Thursday, January 25, 2018

INCREDIBLE, BUT HERE WE GO IN AMORIS LAETIAS' FOOTNOTE LOGIC WITH NO REBUKE FROM THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH OR MORE IMPORTANTLY THE HOLY FATHER


Sound bites from article below which shows how progressives in a stealthy way destroy the Catholic Faith:

This one shows how democratic processes like synodality corrupt Catholicism:

We Are Church, a leading lay reform movement, urged the faithful to join in these discussions. “The people in the pews must hold constructive conversations with church leaders in which the bishops are the ones who have something to learn,” it said.

And this is how progressive camels get their nose in the tent and then their whole body:

“Dog, cats and motorcycles get blessings, but we’re not worth one?” Mayor Peter Hinze complained. “It can hardly be made clearer that we’re second-class people.”
“I think it’s a problem theologically if we make blessings dependent on a moral assessment of human behavior,”

“When a car is blessed, the driver is also blessed, regardless of how he drives, the church was authorized to pass on God’s blessing as a promise. The person blessed is supposed to live according to what he was promised.”

THIS IS A SECULAR NEWS REPORT APPEARING IN MANY PAPERS TODAY:

Germany’s Catholic church grappling with blessings for same-sex marriage



MICHAEL KAPPELER dpa
Men with rainbow flags stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate at an event organized by the Social Democrats to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Berlin on June 30.
 
Germany’s unexpected legalization of gay marriage last year has created a pastoral dilemma for the country’s Roman Catholic bishops, who campaigned against the “marriage for all” bill and now have to maintain that doctrinal stand while also showing respect for gay and lesbian parishioners.

Roman Catholicism firmly opposes same-sex marriage as unnatural, so even Germany’s creative theologians have little leeway there. But the theology of giving a blessing to a gay couple is less clear, and two bishops have now spoken out in favor of considering some form of benediction as a way to adjust to the changing times.

The country’s Protestant churches already offer gay couples at least a blessing ceremony, if not a full church marriage, and even the main association for lay Catholics supports allowing blessings. While Pope Francis has ruled out approving gay marriage, he raised expectations of some kind of reform early in his papacy by famously asking “who am I to judge?” about gay people.

“Even though ‘marriage for all’ clearly differs from the church’s understanding of marriage, it is now a political reality,” Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, the deputy chairman of the German Bishops Conference, said earlier this month.

“We have to ask ourselves how we should deal with people who tie this knot. Some of them are active in the church. So how are we going to accompany them with pastoral care and in the liturgy?” Bode asked. “We could think about giving them a blessing.”

After Bode spoke in an interview with his local newspaper, it emerged that another prelate, retiring Auxiliary Bishop Dieter Geerlings of Münster, had essentially said the same a month earlier in a lesser-known provincial daily.

“I’m not for ‘marriage for all,’ but if two homosexuals enter a same-sex relationship, if they want to take responsibility for each other, then I can bless this mutual responsibility,” he said.
“This is valuable and praiseworthy, even if this bond is not in complete agreement with the church.”

Roman Catholicism, though it opposes same-sex marriage, preaches respect for individual gays and lesbians. Both bishops made clear that a church blessing would not amount to a church wedding, because marriage in Catholic teaching is a sacrament reserved for a man and a woman.

This suggestion comes after the bishops protested last June when Chancellor Angela Merkel did an abrupt U-turn that allowed nuptial equality to become legal starting on Oct. 1.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, who as chairman of the bishops conference is the country’s top Catholic leader, reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage just before Christmas and has not publicly reacted to his deputy’s comments.

But the issue is not likely to disappear and may come up again soon — when the bishops hold their next half-yearly meeting in the spring.

Legalization of same-sex marriage came as a surprise because Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, had long opposed it. But she allowed a parliamentary vote on it under strong pressure from her Social Democratic coalition partners and the opposition parties.

In the end, Merkel cast her vote against legalization, but it passed with a comfortable majority.
 
Right after the law was passed, Marx expressed hope that the traditionally Catholic state of Bavaria, where Munich is the capital, would challenge it in Germany’s constitutional court.

The staunchly conservative state government, normally keen to line up with the Catholic Church when it serves its political purposes, commissioned a long legal study but does not seem ready to file a suit.

