Sunday, September 19, 2010

John Henry Cardinal Newman – a political beatification

His cause has taken half a century of research, consideration and procrastination. And you can understand why. As an Anglican vicar and (third-rate) Oxford scholar, the Rev John Newman subscribed to the letter of the XXXIX Articles, manifested a distinct hatred of the Roman Catholic Church and held a personal conviction that the Pope was the Anti-Christ. Indeed, he once wrote: “If the Pope is not an Anti-Christ, he has bad luck to be so like him.” The Rev John Newman began his ministry at the University Church of St Mary’s (with which His Grace is only too familiar) and manifested a distinctly low-church conviction. Over the years, he became increasingly high-church, leading ultimately to his participation in the foundation of the Oxford Movement or Tractarians, as they were more commonly known.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Or hagiography.

But John Henry Newman is not a model of holiness for the Church in the United Kingdom. His was known to have worldly ambition, to possess a frightful temper, to be reclusive and selfish, and, in the words of his contemporary Cardinal Manning, to be ‘a hater’.

He is also rumoured to have suffered from what Pope Benedict XVI terms an ‘objective disorder’ and to possess a tendency towards an ‘intrinsic moral evil’.

All of these foibles and failings might be considered to pale into insignificance against the brilliance of his Apologia Pro Vita Sua, or the belief that he was a prophet of Christian unity, or the realisation that many of his writings on the laity and his personal beliefs on Church reform foreshadowed the conclusions of the Second Vatican Council.

When he was created a cardinal in 1879, he chose to speak against ‘liberalism’ in religion. This is the theme to which Pope Benedict XVI has dedicated his pontificate, though he prefers the term ‘relativism’. For if truth be what you make it, and these truths are mutually exclusive, what then becomes of truth? And if there is no authority to adjudicate between these competing truths, the Church is destined to fracture and fragment. And what is that authority if it be not apostolic? Dogma is secure. St Peter is on his throne. Semper Eadem.

John Henry Newman was a remarkable Anglican in many ways, and perhaps an even more remarkable Roman Catholic.

But although the process towards his beatification has been rigorous and arduous, Newman is not pronounced ‘Blessed’ today as a result of the moral or intellectual courage he displayed in his conversion, or the worldwide influence he continues to exert as a theologian and scholar, or even the services he performed for the poor or in the founding of an oratory.

He is beatified today solely because some bloke in Massachusetts had a bad back and doesn’t any more.

Without this ‘miracle’, Pope Benedict would not be in Birmingham. And without another, the Blessed John Henry Newman cannot become a fully-fledged saint. This is the anti-reason hocus pocus which belies much of what His Holiness has said about the relationship between faith and reason. It is not, of course, that miracles may no longer be divinely ordained or experienced on earth: it is His Grace's belief that they most certainly may. But you would think that the life and teachings of Cardinal Newman might be sufficient alone to merit spiritual recognition and honour: and he could have done something a little more convincing than the quite unexceptional healing of a bad back – which is, statistically, the most common ailment in the UK. And speaking of the UK, you might also think that this most English of saints could at least have healed an Englishman. His ways may not be ours, but why choose an American?

To revive and affirm the ‘special relationship’, perhaps?

There are undoubted saintly merits in the life of John Henry Newman. But it cannot be ignored that this beatification follows hard upon the ‘personal ordinariate’ invitation to Anglicans to swim the Tiber en masse, and Pope Benedict XVI will not want his papacy to pass into the annals of history without realising his religio-political objective of achieving Church unity, first between East and West, and then by absorbing the Church of England into the Church in England. John Henry Newman becomes the first Englishman born since the 17th century to be set on the path to sainthood. So significant is this for Pope Benedict that he has set aside the customary subsidiarity and has himself declared Newman ‘Blessed’. And the new feast day is not to be the customary date of death (or birth into heaven), but the date of Newman's conversion to Rome - 6th October. If His Holiness had wanted to be a little more generously ecumenical about it, he could have chosen the date of Newman's baptism - 11th August. But we must not forget that the Church of England is not a church 'in the proper sense'. Pope Benedict clearly recognises Newman's conversion to Rome as as the crucial regenerative event, being the undoubted fount of the theological wisdom in which His Holiness is himself steeped and greatly influenced.

So do not let the blinding papal spectacle and profound religious fervour blind us to the politics of this beatification.

Or to the certainty that the canonisation will swiftly follow.


Anonymous Michael said...

You speak with a surprising air of authority on the person of Cardinal Newman considering certain elements of your previous postings, and parts of this one, simultaneously demonstrate some rather startling blindfolds and, dare on say it, ignorance - as more than one poster has demonstrated before now.

Still, be it as you please, and one can only find it a shame that the miracle of Newman was neither spectacular for your own liking nor parochial enough for you - for my own part, each of those distinctive features strengthens the case, rather than weakens it.

19 September 2010 at 11:05  
Anonymous Michael said...

Apologies - that should have said blindspots. The joys of predictive testing, eh?

19 September 2010 at 11:07  
Anonymous Michael said...

Texting! Grrr!

19 September 2010 at 11:08  
Blogger David Vance said...

Fully agree with your post. Wilful blindness is not endearing.

19 September 2010 at 11:26  
Anonymous len said...

Regarding the 'healing powers'of dead Cardinals and dead Saints;

It is extremely dangerous to establish doctrine on the basis of subjective human experience rather than the Word of God. If you pray to the saints and you get some sort of answer, you would wrongly conclude that praying to the saints must be fine. But surely you realize that there may be other causes for ‘the answer’ other than the dead saint hearing your prayers. The pagans pray to a multitude of false deities and they too get 'answers'! Should we then conclude that their pagan gods are real and that they too answer prayers?

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 teaches: “There shall not be found among you … a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.” God repeats His disapproval in many other passages (see Leviticus 19:31; 20:6,27).

19 September 2010 at 11:49  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

"As an Anglican vicar and (third-rate) Oxford scholar"
The only "first rate" scholars are the ones that agree with us.

19 September 2010 at 12:07  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Ms/Mrs/Miss Clare@BattlementsOfRubies,

The reference was to Newman's third-class degree. His Grace does not agree with Pope Benedict XVI on an awful lot, yet he is manifestly a first-rate scholar.

19 September 2010 at 12:17  
Anonymous PJ said...

Does Your Grace realise that one of the reasons why Newman got a Third is because he had a breakdown in his Finals!

19 September 2010 at 12:26  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms PJ,

Very many students have a breakdown in their Finals; that is the nature of Finals. Usually, however, intellect and ability shine through. The contemporary evidence for Newman's 'breakdown' is scant, to say the least, and one rather suspects it has evolved to accord with hagiographical demands. We cannot, after all, have a de facto Doctor of the Church besmirched in perpetuity by a third-class degree.

19 September 2010 at 12:37  
Anonymous Michael said...

Yes Cranny, I'm sure that was the first thing on the minds of the CCS, how to spin the facts so as to cover up the awful shame of his scholarship coming under question because of a third class degree.

Good grief.

19 September 2010 at 12:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Michael,

Do you have some kind of irrational ad hominem auto-defence complex?

Wherever did His Grace mention the CCS? The Newman cult is as much Anglican as it is Roman: hagiography is common to both traditions.

Good grief.

