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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Preaching the gospel to Roman Catholics
Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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Hey, semper reformanda is us not you! [Razz]

But whether you were tongue in cheek or not, Ingo, the RC church can't go around changing what it believes, as well you know. Indeed it mustn't, because to do so is an implicit acknowledgement that change was necessary. The RC Church has no more liberty to change on the teachings of Trent than on the question of contraception (indeed, considerably less), and no amount of latter-day obfuscation is going to change that. And as the RC church believes these things to be matters of life and death (as do I), clarity rather matters.

You are right, I am anathema, but as any stuff we produce on Roman Catholicism is a fairly infinitesimal segment of our output, and as I'm on salary not royalty, you need not feel that my job hinges on me remaining under the ban [Biased]

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Posts: 4392 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Didn't the last Pope offer an apology to a lot of people, including Jews and Eastern Orthodox, for wrongs in the past committed by the RCC? Or can't you acknowledge such actions, Gordon, because they fly in the face of your need for an unchanging, unbending 16th century RCC?

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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No, that is cool Mousethief and good on him for doing so. But they don't have the same liberty to go around apologizing for what they believe—nor should they, if they are right, and they certainly shouldn't change it or attempt to confuse the questions at stake.

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Latest on blog: those were the days...; throwing up; clerical abuse; biddulph on child care

Posts: 4392 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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Gordon, you have a weird idea of how the RCC conducts its doctrinal business. Sure, "infallible" statements cannot and should not be "changed". However, very few doctrines achieve those lofty levels of certainty. There's plenty of doctrinal slack left for theologians to play with elsewhere. Further, even where the Church has spoken "infallibly" she need not have said her last word. Everything written or spoken needs interpretation, truth comes alive in the way it is being understood.

In anything that is even remotely interesting, perfect clarity of meaning based on a few spoken or written statements on their own is seldomly achieved. Those later in history can thus easily come to understand better what the Holy Spirit was expressing through the people at that time. This improved understanding could well be a surprise to those who spoke back then, but it cannot fundamentally contradict them. That and only that is the guarantee given by the Holy Spirit's guidance for infallible doctrines on faith and morals.

Perhaps an analogy will help. If I drop an iron ball out of my window, then nature (the Holy Spirit) guarantees that it will reach the ground in a fixed time (His infallible truth). Newton was able to calculate that time correctly with his theory (old doctrinal pronouncement). Einstein is also able to calculate that time correctly with his theory (current doctrinal pronouncement). A future physicist's grand unified theory will do so as well (future doctrinal pronouncement). The reason is that as restricted to the specific experimental case (ecclesiastical situation), they must all yield the one true value within the possible accuracy (infallible truth as accessible to us in this life). But Newton would have barely understood what Einstein was trying to tell him about his theory. And once he would have understood, he would have been utterly surprised - of course other than with regards to the particular prediction of my ball's fall. Similarly, Einstein possibly would be shaking his head at what a future physicist is claiming - other than concerning the specific experimental case. And so that truth of my ball hitting the ground after a certain number of seconds remains infallible as guaranteed by nature, even though the reasoning why it does so changes considerably with time. Just so even with infallible church doctrine...

It turns out that the infallible truth of Trent was not that Protestants, or at least Lutherans, have it all wrong about justification. That would have surely surprised both Luther and those who wrote Trent. But the Holy Spirit is smarter than either, and through the JDDJ tells us that both Luther's truth and Trent's truth are actually not mutually exclusive. That's not sneaky, that's progress. If you feel you are left behind in the dust by that, well, maybe you are. Lots of shaking off dust from feets going on at the moment. [Biased]

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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

Posts: 12010 | From: Gone fishing | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Matt Black

Shipmate
# 2210

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Gordon, lets let the facts speak for themselves, eh:-

1. The anathemata of Trent still stand. They have never been revoked.

2. However, they need to be read in the context of what the 16th century Catholic Church believed Lutheranism to be saying and what they now acknowledge Lutherans actually believe. That context is laid out in the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification issued by the CC and the Lutherans. I'll quote the salient points, with some parts italicised by me for emphasis:-


quote:

15.In faith we together hold the conviction that justification is the work of the triune God. The Father sent his Son into the world to save sinners. The foundation and presupposition of justification is the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. Justification thus means that Christ himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father. Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.[11]

16.All people are called by God to salvation in Christ. Through Christ alone are we justified, when we receive this salvation in faith. Faith is itself God's gift through the Holy Spirit who works through word and sacrament in the community of believers and who, at the same time, leads believers into that renewal of life which God will bring to completion in eternal life.


