Questions


#1

Someone passed the following arguments against the Church. Does anyone have an answer to any of these, particularly the 2nd argument?

The difficulties I have in coming into (returning to) the Catholic Church are:

1.) mostly related to bad hermeneutics (eisegesis) by a magisterium that is supposed to be infallible. Catholic apologists appeal to sound hermeneutical principles until it comes to Catholic proof-texting for particular Catholic doctrines.

2.) Papal infallibility as defined by Vatican I seems to fail the test of history. And Catholic apologists do not apply the same standards to their arguments in defending this doctrine, as they do on other issues. For instance, they argue that Gregory’s position on the Apocrypha was not infallible because the Canon was not yet settled by council. Yet , they are ignoring the fact that definition for infallible statements was not given until Vatican I, either. By their argument, early infallible statements would not have to comply with any later standard. And according to Vatican I, Papal infallibility is not based on, nor qualified by either the rulings of Councils, or opinions in the Church. Too, they ignore the fact that Vatican I declares that the Pope’s own faith is protected from error in accord with the promise to Peter that his own faith would not fail once restored.

3.) Places where Roman Catholic doctrine has reversed from New Testament tradition. For if Apostolic tradition is to be kept, then it certainly should not be reversed, qualified, or ignored.

4.) Places where Roman Catholic Mariology seems to have gone overboard (“Mediatrix”, and the view of her being somehow easier to approach than Christ and God).


#2

Here is my answer to all of them: This person should not even be considering the Catholic faith and would not listen to any answers to their questions no matter how solid.

I would pray for them but talking to them is going to be useless.


#3

“Questions” one, three and four are not answerable because they are general non-specific charges, and it is always futile to try to give an answer to a general charge. The persons making these charges need to give examples or specific issues. These can then be addressed on a one by one basis.

Question two, on the other hand is a little more specific and I’m sure someone here will give you a good answer to the specific parts of that question.


#4

2.) Papal infallibility as defined by Vatican I seems to fail the test of history.

Specific examples?

And Catholic apologists do not apply the same standards to their arguments in defending this doctrine, as they do on other issues. For instance, they argue that Gregory’s position on the Apocrypha was not infallible because the Canon was not yet settled by council.

Wrong. It was not infallible because it was not ex cathedra, not because it pre-dated the council.

"POPE Gregory the Great made no Magisterial pronouncements concerning the canon. In his commentary on Job, Gregory did reject the Deuterocanon of the OT, but this was a private composition, not an offical Church document. There is no evidence that he wrote this book while he was Pope. Gregory was a churchman for his whole life and a Pope for only a short time. Most likely this book was written prior to his becoming Pope. His personal opinions are not infallible in any case, only his official pronouncements as Pope." (from this website:
geocities.com/Athens/3517/webster.html

Yet , they are ignoring the fact that definition for infallible statements was not given until Vatican I, either. By their argument, early infallible statements would not have to comply with any later standard. And according to Vatican I, Papal infallibility is not based on, nor qualified by either the rulings of Councils, or opinions in the Church.

Wrong. The truth is always true, it doesn’t change. If something was true after Vatican I, it was true before too (although it may not have been fully or universally recognized as true before).

Too, they ignore the fact that Vatican I declares that the Pope’s own faith is protected from error in accord with the promise to Peter that his own faith would not fail once restored.

Wrong. The doctrine simply doesn’t teach that the Pope’s personal faith is infallible, only that when he binds something on the church, Christ will prevent him from binding error on the church. In his personal opinions, the pope is as prone to error as anybody else.


#5

Thanks SteveT =)


#6

[quote=chosunhoon]Someone passed the following arguments against the Church. Does anyone have an answer to any of these, particularly the 2nd argument?
[/quote]

The four arguments you quoted, were not quoted in the post I’m writing now - the software doesn’t seem to like quoting internal quotations; just the writer of the post - that is, you, in this case. But what you quoted has not appeared in this present post.

