Wednesday, November 02, 2011

SSPX reject Vatican doctrinal preamble


(Click to enlarge)

This document was posted by the British leader of the SSPX yesterday evening, and then swiftly taken down. His Grace reproduces it here, for it is not without significance. We don't quite have two popes each denouncing the other as the Antichrist, but ecumenical relations are certainly strained.

The document confirms in no uncertain terms that the dialogue between the Holy See and the traditionalist Society of St Pius X have been unable to reach agreement. This must be disappointing for other traditionalists, for Holy Father has gone out of his way to be pastoral and charitable to the excommunicated/separated/estranged/heretical SSPX. The ultra-traditionalists clearly are not shifting from their views on the 'un-Catholic' provisions of Vatican II: the Holy See cannot shift on the ecumenical decrees of the Second Vatican Council, one of which declared:
We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. (Unitatis Redintegratio, III)
The SSPX's Bernard Fellay was recently incommunicated by Pope Benedict XVI, and he sees Pope John Paul II as a sort of Antichrist for instigating and participating in multi-faith prayer conferences, particularly in Assisi in 1986. He is of the opinion that the JPII beatification amounted to a ‘tsunami’ against faith.

And then there is the small matter of Bishop Richard Williamson, who leads the BNP wing of the Roman Catholic religion. What does it say of the Roman Catholic Church that it actively incommunicates a bishop who is a self-declared and unashamed holocaust denier? To choose to believe 'there were no gas chambers' and that 'only 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, instead of 6 million' is not only offensive; it is ahistorical nonsense. Why is Pope Benedict XVI so keen to rehabilitate and incommunicate anti-Semitic holocaust-deniers? Many British Roman Catholics and Jews (not to mention those of other faiths and none) are absolutely horrified by such overtures.

Would one rather be in communion with a believer in the precepts and decrees of Vatican II, or an ordained holocaust denier? As the Heresiarch observes:
...in the topsy-turvy world of Williamson and his supporters, Ratzinger isn't the arch-conservative of popular imagination, stubbornly holding the line against such modern evils as contraception, female ordination and married priests while plotting to bring back th Latin mass, but a dangerous radical, leading a perversion of the true faith which Williamson dubs "Newchurch".
And they say the Church of England is hopelessly divided and confused.

119 Comments:

Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

What can be "offensive"about history?In any case there is little evidence to support such a claim ,since NO investigation is allowed,and those that try to find the truth are hounded by hysterical jews ,terrified that they will lose a nice little earner.Auswich has repeatedly revised the figure downwards,on the plaque outside its gates,so even the figure of "6 million"is obviously spurious,and according to the red cross in geneva the figure is about 250-300,000,most of which was caused by disease and malnutrition,a very long way from "6million"Why should anyone be jailed for a historical opinion,or convicted on the flimsiest evidence that you "might" have been there,good on you luther willianson.

2 November 2011 09:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Cranmer

And they say the Church of England is hopelessly divided and confused

The difference is that the Catholic Church and SSPX are not one single Church. Although the disciplinary aspects of the excommunication have been lifted, the bishops of the SSPX are not bishops of the Catholic Church - their whole position is irregular. If it were not, there would be no talks between the Vatican and the SSPX (there are no "ecumenical" (your word) talks between the Catholic Church and say, the Diocese of Westminster, for instance).

In contrast, you have a situation in the CofE in which some of your bishops, do not recognize the orders of some of your priests (e.g. female ones). The Archbishop of Canterbury may be welcomed to preach in some CofE churches as the Primate, but not allowed to preside or concelebrate at the Eucharist.

So yes, we can say the CofE is "hopelessly divided and confused" (let's face it, most members of the CofE say that), and it's just silly to pretend there is any parity between the internal division of the CofE and the ecumenical strains of the Catholic Church with the SSPX.

2 November 2011 09:48  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I think holocaust denial has precious little to do with the split over Vatican II and it doesn't help to matters to start throwing around talk of BNP when it has little to do with matters.

The questions are not over holocaust denial. They are over the relationship of the Roman Church and to modernism and liberalism. They are over deep questions of theology, Church tradition, Sacrament and Magisterium. I'm not a Roman Catholic but I can see they are debates that need to be had, as it does seem that Vatican II let loose forces of modernism and liberalism that Popes like Pius IX had kept at bay. Such important debates are, I'll say again, not helped by sideshows about holocaust denial.

Finally it is very much unhelpful, for all involved, for non-Catholics to get involved in such discussions based on Post-Conciliar Catholicism's attitude to other churches. There are far more issues at stake.

The RCC is riven by dissension, but the traditionalists can make a comeback in it and revive its ancient tradition. In the Anglican Church we were only ever one faction I fear and were more often pushed to side while the 'poison of Geneva' and other rots set in, hence the Anglican Church is in far worse shape, and almost always has been, to the Roman Church.

2 November 2011 10:00  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

I'm not "hopelessly divided and confused"! I'm quite happy to follow Geoffrey Fisher's advice, as highlighted on this blog.

"The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning."

Some may wish to add novelty doctrines, tamper with the sacraments or devise new notions, but that is not the same.

2 November 2011 10:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Some may wish to add novelty doctrines, tamper with the sacraments or devise new notions

My example was of the division brought about by the ordination of women - it would appear to tick all the boxes you suggest here and cause hopeless division and confusion in the process.

2 November 2011 10:18  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Thye Roman Catholic is still one Church under the leadership of the Pope. The SSPX, as has been pointed out above, is not in full communion with Rome.

So far as holocaust denial is concerned, would you seriously continue the excommunication of somebody for 'polical reasons', connected to inter-faith dialouque, or for being either historially uninformed or a liar?

Focus on the mess in the Church of England where real doctrinal and disciplinary division exists. There's no comparison with the Roman Catholic Church.

2 November 2011 10:49  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Actually that is not totally correct. The Vatican II documents show a massive break with the spirit of, say, the Syllabus of Errors, which represents a millenia of the tradition of the Roman Church. It has been asked if it is still the same church and I think deep questions can be asked. The SSPX and other traditionalist Catholics represent the continuity of the traditions behind the Syllabus of Errors. I would not attend anything a Novo Ordo mass if I were a Roman Catholic and Vatican II is one of the reasons I'm converting to Orthodoxy and not Roman Catholicism. The SSPX take a line that full compromise with the Vatican II church is impossible and they offer weighty reasons for this, some traditionalists go further(and for instance reject post-1958 Popes.) and some don't go as far and still maintain full, if frustrated communion with the RCC.

Only the Orthodox Churches and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches maintain something like the ancient spirit of traditional Christianity, free from internal attack.

2 November 2011 10:58  
Blogger Albert said...

I think you need to be careful about how you interpret the 19th Century, Westcountryman. As Newman pointed out at the time, documents like the Syllabus of Errors do not mean what people take them to mean. For more on this try Catholicism and Religious Freedom Ed by Kenneth Grasso and Robert Hunt - especially the chapter by Dulles.

2 November 2011 11:07  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I don’t object to meeting between representatives of different religions but John Paul II was quite wrong to hold combined religious services. We have seen at Assissi a Catholic Mass being celebrated side by side with a Hindu service. That is a degradation and an insult to the one true God so I do think that JPII has some tough questions to answer and for those who accuse me of committing a cardinal sin I suggest they find out what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

With regard to the holocaust, I read recently that the Jewish memorial in Jerusalem puts the number killed at 1 million and not six million. One million is still pretty horrific but I don’t see any reason to complain about someone claiming that the lower figure is true even if it isn’t. It’s like prosecuting someone who believed the black history about the Inquisition which claimed that in excess of 300,00 people were killed rather than the 3000. I‘m not justifying the 3000 figure by the way but if someone were to claim the higher figure I would simply inform him about the true figure rather than organizing international campaigns to demonize him. We saw the same problem with people complaining that Pius XII was too silent about Hitler’s atrocities ignoring the fact that every time he spoke out, Hitler would have an extra 10,000 killed for good measure. What would any of us have done in that situation? I haven’t been too impressed by Bishop Williamson of the SSPX but what I have seen has been presented to me by a hostile media so I reserve judgement. As far as I am aware he does not deny the holocaust but questions the number killed. If I am wrong in this I will be happy to be corrected and will be happy to apologise but at the moment it is difficult to find out what the truth actually is. The Jews were horrendously persecuted – we know that. The actual figure is not that important.

2 November 2011 11:16  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I somehow don't think Newman would have been wild about much of Vatican II. I believe important documents on theology and sacraments had input from Protestant theologians, which hardly seems like a good sign from a Roman Catholic point of view. There was a destruction of Neo-Thomism that was starting to bloom. The contemporary Catholic churches are beset by open disregard for their teachings, like on birth control and divorce, from obviously worldly and heretical reasonings.

The real question is what Vatican II did to the Tradition, doctrine and Sacraments of the Roman Church. It sure does look like a capitulation to modernism from my viewpoint.

Don't get me wrong, though. You guys are still in a lot better shape than the CoE.