19 September 2010 at 12:51  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

The whole business of beatification and sainthood as means of categorising people within the 'church' is unknown to the New Testament, in which all Christians are regarded as 'blessed' and as saints.

By such means, tradition makes void the word of God. The 'apostolic' see makes nonsense of the apostolic teachings. The 'Vicar of Christ' negates the words of Jesus.

And it's not only the RCs who seem to display such basic ignorance.

19 September 2010 at 12:51  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I care not anymore than I do that the apostles were anything but scholars. God is less interested in first class degrees. Sometimes your pomposity can be amusing Cranmer, but I still love you.

19 September 2010 at 12:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the 'healing powers'of dead Cardinals and dead Saints:

The "placebo effect" is very well know to science and is extremely puzzling.

19 September 2010 at 13:04  
Anonymous Michael said...

My apologies, I'll amend that post to take account of your response:

Yes Cranny, I'm sure that was the first thing on the minds of the various Newman devotees, how to spin the facts so as to cover up the awful shame of his scholarship coming under question because of a third class degree.

And it really does ill behoove a man, even one with the moniker 'Cranmer', to utilise ad hominem as a standard rhetorical tool whilst simultaneously crying foul the moment anyone dares take a similar line with his own pronouncements - one might suspect hypocrisy, or else deem it a convenient (ad hominem?) way of dismissing valid objection.

19 September 2010 at 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace does have a gift for irony but not for admiration and I do think the Pope deserves our admiration in many respects. His speech in Westminster Hall was remarkable, as was his sermon at Westminster cathedral,yesterday. I nevertheless read your Grace with pleasure, admiring his wit even in his unfairest moments! I find it anachronic to mention cardinal Newman's alleged homosexuality! There exists a history of feelings and attraction!To suggest Cardinal Newman was gay in his times sounds irrelevant even if he had intense friendships! It's difficult enough to explore our own hearts. I've always found solace in the intuition that we'll be judged according to the Good we have hoped in... regardless of the failings. In this philosophy we all deserve respect and consideration: the Pope and the Catholic Church, all Churches, Yourself, Your Grace, the official blessed, as well as the herd of anonymous to which I belong. Laurent de Weck, from the French-speaking part of Switzerland

19 September 2010 at 13:12  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Anonymous wrote:
'The "placebo effect" is very well know to science and is extremely puzzling.'

Hey, Mr A, why don't you have the courage to come out from your cloak of anonimity and write under a pseudonym, like wot Cranny and I does?

19 September 2010 at 13:12  
Blogger Jakian Thomist said...

Good to see you're back Cranmer, it is always a delightful experience to read your naturalistic perspective.

19 September 2010 at 13:14  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Michael,

His Grace is really rather widely read on Newman, but he is no expert and does not claim to know everything. And he has clearly not read the works that you have. He is quite prepared to enter into a discussion with you, but you have never clarified any of your objections beyond ad hominem:

"You speak with a surprising air of authority on the person of Cardinal Newman considering certain elements of your previous postings, and parts of this one, simultaneously demonstrate some rather startling blindfolds and, dare on say it, ignorance - as more than one poster has demonstrated before now."

Which elements? What blindfolds? Where is the support for these assertions? How is the ignorance manifest? What are the sources for exposing this ignorance?

" can only find it a shame that the miracle of Newman was neither spectacular for your own liking nor parochial enough for you..."

The point that His Grace was making was clear. Your response, with respect, appears to be purposely obtuse. Praise God that the miracle be sufficient for you. But it is clearly not beyond dispute a supernatural intervention by the Blessed John Henry Newman.

19 September 2010 at 13:18  
Anonymous len said...

Can these bones be beautified?

Only if you can find them apparently.

The bones of the Victorian cardinal(Cardinal Newman) who is in line to become Britain’s first saint for almost 40 years have disintegrated, hampering plans to turn his final resting place into a centre of Christian pilgrimage.

( Oh the irony, you couldn`t make it up.)

19 September 2010 at 13:54  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

But John Henry Newman is not a model of holiness for the Church in the United Kingdom. His was known to have worldly ambition, to possess a frightful temper, to be reclusive and selfish, and, in the words of his contemporary Cardinal Manning, to be ‘a hater’.

He is also rumoured to have suffered from what Pope Benedict XVI terms an ‘objective disorder’ and to possess a tendency towards an ‘intrinsic moral evil’.

You display a fundamental confusion regarding the Catholic process of beatification/canonisation.
We do not require our saints to be perfect human beings. In fact it is often in their struggle to overcome their imperfections that they acheive holiness.
That is precisely why we love our saints. They encourage us to imitate them and to become saints in the middle of our ordinariness and despite the limitations of our humanity and the frustrations of life.
Other than miracles, beati and saints must possess the attributes of charity and heroic virtue.
It is foolishness to read Newmans declarations of love for Ambrose StJohn through our 21st century, gaycentric lens.
Nonetheless, it would be perfectly possible for a man with a homosexual orientation to acheive sanctity through heroic virtue and charity, and to become a saint.

19 September 2010 at 13:58  
Anonymous Michael said...

Cranny, on the miracle point, the simplicity of the objection is more a reflection on the quality of the argument than the complexity of the objection. Of course the miracle is 'clearly not beyond dispute a supernatural intervention by the Blessed John Henry Newman'; by all means, show me a miracle that cannot be disputed - I should imagine that even some of the drinkers of good wine at a certain wedding in Canaan would have later denied, when quizzed on the point, that it had at one point earlier in the evening been mere water.

But of course, your point went further than this, since you tried to imply that the lack of ostentatiousness was indicative of a Church desperate to find something, anything, that could support their essentially political cause - with your historical antipathy to Rome in mind, it's not the gravest discourtesy to wonder whether such objections have as much to do with your own pre-formed cynicism than with the cause itself: as I said, for the faithful that the miraculous should manifest humble as well as proudly, and in the international as well as the parochial (as befits the nature of a universal Church), is as much evidence for the miracle as a case against it.

And on the 'blindspots' (apologies for the initial misspelling - redictive texting a nightmare), I should think your recent comments on Newman and the relationship between conscience and the Pope a good start, which seemed to me to try and manufacture a division that simply wasn't there, as well as your admittedly more subtle comments regarding Newman's alleged discomfort with the doctrine of papal infallibility (his objection was far more to do with timing and politics, both ecclesiastic and worldly, more than the concept itself - as I should imagine you're well aware).

19 September 2010 at 14:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't find his Bones??. A Ditty springs to mind...
"Is he in Heaven? is he in Hell?
That dammed elusive Cardinel..

19 September 2010 at 14:14  
Anonymous The Ultimate Pedant said...

Your Grace appears to be missing ten of the Articles of Religion, or did +++John Henry subscribe to only XXIX of the XXXIX?

Michael - a period of silent reflection on your part would be welcome.

19 September 2010 at 14:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Ultimate Pedant,

His Grace is most appreciative. He has now rediscovered the lost Articles, though they have varied in number over the centuries.

Mr Michael,

His Grace thanks you for your gracious reply.

It is curious that you have chosen the occasion of turning water into wine as an example of a miracle not beyond disputation. In search of 'beyond dispute', would not the restoration of sight to those who have been blind since birth have been a more persuasive example? Or those who were born lame now walking?

