Author Topic: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer  (Read 3902 times)

Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #75 on: October 13, 2020, 11:40:44 AM »
Paul never relates those words to vicarious atonement. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died, descended into Hell, and rose again.

Christ, through His Suffering and Death rendered vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent. fidei proxima*)

What does this have to do with the verse from Colossians in question and my statement about it, which I just showed to be the Patristic reading?

Quote
No mention of "descended into Hell, and rose again" Those words are what the NO use concerning the Mass. they say the mass celebrates Christ Resurrection.

The Patristic doctrine of atonement is Ransom/Recapitulation/Christus Victor, an ontological atonement in which Christ, ransoming himself to the powers of darkness, conquers Satan and death and, through the hypostatic union, restores humanity from Adam's failings and shares his glorified body and blood with us; it is not the Frankish innovation of Anselmian satisfaction theory, in which man is forensically saved from the wrath of a God who demands a blood sacrifice to pay back a debt due to himself, Christ's suffering and death serving as a substitutionary payment on our behalf.
 

Offline St.Justin

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2020, 01:47:24 PM »
Paul never relates those words to vicarious atonement. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died, descended into Hell, and rose again.

Christ, through His Suffering and Death rendered vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent. fidei proxima*)

What does this have to do with the verse from Colossians in question and my statement about it, which I just showed to be the Patristic reading?

Quote
No mention of "descended into Hell, and rose again" Those words are what the NO use concerning the Mass. they say the mass celebrates Christ Resurrection.

The Patristic doctrine of atonement is Ransom/Recapitulation/Christus Victor, an ontological atonement in which Christ, ransoming himself to the powers of darkness, conquers Satan and death and, through the hypostatic union, restores humanity from Adam's failings and shares his glorified body and blood with us; it is not the Frankish innovation of Anselmian satisfaction theory, in which man is forensically saved from the wrath of a God who demands a blood sacrifice to pay back a debt due to himself, Christ's suffering and death serving as a substitutionary payment on our behalf.

Again you have no concept of Catholic Theology.
 

Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #77 on: October 14, 2020, 05:01:24 AM »
Paul never relates those words to vicarious atonement. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died, descended into Hell, and rose again.

Christ, through His Suffering and Death rendered vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent. fidei proxima*)

What does this have to do with the verse from Colossians in question and my statement about it, which I just showed to be the Patristic reading?

Quote
No mention of "descended into Hell, and rose again" Those words are what the NO use concerning the Mass. they say the mass celebrates Christ Resurrection.

The Patristic doctrine of atonement is Ransom/Recapitulation/Christus Victor, an ontological atonement in which Christ, ransoming himself to the powers of darkness, conquers Satan and death and, through the hypostatic union, restores humanity from Adam's failings and shares his glorified body and blood with us; it is not the Frankish innovation of Anselmian satisfaction theory, in which man is forensically saved from the wrath of a God who demands a blood sacrifice to pay back a debt due to himself, Christ's suffering and death serving as a substitutionary payment on our behalf.

Again you have no concept of Catholic Theology.


If you’re implying I don’t understand Anselmian satisfaction theory, it doesn’t matter if the suffering and death are to satisfy a debt of honour due to be repaid to God on behalf of lawbreakers, or if like with Calvin the suffering and death are the result of an outpouring of God’s wrath against lawbreakers upon a substitutionary victim, they are both forms of salvation from the wrath of a God who demands a blood sacrifice, one by averting that wrath through a payment of restitution whose value lies in the personal merit of the victim, the other by redirecting that wrath upon an adequate penal substitute, for in both cases in the absence of this blood sacrifice God pours out his wrath upon even the least sinner by deliberately casting him into Hell.

Both are ultimately forensic, based in concepts of law and justice to which God necessarily adheres like a presiding judge, even if there is an ontological effect of restoration that comes from God being forensically satisfied (Muh honour is restored/muh wrath has been satisfied by this perfect victim, so I’ll be nice to you now), and neither is Patristic.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 06:41:40 AM by The Theosist »
 

Offline Graham

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #78 on: October 14, 2020, 09:07:18 AM »
Paul never relates those words to vicarious atonement. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died, descended into Hell, and rose again.

Christ, through His Suffering and Death rendered vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent. fidei proxima*)

No mention of "descended into Hell, and rose again" Those words are what the NO use concerning the Mass. they say the mass celebrates Christ Resurrection.

Is it even possible that a view of the Atonement (so-called ransom theory) that predominated until the Scholastic era is proximate to heresy?
 

Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #79 on: October 14, 2020, 10:06:02 AM »
Paul never relates those words to vicarious atonement. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died, descended into Hell, and rose again.

Christ, through His Suffering and Death rendered vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent. fidei proxima*)

No mention of "descended into Hell, and rose again" Those words are what the NO use concerning the Mass. they say the mass celebrates Christ Resurrection.

Is it even possible that a view of the Atonement (so-called ransom theory) that predominated until the Scholastic era is proximate to heresy?

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating the idea that Jesus made a payment to the Satan in exchange for our release. That is in fact just like Satisfaction or Penal Substitution with the recipient of the payment changed from God to the Devil.

In the context of Ransom/Recapitulation/Christus Victor, ransomed from Satan just means Jesus redeemed us from the Devil and death, rather than from an angry deity, but not in exchange! He gave himself over to the Powers of Darkness, but not as a payment! Rather, through the hypostatic union, to conquer them by virtue of his divinity, on our behalf by virtue of his humanity. When we (or rather the priest as Christ) raise up his body and blood in sacrifice to the Father, it is not as a payment of debt! It is as the Passover Lamb, for the Father to pour out that life to us so that death will not touch us.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 10:41:00 AM by The Theosist »
 
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Offline Graham

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2020, 10:32:22 AM »
Paul never relates those words to vicarious atonement. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died, descended into Hell, and rose again.

Christ, through His Suffering and Death rendered vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent. fidei proxima*)

No mention of "descended into Hell, and rose again" Those words are what the NO use concerning the Mass. they say the mass celebrates Christ Resurrection.

Is it even possible that a view of the Atonement (so-called ransom theory) that predominated until the Scholastic era is proximate to heresy?

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating the idea that Jesus made a payment to the Satan in exchange for our release. That is in fact just like Satisfaction or Penal Substitution with the recipient of the payment changed from God to the Devil.

In the context of Ransom/Recapitulation/Christus Victor, ransomed from Satan just means Jesus redeemed us from the Devil and death, rather than from an angry deity, but not in exchange! He gave himself over to the Powers of Darkness, but not as a payment! Rather, through the hypostatic union, to conquer them by virtue of his divinity, on our behalf by virtue of his humanity. When we raise up his body and blood in sacrifice to the Father, it is not as a payment of debt! It is as the Passover Lamb, for the Father to pour out that life to us so that death will not touch us.

I suppose that if you want to mesh this view - not to mention the other pre-Scholastic views - with the theological note (provided, I assume, from Ott), much depends on how atonement is defined. Your average secular dictionary defines it as reparation for a wrong, and under that definition I don't see how "vicarious atonement to God" can mean anything other than the Anselmian theory or its offshoots. Attwater's Catholic Dictionary (1958), however, defines the atonement as follows: "That act of reconciling (making at-one) man to God, which Jesus Christ as mediator effected by his death for the redemption of man."
 
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Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #81 on: October 14, 2020, 10:43:34 AM »
Etymology of atonement:

early 16th century (denoting unity or reconciliation, especially between God and man): from at one + -ment, influenced by medieval Latin adunamentum ‘unity’, and earlier onement from an obsolete verb one ‘to unite’.

I imagine the popular usage is informed by centuries of a Protestant understanding of Christ's atonement.
 
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Offline Graham

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #82 on: October 14, 2020, 10:57:37 AM »
Something is still troubling me about it. The note states "vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man." The latter half suggests, if not forces, an Anselmian interpretation of atonement, no? So again, how could the dominant pre-Scholastic tradition, held by saints and fathers, actually be "proximate to heresy"? This is the kind of development of doctrine that sits very badly with me.
 
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #83 on: October 14, 2020, 02:44:39 PM »
§ 25. The Effects of the Sacrifice of the Mass The Sacrifice of the Mass is not merely a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but also a sacrifice of expiation and impetration. (D e fide .)
 

Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #84 on: October 14, 2020, 02:56:36 PM »
There can be no doubt about Ott's intentions by that statement: vicarious satisfaction.

Quote
§ 10. Christ's Vicarious Atonement
1. The Notion of Atonement
By atonement in general is understood the satisfaction of a demand. In the
narrower sense it is taken to mean the reparation of an insult: satisfactio nihil
aliud est quam injuriae alteri illatae compensatio (Cat. Rom. II 5, 59). This
occurs through a voluntary performance which outweighs the injustice done.
If such a performance through its intrinsic value completely cOWlterbalances the
grievousness of the guilt according to the delnands ofjustice, the atonement is
adequate or of full value (satisfaetio condigna, aequivalens sive ad aequalitatem
i ustitiae); if it is not commensurate \vith the grievousness of the offence and is
accepted as sufficient purely out of gracious consideration, it is inadequate or not
of complete value (satisfactio congruo sive ad benignitatem condonantis). 1£
the atonement is not performed by the offender himself, but by another in his
'tead. it is vicarious atonement (satisfactio vicaria).

