What Pro-Abort Catholics Must Believe

Hattip to Mathew Archbold at Creative Minority Report.  The poster is funny and devastating.  However, I would find it even more humorous if purported Catholic newspapers didn’t publish articles like this,  or if articles like this were not dead on accurate as to the attitudes of radical nuns or if so many pro-aborts, an example is here, didn’t end up in positions of power within agencies associated with the Church.  The pro-life cause would be so much more effective if so many Catholics in this country were not actively supporting the right to kill unborn kids.

47 Responses to What Pro-Abort Catholics Must Believe

  • The solution to pro-abort Catholics is Acts 5:1-11, 1st Timothy 1:19-20, and Revelation 2:20-23. Precedence has been set.

  • This is too much, Mac.

    I had to “can” the Ontario bass fishing trip this year, and now you add to it.

    They ever and always say they are not pro-abortion.

    They ‘say’ they are “pro-Obama/pro-socialist justice.” Some (causes and) effects of pro-Obamanation are untrammeled and unregulated abortion and tax dollars funding abortions and artificial contraception.

    CST/pro-abort Catholics are oh-so charitable with other people’s money they stole, er, confiscated, er, taxed.

    “God gave us memory so we could have roses in December.” From the author of “Peter Pan.

  • Here we run into the problem of God’s kingdom versus worldly political entities. The world runs counter to Christian ethics. Chrisianity can work to influence society. But it cannot be held responsible for a society that resists it.

  • “But it cannot be held responsible for a society that resists it.”

    Individual Christians certainly can be held accountable for helping society resist Christian ethics or doing nothing to help stand up for Christian ethics. I truly pity anyone living in our country today, of at least normal intelligence and health, who has to come before God for the particular judgment and has never lifted a little finger to fight against abortion.

  • Donald, people have different callings. People minister in different ways. One does this. Another does that. The different parts analogy that St. Paul used to describe the church explains that people are gifted in different ways for that reason.

  • But we have to face the fact that we live in a dying nation. We’ve reached our peak and are even now in decline. We face the circumstances that are faced during decline. We try to manage it. Spengler said that the task is one of management. You cannot build. But you can manage what’s coming undone. And it needs management.

  • Quite right pat and the pro-life cause can use all of those different callings: volunteers at crisis pregnancy center, counselors for post abortive women, political volunteers, side walk counselors at abortion clinics, women who say the rosary daily for the unborn, marchers for the unborn, adopting the child of a woman who was thinking of an abortion until this option for her baby came into her life, educating people about the reality of abortion, undercover work at abortion clinics, and the list is endless.

  • “But we have to face the fact that we live in a dying nation. We’ve reached our peak and are even now in decline. We face the circumstances that are faced during decline. We try to manage it. Spengler said that the task is one of management. You cannot build. But you can manage what’s coming undone. And it needs management.”

    Spengler, I assume you are referring to the author of the turgid and unreadable Decline of the West, was an idiot. I made it through his tome and regretted every hour I wasted doing so.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Spengler

    There is nothing inevitable about the fate of a society, anymore than there is about the fate of an individual. Our actions largely determine our fate for most of us.

  • Well, I think we’re in agreement except for the rosary. I believe that that’s rooted in medieval tradition: it stems from the iconography of the rose and the cult of Mary. It developed into a devotional strategy, since beads are universal and helpful for concentrating. I certainly have nothing against using beads. But I have great reservations regarding prayer to Mary or any other deceased saint. I see no warrant for it in Scripture, and I see in fact a potential danger present: prayers to saints beyond the grave could too easily become communication with the dead. Too dangerous.

  • And starting with Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the rest of the USCCB, our Bishops can start piublically kaing an example of pro-abortion pseudo-Catholic politicians like Andy Cuomo, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the rest. Instead, those like Bishop Hubbard eulogizes such people. When he did what he did to support Cuomo, he effectviely sabatoged every effort that Archbishop Dolan tried to make to convince Cuomo not to support gay marriage in NY State. How can what we do have any positive effect when Bishops like Hubbard are still heads of USCCB offices, and not punished for what they have done?

  • I agree that actions determine outcomes. Free-will, decisions, yes….THe problem is that on a national scale it’s harder to turn itself around—that’s dependent upon so many individuals who each need to do their own part. I appreciate Toynbee for his insight into how Christianity can revive an entity. But I don’t see it happening now.

