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"How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" ( Book Review )
Catholic Education .Org ^ | 2005 | Thomas E. Woods

Posted on 12/21/2008 6:19:03 AM PST by GonzoII


How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

THOMAS E. WOODS, JR.

From the role of the monks to art and architecture, from the university to Western law, from science to charitable work, from international law to economics, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization delves into just how indebted we are as a civilization to the Catholic Church, whether we realize it or not.

By far the book’s longest chapter is "The Church and Science." We have all heard a great deal about the Church’s alleged hostility toward science. What most people fail to realize is that historians of science have spent the past half-century drastically revising this conventional wisdom, arguing that the Church’s role in the development of Western science was far more salutary than previously thought. I am speaking not about Catholic apologists but about serious and important scholars of the history of science such as J.L. Heilbron, A.C. Crombie, David Lindberg, Edward Grant, and Thomas Goldstein.

It is all very well to point out that important scientists, like Louis Pasteur, have been Catholic. More revealing is how many priests have distinguished themselves in the sciences. It turns out, for instance, that the first person to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body was Fr. Giambattista Riccioli. The man who has been called the father of Egyptology was Fr. Athanasius Kircher (also called "master of a hundred arts" for the breadth of his knowledge). Fr. Roger Boscovich, who has been described as "the greatest genius that Yugoslavia ever produced," has often been called the father of modern atomic theory.

In the sciences it was the Jesuits in particular who distinguished themselves; some 35 craters on the moon, in fact, are named after Jesuit scientists and mathematicians.

By the eighteenth century, the Jesuits

had contributed to the development of pendulum clocks, pantographs, barometers, reflecting telescopes and microscopes, to scientific fields as various as magnetism, optics and electricity. They observed, in some cases before anyone else, the colored bands on Jupiter’s surface, the Andromeda nebula and Saturn’s rings. They theorized about the circulation of the blood (independently of Harvey), the theoretical possibility of flight, the way the moon effected the tides, and the wave-like nature of light. Star maps of the southern hemisphere, symbolic logic, flood-control measures on the Po and Adige rivers, introducing plus and minus signs into Italian mathematics — all were typical Jesuit achievements, and scientists as influential as Fermat, Huygens, Leibniz and Newton were not alone in counting Jesuits among their most prized correspondents [Jonathan Wright, The Jesuits, 2004, p. 189].

Seismology, the study of earthquakes, has been so dominated by Jesuits that it has become known as "the Jesuit science." It was a Jesuit, Fr. J.B. Macelwane, who wrote Introduction to Theoretical Seismology, the first seismology textbook in America, in 1936. To this day, the American Geophysical Union, which Fr. Macelwane once headed, gives an annual medal named after this brilliant priest to a promising young geophysicist.

  

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

Contents

The Indispensable Church
A Light in the Darkness
How the Monks Saved Civilization
The Church and the University
The Church and Science
The Origins of International Law
The Church and Economics
How Catholic Charity Changed the World
The Church and Western Law
The Church and Western Morality

The Jesuits were also the first to introduce Western science into such far-off places as China and India. In seventeenth-century China in particular, Jesuits introduced a substantial body of scientific knowledge and a vast array of mental tools for understanding the physical universe, including the Euclidean geometry that made planetary motion comprehensible. Jesuits made important contributions to the scientific knowledge and infrastructure of other less developed nations not only in Asia but also in Africa and Central and South America. Beginning in the nineteenth century, these continents saw the opening of Jesuit observatories that studied such fields as astronomy, geomagnetism, meteorology, seismology, and solar physics. Such observatories provided these places with accurate time keeping, weather forecasts (particularly important in the cases of hurricanes and typhoons), earthquake risk assessments, and cartography. In Central and South America the Jesuits worked primarily in meteorology and seismology, essentially laying the foundations of those disciplines there. The scientific development of these countries, ranging from Ecuador to Lebanon to the Philippines, is indebted to Jesuit efforts.

The Galileo case is often cited as evidence of Catholic hostility toward science, and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization accordingly takes a closer look at the Galileo matter. For now, just one little-known fact: Catholic cathedrals in Bologna, Florence, Paris, and Rome were constructed to function as solar observatories. No more precise instruments for observing the sun’s apparent motion could be found anywhere in the world. When Johannes Kepler posited that planetary orbits were elliptical rather than circular, Catholic astronomer Giovanni Cassini verified Kepler’s position through observations he made in the Basilica of San Petronio in the heart of the Papal States. Cassini, incidentally, was a student of Fr. Riccioli and Fr. Francesco Grimaldi, the great astronomer who also discovered the diffraction of light, and even gave the phenomenon its name.

I’ve tried to fill the book with little-known facts like these.

To say that the Church played a positive role in the development of science has now become absolutely mainstream, even if this new consensus has not yet managed to trickle down to the general public. In fact, Stanley Jaki, over the course of an extraordinary scholarly career, has developed a compelling argument that in fact it was important aspects of the Christian worldview that accounted for why it was in the West that science enjoyed the success it did as a self-sustaining enterprise. Non-Christian cultures did not possess the same philosophical tools, and in fact were burdened by conceptual frameworks that hindered the development of science. Jaki extends this thesis to seven great cultures: Arabic, Babylonian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, and Maya. In these cultures, Jaki explains, science suffered a "stillbirth." My book gives ample attention to Jaki’s work.