2 November 2011 11:28  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I think Westcountryman has raised a relevant point. Some of the innovations of Vatican II were clearly designed by traitors. Why stop kneeling to receive communion, why abolish the alter rails, why stop condemning Freemasonry and communism? Why abolish Latin completely when the Vatican II documents said that Latin MUST be retained but the vernacular may be introduced in parts of the mass. Something went wrong with Vatican II and I think it is more than a coincidence that the sexual revolution of the 60s and subsequent disintegration of the family and society followed on. It is the holy sacrifice prophesied by the prophet Malachi (1:11) which is necessary for the health of the world so it is not surprising that the tampering produced disastrous social evils. It is also interesting that in the 1820s St. Catherine Emmerich prophesied about a ‘new and odd looking church that they were trying to build with their hands’. She also said 'This is Babel (many languages). She said there was nothing holy about it so there are serious questions about Vatican II and it is no good just assuming that the current crop of prelates will be able to correct it. The traitors have been infiltrating for decades supported by the communists and freemasons and they have a strong power base but Almighty God will not be undone. Westcountryman, we do not make our own authority. Jesus insisted the Jews followed the teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees even though he castigated them as whitewashed sepulchres. It is clear you are Catholic in belief – come home and be part of the reconstruction.

2 November 2011 11:36  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

YG, I would have thought the St Paul's story was right up your alley. This is the biggest thing happening in religio-politics at the minute, and you've gone all quiet about it. Why's that?

2 November 2011 12:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Englishman,"

Mordie, you old Trotskyist nutter, it's you again! Won't you give it up? The back-country Silesian Yiddish gives the game away every time you try to fake your way through English. Only a back-country shetl Yid would mangle Oswietzim into "Osvitch" and spell it with a badly anglicised ersatz-Deutsch as "Auswich." If you're going to continue fooling around, at least let Marcie check your stuff, for goodness sake...or does she no longer visit the Home? I told Kevin that it was a bad idea to set you up with a blog, but he thought it would keep you from calling everyone whenever you had a bowel movement to celebrate. Since my advice is obviously unwelcome, I don't interfere anymore in your crazy family's affairs.

All others: For anyone here who's confused, our "Englishman" here is in fact a not-too-well-off character, Mordechai ("Mordie") Rubinstein, whom we used to call "der Englander" behind his back, due to the deerstalker hats he used to wear in shul and the over-the-top "English" airs he likes to put up. Me, I'm a Holocaust denial denier. That is to say, I believe that Holocaust denial..."historical revisionism"... never was, nor currently is, a genuine or serious movement or a philosophy. What started as a joke turned into an elaborate hoax, which quickly became a financial scam that was picked up by the KGB and NKVD to smear certain populist, low-brow characters squatting in the bilge tanks of various conservative movements. Key scammers, like Mordie (when he had a few more marbles than nowadays), concocted elaborate tactics and fictional outlandish characters like "David Irving" (David "Dovidl" Irwenkranz) or "Bishop Williams" (Yaakov Vilner) both of whom are well known in the community as, well, "touched by the gods," as they used to say. The Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Delusions says the following:

David Irving [a.k.a., Yaakov Vilner], who has only made brief comments regarding Holocaust denial denial stated that some deny that the denial Holocaust denial deniers deny is actually legitimate denial, and that they are actually attempting reverse psychology through the denial of denying and absurdism. Certainly, the denial of denial is an effect tactic of denial which can solidify initial claims which the denial being denied rose out of, yet they can also harm these claims undeniably. Of course, to Holocaust denial deniers, Irving doesn't exist, so his statements have fallen on deaf ears because nobody understands them.

Very embarrasing, all this, I have to admit. With Holocaust research, education and publishing having been monopolized by mainstream academia, obscure little pishers without education or connections, like Mordie the "Englishman" above, grabbed onto the "denialist" hoax like rats to a meat truck, hoping to make a buck. Mordie actually scored a little moolah from this a few years back, but spent in on changing the transmission of his '74 Caddy twice and on two acres of Florida swampland, which he believed was prime beach property near Tampa. Thank goodness for caring families, for without such, Mordie would be singing hymns for his supper and bedbug-ridden pallet at the local Mission.

On behalf of my fellow Red Sea Pedestrians, I apologize profusely for characters like Mordie the "Englishman." It's tough to be a Yid sometimes, I'll be the first to say, and the strain can unravel even the best of us. Just look at me.

2 November 2011 12:26  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"YG, I would have thought the St Paul's story was right up your alley. This is the biggest thing happening in religio-politics at the minute, and you've gone all quiet about it. Why's that?"

Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms Whitespacebug,

His Grace appreciates your telling him what you consider to be right up his alley. However, in terms of the 'bigness' of the story, he is by no means obliged to conform to the foci of the Daily Mail or the BBC, and he is certainly not constrained by your determination of relative importance, or intimidated by the inference that he is somehow avoiding a matter. His Grace has written quite a lot in the past about both the St Paul's fiasco and ++Rowan's poor grasp of economics. If you are not content with His Grace's focus today, you are welcome to engage with 'the biggest thing happening in religio-politics at the minute' over at the Guardian.

2 November 2011 13:15  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Avi, I love you.

2 November 2011 13:19  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Well that told me, didn't it?

2 November 2011 13:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

"If you are not content with His Grace's focus today, you are welcome to engage with 'the biggest thing happening in religio-politics at the minute' over at the Guardian." *Chuckles*

Why old Ernst is soooo fond of you.

E S Blofeld

ps

Ernst believes they merely provoke Your Grace to receive a verbal spanking online, the poor masochists, as a kind of a badge of honour to declare after mass to others so persuaded (The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself). RC's perhaps?

pps

whitespacebug said...

"Well that told me, didn't it?" Just a bit lad, but don't you feel better for it? *Guffaws*

2 November 2011 13:39  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Lapsed, my dear Ernst, lapsed.:-)

2 November 2011 13:45  
Blogger Albert said...

Westcountryman,

Only the Orthodox Churches and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches maintain something like the ancient spirit of traditional Christianity, free from internal attack

I'm not at all sure if that is true. Simply sticking to theology (rather than for instance nationalism etc.), I think it's clear that Orthodoxy has had many internal theological problems. The theology of Khomiakov is very popular, but arguably heretical or at least over influenced by German idealism. Then you've got the dispute over Sophiology in which Bulgakov was branded a heretic, not least by people like Lossky. But then, as Rowan Williams has argued, Lossky's own patristic position is arguably too static and idealistic to represent the reality of the ancient Church. And then there are all those Eastern fathers who clearly thought the Church needed to Pope. Arguably, they were over-ruled by political factors.

I somehow don't think Newman would have been wild about much of Vatican II.

Clearly, Vatican II has brought forth both wheat and tares, but Newman I have no doubt would have welcomed much of it, and for the rest, have felt himself under the authority of the Church in such a way that he would not have approved of SSPX. At least that's how I read his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk.

2 November 2011 13:53  
Blogger Anglican said...

Regarding the holocaust: the accepted figure by all responsible historians is about 6 million. Not all were in the gas chambers of the major extermination camps - Belsec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz, etc. These were the mass killing centres, on an industrial scale.

The killing of Jews on a large scale started immediately after the invasion of Poland, and further increased on a massive scale after the invasion of Eastern Europe and the USSR. Most of these killings were by mass shootings, carried out by the Einsatzgruppen, and other SS groups, but also by many non-German East Europeans. There were a number of 'smaller' death camps: Chelmo (Kulmhof) where some 145,000 Jews were murdered, and Majdanek where some 200,000 were murdered.

The gas chambers (first introduced on a small scale for physically & mentally disabled Germans, as well as for other groups) were built to increase the murder rate more efficiently. Auschwitz is merely the best known, where a minimum of 1,100,000 were murdered.

2 November 2011 14:27  
Blogger len said...

It would seem that Catholicism is an 'evolutionary' religion.
Gathering doctrines and traditions much like a snowball rolling down a hill ,who knows where it will end up?.
In Islam(apparently|) the last thing spoken overrides everything that went before.... is Catholicism the same?.

Thank goodness God gave us His unchanging Word to define truth.Since the beginning of time God has not changed His will, nor the Word by which He communicates His will, toward mankind. He revealed to the prophet Malachi: “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6), and James described Him as “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17)


Without Gods Word wherever would we be?, struggling with' giant snowballs ' looking for an 'infallible' interpreter no doubt.

2 November 2011 14:29  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Notwithstanding the internal discussions within the Roman Catholic Church, most lay persons still respect the Pope and the leadership of the Magisterium.

These weighty theological discussions do not figure prominently in the minds of ordinary communicants that I have contact with.

Vatican II ushered in a troubled period for the Church as it tried to understand and apply the Gospel message to the challenges of current times. Personally, I think it unhelpful and disloyal to the Church and its Divine mission to publically challenge the hierarchy and spread confusion. More certain and direct leadership is needed, not less.

John Paul as Pope no doubt made mistakes as a human pastor. Assisi may have been one and the current Pope has taken a different approach. He wasn't acting infallibily in this. Were Vatican II doctrines theology inconsistent with earlier Church infallible teachings? I don't believe so, although some in the Church were perhaps incorrect in their interpretation and application, particularly across 'the pond'.

The Church does 'move with times' which is not the same as saying it changes its fundamental dogma and beliefs. Its understanding developss according to given situations. And, in this, it can be sure and certain it has the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2 November 2011 15:01  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Thank you, Anglican, for putting "Englishman" straight. If he bothered reading something other than the Mirror, Guardian or Sunday Sport he would know that the SS kept meticulous records of the killings, that Eisenhower had the death camps recorded in detail and the records that came into western hands preserved. The Russians did the same, but more to hide their own complicity and put the blame on the Germans.

There are also detailed records of how many people were shipped from Italy, France, Holland and all the other occupied countries. I have no idea how the International Red Cross came by its figure of 250 - 300,000 but it doesn't surprise me as their ideas on how and where to distribute aid are driven by ideology - one major reason I do not and will not support them.

