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CHURCH GREW IN UNDERSTANDING OF MARY’S ROLE
L'Osservatore Romano ^ | 11/8/1997 | Pope John Paul II

Posted on 06/11/2007 8:11:53 PM PDT by markomalley

CHURCH GREW IN UNDERSTANDING OF MARY’S ROLE
Pope John Paul II


Down the centuries, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church has sought to understand more clearly the revealed truth about the Mother of God

"The sparse information on Mary's earthly life is compensated by its quality and theological richness, which contemporary exegesis has carefully brought to light", the Holy Father said at the General Audience of Wednesday, 8 November, as he continued his reflections on the Virgin Mary. The Pope's catechesis on Mary in Sacred Scripture and theological reflection was the fourth in the series on the Blessed Mother and was given in Italian.

1. In our preceding catecheses we saw how the doctrine of Mary's motherhood passed from its first formula, "Mother of Jesus", to the more complete and explicit, "Mother of God", even to the affirmation of her maternal involvement in the redemption of humanity.

For other aspects of Marian doctrine as well, many centuries were necessary to arrive at the explicit definition of the revealed truths concerning Mary. Typical examples of this faith journey towards the ever deeper discovery of Mary's role in the history of salvation are the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, proclaimed, as we know by two of my venerable predecessors, respectively, the Servant of God Pius IX in 1854, and the Servant of God Pius XII during the Jubilee Year of 1950.

Mariology is a particular field of theological research: in it the Christian people's love for Mary intuited, frequently in anticipation, certain aspects of the mystery of the Blessed Virgin, calling the attention of theologians and pastors to them.

Mother of Jesus had role in salvation history

2. We must recognize that, at first sight, the Gospels offer scant information on the person and life of Mary. We would certainly like to have had fuller information about her, which would have enabled us to know the Mother of God better.

This expectation remains unsatisfied, even in the other New Testament writings where an explicit doctrinal development regarding Mary is lacking. Even St Paul's letters, which offer us a rich reflection on Christ and his work, limit themselves to stating, in a very significant passage, that God sent his Son "born of woman" (Gal 4:4).

Very little is said about Mary's family. If we exclude the infancy narratives, in the Synoptic Gospels we find only two statements which shed some light on Mary: one concerning the attempt by his "brethren" or relatives to take Jesus back to Nazareth (cf. Mk 3:2 1; Mt 12:48); the other, in response to a woman's exclamation about the blessedness of Jesus' Mother (Lk 11:27).

Nevertheless, Luke, in the infancy Gospel, in the episodes of the Annunciation, the Visitation, the birth of Jesus, the presentation of the Child in the temple and his finding among the teachers at the age of 12, not only provides us with some important facts, but presents a sort of "proto-Mariology" of fundamental interest. His information is indirectly completed by Matthew in the account of the annunciation to Joseph (Mt 1:18-25), but only with regard to the virginal conception of Jesus.

Moreover, John's Gospel deepens our knowledge of the value for salvation history of the role played by the Mother of Jesus, when it records her presence at the beginning and end of his public fife. Particularly significant is Mary's presence at the Cross, when she received from her dying Son the charge to be mother to the beloved disciple and, in him, to all Christians (cf. Jn 2:1-12; Jn 19:25-27).

Lastly, the Acts of the Apostles expressly numbers the Mother of Jesus among the women of the first community awaiting Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14).

However, in the absence of further New Testament evidence and reliable historical sources, we know nothing of Mary's life after the Pentecost event nor of the date and circumstances of her death. We can only suppose that she continued to live with the Apostle John and that she was very closely involved in the development of the first Christian community.

3. The sparse information on Mary's earthly life is compensated by its quality and theological richness, which contemporary exegesis has carefully brought to light.

Moreover, we must remember that the Evangelists' viewpoint is totally Christological and is concerned with the Mother only in relation to the joyful proclamation of the Son. As St Ambrose observed, the Evangelist, in expounding the mystery of the Incarnation, "believed it was better not to seek further testimonies about Mary's virginity, in order not to seem the defender of the Virgin rather than the preacher of the mystery" (Exp. in Lucam, 2, 6: PL 15, 1555).

