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Papal Infallibility: A Symbolic, Yet Problematic, Term
Homiletic & Pastoral Review ^ | March 30, 2012 | REV. JOHN T. FORD CSC

Posted on 04/29/2012 3:06:06 PM PDT by NYer

Although papal infallibility is commonly found in popular conversation, how well the term is understood is another matter.

“Christ giving Peter the keys of the kingdom” by Pietro Perugino

As Danny Garland, Jr., pointed out in his recent article on “The Development of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility,” the term “papal infallibility” has a centuries-old history that stretches from Peter John Olivi, in the thirteenth century, through John Henry Newman, in the nineteenth century, and down to the present. 1

In addition to being a well-known term with a lengthy history, “papal infallibility” is also highly symbolic: for Roman Catholics, it has often been a badge of self-identity—a way of distinguishing themselves from Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants. Simultaneously, the pope’s infallibility has been a counter-symbol to those Christians who do not recognize the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, for many non-Catholic Christians, the term symbolizes everything that is wrong with Roman Catholicism.

Although papal infallibility is commonly found in popular conversation, how well the term is understood is another matter. One of the most entertaining discussions of the issue is found in a pub-scene in James Joyce’s Dubliners, where a group is stoutly discussing and strenuously defending the infallible teaching of the pope. In Joyce’s story, Mr. Cunningham summarized the doctrine with Hibernian exuberance: ‘But the astonishing thing is this: Not one of them (the popes), not the biggest drunkard, not the most . . . out-and-out ruffian, not one of them ever preached ex cathedra a word of false doctrine. Now isn’t that an astonishing thing?” 2

Cunningham went on to claim that one of the two prelates who voted against Pastor Aeternus at the Council was a German Cardinal, by the name of Dowling—presumably meaning Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger (1799-1890), a German priest-professor at the University of Munich, who was not at Vatican I, but was excommunicated in 1871 for refusing to accept its teachings about infallibility. 3 Although Cunningham and companions can be credited for knowing the essentials of the doctrine, their theological method makes historians and theologians wince—at least if they know anything concerning the history and teaching of the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) about “infallibility.” As John Tracy Ellis once remarked: “It is doubtful that any event in the history of the modern Church ever gave rise to a greater flow of misinformation than the [First] Vatican Council.” 4

Unfortunately, Ellis was all too right. First of all, contrary to popular belief, Vatican I did not really define “infallibility,” at least, not in the sense of stating precisely what infallibility is. Rather, the Council described how infallibility is operative. What the Council actually did was to specify the conditions required for pope to exercise this authority of infallibility. He must: (1) Rely on the divine assistance promised to Peter; (2) Act as pastor and teacher of all Christians; and, (3) Invoke his supreme apostolic authority. In addition, the Council limited the type of teachings that can be taught infallibly to matters of faith and morals, held by the whole Church. Only if all these conditions are fulfilled, does the pope “enjoy” the infallibility given by Christ to the Church. Then, and only then, can such papal definitions be deemed “irreformable.” 5

Although the First Vatican Council did not give a precise definition of the nature of infallibility, its operative description suggests that the Council understood it to be an endowment or charism given by Christ to the Church, which can only be exercised by the pope under specific conditions. A charism ensures that the teaching of the pope, in a particular instance, is immune from error. In describing this divinely given gift of infallibility, the Council’s list of conditions serves a double purpose. First, the list specifies the conditions which must be fulfilled (i.e., if a pope truly wants to mandate a particular doctrine by using the charism of infallibility). Secondly, the list of conditions enables Christians to recognize when a particular teaching is being infallibly taught.

The fact that the vast majority of Church teachings are not taught under this charism does not mean that such teachings are unimportant. They do not have the same importance as teachings deemed infallible, which have a greater binding force, precisely because they are closely connected with the essentials of revelation. 6 Moreover, while teaching the Gospel is a daily responsibility of the Church, only rarely has the Church invoked infallibility in fulfilling its teaching mission. In fact, since Vatican I’s declaration on infallibility in 1870, there is only one clear-cut instance where a pope has taught infallibly: Pope Pius XII’s 1950 proclamation of Our Lady’s assumption. 7

Meaning of Infallibilitas
What is absolutely crucial to any discussion about “infallibility”—but all too often overlooked—is what the term actually means. In English, “infallibility” has simply been taken from the Latin, infallibilitas, without specifying its meaning. 8 As a result, many people use the term in a rather elastic sense—often meaning “immunity from error” or “inability of making fundamental mistakes in religious matters.” While such casual explanations may suffice for popular understandings, they have the potential for creating misunderstandings, among Catholics and other Christians.

In contrast, German-speaking theologians have tried to translate the term. The most common translation has been Unfehlbarkeit—“inability of erring.” However, this term is not completely satisfactory, since it can have a pejorative connotation. Unfehlbar can describe a person who thinks that he is incapable of making mistakes, which is obviously not the case here. Accordingly, unfehlbar can make the not-too-subtle suggestion that it is humanly impossible for anyone, including the pope, to claim to exercise “infallibility.” Such a dismissive connotation underpinned Hans Küng’s attack on “infallibility” on the centennial of Vatican I in 1970. 9

Some German-speaking theologians, such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, have opted for other understandings of infallibilitas, such as Letzverbindlichkeit, implying that a definitive response can be given to a specific doctrinal question. He states:

Heinrich Fries’ suggestion of Verbindlichkeit (binding power), which “at the highest level can become an ultimate binding power” (Letzverbindlichkeit) seems to me certainly worth considering. 10

The merit of interpreting infallibility as “ultimate binding power” or “judicial finality” is that a doctrinal decision pronounced under infallibility is final—at least, here and now, for this specific question, unless, and until, new questions are raised.

