Need Help With Some Questions Please

There are several questions that have been posed to me by a protestant, in which I am unable to adequately answer. I will list them with my comments, and any coments you have would be great.

  1. “Traditional” Catholics and other Catholic sects reject the doctrines of Vatican II, first and foremost upon the basis that these doctrines are error and contradict “traditional” infallible Catholic doctrine. Their arguments are very persuasive. They lay down the traditional Catholic doctrines of previous centuries, such as the doctrine that the Catholic Church is the one true church and all others are not, against the Vatican II’s “ecumenical” acceptance of Protestants, Jews and even Moslems.

These contradictory doctrines clearly refute the Catholic Church’s claim and your defense that the Catholic Church is infallible and free from error.

Is he laboring under an illusion here? Is there any truth to this?

  1. In reference to the Bible’s canon: The lists that were made [by the early church] were not to eliminate many different books, but to counter the Gnostic doctrine and limited “canon.” The Gnostic teacher, Marcion formulated his own restricted canon about 125 to 144 AD. Marcion’s concern was to exclude books that he disapproved of from his “canon.” He was not assembling a collection of Christian books, but making a restricted selection from the corpus of texts which already existed and which were already recognized as sacred by many Christians, otherwise he would not have needed to insist on abolishing them.

I don’t know about this Marcion guy. I explained the church had to determine which books were to be included and excluded in the canon of scripture. I explained there were many writings that people elevated to scripture that aren’t in our bible now, and vice versa. He responded with that Marcion guy.

  1. what kind of infallibilist are you and what claims do you actually accept? Are you a broad infallibilist? A narrow infallibilist? A symbolic infallibilist? Or a propositional infallibilist?

Is there such a thing here, or is he making up words as he goes?

  1. And which specific doctrines (or ex cathedra statements) are infallible and which are not? Is all of Vatican I infallible? Is all of Vatican II infallible? Is [font=Arial]Humanae Vitae an infallible ex cathedra statement or are only certain portions of it? Is Lamentabili[/font] an infallible ex cathedra?

I know the ex catheda statements are far and few, but what is the extent of our belief on these?

  1. Second, Catholics cannot agree where the alledged infallibility lies. Some have claimed it lies solely in the pope. Others have claimed it lies solely in the “Church Councils”. Some have said it lies in the Magisterium. Some say it lies in the pope and the Magisterium combined or jointly. This particular problem was pointed out by the Catholic theologian, Kung, who questioned how the pope could take a different position from a majority of the Catholic council while agreeing in principle with the majority.

Is there ever an instance where the infallible pope disagrees with an infallible council to create this paradox of infallibility?

  1. The Catholic Church did not set forth an “official” definition of Scripture until the Council of Trent, in the 15th century.

The councils of carthage and hippo weren’t ecumenical so how do I explain the canon was still binding on us. Also, I believe the ecumenical council of Florence was the first to address the canon, before Trent.

Thanks,
Michael

I can’t answer all the questions, but I’ll try with what I know to answer some.

  1. “Catholics” sects who reject Vatican II are not in union with Rome. (This is different from people who simply prefer the Latin Mass, but some who seek a Latin Mass may mistakenly fall in with these groups without intending to separate from Rome.) Essentially, they deny the authority of the Pope and become essentially “Protestant” by their protests against Vatican II. So basically, he is sighting from another Protestant group (who call themselves Catholic) to claim that the church is in error.
  2. I don’t know about Marcion. Why is he sighting from someone he says is a Gnostic to make his point about canon? The gnostics were heretics.
  3. I never heard ot these distictions. I think he’s either making them up as you suggested or he’s quoting someone else who made them up.
  4. All excathedral statements are infallable. He’s focusuing a lot on the infallability issue. It’s safe to say that the teachings of the Magesterium are free from error, but I don’t know if the word “infallable” applies.
  5. I may be wrong, but wasn’t Kung the theologian from Germany who the current Pope Benedict (then Cardinal Ratzinger) disciplined for not teaching the Catholic faith correctly?
  6. I don’t remember the names of which councils defined cannon off hand. I know I’ve seen them posted here before and they can probably be found with a search.