By contrast, all but one of the 20 regional churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the country’s main Protestant federation, began offering blessings for same-sex couples even before the national law changed.

Five of them allow full church wedding ceremonies and 14 offer blessings, some during a public service and a few only in private.

The church in Württemberg, the region around Stuttgart, is the only holdout. Influenced by a conservative Pietist tradition in Lutheranism, its synod blocked a resolution to allow blessings last November. Reform supporters vowed to keep up their campaign.

About 60 percent of Germans are Christians, with slightly more Catholics than Protestants. Ecumenical cooperation and intermarriage are common, so developments in one denomination are often debated in the other, even if the same change is not made.

The Protestant churches changed their policies in recent years as public acceptance of homosexuality evolved. Germany decided in 2001 to legalize same-sex civil unions, known as “Lebenspartnerschaften” (life partnerships), but pressure for marriage equality grew slowly.
Commonly called “homo marriage” because it was not available to heterosexual couples, the law on same-sex civil unions expired in October when gay marriage was made legal.
 
The Central Committee of German Catholics, an influential association of lay church activists, came out in favor of blessing same-sex couples in 2015. “We must build bridges between church doctrine on marriage and the family and the world that believers are living in today,” it said.

Although most church officials still reject it, the idea of blessing gay couples has been under discussion long before Bode’s interview in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung made national headlines.

“I know the issue is out there, not only in Osnabrücker or in the (episcopal conference’s) Pastoral Commission, but across Germany,” said Holger Dörnemann, the new delegate for relations with gay people in the Cologne Archdiocese, the largest and richest in the country.
“The discussions in recent years have shown this. (Bode) has only expressed what is actually under discussion in every diocese,” Dörnemann told the archdiocese’s radio station.

We Are Church, a leading lay reform movement, urged the faithful to join in these discussions. “The people in the pews must hold constructive conversations with church leaders in which the bishops are the ones who have something to learn,” it said.

The blessing issue made headlines in September when a bishop barred a priest in Emmerich, near the Dutch border, from giving one in church to the city’s gay mayor and his partner.
“Dog, cats and motorcycles get blessings, but we’re not worth one?” Mayor Peter Hinze complained. “It can hardly be made clearer that we’re second-class people.”

Several Catholic theologians have chimed in to say blessings are a sign of God’s mercy and should not be refused to believers who do not live up to church teachings completely.
“I think it’s a problem theologically if we make blessings dependent on a moral assessment of human behavior,” Benedikt Kranemann, a professor of liturgy at the University of Erfurt, told the church’s official news site, katholisch.de.

“When a car is blessed, the driver is also blessed, regardless of how he drives,” he said. “The church was authorized to pass on God’s blessing as a promise. The person blessed is supposed to live according to what he was promised.”

27 comments:

Joseph Johnson said...

Bless the individual person---not the gay couple or the gay "union."

Anonymous said...

The Church's ultimate trial

675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.576

676 The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,577 especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.578

677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581. CCC

Well it had to happen I guess. Can you imagine the judgement Bergoglio will be receiving. I wouldn’t want to be him for all the money in the world. Keep the Faith ignore this man and his henchmen, be happy, live a Catholic Life. It looks like no faithful Catholic can honestly belong to a Novus Ordo parish any longer if this garbage takes hold. It’s either the SSPX, the few underground churches or just staying home and reading the daily Mass from a missal and making a spiritual communion. Anything would be better spiritually than approving of this evil nonsense by continuing to attend.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course no one is exempt from the final blessing at Mass or any other blessing of groups or individuals and blessings are calling upon God's grace to bless the person, but if the person isn't in a state of grace, the graces bestowed can be hijacked or a condemnation as for example a Catholic who is in a state of mortal sin who chooses to receive Holy Communion, the highest blessing there is in the Catholic Church, does he receive the grace of Holy Communion or condemnation?

Of course this is a Trojan horse what is suggested and the way to eventually acknowledge gay marriage as a sacrament.

Mrs. Albert Peterson said...

"Of course this is a Trojan horse what is suggested and the way to eventually acknowledge gay marriage as a sacrament."

