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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: The authority of the Catholic Church
Rosina
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
<snip>

My starting point: I'd like to be a ‘catholic'.

Why?


By that I mean, I'd like to belong to the Church the the apostles started, and to which all Christians are called to belong. I'd like to be part of a Church which can at least aspire to being in communion with all Christians.

OK

I'd like that Church to teach orthodox Christian doctrine,

Why?

and to devote its intellectual resources to defending and promoting that doctrine, so that I can be reasonably confident that what I believe is orthodox, and that I have access to the best arguments to convince me of that.

Why do you wish to be only "reasonably confident" what you believe?

Mere belief means never knowing for sure - Jesus words were "come out from among them and know the truth"

Was n't he calling his fellow Jews to come out of religion and know the truth of and from God?

Why do you want to believe doctrines of man when you could "seek and find" "ask and it will be given" "knock and the door will open" - "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.

Eliab, ask yourself does God speak? Did He speak to those who testified in scripture.? Has He stopped speaking? (NO) Could He just possibly speak to me?

Life as Jesus declared, is received in every Word
which proceeds forth from the mouth of God.
Jesus never taught seek and find doctrines of man.

Remember Paul - formerly Saul,who wrote as a new man in great detail of the many great gifts from God which he received according to the promise of God; knowledge, understanding, and wisdom being the greater. Paul declared how he had gained sure
knowledge and understanding from God. Paul explained he was not taught by any man but by God. And the apostle John who wrote "You have an
unction with the Father and have no need that any man teach you."

And Jesus Himself declared a coming of a day in which; "All shall know God and all shall be taught by God"

The "one true church" isn't a religion - the temple of God is not a physical building


massive snip


So:

(1) Am I right in thinking that joining the RCC would mean accepting an authority that I presently reject?

If you join the RCC you will be accpeting the authority of a man (ie the Pope).

(2) If so, what arguments are there for accepting that authority?

None IMHO





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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by windsofchange:
quote:
Originally posted by trouty:
They are as bas as their pope.

Well ... that's a relief. [Biased]
I thought it was rather a low thing to say. [Big Grin]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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So everyone likes beer but the Guinness fans say their's is the only Real Beer. Then we have the continental Beer Purity Laws which dictate only specific ingredients may used, and thus all other beers are adulterated. So the fight for whose is the best and most authentic and has best historical claim among all the beers. It doesn't matter that any group claims historical precedence. In this way, I'd say the RCC is authoritative but not absolutely so.

I don't know that we can say the apostles started the RCC, even if the RCC says they did. We can only say that they followed Jesus and started the Christian churches. Plural. They didn't agree from the beginning about authority, though Paul and Peter seem to have gotten things together in the biblical telling of the first major conflict. All bets were off after political power was part of the equation. I just hope the apostles drank beer and enjoyed themselves.

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Rosina
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Where did Jesus get His authority?

Jesus was authorized by God, taught truth by God and He taught man to enter into and follow a way in and by which God is both Father and Teacher.

The Catholic Church has no authority from God ISTM because it does not teach the same "way" Jesus taught which was the reality of God, not a way of religion. Jesus stood against religion and false religious teachings, and taught people to come to God to learn the truth concerning the matters of God. He taught the way to ask and receive from God. The way has not changed and it is the way for all mankind.

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"Imagine." If you can imagine, you can dream, and if you can dream, you can hope and if you have hope, you may seek and if you seek; you will find.

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary LA:
There is also a certain tension that many canon lawyers point to when they talk about showing 'respect' but not 'submission' to doctrines or papal pronouncements, as when the German bishops together dissented from papal teaching on contraception in Humanae Vitae, the same public opposition voiced in the Winnipeg Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Most Catholics I know who use contraception justify their dissent from offical teaching by reference to the 'hierarchy of truths' and the primacy of conscience.

I'm sort of getting the impression that several Catholics are hinting that I shouldn't let the contraception ban keep me out, because I wouldn't actually be expected to obey it.

Which is nice, but doesn't really address my concern. Which is, is the teaching actually true?

If it is, though it would be a royal pain in the cock, I could obey it. It isn't beyond my capability, and if I thought that was what God wanted, that's what I'd do. So if what you are saying is “The Church is right about contraception, but pastorally, we recognise obedience is tough, and this won't be strictly demanded of you if you join” then my answer is “Thanks, but no thanks. If I ever think it's true, I'll be obeying it”.

On the other hand, if you are saying “Don't tell the Pope, but we think the Church has called this one wrong”, then I'd respond “Yeah, I think so too. But I already have a church that gets things wrong. I'd been told that your lot's USP was that you didn't”. The Pope may not be quite as 'all in' on condoms as he is on the Marian dogmas, but it seems to me that the RCC is firmly committed to the contraception teaching, and if it has indeed called this one wrongly, the idea that the Catholic Church's ordinary teaching carries a greater moral weight than any other worldly institution is pretty much finished.

Now no one is ever going to convince about contraception on the merits. We've argued that here before, I know and understand the RCC position, and I could not be less persuaded. The only way I'd ever accept the teaching is by being persuaded on other grounds that the RCC is the supreme judge of this sort of thing, and, having ruled on it, I ought to accept its views simply on authority. That's what I'd like to see argued, and, so far, it hasn't been.

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k-mann
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quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
Where did Jesus get His authority?

Jesus was authorized by God, taught truth by God and He taught man to enter into and follow a way in and by which God is both Father and Teacher.

Jesus ‘got’ his authority merely by being who he is, by being God.