We can recognize in this fact a special intention of the Holy Spirit, who desired to awaken in the Church an effort of research which, preserving the centrality of the mystery of Christ, might not be caught up in details about Mary's life, but aim above all at discovering her role in the work of salvation, her personal holiness and her maternal mission in Christian life.

Faith of the simple recognized Mary's holiness

4. The Holy Spirit guides the Church's effort, committing her to take on Mary's own attitudes. In the account of Jesus' birth, Luke noted how his mother kept all these things, "pondering them in her heart" (Lk 2:19), striving, that is, to "put together" (symballousa), in a deeper vision, all the events of which she was the privileged witness.

Similarly, the people of God are also urged by the same Spirit to understand deeply all that has been said about Mary, in order to progress in the knowledge of her mission, intimately linked to the mystery of Christ.

As Mariology develops, the particular role of the Christian people emerges. They co-operate, by the affirmation and witness of their faith, in the progress of Marian doctrine, which normally is not only the work of theologians, even if their task is indispensable to deepening and clearly explaining the datum of faith and the Christian experience itself.

The faith of the simple is admired and praised by Jesus, who recognized in it a marvellous expression of the Father's benevolence (cf. Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21). Down the centuries it continues to proclaim the marvels of the history of salvation, hidden from the wise. This faith, in harmony with the Virgin's simplicity, has led to progress in the recognition of her personal holiness and the transcendent value of her motherhood.

The mystery of Mary commits every Christian, in communion with the Church, "to pondering in his heart" what the Gospel revelation affirms about the Mother of Christ. In the logic of the Magnificat, after the example of Mary, each one will personally experience God's love and will discover a sign of God's tenderness for man in the marvels wrought by the Blessed Trinity in the woman "full of grace".  




TOPICS: Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: 545; catholic; jpii; mary; ourlady
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1 posted on 06/11/2007 8:11:58 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley
Very little is said about Mary's family. If we exclude the infancy narratives, in the Synoptic Gospels we find only two statements which shed some light on Mary:

The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus had brothers, but that is heresy to Catholics.

2 posted on 06/11/2007 9:31:46 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: markomalley

Not my construction on reality.

Appears to me that down through the centuries, it repeatedly became politically profitable to up the ante a bit more about Mary.


3 posted on 06/11/2007 9:40:57 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Always Right

Absolutely.

And the semantics rationalization just does not wash.

They would have it that the authors only had use of one word that meant two things about relatives. That’s nonsense.


4 posted on 06/11/2007 9:42:02 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Always Right; Quix
The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus had brothers, but that is heresy to Catholics.

Why in the world would that be heresy to Catholics?

Ever read the Protoevangelium of James? Yes, I know it's not part of the Canon and, so, I don't assert it as a scriptural source (rather an early non-canonical source that reflects the views of, at least, some of the Church in the second century AD -- that's a couple of centuries before Constantine for the conspiracy theorists in the audience)

Anyway, if you haven't, you can Google it yourself. If you read that, you'll find a potential explanation contained therein that is totally consistent with scripture (what is actually written there, not the explanations given by you and your teachers). If, in fact, it is correct in its explanation, it shows how the term "brothers of Jesus" could be applied AND also demonstrates the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother.

Heresy to Catholics? Hardly. Only a point of salivation for a Protestant.

5 posted on 06/12/2007 1:13:20 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: Quix; markomalley

Oh, Q, you shouldn’t blame the Latins for Marian devotion. Its 100% Eastern in origin. In other words, blame us Orthodoxers! By the way, no one in my family ever profited politically from our devotion to the Most Holy Theotokos...but we have spiritually! :)


6 posted on 06/12/2007 4:17:57 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: markomalley

Why don’t you just explain it in your own words, instead of pointing someone to Google? Three to five sentences. Go.


7 posted on 06/12/2007 4:23:46 AM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: markomalley

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.

Blessed art Thou among women

And Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Amen

8 posted on 06/12/2007 5:13:26 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Silly
Why don’t you just explain it in your own words, instead of pointing someone to Google?

There's way too much detail in the document for me to explain, other than doing a cut and paste job.

Three to five sentences. Go.

