Monday, July 02, 2018

Antiquorum habet fida relatio - Declaration of the First Jubilee Year

Bishop Boniface, servant of the servants of God, in perpetual memory of this matter.
The relation of the ancients is trustworthy, to the effect that, to those going to the famous church of the Prince of the Apostles in the City, great remissions and indulgences of their sins have been granted.
1. We therefore who, as is the duty of our office, do seek and most willingly procure the salvation of individuals, considering each and all such remissions and indulgences as valid and helpful, do confirm and approve them by apostolic authority; and do also renew them and furnish them with the sanction of the present writing.
2. In order, therefore, that the most blessed apostles Peter and Paul may be the more honoured the more their churches in the City shall be devoutly frequented by the faithful, and that the faithful themselves, by the bestowal of spiritual gifts, may feel themselves the more regenerated through such frequenting: we, by the mercy of almighty God, and trusting in the merits and authority of those same ones his apostles, by the counsel of our brethren and from the plenitude of the apostolic power, do concede, in this present year and in every hundreth year to come, not only full and free, but the very fullest, pardon of all their sins to all who in this present year 1300, counting from the feast just past of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in every hundredth year to come, shall reverently go to those churches, having truly repented and confessed, or being about to truly repent and confess.
3. Decreeing that those who wish to become partakers of such indulgence conceded by us, if they are Romans shall go to those churches on at least thirty days, consecutively or at intervals, and at least once in the day; but, if they be pilgrims or foreigners, they shall in like manner go on fifteen days. Each one, however, shall be the more deserving and shall more efficaciously obtain the indulgence, the more often and the more devoutly he shall frequent those churches. Let no man whatever infringe this page of our decree, or oppose it with rash daring. But if any one shall presume to attempt this he shall know that he is about to incur the indignation of almighty God and of His blessed apostles Peter and Paul.
Given at Rome, in St. Peters, on the 23rd day of February 1300, in the sixth year of our pontificate.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Unam Sanctum 1302 AD

I think most who "protest" against the Catholic Church and cite Unam Sanctum have never really READ all of Unam Sanctum. It is a good apologetic piece, promulgated by a non-lay apologist doing some "heavy lifting" for the cause of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church... anyway, give it a read - it's not that long! Pope Boniface VIII represents his position  succinctly with logic and from Scripture...


UNAM SANCTAM

Bull of Pope Boniface VIII promulgated November 18, 1302
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Song 6:9] proclaims: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,' and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.

We venerate this Church as one, the Lord having said by the mouth of the prophet: 'Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword and my only one from the hand of the dog.' [Ps 21:20] He has prayed for his soul, that is for himself, heart and body; and this body, that is to say, the Church, He has called one because of the unity of the Spouse, of the faith, of the sacraments, and of the charity of the Church. This is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but which was cast by lot [Jn 19:23- 24]. Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: 'Feed my sheep' [Jn 21:17], meaning, my sheep in general, not these, nor those in particular, whence we understand that He entrusted all to him [Peter]. Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John 'there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.' We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal. For when the Apostles say: 'Behold, here are two swords' [Lk 22:38] that is to say, in the Church, since the Apostles were speaking, the Lord did not reply that there were too many, but sufficient. Certainly the one who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter has not listened well to the word of the Lord commanding: 'Put up thy sword into thy scabbard' [Mt 26:52]. Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered for the Church but the latter by the Church; the former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.

However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power. For since the Apostle said: 'There is no power except from God and the things that are, are ordained of God' [Rom 13:1-2], but they would not be ordained if one sword were not subordinated to the other and if the inferior one, as it were, were not led upwards by the other.

For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law of the divinity that the lowest things reach the highest place by intermediaries. Then, according to the order of the universe, all things are not led back to order equally and immediately, but the lowest by the intermediary, and the inferior by the superior. Hence we must recognize the more clearly that spiritual power surpasses in dignity and in nobility any temporal power whatever, as spiritual things surpass the temporal. This we see very clearly also by the payment, benediction, and consecration of the tithes, but the acceptance of power itself and by the government even of things. For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgement if it has not been good. Thus is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias concerning the Church and the ecclesiastical power: 'Behold to-day I have placed you over nations, and over kingdoms' and the rest. Therefore, if the terrestrial power err, it will be judged by the spiritual power; but if a minor spiritual power err, it will be judged by a superior spiritual power; but if the highest power of all err, it can be judged only by God, and not by man, according to the testimony of the Apostle: 'The spiritual man judgeth of all things and he himself is judged by no man' [1 Cor 2:15]. This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, 'Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven' etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.



Given by Pope Boniface VIII on November 18, 1302

Monday, June 25, 2018

Prayer to St. Jude

O Holy St Jude!
Apostle and Martyr,
great in virtue and rich in miracles,
near kinsman of Jesus Christ,
faithful intercessor for all who invoke you,
special patron in time of need;
to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart, and humbly beg you,
to whom God has given such great power,
to come to my assistance;
help me now in my urgent need and grant my earnest petition.
I will never forget thy graces and favors you obtain for me and I will do my utmost to spread devotion to you. Amen.
St. Jude, pray for us and all who honor thee and invoke thy aid.
(Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary’s, and 3 Glory Be’s after this.)

Cheeseburger Friday!

OK, as promised!  A little bit more notice on this one!  Friday, June 29, 2018 is the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul - and on a solemnity we do not adhere to the normal Friday penance.

What's this, a "Friday penance?" Many Catholics believe this was done away with after Vatican II, but they would be WRONG about this!  The only thing which changed is that it doesn't have to be abstinence from meat on Fridays anymore - but it still HAS to be SOMETHING offered up as a penance. You could choose to give up something else equivalent - OR - even do some act of charity, like visiting a nursing home or volunteering for a charity. It still CAN be, and in my humble opinion, SHOULD remain abstinence from meat. Why? because this was, for centuries, a Catholic identity - everyone knew Catholics abstained from meat on Fridays - which is one reason so many restaurants have fish fry's on Fridays. 

Anyway, on the 29th of June we can have that cheeseburger, or steak or not do the normal penance we would have done (and SHOULD be doing) on EVERY Friday throughout the year, not just for Lent.