The understanding of “infallibility” as “judicial finality” has sometimes been popularized in American catechetics, comparing doctrinal declarations to decisions of the Supreme Court: whose decisions are judicially final as there is no higher court to which an appeal can be made. So, too, decisions under infallibility are ecclesially final, as a pope, or an ecumenical council, teaching with infallibility, has the definitive word about the specific doctrinal matter under discussion, with no further appeal possible. Nonetheless, change is possible in the future, that is, a new legal question may arise, resulting in the Supreme Court modifying a previous decision. Similarly, a new doctrinal question may be posed, resulting in a new doctrinal decision—not one contradicting the previous teaching, but one amplifying and developing it.11

In other words, just as “judicial finality” does not preclude the possibility of the Supreme Court modifying a previous Supreme Court decision, infallibility does not exclude the possibility that a later pope, or later council, might amplify and develop it further, and in that sense, change the doctrinal decisions of their predecessors. In this respect, the answer to one doctrinal question sets the stage for further questions, and for further doctrinal decisions in the future. For example, the responses of the ecumenical councils of the early church to a series of Trinitarian and Christological controversies may be seen as instances of this continual dynamic of definitive decisions, followed by new doctrinal developments and consequent clarifications. 12

Papal Infallibility
While papal infallibility is routinely used, not only in common conversation, but also among theologians, it should be emphasized that the First Vatican Council did not use the term. In fact, Vatican I deliberately changed the heading of the fourth chapter of Pastor Aeternus. The original draft read: “the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff,” which was changed to: “the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.” The importance of this terminological shift is two-fold. First, it avoided the implication that the pope possesses infallibility in such a personal way that all his statements come under infallibility. While Catholics generally take this for granted today, at the time of the First Vatican Council, there were people who felt that any and every doctrinal statement by the pope was a matter of infallibility. The English theologian, W. G. Ward (1812-1882), for example, was famously reported as desiring a daily exercise of infallibility by the pope: “I should like a new Papal Bull every morning with my Times at breakfast.” 13

Secondly, the reason for preferring the term “infallible magisterium” is that infallibility can be exercised not only by the pope, but also by the college of bishops in union with him; as the Second Vatican Council taught:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. 14

Accordingly, just as Vatican I specified a list of conditions that the pope must follow in order to exercise the Church’s “infallible magisterium,” Vatican II indicated the conditions that the bishops must follow if their teaching is to be considered a collegial exercise of the Church’s “infallible magisterium.”

Infallible Statements
Another term, routinely used in discussions about infallibility, is the expression: “infallible statements.” Again, one must emphasize that this term was not used by Vatican I; rather, the Council used the term “irreformable definitions.” Many commentators on infallibility have ignored the difference, or have even claimed that the two expressions are equivalent. However, in addition to the need to respect the Church’s official terminology, a casual mixing of terms entails a number of philosophical and theological difficulties. For example, to speak of “infallible statements” suggests that such statements are absolute. In contrast, most philosophers insist that all statements are historically and culturally conditioned—expressions delimited by a particular time and place, and so not absolute, but relative. Similarly, many theologians today do not want to speak of “infallible statements” in order to avoid the doctrinal equivalent of “biblical literalism”: if God did not dictate the Bible word for word, why should one suggest that God dictates doctrinal decisions word for word?

Using terms, like “infallible statements” or “infallible teaching,” risks making the doctrine of infallibility both philosophically, and theologically, indefensible. It becomes an easy target for rejection. In effect, defenders of infallible statements, with the best of intentions, can inadvertently become the doctrine’s enemies, just as defenders of biblical literalism can unwittingly destroy the credibility of the Bible. In contrast, the expression “irreformable definitions” harmonizes readily with interpreting infallibility as “judicial finality” or “ultimate binding power” (Leztverbindlichkeit), as proposed by Hans Urs von Balthazar. 15 Key to this interpretation, however, is the meaning of “irreformable definitions”—which, at first glance, would seem to have the same meaning as “infallible statements” and, therefore, sharing the same philosophical and theological problems.

Why did the First Vatican Council use the term “irreformable definitions”? Apparently, the Council used this term as a way of rejecting Gallicanism—the seventeenth century doctrinal claim that all papal decisions are subject to the approval of local churches. According to the its proponents, no Vatican ecclesiastical decision could be considered authoritatively final unless, and until, it received the official approval of the Church in France. When Pastor Aeternus is read in the context of Gallicanism—an ecclesiological position well-known to the participants at Vatican I, though not so familiar today—the Council is effectively stating that definitions enunciated by the pope, when exercising infallibility, are not subject to any further approval or appeal. 16 In sum, “irreformable definitions” are not definitions that are philosophically “immutable” or theologically “unchangeable,” but decisions that are “judicially final.”

Lessons from History
The axiom that: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” has been repeatedly exemplified in the numerous discussions about infallibility in the half-century since Vatican II. There is not only a vast amount of material on the teaching of the two Vatican Councils about infallibility, but, unfortunately, many writers on infallibility have discussed what they presume the Church teaches, rather than carefully examining what the Church actually taught. 17 Sadly, there is a great deal that has been written about infallibility showing little or no familiarity with, much less critical analysis of, the texts of the two Vatican councils. Surprising as it may seem, some commentators have proposed interpretations about infallibility without analyzing the conciliar texts, much less studying the history of the Councils.

This failure to do the essential historical-theological homework means that many discussions of infallibility are like the conversation in Dubliners—eloquent and entertaining but exaggerated and often erroneous—leading some people to find “infallible statements” everywhere, while leading others to reject “infallibility” out of hand. Neither an outright denial of infallibility, nor an exaggerated extension of it to all church teachings, really serves anyone well. In effect, the many misconceptions about infallibility effectively distort the Church’s teaching, confuse believers, repel prospective converts, and create unnecessary ecumenical difficulties. 18

Pastoral Suggestions
Admittedly, changing terminology is always a difficult task. Like overcoming an addiction, one keeps falling back into accustomed habits of speech. Yet “papal infallibility” is one of those theological terms that has been misinterpreted so often that it might well be worth the effort to replace it with the terminology that Vatican I actually used: “the infallible magisterium of the pope.” Admittedly, this substitution requires a few more words, and people might be puzzled by the seemingly new terminology, but that reaction might be beneficial. This historical version might succeed in drawing people’s attention to what the two Vatican Councils actually taught, rather than what many people presume the Councils taught.

