RE: Martin Luther: He felt justified in doing this because he saw the developments for the previous thousand years as innovations or at least imperfect formulation of the Gospel as found in Scripture,
OK, I agree with the above statement. But you seem to be ignoring my question — If Luther’s above study and his above belief was considered anathema to Trent and then re-iterated by Vatican I, why is the anathema not re-iterated in Vatican II for those who share his beliefs today?
Your citing history never answered that question. It only BEGGED the question.
RE: In a way, the Church acts as Luther did as an individual, which is to save its theory of authority by reformulating old truths in new language.
Well, if that is the case, then I would expect the Roman Catholic Church to “save” its theory of authority by reformulating old truths in THE SAME LANGUAGE.
Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics are even as we speak, LEAVING the church and joining other denominations, In Latin America alone, the Pentecostal movement is growing by leaps and bounds and many of these joiners were born Roman Catholic.
If as you say, The doctrine of Papal infallibility was a strong assertion of a historic claim of authority by the Bishop of Rome, I would expect it to be re-iterated in Vatican II, not weakened and calling those who leave the church to join another denomination “United with Christ”.
So, let’s go back to my original question, which was not answered at all. Historical issues you cited did nothing to answer my questions, which are these:
1) The anyone in their , if anyone says clause refer to specific people in HISTORY PAST, not to non-catholic Christians today.
Yes or No?
2) The anathema of Vatican I and Trent refers only to those who threaten to make war on the Vatican (”Existential threat” <— your words) and NOT to those Reformers and other non-catholic Christians who simply do not recognize the Popes authority over them but are not at war ( militarily ) with the Vatican.
Yes or No?
3) Vatican II therefore recognizes the likes of Luis Palau and even the spiritual descendants of the reformers as united in Christ together with devout Roman Catholics.
Yes or No?
Surely It isn’t difficult to answer my questions.
In truth, there was nothing new in this.Since the 18th century, the liberal party, the party of the Enlightenment, has been struggling to gain ascendency in the Church, not only in the Church but in Protestantism. The events of 1789 -1815 slowed its progress in the Church , because so many became unbelievers . Anti-clericalism dominated the political life of so many Catholic, Countries. In the Protestant countries, with their weaker clerical class matters took a different course. The sects multiplied and state churches declined. John Wesleys methodism set the paradign for what happened in North America and the UK. Calvinism was abandoned either for liberalism or form arminianism, or people just stopped talking about theology at all. Wesley himself just straddled the fence, sometimes sounding Calvinist and something Arminian. The evangelical party in the Church of England did the same. Moral theology dominated the scene. The language of the Reformers was repeated but largely emptied of its content. Anti-Catholicism joined all parties.
The Church was embattled everywhere. Freemasonry was the choice the elites in Catholic countries. It was strong in the English-speaking countries as well, not anti-Christian. but still anti-Catholic. The government of Mexico has been anti-Catholics or at best tolerant since the 1820s, when the masonic US Ambassador, Joel Poinsett, was a major influence. Vatican I came about because Pius IX wanted take a stand against modernity,and you may recall how his syllabus of errors was received in this country. The same as humanae vitae in 1968, except that in the 1860s, the American Church was still united behind the pope, if only because of the need to confront the strong anti-Catholicism of the times.
I submit, therefore, that the want of the language of previous councils was not the cause of the disaster. Rather it was the revolt against Roman authority under the banner of the Spirit of Vatican II, an insurgency that had already begun in the 50s.
As for the falling away, it was owing to a loss of faith by the lower clergy and the nuns, who are the officer corps. of the Church. In many respects it is much like the Reformation of the 16th Century, which was also led by clergymen, at least in the beginning. Their doctrine is at least Christian, which is why so many Catholics have retreated to the sects from a body whose leadership evidenced so little faith in the doctrine of Trent. But far more have abandoned any meaningful form of Christianity. The opposite of love is, after all, not hate, but indifference.