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Leo XIII on the inerrancy of scripture (from Providentissimus Deus) [ecum.]
The Roman Curia ^ | 18th day of November, 1893 | Pope Leo XIII

Posted on 02/16/2009 12:41:27 PM PST by annalex

PROVIDENTISSIMUS DEUS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII 
ON THE STUDY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE

 

To Our Venerable Brethren, All Patriarchs, Primates,
Archbishops, and Bishops of the Catholic World, in Grace
and Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

[...]

The Authority of Holy Scripture; Modern Criticism; Physical Science

17. To prove, to expound, to illustrate Catholic Doctrine by the legitimate and skilful interpretation of the Bible, is much; but there is a second part of the subject of equal importance and equal difficulty - the maintenance in the strongest possible way of its full authority. This cannot be done completely or satisfactorily except by means of the living and proper magisterium of the Church. The Church, "by reason of her wonderful propagation, her distinguished sanctity and inexhaustible fecundity in good, her Catholic unity, and her unshaken stability, is herself a great and perpetual motive of credibility, and an unassailable testimony to her own Divine mission."(45) But since the divine and infallible magisterium of the Church rests also on the authority of Holy Scripture, the first thing to be done is to vindicate the trustworthiness of the sacred records at least as human documents, from which can be clearly proved, as from primitive and authentic testimony, the Divinity and the mission of Christ our Lord, the institution of a hierarchical Church and the primacy of Peter and his successors. It is most desirable, therefore, that there should be numerous members of the clergy well prepared to enter upon a contest of this nature, and to repulse hostile assaults, chiefly trusting in that armour of God recommended by the Apostle,(46) but also not unaccustomed to modern methods of attack. This is beautifully alluded to by St. John Chrysostom, when describing the duties of priests: "We must use every endeavour that the 'Word of God may dwell in us abundantly'(47) and not merely for one kind of fight must we be prepared-for the contest is many-sided and the enemy is of every sort; and they do not all use the same weapons nor make their onset in the same way. Wherefore it is needful that the man who has to contend against all should be acquainted with the engines and the arts of all-that he should be at once archer and slinger, commandant and officer, general and private soldier, foot-soldier and horseman, skilled in sea-fight and in siege; for unless he knows every trick and turn of war, the devil is well able, if only a single door be left open, to get in his fierce bands and carry off the sheep."(48) The sophisms of the enemy and his manifold arts of attack we have already touched upon. Let us now say a word of advice on the means of defence. The first means is the study of the Oriental languages and of the art of criticism. These two acquirements are in these days held in high estimation, and therefore the clergy, by making themselves more or less fully acquainted with them as time and place may demand, will the better be able to discharge their office with becoming credit; for they must make themselves "all to all,"(49) always "ready to satisfy every one that asketh them a reason for the hope that is in them."(50) Hence it is most proper that Professors of Sacred Scripture and theologians should master those tongues in which the sacred Books were originally written; and it would be well that Church students also should cultivate them, more especially those who aspire to academic degrees. And endeavours should be made to establish in all academic institutions - as has already been laudably done in many - chairs of the other ancient languages, especially the Semitic, and of subjects connected therewith, for the benefit principally of those who are intended to profess sacred literature. These latter, with a similar object in view, should make themselves well and thoroughly acquainted with the art of true criticism. There has arisen, to the great detriment of religion, an inept method, dignified by the name of the "higher criticism," which pretends to judge of the origin, integrity and authority of each Book from internal indications alone. It is clear, on the other hand, that in historical questions, such as the origin and the handing down of writings, the witness of history is of primary importance, and that historical investigation should be made with the utmost care; and that in this matter internal evidence is seldom of great value, except as confirmation. To look upon it in any other light will be to open the door to many evil consequences. It will make the enemies of religion much more bold and confident in attacking and mangling the Sacred Books; and this vaunted "higher criticism" will resolve itself into the reflection of the bias and the prejudice of the critics. It will not throw on the Scripture the light which is sought, or prove of any advantage to doctrine; it will only give rise to disagreement and dissension, those sure notes of error, which the critics in question so plentifully exhibit in their own persons; and seeing that most of them are tainted with false philosophy and rationalism, it must lead to the elimination from the sacred writings of all prophecy and miracle, and of everything else that is outside the natural order.

18. In the second place, we have to contend against those who, making an evil use of physical science, minutely scrutinize the Sacred Book in order to detect the writers in a mistake, and to take occasion to vilify its contents. Attacks of this kind, bearing as they do on matters of sensible experience, are peculiarly dangerous to the masses, and also to the young who are beginning their literary studies; for the young, if they lose their reverence for the Holy Scripture on one or more points, are easily led to give up believing in it altogether. It need not be pointed out how the nature of science, just as it is so admirably adapted to show forth the glory of the Great Creator, provided it be taught as it should be, so if it be perversely imparted to the youthful intelligence, it may prove most fatal in destroying the principles of true philosophy and in the corruption of morality. Hence to the Professor of Sacred Scripture a knowledge of natural science will be of very great assistance in detecting such attacks on the Sacred Books, and in refuting them. There can never, indeed, be any real discrepancy between the theologian and the physicist, as long as each confines himself within his own lines, and both are careful, as St. Augustine warns us, "not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known."(51) If dissension should arise between them, here is the rule also laid down by St. Augustine, for the theologian: "Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures; and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so."(52) To understand how just is the rule here formulated we must remember, first, that the sacred writers, or to speak more accurately, the Holy Ghost "Who spoke by them, did not intend to teach men these things (that is to say, the essential nature of the things of the visible universe), things in no way profitable unto salvation."(53) Hence they did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature, but rather described and dealt with things in more or less figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time, and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even by the most eminent men of science. Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers-as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us - `went by what sensibly appeared,"(54) or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

19. The unshrinking defence of the Holy Scripture, however, does not require that we should equally uphold all the opinions which each of the Fathers or the more recent interpreters have put forth in explaining it; for it may be that, in commenting on passages where physical matters occur, they have sometimes expressed the ideas of their own times, and thus made statements which in these days have been abandoned as incorrect. Hence, in their interpretations, we must carefully note what they lay down as belonging to faith, or as intimately connected with faith-what they are unanimous in. For "in those things which do not come under the obligation of faith, the Saints were at liberty to hold divergent opinions, just as we ourselves are,"(55) according to the saying of St. Thomas. And in another place he says most admirably: "When philosophers are agreed upon a point, and it is not contrary to our faith, it is safer, in my opinion, neither to lay down such a point as a dogma of faith, even though it is perhaps so presented by the philosophers, nor to reject it as against faith, lest we thus give to the wise of this world an occasion of despising our faith."(56) The Catholic interpreter, although he should show that those facts of natural science which investigators affirm to be now quite certain are not contrary to the Scripture rightly explained, must nevertheless always bear in mind, that much which has been held and proved as certain has afterwards been called in question and rejected. And if writers on physics travel outside the boundaries of their own branch, and carry their erroneous teaching into the domain of philosophy, let them be handed over to philosophers for

