Saint Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reply to Corey Tucholski Part II on the Theotokos


Corey responded to my reply on the 18th. One of his points on the title of co-redemtrix was this.

Corey wrote, "Once again, a broken record. He repeats exactly what he said in the initial article but fails to clarify it. “Co-” does mean “with,” and implies (at least to me) an equal share in the action. Cooperate. Coworker. Both terms imply an equal share of action, and this is what is so reprehensible about the title.

Mary participated in God’s plan, but not in an equal share. Remember that the term “Co-” implies equal participation."

This shows everyone that Corey will go to any lengths to justify his opposition to God's salvific plan of salvation. Where on earth does the definition of co have to mean an equal share? This is absolute nonsense. Does the co-pilot share equal responsibility or action with the actual pilot? Co means with, not necessarily equal to. If you look in the dictionary you will see it defined just as commonly as, "Subordinate or assistant: copilot". You can see that Corey has a one track mind to degrade God's chosen plan to actualize the incarnation of Christ. No one has ever said that Mary has an equal share in God's salvific plan. In fact the Church has over and over stated this, yet those who oppose Christ and His will reject the Gospel for their own preferred version. You can see this apparent personal pride here by the mere fact that Corey stated, "(at least to me)" in referring to the definition of the prefix co. It doesn't mean what the dictionary says it means, or in the context that the Church uses it in. Its all about Corey and what he thinks. He ignores what the Church has to say about it. The Catechism gives an excellent overview of this teaching.

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."510

970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it."511 "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."512

Corey also asked this question, "Why does Mary get special consideration and her own title? She, too, is a cog like us." I have to really shake my head in disbelief when I see a question like this. The reason is because it degrades our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His incarnation. You see, when someone cannot get that Mary was special by merely the fact that God was in her womb, then you can't expect them to honor Jesus either, which they do not, despite their religious rhetoric. Mary was special because God chose her to come into the world incarnate, thats why she gets special consideration. This is just common sense. She was part of God's salvific plan, and she was the only one in the history of mankind to have this unique bond of motherhood to God himself. But Corey would have his readers think that this was just no big deal, she is just a cog. That is equal to degrading our Lord's incarnation as if it were just no big deal.

Corey then ends his post by taunting me on Mr White's behalf I guess, to engage him in some sort of dialog. If Mr. White wants to respond by a video that is fine with me. I will also be willing to engage in a video dialog. As far as going on White's radio show, he never allows his opponent to get in a word edgewise, so why bother? If he agrees to a timed response on his radio show where we can exchange some timed responses (Like 2 minute responses), then I would be willing to engage him on his radio show, but not in an open unregulated dialog.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Catholicism and Evolution, to be or not to be...



I think it is quite interesting these days how people both in and outside of the Church are focusing on the theory of evolution. Many people want the Catholic Church to define its position on this subject infallibly. If we look closely at the Church's documents we can see a clear stand against Darwin's theory of evolution. This however has not been taught infallibly. We can however look through the Church's documents and statements throughout history and arrive at a logical conclusion. From what I can deduce, there is not much room for the theory of evolution as Darwin presents it, nor in a fashion which rejects the literal first parents of Adam and Eve. We know that Polygenism, which is the idea that human beings arose from many "first parents" and also holds that Adam and Eve are symbolic representations of mankind has been rejected by the Church.

November 30, 1941, in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Pius XII points out the impossibility that the immediate father or progenitor of man could have been other than a human being, that is, the impossibility that the first man could have been the son of an animal, generated by the latter in the proper sense of the term. (Creation Rediscovered, by Gerard J. Keane 1999) Keane continues by citing Fr John Hardon SJ the great Jesuit defender of the faith, "As Fr. John Hardon, S.J. pointed out, in context this statement of Pope Pius XII reads, "Only from a man can another man descend, whom he can call father and progenitor." Even if the Pope had primarily intended in this address to stress the great gap in kind which exists between animals and human beings, nevertheless, as Cardinal Ruffini also pointed out, the possibility that human beings could have been born of animal parents is untenable."

We can also look to other documents of the Church which lay out a framework which does not allow much room for the "theory of evolution" as Darwin presents it.

The first Vatican Council declared...

1. ON GOD THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS

1. If anyone denies the one true God, creator and lord of things visible and invisible: let him be anathema.
2. If anyone is so bold as to assert that there exists nothing besides matter: let him be anathema.
3. If anyone says that the substance or essence of God and that of all things are one and the same: let him be anathema.
4. If anyone says that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from the divine substance; or that the divine essence, by the manifestation and evolution of itself becomes all things or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: let him be anathema.
5. If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, were produced, according to their whole substance, out of nothing by God; or holds that God did not create by his will free from all necessity, but as necessarily as he necessarily loves himself; or denies that the world was created for the glory of God: let him be anathema.

The Catechism tells us...
416 By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.

The Pontifical Biblical Commission stated in 1909
"Genesis does not contain purified myths."

Pope Pius XII also wrote the encyclical Humani Generis (1950) Keane once again writes the following in reference to it, "that Adam and Eve were real human beings, the first parents from whom all of mankind has descended; they are not symbolic representations of mankind as a whole, and there were no other human races existing on the Earth from whom human beings could have descended. To hold otherwise, he declared, is to endanger the doctrine of Original Sin. He reiterated that the rational souls of Adam and Eve were divinely implanted by God in acts of Special Creation, and he reaffirmed the teaching of the Church on Original Sin: "Sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own." 16. Humani Generis, Denzinger, p. 2328.

We also have a local council of German bishops the Provincial Council of Cologne (1860) that rejected any type of evolutionary process. We must recognize however that this was a local council and although it was given recognition by the Holy See it never was given they type of weight to be binding over the whole Church. We can however use these sources to build up a case for the ordinary universal teaching of the Church on this issue.

The Council stated...

"Our first parents were formed immediately by God. Therefore we declare that the opinion of those who do not fear to assert that this human being, man as regards his body, emerged finally from the spontaneous continuous change of imperfect nature to the more perfect, is clearly opposed to Sacred Scripture and to the Faith.1"

Although Saint Thomas was not addressing this issue directly, we can take his statement here and see how it may apply to this particular issue of evolution. Saint Thomas Aquinas stated in regards to the creation of man, in ST Ia,Q.91,a.2, and Q.92,a.4:

“The first formation of the human body could not have been accomplished by any created power, but immediately by God".