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
The Catholic Church has no authority from God ISTM because it does not teach the same "way" Jesus taught which was the reality of God, not a way of religion.

And what is ‘religion’? Are you saying that Christ didn’t recite the Psalms? That he didn’t institute a ritual? That he didn’t want us to praise, worship and give thanks to God?

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
Jesus stood against religion and false religious teachings, and taught people to come to God to learn the truth concerning the matters of God.

I agree that Jesus stood against false religious teachings (as should anyone, of course), but where did you get the impression that he stood against religion as such? Can you please point to some evidence of this claim?

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
He taught the way to ask and receive from God. The way has not changed and it is the way for all mankind.

And this isn’t ‘religion’? What definition of the term ‘religion’ do you use?

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Mary LA
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Posted by Eliab: I'm sort of getting the impression that several Catholics are hinting that I shouldn't let the contraception ban keep me out, because I wouldn't actually be expected to obey it.

No that wasn't the point of my post, Eliab. I was just looking at the reception WITHIN the catholic Church of Humanae Vitae and the rejection by bishops that led the way for many lay Catholics to use contraception while in good conscience remaining in the Church. The teaching on contraception is not dogma.

It does feel like a hair-splitting juggling act at times, but the diversity and dissent is right there in the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and always has been.

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Desert Daughter
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary LA:
the diversity and dissent is right there in the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and always has been. [/QB]

-exactly.

Eliab, I get the impression that you want to join the "perfect" congregation (you're too late, there, the "Parfaits" was the name the Cathars gave to themselves...).

Joking apart, if you fear that unless you become RC you'll be ticked off once you arrive at the Pearly Gates, that's not going to be the case. You can be an Anglican, a Lutheran, a Buddhist, really almost whatever and live closer to the Gospel than many RCs.

Also, it appears that you are deeply concerned with the contraception issue. I recommend that you read up on what the Church officialy says on this, and why. It has nothing to do with being anti-sex or anti-fun or anti-women, but everything to do with their concept of the human person. Look at the source of the Churches' teaching, and then decide whether you can live with it or not.

As to the Immaculate Conception etc, these are dogmata , and the contraception teaching is not a dogma.

And besides, being RC is not about dogmata or contraception. It ios about a specific way one sees the community of the Faithful (a.k.a. the Church) try to follow the Gospels.

[ 06. July 2012, 09:34: Message edited by: Desert Daughter ]

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary LA:
It does feel like a hair-splitting juggling act at times, but the diversity and dissent is right there in the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and always has been.

Yes, and I can easily see how Christians brought up in (or otherwise already part of) the Catholic Church could, in good conscience, remain Catholic even when they reject some RCC teaching, because it is the church that they are committed to, and because the RCC could still be the ‘best fit' for them overall. I'm not criticising that in the least.

That's not my situation, though. I'm not a Catholic. I'm considering what claim the RCC has to define for me what full and authentic Christian teaching actually is. If I decide that an important moral teaching of the RCC ought to be rejected, I cannot at the same time say that I am persuaded that I ought to accept RCC moral authority. And RCC moral authority really is the one thing that the RCC purports to offer that cannot be had anywhere else. That's what I want to test.

quote:
Originally posted by Desert Daughter:
Also, it appears that you are deeply concerned with the contraception issue. I recommend that you read up on what the Church officialy says on this, and why. It has nothing to do with being anti-sex or anti-fun or anti-women, but everything to do with their concept of the human person.

I have done. I know what the Church says. I know it well enough that I could argue the case against contraception from Catholic principles myself. I'm not prevented from agreeing with it because I am ignorant, or because I'm influenced by erroneous preconceptions or prejudice. The reason I don't agree with it is because every moral instinct I have tells me that the RCC is wrong.

Basically, I have a choice: go with my own judgement, which might, of course, be wrong but is the best I have, or accept that because I am persuaded on other grounds that the RCC cannot err in teaching faith and morals, I must be wrong when I disagree with the RCC, whether I am able to see why, or not. The argument from authority is the only one that stands a chance.

So what is the argument from authority? Where is the substance to the RCC's extravagent claims for itself?

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I'm sort of getting the impression that several Catholics are hinting that I shouldn't let the contraception ban keep me out, because I wouldn't actually be expected to obey it. Which is nice, but doesn't really address my concern. Which is, is the teaching actually true?

Firstly, if you are to be received into the RCC you will have to vow the following (RCIA #491): "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God." It is basically certain that you would get away with committing perjury on the issue of contraception or really any other issue, unless you manage to make a huge public issue out of this and thereby force the hierarchy into action. Nevertheless, a lack of prosecution does not make a false oath right. As convert you are factually in a different situation to cradle Catholics, because your commitment comes to a head at a specific point in time, whereas that of cradle Catholics is ongoing and procedural. The latter allows for much more "fudging". Yet you cannot simply join the "fudge", that is a "privilege" of those whose faults are distributed over a lifetime of being Catholic.

Secondly, nevertheless your approach here is flawed. In the final analysis you are asked to accept a claim of authority, not of truth. Of course, that authority precisely claims to speak Divine truth. Hence to some extent finding truth in what that authority says supplies evidence for its authority. Yet the fundamental problem of the moral and spiritual life is that practically speaking truth can be found only very partially by our own lights. Worse, it is a truth, which is available to us by introspection, that we are often arrayed against truth, in particular moral truth. This tension can become painfully conscious, as we watch ourselves do what we know we should not do. The answer to this problem is also known, and universal across all cultures and times. One has to find a guide, and follow that guide with effort and discipline, in order to go where one cannot go alone. The real question is hence whether you think Christ is the best guide in the first place, and then whether the RCC is the best guide to Christ in the second place.