Inspiration Incompatible with Error

20. The principles here laid down will apply cognate sciences, and especially to History. It is a lamentable fact that there are many who with great labour carry out and publish investigations on the monuments of antiquity, the manners and institutions of nations and other illustrative subjects, and whose chief purpose in all this is too often to find mistakes in the sacred writings and so to shake and weaken their authority. Some of these writers display not only extreme hostility, but the greatest unfairness; in their eyes a profane book or ancient document is accepted without hesitation, whilst the Scripture, if they only find in it a suspicion of error, is set down with the slightest possible discussion as quite untrustworthy. It is true, no doubt, that copyists have made mistakes in the text of the Bible; this question, when it arises, should be carefully considered on its merits, and the fact not too easily admitted, but only in those passages where the proof is clear. It may also happen that the sense of a passage remains ambiguous, and in this case good hermeneutical methods will greatly assist in clearing up the obscurity. But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it-this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican. These are the words of the last: "The Books of the Old and New Testament, whole and entire, with all their parts, as enumerated in the decree of the same Council (Trent) and in the ancient Latin Vulgate, are to be received as sacred and canonical. And the Church holds them as sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor only because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author."(57) Hence, because the Holy Ghost employed men as His instruments, we cannot therefore say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author. For, by supernatural power, He so moved and impelled them to write-He was so present to them-that the things which He ordered, and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth. Otherwise, it could not be said that He was the Author of the entire Scripture. Such has always been the persuasion of the Fathers. "Therefore," says St. Augustine, "since they wrote the things which He showed and uttered to them, it cannot be pretended that He is not the writer; for His members executed what their Head dictated."(58) And St. Gregory the Great thus pronounces: "Most superfluous it is to inquire who wrote these things-we loyally believe the Holy Ghost to be the Author of the book. He wrote it Who dictated it for writing; He wrote it Who inspired its execution. "(59)

21. It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings, either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration, or make God the author of such error. And so emphatically were all the Fathers and Doctors agreed that the divine writings, as left by the hagiographers, are free from all error, that they laboured earnestly, with no less skill than reverence, to reconcile with each other those numerous passages which seem at variance - the very passages which in great measure have been taken up by the "higher criticism;" for they were unanimous in laying it down, that those writings, in their entirety and in all their parts were equally from the afflatus of Almighty God, and that God, speaking by the sacred writers, could not set down anything but what was true. The words of St. Augustine to St. Jerome may sum up what they taught: "On my part I confess to your charity that it is only to those Books of Scripture which are now called canonical that I have learned to pay such honour and reverence as to believe most firmly that none of their writers has fallen into any error. And if in these Books I meet anything which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to conclude either that the text is faulty, or that the translator has not expressed the meaning of the passage, or that I myself do not understand."(60)

22. But to undertake fully and perfectly, and with all the weapons of the best science, the defence of the Holy Bible is far more than can be looked for from the exertions of commentators and theologians alone. It is an enterprise in which we have a right to expect the co-operation of all those Catholics who have acquired reputation in any branch of learning whatever. As in the past, so at the present time, the Church is never without the graceful support of her accomplished children; may their services to the Faith grow and increase! For there is nothing which We believe to be more needful than that truth should find defenders more powerful and more numerous than the enemies it has to face; nor is there anything which is better calculated to impress the masses with respect for truth than to see it boldly proclaimed by learned and distinguished men. Moreover, the bitter tongues of objectors will be silenced, or at least they will not dare to insist so shamelessly that faith is the enemy of science, when they see that scientific men of eminence in their profession show towards faith the most marked honour and respect. Seeing, then, that those can do so much for the advantage of religion on whom the goodness of Almighty God has bestowed, together with the grace of the faith, great natural talent, let such men, in this bitter conflict of which the Holy Scripture is the object, select each of them the branch of study most suitable to his circumstances, and endeavour to excel therein, and thus be prepared to repulse with credit and distinction the assaults on the Word of God. And it is Our pleasing duty to give deserved praise to a work which certain Catholics have taken up-that is to say, the formation of societies and the contribution of considerable sums of money, for the purpose of supplying studious and learned men with every kind of help and assistance in carrying out complete studies. Truly an excellent fashion of investing money, and well-suited to the times in which we live! The less hope of public patronage there is for Catholic study, the more ready and the more abundant should be the liberality of private persons-those to whom God has given riches thus willingly making use of their means to safeguard the treasure of His revealed doctrine.

Summary 

23. In order that all these endeavours and exertions may really prove advantageous to the cause of the Bible, let scholars keep steadfastly to the principles which We have in this Letter laid down. Let them loyally hold that God, the Creator and Ruler of all things, is also the Author of the Scriptures - and that therefore nothing can be proved either by physical science or archaeology which can really contradict the Scriptures. If, then, apparent contradiction be met with, every effort should be made to remove it. Judicious theologians and commentators should be consulted as to what is the true or most probable meaning of the passage in discussion, and the hostile arguments should be carefully weighed. Even if the difficulty is after all not cleared up and the discrepancy seems to remain, the contest must not be abandoned; truth cannot contradict truth, and we may be sure that some mistake has been made either in the interpretation of the sacred words, or in the polemical discussion itself; and if no such mistake can be detected, we must then suspend judgment for the time being. There have been objections without number perseveringly directed against the Scripture for many a long year, which have been proved to be futile and are now never heard of; and not unfrequently interpretations have been placed on certain passages of Scripture (not belonging to the rule of faith or morals) which have been rectified by more careful investigations. As time goes on, mistaken views die and disappear; but "truth remaineth and groweth stronger for ever and ever."(61) Wherefore, as no one should be so presumptuous as to think that he understands the whole of the Scripture, in which St. Augustine himself confessed that there was more that he did not know, than that he knew,(62) so, if he should come upon anything that seems incapable of solution, he must take to heart the cautious rule of the same holy Doctor: "It is better even to be oppressed by unknown but useful signs, than to interpret them uselessly and thus to throw off the yoke only to be caught in the trap of error. "(63)

