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It Didn't Go Out with Vatican II
Mark-Shea.com ^ | Mark P. Shea

Posted on 07/15/2002 7:41:40 PM PDT by american colleen

It Didn't Go Out with Vatican II

My pal Dave is a convert like me. When he first began looking at the Church he often had conversations with confident, relaxed, and well-meaning lay Catholics who would assure him that this and that "went out with Vatican II".

"How about those doily thingamabobs on women's heads?" he'd ask.

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

"Latin?"

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

"The Immaculate Conception?"

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

"The doctrine of the Trinity?"

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

It was at this point that Dave paused and began to realize that even he, as little as he knew about Catholicism, was reasonably sure that the doctrine of the Trinity had not "gone out with Vatican II" and that he was going to have to look further than hearsay from Catholics catechized by Fr. Groovy and Sr. Issues to find out what was going on.

Many of us have been in a similar position. The "It Went Out With Vatican II" disease causes many Catholics to talk as though the Church before the Council was a completely different animal than the Church after the Council and not a continuation of the same Church. The funny thing, of course, is that both arch-conservative dissenters and arch-liberal dissenters from the Catholic Church talk this way. For the arch-Traditionalist dissenter, the post-conciliar Church is bad because it is no longer the Catholic Church and the goal is to climb into the Wayback Machine and return to the Golden Age. For the arch-Liberal, the post-conciliar Church is supposedly NewChurch or WomynChurch or AmChurch or McChurch: a faboo new Church having nothing whatever to do with that awful old "pre-Vatican II Church". It is only on the relatively minor matter of whether the old or new Church is good that conservative and liberal dissenters disagree. On the central question of whether there are two Churches, pre- and post-Vatican II, they are in happy agreement. How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!

But if you ask the Church itself, you get a different answer. For it goes on insisting that there is one holy, Catholic and apostolic church, not two.

"Well, yes" say our Progressive and Traditionalist dissenting friends with one voice. "They have to say that for propaganda purposes. But the fact remains it's really two different Churches before and after the Council. Because before the Council the Church taught 'extra ecclesia nulla salus' or 'outside the Church there is no salvation'. However, Vatican II taught that Protestants and other non-Catholics, heck, even non-Christians, could be saved. That is a total reversal and it is wonderful/terrible!" (Here the Progressive and Traditionalist dissenters fall on each other shouting, "It's terrible! It's wonderful!" and roll away in the dust, pulling each other's hair, kicking and scratching.)

Leaving our friends to work out their differences in this productive manner, we Catholics need to stop and think about this common notion, since it is so very common. Did the Church reverse itself at Vatican II and declare that outside the Church there is salvation? Did the Church before Vatican II teach that only Catholics could be saved?

The answer to this riddle is to be found in a mysterious and ancient Catholic book: the New Testament. In that book we find two sayings which have to be held as true and which cannot be explained away.

The first is a saying by Jesus of Nazareth which reflects rather remarkably the "pre-Vatican II" teaching that outside the Church there is no salvation. For Jesus tells us, "He who is not with me is against me" (Matthew 12:30) in a way that is most disturbingly non-inclusive and more reminiscent of George W. Bush talking to states which sponsor terrorism than of a Rogerian counselor affirming us in our okayness. It's exactly the sort of sentiment that makes arch-Progressive dissenters squirm and complain about the exclusiveness of the pre-Vatican II Church. And yet, there it is on the lips of Jesus Christ himself. Worse still, there it still is on the lips of the post-Vatican II Church in The Catechism of the Catholic Church which tells us (in a big, large print header no less):

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

The pre-Vatican II Church doesn't appear to be as dead as it looked. And indeed, even a cursory examination of this paragraph reveals that it is nothing other than a restatement of... Vatican II (Lumen Gentium, Chapter II, 14)! The Church still teaches--dogmatically!--that "outside the Church there is no salvation". And it does so for the simple reason stated by Jesus: "He who is not with me is against me."

"So you say," grumbles the disgruntled arch-Traditionalist dissenter, "but the Vatican II Church offers with the right hand only to take away with the left. For it immediately turns around in the very next paragraph of the Catechism to write:

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."

