Friday, July 06, 2012

The Inclusivism of Vatican II

Since Vatican II, the stand of the Catholic Church has been inclusivism. I wonder how many people think that Catholics hold that all non-Catholics are going to hell.

142 comments:

Papalinton said...

Well they did until god changed his mind at the Magisterium meeting held during Vatican 2

Victor Reppert said...

Pope Pius IX, the pope known for getting Infallibility passed, maintained that people could be saved who were invincibly ignorant, even if they were outside the Catholic Church.

BenYachov said...

Actual Victor, Pope Alexander VIII(who was earlier than Pius IX by two centuries) condemned the Janenist heretics who denied you could be invincibly ignorant.

Among the Church Fathers Justin Martyr was an inclusivist. St Cyprian was a restrictivist & Augustine could go either way.

B. Prokop said...

Dante in the 14th Century, even while poetically consigning the Pagans to Limbo, strongly hinted throughout the Divine Comedy that the ultimate fate of virtuous pagans was nevertheless Salvation.

But in any case, the Church has never declared non-Catholics to be incapable of Salvation. What she has (and quite correctly) maintained, is that there is no Salvation outside of the Church. But you can drive a Mack Truck through that declaration. A case can easily be made for the Church acting to save a person who had never heard of Christ, or even one who vehemently denied Him throughout his life.

All that changed with Vatican II was the interpretation and mode of explanation of an unchanging Truth.

Steven Carr said...

And how do Catholics know who is going to Heaven and who is not?

They don't. They just make things up and say that they are true.

B. Prokop said...

Of course we don't know. Even you might be. Heck, maybe even me...

BenYachov said...

If the Pope formally Canonizes someone a Saint they are in Heaven.

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

No always true. Remember that JPII "unsainted" several early saints who were determined to be a-historical.

BeingItself said...

"If the Pope formally Canonizes someone a Saint they are in Heaven."

How do you know that Ben? What was your method to determine the truth of that statement?

Crude said...

Bob,

No always true. Remember that JPII "unsainted" several early saints who were determined to be a-historical.

Keep in mind, that sort of thing (according to my understanding) was due to some 'saints' being called such on a ... I think diocesan? level, rather than having to do with the Vatican.

And yes, as others pointed out, the idea that those outside the Church can be saved is an old, old Catholic idea. People mangle Vatican II constantly.

physphilmusic said...

These are all interesting responses, but since the original post was about Catholics vs non-Catholics, I was interested to know whether there are Catholics who think that even earnest Protestants and Orthodox Christians are going to hell. Has the Church ever held that view, and are there still any who endorse that?

Crude said...

Has the Church ever held that view, and are there still any who endorse that?

The Feeneyites, maybe some of the wilder members of the Society of Saint Pius X, have views along those lines. The Church has always held that all are saved through the Church, but that doesn't cash out to meaning through direct and intentional union with the Church.

It's a little along the lines of how, even after the various splits, the Church still viewed the various other Churches (Lutherans, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox) as being capable of administering the sacraments validly. Just not licitly.

I don't doubt you'll find some people who say otherwise. You'll also find Jesus mythicists. Crazy views abound.

Papalinton said...

It all sounds so ..... terrestrially bound.

Crude said...

physphilmusic,

Another thing to consider is, according to my understanding, the Church never definitively says (putting the saints aside for a moment) who is/isn't in hell. Even Judas. There's actually plenty of areas where Church teaching is silent on various issues, though some theological views are more common than others.

Though, speaking of being outside the Faith, I see a well-known Cult has recently expunged one of their members for the crime of heresy.

B. Prokop said...

The Medieval Church widely believed, at least on a popular level, that the pagan emperor Trajan was in Heaven.

Saint Paul at times sounds suspiciously like a universalist.

BenYachov said...

>No always true. Remember that JPII "unsainted" several early saints who were determined to be a-historical.

Bob you are wrong with all due respect & regards my brother none of the "un-sainted" had ever been formally declared Saints by a Pope.

Popes didn't start formally proclaiming Saints till the 12th Century. Before that many whom we regard as Saints are so by Consensus fide or the Consensus of the Fathers which is less certain then a Papal decree.

>The Medieval Church widely believed, at least on a popular level, that the pagan emperor Trajan was in Heaven.

Which is not the same as the Pope formally declaring it so even if it could be shown a particular Pope believed it to be so.

Cheers Bob.

Ilíon said...

VR: "I wonder how many people think that Catholics hold that all non-Catholics are going to hell."

One need only pay attention to what many Roman Catholics, including some who regularly post on this blog, say, to grasp that in their hearts, many, if not most, Roman Catholics realy do believe that salvation is a function of adherence to The One True Bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, Christians, whether or not they are into potpourri, undestand that salvation comes from Christ, and not from any human bureaucracy.

Ilíon said...

... or any other sort of social arrangement.

Jason Pratt said...

Bob: {{But in any case, the Church has never declared non-Catholics to be incapable of Salvation. What she has (and quite correctly) maintained, is that there is no Salvation outside of the Church. But you can drive a Mack Truck through that declaration.}}

Of course the RCC has never declared that non-Catholics are incapable of salvation; but Popes since (at least) Pelagius 2 around 585 have routinely stressed that those who die outside formal loyal obedience to the Pope have died outside the Church and that for such people, even if they died as martyrs to Christ and to Christian truth (accepted by the RCC) there can be no heaven but only punishment and despair.

I am not exactly sure when that changed (obviously so by Vatican 2), and I'm glad the RCC leadership thinks and teaches differently now. But I could quote letters of doctrinal instruction by Popes, specifically in formal attempts at ecumenialism, stressing the point as an inducement for reconciliation: if you die outside loyalty to the Pope, you die outside the saving graces offered by Christ's Church and there is no hope of ever being given those graces by God. (Pope Pelagius quotes Cyril extensively on this topic in his ecumenical epistle "Dilectionis vestrae", although that is the earliest record I can currently find of a Pope expressing this idea in what I suppose to be a formal statement of faith and morals. Unless an epistle from a Pope to schismatic bishops is not supposed to be inerrant teaching on the importance of swearing fealty to the Pope again before death...?)

JRP

Matt DeStefano said...

Ilion:One need only pay attention to what many Roman Catholics, including some who regularly post on this blog, say, to grasp that in their hearts, many, if not most, Roman Catholics realy do believe that salvation is a function of adherence to The One True Bureaucracy.


That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

Crude said...

Ilion,

You come across as believing that a failure to wholeheartedly endorse free trade* is some kind of mortal sin. While I have my own problems with the economic beliefs of some Catholics, you're off in your own brand of crazy.

(* Except when it comes to immigration, at which point you'll dive for the badges and guns rapidly to enforce a protectionist racket with employment. Which I endorse! But that still is what you're doing in the end.)

Crude said...

Unless an epistle from a Pope to schismatic bishops is not supposed to be inerrant teaching on the importance of swearing fealty to the Pope again before death...?

I'm pretty sure negotiations of that sort don't fall under "infallible", no.

Crude said...

Also, to add to my previous comment - I'm pretty sure there's a special situation for formal schismatics, and "deliberate heresy". You can, of course, be damned while outside the church, but I don't believe merely being outside is what "does it" by Catholic teaching.

Ilíon said...

Matt DeStefano,

I'm a simple man, and not a Seinfeld fan: I have utterly no idea what you mean by that link.

Crude said...

I'm a simple man, and not a Seinfeld fan: I have utterly no idea what you mean by that link.

I believe the atheist and Cult of Gnu member may be complimenting you on your efforts that unwittingly assist his cause. Be proud. ;)

Ilíon said...

Just as one can find Catholics (*) who imagine that salvation comes only through formal submission, via the proper bureaucratic channels, to the Chief Overseer of the Prime Overseers of the Ruling Overseers of the Overseers of the Shepherds of the One True Bureaucracy, so, too, one can find, here and there, some Protestants who imagine that formal submission to the Chief Overseer etc is an automatic one-way ticket to damnation. I actually know an old man, even more "fundie" than I, who would make that claim ... at least, until you start pressing him on it. Incidentally, as with many, if not most, Protestants who both take Christianity seriously and have no use for (**) Catholicism, he was raised Catholic.

(*) It appears to me to be most of them ... to be more precise, it appears to be most Catholics who take Christianity seriously. And at the other extreme are the sort of "cultural Catholics" who despise actual Christianity, and in their hearts hate God ... yet, somehow, still think themselves superior (that is, "more elect", in some strange way) to the likes of me, because I'm one of those "ignorant fundies" that some US bishop a century ago warned their sainted Grandmama to stay away from.

(**) I really mean something stronger than "have no use for", though I'm not sure I mean something so strong as "despise".

Crude said...

Just as one can find Catholics (*) who imagine that salvation comes only through formal submission, via the proper bureaucratic channels,

Yes, you can find Catholics who don't understand their own faith. ;)

because I'm one of those "ignorant fundies" that some US bishop a century ago warned their sainted Grandmama to stay away from.

Your faults have very little to do with your faith, pal. It's got far more to do with the fact that you've never had a disagreement with someone - no matter how minor - that didn't end with a very angry, self-righteous lecture, usually with strawmen being cranked out so fast people would think you ran a farming supply store.

Anyone who opposes basic respect for fellow sincere Christians, Protestant or Catholic - anyone who "despises" Catholics or Protestants, or acts like they do - is a traitor to Christ, and a useful idiot for secularists besides.

Matt DeStefano said...

I'm a simple man, and not a Seinfeld fan: I have utterly no idea what you mean by that link.

I found the " One True Bureaucracy" bit to be hysterical.

Ilíon said...

Well, I'd not call it hysterical; humorous, I hope, and as is intended.

The Roman Catholic Church -- as an organization – is just a late Imperial bureaucracy which happened to outlive the empire of which it was an entity.

As a bureaucracy, it has the fundamental defect of all bureaucracies -- it exists primarily for two purposes:
1) to grow, to increase its scope and reach and power;
2) to serve and further the (worldly) interests of its bureaucrats.

If it weren’t for the fact that some of those bureaucrats are indeed Godly men, it would have died out ages ago.

===
In any event, I invented “The One True Bureaucracy” to spoof certain rah-rah Catholics who vainly imagine that the Roman Catholic Church is The One True Church -- as though Christ gives a damn about our human organizations and bureaucracies.

BenYachov said...

>In any event, I invented “The One True Bureaucracy” to spoof certain rah-rah Catholics who vainly imagine that the Roman Catholic Church is The One True Church --

He means me. I still say Ilion's hostility towards me springs from my having a high regard for BDK whom he seems to hate with a passion.

He seemed to imply it's wrong to attribute good will and intelligence to any Atheist.

I wonder how he will react to Matt's modest little Rah Rah?


>>as though Christ gives a damn about our human organizations and bureaucracies.

Well the church bureaucracy isn't really necessary & if it went extincted especially here in American it would be no great loss.

It's the Hierarchy and Apostolic Succession of the Bishops in Union with the Successor to Peter that is necessary.

I wouldn't cry if Friday night Bingo went away.

Crude said...

He means me. I still say Ilion's hostility towards me springs from my having a high regard for BDK whom he seems to hate with a passion.

The dude has it in for anyone who disagrees with him sternly. It's a shame, but hey, some folks are like that.

As for human organizations and bureaucracies - considering Christ Himself organized one, as did God with the jews, apparently "organizations and bureaucracies" are the rule, not the exception.

Ilíon said...

Ben,
You're not the only silly rah-rah Catholic out there. You're not even the most obnoxious, obnoxious though you are.

Jason Pratt said...

Crude: {{I'm pretty sure negotiations of that sort don't fall under "infallible", no.}}

I actually don't mind the term "infallible" insofar as it means "cannot fail to serve God's purposes"--although those purposes might be rather at cross purposes as to what the actors thought at the time. (I half recall that may even be officially included in standard RCC doctrine, which helps get around the acknowledged problem of bad popes.)

But if the Pope isn't supposed to be inerrantly instructing schismatics on what is proper to faith and morals, that they ought to repent and follow, I'm fuzzy as to what would conceivably count as inerrant teaching 'ex cathedra'.

{{Also, to add to my previous comment - I'm pretty sure there's a special situation for formal schismatics, and "deliberate heresy".}}

The situation was apparently that the schismatic bishops thought the Pope had gone off base doctrinally, and was also assuming more authority for himself compared to other bishops than was proper. Much of Pelagius' argument in the first of the two epistles he drafted to them was that PETER (he used all caps for emphasis there), and by extension the successor of PETER, could not possibly go off base doctrinally even though other apostles (and so other apostolic successors) could. Like them for example.

If there was any other relevant doctrinal problem, my Roman Catholic source (Denzinger) didn't think it was important enough to include. (I mention this because he and/or his editorial successors only provide excerpts from the two epistles in the most recent edition of The Sources of Catholic Dogma. Whereas in subsequent letters exhorting other groups to Roman Catholic unity, remarks about what other beliefs they'll have to change are included--but I wanted to be fair and note that more specific problems may have been left out in those two epistles by the editor(s).)