The sad truth is that the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are being sold and circulated freely in the UK again, and many, like the "Englishman" here, believe them. I learned this to my cost when a taxi-driver regaled me with quotes from it as he drove me to an appointment. Arguing with him was useless - he believed every word of them. Antisemitism is rife among the so-called "liberal" classes and they would dearly love to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth and all Israelis with it.

2 November 2011 15:17  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

I must apologise, Your Grace, for my last comment, which is a diversion. Having read the Bishop of London's statements, I find I am in agreement with a great deal he is saying.

Apropos your post here on the latest fall out with the SSPX and the Vatican, I rather get the feeling that, like the more extreme ends of the Anglican communion, nothing save the full adoption of their brand of liturgy (or lack of) and rigid interpretation of any theological point will ever suffice.

Still I expect His Holiness felt he had to make the attempt.

2 November 2011 15:28  
Blogger Albert said...

It would seem that Catholicism is an 'evolutionary' religion.

No Len. The Christian revelation ultimately, is God. As such the Christian revelation surpasses what any particular generation can possibly grasp exhaustively. Over time therefore, our understanding of the revelation given once to the saints can develop and deepen. Moreover, each new age brings its own challenges and questions: in the case Westcountryman is thinking of, these questions are of political origin.

If there is no development of doctrine (and as usual, I wonder how well Protestantism would fair on the standard of no development) it would only be because it wasn't God that was being contemplated, or else, that there was no life in the faith that was claiming to respond to him.

2 November 2011 15:49  
Blogger Oswin said...

Albert @ 09:48 :

''hopelessly divided and confused'' ... and yes, as you point out: ''most members of the C-of-E say that.''

Traditionally/historically, that's something of a saving grace; saving us from the barbaric certainties of a previous age: of both Rome, and of Protestant extremes.

However, I reckon that present concerns within the C-of-E are rather more due to the part-departure of the High Anglican element and, the increasing belief that a majority of the remainder have 'got it right' - always a worrying circumstance!

Not nearly enough ''division and confusion'' for my liking, but rather a 'narrowing' of a once 'broad Church'.

2 November 2011 15:51  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Albert stated mystifyingly to all who will read @ 2 November 2011 15:49

"No Len. The Christian revelation ultimately, is God. As such the Christian revelation surpasses what any particular generation can possibly grasp exhaustively. Over time therefore, our understanding of the revelation given once to the saints can develop and deepen. Moreover, each new age brings its own challenges and questions: "
&
"If there is no development of doctrine (and as usual, I wonder how well Protestantism would fair on the standard of no development) it would only be because it wasn't God that was being contemplated, or else, that there was no life in the faith that was claiming to respond to him."

Seems like a garbled stab at some form of christianised philosophy but it is all over the place?

Congratulations old fella, you have completely stumped Ernst by this line of strange reasoning! *Eyes glazing over, staring blankly into the far distance*

Ernst 'It dont appen oft' Blofeld

2 November 2011 17:18  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Albert

ps

Were you really trying to say this instead?

""No Len. The Christian revelation ultimately, is Roman Catholic. As such the Roman Catholic revelation surpasses what any particular generation can possibly grasp exhaustively. Over time therefore, our understanding of the revelation given once to the saints can develop and deepen..{By Use of Catechism, Bulls and Encyclicals}. Moreover, each new age brings its own challenges and questions (due another vatican council, perhaps ?)*sigh*:
&
""If there is no development of doctrine {Catechism, Bulls and Encyclicals}(and as usual, I wonder how well Protestantism would fair on the standard of no development {You prossies are not as good or as shameless as we are at making it up on the proverbial HOOF..Come on, show us your relics then?}) it would only be because it wasn't God that was being contemplated {Well, Our version of Him}, or else, that there was no life in the faith that was claiming to respond to him {WE ARE THE ONE TRUE APOSTOLIC,HOLDING ALL THE CARDS,ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. CAPICHE}.""

Just a guess, old boy. *Massive Chortles*

Ernst 'the perceiver' Blofeld

2 November 2011 17:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

There is nothing sinister about the Society of St Pius X. Think of them as just another religious order like the Benedictines or Dominicans. Instead of calling their office holders Priors and Abbots, they use the term ‘Bishop’ although there is no papal jurisdiction for them to be considered bishops in the parochial church. Indeed, they are now outside of the Catholic church, in as much as their priests “do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Catholic church.". Again, nothing sinister here, for priests of the Cof E are themselves in that position.

Incidentally, there is no compulsion for the regular religious orders to defer to the Pope as head of Christ’s church on earth – they just do. There is nothing to stop them breaking that link, as SSPX have no doubt considered during its existence. This is an important bargaining tool, and would be used to its fullest extent.

The traditionalist stance has, in the Inspector’s opinion, much going for it, and their influence on the Catholic Church is to be commended. However, the views of Richard Williamson are abhorrent. He is an odd ball, but you have them everywhere. Certainly wouldn’t want to be in the same room as him. One can only hope that as the society becomes larger, these types are deprived of their influence, and kicked downstairs.

Wouldn’t say the RCC is “hopelessly divided and confused” – not when SSPX are kept at arms length as they are…

Postscript. The Inspector would recommend that the Archbishop attends a Tridentine Mass said in Latin. Worshiping God, hearing Christ’s message and the magnificence of Rome…

2 November 2011 18:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. Your character reference at 2 November 2011 12:26 left the Inspector grinning like a Cheshire cat, but only after his jaw dropped a couple of times beforehand. Excellent narration and to a high standard, don’t you know !!

Blofeld old chap, a pleasure to see and your cat back on line. Trust you will both now drag Branson through the courts for his peoples failings...

2 November 2011 18:22  
Blogger len said...

Ernst.(17:18)
LOL 'Congratulations old fella, you have completely stumped Ernst by this line of strange reasoning! *Eyes glazing over, staring blankly into the far distance*

My reactions were exactly the same!.
Albert was rather like a magician performing a' slight of hand' then
glancing around nervously to see if anyone had noticed how he had performed the trick.

LOL Ernst, welcome back!.

2 November 2011 18:25  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Inspector would recommend!!!

Tridentine?

Sounds like cough lozenges for the inspectors tickly throat, for that confession that just won't clear off?

Ernst

Nice ad placement!

2 November 2011 18:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Must contact that Branson fellow and have you taken off line Blofeld...

2 November 2011 18:44  
Blogger Nobody Important. said...

"And then there is the small matter of Bishop Richard Williamson, who leads the BNP wing of the Roman Catholic religion. What does it say of the Roman Catholic Church that it actively incommunicates a bishop who is a self-declared and unashamed holocaust denier? To choose to believe 'there were no gas chambers' and that 'only 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, instead of 6 million' is not only offensive; it is ahistorical nonsense. Why is Pope Benedict XVI so keen to rehabilitate and incommunicate anti-Semitic holocaust-deniers? Many British Roman Catholics and Jews (not to mention those of other faiths and none) are absolutely horrified by such overtures."

Of course, were the truth of ww2 so simple, then there would be no need for anti-holocaust denial laws accross swathes of Europe and beyond to stop legitimate research into the holocaust which bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, and exposes many self acclaimed holocaust "historians" and so called survivors to be fraudsters and liars then, would there?

2 November 2011 18:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Len and Ernst,

Amazing. Is it not obvious that what has been revealed in Christ is God himself? And is God not infinite? So what's the problem with what I wrote? The suspicion the Catholic has of Protestants is that as a result of the nominalism which Protestantism is mired in, Protestants do not really believe in God, or the incarnation or the holiness of God. Instead, what they believe in is a reduced version of all three.

2 November 2011 18:51  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Office of Inspector General said

"Must contact that Branson fellow and have you taken off line Blofeld..." Tsk, Tsk!

Good luck to you, my lad. They have a Customer Service firewall that even the chinese could not penetrate.

Good to be back as you RC's have ran riot. Bit of discipline and order required.

Ernst RSM Blofeld, BOY.

2 November 2011 19:05  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Len said...

Nice to be back online. Huzzah...

Missed all the banter but you have stood firm lad despite the sifting.

Ernst loves the crafty way that rome dogma is stated as 'norm' when the rascals comment using 'catholic/universal' references (What reformation? LOL) but the sting is in the tail at the point being made. They/Rome have not survived for nearly 1800 without learning how to be all things to all men at all times. Needs must, Len, is how Ernst see's their motto.

Ernst will continue to hold them to task.

Ernsty, my evangelical mate.

ps

Albert

Is this not what His Grace is referring to (And they say the Church of England is hopelessly divided and confused.), Protestants.... is that as a result of, Protestantism is ...., Protestants do not really ...,etc. Instead, what they believe in is ... Just change your terms to read RC.

Len said 'It would seem that Catholicism is an 'evolutionary' religion.' you said something completely at odds/off at a different tangent with what Len said. How is that logical?

2 November 2011 19:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Blofeld Good to be back as you RC's have ran riot.

You've got that right, and no mistake. Allow the Inspector to inform your carer you’ve started babbling sense. Might save you a suppository.

It’s difficult to stop the Roman Catholics – truth will out you know, what !

Bit of advice old man. Glance down every now and then and look at what you’re stroking – You might find one day it’s a weasel !

2 November 2011 19:42  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

I see little Weatsop the least has returned, as has his ususlly more affable, though similarly obtuse, palErnsty. The latter will no doubt prove to be a trial for a while as he limbers his fingers up and gets familiar with the keyboard again. Still, at least we've been spared reams of random bibical quotes so far.

Albert

An excellent couple of posts on the developing understanding of scripture and its unfolding application to challenges of the times. The reason some cannot understand you is the ossification of a few 'dogmas' of protestantism.

