Divinity of Christ and Jehovahs Witnesses

Yes, that's MY doorpost!
Last Saturday morning I was visited by a couple Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), one elderly woman and one young woman.  I must admire their zeal for their convictions.  They were very proud of the fact that JWs are translating the Bible into many translations so that the Scriptures can be spread throughout the world and people can read in their own languages.  I identified myself as a Catholic, and the elderly one said, "Oh, I thought you might be Jewish" and pointed to the mezuzah on my door jam (which, I might add, has the Shema prayer inside it, blessed by a rabbi), to which I answered, "As Catholics, we embrace our Jewish roots and heritage."  I don't think she caught the significance of the mezzuzah or the fact that it contains the Hebrew prayer which destroys their argument against the Trinity.

The Shema prayer is one taught to all Jewish children and likewise, we teach it to our children.  It goes as follows:
Sh'ma Yisra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

V'ahav'ta eit Adonai Elohekha b'khol l'vav'kha uv'khol naf'sh'kha uv'khol m'odekha.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

V'hayu had'varim ha'eileh asher anokhi m'tzav'kha hayom al l'vavekha.
And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.

V'shinan'tam l'vanekha v'dibar'ta bam
And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them

b'shiv't'kha b'veitekha uv'lekh't'kha vaderekh uv'shakh'b'kha uv'kumekha
when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Uk'shar'tam l'ot al yadekha v'hayu l'totafot bein einekha.
And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.

Ukh'tav'tam al m'zuzot beitekha uvish'arekha.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This is taken straight from Scripture too - recognized as such by Jew, Christian and even the JW.  So, when we read that the Lord our God is One (Deut. 6:4) and we recognize the deity of Jesus Christ as even JWs do though they call Him "a" god, not co-eternal with the Father.  In Catholic translations (I use the DRB below), and even most, if not all, Protestant translations we read in John 1:1 - 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
However, the JW version (the NWT) says:
In the beginning was the Word,+ and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.
So, how can the JW reconcile that our God is One God, and yet declare that Jesus (the Word in John 1) is "a god" too?  

Back to my conversation with the two JW ladies...  
I stated, again, that we too are translating and have translated the Scriptures into all known (written) languages around the world.  We too are doing that, and then I said, "but we have an issue with your translation."  The elderly one stated, "You can find the truth in all translations, I assume you use the Douay-Rheims..."  I answered, "Yes, that is one I turn to the most, but not the only one."  I pointed to my computer screen and said, "I am a Catholic apologist and actually am researching Scripture right now on my computer."  (I was doing this for an on-going discussion in the Catholic Debate Forum with an atheist). 

I again drew the attention away from their boasting of bringing the Scriptures to so many different people, repeating that we do that too and have been doing it for a lot longer.  I brought the discussion back to the divinity of Jesus Christ and that He is One with the Father...  At this point they must have realized they brought a knife to a gunfight.  They were polite, but quickly excused themselves.  The irony of them bringing to my attention the mezzuzah on my doorpost did not go unnoticed.

A Forward, A Nihil Obstat and An Imprimatur

SW:  In a discussion on the Catholic Debate Forum I was debating an atheist with the initials "MJ" who claimed the Forward to the Jerome Bible Commentary (JBC), written by Cardinal Bea of the Pontifical Bible Commission (PBC) was his "imprimatur" stating "nothing offensive."  Those with even a little bit of Catholic understanding and education can probably see where this is headed.
MJ responded:  But the Catholic Encyclopedia denies you that much freedom to disagree when it comes to your obligation to believe non-binding interpretations of the bible set forth by the Pontifical Bible Commission:
SW: The CE is not an official Catholic authority which can deny or permit anything - it is an encyclopedia.  Encyclopedias have articles which are the opinions of the person(s) writing the articles.  The CE has no authority. 
MJ goes on to quote (which he had cited in an earlier posting on CDF) from the CE:
Authority of its decisions  The Commission though formed like a Congregation is not a Congregation but seemingly of lower rank. Its decisions are approved by the pope and published by his command. Such approval, when given in formâ communi, does not change the nature of the decisions as emanating from a Congregation or Commission, nor does it make them specifically pontifical acts; much less does it imply an exercise of the pope's personal prerogative of infallibility. Hence they are not infallible or unchangeable, though they must be received with obedience and interior assent, by which we judge that the doctrine proposed is safe and to be accepted because of the authority by which it is presented. These decisions are not the opinions of a private assembly, but an official directive norm; to question them publicy would be lacking in respect and obedience to legitimate authority. We are not hindered from private study of the reasons on which they are based, and if some scholar should find solid arguments against a decision they should be set before the Commission.
SW:  Note, "We are not hindered from private study of the reasons on which they are based, and if some scholar should find solid arguments against a decision they should be set before the Commission."  In short, we can disagree privately with PBC decisions - we are not "bound" per se, but we must receive them in obedience and interior assent - in short, we must be respectful of the office, especially if we are in disagreement with the office.
MJ: how much sophistry must be engaged in to distinguish "must be recieved with obedience and interior assent" from "must be accepted as true"?  The more you refuse to agree with the above-highlighted part of the CE, the more you help make my case that exactly what Catholic sources on Catholic authority are reliable and which aren't, is confusing.
SW:  I did not know you were making a case for this being confusing and you were apparently confused yourself, MJ, in arguing on one had that we MUST obey/believe these "non-binding" decisions, while on the other hand you were denying any such authority existed, for it had fallen into "disuse."

MJ: Again, from the official Catechism, we find a similar statement that demands obligatory belief in something specifically denied to be infallible:
892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent"422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it. 
SW:  Yes, this is in reference to something of faith or morals when they teach something in accordance with "the ordinary Magisterium."  That is, when a bishop teaches something which is in accord with the pope and the rest of the bishops - it must be obeyed.  This is NOT a statement that we must adhere to a given commentary on Scripture.
MJ continues:
Pope John Paul II: "With respect to the non-infallible expressions of the authentic magisterium of the Church, these should be received with religious submission of mind and will." (Address to U.S. Bishops, 1988).
MJ:  Apparently, my understanding of Catholicism is correct:  The non-infallible nature of a teaching is not your ticket to freely dissent.  You can still violate official Catholic teaching by disagreeing with non-infallible teachings.
SW:  No sir.  Your understanding is not correct.  You even quoted the proper understanding, but then ignore it.  We MAY disagree - PRIVATELY - and if solid evidence is found to the contrary then we can and should submit our finding(s) to the Commission. 

