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Remains of Apostle Paul May Have Been Found
Associated Press (excerpt) ^ | December 6, 2006

Posted on 12/06/2006 4:29:58 PM PST by HAL9000

Excerpt -

ROME (AP) - Vatican archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried beneath Rome's second largest basilica.

The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project's head said this week.

~ snip ~


(Excerpt) Read more at christianpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apostle; apostlepaul; archaeology; catholic; christianity; godsgravesglyphs; paul; relics; rome; saintpaul; stpaul; vatican
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To: wagglebee

Putting the idol worship aside, that sure is some beautiful architecture.

201 posted on 12/07/2006 8:31:24 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Grig

Martin Luther's wife.


202 posted on 12/07/2006 8:31:55 AM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Moonman62

You do realize whose tomb it is don't you?

And I agree, it is beautiful.


203 posted on 12/07/2006 8:33:01 AM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: FreedomCalls
Just like there's no evidence that the lost Plates of Nephi and the Book of Mormon aren't true either.

It's been less than 200 years. Produce them for me.

204 posted on 12/07/2006 8:35:28 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AnalogReigns
God the Creator would have no problem reconstituting the dust or ashes we become into a new body--of the same type of Jesus's after His resurrection.

Jesus said that God is spirit. And considering what we know about consciousness, resurrecting that would make the body unnecessary. Interestingly, John Paul II didn't seem the least concerned about the preservation of his body.

205 posted on 12/07/2006 8:38:11 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: FreedomCalls
You didn't answer the question.

Neither did you.

Your question happens to be irrelevant. After the Resurrection, before the Ascension, at the time when Jesus presented Himself to the disciples, He said His body had nailprints, and offered Himself for examination to prove the point. Were there nailprints because nails had been driven into those parts of His body, or because He was putting one over on them?

206 posted on 12/07/2006 8:41:55 AM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Interestingly, although there was an enormous commerce in relics in the church for twelve hundred years or more, and a very ardent interest in the remains and the tombs of the saints involved literally tens of millions of believers, nobody even claimed to have a relic of Mary: not a bone nor a tooth.

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/relics.html

Actually it looks like lots of folks have claimed to have relics of the Virgin Mary including her breast milk.

jas3
207 posted on 12/07/2006 8:46:15 AM PST by jas3
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To: therut
Well most non Catholics do not realize that Catholics teach that Mary was taken into heaven

Well count me as one of those. I had never heard of it. Not really pertinent to the teachings of Christ one would think though. Course there are a lot of traditions that have risen up in many denominations that aren't really pertinent as well

208 posted on 12/07/2006 8:48:16 AM PST by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg; Tao Yin

The following is the fascinating story of Scott Hahn and his conversion. Hahn was a Protestant minister who, after much prayer and incredible study of the the Bible and theology, converted to Catholicism. You may find it interesting (or not, lol). Hahn's writings on scripture and the Church are extremely well researched, eloquent, and enlightening.

http://www.chnetwork.org/scotthconv.htm


209 posted on 12/07/2006 8:51:15 AM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
So I ask again: who determined the Canon? And on what basis?

God did, on the basis of which writtings He had inspired.

Could the Church put Thomas in the Canon? Why or why not? If it does, would Thomas gain in authority, or would it always have had this authority?

210 posted on 12/07/2006 8:54:40 AM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: FreedomCalls

You, in particular, may find the following of interest.:)

The following is the fascinating story of Scott Hahn and his conversion. Hahn was a Protestant minister who, after much prayer and incredible study of the the Bible and theology, converted to Catholicism. You may find it interesting (or not, lol). Hahn's writings on scripture and the Church are extremely well researched, eloquent, and enlightening.

http://www.chnetwork.org/scotthconv.htm




211 posted on 12/07/2006 8:54:42 AM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: SuziQ
I'll take the word of folks who were with Mary while she was alive, and who passed her story along to those Church fathers

Nonsense...they did not pass along any story of Mary's sinlessness.