24. Such, Venerable Brethren, are the admonitions and the instructions which, by the help of God, We have thought it well, at the present moment, to offer to you on the study of Holy Scripture. It will now be your province to see that what we have said be observed and put in practice with all due reverence and exactness; that so, we may prove our gratitude to God for the communication to man of the Words of his Wisdom, and that all the good results so much to be desired may be realized, especially as they affect the training of the students of the Church, which is our own great solicitude and the Church's hope. Exert yourselves with willing alacrity, and use your authority and your persuasion in order that these studies may be held in just regard and may flourish, in Seminaries and in the educational Institutions which are under your jurisdiction. Let them flourish in completeness and in happy success, under the direction of the Church, in accordance with the salutary teaching and example of the Holy Fathers and the laudable traditions of antiquity; and, as time goes on, let them be widened and extended as the interests and glory of truth may require - the interest of that Catholic Truth which comes from above, the never-failing source of man's salvation. Finally, We admonish with paternal love all students and ministers of the Church always to approach the Sacred Writings with reverence and piety; for it is impossible to attain to the profitable understanding thereof unless the arrogance of "earthly" science be laid aside, and there be excited in the heart the holy desire for that wisdom "which is from above." In this way the intelligence which is once admitted to these sacred studies, and thereby illuminated and strengthened, will acquire a marvellous facility in detecting and avoiding the fallacies of human science, and in gathering and using for eternal salvation all that is valuable and precious; whilst at the same time the heart will grow warm, and will strive with ardent longing to advance in virtue and in divine love. "Blessed are they who examine His testimonies; they shall seek Him with their whole heart. "(64)

25. And now, filled with hope in the divine assistance, and trusting to your pastoral solicitude - as a pledge of heavenly grace and a sign of Out special goodwill - to you all, and to the Clergy and the whole flock entrusted to you, We lovingly impart in Our Lord the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at St. Peter's, at Rome, the 18th day of November, 1893, the eighteenth year of Our Pontificate.

LEO XIII


REFERENCES:

[...]

45. Conc. Vat. sess. iii., c. iii. de fide.

46. Eph. vi., 13, seqq.

47. Cfr., Coloss. iii., 16.

48. De sacerdotio iv., 4.

49. I Cor. ix., 22.

50. I Peter iii., 15.

51. In Gen. op. imperf. ix., 30.

52. De Gen. ad litt. i. 21, 41.

53. S. Aug. ib. ii., 9, 20.

54. Summa theol. p. I, q. lxx., a. I, ad 3.

55. In Sent. ii., Dist. q. i., a. 3.

56. Opusc. x.

57. Sess. iii., c. ii., de Rev.

58. De consensu Evangel. 1. I, c. 35.

59. Praef. in Job, n. 2.

60. Ep. lxxxii., i. et crebrius alibi.

61. 3 Esdr. iv., 38.

62. ad Ianuar. ep. lv., 21.

63. De doctr. chr. iii., 9, 18.

64. Ps. xviii., 2.

 

Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

        


TOPICS: Religion & Culture; Religion & Science; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; inerrancy; scripture
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The entire encyclical is at the source. I posted its second half.
1 posted on 02/16/2009 12:41:28 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Err... scrupture. ;)


2 posted on 02/16/2009 12:42:34 PM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Kolokotronis; P-Marlowe; kosta50; 1000 silverlings; Dr. Eckleburg; Forest Keeper; enat; ...

What is the mind of the Catholic Church on the bibical inerrancy? This, I think, is the clearest answer.


3 posted on 02/16/2009 12:47:11 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: ViLaLuz; Religion Moderator

Esteemed Moderator,

Is “scrupture” wrong? Please correct.


4 posted on 02/16/2009 12:48:24 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex; 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.”

5 posted on 02/16/2009 12:49:33 PM PST by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: annalex
Providentissimus Deus, like all encyclicals (especially those dealing with the Bible) are pretty much interpreted any which way depending on the prejudices of the quoter. Sometimes it is invoked as teaching absolute inerrancy, sometimes it is invoked against it.

Catholics fail to realize that Church documents are every bit as subject to "private interpretation" as any Biblical text.

6 posted on 02/16/2009 12:52:40 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Vayiqach sefer haberit vayiqra' be'onzey ha`am; vayo'mru kol 'asher-dibber HaShem na`aseh venishma`.)
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To: annalex
Also:

SYLLABUS CONDEMNING THE ERRORS OF THE MODERNISTS

LAMENTABILI SANE

Pius X July 3, 1907

With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas.

These errors are being daily spread among the faithful. Lest they captivate the faithful's minds and corrupt the purity of their faith, His Holiness, Pius X, by Divine Providence, Pope, has decided that the chief errors should be noted and condemned by the Office of this Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition.

Therefore, after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed.

1. The ecclesiastical law which prescribes that books concerning the Divine Scriptures are subject to previous examination does not apply to critical scholars and students of scientific exegesis of the Old and New Testament.

2. The Church's interpretation of the Sacred Books is by no means to be rejected; nevertheless, it is subject to the more accurate judgment and correction of the exegetes.

3. From the ecclesiastical judgments and censures passed against free and more scientific exegesis, one can conclude that the Faith the Church proposes contradicts history and that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion.

4. Even by dogmatic definitions the Church's magisterium cannot determine the genuine sense of the Sacred Scriptures.

5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences.

6. The "Church learning" and the "Church teaching" collaborate in such a way in defining truths that it only remains for the "Church teaching" to sanction the opinions of the "Church learning."

7. In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced.

8. They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations.

9. They display excessive simplicity or ignorance who believe that God is really the author of the Sacred Scriptures. 10. The inspiration of the books of the Old Testament consists in this: The Israelite writers handed down religious doctrines under a peculiar aspect which was either little or not at all known to the Gentiles.

11. Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error.

12. If he wishes to apply himself usefully to Biblical studies, the exegete must first put aside all preconceived opinions about the supernatural origin of Sacred Scripture and interpret it the same as any other merely human document.

13. The Evangelists themselves, as well as the Christians of the second and third generation, artificially arranged the evangelical parables. In such a way they explained the scanty fruit of the preaching of Christ among the Jews.

14. In many narrations the Evangelists recorded, not so much things that are true, as things which, even though false, they judged to be more profitable for their readers.

15. Until the time the canon was defined and constituted, the Gospels were increased by additions and corrections. Therefore there remained in them only a faint and uncertain trace of the doctrine of Christ.