I hope this helps. It sounds like this person is throwing a lot of details to try to confuse you. You don’t have to respond to every point he makes, but maybe ask in turn what assurance he has that he and his pastor interpret scripture correctly and that they use the correct cannon. Is he sure that his church is free from teaching error? How does he explain the multitude of Protestant theologians who disagree with each other? But in the areas that he brings up that interest you, I certainly would encourage you to seek answers to your questions.

[quote=michaelgazin]There are several questions that have been posed to me by a protestant, in which I am unable to adequately answer. I will list them with my comments, and any coments you have would be great.

  1. “Traditional” Catholics and other Catholic sects reject the doctrines of Vatican II, first and foremost upon the basis that these doctrines are error and contradict “traditional” infallible Catholic doctrine. Their arguments are very persuasive. They lay down the traditional Catholic doctrines of previous centuries, such as the doctrine that the Catholic Church is the one true church and all others are not, against the Vatican II’s “ecumenical” acceptance of Protestants, Jews and even Moslems.

These contradictory doctrines clearly refute the Catholic Church’s claim and your defense that the Catholic Church is infallible and free from error.

Is he laboring under an illusion here? Is there any truth to this?

  1. In reference to the Bible’s canon: The lists that were made [by the early church] were not to eliminate many different books, but to counter the Gnostic doctrine and limited “canon.” The Gnostic teacher, Marcion formulated his own restricted canon about 125 to 144 AD. Marcion’s concern was to exclude books that he disapproved of from his “canon.” He was not assembling a collection of Christian books, but making a restricted selection from the corpus of texts which already existed and which were already recognized as sacred by many Christians, otherwise he would not have needed to insist on abolishing them.

I don’t know about this Marcion guy. I explained the church had to determine which books were to be included and excluded in the canon of scripture. I explained there were many writings that people elevated to scripture that aren’t in our bible now, and vice versa. He responded with that Marcion guy.

  1. what kind of infallibilist are you and what claims do you actually accept? Are you a broad infallibilist? A narrow infallibilist? A symbolic infallibilist? Or a propositional infallibilist?

Is there such a thing here, or is he making up words as he goes?

  1. And which specific doctrines (or ex cathedra statements) are infallible and which are not? Is all of Vatican I infallible? Is all of Vatican II infallible? Is [font=Arial]Humanae Vitae an infallible ex cathedra statement or are only certain portions of it? Is Lamentabili[/font]an infallible ex cathedra?

I know the ex catheda statements are far and few, but what is the extent of our belief on these?

  1. Second, Catholics cannot agree where the alledged infallibility lies. Some have claimed it lies solely in the pope. Others have claimed it lies solely in the “Church Councils”. Some have said it lies in the Magisterium. Some say it lies in the pope and the Magisterium combined or jointly. This particular problem was pointed out by the Catholic theologian, Kung, who questioned how the pope could take a different position from a majority of the Catholic council while agreeing in principle with the majority.

Is there ever an instance where the infallible pope disagrees with an infallible council to create this paradox of infallibility?

  1. The Catholic Church did not set forth an “official” definition of Scripture until the Council of Trent, in the 15th century.

The councils of carthage and hippo weren’t ecumenical so how do I explain the canon was still binding on us. Also, I believe the ecumenical council of Florence was the first to address the canon, before Trent.

Thanks,
Michael
[/quote]

Michael,

You might want to ask these questions on the "Ask an Apologist" forum to get the more or less "official" answers.

God Bless

  1. “Traditional” Catholics and other Catholic sects reject the doctrines of Vatican II, first and foremost upon the basis that these doctrines are error and contradict “traditional” infallible Catholic doctrine.

The general statement that “Traditional Catholics” reject the teachings of Vatican II is incorrect. Many Traditional Catholics accept the proper understanding of the Vatican II teachings.

Their arguments are very persuasive. They lay down the traditional Catholic doctrines of previous centuries, such as the doctrine that the Catholic Church is the one true church and all others are not, against the Vatican II’s “ecumenical” acceptance of Protestants, Jews and even Moslems.

Vatican II in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church re-affirmed the traditional teaching about the Church, it did not contradict it

  1. In reference to the Bible’s canon:

There were several different Canons of Holy Scripture but only one approved by the Councils of the Catholic Church and that one has never changed in 1800 years. Marcion did produce his own private canon which carried no weight with the Church.

  1. what kind of infallibilist are you

I’m an absolute infallibilist, when the Church teaches I listen.