This issue of Darwin's theory of evolution has been an issue before that the church clearly rejected. We must understand that this is the rejection of Darwin's theory, and not some other variations that have come about in recent years, which propose an evolutionary process in which God used, only to later infuse the evolved man with a soul. The Vatican did however reject Darwin's theory outright when a Dominican scholar and proponent of evolution, Fr. Léroy, published a book around 1894 upholding the opinion of Darwin. The Holy See responded,

Congregation for Defense of the Faith theologians in the late 1800’s, responded to Fr. LéRoy:

Fr. Léroy, . . . instead of combating the absurd opinion of evolutionist anthropologists with the dictates of Revelation, seeks to harmonize evolution with Sacred Scripture and Divine Tradition. . . Evolution, as all Catholic philosophers teach, stands resolutely condemned by the science of ontology as well as by empirical science.

"I express the desire that the author be seriously warned and repressed in the intemperance and audacity of his thoughts, which will please evolutionists as well as atheists and materialists, but which cannot be accepted by true Catholics."

"The human organism could never have been the terminus of a natural evolution. . . Rightly, therefore did the Council of Cologne – cited by Fr. Léroy – condemn that opinion, which Scheeben (Dogmatica, Bk. III, n. 384) goes so far as to qualify as heretical".

"Certainly, it is impossible to regard as safe (sicura) a proposition which is opposed to the unanimous consensus of the Fathers and Doctors".

Fr Leroy's book was put on the forbidden index of books, he responded by saying,

"I have learned today that my thesis, which has been examined here in Rome by the competent authority, has been judged unacceptable, above all in what concerns the human body, since it is incompatible with both the texts of Sacred Scripture and the principles of sound philosophy".


It would be nice if the Church would come out and define this for us more clearly by summarizing these documents and sources for us. I believe however that if we look hard enough we can come to the conclusion that if we hold all of these statements to be true by the Church which is presented here, there is not much room for the theory of evolution in any form concerning macro-evolution. We must also understand that science is not under the umbrella of the Church since most of this area is not addressed directly by Divine Revelation. We must however make sure that we look at the Sacred Scriptures in their literal sense, and with a Catholic perspective that has been handed down by the Church and her Saints. It is a wonder how some of these people inside the Church keep entertaining this scientific hypothesis. Any thoughts on this? I am interested in how one can take the above information and still maintain that evolution is a possibility within the confines of the Catholic faith.



Sources
Creation Rediscovered, by Gerard J. Keane 1999 Tan Publishing
Vatican I Council

Monday, September 15, 2008

Heaven or Hell, you choose.



I have the pleasure of hearing Fr. James Fryar's FSSP sermons in Sarasota all of the time. I frequently post them on Catholic Champion. This particular one is one of my favorites. I wanted to share it with you. I put together a video to go along with it. Enjoy!

Convenient Nonsense Part I "Figure" "Figura"


Heretics be gone!


I have been reading the humorous blog of Turretin Fan and I am quite amused by his latest posts in which he titles "An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth" In his latest article I had to laugh at his reasoning in which he tries to tell his readers that the 7th Ecumenical Council denies the doctrine of Transubstantiation. He writes, "Council of Constantinople (754) - Implicitly Denies the to-be-invented Doctrine of Transubstantiation" He then quotes this statement by the 7th Council,

"The only admissible figure of the humanity of Christ, however, is bread and wine in the holy Supper. This and no other form, this and no other type, has he chosen to represent his incarnation. Bread he ordered to be brought, but not a representation of the human form, so that idolatry might not arise. And as the body of Christ is made divine, so also this figure of the body of Christ, the bread, is made divine by the descent of the Holy Spirit; it becomes the divine body of Christ by the mediation of the priest who, separating the oblation from that which is common, sanctifies it."

First of all nothing in this passage dispels anything of the doctrine of the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood. Of course we know that that term transubstantiation wasn't used in the early Church, but the teaching that the bread and wine being changed into the substance of Christ's Body and Blood is as ancient as the Christian faith itself is. What this passage does tell us is that the figure, (meaning form or reality of the form) is divine by the descent of the Holy Spirit.

TF (the man with no real name)tries to claim indirectly that the use of the word figure, denies the teaching of Transubstantiation. Now what is really amusing is that this guy has been on James White's "team" of apologists as well. He also cannot grasp the definition or use of the word figure. This is no surprise since his mentor Dr. White can't grasp it either since we have witnessed him use the same weak argument before. I wonder where they both get their argument from? Any ideas? Of course, John Calvin. Calvin used this argument when debating the definition of the Latin word figura in Tertullion's writings when trying to deny the age long teaching of transubstantiation. The word figure used in the translation of these ancient documents was derived from the word figura in Latin, which simply means "material shape" or "form". For example Tertullion and Saint Ambrose used this word when referring to the consecrated elements in their writings. For someone to make a claim that the use of the translation of the word figure in these documents prove that the writers intended to deny the dogma of transubstantiation is absolute nonsensical and is a clear sign of poor scholarship. If we investigate the use of the term figura in ancient Latin we will learn that the word meant much more than the use of the term figure that is used in modern English today.

Craig Alan Satterlee did a study on Saint Ambrose of Milan and his preaching. He wrote the following when he addressed St. Ambrose's use of the term figura in relation to the consecration. He writes, "He understood the Bread and the Wine of the Eucharist to be the "figure" (figura) "representing" (repraesentare) of the flesh and blood. The Latin words figura and repraesentare have a more definite sense than the corresponding English words and suggest the idea of exhibiting or making present the sacred realities of which they speak. In other words there is no distinction between the real or symbolic presence of Christ. The bread of the Eucharist is the same flesh that was crucified and buried."

So this seemingly "ace in the hole" that these charlatans have crafted is once again nothing more than an illusion used to deceive people into denying a principal and chief Christian dogma. The use of the term figure confirms what the Church has been teaching for 2000 years. Yet Calvin and his followers insist on their own gospel and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ambrose of Milan's Method of Mystagogical Preaching
By Craig Alan Satterlee
Published by Liturgical Press, 2002

Friday, September 12, 2008

Can you vote pro-abortion and be Catholic?

Today the KC bishops released a document which sums up what I have been saying all along. You cannot justify voting for a pro-abortion candidate by equating the war or economic issues with the grave evil of abortion.

Our Moral Responsibility as Catholic Citizens
Joint Pastoral Letter – September 8, 2008
Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Dear Friends in Christ,

With the approaching general election this November, we believe this to be an important moment for us to address together the responsibility of Catholics to be well informed and well formed voters.

Except for the election of our next President, the people of Northwestern Missouri and Northeastern Kansas will be choosing different candidates for different offices in our two dioceses. Yet the fundamental moral principles that should guide our choices as Catholic voters are the same.

