One Response to Catholic-Orthodox Reunion Baby Steps

  • This is great! The first step is the hardest. While this is a baby step it is a big deal in the unification process between Catholics and our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ.

Some 500 Years Ago Like An Abduction In the Night, The Virgin Mary Was Taken From Many Christians

Wednesday, December 9, AD 2009

For many Christians today, the thought that the leaders of the Protestant Reformation believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary or her bodily Assumption into heaven would seem ludicrous, even more bewildering would be the devotions many of the Reformation’s leaders had for the Blessed Mother. Believe or not it, they did. In this month of December when Catholics celebrate three feast day’s commemorating the Mother of our Lord, perhaps it is time to remind our separated brethren of the truths their founder’s believed.

Sometime ago when I was writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward  Catholicism,  I showed a friend of mine, who is an Evangelical, a homily about the Virgin Mary delivered in the 1500s. I asked him who gave that homily, “probably some pope,” he exclaimed. No, I said it was Martin Luther. He replied, “Dave I trust in almost everything you say, but I am going to have to call you out on this one. I mean isn’t that what the Reformation was all about, ending superstitions like those about Mary?” His mouth dropped when I showed him the passages. I am sure many of today’s Evangelicals, especially of the Calvinist lineage, would have the same reaction.

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84 Responses to Some 500 Years Ago Like An Abduction In the Night, The Virgin Mary Was Taken From Many Christians

  • “The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
    And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
    And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
    And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
    And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,”

  • Mr. Hartline,

    Can you provide us with some specific examples of Reformation leaders revering the Blessed Virgin Mary?

  • Aegis, go to the link below in regard to Martin Luther and Mary.

    http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/martin_luther_on_mary.htm

  • Aegis, I have supplied two links to my article. I hope it helps. Take care!

  • Even more amazing, Christians of that age needed no papal declaration for these aspects of the Blessed Mother.

    As for the vehemence against Rome, yes, it is true that leaders and people chose to distance themselves from Roman practices. It’s not so different today: many Catholic conservatives are deeply distrustful of anything that looks like Protestantism or Anglicanism or even Eastern Orthodoxy. Indeed, being called a Protestant is, in some places, a worse epithet than being called a devil. In a way, it’s amazing some Catholics have stilled adhered to the Lord’s Prayer.

  • “Indeed, being called a Protestant is, in some places, a worse epithet than being called a devil. In a way, it’s amazing some Catholics have stilled adhered to the Lord’s Prayer.”

    Todd, where do you find the energy to construct so many straw men?

  • Todd, an absolutely fascinating post. At first I thought one of the fundamentalists who sometimes peppered my site with derogatory comments had returned. Ironically, you said more about self loathing Catholics in one paragraph than others might take several pages to say. Your site seems to emphasise Ecumenism over all things. Yet, for some unknown reason you take a pot shot at one of the bedrock teachings of your own Church, the Chair of Peter. In that Ecumenical spirit which you mention on your site, I will refer to Dr Charles Stanley’s comment; “what else don’t you believe?”

  • The main take-home point of the Reformation is that there is no longer any source of “infallibility” outside of Scripture. Neither Roman tradition nor the views of the Reformers could be held as infallible. Luther was wrong on many points, Calvin too.

    Modern day Protestants have inherited the concept of sola scriptura more than they’ve remained faithful to the beliefs of the Reformers. Scripture does not demand the veneration of Mary. There is no evidence that the early church as a whole held to the immaculate conception and assumption. These were made dogma fairly recently: immaculate conception (1854); assumption (1950).

  • Todd, are you channeling the founding Protestants in making up stuff?

  • Dennis, the Assumption was celebrated and widely believed in the Early Church long before the Canon of the Bible was finalized by the Church Councils and Pope Damasus in 382 AD.

  • It appears one can present many references to Mary, Mother of Our Lord, and her veneration, yet it continues to amaze me of those who try to diminish her role throughout the Bible and the tenent of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.

  • Thanks again, Dave, for placing before us bits of history that have been forgotten or deliberately obscured. The purported Reformation was a cultural and historical disaster, with evil men culling out a rump faith without devotions, the saints, the Blessed Mother, or Christmas. What an inadequate legacy to leave to the good, loving sincere Protestants of today who have never been told the truths.

  • Jesus loved his mother and so should we.

  • Dennis –

    You are overlooking the evidence of Marian devotion inherent in the Bible.

    Who is it that told us that the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary as Kecharitomene (full of grace)? Luke. Luke was not one of the original 12 disciples – so from whom did Luke learn that Mary was full of grace? Luke is the author of Acts, and we learn in Acts that he was a student of Paul’s, and traveled with Paul. So, it was Paul who taught Luke this teaching. Now, Paul was not one of the original 12 disciples either. So from whom did Paul learn this? Well, we learn in certain later readings of the New Testament that Paul was taught by the early disciples and by Christ himself.

    It is only logical that when we become baptized, and through baptism become members of Christ’s body, we inherit the parents of Christ. Who were Christ’s parents? Mary and God. Therefore, through baptism, our own parents are Mary and God. This is why we call everyone brother and sister – we are all part of one body and all sharing the same parents.

    For proof of this, Paul goes on in Galatians 4:31 to tell us that we are (through baptism) “children not of the slave woman but of the free born woman. Here he is referencing the slave woman as a woman born into sin, whereas the free born woman is one who was not born in submission to sin and later freed, but one who was free from birth which would only be possible if she were cleansed of original sin prior to her birth.

  • I’m not defending Todd here, but I personally am upset when I see many parishes being “protestantized” in architecture and practice.

  • This brings to mind something I believe Mother Teresa said: I wan’t to love Mary like Jesus does and to love Jesus like Mary does…

    How much more of a connection between two people can you get? It is only with a blind eye that people will neglect that true love….

  • I’ll have to dissent from Dennis’ point: without dogmatic declaration, Eastern Christians have venerated Mary through the Immaculate Conception and the Dormition (Assumption) for centuries–to this day.

    I’m also a doubter on the original line of thinking here. Doctrines or venerations of the Virgin were not foremost in the minds of people of the Reformation period. As is true today, Mary was used as a tool on both sides, either a badge of orthodoxy or a point of differentiation.

    The Reformation is far more complex than just an expression against the veneration of Mary or any of the other saints.

    It was in fact the excesses of the Chair of Peter that put Europe to the tipping point. Not only did Martin Luther continue to venerate Mary to his death, but he continued to see himself as a loyal Christian. Human pride, being what it is, hardened the hearts of people on both sides. The Blessed Mother, like many of those living in the 16th and 17th century, were just innocent bystanders in tussles over greed, scandal, tribalism, privilege, power, and whatnot. A unified Christianity may well have been able to bring all of Asia to Christ in the 1600’s, had it not been for the wasted energies fighting Christian wars.

    There’s a lot to lament in the Reformation, but let’s acknowledge a dollop of blame falls to Rome. Far from beinga pot shot, that’s simple acknowledgement of fault.

  • As much as I thought Todd’s earlier comment was unfairly cartoonish, I have to say I think his last post was spot on. Plenty of blame to go around for the Reformation.

  • Someone mentioned that Jesus loved Mary and so should we. Does Jesus love her more than the next guy? Second, i never met Mary, so how can i love her. Jesus loved his disciples, should i adore them.? Mary is just another personality in the bible. The bible is about Jesus, from fron to back. Some weird religion has made Mary a central figure, even a queen in heaven. That was done to keep peoples eyes off Jesus. Now lets see…HUMMMMM..whos job is it to keep us from Jesus? Could it be….SATAN? The devils pet religion is doing a bang up job.

  • “The devils pet religion is doing a bang up job.”

    I applaud you Wayne. It is almost refreshing to see that ignorant, unashamed anti-Catholic bigotry is still alive and well.

  • Wayne, in addition to the documents written and collected by members of the Catholic Church and known as the New Testament, you might wish to consider the comments of these men who lived a few centuries after Christ regarding Mary. I assume their names will be unfamiliar to you, but a little time using google and you will learn all about them.

    Irenaeus

    “The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God” (Against Heresies, 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).

    Hippolytus

    “[T]o all generations they [the prophets] have pictured forth the grandest subjects for contemplation and for action. Thus, too, they preached of the advent of God in the flesh to the world, his advent by the spotless and God-bearing (theotokos) Mary in the way of birth and growth, and the manner of his life and conversation with men, and his manifestation by baptism, and the new birth that was to be to all men, and the regeneration by the laver [of baptism]” (Discourse on the End of the World 1 [A.D. 217]).

    Gregory the Wonderworker

    “For Luke, in the inspired Gospel narratives, delivers a testimony not to Joseph only, but also to Mary, the Mother of God, and gives this account with reference to the very family and house of David” (Four Homilies 1 [A.D. 262]).

    “It is our duty to present to God, like sacrifices, all the festivals and hymnal celebrations; and first of all, [the feast of] the Annunciation to the holy Mother of God, to wit, the salutation made to her by the angel, ‘Hail, full of grace!’” (ibid., 2).

    Peter of Alexandria

    “They came to the church of the most blessed Mother of God, and ever-virgin Mary, which, as we began to say, he had constructed in the western quarter, in a suburb, for a cemetery of the martyrs” (The Genuine Acts of Peter of Alexandria [A.D. 305]).

    “We acknowledge the resurrection of the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstling; he bore a body not in appearance but in truth derived from Mary the Mother of God” (Letter to All Non-Egyptian Bishops 12 [A.D. 324]).

    Methodius

    “While the old man [Simeon] was thus exultant, and rejoicing with exceeding great and holy joy, that which had before been spoken of in a figure by the prophet Isaiah, the holy Mother of God now manifestly fulfilled” (Oration on Simeon and Anna 7 [A.D. 305]).

    “Hail to you forever, you virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for unto you do I again return. . . . Hail, you fount of the Son’s love for man. . . . Wherefore, we pray you, the most excellent among women, who boast in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate your memory, which will ever live, and never fade away” (ibid., 14).

    Cyril of Jerusalem

    “The Father bears witness from heaven to his Son. The Holy Spirit bears witness, coming down bodily in the form of a dove. The archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing the good tidings to Mary. The Virgin Mother of God bears witness” (Catechetical Lectures 10:19 [A.D. 350]).

    Ephraim the Syrian

    “Though still a virgin she carried a child in her womb, and the handmaid and work of his wisdom became the Mother of God” (Songs of Praise 1:20 [A.D. 351]).

    Athanasius

    “The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God” (The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 [A.D. 365]).

    Epiphanius of Salamis

    “Being perfect at the side of the Father and incarnate among us, not in appearance but in truth, he [the Son] reshaped man to perfection in himself from Mary the Mother of God through the Holy Spirit” (The Man Well-Anchored 75 [A.D. 374]).