...19.We confess together that all persons depend completely on the saving grace of God for their salvation. The freedom they possess in relation to persons and the things of this world is no freedom in relation to salvation, for as sinners they stand under God's judgment and are incapable of turning by themselves to God to seek deliverance, of meriting their justification before God, or of attaining salvation by their own abilities.Justification takes place solely by God's grace. Because Catholics and Lutherans confess this together, it is true to say:

20.When Catholics say that persons "cooperate" in preparing for and accepting justification by consenting to God's justifying action, they see such personal consent as itself an effect of grace, not as an action arising from innate human abilities.

21.According to Lutheran teaching, human beings are incapable of cooperating in their salvation, because as sinners they actively oppose God and his saving action. Lutherans do not deny that a person can reject the working of grace. When they emphasize that a person can only receive (mere passive) justification, they mean thereby to exclude any possibility of contributing to one's own justification, but do not deny that believers are fully involved personally in their faith, which is effected by God's Word. [cf. Sources for 4.1].

22.We confess together that God forgives sin by grace and at the same time frees human beings from sin's enslaving power and imparts the gift of new life in Christ. When persons come by faith to share in Christ, God no longer imputes to them their sin and through the Holy Spirit effects in them an active love. These two aspects of God's gracious action are not to be separated, for persons are by faith united with Christ, who in his person is our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30): both the forgiveness of sin and the saving presence of God himself. Because Catholics and Lutherans confess this together, it is true to say that:

23.When Lutherans emphasize that the righteousness of Christ is our righteousness, their intention is above all to insist that the sinner is granted righteousness before God in Christ through the declaration of forgiveness and that only in union with Christ is one's life renewed. When they stress that God's grace is forgiving love ("the favor of God"[12]), they do not thereby deny the renewal of the Christian's life. They intend rather to express that justification remains free from human cooperation and is not dependent on the life-renewing effects of grace in human beings.

24.When Catholics emphasize the renewal of the interior person through the reception of grace imparted as a gift to the believer,[13] they wish to insist that God's forgiving grace always brings with it a gift of new life, which in the Holy Spirit becomes effective in active love. They do not thereby deny that God's gift of grace in justification remains independent of human cooperation.

25.We confess together that sinners are justified by faith in the saving action of God in Christ. By the action of the Holy Spirit in baptism, they are granted the gift of salvation, which lays the basis for the whole Christian life. They place their trust in God's gracious promise by justifying faith, which includes hope in God and love for him. Such a faith is active in love and thus the Christian cannot and should not remain without works. But whatever in the justified precedes or follows the free gift of faith is neither the basis of justification nor merits it.

...27.The Catholic understanding also sees faith as fundamental in justification. For without faith, no justification can take place....

31.We confess together that persons are justified by faith in the gospel "apart from works prescribed by the law" (Rom 3:28). Christ has fulfilled the law and by his death and resurrection has overcome it as a way to salvation. We also confess that God's commandments retain their validity for the justified and that Christ has by his teaching and example expressed God's will which is a standard for the conduct of the justified also.

32.Lutherans state that the distinction and right ordering of law and gospel is essential for the understanding of justification. In its theological use, the law is demand and accusation. Throughout their lives, all persons, Christians also, in that they are sinners, stand under this accusation which uncovers their sin so that, in faith in the gospel, they will turn unreservedly to the mercy of God in Christ, which alone justifies them.

33.Because the law as a way to salvation has been fulfilled and overcome through the gospel, Catholics can say that Christ is not a lawgiver in the manner of Moses. When Catholics emphasize that the righteous are bound to observe God's commandments, they do not thereby deny that through Jesus Christ God has mercifully promised to his children the grace of eternal life.[18] [See Sources for section 4.5]...