2 November 2011 20:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

OoIG said in hushed tones

"Blofeld Good to be back as you RC's have ran riot.

You've got that right, and no mistake. (Time for a bit of Ernsty 'Tough Love', my boy!)

It’s difficult to stop the Roman Catholics – truth will out you know, what !(Well, it maybe time to end that 'Added Benefits' culture that RC's seem to be so addicted to which Rome feeds them from cradle to grave/purgatory that makes them so exceptionally feral when out in a crowd on the blog. Let's try and get you back depending on 'Christ Only')

Bit of advice old man. Glance down every now and then and look at what you’re stroking – You might find one day it’s a weasel !(Dear boy, are you saying that Len is another fictitious creation from the twisted mind of Mr Dodo/Dr Lao..Hmmm, very interesting)"

Ernst

ps

Dodo sqawked

"Still, at least we've been spared reams of random bibical quotes so far."
Dear boy, simply because the Bible is a fairly unknown territory to you (trouble with loving latin but being illiterate with it?), unless of course you have a catechism in your hand to assist but this only confuses you further as most of it is not even in the Old or New Testament, it is one thing no other communicant here has to fear from you on this blog. Small mercies Indeed!

pps

Only YOU could congratulation yourself??

2 November 2011 20:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

AnonymouInBelfast: Thanks! Always glad to entrtain! Especially when stuck in a shop for half a day having my tractor's coolant hoses replaced.

Inspector, have to confess, though, that as I started, I immediately thought about you and remembering that you'd be inspecting sooner or later, I laid it on extra thick for effect. It's all about consistency in quality control, and you people are exacting customers.

Dodo I note that you didn't accuse me of chasing away another potentially entertaining specimen for your examination. It would have been a silly waste of time and quite dull, since we've all heard it before, but if you don't believe me, have a go at Nobody Important. A pathetic sample, but good enough diversion for a few posts. Just remember the old saying: When you wrestle with a pig you both get filthy, but the pig likes it.

Mr Ernst, a pleasure to see you back in the digital world. I hope it's not because you overstayed your welcome as the hovering grandfather. A bundle of bolded emails and spam to read and chuck, I'm sure...although not necessarily in that order.

2 November 2011 20:39  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Rot the lot of them
Whether as brought up (evangelical) or now (atheist)
The RC church is evil.

More power to their internecine bloody fights!

2 November 2011 20:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Made a brief visit to Nobody Important’s blogsite. Felt like I’ve dropped in the river Fleet when it was London’s main sewer. Would not be surprised if owner a spotty schoolboy.

Dodo You don’t blog as Tingey by chance ? (...Just a thought old chum, do think nothing of it...)

2 November 2011 21:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector,

O yeah, that. Eeek! 42 page views, last two of them yours and mine. We shouldn't be encouraging the child. Funny blog title, though, "What the f**k are you babbling about now?" Must've heard it so often from mom, he thinks it's his real name.

2 November 2011 21:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

Sir, how dare you! All that is in the past (well, mostly). Do you suppose our long suffering host would let me get away with it anymore? I wonder. If I suddenly disappear you'll know the answer is in the negative.

Anyway, be sure that everything I post always represents my true convictions. I do have some integrity despite rumours to the contrary. And, anyway, Tingey is an intellectually challenged illiterate. The full responsibility for his innane posts lies squarely with him.

Avi

"When you wrestle with a pig you both get filthy, but the pig likes it."

Love it! Time to stop engaging in dialoque with 'some'. I'll give you a clue. He repeatedly squeaks and squawks and has an obsessive - compulsive need to drive home a point with endless quotes.

As for Nobhead Unimportant, I wouldn't sully myself with his nonsense.

Ernsty

Thank you for the undeserved compliment. Ah, if only I had the knowledge, insight and clarity of thought of Albert. His rationality, patience and politeness in discussion is a excellent model for us all.

2 November 2011 22:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Ernst,

Protestants.... is that as a result of, Protestantism is ...., Protestants do not really ...,etc. Instead, what they believe in is ... Just change your terms to read RC.

I am not writing these things without a sense of irony, because I know full well (as an ex-Protestant) that these are the things Protestants say of Catholics. Having sat on both sides of this divide, I know that the condemnations Protestant fire at Catholics really fall on their own pate.

2 November 2011 22:06  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

Is there such a thing as a 'Protestant' - apart from protesting, what else do they share in common??

2 November 2011 22:26  
Blogger len said...

Inspector
Dodo`s got that many personalities he probably cannot remember who he is today.

Now the thin gloss of religion has been blown away he has' come out'as a very nasty piece of work indeed.
You`re not 'Albert as well are you Dodo?.

2 November 2011 22:32  
Blogger len said...

Inspectors has got all the Dodo traits too, or is that just a Catholic thing?

Perhaps Dodo is ALL of them.....poor fellow needs help.

2 November 2011 22:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. An interesting situation regarding Albert’s situation. He has, as a Protestant, converted to the RCC. Now, are you able to give the Inspector just one example of a Catholic becoming a Protestant. He won’t trouble you with an example of a Catholic becoming a ‘born again’. There are children in the playground that will tell you that will never happen.

2 November 2011 22:50  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

Come on, 'fess up now.

It's been you pretending to be me all along. Or is it me pretending to be you? You're right, it does get confusing! Best make a clean breast of it.

2 November 2011 22:51  
Blogger Gavin said...

I think His Grace is right to point out that there are indeed divisions and squabblings going on within the RCC. In fact, if anything, His Grace has chosen only one small example, he could have broadened the scope of this post by referencing the whole Card. Vaughan School controversy.

What I mean by that is, if you look at some of Damian T's posts in the Telegraph on that issue, and read through the comments sections, it would appear that there's a whole 'lay movement' of 'Traditionalist Catholics' who seem to regard themselves as more Catholic than the Vatican! "Down with Vatican II; bring back kneeling to receive the Eucharist! Bring back this, bring back that!" they cry!
-Hold on a second: Do these 'traditionalists' know better than the Vatican then? Doesn't their moaning and groaning effectively make them Protestants at heart?

2 November 2011 22:52  
Blogger Gavin said...

You see, what really annoys me is this duplicity: Whenever there are deep and serious differences of opinion/dogma within the Anglican Church, many Catholics (and I've been guilty of this myself, fair do's) love to point the finger and hold these up as examples of the 'intrinsically fragmented nature of Protestantism'. OK, perhaps they do have a point there.
But whenever divisions arise between different branches/movements within the RCC, we are all too quick to say "Ahh, but them lot aren't the REAL Catholics, so you can't use the same argument against us!" I don't like the way we 'move the goalposts around' in that way.

2 November 2011 23:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Time to stop engaging in dialoque with 'some'. I'll give you a clue." Uh, uh, Dodo, no guesses; I'm not going to pick sides or get in the middle of your interdenominational dialogues, as it were. "I've no horse in this race," as they say. I do read everyone's comments with interest, actually, have my own thoughts on a few things, but I'll stick to the more general topics and things I think I know about, and things that concern me directly. It's what good guests do. I also try to amuse and sometimes I'll sweep a distracting nitwit or or two off the dance floor for you folks, but that's just fun stuff.

2 November 2011 23:10  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Gavin

Careful if you're using Damian T's blog as an example. It's a scary place to visit!

It is acceptable for there to be theological debate and discussion within the Church. There are always areas open to legitimate and proper disagreement. Surely this has been the history of Christianity? Didn't it start with a difference between Peter and Paul over the relationship between Jews and Gentiles?

Have you asked yourself what, when you break it down, defines a Roman Catholic? Why has the Church survived for 2000 years in the face of schism and heresy? How are doctrinal and theological differences resolved and the unity of the Church's teachings preserved for future generations?

2 November 2011 23:25  
Blogger Gavin said...

Dodo, I'm a fairly simple chap. I'm just saying, it's not fair when we accuse the Anglican Church of being divided, but then when an example of internal division is presented to Catholics, it's all "yeah but, no but". Don't skirt round the example I gave: With the Cardinal Vaughan School controversy, what you effectively have, is a group of ultra-traditionalist Catholics who view their own Catholicism as superior to the Vatican's! Catholicism is supposed to entail obedience to the Bishops, yet here you have a group of vocal laypeople saying, effectively, "Our Catholicism is purer than yours, down with this and down with that, we refuse to obey the diocese and the Bishop, we know better", Well, how are those people different from Protestants then?

2 November 2011 23:55  
Blogger len said...

Inspector(22:50)
Do Catholics ever become Protestants?.You ask for one example, I can do a LOT better than that!.

Dr. Poling, editor of the interdenominational Christian Herald (circ. 376,783), gave his readers the answer: a resounding yes. The Herald's estimates, summarized in a report by Author Will Oursler: as against 1,071,897 people converted to Catholicism during the last ten years (most of them presumably ex-Protestants), some 4,000,000 Roman Catholics have become Protestants.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,819765,00.html#ixzz1cb0o7mAj

3 November 2011 00:07  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Gavin

The poliics between people will never go away.

From what I know as an outsider the power struggle at that school is partly about class, traditional education, tradition catholicism and also the way some Bishops are seen to be dragging their heels over some of Benedict's changes.

Who says Catholics have to obey their Bishops in matters not pertaining to canon law?

I am not aware of any significant doctrinal rifts that compare with the SSPX and the protestant disputes.