    Ambrose of Milan

    “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?” (The Virgins 2:2[7] [A.D. 377]).

    Gregory of Nazianz

    “If anyone does not agree that holy Mary is Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead” (Letter to Cledonius the Priest 101 [A.D. 382]).

    Jerome

    “As to how a virgin became the Mother of God, he [Rufinus] has full knowledge; as to how he himself was born, he knows nothing” (Against Rufinus 2:10 [A.D. 401]).

    “Do not marvel at the novelty of the thing, if a Virgin gives birth to God” (Commentaries on Isaiah 3:7:15 [A.D. 409]).

    Theodore of Mopsuestia

    “When, therefore, they ask, ‘Is Mary mother of man or Mother of God?’ we answer, ‘Both!’ The one by the very nature of what was done and the other by relation” (The Incarnation 15 [A.D. 405]).

    Cyril of Alexandria

    “I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the holy Virgin who bore him not be the Mother of God?” (Letter to the Monks of Egypt 1 [A.D. 427]).

    “This expression, however, ‘the Word was made flesh’ [John 1:14], can mean nothing else but that he partook of flesh and blood like to us; he made our body his own, and came forth man from a woman, not casting off his existence as God, or his generation of God the Father, but even in taking to himself flesh remaining what he was. This the declaration of the correct faith proclaims everywhere. This was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to call the holy Virgin ‘the Mother of God,’ not as if the nature of the Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which the Word, being personally united, is said to be born according to the flesh” (First Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430]).

    “And since the holy Virgin corporeally brought forth God made one with flesh according to nature, for this reason we also call her Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh” (Third Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430]).

    “If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the holy Virgin is the Mother of God, inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [John 1:14]: let him be anathema” (ibid.).

    John Cassian

    “Now, you heretic, you say (whoever you are who deny that God was born of the Virgin), that Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, cannot be called the Mother of God, but the Mother only of Christ and not of God—for no one, you say, gives birth to one older than herself. And concerning this utterly stupid argument . . . let us prove by divine testimonies both that Christ is God and that Mary is the Mother of God” (On the Incarnation of Christ Against Nestorius 2:2 [A.D. 429]).

    “You cannot then help admitting that the grace comes from God. It is God, then, who has given it. But it has been given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the Lord Jesus Christ is God. But if he is God, as he certainly is, then she who bore God is the Mother of God” (ibid., 2:5).

    Council of Ephesus

    “We confess, then, our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and a body, begotten before all ages from the Father in his Godhead, the same in the last days, for us and for our salvation, born of Mary the Virgin according to his humanity, one and the same consubstantial with the Father in Godhead and consubstantial with us in humanity, for a union of two natures took place. Therefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to this understanding of the unconfused union, we confess the holy Virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word took flesh and became man and from his very conception united to himself the temple he took from her” (Formula of Union [A.D. 431]).

    Vincent of Lerins

    “Nestorius, whose disease is of an opposite kind, while pretending that he holds two distinct substances in Christ, brings in of a sudden two persons, and with unheard-of wickedness would have two sons of God, two Christs,—one, God, the other, man; one, begotten of his Father, the other, born of his mother. For which reason he maintains that Saint Mary ought to be called, not the Mother of God, but the Mother of Christ” (The Notebooks 12[35] [A.D. 434]).

  • Newman overs the topic pretty well in his reply to Pusey’s EIRENICON, republished as NEWMAN ON THE MOTHER OF GOD.

  • The Bible is about Jesus from cover to cover?

    Dude, what “bible” have you been reading?!?!

    The true Bible is about God’s relationship to creation, man in particular, and His revelation of this relationship to man. It is about BOTH God and MAN. Part of that revelation includes revelation about the mother of the Second Person of the Trinity.

    Your “bible” sounds a little abridged.

  • Wayne, tell me you didn’t just quote the Church Lady. Unironically. Please….

    Oh. You *did.*

    Well, that’s…refreshing.

  • “Seperated brethren”…you mean like my Protestant friends who said that they don’t want to talk to me anymore since I got baptised into the Church?

  • It’s sad that so many Protestants like Wayne don’t do a little study of the early church since I think virtually all Protestant denominations recognize up through the Council of Ephesus. I’ve often gotten the impression that many modern Protestants seem to take the Bible and Creeds as things that came down from Heaven fully formed. If they would study the first four centuries and learn what a difficult time was had in sorting out the Canon from the rest of the writings and the making of the Creeds it would be most helpful, I believe.

  • C-Matt doesnt seem to think the scriptures arent all about Christ. He must be a good catholic. Jesus said” search the scriptures, it is they that testify of me”. Dnald R love to quote men, catholic men, and then expect me to believe it as gospel. He takes it as gospel. The bible warns us that in the last times some will teach the doctrines of men as if they were gospel. The carnal man does not understand the things of the spirit, thats why they love the writings of men, because them they understand.Catholic men also wrote that there is no salvation outside the catholic church.Hogwash on top of hogwash.It dont surprise me that people still fall for this kind of stoneage cult religion. But, as my grandma used to say…it takes all kinds

  • “Dnald R love to quote men, catholic men, and then expect me to believe it as gospel. He takes it as gospel.”

    Sola Scriptura in all its primitive glory! Wayne, the New Testament was written by men, Catholic men. The Catholic Church determined what books to include as part of the New Testament, and what books to exclude. How did the “devil’s pet religion” as you so charmingly designate the Catholic Church, have the ability, and, more importantly, the authority to do this?

  • Wayne correct me if I’m wrong, but did the Holy Bible drop down from Heaven written in American English?

    As far as I know the first book of the New Testament was written around 60 A.D. and the last book written probably around 100-110 A.D. What happened during the time of Christ’s Resurrection in 33 A.D. up until 110 A.D.? Did Christians have the Holy Bible during that time?

    Not to mention the fact that the Holy Bible wasn’t even the “Holy Bible” until the 16th century.

    Please explain to me where I am wrong, etc.

  • Hi Tito, befor the new test was all written down, it was word of mouth. But what does that have to do with anything? You must be a catholic, trying to justify a murderous corrupt organization for no other reason than you belong to it.

  • Everyone,

    I don’t want to be guilty of anti-Roman Catholocism. I am a Lutheran, but I have no hostility towards Catholics. I have a few questions, though:

    1. Where in the Bible is the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin taught?

    2. Where in the Bible does it say that we should pray to the Virgin Mary?

    I don’t want to sound judgemental, but it seems to me that any doctrine that directs a person to someone other than God for salvation or justification is blasphemous. (I am not, however, a member of the Catholic Church and do not want to be guilty of misrepresenting her doctrine. Do I have the essential point right: that Roman Catholocism teaches that Mary can be prayed to, asked for help, etc.)?

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • Wayne,

    It (the New Testament) wasn’t word of mouth. Why do you think the books in the Bible were called “letters” and “epistles”?

    It seems you are corrupting facts of history.

    If you did your own independent investigation you would be surprised at what you found.

  • I would like to add that discussion is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done in civility. To all Protestants who are here to “bash” – in other words, defame – individual practitioners of the Catholic religion, you do not do any justice to God, who commands us in 1 Peter to give an answer to all who ask “in meekness and in fear”, NOT in hatred and bigotry. I submit that – as all of us worship the one true God, the Blessed Trinity – we should all treat each other as brothers and sisters and Christ.

  • Adian, if you call pointing out fallacies in a religion as bashing, then close your eyes. Or pointing out fallacies in anything. You wouldnt have likes Jesus much either. He really socked it to them at times. Catholics give jesus lip service but their heart is far from him. The catholic church has taught its faithfull to look elsewhere for grace. i dont blame the individual catholic person. Hail Mary full of grace. She was at one time. But she awaits resurection like most everyone else.But, some folks are suckered into worshiping her. That why the catholic church discourages reading the bible. Cause of all their unscriptural teaching

  • I note Wayne that you have not answered my question, but since you are an ignorant bigot I didn’t expect one, at least one that was intelligent.

  • “1. Where in the Bible is the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin taught?

    2. Where in the Bible does it say that we should pray to the Virgin Mary?”

    As to one Aidan, nowhere. It is an early tradition and belief of the Catholic Church. Catholics do not rely on Sola Scriptura. The Church created the New Testament and not the other way around.

    As to two Aidan, Catholics do not pray to Mary. We ask her to pray for us and to intercede for us with God. The Hail Mary prayer ends “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

  • I’ve always wondered why Protestants are so quick to denigrate Mary, to insist that she is no different from anybody else. She was chosen to be the mother of Jesus! And she accepted God’s will. That’s why we venerate her!

    As Donald says, we do not pray to her or consider her equal to God. If the Catholic view of Mary seems improper to Protestants, from the Catholic standpoint, the Protestant view of the mother of Jesus seems very disrepectful.

  • As a small child, I think I found Mary especially comforting. The thought of “God watching me” sometimes alarmed me (especially when I had been naughty). The thought of a kind, smiling lady praying for me in Heaven made me feel much better.

  • Where inside the Bible does it say “Bible”?

  • Wayne,

    You haven’t answered nor rebutted any of the questions we posed to you? Why is that?

  • Hi Donald and Tito, i had to go somewhere and just got back. Donald, very few, and i mean very few catholics stick their necks out and say that catholics wrote the new testament.I always thought it was written by people who knew jesus. yes, Paul knew Jesus. Now, in a mad atenpt to make the catholic church holy, you say the catholics wrote it.God used the early fathers of the church to put togeather a bible for us. He uses whom he will. Most people know that the catholic church didnt write the new test.cause it wasnt around.Well since then, the catholic church has shown the world what its about. It took up romes past time of killing christians. Directed from the Holy Office. HAHAHAHA. The catholic church uses holy names for its murderous offices. It even calls this pompus blasphemer Holy Father. And people are buying that.Lets see, what was that name Donald called me? ah yes, ignorant bigot. Well, at least i dont kiss the feet of idols and the rings of child molesters, and you wont catch me bowing down to a statue. but thanks anyway

  • Wayne, still no answer, at least not an intelligent one. You are obviously completely ignorant of early Church history. The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ. The New Testament is a product of the Catholic Church just as much as the current catechism is. The historical record is crystal clear. You can deny it all you wish but you are railing against stubborn historical facts. As for the rest of your hate filled screed, it merely testifies again that you are simply an ignorant bigot who knows nothing about the Catholic Church. We Catholics have a term for your chief affliction: invincible ignorance. Until you let go of your bitter hate and your stunning ignorance, you will be far from Christ indeed.

  • Wayne, it must be difficult to write posts by the faint light of a burning cross. I admire your talent in that regard.

  • Waiter! I’d like to send my troll back. He’s not very good.

  • Aidan, thanks for your polite & kinds tone… it’s much appreciated. I’d like to try to respond to a couple of your questions and comments.

