholics and others is just plain wrong.)

SDG October 10, 2007 at 11:28 am

It seems to me that if these Christians are united under the leadership of the bishop of ROME… then what disqualifies them as ROMAN Catholics?.

One more point: Centuries of precedent and cultural sensibilities count for something.
Consider the following argument: The “British Isles” includes both Great Britain and Ireland. Therefore, we can say that Irishmen are British.
Sounds logical, but no. While historically it could have happened that language got applied and used that way, in fact it did not, and if you tried to make such an argument in a Dublin pub you would wind up with a punch in the nose, understandably so.
In the same way, Byzantine Catholics reasonably say that the “Roman Church” has always been understood to refer to the particular Latin Church, not to any and all who are in communion with Rome, and therefore they are not “Roman Catholic.”
That is the only way the language has been used among Catholics for long enough that the only fair answer is, “Okay, Byzantine Catholics aren’t Roman Catholic.” And the Church that includes Byzantine Catholics is not the “Roman Catholic Church.”

erick October 10, 2007 at 11:28 am

I guess my question deals with what diferentiates the Latin from say ,the Byzantine?.
What makes the difference so stark that “Roman” does not apply to the Byzantine?.
How about a book on the subject?—I’m just not getting it!.

jrg October 10, 2007 at 11:33 am

fred123 – wow! You reveal much more than you realize in your posts.
While I commend your zeal and concern for a Roman Catholic like me, I ask that you please stay with Our Lord Jesus Christ and try a little harder to emulate His presence.
There is much more to Our Lord than the zeal he exhibited when he overturned the money tables. Looks like you’ve got that quality of His down.
Obedience (submission of one’s own will) unto death – that’s what we all must strive for if we are to be His true witnesses this side of the veil.
Also, you seem to think that St. Peter didn’t have primacy – but scripture is quite clear about that. “Peter and the apostles,” “Peter, James & John” – Our Blessed Lord gave only Peter the keys to the kingdom; St. John deferred to St. Peter in John 20:4-6. There’s much more in the written Word and there are apologists far better equipped than I to explain such things, but these came to mind when I read your comment about whether Peter was the first pope. (He was, by the way – regardless of how much you or anyone else may deny it – truth is truth and does not change.)
I’ve written more than I intended. Just thought I’d throw in my $0.02.
One last thing, fred123: I prayed for you and offered my communion for you during today’s noon Mass on my lunch break.
Stay close to Jesus, and pray I do the same.
In His Precious Name,
jrg

SDG October 10, 2007 at 11:36 am

I guess my question deals with what diferentiates the Latin from say ,the Byzantine?

Did my example above about the Irish being “British” help you out any?
It isn’t that the differences are so “stark” necessarily. It’s just a matter of particularization and identity. I’m from New Jersey. I have a friend from the South who sometimes says I’m from “New England.” Now, I’m NEAR New England, and “New Jersey” has a “New” + England-place-name name, but New Jersey just isn’t part of New England.
Identity markers have borders, and “Roman Catholic” means something that doesn’t apply to Byzantine Catholics.
Here, try Wikipedia.

erick October 10, 2007 at 11:37 am

SDG—-
Thanks!.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Why do Roman Catholics always use 2 Timothy 2:2; 3:14 as Bible proof that extra-biblical oral tradition is to be followed through apostolic succession, when tradition says Timothy became the bishop of Ephesians, which through succession, is now part of the Greek Orthodox church headed out of Constantinople? If 2 Timothy 2:2 proves succession, doesn’t this prove the Roman Catholic church is not part of that succession?
No, because the Orthodox Churches were in communion with Rome until their schism.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 12:43 pm

The Bible gives explicit contradictions that Peter was ever the first Pope.
Where?

Mary October 10, 2007 at 12:45 pm

I find it interesting that Catholics place their trust in the church.
Shocking. Imagine putting your trust in “the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” of which we have been promised that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Mary October 10, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Jesus and the Apostles made it very clear. They said, that the church would be corrupted from within, but God would protect His Word
Given that Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church, rather than not against the Bible — you need to not only provide texts, but explain what Jesus meant there.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Imagine a local parish priest publicly defending infant baptism against a Christian who taught the practice contradicted the Bible!
Imagine having the priest point out that the Bible repeatedly describes the Apostles baptizing entire families and households.
Imagine his opponents pointing out — well, what?
Tertullian was the first person to object to infant baptism, and his objections are first off, not doctrinal (it imposes a heavy responsibility on the sponsors), and second off, show that the practice was standards (he doesn’t need to explain these sponsors).

Mary October 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Martin Luther rejected parts of the Roman Rite Catholic Mass (specifically the Canon of the Mass) as heretical and not conforming to the Bible,
He also rejected parts of the Bible. We are, after all, discussing the man who deliberately mistranslated the Bible, rendering “the just shall live by faith” as “the just shall live by faith alone” — and defending it on the grounds that “Doctor Martin Luther would have it so.”
The only place where “by faith alone” appears in the Bible is in the Letter of James, where it has a great whoomping “NOT” in front of it. So Martin Luther called it an “epistle of straw.”
You should reject this man and his works for his contempt for the Bible.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 1:15 pm

Protestantism rest only on the Bible.
where does it get this Bible?
on what grounds can it tell the Mormons that the Bible does not include what they say it does?

erick October 10, 2007 at 1:15 pm

Mary—
How do you reconcile what you just mentioned from the letter of James with… say Romans 4:5?.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 1:24 pm

When you see the word tradition, why do you always assume it to be oral tradition rather than scripture tradition, when the Bible calls scripture tradition in 2 Thess 2:15, and Athanasius call scripture tradition: “the Apostolic tradition teaches in the words of blessed Peter, ‘Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the Flesh” Athanasius then quotes: 1 Peter 4:1; Titus 2:13; Heb 2:1 (Athanasius, To Adelphius, Letter 60, 6)?
because the Bible refers to the oral part of the Sacred Tradition. It repeatedly tells people to obey what they were told.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 1:31 pm

How do you reconcile what you just mentioned from the letter of James with… say Romans 4:5?
How do you?
But if you read on to Romans 4:6-8, you will find that he quotes David about the covering up of sins — past sin. Grace produces a new creation, who has interior faith and outer good works.

erick October 10, 2007 at 1:40 pm

Mary—
Your eisegesis is quite phenomenal here!.
How do you explain Abraham’s faith being reckoned as righteousnwess (v 9)–BEFORE the “work” of circumcision ? (v 10).

Elijah October 10, 2007 at 1:44 pm

erick,
From chapters 2 and 3 of Romans it can be seen that the ‘work’ that Paul is discussing in 4:5 concerns what he was often addressing – ‘works of the Law’. We Catholics do not believe that salvation can be earned, but ‘faith is credited as righteousness’. That faith is not ‘faith alone’, but is a lived faith that includes good deeds. Remember that it was the same St. Paul who wrote that adulterers, drunkards, etc. would not enter heaven, so our actions are important to salvation. St. James makes this abundantly clear; his letter is partly written to correct misinterpretations of grace that seem to have come from misconstruals of Paul’s writings, which St. Peter tells us ‘containg things hard to understand’ and which the unstable ‘twist, to their own distruction’.
The above quotes were from memory, so I hope I got them mostly right, but you might want to look them up to be sure. Anyway, thanks for a bit of actual polite discussion. What a breath of fresh air after fred!

SDG October 10, 2007 at 1:50 pm

How do you explain Abraham’s faith being reckoned as righteousnwess (v 9)–BEFORE the “work” of circumcision ? (v 10).

How do you explain Abraham being justified by faith in Genesis 15 when Abraham already had saving faith throughout Genesis 12-14, starting at least from the time when “by faith” he OBEYED God by leaving his home and going to a place he knew not, and sojorned by faith in the promised land (Heb 11:8-9)?
Abraham did not just have faith. He also had obedience, and as James 2 tells us his faith and works together justified him.
Your question suggests that you are under the impression that Catholic theology teaches that we are justified by works of law, such as circumcision. Not so. By works of law no one is justified.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 1:50 pm

From my experience use one scripture to support their position. Traditional doctrine would require multiple scriptures to support such a doctrinal statement. Since the Bible never explicity endorses infant baptism, I must use Catholic logic. This logic works is similar to the following. The Bible does not say that pigs can fly, therefor 0I must assume that pigs can fly. If infant baptism was so important why did Paul not baptize infants. No Catholics began doctrinal innovation in the 2nd century.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Since the Bible never explicity endorses infant baptism, I must use Catholic logic.

You need a remedial course in Catholic logic.
You. Don’t. Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About.
I can explain, if you want to know. But only if you want to know. If you are willing to learn something. Which frankly I doubt, because you think you already know what you don’t.

Anonymous October 10, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Infant baptism refuted! Mary a little research would help you come to the knowledge of the truth.
1. “There is no express mention of the baptism of infants in the New Testament”
2.”It is difficult to give strict proof from the scriptures in favor of it. (Catholic Dictionary, p. 61).
3. “Ecclesiastical custom with regard to the administration of Baptism has undergone a change in the course of history. Whereas the early Church baptized adults only, the baptism of children soon became the usual practice.” (Sanford, Alexander E., MD, Pastoral Medicine: Handbook for the Catholic Clergy, 1904, p 32-33)
4.”Where in the fourth and fifth centuries the doctrine of original sin became better known, the practice of infant baptism progressed rapidly.” (Legislation on the Sacraments in the New Code of Canon Law, p. 72).
5. “When all fear of persecution had passed away, and the empire had become almost entirely Christian, the necessity for a prolonged period of trial and instruction no longer existed, about the same time the fuller teaching on the subject of original sin, occasioned by the Pelagian heresy, gradually led to the administration of baptism of infants.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V, p. 78).
6.Infant baptism by immersion commanded of all infants in the Council Of Mela in 416 AD.

erick October 10, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Like wise ElijaH….
However I think your interpretation about these being “works of the Law” only is wrong!…otherwise why would Paul cite Abraham who lived before The Law was given?…
Pauls’ citation of the “drunkards” and so on are for those who have rejected the new birth…remember that somewhere else he says …” and some of these were you “…
The letter of James has a horizontal (human) view of soteriology where as Paul’s view is vertical (devine) in nature.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 1:59 pm

No Catholics began doctrinal innovation in the 2nd century.

I’m so pleased to hear that. Then Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and other second-century fathers weren’t pushing Catholic doctrinal innovations when they taught baptismal regeneration, the eucharistic sacrifice, the ministerial priesthood and the apostolic succession of bishops.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Since the Bible never explicity endorses infant baptism, I must use Catholic logic. This logic works is similar to the following. The Bible does not say that pigs can fly, therefor 0I must assume that pigs can fly. If infant baptism was so important why did Paul not baptize infants. No Catholics began doctrinal innovation in the 2nd century.
When speaking to a person with a mind like a child; I guess it is important that one must coddle such a person as a child — as even St. Paul would have it!
You see, there were these chosen folks called the Jews, and when they came to God, they understood that the whole family comes to God –- that is, the People of God involves more than just one person.
Circumcision involved the children. The children were brought into a covenant relationship with God when they were eight days old because the parents had a covenant relationship with God.
Well, in the New Testament, Colossians 2:11-12 tells us that Baptism is the circumcision of Christ.
In Romans 2:27-28, Paul talks about how he is not a true Jew who has received circumcision but the true Jew is he who has received the circumcision of the spirit.
And what is that? Baptism – as Paul says!
And so if Baptism is the fulfillment of circumcision, of course, we would baptize our children just as in the Old Testament the children were brought into that covenant relationship with God as well. And isn’t this the mind of Jesus?
In Luke 18 when he says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Remember, the people were bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed and if you look at the Greek text there, it’s paidion (pahee-dee’-on), which is the Greek word meaning ‘infants’ – it’s not children – it’s actually ‘infants’.
There are two other words that could be used for children, but, there, it is specifically ‘infants’ that were being brought to Jesus and Jesus says, “Do not forbid them for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The idea that baptism only being for adults is just contradicted by the very pages of the New Testament.
As they would say to me in my former church: ‘AMEN, Brutha!”

SDG October 10, 2007 at 2:03 pm

The letter of James has a horizontal (human) view of soteriology

So in commenting upon Genesis 15:6, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” James is telling us that what the verse really means is that Abraham believed God, and his fellow human beings reckoned him as righteous?

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 2:03 pm

fred, If I understood that, I might take a shot at refuting it.
“No Catholics began doctrinal innovation in the 2nd century.”
My, our innovation just reaches back farther and farther, don’t it? Sounds like a conspiracy.
We crafty Catholics also (apparently) destroyed ALL early evidence of the Four Spiritual Laws and the Sinner’s Prayer, which the Bible teaches so clearly in chapter… ummm… that is, verse…
… Let me get back to you, I’m sure it’s in here somewhere.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Since the Bible never explicity endorses infant baptism, I must use Catholic logic. This logic works is similar to the following. The Bible does not say that pigs can fly, therefor 0I must assume that pigs can fly. If infant baptism was so important why did Paul not baptize infants. No Catholics began doctrinal innovation in the 2nd century.
When speaking to a person with a mind like a child; I guess it is important that one must coddle such a person as a child — as even St. Paul would have it!
Fred:
You see, there were these chosen folks called the Jews, and when they came to God, they understood that the whole family comes to God –- that is, the People of God involves more than just one person.
Circumcision involved the children. The children were brought into a covenant relationship with God when they were eight days old because the parents had a covenant relationship with God.
Well, in the New Testament, Colossians 2:11-12 tells us that Baptism is the circumcision of Christ.
In Romans 2:27-28, Paul talks about how he is not a true Jew who has received circumcision but the true Jew is he who has received the circumcision of the spirit.
And what is that? Baptism – as Paul says!
And so if Baptism is the fulfillment of circumcision, of course, we would baptize our children just as in the Old Testament the children were brought into that covenant relationship with God as well. And isn’t this the mind of Jesus?
In Luke 18 when he says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Remember, the people were bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed and if you look at the Greek text there, it’s paidion (pahee-dee’-on), which is the Greek word meaning ‘infants’ – it’s not children – it’s actually ‘infants’.
There are two other words that could be used for children, but, there, it is specifically ‘infants’ that were being brought to Jesus and Jesus says, “Do not forbid them for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The idea that baptism only being for adults is just contradicted by the very pages of the New Testament.
As they would say to me in my former church:
‘A–M–E–N, Brutha!’

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 2:08 pm

“the council of ‘Mela'”?
I’d love to see proof that:
1) such a council ever occurred
2) that it was an Euchumenical Council

Elijah October 10, 2007 at 2:09 pm

erick,
I don’t know what you mean by one being ‘horizontal’ and the other ‘vertical’. Are you saying that Paul’s writing is superior to James’s somehow? Or that one is more inspired than the other?

SDG October 10, 2007 at 2:14 pm

“the council of ‘Mela'”?

You do well to question!
Firefox’s Google Ajax auto-suggest has never heard of it even when I supply “Council of Mel…”
When you actually Google it, all the top matches (out of a grand total of, count ’em, 124 matches; drops to 76 if you add the putative year, 416) appear to be anti-Catholic sites condemning infant baptism.
I guess that’s because the Catholic Church has been hard at work expunging all record of its existence. Heh heh heh…

SDG October 10, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Fred123 — you educated, non-cave dweller man, you.
I’m calling you on the “Council of Mela.” Let’s see some neutral historical attestation that any such council actually occurred.
Heck, if you can even tell me where “Mela” is, geographically, that’ll be a start.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Oh, now I know where the Council of Mela is: in the back of the wardroom ice-box, right behind the strawberries!

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm

SDG,
Just as funny is that some of the websites say St. Austin was in charge and other websites say St. Augustine.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

erick October 10, 2007 at 2:21 pm

SDG-
No, when James uses Genesis , it is to show that Abraham’s mere belief was counted as righteous….before God (vertical soteriology).
Showing works FROM salvation is righteousness before man (horizontal soteriology).
Remember Jesus saying…”So that you may SEE that the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins…” and He went ahead and healed the sick man.
He SHOWED something visual for something the public would have never seen (the forgiveness of sins).

Elijah October 10, 2007 at 2:24 pm

St. Austin?! I’ve heard of Austin 3:16, but I don’t think Stone Cold Steve Austin is a saint in the Catholic Church.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 2:33 pm

No, when James uses Genesis , it is to show that Abraham’s mere belief was counted as righteous….before God (vertical soteriology).

So you admit that James is speaking “vertically” in verse 23… but you claim that he switches to “horizontal” in the very next verse, when he goes on to draw the conclusion that “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone”?
What is your (um) justification for reading the exact same word in adjacent verses in two completely different ways? Especially when the conclusion in verse 24 is clearly based on verse 23, and verse 23 is cited in support for verse 24?
The two verses are not making two separate points, a “vertical” one and a “horizontal” one. They are making one point.
Verse 25 drives that one point home: Rahab the harlot also was “justified by works” for welcoming the messengers and sending them out by a different route. These verses are all talking about the same thing.
James doesn’t say anything about how Abraham and Rahab “showed something visual” about how they were justified by faith alone. He says they were justified by works.
He even says that they were NOT justified by faith alone (with a “a great whoomping ‘NOT,'” as Mary put it).
Your reading is pure eisegesis.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Wait, isn’t “St. Austin of Mela” patron of eisegesis?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau (Not Jimmy) October 10, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Wait, isn’t “St. Austin of Mela” patron of eisegesis?
You see, you Cave-dwelling, Romish Catholics are just confirming the anti-catholic’s opinion of y’all!
What with all this non-existent Council of Mela-noma and Vertical/Horizontal Positions y’all are talkin’ about!
So corn-fused — whens alls y’all gots ta do is takes dem bible classes and den y’alls can finally reads dem bibles da way we’s do!

erick October 10, 2007 at 3:02 pm

SDG
You have built a straw man argument asuming what you say I believe.
I reject your argument that I believe James switches from vertical to horizontal.
You have not grasped what the meaning of “horizontal” and “vertical” means when speaking of soteriology.
Nevertheless, it’s fun to see how you built a whole system of soteriology based on a couple of verses in James which you do not understand.
The whole counsel of scripture must be taken into consideration when interpreting the Bible.
This, of course, probably does not mean anything since Catholicism has not made an infallible pronouncement on the interpretation of these verses….at least not that I am aware of.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 3:09 pm

erick,
“I reject your argument that I believe James switches from vertical to horizontal.”
Please don’t keep us in suspense, which is St. James using vertical or horizontal?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

SDG October 10, 2007 at 3:10 pm

Erick: There was a question mark at the end of my first sentence. It’s an invitation to you to explain if you feel I’ve misunderstood you.
Incidentally, when you assert that I have “built a whole system of soteriology based on a couple of verses in James,” some people might feel that you were debunking a straw man, since you haven’t even asked me about the basis for my soteriology.
I thought we were talking about what James 2 meant, not the basis for our respective soteriologies.

Elijah October 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm

First it was St. Austin and now he’s the patron of ‘Icy Jesus’! I’m really confused now.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm

erick,
Please explain the correct and infallible understanding of these verses to this uneducated inferior Catholic.
And of course if you could also let me know by what authority you declare your interpretation to be correct that would be most helpful.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm

The whole counsel of scripture must be taken into consideration when interpreting the Bible.
Mmmmm…
Was Jesus HORIZONTAL or VERTICAL or UPSIDE-DOWN on the following?
Matthew 25:37-41
37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink?
38 Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee?
39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee?
40 And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.
41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

— and —
Luke 18:22
22 Which when Jesus had heard, he said to him: Yet one thing is wanting to thee. Sell all whatever thou hast and give to the poor: and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.
–THUS–
James 2:14-18
14 ¶ What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?
15 And if a brother or sister be naked and want daily food:
16 And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?
17 So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.
18 But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works. Shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.
Ofcourse, there are the Church Fathers that also give corrobrating evidence for this interpretation — but what do they know?
They were only those disciples whom the Apostles handed down the Faith!

Elijah October 10, 2007 at 3:19 pm

And St. Paul also said, in Romans, that God would repay every man according to his works. So that’s Jesus, Peter, James, and yes, even Paul against the Protestant interpretation of Paul’s writing.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Matt 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
And from the King James Version…imagine that.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 10, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Elijah, thanks for the back-up!
Rom 2:6:
6 Who will render to every man according to his works.
Rom 2:7:
7 To them indeed who, according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life:
Also, there is the Old Testament as well:
Jb 34:11:
11 For he will render to a man his work, and according to the ways of every one he will reward them.
Dt 15: 9-11
9 Beware lest perhaps a wicked thought steal in upon thee, and thou say in thy heart: The seventh year of remission draweth nigh; and thou turn away thy eyes from thy poor brother, denying to lend him that which he asketh: lest he cry against thee to the Lord, and it become a sin unto thee.
10 But thou shalt give to him: neither shalt thou do any thing craftily in relieving his necessities: that the Lord thy God may bless thee at all times, and in all things to which thou shalt put thy hand.
11 There will not be wanting poor in the land of thy habitation: therefore I command thee to open thy hand to thy needy and poor brother, that liveth in the land.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Thus, with Elijah’s, Inocencio’s, along with my Scriptural citations — not to mention, many others that can be cited —
YES, WE AGREE WITH YOU, Brutha!
That is:
The whole counsel of scripture must be taken into consideration when interpreting the Bible.
Hence, that’s what Catholicism is all about! To accept the WHOLE of Scripture, Brutha, and NOT just the eenie, meenie, minie, mo verses!
Look to the Church Fathers —
Look to Scriptures in its ENTIRETY.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 3:40 pm

LOOK TO THE CHURCH — ‘the Pillar & Ground of Truth“, as even Saint Paul said in 1 Tm 3:15!
A—M—E—N!

SDG October 10, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Rom 2:7:
7 To them indeed who, according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life:

What’s so neat about this verse that Esau cited is that St. Paul doesn’t just say that those who receive eternal life are in fact doing good works, like it’s something that they were doing that wasn’t integral to their hope of eternal life. He specifically says that by patience in good works they are “seeking for glory and honor and immortality.”
According to Evangelical theology, that’s works righteousness. What God ought to do according to Evangelical theology is damn them to hell for believing a false gospel.
Yet instead he bestows upon them eternal life.
But you didn’t get to verse 13: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified.” (Note the “vertical” language — just before God!)

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 3:55 pm

JA.O = faith + fun
“a great whoomping ‘NOT,'”
“Heck, if you can even tell me where “Mela” is, geographically, that’ll be a start.”
“Oh, now I know where the Council of Mela is: in the back of the wardroom ice-box, right behind the strawberries!”
“St. Austin?! I’ve heard of Austin 3:16, but I don’t think Stone Cold Steve Austin is a saint in the Catholic Church.”
“eenie, meenie, minie, mo verses!”
Thank you everyone for the laughs especially fred123 and erick!
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

erick October 10, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Innocencio–
Your past experience with Protestants must have left you a bit paranoid—- “inferior-uneducated” are YOUR words— I have never called you that!.
I thought we were having an intelligent discussion without the “normal”instance of ad hominem.
To answer your question — James is speaking of salvation from a horizontal point of view.
To satisfy humanity we must show our works working from ( as opposed to for) salvation.
Pauls’ view is vertical in nature (no works, show our salvation from Gods perspective).
Our righteousness = fithy rags.
Elijah-
“And St. Paul also said, in Romans, that God would repay every man according to his works.”
The burden of proof is on your shoulders to show this refers to salvation.
As for Inocensio and Matt 16:27– he is wrong there again in thinking this is a judgement unto salvation.
Otherwise he is going to have a problem explaining why we have to wait until Messiah comes back to know wether we are saved or not— is that what you are saying Inocensio?.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Inocencio, your modesty prevents you from citing the best line in the thread:

Wait, isn’t “St. Austin of Mela” patron of eisegesis?

