Friday, January 16, 2009

Eaves-Dropping on a Protestant Conversation about Us

I knew my ears were ringing for some reason. HT to my Prebyterian friend David for calling my attention to a discussion string on the Melbourne Anglican Study Group forum. It starts off talking about Wesley and Charles Simeon and then, when David puts in a comment about working with other orthodox Christians despite differences on points of theology, the thing goes off on a tangent about the merits or otherwise of Catholicism. It's worth reading the whole string, but check this out from "Jareth":
Heh, heh, my wife and I watched a TV documentary the other week about the life of Pope Benedict, and commented to each other how much we wished we could convert to the Catholic religion (if only they got rid of that Mary stuff and a few other dodgy things ) - at times we felt we had a lot more common ground with the Pope than with Rowan Williams and many other of the Anglican leaders out there... We love what he said just before Christmas about "ecology" (ok I'd better shut up now)
and later:
The doctrinal faults of Catholicism -- Mary, the re-sacrificing of Christ in the mass, faith+works, etc. -- certainly make our conversion to Catholicism very very unlikely.

However, we have many a time had a genuine heart-felt admiration for and envy of Roman Catholicism, and the 2 popes who have reigned in our lifetime. Unlike the Protestant churches, who keep giving ground to modern culture and ideology, Catholicism seems incredibly resistant to liberalisation -- they simply refuse to budge from historic doctrinal positions. They don't care if that makes them unpopular or an object of popular scorn -- faithfulness to orthodoxy (and to God) matters much more to them. We admire, for instance, how the Catholic church keeps giving the finger to the pro-death lobby and gay lobby no matter what the cultural pressure -- where others like the Anglicans and Uniting Church simply cave in. Yet Catholicism also cares for all the important global issues like war & peace, the poor, and the environment, about which we are also passionate. Hence Rachel and I have kind of adopted the Pope as a kind of defacto moral spiritual leader to fill the vacuum we have in protestantism (excepting Mark Driscoll of course!!!), and we pray for God to uphold and strengthen his leadership of the Christian world.

It's not just us BTW -- I've got a (evangelical protestant) Christian friend in the US with whom I correspond, and 6 months ago when I asked him which presidential candidate he preferred (out of Hillary, Obama and McCain). He said that he had major problems with all 3 of them, and the world leader who most closely aligns with his point of view on everything -- is the Pope. (Unfortunately the pope wasn't running for election :-))
Good stuf, eh? Well, except for the stuff about the "dodgy doctrines", and that's what David asked me about in the email in which he drew my attention to this rather candid discussion and appraisal of "the Churches in communion with Rome" (as I am teaching Pastor Weedon to call us).

David wrote as follows:
Hi David,
I’ve been having a conversation with an Anglican layman over at – its the “Charles Simeon takes on John Wesley” thread.

If you scroll down to the end I have been in conversation with Jereth on how you square up your Lutheran doctrine of Lord’s Supper and Mary with your Catholic new self. e.g. with Mary and the issue of Jesus’ brothers and sisters and Mary as the go between, my guess is that you affirm your access to God through our Lord Jesus, you don’t pray to Mary, she isn’t “coredemtrix”, but you honour and revere her as Theotokos. Is that right? Do you have any comment and am I correct in my assertion re Lord’s Supper?
It is probably easiest if I take what he said directly from the discussion string and answer these questions in answer to that.

1) "Lutheran doctrine re real presence of body and blood of Christ not all that far from transubstantiation."

That's what the Australian Catholic Lutheran Dialogue concluded in their statement a "Sacrament and Sacrifice" (1985). Although Lutherans would never use a scholastic/philosophical word like "transubstantiation" to say what they mean. They prefer the simple "IS" of our Lord's statements (as in "This [bread] IS my body"), and leave it at that.

2) Not sure about Mary, will have to ask them if they affirm she remained a virgin as per RC doctrine.

Yep. But that was Luther's take on it too. In fact, the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity was the standard in the Early Church, and no-one ever took the scriptural references to "Jesus' brothers and sisters" to mean Mary's children. It is worth checking out St Jerome's "Against Helvidius: On the Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary." which makes it quite clear how novel Helvidius' opinion on this matter was. The best modern explanation (and the most convincing exegesis of scripture on the problem) may be found in Raymond Brown's commentary on the Gospel of John, in an excursus on the women at the cross/tomb.

