Do Popes and Councils contradict?


#1

I am an old-school Lutheran. One of Luther’s points in favor of sola scriptura was that popes and councils have contradicted each other. I have found that this has been the case in the Vatican II era.
By Post-Vatican II documents the Pope may be proven to be under Roman Catholic anathema. For the Second Council Of Constantinople, which is held to be infallible by the Roman Catholic Church, article XI states: “If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, together with their impious, godless writings, and all the other heretics already condemned and anathematized by the holy catholic and apostolic Church, and by the aforementioned four Holy Synods and all those who have held and hold or who in their godlessness persist in holding to the end the same opinion as those heretics just mentioned; let him be anathema.” The rest of the anathemas (which are important to my argument) are at iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/council.2constan.txt

“Anyone” includes popes. “DOMINUS IESUS,” is signed, “The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II…” Although it gives a huge compilation of context doctrine, parts of the document are in contradiction with the apostolic faith. Even the Mormon heretics have the context doctrine of the Bible with the flagrant heresies of Joseph Smith. Mormons are only one out of many groups under Satan’s flag that prove that context doctrine means nothing if the text given alongside the context is heretical. The document states, "Furthermore, the salvific action of Jesus Christ, with and through his Spirit, extends beyond the visible boundaries of the Church to all humanity. Speaking of the paschal mystery, in which Christ even now associates the believer to himself in a living manner in the Spirit and gives him the hope of resurrection, the Council states: “All this holds true not only for Christians but also for all men of good will in whose hearts grace is active invisibly. For since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery”.

This clearly teaches that modern heritics are no longer necessarily under anathema. Cardinal Walter Kasper stated, “Jews do not need to convert to be saved, he says – they don’t need to become Christians if they follow their own conscience and live out what God has shown them.” The pope has, to my knowledge, not rebuked him for this statement, but instead allowed him to be on the Magisterium’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. This implies that the pope may think upon similar lines. Both Eunomius and Arius stated the Jesus was created. Do not non-Christian Jews and Muslims include him in the creation as well? Simply because Jews do not hold every teaching the same as Arius does not exclude them from being heretics.

Listen to Jesus, the Maker of apostles: “Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” He does not mention any “paschal mystery” through which those who deny Jesus before men are saved. The Holy Spirit will not offer anything different, for “God is one.”

But the Pope is twisting the gospel into a different one, saying “the Holy Spirit offers to all {he includes every heretic in all} the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery.” This “way known to God” is definitely something apart from the normal process where one hears the Word of God and that Word of God works saving faith in the previous unbeliever. In saying that “The Way” is known to God, not men, it is set apart from “The Way” that the apostles taught as a revelation from God to men. There is one Gospel, the death and resurrection of Jesus to pay for sins. And surely the One Lord Jesus Christ can tell us how the salvation offered “by grace…through faith…not of works” to the world is rejected. John Paul II is twisting the true paschal mystery into one that it is not. For the grace of the gospel of God can only be received by faith in the One who was sent. And if it is not by faith, than it is by man’s works. “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (from Genesis 8:21) Evil hearts only produce evil actions (see John 15). The Pope says, “all men of good will,” but God says all men’s wills are evil from youth. Because of this evil will, we all deserve nothing but punishment and cannot accept Jesus as Lord. We accept God’s grace only by the “one faith” Paul mentions. Without the “one faith,” the true “paschal mystery” is denied.


#2

I wish to clarify in my argument that I am not talking about repentance from denying Jesus. I am talking about non-Christians from birth to death, as the pope mentions in his document as “non-Christians.” I find to safe to say that all non-Christians reject Jesus as he really is. If I am wrong, please explain. If you read the whole anathema list, you will see some, like article II, are intolerable for non-Christians to accept. The definition of anathema in this context is basically “damned” or “kill him and let him be damned.” I understand anathema as specifically saying that the person cannot be saved, and should be regarded as such as long as the false doctrine is not repented of. If I am wrong, please explain. Yes, I know I am under Roman Catholic anathema for my “faith alone” doctrine, among others. Therefore, if the Council of Trent is 100% true, I am going to hell and should be regarded as such.

I wish to clarify as well that I am only debating on this subject in this thread. If you want to debate other arguments for and against sola scriptura, start a new thread, and maybe I will come. I previously did not mention that I was Lutheran, but I found that that thread was seen as sedevacantism.


#3

I need to get to bed…but let me forward you to Dave Armstrong’s page on this subject: ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ419.HTM (Ecumenism and Salvation Outside the Church).

God bless.

In Christ,
Tyler


#4

You need to do further research on the subject. You need to start with the Scripture, because God intended that all mankind would be saved. However, that will not happen because we have free will and some decide not to follow Christ.

