Author Topic: Development of doctrine?  (Read 1136 times)

Offline Daniel

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2020, 12:08:44 PM »
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Changing the list of sacraments also seems problematic, though I don't know much about it. I am aware that there was once a much looser distinction between "sacrament" and "sacramental". But does this entail that Jesus did not personally institute marriage as a sacrament? I always just assumed He did. (Presumably at some point during the forty days between the resurrection and ascension, when He explicitly gave the Apostles all of the other teachings.)

There was no 'list' of sacraments, not if you mean a list included in the solemn teachings of an ecumenical council, until the middle ages.  Marriage is described as a sacrament even in the early Church, despite the fact that the word 'sacrament' is not used in conjunction with it later.  But this is true of other sacraments, too.  The word 'sacrament' enters into mainstream theological language later, like the word 'transubstantiation'. 

Well I don't mean a formal "list", but what I mean is, surely the early Christians kept track of which ones were instituted by Jesus and which ones were not? (Because that's the main difference, right? The seven "sacraments" were all instituted by Jesus, whereas all the various "sacramentals" were instituted by the Church.) If nobody kept track of this, it's problematic. Because how can anyone claim marriage to be a "sacrament" when there's no historical record that Jesus ever instituted it? The whole "Jesus sanctified marriage at Cana" argument is very weak, but I always assumed that there was more to it than that. If it's just guesswork based on some theologian's personal interpretation of Scripture, I don't see how it could possibly be dogmatic. If, however, all seven (and only the seven) can be traced back to Jesus (as part of the original deposit of faith), then I have no problem with changing the terminology to make it more clear that exactly seven of them are of divine origin. I'm open to the possibility of "development" in that way, but that's just a change in terminology, not a change in doctrine.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 12:16:56 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Kent

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2020, 01:20:00 PM »
Yes, and the early Church fathers treat marriage as a sacrament instituted by Christ.
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2020, 01:23:17 PM »
But has the Catholic church ever dogmatically taught that usury is ok, that heliocentrism is true, or that the death penalty is wrong?

The Church has officially taught that heliocentrism is acceptable.

There was a papal decree in 1820 by Pope Pius VII:

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His Holiness has decreed that no obstacles exist for those who sustain Copernicus’ affirmation regarding the earth’s movement in the manner in which it is affirmed today, even by Catholic authors. He has, moreover, suggested the insertion of several notations into this work, aimed at demonstrating that the above mentioned affirmation [of Copernicus], as it is has come to be understood, does not present any difficulties; difficulties that existed in times past, prior to the subsequent astronomical observations that have now occurred.

http://inters.org/approval-Settele-heliocentric
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Offline The Theosist

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2020, 04:29:16 PM »
Yes, and the early Church fathers treat marriage as a sacrament instituted by Christ.

