Dec. 11 ‚ÄĒ As pressure continued to build Wednesday for Cardinal Bernard Law to resign as head of the Boston archdiocese, critics said they had uncovered a ‚Äúsmoking gun‚ÄĚ that shows Law and other U.S. Catholic leaders accused of covering up sex abuse allegations were acting on the pope‚Äôs orders.
A group called the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors said Tuesday it had come across the document from among the thousands of personnel files that the Boston archdiocese made public last week. A court hearing lawsuits against the archdiocese had ordered the release.
Joseph Gallagher, a co-founder of the group, said the document was the ‚Äúsmoking gun‚ÄĚ that spelled out a Vatican policy of placing image ahead of child welfare.
In the document, Pope John Paul II says a defrocked Catholic priest who had a history of molesting boys should leave the areas where his ‚Äúcondition‚ÄĚ was known ‚ÄĒ or stay put as...
The most important aspect of this discussion is our presupposition to Scripture and how do we know what we know. Our epistemological self-consciousness (e.g., how do we know what we know and why) must be the foundation of each presupposition we bring to a debate.
That is why I hope to use the comparison between the CCC and the WCF. Each are standards established by Christians in the history of the visible church of Christ. Each standard determines what the visible church teaches about her doctrine, discipline, form of government and form of worship.
We indeed could incorporate into this discussion other subordinate documents produced by Rome and Westminster, but I feel that comparing these two standards are sufficient to help us weigh the differences between our doctrine.
I'll wait to hear from you before I begin to quote both sources.
My objective here was to keep it simple as much as is possible.
Foundationally, the Divines who attended Westminister swore a promise and vow before they could sit in the Assembly. It says:
I, A.B., do seriously promise and vow, in the presence of Almighty God, That in this Assembly, whereof I am a member, I will maintain nothing in point of doctrine, but what I believe to be most agreeable to the word of God; nor in point of discipline, but what may make most for God's glory, and the peace and good of this church.
Then, they concluded in one of the documents they produced the following:
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God (2Pet.1:19,21; 2Tim.3:16; 1Jn.5:9; 1Thess.2:13). 9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not mainfold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly (2Pet.1:20,21; Acts15:15,16). 10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined; and whose sentence we are to rest; can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture (Matt.22:29,31; Eph.2:20 with Acts28:25).
I am not an ordained minister and would not want to represent my private views on Scripture without guidance from those whom I have a deep love and respect for as ordained Elders and Teachers of Scripture. Since lack of time face us in this discussion, I would like to compare WCF and CCC. If you feel that the CCC is not adequate to represent the truth of Scripture, please add your correction where you an aide to the casual viewer.
For this discussion, I was always taught that the Catechism of the Catholic Church represented the teachings of the Catholic Church. If I have been mislead in this fundamental understanding, I will look for your guidance. It would not be the first time I have felt this misunderstanding lead to disappointment.
Again, Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF, 1647) compared to Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, 1995).
By the way, I uphold that these documents are "subordinate standards" to Scripture, not equal with Scripture. I also do not agree Sacred Tradition is equal to Sacred Scripture nor do I believe that any statements made by any Roman Pontiff to be declared infallible.
I am more than happy for you to call me Rev. Mark.
What you propose does make sense, but the Catholic teaching would not profit from being reduced to what is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, even though the Catechism is 'a sure norm for teaching the faith'(from the Apostolic Constitution 'Fidei Depositum'). The Catholic teaching would be best presented in a symphonic way, with reference to sacred Scripture, sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church(Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation).
The purpose of referencing the two criteria above was to establish our presuppositions. Mine will be founded upon the Westminister Confession of Faith (WCF, 1647) and yours will be founded upon the Catechism Of The Catholic Church (CCC, 1995).
If we cannot agree to a set of standards in which to discuss the differences, we will not be able to clearly show the difference between Rome and Westminster on Justification.
Rome believes that she is the sole arbiter over matters of Scripture using Tradition and Scripture as to interpretations. Westminister believes that Scripture using Scripture is the sole arbiter over interpretations.
It is important that we set this basic standard of presupposition before discussion justification. If we both use scripture ourselves to discuss justification, we will both bring our bias and preconceived ideas to this discussion and it will go nowhere.