Please share!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Why Stay Protestant?

That's a GREAT question!  This article is in response to Matthew Schultz' article which asks the same question.  His article (which I will interject my responses to below) can be found at: https://medium.com/@MatthewSchultz/why-stay-protestant-435b5e1006a0 (you have to join medium.com to read there, but I have his whole article here in my response).

Schultz is a Protestant who has (so far) remained one. I am a former Protestant who is now a Catholic, so let's see if I can answer his question(s) and objection(s).
Why Stay Protestant?
Over the years, I’ve had several Catholic friends and converts ask why I ultimately didn’t convert to their denomination. During my first two years of college, I spent a significant amount of time with Catholics, including at the (then?) US Opus Dei headquarters in NYC. I attended these gatherings with a good friend, who eventually decided to convert from Evangelicalism. I came close to converting, but ultimately decided against it. This has surprised some Catholics. I suspect this is because the standard narrative is that Protestants, especially Evangelicals, are crossing the Tiber in great droves.
Statistically, the narrative isn’t quite so neat: in recent years, Catholicism has lost millions of adherents, most of these converting to a kind of nonreligious spiritualism/secularism or to Protestantism, while millions more Protestants remain Protestant. For every one person who converts to Catholicism, about six leave leave the church.
Still, the notion that Catholicism is attracting large numbers of Protestant converts, with no movement in the other direction, can create the impression that there is something irresistible about Catholicism to anyone who studies it. My reasons for remaining Protestant haven’t changed a great deal, although they have become more refined, especially since seminary. I would like to share some of them here.
I, for one Catholic, am not surprised by the numbers Schultz refers to (without references, I might add). I would also point out WHY you STAY or LEAVE should not be based upon a numbers game - you STAY or LEAVE because you've found and/or are seeking the ultimate TRUTH. 
Whenever I read Catholic apologists, I’m fascinated by the near-total absence of robust exegetical arguments. Most attempts to turn the discussion to Biblical passages result in either a denial that my “private interpretation” is reliable — thus shutting down an exegetical debate before it begins — or lay interpretations shared, as far as I can tell, by virtually no Biblical scholars who study these passages.
Again, Schultz leans on a numbers game - just because HE can't find very many biblical scholars who study these passages. He says "virtually no..." which implies he has found SOME. I would posit that if you find even ONE which proclaims the TRUTH - you have found enough. Don't play numbers games with the TRUTH, especially where your eternal soul, and that of others, weighs in the balance. I would venture to guess here too that Schultz may not be considering Catholic biblical scholars as scholars - but hard to tell, he doesn't give us any specific examples to deal with here. In short, that which Schultz is complaining about Catholic apologists - he's doing here!  No substance, nothing we can answer to - just vague comments. 
On the first measure — that I cannot interpret the Bible, so any defense of Protestantism I offer is just my own, unreliable judgment — epistemological objections to interpreting the New Testament strike me as self-defeating. God asks us to interpret him every time he communicates with us. How can we understand him if we don’t engage in interpretation? Or how does someone come to understand that their “private” interpretations are wrong unless they first interpret the speech that tells them so?
I really have no problem with this level of private interpretation - yes - ALL words, written or oral, require some level of decoding/interpretation. I have had this argument used on me by Protestant apologists stating private interpretation is necessary. The real point here is that while every word we hear or read has some level of decoding/interpretation by the brain - fundamentally we do not need to re-interpret statements like "the door is red," but there is some interpretation behind, "I am the Door" (John 10:9) since we know that Jesus is not like a door which is red with a knob and hinges, He still is the point of entry into Heaven. While Jesus doesn't have the appearance of a door, He literally IS the Door (some translate this as "gate") to Heaven - and that is the point of the context of that passage. In reality, the argument of "unless you first interpret the speech" is just a diversionary tactic to get one into a side discussion of interpretation rather than the contextual meaning of the text.
Since I don’t have a problem with issuing “private judgment,” here are some exegetical reasons I remain Protestant. Off the top of my head:
 1. Broadly Protestant notions of justification are clearly taught by the Bible.
"Broadly" speaking, one can find the Arian notions taught in the Bible too.
2. Pauline church government is authoritarian in some respects but is a distant cousin to the modern Magisterium.
The modern Magisterium is clearly begun in biblical teachings. Clearly bishops are mentioned in many places in the New Testament and clearly St. Peter was left to "Feed My sheep" (a command repeated three times by Jesus in John 21:15-17) and at the first Church Council at Jerusalem, which was hosted by St. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, the decisive word was given by St. Peter (Simon) in Acts 15:14ff. We also see that when St. Paul had a question, he went back to the other Apostles, and again this Council at Jerusalem is a prime example of that.

