Author Topic: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?  (Read 4301 times)

Offline Daniel

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2020, 07:42:40 AM »
It was St. John the evangelist himself who opted to speak to the Greeks on their own terms and in their own philosophical language, assigning to Our Lord Jesus Christ the designation of Logos.  If you were a Greek receiving St. John's gospel you would think you were hearing Heraclitus, not John.

I don't know about that. It could very well be a coincidence and nothing more. St. John wrote in Greek because everybody spoke Greek. And "logos" is just the Greek word for "word". This doesn't entail that he's borrowing or adapting ideas from Heraclitus.

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Which means that the use of Greek philosophy in Catholic theology is only a question of degree.  You simply cannot say that it has no place, you can only argue that it has been over-relied on.  In which case your argument for defection is not going to get off the ground, because defection is binary-- it's not something that you can have more or less of.

I never said that it has no place. But it's proper place isn't to replace or even to displace traditional Hebraeo-Christian thought. Once you've replaced Christianity with Christianized Platonism, or made it into a nigh unrecognizable hybrid, then you've defected or at least gone way off track.

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But even an argument that it has been over-relied on will fail, I think. I would maintain that it is the rejection of (what we can broadly call) the Aristotelian metaphysical tradition, especially once it became known and used, that led to a great many of the problems in Christendom since the middle ages.  It is thanks to that tradition that we are able to articulate transubstantiation the way we are.  It is thanks to that tradition that we are able to give a profound and reconcilable account of justification, as Trent does.  Once various thinkers-- Occam, Luther, Pascal, etc. begin to reject the syllogizing of the Aristo-Thomists the deposit of faith becomes slowly but surely inexplicable.  Explanations of doctrine begin to fall by the wayside, giving rise to declarative brute facts, from which one gets the kind of fideism that gave rise to the scourge of rationalism and the false dichotomy between faith, reason, and science that has plagued the western world for the last three hundred years.  Not to mention, of course, the abandonment of purely philosophical demonstrations of God's existence as certain, which demonstrations have fallen by the wayside.  Even people who 'believe in God' will tell you it's a kind of Kierkegaardian 'leap of faith,' not something that they can know with certainty.  All of these problems can be traced back not to the adoption but the rejection of a powerful philosophical method.

The problem isn't the rejection of Thomism so much as it is the rejection of Christianity. In fact, the rejection of Thomism is simply the natural outcome of Thomism. It was Thomism's overemphasis on reason and the natural sciences that paved the way for modern philosophy in the first place. And it was Thomism's lack of answers that made modern philosophy so successful. When people begin to notice all the holes in Thomism (the metaphysical holes, and especially the epistemological holes) they're going to come to reject not only Thomism but also every Christian doctrine that has become hopelessly entangled in the Thomistic jargon. But rather than provide a sufficient defense or actually address the issues, Thomists just keep repeating the same dubious arguments over and over again. Maybe Thomists themselves find their own arguments convincing, but post-Thomistic philosophers do not. Hume laughs at the whole idea of causality, while Thomists rant and rave about every effect having a cause without ever reducing Hume to absurdum.

But where does Jesus ever say that each man, or even the Church collectively, needs a philosophy to fall back on? Why has theology become a science? Does the faith, as revealed by God and preached by the Church, not speak for itself? You'd think that if a philosophy were so important, God would have given us an infallible revealed philosophy without any holes in it. Something that wouldn't be ever-evolving, and something that wouldn't contaminate the faith. But philosophy just isn't that important. Thomism's placement of reason above immediate perception is just plain wrong. God is a concrete person, not an abstract metaphysical entity. The wife knows her husband not through a method of deductive reasoning after undergoing an extensive study of her husband's medical history and his academic transcripts and his curriculum vitae, but, rather, by spending a great deal of time with him--by seeing what he does, and by listening to what he has to say. Knowledge primarily through perception/acquaintance/familiarity, not reason.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 07:52:20 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline abc123

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2020, 09:20:42 AM »

All the churches, like all families, have their strengths and weaknesses. The Roman church is the greatest in some ways and in others the most flawed. Much of what the Roman church "added" to the Apostolic faith was a natural and legitimate development, which is praiseworthy not blameworthy. Defection in religious terms means divorce. Has the Roman church divorced herself from Jesus Christ? Some Protestant and Orthodox zealots might say so, but they're obviously wrong. Whatever flaws the Roman church might have, she has never wavered in her overall commitment to worship God, proclaim the gospel, and form souls in Christ. And the proof is the continued production of saints in the Roman communion.