Anyone. This sentence diagram. Dare you I.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course MAP, most people talk that away in casual conversation, you know and when doing so the, of course, as I am suggesting, talk that away, now in a scholarly paper, you know, one doesn't talk or even write that away but uses the king's english for that kind of Trojan horse. But i like italian syntax with my english and who are you to do judge anyway, if i can go to communion at any old time why can't i use my own english?

Rood Screen said...

Could priests offer to perform minor exorcisms over such couples?

TJM said...

What this is really telling the Faithful is there are a lot of sexually active gay bishops and priests in Germany (a lot of nazi bigwigs like Ernst Roehm were gay, by the way) and they are just trying to pervert the Faith to suit their evil lifestyle.

Mrs. Albert Peterson said...

Now, I don't know who you spend your time talking with, but, no, "most people" don't talk that way unless they are poorly educated (hmmm...) or they are "'tween" girls involved in some kind of theatrical farce in place of conversation.

Bad grammar is bad grammar.

ByzRC said...


Wouldn't it be more "pastoral" to counsel/guide these couples relative to the precepts of the church as opposed to blessing (making holy) unions that aren't contemplated?

Perhaps the German hierarchy will also bless the new autobahn they are building to Moscow when it is finished.

Adam Michael said...

The underlying problem with the German hierarchy and the Latin Church is that the majority of clergy and laity do not believe that doctrine cannot evolve into new teachings. Most Roman Catholics adhere to a faulty conception of doctrinal development, which holds that while the Deposit of Faith is materially complete, the Church is not completely aware of her own Faith. Therefore, modern Catholics are not seen as bound to the teachings of the Holy Fathers (or even the scholastics, for that matter). Thus, they see no problem with developing blessings for same-sex couples and generally pushing the Church forward to new beliefs, which are seen as justified as the Church simply discovering the full contents of her Faith. Unfortunately, conservative Catholics are little better than the liberals since they too dabble in the faulty view of doctrinal development (e.g. accepting that the Catholic teaching on religious liberty and the death penalty evolved into new beliefs), thus leaving them eventually content to settle for more egregious examples of doctrinal change/development as long as some conservative principles are included.

Anonymous said...

The root problem is heretic German Cardinal Walter Kasper whose false theology is followed and incorporated into Jorge Bergoglios mind.
Until this problem is confronted and addressed schism will widen in the Catholic Church.
Signed John Larkin

Adam Michael said...

Cardinal Kasper is just one notable and temporarily influential expression of the heterodox notion of doctrinal development that I mentioned above. Until this root problem is corrected, Cardinal Kasper will never be disciplined and there will be many worse prelates to succeed him.

Anonymous said...

To Adam Michael.
What must be understood is Christs promise of indefectability to His church. That is real. Individual Catholics cognisant of the eternal truths of the faith must always proclaim them despite opposition and confusion within the church itself.
St. John Fisher had an axiom for discerning the presence of the Holy Spirit in the teachings of the church which I quote :" Whoever does not receive the orthodox Fathers despises the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and it is clear he does not possess that Holy Spirt"
Let us be crystal clear here.
The teachings of the orthodox Fathers have always right up to Pope St John Paul 2 have prohibited Holy Communion to practising adulterers.
Cardinal Walter Kasper and Pope Francis are trying to change that teaching.
As such IT CAN NOT BE FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Laity, priests and bishops must work to prevent Pope Francis from spreading the false teaching in Amoris Laetitiae chapter 8.
This aforesaid teaching and other heterodox views from the Petrine office are causing schism in the church.
Kind regards
John Larkin.

Adam Michael said...

Well, I guess I see the problem as more deeply rooted than Pope Francis and his views on who may receive Holy Communion (or any of his teachings). Without addressing *why* Pope Francis feels empowered to make changes and *why* Catholic prelates feel free to introduce various doctrinal innovations, our success in restoring orthodoxy is limited. As this blog and others note, the current crisis in Catholicism is hardly limited to one or another heterodox teaching. There is a theological illness in the Catholic Church that makes modern churchmen and laity approve doctrinal innovation or respond to it without the vigor of the Holy Fathers. That illness is a false view of doctrinal development, as mentioned above. Without addressing this view of doctrine that breeds innovation, most Catholics will only oppose one error to have it replaced with seven errors worse than the first. Let's not miss the forest for the trees.

Anonymous said...

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/

Adam Michael said...