His Grace does not require ostentation. But for many the healing of a poor blind child in India would have been rather more evidence for the miracle than the healed back of an affluent Roman Catholic deacon in America.

We must respectfully agree to differ on the timing of this 'miracle'. You believe by religious faith, which His Grace cannot dispute. Yet His Grace contends by political reason, which you dispute on account of his 'historical antipathy to Rome'.

Might not your manifest sympathy to Rome persuade your perception as much as His Grace's historical antipathy may pre-dispose him to cynicism?

19 September 2010 at 15:16  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Michael
You write about 'a certain wedding in Canaan...'

Would that be Cana to which you refer? That was Cana in Galilee, where Jesus's first miracle was performed, according to John's Gospel. Predictive texting? Maybe you need some retrospective texting.

19 September 2010 at 15:23  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Grown men discussing miracles! I despair.

19 September 2010 at 15:35  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

And what do you think you are doing, Mr Graham Davis, if not discussing miracles? Good heavens, man, anybody would think you weren't expecting to find Christians conversing on this blog, or that you hadn't realised that Christians believed in miracles.

19 September 2010 at 15:40  
Anonymous len said...

Graham Davis,
you might, one day, just possibly, experience a miracle yourself,

19 September 2010 at 15:52  
Blogger Alcuin said...

I am not really qualified to comment on Newman, but did hear someone refer to him as a sort of pre-incarnation of Tony Benn. It seems to fit.

Donald Soper comes to mind - a man with an instant, often facile and sanctimonious opinion on almost anything. My father went to school with him - Soper was never lost for words.

But perhaps I am being unfair to the dead. And I am not so churlish as to deny the Vatican their show time, particularly as it allowed us access to the mind of a far more erudite thinker - Joseph Ratzinger.

19 September 2010 at 16:04  
Anonymous Michael said...

'Might not your manifest sympathy to Rome persuade your perception as much as His Grace's historical antipathy may pre-dispose him to cynicism?'

Oh, of course. Though I'm sure that as an Anglican, comfortable with (even desirous of) the via media, you can on that score alone allow that my perspective may be beneficial to the health of the messageboard as a whole ;)

19 September 2010 at 16:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit unfair, Your Grace, dare I say unchristian, to describe Newman as a third-rate Oxford scholar, even if you are,literally, correct. True, he spectacularly failed to live up to expectations when taking his degree. But he was subsequently to do brilliantly in exams which led to a coveted fellowship at Oriel. If we are all to be judged third-rate as a result of some initial academic setback, many of us are doomed, myself included.
Edward Sutherland.

19 September 2010 at 16:37  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

"Yet Ratzinger is no Johnny-come-lately to his fondness for Newman. He studied the Grammar of Assent in the seminary, and a fellow student at the time, Alfred Laepple, has said that for him and the young Ratzinger, “Newman was our hero.”

During a workshop for American bishops in Dallas in 1991, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger reflected at length on Newman’s legacy, arguing that Newman’s emphasis on conscience rests on a prior commitment to truth."

Hijacking or setting him free, Benedict loves Newman - By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

19 September 2010 at 16:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{315} YOU may have asked yourselves, Brothers of the Oratory, why it was that, in exposing, as I did last week, the shallowness of the philosophy on which our opponents erect their structure of argument against us, I did not take, as my illustration, an instance far more simple and ready to my hand than that to which I actually directed your attention. It was my object, on that occasion, to show that Protestants virtually assume the point in debate between them and us, in any particular controversy, in the very principles with which they set out; that those first principles, for which they offer no proof, involve their conclusions; so that, if we are betrayed into the inadvertence of passing them over without remark, we are forthwith defeated and routed, even before we have begun to move forward to the attack, as might happen to cavalry who maneuvered on a swamp, or to a guerilla force which ventured on the open plain. Protestants and Catholics each have their own ground, and cannot {316} engage on any other; the question in dispute between them is more elementary than men commonly suppose; it relates to the ground itself on which the battle is legitimately and rightfully to be fought; the first principles assumed in the starting of the controversy determine the issue. Protestants in fact do but say that we are superstitious, because it is superstitious to do as we do; that we are deluded, because it is a delusion to believe what we believe; that we are knaves, because it must be knavery to teach what we teach. A short and pleasant argument, easier even and safer than that extempore and improvisatore mode of fabricating and fabling against us, of which I have said so much in former Lectures: easier and safer, inasmuch as, according to the proverb, "great wits ought to have long memories," when they deal with facts. In arguments about facts, there must be consistency, and speciousness, and proof, and circumstantial evidence; private judgment in short becomes subject to sundry and serious liabilities when it deals with history and testimony, from which it is comparatively free when it expatiates in opinions and views. Now of this high à priori mode of deciding the question, the specimen I actually took was the Protestant argument against relics and miracles; and I selected this instance for its own sake, because I wished to bring out what I thought an important truth as regarded them; but a more obvious instance certainly would have been the surprising obtuseness, for I can use no other word, with which the Protestant Rule of Faith, which Catholics disown, is so often obtruded on us, as a necessary basis of discussion, which it is thought absurd and {317} self-destructive not to accept, in any controversy about doctrine.

19 September 2010 at 16:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#2All the world knows that Catholics hold that the Apostles made over the Divine Revelation to the generation after them, not only in writing, but by word of mouth, and in the ritual of the Church. We consider that the New Testament is not the whole of what they left us; that they left us a number of doctrines, not in writing at all, but living in the minds and mouths of the faithful; Protestants deny this. They have a right to deny it; but they have no right to assume their denial to be true without proof, and to use it as self-evident, and to triumph over us as beaten, merely because we will not admit it. Yet this they actually do; can anything be more preposterous? however, they do this as innocently and naturally as if it were the most logical of processes, and the fairest and most unexceptionable of proceedings. For instance there was a country gentleman in this neighbourhood in the course of last year, who, having made some essays in theology among his tenantry in his walks over his estate, challenged me to prove some point, I am not clear what, but I think it was the infallibility of the Holy See, or of the Church. Were my time my own, I should never shrink from any controversy, having the experience of twenty years, that the more Catholicism and its doctrines are sifted, the more distinct and luminous will its truth ever come out into view; and in the instance in question I did not decline the invitation. However, it soon turned out that it was a new idea to the gentleman in question, that I was not bound to prove the point in debate simply by Scripture; he considered that Scripture was to be the {318} sole basis of the discussion. This was quite another thing. For myself, I firmly believe that in Scripture the Catholic doctrine on the subject is contained; but had I accepted this gratuitous and officious proposition, you see I should have been simply recognising a Protestant principle, which I disown. He would not controvert with me at all, unless I subscribed to a doctrine which I believe to be, not only a dangerous, but an absurd error; and, because I would not allow him to assume what it was his business to prove, before he brought it forward, and because I challenged him to prove that Scripture was, as he assumed, the Rule of Faith, he turned away as happy and self-satisfied as if he had gained a victory. That all truth is contained in Scripture was his first principle; he thought none but an idiot could doubt it; none but a Jesuit could deny it; he thought it axiomatic; he thought that to offer proof was even a profanation of so self-evident a point, and that to demand it was a reductio ad absurdum of the person demanding;—but this, I repeat, was no extraordinary instance of Protestant argumentation; it occurs every other day.

