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REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF CHURCH DOCTRINE
http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=448
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Author:  Vince Sheridan [ Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:24 pm ]
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Pax Christi !

News flash- Benedict has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.< end quote.>

Well, benedict is now saying Jesus founded only one Church ( kinda) benedict has traditional Cathlolics and " conservative Catholics clearly in his cross hairs...... ..... Here is a interesting perspective from a Anglican priestess;

Identity of the Catholic faith’

The Rev. Sara MacVane of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said there was nothing new in the document.

“I don’t know what motivated it at this time,” she said. “But it’s important always to point out that there’s the official position and there’s the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglican and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics.”

Evil could not have picked a better anti-pope, then one waering a semi-traditional mask.....

In Xto,

Vincent

Author:  Colin Fry [ Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:41 pm ]
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Some points of interest from the new document come out today REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF CHURCH DOCTRINE:

"Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

"Response: Christ 'established here on earth' only one Church and instituted it as a 'visible and spiritual community', that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. 'This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. ... This Church, constituted and organized in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him'.

"In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' 'subsistence' means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

"It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word 'subsists' can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the 'one' Church); and this 'one' Church subsists in the Catholic Church."

"Third Question: Why was the expression 'subsists in' adopted instead of the simple word 'is'?

"Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are 'numerous elements of sanctification and of truth' which are found outside her structure, but which 'as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity.'

"'It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.'


So, in actuality, they still maintain their original problematic meaning, but cover it with flowery language about how the Catholic Church is the one Church etc. Or am I missing something?

"On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realized in history."

So then, the Church is not: one, holy, Catholic (universal) and Apostolic?

"Catholic ecumenism might seem, at first sight, somewhat paradoxical. The Second Vatican Council II used the phrase 'subsistit in' in order to try to harmonize two doctrinal affirmations: on the one hand, that despite all the divisions between Christians the Church of Christ continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand that numerous elements of sanctification and truth do exist outwith the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church whether in the particular Churches or in the ecclesial Communities that are not fully in communion with the Catholic Church."

Author:  oremus [ Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:38 pm ]
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Vincent,

I agree and think that Ratzinger could be very dangerous
especially to the Traditional Catholics.

Author:  John Lane [ Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:52 pm ]
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Extraordinary.

Colin Fry wrote:
"It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.


I think that is heretical. The Church is "present" in sects? I can't see that any amount of qualification is able to repair that expression. Even V2 itself didn't assert this extraordinary claim.


Colin Fry wrote:
So, in actuality, they still maintain their original problematic meaning, but cover it with flowery language about how the Catholic Church is the one Church etc.


Yes and no. The original problematic theology is still present - yes. But it hasn't been covered with anything - it has been brought out into the full glare of the noonday sun. The flowery language was there in Lumen Gentium. All that boilerplate about the visible unity of the Church etc. But the poison was better hidden, I think. Lumen Gentium was somewhat ambiguous. The expression above is in my opinion actually heretical.


Colin Fry wrote:
"On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realized in history."

So then, the Church is not: one, holy, Catholic (universal) and Apostolic?

I agree with you. That is erroneous too. Possibly not actually heretical, because the historical universality of the Church has waxed and waned, as all admit. But the suggestion that she has never been universal in fact is certainly erroneous.


Colin Fry wrote:
The Second Vatican Council II used the phrase 'subsistit in' in order to try to harmonize ...


Is this yet another admission of defeat?

Author:  Colin Fry [ Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:00 am ]
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John Lane wrote:
Yes and no. The original problematic theology is still present - yes. But it hasn't been covered with anything - it has been brought out into the full glare of the noonday sun. The flowery language was there in Lumen Gentium. All that boilerplate about the visible unity of the Church etc. But the poison was better hidden, I think. Lumen Gentium was somewhat ambiguous. The expression above is in my opinion actually heretical.

Yeah I agree. Quite bold of them I think.

Author:  John Lane [ Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:09 am ]
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Colin Fry wrote:
Yeah I agree. Quite bold of them I think.


Sign of desperation, perhaps?

I just read this AQ thread, and this post http://angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.p ... 365#197365 makes the same point. Glad to see that the AQ people aren't buying this stuff.