3. NT (and OT) ethics support the implementation of the death penalty in ways that are alien to (Pope) Francis’s ethical statements and implications.
Pope Francis' views on the death penalty represent his own, personal opinions as a theologian but are not the official teaching of the Catholic Church. This is not really a very good reason to not become a Catholic. 
4. Contra the post-Vatican II ethos, Christ and Paul are utterly unsympathetic to salvation for those who refuse to submit directly and openly to Christ and his Gospel.
There are many in Traditional Catholic movements which share this sentiment. However, the fundamental teaching in Catholicism remains unchanged, so again, not a very good reason for not becoming a Catholic.
5. Biblical unity is defined by adherence to core doctrine. Organizational fealty is never primary in the NT’s exposition of authority and unity.
Oh? Jesus expressly states His desire that His Body (the Church) be one body, one fold under one shepherd. John 10:16, John 11:52, John 17:21-23, 1 Cor. 12:12, Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, Eph. 2:16, Eph. 4:4, Eph. 4:13, Col. 3:14-15, and Gal 3:28 to name many of the Bible verses which teach we are to be one. We also have the creeds of early Christendom, still professed in all Catholic Churches AND in many Protestant churches as well where the "Four Marks of the Catholic Church" are confessed - three of which do not apply to Protestantism at all! Those Four Marks are: "one, holy, catholic and apostolic." Protestantism is not one, it is fractured into literally thousands of sects and denominations; it is not catholic, which relates to the one, for it is not universal; it is not apostolic for there is no direct apostolic link/succession, at least not a valid one, for any Protestant sect. You're left with "holy," and I've heard good arguments against that as well - but for the sake of this posting, let's grant "holy." So, while still professing these Four Marks, at best they can claim one of them.
6. Related: when I read the church fathers, I don’t think many of them would recognize some of the core beliefs of modern Catholicism.
But again, no examples! I posit that the "core beliefs" of Catholicism have not changed. So, without examples not much more can be said here.
I think there are creative, (probably) internally consistent ways for Catholics to overcome these exegetical concerns and remain faithful Catholics. 
I haven't yet really seen any "exegetical concerns!"
Maybe reading Cardinal Newman allows converts some measure of intellectual peace when comparing the first three centuries of the early church’s views on, say, ecumenicism and what is taught by the modern Magisterium. Development is a powerful notion that can erase apparent or actual contradictions. But as a Protestant, I see no reason to appeal to something like Newman’s sense of doctrinal development, and so what is claimed as development really looks, from the outside, like a set of socially and politically conditioned deviations and contradictions from the earlier deposit of faith.
I have to wonder, when Schultz states he sees no reason, "as a Protestant" to appeal to something like Newman's sense of doctrinal development, is that because he, "as a Protestant" just accepts the doctrinal development of the first 1500 years of the Church prior to the uprising of Protestantism in the 16th century? Here again, no examples.
Perhaps my greatest reasons for staying Protestant are practical. The refrain of lay Catholic apologists is that Protestants must submit to the Magisterium. Yet if the primary lens of theological inquiry is authority, why is so much of the heavy lifting done by Catholic laypersons? In the time I spent considering conversion to Catholicism, every single apologetics book, essay or article recommended to me was written by a lay Catholic. Why aren’t the bishops engaged in apologetics? Aren’t they the authoritative teachers within Catholicism? If so, why would I trust the exegetical, theological, and philosophical arguments put forth by lay Catholics who have no direct oversight or approval of bishops? To trust these arguments would be to trade one set of private interpretations for another.
Might I suggest: Archbishop Fulton Sheen?  How about Bishop Barron? The fact of the matter is we are ALL called to answer for the hope which is within us (1 Peter 3:15) this is not something reserved to bishops, but indeed, bishops are engaged in apologetics too.
This is downstream of another problem. As a Protestant, I have two basic options when informing my study of the Bible. The first is consulting scholars who think the text is inspired and more or less inerrant. This comes with arguments or assumptions about the nature and quality of the Bible’s authorship: Matthew really did write Matthew, the disciples’s memory of Jesus’s teachings is entirely or almost entirely accurate, Jesus really did make accurate prophecies, he really did miracles as described, and so forth.
The other option is consulting scholars who doubt or actively disbelieve all of the above propositions. They approach the text with a hermeneutic of suspicion. They doubt Matthew wrote Matthew. They doubt Jesus said and taught everything ascribed to him. Many claim that Jesus’s teachings were issued as a fallible man: given perhaps as a (mostly) good man, but certainly not as a divinely inspired God-man.
When it comes to Catholicism, most or all of the NT Catholic scholars I’m aware of fall somewhere in the second camp. Why would I follow a denomination that approves of or passes over scholars within its own ranks that seem to deny or doubt the reliability and authority of the Bible on such a regular basis? Consider, for example, how the NAB and the USCCB hedge on Pauline authorship. If Paul didn’t author some of the letters purported to be his, that raises questions about their inspiration and, therefore, divine authority.
Again, no examples. I can assume Schultz refers to dissidents like "Fr." Matthew Fox, or the ultra liberals like Fr. Raymond Brown. Yes, I am aware of some fringe "Catholics" or some who still claim to be "Catholic" but when we look at what they teach and compare to what was always taught - we find these novel concepts to be lacking and even heretical at times. Like I said, I'm aware of a select few - but the majority of Catholic theologians I know of do NOT "fall somewhere in the second camp." How about some examples? Or, does Mr. Schultz refer to these two examples I have provided?
If the intellectual leaders of Catholicism have a fairly low view of Scripture, that directly undermines the lay Catholic apologists who appeal to the Bible as if it actually teaches what Jesus and Paul really said. Who am I to believe? The Catholic scholar who questions whether half the Pauline corpus was really written by Paul or the lay Catholic apologist who argues assuming traditional authorship? If I take Catholicism at face value, then I would have to believe the intellectual over the lay apologist. And that would mean there’s no reason to take the lay apologists seriously if their arguments appeal to suspect passages written by someone pretending to be Jesus or Paul.
I say, stop making excuses based upon fringe "Catholic" arguments. If you want to focus on these sorts of arguments I can only say that you're looking for excuses and not seeking the TRUTH.
In my experience, lay Catholic converts and apologists aren’t even aware of these scholarly issues, even though they ultimately undermine their Biblical arguments for Catholicism.
As I said, I am aware of these pseudo-arguments - and I we're really not that far apart on our opinions of them. I am a lay Catholic convert and an apologist, so Mr. Schultz cannot honestly continue to make that claim. (grin)
It would be easy for a seminarian to fault them for this. But I am less critical: virtually no one converts for purely intellectual reasons. As an outsider looking in, I think the great draw of Catholicism is social stability in an increasingly anti-religious culture. It’s certainly what attracted me — far more than any particular intellectual idea.
Well, that certainly is A reason to be attracted - but there are so many other reasons! I mentioned earlier the "Four Marks of the Catholic Church," so there are four more excellent reasons. Another big one is Jesus' command in John 6:53 that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we have no life in us. Many of His disciples who had been following him could not handle that teaching, and they "turned and walked with Him no more" (John 6:66). Do you also have trouble with this teaching? Do you also refuse to follow the Truth because this statement is too difficult to accept? Jesus, without changing the statement in the least, without stating that was a figurative parable turns and challenges His Apostles, "Will you also leave?" (John 6:67) To which the leader of the Apostles responds, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). Certainly, on face value, this IS a hard teaching, but to those who have True Faith, we find that Jesus Christ provides the means. Later, on the night in which He was betrayed, He took bread and declared in no uncertain terms, "This IS My body" and similarly He took wine and also declared, "This IS My blood" (Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:15-20; and also 1 Cor 11:23-26). This is why Catholics, and very few others, believe that the bread and wine actually become His body and blood when they are consecrated by Christ through one of His valid priests. While still maintaining the appearance of bread and wine, the substance is miraculously changed into His flesh and blood, just as He declares it to be. Historically speaking, there are many Eucharistic Miracles (several linked here) which testify to this Real Presence. I would be more than willing to discuss these further.
In terms of social desirability, Catholicism offers several important features that are often (but not always!) lacking in Protestant circles:
  1. a deep sense of historical continuity
  2. a sense of personal contribution to or cooperation with salvation
  3. a robust and prestigious intellectual tradition, especially when it comes to social and political theory
  4. intellectual and spiritual assurance that troubling theological issues will ultimately be resolved by God-approved authorities
  5. spiritual and theological comity with the world’s second largest denomination (Eastern Orthodoxy)
  6. a strong, aesthetically pleasing liturgy
  7. a faith that spans most major culture groups
  8. opportunities to regularly and confidentially confess personal sin
Furthermore, in the American context, any form of Protestantism that takes the Bible “literally,” is basically despised. In all the important circles, there is enormous social pressure to hide one’s identity as a bigoted, backwards, intellectually inferior, uneducated, and politically conservative Evangelical Protestant.

