Thursday, February 17, 2011

The secretive "TurretinFan" continues his censorship tactics

Against what may have been my better judgment (based on previous combox encounters with the secretive, paranoid, gent who goes by the name "TurretinFan"), I decided to respond to the following post penned by the anti-Catholic, Reformed "pastor", David King, in the combox of the Februray 15, 2001 thread at the Thoughts of Fancis Turretin blog:

...yet not demonstrate how the early Church was "Protestant" in the way Mathison suggests.

I am going to address this one point because it is such an utter distortion of what Dr. Mathison has actually said and argued. I hope that maybe our Romanist poster will actually get this, though I doubt he is capable of it.

Protestants do not argue that the early church was Protestant, and Dr. Mathison never argued that. What he has argued (and convincingly so) is that the ancient church was not a bunch of Romanists, and that the ancient church certainly didn't hold to the modern day dogmas of papal primacy or papal infallibility. Now, I understand that this goes right over the head of the average wanna-be Roman apologist, but we have to keep saying it whether they ever understand it or not. The early church was catholic, not a bunch of Romanists as Romanists contend. Now I understand that Romanists want to be called "catholics," but that is simply wishful thinking. The church of Rome has departed from the catholic faith, especially so having dogmatized so many "articles of faith" that are uncatholic, ahistorical, and unbiblical. It's a pretty convenient contention to assert, "one must be in communion with the bishop of Rome" in order to be "catholic." But that is not the spirit of catholicism. It is the spirit of Diotrephes "who loves to have the preeminence" ( 3 John 9). That is what Dr. Mathison has argued. Now, we understand you can't see it, but we are always happy to restate it for you over and over. :) (Wednesday, February 16, 2011 6:00:00 PM )

The above post is so typical of David King's caustic, polemical, ad hominem style; I responded with:

>>Protestants do not argue that the early church was Protestant, and Dr. Mathison never argued that. What he has argued (and convincingly so) is that the ancient church was not a bunch of Romanists, and that the ancient church certainly didn't hold to the modern day dogmas of papal primacy or papal infallibility.>>

Me: But it has certainly become vogue among a number of anti-Roman Catholic apologists to argue that certain Protestant doctrines were held by the "early church" (contra a consensus of prominent Protestant patristic scholars).

>>Now, I understand that this goes right over the head of the average wanna-be Roman apologist, but we have to keep saying it whether they ever understand it or not. The early church was catholic, not a bunch of Romanists as Romanists contend.>>

Me: Perhaps some "Romanists", but certainly not all Roman Catholic patristic scholars; fact is, a good number of Roman Catholic patristic scholars acknowledge doctrinal development.

>>Now I understand that Romanists want to be called "catholics," but that is simply wishful thinking.>>

Me: ROFL

>>The church of Rome has departed from the catholic faith, especially so having dogmatized so many "articles of faith" that are uncatholic, ahistorical, and unbiblical.>>

Me: Are you a Socinian? (hyperbole); I know that you are not, but you do argue like one (historically speaking).

Grace and peace,

David (Thursday, February 17, 2011 7:04:00 AM )

[Note: See these 3 threads for important material on why found King’s statement about the RCC not being “catholic” humorous; and this thread for supportive data concerning my Socinian comment.]

David King then posted:

Me: Are you a Socinian? (hyperbole); I know that you are not, but you do argue like one (historically speaking).