Author:  Zaqueu [ Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:41 am ]
Post subject:  Frankenchurch heresy

In one of Mr. Mario Derksen's articles [http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jul/jul13mdi.htm], I've found the following quote by Msgr Fenton:

Quote:
“…the error that the way of salvation can be found in any religion has its own peculiar and individual malignity. It is based on the false implication that the false religions, those other than the Catholic, are in some measure a partial approach to the fullness of truth which is to be found in Catholicism. According to this doctrinal aberration, the Catholic religion would be distinct from others, not as the true is distinct from the false, but only as the plenitude is distinct from incomplete participations of itself. It is this notion, the idea that all other religions contain enough of the essence of that completeness, of truth which is to be found in Catholicism, to make them vehicles of eternal salvation, which is thus reproved in the [allocution of Pope Pius IX,] Singulari quadam" (Joseph Clifford FENTON, The Catholic Church and Salvation, Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1958, p.47).


Would any of you have this book at hand, in order to see if there is any context to this citation that might help elucidate more this seemigly recent ecclesiological error/heresy? For instance, does the author mention who were the main partisans of this doctrine in the fifties?

Thank you.

Author:  John Lane [ Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:00 pm ]
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Headline concerning this from The Age, Melbourne. "Pope is Catholic, but is not the antichrist."

Newspapers. :)

Author:  Dominic07 [ Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:26 pm ]
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John Lane wrote:
I agree with you. That is erroneous too. Possibly not actually heretical, because the historical universality of the Church has waxed and waned, as all admit. But the suggestion that she has never been universal in fact is certainly erroneous.


Mr. Lane, is there a theologian who explains this?

In the Two Hearts,
Dom.

Author:  John Lane [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:21 am ]
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Dominic07 wrote:
Mr. Lane, is there a theologian who explains this?

In the Two Hearts,
Dom.


Sure. Van Noort explains it quite thoroughly, albeit briefly. See here:
http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/van_n ... icity.html

Quote:
Proposition 3: The morally universal diffusion, characteristic of the Church in all ages, should be a progressive expansion.

Proof: The statement hardly needs proving. If the Church was designed to start from small beginnings and a short time thereafter to be quite widespread and finally was to reach literally all parts of the world; if, furthermore, the Church was destined to spread by God's help, but at the same time, dependently on human resources, it follows quite naturally that its diffusion was to be effected by continuous additions. As a matter of fact, both the Messianic prophecies and Christ's own words point to such a progressive expansion.

1. From the Messianic prophecies. For example: Enlarge the place of thy tent and stretch out the skins of thy tabernacles. Spare not: lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes. For thou shalt pass on to the right hand and to the left: and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and shall inhabit the desolate cities … and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the God of all the earth (Isai. 54:2-5).

2. From Christ's own words: “The kingdom of heaven reminds me of a mustard seed. … This is the tiniest of all seeds; but the full-grown plant is larger than any garden herb and, in fact, becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and settle in its branches” (Matt. 13:31—32).

Please note, however, that the continuity of this progressive expansion should not be pressed too hard. The texts cited do not rule out the possibility of the Church's being notably decreased in this or that century due to schism or heresy (whose occurrence was foretold 11 in the Sacred Scripture), without its being able to recoup immediately. Still, theologians usually reject the hypothesis that the Church might ever be so besieged with heresy that it would — even for a brief period — be restricted to just one region.12 Neither should one interpret the scriptural prophecies about the great defection at the end of the world in such a sense.13

Author:  Dominic07 [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:48 am ]
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John Lane wrote:
Colin Fry wrote:
"On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realized in history."

So then, the Church is not: one, holy, Catholic (universal) and Apostolic?

I agree with you. That is erroneous too. Possibly not actually heretical, because the historical universality of the Church has waxed and waned, as all admit. But the suggestion that she has never been universal in fact is certainly erroneous.


I've read Van Noort. He is very clear. So is it correct to say that the universality of the Church has waxed and waned, or would it be better to say that the extension of the Church has increased and decreased, or some other expression?

In the Two Hearts,
Dom.