I suggest that you have not understood the topic at all. The subject that you seem to want to discuss is related to what is known as salvation outside of the Church. You need to understand in what precise terms the Pope is speaking with regard to those who are non-Christian and how these people might (PLEASE NOTE THE MIGHT) be saved due to God’s grace and mercy. The specific topic is that of Baptism of Desire. This is possible in very limited circumstances. In other words, it has to be someone who has not had the opportunity to hear the Gospel message. If a person has heard the Gospel message and rejects that message then that person does not fit into that criteria. On the other hand someone who has been brought up in a remote region where the Gospel message is not allowed to be distributed might get into heaven because God desires that all mankind be saved and it is the desire of the Church to do the will of God. In other words, if a non-Christian does the will of God, because the law of God is written on his or her heart, who has loved his/her neighbour, but has never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel message, then it is up to the will and mercy of God that such a person is allowed to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

I am not sure that this is what you are driving at, or what you want to discuss, but I think that this should be your starting point.

Beware, some sites on the web purporting to be Catholic do not present the true doctrines of the Catholic Church. In fact they distort those facts.

MaggieOH


#5

MaggieOH: Then where does that leave Protestants? Under that understanding, how could any Protestants be saved? Surely most of them know of the Catholic Church. What of Protestants who have such a passion for Christ, and a clearly authentic love for him, yet never accept all the teachings of the Catholic Church?


#6

Originally Quoted by HeirofChrist:

By Post-Vatican II documents the Pope may be proven to be under Roman Catholic anathema…

Yes, this sounds rather reasonable.

“Anyone” includes popes.

The Catholic would state that popes are excluded, just as Christ is exluded from the passage which states, “All have sinned…every one.”

The document states, "Furthermore, the salvific action of Jesus Christ, with and through his Spirit, extends beyond the visible boundaries of the Church to all humanity. Speaking of the paschal mystery, in which Christ even now associates the believer to himself in a living manner in the Spirit and gives him the hope of resurrection, the Council states: “All this holds true not only for Christians but also for all men of good will in whose hearts grace is active invisibly. For since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery”.

Basically I see this passage as saying: 1) The salvation that comes from the Cross is at work in all human beings, Christian or not. 2) We should not deny that God is in the process of creating partners in those who are not yet baptized Christian, but who nontheless are being made Christians in heart.

I don’t see the passage as explicitly saying that Jews, Muslims, Pagans, etc. can remain as they are and be partners. The empahsis is on their hearts. If a Jew is in his heart a Christian but can’t be baptized, then he should not too hastily be judged as not being a partner.

Even if that is not the direct conveyance of the passage, the passage is not “inclusive” but “illimunating,” in the sense that it clears up particulars that previously might have been unclear.

This clearly teaches that modern heritics are no longer necessarily under anathema.

I can sorta see how you reason this…an interesting point.

Cardinal Walter Kasper stated, “Jews do not need to convert to be saved, he says – they don’t need to become Christians if they follow their own conscience and live out what God has shown them.”

Reminds me of the convivencia in Spain. What he said contradicts the traditional Christian message which states that only through Christ can one be saved. The Jews are not in Christ, but they rather have rejected Him.

Simply because Jews do not hold every teaching the same as Arius does not exclude them from being heretics.

The Jews, until this century, were recognized by the Church as collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. The term, “accursed Jews,” was in the liturgy for Good Friday until after Vatican II. Of course, following the Holocaust, suspicions that Pope Pius XII was somewhat involved in preventing the deaths, and a greater public campaign against anything that is not P.C., the Church has changed this teaching to fit modern temperaments.

Listen to Jesus, the Maker of apostles…"

I believe that the “pashal mystery” refers specifically to those who have not denied Christ simply because they have not sufficiently heard of him nor the gospel. There is a difference between a native tribesmen who would accept Christ into his life, were he to know the gospel, and a well-informed Palestinian Jew who knows the gospel but nontheless fails to accept it. The former may be Christian in heart but seen by Christians as a pagan worshipper, especially if the two never meet; whereas the latter is well known to Christians and openly contests the claims of the Christians.

“The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (from Genesis 8:21) Evil hearts only produce evil actions (see John 15). The Pope says, “all men of good will,” but God says all men’s wills are evil from youth. Because of this evil will, we all deserve nothing but punishment and cannot accept Jesus as Lord. We accept God’s grace only by the “one faith” Paul mentions. Without the “one faith,” the true “paschal mystery" is denied.

You’re delving into the “depravity” argument. This is just an offhand guess, but the Pope may say that “men of good will” may be those to whom God speaks personally in their hearts. The Pope is not rejecting the possibility that God personally may convert those to His Son. So, in this sense, one who has some knowledge of the gospel through supernatural means and accepts the gospel known to him should not be seen as incapable of salvation. Since we do not know how God personally works in non-Christians, we cannot judge them as heretics unless they consistently and publically manifest themselves through their actions to be adverse to Christian doctrines.