JRP

Shackleman said...

Am I the only one here who can sift through some of the smite and bluster of Ilion's posts to find some real food for thought and interesting ideas? Ilion, yours are always strange sort of posts....because on the one hand I bristle at your tone, yet, I nearly always find something in them that truly gives me pause to think, or even find myself nodding in agreement.

I wish more of my favorite commenters here would be able to ignore the offenses enough to actually engage his ideas. I'd be the richer for it if you folks would do that.

Specifically, how would the Catholics here answer this charge?

>>"Catholics who vainly imagine that the Roman Catholic Church is The One True Church -- as though Christ gives a damn about our human organizations and bureaucracies."

I'm a former atheist, now Protestant, who has been influenced by the likes of this blog and other sources to really consider Catholicism, but Ilion's point above keeps me solidly in the Protestant camp.

BenYachov said...

@Jason

>But if the Pope isn't supposed to be inerrantly instructing schismatics on what is proper to faith and morals, that they ought to repent and follow, I'm fuzzy as to what would conceivably count as inerrant teaching 'ex cathedra'.

Pope's can't be inerrant only the Holy Scripture can be inerrant. Pope's are merely infallible and only when they offically instruct the whole Church on a matter of Faith or Moral.


Infallibility is a negative Power. If the Pope where hypothetically infallible when he took a Math Test(they are not but let us imagine) he could still get a zero on the test he just couldn't put down a wrong answer to a question.

@Shackleman

>>"Catholics who vainly imagine that the Roman Catholic Church is The One True Church -- as though Christ gives a damn about our human organizations and bureaucracies."

Jesus said to the Apostles "He who hears you hears me. He who rejects you rejects me." Can a person follow Jesus but say to the Apostles "I don't need your Apostolic orginization?". Can he?

Jesus obviously wanted people to follow the One true Apostles(the NT does mention false Apostles) so why is a One True Church such a strech?

Does 1 Tim 3:15 call Scripture Alone the Pillar and Ground of the Truth? I think not.

Syllabus said...

1 Timothy 3:15 could equally be saying that the pillar of Truth is the living God, especially given the subsequent verse. At least in the English. I don't have a Greek NT handy.

And extrapolating a continuous apostolic succession from the passage with the Apostles seems a stretch. The best exegesis seems to me to be the one that applies it, at least primarily, to the present. But I would suppose that your interpretation of these passages will depend on your (Catholic) or my (non-Catholic, not exactly Protestant) starting points and presuppositions.

BenYachov said...

I didn't cite 1 Tim 3:15 to prove Apostolic Succession but to show the Nature of the Church.

To divorce the Church as "Pillar and Ground of the Truth" is mere eisegesis.

I don't have to prove Apostolic Succession from the Bible or anything for that matter. Protestants have to show me Sola Scriptura from the Bible alone.

Syllabus said...

I don't subscribe to Sola Scriptura. That's one of the reasons I said "not quite Protestant". I'm more a Prima Scriptura guy, myself. As you rightly pointed out, there's a bit of a difficulty in proving Sola Scriptura by using Sola Scriptura.

I didn't say that you did quote 1 Timothy for that purpose, I said - or implied, rather - that you quoted it to establish Church authority. I said you quoted the passage with Christ talking to the Apostles to prove Apostolic Succession. Just so we're clear. I entirely disagree with your interpretation of the passage, but I'm OK with that. Doesn't usually bother me that people come to different conclusions.

Shackleman said...

Ben,

Thanks for taking this on a bit. You said:

[[Jesus obviously wanted people to follow the One true Apostles(the NT does mention false Apostles) so why is a One True Church such a strech?]]

It's not so much that a "One True Church" seems like a stretch. It's that from the outside looking in, the exubriant loyalty shown to "The One True Church" seems to border on worship of Church instead of worship of God. Honest question which will perhaps help me understand: If the Pope came out with a decree that torturing babies was morally justifiable if the baby was born into Islam, would that still be considered by you to be an infallible decree? Would you denounce the Pope and/or the church as a result?

[["Protestants have to show me Sola Scriptura from the Bible alone."]]

I don't disagree...it's one area of my Lutheranism that I truly struggle with. Intuitively, it seems to me that God has and does make himself known in many more ways than by a single Holy Book. And, it seems to me proven by history that Sola Scriptura leaves room for mangled and sometimes dangerous human interpretations of otherwise righteous scriptural intent, especially when the interpreter reads scripture outside of whole and historical context. Granted, I fully admit my intuitions are often wrong, but this is such a strong intuition that it's impossible to ignore.

cl said...

Ben Yachov,

Yes, we are commanded to have fellowship.

Yes, the NT mentions false apostles.

I think you're distorting the verse in question, personally. I don't think Jesus had the RCC in mind when he told 12 disciples, "he who hears you hears Me."

BenYachov said...

@Shackleman

"Worship the Church", "Worship the Pope", "Worship Mary"etc...

Of course Catholics have always accused Protestants of worshiping a mere inspired Book over and against the Holy One who Inspired it.

>If the Pope came out with a decree that torturing babies was morally justifiable if the baby was born into Islam, would that still be considered by you to be an infallible decree? Would you denounce the Pope and/or the church as a result?

I won't hold y breath.
Well it's never going to happen. Pope's who have lived sexually immoral lives had plenty of opportunities to pull a Joseph Smith and change the Church's teaching on sexual morality.

It never happened. So I doubt torture of Islamic Babies is ever going to be taught anymore then Women Priest, artificial Birth Control or Abortion.

Asking me if I would denounce the Pope is like one of the Atheists asking "Well what if you found the Body of Jesus?" or like in the Britcom Red Dwarf someone found a lost page of the Bible that said "copyrighted the following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."

cheers bro.

Shackleman said...

Ben,

The intent of my hypothetical question was to get at the heart of the matter. Of course it's unimaginable that a Pope would ever decree such a thing, but *if one did*, I'd guess you would denounce him. If I'm right, then I think that points to some Greater Truth and authority that transcends the "One True Church" or that of the Pope's. And, if that is indeed the case, does it not make sense to aspire toward *It*, rather than toward the Church or the the Pope's decrees?

I think Sola Scriptura was one attempt to derive a Greater Truth from something other than "man" (or Pope), but I think it fails for reasons I previously mentioned. So personally I find myself more confused than anything, because neither allegiance to a single church-based authority, nor allegiance to the Bible alone seem sufficient to arrive at the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Perhaps I should stop trying so hard, put my faith in Christ, and hope for the best. Seriously.

BenYachov said...

The Pope is a mere human being who if he doesn't die in a state of Grace give by Our Lord Jesus Christ will go to Hell with the rest of the wicked.

Just like the human writers of Sacred Scripture.

Of course the Pope is dependent on the Holy Spirit for the power of his office. It's not because whatever their personal virtues or weaknesses Benedict or John Paul of happy memory where such awesome dudes apart from God.

BenYachov said...

Oh and cheers again my brother.:-)

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{Pope's can't be inerrant only the Holy Scripture can be inerrant. Pope's are merely infallible and only when they officially instruct the whole Church on a matter of Faith or Moral.}}

If they can't put down a wrong answer on topics for which they are guaranteed infallibility, then I don't see how that doesn't count as being inerrant when instructing on that topic.

Neither apparently did Pius IX in chapter 4 of the Dogmatic Constitution I on the Church of Christ, when he wrote that the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error when the Pontiff speaks as carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians explaining a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church.

So the question still comes back to whether an epistle from Pope Pelagius to schismatic bishops is:

a.) not supposed to be carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in explaining to them a doctrine;

b.) or if so, if this is not supposed to be unimpaired by any error of his on a doctrine of faith or morals;

c.) or if so, whether instructing them on the futility of dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope is not supposed to be an instruction on faith and/or morals;

d.) or if so, whether Pelagius did not expect the universal Church to hold to that teaching (but only the schismatic bishops to whom his epistles were addressed along with perhaps some limited other section of the universal Church).

Because if (a..d) are all true, then I'd have to say that the generously inclusive position of Vatican 2 has directly contradicted the explicit teaching of Pelagius.

But if one or more of (a..d) are not true, which one or more is not?

JRP

Shackleman said...

Ben,

Well, I've read a few works by Benedict, and I'd agree, he seems like an awesome dude. :-)

Take care...

Shackleman said...

And cheers back!

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{Jesus said to the Apostles "He who hears you hears me. He who rejects you rejects me." Can a person follow Jesus but say to the Apostles "I don't need your Apostolic orginization?". Can he?}}

John said to Him (after the apostles had been rebuked for their pride and warned that unless they repented they would by no means enter into the kingdom of God), "Rabbi, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to hinder him, because he does not follow along with us."

But Jesus said to him: "Do not hinder him; for no one shall do a miracle in My name, and then be able soon after to speak an evil of Me.

"For he who is not against you, is for you!"

(Mark 9:38-40; Luke 9:49-50)

Apparently they can follow Jesus yet still reject following after the apostles, especially if the apostles are acting like nits at the time. {g} This would logically also apply to cases where apostolic claims are regarded as being falsely held.

JRP

BenYachov said...

>Apparently they can follow Jesus yet still reject following after the apostles, especially if the apostles are acting like nits at the time. {g} This would logically also apply to cases where apostolic claims are regarded as being falsely held.

Where does it say in Mark or Luke the man in question rejected the Apostles or their exclusive right to teach Christ's doctrine?

Certainly God can work threw whom he likes apart from the Visible Church which is why we accept Protestant Baptisms & Marriages as valid sacraments and the other Sacraments from dissident oriental rites.

But doing a work of mercy doesn't require permission of the church.

BTW I still will need Sola Scriptura shown in the Bible to me.

Otherwise Jason it's just your fallible interpretation vs my Church's alleged fallible interpretation.

BenYachov said...

Let's put it another way. There is a difference between a deliverance ministry vs teaching doctrine.

BTW what about the Jewish exorcists in Acts who tried to cast out a demon in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches?

That didn't end well them not being authorized.

B. Prokop said...

Shackleman,

Fairly busy today, so I can only give your comment a cursory reply at this point. Apologies in advance.

1. The Catholic Church is undeniably datable to the 1st Century AD. Anyone who disputes this is either twisting, ignoring, or ignorant of the Facts.

2. Protestantism didn't even exist until 15 centuries after Christ. For Protestantism to be "true", one would have to overlook Christ's promise that "I will be with you always". Why was he not with us for 15 centuries?

3. The Primacy of Peter is an integral part of the Gospel narrative. It's not just some "proof verse" that we're talking about here, but a drumbeat of instances and positioning too many to list which indicate a first place status for Peter.

4. Protestantism is always spinning off whacko heresies and weird cults - an inevitable result of making every believer the ultimate authority on what Scripture means.

5. Personal interpretation of scripture is anathema even in the New Testament itself.

6. "Scripture Alone" is itself unscriptural.

7. The Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, were universally recognized by all Christians for 15 centuries, and continue to be recognized by the overwhelming majority of them (Catholics, Orthodox, and many Anglicans).

8. The Bible itself is demonstrably a product of the Church (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit). It lacks all authority without the Church.

9. Whatever the undeniable faults of the Reformation-era Church, they at no time justified the division of the Body of Christ - just as whatever problems the southern states had in 1860 didn't justify secession.

10. (This one's personal) I have yet to come across a coherent criticism of or objection against the Catholic church which could not be answered. They always and inevitably turn out to be matters of misinterpretation, ignorance of true historical facts, understandable reactions to very real abuses and crimes committed by Catholic individuals and institutions, or brainwashing from youth by possibly well-meaning anti-Catholics who themselves had fallen victim to the first three items on this list.

Shackleman said...

Bob,

Thanks for your reply. While I have some minor quibbles with your list, I think overall it's a nice summary and gets me thinking, so thanks very much for that.

Just a note of possible interest, from my layperson's understanding, Luther didn't intend to create a "Protestantism", but instead sought only to reform from *within* the Catholic church those "undeniable faults" you speak of, and in fact, Lutherans (many of whom don't really know this), still consider themselves as catholics (small "c") (though I'm sure no Catholic would agree).

I think some of my hangups about Catholicism, besides some of the stereotypes Ben started to admonish me for, is that it seems to me that Authority rests exclusively inside the walls of the Vatican. Such exclusivity of authority can have all kinds of potential dangers, some of which were realized in the reform-era church. Does the Holy Spirit act as the only sort-of "check and balance" to the potential for corruption within the Catholic church? If so, does not the Holy Spirit work in all Christians similarly? Then why the need for only "One True Church"?

(Signing off for the night....cheers to you, and thanks again for the thoughtful reply).

B. Prokop said...

Now for my personal reasons for being a Catholic. (I don't expect these to convince anybody. they're my reasons.)

1. Catholicism was here first. I believe it to have been founded by Jesus Himself - personally. All other Christian denominations have very human founders.

2. Following Catholic doctrine is a guarantee against falling into the heresy of personal interpretation. No matter what weird or crazy idea may come into my mind when reading Scripture, I can use the rudder of Catholicism to keep my course steady.