2. Reality of Christ'. Vicariou8 Atonement
Christ. through His Suffering and Death rendered
vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man. (Sent.
fidei proxima.)
The Council of Ephesus teaches with St. Cyril of Alexandria: "If anyone
says that He (Christ) offered the oblation for Himself, and not rather solely for
us, let him be excluded." D 12.2. The Council ofTrent says ofJesus Christus :
Qui sua sanctissinla passione in ligno crucis ... pro nobis Deo Patri satisfecit.
D 799 (who by His most holy Passion on the Cross offered satisfaction for
us to God the Father). The Vaticm COWlcil intended to raise the teaching
of Christ's vicarious satisfaction to the status of a formal dogma (Coll. Lac.
vn 566). Holy Writ contains the teaching of the vicarious atonement, not
indeed explicitly but by implication. Isaias (53, 4 et seq.) foretells of the Servant
ofGod, that is, of the Messiah, that He, the Sinless One, for our sins and in our
stead, would suffer and die like an innocent lamb of sacrifice, to obtain for us
peace and justification. Christ expressed the idea of the vicarious atonement in
the words: "The Son of Man is come ... to give His life a redemption
for many" (Mt. 20, 28). "I lay down my life for my sheep" (John 10, IS).
The notion of the vicarious atonement appears distinctly in St. Paul also
2 Cor. 5, 21: "Him who knew no sin He hath made sin for us: that we
might be made the justice of God in Him (V7TEp 1)fLwv=avTL ~IJ-wv) " ;
Gal. 3, 13: "Christ hath redeenled us free from the curse of the law, being
made acurse for us." According to Rom. 3, 25 et seq., God's justice is revealed
in the denland for and the acceptance of Christ's vicarious atonementsacrifice, " to the shewing of His justice." C( 1 Peter 2, 24; 3, 18.
From the very beginning the Fathers were falniliar with the idea of Christ's
vicarious atonement. rrhe Apostles' disciple, St. Clement of RaDle, comments:
"For the sake of the love which He had fOf us OUf Lord Jesus Christ, according
to the will of the Father has given His bl,)od for us, His flesh for our flesh, and
His soul for our souls" (Cor. 49, 6). Cf. The Letter to Diognetus, 9, 2.
St. Anselm of Canterbury (t 1199) in his dialogue: ., Cur Deus Homo " has
speculatively penetrated and built up to a systeluatic theory of Redemption
the idea of the vicarious atonement of Christ which is based in Scripture and
tradition. While the Fathers, in the explanation of Christ's work of sanctification, proceed more from the contemplation of the consequences of the
Reden1ption, and therefore stress the negative side of the Redemption, namely,
the ransoming from the slavery of sin and of the devil, St. Anselm proceeds
from the contemplation of the guilt of Sill. This, as an in~ult offered to God, is
infinite, and theretore deluands an infinite expiation. Such expiation, however,
can be achie:ved by a Divine Person only. To be capable of thus representing
mankind, this person 11UlSt be, at the same time, man and God.

He also explicitly rejects Ransom/Recapitulation/Christus Victor as "speculative", "inadequate" and "un-Biblical" and is an obvious Anselmian bootlicker.

Quote
3. Inadequate Patristic Theories of the Redemption
From the efforts to explain the dogma of the Redenlption speculatively, various
theories of the Redemption developed in Patristic times.
a) St. Irenaeus of Lyons (t about 2,02) initiated the so-called recapitulation
theory or mystic theory of Redemption, which, starting from Eph. I, 10
(avaKE'cPa"ac.woaa8ac.=recapitulare: Vulg.: instaurare) teaches that Christ as
the second Adam, saved and united with God the whole human race. In this
view salvation ofman had already taken place in principIe through the Incarnation
of the Son of God. Side by side with this theory which gave to the Passion
and Death of Christ a subordinate significance only, St. Irenaeus also expounds
the Pauline teaching of the ransoming and reconciling through Christ's death
on the Cross. Cf. Adv. haer. ill 16, 9; IV 5, 4; V I, I et seq.; 14, 2-5 ;
16, 3; 17, I.
b) Origen (t 254) changed the Pauline teaching of man's ransom from the
dominion of the devil to an unbiblical ransom-theory. He held that the devil
by Adam's sin, had acquired a formal dominion over mankind. In order to
liberate mankind from this tyranny Christ gave his life to the devil as ransom
price. But the devil was deceived, as he was not able to maintain for long his
dominion of death over Christ. Others e:Kplained that the devillost his do~nin.ion
over mankind by unjustly trying to extend this right to Christ also. Despite
the fact that this error was widespread, Patristic teaching held firmly to the
biblical teaching of man's reconciliation with God through Christ's death
on the Cross. The notion of a dominion of the devil over fallen nlankind was
energetically refuted by St. Anselm of Canterbury.

