Author Topic: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?  (Read 4299 times)

Offline Daniel

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The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« on: May 19, 2020, 03:35:29 PM »
When we look at the Catholic church, what we see is a church who more or less defected all the way back in the fourth century after having traded a large portion of the deposit of faith for a false theology that was invented by Augustine and his teachers. From those days onward we see that Catholics have been reinterpreting scripture according to a metaphysic that is completely foreign to that of the pre-Christian Jews. Then as centuries go by we see doctrines morph as more and more novelties are added. Popes and clergy start abusing their religious ranks in order to make themselves and their friends rich and powerful. And at some point somebody even alters the doctrine of papal primacy into a doctrine of papal supremacy which is clearly not something that Christians always believed in. A little later we see Luther and Calvin reacting against these abuses by destroying a good chunk of Europe (not without the help of Augustine's theology). Then Thomas Aquinas shows up and gives us a faulty theory of soul, a naturalistic ethical theory, and dubious intellectual "proofs" for the existence of a "God" who doesn't really seem to resemble Jesus all that much. Yet the Council of Trent decides to exalt Thomism to quasi-dogmatic status. Scholasticism and Catholic universities then thrive for a few centuries until it all culminates in the scientific revolution followed by the enlightenment. This monster, which the Catholic church created, grows and grows until it eventually becomes more powerful than the Catholic church herself. The monster is then received into the hands of the Church's enemies, where it spends like a hundred years destroying the Catholic church from the inside out. Meanwhile heresies are being promoted by the ordinary magisterium who the Catholic church claims is infallible (another dogma which the early Christians didn't believe in).

The only explanation that I see is that the Catholic church isn't the Church. Because what we know for certain is that the Church is indefectible. She doesn't throw away the deposit of faith early on, then promote subtle heresies for over a thousand years, and ultimately destroy the entire western world. You know the tree by its fruits, and these are not good fruits, so how can the Catholic church be holy? And whereas the true Church is undeniably the "light of the world", it seems that the Catholic church has obscured this light beyond recognition.

But then where is the true Church? The only other serious candidate seems to be that it's one of the Orthodox churches. Could that be the answer? Have any of the Orthodox churches retained the Church's original theology all this time? Or is that another dead end?

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 03:37:54 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline abc123

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 03:47:03 PM »
What are your particular issues with St. Augustine's theology?

I would also caution to "look before you leap" regarding Orthodoxy. Also, what do you consider to be the Church's "original theology"?
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Offline Daniel

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 04:52:50 PM »
Augustine's theology is too Neoplatonistic. If you follow it through to its logical conclusions then you end up with monism / pantheism. You end up with a God who can't create, can't interact with creation, etc., ... a God who is simply eternally thinking every moment into existence. (Though Augustine himself didn't teach these things.)

You also end up with double predestination and irresistible grace, which Augustine did teach. Whether he's right or not, I don't know. I'm inclined to think that he's wrong, because double predestination doesn't seem all that compatible with a loving God who died in order that all men may be saved. But in any case, the Catholic church condemns double predestination and irresistible grace as heretical, which kind of makes me wonder why Augustine was never condemned as a heretic.

Also, his teachings on the Trinity are novel, not something that he received as far as I'm aware.

And I don't know if this is true, but I've heard that Augustine invented the Catholic dogma of original sin (as opposed to ancestral sin). Supposedly the authentic teaching is that children inherit the consequences of Adam's sin but not the guilt. And if this is the case, then redemption really doesn't have anything to do with paying off a debt (as Augustine and Anselm envision it).