For generations it has been the determination of Catholic Bishops not to endorse political candidates or parties. This approach was initiated by Archbishop John Carroll – the very first Catholic Bishop serving in the United States. It was long before there was an Internal Revenue Service Code, and had nothing to do with a desire to preserve tax-exempt status. Rather the Church in the United States realized early on that it must not tether the credibility of the Church to the uncertain future actions or statements of a particular politician or party. This understanding of the Church’s proper role in society was affirmed in the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern Word: “The Church, by reason of her role and competence, is not identified with any political community nor bound by its ties to any political system. It is at once the sign and the safeguard of the transcendental dimension of the human person.”(Gaudium et Spes n.76)

A Right to Speak Out on Issues

At the same time, it is important to note that the Catholic Church in the United States has always cherished its right to speak to the moral issues confronting our nation. The Church has understood its responsibility in a democratic society to do its best to form properly the consciences of her members. In continuity with the long history of the efforts of American Bishops to assist Catholics with the proper formation of their consciences, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this past November issued a statement: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. In that document our brother bishops took care to note: “This statement is intended to reflect and complement, not substitute for, the ongoing teachings of bishops in our own dioceses and states.”

It is in this context that we offer the following reflections to assist the Catholic people of Northwestern Missouri and Northeastern Kansas in forming their consciences in preparation for casting their votes this November.

Many Issues: Prudential Judgments

Every Catholic should be concerned about a wide range of issues. We believe in a consistent ethic that evaluates every issue through the prism of its impact on the life and dignity of the human person. Catholics should care about public policies that:
a) promote a just and lasting peace in the world,
b) protect our nation from terrorism and other security threats,
c) welcome and uphold the rights of immigrants,
d) enable health care to be accessible and affordable,
e) manifest a special concern for the poor by attending to their immediate needs and assisting them to gain economic independence,
f) protect the rights of parents to be the primary educators of their children,
g) create business and employment opportunities making it possible for individuals to be able to provide for their own material needs and the needs of their families,
h) reform the criminal justice system by providing better for the needs of the victims of crimes, protecting the innocent, administering justice fairly, striving to rehabilitate inmates, and eliminating the death penalty,
i) foster a proper stewardship of the earth that God has entrusted to our care.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

While the above issues, as well as many others, have important moral dimensions, Catholics may and do disagree about the most effective public policies for responding to them. How these issues are best addressed and what particular candidates are best equipped to address them requires prudential judgments – defined as circumstances in which people can ethically reach different conclusions. Catholics have an obligation to study, reflect and pray over the relative merits of the different policy approaches proposed by candidates. Catholics have a special responsibility to be well informed regarding the guidance given by the Church pertaining to the moral dimensions of these matters. In the end, Catholics in good conscience can disagree in their judgments about many aspects of the best policies and the most effective candidates.

The Priority of Rejecting Intrinsic Evil

There are, however, some issues that always involve doing evil, such as legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and ‘marriages,’ repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research. A properly formed conscience must give such issues priority even over other matters with important moral dimensions. To vote for a candidate who supports these intrinsic evils because he or she supports these evils is to participate in a grave moral evil. It can never be justified.

Even if we understand the moral dimensions of the full array of social issues and have correctly prioritized those involving intrinsic evils, we still must make prudential judgments in the selection of candidates. In an ideal situation, we may have a choice between two candidates who both oppose public policies that involve intrinsic evils. In such a case, we need to study their approach on all the other issues that involve the promotion of the dignity of the human person and prayerfully choose the best individual.

Limiting Grave Evil

In another circumstance, we may be confronted with a voting choice between two candidates who support abortion, though one may favor some limitations on it, or he or she may oppose public funding for abortion. In such cases, the appropriate judgment would be to select the candidate whose policies regarding this grave evil will do less harm. We have a responsibility to limit evil if it is not possible at the moment to eradicate it completely.

The same principle would be compelling to a conscientious voter who was confronted with two candidates who both supported same-sex unions, but one opposed abortion and destructive embryonic research while the other was permissive in these regards. The voter, who himself or herself opposed these policies, would have insufficient moral justification voting for the more permissive candidate. However, he or she might justify resorting to a write-in vote or abstaining from voting at all in this case, because of a conscientious objection.

In 2004 a group of United States Bishops, acting on behalf of the USCCB and requesting counsel about the responsibilities of Catholic politicians and voters, received a memo from the office of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, which stated: “A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason.

Time for Catholics to Exercise Moral Leadership

The number of Catholics and the percentage of Catholics in the United States have never been greater. There has never been a moment in our nation’s history when more Catholics served in elective office, presided in our courts or held other positions of power and authority. It would be wrong for us to use our numbers and influence to try to compel others to accept our religious and theological beliefs. However, it would be equally wrong for us to fail to be engaged in the greatest human rights struggle of our time, namely the need to protect the right to life of the weakest and most vulnerable.

We need committed Catholics in both major political parties to insist upon respect for the values they share with so many other people of faith and good will regarding the protection of the sanctity of human life, the upholding of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman as the foundation of family life, as well as the protection of religious liberty and conscience rights. It is particularly disturbing to witness the spectacle of Catholics in public life vocally upset with the Church for teaching what it has always taught on these moral issues for 2,000 years, but silent in objecting to the embrace, by either political party, of the cultural trends of the past few decades that are totally inconsistent with our nation’s history of defending the weakest and most vulnerable.

Thank you for taking time to consider these reflections on applying the moral principles that must guide our choices as voters. We are called to be faithful Catholics and loyal Americans. In fact, we can only be good citizens if we allow ourselves to be informed by the unchanging moral principles of our Catholic faith.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bishops vs heretical politicians. Who will you vote for?


In recent weeks we have witnessed an unprecedented tactical move by many US bishops regarding "Catholic" politicians and abortion. If this doesn't tell us something then we are not paying attention very well. It seems that many Catholics are considering voting for the Obama-Biden camp this coming election. In my opinion, and also the opinion of many others, this would be a grave immoral mistake. We know that Obama is pro-abortion, and so is his heretic running mate Joe Biden. In recent interviews he, as well as other "Catholic" politicians like Nancy Pelosi have tried to justify their heretical pro-abortion voting records.

Archbishop Charles Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver recently had this to say on the matter, "Modern biology knows exactly when human life begins," they explained, "at the moment of conception."

"Religion has nothing to do with it," the prelates continued. "People might argue when human 'personhood' begins -- though that leads public policy in very dangerous directions -- but no one can any longer claim that the beginning of life is a matter of religious opinion."

"In his interview, the senator observed that other people with strong religious views disagree with the Catholic approach to abortion. It’s certainly true that we need to acknowledge the views of other people and compromise whenever possible -- but not at the expense of a developing child’s right to life.

"Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil. It always involves the intentional killing of an innocent life, and it is always, grievously wrong."

The bishops of Denver said that if Biden accepts the teaching of the Church that life begins at conception, as he spoke of in his interview, "then he is not merely wrong about the science of new life; he also fails to defend the innocent life he already knows is there."

They closed with this remark, "We need to put an end to Roe and the industry of permissive abortion it enables. Otherwise all of us -- from senators and members of Congress, to Catholic laypeople in the pews -- fail not only as believers and disciples, but also as citizens." Reported by Zenit.org



I also wanted to point a statement made by Pope Benedict regarding the level of moral issues. It seems that many people are trying to equate the Iraq war, US foreign policy and other issues with the grave immorality of abortion. This is nothing sheer of pure nonsense. For those who are thinking they can justify voting for Obama please read the following statement sent by the then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) to Cardinal McCarrick in 2004. I have bold typed a few important texts that I find to be of utmost importance. This document is easily found many places on the internet. I found this one on the Priests For Life website. Please don't fool yourself into thinking that other issues are as important as this one. The final paragraph of this is often used as a proof text to go ahead and vote for pro-abortion candidates. Please read it carefully. It says there must be some proportionate reasons to do so. It seems that many Catholics are using this last paragraph to justify their endorsements of pro-abortion candidates. Going by the criterion laid out in this document, you are going to have to spin somethings to justify a proportionate reason to vote pro-death. It is quite clear that Ratzinger was referring to a situation where there are no other options available to vote for, such as 2 pro-abortion candidates. Then you would have to vote for the lessor of 2 evils. In the case of the upcoming election this is clearly not the case. Fr. John Corapi has a great video that is well worth viewing. You can find it here.

I also have put the entire text of Fr. Corapi's entire article at the bottom of this post.. He has given permission to distribute his article in any form.

Jimmy Akin also wrote a nice article that is posted on Catholic.com regarding what is proportional and what is not. He sums up his article with this, "Make no mistake: Abortion is the preeminent moral issue of our time. It is the black hole that out-masses every other issue. Presenting any other issues as if they were proportionate to it is nothing but smoke and mirrors."


[Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]

Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion

General Principles

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).

2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4. Apart from an individual's judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifCouncil for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.


Go to Zenit.org for full articles on these issues.

DEATH WISH!
THE IMPENDING SUICIDE OF A ONCE GREAT NATION
©2008 REV. JOHN A. CORAPI, SOLT, STD
www.fathercorapi.com


A large number of endangered, unwanted, and unborn children held a town hall meeting
on the 4th of July--alarmed at the brutal and untimely killing of millions of their brothers
and sisters in recent years. That the murderous war waged on them had the full force and
respectability of the law made their plight all the more terrifying.

Their complaint was humble and it was simple. They were not distressed by rising gas
prices, or the deteriorating economy in general. They were not even frightened by the
exponential increase of natural disasters. The threat of global warming or global terrorism
did not greatly disturb them.

They had become an endangered species, and little had been done to answer their
terrified and silent screams from the womb. They decided that the barbaric treatment that
they and their fellow unwanted unborn human beings have had to endure for perilous
decades was unconscionable and unbearable. They cried out to their Creator for
inspiration and protection, and then unanimously they put forth a declaration. It began as
follows:

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the
political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE
CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH
CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY
AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS….”

THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG
THESE IS LIFE!

The first and pre-eminent right is the right to life. This truth the Founding Fathers were
sure of, and anyone with any common sense at all is equally sure of it. 232 years after the
Declaration of Independence was signed the amount of common sense that seems to be
operative in many spheres of influence—most notably the courts and the political arena--
can easily be poured into a very small thimble.

The United States of America seems to have a death wish, and we have traveled far down
the road to having that wish realized.

When law divorces itself from common sense and spawns the illegitimate offspring of
distortions of law, resulting in illegal laws—based neither on the natural law nor divine
law--this undermines law itself, generating disdain for the law. Erosion of trust in the
courts, or the system in general, is inevitable.

The genesis of the death wish is rooted in the fall of man that we see in the Book of
Genesis. The substance of the fall is wrapped up in Lucifer’s pride, transferred to Adam
and Eve—“You can be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The unholy, yet inevitable,
consequence of that pride is disobedience—eating the forbidden fruit. The ultimate end is
death, as God said it would be. That’s the way it was in the beginning. That’s the way it
is now. That’s the way it will be until time breathes forth it’s last moment.

The prototypical sin is pride, the pride that seeks to exalt the creature above the Creator:
“I can be like God.” Then, subjectively and arbitrarily, man tries to assert himself,
imagining that he knows what’s good and evil for himself without reference to God and
God’s law. This was the fall of the angels and the fall of man. The attempt by creatures to
usurp what is only the province of God. Only God knows what is good for His creation.

In recent years it took the form of a self-inflicted heart wound when some dissident
Catholics rejected the teaching of the Church, a teaching that clearly held that artificial
contraception is intrinsically evil. Then, as Pope Paul VI had warned, it metastasized into
abortion. From abortion it degenerated even further into partial-birth abortion. It was then
a short and easy step to infanticide.

The exclamation point at the end of the death wish is that now there is yet another
candidate for the office of president of the United States who has in an extraordinary way
done everything possible to breathe life into all of the barbaric elements of the death
wish. He and his party make no apologies for their support of abortion, partial-birth
abortion, and even infanticide. It’s hard to believe that we have degenerated to the point
that we’ll murder a helpless baby should it escape the violence of an abortion and be born
alive. Can a Catholic vote for such persons? We are told, “yes” for a “proportionate
reason.” What, I might ask, is the proportionate reason so weighty as to excuse
supporting those responsible for what is tantamount to genocide?

The judges and politicians that support such barbaric practices are truly guilty of
genocide: genocide—the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial,
religious, national, or social group. “What is the group so targeted?” you might ask. The
group is unwanted, unborn children--tens of millions of them.

The Supreme Court justices that gave us Roe v. Wade will have to plead temporary
insanity in the court of history. There will be no defense in the highest Court that is the
judgment seat of almighty God if they do not repent of the incalculable evil they have
wrought.




Yet, despite the life and death importance of this travesty of authentic law, there will be
no serious discussion among political candidates, or anyone else. It is as if society has
been bewitched, blind to the splendor of truth, deaf to the cries of the most innocent, most
vulnerable, and most utterly helpless.

