Author Topic: Josef Seifert: Francis Has “Rejected Christianity”, Turned God into a "Relativis  (Read 1124 times)

Offline Kreuzritter

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Don't you just love the way the Scholastically trained talk our living, loving God as though he were their pet machine to be figured out by the principles of their semantic system?

Whoever can point me to any of this bullshit in the Bible, the liturgy or the Ante-Nicene Fathers gets a cookie. To think people were literally killed over this kind of stuff.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:12:21 AM by Kreuzritter »
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Kreuzritter, you recently made the claim that evil necessarily exists.  I can dig up the post if you like.

Question: If evil necessarily exists, how can God not will it?

As far as I am concerned, if evil is necessary, then it is in some sense a "part" of God: but God is simple, and does not admit of parts.  So, if evil is necessary, it must be an attribute of God, and if an attribute of God, then, well, you can imagine the blasphemous implication.

Evil exists as a pure potency by virtue of God's existence and creative power. That is what I mean by its necessity. God does not will it. The moment God allows freedom is the moment that evil can actualise.
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Don't you just love the way the Scholastically trained talk our living, loving God as though he were their pet machine to be figured out by the principles of their semantic system?

Whoever can point me to any of this bullshit in the Bible, the liturgy or the Ante-Nicene Fathers gets a cookie.

God created man with a rational nature to offer Him "rational worship". It is perfectly legitimate to approach the Deity through reason, and the Church Fathers – while simultaneously professing the superiority of divine faith – are practically in unanimous agreement in this (apart from heretical oddballs like Tertullian). If you're not the kind of person for whom reading Aristotle is like listening to music that's no problem, but you shouldn't think that other's tastes or preferences are false or inferior. Rational / Natural theology is inferior to ascetic and mystical theology in the spiritual order, but it would be wrong to discredit all rational theology through a false hyper-mysticism / hyper-spiritualism which would practically deny the rational nature of man and the legitimate use of human reason. Think about it, if man is not allowed to use his reasoning powers to speak about God, then what are they for? Business? Making tools? You'd be denying the noblest purpose of human reason which is precisely to reason about God the way Aristotle and Aquinas did.
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Offline Kreuzritter

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God created man with a rational nature to offer Him "rational worship". It is perfectly legitimate to approach the Deity through reason, and the Church Fathers – while simultaneously professing the superiority of divine faith – are practically in unanimous agreement in this (apart from heretical oddballs like Tertullian). If you're not the kind of person for whom reading Aristotle is like listening to music that's no problem, but you shouldn't think that other's tastes or preferences are false or inferior.

That's all fine, but Aristotle != reason, and I find Scholasticism to be eminently unreasonable in what it's doing here and further in its constant confusuon of reality with mere linguistic constructs that begin to lose any cognitive meaning once one digs beneath the surface of the syntactic conventions that appear to give them sense. When the Eleatics said that motion is impossible because of Zeno's paradoxes, that was nothing compared to what Scholastics at times do .

Quote
Rational / Natural theology is inferior to ascetic and mystical theology in the spiritual order, but it would be wrong to discredit all rational theology through a false hyper-mysticism / hyper-spiritualism which would practically deny the rational nature of man and the legitimate use of human reason. Think about it, if man is not allowed to use his reasoning powers to speak about God, then what are they for? Business? Making tools? You'd be denying the noblest purpose of human reason which is precisely to reason about God the way Aristotle and Aquinas did.

I regularly engage in rational theology, as I'm doing in this thread, even if it's from a philosophical perspective that is not even operatign in the same dimension as Arisotelianism. That doesn't change that that one is talking of God - GOD - like he is a machine operating on the rules of Scholastic language.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:28:29 AM by Kreuzritter »
 

Offline awkwardcustomer

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If God creates a free being and allows him to murder or God directly wills and causes a murder, this is not a mere distinction in my mind. It's an objectivley real distinction,a nd it doesn't go away by claimign they "somehow" becoem one in God.

Blurring the distinction shifts the responsibility for evil onto God and away from the free beings who rebel against God.   
And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise.  
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 15, para 9.

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
WB Yeats, 'The Second Coming'.
 

