Mistakes of Past Popes and Higher Level Clergy: Reformation Contibutor?

It appears that a great deal of early Reformation acts came out of the immoral and self indulged behavior on the part of popes and past clergy. Are we somewhat harsh on the early reformers due to the fact that we ourselves do not experieince such commonly seen self centered actions and immorality on the part of higher level clergy?

[quote=CatherineofA]It appears that a great deal of early Reformation acts came out of the immoral and self indulged behavior on the part of popes and past clergy. Are we somewhat harsh on the early reformers due to the fact that we ourselves do not experieince such commonly seen self centered actions and immorality on the part of higher level clergy?
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It is certainly true that bad behavior from Church leaders is a scandal, but it is no excuse for what the so called reformers did. They attacked many truths of Christianity; rejected the divine inspiration of many books of the Bible, and made up brand new doctrines that were contrary to what had always been taught. There is no excuse for their actions.

What they should have done was to “protest” the bad behavior of the Church leaders, and demand that measures be taken to correct it, rather than “protest” the teachings of Christianity.

I believe it is misguided to have sympathy for the heretics of the 16th century. They are responsible for the damnation of millions and millions of souls.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

There is no doubt that the corruption of the church in the period immediately preceeding the Protestant reformation was a major contributor to the crises. Times like that require strong, courageous individuals to set things aright for the greater glory of God.

The Medici Popes were particularly loathesome in my opinion. There was also a tremendous amount of interference in church practice by the rich and powerful. For many generations kings and upper nobility were getting their own favorites (sometimes relatives) appointed to high places in the church (within their own countries), and the church always had a major struggle resisting the influence of these “benefactors”. It was like the petty nobility, kings and emperors nailed the church to a tree, a close reading of European history will make that clear.

Nonetheless, some people think as though the Protestant reformation was the only significant reformation. In fact the church has always had to deal with a need for reform in some part of the world or other. As an institution composed of people this should be no surprise: organizations like labor unions, government agencies, charities and even the UN are in need of reform from time to time, while most of these organizations are still less than 100 years old!

Many of the characteristics we attribute to the church are the result of reform movements: clerical training in seminaries, how bishops and Popes are chosen, even the monastic popular movement in the early centuries (need I mention anything else?).

There have been differing spiritual movements as well, like the age of the mendicant friars, or the Devotio Moderna. The church has experienced continual renewal, but at it’s heart belief was constant. The church always had a sacramental theology and always had recourse to the writings of the church fathers. The church prayed for the dead, and prayed for the intercession of the saints.

The church believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharist. This is demonstrable by observing the beliefs and practices of Christian communities long cut off from the West (for over 1000 years!) such as the Ge’ez church in Ethiopia and the Kerala Christians of India.

They (like the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches) all believe in the Real Presence and have bishops, priests and deacons. The bishops are always consecrated by other bishops and the priests and deacons are always trained and ordained by the bishops. These ancient churches have always acknowledged the teaching authority of the bishops and do not allow the congregation to set policy or “hire” the preacher. It is a “top-down” structure that derives from Apostolic times.

The Protestant Reformation of the renaissance was a different animal from the church reforms that preceeded it. They made a lot of erroneous assumptions and dismantled the apostolic church. They pitched the sacred theology of the past. They invented a “new” thing.

Therefore as much as I admire what they had tried to do in reforming a badly hurting church, I can only say that in their own homelands they did more harm than good. Like the surgeon they can say that the operation was a success, but the patient died.

There was dissent in the Church prior to the reformation what happened that was different was the political side of the equation .
The reformation took place at the dawn of the modern nation state era

The local appointment of bishops; the confiscation of church property; and keeping donations local were all a great boost to local princes

Without political (and military backing) Martin Luther was just a guy with a list of gripes in an arcane theological debate

[quote=RSiscoe]I believe it is misguided to have sympathy for the heretics of the 16th century. They are responsible for the damnation of millions and millions of souls.
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:amen:

If I were to tell everyone on this forum that I have a great idea to end the immoral and self indulged behavior on the clergy today. Let’s destroy statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, throw stones at stain glass windows, desecrate the holy altars, take out the communion wafers from the tabernacles and stomp all over them, and steal land from the Church to enrich ourselves. And that’s just the beginning. I have a lot more great ideas!

