Baltimore Catechism FALSE TEACHING


#1

The Baltimore Catechism was NEVER approved by any Pope. Thus, it could contain error, despite the fact that it was produced by the American bishops and had their approval. While it is generally excellent in presenting basic Church teachings it contains a serious error, which was probably due to confusion in this area during this time. But this error prevents us from understanding Vatican II and the teachings of the Popes.
It teaches:
60. Q. Did God abandon man after he fell into sin?
A. God did not abandon man after he fell into sin, but promised him a Redeemer, who was to satisfy for man’s sin and reopen to him the gates of heaven.

In other words, this Catechism says that Jesus became man to satisfy for man’s sin and reopen the gates of heaven, meaning that Jesus made it possible for us to now go to heaven.
While this is true, this is NOT the primary reason Jesus became man. This is NOT the primary meaning of salvation.
Pope Paul VI clears this up when he teaches that salvation is
"this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him"
The Pope continues that this liberation starts in this life and is fulfilled in eternity.
Notice the difference. The Baltimore Catechism, following the teachings of theologians at the time, places final salvation, or, union with God in heaven as the primary meaning of salvation. I believe they got this false influence from Protestant theologians who had to emphasize this meaning to justify “faith alone”.

 But, the Church has alway taught, and Popes John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and especially Pope JPII strongly emphasized the primary reason Jesus suffered and died was **to free us from the slavery of sin. ** That is, to take away the very strong inclination to sin everyone has, so that we can be free to do good, and to give us an inclination to love God and neighbor.  I realize there is much more to salvation, but this is the primary point the Church always teaches.  

We receive this grace that does this, first through the sacraments, esp, the Eucharist, and through prayer, obedience, mortifications etc.

The Baltimore Catechism, and the theology of Catholic scholars in the U.S. entirely miss this teaching. It entirely misses the entire foundation of Vatican II and all that the Popes have been teaching. If one believes that the primary reason Jesus died, the primary meaning of salvation, is to open the gates of heaven, then it is impossible to understand the very center and kernel of the Catholic faith.

 This is why Vatican II and the teachings of Pope John Paul II have had so little effect.  Catholics are still stuck with the false teachings of the Catholic scholars in this country.  

We must reject this false teaching and study what the Popes have been teaching. Once we realize that the primary reason Jesus became man was to free us from the slavery of sin, then the Mass, the sacraments, the commandments all begin to fit together. Vatican II makes sense. Pope John Paul II first two encyclicals begin to make sense. The mass really begins to make sense. Then Jesus becomes relevant to this world, which is saturated in sin, and thus in misery, but doesn’t recognize the cause of it’s misery.
I urge any Catholic theologians and scholars to study this problem. For it is impossible to understand the Popes and most of what Pope John Paul II taught and what the Church teaches, without this clear meaning of salvation.


Do you think there are mistakes in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
#2

Its not complicated. Jesus came to redeem us and offer us the chance of salvation.


#3

First off the Bishops when teaching in union with the Pope teach infallibly. Second the answer in the B.C. is the answer to the question. It is not an exhaustive explaniation of the reasons for the Incarncation. It also never says the only reason for the Incarnation and Christ’s suffering and death was to satisfy for man’s sins.


#4

We don’t know if they were teaching in union with the Pope because the Pope never gave his approval explicitly for the catechism.
The new Catechism of the Catholic Church was written largely by the bishops. It WAS given the approval of the Pope. Therefore we know its teachings are true. The glossary in the back was not given the approval of the pope, thus we don’t know if those teachings are true.

I know the Baltimore Catechism never says the only reason for the Incarnation and Christ's suffering and death was to satisfy for man's sins.   But, that is the only reason it gave. Thus, it lead everyone to believe that was the primary reason for salvation.   From talking  and reading, it seems if at least 90% of Catholics believe this false idea.  I believed it all my life till I began to study what Pope Paul VI wrote, then what Pope John Paul II wrote, then what the two adult Catechisms taught. 

   We must face facts.  Most Catholics in this country believe the false teaching of the Baltimore Catechism.