If you’re a Protestant who attends a church that lacks unity, gives almost no opportunity for confession, and is devoid of intellectual and artistic communities, yet you still believe in God and are looking for a unified force to push back against the secular world that doesn’t have “Evangelical” cultural baggage, you will find Catholicism very attractive.
I think it’s true that you can find the above features in many non-Catholic, even non-Christian, communities. These aren’t intellectual clinchers; the fact that American Catholicism enjoys them more than many Protestant churches is historically conditioned. Yet social appeal isn’t undermined by intellectual persuasion. The best arguments can do is prepare someone to persevere in their current religious circumstances or give them permission to leave for something else. Movement from one to the other is an act of the will.
To all this I must respond with the fact that one should NOT follow a given religious movement based upon social acceptance. If this were a good reason, NO ONE would have come to the Church in the first 300 years of her existence - or very few anyway - because Christianity was socially unacceptable and even mandated against during this period. We are even seeing a growth in this religious intolerance in modern times, not to the extreme of the Romans... yet, but it is there and growing. Again, one should not follow any given religion based solely on cultural acceptance - but one should continue to seek the Truth, the Ultimate Truth, the Whole Truth and not be satisfied with a mere portion of the Truth. I freely and openly admit that there IS truth among Protestant religions. It was through my Lutheran upbringing that I fell in love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - but there was something missing, there was not the fullness of the Truth in Lutheranism. When I realized this, I could not remain in a group which just came close - I had to move to where the Fullness of Truth is taught and believed.  
I say all this because, as far as the social reasons to convert, I am fairly happy in the Presbyterian Church in America. I have found many of the above features in this community. That insulates me from their expressions in other religious (and non-religious) organizations.
For both intellectual and social reasons, I am comfortable remaining Protestant. The obstacles to conversion are just too great. As I used to hear in New England: “You can’t get there from here.”
Well, there is truth in that statement too! "You can't get there (to the fullness of Truth) from here (the Presbyterian Church in America)" because the PCA does not have the fullness of the Truth. Yes, they have truth - in part - but not the fullness of Truth. I did not move to the Catholic Church because it was comfortable, in fact, I am the only one in my family (so far!) who has made this move (though I did have an aunt who converted for a time, but slipped back into Protestantism - and on her deathbed there was a desire expressed for her to see a priest, but her Protestant husband refused to allow that). The point is, this was not a comfortable decision for me to make. I agree with Mr. Schultz too, this decision is an act of the will and I urge him not to "settle" with what he's that found allows him to be "fairly happy," but to continue to challenge himself and seek the Fullness of the Faith, the Fullness of Truth - which can only be found in the Church which Jesus Christ Himself founded and built nearly 2000 years ago. It will not be an easy decision to make, to come out of the PCA to go to Catholicism, as I'm sure he has many friends and family there who will shun him if and when he does - but such temporal comforts are wholly outweighed by eternal grace.

I must say, I do appreciate Schutlz' candidness and even openness, and I hope this leads to a deeper discussion.

May God continue to guide you to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.   
AMDG,
Scott Windsor<<<

Friday, June 22, 2018

Beyonce Mass?

Well, unlike the way I was introduced to this video - let me be fair with you - this is NOT a Catholic Mass!
This "Mass" is an Episcopal service in a San Francisco "church." I found this disturbing and was quickly reminded of the First Commandment, "You shall not have strange gods before Me." What this "Mass" does is make a goddess out of Beyonce. It's just wrong. We do not go to Mass to be entertained - we go to adore the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ present in the Real Presence of the Eucharist. We don't need some sort of "show" when we go to Mass, we just need a humble spirit and an attitude of adoration of Christ - and NOT Beyonce.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Bao - Inappropriate for Children

SPOILER ALERT

OK, so I took the grandkids to see Incredibles 2 last weekend. Pixar typically (always?) has a little "short" at the start of Pixar movies, and Incredibles 2 was no different. This one, however, seems totally inappropriate for children. It starts off with a Chinese woman preparing dumplings for her husband. She feeds them to him and he inhales them quickly as he runs out the door, presumably running late for work. She then starts eating her dumplings, of which there are three of them. She eats the first two and then when she puts the third into her mouth, it starts crying! She spits it back into the dumpling dish and it morphs into a little, living baby dumpling...


This is all that is available on the Internet for now, but then the story continues... 

The little dumpling baby grows up, and she takes it out on walks, and shopping, etc. but never lets it go run on his own. (It is a "him" as we find out later). There are a couple scenes involving donuts, a donut shop and sitting on a train or bus sharing donuts. We're getting kind of attached to this little dumpling child by this point. 