Those actions were common among the “reforms” and their followers. “Reformers”? Are we kidding? Reform what? Reform by abolishing most of the sacraments, pushing the Blessed Mother aside along with the communion of saints, allowing a libertine lifestyle among the faithful or in some cases banning dancing and drinking, etc. And the “Reformer” King Henry VIII and his followers can speak on the topic of immoral and self indulged behavior. Yeah!

But let’s not be too harsh on them. :banghead:

Somebody is reading anti-Catholic history books and is not getting the full story. :yup:

[quote=Steve Andersen]Without political (and military backing) Martin Luther was just a guy with a list of gripes in an arcane theological debate
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Exactly, most of the rulers who chose to break with the Catholic Church did it over POWER and MONEY. Most could care less about what doctrines were being preached by the local “reformers”. As long as they could consolidate more and more power, and more and more money under themselves.

And the “Reformer” King Henry VIII and his followers can speak on the topic of immoral and self indulged behavior. Yeah!

Henry VIII was not necessarily a reformer in the truest sense of that word. He had once been given the title Defender of the Faith by the Church. Sometime after being given that title, he attempted to get his marriage from Catherine of Aragon anulled. The pope would not agree with much of the decision being his fear of the Queen’s cousin. The cousin was the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Henry VIII broke from the church arguing that he was the head of the church of England and not the pope. There was basically an argument over supremacy on English soil. This break lead to the English reformation which was not really what Henry VIII intended. He was not necessarily attempting a retreat from basic Catholic doctrine.
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[quote=RSiscoe]“They attacked many truths of Christianity; rejected the divine inspiration of many books of the Bible, and made up brand new doctrines that were contrary to what had always been taught.”

In your opnion, What Biblical truths did they attack? Which books did they reject? The Catholic and Protestant Bibles are exactly the same except for the Apocrypha and those are not New Testament texts. What were the brand new doctrines?

“What they should have done was to “protest” the bad behavior of the Church leaders, and demand that measures be taken to correct it, rather than “protest” the teachings of Christianity.”

The early reformers saw indulgences and ideas such as purgatory as unBiblical doctrine and threw this in with their dislike of the mistresses, illigitmate children, and politcs. To them, the teachings of Christianity were not questions. Ton them Bible equaled Chriatianity not Bible/Institution equaled Christianity.

“I believe it is misguided to have sympathy for the heretics of the 16th century. They are responsible for the damnation of millions and millions of souls.”

How? I thought the church has statedin recent decades that you do not have to be Catholic to be Christian?
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[quote=Hesychios]Glory to Jesus Christ!

There is no doubt that the corruption of the church in the period immediately preceeding the Protestant reformation was a major contributor to the crises. Times like that require strong, courageous individuals to set things aright for the greater glory of God.

The Medici Popes were particularly loathesome in my opinion. There was also a tremendous amount of interference in church practice by the rich and powerful. For many generations kings and upper nobility were getting their own favorites (sometimes relatives) appointed to high places in the church (within their own countries), and the church always had a major struggle resisting the influence of these “benefactors”. It was like the petty nobility, kings and emperors nailed the church to a tree, a close reading of European history will make that clear.

Nonetheless, some people think as though the Protestant reformation was the only significant reformation. In fact the church has always had to deal with a need for reform in some part of the world or other. As an institution composed of people this should be no surprise: organizations like labor unions, government agencies, charities and even the UN are in need of reform from time to time, while most of these organizations are still less than 100 years old!

Many of the characteristics we attribute to the church are the result of reform movements: clerical training in seminaries, how bishops and Popes are chosen, even the monastic popular movement in the early centuries (need I mention anything else?).

There have been differing spiritual movements as well, like the age of the mendicant friars, or the Devotio Moderna. The church has experienced continual renewal, but at it’s heart belief was constant. The church always had a sacramental theology and always had recourse to the writings of the church fathers. The church prayed for the dead, and prayed for the intercession of the saints.

The church believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharist. This is demonstrable by observing the beliefs and practices of Christian communities long cut off from the West (for over 1000 years!) such as the Ge’ez church in Ethiopia and the Kerala Christians of India.

They (like the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches) all believe in the Real Presence and have bishops, priests and deacons. The bishops are always consecrated by other bishops and the priests and deacons are always trained and ordained by the bishops. These ancient churches have always acknowledged the teaching authority of the bishops and do not allow the congregation to set policy or “hire” the preacher. It is a “top-down” structure that derives from Apostolic times.