This makes it impossible to understand Pope John Paul II. Because he make Jesus the center and foundation of everything including his own life. He makes Jesus the answer to the answer for the problems in the world today. He lists a few of the problems in first encyclicals. There are many more that he did not list. But, they all have to do with sin and it effects. Why does he make Jesus the answer to these problems? Because the Pope says there is no salvation in anyone except Jesus. Now, if salvation means primarily to satisfy for mens sins, to open the gates of heaven, this makes no sense. Why would a world that barely believes in God care about going to heaven? BUT, if salvation means freedom from the slavery of sin, of sins that cause most of the problems in the world today, of sins that cause our present misery, then his definition of salvation does make sense for the world. It means liberation from misery. That is an attraction that will turn many people back to God, and re-evangelize our world.

   The more you study with this definition in mind, the more you understand the mass, the sacraments, the commandments, etc.  It all connects.  

I wrote this thread, not to condemn the Baltimore Catechism. The rest of it is great. But to get people to realize it is ONLY the teachings of the Popes and those teachings they approve that we can trust. And through them we can get back to the true teachings of Jesus and fulfill what Vatican II intended.


#5

This objection is ridiculous. It’s Catholic dogma that Christ came to atone for the sins of humanity so that we might be with him in heaven - not to establish a paradise here on earth.

It’s true that we can be liberated from sin in this life, but the whole point is to get to heaven - not to construct a nice utopia here.


#6

I hate to say this but cannot stop myself. You must have opened dozens of threads under an alleged different theme but all of them are about only listening to the Pope(s) because (according to you who know better than everyone) bishops, priests and theologians cannot be trusted. Really this is getting quite boring and it is also totally untrue.


#7

This also is splitting hairs. There is no false teaching stated. While the answer might be more complete, it is certainly an acceptable answer.


#8

Isn’t liberation from sin a means to the end of eternal life?


#9

Absolutely.

That purpose of salvation (liberation from sin) is so we can share in God’s blessed life. Starting now, and ending in heaven.

But, there has to be an attraction for sinful men. Just as marriage and families are necessary and good, but no one would marry if there were not sexual attractions to start the marriage. Then the spouses learn to love one another and their children with God’s grace.
In the same way Jesus has to attract men to Himself. And that attraction is that He said His Father has “has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,”** Luke 4:18. **

Jesus did not start off with rules and regulations necessary to get to heaven, but with repent and believe the Gospel. And the central message of the Gospel is liberation from the captivity of sin. That is an attraction to those who recognize that their sinfulness is the cause of many of their problems.
Jesus said, “For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
A ransom is something of value given to free prisoners. Jesus Himself is the ransom, sent to free us from being prisoners to sin. That is an attraction to some in a world enslaved in sin.
And not only is this liberation from the slavery of sin and attraction, it is a necessity for living a life in union with God the way we should, and it leads to eternal salvation.
Jesus said, " “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36
Again, this is an attraction to sinful men.

                              “you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. **Matt 1:21**

Jesus means in Hebrew, "God saves".  To save means to be set free. It does not mean "to go to heaven".  

Thus His name even expresses His identity and His mission.
And the primary purpose of His mission is NOT to “open the gates of heaven”, or to satisfy for mens sins, but to “save His people from their sins,” which means to free us from our sins.
That is why one of the acclamations at mass says , "by your cross and resurrection You have set us free, you are the savior of the world."
Notice the prayer does not say, "you have opened the gates of heaven, you are the savior of the world"
It does not say, "you have satisfied for mens sins, you are the savior of the world"
It says, "you have set us free, you are the savior of the world."
A savior is one who sets someone free. It does not mean one who “satisfies for mens sins”, or one who “opens the gates of heaven.”

The Baltimore Catechism is NOT a document of the magisterium.

We as Catholics cannot put our trust in men, but only in God. And God gave authority to authentically interpret His teachings ONLY to the Pope and those in union with the Pope.