"This," says the arch-Traditionalist dissenter, "basically leaves the door wide open for the indifferentist notion that everybody from everywhere is going to be saved, whether they are members of the Church or not."

That's a serious charge and would be a serious argument that the Second Vatican Council was wrong--if it was true. The problem is, neither the Catechism nor Lumen Gentium teach that "everybody from everywhere is going to be saved, whether they are members of the Church or not". On the contrary, the Church teaches that anybody from anywhere, if he or she is saved, will indeed find (perhaps to their surprise) that they are, in fact, in some form of union with the Catholic Church.

The Church teaches this because of another passage in Scripture, which reads thus:

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:38-40)

John assumes precisely what our arch-Traditionalist dissenter assumes: if you are not in visible union with the Church--if you are not "following us" (by which he means "following the apostolic college"), then you can't possibly be under the influence of Jesus Christ. But Jesus corrects him: "He that is not against us is for us." This saying is the paradoxical complement to his first saying. For it makes the common sense point that, on the one hand, there is no salvation outside the Church, yet, on the other hand, we puny mortals do not know where "outside" is.

Jesus re-emphasizes this point in the parable of the sheep and the goats, which deals specifically with the judgment of "the nations". Interestingly, the strong suggestion of the parable is that those under judgment, both goat and sheep, are people who have no idea that in their acts of obedience and disobedience to conscience, they were in fact responding to Jesus Christ: "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?" (Matthew 25:37-39).

In short, the saved sheep speak as non-Christians, as people who just thought they were doing the right thing and had no idea that they were, in fact, acting by the secret grace of the Holy Spirit.

It is because of this that the Church has always insisted on the necessity of being in union with the Church while simultaneously refusing to make any judgment about who is ultimately "outside the Church" and has never had a roll of "anti-saints" who are certainly in Hell to parallel its definite declarations about saints who are in Heaven. In Heaven, there is sufficient light to see who's there. But at the mysterious periphery of the communion of saints, it's difficult to see what God is up to, so the Church doesn't presume to judge. It simply bears in mind the tradition summed up in the Catechism's paragraph 1257: God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments."

Copyright 2001 - Mark P. Shea


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; liberals; traditionalists
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I enjoyed this essay.
1 posted on 07/15/2002 7:41:40 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
I enjoyed this essay.

I did too. I especially appreciated the highlighting of Jesus words:

He who is not against us is with us.

The Good Lord casts a wide net, doesnt' He?

2 posted on 07/15/2002 7:49:25 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: american colleen
Good stuff. I am a no-longer-bitter, ex-Catholic, who is re-awakening to the fact that the 'ol gal ain't so bad after all.
3 posted on 07/15/2002 8:08:26 PM PDT by keithtoo
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To: american colleen
"The first is a saying by Jesus of Nazareth which reflects rather remarkably the "pre-Vatican II" teaching that outside the Church there is no salvation."

When Jesus spoke these words the "Catholic" church did not exist. I'm a bit rusty with my exact Biblical quotes, but I believe Jesus said something to the effect that "wherever two are gathered in my name, I am there."

Now as I said, I'm a bit rusty, but I don't believe he said "wherever two Catholics are gathered in my name, I am there." And to tell you the truth, I feel closer to God when I am wandering around alone in the Cedar swamps up here where I live......

4 posted on 07/15/2002 8:12:32 PM PDT by yooper
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To: *Catholic_list; Diago; Salvation; patent
.
5 posted on 07/15/2002 8:37:02 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: yooper
Which is what I think a lot of people feel when they are by themselves no matter where in the mountains, on the beaches, on the plains, wherever which just proves God is in our hearts wherever we are. One Nation Under God.
6 posted on 07/15/2002 8:51:28 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: father_elijah; Antoninus; aposiopetic; Salvation; ELS; nina0113; Steve0113; el_chupacabra; ...
Leaving our friends to work out their differences in this productive manner,
LOL. Bumping, click my screen name for a description, etc.

patent  +AMDG

7 posted on 07/15/2002 9:13:49 PM PDT by patent
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To: sinkspur
He who is not against us is with us.
The Good Lord casts a wide net, doesnt' He?
I think the reality is that we don’t know, and each of us has a bias that determines how we interpret these phrases. As the author said, “But at the mysterious periphery of the communion of saints, it's difficult to see what God is up to, so the Church doesn't presume to judge.”