Try two: the document advances the theory that Joseph was a widower prior to his espousal to Mary. "Brothers" would have been the result of that previous union.

This is not part of the explanation, but is a reminder: this document is not part of the Canon of Scripture. So you will note that I am not advancing it as truth, but rather as a plausible theory...one which was held by many in the second century.

9 posted on 06/12/2007 5:21:18 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley; Always Right; Quix
Ever read the Protoevangelium of James? Yes, I know it's not part of the Canon and, so, I don't assert it as a scriptural source...

That's pretty magnanimous of you, since it's a forgery and was written at least 100 years after the end of the Apostolic Era.

10 posted on 06/12/2007 5:52:34 AM PDT by wmfights (LUKE 9:49-50 , MARK 9:38-41)
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To: wmfights; Always Right; Quix
That's pretty magnanimous of you, since it's a forgery and was written at least 100 years after the end of the Apostolic Era.

Gee, thanks.

Since you (sarcastically) accuse me of magnanimity, let's review what I wrote initially:

Ever read the Protoevangelium of James? Yes, I know it's not part of the Canon and, so, I don't assert it as a scriptural source (rather an early non-canonical source that reflects the views of, at least, some of the Church (for those of you in Rio Linda, the prior phrase implicitly disassociates itself with an authorship of James the Lesser, and asserts that the document reflects the views of some...rather than the views of an apostle) in the second century AD (For those of you in Rio Linda, the second century incorporates the time that the respondent refers to as 'at least 100 years after the end of the Apostolic Era')-- that's a couple of centuries before Constantine for the conspiracy theorists in the audience)

In other words, you should really make an effort to read and comprehend what was written before slamming it. You'll generally not embarrass yourself so badly if you do so.

11 posted on 06/12/2007 6:29:45 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley
The faith of the simple is admired and praised by Jesus, who recognized in it a marvellous expression of the Father's benevolence.

"The faith of the simple" is not so admired by the Catholic Church (and especially the late JPII) when it comes to evolutionism and Biblical inerrancy.

12 posted on 06/12/2007 6:36:04 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Vayehi kekhalloto ledabber 'et kol-hadevarim ha'elleh, vatibbaqa` ha'adamah 'asher tachteyhem.)
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To: Quix
It's more than just that. The Roman Catholic Church justifies the rationalizations under the pretense of the infallibility of the Sacred Magesterium in interpreting Scripture. The veracity of nearly all Roman Catholic dogma rests upon this pretense. The views and words of the early church are often interpreted through that lense by making assumptions that their present understanding of the nature of Christ's church is precisely the same as that of the early church.

It really comes down to an issue of authority. Those Catholics who are forthright enough to admit that the Roman Catholic Church was in fact in dire need of reform in the 16th Century typically reject Luther's actions and the subsequent Reformation by arguing he and the other Reformers did not have the authority to do what they did.

13 posted on 06/12/2007 8:04:39 AM PDT by Frumanchu (Jerry Falwell: Now a Calvinist in Glory)
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To: markomalley
Gee, thanks.

Your welcome.

If you want to consider discredited forgeries that's up to you.

14 posted on 06/12/2007 8:43:45 AM PDT by wmfights (LUKE 9:49-50 , MARK 9:38-41)
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To: wmfights; Salvation; Frank Sheed; Mad Dawg; Kolokotronis; trisham; stfassisi
If you want to consider discredited forgeries that's up to you.

Oh, but I do.

Let me explain to you exactly why and how I consider these "discredited forgeries."

 

As a caveat, I don't hope to change your mind, wmfights, one way or the other. I'm a papist and I know my place among my betters. But I also realize that there are other people who read these threads and never contribute. Perhaps some of them might get some value from this explanation:

 

First, let's see what we both agree to: that the document was written in the Second Century AD. I understand it's from around 150 AD. You say 'at least 100 years after the close of the Apostolic Era,' which would place it a couple of decades later than that. OK, whichever. The point that we both agree on is that it was written before 200 AD.