Nah, with the Church in crisis, I cannot afford to learn about doctrinal development. Rather, I need to learn about the Church as the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15) (you cannot really uphold truths that you have yet to realize) and the "faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) (the holy martyrs did not die for incognito truths) and to fulfill Christ's Great Commission to "teach them to obey all I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20) (no repeat trips when new teachings get realized). Ultimately, the problem with heterodox views of doctrinal development (anything beyond an affirmation that the Faith gets more explicitly expressed over time with the Church continuing to profess the ancient Faith at all times) is that there is no way to verify when new teachings are explicit affirmations of the Faith and when they are innovations. We are reduced to trusting one man to have the right judgment. However, St. Paul warned us to beware of and condemn anyone who teaches a "new teaching" beyond what St. Paul taught (Gal. 1:8). The apostle could hardly make such a statement if he believed that due to doctrinal development there may be teachings later revealed that he did not preach.

Anonymous said...

"I cannot afford to learn about doctrinal development."

The development of doctrine has been part of the Tradition of the Church since Day One. Every Council has affirmed Divinely revealed Truth while developing the doctrine (application) of those Truths to changing human needs and circumstances.

It is easy to say "I don't want to learn," but it is not particularly helpful.

Adam Michael said...

Anonymous,

I was going for the rhetorical effect with "I cannot afford to learn about doctrinal development." My point was not that I do not want to learn (I love learning), but that faithful Catholics are ill-served by yet another focus on doctrinal development, which is a principle abused by doctrinal innovators to justify their renovation of Holy Tradition.

In my experience, those who adhere to an always known, believed, and taught Faith of the Church have little need to be taught that this Faith is defended at ecumenical councils, applied to the needs of people of all ages, and expressed in a variety of ways over time (without introducing beliefs hitherto unknown in the Deposit of Faith), while those purveyors of a Church partially ignorant of her Faith are pleased to sometimes affirm that "development of doctrine" is limited to application of the ancient Faith to new settings but conveniently use "doctrinal development" to find teachings previously unknown in the Deposit of Faith when needed to uphold their personal submission to new teachings and to garner the same allegiance from others.

In short, anonymous, when one hears someone discussing "development of doctrine" - get ready, you are being primed to either accept doctrinal innovation or not argue against it.

Anonymous said...

From Catholic Answers (https://www.catholic.com/tract/can-dogma-develop)

Dei Verbum 8 ""The tradition which comes from the apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts, through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For, as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."

"However, when we read Scripture in the light of the apostles’ authentic teachings, we sometimes forget that some central doctrines (such as the Trinity and the hypostatic union) were not always understood or as clearly expounded in the Church’s early days the way they are now. Understanding grew and deepened over time. As an example, consider the Holy Spirit’s divinity. In Scripture, references to it seem to jump out at us. But if we imagine ourselves as ancient pagans or as present-day non-Christians reading the Bible for the first time, we realize, for them, the Holy Spirit’s status as a divine person is not as clearly present in Scripture, since they are less likely to notice details pointing to it. If we think of ourselves as having no recourse to apostolic tradition and to the Church’s teaching authority that the Holy Spirit guides into all truth (cf. John 14:25-26, 16:13), we can appreciate how easy it must have been for the early heresies concerning the Trinity and Holy Spirit to arise."

[Understanding grows and deepens over time. Better and deeper understanding will have to be expressed in ways that are, well, better and deeper. That is, it seems to me, the development of doctrine.]

Catholic Answers continues, "This need to discern more clearly what is contained in the deposit of faith given to the Church by the apostles points us to the related subjects of infallibility and inspiration. The pope and the bishops (when teaching in union with him) have the charism of infallibility when defining matters of faith or morals; but infallibility works only negatively. Through the intervention of the Holy Spirit, the pope and bishops are prevented from teaching what is untrue, but they are not forced or told by the Holy Spirit to teach what is true. To put it another way, the pope and the bishops are not inspired the way the authors of Scripture or the prophets were. To make a new definition, to clear up some dogmatic confusion, they first have to use human reason, operating on what is known to date, to be able to teach more precisely what is to be held as true. They cannot teach what they do not know, and they learn things the same way we do. They have no access to prophetic shortcuts—they must delve by study into the riches of the words God has already given us."