16. The narrations of John are not properly history, but a mystical contemplation of the Gospel. The discourses contained in his Gospel are theological meditations, lacking historical truth concerning the mystery of salvation.

17. The fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.

18. John claims for himself the quality of witness concerning Christ. In reality, however, he is only a distinguished witness of the Christian life, or of the life of Christ in the Church at the close of the first century.

19. Heterodox exegetes have expressed the true sense of the Scriptures more faithfully than Catholic exegetes.

20. Revelation could be nothing else than the consciousness man acquired of his revelation to God.

21. Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.

22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.

23. Opposition may, and actually does, exist between the facts narrated in Sacred Scripture and the Church's dogmas which rest on them. Thus the critic may reject as false facts the Church holds as most certain.

24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves .

25. The assent of faith ultimately rests on a mass of probabilities .

26. The dogmas of the Faith are to be held only according to their practical sense; that is to say, as preceptive norms of conduct and not as norms of believing.

27. The divinity of Jesus Christ is not proved from the Gospels. It is a dogma which the Christian conscience has derived from the notion of the Messias.

28. While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messias, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.

29. It is permissible to grant that the Christ of history is far inferior to the Christ Who is the object of faith.

30 In all the evangelical texts the name "Son of God'' is equivalent only to that of "Messias." It does not in the least way signify that Christ is the true and natural Son of God.

31. The doctrine concerning Christ taught by Paul, John, and the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon is not that which Jesus taught but that which the Christian conscience conceived concerning Jesus.

32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.

33 Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.

34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.

35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

36. The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other facts.

37. In the beginning, faith in the Resurrection of Christ was not so much in the fact itself of the Resurrection as in the immortal life of Christ with God.

38. The doctrine of the expiatory death of Christ is Pauline and not evangelical.

39. The opinions concerning the origin of the Sacraments which the Fathers of Trent held and which certainly influenced their dogmatic canons are very different from those which now rightly exist among historians who examine Christianity .

40. The Sacraments have their origin in the fact that the Apostles and their successors, swayed and moved by circumstances and events, interpreted some idea and intention of Christ.

41. The Sacraments are intended merely to recall to man's mind the ever-beneficent presence of the Creator.

42. The Christian community imposed the necessity of Baptism, adopted it as a necessary rite, and added to it the obligation of the Christian profession.

43. The practice of administering Baptism to infants was a disciplinary evolution, which became one of the causes why the Sacrament was divided into two, namely, Baptism and Penance.

44. There is nothing to prove that the rite of the Sacrament of Confirmation was employed by the Apostles. The formal distinction of the two Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation does not pertain to the history of primitive Christianity.

45. Not everything which Paul narrates concerning the institution of the Eucharist (I Cor. 11:23-25) is to be taken historically.

46. In the primitive Church the concept of the Christian sinner reconciled by the authority of the Church did not exist. Only very slowly did the Church accustom herself to this concept. As a matter of fact, even after Penance was recognized as an institution of the Church, it was not called a Sacrament since it would be held as a disgraceful Sacrament.

47. The words of the Lord, "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained'' (John 20:22-23), in no way refer to the Sacrament of Penance, in spite of what it pleased the Fathers of Trent to say.

48. In his Epistle (Ch. 5:14-15) James did not intend to promulgate a Sacrament of Christ but only commend a pious custom. If in this custom he happens to distinguish a means of grace, it is not in that rigorous manner in which it was taken by the theologians who laid down the notion and number of the Sacraments.

49. When the Christian supper gradually assumed the nature of a liturgical action those who customarily presided over the supper acquired the sacerdotal character.

50. The elders who fulfilled the office of watching over the gatherings of the faithful were instituted by the Apostles as priests or bishops to provide for the necessary ordering of the increasing communities and not properly for the perpetuation of the Apostolic mission and power.

51. It is impossible that Matrimony could have become a Sacrament of the new law until later in the Church since it was necessary that a full theological explication of the doctrine of grace and the Sacraments should first take place before Matrimony should be held as a Sacrament.

52. It was far from the mind of Christ to found a Church as a society which would continue on earth for a long course

of centuries. On the contrary, in the mind of Christ the kingdom of heaven together with the end of the world was about to come immediately.

53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.

54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.

55. Simon Peter never even suspected that Christ entrusted the primacy in the Church to him.

56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions.

57. The Church has shown that she is hostile to the progress of the natural and theological sciences.

58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.

59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.

60. Christian Doctrine was originally Judaic. Through successive evolutions it became first Pauline, then Joannine, finally Hellenic and universal.

61. It may be said without paradox that there is no chapter of Scripture, from the first of Genesis to the last of the Apocalypse, which contains a doctrine absolutely identical with that which the Church teaches on the same matter. For the same reason, therefore, no chapter of Scripture has the same sense for the critic and the theologian.

62. The chief articles of the Apostles' Creed did not have the same sense for the Christians of the first ages as they have for the Christians of our time.

63. The Church shows that she is incapable of effectively maintaining evangelical ethics since she obstinately clings to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with modern progress.

64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.

65. Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism.

The following Thursday, the fourth day of the same month and year, all these matters were accurately reported to our Most Holy Lord, Pope Pius X. His Holiness approved and confirmed the decree of the Most Eminent Fathers and ordered that each and every one of the above-listed propositions be held by all as condemned and proscribed.

PETER PALOMBELLI, Notary of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition

LAMENTABILI SANE

7 posted on 02/16/2009 12:57:08 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Visit any discussion of any encyclical on any Catholic forum and tell me if Catholics “fail to realize” that.


8 posted on 02/16/2009 12:58:39 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex; P-Marlowe; kosta50; 1000 silverlings; Dr. Eckleburg; Forest Keeper; enat; MarkBsnr

I never thought much of Leo XIII. Here’s Orthodoxy’s response to Leo’s ecclesiology/theology:

http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/ency1895.html


9 posted on 02/16/2009 1:02:43 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895 speak nothing on the inerrancy of the Scripture one way or another.


10 posted on 02/16/2009 1:17:16 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

“The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895 speak nothing on the inerrancy of the Scripture one way or another.”

Sure it does, Alex. It shows us why we shouldn’t listen to what Leo had to say.


11 posted on 02/16/2009 1:46:17 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

Not even on the multiple encyclicals he wrote on the Rosary? :-P


12 posted on 02/16/2009 1:48:45 PM PST by Pyro7480 (This Papist asks everyone to continue to pray the Rosary for our country!)
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To: Kolokotronis

I’d rather discuss the subject matter directly. Does Pope Leo’s encyclical represent a departure from the patristic tradition? If so, let us see how.