3. Being a Catholic gives me access to the Sacraments, the legitimacy and efficacy of which I do very much believe in.

4. Catholicism provides instant fellowship with the greatest figures of Christianity throughout history - from the early Church Fathers through Augustine and Jerome through Aquinas, Saints Dominic and Francis, Dante, right up to contemporary figures such as Dorothy Day and Daniel Berrigan.

5. A thorough historical study of the Reformation convinces me that the reformers were dead wrong when they institutionally broke from the Church. The act was illegitimate and inexcusable, and caused grievous harm to Christianity, far in excess of any reputed benefits. Plus, many of the reformers (such as Calvin) were out-and-out heretics.

6. Can anyone honestly state that the Body of Christ is better off today, broken into a thousand fragments, than it was in the 14th Century? I think not.

Syllabus said...

Bob:

Wasn't Calvin - and Calvinists, by extension - what a Catholic would call a Jansenist?

B. Prokop said...

Jansenism is a heresy. Kinda proves my point.

Syllabus said...

I do think Calvinism is a terribly mistaken theological system. Whether it is heresy or not is up to men and women a lot more intelligent than I.

As to the rest of point 5, I agree with you to a point. I do think that the Church Universal has suffered more grievous harm from that break as from just about any other crisis it has experienced. Where I guess we differ is that I don't think that all their points were full-blown wrong or heretical.

B. Prokop said...

"Where I guess we differ is that I don't think that all their points were full-blown wrong or heretical."

I hope you didn't get the impression I thought all their points were wrong. But I do very much think that schism was definitely the wrong solution to very real problems. And that goes for today as well. I am occasionally appalled by the words and actions of my fellow Catholics (even by those in authority), but I firmly believe that the proper response to such is reform/struggle from within. For instance, it would never occur to me to leave the Church because of the recent pedophile scandals. What that would motivate me to do is to support efforts to eliminate the problem and reform the system - from within.

Syllabus said...
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Syllabus said...

The excesses of the Reformation and the political and social apocalypse that followed were demonstrably horrible. Changing the Church from within would certainly have been the best option, by far. Given the atmosphere at the time, however, it probably wasn't feasible.

I always find it weird speaking with Catholics, since I agree with them on like 85% of everything. Guess that makes me a patristic Protestant, or a schismatic Catholic. Like I said, weird.

Ilíon said...

"Wasn't Calvin - and Calvinists, by extension - what a Catholic would call a Jansenist?"

What I find amusing is that -- when the need of the "argument" so dictates -- Catholicism asserts at least one of the key doctrinal errors of Calvinism, the one(s) which distinguish and separate Calvinism from the rest of Christendom (*).

Well, I suppose, when you have all those Jesuits on the payroll, it’s a criminal waste not to use them at least once in a while.

(*) You know, the one(s) that the Calvinists themselves don’t *actually* believe, as witness their constant behavior in direct contradiction to it/them.

Ilíon said...

Do you silly dudes even know what Sola Scriptura *means*?

B. Prokop said...

Yes, we do.

Ilíon said...

Riiiight.

Ilíon said...

As we all know, I'm just a "stupid" "fundie" ... so, please, Smart Dudes (TM), tell me what Sola Scriptura means ... and why it's wrong. Who knows, maybe I'll even be able to understand/follow your (ahem!) explanations of what and why.

BenYachov said...

Sola Scriptura is kind of a moving target.

It means different things to different species of Protestants.


At any given moment it could mean the material sufficiency(which Catholics could accept) of Scripture to a strong or weak formal sufficiency(which we must reject).


In practice I find it's a doctrine that says unless a doctrine is found clearly in the Bible then it's not binding on a christian to believe it.

For example saying the Bishop of Rome is St Peter's successor or various Marian doctrines are not found explicitly in the Bible.

But it major flaw remains. The doctrine itself is not taught anywhere in Scripture thus it is according to it's own standards can't be binding on Christians.

The Canon of the Bible itself is pure tradition and not taught anywhere in the Bible. That is there is no divinely inspired list of Books to be found in the bible.

cl said...

If I might chime in here...

Protestantism didn't even exist until 15 centuries after Christ. For Protestantism to be "true", one would have to overlook Christ's promise that "I will be with you always". Why was he not with us for 15 centuries?

I don't think that follows. Neither Protestantism nor Catholicism strike me as amenable to "true" or "false." Each is comprised of an hierarchy of interpretations, any one of which might be false or true. As a Protestant, I wouldn't say Christ wasn't with us for the 15 centuries before Protestantism.

I've always looked at it this way: the "true" Church is nothing more and nothing less than those whose names are written in the Book of Life. Some will be Catholic, some will be Protestant, many will be neither (as is true of all who lived before Christ).

Ilíon said...

"At any given moment it could mean the material sufficiency(which Catholics could accept) of Scripture ..."

'Material sufficiency' to what end, silly (and foolish) child?

How about if you try again ... and this time, try to not misrepresent the doctrine.

cl said...

IIíon,

Why not just save the time and tell then what it is? That way, at least you can be sure it's not misrepresented, right? Unless you're just having fun playing, which, in that case, carry on.

As for the matter itself (Sola Scriptura), I really don't have an official opinion, quite simply because I lack the knowledge. I just read the following and found it intriguing:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/scriptur/solascri.txt

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>Material sufficiency' to what end, silly (and foolish) child?

Material sufficiency means the Bible contains all the material needed for the Holy Church to formulate correct doctrine.

Like a bike store might contain all the materials you need to ride a bike.
But a bike store is not formally sufficient because you still need to know how to ride a bike. You need to know the rules of the road etc...

It's not hard.

>How about if you try again ... and this time, try to not misrepresent the doctrine.

Like I said Sola Scriptura is a moving target.

IIíon why don't you stop being such a whiny little girl & give me your definition so I don't have to keep taking shots in the dark?

Be a man.

B. Prokop said...

I agree with Ben here. I know perfectly well what it means. I have no idea whether Ilion does. If he's so upset by how others are using the term, then it's up to him to lay out his definition of it.

Syllabus said...

I'll help Ilion out:

"The Protestant position... is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand." - W. Robert Godfrey

That's as good a definion of "Sola Scriptura" as any.

BenYachov said...

>The Protestant position... is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand." - W. Robert Godfrey

>That's as good a definion of "Sola Scriptura" as any.

I disagree. That sounds more like the Reformation doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture not any version of Sola Scriptura I have ever heard.

Syllabus said...

OK, then cut out the bit that goes, "clearly enough for...". You're then left with, "all things that are necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible." Good enough?

Crude said...

I haven't read this entire thread - got other things to deal with lately - but I want to say, at a glance, you guys seem to be discussing things rather calmly and friendly-like. Nice to see.

I mean, except the obvious exception, but who here isn't used to that one?

We can disagree, even strongly, while still being civil. We have common ground, Protestants and Catholics. (And not just them either.)

MickRuggieri said...

Folks,

If I may just break this down and unpack it in the simplest terms.

The Catholic Church has always acknowledged if not formally but practically that God is not bound by the sacraments, however, that fact does not abdicate the Church from being so bound. Hence, Salvation for those not in full union with the Church may be possible since God is not so bound.

Make sense?

MickRuggieri said...

One last couple of comment if I may as it relates to what Catholics believe.

On the issue of infallibility. Infallibility is not a charism specifically associated with the "man" who "is" Pope, but is a gift of the specific "office" that is held by the man who is Pope. The Pope is neither impeccable nor perfect in any way in and of himself separate from the office he holds.

Infallibility also may come through Echumenical councils that are specifically defined as Dogmatic.

Just want to make sure the presentation is accurate when this issue is discussed as it relates to what Catholics believe.

Thanks and take care,

cl said...

Man, what gives? llíon talks all that crap, then, just... disappears. Maybe he's busy.

cl said...

Popery is one of my biggest problems or "causes for skepticism" WRT Catholicism. The idea strikes me as not only unsupported by Scripture, but antagonistic to it. "Call no man father," "none is good," that sort of thing.

BenYachov said...

>"Call no man father,"

If this is a dogmatic command not to use the term Father for Christian clergy then Paul broke it when he called himself a Father.

"For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:14–15).

Jesus in the Gospels was referring to the Pharisees who where trying to kill him. He wasn't making a Law that forbade Christian clergy from being called Father or teacher(James in his Letter refers to community leaders as teachers).

Protestants can be real hypocrites here. Jesus said "Call no man teacher" yet you have guys like Dr. James White, Dr. Walter Martian etc...

Yeh Doctor is latin for teacher.

Anyway Jesus being a Jew used Semitic exaggerations in his speech or do we really believe he wants us to literally cut off our limbs or poke out our eyes when we are tempted or give into temptations against purity?

cl you can believe Protestantism is "biblical" but I don't see it.

Syllabus said...

The "unsupported by Scripture" bit makes sense to us non-Catholics, but it's largely irrelevant to the Catholics, since they place Scripture on a par with Tradition (to them Tradition is basically an extension of Scripture, or Scripture a part of tradition) and the Magisterium. Even if a teaching - say, the Assumption of Mary - is extra-Biblical, they may still take it as dogma if confirmed by either Tradition - from which they derive the teaching of the Pope inheriting Petrine primacy - or the Magisterium - like Pius XII declaring in 1950, ex cathedra, that Mary ascended into Heaven. At least, so I've read.

BenYachov said...

Wow it's been a long time since I used standard polemics against Protestantism & basic apologetics for Catholicism.

Ah Memories. But these days I prefer to deal with New Atheism.

Syllabus said...

"Ah Memories. But these days I prefer to deal with New Atheism."

It's like shooting fish in a barrel. With an RPG.

BenYachov said...

>The "unsupported by Scripture" bit makes sense to us non-Catholics, but it's largely irrelevant to the Catholics, since they place Scripture on a par with Tradition (to them Tradition is basically an extension of Scripture, or Scripture a part of tradition) and the Magisterium.

He gets it!!!:-)


Thank you. If only some of the Gnus around here where as clear thinking when arguing Biblical doctrine with us.

Syllabus said...

I imagine having people quoting the Bible at you as to why, say, transubstantiation is non-Biblical is a bit like Gnus yelling at me about SCIENCE!!! disproving the first 3 chapters of Genesis, thus proving the entire Bible false.

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{BTW I still will need Sola Scriptura shown in the Bible to me.}

As you said, in practice it's a moving target, which is why I've never used it personally as a doctrinal position; much less have I ever challenged anyone else by that standard.


BY: {{Where does it say in Mark or Luke the man in question rejected the Apostles or their exclusive right to teach Christ's doctrine?}}

Where does it say in Mark or Luke that the man in question accepted the Apostles and their exclusive right to teach Christ's doctrine, when it does say in both Mark and Luke that he was refusing to follow them (but not Jesus), and when it does say in both Mark and Luke that this refusal to follow them was the reason why they tried to hinder him?

Because logically I would expect that if a man refused to follow them (which the text clearly says); and if they tried to hinder him because he refused to follow them in following Jesus (which the text clearly says); and if Jesus approved of what the man was doing in following Him anyway (which the text clearly says); and tells the apostles not to hinder him despite his refusal to follow them (which the text clearly says); in the narrative context of a set of rebukes against the apostles for disputing among themselves about which of them was the greatest (which the text clearly says); then the man was not accepting their authority as apostles of Jesus per se.


Was that refusal to follow them the ideal situation?--obviously not (even by the standards of the local narrative contexts): if Christ is rebuking them on anything it's for being the sort of people who should not (thanks to their current attitudes) be followed, thus leading people of good heart (the little children) to stumble.

That isn't an absolute situation; Christ expects them to shape up and threatens them with punishment if they don't. (It doesn't take special inspiration to figure out that much of the scene, and the translation of the Greek to other languages isn't debated there.) But Christ does make provision for an emergency situation of them being the sort of people who should not be followed by people who are genuinely following Him.

(Even the context of Pelagius' position, as I reported it from his epistles, allows that other apostolic successors can go off base, up to and including the original apostles themselves aside from Peter. I take it this is aside from the question of whether Iscariot had been given real apostolic authority.)


BY: {{BTW what about the Jewish exorcists in Acts who tried to cast out a demon in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches?

That didn't end well them not being authorized.}}

If it comes to that, Jesus Himself indicates that people who apparently were authorized to invoke Him for miraculous works of deliverance ministry (and whom He commends for caring enough about teaching doctrine to test even apostles), are going to be in big trouble eventually if they don't shape up. They may know enough about doctrine to call Him "Lord, Lord", but they're still doers of injustice.

