It is currently Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:33 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ] 
 Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
An AER article by Monsignor Joseph Fenton, The Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Catholic Church (This is particularly helpful in avoiding the improper use of these terms in relation to the Church and salvation, if they really must be used at all, which in the present state of theology seems inadvisable):

http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/fento ... Church.pdf

And now (March 08) by the kindness of Ken Gordon, here is a clean text pdf of the same document: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/fento ... ndSoul.pdf

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:30 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Beautiful upload. Was able to read all of it!

I had fallen into the error: "Baptism of desire makes one a member of the soul of the Church."

Oh poor me!

_________________
Omnia ad Jesum per Mariam!


Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:43 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Quote:
austinmarie wrote:
Beautiful upload. Was able to read all of it!

I had fallen into the error: "Baptism of desire makes one a member of the soul of the Church."

Oh poor me!


You were not the only one who profit with Msgr. Fenton`s works Augustine Mary... I myself ought a lot to him.
Oh poor us! :roll:

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
See original post above - added a link to a cleaner copy.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:43 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
I re-read this article again, and just saw Msgr Fenton complain that this error has crept into the new version of the Baltimore catechism. Ah, I remember, I was led to the erroneous use by this catechism.

How could such error creep in?

The article on Feeneyism in sspx.org contains the same error.

:(

Well, I imagine this catechism is not a product of the ordinary Magisterium, it was not universal and unanimous, right?

In TAN's publication of the Roman Catechism, there is a quote in the foreword (or is it the introduction?) by someone who says the Catechism is not infallible, but lies somewhere between the approved catechisms and what is de fide. Is this right? Is the Roman Catechism not a product of the universal Ordinary Magisterium of the Church, given that it was commanded by an Ecumenical Council, and has received universal approbation from so many quarters?

_________________
Omnia ad Jesum per Mariam!


Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:29 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Hello,

austinmarie wrote:
I re-read this article again, and just saw Msgr Fenton complain that this error has crept into the new version of the Baltimore catechism. Ah, I remember, I was led to the erroneous use by this catechism.


Interesting. It does seem that Msgr. Fenton has an "issue" with the Baltimore Catechism. The whole tenor of his article strongly implies that the Catechism is mistaken in it's usage of the expression "Soul of the Church". Is it possible for such a renowned Catechism to have an error in it?

In Christ,
Bill


Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:15 am
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Bill wrote,

Quote:
Is it possible for such a renowned Catechism to have an error in it?


Yes, i believe so. Why not? Actually there is an issue in AER called something like "The Mediator Dei and the Revised Cathecism" which says that after that enciclical, the Baltimor Catechism should be (or already was) modified, but i have to confess that i haven`t read it completely (i`ll check it)
When i say it may contain some mistake i mean not in the dogma but in its explanation, in the same way as the theologians may use some inaccurate words to explain something.

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:56 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Cristian,

Thank you for the response.

Cristian wrote:
Yes, i believe so. Why not?


Well, I was always under the impression that it would be rather "rash" to say that a Catechism used extensively and consistently to teach the faithful, can (and indeed does) contain error. Perhaps, if the Catechism were just released, an error could be caught and corrected. But after it has been used for an extended period, and has obtained the renown of the "Baltimore Catechism"...wouldn't it be safer to assume it is right? Especially given the fact that the Catechism of Pius X says the same thing. I wonder what other lesser catechisms say? Or Catechisms in other countries? Though, given the recognition of both the Catechisms just mentioned, I would be surprised to find any that directly contradict them. Of course, I have been surprised by my ignorance many times in the past. :)

Wouldn't it be wiser to assume the Catechisms are correct, and Msgr. Fenton is wrong in this instance? It would seem that following a habitually approved Catechism, would be safer than the opinion of one theologian, even one as superb as Msgr. Fenton.

In Christ,
Bill


Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:17 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Bill wrote:
Cristian,

Thank you for the response.

Cristian wrote:
Yes, i believe so. Why not?


Well, I was always under the impression that it would be rather "rash" to say that a Catechism used extensively and consistently to teach the faithful, can (and indeed does) contain error.

Well... i said (or tried so) that at most it may contain some inaccurate words or sentences. But again let me see if after reading the issue i quoted i may find something.

Quote:
Wouldn't it be wiser to assume the Catechisms are correct, and Msgr. Fenton is wrong in this instance? It would seem that following a habitually approved Catechism, would be safer than the opinion of one theologian, even one as superb as Msgr. Fenton.

In Christ,
Bill
[/quote]

At first glance it seems the answer is yes... please let me re read some issues and perhaps tomorrow i may be able to answer you.

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Cristian,

You wrote;

Quote:
Well... i said (or tried so) that at most it may contain some inaccurate words or sentences.


O.k. Though, as quoted from your post...the question was... "Is it possible for such a renowned Catechism to have an error in it?"....your answer was..."Yes, i believe so. Why not?". I know you qualified it, but an error is an error no matter how small. It seems however, that Msgr. Fenton did not believe this notion of "the Soul of the Church", to be an inconsequential error.

Cristian wrote:
...please let me re read some issues and perhaps tomorrow i may be able to answer you.


Thank you. I'll be looking forward to your response.

In Christ,
Bill


Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:01 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Dear Cristian and Bill,

I look forward to hearing about this article - I have never seen it. If you can give us an issue date somebody could scan it and we can upload it.

With respect to your comment here, Bill, we must distinguish:
Bill wrote:
It seems however, that Msgr. Fenton did not believe this notion of "the Soul of the Church", to be an inconsequential error.


Mons. Fenton did not say that the notion of "soul of the Church" is erroneous. If you read his article again you will see that he ascribes this metaphor to St. Robert Bellarmine, and he points out that in Bellarmine's hands it is a vehicle for expressing a truth. The difficulty is that in later times some authors desired to teach the erroneous notion that there are two "churches" - a visible (flawed, human) one and an invisible (perfect, spiritual) one. They adopted and adapted St. Robert's terminology as a cover for their error.

Hence, Fenton writes,
Quote:
The funestus error reproved by the Sovereign Pontiff exists in Catholic theological literature under the guise of teaching on the body and soul of the Church.


And also,
Quote:
The men who have applied the terms body and soul of the Church to the distinction condemned by the Holy Father have twisted metaphors found in Scripture and in the De Ecclesia Militante of St. Robert Bellarmine into meanings which they were never meant to convey.


