"Proof-texting" saintly quotes

I have noticed that, much as many Protestants “proof-text” using Bible verses out of their context to support some doctrine or other, many Catholics do the same using quotes (or examples) of Saints. I’ve seen some posters essentially do nothing but quote a bunch of saints to support their arguments. Many seem to think that just as Church doctrine is timeless, so is every single quote written down by (or just attributed) to a saint. For example, some use quotes from Saints to support their contention that the vast majority of souls wind up condemned to Hell.

And yet, some also find it easy to dismiss SOME saints as mere exceptions, such as St. Joan of Arc being chosen by God to “save France” by militaristic means, but that this should NOT be taken as any evidence about the suitability of women in combat in general. Or even state “well, just because someone was a Saint doesn’t mean they never made mistakes” – I’ve seen this argument put forth in discussions of St. Gianna Molla, who was a practicing physician AND mother, to dismiss any contention that her canonization means yes, you can be a good Catholic wife and mother, and still work for pay.

This is essentially a double standard, where people think Saints who agreed with them, or whose lives seem to provide testimony to back up their claims, are wonderful, universal examples of holy Catholic thought and lives. Saints who don’t, are just “exceptions”, who perhaps became Saints DESPITE their deviations from what the poster thinks is appropriate behavior. Can anyone defend this?

Catholics do it too.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. [2Pet 2:20, KJV]

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Catholics using (or, rather, misusing) that passage to argue against Sola Scriptura. Though I don’t think Catholics (or protestants) deliberately misuse Scripture.

I’ve seen some posters essentially do nothing but quote a bunch of saints to support their arguments.

Yeah, that can be a problem. Saints have taught heresy before the fact (meaning before the Church taught otherwise, such as St. Cyprian of Carthage’s teaching against the validity of Baptism by heretics).

Saints are canonized based on how they lived their lives, not based on what they taught.

A very small subset of Saints are further recognized for their teaching: these are called Doctors of the Church. Because they have been specifically recognized for their teaching, Doctors are somewhat more authoritative, but Doctors are not infallible (and even the greatest Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, was kinda squirrely on some Marian doctrine; theologians still disagree about what Aquinas taught).

This is essentially a double standard, where people think Saints who agreed with them, or whose lives seem to provide testimony to back up their claims, are wonderful, universal examples of holy Catholic thought and lives. Saints who don’t, are just “exceptions”, who perhaps became Saints DESPITE their deviations from what the poster thinks is appropriate behavior. Can anyone defend this?

Well, no, because individual Saints are not part of the “three legged stool” of Church authority (which are Magesterium, Scripture, and Tradition). The Church doesn’t somehow “need” Saints. Canonization is never necessary. Even Doctors are not definitively authoritative.

An individual Saint occupies a place on the “hierarchy of authority” (as Dr. Ludwig Ott would say). A Saint is more authoritative than your average layperson. A consensus of Saints would occupy a higher place, but it would be far from definitive (for example, a consensus of Saints would support the idea of Limbo, which is not held in high regard today).

Saint Thomas Aquino definitely thought most people will condemn themselves. If you are referring to him, people are probably not taking his words out of context. As for Saint Joan of Ark, I believe she led soldiers and was not a soldier(ess) herself. I do, however, know that people take the Popes words out of context a lot.

God Love you

The Church does not have a teaching that women are forbidden for combat. As well, it’s not hypocrisy for a person to believe women should not be in combat as a general rule of thumb, yet accept exceptions, because exceptions would only demonstrate the rule.

of St. Gianna Molla, who was a practicing physician AND mother, to dismiss any contention that her canonization means yes, you can be a good Catholic wife and mother, and still work for pay.

The Church has no such doctrine that women cannot work for pay.

If you are just talking about lousy apologists, it would probably be best to confront them. Since my faith is grounded in Christ and through his Church, I’m not too worried if this or that person makes poor arguments. :o

Considering that the Church owes a big debt to Countess Matilda of Tuscany, who led her troops in battle… and her statue is in St. Peter’s…

… I’m pretty sure the Church is never going to rule that women can’t be in combat.

Moving away from the non-saints.

Yes, the exemplary parts of the lives of the saints are supposed to be good examples for us, and examples of how pretty much anybody in any state of life can become Christlike.

Yes, some Catholics aren’t comfy with this, and that is sad for them.

No, that doesn’t mean you should become an assassin because there was an assassin who became a saint. He was an assassin before he changed his life, duh, so we should imitate the change and not the assassin part.