  

Economic thought is another area in which more and more scholars have begun to acknowledge the previously overlooked role of Catholic thinkers. Joseph Schumpeter, one of the great economists of the twentieth century, paid tribute to the overlooked contributions of the late Scholastics — mainly sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish theologians — in his magisterial History of Economic Analysis (1954). "[I]t is they," he wrote, "who come nearer than does any other group to having been the ‘founders’ of scientific economics." In devoting scholarly attention to this unfortunately neglected chapter in the history of economic thought, Schumpeter would be joined by other accomplished scholars over the course of the twentieth century, including Professors Raymond de Roover, Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, and Alejandro Chafuen.


...it is no surprise that the Church should have done so much to foster the nascent university system, since the Church, according to historian Lowrie Daly, "was the only institution in Europe that showed consistent interest in the preservation and cultivation of knowledge."


The Church also played an indispensable role in another essential development in Western civilization: the creation of the university. The university was an utterly new phenomenon in European history. Nothing like it had existed in ancient Greece or Rome. The institution that we recognize today, with its faculties, courses of study, examinations, and degrees, as well as the familiar distinction between undergraduate and graduate study, come to us directly from the medieval world. And it is no surprise that the Church should have done so much to foster the nascent university system, since the Church, according to historian Lowrie Daly, "was the only institution in Europe that showed consistent interest in the preservation and cultivation of knowledge."

The popes and other churchmen ranked the universities among the great jewels of Christian civilization. It was typical to hear the University of Paris described as the "new Athens" — a designation that calls to mind the ambitions of the great Alcuin from the Carolingian period of several centuries earlier, who sought through his own educational efforts to establish a new Athens in the kingdom of the Franks. Pope Innocent IV (1243–54) described the universities as "rivers of science which water and make fertile the soil of the universal Church," and Pope Alexander IV (1254–61) called them "lanterns shining in the house of God." And the popes deserved no small share of the credit for the growth and success of the university system. "Thanks to the repeated intervention of the papacy," writes historian Henri Daniel-Rops, "higher education was enabled to extend its boundaries; the Church, in fact, was the matrix that produced the university, the nest whence it took flight."

As a matter of fact, among the most important medieval contributions to modern science was the essentially free inquiry of the university system, where scholars could debate and discuss propositions, and in which the utility of human reason was taken for granted. Contrary to the grossly inaccurate picture of the Middle Ages that passes for common knowledge today, medieval intellectual life made indispensable contributions to Western civilization. In The Beginnings of Western Science (1992), David Lindberg writes:

[I]t must be emphatically stated that within this educational system the medieval master had a great deal of freedom. The stereotype of the Middle Ages pictures the professor as spineless and subservient, a slavish follower of Aristotle and the Church fathers (exactly how one could be a slavish follower of both, the stereotype does not explain), fearful of departing one iota from the demands of authority. There were broad theological limits, of course, but within those limits the medieval master had remarkable freedom of thought and expression; there was almost no doctrine, philosophical or theological, that was not submitted to minute scrutiny and criticism by scholars in the medieval university.

"[S]cholars of the later Middle Ages," concludes Lindberg, "created a broad intellectual tradition, in the absence of which subsequent progress in natural philosophy would have been inconceivable."

Historian of science Edward Grant concurs with this judgment:

What made it possible for Western civilization to develop science and the social sciences in a way that no other civilization had ever done before? The answer, I am convinced, lies in a pervasive and deep-seated spirit of inquiry that was a natural consequence of the emphasis on reason that began in the Middle Ages. With the exception of revealed truths, reason was enthroned in medieval universities as the ultimate arbiter for most intellectual arguments and controversies. It was quite natural for scholars immersed in a university environment to employ reason to probe into subject areas that had not been explored before, as well as to discuss possibilities that had not previously been seriously entertained.

The creation of the university, the commitment to reason and rational argument, and the overall spirit of inquiry that characterized medieval intellectual life amounted to "a gift from the Latin Middle Ages to the modern world…though it is a gift that may never be acknowledged. Perhaps it will always retain the status it has had for the past four centuries as the best-kept secret of Western civilization."

Here, then, are just a few of the topics to be found in How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. I’ve been asked quite a few times in recent weeks what my next project will be. For now, it’ll be getting some rest.

"How the Monks Saved Civilization", chapter three from
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization,
is available online here.

  

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization." LewRockwell.com (May 2, 2005).

Reprinted by permission of Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

THE AUTHOR

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Columbia. His books include the New York Times (and LRC) bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era, and the just-released How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.

Copyright © 2005 LewRockwell.com


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bookreview; books; catholic; catholicchurch; catholichistory; europe; history; literature; science; thomasewoods; westerncivilization
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"like Louis Pasteur"

Thanks for that long-lasting cheese, Louis!