As for the title of Co-Redemptrix; it is simply a statement of the fact that Mary was an active participant

No, "co" implies equality whenever it is used (as in co-ruler or co-op or co-sign). "Co" never implies simply an aide.

Yes, she was a participant in God's plan as was Abraham. But he is not considered a co-redemptrix. That was a very unfortunate term for the RCC to assign a created woman.

212 posted on 12/07/2006 8:57:35 AM PST by what's up
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To: adiaireton8

>>That is why she was assumed (body and soul) into heaven by her Son, who spared her the dishonor of decay.

You are assuming a lot!

Sorry twisted humor here.

I did not know this about catholic doctrine; can you point me to a source?

BTW, Love your tagline.


213 posted on 12/07/2006 8:57:41 AM PST by DelphiUser ("You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think")
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To: Moonman62
Jesus said that God is spirit. And considering what we know about consciousness, resurrecting that would make the body unnecessary.

So you'll follow some vague "what we know about consciousness" instead of Scripture.

214 posted on 12/07/2006 9:00:41 AM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: what's up

You might want to check out the work and writings of Marcus Grodi.


215 posted on 12/07/2006 9:05:31 AM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: jas3
OK, right you are: there were certainly hoaxsters who claimed to have a specimen of Mary's milk or Christ's hair. Always highly dubious ---but more to the point: nobody claimed to have relics which would have come only from a dead body. Teeth, yes. Vertebrae, no.
216 posted on 12/07/2006 9:06:19 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Stand firm and hold to the Traditions"--- 2 Thess. 2:15--- because the Bible tells me so.)
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To: A.J.Armitage; Kolokotronis
So I ask again: who determined the Canon? And on what basis?
--"God did, on the basis of which writtings He had inspired."

Absolutely. But when was it decided that the "Gospel of Thomas," for instance, didn't make the cut? When, where, and by whom?

Could the Church put Thomas in the Canon?

No.

Why or why not?

Because it was never used Liturgically: Lex orandi, lex credendi. Nor was it referenced as authoritative by the Ante-Nicene Fathers, or received as Scripture in Orthodox/Catholic Churches. That's the basis the Ecumenical Councils used, to determine the authenticity of Scriptures: liturgical, patristic, and ecclesial Tradition. The spurious texts were not in the Tradition.

If it does, would Thomas gain in authority, or would it always have had this authority?

No other books can be added to or subtracted from the Canon of Scripture. This is on the authority of the Church, "the Pillar and the Foundation of Truth." 1 Timothy 3:15.

P.S. to Kolokotronis: from an Orthodox point of view, what say ye?

217 posted on 12/07/2006 9:19:27 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Stand firm and hold to the Traditions"--- 2 Thess. 2:15--- because the Bible tells me so.)
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To: khnyny

I've heard Mr. Hahn on tape. Anyone can be deceived. I do not deny that the church may have Roman Catholics within, as the Lord calls whom He choses. But each person called into new life has the responsibility to walk in Truth - God's Word - rather than fall into the deception of the flesh - most extra-Biblical religious doctrines.


218 posted on 12/07/2006 9:20:28 AM PST by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
But when was it decided that the "Gospel of Thomas," for instance, didn't make the cut? When, where, and by whom?

By the surviving history, it was never given any serious consideration.

Because it was never used Liturgically: Lex orandi, lex credendi. Nor was it referenced as authoritative by the Ante-Nicene Fathers, or received as Scripture in Orthodox/Catholic Churches. That's the basis the Ecumenical Councils used, to determine the authenticity of Scriptures: liturgical, patristic, and ecclesial Tradition. The spurious texts were not in the Tradition.

So take the question back a step. When the Church used a book, was it recognizing something that would have been true of the book in any case, or was it giving the book something? Could the Church have used Thomas liturgically, and if it had would Thomas be Canon?