We must agree that you will accept the CCC (scripture and tradition together) and I will accept the WCF (scripture and scripture alone).
Thank you for disclosing your denomination. This is indeed a web site that most Catholics prefer to avoid.
I myself was raised Catholic, went to Catholic School, was an alter boy, was one of two in our school that read in daily morning mass each week and have parents who are still Catholic. My father graduated from Notre Dame as a faithful Catholic.
Out of fairness to you, I left the Catholic Church for many reasons, however, most importantly because those I trusted knew not their scripture. I read scripture daily and have read the bible cover to cover over and over again, many times each year.
I say this not out of arrogance or self pride, but to give you a basis to understand my presupposition.
May I set the criteria and presupposition for this discussion.
1) "In regard to these truths the authority of Tradition and of the Bible is equal...Nevertheless, as we shall see later, the Church is superior to the Bible in the sense that she is the Living Voice of Christ, and therefore, the sole infallible interpreter of the inspired Word, whenever an authoritative interpretation is required....A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture is the result of nine years' work by a group of scholars, who believe that biblical learning must be integrated with traditional Christianity if it is to bear any spiritual message or fruit for modern society. This endeavor has been to sum up the results of international scholarship during the last fifty years..." (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, 1953, page 2). a) Would you agree with this statement and admit that _Catechism Of The Catholic Church_ (CCC), 1995 with an introductory essay by John Paul II would agree with this statement above and I can use the CCC as my basis for quoting?
2) The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God....The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly...The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined; and in whose sentence we are to rest; can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture (Westminster Confession of Faith, Approved by the General Assembly 1647, Ratified and Established by Acts of Parliament 1649 and 1690) a) From this position, I will Quote the Confession of Faith.
Do you mind sharing with us your particular denomination?
Thank you for the clarification. Would you submit that the balance of the arguments testified against Rome by the Church of Scotland are indeed accurate, or would you submit that all are wrong and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland obtained poor research and testimony during the first reformation?
Finally, may we talk Justification? Are you familiar with the differences between Westminister and post-Vatican II on the doctrine of Justification?
If you don't mind, I would like to discuss this absolute foundational doctrine to the true invisible church of Jesus Christ and His elect. I grant you the fact that Rome is within the visible church of Jesus Christ and professes from the housetops her love for Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the saints who have died.
Let's just talk Justification, if you would permit me.
Apologies for not finishing the last e-mail, I hit the submit button accidentally.
The saviour of all Catholics is our Lord Jesus Christ. We understand instinctively our need for His continuing grace, a grace which frees us from all our sins. We also understand that the Pope, the bishops, the priests are not our saviour: they too stand in need of His forgiving and saving grace.
The present Pope, John Paul II, is a sinner, just as all previous Popes were sinners. For a number of years it has been a matter of public record that Pope John Paul II attends the sacrament of confession at least once a week. He is well aware of his own personal sinfulness. Concerning the allegation made in the above article, that the Pope ordered other prelates to cover up sex abuse allegations, if this is true, then it is sinful and scandalous behaviour. If it is true then there is obvious need for repentance.
Ultimately, even serious sin on the part of a Pope or a Bishop should not completely undermine the faith of Catholics. T
Amen, brother from the remnant on your comment to Mr. Morris! I am happy to see that there are people out there willing to contend for the faith!
And to the Roman Catholics out there: Where in the Bible does it tell us to abstain from meats? And where does it say we are forbidden to marry? NOWHERE! It is MAN'S tradition, NOT Biblical doctrine!
And one more thing, what's Mary called in the Roman Catholic Church? Is she not called the "Queen of Heaven"? Was God not wroth at the children of Isreal for burning incense to the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19 & 25? How could Mary be worshipped and idolized (which is what the Roman Catholic church teaches it's followers to do) as the "Queen of Heaven" before she was even born?
Roman Catholics, or whatever you want to call them, DID NOT begin while the Messiah was here on earth. They are as old as Babel....