Be that as it may: if Jewish magicians try to use His name for magical purposes and literally get their butts kicked by demons as a result, I don't see how this voids the express example in the Gospels of someone exorcising successfully in Jesus' name; expressly approved by Christ; despite that man expressly refusing to follow the Apostles; which the Apostles were expressly ticked off about; for which express reason they tried to hinder him; for which express reason they're rebuked by Christ; in a scene expressly dedicated to them being rebuked by Christ for being overly concerned with their own greatness.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{Otherwise Jason it's just your fallible interpretation vs my Church's alleged fallible interpretation.}}

I sympathize with that being a problematic situation. But the evidence indicates the logical conclusion that this is the situation. If the high authorities of your Church allege their infallible interpretation (in the sense of never positively teaching any error in matters of faith and morals), and allege that they are infallibly interpreting scriptural details to testify that they are granted this type of infallibility in interpreting scriptural details (and so their interpretations of scriptural details are not to be seriously challenged as in error, including for example where they have infallibly interpreted that they have been granted infallible interpretation ability of this sort)--

--then I had better not find even rare examples of them not living up to that.

But those examples can be found.

I don't actually like that those examples can be found--I have a lot of respect for the RCC (and the EOx for that matter), warts and all. I'm not even against the principle, no moreso than I'm against even the most hardcore notions of Biblical inerrancy in principle. But if I find the data doesn't pan out in practice, then I have to conclude that the reality is different from those positions.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

Syllabus: {{The excesses of the Reformation and the political and social apocalypse that followed were demonstrably horrible. Changing the Church from within would certainly have been the best option, by far. Given the atmosphere at the time, however, it probably wasn't feasible.}}

Agreed, but this gets to what I regard as the key Protestant issue (in various historical flavors): what kind of provision has been authoritatively allowed for reforming the church from high authority abuse?

Was there any such provision in place at the time of Luthor? As far as I can tell, or have ever heard even from Roman Catholics (whether hostile or sympathetic to the Reformation's complaints), no there was not.

Was there any such provision in place at the time of the Great Schism of Eastern and Western Catholicism? No, it doesn't seem to me that there was. (Admittedly there were also serious political and administrative methodology issues at the time; the former being also true at the time of the original Reformation. But I am assuming we're in agreement that those shouldn't be regarded as legitimate grounds for breaking off communion from each other.)

Is there any such provision in place now?? I wish I could see that there was, and I do see some signs of moving in that direction, sort of. But I still don't see such provision in place.

I realize that the Pope is in place to help resolve authoritative malfeasance--the EOx actually agreed with that, too. (Many still do in principle, I think.) But if the Pope goes off base, the only defense appears to be "the Pope cannot go off base himself, so there!" In principle that would be great, but in practice this can be demonstrated to be false.

Even outside the question of doctrinal teaching of faith and morals, what the hell is supposed to be done when a Borgia gets elected Pope?! I guess we can be grateful he didn't abuse his position more than he did, but what was in place to help remove or prevent him from getting into that position? Obviously at the time (and in related if not quite as bad cases) nothing sufficiently sufficient. Is anything in place now to prevent a repeat of such debacles?--or if not to absolutely prevent it, to rectify the matter should historical situations allow a significantly corrupted Pope again?

JRP

BenYachov said...

>Where does it say in Mark or Luke that the man in question accepted the Apostles and their exclusive right to teach Christ's doctrine, when it does say in both Mark and Luke that he was refusing to follow them (but not Jesus), and when it does say in both Mark and Luke that this refusal to follow them was the reason why they tried to hinder him?

Your the one making the Positive Claim this verse authorizes Protestants to follow their own doctrinal authority and private interpretation of Holy Writ because Jesus let this Man proform exocisms without formally being an Apostle.

So the burden of proof is on you to show it means what you claim it means. Since you are asking me all these questions you are implicitly acknowledging this verse is not clear for the purposes you are using it for.

Remember I don't believe in Sola Scriptura either.

>Because logically I would expect that if a man refused to follow them (which the text clearly says);

Where does it say that? It merely says the Apostles tried to stop him &Jesus told the Apostle to cut it out nothing about him joining up or not. Nothing about him recognizing their authority or not.

>and if they tried to hinder him because he refused to follow them in following Jesus (which the text clearly says); and if Jesus approved of what the man was doing in following Him anyway (which the text clearly says); and tells the apostles not to hinder him despite his refusal to follow them (which the text clearly says);

Your still ignoring the fact this dealing with an act of spiritual mercy not about having the authority to teaching doctrine or not.

>in the narrative context of a set of rebukes against the apostles for disputing among themselves about which of them was the greatest (which the text clearly says); then the man was not accepting their authority as apostles of Jesus per se.

That is this text is a warning to future Popes and Bishops not to be full of themselves is beyond dispute. That it authorizes rebellion against the Lawful authority is a strech.

>But Christ does make provision for an emergency situation of them being the sort of people who should not be followed by people who are genuinely following Him.

No argument which is why I see Protestants as Brother and call them such. Pius XI said "Even the stones chipped off the main Rock have specks of Gold in them".

BenYachov said...

>Even outside the question of doctrinal teaching of faith and morals, what the hell is supposed to be done when a Borgia gets elected Pope?!

One thing you can't do is rebel. Leave the Church interpret revelation for yourself contrary to received teaching.

Invent doctrines whole cloth out of thin air that contradict Scipture-sola Fide(James 2:24).

You do what the Counter Reformers or St Francis did. You stay and live the Gospel more exuberantly!

>--then I had better not find even rare examples of them not living up to that.

>But those examples can be found.

No they can't & I have heard them all.

Or are you going to bore me with example of clergy sinning? I don't believe in a sinless Church.

BenYachov said...

>I realize that the Pope is in place to help resolve authoritative malfeasance--the EOx actually agreed with that, too. (Many still do in principle, I think.) But if the Pope goes off base, the only defense appears to be "the Pope cannot go off base himself, so there!" In principle that would be great, but in practice this can be demonstrated to be false.

Except I can take three dozen Protestant denominations and Reformers and reconstruct 99% of Catholic doctrine by scratch.

Real Presence-denied by Zwingli but affirmed by Luther.

Justification as a Transformation and inner renewal? Denied by Luther affirmed by Zwingli.

Condemning Eternal Security. Calvin was on the wrong side. Zwingli the right one and mostly Luther.

How are you going to show the Pope has been demonstrated to be false on doctrine when I can find a Reformer or Protestant denomination who agrees with him?

Syllabus said...

@Jason:

That's one of the primary reasons why I'm not a Roman Catholic. I just don't trust the Church enough to believe that its teaching and authority can be placed on a par with Scripture. Granted, that's partially because I'm coming from a Protestant framework, but for better or for worse I'm looking upon the RCC from the outside. I understand how a Catholic answers these questions, and they may be satisfactory for them. They just don't convince me.

Syllabus said...

"How are you going to show the Pope has been demonstrated to be false on doctrine when I can find a Reformer or Protestant denomination who agrees with him?"

I don't think that you'll find many Protestants who would say that ANY Reformer's doctrinal batting average was perfect, or that they're infallible in their doctrine. Besides, the Reformation may have started with these guys, but it didn't end with them. It's developed over the past half-century. Extrapolating people's beliefs off of those "Patient Zero"s is going to be, at best, incomplete.

BenYachov said...

Syllabus,

The Reformers disagreed with each other(& in some cases accidentally agreed with the Pope) on the grounds they where following the Bible.

If I can reconstruct Catholic doctrine from their dissent then why should I let them re-invent the wheel? Stick with the original.

I don't have to believe their errors to condemn Alexander VI sexual immorality.

I am also secure in the knowledge even thought Alexander VI was a perv he was prevented by the Holy Spirit from pulling a Joseph Smith and making sexual immorality part of Catholic teaching.

Luther OTOH told Philip of Hess he could marry two women at once because polygamy is allowed in the OT.

Zwingli lived with a women he wasn't married too for a year. Then when he married her he openly confessed to cheating on her many times.

The Protestants where no better than the Borgia.

Calvin ran Geneva like a totalitarian state worst then the most tyrannical Pope ran the Papal states.

Rebelling and changing doctrine solved nothing.

Syllabus said...

You say this stuff like you think I should be surprised by it. I'm aware that many of the Reformers were bastards. The Catholic Church of the time was similarly corrupt. Pointing at scandal on either side solves nothing whatsoever.

"Rebelling and changing doctrine solved nothing."

I cordially disagree. It addressed some problems, and created a whole slew of others. In other words, it was chaotic and nasty, but not totally bad. Sure, if it had been handled differently things would have been less messy, but mooning over history is pointless. And again, Zwingli, Luther and Calvin aren't the be-all and end-all of the Reformation, not even at the time. You also had the Anabaptists, who got slaughtered by both Protestants and Catholics because they were strict pacifists (I'm closer to the Anabaptists than to most Protestant denominations). And I don't have to be a genius to realize that the Reformers got things wrong and got hijacked by political and other issues. I still think they did some good things, amidst all the bad.

"Or are you going to bore me with example of clergy sinning? I don't believe in a sinless Church."

Truer words were never spoken. :)

BenYachov said...

>I cordially disagree. It addressed some problems, and created a whole slew of others.

No the Counter-Reformation solved the Problems. It corrected the abuses though it obvious didn't solve every problem in the world.

We have to wait for the Second Coming for that part.

Syllabus said...

Agree to disagree on the first part, wholeheartedly agree on the second part.

Crude said...

For what it's worth, while I'm Catholic, I think - especially in this age - there's enough agreements between all but the most lunatic Catholics, and all but the most lunatic Protestants, to agree on a tremendous amounts of things, and cooperate on a plethora of issues. We can still disagree, but civility is possible and should remain. (Like this thread, which has just made my week thus far.)

Also, I agree with the skepticism of the sinless Church. Frankly, just reading the NT cured me of that wish. The 12 apostles were, uh... not exactly perfect guys. Even aside from Judas - just look at Peter. Right at the crucifixion.

cl said...

Ben,

"Protestants can be real hypocrites here. Jesus said "Call no man teacher" yet you have guys like Dr. James White, Dr. Walter Martian etc..."

Well, yeah, but the verse doesn't say, "Call no man teacher."

"cl you can believe Protestantism is "biblical" but I don't see it."

Look, you don't know jack squat about what I believe. I don't make lame generalizations like "Protestantism is biblical" or "Catholicism is unbiblical." That's sloppy thinking. Moreover, don't try to categorize me as an opponent in your own personal religious schisms. I don't identify with any religious group. I've accepted Christ and been baptized, and though I need to try much harder, I'm trying to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I can only hope that's good enough for God.

I'm just asking for a little enlightenment on what I perceive to be a discrepancy between Scripture and Catholic doctrine. However, I can tell you *STRONGLY* identify with the Catholic religious group, so much so that I think it might impede any sort of fruitful dialog here. I'm not attacking you. I'm not pitting Protestantism against Catholicism. For Pete's sake.

If you can explain this without getting all "Rah Rah Catholicism, Boo Boo Protestantism," I'm genuinely interested in learning. OTOH, if you can't explain without acting like I'm trying to say, "Rah Rah Protestantism, Boo Boo Catholicism," take care and forget I asked.

BenYachov said...

cl,

I guess calling Protestants hypocrites was a bit harsh so for that I apologize but I have been told all my life how this Catholic doctrine or that is "un-biblical" and sometimes it gets my goat.

But I do believe strongly Christ founded the Catholic Church & I don't ever apologize for holding that conviction or expressing it.

>Well, yeah, but the verse doesn't say, "Call no man teacher."

Depends on the translation. Granted some say "Rabbi" or "Master" which mean teacher.

>Look, you don't know jack squat about what I believe. I don't make lame generalizations like "Protestantism is biblical" or "Catholicism is unbiblical."

No I don't but I do know you don't believe what I believe on where we differ & unless you are Eastern Orthodox or belong to a Church with seven valid Sacraments instead of two then by definition in my eyes you are some species of Protestant.

That is just the way I am wired.

cl said...

Ben,

"No I don't but I do know you don't believe what I believe...

Thanks for another useless generalization that does absolutely nothing to help clear up my understanding on the matter at hand. All you know at this point is that I question whether the "father" thing is right or not. That's it. Hell, if I hadn't told you, for all you know I could be a Catholic who was simply wrestling with that issue.

But, forget it. I'm over it now.

BenYachov said...

>Thanks for another useless generalization that does absolutely nothing to help clear up my understanding on the matter at hand.

So far with the exception of "Call no man your Father" your criticisms of "Popery" haven't been all that specific.

cl said...

Sorry, lost interest. Maybe another time.

BenYachov said...

Fine by me.

Ilíon said...

CL: "Man, what gives? llíon talks all that crap, then, just... disappears. Maybe he's busy."

And just what would "all that crap" be?

Why, it would be the thing I hadn't yet explicitly said in this thread, yet had arranged for y'uns to demonstrate by your own behavior -- you people are not interested in finding and knowing the truth, you're not interested in reasoning logically and rationally. You will not even consistently argue by the false or invalid "arguments" you make ... you will "argue" 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously.
Hell! You people might as well be atheists, since you "argue" and "think" in the same false-and-invalid mode as most of them do.

Ilíon said...

Son of Confusion: "Pope's can't be inerrant only the Holy Scripture can be inerrant."

Apparently, no one but me has noticed the wicked irony of the self-appointed Apostle Against the "Fundies" asserting a key Fundamentalist doctrine (or even axiom) ... which just happens to be the bumper-sticker version of the older Protestant doctrine 'Sola Scriptura'.

