Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reichskonkordat with Germany

Reichskonkordat

The Concordat was NOT signed by Pope Pius XII!  Nor was the German official who signed it a Nazi!  Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen zu K├Âningen (29 October 1879 – 2 May 1969) was a German nobleman, Roman Catholic monarchist politician, General Staff officer, and diplomat, who served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933–1934. A member of the Catholic Centre Party until 1932, he was one of the most influential members of the Camarilla of President Paul von Hindenburg in the late Weimar Republic. It was largely Papen, who believed that Hitler could be controlled once he was in the government, who persuaded Hindenburg to put aside his scruples and approve Hitler as Chancellor in a cabinet not under Nazi Party domination. However, Papen and his allies were quickly marginalized by Hitler and he left the government after the Night of the Long Knives, during which some of his confidants were "purged" by the Nazis.

Cardinal Pacelli was not a Nazi, and was working with several German states to secure the rights of Catholics and the Catholic Church in these states.   While it is true that LATER Cardinal Pacelli became Pope Pius XII, he was not pope at the time and was working under Pope Pius XI.

The Reichskonkordat, signed on 20 July 1933, between Germany and the Holy See, while thus a part of an overall Vatican policy, was controversial from its beginning. It remains the most important of Pacelli's concordats. It is debated, not because of its content, which is still valid today, but because of its timing. A national concordat with Germany was one of Pacelli's main objectives as secretary of state, because he had hoped to strengthen the legal position of the Church. Pacelli, who knew German conditions well, emphasized in particular protection for Catholic associations (§31), freedom for education and Catholic schools, and freedom for publications.  When negotiations for the concordat began, the Nazi Party had not yet taken over all political control of Germany.

Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor on 30 January 1933 and sought to gain international respectability and to remove internal opposition by representatives of the Church and the Catholic Centre Party. He sent his vice chancellor Franz von Papen, a Catholic nobleman and member of the Centre Party, to Rome to offer negotiations about a Reichskonkordat. On behalf of Pacelli, Prelate Ludwig Kaas, the outgoing chairman of the Centre Party, negotiated first drafts of the terms with Papen. The concordat was finally signed, by Pacelli for the Vatican and von Papen for Germany, on 20 July and ratified on 10 September 1933.

Between 1933 and 1939, Pacelli issued 55 protests of violations of the Reichskonkordat. Most notably, early in 1937, Pacelli asked several German cardinals, including Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber to help him write a protest of Nazi violations of the Reichskonkordat; this was to become Pius XI's 1937 encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge. The encyclical was written in German and not the usual Latin of official Roman Catholic Church documents. Secretly distributed by an army of motorcyclists and read from every German Catholic Church pulpit on Palm Sunday, it condemned the paganism of the National Socialism ideology. Pope Pius XI credited its creation and writing to Pacelli. It was the first official denunciation of Nazism made by any major organization and resulted in persecution of the Church by the infuriated Nazis who closed all the participating presses and "took numerous vindictive measures against the Church, including staging a long series of immorality trials of the Catholic clergy."

Rabbi David Dalin's The Myth of Hitler's Pope argues that critics of Pius are liberal Catholics and ex-Catholics who "exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today" and that Pius XII was actually responsible for saving the lives of many thousands of Jews.

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_XII (I know, it's a wiki, but very well documented)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Catholic Authority

Michael on CDF presented the follow ECF quotes in support of Papal authority as stated and exercised by the Early Church.  (It appears he got his quotes from the ScriptureCatholic website).


"The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth....If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Pope Clement of Rome [regn. c A.D.91-101], 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

"Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate..." Pope Victor I [regn. A.D. 189-198], in Eusebius EH, 24:9 (A.D. 192).

"Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid...Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter." Pope Stephen I [regn. A.D. 254-257], Firmilian to Cyprian, Epistle 74/75:17 (A.D. 256).

"I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us." Pope Julius [regn. A.D. 337-352], To the Eusebians, fragment in Athanasius' Against the Arians, 2:35 (c. A.D. 345).

"Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons." Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], To the Eastern Bishops, fragment in Theodoret's EH, 5:10 (c. A.D. 372).

"We bear the burdens of all who are heavy laden; nay, rather, the blessed apostle Peter bears them in us and protects and watches over us, his heirs, as we trust, in all the care of his ministry....Now let all your priests observe the rule here given, unless they wish to be plucked from the solid, apostolic rock upon which Christ built the universal Church....I think, dearest brother, disposed of all the questions which were contained in your letter of inquiry and have, I believe, returned adequate answers to each of the cases you reported by our son, the priest Basianus, to the Roman Church as to the head of your body....And whereas no priest of the Lord is free to be ignorant of the statutes of the Apostolic See and the venerable provisions of the canons." Pope Sircius [regn. c A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, bishop of Tarragona (Spain), 1,3,20 (c. A.D. 392).

"Care shall not be lacking on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel as regards my peoples, and to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the parts of my body throughout the divers regions of the earth." Pope Anastasius [regn. A.D. 399-401], Epistle 1 (c. A.D. 400).

"In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated ... by bishops ... as you have done, the example of ancient tradition ... For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow that Apostle from whom the very episcopate and whole authority of this named derived ... that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head)...you also show your solicitude for the well being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, 1,2 (A.D. 417).

"It is therefore with due care and propriety that you consult the secrets of the Apostolic office that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides the things which are without, the care of all the Churches...Especially as often as a question of faith is discussed, I think that all our brothers and fellow bishops should refer to none other than to Peter, the author of their name and office." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Mileve, 2 (A.D. 417).

"Although the tradition of the fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgment, and has preserved this ever in its canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline in its laws still pays the reverence which it ought to the name of Peter...For he himself has care over all the churches, and above all of that which he sat...Since, then Peter is the head of so great authority, and has confirmed the suffrages of our forefathers since his time...and as bishops you are bound to know it; yet; though such was our authority that none could reconsider our decision." Pope Zosimus [regn. A.D. 417-418], To the Council of Carthage (c. A.D. 418).

"For it has never been lawful to reconsider what has once been settled by the apostolic see." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To Rufus bishop of Thessalonica (c. A.D. 420).

"The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directing power and its supreme authority. From him as from a source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To the bishops of Thessaly (c. A.D. 420).

"None has ever been so rash as to oppose the apostolic primacy, the judgment of which may not be revised; none rebels against it, unless he would judge in his turn." Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus and bishops of Macedonia (c. A.D. 420).

"Wherefore, assuming to yourself the authority of our see and using our stead and place with power, you will deliver this sentence with utmost severity." Pope Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 1 1 (A.D. 430).

"The blessed apostle Peter, in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of whom the Master himself instructed first among the apostles?" Pope Sixtus III, [regn A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch (A.D. 433).

"But this mysterious function the Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Epistle 10 (A.D 445).

"And so he too rejoices over your good feeling and welcomes your respect for the Lord's own institution as shown towards the partners of His honour, commending the well ordered love of the whole Church, which ever finds Peter in Peter's See, and from affection for so great a shepherd grows not lukewarm even over so inferior a successor as myself." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 2 (A.D ante 461).

"'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).

"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461). 


And who can forget what the Council of Chalcedon stated explicitly:

"Peter speaks through Leo!" (Chalcedon, 451 AD).




Also on the ScriptureCatholic Website we find these quotes as well:


"Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him."Clement of Rome, The First Epistle of Clement, 5 (c. A.D. 96).

"I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, 4 (c. A.D. 110).

'You have thus by such an admonition bound together the plantings of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth." Dionysius of Corinth, Epistle to Pope Soter, fragment in Eusebius' Church History, II:25 (c. A.D. 178).

"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:1:1 (c. A.D. 180).

"As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out." Clement of Alexandria, fragment in Eusebius Church History, VI:14,6 (A.D. 190)

"It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: 'But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.'" Gaius, fragment in Eusebius' Church History, 2:25 (A.D. 198).