Make sense? So, old metaphorical termonology has been press-ganged into carrying a meaning that it was never meant to convey. This new meaning is erroneous and has now been condemned.

In the case of the Baltimore Catechism, the objection is to the conjunction of the terms "member" and "soul." Membership is a very definite concept in sacred theology. A member of the Church is a component part of the Church, and is therefore necessarily visible, because the Church is visible. If somebody is joined to the soul of the Church, that is, if somebody is in the state of grace, and therefore is within the Church, but is not yet a member (or, to say the same thing in other words, if the person is within the Church by desire), then he is not necessarily visibly united to the Church. Now, to bring into the terminology describing such a state the word "member" (as in "member of the soul of the Church") is to confuse the whole matter and to imply that there are two bodies - one visible and on invisible. But this is a grave error. There is only one body, of perfect unity, visible and necessary for all for salvation. One may beong to it actually or by desire.

Now, Fenton says,
Quote:
The expression "members of the soul of the Church" which has unfortunately crept into the revised Baltimore Catechism seems to involve some such teaching.

And I agree with him. But it may be that the writer who revised the catechism did not mean to imply that error at all. He may have merely imprudently adopted terminology he had seen in some theology work of a liberal. You can gain a much stronger grasp of the issue here if you read this article through carefully: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/fento ... Church.pdf

In any case, asserting that a revision has resulted in error (or the danger of misunderstanding and consequent error) is not in any way suggesting that the Church could permit her children to be taught error over a long period. I agree that no venerable catechism could contain actual error.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:18 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
John,

I wrote:

Quote:
It seems however, that Msgr. Fenton did not believe this notion of "the Soul of the Church", to be an inconsequential error.


I apologize for not being sufficiently clear here. I intended for this sentence to mean something along these lines...."It seems however, that Msgr. Fenton did not believe this particular notion of "the Soul of the Church", to be an inconsequential error." I had in mind the "notion" of the Baltimore Catechism. I do realize the article stated that Bellarmine's ideas had been corrupted. Fenton also elaborates on this in "The Catholic Church and Slavation".

John wrote:
In any case, asserting that a revision has resulted in error (or the danger of misunderstanding and consequent error) is not in any way suggesting that the Church could permit her children to be taught error over a long period.


This revision remained for an extended period of time...didn't it? Was it ever questioned or controverted? And why would the Catechism of Pius X mirror this "notion" if it had not gained some "official" footing within the hierarchy? That is why I questioned aloud if it would not be safer to follow the opinions of two consistently used and approved Catechisms, as opposed to Msgr. Fenton's view.

John wrote:
I agree that no venerable catechism could contain actual error.


What do you mean by "venerable".? Thanks John.

In Christ,
Bill


Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:01 am
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Quote:
Bill wrote:
Cristian,

You wrote;

Quote:
Well... i said (or tried so) that at most it may contain some inaccurate words or sentences.


O.k. Though, as quoted from your post...the question was... "Is it possible for such a renowned Catechism to have an error in it?"....your answer was..."Yes, i believe so. Why not?". I know you qualified it, but an error is an error no matter how small. It seems however, that Msgr. Fenton did not believe this notion of "the Soul of the Church", to be an inconsequential error.


Bill, yes i was not clear enough... perhaps because i`m not sure either.
I`ve one doubt, where does Msgr. Fenton criticize St. Pius X`s cathecism and under wich words? I mean does he say there is a mistake or just some ambiguous sentence?.
Anyway i can`t see how to reconcile the M. Corporis with the Baltimore Cathecism, and as far as i read, to me the teaching of the Cathecism of St. Pius X is ambiguous or not too precise, but i`m not at all sure of this, just an opinion, and i would like to see what Fenton says.

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:27 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Quote:
I look forward to hearing about this article - I have never seen it. If you can give us an issue date somebody could scan it and we can upload it.


The Article is called "Mediator Dei and revised Catechism" AER CXX 289 and ff., by G. Ellard sj, it doesn`t say the Catechism contain some mistake but it speak of a revision it had just before the Mediator Dei and the author says that further modifications are needed after that enciclical.
I`m not sure if this is very much related to this topic, but i believe it may help.

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:38 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Hello Cristian,

You asked:

Quote:
...where does Msgr. Fenton criticize St. Pius X`s cathecism and under wich words?


I never said Msgr. Fenton criticized the Catechism of Pius X. I was pointing out that both Catechsims express the notion of belonging to the "soul of the Church" that Fenton critiques.

Here is what I believe to be Fenton's position....from "The Catholic Church and salvation"...pp.126-127,

Quote:
“By all means the most important and the most widely employed of all the inadequate explanations of the Church’s necessity for salvation was the one that centered around a distinction between the ‘body’ and the "soul" of the Catholic Church. The individual who tried to explain the dogma in this fashion generally designated the visible Church itself as the "body" of the Church and applied the term "soul of the Church" either to grace and the supernatural virtues or some fancied "invisible Church."…there were several books and articles claiming that, while the "soul" of the Church was in some way not separated from the "body," it was actually more extensive than this "body." Explanations of the Church’s necessity drawn up in terms of this distinction were at best inadequate and confusing and all too frequently infected with serious error.”


Here is what both Catechisms say:

Catechism of Pius X wrote:
29 Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?
A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God's will as best he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.


Baltimore Catechism wrote:
Q. 512. How are such persons said to belong to the Church?
A. Such persons are said to belong to the "soul of the church"; that is, they are really members of the Church without knowing it. Those who share in its Sacraments and worship are said to belong to the body or visible part of the Church.


In Christ,
Bill


Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:34 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Bill wrote:
Hello Cristian,

You asked:

Quote:
...where does Msgr. Fenton criticize St. Pius X`s cathecism and under wich words?


I never said Msgr. Fenton criticized the Catechism of Pius X. I was pointing out that both Catechsims express the notion of belonging to the "soul of the Church" that Fenton critiques.


Bill, thanks for this. Excuse me if i misunderstood you regarding S Pius X`s catechism. i just thought there is an express statment of Mons Fenton quoting that catechism...

Quote:
Here is what both Catechisms say:

Catechism of Pius X wrote:
29 Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?
A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God's will as best he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.


Quote:
Baltimore Catechism wrote:
Q. 512. How are such persons said to belong to the Church?
A. Such persons are said to belong to the "soul of the church"; that is, they are really members of the Church without knowing it. Those who share in its Sacraments and worship are said to belong to the body or visible part of the Church.