Dominus Vobiscum

patent  +AMDG

8 posted on 07/15/2002 9:15:51 PM PDT by patent
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To: keithtoo
The "old gal" is all we've got! Well, you know what I mean. :-)
9 posted on 07/15/2002 10:10:14 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: sinkspur
One of the reasons I enjoyed this essay is that it reminded me of the "Catholic" threads on FR. I had you for the resident "lefty" (sorry, but you fit the bill as far as FR goes - but you might be a "righty" in the real world!) and I'm racking my brains to figure out who'd be the "righty" - not sure on that one yet.
10 posted on 07/15/2002 10:12:57 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: RnMomof7; xzins
"He that is not against us is for us." This saying is the paradoxical complement to his first saying. For it makes the common sense point that, on the one hand, there is no salvation outside the Church, yet, on the other hand, we puny mortals do not know where "outside" is.

I thought you both might like this essay after all the back and forth on the Lutheran Minister thread (which I gave up on). A little different take on the same sort of issue.

11 posted on 07/15/2002 10:18:07 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Vatican II essay. Any comments, anyone?

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Alleluia Ping list.

12 posted on 07/15/2002 10:22:23 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: american colleen
Good post. Thanks!
13 posted on 07/15/2002 11:02:05 PM PDT by Theresa
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To: american colleen
Here's an on-line book, Is Feenyism Catholic? by Fr. Francois Laisney.
14 posted on 07/16/2002 12:44:39 AM PDT by Dajjal
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To: patent
Thanks for the bump
15 posted on 07/16/2002 2:02:48 AM PDT by .45MAN
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To: american colleen
This article was pretty good. I have spent hours and hours dealing with this issue with my former friends on the schismatic right. I am on vacation right now and don't have access to my books, but I do recall citing the old Roman Missal to help buttress the constant teaching that constitutes EENS.
Jan 23rd is the Feast of St. Emerentiana who was martyred while a Catechumen. End of arguement as far as I am concerned. She is a Saint who was never "inside."
Of course, Trent also supports the teaching. About Baptism, it teaches that an adults need not be Baptised immediately while Catechumens because if they were to die the desire of Baptism would suffice to righteousness. They too would be among those saved while "outside."
16 posted on 07/16/2002 3:08:26 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Salvation
Thanks for the ping - It is a thoughtful article for today's world. I like the "He that is not against us is with us" thought
17 posted on 07/16/2002 3:58:35 AM PDT by maica
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To: american colleen
From Cardinal Kasper:

Liturgical good news -- from the Vatican!

Despite all the bad news from the Vatican's liturgy office, there's good news down the hall. Cardinal Walter Kasper's Christian Unity office, in consultation with Ratzinger's doctrinal commission and another on Eastern Churches, recently published guidelines that allow the Chaldean Church, a church in union with Rome, to pray the Eucharistic Prayer of the Assyrian Church (not in union with Rome). This prayer does not contain the traditional narrative of the institution of the eucharist. Thus Rome has recognized that the Eucharistic Prayer can be enacted, bread and wine becoming for us the body and blood of Christ as we give God thanks, without the "words of consecration." The whole prayer is consecratory. Liturgy scholar Gabe Huck told ChurchWatch, "This is important because it tells us we must see this prayer as a whole, done by presider proclaiming and assembly acclaiming, from 'Lift up your hearts!' to the great Amen."

From http://www.cta-usa.org/watch02-02/newsbriefs.html

Kasper's article, beneath its complicated details, is animated by the desire to secure greater "pastoral flexibility" in areas where a gap seems to be widening between the Church's official positions and the actual practices of many local churches. It is a fact that the Church's official positions tend to be implemented with increasing reluctance, if not simply ignored, in many local churches throughout the world, particularly in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and the nations of western Europe. Areas of disagreement and contention with the Vatican include, according to Kasper, "ethical issues, sacramental discipline and ecumenical practices." This likely translates into the Church's widely controverted and ignored prohibitions against homosexual acts, premarital cohabitation, and "remarriage" outside the Church — and her ban prohibiting those involved in these things, or those whose affiliation is non-Catholic, from receiving Holy Communion. There is also the matter of contraception. It is widely known that there are bishops and priests who favor an open communion policy, and that few would turn away anyone approaching the altar, whatever his sexual practice, marital status, or church affiliation. Cardinal Martini of Milan has been reported as saying, for instance, that the Church has no business getting involved in the personal morals of individual Catholics. As we shall see, Kasper seems inclined to agree with this perspective.