1 posted on 12/21/2008 6:19:04 AM PST by GonzoII
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To: Mrs. Don-o; Salvation; NYer

Ping.


2 posted on 12/21/2008 6:19:47 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

When confronted by irifutable and non - nonconformational fact, the church had to accessise to science, this has been done for at least the last 2 or 3 hundredd years, back in the old days the Church put on house arrest Galilieo, one guy. No The Catholic church is no favorite of mine, but I think they learned thier lesson.
But No, I reject the authors claim, The church was used as a litmus test, And that test rejected a whole heaping amount of knowledge, lots of western Civ from the Greeks and others went Bye Bye thanks to the Catholic church, They did have an agenda, it was based upon doctrine, later it would be challanged, many times, in the end nowadays the Catholics want you to know they’re hip. I don’t buy it at all.
I got nothing against catholic persons except the church has done away with more goofy rules in the last 40 to 400 years than you can shake a stick at. I mean really, dose God care what I eat? and when? Stupid, no wonder thay flow with the wind. I say stick to the word, but what do I know?


3 posted on 12/21/2008 6:48:24 AM PST by ChetNavVet (Build It, and they won't come!)
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To: ChetNavVet
And it's clear from your writing style that you have developed those opinions over years of serious academic study.

I'm guessing - Ph.D?

4 posted on 12/21/2008 6:53:39 AM PST by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: ChetNavVet
"the word"

Mt:17:21: But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.

Lk:2:37: And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. (DRV)

5 posted on 12/21/2008 7:00:22 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

The catholic church did not build the USA. That’s more important, I think. Not to single out the catholic church by any means.


6 posted on 12/21/2008 7:00:23 AM PST by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: Fido969

Um.. no...
I just think that the Catholic religion has had its battles with science, and in the end, had to swallow thier own pride, more than once. These are well known facts, refute the fact that one of our greatest scientists was not on house arrest and I’ll shut up.

And yes, I have a GED, with 0 colledge credits, my opinions are based upon the fact that my retard father was a part of that religion, and that idiot knows nothing, I digress, dude, be catholic, fine by me, whatever, it’s cool, I was only talkin about the old church days. And I am sorry if I offend.


7 posted on 12/21/2008 7:11:45 AM PST by ChetNavVet (Build It, and they won't come!)
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To: ChetNavVet; All

Well for a time, the Catholic Church held back progress during the dark ages in Western Europe..


8 posted on 12/21/2008 7:24:10 AM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: ChetNavVet
"No serious Catholic would contend that churchmen were right in every decision they made. While Catholics believe that the Church will maintain the faith in its integrity until the end of time, that spiritual guarantee in no way implies that every action of the popes and the episcopate is beyond reproach. To the contrary, Catholics distinguish between the holiness of the Church as an institution guided by the Holy Spirit and the inevitable sinful nature of men, including the men who serve the church.(How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.) Thomas E. Woods Jr.

In other words: The Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners.

9 posted on 12/21/2008 7:37:42 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
I read this book and can recommend it. It's been several months. When I read it, I could see that it was well researched and carefully argued.

I wondered about the reference to Catholicism as opposed to Christianity. Some of this can be explained by the fact that the early history of Christianity preceded the Catholic/Protestant split. Much of the history he recounts is part of a heritage that is common to both Catholics and Protestants. It may be that after the split, Catholics maintained a more hierarchical order and perhaps more universities and hospitals, and was perhaps easier to document and track. The author is also Catholic.

I think it is an excellent book. It wouldn't have been difficult for him to have presented it as “How Christianity Built Western Civilization,” and I wish he had done so. Still, no one should feel snubbed. I think we can all learn form this book.

10 posted on 12/21/2008 7:38:15 AM PST by ChessExpert (The Dow was at 12,400 when Democrats took control of Congress. What is it today?)
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To: ChetNavVet
What might have these "goofy rules" been?
And your claim of bearing no malice to the Catholic Church is not very convincing.
11 posted on 12/21/2008 7:39:57 AM PST by jla (Sarah!)
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To: GonzoII; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

12 posted on 12/21/2008 7:43:40 AM PST by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: GonzoII
Post 9 - Excellent retort on your part. I maintain that the Church is infallible, yet it's members, clerical and laical alike, being human are not.

And thanks for this thread. Will order copy of book tomorrow.

13 posted on 12/21/2008 7:47:34 AM PST by jla (Sarah!)
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To: KevinDavis

I have nothing against Catholics, but back in the day the Church was quite oppressive, There were lots of goofy things they used to do, much to thier credit the Church has tried to be more mainstream, I reject the latest of thier notions as well, but then again, I’m not a Catholic. And lots of people that used to be Catholic, think that things are going too goofy for even them, So Vatican suffers, from the goofyness of the past to the goofyness of the present, I’m smart, I don’t give a penny to anybody. This way nobody bothers me. There are thosands of folk affiliated with the Catholic church that do go work, I respect thier sacrifies, but to the higher ups, I must say they have gone off track, What ever happened to the word?