Let's see, Mr. Waltz, you profess to have been a Jehovah's Witness, an evangelical, a member of the Roman communion which you said you left some months back, and now who knows what you profess to be. And you want to ask me about being a Socinian? Apparently you don't realize that's a glass house you've built for yourself - be careful with those rocks. :) (Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:09:00 PM )

And in response to one of "TurretinFan's" ill-conceived comments, I wrote:

>>Whether or not the method of argumentation with respect to history is similar doesn't turn this into a valid criticism. After all, the Socinians were not rejected on account of their method of argument but on account of their false doctrines.>>

It painfully obvious that you have not read the arguments that were put forth in the 16th century to curtail the Socinian threat, for one of the primary 'weapons' employed was an attack on their "method of argument". (Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:20:00 PM )


Now, the above are the posts that have remained undeleted by "TurretinFan". The following are my posts that were deleted:

1.) >>Let's see, Mr. Waltz, you profess to have been a Jehovah's Witness, an evangelical, a member of the Roman communion which you said you left some months back, and now who knows what you profess to be. And you want to ask me about being a Socinian? Apparently you don't realize that's a glass house you've built for yourself - be careful with those rocks. :)>>

Interesting comments for sure! Let's see, perhaps you would have me to have remained a JW (the faith God providentially ordained that I was to be born into); or perhaps you would have me to have remained Reformed (not strictly evangelical) after learning of the scandalous schisms that plagued (and continue to plague) the English speaking Reformed paradigm; or perhaps you would have me to have remained Roman Catholic, after years of in depth study lead me to the conclusion that I could no longer affirm an infallible magisterium; or perhaps you would have me to start my own church, as did the co-author/publisher (engineer by trade) of the 3 volume work you helped to produce...hmmm...yes, very interesting...

2.) >>I'm not going to comment on the allegation of contradicting a consensus of "prominent Protestant patristic scholars.">>

A wise choice, for my statement was NOT a mere "allegation", but rather, a fact.

The fathers of the church spoke as they did because they regarded themselves as interpreters of the Scriptures. Therefore they are not to be made a substitute for the Scriptures; nor can the Scriptures be understood apart from the authoritative interpretation which tradition places upon them...if tradition is primitive, Protestant theology must admit that ‘Scripture alone’ requires redefinition. (Jaroslav Pelikan, Obedient Rebels, Harper & Row: New York, N. Y., 1964, p. 180 – bold emphasis mine.)


The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; and the oral tradition or living faith of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed tothe varying opinions of heretical sects—together form one infallible source and rule of faith. Both are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the key and true interpretation of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse. (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, MI, 1981 ed., vol. 3, p. 606 – bold emphasis mine.)

Several publications by evangelicals have argued that the doctrine of sola scriptura was practiced, though implicitly, in the hermeneutical thinking of the early church. Such an argument is using a very specific agenda for the reappropriation of the early church: reading the ancient Fathers through the leans of post-Reformational Protestantism…Scripture can never stand completely independent of the ancient consensus of the church’s teaching without serious hermeneutical difficulties…the real question, as the patristic age discovered, is, Which tradition will we use to interpret the Bible? (D. H. Williams, Retrieving the Tradition & Renewing Evangelicalism, pp. 229, 234 – bold emphasis mine.)

Perhaps the most important aspect of the rule of faith is that it gives us what the Church conceived to be ‘the main body of truth’ (to use Irenaeus’ phrase). The Scriptures are, after all, a body of documents testifying to God’s activity towards men in Christ. They are not a rule of faith, nor a list of doctrines, nor a manual of the articles of a Christian man’s belief. In the rule of faith we have a key to what the Church thought the Scriptures came to, where it was, so to speak, that their weight fell, what was their drift. This interpretation of their drift was itself tradition, a way of handling the Scriptures, a way of living in them and being exposed to their effect, which, while not an original part of the Christian Gospel, not itself the paradosis par excellence, had been developed from the Gospel itself, from its heart, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit as an essential part of the existence of the Christian faith in history…We cannot recognize the rule of faith as original tradition, going back by oral continuity independently of Scripture to Christ and his apostles. But we can recognize it as the tradition in which the Church was interpreting Scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and as such claim it as an essential ingredient of historical Christianity. (R.P.C. Hanson, Tradition In The Early Church, pp. 128, 129 – bold emphasis mine.)

