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.
- “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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.