3) "and Mary as the go between, my guess is that you affirm your access to God through our Lord Jesus, you don’t pray to Mary, she isn’t “coredemtrix”, but you honour and revere her as Theotokos. Is that right? "

We certainly do affirm our access to God through our Lord Jesus. All liturgical prayer is offered to the Father in the name of and through Jesus Christ his Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. "Prayers to the Saints" are not like prayer to the Father or even to Jesus, but are actually requests for help through their intercession on our behalf (think: ancient imperial court, and you will get the picture). Rather than going to God through the saints, Catholics in fact believe that we only have communion with the Saints through our mutual communion in Christ. We do not believe that we direct access to either Mary or any of the other saints apart from Christ. Prayer is viewed as a communal thing: all the saints, living and dead, joined in one communion of intercession before God.

As for the "co-redemptrix" thing... What is in question is a title, okay? Were the Church to definitely declare that the title "co-redemptrix" is applicable to Mary, she (the Church) would not be inventing new doctrine, but would be saying that the title is in accordance with what we already believe and have always believed. So what do we believe? We believe that Mary was more than just a conduit for the incarnation. In other words, she was not just like a drainpipe through which water flows. She was really involved in the Incarnation of our Lord, body and soul. Thus she had a concrete and real role in God's plan of redemption. So in that sense she might be properly called "co-redemptrix" - in the sense that (ENTIRELY BY GOD'S GRACE) she was enabled to "cooperate" with the Holy Spirit in being the bearer of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son. He received his humanity from her. That's what we mean by Theotokos too: she was the God-bearer. But I don't think that this title for Mary will be officially defined, because it does create confusion. One misinterpretation of the title would be to regard it as suggesting that Mary's role in God's plan of redemption was equal in kind and quality to the role of Christ. That would be utterly false.


At Friday, January 16, 2009 10:00:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

From a Catholic POV, I concur with these dear Proddies - in that, did the Catholic Church not have a Pope (per impossibile), you can bet your bottom dollar the whole structure would have gone the same way as the Anglicans, "Uniting" persons, etc., into endless doctrinal fuzziness, indifference, and deviation (both regarding faith and morals).

"Upon this rock I will build My Church" - and apart from the Rock of Peter's Faith, there is no promise from the Lord that the gates of hell shall not prevail against those separate from that blessed communion of the churches in union with Peter's Successor, the true Vicar of Christ on earth.

The most cogent counter-argument is to point to the Orthodox and say, these have no Pope, they have not changed - that is why to me their witness is far more persuasive than that of any Johnny-come-lately Protestant. I will leave it to others to debate this last issue...

At Friday, January 16, 2009 12:56:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

the re-sacrificing of Christ in the mass,

They still don't get that one, do they?

As for Mary. I wonder how many Protestants have seriously pondered the fact that if Mary had not given her free consent the Incarnation would not have happened. God knew that Mary would say yes, but Mary didn't until she was asked. She was not treated as an automaton by the Lord (how mahy times have I heard a Protestant say Mary was "merely" the vessel).

A further thought -- the Blood we receive at Holy Communion, in a very real way, is also Mary's blood because Jesus had no human father. No, I am not saying Mary's blood is salvific, it is not. But biologically speaking, her blood flowed through his veins. So yes, Catholics and Orthodox do honor her as Theotokos and the unique privilege that was hers alone.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 2:39:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

You got that right Dave -- think ancient imperial court, and you DO get the picture.

Yeah, the Orthodox have no pope and they haven't changed, and think you have precisely at the hands of the "popes".

That's the great thing about apostolic succession -- those who spout it don't agree altogether on what it is, how it works, or who has it.

You got the wrong Rock. It's the faith, not the man who confesses it. If you want a Rock who's a man, go for Duane Johnson rather than a functionary of an empire that no longer exists.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 5:36:00 pm , Anonymous Fr. Timothy D. May, SSP said...

This is an opportunity for me to ask a question regarding the Catholic position on the Mass. While the "re-sacrifice" of the Mass is often brought up against Catholics my understanding based on reading Catholic theology and theologians and talking with Catholic laity is that they see the Mass not as a "re-sacrifice" but as a participation in the one and only eternal sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross. That is the Mass is a reminder to God of His Son's sacrifice and at the same time brings the benefits of His sacrifice to those who participate. Please correct me if I misunderstand or have mistated this. Also, please share any resources that describe well the Catholic position (I have the CCC). Thank you.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 5:50:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

You are exactly right, Father May.

