Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yet more on Unity and "Pure" Doctrine

In case I haven't made it clear enough in posts below, "purity" of doctrine vs unity of the Church is not a Catholic option. It is a "both/and", as is so often the case in the Catholic Church, rather than an "either/or" as is so often the case with our Protestant brethren and sistern.

Why do protestants have a difficulty with this? Because they do not have the assurance that what their Church teaches IS and always WILL BE pure doctrine. Therefore, they must always maintain the freedom and the right to "opt out" of any relationship of communion which (in their judgement) might entail them being associated with "impure" doctrine.

Whereas Catholics have the assurance of the infallibility of the Church and hence maintaining unity is a matter of receiving with gladness the pure doctrine of the Church and maintaining pure doctrine is a matter of remaining within the unity of the Church's universal communion.

Here again, and at length, from the same talk by the Holy Father in the US to leaders of the other Christain communties:
For Christians to accept this faulty line of reasoning would lead to the notion that there is little need to emphasize objective truth in the presentation of the Christian faith, for one need but follow his or her own conscience and choose a community that best suits his or her individual tastes. The result is seen in the continual proliferation of communities which often eschew institutional structures and minimize the importance of doctrinal content for Christian living.
Note the way the Holy Father speaks about unity in fellowship and in doctrine IN THE SAME BREATH!!!
Even within the ecumenical movement, Christians may be reluctant to assert the role of doctrine for fear that it would only exacerbate rather than heal the wounds of division. Yet a clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus has to be based upon the notion of normative apostolic teaching: a teaching which indeed underlies the inspired word of God and sustains the sacramental life of Christians today. Only by “holding fast” to sound teaching (2 Thess 2:15; cf. Rev 2:12-29) will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world. Only in this way will we give unambiguous testimony to the truth of the Gospel and its moral teaching.
Thus, on the contrary, orthodox doctrine is aimed at HEALING the wounds of division, NOT exacerbating them.
...I am confident that – to borrow the words of Father Paul Wattson – we will achieve the “oneness of hope, oneness of faith, and oneness of love” that alone will convince the world that Jesus Christ is the one sent by the Father for the salvation of all.
Oneness of faith and Oneness of love, Truth and Love together, make for the true life of the Church.

10 Comments:

At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 4:26:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Well sunny gunny.

It's been a while I grant you, but as I recall Catholics speak of the Pope as infallible and the Church as indefectible. Oh well, maybe I was dreaming.

Truth is whatever the church teaches. If the church teaches it, it must be true. So just stay in the church.

The church is god. (Not to be confused with God).

And this god/church being one alone can convince the world that Jesus Christ is the one sent by the Father for the salvation of all? Geez, and here I thought it was the Holy Spirit who worked faith.

Such a church is its own god. No wonder it has a pontifex maximus. Got some real bad news for ya, Benedict. The Roman Empire fell about a millenium and a half ago.

 
At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 4:36:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

You have all the wrong categories, PE. The pope is infallible, because the teaching magisterium of the Church is infallible.

The Church is the body of Christ in the world and the Holy Spirit works through the Church. The Church is, as St Paul himself declared, the Pillar and Bulwark of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

As long as you are happy to separate Christ and the Spirit from the ecclesial community of the Church, it is no wonder you are happy to remain isolated outside of the Church confirmed in your own individual belief.

 
At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 5:38:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Always about the church, isn't it.

No I do not separate Christ and the Spirit from the Church. What I also do not do is identify the Roman Catholic Church AS the Church. That will be hard to see as long as the church is the functional god whose deity gives credence to everything else -- which is what separates this church from the catholic church, the Spirit and Christ, a state religion minus the state that created it.

 
At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 10:43:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Yes, it is always about the Church Terry.

And you're welcome to your pet theories, but the fact is that the Catholic Church is the only ecclesial communion (not withstanding the existence of the Orthodox churches) that can claim real and full continuity with the apostolic Church.

That's it, mate. Like it or lump it, you can't get away from it. If the Church of the Apostles was the Catholic Church, then the Church of Pope Benedict XVI is the Catholic Church too.

As the Grown Man is to the Embryo, so the Catholic Church is to the Apostolic Church. You can't find some sort of cut off point where the Church stopped being the Church any more than you can pinpoint some sort of point where the embryo becomes the man.

So say what you like, I'm sticking with the Catholic Church as the best bet for the real, dinky-di, ozzie-cobber-womby Church.

And, okay, I was kidding about the whole "Church=God" thing (although you obviously are not). BUT I will stand by the fact that the Church, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, is OF God.

 
At Thursday, April 24, 2008 12:59:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Guess what? I agree with your If ... Then. You're quite right about that: IF the church of the Apostles was the Catholic Church, THEN the church of Benedict is the Catholic Church too. That's a true statement. Not of fact, of logic. Problem is, the church of the Apostles was not the Catholic Church, so it doesn't matter. Or one could say, if one does not accept the IF, then whether the THEN follows carries no information about reality.