"[W]hat utterance also the Romans give, so very near (to the apostles), to whom Peter and Paul conjointly bequeathed the gospel even sealed with their own blood." Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4:5 (inter A.D. 207-212).

'We read the lives of the Caesars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising blood. Then is Peter girt by another (an allusion to John 21:18), when he is made fast to the cross." Tertullian, Scorpiace, 15:3 (A.D. 212).

"Peter...at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer this way." Origen, Third Commentary on Genesis, (A.D. 232).

"Thus Peter, the first of the Apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into prison, and treated with igominy, was last of all crucified at Rome." Peter of Alexandria, The Canonical Epistle, Canon 9 (A.D. 306).

"[W]hich Peter and Paul preached at Rome..." Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 4:21 (A.D. 310).

"Peter...coming to the city of Rome, by the mighty cooperation of that power which was lying in wait there..." Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, II:14,5 (A.D. 325).
"This man [Simon Magus], after he had been cast out by the Apostles, came to Rome...Peter and Paul, a noble pair, chief rulers of the Church, arrived and set the error right...For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven..." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures ,6:14-15 (c. A.D. 350).

"And Peter, who had hid himself for fear of the Jews, and the Apostle Paul who was let down in a basket, and fled, when they were told, 'Ye must bear witness at Rome,' deferred not the journey; yea, rather, they departed rejoicing..." Athanasius, Defence of his Flight, 18 (c. A.D. 357).

"I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul...My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross." Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15 (A.D. 377).
“For if when here he loved men so, that when he [Peter] had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here, much more will he there display a warmer affection. I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it, both for its greatness, and its antiquity, and its beauty, and its populousness, and for its power, and its wealth, and for its successes in war. But I let all this pass, and esteem it blessed on this account, that both in his lifetime he wrote to them, and loved them so, and talked with them whiles he was with us, and brought his life to a close there.” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32 (c. A.D. 391).

"Which was mere to the interest of the Church at Rome, that it should at its commencement be presided over by some high-born and pompous senator, or by the fisherman Peter, who had none of this world's advantages to attract men to him?" Gregory of Nyssa, To the Church at Nicodemia, Epistle 13 (ante A.D. 394).

"But some people in some countries of the West, and especially in the city, [Rome] not knowing the reason of this indulgence, think that a dispensation from fasting ought certainly not to be allowed On the Sabbath, because they say that on this day the Apostle Peter fasted before his encounter with Simon [Magus]." John Cassian, Institutes, X (ante A.D. 435).

"The whole world, dearly-beloved, does indeed take part in all holy anniversaries [of Peter & Paul], and loyalty to the one Faith demands that whatever is recorded as done for all men's salvation should be everywhere celebrated with common rejoicings. But, besides that reverence which to-day's festival has gained from all the world, it is to be honoured with special and peculiar exultation in our city, that there may be a predominance of gladness on the day of their martyrdom in the place where the chief of the Apostles met their glorious end. For these are the men, through whom the light of Christ's gospel shone on thee, O Rome, and through whom thou, who wast the teacher of error, wast made the disciple of Truth.” Pope Leo the Great (regn. A.D. 440-461), Sermon LXXXII (ante A.D. 461)




Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday Clothes

A little boy was walking down a dirt road after church one Sunday afternoon when he came to a crossroads where he met a little girl coming from the other direction.


'Hello,' said the little boy.

'Hi,' replied the little girl.
'Where are you going?' asked the little boy.
'I've been to church this morning and I'm on my way home' answered the little girl.

'I'm also on my way home from church.  Which church do you go to?' asked the little boy.
'I go to the Lutheran church back down the road,' replied the little girl.  'What about you?’