  • Pat in reference to the rosary, are you a Catholic? Veneration of the Blessed Virgin is basic Catholic doctrine. Pope Leo XIII wrote 11 encyclicals on the rosary. Here is a link to one of them:

    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13adiut.htm

    A hallmark of Catholicism has always been the veneration we give to the Queen of Heaven.

  • How would one know to whom or what one is praying? Simply too dangerous. I know that veneration of Mary is endorsed by Rome. I believe that’s been a slow development over the centuries in what is called tradition. I don’t believe it can be supported or squared with the Scriptures.

  • “I appreciate Toynbee for his insight into how Christianity can revive an entity. But I don’t see it happening now.”

    Toynbee had some useful insights, I think I can safely say that after reading all 12 volumes of his Study of History, but his look at civilizations around the globe was an ultimately ill-fated attempt to derive universal laws of civilization from the experience of Western civilization. His idea of Universal Churches supplying a bridge between civilizations, Greece and Rome to the modern West, is intriguing but is not either universal in application or predictive for the future.

    How societies develop is largely a function of the decisions made by the men and women who inhabit them. One individual can have an enormous impact, for good or ill. Nothing is written in a book of fate until we write it.

  • Even high Anglicans and Anglo-Catholics do it. I would never. The pattern throughout Scripture is dialogue between God and His people (and among His people of course). But we don’t find peopel communicating across earthly barriers unless it’s with the triune God who stands over and above creation. Never does one communicate across those barriers to another aspect of creation.

  • My knowledge of Toynbee is very limited. But it sounds very believable. Most works written on that level betray a Western perspective, no matter how epic or groundbreaking or unusually objective they may appear at first glance.

  • “I believe that’s been a slow development over the centuries in what is called tradition.”

    You are incorrect in that assumption. The veneration of Mary dates from the earliest days of the Church.

    “The first thing which kindles ardor in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose?”

    Saint Ambrose 377 AD

  • “Never does one communicate across those barriers to another aspect of creation.”

    Fatima and other Church approved examples of Marian appartions would indicate otherwise. Do you say the Hail Mary pat? I ask that not to slam you, but if you are a Catholic, I would think that many of the basic aspects of the Faith would cause you to feel uncomfortable, considering your views regarding the Mother of God.

  • Yes, but such things didn’t crystallize into dogma until very much later. Augustine and Ambrose, obviously, and other Patristics spoke of her int hese terms. More often than not, though, I believe they were trying to make some broader theological point. As far as prayer to and veneration of her, I think the cult of Mary came later. The associations surrounding Mary build with time.

  • Pat,

    Please read:

    Praying to the Saints at Catholic Answers
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp

    “Mary, Saints, Worship, and Salvation: Do Catholics Worship Mary?” at Steve Ray’s “Defender’s of the Catholic Faith”
    http://www.catholic-convert.com/documents/MaryAndWorship.doc

  • As for Fatima, Garabandal, etc., I don’t believe those experiences were correctly understood. I fear that people were either mistaken or misled in those matters. Again, it comes down to whether you accept tradition wholesale or whether you weigh it against Scripture to see whether it accords.

  • I think that within the biblical narrative, Mary is a background figure, as is Joseph and other relatives. They occasionally come into prominence at certain points throughout the story. Then they recede into the background once again. We find no mention of these poeple in the epistles. The focus is on the prime players, apostles, etc.

  • What’s key here is that God revealed himself fully in Christ. The Holy Spirit was sent forth at Pentecost. The church is alive in teh world. And we learn in teh N.T. who the key players were, and who some of the helpers were, too. Mary is never again mentioned. Nor Joseph. Nor any of Jesus’ other earthly relativesw. So we have a Triune God and we have His Church. We have the Holy Spirit in the world. That’s the picture we get.

  • In regard to the Blessed Virgin pat, Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, gives a good overview of the intense veneration that the Church has always had for her:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_11101954_ad-caeli-reginam_en.html

    “Since we are convinced, after long and serious reflection, that great good will accrue to the Church if this solidly established truth shines forth more clearly to all, like a luminous lamp raised aloft, by Our Apostolic authority We decree and establish the feast of Mary’s Queenship, which is to be celebrated every year in the whole world on the 31st of May. We likewise ordain that on the same day the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary be renewed, cherishing the hope that through such consecration a new era may begin, joyous in Christian peace and in the triumph of religion.”

    Veneration of Mary and Catholicism are inextricably linked.

  • Yes, it’s a pronouncement. I stand in disagreement with it. Mary became an idea. She has a history. There’s a devotion, a cult, an understanding attached to her that’s not Scripturally derived. I just don’t know what to say. I simply can’t believe it in good conscience.