In addition, terms like “infallible statements” and “infallible teaching” might well be replaced with terms like “irreformable definitions” or “teachings of the Church’s infallible magisterium.” Again, such substitutions involve a few more words, but their use might prompt people to reflect on what the Church’s teaching really is. Last but not least, in explaining the doctrine of infallibility, it would seem not only appropriate, but extremely beneficial to use the short and succinct description of infallibility found in the Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church whereby the pastors of the Church, the pope and bishops in union with him, can definitively proclaim a doctrine of faith or morals for the belief of the faithful.” 19

  • Danny Garland, Jr., “The Development of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 111/9 (June/July, 2011): 48-54, at 50; hereafter cited: Garland, HPR 111/9.
  • James Joyce, Dubliners (New York: Penguin Books, 1967), 168.
  • Dubliners, 169-170. For a comparison of the views of Döllinger and Newman on infallibility, see Wolfgang Klausnitzer, Päpstliche Unfehlbarkeit bei Newman und Döllinger: Ein historisch‑systematischer Vergleich, Innsbrucker theologische Studien 6 (Innsbruck‑Vienna‑Munich: Tyrolia, 1980).
  • John Tracy Ellis, “The Church Faces the Modern World: The First Vatican Council,” in The General Council, edited by William McDonald (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1962), 113‑145, at 135.
  • The First Vatican Council described conditions for papal infallibility in Pastor Aeternus, in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum §3073-3075 at: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1957,_denziger,_enchiridion_symbolorum lt.pdf For English translation: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm: “Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra , that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals (mores) to be held (tenenda) by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy (pollere) in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”
  • Although the prelates at Vatican I acknowledged that infallibility had been previously exercised by various popes, the Council did not provide a list of such teachings; accordingly, theologians differ about which papal decisions prior to Vatican I should be considered exercises of infallibility; for example, theologians disagree whether Unam Sanctam (1302) of Pope Boniface VIII should be considered an exercise of infallibility or not.
  • Although some theologians in the past considered canonizations an exercise of infallibility (e.g., Francis Kieda, “Infallibility of the Pope in His Decree of Canonization,” The Jurist 6 (1946): 401‑415), few do so today; this view in no way diminishes the importance of canonizations, but it does emphasize that the exercise of infallibility is limited to essential matters of Christian faith.
  • In fact, many theological terms in English have a Latin background: revelation, Trinity, magisterium, etc., however, if the meanings of revelation and Trinity are clear, some Latin terms, such as magisterium, have a spectrum of meanings in English.
  • Hans Küng, Infallible? An Inquiry, translated by Edward Quinn (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971); unfortunately, the English translation did not always capture all the nuances of the German original. Among the numerous critiques of Küng’s Infallible?, see: Walter Brandmüller, “Hans Küng and Church History, Some Criti­cal Observations on ‘Infallible? An Inquiry’,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 72 (1972): 10‑24.
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church, translated by Andrée Emery (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), 221-222, cited by Garland, HPR 111/9: 52; the theological problem of translating infallibilitas into German is an often over-looked factor in the “infallibility debate” initiated by Hans Küng in 1970.
  • Like every comparison, this one has limitations; for example, Supreme Court decisions may effectively revoke laws (e.g., laws that formerly permitted slavery); in contrast, a new dogmatic decision can not contradict previous decisions, although it may significantly reinterpret previous doctrinal decisions.
  • John Henry Newman discussed the relationship between doctrinal continuity and change in his seminal work, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (18461; 18783); for a comparative study of the differences between the first and third editions of Newman’s Essay, see: Gerard H. McCarren, “Development of Doctrine” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, edited by Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 118-136.
  • Wilfrid Ward, Life of Cardinal Newman 2:213 (available at: http://www.newmanreader.org/biography/ward/volume2/chapter27.html).
  • Lumen Gentium § 25 http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html .
  • Again, see Garland’s citation of von Balthasar, HPR 111/9: 52.
  • For a detailed study of the Gallican background of the First Vatican Council, see Richard F. Costigan, The Consensus of the Church and Papal Infallibility: A Study in the Background of Vatican I (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005).
  • See the now-dated survey of John T. Ford, “Infallibility: A Review of Recent Studies,” Theological Studies 40/2 (June, 1979): 273‑305.
  • See John T. Ford, “Differences about infallibility . . . too significant to be brushed aside as inconsequential,” in Church and Theology: Essays in Memory of Carl J. Peter, edited by Peter C. Phan (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1995), 111‑160.
  • Glossary, Catechism of the Catholic Church, at: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/glossary.shtml#I This description refers to §891 of the Catechism, and adds: “This gift is related to the inability of the whole body of the faithful to err in matters of faith and morals” (§ 92).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; infallibility; infallible; papalinfallibility; pope; vatican1; vaticani; vaticanone
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To: Natural Law; metmom; boatbums; caww; smvoice; presently no screen name

Which wish is simply a conformation of my premise, though when one presumes assuredly infallibility, then any verse they infallibly invoke, or even the lack thereof, will do!


101 posted on 05/05/2012 8:07:39 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: smvoice

Praise God for what edifies, and for those who appreciate it.


102 posted on 05/05/2012 8:08:56 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: daniel1212
"Praise God for what edifies..."

Amen! So true and so important!

1 Corinthians 14:12 - Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

Thankyou and God bless you.

103 posted on 05/05/2012 9:23:22 PM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: daniel1212
"Which wish is simply a conformation of my premise,..."

This is an area where we have both absolute agreement and absolute disagreement. We agree that neither you or and of the fathers of the Reformation are infallible. We disagree that the Pope and Magisterium are and I am perfectly OK with that.

I don't expect that the doctrinal issues that separate us will be dissolved or disappear, but I don't accept that those should dominate our relationship. St. Thomas Aquinas defined Christian love as a mutual sharing of a love for Jesus that transcends all other concerns and loves. That is where we ought to put our thoughts and efforts. But a demand to consent to ecumenicalism as a form of negotiation or a capitulation of the Church's doctrines is not the ante to this relationship. All of this is secondary to the two greatest commandments and we best remember that.

As I see it, too often non-Catholic individuals and institutions are not looking simply for a peaceful coexistence with the Church. They demand more than a passive indifference, or strained tolerance and acceptance by the Church. They demand an endorsement from Catholics and the Church, even to the point of demanding that Church doctrines change to accommodate their needs and see an unwillingness to compromise as threatening and hostile and even damning.

