Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium -- The Church and Sola Scriptura


#1

This is from another thread, the discussion was getting way off topic.

Originally Posted by New_Life
There is no question that Jesus is the founder of Christianity and that the apostles carried the gospel message to the world. They were known as “Christians” (Acts 11:26). I agree that the final authority on matters of faith and practice are not found in Luther or Calvin, and I would also include here the Pope. Final authority rests on God and his Word. So whenever these men disagree with Scripture, I disagree with them.

The problem is, it is not for us to decide what disagrees with Scriptures and which does not. Luther and Calvin’s reformation has other motifs more political and more focused on the Church’s running than her doctrines.

Quote:
Leaving the question of Peter and the rock aside for a moment, I agree that God will perfect and finish the work he has begun in his redeemed people (i.e. glorification; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 12:2). If you are referring to the Roman Catholic church, you should know as well as I, that the Roman Catholic church is not perfect (a quick look at the news and Church History will quickly dispel that notion). Protestantism is not perfect either, for that matter.

We must disctinct the sanctity and holiness of the Holy Mother Church to the sinfulness of her chlildren and her clergy. As a Church she is holy and stands on a rock which the Lord promised “the gates of Hell shall not prevail.” In that matter, she is perfect in guarding the Holy Faith and the fullness of Truth revealed by God through the Holy Ghost.

Quote:
If you are using the term “Catholic” to mean “Roman Catholic,” I disagree. You won’t find Roman Catholic doctrines such as purgatory, the bodily assumption of Mary, Mary’s immaculate conception, papal infallibility, the office of the Pope as the supreme head of all Christians, etc., in Scripture.

That’s because Sacred Scripture comes from the Church, not the other way around. The Church holds the authority to teach all peoples, given the Holy Ghost who leads her into all Truth. The authority, passed down in an unbroken line of apostolic succession, is found the Sacred Magisterium.

The Sacred Magisterium draws its teachings from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (which is a separated form of Tradition).

If the above cannot be accepted, the discussion can go nowhere, I’m afraid.

Quote:
I use the term “Reformed” in front of the word Protestant to emphasize that I hold to the central teachings of the Reformers (The 5 solas) as opposed to many so called protestants today who do not.

So you practice devotions to Mary and the saints? Luther did.

Quote:
I do know what church Jesus was talking about - those that are truly born again by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, and who live and strive for Christ-likeness. There was no “Roman Catholic Church” in Jesus day, nor in the days of the apostles. There was a “Christian” church, comprised of Jesus’ sheep. The gates of hell haven’t prevailed because even now there are true believers in Jesus. Institutions fail. The Roman Catholic Church has committed horrible acts in the name of God, just as many protestants have. It’s not the visible church that is Jesus’, but the invisible church all over the world.

Of course there was one “Christian” Church, no one dissented until the Luther, Calvin et al and the Anglicans did. That Chrustian Church was Catholic in teaching and doctrines. Read the writings of the early Church Fathers, and you can be surprised how “Catholic” they sound.

“Institutions fail,” huh? Hmm… I wouldn’t call an instituion that’s 2000-years old – one that’s seen the rise and falls of empires, kingdoms, nations, one that’s much much older than its dissenters, one’s that is now the oldest living one on earth – “failing” now, would I?

At any rate, the term is “Catholic” not “Roman Catholic” because we also have “Coptic” Catholic, “Byzantine Catholic” and others of different rites united under one Bishop of Rome, Successor of the Fisherman.


#2

QUOTE=New_Life

mrS4ntA,

(Part 1)

You said: The problem is, it is not for us to decide what disagrees with Scriptures and which does not.

To the contrary, it is our responsibility before God to read and study the Scriptures and to reject that which Scripture rejects, and to agree with that which Scripture affirms. On judgement day, God will not pardon those who say, “God, you can’t hold me accountable for not believing in such and such or for believing in such and such, because it’s not my place to discern that which is against the Bible and that which is for the Bible. Someone else makes those desicions for me.”