If we want to talk about something "un-Biblical", the obvious Biblical problem with all of this is that the Passover Lamb, with whom Jesus on Calvary is identified, is not a guilt offering as payment to God for offense caused to him. If one wants to come up with a rigorous theory of atonement, this fact, and considering the function of the Paschal Lamb, ought surely be a starting point!
 

Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #85 on: October 14, 2020, 03:02:46 PM »
§ 25. The Effects of the Sacrifice of the Mass The Sacrifice of the Mass is not merely a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but also a sacrifice of expiation and impetration. (D e fide .)

Yes, "Canon iii. If any one shall say, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice;[16] or, that it avails him only who receiveth; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema."

And? Context? Are you saying this contradicts something?
 

Offline Graham

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #86 on: October 14, 2020, 03:25:54 PM »
§ 25. The Effects of the Sacrifice of the Mass The Sacrifice of the Mass is not merely a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but also a sacrifice of expiation and impetration. (D e fide .)

Yes, "Canon iii. If any one shall say, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice;[16] or, that it avails him only who receiveth; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema."

And? Context? Are you saying this contradicts something?

If I may, I think the inflection is on Ott's "expiation," corresponding to Trent's "propitiation." And the sacrifice of the mass and the sacrifice of the Cross being identical, dogma pertaining to or illuminating the character of the one will pertain equally to the other. Let's assume for the sake of argument that this is the objection St. Justin intends, and assume also that these two words are truly synonyms. Propitiation is defined in Attwater as "prayer appealing for the mercy of God on us sinners and for mitigation of punishment justly incurred." Does this necessarily result in a theory of vicarious satisfaction?
 
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #87 on: October 14, 2020, 04:02:01 PM »
However you slice it Christ suffering and death on the cross ( not his Resurrection or anything else) was both a vicarious atonement to God for the sins of man and expiation and propitiatory sacrifice  and the Mass is the same thing and has the same affect.

This is the teaching of the Church. I really don't understand what the discussion is all about.
 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #88 on: October 15, 2020, 04:48:02 AM »
(About the atonement)

I read St. Anselm's Cur Deus Homo in college and was so impressed by God's unfathomable perfect justice and perfect mercy and amazing plan in allowing mankind in Christ to in a way himself pay the infinite debt that man owed God, because God who alone is infinitely good became man who alone can suffer, and suffered in his place.  It wasn't a matter of wrath and economics but of love and obedience and meekness (the lamb of God), while achieving perfect justice.

This may be worth reading (I have only scanned it):

https://www.hprweb.com/2014/07/competing-theories-of-christs-atonement-penal-substitution-economic-transaction-or-obediential-love/

It goes into St. Thomas Aquinas views building on (and it says improving on) St. Anselm's.  (I think my understanding of St. Anselm was affected by reading St. Thomas later). Here are some bits of it that seem good to me:

Quote

Many contemporary theologians are often hesitant to embrace the soteriology (the study of doctrines of salvation) of St. Thomas. It is considered to be part of a “monstrous version of redemption … (in which) Christ (is presented) as the penal substitute propitiating the divine anger.” 4 From this perspective “attributing redeeming value to the suffering of the Son seems to entail a rather problematic concept of God … evoking the specter of a cruel God whose divine anger had to be appeased by the death of his Son.” 5 However, this is to misread Aquinas, mistaking his personalist theory of the atonement for reductive caricatures of Christ’s act of redemption. I hope to demonstrate that Aquinas’ theory of the atonement is not the “penal substitution” model derived from Calvin, nor is it a theory of a merely external juridical or economic transaction. It is best understood as an interpersonal act of atonement which takes place in his Mystical Body, and is motivated by love. ... Finally, I will assess how, in the theology of St. Thomas, the mercy and justice of God are suitably reconciled in the Passion.