Offline awkwardcustomer

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Evil exists as a pure potency by virtue of God's existence and creative power. That is what I mean by its necessity. God does not will it. The moment God allows freedom is the moment that evil can actualise.

I'm not theologically trained in any way and so cannot join in the debate on those terms.  But I'm sensing that the language and terms of Scolasticism are being manipulated in order to - putting it crudely - blame God for evil?

"The moment God allows freedom is the moment that evil can actualise."  This is the best answer to the problem of evil that I have heard.  Of course, it also corresonds with where my own thoughts have been leading.  In other words, evil cannot "actualise" unless angels and men are i) given the freedom to choose evil, and ii) go on to make that choice? 

Evil exists as "pure potency" until angels and men with free will choose to actualise evil, or bring it into being by that choice. In other words, only the potential for evil exists, until free, created beings bring evil into being/existence/reality etc?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 06:42:59 AM by awkwardcustomer »
And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise.  
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 15, para 9.

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
WB Yeats, 'The Second Coming'.
 

Offline Xavier

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The Church should be engaged in evangelism and in winning the souls of Muslims and others to Christ. That is the only way Peace will come.

Looking at the gulf press today, which is mostly fawning over the Pope, I see that the Pope was trying to make a plea for religious freedoms - in this situation, obviously for Christians in the UAE. https://gulfnews.com/uae/government/pope-in-uae-oppose-war-with-sweet-prayer-abu-dhabi-declaration-signed-1.1549298647331

I would like Pope Francis to begin with the Gospel of Peace and the Kingship of Christ. We cannot have Peace unless we recognize the Prince of Peace in our lives and nations and beg Him to reign in our hearts and homes. As Pope Pius XI put it in Quas Primas, "We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting Peace among nations. Men must look for the Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord"

I lived in a Gulf country for a few years some time ago. Christians have maybe "freedom of worship", but not really freedom to express and defend their belief in Christ as God and Saviour, let alone openly to evangelize Muslims for Christ. In Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arb Emirates, as Wiki puts it, "Christians and other religions are allowed to have their own places of worship, but they are not allowed to convert Muslims. Christians, however, may revert to Islam. [20]" As Bp. Fellay once said, it would be acceptable to ask Muslim and other non-Christian countries to grant religious freedom to Christians, and for this to appeal to principles of the common good and speak of the way in which Christians contribute toward society and why therefore the state should not hinder the exercise of Christianity. That would be the ideal way to proceed.

What modern Popes tend to do today is "Religious freedom is an absolute right; therefore Christians should be granted religious freedom" (it's a wrong principle to appeal to; securing freedom for Christians is good but there are other ways to do it)

What Traditional Popes used to do is (see Libertas by Pope Leo XIII for e.g.) "Christianity promotes the good of society; so Christianity should not be hindered by the state."

But generally speaking, it is a delicate task, and those especially who've been in the Middle East for some time and even others would know that people there take their religion, mistaken though it is, quite seriously. I don't agree with the manner in which the Pope has expressed himself, but I can sympathize to some extent in any attempt to secure some basic rights and protections for Christians who live and work there. The Church Fathers in the early ages also attempted to secure freedom for Christians from being persecuted or from being hindered from proclaiming the Gospel, but they did it differently. This is Pope Leo XIII distinguishing real liberty from moral license: "every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey His commands. This, indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God, which nobly maintains the dignity of man and is stronger than all violence or wrong - a liberty which the Church has always desired and held most dear. This is the kind of liberty the Apostles claimed for themselves with intrepid constancy, which the apologists of Christianity confirmed by their writings, and which the martyrs in vast numbers consecrated by their blood. And deservedly so; for this Christian liberty bears witness to the absolute and most just dominion of God over man, and to the chief and supreme duty of man toward God. It has nothing in common with a seditious and rebellious mind; and in no title derogates from obedience to public authority; for the right to command and to require obedience exists only so far as it is in accordance with the authority of God, and is within the measure that He has laid down. But when anything is commanded which is plainly at variance with the will of God, there is a wide departure from this divinely constituted order, and at the same time a direct conflict with divine authority; therefore, it is right not to obey." (Libertas, p.30)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 07:14:39 AM by Xavier »
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Offline bigbadtrad

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After decades of saying all heretics subsist in the church, then an official declaration saying Lutherans belong to the body of Christ,  that Orthodox belong to the body of Christ and don't need to convert, that God uses other religions as means of salvation at Vatican II how is this guy to be taken seriously?

