Merger of 3 threads:Is "Faith Alone" alive and well in some parts of Catholicism?


#1

I need som help here. Reading this article kind of disturbed me. I know we can’t “earn” our way to salvation, that it is only through the Grace of Christ that we are saved, however, Faith Alone is heresy, without works. Check this out:

**Papal preacher tells pope that faith alone will bring salvation

**VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Even those who spend their lives serving the church must recognize that faith alone will save them, the preacher of the papal household told Pope Benedict XVI and his closest aides. “Christianity does not start with that which man must do to save himself, but with what God has done to save him,” Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said in his Dec. 16 Advent meditation. The preacher told the pope and top Vatican officials that they, like St. Paul, must avoid any temptation to think that the good works they have accomplished will guarantee their salvation. “Gratuitous justification through faith in Christ is the heart” of St. Paul’s preaching “and it is a shame that this has been practically absent from the ordinary preaching of the church,” he said.

Here is the source:
catholicnews.com/data/briefs/cns/20051216.htm#head14


#2

Well, just from reading he sounds a lot like Saint Paul.

But I think the message he is trying to convey is that Catholics have become, in my mind, less apt at “accepting Jesus Christ as thier personal Lord and Savior.” For lack of better wording.

Basicly, instead of just going to Mass and doing things cause you were brought up Catholic, you need to first love Jesus and have faith. Have that heart that longs to just learn about and love Jesus every day. That is why convert and revert Catholics are usually so passionate.

I could be way off. I would wish he hadn’t of used “faith alone” though, just another thing for our Protestant breathen to throw in our face.

And I certainly hope he wasn’t backing sola fide.


#3

[quote=Unfinished]Well, just from reading he sounds a lot like Saint Paul.

And I certainly hope he wasn’t backing sola fide.
[/quote]

in reading the entire article it sounds as if he is backing sola gratia, which has always been Catholic teaching, but in the effort to avoid “sounding like a Protestant” the need for initial faith has not been enunciated enough, in his opinion.


#4

That’s what I was trying to say. :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

In reading this again, I see it is not really saying Faith Alone, so I think the article title kind of gives it that slant…


#6

If you read the joint declaration between Catholics and Lutherans, they point out that, in general, Protestants and Catholics use a different sense of the word “faith”.

For the Catholic usage, “faith” is assent of the will of the beliefs and dogmas of the Church. It is the belief of the truth.

For the protestant faith has a more encompassing view that includes what Catholics describe as hope and charity.

So saying “faith alone” is fine, if it is meant in the Catholic sense of faith, hope, and charity.
I believe that the joint declaration explains this further,

Part of the problem in ecumenism today is that different groups use terms with their own particular meanings.
This is how misunderstandings occur.

Joint declaration:
ewtn.com/library/CURIA/pccujnt4.htm

It may possibly also be found in the statement: Evangelicals and Catholics Together ( i can’t remember off-hand which one)
firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9405/articles/mission.html

Both are worth reading to see what the Church is doing ecumenically with other Christian groups.


#7

Have a look at this…

catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=18021

What’s happening here?
I probably know what this Catholic guy means, but surely this is going to be used by Protestants to attack the Church.

Comments?


#8

To me, it’s clear this guy has a warped opinion.

Not of Faith being the key, of course that’s true. But of the Church preaching “Salvation through works”. Where do we teach that?

Notworthy


#9

[quote=amercy]Have a look at this…

catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=18021

What’s happening here?
I probably know what this Catholic guy means, but surely this is going to be used by Protestants to attack the Church.

Comments?
[/quote]

Maybe you know, but I’m not at all sure myself what he means. The only thing that’s clear (to me) is that he does not believe our works of charity play ANY causal part in our salvation.

Plainly, he is wrong.

Peace.
John


#10

[quote=amercy]Have a look at this…

catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=18021

What’s happening here?
I probably know what this Catholic guy means, but surely this is going to be used by Protestants to attack the Church.

Comments?
[/quote]

What is the problem with what he said?


#11

GO here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=90180It is just the title of the thread that is probably throwing you off, re-read the story a couple of times and you’ll see, there is nothing really wrong with what was said.


#12

I understand what is being said and find nothing to be concerned about. There is absolutely nothing we can do to achieve salvation other than having a real faith in Jesus as the Son of God. This is where it all begins. If we have this real faith in Jesus it will not be idle. Our faith will drive us to works of charity toward others. To have faith and not to deny ourselves and pick up our cross will not yeild salvation. This is all quite clearly stated by Jesus. What is faith? If it is not accompanied by love is worth nothing. This is what St. Paul tells us. There are many people in this world that do good things with no faith. There are those who have faith but love in them is hard to find. Even the devil believes in Jesus as the Son of God.