Well i don`t think they say the same thing... St. Pius X`s catechism say "united to" which is not the same as being member, as the Baltimore Catechism says and that`s why i said it may be rightly understood, if by "united to" you mean that such a persons are related to the Church, that is they have a desire to be member of the Church, then there is no problem.
You see the difference?
And again it seems that M Corporis when condemened the "fancy Church" it was condemning the one defended by the Baltimore Catechism. Besides that it is easy to see that the statment of the Baltimore Cathecism may lead to latitudinarism because it says the Church is compossed not only of Catholics but also of other persons (even not baptized).

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:17 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Dear Bill,

Bill wrote:
I had in mind the "notion" of the Baltimore Catechism. I do realize the article stated that Bellarmine's ideas had been corrupted. Fenton also elaborates on this in "The Catholic Church and Slavation".

Sure, but do you see, as Cristian has pointed out, that the so-called "Catechism of St. Pius X" does not express the same notion? This all revolves upon the question of the nature of "membership" in the Church. Are there two entities and therefore members of each, or are there merely two ways that one may belong to the one entity? That is the question. The orthodox answer is that there is one entity, the Catholic Church.

Bill wrote:
This revision remained for an extended period of time...didn't it?

No, it lasted only a decade or so before the chaos engendered by V2.

Bill wrote:
Was it ever questioned or controverted?

Yes, by Fenton, as we are discussing. I would be very surprised if he only published a negative comment of this nature and did not raise it with those responsible for the publication, and with some energy; I would be even more surprised if he was the only one doing so.


Bill wrote:
And why would the Catechism of Pius X mirror this "notion" if it had not gained some "official" footing within the hierarchy? That is why I questioned aloud if it would not be safer to follow the opinions of two consistently used and approved Catechisms, as opposed to Msgr. Fenton's view.

The two catechisms don't say the same thing.

By the way, the "Catechism of St. Pius X" is an Irish production based upon an Italian one. I don't recall the details but I satisfied myself some years ago that the name was potentially misleading.


Bill wrote:
John wrote:
I agree that no venerable catechism could contain actual error.


What do you mean by "venerable"

I mean one which has been accepted in the Church over generations.

The general principle is that silence is consent, which is the principle ultimately underpinning the fact that custom has the force of law. If the authority permits some positive thing then it must be in accord with the mind of that authority. One cannot apply this principle over a brief period because something may be tolerated for tactical reasons, but over many generations this factor won't apply.

Do you see? It's also the same principle behind canonisation before formal processes were introduced. A cultus would spread naturally until it became apparent that it was universally approved. By this means it was manifest that the Church approved.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:14 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
John,

You wrote:

Quote:
Sure, but do you see, as Cristian has pointed out, that the so-called "Catechism of St. Pius X" does not express the same notion?


Am I correct in assuming that Fenton is saying the whole idea of using Bellarmine's "soul/body" dichotomy in relation to the dogma of "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is flawed in and of itself? Or is he saying that it may be used if understood correctly? It looks like the "Catechism of Pius X" is making a distinction between the soul and body....saying you can be separated from one, yet united to the other. This is where I think the similarity lies between the two Catechisms...they may be using different language, but aren't they getting at the same point? Namely, that there is a soul and body of the Church..and it is possible to belong to one and not the other. This is precisely what it seems like Fenton disagrees with here:

Quote:
By all means the most important and the most widely employed of all the inadequate explanations of the Church’s necessity for salvation was the one that centered around a distinction between the ‘body’ and the "soul" of the Catholic Church. The individual who tried to explain the dogma in this fashion generally designated the visible Church itself as the "body" of the Church and applied the term "soul of the Church" either to grace and the supernatural virtues or some fancied "invisible Church."


John wrote:
No, it lasted only a decade or so before the chaos engendered by V2.


Good point. I understand.

John wrote:
The general principle is that silence is consent, which is the principle ultimately underpinning the fact that custom has the force of law. If the authority permits some positive thing then it must be in accord with the mind of that authority. One cannot apply this principle over a brief period because something may be tolerated for tactical reasons, but over many generations this factor won't apply.

Do you see? It's also the same principle behind canonisation before formal processes were introduced. A cultus would spread naturally until it became apparent that it was universally approved. By this means it was manifest that the Church approved.


Excellent. Thank you for the clarification.

In Christ,
Bill


Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:30 am
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Bill wrote:
Am I correct in assuming that Fenton is saying the whole idea of using Bellarmine's "soul/body" dichotomy in relation to the dogma of "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is flawed in and of itself? Or is he saying that it may be used if understood correctly? It looks like the "Catechism of Pius X" is making a distinction between the soul and body....saying you can be separated from one, yet united to the other. This is where I think the similarity lies between the two Catechisms...they may be using different language, but aren't they getting at the same point? Namely, that there is a soul and body of the Church..and it is possible to belong to one and not the other. This is precisely what it seems like Fenton disagrees with here:

Quote:
By all means the most important and the most widely employed of all the inadequate explanations of the Church’s necessity for salvation was the one that centered around a distinction between the ‘body’ and the "soul" of the Catholic Church. The individual who tried to explain the dogma in this fashion generally designated the visible Church itself as the "body" of the Church and applied the term "soul of the Church" either to grace and the supernatural virtues or some fancied "invisible Church."


The difficulty we are discussing arises from the equivocal use of terms by various writers. As Fenton explains in very great detail in his article at the beginning of this thread, the terms are metaphorical and were employed even by Bellarmine in several different ways, as instruments of effective teaching. It was sufficiently clear to the careful reader of Bellarmine that he meant them as useful metaphors of aspects of reality, and not as proper names for actual realities. Unfortunately, later, less brilliant (or less orthodox) writers have employed the same terms in ways which render the underlying realities obscure, or worse, express unorthodox doctrine.

The use of these terms in the revision of the Baltimore was definitely inaccurate and therefore, really unorthodox. The use of the same terms in the "Catechism of St. Pius X" is accurate, although in the context of widespread confusion over the meaning of these terms it seems unwise to employ them at all. This is what I meant when I wrote in my introduction to this thread, "This is particularly helpful in avoiding the improper use of these terms, if they really must be used at all, which in the present state of theology seems inadvisable."