3 November 2011 00:32  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Albert;


'I'm not at all sure if that is true. Simply sticking to theology (rather than for instance nationalism etc.), I think it's clear that Orthodoxy has had many internal theological problems. The theology of Khomiakov is very popular, but arguably heretical or at least over influenced by German idealism. Then you've got the dispute over Sophiology in which Bulgakov was branded a heretic, not least by people like Lossky. But then, as Rowan Williams has argued, Lossky's own patristic position is arguably too static and idealistic to represent the reality of the ancient Church. And then there are all those Eastern fathers who clearly thought the Church needed to Pope. Arguably, they were over-ruled by political factors.'

The theology of the Orthodox Churches is little influenced by such figures Khomiakov. It is the Fathers(particularly the Eastern Fathers.), Pseudo-Dionysius, St.Simeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas who are the important influences. In general the Orthodox Churches maintain their ancient theology and mysticism remarkably well. The Roman Church did this as well. We can argue over Thomism Vs Palamism, but both were beautiful expressions of Christian truth, but alas people like Hans Kung have real influence in the Vatican today.

There is little evidence for the sort of authority the Papal See wields until the late first millennium. Some Popes after about 450AD began to make noises in that direction, but they were largely ignored, though recognised as the First among equals. I don't begrudge the power the Papal See claims, I simply do not think it is necessary in all circumstances or for all branches of the Church to adhere to it.

'Clearly, Vatican II has brought forth both wheat and tares, but Newman I have no doubt would have welcomed much of it, and for the rest, have felt himself under the authority of the Church in such a way that he would not have approved of SSPX. At least that's how I read his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk.'

Doesn't it depend upon whether heresy is gaining traction in the Church? As I understand it Roman Catholics are not obliged to follow the authority of the Church just anywhere it may lead; if the Pope were to try and impose Arianism then he would no longer be Pope.

'Moreover, each new age brings its own challenges and questions: in the case Westcountryman is thinking of, these questions are of political origin.'

They really aren't. They are of basic things like the validity of the Sacraments, the Priesthood and the basic, Christ-centred theology of the Church. The acceptance of modern political principles and ecumenicism are, in my opinion, secondary to such considerations.

3 November 2011 00:51  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

The findings were based on a sample questionaire to protestant Ministers in USA in 1954 and published in a self proclaimed 'inter-denominational' magazine i.e protestant!

As was said at the time:

" ... (this) serves to remind Catholics that their faith is a divine 'gift' that can be lost."

Here's an original thought:

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic. You're either a faithful Catholic or a lapsed Catholic.

3 November 2011 00:52  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'With the Cardinal Vaughan School controversy, what you effectively have, is a group of ultra-traditionalist Catholics who view their own Catholicism as superior to the Vatican's! Catholicism is supposed to entail obedience to the Bishops, yet here you have a group of vocal laypeople saying, effectively, "Our Catholicism is purer than yours, down with this and down with that, we refuse to obey the diocese and the Bishop, we know better", Well, how are those people different from Protestants then?'

As I understand it Roman Catholicism is adherence to an ancient Tradition of thought and spirituality. Bishops and Popes get their authority from this Tradition and from its Origin, Christ. If they blatantly violate this tradition then it has always allowed for resistance to bishops and even Popes. Otherwise you are saying that the Vatican could proclaim Mani a prophet of God and still be Roman Catholic.

The split over Vatican II is profound. It is about how one views the Sacraments, how one views the Church, how one views creation. It seems to me that the non-traditionalists have far more in common in these areas to Protestants. What it is really a division on is on wholeness, on whether keep Christ, and the Roman Catholic manifestation of Christ in its Tradition and Magisterium, always at the centre of one's vision and see only through him or whether one can sometimes remove Christ from one's eyes and see things from a non-Christ centred perspective. Or to put it another way it is a question over whether there really is a legitimate secular sphere. Whether in areas outside specific religious activities we can accept modern perspectives founded upon nominalism, rationalism, empiricism, relativism, Cartesianism and other errors as long as we don't break specific moral rules.

In essence Vatican II has seen much of the Roman Church repeat the errors and foolishness most Protestantism made at the reformation, but in a magnified way because of the development these errors had had in the intervening centuries.

3 November 2011 01:09  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Westcountryman

In what way has Vatican II changed the fundamental way the Church views the Sacraments, itself and its relationship with creation? Based on the Cathecism of the Church, it seems to me the Church has clarified its perspectives after centuries of seeing 'protestantism' as the 'enemy' that has to be resisted at all costs.

To me, the documents from the Council disclose no rupture with traditional teachings, doctrines and dogma. True they are written in a less aggressive ways and invite us to reflect on our relationship with other faiths and how we converse with others who are not Catholics.

The aftermath of the Council resulted in unfortunate experimentation and opened the door to a lack of discipline.

What is the essential Tradition of the Church? Surely it is not a Latin Mass and external 'religious' practices? It is our relationship with Christ and our understanding of His message of salvation and the role of the Church in bringing people to Him.

The Church has always reformed from those early days in Jerusalem when a small group gathered to celebrate the agape meal and attempted to understand the profound events they had witnessed and the mission given them by Christ.

Blessed John Paul may have made errors as a person as did his predecessors. The same no doubt applies to Pope Benedict. Me I get confidence from Christ's promise to St Peter that whatever challenges we face the Holy Spirit guides the Church and protects it from error and from those inside and outside it who would corrupt it.

Me? I maintain a relationship with Christ through attendance at Mass, receiving the sacraments, participating in my parish and local community. I attempt to love my family and neighbour as best I can. The 'heady' theological stuff I leave to others with gifts in these areas who are called to lead the Church and to called to challenge and test the Church's teachings.

3 November 2011 09:11  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,


The Pharisees had a similar lifestyle as to the one you describe,what makes you any better than any of them?.

3 November 2011 10:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Westcountryman,

The theology of the Orthodox Churches is little influenced by such figures Khomiakov. It is the Fathers(particularly the Eastern Fathers.), Pseudo-Dionysius, St.Simeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas who are the important influences.

I think you need to be careful about the reality of Orthodoxy. There's a lot of rhetoric about following the Fathers, but clearly the Fathers have to interpreted and related to us. In order to do this, modern Orthodox thinkers provide a kind of prism. I disagree with you about the influence of people like Khomiakov or Lossky, but even if you are right, remember: I was responding to this statement of yours:

Only the Orthodox Churches and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches maintain something like the ancient spirit of traditional Christianity, free from internal attack

The very fact that I can speak of figures like Khomiakov and Bulgakov and their supporters, shows that is false.

There is little evidence for the sort of authority the Papal See wields until the late first millennium

Again, I think that is simply false if you mean that the early Church thought it possible to remain outside of the communion of the See of Rome. You do not need to read Catholics to see this, you can find in it clearly laid out in the writings of Eastern Orthodox scholars like Clement, for instance.

They are of basic things like the validity of the Sacraments, the Priesthood and the basic, Christ-centred theology of the Church.

I'm not sure what you are referring to here - something in Vatican II or what?

Bishops and Popes get their authority from this Tradition and from its Origin, Christ. If they blatantly violate this tradition then it has always allowed for resistance to bishops and even Popes

I think you are assuming that the tradition is something that can be read very easily - this is a typical Orthodox move. What Newman found (and what I found, for what it is worth) is that if you appeal to the Fathers to explain the difficulties contained in scripture, then very often (at the points of later disagreement), the Fathers too are at least as confusing. In any case, how do you determine which ancient Christians are trustworthy? Which Councils etc? The whole thing quickly becomes circular.

The split over Vatican II is profound

Even if I grant that, Catholicism doesn't require me to take any notice of what this or that Catholic does. You need to show that Vatican II is unorthodox, and even then, the documents do not claim to be infallible.

But I think you are missing a great deal that is going on in the East - the compromises with state and with nationalism as much as the clearer doctrinal matters, both in our own age, and throughout the past.

3 November 2011 12:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 November 2011 14:11  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

I don't claim to be any better or worse that anyone else who professes Christianity. Do you?

I have my own relationship with Christ which I express privately and through membership of the Church.

Christ's central issue with the Pharisees was a little bit more complex than you suggest! Interestingly, the Pharisees claimed prophetic authority for their interpretation of the Jewish law, whilst the Saducees claimed priestly privileges and prerogatives.

Are you informed and aware of the historical context and background to this particualr school of thought and movement within Judaism?

3 November 2011 15:22  
Blogger William said...

TWotD said

"Me? I maintain a relationship with Christ through attendance at Mass, receiving the sacraments, participating in my parish and local community. I attempt to love my family and neighbour as best I can. The 'heady' theological stuff I leave to others with gifts in these areas who are called to lead the Church and to called to challenge and test the Church's teachings."

Your relationship appears to be based on what you DO and you mention the Spirit not once!

Which begs the question:

If you were to remove the items from your list one by one, at what point would that relationship no longer exist?

3 November 2011 16:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "I attempt to love my family and neighbour as best I can."

I expect getting rid of all your unpleasantness here, using multiple fake IDs, helps back home. ;)

3 November 2011 16:50  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Willaim

I did say maintain which rather pressumes a relationship in the first place. The rest is an expression of this and a means of preserving and strengthening it.

What is a relationship? And if you had read on ...

I have my own relationship with Christ which I express privately and through membership of the Church.

So if I took everything away I would be left with the relationship and my private expression of this.

3 November 2011 17:26  
Blogger William said...

Dodo

Thankyou for your clarification.

3 November 2011 18:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Do Catholics ever become Protestants?.You ask for one example, I can do a LOT better than that!.

Well really ! You’ve nothing more recent than Monday, Apr. 05, 1954, and the Inspector would have to subscribe to Time Magazine US for the details !

