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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: We don't actually know,,,KNOW. Saints
Hawk

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
The Anglicans, Protestants and even the Orthodox churches are in various ways heretic and schismatic, and the Lord does not smile on their breaking the unity of the Church,

I disagree. But I've started a new thread on the tangent of who broke the church so as not to disrupt this one.

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“We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See my blog for 'interesting' thoughts

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
This is hilarious. Only you, IngoB, could reply to a query explaining your contempt of others, by saying it's because you're holier than them!

Me? I make no claims of holiness for myself. I make claims of holiness for my Church. I'm contemptuous of the original statement by no prophet: "This old fashioned holier than thou stuff has got to go." No, it doesn't have to go, rather it will stay till the end of time.

quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
And the kicker is you claim that it is your Church that gives you the authority to believe this to be true.

I was not aware that I need to be given authority to believe things? Anyway, if you mean that I believe this by the authority of the Church, then that's quite right. That would be by the same authority that selected those texts as canonical which you like to call the gospels. If you are looking for confirmation of this authority from the gospels, that's hence a bit of a circular exercise, but of course not one that fails due to a lack of verses to consider: here's a handy collection.

quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
However, I do wish there could be a little consistency in these infallible doctrinal pronouncements. A while ago (on another thread) I made a comment about Anglicans being considered heretics by the RCs only to be corrected by a prominent RC poster and told that that was definitely not the case! This really ought to be clarified: I might want to have a t-shirt made up...

That supposedly prominent RC poster was then prominently talking out of his ass, of course. Admittedly it is somewhat difficult to determine what if anything Anglicans as a whole believe in, so a definitive list of all Anglican heresies would be hard to come by. However, it is not hard to come up with specific heresies that I reckon almost all Anglicans would agree with. Like for example that one can divorce and remarry. And if you want to avoid such complications (and the nitty-gritty of moral theology), then you can always focus on the fact that Anglicans are clearly - by royal design - schismatics. And such schism cannot be maintained for long without attendant heresy. Try this from Vatican I:
  • Therefore, if anyone says that blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as prince of all the apostles and visible head of the whole Church militant; or that it was a primacy of honor only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself: let him be anathema.
  • Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.
  • So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.
  • Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.
Are you feeling sufficiently heretic now? Feel free to print these on your t-shirt, BTW.

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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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Anselmina
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Thanks for your reply, IngoB. While I have great respect for the Roman Catholic Church, I am naturally relieved - and delighted - to have my Protestant/reformed catholic credentials (albeit negatively) affirmed!
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Komensky
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What, then, are we to make of saints who never existed, or those who could allegedly levitate or even fly? On the one hand I don't have a problem accepting some as genuine and others as fakes, but it seems that the Church has left that decision to me--or does Rome maintain that some saints could really levitate or fly?

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
What, then, are we to make of saints who never existed, or those who could allegedly levitate or even fly? On the one hand I don't have a problem accepting some as genuine and others as fakes, but it seems that the Church has left that decision to me--or does Rome maintain that some saints could really levitate or fly?

See my posts above. The only thing canonisation definitively asserts is that a saint is in heaven, what aspects of their popular hagiography you accept is up to you. Furthermore, canonisation prior to the 12th century, and in part up to the 17th century, does not come with the implicit guarantee of papal infallibility. You are safe with St Benedict and the like, but if you follow St Strangelove, then who knows what you will learn to love...

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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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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
Thanks for your reply, IngoB. While I have great respect for the Roman Catholic Church, I am naturally relieved - and delighted - to have my Protestant/reformed catholic credentials (albeit negatively) affirmed!

Me too. [Cool] If anything could affirm me in my evangelical Protestantism, then Vatican I does the job nicely! Luther had his flaws, but I'm glad that he did what he did when he did.

(I am also happy to serve under the ministry of a 'heretic' ... my divorced and remarried vicar.)

I am sure all branches of the Church will have a lot to answer for to the Lord on the Great Day ... including the Roman Catholic Church.

Getting back to the OP ...

quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Last night I had a conversation with a more Protestant friend of mine. He said that he objected to Saints' Days because we don't know whether anyone actually has gone into heaven. He said "Even we don't know if Mary has gone into heaven or not."

Is this friend a Hyper-Calvinist, I wonder? No self-respecting evangelical I know would ever question Mary's salvation. [Eek!] I may not call her the BVM but she's Mary, Miriam, the wonderful young Jewish teenager whose obedience and submission to God ensured our Saviour's conception and birth. Of COURSE she's in heaven.

As for sainthood, we are all saints in the redeemed community of the Messiah. The New Testament makes that clear. We are not saints because of our own merits but because He chose us, called us, and made us His own. We are made holy only through Him.

I'm a strong believer in the 'priesthood of all believers', thanks to my Nonconformist roots. But I'm not at all averse to the tradition of honouring saints! I love people like St. Francis (who doesn't love him [Big Grin] ) and so on. I also love the great Celtic missionaries of the 7th century. I admire and love these great men and women ... without losing the sight of the biblical truth that I, even I, am a saint. As absurd as that is. [Smile]

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"I fear that to me Siamese cats belong to the fauna of Mordor." J.R.R. Tolkien

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Komensky
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IngoB, I appreciate this answer. Nevertheless, let's take an example. The myth of St Jan of Nepomuk (being martyred for keeping the confessional secrets of the queen) was debunked by the 1760s only a few decades after Nepomuk was canonised (1729). The 'miracle' of the preserved tongue was later put to scientific test and it turned out to be decayed brain tissue. There's no harm in the church admitting that the confessional story was invented in the fifteenth century and at the same time admitting that they were not trying to trick anyone, but just got it wrong--is there?