What I have trouble understanding, and perhaps you can shed some light on this, is the preoccupation with the Catholic Church that you and so many seem to have. You (collectively) haunt Catholic topic threads and demand an endorsement of your exegesis and your new and often home-spin doctrines from the active Catholics, and ridicule, often very incorrectly, what you believe to be Catholic doctrine and dogma. I never see the same energy given to the issue of abortion. What have you personally done in your community to put an end to that abomination? Have you picket or prayed in front of a clinic? Have you reached out to pregnant women and pregnant children to assure them that they and their babies are loved and will be cared for? Have you confronted any politicians? Challenged any editorials, started any initiatives or petitions, funded any pro-life politicians or organizations? There is a reason Jesus was not born or crucified inside of a church.

While the millions of unborn every day and the entire Christian world is under attack by secular humanists, atheists, radical Islam and the like you (collectively) spend your every waking moment defending your doctrinal decisions vis-a-vis the Church and cementing divisions by what consequentially amounts to nothing more than biting at the ankles of what should be your biggest ally and champion.

Peace be to you.

104 posted on 05/05/2012 10:01:27 PM PDT by Natural Law (For God so loved the world that He did not send a book.)
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To: presently no screen name
pnsm: ALL persons whether they read Scripture or not are fallible!

Well, the difference is that we Christians (whether Catholic or Orthodox or Prebystieran or Baptist or Evangelical or Pentecostal) don't consider the Koran to be scripture or the book of Mormon. But whatever rocks ya boat...

105 posted on 05/06/2012 5:23:46 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos; presently no screen name; CynicalBear; boatbums; smvoice; daniel1212; caww; RnMomof7; ...
Well, the difference is that we Christians (whether Catholic or Orthodox or Prebystieran or Baptist or Evangelical or Pentecostal) don't consider the Koran to be scripture or the book of Mormon.

And that's got what to do with anything?

Is your position so weak that you have to pull some massive red herring like that out of thin air?

And for the record, we're not the ones whose church leaders are bowing to and kissing the Koran, nor do we consider their god to be our god by official decree. Catholics own that one.

106 posted on 05/06/2012 6:52:47 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

lol! That is ONE BIG red herring! I kept asking myself “what does it mean??”, then I realized it doesn’t mean anything...:)


107 posted on 05/06/2012 7:20:26 AM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: Natural Law; CynicalBear; metmom; smvoice; caww; wmfights; Forest Keeper; HossB86; RnMomof7; ...

St. Thomas Aquinas defined Christian love as a mutual sharing of a love for Jesus that transcends all other concerns and loves. That is where we ought to put our thoughts and efforts....

As I see it, too often non-Catholic individuals and institutions are not looking simply for a peaceful coexistence with the Church....They demand an endorsement from Catholics and the Church, even to the point of demanding that Church doctrines change to accommodate their needs and see an unwillingness to compromise as threatening and hostile and even damning...

You (collectively) haunt Catholic topic threads and demand an endorsement of your exegesis and your new and often home-spin doctrines from the active Catholics,..

While the millions of unborn every day and the entire Christian world is under attack by secular humanists, atheists, radical Islam and the like you (collectively) spend your every waking moment defending your doctrinal decisions vis-a-vis the Church and cementing divisions by what consequentially amounts to nothing more than biting at the ankles of what should be your biggest ally and champion.

NL, to use the phrase, what have you been smoking? First, this is not a Catholic caucus thread, but one of the multitudinous threads posting Roman Catholicism propaganda of self-proclaimed preeminence that would not get beyond one page if it were not for the contention it invites. When you assert unique supremacy and attack Protestant beliefs then you invite challenges, but Roman Catholics do the former and when reproved, resort to the victim-martyr complex!

Secondly, the idea that we demand affirmation by Rome is absurd. It is Rome who demands recognition of her supremacy, even to the point in the past of asserting that formal subjection to the pope is necessary for salvation (and sanctioning torture of questionable converts), including Aquinas, while yet disallowing evangelicals as belonging to churches, but which we do no need anymore than Paul did from false sources. (Acts 16:16-18) And frankly i find those who reject Protestant as Christians to be more representative of the classic Catholic stance then modern Catholic ecumenicism which based on varying interpretations of Rome. And 2 Jn. 1:11 forbids wishing a false preacher well.

Finally, i view with skepticism your own recent appeal to peace and love ecumenicism, and “lets fight abortion” as it is comes after being unable to show that Rome had an infallible, indisputable canon before Trent, and that being the instrument of conveying Divine truth makes one assuredly infallible as per Rome, and after your many harsh reactions attacking Protestant reprovers, including going after Protestants on open Protestant threads, as well as denigrating them as fabricators for posting actual Catholic material that impugned them, etc. Because of such you actually have a reputation as one of the more reactionary and unreasonable Catholic posters on FR.

And for your info, i also sometimes do things such as debate atheists (refuted one off last week), and homosexuality, etc., and personally sought to confront the governor right down the street (his aid intercepted me, but i had a “pro-abortion, pro-homosxuality, pro-death” sign which all saw). And i do some outreach as well, by God's grace, for both body and soul.

But as long as cults and Rome preach and exalt themselves as uniquely being the OTC, and teaches as doctrines traditions which do not come from Scripture, then she will be challenged by us who preach Christ, and salvation by coming to God as damned and destitute souls, and casting all their faith upon the mercy of God in the risen Christ for justification and regeneration by His sinless shed blood, with a faith that will follow Him, not at all trusting in infant sprinkling on proxy faith or in saints above or the power of Rome.


108 posted on 05/06/2012 7:31:16 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: smvoice

It didn’t MEAN anything.

All it was was a fairly lame attempt to change the subject.


109 posted on 05/06/2012 7:43:55 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: daniel1212; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...

Preach it, brother.

AMEN AND AMEN!


110 posted on 05/06/2012 7:46:55 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: daniel1212

Amen...


111 posted on 05/06/2012 7:47:54 AM PDT by caww
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To: Natural Law; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...
As I see it, too often non-Catholic individuals and institutions are not looking simply for a peaceful coexistence with the Church.

One word.....

Inquisition

Catholics and Catholicism have no grounds at all to issue any complaint in that area with their history in the treatment of those who it deemed heretics, which is those who disagreed with Rome, not those who disbelieved God.

In the Catholic mindset, peaceful co-existence with the Church means submission to it and acceptance of it's unscriptural doctrines ie. acceptance of *Holy Tradition*.

They demand more than a passive indifference, or strained tolerance and acceptance by the Church. They demand an endorsement from Catholics and the Church, even to the point of demanding that Church doctrines change to accommodate their needs and see an unwillingness to compromise as threatening and hostile and even damning.

