Calvinism and Trent

Did Trent really condemn Calvinism? I just read these quotes, which I haven’t thought of in awhile:

Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified,-as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches,-and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God . . . God forbid that a Christian should either trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord, whose bounty towards all men is so great, that He will have the things which are His own gifts be their merits. (Council of Trent, Session 6, chapter 16)

If any one saith, that man’s free will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Session 6, Canon 6)

Calvinist don’t believe humans an like a rock when receiving grace. They believe there is a consent like when a cat decides to jump on your bed

“that He will have the things which are His own gifts be their merits.” I can understand that.
But where has the Church condemned the idea that it free will is used in consent to efficacious grace in the sense that one could have chosen not to?

In my understanding, Calvinists believe that grace cannot be rejected, that the elect are predestined for salvation, and the reprobate for damnation.

The only difference I see between Calvinism and the Catholic Doctrine on predestination is that Catholicism tries to rationalize free will with predestination. This is a logical impossibility. One cannot be predestined to anything and still have free will.

Your very existence can be predestined by your mother and father without your mother and father predestining all the free choices you make throughout your life. God gives us freedom, and in so doing predestines our use of that freedom, whether for good or for evil. Only by God’s divine will (pre-ordination) could the universe be created and sustained. If God’s will was withdrawn from the universe for one second it would cease to exist. In that sense, God predestines everything to exist. The price to be paid for our freedom is that evil must be allowed to exist along with good.

oldcelt, why can’t you accept that a Catholic can be a Molinist?

I am wondering what a Calvinist must give up in order to be Catholic. Total depravity? Yes. Predestination to hell? Yes. N free will to accept or reject sufficient grace? Yes. But what about believing that the elect don’t have a chose when efficacious grace is given, that it is not different than a new-born reaching out for his mother?

Preordination and predestination cannot coexist with free will. Your analogy of biological parents holds no water, since they are not omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc., and there is no evidence of any divine force sustaining the universe. The universe functions on its own. Chaotically at times, but it still functions.


Why do you think the universe functions chaotically at times? Do we know if there are any event that occur that couldn’t be predicted, given enough information and the ability to comprehend it?

Okay then explain this. You have free will to choose to do whatever you want, think how you want to think, you have the free will to right now rob or not rob a bank. But you are predestined to die.

How do you explain that? After all you said predestination and free will don’t mix right?

By the way here is how it works. God knows how its going to turn out. He know how it is all going to end because he knows all the free will choices we will make, and how it will effect our lives.

What you say makes no sense to me. It is like saying if I read the last page of the book it is going to change how the book will end. It does not. If I read the book from the beginning to the end, or read the last page, it does not change the end of the book.

When God creates us he gives us free will to do as we please, and face the challenges through life. Just because he knows how our life will end, and he sees how we choose to use our free will for those results, in no way takes away our free will.

You seem to be saying because God can see how we use our free will in this world and choose to either reject him or accept him, takes our free will away. Which makes no sense, no sense at all.

Its quite simple I chose to accept him, and do my best to follow him, and imitate him, as much as I can. IF he believes at the end of my life I was sincere, and truly love him, He will grant me salvation.

On the other hand if someone else chooses to reject him through this life, and pretty much why would anyone want him at the end if they do not want him now, so they will reject him at the end, and use free will to live apart from him in the next life as now.

Its really pretty simple.

But your explanation is not what Catholicism teaches. Predestination and preordination, both Catholic teachings, are what would take away free will. I have referenced the passages many times so I’m not going to do it again. I suggest you read the Catholic Encyclopedia sections on free will and predestination. Then tell me if it really adds up.

I am not predestined to anything. Death is simply a reality of human life…life in general. This reality does not require the intervention of a higher power…just wait long enough, and it happens to every life form on earth.

I totally disagree, how could free will take away what God wants? You are saying because God wants all men to be saved, all men will be saved. You are wrong.

The word of God contradicts you completely. God predestinates all men and women to go to heaven, it is what he wants, his will. The bible tells us God wants all men to be saved.

But unfortunately by God giving us free will, it becomes a consequence of the free gift God gives us.

How in the world does God wanting us and willing us to all go to heaven change if we don’t want to go to heaven?

Gods predestination does not mean we cannot make free will choices. Again how does his knowing make our choices? You have not shown me any answer to this.

The CCC teaches Eternal Predestination is a persons free response to the grace of God.

Jesus death on the cross was not a coincidence, it was a part of the mystery of the plan of God. Jesus came here to die for our eternal life. He did not die because he could not stop his own death, as the devil himself said he could haul in a ton of angels to save him. But he chose to do his Fathers will, and die on the cross to save our life.

When Jesus was on trial he was told do you not know that I have the power to have to killed or set free, Jesus said you have only the power given to you by my Father. Are you saying Pilate had no free will to deny the death of Christ? And are you saying if he denied the death of Christ, Christ would still not have found a way to die for our sins?

If I give my Son a brand new bike on his sixteen birthday and a brand new corvette and give him the choice to pick which one he wanted to take on his date that night, and I KNOW he will pick the vet, how in the world does that in anyway take away his ability to choose between the two.

That is what you are trying and failing miserably, may I add, to say. Because I know what my Son will do, in no way, took away his free will.

But you seem to believe, knowing what someone will choose, takes away their free will to do so. And that is so wrong.

If death requires to wait long enough to happen, then why does it happen to the very young also then? Seems it is indeed the intervention of a higher power, especially the way you define it, to wait long enough.

As I stated Jesus would make this statement a false statement indeed. Jesus said he came he to do not his will, but the will of his Father, and he used human free will, to die on the cross.

Father if it is possible, let this cup pass, but not let it be my will, but let it be the will of my Father to take up this cup.

So if It was the will of Jesus to do the will of his Father, how is this possible? If as you say, we cannot have free will and use it to do the will of God? As Perfectly shown here by the Perfect Son Jesus its not only possible, It happened!

I believe we have absolute free will and that God is totally out of the equation after initial creation. He did not preordain me or any events in my life. I am a free agent in every way, and my life is my responsibility.

And you have free will to believe what you want. But this thread is not what you choose to believe now is it. Lets not get off track, and please answer the questions addressed to you and lets stay on topic!:wink:

If god intervenes to kill people young and horribly that only adds credibility to my belief of non-intervention and non-predestination. A that could foreknow and preordain a child to die a horrible death would be petty, discriminatory and cruel.

I refuse to believe that of the creator.

The thread is about two views of predestination. I have shown you the Catholic teaching…I have answered your questions…you just don’t like the answers.

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