14 posted on 12/21/2008 7:51:06 AM PST by ChetNavVet (Build It, and they won't come!)
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To: jla

Thanks.

And You’re welcome.


15 posted on 12/21/2008 7:51:37 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: ChessExpert
“I wondered about the reference to Catholicism as opposed to Christianity.”

Well, I think I would put it like this; as the saying goes, first things first, the Catholic Church is historically the first Christian religion, so we could say (I don't want to sound arrogant here) the Protestant religion benefited in a sense from the Catholic one, for example by the preservation of the Scriptures by the monks etc.

16 posted on 12/21/2008 8:08:42 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: ChetNavVet
And that test rejected a whole heaping amount of knowledge, lots of western Civ from the Greeks and others went Bye Bye thanks to the Catholic church,

This is false. Who do you think was copying Aristotle, Vergil, Livy, all that? Very very few actual texts survive from antiquity--most of what we have is medieval recopies by monks. The record of the monasteries in preserving the literature of antiquity from the barbarian onslaughts is well known.

Second of all, if the Church "had an agenda" that made it miss some scientific discoveries, then what kind of agenda did Fred Hoyle and all the atheists have who believed in the erroneous "steady state" theory in the mid-1900s? They criticized FATHER Georges Lemaitre and others for the Big Bang theory--which they said smacked too much of Genesis. I have yet to see them called on the carpet for that. But it's true--their a priori atheism interfered with their science.

17 posted on 12/21/2008 8:21:36 AM PST by Claud
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To: ChetNavVet

I had the pleasure of reading this book a few years ago. You raise an interesting point about Galileo. If you gave the book a shot, you’d learn the part of the story you apparently never heard.


18 posted on 12/21/2008 8:24:19 AM PST by RIRed
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To: KevinDavis
"Well for a time, the Catholic Church held back progress during the dark ages in Western Europe.."

"The term 'Dark Ages' was once applied to the entire millennium separating the period of late antiquity from the Renaissance. Nowadays, there is widespread acknowledgment of the accomplishments of the High Middle Ages. As David Knowles points out, scholars have begun more and more to push the 'Dark Ages' back still further, excluding the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries from that dubious distinction.

Still, there can be little doubt that the sixth and seventh centeries were marked by cultural and intellectual retrogression, in terms of education, literary output, and similar indicators. Was that the Church's fault? Historian Will Durant--an agnostic--defended the Church against this charge decades ago, placing blame for the decline not on the Church, which did everything could to reverse it, but on the barbarian invasions of late antiquity. 'The basic cause of cultural retrogression,' Durant explained, 'was not Christianity but barbarism; not religion but war. The human inundations ruined or impoverished cities, monasteries, libraries, schools, and made impossible the life of the scholar or the scientist. Perhaps the destruction would have been worse had not the Church maintained some measure of order in a crumbling civilization."(How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization; Ch.II ) Thomas E, Woods Jr.

19 posted on 12/21/2008 8:33:49 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
Related threads:
American Government and Christianity - America's Christian Roots
In Praise of a Puritan America
20 posted on 12/21/2008 8:34:38 AM PST by Alex Murphy ( "Every country has the government it deserves" - Joseph Marie de Maistre)
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To: Claud

We will never know how many discoveries or how much knowledge the Catholich church blotted out of existence, but since you mentioned Ed Hoyle and the steady state gurus, they were “reacting” to Ed Hubble, Lamatitre, And Eienstine’s (corrected) theory, and the church did a good job on that one, The pope at the time saw beauty and simplicity in the theory, The big bang theory still fits in nicely with the first few lines of Genesis.
I’m talking about the church way before, and the stupid goofy ideas they have going today, you can go talk to a priest if you don’t belive me.


21 posted on 12/21/2008 8:41:29 AM PST by ChetNavVet (Build It, and they won't come!)
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To: Alex Murphy
John Adams was the second president of the United States. He saw the need for religious values to provide the moral base line for society. He stated in a letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts:

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Words of wisdom, no doubt.

American Government and Christianity - America's Christian Roots
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1202421/posts

22 posted on 12/21/2008 8:42:42 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: ChetNavVet

You talk about “goofy ideas” but yet don’t mention any.

I am curious, please explain.


23 posted on 12/21/2008 8:47:45 AM PST by Hulka
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To: Hulka

I don’t know your values, I think that If the Vatican is against abortion, Gay Marrige, and Uthenasia, that’s not goofy, But you can find more than a few priests that reject one or more of those ideas, If you can’t find a preist that accepts idiocy like this, good for you. I’ve heard on the left coast things get goofy, and it does tend to spread, yes there are more than a few preists, female preists (or so I’ve heard) and Nuns that should be excommunicated, but that won’t happen, the goofyness starts there.