Not a one of us has ever demanded an endorsement from the Roman Church. The RCC is free to hold its own doctrinal position, but has no basis for claiming authority over those who don't willingly submit to its authority. We do not see its unwillingness to compromise are threatening, hostile or damning. What they believe is their business and as long as they are not torturing and imprisoning those who disagree with them, they are certainly free to believe as they like.

And it's not a perception that their unwillingness to compromise is interpreted as damning, but rather clear and concise statements that if we don't become Catholics that we are damned, that others object to. Catholicism and Catholics have been quite clear about damning those who don't believe, even though they don't actually have that ability.

We recognize that they that they are just words and have no effect on anyone as GOD is the only one to make that determination.

In general, it is obvious that Catholics are much more easily offended by words than believers who recognize that they have no power over us.

112 posted on 05/06/2012 8:00:48 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
Another word would be Waldenses, branded heretics by the Catholic church and at its instigation, hundreds of this group of primitive Christians were hunted down and murdered.

Their crime? They disagreed with Rome and wanted to worship in peace.

113 posted on 05/06/2012 9:31:26 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: metmom
If a person or an entire religion like the RCC doesn't read the Bible, they will have little understanding of their anti-Scriptural, God-demeaning beliefs, such as the ludicrous idea of papal infallibility.

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." -- 2 Timothy 4:2-5


114 posted on 05/06/2012 9:31:26 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: metmom
"One word.....

Inquisition

Sure, out of all of the injustices in human history you are obsessed with some 500 year old sins committed in the name of the Church. OK

115 posted on 05/06/2012 9:35:20 AM PDT by Natural Law (For God so loved the world that He did not send a book.)
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To: daniel1212
"Secondly, the idea that we demand affirmation by Rome is absurd."

In a word ...bull! You demand daily that Catholics concede your spiritual superiority and admire the brilliance of your smug esigesis and your piety. To imply that you come to these threads to save the poor little pagan Catholic babies from hell fire is laughable. If this were really about Christ and His Word you would confine your arguments to the truth.

You can post in these threads for a hundred years and you will convert no one. Even if you can limit your posts to the truth you will still not convert anyone. That is only done by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is only served by Truth and Beatitude.

So it is plain that if you are not in these threads to save Catholics, which you cannot do, you are here to either address issues of inadequacy or to rally to give Patton-like pep talks to the modern soldiers of the Reformation. In either case, good luck and God bless.

116 posted on 05/06/2012 9:42:32 AM PDT by Natural Law (For God so loved the world that He did not send a book.)
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To: Natural Law; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...

Sure.

Blow off the atrocities perpetrated for centuries against those who disagreed with the Roman Catholic church in the name of Christ with the same callous disregard as those perpetrated by priests against children over the centuries.

Just where in Scripture that the Catholic church claims it wrote, is torturing and dismembering *heretics* by the clergy, on order of the self-proclaimed vicar of Christ, sanctioned?

Catholics oppose abortion on the grounds of the sanctity of life. How is what it ordered and condoned during the centuries of persecution it imposed on others any different than abortion that it currently condemns today?

Isn’t the church supposed to be the example of Christlike behavior to the world?

How Christlike was the Inquisition and why do present day Catholics dismiss it with a wave of their hand, as if it were meaningless, an anomaly of church behavior, which history demonstrates is really not out of the ordinary.

Catholics lose credibility by the truckload every time the dismiss the wrongs done by the church in the name of Christ or the church, instead of admitting to their wrongness. Denial of their history and diminishing the wrongs done only leads those outside to see the blindness and brainwashing that Catholicism imposes on its followers who cannot see the evil perpetrated by the Roman church for what it is.

The gates of hell cannot prevail against the Catholic church?

Evidence indicates otherwise.


117 posted on 05/06/2012 9:59:41 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: daniel1212; metmom; RnMomof7
The false bishop of Rome has declared all Protestant churches to be "defective."

And yet they still play the martyr card.

What a racket. They can't debate from Scripture so they whine.

Thankfully, for every one Protestant who converts to Rome, four RCs become Protestant.

God's inevitable progress.

118 posted on 05/06/2012 10:10:01 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
The false bishop of Rome has declared all Protestant churches to be "defective."

So has the true bishop.

And yet they still play the martyr card.

Matthew 24: 4 And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you: 5 For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many. 6 And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: 8 Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. 12 And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. 13 But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come.

What a racket. They can't debate from Scripture so they whine.

I've preached more Scripture to you over the years that you have never acknowledged than you have posted at all.

Thankfully, for every one Protestant who converts to Rome, four RCs become Protestant.

That's why the Catholic ranks are increasing and Protestants are decreasing, including the horrid Orthodox Presbyterians.

God's inevitable progress.

The rubble of the Reformation is becoming increasingly apparent.

119 posted on 05/06/2012 10:35:11 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: metmom
"Blow off the atrocities perpetrated for centuries against those who disagreed with the Roman Catholic church in the name of Christ with the same callous disregard as those perpetrated by priests against children over the centuries."

If you can identify a single living Catholic guilty of the sins of the Inquisition I will condemn them but your claim to be able to cast the first stone is galling. I am confident that those who were involved in the Inquisition will be fairly judged by God if not by history or by you and those who have sinned will be held accountable. The same applies to those who have abused children, regardless of denomination or office. If Saul can become Paul and those who killed Jesus out of ignorance can be forgiven from the cross, those involved in crimes in the name of the Church are not beyond salvation or in need of our prayers and forgiveness.

I do pity those, though, who do not trust in God's judgment and have to reach back 30 generations into history to justify their present hatreds and that their trespasses be forgiven even if they do not find it in their hearts to forgive others.

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 18:10-14

120 posted on 05/06/2012 10:37:10 AM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Thankfully, for every one Protestant who converts to Rome, four RCs become Protestant."

Since your personal theology, as you have described it here in these threads, is in conflict with not only that of the Catholic Church but with 99% of Protestantism on significant issues of doctrine and dogma can you explain to me how you can celebrate the movement of anyone from one error to another and not at the same time mourn the shrinking membership in the OPC?

Do you not see the conversion of a single atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu or Jew to Catholicism as a victory for Christ? Do you see the musical church game played by so very many within Protestantism who are perpetually church shopping and hopping as a rousing endorsement of Protestantism?