'I go to the Catholic church back at the top of the hill,' replied the little boy.
They discover that they are both going the same way so they decided that they'd walk together.
They came to a low spot in the road where spring rains had partially flooded the road, so there was no way that they could get across to the other side without getting wet.
'If I get my new Sunday dress wet, my Mom's going to skin me alive,' said the little girl.
'My Mom will tan my hide, too, if I get my new Sunday suit wet,' replied the little boy.
'I tell you what I think I'll do,' said the little girl.  'I'm gonna pull off all my clothes and hold them over my head and wade across.'
'That's a good idea,' replied the little boy.  'I'm going to do the same thing with my suit.'


So they both undressed and waded across to the other side without getting their clothes wet.  They were standing there in the sun waiting to drip dry before putting their clothes back on, when the little boy finally remarked.


'You know, I never realized before just how much difference there really is between a Lutheran and a Catholic!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Sunday in Lent

The Gospel message today begins with Jesus' 40 days fasting in the desert and then His tempations by Satan himself.  We are reminded of what REALLY matters!  
  1. Man does not live by bread alone.
  2. We are to fear and serve God, and Him alone.
  3. We are not to tempt God.
The verses Jesus quoted when Satan tempted Him:
He afflicted thee with want, and gave thee manna for thy food, which neither thou nor thy fathers knew: to shew that not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.   (Deuteronomy 8:3 DRB)

Take heed deligently lest thou forget the Lord, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and shalt serve him only, and thou shalt swear by his name.  (Deuteronomy 6:13 DRB)

Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, as thou temptedst him in the place of temptation.
(Deuteronomy 6:16 DRB)

And Satan quotes:
For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.   (Psalms 91:11-12 DRB)
Today's Gospel:

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan and was led the by the spirit into the desert, For the space of forty days, and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. And the devil said to him: If thou be the Son of God, say to this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil led him into a high mountain and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power and the glory of them. For to me they are delivered: and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answering said to him. It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem and set him on a pinnacle of the temple and said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself from hence. For it is written that He hath given his angels charge over thee that they keep thee. And that in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering, said to him: It is said: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And all the temptation being ended, the devil departed from him for a time.   (Luke 4:1-13 DRB)
 
During this Lenten season our custom is to give something up for the days of Lent.  The days of Lent are 40 in number, starting with Ash Wednesday but we do not count the Sundays.  Each Sunday is like a "little Easter" and thus is a "feast day" - so there is no penance, no fasting and no abstinence on Sundays.  If you count the days yourself, you will see that starting with Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday, Lent has exactly 40 days.  

During these 40 days, we are reminded of Christ's suffering in the wilderness plus His ultimate Sacrifice of the Cross.  Whatever you have chosen to offer up for Lent, it should be something you would normally partake in everyday - that way when you would have partaken in it, you are brought mindful as to WHY you gave it up in the first place - and that, again, is to remind you of Christ's sufferings and temptations and how He overcame them.

I hope you're having a good Lent thus far.  If you have not already begun a Lenten penance (something you've offered up to remind you of Christ's sufferings and temptations) IT'S NOT TOO LATE!  You do not have to give up something major, but it should be something you would do everyday.  For the sake of those around you, don't give up on brushing your teeth or showering!  It could be coffee, soda, sweets, deserts, etc.  If you wanted to make it a "tougher" penance, you could give up red meat, or even one full meal per day (then don't snack!).  Whatever it is you give up, it is between you and God.  Others around you should not really know what you've given up, unless you're teaming up for supporting each other.

May God bless you and keep you and grant you a good Lent!

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pouring or Immersion?

Does "Baptism" Require Full Immersion?
Let us start by looking at a scriptural passage which specifically mentions "baptism" but not necessarily in the way Christians are accustomed to hearing it.