24 posted on 12/21/2008 9:05:00 AM PST by ChetNavVet (Build It, and they won't come!)
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To: ChetNavVet
"yes there are more than a few preists, female preists (or so I’ve heard) and Nuns that should be excommunicated, but that won’t happen, the goofyness starts there.2

You can read about some excommunications here

25 posted on 12/21/2008 9:14:28 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
Well, I think I would put it like this; as the saying goes, first things first, the Catholic Church is historically the first Christian religion

Only in Catholic history books...

, so we could say (I don't want to sound arrogant here) the Protestant religion benefited in a sense from the Catholic one, for example by the preservation of the Scriptures by the monks etc.

While the Catholic church may have preserved it's own version of the scriptures, the Protestant Reformation was based on bible manuscripts that were neither preserved by your church nor originated with your church...

26 posted on 12/21/2008 9:20:16 AM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: Iscool

“the Protestant Reformation was based on bible manuscripts that were neither preserved by your church nor originated with your church...”

What church were the Protestants protesting against?


27 posted on 12/21/2008 9:28:40 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: ChetNavVet

And those examples cited are not priests, they are operating outside the Church doctrine and are recognized as such by the Chrurch and true Catholics. Priests can’t make their own doctrine, and those that do operate outside the Church.

Sorry, they are not Catholic, they are former Catholic.


28 posted on 12/21/2008 9:47:24 AM PST by Hulka
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To: Iscool
Well, I think I would put it like this; as the saying goes, first things first, the Catholic Church is historically the first Christian religion

"Only in Catholic history books..."

 

ROMAN CATHOLICISM. The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD...The name of the church is derived from its base in Rome and from a Greek term meaning "universal." The word Catholic refers to the wholeness of the church, and for many centuries the Roman church claimed to be the only true Christian denomination.(Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1996)

ROMAN CATHOLICISM: Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctoral and organizational structure that traces its history to the apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century C.E. (Marriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions © 1999, page 938 )

The history of the Roman Church, therefore, in relation to the ancient oriental churches, is in fact, the history of this claim to supremacy.   The claim  of supremacy on the part of the bishop of Rome rests on the belief   that Christ conferred on the apostle Peter a 'primacy  of jurisdiction;' that Peter fixed his see and died at Rome and thus, that the bishops of Rome, as successors of the apostle Peter, have succeeded to his preorgatives of supremacy.  In this light, historians read the facts of the early history of the church---and they trace to this acknoledgment of the superiority of that see, the numerous references to Rome on matters of doctrine or discipline; the appeals from other churhces, even those of Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople; the depositions or nominations of bishops, examination and condemnation of heresies---of which the first five centuries, especially   the 4th and 5th, present examples. . . In all the controversies on the Incarnation---the Arian, the Nestorian, the Eutychian, the Monothelite---not only was the orthodoxy of Rome never impeached, but she even supplied at every crisis a rallying point for the orthodox of every church. ( Imperial Encyclopedia and Dictionary, Volume 32   © 1903)

The Church of Rome is the earliest of Christian organization; after three centuries of persecution, it was given freedom by the edict of Constantine and Licinius and acquired increased influence. Bishoprics were established in various parts of the empire, but the one at Rome remained supreme, and in time the title of Pope, or father originally borne by all the bishops indiscriminately, began to be restricted to the bishop of Rome.(The World Book Encyclopedia © 1940, Page 6166, Volume 14,) 

The office of Pope was founded on the words of Christ: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [which means a rock], and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" ( Matthew xvi, 18). The attention of every historian has been attracted by the endurance of the Papacy through centuries that have seen the downfall of every other European institution that existed when the Papacy arose, and of a number of others that have originated and fallen, while it continued t flourish. The Roman Catholic offers these facts as evidence that the Church is not merely a human institution, but that it is built "upon a rock," (The World Book Encyclopedia © 1940, Page 5730 Volume13)

Historical Notes. The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church recognizes the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, as the Vicar of Christ on this earth, and as the Head of the Church. It traces its origin from the naming of the Apostles Peter by Jesus as the chief of the Apostles . The authority of Peter as head of the Church is exercised by his successors as the Bishops of Rome. The doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church come from the faith given by Christ to his Apostles.( World Religions, By Benson Y. Landis, © 1957 Page 110)

 At first the Christians were terribly persecuted, but gradually they spread the Christ’s radian spirit and teachings until they united many races, classes, and religious beliefs into a brotherhood which extended from Persia to the Atlantic Ocean. Later, this brotherhood spread to American, and Christianity became the prevailing religion of the Western Hemisphere. It has now ben taught in all countries.For nearly a thousand years the Christians remained practically one great community. Then the Greek Catholics broke away from the Roman Catholics. "The World Book Encyclopedia ©1940, Page 1413 Volume 3)

(The Catholic) Church... traces an unbroken line of popes from St. Peter in the 1st century AD to the present occupant of the papal throne. During this nearly 2,000-year period there were more than 30 false popes, most notably during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. These men were merely claimants to the position. There have rarely been periods when a genuine pope was not ruling the church. In 1978 John Paul II became the 264th true pope.(Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1996)