SW:  The JBC, while it has some good points, is also chalked full of "commentary" from the modernist and dissenting views of Fr. Brown & Co.  Again the irony - you're citing a commentary which dissents from orthodox Catholic teaching and then challenging OUR ability to dissent from that commentary!

MJ:  So at the end of the day, there is no meaning to "be received with religious submission of mind and will".  Your obligation under those words disappears just as fast as you can say "I think this Catholic theologian got it wrong".
SW:  Well, not exactly.   Our cause for dissent must be more than just "I think this Catholic theologian got it wrong."  If you have hard evidence said theologian is wrong, that's another story.  

SW: So, let's backtrack here a bit.  MJ presented the JBC interpretation of the Parable of the Talents.  Keep in mind, the Jerome Bible COMMENTARY is just that, a COMMENTARY.  The editors and censores deputati of the nihil obstat (one and the same, in this case) along with Cardinal Bea (who wrote the Forward) stated it was their HOPE that the commentary would find widespread use.  There is no "command" to be obeyed here.  

SW:  Next, MJ cites the imprimatur - which he stated was written by Cardinal Bea, and accurately states that he is a member of the PBC, which DOES have SOME authority.  The problem we have here is MJ is taking this OPINION and transferring the authority of the PBC to the JBC, where no such transfer takes place in reality.  ALSO, Cardinal Bea did NOT grant the imprimatur (permission to be printed), Abp. Shehan of Baltimore did.  Cardinal Bea wrote the Forward.  MJ's citation is absolutely false.  

SW:  Just because someone who belongs to the PBC expresses HIS OPINION in support of the JBC, this cannot be equivocated to the PBC granting the same opinion.  Likewise, even the pope - as Mr. Conte points out, when he expresses his PERSONAL OPINION, even if it be a theological opinion, is not to be taken as a binding teaching.  An example of this is the papal opinion on the death penalty - he disapproves of it, but faithful Catholics may stand in support of it.  We must respect his opinion, but we don't have to go along with it.

SW:  The rational thinker must be questioning - why would the editors of the JBC not seek to receive the nihil obstat from someone else who was not connected to the production of the JBC?  Perhaps Fr. Brown did seek this from others, but either a) could not find anyone else or b) just took the easy path (Matt. 7:13-14).

SW:  I, for one, would take the COMMENTARY of St. John Chrysostom over the JBC on this one.  The point of the parable is to put that which God has given you to work.  Don't bury it or hide it (put it to disuse) but get out there and USE it!  The parable has nothing to do with the "power" of the disciples, but with how one USES the gifts/graces from God.  See St. Chrysostom's full commentary here:  http://fisheaters.com/parables18.html

Other Catholic commentaries on the Parable of the Talents:

The Catholic Exchange, article by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio http://catholicexchange.com/the-parable-of-the-talents-2

Bp. Barron (then Fr. Barron) offers this video commentary on the Parable of the Talents:
Catholic World Report, Bp. Robert Barron, Archdiocese of Los Angeles (similar to video above). http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/3380/the_deeper_meaning_of_the_parable_of_the_talents.aspx

SW: Now, I had also read that the editors of the JBC were the self-imposed Censores Deputati, the "officials" who would declare the "nihil obstat" (nothing offensive to the Catholic Faith).  I looked around and could not find proof of this, so I purchased the JBC of 1968 and sure enough, here's what I found:
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1 Esdras - 3 Esdras and the Question of a Closed Canon

I read an article by James Swan posted on Friday, June 17, 2016, wherein he states he had been challenged to defend both his and James White's position on 1 Esdras, 3 Esdras and whether or not the Canon of Sacred Scripture is indeed a "closed canon."  I will say that I found Swan's article interesting, to say the least.  It is an interesting discussion, but beyond mere interest - it carries no weight theologically speaking.

I was tempted, when I first began reading, to just dismiss the article, after all - "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" - to paraphrase St. Augustine.  Regardless of debates which may have taken place prior to the Council of Trent, the fact remains that Trent infallibly decreed the Canon of Sacred Scripture - end of story - the canon is closed.  Still, I repeat, I did find Swan's article to be interesting.

Of course, the reason folks like Swan, White, or Webster (whom Swan also mentions) will make such speculations is clear - they wish to undermine the authority of the Catholic Church to infallibly define ANYTHING.  Ironically though, in doing so they undermine one of their own pivotal and foundational tenets, sola scriptura.  Why?  Because if we define sola scriptura as the sole infallible rule of faith for the Christian church, as White & Co. does, and Scripture itself records God Himself giving this infallible authority to the first leaders of His Church (Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18) then Scripture has confounded the argument of sola scriptura in CLEARLY presenting us with ANOTHER infallible authority - so much for White's definition of sola scriptura (which I believe Swan and Webster both subscribe to).  As I have previously pointed out, this is "the other pen" White has challenged others to present.

Solemnity of St. John the Baptist, June 24

Why is it OK to eat meat today?  Because a solemnity is a high holy day, like a Sunday, and we don't do penance on such days in honor of the Risen Lord.  Some will argue that we can eat meat every Friday, except Fridays in Lent - and that is true - to a point.  The requirement for ALL Catholics to do penance on ALL Fridays throughout the year still exists and while it doesn't HAVE to be abstinence from meat, it HAS to be SOMETHING.  Some believe the "rule" was totally done away with after Vatican II, but they are wrong.  Take a look at some of the other postings we have here on abstinence to see where we have documented this - several times. 

Masonic Associations

It has come to my attention that many Catholics who are otherwise faithful Catholics are unaware of the official position of the Catholic Church that not only are faithful Catholics not to associate (to become members) of any Masonic associations (including Shriners) but they are not to participate in Communion if they do join a masonic group.  The seriousness of this association is so severe that we are to avoid receiving the Eucharist as if they had performed a mortal sin.