What Fenton does not say is that the terms cannot be used in relation to the dogma, extra ecclesiam nulla salus. What he says is that one of the most pernicious of the erroneous concepts of this dogma was one which employed these terms "body" and "soul". He did not assert that no orthodox expression of the dogma could be made by employing these terms. The passage you quote from The Catholic Church and Salvation is better understood if we add a little more context:
Quote:
By all means the most important and the most widely employed of all the inadequate explanations of the Church’s necessity for salvation was the one that centered around a distinction between the ‘body’ and the ‘soul’ of the Catholic Church. The individual who tried to explain the dogma in this fashion generally designated the visible Church itself as the ‘body’ of the Church and applied the term ‘soul of the Church’ either to grace and the supernatural virtues or some fancied ‘invisible Church.’…there were several books and articles claiming that, while the ‘soul’ of the Church was in some way not separated from the ‘body,’ it was actually more extensive than this ‘body.’ Explanations of the Church’s necessity drawn up in terms of this distinction were at best inadequate and confusing and all too frequently infected with serious error.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:57 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:37 pm
Posts: 25
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Am I understanding this all reasonably:

The terms "body" and "soul" as used to describe Church membership can express some truth metaphorically, but may result in some confusion if not carefully explained. This possible confusion is magnified because of the current state of the Church, in which the concept of the Visible Church and its members has already been distorted. Therefore, even though St. Robert Bellarmine and some others were expressing truth, the specific terms they used are ill-advised today - especially considering the more exact description of Church membership as given in Mystici Corporis Christi, and explained by Msgr. Fenton.

We use similar terms with different meanings, but still by analogy, when speaking of individual people and the state of their soul. I.e. we describe "dead" faith vs "living" faith (animated by charity) and "dead" members vs "living" members. Physical life means the body is animated by the soul; Spiritual life means the soul is animated by Charity. Our soul brings human life to our body as Divine life (in Sanctifying Grace) brings spiritual life to our soul.

But in addition to our individual human life and spiritual life, some of the proponents of a distinct "body" and "soul" in the Church seem (as I understand) to want to add a further analogy for the Church as a whole. They might say that one "view" of the Church includes only actual members (the body of the Church) but another "view" of the Church includes those in the state of grace, including both members and non-members (the soul of the Church). This is all very well and good except that there is only one true view of Church membership - visible members who may be either "living" or "dead".


Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:07 am
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
EaglesWings wrote:
Am I understanding this all reasonably:

Yes, but I'll try and further clarify this bit:
EaglesWings wrote:
But in addition to our individual human life and spiritual life, some of the proponents of a distinct "body" and "soul" in the Church seem (as I understand) to want to add a further analogy for the Church as a whole.

There is no problem with the metaphor applied to the Church as a whole - the body is the members in their ordered relationship with each other and with Christ their Head. The soul is the Holy Ghost. In fact, if you consider the role of a human soul in relation to a body, the metaphor is very apt.

EaglesWings wrote:
They might say that one "view" of the Church includes only actual members (the body of the Church) but another "view" of the Church includes those in the state of grace, including both members and non-members (the soul of the Church). This is all very well and good except that there is only one true view of Church membership - visible members who may be either "living" or "dead".

There is only one membership, but there are two ways of being joined to the Church - either actually as a member, or virtually by desire. A member of any social body is a component part of it, and this is true of the Church also. Her members are the men of whom she is constituted. They are her component parts. Those who are joined to her by desire are not members in any sense, precisely because membership implies a part of a body. If those who are joined to the Church by desire were "members", then that would imply a body of which they are members. But they are not members of the body of the Church, so the temptation is to describe them as "members of the soul of the Church." But this in turn implies that the soul of the Church is more extensive than her body, which is definitely an error.

When speaking of those who are joined to the Church by desire, it is better to say exactly that. They are not parts of the Church, and they are not her members. But they are within the Church by desire and can be saved in that state, if they persevere.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:53 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Speaking of the conversion of non-Catholics, so that their salvation may be assured, here is a relevant passage from Mons. Fenton's The Theology of Prayer (p. 130).

Quote:
E. All of the intense practicality of charity is bound up in this teaching on prayer for our enemies. The Church does not tell us to pray for those who hate us because they are not responsible. She makes no effort to minimize or excuse the sin of hatred. The point of the matter is that she tells us and commands us to include even those who hate us in the object of our charity. Even those who seek our ruin or destruction must be the beneficiaries of our prayer. The prayer of the Church itself is expended for those who strive to encompass her destruction. Charity, precisely because it is so important, is intensely practical and realistic. To pray for one’s enemies does not involve any self-deception or hypnosis about the fact that they are enemies.

That same austerity of doctrine has an important bearing on the prayer and the activity of the Church itself. She prays and works for the conversion of all those who are outside her fold. She does not seek to make them think that they are in a good enough condition as they are. She is unwilling to lull others into a sense of false security. There is no evil which she abhors more strongly at the present time than the doctrine of indifferentism. The Church knows that it is a sorry sort of charity which would lead a man to think that he was close enough to the Catholic Church, and that he did not need conversion. The good which we seek for ourselves and for others, the good which the Church seeks in all her prayers even for her most outstanding enemies, is the gift of eternal life. The Church knows well that there is no salvation except through herself.

F. It is tremendously important that we should realize the practical implications of this prayer. The good which we seek for others, and for ourselves is a good which is eternal life. This eternal life is something which God concedes in a definite way. A man in the state of sin must do penance, and there is no other way in which he will receive the gift of God’s grace. That penance itself will be due to the help which God offers him, but it is nonetheless requisite. This gift of eternal life is something which God gives only to those who have had the life of grace in this world, and as a result our prayer for our enemies involves the will that these should really repent in order that they may receive that life of grace. It is something which demands the gift of faith in this world also, and prayer for others involves the desire and the efficacious practical will that the beneficiaries of our prayer should believe the message of God. It involves the sacraments and the Church. The prayer which we offer for the salvation of our enemies. and for the enemies of the Church itself, must involve our will that they may be converted and may live and die in this communion of the Church of God.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:28 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
John,

Are you saying then that the "Catechism of Pius X" is orthodox? As I quoted, Fenton says any explanations of the Church's necessity drawn up in terms of the soul/body dichotomy are "at best inadequate and confusing and all too frequently infected with serious error.". It looks like the Pius X catechism is saying exactly what Fenton deplores. Namely, that you can be "united" to the soul of the Church, yet separated from her body. It clearly implies a "soul" more extensive and far reaching than the body.

Here are a few things Fenton said in The Catholic Church and Salvation.