There is NO magisterial document which says the primary reason Jesus became man and suffered, died and rose was to “satisfy for mens sins” or to “open the gates of heaven.” That is ONE of the reason He became man, but NOT the primary reason.
The Baltimore Catechism, and the bishops and theologians who helped write it, simply got it wrong. I was taught wrong by them. Granted, the teaching on salvation was not clear before Vatican II. But Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II have made the meaning of salvation explicitly clear. They teach and the Church has always taught over and over and over that the primary meaning of salvation is liberation from the slavery of sin. The secondary benefits are that Jesus satisfied for mens sins and opened the gates of heaven.
We need to swallow our pride and follow the teachings of the Popes, and not the teachings of those who contradict their teachings.
One of the primary reasons Vatican II has failed in practice is that Catholic scholars in general have refused to acknowledge that a serious error has been made. They need to accept the teachings of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II and the General Directory for Catechesis (approved by the Pope), which all teach the same meaning of salvation.
Theologians and scripture scholars and Catholic experts are NOT the leaders of the Catholic Church. Jesus gave NO authority to Catholic scholars to authentically interpret the word of God. No Catholic scholars has ever been infallible. All heresies started with Catholic scholars. The Popes are the leaders of the Catholic Church. None has ever started a heresy. They have all been infallible when teaching as head of the Church, for all Christians on matters of faith or morals. For these reasons it is absolutely foolish for anyone to put their trust in Catholic scholars


#10

The Popes issue declarations, encyclicals or whatever after consulting with bishops and theologians. They do not make declarations on their own in isolation without such consultations.


#11

But ONLY the Popes are able to filter out the errors of the bishops and theologians, and teach what ever truth is left.

I have seen Popes teach find some truth in a dissident theologian who was so bad that everyone rejected him, but the Pope happened to find some truth he elucidated and the Pope made that part of his teaching to give a deeper understanding of the faith.

The more I study the teachings of the Popes, the more I realize the Catholic scholars in this country are totally lost. They have no idea what the Popes mean by “proclaim the Gospel”. They think the Gospel is “the written words and deeds of Jesus” as the old Catholic Encyclopedia" falsely asserts, where as these are only parts of the Gospel. And when you add the false teaching of salvation that they have they have been giving in this country for 150 years it makes everyone miss the central point of Vatican II. The Popes sensed that something was wrong when Vatican II did not have the intended effect, so they gave more explanations such as those of Pope Paul VI in “Evangelization in the Modern World” and those Pope John Paul II made in “The Redeemer of Man” and “Mission of the Redeemer”. But, what happed is that when the clear explanation of salvation and “proclamation of the Gospel” was given by Pope Paul VI, the scholars did not want to accept the correct teachings. They wanted to hold on to what they were taught in error or they didn’t understand how the Pope could be teaching something they never heard of. It seems as if they had no understanding of what the Pope was talking about. Since ordinary Catholics don’t read encyclicals, then nothing changed. Pope John Paul II wrote his first two encyclicals with the assumption that everyone learned from Pope Paul’s encyclical “Evangelization in the Modern World”. Pope Paul’s first two encyclicals are a continuation and built upon that encyclical. But since the scholars did not correct their errors they had been teaching to fit what Pope Paul VI had been teaching, then Pope John Paul’s encyclicals had no effect.

   The entire failure of Vatican II is not due to what the  magisterium of Church has done, but it is due to Catholic scholars who have failed to publicly reject their false teachings on the primary meaning of salvation and the meaning of the words "proclaim the Gospel" and communicate the correct teachings to the Catholic faithful.    
It is not enough just to present the correct teachings, Because Catholics have been taught what is false for too long, and they will tend to hold on to what they were taught.  The old errors must be publicly exposed, put away, rejected, and the scholars must accept responsibility for teaching these errors. 

Thus the primary meaning of salvation is NOT that Jesus became man to "open the gates of heaven" and "satisfy for mens sins".  These are secondary effects. The primary meaning of salvation is EXACTLY what Paul Paul VI taught.