Below is the entire document explaining the Church’s position on this situation written because of the many confusions on why the most recent Code of Canon law seemed to have changed its position from the previous years and centuries.

This document can be found at the Vatican website located at the address below or one can simply do a Google search with the terms “Masonic Associations Vatican” the first link should be the actual document in question, 

This most recent and official declaration on this subject was written by Joseph Card. RATZINGER who later became Pope Benedict XVI and was ratified, ie accepted, by Saint Pope John Paul II.  Please pay particular attention to the highlighted areas.

It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L’Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981).

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.
Joseph Card. RATZINGER

God Bless

Ten Areas of Deceptions of Catholics Part III

I've already dealt with three of the "Ten Areas of Deception" in my previous two posts:

Part I,

[1] Roman Catholics are dangerously taught that they were born again at infant baptism.
[2] Roman Catholics dangerously think they receive Christ when they partake of the communion wafer.
I debunked both of these as "deceptions" in Part I. We, Catholics, do believe that we are born again at baptism, because that is what it implies, if not outright says so, in Scripture. And, yes, we believe that we receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist, because that is what Jesus Christ did say directly.

and Part II.

[3]  Roman Catholics wrongly think their church system was founded by Jesus on Peter the first pope.
Yes, we do believe that the Church was founded by Jesus on Peter, the Rock. We believe it because Jesus Christ said it. The post got long so I left it with debunking this, too, as a "deception." Both Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church prove this belief to be true and not a deception.

The next two "deadly deceptions" have to do with Mary so I thought I'd do them in one post. First:
[4] Catholics think Mary is their life, sweetness, and hope and promote her as such when they recite the rosary, which they say is the epitome of the whole gospel.
Let me talk about this so-called "deception" before I go onto his side arguments under this one.
I'm not sure how many times a Catholic can reiterate that Mary has no super power of her own and that Catholic Church does not teach that she does, and have a Protestant believe it.
Mary is our life because the Father chose her to carry the Life of the World--His Son Jesus Christ.
Mary is our sweetness because the Father chose her to carry the Sweetness of the World--His Son, Jesus Christ.
Mary is our hope because the Father chose her to carry the hope of the world--His Son, Jesus Christ.
We love Mary and honor her because she is GOD's Mother. If you believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, why do you not honor Mary His mother? Honoring Mary does not diminish our worship of her Son, Jesus Christ; it actually enhances out love of Him by loving and honoring His mother.  After all, her "soul magnified the Lord." (Luke 1:46)

As for the Rosary, it is the epitome of the Gospel. It is the definition ("a perfect example: an example represents or expresses something very well"--Merriam-Webster.com) of an epitome of the Gospel. I would venture to guess that the anonymous author has no idea what the Rosary is or what it is made up of. The Rosary is a series of prayers, yes, but it also contains meditations, things that you are to meditate on during your prayers. The 20 meditations (meditated on during each decade-ten beads-of the Rosary) are as follows:
The Joyful Mysteries:
1) The Annunciation: Luke 1:35-38
2) The Visitation; Luke 1:41-42
3) The Nativity (The birth of Jesus Christ); Luke 2:6-7
4) The Presentation; Luke 2:25-40
5) The Finding of Jesus in the Temple; Luke 2:46-47
Thus you will have complete a complete round of the Rosary beads and prayed the story of Jesus and Mary in the Gospel of Luke. Last time I heard Luke's book was considered a Gospel.
Next are the Luminous Mysteries (added to the traditional Rosary by Saint John Paul II)
1) The Baptism of Jesus; Mark 1:9-11
2) The Miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana; John 2:5-8
3) The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God; Mark 1:15
4) The Transfiguration; Matthew 17:2-5
5) The Institution of the Eucharist; Matthew 26:26-28
Here is another complete round of the Rosary beads. Matthew, Mark, and John also being authors of books called Gospel.
Which brings us to the Sorrowful Mysteries:
1) The Agony in the Garden; Mark 14:33-36
2) The Scourging at the pillar; John 19:1
3) The Crowning with Thorns; Mark 15:17
4) Carrying of the Cross; Luke 23: 27-28
5) The Crucifixion; John 19:33-35
And, next the Glorious Mysteries:
1) The Resurrection; John 20:1
2) The Ascension; Acts 1:7-9
3) The Descent of the Holy Spirit; Acts 2:2-4
4) The Assumption of Mary; Luke 1:30
5) The Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven; Revelation 12:1
You can find, online, several places where you can pray a "scriptural Rosary", where there is a Scripture passage for each of the ten beads of each meditation. There is one here, or here, or even this one. The Meditations of the Rosary are very Scriptural and definitely are the "epitome", an excellent example, of the Gospel.

As for Protestant objections to praying to Mary in this way, I would like to reiterate that we actually ask Mary to pray for us. All our prayers are directed straight to Jesus. This is the very same thing we do when we ask a friend, a minister, or a family member to pray for us to God. The difference is that we know that Mary is beside her Son, and has His ear. What mother doesn't have some influence over her son?
"...she is rightly called not only the mother of the man, but also the Mother of God...it is certain that Mary is the Mother of the real and true God."  --Martin Luther; Sermon on John 14:16
"Men have crowded all her glory into a single phrase: The Mother of God. No one can say anything greater of her, though he had as many tongues as there are leaves on the trees." --Martin Luther; Commentary on the Magnificat. Source.
Even the father of the Protestant movement, Martin Luther, disagrees with the author of this post. Under this "deception" he made this comment (yes, I skipped a little of his comments that were redundant).