Who?
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2020, 07:07:44 PM »
Here in this article: https://lifelongunion.weebly.com/what-the-early-church-fathers-believed-about-marriage-divorce-and-re-marriage.html
It quotes some early Church fathers on the indissolubility of Marriage:
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Hermes wrote:.....
And I said to him, "What then, sir, is the husband to do, if his wife continue in her vicious practices?"
And he said, "The husband should put her away, and remain by himself. But if he put his wife away and marry another, he also commits adultery."
And I said to him, "What if the woman put away should repent, and wish to return to her husband: shall she not be taken back by he husband?"
And he said to me, "Assuredly. If the husband do not take her back, he sins, and brings a great sin upon himself; for he ought to take back the sinner who has repented…In this matter man and woman are to be treated exactly in the same way. –The Shepherd 4:1-10(a)Hermes taught:
1. If a wife persists in adulterous behavior the “innocent party” may, and should, divorce in order to separate away from the sins of the offender
2. If a husband divorces his wife for such a reason he must remain single and not remarry.
3. If a wife repents of her offence the husband must forgive her and receive her back as wife.
4. If the husband does not forgive his repentant wife he brings a great sin upon himself.
5. Men and woman are to act and be regarded exactly the same in this matter.
another site here: https://www.academia.edu/11327807/Early_Church_Fathers_on_Marriage
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A number of the Fathers of the Church who flourished before the Council of Nicaea taught or at the very least make illusion to the notion, that the marriage bond exists beyond death and into eternity.
“Two votes at the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) underscored the Church Fathers’ devotion to
Marriage:  The first vote maintained clerical marriage relationships, (1) the second defended surviving spouses’ remarriage. The the latter was a clear indication of their esteem of the institution, in that they provided for widows and widowers who yearned for a new mate, it was actually a moderating voice. So high was the Church’s regard for a couple’s original vows that such prominent figures as Hermas, Justin Martyr, and Athenagoras argued that the bond outlasted death itself. (2) In the end their stricture was not adopted, (3) but the very fact of its consideration showed the group was quite serious about marital laws. As one patristic scholar, Willy Rordorf, put it, “Concerning the conception of marriage as a total union of the couple implying a fidelity without reserve, there is a unanimous agreement between the New Testament and the Early Church.” - John Sanidiopoulos,
“The Church Fathers’ High View of Marriage”,
in Mystagogy, 2012.
The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say:https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm
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In the proof of Apostolicity of the doctrine that marriage is a sacrament of the New Law, it will suffice to show that the Church has in fact always taught concerning marriage what belongs to the essence of a sacrament. The name sacrament cannot be cited as satisfactory evidence, since it did not acquire until a late period the exclusively technical meaning it has today; both in pre-Christian times and in the first centuries of the Christian Era it had a much broader and more indefinite signification. In this sense is to be understood the statement of Leo XIII in his Encyclical "Arcanum" (10 February, 1880): "To the teaching of the Apostles, indeed, are to be referred the doctrines which our holy fathers, the councils, and the tradition of the Universal Church have always taught, namely that Christ Our Lord raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament." The pope rightly emphasizes the importance of the tradition of the Universal Church. Without this it would be very difficult to get from the Scriptures and the Fathers clear and decisive proof for all, even the unlearned, that marriage is a sacrament in the strict sense of the word.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 07:19:55 PM by Michael Wilson »
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2020, 10:27:41 AM »
But without assuming that Pope Leo XIII can't be wrong, maybe he's wrong? Maybe that's not what the Church has always taught... maybe it's only what he thinks the Church has always taught.
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2020, 10:42:47 AM »
But without assuming that Pope Leo XIII can't be wrong, maybe he's wrong? Maybe that's not what the Church has always taught... maybe it's only what he thinks the Church has always taught.
Daniel,
if you read the links that I have provided, it is clear that the Church fathers held the Catholic teaching on Holy Matrimony; some had such a high regard for the sacrament, that they even believed that the bond persisted after the death of one of the partners. As the articles all stress, the technical language of scholasticism is missing, but the unique Catholic idea that Matrimony was an indissoluble bond was there.
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Willy Rordorf, put it, “Concerning the conception of marriage as a total union of the couple implying a fidelity without reserve, there is a unanimous agreement between the New Testament and the Early Church.” - John Sanidiopoulos,
Here is Tertullian (2nd C. ):
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As early as the second century we have the valuable testimony of Tertullian. While still a Catholic, he writes ("Ad Uxorem"): "If therefore such a marriage is pleasing to God, wherefore should it not turn out happily, so that it will not be troubled by afflictions and needs and obstacles and contaminations, since it enjoys the protection of the Divine grace?" But if Divine grace and its protection are, as Tertullian asserts, given with marriage, we have therein the distinctive moment which constitutes a religious action (already known for other reasons as a sign of Divine grace) an efficacious sign of grace, that is, a true Sacrament of the New Dispensation. It is only on this hypothesis that we can rightly understand another passage from the same work of Tertullian (II, ix, in P.L., I, 1302): "How can we describe the happiness of those marriages which the Church ratifies, the sacrifice strengthens, the blessing seals, the angels publish, the Heavenly Father propitiously beholds?"
The testimony of the ancient sacramentaries is even more definitive:
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Weightier, if anything, than the testimony of the Fathers as to the sacramental character of Christian marriage is that of the liturgical books and sacramentaries of the different Churches, Eastern and Western, recording the liturgical prayers and rites handed down from the very earliest times. These, it is true, differ in many unimportant details, but their essential features must be traced back to Apostolic ordinances. In all these rituals and liturgical collections, marriage, contracted before the priest during the celebration of Mass, is accompanied by ceremonies and prayers similar to those used in connection with the other sacraments; in fact several of these rituals expressly call marriage a sacrament, and, because it is a "sacrament of the living", require contrition for sin and the reception of the Sacrament of Penance before marriage is contracted (cf. Martčne, "De antiquis ecclesić ritibus", I, ix). But the venerable age, in fact the apostolicity, of the ecclesiastical tradition concerning marriage is still more clearly revealed by the circumstance that the rituals or liturgical books of the Oriental Churches and sects, even of those that separated from the Catholic Church in the first centuries, treat the contracting of marriage as a sacrament, and surround it with significant and impressive ceremonies and prayers.
"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
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2020, 11:07:39 AM »
Daniel,
if you read the links that I have provided, it is clear that the Church fathers held the Catholic teaching on Holy Matrimony; some had such a high regard for the sacrament, that they even believed that the bond persisted after the death of one of the partners. As the articles all stress, the technical language of scholasticism is missing, but the unique Catholic idea that Matrimony was an indissoluble bond was there.