What is the essence of Aquinas’ theology of the atonement? Perhaps the most important point to consider is that his theory is profoundly personal. The Passion is understood as an act of a personal God atoning for the personal offense of sin. The personalist understanding of the atonement is deeply linked to the framework of the relationship between Christ and the members of his Mystical Body. In this area, Aquinas develops Anselm’s model, arguing for the “link between Christ’s redemptive activity, and our participation in it in much greater depth, by espousing the Pauline notion of the Body of Christ.” 6 This defends Aquinas’ theory from one of the major weaknesses of Anselm’s in which he “fails to clarify the connection between Christ’s satisfactory activity, and our participation in it, a feature which has given fuel to misunderstanding his teaching in (merely) transactional terms.” 7 St. Thomas teaches that “Christ by his Passion merited salvation, not only for himself, but likewise for all his members.” 8 To suffer justly in grace means that a man merits salvation for himself; to suffer justly in grace means that Christ merits salvation for his members. As will be explored further below, Christ’s act of love and obedience substitutes for our love and obedience through the union in his Mystical Body. “Christ’s satisfaction extends to all the faithful as to his members, because Christ and his Church form, as it were, one single mystical person.” 9

In order to understand properly Aquinas’ theory of the atonement, it is also helpful to consider his theory of sin. For Aquinas, sin is fundamentally a personal offense, “something that deeply affects the self of the human person, and the way she relates to herself, other people, and above all, God.” 10 It is essentially a disorder in the will, in which the creature turns away from God, and fails to love God as he ought to be loved. Sin is seen as “a spiritual illness, which results from a lack of order within the personality.” 11 Sin, considered as the creature’s personal failure to love, explains Aquinas’ emphasis on the interpersonal love involved in the act of atonement. It is for this reason that “salvation (is) seen as a restoration of the divine order in which the human will is once again turned toward its ultimate end, i.e., a loving relationship between humanity and God.” 12 Christ, in his Passion, reorients the disordered will of human nature from within. Thus “we should resist interpreting the notion of ‘restoration of divine order’ in merely judicial terms.” 13 Since both the sin and the atonement are interpersonal, they are difficult to quantify.  Any economic or judicial metaphors must be reread in a personalist way, or we risk reducing our concept of the Passion from the order of interpersonal friendship to the abstract order of justice.

Aquinas’ understanding of the Passion as atonement, or satisfaction, is not primarily understood as Christ’s substituting himself in suffering the demands of punishment for sin according to the rigors of divine justice, but with reference to the love and obedience Christ offered on our behalf. Aquinas teaches that “by suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race.” 14 Aquinas gives three reasons why Christ’s satisfaction for sin was superabundant. First and formally, the superabundant satisfaction was due to the “exceeding charity” with which his Sacred Heart suffered the Passion. 15 It is the love of Christ which repairs the aversion of the will of all members of the human race in sin’s lack of love. This is a profoundly Catholic interpretation of the merits of Christ, and guards against reductionist metaphors which see the Passion as merely satisfying divine justice, or as an economic exchange. “Christ’s death … atones because of the charity in which he bore it.” 16 Secondly, the infinite satisfaction offered by Christ has, as its foundation, the infinite dignity of his person. Although he suffered in his human nature, it was the suffering of a divine person and, therefore, of infinite merit. 17 Thus, it was enough to atone for the relative infinitude of sin’s offense against the divine dignity. Thirdly, the material superabundance of the satisfaction for sin is derived from “the greatness of the grief endured” in the Passion, which merited enough to atone for all punishment due to sin. 18 It is significant that Aquinas places the satisfactory sufferings of Christ third in his answer, after establishing the love with which the sacrifice was offered, and the dignity of the person offering it. The reductive caricatures of the atonement we have been considering would put a greater emphasis on the sufferings endured by Christ in order to appease divine justice. There is no trace in Aquinas’ explanation of the idea that the Father treats the Son as an object of wrath or vengeance. The obediential suffering of Christ manifests his love for the human race, which is satiated not only by forgiving our sins in mercy, but satisfying for them in justice.

The personalism in Aquinas’ account is far removed from either penal substitution, or transactional theory of the atonement, which imply more of an external material bargain than an act of interpersonal love. For Aquinas, the “satisfaction does not refer to a legalistic transaction,” rather it was an act of love: “the Passion was most acceptable to God, as coming from charity.” 19 Although, it is true that Aquinas uses the economic metaphor of redemption and price, which are helpful and necessary, he couches them in terms of the relationship between Christ and his members. “Christ made satisfaction, not by giving money or anything of the sort, but by bestowing what was of greatest price—himself—for us. And, therefore, Christ’s Passion is called our redemption.” 20 This is a legitimate metaphor only if it avoids reducing the Passion to a mere external, material exchange satisfying the abstract order of justice.