I would say the Catholic Church is the only ecclesial communion that can claim real and full continuity with the state religion of the Roman Empire.

I think this is why you -- not just you yourself, but all the post-conciliar Tiber swimmers as well as the pre-conciliar cradle Catholics (like myself) who remain (unlike myself)-- cannot see my original point for which I first came to this blog, that the "Catholic Church" is not the Catholic Church. IOW, since the church as an institution comes before all, the institutional identity must entail essential continuity, therefore if that is not observed the problem is with the observer. Or again, you cannot see the Catholic Church is not the Catholic Church because you cannot see that the Catholic Church is not the catholic church.

I quite understand your point. I rather draw different conclusions. I quite understand, even from a progression that followed the reverse of yours, that the ONLY way in which a person could see the post-conciliar RCC as in contintuity with the RCC before is if one accepted prior that it must be so since the institution is the same, and the ONLY way in which the question would not arise for a person is if he were first to ponder the prior belief that it IS the same church, therefore it must be right even if he has problems with it.

Your mother in law gets to it much quicker -- they're just men.

What's alarming is that this deification of an institution even obscures the reason for any institution as church at all, the Gospel -- "unity" being nothing more than institutional identification before which all else must bow, even doctrine, for the sake of institution even though the institution exists to spread the doctrine. "Both/and" is simply a fiction by which the official doctrine and whatever one makes of it are allowed to exist side by side so that the god of the institution, itself, is not disturbed.

 
At Friday, April 25, 2008 11:30:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

You're babbling again, PE.

What on earth does "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" mean in the Creed?

Let me put it this way: IF the Church of the Apostles (folk where were "just men" as much as the current bunch of bishops) was the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church", THEN the Church of Pope Benedict is the "One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church".

And, though it may be a scandal to you, YES, the Catholic Church is in real and full continuity with the "state religion of the Roman Empire", because the State religion of the post-Constantine Roman Empire was in real and full continuity with the Church of the Apostles (but emphatically NOT with the PRE-Constantinian Roman State Religion).

The "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" of the Creed was the Church of the Apostles, of the Constantinian Empire, of the Medieval era, of the Renaissance, of the Tridentine Church, of the Pre AND Post Vatican II Church, of the Church NOW under Pope Benedict.

If you want to prove to me that the Catholic Church of today is NOT the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic church of the Apostles, then you must demonstrate to me that there is somewhere a point of discontinuity in this line.

 
At Friday, April 25, 2008 11:40:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

Once again, I point out the derision that the early Roman Christians endured from pagan Romans who identifed the crucified Christ with the image of an ass on a cross -- "Alexamenos worships his god".

PE still hasn't convinced me.

 
At Saturday, April 26, 2008 10:27:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

"One, holy, catholic and apostolic church" in the Creed means one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

That it is an equivalent expression to Roman Catholic Church is, well, unsupported by the text.

The discontinuity is not in a line of "just men". It's in the faith confessed. On that, you may dust off your BOC. Or alternatively, read Scripture and look around the Roman church, not just the parts you want to see.

Nice show in Melbourne though. Toga, toga, toga!

 
At Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:59:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

The discontinuity is not in a line of "just men". It's in the faith confessed. On that, you may dust off your BOC.

Hmmm. Shouldn't you be aiming that directive to your LCMS confreres, PE?

That Catholic Church now celebrates the Mass in the vernacular. The people now again receive both Body and Blood. Scripture is being rediscovered not only in the Bible but the Divine Office by the laity. Much of the BOC is timebound for Catholics.

It isn't Catholics who serve Communion in the form of grape juice in disposable shot glasses (shudder). It isn't Catholics who are moving in the direction of lay presiding at the Eucharist. I'll take togas over business suits and bluejeans at worship any day.

I thank God for those Lutheran congregations that have remained truly catholic in doctrine and practice.

But while the LCMS has congregations such as "Jefferson Hills" and "Community of Hope" you have little reason to preach to Catholics.

 
At Thursday, May 01, 2008 3:10:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Jefferson Hills ain't nuttin compared to what I have seen with the name Roman Catholic over the door.

Simple points take some time in Roman Catholic discourse, I know, however, one more time -- it ain't the excesses that caused me to leave the RCC, there is much in either church body and many others as well that departs from that church's teaching, and one will have to live with such things in whatever church body one is.

Re the RCC, it's exactly what is taught in the Documents of Vatican II and the novus ordo, and what is practiced when these documents are followed, that caused me to leave the RCC as neither the Catholic Church nor the catholic church.

I would suggest in all respect that what has actually happened is that the Catholic Church has ceased to become Catholic to the extent necessary for some Lutherans to mistake it for the catholic church as the Lutheran Reformers attempted to champion.

I wouls further suggest that the Roman Church as it exists now is neither -- it is not the Roman Catholic Church and not the catholic church of the right hopes of the Reformers, but a vile monster that in the end will betray those who find it as either still Roman or now truly reformed, a chameleon that is neither and knows no god other than itself.

 

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