The easiest way for me to show the utility of apocryphal documents like this is through example:

There is a widely-accepted Protestant school of thought that says that Mary had sexual relations with Joseph after the birth of Jesus; that she was only a virgin when she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit (for what it's worth, I've met Protestants who hold the heretical belief that Jesus was the genetic product of Mary and Joseph and that he is only 'spiritually' the Son of God). A subset of this widely-accepted Protestant school of thought is that the dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary was an invention of a paganized Rome and that no early Christian group actually believed this. Alexander Hislop advanced this idea with his book, The Two Babylons. I am not saying if you are part of the latter group or not...if you are, great. If not, all the better.

This apocryphal document goes into rather gory detail about the midwife Salome verifying Mary's intact hymen after the birth of Jesus. As Free Republic is a family board, I'll spare all the details how she did that. And, as we both agree that the Protoevangelium of James is an apocryphal document, I would hardly stake my life (or my soul) on whether that actually happened or not, but it's really not important one way or the other. What is important about it is this: that some people believed that she was perpetually a virgin. And those people who believed this were around during the second century AD. Considering that this was two centuries prior to Constantine's reign, the mere fact that this was written, whether it is a factual story or a made-up story debunks the idea that Mary's perpetual virginity was invented by a paganized, post-Nicene, Catholic Church. The idea was around long before the Roman Empire was even close to tolerating Christianity, much less giving it official sanction.

The other important part to consider is this: this story is either documentation of 'oral history' or is, to one degree or another, fiction. One of the two.

The bottom line is that even though this is apocryphal literature and is definitely a pseudograph, there's still a lot that one can glean from it. Most importantly, an understanding of what was believed by, at least, some of the people at the time.

(BTW, I'm pinging some other folks because I think they'd be interested in reading this, not to get folks to gang up on you or anything)

15 posted on 06/12/2007 10:24:01 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley
I would say that your post is an illustration of why I so like these "Religion" threads.

Thanks so much.

16 posted on 06/12/2007 10:29:41 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: markomalley

Thanks for that. I believe somewhere on some dusty bookshelf I have the proto — uh what you said. Now I’ll go read it.

I think your analysis seems sound in the provisional realm in which you rightly put it.


17 posted on 06/12/2007 10:58:41 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Frumanchu
I am strangely reminded of a time when a nice Mennonite lady who liked me and therefore thought I couldn't possibly be Catholic told me that Catholics worship Mary. She said this conspiratorially as if confiding to me that Clinton had been rumored to misbehave sexually. I had to put my hand to my mouth (to stifle my smile) and say, "They DO?" And reading your post I have a certain "Nobody here but us chickens, boss!" feeling.

Are there Catholics NOT forthright enough to admit that the Church was a mess in the late 15th and early 16th centuries? You know they canonized Pius V on account of internal reforms (and his piety of life, etc.). It's hard to do internal reforms unless what is needed is, uh, internal reforms.

And I guess I don't get the "Oh my goodness!" side of your remark about us and Luther. He didn't have the authority. He said WE didn't, we said HE didn't. That's remarkable?

Or am I just miles away from what you're saying. Wouldn't be the first time. If so, sorry.

18 posted on 06/12/2007 11:12:27 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
Or am I just miles away from what you're saying. Wouldn't be the first time. If so, sorry.

I do think you missed the jist of my comments. I've encountered some Roman Catholics who are so zealous to defend their church that they turn a blind eye to the parts of the past they don't find comfortable. To be sure, there are many Protestants today that also hold a revisionist view of church history for the sake of expediency in discussions such as this.

My point though was that the central issue that continues to stand between Roman Catholics and Protestants is that of authority. It underlies even the fundamental division over justification, and it stands as a roadblock to virtually every doctrinal disagreement we have. You and I can argue vehemently over the meaning of a passage of Scripture, but when it comes down to it you will appeal to an authority I don't recognize: the Roman Catholic Church. The argument then becomes about the validity of that authority, and any appeal to Scripture either loops into a self-reinforcing argument or undermines the very authority trying to be established.

Luther's actions truly cut to the heart of the matter, as is evidenced by his request to be convinced by Scripture and plain reason. The authority issue is truly the card upon which the whole card house is built.