13 posted on 02/16/2009 1:52:46 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Thank you for posting this Annalex.


14 posted on 02/16/2009 2:03:43 PM PST by Alexius (An absolutely new idea is one of the rarest things known to man. - St. Thomas More)
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To: Pyro7480

“Not even on the multiple encyclicals he wrote on the Rosary? :-P”

Even those.


15 posted on 02/16/2009 2:18:25 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

That’s quite an indictment, and a possibly overreaching one.


16 posted on 02/16/2009 2:23:06 PM PST by Pyro7480 (This Papist asks everyone to continue to pray the Rosary for our country!)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Awwwwww,

I was about to post this: “How long before Zionist Conspirator shows up with his one trick pony?”

But you beat me to it. You’ve become a cliche.


17 posted on 02/16/2009 2:24:11 PM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998

He knows Catholicism and Catholics better than Catholics, you know. Even when proven wrong he knows better than the ‘offical’ Catholic position.


18 posted on 02/16/2009 2:27:14 PM PST by Alexius (An absolutely new idea is one of the rarest things known to man. - St. Thomas More)
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To: Kolokotronis

You wrote:

“I never thought much of Leo XIII.”

I think there’s much to praise Leo XIII for, but I don’t mean just his encyclicals. His greatest achievement might have been his humble prayer imploring St. Michael for protection against the Devil. Here is the original version:

“O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.

“Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven.

“That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

“Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and Patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen

“Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers;

“The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David;

“Let thy mercies be upon us, O Lord;

“As we have hoped in thee;

“O Lord, hear my prayer;

“And let my cry come unto thee.

“Let us pray.

“O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name, and as suppliants we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.”


19 posted on 02/16/2009 2:30:58 PM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998

OK...; that I can accept, in fact, this is very good (but I think its out of character for Leo XIII).


20 posted on 02/16/2009 2:33:03 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: annalex

If you want to get your point across, try formatting. Just a friendly advice.


21 posted on 02/16/2009 2:50:06 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: Pyro7480; annalex; vladimir998

“That’s quite an indictment, and a possibly overreaching one.”

From me???????????????????????

P, Leo XIII had some of those odd Marian notions which have caused so much heartburn over the past 100 years, especially that Co-Redemptrix idea. His concept of Panagia as a mediatrix of grace is particularly dangerous as it sets her up as a sort of gatekeeper between humanity and the grace of God which falls on the people like rain on the earth. His beliefs in this area are far outside the consensus patrum and, fankly, smack of a sort of extreme religious enthusiasm. Bottom line, P, Leo XIII is just one of those Popes that its best not to cite to when looking for a discussion with Orthodox Christians. The man doubtless had many admirable qualities but his Satis Cognitum for us trumps them.

Have +BXVI write an encyclical on the scriptures and its likely we’ll salute that with our own degree of enthusiasm! :)


22 posted on 02/16/2009 2:50:11 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
Have +BXVI write an encyclical on the scriptures and its likely we’ll salute that with our own degree of enthusiasm!

Well, when Ignatius Press comes out with their collection on his reflections on St. Paul from his general audiences, that may be sort of a look into what the Holy Father thinks, not like there are already writings of his in that field.

23 posted on 02/16/2009 2:59:06 PM PST by Pyro7480 (This Papist asks everyone to continue to pray the Rosary for our country!)
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To: Pyro7480

“...not like there are already writings of his in that field.”

:)


24 posted on 02/16/2009 3:00:49 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: annalex; Kolokotronis

Comments on Pope Leo XIII "Inspiration Incompatible with Error"

Some of these writers display not only extreme hostility, but the greatest unfairness; in their eyes a profane book or ancient document is accepted without hesitation, whilst the Scripture, if they only find in it a suspicion of error, is set down with the slightest possible discussion as quite untrustworthy

This is the reasoning of the Pope? With all due respect, this is rather laughable. A profane text is not required to be accepted, a priori, as perfect and inerrant. It is accepted for what it is, a human document. An error or a latter-day addition, found in the Bible is an indication that it is not perfect, even though it is required (by fallible men!) to be accepted as perfect, on blind faith.

Well, when something claimed to be perfect isn't perfect, then something claimed to be inerrant cannot be considered inerrant, can it be? 


25 posted on 02/16/2009 3:22:20 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: annalex; Kolokotronis

Comments on Pope Leo XIII "Inspiration Incompatible with Error"

It is true, no doubt, that copyists have made mistakes in the text of the Bible; this question, when it arises, should be carefully considered on its merits, and the fact not too easily admitted

Again, one does not know if something is a copyist's error or not because there most of our resources have been written 300 years after Christ. The extant shreds and fragments are not really useful in determining the original content, since they are also latter-day copies subject to copyist errors.

The Church made sure there were no complete books to be found of any of the pre-Nicene period.

Thus the product we have is wholly unreliable and cannot be accepted as "inerrant" or "inspired" or "timely" or "apostolic." The only "guarantee" of the inerrancy is that the Church says it is inerrant because it says what has been believed "everywhere and always." Unfortunately, that too can be shown to be in error. So, there goes that argument.

There is plenty of evidence to put verses and whole sections of the Bible in question as to the content. The Great Commission (Mat 28:19) with its famous Trinitarian formula, like the Comma Johanneum in 1 John or the Pericope Adulterae in John, or Mark's 16:9-20 are  good examples why credibility is at stake here. The OT has its own share of that.  


26 posted on 02/16/2009 3:34:05 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: annalex; Kolokotronis

Comments on Pope Leo XIII "Inspiration Incompatible with Error"

But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred

Sorry, Alex, this is pure dogmatism supported by nothing. It's forbidden, because the Pope says so, period. Unfortunately, he doesn't make a case justifying this prohibition other than by fiat.

For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation [sic] of the Holy Ghost

That's positively Mohammedan, Alex. How does that differ from Mohammed's claim that Allah dictated the whole Koran to him? Or the Jewish belief that God "dictated" the Mosaic books word by word to Moses?

And what proof does he have to offer to back this clam? Oh he says

"This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican"

So, there you go! The Councils of Florence and Trent and the Vatican I.  What does that have to do with official Orthodoxy? No such thing was ever promoted by any of the true Seven Ecumenical Councils to which both "lungs" are equally bound. You are asking Kolo and me if this is what we believe. My answer is: not as a matter of dogma, Alex, not as matter of dogma. Your councils mean nothing to us.