Please note that such a decision could leave the truth on contraception untouched. If one has decided to trust a guide, then it is not necessary that one understands all advice the guide gives. It is great if that is the case, but acting merely on the guide's say-so is generally part of following a guide. Of course, this requires trust in the guide, and that then really is the key: Do you trust the RCC to guide you best to Christ? If yes, then IMHO you should become a RC - even if there is stuff that you can only accept but not understand. (Please note that I said "RCC", not this RC priest or that RC bishop or even the RC pope.)

quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Now no one is ever going to convince about contraception on the merits. We've argued that here before, I know and understand the RCC position, and I could not be less persuaded.

This (Purgatory) is not the place to discuss contraception. However, this (SoF) really is not the place to discuss contraception. Flowers grow on battle fields only when everybody is dead.

quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
The only way I'd ever accept the teaching is by being persuaded on other grounds that the RCC is the supreme judge of this sort of thing, and, having ruled on it, I ought to accept its views simply on authority. That's what I'd like to see argued, and, so far, it hasn't been.

And again, your approach is somewhat flawed. Because if this could be argued, then the Holy Spirit would be out of his job. In the end, there is no compelling argument to be had. For nobody, and nothing. Perhaps we can tilt the playing field a bit with the best of our arguments, but the game itself remains Divine.

But anyway, I guess one has to say something. Let me make the following analogy, which for me is not really an analogy but rather something I lived for many years. If you want to practice martial arts, you have to make a key decision: are you going to practice a traditional martial art, or are you looking for self-defense or perhaps skill in cage fighting competitions? Not that I want to make any particular claims about the fighting effectiveness. Perhaps you are great at self-defense with your traditional martial art, perhaps your cage fighting skills would make you a great warrior on the battle field. That's not my point. My point is that there is a difference in focus in learning here.

If you are doing a traditional martial art, then you will try to reproduce it, at least in its essence. Maybe you will develop the art further, but in some clear sense you must stay true to it: or the tradition will be destroyed, no matter how well you may be fighting with the novelties. And there really is only one way to pass on a traditional martial art. It goes from master to student. More precisely, it primarily goes from a master to a few students who will become the next masters, while there well be many, many more who are training with them in the school (but never reach the level to become master, for various reasons).

For Christianity, too, you have to make a decision. Is it all about "becoming the best person I could be"? Even if you fill the "best" there with Christian values (charity, piety, ...), that remains the "self-defense" approach. I do not think that this is quite right. Obviously one cannot argue against people bettering themselves, but for me being a Christian means following Christ with the "traditional martial arts" approach. The essence of Christ is not separable for me from the passing on of the Way from master to student. The "flavor" of what being a Christian is like must pass on from mind to mind, body to body, heart to heart: human to human. And there must be masters, for there will be students. A book, even an inspired book, can never really capture this.

This does not get us quite to the RC hierarchy yet. The final step of my thinking is simply human failure. In fact, a particular obvious example is provided by Western traditional martial arts. We had them, they were fantastic, they lasted for many centuries - and then they basically died, surviving only in shadows in some sports. So having identified how I think a Way must be passed on, and assuming that God wants to protect this against human failure, what do we get? I say something like the RC hierarchy is just what I would expect. Mind you, something like it, not necessarily precisely it: I think there are plenty of "accidental features" in what we have now. Still, for me this was and is the obvious source of the Way.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Mary LA
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I'm always drawn to ideals of what might yet come to be, in an ideal church, in an ideal world.
But perhaps because it is the Feastday of little Maria Goretti who was raped and murdered at the age of 11, I keep coming back to the exceptions made by the Vatican as regards their own teaching on contraception.

One example taught in moral theology classes at John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria has to do with the 1960s Simba revolt in the Congo where raped nuns who had been made pregnant were permitted abortions and nuns remaining in dangerous areas were allowed to wear diaphragms or use pessaries (the Pill wasn't widely available as yet).

More recently, the Vatican responded to mass rapes in Bosnia by deciding that women in danger of rape could use contraceptives, even though its ban on contraception in normal circumstances remains.

The official mandates issued to Catholic Hospitals by the US Catholic Bishops specifically authorise contraception after rape.

The teaching on rejecting contraception isn't that clear-cut as a moral absolute, it can't be. Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) has some wonderful insights into conception as a gift of love and the call to holiness in the 'closest intimacy and generating of new life', the beauty and joyfulness of the sexual union in matrimony. I love that idealism and vision, but it was written at a time before the prevalence of sexual violence was public knowledge. One of these days we might see an amended teaching --

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― Muriel Spark

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I'm sort of getting the impression that several Catholics are hinting that I shouldn't let the contraception ban keep me out, because I wouldn't actually be expected to obey it.

Which is nice, but doesn't really address my concern. Which is, is the teaching actually true?

If it is, though it would be a royal pain in the cock

You need to buy bigger condoms, then.

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Trisagion
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I'd want to associate myself with much of IngoB, Desert Daughter and MaryLA has said to you, Eliab. I do want, however, to pick up on a couple of points in MaryLA's last post.

quote:
Originally posted by Mary LA:
One example taught in moral theology classes at John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria has to do with the 1960s Simba revolt in the Congo where raped nuns who had been made pregnant were permitted abortions...