From http://www.newoxfordreview.org/apr02/philipblosser.html

18 posted on 07/16/2002 5:04:54 AM PDT by narses
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To: american colleen; xzins
Thanks for the flag..I am on my way to run the grandkids to VBS....but I will read it when I get home

As you have seen we are willing to do battle with each other..:>)

19 posted on 07/16/2002 5:09:45 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: narses; Salvation
Cardinal Martini of Milan has been reported as saying, for instance, that the Church has no business getting involved in the personal morals of individual Catholics. As we shall see, Kasper seems inclined to agree with this perspective,

Uh, something about that doesn't seem quite right. I am not saying the Church should supervise the personal lives of its members to the extent that, say, the Jehovah's Witnesses do but... Take a recent example. The decision by Cardinal Egan not to grant a funeral mass for John Gotti. A decision not to make the Church look ridiculous by honoring an unrepentant murderer.

But on this point of non-Christians receiving Divine Grace, I would certainly include Buddha in that category.

20 posted on 07/16/2002 5:22:01 AM PDT by Tokhtamish
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To: narses
Clearly, this decision has unsettled you. You repeatedly reference it and post commentary about it. Is it your desire to unsettle others and tempt others to doubt the competency of Divinely-constituted authority to take correct decisions?
You really have to learn to trust in the Church that Jesus established. I notice that some of the commentary was lifted from Call to Action. Do you consider their "understanding" of the matter to be superior to the commentary of the legitimate, competent authority, whose commentary accompanied the decision that has so unsettled you?
Relax, the Catholic Church has not only not failed, it is incapable of doing so...
Pax tecum
21 posted on 07/16/2002 5:42:20 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: narses
" Cardinal Martini of Milan has been reported as saying, for instance, that the Church has no business getting involved in the personal morals of individual Catholics."

And, as we know, "reporting" is impecccable....
22 posted on 07/16/2002 5:45:40 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: narses
Here is the link you provided in post #18. An eye opener, IMO. "Clash of the Titans"

"The Kasper-Ratzinger Debate & The State of the Church"

23 posted on 07/16/2002 6:16:48 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
The Immaculate Conception is definitely still "IN." Especially among the "Mary Men" of which I know scores. And for the most part, they're lay people.
24 posted on 07/16/2002 6:19:27 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Catholicguy
Clearly, this decision has unsettled you. You repeatedly reference it and post commentary about it. Is it your desire to unsettle others and tempt others to doubt the competency of Divinely-constituted authority to take correct decisions?

Not much "unsettles" me, I like to see all sides of the issues posted so I am aware of what is going on within the Church and I can then do further research. It is impossible for most of us (I suspect) to read everything writen in the magazines, on the Internet and in the newspapers, so I appreciate what others think is important enough to post on FR for purposes of information and discussion. In narses' defense, this was the first time I had seen this information posted, and I am happy that he posted it. A few times in the last months, I have had days that I have been confused and rather dejected... and I depend on you guys (the Catholics on FR) a lot for moral support - I would hope that if I post something that you don't like, but it bothers me, you can reassure me and not just accuse me of not trusting in the Church that Jesus established.

25 posted on 07/16/2002 6:29:22 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: Catholicguy
The Church cannot fail, but the fallible men in leadership can. Vatican I recorded many, many cases where Popes were wrong. Kasper's pronouncement is NOT infallible. The Words of the Consecration are essential by every other reading of Church law that I have seen. While this decision affects only a very few Faithful, it represents well Cardinal Kasper's views.
26 posted on 07/16/2002 6:30:55 AM PDT by narses
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To: Desdemona
Welcome! I like the term "Mary Men" - sounds like they are equipped with armor (well, I guess they are!).
27 posted on 07/16/2002 6:33:29 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
" I would hope that if I post something that you don't like, but it bothers me, you can reassure me and not just accuse me of not trusting in the Church that Jesus established."