Yes, it’s several thousand years too late to declare that married women shouldn’t be working for pay. Proverbs 31 says that it’s married women who should especially be working and grubbing out money for the household, buying real estate, and working international shipping deals for the merchandise they sell.

Yes, the Valiant Woman of Proverbs 31 is a figure of Mary and of the Church, so yes, she’s an example to Catholic married women too.

Turn it around. Do the vast majority of souls go to heaven?

Consider an example,

take any number of grave sins listed in scripture that if one dies in any of them they won’t go to heaven. Let’s take for example adultery. A person who divorces their spouse and remarries without an annulment of their previous marriage commits adultery. Statistics show Well over 50% of marriages end in divorce. How many of those divorces followup with marriage to another person?. Did all those people get an annulment from their previous marriage (assuming they could get one in the first place) before entering into another marriage? I think the answer to that is probably no. So if no, THEN their new marriage is an adulterous relationship.

Example from scripture:

open the links to see the Greek word used for that sin

[LIST]
*]1 Corinthians 6: 9 - 10 no sexually immoral πόρνοι , , nor idolaters, nor adulterers μοιχοὶ, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders ἀρσενοκοῖται]10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. i.e. they go to hell if they die in any of those sins
[/LIST]See the problem and the probable magnitude of souls affected on just that sin alone?

You make a convincing case if you were posting in a protestant forum, where personal interpretation of Scripture (as the only source of authority) is taken for granted.

But this is a Catholic Forum. We don’t accept sola Scriptura here. We defer to the teaching authority of the Church (Magesterium) whenever our personal interpretation does not agree with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church clearly teaches that there is no such thing as

any sin that if one dies in any of them they won’t go to heaven.

And, Steve, I think you know that. Why do you confuse the OP with your reply? We have “crossed horns” here before, but I have never suspected you of deliberate misinformation.

Who said anything about sola scriptura?

ToeInTheWater is not Catholic. Considering his/her view on quotes from saints used by Catholics in past conversations were problematic going forward, I chose to use scripture considering that he/she is non Catholic, in order to addresses the particular issue they raised.

That’s not my quote. Here’s my post #6 for reference.

Here’s what I wrote.

:
take any number of grave sins listed in scripture that if one dies in any of them they won’t go to heaven

big difference between what I wrote and what you said I wrote…

Since grave sins = mortal sins,

here’s what the CC teaches on mortal sin

1035The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

See? What I wrote is NOT my personal interpretation. I have shown where scripture **and **the teaching of the CC, are in harmony.

You’re the one confused.

Here’s my response #6 . I was responding to a specific point.

are you now accusing me of deliberate misinformation?

Oh, c’mon, Steve. I’m sure you are well aware that there is no such thing as an act which is always mortally sinful (since the act itself is only 1/3 of the equation). This is not news to you.

But you give us this equation:

Since grave sins = mortal sins

Which is not true. A sin may be grave but not mortal. Obviously, all mortal sins are grave, but not all grave sins are mortal. So you can’t use an equals sign.

The proper equation would look like this:
grave sins ⊃ mortal sins
Though I prefer to switch the terms and operator:
mortal sins ⊂ grave sins
This is set notation which means the set of mortal sins is a subset of the set of grave sins. You could extend it like this:
mortal sins ⊂ grave sins ⊂ all sins ⊂ all acts

And venial sins are the XOR (exclusive OR) of grave/mortal sins unioned (∩) with the set of non-grave sins.

Just so we’re clear: “grave” here means “serious,” not someplace you are buried when you are dead (mortuum). These statements are both true, but are unrelated:
[LIST]
*]mortal sin leads to death
*]death leads to the grave
[/LIST]

A venial sin can be grave. I suspect most of them are.

Any bad act can be venial, and any bad act can be mortal.

You seemed to be saying that there is such a thing as an act which is automatically mortal. That would, indeed, be misinformation.

I apologize if I misinterpreted your remarks.

Don’t bet the farm on that my friend.

**1756 **It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. [FONT=Comic Sans MS]There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.[/FONT]

Keep in mind, I used the example of adultery in my reponse #6.

Also Note:
[LIST]
*]gravely illicit = mortal sin. The CC uses both interchangably
*]“such as” ≠ every single example. It’s a sample
[/LIST]

My equation is true. And again, the Church uses “grave sin” and “mortal sin” interchangably.