19 posted on 06/12/2007 11:27:58 AM PDT by Frumanchu (Jerry Falwell: Now a Calvinist in Glory)
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To: markomalley
way too much detail in the document for me to explain, other than doing a cut and paste job

Information is irrelevant. Content eventually overwhelms the message and everything comes preinterpreted. I don't follow links in lieu of explanation and don't believe anybody else can possibly represent my opinion. When somebody says read this it explains what I mean, I know it doesn't.

20 posted on 06/12/2007 11:36:05 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: markomalley; Always Right; Quix
“”Heresy to Catholics? Hardly. Only a point of salivation for a Protestant.””

The protestants who think Mary had other children probably don,t realize that even Luther, Calvin and Zwingly believed in Mary,s perpetual virginity

Here is what they said

JOHN CALVIN —
“We have already said in another place that according to the custom of the Hebrews all relatives were called ‘brethren.’ Still Helvidius [a 4th century heretic] has shown himself to be IGNORANT of this by stating that Mary had many children just because in several places they are spoken of as ‘brethren’ of Christ.” (Commentary on Matthew 13:55)

“There have been certain STRANGE folk who have wished to suggest from this passage [Matt 1:25] that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; BUT WHAT FOLLY THIS IS!

MARTIN LUTHER —

“Christ our Savior was the real and natural fruit of Mary’s virginal womb...This was without the cooperation of a man, AND SHE REMAINED A VIRGIN AFTER THAT.” (LUTHER’S WORKS 22, 23)

[Luther preached the perpetual virginity of Mary throughout his life]

“...A virgin before the conception and birth, she REMAINED a virgin also AT the birth and AFTER it.” (February 2, 1546 Feast of Presentation of Christ in the Temple)

ULRICH ZWINGLI —

“I firmly believe according to the words of the Gospel that a pure virgin brought forth for us the Son of God AND REMAINED A VIRGIN PURE AND INTACT IN CHILDBIRTH AND ALSO AFTER THE BIRTH, FOR ALL ETERNITY. I firmly trust that she has been exalted by God to eternal joy above all creatures, both the blessed and the angels.” (from Augustin Bea “Mary and the Protestants” MARIAN STUDIES Apr 61)

“I speak of this in the holy Church of Zurich and in all my writings: I recognize MARY AS EVER VIRGIN AND HOLY.” (January 1528 in Berne)

21 posted on 06/12/2007 11:38:49 AM PDT by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: stfassisi
JOHN CALVIN — “We have already said in another place that according to the custom of the Hebrews all relatives were called ‘brethren.’ Still Helvidius [a 4th century heretic] has shown himself to be IGNORANT of this by stating that Mary had many children just because in several places they are spoken of as ‘brethren’ of Christ.” (Commentary on Matthew 13:55)

“There have been certain STRANGE folk who have wished to suggest from this passage [Matt 1:25] that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; BUT WHAT FOLLY THIS IS!

Two points of clarification:

1. Don't forget that Protestants do not view Luther, Calvin, Zwingli or any other theologian as infallible. Presenting a case for them believing in the perpetual virginity of Mary neither undermines the correctness of the rest of their theology nor necessitates that any of us adopt that doctrine.

2. That quote in particular from Calvin does not prove that Calvin held the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. All it says is that he did not believe the Scriptures in question in Matthew disproved the notion of her perpetual virginity.

22 posted on 06/12/2007 11:50:30 AM PDT by Frumanchu (Jerry Falwell: Now a Calvinist in Glory)
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To: Frumanchu
On the MONEY, IMHO.

So much comes down to ecclesiology and authority. It's interesting: as a former Prot clergydude (Episcopal variety) I finally contacted an assoc of RCs similarly situated. And the barraged me with heaps o' material the vast majority of which dealt with questions of authority.

And this is part of why I think much of our conversation should be along the lines of, "Here's what it looks like from here," and "What do you guys think of that?" rather than,"I'm right and you're not." because outside of a very few confessional agreements ("Jesus is Lord,") we are really looking at things from VERY different perspectives.

Waiter! One paume'd'or with oak leaf clusters for my friend here!

23 posted on 06/12/2007 12:15:27 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Frumanchu
This is what our Church teaches. If you question it, at least get it right.