219 posted on 12/07/2006 9:31:10 AM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: billbears

I just learned it recently. The internet has been a great place to dind these things out. I have learned alot about Catholic teaching. If you grow up in an area where there are not Catholics like I did you know nothing about their theology. And I suspect it is the same vise versa. But this is not something to argue over.


220 posted on 12/07/2006 9:33:35 AM PST by therut
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To: A.J.Armitage
By the surviving history, it was never given any serious consideration.

Oh, it was given serious consideration by the Gnostics, all right. It wasn't accepted in the "surviving history" of the Church. "The surviving history of the Church which was handed down to us" is, in fact, the definition of Tradition.

So, In that sense, we're in agreement, are we not?

So take the question back a step. When the Church used a book, was it recognizing something that would have been true of the book in any case, or was it giving the book something? Could the Church have used Thomas liturgically, and if it had would Thomas be Canon?

Let me try to understand your question correctly: are you asking whether something, anything, could become canonical simply by being used in the Liturgy? No. If that were so, the Liturgy would be considered 100% Scripture, which it is not.

One does look at Liturgy, though, to see what the Church believes from of old. Since the Church (not individual religious enthusiasts, nitwits, and sinners, but the Church as a whole) is protected from error ("...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it")(1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion"), what you're looking for is internal consistency, across continents, cultures, and centuries.

In the words of an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century, St. Vincent of Lerins, here's a practical rule for distinguishing heresy from true doctrine: "quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est." What has been believed everyone, always, and by everyone.

How do you detemine that? In your words, "the surviving history." Tradition.

221 posted on 12/07/2006 9:53:20 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Stand firm and hold to the Traditions"--- 2 Thess. 2:15--- because the Bible tells me so.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
OK, right you are: there were certainly hoaxsters who claimed to have a specimen of Mary's milk or Christ's hair. Always highly dubious ---but more to the point: nobody claimed to have relics which would have come only from a dead body. Teeth, yes. Vertebrae, no.

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:4aWPlOWMJG4J:www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/relg/socialeccltheology/MemoirsofPopularDelusionsV1/chap11.html+bone+relic+%22virgin+mary%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3

Charles Mackay writes that a church in Halle claimed to have a thigh bone of the Virgin Mary. I could have Googled longer, but this seems to contradict the assertion that nobody claimed to have relics which would have come only from a dead body.

jas3

jas3
222 posted on 12/07/2006 10:19:47 AM PST by jas3
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To: Grig
BTW, a saint was the term used for any Christian originally. The Catholic concept of Sainthood is another tradition men created later on. Paul was a man, his calling was divine, not he himself.

The Church does not teach that Saints are 'divine', simply that they served the Lord in a special way, and are worthy to be emulated. They are venerated, not worshipped, precisely because they lead others to Jesus. Some people like to see physical manifestations of those they admire. They may believe that they can pray in a more special way in those places. This is not idolatry. They are not praying TO the Saint as much as praying THROUGH the Saint; after all, that Saint is a lot closer to Jesus right now than we are.

223 posted on 12/07/2006 10:21:54 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Grig

Wouldn't she be all black and shiny? ;o)


224 posted on 12/07/2006 10:23:10 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: He Rides A White Horse
...devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible

Let the dead bury the dead.

Oh St Paul is alive alright, merely absent from the body.

Still we should venerate his living epistles not his dead bones.

Phillipians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

225 posted on 12/07/2006 10:24:44 AM PST by Theophilus (A person is a person no matter how small)
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To: Moonman62
No idol worship there, just representations of people who have gone before us, whether in statue form, or the gravemarker.

These gorgeous churches were built so that people could look upon their creation as a form of veneration of the Lord. In such beautiful places, our souls and spirits are lifted from the mundane existence of everyday life to that glorious place we look forward to being after our lives here have ended.

226 posted on 12/07/2006 10:25:50 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: what's up

AS I said before, far be it from me to assign any limits to God's generosity, or to assume that He cannot do what He means to do.