Fenton wrote:
Tournely used St. Robert's expressions "soul" and "body" of the Church to inaugurate an explanation of the Church's necessity for salvation which was to become all too common among theologians until the appearance of Mystici Corporis Christi and the Suprema haec sacra. p.183


Fenton wrote:
Thus, by the end of the eighteenth century the misuse of St. Robert's term "body" and "soul" of the Church had reached its final result. The De ecclesia militante had been written in the first place to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the one and only supernatural kingdom of God of the New Testament is an organized society, the religious community over which the Roman Pontiff presides as the Vicar of Christ on earth. St. Robert had shown conclusively that there is and there can be no such thing as an "invisible Church" in the dispensation of the New Testament. He had concentrated on the the proof that there is only one ecclesia, and that consequently there is no possibility of postulating and "invisible Church" in any way distinct from the one visible Mystical Body of Jesus Christ in this world. p.186


Then, in describing the continued use of this soul/body distinction, he writes;

Quote:
This kind of teaching came down into the twentieth century, and by this time it had acquired a false appearance of theological tradition.

The "theology" responsible for this deduction was, in the last analysis, merely a long and gradual deformation of terms originally and unfortunately employed by St. Robert Bellarmine in his De ecclesia militante. p.187


Finally on p.188, he states;

Quote:
There can be no doubt that the progressively more inaccurate teachings about the "body" and the "soul" of the Church were in great measure responsible for poor teaching about the dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church.


Fenton may not say explicitly that using this distinction with reference to the dogma "extra ecclesia nulla salus" is flawed in and of itself...but certainly the whole tenor of his work screams it. I think he would disagree with the distinction employed by "The Catechism of Pius X". And, in the context of the times, it would be natural to assume both Catechisms (Baltimore and Pius X) were interpreted in the same way.

Now, Fenton implies that this usage of the body/soul dichotomy was denounced in some way by Mystici Corporis Christi and Suprema haec sacra. I'm not sure history demonstrates this. Was the reaction to these documents a whole sale abandoning of the soul/body distinction in relation to the dogma? Or did the distinctions continue to be used without censure or condemnation? Given the two Catechisms, and their affirmation of these distinctions while all the while being used to teach the faithful....and the continued degradation
of ecclesiology that reached it's lowest point with VII...I can only assume the latter.

To expand on my initial question: At what point do we start questioning official Catechisms? At what point does giving docile obedience the the rulers of the Church give way to questioning and critique?...especially in matters that have not been settled. Wouldn't it be "safer" to accept what the catechisms say, and wait for an official statement...rather than questioning them and implying they contain error?

In Christ,
Bill


Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:48 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Bill wrote:
John,

Are you saying then that the "Catechism of Pius X" is accurate? Is it orthodox? As I quoted, Fenton says any explanations of the Church's necessity drawn up in terms of the soul/body dichotomy are "at best inadequate and confusing and all too frequently infected with serious error.". It looks like the Pius X catechism is saying exactly what Fenton deplores. Namely, that you can be "united" to the soul of the Church, yet separated from her body. It clearly implies a "soul" more extensive and far reaching than the body.


Bill, waiting for John`s answer this is what i think:

I believe the confussion here may arouse due to a double meaning of the term "soul of the Church"; that phrase may signify either an "invisible Church made up of men in state of grace" or it may mean the interior bounds of union existing in the Church.
Now, it is the first meaning Pius XII condemned (and the one the Baltimor Catechism defends) and not the second. In fact Leo XIII uses the term "soul of the Church" signifying the Holy Ghost and, consistently, all that is related to virtues, gifts of the Holy Ghost, etc.
The sentence "be united to the soul of the Church" (St. Pius X) just mean "be united to the interior bounds of the Catholic Church" or, to say it shorter: "be in state of grace" that`s all.

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:41 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Cristian,

Understood. But the particular passage from the "Pius X" Catechism reads thus:

Catechism of Pius X wrote:
...such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church...


It is postulating a distinction. Saying you can be "united" to the soul, while being "separated" from the body. If the usage of "soul of the Church" here means nothing but "..interior bounds of union existing in the Church", then you would be saying that one can be united to the "interior bounds of union", but not to the visible "body". This appears to me to be the exact idea Fenton is arguing against. One is "invisible", the other is not. You can be "united" to the invisible, while separated from the visible. Fenton is saying that the whole misuse of St. Robert's soul/body dichotomy exists in the fact that some have used his metaphor, and applied it to a reality. This is exactly what the Catechism is doing.

In Christ,
Bill


Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:30 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Quote:
Bill wrote:
Cristian,

Understood. But the particular passage from the "Pius X" Catechism reads thus:

Catechism of Pius X wrote:
...such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church...


It is postulating a distinction. Saying you can be "united" to the soul, while being "separated" from the body. If the usage of "soul of the Church" here means nothing but "..interior bounds of union existing in the Church", then you would be saying that one can be united to the "interior bounds of union", but not to the visible "body". This appears to me to be the exact idea Fenton is arguing against. One is "invisible", the other is not. You can be "united" to the invisible, while separated from the visible.


I still can`t see the problem. Let see if this can help:
Theologians say there is a twofold bound of unity, the exterior and the interior ones. Now the former is, according to St. Robert and Pius XII, the same as "member of the Church", the latter may be found both in members and in non-members.
And so i don`t see any problem to say that one can be "separated from the body" (that is: being a non-member) and yet be "united to the soul" (that is be in state of grace, have the supernatural virtues of faith, hope, charity etc.).
One thing is to say "member of the soul of the Church" and other very different is to say "united to" (or inside of); it`s the first one Fenton criticize, not the second.
Please, keep in mind that "inside" is not the same as "member".

Quote:
Fenton is saying that the whole misuse of St. Robert's soul/body dichotomy exists in the fact that some have used his metaphor, and applied it to a reality. This is exactly what the Catechism is doing.

In Christ,
Bill


What Fenton criticize is to believe that exist a sort of structure called "soul of the Church", wich is different and broader than the Catholic Church. He is not against the use of the analogy of the terms body and soul. S Pius X doesn`t teach the existence of any structure whatsoever apart from the Catholic Church outside of which members may be found, it only says that non members may be saved by being "inside if the Church" if they possess the interior bounds of unity (faith, hope, charity etc.).

Make sense?