You said: Luther and Calvin’s reformation has other motifs more political and more focused on the Church’s running than her doctrines.

The central issue with the reformers were Scripture and doctrine. Just read their writings. The way the Roman Catholic church functioned was due to their doctrinal beliefs. Doctrine was the main cause for the reformation. But of course, political and economical motives did find its way into all this. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that, as I believe, the reformers were right - Rome had strayed from the gospel. (The sale of indulgences was greatly emphasized during this time to fund to building of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Money also can find its way into people motives - on both sides.)

You said: We must disctinct the sanctity and holiness of the Holy Mother Church to the sinfulness of her chlildren and her clergy. As a Church she is holy and stands on a rock which the Lord promised “the gates of Hell shall not prevail.” In that matter, she is perfect in guarding the Holy Faith and the fullness of Truth revealed by God through the Holy Ghost.

What is the ‘Holy Mother Church’? Is it not the visible Roman Catholic Church? I would agree with your statement above, substituting “the invisible church of all those who are truly born again and redeemed by Jesus Christ alone” for the ‘Holy Mother Church’. God’s people are his Church, his bride.

You said: That’s because Sacred Scripture comes from the Church, not the other way around.

Scripture comes from God. He has revealed himself to mankind, and has allowed his people (i.e. his true Church) to recognize His holy word, that which He inspired. God’s word creates his people, not the other way around. Jesus spoke, and created his church. The Holy Spirit spoke through the aposltes and prophets, and has given us their words, which is God’s Word.

You said: The Church holds the authority to teach all peoples, given the Holy Ghost who leads her into all Truth. The authority, passed down in an unbroken line of apostolic succession, is found the Sacred Magisterium.

The Church has authority, as long as it is faithful to God’s Word. This apostolic succession is not taught in the Bible. Matt. 16 doesn’t teach it. The promise is made, God’s church will not be destroyed, but no where does it say that Peter is the Head or Supreme leader of the Church and that he can pass this office which he holds down so as to always have a Supreme Head on earth of all the churches (or Church) and that when they speak “ex cathedra” then they will never err. Why don’t we find Peter using that formula in the NT? Why doesn’t Paul acknowledge Peter in his letter to the Romans (he does greet a ton of people at the end of the letter)? The fact of the matter is that no one in the NT knew or believed that Peter was “the Pope,” especially Paul.

Cont…


#3

QUOTE=New_Life

mrS4ntA,

(Part 2)

You said: The Sacred Magisterium draws its teachings from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (which is a separated form of Tradition). If the above cannot be accepted, the discussion can go nowhere, I’m afraid.

You are absoluetly right. If you start off saying that the Magesterium is right and they tell us what the Scripture means infallibly and what Traditions means infallibly, then what else can you conclude? It’s a circular argument. I must ask, how do you know that the ‘Sacred Magisterium’ draws it teaching from Scripture? You can’t make that judgement because only they have the right to tell you what it means! There’s the unescapable circle.

You said: So you practice devotions to Mary and the saints? Luther did.

Why is this assertion necessary? Does it follow that if I believe in what Luther taught on justification, indulgences, etc. that I must believe in everything he believed in? I think not. The Reformers are not infallible. I don’t have to believe everything they taught. Do you believe in everything every Pope has ever taught and believed? Think twice about your answer. The Catholic Church doesn’t even teach or believe in many things that former Pope’s taught and believed! What makes me reformed is the central teaching which they held, which the Bible affirms, the 5 solas (Christ alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone, Grace alone, to the glory of God alone).

You said: “Institutions fail,” huh? Hmm… I wouldn’t call an instituion that’s 2000-years old – one that’s seen the rise and falls of empires, kingdoms, nations, one that’s much much older than its dissenters, one’s that is now the oldest living one on earth – “failing” now, would I?

Yes, they do. If you are arguing that age somehow makes it more authentic, then you have a problem. Judaism is much older than Roman Catholicism (Rome isn’t the oldest religious institution), and I’m sure Judaism makes the same kind of claim as Rome does concerning their age (with Jews saying something like, “we are 5000 years old”, etc.).

