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Old 02-23-2012, 08:37 AM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

On another thread, the following argument was made:

Quote:
As a Catholic, you are to embrace "with docility" what you are taught by the RCC - according to the status of each. You CANNOT say (and be Catholic) "this seems more acceptable than that." In doing so, you have abandoned Catholicism and have become, in a sense, Protestant - embracing accountability.
Why does the Bible Alone not lead many to UNITY?

Is this true? If because one is to embrace teaching with docility, does it mean that one cannot have a field of opinion?

Let us look at docility and its primary definition:

1. Ready and willing to be taught; teachable.

docility - definition of docility by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Therefore docility by its primary definition is not antithetical to accountability. You can't be a Christian if you are not teachable, that is, docile by its primary definition.

I do find that the other portions are worth exploring, however, such as whether the RCC doctrine gives no room for opinions and that by giving varience one is abandoning Catholicism by Vatican definitions.

Included for consideration:

2 Timothy 3:14
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them


This I think is more to the point. Docility does not necessitate a lack of varience in approach, provided one stays within the bounds of doctrine, and provided the doctrine is sound "knowing from whom you have learned them."

Not every thing that is permitted to be believed is dogma, that is established doctrine:

1. A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.
2. An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.

I believe that the official Vatican position is that the function of theologians is to interpret dogma once it has been proclaimed.

But there are several famous renegade Bishops and Priests and theologians, and certainly many "Catholic" politicians that hold positions that are far from Catholic, who have not been excommunicated or defrocked let alone labeled heretics.

So here is my question: Is it true that no varience is permitted and if not, how much is permitted before one ceases to be a "child of Rome" and starts becoming Protestant?
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

^ I would say simply that the Catholic Church upholds the great importance of CONSCIENCE, but at the same time the need to constantly inform that conscience by the Light of God's Word and the authoritative teaching of the Church.

Once you are convinced of this authoritative teaching you are bound to adhere to it.
For this is in keeping with the Supernatural virtue and gift of Faith in Jesus who taught us that whoever listens to the Church Listens to Him.

Its probably a little more complicated than this but I need to find out more.

God bless you.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:07 AM
Josiah
 
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
On another thread, the following argument was made:


Why does the Bible Alone not lead many to UNITY?

Is this true? If because one is to embrace teaching with docility, does it mean that one cannot have a field of opinion?

Let us look at docility and its primary definition:

1. Ready and willing to be taught; teachable.

docility - definition of docility by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Therefore docility by its primary definition is not antithetical to accountability. You can't be a Christian if you are not teachable, that is, docile by its primary definition.

I do find that the other portions are worth exploring, however, such as whether the RCC doctrine gives no room for opinions and that by giving varience one is abandoning Catholicism by Vatican definitions.

Included for consideration:

2 Timothy 3:14
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them


This I think is more to the point. Docility does not necessitate a lack of varience in approach, provided one stays within the bounds of doctrine, and provided the doctrine is sound "knowing from whom you have learned them."

Not every thing that is permitted to be believed is dogma, that is established doctrine:

1. A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.
2. An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.

I believe that the official Vatican position is that the function of theologians is to interpret dogma once it has been proclaimed.

But there are several famous renegade Bishops and Priests and theologians, and certainly many "Catholic" politicians that hold positions that are far from Catholic, who have not been excommunicated or defrocked let alone labeled heretics.

So here is my question: Is it true that no varience is permitted and if not, how much is permitted before one ceases to be a "child of Rome" and starts becoming Protestant?



Thank you.


IF I may...


Let's begin by quoting from the RCC itself in its official (and binding) Catechism: CCC #87, Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: “He who hears you, hears me”, the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms." To state that the RCC instructs all to embrace what it says "with docility" is ergo factually and officially correct. Indeed, it is to do so regarding the RCC as Jesus. The RCC insists that hearing the RCC IS hearing Jesus. Take clear note of that - what it obviously implies.

Let's look at The Handbook of the Catholic Faith (page 151), "When the Catholic is asked for the substantiation for his belief, the correct answer is: From the teaching authority. This authority consists of the bishops of The Catholic Church in connection with the Catholic Pope in Rome. The faithful are thus freed from the typically Protestant question of 'is it true' and instead rests in quiet confidence that whatever the Catholic Church teaches is the teaching of Jesus Himself since Jesus said, 'whoever hears you hears me'." Read this carefully. Note the words "freed" "it is true" "instead." And note the "reason" for the "confidence" that the Catholic has - it's NOT because the RCC claims that what it teaches is true but flows specifically from this: "... because whatever the Catholic Church teaches IS the teaching of Jesus." Take clear note of that - and what it obviously implies.

Father, I recall a discussion I was having with a Catholic teacher (one of the instructors in the parish's RCIA classes). Sorry, I don't recall specifically what dogma it concerned, but I was seeking to understand the substantiation for it. She looked at me and said, "Josiah - here's what you MUST understand: What the Church says is, by definition, what Jesus says. Would you ask Jesus if what He says is true? Then how silly it is to ask if what the Church says is true - Josiah, to be Catholic, you must accept that there is no difference." This was not at all new or surprising (just more blunt that typical). It is what is drilled into Catholics from birth. I was taught that - over and and over and over - every which way. Now, Father, that does NOT mean that typically, apologetics are missing. I personally think Catholic apologetics are superior to what is typically found in Protestantism (officially anyway), but there is a fundamental difference. In Catholicism, it's true BECAUSE the denomination teaches it, in Protestantism the denomination teaches it because it's true. In Catholicism (as we've seen even here at this website), apologetics is welcomed but irrelevant. Just as you and I would accept what Jesus says (even if He offers no apologetic - simply because it is HE teaching it), so - in exactly the same way and to exactly the same degree - the RC Denomination insists that it has the identical "authority" (the RCC word for unmitigated, divine power) and is to be "heard" in exactly the same way. "Would you ask if Jesus is right? Then why ask if the RCC is right!"


Yes, "docility" CAN mean what you suggest, Father. But note the quotes above. This is NOT simply "be teachable." It is CLEARLY a case of the RCC itself insisting for itself, "embrace what I myself say AS JESUS SPEAKING - i.e. as unaccountable, as exempt from substnatiation. Yes (before Alex notes this), there is variance here: In the RCC, there is truth and then there is truth, how docilicly Catholics are to be depends on the status of the teaching (in practice, this is pretty slippery, note the variance in whether the Sacrament is given to supporters of abortion, for example; how the denomination shouts about contraception and yet seems to give all a "pass" on it). Yes, the denomination "speaking" does have a range of binding to it - which is why this former Catholic notes if something is a teaching or doctrine or dogma.



As to your "turning Protestant" comment, let me share with you, sir, EXACTLY what we were taught. Our Deacon probably did the best job of explaining this. I so recall him speaking of 3 kinds of Catholics (actually, he stressed, only one of them IS Catholic). The first kind (and he said it's a "sad minority") are "Faithful Catholics." These embrace the faith and practice that the Church tells them because the Church tells them. They are faithful to Christ and His Church. What makes them Catholics is that they embrace that the Church is His own and cannot err, it is His Voice to us. Then there are "Cafeteria Catholics." These are people who set themselves above Christ, making themselves the lord. They reject the Church because they hold that it can be wrong - even in binding matters!!!!! So, THEY decide what's right and what isn't. "The Church is right about Real Presence, wrong about contraception!" They view the Church as just another fallible, accountable teacher who may be right and may be wrong. Sadly, he said this is a large element in the Church (and had his own rant against too many Catholic colleges and even seminaries on this point) but said he thought this element is actually shrinking, not as many Cafeteria Catholics as when he was in college. The third is what struck me most of all. He called these "Protestants Hiding in the Church." That's that exact and consisting term he used for the "greatest threat to the Church since gnosticism." He argued this is the fastest growing element in the Church. These are similar to Cafeteria Catholics (although they often AGREE with the Church MORE), but these are people who embrace what they regard as true. They too are lords over the Church rather than subjects to the Lord Jesus. They hold all the Church says as accountable (thus, they are actually PROTESTANTS, he stressed - NOT Catholics at all), they look into things, and end up saying, "I think the Church is correct." They are believing and doing as the Church teaches BUT FOR THE EXACT WRONG REASON, and in doing so, deny the ecclesiology of the Church, the Authority of the Church. They are simply PROTESTANTS who find themselves agreeing with the RCC more than any other denomination (and they'll leave if that changes). While these often agree with Catholicism more than Cafeteria Catholics, they are far more dangerous, he stressed, and sadly, the fastest growing element in the Church. The Deacon actually told a story about this. Evidently, a true story. There's some university (I don't remember which). It has a school of engineering. A guy from some Arab country was accepted into the school. But suddenly finding freedom, he partied more than studied - and ended up flunking out. Too embarrassed to return home but kicked out of the dorm, he hid in a Catholic Church across the street. For some time, strange things happened. Food disappeared. Odd sounds were heard. Lights came on and off late at night. This went on for some time until "the man was found hiding in the church." The Deacon noted that there are LOTS of PROTESTANTS "hiding" in the Church.

All this just confirms the two quotes offered above. The "docility" of which the Catechism speaks is not "be open." It is "embrace whatever you are told BECAUSE it's the RC Denomination telling you."

BTW, Father, I realized I was a 'Protestant Hiding in the Church.' And, feeling honesty and integrity matter, left. Yes, I told my pastor that I agree with probably 95% of what I was taught - and really didn't have much of a problem with most of the rest. He laughed and said, "Josiah - that's a whole lot better than most Catholics." He's right, of course, but I was not Catholic at all. I realize many Cafeteria Catholics and Protestants Hiding in the Church are in the pews of a local RCC parish. My sister and brother-in-law among them. My best friend (now living in Madrid, Spain). I agree with Catholicism more than any of them, but I'm not Catholic. To ME, it's most honest to not indicate that I am. But that's MY stuff. I don't suggest anything to others. I've actually worked HARD to get my brother-in-law back to the RCC. A couple of Christmas' ago, I didn't worship with my family or in my own church but instead accomplied a co-worker (a cradle Catholic who hadn't been to church in years) to Christmas Eve Mass - as encouragement and support for her.


I hope that helps.


Pax


- Josiah






.

Last edited by Josiah : 02-23-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:43 AM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
Thank you.


Let's begin by quoting from the RCC itself in its official (and binding) Catechism: CCC #87, Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: “He who hears you, hears me”, the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms." To state that the RCC instructs all to embrace what it says "with docility" is ergo factually and officially correct. Indeed, it is to do so regarding the RCC as Jesus. The RCC insists that hearing the RCC IS hearing Jesus.

Let's look at The Handbook of the Catholic Faith.
Right, but as I pointed out in the op, "docility" in its primary definition means readiness to be taught, teachable. There is no point in teaching someone who is not teachable.

Regarding that the RCC insists that hearing the RCC is hearing Jesus, it would be nice to have some clarification from the Vatican as to how many papal pronouncements are infallible. Some say 2, some say 9, some say 40. The Vatican has never clarified this. It seems rather confusing when you say "you must believe this" and then don't clarify what must be believed. Also confusing in dialogue is when something from a Pope, say St. Gregory the Great, is quoted as authoritative but then when it is used from the other side of the table the answer comes back, "well, it wasn't necessarily all ex cathedra" What? Also confusing is where councils started out as ecumenical, but after monday morning editing from the future, only certain parts of councils are considered ecumenical (Basle, Constance, etc.). How can a part of a council be ecumenical. It is either ecumenical or it is not by virtue of its convocation from opening to close, even if one adheres to classical receptionism. To say in the 19th century about a council in the 15th century that "The Holy Spirit was there for sessions 4 and 5 but left mid-way through session 6 and then returned some time in the middle of session 11" is absurd in my opinion.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AHJE View Post
^ I would say simply that the Catholic Church upholds the great importance of CONSCIENCE, but at the same time the need to constantly inform that conscience by the Light of God's Word and the authoritative teaching of the Church.

Once you are convinced of this authoritative teaching you are bound to adhere to it.
For this is in keeping with the Supernatural virtue and gift of Faith in Jesus who taught us that whoever listens to the Church Listens to Him.

Its probably a little more complicated than this but I need to find out more.

God bless you.
Your answer brings in another element not considered in the op. Modern RC teaching on sin in general regarding conscience and being convinced would also apply to heresy. So applying this to the question on the op, the point is not merely one of set boundaries but also moveable boundaries based on conscience and being convinced. So there is not just the "point" of boundaries transgressed but also a second "point" of personal understanding and conscience. So would you say that a person who has passed the bounds of doctrine but not passed the bounds of conscience has committed heresy but is not responsible for it and therefore not a heretic?
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:10 AM
Josiah
 
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
Right, but as I pointed out in the op, "docility" in its primary definition means readiness to be taught, teachable. There is no point in teaching someone who is not teachable.

Regarding that the RCC insists that hearing the RCC is hearing Jesus, it would be nice to have some clarification from the Vatican as to how many papal pronouncements are infallible. Some say 2, some say 9, some say 40. The Vatican has never clarified this. It seems rather confusing when you say "you must believe this" and then don't clarify what must be believed. Also confusing in dialogue is when something from a Pope, say St. Gregory the Great, is quoted as authoritative but then when it is used from the other side of the table the answer comes back, "well, it wasn't necessarily all ex cathedra" What? Also confusing is where councils started out as ecumenical, but after monday morning editing from the future, only certain parts of councils are considered ecumenical (Basle, Constance, etc.). How can a part of a council be ecumenical. It is either ecumenical or it is not by virtue of its convocation from opening to close, even if one adheres to classical receptionism. To say in the 19th century about a council in the 15th century that "The Holy Spirit was there for sessions 4 and 5 but left mid-way through session 6 and then returned some time in the middle of session 11" is absurd in my opinion.

Please consider the whole post. I think I made it abundantly clear that the meaning of "docility" is not simply "be open" but means "embrace it as Jesus speaking."

Yes, as I specifically stated in the post, IN PRACTICE, this is pretty slippery. In Catholicism, there is truth and then there is truth. It's just one more reason to note the STATUS of something. You've rebuked me for this, but the reason WHY I may note if something is OFFICIALLY de fide dogma (or whatever) is precisely because of what you note: this is all pretty slippery IN PRACTICE. But when something is officially declared "de fide dogma" it can't be slippery, and it now has the official highest standing of truth and the highest level of being binding. It's probably the ONE case where - indisputably - it's not slippery.





.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

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Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
Please consider the whole post. I think I made it abundantly clear that the meaning of "docility" is not simply "be open" but means "embrace it as Jesus speaking."

Yes, as I specifically stated in the post, IN PRACTICE, this is pretty slippery. In Catholicism, there is truth and then there is truth. It's just one more reason to note the STATUS of something. You've rebuked me for this, but the reason WHY I may note if something is OFFICIALLY de fide dogma (or whatever) is precisely because of what you note: this is all pretty slippery IN PRACTICE. But when something is officially declared "de fide dogma" it can't be slippery, and it now has the official highest standing of truth and the highest level of being binding. It's probably the ONE case where - indisputably - it's not slippery.
There is a problem if you interpret CCC in light of the Handbook. I suppose the question I have for Alex is how authoritative is the Handbook? If it is authoritative, then not only dogmas but also teachings and directives of priests are binding?
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:26 PM
Josiah
 
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

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Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
There is a problem if you interpret CCC in light of the Handbook. I suppose the question I have for Alex is how authoritative is the Handbook? If it is authoritative, then not only dogmas but also teachings and directives of priests are binding?

See post # 3.

I think the Catechism (which is pretty official), the Handbook, and all the rest I presented in my post presents a clear and focused perspective.

CCC 87 is not about being "teachable." The comment about being "docilic" is predicated on the statement that when the RCC speaks, Jesus is speaking - it's teachings are to be so regarded. THAT, quite obviously, is the point. Read the words the RCC states in the Catechism of itself. The Handbook, etc. are all consistent with that foundational RCC claim.

I agree with you, how all this "cranks out" is pretty subjective and inconsistent - but that's not my point. Or your question.



.

Last edited by Josiah : 02-23-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

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Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
I think the Catechism (which is pretty official), the Handbook, and all the rest I presented in my post presents a clear perspective.

I agree with you, how all this "cranks out" is pretty subjective and inconsistent - but that's not my point. Or your question.

.
I suppose my problem is that I have a hard time believing that the Handbook quote as worded would be received by the RCC as its official teaching. It may have imprimatur and nihil obstat but that simply means that a bishop who can err said that it contains no errors. The Vatican can find this bishop to have wrongly giving imprimatur and hold him responsible (not sure how that plays out). I agree that the CCC is official. But the handbook's interpretation I am taking with a grain of salt for the time being. If, however, it is espousing words from Vatican II or I or an ex cathedra statement (of course how would we know what is an ex cathedra statement, except for two in particular not even the Popes know?--but let's say from one of the two that are agreed upon by the magisterium), then it holds a more official tone. Then again, if it is espoused in one of these other documents, then even the words of the Handbook or any other words of a common "pastor" would have to be adhered to, and even the "more official/less official" distinction becomes a non-issue, as it is all "official." But again, I have a hard time believing that the latter would be the Vatican's official position.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Is this true about Roman Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
Your answer brings in another element not considered in the op. Modern RC teaching on sin in general regarding conscience and being convinced would also apply to heresy. So applying this to the question on the op, the point is not merely one of set boundaries but also moveable boundaries based on conscience and being convinced. So there is not just the "point" of boundaries transgressed but also a second "point" of personal understanding and conscience. So would you say that a person who has passed the bounds of doctrine but not passed the bounds of conscience has committed heresy but is not responsible for it and therefore not a heretic?
Dear Linsinbigler,

What I have learned about this is that there are two kinds of Heresy, one which is done with knowledge and full consent of the will (called FORMAL Heresy) and another less serious, which does not involve full knowledge and full consent of the will (called MATERIAL Heresy).

The person that you mention can be called a heretic but not in the Formal sense, and perhaps he is not really responsible (morally culpable) for it.

For ex.,

If I don't know that eating meat on fridays of lent is a grave matter of sin and go ahead and have a cheeseburger at Wendy's, this would be only a MATERIAL sin.

BUT, if i KNEW that eating meat on fridays of lent is a grave matter of sin and go ahead and do the same, this would be a FORMAL sin, because he did it willingly and with contempt.

(abstaining from meat on fridays recalls Jesus Sacrifice on the Cross on a Friday and it is also a way to do penance in satisfaction for sins.)

(the Church has the authority to create disciplines such as these for the faithful).

In reality, a heretic is a POST Baptismal denial of a Teaching of Christ through His Church and refusal to give the assent of faith with divine and catholic faith.

This is why I say that it is a dangerous phenomenon for one to be Catholic and then leave the faith.

Peace be with you.
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