Amazes me how other Christians who nevertheless believe that an almighty God could "speak" the universe into being is powerless to "make present" throughout space and time the one, unique Sacrifice of the Cross.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 7:17:00 pm , Anonymous Fr. Timothy D. May, SSP said...

Thank you, Christine. Then there is one Sacrifice and this Sacrifice which has eternal consequence is also present in space and time in the Mass.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 7:45:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

Precisely, Father May. This is the true treasure of the Church which is the Lord's gift to her until that high feast of the Lamb where we will see him in his unveiled glory.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 7:55:00 pm , Anonymous Fr. Timothy D. May, SSP said...

"the true treasure of the Church" "the Lord's gift to her" and then later on "his unveiled glory." Wonderful. Thank you.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 8:20:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Catholics have never said anything else about the Eucharist. The problem is some of the rest of what they say about the Eucharist, and a part of that is, we don't have it.

At Friday, January 16, 2009 11:38:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

Good point Louise .Francis Schaeffer -Presbyterian theologian and philosopher- who died in 1984,and C Everett Koop ,one time Surgeon General in the USA,were the only Protestant voices raised against abortion ,infanticide and euthanasia. they were largely on their own,because the perception i think in proddy land-my heritage- was that these were catholic things.As a consequence and as Schaeffer pointed out in his book "The great evangelical disaster" ,this perhaps. has led to the domination of the prodeath lobby.
I remember reading a tract in st patrick's ,where the writer ,a dominican priest,made the point that the Low Church Anglicans had more in common with catholics than High Church Anglicans.His views were that many of the latter held to pro-choice views,reincarnation and other practices that were questionable. Perhaps he had in mind the line from Brideshead revisited where Charles Ryder's cousin -a graduate,tells him to not mix with Anglo-Catholics at oxford as "they are all a bunch of sodomites"

At Friday, January 16, 2009 11:52:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Well I gotta make dinner for the crew before I get on to Rant All Night, so for now I'll say this:

those of us who might be designated Protestant have lost a lot out of the "too Catholic" thing, and that is not in the least because of the loss of a Petrine Ministry, which doesn't exist, but because of the obscuring by that "Petrine Ministry" and its minions of Catholic with catholic.

IOW, there's a lot of what is catholic that is Catholic too, and too many of us think that if something is Catholic it's a priori (there it is again) wrong and we throw out what is actually catholic.

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 1:29:00 am , Anonymous Chris Jones said...

it is equally true to say that [Orthodox doctrine] has not developed

That is not a bug, but a feature. Dealing with "modern problems" doesn't require new (or "developed") doctrine; it requires wisdom and discernment in the application of the same old doctrine to new situations.

there is a great deal of disunity and disagreement about matters of primacy, honour, authority, juridiction etc.

Fallen human nature being what it is, a certain amount of squabbling cannot be avoided (and don't try to tell me that the Catholic Church is one big happy family, either). But when the most contentious issue in a Church body is the calendar, that is a sort of witness to the impressive unity on the weightier and more central matters of faith and practice.

the Orthodox churches haven't yet fully confronted liberal modernity

This is a patent falsehood. The Orthodox were on the front lines against the most monstrous manifestation of modernity ever, for seventy years, and have martyrs in their hundreds of thousands to show for it. It is a dishonour to the memory of those martyrs to speak as if the Orthodox have somehow been isolated in a sort of mediaeval cocoon.

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 1:49:00 am , Anonymous John Weidner said...

Great post and comments. Reminds me of what Chesterton wrote:

...It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair...

We are seeing a lot of this these days. Protestants becoming intrigued, captivated by the Church. By JPII and B-16. By sacraments. By the Splendor of Truth.

Perhaps God allowed Protestantism for the Protestants' splendid energy in evangelization. They win souls for Jesus, who will be the catholics of the future...

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:42:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

David dearest,

the poroblem here is that some of the Catholics believe not only that her role and 'Amen' in the Incarnation is important, or that she redeems us by praying and interceding in front of God on our behalf ... they also say that she suffered with Christ at Calvary in an substitutionary-atoning manner (and she could also, since she had not inherited the Original Sin from her parents). Now, THAT is NOT a very Orthodox thing to say. See the problem now, David? :-(

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 11:42:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...