Could you provide more evidence of who permitted this and why? It would seem to me an extraordinary claim and one which suggests that somebody in authority thought that one person should pay with their life for the violent act of another.

quote:
The official mandates issued to Catholic Hospitals by the US Catholic Bishops specifically authorise contraception after rape.
Again, could you provide further and better particulars?

quote:
The teaching on rejecting contraception isn't that clear-cut as a moral absolute, it can't be. Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) has some wonderful insights into conception as a gift of love and the call to holiness in the 'closest intimacy and generating of new life', the beauty and joyfulness of the sexual union in matrimony. I love that idealism and vision, but it was written at a time before the prevalence of sexual violence was public knowledge. One of these days we might see an amended teaching --
Well it is a moral absolute but, like all moral absolute, it is valid only within the scope of the teaching. I would argue that the use of barrier methods of contraception as a prophylactic against conception in the face of the real threat of sexual violence is not within the scope of the teaching in HV.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
...As convert you are factually in a different situation to cradle Catholics, because your commitment comes to a head at a specific point in time, whereas that of cradle Catholics is ongoing and procedural. The latter allows for much more "fudging". Yet you cannot simply join the "fudge", that is a "privilege" of those whose faults are distributed over a lifetime of being Catholic.

I'm curious as to how you can draw a distinction here. Surely a cradle Catholic who begins to doubt or disagree with fundamental aspects of Catholic teaching is in an even more untenable position than the recent convert, who, it must be admitted, may be excused for not understanding or remembering everything he has been taught in his catechesis classes. It is surely the lifelong Roman Catholic who, in the cold light of day, decides that transubstantiation is nonsense, and that Jesus was speaking purely metaphorically, who has taken a decisive step away from the Faith, not the convert who, going along with the flow and the exciting new sense of fellowship, doesn't realize all the implications of what he is signing up to, and anyway has probably been told not to worry about the bits he doesn't 'understand' (probably by people who don't really understand them themselves).

I really can't see how you can say one Catholic is allowed to 'fudge' his faith, and another is not. Where exactly does it say this in the official Catechism, or are there different versions for different grades of believer?

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Unreformed
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If you still have a few stumbling blocks remember that being received into the Catholic Church is a beginning, not an end. Contraception was one for me, too, and honestly emotionally it still is (though intellectually I understand it).

And as Desert Daughter says, there's plenty of diversity in this Church of ours. Much more so than in protestant sects that, these days, tend to be either the 1972 Democratic Convention at Prayer like TEC or or those who think one must be a conservative Republican to be Christian like the evangelical churches. It's part of what attracted me to it.

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Angloid
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I would be surprised if any official statement let the cradle Catholics 'off the hook' as it were. But there is a difference. 'Belonging' ISTM is a crucial part of Catholic identity, (which is why you can have the oxymoron of a 'Catholic atheist')... the 'believing' is important, but if you belong to the Church in a sense the Church does the believing for you.

If you are joining the Catholic Church from elsewhere, it's a different matter, as Eliab clearly understands. You don't as yet belong, so you have to decide whether you believe enough to let you belong.

That's as I see it, as a sympathetic outsider. Though I suppose if your strongest belief is that it's important to belong, that outweighs any doubts about other matters.

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Crowd: We're all individuals!
Lone voice: I'm not!

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Trisagion
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Holy Smoke, I'm not sure you really understood what IngoB was saying. For the convert there is the moment when one has to stand up in front of God and the Church and say the words IngoB quoted. Either you can say that truthfully or you cannot. The cradle Catholic does not have to do that. What happens after that moment is a different matter altogether. Certainly a Catholic, cradle or convert, who decided that the Church's teaching on the Real Presence and Transubstantiation was untrue would have taken a definitive step away from the Catholic Faith and one which would, objectively, exclude that individual from full participation in the Church's sacramental life.

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Garasu
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Picking up on IngoB's analogy of reception into the RCC being equivalent of being inducted into a martial arts tradition (and echoing various other points that have been made)... What is it about the RCC's position that is any different from that of another church? Is IngoB really saying that the difference between whether I should become a Roman Catholic or a Quaker is no different from whether I should study karate or aikido?

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"Could I believe in the doctrine without believing in the deity?". - Modesitt, L. E., Jr., 1943- Imager.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Yes, and I can easily see how Christians brought up in (or otherwise already part of) the Catholic Church could, in good conscience, remain Catholic even when they reject some RCC teaching, because it is the church that they are committed to, and because the RCC could still be the ‘best fit' for them overall. I'm not criticising that in the least.

That's not my situation, though. I'm not a Catholic. I'm considering what claim the RCC has to define for me what full and authentic Christian teaching actually is. If I decide that an important moral teaching of the RCC ought to be rejected, I cannot at the same time say that I am persuaded that I ought to accept RCC moral authority. And RCC moral authority really is the one thing that the RCC purports to offer that cannot be had anywhere else. That's what I want to test.

I entirely agree and that is fundamental.

If a cradle Roman has questions about some area of Catholic teaching, be it Cordelia Marchmain's sacred monkeys of the Vatican, exactly how transubstantiation takes place, or whether the Pope can change reality by Encyclical, they remain a Roman Catholic, even if less of a good one. But I don't think you can become one unless you either accept the lot on personal conviction or accept that you will henceforth believe as the Pope believes simply because he is the Pope and you aren't.

If you are persuaded by papal authority, then - and I would say, only then - you can become a Roman. I don't think you can in the hope that sometime in the future you might feel persuaded, or from worry that he just might turn out to be right in his verdict on your ecclesial household's orders.

If God wants you to be a Roman, then I think your heart will be persuaded. It will seem obvious when/if it happens. Until then, don't be too anxious about it.

Otherwise,you're where the rest of us are, admiring some features about the Roman church but remaining in your present household.

