The Church of Christ "Is" the Catholic Church vs. The Church of Christ "Subsists" in the Catholic Church


#1

I once read that to say that the Church of Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church means that the Church of Christ "is" the Catholic Church, but I just heard a video sermon where the traditionalist priest said something different. He said that to say that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church means that it could also subsist in other faiths. Why did Vatican II use the word "subsist" and not the word "is?" Thanks in advance for any help with this!


#2

Hello,

Have a read of this document:

"Lumen Gentium's "Subsists in""

But yes, many have asked the same question why the Council didn't just use the traditional term, rather than trying to experiment. "Subsists in" is easily mis-interpreted.

I.F.


#3

[quote="ready, post:1, topic:287571"]
I once read that to say that the Church of Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church means that the Church of Christ "is" the Catholic Church, but I just heard a video sermon where the traditionalist priest said something different. He said that to say that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church means that it could also subsist in other faiths. Why did Vatican II use the word "subsist" and not the word "is?" Thanks in advance for any help with this!

[/quote]

[quote="ImmaculataFides, post:2, topic:287571"]
Hello,

Have a read of this document:

"Lumen Gentium's "Subsists in""

But yes, many have asked the same question why the Council didn't just use the traditional term, rather than trying to experiment. "Subsists in" is easily mis-interpreted.

I.F.

[/quote]

Subsists is not an experiment. It is well within Catholic tradition. It was first used by St. Bonaventure in writing his work on Historical Theology. The point is rather complex, but very logical.

Christ founds the Church. During its early years it's simply known as The Church. Gradually, it comes to be known as the Christian Church. The Catholic Church with an upper case C is a much later title that came out of the Apostles Creed: one, holy catholic and apostolic.

Already, by the time of Bonaventure, there were heresies that claimed that the Catholic Church was the Church of Constantine and not the Christian Church founded by Christ.

The term subsists has a very definitive meaning in philosophy. If something subsists in something else, it means that the thing that followed, grew out of that first seed. It is not new. On the contrary. It is the fruit of that seed. It is inseparable, because the essence of the seed remains alive in the fruit. Therefore, there can be no other.

In this case, the Christian Church and the Catholic Church are not two different Churches. The Christian Church is very much alive in the Catholic Church, because that which we have come to know as the Catholic Church is really the natural development of the Christian Church. Therefore, the Christian Church subsists in the Catholic Church. By extension, since the fullness of truth is found only in the Christian Church, then this Truth subsists in the Catholic Church.

Bonaventure compared it to the acorn and the tree. The tree is not separate from the acorn. It already existed; but it was not visible. It was always there, inside the acorn. Does the acorn disappear when the tree grows? Not at all. The acorn subsists in the tree. It is essential to the tree. The tree is not new. It is just new to our senses, because we couldn't see it in the acorn.

So too, throughout history, Christ's Church breaks open like a seed and out of that comes forth the Church that we see today. Even though it may look different through organic development and other changes, it is the same Church. The Christian Church has never ceased to exist, but if you're going looking for it, you won't find it anywhere else, except in the Catholic Church. Just like you won't find that acorn anywhere else, just at the root of that tree.

We can find elements of the Christian Church in other Christian communities and even in some non Christian communities, because like the leaves of a tree are carried off by the breeze, truths are also dispersed by the Spirit of God with the purpose of drawing all men back to the source, which is the Christian Church that can only be found in its fullness in Catholicism.

Catholicism is a divine activity that takes place within history through very natural historical events and very real persons. Therefore, the Catholic Church is not the Church of Constantine. It is a contemporary expression of the Christian Church, not a new church. The fact that there was a Constantine and the fact that the Church became the state religion of the empire are historical events that God uses to help his Church grow. Not historical events that actually give life to some new church as the heretics alleged.

To understand this document, one must understand sacred tradition and one must understand history. There was always a challenge that Catholicism was a created church or man made as many heretics taught their students and this was passed from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Today, many non Catholic Christians believe that the Catholic Church is man made. It's extremely important to pull out the language of Historical Theology to show that the Catholic Church is merely the tree that grew out of the seed that Christ planted. Therefore, that Church which Christ founded remains very much alive in the Catholic Church, with a different exterior look.

If one understands Bonaventure's Theology of History, subsists is a very beautiful concept, because it shows that the Church is not static. It is dynamic. God is always at work within her. He is always perfecting her within history and yet she is already perfect in eternity.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)


#4

The point of the phrase can be understood by reading the surrounding paragraphs. The question which is under discussion is the relationship between the invisible, mystical Body of Christ and the visible, hierarchical ecclesial structure we call "the Catholic Church." Lumen Gentium stresses that "the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities." Neither can we consider "the visible assembly and the spiritual community" as inhabiting two separate realities, nor likewise "the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things." Rather, "they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element."

Is the relationship between these aspects of the Church, different yet inseparable, easy to understand? No -- "[f]or this reason, by no weak analogy, it is compared to the mystery of the incarnate Word." To give an example of the difficulty, consider that we would typically be quite comfortable saying things like "The Pope is the supreme head of the Catholic Church." But replace one little phrase, and you get uncomfortable-sounding propositions like "The Pope is the supreme head of the Mystical Body of Christ." Hmm, that doesn't seem quite right.