    You asked about Mary’s assumption and about praying to her, and about finding both in Sacred Scripture. Most Catholic scholars today — including Pope Benedict — would say that while you cannot find every Catholic doctrine stated *explicitly* in Scripture, you can find all of them at least *implicitly*. Because Scripture is the Word of God, we will never completely exhaust our understanding of it and the way in which it all fits together… we’ve been spending 2000 years already mediating on the truths found therein, progressively growing in our understanding of the truths given definitely by Christ and His Apostles. That’s a general comment.

    You asked about praying to Mary; it’s crucial to understand that the prayers which Catholics direct to Mary are of a completely different kind than those we direct to God… adoration and worship are due to God alone, not to any creature, and so in no way are prayers to Mary those of adoration or worship. Rather, they are prayers seeking her intercession, and as such they are completely biblical: St. Paul directs us to pray for one another and to ask for one another’s prayers, and that’s what we do with Mary: we are asking her to pray for us. Just as it is right and good that I ask for the prayers of other Christian with me here on earth, so too is it right and good for me to ask prayers of those who are already with Jesus in heaven… as Jesus Himself said, God is the God of the living, not of the dead: those who have died in Christ are truly alive in Him now.

    Thoughts?

  • I second Dale’s last comment, btw.

  • Only a person with their head in the sand can think Christ started the catholic church. But Christ did tell us how to spot phonies. He said..” by their fruits shall ye know them” What are the fruits of the catholic church? Pogroms agaisnt Jews, the inquisition, the crusades(most cruel and barbarous), homosexual pedophiles by the truckloads,lesbian nuns wholesale, selling get out of hell tickets(only an ignorant catholic would buy), an army of subversives(jesuits), coverups of crimes by priests. These are just some of the fruits of the wonderfull catholic church. My girlfriend was born catholic and went K thru 12 in catholic school. She says that if anyone says catholics dont worship Mary is a damnned LIAR. Her words exactly. She got out of that snakepit called the catholic church, by the way.

  • Oh sorry, i forgot money laundering and drug running

  • Aidan!
    Thanks for the questions…quick answer…i hope this helps
    Bodily Assumption of Mary: nowhere does it state it explicitly…however we can infer.
    Elijah was assumed into heaven…why not the Mother of God?
    Also, Rev 12 “A great sign was seen in the heavens, a Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet”
    Seems convincing to me. God bless bro!

  • In addition: Mary was the only person whom an Angel praised during a visit. Usually, in the presence of an Angel, men fall to their knees in fright thinking the Angel is God. however, the Angel praised Mary!
    How beautiful and true and fitting!

  • Can we please ignore Wayne and just pray for him? I know it hurts…but let’s ask for the grace to forgive him.

  • “Can we please ignore Wayne and just pray for him?”

    Good idea, Patrick. As is the idea to pray for the grace to forgive.

  • Dear Adian, Mary was not the mother of god. Mary was the mother of a man. Catholics love to say that the woman in revelations was Mary. they were taught that by their appologetics dept. Keep reading. It says she fled to the wilderness to hide. The catholic Mary is queen of heaven, not some chick hiding from the devil in the wilderness.Keep reading. The woman is he bride of christ. We, the saved, are the bride of christ.The 12 stars are the 12 tribes of Israel.Catholic theology is so shabby, only the blind believe it. Jesus said, “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch”

  • Pray for me to do what? For me to become catholic? Rite. I cant wait to get on my knees in front of a statue.

  • Chris,

    With regard to this:

    “you cannot find every Catholic doctrine stated *explicitly* in Scripture, you can find all of them at least *implicitly*.”

    I was listening to a Protestant minister on the radio not long ago talk about how the Trinity itself is an implicit doctrine.

    If they can accept that one, I don’t see why ones relating to Mary would be so difficult.

  • Hey Joe, you mean that the catholic church can twist scripture to fit any unbiblical idea they come up with.That protetant preacher you mentioned is more than likely unsaved, as is the case with 99.9% of protestant preachers.The trinity is all over the bible.And no, im not going to do any quotes. You catholic BIG THINKERS can find them for yourself.

  • Agreed, Joe: the implicit nature of something as basic as the Trinity is evident from divergent readings of the NT as found among JWs and Mormons.

    To be fair to Protestants, though, some of our doctrines are *more* implicit than others… the Assumption, for instance, isn’t *as* evident as praying to Mary (although Patrick quickly sketched some of those indications above).

    In any case, it’s definitely not a matter of us holding to beliefs which are completely extra-biblical, let alone contrary to Scripture.

  • I would like to note for anyone “silently” reading this comment thread that the best place to find out what the Catholic Church teaches is in her authoritative teaching documents. The next best place is Catholics who are well-versed in those teaching documents. I wouldn’t recommend placing *too* much value in the practices of those in primary or secondary Catholic schools as indicators of Catholic teaching.

  • “Pograms against Jews”

    On the contrary, the Popes have treated the Jews more fairly than any other government in history (comparatively speaking).

    “The Inquisition”

    All govenrments have arbitrary laws, in those days it was Christianity.
    These days, we have seemingly arbitrary laws that can land you in jail or worse.
    It’s just a matter of government not bearing the sword in vain.

    “The Crusades”

    If it weren’t for the Crusades, first of all, you wouldn’t have Christianity or the Bible other than maybe a modified version in Arabic.
    Plus, the first one had to be done to help halt the progress of the Turks (and to protect the Byzantine Rite).
    The Fourth was an embarassment and had none of the righteousness of the First.
    In the case of the Fourth, I would agree.

    “Homosexual pedophiles”

    This is a greatly trumped up charge.
    It is a propblem, but it isn’t even close to every priest, as your language (and attitude) implies.

    “Lesbian nuns”

    There are lesbian Protestants too.
    Some probably more devout than you.
    ‘Sorry.

    “Get out of hell tickets”

    Indulgences is too complicated to describe, so against the propaganda and caricature treament they have gotten in Protestant “reformation” history books, it can do nothing.
    Bigotry is a flood against the humble trickle or reason.

    “Jesuits”

    The worst Jesuit who ever lived is a better, more respectable man than the most virtuous Protestant martyr.
    Just sayin’…

    “Cover ups”

    Paul said keep litigations against fellow Christians within the Church.

    I’m sorry, I’ve just wasted both of our time writing this reply…

  • Charlie,

    A very good starting point in debunking and countering the baseless charges against the Catholic faith.

  • The worst Jesuit who ever lived is a better, more respectable man than the most virtuous Protestant martyr.

    Well, let’s not get too carried away…

  • “Pray for me to do what? For me to become catholic? Rite.”

    I’d say “learn how to spell,” but let’s not presume to seek the miraculous right away.

    On a related point, it’s time for the poisonous troll to get the hook. The angry Catholic-hating lesbian last week got banned a lot faster. We’ve long since passed the point of diminishing returns with this hateful subliterate. Boot him.

  • THE OTHER DAY I AM TALKING TO A ADVENTISTS PASTOR NATIVE OF HONDURAS AND HE TELLS ME IF I CAN PLEASE INTERPRET REV 13 I SAD TO HIM A TALKS IN A WAY ABOUT A WOMEN WHO PRETENDS TO BE MARRY AND HE SAD NO IT IS MARRY I SAD THE DESCRIPTION THAT IT GIVES IS MARRY BUT YOURE SUPOSE TO DEFENDER AND TAKE HER AWAY FROM THE RESTS OF THE CHAPTER HE DID NOT AGREE WITH ME I WANTED TO HIT HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH MY BIBLE BECAUSE HE ACUSE OF MISTERPRETATING BIBLE AND HE TOLD ME I WAS GOING TO BURN IN HELL FOR TAKING AWAY THINGS FROM THE BIBLE SO I SAD SO YOU AINT GOING TO BURN EVEN DO YOURE STANDING BEFORE GOD CALLING HIS MOTHER A HORE .HE SAD NO BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY WHO MARRY IS IN THE BIBLE I SAD BUT IF YOU WERE STANDING AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE OF JESUS YOU WOULD TELL HIM THAT HE SAD YES.

  • “The worst Jesuit…”

    Well let’s not get too carried away…

    Yes, you’re right, but it is a total nincompoop, a historical charlatan, an ignoramus, a liar, and a bogoted fool who knows about Jesuit history like the missions to India, the ferocious persecution in Japan, and the way their charitable work with Native Americans was cut off because of some paranoid hater threatening the Pope to abolish their Order; not to mention the wonderful kinds of men who were part of it (St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius Loyola): and yet condemns the Jesuits.
    Now they have truly been Christians, if anyone has.

  • If you’re referring to Wayne, Charlie, you’ll find me in broad agreement… he’s merely regurgitating the worst anti-Catholic propaganda out there.

    I’d propose that time spent attacking the Catholic Church is better spent in prayer, becoming more familiar with the Jesus whom Catholics supposedly don’t know.

  • Oh, sorry, Chris 🙂
    Should have been more clear.

  • Everyone,

    Thank you for your answers to my questions. I apologize for mis-representing the Hail Mary prayer. Chris, you asked for my thoughts. I do believe in Sola Scriptura, so I do not accept tradition as equal with Scripture. But, by the same token, I do not believe that faith in the bodily Assumption of Mary into heaven is a doctrine that will damn a person, so I don’t like to dispute it too much. 🙂 As for praying to Mary, I do confess that it seems a dangerous doctrine. If one believes it as you do, then it causes no harm. But there are many who would twist it in their hearts and believe that they are praying to Mary for salvation. Many midevil doctors of theology fell into this error. I still disagree with both doctrines, but I thank you for illuminating them for me, and I still believe that Catholocism is a Christian religion.

    Wayne, it is true that Mary was not the mother of the Holy Trinity. But she WAS, in a very real sense, the mother of God the Son in His incarnation on earth. This (if I am not mistaken) is the Catholic teaching; not that she was the mother of God in heaven, but His mother on earth.

    I would like to point out, though, that while the Trinity IS implicitly spelled out in the New Testament, Scriptural support for it is far more concrete than, say, the intercession of the saints or the Assumption of Mary. But again, I believe that so long as a person throws themself at the feet of God the Holy Trinity and pleads His mercy rather than their works for salvation, that person is saved regardless of what other doctrines he may hold. The danger that Protestants see in these doctrines is: 1. We believe Sola Scriptura, and this does not allow them, and 2. Some unstable people might take them too far and worship Mary or the saints. But, while I must be clear in voicing my disagreement of these teachings, I must also say that I do not doubt the personal salvation of any who believe them, nor will I disagree in any manner but one of kindness and love.