The Protestant Reformation of the renaissance was a different animal from the church reforms that preceeded it. They made a lot of erroneous assumptions and dismantled the apostolic church. They pitched the sacred theology of the past. They invented a “new” thing.

Therefore as much as I admire what they had tried to do in reforming a badly hurting church, I can only say that in their own homelands they did more harm than good. Like the surgeon they can say that the operation was a success, but the patient died.
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I agree that the church has had a great deal of its own reform. We all know of the counter reformation. However, what were the reforms prior to Luther that were brought about by someone in the population? Someone who was not part of the hierarchy and questioned well accepted practices?
You state that the reformers created something new? In your opinion, what was exactly new?

[quote=Steve Andersen]" Without political (and military backing) Martin Luther was just a guy with a list of gripes in an arcane theological debate"

I agree when politics is examined. However, politics had to have some eventual support on the part of the masses. The Tudor and Stuart line in England and England/Scotland was greatly affected by the support of the masses. By the time of Elizabeth I, England was strongly Protestant and there had been strong dislike of Mary I. James VI and I’s inheriting the English throne was due to his national acceptabilty and much of that was due to his Protestant leanings.
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New things from the Reformers:

Sola scriptora.
Sola fides.
Double predestination a la Calvin.
“Symbolic” communion.

Old heresies given a “modern” touch: Iconoclassicism (think Puritans and Roundheads destroying churches, art, chalices etc.)

The idea of “matter” = bad and “spirit” = good.

Destruction of books of the Bible.

Anti-clericalism.

Idolization of the KJV.

Embracing contraception (first, Lambeth Council–Episcopalians, 1930, followed by most other Protestant denominations).

Acceptance of divorce.
Acceptance of abortion.
Acceptance of homosexual ACTIONS as opposed to acceptance of brothers and sisters who live chastely with homosexual ORIENTATION.
“Personal interpretation” of Scriptures.
“Rapture” doctrine.

Need we go on?

If I were to tell everyone on this forum that I have a great idea to end the immoral and self indulged behavior on the clergy today. Let’s destroy statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, throw stones at stain glass windows, desecrate the holy altars, take out the communion wafers from the tabernacles and stomp all over them, and steal land from the Church to enrich ourselves. And that’s just the beginning. I have a lot more great ideas!

Those actions were common among the “reforms” and their followers. “Reformers”? Are we kidding? Reform what? Reform by abolishing most of the sacraments, pushing the Blessed Mother aside along with the communion of saints, allowing a libertine lifestyle among the faithful or in some cases banning dancing and drinking, etc. And the “Reformer” King Henry VIII and his followers can speak on the topic of immoral and self indulged behavior. Yeah!

But let’s not be too harsh on them. :banghead:

Somebody is reading anti-Catholic history books and is not getting the full story. :yup:
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Well, actually university history courses take the standpoint that the destruction of the English churches and taking of the icons and wealth was due to Henry VIII’s battle with the pope over who was head of the church of England. Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell were responsible for the take-over of lands and assets and icons. Henry VIII saw the items as his as monarch since he viewed himself as head of the church. Much of the destruction was to show who was boss and not disregard basic Catholic doctrines. Reforms that later came in the form of the Virgin Mary, etc. was due to a varying view on the part of some officials, clergy, and the masses on “getting back to the origins”. Views on dancing and drinking were later associated with denominational views rather than Biblical standpoints. Denominations decided to take some of their own church policies on behavior and add them to their views on Bible verses. However, this really goes back to being lightly hypocritical since they had critisized the church for what it considered to be its obsevance of institutional rituals and rules.

[quote=Tantum ergo]New things from the Reformers:

Sola scriptora.
Sola fides.
Double predestination a la Calvin.
“Symbolic” communion.

Old heresies given a “modern” touch: Iconoclassicism (think Puritans and Roundheads destroying churches, art, chalices etc.)

The idea of “matter” = bad and “spirit” = good.

Destruction of books of the Bible.

Anti-clericalism.

Idolization of the KJV.

Embracing contraception (first, Lambeth Council–Episcopalians, 1930, followed by most other Protestant denominations).