Catholicism has erected a false Mary, which has a primary role in people's salvation. Such has misled many sincere people.
Again, all I can say is that the author has no idea what place Mary has in the Church. She is the Mother of God. If she had not said yes to God, Jesus would not have been born. Don't get me wrong, I do believe God could have done it any other way--BUT HE DIDN'T. He prepared the perfect "vessel", mother, and then gave her a choice to obey or not. She said, "yes" and became the mother of God Incarnate. How could that not be special? How could one say she has no place in salvation history? It actually makes no logical sense to say that Mary had nothing to do with it. However the author of this diatribe says:
Mary plays absolutely no role in our salvation.
She had the biggest role of any human being in our salvation. She carried our salvation in her human body. She nursed our salvation at her breast. She bounced our salvation on her knee.
Then he says:
This means you cannot trust in being a Catholic, the sacraments and/or Mary along with the Lord Jesus. You must trust in Jesus alone (100%). That implies a turning away from sin.
Another statement that makes this or any informed Catholic see that this author has no idea what the Catholic Church is or teaches. But let's just look at the surface of this statement. Why must there be an either/or. To me, he is also condemning himself with this statement because he says that you must trust in Jesus Christ 100%. Does he also say that his one rule or authority of faith is the Bible? Then he is putting his trust in something other than Jesus Christ, is he not? Yes, the Scriptures testify to Jesus and His ministry, but it also attests to Mary's place in that ministry, in the Apostles commission from Jesus continuing that ministry, and to the foundation of His Church which continues His ministry.

The Church does not imply the turning away from sin but outright preaches it. We worship and obey Jesus' commands. All of the Sacraments were founded by Jesus and He commanded the Apostles to teach them. And, the Church does not teach that Mary is Jesus' equal, never has, but does teach that He loves and honors His mother and that she prays for and loves all of His followers. She sees us all as her children. We, Catholics, do trust in Jesus alone, 100%; we just don't see that we must dishonor someone in order to honor Jesus Christ our Savior.

His next question has to do with Mary also, so I thought I'd include it here.
[5] Catholics think if they die wearing the brown scapular they will not suffer the fires of hell.
For one thing, it is obvious that the anonymous author knows nothing about sacramentals. Sacramentals are "sacred signs instituted by the Church to prepare us to receive the fruit of the sacraments and to sanctify different circumstances of our lives" (CCC 1677). They are the little things that bring us out of our ordinary lives and help us think of spiritual things and tell other people we are Catholic. The Rosary is a sacramental, so is the brown scapular. You can read more on sacramentals here.
 "The promise that wearing [the brown scapular] will ensure that a person who wears is guaranteed heaven. This guarantee is based on a misunderstanding of Our Lady of Mount Carmel's promise to St. Simon Stock that "whosoever dies clothed in this scapular shall not suffer eternal life."" --Michelle Arnold, staff Apologist, Catholic Answers
 People who say that a certain prayer or a certain thing will guarantee anything, including salvation, heaven, or to get out of Heaven is engaging in superstition which is strictly against Catholic teaching.

The brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is best understood in the context of our Catholic Faith. It offers us a rich spiritual tradition that honors Mary as the first and foremost of her Son's disciples. This scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother, and queen. It offers an effective symbol of Mary's protection to the Order of Carmel--its members, associates, and affiliates--as they strive to fulfill their vocation as defined by the Carmelite Rule of Saint Albert: "To live in allegiance to Jesus Christ." --Michelle Arnold, staff Apologist, Catholic Answers.
[I thought Ms. Arnold's explanations of the scapular were excellent.]
In other words, the brown scapular is not a lucky charm; you can't just put it on and be saved from hell. The Church does not teach that and the Carmelites do not teach that. The promise is for those who wear the brown scapular as a sign of their devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ. Your devotion to Jesus Christ and His teachings are what will save you from hell. If you are wearing it as a talisman, or a good luck charm, the promise is not valid. It is as simple as that.
Read Ms. Arnold's article for an excellent explanation of the brown scapular and the promise attached to it.
So, to answer about this as a "deception", it is actually a misunderstanding of what a sacramental is and what the brown scapular as a sacramental is and what it can do. The scapular is a sign, like wearing a cross or crucifix around one's neck to proclaim to the world that one is a Christian. The scapular tells the world that one is a Carmelite or follow that Carmelite way of prayer and devotion to Jesus. 

That is long enough for this post.

[6] Catholics think the sacraments are a means of them receiving grace needed for salvation.
[7] Catholics confess their sins to a priest instead of to God.
[8]  Catholics who read and believe the Fatima Visions are dangerously thinking that Mary is our refuge and the way that will lead them to God.
[9] Many Catholics are just hoping to enter Purgatory and there get purged of their sins to afterwards go to Heaven.
[10] Catholics have been lethally misinformed about how to show their love for the Lord Jesus.

St Clare Turns Back ISIS with the Eucharist

Nuff said!

"Ten Areas of Deadly Deception Among Catholics" Part II

This is the second in a series responding to a ridiculous anti-Catholic tract found online. I am trying to keep these responses to a sensible length, thus the series. Like I said in  part I, the anonymous author of this EOMin posting repeats many of the tired, old nonsense that has been disproved so, so many times.  He doesn't always argue his points with Scripture.

The two points already covered in Part I, were:
[1.] Roman Catholics are dangerously taught that they were born again at infant baptism.
I pointed out the Scriptural evidence which implies infant baptism (Col 2:11,12; Acts 2:39; Acts 16:15; 16:33; I Cor 1:16) and the Scriptural support for the Sacrament of Baptism (Acts 2:38; Matt: 28:19-20) and being "born again" by Baptism (John 3:6-8). And if Scripture were not enough, I did quote from Early Fathers of the Church, such as Origen, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory of Nazianz, St. Augustine, etc.
[2.] Roman Catholic dangerously think they receive Christ when they partake of the communion wafer.

Of course, we believe we receive Christ. More importantly we believe Christ receives us into His mystical body. We believe Our Lord Jesus's own words in John chapter 6, though Protestants are like the disciples who could not bring themselves to believe His words and left Him.