Phil 4:11 "For I have learnt, in whatever state I am, to be content".

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Trisagion
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Newman wrote many letters to prospective converts after his own submission, in which he counselled that unless one accepted the claims the Catholic Church made for herself then one should remain outside but that the moment one accepted them then one was under an urgent moral imperative to submit to her authority. I think that is pretty close the proper measure.

BTW Enoch, what is a cradle Roman, or are you being deliberately offensive?

[ 06. July 2012, 19:38: Message edited by: Trisagion ]

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Enoch
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Not meaning to be offensive and wasn't aware that I might be or how - one who is a Roman Catholic by family and background, baptised as one and brought up in the Roman church, as I am in the CofE, not one who has converted from something else.

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Trisagion
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The "Roman Church" is what, precisely? "Romans" are whom, exactly? [Disappointed]

[ 06. July 2012, 21:08: Message edited by: Trisagion ]

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
If God wants you to be a Roman, then I think your heart will be persuaded.

If God wanted you to be a Roman, He'd have seen to it that you were born in Rome to Italian parents.
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Unreformed
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quote:
Originally posted by Trisagion:
The "Roman Church" is what, precisely? "Romans" are whom, exactly? [Disappointed]

Seriously. "Roman" or "Roman Catholic", btw, excludes Eastern Rite Catholics.

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In the Latin south the enemies of Christianity often make their position clear by burning a church. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, we don't burn churches; we empty them. --Arnold Lunn, The Third Day

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Rosina
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quote:
Originally posted by k-mann:
[/qb]

Jesus ‘got’ his authority merely by being who he is, by being God.

Jesus was and is the Son of God. I don't think He ever said He was God.

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
The Catholic Church has no authority from God ISTM because it does not teach the same "way" Jesus taught which was the reality of God, not a way of religion.


And what is ‘religion’? Are you saying that Christ didn’t recite the Psalms? That he didn’t institute a ritual? That he didn’t want us to praise, worship and give thanks to God?

I'm not saying any of those things k-mann

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
Jesus stood against religion and false religious teachings, and taught people to come to God to learn the truth concerning the matters of God.

I agree that Jesus stood against false religious teachings (as should anyone, of course), but where did you get the impression that he stood against religion as such? Can you please point to some evidence of this claim?

I don't see Jesus standing against anything - I do see Him standing for God and truth. Mind you He had some harsh things to say to the religious leaders in his day. "Snakes" and "vipers" come to mind.

All the words purported to have been spoken by Him are evidence of His teachings - he taught seek and find the Kingdom of God - not man. I agree he learned from the writings of David and therefore is sometimes called the son of David.

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
He taught the way to ask and receive from God. The way has not changed and it is the way for all mankind.

And this isn’t ‘religion’?

Certainly not.

What definition of the term ‘religion’ do you use? [/QB][/QUOTE]

Religion is a creation of man, not God. And man places himself at the head of his religion instead of God. Religion is an attempt to grapple with the numinous. The way spoken of and taught by Jesus is to be followed for it is the way in and by which one gains knowledge of truth. Truth inspired in the mind of man by God. Truth means reality doesn't it? Who needs religion when they can have the reality of God Himself as Father, teacher, creator?

All the conflicts between religions are conflicts of belief and opinion and have nothing to do with God. The way taught by Jesus speaks of reality, not religion.

Discussing reality should always be encouraged. Discussing religious doctrine is always a waste of time.

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"Imagine." If you can imagine, you can dream, and if you can dream, you can hope and if you have hope, you may seek and if you seek; you will find.

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Trisagion
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
If God wants you to be a Roman, then I think your heart will be persuaded.

If God wanted you to be a Roman, He'd have seen to it that you were born in Rome to Italian parents.
I am obliged to you, RuthW, for your entirely undeserved kindness.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Trisagion
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Oh honestly! Not another. Rosina, darling, would you do us all a favour and use Preview post to check how your posting is laid out and then check your UBB code?

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
Jesus was and is the Son of God. I don't think He ever said He was God.

Do you believe in the Holy Trinity?

quote:

All the words purported to have been spoken by Him are evidence of His teachings - he taught seek and find the Kingdom of God - not man. I agree he learned from the writings of David and therefore is sometimes called the son of David.

And how, pray tell, do we know "the words purported to have been spoken by Him"?

BTW, he wasn't called Son of David because he learned the psalms - every Jew did that - he was called the Son of David because he was (a) of David's house and line; and (b) it was a common Messianic title and his followers wanted to claim/own that for him.

quote:
Religion is a creation of man, not God. And man places himself at the head of his religion instead of God. Religion is an attempt to grapple with the numinous. The way spoken of and taught by Jesus is to be followed for it is the way in and by which one gains knowledge of truth. Truth inspired in the mind of man by God. Truth means reality doesn't it? Who needs religion when they can have the reality of God Himself as Father, teacher, creator?
Guess what, Rosina? You don't get to think up a new and peculiar definition of the word "religion" and then impose it on the discourse here. Not unless your name is Humpty Dumpty, you don't.

quote:
All the conflicts between religions are conflicts of belief and opinion and have nothing to do with God. The way taught by Jesus speaks of reality, not religion.
No they aren't. You are either monumentally ignorant or just plain stupid if you look at the evidence of religious conflict and can believe that. Many such conflicts are about identity, commerce, race, tribe or competition for scarce resources.

quote:
Discussing reality should always be encouraged. Discussing religious doctrine is always a waste of time.
Then clear off dear and let those of us who think otherwise get on with what we like doing.