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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Albertus
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@your post upthread on Vatican I, IngoB, is there also a bit which says:

AND if anyone dare suggest that all this infallibility malarkey was cooked up by an ageing Pio Nono who was seriously pissed off at losing his temporal power and decided to try to strike back in the only way open to him; AND if he has the further impertinence to point out that a lot of the Bishops at the Council had tactfully left before the doctrine of infallibility came up and of those who were there about 1/3 either opposed or did not actively support the doctrine; let him be ANATHEMA

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
IngoB, I appreciate this answer. Nevertheless, let's take an example. The myth of St Jan of Nepomuk (being martyred for keeping the confessional secrets of the queen) was debunked by the 1760s only a few decades after Nepomuk was canonised (1729). The 'miracle' of the preserved tongue was later put to scientific test and it turned out to be decayed brain tissue. There's no harm in the church admitting that the confessional story was invented in the fifteenth century and at the same time admitting that they were not trying to trick anyone, but just got it wrong--is there?

First, even if you were right about all this, and even if Jan of Nepomuk was not a martyr, then still no problem would arise. Again, canonisation merely asserts that someone is in heaven, and I assume that you have no privileged information that he isn't. Second, nobody is seriously doubting that a Jan of Nepomuk existed and ended as a martyr of the Catholic faith; and hence that the basic motivation for his canonisation by the Church was in fact sound. The only discussion to be had is what he was precisely martyred for. Third, the statement that he was martyred for protecting the seal of the confessional has not been "debunked". It merely is clear that earlier documents speak of a different reason (having to do with electing a new abbot contrary to the wishes of the king). However, nothing stops one from assuming that there was an earlier conflict about the confessions of the queen, and that this second conflict about the abbey was simply what unleashed the king's vengeance. Again, it would not matter all that much if this was not the case. It has no impact on Jan's status as martyr, and frankly, saints get all sorts of "specialities" assigned to them by the faithful and if Jan got the confessional not because of what he did but because of pious legend, then I think he will handle the odd job with a smile. Finally, I do not know what your point about the supposed tongue is. Jan was not canonised because his tongue did not decay, and if it was instead a piece of his brain which did not decay for 326 years in the grave (and hasn't since), then that's no less remarkable (and perhaps at least to us moderns no less symbolic...).

Anyhow, it is not the case that all the various details of a case for sainthood are protected against error by papal infallibility. What is (at least in the opinion of many) protected is simply the actual declaration of the pope:
"In honour of the Blessed Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the growth of Christian life, with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Our Own, after lengthy reflection, having assiduously invoked God’s assistance and taken into account the opinion of many of Our Brothers in the episcopate, we declare and define ... to be (a) Saint(s), and we enrol him/her/them in the Catalogue of the Saints, and we establish that in the whole Church he/she/they should be devoutly honoured among the Saints. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
That's really all we know for certain. And there is a serious misunderstanding behind trying to "debunk" saint's lives. The Church is not investigating a saint's life in order to produce a kind of dogmatic biography. Rather, this process is intended to find out whether declaring this person to be a Saint would be "in honour of the Blessed Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the growth of Christian life". It's more a "political" process and by virtue of being a process (i.e., taking time) it provides more opportunity for God to insert his guidance. In some sense the task of the commission in the case of John of Nepomuk was to check that the reverence already amply paid to him by the faithful could be confirmed officially in good conscience, rather than establishing anything new.

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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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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
by virtue of being a process (i.e., taking time) it provides more opportunity for God to insert his guidance.

One scarcely knows where to begin...

Perhaps it is sufficient to merely oberve that it is hardly surprising to find a crap theology accompanying a crap ecclesiology and hagiology.

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Perhaps it is sufficient to merely oberve that it is hardly surprising to find a crap theology accompanying a crap ecclesiology and hagiology.

Perhaps not, for this would be too obvious a display of cheap rhetoric and personal insult.

And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" (Lk 4:9-12)

The less miracle one requires for achieving a holy outcome, the better. The discovery of a fact in an evidence gathering exercise is also a way of God's grace to work, and it is preferred over some form of sudden Divine mind control. That the popes can under certain circumstances speak infallibly does not mean that they should be arbitrarily decreeing and defining whatever comes to their mind. That a Divine guarantee exists means more, not less, caution, for it adds Divine responsibility to human acts.

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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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Komensky
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Still rather strange to me. The 'person' of Nepomuk that was canonised in 1729 never existed, but was rather a conflation of two different people mixed together with outright invention. This is only a controversial issue in certain RC circles. I think it's fine to have a figure represent the sanctity of the confessional--even if it that figure is fictional--but it seems odd to me to try to undo history. I could certainly agree that God can work through such things, but surely the truth is better, no?

What about the flying and levitating saints? Do you (IngoB or others) believe that they could actually fly?

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
Still rather strange to me. The 'person' of Nepomuk that was canonised in 1729 never existed, but was rather a conflation of two different people mixed together with outright invention. This is only a controversial issue in certain RC circles. I think it's fine to have a figure represent the sanctity of the confessional--even if it that figure is fictional--but it seems odd to me to try to undo history. I could certainly agree that God can work through such things, but surely the truth is better, no?

Best we can tell now, there was only one John of Nepomuk, he was drowned in 1393, and apparently over a conflict with the king concerning the appointment of an abbot. See also the Wikipedia entry. The idea of two John of Nepomuks is now near universally rejected as an attempt of Hajek of Liboczan to harmonize sources. There may have been an earlier conflict over the confession of the queen, or maybe that's just a pious legend. The canonisation (in 1729, much later) clearly intended to declare the martyr John of Nepomuk as saint. In following later manuscript, they very likely got the date of death wrong (1383 vs. 1393, originally probably a copying error) and possibly (though this is not proven!) the cause for the martyrdom. However, this still allows us to know that the John of Nepomuk who actually existed and who actually was martyred is now a saint in heaven.

quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
What about the flying and levitating saints? Do you (IngoB or others) believe that they could actually fly?