  • In the O.T. certain pagans baked cakes devoted to “the Queen of Heaven.” So what I can say is that it’s a pagan category. It’s not a Christian one. We learn from Scripture that God / Jesus Christ is King. We don’t find that Mary is Queen. That label is never attached to her. It’s jsut not a Christian concept. It came later. It was an idea that caught on for various reasons. But it’s not scripturally derived. It’s origin lies in tradition.

  • Patristic writers wrote in terms of analogy and utilized typology. So you find comparisons between the Old and the New. Sometimes that arises with regard to Eve and Mary. I think this morphed into something else later on. What you eventually find is a devotional stance toward Mary that probably wasn’t anticipated but that’s anachronistically thought about.

  • “We find no mention of these people in the epistles.”

    Actually Mary is mentioned in Galatians 4:4. She is of course also mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Book of Revelation. Saint Iraneus, a disciple of Saint Polycarp, who was a disciple of Saint John, to whom Christ from the Cross committed the care of His mother, says of Mary:

    “The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.

    As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.

    Christ gathered all things into one, by gathering them into himself. He declared war against our enemy, crushed him who at the beginning had taken us captive in Adam, and trampled on his head, in accordance with God’s words to the serpent in Genesis: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall lie in wait for your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.

    The one lying in wait for the serpent’s head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin. This is the seed spoken of by Paul in the letter to the Galatians: The law of works was in force until the seed should come to whom the- promise was made.

    He shows this even more clearly in the same letter when he says: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. The enemy would not have been defeated fairly if his vanquisher had not been born of a woman, because it was through a woman that he had gained mastery over man in the beginning, and set himself up as man’s adversary.”

  • All that sounds agreeable enough. But I’m not sure how it establishes veneration of Mary or lays the groundwork for the Marian cult. I just don’t see it. Through Mary came Christ who brought us victory. Yes, that’s extraordinary. I just fail to see how that results in veneration, devotion, and cultic practice surrounding her.

  • Surely there was the comjparison made by St. Paul between Adam and Christ. THere is Jerusalem below in bondage and that which is above who is our Mother–she’s free. And many other similar analogies drawn. Typology is always big in certain circles. The ante-types and types are good as far as they go. The mistake we sometimes make is to dogmatize them. Instead, we should appreciate the insights they afford us and move on.

  • Typology and analogy in reference to Mary pat do not get to the core of Catholic devotion to Mary. As Christ loved His mother, so do we. Imagine the privilege granted to her to be the Mother of God. Someone so honored by God is entitled to every ounce of veneration we humans can muster.

  • This link on whether Fatima is mandatory for Catholics by a Carmelite teacher at Loyola might be helpful for Donald and Pat:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1165&CFID=83622431&CFTOKEN=61046702

  • I think the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption,the Rosary, etc. are based in Theological Truth and have been ratified by Infallible Teachings of the Popes.

    The Assumption s one of the Glorious Mysteries of our redemption in the Rosary.

  • Pat,

    Please watch this 11 minute video:

    The Truth About Mary and Scripture: MUST SEE!

  • Be careful of making the rosary mandatory as though it had the status if the IC and Assumption.
    Here from the link above:

    Very instructive in this regard is the advice of Pope Paul VI in his greatest Marian letter (February 2, 1974, Marialis Cultus, on the promotion of devotion to Mary). The letter explains the strong place of our Lady in the revised liturgy and then has a further section on the Rosary and the Angelus. We recall the role of the Rosary at Lourdes, LaSalette and Fatima. At the end of his warm pages about the Rosary Pope Paul wrote — it is surely applicable also to Fatima and other apparitions, that they must not be used to restrict the legitimate freedom of loyal sons and daughters of the Church: “In concluding these observations, which give proof of the concern and esteem which the Apostolic See has for the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, we desire at the same time that this very worthy devotion should not be propagated in a way that is too one-sided or exclusive. The Rosary is an excellent prayer, but the faithful should feel serenely free in its regard. They should be drawn to its calm recitation by its intrinsic appeal”

    In short there may be people who do not acclimate to the repetitive nature of the rosary and are more given like perhaps Pat to talking to God. James Joyce, I think in “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” sees Mary as more approachable for some humans.