227 posted on 12/07/2006 10:28:53 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Theophilus
Oh St Paul is alive alright, merely absent from the body.

...which is why Christ mainly focused on the WORD.......material things pass, but the message goes on for eternity. I have no desire to see Paul's exhumed remains. None.

228 posted on 12/07/2006 10:31:25 AM PST by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: SuziQ
These gorgeous churches were built so that people could look upon their creation as a form of veneration of the Lord. In such beautiful places, our souls and spirits are lifted from the mundane existence of everyday life to that glorious place we look forward to being after our lives here have ended.

Imagine when they were built. They must have been the most awe inspiring structures in the world.

229 posted on 12/07/2006 10:33:30 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: DelphiUser
You could start at Catholic.org. See if there are links, there, to other sites about the Church, and specifically, Mary.
230 posted on 12/07/2006 10:34:14 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Moonman62

They were, although the gothic French cathedrals are even more spectacular.


231 posted on 12/07/2006 10:35:00 AM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Moonman62; Mrs. Don-o
They must have been the most awe inspiring structures in the world.

Yes, and they still are! That's why it's so distressing to go into some modern Churches, which are totally bereft of beauty, and which can only be described as prayer barns!

232 posted on 12/07/2006 10:37:06 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Oh, it was given serious consideration by the Gnostics, all right.

Not really. By all appearances even the Gnostics knew the difference between Thomas and, say, John. It's just modern academics who don't. The only ones who ever disputed the place of the four Gospels were Marcionites, and they took away, not added.

It wasn't accepted in the "surviving history" of the Church. "The surviving history of the Church which was handed down to us" is, in fact, the definition of Tradition.

Please read more carefully. That phrase has nothing to do with "Tradition". It has to do with history in the ordinary sense, i.e., the same way we know about Caesar conquering Gaul.

Let me try to understand your question correctly: are you asking whether something, anything, could become canonical simply by being used in the Liturgy?

No. It's the same question I asked you already: do texts start as Canonical? Asking the same question from the other direction, was John a part of the Canon as soon as it was put down on papyrus, or did it need to be added later?

In the words of an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century, St. Vincent of Lerins, here's a practical rule for distinguishing heresy from true doctrine: "quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est." What has been believed everyone, always, and by everyone. How do you detemine that? In your words, "the surviving history." Tradition.

I've heard of that before, and I've always been mystified why anyone would take it seriously. If that's how you define orthodoxy, then by the surviving history (in the sense I intended that phrase in the first place) there's no orthodoxy at all.

233 posted on 12/07/2006 10:38:33 AM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: SuziQ

I've seen some in those metal warehouse buildings. Prayer barn fits the way they look.


234 posted on 12/07/2006 11:03:56 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: wagglebee
Modern day televangelists sending out solicitations for money for new jets and mega-churches is completely consistent with the corruption that Luther protested

Good point.

235 posted on 12/07/2006 11:14:12 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Grig
If Mary had no sin and would not die, she would have not needed a Savior.

One can need a Savior without ever commiting an actual sin, or receiving original sin. One can need a Savior in order to prevent one from receiving original sin.

-A8

236 posted on 12/07/2006 11:26:42 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: Grig
Therefore, Christ sinned.

-A8

237 posted on 12/07/2006 11:27:51 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: jas3

(Sigh.) OK, and I have an ovary of Abraham Lincoln. Obvious hoax, and with no ecclesiastical approval, I double-dog-guarantee it.


238 posted on 12/07/2006 11:28:17 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Mammalia Primatia Hominidae Homo sapiens. Still working on the "sapiens" part.)
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To: jas3

(Sigh.) OK, and I have an ovary of Abraham Lincoln. Obvious hoax, and with no ecclesiastical approval, I double-dog-guarantee it.


239 posted on 12/07/2006 11:28:20 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Mammalia Primatia Hominidae Homo sapiens. Still working on the "sapiens" part.)
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To: SuziQ

Got that right. "We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth," reported the emissaries of Vladimir, "and such beauty, we know not how to tell of it."