37.We confess together that good works - a Christian life lived in faith, hope and love - follow justification and are its fruits. When the justified live in Christ and act in the grace they receive, they bring forth, in biblical terms, good fruit. Since Christians struggle against sin their entire lives, this consequence of justification is also for them an obligation they must fulfill. Thus both Jesus and the apostolic Scriptures admonish Christians to bring forth the works of love.

38.According to Catholic understanding, good works, made possible by grace and the working of the Holy Spirit, contribute to growth in grace, so that the righteousness that comes from God is preserved and communion with Christ is deepened. When Catholics affirm the "meritorious" character of good works, they wish to say that, according to the biblical witness, a reward in heaven is promised to these works. Their intention is to emphasize the responsibility of persons for their actions, not to contest the character of those works as gifts, or far less to deny that justification always remains the unmerited gift of grace.

39.The concept of a preservation of grace and a growth in grace and faith is also held by Lutherans. They do emphasize that righteousness as acceptance by God and sharing in the righteousness of Christ is always complete. At the same time, they state that there can be growth in its effects in Christian living. When they view the good works of Christians as the fruits and signs of justification and not as one's own "merits", they nevertheless also understand eternal life in accord with the New Testament as unmerited "reward" in the sense of the fulfillment of God's promise to the believer. [See Sources for section 4.7].

...

41.Thus the doctrinal condemnations of the 16th century, in so far as they relate to the doctrine of justification, appear in a new light: The teaching of the Lutheran churches presented in this Declaration does not fall under the condemnations from the Council of Trent. The condemnations in the Lutheran Confessions do not apply to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church presented in this Declaration.

42.Nothing is thereby taken away from the seriousness of the condemnations related to the doctrine of justification. Some were not simply pointless. They remain for us "salutary warnings" to which we must attend in our teaching and practice.[21]


3. Let me give you a scenario which does IMO fall under the anathemata of Trent: suppose you had in your church a visiting practising adulterer who prayed the sinner's prayer, invited Christ into his life and was firmly told that adulterous behaviour was prohibited to the Christian, but nevertheless continued to conduct a sexual relationship with the other person concerned. Would you say that man was saved? Or what if he was celibate for a while and then fell back into his old lifestyle unrepentedly? Unless you are a strict 5-point TULIP Calvinist believing in once saved always saved (oops, perhaps you are!), I think the answer (in so far as we can ever judge someone else's salvation) is 'no'. That's what Trent was about: the CC heard and read Luther's works and saw the fruits of that, which is some cases were of course very good, but in other cases, particularly in the Germany of the 1520s, amounted to gross licentiousness, 'sinning so that grace abounded'; this horrified the Catholic hierarchy which met at Trent and they - rightly IMO - condemned that attitude.

[ 02. March 2006, 09:18: Message edited by: Matt Black ]

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

Posts: 14304 | From: Hampshire, UK | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
Gordon, you have a weird idea of how the RCC conducts its doctrinal business.

Not so much a weird idea as a theory, more or less to do with tradition being degeneration rather than development.

Anyway I'm getting bored here (not your fault mate, every time you post I try to work out what's going on and respond as I'm able). My Ship motto is "I love youse all" and my Ship sub-motto is "Why can't we all just be nice to each other". I can feel the love starting to flow at this point so I might let some other shipmates have the last word here and just slip quietly out the back of this thread.

But thank you for the homework of Catechism reading you and Duo have given me; Trisagion I haven't forgotten the stuff from the Rosary thread either. You'll all just have to believe me that I've read JDDJ and think it's a load of tosh, (and ARCIC II too, but no-one's harrassed me about that particularly) but I will get into the Catechism for sure at the points where you think I ought to.

Cheers and peace out

Gordon

[Cross-posted with Matt. Sorry buddy I'm getting weary here. I will have a read of what you said but that's all I can promise at the mo]

[ 02. March 2006, 09:27: Message edited by: Gordon Cheng ]

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Posts: 4392 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Nunc Dimittis
Seamstress of Sound
# 848

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quote:
tradition being degeneration rather than development.
[Roll Eyes]
Posts: 9515 | From: Delta Quadrant | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
tradition being degeneration rather than development

Apart, obviously, from the traditions Moore College deems fit to pass on.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

Posts: 6917 | From: pob dydd Iau, am hanner dydd | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
Shipmate
# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Not so much a weird idea as a theory, more or less to do with tradition being degeneration rather than development.