One of the most common reasons why Aquinas’ theory of the atonement is rejected is because it is seen as a manifestation of the sadistic penal substitution theory of atonement. In this view, God’s vengeance must be appeased. It is the “just vengeance (of the Father) which the Son of God transferred to himself.” 21 Jesus steps in to take the blow of the paternal wrath. This offers a misguided view of God’s paternity, and is a sad caricature of the redemption. As we have seen, this excessively juridical understanding of the atonement is foreign to Aquinas. The divine desire for vengeance does not need to be satiated, and the cross was not absolutely necessary to forgive sin without injustice. In addition, although we can say that Christ took on the punishment of our guilt in a metaphorical sense, for Aquinas, there is no sense in which Christ was actually guilty as there is for Calvin.  22 This would involve a disordered will, and would mean true sin in Christ; it is ontologically impossible for Christ to take on our malum culpae. Aquinas shows how far his theory is from penal substitution when, in describing the fittingness of the Passion in order to save the human race, he gives as the first reason that “man knows thereby how much God loves him, and is thereby stirred to love him in return.” 23 The penal substitution theory fails to account for this supremely personal and loving exchange between Christ and his members.

It is, thus, also evident that Aquinas’ theory of the atonement sheds profound light upon our understanding of the mercy, love, and justice of God. All three are united—indeed, for God, every act of justice is more deeply an act of mercy, and the act of the atonement embraces this truth as well. In restoring the will of man back to loving God, Christ not only re-establishes the order of divine justice, but offers an act of profound mercy. Christ gives to the Father his own inner justice as man in order to express a deeper order of love and justice, the metaphysical order of divine wisdom, of which human justice is but an analogy. The redemption of mankind was in keeping with the justice of God “because by his Passion, Christ made satisfaction for the sin of the human race; and so man was set free by Christ’s justice.” 24 It was also in keeping with his mercy “for since man of himself could not satisfy for the sin of all human nature … God gave him his Son to satisfy for him.” 25 It expresses a more ultimate mercy to renew all things in Christ, and to atone for sin, not simply by an act of will (which certainly would have been possible for God), but through an act of merciful justice. Since all sin is a personal offense against God, he could forgive sin without any injustice apart from the cross. However, “this would have been less fitting, for in satisfying, we are allowed to put matters right with God.” 26 It was more merciful of God to allow us to participate in the justice of Christ. In this act, “mercy and truth have met each other, justice and peace have kissed.” 27 Although the cross was not necessary, it “came of more copious mercy than if (God) had forgiven sins without satisfaction.” 28 The justice of the Passion is the greater mercy. We also see, in conclusion, how far removed Aquinas’ union between the justice, love, and mercy of God is from a [I would add, merely or essentially] penal substitution, or extrinsic juridical theory of the atonement. God is not constrained by an abstract order of justice, rather, he himself lovingly communicates his justice and mercy to his creatures through the Passion of Christ.

Since this was written post Vatican II some might be concerned about the talk of a "personalist theory" of Aquinas - maybe this writer's understanding of St. Thomas is wrong.  But I don't know enough to say anything like that.

Of course God is justly angry at sinners: Divine Wrath is a reality. Punishment is Just for sin against an Infinitely Good God by perfectly free men who had no excuse. Christ's bearing of our sins does not mean God is wrathful at Him, but that He is lovingly taking the suffering due to the sins, so that God is no longer wrathful at sinners who ask for Christ's forgiveness. (Justice could have been achieved (and wrath alleviated) another way, but Christ's love (and the reality of God's infinite goodness) would not have been as clear.)

I think, Justin, that it is OK to discuss these things further since they have been discussed since the time of Christ.  We just can't deny what the Church has already taught.   Building on St. Thomas the Church has certainly approved (of course excluding what the Church has corrected).
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!
 
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Offline The Theosist

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Re: Mary is not the Co-Redeemer
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2020, 06:52:09 AM »
I hope to demonstrate that Aquinas’ theory of the atonement is not the “penal substitution” model derived from Calvin, nor is it a theory of a merely external juridical or economic transaction. It is best understood as an interpersonal act of atonement which takes place in his Mystical Body, and is motivated by love.

I haven't suggested it's identical to penal substitution but that, "they are both forms of salvation from the wrath of a God who demands a blood sacrifice, one by averting that wrath through a payment of restitution whose value lies in the personal merit of the victim, the other by redirecting that wrath upon an adequate penal substitute, for in both cases in the absence of this blood sacrifice God pours out his wrath upon even the least sinner by deliberately casting him into Hell."