By A. D. 100,...Christianity had become an institution headed by a three-rank hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons, who understood themselves to be the guardians of the only "true faith." The majority of churches, among which the church of Rome took a leading role, rejected all other viewpoints as heresy. Deploring the diversity of the earlier movement, Bishop Irenaeus and his followers insisted that there could be only one church, and outside of that church, he declared, "there is no salvation." Members of this church alone are orthodox (literally, "straight-thinking") Christians. And, he claimed, this church must be catholic-- that is, universal.(The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. Published by Vintage Books. 1994)

The Empire within the Empire.—Long before the fall of Rome there had begun to grow up within the Roman Empire an ecclesiastical state, which in its constitution and its administrative system was shaping itself upon the imperial model. This spiritual empire, like the secular empire, possessed a hierarchy of officers, of which deacons, priests or prebyters, and bishops were the most important. The bishops collectively formed what is know as the episcopate. There were four grades of bishops, namely, country bishops, city bishops, metropolitans or archbishops, and patriarchs. At the end of the third century there were five patriarchates, that is, regions ruled by patriarchs. These centered in the great cities of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Among the patriarchs, the patriarchs of Rome were accorded almost universally a precedence in honor and dignity. They claimed further a precedence in authority and jurisdiction, and this was already very widely recognized ...Besides the influence of great men, such as Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and Nicholas I, who held the seat of St. Peter, there were various historical circumstances that contributed to the realization by the Roman bishops of their claim to supremacy and aided them vastly in establishing the almost universal authority of the see of Rome. In the following paragraphs we shall enumerate several of these favoring circumstances. These matters constitute the great landmarks in the rise and early growth of the Papacy.

The belief in the Primacy of St. Peter and in the Founding by him of the Church at Rome.—The Catholic Church teaches that the apostle Peter was given by the Master primacy among his fellow apostles and, furthermore, that Christ intrusted that disciple with the keys of the kingdom of heaven and invested him with superlative authority as teacher and interpreter of the Word by the commission "Feed my sheep"; . . ."feed my lambs," thus giving into his charge the entire flock of the Church. It also teaches that the apostle Peter himself founded the church at Rome. Without doubt he preached at Rome and suffered martyrdom there under the Emperor Nero...The Pastor as Protector of Rome.—With the advent of the barbarians there came another occasion for the Roman bishops to widen their influence and enhance their authority. Rome’s extremity was their opportunity. Thus it will be recalled how mainly through the intercession of the pious Pope Leo the Great the fierce Attila was persuaded to turn back and spare the imperial city; and how the same bishop, in the year A.D. 455, also appeased in a measure the wrath of the Vandal Geiseric and shielded the inhabitants from the worst passions of a barbarian soldiery...Thus when the emperors, the natural defenders of the capital, were unable to protect it, the unarmed Pastor was able, through the awe and reverence inspired by his holy office, to render services that could not but result in bringing increased honor and dignity to the Roman see. (Mediaeval and Modern History, By Myers, Pg 26-27 Ginn and Company New York, 1905 )

Peter: d AD 64? Apostle, pope, and saint. According to the Bible Peter, a fisherman of Galilee was originally known as Simon. He was chosen by Jesus to be the first leader (pope) of his disciples. During Jesus' crucifixion, Peter denied knowing him, an act that Jesus had predicted and that Peter bitterly repented of. After word of Jesus' ascension to heaven, Peter actively sought converts, and is believed to have been crucified, head downward, in Rome by Nero. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is considered to be the first Pope. (Excerpted from the Macmillan Concise Dictionary of World History, compiled by Bruce Watterau. © 1986 Macmillan Publishing Company, a division of Macmillan, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

"If you are a Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ began your religion in the year 33. "(Ann Landers (Jewish), syndicated columnist in the Daily Record of Morris County, N.J. (from which we take this piece) for Monday, November 11,1996 reads)

"The Roman Catholic church ... the only legitimate inheritor, by an unbroken episcopal succession descending from Saint Peter to the present time, of the commission and powers conferred by Jesus Christ...Until the break with the Eastern church in 1054 and the break with the Protestant churches in the 1500s, it is impossible to separate the history of the Roman Catholic church from the history of Christianity" (The Encarta Encyclopedia © 1997 says)

"33-40 A.D.The Roman Catholic Church is founded by Jesus Christ"(The Timetables of History © 1975)

"The Catholic Church...Saint Peter and the Popes who have descended in unbroken succession from him have never ceased to feed, with the life-giving Sacraments and doctrines of the Catholic Church, the sheep whom Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd" (History Of The Popes © 1965)

"Jesus Christ has founded one only Church, the Catholic hierarchical Church, whose chief pastors are the Pope and the Bishops in union with the Pope," (The Early Church © 1945)

"St. Peter, of Bethsaida in Galilee, From Christ he received the name of Cepha, an Aramaic name which means rock .Prince of the Apostles, was the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He lived first in Antioch and then in Rome for 25 years. In C.E. 64 or 67, he was martyred. St. Linus became the second pope." (National Almanac © 1996)

"ROMAN CATHOLICISM The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD, ...the Roman church owes its existence to the life of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD" (Comptons Encyclopedia  ©1995)