240 posted on 12/07/2006 11:31:17 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Glory to God in the highest.)
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To: DelphiUser
I did not know this about catholic doctrine; can you point me to a source?

Try here.

-A8

241 posted on 12/07/2006 11:33:44 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: khnyny
You might want to check out the work and writings of Marcus Grodi.

Why would I want to do that?

242 posted on 12/07/2006 11:39:37 AM PST by what's up
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To: SuziQ
far be it from me to assign any limits to God's generosity, or to assume that He cannot do what He means to do

Who's asking you to? No one said there were limits to God's generosity.

And He can do whatever He wants.

243 posted on 12/07/2006 11:46:58 AM PST by what's up
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To: Radix

Yes, but Paul was martyred so perhaps he was buried in a different tomb at first and then when the church discovered where his body was, as he is a very prominent figure, relocated him. Thats my theory.


244 posted on 12/07/2006 11:52:20 AM PST by gun_supporter
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To: khnyny
Thanks for the link. A little long and his initial problem is simple to resolve.

Sola scriptura is in the Bible. But the funny thing is that I use the same verse that you use to prove the opposite. Weird.

I follow an apostolic church. The apostles said to follow what they said and wrote. Since they're all dead, I can only follow what they wrote. They didn't say to follow what other people said they said.

They preached in the open. There was no secret, backroom knowledge passed only to the inner circle.

They preached the full measure of salvation. We do not have a deeper understanding today then they had back then.

Peter is not the rock, because Jesus had already explained what the rock was before the controversial verse.

The keys are the only interesting item that I can not dismiss. But the power of binding and loosing was given to all of the apostles. And that I know, Jesus never told Peter he could pass the keys on to future generations. Anything else is just hearsay

Anyway, I'm glad your happy being Catholic. I'm happy being a member of an apostolic church.
245 posted on 12/07/2006 11:53:27 AM PST by Tao Yin
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To: Aquinasfan
Well, the Catholic Church has never sanctioned the selling of indulgences.

I found this at New Advent regarding indulgences. I was curious to know what the Catholic Church's current teaching on indulgences is.

The power of the bishop, previously unrestricted, was limited by Innocent III (1215) to the granting of one year's indulgence at the dedication of a church and of forty days on other occasions. Leo XIII (Rescript of 4 July. 1899) authorized the archbishops of South America to grant eighty days (Acta S. Sedis, XXXI, 758). Pius X (28 August, 1903) allowed cardinals in their titular churches and dioceses to grant 200 days; archbishops, 100; bishops, 50. These indulgences are not applicable to the souls departed. They can be gained by persons not belonging to the diocese, but temporarily within its limits; and by the subjects of the granting bishop, whether these are within the diocese or outside--except when the indulgence is local.

So it appears that some sort of indulgence program is still in effect. And they vary according to events and countries. And there are local and non-local indulgences.

I have to admit this is a bit weirder than I thought.

246 posted on 12/07/2006 11:55:27 AM PST by what's up
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To: what's up
[You might want to check out the work and writings of Marcus Grodi.

"Why would I want to do that?"]

The same reason anyone reads anything pertaining to something that they're interested in - intellectual curiosity and the opportunity to further their knowledge base.
247 posted on 12/07/2006 11:59:49 AM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: khnyny

Yes, but why would I be interested in or have any curiosity about Marcus Grodi?


248 posted on 12/07/2006 12:02:29 PM PST by what's up
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To: what's up

Your information is incorrect.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Myths_About_Indulgences.asp
see also:
http://www.catholic.com/library/Primer_on_Indulgences.asp
A Primary on Indulgences

Myths about Indulgences

Indulgences. The very word stirs up more misconceptions than perhaps any other teaching in Catholic theology. Those who attack the Church for its use of indulgences rely upon—and take advantage of—the ignorance of both Catholics and non-Catholics.