God bless.


#4

QUOTE=INRI

[quote=New_Life]mrS4ntA,

The Catholic Church doesn’t even teach or believe in many things that former Pope’s taught and believed! What makes me reformed is the central teaching which they held, which the Bible affirms, the 5 solas (Christ alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone, Grace alone, to the glory of God alone).

God bless.
[/quote]

Well New_Life,
I’m glad you decided to stick around and not just do a drive-by shot-gun attack.

Please specify exactly what teachings are not believed by the current Church that former popes taught and believed.

And no, I’m not sure that your central 5 solas are all affirmed by the Bible in the manner that you think they are.

BTW, you STILL keep dodging the central issue as to how the Bible came to be in its present form.
Your version seems to be:
**1) **God inspired the biblical authors (how do we know this?- well, they just, were, inspired!) —>
**2)**POOF something magical happens ---->
**3)**we have a KJV with gold-edged pages and red-lettering!

And the evil Catholic Church for 1500 years had possession of this book that so undermined their teachings, that they sought to supress it and put it in EVERY SINGLE parish, so that there would be NO WAY the laity would ever read it. This Church, furthermore was so embarrassed by certain passages in the NT, that it set up a cycle of readings so that every passage of the NT would be read in Church over the course of every 3 years. What a perfect way to dodge those embarrassing passages! Then, Martin Luther came along and found things in the Bible that no one in the previous 1500 years had ever noticed or read before, and now we have a Reformation!!

I think Karl Keating describes you in his book Catholicism and Fundamentalism, a recommended read BTW when he writes :
Fundamentalists use the Bible to protect beliefs that are, in fact, antecedent to the Bible, which is interpreted so it justifies what they already hold, although most fundamentalists think what they believe comes straight out of the sacred text and that they are merely acknowledging its plain meaning. . . . They do not hesitate to read between the lines if such reading is needed to preserve their position – a position that precedes their scriptural interpretation.


#5

OK. Pick it up from here, folks. :thumbsup:


#6

I’m not implying, by any means, some sort of blind obedience, only Holy Obedience where one acknowledges a higher authority from which the Sacred Scripture is given to us.

By the same logic, God will not also pardon those who say, “God, you can’t hold me accountable for killing those homosexuals or doing such and such or for believing all Jews are evil or such and such, because it IS my place to discern which is against the Bible and which is for the Bible. I am my own authority to interpret it, right? I believed those things were right and supported by the Bible!”

The central issue with the reformers were Scripture and doctrine. Just read their writings. The way the Roman Catholic church functioned was due to their doctrinal beliefs. Doctrine was the main cause for the reformation. But of course, political and economical motives did find its way into all this. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that, as I believe, the reformers were right - Rome had strayed from the gospel. (The sale of indulgences was greatly emphasized during this time to fund to building of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Money also can find its way into people motives - on both sides.)

I shall leave that now to those more versed in the history of Protestant Revolution than I am. Can’t say I’ve read or understand a great deal about it. :wink:

Scripture comes from God. He has revealed himself to mankind, and has allowed his people (i.e. his true Church) to recognize His holy word, that which He inspired. God’s word creates his people, not the other way around. Jesus spoke, and created his church. The Holy Spirit spoke through the aposltes and prophets, and has given us their words, which is God’s Word.

You’re missing the point. I’m not saying that the Sacred Scripture is “the Word of the Catholic Church.” It is the Word of God. But we know that it is from the authority of the Church’s Magisterium – her teaching body – that has been passed down from Jesus to his apostles and their successors.

And what di you mean by the Bible “creating” the Church. That is an impossibility. Again, this is, fundementally, where we part ways. Catholics see the Church passing the Word of God to the people, while you see the Word of God passing a church (or churches).