To clarify, I don't question whether the Church has always taught that marriage is an indissoluble bond. I think this much is pretty clear.

What I'm questioning, specifically, is the idea that Christian marriage was established by Jesus. Maybe it wasn't, and marriage is only a sacramental, not a sacrament. (Something comparable to a coronation, or investiture into a religious order, both of which involve ceremonies that seem at least somewhat similar to a marriage ceremony.) Or maybe it's neither. (Something comparable to the swearing of some other sort of vow, or the entering into some other sort of contract, or the living out of some other way of life. Though these things aren't often accompanied by ceremonies.)

I'm also not denying that marriage is a sacrament... all I'm saying is that I thought there was actual evidence of this (perhaps an oral tradition going back to Jesus himself), and that it wasn't just some theologian's theory thought up many centuries later. If it's the later, I find it questionable.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 11:15:33 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2020, 11:40:31 AM »
Daniel,
the evidence is  that Marriage was always considered a Sacrament.
"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
 

Offline 1seeker

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2020, 05:07:12 PM »
Daniel,
if you read the links that I have provided, it is clear that the Church fathers held the Catholic teaching on Holy Matrimony; some had such a high regard for the sacrament, that they even believed that the bond persisted after the death of one of the partners. As the articles all stress, the technical language of scholasticism is missing, but the unique Catholic idea that Matrimony was an indissoluble bond was there.