Acceptance of divorce.
Acceptance of abortion.
Acceptance of homosexual ACTIONS as opposed to acceptance of brothers and sisters who live chastely with homosexual ORIENTATION.
“Personal interpretation” of Scriptures.
“Rapture” doctrine.

Need we go on?
[/quote]

sola scriptura: Was there anything in Christ teachings or the New Testament that did not allow for the consideration of scriptures alone?

sola fides: I think this is a huge misconception or genralization on the part of Catholics about Protestant groups. Faith alone does not mean that you can act as you choose, not obey Biblical teachings, or not experience spritual growth. Faith alone means that Christ saves and that a total dependence on works and ritual is misguided.

predestination: This is not characteristic of all Protestants nor was it a characteristic of all the early reformers. There is a difference amongst denomination views and Biblical ones. A denomination can have deniminational views that are not necessarily Bilical ones. Churches have policies and stsnds on issues as a group.

destruction of icons and artifacts and churches-More politcal in regards to the peerage system and royalty than the common man

Matter bas and spirit good-I think I know what you mean, but need clarification.

anticlericalismhow? They would have to get rid of their own clergy if that was the case.

Part II next line or so.

[quote=Tantum ergo]New things from the Reformers:

Sola scriptora.
Sola fides.
Double predestination a la Calvin.
“Symbolic” communion.

Old heresies given a “modern” touch: Iconoclassicism (think Puritans and Roundheads destroying churches, art, chalices etc.)

The idea of “matter” = bad and “spirit” = good.

Destruction of books of the Bible.

Anti-clericalism.

Idolization of the KJV.

Embracing contraception (first, Lambeth Council–Episcopalians, 1930, followed by most other Protestant denominations).

Acceptance of divorce.
Acceptance of abortion.
Acceptance of homosexual ACTIONS as opposed to acceptance of brothers and sisters who live chastely with homosexual ORIENTATION.
“Personal interpretation” of Scriptures.
“Rapture” doctrine.

Need we go on?
[/quote]

Idolization of the KJV=Why do you say that when the Catholic Bible reads with the same message? By the way, I never saw it idolized at church. One of the original functions of the original KJV was an English translation as opposed to Latin.

Contrception was embraced since there was not clear cut view by the them in the Bible against it. No direct statement.

Which churches that say they actually believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible accept abortion, homosexuality, divorce, or personal interpretations of the scripture? I would like to see them.

How do you view rapture doctrine. What don’t you like and why?

[quote=CatherineofA]sola scriptura: Was there anything in Christ teachings or the New Testament that did not allow for the consideration of scriptures alone?

sola fides: I think this is a huge misconception or genralization on the part of Catholics about Protestant groups. Faith alone does not mean that you can act as you choose, not obey Biblical teachings, or not experience spritual growth. Faith alone means that Christ saves and that a total dependence on works and ritual is misguided.

predestination: This is not characteristic of all Protestants nor was it a characteristic of all the early reformers. There is a difference amongst denomination views and Biblical ones. A denomination can have deniminational views that are not necessarily Bilical ones. Churches have policies and stsnds on issues as a group.

destruction of icons and artifacts and churches-More politcal in regards to the peerage system and royalty than the common man

Matter bas and spirit good-I think I know what you mean, but need clarification.

anticlericalismhow? They would have to get rid of their own clergy if that was the case.

Part II next line or so.
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Before American catholicism totally adopts reformed thinking and its terminology,I strongly suggest that somebody find that passage in Augustine which recognises two types of Christian within the umbrella of the Apostolic Church.

On finding the passage where the theologies co-exist without much fuss as representative of the apostle Peter as one type of Christian and the apostle John as another which in turn are representative of Martha and Mary in scripture,then and only then will Christians realise just how unacceptable and foolish this split is.