Annoying, that ##


#7

[quote=Chosen’s friend]The difficulties I have in coming into (returning to) the Catholic Church are:

1.) mostly related to bad hermeneutics (eisegesis) by a magisterium that is supposed to be infallible. Catholic apologists appeal to sound hermeneutical principles until it comes to Catholic proof-texting for particular Catholic doctrines.
[/quote]

As others have said, examples would be nice - then they can be discussed. It’s possible that two issues are being mingled here:

the inaccuracy of (at least some ?) exegesis;

the infallibility claimed for the teaching office of the Church;

and, the perception that exegesis employs double standards when Biblical support for a given dogma is involved ##

[quote=Chosen’s friend]2.) Papal infallibility as defined by Vatican I seems to fail the test of history. And Catholic apologists do not apply the same standards to their arguments in defending this doctrine, as they do on other issues. For instance, they argue that Gregory’s position on the Apocrypha was not infallible because the Canon was not yet settled by council. Yet , they are ignoring the fact that definition for infallible statements was not given until Vatican I, either. By their argument, early infallible statements would not have to comply with any later standard. And according to Vatican I, Papal infallibility is not based on, nor qualified by either the rulings of Councils, or opinions in the Church. Too, they ignore the fact that Vatican I declares that the Pope’s own faith is protected from error in accord with the promise to Peter that his own faith would not fail once restored.
[/quote]

IMO there is a lot in these objections - the Catholic position on infallibility does seem to be less that coherent at times, so that dogma does not square with the detail of history. How infallibility can be predicated of Popes before 1870, is not exactly clear. It is not clear how the conditions under which it is exercised, as described in the Bull “Pastor Aeternus” which dogmatised Papal infallibility, do not render infallible Papal decisions such as that of Nicholas III in 1279 - in the Bull “Exiit qui seminat” -" on Franciscan poverty. The problem with the 1279 Bull is, that John XXII annulled it, and executed Franciscans - members of the “Spiritual” faction in the order - who insisted it was still in force.

These problems do exist, and it is not IMO ever a good idea to slur over problems. ##

[quote=Chosen’s friend]3.) Places where Roman Catholic doctrine has reversed from New Testament tradition. For if Apostolic tradition is to be kept, then it certainly should not be reversed, qualified, or ignored.
[/quote]

There can be adequate reasons to reverse it - but it is certainly arguable that the Church has indeed done this, and done it where there is no need; for example, St. Paul (assuming him to be the author of the relevant letters)envisaged married bishops; the Church does not.

[quote=Chosen’s friend]4.) Places where Roman Catholic Mariology seems to have gone overboard (“Mediatrix”, and the view of her being somehow easier to approach than Christ and God).
[/quote]

[continued…]


#8

[size=1]## I agree heartily. The exaltation of Mary nowadays is as exaggerated as anything before Vatican II warned in “Lumen Gentium” against excesses in both directions. These days, one can even read an essay by a priest-promoter of the so-called “Fifth Marian Dogma” which implies that Catholics who oppose this trend are not really Catholic:
[list]
*]If Mary pertains intrinsically to the order of the hypostatic union, it is only logical to suggest with del Moral that she pertains intrinsically, as does no other person, to the order of his headship. The appropriateness of Del Moral’s term “co-headship” (with Christ over the Church) may be argued, for according to some it implies an erroneous coordination of Mary with Christ…
[/list][size=1]Is “Mary, Co-head of the Church, Saviouress”, to be the “Sixth Marian Dogma” ? The sooner this sort of thing is nipped in the bud, the better. This endangers the hard-won realisation that God, Alone, is One, and can have no rivals.[/size]

That may be “logical” - but so is Calvin’s notion of reprobation - their logicality does not make either idea a truth.

Every protest is met with the assurance that Mary is not being “put above her Son” - but in that case, why is it possible to read such things as that “Mary is the quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit”?
[size=2][/size]
[list]
*][/size]While having taken care to stress that the union between the Holy Spirit and Mary “is not of the same order as the hypostatic union linking the human and divine natures in Christ,” Kolbe had written, in formula style, in Latin: "Filius incarnatus est: Jesus Christus. Spiritus Sanctus quasi incarnatus est: Immaculata. "(The Son is incarnate: Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is quasi incarnate: the Immaculata.)27 In his book, Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit, Fr. H. M. Manteau-Bonamy, O.P., offers a thoughtful commentary on Kolbe’s use of the term, “quasi incarnate”…
[/list][size=1][/size]
[size=1]This is to blur the infinite difference between the Holy and Infinite God, and the human creature, most dangerously. That idea about Mary has more in common with the semi-Gnostic idea of Bulgakov that Mary is the Wisdom of God: St. Paul thought Jesus was the Wisdom of God. The tendency criticised by Newman 139 years ago, of appropriating everything said of Christ, to His mother as also, is alive and flourishing. If every verse which speaks of Him also speaks of her - how shall His Godhead be proved, and not hers also ? To honour her too highly, degrades Him to her level as a Saint; where He is the “King of Saints”, “the Holy One of God”. “Mary is the Temple, not the God of the Temple.”

What statements about Mary would be too strong even for her most fervent clients not to protest against ? Is there anything which would not be regarded as perfectly allowable ? It’s impossible not to wonder about the answer. ##

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#9

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