What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

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Nimeniton
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What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Nimeniton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:21 am

Whilst protestants chide Catholics about not reading the Bible, I chide them for not knowing their own history and being unfamiliar with church documents less than twenty or so years old.

The fate of unbaptised babies after death is one such area of ignorance. In fact the church is trying to sweet talk Catholics into remaining in the church with the "Maybe Contract". Those of you who have chased a girl will know the Maybe Contract." If you do this for me, maybe I will do that for you". In this case it is, Maybe unbaptised babies do get to go to heaven after all. And a lot of Catholics are happy with this and never demand that it be made dogma.

The fact is that the new Maybe contract is highly unlikely to be made dogma. Here is why. First of all the centuries old doctrine of limbo being just a hypothesis ignores the fact that there is a third alternative to limbo that is actually dogma. Limbo simply said that the unbaptised go to a happy place. The third alternative is that they go to hell to be punished. Now this third alternative is dogma.

It appears in the Ecumenical Council of Florence (1438 -14445).http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/florence.htm

So why is it a dogmatic statement that unbaptised babies go straight to hell to be punished. Firstly the Council of Florence is an ecumenical council and thus doctrinal statements are binding. So statement 1

In the name of the holy Trinity, Father, Son and holy Spirit, we define, with the approval of this holy universal council of Florence, that the following truth of faith shall be believed and accepted by all Christians and thus shall all profess it Spoken by Pope Eugenius in Session 5

There then follows a list of doctrinal definitions of which the following is one;

But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains Session 6

Now this is quite clear
1. There is such a thing as the unbaptised with no personal sin who go to hell
2. It is straightaway. They don't get to be given a second chance to be baptised by God as some Catholics assert.

You can get some amusing and even heretical responses from Catholics trying to wriggle out of this one. One told me that hell here meant Hades and not the inferno which means that those with mortal sin don't go to eternal punishment. Or others who insist that Pope Eugenius did not have in mind innocent babies when he spoke of those dying with original sin alone, though they have no idea who else would fit this category.

However, the Council of Florence definitely does have innocents in mind.

With regard to children, since the danger of death is often present and the only remedy available to them is the sacrament of baptism by which they are snatched away from the dominion of the devil and adopted as children of God, it admonishes that sacred baptism is not to be deferred for forty or eighty days or any other period of time in accordance with the usage of some people, but it should be conferred as soon as it conveniently can; and if there is imminent danger of death, the child should be baptized straightaway without any delay, even by a lay man or a woman in the form of the church, if there is no priest, as is contained more fully in the decree on the Armenians. Session 2

Most Catholics are not aware of this third alternative to limbo or the Hope of Heaven never mind that it is dogma. You may also get some waffle about Baptism of desire or martyrdom but even The current pope's theological commission "THE HOPE OF SALVATION FOR INFANTS WHO DIE WITHOUT BEING BAPTISED" that this would be a tough one to apply to babies. Though believe me I have seen Catholics try. It is usually that at death the baby becomes an adult who then chooses heaven or hell. Most defenses of the modern Catholic to the Council of Florence can be met with a request to improve reading comprehension!

Remember the Council of Florence makes it clear that they go straight to hell. They don't get to parley with the Big Guy.

Of course it can also be argued that Limbo is a teaching rather than just a hypothesis. A teaching does not have to be dogma but having the approval of popes and being in old long forgotten catechisms can give it a certain authenticity. So in this respect 'The Apostolic Constitution "Effraenatam" against abortionists' of Pope Sixtus V (1585-90) is a good one to quote re limbo as a teaching. http://iteadjmj.com/aborto/eng-prn.html

It has the neat advantage that a Catholic will be reluctant to say that the bits on abortion are just the pope's personal opinion. So what does the pope say about limbo. Well

1. He says "Popes believe in the limbo of the little ones". Obviously the current pope doesn't or he isn't a real pope

2. The reason abortion is wrong is that it deprives the unbaptised fetus not only of its body but also their souls. So no hope of heaven for the unbaptised here!