The Church has authority, as long as it is faithful to God’s Word. This apostolic succession is not taught in the Bible. Matt. 16 doesn’t teach it. The promise is made, God’s church will not be destroyed, but no where does it say that Peter is the Head or Supreme leader of the Church and that he can pass this office which he holds down so as to always have a Supreme Head on earth of all the churches (or Church) and that when they speak “ex cathedra” then they will never err. Why don’t we find Peter using that formula in the NT? Why doesn’t Paul acknowledge Peter in his letter to the Romans (he does greet a ton of people at the end of the letter)? The fact of the matter is that no one in the NT knew or believed that Peter was “the Pope,” especially Paul.

Insistence of explicitness like these never bodes well to us who look for both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition in the Deposit of Faith as taught by the authority of the Magisterium.

Cont…


#7

[quote=New_Life]You are absoluetly right. If you start off saying that the Magesterium is right and they tell us what the Scripture means infallibly and what Traditions means infallibly, then what else can you conclude? It’s a circular argument. I must ask, how do you know that the ‘Sacred Magisterium’ draws it teaching from Scripture? You can’t make that judgement because only they have the right to tell you what it means! There’s the unescapable circle.
[/quote]

Again, that is completely missing the point! Let me clarify:

The early Church passed down the teaching of Christ, as passed to the apostles, in a succession of Tradition. The authority of the Church to teach the Deposit of Faith is found in her Sacred Magisterium.

Later on in history, the Church canonised some of the writings of the apostles and Christ’s disciples and those close to the Apostles: that is, discerning them divinely inspired and fit to be used to “teach and instruct” the Faithful.

Thus, an authority defines that certain books are Gospels while others are not. That certain letters are divinely inspired and others are not. The forming of the Scripture adds to the Sacred Tradition within the Church that is handed down through generations of apostolic succession. It forms a part of the Church’s deposit of Faith, guarded by the Magisterium.

Hence, the Church’s right to interpret what she canonised in the first place. Your “circular model” was based on your assumption that the Church received her authority from Scripture (in fact, this is the model of most protestant churches; hence my comment that this is where we depart). The truth is indeed that she does not. Christ’s authority is where she stands.

Yes, they do. If you are arguing that age somehow makes it more authentic, then you have a problem. Judaism is much older than Roman Catholicism (Rome isn’t the oldest religious institution), and I’m sure Judaism makes the same kind of claim as Rome does concerning their age (with Jews saying something like, “we are 5000 years old”, etc.).

The Jewish religion is not an institution. I’m talking about something with distich identity with distinct history that shares that identity for an unbroken chain spanning two millennia.


#8

“The problem is, it is not for us to decide what disagrees with Scriptures and which does not.” quote, mrS4ntA

I must say, I’m sure getting weary with this assertion.

For a Catholic, it’s the Magisterium and ex cathedra
pronouncements*.* [the Fathers of the Church could
be called our “Sages.”] All of this based on the
Petrine keys and "upon this rock I will build my Church.
And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
OK…grand.

If the teaching office of the Church had confined
itself to interpreting scripture, I’d still be with them.
But, no, forays into hypostatic union, sacramental
"system", Marian dogmas…the seeming compulsion
to pull teachings like Limbo like a rabbit out of a hat…
having the gall to even address the issue of “what
happens to unbaptized babies”, [who are then treated
to the Procrustean bed of doctrine…]

Not to mention, Who “proceeds” from Whom in
the Trinity…incredible! Broke the Church apart
in 1054. Instead of simply saying: “It is a mystery
[the concept of “procession”] the Church proclaims
and treasures.”

This whole 2000 year edifice…

Well, I’m glad that the Church built orphanages, hospitals,
that it takes a stand against the "culture of death"
that it tries to stand with the marginalized…you know,
to do what Jesus actually commanded us to do…
how much smarts does it take to discover that in
the New Testament?

I feel better, picturing myself in a little wooden
boat, with a line attached to the Mothership [Church.]
It’s quieter in this little boat. Too much furniture [definitions,
dogmas, doctrines] being thrown around on deck for my
little soul to metabolize.