19 September 2010 at 17:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#3Unless my memory fails me of what I read years ago, a well-known authoress, lately deceased, supplies in her tales one or two instances in point. I recollect the description of an old-fashioned, straightforward East Indian, who had for years corresponded with the widow of a friend in England, and from her letters had conceived a high opinion of her good sense and propriety of feeling. Then, as the story goes on to tell, he comes back to England, becomes acquainted with her, and, to his disappointment, is gradually made aware that she is nothing else than a worldly, heartless, and manœuvring woman. The same writer draws elsewhere a very young lady, who, in a spirit of romance, has carried on a correspondence with another female whom she never saw; on the strength of which, from a conviction of the sympathy which must exist between them, she runs from home to join her, with the view of retiring with her for life to some secluded valley in Wales; but is shocked to {321} find, on meeting her, that after all she is vulgar, unattractive, and middle-aged. Were it necessary, numberless instances might be given to the purpose; of mistakes, too, of every kind; of persons, when seen, turning out different from their writings, for the better as well as for the worse, or neither for the better nor the worse, but still so different as to surprise us and make us muse; different in opinion, or in principle, or in conduct, or in impression and effect. And thus Scripture, in like manner, though written under a supernatural guidance, is, from the nature of the case, from the defect of human language, and the infirmity of the recipient, unable by itself to convey the real mind of its writers to all who read it. Instead of its forcing its meaning upon the reader, the reader forces his own meaning upon it, colours it with his own thoughts and distorts it to his own purposes; so that something is evidently needed besides it, such as the teaching of the Church, to protect it from the false private judgment of the individual. And if this be true when the New Testament, as a whole, is contemplated, how much more certainly will it take place when Protestants contract their reading professedly to only a part of it, as to St. Paul's Epistles; and then again out of St. Paul, select the two Epistles to the Romans and Galatians; and still further, as is so common, confine themselves to one or two sentences, which constitute practically the whole of the Protestant written word! Why, of course, it is very easy to put what sense they please on one or two verses; and thus the Religion of the Apostles may come in the event to mean anything or nothing. {322}

19 September 2010 at 17:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#4Here, then, we are arrived at the subject on which I mean to remark this evening. Protestants judge of the Apostles' doctrine by "texts," as they are commonly called, taken from Scripture, and nothing more; and they judge of our doctrine too by "texts" taken from our writings, and nothing more. Picked verses, bits torn from the context, half sentences, are the warrant of the Protestant Idea, of what is Apostolic truth, on the one hand, and, on the other, of what is Catholic falsehood. As they have their chips and fragments of St. Paul and St. John, so have they their chips and fragments of Suarez and Bellarmine; and out of the former they make to themselves their own Christian religion, and out of the latter our Anti-christian superstition. They do not ask themselves sincerely, as a matter of fact and history, What did the Apostles teach then? nor do they ask sincerely, and as a matter of fact, What do Catholics teach now? they judge of the Apostles and they judge of us by scraps, and on these scraps they exercise their private judgment,—that is, their Prejudice, as I described two Lectures back, and their Assumed Principles, as I described in my foregoing Lecture; and the process ends in their bringing forth, out of their scraps from the Apostles, what they call "Scriptural Religion," and out of their scraps from our theologians, what they call Popery.

19 September 2010 at 17:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


19 September 2010 at 17:10  
Anonymous len said...

The Bible, Gods word, is the plumb line to discern truth.
Obviously it evaded the writer of the above.

19 September 2010 at 17:50  
Anonymous len said...

Re the worshipping of dead Saints,relics and so on;

The founders of the Catholic Church-State "were keenly interested in winning the pagans to the faith, and they succeeded. But undoubtedly one element in their success was the inclusion in their system of the doctrine of the veneration of Saints. They seem to have felt that in order to make any headway at all, it was necessary for them to match the swarms of spirits available for the pagans with a multitude of wonder-working Saints and Martyrs. How far they were prepared to go is indicated by their favorable attitude toward the pagan veneration of Virgil that amounted almost to deification …. The Saints succeeded to the worship of the dead just as they had succeeded to the cult of the departmental deities and to the little gods of the Roman household …. Reports of miracles wrought by human beings were common among the ancient Romans and were accepted by the great mass of people without question …. The [Roman] Christians adapted themselves to the pagan attitude. They matched the miracle-workers of the pagans with the wonder-working Saints; and with their success the number of miracles increased. The sanctity of relics, well established as it has been among the pagans, acquired far greater vogue in [medieval] Christian times and was given a degree of emphasis that it had never had before …. Like the deified heroes and emperors of pagan times, the Saints were honored with altars, sacred edifices, incense, lights, hymns, ex-voto offerings, festivals with illuminations and high hilarity, prayers, and invocations. They became intermediate divinities …." (Gordon J. Laing, Survivals of Roman Religion, pp. 8-9, 83, 120-121)

19 September 2010 at 18:25  
Anonymous len said...

The origin of the Catholic Church is the tragic compromise of Christianity with the pagan religions that surrounded it. Instead of proclaiming the Gospel and converting the pagans, the Catholic Church “Christianized” the pagan religions, and “paganized” Christianity. By blurring the differences and erasing the distinctions, yes, the Catholic Church made itself attractive to the people of the Roman empire. One result was the Catholic Church becoming the supreme religion in the “Roman world” for centuries. However, another result was the most dominant form of Christianity apostatizing from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and the true proclamation of God’s Word.

19 September 2010 at 18:31  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

I would love to know, does the Pope read the Bible?

19 September 2010 at 21:16  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace perhaps offers a little caution on the works of Cardinal Newman and this new bridge of dialogue . I am not sure I am qualified to comment on the deep theology given as I havent read Newman. The reduced concept of one church is more beautiful to me and I pondered if the orthodox faith had noted anything .
I have however been thinking along Lens lines , I dont know prof Dawkins has turned into Ian Paisley , but one of his continual points is "stition" and "superstition" and it is exactly this transition period of pantheism and paganism to mono which is his sacred wafer unto his believers .
The early church must have been a very dangerous mix , imagine making the case that centuries of greek/eyptian/roman panthiesm was not in the image of God anymore . It is a little more than flares going out of fashion.
The beautification idea may indeed spring from the way the Church of Rome formed .
If the saints and angels are the spirits of the godly departed then we are all praying for guidance from the same place .
The beautifcation may seem crucio political on the point you make about the miracle , but let us not be cynical about about the markers that the saints have placed , as I have said there is much more to this dialogue than we first realise . At least we may get to treat christmas a little more holy , than the end of year sales period that has so cruelly played into the hands of those who spoke in parliament about down grading it .

20 September 2010 at 00:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anguished soul,
The Pope not only reads the Bible, but he preaches on its words weekly.
You can read his sermons and talks at
But, it's good you ask this question - I take it - with all sincerity and no ill will. The humility in asking questions is the key to knowledge.
God bless you.

20 September 2010 at 02:40  
Anonymous Septimus said...

I think St Paul Newman is sending
England a message by curing back ailments in America rather than in England. Perhaps he is saying that there is no cure at all for the removal of a backbone.

20 September 2010 at 04:16  
Anonymous Voyager said...

He is beatified today solely because some bloke in Massachusetts had a bad back and doesn’t any more.