The answer put forward in Lumen Gentium is that the invisible, divine, incorruptible Church which is the Mystical Body of Christ was "constituted and organized in the world as a society" and therefore subsists in the visible, earthly, and sometimes imperfect organization which we call the Catholic Church. The earlier reference to "the mystery of the incarnate Word" is no mistake. The question, after all, is how we are to understand the marriage of the divine to the temporal. The living Christ had two natures, a human and a divine, and thus it would not express the fullness of truth to merely say, "Christ is a human being who was born in Bethlehem." Similarly, you can see how it would not really get at the entire depth of the matter to say, "the Church of Christ is the ecclesial organization which exists in the world under the name 'the Catholic Church'."

This really has very little to do with the subsequent point brought out in Lumen Gentium, that "many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure." Even if everybody on earth were Catholic -- and thus there were nothing outside of its visible structure -- the Church-as-Mysical-Body-of-Christ and Church-as-ecclesial-hierarchy would still not be the same thing, because they are the "divine and [the] human element" of the "one complex reality" which is the total Church. The phrase "subsists in" is intended to describe the relationship between these elements, much like we have the term "hypostatic union" to explain the relationship between the two natures of Christ:
As the assumed nature inseparably united to Him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a similar way, does the visible social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ, who vivifies it, in the building up of the body.
The point of "subsists in" is not to say, as charged by people who don't understand what those words mean, that other parts of the (mystical) Church exist in Protestant group or other religions. That is entirely incompatible with the assertion that it subsists in the Catholic Church. The confusion often on display here is a little like someone attacking the statement that "the legislative power of the United States is vested in the Congress" by saying, "Why don't they just say that the legislative power is the Congress? This sounds like an attempt to claim that other groups can exercise the legislative power too!" A person who thought that would simply reveal himself as not understanding (1) the word "vested," and (2) the difference between the political abstract "the legislative power" and the concrete group of humans called the Congress.


#5

[quote="JReducation, post:3, topic:287571"]
Subsists is not an experiment. It is well within Catholic tradition. It was first used by St. Bonaventure in writing his work on Historical Theology. The point is rather complex, but very logical.

Christ founds the Church. During its early years it's simply known as The Church. Gradually, it comes to be known as the Christian Church. The Catholic Church with an upper case C is a much later title that came out of the Apostles Creed: one, holy catholic and apostolic.

Already, by the time of Bonaventure, there were heresies that claimed that the Catholic Church was the Church of Constantine and not the Christian Church founded by Christ.

The term subsists has a very definitive meaning in philosophy. If something subsists in something else, it means that the thing that followed, grew out of that first seed. It is not new. On the contrary. It is the fruit of that seed. It is inseparable, because the essence of the seed remains alive in the fruit. Therefore, there can be no other.

In this case, the Christian Church and the Catholic Church are not two different Churches. The Christian Church is very much alive in the Catholic Church, because that which we have come to know as the Catholic Church is really the natural development of the Christian Church. Therefore, the Christian Church subsists in the Catholic Church. By extension, since the fullness of truth is found only in the Christian Church, then this Truth subsists in the Catholic Church.

Bonaventure compared it to the acorn and the tree. The tree is not separate from the acorn. It already existed; but it was not visible. It was always there, inside the acorn. Does the acorn disappear when the tree grows? Not at all. The acorn subsists in the tree. It is essential to the tree. The tree is not new. It is just new to our senses, because we couldn't see it in the acorn.

So too, throughout history, Christ's Church breaks open like a seed and out of that comes forth the Church that we see today. Even though it may look different through organic development and other changes, it is the same Church. The Christian Church has never ceased to exist, but if you're going looking for it, you won't find it anywhere else, except in the Catholic Church. Just like you won't find that acorn anywhere else, just at the root of that tree.

We can find elements of the Christian Church in other Christian communities and even in some non Christian communities, because like the leaves of a tree are carried off by the breeze, truths are also dispersed by the Spirit of God with the purpose of drawing all men back to the source, which is the Christian Church that can only be found in its fullness in Catholicism.

Catholicism is a divine activity that takes place within history through very natural historical events and very real persons. Therefore, the Catholic Church is not the Church of Constantine. It is a contemporary expression of the Christian Church, not a new church. The fact that there was a Constantine and the fact that the Church became the state religion of the empire are historical events that God uses to help his Church grow. Not historical events that actually give life to some new church as the heretics alleged.

To understand this document, one must understand sacred tradition and one must understand history. There was always a challenge that Catholicism was a created church or man made as many heretics taught their students and this was passed from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Today, many non Catholic Christians believe that the Catholic Church is man made. It's extremely important to pull out the language of Historical Theology to show that the Catholic Church is merely the tree that grew out of the seed that Christ planted. Therefore, that Church which Christ founded remains very much alive in the Catholic Church, with a different exterior look.

If one understands Bonaventure's Theology of History, subsists is a very beautiful concept, because it shows that the Church is not static. It is dynamic. God is always at work within her. He is always perfecting her within history and yet she is already perfect in eternity.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)

[/quote]

Outstanding explanation! :thumbsup:


#6

I said experiment because it was the first time it had been used in an ecumenical council. I acknowledge that it may have ancient existence in theology. The fact is that it can be very, very easily mis-interpreted; as it was by countless clergy after the Council. When seen in the light of tradition, it makes sense.