Is it possible that God worked such miracles? Sure. Has there ever been a saint canonised because of flying or levitating? No. Saints get canonised for their holiness, not for miraculous powers. Do I believe in this? I have no idea, it's not something I consider one way or the other. But what is the purpose of asking? Is it not essentially the classical function of miracles reversed? Is the idea here that the idea of saints gets disproven by attributing miracles to them (because miracles do not happen)? If so, then I find that rather sad.

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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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Martin60
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How sweet!

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Love wins

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The Rhythm Methodist
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At the risk of being tangential (not to mention, heretical) I was grateful to IngoB for his snippets from Vatican 1: they were a heartening affirmation of my Protestant faith.

The idea that Peter was 'prince of all the apostles' is not found in scripture, though I imagine that notion is based on a loose (if still problematical) interpretation of Matthew 16.

There is no biblical suggestion that Peter saw himself in this princely role, humbly referring - as he did - to his co-workers as 'fellow elders'. Nor is there any indication they saw him as a prince - Paul mentions him only as the apostle to the Jews. And if there is little to suggest that Peter enjoyed this supreme, royal status, there is nothing to indicate that there would be 'perpetual successors' to this non-existent office.

Then, unsurprisingly (and unsupportably) we are told that the Roman Pontiff is his legitimate successor, and is basically in charge of life, the universe and everything - as far as Christianity is concerned. If anyone says otherwise, they are anathema. Well, I guess that's me, for one.

But the best is saved for last. Papal infallibility....dontchaluvit? The Pope claims infallibility when pronouncing on matters of faith and morals. And so we have this line of Popes (at times, a plethora of Popes - some of whom I would delicately describe as 'colourful')tracing their lineage back to one of the most fallible guys in the bible....with the later incumbents unilaterally declaring their own infallibility.

Of course, Peter himself had to be corrected by Paul on how he was representing the faith. And perhaps that is a more relevant aspect of Peter's life, than some fanciful status retrospectively conferred: God raised up someone from outside his immediate circle to correct him...to "oppose him to his face". We don't know exactly how Peter reacted to this challenge: but if history has taught us anything, it is that God will often raise people up to confront church leadership when it has gone astray....but that doesn't mean it will listen. I'm sure if I think about it long enough, I'll be able to come up with a pertinent example!

All that said,I admire IngoB's unwavering faith, and he has an enviable confidence in his church. While I share his faith in Christ, I cannot boast such confidence in my denomination - I'm not hugely impressed by any of them. Perhaps cynically, I view the 'best' church as merely the one which presents the least impediments to authentic Christianity....which I believe is characterized by a deep and productive relationship with God. As I perceive man-made doctrines, rules, rituals and religious observances as strongly mitigating against that, I'm sure the RCC is as happy as I am, that I'm only ever found in Protestant churches.

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Emendator Liturgia
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Cardinal James Gibbons, the second American to be raised to the cardinalate, attended Vatican 1. There’s a wonderful account that on his return from the Council (1869-70), on being asked if he really thought the Pope was absolutely infallible, he replied, “Well, he called me ‘Cardinal Gaboons.’" Cardinal Gibbons had remained for all of the council and he had voted in favour of the resolution.

I have been told by Catholic theologians that the Second Vatican Council affirmed that the Catholic laity function as the mystical body of Christ and are as immune from error (the laity as a whole) as is the Pope (with the Pope’s infallibility restricted to matters of faith and morals and ex cathedra pronouncements. During the course of the last three popes it seems as if every pronouncement has been given the force of infallibility, whereas from my reading of the history of the church at the time of Vatican 1, there was a Curial assurance that such pronouncements would be the exception rather than the rule.

Has the whole idea of magisterium been reconsidered and aligned with style and intent more usual with, say, Council of Trent period?

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Don't judge all Anglicans in Sydney by prevailing Diocesan standards!

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:
At the risk of being tangential (not to mention, heretical) I was grateful to IngoB for his snippets from Vatican 1: they were a heartening affirmation of my Protestant faith.

Yep me too. Ingo used to be one of the posters I looked forward to reading because of his reasoned stance and engagement. I don't know what's changed but he's become rather hysterical and ranting seeing insults against the RCC where none is intended AFAIK.

I don't think either the RCC or the Pope needs his protection and reasoning skills but faith certainly does! In case anyone thinks I'm biased against the RCC, you're perfectly welcome to critique the baptist union, the denomination that the church I attend is part of.

Please can we have the old Ingo back????

[ 02. November 2012, 07:57: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:
And so we have this line of Popes

Including the unfortunate Honorius I (625-638) who was posthumously anathematised for Monotheletism by the sixth ecumenical council.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:
[qb] And so we have this line of Popes

Including the unfortunate Honorius I (625-638) who was posthumously anathematised for Monotheletism by the sixth ecumenical council.

The NIDCC article on him notes that: "This anathema has created difficulties for the supporters of papal infallibility".

Well, yes.

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Including the unfortunate Honorius I (625-638) who was posthumously anathematised for Monotheletism by the sixth ecumenical council. The NIDCC article on him notes that: "This anathema has created difficulties for the supporters of papal infallibility". Well, yes.

Well, no! Papal infallibility is not some kind of personal attribute of the pope. Rather, the pope has access to a mode of teaching that is infallible, called an ex cathedra. This faculty has been used only perhaps a dozen time throughout the history of the papacy. And Honorius I did not make use of it. Therefore, whatever his errors may have been, they are utterly irrelevant concerning the question of papal infallibility.