  1. And which specific doctrines (or ex cathedra statements) are infallible and which are not?

All the teachings of the Magisterium are infallible teachings, ex-cathedra pronouncements are only a very small portion of the Infallible teachings of the Church.

  1. The Catholic Church did not set forth an “official” definition of Scripture until the Council of Trent, in the 15th century.

The councils of carthage and hippo weren’t ecumenical so how do I explain the canon was still binding on us. Also, I believe the ecumenical council of Florence was the first to address the canon, before Trent.

The “local” Councils of Hippo, Carthage and Rome were accepted by the Church and referenced by a Council (Florence?) in the 1200’s that spoke of the Canon as well as Trent and Vatican II. This canon was the accepted Canon until Trent for the majority of Christians. The Church up to the 15th century did not see any need to define the canon in dogmatic terms because the canon was acepted for 1300 years without much challenge.

Thanks for the good responses :thumbsup: Can anyone expound upon the part:

“Is all of Vatican I infallible? Is all of Vatican II infallible? Is [font=Arial]Humanae Vitae an infallible ex cathedra statement or are only certain portions of it? Is *Lament abili *[/font]an infallible ex cathedra?”

For example, infallibility exists on matters of faith and morals, so would Humanae Vitae be in this infallible category? Does it define any doctrinal matters at all, or just assure us of what is morally correct?

Supposedly there have been far less than 10 ex cathedra statements in history, so which are they and how exactly do we know when something is *ex cathedra? *How does the contents of an ex cathedra statement differ from those of say Humanae Vitae?

I know this may be a bit complicated but I definately appreciate the answers!

:blessyou:

“They lay down the traditional Catholic doctrines of previous centuries, such as the doctrine that the Catholic Church is the one true church and all others are not, against the Vatican II’s “ecumenical” acceptance of Protestants, Jews and even Moslems.”

The Catholic Church still teaches that it is the one true Church. Other Christians are considered separated brethren. They rejected some of the truth the Catholic Church taught and added some of their own. They are still tied to the Catholic Church by being Christian but do not have the fullness of truth (that is, as much as is currently known of it).

I believe that Jews and Moslems are pointed out as sort of “brothers in our spiritual journey” who also worship the One True God. The Jews have a special role as being the Chosen People with whom God established a special relationship. Though I have not read the documents of Vatican II I assume it taught respect for these groups and emphasized the brotherly ties between them and the Catholic Church, but not that they all had equal claims to the truth.

–Joruus

OK, so here’s the argument:
[list]
*]“Some” people disagree with some Vatican ll pronouncement
*]No one would disagree with an infallible pronouncment
[/list]Therefore Vatican ll pronouncements are not infallible.

Is that it? You’re having trouble defending against this? If so, you’re not ready to be debating anyone regarding the Catholic faith. Study some more first. You listed one gripe, presumably the one you found most “persuasive” - the ecumenism of Vatican ll pronouncements regarding Protestants/muslims etc. I fail to see any conflict. You will need to provide some specific quotations in which the conflicts exist. My guess is neither one of you knows the full scoop.

There was no UNIVERSALLY accepted canon of Scripture, period. Why do we care what Marcion did? He was just a man. We have the canon of Scripture because the Catholic Church, with the authority granted to it as successors to the apostles,gave it to us. He uses a different canon because a later group of men wanted to change it. On what authority did they do so?

You submit fully to Jesus Christ and to the full truth as revealed by the Church he founded as the “pillar and foundation of Truth”. He can make up any words he wants to.

If he has a SPECIFIC moral question that he needs an answer to - you go to the Catechism and give him an answer. He’s trying to burden you with a proof which is unecessary. None of these documents contradicts any earlier church teaching and no one has a perfect knowledge of them. But if he needs to know if artificial contraception is a sin, you can tell him absolutely yes without knowing all of Humanae Vitae.

  1. Second, Catholics cannot agree where the alledged infallibility lies. Some have claimed it lies solely in the pope. Others have claimed it lies solely in the “Church Councils”. …

Again, is there a specific question relating to faith or morals that he feels is inadequately addressed by the Church? If so, please state it. Kung was a renegade theologian who was removed from teaching in the Church. I believe the proper term would be EX-catholic theologian - he has no authority to teach in the Church.