I.F.


#7

Would "My father subsists in me" be a better analogy in understanding the concept of subsisting?


#8

[quote="JReducation, post:3, topic:287571"]
Subsists is not an experiment. It is well within Catholic tradition. It was first used by St. Bonaventure in writing his work on Historical Theology. The point is rather complex, but very logical.

This is a different use than Aristotle and St. Thomas

Christ founds the Church. During its early years it's simply known as The Church. Gradually, it comes to be known as the Christian Church. The Catholic Church with an upper case C is a much later title that came out of the Apostles Creed: one, holy catholic and apostolic.

Already, by the time of Bonaventure, there were heresies that claimed that the Catholic Church was the Church of Constantine and not the Christian Church founded by Christ.

The term subsists has a very definitive meaning in philosophy. If something subsists in something else, it means that the thing that followed, grew out of that first seed. It is not new. On the contrary. It is the fruit of that seed. It is inseparable, because the essence of the seed remains alive in the fruit. Therefore, there can be no other.

Yes it has a very definitive meaning and it doesn't fit with what you are saying. The way it is being presented is problematic and would make potency prior to act. The seed is potentially a fruit but this requires a substantial change and the essence changes with the substance

In this case, the Christian Church and the Catholic Church are not two different Churches. The Christian Church is very much alive in the Catholic Church, because that which we have come to know as the Catholic Church is really the natural development of the Christian Church. Therefore, the Christian Church subsists in the Catholic Church. By extension, since the fullness of truth is found only in the Christian Church, then this Truth subsists in the Catholic Church.

This is a new meaning of subsist that differs from Church tradition. The examples you gave before require substantial changes and this could not occur in the Church and it still remain Christ's Church.Only substances subsist and they subsist in themselves but not in other substances, this is proper to accidents which adhere in substances but do not subsist. The only thing that is said to subsist apart from its substance is the human soul which subsists after death apart from the body until the final resurrection.Saying the the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church states they are two different things and could be or are separate substances--This is impossible. They are using subsist in a way it has not been used in Church tradition before.

Bonaventure compared it to the acorn and the tree. The tree is not separate from the acorn. It already existed; but it was not visible. It was always there, inside the acorn. Does the acorn disappear when the tree grows? Not at all. The acorn subsists in the tree. It is essential to the tree. The tree is not new. It is just new to our senses, because we couldn't see it in the acorn.

The tree is certainly different than the acorn and separate from it. The tree is not inside the acorn but the acorn is potentially a tree, again this requires a substantial change and cannot be the case with the Church. The acorn does not subsist in the tree, the tree that grows from an acorn is new, we couldn't see it in the acorn because it wasn't there except in potency. This is very different than subsistence

So too, throughout history, Christ's Church breaks open like a seed and out of that comes forth the Church that we see today. Even though it may look different through organic development and other changes, it is the same Church. The Christian Church has never ceased to exist, but if you're going looking for it, you won't find it anywhere else, except in the Catholic Church. Just like you won't find that acorn anywhere else, just at the root of that tree.

Again your example leads to many problems such as substantial changes in the Church.The acorn ceases to be an acorn as soon as a tree starts to grow. It loses the form of acorn and takes on the form of a tree. These are two different substances. Acorns are not alive but trees are.

We can find elements of the Christian Church in other Christian communities and even in some non Christian communities, because like the leaves of a tree are carried off by the breeze, truths are also dispersed by the Spirit of God with the purpose of drawing all men back to the source, which is the Christian Church that can only be found in its fullness in Catholicism.

Catholicism is a divine activity that takes place within history through very natural historical events and very real persons. Therefore, the Catholic Church is not the Church of Constantine. It is a contemporary expression of the Christian Church, not a new church. The fact that there was a Constantine and the fact that the Church became the state religion of the empire are historical events that God uses to help his Church grow. Not historical events that actually give life to some new church as the heretics alleged.

To understand this document, one must understand sacred tradition and one must understand history. There was always a challenge that Catholicism was a created church or man made as many heretics taught their students and this was passed from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Today, many non Catholic Christians believe that the Catholic Church is man made. It's extremely important to pull out the language of Historical Theology to show that the Catholic Church is merely the tree that grew out of the seed that Christ planted. Therefore, that Church which Christ founded remains very much alive in the Catholic Church, with a different exterior look.

Thomistic philosophy which is the tradition of the Church uses subsist in a very different way and is why the use of this word in the documents is so problematic. A different exterior is one thing a different "form" is another. The

If one understands Bonaventure's Theology of History, subsists is a very beautiful concept, because it shows that the Church is not static. It is dynamic. God is always at work within her. He is always perfecting her within history and yet she is already perfect in eternity.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)

[/quote]


#9

Inhimthroughher, you said "Thomistic philosophy which is the tradition of the Church". Thomism is not the only tradition within the Catholic faith, there are several other schools of thought which are just as valid.


#10

[quote="Inhimthroughher, post:8, topic:287571"]

Again your example leads to many problems such as substantial changes in the Church.The acorn ceases to be an acorn as soon as a tree starts to grow. *It loses the form of acorn and takes on the form of a tree. These are two different substances. Acorns are not alive but trees are. *

[/quote]

How would you apply this line of thinking to the Eucharist?