Then, the dumpling has some facial hair on his chin... goes out with friends even though the mom does not want him to. Later, he comes back, with a girl, he runs upstairs and packs his bags and while he's heading for the door - "mom" pushes the girl out - slams the door and the little dumpling is still fighting with her to leave - and she reaches down and EATS the dumpling!  At this point, my grandson lost it... he was bawling. I held him on my lap until Incredibles started, and then he settled down and watched the movie. I must say, while I didn't get emotional over this - I was quite startled and  even shocked when she ate the dumpling! My grandson was quite traumatized over this scene.

At the end of Bao, we see the mother laying in bed, depressed - and then the silhouette of the dumpling, only as a full-sized person now, is standing in the doorway. He comes up to his mom, sits on the bed - she ignores him at first and then he offers donuts and she eventually warms up to him and sits with him to eat a donut. 

So, I had to go look this up.  As it turns out, the director of this short is from Canada, but from a Chinese culture there - and she grew up with an over-protective mom. This short was a representation of her life growing up with her mom.  OK, it makes more sense now - but to coldly throw that at children in a theater who are their to watch a fun movie - that was quite inappropriate. @DisneyPixar, give us a head's up, or better yet, don't put something so disturbing at the start of a movie for children.

If you agree, please share and/or comment below.  If you disagree, I'd still like to see your comments below.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ordinal or Ordinary?

Words Mean Things...

Is there anything "wrong" with using the term "ordinary" to refer to the counting days in the liturgical year?  Well, yes and no. We'll start with the "no" reason.

No: Both ordinal and ordinary come from the same root word in Latin, which is "ordo" and it is the same word we use for "order." So, fundamentally speaking, there is nothing "wrong" with using the term "ordinary" for the two times of year where we "count" the weeks.

Yes: While both come from the same root, in modern usage "ordinary" takes on quite a different meaning, which can mean "common" or "plain" or "undistinguished" (see http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ordinary?s=t ). As we have already demonstrated in this second season of counting, there have already been three quite extra-ordinary feast days! We've already celebrated the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity (May 27); the Feast of Corpus Christi (June 3) and the Feast of the Sacred Heart! (June 8). I hope you can see my point here - these are anything but "ordinary" in the common use of the word. Just because we CAN use "ordinary" doesn't mean we SHOULD use that term.

Now let's consider the use of the term "ordinal." It clearly refers to an "order" or "rank" or "position in a series" (see below). It was even used as the name of the Catholic prayer book for Mass (see below). The term "ordinal" clearly fits better and when we consider the ecclesial origin of the term, it causes us to question the wisdom in changing the terminology, at least in English, to "ordinary." I would urge you to urge our bishops and others in authority to go back to the use of "ordinal," it just makes more sense and does not sound "plain" or even "boring."



ordinal 1
[awr-dn-uh l]

adjective

    of or relating to an order, as of animals or plants.
    of or relating to order, rank, or position in a series.

Dictionary.com

noun

    an ordinal number or numeral.

Origin of ordinal1
1590–1600; < Late Latin ōrdinālis in order equivalent to Latin ōrdin- (stem of ōrdō) order + -ālis -al1
Related forms:  or·di·nal·ly, adverb

ordinal 2
[awr-dn-uh l]
noun

    a directory of ecclesiastical services.
    a book containing the forms for the ordination of priests, consecration of bishops, etc.

Origin of ordinal 2
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin ōrdināle, noun use of neuter of ōrdinālis in order. See ordinal1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ordinal
Historical Examples

    Phauloptera: an ordinal term for the scale insects (Laporte 1835).
    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith
    Ordinal—That form of the numeral that shows the order of anything in a series.
    Capitals

    Frederick W. Hamilton
    If the ordinal expression of number be used on the title-page, the figures may be given, and the ordinal termination omitted.
    Smithsonian Report on the Construction of Catalogues of Libraries and their Publication by Means of Separate, Stereotyped Titles

    Charles C. Jewett
    An 'ordinal' is a book showing the order of church services and ceremonies.
    Fourteenth Century Verse &amp; Prose

    Various
    Ordinal numerals are adjectives which answer the question "Which in order?"
    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto

    Ivy Kellerman Reed

British Dictionary definitions for ordinal
ordinal
adjective

    denoting a certain position in a sequence of numbers
    of, relating to, or characteristic of an order in biological classification

noun

    short for ordinal number
    a book containing the forms of services for the ordination of ministers
    RC Church:  a service book

Word Origin
C14: (in the sense: orderly): from Late Latin ordinalis denoting order or place in a series, from Latin ordō order
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ordinal
n.

early 14c., "book setting forth the order of services in the Church," from Late Latin adjective ordinalis (see ordinal (adj.)).
adj.

late 14c., "regular, ordinary," from Old French ordinel and directly from Late Latin ordinalis ""showing order, denoting an order of succession," from Latin ordo (genitive ordinis) "row, series" (see order (n.)). Meaning "marking position in an order or series" is from 1590s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ordinal


While We're On The Subject...

The first time of year we "count" the weeks are the Weeks After Epiphany - and traditionally speaking, we identified those weeks as such. The Weeks After Epiphany are the weeks between Epiphany and Lent. The second "counting" season are the Weeks After Pentecost and again, traditionally speaking, that is what we used to refer to these two seasons as (and still do where the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated). In the modern lectionary these two seasons become just one, separated by Lent and Eastertide. By combining the two seasons it does seem more "ordinary" by the common use of the term. If we continue the tradition of having two separate seasons, each season automatically takes on more meaning - and we have a constant reminder during that season of counting of a very extra-ordinary date. Each week during the first ordinal season we're reflecting on the weeks after Epiphany and then in the second ordinal season we're reminded each week of the Church's birthday, Pentecost. So again, we lose so much in the modern terms of "ordinary" and the combining of the two ordinal seasons.

In a climate where we should want to make the Mass and the liturgical year more meaningful, even exciting, why would we want to refer to it as "ordinary?"

Upcoming Extra-Ordinary Feast Days in Ordinal Time...