What a shame the "Man in Mass" did not appeal to Martin Luther for relief....I should have found Pope Benedict XVI beatifying Martin Luther to be a sublime moment of Christian Unity

20 September 2010 at 08:04  
Anonymous len said...

What a triumph for Christianity, if the Pope had discarded all the traditions of men and got back to the basics of the Gospel.
This however would have made the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy redundant and power( and the flock) would have to be handed back to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
What are the chances of that happening?

20 September 2010 at 08:58  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Oh Len
Jesus established a CHURCH to be the pillar and support of the truth. If you take that away, and "hand it back" as you suggest to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit then you are left with a protestant DIY free for all ( and 30,000+ denominations)
The good news is, there's no chance of that happening because it's the church that Christ established and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Deo Gratias!

20 September 2010 at 21:32  
Anonymous len said...

The English word "church" should not be in the New Testament Scriptures at all! That is why it is put in quotation marks in the title. That English word is not a translation of the Greek word "ekklesia" Modern use of the word "church" almost always has reference to (1) a religious institution or organization, or (2) to a material building called a "church." That was not the meaning of the common Greek word "ekklesia" in the time the Scriptures were written.

The idea of the institutional church is well established in the mind of most church people. Nearly everyone believes the church is from the Lord. It would greatly shock most church members to hear anyone even raise a question about there being no church in the Scriptures. Any opposition to the church would be repudiated outright before and without any serious consideration of the matter. Church people are very secure in their belief in and acceptance of the church. Just look at all the churches in the world. Look at the multiplied millions who belong to a church and there is a great variety of them. They trust and hope in their church. It is vital in their lives even if many of them have a very casual relationship with the church of their choice.

Now comes someone trying to tell us that there is no church in the Bible! He is a fanatic, a heretic worthy of being burned at the stake. The reaction to the "no church in the Scripture" idea is always strong, usually violent. But the truth still remains even if church adherents refuse to honestly and seriously consider the matter. There is no church in the Scripture. The church institution concept was born in the apostasy that led to the oldest and greatest ecclesiastical organization of all, the Roman Catholic Church. It is the "mother" of all institutional churches.

20 September 2010 at 23:18  
Anonymous len said...

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth"

Scripture: John 16:12-15

"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."

(Truth comes by the Holy Spirit, not from a church steeped in the traditions of men!)

20 September 2010 at 23:23  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Thank you Len.
I believe the Pope is no slouch when it comes to the ancient languages either. He may disagree with your interpretation of Ekklesia however. An interpretation which is very necessary if you are to avoid concluding that the Catholic church may be what she claims to be.
Although it might be more helpful to look at what our "church" means, because other than "assembly" it has a number of other uses.
Nonethless, according to YOUR interpretation Len, where is the "Ekklesia" which is the pillar and suppport of the truth (as per 1Tim 3:15) to be found today?

And which Ekklesia did Jesus establish so firmly that the gates of hell would not prevail against it ( as per Matt16:18)?

And very importantly, which "Ekklesia" do I take my disputes as per Matthew 18:17 to?

Oh and PS, The Holy Spirit continues to guide the church into all truth. It's striking to me how the Holy Spirit seems to guide Protestants into numerous different truths.

20 September 2010 at 23:43  
Anonymous len said...


The Ekklesia.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:16)
The Ekklesia that Jesus is building is a spiritual house of living stones. This Ekklesia is a family, and “of [Jesus] the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:15). Which family? The family of believers. Some of the family is in heaven, while some of the family is on earth. In this family, God is Father, and Jesus is the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters (cf. Romans 8:29). When we become a disciple of Jesus we become members of a family, not members of an organization. This is one of the key differences between a living Ekklesia and a dead “church”.

(PS Re Truth

" All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.(Timothy 3:16–17)
( The Spirit of God confirms the Word)

21 September 2010 at 00:39  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:16)
And while Jesus was not "of the world" he still had an incarnate visible presence. Like the church.

The Ekklesia that Jesus is building is a spiritual house of living stones.
As is the Catholic church. It is both spiritual AND physical.

Some of the family is in heaven, while some of the family is on earth
Yes. We call this the Church Triumphant and the Church Militant.

we become members of a family, not members of an organization
The Catholic church IS a family. A very large worldwide family. We are MEMBERS of a family, you try to diminish that by calling it an "organisation".
And we have a wonderful Papa who has the authority of a father in our family.

Because YOU say that the church is dead, does not make it so Len. I think the last few days here in scotland, London and Birmingham showed you that it is very much alive.

According to your definition, Matthew 18:17 doesn't make sense.
So which "Ekklesia" should I take my disputes to?

21 September 2010 at 01:14  
Anonymous len said...

Certainly not the catholic church by all accounts!

Do you know any Christians?

If you do gather two or three together and ask them.

( I do not attend any church and I have many Christian friends ( The ekklesia) who I can call on for help advice and prayer )

According to scripture we Christians are all Priests not just those who inhabit a steeple building.
A study of the New Testament reveals that all Christians are priests. Peter said, "You too are living stones, built as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5; The New Catholic Translation). Thus, all Christians are of that holy priesthood and can offer unto God spiritual sacrifices. All have the right to go directly to God through Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).

21 September 2010 at 09:58  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

I asked you:
"So which "Ekklesia" (acoording to Matt18:17) should I take my disputes to?"
you answered
"Do you know any Christians?
If you do gather two or three together and ask them."

Not much help there Len.
My Baptist pastor friend believes scripture is black and white on homosexuality, but grey on abortion which can be defended as a Godly option in certain circs.
Ditto divorce which depends on the circs.
He has no problem with contraception.
My evangelical friend believes scripture is grey on both homosexuality and abortion. She believes marriage is forever and divorce is not permissible. She also has no problem with contraception.
Both of these believe that they have the Holy Spirit leading them into all truth.

Had I lived 70 odd years ago all Christian churches would have been in agreement that contraception was wicked.
Are the 21st century "christians" more in touch with the mind of God than their forebears?
Which Ekklesia can I take my disputes to? Can I go to the one that agrees with my personal interpretation, following my own personal scripture study?

I don't know how old you are Len, but your personal study of the new Testament which has led you to your conclusion is rather knocked into a cocked hat by 2000 years of the church. Do you have the ancient languages? Have you studied Patristics?
I can be certain that you haven't, because if you had, you would not be making such confident but shallow pronouncements about the church. You don't know what you don't know.
As Newman said "To be deep in history is to cease to be a protestant"
You are not deep in history Len, and unless your desire for the truth is greater than your desire to keep away from the church then stay in the shallows.
I speak from experience!

21 September 2010 at 13:06  
Anonymous len said...

I guess I am a bit told fashioned as I turn to the Bible for help.I have also studied the Greek and Hebrew interlinear Bibles (online)when I have time.) The Holy Spirit will only confirm Scripture(if there is any doubt.)

How can you be sure that your church is teaching you correct doctrine ?Many pagan practices were introduced into Catholicism to make it easier for the pagans to become 'christianised'

As Spurgeon said “Of all the dreams that have ever deluded men, and probably of all blasphemies that ever were uttered, there has never been one which is more absurd and which is more fruitful in all manner of mischief than the idea that the Bishop of Rome can be the head of the church of Jesus Christ. No. These Popes die, and how could the church live if its head were dead? The true head ever lives and the church ever lives in Him.” And Spurgeon said, “A man...this is very interesting...a man who deludes other people by degrees comes to delude himself. The deluder first makes dupes out of others and then becomes a dupe to himself. I should not wonder but what the Pope really believes that he is infallible and that he ought to be saluted as His Holiness. It must have taken him a good time to arrive at that eminence of self-deception.