As for the Church's "original theology", I basically just mean the deposit of faith. It would include everything that Jesus gave to the Church and only what He gave to the Church. The Christians in the first century had everything that they needed all along. What this was exactly, I don't know, as it seems to me that the Catholic church has corrupted it over the years by mixing in Plato and Aristotle and adding other stuff that wasn't always there (such as the Immaculate Conception).
But I'm thinking that there must be some church out there who never corrupted it, otherwise the Church has defected which is impossible. So I think it's out there somewhere, and I suppose that if you know God intimately then you'll be able to recognize it when you see it, though I myself don't have God's friendship at the moment (but unfortunately for me, it seems that there's nothing I can do about that).
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 04:59:04 PM by Daniel »
 

Online St.Justin

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 07:01:06 PM »
When we look at the Catholic church, what we see is a church who more or less defected all the way back in the fourth century after having traded a large portion of the deposit of faith for a false theology that was invented by Augustine and his teachers. From those days onward we see that Catholics have been reinterpreting scripture according to a metaphysic that is completely foreign to that of the pre-Christian Jews. Then as centuries go by we see doctrines morph as more and more novelties are added. Popes and clergy start abusing their religious ranks in order to make themselves and their friends rich and powerful. And at some point somebody even alters the doctrine of papal primacy into a doctrine of papal supremacy which is clearly not something that Christians always believed in. A little later we see Luther and Calvin reacting against these abuses by destroying a good chunk of Europe (not without the help of Augustine's theology). Then Thomas Aquinas shows up and gives us a faulty theory of soul, a naturalistic ethical theory, and dubious intellectual "proofs" for the existence of a "God" who doesn't really seem to resemble Jesus all that much. Yet the Council of Trent decides to exalt Thomism to quasi-dogmatic status. Scholasticism and Catholic universities then thrive for a few centuries until it all culminates in the scientific revolution followed by the enlightenment. This monster, which the Catholic church created, grows and grows until it eventually becomes more powerful than the Catholic church herself. The monster is then received into the hands of the Church's enemies, where it spends like a hundred years destroying the Catholic church from the inside out. Meanwhile heresies are being promoted by the ordinary magisterium who the Catholic church claims is infallible (another dogma which the early Christians didn't believe in).

The only explanation that I see is that the Catholic church isn't the Church. Because what we know for certain is that the Church is indefectible. She doesn't throw away the deposit of faith early on, then promote subtle heresies for over a thousand years, and ultimately destroy the entire western world. You know the tree by its fruits, and these are not good fruits, so how can the Catholic church be holy? And whereas the true Church is undeniably the "light of the world", it seems that the Catholic church has obscured this light beyond recognition.

But then where is the true Church? The only other serious candidate seems to be that it's one of the Orthodox churches. Could that be the answer? Have any of the Orthodox churches retained the Church's original theology all this time? Or is that another dead end?

Any thoughts?

Well the Mormons believe that the Church died when the last Apostle died and restarted by Joseph Smith-- or---- the Jehovah Witnesses think it was carried all the way through and continues in their faith.
 

Offline Bernadette

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 07:38:29 PM »
I think you sound like a Protestant.
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Offline abc123

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 07:45:26 PM »
I think you sound like a Protestant.

There is very little about Daniel's post that sounds Protestant. No Protestant would try to distance himself from St. Augustine. Sounds more like he may be curious about Orthodoxy.
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2020, 04:25:37 PM »
The Church is the people of God, those who have inherited the promise of Abraham by professing the messiah-ship of Jesus Christ. Its indefectibility just means that God will always preserve a body of faithful souls, Christians, until the end. Indefectibility does not refer to the absolute inerrancy or infallibility of one ecclesiastical office, or sect, or body, or theological school. The Roman church and her daughter churches are authentic Christian churches, and your criticism glosses over a lot of what's good, authentic, true, and apostolic in the Roman church. The fact that the Roman church has over-dogmatised on certain theological issues or over-supported one theological school in an imbalanced or narrow fashion, can be said of every single historic Christian church. The Orthodox really are no better in this regard. Your problem Daniel, I think, judging from the general thrust of your posts, is that you have an over-intellectual approach to faith too focused on doctrinal purity and precision. The virtue of faith is supported by sound doctrine but its essence is a lively trust in God in one's personal life; in that sense worrying too much about doctrine can be a sign of lack of faith, since you're not trusting God to teach you and guide you to heaven Himself. It almost amounts to a sort of pharisaical attitude of the type Jesus Himself condemned when one is obsessively pouring over texts trying to arrive at the pure doctrine, as if one could please God thereby, while the commandments to love God and neighbour fade into the background. Not that I'm accusing you of that, it's just a common temptation I think. If you take the approach that pleasing God is dependent on having the minutely perfect doctrine to a reductio ad absurdum, then salvation depends on our brains and Jesus' saying that the mysteries were revealed to the little ones rather than the wise and learned is turned upside down. We just have to be content to go wherever God leads us. This is what faith entails. Grow where He's planted you, and if you think He wants you planted elsewhere ask Him to reveal it to you and just be patient.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2020, 08:53:59 PM »
The Church is the people of God, those who have inherited the promise of Abraham by professing the messiah-ship of Jesus Christ. Its indefectibility just means that God will always preserve a body of faithful souls, Christians, until the end. Indefectibility does not refer to the absolute inerrancy or infallibility of one ecclesiastical office, or sect, or body, or theological school.