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:15 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Dear Bill and Cristian,

Let's get some more texts into play so that we can ensure that we have the necessary background against which to discuss this. Here is the definition of the Church of St. Robert Bellarmine, in his Controversies:

“But we teach that there is only one Church and not two, and that the one and true Church is the assembly of men bound together by the profession of the same Christian faith and by the communion of the same sacraments, under the rule of legitimate pastors, and especially of the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff. From this definition it is easy to infer which men belong to the Church and which ones do not belong to it. This definition has three parts, the profession of the true faith, the communion of the sacraments, and subjection to the Roman Pontiff, the legitimate pastor. By reason of the first part, all infidels, both those who never have been in the Church, such as Jews, Turks, and pagans, and those who have been in it, but have left, such as heretics and apostates, are excluded. By reason of the second part, catechumens and excommunicated persons are excluded, since the former have not as yet been admitted to the communion of the sacraments, while the latter have been expelled from it. By reason of the third, schismatics, who have the faith and the sacraments, but who are not subject to the legitimate pastor, and who consequently profess the faith and receive the sacraments outside [the Church], are excluded. All others are included, even though they be reprobates, hardened sinners, and impious men.

“Now there is this difference between our teaching on this point and all the others [the heretical notions of the Church previously listed in this chapter]. All the others hold that internal virtues are requisite in order that a man may be constituted in the Church, and therefore they consider the true Church as invisible. On the other hand, although we believe that all the virtues, faith, hope, charity, and the rest, are to be found in the Church, we do not think that any internal virtue at all, but only the outward profession of faith and the sensibly manifest communion of the sacraments are required in order that a man may be judged absolutely to be a part of the true Church of which the Scriptures speak. For the Church is as visible and palpable an assembly of men as the assembly of the Roman people, or the kingdom of France, or the republic of Venice.

“We should note that, according to Augustine, in his Breviculus collationis, where he is dealing with the conference of the third day, that the Church is a living body in which there is a soul and a body. The internal gifts of the Holy Ghost, faith, hope, charity, and the rest, constitute the soul. The external profession of the faith and the communication of the sacraments are the body. Hence it is that some are of the soul and of the body of the Church, and thus joined to Christ the Head both inwardly and outwardly. Such men are most perfectly of the Church, for they are like living members in a body. Still, even among these, some partake of this life in a greater, and others in a lesser degree, while some have only the beginning of life and, as it were, sensation without movement, like those who have faith alone, without charity. Again, there are some who are of the soul and not of the body, like catechumens or excommunicated persons, if they have faith and charity, as they may very well have. Finally, there are some who are of the body but not of the soul, as those who have no inward virtue, but who still profess the faith and receive the sacraments under the rule of the pastors by reason of some temporal hope or fear. These are like hairs or fingernails or evil liquids in the human body.

“Therefore our definition takes in only this last way of being in the Church since this is required as a minimum in order that a man may be said to be a part of the visible Church. Now we must demonstrate in an orderly fashion that the unbaptised, heretics and apostates, excommunicated persons, and schismatics do not belong to the Church, and that those not predestined, the imperfect, sinners, even those whose offences are manifest, and occult infidels do belong to the Church if they have the sacraments, the profession of faith, the subjection, and the rest.”


Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:42 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
And from the De Romano Pontifice (a section of Bellarmine's Controversies):

"The foundation of this argument is that the manifest heretic is not in any way a member of the Church, that is, neither spiritually nor corporally, which signifies that he is not such by internal union nor by external union. For even bad Catholics are united and are members, spiritually by faith, corporally by confession of faith and by participation in the visible sacraments; the occult heretics are united and are members although only by external union; on the contrary, the good catechumens belong to the Church only by an internal union, not by the external; but manifest heretics do not pertain in any manner, as we have already proved."

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:47 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:15 am
Posts: 80
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Cristian,

In regards to what you wrote here:

Quote:
I believe the confussion here may arouse due to a double meaning of the term "soul of the Church"; that phrase may signify either an "invisible Church made up of men in state of grace" or it may mean the interior bounds of union existing in the Church.
Now, it is the first meaning Pius XII condemned (and the one the Baltimor Catechism defends) and not the second.


This is what Msgr. Fenton says on p.181 of The Catholic Church and Salvation:

Quote:
St. Robert had made it perfectly plain to anyone who took the trouble to read the De ecclesia militante in its entirety that he did not claim that the interior bond of unity within the Church was actually the soul of the Church. He applied the metaphorical title of "soul" of the Church to God the Holy Ghost, and he spoke of Catholics in the state of grace as constituting "as it were, the soul" of this society. In the same way, he spoke of the Church itself as a "body" and described bad Catholics as being "as it were, the body" of the Church. It was a misfortune for the history of theology that Polman's seminary manual led men to imagine that the inward bond of unity was the soul, and the outward bond was the body, of the Catholic Church.


Fenton says..."it was a misfortune for the history of theology" that some came to imagine that "the inward bond of unity" was the soul of the Church.

I have yet to see Fenton admit that the soul/body dichotomy would even be a proper analogy for the Church's necessity for salvation. Have you? He instead, at every turn emphasizes that Bellarmine's usage of these terms has been distorted, and really need not be used at all in a discussion of extra ecclesia nulla salus.

His overall critique is not limited to the notion of being a "member" of the soul of the Church. It is much broader, and includes even the legitimacy of using the soul-body distinction with reference to the dogma of "outside the Church there is no salvation". So even if the "Catechism of Pius" used the phrase "soul of the Church" to mean what you implied, it seems that Msgr. Fenton would still disagree with it.

In Christ,
Bill


Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Dear Bill,

I think we have at least two things on the table at present, and now you are unconsciously adding a third with the following question.
Bill wrote:
Are you saying then that the "Catechism of Pius X" is orthodox?

No, I am saying it is orthodox in its application of these terms (body and soul). But I think it is arguably unorthodox in some of the other words it employs:
Quote:
Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved? A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best as he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.

Now, the qualifying phrases ensure an orthodox understanding, it seems to me, but the bald statement at the beginning is extremely dangerous and misleading, and on its own would be heretical: "If he is outside the Church through no fault of his..." That sentence, and the manner in which the question is formulated to which it is an answer, are both very bad theology. There is no salvation outside the Church. None at all. As Mons. Fenton says, "There is absolutely no exception to this rule. Otherwise the statement 'no one at all (nullus omnino)' is saved outside of the one universal Church of the faithful would not be true.”

