How do you respond: "Why obedience to the Church if...?"


#1

During this Lenten season, I was asked where it says in Scripture we “must” abstain from meat. I explained that the teaching does not “mandate” meat, but it is the norm. But we should fast at this time, because the Bible does say we should be obedient to the Church. How do you respond to someone who counters obedience to the Church with, “What if the Church does something wrong, like selling you salvation like they used to do?”

My instinct after brief thought is that

  • Consider Padre Pio, knowing he was innocent, yet accepting the order to refrain from hearing confessions.
  • The selling of indulgences in the 16th century that the challenger mentioned was not a requirement, i.e. you didn’t “have” to be obedient to it.
  • If a priest or someone in the Church tries to sell you salvation, you should challenge him, or go to a higher authority in the Church.Are these good answers? Would you add anything?

#2

My instinct after brief thought is that

  • Consider Padre Pio, knowing he was innocent, yet accepting the order to refrain from hearing confessions.
  • The selling of indulgences in the 16th century that the challenger mentioned was not a requirement, i.e. you didn’t “have” to be obedient to it.
  • If a priest or someone in the Church tries to sell you salvation, you should challenge him, or go to a higher authority in the Church.Are these good answers? Would you add anything?“The Church” didn’t do anything wrong, Tetzel did. The Church fixed it, but by then the crybabies and egotistical rebels had already left and had too much ego and too little humility to come home where they belonged. :shrug:

#3

#4

Couldn’t tell from the post. :shrug:


#5

One might note that Jesus expects us to fast:

[FONT=Georgia]"And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18* that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:16-18

He says we will fast: [/FONT]

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, * but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Matthew 9:14-15


#6

The Church has NEVER sold salvation EVER. This is a gross calumny against the Church and a complete misunderstanding of indulgences. An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due for a sin, not the actual forgiveness of that sin. Indulgences do not grant you salvation, they get you out of Purgatory. If you are in Purgatory, you are already Saved. And in truth, indulgences were not actually being sold. It only appeared that they were being sold because indulgences were attached to alms giving (give money to build a new cathedral) - a work of charity . Since the misunderstanding, the Church has decreed that there are no indulgences attached to monetary works of charity so as to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. But, Salvation was never sold.

As Catholics, we are not restricted to Scripture as our authority. The Magisterium holds authority given to her by Jesus when he said “Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.” Therefore, the Church has God-given authority to define disciplines, such as fasting and abstinence. She does this, not as a power-trip, but for the good of our souls. Both fasting and abstinence strengthen our wills in mastering our flesh so that we are no longer subject to the demands of the body but can turn our minds towards the spiritual. By abstaining and fasting, we strengthen our will to resist other bodily temptations such as lust, or the desire to get drunk. Unlike the World which tells us that we are completely subject to our bodily urges and that we are incapable of controlling them,that we should eat whatever and whenever we want, that we should indulge our senses in drugs and sex and whatever turns us on.

Obedience to authority is a mark of humility. After all, who are we to decide that the Church has it wrong? Do we have thousands of years of theological studies under our belts that we can judge? Are we so puffed up with pride, so certain that we are right and they are wrong, that we cannot subject ourselves to the Authority Jesus installed? Obedience and humilty are the earmarks of holy persons. As in the case of Padre Pio above, although he knew he was ‘right’, he submitted to authority and obeyed.


#7

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.