Do you think ones Salvation is more determined by which pew one sits in than what is in their hearts and how they live their lives?

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." - Matthew 7:21

121 posted on 05/06/2012 10:58:00 AM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: metmom

When Jesus condemned the Pharisees it was because they decorated the tombs of the prophets and claimed as their spiritual forefathers those who had murdered the prophets, saying that they themselves were innocent because they personally would never do such things.

They thereby condemned themselves and hence Jesus called them “the offspring of vipers”.

It was not Christ’s followers that were doing the killing and persecuting. (Matt. 23:29-33)

By calling these murderers their forefathers the Pharisees became murders themselves.

Is there a lesson to be drawn here?


122 posted on 05/06/2012 11:20:02 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

Of course. Just don’t expect those who need to learn it the most to get it.


123 posted on 05/06/2012 12:10:52 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law
If you can identify a single living Catholic guilty of the sins of the Inquisition I will condemn them.......

What an epic fail.

Can you not condemn the popes and other Roman Church clergy who ordered and participated in the Inquisition then?

Or is there a statute of limitations?

Is there no evil that the Catholic church perpetrated that you can find worthy of condemnation?

Or is the threat of finding wrong in the Catholic church so unnerving that Catholics are unwilling to recognize it?

I suppose that if Catholics were to admit that the church was wrong about something, it would open the door to them having to admit that it could have been wrong about other things as well.

Can't have any of that admitting Catholics are wrong stuff, now can we?

124 posted on 05/06/2012 12:17:06 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law; boatbums; CynicalBear; metmom; smvoice; caww
To imply that you come to these threads to save the poor little pagan Catholic babies from hell fire is laughable. If this were really about Christ and His Word you would confine your arguments to the truth.

We are waiting for your apology in regards to truth, while here is manifest the old perverse premise, that whatever is contrary to Rome cannot be true (even though you wish them luck and blessings), if she does say so herself.

In addition, despite your recourse at attempted mind reading (once again), i do indeed strive for the truth of the gospel and the salvation of souls, which most RCs and many others need, and we need to better walk in.

2Tim. 2:25

125 posted on 05/06/2012 12:21:40 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: MarkBsnr; metmom; RnMomof7; blue-duncan; count-your-change
It's been delightful to ignore posts such as yours, filled with error and defensive fabrication.

The RCC is bleeding membership and the only thing keeping it afloat are immigrants, mostly illegals.

As God wills.

Dozens of articles have been posted attesting to this fact. RCs would be wise not to ignore them the same way they ignore the Bible.

Just because a person doesn't like the facts doesn't mean they can change the facts, regardless how uncomfortable the truth may be. The RCC is in decline.

God is good. Truth prevails. One God; one Savior; one Christ; one Mediator; one Advocate.

Read your Bible. Mary was not sinless. She was a sinner until the day she died; just like the rest of us. And she was forgiven her sins, just like all believers, by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

As far as the false bishop of Rome in a party dress and Prada shoes is concerned, some adherents actually seem to enjoy being told a lie. No other way to explain the insanity.

ps - the vague and sparse Scripture you offer so seldom rarely has anything to do with the topic at hand. Do you close your eyes and point? I hear some RCs use that method of exegesis.

126 posted on 05/06/2012 12:24:07 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; wmfights; Forest Keeper; HossB86; RnMomof7; CynicalBear; editor-surveyor; HarleyD; ..
Never heard that stat but below is most of what i found as regards the West, while as the world population is increasing so should numbers of church members to keep up, but i do not think they are. Sadly, Mormons show the greatest growth but they count as member everyone baptized that is still living unless excommunicated.


127 posted on 05/06/2012 12:38:06 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: metmom

I try to be hopeful.


128 posted on 05/06/2012 12:46:28 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: metmom; boatbums; caww; smvoice; presently no screen name; wmfights; Forest Keeper; HossB86; ...

Sadly, to some degree this type of means of punishing dissent (even if that was the norm of the age, and the Inquisitions could be more judicial then the regular courts), was something early Prots. had to unlearn.

Yet such was sanctioned from the very top in Rome, and her “apology” for such was for some of her children as i recall, as inferring less than the official sanction from the top which fostered it, while the latter unconditional censure of torture is certainly inconsistent.

It is fully in accordance with the nature of Faith that in religious matters every form of coercion by men should be excluded. — Dignitatis Humanae

In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstances’”. — Pope Benedict XVI, in a speech of 6 September 2007; Torture and corporal punishment as a problem in Catholic Theology, September 2005;

..the disciple of Christ rejects every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify, and by which the dignity of man is as much debased in the torturer as in his victim. . . — Pope John Paul II, Address to the International Red Cross (Geneva, June 15, 1982).

That it is against the will of the Spirit to burn heretics at the stake is condemned as false. (Pope Leo X, “Exsurge Domino,” 1520

Innocent’s Bull [Ad Extirpanda] prescribes that captured heretics, being “murderers of souls as well as robbers of God’s sacraments and of the Christian faith, . . . are to be coerced – as are thieves and bandits – into confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb.” — Bull Ad Extirpanda (Bullarium Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 3 [Turin: Franco, Fory & Dalmazzo, 1858], Lex 25, p. 556a.) http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt119.html

Canons of the Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council, 1215:

We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy that raises against the holy, orthodox and Catholic faith which we have above explained; condemning all heretics under whatever names they may be known, for while they have different faces they are nevertheless bound to each other by their tails, since in all of them vanity is a common element. Those condemned, being handed over to the secular rulers of their bailiffs, let them be abandoned, to be punished with due justice, clerics being first degraded from their orders. As to the property of the condemned, if they are laymen, let it be confiscated; if clerics, let it be applied to the churches from which they received revenues. But those who are only suspected, due consideration being given to the nature of the suspicion and the character of the person, unless they prove their innocence by a proper defense, let them be anathematized and avoided by all 1-intil they have made suitable satisfaction; but if they have been under excommunication for one year, then let them be condemned as heretics.

Secular authorities, whatever office they may hold, shall be admonished and induced and if necessary compelled by ecclesiastical censure, that as they wish to be esteemed and numbered among the faithful, so for the defense of the faith they ought publicly to take an oath that they will strive in good faith and to the best of their ability to exterminate in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church; so that whenever anyone shall have assumed authority, whether spiritual or temporal, let him be bound to confirm this decree by oath.