From artificial contraception to abortion to partial-birth abortion, then on to infanticide
we march toward the abyss of oblivion, a society marked for death. Is it any wonder we
can rationalize the killing of the elderly or the sick through euthanasia? The tragic murder
of Terri Schiavo is a logical extension of a morally numb society’s mad march toward its
own suicidal death. She wasn’t sick. She wasn’t dying. They murdered her, starved her to
death--one of the cruelest forms of death. She was innocent, yet subjected to a most cruel
and unusual punishment. Why? Because she was helpless? Because she was too much
trouble, too hard to look at?

As Abraham Lincoln asserted, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author
and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
We are dying by suicide, moral and spiritual suicide, and the moral demise of a nation
almost always precedes the ultimate demise of a nation.

Many of our leaders, political and legal, are reminiscent of the horrid witches in Act 1
Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” chanting shrilly to a morally sick public all too
eager to be confirmed in their sins,

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.”

Good is evil, and evil is good. The truth is a lie and lies are the truth, hover through the
fog of moral relativism and the filthy air of a world gone mad with the madness of sin.

The words of the prophet thunder through the ages, “ Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).

We have inverted the poles of the moral power grid. We have begun to call the negative
pole the positive, and the positive the negative. This inversion of reality begets disaster:
The power fails, the lights go out, darkness falls—and indeed, if your light is darkness,
how deep, how very deep will the darkness be! (cf. Mt 6:23).

This death wish has marched toward its logical and inexorable conclusion
with little opposition from leaders--political, legal, or religious. The world knows the
Catholic Church and any self-respecting and faithful Christian roundly reject abortion
and all of the other nails in the coffin of contemporary society, but the defense of life has
been weak. Weak leadership, whether in society in general, or in the Church in particular,
is punishment for sin. The Old Covenant has examples enough of the Chosen People
being turned over to exile and their enemies because of infidelity. They lamented, “We
have no priest, prophet, or king.” These were taken away because of infidelity. In recent
times large numbers of Catholics and other Christians rejected Pope Paul VI’s landmark
and prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae, on Human Life. A majority of the bishops of
Canada did so publicly, formally, and in writing with their infamous Winnipeg Statement.

The great Archbishop Fulton Sheen lamented bitterly in the 1970s that the prophetic
spirit of Christ had all but been extinguished in the contemporary Church. Today there
are many CEOs, all too few Apostles. Are we afraid of a fight? Do we fear rejection,
misunderstanding, or derision? Are we cowed and intimidated by fallacious notions of
the separation of Church and state? Could we be afraid of persecution? Could we be
afraid of losing our tax-exempt status? Have we declared détente with evil?

The clock is ticking. Midnight is approaching. Time is running out for our nation, a
nation that once was great, and could be great again if enough of us wake up and
renounce this curse of a death wish. Will God turn his friends over to His enemies as He
has done multiple times in the past? Will radical Islam overrun us? Will the planet cook?
Will one too many natural disasters grind us into dust? Will we collapse economically?
All of the above? Perhaps these are all merely effects of the underlying cause—a death
wish that chokes the life out of us.

In the end it is likely that President Abraham Lincoln had it right: “Intoxicated with
unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming
and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” Thus forgetting that we
are one nation under God, we become a nation gone under (President Ronald Reagan).

And, indeed, “If destruction be our lot we ourselves will be its author and finisher. As a
nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

May God grant us the grace to awake from this deadly moral slumber, renounce the death
wish, and live like truly free men and women—in the glorious freedom of the children of
God.

Rev John Corapi, SOLT-2008
www.fathercorapi.com

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mary's Perpetual Virginity


The Perpetual Virginity of the Theotokos
By Matthew James Bellisario 2008

It is the teaching of the Church that the Blessed Mother of God is a Virgin, before, during and after the birth of Christ. Dr. Paul Haffber gives an overview of the teachings concerning Mary's virginity. The doctrine of virginitas ante partum teaches the absence of marital relations between Our Lady and St Joseph up to the time of Christ's birth, and therefore affirms the virginal conception. The virginitas in partu includes no rupture of the hymen at the moment of birth, which takes place without any opening of the membranes or damage to Our Lady's body, and without pain. The teaching concerning the virginitas post partum excludes marital relations, and thus the generation of other children, after the birth of Christ. (Haffner 2004) We see in the Sacred Scriptures an emphasis on Mary's virginity before the conception of Christ. We see these examples in the Gospel of Luke 1:27 and 1:34. I want however to focus on the virginitas post partum in this writing.

We know from the Church, which includes the Sacred Scriptures that the Theotokos never had any other children other than Christ Himself. This is not only fitting to her position as the Theotokos, but the constant teaching of the Church. In reading the early Church writings we can see that Christians from the early Church also believed in her perpetual virginity as well. Aside from Tertullian we see a consensus of the early Church on this subject. Saint Hillary of Poitiers was insistent on this point of view in his writings and referred to those who promulgated a teaching contrary to her perpetual virginity as being irreligious individuals, utterly divorced from spiritual teaching. (Haffner 2008)

St. Jerome’s writing On the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mary Against Helvidius (383) proves once again that this teaching is not something invented in the middle ages as some have falsely suggested. I suggest that anyone doubting this teaching read his entire treatise on the subject. We also have many other writings that substantiate this position as well. Didymus the Blind (381) who was head of the catechetical school at Alexandria wrote "for neither did Mary. . . marry anyone, nor did she ever become the mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin." #1073, II, p. 62. St. Augustine (391), St. Cyril of Alexandria (542), St. Peter Chrysologus (405) as well as many others also attested to this position.

Some read the Gospel of Matthew 1:25 and assume that the word “until” means that the Blessed Mother had relations after the birth of Christ. This position has been refuted many times, not only by the Church and her writings, but also by Protestants such as John Calvin. John Calvin wrote in his commentary on Matthew 1:25 regarding the word until this,

“25. And knew her not This passage afforded the pretext for great disturbances, which were introduced into the Church, at a former period, by Helvidius. The inference he drew from it was, that Mary remained a virgin no longer than till her first birth, and that afterwards she had other children by her husband. Jerome, on the other hand, earnestly and copiously defended Mary’s perpetual virginity. Let us rest satisfied with this, that no just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words of the Evangelist, as to what took place after the birth of Christ. He is called first-born; but it is for the sole purpose of informing us that he was born of a virgin.115115 “Il est nomme Premier nay, mais non pour autre raison, sinon afin que nous sachions qu'il est nay d'une mere vierge, et qui jamais n'avoit eu enfant;” — “he is called First-born, but for no other reason than that we may know that he was born of a pure virgin, and who never had had a child.” It is said that Joseph knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son: but this is limited to that very time. What took place afterwards, the historian does not inform us.”