My post was directed to Narses, not you.
28 posted on 07/16/2002 6:34:25 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
But I could have posted it.
29 posted on 07/16/2002 6:39:37 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: RnMomof7
As you have seen we are willing to do battle with each other..:>)

No battles! :-)

30 posted on 07/16/2002 6:41:39 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
But I could have posted it.


For reasons unbeknownst to me, you desire to feel offended. Please reread the post I directed to Narses, not you. I knew it was directed to Narses (not you), he knows it was directed to him (not you), its content references things Narses did (not you).
31 posted on 07/16/2002 6:54:40 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: narses
This is the link to the text about the decision re the Chaldean Church


http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20011025_chiesa-caldea-assira_en.html
32 posted on 07/16/2002 7:09:17 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: narses


THE ROMAN CURIA
In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Roman pontiff makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches and in the service of the sacred pastors.
CHRISTUS DOMINUS,

33 posted on 07/16/2002 7:11:01 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
I might be being a bit think skinned here, for sure. I've seen a couple of people post similar posts to him lately, and I just don't care for it, that's all. If I am not supposed to reply to your posts, then please post them privately to the party you wish to address. I'm under the impression that FR is a public forum. Maybe you could preface your posts by indicating whether they are for everybody, or just somebody, if you wish a particular response.
34 posted on 07/16/2002 7:18:03 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: Catholicguy
PS. I don't feel offended.
35 posted on 07/16/2002 7:18:40 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
"How about those doily thingamabobs on women's heads?" he'd ask. "Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

Lots of Catholic women now go to curch wearing blue jeans.

36 posted on 07/16/2002 7:24:17 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: american colleen



I've seen a couple of people post similar posts to him lately, and I just don't care for it, that's all.

(Fine)

If I am not supposed to reply to your posts, then please post them privately to the party you wish to address.

(I was responding to a public comment and my comments were NOT directed to you. Man oh man....)


I'm under the impression that FR is a public forum. Maybe you could preface your posts by indicating whether they are for everybody, or just somebody, if you wish a particular response.


(Good Lord. Post #21 was directed to Narses. Please read it and see it was directed to him and not you. How many times do you have to be told that post had absolutely nothing to do with you?)

Ma'am, goodbye
37 posted on 07/16/2002 7:42:54 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: american colleen
No Catholic should ever have to wonder what the Church teaches today. The 'internals' are the same as they always were, with changes in the 'externals'. The relevant priest who can talk to the young at the 'Church of What's Happening Now' and the local Nazi Nun may have their own opinions, but the Church didn't change Her core teachings with Vatican II.

If you want to know what is expected of a good Catholic, what to teach your children, and you don't have a lot of time to spend looking around for books and materials, just buy a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. When you have a question, look up the subject in the index! My brother in law used the Catechism in the Confirmation classes in his Parish, and when the kids were confirmed, the Parish gave them each a copy for themselves.

As with people and politics, most Catholics don't take the time to inform themselves of the Church's teachings, and if the preaching in their Parish is as woefully inadequate as it was in ours for many years, they certainly won't get the message when they go to Mass on Sunday. We have a new Assoc. Pastor who is a very good homilist, and he's even begun to be an influence on the preaching of our Pastor. Nothing helps like raising the standard.

38 posted on 07/16/2002 7:43:37 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Catholicguy
I agree. That does NOT make their actions infallible.
39 posted on 07/16/2002 8:07:29 AM PDT by narses
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To: american colleen; Catholicguy
I take CG's posts as fraternal correction at most, polite conversation may be even more accurate. If I should post error (and I can, believe me), it is inadvertant or ignorant. I confess to the truths and dogmas of the Catholic Church, I pray for the Pope and my Bishop every day in preparation for my daily Rosary and I will in no way deny Our Lord or His Church. Period. On the other hand, when I see Cardinal Kasper and Fr. McBrien taking the Church to task for teaching the truth (and mocking the words of the Consecration as "magic words" and "hocus-pocus" in reference to "Hoc est corpus meum") I will speak out. My desire is to defend Our Faith not harm the Church. (In fact, I cannot harm the Church, at most I would harm my own soul and perhaps those of others -- the Church can and will withstand all.)
40 posted on 07/16/2002 8:16:18 AM PDT by narses
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To: american colleen
Hi--I also like this post. I skimmed through the commentary and noticed no one mentioned that the Baltimore Catechism (very pre-Vatican 2) said pretty much the same thing as the Council: that he who through no fault of his own doesn't recognize the Catholic Church as being the One True Chruch can still be saved.