I'll go along with this. You don't have to read very far into Paul's letters to note that once Jesus had left the earthly realm, it didn't take his followers long to start going off on follies of their own.

I suppose it's testimony to God's unchanging nature that us humans require development from, whereas He of course never changes.

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

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Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
[O]nce Jesus had left the earthly realm, it didn't take his followers long to start going off on follies of their own.

Such as the New Testament? [Razz]

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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Hi Matt,

I feel I ought to respond to your post, crossposted with mine.

I guess you would know that the implications of JDDJ are not uncontested. Crucially from my point of view, Cardinal Edward Cassidy agrees with me that nothing about Trent has been negated or withdrawn (actually, I would want to point out that rather grudgingly and after much prodding by me, so do Ingo and Duo). You may know that until 2001 this Aussie battler was President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, ie, he was Rome's man in the JDDJ.

Here's what he had to say when asked whether there was anything in the official common statement contrary to the Council of Trent, Cardinal Cassidy said: ˜Absolutely not, otherwise how could we do it? We cannot do something contrary to an ecumenical council. There's nothing there that the Council of Trent condemns" (Ecumenical News International, 11/1/99)

I've been asserting that the Bible teaches what Trent condemns, and I'm pleased to see that there's at least one Roman Catholic in the world who thinks that as a result, I am anathema.

Google helpfully cached the document from which the Cassidy quote was drawn, here. . It's entitled Supporting Documentation for the Statement Toward True Reconciliation and comes from the Missouri Lutherans.

Enjoy!

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Posts: 4392 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
I've been asserting that the Bible teaches what Trent condemns, and I'm pleased to see that there's at least one Roman Catholic in the world who thinks that as a result, I am anathema.

Sure Gordon, if you are asserting precisely what Trent condemns, then you are anathema for all RCs, end of story. Nobody has ever doubted that. We just assert that the bible does not teach anything that Trent condemns. And since you claim to believe only what the bible teaches, basically you are a heretic out of well-intentioned misunderstandings. That's why we keep on argueing with you...

But to help you out, I've procured an excommunication just for you - in Latin and English! The full text can be found here. Just to provide a flavor of it
quote:
We excommunicate and anathematise him, and from the thresholds of the Holy Church of God Almighty we sequester him, that he may be tormented, disposed and delivered over with Dathan and Abiram, and with those who say unto the Lord God, ‘depart from us, we desire none of thy ways’. And as fire is quenched with water, so let the light of him be put out for evermore, unless it shall repent him and make satisfaction. Amen.

May the Father who created man, curse him. May the Son who suffered for us, curse him. May the Holy Ghost who was given to us in baptism, curse him. May the Holy Cross which Christ for our salvation triumphing over his enemies, ascended, curse him.

May the holy and eternal Virgin Mary, Mother of God, curse him. May St. Michael the advocate of holy souls, curse him. May all the angels and archangels, principalities and powers, and all the heavenly armies, curse him.

And so on... [Devil] [BTW, this is of course a propaganda text from Tristram Shandy. But it's damned cool. At least those anti-Catholics were creative... [Razz] ]

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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

Posts: 12010 | From: Gone fishing | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
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GC I know I'm going to regret asking this but, before you leave this thread, could you explain what is the difference between impute and impart? And why the difference is important?

When I asked this a page or so ago several posters chipped in, we had a short discussion, and the impression I got was that we were all happy to say that these words were different ways of describing the same process. Since then you have reasserted that the difference between them is crucial, but I still don't understand why this should be so.

At the moment the impression I'm getting is that my salvation depends on my ability to distinguish between two very similar words, and then pick the right definition out of the pair. I'm sure that can't be what you mean, so I would be very grateful if you could explain this point (as simply as possible - I am old and stupid as is all too often self evident).

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8927 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Matt Black

Shipmate
# 2210

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Gordon, I regret to tell you this, but so far IMO you have failed to state anything which falls under any of the Tridentine bans. Perhaps you could try a bit harder?

[Note to Hosts - this is not a personal attack, but simply reflects, rather tongue-in-cheek, on the fact that Gordon seems to wish to be anathematised by the RCC]

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

Posts: 14304 | From: Hampshire, UK | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged



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