#11

It actually does, if one is willing to step outside of Thomism and use other schools of thought and use the language as they used it, in this case the Franciscan School, led by Bonaventure.

Hmmmm, I have to think about that one. That’s an interesting proposal.

Please don’t insert your responses inside the original quote, because they disappear when one tries to answer.

The problem that you’re having is that you’re using Thomas to read Bonaventure. That won’t work. You must use the Franciscan and Augustinian schools to read Bonaventure. The use many words that Aquinas uses, because they are philosophical terms, but they use them in very different ways with very different meanings. To better understand the whole Bonaventurian idea of subsistence, you should study his Historical Theology and follow it with Newman’s Development of Christian Doctrine. Then with Pope Benedict XVI’s doctoral dissertation, which is on this subject. You can see the development of this thought separate from Aquinas. If you try to apply Thomas’ system to this, it won’t work. That would be like applying the rules of accounting to geometry. Both are math, but they use very different systems and give different meanings to words, even when they use the same words.

What Bonaventure does is to define how he is using the terms as he goes along to ensure that he is not confused with the Thomists. Other scholars have picked up on his work, such as Newman and Ratzinger.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:


#12

[quote="JReducation, post:3, topic:287571"]
Subsists is not an experiment. It is well within Catholic tradition. It was first used by St. Bonaventure in writing his work on Historical Theology. The point is rather complex, but very logical.

Christ founds the Church. During its early years it's simply known as The Church. Gradually, it comes to be known as the Christian Church. The Catholic Church with an upper case C is a much later title that came out of the Apostles Creed: one, holy catholic and apostolic.

Already, by the time of Bonaventure, there were heresies that claimed that the Catholic Church was the Church of Constantine and not the Christian Church founded by Christ.

The term subsists has a very definitive meaning in philosophy. If something subsists in something else, it means that the thing that followed, grew out of that first seed. It is not new. On the contrary. It is the fruit of that seed. It is inseparable, because the essence of the seed remains alive in the fruit. Therefore, there can be no other.

In this case, the Christian Church and the Catholic Church are not two different Churches. The Christian Church is very much alive in the Catholic Church, because that which we have come to know as the Catholic Church is really the natural development of the Christian Church. Therefore, the Christian Church subsists in the Catholic Church. By extension, since the fullness of truth is found only in the Christian Church, then this Truth subsists in the Catholic Church.

Bonaventure compared it to the acorn and the tree. The tree is not separate from the acorn. It already existed; but it was not visible. It was always there, inside the acorn. Does the acorn disappear when the tree grows? Not at all. The acorn subsists in the tree. It is essential to the tree. The tree is not new. It is just new to our senses, because we couldn't see it in the acorn.

So too, throughout history, Christ's Church breaks open like a seed and out of that comes forth the Church that we see today. Even though it may look different through organic development and other changes, it is the same Church. The Christian Church has never ceased to exist, but if you're going looking for it, you won't find it anywhere else, except in the Catholic Church. Just like you won't find that acorn anywhere else, just at the root of that tree.

We can find elements of the Christian Church in other Christian communities and even in some non Christian communities, because like the leaves of a tree are carried off by the breeze, truths are also dispersed by the Spirit of God with the purpose of drawing all men back to the source, which is the Christian Church that can only be found in its fullness in Catholicism.

Catholicism is a divine activity that takes place within history through very natural historical events and very real persons. Therefore, the Catholic Church is not the Church of Constantine. It is a contemporary expression of the Christian Church, not a new church. The fact that there was a Constantine and the fact that the Church became the state religion of the empire are historical events that God uses to help his Church grow. Not historical events that actually give life to some new church as the heretics alleged.

To understand this document, one must understand sacred tradition and one must understand history. There was always a challenge that Catholicism was a created church or man made as many heretics taught their students and this was passed from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Today, many non Catholic Christians believe that the Catholic Church is man made. It's extremely important to pull out the language of Historical Theology to show that the Catholic Church is merely the tree that grew out of the seed that Christ planted. Therefore, that Church which Christ founded remains very much alive in the Catholic Church, with a different exterior look.

If one understands Bonaventure's Theology of History, subsists is a very beautiful concept, because it shows that the Church is not static. It is dynamic. God is always at work within her. He is always perfecting her within history and yet she is already perfect in eternity.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)

[/quote]

Brother,
Can you point out some works by St. Bonaventure that detail or outline his theology of history? (Or is that the name of the work?) Thanks!


#13

Theology of History In St. Bonaventure
by: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Simply Bonaventure: An Introduction to His Life Thought and Writings
by Ilia Delio

Breviloquium
by Bonaventure

Happy reading

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:


#14

[quote="Melchior, post:9, topic:287571"]
Inhimthroughher, you said "Thomistic philosophy which is the tradition of the Church". Thomism is not the only tradition within the Catholic faith, there are several other schools of thought which are just as valid.

[/quote]

While St. Thomas is not infallible the Church does not disagree with him and adopts his philosophy and theology as Her own; She does this with no other saint.

Many brilliant men have tried to deviate from St. Thomas and all have found themselves in grave error. What he teaches is not important because it is he who teaches but because what he taught is true; the Church has affirmed this.