And as you correctly saw, it's not so different from Protestants who believe only Christians (but not necessarily Catholics :-)) can be saved.

To me it's important but not to get hung up about. After all, we are not God and can never know the mind of God in each specific case.

However, it does make me wonder of our responsibilities to evangelize. It's scary to think how we will be judged. We always need to stand up for Jesus and His Church at the very least.

From what I know about Cdnl. Kaspar and Martini, it was probably they Our Lady of LaSalette was referreing to when she said Rome would lose the faith. However, I did se

41 posted on 07/16/2002 8:45:59 AM PDT by attagirl
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To: yooper
From Matthew, chapter 18, Jesus speaking to his apostles:

15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Jesus is talking about the authority of the church in exactly the same passage.

You can trot out the same tired old arguments that the word "church" does not mean "Catholic church," but that's just what they are: tired, old arguments. He was certainly talking about some church.

42 posted on 07/16/2002 8:53:39 AM PDT by Campion
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To: american colleen
I like Mark Shea's style. He presents two sayings of Christ that should be important to all Catholics today.

He who is not with me is against me.

For he that is not against us is for us.

At once this may seem to present a paradox. But for sure, it does not. Jesus knew well the extremisms that existed in his days. The Pharisees and Saducees who were extremist rigorists and the lapsed Jews who were comparable to our modernists. Jesus was basically telling his disciples that extremism was not of the Gospel.

I'm not sure what saint said it (Aquinas maybe), that extremism was a vice that corrupted the virtues of prudence, patience, humility and love!

43 posted on 07/16/2002 9:40:28 AM PDT by ThomasMore
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To: american colleen
"He that is not against us is for us." This saying is the paradoxical complement to his first saying. For it makes the common sense point that, on the one hand, there is no salvation outside the Church, yet, on the other hand, we puny mortals do not know where "outside" is.... God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

I enjoyed this essay too, american colleen. Thanks so much for posting it.

44 posted on 07/16/2002 10:41:57 AM PDT by betty boop
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To: Tokhtamish
The decision by Cardinal Egan not to grant a funeral mass for John Gotti.
John Gotti lived in Queens (when he wasn't in jail), which is Bishop Daley's diocese, not Cardinal Egan's.
45 posted on 07/16/2002 11:00:38 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: american colleen; Zviadist
I'm racking my brains to figure out who'd be the "righty" - not sure on that one yet.

Zviadist, unless he's been banned.

46 posted on 07/16/2002 11:08:33 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: sinkspur
When you come right down to it, the Church has always maintained doctrine which, in the final analysis, is just plain common sense.

That means that there are enemies to the left AND to the right--as Chesterton observed in his famous "still wildly reeling, but erect" word picture of the Church...
47 posted on 07/16/2002 11:15:35 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: johniegrad
Zviadist, unless he's been banned.

His last post was four days ago. He's still around.

48 posted on 07/16/2002 11:32:09 AM PDT by Steve1789
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To: narses
Thanks, Narses. That was kind and generous
49 posted on 07/16/2002 11:35:30 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: american colleen
Interesting read. Thanks Colleen . I bridged pre and post Vatican II. I saw the good and bad of both.

Thr chruch compromised things that I thought were solid docrtrine ,,,,,,,but the also losened up some of the litergical ritual so that it could be more culturally revelant.

I played in a folk group post Vat.II....But I was also troubled by some of the changes that make the more conservative RC's nuts

I have had many personal struggles with the all inclusive nature of the church today ( Christian churches not just RC)........too many compromises with non Christians (as I just fought about on the Lutheran thread)

It will be interesting to see what the next Pope will do..(isn't there some tradition or prophecy or something that says the next one is the last one?)......

50 posted on 07/16/2002 11:46:21 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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