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SECOND EDITION

III. THE HOLY SPIRIT, INTERPRETER OF SCRIPTURE

109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.75

110 In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."76

111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."77

The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78

1. Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79

The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80

2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81).

3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82 By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

The senses of Scripture

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83

The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.84

2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".85

3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86

118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:

The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87
"It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88
But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.89

IV. THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE

It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.90 This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.91

The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.

The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse).

24 posted on 06/12/2007 12:57:56 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frumanchu; markomalley; Mad Dawg
Luther's actions truly cut to the heart of the matter, as is evidenced by his request to be convinced by Scripture and plain reason. The authority issue is truly the card upon which the whole card house is built.

"From now on, I shall no longer do you the honor of allowing you, or even an angel from heaven, to judge my teaching or to examine it. Instead, I shall let myself be heard and, as St. Peter teaches, give an explanation and defense of my teaching to all the world--1 Peter 3:15. I shall not have it judged by any man, not even by an angel. For since I am certain of it, I shall be your judge and even the angel's judge through this teaching, as St. Paul say--1 Cor. 6:3--so that whoever does not accept my teaching may not be saved--for it is God's and not mine. Therefore, my judgment is also not mine, but God's."

Actual words of Luther, "Against the Spiritual Estate of the Pope and the Bishops Falsely So-Called." July, 1522. Quoted in "The Catholic Verses," Dave Armstrong, Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH, pg 35. 2004.

25 posted on 06/12/2007 1:16:23 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frumanchu
"Don't forget that Protestants do not view Luther, Calvin, Zwingli or any other theologian as infallible..."

BINGO! Give that man a Cupie Doll for post of the day. Too bad, Roman Catholics refuse to understand this point. If they believed in her perpetual verginity, they were wrong.

26 posted on 06/12/2007 1:28:33 PM PDT by Jmouse007
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To: markomalley; Always Right; Quix
The Protoevangelium of James
27 posted on 06/12/2007 1:29:50 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Kolokotronis; markomalley

I understand your perspective.

I just disagree with it.

Thanks.


28 posted on 06/12/2007 1:39:00 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: wmfights

Thanks.


29 posted on 06/12/2007 1:39:58 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: markomalley

Some of us HAVE studied some of these issues a lot more extensively than you seem to think.


30 posted on 06/12/2007 1:40:49 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Frumanchu

Excellent points, as usual.

Thanks.


31 posted on 06/12/2007 1:42:06 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Frumanchu
Dear Brother, I understand you,re points.

Please allow me to make a few points from a historical Christian perspective.(hopefully it will give you something to reflect upon)
I,m going to borrow a few things since I am pressed for time

Mary’s womb is the sacred “chalice” containing the Divine Humanity of God the Son; her womb is to be used only for that Divine purpose — because of the Holiness of God (God in the Judeo-Christian understanding is different from His Creation; and Holiness is the attribute of this difference). So there is a religious “logic” of the sacred as different from the profane, i.e., the creaturely element set apart only for Divine use or purpose, therefore never for ordinary use. It does not mean the ordinary is dirty or evil; the ordinary is good but not Divine. The sacred is taking something away from ordinary use and consecrating it for the Divine. That is why God would change the order of things for the unique Incarnation of His Divine Son.

Thus there are at least two sets of reasons for the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. The first is the one just mentioned: the Holiness of Mary’s womb to be used for no other purpose but a thoroughly Divine one, never to be desecrated by ordinary use or purpose. Second, manifesting the Divine origin of her Child. If she had other children the ordinary way then why wouldn’t her first child be just a human with a human father like His brothers and sisters? He must be a unique son of Mary to manifest being the unique Son of God the Father, having no biological father.

The Perpetual Virginity of Mary is in no way an implication that sex and marriage are anything less than what God designed them to be.(To make it clear, let me add that this is a sacred marital covenant which unity is expressed by the intimate relations between husband and wife.) Contrary to the usual either-or thinking found in Protestantism, Catholicism has always said that its both/and, and this is seen in the Church’s teaching re the Virgin Mary.

If I get the time in the next few days I can show you some Biblical typology in relation to Mary as the ark of the New Covenantand the importance of Mary,s perpetual virginity All the early Christians recognized this.