27 posted on 02/16/2009 3:51:10 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: Kolokotronis

You wrote:

“OK...; that I can accept, in fact, this is very good (but I think its out of character for Leo XIII).”

Well, it was written after he experienced a vision. He was a changed man after that. That might explain it. :)


28 posted on 02/16/2009 4:18:59 PM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998; annalex; Ethan Clive Osgoode
Awwwwww,

I was about to post this: “How long before Zionist Conspirator shows up with his one trick pony?”

But you beat me to it. You’ve become a cliche.

The only reason I showed up on this thread at all is that I was pinged to it. Otherwise I would not have bothered.

Believe it or not, I'm trying to let the dust settle from last week's unpleasantness. Hence the only reason I showed up was to respond to the ping.

There have been and still are some truly loathsome individuals on Free Republic. I've been dealing with them for almost ten years. I am sorry you seem to consider me one of these people (which you apparently do), but you are quite entitled.

I will never retract my belief in the absolute truthfulness of G-d, even when (and especially when) G-d claims events have occurred that violate all known natural laws and our experience of the world as it functions today.

Now, unless you wish to post again to remind me once more of just how much you despise me, I am quite happy to leave this thread. Please believe me when I say that your personal opinion of me is quite clear. And if you think it is not, you have the option of PM'ing me to see to it that I get the message.

29 posted on 02/16/2009 5:07:29 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Vayiqach sefer haberit vayiqra' be'onzey ha`am; vayo'mru kol 'asher-dibber HaShem na`aseh venishma`.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

You wrote:

“There have been and still are some truly loathsome individuals on Free Republic. I’ve been dealing with them for almost ten years. I am sorry you seem to consider me one of these people (which you apparently do), but you are quite entitled.”

Oh, stop it! I do not dislike you. The fact that you are riveted on one subject is annoying, but it does not make you a dislikable person. It is just a dislikable pattern of behavior.

“I will never retract my belief in the absolute truthfulness of G-d, even when (and especially when) G-d claims events have occurred that violate all known natural laws and our experience of the world as it functions today.”

I don’t see anyone - least of all me - who is asking you to stop believing in God’s absolute truthfulness.

“Now, unless you wish to post again to remind me once more of just how much you despise me, I am quite happy to leave this thread.”

I don’t despise you and I never said I did. It is not in my nature to despise anyone. Maybe you could simply post a different kind of message?

“Please believe me when I say that your personal opinion of me is quite clear.”

It is? Pray tell what is it? My opinion of your one trick pony is quite clear. My disappointment at your continual use of said one trick pony is quite clear. But my opinion of you may be much different than you think.

“And if you think it is not, you have the option of PM’ing me to see to it that I get the message.”

I can just as easily write to you here. If you believe you need to tell me something private, please don’t hesitate to write to me one way or another.

You’re not a bad guy ZC. You just seem to be too fixated on one subject. You must have different interests. Or you must have different things to say about the Bible or Biblical studies than just the one trick thing. How about that?


30 posted on 02/16/2009 5:43:48 PM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998; Zionist Conspirator

I invited Zionist Conspirator, being aware of his interests.


31 posted on 02/16/2009 5:55:16 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: kosta50

I did not write this, and I kept the original formatting.


32 posted on 02/16/2009 5:56:34 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: kosta50; Kolokotronis
An error or a latter-day addition, found in the Bible is an indication that it is not perfect

There is adifference between prefection of the text -- some texts are not perfect -- and inerrancy as the Church understands it (I quote from the same section):

For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true

The Scripture as a whole is inerrant because it is written at the dictation of the Holy Spirit. The imperfections are, somehow, on a different. more textual level. As St. Augistine said, "if in these Books I meet anything which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to conclude either that the text is faulty, or that the translator has not expressed the meaning of the passage, or that I myself do not understand".

(from subsequent posts) The only "guarantee" of the inerrancy is that the Church says it is inerrant because it says what has been believed "everywhere and always." Unfortunately, that too can be shown to be in error. So, there goes that argument.

Yes, there is a process of discovery and canonization, that lasted the first several centurues. It is interesting that the possible imperfections such as in the Grand Commission or the Johannine Comma happen to clarify rather than alter the mind of the Church. What you wrote is a good reason why the living Magisterium is a necessary part of the organism of the Church, but it does not discredit the Scripture as the necessary part of the Holy Tradition.

It's forbidden, because the Pope says so

The Pope says so because the Holy Spirit dictated the Scripture, as he explains.

How does that differ from Mohammed's claim

It doesn't differ in form. In fact, Mohammed got his idea from the Christian Church. most likely.

What does that have to do with official Orthodoxy?

Before the Reformation and especially before the Higher Criticism and atheistic rationalism there was no need to proclaim that.

33 posted on 02/16/2009 6:21:40 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex; Kolokotronis
For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost

The Orthodox Church does not teach that. We believe that the Holy Spirit influenced  the writers. The Church teaches that the Holy Scripture is the "most authoritative part of the Holy Tradition." It doesn't say "inerrant," or "infallible," or "God-dictated."

Compared to secular laws, the Church states "these laws are the product of the life of the community; however, once produced, they are placed above and regulate this life." The  Bible is the "product and the epiphenomenon of the life of the Church, being also the work of men. But it is also the work of the Holy Spirit of God, working in this life of the Church. This is why the Church is subjected to the authority of the Bible." Notice that it doesn't say what kind of work, let alone "dictation."

As to the "divine authorship," the  Church states (my underscores):

"Much has been said regarding the Divine authorship and inspiration of the Bible (theopneustia). Various theories have been expressed throughout the centuries concerning the way in which the Bible is the work of the Holy Spirit."

Notice the word theories. It is a set of beliefs base don observations or experiences, not a fact. The view of Pope Leo XIII (and, sadly, the Protestant fundamentalists) is described here:

"Philo of Alexandria is the main exponent of the so-called "mechanical theory" of understanding the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. According to Philo, the authors of the Bible were in a condition of "possession" by the Spirit of God, who was just using these authors as blind instruments."

