This must be heresy!


#1

A Catholic neighbor of mine (who was my sponsor for RCIA 2006) attended some conference at the most liberal ‘Catholic’ University in Canada - St. Paul University. The lecturer was comentating on the Multiplication of the Loaves in the Gospels, and said that one of the possible interpretations of that miracle, was that everyone had loaves on them and shared out of their love for each other. He told me that a Catholic priest said “sounds like heresy to me!” to which he was offended. He thinks this is a reasonable interpretation, but I believe (and I think the Church does too if I’m not mistaken) that it’s complete nonsense. I am a new Catholic, so some good info on this to refute it would be helpful! Pax Christi.


#2

This is based upon the false notion that Jesus didn’t really perform a miracle by multiplying the loaves and fish. Instead, he simply taught people to share.

Here’s an article that debunks this nonsense:

catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9604fea1.asp

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


#3

Thanks bro. Pax Caritas :thumbsup:


#4

If anyone has anything else…don’t be shy! Lots of ammo on this one will be necessary!


#5

Nothing more to say.

Someone who can create something out of nothing can certainly create bread from bread. To deny that Jesus multiplied the loaves is to question His divinity.


#6

The last time the gospel reading for Sunday mass included the loaves and fishes story, the priest told us that he wouldn’t say which we should believe - whether the food was created out of nothing or whether Jesus simply talked everyone into sharing with each other.

I was shocked, but apparently this nonsense is more widespread than we may think. This was at a church I was visiting in Iowa, USA.


#7

Well, it came from St. Paul’s, so it must be…no…bad Spirithound…that’s uncharitable…
So, to synthesize what was written the the article linked previously, to assert that the miracle of the fish and loaves is a “miracle of sharing” is really to insert a discordant note into the Gospels. None of the other miracles of Jesus are explainable by nature, and so this one would stand out as the only example. Also, the Gospels themselves do not offer this interpretation. I’m not speaking just of the words of the accounts of the events themselves, but the writers would have missed a really good chance to explicitly give a lesson in sharing. Not to mention they would have successfully deceived hundreds of millions of Christians over the years.
Also, this interpretation assumes that Jesus’s followers were unfriendly enough not to share their food.
I think the strongest argument against this though, is that these events are precursors to the Eucharist, and we don’t give ourselves the Eucharist, Jesus gives Himself to us.


#8

[quote=Spirithound]Well, it came from St. Paul’s, so it must be…no…bad Spirithound…that’s uncharitable…
[/quote]

Do you believe that the teaching at St Pauls respects the teaching of the Church consistently?

:hmmm:

[quote=Spirithound]I think the strongest argument against this though, is that these events are precursors to the Eucharist, and we don’t give ourselves the Eucharist, Jesus gives Himself to us.
[/quote]

Very insightful.


#9

Quite honestly, I haven’t taken any courses there myself, however a friend of mine, good Catholic, did take a social justice course of some sort, and she and our youth co-ordinator both said that heresy was being taught in that course. Also, that university has a bit of a reputation in Catholic circles.
If you want a Catholic university in Ottawa, go to Dominican University College.


#10

[quote=Spirithound]Quite honestly, I haven’t taken any courses there myself, however a friend of mine, good Catholic, did take a social justice course of some sort, and she and our youth co-ordinator both said that heresy was being taught in that course.
[/quote]

I try not to think about it very much. It has twisted some very fine minds.

[quote=Spirithound]Also, that university has a bit of a reputation in Catholic circles.
[/quote]

It does. I wrote the Archbishop about a lot of things. One thing was that I thought we needed a Canadian counterpart to the American Cardinal Newman Society.

[quote=Spirithound]If you want a Catholic university in Ottawa, go to Dominican University College.
[/quote]

Thanks for this. Anything in Toronto? St Michaels College and Regis are a bit iffy too.


#11

Rubbish!! … in a rush, sorry!