The letter of Honorius I to Sergius did not decide the doctrinal question at hand. It did not define anything, much less declare the faith of the RCC. It did not condemn anything. It did not bind the RC faithful. It did not invoke the authority of the voice of St Peter. None of the features of an ex cathedra are present there. Hence the teachings of this letter are in no way or form protected by papal infallibility.

Mind you, the true extent of Honorius I's errors is definitely a matter of debate. But this attack on papal infallibility is very much at the level of Jack Chick tracts. It uses plain ignorance about the meaning of papal infallibility to fabricate a difficulty that simply does not exist at all.

Honorius I is a heretic in the same sense that Origen is. They both died in full communion with the Church, never were condemned during their lifetime, and never resisted the Church. In that sense they simply were Catholics in good standing (and in fact of course considered excellent Catholics in their time). However, some of their teachings were later found to be heretic, so in that sense they make for a heretic pope and a heretic Church Father, respectively.

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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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Gamaliel
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I think this thread has strayed into the territory covered by the other one about schismatics and so on ... mind you, I must confess to some sympathy for IngoB when Kaplan starts gloating about 'crap' theology and 'crap' hagiography. Not that I would defend theology that appeared iffy nor advocated hagiography that was skewed in some way - but it does strike me that some posters here aren't engaging with what IngoB is actually saying on some of these issues.

I don't particularly take to IngoB's flavour of ultramontane Roman Catholicism, but equally I'm not sure I find Protestant carpings along the lines of 'Nur-na nur-nah nah ... St Myxamatosis of Sardis was later proven not to have crossed the Aegean on a millstone and lived for 43 years on a single egg-cup of honey' to be particularly edifying either.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Alogon
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Thank you, Gamaliel. I should have written this yesterday, on the Feast of All Saints. Squabbling so heatedly over who gets to be called a saint, especially on this day, is unseemly and ungrateful. I see three schools of thought: (1) The Roman Catholic process, very formalized and (the number of people whom it has declared to be saints notwithstanding) very cautious; (2) The less formalized process of other liturgical churches; (3) Those who question the appellation "saint" altogether.

Unless those in group two believe either that there should be even more official saints, or that the general character of those who have been canonized is lacking, I fail to see how those in school 2 can seriously complain about school 1. It must be those in group 3 who are making the fuss.

Whatever process there may be in recognizing saints, I don't question the pastoral value of them at all. The collect for All Saints' Day in the Book of Common Prayer reads: "Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow thy blessed
saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee..."

This feast acknowledges those numerous saints who have not been canonized yet who have carried the gospel across two thousand years into our time. I doubt that we would be Christians today without them, and some have been formative for us personally. We should be suspicious of a religion picked up only from reading a book (and not even the book fell straight out of heaven into our hands).

Of course, we should all strive to be Christlike. But what does that mean for a barber, a baker, or a candlestick maker? I recall a very strange conversation in undergrad school one evening with a fellow organ major. He asked me if I knew anyone who was Christlike. I said yes, a certain choirmaster in Florida whom I've come to know and admire very much. He turned up his nose at this: "You think that that a choirmaster can be Christlike?" Well, if a choirmaster can't be Christlike, then why are we going into this line of work?

The saints show us how.

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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sebby
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quote:
Originally posted by Emendator Liturgia:
Cardinal James Gibbons, the second American to be raised to the cardinalate, attended Vatican 1. There’s a wonderful account that on his return from the Council (1869-70), on being asked if he really thought the Pope was absolutely infallible, he replied, “Well, he called me ‘Cardinal Gaboons.’" Cardinal Gibbons had remained for all of the council and he had voted in favour of the resolution.

I have been told by Catholic theologians that the Second Vatican Council affirmed that the Catholic laity function as the mystical body of Christ and are as immune from error (the laity as a whole) as is the Pope (with the Pope’s infallibility restricted to matters of faith and morals and ex cathedra pronouncements. During the course of the last three popes it seems as if every pronouncement has been given the force of infallibility, whereas from my reading of the history of the church at the time of Vatican 1, there was a Curial assurance that such pronouncements would be the exception rather than the rule.

Has the whole idea of magisterium been reconsidered and aligned with style and intent more usual with, say, Council of Trent period?

That story is very good!

A couple of dissenting bishops at the Council were seemingly intimidated by a violent electric storm that raged around St Peter's during the reading of the pronouncement. Throwing themselves at the feet of Pius IX they said 'Now we believe Holy Father, now we believe.'

Although not a RC myself, I think there is a misunderstanding in some of these posts about:

(1) the nature of the doctrine of papal infallibilty, including the notion of the indefectabilty of the Church.

(2) confusing the magisterium and its teachings with infallibile ones, and the role of Councils; the status of the ordinary magisterium.

(3) confusing the moral lives of individuals who have sat on the papal throne with the Office itself - as in the principle of 'the unworthiness of the minister hindereth not the sacrament'.

(4) Not always appreciating that all the Councils have to be taken together.

(5) Not always cross referencing what is believed to be the teaching the the RCC with the compendium 'The Catechism of the Catholic Church' which sets out very clearly what is, and what is not, catholic teaching about the saints etc

(6) Not always graciously acknowleding that the gospels frequently speak of 'Peter, and the disciples'

(7) Selectively seeing the Matthaean 'Petrine verses' as problematic, without acknowledging most of the Old Testament and much of the New, as 'problematic'.

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sebhyatt

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Gamaliel
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Sure, Alogon.

There is something very iconoclastic, of course, about Group 3 on your list and whilst I can understand the reasons for that - protection of the idea of the 'priesthood of all believers' and so on, the older I get the more strident and pernickety I find it.

A good few years ago now, I teased an Orthodox convert by saying, in relation to the invocation of Saints and so on, that I wanted to 'speak to the organ grinder and not to the monkey' - to use an old British phrase.