The Orthodox view is different (my underscore):

"A better view is the so-called "dynamic view" of the cooperation between man and the Holy Spirit in the case of the Bible. In any case of "synergy"  (cooperation) between God and man, God leads, and man follows; God works, and man accepts God's work in him, as God's coworker in subordination to Him. So it is with divine inspiration in the case of the Bible: the Holy Spirit inspires, and the sacred author follows the Holy Spirit's injunctions, utilizing his own human and imperfect ways to express the perfect message and doctrine of the Holy Spirit." [all quotes from From the Grk. Orth. Archdioc. of America (GOARCH), Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Faith]

The expression of revealed truth is imperfect because man is imperfect. But the Church trusts, that is, has faith, that God is perfect and that his message was perfect even if not understood or relayed perfectly.

Therefore the OT prophets were given the truth, but they did not necessarily fully grasp it. They had inklings of the revealed truth. They saw something but they didn't fully recognize it. "Dimly as through the glass..." That's why the OT doe snot talk about Jesus by name, but mentions things that symbolically foretell of Christ's coming, the archetypes, the foreshadowing of the coming of the One who is without sin, as St. John the Forerunner says. He recognized him, but John the Baptist was filled with Spirit while he was in his other's womb still. The rest were not so blessed, so they could not have seen what he saw (assuming he did see what the Bible says).

In other words, Alex, your side, like the Protestants, follow the Philo Pharisaical together with the Muzzies, of a God who hijacks people and "uses" them like rag dolls for his purpose. I understand that as a Catholic must believe the proclamations of the Council of Trent, but do not confuse the Church of the Seven Councils with that.  The undivided Church never made such pronouncements regarding the Holy Scripture and never obligated anyone to believe we are in a state of "possession" by God.

What you wrote is a good reason why the living Magisterium is a necessary part of the organism of the Church, but it does not discredit the Scripture as the necessary part of the Holy Tradition

Yes, the Church safeguards what was believed ever since the Church, to put it bluntly, "figured out" what it was that was believed (circa 4th century).  Our interpretations of what we believe are defined by the Holy Tradition, which includes not only the Bible but the Councils as well.  The Catholic Church, however, consider the Bible separate from, but parallel with the Sacred Tradition, not part of it!

The Pope says so because the Holy Spirit dictated the Scripture, as he explains

Again, this is his belief. It does not mean it is a universal truth. Just because you, I or the Pope believe something does not make it true.

It doesn't differ in form. In fact, Mohammed got his idea from the Christian Church. most likely

The only difference is that you don't believe theirs is true and they don't believe yours is true. And both sides are absolutely convinced the other side is wrong. That's not knowledge, Alex, that's figment of one's imagination.

Before the Reformation and especially before the Higher Criticism and atheistic rationalism there was no need to proclaim that

What's that got to do with Orthodoxy? The Orthodox teaching of the Bible does not reflect your teaching, period, Reformation or not.


34 posted on 02/16/2009 7:17:58 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: Forest Keeper

Ping a propos discussion on another thread


35 posted on 02/16/2009 7:20:47 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper; Kolokotronis
To accept "divinely inspired" is to accept "inerrant". Your argument, that the Church gave up on separating the error from truth and instead accepted the Old Testament wholesale out of what? laziness? -- is ahistorical. The Church spent a great effort on defining the Canon and it used every opportunity it had to combat Marcion and his jaunduced view of the Old Testament.

Pope Leo does not espouse the mechanical view, even though he uses the verb "dictated":

... we must remember, first, that the sacred writers, or to speak more accurately, the Holy Ghost "Who spoke by them, did not intend to teach men these things (that is to say, the essential nature of the things of the visible universe), things in no way profitable unto salvation."(53) Hence they did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature, but rather described and dealt with things in more or less figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time, and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even by the most eminent men of science. Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers-as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us - `went by what sensibly appeared,"(54) or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

19. The unshrinking defence of the Holy Scripture, however, does not require that we should equally uphold all the opinions which each of the Fathers or the more recent interpreters have put forth in explaining it; for it may be that, in commenting on passages where physical matters occur, they have sometimes expressed the ideas of their own times, and thus made statements which in these days have been abandoned as incorrect. Hence, in their interpretations, we must carefully note what they lay down as belonging to faith, or as intimately connected with faith-what they are unanimous in. For "in those things which do not come under the obligation of faith, the Saints were at liberty to hold divergent opinions, just as we ourselves are,"(55) according to the saying of St. Thomas

What we have here is healthy, critical, balanced view on the nature of divine inspiration.

36 posted on 02/16/2009 8:29:26 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: kosta50
Thanks for the ping.
37 posted on 02/17/2009 1:13:51 AM PST by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: annalex; Kolokotronis; Forest Keeper
Pope Leo does not espouse the mechanical view, even though he uses the verb "dictated"...What we have here is healthy, critical, balanced view on the nature of divine inspiration

Whatever Alex. You see it as healthy and balanced and I see it as a presumptious figments of his imagination. Lots of words, and not a shred of evidence of any substance.

38 posted on 02/17/2009 1:39:26 AM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50; annalex; Kolokotronis
Alex: For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost.

Kosta: The Orthodox Church does not teach that. We believe that the Holy Spirit influenced the writers. The Church teaches that the Holy Scripture is the "most authoritative part of the Holy Tradition." It doesn't say "inerrant," or "infallible," or "God-dictated."

I don't see how that can be. It was my understanding that the Consensus Patrum, with the consent of the laity, was infallible. THAT, by definition, would make it more authoritative than the Bible as you describe above.

"A better view is the so-called "dynamic view" of the cooperation between man and the Holy Spirit in the case of the Bible. In any case of "synergy" (cooperation) between God and man, God leads, and man follows; God works, and man accepts God's work in him, as God's coworker in subordination to Him. So it is with divine inspiration in the case of the Bible: the Holy Spirit inspires, and the sacred author follows the Holy Spirit's injunctions, utilizing his own human and imperfect ways to express the perfect message and doctrine of the Holy Spirit." [all quotes from From the Grk. Orth. Archdioc. of America (GOARCH), Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Faith]

That's a nice sounding model, but of course in Orthodox thinking man DIDN'T follow, in MOST cases as a matter of fact, when it comes to the authors of scripture. That is, unless you want to say that God led into error, and I know you won't touch that. :) See the problem? What you and Kolo have been saying does not match the above.

The expression of revealed truth is imperfect because man is imperfect. But the Church trusts, that is, has faith, that God is perfect and that his message was perfect even if not understood or relayed perfectly.

What kind of God is that Who would allow such pollution? Does God not want us to have His perfect message? Does God prefer for us to have a watered down, error prone version of His message? What's the deal? :) I mean, did God hand down His message, knowing it would be polluted by fallible men, and that was fine with Him because He knew that hundreds of years later other men, your men, would come along and use their free wills to repair the damage??? :)

39 posted on 02/17/2009 2:04:03 AM PST by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; kosta50; annalex

“It was my understanding that the Consensus Patrum, with the consent of the laity, was infallible.”