And catholic doctrine,
Romanism is a gigantic system of Church worship, sacrament worship, Mary worship, saint worship, image worship, relic worship, priest worship and Pope worship. J.C. Ryle was right when he said, “It’s a huge organized idolatry. A man wearing a gold crown, triple decked with jewels worth millions? A cardinal’s garb that costs tens of thousands of pounds?” Peter said, “Silver and gold have I not.” Paul said, “I coveted no man’s gold, no man’s silver, no man’s clothing.” The Pope is surrounded by a dazzling display of arrogant over-indulgence, it is theater, it is nothing more than theater to give the illusion of God, the illusion of transcendence, the illusion of spirituality. It is a pompous display of wealth. It is a lavish indulgence in ridiculous buildings, ridiculous robes, crowns, thrones to cover and mask a sinful system like the whitewashed tombs that Jesus referred to.

(Ps if you seek God in all truth and sincerity you will find Him, but you will have to reject religion,and all the paraphanalia that goes with it!)Which incidently many are doing in these last days!

21 September 2010 at 14:00  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Not at all Len. In fact you're very modern in basing your belief in scripture alone ( a dogma that cannot be supported by scripture)
Turning to the bible for help is very catholic. As a matter of fact, were it not for the "ekklesia" you would not have a bible at all. And you certainly wouldn't have a clue who wrote Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You rely on the church to tell you that.

But wait! You still haven't told me which ekklesia ( according to Matt18:17) I should take my disputes to!

and perhaps if you can answer that, you can answer the following:
What is the pillar and support of the truth?
Is it
A) Scripture
B) The church (ekklesia)

21 September 2010 at 15:13  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Oh and by the way:
"Many pagan practices were introduced into Catholicism to make it easier for the pagans to become 'christianised'"

Proof please?

21 September 2010 at 15:16  
Anonymous len said...


Matthew 18:17
"And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the ekklesia: but if he neglect to hear the ekklesia, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican."

The term ekklesia denotes the New Testament community of the redeemed in its twofold aspect. First, all who were called by and to Christ in the fellowship of His salvation, the ekklesia worldwide of all times, and only secondarily to an individual ekklesia. (Spiros Zodhiates, Complete Word Study Dictionary)

(You seem to have some difficulty understanding this?)

21 September 2010 at 19:58  
Anonymous len said...


In the very last commandment in the Bible God resolutely tells us not to add to nor take away from His Word.

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”
—Revelation 22:18-19

21 September 2010 at 20:04  
Anonymous len said...

Clare@ The Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, identified truth with the written Word. In His great, high priestly prayer, He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” This was consistent with the declarations right through the Old Testament in which the Holy Spirit continually proclaims that the revelation from God is truth, as for example Psalm 119:142, “thy law is truth.” There is no source other than Scripture alone to which such a statement applies. That source alone, the Holy Scripture, is the believer’s standard of truth.

21 September 2010 at 20:07  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Yes I do Len. I have difficulty in seeing what difference your cut and pasted comments makes to my understanding of church.

"Church" is simply the English word for "Ekklesia".

So help me to understand, what do you ( or Neil Girrard who you quote) mean by an "individual Ekklesia"?

21 September 2010 at 20:08  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Despite the anti catholic prejudice you have imbibed, catholic teaching does not detract from the word of God.

As I said, if it wasn't for the church you wouldn't HAVE a bible to quote from.
By the way, you do know that that quote from revelation is referring to the book of...Revelation don't you?
It wasn't referring to the whole bible ( because the canon wasn't complete then)
However, Luther did remove books from the bible ( although consented to leave James and the book of Revelation owing to the entreaties of others) He also added the word "alone" to his translation of Romans 3:28.

21 September 2010 at 20:16  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Clare @ 15:16,
The 321 AD. Edict of Constantine certainly is a good example of pandering to the pagans. The injuction to worship 'On the venerable day of the sun--' is pretty clear. Let's not forget idol worship and Mariolatry either.

21 September 2010 at 20:17  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

And you STILL haven't answered my questions:

" which ekklesia ( according to Matt18:17) I should take my disputes to!

and perhaps if you can answer that, you can answer the following:
What is the pillar and support of the truth?
Is it
A) Scripture
B) The church (ekklesia)

21 September 2010 at 20:19  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

No it's not.
Quite the opposite.
In fact replacing the pagan day with a christian one is a very good way of stamping out pagan practices.

Catholics don't worship statues or Mary.
When you kneel down by your bed are you worshipping your bed?
When you kiss your wifes photo are you worshipping the photo?

21 September 2010 at 20:24  
Anonymous len said...

I have answered your question! I don`t know where you live but possibly trying the local ekklesia would seem to be a good starting point?

There are so many pagan customs in the R C 'church 'that I cannot possibly list them all here, so I will give you just few ,

321 A.D. Constantine made day of the sun to the day of the rest.
375 A.D. Started the worship of dead saints.
378 A.D. Roman bishop Damascus inherited from the Emperor the title pontifex maximum and Vicar Christi. For roman Pope by that way came official inheritor for Babylonian high priest pontifex. From now on, all bishops of Rome have these titles. Immediately, when Damascus had come pontifex Maximum, so then came inside to Roman Catholic Church leading position Babylonians ceremonies. In addition, other heathen religions doctrines started to come inside to the Church of Rome.
381 A.D. Started informal prayers to Virgin Mary, who was in church the mother of God and Queen of the heaven.

(as I said these are just the tip of the iceberg.)

21 September 2010 at 20:36  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

I would like to find the church that is led by the Holy Spirit into all truth.
So would that be the Ekklesia that is ok with abortion and divorce but not homosexuality?
Or would it be the church, oops, I mean "ekklesia" that is ok with women priests?

WHO started to worship dead people in 375AD?
Not catholics!
Catholics honour those who died in Christ and ask for their intercession, since they are NOT DEAD, but alive in Christ
See Mk 12:27

He is NOT THE GOD OF THE DEAD BUT OF THE LIVING. You are badly mistaken!"

I have seen all these potty claims before. Most of them are based on a book by Loraine Boettner which was shoddy and full of falsehoods.
You won't find a serious scholar associated with these claims.
I could write reams on this but I'll just get taken down several blind alleys by you.
Take a look here if you are interested to know more:

So again:
Which ekklesia ( according to Matt18:17) I should take my disputes to? Can I pick any local one I fancy whose scriptural interpretations line up with my own?

And perhaps if you can answer that, you can answer the following:
What is the pillar and support of the truth?
Is it
A) Scripture
B) The church (ekklesia)

21 September 2010 at 21:13  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Clare @20:24
'In fact replacing the pagan day with a christian one is a very good way of
stamping out pagan practices.'

No Way!!
There is no Biblical mandate changing The Sabbath from the Seventh day to the First. It is strictly man's doing. Over the years it has become a custom for most Christians to worship on the First Day of the week.
In the R/C communion this offers no difficulty as it is held that tradition is equal, or superior to, scripture. Note: 17th session Council of Trent.
The 1998 Apostolic Letter, Dies Domini, issued by John Paul 2 and written by the then Cardinal Ratzinger emphasis the importance of this dogma.
It should also be noted that the EU calendar, now adopted for nearly a generation, further clouds the Biblical numbering of the days. Monday is now the first day of the week thus changing Sunday into the seventh.