Below are a few quotes taken from encyclicals ( the numbers prior to the quote are the paragraph numbers) along with the additional quotes and actions from Popes and the Church.

Aeterni Patris Leo XIII (This is such an important Encyclical that I summarized the whole thing. It sets up the need for philosophy then speaks of the importance of Thomas.)

1- Philosophy is important because the faithful can be easily led astray- and have their faith corrupted. The Church must do its best to protect the faithful and make sure philosophy is in accord with Church teaching.
2-the evil of false conclusions concerning divine and human things originates in bad schools of philosophy. This is the major problem of today, not understanding the relationship between the creature and the Creator.
Four ends of philosophy
4-Philosophy if used rightly made use of by the wise, in a certain way tends to smooth and fortify the road to true faith...( perfects Natural reason)
5-human reason finds the fullness of truth and faith in God-philosophy leads one to subject to theology.(comes to know there is a God and he should be believed)
6-Just as grace builds on nature Theology builds on philosophy- we need a strong foundation.(foundation for divine revelation)
7-Philosophy helps to defend divine truths and resist those who oppose them. The Church demands Christian teachers seek help from Philosophy.
8-No philosophical truth can be opposed to revealed doctrine.
9-Those who philosophize and unite with christian faith are philosophizing in the best possible way. Faith frees and saves reason from error. (Thomas did both philosophy and theology)
14- St. Thomas and Bonaventure and singled out as illustrious teachers. Set in order, clearly arranged and explained....
16-Scholasticism has a special office to bind together the human and divine science.
17-Among Scholastic Doctors St. Thomas “towers”. Thomas...is rightly and deservedly the special bulwark and glory of the catholic faith. Nothing is left wanting....
18-His philosophy contains the seeds of almost infinite truths. Thomas brought reason to its human height.
19-Nearly all founders and law givers of religious orders required Thomas. Including the Augustinians
21-Lists the recommendations of previous pope's praising Thomas. One major one-Innocent VI -His teaching above all others, the canonical writings alone excepted, …...that those who hold it are never found swerving from the paths of truth and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.”
22-Ecumenical councils of Lyons, Florence, Vienna, and the Vatican used Thomas to combat greeks, heretics, and rationalists. Trent made it part of the order to lay upon the altar together with the sacred scriptures and decrees of the supreme pontiff the Summa. No other Dr. has ever shared this honor.
23-Heretics have declared that if the teaching of Thomas was taken away they would have succeeded.
24-It is thought hazardous if the special honor does not always and everywhere remain.
26-It is a first and cherished idea that the youth and furnished with education from Thomas.
27-Reasons why they want Thomas taught.- Give the youth and understanding and the ability to defend and promote the faith “Apart from the supernatural help of God, nothing is better calculated to heal those minds and bring them into favor with the Catholic faith that the solid doctrine of the fathers and Scholastics.”
28- “Domestic and civil society will be more peaceful and secure if the teachings are in conformity with Thomas.”
31-We exhort you venerable brethren to restore the wisdom of St. Thomas and to spread it far and wide for the defense and beauty of the catholic faith.” “ Let carefully selected teachers endeavor to implant the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas in the minds of students, and set forth clearly his solidarity and excellence over others.”

Canon Code of 1917 bound professors and students to study the teaching of Thomas. --Thomas had always been studied prior to this but was mandated because some were beginning to stray away from Thomas.

Garrigou Lagrange

The doctrine of St. Thomas on being, truth, and goodness, on the objective validity of first principles, which alone can lead to certitude of God's existence.

By following Thomas alone can one reach the goal , thus indicated by the Vatican Council “finding God in nature.......”

Following Thomas helps one to escape much floundering and fluxuation on the validity of reason on God one and triune, on the redemptive incarnation, the sacraments, on the last end, on human acts, on sin, on grace, virtues and gifts.”

These directing principles of thought and life become ever more necessary as the conditions of existence grow ever more difficult, demanding a certitude more firm, a faith more immoveable, a love of God more pure and strong.”

Doctoris Angelici
Pope Pius X June 29, 1914

Reaffirming Sacrorum Antistitum “Which required Scholastic Philosophy, having Thomas in mind particularly, to be taught in all seminaries and religious orders.”

Used the word particularly not exclusively-Thomas is the foundation and nothing that opposes his thought may be taught.

“The principles of philosophy laid down by St. Thomas Aquinas are to be religiously and unavoidably observed, because they are the means of acquiring such a knowledge of creation as is the most congruent with the faith.”
“The principles of St. Thomas, considered generally and as a whole, contain nothing but what the most eminent Doctors have discovered after much reflection....in regard to the particular reasons determining human knowledge , the nature of God and creation the moral order and ultimate end to be pursued.”

“If such principles are once removed or in any way impaired it must necessarily follow that students of the sacred sciences will ultimately fail to perceive so much as the meaning of the words in which the dogmas of divine revelation are proposed by the magistracy of the Church.

If the doctrine of any writer or saint has ever been approved by us or by our predecessors....it may easily be understood that it was commended to the extent that it agreed with the principles of Aquinas or was opposed to them in no way.

Quotes John XXII “ He (Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others.”