I wish you a most Blessed Day!

32 posted on 06/12/2007 1:45:33 PM PDT by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: RightWhale

When somebody says read this it explains what I mean, I know it doesn’t.
= = =

I usually agree with that pretty wholesale.

Occasionally there are exceptions.


33 posted on 06/12/2007 1:45:44 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Frank Sheed
Rightly said. Only Christ Himself be the proper final judge of the truth, not men or angels.

Of course, it's easy to make this quote seem to say something it does not given the forceful language Luther uses.

34 posted on 06/12/2007 1:45:49 PM PDT by Frumanchu (Jerry Falwell: Now a Calvinist in Glory)
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To: Quix
Some of us HAVE studied some of these issues a lot more extensively than you seem to think.

Makes me wish the FR interface had a cc line...

35 posted on 06/12/2007 1:47:25 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: stfassisi

So, it’s your conviction that there was one

and only one available word

for all relatives of the male gender . . . cousins, uncles, brothers, nephews etc?

LOL

ROTFLOL

I suspect God insured which word was used because He meant THAT word. Cultural things can muddy it, in this case. But they are not so convincing as to build an outlandish, silly dogma on.


36 posted on 06/12/2007 1:47:44 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Jmouse007
Nor do Catholics view any man as infallible. We believe that infallibility comes through the Holy Spirit. We do esteem the pope because we believe that he is chosen by the Holy Spirit, through men but from the Holy Spirit, the same way the canon of the Bible was selected.
37 posted on 06/12/2007 1:48:30 PM PDT by tiki
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To: stfassisi; Dr. Eckleburg; wmfights; Alex Murphy; Frumanchu
There's really a good clue that the perpetual frigidity was nonsense.

ST PAUL MADE VERY CLEAR that God's perspective was that the wife's body belonged to the hubby and vice versa. And that withholding one's self from one's spouse was UNCHRISTIAN.

So, either Mary was NOT A SAINT on that score and rebelled against God's standard . . . in which case she would not have warranted ascension etc.

or she was not a perpetual virgin.

38 posted on 06/12/2007 1:51:17 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: tiki

“We believe that infallibility comes through the Holy Spirit.”

Protestants and Evangelicals believe that as well.


39 posted on 06/12/2007 1:57:48 PM PDT by DarthVader (Conservatives aren't always right , but Liberals are almost always wrong.)
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To: Quix
There's really a good clue that the perpetual frigidity was nonsense.

ST PAUL MADE VERY CLEAR that God's perspective was that the wife's body belonged to the hubby and vice versa. And that withholding one's self from one's spouse was UNCHRISTIAN.

So, either Mary was NOT A SAINT on that score and rebelled against God's standard . . . in which case she would not have warranted ascension etc.

or she was not a perpetual virgin.

Your point is?

;)

40 posted on 06/12/2007 2:00:40 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: DarthVader

“We believe that infallibility comes through the Holy Spirit.”

Protestants and Evangelicals believe that as well.

= = =

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!


41 posted on 06/12/2007 2:00:58 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

“Hermanos” (brothers) is still used in Spanish to indicate brothers and cousins in a family. The full title of a cousin is “primo hermano” (abbreviated to primo). It is not and was not unusual in many languages for the title “brother” to encompass all male relatives who were roughly in the same age cohort.


42 posted on 06/12/2007 2:02:09 PM PDT by livius
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To: Quix

Dear Brother,here is something for you to think about...

The Holy Spirit is Mary,s spouse and St. Joseph knew it when he was informed by the Angel in a dream (Matthew 1:20). Would any sane man be so vain as to father mere human children with her? The idea of the spouse of the Holy Spirit becoming a mother to one not by the Holy Spirit, would have been repulsive, and would have had all the ingredients of sacrilege to him.

I,ll try and get to the typology of this towards weeks end

I wish you a most Blessed Day.


43 posted on 06/12/2007 2:03:44 PM PDT by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: Frumanchu
Luther's actions truly cut to the heart of the matter, as is evidenced by his request to be convinced by Scripture and plain reason. The authority issue is truly the card upon which the whole card house is built.