"And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables."  (Mark 7:4 KJV)

Let's look at that passage again with the Greek words for "wash" and "washing" inserted:

"And when they come from the market, except they baptizo, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the baptismos of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables."  (Mark 7:4 KJV)

Now a quick look at the context, verses 1-3, shows the connection of washing one's hands and feet.  Certainly we are not requiring a full bath everytime one returns from the market!   Yet in verse 4 the word we use for "baptism" is used!   Now certainly one can and probably does immerse cups and pots, maybe even brasen vessels, but certainly one does not take their table (or "kline" - a couch for sleeping, sitting or eating) out to the backyard swimming pool to immerse it every time it needs cleaning)!   So clearly simply the use of the word for "baptism" does not imply full immersion.  Granted, many - perhaps even most of the early baptisms were by full immersion - but the point is it need not be full immersion to be baptism. 

What is the significance of the Sacrament of Baptism?
Baptism is the cleansing of the soul from Original Sin, and this is why St. Peter says: 
"Whereunto baptism, being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but, the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  (1 Peter 3:21 DRB)  Baptism does not clean the flesh, it cleans the soul.  As already established, baptism means "to wash" so we must consider what is washed through baptism.  If it is not the filth of the flesh, then it must be the filth of the soul, which would be the Original Sin we have all inherited.  St. Paul says:  "But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, many died: much more the grace of God and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."   (Romans 5:15 DRB)  So we must consider the salvific effect of the Sacrament of Baptism, especially since St. Peter in Scripture tells us that "baptism... now saveth you also."

In many parts of the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East there is no running water, and often where there is running water it was not deep enough to fully immerse someone.   Thus sprinkling or pouring of water was used. 

Most Christians would agree that the use of water is necessary for baptism, it is the "outward sign" of the Sacrament.  Now since it is not the cleaning of filth from the flesh - is the amount of water really the issue?   The soul is of the spirit of man, and thus that which is made clean through baptism is the spirit, not the flesh.   It makes no sense to insist that immersion is the only valid form of baptism when it really matters not how wet ones flesh gets - but that one has submitted to the Will of God and has been baptized according to His Word, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Friday, February 19, 2010

Classic Catholic Reading for Lent - for FREE!

http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2010/02/plenty-of-good-reading-for-lent-at-your.html

A great selection of Catholic books, many in PDF format, great reading for Lent!

John 6 and James White

John 6 and James White
Many years ago, in fact it was January 13, 2001, I had made a comment in my IRC Chatroom, #CathApol, that "James White has been proven wrong so many times it isn't even funny."  The particular subject I was discussing, with a person who went by the nickname of "tatrbrain," was John 6.  My thesis is, as it was then too, that John 6 is a Eucharistic treatise, basically from start to finish.  
In a post-debate review (something White criticized me for doing, though NOW if you look at his blog and YouTube site, you'll see he spends a LOT of energy "reviewing" debates with Tim Staples, Pat Madrid and others) I counted up at least twenty-nine times where White was wrong in that debate alone.  To this date, White has not engaged me on a single one of those points.  That page (which as of this writing needs some fixing of links and other maintenance) can still be found here:  http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/jrw/jw_debate1_response.htm 
Recently in the Catholic Debate Forum (CDF) a supporter of White has come forward with essentially the exact same "fatally flawed" argument which White presented back in 2001 and even earlier in his 1990 book The Fatal Flaw (which was actually based upon arguments White had been having with me, but of course I do not accept that my side was adequately represented).  This supporter goes by the name of Micah Antony, and he quotes from The Fatal Flaw:  
On p. 171 of  The Fatal Flaw (a book you are most dissatisfied with) White brings up something I NEVER noticed before I read it, and I would bet not one nice Catholic on this site has either.  Staring at us right before our eyes in vs. 65 is
And He was saying, "Because of this, I said to you that no one is able to come to me except it is given to him by the Father.  Because of this many of His disciples went away to the things behind and no longer walked with Him."
White:  "Jesus was the greatest speaker of all time, yet many of the disciples went away from following Him.  If man could be convinced simply by coming in contact with Him, these men would have been.  But the operative factor was missing---the enablement of the Father.  These disciples went away not because of Jesus' words about eating His flesh or drinking His blood, but because Jesus asserted that it is simply not possible for anyone to come to Christ unless the Father enables him.  Roman Catholics continuously assert that these people went away because they  would not accept Jesus' teaching on the Eucharist...but what caused them to stumble was the proclamation of the absolute sovereignty of God and the inability of man.  The text specifically says, because of this many of His disciples went away...." (qtd here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/catholicdebateforum/message/56992)