He was clearly offended and said that the remark showed little respect for the grace of God shown towards and in and through the Saints - or indeed, the saints with a small 's'.

I did apologise and years later I tend to think that he was right. If we're not careful we can disparage what is a genuine work of God, as it were, in a fellow human being.

Sure, I can understand the theological viewpoint that would find any form of veneration of Saints and so on difficult - and I would respect the right of the Kaplans and Mudfrogs and so on of this world not to go down that route.

But I still find it (now) rather hurtful and small-minded when I come across Protestants who go , 'Nyaearrghh ... what's the Pope gone and done? Kicked St Christopher out of heaven? nyah ha ha ha!' or 'What's the Catholic or the Orthodox Church doing venerating St Myxamotosis who was clearly a legendary figure when my window-cleaner is a lot more godly than he was/they are (delete as appropriate).

All that said, there are elements of the veneration of the Saints that leave me cold. I remember Hatless raising the issue of popular devotions in some RC countries such as peasants whipping statues of St Anthony (or whoever) because he had apparently failed to find items they'd lost and had entreated him to find ...

There is, of course, a danger with popular devotion of this kind. The Group 3 Protestant groups might be free of that sort of thing but they're equally prone to other problems and hassles of their own.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
Thank you, Gamaliel. I should have written this yesterday, on the Feast of All Saints. Squabbling so heatedly over who gets to be called a saint, especially on this day, is unseemly and ungrateful. I see three schools of thought: (1) The Roman Catholic process, very formalized and (the number of people whom it has declared to be saints notwithstanding) very cautious; (2) The less formalized process of other liturgical churches; (3) Those who question the appellation "saint" altogether.

You missed (4) out: those who believe, as the New Testament clearly teaches, that all believers in Christ, every one of the redeemed, every member of the Body of Christ is a saint. We are all together called saints. Not made so after centuries of death by the bishop of Rome, but called to be saints in this life by the will of God.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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sebby
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...but there are others...

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sebhyatt

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
...but there are others...

other saints?

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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sebby
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We all know the Pauline view (I assume we do) although I have heard of a liberal theologian who once remarked of the Holy Apostle 'yes, but as one theologian to another, I disagree with you...' Even St Paul (I would accord him the title that seems to be denied him these days), might acknowledge that as part of the legitimate rabbinical tradition of disagreement and argument.

The popular understanding of saint is clearly that of 'hero' of the faith. This is so ingrained in the majority of the Western, Eastern, religious and secular consciousness that it will never easily be displaced. Indeed, it is also possible to refer to 'Muslim saints' and I have heard this use of the term.

Whilst understanding (and accepting) the Pauline opinion, this season does lend itself to an examination of the role of those members of the Church Triumphant whom parts of the Church (rather the greater part numerically) believes are in heaven, and offer suppport, prayers and encouragement to the Church Militant. Clearly we do not know all their names, and the solemnity of All Saints is for precisely that reason.

The commemoration of All Souls on the other hand, is to enable the Church Militant to remember that other part of the Ark of Christ's church - the Church Expectant who share the common baptism of all the saints.

As Angloid remarked on here, there is a sense in which these two days are part of the same thing.

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sebhyatt

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:

The popular understanding of saint is clearly that of 'hero' of the faith.

Maybe we should therefore insist on the Biblical definition so that we're all singing from the same song sheet.

The word Paul used was hagios - which meant holy: consecrated, devoted, separate and different.
A saint therefore, in Biblical usage, is someone who is different because he is devoted, consecrated to Jesus Christ. All believers are this. We are all saints in this life if we are devoted to Christ and his service.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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sebby
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Yes in that sense of course.

But we are talking of the other sort, the sort which the Church holds out as the heroes of the faith and which is what the Solemnity of All Saints is about. This usage, as well as the biblical, is part of the Catholic (East and West) Church's Tradition. Indeed, scripture is also part of the Church's Tradition.

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sebhyatt

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by sebby:

The popular understanding of saint is clearly that of 'hero' of the faith.

Maybe we should therefore insist on the Biblical definition so that we're all singing from the same song sheet.

The word Paul used was hagios - which meant holy: consecrated, devoted, separate and different.
A saint therefore, in Biblical usage, is someone who is different because he is devoted, consecrated to Jesus Christ. All believers are this. We are all saints in this life if we are devoted to Christ and his service.

Of course all Christians are saints, in the sense that all righteous Israelites were part of the people of God in the Old Covenant...

however, not all righteous Israelites were equal to Moses and Elijah in their stature.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Mudfrog
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But we're not talking, in the OP, about how wonderful the saints are, how great a stature they have, or whether they are heroes of the faith; we are discussing whether we can know that they are in heaven.

It is the Biblical view that all those who die in Christ are guaranteed eternal life by the grace of god. I can therefore say that whether it's St Theresa or St Mary, or whether it's an old lady who taught Sunday School or a boy who ran a youth group and who both loved Jesus, they are all, equally and by the merits of saving grace, seeing Jesus face to face in Glory.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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sebby
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Can't disagree with that!

It is interesting to wonder WHEN though.

As previously posted, with regard to the BVM whom one might regard as already in heaven:

Take heed all ye who look on here
As ye are now, so once I were
As I am now so shall ye be
So be prepared to follow me.

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sebhyatt

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Mudfrog
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Of course dead saints are in heaven. They are, according to Paul, 'with Christ, which is far better.'

He also speaks of his preference to be 'away from the body and at home with the Lord.'

From this we infer that at death, the saints go home to be with Christ (in heaven).

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
I see three schools of thought: (1) The Roman Catholic process, very formalized and (the number of people whom it has declared to be saints notwithstanding) very cautious; (2) The less formalized process of other liturgical churches; (3) Those who question the appellation "saint" altogether.