So, on to the next point:
 [3.] Roman Catholics wrongly think their church system was founded by Jesus on Peter the first pope.
The Catholic Church may be seen by some Protestants as a "church system", in my opinion, because many, if not most, Protestants sects and individual churches have no authority, no unity, and no set of beliefs in common. The Catholic Church holds the same beliefs, worship in the same way, and have a unity of beliefs that make it one Church. Jesus prayed to the Father that they would be one; one church, one faith, one family of God.
Roman Catholics, in fact, rightly believe their Church was founded by Jesus Christ on Peter the first pope. Protestants say that Scripture is the rule of their faith; I would say Catholics are actually the Bible believers. Let's look at a couple of Scripture passages that say that Jesus did indeed found His Church on Peter:
John 1: 42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter)
[Note on verse 42:] Cephas: in Aramaic = the Rock; cf. Mt 16:18. Neither the Greek equivalent Petros nor, with one isolated exception, Cephas is attested as a personal name before Christian times.
Jesus Christ gave Simon a new name. He called him Cephas. This is the Aramaic word for rock. He named him "The Rock." He was Simon "the Rock" Bar Jonah (son of John). Similar(though not quite the same) to Dwayne Johnson using The Rock as his wrestling name. From the time Jesus gave Simon that name, he was called "The Rock" or Rocky--in Greek Petros (because the word for rock, petra, was feminine, the ending was changed to a masculine one. This change of endings was quite common in the Greek language. However, there is only one other instance of a man using the Petros for a name in ancient literature.) But, since there is only one word for rock in Aramaic, the language Jesus Christ spoke, the significance of this becomes clear:
Matthew 16: 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter [Cephas], and upon this rock [cephas] I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
From: Catholicbridge.com
 [Notes for verse 18 which help explain this passage:]  the Aramaic word kēpā’ meaning rock and transliterated into Greek as Kēphas is the name by which Peter is called in the Pauline letters (1 Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:4; Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14) except in Gal 2:78 (“Peter”). It is translated as Petros (“Peter”) in Jn 1:42. The presumed original Aramaic of Jesus’ statement would have been, in English, “You are the Rock (Kēpā’) and upon this rock (kēpā’) I will build my church.” The Greek text probably means the same, for the difference in gender between the masculine noun petros, the disciple’s new name, and the feminine noun petra (rock) may be due simply to the unsuitability of using a feminine noun as the proper name of a male. Although the two words were generally used with slightly different nuances, they were also used interchangeably with the same meaning, “rock.” Church: this word (Greek ekklēsia) occurs in the gospels only here and in Mt 18:17 (twice). There are several possibilities for an Aramaic original. Jesus’ church means the community that he will gather and that, like a building, will have Peter as its solid foundation. That function of Peter consists in his being witness to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it: the netherworld (Greek Hadēs, the abode of the dead) is conceived of as a walled city whose gates will not close in upon the church of Jesus, i.e., it will not be overcome by the power of death.
For the Catholic Church this is pretty straightforward. Jesus "built" His Church on "The Rock" (Peter or Cephas in Aramaic). He gave The Rock the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and gave The Rock the power to forgive or not forgive--which also would be binding in heaven. We simply take Our Lord Jesus Christ at His word.

The belief that Peter was The Rock and that He was the chosen (by Jesus Christ Himself) representative and leader of the Church was believed from the beginning. Some important early mentions of Peter as such:
St. Ambrose:

"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter" (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).
 "[Simon Peter said to Simon Magus in Rome:] ‘For you now stand in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church’ [Matt. 16:18]" (Clementine Homilies 17:19 [A.D. 221]).
 "Look at [Peter], the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church [Matt. 16:18]. And what does our Lord say to him? ‘Oh you of little faith,’ he says, ‘why do you doubt?’ [Matt. 14:31]" (Origen, Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).
 On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]). On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).
 "I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails" (Jerome, Letters 15:2 [A.D. 396]).
 These and many more quotes along the same lines are found here.
I want to address just a couple of things he said in support of his argument.

The superiority the Roman Catholic Church claims for itself comes from this fallacious concept, which has led people into increasing error especially as Catholicism has drifted further and further into darkness over the centuries.
This statement does not stand up to actual Church history. It seems to me the author believes his audience will see this as an obvious given; it is not. I have spent some time above pointing out the biblical and traditional support for the Church being built on Peter and his authority. The Catholic Church believes that Christ said the words, as proved by Scripture, that make clear His wish that we be one, that we follow Peter, that we obey him. The Catholic Church established the form of Christianity we see today after the persecutions final stopped at the beginning of the fourth century. In Eusebius' History of the Church, we can even read about the magnificent Cathedral built at the time of Constantine as a tribute to the one true God and His Church.

The Catholic Church gathered, preserved, and published (painstakingly copied) the Scriptures all Christians enjoy today. The Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, studied, debated, prayed over, and decided on the beliefs of the faith. What the Catholic Church has today is the same Church it was 1700 years ago. The only differences are superficial ones. Some traditions have changed over the years (ie, celibacy, priestly dress, monastic garb, etc.), but doctrines have not. Some have had to be pronounced or written down as dogma when challenged within or without the Church (ie, the Immaculate Conception--which has always been believed but had to be outlined because of how far away from this doctrine Protestants had gone; More on Mary in the next post).

What the author sees as "superiority" is actually authority. The Church does indeed speak with authority because she was given that authority by Jesus Christ and ensured by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us to "all truth" and guide us to the "end of the age."  What keeps the author of this opinion tract in the truth? How does he know that his form of Christianity is right and the church down the street that disagrees with him on basic tenets of faith is not the ones who are right? I would ask him to think about this: Is there one truth or many truths? This is what "superiority" the Catholic Church has--the Fullness of Truth. We know exactly where the authority of the Church comes from: our Founder, Savior, and the supreme Head of the Church, Jesus Christ.

The anonymous author goes on to say:
Most Catholics are not aware of the doctrines that were added over the centuries or that certain popes denounced as heretics by other popes. The whole idea of a papacy itself is unscriptural.
1) Catholics are or should be aware of all Catholic doctrine. We treat people as adults in our Church and expect them to pray and study. If they attend Mass regularly, they will hear the majority of Scripture read throughout the Sunday three year cycle. If they go to week day Masses, they will hear nearly 100% of Scripture in Church. Homilies (sermons) usually have to do with doctrinal teachings applied to life. If the average (Mass attending) Catholic is paying attention, then he/she will know the important doctrines/dogmas of the Church.
2) To think that "Most Catholics" are ignorant of Catholic doctrine, would be overstating the case. Doctrinal development is a fact. Doctrines have been developed, not added over time. The difference is that development means that the words were fleshed out; the meaning of the Scripture and Apostolic support of all doctrines have been fleshed out; doctrines have been put down in words that have meaning for the Christian faithful.
3) Catholics who have studied history freely admit that all popes are human and therefore not perfect. Even Pope Saint John Paul II went to confession every day. We know there have been some men who were appointed as pope that should not have been the leader of His Church. However, if one studies Church history objectively, one can see that not one of these "heretical" or "bad" popes changed, added, or practiced new, innovative, or heretical doctrines. Not one of them changed the Church's teachings--not one.
4) I have provided plenty of Scriptural support of the papacy above. Just because something is not spelled out, in English, for someone so tightly wound to find fault, does not make the papacy "unscriptural." There is plenty of support for the papacy in Scripture if one opens their eyes and mind.