So, that’s my response, mrS4ntA,
reen

“Inadequate, and loving it!” *:o *


#9

To all,

Thanks for responding. The reason I haven’t responded as quickly as some would like, nor to everyone who has questioned me is due to the fact that I’m in the midst of my final two weeks of the semester - papers are due, finals are approaching. Top that off with a full 40-hour work week and my responsibilities at the Church, I’m unable to find enough time to reply to everyone right away.

There’s so much to be said. I hope to continue this discussion in a few weeks. :slight_smile:

God bless.


#10

The Sacred Magisterium draws its teachings from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (which is a separated form of Tradition).


Hmm. There are three apostolic “farewells” in the New Testament to believers:

  1. Acts 20:17-35, Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders, in which he told them he would never see them again (v. 25);
  2. 2 Timothy, Paul’s final letter to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:6-8)
  3. 2 Peter, writing to the churches, in which he knew his death was immanent (2 Pet. 1:13-14)

While each of these solemnly warns that heretics will play havoc with the Church (Acts 20:29-31; 2 Tim. 3:1-9, 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2), NOT ONE appeals to an infallible magisterium to keep the people of God on the right doctrinal track.

Similarly, Jude states that the heretics warned of by Peter have indeed arrived, but he does not appeal to a magisterium either.

Four strikes and you’re out??

John


#11

This assumes that they need to appeal to a magisterium. Argument from silence.

Scott


#12

[quote=JohnRef]The Sacred Magisterium draws its teachings from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (which is a separated form of Tradition).


Hmm. There are three apostolic “farewells” in the New Testament to believers:

  1. Acts 20:17-35, Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders, in which he told them he would never see them again (v. 25);
  2. 2 Timothy, Paul’s final letter to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:6-8)
  3. 2 Peter, writing to the churches, in which he knew his death was immanent (2 Pet. 1:13-14)

While each of these solemnly warns that heretics will play havoc with the Church (Acts 20:29-31; 2 Tim. 3:1-9, 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2), NOT ONE appeals to an infallible magisterium to keep the people of God on the right doctrinal track.

Similarly, Jude states that the heretics warned of by Peter have indeed arrived, but he does not appeal to a magisterium either.

Four strikes and you’re out??

John
[/quote]

Hmmm…I also notice that the passages don’t appeal to any authority in a meaningful sense and certainly not to Scripture-alone (which would still leave the unanswered question, "Which is Scripture? Who gets to decide and why do they get to decide?) so it is kind of a wash.

Scott


#13

[quote=reen12]“The problem is, it is not for us to decide what disagrees with Scriptures and which does not.” quote, mrS4ntA

I must say, I’m sure getting weary with this assertion.

For a Catholic, it’s the Magisterium and ex cathedra
pronouncements*.* [the Fathers of the Church could
be called our “Sages.”] All of this based on the
Petrine keys and "upon this rock I will build my Church.
And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
OK…grand.
[/quote]

Well, no it is also the infallible Word of God in Scripture. There seems to be a tendency among non-Cathoics to wrongly assume that because Catholics do not view Scripture as the sole authority, we must think it is no authority. Scripture, Tradition and Church authority form a single LIVING Word of God.

If the teaching office of the Church had confined
itself to interpreting scripture, I’d still be with them.
But, no, forays into hypostatic union, sacramental
"system", Marian dogmas…the seeming compulsion
to pull teachings like Limbo like a rabbit out of a hat…
having the gall to even address the issue of “what
happens to unbaptized babies”, [who are then treated
to the Procrustean bed of doctrine…]

Not to mention, Who “proceeds” from Whom in
the Trinity…incredible! Broke the Church apart
in 1054. Instead of simply saying: “It is a mystery
[the concept of “procession”] the Church proclaims
and treasures.”