I was going to pick you up on the same point as did Mudfrog, but he has ably put the only scriptural (and therefore Christian) perspective on the issue and exposed the emptiness of the rest.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
Papal infallibility is not some kind of personal attribute of the pope.

The case against papal infallibity is not dependent on the heresy of a Honorius I, or for that matter on the immorality of an Alexander VI.

Like the papacy itself, the superstition is completely absent from the NT, and unlike doctrines such as the Trinity, does not even lurk there inchoately to be later manifested by some species of Newmanian "development".

[ 03. November 2012, 11:20: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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sebby
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The biblical witness is an important and vital part of the Church's tradition - but not the whole of the Church's tradition. It would be erroneous - and indeed unscriptual - to see it as standing apart from the Church. It is the Church's book, compiled by the Church, and for the use of the Church. As Peter himself warned, it hath not private interpretation.

The Holy Spirit speaks to every generation, and preserves the Church from error. This is the notion of the indefectability of the Church. Thus holy scripture together with the catholic creeds, the teaching of the Fathers, and the continuous exercise of the Magisterium from age to age, form part of the body of ecclesial teaching. The Church does not change doctrine, it can only be elucidated further.

The idea of the Petrine office is an ancient one, and cannot be dismissed as gliby as one sees on here from time to time by those whose ecclesial baggage makes it convenient to do so.
The role of the Petrine office is not quite the same as papal infallibillty, of course.

Much of the role of the Petrine ministry exercised by the pope was expressed cogently in a book entitled 'Peter and the Single Church' by John de Satge, a church historian from an evangelical stable originally, but who broadened his perspective in seeing a most important role for the pope ecumenically, and based on biblical and historical precedent. The book may now be out of print, but is available easily second hand. John de Satge became vice-principal of an Anglican theological college.

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sebhyatt

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
He turned up his nose at this: "You think that that a choirmaster can be Christlike?"

Good point. We all need to become carpenters. Or perhaps fishermen. Or at the very least tentmakers. But carpenters would be best. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
You missed (4) out: those who believe, as the New Testament clearly teaches, that all believers in Christ, every one of the redeemed, every member of the Body of Christ is a saint. We are all together called saints.

Including the ones that say "Lord, Lord" according to Matt 7:21? The seeds on the path, rock and among thorns of Lk 8:12-14? The one who was chosen yet is a devil of Jn 6:70-71? I think I will pass on calling "saints" those who are still working out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12), I may call "saintly" the runners and fighters for the gospel (1 Cor 9:24-27), and applaud their bursts of speed and flurry of punches "holy". But unless the time of their departure has come, and they have fought the good fight and finished the race, I will not assume that the Lord will award the crown of righteousness to them (2 Tim 4:6-8). That would be presumptuous. The Church Militant is filled with both wheat and tares, saints and sinners, and the weeds will be burned only at the harvest (Matt 13:24-30).

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Not made so after centuries of death by the bishop of Rome, but called to be saints in this life by the will of God.

Seriously, is it perhaps possible to learn what the intention of the RCC in canonizing saint is? There's plenty to disagree about saints and the orthopraxis related to them. There really is no need for stoking up such false controversy.

Once more then, canonization is not subtracting from our own individual saintly conduct in this life (much recommended of course). It also does not say whether those dead who remain non-canonized are now in heaven (we all must hope it, and everybody is free to believe it). It is precisely and only an issue of official worship (worship in the general sense here). In canonizing a saint, the Church is recommending a saint to the veneration of all faithful, and where she puts him or her on the liturgical calendar or in her liturgical prayers, she is de facto making all faithful venerate that saint.

You may disagree with venerating saints. You may disagree with having official worship. Whatever. That's really a different discussion! The point is that if one venerates saints and if one has official worship, then canonizing saints makes perfect sense and in no way or form distracts from individual striving for holiness (or for that matter individual veneration of non-canonized saints).

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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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Gamaliel
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@Mudfrog and Kaplan ... I completely agree with you about the Category 4 that Mudfrog has very helpfully introduced.

But why does this reveal the 'emptiness' of Categories 1, 2 and 3?

I don't see how that follows. I can understand why Kaplan would assert so and, at one time, would have said similar - being pretty evangelical in the past.

Why can't it be both/and rather than either/or?

I'm not accusing either Mudfrog or yourself of having a reductionist and binary mindset, but you can see why one might get that impression from conservative evangelicals at times.

So, for instance, on another thread, Mudfrog (admittedly in response to an attack on the alleged evangelical downplaying of the resurrection) asked why RC and Anglo-Catholic churches had depictions of Christ on the cross if they, by contrast with evos, were supposed to have a more fully realised appreciation of the resurrection.

Whilst I would agree with Mudfrog that evangelicalism, properly understood, does not, or need not, downplay the resurrection, his example did strike me as an overly literal response.

The acid test, therefore, must surely be in the application.

If it could be demonstrated that RCs and ACs had a deficient view of the resurrection then it would be right to challenge their iconography in this regard.

Similarly, on this issue of saints and Saints, if it could be proven that the RC/Orthodox/High Anglican/Other Sacramental Traditions' attitudes revealed a downplaying of the role of saints (small 's') Mudfrog's Category 4, as opposed to Big S or categories 1, 2, 3 ... then there's something to debate.

Practice may vary and I'm sure in some popular RC/Orthodox and AC devotions things go skewiff, but I don't see how one can't hold categories 1, 2 3 and 4 together as a harmonious whole.

If we say that, say, St David of Wales was a Saint it in no way detracts from the saintly, godly and lovely Mrs Sian Jones of Somewhere-Up-The-Rhondda being classed as a 'saint' in category 4.

