Skip to comments.Letter from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to Anglicans opposed to gay bishop
Posted on 04/19/2005 10:39:05 AM PDT by churchillbuff
click here to read article
Welcome Home....you will find all the answers to all your questions, comfort and joy, too!!
I am jealous that your Church bells rang for an hour!! How fabulous!!!
Gosh, I have a seagull sculpture on my dashboard. Crickets you know. Maybe I can have an artist make one for you.:)
Welcome to the flock! :-)
Do you think we'll see in the next few years a reconciliation with the Church of England and conservative Episcopalians? I'd love to see out bretheren come back to the fold!
"I have a problem with anything doctrinal that is outside the bounds of logical interpretation of the New Testament."
And you got this doctrine of the supremacy of the New Testament uber alles from...?
(It's certainly not in the New Testament.)
Like say a church council that decided on the canon of the Bible?
I dont consult the New Testament for economics, just for theological purposes. My faith dictates that I follow the Bible. I am sorry I cannot say the same about yours.
Yes, that is where you and I might get the notion that the New Testament is important (not, however, supreme. A Church Council tells us that Old Testament plus New Testament plus the Holy Traditions of the Church are all the Catholic faith, and not that the New Testament stands alone as the supreme authority or its own interpreter).
But econ grad does not accept the authority of any Church Council or anything else from our idolatrous Church (according to him).
Instead, he has blankly asserted the authority of the New Testament as the interpreter for everything else.
Sure, a Catholic like you, or me, would say that the New Testament has the books it has, and has the authority it has, because the Church canonized it and faithfully separated out the wheat from the chaff, so that we only got the Inspired Word of God there. But the authority for the New Testament then still reposes upon the Teaching Authority of the Church.
Econ grad says there is no such thing.
And he says that he knows that because of the New Testament.
I want to know where in the New Testament it refers to the New Testament, or to any particular canon of Scripture, and where it says that the New Testament is to be used as the sole and final authority.
Of course I know that the answer is IT DOESN'T.
But I didn't assert it did.
So, I want the quote, chapter and verse, in the New Testament that says he should use it like that.
When he cannot produce said quote, I will point to his silence as evidence of the failure of his logic. IF the New Testament could be used like that, on its own terms, then there would be a foundational edifice. But it can't be. The New Testament's authority reposes on tradition. It's part of the Tradition, not apart from it.
He denies that.
I want to see the proof texts for the authority he claims.
Since there aren't any, he's making up authority, which comes down to "I believe what I want to believe".
To which the only possible response is "Gee, that's nice. Why should I follow you down that path?"
"My faith dictates that I follow the Bible. I am sorry I cannot say the same about yours."
But what is the authority for that faith?
Your faith is a tradition.
You are following a tradition.
I am asking you to show me the basis of authority for your tradition.
You say "The New Testament". But the New Testament does not refer to the New Testament. Sometimes it refers to the Old Testament.
So, where do you get the authority, in the New Testament, for asserting that your interpretation of the New Testament is the proper basis for faith?
Official photographic portraits of the Holy Father's two immediate predecessors:
I am not arguing history here, but faith. My faith dictates that I follow the words of the Bible, not the Council of Chalcedon 500 years into the modern era. Give me a break.
"Am giving up on the US Episcopal church, and am going to convert to the Roman Catholic church."
In that case, all you practice is an extension of paganism. Faith, by definition, requires acceptance of an authority without reason. I have accepted the Bible (both books) as an article of my faith (again chosen without reason). Until someone updates my copy, that is my doctrine of faith. Now, you choose to follow some additional texts written by professional priests. And then you will have doctrines based on those doctrines that were previously written by a previous generation of professionals. It is a lot easier to stick to an original text. Until someone really starts performing miracles, I will continue to believe the final dispensation of truth from God, and you can choose to believe other doctrines based on some other doctrines written by professionals.
Well, without a council of the church and apostolic authority and the Holy Spirit residing in it, there is no "Bible." Historically and logically speaking, that is.
You would just have a wild competition of all sorts of claims and spurious gnostic gospels, etc.
Most here, I would hope, would understand that the Continuing churches are, by and large, not in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. (Nor, in general, with each other, though there is movement in that direction.) As being under the auspices of the AoC, technically only the Church of England is.)