I don't see how it being "an interpersonal act of atonement which takes place in his Mystical Body, and is motivated by love" would change that.

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What is the essence of Aquinas’ theology of the atonement? Perhaps the most important point to consider is that his theory is profoundly personal. The Passion is understood as an act of a personal God atoning for the personal offense of sin. The personalist understanding of the atonement is deeply linked to the framework of the relationship between Christ and the members of his Mystical Body. In this area, Aquinas develops Anselm’s model, arguing for the “link between Christ’s redemptive activity, and our participation in it in much greater depth, by espousing the Pauline notion of the Body of Christ.” 6 This defends Aquinas’ theory from one of the major weaknesses of Anselm’s in which he “fails to clarify the connection between Christ’s satisfactory activity, and our participation in it, a feature which has given fuel to misunderstanding his teaching in (merely) transactional terms.” 7 St. Thomas teaches that “Christ by his Passion merited salvation, not only for himself, but likewise for all his members.” 8 To suffer justly in grace means that a man merits salvation for himself; to suffer justly in grace means that Christ merits salvation for his members. As will be explored further below, Christ’s act of love and obedience substitutes for our love and obedience through the union in his Mystical Body. “Christ’s satisfaction extends to all the faithful as to his members, because Christ and his Church form, as it were, one single mystical person.” 9

In order to understand properly Aquinas’ theory of the atonement, it is also helpful to consider his theory of sin. For Aquinas, sin is fundamentally a personal offense, “something that deeply affects the self of the human person, and the way she relates to herself, other people, and above all, God.” 10 It is essentially a disorder in the will, in which the creature turns away from God, and fails to love God as he ought to be loved. Sin is seen as “a spiritual illness, which results from a lack of order within the personality.” 11 Sin, considered as the creature’s personal failure to love, explains Aquinas’ emphasis on the interpersonal love involved in the act of atonement. It is for this reason that “salvation (is) seen as a restoration of the divine order in which the human will is once again turned toward its ultimate end, i.e., a loving relationship between humanity and God.” 12 Christ, in his Passion, reorients the disordered will of human nature from within. Thus “we should resist interpreting the notion of ‘restoration of divine order’ in merely judicial terms.” 13 Since both the sin and the atonement are interpersonal, they are difficult to quantify.  Any economic or judicial metaphors must be reread in a personalist way, or we risk reducing our concept of the Passion from the order of interpersonal friendship to the abstract order of justice.

Yet Christ was not disordered in this way. If one takes out the notion of satisfaction, one is left wondering as to why this vicariously accomplished re-ordering had to happen through his suffering and death as a blood sacrifice and was not already accomplished in the hypostatic union.

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Aquinas’ understanding of the Passion as atonement, or satisfaction, is not primarily understood as Christ’s substituting himself in suffering the demands of punishment for sin according to the rigors of divine justice, but with reference to the love and obedience Christ offered on our behalf.

Even if it were not primary, it is still a part, even an essential part. But with reference to my aforegoing comment, it's again not clear why the love and obedience had to take the form of suffering and dying on a cross. Why was the atonement was not accomplished the moment of Christ's first act of perfect and infinite love and obedience? Why only in his Passion?

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Aquinas teaches that “by suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race.” 14 Aquinas gives three reasons why Christ’s satisfaction for sin was superabundant. First and formally, the superabundant satisfaction was due to the “exceeding charity” with which his Sacred Heart suffered the Passion. 15 It is the love of Christ which repairs the aversion of the will of all members of the human race in sin’s lack of love. This is a profoundly Catholic interpretation of the merits of Christ, and guards against reductionist metaphors which see the Passion as merely satisfying divine justice, or as an economic exchange. “Christ’s death … atones because of the charity in which he bore it.”

Further to that, Jesus Christ always had perfect and infinite charity, manifested in every act of his. Why should it require the Passion in order to become vicarious for us, in order to restore the members of his mystical body? The answer is that substitutionary payment to God in the form of blood sacrifice is the essential core of satisfaction theory, however much one tries to relegate it to a place of lesser importance.

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16 Secondly, the infinite satisfaction offered by Christ has, as its foundation, the infinite dignity of his person. Although he suffered in his human nature, it was the suffering of a divine person and, therefore, of infinite merit.

This is a given, even in some form for Penal Substitution.