    Wayne, you seem to be under the illusion that Protestantism is a united Church. It is not. Even on such elementary matters as Baptism, Communion, and the Election Protestants are divided. Does it follow, then, that only those people who accept EVERY doctrine of the Bible are saved? True, those who do not have all of biblical doctrine are missing out, so to speak, and God might, on Judgement Day, have something to say about it, but that is not for us to decide. And it is not for us to point to an individual and say, “You are not a Christian”. We do not know peoples’ hearts. We do not know if they truly believe or do not believe. There are Christians in every denomination of visible Christendom, and even in some denominations that are overtly anti-christian (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS Church). You have every right to voice your disagreement, but please do so in a loving and respectful way. If you are not speaking the truth in love to either bring people to Christ or strengthen peoples’ faith in Him, then you are violating His very specific commands. Do not be like the Pharisees and think yourself preferred by God over someone else because you hold a specific doctrine or repudiate a certain teaching.

    I pray that God blesses everyone on this forum.

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • P.S. Interpretations as to whom the woman of Revelation is differ. Some believe her to be Mary, some the Church, some the twelve tribes of Israel. I personally do not take a stance. I agree with Wayne, however, in saying that the saved are the bride of Christ.

  • Aidan I hope you will continue to visit and participate in the comboxes. You are just the type of questioner we like to have visit us.

  • Everyone,

    I know I’ve written a lot already, but a further reading of the forum prompted more comments.

    Wayne, you say that I would not have liked Jesus very much. Please do not insinuate that I have not devoted my heart and soul to my Lord and Savior. I have. I love Him with all of my being. But I am not Him. You are not Him. We must speak the truth, and we must do it directly, but we are not sinless and so cannot do all of the things that Christ did. And besides, am I not being clear as to my position? I have voiced my disagreement with the doctrines of Mary and others in Roman Catholocism. But I have done it (I hope and pray) with gentleness and respect and love (if I have not, please correct me that I might repent and ask the forgiveness of those on the forum). And look at what has happened. Though we disagree and though we have not met each other, the Catholic members of this forum and I have formed bonds of respect and honor towards each other. That is what we are supposed to do with all people, especially brothers and sisters in Christ. That is what Paul had in mind when he pled for unity in the church. Doctrinal unity, certainly, but above all unity of love and purpose. I remind you of St. John’s admonition in his first epistle that those who hate a brother or sister are not Christ’s. I am in no position to judge you, I simply ask that you pray about it.

    Donna, you say that you always thought of God as angry and Mary as smiling upon you. I confess that this view is precisely the kind of thing that Protestants fear regarding doctrines of Mary. For God is a loving God and is perfectly willing at all times to hear us, save us, protect us, dry out tears, pick us up when we fall, not because of our righteousness, but because of His love. So long as we repent and believe, He will wipe our guilt an d shame away. “Cast your cares upon the LORD, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). I know that you know that already, and I do not wish to sound condescending or rude, but I felt like the Lord was tugging at me to affirm His love for you and all here.

    Another question: I was under the impression that the idea of the Roman bishop being the universal bishop was not formulated until the sixth or seventh century. Didn’t Jerome say that the title of ecumenical bishop was offered the Pope, but that he refused? Wasn’t Pope Gregory the first to exercise the authority of universal bishop? Curious as to your thoughts. My knowledge of the early Church Fathers is by no means absolute.

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan Clevinger

  • Thank you Mr. McClarey. I appreciate that more than you know.

  • Aidan: Well, that comment I made about Mary was certainly not meant to illustrate any profound theological insight. It was my recollection of how I viewed Mary when I was a child. I think many Catholics develop that emotional attachment to Mary, which is why it hurts on a gut level to see her treated with a lack of respect.

    I know that God is love. But the concept of God, a being that sees and knows all, can be overwhelming, particularly for a small child. Mary is there to affirm and reassure us that God is love and mercy, that He will forgive us. Not that Mary will forgive us – we know only God forgives sins. Asking her to pray for me was a great comfort as a child. But I did not believe, nor was I ever taught that she was a “goddess” or equal to God.

    I’m afraid I don’t have the theological sophistication of most of the posters here so I’m fumbling a bit while their reasoning is much clearer. But it’s a good thing to be asked why, exactly, do you believe as you do. So thanks, Aidan, as you have given me food for thought.

  • Aidan, first of all thank you for engaging us in such a wonderful, faith filled dialogue. I hope you continue to read and comment. As for your question on the rise of popes and papal authority. The Early Church had always recognized the authority of the Successor of Saint Peter. As early as 96 AD, the Church in Corinth wrote to Pope Clement on a theological controversy that had broken out in their city.

    This is particularly telling since they could have easily written to Saint John who was nearby. However, they wrote to Rome. Obviously being a pope was dangerous business, since once the Roman authorities found out who it was, they did their best to kill them. Almost all of the popes of the first two centuries died martyrs. There was a saying in the Early Church, I believe St Augustine used it as well when referring to controversies. He and others would simply say, “Rome has spoken,” which meant the matter was settled. Obviously, this didn’t completely stop heretics like Arius, but they knew they would incur the wrath of the faithful for their open rebellion.

    I realize this may not be taught in many Protestant seminaries or universities (liberal Catholic ones too.) However, rest assured Pope Gregory was not the first to exert his authority.

  • Everyone,

    Thanks again for your answers to all my questions. I can never promise complete agreement, but I can at least gain a greater understanding of the Catholic religion.

    Mr. Hartline, you reference St. Clement’s letter to the Corinthians, and say that they could have written to John. Wasn’t John the pastor of Ephesus? And at the time of the writing of 1 Clement, wasn’t he imprisoned/exiled on Patmos? I could most certainly be wrong about that, but I had always thought that at the time of Clement’s letter to the Corinthians John had been banished from Rome.

    I do not wish to seem as if I don’t trust your word, but I like to research things myself as well as hear informed people. Could you provide source documents in which the Roman bishop exercised ecumenical authority before Pope Gregory?

    Lastly, what is the biblical groundwork for the teaching of the Pope? I know Matthew 16:18-19, but beyond that I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the arguments for papal supremacy.

    Thanks again for everyone’s answers. God bless you all!

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • Aidan,

    Here’s a good start.

    The Jews have always had the tradition of a final authority on matters of faith (in this instance, Judaism).

    This is called the “Seat of Moses”. Which is a Jewish saying for explaining that the word is final on this particular matter.

    Some examples from the Holy Bible are from the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 23:1-3…

    1 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.

    “So practice and observe what they tell you.” Here Jesus is telling his followers to listen to the authority of Judaism and “practice and observe”.

    As you should know that the Holy Spirit guides the Church (or in your instance, how you interpret the Bible). Hence the Holy Spirit guides the “Seat of Peter”, which is the successor of the “Seat of Moses”.

    This is a continuation of the authority, or ex cathedra, from the seat, of Peter.

    We see this in the Old Testament in Numbers 7:89…

    89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

    Again in Leviticus ex cathedra is invoked in 16:2…

    2 and the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

    This final authority was promulgated by God Himself telling Moses in Exodus 25:17-22…

    17 Then you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.

    Notice the description being used by God?

    The seat is built upon the Ark, which contains the Word of God, ie, the Ten Commandments.

    “I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”

    Speak with you. Him, God, The Holy Spirit speaks through men of authority, ex cathedra, ie, the Seat of Peter, ie, the Pope.

    Right smack in the Holy Bible.

    Note: Ex Cathedra is roughly translated “from the seat” or “from the chair” of Moses/Peter.

    The term “mercy seat” means chair or seat, it’s a vulgar German translation.

    Hope this helps.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Its only if you believe that the pope has authority. Or that the Holy Spirit guides the catholic church.

  • Thats only if you believe that authority is with the supposed seat of Peter. Mormons say they have the authority. So what do we do now? I say Jesus is the only authority

  • Wayne,

    Read the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:19…

    19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Or do you not believe what the Holy Bible says?

  • Tito,

    Thank you for the time and care that you took to answer. I offer my comments here:

    Tito, your research is very detailed and opened me up to Scriptural truths I was not formerly aware of. But the Bible does not ascribe this seat to St. Peter. Other than Christ’s reference to the Pharisees possessing the seat of Moses, I believe the only other reference to the Ark of the Covenant is in Revelation, where it is in Heaven with God.

    Isn’t this same authority given to Peter (I understand that the Greek word for “you” is singular in Matthew 16:19) later given to all the Apostles (John 20:21-23) and to all believers (Matthew 18:19-20)? Why, if Peter was the ecumenical bishop, did Paul not seek ordination from him (Galatians 1:16-17) and oppose him when he erred (Galatians 2:11-21)? And why did he say that that “all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas [Peter]”) (1 Corinthians 3:21-22).

    On Matthew 16:18-19; isn’t Christ elsewhere called the “rock”, and doesn’t Ephesians 2:20 say that the Church is build upon Christ and the apostles and prophets? According to this interpretation, the “rock” that Christ shall build His Church on is Peter’s confession of faith, not Peter himself.

    I have the quotation from Jerome: “If the question is concerning authority, the world is greater than the city. Wherever there has been a bishop, whether at Rome, or Eugubium, or Constantinople, or Rhegium, or Alexandria, he is of the same dignity and priesthood”

    Furthermore: “Gregory, writing to the patriarch at Alexandria, forbids that he be called universal bishop. And in the Records he says that in the Council of Chalcedon the primacy was offered to the
    bishop of Rome, but was not accepted.” (Quoted from Philip Melancthon’s Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope”)

    I again thank all here for their respect and attention to my questions, and I pray that God would be glorified through our discussions.

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • Aidan,

    On Matthew 16:18-19; isn’t Christ elsewhere called the “rock”, and doesn’t Ephesians 2:20 say that the Church is build upon Christ and the apostles and prophets? According to this interpretation, the “rock” that Christ shall build His Church on is Peter’s confession of faith, not Peter himself.

    That is the crux of the issue between Catholics and Protestants.

    Protestants believe Jesus was referring to Peter’s faith, while Catholics know that it was referencing Peter and the Church.

    The problem arises in the old Greek. Which is a translation of Aramaic. In Aramaic it is clear that Jesus was speaking of Peter and the Church. But in old Greek it is a bit confusing because of the use of the word Kephas. Which can mean either a small rock or a large rock.

    In this case, in reading of the context of the passage, it is clear that, just as in Aramaic, that Jesus is referring to the Church. Not Peter’s faith.

    Only in English (maybe German and Dutch) do you see that Peter and Rock are distinct. But in any Latin language it is the same word, Peter for Petra and Rock for Petra. Spanish, Peter for Pedro and Rock for Piedra. See the similarities?

    As far as your other questions I will get back to you tomorrow on them.

    Ironically, I have Bible Study to lead tonight (I couldn’t find someone else to do it) so have a good evening!