This whole 2000 year edifice…

Christ’s Church authentically teaches, people question the teachings, the Church answers, so yes, it gets complex (I think it was Chesterton who said the rules of chess create chess problems). This could just as easily been seen as evidence for the Church’s authority as against it. Everyone of the above mentioned is perfectly harmonious with Scripture, so there is no pulling rabbits out of hats. In fact the Limbo charge counts as a large point in favor of the Church because Limbo is not a binding teaching and the Church gets tons of flak as lacking compassion for not simply saying that infants get into Heaven. It shows restraint that it refuses to proclaim doctrines it has no authority to porclaim even though there is popular pressure to do so. (Witness Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Humanae Vitae for other examples.)

Well, I’m glad that the Church built orphanages, hospitals,
that it takes a stand against the "culture of death"
that it tries to stand with the marginalized…you know,
to do what Jesus actually commanded us to do…
how much smarts does it take to discover that in
the New Testament?

Yes, and the fact they are unrivalled in these missions is more evidence in favor of it. In other words, the Church has not only discovered these in the New Testament, it is also the undisputed leaders in putting them to practice.

I feel better, picturing myself in a little wooden
boat, with a line attached to the Mothership [Church.]
It’s quieter in this little boat. Too much furniture [definitions,
dogmas, doctrines] being thrown around on deck for my
little soul to metabolize.

No such thing as too much truth.

Scott


#14

Dear Scott,

My point was that I am astounded that the teaching
authority of the Church had the *gall *to even entertain
addressing the issue of “unbaptized” babies…and
whether or no it’s final “conclusion” was to make no
statement that they are in heaven “…we leave it to
the mercy of God”…is big of them.:rolleyes:

I think that you’ve entirely missed my points.
I believe Scripture to be…Scripture; I do not believe…
and never have believed…in the infallibility of the
magisterium or the Holy Father, or any combination
thereof.

Immaculate Conception, the procession of the
Persons of the Blessed Trinity, the treasury of
grace…the whole dogma/doctrine "machinery"
which you hold to be infallible, I hold to be
no such thing. As a guide, fine. As infallible…
I don’t believe one word of it.

Rabbit out of a hat, Scott, propelled by the
Church’s own theology. As in, uh, where are
we going to “fit in” unbaptized babies, given
the progressive articulation of the necessity
of the sacrament. I know, we’ll leave them to
God’s mercy. Absolutely insufferable.

The fact that the Church is the premier religious
institution opposing abortion is one her glories
in the late 20th century. She* is* unrivalled in the
works of charity, which is why I referred to it
in the first place.

So, stroll around on the main deck, breathing
the fresh air of infallibility. If you look over the
stern of the ship, I’ll wave.:smiley:

reen12

“Inadequate, and loving it.”


#15

[quote=reen12]Dear Scott,
I think that you’ve entirely missed my points.
I believe Scripture to be…Scripture; I do not believe…
and never have believed…in the infallibility of the
magisterium or the Holy Father, or any combination
thereof.

[/quote]

Then your religion is based on your opinion. Because Jesus never said a single word of the New Testament was scripture. Nor did He ever say we must believe a Gospel based on our guesswork of scripture verses.

But Jesus did say we MUST believe the Gospel the Church taught and preached.

Thus, if we have faith in Jesus, we must believe His Church.
If we don’t believe His Church, then we don’t have faith in Jesus, but we have faith in our own opinions instead.


#16

[quote=reen12]Dear Scott,

My point was that I am astounded that the teaching
authority of the Church had the *gall *to even entertain
addressing the issue of “unbaptized” babies…and
whether or no it’s final “conclusion” was to make no
statement that they are in heaven “…we leave it to
the mercy of God”…is big of them.:rolleyes:
[/quote]

I see nothing that makes this objectionable. People are naturally concerned about the relationship of baptism and salvation (particularly if it is one’s own child), so they ask the authoritative church, the Church considers the Scriptural and Traditional evidence and decides. How this is more objectionable than reading Scripture alone, finding nothing definitive, and leaving it at that (assuming one does not “pontificate” and make their own ruling) is beyond me.