It seems that you have quite directly affirmed what our brother was noting in comparing the Romish church with 1 Tim. 4:1-3. You said:
"Catholic teaching on lies: "Lying is the most direct offence against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth. By its very nature, lying is to be condemned." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2483,2485)"
And Paul writes to Timothy also of some "speaking lies in hypocrisy". And so, as this entire thread is posted DIRECTLY UNDER AN ARTICLE revealing that the POPE himself has ordered that this monster be hidden from the Light of Truth (thereby violating the teaching you JUST MENTIONED affirming that one ought not to "act against the truth **in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth**.) you have just shown that the Romish church preaches against LIES *yet* speaks and practices them at the highest levels. This is called hypocrisy, *AND* "speaking lies IN hypocrisy. It seems you've proven the point!!
"Catholic teaching on hypocrisy: "Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and guarding against duplicity, dissimulation and hypocrisy."
Again - HYPOCRITES. You say, that because they say these things which seem good (which you say "sound like the teachings of god", that that makes them good, but you see: that is the very definition of a hypocrite: *to speak and not to do* and this is just what we see in this.
As for your comments on 4/18, I sincerely agree (though if by the "universal Church" you refer to the Roman Church, I find that definition in error) - and I would add that in addition to the things you pray to happen, pray also for your people to turn to the WORD OF GOD, not to the word or traditions of men by which that word is made VOID, and to have NO head over themselves but Christ Jesus - thereby being pleasing to God.
Many thanks for your kind comments and the offer of your prayers. Please be assured of my prayers for you and for all SermonAudio users.
The Catholic Church does not accept that any of its dogmatic teachings are unchristian; the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, the Blessed Trinity, the unique, sufficient, once for all sacrifice of our Lord on the cross, etc.
Concerning the document which you quote, there are four doctrines presented as Catholic which are in need of clarification.
1."his cruel judgment against infants departing without the sacrament". I suspect that what is being condemned here is a non-dogmatic theological hypothesis made by the Church regarding the eternal fate of infants who die without baptism. The Catholic Church has always taught the necessity of baptism for salvation. How can this be squared with the reality of infants dying before baptism? One non-dogmatic answer given by the Church is that they go to a place of natural happiness between heaven and hell called limbo. This theological hypothesis, never given dogmatic definition by the Church, is merely an attempted solution. Limbo then remains outside of the dogmatic core of the Catholic faith. Its status is theological postulation, pastoral solution, an attempted answer to a problem. What it is not is a "cruel judgment against infants departing without the sacrament".
2. "baptizing of bells". The Catholic Church does not baptise bells, only human beings.
3. "conjuring of spirits". The Catholic Church absolutely forbids the faithful to conjure spirits, or to have involvement with the occult in any of its forms.
4. "worshipping of imagery". The Catholic Church does not permit the worship of images. Worship is only to be given to Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The worship of any person or anything other that Almighty God is always to be rejected as sinful.
I hope that these brief comments will be of some help in clarifying the Catholic position.
It is a pleasure to have you offer us your biblical worldview. I dearly wish more ministers would discuss these important topics with such kindness and openness.
Below is part text of the National Covenant of Scotland during the initial stages of the first reformation in history. As you know, those that protested against Romish church traditions did so in light of their reading of scripture. Would you concede that it is fair if Christians use scripture as a guide to direct one's understanding of God's revealed will, or would you suggest that church tradition is equal to scripture?