But isn't this basically the Orthodox position and not the Catholic position?

The Catholic position is that indefectibility requires infallibility (or, at the very least, it requires that the magisterium never be wrong). Because according to Vatican I, everyone is forced to believe everything that the magisterium teaches. So if the magisterium gets something wrong, then everyone gets it wrong. A single person can defect without bringing down the whole Church, but if the magisterium defects then the whole Church necessarily defects. (Assuming, of course, that no church other than the Catholic church is the Church.)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 09:59:34 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2020, 09:02:47 PM »
Daniel,
John Lamb is making up his own version of Catholicism; have him quote from a pre-Vatican II  Council, Encyclical or theological manual where it states what he is saying.
For instance:
Quote
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917 gives the following definition of the Church's indefectibility:
"By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will be preserved unimpaired in its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change, which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the Sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men."
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2020, 03:39:45 AM »
Daniel,
John Lamb is making up his own version of Catholicism; have him quote from a pre-Vatican II  Council,


Yeah, I admit my understanding is different from the pre-conciliar ultramontane one, but you have to admit that mine is closer to the postconciliar one and perhaps the majority of Catholic bishops.

Quote
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917 gives the following definition of the Church's indefectibility:
"By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will be preserved unimpaired in its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change, which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the Sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men."
<>"Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith may not fail; and when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren." (Lk. 22:31-33)


"By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will be preserved unimpaired in its essential characteristics."

But that's the question: what are the Church's essential characteristics? It's my contention that the Roman church has long come to identify its own pious traditions and cultural norms as being essential to the Church's nature and constitution (most churches have made this mistake), like a provincial who thinks that the way of life in his province is the only proper and human one and everybody else in the world with a different way is a barbarian and subhuman.

"The Church can never undergo any constitutional change, which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally."

But the Church as a "social organism" most certainly has evolved or developed in many ways.

"It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the Sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men."

But the (old) Roman way is to look at all these things in a scholastic with fixed definitions, so that indefectibility means we've always had our doctrinal definitions in order. Protestants have faith, morals, apostolic hierarchy, and sacraments. But because their way of understanding and practicing these is different to the Roman definitions, we're meant to believe they've defected. But why? Why is there is not room for diversity? The answer is that Christians, especially Catholic and Orthodox, have inherited the ancient Roman imperialism as the foundation of their churches and want to hold things together with a strong degree of conformity. It's not enough to enjoy your own way of living the faith, everybody else has to live it the same way. It's not enough that you're right, everybody else has to be wrong.

There's two approaches to the current situation of Christianity. Either admit that the historic churches have sometimes over-dogmatised their own opinions, and begin to admit a greater degree of diversity within communion (ecumenism), or every church digs its heels in and proclaims itself the only true one until some apocalyptic scenario happens that reveals which one was right all along (sectarianism). The ecumenical spirit and sectarian spirit are active in every church and you have to ask yourself which is the Christian one.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2020, 07:45:45 AM »
John Lamb - That all makes sense, but how can it be said that the Catholic (i.e. Roman) church not defected? You seem to acknowledge that the Catholic church has overstepped its bounds. Stuff has been added to the teachings; the liturgy has been compromised; Catholics are forced (on pain of spiritual death and excommunication) to believe novel dogmas that Christians didn't always believe; and even the moral teachings have been altered to the point that in many cases it's impossible to know whether or not you're sinning (which is certainly not how the original epistemology worked).