Well, I'll do a fuller critique of The Fatal Flaw at some point, I've began that project a few times now and have lots of notes in the margins, but for now we'll concentrate on this John 6 passage and point out (again) White's errors now being repeated by Antony.  So as to not be ripping passages from context, let us start at the beginning of John 6 and work our way through the whole chapter.  I should also point out to Mr. Antony, at least this "nice Catholic" has not only noticed this before - but has debated White on this very topic before - and if Mr. Antony were paying attention, he would have seen that from discussions we've been having on CDF.


John 6 (New American Standard Bible - White's favorite translation at least it was at one time, so I'll use it)


Five Thousand Fed


1 After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).
2 A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.
3 Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.
5 Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?"
6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.
7 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little."
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him,
9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?"
10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.
12 When they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost."
13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
So, at the very beginning of John 6 we have Jesus performing a miracle with bread (and fishes) whereby from so few loaves and fishes over 5000 people (the Scripture only counts the men) are fed.  Jesus not only demonstrates His authority over the physical things of this world, but also prefigures the Eucharistic bread which He will later give to us and it will be multiplied throughout the world so that every true believer can partake in this "bread."  More on that in a bit.
Jesus Walks on the Water


15 So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.
16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
17 and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
18 The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
19 Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.
20 But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
21 So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
22 The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone.
23 There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.
25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?"
And again Jesus demonstrates He is God and has authority over the elements!  It is not physically possible for the surface tension of water to support the weight of a human being walking upon it - yet there Jesus is!  In Matthew's account St. Peter also gets out of the boat and walks on the water, until he is distracted by the storm about him and begins to sink.  This truly is a miraculous metaphysical event for it is beyond natural reason that He should be (and Peter too) walking on water.  God has authority over His creation.
Words to the People


26 Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."
28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
30 So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?
31 "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'"
32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.
33 "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."
Just a note here in opposition to Calvinism - He does not come to give life merely to the elect, but He gives it to "the world."
34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread."
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
36 "But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
Here is where White starts his Calvinist argumentation, "all that the Father gives Me WILL come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."  When does this "giving" happen?  I posit the "giving" may be argued validly to happen on "the Last Day," and those whom are given THEN will not be cast out.  However, this "giving" may happen BEFORE "the Last Day," for it says HE will not cast them out, but if they do not persevere (as St. Paul so often teaches) then they have not been "cast out" per se, but they have "turned and walk with Him no more," of their own accord.
38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
Now here is a stronger case for Calvinism, but it's still not solidly in Calvin's court.  Again, IF this "giving" happens on "the Last Day," then they have been judged and will not be lost.  IF the "giving" is on "the Last Day" then perseverance is not part of the picture - it is finished, there's nothing left to persevere in.  If this "giving" happens ahead of time and none can be lost, then St. Paul's (repeated) teachings on perseverance are meaningless.  Calvinism on a whole has to explain away and/or rationalize away the concept of perseverance, but now is not the time to discuss that so much as it is to lay out the argument for John 6 being a prefiguring and Eucharistic treatise, so let us continue.
40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
Note the conditions here!  You must BEHOLD and BELIEVE in Him to have eternal life.  IF you do this, then He Himself will raise you up on "the Last Day."


Words to the Jews


41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven."
42 They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?"
43 Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves.
44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
Here we have THREE THINGS to consider:
1) The coming to Him.
2) The drawing.
3) The raising up on the Last Day.