Some Catholics don't get it either. I ride to work with a lady who belongs to an SSPX Chapel. Her attachment to the Fatima apparition seems to be way out of proportion. I gently tried to remind her that orthodox Catholic teaching doesn't require any Catholic to believe in private revelations, Fatima being one of them.

Same for the folks who confuse Mary's place in the scheme of salvation history.

When I became Catholic I discovered that my birthday falls on the feast of our Lady of Sorrows. I can certainly relate to Mary's human and spiritual suffering as she faithfully stood by her divine Son's cross. Suffering comes to every human being at some point in life. But substitutionary? Nope. Jesus alone, being true God and true man could make that awesome sacrifice.

Yep, some Catholics don't get it.

But Pope Benedict does and will continue to point it out.

Have I ever mentioned that "At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing" is one of my favorite hymns :-)

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 12:04:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

The problem is some of the rest of what they say about the Eucharist, and a part of that is, we don't have it.

Well, Lutherans have to first come together and unify around some other issues here. Is Christ present only to the communicant when he/she receives him? After all have received, is the presence now gone in any of the remaining elements?

That never made sense to me. A wise priest once said "God does not take back his gifts."

And if the presence remains, sorry, but the use of disposable plastic "shot glasses" that may still contain the Precious Blood just doesn't work for me. Can't go there.

And there's the matter of the Sacrificial part of the Mass. There's simply no use in saying that it's the same for Lutherans as it is for Catholics and the Orthodox. Some Lutheran churches are so Word-oriented now that Holy Communion almost seems an afterthought.

It ain't just about "apostolic succession."

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:26:00 pm , Anonymous Chris Jones said...

Mr Schütz,

what we are talking about here is something a little different

True -- and I thought about that when I made my comment. But the root is the same (modernity), and the spiritual strength to combat it comes from the same place. A Church which has shown well-nigh miraculous fortitude in the face of the one form of modernity might be expected to show fortitude in the face of the other form as well.

It seems to me that "Athanasius's" comment displayed an ignorance of Orthodoxy on a spiritual level (not just a doctrinal or historical level), resulting in a condescending attitude that is unwarranted and, frankly, outrageous.

will the leadership of the Orthodox Churches be able to speak clearly and with one voice so as to lead their people to stand against this darkness?

"The leadership" of the Orthodox Church that counts in such matters is not only, or even primarily, the hierarchy, but the parish pastors who are on "the front lines" and the monastics who bear constant witness to the fact that the Church is not of this world. The principal weapons in the battle are not the public pronouncements of Patriarchs and Metropolitans (or Popes, as much as I respect and admire Benedict XVI), but the counsel given and the discipline applied in the confessional, the steady participation in the liturgical and sacramental life, and the ascetic discipline of prayer and fasting. These day-to-day weapons in the spiritual warfare are much more alive and much more in use in the Orthodox Churches (even in the relatively lax and liberal Western jurisdictions) than they are in Catholicism or any other Western Church body. It is a lack which cannot be made up by the public teaching of a Pope, be he never so orthodox and eloquent.

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 3:13:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

Scott Hahn is hardly "some Catholic", and his arguments actually make sense within current Roman Catholicism: re-interpretation of biblical, scriptural, traditional, historical, patristical texts (which speak of Marry's suffering; or her Immaculate Conception) fits very well with the whole of Newman's set of ideas regarding organical developement or evolution of dogma or doctrine, which view is espoused by almost all Catholics today. -- That's the problem. I'm very worried... :-(

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 5:56:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

Far better, in my estimation, is Thomas Howard, author of "Evangelical Is Not Enough" and "On Being Catholic", published by Ignatius Press. His grasp of Catholic sensibility is superb.

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 7:51:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

Hahn is not exactly unimportant or unsignifficant. Nor is his little niche. NOR ARE HIS ARGUMENTS, which have power regardless of who speaks them. Within the latest Marian dogmas, such as the Immaculate Conception, and within the mental frame-work of doctrinal and dogmatical development, what he's saying makes perfect sense: that's the really scary part.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 12:43:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

And the Orthodox by the very prayers of their Divine Liturgy shew that they believe most robustly in Our Lady as mediatrix (μεςῖτις) - a word that occurs in countless troparia and so forth! For instance, the following kontakion is chanted in the Greek Liturgy directly before the Trisagion from the Sunday of All Saints to 27th of July and again from the 22nd of September until the 8th of November:

"O never-failing protection of Christians and ever-present mediation [μεσιτεία... ἀμετάθετε] before the Creator, despise not the prayers of us sinners, but by thy goodness extend thy help to us, who in faith call upon thee: hasten, O Mother of God, to intercede for us and make speed to supplicate for us, thou who ever protecteth those who honour thee."