Or to put it another way, which "book" in "the Bible" says which books are in the Bible? [nudge, nudge]
Why did you choose that particular book, the New Testament?
Why did you settle on it?
Who taught you that THAT particular collection of books was the one to place faith in, and not any other book?
You were not born with that knowledge.
You did not come up with idea out of the blue and decide that the New Testament was the be-all and end-all.
You learned that from somebody.
Why did you give that somebody credence?
The New Testament does not recommend itself. It doesn't even refer to itself in its text.
I have no particular problem with your giving tremendous authority and placing great faith in the New Testament.
My problem is with the snarky arrogance and hurling of lightning bolt charges of idolatry and worse from the top of Mt. Olympus, while pretending that you are immune from traditions.
The fact that you place such faith in the New Testament was TAUGHT to you. You learned that tradition from somebody. An angel did not appear and hand the book to you. And you were not born knowing that the book existed, let alone being able to read it.
So, you have a tradition, learned from somebody. You just pretend that you don't. The pretence lies in hurling rhetorical lightning bolts at anybody who is honest and traces out the tracks of his tradition. You pretend not to have one, but that is simply untrue. Now, perhaps you are not aware of that, so perhaps you are not aware of how dishonest it sounds to attack all tradition, while refusing to own up to yours.
So, I've just made it easy for you.
Somebody taught you what you know about the New Testament, and its basis for authority. You didn't know that before that somebody taught you. So, that somebody was your spiritual father. Which is great. But why did HE have authority? Once again, the New Testament DOES NOT SAY to place your faith in the New Testament, so if you're asserting the strength of belief you have in the New Testament, you aren't getting that from the New Testament. You're getting it from a tradition outside of the New Testament.
You're merely denying the obvious reality, while denigrating another tradition in your pretence that you don't have one.
Actually, if you try to use the Bible as the basis for the canons of the Bible, you end up with some books that we don't have (like "The Book of the Wars of the Lord"), and other books that are not in the canon, like Jude's reference to Enoch.
What's more, if you use references in, say, the New Testament, you will end up with all of those books of the Old Testament that Protestant traditions call "Apocrypha", because there are about 118 references to the texts in those particular Scriptures in the words of Jesus and the Apostles.
Truth is, Pope Damascus decided which books were in the Latin Bible, in the late 300s. His choice was confirmed at Trent. The Orthodox have a few more books.
Its what I tried to explain about the legs of the stool...but he didnt want to hear it.
Waht I'd REALLY love to know from him is 1) does he believe in a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis and if so 2) is he willing to accept a literal interpretation of Christ's words at the Last Supper "take, eat, for this is My Body...". If he cannot agree to the latter, then all his assertions on the first fall flat of LOGIC.
I an familiar with the Affirmation of St. Louis; most of the so-called "continuing" Anglican churches got their start here, including the one I currently belong to, the Anglican Province of America. There are a number of others.
The 39 Articles which I refer to can be found at or near the back of every BCP since the beginning. Some of them may or may not have been written the way they are for no other reason than to be anti-Rome. I couldn't say. There is also one Article on the error of conducting a service in a language not understood by the people, i.e. Latin.
Perhaps what you are actually using is the Anglican Rite Liturgy which draws much from the BCP but with certain elements of the Roman Catholic mass blended in - that may be a poor way of phrasing it. Forgive me, I don't wish to offend anyone. From what I can tell from reading it, the Anglican Rite Eucharist is a beautiful service.
Where in the Bible does it say there will be a fake Bible until the 16th century?
The ACC has one of those distinctions that has been difficult to explain to people without going into a great deal of history. The Romans lump the ACC in with the ECUSA and say we are still mad about King Henry VIII...and the Protestants don't like us because we are too Catholic in our upholding of the Transubstatiation. I have heard one of our elders in our church talk about consubstatiation, but mainly as a point of reference. From the three years that I have attended this church, and from talking to the priest, Transubstantiation is unquestioned by the ACC.
No offense taken however!! i was glad to converse with you!
"I am not arguing history here, but faith. My faith dictates that I follow the words of the Bible, not the Council of Chalcedon 500 years into the modern era. Give me a break."