He goes on:
After Jesus spoke Mt. 16:18, Peter was not recognized as the chief Apostle among the Twelve. Mk 8:29 is the parallel account to Mt. 16:18. Less than one full chapter later, the disciples were arguing which of them was the greatest (Mk 9:24). Hence, they didn't understand Peter to be the chief. See also Acts 15 where Peter did not preside over the Jerusalem church council.
 1) Peter's name used more often than all apostles names combined: 191 times--162 times as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next with 48 mentions with Peter there about 50% of the time. It has been reckoned that all the other disciples combined are mentioned 130 times.

2) Peter's name is first in lists of the Apostles. See Matt. 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13. Matthew calls him the first in his Gospel (10:2). He is listed as the first among the "inner circle". See Matthew 17:1; 26:37, 40; Mark 5:37; 14:37).

3) Peter is also named first in just about every passage where he is mention with another person. See Galatians 1:18-19; 2:7-8). 

4) Peter spoke up and was recognized as the leader of the group of Christ's followers brought before the Jewish community leaders. See Acts 4:1-13, especially verse 8: "Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them,..." Peter was recognized as leader in Acts 2:37-38.

5) Peter was the first to: Enter the empty tomb (Luke 24:12; John 20:6); lead the apostles in fishing (John 21:2-3:11), call for a replacement to Judas (Acts 1:22); to speak after Pentecost (making him the first Christian to preach the Gospel; Acts 2:14-36), work a miracle (Acts 3:6-12); pronounce an anathema (Acts 5:2-11); raise the dead (Acts 9:40); receive the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-48); to be delivered by an angel (The whole Church praying for him; Acts 12:1-17); refute heresy (Acts 8:14-24); use the genuine gift of tongues (Acts 2:14-21); be a missionary (Acts 9:32-38, 43--Paul began his official missionary journeys in Acts 13:2); right an epistle from Rome (I Peter 5:13);

6) Paul went to see Peter in Jerusalem for 15 days before he set out on his missionary ministry (Gal 1:18) and received his commission from Peter, James, and John (Gal. 2:9).

7) As for the Council of Jerusalem, one see by reading Acts 15 that James was the bishop of Jerusalem. James, therefore, was the host of the Council. However, it was Peter's revelation that they were discussing (Acts 10:9-16) and that they acted upon (Acts 10: 44-49). Peter iterated the decision of the council and spoke first of the decision of the Council. James only reiterated  and agreed with what Peter said, and, as host, wrapped up (gave closure to) the council (Acts 15:19-21).
In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present Peter with such prominence in the Bible without some meaning and import for later Christian history--in particular, Church government. The papacy is the plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this.  (Dave Armstrong, The Pre-Eminence of St. Peter: 50 New Testament Proofs--I also used this site to help with the Scriptures above).
Mr. Armstrong's article also contains many, many more instances of the preeminence of Peter, the uniqueness of the stories surrounding Peter, and Peter's firsts in Scripture. If the author wants to argue the lack of Scripture in favor of Peter's papacy, he falls short. There is so much Scripture in support of Peter as leader, as miracle worker, as missionary, that is becomes a little ridiculous to say that Peter was not the head of the Church Christ founded. The preponderance of evidence is in favor of Saint Peter.

Simply put, yes, Jesus founded His Church on Peter, The Rock. And, yes, it was believed by the Apostles, and the church from the beginning, as Scripture and the surviving Church writings show.

Further reading: The Papacy by ACTS, Did Jesus Really Make Peter Pope? by Fr. William Saunders on the EWTN Website,  Scott Hahn on the PapacyThe Early Church Fathers I Never Saw by Marcus Grodi,  Was Peter the Rock? The "little rock, big rock" theory  and The Pope on CatholicBridge.com

Next up, the EOMin tract author's misinterpretations of Mary and her role in the plan of Salvation.

[4.] Catholics think Mary is their life, sweetness and hope and proclaim her as such when they recited the rosary, which they say is the epitome of the whole gospel.

[5.] Catholics think if they die wearing the brown scapular they will not suffer the fires of hell.
[6.] Catholics think the sacraments are a means of them receiving grace needed for salvation.
[7.] Catholics confess their sins to a priest instead of to God.
[8.] Catholics who read and believe the Fatima Visions are dangerously thinking that Mary is our refuge and the way that will lead them to God.
[9.] Many Catholics are just hoping to enter Purgatory and there get purged of their sins to afterwards go to Heaven.
[10.] Catholics have been lethally misinformed about how to show their love for the Lord Jesus.  

Infallibility Discussion - Part 5

Ongoing discussion with PBJ from BeggarsAll...