Now, we’re all used to your inadequate answers on this website, but surely even you must have had your tongue in your cheek to offer that up.

Your contributions to this site are so weasely recognisable as being yours, don’t you know !

3 November 2011 18:08  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

You are very welcome.

Catholics do not subscribe to an empty belief in 'salvation by works', despite accussations to the contrary, so I'm always happy to clarify this.

3 November 2011 18:13  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

It's worse than that. The findings were based on a sample survey sent to protestant pastors in the USA. Not very sound science.

Lets be frank, Catholic's do lapse and some turn to other churches because of marrying non-catholics or because they are divorced, homosexual or find other teachings unacceptable. No point in deny it.

Sad, when the gift of faith is lost and the weasel shouldn't be so gleeful about it..

3 November 2011 18:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The Inspector believes that he’s an extremely selfish individual. Salvation is his, so he thinks, so stuff the rest of you. No Christian spirit of spreading the truth, save his own version of it...

3 November 2011 18:51  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Thank goodness I found out how to unsubscribe from this drivel.

3 November 2011 19:13  
Blogger William said...

Whitespacebug

I'm loath to say it, but I'm inclined to agree.

3 November 2011 19:22  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

I disagree.

I think is confused about the dynamic between individual faith, the action of the Holy Spirit and the pastoral role of the Church. His apparent 'selfishness' is a passionate conviction to 'convert' others to his way of thinking and may disclose a need to reinforce his own relatively recent return to Christianity. I'm wondering if he is a lapsed Roman Catholic or High Anglican.

3 November 2011 19:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Whitespacebug & William. The Inspector too, and it’s his drivel. Where’s that Viking when you need him...

3 November 2011 19:35  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

Just how does one unsubscribe?

Ps
Do you think they're referring to us?

3 November 2011 19:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

No idea, that Bird, and yes – they were referring to us...

3 November 2011 20:23  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Dodo Dude
When you have subscribed, you get an ' unsubscribe ' option in the comment submission form.

3 November 2011 20:24  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'The very fact that I can speak of figures like Khomiakov and Bulgakov and their supporters, shows that is false.'

Not really. We haven't established that such people, and they are 19th century, are heretics. However of course Orthodoxy has suffered decline in the modern world. The point is the scale. It is nothing like the sort of massive and dominating problems that Vatican II brings up.


'Again, I think that is simply false if you mean that the early Church thought it possible to remain outside of the communion of the See of Rome. You do not need to read Catholics to see this, you can find in it clearly laid out in the writings of Eastern Orthodox scholars like Clement, for instance.'

That was clearly not the point. The Early Church did not consider the Papacy or total primacy to have the sort of powers it has claimed for a millenia. That is obvious.



'I think you are assuming that the tradition is something that can be read very easily - this is a typical Orthodox move. What Newman found (and what I found, for what it is worth) is that if you appeal to the Fathers to explain the difficulties contained in scripture, then very often (at the points of later disagreement), the Fathers too are at least as confusing. In any case, how do you determine which ancient Christians are trustworthy? Which Councils etc? The whole thing quickly becomes circular.'

This depends what you are trying to prove. I don't think this is usually the case though. On most central points of Christian doctrine you can actually discover what the traditions of the first millenia were. As far as I'm aware the Roman Church doesn't maintain that the Traditions of the Church are some sort of Enigma known only to the Pope and Roman Curia and to be changed at his 'inspired' whim. In fact it, not me but the Roman Church, states that a Pope in heresy can be resisted and is not Pope.


'But I think you are missing a great deal that is going on in the East - the compromises with state and with nationalism as much as the clearer doctrinal matters, both in our own age, and throughout the past.'

Well I did use the term 'something of the spirit'. No Western religion is in great shape, including Orthodoxy. But it doesn't compare to Vatican II or obviously Protestantism. What orthodoxy does have, is a mainstream tradition of deep spirituality that has not been significantly disrupted significantly by modernism.

3 November 2011 22:17  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Dode and Albert, no offense but one of the negative images of the Roman Catholic Church is its members blindly follows authority. Now I'm all for following the authority of the Church and the Magisterium in general, this has always been the tradition of the church, but you guys are talking like there is absolutely no roll for anything else. If this is the case then there is no difference between your adhering to the Roman Church or adhering to communism, you've just made a blind decision to do. If this is the case then the Pope could declare David Miliband a new prophet and that would be fine. This is not actually what once made the Roman Church great.

Sometimes the balancing of Scripture, Tradition, Fathers, Councils and the Magisterium can be a bit of a juggle, though not as hard, usually, as Albert suggests. But to abdicate this and take refuge in either Scripture alone, interpreted to individual whim, or only the authority of the Magisterium is a great mistake. There are those called to lead the church Dodo, but I think you have a slightly too low and lenient an opinion of the role of us average believers. We cannot be indifferent, we cannot leave church for Sundays and, as long as we don't break explicit moral rules, do little the rest of the week.

This is the greatest problem with Vatican II; it destroyed the idea of an holistic Roman Catholic worldview that incorporated all knowledge and all spheres of life through the lens of Christ, traditionally interpreted and profoundly lived. This is why you saw the untimely death of Neo-Thomism with the Council. This is why you see the warped and novel philosophy of those like Hans Kung.

This is why you have seen a relaxation, apparently, in standards over things like the importance of the Real Presence in the Mass(one poll conducted in the 90s in the US claimed only 30% of those partaking in the New Mass believed in the Real Presence) or the importance of the Marriage in Church. As has been pointed out the New Mass did these three, dangerous things;

1. suppressed the sacrificial character of the Mass, denied by Protestants,

2. emphasized the Mass as a memorial and a banquet, as preached by Protestants,

3. stressed the role of the people as essential to the “celebration of the Eucharist,” also defended by Protestants.

It was specifically done to come closer to Protestants. There were Protestants on the commission and one could even say later 'We have finished the work that Martin Luther began'.

3 November 2011 22:51  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Westcountryman

I disagree with your idea that I restrict the spiritual in my life to Sunday. My faith and my relationship with Christ inform my daily life.

As for Vatican II corrupting the Mass and the Church, well that depends on the spirit with which one participates in it.

The Real presence has never been questioned by the Church, though respect for this would appear to be waning for a range of reasons other than the form of the Mass.

The words of the Mass remain consistent with it being a sacrifice, rather than a memorial celebration. And certainly the laity are involved more than when the language was a mystery.

I think it's rather silly to lay all the ills of Christianity and Catholicism at the door of the new order of the Mass. So it's in English, ritualistically simpler, shorter and less mysterious and remote. Honestly, I think Jesus would approve.

Hans Kung views are not representative of post Vatican II Roman Catholicism although he remains a priest "of good standing". He is no longer licensed to teach theology to Catholics.

The greatest thing Kung ever said was in 2009 when he declared Pope Benedict's theology to be the same as that of the council of Nicea held in 325.

Wonderfully reassuring!

3 November 2011 23:36  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

The New Mass clearly makes the Real Presence, particularly as traditionally understood by Roman Catholics, less central. Now Lutheranism maintains something of the traditional view of the sacraments, but it is clear from that quote from a Lutheran, and from other sources, that the New Mass and Vatican II lessens the Sacramental vision of traditional Catholicism. One traditional Catholic says this of the very question of the importance of Sacrifice over memorial;

'We have a man-made liturgy in which mention of the Sacrifice of Calvary has been insistently removed, as well as any sacrificial tone, and only the notions of praise and thanksgiving retained. Even the altar, which was turned toward Jerusalem reminding us of the sacrifice of Christ to God, was replaced by a table in order to emphasize the new notion that the Mass is mainly a banquet, and not a sacrifice.'

He goes on to quote Cardinal Ottaviani;

'Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who served as head of the Holy Office under three Popes, wrote that "the Novus Ordo Missae .... represents a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in the Council of Trent,” and that there are “implicit denials of Christ’s Real Presence and the doctrine of Transubstantiation.” '

'So it's in English, ritualistically simpler, shorter and less mysterious and remote.'

Which is another way of saying it lessens the sacramental nature of the Church. There is a Protestantism, a distrust of Sacrament and of the Sacramental nature of reality in such words. We are called to become like Christ, what Eastern Orthodoxy refers to as Deification. This is a remote accession, one that St.Gregory of Nyssa called an infinite progress. I do not mean to say your speech implied you do not care about Christ outside church, simply that it could be read as emphasising only the Sunday relationship, otherwise relying on extrinsic morality and sentimental love for Christ. It could be read as downplaying the deeply spiritual and transcendent, sacramental nature of ongoing relationship with Christ. The Protestant, particularly the wholesale, 'reformed' one, is filled with the spirit of rationalism and nominalism, he sees the sacrament as but a memorial, because for him the sacramental nature of reality is largely missing. All you need is blind faith, sentimental and perhaps reason. To speculate on the nature of the universe and its relationship to Christ is foolish and to the affirm the inner illumination that leads one to Christ through his particular symbols and sacraments is delusional. But this was not the traditional Catholic way, just as it largely is still not the traditional Orthodox way.

Changes can be made to make the Mass more accessible to the mass of people, the problem is not the change of language. The problem is the change of form which denies transcendence for the sake of accessibility.

And it is not simply the Mass that is the problem. Appropriately it is deeply symbolic of the entire problem of Vatican II; the loss of the holistic, sacramental vision of traditional Catholicism which put Christ, and not Christ as sentimental attachment or extrinsic moral rules but full inexhaustible Word and Wisdom of God, at the centre of all things.