Author:  Robert Bastaja [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:12 am ]
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Quote:
So then, the Church is not: one, holy, Catholic (universal) and Apostolic?

"Catholic ecumenism might seem, at first sight, somewhat paradoxical. The Second Vatican Council II used the phrase 'subsistit in' in order to try to harmonize two doctrinal affirmations: on the one hand, that despite all the divisions between Christians the Church of Christ continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand that numerous elements of sanctification and truth do exist outwith the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church whether in the particular Churches or in the ecclesial Communities that are not fully in communion with the Catholic Church."


How can this in any way be squared with the definition of the Church as a Body?

It appears to directly contradict that definition...unless the modernists have found a way to redefine the concept of a "body" to try to "harmonize" it with their new doctrine.

Author:  John Lane [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:32 am ]
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Dominic07 wrote:
So is it correct to say that the universality of the Church has waxed and waned, or would it be better to say that the extension of the Church has increased and decreased, or some other expression?


Well, as far as I have seen, there is no standardised terminology on this point, so the terms chosen must clearly express the truth of the matter, but that's all we can say.

The Church has an obligation to preach the Gospel to all men. This is sometimes called her "moral" catholicity. All men have the corresponding obligation to accept the Gospel. (The V2 church, as I have very, very, often pointed out, denies this truth by her actions in respect of the Oriental Schismatics, and has formalised this attitude of non-universality in the infamous Balamand Agreement. The same heretical doctrine was presented in the document Dominus Iesus.)

The Church, because she has been sent by Our Lord Jesus Christ and is perpetually assisted by Him, must have enjoyed, and has in fact enjoyed, actual success in converting men of all classes and races, so that apart from during the earliest period of her existence, she has enjoyed an actual diffusion across numerous countries at all times. This is sometimes referred to as her "numerical" catholicity. I referred to it as her "historical" catholicity. I said, "the historical universality of the Church has waxed and waned, as all admit. But the suggestion that she has never been universal in fact is certainly erroneous."

Fr. Sylvester Berry refers to the moral catholicity of the Church as her catholicity de jure, and the actual diffusion of the Church as her catholicity de facto. Van Noort uses the equivalent English terms, "catholicity by right" and "catholicity in fact."

Van Noort asserts (in equivalent terms) that this numerical universality, or catholicity, can never be less than total, in the sense that the Church will always have members in the various countries around the world, no matter how few they are. He says, "theologians usually reject the hypothesis that the Church might ever be so besieged with heresy that it would — even for a brief period — be restricted to just one region." As can be seen from the very wording used by Van Noort - viz. "theologians usually..." - this is not a part of the Church's clear teaching, but rather it is a common opinion. I don't see any reason to dispute it, although he is speaking of a "morally universal diffusion," not a strict requirement that the Church remain in every single place she has ever had members.

Does this clarify the doctrine any further?

Author:  John Lane [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Rev. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ

Rev. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, Herder, 1941, pp. 10-133.


Catholicity of Church Further Defined

The Church of Christ must be universal, or Catholic, by diffusion throughout the world, but this diffusion may be either physical or moral, simultaneous or successive, absolute or relative. Therefore, it may be asked, what is the precise nature of the universality necessary for the Church, and also whether this universality must be perpetual.

MORALLY CATHOLIC. Physical universality would be realized if the Church were so completely spread over the earth that she actually exercised her authority over every portion of the inhabited world. It is evident that the Church has never been so diffused, and therefore such universality cannot be necessary. The early Fathers evidently held this view; even in the third and fourth centuries they proclaimed the Church already universal because of her diffusion, yet as St. Augustine said: “It still had much room to increase before the prophecy concerning Christ, prefigured by Solomon, would be fulfilled: ‘He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.’” (1) It is sufficient, then, that the Church be morally universal, i.e., that she be so wide-spread throughout the world that she may easily be known even in those regions in which she does not actually exist; or, as Suarez puts it: “If she has such universal renown that she may be known and distinguished from all heretical sects.” (2)

SIMULTANEOUSLY CATHOLIC. The Church might have a successive existence in various parts of the world, dying out in one place as it springs up in another, until finally the Gospel would have been announced in all parts of the world. This would constitute successive catholicity, but it is evident that such universality is not sufficient, because at no time would the Church be really Catholic in any true sense of the word. Therefore, the Church must be simultaneously Catholic, i.e., it must be present throughout the whole world at one and the same time. It is true, of course, that the Church may cease to exist in this or that part of the world, but it must ever remain at least morally universal, as explained above.