If I can get serious for a moment, I seem to recall something about a “a long paper trail of conflicting doctrine, inconsistencies, corruption, and forged documents” exposing some organization or other as teaching a false gospel.
I suspect that we can probably add the “Council of Mela” business to the long list of imaginary anti-Catholic “history,” along with the Strossmayer forgery, the “Jesuit Oath,” and the hoaxes of Maria Monk, Charles Chiniquy, and so on.
I’d like to think that Fred123 really took for granted that there was such a council, because he trusted his anti-Catholic sourcebook, and that after we called him on it he spent some time trying to research it. I’d like to think that his confidence in his anti-Catholic sourcebook has been shaken somewhat as he realized that he’d been sold a bill of goods.
I’d like to think that he might even be having second thoughts about his preconceptions about “uneducated” Catholics by how quickly we glommed to the hoax.
If we accomplished even that much here today, that was something worthwhile.

Joe October 10, 2007 at 4:05 pm

I would like to know how Protestants get past the table of contents in their bible without Tradition and the authority of the Church. The canon of the new testament was hotly contested for centuries, only being decided upon by a synod of bishops (based on liturgical tradition) and ratified by the pope. Books like Hebrews, John, Revelation, 2 & 3 John, 2 Peter, and James were all contested (even Luther wanted some of these excluded from his stunted canon). How do you explain how the old testament was written in ancient Hebrew that didn’t have vowels and many words were identical? Only oral tradition was able to decipher what the texts meant. How do you explain that there were at least 4 different “canons” among the Jews in the 1st century (Pharisaical, Sadducean, Essene, Diaspora)

SDG October 10, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Your past experience with Protestants must have left you a bit paranoid—- “inferior-uneducated” are YOUR words

Past experience? “Your words”? Haven’t you been reading Fred123 in this very thread?

“And St. Paul also said, in Romans, that God would repay every man according to his works.”
The burden of proof is on your shoulders to show this refers to salvation.

Just keep reading! Paul is clearly talking about “eternal life.” Here’s the passage in full:

For he will render to every man according to his works:
to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life
;
but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
For God shows no partiality.
All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

See also my commentary two posts earlier.
Joe: Right on.

Geo October 10, 2007 at 4:21 pm

if you can even tell me where “Mela” is, geographically, that’ll be a start.
The sola-fides doctrine “had no stouter champion before Luther than Pelagius”…
“Milevum, now Milah, is a city in the department of Constantine in Algeria, with 8000 inhabitants”
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10304b.htm
“In 416 [St. Possidius] assisted at the Council of Milevum, where fifty-nine Numidian bishops addressed a synodal letter to Innocent I, asking him to take action against Pelagianism.”
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12318a.htm
“in 411, began the series of synods against Pelagianism. They had a most important influence in checking its spread. The earlier ones seem to have been provincial. The important Synod of 416, under Sylvanus, at Milevum urged Innocent I to stop the heresy”
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01199a.htm

Mary October 10, 2007 at 4:31 pm

If infant baptism was so important why did Paul not baptize infants
Where does the Bible say that Paul did not baptize infants?
This is, in fact, a good point about oral tradition. The Bible nowhere explicitly states that the Apostles baptized infants, although the baptism of entire families and households would argue for it strongly; nowhere does it explicitly state that they did not.
How can the Bible be sufficient when it does not state one way or the other? Clearly, what the oral instruction was is part of the Faith.
Similarly, Paul tells what the job qualifications are for bishops, etc., but he doesn’t tell us what the jobs are. That, too, must have been oral instruction, and we have to receive it from the oral tradition because it’s not in the Bible.

erick October 10, 2007 at 4:33 pm

SDG-
“Past experience? “Your words”? Haven’t you been reading Fred123 in this very thread?”.
I’M not FRED123!.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Contrary to the fantasy history about Council of Mela, Tertullian was discussing it in the third century. While he was against it, as I have mentioned above, he argued only practical, not theological, reasons for putting it off, and he knew his listeners were familiar with the practice, since he did not explain who the sponsors were.
A fuller discussion is found in When Children Became People by O.M. Bakke. I will pick out one point: infant baptism did not stem from the doctrine of original sin. Indeed, all evidence points to the other way around; Christians mediating on infant baptism developed the doctrine of original sin.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 4:40 pm

erick,
Yes, those are my words and you are not fred123 but you sure sound like him:

You have not grasped what the meaning of “horizontal” and “vertical” means when speaking of soteriology.
Nevertheless, it’s fun to see how you built a whole system of soteriology based on a couple of verses in James which you do not understand.

You have said in the past something about me turning off my brain to enter the Church.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Mary October 10, 2007 at 4:40 pm

I also point out that in Acts, Peter preaches on Pentecost: “For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.”
Again, when the jailor released that the jail doors were open but the prisoners were still there:
“Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.'”

Mary October 10, 2007 at 4:42 pm

The letter of James has a horizontal (human) view of soteriology where as Paul’s view is vertical (devine) in nature.
All scripture is inspired by God.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 4:55 pm

The sola-fides doctrine “had no stouter champion before Luther than Pelagius”…
Gack.
So far from being a champion of “sola fides”, Pelagius taught that human beings were capable, on their own, in the absence of God’s grace, of being good. Jesus’s only benefit to us was as a good example.
And I note that you provide a source only for the texts about acting against Pelagianism. Not for the claim about what it taught.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 4:59 pm

God is merciful and has given every American the opportunity to read the Bible, so no one is with excuse.
Except that if we read the Bible, we are warned “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation,”
And since prophecy is inspired speech or writing, and all the Bible is inspired by God, we know that we can not read, interpret, and know that we have the truth.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 5:00 pm

(The part of erick will be played by Inocencio)

Mary-
–” and all scripture is inspired”-
How do you know?.

Posted by: erick | Dec 29, 2006 10:06:37 AM
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Geo October 10, 2007 at 5:03 pm

And I note that you provide a source only for the texts about acting against Pelagianism. Not for the claim about what it taught.
No, it was simply a quote not intended as a claim.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11604a.htm

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:16 pm

The earliest clear evidence of infant baptism is found in Tertullian who opposed it (A. D. 185). The first direct evidence in favor of it is found in the writings of Cyprian, in the Council of Carthage, in Africa, A. D. 253. In writing to one Fidus, Cyprian takes the ground that infants should be baptized as soon as they are born (Epistle of Cyprian, LVIII. 2). This opinion, however, was not based upon the Scriptures, and did not meet with the approval of the Christian world.
The early councils of the church were all against infant baptism. The Council of Elvira or Grenada, A. D. 305, required the delay of baptism for two years (Hefele, History of the Councils, 1.155. Edinburgh, 1871). The Council of Laodicaea held A. D. 360, demanded that those who are “to be baptized must learn the creed by heart and recite it” (Hefele, II.319). The Council of Constantinople decreed that persons should “remain a long time under Scriptural instruction before they receive baptism” (Ibid, II.368). And the Council of Carthage, A. D. 398, decreed that “catechumens shall give their names, and be prepared for baptism” (DuPin, Bibliotheque universelle, c. 4.282).

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 5:21 pm

fred123,
Now where are you cutting and pasting from? Please cite your sources.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Catholics are a curious lot. I am on a Catholic site an nobody knows where Mela is. This just shows me the collection of unlearned men and women who are Catholic. I must only laugh at the utter confusion caused by the simple statement from the Council of Mela. I lived in Northern-Ireland and one could easily recognize the difference between a Protestant and Catholic in the way the carried themselves and talked. Learning is just in the Catholic blood. Because of the raw ignorance on this site, I will have to school you folks a little bit. Maybe somebody will have enough sense to quit drinking the Catholic kool-aid and increase is IQ into triple digits.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:25 pm

Infant baptism was not of rapid growth. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo-Regius, North Africa (A. D. 353-430) was not the first to practice it; but he was, though not himself baptized in infancy, its first and ablest defender. He developed the theological argument in its favor. The Council of Mela, in Numidia, A. D. 416, composed of fifteen persons, and presided over by Augustine, decreed:
Also, it is the pleasure of the bishops in order that whoever denies that infants newly born of their mothers, are to be baptized or says that baptism is administered for the remission of their own sins, but not on account of original sin, delivered from Adam, and to be expiated by the laver of regeneration, be accursed (Wall, The History of Infant Baptism, I. 265).
It is a suggestive fact prophetic of the future that the first council favoring the practice of infant baptism also accompanied this by a curse against those who dissented from the opinions of the council. It furthermore shows there were opponents of infant baptism in those days, and that the infant rite was not the universal custom of those times.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 5:26 pm

fred123,
Anyone of us could just as easily have gone to the Anti-Catholic website where you cut-and-pasted off that comment of yours.
PLEASE —
I see you didn’t even have the gonads to read over my comments but conveniently skipped them.
Hard when the TRUTH is right in front of your face, huh?
Was the Greek too hard for you?
It was only one word.
Even the newbies in the Protestant church I used to attend could grasp it.
In fact, you might try actually attending a bible class instead of talking about attending one.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 5:27 pm

fred123:
STOP PASTING STUFF FROM THE REFORMED READER!!!!

Esau October 10, 2007 at 5:29 pm

fred123:
STOP PASTING STUFF FROM THE REFORMED READER and PB Ministries!!!! Have you ‘NO MIND of your own’ or did you LEAVE it just to STAY PROTESTANT?

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm

The first major council was not convened by a Pope.
Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church (about 1000 in the east and 800 in the west), but only 250 to 320 bishops actually participated. Eusebius of Caesarea counted 250,[6] Athanasius of Alexandria counted 318,[7] and Eustathius of Antioch counted 270[8] (all three were present at the council). Later, Socrates Scholasticus recorded more than 300,[9] and Evagrius,[10] Hilarius,[11] Jerome[12] and Rufinus recorded 318.
The participating bishops were given free travel to and from their episcopal sees to the council, as well as lodging. These bishops did not travel alone; each one had permission to bring with him two priests and three deacons; so the total number of attendees would have been above 1500. Eusebius speaks of an almost innumerable host of accompanying priests, deacons and acolytes.
Conclusion: The 21st century definition of Catholic is no way related to the 4th century definition.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Esau,
Go easy on fred123 since he is his only “authority” he has to make it up or copy from someone else as fast as he can.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Mary October 10, 2007 at 5:33 pm

I am on a Catholic site an nobody knows where Mela is.
We don’t know where Oz is, either.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Esau,
Apparently you can’t find the Reformed reader yourself and don’t know where Mela is, so I need to help you poor Catholics and use the principles of cut and paste. Esau I don’t know if you can read whole paragraphs, so I just cut the important points. I hope that helps :-)

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:37 pm

Mary,
You clearly don’t know that Peter was never Pope in Rome either. This is just a Catholic wives tale. Hey Catholics don’t need to research. If Rome says it, it must be true!

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Take a deep breath, Esau.
That may be the only way fred is capable of posting in complete sentences.
Like most garden-variety anti-Catholic bigots, he puts absolute, dogmatic trust in his sources, and doesn’t want to dig too deeply.
“The Council of Laodicaea held A. D. 360, demanded that those who are “to be baptized must learn the creed by heart and recite it” (Hefele, II.319). The Council of Constantinople decreed that persons should “remain a long time under Scriptural instruction before they receive baptism” (Ibid, II.368). And the Council of Carthage, A. D. 398, decreed that “catechumens shall give their names, and be prepared for baptism”
None of this touches on the baptism of infants at all. These requirements all apply to how *adults* are to enter the church. Incidentally, catechumens (adult converts) STILL have to “give their names and be prepared for baptism”. Why? Because they CAN. I don’t know a lot of people who would expect infants to know the Creed.
But, thanks for playing. Try again.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 5:43 pm

…you can’t find the Reformed reader yourself…
Dude,
If I wanted even stronger anti-catholic materials, I’d go to my friends’ library.
Heck, they’ve got the idiotic Scofield bible, for goodness sake!
…and don’t know where Mela is…
NEWSFLASH: It’s MILAH or MILEVUM — NOT MELA!

Mary October 10, 2007 at 5:44 pm

No, it was simply a quote not intended as a claim.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11604a.htm

Hey, folks, here’s the fuller quote.
How far the sola-fides doctrine “had no stouter champion before Luther than Pelagius” and whether, in particular, the Protestant conception of fiducial faith dawned upon him many centuries before Luther, as Loofs (“Realencyklopädies fur protest. Theologie”, XV, 753, Leipzig, 1904) assumes, probably needs more careful investigation.

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 5:45 pm

fred123,
Thanks for the laughs! Really you have not said one thing that we haven’t heard before or actually said ourselves at one time. The Catholic Church which Christ founded will be around along time after you are gone and sorry.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

SDG October 10, 2007 at 5:46 pm

The earliest clear evidence of infant baptism is found in Tertullian who opposed it (A. D. 185).

Let’s look at what Tertullian actually said:

According to circumstance and disposition and even age of the individual person, it may be better to delay Baptism; and especially so in the case of little children. Why, indeed, is it necessary — if it be not a case of necessity — that the sponsors to be thrust into danger, when they themselves may fail to fulfill their promises by reason of death, or when they may be disappointed by the growth of an evil disposition? Indeed the Lord says, ‘Do not forbid them to come to me.’

Let them come, then, while they grow up, while they learn, while they are taught to whom to come; let them become Christians when they will have been able to know Christ! Why does the innocent age hasten to the remission of sins? …For no less cause should the unmarried also be deferred, in whom there is an aptness to temptation — in virgins on account of their ripeness as also in the widowed on account of their freedom — until they are married or are better strengthened for continence. Anyone who understands the seriousness of Baptism will fear its reception more than its deferral. Sound faith is secure of its salvation!

Now, I think that Tertullian was mistaken in his practical reasoning, but look at what his argument presupposes.
Tertullian — like the entire early Church — affirms baptismal regeneration, even in the case of the baptism of infants. He does not say that infants cannot validly be baptized, or that baptism does not regenerate infants, much less that it does not regenerate anyone else.
Tertullian was no “credobaptist.” He affirmed baptismal regeneration even in the case of infants, though he argued on prudential grounds that it would be better to bring children to regeneration when they were older.
Fred123: Do you believe in baptismal regeneration? If not, can you produce any evidence of anyone holding your views in the early church?

Geo October 10, 2007 at 5:46 pm

You’re welcome.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Tim,
I gave six points refuting infant baptism. Catholics wasted hours trying to figure out where Mela is and failed. These same Catholics have not even attempted to refute the other five points. If the intellectual Catholic elite is on this site, Protestants will totally subsume the vast majority of Catholics within 100 years. And then finally Catholicism will only be a footnote in history, remembered only as an failed attempt to paganize Christianity.

Esau October 10, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Fred123,
You still haven’t replied to the post:
My Post to ‘Right Said Fred’

Inocencio October 10, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Esau,
Allow me…AMEN!
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 5:56 pm

I guess he doesn’t know where Mela is, either, since he hasn’t told us. Nor has he shown us any evidence that such a council even took place. Nor has he shown us any evidence that such alleged council was an Ecumenical Council. Such failure is a tacit admission on his part that he can’t.
Prediction: He will prove me right by continuing in the same vein.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:02 pm

SDG,
This is the problem with Catholics. They don’t understand the doctrine of baptisms. Notice the plural is intentional. There are multiple baptisms mentioned in the Bible( search yourself and it is a number greater than 3). But this is all the result of poor hermeneutics by multitudes of Catholic theologians incapable of reading Greek or Hebrew. So I will let you research this yourself.
Unfortunately, with the sad state of American education it is very difficult for a Catholic to re-educate himself and break the yoke of Catholicism and find the truth.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 6:03 pm

I will have to school you folks a little bit.
Start with what you have already been asked for elucidation on.
You asserted, “Jesus and the Apostles made it very clear. They said, that the church would be corrupted from within, but God would protect His Word and it would never be corrupted.”
Tell us where this is in the Bible. And how your assertion does not contradict the explicit promise of Jesus, who said the gate of hell would not prevail against the Church, rather than the Bible.

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 6:03 pm

“Protestants will totally subsume the vast majority of Catholics within 100 years”
Hee.
“Prepare to be subsumed! Resistance is useless!”
The thing is, fred, you only THINK your “six points” refuted infant baptism. I already demonstrated how one “point” did nothing of the kind, and I see others have dissected other of your brilliant points.
Playing fast and loose with history, and playing “shell games” with out-of-context quotes won’t cut it. The Emperor has no clothes.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:06 pm

SDG,
YOu ask about Baptismal regeneration. Yes I believe in this, because it is stated in the Bible. However the conditions for this to occur are different between Catholics and Protestants. This is where most Catholics get confused. They lump two different baptisms as one. So appeal to Rome all you want. Great Theologians both Catholic, Donatist, Montanist, and Protestant have solved this dilemma.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm

you can’t find the Reformed reader yourself
Can you find the Koran yourself fred?
Should a Muslim argue you obviously can’t, because you are not a Muslim?

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm

“So I will let you research this for yourself.”
English translation: I can only assert; I cannot explain, because I don’t know what I’m talking about.
(Aside: He can prove me wrong by explaining. Prediction: He will prove me right).

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Mary,
The gates of Hell have never destroyed the Church. Since you probably did not study mathematical physics or Theology I will explain. The true church has always existed since the first apostles. This truth was expressed in Montanists, Donatist, Ana-Baptist, and many others. The church has not always been monotonically increasing, that means it has peaks and valleys of strength. Remember God promised that a King would always sit on David’s throne. The Kingdom of David had its ups and downs. Again we place our Western biases on these scriptures.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Bill,
The problem is that Catholics are to lazy to research anything themselves, and my experience is that people will not believe anything unless they research it themselves.
Thus Bill I would not expect you to research. Your folly is assured.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:20 pm

I rest my case.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Catholics subscribe to the following fallacy. They assume that they are members of the church that Jesus mentioned to Peter. This fallacy keeps getting promoted by the constant brainwashing stating Peter was the first Pope. Neither Orthodox or Protestants believe that God created a Papal system. If Jesus did not create a Papal system then your not part of the church that Jesus created.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:25 pm

More assertion without explanation. Atleast he’s consistent.

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 6:27 pm

I would like to go back in time and get a Montanist, a Donatist, and an Anabaptist in one room with a modern Protestant and see how things go. I don’t think the myth that these very different heresies were some sort of continuation of the Biblical Church would stand up for long.

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 6:28 pm

On the other hand get a Catholic from each time period and we’ll talk and then go to mass together.

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm

If we could understant each other’s language of course 😛

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm

*understand

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 6:32 pm

If we were still more into Latin language wouldn’t be a big problem anyway, if you make sure to get a Westerner.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:33 pm

What can Catholics know about baptism if they don’t even know that there once where major discussion that Jesus created 30 sacraments. These 30 sacraments included Bible reading, Prayer, foot washing, and many others. The fact is that you get white washed teaching from Rome that is parroted by Akin, Hahn, and others. These Apologists present this nicely polished image of Catholicism. However the historical Catholic revisionism, and false doctrine, is easily exposed for the discerning.
Jesus never forbade the Jews from Old testaments reading; He encouraged it. So why would the Vicar of Christ forbid Bible reading. In history only demonic forces suppressed Bible reading.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 6:37 pm

I gave six points refuting infant baptism. Catholics wasted hours trying to figure out where Mela is and failed. These same Catholics have not even attempted to refute the other five points. If the intellectual Catholic elite is on this site, Protestants will totally subsume the vast majority of Catholics within 100 years. And then finally Catholicism will only be a footnote in history, remembered only as an failed attempt to paganize Christianity.

Okay, Fred. You have some room to crow. Deep breath, everyone.
I admit, I spent close to five minutes trying to identify the “Council of Mela.” And failed. It’s some comfort that (a) you gave a spelling of Milah or Milevum that has a modicum currency only among a minority of anti-Catholics, and (b) we were all multitasking. To tell the truth, we spent more time cracking jokes than seriously searching. I’ll eat my crow. But nobody was “wasting hours.”
“Intellectual Catholic elite”? Good heavens no. Those people have names like Ratzinger, von Balthazar, Dulles, Neuhaus, von Hildebrand, Chesterton, Newman… Even if you were dealing with Jimmy Akin, you’d be dealing with something formidable. We’re just the court jesters.
You gave six points “refuting infant baptism”? Here are your first two “refutations”:

1. “There is no express mention of the baptism of infants in the New Testament”
2.”It is difficult to give strict proof from the scriptures in favor of it. (Catholic Dictionary, p. 61).

To those of us with some training in logic, we are noticing a few missing steps in your argument. A few holes, to say the least.
Oh, and your last reason: “Infant baptism by immersion commanded of all infants in the Council Of Mela in 416 AD.” Of course you also said, in reference to fourth century councils, “The early councils of the church were all against infant baptism.” I didn’t realize that the dividing line between “early councils” and “late councils” was between the 4th and 5th centuries.
And then there’s the THIRD century council mentioned by Cyprian, which ENDORSES infant baptism (and during which the only controversy was whether to delay baptism till the eighth day!):

“As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).

What do you make of that, Fred? How does that square with your claim that “The early councils of the church were all against infant baptism”?

YOu ask about Baptismal regeneration. Yes I believe in this, because it is stated in the Bible. However the conditions for this to occur are different between Catholics and Protestants. This is where most Catholics get confused. They lump two different baptisms as one.

Then let me clarify: The early Fathers and Councils — Tertullian, Augustine, anyone you want to cite — uniformly attest belief in regeneration/salvation by water baptism. Is that clear enough, or is there more than one kind of water baptism? Are you aware of some controversy in the early Church on this point with which I am unfamiliar? If not, do you agree with all Christians prior to the Anabaptists, or do you believe that all Christians everywhere until the Reformation were incapable of reading the Bible?
Oh, yes, I also asked you about the book of Hebrews. Is it divinely inspired? How do you know?

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Montanists, Second Century AD: “Their theme was the imminent end of the world, to be heralded by wars and revolutions; the necessity for the strictest asceticism to prepare for it; and a call for the gathering of the faithful in the little Phrygian town of Pepuza as the new Jerusalem….Montanist preachers called upon their hearers to renounce marriage, to give up their worldly goods to their spiritual leaders…to seek martyrdom wherever possible, and to repudiate all civil obligations.”–Warren Carroll, “The Founding of Christendom”, page 464.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Catholics are loosing the Battle wherever they go. South America has more Protestants now then practicing Catholics. Placing the Bible in the hands of people breaks the yoke of Catholic darkness. The Bible will triumph over Catholicism and the true church( Protestant) will reign supreme. The gates of hell( Catholicism) will not prevail again the Church( Protestantism)

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:43 pm

“…there once where(sic) major discussion that Jesus created 30 sacraments”. More assertion without any evidence.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:46 pm

My interpretation of the Bible says that I’m right and that Fred’s interpretation is wrong.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:50 pm

SDG,
Please prove to me using the Bible only that Peter was the first Pope. I can give you 10 reasons he was not! To me this is the crux of the argument if Catholics revise history about Peter, and the 2nd through 9th century is filled with forged documents, how can I trust Catholics. Jesus only promised to protect His Word, and no other sources. The Bible is divine the church fathers are not!

Mary October 10, 2007 at 6:50 pm

So why would the Vicar of Christ forbid Bible reading.
Why would someone repeat a lie if he had serious evidence against the Catholic Church? The Church has never forbidden reading the Bible.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:51 pm

Mary,
You need to study your church history. This is an exercise for you.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:52 pm

“The Bible is divine…”
The Bible is God?

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Prove to me using the Bible only that I should prove to you using the Bible only.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Because, Mary, he asserted without showing any evidence. As always. He can’t back up his assertions, but tries to put the onus for his inability on us. (And proves me right every time he does so).

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 6:56 pm

SDG,
Hebrews is inspired and was written by either Paul or Barnabas

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 6:57 pm

“Hebrews is inspired…”
By what authority do you believe that?

Mary October 10, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Please prove to me using the Bible only that Peter was the first Pope.
Please prove to me using the Bible only that Peter was not the first Pope.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Bill,
Do you have any assertions. Can you give a defense for your belief in Catholicism? Probably not! Make your case that Catholicism is the truth and I will gladly refute it.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Mary,
Can you give a defense for your belief in Catholicism? Probably not! Make your case that Catholicism is the truth and I will gladly refute it.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm

“Can you give a defense for your belief in Catholicism? Probably not.” Please tell us what evidence you have to back up that statement. Or was it just slander?
And, yeah, I do demand an apology for your slander.