Yep, just a little rant.


#7

[font=Times New Roman]By Post-Vatican II documents the Pope may be proven to be under Roman Catholic anathema. For the Second Council Of Constantinople, which is held to be infallible by the Roman Catholic Church, Article XI states: “If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen.

[/font]
Name ONE Vatican II encyclical, Apostolic Letter, or any official Church teaching pre or post Vatican II that is in any way aligned with the heresies of Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen.

What you are implying is that these heresies are included in Vatican II documents. They are not.

If you like we can discuss the Christological heresies implicitly found in Protestantism such as Nestorianism, Monosyphitism, or Monothelitism regarding the fitting title for Mary as the Mother of God. Are you Nestorian in your view as to who Mary gave birth to?

If you don’t want to go there, please don’t make unqualified bigoted remarks, and falsly accusing the Church of the very heresies she fought agaisnt.

[font=Times New Roman]“Anyone” includes popes. “DOMINUS IESUS,” is signed, “The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II…” Although it gives a huge compilation of context doctrine, parts of the document are in contradiction with the apostolic faith.

[/font]

WRONG. You are misinterpreting the encyclical to say what you want it to say, in order to claim the Pope, teaching from the Chair of Peter, has made an error. I’m sorry to say we have many Catholics doing the same thing. Some are in mind control cults like the SSPX, or have adopted similar dissenting views.

The “Apostolic faith” means the Gospel message as it was “entrusted” to qualified ordained leaders, the “man of God”. There is nothing in the bible that says the “Gospem message” is a book, since there was no book at the time. Catholicism follows the whole bible. Those who reject Apostolic Succession according to Tradition and the Scriptures, can’t possibly have an apostolic faith.

[font=Times New Roman]But the Pope is twisting the gospel into a different one, saying "the Holy Spirit offers to all {he includes every heretic in all} the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery.”

[/font]

“Known to God”, not you, and not the Church. “Offers to all”, does not mean “received by all”. If you insist on confining God into your little box of rules and forcing God to remain below His own laws, you do so to your own peril.


#8

[font=Times New Roman]And surely the One Lord Jesus Christ can tell us how the salvation offered “by grace…through faith…not of works” to the world is rejected. John Paul II is twisting the true paschal mystery into one that it is not. For the grace of the gospel of God can only be received by faith in the One who was sent. And if it is not by faith, than it is by man’s works.

[/font]

YOU have twisted Catholicism into something that she is not, nor ever has been. The Catholic Church HAS NEVER taught salvation by works apart from God’s grace. NEVER. And I challenge you, sir, to quote any official Church teaching that claims otherwise. “Works of the law” is not the same as “good works.” It’s another topic for another thread.

[font=Times New Roman]The Pope says, “all men of good will,” but God says all men’s wills are evil from youth.

[/font]

A text without a context is a pretext. You offer no context of the Pope’s words, similar to the hate cults. Look at God’s Word in Luke 1:14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. I am certain he is using the phrase in that context.

But please bring up the unbiblical “total depravity” invention in another thread. You can’t share in the divine life of God, and be called sons and daughters of God and be a snow covered dung heap and at the same time.

[font=Times New Roman] Because of this evil will, we all deserve nothing but punishment and cannot accept Jesus as Lord.

[/font]
Predetermination?

[font=Times New Roman] We accept God’s grace only by the “one faith” Paul mentions. Without the “one faith,” the true “paschal mystery" is denied.

[/font]
And what does the ever increasing fragmentation of Protestantism say about the “one faith” ?

How do you have a true paschal meal without a Lamb to eat?

kepha1


#9

Absolutely not,

The Pope merely reiterated what the Bible teaches, as St Paul also said some un-baptized will be considered by God as baptized (and vice versa) because they do the will of the Father.

Folks who may never have known or accepted Christian doctrine may still share in God’s kingdom, because they have followed God’s will as they understand it.

No Church Council or Pope has ever declared catagorically that all non-Christians are doomed, nor would they ever make such a presumptuous and out right stupid statement. IT is only protestant denominations who would ever (and have made on numerous occasions) make such an outlandish statement.

People who may never have even heard about Christ can not possibly be held accountable for not accepting some faith that they don’t have the foggiest notion about. God does not condemn good people, that would be totally contradictory to His divine good nature.

IF we who are infinitely less wise and less just, can surmise that decent people ought to be saved just as a simple matter of fairness, God certainly will save decent folks who do not have the opportunity or predisposition to accept a teaching that is totally foreign to them.

God can only judge you based on what you know about Him. No Pope or Council has ever declared that only Christians will be saved.

WC


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.