PBJ, again you have gone beyond my argument. You even brought in a quote about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has not been even remotely discussed by me. No, my whole argument, THUS FAR, has not been to show who possesses "the other pen," only that "the other pen" exists - and YOU have affirmed that fact too! I fully understand your unwillingness to accept the Catholic Church might be in possession of "the other pen," even your eagerness to demonstrate she does not - but again, that was not the point of my argument. I repeat, the FACT, which you have affirmed is that THE OTHER PEN EXISTS. James White to Matatics: "All you have to do is produce 'the other pen' and you win this debate." [Addendum: The quote from White is paraphrased but accurately represents what White said -see below].
10:26 AM, JUNE 10, 2016
PeaceByJesus said...

sw: PBJ, again you have gone beyond my argument. You even brought in a quote about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has not been even remotely discussed by me. No, my whole argument, THUS FAR, has not been to show who possesses "the other pen," only that "the other pen" exists - and YOU have affirmed that fact too! 
BJ:  What? Do you have a filter on when reading my responses?
sw:  Not a formal "filter," but I have glossed over a couple times when you're going off topic.  When you do so, you are rightfully ignored. 
PBJ:  As explained, your argument the "other pen can be found in Matthew 16:18-19 and similarly in Matthew 18:18" simply does not translate into "the other pen," that of an "extant record of God's infallible voice of special revelation" as Swan argued, that of what Trent said ("received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the Apostles themselves") which White cited in rejecting.

sw:  The extent of my argument was and is to show that Scripture itself points to another infallible source.  You have already affirmed "the other pen."   Thus, by White's own challenge/standard - he looses the debate.  
PBJ:  And which pen is what you claimed to be proving, and thus you are arguing for what Trent presumed of itself, but contextually and in the light of all Scripture this binding/loosing power is not about what Trent presumed. Nor does it even mean what you claimed you are only arguing (in order to extrapolate this to mean what Trents presumed, if your assertion is to have any import), that of giving man/men authority to bind or loose whatsoever they choose on Earth, and more than its means that whatsoever "two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven," which contextually belongs to the binding/loosing provision but does not translate into autocratic authority. 
sw:  And again, you have abandoned the debate for an additional topic.  You PRESUME that because I am a Catholic, I am arguing Trent and what "whatsoever" extends to - even though REPEATEDLY I have stated that for THIS discussion that is NOT part of my argument.  You have lost the debate, as did White, based upon your own affirmation of another infallible source and so you are attempting to divert the discussion away from your lost position on to one you think you can "win."  As much as I would like to engage that discussion, and can and will when appropriate, THIS debate is not and has not been about Trent, the Assumption or the extent or limitation of "whatsoever."  Those are YOUR arguments which you're trying to divert me into defending to draw attention away from the FACT that "the other pen" has been produced.
PBJ   Nor does it even refer to providing revelation in the context that you restrict to, but to disciplinary corporate judicial judgments, as well as spiritual binding/loosing in prayer. 
sw:  Again, ALL I am saying at this time is that the Scriptures provide "the other pen."  I have deliberately NOT engaged the discussion on the length or limit of that authority.
PBJ:  You could argue that binding/loosing judgment could bind souls to believe whatsoever revelation the magisterium decrees was apostolic tradition, but without the binding/loosing provision translating into autocratic authority then the veracity of which would have to be established upon conformity with the established word of God, that which is written, which was essentially established as being of God based upon its unique Divine power and attestation.
sw:  I "could" argue that - but I have not.  I believe you want me to argue that, because essentially you AGREE with the existence of "the other pen," and keep trying to move to a point you DISAGREE with me.  In short, you keep trying to move the goalpost.
sw: James White to Matatics: "All you have to do is produce 'the other pen' and you win this debate." 
PBJ:  Actually what White said was "All he needs to do is go out, get a Cross Medallist pen, walk up here, hold it right next to mine, and say, "See! Another pen, just like yours!" and he's won the debate."

sw:  Granted, my representation was a paraphrase - which accurately portrayed what White actually said.  Would you agree that White's challenge was to provide "the other pen?"  I would add, what you quoted was not White to Matatics, but White to Madrid.  White used the same analogy with Matatics, but with Matatics he said:  
JRW:  But, if I came in and made this assertion, that this is the only pen like this in the world, it would be very easy for Mr. Matatics to win that debate. Know how? He gets in his car, he goes down to the local business store, or stationery store, or whatever it is and he goes in and gets a Cross Medallist pen and he brings it in and stands up at the podium and he puts it next to this one and says, “See, there’s another one just like it.” And the debate’s over. The debate’s over. The uniqueness of this pen has been shown to be false. (SOURCE).
sw: To Madrid he said:
JRW:  To illustrate this, I call your attention to my pen.  Yes, to my pen!  
If our debate this evening was that I was going to stand here and say that this is the only pen of its kind in all the universe, how would I go about proving it?  Well, the only way I could prove the statement "there is no other pen like this in all the universe," is if I looked in all of your purses, and all of your shirt pockets, and in all the stores in the world that carry pens, and look through all the houses, and all over the planet Earth, and the Moon, and the planets in the Solar System, and in the entire universe, looking for another pen like this.  And, of course, I could not do that.  But it would be very easy for Mr. Madrid to win that debate.  All he needs to do is go out, get a Cross Medallist pen, walk up here, hold it right next to mine, and say, "See!  Another pen, just like yours!" and he's won the debate.  ...he must demonstrate the existence of "the other pen."  (SOURCE). 
sw:  Either way, what I said was not an inaccurate paraphrase of what White said to either Madrid or Matatics.  I repeat:  Would you agree that White's challenge was to provide "the other pen?" 
PBJ:  And besides what also is excluded, this pen (contrary to your moving the goal posts) " is what you must produce, but Rome has no such other pen, for in order to be this pen, just like Scripture, then Rome must be able to show that she not only speaks as wholly inspired of God but also provides new Divine revelation, as apostles did. And that RCs know that this is assuredly the word of God when spoken according to her infallible scope and subject-based formula. And which is where the Assumption comes in.
sw:  Um, you have been "Mr. Goalpost Mover," not me.   You keep trying to move the goalpost for me to defend the Catholic position of the Pope and the College of Bishops to be in possession of that "other pen" or "pens" or "whatsoever," when all along I have stated MY goal is NOT to defend those positions AT THIS TIME, but MERELY to demonstrate the existence of "the other pen," which YOU have affirmed the existence of.  Need I remind you that you affirmed that the authority given to men to bind or loose IS scriptural AND that since that binding/loosing also takes place in Heaven AND since you have also affirmed that nothing errant (or fallible) can be bound in Heaven THEN logic demands that whatsoever they so bind/loose is infallibly bound/loosed.  Here are your words:
PBJ:  Why can't you see that "that men were given authority to bind and loose on Earth/Heaven has been repeatedly acknowledged," "That men can blind/loose on Earth and in Heaven is Scriptural means yes?  (Emphasis added)  Certainly nothing erroneous can be bound or loosed in Heaven.
sw:  You're not going back on your words now, are you?
PBJ:  Thus contrary to your claim, Matthew 16:18-19 and similarly in Matthew 18:18 does not teach "the other pen," that Trent presumed of itself, and which Swan and White, nor even authority to bind or loose whatsoever a church chooses, much less Rome with her novel and unScriptural ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility.
And which Roman "pen" is indeed what you are arguing for, contrary to your claim.
2:14 PM, JUNE 11, 2016
sw:  You're back to arguing "whatsoever" and "which Roman pen" - but again - MY argument is merely for the EXISTENCE of "the other pen" or "AN other pen."  I repeat, I am NOT arguing (at this time) for who is in possession of "the other pen" OR the limits or lengths of the authority of "the other pen."

