Florence on circumcision


#1

I have been a Protestant all my life, but I have been recently seriously investigating Catholicism seriously, and just came across something that disturbed me that I haven’t seen critically examined much.

The statements of the Council of Florence are considered infallible, correct? If so, what do we make of this?

“Therefore [the Church] strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.”

The full statement can be read here:
ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/FLORENCE.HTM#5

This seems to contradict Scripture, and statements of the Church before and since on circumcision.


#2

That’s a disciplinary action of the Church that comes from the power to bind and loose. Circumcision is not intrinsically evil, but the Church forbade the faithful from practicing it for a time–most likely because some thought it was necessary. This is a mortal sin for the same reason that missing Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation is a mortal sin.


#3

[quote=Genesis315]That’s a disciplinary action of the Church that comes from the power to bind and loose. Circumcision is not intrinsically evil, but the Church forbade the faithful from practicing it for a time–most likely because some thought it was necessary. This is a mortal sin for the same reason that missing Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation is a mortal sin.
[/quote]

Wait…hold your horses…Circumcision is a MORTAL SIN???
Both my children(boys) and Catholic are circumcisied…the Priest **NEVER **said anything about this being a MORTAL SIN:confused: :eek:


#4

[quote=Karin]Wait…hold your horses…Circumcision is a MORTAL SIN???
Both my children(boys) and Catholic are circumcisied…the Priest **NEVER **said anything about this being a MORTAL SIN:confused: :eek:
[/quote]

I believe he means that rejecting the authority of the church (i.e. to circumcise at that time) is a mortal sin.

As for the idea of this being a temporary provision of the time… not sure about that, I’ll wait to see if there’s more commentary first.


#5

[quote=Karin]Wait…hold your horses…Circumcision is a MORTAL SIN???
Both my children(boys) and Catholic are circumcisied…the Priest **NEVER **said anything about this being a MORTAL SIN:confused: :eek:
[/quote]

It’s not anymore. Much like cremation or marrying non-Catholics was forbidden for a while, so was circumcision.


#6

[quote=Genesis315]It’s not anymore. Much like cremation or marrying non-Catholics was forbidden for a while, so was circumcision.
[/quote]

Whew…thank you…glad to hear it!:smiley:


#7

If this is a disciplinary action based on the power to bind and loose, that brings up several questions:

  1. How can you tell? What distinguishes the statement from a matter of doctrine?
  • OK, “strictly orders” implies this, but then it goes on to state “since whether or not they place hope in it…” as a reason, as if this were a timeless principle.
  1. When, and in what manner, was this order ended?

  2. Why was this order given?


#8

It firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation.

In context, we are looking at circumcision as a religious ceremony, instead of as a medical procedure. Thus, I think the Church was right in condemning such practice as putting a false hope in the Old Law.


#9

[quote=The Augustinian]In context, we are looking at circumcision as a religious ceremony, instead of as a medical procedure. Thus, I think the Church was right in condemning such practice as putting a false hope in the Old Law.
[/quote]

Looking at the context your comment makes sense, but why then, is it written “whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed…”?


#10

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