The question for me has always been... Did the Fathers consider matrimony to not only be indissoluble, but also a sacrament? That's the problem for me. Saint Augustine has his famous treatise against divorce (de Coniugiis), where he never names marriage a sacrament, or argues that it's indissoluble because of its sacramental nature. In other words, he grounds its indissolubility in entirely different/separate grounds than a sacramental identity, which as far as he was concerned, was not associated with the nature of marriage. So he absolutely believed that it was indissoluble, but I haven't yet found the evidence that he considered it a sacrament.
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2020, 05:52:42 PM »
Here is what I found on St. Augustine: https://www.ncregister.com/blog/darmstrong/did-st.-augustine-accept-all-seven-sacraments
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Undoubtedly the substance of the sacrament is of this bond, so that when man and woman have been joined in marriage they must continue inseparably as long as they live, . . . there is no divorce, no separation forever. . . . The sacramental bond, which they lose neither through separation nor through adultery, this the spouses should guard chastely and harmoniously. (Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419; 1:10:11 and 1:17:19)
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2016/01/st-augustine-accepted-all-seven-catholic-sacraments.html
Quote
(Marriage and Concupiscence 1:10:11 [A.D. 419])
(Ibid., 1:17:19)
In marriage, however, let the blessings of marriage be loved: offspring, fidelity, and the sacramental bond. Offspring, not so much because it may be born, but because it can be reborn; for it is born to punishment unless it be reborn to life. Fidelity, but not such as even the unbelievers have among themselves, ardent as they are for the flesh. . . . The sacramental bond, which they lose neither through separation nor through adultery, this the spouses should guard chastely and harmoniously.



 
"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 The Theosist

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2020, 08:22:06 AM »
Daniel,
the evidence is  that Marriage was always considered a Sacrament.

I don’t see on what basis you make the inference from belief in an indissolubility of marriage to the notion of marriage as one of seven special sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. I see no evidence of that. Particularly, the early Christian writers explicitly had an understanding of baptism, where distinguished chrismation, and the eucharist as mysteries of the faith and initiatory and transformational rites given by Jesus unto our salvation. These are frequently mentioned together or in the same context. Marriage, as far as I can tell, is never mentioned with them. Yes, by the 5th century Augustine speaks of a “sacramental bond”, but he also uses the term “sacrament” of other matters now not considered sacraments. But I wouldn’t deny the conception of the early Church or that God has a hand in sealing and giving grace to a marriage bond (though I think Rome jumps through hoops to try to wave away “except for porneia” as an allowance for divorce and remarriage)

Is this just a semantic issue?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 08:52:27 AM by The Theosist »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2020, 10:02:03 AM »
Re. "Semantics": Yes, that is what the article in the C.E. States as well as the other articles that I read.
"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
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2020, 10:55:20 AM »
Somewhat off-topic, but what exactly is the correct interpretation of this word "porneia"? Does it mean fornication? Adultery? Something else?

The argument that I've heard is:
Premise: "Porneia" in that context refers to "fornication" (and to nothing other than "fornication").
Premise: Fornication can only be committed by a person who isn't married. (If he/she is married, then it's adultery. Not fornication.)
Premise: A person who isn't married cannot get divorced (logical impossibility), and a person who has never been married cannot get "remarried" (logical impossibility).
Conclusion: Therefore, Christ's exception for porneia has nothing to do with divorce and remarriage. What He was saying was that if you're currently in a fake marriage then you're allowed to leave your fake spouse in order to get married to somebody else. Hence Catholic annulments. The exception is only for an unmarried couple living in a fake marriage, not a married couple living in a real marriage.

This I would say is not a change in doctrine, unless "porneia" was not always/universally understood as referring to "fornication".
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 11:04:47 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline Jayne

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Re: Development of doctrine?
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2020, 11:04:00 AM »
Somewhat off-topic, but what exactly is the correct interpretation of this word "porneia"? Does it mean fornication? Adultery? Something else?

Virtually every New Testament Greek lexicon agrees that at that time "porneia" was a broad term that referred to every and any form of sexual immorality.

Quote
The argument that I've heard is:
Premise: "Porneia" means "fornication".
Premise: Fornication can only be committed by a person who isn't married. (If he/she is married, then it's adultery. Not fornication.)
Premise: A person who isn't married cannot get divorced, and a person who has never been married cannot get "remarried".
Conclusion: Therefore, Christ's exception for porneia has nothing to do with divorce and remarriage. What He was saying was that if you're currently in a fake marriage then you're allowed to leave your fake spouse in order to get married to somebody else. Hence Catholic annulments.".

This is a linguistically unsound argument based on an incorrect definition of "porneia". 
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