St. Paul told the Galatians they had fallen away from Christ over something so simple as insisting on circumcision. In Paul's mind this was a renunciation of the Gospel. In what ways do Rome's many additions to the Deposit of the Faith differ? Rome insists under pain of perdition to believe such things as Papal Infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, Assumption, Transubstantiation....etc. Did Paul know of these dogmas? Would he find them praiseworthy? Would he have drawn a distinction between them and the Judaizers pushing circumcision?
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Offline Xavier

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2020, 11:44:34 AM »
Daniel, the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople also used Philosophical language like Essence, Substance, Person, Consubstantial etc to express revealed Truth. Similarly, the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon on the Hypostatic Union. Both were to express the reality that the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are One God, as Our Lord Jesus taught (Mat 28:19), in giving us the Name of the Trinity for Baptism. Every endeavor of Theology takes the revealed Truth of Christ as a foundational and presuppositional Truth.

Regarding specific arguments, firstly those are not dogmatic, but just a human attempt to help atheists recognize God as First Cause and Supreme Creator. I also don't think St. Thomas or Thomists ever argued "every effect has a cause", but more something like "everything that exists contingently has a cause". Any thing that began to exist. Any thing that could possibly cease to exist. Since even most non-Christians today admit the universe both began to exist, and could conceivably cease to exist, then the universe exists contingently. And if the universe exists contingently, it must have had a Cause, and St. Thomas shows by impossibility of infinite regress, that the First Cause must exist non-contingently, i.e. necessarily, without Beginning or End. Doesn't this agree perfectly with the God of Revelation, Who declared to us, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Rev 22:13)? Even some non-Catholics like e.g. Dr. Craig use a modified form of this in the Kalam cosmological argument.

Let's turn the question around: we hold, with good Scriptural precedent, (see e.g. St. Paul preaching in Athens, using philosophy, Acts 17; St. Peter in 1 Pet 3:15 saying we should be ready always to give an answer to every one who asks a reason for the hope that is in us; St. Paul again in Rom 2:14-16 saying the natural law is inscribed on every heart, such that even Gentiles i.e. non Christians can know it) philosophy, reasons drawn from natural theology, from natural law ideas etc can be made use of  when non-Christians are seeking and Christians are preaching, to help them come to the Truth, Who is Christ. If someone disagrees with this, then how do you propose to do that?

ABC123, St. Paul the Apostle was teaching the Old Covenant had passed away, and the New and Everlasting Covenant had begun. He wsa taking up the cause of Christianity vis-a-vis Judaism. St. Paul the Apostle himself, (see 1 Cor 10:15-18; the Chalice which we bless is the Communion of the Blood of Christ, the Apostle says; here, St. Paul manifestly declares the power of the Priestly blessing to Consecrate, the Transubstantiation of the wine into the Blood of Christ, and the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion; 1 Cor 11:23-30; again, who eats or drinks in an unworthy manner becomes guilty of the Blood of Christ, impossible if Holy Communion is only a symbol, and the elements haven't been transformed by the blessing; Heb 13:10, the Church has an Altar from which they cannot eat, who belong to the Old Covenant, have not been baptized and do not believe in Christ etc) teaches Transubstantiation and those other doctrines. The Bible teaches us there is One Church (Mat 16:18; Mat 18:17; see the Council in Acts 15) which has the Power of God Himself to bind and loose on Earth; that it is guaranteed the perpetual guidance of the Holy Spirit in binding and loosing, as when it loosed Gentile Christians from circumcision, and bound all believers to its infallible decree; has the Keys of Heaven to exercise the authority of God Himself on this earth, as when it declared the Bible the Word of God, and gave us its complete, perfect 72-Book Canon. St. Paul the Apostle, like the other Apostles, were the First Bishops of the Catholic Church, and some disciples the First Priests.