So by all appearances, the Catholic church has defected. Maybe there are other churches out there who have not defected, and this was pretty much my point. The Church is indefectible, so there's gotta be some church (or some organized body of believers) out there who has kept the Church's tradition intact for all these years without adding to it or removing from it or otherwise corrupting it. But that church doesn't seem to be the Catholic church.


As for the position given by the Catholic Encyclopedia, this is what calls the Catholic church into doubt. Because if the Catholic church is the Church, then how can anyone claim that the Church cannot become corrupt in faith and morals when we can all see with our own eyes that the Catholic church has become corrupt in those very things?

The early Christian faith was not Augustinian or Thomistic. They did not believe in the God of Plato or Aristotle (which isn't even a person, and which more closely resembles Brahman than it does Jesus). And they believed that ethics was simply friendship with God on a personal level, not the vain intellectual pursuit that the Thomists have turned it into. The sacraments were not a mere technicality or checklist for getting to heaven, but were literally essential to one's having a friendship with God.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 04:42:03 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2020, 08:10:10 AM »
Daniel, Daniel. What's happening to your faith, my friend?

St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas of Aquinas are two great glorious Saints that the Catholic Church has produced, just like e.g. Patriarch St. Athanasius of Alexandria, St. Basil the Great, Archbishop St. John Chrysostom of Constantinople etc.

Since you're speaking about early Christians, dear Daniel, let's look at how they identified the Church. St. Irenaeus: "the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority [potiorem principalitatem].

3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolic tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate.

In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

4. But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm Here, St. Irenaeus identifies the Church through the Successors of Bishops in the great and Apostolic Church of Rome, founded by Sts. Peter and Paul. Can we not do the same?

A Protestant historian says: ""Everywhere, in the East no less than the West, Rome enjoyed a special prestige, as is indicated by the precedence accorded without question to it....Thus Rome's preeminance remained undisputed in the patristic period. For evidence of it the student need only recall the leading position claimed as a matter of course by the popes, and freely conceded to them, at the councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451). We even find the fifth-century historians Socrates and Sozomen concluding...that it was unconstitutional for synods to be held without the Roman pontiff being invited or for decisions to be taken without his concurrence. At the outbreak of the Christological controversy, it will be remembered, both Nestorius and Cyril hastened to bring their cases to Rome, the latter declaring that the ancient custom of the churches constrained him to communicate matters of such weight to the Pope and to seek his advice before acting. In one of his sermons he goes so far as to salute Celestine as 'the archbishop of the whole world' .....It goes without saying that Augustine [c. 354 - 430 AD] identifies the Church with the universal Catholic Church of his day, with its hierarchy and sacraments, and with its centre at Rome." http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/PeterRockKeysPrimacyRome.htm
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Offline Kent

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2020, 10:00:37 AM »
I think you sound like a Protestant.
There is very little about Daniel's post that sounds Protestant. No Protestant would try to distance himself from St. Augustine. Sounds more like he may be curious about Orthodoxy.

The distance the OP is imposing between Augustine, Aquinas, and everything else is evidently motivated by his vague notion that there was a pure, scriptural-based Christianity that has become increasingly corrupt since Nicaea through the application of philosophical methods to theological inquiry and the development of tradition.  That is an axiomatically Protestant starting point even if its throwing some things under the bus that serious Protestants try to retain.
I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly
that will put me in trust, to love him that is honest, to
converse with him that is wise and says little, to fear
judgment, to fight when I cannot choose, and to eat no fish.
 
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Offline Kent

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2020, 10:43:13 AM »
Any thoughts?

Well, on the hypothesis that you're right, I don't see the big deal.  You've figured out all the problems, which means that you know what the truth is.  Why the anxiety? 