There may be a "need to discern more clearly what is contained in the deposit of faith given to the Church by the apostles." Again, this is how doctrine develops.






Adam Michael said...

If the Church may not have understood the fundamental nature of God before Nicaea, her early priests could hardly have fulfilled the Great Commission of catechizing catechumens before their baptism (Matt. 28:20), nor could the apostles have passed on the Faith (even in its essence) to worthy men who could likewise teach others (1 Tim. 2:2). St. Irenaeus of Lyons clearly had faith in the fullness of teaching possessed by the Church:

"We should not seek from others the truth which can easily be received from the Church. For in her, as in a rich treasury, the Apostles placed in fullness all that belongs to the truth, so that whoever wishes can receive from her the water of life. She is the entrance to life."

Unlike Catholic Answers (CA), St. Irenaeus did not believe that the infallibility of the Church was only a negative protection from error, but possessed a totality of known truth that warranted the obedience of faith from the household of God. Based on this, St. Clement of Alexandria believed that new teachings of heretics could be judged by the fullness of Tradition known and taught by the Church by observing,

"The dogmas taught by strange sects will be brought forward. And against these dogmas will be opposed all those things that should be premised in accordance with the profoundest contemplation of the knowledge that will advance to our view, as we proceed to the renowned and venerable canon of tradition."

Additionally, unlike CA, which believes that in the face of new teachings, the Church must use reason to discover and learn the contents of her Faith, Tertullian maintained that the Church's known teachings are the basis of ecclesiastic recognition:

"We are in communion with the apostolic churches because there is no difference of doctrine….This test will be applied to those churches of a later date, which are daily being founded. Though they cannot therefore produce an Apostle or an apostolic man for their founder, still, if they unite in holding the same faith, they equally are reckoned apostolic because of the kinship of their teaching."

Finally, encapsulating the true and orthodox position on doctrinal development, St. Vincent of Lerins clarifies that the development in explicit teaching can never alter the beliefs of the faithful in antiquity:

"But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view — if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it. Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude?"

According to St. Vincent of Lerins, the same doctrines are always believed by the faithful and preached by the Church and any development corresponds only to the appreciation and better clarity of that always-believed teaching of the Church. Align yourself with St. Vincent not this piece from CA. Let doctrine become more explicitly expressed over time, but do not reduce the Church's leaders to progressively learning the beliefs that they are charged to preserve and teach to others, for such is not what the Holy Fathers have bequeathed to the Church.

Anonymous said...

"If the Church may not have understood the fundamental nature of God before Nicaea, her early priests could hardly have fulfilled the Great Commission of catechizing catechumens before their baptism (Matt. 28:20), nor could the apostles have passed on the Faith (even in its essence) to worthy men who could likewise teach others (1 Tim. 2:2)."

Yes, they could have, to the best of then then current understanding.

Not a single Apostle had an inkling of transubstantiation, yet they passed on to the next generation what they knew about the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist.

This, of itself, is a pretty good description of the Traditional Catholic understanding of the development of Doctrine: "...if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it."

And the authority of Vatican Two surpasses that of ST. Vincent of Lerins and/or Tertullian.



Adam Michael said...

"Yes, they could have, to the best of then then current understanding."

If the apostles and the leaders of the early Church did not know, believe, and preach belief in the Holy Trinity, they actually did not teach early Christians the rudimentary principles of the Gospel. Under your view of doctrinal development, you can accord good will to the apostles and early Church, but you cannot allow them to teach what they themselves did not know, any more than you and I can teach things of which we are unaware. Unless you affirm that God’s nature is concurrent with what is known about him, in your understanding of doctrinal development, belief in God, himself, was incomplete and mere shadows and types in the preaching of the apostles and early Church. This directly contradicts 1 Timothy 3:16 (“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”) Once the full revelation of God is made manifest in the world (Hebrews 1:1), the beliefs of the Old Covenant about God’s nature (e.g. no Trinity) are not any more sufficient for salvation than is attempted justification by works of the law. Any belief in the Lord that is incomplete after the coming of Christ can hardly be called the faith of the Church of the living God. Like St. John the Theologian, the ancient testimony of the Church remains: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). A claimed understanding of God that does not truly know Him that is true (as in heterodox doctrinal development) makes 1 John 5:20 a lie and distorts the teaching of Holy Scripture preserved anciently in the Church.