Salvation is
"this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him."
Pope John Paul II taught everything in relation to this teaching. The whole of Vatican II is built upon this. The whole Catholic faith takes this as the center and kernel of the faith. All the sacraments have this as their primary purpose. The primary purpose of the mass is to continue to make available the grace Jesus merited by His death and resurrection, for the purpose of liberating us from the slavery of sin. That is why the Church teaches the mass continues the work of salvation. The Church does not mean the mass continues the work of “opening the gates of heaven” but it continues to make available the grace of salvation that frees us from the slavery of sin.
Before the Redemption, mankind was enslaved by sin, inclined to dominate rather than serve, living for self and not for others. But by the mystery of his Cross and Resurrection, we have been given the freedom and grace to live no longer for ourselves but for him. What a wonderful gift from Christ, our Saviour!
It was precisely for this reason that Christ died for all of us, to liberate us from the bond of selfishness from which by ourselves we could never escape, to make us free, and to enable us to live for him. This is the gift which Christ won for all of us: clergy, religious, laity.
**Address of Pope John Paul II **
to Clergy, Religious People and Laity
Cathedral of Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
Tuesday, 8 May 1984

It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in the Sacraments which flow forth from the pierced side of the Redeemer (cf. Jn 19:34), that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep God’s holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships.
Veritatis splendor
Pope John Paul II

It would be a pernicious illusion to claim that one is acting in accordance with the Gospel without receiving strength from Christ himself in the Eucharist, the sacrament he instituted for this purpose. Such a claim would be a radically anti-Gospel attitude of self-sufficiency.
Priests Are Ordained to Celebrate Mass
General Audience — May 12, 1993
Pope John Paul II

Even his “Theology of the Body” centers on this teaching as the answer to everything. For it is “liberation from sin” which enables man to master himself. Man cannot master himself without the grace that frees him from the slavery of sin.


#12

Its amazing. I didn’t know that you had the ear of the Pope(s) and so knew everything they do and how they do it. Obviously you know better than all the theologians, priests, bishops, and 1.2 billion other Catholics. How much time do you spend at the Vatican speaking to the Pope?


#13

This ultramontanism is not historical. Essentially what you have done is to say that there is only one bishop and that is the bishop of Rome. He is the only one that matters. The others are basically just laymen who listen to what the pope says. I hope this is not what the west thinks of the pope. If it is then it has permanently cut itself off from the east.

Regarding satisfaction of sins. I think the west, both protestant and Catholic has focused too much on the satisfaction aspect of Christ’s sacrifice to the detriment of other aspects but the fact is that the satisfaction of sins is necessary. It is right in the scriptures and can not be denied. Christ died to atone for our sins.

You are right when you say that Christ died to liberate us from this desert of sin that we are in. Through His sacrifice we recieved the Grace that was necessary to overcome sin.

But this should not be understood apart from communion with God. You should remember that modern theologians like Pope Benedict speak of closeness to Christ as being distance from sin. The overcoming of sin is really only the byproduct or the necessary path to travel to get to communion with God. The ultimate point is theosis. God became man, lived, died, ressurected and ascended so that we could recieve the divine nature. The idea is that by taking on what is ours Christ also gave us what is His.


#14

No, they didn’t, because the Baltimore Catechism doesn’t speak of “primary reason,” but speaks specifically in the area you cite as to whether God abandoned Adam and Eve after they fell into sin. The answer to this question is an unequivocal, “No, God did not abandon man.”

At best, your objection is disengenous.

– Mark L. Chance.


#15

It is not disingenuous.
How God did not abandon man is never made clear.
Instead a false definition of salvation is given, a definition that makes salvation as “opening the gates of heaven.” Since that is the only definition, given in a basic Catechism, it naturally leads to the conclusion that it is the basic, primary meaning of salvation. But it is not.
If one studies the Baltimore Catechism series, from the First Communion Catechism, then the No. 1 and No. 2, it is inevitable that one will come away with the belief that salvation means that the main reason Jesus suffered and died was to “open the gates of heaven”. The Baltimore Catechism teaches this, because that is what the Catholic scholars taught and it was put in the Catechism.
Now I am certainly not condemning them for this mistake. Circumstances led everyone to it.
But, now that the Popes have corrected it, we need to root out the mistake and conform ourselves to what the Church teaches. I have seen absolutely no evidence of that anywhere by any Catholic scholar.

 If you don't think this false teaching of Catholic scholars has not permeated Catholic thought, then ask 10 Catholics what the meaning of salvation is.  Ask them why Jesus suffered, died and rose again.