Hhmm, don't care about the history. Interesting. Like the bible just exists there in front of you idrectly from God--plopped right down from the big office above. As I wrote before:
"The RCC established the bible. The bible is impotent in creating a Church."
I have not run into that -- until a couple of Sundays back. (I'm in the APCK.) But as our bishop said recently, "in communion with the world-wide Anglican Communion?! Look at who you are 'in communion' with!" (I won't repeat what followed as it was, um, less than "Anglican"?)
Have you heard of our Archbishop John-Charles Vockler? I believe he was instrumental in bringing the ACC and the APCK together. I could be wrong, but I remembered something liek that being announced last year.
Linky please! :D :D
"No offense taken."
I didn't think that would be the case but some people get real touchy on this subject. Exihibit 'A', our friend econ_grad, who seems, illogically, to believe that the Bible itself decided what it was going to be. I've had people accuse me of using a false Bible because we sometimes read lessons from the Apocrypha. We know thy aren't considered Holy Scripture but that doesn't mean they don't have historic value or that we can't learn from them.
I'm always a little leary of anyone who says, "Well, MY Bible says...". Too many of the modern translations are a bit like Cheez-Whiz. It sort of looks like cheese and has a flavor somewhat reminiscent of cheese, but all the really good stuff has been processed out. Know what I mean?
It's only recently I've begin to pay attention to the (Anglican) world outside my own parish. I do know there have been conversations between the ACC and APCK, last fall as I recall it being reported by FIFNA. I have also been told that the APCK and the ACA(/TAC) have recently established grounds for cooperation, hopefully an initial step towards unification. I would like to see these progress.
I agree with you there!!
Actually, 1 Timothy 2 states "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve."
"Where in the Bible does it say there will be a fake Bible until the 16th century?"
Well, right next to the footnote that says that James is an epistle of straw, of course!
Male only ordination has a DIRECT lineage from Christ. There were no female apostles, there were NO women in the Upper Room with Jesus Christ at the Last Supper when he commissioned his Apostles to do as He had taught them. He gave the twelve MALE apostles the DIRECT responsibility of leading His flock. He did NOT add to that "oh by the way, tell your female friends they can lead off a community as well." All authority He passed to them. DIRECT BIBLICAL TRUTH.
Now which is it? Biblical faith, or tradition? You tell me. If you are truly interested in the LOGIC of the New Testament, you would never have made such a foolish statement.
Just watch. The good Cardinal now Pope will moderate a bit as his job begins to set in. No, he won't flip to the dark side, but you will notice more tolerance from him. Just like any well oiled machine, there are the pit bulls and there are the pacifiers. And then there's the top of the heap that blends the two together. The new Pope will be that moderating and buffering force, allowing certain leeway to his pitbulls and pacifiers.
"Too many of the modern translations are a bit like Cheez-Whiz. It sort of looks like cheese and has a flavor somewhat reminiscent of cheese, but all the really good stuff has been processed out. Know what I mean?"
Which takes me back to one of the 39 Articles you mentioned, the part having to do with not conducting liturgies in strange languages. Historically, this was a swipe at Latin, of course.
Latin had a few things to recommend it:
(1) It was the language of the Roman Empire. When Peter came to Rome and established his see there, Latin was the language of the people. Now, perhaps he needed an interpreter to deal with those people (Paul probably did not), but the earliest prayers of the West, and liturgies, were composed in Latin and Greek.
You pointed out the danger of translations. Do it in the liturgical Latin, and you don't run into that.
The NT was composed (at least as far as we know) in Greek.
Everything we can read is but a translation. At least the Latin Vulgate Bible of the West had the virtue of being translated by a native speaker of ancient Greek and Latin. WE are never sure of the full meaning of ancient idiom, because we didn't live there. But Jerome DID, so when HE made translation choices into Latin, he actually gives us a guide as to the ancient meaning of the Greek which we would not otherwise have without the ability to juxtapose the ancient Latin translation to the ancient Greek.
(2) Perform services in Latin, and Catholics all over the world instantly recognize it and can fully participate. In the Catholic Church, to the extent a homily was given, it was always in the vernacular, because it was meant to be understood.
(3) The People were not at all ignorant of what was being said and done. They were catechized. They had little books that gave the translations. Catholics were never stumbling around in ignorance of the Mass.