Ilíon said...

Shackleman: "Am I the only one here who can sift through some of the smite and bluster of Ilion's posts to find some real food for thought and interesting ideas? Ilion, yours are always strange sort of posts....because on the one hand I bristle at your tone, yet, I nearly always find something in them that truly gives me pause to think, or even find myself nodding in agreement."

As I've said before, read the Gospels; pay attention to Jesus' interactions with his detractors and enemies, but also with his friends. Then, when you finally notice how "uncivil" and "divisive" and "not-nice" he was -- when you finally notice that the same people who condemn me, if they were to ever be consistent, would condemn him as least as harshly as they condemn me -- read again and try to figure out why he is so "uncivil" and "divisive" and "not-nice" in those contexts.

I'll give you a hint, see what you get out of a careful reading: Jesus did not "insult" people because they had incorrect or even false beliefs; he did not "insult" people because they resisted believing what he told them; he did not "insult" people because they questioned his authority to set aside their traditions; and so on and so on. No, Jesus "insulted" people because they refused to reason properly, and they refused to follow the dictates of sound-and-valid reason when he gave it to them on a platter -- for instance, he would show them, based on premises of which they did accept the truth, that some other belief or tradition to which they held could not possibly be true. And, how did they almost always respond?

Shackleman: "Am I the only one here who can sift through some of the smite and bluster of Ilion's posts to find some real food for thought and interesting ideas?"

For that matter, "the smite and bluster" of my posts tends to be ascribed to them, rather than actually there. For instance, shortly before this post of yours, both Crud and th Rah-Rah make (false) accusations against me, including the very opposite of the readily observable truth. Yet, most people will read such accusations, especially ones which say at the level of insinuation, and will use them as filters by which to interpret *anything* I say.

Ilíon said...

Shackleman: "I wish more of my favorite commenters here would be able to ignore the offenses enough to actually engage his ideas. I'd be the richer for it if you folks would do that."

Not likely to happen.

One of the first lessons I learned when I left my parents' home over 35 years ago is that most people do not want to test the things they wish to believe to see that the beliefs can stand. Rather, many (it sometimes seems most) people want the person who disagrees with their belief to immediately drop his belief and embrace theirs and for no better reason that they assert it to be the correct belief; and if he does not, then *he* is "closed-minded". And, Heaven help him if he tries to reason about the matter logically and rationally with them, especially if he's getting the better of them in that regard.

What I have learned is that when one has discovered a topic about which another person, or group of persons, *will not* reason, then it is pointless even to attempt to reason with him or them, for it cannot be done. All that one can do in such a case is:
1) ignore the person or group;
2) try to *shock* the person or group into seeing the insane absurdity of their behavior and mode of "reasoning" on that matter, that they may thereby choose to reorient themselves to sound reason;
3) use the insanity of the person or group as an object lesson to others.

====
To refuse to reason correctly is to lie, and it is actually worse than mere lying, for it is hypocrisy with respect to the intellect. The mere liar lies episodically, he lies about some fact or other; but the intellectually dishonest person -- the fool -- lies sytemically, he lies about the very nature of truth, and of reality.

Crude said...

Shackleman,

I wish more of my favorite commenters here would be able to ignore the offenses enough to actually engage his ideas. I'd be the richer for it if you folks would do that.

I doubt I'm making your favorites list, but I have an idea. Instead of asking everyone to talk to a nasty, hateful little fop of a man who attacks anyone who disagrees with him, or who just said 'you may as well all be atheists!', why don't you extract whatever points you think he's making, and bring them up? You're pretty civil - people would find engaging with you a pleasure.

Should anyone really be expected to want discourse with a guy who's rapidly becoming the Papalinton of theists?

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{Your the one making the Positive Claim this verse authorizes Protestants to follow their own doctrinal authority and private interpretation of Holy Writ}}

Actually, I brought up that example as a reply to your question (to someone else upthread) "Can a person follow Jesus but say to the Apostles 'I don't need your Apostolic orginization?'. Can he?"

My conclusion was that this shows, yes, it is both technically and practically permitted by Jesus for someone to follow Jesus (in a real way) yet still reject following after the apostles--to which I immediately added the provision "especially if the apostles are acting like nits at the time. {g} This would logically also apply to cases where apostolic claims are regarded as being falsely held." In the emergency situation of where we see the apostles misbehaving, we're allowed to say to the Apostles (in effect) we don't need your Apostolic organization: you can't hold that over us to require you to follow you when you're misbehaving.

I also went on to specifically qualify that this was not the ideal situation, and that the narrative contexts directly indicate that Jesus expects the apostles to shape up or be refused entrance into the kingdom, with strong threats of punishment (up to and including Gehenna). Presumably Jesus would then expect the man to follow the apostles once they repented and started behaving right.

BY: {{Jesus let this Man proform exocisms without formally being an Apostle}}

It isn't only a case of being able to perform exorcisms without being an apostle: the man rejected following after them, and the narrative context strongly indicates their own attitudes about their authority were the reason.

{{Since you are asking me all these questions you are implicitly acknowledging this verse is not clear for the purposes you are using it for.}}

No, I only asked one question: where does it say in Mark or Luke that the man in question accepted the Apostles and their exclusive right to teach Christ's doctrine? Because if it doesn't say that (and it obviously doesn't), then what the text does clearly say adds up logically to the man in question not accepting them (in their current malfeasance) as having apostolic authority and the exclusive right to teach Christ's doctrine--when they are misbehaving. (Specifically when they are misbehaving regarding the idea of their own greatness, which is also an authority claim: if they're disputing on the road over which of them is the greatest, that's an authority claim over each other.)

That was as far as I intended the point; that was as far as I took the point; and you agreed afterward that the point was valid: "That is this text is a warning to future Popes and Bishops not to be full of themselves is beyond dispute," and you said you had no argument with my conclusion that "Christ does make provision for an emergency situation of them being the sort of people who should not be followed by people who are genuinely following Him".

I will add however that throughout RC history, Popes have (until recently) insisted that people should follow them in absolute disregard of the Popes' actions and attitudes; they rejected even in principle that a Pope could ever be someone who should not be followed by people who are genuinely following Christ. So the position here is hardly beyond dispute in papal history, even though the situation is different (I would say better) now.

JRP (continued next)

BenYachov said...

>>Son of Confusion: "Pope's can't be inerrant only the Holy Scripture can be inerrant."

>Apparently, no one but me has noticed the wicked irony of the self-appointed Apostle Against the "Fundies" asserting a key Fundamentalist doctrine (or even axiom) ... which just happens to be the bumper-sticker version of the older Protestant doctrine 'Sola Scriptura'.

Listen here Paps...uh I mean Ilion.

Popes are under the Protection of the Holy Spirit to be infallible when speaking Ex Cathedra.

Scripture is not infallible it is inerrant & inspired.

Let me explain this to you & I will use small words so even you can understand.

Only active agents can be infallible(which means not being able to make a mistake). Passive texts like Holy Scripture can only be inerrant(ie containing no error).

Scripture is Divinely Inspired meaning God wrote it threw the Sacred Author & thus is as much an author of it as the Apostle or Prophet who wrote the Scripture.

The Pope is not inspired merely infallible under the usual conditions. God doesn't author the Pope's words. He merely keeps the Pope from teaching error under the usual Ex Cathedra conditions.

Wow your level of Theological knowledge is really no better than Paps.

BTW your cowardice in not giving me a definition of Sola Scriptura is noted.

You are clearly taking a page from the Gnus. They define their Atheism in purely negatively(ie lack God belief vs I believe there is no God etc) so they don't have to make a positive case for what they believe &put their opponent on the defensive.

You my friend are no better.

Jason Pratt said...

JRP: {{Logically I would expect that if a man refused to follow them (which the text clearly says);}}

BV: {{Where does it say that? It merely says the Apostles tried to stop him & Jesus told the Apostle to cut it out nothing about him joining up or not. }}

Mark 9:38b (verse 37b in the Douey-Rheims), John says "we tried to hinder him because he was not following us." The text transmission is unstable in minor ways there--which testifies to how challenging and/or important scribes thought it was--but all three principle readings include the rationale for forbidding "(because) he was not following us" {(hoti) ouk hêkolouthei hêmin}. The translation is very straightforward and not in dispute. The only principle difference between text variants is whether the {hoti} is expressed or implied.

Major variant #2 reads "who does not follow us" {hos ouk hêkolouthei hêmin} "and we forbade him". Major variant #3 simply conflates the other two together, "who does not follow us, and we forbade him because he does not follow us". Douey-Rheims, perhaps incidentally, goes with reading #2, which only implies that the reason they forbade him was because he didn't follow them--but it still says he didn't follow them. (My copy of the D-R puts the verse at 9:37 not 38, because it follows the versification of putting the "shall not taste death" verse at the end of chapter 8. No problem there.)

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

JRP: {{Even outside the question of doctrinal teaching of faith and morals, what the hell is supposed to be done when a Borgia gets elected Pope?!}}

BY: {{One thing you can't do is rebel.}}

Not a positive solution; and what you're saying is that rebellion against perverted authority is wrong. In that sense we shouldn't rebel against Satan either!--which would be ridiculous.

BY: {{You do what the Counter Reformers or St Francis did. You stay and live the Gospel more exuberantly!}}

The Counter-Reformers got traction by (to some degree being able to politically maneuver) a pope who was willing (even if sort-of tacitly) to acknowledge that teaching had gotten significantly off track. Until they got a favorable pope (somewhat through extra-curricular means) they had no provision: the current ruling Pope was unchallengable.

To what degree did St. Francis follow teachings, laws and/or permissions that he regarded as perverted? I think I recall the answer was "none"--and his order afterward was in constant conflict with other orders toeing the current party line as a result. That was rebellion within the system instead of outside it. But it still didn't help rectify the matter of Popes upholding and authorizing bad teaching on religious practice.

BY: {{The Protestants where no better than the Borgia.}}

Sometimes no. (Sometimes yes, just like there were Popes better than a Borgia, and thank God sometimes very much better!)

The difference is that the Protestant always has an out if they find their leader misbehaving. (Which is exactly why Calvin tried so hard to insist that anyone who didn't follow him was demonstrating they were of the non-elect, not incidentally.)

BY: {{Rebelling and changing doctrine solved nothing.}}

The Protestant Reformation did lead directly to the Counter-Reformation, which I'm pretty sure the RCC agrees today did solve some things that needed solving. (And which solved generally according to Protestant protests, where applicable.)

Is anything in place now that would allow reformation of papally supported and authorized misbehavior in the RCC without the desperate expediency of such an extreme protest? It doesn't look to me like there is.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{No they [i.e. examples of Popes not living up to errorless teaching on faith and morals] can't [be found] & I have heard them all.

Or are you going to bore me with example of clergy sinning? I don't believe in a sinless Church.}}

Apparently I bored you with the example I already previously gave, in detail, since you haven't once addressed it {wry g}--even though it has nothing to do with the question of Popes sinning.

I'll repeat it here for convenience:

a.) Is an epistle from Pope Pelagius to schismatic bishops not supposed to be carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in explaining to them a doctrine?

b.) Or if so, is that duty not supposed to be unimpaired by any error of his on a doctrine of faith or morals?

c.) Or if so, then when instructing them on the salvific futility of anyone dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope, was that not supposed to be an instruction on faith and/or morals?

d.) Or if so, did Pelagius not expect the universal Church to hold to that teaching about the salvific futility of anyone dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope (but rather only the schismatic bishops to whom his epistles were addressed were supposed to hold to that teaching along with perhaps some limited other section or portions of the universal Church)?

Because if (a..d) are all true, then I'd have to say that the generously inclusive position of Vatican 2 has directly contradicted the explicit teaching of Pelagius.

But if one or more of (a..d) are not true, which one or more is not?

(If Bob or one of the other RCs in the thread want to try resolving this, I have no objection either. What I'm saying is that even sympathetic Prots like myself have troubles of this sort. Admittedly, I also have some logical problems on declarations against universal salvation; but that's another issue.)

BY: {{ I can take three dozen Protestant denominations and Reformers and reconstruct 99% of Catholic doctrine by scratch. [...]How are you going to show the Pope has been demonstrated to be false on doctrine when I can find a Reformer or Protestant denomination who agrees with him?}}

Part of that (current) 99% agreement is that Christians who die outside formal loyalty to the current ruling Pope may still be saved from their sins by the grace of God. All Protestants have always agreed on that by obvious default. Currently so does the RCC.

However, that used to be part of the 1% difference!--Pelagius definitely taught so. So was Pelagius right or is the current administration right about that? Because one of them has to be wrong.

JRP (finale for today {g}; will check back in tomorrow)

BenYachov said...

@Jason

>My conclusion was that this shows, yes, it is both technically and practically permitted by Jesus for someone to follow Jesus (in a real way) yet still reject following after the apostles--to which I immediately added the provision "especially if the apostles are acting like nits at the time.