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17 Thus, it was enough to atone for the relative infinitude of sin’s offense against the divine dignity. Thirdly, the material superabundance of the satisfaction for sin is derived from “the greatness of the grief endured” in the Passion, which merited enough to atone for all punishment due to sin. 18 It is significant that Aquinas places the satisfactory sufferings of Christ third in his answer, after establishing the love with which the sacrifice was offered, and the dignity of the person offering it. The reductive caricatures of the atonement we have been considering would put a greater emphasis on the sufferings endured by Christ in order to appease divine justice. There is no trace in Aquinas’ explanation of the idea that the Father treats the Son as an object of wrath or vengeance. The obediential suffering of Christ manifests his love for the human race, which is satiated not only by forgiving our sins in mercy, but satisfying for them in justice.[/b]

No, but if one digs one finds his suffering and death are nevertheless payment that avert that wrath and vengeance from us.

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The personalism in Aquinas’ account is far removed from either penal substitution, or transactional theory of the atonement, which imply more of an external material bargain than an act of interpersonal love. For Aquinas, the “satisfaction does not refer to a legalistic transaction,” rather it was an act of love: “the Passion was most acceptable to God, as coming from charity.”

But why the Passion? Because there is a forensic essence to it, there is a juridical and economic transaction of appeasement somewhere in there, even if there is more to it than that. If there isn't, the form and place of the act of atonement ceases to make sense.

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19 Although, it is true that Aquinas uses the economic metaphor of redemption and price, which are helpful and necessary, he couches them in terms of the relationship between Christ and his members. “Christ made satisfaction, not by giving money or anything of the sort, but by bestowing what was of greatest price—himself—for us. And, therefore, Christ’s Passion is called our redemption.” 20 This is a legitimate metaphor only if it avoids reducing the Passion to a mere external, material exchange satisfying the abstract order of justice.

Is the author putting too much of his own spin on Aquinas? This reads like it.

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One of the most common reasons why Aquinas’ theory of the atonement is rejected is because it is seen as a manifestation of the sadistic penal substitution theory of atonement. In this view, God’s vengeance must be appeased. It is the “just vengeance (of the Father) which the Son of God transferred to himself.” 21 Jesus steps in to take the blow of the paternal wrath. This offers a misguided view of God’s paternity, and is a sad caricature of the redemption. As we have seen, this excessively juridical understanding of the atonement is foreign to Aquinas. The divine desire for vengeance does not need to be satiated, and the cross was not absolutely necessary to forgive sin without injustice.

I don't think the author established this.

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In addition, although we can say that Christ took on the punishment of our guilt in a metaphorical sense, for Aquinas, there is no sense in which Christ was actually guilty as there is for Calvin.

I don't understand what that is supposed to mean, and this reads like a bit of a false dichotomy to me, i.e., a "non-metaphorical sense" implies "Christ was actually guilty". I'm also unsure that's not a straw man against Calvin.

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22 This would involve a disordered will, and would mean true sin in Christ; it is ontologically impossible for Christ to take on our malum culpae.

If we're talking ontologically, and "punishment" is the essential separation from God and everlasting torment of Hell, that's impossible, but not if we are talking in a forensic sense in which Christ can at least be sentenced to be receive "the punishment of our guilt" even if he can never himself be affected by it as we would be.

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Aquinas shows how far his theory is from penal substitution when, in describing the fittingness of the Passion in order to save the human race, he gives as the first reason that “man knows thereby how much God loves him, and is thereby stirred to love him in return.” 23 The penal substitution theory fails to account for this supremely personal and loving exchange between Christ and his members.

To the contrary, the Calvinist will point to how much God loves him that he bore all this for his sake.

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25 It expresses a more ultimate mercy to renew all things in Christ, and to atone for sin, not simply by an act of will (which certainly would have been possible for God), but through an act of merciful justice. [/b]Since all sin is a personal offense against God, he could forgive sin without any injustice apart from the cross. However, “this would have been less fitting, for in satisfying, we are allowed to put matters right with God.” 26 It was more merciful of God to allow us to participate in the justice of Christ. In this act, “mercy and truth have met each other, justice and peace have kissed.” 27 Although the cross was not necessary, it “came of more copious mercy than if (God) had forgiven sins without satisfaction.” 28 The justice of the Passion is the greater mercy.

I think this is a weak argument to make sense of the horror that was the Passion, not to speak of reducing it to something unnecessary and incidental.

Anyway, thanks for your post. I think I'll leave it at that for this thread, as it's gone off-point. The point was that Mary Co-Redemptrix depends on Satisfaction Theory and stands or falls with it, and since the latter was only made explicit in the Middle Ages, where the predominant Patristic and prior view is in fact irreconcilable to it, it's tenuous to me to suggest Mary Co-Redemptrix forms part of an Apostolic tradition. But if it doesn't, surely it cannot be infallibly dogmatised!