How is Francis's statement really any different than JPII's litany of stupidity and public displays of heresy at Assisi. There he visually enshrined Indifferentism as the new religion.

I took a picture of the wall of the basilica of the Portiuncula in Assisi where there is a slate/blackish image of JPII and all the other religions worshiping together on the front wall.

I attached it if you want to see it.
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Offline awkwardcustomer

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God allows evil so that angels and men might exist.  Is that a greater good, or an "accidental" good?

Hi awkwardcustomer.  Thanks for the post friend.

From the point of view that God has always, and will always, possess every good, it seems to me that anything created, as distinct from a transcendent God, will only possibly bring about an "accidental good" or alternatively, an increase in "accidental glory" in God.  I don't see how there could ever be an actual increase of ontological good.  It would imply that God lacked some good, which is impossible.  It also would imply that God, as goodness itself, can essentially change, which is also unpalatable.

This is a bit too theological for me. But if "anything created" can only possibly bring about an "accidental good", then that must have been good enough for God.

Just out of interest, if evil remains as pure potential until the moment God allows freedom, as Kreutz stated above, then evil would never have been actualised if God hadn't created angels and men with Free Will.

Should God have refrained from creating angels and men in order to prevent evil being actualised? During another thread in which God was being described as a tyrant for allowing evil to exist, I asked Quare basically the same question and he didn't reply.  Perhaps you could.
And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise.  
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 15, para 9.

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
WB Yeats, 'The Second Coming'.
 

Offline St. Columba

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I do believe in free will.  I but do not see where Quare is wrong when he states, "God's positive will is ontologically identical to His permissive will, which are both ontologically identical to His existence.  The distinction between positive and permissive will exists only in our minds but not in God."

Do you agree with Quare's italicized statement immediately above?


Quare's right that God's positive and permissive wills are ontologically identical, because ontologically speaking God is absolutely simple and has only one divine Will identical to His very essence. However, even though there are no ontological distinctions in God the divinely simple Being, there are logical distinctions, and God's positive and permissive wills are logically distinct in the one divine Will or Essence.

So yes, although God's positive and permissive wills are substantially one and the same identical divine Will, the way these two "wills" manifest in creation are logically distinct. In the positive the divine Will is actively causing some metaphysical entity to exist, whereas in the permissive the divine Will is allowing a certain metaphysical defect or deficiency in a thing by causing the thing's existence without supplying its full perfection of being. If you like you can view it as a fountain flowing into two cups, but one cup is leaking: it's the same water but one cup receives its fullness and the other does not – Similarly, it's the same divine Will through which all being or existence flows into creatures, but God permits some creatures to "leak". In fact, in our fallen world all creatures are "leaking". If you ask if God is the cause of the hole through which being leaks out of creatures: only in the sense that He chooses not to patch up the hole, not in the sense that He created the hole to begin with. The reality is we are all entirely hole – entirely "nothing" – until God fills us up, and to the extent that He does fill us up. Revelation teaches that God made the world without these metaphysical holes or leakages, but He permitted them to enter through Adam's sin – Adam's sin is like an enormous rupture or tear in the very fabric of created reality. One of the problems of Christian / Theistic evolutionism is that it fails to preserve this truth and reduces the world-shattering event we call the Fall to a mere local event occurring in some animal somewhere at some time.

Thank you John for the post!

But if there are no ontological distinctions in God's Will, could it not be argued that He wills the leak just as much as the pouring of water?  How are logical distinctions in permissive and positive will, if these distinctions even exist, relevant here?  They wouldn't change the ontological reality.

...Anyway, this should all be in another thread...my apologies guys!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 10:57:44 AM by St. Columba »
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Offline Kreuzritter

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God allows evil so that angels and men might exist.  Is that a greater good, or an "accidental" good?