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Aidan,

    One last thing before I go and return tomorrow…

    With the destruction of Jerusalem, which included the Temple, the seat of Moses was superseded by the Seat of Peter.

    Read the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:19…

    19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    This is clearly a direct command from Jesus, the Son of God, telling Peter that he has given him authority to ‘bind’ and ‘loose’, meaning that it will be ‘bound’ and ‘loosed’ in Heaven as well. At minimum this reads as implicit authority, if not explicit authority (to remove debate on nuance).

    It only goes to Reason that Jesus was establishing a visible Church on earth with final authority.

    I’ll address the rest of your concerns and questions tomorrow, if our readers and/or my colleagues don’t get to it first!

    In Christ,

    Tito

  • Aidan, again it is a pleasure to have this congenial discussion with you. I for one hope it continues. I believe you wondered about my assertion concerning the letter to Pope Clement from Corinth. I believe St John had not yet been exiled, he still lived in Ephesus and Corinth is most certainly closer to Ephesus than Rome. However, the church in Corinth wanted a final answer and they knew that even though St John was an Apostle, he was still outranked by the hand picked Successor to Saint Peter in this case Pope Clement. Keep in mind that (Acts 1:20-26)the succession of Apostles was determined (May Another take his office) which is taken from the 69th Psalm. I believe the original version of the King James Bible even had the verse from Acts translated as “May another take his bishopric.”

    As far as the rock translation goes, it was never questioned until the time of the Reformation. Some Evangelicals had said that Jesus couldn’t be referring to Peter because in Hebrew rock is feminine. However, Jesus spoke Aramaic to his Apostles, not Hebrew or Greek. Judas was probably the only one who understood Hebrew or Greek.

    I say the following as charitably as I know how Aidan. However, it is difficult for many of us to understand how someone (like the Reformation leaders) can come 1,517 years (and often longer) after the fact and claim they know the true translation. It would as if in 3293 AD someone would come forth to say the American Revolution was not as we had been taught. Recently, I heard an Evangelical Preacher on the radio saying Catholics were getting all excited because an angel who appeared to Mary. The preacher said “So what angels have appeared to a lot of people.” True angels have appeared to a lot of people but never with the verse “Hail Full of Grace,” (the Greek “kecharitomene”) which is an extraordinary greeting never found in any other place in the Bible. Usally angels cause people to tremble, in this case it was angel who was being reverant.

    One more thing, as much as Martin Luther disagreed with the Church or some matters on others like the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary, his dissent was minor if at all. As a matter of fact I believe he said that if anyone didn’t believe in the Eucharist they weren’t Christian and a Crusade should be taken up against them. I do believe he was very ruthless to the point of torture or death to anyone he caught from the “Protestant” side who did not believe in the Eucharist, which I believe is why Munzer started his uprising against Luther and the civil authorities who supported him. Again, Aidan thank you for this wonderful dialogue. Please continue to post. God Bless!

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Rule of Three: SSPX, TAC, & the Orthodox Church

Saturday, January 31, AD 2009

metropolitan-kirill2

We have had a spate of exciting news these past two weeks.  So much good news that I have noticed a certain pattern forming.  That pattern usually comes in threes, so I’d like to introduce the Rule of Three theory.  The Rule of Three is a theorem that states good news comes in threes. 

First we have Pope Benedict XVI having the excommunications on the Society of St. Pius X (S.S.P.X.)  lifted on January 21.  Then we have rumors that the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.) possibly offering the  Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) entry into the Catholic Church on January 29.  So there needs to be a third piece of good news percolating somewhere some would think?

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39 Responses to Rule of Three: SSPX, TAC, & the Orthodox Church

  • I think an invite will occur, but I don’t think it will be in the immediate future.

    Besides, the TAC issue is still just a rumor/consideration, though a really fascinating one at that.

  • It’s “interesting” that you call #1 “good news” with absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Telling.

  • I think it is all good news. Even though the ryumors of TAC might be premature there is somethig in the wind. We actually in the USA can reconcille some Anglican through a wder use of the Anglican Use Parish.

  • Michael I.,

    It’s “interesting” that you call #1 “good news” with absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Telling.

    Very telling that you abhor Forgiveness, The story of the Prodigal son, orthodoxy, Latin, the Extraodinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass, Ut Unum Sint, and many other Catholic doctrine just by that simple statement you left.

  • Forgiveness is fantastic. But the SSPX is not “orthodox.” News flash, Tito: You can love forgiveness, “orthodoxy,” Latin, the extraordinary form of the Mass, etc., and not embrace groups like SSPX that reject Vatican II, Pope John Paul II, and the Catechism and who believe that “the Jews” committed “deicide.”

    Don’t flirt with these people, Tito. Seriously.

  • Michael I.,

    Don’t worry, I don’t flirt with them. I appreciate much that they do, it’s their arrogance that ruffles my feathers.

    I’m more of a Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (F.S.S.P.) guy. Unfortunately there isn’t an F.S.S.P. church in my archdiocese for me to attend.

  • Looks like Rome is denying the TAC prelature rumors. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. But if it isn’t true, where did it come from? I remember the endless “Universal indult” rumors that came even years before Summorum Pontificum.

  • Alan, good point with the indult rummors, that thing seemed “imminent” for like 2 years! As to the TAC, everything will happen in God’s own time, but I have good reason to think the recent “rumors” are credible, things may be going slower (or even faster!) that we can tell but the wheels are certainly in motion!

    I have seen some of the vitrol SOME in the SSPX spew, esp. in regards to John Paul II, but the average SSPX’er I know (and to be fair that is only two and they are both college students if that is any indication) are not anywhere near as hostille as the image, indeed the ones I know seem to admire JP-II much more than certian liberal priests I am aware of!

    Tito, thanks so much for writing on this “rule of three!” The Russian situation is complex and mostly beyond my limited understanding, I am not sure what is the greater threshold to cross…

    1-Pope meeting with Patriarch or
    2-Pope being in Russia

    I have a feeling that at first you can’t do both. I have a feeling that the two men will have to meet at a “neutral” i.e not Moscow or Rome to save face. On first glance Ukraine would make sense but a little more of a look at that would show that to be the worst possible idea. I think John Paul II was well recieved in Romania before so that is possible, I’d put my money on Greece though, let’s the Patriarch come across looking good for the hard-line Russians, the Greek Orthodox Church seems to have good relations with Rome, indeed Patriarch Bartholemieu could do the inviting (yes he’s in Turkey but I am sure he has a free hand for hosting things in Greece.)

    Anyway my two cents, keep up the good work Tito!

  • PS-I think new Moscow Patriarch once operated out of Vienna so it could happen there too.

  • “Don’t flirt with these people, Tito. Seriously.”

    But Pope Benedict is “flirting” with them as well as the Vatican. It is time to get these people back in the Church to contribute to the Body of Christ their contributions and for the Church to moderate their extremes

  • Michael I,

    Forgiveness is fantastic. But the SSPX is not “orthodox.” News flash, Tito: You can love forgiveness, “orthodoxy,” Latin, the extraordinary form of the Mass, etc., and not embrace groups like SSPX that reject Vatican II, Pope John Paul II, and the Catechism and who believe that “the Jews” committed “deicide.”

    Don’t flirt with these people, Tito. Seriously.

    Wow, I didn’t realize you were such a stickler for orthodoxy…. would you join me in calling for the excommunication of these much less orthodox folks who reject the ACTUAL TEACHINGS of Vatican II while subscribing to some twisted liberal and satanic “Spirit” of Vatican II?

    Nancy Pelosi,
    Joe Biden,
    Abp. Mahoney
    Bp. Gumbleton
    50% of the USCCB Staff
    100% of the National Catholic Reporter staff (except maybe John Allen)
    All members of Catholics For Free Choice, Call to Action, etc.
    All those who do not reject the possibility of women’s ordination
    All those who accept that contraception may be moral in certain circumstances

    let the inquisition begin.

  • Matt – How do your RCIA mentors feel about your “take” on the Catholic faith?

  • Michael I,

    pardon me?

  • I think you’re right, except I think the election of Patriarch Kirill WAS the third bit of good news. He likely will meet with the Pope on neutral territory the first time.

  • Christopher,

    You make an excellent point. Dave Hartline alluded to that in his post in Catholic Report.

  • Matt – Do excuse me. I now remember you saying that you are not yet AMERICAN, but that you are working on it or something. I got mixed up and thought you were not yet CATHOLIC. A sincere mistake.

    That said, it was certainly a jab at your take on Catholicism. The RCIA bit was not important.

  • I’m confused Michael. While Matt’s rhetoric certainly is fiery, and he’s likely hyperbolizing when he mentions percentages, the thrust of his argument is true. All the people he named have put forth and defended positions that are contrary to the Catholic faith, including several non-negotiables, such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden defending and advocating abortion. I don’t see what’s wrong with saying people that disagree with the definitive teaching of the Catholic Church are outside of the Catholic faith. Personally, I think excommunication is a very drastic step to take, but I certainly wouldn’t mind it if more bishops spoke up and publicly declared that pro-abortion politicians cannot recieve communion. I don’t consider that politicizing the Eucharist, as a) it’s to protect the faithful from false teachers, and b) I believe the same thing should be done for Rudy Giuliani.

  • Looks like the Vatican is working on its equivalent of warp factor speed. Maybe that staid old bureaucracy is used to groundbreaking stuff, first with JP and now with B. Amazing times. One branch of Anglicans might graft onto the big redwood tree of Rome. This big Metro Bishop might also have civil relations with Holy See. Hey- maybe some day the Cardinals might make it to the Sup- oh, it happened.

  • A fourth bit of good news would be Msgr Williamson taking a perpetual vow of silence after repenting of his Jew-hatred, but I’ll take what has happened so far. Looking very much forward to seeing what the Russian Orthodox do.

    Oh, and Latin clergy definitely need to recultivate beards. 🙂

  • Michael (lionsdensf), I agree that some of the parties on Matt’s list are problematic and some simply do not represent the Catholic faith on various issues. You obviously agree that his across-the-board call for “excommunication” is absurd. I would also say his view of orthodoxy is quite narrow. As if the Vatican didn’t have better things to do than “excommunicate” the staff of NCR? Please.

  • Beards all around! :)#

    Gerard,

    I believe this has been planned out the previous two years. It just seems like warp drive, though it really is nice to see.

  • Michael I.
    a jab at your take on Catholicism.

    No Michael it was an attack on my personal Faith, not on my position. A most vile “ad hominem”.

    Michael I,

    Michael (lionsdensf), I agree that some of the parties on Matt’s list are problematic and some simply do not represent the Catholic faith on various issues. You obviously agree that his across-the-board call for “excommunication” is absurd. I would also say his view of orthodoxy is quite narrow.