Ben Bentrup October 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm

fred123 is like a little windup doll…you turn the knob a few twists, and let it huff and puff and see what it will spit out this time. A most entertaining toy!
Man, I love the defenders of our faith on here…smart, well-researched, logical, loyal, and funny! Good job guys!
Protestantism will always be a cheat religion in the final analysis. You have to be Protesting against something to be Protestant. That something was (is) the true Catholic church as founded by Jesus, and Jesus would never have us leave our faith no matter how bad the abuses or the abusers. Lest I be unclear, I have a deep respect for some Protestants. Even though I may not be able to relate on some levels, zealous seekers of the truth, even if they are Protestant, offer me better example and better conversation than the lukewarm Catholic.
Fred123, is there any topic of discussion on which you believe we can have worthwhile discussion? Else, how long do you plan to make badgering posts?

SDG October 10, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Please prove to me using the Bible only that Peter was the first Pope.

Gladly, as soon as you tell me what you mean by “the Bible,” and what grounds you have for trusting whatever it is you mean by that.
Do you mean the collection of books assembled and canonized by the non-divine church fathers? Being non-divine, they were capable of mistakes, were they not? Were they capable of thinking books divine when they were not? Clearly so, for we agree that some fathers thought books were divine when they were not.
Now, I happen to believe that the Holy Spirit led the early Church in such a way that whatever the whole Church collectively came to regard as an essential article of faith is in fact true. Thus, for me the fact that the whole Church collectively came to regard, say, Hebrews as divinely inspired settles the matter for me.
But you believe that the whole Church collectively could be mistaken regarding essential articles of faith, don’t you? You believe they were mistaken about water baptismal regeneration, don’t you? So what ground do you have for believing that they were not similiarly mistaken about the inspiration of Hebrews?

I can give you 10 reasons he was not!

Oh, I doubt that. I’m sure you have a list of ten propositions, but I doubt any one of them constitutes a serious argument that Peter was not the first pope.
For instance, I’d hazard a guess that your list probably includes one or more of the following: Paul opposed Peter in Galatians 2; the Bible does not report Peter going to Rome; Peter was married; Jesus used “petra” rather than “Petros” in saying “Upon this rock.” Well? How’d I do?

To me this is the crux of the argument if Catholics revise history about Peter, and the 2nd through 9th century is filled with forged documents, how can I trust Catholics.

Who said anything about trusting Catholics? What I trust is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus only promised to protect His Word, and no other sources.

“He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises him that sent me” (Luke 10:10).

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 7:14 pm

The role of the Church leaders as an authority is much more clear in the Bible than the authority of the Bible itself. Not to say the Bible is not authoritative, it certainly is, but the role of the Church is much clearer in the actual text.

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 7:15 pm

The authority of the Bible and which books comprise it we get from Church teaching, nothing else.

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 7:18 pm

I should have said knowledge of that authority. The authority itself comes from God, who inspired it, but we know which books are inspired and what “inspired” means from the God-given authority of the Church.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:23 pm

SDG,
I said, I could give you ten reasons why Peter was NOT Pope. At least you gave me four! However, You can’t even give me a single reason why he was Pope. Also according to Catholic legend, when was his tenure?

Mary October 10, 2007 at 7:25 pm

You need to study your church history. This is an exercise for you.
Then it’s a good thing I’ve already done it, isn’t it?

Elijah October 10, 2007 at 7:40 pm

fred,
Since scriptural support has already been given on this thread that Peter was the first Pope, though he admittedly did not use that title, why don’t you just go ahead and list your reasons why he wasn’t? Then, if you don’t abruptly change the subject, those reasons could be discussed.

SDG October 10, 2007 at 7:41 pm

I said, I could give you ten reasons why Peter was NOT Pope. At least you gave me four!

Oh, those weren’t REASONS. Those were fallacies. Don’t you know the difference?

However, You can’t even give me a single reason why he was Pope.

You asked me to prove it using “the Bible only.” As long as you refuse to tell me what you mean by “the Bible,” and what grounds you have for trusting whatever it is you mean by that, how can you ask me to prove anything to you using “the Bible”?
You say Hebrews — the author of which you admit you don’t know — is inspired. How do you know?

Also according to Catholic legend, when was his tenure?

Well, the “legends” or traditions date to the first and second centuries, which I thought you said was prior to the heyday of Catholic invention, but never mind. Peter reigned from Pentecost until his martyrdom in Rome, possibly sometime around 64 A.D. I wonder why you ask?

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:42 pm

Transubstantiation further refuted. Please read carefully and then question your priest and bishop. If they have no response then your faith rests on shaky ground.
1. Paul also refers to the elements of the Lord’s Supper as “eat this bread and drink the cup” in 1 Cor 11:26 after they should be transubstantiated. 1 Cor 11:26-27 proves transubstantiation wrong because Paul calls the loaf, “bread” after both Roman Catholics and Orthodox say the “change” was supposed to take place. Catholics make Paul a liar by calling the loaf “bread” rather than what Catholic false doctrine claims it was: Literal Flesh.
2. In 1 Corinthians 11:25, Jesus said literally that the “cup was the covenant”. So which is it? Is the it the juice that is the covenant or the juice that is the blood? Is it the cup that is the covenant or is the cup the blood?
3. In 1 Cor 11:26-28, Paul instructs us to “drink the cup” instead of “drink the blood”. The Holy Spirit would not use such a figure of speech as “synecdoche” (referring to a part for the whole) if such a literal transubstantiation was actually taking place. To use a symbol when such a literal change is taking place is unthinkable.
The True church( Protestant) has the answers. The false church is steeped in mystery, superstition and paganism.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 7:43 pm

Catholics wasted hours trying to figure out where Mela is and failed.
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.”
Why should we not establish that your “Council of Mela” is inaccurate? And having done so, why should we regard anything you say as accurate?

Mary October 10, 2007 at 7:48 pm

BTW,
Protestants use the Bible to set the captives free from the false hope of Catholicism.
and
This truth was expressed in Montanists, Donatist, Ana-Baptist, and many others.
Again, chose one. Many Protestants teach and practice infant baptism.
(And chose your one from the previous two. For someone who professes to teach, ignoring questions from those you want to instruct doesn’t help.)

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:48 pm

SDG,
\
There were many innovators, but they were not a significant threat until Augustine formalized many of them. Arians being one of the biggest threats, however 1500 bishops where invited and only 300 came. Thus these 1200 bishops did not even consider Arianism that much of a threat to real Christianity. Revisionist history has over blown the power of Arianism. Yes the Goths were Arians, but must everyone perceived them as pagans.
From when to when did Peter minister in Rome?

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 7:52 pm

Still waiting for the apology for the slander.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 7:52 pm

Jesus only promised to protect His Word, and no other sources.
When and where did he make this promise?
And you yourself claim that he also founded a Church that the gates of hell would not, and have not, prevailed against. And you claim it is NOT because Jesus protected it?

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:54 pm

The Council of Mela. One of my favorite books is The History of Baptism, by Robinson published 1817. This source sites the Council of Mela. The city is known by many other names other than the two mentioned by your fellow Catholics. This was an exercise in research. Can Catholics do homework outside the Catechism and newadvent.com?

Mary October 10, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Can you give a defense for your belief in Catholicism? Probably not! Make your case that Catholicism is the truth and I will gladly refute it.
Can you give a defense for your disbelief in Catholicism? Probably not! Make your case that Catholicism is not the truth and I will gladly refute it.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Mary,
The true church has been attacked by Satan, but it will prevail and never be extinguished. Some Protestants baptize infants, however the theology is different than that of Catholics. Again there are multiple doctrines of baptism. Just because it looks familiar does not mean it is the same.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Still waiting.

fred123 October 10, 2007 at 8:05 pm

Bill,
I will apologize if I am wrong. If I am correct that you can not give a ready defense for your Catholic belief, then you owe me an apology.

bill912 October 10, 2007 at 8:16 pm

You made an accusation about me that you couldn’t back up. If you have manners, you will apologize.

Geo October 10, 2007 at 8:22 pm

The Council of Mela. One of my favorite books is The History of Baptism, by Robinson published 1817. This source sites the Council of Mela… Can Catholics do homework outside the Catechism and newadvent.com?
Actually, the Robinson source was the first place I checked, before NewAdvent.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 8:22 pm

The true church has been attacked by Satan, but it will prevail and never be extinguished.
There where do you get off claiming that he only promised to protect his Word?

Dan Hunter October 10, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Fred123,
Can we hit the heavy bag some time together?
You are funny.

Mary October 10, 2007 at 8:36 pm

And while we are at — you have asserted
Jesus and the Apostles made it very clear. They said, that the church would be corrupted from within, but God would protect His Word and it would never be corrupted.
which not only contradicts your most recent statements — you should really recant the one you don’t want us to believe — but is not supported in the Bible. You have been asked to substantiate it. Go ahead. Provide the citations.

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 8:41 pm

“The True church( Protestant) has the answers. The false church is steeped in mystery, superstition and paganism.”
Changing subjects just when you’re cornered? A common tactic of drive-by Catholic bashers.
People like fred tend to put all Protestants in a bad light, which is a shame. I know and love a number of Protestants… heck, I’m the only Catholic in the family. So far (heh).

Tim J. October 10, 2007 at 8:43 pm

fred, Luther strangled kittens. Melancthon and Zwingli both clubbed baby seals to death in their spare time. But YOU’RE too lazy to look it up!
PROVE it’s not so! Are you afraid of the TRUTH? You kitten-haters are all the same…

Standing Still October 10, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Fred123,
Wow. Thank you. I am laughing so hard that I am having trouble breathing. I came back to this thread expecting to find debate and find, well lots of funny. You remind me of a hyperactive 8 year old who can’t stay focused on one point for more than a few seconds.
In all seriousness, do you guys have a playbook for this crap, or do you just all think along the same dim lines. The funniest thing is that you don’t have the slightest grasp of what Catholicism teaches, where the Bible came from, or early Church history. Like when you brought up infant baptism and then got owned by SDG…ooops…guess they didn’t tell you about that council in your “anti-catholic” seminar.
You have the same level of credibility as a Mormon or a Muslim because their books say they’re the word of God too. Why don’t you stop acting like a snarky ass clown and go argue with them?
FYI…I have Peter ruling from 48-69AD.

matt October 10, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Fred’s premise is interesting, he really thinks that the Catholic Church is wrong, but every Protestant ecclesial community is right, even though they teach incredibly different things. That’s all we need to consider, it’s a nullity:
if a is true and a not equal b then b is not true, ergo b is false.
He also thinks that Catholics are all stupid and protestants are all smart… amazing. What does that say about all the converts here? Lost your marbles??
God Bless,
Matt

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 9:52 pm

Standing Still,
I don’t know if we have a credible date for when Peter set up his seat in Rome, but he was Pope (not using that title of course) from Pentacost on. All previous Popes are bishops of Rome, but Peter was only bishop of Rome at the end of his life, before that being of course in Jerusalem, then Antioch and Alexandria (I forget which was first) then finally Rome.
There are some who believe he went to Rome early, founded the church there, then went back to the Middle East for a while before returning to Rome later in life. In any case Rome was where his seat was finally and perminantly established.

J.R. Stoodley October 10, 2007 at 9:54 pm

*all subsequent Popes are bishops of Rome…

ASimpleSinner October 10, 2007 at 10:24 pm

“The cited 5-10% decline for Protestant church attendance is not very informative even if accurate (I have no idea whether it’s correct), because it doesn’t reflect the vast differences between the shrinking Protestant groups and the growing ones. “
Please forgive if I missed someone else making this point, but I am curious as to what the methodology for determining Protestant church attendence (c.a.) v. Catholic c.a….
Namely, how were members of each group identified. Catholics seems to self-identify themselves as Catholic for one or two generations after the last generation of “Mass goer”.
They know that Grandpa went to Sacred Heart, Their Mom and Dad got married at St. Alphonsus, and if the parochial school system was good (or the public school system lousy) they may have gone to St. Jude’s parish grade school… Not really active participants, but they still selfidentify as Catholics for any number of reasons (“We’re Irish/ Polish/Italian /Mexican /Slovak therefore we must be…”) And among those groups that nominally continue to self-identify as Catholics for any number of reasons, I suspect c.a. is of course down…
OTOH, do Protestants generally continue to self-identify as Protestants in the same way Catholics do one or two generations after the “church-goers?” I tend to notice this to some degree among Baptists or Petecostals (We’re Alabamans/Kentuckians…) But by and large concepts of church-going and self-identification as part of a group don’t tend to be so broad or long lasting.
If I had to guess, I would say that if you were to go by grandparents who were church-goers, you would find that Protestant church-going declined to the same degree or worse amongst the generations following. The difference? The non-church going grandson of a Methodist seems less likely to continue to self-identify as a Methodist than his Irish Catholic counterpart.

Joe October 11, 2007 at 3:03 am

I notice that no Protestant on the thread has even addressed by questions, so I will post them again below. I think if they demand us to argue from scripture they should answer us why they believe it inspired:
I would like to know how Protestants get past the table of contents in their bible without Tradition and the authority of the Church. The canon of the new testament was hotly contested for centuries, only being decided upon by a synod of bishops (based on liturgical tradition) and ratified by the pope. Books like Hebrews, John, Revelation, 2 & 3 John, 2 Peter, and James were all contested (even Luther wanted some of these excluded from his stunted canon). How do you explain how the old testament was written in ancient Hebrew that didn’t have vowels and many words were identical? Only oral tradition was able to decipher what the texts meant. How do you explain that there were at least 4 different “canons” among the Jews in the 1st century (Pharisaical, Sadducean, Essene, Diaspora)? How do we know which OT canon to use when the Jews couldn’t agree?

SDG October 11, 2007 at 3:31 am

Fred123 further refuted:

1. Paul also refers to the elements of the Lord’s Supper as “eat this bread and drink the cup” in 1 Cor 11:26 after they should be transubstantiated.

Jesus called himself “the bread of life,” and called his own flesh and blood “real food” and “real drink.” If Jesus himself can be called bread and his flesh “real food,” a fortiori the Eucharistic bread transformed into Jesus’ flesh can continue to be called “food” and “bread.”

2. In 1 Corinthians 11:25, Jesus said literally that the “cup was the covenant”. So which is it? Is the it the juice that is the covenant or the juice that is the blood? Is it the cup that is the covenant or is the cup the blood?

Matthew and Mark give Jesus’ words as “This is my blood of the [new] covenant.” So which is it? “The cup” = the contents of the cup = Jesus’ blood = the new covenant.

3. In 1 Cor 11:26-28, Paul instructs us to “drink the cup” instead of “drink the blood”. The Holy Spirit would not use such a figure of speech as “synecdoche” (referring to a part for the whole) if such a literal transubstantiation was actually taking place. To use a symbol when such a literal change is taking place is unthinkable.

Fred has no scriptural proof for his unbiblical assertion regarding what the Holy Spirit would or would not do. If “Drink the cup” = “Drink [of] the cup” in everyday speech, then we can say “Drink the cup” to mean “Drink [of] the cup” regardless what the contents of the cup may be. Indeed, the holier the contents of the cup and the greater the mystery, the more appropriate it is to speak circumspectly, especially since referring bluntly to drinking blood — although Jesus himself made such reference in John 6 — was deeply contrary to Jewish sensibilities.
Fred123’s argument fails to appreciate the incarnational point that the Bible is the Word of God in the words of men, that the Holy Spirit communicates in and through the idioms and language of the human writers. What is asserted by the Holy Spirit is precisely what is asserted by the human author according to his own mode of communication (cf. Dei Verbum 11). However a human author would express his meaning is precisely how the Holy Spirit expresses the meaning intended by God.
Also, metonymy is not “a symbol.”
Fred123 further refuted: He has never responded to my comments on John 6: “Jesus emphasizes the literal, non-figurative truth of his words when he says: ‘For my flesh is food INDEED, and my blood is drink INDEED’ — or as it is also rendered, ‘My flesh is REAL food, and my blood is REAL drink.’ He doesn’t say ‘I am INDEED a door’ or ‘You are REAL salt of the earth.’ Those are only metaphors.”
Fred123 further refuted: He still has not responded to the question, raised by Joe as well as myself, regarding the canon: How do you know Hebrews is inspired?

Ben Bentrup October 11, 2007 at 3:42 am

Yeah, Joe and SDG do well to harp on the basic Protestant problem of Biblical authority. It is an authority, but it presupposes autority of the Church which canonized it, founded by Christ and led by the Spirit.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, oh Prince of the Heavenly host, cast into Hell, Satan, and all the other evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Fred, we’re praying for your freedom and conversion. God bless.
Ben

Mary October 11, 2007 at 7:20 am

Some Protestants baptize infants, however the theology is different than that of Catholics. Again there are multiple doctrines of baptism. Just because it looks familiar does not mean it is the same.
There are Protestants who baptize infants and teach the same doctrine about it as the Catholic church. Just because they look familiar to you doesn’t mean that they teach what you do.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 8:32 am

But, Mary, it’s okay when Protestants do it.
You have to start with the fundamental premise that “Catholic = bad” and then go from there. Then all of fred’s reasoning makes sense.
It’s all so simple, really.

jrg October 11, 2007 at 8:48 am

fred123 – I’m offering today’s Mass for you again today.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
jrg

Esau October 11, 2007 at 9:28 am

Fred123,
The True church( Protestant) has the answers.
The above statement is the FUNNIEST, MOST HILARIOUS thing I have EVER HEARD!
Can you please tell me out of the 33,000 Protestant denominations and conflicting, contradicting Protestant beliefs; just who out of these has the correct interpretation of the Truth?
Mmmmm…
There is only ONE Church I know that has existed from the VERY BEGINNING!
That is the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC & APOSTOLIC Church — the ANCIENT Church — the CATHOLIC Church!

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 9:29 am

jrg
Thank you. I am praying that God softens my heart.
I am very unhappy right now.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 9:35 am

…And falling on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (Acts22:7)

Ben Bentrup October 11, 2007 at 9:38 am

Jesus is the Divine Mercy we can all turn to. The Church is his mediator and the doors are open. God bless.

erick October 11, 2007 at 9:55 am

Esau-
I suppose it would be nothing then for you to produce evidence that this Apostolic Church, of which you talk about, taught the same salvific doctrines then as now!.
Notice I said “salvific doctrines”…(those without which you cannot attain soteriological stance).

off October 11, 2007 at 9:59 am

Esau October 11, 2007 at 10:06 am

I suppose it would be nothing then for you to produce evidence that this Apostolic Church, of which you talk about, taught the same salvific doctrines then as now!.
Certainly!
Or would you rather I select from a CAFETERIA MENU of 33,000 differing sets of Protestant beliefs and instead prove that, all in all, in spite of all these contradicting sets of beliefs, what the Protestant churches teaches is actually the Truth?
However, you must help me with:
1. Just how can one prove that in spite of all these contradicitons, these several thousands of Protestant churches in fact teach the authentic truths of Christianity?
2. How can I even prove that what is taught by these several contradicting churches actually teach the genuine teachings of the EARLY CHURCH when several of them hardly even REFLECT the TEACHINGS of the EARLY CHURCH!?

SDG October 11, 2007 at 10:07 am

I suppose it would be nothing then for you to produce evidence that this Apostolic Church, of which you talk about, taught the same salvific doctrines then as now!

Erick,
For which of the following salvific doctrines would you like evidence of the patristic faith? Let me know.

  1. To be “born again” is to receive water baptism. Water baptism confers salvation — regeneration and forgiveness of sins.

  2. In the Eucharist Jesus gives us his body and blood to eat and drink and thus strengthens us on the road to eternal life.

  3. The Eucharist is a true sacrifice, offered for our salvation by the New Testament priesthood established by Christ.

  4. Those who separate themselves from the bishops who lead the Church in the place of Christ and the apostles have turned away from the hope of salvation.

erick October 11, 2007 at 10:19 am

Esau—
I doubt that you could even mention 20 different protestant denominations— much less “33.000”.—
SDG–
How about The Immaculate Conception?—.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 10:22 am

To all,
I apologise for any insults that I have cast at anyone and to the scandal that I may have caused.
I also publically apologise and ask forgiveness of Almighty God if I have blasphemed Him in any way.
Again,please pray for me.

jrg October 11, 2007 at 10:25 am

fred123 – I just got back from Mass. God says, “hi,” and sends His love.
Hang in there – I too have been unhappy. Only Jesus Christ gives the peace that every human soul longs for. Continue to trust in Him.
Pray, too, that he softens my heart so that I might trust Him even more than I once did when everything was new.
jrg

SDG October 11, 2007 at 10:29 am

Um. To the Pseudo-Fred123:
It seems to me that Jimmy’s rule that everyone pick a handle and stick with it throughout each discussion thread can reasonably be extended to include the following: Other posters should not adopt other users’ handles and impersonate them.
Please, let’s be fair here.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:33 am

fred,
You are not the first person to regret things he has written on an online forum like this. The impersonal and essentially anonymous setting tempts one to take approaches one never would have in person. This is one of several reasons why I personally have been rather absent on my favorate online forums the last few months.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:36 am

Darn, I was really hoping it was really Fred. The “blaspheme” part should have clued me in, since that would be an unusual thing to suggest even if you regretted your approack.
Assuming someone really is impersonating Fred, that’s really stupid I must say since he will no doubt be back, not to mention wrong.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 10:38 am

How about The Immaculate Conception?

Oh, I see.
By “salvific doctrines” you didn’t mean “central doctrines dealing directly with matters of salvation.”
You meant “anything that the Catholic Church has solemnly defined and which therefore cannot be disbelieved without grave sin.”
Well, the Catholic Church has solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception, so to disbelieve it is to disbelieve the teaching authority instituted by Christ, which is grave matter.
However, the Church also recognizes a “hierarchy of truths” in which some articles of faith (such as the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Atonement) are higher or more central, while others (such as the nature of angels) are comparatively lower or more peripheral.
In the hierarchy of truths, the Immaculate Conception is a comparatively peripheral doctrine — which is not to say that it doesn’t matter, but there is a sense in which to begin there would be to major in minors.
The basis for the doctrine in the early Fathers is quite straightforward, and is rooted in the very common patristic theme of Mary as the New Eve. I would be happy to discuss this with you, if you are really interested.
However, ecclesiologically, it is not really where the action is. The four major doctrines I outlined above are much more central, and AFAIK stand squarely between your camp and mine.
Is there some reason you don’t want to discuss them?

Esau October 11, 2007 at 10:39 am

Um. To the Pseudo-Fred123:
SDG,
Thanks for the note!
Curious — just who is the charlatan anyway?
That way, I can avoid him/her in other discussions.
It’s not worth it to engage in discussions with people who are only in it as a ‘laugh’.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 10:40 am

Esau: I wouldn’t know.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:43 am

Also the idea of the Immaculate Conception, using that name even, can be traced back to the Early Middle Ages at least. Beyond that it gets controvercial, which is why it is good we have a Magisterium to straiten out these matters for us.
Also the Church didn’t formally start teaching this in the 19th century. It was taught by lower level bishops going way back and was a feast in the whole Latin Rite Church going back several centuries before it was made an infallible dogma.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:46 am

SDG,
If you don’t know from some hidden knowledge such as Jimmy posesses (I assume those computer number thingies I forget the real name of, sorry I’m bad with computers) then it is probably a good idea not to accuse anyone of not being the person they claim to be.
A lot of people have discredited themselves before for example by insisting two or more people were the same person when they certainly were not.
If there is a chance Fred is indeed repentant don’t make it more complicated for him by insisting he is not himself.

erick October 11, 2007 at 10:48 am

SDG—
The Doctrine of the Trinity can be fully gleaned from Scriptures….not so with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
“but there is a sense in which to begin with that doctrine would be to major in minors”.
You sure about that?.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:49 am

I believe for example someone once insisted I, Esau, and Tim J. were all the same person. That was rather funny.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:54 am

erick,
As you must know by now Catholics do not believe every aspect of Public Revalation must be found in Scripture. At most some think all Revalation necessary for our salvation is, minus of course the threat of the sin of heresy if you reject extrabiblical Tradition that has been defined by the Church.
Regarding there being a heirarchy in the importance of certain doctrines, to take something we both agree on do you think for example that the doctrine that Jesus died for our sins is no more important than that 3 John is canonical, or that believing Lazarus rose from the dead is just as important as that Jesus rose from the dead?