What seems moreso to be the case is that you are susceptible to propaganda and you are repeating it here so that someone else can sort through it for you.  But where to start?  Your post is more packed with bold, contrarian, history-defying claims than a David Icke book.  And it's just claims, no arguments.  You've not even attempted to demonstrate an essential corruption of faith or morals at any of the various points in history you've called out as problematic.  Take for instance this:

Quote
Augustine's theology is too Neoplatonistic. If you follow it through to its logical conclusions then you end up with monism / pantheism. You end up with a God who can't create, can't interact with creation, etc., ... a God who is simply eternally thinking every moment into existence. (Though Augustine himself didn't teach these things.)

That's obviously quite arguable, given that-- as you point out yourself-- neither Augustine nor any strain of Augustinian thought has actually ever wound up pantheistic.  Certainly not within the Catholic Church.  And even if that did happen, so what?  Defection is a complete and corporate abandonment of the deposit of faith.  Even if every Augustinian ever left the Church or abandoned the faith, it wouldn't pose any problems for indefectibility.

So, this just amounts to a bunch of vaguery, as does (in my opinion, anyways), everything else you've claimed.  They're just talking points.  Make an actual argument. I don't mean that in a hostile sense.  I'm trying to draw your attention to the fact that the material you're repeating here isn't anywhere near as smart or incisive as you've been lead to believe.   
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2020, 11:38:35 AM »
J.L. Stated:
Quote
Yeah, I admit my understanding is different from the pre-conciliar ultramontane one, but you have to admit that mine is closer to the postconciliar one and perhaps the majority of Catholic bishops
I will gladly admit this; however, your central thesis, namely that the Church has erred in defining her teaching; in this case as regards the office of the Pope has already been condemned:
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23. Roman pontiffs and ecumenical councils have wandered outside the limits of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
As to the "majority of Catholic bishops"; I don't see where the majority of them have protested against Francis' destruction of the Catholic teaching on Holy Matrymony and of Catholic morality especially as regards the 6th and 9th commandments. Or his famous declaration where he declared that God has willed the plurality of religions and that this statement does not deviate "one milimeter from Vatican II''. Thus making God the author of error and perdition; plus condemning Vatican II in one fell swoop.
You used to be a solidly orthodox thinking man, but ever since you went back to the N.O. Your thinking has become infected with all kinds of mush. Maybe you should go back to the TLM.
J.L. Stated:
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Protestants have faith, morals, apostolic hierarchy, and sacraments. But because their way of understanding and practicing these is different to the Roman definitions, we're meant to believe they've defected. But why? Why is there is not room for diversity? The answer is that Christians, especially Catholic and Orthodox, have inherited the ancient Roman imperialism as the foundation of their churches and want to hold things together with a strong degree of conformity. It's not enough to enjoy your own way of living the faith, everybody else has to live it the same way. It's not enough that you're right, everybody else has to be wrong.
John,
The Protestants do not have faith, they have "opinions", because they all read the bible and take what they think is right from it with no reference to the teaching of Christ's Church; of which Our Lord said: "He who hears you, hears Me, he who despises you, despises me" and "If they will not hear the Church, let them be regarded as a heathen or publican".
"Morals"; all Protestants, in fact all other false Christian Churches accept divorce and remarriage i.e. Adultery; Birth Control i.e. Onanism. So what kind of "morals" do you think they have?
"Sacraments"; while the Orthodox do possess the sacraments, their lack of faith is a "obey" i.e. Impediment to their fruitful reception. The Protestants only have two sacraments and therefore no "Apostolic Hierarchy"; while the schismatics do have Sacred Orders, they only possess "material" Apostolic succession, not formal.
Christ did not allow for "diversity" and even in the earliest Church, heretics were excluded such as the Gnostics; in fact some of the greatest struggles in the Church were over the doctrines of the Church, such as against the Arians, Nestorians, Eutichians etc. etc. With men dying as martyrs, rather than assenting to errors and "diversity". So no, there is no room for diversity in the Church.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 11:56:11 AM by Michael Wilson »
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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