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
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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.