And how about those Byzantine Rite prayers imploring "Mother of God, save us"?

It always surprises me when Protestant converts to Orthodoxy seek to downplay the Marian theology of their Church, when if anything the Easterners are greater devotees of Our Lady the Theotokos than we Western Catholics!

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 1:14:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Josh, Christine, and Schutz,

I'm happy to see Y'all so orthodox in Your understanding of these theological terms; the problem is that Yours is not the only understanding offered; Josh says and I concur:

It doesn't mean that Mary saved mankind along with Christ ... There, by her faith and suffering and prayer, she united herself as much as she could to the Sacrifice of her Son, beseeching God to save the human race. Obviously, only the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus could merit salvation de condigno (meaning, in strict justice), since, as St Anselm taught, only the sacrifice of God-made-Man could appease the Divine Justice; the merits and prayers of a creature, even the most perfect (as Our Lady was, being free of sin and specially graced for to be the Mother of God), could not in strict justice appease God, but rather in a fitting manner proper to a mere creature attempt by every suffering endured to beg mercy (this is what is called "de congruo", in congruous fashion - so meaning what St Paul mentioned as quoted above, or, by analogy with hyperdulia, it may be said that Mary begged our salvation de supercongruo, in a fitting manner above that of other lesser saints). So if the Blessed Virgin be called coredemptrix, she can be so named de congruo.

... and yet, that's *precisely* what Scott Hahn and others think and believe to be the case. See my problem now?

(And no, I'm not a convert).

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 4:17:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Dear Lucian,

Sorry, I thought you may have been a convert!

I've just opened up Juniper Carol's Fundamentals of Mariology (1956), and there he says, inter alia, to summarize, that the Virgin Mary is Christ's associate in the Redemption: Christ alone is our Redeemer, because of his primary, universal, and self-sufficient causality in the redemptive process, but this doesn't exclude Mary having a completely secondary and subordinate cooperative role, deriving all its efficacy from the superabundant merits of her Divine Son; obviously Mary could not have cooperated in her own redemption, but she did cooperate in the redemption of others in the above subordinate manner, not that Christ's merits and satisfactions needed any supplementation whatever (being infinite), but that God was pleased to accept Our Lady's cooperation according to His plan - for as Adam effectually ruined our race by his sin, yet in this had the effective secondary help of Eve, so it is fitting that Christ, the New Adam, fully redeem us all, and yet have also a close partner in the New Eve, Mary. So in virtue of Christ's power and subject to Him, she so offered up prayer and entreaty, merit and satisfaction (always by right of Christ's winning of grace that makes any sacrifice alone supernaturally pleasing to God), and above all begged God to accept the sacrifice of her Son and His on Calvary for us sinners, that God cancelled the sentence of damnation that was against us - not that there was an absolute need for this, since Christ's offering was all-availing, but that such a close cooperation was supremely fitting.

This is an example of a late pre-Conciliar theologian's reasoning about this title, and, he being a Franciscan, it is probably to be on the maximalist side (historically, Dominicans tend to be more minimalist I think, though not one whit less devoted to Christ and His dear Mother).

I'm not familiar with Scott Hahn's teachings about these ideas - I would suspect he's quite reasonable in what he says. Note how easy it is to cause confusion and scandal when talking about mediation and cooperation in redemption? It can sound like a Protestant's worst nightmare!

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 4:23:00 am , Anonymous matthias said...

Lucian ,
I suggest that your comments perhaps be a more charitable and Christlike.In relation to Protestant churches becomming sporting fields after service,not necessarily true unless they are an Emergent Church perhaps.The Sanctuary is still "off limits" for anything other than worship in a great many denominations. Pity the Greek and Armenian orthodox did not observe that when they came to blows at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre recently and had to be separated by the Israeli Army.
Mr Palmer I think the comment of 'spinelessness'regarding Anglicans here in Melbourne should be more directed towards the UCA .The anglicanwebsite that Schutz has linked this dicussion from has documents pertaining to the Anglican position on abortion and the law reform.I think the Denomination that should be tagged 'spineless' is more the UCA.
They are the denomination of disasters-gutless re pro life issues as a whole,aside from the Assembly of Confessing Congregations that did identify with the RCC position.
Lucian's comments regarding the method of prayers within the Liturgy-Orthodox I presume-has caused me to reflect upon my own prayer life.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 4:34:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Yes, but I'm not a Protestant, and when I first read their words of complaint I just took it as simply a continuation of their unability or handicap in comprehending these things. Until I listened to Hahn. His discourse began OK, and it continued relatively all right ... UNTIL! :-| See here for more:

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:16:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...


don't go, I'm not done whipping You yet. Stay here and suffer for Your beliefs, and quit being such a drama-queen. You don't turn Your precious 1870 church building into a disco or a stadium, but You're willing to do that with our Lady's body, who is the Temple of God par excellence, she of whom the Temple itself (not to mention Your 140 year old church) is but a type, whereas she is their fulfillment.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 7:14:00 am , Anonymous matthias said...

Sorry Lucian but your comments give Mary the glory that should rightfully belong to Christ.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 8:44:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Also, Lucian, remember that in theology one can quite reasonably expect a diversity of opinions - until one side or another goes too far and is condemned for heresy, the cut and thrust of theological debate goes on... Franciscans, especially those of the Immaculate, are extremely devoted to Our Lady and love to sing her praises, and I'm glad they do - but that doesn't mean that their legitimate theological speculations are to be equated with the solemn Magisterium of the Catholic Church. See my own self-quotation above!

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 1:59:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...


sorry, I don't; and the streams don't work either. But the idea was that since she was conceived immaculately AND suffered together with Christ at Golgota, she was able to unite her own suffering with that of Christ in an atoning Anselmian manner. (Luke 2:35; Stabat Mater Dolorosa)

And yes, I'm fully aware that neither Newman's "Ecclesia semper evoluanda", nor Coredemptrix, are officially and authoritatively promulgated by the Vatican... yet! But given the historical graphic of the situation, I wouldn't be surprised if they will eventually, whether by Ratzinger himself (which I frankly doubt, given his orthodoxy and traditionalism), or by a future Pope.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 2:48:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Stabat Mater? Stabat Mater? Bring it on.

Fac ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Unto Christ with pure emotion,
Raise my contrite heart's devotion,
Love to read in every wound.

Sancta Mater istud agas
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Those five wounds on Jesus smitten,
Mother! in my heart be written,
Deep as in thine own they be.


Fac me plagis vulnerari
Fac me Cruce inebriari
et cruore Filii.

May His wounds transfix me wholly,
May His Cross and Life Blood holy,
Ebriate my heart and mind.

Hey, I just got an idea for a multimedia devotion. Howzabout this -- let's put images of the central acts of Jesus' Passion all around the walls of the church, stop at each one for prayer and meditation on it, and sing a bit of this sequence as we go.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:35:00 pm , Anonymous Joshua said...

It is a nice hymn, isn't it, PE!

I assume that the Stations of the Cross are not per se bad from a Lutheran POV (as long as one isn't so literal-minded as to object to a few of the Stations, e.g. the 2nd Fall, not being mentioned verbatim in the Gospels).


Impious thought of the day:

At least there aren't any Catholics nutty enough to ask that Our Lady be declared Archaeopteryx.

At Sunday, January 18, 2009 7:16:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Well I dunno Josh -- visual aids in the church, people moving around, not in the sanctuary, sounds too undignified, too trendy and emerging church like, to ever catch on in the church, dontcha think?

At Monday, January 19, 2009 12:56:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Convert from Catholicism to Orthodoxy FINALLY admits the TRUE (carnal) reasons for (cowardly) deserting the former and joining the later!!! Hear it all here!

At Monday, January 19, 2009 2:04:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

"Rant All Night" was the topic? Do you guys EVER have fun?

Actually, it was a joke on myself. The first word, rant, was to take what my postings are generally considered over here as self-satire. The title itself was to joke on not only the time difference between the US ans Oz, but also that I tend to post at all kinds of hours, which even other US bloggers have mentioned. Also it was a play on a former USA cable network late night movie show, hosted by the magnificent and incomparable Rhonda Shear, Up All Night.

A word-dance. I'd say a Nietzschean word dance, but that would involve bringing up yet more fun based on Nietzsche, the only philosopher worth reading, so I won't. Now that is itself a word dance, which I got from Cicero, who used to bring things up by talking about what he wasn't going to bring up all the time back in the Senate in the good old days when pontifex maximus was pontifex maximus.