Can you help us understand what doctrines and practices that Rome used to engage as antichristian that is now through your light of reason is scriptural. There is a whole list below that I would assume your do not believe is against the revealed will of God, through Christ, Himself.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
We all and every one of us under-written, protest, That, after long and due examination of our own consciences in matters of true and false religion, we are now thoroughly resolved in the truth by the word and Spirit of God: and therefore we believe with our hearts, confess with our mouths, subscribe with our hands, and constantly affirm, before God and the whole world, that this only is the true Christian faith and religion, pleasing God, and bringing salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of God, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed evangel; and is received, believed, and defended by many and sundry notable kirks and realms, but chiefly by the kirk of Scotland, the King's Majesty, and three estates of this realm, as God's eternal truth, and Confession of our Faith, established and publickly confirmed by sundry acts of Parliaments, and now of a long time hath been openly professed by the King's Majesty, and whole body of this realm both in burgh and land. To the which Confession and Form of Religion we willingly agree in our conscience in all points, as unto God's undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon his written word. And therefore we abhor and detest all contrary religion and doctrine; but chiefly all kind of Papistry in general and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the word of God and Kirk (Church) of Scotland. But, in special, we detest and refuse the usurped authority of that Roman Antichrist upon the scriptures of God, upon the kirk, the civil magistrate, and consciences of men; all his tyrannous laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty; his erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written word, the perfection of the law, the office of Christ, and his blessed evangel; his corrupted doctrine concerning original sin, our natural inability and rebellion to God's law, our justification by faith only, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law; the nature, number, and use of the holy sacraments; his five bastard sacraments, with all his rites, ceremonies, and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true sacraments without the word of God; his cruel judgment against infants departing without the sacrament; his absolute necessity of baptism; his blasphemous opinion of transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ's body in the elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men; his dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of marriage forbidden in the word; his cruelty against the innocent divorced; his devilish mass; his blasphemous priesthood; his profane sacrifice for sins of the dead and the quick; his canonization of men; calling upon angels or saints departed, worshipping of imagery, relicks, and crosses; dedicating of kirks, alters, days; vows to creatures; his purgatory, prayers for the dead; praying or speaking in strange language, with his processions, and blasphemous litany, and multitude of advocates or mediators; his manifold orders, auricular confession; his desperate and uncertain repentance; his general and doubtsome faith; his satisfaction of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, merits, pardons, peregrinations, and stations; his holy water, baptizing of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, sayning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God's good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith; his worldly monarchy, and wicked hierarchy; his three solemn vows, with all his shavelings of sundry sorts; his erroneous and bloody decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers or approvers of that cruel and bloody band, conjured against the kirk of God. And finally, we detest all his vain allegories, rites, signs, and traditions brought in the kirk, without or against the word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed kirk; to the which we join ourselves willingly, in doctrine, faith, religion, discipline, and use of the holy sacraments, as lively members of the same in Christ our head: promising and swearing, by the great name of the LORD our GOD, that we shall continue in the obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this kirk, and shall defend the same, according to our vocation and power, all the days of our lives; under the pains contained in the law, and danger both of body and soul in the day of God's fearful judgment.
Note: The National Covenant of Scotland was subscribed in 1580, 1581, 1590, 1638, 1639, 1640, 1650 and 1651.
The Catholic Church too believes that not all men can receive the grace/gift of celibacy. But to those called to the priesthood that grace is freely offered by Almighty God.
I imagine that central to the difficulty between us is the doctrine of sola scriptura, a doctrine which the Catholic Church cannot subscribe to. That is why you keep returning to the sacred scripture, and why I am trying to show that the Catholic Church believes God to have spoken through the teaching authority of the Church as well as the canonical sacred scriptures properly interpreted. We have different understandings of revelation, that is why it would be better if we kept respect for each other, tried to listen to each other, and not resort to implying dishonesty.
Concerning your use of Leviticus. The Catholic priesthood is obviously not the levitical priesthood of the Old Testament, therefore its prescriptions do not apply to the Catholic priesthood.
to Mark Morris: Matt. 19:11 tells us that NOT all men can recieve the gift mentioned in v12. Here Jesus contradicts the concept the ALL should be expected to be celibate this is the immediated context of the verse you cite. A text without context is pretext. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2 expands on this, and 1 Tim. 4:3 says that forbidding to marry is a doctrine of demons. Mandatory celibacy as a condition for being a pastor, positively proclaims the Reign of demons. 1 Tim.4:3 Use of the word "priest" IF holding to the BIBLE's definition MUST normally mean a married man w/ kids. (see Lev. 22:12). It is silly to use a term that means an INHERITED priesthood in 99.9% of the bible, and purport that you're not contradicting the bible when you FORBID priests to marry. An honest Roman Catholic would admit that the Bible's definition of priest is thrown out in favor of the tradition of men (the papacy).
To be a priest or religious brother/sister in the Catholic Church is to have received a calling from God. A calling which positively accepts celibacy for the "sake of the kingdom of heaven"(Matthew 19:12) so that an undivided heart may be given to the affairs of the Lord. Always to be accepted freely and as a gift, celibacy positively proclaims the Reign of God. To those whom the Lord has genuinely called to the priesthood or religious life the grace necessary to sustain a celibate witness is readily available.