Private Interpretation


#1

So how do you all respond to the argument (like that posed in Eric Svendson’s Upon This Slippery Rock) that, Catholics claim the reason for the thousands of protestant denominations is a result of private interpretation along with sola scriptura, though they claim even though we have the Magesterial Teaching in the form of the CCC and others, Catholics must engage in private interpretation themselves of official Catholic Documents.

An example Eric Svendson gives is from Vatican II, the Dei Verbum has provided several interpretations among Catholics; one being all scripture is inspired and inerrant, while others believe its inspiration only applies to scripture referencing salvation.

To sum it up, how can we justify the private interpretation we must use in understanding Catholic documents, while protestants are wrong in their private interpretation?

Thanks,
Michael


#2

Then why are there not 36,000 Catholic denominations all interpreting documents a different way? The Bible was written to people in a different time using all sorts of different styles. Magesterial documents are geared to people of our time and are designed to make a point explicitly clear. Plus, that’s why it’s good to have a pope who is alove so he can explain any misconception people might have.


#3

Eric Svendson’s argument is useless.

Of course we all have to interpret meanings. The only difference is that Catholics think that God is wright, and we might be wrong, therefore we look to his “Pillar and foundation of truth”.

Protestants believe they are right, period.

Personally I think the definition of icompetence applies here. Specifically, incompetence is a state of thinking you know everything about a given subject, when in fact you don’t.

Calvin


#4

[quote=michaelgazin]So how do you all respond to the argument (like that posed in Eric Svendson’s Upon This Slippery Rock) that, Catholics claim the reason for the thousands of protestant denominations is a result of private interpretation along with sola scriptura, though they claim even though we have the Magesterial Teaching in the form of the CCC and others, Catholics must engage in private interpretation themselves of official Catholic Documents.

An example Eric Svendson gives is from Vatican II, the Dei Verbum has provided several interpretations among Catholics; one being all scripture is inspired and inerrant, while others believe its inspiration only applies to scripture referencing salvation.

To sum it up, how can we justify the private interpretation we must use in understanding Catholic documents, while protestants are wrong in their private interpretation?

Thanks,
Michael
[/quote]

‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone . . . But if he does not listen, take on or two others along with you . . . If he refuses to listen . . . tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector’ (Mt 18:15-17).

The Bible is very clear to me about what to do if we have a disagreement with one another over some issue pertaining to the Faith. And please remember: To lead someone into heresy is a grievous sin against your brother according to Galatians 5:19-21! The Bible tells us that the Church, not the Bible, is the final court of appeal.

Source: catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=4623

In other words, we as Catholics have a final court of appeal to resolve disputes, whereas Protestants do not. As someone alluded to, it’s the reason there is only one Catholic Church, and there are 36,000+ Protestant ecclesial communities.

The Bible cannot knock you on the head and tell you that you’re interpreting it wrong. The Church can.


#5

So how does one reconcile with the differences of ultratraditionalists like Sungenis and Matatics (and the geocentrism, no salvation outside the church etc. debates) compared to more, shall we say “common” Catholics (in a positive way)?

Karl Keating for instance and Robert Sungenis are both very competent and intellectual men, yet differ in the understanding of certain key things, and both claim to be Catholic. In what ways has the Catholic Church “knocked on their head” to correct them?


#6

[quote=michaelgazin]So how does one reconcile with the differences of ultratraditionalists like Sungenis and Matatics (and the geocentrism, no salvation outside the church etc. debates) compared to more, shall we say “common” Catholics (in a positive way)?

Karl Keating for instance and Robert Sungenis are both very competent and intellectual men, yet differ in the understanding of certain key things, and both claim to be Catholic. In what ways has the Catholic Church “knocked on their head” to correct them?
[/quote]

  1. Geocentrism is not a matter of faith or morals, it’s within the realm of science, and just serves to make Sungenis look unreasonable.

  2. On salvation outside the the Church you can look at this:

catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp
scborromeo.org/ccc/para/846.htm
scborromeo.org/ccc/para/847.htm

Is there something more you’d like the Church to say on the matter? If so, what?

If a person refuses to listen to the Church, let him be.


#7

[quote=michaelgazin]So how does one reconcile with the differences of ultratraditionalists like Sungenis and Matatics (and the geocentrism, no salvation outside the church etc. debates) compared to more, shall we say “common” Catholics (in a positive way)?
[/quote]

There is no differences at the heart, being an apologist is a tough business and they have to find ways to earn a living.

Karl Keating for instance and Robert Sungenis are both very competent and intellectual men, yet differ in the understanding of certain key things, and both claim to be Catholic. In what ways has the Catholic Church “knocked on their head” to correct them?

Again, they dont hate eachother, they dont disagree on stuff, its just part of the Business world that brings out that kind of stuff.

There is nothing wrong with limited private interpretation, the differences with prots is that every time a new pastor comes along he interprets the Bible according to his personal views with his way being the only “right way”. For Catholics there are some rules and guidelines, there is room in a lot of stuff for your personal views that dont go against the Church. So to sum it up with prots its each person for himself being the final interpreter, while for Catholics its being guided by competant and authorized shepherds we are allowed a range of freedoms. I dont remember who posted this, but they posted something written by John Paul II which said something like “freedom without limits/laws is tyranny”.


#8

[quote=michaelgazin]So how do you all respond to the argument (like that posed in Eric Svendson’s Upon This Slippery Rock) that, Catholics claim the reason for the thousands of protestant denominations is a result of private interpretation along with sola scriptura, though they claim even though we have the Magesterial Teaching in the form of the CCC and others, Catholics must engage in private interpretation themselves of official Catholic Documents.

An example Eric Svendson gives is from Vatican II, the Dei Verbum has provided several interpretations among Catholics; one being all scripture is inspired and inerrant, while others believe its inspiration only applies to scripture referencing salvation.

To sum it up, how can we justify the private interpretation we must use in understanding Catholic documents, while protestants are wrong in their private interpretation?

Thanks,
Michael
[/quote]

Because the Church teaching is a matter of public record, not an abstraction as much of Protestantism is. In other words, Truth exists independent of our private interpretations. We can certainly make an error in interpretation, but the authority belongs to Christ’s Church. When there is serious contention on a teaching, we go to the Living Word of God–Scripture, Tradition, and the Church authority and they authentically clarify the teaching.

Scott


#9

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