I think that you’ve entirely missed my points.
I believe Scripture to be…Scripture; I do not believe…
and never have believed…in the infallibility of the
magisterium or the Holy Father, or any combination
thereof.

Well, yes. I got your point that you don’t believe in infallibility, apparently not even of Scripture if I read the above correctly. My point is that your attempts to make it appear unreasonable on the face of it fail.

Immaculate Conception, the procession of the
Persons of the Blessed Trinity, the treasury of
grace…the whole dogma/doctrine "machinery"
which you hold to be infallible, I hold to be
no such thing. As a guide, fine. As infallible…
I don’t believe one word of it.

Rabbit out of a hat, Scott, propelled by the
Church’s own theology. As in, uh, where are
we going to “fit in” unbaptized babies, given
the progressive articulation of the necessity
of the sacrament. I know, we’ll leave them to
God’s mercy. Absolutely insufferable.

Again, there is that claim that leaving things to God’s mercy is somehow objectionable. Yes, these are propelled by the Church’s own theology which happens to be Christ’s theology. Again you seem to be implying that complexity somehow disproves something. It doesn’t. A lock is complex, and if a key fits, you know you have the right key. Since all the above are harmonious with Scripture and Tradition, the key fits.

The fact that the Church is the premier religious
institution opposing abortion is one her glories
in the late 20th century. She* is* unrivalled in the
works of charity, which is why I referred to it
in the first place.

So, stroll around on the main deck, breathing
the fresh air of infallibility. If you look over the
stern of the ship, I’ll wave.:smiley:

I’ll grant one thing. Many Catholics toss around infallibility as if it solves everything. It is a mistake because infallibilty is a gift to the Church, not a strict necessity. What is necessary is authority. Scripture alone is simply incoherent in this regard. If it was, there would not be six different versions of what baptism does. The only likely possibilty is that authority resides in Christ’s one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church. If one wants to contest that, they can’t just throw out a bunch of competing hypotheticals, they have to make a better case which I have yet to see happen.

Scott


#17

Hi, Scott,

Thanks for your reply. I’ll see if I can stop being
a smart-aleck for a minute to see if I can meet
you part way.

To me, there is no question of a need for some
kind of authority. In the sense of some group
that I can look to for guidance, particularly in a
matter of grave moral concern. [Believe it or not,
I *would consult a Catholic moral theologian if
a complex issue arose. If I couldn’t locate a
priest/theologian, my next choice would be
an Orthodox rabbi.]

If there is one glaring hole in my stance, it
is in not sufficiently understanding the need for
an institutional presence. *

I came to the position I hold on infallibility
backwards, in a sense. During formative years,
I was told that that was the case. If I rejected
that claim, then I was no longer to be considered
a Roman Catholic.

When I found that the teaching authority of the
Church instructed me to accept the Immaculate
Conception, based on the truth claim of infallibility,
I began to ignore the claim. Now I state
outright that I don’t believe the claim. The
Immaculate Conception may reflect reality, but
perhaps it doesn’t
.

It’s a two-tier position, on my part. I pay close
attention to what the Church says. A form of
"conscience formation" solely in matters of
moral concern in my quotidian pilgrimage.

For the rest, I leave it to those who see a need
for infallibility, systematic theology, and I say,
I believe that this *is *the Church instituted
by Jesus, 2000 years later.

Unlike those termed “cafeteria Catholics”, I
don’t pick and choose and* then* state that I
am a Catholic. I say I am no longer a Catholic.
I just attach my little wooden boat to the stern
of the barque of Peter, figuring that I can
have confidence that at least it’s headed in the
right direction, in the midst of a world that
seems to get nuttier by the day. *

And if someone were to reply: You can’t do* that!
You’re eternal salvation is at stake!
I’d say, I’ve got a thermos of coffee in this little
boat. Want a cup?"

[Besides, the Eucharistic Presence is on board
the Mothership, and, bobbing around in my boat,
I feel comfort of heart in knowing this.]

reen12

"Inadequate, and *loving it!" :o


#18

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