It actually is the issue that undermines the entire Protestant claim. The fact that there exists an infinite number of Protestant spin-offs, ranging from one end of the religious spectrum to another in doctrine and often mutually exclusive in their truth claims, with each asserting itself to be the true Christian church and based on the true Scriptural teaching, shows you exactly how "Scripture and plain reason" without authority can mislead.

44 posted on 06/12/2007 2:06:26 PM PDT by livius
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To: Quix; livius
“Hermanos” (brothers) is still used in Spanish to indicate brothers and cousins in a family. The full title of a cousin is “primo hermano” (abbreviated to primo). It is not and was not unusual in many languages for the title “brother” to encompass all male relatives who were roughly in the same age cohort.

If you think the word "cousin" is confusing you should read Jeromes' 11 page explanation about the word "until" in Matthew 1;25.

45 posted on 06/12/2007 2:09:06 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: stfassisi; All

Not my construction on reality.

Doesn’t fit the evidence, imho.

Doesn’t fit the culture.

Doesn’t fit God’s statements about marriage.

Doesn’t fit God’s priorities re the marriage bed.

Your description of reality fits much more our current culture of single parent mothers.

God has used many of us . . . and thereby our bodies . . . in numerous ways. He used Mary’s body and home in a unique way.

Doesn’t mean God abandoned and trashed His other priorities for marriage—including Joseph’s and Mary’s marriage.

Doesn’t sound like God.

Doesn’t track like God.

Doesn’t play like God.

Isn’t consistent with God’s priorities for marriage. Just isn’t.

For God to have made such an outrageously inconsistent exception for Joseph’s and Mary’s marriage, I’d have thought a whole book of the New Testament would have been devoted to it—AT LEAST A CHAPTER.

Ridiculous.


46 posted on 06/12/2007 2:14:27 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: stfassisi

BTW, I do much appreciate your tone.

I just don’t have an enormous amount of patience on this dogma. It jangles my spirit on so many levels. I find it an offensive affront to Christ as well as to common sense and to Scriptures. That’s just my construction on reality. Not trying to offend you. But throwing a thread like this in my face will often get a forceful response.


47 posted on 06/12/2007 2:16:23 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: livius; All

Chinese has some similar customs.

But that’s not my point.

My point is to build such a critical dogma on such flimsy evidence is horrendously silly.

I don’t know why God didn’t emphasize the blood sibling relationship but He didn’t. NEITHER DID HE MAKE CLEAR IN SCRIPTURE the interpretation the Roman edifice layers on it.

Therefore, building a supposedly infallible dogma on such flimsy a foundation is . . . spiritual, religious malpractice of the worst kind, imho.


48 posted on 06/12/2007 2:18:49 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: markomalley

Guess I have an incapacity to make points clear to you.


49 posted on 06/12/2007 2:19:58 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix
Not my construction on reality.
That's a factual statement

Doesn’t fit the evidence, imho.
Thank you for admitting that it's your mere, fallible opinion.

Doesn’t fit the culture.
In your opinion. And who are you to force fit the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY into mere human culture? May GOD rebuke such nonsense!!!

Doesn’t fit God’s statements about marriage.
Opinion

Doesn’t fit God’s priorities re the marriage bed.
Opinion

Your description of reality fits much more our current culture of single parent mothers.
Opinion

God has used many of us . . . and thereby our bodies . . . in numerous ways. He used Mary’s body and home in a unique way.
Unique indeed. In more ways than some folks are willing to admit.

Doesn’t mean God abandoned and trashed His other priorities for marriage—including Joseph’s and Mary’s marriage.
Opinion

Doesn’t sound like God.
Opinion

Doesn’t track like God.
Opinion

Doesn’t play like God.
Opinion

Isn’t consistent with God’s priorities for marriage. Just isn’t.
Opinion

For God to have made such an outrageously inconsistent exception for Joseph’s and Mary’s marriage, I’d have thought a whole book of the New Testament would have been devoted to it—AT LEAST A CHAPTER.
Again, thank you for admitting that you are merely voicing your own personal, fallible, opinion. That's truly rare around here.

Ridiculous.

I agree ... but not in the way you mean it.

50 posted on 06/12/2007 2:21:59 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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