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 10:57 am

erick,
The Doctrine of the Trinity can be fully gleaned from Scriptures
Then how would you explain Oneness Pentecostalism, Mormons, JW’s, Muslims, etc., all reading the Holy Bible and getting it wrong?
We understand you reject the authority which Christ gave His Church but could you please, please, pretty please tell me what authority you do accept as binding outside of your personal interpretation and yourself?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 10:58 am

or that Jesus is God than Peter was the son of a man named Jonah? I could go on and on.

erick October 11, 2007 at 11:00 am

I believe that if I was a Catholic, and was told that this(Immaculate Conception) is a peripheral doctrine, yet important enough to be in grave sin if not believed—I would conclude that it could be possible for a woman to be a little bit pregnant as well!.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 11:01 am

Esau: I appreciate your words of caution, but I stand by my exhortation to the Pseudo-Fred123, in which I have moral confidence. If anyone calling himself Fred123 takes issue with what I’ve said, the relevant data information can be researched.

The Doctrine of the Trinity can be fully gleaned from Scriptures….not so with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Let’s say I agree with you. The four doctrines I proposed for discussion were the four mentioned in this post.

You sure about that?

I have no doubts on that point, yes. As troubling as the doctrine may seem to Protestants, in the grand scheme of things it would not be on the top 10 list of issues dividing Catholics and Protestants. Matters dealing directly with salvation are more important, and deserve primary consideration.

I believe that if I was a Catholic, and was told that this(Immaculate Conception) is a peripheral doctrine, yet important enough to be in grave sin if not believed—I would conclude that it could be possible for a woman to be a little bit pregnant as well!.

Cute, but the grave sin is in disbelieving the Magisterium, not in the centrality of the truth itself. St. Thomas Aquinas disbelieved in the Immaculate Conception, but no one thinks it was grave sin for him, because it had not yet been defined, and was not even properly understood.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:03 am

Nonsense. Anything regarding Mary is peripheral compared to the central focus of our faith, which is God and the most important things he has done, for example the Incarnation and Redemption. This is not to say Mary and the things pertaining to her are unimportant, they are just not nearly so central. Do you really think you can tell us we are wrong about how Catholics think when we are Catholic and you are not?

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:04 am

That was addressed to Erick, obvy. Sorry, I should know better than to not address the person directly on fast moving threads.

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 11:04 am

In the year 1965 aproximately 400,000 Protestants converted to The Church, in America alone.
In the year 2000 aproximately 40,000 Protestants converted to the Catholic Church, in the United States.
What could this possibly mean?
Deo Gratis

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:09 am

J.R. Stoodley:
If there is a chance Fred is indeed repentant don’t make it more complicated for him by insisting he is not himself.
Sound advice!
I believe for example someone once insisted I, Esau, and Tim J. were all the same person. That was rather funny.
Tell me about it!
I think you also forgot David B. in that fold as well!
Talk about a multiple personality issue!

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:11 am

Esau,
I thought there was at least one other person, but I forgot who it was.
More sadly, I’ve seen good Catholics make the same mistake with a handful of skeptics and a couple of radical traditionalists. I won’t name names.

erick October 11, 2007 at 11:13 am

Inocensio—
The point I am making ( since you missed it)– is that not all teachings that Esau said Catholicism teaches can be traced back to Biblical times.
That’s all !.
Weather the Immaculate Conception is true or not is not important—(for this discussion).
With you everything seems to hinge on “authority” , yet TRUTH is absent from your rhetoric. I suppose even this element comes from your “authority” as well?.
The fact that we have pseudo- christian cults who use The Bible–no more shows lack of true authority than the Jews of Christ’s day used the O.T to their own destruction!.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:17 am

More sadly, I’ve seen good Catholics make the same mistake with a handful of skeptics and a couple of radical traditionalists. I won’t name names.
J.R. Stoodley,
If you’re referring to the Adventist dude I called out; bill912 had, in fact, confirmed that it was indeed that same person who was posting.
Also, if you actually looked back on the actual phrases used in the subject comments — they corroborate the fact it is/was the same person.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:18 am

erick,
The authority of the Church can be traced back to the ancient Church. Even if we don’t have resources to trace the Immaculate Conception that far, we can know that the teachings of the Church that has bindingly proclamed it are authoritative and necessary to adhere to.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:20 am

erick,
Please refer to our prior discussion on this which you seemed to still overlook:
About the Early Church

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:21 am

Esau,
no that isn’t what I was refering to. I don’t think I was around for that. The skeptics were a while ago, before you started posting here I think. The traditionalists were I think Augustine and John.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:21 am

In the year 1965 aproximately 400,000 Protestants converted to The Church, in America alone.
In the year 2000 aproximately 40,000 Protestants converted to the Catholic Church, in the United States.
What could this possibly mean?
Deo Gratis
Posted by: Dan Hunter | Oct 11, 2007 11:04:25 AM

Dan Hunter:
Could you provide me with the source of these stats?
That would be impressive if true!

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:22 am

no that isn’t what I was refering to. I don’t think I was around for that. The skeptics were a while ago, before you started posting here I think. The traditionalists were I think Augustine and John.
J.R. Stoodley,
At any rate, I’m glad you’re back to posting here.
I’ve missed your comments!

erick October 11, 2007 at 11:24 am

SDG–
“Cute, but the grave sin is in disbelieving the Magisterium, not in the centrality of the truth itself.”
So…I can disbelieve in the centrality of truth itself, and yet be “ok” because I believe in the Magisterium ?….I thought all along that Magisterium = truth, but that does not appear to be the case….correct?.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 11:25 am

erick,
If you want us to believe that the Church does not have the authority to bind and loose who does? You?
It is such a simple question why not answer it?
What authority you do accept as binding outside of your personal interpretation and yourself?
I look forward to an answer.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:27 am

Esau,
I was isolated from the internet, and then the school year started and I’ve been really busy with that and Knights of Columbus and Newman and our Pastoral Council and relationship troubles and everything under the sun. I’m procrastinating right now, but I’ll probably not be around much for a while still.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:29 am

Inocencio has posed the critical question here.
Pilot had asked, “What is Truth?”
Well, the fact of the matter is that PROTESTANTISM often decays into RELATIVISM in that it’s entirely up to the individual to determine “What is Truth” based on their interpretation of ‘Truth’.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 11:30 am

The point I am making ( since you missed it)– is that not all teachings that Esau said Catholicism teaches can be traced back to Biblical times.

True in a sense. False in a sense. Cardinal Newman is your teacher now. Read his Essay on the Development of Doctrine.
Esau & Stoodley: FWIW, I can only recall ever confidently identifying apparently different posters as the same person in the case of our gnostic troll, B’Art / B’Ernie / Laura / etc.
In the case of Pseudo-Fred123, if I were not morally certain that he is not the genuine article, I would not call him on it. I am morally certain. Someone is yanking Fred’s chain.
Theoretically, if I were wrong, the real Fred could contradict me. Alternatively, the real Pseudo-Fred could vindicate me by ‘fessing up, although I’m not holding my breath for that outcome either. But I am confident I am right.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:31 am

erick,
Take a break and actually think about this for a while. The Magististerium can proclaim anything pertaining to Faith and Morals an infallible dogma if it wants to. The Holy Spirit will prevent it from doing this if the doctrine is in error. The actual doctrine may be of central importance to our faith or a more peripheral matter like the Immaculate Conception, but once bindingly defined it becomes a grave sin to reject it. The matter doesn’t really become more important, but the rejection of it becomes really bad because it means rejecting the authority of the Church, which is rather central.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:32 am

J.R. Stoodley,
Sorry to hear about your personal relationship issues; on the other hand, I am sure glad you’ve been doing such great things there!
Mt 5:16:
16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (DRV)
God bless you and keep your head up high, brutha!

Esau October 11, 2007 at 11:34 am

SDG,
I don’t doubt you —
I was actually just remarking on the soundness of J.R. Stoodley’s advise as regards welcoming the person’s repentance; not that you were actually mistakened.
God bless you as I know that you often stand on the side of Truth.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 11:36 am

So…I can disbelieve in the centrality of truth itself, and yet be “ok” because I believe in the Magisterium ?….I thought all along that Magisterium = truth, but that does not appear to be the case….correct?.

This is such a jumble I hardly know where to begin untangling it. I’m sorry, Erick, but would it be rude if I asked you to try a little harder?
I don’t even know what you are trying to say by “disbelieve in the centrality of truth itself.” Did you drop the definite article (referring to the particular truth under discussion, i.e., Immaculate Conception) by accident, or did you mean to refer to “Truth Itself” in the abstract?
If the latter, how can anyone who believes in Truth Itself doubt its centrality? But particular truths may not be as central as others, and the Immaculate Conception is not as central as others I have suggested as topics. Since I am saying so, why are you talking about “doubting” it?
“Magisterium = truth”? Um, no. Jesus = truth. Magisterium reliably witnesses to truth, guarded and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Are we getting anywhere?

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 11:39 am

So…I can disbelieve in the centrality of truth itself, and yet be “ok” because I believe in the Magisterium ?….I thought all along that Magisterium = truth, but that does not appear to be the case….correct?.
Huh??? I’m not exactly sure what you’re saying. Are you drawing a distinction between believing something and believing in something? For example lots of people believe in the Bible, most have read or heard a portion of it at some time in their lives so I’m pretty sure they believe it exists. But that doesn’t mean they believe the Bible – as in believing what it says is true.
I think the point SDG was trying to make is this: If a Catholic knows he’s required to abstain from meat on Good Friday and chooses to eat a nice delicious hamburger anyone he sins. But his sin isn’t in eating meat, there’s nothing objectively sinful in that. Instead his sin is in disobeying the authority of the Church.
Similarly if a Catholic chooses to refute the the Immaculate Conception despite understanding the Church’s teaching on it, his sin doesn’t so much lie in disagreeing with a teaching that’s not essential to salvation but in disobeying the teaching authority which Christ has rested in his Church.
That example may or may not help. If it doesn’t just let it go.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 11:39 am

SDG,
I also suspect you are right. Fred’s repentance seems too extreme and explicit to be likely. I just think caution is a better policy if you don’t have very sound evidence that someone is not who they say they are.

erick October 11, 2007 at 11:50 am

I was oly quoting SDG from his post above at 11:01—-…take it up with him as to how you can believe in the Magisterium yet not believe in the “centrality” of truth.
By the way SDG— you equation above is circular.

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 11:58 am

Erick,
Try this:
Cute, but the grave sin is in disbelieving the Magisterium, not in the [Immaculate Conception] itself.
Just as if a person were to say that he Bible erred on some minor matter of faith, his sin wouldn’t be so much in disagreeing on a small issue but in believing that the Bible errs in teaching the faith.

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 11:58 am

sorry

SDG October 11, 2007 at 12:03 pm

I was oly quoting SDG from his post above at 11:01—-…take it up with him as to how you can believe in the Magisterium yet not believe in the “centrality” of truth.

But I have already indicated that I have no more idea what you are talking about than Brian does. (“Such a jumble I hardly know where to begin untangling it” were my exact words.)
From where I sit, it would seem you “quoted” me less accurately than you thought. Speaking for myself, that’s sort of the gold standard I hold myself to in how well I have represented someone else’s views: Would the person I have quoted accept the representation as accurate?

By the way SDG— you equation above is circular.

I am not sure what it means for an equation to be “circular.” I stand by “Jesus = truth,” though. You can call that “circular” if you want to.

erick October 11, 2007 at 12:08 pm

God Bless!….

SDG October 11, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Is that your farewell? The Lord be with you, Erick.

erick October 11, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Thanks SDG—
I hope our example will serve to those Protestants and whatever else visits this site that things don’t have to get out of hands!.
See ya’.

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Esau,
I made a mistake on those statistics, sorry.
I confused some other stat with the conversion stats, and did not have the source in front of me.
This is from Romano Amerio’s book, “Iota Unum,A study of changes in the Catholic Church in the Twentieth Century.
Pertaining to conversions to the Church, I shall Quote Amerio’s footnote on page 556 The chapter on Ecumenism,
“The Bishop of Chur told Dr. Melitta Brugger that in the ten years from 1954 to 1964 his diocese of 150,000 souls recieved 933 converts from Protestantism,but that in the following ten years it recieved only 318. The Bishop of Lugano said [17 January 1975] that he could not decide whether the decline in conversions was a good or a bad thing. In the United States before the Second Vatican Council there were about 170,000 conversions from Protestantism each year: now the figure is vastly less.”
Conversions to Catholicism cannot but decline if conversion ceases to be regaurded as a passage from one kind of thing to something very different, a matter of life and death for the individual concerned. If nothing essential changes on becoming Catholic, than conversion is an irrelevance and those that take that step may come to feel it was a waste of time doing so.
The principle that the seperated brethren must return has been replaced by that of a conversion of everybody to a total Christ who is supposed to be immanent in all denominations.
“The president of a Dutch ecumenical body has said:”The unity of the Church no longer means a return to the Catholic Church as it exists today, but a growth of all the churches towards the Church of Christ as it ought to be”
I.C.I. No.281 1 February 1967 p.15.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Okay, looking back, I think I follow Erick’s misunderstanding.
As Brian Walden correctly interpolated, my original statement was “Cute, but the grave sin is in disbelieving the Magisterium, not in the centrality of the truth [i.e., the Immaculate Conception] itself.”
Erick didn’t follow that “the truth” referred specifically to the particular truth under discussion, the Immaculate Conception. He thought I was calling into question “the centrality of truth” itself — which is obviously ridiculous, as I’ve already said.
From which his commentary understandably follows.
Hope that helps, Erick. Peace.

erick October 11, 2007 at 12:35 pm

cool!.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 12:44 pm

How about The Immaculate Conception?
In Luke 1, Mary is hailed as “Kecharitomene”. This is generally translated “full of grace” but it is much stronger than the term “plaras karitos” which also means “full of grace” (and is used to refer to Stephen in Acts and Jesus in John).
“Kecharitomene” describes one who has the perfection of grace. Now, what does grace do? It frees us from sin. What would possessing grace perfectly do? It would free us entirely from sin. At all times. From our conception.

erick October 11, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Sorry, couldn’t let this one go by….
Mary—-
And your Lexical source is?….
You mean to tell me it took centuries to find out the true meaning of ONE word from which to get the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm

erick,
The authority of the teacher is a very important concept in the Sacred Scriptures.
It really is a simple question.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 1:28 pm

The article below says that in 1998 there were 162,000 adult converts in the United States. I haven’t found anything more recent yet.
The “Fastest-Growing” Fallacy
By James Akin
Excerpt:

And the Catholic Church is growing not only in the world at large but in America in particular. In 1998—the most recent year for which national statistics are available—the U.S. Catholic population had an overall increase of 455,000, including 162,000 conversions to the Catholic Church (i.e., cases of people joining other than baptisms of those below the age of seven).

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 11, 2007 at 1:31 pm

You mean to tell me it took centuries to find out the true meaning of ONE word from which to get the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?.
erick:
There’s also the interesting word ‘Trinity’ which also took some centuries prior to it having actually come about, too!
Imagine that!

Esau October 11, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Dan Hunter & Inocencio,
Thanks for that info!
I’ll review it in detail once I get the chance.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 1:38 pm

The Catholic Church in the United States At A Glance
New Church Members (The Official Catholic Directory 2007)
Infant Baptisms: 953,688
Adult Baptisms: 64,464
Received into Full Communion: 92,975
Total converts = 157,439
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 1:42 pm

By the way Pseudo-Fred123 needs to repent for stealing my Name.
In 1564, the Council of Trent (Session IV, April 8) infallibly declared that that no one could “in matters of faith and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine…interpret the sacred Scriptures…even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.”
This infallible declaration was restated by the First Vatican Council: “In consequence, it is not permissible for anyone to interpret holy scripture in a sense contrary to this, or indeed against the unanimous consent of the fathers” (On Revelation, April 24, 1870, chapter 2, no. 9).

Mary October 11, 2007 at 1:43 pm

You mean to tell me it took centuries to find out the true meaning of ONE word from which to get the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?
Why not? The significance of many things is not clear until they are throughly thrashed out.

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 1:45 pm

You mean to tell me it took centuries to find out the true meaning of ONE word from which to get the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?.
Erick, I think you might be confusing when a teaching is infallibly defined with it existing. Just because the teaching of the Immaculate Conception was infallibly defined in 1854, doesn’t mean that the Pope just pulled it out of thin air. It had been a pious belief for centuries.
A comparable analogy might be the Holy Trinity. You could say that our current understanding of the Trinity wasn’t infallibly defined until the 4th century, but the belief existed long before that.

erick October 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Esau—-
The word Trinity—unlike what I am contesting with Mary- did not come out of a particular GREEK word in a particular verse in the Bible~.
Imagine THAT!

Esau October 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Fred123,
Why can’t you be like erick and engage in actual conversation instead of CUT-AND-PASTING from ANTI-CATHOLIC websites?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Erik,
Protestants object to this type of cultish tactics. I had Muslim roommates for many years and they would always appeal to their teaching authority. Jesus always meant for their to be a plurality of leadership to prevent a bunch of inbred non-biblical pronouncements. Unfortunately the brainwashed Catholics, who don’t have the Holy Spirit as their teacher, must rely on corrupted Medieval teaching as the source of their authority.
As stated before give me a person with a brain and I can convince him of Protestantism, give me a fool and I will make him a Catholic or Atheist.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 1:48 pm

erick,
My point was more so in reference to a clearer understanding of such a doctrine.
You seem to be amazed that it took centuries to find out the true meaning of ONE word .
Well, brutha, it similarly took centuries to expound on the doctrine of the Trinity and achieve a clearer understanding of that as well.

bill912 October 11, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Still waiting. But not expecting. I’m done with the boor.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 1:50 pm

As stated before give me a person with a brain
Yes, Fred, we’d love to engage somebody WITH A BRAIN, as well, versus somebody who KEEPS CUTTING AND PASTING FROM ANTI-CATHOLIC Websites instead of actually ENGAGING IN DIALOGUE!

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Catholic teaching authority is filled with so much fraud and revision of history that it is a shame. Jesus called referred to many of the Jews as the Synagogue of Satan. Catholicism is basically the Church of Satan. A system based on meaningless sacraments defined by scholastic Aristotelian Peter Lombard and better formulated by Aquinas. Peterine authority is based on forged decretals from the 9th century. However, Tradition excuses all false doctrine and lies. Again Catholics think it more important to listen to false doctrine than disobey the Magisterium.

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Innocencio,
You are quoting from the USCCB.
Need I say more.
If those figures are accurate they are still way down from pre-1965.
Also look at the stats from the drop of in seminarians.
Priests
Sisters.
All religious orders.
Catholic schools.
etc.
Since 1965.
God bless you.

bill912 October 11, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Esau, he can’t hear you.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Jesus always meant for their to be a plurality of leadership to prevent a bunch of inbred non-biblical pronouncements.
Fred123,
Have you read this great book called THE BIBLE?
Look to the following where Christ had, in fact, given such authority to the Apostles and, therefore, passed on to the Bishops!
Matthew 18:17-18
17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.
18 Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
What’s particular significant with Peter is that in Matthew 16:18, Peter was the ONLY one given the Keys of the Kingdom!
What is the significance of this?
Let’s look at the passages in Isaiah:
Is:22:21: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
Is:22:22: And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
Isaiah 22:22 is ‘KEY’ to the language and typology of the ‘Key’ that Peter received in Matthew 16:18!
Hence, Peter is Father (i.e., ‘Papa’ or ‘Pope) to the New Jerusalem, which is the Church — just as the Prime Minister in this Isaiah passage was chosen by God to have such authority on behalf of the King, so is Peter the Prime Minister chosen by Christ to have authority on behalf of his Kingship here on earth.
No other person was given the Keys of the Kingdom except Peter, the rock upon which Christ built his Church!

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 1:56 pm

fred123,
You are too late I was fool for Christ long before you repeated the same old claims against the Catholic Church.
You have convinced me that you are a legend in your own mind. I have to give credit where credit is due.
Now perhaps you will answer the simple question I asked erick?
What authority you do accept as binding outside of your personal interpretation and yourself?
Someone as self-admittedly brilliant as yourself should be able to answer that very quickly.
I look forward to your answer.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

erick October 11, 2007 at 1:58 pm

I don’t know about “cultish tactics” and all that— What I do know is that Esau is missing the point again!!!!.
The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible….Kecharitomene however, does.
The difficulty here is not that the doctrine evolved (if you will) over centuries, but that it evolved once someone discovered the true meaning of this word!….
Again what is the Lexical source?.
No disrespect meant Esau— I just think you are not following my logic!.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Dan Hunter,
“You are quoting from the USCCB. Need I say more.”
Yes, Dan, you do.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 2:02 pm

erick and fred123,
Simple question.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Esau,
Peter was not the only one given the keys. This is the great fallacy of Catholics. Again this is an example of your lack of reading comprehension. Again Catholics can only read sentences out of context. You need to read the whole pericope.
Bill,
I will apologize when you demonstrate that you can defend the Catholic faith. Otherwise I must assume you are a little girl that got her feelings hurt. So grow up and be a man!