Faith is where it must begin, but it simply cannot end there.


#13

[quote=amercy]Have a look at this…

catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=18021

What’s happening here?
I probably know what this Catholic guy means, but surely this is going to be used by Protestants to attack the Church.

Comments?
[/quote]

I find nothing wrong with what he said???


#14

I read this yesterday.

The meaning that I got out of it was that there was nothing on this earth we could do to earn our salvation.

I have done, tally it up, these good works and they outweigh my bad works so Lord I can enter heaven.

On the contrary this could be misconstrued from Protestants. That faith alone is all we need. I believe therefore I am saved.

I thought faith without works is dead and that we needed both. That truly it is God’s grace that we are saved. Although I thought that Faith and Works go hand in hand to show fruit. By their fruits you shall know them.

Maybe what he is trying to convey is that works have been such an essential part of the Catholic Church that it looks like Faith is lukewarm or dead to an outsider. I find it interesting that on another thread Faith was put up and not many posted. :frowning:

:slight_smile: Melissa


#15

“Gratuitous justification through faith in Christ is the heart” of St. Paul’s preaching “and it is a shame that this has been practically absent from the ordinary preaching of the church,” he said.

This is what bothers me.

Notworthy


#16

A Catholic is saved by Grace alone. A protestant is saved by grace alone through faith alone. It is only grace which saves us, however works are a necessary part of our faith. We are free to choose God, or to reject Him in our daily lives and our salvation is guaranteed if we live by His word. The main misunderstanding between Catholic theology and Protestant theology is our definition of faith. Protestants believe faith is just a confession. The Catholic believes that faith is what he lives till the end of his days.


#17

OK. GRACE ALONE saves us. Not faith alone or works alone. In terms of faith and works it is not an either/or… rather it is, a both/and. As St. James tells us, “faith without works is dead.” When St. Paul speaks of salvation through faith and not of works, he is speaking of the works of the Messianic law, which after the coming of Christ are null and void. Yes, works of the OLD law are to no avail since Christ has come. however, Christ still requires good WORKS in love. St. James: You do well to say you beleive in the Lord, the demons also beleive in the Lord and quake at his name…You say you have faith. Show me your faith, and through my WORKS I will show you my faith. Faith without works is DEAD… IT is clear that we need BOTH faith AND WORKS through that faith. However, if it were not for Christ’s GRACE, no one would be saved. God Bless!


#18

[quote=St.Eric]OK. GRACE ALONE saves us. Not faith alone or works alone. In terms of faith and works it is not an either/or… rather it is, a both/and. As St. James tells us, “faith without works is dead.” When St. Paul speaks of salvation through faith and not of works, he is speaking of the works of the Messianic law, which after the coming of Christ are null and void. Yes, works of the OLD law are to no avail since Christ has come. however, Christ still requires good WORKS in love. St. James: You do well to say you beleive in the Lord, the demons also beleive in the Lord and quake at his name…You say you have faith. Show me your faith, and through my WORKS I will show you my faith. Faith without works is DEAD… IT is clear that we need BOTH faith AND WORKS through that faith. However, if it were not for Christ’s GRACE, no one would be saved. God Bless!
[/quote]

Right on.


#19

[quote=john ennis]Maybe you know, but I’m not at all sure myself what he means. The only thing that’s clear (to me) is that he does not believe our works of charity play ANY causal part in our salvation.

Plainly, he is wrong.

[/quote]

Where does he say this? I couldn’t find anything of the sort. I think you’re misreading him.

Edwin


#20

[quote=St.Eric]OK. GRACE ALONE saves us. Not faith alone or works alone. In terms of faith and works it is not an either/or… rather it is, a both/and. As St. James tells us, “faith without works is dead.” When St. Paul speaks of salvation through faith and not of works, he is speaking of the works of the Messianic law, which after the coming of Christ are null and void. Yes, works of the OLD law are to no avail since Christ has come. however, Christ still requires good WORKS in love. St. James: You do well to say you beleive in the Lord, the demons also beleive in the Lord and quake at his name…You say you have faith. Show me your faith, and through my WORKS I will show you my faith. Faith without works is DEAD… IT is clear that we need BOTH faith AND WORKS through that faith. However, if it were not for Christ’s GRACE, no one would be saved. God Bless!
[/quote]

Amen. The reason we do not follow the Mosiac Law today is because Paul when he went out to convert the gentiles realized that if one is saved through the merits of Jesus Christ alone, then the Pharisaical dependence on the Law to save was no longer valid. Works in the context of Pauls writings refer to the “Works of the Mosaic Law.” Even the works we perform today as part of our Faith are not driven by our own merits, but by the graces gifted to us through the Holy Spirit.


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