You’ve got it wrong, FK. The “consent” of the laity involves the dogmatic declarations of Ecumenical Councils. The Consensus Patrum is just what it says, the consensus of The Fathers on a given subject. It has nothing to do with the “Great Axios” of the people.

“Does God not want us to have His perfect message?”

The Revelation of God is Christ...Perfect!


40 posted on 02/17/2009 3:39:47 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; kosta50; annalex
FK: “It was my understanding that the Consensus Patrum, with the consent of the laity, was infallible.”

You’ve got it wrong, FK. The “consent” of the laity involves the dogmatic declarations of Ecumenical Councils. The Consensus Patrum is just what it says, the consensus of The Fathers on a given subject. It has nothing to do with the “Great Axios” of the people.

Thank you for the correction, but it does not address my point since Ecumenical Councils are Councils of men. I will change it to: "It was my understanding that the Ecumenical Councils of men, with the consent of the laity, were infallible. THAT, by definition, would make them more authoritative than the Bible as you describe above."

The issue remains that the Bible is lessened and men are raised above it.

41 posted on 02/17/2009 4:07:43 AM PST by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; kosta50; annalex

“”It was my understanding that the Ecumenical Councils of men, with the consent of the laity, were infallible. THAT, by definition, would make them more authoritative than the Bible as you describe above.””

That’s fair.

“The issue remains that the Bible is lessened and men are raised above it.”

The bible is what it is. The fact that Ecumenical Councils are believed to be infallible really is neither here nor there with regard to the bible. As for men being “raised above it”, well FK, men wrote it, notwithstanding what Leo XIII said.


42 posted on 02/17/2009 4:17:06 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; kosta50; annalex
FK: “”It was my understanding that the Ecumenical Councils of men, with the consent of the laity, were infallible. THAT, by definition, would make them more authoritative than the Bible as you describe above.””

That’s fair.

OK, then the statement by another that "... the Holy Scripture is the 'most authoritative part of the Holy Tradition.'" cannot be correct according to the Orthodox Church. I don't mean to be picking on anyone here, but this is a significant issue as I see it. When I tell others "what the Orthodox believe" I want to have it right. :)

43 posted on 02/17/2009 5:18:11 AM PST by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: Forest Keeper; kosta50; annalex

“OK, then the statement by another that “... the Holy Scripture is the ‘most authoritative part of the Holy Tradition.’” cannot be correct according to the Orthodox Church.”

Assuming that the speaker views the dogmatic decrees of an Ecumenical Council to be part of Holy Tradition, which I think is questionable and not usually thought of that way, then the comment is not correct in my opinion.


44 posted on 02/17/2009 5:52:04 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Forest Keeper; Kolokotronis; annalex
OK, then the statement by another that "... the Holy Scripture is the 'most authoritative part of the Holy Tradition.'
45 posted on 02/17/2009 12:54:30 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper; Kolokotronis
And all this was made "legitimate" by claiming the Holy Spirit was behind it!

I don't have a problem with most of your essay till this point. Why the sarcasm? The Church as a whole most definitely has the guidance of the Holy Spirit at all times. The Holy Evangelists had it, Paul and Peter had it, and so the Holy Scripture has it as canonized by the Church. The bishops at Nicea and Pope Leo XIII did not say anything new in that regard.

46 posted on 02/17/2009 1:26:50 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: kosta50; Forest Keeper; annalex

“So, the Church, by consensus, and based on a belief, gave itself the authority to infallibly define what God is, based on the “raw” material found to be useful for the narrow agenda, in various writings the Church later canonized, while rejecitng (and even destorying) everything that did nto suit her purpose and goal. And all this was made “legitimate” by claiming the Holy Spirit was behind it!

First, by consensus, you give yourself (arrogate) the power to make something “holy,” then you use that “authority” to proclaim that something is “holy,” which “confirms” that you are “holy” because you base your “holiness” on that which you made “holy.”

Sometimes, I wonder if people claim their believe in God simply because they consider themselves holier than others, and God is nothing but a projection of their own ego.”

Sorry Kosta mou, I’m with Alex on this one...except for this part:

“...people claim their believe in God simply because they consider themselves holier than others....”

I know that’s why I do it, but of course I am Greek and therefore excused!


47 posted on 02/17/2009 2:00:37 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

Thou art excused, Grekolotronaki mou.


48 posted on 02/17/2009 2:25:00 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
"Grekolotronaki..."

Τι λογος, βραι παιδακι μου! :)

49 posted on 02/17/2009 4:01:41 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: annalex; Forest Keeper; Kolokotronis
Kosta: And all this was made "legitimate" by claiming the Holy Spirit was behind it!

Alex: I don't have a problem with most of your essay till this point. Why the sarcasm?

There is no sarcasm, Alex. What I write is not visceral. Claiming the Holy Spirit is no different that Paul using Christ as his authoirty. Inviisble, untangible authority that no one has to prove as long as you convince someone to believe you. That was the Church's only "authority" from Paul onward.

Imagine if you sit at a restaurant table and the waiter appears to place something inviisble on your table and then ask you if everything was okay. You would positively call him nuts. A nd if he inisted that there was spiritual food on your table, and that Gos is guiding him, you may call 911. 

In many ways that's exactly what the Church is doing, whether it nios through sacrametns or trough the Bible; the proverbial waiter is the same.

Trouble is, every religion on this earth makes similar (and in my opinion pathetic) claims and for a good reason (there is not proof!). There is nothing inherently "holy" about the Bible or the God of Israel unless you are willing to believe there is.  And then it is presneted as true, because this God "guides" you. 

How is that different from all other gods and religions on this earth? There is  not a shred of palpable, substantial evidence to prove any of this, except by blind faith. So,  then let's keep it on that level. The problem arises when someone's perosonal conviciton is elevated to the rank of absolute "fact." And the one, looking at the empty table and wondering if the waiter is nuts is suddenly nuts?!?

The history of the Church, the development of the theology and the canon indicates nothing divinely spiritual. It's all human sturggle to come up with the most convincing argument, nothing but wars of opinions, just like here on the FR, those who believe in pink unincorns on Jupiter vs. those who don't.  Might as well argue over how many angels can fit on the tip of the needle. The "profit" is about the same.


50 posted on 02/17/2009 4:48:56 PM PST by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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