[ 06. July 2012, 22:14: Message edited by: Trisagion ]

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Angloid
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This issue keeps cropping up here on the Ship. I am always sensitive to the fact that Catholics in communion with the Pope prefer to be called just Catholics, and indeed that to use the adjective is inaccurate and ambiguous as well as discourteous. But that raises another ambiguity in that many - possibly most - other Christians claim to be catholics also. Can we assume the same courtesy on behalf of Catholics to us catholics?

By referring to Catholics as Catholics I'm not thereby admitting that I don't see myself as such. Any more than by referring to Orthodox as Orthodox is admitting my own heterodoxy. I'm quite happy to be an orthodox catholic (all lower case).

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Brian: You're all individuals!
Crowd: We're all individuals!
Lone voice: I'm not!

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Angloid
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My last post was in response to Trisagion's reply to RuthW, and the mini-debate about nomenclature that preceded it. If that wasn't clear.

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Brian: You're all individuals!
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Trisagion
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
This issue keeps cropping up here on the Ship. I am always sensitive to the fact that Catholics in communion with the Pope prefer to be called just Catholics, and indeed that to use the adjective is inaccurate and ambiguous as well as discourteous.

Quite. It wasn't being called a "Roman Catholic" to which I was objecting. Although it is discourteous to call somebody by a name they've asked you not to use, I understand that it helps bolster others identity and let it pass. What I was objecting to was being called "Roman" and the Catholic Church being called the "Roman Church" or the "Church of Rome". It is simply polemical and dismissive.

quote:
But that raises another ambiguity in that many - possibly most - other Christians claim to be catholics also. Can we assume the same courtesy on behalf of Catholics to us catholics?
You are an Anglican, Angloid. You belong to a body that commonly calls itself "The Church of England". Whether I think you are catholic or orthodox or a member of a church, Church or ecclesial communion or whatever, the point is that for the purposes of my refering to you and yours with the courtesy necessary to facilitate debate and not to irritate you, I call you what you and yours are commonly called and don't, for example, call you the Protestant Church of England, or the church of England, or the ecclesial communion that calls itself the Church of England.

quote:
By referring to Catholics as Catholics I'm not thereby admitting that I don't see myself as such. Any more than by referring to Orthodox as Orthodox is admitting my own heterodoxy. I'm quite happy to be an orthodox catholic (all lower case).
Exactly.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Rosina
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sorry for inexperience of quotes and postings.

quote:
Originally posted by Trisagion:

quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
Jesus was and is the Son of God. I don't think He ever said He was God.

Do you believe in the Holy Trinity?

I believe God Fathers His Son - The Son of God is any person born of the Seed of God, raised to maturity by God. God is Father to this one. The Holy Spirit is what God inspires and is the way truth is conveyed from God to the Son.

These three "testify." The Father and Son, are one in mind and spirit. The Holy Spirit is the substance and matter from the mind of God

quote:

[/qb]
Guess what, Rosina? You don't get to think up a new and peculiar definition of the word "religion" and then impose it on the discourse here. Not unless your name is Humpty Dumpty, you don't

quote:

Sure I do - I was asked for my definition or religion and gave it.

Why does that make you angry?

<snip>

"Conflicts" of any sort have nothing to do with God IMHO

quote:
Discussing reality should always be encouraged. Discussing religious doctrine is always a waste of time.
Then clear off dear and let those of us who think otherwise get on with what we like doing. [/QB]
Ciou

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"Imagine." If you can imagine, you can dream, and if you can dream, you can hope and if you have hope, you may seek and if you seek; you will find.

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Unreformed
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I think the capitalization is enough, without adding any words, to tell the difference between being catholic and being Catholic.

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In the Latin south the enemies of Christianity often make their position clear by burning a church. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, we don't burn churches; we empty them. --Arnold Lunn, The Third Day

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Organ Builder
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I suppose it's a bit of a tangent, Trisagion, but I've always found your unease with "Roman Catholic" a bit odd given that many US churches identify themselves as such on their signage and printed materials. Is this a pond difference?

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How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.--E.F. Benson

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Unreformed
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quote:
Originally posted by Organ Builder:
I suppose it's a bit of a tangent, Trisagion, but I've always found your unease with "Roman Catholic" a bit odd given that many US churches identify themselves as such on their signage and printed materials.

They do? All the ones I've seen in my area just say "Such-and-Such Catholic Church" on the sign. I guess YMMV.

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In the Latin south the enemies of Christianity often make their position clear by burning a church. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, we don't burn churches; we empty them. --Arnold Lunn, The Third Day

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Organ Builder
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Given what I do for a living, Unreformed, my exposure to a variety of physical plants in the Catholic Church is probably significantly larger than yours.

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How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.--E.F. Benson

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Unreformed
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quote:
Originally posted by Organ Builder:
Given what I do for a living, Unreformed, my exposure to a variety of physical plants in the Catholic Church is probably significantly larger than yours.

Ok, point taken. I defer to your wider experience.

ETA: Also sorry for being a bit thick. I Didn't get at first that you were an actual organ builder and it wasn't just a screen name. [Hot and Hormonal]

[ 07. July 2012, 01:52: Message edited by: Unreformed ]

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In the Latin south the enemies of Christianity often make their position clear by burning a church. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, we don't burn churches; we empty them. --Arnold Lunn, The Third Day

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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by Trisagion:
The "Roman Church" is what, precisely? "Romans" are whom, exactly? [Disappointed]

As I understand it, she is called thus because she is (or was, if you prefer) the official church of the Roman Empire. But seriously, Trisagion, it is just an abbreviation of 'Roman Catholic', and if you are offended by that, then we are also offended by many of the things which you believe and profess, not least your opinions on the validity of Anglican orders.
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Sir Pellinore
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A fascinating thread you started, Eliab.