This is the bit I don't get.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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The Rhythm Methodist
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quote:
-------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Sebby:
The idea of the Petrine office is an ancient one, and cannot be dismissed as gliby as one sees on here from time to time by those whose ecclesial baggage makes it convenient to do so.
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The antiquity of an idea does not lend it credibility. The truth is, that the princely status later conferred upon Peter has no tenable support from scripture. There is no suggestion he saw himself in this role, nor that his contemporaries viewed him like that. Nor for that matter, is there any hint that this office - even if it existed - would continue in perpetuity, nor that it would pass to the Bishops of Rome.

That being the case, it would seem there is a choice to be made: either the RCC is in receipt of some divine revelation, which - for whatever reason, God initially withheld - or their understanding of the Petrine office is a contrivance....for which it would not be too difficult to ascribe a motivation.

I'm sure I'm sometimes as guilty as the next man of carrying "ecclesial baggage". I hope I can be forgiven for declining to add the Petrine office to that burden.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


If we say that, say, St David of Wales was a Saint it in no way detracts from the saintly, godly and lovely Mrs Sian Jones of Somewhere-Up-The-Rhondda being classed as a 'saint' in category 4.

This is the bit I don't get.

I think there needs to be some clarification.

To be called (to be) a saint, in the Biblical tradition, is not a recognition of saintliness in the perception of onlookers. A saint in the RC tradition might be one who has been affirmed as 'having made it', as it were, but in the biblical witness we are saints through the calling of God, not the achievement of sanctity and becoming an exemplar of holiness and faith.

A number of years ago when I was a humble Lieutenant, I interviewed the Dean of Londonderry cathedral and he gave me a phrase that I have treasured ever since. In the context of baptism and confirmation he said that in baptism we become members of Christ's church and then, at confirmation, 'we become what we already are'.

I like that. In the context of this discussion, by being baptised by the one Spirit into the one Body we are called saints. Our sanctification, required of us all, is our 'becoming what we already are.'

I do not see that calling David a St detracts from the saintly and lovely Mrs Jones; what I say is that in the eyes of the Redeemer, both David and Mrs Jones are both saints through the calling of God, the blood of Christ, and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.

One of the consequences of Sainthood is to create a 2 tier Christianity - those who are 'saints' and the rest of us plebs. I would prefer to say that we are ALL called to be saints - and so, in the eyes of God, are we all.

To me, St David and Mrs Jones are equally alike - more so Mrs Jones if i knew her and was encouraged by her faith, as opposed to David of whom I would perhaps know very little from experience.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
As previously posted, with regard to the BVM whom one might regard as already in heaven:

Take heed all ye who look on here
As ye are now, so once I were
As I am now so shall ye be
So be prepared to follow me.

That's usually cited as a warning, with the proverbial rejoinder:

'To follow you, I'm not content
Until I know which way you went.'

Of course, in Mary's case I don't think there can be any question there.

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:
The truth is, that the princely status later conferred upon Peter has no tenable support from scripture. There is no suggestion he saw himself in this role, nor that his contemporaries viewed him like that. Nor for that matter, is there any hint that this office - even if it existed - would continue in perpetuity, nor that it would pass to the Bishops of Rome.

Surely you are joking! Here are 50 NT arguments for the papacy. And here is another lengthy list of scripture, that includes comments from the Church Fathers. A less comprehensive but more in-depth discussion is provided by the old Catholic Encyclopedia. Likewise for the apostolic succession here, here and here. If you want a more narrative discussion, try Karl Adam. Maybe you believe none of these arguments. Fine. I for one anyhow consider the over-reliance of Protestants on argument from scripture naive, to say the least. But to claim that there is "no tenable support" is just plain bullshit. As for many issues in Christianity, so here: everybody and his dog can and does claim scriptural support for their position.

quote:
Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:
That being the case, it would seem there is a choice to be made: either the RCC is in receipt of some divine revelation, which - for whatever reason, God initially withheld - or their understanding of the Petrine office is a contrivance....for which it would not be too difficult to ascribe a motivation.

While your "that being the case" is so easily refuted from scripture, it remains true that the whole concept of attacking the Church hierarchy as such from scripture is strange. One cannot undermine the authority of people by virtue of the authority of a text, if that text has in practice acquired its authority precisely through the authority of those people. The Church hierarchy must have been imbued with Divine authority at least until the canon of the NT was established in its main features. And that was long after the last "original apostles" had died and the office of the papacy was clearly established. You can of course make claims that this hierarchy later got corrupted etc. But the NT did not in fact drop from heaven as a finished book, nor were its final parts guaranteed automatic acceptance by the faithful due to their inspired sources, but rather it was discussed, compiled and promulgated by this very Church hierarchy over a considerable length of time. In practical terms, this selection and popularisation was as important as the initial writing, as is obvious from the many writings that did not make the cut.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:
The truth is, that the princely status later conferred upon Peter has no tenable support from scripture. There is no suggestion he saw himself in this role, nor that his contemporaries viewed him like that. Nor for that matter, is there any hint that this office - even if it existed - would continue in perpetuity, nor that it would pass to the Bishops of Rome.

Surely you are joking! Here are 50 NT arguments for the papacy.
They are certainly arguments for Peter's primacy, which I, as an Anglican, accept.

I don't think they are arguments for the papacy as currently exercised.

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Gamaliel
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Ok, thanks Mudfrog, you have clarified your position and I don't disagree, nor, I submit, would many more sacramentally inclined Christians - although they might put it in different terms to the way you've expressed it.

I think the issue of a 'two-tier' approach is a pertinent one and can certainly understand how an RC/Orthodox or High Anglican view of Sainthood (with a capital S) could lead to that kind of conclusion or perception. I'm not sure that it necessarily follows, though. In my experience, certain hyper-Pentecostals and charismatics (but by no means all) are more prone to a two-tier approach by making distinctions between those who have been 'baptised in the Holy Spirit' (in their terms) and those who they believe not to have been.

I can certainly see the point about having a deeper knowledge/affinity with the putative Mrs Jones from Up The Valleys than with St David. Sure. That said, I've certainly met Orthodox Christians and RCs who say they have a particular affinity with this or that Saint from history and wax all lyrical about them - some even in a rather existential sense ...

On one level, I don't have an issue at all with that and it's not dissimilar, say, to a Protestant saying that they have a particular affinity with John Wesley or with George Fox or with Booth or whoever else because they've been impressed by their example or their writings. In the same way people who may appreciate Dickens or Keats or Shakespeare or one of the great composers, Beethoven or Mozart or Bach, will talk about them quite fondly as if they have come to 'know' them through their writings or their music.

I think it can get into dodgy territory, undoubtedly - but at the same time I think there can be a Protestant over-reaction the other way. But then, that's probably a very Anglican thing of me to say ...

[Biased]

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Gamaliel
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Meanwhile, I thought that the issue of Papal Supremacy and so on was continuing on the thread about 'Schismatics', not this one about the Saints and saints ...

I can see the relevance of it, though, in RC terms as the Papacy has a role in canonisation - whereas in Orthodoxy it seems to be more of a 'bottom-up' thing with the heirarchy simply confirming or recognising something that has developed at a popular level.

But I'm sure IngoB will have an answer to that one, too.

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The Rhythm Methodist
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by The Rhythm Methodist:

The truth is, that the princely status later conferred upon Peter has no tenable support from scripture. There is no suggestion he saw himself in this role, nor that his contemporaries viewed him like that. Nor for that matter, is there any hint that this office - even if it existed - would continue in perpetuity, nor that it would pass to the Bishops of Rome.
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To which IngoB replied:

Surely you are joking! Here are 50 NT arguments for the papacy.
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Alas, no. These are not 50 NT arguments for the papacy.

In point of fact, they say nothing about the papacy whatsover, unless it is to highlight the profound differences between Peter, and those who have claimed to be his successors.

The first three refer to the RCC's understanding of Matthew 16. Even if we were to allow this questionable perspective (including Peter's supposed mandate to excommunicate, and to impose penances)the statement that "Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life..." cannot be the logical conclusion: That interpretation of Matthew would perhaps permit Peter some claim to that power, but it says nothing about popes at all.

The other 47 "arguments for the papacy" are, frankly, even more absurd. They list various remarkable attributes of Peter, some of the unique things he did, and a number of his interactions with Jesus. Clearly, he occupied a special place, even among the esteemed company in which he moved. Leaving aside the omission of any of Peter's less uplifting activities, these 47 points paint a picture of a man in whom God worked mightily.

But not one of those points does anything at all to legitimize the papacy.

For example, what does casting himself into the sea, healing the lame man - or his shadow working miracles - tell us about the papacy? Nothing, unless it is that those who claim to succeed him have not picked up his mantle. What relevance does Peter being the first to call for a replacement for Judas,leading the charge to the empty tomb, or being the first to receive gentiles have, to establishing the office of Pope?

50 NT arguments for the papacy, and all we really have evidentially, is that Peter was a special guy....and perhaps the conviction that those who claim to have inherited his role, could hardly be less like him.

The only thing approaching an argument for the papacy on this link, actually appears after this list of Peter's attributes:"In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this."

In reality, it "strains credulity" to present a list of Peter's activities and attributes - many of which could not or have not been emulated by popes - and claim that somehow these things argue for the papacy. If anything, the reverse is true.

I will not retaliate by dismissing IngoB's post as "bullsh*t", but it seems to me that he should perhaps brush-up on what constitutes a valid argument.

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Gamaliel
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@Mudfrog ... thinking about the 'become what we are thing' ... which, I agree, is a very wonderful and profound way of looking at all of this ...

I quite agree. What I'm less sure about is how the 'become what you are' thing is somehow incompatible with the four categories of Saint or saint that have been identified further upthread.

It's been explained to me by both RCs and Orthodox that Sainthood isn't so much an issue of someone 'earning' the right to be at a particular level but an encouragement to the rest of us ... ie. if it is possible for some to attain, by grace, a degree of sanctity - or to have 'arrived' as you put it - then it means that there is hope for the rest of us.

In some respects it's not a million miles from the sort of thing you as a Wesleyan and a Salvationist might claim for 'entire sanctification' - only pitched in different terms.

One could equally argue that the Wesleyan view of 'entire sanctification' creates a two-tier view of salvation and sanctification - with super-saints who have apparently 'arrived' and so on.

Now, I'm not claiming that, of course.

But if you're entitled to your Wesleyan views of sanctification then surely the RCs and other more sacramentally inclined Christians are entitled to their particular 'take' on Sainthood.

Can you see what I'm driving at?

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Triple Tiara

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@ Rhythm Methodist

What a static view of the Christian Church you have: there was the Bible and then there is us, and somehow the two are not connected. Huh?

The role of Peter is the role of his successor. I can never fathom how people object so vehemently to the principle established by the Lord himself - in appointing someone to lead his disciples. But then Peter dies and poof! that commission ends and the Church is leaderless and rudderless. Huh?

And it seems to me you are imagining the word Prince to mean something like Prince Charming in Disneyworld. The word is a translation of the latin Princeps, meaning first, chief, leader. Do you dispute that role to Peter?

[ 03. November 2012, 17:03: Message edited by: Triple Tiara ]

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Triple Tiara

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
They are certainly arguments for Peter's primacy, which I, as an Anglican, accept.

I don't think they are arguments for the papacy as currently exercised.

Ah, running with the foxes and hunting with the hounds. "I accept the Primacy of Peter but I don't like Peter".

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