At least 8 out of 10 will say, so that we can go to heaven, or to open the gates of heaven, something referring to entering heaven. Why? Because of the teaching of Catholic scholars. Where did they get it from. From Protestants who in their discussion of salvation by faith alone, almost exclusively use the word salvation to mean final salvation, or entering heaven, instead of the primary meaning, which is liberation from everything that oppresses man, especially liberation from sin.

    Again, this false definition has paralyzed Catholics in communicating the faith.  I believe it is one the primary reasons Catholics have quit going to mass.   Very few Catholics understand that the primary purpose of the mass is to make available the work of Salvation, that is, to make available to us the grace that Jesus earned by His death and resurrection, so that we can be freed from the slavery of sin and thus and live a life in union with Him and our neighbor in holiness.   This is the true source of happiness.   
  I read where  the Knights of Columbus hired a study to be done on Catholics and the mass.  Catholics who did not go to mass had a divorce rate equal to the general population.  But, those in which both couples went to mass had a divorce rate of only 2%.

Is this a miracle, something out of the ordinary? NO. This is the what Jesus intended. This is the reason He suffered, died and rose again. It is not something out of the ordinary, but the intended effect of His redemption. This is the primary purpose of the mass, to make available the grace to free us from the slavery of sin so we can love God and our neighbor (or spouse) the way He intended, and thus share in God’s live and have some happiness in this life and continue in the next life in heaven.
But after Vatican II, because of the false teachings which had been picked up before Vatican II, the teaching was never made available to the general Catholic public that Salvation, the mass, and liberation from the inclination to sin were all connected. Thus, Catholics quit going to mass, and the divorce rate skyrocketed. Of course you can find it in the Catechism if you know to look for it. But, if it is not taught first, no one can find it.
Thus ordinary Catholics had no idea that their divorce was from the lack of grace from not going to mass. Grace which would have removed enough of their inclination to sin, so that they could live with each other and learn to love one another.

The title of this thread was really a hook. It is not to condemn the Baltimore Catechism, or all who worked on it. It is really to get Catholics, especially Catholic scholars, and all Catholics who study the faith out of this stupid attitude where they think on their own they can know the very basic truths without the leadership of the Popes. And get rid of this false attitude that Catholic scholars are the true leaders and the Popes just bless what they say and make it official. The idea that the Popes are primarily figureheads, like the queen of England, who were only infallible twice. Or that if they are infallible more often, we only need to listen to them when they teach infallibly. The idea that if we don’t understand the Popes, when they teach basic things like salvation, the Gospel, etc, we can just ignore them and go on with what we believe to be true. The idea that if all theologians agree on an idea, then it must be true. The idea that if a well accepted theology book teaches something as true, then it must be true.
This arrogance of Catholic scholars has never shown
to be more evident than today. While a few got it correct they, as a whole, have totally lost the correct central primary meaning of salvation. And they seem to have totally missed the clarifications and corrections of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II on very BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL teachings on this subject.

      And when it comes to the Gospel, it is even worse.  Pope Paul VI and the General Directory for Catechesis make it clear what the Church means by "proclamation of the Gospel."

When I read what they were teaching, I had never heard that before. I thought I may have missed the teaching in my life, through my own fault. So I searched and searched for any Catholic scholar who understood and confirmed what the Popes were teaching. Nothing. Total blanks.
In other words, I have never found any Catholic scholar, who has any idea what the apostles proclaimed when Jesus told them to "proclaim the Gospel"
Jesus says salvation comes from believing this Gospel not from believing the bible. It is of primary importance.
The Church teaches in the Catechism that this Gospel they proclaimed was to be the “source of all saving truth and moral discipline”. This is nothing new. It goes all the way back to the council of Trent. Notice it is NOT the bible that is the “source of all saving truth and moral discipline”, but the Gospel the apostles proclaimed.
There is no teaching more basic, more fundamental, more important the "proclamation of the Gospel."
I have not found a single Catholic scholar who knows what the apostles taught when they “proclaimed the Gospel.” Not one. They are absolutely totally lost on the most fundamental teaching of Jesus. Yet, Jesus says salvation comes from believing this Gospel. It is so much information that Jesus had to send the Holy Spirit to bring to mind all He taught the apostles.
I can’t find a single Catholic scholar who knows what the apostles taught and what the Church means by “proclaiming the Gospel”. Just one who can explain it and I will be happy.