Anyway, the two things already under discussion are, "Can catechisms contain error, and how are we to treat them?" and "Ought these terms 'body' and 'soul' be used in an explanation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus?"


Bill wrote:
As I quoted, Fenton says any explanations of the Church's necessity drawn up in terms of the soul/body dichotomy are "at best inadequate and confusing and all too frequently infected with serious error.". It looks like the Pius X catechism is saying exactly what Fenton deplores. Namely, that you can be "united" to the soul of the Church, yet separated from her body. It clearly implies a "soul" more extensive and far reaching than the body.

Not necessarily. First, note the qualification in Fenton's comment, "all too frequently." He doesn't say "always." That is not an accident.

Second, there is no problem saying that a man is united to the soul of the Church but not to the body, if one means either that he is united to the one Church by internal bonds only, or that he is united to the one Church by the Holy Ghost acting as the soul of the one Church. In either case there should be no danger that the reader will think of the "soul" as more extensive than the "body."

The difficulty arises precisely from losing sight of the fact that these terms are metaphorical. The Holy Ghost is not restricted to His role as the "Soul" of the Mystical Body. But He does only act as the Soul of the Mystical Body in relation to the Mystical Body, if you see what I mean. In other words, there is no salvation outside of or apart from union with Christ, and this is the Mystical Body, the union of men with Christ, and the Holy Ghost acts on men precisely in order to bring them into, and retain them within, that unity, conforming all men with Christ.

Fenton's concern is with the loose use of these terms in such a way as to imply that there are "members" of each of two entities, one spiritual and one material, the spiritual one of course being superior and more pure and the really essential one, the material entity being flawed and less valuable. This is entirely unorthodox and really very dangerous. It is neo-Protestantism.


Bill wrote:
Fenton may not say explicitly that using this distinction with reference to the dogma "extra ecclesia nulla salus" is flawed in and of itself...but certainly the whole tenor of his work screams it.

Well, I understand why you say that, but his stand is contingent upon circumstances then (and still) subsisting. In circumstances in which this dogma has been presented inaccurately by the use of these terms, the terms become "infected" if you like and therefore less than useless for explaining the dogma.


Bill wrote:
I think he would disagree with the distinction employed by "The Catechism of Pius X". And, in the context of the times, it would be natural to assume both Catechisms (Baltimore and Pius X) were interpreted in the same way.

Possibly, but we're not considering how men might have read them, but rather their objective sense. The use of the terms by one is inaccurate, and by the other it is accurate. This is a question patient of a high degree of precision.


Bill wrote:
Now, Fenton implies that this usage of the body/soul dichotomy was denounced in some way by Mystici Corporis Christi and Suprema haec sacra. I'm not sure history demonstrates this. Was the reaction to these documents a whole sale abandoning of the soul/body distinction in relation to the dogma? Or did the distinctions continue to be used without censure or condemnation? Given the two Catechisms, and their affirmation of these distinctions while all the while being used to teach the faithful....and the continued degradation of ecclesiology that reached it's lowest point with VII...I can only assume the latter.

I'm not sure that these phenomena imply what you suggest. Fenton's point, I thought, concerning those two documents was that they presented accurately the nature of the Church and the manner in which men are saved by union with her, so that after their publication it should have been easy for theologians and other writers to write accurately on these subjects.



Bill wrote:
To expand on my initial question: At what point do we start questioning official Catechisms? At what point does giving docile obedience the the rulers of the Church give way to questioning and critique?...especially in matters that have not been settled. Wouldn't it be "safer" to accept what the catechisms say, and wait for an official statement...rather than questioning them and implying they contain error?

Yes, except that these catechisms were new, and the matters in view were "settled" and the problem was precisely that they were in danger of being unsettled by the unfortunate wording of these texts.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:11 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Catechism of St. Pius X
The following is from the Introduction to the "Catechism of St. Pius X" offered by the SSPX, and written by Fr Francois Laisney. As can readily be seen, the book is actually no such thing, but rather it is a reconstruction of the Catechism of St. Pius X - although it does not appear that Fr. Laisney checked the Italian to see if the effort was successful.

Quote:
To my knowledge, the Catechism of St. Pius X has never been published in English in its original text. There is one Catechism of Christian Doctrine, published by the Rev. Msgr. Eugene Kevane in Virginia, USA in 1974, but in fact, it contains a much later text which lacks much of the original text: it is the translation of the Catechismo della Dottrina Cristiana, the standard Italian Catechism, as it was in 1953. That Italian Catechism is in turn, a summary and reduction of the original Catechism of St. Pius X. The American edition in 1974 has further been "adapted according to the Second Vatican Council", thus losing much of the value of the original text (e.g. expressions like "Soldiers of Christ" are suppressed from the teaching on the effects of Confirmation). The only book where I was able to find the authentic text is the excellent Compendium of Catechetical Instruction by the Right Reverend Monsignor John Hagan, first published in Dublin in 1910, and containing for each chapter of the Catechism the relevant part from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the questions and answers of the Catechism of Saint Pius X and Father Raineri's Catechetical Instructions, which were very popular in the nineteenth century.

We present here Msgr. Hagan's text with very slight modifications of style only. The current discipline of the Church on matters such as fasting has been included in smaller print to bring the text up-to-date without altering the original answers.

May this edition of Saint Pius X's Catechism help priests, teachers and parents to impart the knowledge and love of the Doctrine of the Catholic Church to their pupils and their children in all its entirety and beauty. It is our hope that it will also help adult Catholics to revise and deepen their own knowledge of the Faith. It will be very helpful to catechumens to assist them towards a complete knowledge of the one true Faith. May the clear knowledge of the eternal truths of our Faith build in all readers the great certitudes that are the foundations of solid virtues. May the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary obtain all these graces for the readers of this volume, and may they pray for me.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:28 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
Quote:
Bill wrote:
Cristian,

In regards to what you wrote here:

Quote:
I believe the confussion here may arouse due to a double meaning of the term "soul of the Church"; that phrase may signify either an "invisible Church made up of men in state of grace" or it may mean the interior bounds of union existing in the Church.
Now, it is the first meaning Pius XII condemned (and the one the Baltimor Catechism defends) and not the second.