But if a temporal ruler, after having been requested and admonished by the Church, should neglect to cleanse his territory of this heretical foulness, let him be excommunicated by the metropolitan and the other bishops of the province. If he refuses to make satisfaction within a year, let the matter be made known to the supreme pontiff, that he may declare the ruler’s vassals absolved from their allegiance and may offer the territory to be ruled lay Catholics, who on the extermination of the heretics may possess it without hindrance and preserve it in the purity of faith; the right, however, of the chief ruler is to be respected as long as he offers no obstacle in this matter and permits freedom of action.

The same law is to be observed in regard to those who have no chief rulers (that is, are independent). Catholics who have girded themselves with the cross for the extermination of the heretics, shall enjoy the indulgences and privileges granted to those who go in defense of the Holy Land. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp)


129 posted on 05/06/2012 12:47:40 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Natural Law; daniel1212; metmom
Dan, you must have hit a nerve if the only response is a swear word. Lol.

Dan, like the rest of the Protestants, are doing what God has commanded us to do - preach the word in season and out, in love and truth.

RCs preach the RC catechism. Protestants preach the Good News found in Scripture.

As God wills.

130 posted on 05/06/2012 12:59:49 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Cronos

What would make you think of the koran when discussing Scripture???? How weird is that, are you muzzie.


131 posted on 05/06/2012 1:00:16 PM PDT by presently no screen name (God First!! VAB: Voting Against Both---> Romney and Obama.)
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To: Natural Law
You evidence no understanding of Calvinism nor Protestantism.

Calvinism simply says God is in control of His creation. I realize this is foreign to most RCs although before the Reformation Rome, too, believed that, as did all of Christendom.

RCs think they can earn their way to heaven when Scripture says it is only by free grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and men, that men are saved. And God gives grace to whom He will.

This is Biblical. Read your Bible.

132 posted on 05/06/2012 1:15:41 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: presently no screen name

Lol. If a person doesn’t recognize basic Scripture, how can they call themselves Christian?


133 posted on 05/06/2012 1:18:23 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: metmom
"Is there no evil that the Catholic church perpetrated that you can find worthy of condemnation?"

There has been plenty of evil and sin committed by every human, except two. That includes you and me. When we have done so, even if we claimed to do it in the name of God, it is a personal sin. It is the same with those who acted historically in the name of the Church. None of them have harmed you, but assuming they had aren't you called to forgive them?

The Church does not sin. It was and remains an entity established by Jesus who is incapable of sin. We, you and me, are a different story. In the words of the Holy Spirit spoken through an early Catholic priest:

"But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. - Romans 3:21-26

134 posted on 05/06/2012 1:18:23 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: count-your-change; metmom

“Hopeful” implies trust in Jesus Christ.

And so we hope and we trust.


135 posted on 05/06/2012 1:39:19 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: daniel1212
Canons of the Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council, 1215:

Just.....

wow.....

And they claim this is the church that Jesus Himself established to spread the gospel and make disciples?

136 posted on 05/06/2012 1:56:34 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: daniel1212
Latinos comprised 32 percent of all U.S. Catholics in 2008, versus 20 percent in 1990. However, Catholic identification has slipped from 66 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2008

So even Latinos are jumping ship.

Progress.

137 posted on 05/06/2012 2:05:30 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: daniel1212
Great post, as usual.

80% of adults who were raised Protestant are still Protestant.

Amen!

And many of the remaining "converts" to RCism did so to keep peace in their marriage to a Roman Catholic. I attended just such a wedding of a friend's son a few months ago.

Neither of the newlyweds attend any church now.

138 posted on 05/06/2012 2:23:07 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
It's been delightful to ignore posts such as yours, filled with error and defensive fabrication.

Ahhh, the smell of brimstone in the morning. No error, no fabrication. Just the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ as He instructed His Apostles and they have handed down the Faith to us.

The RCC is bleeding membership and the only thing keeping it afloat are immigrants, mostly illegals.

The Catholic Church is growing at a great rate worldwide. The horrid little small minded and putrefying cult known as the Orthodox Presbyterians are on the other hand withering just like the fig tree:

Mark 11: 12 And the next day when they came out from Bethania, he was hungry. 13 And when he had seen afar off a fig tree having leaves, he came if perhaps he might find any thing on it. And when he was come to it, he found nothing but leaves. For it was not the time for figs. 14 And answering he said to it: May no man hereafter eat fruit of thee any more for ever. And his disciples heard it.

No good has come of it. No good will come from it. And when the OPC goes in the next few decades, not even its fleas will mourn it.

As God wills.

The lord of this world shall not prevail; false cults of the devil will dry up and turn to dust as phone booth sized cults wither away and die.

Dozens of articles have been posted attesting to this fact. RCs would be wise not to ignore them the same way they ignore the Bible.

We don't ignore them. We just recognize that they come from their father, the devil. They are completely false. If the Catholic Church falls, all Christianity does. We believe in the promises of Christ; we do not believe in the promises of bloodthirsty tyrants of Geneva. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church - neither will the antiCatholic.

Just because a person doesn't like the facts doesn't mean they can change the facts, regardless how uncomfortable the truth may be. The RCC is in decline.

More false prattling. The statistics are true. The demographics are true. Comic book tracts distributed on windshields during Mass are not.

God is good. Truth prevails. One God; one Savior; one Christ; one Mediator; one Advocate.

This statement does not validate anything that the OPC preaches. Let us acknowledge that the second religion of hate postdated Mohammed by a century, and was filled with the same regard for humans and their souls.

Read your Bible. Mary was not sinless. She was a sinner until the day she died; just like the rest of us. And she was forgiven her sins, just like all believers, by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

I've gone through the swamp that is the OPC website. Whatever it is that they believe, it bears resemblence to Christianity in name only. It does include contempt for the Mother of God.

As far as the false bishop of Rome in a party dress and Prada shoes is concerned, some adherents actually seem to enjoy being told a lie. No other way to explain the insanity.

Excellent opportunity to address lies. No true bishop of Rome has ever owned or worn Prada shoes or party dresses. I think that the lie is more in the wishful telling than in the fact.

ps - the vague and sparse Scripture you offer so seldom rarely has anything to do with the topic at hand. Do you close your eyes and point? I hear some RCs use that method of exegesis.