You are equivocating between following someone's bad personal example vs following their lawful authority & their doctrinal teaching. In the Navy I could follow the Lawful & nessisary orders of a superior Officer or NonCom even if he was less then a credit to his uniform. I could still do my job properly even if I had a superior that didn't.(BTW FYI this is a hypothetical my Superior officers when I served where good sailors).

This is weak sauce if you think I must follow the bad example of a Pope just because he is a Pope. I must follow his lawful doctrinal teaching & you must follow the teachings of the Apostles. The example you gave had nothing to do with submiting to the doctrinal authority of the Apostles.


>{g} This would logically also apply to cases where apostolic claims are regarded as being falsely held." In the emergency situation of where we see the apostles misbehaving, we're allowed to say to the Apostles (in effect) we don't need your Apostolic organization: you can't hold that over us to require you to follow you when you're misbehaving.

Accept the really early heretics like the Gnostics or the Ebionites did just that. They claimed they where direct followers of the Messiah Jesus without either the Apostles' or St Paul's so called errors.

So you are not exactly filling me with confidence Protestantism isn't like these groups in spirit.

This doesn't kae your case if confirms my contra-Protestant view. Protestantism is in spirit rebellion.

>I will add however that throughout RC history, Popes have (until recently) insisted that people should follow them in absolute disregard of the Popes' actions and attitudes;

They still do. That has not changed. Bad clergy is never a justification for Schism. There is never a justification for schism.


>they rejected even in principle that a Pope could ever be someone who should not be followed by people who are genuinely following Christ. So the position here is hardly beyond dispute in papal history, even though the situation is different (I would say better) now.

No Pope ever said you had to follow the bad example of a Pope. No Pope ever said Popes always gave good examples. But a faithful Christian has to submit to his Lawful authority like with the Apostle or as Jesus said you reject him by proxy.

David would not harm King Saul because he knew nobody could touch God's chosen & be allowed to live. This was true even when Saul was acting like a major dirtbag.

How much more is it not true for the NT?

Crude said...

Jason,

I may have missed it. Do you have a link to the full text of Pelagius' epistle?

BenYachov said...

>Because if (a..d) are all true, then I'd have to say that the generously inclusive position of Vatican 2 has directly contradicted the explicit teaching of Pelagius.

I have never read this Epistle you speak of perhaps giving me a link is in order.

I do know Pope Innocent III and other Popes taught dogmatically it was necessary for salvation for all Catholics to submit to the authority of the Roman Pontiff.

Vatican II did not change that to anyone who cares to read the actual text of both & compare.

Vatican II taught invincibly ignorant persons who where not formally Catholic Christians even those who don't formally know Jesus is the savior could be saved following the light God in His Mercy might give them.

But persons knowing the Catholic Church to be the True Church and refusing to enter it will not be saved.

Sorry but extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is still an infallible dogma.

Catholics must still submit to the Lawful authoity of the bishops and Pope for salvation. Just as the early believers did with the Apostles.

You are mucking up the waters here Jason. Maybe not on purpose but you are doing that.

BenYachov said...

BTW pastoral policy isn't infallible either. Later Popes can reverse the pastoral policies of earlier ones.

For example in the 3rd century a married bishop was not allowed to leave his wife and deny her marriage relations under the pretext of piety to live as a celebate.

In the 4th century however a married man could not be made a bishop unless with his wife's permission he left her bed to live as a celebrate(like St Gregory of Nyssa).

Do the Protestants here even know the difference between Faith & Moral vs Pastoral policy?

From experience I have my doubts.

BenYachov said...

>Not a positive solution; and what you're saying is that rebellion against perverted authority is wrong. In that sense we shouldn't rebel against Satan either!--which would be ridiculous.

What did David do to Saul? No lay hands on God's chosen! What did David do to the shmuck who lied claiming to have helped Saul kill himself on the Battlefield?

He put him to death for laying hands on God's anointed.

St Francis lived during a corrupt era of Church history. His obedience and Christ-like lifestyle did more for the salvation of souls than Luther's rebellion ever could do.

BenYachov said...

>Part of that (current) 99% agreement is that Christians who die outside formal loyalty to the current ruling Pope may still be saved from their sins by the grace of God.

Invincibly Ignorant Persons that is persons who threw no fault of their own fail to know that Jesus is their savior & the Catholic Church His Church who follow any extra-ordinary Graces & light God gives them can be saved.

The Vincible ignorant(those who don't know but could know but refuse to look out of a sinful malice against submitting to the truth) and those who know but refuse to join anyway will not be saved.

It's not hard.

>All Protestants have always agreed on that by obvious default. Currently so does the RCC.

At this point Jason I think we are talking about two different things.

Christian Inclusivism in general says God will not condemn those who don't become Christian threw no fault of their own. Like those who have never heard the gospel.

No Christian Inclusivist thinks that means accepting Jesus as savior isn't objectively needed for salvation.

Well objectively joining the True Church IMHO is needed. But I am still an inclusivist.

I don't judge the hearts of non-Catholics or their salvation.

BenYachov said...

>Mark 9:38b (verse 37b in the Douey-Rheims), John says "we tried to hinder him because he was not following us." The text transmission is unstable in minor ways there--which testifies to how challenging and/or important scribes thought it was--but all three principle readings include the rationale for forbidding "(because) he was not following us" {(hoti) ouk hêkolouthei hêmin}. The translation is very straightforward and not in dispute. The only principle difference between text variants is whether the {hoti} is expressed or implied.

>Major variant #2 reads "who does not follow us" {hos ouk hêkolouthei hêmin} "and we forbade him". Major variant #3 simply conflates the other two together, "who does not follow us, and we forbade him because he does not follow us". Douey-Rheims, perhaps incidentally, goes with reading #2, which only implies that the reason they forbade him was because he didn't follow them--but it still says he didn't follow them. (My copy of the D-R puts the verse at 9:37 not 38, because it follows the versification of putting the "shall not taste death" verse at the end of chapter 8. No problem there.)

So in the end you have Jesus telling his Apostles not to stop spiritual acts of mercy on the part of persons who are not formal Apostles.

But I still don't see how this authorizes people to ignore the Apostles doctrinal teaching or grant permission to non-Apostles to preach the Gospel without authorization?

BenYachov said...

If a Hindu moved by Grace said to me "I will pray to your Lord Jesus that he help you with your autistic children" or "I will pray to your Lord Jesus that evil spirits not afflict you" then via Mark 9:38 my bishop should not say to him "Wait you must be baptized before you can do this!

But that doesn't mean the Hindu should set up his own Mass & or Church & preach without first joining the Church.

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{So in the end you have Jesus telling his Apostles not to stop spiritual acts of mercy on the part of persons who are not formal Apostles [and who chose not to follow the apostles, which led them to complain about this to Jesus, in a scene where they're being rebuked repeatedly by Jesus for their own self-aggrandizement.]}}

Yep! I included the details you keep forgetting to mention. Whatever that incident was about, it was NOT about the other people not being Apostles themselves.

BY: {{But I still don't see how this authorizes people to ignore the Apostles doctrinal teaching or grant permission to non-Apostles to preach the Gospel without authorization?}}

I think most Christians agree that the original Apostles and their successors (to some extent) eventually got their act together (despite some stumbles by Peter in Acts after Pentacost), and so we can at least rely on the surviving canonical texts as doctrinally reliable sources to work from.

The salient question is whether apostolic successors are necessarily always as reliable. If they're not, then provision has been made by Christ for such emergency circumstances to allow Christians to continue doing spiritual acts of mercy while rejecting renegade apostolic authority.

I suppose it's a further salient question whether preaching the Gospel counts as a spiritual act of mercy or not, since you're willing to agree that Christ allows for acts of spiritual mercy even among non-Christians per se. I think you've agreed earlier that spiritual acts of mercy would be even more permitted by Christ among Christians per se (i.e. people actually following Christ instead of praying hopefully to "your Lord Jesus".)

I'd say obviously yes preaching the Gospel is an act of spiritual mercy!!! But I know not all Christians regard it as necessarily an act of spiritual mercy--mainly among the Calvs, although even some Arms don't think Christ was engaging in an act of spiritual mercy when preaching to souls in hades who had been stubborn in the days of Noah.

I thought the RCC regarded the preaching of the Gospel as an act of spiritual mercy, though.

{{You are equivocating between following someone's bad personal example vs following their lawful authority & their doctrinal teaching.}}

The Gospel example doesn't make that distinction, except insofar as the incident is related in the middle of a rebuke from Christ about the apostle's misguided notions of their own greatness leading people to stumble (for which the apostles had better repent or face severe punishment.) So we aren't talking only about bad personal examples, but bad personal examples which hinder people from accepting the authority of the apostles. Jesus is shown explicitly expecting the apostles to shape up first; not to hinder other people who follow Jesus but refuse to follow them. Jesus isn't shown expecting people to follow the apostles so long as the apostles are falsely aggrandizing themselves.


{{At this point Jason I think we are talking about two different things.}}

I'm not sure why, since I've been consistently talking about Christian loyalty to nominally Christian authorities. For example, I'll quote myself here where you quoted me in reply there: "Christians who die outside formal loyalty to the current ruling Pope".

I realize the inclusiveness of the current RCC position goes beyond that to acknowledge that non-Christians may be saved from their sins and into loyalty to Christ and so into the Church even if they die in invincible ignorance, but I've never been talking about that. My first comment in this thread was to Bob Prokop comparing the current RCC teaching on interChristian inclusivism to that of Pelagius 2; and I've stuck with that topic in various forms since then, including when I replied to your (probably rhetorical) question about whether someone can follow Christ without following the Apostles and their organization.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{Do the Protestants here even know the difference between Faith & Moral vs Pastoral policy?}}

Well for one thing pastoral policies per se are not intended for the whole church to accept, only pastors (of various grades).

If you're going to argue that what Pelagius was talking about was only a pastoral policy, I'd like to see that at least tried: i.e. Pelagius did not expect the universal Church to hold to his teaching about the salvific futility of anyone dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope, but rather only the schismatic bishops to whom his epistles were addressed (and maybe other pastors). Other members of the universal church could believe that Christians dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope might still be saved from their sins by Christ.

Is that what you were trying to claim? (I somewhat doubt it, but that was what I was talking about.)

{{You are mucking up the waters here Jason. Maybe not on purpose but you are doing that.}}

This was what I was always talking about from the start of my comments in the thread: the difference between Pelagius' claims and recent Vatican 2. My reply to you concerning the person whom the apostles tried to stop because, although he was following Christ he was not following them, was an example of the precept: the schismatic bishops were following Christ (with no specific evidence of deviation from doctrinal points like ortho-trin), but not following Pelagius because they thought he was messing up somewhere. (Pelagius' correspondence suggests they thought he was messing up by claiming too much authority as the successor of Peter.)

{{[T]he really early heretics like the Gnostics or the Ebionites did just that. They claimed they where direct followers of the Messiah Jesus without either the Apostles' or St Paul's so called errors.}}

That is indeed the danger of the license. Even if the apostles or their successors are in persistent error, attempts to identify and correct the error may go off base in another way themselves.

The RCC (and to a lesser extent the EOx) have tried to solve the problem by infallibly claiming, on justification of their infallible interpretation, that RCC authorities (especially the Pope) can never teach error. [u]Therefore[/u] there is never reason for schism.


I haven't been able to find an online link to Pelagius' epistles yet--I was hoping someone in the thread would have access to a link or at least know where to look to discuss them. I'll transcribe them from Denzinger in a comment later today or perhaps tomorrow.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

Well, I still haven't found an English translation (or even a Latin original) online yet, although I wouldn't be in the least surprised that one exists. But lacking that, I'll have to go with Denzinger's compilation (translated by Deferrari).

Fortunately, the portions of the two epistles quoted by Denzinger are relatively small.

Unfortunately, he (and his subsequent editors and translators) do not report their criteria for selecting only parts of an epistle. My educated guess is that they reproduce the portions referenced by later popes and canon lawyers. So for example the both epistles are cited (among several other places) in tome 1 volume 4 part 2 of the Acta Concilorum Oecumenicorum, issued at the mandate of the Societatis scientiarum Argentoratensis (and edited by Eduardus Schwartz).

I'll transcribe Denzinger's transcriptions from the epistles, each in their own comment.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

From epistle (1) "Quod ad dilectionem" to the schismatic bishops of Istria, about 585.

"(For) you know that the Lord proclaims in the Gospel: 'Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to haev you, that he might sift you as wheat: but I have asked the Father for thee, that thy faith fail not; and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren.' [Luke 22:31f]

"Consider, most dear ones, that the Truth could not have liked, nor will the faith of PETER be able to be shaken or changed forever. For although the devil desired to sift all the disciples, the Lord testifies that He Himself asked for PETER alone and wished the others to be confirmed by him; and to him also, in consideration of a greater love which he showed the Lord before the rest, was committed the care of 'feeding the sheep' [John 21:15 ff]; and to him also He handed over 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven', and upon him He promised 'to build his Church', and He testified that 'the gates of hell would' not prevail against it. [Matt 16:16 ff].

