Our sister church here in Moscow (Trinity Reformed Church) adopted a superb statement on Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Reformed Catholicity. You can read it here.
The thing that blows my mind is that the statement really mentions nothing of the major theological divide: the great solas of the Reformation (save sola scritpura, which was pointed out clearly). It only alludes to salvation, that major issue, thusly: "Likewise, we warn all the faithful to flee those doctrines or practices which, whether in doctrine or in practice, undermine the fundamental and sovereign graciousness of God in salvation." Now, I understand that this statement is merely a statement, but it seems weak to me on the major substantive issues of the Reformation, i.e., salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Those aren't the substantive issues of the Reformation at all. Not even close. Only one of those is even denied by the Roman Catholic Church: faith alone. And we all know why the Catholic Church denies it. Because the Bible denies it.
But the other things you listed are all plainly affirmed within the Council of Trent itself, quite unambiguously.
The real substantive issue of the Reformation had to do with authority (the Bible alone, as interpreted by each individual, versus the infallible authority of the Church to bind and loose). Other issues had to do with the canon, Apostolick Succession, the Sacraments, Iconography, &c. To frame the debate between Catholicism and Protestantism as being "Protestants believe in grace alone and Catholics don't" is inaccurate and horribly simplistic.
I didn't find the document in question very helpful at all, but I wasn't exactly its intended recipient either.
If one single Augustinian monk can, on his very own authority, remove entire sections of the Bible, question all Christian dogmas prior to his birth, excommunicate the bishop of Rome, redefine nearly every aspect of Christianity, then nothing stops every single other Christian from doing the same exact thing whenever they want to. And indeed this is what has happened. Like it or not, you will never dream of excluding evangelicals who do this sort of thing all the time.
Since the Reformation, all doctrines are now reformable, and that includes even the very doctrines that the Reformers stood for. And since every individual can say, "Here I stand, I can do no other," and be hailed as a great saint for his stand, the only guaranteed end is chaos. You've got 500 million people, all stating (in ironic unison) "Here I stand, I can do no other," followed by 500 million different statements of belief.
Mr. Hodges, those slogans of the Reformation were slogans precisely because the Reformed defined themselves by them over against the Roman church. The Romanists certainly do and always have believed in grace and in the glory of God, but not in the same way as the Reformers meant. I'm not trying to limit the issues of the Reformation to those I mentioned, I'm just saying that the statement doesn't focus in on what some historians call the material cause of the Reformation - how the sinner is reconciled to a holy God, which is what the solas all focus in on and which is related very closely to the issue of authority.
Incidentally, I'm not insinuating doctrinal similarities between Saumur and the FV, but the situational similarities seem rich.
And yet, Protestantism remains subject to these revisionist historians with agendas to this day. Pretending that ancient Christianity is anything like Protestantism is nothing short of hilarious. And the revisionist work necessary to paint the early Church as a motley of pluralist groups without dogma is about as agenda-oriented as you can get.
"You must remember, in all your comments of supposed inescapable protestant relativism, that it's the Romanists who keep finding themselves having to own up to document forgeries. Now why is that?"
Because some of the ancient documents of the Church were forged. But even ignoring all of those, I am not in any way led to the Protestant conclusion of relativism and pluralism. Protestants don't have to "own up" to any forgeries because what Protestants believe can and does change on a daily basis without affecting their religion. Why? Because it doesn't matter what you believe as a Protestant. Which is what makes the "Rome taught error" argument so ridiculous. Every Protestant believes that all Christian religions teach truth and error.
"So the Catholic Church does not teach that Christ is re-sacrificed?"
"And you're for a representative understanding of the nature of the eaucharist?"
Nope. I said re-presentation, not representation. That is a substantial difference. Go back and re-read my original post.
I said that the Mass is a sacrifice, and indeed it is. I said that it is not a new sacrifice, but that it is the same sacrifice, as your wonderful quote shows. Nowhere in any of the quote that you gave does it say anything about Christ being re-sacrificed. Anywhere. The official teaching is that the Mass and Calvary are one and the same, which makes the statement that "the Catholic Church says Calvary is not enough" simply false.
You should stop putting words in the Popes mouths that aren't there.
Christian, it does matter what the Catholic Church teaches if we're talking about what the Catholic Church teaches. You cannot condemn them for teaching a very specific error, and then turn around and say that it doesn't matter what they teach because you know what they really teach. The teaching is that the Mass is the same as the Sacrifice of Calvary, re-presented for us. You claim that the Catholic Church teaches that "Calvary is not enough" is false. For us, the Mass is Calvary. Jesus does not suffer anew at the Mass. He is not killed again at the Mass. Your statement about what Catholics teach contradicts Catholic teaching quite plainly.
That's because no change occurred. The Passover lamb for the Hebrews was a type and a shadow. We don't have types and shadows any more; we have the real thing: Jesus' flesh and blood. Most Protestants, by their own admission are still toying with symbols.
"Transub is the force behind the RCC's argument against the validity of the Anglican Eucharist, as is explained in the quote above. The argument goes like this: even though Anglican believe they're representing the sacrifice of the cross, it's still no good because they don't believe in RC transub; and therefore the sacrifice isn't real enough by RC standards. At least that's how the RC's explained it in the article quoted above."
You are just plain wrong. The validity of the Anglican Eucharist is null because they lack proper orders first and foremost. A belief in transubstantiation is not required for the validity of a Eucharist, as the Eastern Churches have valid Eucharists without this belief.
Huh? Are you talking about where the priest breaks the Host? There is no discussion of violence in the article you posted. I know Protestants have somewhat of a tradition of adding extra words to texts and claiming they were there all along, but you're really mystifying me with this one.
"Now we can call it a re-presentation, but that's what the Anglicans call it"
No they don't.
"...and the RC beef with the Anglicans' version of representation is that it doesn't really do the sacrifice over again. At some point the semantic dismissal has to give way to the reality of the apologetic distinction.
What are you talking about? If you had actually read Apostolicæ Curæ you would know that Leo XIII's main argument was about the nullity of Anglican orders. That was the main deal. On top of that there was the issue that so many evangelical Anglicans denied all the "catholicised" Tractarian teachings of the late nineteenth century Anglican church. Many of them still viewed the 39 Articles as authoritative and the 39 articles rejected the Mass in all its forms and denied that any true Sacrifice was taking place.
The Passover isn't the Eucharist. The Hebrews did not eat Christ's flesh, as Christ was not Incarnated yet. It was a type, a shadow. You can hang on to the jewish Passover all you want. I'd rather have the real thing, thank you. If you're so insistent that types and shadows are better than the real thing, then go call up your local rabbi. I'm sure they'd love to have a convert.
"But back to my earlier point -- I'm sure David H and SarahL, being RCs, would love to be allowed to interpret RC writings for themselves. (Ironic, but fair enough.) After all, what would a protestant passer-by really know about the subtleties and nuances? And that's reasonable to a point."
By and large, the Church interprets its own teachings in cases where there is ambiguity. Nothing I have said anywhere in this thread is "nuanced" or comprised of "subtleties". I have said nothing that you cannot find in the catechism.
It would be nice actually to know what in the heck sola Scriptura actually is. Apparently, 99% of the Protestant world doesn't even know and no Catholics know, and every time I try to understand the epistemological absurdity of the Bible being torn from the Church that produced it, I am told that I too do not know. Should I be surprised. Sola Scriptura appears to be the most esoteric teaching in the entire world, with only fourteen people who actually know what it means.
But nobody can define it. Nobody can say what it is. They can only say what it isn't. You can attack its moving target all day long, but you'll never know where it is or what it looks like. The only thing you know is that it's not that. Jolly good then.
"Trent, XXII, Canon III: If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is... a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice... let him be anathema."
Amen and amen. Not a bare commemoration; even you agree with that, as per our last conversation, no?
One cannot, by the power of his own will, will himself to be saved (as in Protestantism). God wills that our salvation be accomplished by the Sacraments. Christ's death is sufficient for all, but its benefits are not immediately available to every single person in the entire universe just because. Our salvation is found in eating Christ's flesh and blood in the Mass. And the teaching is that the Mass is the same sacrifice as that of Calvary. Hence, Calvary is our salvation. This is basic Baltimore Catechism stuff, LongShot.
Huh? Violence done to what flesh? Please provide the quote. The article says nothing about "violence done to the flesh". The only time violence appears in the article is in this sentence: "It is rather strange on the other hand that, in spite of his belief in the literal meaning of the words of consecration, Luther, after a violent 'nocturnal disputation with the devil', in 1521, should have repudiated the Mass. But it is exactly these measures of violence that best show to what a depth the institution of the Mass had taken root by that time in Church and people. How long had it been taking root?"
"I'm all for allowing for subtleties and nuances to be explained by sympathetic apologists, just as long as those nuances aren't the exact opposite of the thing they're sopposed to be expounding upon."
Right, like James supposedly teaching that we are justified by faith alone, when he says we are not justified by faith alone. That's always a funny one.
Almost passable as Reformed? Reformed is sola fide. Where have I ever espoused anything like that anywhere in any of my posts at any time? Try to find a single place where I have done so. The error that bothers me most is when I hear Protestants who listen to Protestants say, "Rome denies that grace is necessary to be saved," or, "Rome teaches that man's unaided works merit his salvation. The Protestant teaches stands in sharp contrast to this." Those claims are simply false, and even the most cursory reading of the Council of Trent would reveal this. It is not "Reformed" to claim that God's grace is necessary for salvation. It is not "Reformed" to say that man can do nothing of his own will to please God apart from God's grace alone. Both of those are plainly affirmed by the Catholic Church.
"Back in the day, I dare say David would have been on the receiving end."
So, that whole Reformation thing, just a waste of time? Justification, no biggie, so long as their clueless little heads were dampened by Galatian apostates when they were babies?
Now we're back into the "I do not for the life of me get your point" phase.
So I keep reading (and enjoying) the serial novel, confident it is The Key to Everything.
And rightly so, but we're not killing Jesus over and over again, so your comparison still rings as hollow as it did the first time.
"Rome can continue to say 're-presentation' for centuries to come and deny the violence that must necessarily occur if one accepts transubstantiation."
Transubstantiation is not violence. You may not like John VI, and that's fine, but quit claiming to be a "Bible Christian" if you think His teaching is "too hard". Maybe you should, in typical Protestant fashion, remove the books from the Bible that you don't like. The Gospel according to St. John would be a good place to start. All that "looney [sic]" stuff would be a lot more easily refuted without those passages about the Eucharist being necessary for salvation.
1. Atheists argue against God based on the problem of evil.
2. The way Jehovah's Witnesses argue against the Trinity.
3. The way that materialists argue against miracles.
All he's doing is saying the following: "I don't care what your church teaches about the mystery of the Eucharist, it must conform to my rational understanding of location in time and space."
Jesus is in Heaven. He is not killed again. He does not suffer anew. Nevertheless, the Scriptures teach that we must eat His Flesh to have eternal life. Christian rejects these Scriptures because he cannot understand how it is possible. But you're not supposed to be able to understand these things. They're mysteries. And we do not subject God to our rational limitations.
Again, maybe he should re-read John VI and other passages whose teachings he finds hard and pray about it. I think that's actually pretty sound advice. He says, "But we don't throw Scripture and reason out in order to believe this." No, he does throw Scripture out until he has texts that conform to his reason. That's the sum of his argument: I don't get it; it must not be true.
Christian, what you keep ignoring, almost intentionally, is the specific teachings of the Catholic Church that reconcile our position with the epistle to the Hebrews. When I reiterate the Church's teaching that Jesus is in Heaven, He does not suffer anew, and He is not killed again, you simply retort that that's impossible. It's contrary to reason you say. No, it's called a mystery. I could call the Trinity contrary to reason (which it is) and you would be right to say, "No, it is a mystery."
Out of curiosity, since we know that John VI is a hard teaching, what is so hard about believing that a cracker is a cracker and a cup of grape juice is a cup of grape juice? Is that really a hard teaching? Sounds pretty straight-forward to me.
"Instead, you allow Scripture to interpret and inform Scripture. Try it, you'll like it."
Oh, that's a great idea. You don't suppose if I tried that I'd end up with 30,000 religions all of whom claim to teach the Scriptures alone and yet disagree on what the Scriptures principally teach regarding even elementary doctrines like baptism, do you?
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