So even though Calvin here appears slow to agree with Jerome on the perpetual virginity, Calvin readily admits that this passage does not address the issue at all. The word until in this passage of Sacred Scripture is not a prooftext of Mary having sexual relations after the birth of Christ.

Some also argue that these biblical passages that refer to the brothers of the Lord, Mt 12: 46-47, Mk 3:31-32, and Lk 8:19 refute that Mary was an ever virgin, and that she bore brothers of Jesus. This also is not the case since there are no words in Aramaic, nor Hebrew that denote a separate word for brother distinct from that of a cousin or step brother. There is nothing in these texts that tell us that these brothers were indeed born of the Blessed Mother. Once again early church writings confirm this. Epiphanius of Salamis in 377 wrote against Mary having intercourse with Joseph. "... the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit" (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]) Not only did Epiphanius believe and promote Mary's perpetual virginity, he also attested to her sinlessness, “How shall Mary, the holy one not possess the kingdom of heaven in the flesh, she who was not lude or wanton, who did not commit adultery, was in no way at fault in what concerned the flesh, but remained unsullied? Saint Athanasius in the 4th century also concurred on Mary's perpetual virginity, writing, "Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary" (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]). Saint Ambrose of Milan also wrote the following regarding the Theotokos, "Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of material virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son" (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388]).

The overwhelming evidence from the early Church is contrary to what Protestants today believe. In fact it is also contrary to what some of their heros of Protestantism believed as well. Heinrich Bullinger a “Reformer” attested to Mary's perpetual virginity as well as her being titled the Mother of God. (O,Carroll 1982) Martin Luther also believed that Mary losing her virginity after the Child's birth should neither be said nor thought. (O'Carroll 1982) saint Peter Chrysologus, a doctor of the Church from the 5th century wrote, “The Virgin conceives, the Virgin brings forth, the Virgin remains thus.” This is entirely in line with Saint Augustine who said As a Virgin she conceived, as a Virgin she brought forth, as a virgin she remained.” O'Carroll in his book titled the Theotokos expounds on Saint Augustine's view of Mary as being the spouse of Christ much like the Church, and therefore remains and possesses perpetual virginity. Ephraem of Syria in the mid 4th century also held this view of Mary as bride of Christ, and maybe the first that we have record of doing so. In his response he also confirms her perpetual virginity, “Thy mother she is, she alone, and thy sister with all; she became thy mother, she became thy sister. She is also thy bride, along with the chaste.” Finally we look to St Gregory of Nyssa another doctor of the Church who writes, “Mary was always a virgin, undefiled, pious and dutiful, the honor of our nature, the gate of our life, the one who won salvation for us.” (O'Carroll 1983) There is quite a bit of Catholic Marian theology in this one passage.

I want to sum up this teaching by looking at a local council of the Church. In 649 the Lateran council was called. It seems that this teaching was well understood in that council since it has in its documents, "If anyone does not in accord with the Holy Fathers acknowledge the holy and ever virgin and immaculate Mary was really and truly the Mother of God, inasmuch as she, in the fullness of time,and without seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit, God in the Word Himself, who before all time was born of God the Father, and without loss of integrity brought Him forth, and after His birth preserved her virginity inviolate, let him be condemned."


Sources

Haffner, Paul. The Mystery of Mary. Chicago, IL: Liturgy Training, 2004.

O'Carroll, Michael. Theotokos. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 1983.

Cory Tucholski and Mary


I ran across this guy's blog today. He has posted a response to my blog article titled The Blessed Mother and Dr. White. I want to respond rather briefly on his comments found here.

Cory wrote....
Matthew Bellasario’s love for Dr. James White, a friend of this blog, is well documented. His attitude toward Dr. White is always charitable, so it is no wonder that Dr. White has never offered a reply to Bellasario’s comments. I will offer an answer for Dr. White in this short article to the latest diatribe by the Catholic Champion.

Bellasario has this to say about Mary:

Does the term co-mediatrix or co-redemtrix imply we are equating Mary as a fourth person of the Trinity? Obviously not, because the term does not imply anything of the sort. Co means with. If Mary participated in God’s plan of salvation, (which anyone who would deny this fact cannot call themselves a Christian) then she can be titled obviously a co-redemptrix, because she participated in God’s plan. I will say this plainly, it seems that [James] White is just (pardon my French) too damn stupid to understand what co means. Aside from all of this, this terminology has not been defined by the church as of yet.

Cory
Let’s first assume an Arminian perspective on salvation for the sake of argument. By virtue of human free will, we all would participate in our salvation by making a decision to follow Christ. Therefore, are we not all Co-Redeemers in salvation by this logic?

But, like James White, I follow the Reformed view of salvation, which means that salvation is solely God’s work. We mere humans do not participate in it. Whatever you believe about Mary, she was a mere human and not divine. Therefore, she does not participate in salvation in any way–to suggest otherwise is blasphemous.


My response,
Yes he like James White follows a heresy condemned by the Church. I never said Mary was divine as Cory here writes, "Whatever you believe about Mary, she was a mere human and not divine." Well we all know that you do not have to be divine to participate in God's redemptive plan of salvation. Anytime we pray or lead someone to the faith we become participants of God's plan to save other people. So his argument here is nothing more than pure rhetoric.


He goes on..

Me..
White says that it is blasphemous to ask the Blessed Mother to pray for us, to intercede for us. Is it? Then I ask why in the world does every ancient Liturgy have petitions to her? You see, White knows that when it comes to the Church and her Liturgies he has no defense of for his outlandish heretical rants. The Liturgies of the Church show us plainly that Christians of the early centuries gave the Blessed Theotokos praise, and they asked for her intercession.

Livias in the 6th century wrote, “Raised to heaven, she remains for the human race an unconquerable rampart, interceding for us before her Son and God.” Theoteknos of Livias, Assumption 291(ante AD 560),in THEO,187

Cory

Sixth century isn’t “early.” Bellasario offers nothing in his entire post earlier than this quote to back up his assertion that the early Christians paid special attention to Mary. Prayer to Mary, and the Marian dogmas, are simply not traceable to apostolic times in any form. I have no doubt that Mary was held in special reverence, but I doubt very much that prayers were offered to her the way that the Catholic Champion suggests. Dr. White need not offer a defense for something that the other side has not sufficiently established as a fact.

Me..
What? 6th century is not early? Says who? I find it quite amusing that the only argument this guy can provide is that this writing just isn't early enough for him. Yet none of these guys have anything from this period attesting to their heretical beliefs. I have given a source from the 500s attesting to a Catholic practice and it just isn't old enough for this guy. Is this the best this guy can do? Well as we know that is about par for the likes of James White's fans don't we?