“It is of the first importance that the old system of lecturing on the actual text of the Summa Theologica-which never should have been allowed to fall into disuse-- be revived; for the reason also that the prelections on this book make it easier to understand and to illustrate the solemn decrees of the Church.”

Benedict XIV “Numerous Roman Pontiffs...have born glorious testimony to his philosophy. We also in the books we have written....have adhered and subscribed with joy and admiration to his philosophy, and confess that whatever good is found on Our own Writings is not in anyway attributed to us but entirely to so eminent a teacher.”

“For ever since the death of the Doctor, the Church has not held a single council but he has been present at it with all the wealth of his doctrine.”

Studiorum Ducem
Pope Pius XI
11-“We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his Philosophy as Her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest.”

Humani Generis
17- when philosophy and terms become sloppy and inexact things start to fall apart
20(power of encyclicals)
31-Church demands Thomism, singularly pre-eminant.
32 -defends Thomism against those who attack it calling it “honored”

These are only a few of the quotes regarding St. Thomas. What he writes and says can often sound harsh or untrue but once explained makes perfect sense and one is not likely to disagree with it.


#15

Easy, it is a substantial change. It is no longer bread but becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and divinity of our Lord while the accidents of bread remain.

The “form” of the bread is lost and it becomes the Eucharist. Form is understood in its philosophical sense as in that which makes a thing what it is. An example of this is the rational soul, it is the form of man. When the form leaves the body it is no longer a man and the body become a corpse. A substantial occurs.


#16

Thank you, Brother! I’ve been meaning to ask you for some books from/on St. Bonaventure.


#17

[quote="Inhimthroughher, post:14, topic:287571"]
While St. Thomas is not infallible the Church does not disagree with him and adopts his philosophy and theology as Her own; She does this with no other saint.

Many brilliant men have tried to deviate from St. Thomas and all have found themselves in grave error. What he teaches is not important because it is he who teaches but because what he taught is true; the Church has affirmed this.

Below are a few quotes taken from encyclicals ( the numbers prior to the quote are the paragraph numbers) along with the additional quotes and actions from Popes and the Church.

Aeterni Patris Leo XIII (This is such an important Encyclical that I summarized the whole thing. It sets up the need for philosophy then speaks of the importance of Thomas.)

1- Philosophy is important because the faithful can be easily led astray- and have their faith corrupted. The Church must do its best to protect the faithful and make sure philosophy is in accord with Church teaching.
2-the evil of false conclusions concerning divine and human things originates in bad schools of philosophy. This is the major problem of today, not understanding the relationship between the creature and the Creator.
Four ends of philosophy
4-Philosophy if used rightly made use of by the wise, in a certain way tends to smooth and fortify the road to true faith...( perfects Natural reason)
5-human reason finds the fullness of truth and faith in God-philosophy leads one to subject to theology.(comes to know there is a God and he should be believed)
6-Just as grace builds on nature Theology builds on philosophy- we need a strong foundation.(foundation for divine revelation)
7-Philosophy helps to defend divine truths and resist those who oppose them. The Church demands Christian teachers seek help from Philosophy.
8-No philosophical truth can be opposed to revealed doctrine.
9-Those who philosophize and unite with christian faith are philosophizing in the best possible way. Faith frees and saves reason from error. (Thomas did both philosophy and theology)
14- St. Thomas and Bonaventure and singled out as illustrious teachers. Set in order, clearly arranged and explained....
16-Scholasticism has a special office to bind together the human and divine science.
17-Among Scholastic Doctors St. Thomas “towers”. Thomas...is rightly and deservedly the special bulwark and glory of the catholic faith. Nothing is left wanting....
18-His philosophy contains the seeds of almost infinite truths. Thomas brought reason to its human height.
19-Nearly all founders and law givers of religious orders required Thomas. Including the Augustinians
21-Lists the recommendations of previous pope's praising Thomas. One major one-Innocent VI -His teaching above all others, the canonical writings alone excepted, …...that those who hold it are never found swerving from the paths of truth and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.”
22-Ecumenical councils of Lyons, Florence, Vienna, and the Vatican used Thomas to combat greeks, heretics, and rationalists. Trent made it part of the order to lay upon the altar together with the sacred scriptures and decrees of the supreme pontiff the Summa. No other Dr. has ever shared this honor.
23-Heretics have declared that if the teaching of Thomas was taken away they would have succeeded.
24-It is thought hazardous if the special honor does not always and everywhere remain.
26-It is a first and cherished idea that the youth and furnished with education from Thomas.
27-Reasons why they want Thomas taught.- Give the youth and understanding and the ability to defend and promote the faith “Apart from the supernatural help of God, nothing is better calculated to heal those minds and bring them into favor with the Catholic faith that the solid doctrine of the fathers and Scholastics.”
28- “Domestic and civil society will be more peaceful and secure if the teachings are in conformity with Thomas.”
31-We exhort you venerable brethren to restore the wisdom of St. Thomas and to spread it far and wide for the defense and beauty of the catholic faith.” “ Let carefully selected teachers endeavor to implant the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas in the minds of students, and set forth clearly his solidarity and excellence over others.”

Canon Code of 1917 bound professors and students to study the teaching of Thomas. --Thomas had always been studied prior to this but was mandated because some were beginning to stray away from Thomas.