22 September 2010 at 03:34  
Anonymous len said...

I think your refusal to accept anything with does not line up with your Catholic'church' Worldview' illustrates my point better than I can!
You have obviously been well indoctrinated in Catholic theology.My only wish is that you would wake from your stupor and realise that you have been lied to.

When William Tyndale first translated the New Testament into English he by-passed the Roman Catholic vulgate and went direct to the original Greek..It was Tyndales translation of the word ekklesia into congregation (assembly) instead of church that infuriated the church because they saw it as an attack on their authority!

22 September 2010 at 10:30  
Anonymous len said...

Though this might be of interest,

"The Catholic Church first tried to undermine the Bible, then destroy the Protestant doctrines. The Catholic-Protestant controversy was basically a battle for the Bible.

William Tyndale translated Erasmus's Greek Text into English. To counter this version, the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church sponsored the 1582 Rheims-Douay version, based on the Vulgate, in order to push Catholic control of the British Isles. In spite of the Spanish Armada and infiltrating Jesuits, English Protestantism stood firm against the wiles of Rome. A more readable English translation appeared in 1611, at the behest of King James. It has been called the most beautiful piece of literature in any language, and for 300 years served as a bulwark against the papacy."

(There are actually only two types of Bibles,according to my calculations, but check it out for yourself), those based on the majority of the Greek manuscripts, and those based on texts from Egypt and Rome.)

22 September 2010 at 10:59  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Perhaps you are a Seventh Day Adventist.
This is a common beef with them.
History Ian!
Scripture such as Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Colossians 2:16-17, and Revelation 1:10 indicate that, even during New Testament times, the Sabbath was no longer binding and that Christians were free to worship on the Lord’s day, Sunday, instead.

The early Church Fathers compared the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of the rite of circumcision, and from that they demonstrated that if the apostles abolished circumcision (Gal. 5:1-6), so also the observance of the Sabbath must have been abolished. The following quotations show that the first Christians understood this principle and gathered for worship on Sunday.

The Didache

"But every Lord’s day . . . gather yourselves together and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned" (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

The Letter of Barnabas

"We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (Letter of Barnabas 15:6–8 [A.D. 74]).

22 September 2010 at 14:55  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Ignatius of Antioch

"[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e. Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death" (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr

"[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined [on] you—namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]ow is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us—I speak of fleshly circumcision and Sabbaths and feasts? . . . God enjoined you to keep the Sabbath, and imposed on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers . . ." (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21 [A.D. 155]).

"But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead" (First Apology 67 [A.D. 155]).


"[L]et him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day . . . teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered ‘friends of God.’ For if circumcision purges a man, since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did he not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? . . . Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering him sacrifices, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, was by him [God] commended [Gen. 4:1–7, Heb. 11:4]. . . . Noah also, uncircumcised—yes, and unobservant of the Sabbath—God freed from the deluge. For Enoch too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, he translated from this world, who did not first taste death in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God" (An Answer to the Jews 2 [A.D. 203]).

The Didascalia

"The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the holy scriptures, and the oblation [sacrifice of the Mass], because on the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday] our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Didascalia 2 [A.D. 225]).

22 September 2010 at 14:56  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...


"Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection" (Commentary on John 2:28 [A.D. 229]).


"The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord’s day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body abolished" (The Creation of the World [A.D. 300]).

Eusebius of Caesarea

"They [the early saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things" (Church History 1:4:8 [A.D. 312]).

"[T]he day of his [Christ’s] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord’s day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic law for feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, which the apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality" (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186 [A.D. 319]).


"The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation" (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).

Cyril of Jerusalem

"Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean" (Catechetical Lectures 4:37 [A.D. 350]).

Council of Laodicea

"Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord’s day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians" (Canon 29 [A.D. 360]).

22 September 2010 at 14:59  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

John Chrysostom

"[W]hen he [God] said, ‘You shall not kill’ . . . he did not add, ‘because murder is a wicked thing.’ The reason was that conscience had taught this beforehand, and he speaks thus, as to those who know and understand the point. Wherefore when he speaks to us of another commandment, not known to us by the dictate of conscience, he not only prohibits, but adds the reason. When, for instance, he gave commandment concerning the Sabbath— ‘On the seventh day you shall do no work’—he subjoined also the reason for this cessation. What was this? ‘Because on the seventh day God rested from all his works which he had begun to make’ [Ex. 20:10-11]. . . . For what purpose then, I ask, did he add a reason respecting the Sabbath, but did no such thing in regard to murder? Because this commandment was not one of the leading ones. It was not one of those which were accurately defined of our conscience, but a kind of partial and temporary one, and for this reason it was abolished afterward. But those which are necessary and uphold our life are the following: ‘You shall not kill. . . . You shall not commit adultery. . . . You shall not steal.’ On this account he adds no reason in this case, nor enters into any instruction on the matter, but is content with the bare prohibition" (Homilies on the Statutes 12:9 [A.D. 387]).

"You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul’s words, that the observance of the law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews?" (Homilies on Galatians 2:17 [A.D. 395]).

"The rite of circumcision was venerable in the Jews’ account, forasmuch as the law itself gave way thereto, and the Sabbath was less esteemed than circumcision. For that circumcision might be performed, the Sabbath was broken; but that the Sabbath might be kept, circumcision was never broken; and mark, I pray, the dispensation of God. This is found to be even more solemn than the Sabbath, as not being omitted at certain times. When then it is done away, much more is the Sabbath" (Homilies on Philippians 10 [A.D. 402]).

The Apostolic Constitutions

"And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent him to us, and condescended to let him suffer, and raised him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day . . . in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food" (Apostolic Constitutions 2:7:60 [A.D. 400]).

22 September 2010 at 15:02  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Nearly done...


"Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these ten commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought not to be kept by a Christian. . . . Which of these commandments would anyone say that the Christian ought not to keep? It is possible to contend that it is not the law which was written on those two tables that the apostle [Paul] describes as ‘the letter that kills’ [2 Cor. 3:6], but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished" (The Spirit and the Letter 24 [A.D. 412]).

Pope Gregory I

"It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these [men] but preachers of Antichrist, who when he comes will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord’s day to be kept free from all work. For because he [the Antichrist] pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lord’s day to be held in reverence; and because he compels the people to Judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the perfidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed. For this which is said by the prophet, ‘You shall bring in no burden through your gates on the Sabbath day’ [Jer. 17:24] could be held to as long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter. But after that the grace of almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has appeared, the commandments of the law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For if anyone says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must needs say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered. He must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the apostle Paul saying in opposition to him: ‘If you be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing’ [Gal. 5:2]" (Letters 13:1 [A.D. 597]).

( more here: )

22 September 2010 at 15:04  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

You said:
"My only wish is that you would wake from your stupor and realise that you have been lied to."

I wish that for you too Len!

