[quote=Delgadoajj]A millennium (or more) before the Protestant Reformation, St. Augustine wrote:
"In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present episcopate.
"And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
“Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should … With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me… No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion… For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”
— St. Augustine (AD 354–430) Against the Epistle of Manichaeus AD 397
How can there be any “Protestantism” in light of examples like that above???
Because they are all of the past, not of the present - and, more seriously, they are all considerations which might tempt the Church to boast of her self, her glory and splendour - when she should boast only of Christ, and Him Crucified. They are not evangelical considerations, but worldly, pride-inducing considerations There is nothing, nothing whatever, in the Church, that she does not owe wholly to the grace of God; but by boasting of what she has received, she as good as lays hold of them as though they were not something she owed to God, but something she had gained by her own exertions.
I’m not suggesting that St. Augustine - who is after all the “Doctor of Grace” - was being prideful; I do think that th is passage is sometimes quioted thoughtlessly, as though the Church could somehow boast of what God has graciously bestowed on her. Possibly, since this was before St.Augustine had had to vindicate the grace of God in his debate with Pelagius, he had not realised how far-reaching the grace of God is. ##
It’s time for the failed experiment of the Reformation to come back full circle to its home in the Catholic Church and cease to be called “Reformation” and “Protestantism”.
That is my prayer. :bowdown2:
For a start, it assumes the unquestionable validity of the fifth-century Catholic Church - Marcionites, Donatists, and Montanists (among others) would not have been persuaded; all three still existed in 397.
Catholics seem not to understand the Reformation, or understand Protestantism - therefore, they frequently express unrealistic hopes or make irrelevant criticisms - “Protestant” has two meanings, not just one; for “protestari” means, in the historical setting in which the word came into use as a party label:
- Protesting against allowing only Catholic rites, after the Council of Speyer in 1529, which reversed that of 1526, which had been more favourable to the new preaching:
As the Reformation spread piecemeal throughout Germany, a larger issue loomed; namely, the conflict between Lutheran princes and the Catholic emperor. Luther himself did not want a separate religion, but a thorough-going reform of the one true church. The German princes who were sympathetic…likewise wanted a reform of the Church, but they looked to their emperor to provide it.
The emperor, however, wanted none of it. He was a faithful Catholic who believed that kings had no place in matters of theology. When he called an imperial diet at Speyer in 1529, he specifically forbade any mention of religion or of Luther.
Some objected strongly to this position. They knew the emperor needed money and men, and they saw this diet as their best chance to bring their demands for religious reform out into the open. This was precisely what Charles did not want, and he rejected every plea along those lines.
Fourteen of the German lords refused to attend the Diet of Speyer. They sent a letter to the emperor protesting his decision and detailing their concerns. These lords became stamped by their signing this letter of protest. It is ironic that the term Protestant derives from some political maneuvering in the German Empire…
- Bearing witness to the distinctive insights of “protestant” Christianity; notably, its understanding of God’s grace.
Protestantism, it has been said, represents the conquest of St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Church by His doctrine of grace. ##