"Roman Catholic authority rests upon a mandate that is traced to the action of Jesus Christ himself, when he invested Peter and, through Peter, his successors with the power of the keys in the church. Christ is the invisible head of his church, and by his authority the pope is the visible head." (Encyclopedia Britannica ©1999)

"Roman Catholicism Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctrinal and organizational structure that traces its history to the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD." (Encyclopedia Britannica ©1999)

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, the largest single Christian body, composed of those Christians who acknowledge the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome, the pope, in matters of faith. The word catholic (Gr. katholikos) means "universal" and has been used to designate the church since its earliest period, when it was the only Christian church. The Roman Catholic church regards itself as the only legitimate inheritor, by an unbroken episcopal succession descending from St. Peter to the present time, of the commission and powers conferred by Jesus Christ on the 12 apostles (see APOSTLE). The church has had a profound influence on the development of European culture and on the introduction of European values into other civilizations. Its total membership as the 1990s began was about 995.8 million (about 18.8 percent of the world population). (Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia ©1998-2000)

The doctrine of apostolic succession, that is, the continuous transmission of ministry from the time of Jesus until today. The doctrine is found as early as the Epistle to the Corinthians (c. 96), traditionally attributed to Pope Clement I...It is expressly affirmed in Roman Catholicism. It is identified with the succession of bishops in office and interpreted as the source of the bishops’ authority and leadership role. The most specific instance of these claims is that the pope is the successor of St. Peter, who was chosen by Jesus as head of his church (see Matt. 16:16–18). (Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia

29 posted on 12/21/2008 10:48:09 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: ChetNavVet
[does] God care what I eat? and when?

Of course. If you love someone you care about what the loved one eats and when.

Fasting is a very good way to connect with God. John the Baptist fasted (Mt. 3:4). Jesus fasted because He needed to confront Satan (Mt 4:2). He advised us to do the same (Mt 17:20).

It is very unfortunate that the Church relaxed the requirement for the Eucharistic fast. But it is not hard to correct. I do not eat on Sunday before I come to Mass, wich, given our circumstances means that I don't get to eat till about 3pm on Sunday. I abstain from meat on Fridays. If people followed the fasting and abstinence requirements of old, we would not need the Nutrisystem.

You seem to know very little about what the Church teaches and why. This forum is a good place to find out about Catohlicism. Please, stick around.

30 posted on 12/21/2008 10:49:23 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: GonzoII; All
Religious followers of religious institutions and denominations are to these systems like the American people are to this government system. Mere cattle. Work..work..work...give..give..give as much as they can get from you and what do they give back????

NOTHING!! You can have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without being financially raped by either one of them. They both build their kingdoms on the backs of men for their own good.

Genuine FAITH and trust in God has NOTHING to do with either!! Examine the FRUIT of both...it is rotten to the core. I personally feel as much anger as Christ did when he beat the money changers out of the temple!!

31 posted on 12/21/2008 11:04:38 AM PST by briarbey b
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To: ChetNavVet

Sorry if I jumped on you.


32 posted on 12/21/2008 11:09:51 AM PST by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: briarbey b

But God wants us to be civilized, not merely hold on to our money; He wouldn’t give us His Church otherwise.


33 posted on 12/21/2008 11:18:33 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

His church is living stones, PEOPLE....not what you see, that is being called church.


34 posted on 12/21/2008 11:24:39 AM PST by briarbey b
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To: briarbey b

The gospels record the Church as a single body united by Eucharistic Christ (Rm 12, 1 Cor. 10) and organized around her bishops (Acts 20:28) who meet in councils, teach and legislate (Acts 15). Re-read the catholic epistles, and Acts.

The Acts specifically mentions monetary contributions and shows that God was not happy with those holding on to their wallets (Acts 5:1-10)

But even supposing the notion of invisible church has any connection to historical Christianity, — it doesn’t — what do you have against civilization?


35 posted on 12/21/2008 11:40:52 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: briarbey b
Religious followers of religious institutions and denominations are to these systems like the American people are to this government system. Mere cattle.
Work..work..work...give..give..give as much as they can get from you and what do they give back????

NOTHING!! You can have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without being financially raped by either one of them. They both build their kingdoms on the backs of men for their own good.

Genuine FAITH and trust in God has NOTHING to do with either!! Examine the FRUIT of both...it is rotten to the core. I personally feel as much anger as Christ did when he beat the money changers out of the temple!!

You got it! There are more people than ever before that go along with what you just said. I am one of them.

36 posted on 12/21/2008 11:49:40 AM PST by Truth Defender (Christ did NOT come to save an immortal sinner, but to give a mortal sinner the offer of immortality)
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To: briarbey b
His church is living stones, PEOPLE....not what you see, that is being called church.

Again, you got it! Most respondents glorify an institution, not the "church"!

37 posted on 12/21/2008 11:51:54 AM PST by Truth Defender (Christ did NOT come to save an immortal sinner, but to give a mortal sinner the offer of immortality)
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To: annalex
But even supposing the notion of invisible church has any connection to historical Christianity, — it doesn’t — what do you have against civilization?