Some of the posts were extremely incisive and certainly made me sit up.

I was somewhat amused and slightly curious about the case you put forward.

Were you wanting someone to give you a reason to cross the Tiber? Because, if you were, most Roman Catholic posters seemed to be advising you to exercise extreme care to fully understand what you were actually committing yourself to before you signed up, which seemed to me to be highly ethical and praiseworthy.

Were you wanting to put holes in many articles of Catholic teaching? Because I think, with great courtesy and grace, most of your objections were dealt with more than adequately.

Were you attempting to nail some sort of personal thesis up because I'm not sure you did?

Was it just another intellectual game on SOF? "Spiritual Chess"? [Eek!]

Great posts from you, but, at the end of them, I was wondering just where you were coming from, or even if you knew?

Doubting and searching are extremely common in modern spiritually inclined people. Some of them are, like you, extremely intelligent.

Sometimes, for many people, the journey; quest; whatever; seems to become an end in itself. Many of my university contemporaries, even though they might have achieved high positions in the Anglican Church in this country and are are extremely intelligent, seem, in some ways, to be as lost as they were 40 years ago. But that does not mean that many of their Roman Catholic contemporaries of the same era are any more "found".

It is, I think, theoretically possible to be 100% "doctrinally correct" and yet totally "spiritually lost" because mere correct doctrinal adherence is not enough to save your soul (if you accept that old fashioned phrase).

There is something of a loving response to Love
( it's called Grace in old fashioned terms) which is required.

It's not something I inferred you had grasped. Perhaps it wasn't part of your "intellectual brief" but it is, whether you remain Anglican or not, the core of the matter.

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Well...

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Mary LA
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Trisagion, not extraordinary at all -- there are several articles in the Jesuit publication Civillta Catolica (approved before publication by the Vatican) that discuss the issue. Very thorny and controversial perhaps but historical reality. Moral theologian Charles Curran also debated the issue in a response to a piece in Commonweal back in 1998, if I recall.

To talk about encyclicals or moral teachings as timeless or ahistorical is problematic because the application or implementation of teachings is conditioned by context, especially in war or social anarchy.

Edited for typos

[ 07. July 2012, 07:16: Message edited by: Mary LA ]

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“I often wonder if we were all characters in one of God's dreams.”
― Muriel Spark

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Trisagion
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quote:
Originally posted by Organ Builder:
I suppose it's a bit of a tangent, Trisagion, but I've always found your unease with "Roman Catholic" a bit odd given that many US churches identify themselves as such on their signage and printed materials. Is this a pond difference?

As I said, I wasn't objecting to being called "Roman Catholic". I'd prefer not to use it but what I was objecting to being called "Roman" and the use of terms such as "the Roman Church" or "the Church of Rome". We all know what that's about. They are sneery, supercilious expressions through the use of which Anglicans of a certain stripe seek to suggest the essential foreignness of Catholicism whilst somehow seeking to reiterate their own claims to catholicity.

HolySmoke, I know some of our beliefs are offensive to you - which is why, out of courtesy and respect - the courtesy and respect essential for civilised discourse - we don't go around voicing them indiscriminately and attempt, wherever possible, to express them carefully when it becomes necessary to express them at all. It's about courtesy: nothing more, nothing less.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Trisagion
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary LA:
Trisagion, not extraordinary at all -- there are several articles in the Jesuit publication Civillta Catolica (approved before publication by the Vatican) that discuss the issue.

Thank you.

quote:
Very thorny and controversial perhaps but historical reality.
Very thorny and controversial indeed and perhaps a historical reality. As I said in the earlier post, it is certainly extraordinary and I look forward to reading the evidence for its historical reality.

quote:
Moral theologian Charles Curran also debated the issue in a response to a piece in Commonweal back in 1998, if I recall.
You'll forgive me if I reserve my position on the quality of Charles Curran's moral theology and its conformity with Catholic teaching. Curran mandatum to teach Catholic theology was revoked by the Holy See in 1986. His dismissal as a Professor at CUA was upheld by the secular courts. His views as to what might or might not be morally permissable aren't likely to shed much light on Catholic teaching.

quote:
To talk about encyclicals or moral teachings as timeless or ahistorical is problematic because the application or implementation of teachings is conditioned by context, especially in war or social anarchy.
I didn't, of course, talk about them as timeless or ahistorical. They aren't. The teaching they contain (although not the way it is expressed) may well be. The application or implementation of teachings is, of course, conditioned by context. It's what we call "being pastorally sensitive".

[ 07. July 2012, 07:42: Message edited by: Trisagion ]

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Mary LA
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Yes, pastoral sensitivity -- that's why students at a local seminary are asked to engage with this kind of issue before going into parishes and working with rape survivors from north Congo, Zimbabwe or South Africa. It might not be necessary in many First World contexts.

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“I often wonder if we were all characters in one of God's dreams.”
― Muriel Spark

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Trisagion
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary LA:
Yes, pastoral sensitivity -- that's why students at a local seminary are asked to engage with this kind of issue before going into parishes and working with rape survivors from north Congo, Zimbabwe or South Africa. It might not be necessary in many First World contexts.