What is his point? Even if they didn’t, so what? Here’s the point: when the Church did speak on the Canon it did so consistently beginning very early on - Carthage, Hippo - and reaffirmed the consistent teaching of the Church since that time at the council of Trent. Is there problem with that? I mean is he following a canon from an earlier time? I don’t think so. So what, EXACTLY, is the point? Infallible or not, the Church has held the cannon unchanged for 1800 years.
Thanks,
Michael

[quote=Philthy]You listed one gripe, presumably the one you found most “persuasive” - the ecumenism of Vatican ll pronouncements regarding Protestants/muslims etc. I fail to see any conflict. You will need to provide some specific quotations in which the conflicts exist. My guess is neither one of you knows the full scoop.
[/quote]

I did not find this pursuasive. Those are his words, I simply copied and pasted. My words in response to each number are in italics.

If he has a SPECIFIC moral question that he needs an answer to - you go to the Catechism and give him an answer. He’s trying to burden you with a proof which is unecessary. None of these documents contradicts any earlier church teaching and no one has a perfect knowledge of them. But if he needs to know if artificial contraception is a sin, you can tell him absolutely yes without knowing all of Humanae Vitae.

The question was simply “Is Humanae Vitae infallible,” and how do we know. There is no question of moral. He is simply putting forth the argument that its difficult for Catholics to determine which documents are infallible, which isn’t entirely inaccurate. James Akin agrees, “Many people have a difficult time discerning when the magisterium has engaged its infallibility and when it hasn’t. Recently, I came across an instance where I was trying to make hay with the papal bull *Exsurge Domine, *and I thought the case might be instructive for seeing the delicacy with which such matters have to be treated.”

Again, is there a specific question relating to faith or morals that he feels is inadequately addressed by the Church? If so, please state it.

Yes, the question is has a pope ever disagreed with the teaching in an ecumenical council, and if so, how can both be infallible and arrive at different teachings?

What is his point? Even if they didn’t, so what? Here’s the point: when the Church did speak on the Canon it did so consistently beginning very early on - Carthage, Hippo - and reaffirmed the consistent teaching of the Church since that time at the council of Trent. Is there problem with that? I mean is he following a canon from an earlier time? I don’t think so. So what, EXACTLY, is the point? Infallible or not, the Church has held the cannon unchanged for 1800 years.

The question here is, “The councils of carthage and hippo weren’t ecumenical so how do I explain the canon was still binding on us*.”*

your not ready to be debating anyone regarding the Catholic faith.

Thanks for your opinion. I am certainly not a scholar or highly skilled apologist yet, however I am constantly learning. These were a few questions I pulled from 6 pages of this. I have already responded with a 4 page paper and am preparing to respond to this new 6 page paper. I have actually done so quite well, and have learned alot along the way. My post asked specific questions, and none of them were on my ability to apologize. I also had to rephrase every question to you, because none were answered adaquately. If you don’t understand the questions, then say so, but it is not necessary for you to criticize my knowledge or ability.

Feel free to re-answer my questions.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]The general statement that “Traditional Catholics” reject the teachings of Vatican II is incorrect. Many Traditional Catholics accept the proper understanding of the Vatican II teachings.

Vatican II in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church re-affirmed the traditional teaching about the Church, it did not contradict it

There were several different Canons of Holy Scripture but only one approved by the Councils of the Catholic Church and that one has never changed in 1800 years. Marcion did produce his own private canon which carried no weight with the Church.

I’m an absolute infallibilist, when the Church teaches I listen.

All the teachings of the Magisterium are infallible teachings, ex-cathedra pronouncements are only a very small portion of the Infallible teachings of the Church.

The “local” Councils of Hippo, Carthage and Rome were accepted by the Church and referenced by a Council (Florence?) in the 1200’s that spoke of the Canon as well as Trent and Vatican II. This canon was the accepted Canon until Trent for the majority of Christians. The Church up to the 15th century did not see any need to define the canon in dogmatic terms because the canon was acepted for 1300 years without much challenge.

[/quote]

:tiphat: Thanks for your answers!

Yes, the question is has a pope ever disagreed with the teaching in an ecumenical council, and if so, how can both be infallible and arrive at different teachings?

Yes, popes have disagreed with certain canons of ecumenical Councils. If the canons of an Ecumenical Council are not approved by the pope then they have no authrority and are not enacted.

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