    Yes, I used hyperbole to demonstrate that you have a very narrow view of orthodoxy when it comes to “conservative” perspectives suggesting the SSPX is not Catholic, but a very “BROAD” view when it comes to liberal ones by suggesting the people on my list are.

    As if the Vatican didn’t have better things to do than “excommunicate” the staff of NCR? Please.

    If the Vatican’s principle role is to lead souls to heaven, and preaching heresy is a principle way that those sheep are lost to the evil one, then NO… the Vatican hasn’t more important work.

    By the way, would you say that 100% of the NCR staff doesn’t render the assent of faith to the Church’s teachings on contraception and/or women’s ordination? Either case is completely legitimate grounds for excommunication, isn’t it?

  • By the way, would you say that 100% of the NCR staff doesn’t render the assent of faith to the Church’s teachings on contraception and/or women’s ordination?

    I have no idea. I don’t know the views of all of the staff members. Do you?

    Either case is completely legitimate grounds for excommunication, isn’t it?

    Either no, it’s not legitimate grounds for excommunication, or the Church has absolutely no interest in going around excommunicating people simply because they disagree with the Church’s teaching on birth control and/or women’s ordination. Thankfully they are a bit more generous and patient with such Catholics, unlike you who seems to get off on mindless internet “heretic”-hunting.

  • Michael J. Iafrate,

    By the way, would you say that 100% of the NCR staff doesn’t render the assent of faith to the Church’s teachings on contraception and/or women’s ordination?

    I have no idea. I don’t know the views of all of the staff members. Do you?

    If one can be judged by the articles one writes, edits or publishes, I have a pretty good idea that they do not…

    Either case is completely legitimate grounds for excommunication, isn’t it?

    Either no, it’s not legitimate grounds for excommunication, or the Church has absolutely no interest in going around excommunicating people simply because they disagree with the Church’s teaching on birth control and/or women’s ordination. Thankfully they are a bit more generous and patient with such Catholics, unlike you who seems to get off on mindless internet “heretic”-hunting.

    First of all, any Catholic who culpably persists in heresy is automatically excommunicated. People who hold such heretical views PRIVATELY are of course not notorious public sinners, and are to refrain from communion on their own, they are not generally subject to ecclsiastical action. Those who persist in teaching such heretical views, as does NCR are subject to ecclesiastical action up to and including excommunication for the good of their souls and those who they teach.

    c. 1364
    1. With due regard for can. 194, part 1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication and if a cleric, he can also be punished by the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, part 1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.

    Do you deny that it is harmful to souls to preach heresy, such as women’s ordination?

  • Happy “heretic”-hunting, Matt!

  • Michael I,

    you sure hate to get pinned down on calling evil for what it is.

  • I suggest that we, who are not experts in canon law or its interpretation, refrain from throwing around quotes from canon law. Excommunication is a serious matter. Even the acknowledgment of latae sententiae is rarely asserted by the Church.

  • Matt,

    With your views on torture and excommunication, I’d be fearin’ and tremblin’.

  • Matt – It’s tough to take you seriously when you say that believing in women’s ordination is “evil.”

  • Well, those women who have simulated ordination to the priesthood, and at least one man who has assisted, all have been uniformly excommunicated, and excommunication isn’t exactly a pleasant place for the soul to be. I don’t know if I’d call believing in the necessity of women’s ordination “evil,” but it certainly gives aid and comfort to people who get themselves in a bad place.

    Otherwise, I’d agree that heresy-hunting and tossed accusations generate far more heat than light, and a smoky, choking heat at that.

  • Dale,

    I’d call believing in the necessity of women’s ordination “evil,”

    Believing in the necessity? It’s heresy to believe in the possibility. Period. This is not me, this is the teaching of the Church. Is not all heresy evil?

    If you read through the posts, I’m responding to Michael I’s opposition to the lifting of excommunications and the attempts to reconcile the SSPX. The point is that his strictness on “orthodoxy” is relative to who’s ox is being gored. At the same time, it is scandalous for people to preach error and remain unaffected by public sanctions.

  • Matt:

    Is not all heresy evil?

    Formal, yes. Material, no. Otherwise I’d be forced to call my evangelical neighbors “evil.” There’s a difference between being wrong and being sinfully wrong.

    Look, I wholeheartedly assent to the Magisterium on WO, without the slightest hesitation. Even on the merely pragmatic level, WO has been an unmitigated disaster for those denominations which practice it, both in terms of dwindling numbers and even faster-dwindling orthodoxy. That’s the Holy Spirit pointing to the canary in the coal-mine, which is consistently and studiously ignored by the proponents of WO.

    Impending qualifier alert: But. That doesn’t mean that I think everyone who still favors it is a formal heretic in need of the penalty of excommunication. Those who simulate and assist with attempted WO, yes. Everybody else deserves patience, education and the passage of time. And, yes, careful rebuking and repudiation where necessary.

  • Is not all heresy evil?

    No. Dale has a pretty good explanation about why.

  • Dale,

    Is not all heresy evil?

    Formal, yes. Material, no.

    Wrong. All heresy is evil, however all material heretics are not automatically excommunicated. I didn’t ask if all heretics are evil, that’s really not a proper question.

    Otherwise I’d be forced to call my evangelical neighbors “evil.” There’s a difference between being wrong and being sinfully wrong.

    I think you’re off base here, we’re talking about Catholics who reject the teachings of the Church willfully. Heresy is formal when it is known that ones belief is in opposition to the teachings of the Church. I don’t think the people we’re talking about, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and the NCR staff are uneducated in their faith, they are intentionally rejecting Church teachings. That is, by definition formal. As to those who “read” the NCR, some of them may not be so culpable.

  • Matt,

    Aren’t there better ways for you to imagine, to aid in the kingdom’s coming?

  • OK, looks like a matter of defining one’s terms. Here’s something more precise: Not all heresy is mortally sinful.

    all material heretics are not automatically excommunicated.

    Actually, it’s rather stronger than that. Give me an example of a material heretic who IS automatically excommunicated. The Church isn’t in the business of excommunicating material heretics. Period.

    I think you’re off base here, we’re talking about Catholics who reject the teachings of the Church willfully. Heresy is formal when it is known that ones belief is in opposition to the teachings of the Church.

    Correct as to the theological formulation. However, the problem is that determining willfulness is not that easy. Sure, for the WO simulators–absolutely. Hence the thunderbolt of excommunication. It’s a crucial step removed for the likes of Pelosi, Biden and even the staff of the Reporter, as tiresomely obnoxious as the reportage and editorial line of that publication is. I can’t presume that Pelosi and Biden aren’t being misled by the theological smoke belched up in their respective diocese during their formations, perhaps even by their confessors. I’ve been told stuff that I know was wrong by well-meaning confessors myself. Look–do I *think* they are knowingly standing in opposition to the Church? More likely than not, yes. Do I *know* that for a fact. No, and that’s for their Ordinaries to determine and authoritatively counsel and discipline them about, as canon law indicates. If their Ordinaries fail to act, then the sin is upon their heads as well.

  • OK, looks like a matter of defining one’s terms. Here’s something more precise: Not all heresy is mortally sinful.

    all material heretics are not automatically excommunicated.

    Actually, it’s rather stronger than that. Give me an example of a material heretic who IS automatically excommunicated. The Church isn’t in the business of excommunicating material heretics. Period.

    Formal heresy involves an added element to the material heresy, that it is “freely willed”. Now, if you want to make the labels to be mutually exclusive, rather than formal being a subset of material, I don’t really care, it is not material to the question. A Catholic who manifests heresy, and who by virtual of his station can reasonably be presumed to be aware of his error, is subject to be excommunicated (an act of law), unless he can demonstrate that he is not aware of his error. This is important to protect the purity of the Church’s teaching. In the area of moral theology it’s theoretically possible that the person is not morally culpable for his error, the point of excommunication is to resolve the situation, it is not a condemnation.

    Will you now answer the question: are you saying all heresy is not evil?

    Correct as to the theological formulation. However, the problem is that determining willfulness is not that easy. Sure, for the WO simulators–absolutely. Hence the thunderbolt of excommunication. It’s a crucial step removed for the likes of Pelosi, Biden and even the staff of the Reporter, as tiresomely obnoxious as the reportage and editorial line of that publication is. I can’t presume that Pelosi and Biden aren’t being misled by the theological smoke belched up in their respective diocese during their formations, perhaps even by their confessors. I’ve been told stuff that I know was wrong by well-meaning confessors myself. Look–do I *think* they are knowingly standing in opposition to the Church? More likely than not, yes. Do I *know* that for a fact. No, and that’s for their Ordinaries to determine and authoritatively counsel and discipline them about, as canon law indicates. If their Ordinaries fail to act, then the sin is upon their heads as well.

    You’re position is self-contradictory… why can we not assume that the WO simulators (who were actually excommunicated under Canon 1378) are as misled by the theological smoke as are the others? Speaking is an external material act.

    I agree with you that those bishops and priest who are responsible for such poor formation, and who refuse to take concrete steps to correct the errors will have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to Judgement Day. Nevertheless, automatic excommunication requires no act of the local ordinary to execute, but it does obligate him to help the subject to reconciliation, shame on them for refusing their duty.

  • At the risk of having my words parsed to the point of death by a thousand cuts, let’s try this again.

    1. No, I’m not getting into a taffy pull about “evil” because the Church looks at heresy from the standpoint of sin, both mortal and venial. Is sin evil? Well, yes, but not all sin is of the same magnitude, eternally speaking. Heresy is sinful. However, the effect on the soul and eternal destination is a matter of culpability.

    2. No, it’s not self contradictory–not remotely. Prelates have issued warnings to the simulators and there is the precedent of Church action excommunicating those who have done the same thing. Moreover, they have been offered the opportunity to defend themselves canonically. They know going in that if they do this, they will be excommunicated. Period. None of which obtains with respect to Pelosi, Biden, etc.

    “Formal heresy involves an added element to the material heresy, that it is “freely willed”. Now, if you want to make the labels to be mutually exclusive, rather than formal being a subset of material, I don’t really care, it is not material to the question. A Catholic who manifests heresy, and who by virtual of his station can reasonably be presumed to be aware of his error, is subject to be excommunicated (an act of law), unless he can demonstrate that he is not aware of his error.”

    Assumed, but not proven. Not by a long shot. And you simply cannot wave away the need to prove willfulness in this matter. You need to start giving some canonical precedents here for me to buy this line of argument. Excommunication, far from being presumed, is extraordinary. I recommend you run this past canonist Ed Peters of the Canon Law blog, as I would be very interested in his take.

  • I think the very fact that there has been much disagreement with your three “happy” news shows that perhaps these three pieces of news do not compliment one another. And if that is the case, I’m thinking the clergy of the Catholic Church still don’t have it all together. Perhaps they’re throwing stuff on the wall and seeing what sticks.
    ———
    OliviaB.