#12

What does the Cardinal Newman Society do?
Alas, but I am not familiar with Toronto schools…I shall have to consult The Network on this :wink:


#13

[quote=Spirithound]What does the Cardinal Newman Society do?
[/quote]

Its a watchdog organization which monitors adherence to Ex Corde Ecclesiae in the Catholic colleges. It seems to have disappeared from the internet.

[quote=Spirithound]Alas, but I am not familiar with Toronto schools…I shall have to consult The Network on this :wink:
[/quote]

Thank you


#14

People who would deny Jesus Christ his miracles must ,if they are consistent ,also doubt the Incarnation and Resurrection.
If a miracle of Jesus is not believable as such,what does that say about the Resurrection,which is something more than a miracle? On the other hand, if someone believes in the Resurrection as such,why should he doubt a miracle, which is something less than the Resurrection? If a priest disbelieves a miracle of Jesus,why is he
a priest,the celebrant of the Resurrection,the miracle of miracles?


#15

I suppose the miracle of the Wedding of Cana can also be explained away similarly - the guests had actually brought their own supplies of wine and waited until the end to bring it out or something? :rolleyes:


#16

God bless that priest who spoke up!

Here is a good article from This Rock on this trendy heresy:

catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9604fea1.asp

Likewise, the First Vatican Council had this to say:

  1. Nevertheless, in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God’s will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all.

  2. Hence Moses and the prophets, and especially Christ our lord himself, worked many absolutely clear miracles and delivered prophecies; while of the apostles we read: And they went forth and preached every, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it [18]. Again it is written: We have the prophetic word made more sure; you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place [19].

  3. If anyone says that all miracles are impossible, and that therefore all reports of them, even those contained in Sacred Scripture, are to be set aside as fables or myths; or that miracles can never be known with certainty, nor can the divine origin of the Christian religion be proved from them: let him be anathema.


#17

Yes, that is a perfectly good interpretation - the Church has only made doctrinal statements on what must be believed about specific passages in a very few instances and this is not one of them. There is also no objective way to prove what happened so your faith can lead you to believe that this was some kind of miracle - but it doesn’t have to.

He told me that a Catholic priest said “sounds like heresy to me!” to which he was offended.

He should be - that is a baseless and untenable charge.

He thinks this is a reasonable interpretation,

Yes it is.

but I believe (and I think the Church does too if I’m not mistaken) that it’s complete nonsense.

Yes, you are mistaken. The church is quite accepting of that interpretation and saying that it is not is complete nonsense.

Actually, the miracle stories tell you* very little* about Jesus except that the storytellers believed him to be a typical Jewish holy man. There are many documented examples of Jewish holy men of the same period who performed the same types of miracles. We tend to only hear about Jesus but that narrow approach makes us attach way too much importance and uniqueness to something which really wasn’t all that unusual.


#18

Patg-

I want to be sure that I understand you correctly.

Are you saying that it is possible to read the account of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes and interpret that event NOT as a supernatural miracle performed by Jesus but merely as an example of how we are called to share what we have with one another?

Again, the bread and the fish were NOT actually multiplied by Jesus but were there all along and people simply decided to be nice to one another?

Is this your personal belief?


#19

I’m sorry. Nowhere in John’s Gospel did it say that the wedding was BYOB!!! :slight_smile:


#20

Yes, that is both possible and permissable. There is no “Doctrine of the Loaves and Fishes” in the official Church teachings which we all must believe. Again, there are very few scripture passages for which the Church requires literal belief.

For example, you don’t have to believe that the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke are what actually happened either - I certainly don’t and many Catholic scripture scholars don’t either.

Again, the bread and the fish were NOT actually multiplied by Jesus but were there all along and people simply decided to be nice to one another?
Is this your personal belief?

I believe they ended up with a lot more food than they thought they had and that the story, as it was told and retold and eventually recorded, became one in which Jesus performed a miracle. There is no way to know what really happened or even if this was an event which actually happened (the Church does not require one to believe that this was a literal historical event either). The bottom line is that the gospels are portraying Jesus as a Jewish holy man by having him perform miracles which were expected of Jewish holy men.


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