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm

fred123,
The power to bind and loose was given to all the apostles but only Peter (singular) was given the keys as the chief apostle.
My simple question has a man as brilliant as you stumped?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Mary October 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Jesus always meant for their to be a plurality of leadership to prevent a bunch of inbred non-biblical pronouncements.
On what grounds do you make this assertion? Since you claim that the Bible alone is uncorrupted, Bible citations are required.
Along with the citations we are still waiting for, to back up
Jesus and the Apostles made it very clear. They said, that the church would be corrupted from within, but God would protect His Word and it would never be corrupted.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Peter was not the only one given the keys. This is the great fallacy of Catholics.
Give us the Bible citations to refute it. And explain “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 2:17 pm

As stated before give me a person with a brain and I can convince him of Protestantism, give me a fool and I will make him a Catholic or Atheist.
Fred, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but your comments demonstrate that you lack a basic understanding of Catholicism. Even if we hypothetically suppose that Protestantism is dead right and Catholicism is dead wrong (if only the world were that black and white), you would only be on the right side because of luck. You haven’t taken the time to learn the Catholic paradigm and critique it to prove it false, you’ve merely disproved a straw man version of Catholicism that others have taught you. You may want to think about how this reflects on your statement above.
Also if I may bring back one of your comments from yesterday…
It is interesting when I debate Muslims they get all hot and bothered. This shows that they really don’t know what they believe.
Again, I don’t mean to insult you, but have you ever pondered that the way you interact with people could be the reason why they get all hot and bothered rather then them not knowing what they believe? You have a forum here where people are willing to engage your thoughts and debate them, but you seem to just want to use this blog to rant rather than to dialogue. If you truly are confident in your convictions, interact with people when they give counter arguments to your claims. If you’re right, you should be able to patiently show us why you’re correct.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Matt 18:18
18″I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
The Keys to the Kingdom can be replaced with the Principles of the Kingdom.
Jesus was refering to all the disciples in this Matt 16 discourse. Peter was a little bit quicker than the other disciples in figuring out the Keys. The keys where never stated to be unique to Peter. All the disciples and apostles had the ability to forgive sin. No apostle ever treated Peter as superior. Thus it is clear from the Bible that Peter had no role of supremacy. He was a co-laborer with the other apostles. Biblical Church government is based on a Presbyterian not Episcopalian model. Again something that escapes Catholics.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 2:23 pm

If you’re right, you should be able to patiently show us why you’re correct.
You could, for instance, exemplify your claim that the True Church is based on the Bible by providing citations for the claims that you have made and you have been asked to provide the citations for.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Jesus was referring to all the disciples in this Matt 16 discourse
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Nah. All Peter. All the way.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 2:27 pm

fred, you are probably doing more to advance the cause of the Catholic Church than any Protestant I know.
DO continue!
You still haven’t offered ONE SHRED evidence to refute the charge that Martin Luther strangled kittens!

bill912 October 11, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Also, Mary, our Lord used the second-person singular when speaking to Peter in Matthew 16. We don’t get that flavor in modern English, because the second-person singular and plural are the same word. In older English translations, the word “thee” is used.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 2:31 pm

fred123,
I already addressed that all the apostles were given the power to bind and loose but only Peter (singular) was given the keys.
Please, pretty please answer my simple question.
What authority you do accept as binding outside of your personal interpretation and yourself?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:34 pm

The book of Matthew was written to Jews. Jews understood the reference to keys such as Isaiah 22. However the word keys does not appear in the other gospels. One principle for defining doctrine is that a doctrine must appear in multiple books of the Bible. One reference is not sufficient for making a doctrine. In the NT the word keys only appears in Matthew and Revelation. If Peter had the key as Catholics claim, then the disciples would have recognized his supremacy. Also Jesus would have commanded the disciples to respect the mantle that Peter had received, like he did with Moses and the Israelites. Even Old Testament King Saul was to be respected by young David because of his mantle of anointing. Again Catholics don’t understand how to harmonize the Old TEstament with the New Testament.
Interesting the Old Testament Jews were known as the only people who did not practice a sacramental religion. All pagan cultures are sacramental. Sacramentalism in the Catholic church is pagan practice placed on top of Christian principles. Yet again the uneducated Catholics get drunk at the altar of whore of Babylon( paraphrase from Revelation)

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Innocencio,
Fair enough.
The Bishops in Connecticut have approved the abortion pill in the 4 Catholic hospitals in the Constitution state.
The president of the USCCB, Bishop Trautman has dissented from the new and more accurate translations to the missal that will be released sometime.
Archbishop Niederauer has recently given the Blessed Sacrament to two known sodomite activists in a sodomite sympathetic church in San Francisco.
The USCCB has done so much damage to the Church in America that I do not trust their websites statistics.
They indeed have an agenda and by enlarge it is not Catholic.
God bless you.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Dan Hunter,
Fine don’t trust their statistics as long as you acknowledge their authority.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 2:39 pm

and large

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 2:41 pm

fred123,
I am done waiting for a response to my simple question.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Catholics think that the difference with Protestants is only on a few points. Because Catholics are sacramental, they have more in common with Muslims then Protestants. Unfortunately Catholics think that because they believe in the Trinity that they have more in common with Protestants than Muslims. I have studied all 3. Read all their significant literature at one point in my life. So once you get past the Trinity or one God issue, then you see how Muslims are very similar to Catholics. Sacradotalism is a demonic theology that subtly abstracts the person away from a personal relationship with Christ. Again if you have an inferior intellect or never had a personal relationship with Christ, this will beyond what you can understand.

bill912 October 11, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Inocencio, he can’t hear you, either.

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Ok, I’ll step up in Fred’s defense. He’s alone in here getting asked different questions by 5 people at once. Fred was kind enough to offer a detailed explanation of his beliefs about Peter in his Oct 11, 2007 2:23:24 PM and Oct 11, 2007 2:34:02 PM posts. Maybe someone could interact with those point by point first before moving on to other topics.
And maybe if Fred answered Inocencio’s question on authority that might help us to understand where he’s coming from. Or maybe the question needs to be reworded in a way he’ll understand it, kind of like how Catholics often don’t know how to respond to being spontaneously asked, “Are you saved?”
Sorry for playing moderator, but I feel bad for the guy. If I’m just being overly sensitive please ignore me.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 2:43 pm

“The Keys to the Kingdom can be replaced with the Principles of the Kingdom.”
It could also be replaced with “The Pudding of the Kingdom” or “The Crankcase of the Kingdom” or some other made-up phrase.
However, that is not what it SAYS. You said you only believed the Bible, but in truth you worship your own opinions. You force them into the text of scripture and don’t care if the actual, clear meaning contradicts you or not.
“Jesus was refering to all the disciples in this Matt 16 discourse. Peter was a little bit quicker than the other disciples in figuring out the Keys. The keys where never stated to be unique to Peter.”
Except that they obviously were – “Blessed are you Simon… You are Rock… I give you the Keys to the Kingdom…” – show me from the text where Jesus changed who He was addressing. Where does He say “Now, you other apostles…”?
He doesn’t! But you would rather lie and twist the scriptures than accept the truth. Your hate has blinded you.
“No apostle ever treated Peter as superior.”
He wasn’t superior. He WAS given unique authority – by Christ Himself – but you will never see the truth because you don’t *want* to. You are too prideful to place yourself under the authority of anyone, even if Jesus commands it.
“Thus it is clear from the Bible that Peter had no role of supremacy.”
What do you call “On this Rock I will build my Church”? Was Jesus lying? Was He kidding? What other of your personal opinions can you crowbar into the Bible?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Mary,
Let me help you with Matt 16:13-20
13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15″But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,[b] the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,[c] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[d] will not overcome it.[e] 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[f] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[g] loosed in heaven.” 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 2:45 pm

“One principle for defining doctrine is that a doctrine must appear in multiple books of the Bible.”
Where is that in the Bible? Show me!

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Tim,
If I am helping Catholics that is good. I believe everyone who really wants to know the truth will not waste time at the Protestant churches. This dead in their trespasses can go pollute the Catholic church. This will only expedite the demise of this institution

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Innocencio,
As long as they are in union with the Supreme Pontiff on matters of faith and morals, yes I do trust their authority.
But like Mother Angelica when she stated on international television,EWTN, a few years back if she lived in the Diocese of Los Angeles she would have zero obedience for Cardinal Mahoney since he is not in union with the Supreme Pontiff on a particularly powerful sacrificially and eucharistically related truth, I also would not give my allegiance to a bishop who is opposed to the Divinely Inspired Will of God as given to His Vicar here on earth.
God bless you.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 2:47 pm

“If I’m just being overly sensitive please ignore me.”
You are being overly sensitive.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 2:48 pm

“I believe everyone who really wants to know the truth will not waste time at the Protestant churches.”
Gee, we agree on something!

erick October 11, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Tim J–
I believe everyone who really wants to know the truth will not waste time at the Protestant churches.”
Gee, we agree on something!
LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 2:54 pm

fred123
The Catholic Church is the longest existing Institution in the history of the world, and this only could be if it is protected by God Almighty and we know that it is because Christ told His Apostles that, He will be with the Church until the end of time…and the gates of Hell shall NOT prevail against Her.
So as you see Fred the only demise that will occur will be the demise of anyone one, or group that opposes the Church.
ie.:Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Pagans etc.
Please come to the Church, that is why Christ died for you, that you die in a state of Sanctifying Grace.
God bless you.

Tim J. October 11, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Actually, erick, I wouldn’t put it that way, myself. I know a lot of Protestants who care about the truth (I was one!), but I couldn’t resist…

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Dan,
You honestly think the USCCB would lie about how many people are converting? Sure they aren’t the most orthodox bunch and sure they have no Magisterial authority beyond how an individual bishop or Rome applies their decisions, and some messed up royaly concerning sex abusers, but why is it plausible that they would make up figures on how many people are converting? Respectfully, I think you are verging on calumny, against Catholic bishops no less.
The Church is far from perfect, but there are many bright spots and they attract. John Paul II, though not perfect, attracted millions to the faith. The orthodoxy and intelligence of Pope Benedict I’m sure does so too, in a more subtle way. Traditionalist and “conservative” orders are flurishing, though still generally smaller since they are generally newer, as are new zealous apostolic orders and a few more moderately liberal ones like the bigger Franciscan orders. Other orders are indeed dieing or at least shrinking, especially those liberals who abandoned habits (like so many orders of sisters) or whose life is too extreme for most modern people to handle (like the Carthusians).
The Knights of Columbus and similar organizations are having trouble I think largely because our ceremonies and so forth are out of fashion but no one has the nerve to change them, other than weakening them to get rid of what would be called hazing if it were a fraternity. Also once an order or organization has aged it becomes very difficult to attract young people, except by things like our college councils which are awesome, but frequently when the student graduates they do not transfer into another council because they can’t relate to the 70-somethings in it.

erick October 11, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Tim J—
You still made my day…wew!

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 2:56 pm

I have studied all 3. Read all their significant literature at one point in my life.
Fred, you’re in the wrong place to make this claim. I would venture that a majority of the people in here have read the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church from cover to cover. Everyone you’re talking to right now knows what Catholics believe down to the letter. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right, it just means they know it. From your comments it’s hard to believe that you’ve read even a basic Catholic catechism.
I don’t doubt that you’ve put a lot of work into studying Catholicism, but it seems you’ve been studying biased sources rather than getting your information from the horse’s mouth.
I think you do a pretty good job when you’re explaining what you believe and why you believe it, but as soon as you start making claims about what Catholics believe it becomes very obvious to everyone here that you’ve been misinformed. If you want to get the most mileage out of your comments you might want to stick to explaining and defending your beliefs rather than trying to describe what you think others believe.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Jesus built the church on the rock of faith. Peter finally had matured in faith in such a way that Peter had a foundation for being a future pastor. Pastors are the leaders of the sheep. Pastors are the head of the local church. Local churches, run by elders and deacons are independent and report directly to Jesus.
Thus the Council of Nicea had 1800 bishops( elders) and many deacons invited. The actual council had more deacons then bishops in attendance. Hence Jesus never desired a central teaching authority and their was no central authority until the Middle Ages. Show me a Magisterium before 300 AD.
Catholics are like Muslim, they refuse to read anything that is presented from outside their teaching body. I always tell them, are you scared of the truth. The Bible says, the truth will set you free. So if you really want truth you can find it.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 3:05 pm

I have read Catechism, Much of John Paul II, Baltimore Catechism, New Advent, Trent document, Summa, and much of Peter Lombard. I used to be Catholic, until I realized that the stuff does not make sense. I studied Mathematical Physics in school and dislike anything that is not logically consistent.
So I have studied much hermeneutics, ancient history and cultures, and foreign language, Old and New Testament. I can debate anyone at will! So bring me your best man. I know what Catholics believe better than they do.
I ask simple questions: Prove to me using the Bible that Peter was Pope?
To Muslims I ask: Prove to me the 5 pillars of Islam using only the Quran?
Both can’t do it. Muslims need the uninspired Hadith. Catholics need the uninspired documents. That is why Muslims have much in common with Catholics. Both religions have for centuries said, if you leave the church you will be damned. Brainwashing, guilt, fear, and sacraments complete their religious rites.

Joe October 11, 2007 at 3:13 pm

SDG,
Thought you would be interested to know that Ranjith is linking emptying pews and evaporating vocations to the lack of the TLM: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/10/archp-ranjith-on-bishops-who-resist-summorum-pontificum-instruments-of-the-devil/

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 3:18 pm

I ask simple questions: Prove to me using the Bible that Peter was Pope?
Do you mean historically that he was a bishop in Rome, or that he was given unique authority among the apostles?
For the first part, I don’t see why one would use the Bible alone to authenticate a historical fact. For the second part, the commenters on here have used the same scripture verses to justify their belief that Peter was the first pope as you have used to justify your belief that he wasn’t…
…which brings us to a slight rephrasing of Inocencio’s question: Why does your interpretation of scripture carry more authority than that of anyone else in this discussion?

Dan Hunter October 11, 2007 at 3:21 pm

fred123,
Thou art Peter and upon this Rock[petra, Greek for rock] I will build my Church.
Christ is telling St Peter that He is giving him the vicarship of Christs visible Body on Earth.
This is what the Church has always taught and will always teach.
Put two and two together, Fred, the visible head of the Church is the Pope…therefore St Peter was the first Pontiff.
I served my country in the Marine Corps for 8 years and there was never one fire fight, one battalion phalanx manuever or violent incursion that did not gain its existence and momentum from a visible leader.
At the level of Commander and Chief, who is visible, down the hierarchy of the military echelon to the firefight squad leader.
There is a visible leader to any hierarchy, and that my protesting friend is a metaphysical and physical reality that will never be circumvented no matter how hard you try.
God bless you.

A.Williams October 11, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Fred 123,
You shouldn’t be so proud in your vain wisdom, even though you study so. You can be rebuked by mere babes, who have never studied, when God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit so desire. Not everything is logic, study and human wisdom. The Lord instructed his servants not to think about what to say when presented before judges and kings of this Earth, but that the ‘Holy Spirit’, the Spirit of Truth, will speak in us.
First, if the Lord wanted a book to be the source of His Spirit and Truth He would have never trusted in the Apostles, He would have done what Mohammed had done and would have written the book Himself.
But the Dignity of Christ Our God chose to trust men, and yes, His weak fishermen Apostles, to bear witness to the Faith, and which He labored for years teaching and preparing them both by His words and by His examples. In other words He build his Church of Human Souls(and not written pages), the same of which would teach,preach and love as He did, inflamed with the Holy Spirit of His Father, until the end of time.
Jesus never needed a “book”, it is the Church itself that decided according to the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit to compile the words and deeds of Christ and the other Apostles, as an AID for future generations. And to recognize his true disciples He never said you would recognize them by their knoweledge of sacred scripture, but “by how they LOVE EACHOTHER”!
Furthermore,NOWHERE did Jesus command in his GOSPEL the written transmission, but rather commands…”Go and Preach to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
And in the Choosing of Peter specifically, amongst the Apostles, we note the entire context of the appropiate story and realize that this was a pivotal TEST, after years of preparing His Apostles by both word and deed. His final hour was rapidly approaching and He put this test to the apostles:
“And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is?
Matthew 16:14 But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Matthew 16:15 Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And if you read this Gospel account very carefully, and with the aid of the Spirit of God, you will know exactly what Christ is doing, and also, why He is doing it.
And He chose living, loving souls, because a BOOK would never be sufficient as a TEACHER of His Truth, only a LIVING Church, filled with the Holy Spirit, would suffice. And these same fishermen Apostles were the foundation upon which this Church was to be built and last for all time. Moreover, as we just read, it is PETER who was chosen, not by MAN, but by God the Father, who revealed to him the true nature of HIS BELOVED SON, and who was thus honored to be the Head of the Apostles and Future Church.
And further on, we find in ACTS, the account of the first Council of Jerusalem where Peter, the Head, resolves the doctrinal problem relating to circumcision:
Acts Chapter 15
Acts Note 15:0 A dissension about circumcision. The decision and letter of the council of Jerusalem.
Acts 15:1 And some, coming down from Judea, taught the brethren: That, except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.
Acts 15:2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small contest with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of the other side should go up to the apostles and priests to Jerusalem, about this question.
Acts 15:3 They therefore, being brought on their way by the church, passed through Phenice and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles. And they caused great joy to all the brethren.
Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them.
Acts 15:5 But there arose of the sect of the Pharisees some that believed, saying: They must be circumcised and be commanded to observe the law of Moses.
Acts 15:6 And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter.
Acts 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
Acts 15:8 And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us:
Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
Acts 15:11 But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe to be saved, in like manner as they also.
Acts 15:12 And all the multitude held their peace: and they heard Barnabas and Paul telling what great signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
So read again ACTS 15:7, and you will find that it is Peter who is known to be the leader or Pope of the Apostles.
To the Glory of God! Amen

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Dan,
I highly respect your service for our country. Thanks very much! The worldly system needs a visible leader. However God told the Jews that he would prefer for them not to have a king. However the Jews insisted on a leader, they selected Saul who was about 8 inches taller than the average Jew. Saul caused lots of problems. Jesus gave no visible leader. He gave us the Holy Spirit as our guide. He is the one who testifies of Jesus. Hence no visible required.
This is why I claim that Catholicism is a christianized paganism. Every pagan religion needs a visible leader. Jesus said it was better that he leave, so they could receive the Paraclete( Comforter, Teacher). This Paraclete would guide us into all truth. Unfortunately Catholics have an underdeveloped teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 4:37 pm

fred123,
You said, “I know what Catholics believe better than they do.”
But your earlier comment prove that you simply do not know what you are talking about.

FACT: Although Roman Catholics are permitted to eat the bread (body) of the Lord’s Supper, they are generally not allowed to drink the wine (blood) of the Lord’s Supper, as any Catholic knows from his own experience from attending Mass. The laity are withheld the cup of the Lord and it is usually reserved for church leaders only.

Posted by: fred123 | Oct 9, 2007 7:14:43 PM
Please cite where you copied this “fact” from.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Jesus gave no visible leader.
Oh brother!
Again, you refused to read what I wrote just because you’re so afraid of facing the truth have no clue about typology nor ecclesial history!
He gave us the Holy Spirit as our guide. He is the one who testifies of Jesus. Hence no visible required.
Really?
Is that how Christianity had survived all throughout the ages?
Tell me, how come since the Protestant Reformation, 33,000 Protestant denominations have come into being in just about 500 years! Do you really believe that if Protestantism and its RELATIVISTIC principles (the individual is the SOLE INTERPRETER of Scripture) actually existed during the days of the early church, it would’ve survived as a SINGLE WHOLE for more than a millennium?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm

A. William,
Christianity is about a book. Notice John said, the Word became flesh. Jesus is the Logos. Logos means written word. Jesus alway refuted Devil, Jewish leaders, and people in rebellion by using the word. Prophecy was the fulfillment of the Word.
As a member of a cult you must discredit the Word and using sources that contradict the Word. Notice what Jesus said,
Matthew 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
Luke 21:33 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
The Bible will outsurvive the church, heaven and earth. The only thing permanent is the Word of God, which is the Bible.

Esau October 11, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Fred123,
Further to the above —
Kindly POST A REPLY to Inocencio’s and my questions RATHER THAN CUTTING-AND-PASTING like some BRAINLESS DOLT!

Esau October 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

As a member of a cult you must discredit the Word
Fred123,
1. JUST WHAT IS THE ‘WORD’????
2. WHAT BOOKS COMPRISE THE ‘WORD’??
3. HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE BOOKS MAKE PART OF THE ‘WORD’?
4. IS THE WORD TRUTH?
5. IF IT IS TRUTH, DOES TRUTH EXIST IN ONE FORM OR DOES IT EXIST IN 33,000 FLAVORS?

Inocencio October 11, 2007 at 4:49 pm

fred123,

Christianity is about a book… Logos means written word.

Nothing I could say could show more clearly you are ignorant than your own words.
Lord, have mercy on us both.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Martin October 11, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Catholics are like Muslim, they refuse to read anything that is presented from outside their teaching body.
Hi Fred123,
Try clicking on Jimmy’s link to Cor Ad Cor Loquitur (http://socrates58.blogspot.com/). There you will find Dave Armstrong, Catholic Aplogist, who has probably read and refuted anything Protestant you would like to quote. Also, in the “Open Forum” you can dive in with Ken Temple and “Grubb” and other Protestants who love to POLITELY but firmly argue theology with catholics there.
At the least I think you will find, both there and here, any number of Catholics who either have read what you would like to quote or are willing to read. Contra you’re experience I would say most of the Catholics you’ll meet on the net will be well versed and intelligent. Almost any of them too will either spell better than I do, or at least, use a spell checker.

LarryD October 11, 2007 at 4:52 pm

“I studied Mathematical Physics in school and dislike anything that is not logically consistent.”
Fred123 – So you must really dislike the fact that God’s ways are not man’s ways – because some of the things God has done can be considered logically inconsistent – from a mortal’s point of view, since our wisdom and understanding is limited, while God’s is limitless.
Then again, that explains why you prefer Protestantism. When left to ourselves to interpret Scripture, it is a logically consistent conclusion to end up with 30,000+ denominations. You have proved your point.

David October 11, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Fred,
Your reckless Catholic bashing has actually helped me learn more about my Faith (as I am relatively new to the Apologist role). Thank you for that! And by the way, you state that you’re going through difficult times; well, I pray that God be with you and all unbelievers and sinners everywhere. But please be a little more considerate to the good Catholics on this forum who currently (and will continue to) successfully defend the faith from irrational attacks. Well done, guys!
:)

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Esau,
You clearly have an anger problem. We already have established that you have a reading problem. Do you have any other issues you would like to share?
Again Catholics are not terribly alert and think that 33,000 denominations is some kind of afront. The Council of Nicea invited 1800 independent denominations. By having diversity it is easier to prevent corruption.
What amazes me is that our founding fathers understood this same principle. They knew that a representative ( not democratic or autocratic) government was the most equitable form of government. Catholics want a dictorship of one Pope. Protestants want a plurality of independent churches, lead by the Holy Spirit, who understand the separation of church and state as the best way to prevent corruption and develop doctrine in the church. This is what God intended. Notice how the Catholic church was intertwined with politics in Europe and supported much corruption.

Brian Walden October 11, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Jesus gave no visible leader. He gave us the Holy Spirit as our guide. He is the one who testifies of Jesus. Hence no visible required.
This is why I claim that Catholicism is a christianized paganism. Every pagan religion needs a visible leader. Jesus said it was better that he leave, so they could receive the Paraclete( Comforter, Teacher). This Paraclete would guide us into all truth. Unfortunately Catholics have an underdeveloped teaching of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t know which scriptures you’re reading, but mine tell me that God became man so we would have a visible leader – that we might know the Kingdom of God not as an idea or even a place but as a Person. That Person, Jesus Christ, is the visible face of God and the leader of His Church.
Yes, Catholicism is pagan. But is it any more pagan than the God who emptied himself into flesh that that we might know him, who bore our infirmities that he might know us, who suffered unto death in order to heal the wounds of our sin, who raised that very same body from the dead, who feeds us his flesh and blood as nourishment so we can grow to share in his everlasting life?
And don’t even get me started on how God created us male and female that we might share in the life-giving love of the Trinity through the marital act.
My only question is, why aren’t you as pagan as God?

Esau October 11, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Again Catholics are not terribly alert and think that 33,000 denominations is some kind of afront. The Council of Nicea invited 1800 independent denominations.
The comparison you’re making is apples and oranges.
In the case of Protestant groups that have different denominations, they are NOT in VISIBLE COMMUNION with each other.
They are NOT part of one single organization that has a COMMON THEOLOGY.
They are part of many, many different organizations which have substantially different theologies.
In the case of Catholicism (as with the different LOCAL CHURCHES — NOT DENOMINATIONS — at the time of Nicea), even though there are different schools of thought within the Church, there’s still one organization that is capable of articulating the Common Faith of all.
By having diversity it is easier to prevent corruption.
REALLY???
Is that the reason why Protestants keep breaking from one Protestant church in order to start a new one because they feel the one they left was CORRUPT?
Not only have we established here that you have a READING PROBLEM but, even more distressing, a LOGIC PROBLEM!

Different October 11, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Freddy,
It’s funny that you compare Catholics to Muslims when in actuality Muslims are much more like you. They believe only what is revealed in the Koran just like you believe only what is revealed in the Bible. By the way, how can you even prove that the Bible is the word of God and that the Koran is not??? After all, both books claim to be the word of God. Hmmm.

Different October 11, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Don’t get too upset guys…
Remember the wise old adage:
“Arguing with people on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics…even if you win, you’re still retarded.”