As for whether theology is a science, the English word science comes from the Latin for knowledge; For E.g. in Isaiah 11 where it is said Christ will be filled with the Sevenfold Gifts of the Holy Spirit - "Isa 11:[1] And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. [2] And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness."; the last part in the Vulgate is "spiritus scientiae et pietatis". Since in the New Testament, St. Peter our first Pope likewise urges us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that's what theology is. Philosophy roughly means love of Wisdom, and Wisdom Incarnate is Christ; Theology roughly means knowledge of God and growing in the knowledge of Our Lord. If individuals themselves are commanded not to remain idle in knowledge but daily to grow in it, so much more, as also St. Vincent of Lerins said (quoted in Vatican I), the whole Church, in the course of centuries is to grow in the wonderful knowledge and love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, since to know and love God in this life, and be eternally happy with Him in the next, is the purpose of our short lives here on earth.
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Offline james03

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2020, 09:35:33 PM »
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Rome insists under pain of perdition to believe such things as Papal Infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, Assumption, Transubstantiation....etc. Did Paul know of these dogmas?
For the most part.  Probably not the Assumption because Mary was living with St. John at the time.  As far as purgatory, we know that from St. Paul.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 

Offline james03

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2020, 09:39:35 PM »
 
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a God who is simply eternally thinking every moment into existence.

That's pretty much necessary to have a First Cause and Prime Mover Who has no potential.  This is even a big problem in the secular world.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 

Offline james03

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2020, 10:11:57 PM »
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I would maintain that it is the rejection of (what we can broadly call) the Aristotelian metaphysical tradition, especially once it became known and used, that led to a great many of the problems in Christendom since the middle ages.

It's interesting that Rand made the same observation.  What was the whole outline of Atlas Shrugged?

Here's how the West is abandoning Greek Realism.
Here's the errors in doing this.
Here's what will happen because of this.

The sick part is how close she came in her predictions.  This from an atheist Russian jew.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2020, 10:59:11 PM »
Quote
Rome insists under pain of perdition to believe such things as Papal Infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, Assumption, Transubstantiation....etc. Did Paul know of these dogmas?
For the most part.  Probably not the Assumption because Mary was living with St. John at the time.  As far as purgatory, we know that from St. Paul.
I don't think there's enough evidence to know what St. Paul believed.
- He supposedly teaches Purgatory and Transubstantiation in his first epistle to the Corinthians. But I'm not so sure he actually does, seeing as his words are vague and impossible to interpret without an infallible interpreter. (Though I would think he at least believed that the Eucharist is literally Jesus's body.)
- He never mentions Papal Infallibility or the Immaculate Conception, and I suspect that both of these are novel teachings.
- He never mentions the Assumption either, but this could be a matter of timing. (If he died before the Assumption took place, we would expect that he didn't know about it. And I don't think this is problematic, as revelation wasn't closed until the death of St. John. Yet it also seems possible that the Assumption never actually happened, and that this is not actually an apostolic teaching.)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 11:06:20 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2020, 06:46:03 AM »
Assumption of Our Mother into Heaven, Coronation as Queen: "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars ... 5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne ... 17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev 12:1,5,17 KJV). This is the prophesied Woman of Gen 3:15, the Virgin Mother, with whose children Satan is at enmity. She is manifestly the Virgin Mother of God, and the spiritual Mother of St. John and all Christians (Jn 19:27), Mother Mary. St. John the Apostle, the Apostle who received Mary as his Mother at the Cross, bears witness.

St. Paul the Apostle had borne witness to Purgatory in the plainest terms: "13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Cor 3:13-15, KJV). I deliberately quote the KJV so no one can say Catholics have invented Purgatory. The verse teaches most plainly (1) Good Christians will receive a reward from the Lord on Judgment Day for good works done in Christ. (2) Bad Christians will be saved only through a fire of purification; they will be burned up and will suffer loss for every bad work. Here, again, we see clearly, good works are not a matter of indifference.

As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory the Great, St. Isidore, etc etc etc have all borne witness to Purgatory: "This, according to Bellarmine (De Purg., I, 5), is the interpretation commonly given by the Fathers and theologians; and he cites to this effect:

St. Ambrose (commentary on the text, and Sermo xx in Ps. cxvii),
St. Jerome, (Comm. in Amos, c. iv),
St. Augustine (Enarration on Psalm 37),
St. Gregory (Dial., IV, xxxix)" From: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