4 November 2011 03:09  
Blogger len said...

Since the Catholic Mass is directly linked to Babylon it is best to give it a miss altogether!.

4 November 2011 08:36  
Blogger len said...

Perhaps an explanation of the Catholic Mass is needed for those not initiated into the 'mysteries 'of the Catholic Church, Unknown in the early church, the mass did not become an official doctrine until pronounced by the Lateran Council of 1215 under the direction of Pope Innocent III, and reaffirmed by the Council of Trent. The Church of Rome holds that the mass is a continuation of the sacrifice that Christ made on Calvary -- in effect a re-crucifixion of Christ over and over again in an unbloody manner (cf. Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 1:7). They believe that by this means Christ offers Himself again and again as a sacrifice for sin (cf. Hebrews 7:27; 9:12,25,26; 10:10,12,14,18), and that this sacrifice is just as efficacious to take away sin as was the true sacrifice on Calvary. Catholics thus teach the doctrine of transubstantiation (meaning a change of substance) -- that the bread and wine (at communion) actually become (by the power of the priest!) the body and blood of Christ, which is then worshiped as God Himself! Indeed, the sacrifice of the mass is the central point of Catholic worship, as evidenced by the fact that those abstaining from attending mass are considered to have committed a mortal sin. Of course, holy communion is not taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches the "Lord's supper" which was simply an ordinance that Christ initiated for believers to do in remembrance of Him, no more. There is nothing magical about the Lord's supper. Nothing changes into anything. It is simply a time to remember Christ in an official church manner, Jesus is NOT dying again. The book of Hebrews tells us repeatedly that Jesus died "once" for all.

(perhaps the evolutionary elements in the Catholic Church are trying to put right this false ceremony?)

4 November 2011 09:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Len said @ 4 November 2011 09:01

Well spoken, that lad. (Fondly stroking the 'weasel' *chuckling out loud*)

Ernst

4 November 2011 09:16  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo made Ernst snigger like muttley 2 November 2011 22:00

Ernsty

"Thank you for the undeserved compliment. Ah, if only I had the knowledge, insight and clarity of thought of Albert. His rationality, patience and politeness in discussion is a excellent model for us all."

You humble bird you!

Ernst

4 November 2011 09:20  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

We can all thank Len for the excellent example of the pitfalls of a desacralising spirit.

The fact that the real presence, though not the Scholastic doctrine of transubstantiation(not that I think this is a particularly problem formulation), was central to the early Church's view of the Eucharist, that of the Father's and almost all within the Church, East and West, until the reformation seems to have escaped him. At the reformation it was the influence of recent philosophical trends, like nominalism, which were behind any changes, not the theology and doctrine of the Early Church and even then Luther and many other Protestants didn't do away with the doctrine of the Real Presence.

To call sacraments magic is obviously an absurd statement and shows the massive, modernist assumptions that have entered into lens worldview. To scorn the idea of God becoming matter is to scorn the idea of the incarnation. It is also to set up a view of some sort of quasi-absolute divide between Christ and matter, as if the world were not created by Christ, formed according to his Wisdom and sustained by him. It therefore manages ably to combine ancient heresies like Gnosticism with modern foolishness like nominalism and a pseudo-Cartesian split between Spirit and matter.

4 November 2011 09:38  
Blogger William said...

Len said

"Indeed, the sacrifice of the mass is the central point of Catholic worship, as evidenced by the fact that those abstaining from attending mass are considered to have committed a mortal sin."

However, this contradicts what Mr. Dodo said 3 November 2011 17:26. He thinks that mass is optional.

4 November 2011 10:23  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

William presents an unfortunate aspect of much of Western Christianity since Saint Augustine. Namely the rationalistic split between the faith and works.

As he says;

'If you were to remove the items from your list one by one, at what point would that relationship no longer exist?'

Can I ask him if he is suggesting that we can 'DO' anything and still have the full relationship with the Spirit and Christ? Obviously not. The relationship between man and God, works and faith, knowledge and love are all two-way integrated ones. No man who truly has faith and grace will not have works. I admire Saint Augustine and see a certain truth behind his perspective, but it is unbalanced in this area(and in some others owing to a certain rationalism and certain dualistic tendencies inherited from his Manichean experience) and has caused untold problems in Western Christianity.

4 November 2011 11:26  
Blogger len said...

William,
Mr Dodo has multiple personalities and as many opinions.Also a repellent fawning nature with those who agree with him.
IF the Pope told him black was white he would agree with Him.

4 November 2011 13:09  
Blogger len said...

WestCountryman (09:38) When you sweep away all' the veils of mystery' in the Catholic Church what exactly are you left with?.

A priesthood very similar to the Babylonian Priesthood who' dispense salvation' to the people through the rituals they perform headed up by a man who claims 'infallibility ' and curses anyone who doesn`t go along with his delusion?

Not exactly Christian ,is it?.

4 November 2011 13:16  
Blogger William said...

Westcountryman said

"William presents an unfortunate aspect of much of Western Christianity since Saint Augustine. Namely the rationalistic split between the faith and works."

Do I? I do not claim that faith does not affect what we do. We are all acting on faith most of the time, whether faith in God or something/one else. Also I would assert that what we do affects our faith in God, positively and negatively. But perhaps I miss your meaning.

"The relationship between man and God, works and faith, knowledge and love are all two-way integrated ones. No man who truly has faith and grace will not have works."

Indeed, the man who accepts God's grace (His Son), by faith, cannot help but be changed by His Spirit leading to outward changes. However, works are not per se indicative of acceptance, nor an apparent lack of works (e.g. not going to mass) indicative of non-acceptance. Possibly this is not as "two-way integrated" as you would assert?

I am interested in how Mr. Dodo says he is maintaining his relationship with the Lord, and whether he believes that going to mass is vital for that relationship. It seems not as ultimately his relationship is "expressed privately" and through "Church membership". However, I don't know if church membership, in this case, is predicated on mass attendance.

4 November 2011 14:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Westcountryman,

I don't have the time to respond to all of this, so here are a few things:

The Early Church did not consider the Papacy or total primacy to have the sort of powers it has claimed for a millenia. That is obvious.

But, as Eastern Rite Catholics point out very little of what people associate with the Pope relates to his universal role: most of it relates to his role as Patriarch of the West.

As to the Early Church, I think the idea that matters can be resolved outside of the communion of the See of Rome would have surprised the Fathers at the Second Council of Nicea:

Without them [the Romans] no dogma can receive definitive approbation...for they preside over the episcopal office and they have received this dignity from the two leading apostles

Then you seem to indicate that you have neither understood what I am saying nor what the Catholic Church teaches about the place of the papacy:

As far as I'm aware the Roman Church doesn't maintain that the Traditions of the Church are some sort of Enigma known only to the Pope and Roman Curia and to be changed at his 'inspired' whim.

and

you guys are talking like there is absolutely no roll for anything else

I cannot see that we have been having this conversation long enough to justify those kinds of comments. How can you expect us to put the ecclesiology of the Catholic Church in all its fullness in a few short comments?!

On the question of the tradition, if it is all so obvious, why did there need to be Councils in the first place? The issues surrounding Christology from (say) 431 onwards, become very difficult. The idea that the answers can simply be read off the tradition seems extraordinary to me (speaking as someone who (admittedly long ago) did the principle parts of his research on this period. Issues like the double-procession of the Holy Spirit are raised with sufficient regularity in both East and West to regard the Photian idea as itself, an innovation.

Moreover, the East often appeals to a notion of reception to justify supporting a particular Council. But from (at least) 451 onwards the question of reception becomes difficult.

As to modernism and the Catholic Church. Clearly, there are problems, but I think it is naive to imagine Orthodoxy has either escaped (Khomiakov and Bulgakov have both been condemned for being over influenced by external sources - in both cases Western philosophy!) or would have escaped if it had been a Western Church. Half the time the Orthodox can't even resolve basic jurisdictional disputes. Then see how closely the Church has been caught up in the secular politics of places like Russia. Orthodoxy has spent too much of the 20th Century fighting for its life to be able to think about the things the West has had to deal with. You're just not comparing like with like.

4 November 2011 17:47  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

William
If you read my post as meaning thre Mass was unecessary, then you are clearly incapable of comprehending the printed word.

len
I didn't expect you to descend to outright lies about me. Shame on you.

4 November 2011 18:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "Unknown in the early church, the mass did not become an official doctrine until pronounced by the Lateran Council of 1215 under the direction of Pope Innocent III, and reaffirmed by the Council of Trent."

Ah, good old Innocent III. He of Cathar-butchering fame if I'm not mistaken.

4 November 2011 18:29  
Blogger William said...

Mr Dodo said

"So if I took everything away I would be left with the relationship and my private expression of this." everything being inclusive of mass.

then

"If you read my post as meaning thre Mass was unecessary, then you are clearly incapable of comprehending the printed word. "

I usually do not have a problem with the printed word, however I find it difficult to marry your two statements. Is it that you consider your private relationship with Christ to be not enough?

4 November 2011 19:00  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

William

Word games.

I was accussed of focussing on 'works' and questions were raised about my relationship with Christ. The weasel asserted I was a Pharisee. Asked what would I be left with IF attending attending Mass and serving my local community and parish were taken away, I answered honestly.

Attending Mass, receiving the sacraments and offering service to others IS intimately connected with my relationship with Christ - it's a way of expressing it and strengthening it. The two cannot be seperated.

Stranded on a desert island, without access to the Church, I would still have my relationship with Christ.

You work it out. I have no problem with I've said.