ABSOLUTELY CATHOLIC. Absolute Catholicity is the universality of the Church, considered in itself, regardless of any other religious society. Relative catholicity refers to the universality of the Church as compared with that of some other society. In this latter sense, the Church will be Catholic if it is more wide-spread than any other single church. As already noted, mere numbers do not constitute universality; one church is not more Catholic, or universal, than another because of the mere fact that it numbers more adherents.
Absolute Catholicity is necessary in the true Church as shown above, but relative Catholicity does not seem necessary; at least, its necessity can be proved neither from Scripture nor tradition, and there seems to be no reason why a false sect might not become universally distributed over the world, unless perhaps God in His providence prevents it, of which we have no assurance.

PERPETUALLY CATHOLIC. The reason for the Church’s universality demands that it be also perpetual; in so far as the Church might fail in her universality at any time, in just that far must she also fail in her mission of carrying the Gospel to all nations. Moreover, all the prophecies of old and all the promises of Christ concerning the universality of the Church were made without restrictions or limitations as to time. They never contemplate any failure; they never so much as intimate that the Church will ever be reduced to narrow or insignificant limits. Cardinal Bellarmine seems to have held that the Church might be so reduced in extent as to be confined for a time to one single country or province, provided it is still recognized as the Church that had been universally spread over the world. This is practically the same as saying, “provided it remain morally universal,” which does not in reality deny perpetual universality. However, his opinion does not seem probable and has not been generally accepted.

1 “Epist. ad Hesych.,” P. L., 33, 922; cfr. Ps. lxxi, 8.
2 “Defensio Fidei,” I, xvi, 10.

Author:  John Lane [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

John Lane wrote:
Van Noort asserts (in equivalent terms) that this numerical universality, or catholicity, can never be less than total, in the sense that the Church will always have members in the various countries around the world, no matter how few they are. He says, "theologians usually reject the hypothesis that the Church might ever be so besieged with heresy that it would — even for a brief period — be restricted to just one region." As can be seen from the very wording used by Van Noort - viz. "theologians usually..." - this is not a part of the Church's clear teaching, but rather it is a common opinion. I don't see any reason to dispute it, although he is speaking of a "morally universal diffusion," not a strict requirement that the Church remain in every single place she has ever had members.

I had not previously adverted to Fr. Sylvester Berry's reference to Bellarmine, who is apparently the source of the notion that Van Noort says has generally been rejected by later theologians. Here is Berry pointing this out:
Quote:
Cardinal Bellarmine seems to have held that the Church might be so reduced in extent as to be confined for a time to one single country or province, provided it is still recognized as the Church that had been universally spread over the world. This is practically the same as saying, “provided it remain morally universal,” which does not in reality deny perpetual universality. However, his opinion does not seem probable and has not been generally accepted.

I'm such a Bellarmine tragic that I'm with him, whatever anybody else says. :)

Author:  John Lane [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Robert Bastaja wrote:
How can this in any way be squared with the definition of the Church as a Body?

It appears to directly contradict that definition...unless the modernists have found a way to redefine the concept of a "body" to try to "harmonize" it with their new doctrine.


I agree, Robert. The Fathers universally teach that outside the Church there is neither sanctification nor salvation. The Church has solemnly defined as much. Now we are told that these "elements of sanctification" exist outside the Church and are efficacious - that is, salvific. What a mess.

Author:  KenGordon [ Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:22 pm ]
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John Lane wrote:
I'm such a Bellarmine tragic that I'm with him, whatever anybody else says. :)


Me too! :D

I have been reading his fourth book on the Spiritual Power of the Popes, and although my Latin is very poor, the pathos and accuracy of his writing style comes through loud and clear. It is as though I am sitting at his feet, listening to him speak.

It is wonderful.

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