"But, because the enemy of the human race even until the end of the world does not abstain from sowing cockle [Matt 13:25] over the good seed in the Church of the Lord, and therefore, lest perchance anyone with malignant zeal should by the instigation of the devil presume to make some alterations in and to draw conclusions regarding the integrity of the faith; and (lest) by reason of this your minds perhaps may seem to be disturbed, we have judged it necessary through our present epistle to exhort with tears that you should return to the heart of your mother the Church, and to send you satisfaction with regard to the integrity of the faith...."

[The faith of the Synods of NICEA, CONSTANTINOPLE I, EPHESUS I, and especially of CHALCEDON, and likewise of the dogmatic epistle of LEO to Flavian having been confirmed, he proceeds thus:]

"If anyone, however, either suggests or believes or presumes to teach contrary to this faith, let him know that he is condemned and also anathematized according to the opinion of the same Fathers.... Consider (therefore) the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church, cannot have the Lord [Gal 3:7]...."

Jason Pratt said...

From epistle (2) "Dilectionis vestrae" to the [presumably same] schismatic bishops of Istria, about 585.

"....Do not (therefore) because of a love of ostentation, which is always next to pride, remain in the vice of obstinacy; since in the day of judgment no one can excuse himself....

"For although it is evident from the word of the Lord Himself in the Sacred Gospel [Matt 16:18] where the Church is established, let us hear nevertheless what the blessed Augustine, mindful of the opinion of the same Lord, has explained. For he says that the Church of God is established among those who are known to preside over the apostolic sees, through the succession of those in charge, and whoever separates himself from the communion or authority of these sees, is shown to be in schism. And following additional remarks (Augustine says): 'If you are put outside, for the name of Christ you will also die. Suffer for Christ among the members of Christ; clinging to the body, fight for the head.'

"But the blessed Cyprian... among other things, says the following: 'The beginning starts from unity, and the primacy is given to PETER, so that the Church and the chair of Christ may be shown (to be) one: and they are all shepherds, but the flock, which is fed by the Apostles in unanimous agreement, is shown to be one.'

"And after a few (remarks Cyprian adds): 'Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church believe that he has the faith? Does he who deserts and resists the chair of PETER, on which the Church was founded, have confidence that he is in the Church?'

"Likewise after other remarks (Cyprian asserts): 'They cannot arrive at the reward of peace, because they disrupt the peace of the Lord by the fury of discord.... Those who were not willing to be at agreement in the Church of God, cannot remain with God; although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be [for them] that crown of faith, but the punishment of faithlessness, not a glorious result (of religious virtue), but the ruin of despair. Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned.... For the crime of schism is worse than that which they [commit] who have offered sacrifice, who, nevertheless, having been disposed to penance for their sins prayed to God with the fullest satisfaction. In this case the Church is sought and solicited; in the other the Church is opposed. So in this case he who has fallen, has injured only himself; in the other, who attempts to cause a schism deceives many by dragging (them) with himself. In this case there is the loss of one soul; in the other there is danger to many. Certainly the one knows that he has sinned and laments and bewails (it);; the other puffed up with pride in his sin and pluming himself on the sins themselves, separates sons from their mother, seduces the sheep from the shepherds, disturbs the sacraments of God, and, whereas the former having stumbled sinned once, the latter sins daily. Lastly although the lapsed, if afterward he acquired martyrdom, is able to secure the promises of the kingdom; if other is slain outside of the Church, he cannot attain to the rewards of the Church.'"

Jason Pratt said...

Now, of course, if we are talking about someone who knows he is sinning but doesn't care and goes on doing so, clearly he cannot be saved from his sins for he continues to sin impenitently.

Moreover, I totally agree that someone who teaches even simon-pure orthodoxy (pun respectfully intended!) in a technical sense, but does so for the purpose of achieving power for himself, is sinning and shall be punished: his technical orthodoxy cannot and will not save him, neither his martyrdom.

Much moreso then would I agree that someone who instigates schism for this purpose is sinning impenitently (so long as he doesn't repent of doing so), and so therefore (as long as he doesn't repent of doing so) cannot be saved from his sins.

But Pope Pelagius is teaching that anyone who doesn't agree that popes are granted error-free teaching, must necessarily be sinning, specifically out of pride and attempting to elevate themselves, therefore cannot be saved from their sins as this is a persistent ongoing sin of which they are not repentant.

Even if I set aside the apparent further claim that such people also necessarily know the truth and are sinning willfully against it, this is still a blanket condemnation of all Protestants and Eastern Orthodox and any Christians not specifically in formal loyalty to the Pope at any given time. (Istria lies across the Adriatic from Venice, and was probably in the Eastern Empire at the time following EOx bishops. Tensions were starting to seriously flare between the popes and the eastern bishops at this time.)


Consequently, if Victor asks "I wonder how many people think that Catholics hold that all non-Catholics are going to hell," he isn't being facetious. That was the papally backed position for centuries.

I'm glad to see that later popes have reversed that position, especially in our own day at Vatican 2. But it was a reversal.

(Notably, Pope Pelagius 2 who first (so far as I can find) leaned on that position as a warning against rejecting the inerrancy of papal teaching, did so with lots of support from the restrictivist St. Cyprian and a little support from Augustine who could go either way. Since they were mentioned near the top of the thread on a related topic. {g})

JRP

BenYachov said...

@Jason

Your example does not work my friend.

>But Pope Pelagius is teaching that anyone who doesn't agree that popes are granted error-free teaching, must necessarily be sinning, specifically out of pride and attempting to elevate themselves, therefore cannot be saved from their sins as this is a persistent ongoing sin of which they are not repentant.


I reply: I am afraid not. Pope Pelagius is clearly speaking in general categories of objective Christian obedience to God given Church Authority and the revelation that flows from it.

There is nothing in what you have quoted that makes an explicit distinction between invincible ignorance vs vincible ignorance
then dogmatically and clearly declares people in both categories are equally condemned.


This issue was simply not addressed at the time and in fact wouldn't be till the time of Pope Alexander VIII.

Until you produce such a text with those conditions I am afraid you can't make the case.


Side note: It is ironic you would quote Denzinger quoting Augustine since Augustine also said "the children of heretics where not themselves true heretics but only faithfully observing what they received."

Anyway nothing you have shown me here contradicts Vatican II. Vatican II following the lead of Pius IX and Alexander VIII makes an explicit dictation
between non-believers by negation vs non-believers by opposition. The invincibly ignorant vs vincible ignorant categories. And In all cases pronounces the non-belief of the invincibly ignorant as not mortally sinful.


Pope Pelagius II simply doesn't address the issue.

This is like a Nestorian Christian quoting a Pre-Ephesus Papal writing but reading into it his Nestorian presuppositions. The early councils of course didn't deal with the Nestorian vs Monophysite vs Diphysite Christological questions. But the Modalism, Arian, Gnostic and Apollinarian heresies.

In a like manner you are merely reading into Pope Pelagius the Protestant equivalent of the Feenyite heresy. Pope Pelagius simply doesn't address the issue of vincible vs invincible ignorance.

The vincible ignorant have no excuse & will not be saved. The invincibly ignorant are not condemned for their failure to believe from their non-fault &
can be saved if they follow the light Christ gives them in an extra-ordinary manner.

BTW Jason you can't shift the burden of proof here and try to force me to show where Pope Pelagius is explicitly saying his teaching only applies to the
vincible ignorant.

I don't have to show that. I don't believe in Luther's heresy on perspicuity remember?

There is clearly an ambiguity. Just like the Bible the Church can give teaching that contains ambiguous elements & questions that have not been addressed.

Which is why a Church protected by the Holy Spirit is needed to address and settle the questions that might come up.

So you have not given an example of Papal fallibility. Not even close.

BenYachov said...

>this is still a blanket condemnation of all Protestants and Eastern Orthodox and any Christians not specifically in formal loyalty to the Pope at any given time.

I condemn the fact all schismatic Christians are not formal members of the Catholic Church.

You all have to return home. But I know not all schismatic Christian are automatically condemned even thought objectively they must join the Church.

Vatican II teaches the same thing.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>I suppose it's a further salient question whether preaching the Gospel counts as a spiritual act of mercy or not, since you're willing to agree that Christ allows for acts of spiritual mercy even among non-Christians per se. I think you've agreed earlier that spiritual acts of mercy would be even more permitted by Christ among Christians per se (i.e. people actually following Christ instead of praying hopefully to "your Lord Jesus".)

So when Paul says "anyone who preaches a Gospel other then the one I have preached to you even an angel from Heaven let him be anathema" we should just ignore him and follow Jesus alone based on your own Reformation private judgement?

Weak sauce. Protestantism is just wrong.

>If you're going to argue that what Pelagius was talking about was only a pastoral policy, I'd like to see that at least tried: i.e. Pelagius did not expect the universal Church to hold to his teaching about the salvific futility of anyone dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope, but rather only the schismatic bishops to whom his epistles were addressed (and maybe other pastors). Other members of the universal church could believe that Christians dying outside formal loyalty to the ruling Pope might still be saved from their sins by Christ.

I hate to break it too you Jason but Pope John Paul II who did believe in the inclusivism of Vatican II did explicitly warn both Archbishop Lefebvre and Archbishop Milingo when they schism that their souls where in danger. He also pleaded with them to return to the Catholic Church for their salvation.

So you are in clear Muck Up Mode Jason.

Jason Pratt said...

{{So when Paul says "anyone who preaches a Gospel other then the one I have preached to you even an angel from Heaven let him be anathema" we should just ignore him and follow Jesus alone based on your own Reformation private judgment?}}

I don't recall any Reformers (well, conservative reformers, myself included) who thought Paul had gone off base and so ought to be rejected. Which is why I wrote what you were replying to there: "I think most Christians agree that the original Apostles and their successors (to some extent) eventually got their act together (despite some stumbles by Peter in Acts after Pentacost), and so we can at least rely on the surviving canonical texts as doctrinally reliable sources to work from." (Except you didn't reply directly to that, in order to try to straw man me as "weak sauce".)

Reformers are not always as good about recognizing that we still have to depend on other people's help to figure out what the gospel means, even when passed on through people like Saint Paul. We might not be so adverse to people claiming ultimate interpretative authority, though, if those people routinely behaved in a logically consistent and morally clear fashion. After all, most Protestants end up following in a school of some teacher anyway--and as you're well aware we can be lenient about their faults. But then they aren't claiming the same kind of interpretative authority as the Pope (except maybe Calvin. And non-Calvinists resent his attempts at 'go with my faultless interpretations or you're hopelessly damned', too. Recent Popes are ahead of him in that regard anyway. But Pelagius II sure wasn't. {g})

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{Jason you can't shift the burden of proof here and try to force me to show where Pope Pelagius is explicitly saying his teaching only applies to the vincible ignorant.}}

Heck, I can't even force you to show what Pope Pelagius is explicitly saying, period. Between the two of us, I'm the only one who has done that so far. {g}

{{There is clearly an ambiguity.}}

There is clearly no ambiguity at all in what Pope Pelagius wrote. You're the one reading an unclear "ambiguity" into the text in hindsight.

{{I don't believe in Luther's heresy on perspicuity remember?}}

The historical fact is that plenty of Catholics, including at the highest rank, thought Pelagius was entirely perspicuous enough to understand up until roughly Pope Alexander's day--certainly the Eastern bishops understood him (and his ideological successors) well enough, and up until Alexander more than 1000 years later there was no equally clear attempt to correct them about the official papal position on Christians who die outside loyalty to the pope.

(And not really from him either; he was only correcting the Janesists on the topic of invincible vs. vincible ignorance, although that logically opened the door for regarding non-Catholics as still capable of being saved post-mortem. If Pius IX in the 1920s and 30s, several centuries after Alexander VIII, addressed the question of dying outside formal loyalty to the Pope, then Denzinger didn't think that higher ranking scholars considered it ex cathedra, and so he and his subsequent editors didn't include it in his Dogmatic Sources. But I'm assuming in your favor that you actually have direct evidence somewhere that Pius IX addressed the topic ex cathedra in favor of those dying outside formal loyalty to the current pope.)

Those problems didn't arrive in a vacuum: Catholics at sub-Magisterial levels didn't just invent believing that Protestants necessarily went to hopeless punishment when they died. Much less did non-Catholics invent that as a Catholic doctrine.

{{Which is why a Church protected by the Holy Spirit is needed to address and settle the questions that might come up.}}

Obviously the reply of the Istrian bishops to the first epistle was that they were giving their lives in martyrdom, demonstrating their loyalty to Christ even though they thought Pope Pelagius was teaching something erroneous that they could not assent to.

And Pelagius addressed and settled that question as clearly and as overtly as he could borrow words from Cyprian: even martyrdom doesn't matter. Those who die outside formal loyalty to the Pope cannot be saved, the end, period. Schism is schism, and not being formally loyal to the pope is schism, and dying in schism now means schism later post-mortem. Pelagius could not have been clearer about that.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

BY: {{I condemn the fact all schismatic Christians are not formal members of the Catholic Church.}}

Pelagius wasn't only talking about that kind of condemnation. Otherwise you would have no problem quoting him (as I did) on what kind of condemnation he was talking about.