Judas, I hope you guys didn't run off that nice Calvinist guy. Hell, I agree with the Calvinists less than with you, but it would be nice for a strong Reformed voice to be here instead of just Lutherans, let alone a Lutheran not really here to be Lutheran but to say what you have isn't really Catholic.

Although, if he does ever come back, he'll probably get the usual "You'll be Catholic once you understand, everybody wants to be Catholic but some don't know it yet" thing, the old Borg "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated" all prettied up.

What's wrong with Lucian? Rock on.

At Monday, January 19, 2009 2:47:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

There is a book by Peter Gilchrist, "Becoming Orthodox: A journey to the Ancient Christian Faith"

Uhm, I think it's Peter Gilquist. (As I see, Pentecostals aren't the only ones idolizing their c/Charismatic leaders...) :-\

the old Borg "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated"

And why do You think that these two Orthodox guys over here, Photios Jones and Perry Robinson, have Star Trek characters as their avatars? :-\ Hmmm? I mean, let's face it, the [Byzantine] Empire strikes back


both metaphors (Ark & Temple) work for both Christ and His mother.

At Monday, January 19, 2009 3:34:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

The [Byzantine] Empire Strikes Back! Love it! Rock on!

At Monday, January 19, 2009 3:50:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

What's wrong with Lucian? Rock on.

Love it! Rock on!

Is the shell or residue of Your former Roman Catholic self trying to sub-consciously communicate something to me here, P.E.? :D

At Monday, January 19, 2009 7:51:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...


what I meant was: does "Rock on!" have some sort of Petrine/Mathean (16:18) catch to it, coming from the abysmal depths of Your own sub-conscious, like an awakened reflex of Your former identity? :-\ :D ;-)

At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 4:47:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

As I've said before, the Novus Ordo is a valid liturgy - it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is valid and orthodox. I have looked deeply into this! I would have very grave reasons to reject Catholicism if it did appear invalid!!!

Ditto for Vatican II - I've read the documents, note that the reigning Pope approved its documents and the vast majority of the world's bishops voted in favour of them, and, knowing that these men were orthodox, and given my own reading of these works and of good theology (much of it preconciliar), again I cannot see it as heterodox or opposed to the Church's solemn teachings prior to the Council.

The lack of discipline and obedience is the basic problem, as David has put it above.

PE, I just don't accept your rusted-on position that the Council et al. betrayed the Church prior to it, and that therefore the Church pre, mid, and post must be false.

We will, as they say, agree to differ.

And the safe conduct pass still stands, and I promise not to have you burnt for heresy while that safe-conduct stands...

At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 5:28:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Hell Joshua, half of the stinking Communio crowd was under censure by the RCC before the palace coup of Vatican II, likewise the seminal theologians that went into the Documents. And the result couldn't be more clear in the writings of later converts like the late Neuhaus.

At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:51:00 pm , Anonymous Joshua said...

PE, I just can't understand you!

God bless.

At Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:11:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

It's as a Catholic, when I was still trying to be, that the novus ordo is such a clear standing on its head of Catholic worship.

Why? My spiritual director says there's not much difference between the NO in Latin and the Tridentine Mass.

I have not looked into it deeply, myself, but I'm just wondering if you can tell me what some of these disastrous changes were?

At Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:52:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

I assume he means the "Roman Canon" or EP1 of the novus ordo, since the other three EPs are not even there, being entirely new, though cut and pasted from early material here and there.

The links on the sidebar of my blog are a good place to start -- the "For Tiber Swimmers" element.

There are more exhaustive studies, but these are quite good, and certainly better than I can do, especially in a combox.

At Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:37:00 pm , Anonymous orrologion said...

...say what you like about Orthodox unity, but I have never known a case where a Catholic bishop has walked out of an ecumenical meeting and refused to take part because another Catholic bishop was present.

This situation is more similar to the interactions of the old local churches of the West when there was less centralization, e.g., Carthage and North Africa relative to Rome. In olden days one would see the same kind of ecclesiastical wrangling and maneuvering as is seen between Constantinople and Moscow regarding Estonia, Ukraine, North America, etc. While the Russian delegation left that meeting, the Patriarch of Constantinople was given the first seat when he arrived in Moscow for the funeral of and Liturgy for Vl. Alexey II. Unity where it counts.


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