Lets continue...
I wrote....
Now lets also call out James White on his video regarding the liturgy and Transubstantiation in which I posted responses to a few months back? I flat out called him on his erroneous conclusions he formed from his “12 century” arguments on the tabernacle, the host elevation etc. He loves to attack Catholics and mock them on his blog and his radio show, yet he cannot defend his own foolish arguments. Where is he and his arrogant response on this? We are waiting.


Cory writes..

If Bellasario is so anxious to call James White out, why doesn’t he call The Dividing Line? If Dr. White’s assertions are so foolish and easily refuted, why not embarrass him on his own podcast? That would prove once and for all that James White is not worthy of as many followers as he has and it would show all of his listeners that Catholicism is the way to go. Alas, I doubt that that will ever happen because we all know how it would really turn out and who the loser would be. We know that Dr. White would make Matthew Bellasario look like a complete idiot, and look good doing it.

My response.
I have posted my video. I don't need to go on his radio show to refute White. My video is on the web for all to see. By the way, this guy can't even spell my name correctly either.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Riddler strikes again! Turretin Fan's (The man who is afraid to use his real name) disgusting article on the Tabernacle



I had to shake my head in digust when I saw a post on Turretin Fan's blog regarding the tabernacle. Now Tf is going to argue on semantics on whether a type of container was used to store the consecrated host in Churches before the 12 century. Here are the facts. Whether or not the "container" is called a tabernacle or not is irrelevant in Dr. White's video, since he tells us that there was no such existing container before the 12th century. TF tries to twist both of the author's writings that I posted to substantiate Dr. White's asinine claims that no such container existed before the 12 century, because quite simply Dr. White does not have the guts to defend his false position. Quite frankly it doesn't matter what the container was called before the 12th century. The fact of the matter is that the consecrated wine and bread, "The body and Blood of Christ" were stored in these ancient containers in the Churches by at least the 4th century.

Tf has once again proven that he just can't rationalize a logical argument. He instead persists with his sophistry that makes no sense whatsoever in regards to Dr. White's argument. Dr. White attempted to say that there was no such container in any of the Churches before the 12 century, which is complete idiocy. He did this in order to justify rejecting belief in transubstantiation before the 12th century. As both authors I posted contend, at least by the 4th century there were containers called by various names that housed the consecrated elements. Therefore this makes Dr. White's claims inaccurate since even though the container was called several names, which I also spoke about in my video, it served the same purpose. Its purpose was to house the consecrated elements, which once again proves the Church believed that Christ was truly present after the consecration in the early Church. Nothing that TF posted on this to "vindicate" White. Please read the full article and not just one part posted by this guy who refuses to believe anything of the true Gospel. For instance Turretin Fan completely ignores this part of the writing which he uses to defend Dr. White.

"Whatever may be true of the early centuries, it is certain that from the fourth century onward the practice of reserving the Holy Eucharist in churches became general. The form or shape of the receptacles in which it was enclosed, the location of these receptacles, and the names given to them, differed in the various epochs and in the various countries. One of the earliest statements concerning preservation of the Holy Eucharist in churches, leaving aside the passage of Tertullian quoted above, is found in the Apostolic Constitutions, a compilation of ecclesiastical laws and ordinances attributed to the Apostles, but in reality composed toward the end of the fourth century. In the part which contains a description of the liturgical services, is found this passage: "After all the faithful of both sexes have received Communion the deacons gather what is left over and carry it to the Pastophorion." A similar passage is found in the commentary on Ezechiel by St. Jerome, the learned Biblical scholar of the fourth and fifth centuries. It says: "The sacred place, where the body of Christ is kept, who is the true bridegroom of the Church and of our soul, is called Thalamus or Pastophorion." Hence there was in the churches a place or receptacle in which the Holy Eucharist was kept— the Pastophorion."


So as you can see, TF and White's weak argument here is once again refuted. This guy just cannot get his head around a real argument, and constantly uses faulty logic in his writings. I have no use to converse with this man any further. Someone who will go to any lengths to defend someone without any regard for the full text given on the subject is not a rational man and I have no use to converse with any further. You can read his latest excuse for an argument on his blog (Thoughts of Francis Turretin). I know, this is not a prudent way to admonish someone right? Well I am sick and tired of these people spitting on the face of Christ and calling themselves Christian. I find it also completely reprehensible that this Turretin will not use his real name and he hides behind someone else's name rather than his own, for obvious fear that everyone will see what an ass he really is. I am truly trying to be charitable here folks. I had to rewrite this twice to tone it down a bit. But when you see this slippery, slimy, split tongued method of twisting words, contexts of arguments, etc, to try and vindicate someone who made obvious false claims, I just can't sit still for it. Pope Pius the XII had this to say on those who refuse the true Gospel, and refuse to profess the true faith.

MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI

excerpt

22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free."[17] As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith.[18] And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered - so the Lord commands - as a heathen and a publican. [19] It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.



We saw the dishonesty of Turretin fan and his side-clown Gene Bridges when they both tried to tell us that the Catholic church endorsed the "withdrawal" method. Then we saw them both lie to everyone who has read the posts on the internet regarding the posts they put forth regarding the subject. He and Bridges were proven wrong over and over and yet they refused to admit it. You can go back and read the whole argument on the subject of contraception in which I put there own words to the test. Then they both denied the meanings of the words Bridges wrote earlier in a post which I presented as evidence. This guy will go to any lengths to vindicate his and Dr. White's heresy, and frankly it makes me sick.


Now on to Dr. White. He loves to mock Catholics on his website. His latest attack has been mounted against Patrick Madrid. You can visit White's blog at his AOMIN page to witness this latest barrage of attacks. He recently called out Steve Ray to a debate as if he was some kind of unbeatable gunslinger in an old west movie. This guy truly thinks he is God's gift to "Christian" apologetics. Yet when I have proven that the premise of White's video was completely off base, he sends his minion Turretin (the one who can't even use his real name), to defend his bad argument. A quality bunch of guys you have there White. You endorse a guy who is afraid to use his real name. That says a lot about this group of White's doesn't it? Need I say more? It is real easy to shoot your mouth off online when you hide behind a false image isn't it?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Graven Images? Not!