   Now you see why I make the Popes, and those few bishops in union with the Popes (only at certain points in history)  of all importance.  Because Catholic scholars are totally lost without the Popes.  Totally, absolutely lost.  They have no idea what the Popes mean when they say to "proclaim the Gospel."

I would love for someone to prove me wrong.
Just cite one scholar’s article, one piece of writing, anyone who can explain what the Popes mean by proclaiming the Gospel. Please prove me wrong.


#16

The Popes have been teaching and explaining Vatican II for the last 30 years. You don’t have to go to the Vatican and speak to the Pope, they publish their teachings and they expect everyone to conform to those teachings.

It is not I that think I know better than the theologians. I learned from them, and love a good theologian when I can find one. But, the best theologians and spiritual writers are the Popes themselves.
It is the theologians who think they don’t have to change their theology to fit what the Pope’s teach. The Popes write these encyclicals BECAUSE THERE ARE ERRORS being taught and believed. They don’t write them just to look good, or because Popes are supposed to write something.
They would not write them if there was nothing to correct.
And when I was taught and all Catholics I know were taught that salvation means Jesus died to open the gates of heaven, when the Popes teach that salvation means liberation from everything that oppresses men, and especially liberation from the slavery of sin which starts in this life, and it is fulfilled in the next life, then something is wrong, and it is NOT the Popes.

Let me quote the General Directory for Catechesis, which was authorized and approved by Pope John Paul II
101. "The message of Jesus about God is Good News for humanity. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God; (328) a new and definitive intervention by God, with a transforming power equal and even superior to his creation of the world. (329) In this sense, “Christ proclaims salvation as the outstanding element and, as it were, the central point of his Good News. This is the great gift of God which is to be considered as comprising not merely liberation from all those things by which man is oppressed, but especially liberation from sin and from the domination of the evil one, a liberation which incorporates that gladness enjoyed by every man who knows God and is known by him, who sees God and who surrenders himself trustingly to him”. (330) Catechesis transmits this message of the Kingdom, so central to the preaching of Jesus. In doing so, the message “is gradually deepened, developed in its implicit consequences”, (331) and thus manifests its great repercussions for man and the world.
GENERAL DIRECTORY FOR CATECHESIS, Authorized by Pope John Paul II

Unlike the other teachings of Catholic scholars and the Baltimore Catechism which was NOT approved by any Pope.

Why don’t Catholic scholars say “oops, we made a mistake, we misled millions of Catholics, sorry, lets try to learn what the Popes are teaching and explain that instead.”

But, all we get is silence.


#17

Absolutely false. I clearly stated in one of these posts that the bishops wrote the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. Even if he had tried, the Pope certainly could never have written it by himself. The Church cannot function properly with only one bishop. Thus, how can you say that I am teaching that there is only one bishop? BUT, those bishops who teach have to be in union with the Pope. The only way we know they are in union with the Pope is when the Pope approves their teaching. He did so with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He did so with the General Directory for Catechesis. He did not do so with the Baltimore Catechism.
And Vatican II made it clear that while the college of bishops always exists, they only teach in union with the Pope at certain times in history.

Regarding satisfaction of sins. I think the west, both protestant and Catholic has focused too much on the satisfaction aspect of Christ’s sacrifice to the detriment of other aspects but the fact is that the satisfaction of sins is necessary. It is right in the scriptures and can not be denied. Christ died to atone for our sins.

I never denied this. I denied that this is the primary meaning of salvation. It isn’t.

You are right when you say that Christ died to liberate us from this desert of sin that we are in. Through His sacrifice we recieved the Grace that was necessary to overcome sin.
But this should not be understood apart from communion with God. You should remember that modern theologians like Pope Benedict speak of closeness to Christ as being distance from sin. The overcoming of sin is really only the byproduct or the necessary path to travel to get to communion with God. The ultimate point is theosis. God became man, lived, died, resurrected and ascended so that we could receive the divine nature. The idea is that by taking on what is ours Christ also gave us what is His.