LarryD October 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm

“By having diversity it is easier to prevent corruption.”
No, by having diversity, it’s easier to go around and search for a “church” that fits what one believes rather than changing what one believes to fit the One True Church. I mean, you claim to have been a Catholic at one point, and since you refused to acknowledge the authority of the Church given to her by Christ Himself, you packed up and found a community where you didn’t have to submit to anyone’s authority but your own.
If I recall correctly, Christ’s prayer in John’s gospel wasn’t “Father, I pray that they may be diverse, as you and I are diverse” – he prayed for unity.
And I will be the first to admit that being Catholic is rarely easy – why? Because it’s filled with so many darn sinners!! From the top down – fallen, imperfect people all over the place. Look at what Christ started with – 12 apostles: one who denied him, another who betrayed him, and ten who abandoned him, with only John regaining the courage to stand at the foot of the cross at the end. Was it logically consistent for Christ, God incarnate, to select 12 men who, in the eyes of the world, were ill-equipped? Couldn’t God have done better? The thing is, people in the Church aren’t perfect, but the teachings on faith and morals ARE perfect. We all fall short of the glory of God.
“Protestants want a plurality of independent churches, lead by the Holy Spirit”
Even if the independent Churches have Scriptural interpretations that are diametrically opposed? Like infant Baptism, the Rapture, etc. etc.? How can the Holy Spirit lead communities into oneness if there is diversity on basic beliefs??
“The Council of Nicea invited 1800 independent denominations.”
Your point? Protestant observers were invited to Vatican II as well. Doesn’t mean what you think it means.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 5:30 pm

Esau,
Most Orthodox Protestants have virtually identical doctrine and fellowship well with each other. The True church is united among its 30,000 denominations. However the Catholic church is constantly excommunicating people. The diversity confuses the brainwashed Catholics, however those lead by the Holy Spirit rejoice at the diversity. Just a Abraham was the father of many nations. Jesus is the head of many denominations. The Vicar of Christ( anti-Christ) is the head of the apostate church.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 5:50 pm

LarryD,
Let me use this logic. 33000 Protestant denominations that communion with each other. 1 Denomination(Catholic) which most Protestants and even some Catholics think will spawn the anti-Christ. I rather trust 33,000 denominations theology that is about 99% identical among each other. The big difference usually resolve around Eschatology but not on the definitions of Faith. However Catholics in the interest of unity will keep liberal and conservatives, homosexual priest, pedophiles, and even closest abortionist under its umbrella. The Bible commands us to remove the immoral brother. Yet Catholics keep reassigning instead of expelling the immoral brother. Yes, Satan’s kingdom must also have unity to be effective.

A.Williams October 11, 2007 at 5:52 pm

Fred 123,
You should not limit the Eternal Logos to the “written” word. Moreover, Jesus taught and converted through MORE than just the SPOKEN word. Many times he ONLY performed miracles, with very few or no significant words. It was His love and examples that taught. This is why he used so much symbolism in His teachings, such as the washing of His disciples feet, because written words could never completely convey WHO HE IS.
“You will know them by how they love one another”.
This means that words are not the primary force identifying the christian disicples, but rather the SPIRIT of LOVE, which is in them and animating them.
Can the Bible LOVE? Or rather is it a product of LOVE?
I think you are making an incredible error to limit God to the Bible. Rather God is found in His Living CHURCH, which uses the Bible as an aid for remembering the words and deeds of Christ. However, as John the Apostle said…
“But there are also many other things which Jesus did which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” John 21-25
When will the Protestants Stop idolizing the Bible and start to realize that there is a real, living God, which governs both the world and His Church, both now and forever!!
The Bible without the Church is DEAD! It is a book without readers. Moreover, even with readers, we must all put the teachings of the Bible into practice…which is why we need the Sacraments.
The Bible only says to baptize…but the fulfilling of this teaching is when we are indeed BAPTIZED. the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, but it is us, the members of Christs Church who ACTUALLY recieve the HOLY SPIRIT into our souls!
Ohhow Holy is the real Word of GOd who dwells in our Souls! This is what really saves…and a Bible is NOT needed for this! Do you think all of the illiterate souls of the first centuries of Christianity had at there disposal a written Bible?? No! (Very few)
But they indeed had the indwelling of the Word of God planted into their souls by the preaching of the Apostles and the Apostolic Fathers. Jesus dwelt in these first Christians in the fulfilling of the Words He taught, and by partaking in the Sacraments that He instituted.
This is the LIVING Church of Christ, which is named CATHOLIC… UNIVERSAL!
To the Glory of God. Amen!

Mary October 11, 2007 at 6:02 pm

One principle for defining doctrine is that a doctrine must appear in multiple books of the Bible. One reference is not sufficient for making a doctrine.
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
All scripture. Not all scripture that also appears in another book of the Bible.
(And what is your reference in the Bible for your claim?)

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Mary,
Yes Catholics like to make up doctrine based on no scriptural support. Hey if some ancient sage something it must be true. This is the basis of much Catholic doctrine. Even Pope John Paul said Buddhism was a great religion. He even said Muslims worship same God as Christians. This shows he is a satanist. He wants a one world religion uniting Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims. Yes this is Satan’s plan for unity. This type of rhetoric disgusts Protestants, but for the deceived Catholic it is sweet tickling of the ears.

LarryD October 11, 2007 at 6:24 pm

“33000 Protestant denominations that communion with each other.”
That’s debatable.
“1 Denomination(Catholic) which most Protestants and even some Catholics think will spawn the anti-Christ”
First of all, Catholicism is not a denomination. Secondly, where in the Bible does it say the anti-Christ will come from the Church? And even if it were true, it doesn’t change the fact that the Church’s teachings on faith and morals are perfect and true, even if (and especially since) its members are sinners.
“The big difference usually resolve around Eschatology but not on the definitions of Faith.”
Again, a debatable point. And Eschatology isn’t a minor issue either.
“I rather trust 33,000 denominations theology that is about 99% identical among each other.”
I trust Jesus Christ, who founded the one Church, who preserves His teachings, and is 100% united with Christ.
“However Catholics in the interest of unity will keep liberal and conservatives, homosexual priest, pedophiles, and even closest abortionist under its umbrella”
So if the Catholic Church can’t have liberals or conservatives, we can only have registered independents, or Libertarians? Seriously, this statement is ridiculous. The Church exsists to save souls, not to admit only the perfect people (of which there are none, even in your denomination). We are all sinners – some more seriously than others, obviously – but are we to act differently than Christ, who welcomed prostitutes, tax collectors and even the one who betrayed him? You can’t ascribe to the Church the actions of its sinful members.
“The Bible commands us to remove the immoral brother”
Interesting comment considering that only a few posts earlier, you laughed at how the Church is “constantly” excommunicating people. Which is it to be? You can’t have both. Fact is, it doesn’t seem that you know what excommunication is – I may be wrong.
“Yes, Satan’s kingdom must also have unity to be effective”
Be careful what you say – the first sentence of your post was ”
“Yet Catholics keep reassigning instead of expelling the immoral brother”
Straw man argument. This just shows that the Church has sinful member who made very poor judgments. At least I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because I haven’t personally spoken to any bishop – but one thing I do know, and that’s you won’t find in any Church teaching that pedophile priests are to be reassigned.
“Yes, Satan’s kingdom must also have unity to be effective.”
Be careful what you say – your second sentence in this post was “33000 Protestant denominations that communion with each other.” And the fourth was “I rather trust 33,000 denominations theology that is about 99% identical among each other” That’s unity too, isn’t it?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Different,
It is obvious from your statements that your not even Catholic. If your brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t even be able to blow your nose.

LarryD October 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Sorry for the out of order-ness at the end of my previous post – jumpy cursor or poor editing skills!!

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:39 pm

33,000 denomination stating Catholics teaching false doctrine. 1 Denomination stating that Protestants are teaching false doctrine. No Protestant denomination calls another denomination a heretic. Thus I will trust the teaching authority of 33,000 denominations that have not colluded together and fabricated documents, history, and false doctrine. Yep, only a fool would put his faith in the Catholic church. The foundation of the Catholic church is Peter and Catholic Answers is so pathetic that they can’t even use the Greek language to defend Peter as the Pope. They violate all rules of interpretation to twist scripture to their devices. So Larry you better be absolutely sure that all the Popes, anti-Popes, illegitimate Bishop and Popes that bought their position did not drop the ball. Only the blind think that the Catholic church is infallible and has never changed doctrine. Thus when you go to North Ireland you see the drunk stupid Catholics walking around like white trash, next to Protestants who consistently drink less, are more polished and better educated. Protestants are what made Europe and America great. Protestants are the one who advanced the gospel and separated church from state. The Puritans knew that Catholics were bad news and out of foolishness would support liberal causes that would destroy the fabric of America.

David B. October 11, 2007 at 6:43 pm

fred,
you know, unity isn’t a bad thing-Jesus prayer that the church would be one even as He and the Father are. Jesus and God the Father aren’t 99% one. (and I would contest that percentage. protestants may possibly agree most of the time, but it’s the “small” disagreements about salvation, the need for Baptism, etc., that have created thousands of communities. Unfortunately, a lack of unity will exemplify the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Things tend toward a state of disorder.)

bill912 October 11, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Jimmy (or Steve), isn’t it time to ban this child for numerous Rule 1 violations?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:45 pm

Tim J,
You are a very sarcastic individual. You are the black sheep of the family running from Alaska to Arkansas to study art. I expect you are very confused in what you believe. You admired Mr. Akin for his clever ability to make persuasive arguments for Catholicism. However the truth is you are an intellectual lightweight that would have been deceived into other false religions if the opportunity presented itself.
So go back to your art, read your Bible, and stop rebelling against your parents. Be the prodigal son, repent for your foolishness and return to your family.

Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 6:45 pm

Fred,
Where in the bible was strength in numbers promoted? Either one has authority from Christ through the laying on of hands, or not. More the half of the world’s population isn’t christian, but that doesn’t mean they that that 51%+ are right.

David B. October 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

’twas me

A.Williams October 11, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Fred 123,
I really think that you have never read the New Testament very well, nor do you know Jesus Christ or His Church well. And the funny thing is…that indeed the Bible teaches very well about both! You put so much trust in the Bible, but don’t even understand it!
If the Church was established as you are describing, without any need for order, leadership or organization, then why was there a need for the first Council of Jerusalem in the first place??
Why did St. Paul feel the need to go and consult with the Church in Jerusalem?
Why did the Apostles need to discuss the matters of circumcision and Jewish ritual?
Why did Peter need to stand up, as I quoted earlier, and resolve this problem…through His authority as being the chosen leader of the Apostles?
If everything is as you say, then none of this would have been necessary, but rather Paul would preach and found Churchs as he wished, regardless of the other Apostles!(And really, this delemma about Jewish ritual was no small matter!)
Jesus founded the Church in the manner that we read in the Bible. And this is with the authority of the Apostles! Then, the apostolic fathers continued this ordered Church in the disciplines and customes that the Apostles taught them personally. Hands were imposed on new leaders and bishops, and men like Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch took charge of the infant Church in their own respective cities.
Then, because the Church indeed was ONE..it was named CATHOLIC…a name used to decribe it’s unity and universality, it’s one doctrine being taught throughout the Christian world.
Do you really think that a name such CATHOLIC would be given to a church with such multiple creeds and beliefs that you seem to be describing in your posts??
Seems pretty rediculous if you ask me. Moreover, the Church was constantly striving for unity…isn’t that what all the councils were about in the first place???
No?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Bill,
The problem is that you need me on this site to make it interesting. Otherwise this site will degrade into boring dribble. Again Bill I am waiting for you to give a defense for the truth. I am eagerly waiting to apologize, but you have been out manned, which has hurt your delicate ego.

Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Fred,
After your comments to Tim J., (which, AFAIK, as I don’t think you know what you are talking about, are baseless.), you have removed yourself from Christian debATE. Goodbye. WE will pray for you that you will learn to be a Chartable Christian.

Monica October 11, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Fred, why do you come here?

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:52 pm

A. William,
The true church is in unity. Catholics are left out of this unity, hence they must be apostate. Evangelicals only fellowship with those of like mind. We don’t invite Mormons, or Muslims, or Hindus. However Catholics, according to Catechism claim Muslims and Catholics worship same God. Protestants don’t worship the god of Muslims, hence they should disfellowship themselves from pagan Catholics. The true church is alive and well. The false church is filled with homosexual clergy and pedophiles. Seems fairly simple.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Monica,
Catholics need to realize that there is no harmony between Protestants and Catholics. These religions are mutual exclusive. Unfortunately todays culture of political correctness, and lack of rigorous learning, tries to cover-up these differences. I am trying to show that not all roads lead to heaven. At the least Protestant or Catholic lead to heaven, but not both. This is the deception I want to expose. Most people are so numb to the truth, that they need the fallow ground plowed up so they begin to investigate things again.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 7:01 pm

A William,
I am always amazed how people get confused on the word catholic. First if the Roman Catholic Church were truly catholic, it would recant from Trent and not place a curse( anathma) on Protestants. The Problem is that the Roman Catholic Church is not catholic and not a church. Catholic means universal, hence the 33,000 Protestant denominations are universal and catholic. The RCC has tried to co-opt the definition of the word catholic.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Mary,
Yes Catholics like to make up doctrine based on no scriptural support.

Fred, you are projecting. You claim that all doctrines must have scriptural support and refuse to provide any. Not for your claim that Jesus never promised to preserve the Church. Not for your claim that Jesus promised to preserve the Bible. Not for your claim that “Jesus always meant for their to be a plurality of leadership.” Not for your claim that the Bible is NOT reliable unless you find something cited more than once.
Start to cite your Bible references for everything.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Monica,
Most people don’t realize that Aquinas unknowingly quoted forged documents in his Summa to support Papal Authority. This forgery took 400 years to be exposed. The Reformers called Rome to the carpet on this. However the church/state religion did not want to loose it economic power in Europe and covered these lies up. Every Catholic church history scholar knows these facts. Do your homework and the lies of Rome are easily exposed.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 7:10 pm

33000 Protestant denominations that communion with each other.. . . I rather trust 33,000 denominations theology that is about 99% identical among each other.
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.”
Fred, lying about something that is blatantly obvious to all is a good way to establish which one you are.
The doctrinal differences and lack of communion between even the sects of the same name — such as the current schism among the Anglicians — are like a city set on a hill: impossible to miss.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 7:14 pm

BTW, people, if you want to complain about discourtesy and Rule violations, be sure to email Jimmy. You can’t count on his reading all the comments.

fred123 October 11, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Mary,
I can site references all day long. However the rules stipulate that I must give short paragraphs. Thus I leave this to the reader to do further research. My statements can easily verified by most Protestant ministers who have seminary training.
Furthermore many Catholic doctrines completely contradict the mind of God. Old Testament opposed Sacraments. God uses the principles of foreshadowing to further clarify future doctrine. Even the Trinity can be proven using only the Old Testament. Sacraments can be refuted using the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. So it is highly doubtful that God would introduce Sacraments in the 3rd century. This is not consistent with God’s character. God is not arbitrary but systematic. Thus the proof is on you to defend your beliefs.

Mary October 11, 2007 at 7:19 pm

I can site references all day long. However the rules stipulate that I must give short paragraphs
The rules stipulate no such things — see above comment about small and great things — and furthermore, as you can clearly see by reading the comments, citations and short post are not exclusive.
Thus I leave this to the reader to do further research.
Or, thus, you leave off the citations you haven’t got to hide that you haven’t got them?

Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Fred123,
Your idea of unity amongst Evangelicals is rediculous, nothing more binding them than the Bible and a legion of personal and conflicting interpretations of said Bible. Many of these evangelical Churches are experts in deception, mind control ad false prophesy. I’ve witnessed enough of these shananigans already and I can say that more than anything error and lies reign in these groups.
Can’t it be witnessed even with the popular televangelists? ..With the Benny Hinns’, Jimmy Swaggarts’, Jim Bakers’ and all the other charletans out there, just trying to steal money for the ignorant??
Personally, I have NEVER met a wise pastor of a protestant Church!!
Now, read the Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret and you will find wisdom. Read the Public Life of Jesus Christ by Alban Goodier, and you will find wisdom. Read St. Bonaventure, St. Louis de Montfort, St. Anselm and St. Augustine …and you will find wisdom. Read the writings of St. Francis and you with find divine love, as you will also find in the Story of a Soul by St. Theresa of Liseaux.
Just read the lives of the Saiths and the real difference between Protestants and Catholics will be readily visable. And for those who cannot notice the diving wisdom and holy love found in these writings of the Cahtolic Saints, it is a very poor omen for them!! For Jesus, as said earlier, will be found and noticed by such acts, words and deeds of the Saints.
Again…how do we tell which is the real Church?? Like Fred says..it’s one or the other??
Jesus gives us the answer..”You will know my disciples by how they LOVE one another”.
Rsad the Lives of these Saints and you WILL FIND THE LOVE OF CHRIST!! The MARK signifying the TRUE CHURCH!
In what books of the protestants can you find such loving wisdom and holy deeds?? Where are the protestant saints? Or don’t they know enough about sanctity to live or make such lives known?
What are they afraid of? Why can’t they record their lives, words and acts of heroic virtue as do the Catholics?…for the whole world to be inspired by.
Lets compare our saints to yours… and find out how they differ. To start, anyone can find an edition of Butler’s lives of the Saints. It’s a good reference cataloguing the countless Saints and Holy individuals who have spread the holy faith until this very day. Read their lives and THEN decide if they are truly holy! And then compare them with any acts from the lives of these countless protestant and evangelical ministers!
Nothing compares to the Catholic Saints! Nothing compares to the holy souls that make up the true friends of Christ! Read for yourselves and tell me if I’m wrong?

Mary October 11, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Furthermore many Catholic doctrines completely contradict the mind of God. Old Testament opposed Sacraments. God uses the principles of foreshadowing to further clarify future doctrine. Even the Trinity can be proven using only the Old Testament. Sacraments can be refuted using the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. So it is highly doubtful that God would introduce Sacraments in the 3rd century. This is not consistent with God’s character. God is not arbitrary but systematic. Thus the proof is on you to defend your beliefs.
THUS?
First, the burden of proof is on you to defend your assertions you are making about the sacraments; then, there can be some question of whether those assertions require the defense you are shoving off on us.

fred123 a.k.a. Vizzini (Not really though; it's me, Elijah) October 11, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?
…Morons.

fred123 a.k.a. Vizzini (Not really though; it's me, Elijah) October 11, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?
…Morons.

fred123 a.k.a. Vizzini (Not really though; it's me, Elijah) October 11, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?
…Morons.

SDG October 11, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Quoth Fred123:

Even Pope John Paul said Buddhism was a great religion. He even said Muslims worship same God as Christians. This shows he is a satanist.

If your brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t even be able to blow your nose.

Thus when you go to North Ireland you see the drunk stupid Catholics walking around like white trash, next to Protestants who consistently drink less, are more polished and better educated. … The Puritans knew that Catholics were bad news and out of foolishness would support liberal causes that would destroy the fabric of America.

However the truth is you are an intellectual lightweight that would have been deceived into other false religions if the opportunity presented itself.

Fred123 is no longer welcome to participate on the blog.
Fred, when you first showed up on this blog, my first words were:

This is my one and only response to Fred, a man not interested in and quite possibly not capable of having a discussion.

Note well the man who jeers at the appeal to charity. Who jeers most against “legalism”? Lawbreakers. Who jeers most against “escapism”? Jailers.

Those with ears to hear, let them hear.

I’m sorry to say you have fully corroborated my early assessment.

LarryD October 11, 2007 at 9:30 pm

Fred123 wrote: “Yep, only a fool would put his faith in the Catholic church”
Given the choice, I’d rather be the biggest fool in heaven than the smartest guy not in heaven.
I’ll pray for you, fred123.

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Doesn’t the Bible say something like “and whoever says “you fool” will be liable to firy Gehenna”?
I’m sorry to say it, but the outrageous online behavior of Fred123 makes me agree with SDG’s decision to ban him. Disscussion about these things is fine, but we can’t have the likes of him dominating threads and pulling them away from their purpose.
All this makes me wonder though, where is Jimmy? Not that he can’t take a break from his blog, but still I wonder.
Maybe Jimmy and SDG are the same person!!!

J.R. Stoodley October 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Oops, I guess Jimmy did post something today (yesterday in this time zone), but still it seems like he’s not been around as much lately.

gamesport October 11, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Fred123, i would like to point you to two statements of yours that contradict each other. First you Said:
“[i]The true church has always existed since the first apostles. This truth was expressed in Montanists, Donatist, Ana-Baptist, and many others.[/i]”
Posted by: fred123 | Oct 10, 2007 6:13:11 PM”
Then you said:
“[i]This Paraclete would guide us into all truth. Unfortunately Catholics have an underdeveloped teaching of the Holy Spirit.[/i]”
Posted by: fred123 | Oct 11, 2007 4:35:15 PM
Do You realize the conflict in those 2 Statements?

Mary October 12, 2007 at 5:34 am

Most people don’t realize that Aquinas unknowingly quoted forged documents in his Summa to support Papal Authority. This forgery took 400 years to be exposed. The Reformers called Rome to the carpet on this. However the church/state religion did not want to loose it economic power in Europe and covered these lies up. Every Catholic church history scholar knows these facts. Do your homework and the lies of Rome are easily exposed.
Leaving aside the question of whether you are telling the truth — given that you have, for instance, lied about what the rules require here — what on earth makes you think that the Pope’s authority rests on the Summa? St. Augustine was not relying on the Summa when he wrote that Rome has spoken; the case is closed.

Jeane October 12, 2007 at 8:21 am

What happened to Fred123?

bernard October 12, 2007 at 8:43 am

Mary,
The Eastern Orthodox church never recognized the Papacy of Rome. Augustine making a statement about Rome has spoken, just means that he is agreeing with Rome on a particular topic. This would be normal for a man who spoke no Greek. Therefore he would appeal to Rome instead of Constantinople as his authority. This does not prove that there is a Pope.
Gamesport,
There is no contradiction in those statements. The Montantist, Donatists, Ana-Baptists, and others where lead by the Holy Spirit, resulting in the truth being found in these denominations. These denominations were instrumental in spreading correct doctrine to people in many parts of Europe and Asia.

erick October 12, 2007 at 8:49 am

Besides—-
As I have proven before, this is a made up quote.
It does not appear in Augustine’s sermon 131.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 9:01 am

Bernard: If you are Fred123, you have been disinvited to participate in the blog. This is not a public space, it is a private space. You were a guest, and you did not respect basic rules of courtesy. Please do not further trample on someone else’s work by ignoring the request to leave.
The decent thing at this point is to go attack Catholicism somewhere else. There are lots of people at the catholic.com fora who would be happy to go a dozen rounds with you.
If you are not Fred123, please contact me privately at the contact page at Decent Films.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 9:07 am

The Vicar of Christ( anti-Christ) is the head of the apostate church.
Fred123:
Thus, it is by the Seat of the Anti-Christ where your BIBLE came from!
HENCE, you should NOT TRUST any of the books contained in your bible since it is the CATHOLIC CHURCH who actually put those books together — the same church, just as you say, whose head is the ANTI-CHRIST!
Hahahaha!!!
SATAN HAS CONQUERED THE WORLD SINCE ALL OF CHRISTENDOM BOWS & ACKNOWLEDGES THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT SATAN’S CHURCH, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, HAS DECLARED INSPIRED, GOD-BREATHED, & THE WORD OF GOD!!!
SATANUS REGNAT!

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 9:30 am

erick,
Oh how did I know you were going to bring this up again?
We have been through this so many times about the proverb of St. Augustine’s quotation. Let it go.

When Augustine, accordingly, had learned of the Roman Pontiffs condemnation of Pelagius and Caelestius, he uttered the following memorable words in a sermon to the people: “The views of two councils touching this controversy have been transmitted to the Apostolic See, and the answer has been sent back. The case has been settled. God grant that the error be ended likewise.”[31] These words of his, condensed a trifle, have passed into a proverb: “Rome has spoken, the cause is finished.” Again in another occasion, after citing the decision of Pope Zosimus put under the ban of his condemnation all Pelagians in all parts of the world, the saint wrote: “The Catholic doctrine is so ancient and well-grounded, so certain and clear in these words of the Apostolic See, that it would be criminal in a Christian to doubt of this truth.”

Pope Pius XI – Ad Salutem – On Saint Augustine – 30 April 1930 #17
How about answering my simple little question?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

erick October 12, 2007 at 9:40 am

So– we agree…Augustine never said that!.
If a Pope wants to say that it became a “proberb”…then thats something else.
What was the question again?.