Regarding your comments about the bible translations.
Thank God for the church which has prized the bible so well that they don't let anyone just translate it into their own language without the churches seal of approval on that translation.
A bad translation will spread heresy and confusion.
That Gods word has come down to us so unchanged over the centuries is thanks to the protection of the church.

And I take it you won't answer my questions?
Not to worry. I wasn't expecting an answer any way!

22 September 2010 at 15:10  
Anonymous shane said...

I recently put up an old pamphlet on Newman some may find interesting:

22 September 2010 at 15:18  
Anonymous IanCad said...

CLARE @ 14:55
'Scripture such as Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Colossians 2:16-17, and Revelation 1:10 indicate that, even during New Testament times, the Sabbath was no longer binding and that Christians were free to worship on the Lord’s day, Sunday, instead.'

No, I think you are mistaken.
Both Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 should be understood in the context of the times. The day ended and started in the evening. Thus both refer to the first day of the week as being a time for meetings and business. Even the learned and much respected John Stott falls for this one.
Colossians 2:16-17 refer to the ceremonial laws which were abolished by Christ (Nailed to the cross)
Revelation 1:10 The Lord's Day is the Sabbath. It has no connection with Sunday worship. Christ is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8)
Your other citations are from Apocrypha and the weak reasonings of men.

LEN @ 10:59
I think you are correct about the two bibles. It is my understanding that the Origen texts were from the Alexandrian school where allegory was an accepted practice. The Lucian texts from Antioch were, I believe, the basis for the King James Bible.

22 September 2010 at 17:16  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

You said:
There is no Biblical mandate changing The Sabbath from the Seventh day to the First. It is strictly man's doing. Over the years it has become a custom for most Christians to worship on the First Day of the week.

Earlier you said that "The injuction to worship 'On the venerable day of the sun" was invented by Constantine to pander to the pagans.

I have shown you that there is biblical support, that it is not a custom that has grown up "over the years" but was very much right there in the very early church.

You reason that these things are not adequate, but are your objections not "the weak reasoning of men"?
Why should I take your fairly novel reasoning over 2000 years of church?

23 September 2010 at 01:40  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Clare @ 01:40
First of all you showed no compelling Biblical support and I thought I had addressed that adequately in my previous post. As regards the early church it generally adhered to the Biblical Sabbath as it spread to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Far East. Certainly any reasoning of my own is by definition weak. I suggest that 4,000 years of biblical outweighs 2,000 years of church history.

23 September 2010 at 05:11  
Anonymous len said...

Clare @
If when constructing a building your foundations are faulty the whole edifice will be out of true and eventually collapse.

Jesus taught in this(Luke 6:46 -49)
The Catholic Latin Bible

The Bishop of Rome needed a Bible version to keep the newly-converted pagans from northern Europe submissive to such doctrines as papal supremacy, transubstantiation, purgatory, celibacy of the priesthood, vigils, worship of relics, and the burning of daylight candles. Therefore, he turned to Jerome, a renowned scholar, to produce the authoritative Catholic Latin Bible. Jerome perused the library of Eusebius at Caesarea, where Origen's manuscripts had been preserved, along with a Greek Bible of the Vaticanus type. Both of these versions had the apocrypha, which Protestants reject as spurious (Tobit, Wisdom, Judith, Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, 1st and 2nd Maccabees). Jerome, however, included them in his Vulgate of A.D. 338. For one thousand years, Jerome's Vulgate dominated Western Europe. Only the Waldenses in the Alps, and the original Celtic Church of Britain, rejected the Vulgate. Even Catholic scholars pointed out the thousands of errors in the corrupt Vulgate.

23 September 2010 at 10:04  
Anonymous len said...

The Catholic Church first tried to undermine the Bible, then destroy the Protestant doctrines. The Catholic-Protestant controversy was basically a battle for the Bible and for Truth

William Tyndale translated Erasmus's Greek Text into English. To counter this version, the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church sponsored the 1582 Rheims-Douay version, based on the Vulgate, in order to push Catholic control of the British Isles. In spite of the Spanish Armada and infiltrating Jesuits, English Protestantism stood firm against the wiles of Rome. A more readable English translation appeared in 1611, at the behest of King James. It has been called the most beautiful piece of literature in any language, and for 300 years served as a bulwark against the papacy.

When Napoleon's armies conquered Rome in the early 1800s, it appeared that the Holy Roman Empire and the power of the papacy was dead. In reality, it was only wounded, and would soon come back to life. Again, the battle for the Bible would be the key struggle.

The famous Council of Trent, 1545-1563, condemned four anti-Catholic principles which were gaining ground at that time:

"That Holy Scriptures contained all things necessary for salvation, and that it was impious to place apostolic tradition on a level with Scripture,"
"That certain books accepted as canonical in the Vulgate were apocryphal and not canonical,"
"That Scripture must be studied in the original languages, and that there were errors in the Vulgate,"
"That the meaning of Scripture is plain, and that it can be understood without commentary with the help of Christ's Spirit."

The Catholic Church first tried to undermine the Bible, then destroy the Protestant doctrines. The Catholic-Protestant controversy was basically a battle for the Bible.

(The Catholic church was born out of a desire for control and keeps its'subjects' in darkness and in denial of the truth and the reality of the Gospel.)

23 September 2010 at 10:19  
Anonymous len said...

Apologies Y G ,
I am trying to keep this as short and concise as possible.

23 September 2010 at 10:22  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Enough of the cut and paste.
I get my bible filtered through Rome, you get it filtered through sites like this:

I can't see how that makes you an independant thinker who has come to conclusions based on his own personal studies ( and the witness of the Holy Spirit) You've just chosen who YOU WANT to believe.

I get it that you regard Rome as "the woman who rides the beast". Been there done that.

There have always been heretics Len, so your ideas about the Waldensians don't surprise me.
Because, to use an old fashioned word, you are a heretic too Len, and you are following the traditions of man. Yes you are, you didn't dream up these ideas by yourself.
You read them and it clicked with you. You decided THAT was what you were going to believe.
You happliy swllowed anti catholic "informtion" because you liked it. It chimed with your pre existing prejudice.
Nothing to do with greek and hebrew interlinear bible studies, just pure distrust of Rome that you got with your mothers milk isn't it Len?

I would like to belong to the "ekklesia" which the Holy Spirit promised to led into all truth.
So, you STILL HAVEN'T ANSWERED MY QUESTION ( sorry for shouting but it's getting frustrating here having to read cut and paste.
This was my question:

You still haven't told me which ekklesia ( according to Matt18:17) I should take my disputes to!

and perhaps if you can answer that, you can answer the following:
What is the pillar and support of the truth?
Is it
A) Scripture
B) The church (ekklesia)

23 September 2010 at 11:23  
Anonymous len said...

I am not playing you game Clare @.

If you look back over the posts you will see I have answered your questions.
And 'shouting 'and getting hysterical doesn`t impress me either .
Your theological house has been built on shifting sand,I suggest you consider moving!.

23 September 2010 at 12:02  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Well done Len.I agree with you on this one.
Jesus was a Jew.Born a Jew,lived as a Jew,died a Jew.Jews do not have churches.
The views of Newman's brother are also very interesting.

24 September 2010 at 04:48  
Blogger Oswin said...

Cor, that was frightening! The gleaming eye of fanaticism shines through to remind us all why we are no longer a nation in thrall to Rome!

28 September 2010 at 17:23  

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