What is an indulgence? The Church explains, "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Church’s help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by Christ and the saints" (Indulgentarium Doctrina 1). To see the biblical foundations for indulgences, see the Catholic Answers tract A Primer on Indulgences.

Step number one in explaining indulgences is to know what they are. Step number two is to clarify what they are not. Here are the seven most common myths about indulgences:

Myth 1: A person can buy his way out of hell with indulgences.

This charge is without foundation. Since indulgences remit only temporal penalties, they cannot remit the eternal penalty of hell. Once a person is in hell, no amount of indulgences will ever change that fact. The only way to avoid hell is by appealing to God’s eternal mercy while still alive. After death, one’s eternal fate is set (Heb. 9:27).

Myth 2: A person can buy indulgences for sins not yet committed.

The Church has always taught that indulgences do not apply to sins not yet committed. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes, "[An indulgence] is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; neither could be granted by any power."

Myth 3: A person can "buy forgiveness" with indulgences.

The definition of indulgences presupposes that forgiveness has already taken place: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven" (Indulgentarium Doctrina 1, emphasis added). Indulgences in no way forgive sins. They deal only with punishments left after sins have been forgiven.

Myth 4: Indulgences were invented as a means for the Church to raise money.
Indulgences developed from reflection on the sacrament of reconciliation. They are a way of shortening the penance of sacramental discipline and were in use centuries before money-related problems appeared.

Myth 5: An indulgence will shorten your time in purgatory by a fixed number of days.

The number of days which used to be attached to indulgences were references to the period of penance one might undergo during life on earth. The Catholic Church does not claim to know anything about how long or short purgatory is in general, much less in a specific person’s case.

Myth 6: A person can buy indulgences.

The Council of Trent instituted severe reforms in the practice of granting indulgences, and, because of prior abuses, "in 1567 Pope Pius V canceled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions" (Catholic Encyclopedia). This act proved the Church’s seriousness about removing abuses from indulgences.

Myth 7: A person used to be able to buy indulgences.

One never could "buy" indulgences. The financial scandal surrounding indulgences, the scandal that gave Martin Luther an excuse for his heterodoxy, involved alms—indulgences in which the giving of alms to some charitable fund or foundation was used as the occasion to grant the indulgence. There was no outright selling of indulgences. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "[I]t is easy to see how abuses crept in. Among the good works which might be encouraged by being made the condition of an indulgence, almsgiving would naturally hold a conspicuous place. . . . It is well to observe that in these purposes there is nothing essentially evil. To give money to God or to the poor is a praiseworthy act, and, when it is done from right motives, it will surely not go unrewarded."

Being able to explain these seven myths will be a large step in helping others to understand indulgences. But, there are still questions to be asked:


249 posted on 12/07/2006 12:12:06 PM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: what's up
So it appears that some sort of indulgence program is still in effect.

It is. The doctrine is perfectly reasonable. To understand the issue it's important to understand what an indulgence is.

Consider the following sin. A boy bats a baseball through his neighbor's window. He runs away. Later, he regrets running away, goes to his neighbor, and apologizes. The neighbor accepts his apology. This scenario is analogous to the Catholic practice of Confession. The neighbor represents God who acts through the priest in forgiving the sinner (the boy).

But is simple forgiveness of the boy by the neighbor sufficient for the reparation of the wrong? Shouldn't the boy repay the neighbor for the broken window, in addition to asking for forgiveness? So "an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven."

Indlugences, from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The word indulgence (Lat. indulgentia, from indulgeo, to be kind or tender) originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Among the equivalent terms used in antiquity were pax, remissio, donatio, condonatio.