If you are arguing over faith and works it is not the Apostolic Church you are defending,it is defending the rotten spirit which divides Christians.

sola scriptura: Was there anything in Christ teachings or the New Testament that did not allow for the consideration of scriptures alone? No, especially considering that until approximately 382 A.D. there was no such thing as a complete, written Bible. There is nothing in the Bible which says that scripture ALONE is all that is required, either.

sola fides: I think this is a huge misconception or genralization on the part of Catholics about Protestant groups. Faith alone does not mean that you can act as you choose, not obey Biblical teachings, or not experience spritual growth. Faith alone means that Christ saves and that a total dependence on works and ritual is misguided. Christ does indeed save, and no Catholic denies it; neither does any Catholic have a “total dependence” on works or ritual. Once again, we are saved by grace through faith and a living faith MUST have works (see James)

predestination: This is not characteristic of all Protestants nor was it a characteristic of all the early reformers. There is a difference amongst denomination views and Biblical ones. A denomination can have deniminational views that are not necessarily Bilical ones. Churches have policies and stsnds on issues as a group. That’s why I specifically referrenced Calvin. And, if denominations can have views which are not necessarily “Biblical”,
how can one know which of those is the “right” church? Many Protestants who are complaining that the CATHOLIC Church has “unbiblical” views are perfectly happy with THEIR “unbiblical” views because they think that somehow THEY are right and others are WRONG. There must be a “right” church; all other churches must range from “almost right” to “wrong”. If there is no “right” church, then how could Jesus have promised that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it?

destruction of icons and artifacts and churches-More politcal in regards to the peerage system and royalty than the common man. Really? It was mostly the so-called “common man” of the Protestant persuasion who DESTROYED icons; the peers were more into the SPOILS system. In any case, does the action become “OK” because it was from “the common man?”

Matter bad and spirit good-I think I know what you mean, but need clarification. Think Methodists and “no dancing”, though David danced before the Lord. Think “no wine” though our Lord changed water into wine at Cana. Think, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”, think “Women are spiritually inferior, just creatures of matter, unlike men”.

anticlericalismhow? They would have to get rid of their own clergy if that was the case. Anticlericalism relates to the early reformers objecting to things like clerical courts, or the ideas that priests could hear confessions. It’s the old “rugged individualism” and the “I’m just as good a man as X is”. The whole idea of a celibate clergy who ranged themselves with God as opposed to individual princes (think Thomas a Becket, St. Thomas More, Cardinal Fisher, Edmund Campion) was anathema to the average petty potentate.

Idolization of the KJV=Why do you say that when the Catholic Bible reads with the same message? By the way, I never saw it idolized at church. One of the original functions of the original KJV was an English translation as opposed to Latin. Bibliolatry is that view which holds to sola scriptora or makes the idea that the KJV (which is NOT a complete Bible, anyway, having had books removed from it) is not just the Word of God but equal to God. My Douay Rheims is a vernacular translation which is from the same period (the early 1600s) as the KJV. And Latin was a lingua franca, read and understood by educated people no matter where they lived. One could actually, in a reasonably cosmopolitan city like Paris or London who had large populations of non natives, do BETTER with a Latin Bible, because it would be understood by more people.

Contraception was embraced since there was not clear cut view by the them in the Bible against it. No direct statement. Actually, there were indeed direct indictments of contraception. I recall one from the OT where a man “spilled his seed” and was immediately immolated by God. There’s also the psalms, “Before I knit you in the womb, I knew you”. There are provisions in Leviticus for punishments for those who injured a pregnant woman and she lost her child because of the injury. . .

Which churches that say they actually believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible accept abortion, homosexuality, divorce, or personal interpretations of the scripture? I would like to see them. Not all Protestant churches believe in a fully literal interpretation of the Bible. And I would like to see one that does NOT accept personal interpretation of scripture. . .since, by its very nature, that church, in being Protestant, has interpreted Scripture by denying the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith.

How do you view rapture doctrine. What don’t you like and why? There is no such thing as a third coming. All rapture doctrine which I have read have Jesus coming, semi secretly or secretly, and taking His followers away, and THEN coming again, and sometimes even coming AGAIN after a so-called “thousand year reign” to FINALLY defeat Satan. All of which flies in the face of the Bible which clearly states that when Jesus does return, it will be ONCE FOR ALL and the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. The Rapture is a barely 200 year old movement which was started from whole cloth and is not biblical in the slightest.
Reply With Quote

Well, I’d love to chat more right now, but I need to do some errands and feed the hungry. . .my kids. . .have a very good day.