  • No one is required to pray the Rosary, but I truly feel pity for those who do not:

    “II. DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN

    971 “All generations will call me blessed”: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.”515 The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.”516 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.517 “

  • Pope Benedict on the Rosary:

    “Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    At the conclusion of this moment of Marian prayer, I would like to address my cordial greeting to all of you and thank you for your participation. In particular I greet Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Archpriest of this stupendous Basilica of St Mary Major. In Rome this is the Marian temple par excellence, in which the people of the City venerate the icon of Mary Salus Populi Romani with great affection. I gladly welcomed the invitation addressed to me to lead the Holy Rosary on the First Saturday of the month of May, according to the beautiful tradition that I have had since my childhood. In fact, in my generation’s experience, the evenings of May evoke sweet memories linked to the vespertine gatherings to honour the Blessed Mother. Indeed, how is it possible to forget praying the Rosary in the parish or rather in the courtyards of the houses and in the country lanes?

    Today, together we confirm that the Holy Rosary is not a pious practice banished to the past, like prayers of other times thought of with nostalgia. Instead, the Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime. Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. In the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said. When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ’s mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can “water” society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each “Hail Mary”.

    Dear brothers and sisters, let us thank God who has allowed us to live such a beautiful hour this evening, and in the following evenings of this Marian month, even if we will be far away, each in their own family and community, may we, just the same, feel close and united in prayer. Especially in these days that prepare us for the Solemnity of Pentecost, let us remain united with Mary, invoking for the Church a renewed effusion of the Holy Spirit. As at the origins, Mary Most Holy helps the faithful of every Christian community to form one heart and soul. I entrust to you the most urgent intentions of my ministry, the needs of the Church, the grave problems of humanity: peace in the world, unity among Christians, dialogue between all cultures. And thinking of Rome and Italy, I invite you to pray for the pastoral goals of the Diocese, and for the united development of this beloved Country. To the new Mayor of Rome, Honourable Gianni Alemanno, who I see present here, I address the wish of a fruitful service for the good of the city’s entire community. To all of you gathered here and to those who are linked to us by radio and television, in particular the sick and the infirm, I gladly impart the Apostolic Blessing.”

  • The Gospels commend Mary for her faithful obedience. The patristic writings reflect a typological approach: as St. Paul drew the comparison between the first and second Adams, the two Jerusalems, and several other things, so patristic writers often compared Eve with Mary. This became a link in the development toward a Marian theology. But Marian veneration and devotion cannot be supported by Scriptural references. That would merely result in prooftexting.

    Veneration of Mary, and Marian devotion, would serve to detract from the worship of and reliance upon the God who manifests as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. After Jesus ascended and the time of Pentecost arrived, the Comforter was sent; that was the arrangement.

  • The prophecy to Eve was fulfilled when Christ came (who crushes the serpent under our feet). The woman of Revelation who flees to the desert for protection is emblamatic of the people of God. The woman with stars surrounding her head and the moon under her feet is once again the church. We learn that the church is the bride of Christ. But to see Mary in that symbolism just doesn’t make sense. It’s anticlimactic.

    St. Paul speaks of the Jerusalem which is above, which is free and is our mother. Zion gives birth. The saints are registered in heaven. It’s the great assembly of God. Paul contrasts this with earthly Jerusalem who is in bondage. The focus is spiritual now.

  • And that’s key. We learn in one of the epistles that “God will soon crush Satan under our feet.” Whose feet? The people to whom the epistle was addressed. Who was that? The church. He’s crushed under the feet of the saints. So the woman who stands upon the serpent and crushes him is God’s people, the church (and this happens of course because of the victory of Christ and not because of anything the people have done in and of themselves). Yes, God became incarnate through the virgin Mary, but that’s to go backwards in time.

  • Pat,

    Your arguments against veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints are not consistent with what the early Church Fathers taught. Please see:

    The Intercession of the Saints
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Intercession_of_the_Saints.asp

    No offense intended, but you seem to use Scripture as a Protestant would, placing your own interpretation on it outside of what 2000 years of Sacred Tradition and the teaching of Magisterium of the Church have to say.

    2nd Peter 1:20-21 says that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private interpretation. In other words, your personal opinion and certainly mine also (and especially), outside of what Holy Mother Church has to say, is invalid.

    St. Paul writes in 2nd Thessalonians 2:15 that we are to hold onto the Traditions taught by the Apostles (and obviously their successors, though he didn’t explicity state that). It is that Tradition which helps to guide us in reading and studying Scripture. Doing so from the standpoint of Sola Scriptura is erroneous. Indeed, the Church determined by the power of the Holy Spirit what would be in the Canon of Holy Scripture and what wouldn’t be, so why when it comes to the veneration of the Saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary do we say She erred, but not in the case of the determination of what would be in the Canon of Sacred Scripture?