WHAT AN INDULGENCE IS NOT

To facilitate explanation, it may be well to state what an indulgence is not. It is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; neither could be granted by any power. It is not the forgiveness of the guilt of sin; it supposes that the sin has already been forgiven. It is not an exemption from any law or duty, and much less from the obligation consequent on certain kinds of sin, e.g., restitution; on the contrary, it means a more complete payment of the debt which the sinner owes to God. It does not confer immunity from temptation or remove the possibility of subsequent lapses into sin. Least of all is an indulgence the purchase of a pardon which secures the buyer's salvation or releases the soul of another from Purgatory. The absurdity of such notions must be obvious to any one who forms a correct idea of what the Catholic Church really teaches on this subject.

WHAT AN INDULGENCE IS

An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.

Regarding this definition, the following points are to be noted:

In the Sacrament of Baptism not only is the guilt of sin remitted, but also all the penalties attached to sin. In the Sacrament of Penance the guilt of sin is removed, and with it the eternal punishment due to mortal sin; but there still remains the temporal punishment required by Divine justice, and this requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in the world to come, i.e., in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during his life on earth. Some writs of indulgence--none of them, however, issued by any pope or council (Pesch, Tr. Dogm., VII, 196, no. 464)--contain the expression, "indulgentia a culpa et a poena", i.e. release from guilt and from punishment; and this has occasioned considerable misunderstanding (cf. Lea, "History" etc. III, 54 sqq.). The real meaning of the formula is that, indulgences presupposing the Sacrament of Penance, the penitent, after receiving sacramental absolution from the guilt of sin, is afterwards freed from the temporal penalty by the indulgence (Bellarmine, "De Indulg"., I, 7). In other words, sin is fully pardoned, i.e. its effects entirely obliterated, only when complete reparation, and consequently release from penalty as well as from guilt, has been made. Hence Clement V (1305-1314) condemned the practice of those purveyors of indulgences who pretended to absolve" a culpa et a poena" (Clement, I. v, tit. 9, c. ii); the Council of Constance (1418) revoked (Sess. XLII, n. 14) all indulgences containing the said formula; Benedict XIV (1740-1758) treats them as spurious indulgences granted in this form, which he ascribes to the illicit practices of the "quaestores" or purveyors (De Syn. dioeces., VIII, viii. 7).

The satisfaction, usually called the "penance", imposed by the confessor when he gives absolution is an integral part of the Sacrament of Penance; an indulgence is extra-sacramental; it presupposes the effects obtained by confession, contrition, and sacramental satisfaction. It differs also from the penitential works undertaken of his own accord by the repentant sinner -- prayer, fasting, alms-giving -- in that these are personal and get their value from the merit of him who performs them, whereas an indulgence places at the penitent's disposal the merits of Christ and of the saints, which form the "Treasury" of the Church.

An indulgence is valid both in the tribunal of the Church and in the tribunal of God. This means that it not only releases the penitent from his indebtedness to the Church or from the obligation of performing canonical penance, but also from the temporal punishment which he has incurred in the sight of God and which, without the indulgence, he would have to undergo in order to satisfy Divine justice. This, however, does not imply that the Church pretends to set aside the claim of God's justice or that she allows the sinner to repudiate his debt. As St. Thomas says (Suppl., xxv. a. 1 ad 2um), "He who gains indulgences is not thereby released outright from what he owes as penalty, but is provided with the means of paying it." The Church therefore neither leaves the penitent helplessly in debt nor acquits him of all further accounting; she enables him to meet his obligations.

In granting an indulgence, the grantor (pope or bishop) does not offer his personal merits in lieu of what God demands from the sinner. He acts in his official capacity as having jurisdiction in the Church, from whose spiritual treasury he draws the means wherewith payment is to be made. The Church herself is not the absolute owner, but simply the administratrix, of the superabundant merits which that treasury contains. In applying them, she keeps in view both the design of God's mercy and the demands of God's justice. She therefore determines the amount of each concession, as well as the conditions which the penitent must fulfill if he would gain the indulgence.

See also Indulgences, Catechism of the Catholic Church (beginning at paragraph 1471).
250 posted on 12/07/2006 12:48:45 PM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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