"Not a single Apostle had an inkling of transubstantiation, yet they passed on to the next generation what they knew about the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist."

The Orthodox Church does not adhere to the specifics of transubstantiation, but affirms a change of the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Since Orthodox are not accused of material heresy for their lack of belief regarding the details of transubstantiation, it appears to be belief in the substantial change of the elements that constitutes the essential nature of the Catholic Church's Eucharistic faith, not the details of transubstantiation. Are you maintaining that the early Church did not believe in a complete change of the Eucharistic elements into Christ's Body and Blood? If so, listen to the orthodox teaching of St. Ignatius of Antioch:

“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).

Adam Michael said...

Or St. Justin Martyr:

“For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus”

If you deny that the teachings of these saints of the Church were received from the apostles, remember that the ancient Church thought much differently of the apostles’ teaching. Reflecting the immemorial nature of the Church’s apostolic Faith, Origen affirmed:

“The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the apostles and remains in the churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition”

Likewise, Eusebius of Caesarea believed that all who wished to know the truth about God could rely on the tradition of the apostles:

“It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world.”

Finally, the ancient Church had much faith in the plenitude of the apostles’ teaching, as reflected by St. Polycarp:

“Our apostles likewise knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife over the bishop’s office. For this reason, therefore, having received complete foreknowledge, they appointed the officials mentioned earlier and afterwards they gave the offices a permanent character; that is, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry”

If the apostles’ were believed to have possessed guidance on the specifics of the episcopacy, they most certainly were thought by the ancient Church to have believed and taught all of their Faith, including its most basic beliefs. In embracing heterodox forms of doctrinal development, you distance yourself from all the Holy and God-bearing Fathers of the Church and the position of all ancient ecclesiastics.

"This, of itself, is a pretty good description of the Traditional Catholic understanding of the development of Doctrine: "...if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it."

Just remember to assent to the rest of the quote, in which St. Vincent of Lerins states that the same Faith has always been believed and preached by the Church. St. Vincent of Lerins, as a symbol of the consensus of the Holy Fathers on the nature of Holy Tradition, precludes the innovative and heterodox view of doctrinal development that posits a complete Deposit of Faith whose full contents may not have been believed and preached anciently in the Church. You distort the saint by partially quoting him in favor of your innovation, while altering his meaning by refusing to submit to the totality of his words.

Adam Michael said...


"And the authority of Vatican Two surpasses that of ST. Vincent of Lerins and/or Tertullian."

And, therein, is the problem. It is a false view of Holy Tradition to oppose the proclamations of ecumenical councils to that which has always been taught by the Church through the consensus of the Holy Fathers. The Tradition of the Church is one fountain, of which both ecumenical councils and the saints of the Church partake. If you oppose one to the other you distance yourself from the very Tradition that ecumenical councils exist to strengthen. Your faith is received from apostolic tradition or it is not received at all. Consider the words of St. Athanasius the Great:

“But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy has wished to unsettle it, but has not been able”

Be careful in rejecting St. Vincent of Lerins, St. Irenaeus, St. Clement of Alexandria, for in doing so, you make yourself a stranger to the Holy Tradition they preached. I call you to embrace the true and authentic view of Holy Tradition taught by the Holy Fathers, preserved in the divine services, and witnessed by the martyrs, not innovative understandings of doctrinal development that breed worse innovations and the eventual abandonment of all ancient truth for modern fancies.

Anonymous said...

I am not rejecting Vincent, Irenaeus, or Clement. I am saying that only insofar as their writings comports with the Church magisterium do they belong to Tradition.

Many saints have written many words that are pious, catechetical, inspirational, and useful for the building up of the Faith.

Not all that they have written is necessarily dogmatic.

The doctrine of transubstantiation was, in its day, an innovation. It expressed and expresses that which the Church has always believes, but that expression was "new" in its day. New is not necessarily bad or non-Traditional.

"Are you maintaining that the early Church did not believe in a complete change of the Eucharistic elements into Christ's Body and Blood?" I struggle with the words "complete change of the Eucharistic elements." They believed it was the Body and Blood of the Lord, of course. But I don't know that the "complete change of the Eucharistic elements" was in anyone's mind at the time.