Pope Sixtus then finishes by saying, "No man has the right to infringe or by temerarious audacity contradict this page of Our approval, renewal, sanction, statute, derogation of wills and decrees. If anyone would presume to attempt this he should know that he will incur indignation of Almighty God and of Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul".

Watch out for the 'theological flourish' argument. Basically this is that the Pope makes idle threats of divine wrath even though he knows what he is saying is not infallible and open to question. You know that fundamentalist Christians pick and choose what part of the Bible to believe but you will find that Catholics will cherry pick what they consider to be dogma or not. I had one Catholic argue that the bit on abortion was dogma but the bits on limbo were just personal opinion. They , of course, make it up as they go along.
chemicals
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by chemicals » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:29 am

I'm sure John Waters will be able to sort it all out ! :lol:
والقس هو مجنون
Nimeniton
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Nimeniton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:35 pm

chemicals wrote:I'm sure John Waters will be able to sort it all out ! :lol:
I am new to Ireland so not familiar with the man. What's his notoriety
Feardorcha
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Feardorcha » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:37 pm

The man is a saint. Some say he has the blessed stigmata and cannot sign his own cheques for fear of getting blood on them and he has been known to cure baldness by a touch of his own long and greasy hair.
Nimeniton
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Nimeniton » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:31 pm

How do I delete this!!!
Last edited by Nimeniton on Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nimeniton
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Nimeniton » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:31 pm

duplicate sorry
Last edited by Nimeniton on Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nimeniton
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Nimeniton » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:32 pm

This short essay was written with a Catholic forum in mind, so has been written with kid gloves on. For those who just want the juicy bits, they are.

1. Paul appoints himself an apostle and does not feel the need to get an OK from Pope Peter and the rest of the apostles. 2.In Acts 15 James acts like the head of the church whilst Peter is very much alive and Peter and the rest of the apostles accept his authority. 3 Paul's poor estimation of the other apostles. 4 Paul lies as to what was agreed at the Council of Jerusalem

OK the main essay

Protestant rebellion from the Papacy. Paul the exemplar

First of all I should put my cards on the table and state that I am neither Protestant nor Catholic and would describe myself as an atheist. In my early days I liked to debate with fundamentalist Christians but in recent years as my health has declined I have found my self re-visiting Catholicism; the religion I was born in and were I spent four and a half of my teenage years in a junior seminary. I will not say why I left the church, this is not my purpose here other than to show were my biases lie.

For example I assume that the Bible is not the word of God either literally or metaphorically and I assume that the teaching of the church (bearing in mind that not all teaching is dogma) has bent, even changed over the centuries and this is what I would expect of a human organisation as it adapts to the needs of different times. Those are my a priori assumptions which I know a Catholic would challenge.

This short work will use examples from the Bible that will show whether wittingly or not that St Paul was an exemplar in being a bit of a rebel from authority. But first I will look at how authority in the church in New Testament times from my own perspective. I will look at the Gospels, the epistles and the Acts of the Apostles.

The Gospels are considered younger than the Pauline epistles, so no doubt ideas of authority are more developed there. In the Gospels, whilst Peter is not the most loved of the disciples, he features prominently as someone whom Jesus expects much of. This despite, Peter's all too human failings, i.e. his temporary disloyalty after Jesus' arrest. However, it is obvious that the Gospels show that Jesus wants to build his church on the rock (Peter) Matthew 16:18 and requested that he feed his “sheep” John 21:15-17

In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter features heavily up to chapter 12. However, it is a different Peter from the Gospel accounts. He is brave, bold and fearless. Yet he is also modest, “I am only a man myself.” Acts 10:26. He is held in high esteem because of miracles performed and it was believed that even his shadow passing over the sick would cure them Acts 5:15. He is , also a decision maker. It is him who initiates and decides that a replacement is needed for Judas. The apostles agree.