Pope St. Gregory the Great: "we must believe that before the day of judgment there is a Purgatory fire for certain small sins: because our Saviour saith, that he which speaketh blasphemy against the holy Ghost, that it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.66 Out of which sentence we learn, that some sins are forgiven in this world, and some other may be pardoned in the next: for that which is denied concerning one sin, is consequently understood to be granted touching some other. But yet this, as I said, we have not to believe but only concerning little and very small sins" (Chapter Thirty-Nine: whether there be any fire of purgatory in the next world.)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 06:51:53 AM by Xavier »
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2020, 12:42:44 PM »
For Catholics the fact that a doctrine is not explicitly mentioned in Sacred Scripture is not a problem, as we do not claim that the sum total of all revelation is contained in the Bible. The bible itself tells us that this is so: Jn. 21. 25
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[25] But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.
The bible does not contain all the teachings of Our Lord or His acts. But Our Lord did not found a book but a Church,Matt. 16.18:
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"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
the "pillar and foundation of truth" 1 tim 3.15:
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"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
This is evident from the fact that He did not commission his disciples to go out and start a printing press and distribute bibles; rather to "teach and baptize":[Matthew 28:19]
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"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
He designated them to continue the mission given to Him by his Father: [;Jn 20.21]
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:"As the Father has sent me, I also send you."
With the power to forgive sins:Jn. 20
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[22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
This mission, teaching authority and power to forgive sins, was not to end with the death of the last Apostle, but was to last until the end of time; for Christ promised to be with His Church until the end:
Matt. 28.20:
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[20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
Bishop Challoner's commentary is apropos here:
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18] "All power": See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ's church. He received from his Father all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power, he sends them (even as his Father sent him, St. John 20. 21) to teach and disciple, not one, but all nations; and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, not for three or four hundred years only, but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church ever go astray; having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. St. John 14.
He promised His disciples to send them the Holy Ghost, that would lead them into all truth: [John 14:16,17,26]
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[16] And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. [17] The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you...But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you."
The Holy Ghost would remain with disciples forever; which means that the Church cannot teach error, contradict itself, invent new teachings, or bring in moral corruption.
So contrary to what John Lamb stated, the Church cannot teach error or Christ's promises would have failed; and contrary to what abc claimed, the Church does not invent and teach doctrines that she has not had revealed and handed down from the Apostles.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 12:44:59 PM 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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Offline Xavier

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2020, 02:10:04 PM »
Yes. The commentary at DRBO on Mat 16:18 (I think it is Bp. Challoner's; but it could be Fr. Haydock's) is also excellent:

http://www.drbo.org/chapter/47016.htm

"[18] "Thou art Peter": As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ; so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz., that he to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, St. John 1. 42, should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the Church; in which building he should be, next to Christ himself, the chief foundation stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

[18] "Upon this rock": The words of Christ to Peter, spoken in the vulgar language of the Jews which our Lord made use of, were the same as if he had said in English, Thou art a Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. So that, by the plain course of the words, Peter is here declared to be the rock, upon which the church was to be built: Christ himself being both the principal foundation and founder of the same. Where also note, that Christ, by building his house, that is, His Church, upon a rock, has thereby secured it against all storms and floods, like the wise builder, St. Matt. 7. 24, 25.

[18] "The gates of hell": That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself, or his agents. For as the Church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, that is, the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or Church of Christ. By this promise we are fully assured, that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the Church of Christ."
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2020, 02:21:17 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?


As for intellectually tracing problems back to a source, I do not discourage this.  But know, if you are going to reject St. Augustine, you better have proof.  And, what is proof?  Proof is the practice.  There is a saying.  And, it is, the devil has a tail.  If Augustine is a net negative, he will have a tail.  And, one cannot control their tail.  So, unless you have Augustine by the tail, you are making a mistake.  And, what is a tail?  A tail I would argue to be grave immorality.  So, if you find it, let us hear it. 

If I had to guess where a tail might be, I would look in the area of what makes Augustine famous.  Let us consider his famous saying "O Lord, make me chaste, but not yet".  One of the four necessary Catholic beliefs is personal merit.  This saying of Augustine does not bolster such a teaching.  It is indicative of the sin of presumption, and it favors the believe in forgiveness without a firm purpose of amendment.  Jesus said, "seek the kingdom and its righteousness, and the rest will be added unto you".  This saying of Augustine signifies the reverse.  It presumes that God is willing to make you chaste when you do not merit it.  "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find".  "Do not pray like the who pray in the streets(like Augustine in his diary), who think that with their many words they will be heard."  "But, when you pray ". 

Denial of personal merit is currently a major trend in the catholic church, with figures like louis de Montfort directly teaching it.  De Montfort in fact believes that the "true" way to enter heaven is without any personal merit, because such a one has willfully relinquished them all to the virgin mary.  This is false doctrine, and very damaging.