CDF to Offer Personal Prelature Status to the Traditional Anglican Communion

Thursday, January 29, AD 2009

October 20, AD 2009, New Developments: Vatican Announces Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans!  To read more on this click here.

Updates at the bottom of the post ? (‘nothing’s been decided’ & ‘unlikely’)

papal-emblemThe Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is reportedly recommending that the Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) be offered the status of personal prelature.  The Traditional Anglican Communion is a group of approximately 400,000 Anglican’s that have broken away from the Anglican Communion seeking to preserve their Anglo-Catholic traditions.  They formerly requested entry into the Catholic Church in 2007.  These reports are emanating from an Australian Catholic weekly called The Record.

Due to the unprecedented volume of traffic it can be difficult to access The Record website.   I can only ladyonthrone1surmise this is because of the excitement that this bit of news must be generating among Traditional Anglicans as well as faithful Catholics and various observers from Canterbury.

Again, this has just been reported within the last two hours (1:50am Central Standard Time).  Here is the following posted information from The Record:

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.

Continue reading...

62 Responses to CDF to Offer Personal Prelature Status to the Traditional Anglican Communion

  • I wonder if this is the same group of Anglicans that Mark Shea spoke to a couple of years ago in South Australia?

    Anyway, its great news.

    Ut Unum Sint, indeed.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Not sure about that one.

    But if this is true and the negotiations go well, all I can say is WOW!

    Ut Unum Sint indeed.

  • This is good news. I hope it’s true ut unum sint.

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  • This is great news! I understood that there were many other issues that needed to be dealt with. While the priests and bishops of the TAC will probably need to be ordained (doubting as to the validity of their orders), it is my understanding that the TAC has a married episcopate, which I cannot see Rome accepting. Rome may offer the prelature with some other preconditions, but it is no guarantee that the TAC will accept.

  • Need not worry, Alan. The Holy Spirit- the anti-devil- is in the details. Wonderful development. Ut unum sint indeed.

  • This is indeed fantastic news! If the TAC is able to integrate successfully without having their unique heritage suppressed it could be the first of many groups to enter the Church without fear of “Latinization” and yet able to gain full communion.

    Alan Phipps,

    TAC has a married episcopate

    it is indeed very unlikely that the Holy Father would elevate a married man to the episcopate, however there is a history of permitting married clergy of converting Lutheran and Anglican congregations to be ordained priests while maintaining their state. I suspect that the TAC bishops understand this and will accept that condition, they would still retain leadership positions in the new prelature, and would only be limited in their faculties for the sacraments.

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  • Matt,

    Yes, I expect that the pastoral provision may be fully leveraged here in the case of married priest converts, but I also understood that for the TAC bishops, maintaining their married episcopate was a must. While I expressed concern, I in no way feel that this is necessarily a huge stumbling block… primarily just a curious question on my part. Hopefully they will accept Rome’s magnanimity.

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  • Alan,

    for the TAC bishops, maintaining their married episcopate was a must.

    I haven’t come across this before, all I could see is that they stipulated to the entire Catechism, so I don’t see how they could insist on this. We can certainly trust the Holy Father to work it out.

  • Matt,

    See if you can add a pic to your ID.

  • Tito,

    See if you can add a pic to your ID.

    Alright already.

  • Matt,

    “I haven’t come across this before,”

    I recall it from an interview I watched about a year and a half ago with the presiding prelate, Archbishop John Hepworth, who is married. I’ll have to see if I can track it down again, but I’ve heard conflicting reports that he may retire should Rome welcome them in.

  • “Niiiice.”

    For myself, I prefer that cool looking design as my ID.

  • Alan,

    It’s your turn. Put up a saint, like the one you have on Facebook.

    C’mon! Do it!

    Nothing like peer pressure eh?

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  • Tito,

    After the election of the most pro-choice pres. in US history things seemed dark. Then in January, the month he is sworn in and the month of the 50th aniv. of the Vatican Council three things happen (always in threes)…

    1-Total healing between the Vatican and SSPX
    2-A personal prelature for Anglicans is in the works (this could be huge even beyond the 400,000 in the TAC, indeed I think this could catch on like wild-fire perhapes even in Africa.)
    3-New Russian Orthodox Patriach is the most favorable to Catholics possible in the present Russian context and is in the mold of the Patriarch of Constantinople in terms of viewing the Church East and West as “two-lungs,” and I think it is at last a possibility that the Pope can visit Russia.

    Tito if I was still a blogger I’d post on this, these three things, taken by themselves are meaningless footnotes to the msm but I think in the context Church history these are all epic milestones.

    God bless and protect his Holiness. The Pope who so many liberals said would be so divisive is turning out to be the great unifier and the unity has come not due to pandering and pleastries but rather a robust embrace of Truth.

  • I forgot to add caveats of “potential for” in points 1 and 2.

  • I hope and pray this is true. I am a member of the Anglican Church in America a TAC church. This is an answer to our prayers. There will be whole sale movement over by American Episcopalians and Cof E members. The American Episcopal church has been ruined and the remaining Christians there pray for an alternative. Please pray that this effort towards uniting our church works if it is Gods will.

  • Claiborne,

    welcome home to Rome (a bit premature perhaps)! There a large number of Catholics praying for this union as well. We trust that the Holy Father will ensure that the process is just and merciful for all.

    What is your opinion on the prospective status of currently married bishops in TAC? The prevalent belief is that the Church will accept them as priests, but not in their current position. Do you believe that will be a stumbling block?

    Do you know if there are any TAC parishes in Houston?

    God Bless!

  • Matt –

    It is my understanding that all the TAC Bishops have offered to step aside from the Episcopacy to make this work.

  • watching,

    that would show great wisdom and humility indeed… something we need so much more of in the Church. Their sacrifice will be rewarded. Are you a member of TAC?

  • I hope and pray that we can officially say welcome home very soon!

  • A little research shows that the requirement for married TAC Bishops to retained is misinformation published on a “Catholic” website (probably an attempt to sabotage).

    Anglican Church in America

    Another self-proclaimed Catholic website states that the retention of “their married episcopate” was a requirement of the TAC. Once again, no reference to any such requirement was in the letter.

    Obviously, the only thing actually requested was “the guidance of the Holy See” – no list of conditions, no requests for a “Catholic bishop to preside over” us, for special treatment or consideration for current bishops, for Uniate status, or for any other specific structure, etc., etc. – just a simple statement that we want to be in communion with the Holy See without losing our Anglican heritage and identity, ending with the implied question, “How should we proceed?” The entire matter was undertaken with no agenda other than responding to our Lord’s prayer for unity among his followers (John 17), with the belief and understanding that such unity can only be achieved by restoring relationships severed by past schisms. It is hoped the above may bring some truth and clarity to the discussion.

    This is wonderful!

  • “A little research shows that the requirement for married TAC Bishops to retained is misinformation published on a “Catholic” website”

    Again, what I saw was from an interview, not from a website. I have no idea what the petition actually said… Apparently nothing pertinent to the question of married bishops.

  • I want to clarify that I do not mean in any way to suggest Alan as intentionally providing misinformation, attempting to sabotage.

  • Alan,

    Niiice pic!

    Tito

    Fidei Defensor,

    Good to see you!

  • Matt,

    The fear of “Latinization”???….they (TAC) were in the Western (latin) Church to begin with!!

    I’m fine with Rome’s offer, but really, if anyone is searching for truth, there should be no negotiating on their part. If they believe the fullness of the faith to exist in union with Rome, they should have just JOINED already. Any preconditions whatsoever illustrate a ‘stiff neck’ and we already have enough of those within the Church as it is.

    I hope that the TAC bishops can convince their laity to come over…I don’t know that all will do so…I’ve heard a lot of TAC laity declaring that they will not…they are, after all, protesters at heart and schism is what they do best.

  • Diane,

    by that I mean being put under the thumb of the local bishop and forced to discard their customs. This happened during the consolidation of rites after the Council of Trent. Of course they are technically Latin Rite, so it’s a bit of a misuse of the expression.

    According to the TAC website they set know pre-conditions, only requesting that they can maintain their cultural customs.

    I don’t agree with your stiff-neck criticism, they have, as a group, asked the Holy Father what they should do next, if he said come over individually, then that would have been the right thing to do. Also, bear in mind that, many of the laity, while they subscribe to the doctrine of the Church are not necessarily anxious to be back home in Rome. It is their bishops, leading them.

    Most will come, but those who do not? To whom shall they go? If they were “episcopal” they would have apostatized long ago… Perhaps to the SSPX if they haven’t already been reconciled.

  • This Roman Catholic Convert is thrilled! I will be praying that His will be done.

  • I am so excited. I came home to Rome 5 years ago this Easter. This will be a tremendous victory for the Unity of Christendom. A former cradle Episcopalian, and now an elated member of the Holy Catholic Church of Rome.
    Pray for the visible unity of Christendom.
    That we all may be one.

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  • Matt,

    Wanting to maintain their cultural customs is a precondition.

    Having all of these out-of-the ordinary juridical structures supports my sense that they are not willing to come in in total obedience. Not that I don’t support what B16 is doing…I’m just saying that I don’t believe that huge swathes of their laity will be joining their bishops in union with Rome.

    For examples of priests and laity that are defiant towards Rome, check out The Continuum. These ‘real’ Anglicans discarded the Canturbury Anglicans sometime ago and they pattern themselves after the Orthodox….having always existed as part of the ancient Church that included an important Bishop of Rome, but who never exercised universal jurisdiction.

  • “The Continuum” is hardly representative of the TAC. They spend a great deal of time trying to prove they are catholic, but yet reject many essential truths.

    Diane, you are in error in stating preconditions. There were no preconditions given to the Holy See.

  • Watching:

    Just for fun, I wonder what would happen if Rome responded “Sure! Glad to have ya’ll. Just get yourselves to the closest Catholic Church, sign up for and complete RCIA, and voila, you’re in!”.

  • Diane –

    That option has always been there.

    The TAC approached the Holy See and asked guidance on how to bring the entire TAC in. There were no preconditions and there was full acceptance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, evidenced by a signed copy together with the Statement:

    “We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, which we have signed, together with this letter as attesting to the faith we aspire to teach and hold.”

  • Why not let them maintain their culture customs hasn’t the Church done that often throughout history?

    It seems to me what the TAC really wanted was their own Anglican Rite ala the Melekite Rite or something but I think they’ll be plenty happy with a personal prelature. I think it was fair though, there is a historical basis, the old Sarum Rite Mass, etc. I think telling all these 400,000 to go through RCIA is really going to whittle down the numbers of converts, frankly there are some parishes I know of where I wouldn’t recomend RCIA as sometimes the would-be converts come in with more love and loyalty to say the Holy Father than the local RCIA bureocracy.