Sunday, June 24, 2018 – Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Friday, June 29, 2018 – Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Holy Day of Obligation
Thursday, November 1, 2018 – All Saints Day, Holy Day of Obligation 
Friday, November 2, 2018 – The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)
Sunday, November 25, 2018Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Christ the King)





For a listing of this and other articles on this blog relating to this subject, please click this link:  http://quilocutus.blogspot.com/search/label/ordinal

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Friday, June 8, was the Feast of the Sacred Heart - a solemnity. Usually I like to keep track of Friday solemnities because the Friday penance is not applicable on a solemnity. It also serves as a reminder to everyone that there still is a Friday penance to be observed by EVERY Catholic! Before the 1960's that penance was the same for all Catholics around the world - EVERY Friday, not just those in Lent, we were to abstain from meat. Yes, it was changed back then - but it was not removed! Every one of us MUST still observer SOME sort of penance which would be equivalent to abstaining from meat according to one's episcopal conference (like the USCCB for Catholics in the United States). My point remains - if it must be equivalent to meat - why not stick with meat?! 

Another example too of things not being so "ordinary" this time of year - and we're only to the 3rd Week After Pentecost! By the post-conciliar "counting" this was the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, more on that in an upcoming post.

Next time I'll try to give notice in advance to a "Cheeseburger Friday!"
Another nice reason to recognize a "Cheeseburger Friday" is the fact that those who know you don't eat meat on Fridays may see you enjoying that cheeseburger, or steak, or other meat - and ask you about it. This gives you the opportunity to tell them why you abstain from meat on Fridays and why that particular Friday is different from the rest.

AMDG,
Scott<<<



Monday, June 04, 2018

Feast of Corpus Christi

The Feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated last Sunday - the actual Feast Day was last Thursday, May 31st. Due to the nature of this Feast - the celebration is moved to a Sunday. It falls on the Second Sunday after Pentecost by the Traditional ordinal/counting; or by the post-concilliar "ordinary" counting, this year it was the ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. (This can change, depending on how many Sundays there are after Epiphany before Lent begins).

This is a magnificent feast day for it is one in which we celebrate that which truly separates us from nearly all Protestants. It is on this day that we celebrate the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This celebration is anything BUT "ordinary" by the "ordinary" use of the term (but I digress, more on this in a later posting).
We, Catholics, celebrate and honor the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist as truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ because that is what it is and what Scripture tells us it is! Scripture tells us to receive this Holy Communion "unworthily" is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord:
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:27).
And why?
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.  (1 Cor. 11:29 emphasis added). 
It has long puzzled me as to WHY most Protestants "don't get this!" This is not the use of symbolism, it is stating that the eating and drinking of THAT bread and drink (that which was just consecrated by the words a few verses earlier: 1 Cor. 11:23-25) in an unworthy manner brings judgment upon that person for what?  For not discerning the body of the Lord!  It doesn't get much clearer, my friends!

The logical conclusions we can draw from this are at least:

  1. That which Protestants celebrate in "Communion" is NOT "THIS bread or drink" for why would they deliberately eat and drink judgment upon themselves. I say this because Protestants, with very few exceptions (Anglican) deny that the bread and wine (if they even use real wine) are not REALLY the body and blood of Christ - but only symbols. Scripture does not say the unworthy reception of THIS bread and wine results in judgment for not discerning the symbols of Jesus' body and blood - but for not discerning His body and blood, period.
  2. That which Protestants celebrate is NOT "THIS bread or drink" because they have no authority to consecrate being that they are not part of a valid apostolic succession which has this authority. Thus, their celebration truly is "just a memorial" or is "symbolic."

By any logic it seems they should come home to that which their ancestors protested against when they LEFT the Catholic Church sometime within the last 500 years.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

Pentecost Sunday marks the birth of the Catholic Church!  The day the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles in the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-12). From this event forward, the Apostles began their "Great Commission" (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 14:23) to "go forth into the whole world making disciples of all nations..." with a newfound courage and fury.  They came out from the Upper Room speaking the languages of all who were there for the Jewish celebration of Pentecost. Jews were in Jerusalem from all around the world for this pilgrimage and they each heard the Apostles preaching in their own languages! Truly remarkable for a bunch of men who never left the Palestine area. 

This feast day is celebrated in both the Eastern and Latin Churches in much the same way:

The holiday - or "holy day" - actually is rooted in Jewish tradition. The Festival of Weeks, or Shavuot, which was originally a harvest festival. It was to be celebrated fifty days after the celebration of unleavened bread (Passover) when a new grain offering was to be made. 

We get the name "Pentecost" from Greek speaking Jews who used the term "pentekostos" for the fiftieth day.

The Irony
While many other Christian churches/communities celebrate Pentecost NONE can claim the direct apostolic succession which can be found in the Catholic and Orthodox Christian Churches. Most non-Catholic Christian groups were born sometime after 1517AD (October 31, 1517 is when Luther nailed the 95 Thesis to the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg and most Protestants view this as the birth of Protestantism) or shortly thereafter when King Henry VIII separated the Catholic Church of England from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Protestantism took Europe by storm though several bastions of Catholicism remained and still remain to this day. The point of irony here is that if Catholicism is false then Jesus would have waited over 1500 years to build His Church, as He promised He would do (Matthew 16:18-19). He also promised the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, would come to His Church and stay with His Church until He returned again in glory (John 14:15-19). Well again, on Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles. So, either Catholicism is true - or Jesus was a liar. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Notre Dame Montreal Aura Light Show

So, I saw a video similar to the one below on Facebook. There are arguments going both pro and con for the use of the basilica for a "show." What are your thoughts?  Share in the comments which follow this article.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Is Catholicism Christian?