This is what Msgr. Fenton says on p.181 of The Catholic Church and Salvation:

Quote:
St. Robert had made it perfectly plain to anyone who took the trouble to read the De ecclesia militante in its entirety that he did not claim that the interior bond of unity within the Church was actually the soul of the Church. He applied the metaphorical title of "soul" of the Church to God the Holy Ghost, and he spoke of Catholics in the state of grace as constituting "as it were, the soul" of this society. In the same way, he spoke of the Church itself as a "body" and described bad Catholics as being "as it were, the body" of the Church. It was a misfortune for the history of theology that Polman's seminary manual led men to imagine that the inward bond of unity was the soul, and the outward bond was the body, of the Catholic Church.


Fenton says..."it was a misfortune for the history of theology" that some came to imagine that "the inward bond of unity" was the soul of the Church.

I have yet to see Fenton admit that the soul/body dichotomy would even be a proper analogy for the Church's necessity for salvation. Have you? He instead, at every turn emphasizes that Bellarmine's usage of these terms has been distorted, and really need not be used at all in a discussion of extra ecclesia nulla salus.

His overall critique is not limited to the notion of being a "member" of the soul of the Church. It is much broader, and includes even the legitimacy of using the soul-body distinction with reference to the dogma of "outside the Church there is no salvation". So even if the "Catechism of Pius" used the phrase "soul of the Church" to mean what you implied, it seems that Msgr. Fenton would still disagree with it.

In Christ,
Bill


Bill, i think i got your point!

You are not denying the use of "body and soul" analogy but rather its aplication to the dogma "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus", am i wrong?
If this is your point, then you are right.
I quote Fenton, "Estra Eccl. nulla salus" from AER CX (110) 300 and ff (perhaps somebody may post the full text :) ).
Bold and parenthesis mine.

"The third interpretation is much more common. It asserts that, in order to be saved, a man must belong at least to the soul of the C. Church. This explanation is preferable to its two predecessors (note: the one defending the necessity of the Church as a necessity of precept or as an ordinary mean) in that it takes account at least of the universal meaning attached to the axiom extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. According to the proponents of this interpretation no man whatsoever can be saved unless he belongs in some way at least to the soul of the Catholic Church.
There are sharply different ways of understanding what the term soul of the Church meanswhen it is used to explain the truth extra Eccl. nulla salus. Some use this term to designate the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Those who would "belong to the soul of the Church" in this way would be those who live the life of sanctifying grace which comes to men in the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
As far as the theologians are concerned, the axiom extra Eccl. nulla salus means that there is no salvation for the man who is not at least in the state of grace. Looked on in this way, the axiom would insist upon the necessity of sanctifying grace rather than on that of the Catholic Church. It is difficult to see how this explanation could stand as a fully adequate interpretation of the doctrine set forth by the Fourth Lateran and Florence.
We must remember however that it is by no means totally inadequate. The faith, hope and charity which are the primary expressions of the life of grace are themselves the inward principles of unity within the Catholic Church. The life of sanctifying grace finds its corporate or social functioning only in the activity of the Catholic Church. Since every person who is saved must possess sanctifying grace at the time of death. he must possess a reality which properly belongs to the C. Church, and thus, to this extent at least, be connected with the institution which Our Lord founded as the necessary vehicle of salvation.
On the other hand, when a man tries to explain the necessity of the Church for salvation by stressing the conection of the life of grace with the Church, he does not take into account any immediate adherence of the person who is to be saved with the Church as such. The conciliar pronouncements insits that no man can be saved outside of the Church. this is perfectly correct, but it is no adequate explanation of the teaching proposed in the axiom extra Eccl. nulla salus.
Moreover this explanation is subected to disapproval on the grounds of terminology. If we take the soul of the Church to mean either God the Holy Ghost or the life of grace which exists within men as the result of the inhabitation of the Blessed Trinity in their souls, then certainlt the expressions "member of the Soul of the Church" and "belonging to the Soul of the Church" are quite inadmissible. the term "soul of the Church" is metaphorical, and there is an inexcusable mixing of metaphors when a person is described as a "member" of the holy Ghost, or as "belonging to" the state of grace.
No such difficulty exists of course when another, and an unfortunately all-too-prevalent notion of the soul of the Church is used in explaining the statement extra Eccl. nulla salus. Theoretically there could be members of a society composed exclusively of person of good will and state of grace, as the soul of the Church is sometimes understood. Te persons who utilize this concept interpret the teaching on the necessity of the Church by stating that, in order to be saved, a man must belong either to the body of the Church, which they understand as the actually existing and visible founded by Our Lord, or to the Soul of the Church, which is the invisible and spiritual society composed exclusively of those who have the virtue of charity.
No such society, however, exists on this earth. As a result any explanation of the axiom in terms of such a gathering cannot be other than inaccurate. Thus, taken as a whole, the attempt to explain the necessity of the C. Church for salvation in the light og the soul of the Church is either unsastifactory (S. Pius Catechism) or downright incorrect (Baltimore Catechism).

Cristian

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:51 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
I'm sorry, but what comes to mind:

The revised Baltimore Catechism contains some obvious error in this matter. That the Pius X's catechism contains it too is most disturbing. :shock: And I'm surprised we are trying to exonerate it by appealing the the intention of the writers - I'm not so generous with the products of New Church. :)

My only problem here is: Is this error ascribed to Holy Mother Church? Why or why not? Does the infallibility of the universal ordinary magisterium come into play here? Why or why not?

Would be on the internet again by the end of the month, so I would not be able to correspond till then.

Missing the forum and the so many beautiful new posts I can not keep up with due my current lack of access to the internet!

_________________
Omnia ad Jesum per Mariam!


Tue May 06, 2008 9:45 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: Use of the Terms Body and Soul with Reference to the Church
austinmarie wrote:
The revised Baltimore Catechism contains some obvious error in this matter. That the Pius X's catechism contains it too is most disturbing.

The "Pius X catechism" (i.e. the Irish one) doesn't contain the same error.

austinmarie wrote:
And I'm surprised we are trying to exonerate it by appealing the the intention of the writers

What the writer means governs the meaning of the text, assuming that it is really ambiguous. The defenders of Vatican II have it all against them on this score - the liberals who put together the texts that were accepted at the Council definitely meant them in a heterodox sense, as became clear afterwards, if not at the time.

austinmarie wrote:
My only problem here is: Is this error ascribed to Holy Mother Church? Why or why not? Does the infallibility of the universal ordinary magisterium come into play here? Why or why not?

The bishops were not morally unanimous in accepting these catechisms - they were published only to portions of the Church.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue May 06, 2008 10:07 pm
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.