1) The coming to Him, regardless of when this happens, does not negate the persevering in Him.  We cannot read Scripture in a vacuum from the rest of Scripture.  If perseverance is important, then it cannot be contradicted or contraindicated by other passages in Scripture.  The only way this "coming" can be taken in the way White, et. al. states it is if this coming is on "the Last Day," and then I have no argument against it.
2) The drawing, when exactly would THIS happen?  Well, John 12:32 makes that clear - it happens when He is lifted up and then who is drawn?  "All men" are drawn, let us look at the verse: "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (NASB).  Again, a contradiction to Calvinism!  Unless Calvinism believes God fails, somehow, in the drawing and giving, then somehow, somewhere in this we MUST see that the human will can defy God, which is the ultimate sin which WILL send each person in such denial to Hell.
3) Again with "the Last Day" as a referent to the "raising up" of those who have "come to Him."  So the subjects of this proposition are the "coming" and the "raising up" which will happen on "the Last Day" - and all this is conditional upon the "drawing."  Well, the "drawing" happened nearly 2000 years ago - and "all men" are drawn to Him - or else John 12:32 is lying to us.
45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
46 "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.
47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Here again the Calvinists think they have a foothold on the argument, but again they are twarted by the fact that the condition of "believing" is put here.  What kind of "believer" would refuse to "obey" the Lord?  More on that in a bit.
The Eucharistic Treatise


48 "I am the bread of life.
49 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 "This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."
Now eight times in eleven verses Jesus talks about us eating HIM, HIS FLESH and drinking HIS BLOOD.  This command repeated so many times CANNOT BE IGNORED!  If one attempts to explain away and/or diminish this eight-fold repeated command - are they obedient to His Word?  Are they truly "believers" in His Word if they do not accept Him AT HIS WORD?  This is the crux of the matter - and as we continue we see that it is over THIS that many of His disciples are grumbling!  It is THIS over which they said "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?"  Don't be caught up in the Calvinistic shell game by later verses taken out of the context of these verses!  Don't forget verse 52 either, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"  THIS is what they are struggling with!
Words to the Disciples


59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?"
61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble?
62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
64 "But there are some of you who do not believe " For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
Note again the subject of this section the "THIS" which He is talking about is the previous section which is the eight times in eleven verses of Jesus referring to the necessity to eat His Body and drink His blood.  White and Antony would have us believe that verse 65 is the Calvinistic treatise which causes the disciples to walk away from Him but anyone reading the context can certainly see that the whole subject of their grumblings was over "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"  Yes, we must BELIEVE HIM and ACCEPT HIS WORD and EAT HIS FLESH or we have NO LIFE in us.  THAT is the "this" in "this reason" which is followed by verse 66:
66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
Again, as a result "of THIS" many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.  I can't emphasize more the "THIS" which the disciples were grumbling over just five verses earlier and what they were grumbling over is verses 48 through 58 wherein eight times in eleven verses Jesus demanded we eat His body and drink His blood.  It is absolutely silly to ignore all this context and then attempt to impute Calvinistic theology into verse 65, as if verses 48 through 64 weren't even there.
Peter's Confession of Faith


67 So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?"
68 Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
69 "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."
70 Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?"
71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
And in closing of John 6 Jesus does not go after those who "withdrew and were walking with Him anymore" and say, "Hey wait guys!  Don't get Me wrong here, all you need to do is believe, that's what I really mean by eating and drinking.  Come on back, don't take Me so literally!"  No, He allowed them to walk away for they RIGHTLY understood Him and just lacked the faith to accept Him at His Word.  Then, instead of offering a different explanation to The Twelve, He challenges them, "You do not want to go away also, do you?"  In short, He was sticking to what He said and gave them the option to leave too - but Simon Peter stood up and answered for the rest of them, "Lord, to whom shall we go?"  You have the words of eternal life."  Then interestingly enough John ties all this up with a reference to the night on which He was betrayed, and the one who would be identified as the betrayer would be so identified at the celebration of the First Eucharist!  
The objective reader here can most certainly see that there is a Eucharistic theme throughout the whole chapter of John 6 - to deny this and focus upon one verse out of context is not an honest or scholarly reading of John 6.
In JMJ,
Scott<<<