Garrigou Lagrange

The doctrine of St. Thomas on being, truth, and goodness, on the objective validity of first principles, which alone can lead to certitude of God's existence.

By following Thomas alone can one reach the goal , thus indicated by the Vatican Council “finding God in nature.......”

Following Thomas helps one to escape much floundering and fluxuation on the validity of reason on God one and triune, on the redemptive incarnation, the sacraments, on the last end, on human acts, on sin, on grace, virtues and gifts.”

These directing principles of thought and life become ever more necessary as the conditions of existence grow ever more difficult, demanding a certitude more firm, a faith more immoveable, a love of God more pure and strong.”

Doctoris Angelici
Pope Pius X June 29, 1914

Reaffirming Sacrorum Antistitum “Which required Scholastic Philosophy, having Thomas in mind particularly, to be taught in all seminaries and religious orders.”

Used the word particularly not exclusively-Thomas is the foundation and nothing that opposes his thought may be taught.

“The principles of philosophy laid down by St. Thomas Aquinas are to be religiously and unavoidably observed, because they are the means of acquiring such a knowledge of creation as is the most congruent with the faith.”
“The principles of St. Thomas, considered generally and as a whole, contain nothing but what the most eminent Doctors have discovered after much reflection....in regard to the particular reasons determining human knowledge , the nature of God and creation the moral order and ultimate end to be pursued.”

“If such principles are once removed or in any way impaired it must necessarily follow that students of the sacred sciences will ultimately fail to perceive so much as the meaning of the words in which the dogmas of divine revelation are proposed by the magistracy of the Church.

If the doctrine of any writer or saint has ever been approved by us or by our predecessors....it may easily be understood that it was commended to the extent that it agreed with the principles of Aquinas or was opposed to them in no way.

Quotes John XXII “ He (Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others.”

“It is of the first importance that the old system of lecturing on the actual text of the Summa Theologica-which never should have been allowed to fall into disuse-- be revived; for the reason also that the prelections on this book make it easier to understand and to illustrate the solemn decrees of the Church.”

Benedict XIV “Numerous Roman Pontiffs...have born glorious testimony to his philosophy. We also in the books we have written....have adhered and subscribed with joy and admiration to his philosophy, and confess that whatever good is found on Our own Writings is not in anyway attributed to us but entirely to so eminent a teacher.”

“For ever since the death of the Doctor, the Church has not held a single council but he has been present at it with all the wealth of his doctrine.”

Studiorum Ducem
Pope Pius XI
11-“We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his Philosophy as Her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest.”

Humani Generis
17- when philosophy and terms become sloppy and inexact things start to fall apart
20(power of encyclicals)
31-Church demands Thomism, singularly pre-eminant.
32 -defends Thomism against those who attack it calling it “honored”

These are only a few of the quotes regarding St. Thomas. What he writes and says can often sound harsh or untrue but once explained makes perfect sense and one is not likely to disagree with it.

[/quote]

You didn't need to post all of this :)

I have great respect for St. Thomas, he's a good chap who wrote a lot of great stuff. If people want to throw down some Thomism, be all means fill your boots!

But the buck doesn't stop with him when it comes to schools of thoughts within the Church. Will you begrudge me if I told you at this point in time I'm more of a fan of Augustine than Aquinas? There's zero way you can condemn someone being Augustinian (Father & Doctor of the Church looks good on a "resume").

And lets not forget there are several Doctors of the Church, some of whom have some wicked cool titles for a very good reason.


#18

[quote="Inhimthroughher, post:14, topic:287571"]
While St. Thomas is not infallible the Church does not disagree with him and adopts his philosophy and theology as Her own; She does this with no other saint.

Many brilliant men have tried to deviate from St. Thomas and all have found themselves in grave error.

[/quote]

Do these men and women include:

Bonaventure
John Duns Scotus
Anthony of Padua
Leonard of Port Maurice
Lawrence of Brindisi
Alphonse Ligoouri
Francis de Sales
Catherine of Siena
Teresa of Avila
John of the Cross
Francisco of Osuna
John Henry Newman
Giovanni Montini
Joseph Ratzinger?

None of them are Thomists nor have they ever taught error.

Canon Code of 1917 bound professors and students to study the teaching of Thomas. --Thomas had always been studied prior to this but was mandated because some were beginning to stray away from Thomas.

Garrigou Lagrange

The doctrine of St. Thomas on being, truth, and goodness, on the objective validity of first principles, which alone can lead to certitude of God's existence.

By following Thomas alone can one reach the goal , thus indicated by the Vatican Council “finding God in nature.......”

Following Thomas helps one to escape much floundering and fluxuation on the validity of reason on God one and triune, on the redemptive incarnation, the sacraments, on the last end, on human acts, on sin, on grace, virtues and gifts.”

These directing principles of thought and life become ever more necessary as the conditions of existence grow ever more difficult, demanding a certitude more firm, a faith more immoveable, a love of God more pure and strong.”

Doctoris Angelici
Pope Pius X June 29, 1914

Reaffirming Sacrorum Antistitum “Which required Scholastic Philosophy, having Thomas in mind particularly, to be taught in all seminaries and religious orders.”

Used the word particularly not exclusively-Thomas is the foundation and nothing that opposes his thought may be taught.

“The principles of philosophy laid down by St. Thomas Aquinas are to be religiously and unavoidably observed, because they are the means of acquiring such a knowledge of creation as is the most congruent with the faith.”
“The principles of St. Thomas, considered generally and as a whole, contain nothing but what the most eminent Doctors have discovered after much reflection....in regard to the particular reasons determining human knowledge , the nature of God and creation the moral order and ultimate end to be pursued.”

“If such principles are once removed or in any way impaired it must necessarily follow that students of the sacred sciences will ultimately fail to perceive so much as the meaning of the words in which the dogmas of divine revelation are proposed by the magistracy of the Church.

If the doctrine of any writer or saint has ever been approved by us or by our predecessors....it may easily be understood that it was commended to the extent that it agreed with the principles of Aquinas or was opposed to them in no way.

Quotes John XXII “ He (Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others.”

“It is of the first importance that the old system of lecturing on the actual text of the Summa Theologica-which never should have been allowed to fall into disuse-- be revived; for the reason also that the prelections on this book make it easier to understand and to illustrate the solemn decrees of the Church.”

Benedict XIV “Numerous Roman Pontiffs...have born glorious testimony to his philosophy. We also in the books we have written....have adhered and subscribed with joy and admiration to his philosophy, and confess that whatever good is found on Our own Writings is not in anyway attributed to us but entirely to so eminent a teacher.”

“For ever since the death of the Doctor, the Church has not held a single council but he has been present at it with all the wealth of his doctrine.”

Studiorum Ducem
Pope Pius XI
11-“We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his Philosophy as Her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest.”

Humani Generis
17- when philosophy and terms become sloppy and inexact things start to fall apart
20(power of encyclicals)
31-Church demands Thomism, singularly pre-eminant.
32 -defends Thomism against those who attack it calling it “honored”

These are only a few of the quotes regarding St. Thomas. What he writes and says can often sound harsh or untrue but once explained makes perfect sense and one is not likely to disagree with it.

No one has taken away anything from Thomas' genius, especially his colleague Bonaventure would not deny his genius; but neither would Thomas deny Bonaventure's.

Second, the Canon of 1917 has been abrogated.. Aquinas is no longer required as long as one studies his key points on certain areas of theology along with the other doctors and masters of the Church. In other words, the approach is no longer exclusively Aquinas.

There is a reason why the Canon of 1917 was dropped. It was not followed by anyone except diocesan clergy and Dominicans. Every major religious order used their own doctors to teach systematic theology. Redepmtorists used Ligouri and Aquinas. Franciscans used Bonaventure, Lawrence, Leonard, Anthony and Aquinas. Augustinians used Augustine and Aquinas.

Aquinas was like the Shakespeare of theology. Just as you don't study English literature without exposure to Shakespeare, you don't study theology without exposure to Aquinas. However, a course in Shakespeare and exposure to Shakespeare are not the same thing. This is what happened with Aquinas between 1917 and 1983. Pope Benedict himself did not study Aquinas. Given a choice to study him, Augustine and Bonaventure, he chose Augustine and Bonaventure. As he said, after his exposure to Aquinas, he did not agree with his systems. He felt that Augustine's and Bonaventure's systems made more sense. This was while the Code of 1917 was still in effect, which goes to show how many exceptions to that code were being handed out. In the end, if you give out so many exceptions, then why have the code at all? You simply admit that there are many other good doctors of theology in Catholic history that can take you to the same place as Aquinas.

The Church has never said that she accepts everything that Aquinas said. She has said that he is the bright star of Catholic theology. In fact, the Eastern Catholics don't study Aquinas at all. He's not even on their map. Yet they have very good theologians.

We can't dismiss him as insignificant. That would be like dismissing Shakespeare in literature. Nor do we need to make him the only source of knowledge. That's too rigid. We may as well burn what every other doctor has written on the same subjects as Aquinas.

As good as Aquinas writes about Mystical Theology, he can't hold a candle to Teresa of Avila. As good as he writes on Christian Spirituality, he can't hold a candle to St. Francis de Sales or to St. Anthony of Padua on Sacred Scripture.

There is a tendency in Traddom to attribute to Aquinas omniscience. The Church has never done that. She has always respected and honored his contribution as essential, but not the only writing of value. All that we're trying to say here is that this concept comes from a theology of history, which is not Thomist. Therefore, Thomist language and systems won't help in understanding it. One has to use the language and system of those who developed it. Aquinas probably never heard of the idea, for all we know. It certainly does not contradict him.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)


#19

The point in writing all of that was to show that while there are many Doctors in the Church and different Schools of Thought, The School of Thomas is the one the Church has adopted. He is not just one among many but the one the Church has chosen as her own.

Because She has adopted his philosophy and his language- back to the main point of the thread- to use subsist in this way is different and is a break with tradition.

I do not begrudge you for looking at others schools but other schools are more likely to end in error–again listed in the quotes I gave.

also-
John XXII “ He (Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others.”

Many try and set up a dichotomy between Augustine and Thomas yet they don’t really disagree. If you look at he earlier quote you will see even the Augustinians were required to study Thomas It is often said that Thomas systematized Augustine.


#20

Here when you talk about the Church you are talking about the Latin Rite, am I correct?


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