[quote=Tantum ergo]sola scriptura: Was there anything in Christ teachings or the New Testament that did not allow for the consideration of scriptures alone? No, especially considering that until approximately 382 A.D. there was no such thing as a complete, written Bible. There is nothing in the Bible which says that scripture ALONE is all that is required, either.

sola fides: I think this is a huge misconception or genralization on the part of Catholics about Protestant groups. Faith alone does not mean that you can act as you choose, not obey Biblical teachings, or not experience spritual growth. Faith alone means that Christ saves and that a total dependence on works and ritual is misguided. Christ does indeed save, and no Catholic denies it; neither does any Catholic have a “total dependence” on works or ritual. Once again, we are saved by grace through faith and a living faith MUST have works (see James)

predestination: This is not characteristic of all Protestants nor was it a characteristic of all the early reformers. There is a difference amongst denomination views and Biblical ones. A denomination can have deniminational views that are not necessarily Bilical ones. Churches have policies and stsnds on issues as a group. That’s why I specifically referrenced Calvin. And, if denominations can have views which are not necessarily “Biblical”,
how can one know which of those is the “right” church? Many Protestants who are complaining that the CATHOLIC Church has “unbiblical” views are perfectly happy with THEIR “unbiblical” views because they think that somehow THEY are right and others are WRONG. There must be a “right” church; all other churches must range from “almost right” to “wrong”. If there is no “right” church, then how could Jesus have promised that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it?

destruction of icons and artifacts and churches-More politcal in regards to the peerage system and royalty than the common man. Really? It was mostly the so-called “common man” of the Protestant persuasion who DESTROYED icons; the peers were more into the SPOILS system. In any case, does the action become “OK” because it was from “the common man?”

Matter bad and spirit good-I think I know what you mean, but need clarification. Think Methodists and “no dancing”, though David danced before the Lord. Think “no wine” though our Lord changed water into wine at Cana. Think, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”, think “Women are spiritually inferior, just creatures of matter, unlike men”.

anticlericalismhow? They would have to get rid of their own clergy if that was the case. Anticlericalism relates to the early reformers objecting to things like clerical courts, or the ideas that priests could hear confessions. It’s the old “rugged individualism” and the “I’m just as good a man as X is”. The whole idea of a celibate clergy who ranged themselves with God as opposed to individual princes (think Thomas a Becket, St. Thomas More, Cardinal Fisher, Edmund Campion) was anathema to the average petty potentate.
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Christianity splits at the great Apostolic work which Luther unfortunately called the ‘Theologia Germanica’.

The pure heart of Christianity exists in that work and were it truly comprehended and adhered to,no denominational split would exist.

ccel.org/t/theo_ger/theologia_c.htm

“No, especially considering that until approximately 382 A.D. there was no such thing as a complete, written Bible. There is nothing in the Bible which says that scripture ALONE is all that is required, either.”

Speaking of my own experiences, I have not heard any ministers of the Southern Baptist denomination insinuate that the collection within the Bible existed as a complete collection…from the beginning. In fact, the opposite has been discussed. It has been mentioned in an open way that the collection was later decided upon and put together by early Christians. Had the early Catholic church fathers believed that standpoints of the church were as equally important, why were they not included with the Biblical collection? If equal, why not put on equal footing? I think we can both agree that the Bible does not say that you CANNOT only consider the Bible. It also does not say that you CAN only consider the Bible. Therefore, can Protestants really be critisized for their legalism in reference to sola scriptura?

“Christ does indeed save, and no Catholic denies it; neither does any Catholic have a “total dependence” on works or ritual. Once again, we are saved by grace through faith and a living faith MUST have works (see James)”

In practive, if pinned down and asked in the right way, you won’t find a Southern Baptist disagree with you. I think this argument has become a “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?” argument. Faith alone does not mean a lack of spiritual growth or fruits. In fact, I grew up hearing, faith without works is dead.

Catholic Answers has a wonderful tape set called “Spirituality for Beginners,” which is a retreat led by Fr. Benedict Groeschel for the Catholic Answers staff. In one of the sessions, he states that one of the Cardinals (Cardinal Pole?) addressed the Council of Trent and told them not to blame the Protestants but to blame themselves for not denouncing false teaching which led to heresy. He also points out the important distinction between false teaching and heretical teaching. False teaching does not have to be heretical. It merely has to be wrong. And because it is wrong, it will lead to heresy.

The entire blame for the Reformation is shared between the Reformers, who refused to accept authentic Church teaching, and the clergy who failed to condemn false teaching when it arose prior to the Reformation.

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