4 November 2011 20:08  
Blogger len said...

Dodo (backtracking rapidly, stumbles and stutters)

Time for a personality change!.(again)

4 November 2011 23:19  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

In your little black and white world of being 'born again' you might think so.

You clearly have no idea of what Chrisitianity really is or what Catholicism is.

Sad!

5 November 2011 01:34  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

"The Church of England is not a religious cult"

Well, in the spirit of the season and in view of the pantomime that the CofE has become - "OH YES IT IS !!"

5 November 2011 10:25  
Blogger Oswin said...

Harry-ca-nab:

'It's behind you!'' Oops sorry, I got it wrong, it's just Dodo lurking in the shadows.

It beats me that any RC can accuse the C-of-E of being a 'cult' - but it doesn't surprise me; Jesuit calumy as per bloody usual.

5 November 2011 16:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin.

The Church of England is not a religious cult. Not yet, anyway. It is / was / or should be a serious attempt of continuing the Roman Church in England. Without the Rome bit of course.
That’s how it was conceived. Sadly, pollution from Luther and the latter women and homosexuality business seems to be sending it into a nosedive.

Damn women ! Whenever man has a good idea – football, darts, skittles, priests – the women want to get in on the act. All for ‘equality’ whatever that is. Equality for the Inspector is when he can use the ladies at the ‘Mouse and Wheel’. The place smells of roses and there’s rumoured to be pot pourri in there too. Needless to say, he’s not holding out much hope...

5 November 2011 18:08  
Blogger William said...

Mr Dodo said

"Word games"

Not at all. I am trying to establish what you consider to be the nature of your relationship with Christ. Maybe this is too personal, in which case I apologise, but as you are such a prolific apologist for Catholocism I felt that you would not mind.

"Attending Mass, receiving the sacraments and offering service to others IS intimately connected with my relationship with Christ - it's a way of expressing it and strengthening it. The two cannot be seperated. Stranded on a desert island, without access to the Church, I would still have my relationship with Christ."

I guess my question then is what would be the nature of your relationship if you did none of these things, given that the two cannot be separated, and you were not on a desert island. And yet I still do not understand why you say that the two cannot be separated and then give an example of exactly that, namely you being on a desert island. I am not trying to catch you out! I understand completely when you say "it's a way of expressing and strengthening it", but you go further.

"I was accussed of focussing on 'works' and questions were raised about my relationship with Christ. The weasel asserted I was a Pharisee. Asked what would I be left with IF attending attending Mass and serving my local community and parish were taken away, I answered honestly."

I am glad you answered honestly as I'm sure Christ would approve! If by the 'weasel' you mean Len then that is a shame. Whilst I cannot comment on many of his descriptions of Catholocism, I can say that his comments on the dangers of focusing on religion rather than Jesus are spot on. For if Christianity (any denomination) is about the religion rather than the Saviour then it is no better than any other religion, as Danj0 is wont to point out. If, on the other hand, God is so desperate to re-establish the relationship with us that he is prepared to be killed for it, and we can have that relationship now, then that is a "game changer" IMO.

5 November 2011 20:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

William. Realise the weasel is against ALL forms of organised Christianity. He would reduce the faith to nothing more than a concept if given the chance. Doing Satan’s work for him, so he is...

5 November 2011 20:19  
Blogger William said...

"William. Realise the weasel is against ALL forms of organised Christianity. He would reduce the faith to nothing more than a concept if given the chance."

and yet he says he has had an actual encounter with God! That seems to go beyond the conceptual don't you think? By a country mile I'd have thought. Or do I misunderstand you?

5 November 2011 22:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

William. What he has had is his own PERSONAL encounter with Jesus. He says he’s an evangelist, but he’s not. In fact, he’s a judge. He’s now judging us all. He’s starting with the Catholics, because they are an easy target to him. But any organised Christian church is also in his sights. He cannot bear to see the word of God entrusted to mankinds pragmatic handling of it. To him, it corrupts. Don’t take the Inspector’s word on this. Have this in mind when you see what he posts....

5 November 2011 22:39  
Blogger len said...

Inspector.

'The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out'(John10:3)

6 November 2011 11:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. The Inspector presented you with his synopsis of your beliefs. He doesn’t want to misrepresent you, you know, so if there are any amendments to be made, here’s your chance...

6 November 2011 15:11  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

William said ...

"For if Christianity (any denomination) is about the religion rather than the Saviour then it is no better than any other religion."

Absolutely. No Roman Catholic would disagree if by 'religion' you mean simple acts of external compliance.

It may be true that some Catholics focus on the external aspects of their faith without fully realising their significance. I can also say there might be some practices that I see as unecessary for myself although others value them and draw strength from them.

However, is it really so hard for you to understand that my walk with Christ entails accepting His commission to St Peter to lead His flock and feed His sheep? Who am I to question the authority of the Church when Christ has appointed it as His representative on earth and given it the power to loose and bind? I am not an unquestioning follower of the Vatican but on issues of doctrine and dogma accept its teachings.

I attend Mass, I receive the sacraments and can truthfully say they give me a very powerful sense of union with Christ. I prefer simpler services in non-lavish settings but am comfortable too with pomp and ceremony. In serving my community I see the 'Face of Christ' in the poor and weak and in loving them am also showing my love for Christ.

Hollow 'works'? Not in my book. Done to secure salvation and buy my way to heaven? No. Can I seperate my faith, my relationship with Christ and participating as a member in the Church? No.

6 November 2011 15:40  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 November 2011 16:53  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

William

Bear in mind St Paul after his meeting with Christ was hreeted by another disciple and healed. Paul also spent time engaging in theological discussion with the Apostles.

Our friend len recently had the temperity to suggest St Paul was inspired by Satan! No doubt he got this from one of his favoured websites where this thesis figures. One site goes so far as to claim St Paul was the Church's first heretic and was going to be excommunicated by St James!

Perhaps now you might begin to understand how dangerous and misinformed some of his ideas are. Truth is often contained within lies. That's how the deceiver works.

6 November 2011 22:09  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,

Your attempts to deceive would do credit to the master deceiver himself.
I have said that Paul`s teachings were open to misinterpretation (as are Peters response to Christ).(Paul`s teachings have led some to believe that He encouraged lawlessness.)I have also said that all 'traditions' should be examined in the light of Scripture( It would serve Catholics well to do this!)
Catholicism as it stands today is
definitely not what the early Church or Jesus preached but a mixture of Christian and pagan beliefs concocted by Constantine to prop up his crumbling Empire.Catholicism is a very dangerous mix and gives people the illusion that those bound within its system are saved when the are not.
Most of what Catholics practise are either corruptions of Christianity or practices expressly forbidden in the Bible.

Catholicism has the stamp of Satan all over it as what he cannot kill(as he did with Christ and the early Church) he corrupts and thereby renders useless and unfit to serve God`s purposes for salvation.
I consider (as do all who study the Bible ) that Paul was divinely inspired but his teachings should not be read without reference to the Words of Jesus Christ.

7 November 2011 08:06  
Blogger William said...

Mr Dodo said

"However, is it really so hard for you to understand that my walk with Christ entails accepting His commission to St Peter to lead His flock and feed His sheep?"

Yes I'm afraid so, for if I really were walking with Christ; the way, the truth and the life, then I would not want or need to be led or fed by the apparent successor of one of His disciples. It's a bit like being admitted to hospital with some rare disease and being told that the world expert in this disease is visiting the hospital today and would like to come and see you and you saying that actually you would rather just see his nurse.

"Who am I to question the authority of the Church when Christ has appointed it as His representative on earth and given it the power to loose and bind?"

Who are you? Are you not an adopted son of the living God? Are you not a vital member of the body of Christ yourself? Was the power to loose and bind not given to all disciples (Mat 18)?

"I am not an unquestioning follower of the Vatican but on issues of doctrine and dogma accept its teachings."

Has Jesus asked you to make such a commitment? Are these teachings in line with His teachings? I would suggest that any doctrine and dogma that you accept needs to be carefully/prayerfully weighed by you (ideally with your fellow brothers and sisters) in the light of what Jesus is saying.

7 November 2011 09:53  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

William

You missed my central point. Roman Catholicism helps and enhances my relatonship with Chrtist.

Honestly, the Pope and the Church is not a barrier to my relationship with Christ. Who says this gets in the way of my relationship with Christ or stops the Holy Spirit being with me?

Yes, I do believe Christ appointed the Peter and the Apostles to lead His church and spread His message and bring people to Him. He also promised the Church the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I believe it because it is clearly stated in scripture!

7 November 2011 22:27  
Blogger William said...

Mr Dodo said

"You missed my central point. Roman Catholicism helps and enhances my relatonship with Chrtist."

Not at all. This is the very point that I was trying to understand a little more.

"Honestly, the Pope and the Church is not a barrier to my relationship with Christ. Who says this gets in the way of my relationship with Christ or stops the Holy Spirit being with me?"

I have not said this.

"Yes, I do believe Christ appointed the Peter and the Apostles to lead His church and spread His message and bring people to Him."

We are all inheritors of this great commission.

8 November 2011 12:13  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Willaim
I think we know our areas of agreement and disagreement.

In essence it seems to me to come down to questions over the role and authority of the Church and individuals in interpreting Holy Scripture and in developing a fuller understanding of Christ's message.

I pray that as an adopted Son of God and as a member of the Body of Christ, I am open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Just a humnle worker who accepts the Pope as my pastor, appointed to feed and lead Christ's flock and the Church which has the awesome responsibility to loose and bind on behalf of God.

I do hope you understand my position better.

8 November 2011 22:16  

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