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 9:45 am

erick,
Either there is an authority outside of ourselves that is binding or we can, like you and fred123, make up whatever we want to be the truth.
As I said before, and you ignored along with my simple question, the authority of the teacher is a very important concept in the Sacred Scriptures. How can one preach unless he is sent?
Since we both know that no prophecy of Sacred Scripture comes from private interpretation, that we can twist the Sacred Scriptures to our own destruction and even the devil quoted Sacred Scripture what is your final authority on interpretation? Since our salvation is at stake we better be sure.
Again, I hope for and look forward your answer.
Last thought have you ever apologized to Karl Keating for accusing him of making up the St. Augustine quotation? Since you said it many times it would be the charitable thing to do.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

erick October 12, 2007 at 10:02 am

Inocensio—
To align me with Fred123 just shows how much you know about Protestantism….not much!.
Be that as it may…let me answer your question with a question…( I won’t make it easy for you).
How did the writer of Psalm 119, for example, know what the word of God was?—
What authority infallibly told him which books of his time were “canonical”?.
Last time I looked I only “accused” Mr. Keating ONCE of making up the quote….by mistake, yet you say I did it “many times”—-source please?.
Anyway— I will wait for YOU (Inocensio)– to answer MY simple questions….See how different I am from Fred123?

SDG October 12, 2007 at 10:03 am

Erick: Yes, you are very different from Fred123… which is why you are welcome, and he is not.

erick October 12, 2007 at 10:07 am

SDG—
A pleasure as always!.

Dan Hunter October 12, 2007 at 10:20 am

Erick,
St David wrote all of the Psalms.
God bless you

Esau October 12, 2007 at 10:55 am

St David wrote all of the Psalms.
Dan Hunter,
I hate to tell ya, brutha; he didn’t.

Dan Hunter October 12, 2007 at 10:59 am

Esau,
My mistake. They where divinely inspired, hence God wrote them.
Just like Sacred Scripture.
Inspiration of The Holy Ghost Mans pen.
God bless you

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 11:00 am

erick
If you say you only accused Karl Keating once and that one time was only here on this blog. I believe you and apologize for accusing you of saying it many times.
And I will play your game of answering a question with question.
Why is my question so hard for you to answer?
When you answer my original question I will gladly answer your question. Oh goody isn’t this game fun…
Protestants protest the authority that Christ gave the Catholic Church what more do I need to know.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 12, 2007 at 11:11 am

Why is my question so hard for you to answer?
Inocencio,
Are you really surprised?
Perhaps the most horrible REALITY that Protestants face is the fact that they DO NOT abide by SCRIPTURE (e.g., Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:17, Matthew 18:18); but that with the GAME of eeny, meenie, minie, moe, they have become UNTO THEMSELVES, MINI-POPES.
God bless.
erick,
Esau—
I doubt that you could even mention 20 different protestant denominations— much less “33.000”.—

If you have a problem with the number of ‘33,000’ Protestant denominations; then, I suggest you talk to each one of them and figure out which ones of ya holds da ACTUAL TRUTH!
Also, talk to Oxford —
They’re the ones who determined that number.
Unless you think you can produce a more accurate number and demonstrate its accuracy; I’ll stick to Oxford.

erick October 12, 2007 at 11:13 am

Inocencio—
If the writer of Psalm 119 ( for example), had no need of a “Magesterium” to know what the Word of God was— then neither do I.
There’s your answer!!!!!

SDG October 12, 2007 at 11:18 am

Erick,
The writer of Psalm 119 (a) was divinely inspired and (b) had the benefit of Jewish sacred tradition.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 11:20 am

If the writer of Psalm 119 ( for example), had no need of a “Magesterium” to know what the Word of God was— then neither do I.
And you wonder why there are 33,000 FLAVORS of PROTESTANTISM???
AGAIN:
1. JUST WHAT IS THE ‘WORD’????
2. WHAT BOOKS COMPRISE THE ‘WORD’??
3. HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE BOOKS MAKE PART OF THE ‘WORD’?
4. IS THE WORD TRUTH?
5. IF IT IS TRUTH, DOES TRUTH EXIST IN ONE FORM OR DOES IT EXIST IN 33,000 FLAVORS?
Extra Credit:
SINCE the Protestant Reformation, 33,000 Protestant denominations have come into being in just about 500 years!
Do you really believe that if Protestantism and its RELATIVISTIC principles (the individual is the SOLE INTERPRETER of Scripture) actually existed during the days of the EARLY CHURCH, it would’ve survived as a SINGLE WHOLE for MORE THAN A MILLENIUM?

erick October 12, 2007 at 11:36 am

SDG–
How do you know the writer was divinely inspired?.
Are you intimating that this particular writer knew what the word was, BECAUSE of Jewish tradition?.
Would you then also say that this particular writer of Psalms knew OF God BECAUSE of this tradition as well?….
Is God self-authenticating?——.
Esau—
The burden of proof lies on your shoulders to show 33.000 different flavors of truth within this “Protestantism” you are so fond of talking about…

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 11:39 am

erick,
Over and over the pslamist says he was taught. That only proves my point that the authority of the teacher is very important. Who taught before Christ established and sent His Church to specifically teach all He commanded? The prophets did because they had they were sent by God.
Are you claiming that psalm 119 list all the books of the Holy Bible or that you are a prophet of God?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau October 12, 2007 at 11:46 am

The burden of proof lies on your shoulders to show 33.000 different flavors of truth within this “Protestantism” you are so fond of talking about…
erick,
I thought Protestants POSSESSED THE TRUTH, no?
For your information, Oxford happens to be PROTESTANT!
So, why are you QUESTIONING their stats?
Also, about what SDG brought up:
As I have said in the past:
THE “TRADITION” IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: THE ORAL TORAH & THE WRITTEN TORAH
The Jews had two fountains from which they received God’s Word.
According to RABBI HAYIM DONIN in the book “TO BE A JEW”, he says:
“We believe that God’s Will was also made manifest in the ORAL TRADITION, or Oral Torah, which also had its source in Sinai revealed to Moses and, then, ORALLY TAUGHT by him to the religious heads of Israel, and the Written Torah itself alludes to such oral instructions.”
THE SAME IS SAID BY RABBI JACOB NEUSNER:
He points out that the Jewish Community from which Christianity sprang has always understood the Torah to be written (he calls that the Sefer Torah) and the Oral Torah (The Torah She-Bal Peh).
“Along with the Written Torah, the ORAL TORAH which Moses received at Sinai, was ORALLY TRANSMITTED (SOUND FAMILIAR???) to Joshua and to Joshua’s elders and to the prophets and to the prophets of the Men of the Great Assembly.”

Anonymous October 12, 2007 at 11:49 am

CORRIGENDUM
erick:
Also, about what SDG brought up:

Erick,
The writer of Psalm 119 (a) was divinely inspired and (b) had the benefit of Jewish sacred tradition.
Posted by: SDG | Oct 12, 2007 11:18:58 AM

As I have said in the past:
THE “TRADITION” IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: THE ORAL TORAH & THE WRITTEN TORAH
The Jews had two fountains from which they received God’s Word.
According to RABBI HAYIM DONIN in the book “TO BE A JEW”, he says:
“We believe that God’s Will was also made manifest in the ORAL TRADITION, or Oral Torah, which also had its source in Sinai revealed to Moses and, then, ORALLY TAUGHT by him to the religious heads of Israel, and the Written Torah itself alludes to such oral instructions.”
THE SAME IS SAID BY RABBI JACOB NEUSNER:
He points out that the Jewish Community from which Christianity sprang has always understood the Torah to be written (he calls that the Sefer Torah) and the Oral Torah (The Torah She-Bal Peh).
“Along with the Written Torah, the ORAL TORAH which Moses received at Sinai, was ORALLY TRANSMITTED (SOUND FAMILIAR???) to Joshua and to Joshua’s elders and to the prophets and to the prophets of the Men of the Great Assembly.”

erick October 12, 2007 at 11:55 am

Inocencio—
Your ignorance of what is at hand, makes you do cart-wheels with logic.
The Psalmist was taught of God–
Through nature and suffering and miracles wrought to his life by Jehovah etc. etc. etc.
To say that the Psalmist knew of God BECAUSE of Jewish tradition is a total aberration of Old Testament theology.
You ask if Psalm 119 list all of the books of the Bible— I don’t quite understand what that means, much less how that applies to my argument as to how this writer knew that there was such a thing as God’s Word without the aid of a higher human authority.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 11:55 am

How do you know the writer was divinely inspired?

Heh. Of course I was appealing to a point of common agreement, not making an argument. But if you ask me, it is because I believe in Jesus Christ that I believe in the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit upon the Church He founded and in that Church’s ability, guided by the Holy Spirit, to discern unerringly those texts which are written under divine inspiration; and Psalm 119 falls into that category.

Are you intimating that this particular writer knew what the word was, BECAUSE of Jewish tradition?

I would certainly say that he received the word of God both by written scripture and by oral tradition, yes, as well as receiving it by divine revelation as an inspired writer.

Would you then also say that this particular writer of Psalms knew OF God BECAUSE of this tradition as well?

Same as above.

Is God self-authenticating?

Um, if He wants to be, I guess. :-)

erick October 12, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Esau-
It will be (again) up to you to prove that this “Sacred Tradition” in the Old Testament of which you speak contained different revelations than that which was written!!!!
How many traditions were placed inside the Ark Esau?….
How do YOU test Tradition Esau?…
Is tradition self authenticating Esau?…

SDG October 12, 2007 at 12:02 pm

To say that the Psalmist knew of God BECAUSE of Jewish tradition is a total aberration of Old Testament theology.

Nonsense.
When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush and said, “I am the God of your fathers, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” Moses didn’t say “Who? What?”
He knew who Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were, and he knew of the God who had made a covenant with them, of the word of the Lord that had come to them.
How did he know? Was this knowledge divinely infused into his brain on the spot? There is no reason to think so. When God told him to go tell the Hebrews that he was sent by the God of their fathers, Moses protested that they would ask for His name, but not that they wouldn’t know anything about such a God or of His word to their ancestors.
Exodus tells us that a new Pharaoh arose who “did not know” Joseph. That would be a strange thing to write if the Hebrews themselves no longer knew of Joseph, his forefathers, and their God.
No, Moses and the Hebrews already knew of the word of God given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God’s word revealed to the patriarchs had been made known to them. Yet how had it reached them? How was it handed down?
Not by scripture. Genesis had not yet been written. It was by word of mouth, by oral tradition that the word of God was known to Moses and his fellow Hebrews.

Paul October 12, 2007 at 12:03 pm

It’s amusing to see the hysterics some protestants fall into when faced with the plain, undeniable truth. Fred123’s clearly a nutjob. I’m surprised people here wasted so much time on him.

Tim J. October 12, 2007 at 12:07 pm

erick –
“Besides—-
As I have proven before, this is a made up quote.
It does not appear in Augustine’s sermon 131.”
That is a rather rash overstatement.
It is not a direct quote, no, but it *is* a reasonably accurate paraphrase of what Augustine actually said, as I established – at length – months ago.
So, no it’s not a direct quote, but neither – by any stretch – is it simply “made up”.
I know it’s tempting to use this as some sort of “gotcha” for Catholics who don’t know any better, but there is just no “gotcha” there.
Below is part of my summation (months ago) of the whole tempest-in-a-teapot;
“The TRUTH is that the phrase in question IS justifiably attributed to Augustine, that it DOES provide evidence for the ancient primacy of Rome, and that Catholic apologists – including Karl Keating – have used it in good faith.”
AND…
“The second half of the quote “the cause is ended” (“causa finita est”) IS clearly a verbatim quote.
The first half of the “quote” is the only paraphrase, taking “replies have come thence” (from the Apostolic See) and making it “Rome has Spoken”.
An equivalent translation like “The Apostolic See has replied, the cause is finished” could be put up as a LITERAL QUOTE from Augustine with really no reasonable argument against it. How this would change any of the arguments based on the “quote” is beyond me.
Now, the Apostolic See was… Rome. Okay, it’s not verbatim, but neither is it inaccurate. They are two ways of saying the same thing.
If you like though, erick, I will use my *new* version of the quote from now on.
“The Apostolic See has replied, the cause is finished.”

erick October 12, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Tim J
” It is not a direct quote, no….”
That is all I meant…Tim J.
It is not a quote of Augustine and IT does not appear ( as quoted) in sermon 131 !….
I’m still right.

Mary October 12, 2007 at 12:23 pm

It is not a direct quote, no, but it *is* a reasonably accurate paraphrase of what Augustine actually said, as I established – at length – months ago.
And note that what I wrote was not in quotes, and in fact, I wrote, “He said that” to introduce it.
It’s like the difference between
“He said, ‘She’s dead.'”
and
“He said that she’s dead.”
The latter is true whatever his words were, as long as their import was that she was dead.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 12:29 pm

I’m still right.

Not, however, in a sense that makes those who use the popular form of the quotation “wrong.” Like many popular streamlinings of familiar quotations, it is essentially what was said.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Amazing, erick —
Still depending on the CIRCULAR ARGUMENT:
“I believe the Bible is the Word of God because the bible tells me so!”
Again—
Since you DO NOT ACCEPT the Authority of the Church, then you SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THE NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS that are in your bible (which the Catholic Church determined back at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D.) and decide which books you actually consider ‘INSPIRED’ (since the Church of the Anti-Christ may well be wrong) as well as well as consider all those books that the Catholic Church rejected then.
Here are a sample of those rejected books that the Church of the Anti-Christ, the Catholic Church, rejected, which just might happen to actually be inspired:
The Book of Jasher
The Book of the Wars of the Lord
The Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel
The Books of annals of the Kings of Israel
The Books of annals of the kings of Judah
Books of Chronicles
The Book of Shemaiah
The Covenant Code
The Manner of the Kingdom[2]
The Acts of Solomon[3]
The Annals of King David[4]
The Book of Samuel the Seer[5]
The Book of Nathan the Prophet[6]
The Book of Gad the Seer[7]
The History of Nathan the Prophet[8]
The Prophecy of Ahijah[9]
The Visions of Iddo the Seer
The Book of Shemaiah the Prophet[10]
Iddo Genealogies
The Story of the Prophet Iddo
The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel[13]
The Book of Jehu[14]
The Story of the Book of Kings[15]
The Acts of Uziah[16]
The Vision of Isaiah[17]
The Acts of the Kings of Israel[18]
The Sayings of the Seers[19]
The Laments for Josiah[20]
The Chronicles of King Ahasuerus[21]
The Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia[22]
The Epistle of Jude
The Epistle to Corinth
The Earlier Epistle to the Ephesians
The Epistle from Laodicea to the Colossians
The Earlier Epistle of John
Missing Epistle of Jude
The Wisdom of Solomon
The Wisdom of Sirach
Maccabees (I)
Maccabees (II)
Maccabees (II)
Maccabees (IV)
Esther
Judith
Tobit
Adam
Enoch
Lamech
The Patriarchs
The Prayer of Joseph
Eldad and Modad
The Testament of Moses
The Assumption of Moses
The Psalms of Solomon
The Revelation of Elias
The Vision of Isaiah
The Revelation of Zephaniah
The Revelation of Zechariah
The Revelation of Ezra
The History of James
The Revelation of Peter
The Circuits and Teachings of the Apostles
The Epistle of Barnabas
The Acts of Paul
The Revelation of Paul
The Teaching of Clement
The Teaching of Ignatius
The Teaching of Polycarp
The Gospel according to Barnabas
The Gospel according to Matthias
So:
1. Decide on YOUR OWN by YOUR PAPAL AUTHORITY which books are TRULY INSPIRED and the Word of God
2. After that, tell us WHY you consider those selections INSPIRED.
3. Go back to your 33,000 FLAVORS of PROTESTANTISM and figure out which of you are actually declaring the TRUTH of the WORD, as had existed right from the Early Church that Christ founded.

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 12:34 pm

erick,
Since we disagree on the interpretation of Sacred Scripture is there a binding authority on earth that holds up and defends the truth?
Or do we all claim to be holy like Korah and try to assume an authority we do not have?
If you, erick, just “know” what Sacred Scripture is and how to interpret it truthfully, when and how did you realize you had that binding authority. And when did you come to realize you had the authority to tell others their understanding is incorrect?
I would suggest that you like being your own pope so much you would never be obedient to anyone other than yourself. Makes the moral life easier to doesn’t it?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 12:39 pm

I’m not Esau, but I can take a stab at these…
It will be (again) up to you to prove that this “Sacred Tradition” in the Old Testament of which you speak contained different revelations than that which was written!!!!
Sacred Traditon wouldn’t contain different revelations than that which was written. At least not in the sense that different means contradicting.
How many traditions were placed inside the Ark Esau?….
Umm… I don’t know. How man sheep skins did Jesus use to write down the Bible?
How do YOU test Tradition Esau?…
By comparing it to Scripture and the Magisterium.
Is tradition self authenticating Esau?…
No. Just like the Bible isn’t self authenticating. That’s why we have Tradition.

Paul October 12, 2007 at 12:42 pm

WOW! Wait just one cotton-pickin second, Esau. Since when did the Church reject the Deuterocanon?

Esau October 12, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Since when did the Church reject the Deuterocanon?
At least someone’s paying attention! ;^)

Tim J. October 12, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Esau, to be fair, please remember that erick STILL isn’t fred123. He has not, to my knowledge, ever said that the Catholic Church is the Church of the anti-Christ.
Of course, if he HAS, then my estimation of him is about to drop several points…

erick October 12, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Brian Walden–
“Sacred Traditon wouldn’t contain different revelations than that which was written. At least not in the sense that different means contradicting.”
Lets see if that is right…
I know that many Catholics pray to Michael The Archangel.
When I look to see if this is even shown to be Biblical , I come out wanting— but then the Catholic says …well, you see this is not found in the Bible but in Sacred Tradition and so forth.
The Bible says we should not worship anyone but God— prayer IS worship—- but then the Catholic says —well you see according to the Magisterium there is such a thing as “dulia” and “hyper-dulia” so it really depends which of these we use….
So no matter what contradiction is found— it is immediately met with Tradition which supersedes the writ record.
Whenever the Bible is silent—- then we cannot prove a negative– so show me where in the Bible it states categorically that it is impossible for say, Mary to have ascended into heaven?— see? so she must have ascended…how do we know?— Tradition!.

erick October 12, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Tim J– I leave that rhetoric to Jack Chick and other black sheep of Protestantism.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 1:26 pm

erick,
Did you not even read my post to you in the past regarding TRADITION?
If you look at Scripture, there is a lively awareness of the Faith being passed down in a variety of means – sometimes in written form and sometimes not in written form. The original preaching of the Apostles was oral and Jesus’ teaching was oral (he didn’t write any books of Scripture) and so they lived in a largely oral culture back then and, as a result, there was a much heavier dependence on the spoken word and other elements of Tradition like liturgical action that were not written down.
That Tradition then – I should explain, ‘That which is handed on’ – and so if you have the body of Christian belief, it was something that was handed onto us from Jesus and the Apostles – part of it was handed on in written form but part of it went beyond writing, which is one of the reasons that there are some questions that Scripture doesn’t seem to answer clearly.
Like, for example, the question whether or not you should baptize babies or not; or whether you baptize by immersion or not.
We know people are supposed to be baptized but we don’t have the details of how it was supposed to work: whether you did it for babies as well, whether you could do it by pouring.
The reason for that is pretty clear:
Scripture doesn’t answer those questions because it expects for you to be an Early Christian, reading about the Church but looking to the practice of the Church to answer those questions for you.
In fact, that’s why the Church is said in 1 Timothy 3:15 to be the Pillar and Ground of the Truth:
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
AND
Paul actually says:
2 Thess 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.
Even 1 Cor 11 which uses the same Greek word “Paradosis”: “I commend you brothers for holding fast to the Traditions” as well as in 2 Thess 3:6 says the same thing.
So, were called to hold fast to Tradition and, as Catholics, we actually draw from the Old Testament.

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 1:50 pm

(The part of erick will be played by Inocencio)
“I’m still right.”
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 1:51 pm

First off, who says that prayer is exclusively and only worship? Besides, have you heard the prayer to St. Michael: “…may God rebuke him [the devil] we humbly pray, and do thou O prince of the heavenly hosts [St. Michael], by the power of God cast into hell Satan…” Sounds like all the aid which we ask for comes ultimately from God using St. Michael to accomplish His works.
Whenever the Bible is silent—- then we cannot prove a negative– so show me where in the Bible it states categorically that it is impossible for say, Mary to have ascended into heaven?— see? so she must have ascended…how do we know?— Tradition!.
OK, let me get this straight. You’re claiming that if its not explicitly in the Bible we shouldn’t believe it because we can’t prove a negative. So logically then you also believe that because the Bible doesn’t categorically say that it is impossible for the Bible to consist of books other than those contained in a Protestant Bible – you cannot claim to know which books make up the Bible. Otherwise you’d be relying on tradition.

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 1:54 pm

erick,
Blessed Mary as Sacred Scripture says we should call her was assumed into heaven.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 2:01 pm

The perception that Catholics use Tradition to justify whatever they want to believe is interesting to me.
I would think that if you asked most Catholics, they’d say Tradition is a hard pill to swallow. It takes a lot of studying and prayer to get to the point where you trust in Sacred Tradition. It also takes a lot of humility to give up what you personally want to believe and let the Church teach you. Once a Catholic comes to trust Tradition it’s certainly a great asset to his or her faith, but initially it’s probably more of a stumbling block.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm

I know that many Catholics pray to Michael The Archangel.
When I look to see if this is even shown to be Biblical , I come out wanting— but then the Catholic says …well, you see this is not found in the Bible but in Sacred Tradition and so forth.
The Bible says we should not worship anyone but God— prayer IS worship—- but then the Catholic says —well you see according to the Magisterium there is such a thing as “dulia” and “hyper-dulia” so it really depends which of these we use….
So no matter what contradiction is found— it is immediately met with Tradition which supersedes the writ record.

One step at a time.
“Contradiction” does not mean “is not contained in.”
The NT contains many things that are not explicitly present in the OT. That doesn’t mean the NT contradicts the OT.
Similarly, if we grant that the practice of praying to angels is not found in the Bible but in sacred tradition, that doesn’t equal a contradiction.
You go on, rightly, to say that the Bible says that we should not worship anyone but God — but then you slip in a false, unbiblical assumption: “prayer IS worship.”
Bzzzt! Wrong.
The root sense of “pray” is simply “ask,” as in “I pray thee Erick to attend most carefully to my argument.” That may be an old-fashioned way of talking, but I expect you recognize that I would certainly not be worshiping you if I said such a thing.
Certainly, when we pray to God, that is (or should be) inseparable from worship. But we can also “pray” one another to support us in our need, for example by praying to God on our behalf.
That is precisely what happens in the “Hail Mary”: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us…” We pray Mary to pray to God for us, just as we pray our fellow Christians on earth to pray for us.
In the case of St. Michael and the angels, we know from scripture that the angelic powers intervene in the world on our behalf and at God’s behest.
That we should appreciate and be grateful for this — to God who sends them, and to the angels themselves, just as we are grateful both to God and to our human benefactors for what others do for us — is only justice.
That we may turn to the angels and implore their help, if God so wills that we may ask and they may hear, is not contrary to His glory, and frankly is encouraging and uplifting to us. How strange to think that we are surrounded by invisible beings who love us and are constantly helping us, but we are forbidden to talk to them, to thank them, to ask their help!

J.R. Stoodley October 12, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Just to be clear, a number of those books Esau mentioned are in fact accepted as scriptural by the Church and some even by Protestants. That is a list of books that were questioned along the way, with different conclusions being reached about different ones. Some have been accepted as canonical. Others have been rejected as heretical. Still others the Church doesn’t teach much of anything on and one could even claim some could in fact be inspired scripture the Church just hasn’t taught it yet, though there would be major problems in trying to argue this.

Tim J. October 12, 2007 at 2:11 pm

“Sacred Traditon wouldn’t contain different revelations than that which was written. At least not in the sense that different means contradicting.”
erick –
Please note that last clause. By “different”, in this case, was meant “contradicting”.
Yes, Tradition DOES contain truths not found in Scripture… such as what constitutes “The Scriptures” and that the Scriptures are the inspired word of God (which is by no means always apparent).
These truths can not contradict the Sacred Scriptures because they have the same source. Prayer to the saints (“pray” means literally “to ask”, BTW) can be supported from the Bible, but there is no verse explicitly commanding (or forbidding) it. Christians have just always done it.
The form of the Liturgy is also not in Scripture, though the fact of it is there. I have sometimes wondered if Jesus established the basic form of the Liturgy when He taught the disciples during the forty days after His resurrection and before His ascension. What He taught them during that time is not given in the Bible. Why is it impossible that it was passed down by other means? In the living, worshiping Church, for instance?