Jumping back into apologetics mode... I came across this site:

http://gotherefor.com/offer.php?intid=29657&changestore=true

Below I will answer to what Mr. Gilbert has presented:

Is the Catholic Church a Christian church?
  • Mark Gilbert
  •  
  • 17 August 2017
When we talk about God we often need to talk about him in parts. Because God is so big and our brains are so small, we need to be able to talk about him in manageable chunks. That is why we sometimes talk about the doctrine of the Trinity, or of Christ, of the church, of creation, and so on. However, because God is one and presents himself to us as a person, Jesus Christ, he is not reducible to those different parts; all these parts impact on and affect each other. You can’t change your doctrine about Jesus without it affecting your doctrine of the Trinity, for example. That is why when we learn and teach about God we study in a systematic way—so we can understand God best through an integrated and coherent system of truths, not isolated ideas.
The irony here is Mr. Gilbert is arguing FOR the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity - which is not explicitly defined in Scripture Alone (via sola scriptura) as any good "Evangelical" holds to. The fact of the matter is that it was officially defined through councils of the Catholic Church which were answering to, most notably, the Arian heresy which was rampant in the Early Catholic Church. Some very noteworthy saints of the Catholic Church of that day and age also addressed this matter of Arius and Arianism (e.g. Sts. Augustine and Athanasius, to name a couple), and again these sources are extra scriptura (beyond Scripture). One must keep in mind, Arians based their arguments in Scripture too - as do modern day Arians (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses). Scripture Alone (sola scriptura) does NOT answer the Arians or explicitly define the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity.
Sometimes, as Evangelicals approaching Roman Catholicism, we look at various parts of Catholicism without considering how they relate to the whole Catholic system. For example, some might say Roman Catholics believe in the Trinity and the ancient creeds but that they have got the doctrine of Mary, Christ, salvation, the Bible and the church wrong at various key points. This atomization of Catholic teaching can lead us into saying things like, “The Roman Catholic Church is Trinitarian and creedal, and therefore more Christian than the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons”. One of the consequences of this error is to be less likely to be intentional in our evangelism of them. However, you cannot have a different teaching about Jesus and Mary and the church and salvation and the Bible without it profoundly affecting your teaching about the Trinity and your understanding of what the creeds mean.1
I would agree with Mr. Gilbert here!  One cannot "atomize" (his terminology) the Catholic Church and/or the teachings OF the Catholic Church - but the ultimate argument needs to be one regarding authority. Did Jesus pass on ultimate authority to men to lead and guide His Church until He returns again in glory?  To this point we whole-heartedly and emphatically answer YES!  In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus Himself gives ultimate and infallible authority to one man, Simon Bar-Jonah, whom He renames "Cephas" (or "Rock"). Non-Catholics have a real hard time accepting "infallibility" here - but just examine what Jesus said!  "Whatsoever you shall bind on Earth is also bound in Heaven and whatsoever you loose on Earth is also loosed in Heaven." Now, unless you are willing to accept error can be bound or loosed in Heaven - THAT is clearly infallible authority and again, in this context, it is being granted to ONE man, Peter, our first pope. Similarly, in Matthew 18:18 the authority to bind and loose is also given to the college of Apostles, our first bishops. It is for this reason we accept that when the Church is assembled in an ecumenical council AND she defines a dogmatic teaching - then there too she speaks infallibly. Again, you HAVE to accept that the Church indeed HAS this authority - OR - you would HAVE to accept that error can be bound or loosed in Heaven.  
Gregg Allison and Leonardo De Chirico have done some very helpful work in critiquing the Roman Catholic system from a biblical perspective.2 In short, they suggest that the Roman Catholic system is best understood by the interaction of two key relationships. Firstly, there is the relationship of what they understand as the realms of Nature and of Grace. We might call them the physical world and the spiritual world. The second key relationship is the relationship between Christ and the Catholic Church. Catholics understand the Catholic Church to be the physical and spiritual continuation of Christ. The spiritual world is separated from the physical world and requires a mediator: Christ and the Catholic Church. You could represent it a bit like this:In this system the spiritual world (the realm of Grace) needs the physical world (the realm of Nature) so that Grace can be expressed in Nature. Also, the physical world needs the spiritual world in order to be perfected so that Nature can be perfected by Grace
Mr. Gilbert stumbles upon the truth here. Catholicism does not teach that nature exists wholly outside of grace - in fact in Catholic teaching Catholics must strive to remain in the "State of Grace" - which can be lost due to committing a "sin which is unto death" (1 John 5:16-17) which is more commonly called "mortal sin." The way to reconcile back into the State of Grace is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), which again is an authority given by Jesus Christ Himself to our first bishops (see John 20:21-23 - and make note - not only does He give men authority to forgive sins, He tells them that as He sends them out they too are to send others out - this authority is clearly meant to be passed on through the generations). The bottom line here is, Grace exists WITH us in Nature. 

The graphic is a bit off too - Christ < > Church for the Church is US!  The Church is the Bride of Christ.
An example of this relationship can be clearly seen in the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion, where the physical elements—the bread and the wine (Nature)—are transformed by the spiritual realm (Grace). Subsequently, when a Roman Catholic (in the realm of Nature) receives the sacrament of Holy Communion (which is transformed by the priest to communicate Grace), he or she can have their Nature perfected by Grace and God’s Grace expressed in their Nature. If this system sounds quite philosophical, that’s because it relies more on Saint Augustine and his 5th century Neo-Platonism and Thomas Aquinas and his 13th century Aristotelianism than it does on the Bible.
Well again, Mr. Gilbert is wrong here. The fact that we believe the Eucharist IS the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ is based in Scripture!  Jesus Himself declares, after He blesses the bread and wine, "This IS My body..." and "This IS My blood..." so who are we to argue against what Jesus Himself authoritatively declares?  
Oh, and let's take a moment to point out - St. Thomas Aquinas was not Aristotelianist - in fact philosophers grant unto Aquinas his OWN method of philosophy called Thomism! Why? St. Thomas Aquinas blended the Socratic method with Platonism (spiritual realism) and Aristotelianism (physical realism) because the ultimate truth is not one or the other - but both. 
The problem with this system is the way sin is minimized: “though marred by sin, tainted nature still possesses a capacity to receive, transmit and cooperate with grace”.3 Nature and Grace are the key elements, and sin is secondary. This results in a religion of progress from a tainted but still intrinsically good state to a better one. In contrast, the Bible presents creation (made good but thoroughly distorted by sin in every aspect) as requiring a supernatural act of God’s grace alone to re-create or regenerate it. This is most clearly seen in the way Jesus redeems fallen human nature by dying to sin and rising to new life. The biblical account of the relationship between creation and new creation is one of radical discontinuity: from death to life, from destruction to recreation (Gen 6:5; Ezek 11:19, 18:31; John 1:12-13, 3:3; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:3, 23; 2 Pet 3:7-10; Rev 21:1).
The reality is that while our "nature" is a fallen nature, it is not "thoroughly distorted" or else we could never come to Christ.  Yes, we are redeemed through the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ but if our nature were "thoroughly distorted" we could never answer His calling to us to come and follow Him. Mr. Gilbert's hyperbole here distorts the truth.
Also, the Roman Catholic religious system sees the Catholic Church as the continuation of Jesus in the world.
 And again, Gilbert falsely represents the Catholic Church and her teachings here. Yes, Christ continues His Work through His Church, but the Church (again) is not Christ - the Church is US.
One of the ways you can see this is again in their teaching on Holy Communion, where they argue that “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained”.
When Jesus declares "This IS My body" and "This IS My blood," Mr. Gilbert finds himself arguing with Jesus. To say the Eucharist is anything less than the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ is to make Jesus a liar. (The above quote Gilbert takes from the CCC, but the CCC is actually quoting the Council of Trent here, DS 1651).
This teaching also impacts other doctrines where the Catholic Church takes on the characteristics of Jesus, like:
  • salvation is through the Catholic Church
  • the pope is the representative of Christ and infallible
  • the Church has the authority to determine and interpret the Bible
  • the Catholic Church is the continuation of Jesus, and is by definition the only true Church
  • Because Grace is superior to Nature, there is a hierarchy within Jesus’ human and divine natures; therefore, as the continuation of Jesus, the Church has a hierarchy between clergy and laity
  • Mary as mother of the Church plays a mediatorial role in salvation alongside Jesus by distributing Grace to Nature
  • The Catholic Church becomes both the object of faith and also the one whose faithfulness saves those who believe in it.
Responding to Gilbert's bulleted points:

  • Yes, the Church is the means by which Jesus left us for salvation.
  • The Pope IS the representative of Christ as it was Jesus Christ Himself, the Good Shepherd, who said to Peter (our first pope) to "feed My sheep" and "tend My lambs" - leaving Peter in the role of shepherd. We've already demonstrated the teaching on infallibility, so I won't repeat that here.
  • Yes, the Church has the authority to interpret the Bible. 
  • Again, the Church is not Christ. Yes, the Church does continue the teachings of Christ - and IS the bridge between the Old and New Covenant. Many, if not most, Protestants forget or may not have ever thought about the fact that Jesus was born a Jew, lived a Jew and died a Jew. The true Christian Church is the one which continues where Judaism left off. The Old Covenant is completed in Jesus Christ and the New Covenant continues in His New Testament Church.
  • There is no truth to Gilbert's statement of a hierarchy between the Two Natures of Christ, at least not in Catholic teaching.
  • With regard to Mary - Mr. Gilbert needs to get over the authority issue first. We can't really get into a discussion of Mary at this point as it would be a distraction from the more fundamental issue.
  • Again with the misrepresentation of the Church. It is not faith in the Church which saves - it is faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior, which saves. Now, can one truly claim to have faith in Jesus Christ if they stand in rejection of the Church which Jesus Christ built? Remember, Jesus promised to build His Church - it is wholly illogical to think He waited over 1500 years to do this!
There are a number of reasons why Evangelical churches have strongly and consistently resisted this idea that the church, however it is conceived of, is the continuation of Jesus in this world.
And we have already shown, a number of times here, that the Church is NOT the continuation of Jesus Christ Himself. The Church IS the continuation of the TEACHINGS of Jesus Christ. This equivocation of Christ to the Church is a clear error on the part of Mr. Gilbert.
The Apostle Paul, when faced with Christians in Galatia turning from his teachings to those of the super-apostles, said not once but twice, “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8-9). When viewed as a system, the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church denies the seriousness of sin and the need for a new creation, distorts the humanity and divinity of Jesus in conflating Jesus with the institution of the Roman Catholic Church, assumes the work of the Holy Spirit on itself and elevates Mary as an idol. They present a different gospel to the one the Apostle Paul fought so hard to preserve in Galatia, and therefore should not be regarded as having accepted the true gospel, nor be considered as a Christian Church. 
And yet another false representation of the Catholic Faith! Catholicism does NOT minimize or deny the seriousness of sin! Perhaps the second most important Sacrament is the Sacrament of Reconciliation - or "Confession" - where we confess our sin(s) to remain in the State of Grace. Nowhere does Catholicism deny the need to be reborn or for a "new creation." It is not Catholicism which distorts the humanity and divinity of Christ. Catholicism does not "assume the work of the Holy Ghost" rather it is through the Church that the Holy Ghost works. Mary, no matter how much the ignorant wish to repeat it, is not an "idol" or worshiped as a goddess. It's one thing for a Catholic apologist to defend the Church's ACTUAL teachings - quite another to point out the outright LIES being spewed forth by Mr. Gilbert. 
Because of this our Catholic friends, neighbours and family are in grave danger and need our love, urgent prayers and evangelistic efforts! 
Well, please don't get me wrong - I appreciate your love and prayers - but your "evangelistic efforts" are misdirected and based in falsehood - which is precisely why I reach out to organizations such as yours, Mr. Gilbert, so that you might realize the error of your ways and join me in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Those are the "Four Marks" of the true Christian Church as put forth in the early creeds of Christendom - and absolutely NO Protestant or so-called Evangelical church can make claim to all Four Marks.
By understanding Roman Catholicism better as a system, we can avoid the pitfalls that can occur when we look at the parts in isolation. We become convinced that we need to be intentional and persistent in our evangelism to Catholics to present them with the biblical gospel. Finally, by understanding how Catholics think about God we can present that gospel in a way that makes sense to them.
Mr. Gilbert, I would suggest that before you try to "reach us" that you actually LEARN what WE TEACH and leave the anti-Catholic propaganda behind. I'm sure your audience would not appreciate finding out that you lie to them in order to gain their following. So, engage me in the Catholic Debate Forum where myself - and several other well-suited Catholic apologists would be more than happy to respond to you and set you straight.

AMDG,
Scott Windsor<<<