It is disturbing to read many of the Protestant blogs where they attack the incarnation of Our Lord. Recently on many of the "Reformed" blogs we see this insistence on blaspheming Our Lord and His incarnation by attacking images that give Him glory and praise. In fact the theology that lies behind such images gives support to the incarnation of Christ as well as His divine and human natures. Since the earliest centuries of the Church we see images of Christ and the Theotokos as being a very substantial part of Christian worship. I have visited in person the catacombs outside of Rome (St. Callixtus) where there are ancient images of the faith depicted by Christians well before the time of Constantine. Archaeologists confirm that depictions of Christ being baptized in the Jordan, and the multiplication of the bread and fish, as well as other images date from the 1st half of the 3rd century. (Barrufa 2000)

Many heretics like James White continue in their iconoclastic mentalities which was condemned by the Church over and over again throughout the centuries. Look at the 7th Ecumenical Council for one example among many. Can these images be graven? In other words, do we Catholics or Orthodox Christians worship these images as if they were God? I think not, this would be a gross distortion of the Christian faith. God tells us not to worship false gods. He tells us not to make images and worship them as if they were gods, or if they represented a false god, which people would worship in place of the One True God. This of course has never been the case with Catholicism, nor Orthodoxy. We can read some of the Early Fathers who wrote about this very subject. For someone like James White to constantly attack images of Christ puts him clearly at odds with Christianity, and whether he wants to admit or not, makes him an enemy of Christ and the Gospel.

St John Damscene said in the 8th century, long before the iconoclasts of the Reformation,

"It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His [9] form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour. Have no fear or anxiety; worship is not all of the same kind. Abraham worshipped the sons of Emmor, impious men in ignorance of God, when he bought the double cave for a tomb. (Gen. 23.7; Acts 7.16) Jacob worshipped his brother Esau and Pharao, the Egyptian, but on the point of his staff.* (Gen 33.3) He worshipped, he did not adore. Josue and Daniel worshipped an angel of God; (Jos. 5.14) they did not adore him. The worship of latreia is one thing, and the worship which is given to merit [10] another."


Similary these hecklers also condemn any other glory given to God through visible manifestations, such as relics or any other image which would lift the heart to God. Again we see early writings condemning this mentality. White and those like him throw stones at God and His servants as the unbelievers did. He follows those Jews who rejected Our Lord and attacked the incarnation of the God-man, yet all the while proclaiming himself as some preacher of the Gospel. He is indeed the one whom Sacred Scripture warns us about. Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."

Bishop of Neapolis in Cyprus wrote in the 7th century,

If you, O Jew, reproach me saying that I adore the wood of the Cross as God, why do you not reproach Jacob, who worshipped on the point of his staff (epi to akron thV rabdou)? Now it is evident that he was not worshipping wood. So with us; we are worshipping Christ through the Cross, not the wood of the Cross.......Abraham worshipped the impious men who sold him the cave, and bent his knee to the ground, yet did not worship them as gods. Jacob praised Pharao, an impious idolator, yet not as God, and he fell down at the feet of Esau, yet did not worship him as God. And again, How does God order us to worship the earth and mountains? "Exalt the Lord your God and worship Him upon His holy mountain, and adore His footstool," (Ps. 99.9, 5) that is, the earth. For "heaven is My throne," He says, "and the earth My footstool." (Is. 66.1) How was it that Moses worshipped Jothor, an idolator, (Ex. 18.7) and Daniel, Nabuchodonosor? How can you reproach me because I honour those who honour God and show Him service? Tell me, is it not fitting to worship the saints, rather than to throw stones at them as you do? Is it not right to worship them, rather than to attack them, and to fling your benefactors into the mire? If you loved God, you would be ready to honour His servants also. And if the bones of the just are unclean, why were the bones of Jacob and [45] Joseph brought with all honour from Egypt? (Gen. 50.5ff, Ex. 13.19) How was it that a dead man arose again on touching the bones of Eliseus? (II Kgs. 13.21) If God works wonders through bones, it is evident that He can work them through images, and stones, and many other things, as in the case of Eliseus, who gave his staff to his servant, saying, "With this go and raise from the dead the son of the Sunamitess." (II Kgs. 4.29) With his staff Moses chastised Pharao, parted the waters, struck the rock, and drew forth the stream. And Solomon said, "Blessed is the wood by which justice cometh." (Wis. 14.7) Eliseus took iron out of the Jordan with a piece of wood. (II Kgs. 6.4-7) And again, the wood is the wood of life, and the wood of Sabec, that is, of remission. Moses humbled the serpent with wood and saved the people. (Num. 21.9) The blossoming rod in the tabernacle confirmed the priesthood of Aaron. (Num. 17.8) Perhaps, O Jew, you will tell me that God prescribed to Moses beforehand all the things of the testimony in the tabernacle. Now, I say to you that Solomon made a great variety of things in the temple in carvings and sculpture, which God had not ordered him to do. (II Chron. 3.1ff) Nor did the tabernacle of the testimony contain [46] them, nor the temple which God showed to Ezechiel, (Ez. 40.47ff) nor was Solomon to be blamed in this. He had had these sculptured images made for the glory of God as we do. You, too, had many and varied images and signs in the Old Testament to serve as a reminder of God, if you had not lost them through ingratitude. For instance, the rod of Moses, the tablets of the law, the burning bush, the rock giving forth water, the ark containing the manna, the altar set on fire from above (purenqeon), the lamina bearing the divine name, the ephod, the tabernacle overshadowed by God. If you had prepared all these things by day and by night, saying, "Glory be to Thee, O Almighty God, who hast done wonders in Israel through all these things"; if through all these ordinances of the law, carried out of old, you had fallen on your knees to adore God, you would see that worship is given to Him by images."

Even after these admonishments by the Church and Her faithful, we still have those who attack Christ and His incarnation to this very day. Saint John Damascene could have written this to James White 12 centuries ago. Why then does he and other heretics like him continue in their God-hating ways?

Taken from..

APOLOGIA OF ST JOHN DAMASCENE AGAINST
THOSE WHO DECRY HOLY IMAGES.

"Shame upon you, wicked devil, for grudging us the sight of our Lord's likeness and our sanctification through it. You would not have us gaze at His saving sufferings nor wonder at His condescension, neither contemplate His miracles nor praise His almighty power. You grudge the saints the honour God gives to them. You would not have us see their glory put on record, nor allow us to become imitators of their fortitude and faith. We will not [60] obey your suggestions, wicked and man-hating devil. Listen to me, people of all nations, men, women, and children, all of you who bear the Christian name: If any one preach to you something contrary to what the Catholic Church has received from the holy apostles and fathers and councils, and has kept down to the present day, do not heed him. Do not receive the serpent's counsel, as Eve did, to whom it was death. If an angel or an emperor teaches you anything contrary to what you have received, shut your ears. I have refrained so far from saying, as the holy apostle said, "Let him be anathema," (Gal. 1.8) in the hope of amendment."