  • Diane,

    it seems you are suggesting the prodigal son should not be treated to a banquet. That is not the Catholic way. When the sinner returns the Church and begs to be let in the fold, the Church doesn’t place obstacles in the penitents path like yous suggest. Furthermore, these individuals are being led into the Church by their pastors and bishops, valid or not, to take away this good leadership from them would not serve the interest of bringing souls to Christ… and that’s what is important, isn’t it?

    Frankly, the power of bringing in such a large block of Anglican’s intact, versus even this number on an individual basis is incredible, both for the possibility of more lost sheep returning and for the strength of the Church herself. How WE treat these new brothers and sisters will deeply affect the potential for Christian unity.

    Finally, once fully ensconced, this group will likely represent a strong, orthodox, and traditional group within the Church, something that we are in desperate need to have more of.

  • Matt,
    I’m clear about what the ‘Catholic way’ is, thank you. I’ve suggested no obstacles. I’ve simply said, the Church is here…there are ways to come home NOW.

    And, it won’t be a ‘large block’. It will be a fraction of a large block. The TAC is hopelessly fractured and it will not move as a unit. I want orthodox Catholics in the Church just as much as any other person. I’m with B16 in even accepting a smaller, purer Church….but we all need to be realistic about this.

    I am firm in my belief that any TAC parish, priest or person that is seeking truth and comes to the conclusion that it subsists in the Catholic Church, then they will come to Rome, no matter what, with or without their pastors, customs, etc. Yes, those things may make it more comfortable for them, but it shouldn’t be the basis upon which a decision to come home to Rome is made.

    They will simply just convert. If this doesn’t happen, then that tells us that truth was not their priority.

  • Diane,

    I would also suggest that you are talking about groups who didn’t want to be part of ‘liberal’ Anglican parishes back when “liberal” meant the ’79-prayerbook. They certainly aren’t going to want to go do RCIA at ‘liberal’ Catholic parishes.

    On the flip side, recent events suggest that BXVI seems to have settled on a policy of bringing groups like this into communion intact. Presumeably this will add to the richness and complexity of the Catholic body, which does not strike me as a bad thing. It also creates a stable community with a sense of identity and mission.

    And on a personal note, I would NEVER consider going to an SSPX parish (the other group with whom Rome is conducting prominent negotiations), but as someone who became Catholic by way of the Anglican communion and the BCP, I will be at a TAC parish the first Sunday they are Catholic. I painfully miss English hymnody and adore the BCP. So, would they lose some members that are in their pews now? Probably. Will they gain Catholics (esp. converts from/thru Anglicanism) and Anglo-Catholics who are nourished by the English tradition? Absolutely.

    LoA.

  • Diane –

    You seem to know more about how many in the TAC will respond to this than do I, a well connected member of the TAC.

    It will be a large block. We will lose a small group most likely, but I am astounded at your pontification on your uninformed opinion about the TAC.

    If we were not on the same page in terms of the faith, we would not be dealing with the part of the Holy See we are in discussion with.

    Those who are not Catholic, such as the Anglican Communion, work with the ecumenical section. You will notice that no other group works with the CDF.

  • Waiting:

    I hope I’m totally wrong on this one. I’d be thrilled with a large block of TAC members coming in.

    We can pray that it happens and, with that, we are all on the same page.

  • Matt,
    My understanding is that all our present bishops signed the proposal and said they would give up their office as Bishop. I assume they would continue as Priests. The Arch Bishop is married but I understand he is set to retire which will clear the way for a single celebate Bishop.

  • I have several friends who are Episcopalians who came into the Catholic Church, and all of them ended up taking refuge in Byzantine Catholic parishes in order to find something like the love of liturgy that they had held before becoming Catholic (and in some ways had lead them towards the Church as traditional liturgy was abandoned in their Episcopal parishes) and also the difficulties of liberal RCIA programs.

    So only looking at their example, I’m sure that it would be a great benefit for those coming into the Church (and for many of similar praxis who are already Catholic) to have an influx of Anglican Use parishes.

  • AWESOME THIS POPE BENEDICT 16TH HAS INDEED WITH THE HAND OF THE CREATOR TO GUIDE HIM IN THREE FELL SWOOPS HAS BROUGHT OVER 500+ TRADITIONAL (ORTHODOX) PRIESTS AND FOUR BISHOPS & BETWEEN 1 & 7 MILLION PEOPLE BACK INTO A REGULARIZED STATUS IN THE CHURCH. WITH A POSSIBLE PERSONAL PRELATURE OR GOD WILLING AN ANGLICAN RITE IN THE MIX OVER A 1000 TRADITIONAL ANGLICANS AND 400.000 ANGLICAN LAYPEOPLE MAY SOON ENTER FULL COMMUNION WITH ROME. WHICH I SUSPECT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING WITH MILLIONS OF ANGLICANS REUNITING UNDER THE SEE OF ROME, BE SWEET TO SEE THE SARUM RITE REVIVED AND RESTORED. THIRD BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST AFTER A THOUSAND YEAR SPLIT AND WITH THE ELECTION OF THE PATRIARCH KIRILL IN MOSCOW THE CHANCES OF RECIPRICAL RESTORATION OF UNITY BETWEEN MOSCOW AND ROME MAY NO LONGER BE A DREAM BUT A FACT, REMEMBER THAT THIS (THE ORTHODOX CHURCH) IS A COMMUNION OF OVER 500 MILLION PEOPLE. IF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS NOT AT WORK HERE I WOULD BE MORE THAN SURPRISED. THIS IS NOT THE WORK OF MAN. AS FOR THE SOCIALIST-LIBERAL-60’S CUMBYA CHURCH OF MODERNITY, THOSE CLERICS AND LAITY THAT CRIED IN ANGER AT THE ELECTION OF JOSEPH RATZINGER AS POPE OF ROME, THOSE PSYDO-CHRISTIANS PREACHING “LIBERATION THEOLOGY” THAT HATE ORTHODOXY YOU STILL HAVE UR GODS, KARL MARX, FREDRICK ENGELS, STALIN AND POL POT.

  • I can understand the excitement at the possible return of Anglicans to the fold of the RCC but I do not understand the enthusiasm about Kirill. I used to read Interfax when he was the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Ukraine. He was the most vociferous critic when the JPII elevated Patriarch Husar to the level of Cardinal of Lviv(Ukrainian Catholic Church) as well as creating the Diocese of the Mother of God(unofficially the Archdiocese of Moscow). He is not anymore pro-RCC than Alexei was when he was the Patriarch of Moscow.

  • Don’t get me wrong, If Kirill, as head of the Russian Orthodox church, acts more pragmatically great. I do not expect the Russians to agree to unification with Rome but I would hope he becomes more understanding of the Ukrainians and small Russian populations of Catholics who are loyal to Rome. It is a very sensitive topic over there in Russia.

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  • Glenn,

    I agree with you about Patriarch Kirill (do they get a new name like our Pope?).

    But I believe the enthusiasm is based on the possibility that Patriarch Kirill will meet with Pope Benedict, either in Russia or elsewhere. Which would be a significant step forward for two reasons:

    1) The Russian Orthodox Church represents the largest Orthodox congregation in Orthodoxy.

    2) The previous Patriarch (Alexy), refused to meet with either Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI. Thus the potential of finally having a summit between the worlds two largest religious groups gains a bit more momentum.

  • Well Tito, God does work in strange ways after all, we all know from the prophecy at Fatima, Russia WILL eventually come into the fold; its just a matter of when, not if. I was merely basing my scepticism on statements from Alexy that it not possible for either JPII or BenedictXVI to visit in Russia or for Alexy to travel to Rome for face to face meetings. I don’t know if it pride on the part of the individuals concerned or intra church politics with in each branch of the faith which precludes such an event. Should such a meeting take place, I am sure it would be a momentous occasion for people of both faiths. I do pray it happens as I do wish for the Anglicans to return and will be waiting for Easter and hoping for the Vatican to make the anticipated announcement of the Anglican prelature.

  • Glenn,

    I agree with your sentiments.

    Padre Pio even said that Russia will convert to Catholicism before America does. It’ll be a very interesting time when this does occur.

  • Fr. Peters,

    according to statements by members of TAC above, and the US website, there are no preconditions on the offer to join full communion with the Church. They accepted the Catechism in it’s entirety, and have, apparently agreed to abide by any instructions from the Holy See with regard to their entry into the Church.

    As you are surely aware, the Church has welcomed her separated brethren from the Anglican communion before. A process was established whereby their priests where accepted to seminaries and ordained, even if currently married. There’s no doubt that a similar process would occur in this case, although it seems virtually impossible that any would be ordained to the episcopate.

    As to the personal moral situation of the TAC priests and bishops, that is no reason to turn the lost sheep away? I trust the Holy Father will deal with them as a true shepherd.

  • Fr Peters,

    my comment in no way conflicts with the reality that conversion is individual. For those already in the Church, conversion is still required.

    We have not been informed that this is going to happen; maybe the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is more informed but we have not received any update,” he said. “All we know is what we have read on newspapers and on some blogs.”

    That is a denial of nothing, as it’s likely the Holy Father would be holding his cards close, and quite possibly using his former congregation to execute.

    Fr. Peter’s comments notwithstanding, there is significant precedence of the Church welcoming large organized groups back into the fold after working out conditions with their leaders. Likely the first was the Arians after the Council of Nicea.

    Please Fr., what is the reason for your pessimism in this matter? Are you for some reason opposed to this re-union?

  • Fr. Bosco keeps worrying about conversion. Why do you suppose this matter has consistently bypassed the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity?

    Why has it been allowed to deal exclusively with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

    It is because there is not a difference of belief. We would not be allowed to follow the path we have, if our beliefs were different.

  • Its interesting Msgr. Langham is reported as conceding that “the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could be involved in talks with the Traditional Anglican Communion.”

    There is no secret here, it has been open from the first whom we are working with.

One Response to Mere Divisions

  • I have always liked that introduction. I ran across this description of Lewis’s views on the Reformation the other day by Lewis biographer Alan Jacobs, and thought it was interesting:

    In his great work of literary history, Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century, Lewis devotes a passage to what he describes, with a certain savageness, as “that whole tragic farce which we call the history of the Reformation.” For Lewis, the issues that divided Catholics and Protestants, that led to bloodshed all over Europe and to a seemingly permanent division of Christians from one another, “could have been fruitfully debated only between mature and saintly disputants in close privacy and at boundless leisure.” Instead, thanks to the prevalence of that recent invention the printing press, and to the intolerance of many of the combatants, deep and subtle questions found their way into the popular press and were immediately transformed into caricatures and cheap slogans. After that there was no hope of peaceful reconciliation.