I don't doubt that you do not recognize Scripture for what it is - and the relevance to one's every day life.

Matthew 6:33 Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Those who wallow in their own self righteousness and santimonious shallow self interests are as the Pharisee who identified himself for salvation.

Luke 18: 9 And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. 12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

The tax collector had a deep and abiding faith in God. And that faith, my good Dr. E. is not the faith the Reformation developed - the faith in the god in the mirror. It is not the faith of Luther's every milkmaid writing her own doctrines in the night. It is not the faith of Jean Cauvin's spies and death squads in Geneva which served as a model for the East German secret police. It is the faith in Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World. We Catholics do not prattle of self-salvation; we leave that to the pale and envious imitators.

Matthew 22: 15 Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to insnare him in his speech. 16 And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. 20 And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? 21 They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's. 22 And hearing this they wondered, and leaving him, went their ways.

23 That day there came to him the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection; and asked him, 24 Saying: Master, Moses said: If a man die having no son, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up issue to his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first having married a wife, died; and not having issue, left his wife to his brother. 26 In like manner the second, and the third, and so on to the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 At the resurrection therefore whose wife of the seven shall she be? for they all had her.

29 And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven. 31 And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you: 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And the multitudes hearing it, were in admiration at his doctrine.

34 But the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together: 35 And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him: 36 Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.

It is no love to preach the random destruction of all men. Neither is it love to self proclaim salvation along with one's family, dogs, cats, hamsters, fleas and nematodes. Further, it is no love to preach that Jesus was for the Jews only and it is to a misshapen and unrecognizable version of Paul to whom we must turn.

Flee the Pharasaical Reformation and Sadduccee-based Restoration and receive the love of Jesus Christ, who came for all men, not just the pinch-faced and haughty self-proclaimers of their own salvation.

139 posted on 05/06/2012 2:42:12 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Speaking of marriage, of the lack thereof, there is less and less in this non-committal world in which the love many grows cold as iniquity abounds: http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/11/pew-social-trends-2010-families.pdf


140 posted on 05/06/2012 3:05:18 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: MarkBsnr
"It is no love to preach the random destruction of all men."

Mark, it is no coincidence that an entire cabal of anti-Catholics has landed on yet another Catholic topic thread and has re-aired the same tired and oft disproved laundry list of lies, mischaracterizations, anecdotes and urban legends that validates their doctrine and glorifies themselves.

Why Catholic topic threads? Like moths to a flame they cannot help themselves. They are here because the Holy Spirit continues to call them to the Truth. Remember it was the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first Deacon, and his asking for the forgiveness of his killers that prepared Saul of Tarsus for his conversion.

It is not our job to disprove their claims, the Truth existed since the beginning. Nor is it our jobs to convince or trick them into acceptance of the Truth. That is a task reserved only for the Holy Spirit. Nor can we precipitate the moment of their conversion. Our task is simple; to prepare them for receiving the Holy Spirit through forgiveness, beatitude and displaying the fruits of the Holy Spirit as a farmer prepares the soil for planting. Please join me in forgiving any injuries they may cause us and in keeping them in your prayers. They are not evil, just ignorant and errant.

141 posted on 05/06/2012 3:39:58 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: count-your-change

Excellent point. Scriptural logic and God’s truth are on our side. You just gave a great example of that fact.


142 posted on 05/06/2012 3:46:21 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: MarkBsnr

There is nothing “random” about God’s salvation. The names of His children were written before the foundation of the world.

“Random” is RCs presuming they can buy/earn their own salvation and actually contribute to the salvation of others as evidenced by such lunacies as the ficticious “the bank of merit” and indulgences. .


143 posted on 05/06/2012 4:05:53 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Scriptural logic and God’s truth are on our side."

That is a very ungodly vanity. You would be better serving God to care more about whose side you were on than on whose side God is on.

Logic and human reason are poor substitutes for the Holy Spirit and faith when it comes to choosing an authority. As dangerous as you claim it is for Catholics to accept the pronouncements of a Pope as infallible and the basis for a Catholic doctrine or dogma, it is significantly more dangerous when you choose yourself as that authority because it is in the pursuit of self that sin and error are born. Buddhists look inward to find God, Christians look to Christ.

Peace be with you.

144 posted on 05/06/2012 4:06:29 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: metmom; RnMomof7; count-your-change; presently no screen name; daniel1212

We’ve already had several RCs longing for a return to the Inquisition.

I don’t doubt their sincerity.


145 posted on 05/06/2012 4:10:57 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; MarkBsnr
"The names of His children were written before the foundation of the world."

God is both timeless and omniscient. Of course He knows who will win the race, but He does not choose the victor or declare that the race need not be run.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. - 1 Corinthians 9:24

Your error is in believing those who say Catholics do not know or read the Bible or is typified by the ones that do not. "These are not the driods you are looking for" will not work on all of us.

Peace be to you.

146 posted on 05/06/2012 4:14:14 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Natural Law

The Holy Spirit renews a man’s mind to know the things of God and to lead him in all righteousness.

Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

“Vanity?”. Lol. God’s truth has been called far worse. Read your Bible.


147 posted on 05/06/2012 4:18:58 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"We’ve already had several RCs longing for a return to the Inquisition."

Quite the opposite. It is the anti-Catholics who demand the Church impose purity tests and excommunications on wayward politicians, clergy, religious and public figures who are calling for an Inquisition. Peace be to you.

148 posted on 05/06/2012 4:20:21 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Natural Law

Without God’s free grace, no man wins the race or even wants to win it.

RC think they choose their inheritence themselves. Read your Bible. God chooses our inheritence for us.


149 posted on 05/06/2012 4:23:15 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law; MarkBsnr
They are here because the Holy Spirit continues to call them to the Truth. Remember it was the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first Deacon, and his asking for the forgiveness of his killers that prepared Saul of Tarsus for his conversion.

Because of Calvin and Luther the people who reject Catholicism believe that Saul of Tarsus was following the will of God to kill Saint Stephan as a planned event by God.

Calvin and Luther could never grasp that God knew everything in one NOW and knew the free will decision of Saint Paul to change his life

150 posted on 05/06/2012 4:24:53 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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