{{But I know not all schismatic Christian are automatically condemned even thought objectively they must join the Church.}}

You know better than Pope Pelagius did on that matter of faith and/or morals then. So did Vatican II, and (maybe) Pius and Alexander before. So did every single Protestant and Eastern Orthodox per se since at least the time of Pelagius II.

{{I hate to break it too you Jason but Pope John Paul II who did believe in the inclusivism of Vatican II did explicitly warn both Archbishop Lefebvre and Archbishop Milingo when they schism that their souls where in danger.}}

You and I are both well aware that JP2 did so under the concept that they were intentionally schisming for their own advancement. He did not do so under the concept that anyone at all who dies outside papal authority must be in schism and therefore cannot be saved post-mortem.

But because I can read clearly stated information for context, I'm also by the same token sure that Pelagius taught otherwise. Everyone else for about a thousand years was sure that was what he meant, too, whether they agreed with him or not.

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

{{This is like a Nestorian Christian quoting a Pre-Ephesus Papal writing but reading into it his Nestorian presuppositions.}}

Piffle. I'm a Christian universalist, and I'm definitely not reading my "presuppositions" into it: otherwise I'd be trying to cite it as evidence that Christian universalism is true (over against the Pope's blatantly repeated citations from the avowed exclusivist Cyprian)! Which no one would buy even for a second, since the evidence explicitly and by context runs directly against it.

I'm reading out of the text what's there on the page. I'm not the one reading later developments into the text, nor reading it in light of later developments--despite the fact that I happen to agree with the later developments (so far as they go).

I'm not the only one who read that position (dying outside formal loyalty to the current pope necessarily means no salvation post-mortem) out of the text either: this became the standard operating position for centuries afterward, including as a chief argument in attempts to yank the Eastern bishops back in line.

JRP

BenYachov said...

>Heck, I can't even force you to show what Pope Pelagius is explicitly saying, period. Between the two of us, I'm the only one who has done that so far. {g}

So why are you wasting my time Jason? Either show where Pope Pelagius explicitly teaches that persons invincibly ignorant of the need to submit to Church Authority are condmened or not. Put up or shut up.

>There is clearly no ambiguity at all in what Pope Pelagius wrote. You're the one reading an unclear "ambiguity" into the text in hindsight.

So you aren't even going to try to defend your claim Pope Pelagius contradicted Vatican II? Sorry but this level of prooftexting is on the Level of Gnu Atheists who create "contradictions" by let's say citing "Thou shall not Kill" with other verses calling for the Death penalty for various Crimes or God taking someone's life.

Weak sausce!


>The historical fact is that plenty of Catholics, including at the highest rank, thought Pelagius was entirely perspicuous enough to understand up until roughly Pope Alexander's day--certainly the Eastern bishops understood him (and his ideological successors) well enough, and up until Alexander more than 1000 years later there was no equally clear attempt to correct them about the official papal position on Christians who die outside loyalty to the pope.

If you mean some interpreted him restrictively before the Pope ruled otherwise well sure so what? He can be interpreted in harmony with either restrictivist or inclusivism. A Nestorian can interpret Nicea in harmony with his erroneous Christology just as a Chacedonian interprets Nicea correctly.
But the opinion of the individual Catholic does not matter. It's what the authority formally teaches that does since said Authority is protected by the Holy Spirit.

>(And not really from him either; he was only correcting the Janesists on the topic of invincible vs. vincible ignorance, although that logically opened the door for regarding non-Catholics as still capable of being saved post-mortem. If Pius IX in the 1920s and 30s, several centuries after Alexander VIII, addressed the question of dying outside formal loyalty to the Pope, then Denzinger didn't think that higher ranking scholars considered it ex cathedra, and so he and his subsequent editors didn't include it in his Dogmatic Sources. But I'm assuming in your favor that you actually have direct evidence somewhere that Pius IX addressed the topic ex cathedra in favor of those dying outside formal loyalty to the current pope.)

You are so ignorant of Catholic Theology Jason. Not every doctrinal pronouncment requires an ex cathedra decree. Some are teachings of the ordinary magesterium, extra-ordinary and the extra-ordinary and universal.

Ott doesn't lists the possible salvation of non-Catholics as a (defide) teaching but as (Sent Certa). Just as the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception wasn't defined (de-fide) till Pius IX but the sinlessness of Mary & the Special Grace she recieved from God was mentioned at Trent as part of the ordinary magestrium.

This is the old canard Catholic have to only accept teaching that is from the extra-ordinary magesterium like an Ex Cathria decree.

Sorry no.

BenYachov said...

>Obviously the reply of the Istrian bishops to the first epistle was that they were giving their lives in martyrdom, demonstrating their loyalty to Christ even though they thought Pope Pelagius was teaching something erroneous that they could not assent to.

God can judge their heart wither or not they where ignorant threw no fault of their own or wither it was born of malice. If born of malice then even shedding their blood for Christ would not save their souls.

>And Pelagius addressed and settled that question as clearly and as overtly as he could borrow words from Cyprian: even martyrdom doesn't matter. Those who die outside formal loyalty to the Pope cannot be saved, the end, period. Schism is schism, and not being formally loyal to the pope is schism, and dying in schism now means schism later post-mortem. Pelagius could not have been clearer about that.

Schism is never allowed under any circumstances. God may be merciful to those born in Schism since they are not true schismatics or those who are ignorant threw no fault of their own. But it is nessisary for faithful Catholics to not sin by schism.

The Pope is upholding the authority of the Church. Good on him!

>Pelagius wasn't only talking about that kind of condemnation. Otherwise you would have no problem quoting him (as I did) on what kind of condemnation he was talking about.

Is this an argument?

>You know better than Pope Pelagius did on that matter of faith and/or morals then. So did Vatican II, and (maybe) Pius and Alexander before. So did every single Protestant and Eastern Orthodox per se since at least the time of Pelagius II.

So basically you are not going to argue my points & just keep pretending without argument that Pelagius is teaching restrictivism?

Shame on you Jason that is a more I expect from Paps or BI. I know church teaching Jason I've sudied it for 20 years. You clearly haven't even studied it for one.

>You and I are both well aware that JP2 did so under the concept that they were intentionally schisming for their own advancement. He did not do so under the concept that anyone at all who dies outside papal authority must be in schism and therefore cannot be saved post-mortem.

So you have never actually read any of JP2 writings (like Redemtorus Misso)? Because he citing either Pius IX or Vatican II wrote on more than one occation that persons who are outside the Catholic Church knowing it's the true church & refusing to enter or return will not be saved.

Jason mortal sin puts you outside the Church. Disobeying the lawful commands of the Pope count as mortal sin.

>But because I can read clearly stated information for context, I'm also by the same token sure that Pelagius taught otherwise. Everyone else for about a thousand years was sure that was what he meant, too, whether they agreed with him or not.

Jason he was addressing the issue of the Authority of the Church not the motives of those who rejected said authority. Get over it.

>I'm reading out of the text what's there on the page. I'm not the one reading later developments into the text, nor reading it in light of later developments--despite the fact that I happen to agree with the later developments (so far as they go).

Then you are all but admiting you are misusing the text.

Jason Pratt said...

BY,

I've already shown you at length multiple times that Pope Pelagius explicitly teaches that persons who die outside loyalty to the current pope (and that he regards a rejection of inerrant teaching as disloyalty) cannot and will not be saved--it simply isn't possible whatever their motives, which he exemplifies by denying that martyrdom (appealed to by the bishops as evidence of loyalty to Christ) counts for anything apart from formal loyalty to the current pope.

You're the one foisting a distinction into the situation which did not exist for Pope Pelagius--and that has been my point. He made no distinction, but instead positively taught a blanket condemnation in principle of those who die without loyalty to the current pope. Modern popes make the distinction and do not teach that blanket condemnation of those who die outside loyalty to the current pope. That's a change in doctrine of faith and morals. It's a change for the better, and I'm glad they made it, but it's still a change.

However, discussing it as a technical matter, or as a personal illustration, are different things than trying to convince you of it; and I'm dangerously close to having the attitude of primarily wanting to convince you of that. That's the wrong attitude for me to have, and I'm sorry about that--at best it couldn't help the current state of disunity in the Church, and might worsen it slightly even if I succeeded.


Would any other Catholics in the thread care to discuss what Pope Pelagius actually wrote, instead of not discussing that? I actually don't mind reconciling statements from subsequent popes in principle: there are plenty of examples of later teaching unpacking and distinguishing and defining what is ambiguous in earlier teaching--I do know the difference, and I don't dispute those, and I'm actually glad about that. I'm sympathetic to the RCC (also to the EOx, in slightly different but mostly overlapping ways).

But if someone is going to talk away from what Pelagius actually said, in order to treat what Pelagius said as being ambiguous, and so to suggest by vaguely ambiguous innuendo that Pelagius didn't really intend for present and future Catholics to understand him in a restrictivistic manner, and so that clearly leaves room for future popes to go with a measure of Christian inclusivism instead... {inhale}

then that isn't actually a helpful procedure. I'd rather have something stronger and more meaningful than that, please.

JRP

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

@Jason

>I've already shown you at length multiple times that Pope Pelagius explicitly teaches that persons who die outside loyalty to the current pope (and that he regards a rejection of inerrant teaching as disloyalty) cannot and will not be saved.

Objectively speaking anybody who truly dies under those conditions can't be saved Vatican II didn't change that just as generic non-universalist Christian Inclusivism doesn't teach people can be saved apart from Jesus.

>--it simply isn't possible whatever their motives, which he exemplifies by denying that martyrdom (appealed to by the bishops as evidence of loyalty to Christ) counts for anything apart from formal loyalty to the current pope.

Martyrdom does nothing for formal objective schismatics and heretics. But Material heretics and schismatics are another matter. Pope Pelagius never says there is no difference between being a material schismatic vs a formal one. He never addresses that question and reading the incorrect view into him is not convincing anymore than reading Nestorian Christology into Nicea is convincing.

It just begs the question. You must follow our rules on doctrial interpretation & prove a contradiction you may not make up your own.

>You're the one foisting a distinction into the situation which did not exist for Pope Pelagius--

Rather I am employing Catholic interpretive norms not self-serving Protestant distortions which you manufacture because your polemics fall flat without them.

>and that has been my point. He made no distinction, but instead positively taught a blanket condemnation in principle of those who die without loyalty to the current pope.

Which is about as convincing as a Nestorian telling me Nicea doesn't make a distinction between two persons & two natures vs one person & two natures therefore we should default assume Divine + Human Nature means Divine Person and a human Person.

A blanket condemnation without making a distinction = ambigiouity not clarity.

A specific condemnation that unambigiously states there is no difference in salvation between the material heretics vs the formal ones is still needed and till I see it I must dismiss your argument.

>Modern popes make the distinction and do not teach that blanket condemnation of those who die outside loyalty to the current pope. That's a change in doctrine of faith and morals. It's a change for the better, and I'm glad they made it, but it's still a change.

Modern Popes clearly addressed the issue the anicent ones did not address it at all otherwise the matter would have been settled and there would be no need for the modern Popes to do anything. It's that simple.

>However, discussing it as a technical matter, or as a personal illustration, are different things than trying to convince you of it; and I'm dangerously close to having the attitude of primarily wanting to convince you of that. That's the wrong attitude for me to have, and I'm sorry about that--at best it couldn't help the current state of disunity in the Church, and might worsen it slightly even if I succeeded.

I can only be convinced with logic and knowledge. You are using neither. I need an ancient Pope who says clearly & unambigiously that schismatics and heretics who are invincibly ignorant have no chance at salvation and are morally faulted for their non-belief and schism.

>Would any other Catholics in the thread care to discuss what Pope Pelagius actually wrote....

The issue is not only what he wrote but what he didn't write. He wrote affirming the authority of the Pope and the Church and the need to be subject to it under pain of mortal sin. But he didn't write about invincible vs vincible ignorance. He didn't address the issue. Just as Nicea didn't address Nestorius.

It is that simple.

usmcwarrior said...

Sorry Ben; Jesus Saves, not the "church".

And the Bible, considered Scripture immediately pulls it out of the realm of "tradition" even though, traditionally, the "Church" holds Scripture to be the inspired word of God.

My point is, as I continue to discuss this witrh Catholics in other forums, it becomes a convenient but not accurate position to describe Scripture simply as "another" tradition; it isn't.

And while the Gospel "can be" taught within the Catholic church, the doctrine is weighted down with an expectation of swearing allegiance to Rome.

Show me anywhere in Scripture where the other Apostles gae deference to Peter or where Jesus instructced them or us to take a knee to Rome as a requirement for Salvation? It simply doesn't exist. And the Catholic "doctrines" or tradtions which are contentious (other than the requirement to sit under Rome), are in fact not discussed in Scripture, ie Mariology, Papal infallibility, trappings, clothing of the clergy, the wealth of Vatican city, Salvation requirements sitting eclusively in Rome.