Again, the Church uses grave sin and mortal sin interchangably

Pay particular attention to this
1756 [FONT=Comic Sans MS]It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. [/FONT]

Again,

“always gravely illicit” = mortal sin

The sin itself is only 1/3, though. You also have to have FULL knowledge and deliberate consent.

You said that 50% of marriages end in divorce and said something about how many of those divorces end in remarriage. Well, how many of those remarriages have FULL knowledge and deliberate consent that they are committing adultery? I’m sure not all people who are remarried are faithful Catholics who know church teaching. If you don’t know that what you are doing is wrong, then you aren’t committing MORTAL sin. The sin is still grave matter, but not having knowledge of it would not send you to Hell.
Like, I didn’t know masturbation was sinful. My first confession, Father took his time and we went through the commandments and talked and he explained things. I didn’t know it was wrong. Had no clue. He smiled, because I was freaking out and told me not to worry, that I didn’t know.
Lack of knowledge lessens our culpability.

Well, I was prepared to bet the farm on my premise that you understood what “mortal sin” is. I see that my premise might be flawed. So I appreciate your advice to not wager anything on the premise of your orthodoxy.

**1756 **It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. [FONT=Comic Sans MS]There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.[/FONT]

You do realize that “gravely illicit” is not the same as “mortally sinful,” don’t you? The Eucharist can be gravely illicit, while remaining perfectly valid.

Also Note:
[LIST]
*]gravely illicit = mortal sin. The CC uses both interchangeably[/LIST]

Does it? Can you cite this?

[LIST]*]“such as” ≠ every single example. It’s a sample[/LIST]

Are you experimenting with mathematical symbols here? Yes, your “is not equal” sign rendered properly in my Chrome browser. I hope my “set notations” of an underbar “U” symbol rendered properly in your browser.

My equation is true. And again, the Church uses “grave sin” and “mortal sin” interchangably.

And, again, I’m gonna have to ask you to cite that.

And who would potentially fall outside of Full knowledge & Complete consent?

[LIST]
*]People who are potentially innocently ignorant of what sin is, or the mentally challenged
*]People forced against their will, taking away their choice.
[/LIST]However, for clarification, Ignorance isn’t always innocent. So people can’t automatically assume ignorance as an escape clause. 1791.

“ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits”

Catch that? When 1791 is the case, and one’s ignorance isn’t innocent, then they have no ignorance excuse, no escape clause, they are fully culpable for the evil they do.

Then there are people who
[LIST]
*]twist terms ridiculously, so that they only serve their own selfish purposes, as in they excuse themselves of the evil they do.
*]They argue endlessly over the meaning of what
[LIST]
*]“full knowledge” means.
*]and [FONT=Arial]what “complete consent” means.[/FONT]
[/LIST]
[/LIST]Some people do that.

So put simply, once one has knowledge that a particular sin is grave/mortal, and they only have to give consent sufficient enough to be a personal choice in committing that sin, then by committing that sin, they have committed a mortal sin.

There’s no mystery here.

Sadly the average is actually over 50%.

I refer to my previous entries… There is innocent ignorance then there is Feigned ignorance which is no escape, nor is intentional ignorance.

The teaching is not JUST for Catholics faithful or unfaithful, It’s for everyone.

And I already made the distinction of innocent ignorance.

The teaching may very well be for everyone, however, not everyone knows that remarriage is wrong. If you walked into most protestant churches and said that those who are remarried are living in adultery, they would look at you like you are insane.
They don’t know, they don’t know that teaching. It has probably never crossed many of their minds.

:hmmm:sounds like another topic for another thread

There’s no 3rd class of sin, called grave sin. There’s just mortal and venial sin. Grave sin and mortal sin therefore are the same.

**1446 **Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

I realize protestantism has gotten really liberal, but are you suggesting they ALL ignore the following Mark 10:11 , Mark 10:12 , Luke 16:18

I grew up knowing that divorce was a sin, no one said anything about being remarried. I know plenty of protestants who are faithful and have remarried. Do any denominations have the annulment process?

Oh, NOW I remember you!!! You’re that guy that thinks that there is no such thing as venial sin (or, at least, that venial sin is extremely rare and unlikely).

You’re that guy that thinks that grave matter equals mortal sin. I remember you now.

You are correct.
All things being equal divorce is still considered a sin even if there is no remarriage!

It seems there isn’t a lot of linkage between holiness and wisdom unfortunately.
Anybody can quote almost anything “holy” to make their erroneous point it seems to me.

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