I agree except when you wrote “overcoming of sin is really only the byproduct.” It is not the byproduct, but it is the necessary path to travel to get to communion with God the way He intends
I even agree that communion with God is the most important part.
That is stated in the Catechism, in the prologue, that God “created man to share in His own blessed life”.

But God wants us to start sharing in His own blessed life NOW, here on earth. We cannot be in union with God the way He intends without being freed from the slavery of sin. We cannot love God and love our neighbor the way God wants us to without the gift of salvation, that is, without being freed from the slavery of sin.
And notice the Pope’s definition of salvation. It is not ONLY liberation from sin, but liberation from everything that oppresses man. For example, before Jesus came, slavery was deemed good and necessary for a strong country. Slavery was all over the world, even in North and South America. But because of the teachings of Jesus, through His Church, that all men have equal value before God, slavery was almost eliminated in the world, even in countries that are not Christian.
Before Jesus came women could be forced into marriage against their will. Jesus, through His Church taught that forced marriages are not even valid. There can still be arranged marriages, but, both parties must agree to the arrangement.
Before Jesus came, exposing newborn babies to die, was the prevalent and “best practice” among civilized Romans and
Greeks. Through the Church, the teachings of Jesus this practice was eliminated.

Before Jesus came women were given less status than men, often with the par of slaves or even animals. Jesus liberated women from this oppression because of His teachings that all humans are equal before God.

All these and much more are part of Pope Paul's definition of salvation, "liberation from EVERYTHING that oppresses man" not just liberation from our personal sins.

When we limit salvation to "opening the gates of heaven" we restrict the meaning so severely that it is no longer appealing to an unbelieving and sinful world.  

I repeat again.  As long as we are stuck with the old teachings of Catholic scholars, who never got it right, then Vatican II is doomed to fail.   Catholic scholars must learn and study from the Popes, and the teachings they approved, as the Catechism and the General Directory for Catechesis.

When they do begin to learn and communicate the teachings of the Popes, then the Church will be even more glorious than before and the world will change for the good.


#18

And it is not required to have the approval of the Pope.

From :

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION FIDEI DEPOSITUM ON THE PUBLICATION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

“…This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms.”

For instance this is from the Prologue to the CCC which was approved by the Pope:

24 " By design, this Catechism does not set out to provide the
adaptation of doctrinal presentations and catechetical methods
required by the differences of culture, age, spiritual maturity, and
social and ecclesial condition among all those to whom it is
addressed. Such indispensable adaptations are the responsibility of particular catechisms…"

The BC is a particular catechism, actually several particular catechisms for different age groups, adapted from the Roman Catechism.


#19

I must say I don’t understand the concern.

I’m on our parish Ecumenism and Evangelization Council and we’d be delighted if the majority of our parish read either the Baltimore or the current Catechism.

The trouble is not being familiar enough with Church teaching in general, which is how we get so many Catholics feeling perfectly fine with voting for staunchly pro-abortion political candidates despite the Church’s clear teaching.

The ebb and flow of Mass attendance in our parish certainly indicates few understand that Mass attendance is a requirement of the faith. Since Confession lines aren’t out the back door of our cathedral one can only conclude that we’ve got a lot of Catholics who aren’t familiar with the very basic teachings of the faith, if they’re not in outright disobedience of the same.


#20

I said it because the pope does not have to approve all decisions the bishops make. The bishops of the US can make a Catechism without the approval of the pope and it is still an authoritative Catechism.

It is not the byproduct, but it is the necessary path to travel to get to communion with God the way He intends

My only point ragarding this is that overcoming sin is not the end in itself. The end is communion with God or theosis.

But God wants us to start sharing in His own blessed life NOW, here on earth. We cannot be in union with God the way He intends without being freed from the slavery of sin. We cannot love God and love our neighbor the way God wants us to without the gift of salvation, that is, without being freed from the slavery of sin.

I couldn’t agree more. Through the ascetic life we will grow in communion with God. Theosis is something that is occuring now in Gods holy people. And this is the essential reason for works. They help you to get past your own self so that you can recieve communion with God.

Concerning the rest of your post I have no disagreement.


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