How would you understand the Vatican Two decree on Ecumenism in light of your way of understanding Vincent of Lerins' understanding of the what the Church of antiquity believed and taught?

Adam Michael said...

“I am not rejecting Vincent, Irenaeus, or Clement. I am saying that only insofar as their writings comports with the Church magisterium do they belong to Tradition.”

The idea of a church teaching authority that is detached from the unanimous consent of the fathers is foreign to the ancient self-understanding of the Church. The teaching authority of bishops can derive from none other than the unbroken tradition of the apostles. Any claimed teaching authority that is divorced from the unanimous teaching of the Holy Fathers has always been foreign to the Church and reduces the common patrimony of apostolic tradition to the whims of one man. Consider the teaching of St. Cyprian of Carthage:

“The bishops who are set over the churches of the Lord by divine grace, throughout the whole world, maintain the plan of evangelical truth and of the tradition of the Lord. They do not depart, by human and novel institution, from that which Christ our Master both commanded and did.”

If the teachings of the bishops were subject to a larger magisterium that stood in judgment of Tradition, itself, how could St. Cyprian say that these bishops do not depart into novelties? In the same manner, St. John Chrysostom believed that anything beyond the teaching of Tradition is unnecessary:

“So then, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by Epistle of ours’ (2 Th. 2:15). Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no further.”

St. John Chrysostom could not have told others to “look no further” if there existed a magisterium that existed to periodically correct the unanimous patrimony of the Fathers.

Likewise, St. John of Damascus knew of no teaching authority that sought to teach anything but the common inheritance of the Fathers:

Adam Michael said...

“Therefore my brethren, let us stand on the rock of faith in the Tradition of the Church, not removing the landmarks set by our holy fathers; not giving room to those who wish to introduce novelties and destroy the edifice of God’s holy, catholic and apostolic Church”

“Many saints have written many words that are pious, catechetical, inspirational, and useful for the building up of the Faith. Not all that they have written is necessarily dogmatic.”

That which is considered dogmatic evolves with time, but the obedience required to Holy Tradition remains constant for all time. Speaking of the necessary obedience of all the Church to Holy Tradition, St. Basil the Great maintained that:
“Of the dogmas and sermons preserved in the Church, certain ones we have from written instruction, and certain ones we have received from the Apostolic Tradition, handed down in secret. Both the one and the other have one and the same authority for piety, and no one who is even the least informed in the decrees of the Church will contradict this. For if we dare to overthrow the unwritten customs as if they did not have great importance, we shall thereby imperceptively do harm to the Gospel in its most important points. And even more, we shall be left with the empty name of the Apostolic preaching without content.”

Likewise, St. Maximus the Confessor testified to the eternal validity of Tradition when he stated:

“In no way will I say anything of my own, but what I have learned from the Fathers, altering nothing of their teaching.”

“The doctrine of transubstantiation was, in its day, an innovation. It expressed and expresses that which the Church has always believes, but that expression was "new" in its day. New is not necessarily bad or non-Traditional.”

If something expresses what the Church has always believed, but in new, more precise language (e.g. the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed), there is no technical problem with doctrinal development. However, if someone is claiming that while the Deposit of Faith is materially complete, the Church does not know or teach its full contents throughout history, they oppose the Church’s immemorial understanding of Holy Tradition.

“But I don't know that the "complete change of the Eucharistic elements" was in anyone's mind at the time.”

Given the fullness of patristic teaching, it may be more accurate to state that the ancient Church believed in a “substantial change” in the Eucharistic elements.

“How would you understand the Vatican Two decree on Ecumenism in light of your way of understanding Vincent of Lerins' understanding of the what the Church of antiquity believed and taught?”

I have no unique way of understanding St. Vincent of Lerins or any of the Holy Fathers. I simply let them completely inform my beliefs. Regarding the interpretation of Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, the responsibility rests with you to interpret this document in a manner congruent with the Faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). In order to assist you in this effort, these words from St. Augustine may motivate your journey of fidelity to the Holy Tradition of the Church:

“But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the apostles themselves or by plenary councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church”

With St. Augustine, we cannot pit the teachings of ecumenical councils against the one Tradition to which we carefully attend.