Addendum 6/18/2016:
PBJ responded on BeggarsAll on June 16, 2016.  (Linked here).  I have prepared a response to PBJ and have included all his/her words in my response.  Since my response is a bit long for a combox (comment box) response, and formatting is more difficult in a combox, I am responding here:
  sw: PBJ, You're back to arguing "whatsoever" and "which Roman pen" - but again - MY argument is merely for the EXISTENCE of "the other pen" or "AN other pen." I repeat, I am NOT arguing (at this time) for who is in possession of "the other pen" OR the limits or lengths of the authority of "the other pen."
PBJ: Again you are exampling constrained RC blindness of what refuted you, for as shown, you claim to be proving the existence of "the other pen" that Swan rejected as being what Trent claimed,
sw:  Correction, I did not make an argument for "what Trent claimed." 
PBJ: ...that of her unwritten traditions being from the Apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself,
sw:  Correction, I did not make an argument for "unwritten traditions."
PBJ: ...and which in response you asserted was found in Matthew 16:18-19 and similarly in Matthew 18:18,
sw:  Correction:  While I did cite those verses, it was NOT "in response" to an argument on "unwritten traditions."  Again, I did not make an argument for "unwritten tradition" nor did I attempt to support "unwritten tradition" in this discussion with you.  You need to stop making things up.  Who do you think you're fooling with these invented arguments?
PBJ: ...and . which you also pointed to Matatics as claiming and which you said White denied,
sw:  Correction, I did not point to anything Gerry Matatics claimed.  I quoted White speaking to Matatics.  More invented argument from you, PBJ.
PBJ: ...and which pen was one "just like" Scripture.

sw:  Um, please quote where I stated "which pen was one 'just like' Scripture."  Still making stuff up, I see.
PBJ: Therefore contrary to your assertion, whether or not Rome is in possession of "the other pen" is not "another argument" for .as much as you claim to only be arguing merely for the EXISTENCE of "the other pen" or "AN other pen, you have to be arguing for what Swan denied and your responded "can be found in Matthew 16:18-19 and similarly in Matthew 18:18," and you quoted White as challenging Matatics to provide!
sw:  You know what, PBJ, if you would represent what YOU want to say and let ME say what MY argument is - you wouldn't have to go making up stuff.  I realize you've been trying to draw me into those OTHER arguments, but your attempts have failed.  I did not bring up White's fatally flawed pen argument - Swan did.  I focused in on White's "the other pen" challenge - and avoided the side issues you kept attempting to derail my argument with.
 sw: "You have already affirmed 'the other pen,'"
 PBJ:  Once again I have not, for the "other pen" is what you claim White denied and Swan described, which you claim can be found in Matthew 16:18-19 and similarly in Matthew, and which is simply not what you wishfully claim to see me affirming, nor that of any pen meaning "whatsoever they choose on Earth and that which they bind/loose on Earth is bound/loosed in Heaven," nor that Mt. 16:18 or Mt. 18:18  contextually refers to the "other pen" that you imagine is in there.
 sw:  OK. let's do a short recap here to bring MY argument back into focus instead of what you're attempting to impute on me as my argument.
a) White defines sola scriptura as the sole infallible source of teaching for the Christian church.

b) White challenges (both Matatics and Madrid) to demonstrate another infallible source for Christian church and uses his Cross Medalist pen as an analogy of his claim.  IF that pen represents the SOLE infallible source - then all Matatics or Madrid would have to do is provide us with "AN other infallible source," -or in other words- "the other pen" and they win the debate.
i) Keep in mind, White's Cross Medalist pen does not represent Scripture itself - but it represents the infallible nature of Scripture.  "The other pen" he challenges Matatics, Madrid, or anyone else to provide is another infallible source.  MY argument has not been, thus far, to prove the Catholic Church is in possession of "the other pen," nor have I argued the lengths or limits of "the other pen," all I have sought to do is demonstrate the existence of "the other pen," and I believe I have done so.
 c) I provided Matt. 16:18-19 and 18:18 as scriptural evidence of God giving men the authority to bind or loose on Earth and that which they bound/loosed on Earth was also bound/loosed in Heaven.  Both you and Ken affirmed that Scripture indeed records God (Jesus) giving this authority to men.

d) I then asked, "Do you believe anything errant or fallible could be bound or loosed in Heaven?"  Both you and Ken affirmed that nothing fallible could be bound or loosed in Heaven.

e) So, ipso facto, if nothing fallible can be bound/loosed in Heaven then this authority God (Jesus) gave to men MUST be infallible authority.

f)  There you have it - "the other pen."

sw:  Back to PBJ:
PBJ:  Therefore you have made fallacious charges
sw:  I have made NO "fallacious charges."  If you disagree with me, document yourself. 
PBJ:  ...and lost the argument, yet blindly, or ignorantly or insolently assert the contrary!
sw:  Let me just say, I have not "won" the argument(s) you keep trying to divert me to - because I have not engaged them.  The argument I do claim to have "won" is that of presenting "the other pen."  I have provided ANOTHER infallible source other than Scripture - and the irony is, that OTHER source is recorded IN SCRIPTURE!  One who accept Scripture as an infallible authority should logically accept that these men were given infallible authority too - therefore, sola scriptura, especially as White defines it, is demonstrably shown to be a false teaching and contrary to Scripture.

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...