J.R. Stoodley October 12, 2007 at 2:11 pm

The list is imcomplete too, it should definitely include Hebrews, 2 John, and 3 John, and Revelation, for example.

J.R. Stoodley October 12, 2007 at 2:20 pm

I think it is possible to pray to God without worshiping him, and it is possible to worship saints and so forth. Worship is adoration of something purely because it is what it is. That adoration we owe only and exclusively to God. We sould venerate (dulia and hyperdulia) the saints and angels because of God and because unlike people still living on earth we can be sure of their God-given perfection and grace. This veneration, like the honoring of people here on earth or having a high regard for physical creation, draws our minds to God to thank and praise him for all he has done and to honor the gifts he has given to others. It never involves adoration of say Mary because she is Mary and therefore intrinsically so great, forgetting God. If any Catholics do this they are in fact idolaters, but I think this is rare at least in Europe and North America.

J.R. Stoodley October 12, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Conversely one can pray to God but not really worship him, rather for example just asking him for what we want or trying to placate him when really the only person we worship is ourselves.

bill912 October 12, 2007 at 2:29 pm

In Revelation, St. John writes of the angels and saints in heaven offering to God the prayers of the faithful on earth.

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 2:32 pm

OK, let me get this straight. You’re claiming that if its not explicitly in the Bible we shouldn’t believe it because we can’t prove a negative. So logically then you also believe that because the Bible doesn’t categorically say that it is impossible for the Bible to consist of books other than those contained in a Protestant Bible – you cannot claim to know which books make up the Bible. Otherwise you’d be relying on tradition.
I think I got my logic in here a little twisted. But my point, to put it more simply is: Why is it that the same people who claim that because Mary’s Assumption isn’t explicitly mentioned in Scripture she was not assumed into heaven also claim to know which books make up the Bible even though the Canon isn’t listed in Scripture?

erick October 12, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Wow !…
So against what do you guys test the veracity of tradition?.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 3:01 pm

J.R. Stoodley,
Just to be clear, a number of those books Esau mentioned are in fact accepted as scriptural by the Church and some even by Protestants.
I wouldn’t use the word ‘number’.
I would say a few that are in the list I cited.
Also, about:
The list is imcomplete too, it should definitely include Hebrews, 2 John, and 3 John, and Revelation, for example.
As this is already contained in the Canon of the New Testament, I thought it sufficed to simply say:
“…then you SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THE NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS that are in your bible (which the Catholic Church determined back at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D.) and decide which books you actually consider ‘INSPIRED’…”
Now, about some of those books being even considered scriptural by Protestants; allow me to remind you that the Canon was fixed for quite some time.
It wasn’t until Luther had found that certain details in the books, as those in the Deuterocanonicals (the 7 books that had been and continues to be accepted by the Church; i.e., the 2nd Canon), supported beliefs of the Catholic Church; that Luther decided arbitrarily to toss them out and decide on a new canon for the Old Testament.
That is a list of books that were questioned along the way, with different conclusions being reached about different ones. Some have been accepted as canonical. Others have been rejected as heretical. Still others the Church doesn’t teach much of anything on and one could even claim some could in fact be inspired scripture the Church just hasn’t taught it yet, though there would be major problems in trying to argue this.
I disagree with this since the Canon had already been decided at the Council already back in the 4th century, and had been re-affirmed, so-to-speak, time and again in other councils.
So, no, I would not say that ‘the Church just hasn’t taught it yet’, as if to say the Church could, at some time in the future, change the Canon.
What I would like to know if erick actually accepts the 151st Psalm — and, if so, why not?
…and, yes, it is a trick(y) question.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Wow !…
So against what do you guys test the veracity of tradition?.

Did you even bother to read what I posted?
I know it might seem boring to go along with something that’s been in place since time immemorial — but it sure is better than having to decide which 33,000 flavors of Protestantism might actually be the right one that teaches the actual Christian Faith!

Esau October 12, 2007 at 3:06 pm

In case of the latter, I’ll have a Rocky Road 7th Day Adventist flavor along with sprinkles of the 21st Jump Street church, thank-you!

erick October 12, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I guess I’ll ask again— hopefully for someone other than Esau…
How then do you test tradition?….Am I to asume this is done by the Curch?…!
By the way Seventh Day Adventism is contested by many Christian theologians and Apologists weather it is even Christian!…. much less “Protestant” in nature.
So I guess that makes the flavors 32,999 in number!.

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 3:13 pm

So against what do you guys test the veracity of tradition?.
Tradition (oral revelation) is tested against Scripture (written revelation) and the Magisterium (official church teaching).
This might be an unorthodox way of describing it, but I think of it kind of like the Trinity. Tradition came first, before even the Old Testament was written God’s revelation to man was handed down orally. You could then say that Tradition begat the Scriptures. The Magisterium proceeds from Scripture and Tradition. It’s an imperfect metaphor, but it helps me to understand it.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Tradition came first, before even the Old Testament was written God’s revelation to man was handed down orally. You could then say that Tradition begat the Scriptures. The Magisterium proceeds from Scripture and Tradition.
Brian Walden,
Thanks for that!
Although, I have tried telling erick this in my posts:
1. ORAL Tradition in the OLD Testament
2. ORAL Tradition in the NEW Testament
Some folks just can’t do without their Baskin Robbins 33,000 Flavors! ;^)
(j/k erick)

Inocencio October 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm

erick,
What did the early Christians do before the New Testament was written?
In your understanding when was the canon of Sacred Scripture set?
What authority set the canon?
Why do you even accept the canon?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Esau, sometimes it’s about how you say it rather what you say. You know, the whole honey and vinegar bit. Erick’s not going anywhere, try answering him more as if you’re describing your beliefs so he can get to know you better rather than as if you’re trying to beat him in a debate.

erick October 12, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Alright…!
So Tradition begat The Scriptures—yet one of the things Tradition is tested against is The Scriptures which it begat?. Sorry guys!….too redundant!
I don’t do well with circular reasoning
!.Maybe it’s time for me to say good bye for today!!!
Maybe I’ll have me one of those 33.000 flavors before going to bed…!

Esau October 12, 2007 at 4:08 pm

I don’t do well with circular reasoning
Apparantly, you do since you continue to subscribe to:
“I believe the Bible is the Word of God because the bible tells me so!”

Esau October 12, 2007 at 4:12 pm

I believe Mike L at Sacramentum Vitae said it best:

“Rather, the Church teaches that “Sacred Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium are so linked and joined together that none can stand without the others” (Dei Verbum §10). Hence the Magisterium, taken in isolation as “the one and only way to know,” does not stand even on Catholic premises.”

erick October 12, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Esau- If that which is Theopneustos (Scripture) needs outside human agency (Magisterium) to authenticate it… then it is not surprising that you need outside human agency (Magisterium) to tell you THAT there is a God.

erick October 12, 2007 at 4:37 pm

If its true that “…none can stand without the other…”—
then how can it be true as well that Tradition begat Scripture?…since this would mean that there was a time when Tradition did not have Scripture to stand with?….

Esau October 12, 2007 at 4:39 pm

If that which is Theopneustos (Scripture) needs outside human agency (Magisterium) to authenticate it
Again, how do YOU authenticate that the books contained in YOUR BIBLE is actually SCRIPTURE?
Can you simply answer that for me?
For example, what about the 151st Psalm?
Why don’t you accept that as part of YOUR Psalms?
Also, as I asked in the distant past; how about HEBREWS?

erick October 12, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Esau—
How about answering MY questions?….
Any how— as always SDG TIM J Esau INOCENCIO et al…. it’s been a “riot”…If I offended someone please forgive me—-you too mr. Keating!…God bless Y’all..

Esau October 12, 2007 at 4:50 pm

erick,
Let me make this as simple as possible for you —
This is how you keep on going about on various threads here — repeating the same old circular reasoning, which apparantly escapes you —
1. I have a bible.
2. It contains books.
3. The books in it I accept as the bible.
4. I accept them as part of the bible because the bible contains them.
Need I go any further than this?
The fact of the matter is that you seem to think as if the bible just FELL FROM THE SKY COMPLETE WITH ALL THESE BOOKS!
However, you seem to FORGET THE FACT that ALL the books in YOUR BIBLE are actually SEPARATE BOOKS!
It was the Council of Rome that had to go through these as well as other books to figure which of them were indeed SCRIPTURE and which were not.
Furthermore, you KEEP OVERLOOKING the fact that THE CHURCH, itself, EXISTED BEFORE the SCRIPTURES!
You know — there were those to whom the APOSTLES THEMSELVES handed over THEIR AUTHORITY; hence, the very one that DECIDED with THIS SAME AUTHORITY which comprised SCRIPTURE and which DID NOT.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 4:50 pm

If that which is Theopneustos (Scripture) needs outside human agency (Magisterium) to authenticate it

That is not the right way to put it, for two reasons: (a) Scripture doesn’t need anything, and (b) the Magisterium represents the work of the Holy Spirit and thus is not a human agency.
Here is the right way to put it: We need the Holy Spirit working in the Church to faithfully and reliably attest which human books are written under Spirit’s own inspiration and which are works of fallible human wisdom.

Esau October 12, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Any how— as always SDG TIM J Esau INOCENCIO et al…. it’s been a “riot”…If I offended someone please forgive me—-you too mr. Keating!…God bless Y’all..
Same here!
I actually enjoy our conversations here (in spite of your dodging my questions every now and then ;^) ) because it certainly has strengthened my Faith all the more!
I really appreciate that!

Brian Walden October 12, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Bernard,
Even if we accept your facts without question (which I’m sure most people here don’t) – Why do you imply that the actions of the Apostles are not those of the Church? Why do you imply that God doesn’t work through Church councils.

bill912 October 12, 2007 at 6:17 pm

“It seems most likely…”etc.
Evidence, please.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 6:47 pm

I am just proposing an alternate theory.

Until you cite some evidence, you don’t have a theory, only a postulate.
And a flaky one. St. Paul wanted some scrolls. They could have been anything. And I am aware of no scholarly credence whatsoever for the theory that a NT canon was actually physically collected within the first century in time for John to be talking about that in Revelation. That’s just crazy talk based on nothing.

powerful evidence of God’s hand in the preservation of His inspired Word.

Yes. In the Holy Spirit’s guidance upon the Church. Otherwise known as the charism of truth which manifests itself both in the sensus fidelium and the magisterium.
Of course God’s hand, or the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit, did not just guide the Church in its discernment of the extent of the word of God. It also guided the Church in its interpretation of the word of God. For example, concerning regeneration through water baptism, the eucharistic sacrifice, the NT priesthood, the apostolic succession of bishops, etc.

bill912 October 12, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Proposing a theory without evidence?

Mary October 12, 2007 at 7:25 pm

I know that many Catholics pray to Michael The Archangel.
When I look to see if this is even shown to be Biblical , I come out wanting— but then the Catholic says …well, you see this is not found in the Bible but in Sacred Tradition and so forth.

And why should they not pray to Michael the Archangel? What is wrong with asking something of the archangel, or any other angel?
And if you do think there’s something wrong with speaking to angels, explain Psalm 148.
“Praise the Lord from the heavens; give praise in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels; give praise, all you hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon; give praise all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens, you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the Lord’s name; for the Lord commanded and they were created,
Assigned them duties forever, gave them tasks that will never change.”

bill912 October 12, 2007 at 7:41 pm

SDG, I take it you are satisfied that Bernard is not Fred 123? Because he’s talking past everyone just like Fred, and offering nothing to back up his assertions, just like Fred.

SDG October 12, 2007 at 7:50 pm

Bill912, you’re right. I am going to escalate matters.
Bernard, since you ignored my request to clarify your identity, and because of various stylistic tics (and personality problems) you share in common with Fred123, you are gone for now. Feel free to write to me privately if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly.

bill912 October 12, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Perhaps he needs to be told that continuing to make electronic communications after being told to cease doing so is a crime. (‘Cause telling him it’s rude probably won’t have any effect on him).

David B. October 13, 2007 at 11:21 am

Do your homework and the lies of Rome are easily exposed.
Said the man who admitted to not reading the church fathers (as in the first three hundred years history of the Church.)
It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Seriously, my sides are hurting.

David B. October 13, 2007 at 11:35 am

“Both religions have for centuries said, if you leave the church you will be damned. Brainwashing, guilt, fear, and sacraments complete their religious rites.
Saint Peter pronounced anathemas, but who cares about that “Brainwashing guilt”? BTW, Baptism, instituted by Christ, IS a sacrament.

erick October 13, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Mary—
“…And if you do think there’s something wrong with speaking to angels, …”
I’ll clarify again!!!! I said PRAYING to angels.

Esquire October 13, 2007 at 1:17 pm

erick,
Perhaps you would not object if we said, “asking them to intercede on our behalf,” rather than “praying to them.”
Surely you do not have an objection to angels interceding on man’s behalf, or to man requesting that they do so?

erick October 13, 2007 at 2:09 pm

“…Surely you do not have an objection to angels interceding on man’s behalf, or to man requesting that they do so? ”
I do not object to angels interceding on man’s behalf…..requesting that they do IS prayer…this I do object to , no matter how many “neat” and circular reasoning answers I get from many here.
I have not seen one (1) example of this being biblical….yet that does not matter much anyway apparently.

Esquire October 13, 2007 at 2:14 pm

erick,
Help clarify for me what aspect you feel is not biblical. You do agree, don’t you, that it is biblical to ask others to intercede with God on your behalf?

erick October 13, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I don’t PRAY to them to do this for me—-
see the difference?.
I may ask them to pray for or with me—-but I am not about to pray TO someone dead— or to an angel— again this is not Biblical—which again may not mean much around here!.

Michael October 13, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Erick,
It is only in modern usage that the word pray has become synonymous with worship. Its meaning and traditional usage is “to ask”. As in, I pray sir that you calm yourself.
If you want to talk about worship, please discuss worship. A Catholic uses the word ‘pray’ in a much more general fashion than your realize.

SDG October 13, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I do not object to angels interceding on man’s behalf…..requesting that they do IS prayer…this I do object to

It sounds to me, Erick, as if you may be claiming that I can say, “Thank you, angels all around me, for all that you did for me yesterday,” and I can even say “Thank you, angels all around me, for all that you are going to do for me tomorrow,” but the one thing I cannot say is “Thank you, angels, for all you may do for me today, and if it be God’s will, may your aid help keep me safe from harm and sin”?
Can that really be right?
Another example:
If my brother or cousin or son comes home from war, I can say “Thank you, angels, for keeping him safe.”
If he is going to war, I can say, “Thank you, angels, for whatsoever you may do it keep him safe, if it be God’s will.”
I can even say, “Dear God, keep him safe. Send angels to keep him safe. Angels, thank you for all that you will do to keep him safe.”
But the one thing I cannot add to this is, “Angels, I ask you, if it be God’s will, keep him safe. Bring him back to us”?
And why would this be? To me, it seems arbitrary and, well, just silly.
Earlier you suggested that “prayer IS worship.” Now you seem to realize that it is not, but you still have this objection that, AFAICT, you have not explained, other than to say that you “haven’t seen a biblical example.”
FWIW, Mary’s citation of Psalm 148 does seem to count. To exhort the angels to praise God is an imperative utterance, which, since we have not authority to command angels, can only be an exhortation, an encouragement, a request — a prayer.
If we can exhort the angelic hosts to praise God (though surely they are doing already anyway), why can we not call on them to watch over us?
Why should the burden of proof should be on us to show that it is right? What reason do you have to think that it might be wrong?
What religious principle is being violated? How exactly is God’s honor or glory violated if we ask His angels to do what He has charged them with doing?
Do I need a biblical example to ask you to pass the salt? Why should I need a Bible verse to ask my children’s guardian angels to watch over them through the day?

erick October 13, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Michael—
“…A Catholic uses the word ‘pray’ in a much more general fashion than your realize.”
I know that’s right!.

SDG October 13, 2007 at 2:45 pm

I don’t PRAY to them to do this for me

Oh dear, we may be more confused than I thought. Didn’t you read my earlier post on the root meaning of “pray” (as in “I pray thee Erick attend closely to my argument”?).
Yes, you do. To ASK someone to pray to God for you = to PRAY them do so. Ask = Pray. The words are synonymous.

erick October 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm

SDG—
You lost ir Brother!—–
My point is simply that the Bible does not record any prayers to angels— but I know many Catholics do—-…
So, in order to overcome this—- the teachings of Tradition re sought.
My contention is How do we validate Tradition?.
I got my answer— it is validated by Scripture–and the
Magisterium—- however Scripture does not teach prayer to angels— so I guess on this one doctrine only the Magisterium was there to “validate” this tradition.
Right?.

Esquire October 13, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Erick,
I would be interested in seeing your answers to SDG’s excellent points. (Although your response to Michael’s was, I must admit, disappointing.)
In particular, are all forms of communication with angels, including thanksgiving and exhortation, strictly forbidden in your opinion?

erick October 13, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Esquire—
Sorry to disappoint you some more “In particular, are all forms of communication with angels, including thanksgiving and exhortation, strictly forbidden in your opinion?”.
What does the Biblical record say?….
Sorry!.

bill912 October 13, 2007 at 3:00 pm

“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.”–Revelation 8:3-4

erick October 13, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Bill912—
So?—–
Where does it state thet these prayers were directed to the angel?….

SDG October 13, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Where does it state thet these prayers were directed to the angel?….

Well, what were the angels doing with prayers addressed to God?
The point is, angels have a role in bringing our prayers before God. It seems reasonable that we can acknowledge them.

Brian Walden October 13, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Erick,
We rely on other people (parents, ministers, teachers, family, friends, scholars, theologians, etc) to help teach us about God. These people help us to achieve salvation; we would all be lost if we grew up with no exposure to Christianity and were merely handed a Bible one day. Yet you don’t claim that asking them for help somehow takes away from God.
So why then is it wrong to ask the angels and saints who we profess are alive in Christ? In a sense they’re even more alive than we are. I’d be interested in knowing what people who don’t pray to them think that they do in heaven.
I’m not sure what you’re denomination is, but does your church do nothing that’s not explicitly described in the Bible?

SDG October 13, 2007 at 6:04 pm

Erick,
Okay. I begin to guess that you aren’t really interested in the subject of praying to angels per se. It seems you’re just looking to critique the concept of sacred tradition.
Let me help you out. It is true that tradition is judged by scripture, but not in the sense that everything in tradition must be explicitly attested in scripture.
As others have already pointed out, the NT scriptures grew out of tradition, not the other way around. Furthermore, throughout the early centuries as the canon was forming, apostolic tradition was a standard by which the NT-era texts were judged, to see which were consistent with the teaching received from the apostles and which were not.
Today, scripture is a standard by which tradition is judged, but this doesn’t mean that any tradition not explicitly attested in scripture is false. It does mean that any tradition contradicted by scripture is false.
So the fact that the tradition of asking the angels for help may not explicitly appear in scripture does not trouble us. Neither do the scriptures contradict or reject this practice.
More pointedly, neither do the scriptures anywhere tell us that any tradition not explicitly attested in scripture is false.
If your interrogation implicitly assumes the latter, it is based on an unscriptural and false principle.
Back to the subject of prayer to angels. Your position still seems to me to make no sense.

Mary October 13, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I’ll clarify again!!!! I said PRAYING to angels.
Avoid going to court over anything.
Besides the usual reasons, you may suffer the shock of hearing your lawyer say, “My client prays the court.”
“To pray” as has already been pointed out, means “to ask.”
Therefore, your assertions that,
My point is simply that the Bible does not record any prayers to angels—
is simply wrong. I grabbed one psalm. If you look, there are scores more. And in Daniel, the “three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God” and one of the things they sang was a prayer to angels: “Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.”
and indeed, when you assert
I don’t PRAY to them to do this for me—-
see the difference?.
I may ask them to pray for or with me—-but I am not about to pray TO someone dead— or to an angel— again this is not Biblical—which again may not mean much around here!.

You are contradicting yourself. If you ask them for anything, you are praying to them.

Geo October 13, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Praise him, all you angels; give praise, all you hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon; give praise all shining stars.

After praying to the angels, pray to the sun, moon and stars. Also to your cocker spaniel.

george October 13, 2007 at 7:26 pm

What is the correct technique for praying to angels?

Brian Walden October 13, 2007 at 7:51 pm

There is no correct technique for praying to angels, just as there’s no correct technique to pray to God or to ask a friend for help. But here are two common prayers to angels:
A prayer to St. Michael:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
A prayer to your guardian angel (there are many, this is a common one):
Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen.

SDG October 13, 2007 at 8:42 pm

After praying to the angels, pray to the sun, moon and stars. Also to your cocker spaniel.

That’s cute, B’Geo. (It is you, isn’t it, B? Thanks for the reference work earlier. I always said you were smart… way too smart to be helping Fred123, so you must have had some other reason for your interest. I wonder what it was. Not that I prithee tell me.)
Actually, since you mention it, I do (or did, when I had one) “pray” (in the broad imperative sense) my cocker spaniel do this or that (heel, sit, etc.) — to the extent that it was compatible with his nature to hear and respond.
In the case of the sun, moon and stars, of course, it is not compatible with their nature to hear and respond; so while we can (in keeping with Psalm 148) call on them in the broadest of senses, we cannot expect any response to this call, except insofar as that the response is in us.
In that respect, calling on the sun, moon and stars, while it has no effect upon them, benefits us by heightening our appreciation for their place in God’s plan and their goodness in our lives.
The same goods, though not only these goods, are served when we call upon angels.
What is different about angels is that they — along with our fellow men — are uniquely capable among created things of hearing and responding to our calls. Which is why we can call on them (both angels and our fellow men) in a way beyond any that could apply to other created things, asking and expecting them (both angels and our fellow men) to respond to our calls.

SDG October 13, 2007 at 9:07 pm

There is no correct technique for praying to angels, just as there’s no correct technique to pray to God or to ask a friend for help.

In addition to the two traditional prayers supplied above, I will mention another way of praying to angels to which I have had recourse for many years.
I suppose all of us who live near reasonably busy roads are familiar with the sound of screeching tires as a driver jams on his brakes in an effort to avoid an accident. I suppose all of us wince at that sound and hope not to hear the sound of rending metal afterwards.
Several years ago, instead of merely hoping and wincing in that moment, I began channeling that moment of vicarious anxiety into a deliberate but wordless prayer to all angels in the area on behalf of the driver(s) and any other potentially affected parties.
I don’t know how it is for anyone else, but for me at any rate the unexpectedness and the brevity of the crisis would preclude any but the briefest and most automatic of ejaculatory prayers (such as the name of Jesus).
At any rate I make no effort to form words. I simply close my eyes and in my heart I offer a wordless intention that any accident be averted, the parties and secondarily their machines kept safe. In my mind’s eye I picture angels standing in the space between one car and another or between the car and the person or object it might strike. The picture and the intention is the prayer.
(Strictly as a side note, I might mention that since I began this practice I have yet to hear that sound of rending metal. From this isolated fact I advance no particular conclusions.)

Esquire October 13, 2007 at 10:45 pm

erick,

Esquire—

Sorry to disappoint you some more “In particular, are all forms of communication with angels, including thanksgiving and exhortation, strictly forbidden in your opinion?”.

What does the Biblical record say?….

Sorry!.

Not sure what you’re sorry about. Maybe you just realized you’ve misread the Biblical record, as my Bible contains scores of communications with angels.
Sorry indeed.

Brett Page November 3, 2008 at 2:35 am

The simple problem, unfortunately, is the liturgy is dull, boring ad irrelevant. And the old bachelors in Rome who make the rules just don’t get it. And, I suspect, never will.

bill912 November 3, 2008 at 10:13 pm

“The simple problem, unfortunately, is the liturgy is dull, boring ad(sic) irrelevant.”
I guess it is, if your purpose in going to Mass is to be entertained. If you want to get something out of the Mass, try putting something into it.

Previous post:

Next post: