I’m trying to understand what the Church teaches about the Holy Spirit. I often hear that the Spirit can’t contradict itself, as in Protestants and Catholics can’t both have the truth, but then what is the role of the Spirit in Protestant circles? Certainly we wouldn’t say it’s absent?
Most protestants (those who use water and the Trinitarian form) practice valid Christian Baptism, which is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the gateway to salvation.
So, no, the Spirit is certainly not absent in (most) protestant faiths.
But, to Catholics, the Spirit does more than enable our salvation. It also leads and guides the Catholic Church, and enables the Church to proclaim divine truths:
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. [John 16:12, 13]
This guidance is absent in the protestant faiths (as evidenced by the fact that they don’t agree with each other in substantial ways). Jesus only promised this ongoing guidance to the Church that he founded (not the faiths founded by humans such as Calvin and Luther).
This topic is touched upon in the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redinteratio), chapter 3, section 2 (II. Separated Churches and Ecclesial Communities in the West). link.
When we let Him. We could do with being more open to creativity and a tad less concerned about rigid administrative procedures; emphasis being fervour.
I don’t understand. Could you give us an example of “creativity” that we should have more of?
When you say, “rigid administrative procedures,” it sounds like you’re talking about Canon Law (which is the only Magesterial source of administrative procedures that I’m aware of). Most Catholic laypeople have never read a single Canon (nor are they even encouraged to do so).
Canon Law, as we know it, came about in 1917, and was tossed out and replaced once since then (66 years later, in 1983). That’s twice in almost a century. If the 66 year cycle holds, we won’t see another edition until 2049. I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that the Church devotes too much attention to promulgating Canon Law.
That’s true. He won’t contradict Himself.** And **the Holy Spirit isn’t the author of all this confusion and divisions called protestantism. He doesn’t speak on His own. He takes from Jesus what Jesus wants taught, and gives it to His Church
[FONT="]This is what [FONT="]Jesus wants [/FONT][/FONT][FONT="][FONT="]John 17:20-23
[FONT="]That is what [FONT="]the HS will te[FONT="]ach as well[/FONT][/FONT]
I believe that this is a little harsh. To deny that the HS is at work in the Protestant faith is to deny that they are Christians. As we all know, according to the Church, Christians are those baptisted with the trinitarian formula, which many Protestants are. Most Protestants are heretics at worst, and certainly have some place in God’s plan.
Steve’s not being harsh. I think you misunderstand his point.
As I pointed out (in post #2), Catholics see the Holy Spirit operating in the Church in two different and distinct capacities : through Baptism (the imparting of saving Grace), which most protestants have, and ALSO through guidance in all divine truth [John 16:12-13] (which is really the same as saying infallibility). Steve is saying that protestants don’t have that second capacity (and protestant faiths don’t claim to have it, so he is not saying anything that a protestant would disagree with).
All Christians believe the Holy Spirit guides them and their churches-even if they disagree with each other! And disagreement generally blossoms from believing the bible to be the sole authority of teachings on the faith, which is impossible anyway since there always must be a human interpreter, who presume themselves to be authoritative, whether they acknowledge that fact or not. But God calls and works in us individually, drawing all to Himself, and likewise all to His Church. This doesn’t mean, however, that He doesn’t work with our faith wherever it is; He can bless us and our actions even in our ignorance.
They don’t really believe that, or else they would call themselves “infallible.”
there always must be a human interpreter, who presume themselves to be authoritative,
Yup. Catholics think that the Pope is the only person who is individually infallible. Protestants think that everyone EXCEPT the Pope is individually infallible. But they won’t say it in those terms, because the absurdity of the statement would be too obvious. So it all becomes “personal.” Protestants have a “personal Lord and Savior.” Nobody seems to know where that idea originated. It’s certainly not Biblical (the word “personal” does not actually occur in the Bible).
Catholics (like their Jewish forefathers) see God operating primarily through the Church. Grace flows from the Sacramental life of the Church, not through any “personal” relationship or experience.
This doesn’t mean, however, that He doesn’t work with our faith wherever it is; He can bless us and our actions even in our ignorance.
You identify yourself as Catholic. So I find this statement very confusing.
Jesus established one and only one Church on earth, and empowered it with authority and made certain promises. This authority and promises do not apply to schismatic or heretical people who separate themselves from the Church that he established. This authority and these promises do not apply in any way whatsoever outside the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit might bless the actions of individual protestants, but NOT any protestant faith.
The only thing besides Baptismal Grace that is operative in any protestant faith is prevenient Grace, calling them to reunite with the Church that their forefathers left. That’s IT. Nothing else. NO guidance. NO truth.
You don’t get to leave the Church that Jesus established and expect to bring the goodies along with you.
I didn’t say Protestants are NOT Christian. What I’m saying with the quotes I gave, is that the HS guides people into all truth, and perfect unity, not error, heresy and division.
That’s why I said
the Holy Spirit isn’t the author of all this confusion and divisions called protestantism.
[FONT="]This is what [FONT="]Jesus wants [/FONT][/FONT][FONT="][FONT="]John 17:20-23
[FONT="]That is what [FONT="]the HS will te[FONT="]ach as well[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
See the connection between those 3 quotes?
All the division we see from Our Lord’s Church is NOT from the HS it’s from SATAN.
ALL Protestantism is one of The Great Heresies in history.
here’s what Paul (under the guidance of the HS) says about one who is in heresy
“As for a man who is factious ( [FONT=Verdana]αἱρετικὸν[/FONT] heretic ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”
Therefore, heresy is NOT a good place for one to be in.
819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276
Many of them walk like a duck without quacking like one. Putting the concept of Sola Scriptura into practice ends up with such a paradox-or paradux? Sorry.
That wasn’t my point.
Well, I hope you will agree that my interpretation of your point was not entirely unreasonable.
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You did well to defend the Church. I agree in that I don’t think the laity have a clue what canon law is. And maybe don’t need to.
My impression so far is, that I think posters in conversation with me get an ear-ache, without me adding monolgues to further increase the problem! :D:)