Quite.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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Enoch
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Wow. I've been around over sixty years, Trisagion, and that's a sensitivity I've either never met or have been oblivious to. Roman in this context - rather than in the context 'native of the city of Rome', or 'pertaining to an empire that fell in 476 AD' - to me means, 'in communion with and accepting the primacy of the Bishop of Rome', as in 'Roman obedience'.

As such, I'm very puzzled why it should be a touchy issue.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Organ Builder:
I suppose it's a bit of a tangent, Trisagion, but I've always found your unease with "Roman Catholic" a bit odd given that many US churches identify themselves as such on their signage and printed materials. Is this a pond difference?

No. I happens in England too. I serve on a committee where the (R)C bishop's rep. was asked what title he wanted and he asked for 'Roman' as part of his title. I was surprised but did not query it as it is none of my business.

It's less offensive than 'Italian Mission.'

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Basically, I have a choice: go with my own judgement, which might, of course, be wrong but is the best I have, or accept that because I am persuaded on other grounds that the RCC cannot err in teaching faith and morals, I must be wrong when I disagree with the RCC, whether I am able to see why, or not. The argument from authority is the only one that stands a chance.

So what is the argument from authority? Where is the substance to the RCC's extravagent claims for itself?

The word "monolithic" - used earlier in this thread - is revealing. There seems to be this image of the "monolithic Catholic church" that has a body of doctrine that is perfectly unchanging, integrated, comprehensive and irrefutable, which is totally believed by all its members. Like a Roman legion, marching perfectly in step, totally obedient to orders from the tribune.

We all know that life isn't really quite like this in practice. But this is the sort of image that lurks in the back of many minds, and does reflect the aspiration that some Catholics hold for the Catholic church - what they want it to be. (And maybe for some non-Catholics this is the image they love to hate.)

But the word that we need to discuss is "authority".

Parents have it over their children, teachers over pupils, officers over soldiers, prison officers over inmates, and martial arts sensei (???) over their students.

It's been said that the moment you first realise that your parents don't actually know everything and aren't right about everything is the moment that you start to grow up.

Growing up should be one of the aims of spiritual life.

Authority is temporary - exercised by parents so that their children have the best chance to grow up, by sensei that their students may one day be masters, by officers so that the men may survive the battle and live to sit around the campfire and chat about how the battle might have been fought differently.

Seeking to prolong authority - reluctance to relinquish it when its justification is past - is an abuse.

If you wish to be forever a child, doing as you're told "because I say so" there are people in this world who will do that for you. But it ain't healthy.

I'm told that one of the Popes in the 13th century issued an encyclical justifying the use of torture by the Inquisition.

The Catholic church seems to me to have:
- a doctrine of infallibility under certain rare circumstances
- an organisational culture in which this myth of the Church Monolithic lurks in the background
- a cadre of informed officers and laymen who engage in recreational discussion as to the degrees of authority that should be afforded to different types of church document under different circumstances
- no good and accepted theory that I've yet come across as to how and when past papal pronouncements should be reduced in status or rejected as being with hindsight thoroughly uninspired.

But maybe IngoB and others will put me straight...

Best wishes,

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisagion
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# 5235

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Wow. I've been around over sixty years, Trisagion, and that's a sensitivity I've either never met or have been oblivious to. Roman in this context - rather than in the context 'native of the city of Rome', or 'pertaining to an empire that fell in 476 AD' - to me means, 'in communion with and accepting the primacy of the Bishop of Rome', as in 'Roman obedience'.

Oblivious, I suspect.

quote:
As such, I'm very puzzled why it should be a touchy issue.
I think I explained the reasons that it is touchy: it is primarily used to (a) hint that Catholicism is somehow unEnglish (within a British context); and (b) to make a point about the claim to be Catholic of Anglicanism. It really is the equivalent of Catholics routinely refering to the CofE as the "church of England" or the "ecclesial communion of England": it isn't what Anglicans call themselves and, I imagine, they would find the expression, if it were ever used, as stupid and petty and just plain discourteous.

Leo, your local Catholic ecumenical contact is acting directly contrary to his own Bishop's wishes. When +Declan was a VG in my diocese he required all schools and churches to describe themselves as "Catholic" and to remove any reference to "Roman Catholic" from notepaper, signed, documentation etc. When he was appointed to Clifton (where I was then living), he issued the same instruction.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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k-mann
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# 8490

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Enoch:
[qb]If God wants you to be a Roman, then I think your heart will be persuaded.

If God wanted that, you would probably be born in Rome some 1800-2000 years ago.

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"Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt."
— Paul Tillich

Katolikken

Posts: 1314 | From: Norway | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
k-mann
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# 8490

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quote:
Originally posted by Rosina:
Religion is a creation of man, not God. And man places himself at the head of his religion instead of God. Religion is an attempt to grapple with the numinous. The way spoken of and taught by Jesus is to be followed for it is the way in and by which one gains knowledge of truth. Truth inspired in the mind of man by God. Truth means reality doesn't it? Who needs religion when they can have the reality of God Himself as Father, teacher, creator?

All the conflicts between religions are conflicts of belief and opinion and have nothing to do with God. The way taught by Jesus speaks of reality, not religion.

Discussing reality should always be encouraged. Discussing religious doctrine is always a waste of time.

So you are in fact not using a definition of religion that any lexicon agrees to? Why should we bother discussing with you if you don’t use words in ways that can actually be understood?

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"Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt."
— Paul Tillich

Katolikken

Posts: 1314 | From: Norway | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Rosina
sorry for inexperience of quotes and postings.

There is a UBB practise thread in the Styx where you can work on your skills.

Many people, including me, will not bother to read posts where it is difficult to tell the difference between a quote and an original statement.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20365 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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