    Consistent with this, St. Paul also states in 1st Timothy 3:15 that it is the Church which is the pillar and foundation (or bulwark) of truth, whereas most Protestants would ascribe that to their own private interpretation of Scripture.

    We can see from this then that we have a stool whose legs are Scripture, Tradition and Church that reveal to us what is Truth. Take any of those legs away (as Martin Luther and John Calvin did), and the edifice falls over. Your comments essentially take away two of those legs when it comes to a 2000 year old pious Christian practice (praying to the Saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary) while ignoring the requirements of the third regarding the former two.

    The bottom line is that veneration of the Saints and Mary (NOT worship) has been an authentic Christian practice since earliest times, certain well before the Middle Ages. You will see that from the text on the web page to which I provide the link above. Again, no offense intended – I am just trying to explain a difficult subject and the right words sometimes fail me.

  • Thanks for the explanation. It was probably the best and most thorough that one could offer. Yes, tradition is a leg, but only one leg, and not the central, supporting one. All else must square with Scripture, not a private interpretaiton of it, but an interpretation that’s orthodox—accepted widely and passed down as correct. So we have a triune God, the resurrection, baptism, the Eurcharist, etc. We have a general orthodoxy. But when traditions arrive that don’t square with the orthodoxy or when they represent something radically novel so as to alter the original sense, they do not have to be accepted. The perpetual virginity of Mary cannot be proven by Scripture. Her bodily assumption cannot be proven by Scripture. An absense of sin cannot be proven and would in fact call for a different sense of orthodoxy regarding original / actual sin. These are all additional traditions that represent a radically new vision of Mary. Prayer, devotion, and veneration of Mary are bound up with that new vision, a profound departure from the earlier sense. It was a very gradual development, so it’s not that recognizable.

  • The Church made Scripture pat, not the other way around. The New Testament is a creation of the Church founded by Christ, it does not create the Church. Any interpretation of Scripture at odds with the teaching of the Church is an erroneous one. Scripture for Catholics derives its authority from the Church. The Church derives her authority from Christ and not from Scripture.

    “II. INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

    105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”69

    “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.”70

    106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.”71

    107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”72

    108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living”.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures.”74

    III. THE HOLY SPIRIT, INTERPRETER OF SCRIPTURE

    109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.75

    110 In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. “For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.”76

    111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. “Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.”77

    The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78

    112 1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79

    The phrase “heart of Christ” can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80

    113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”81).”

  • I’ve believed all of that. On Truth and Inspiration of Scripture, and on the Holy Spirit as Interpreter, sounds correct. But regarding 113, cannot the church err? Cannot the church miss the Spirit’s interpretation of the living Word? These things happen all the time. That’s why I believe traditions must be checked to see whether they accord with Scripture (an enlightened understanding of it by way of the Spirit of God).

  • The New Testament developed within the church. But whatever comes after it must accord with it to be accepted. And it can never be equal in status to the canon that reached its close.

  • Veneration and worship are different.

    113 2. from the 5:52 post:
    It Is perfect to help you get the mentality or ideas (of cult/ worship, the church ‘erring’) together with the heart and by the grace of the Holy Spirit to understand veneration.

    … Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart … her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, …

    113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”81).”

  • Patty, while that’s in some sense true, I think we have to understand what that means. The church = the people of God. We read the Scripture guided by the Holy Spirit who interprets spiritual truth for us. So there is a collective voice or understanding. However, the people of God stand amidst others in this life — the parable of the wheat and tares gets something like that across. So to locate the collective understanding in “the heart of the church” is no easy task. We need to acquire patterns of discernment. So it is with our understanding of biblical characters. In the book of Hebrews we find a list of people who have often been termed heroes of the faith. They were all commmended. And that, I believe, is the category to which Mary belongs. Like Abraham, Noah, Moses, Rahab, etc., she believed and acted obediently as a result. A pattern of discernment would also recognize that that list is ongoing: Christians who live and die around the world today for their faith, not shrinking back but accepting trials, tribulations, and persecution couragously find their place in that “heroe’s hall of fame”. David Livingstone, Coorie Ten Boom, Cassie Bernall, and so on, all died in faith having lived obediently regardless of the cost. There is no rank here. There is no saintly hierarchy. They were each faithful to what they were assigned, and they each receive that commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

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