However, whilst he was in prison it seems that the leadership of the church passed to James. This would seem quite a practical thing to do. After Peter is miraculously released from prison by an angel he wants the brothers and sisters to tell James and the other apostles. After this the story turns to Paul and Peter is only mentioned in Acts, one more time in chapter 15. Here though, Peter is respected he does not have a primary decision making role. He gives a speech against putting a heavy yoke on the gentiles with regard to the dispute as to whether they should be circumcised and subject to the laws as Jewish Christians were. Paul and Barnabus then speak but it is James who makes the final decision. Based on this decision the apostles and elders at the Council of Jerusalem write a letter to the Gentiles and rather than just give the letter to Paul and Barnabas, they send two of their own men to go back with them with the letter. (One can speculate why they did not feel they could entrust the letter to Paul alone). What is clear from Acts 15 is that James is seen to be the decision maker and not Peter. This would make an interesting discussion because it seems to indicate that someone who was not a Bishop of Rome held the highest position even whilst Peter was still alive and had not relinquished it even after Peter was freed. James, however, is not listed amongst the popes , so I am aware what I am suggesting here is highly contentious.

Paul's attitude to Peter and the other apostles is revealing. Unlike the other apostles he was neither chosen by a flesh and blood Christ like the initial twelve, nor by a vote of the apostles as Matthew had been. Paul, therefore has the difficult task of convincing the Christians he had hitherto persecuted that his apostleship was genuine. In Galatians 1 Paul makes it clear that after his vision he felt no need to consult any human being. In fact it was three years before he went to Jerusalem and then only to be acquainted with Cephas. He also saw James but did not see the other apostles. He describes himself as “Paul, an apostle —sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead”. In other words he gets his authority directly from Jesus, he does not need the approval of the other apostles. Can you imagine the children of Fatima taking such a position that they had received a message from Our Lady and did not need the approval of the church or Peter's successor.

In Galatians 2 he is somewhat dismissive of those held in high esteem, “whatever they were makes no difference to me” and that “they added nothing to my message”. Most of Peter's scorn is addressed to Cephas (Peter) who he claims he has castigated to his face for forcing Gentiles to live like Jews. He accuses Cephas (Peter) of hypocrisy because he stops eating with the Gentiles when some of James's party turns up. Although Luke is a companion of Paul's, yet in the Acts of the Apostles this story of Peter's chastisement is not mentioned. In fact it is to Peter that God gives the vision upon which the idea the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles. Rather than Peter avoiding the circumcision party he is criticised by it. Acts 11:2.

Paul, however, needed James and the Apostles to make an authoritative decision on the question of whether Gentiles should be circumcised and subject to the Law. James judges and the apostles and elders agree, "…For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."Acts 15:28,29. However, his rebellion took more subtle forms. It is interesting to note that when referring to the Council of Jerusalem he states not James' judgment as given in Acts but claims James' and the apostles said. “They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I was also eager to do." Galatians 2:10. Which rather leaves a lot out and adds in something new. Not quite the spirit of obedience that is expected from the church.

So I would argue that there is a lot in Paul's behaviour that protestants can look to that would encourage rebellion from Rome. His claim that his revelation did not need to be vetted by the other apostles and his disrespectful attitude to Cephas (Peter). Protestants might baulk at the idea that Paul would bend the truth but his distortion of what the Council of Jerusalem required of the Gentiles in order to proclaim his own anti Law stance is glaringly obvious.

For me Peter comes out as a more attractive character than Paul. In Acts, Peter becomes bold after receiving the spirit, speak out against his detractors from the circumcision party and maintains his modesty. His leadership is more quiet and restrained. He is not a self publicist. Paul on the other hand sows the seeds of religious self determination, though he would no doubt be horrified at the division it has reaped in the churches.
catedamien
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by catedamien » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:23 am

Is this true?
Nimeniton
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by Nimeniton » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:06 pm

catedamien wrote:Is this true?
Is what true? I make numerous claims which one are you questioning?
mkaobrih
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Re: What most Catholics do not know about their religion?

Post by mkaobrih » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:18 pm

I think catedamien is a spammer whose not posted spam yet. I wouldn't expect a reply.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
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