Hi awkwardcustomer.  Thanks for the post friend.

From the point of view that God has always, and will always, possess every good, it seems to me that anything created, as distinct from a transcendent God, will only possibly bring about an "accidental good" or alternatively, an increase in "accidental glory" in God.  I don't see how there could ever be an actual increase of ontological good.  It would imply that God lacked some good, which is impossible.  It also would imply that God, as goodness itself, can essentially change, which is also unpalatable.

This is a bit too theological for me. But if "anything created" can only possibly bring about an "accidental good", then that must have been good enough for God.

Just out of interest, if evil remains as pure potential until the moment God allows freedom, as Kreutz stated above, then evil would never have been actualised if God hadn't created angels and men with Free Will.

Should God have refrained from creating angels and men in order to prevent evil being actualised? During another thread in which God was being described as a tyrant for allowing evil to exist, I asked Quare basically the same question and he didn't reply.  Perhaps you could.

That's the only legitimate question here. Why make the Devil at all knowing he would, of his own free will, become what he is. For the traditionalist, suffering is the means to growth and power, a path to liberation. It's not the "I'm above this because I am eternally safe from it", but it's staring death in its face, taking the Devil up on his challenge and, failure after failure, eventually wrestling him to the ground. But we need a Devil for that.

I'll say this: even God, through Jesus' humanity, knows suffering by personal experience. And in it he performed his greatest act of love (John 15:13).
 
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Offline Miriam_M

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If God creates a free being and allows him to murder or God directly wills and causes a murder, this is not a mere distinction in my mind. It's an objectivley real distinction,a nd it doesn't go away by claimign they "somehow" becoem one in God.

Blurring the distinction shifts the responsibility for evil onto God and away from the free beings who rebel against God.

Yes, because de fide dogma is that God is the source of all goodness because he is goodness itself. It is a paradox, not a confusion, that God permits evil. The consistency within the paradox is that the evil is permitted for a greater good -- the sinner's good, the Church's good, the glory of God as a good, etc.  This is also why it is dogma that God will allow a prideful person to fall into mortal sin in order to humble that sinner and make him aware of his pride and his capacity for great evil.  All of that is for the purpose of drawing the sinner closer to God, which is obviously a good.

Good and evil do not co-exist within God because of His unity and simplicity.  Evil is radically incompatible with God's holy will.

Separately, I think there's a misunderstanding about scholasticism on this thread.  It's merely a system for understanding an interconnected set of philosophical ideas.  From the Church's point of view it was not meant as a spiritual tool, necessarily, in our personal relationship with God, although for some people, intellectual understanding is an additional or supportive path.
 
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Offline awkwardcustomer

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That's the only legitimate question here. Why make the Devil at all knowing he would, of his own free will, become what he is.

Exactly. 

Why?
And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise.  
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 15, para 9.

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
WB Yeats, 'The Second Coming'.
 

Offline Prayerful

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After decades of saying all heretics subsist in the church, then an official declaration saying Lutherans belong to the body of Christ,  that Orthodox belong to the body of Christ and don't need to convert, that God uses other religions as means of salvation at Vatican II how is this guy to be taken seriously?

How is Francis's statement really any different than JPII's litany of stupidity and public displays of heresy at Assisi. There he visually enshrined Indifferentism as the new religion.

I took a picture of the wall of the basilica of the Portiuncula in Assisi where there is a slate/blackish image of JPII and all the other religions worshiping together on the front wall.

I attached it if you want to see it.

The black colour is suited to that then and still shocking act of public sacrilege. It does serve as a reminder that in this Conciliar age there is as Ecclesiastiastes i. 3 says 'there is nothing new under the sun.' JP2 was already a bishop under Pius XII, Francis did have a fairly appalling formation. Assisi '86 was a public gesture of Indifferentism as a V2 pseudo-dogma.
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Offline Arvinger

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He'll slip through it by saying he meant God's "permissive will."

That will not fly, since the document explicitly says that false religions "are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings", which directly indicates that God positively wills existence of non-Catholic religions. But I would not be surprised if Novus Ordo apologists for Francis will make a desperate attempt to use this kind of argument.