I don't think anyone has anything against civilization. The idea that the church is "invisible" is ridiculous to the extreme. The people are the "ekklesia", the "church", and they are not "invisible" by any stretch of the imagination. The "institutions" are not the "church", but simply the gathering of those brought under its sway and governance - be it through rules, dogma or doctrine, or through the officers of the institution, especially the one who is raised on a pedestal to be the "head" of the group.

It is a shame that adherents of a "group" psychology give praise and glory to an institution rather than limiting their praise and glory to God and His Christ (His Messiah, His "anointed" One).

38 posted on 12/21/2008 12:07:15 PM PST by Truth Defender (Christ did NOT come to save an immortal sinner, but to give a mortal sinner the offer of immortality)
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To: annalex

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Annalex...me trying to show you what I am talking about is like trying to explain the blue sky or stars to a blind person. You’ve been indoctrinated...brain-washed.

THIS is just ONE of the end-times deception...the idea that it is a building..that can be burnt, blown up...rot from age ect. that makes you civilized, that saves your soul??? Christ didn’t have a building to build His Kingdom..yet he built it...he wasn’t civilized?


39 posted on 12/21/2008 12:16:14 PM PST by briarbey b
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To: Truth Defender

You got it! There are more people than ever before that go along with what you just said. I am one of them.
*****
We should be seeing more people, but not near enough. There is much happening in the world...as the final judgment nears, we should see a more definate separation of who and what is God’s and who or what isn’t.

I am afraid for people. God’s cup of wrath has been filling for many many years...when it spills over..God help us all!!


40 posted on 12/21/2008 12:23:55 PM PST by briarbey b
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To: Truth Defender

“It is a shame that adherents of a “group” psychology give praise and glory to an institution”

The Church is not an institution; it is the body of Christ.

Col:1:24:
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church: (DRV)


41 posted on 12/21/2008 12:24:24 PM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Truth Defender
I don't think anyone has anything against civilization.

So don't attack its primary builder because of some post-reformation ecclesiological nonsense.

42 posted on 12/21/2008 12:40:08 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: briarbey b

Well, it is true that the Catholic Church is not a building. It is the Body of Christ himself, as the Holy Scripture clearly teaches.


43 posted on 12/21/2008 12:41:42 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
"I don't think anyone has anything against civilization."

So don't attack its primary builder because of some post-reformation ecclesiological nonsense.

Whose "attacking"? I'm just stating some common sense understanding of what is being done by adherents of many "churches" today - of whom you seem to be one.

BTW, what I said about the "ekklesia" (Greek spelling) is what is taught in the Scriptures you say you believe in. I realize you believe in a "developing" religion with "developing doctrines". However, I don't. I take what the Scriptures say about the "church" before I even consider what individuals try to push on everyone else.

44 posted on 12/21/2008 12:48:56 PM PST by Truth Defender (Christ did NOT come to save an immortal sinner, but to give a mortal sinner the offer of immortality)
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To: annalex

Well, it is true that the Catholic Church is not a building. It is the Body of Christ himself, as the Holy Scripture clearly teaches.
*****
I’m curious annalex...what are you being taught about end-times? HOW much do you know to watch for? We were told to watch. WHAT are you watching for?


45 posted on 12/21/2008 1:34:42 PM PST by briarbey b
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To: ChetNavVet
But No, I reject the authors claim

It is logically impossible to reject an author's claim without reviewing his argument. Have you read his book? If you are a champion of West civ, then at least honor the reason of the Greeks. You can easily get the book at a library. (If your local library does not have it, they will probably have an inter-library loan service.) Or buy it from Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

what do I know?

That is a very good question. That is essentially the question Socrates kept asking. So keep asking it. You may eventually get the answer.

46 posted on 12/21/2008 1:39:00 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: KevinDavis
Well for a time, the Catholic Church held back progress during the dark ages in Western Europe..

What are you basing that opinion on? Certainly not history. During the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire, that empire collapsed in the west. It was the Christian monasteries that remained oases of learning during those turbulent centuries. As the barbarians were destroying the marks of civilization all around, the monks behind their walls were preserved the learning of the ancients. It was from the monks that the barbarians later received the learning that the monks had preserved.

47 posted on 12/21/2008 2:01:31 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: stripes1776; All

Galileo would have disagreed with you..


48 posted on 12/21/2008 2:10:36 PM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: KevinDavis; All
Well for a time, the Catholic Church held back progress during the dark ages in Western Europe..

You are jumping all over the place. First you are talking about the early Middle Ages. That would be roughly 400 to 1000 AD. And now you are talking about Galileo who lived in the 17th century, at least 600 years later.

If you want to make a consist argument about some point, please do. But I will not play a specious game of jack rabbit--hippity hop, hippity hop.

49 posted on 12/21/2008 2:24:22 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: GonzoII

Bravo!


50 posted on 12/21/2008 2:24:56 PM PST by Petrosius
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