The four necessary beliefs are the incarnation, baptism, in a good God who rewards good and punishes evil, and personal merit.  The first two are associated, and the latter two are associated.  If God became man, we must worship him.  We begin the process of officially worshipping him by baptism.  If God rewards the good, then that means if I am good, I merit a reward.  Because, God does punish the bad, and he couldn't do that proactively without himself being bad.  And, God is not bad.  All four are necessary. 

If we are indeed an Augustinian church, then our current defects may very will be his defects.  I am sticking my neck out there with this one.  But, there is a potential parallel.  With that said, Augustine has not been in my crosshairs, but perhaps he should be.  I am more of the Athanasius type anyway.   
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 02:52:38 PM by Philip G. »
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Offline Xavier

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2020, 03:15:50 PM »
Why don't we keep heretics in our crosshairs instead? You know instead of St. Augustine or St. Athanasius, or St. Basil or St. Chrysostom, or St. Bonaventure or St. Thomas, who are all Saints, why not heretics like Arius or Nestorius or Luther or Calvin or Marx or Darwin?
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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Offline Daniel

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2020, 08:55:25 PM »
Quote
a God who is simply eternally thinking every moment into existence.

That's pretty much necessary to have a First Cause and Prime Mover Who has no potential.  This is even a big problem in the secular world.

But who says that God is pure act, having no potential? Does the Church teach that, or do only certain theologians teach it? Because if we read the beginning of the story of the flood, we see something very different: we see that God is moved sorrow of heart. And again, if we read the story of the golden calf, we see that God is moved by Moses's intercession. But pure act cannot be moved. So unless you're going to claim that God was playing make-believe, pretending to be moved without really being moved, I don't see how the movable Christian God can possibly be pure act.

But suppose God is pure act. It then seems to follow that prayer (and especially petitionary prayer) is in vain. Because why bother asking God for something that He has no power to give? And why seek after God's heart when God's heart is fixed? If God really is unmovable, then no amount of contrition or repentance on your part can move Him from hating you to loving you. So why bother turning to Him? And on the flip side, no sin that you commit can possibly move Him from loving you to hating you. So why bother turning to Him?

On top of that, if you mix this idea (of God eternally thinking the whole four-dimensional cosmos into existence) with the Augustinian/Thomistic version of divine simplicity, what you end up with is pantheism. So at least one of these ideas is false, and I suspect that they're both false.


If I had to guess where a tail might be, I would look in the area of what makes Augustine famous.  Let us consider his famous saying "O Lord, make me chaste, but not yet".  One of the four necessary Catholic beliefs is personal merit.  This saying of Augustine does not bolster such a teaching.  It is indicative of the sin of presumption, and it favors the believe in forgiveness without a firm purpose of amendment.

But if I recall correctly, the quote you've cited comes from his Confessions where he looks back with regret upon the way he lived before his conversion. It's not as if he's telling us that it's ok to live this way, or telling us that we ought to pray this particular prayer. (That's despite the fact that some hippie-types sometimes pull this quote out of context in an attempt to sound piously edgy or whatever, in the same vein as "Only God can judge me" etc..)
 
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2020, 01:18:20 AM »

If I had to guess where a tail might be, I would look in the area of what makes Augustine famous.  Let us consider his famous saying "O Lord, make me chaste, but not yet".  One of the four necessary Catholic beliefs is personal merit.  This saying of Augustine does not bolster such a teaching.  It is indicative of the sin of presumption, and it favors the believe in forgiveness without a firm purpose of amendment.

But if I recall correctly, the quote you've cited comes from his Confessions where he looks back with regret upon the way he lived before his conversion. It's not as if he's telling us that it's ok to live this way, or telling us that we ought to pray this particular prayer. (That's despite the fact that some hippie-types sometimes pull this quote out of context in an attempt to sound piously edgy or whatever, in the same vein as "Only God can judge me" etc..)

Perhaps you are correct.  That reference/approach was an in the moment comment, me thinking on the spot.  Because, often times things makes you famous for a reason.  And, that is definitely the sentence attached to St. Augustine.  I read the first few pages of his confessions, and did not like it(at all), and put it down.  I have read the majority of his City of God, and I did enjoy that. 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: The Catholic church isn't the true Church?
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2020, 09:21:32 PM »
For Catholics the fact that a doctrine is not explicitly mentioned in Sacred Scripture is not a problem, as we do not claim that the sum total of all revelation is contained in the Bible.

The material sufficiency of Scripture is both a Patristic and a Catholic teaching.
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