Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Unam Sanctum - One Holy (Church)

This posting is in response to a participant on the Catholic Debate Forum whose allegation is that Unam Sanctum, especially the last sentence of it, is "evil."

Unam Sanctum:
http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/docs/unamsanctum.htm

> 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 [Sgs 6:8] 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.

Nothing evil here. Pope Boniface VII here is just defining WHY
we believe the Church is One. You may disagree with his opinion
here, but this is not "evil."

> 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 again presents a case for the Church being the "one and
only" of the Lord. Still nothing "evil" here.

> 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.

More of making a case for the Church being one, just as when
husband and wife are one in marriage and love. (Nothing
evil here).

> This is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was
> not rent but which was cast by lot [Jn 19:23- 24].

Another analogy to the unity of the Church, not being divided,
just as Jesus' tunic was not divided. (Still nothing evil).

> 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].

He gives support to the fact that a living body is one, with
only one head - not some two-headed monster. He
furthers with the fact Jesus spoke to Peter, and Peter alone
when He said "Feed My sheep," entrusting them all to
Peter. (Again, nothing "evil" here. You can disagree with
his interpretation, but what he's said is not "evil.")

> 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/.'

More affirmation that the Church, or sheepfold, is to be
one. (Still nothing evil).

> 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.

In the ideal world, there are two swords - one is
administered FOR the Church, by kings and soldiers,
and the other is BY the Church, through priests.
The first one is material - for defending the Church
against material foes; the second is for defending the
Church against spiritual foes. Spiritual foes are
defeated by and fear the Eucharist - at the hands of
priests. (Still nothing evil here).

> 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.

More explanation of the two swords and how they work
together - not opposed to each other. (Still nothing
evil).

> 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.

Here we have an explanation of the "order" of things in
the universe and that is compared to the Order of God.
(Still nothing evil).

> 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.

The above is an explanation of the need for spiritual things
to be above terrestrial or material things. (Still nothing
evil).

> 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 is an explanation of why the pope is not judged by
any other man on earth. The a pope is judged by God.
(Again, you might disagree here, but this statement is
not "evil").

> 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],

Here he explains the divine origin of Peter's authority and
that of his successors.

> ...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].

The analogy to one beginning and one Church. (Still
nothing "evil" here).

> Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that
> it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human
> creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

This is just the logical conclusion of the earlier statements.
It is the dogmatic definition of this document, and based
on the premise - there is no other logical conclusion.
Since the Church is to be one - and there is one sheepfold
and one shepherd, there can be no validity to separated
churches. It is through the Church that we receive the
sacraments - especially those of Eucharist and Confession
(Reconcilliation), outside the Church neither of these
sacraments are valid. It is through these that we are
given the grace of salvation. Only priests recognized by
the successor of St. Peter to have valid orders can validly
administer these sacraments. These priests are under the
pope - so logically speaking, all the faithful are under or
subject to the pope.

In conclusion, there is nothing "evil" here - it's purely a
logical argument for the EENS (Extra Ecclesiam Nulla
Salus - Outside the Church there is No Salvation).

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