Truthfully, the historical emphasis on the vernacular was an assertion of rising nationalistic pride, in language and culture. Such pride could not be asserted directly, as it is not very Christian. A "hook" was needed. That people "couldn't understand it" (which wasn't really true - ask any Catholic from the 1950s) was that hook.
The problem with the vernacular is that you end up with dueling translations ("Cheeze Whiz") as you put it, and the sense of mystery and universality is lost. Go sit in a Chinese mass today, and you are lost but for the gestures. Sit in one in 1959, and you were as active a participant as if you were in your home parish.
The original Protestant Churches, such as the English Church with its 39 Articles. Were national churches. They asserted their national languages. But a universal church needs a universal language.
Expect Pope Benedict to give a general indult for the Latin Mass. Expect a return to the Latin in many features of the Church. The experience of Catholicism is that the lapse into English was probably a mistake.
Hadn't seen that pic. Thanks Captain.
It is not.
The agreement is the result of The Official Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation in the United States. The Orthodox Church and the Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Anglican/Lutheran are very different.
The agreement is interesting but not applicable to my comment: Transubstantiation as opposed to Consubstantiation. That an agreement like this one exists is not a big surprise - the Eastern Schism was not about the nature of the Eucharist.
Thanks for helping us all to discern the truth about the idolators. Thanks to your incredibly wise counsel, I gave the old St Anthony on my dashboard the heave-ho, and smashed the Assissi bird-bath in my yard. I've burned my Madonna CDs and I've flushed the St. John's Wort. That aspirin that's supposed to be safe for kids? Gone!! And, from now on I'm taking all my used junk to goodwill. No more St. Vincent de Paul around here!
If I see any Catholics walking around my block, I'm going to bring my kids inside the house directly.
So, tell us 'bout yusself... Do y'all belong to one of them pure churches where the spirit moves y'all to handle snakes and talk in tongues?
Thanks again for all you do!
Well, hang in there with the Episcopal Church.
I am. If the conservatives abandon it, who will be left to fight?
You aren't the only one! In late July 2003, then Cardinal Ratzinger publicly issued a letter/statement that was very clear on the traditional Catholic Christian teaching on what marriage is and is not. A week later, the episcopagan general circus met in Minneapolis where a majority of their bishops-in-name-only voted "okey-dokey" for V.G. Robinson. That was my exit out the ECUSA and across the Tiber. Whatever the problems that might exist in the Catholic Church, there was still a final office and authority to state clearly what traditional Christian teaching has been and will always be. Ratzinger's letter of late July 2003 was a very contrasting witness to the episcopagan "vote" in early August 2003. I would have eventually crossed the Tiber, it was for me more a matter of when than if. My Catholic friends can thank the episcopagan bishops-in-name-only for speeding up my crossing.
Of course, all of us knew that the national church had gone astray long ago (as early as Spong's first pronouncements.) But we could ignore it as long as it stayed in New Jersey (you can imagine what a bunch of Southerners had to say about that) or up in NYC.
But the fish rots from the head down, and V.G. forced the issue on local parishes. Our new rector was a liberal in conservative's clothing . . . he and his vicar backed V.G. all the way, and anyone who had doubts was EVIL.
As my husband says, thank God we have some Adult Leadership now.
"you can imagine what a bunch of Southerners had to say about that"
Indeed I can, since I live in Virginia. When Peter "Judas" Lee voted Okey-Dokey, then tried to backpedal (the EUCSA Diocese of Virginia is the oldest in the US and more conservative than most), he ended up in hot water. In Sept. 2003, he scheduled a bunch of meetings around the Diocese to try and "explain" his "vote" (i.e., do damage control and a shuck and jive job to try and fool people). In most of the meetings, they were packed and he was booed and his answers laughed at, people were nailing him with very tough questions. I'd crossed the Tiber by that time, but Episcopalian friends kept me posted.
We knew the national church had gone off the rails and was rotten, but usually things were different in much of the South. When we saw that our own 'bishops' were just as rotten as the infamous Spong and Browning (when our 'bishops' revealed what they really were), we saw how totally rotten the ECUSA was. As I put it to my former rector, one of the few godly ones left and a fine man, Vichy had totally taken over and I had to get across the Channel where they still sent a few Spitfires up every day to shoot down Heinkels. He liked the analogy!