The first clear attitude to emerge on the relation between Scripture, tradition and the church was the coincidence view: that the teaching of the church, Scripture and tradition coincide. Apostolic tradition is authoritative but does not differ in content from the Scriptures. The teaching of the church is likewise authoritative but is only the proclamation of the apostolic message found in Scripture and tradition. The classical embodiment of the coincidence view is found in the writings of Irenaeus and Tertullian.

These both reject the Gnostic claims to a secret tradition supplementing Scripture. Apostolic tradition does not add to Scripture but is evidence of how it is correctly to be interpreted. This tradition is found in those churches which were founded by the apostles, who taught men whose successors teach today. These apostolic churches agree as to the content of the Christian message, in marked contrast to the variations among the heretics. It is important to note that it is the church which is the custodian of Scripture and tradition and which has the authentic apostolic message. There was no question of appealing to Scripture or tradition against the church. This is partly because the apostolic tradition was found in the church but not just for this reason: the Holy Spirit preserves the church from error and leads her into the truth. The real concern of Irenaeus and Tertullian was not with the relation between Scripture and tradition but with the identity of ecclesiastical with apostolic teaching. Any exposition of their teaching on Scripture and tradition which fails to show this is to that extent defective. (A.N.S. Lane, “Scripture, Tradition and Church: An Historical Survey”, Vox Evangelica, Volume IX – 1975, pp. 39, 40 – bold emphasis mine.)

The ‘ancillary view’ is Lane’s term for the sixteenth-century Protestant view, in which tradition functions as an aid, but not a norm, for the interpretation of Scripture…In spite of claims to the contrary, the Reformers did not return to the ‘coincidence view’…The Reformation posited a degree of discontinuity in church history… (Richard Bauckham, “Tradition In Relation To Scripture and Reason”, in Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, ed. Drewery & Bauckham, p. 122.)


As I said earlier, I had some reservations about commenting on "TurretinFan's" blog, fearing that he would delete posts that he perceives to be 'damaging' to his anti-Catholic cause. Maybe I should have listened to my inner voice; but then, if I had said nothing, the 'silliness' would have gone unchallenged...



Grace and peace,

David

37 comments:

R. E. Aguirre. said...

Dave,

My 'inner voice' told me to stop wasting my precious time on internet debates with people who clearly will not stop and listen to clear reasoning no matter how cogently it is delivered.

In my opinion you throw your pearls to the swine all too often. But then again, some of these swine hear the truth perhaps only when they interact with people like you.

_____________

R. E. Aguirre
Regula Fide Blog

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

There is not a period, comma, or word that I would find fault with at all in the words said above!

Absolutely true! I still hope that you have managed to back up your blog on a disc some where David and that you should realize that your research and valued information is not done in vain.

Unfortunately allot of the people who interact with you just so happen to be vain!

David Waltz said...

Hello R.E.,

Thanks much for sharing your thoughts; you wrote:

>>In my opinion you throw your pearls to the swine all too often. But then again, some of these swine hear the truth perhaps only when they interact with people like you.>>

I sincerely hope that I have not violated our Lord’s commandment on this issue, and I sincerely hope that my musings bear some ‘fruit’. I try to keep in mind that when I do venture into certain cult-like sites, that we never know just who may be reading the contributions.


God bless,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi GV19,

As I have said to you before, you are much too kind to this insignificant beachbum...

I do hope that my musings have some positive value.


Grace and peace,

David

Dave Armstrong said...

Classic TAO (The Anonymous One) behavior!

Ken said...

perhaps you would have me to have remained Reformed (not strictly evangelical) after learning of the scandalous schisms that plagued (and continue to plague) the English speaking Reformed paradigm;

I am glad you left Jehovah's Witnesses and I am glad you left Romanism/Papalism;

you should have stayed Reformed Presbyterian, even though you are scandalized by the "prickliness" (your term in another article you wrote) and disagreements of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (about Presuppositional Apologetics, Theonomy, Eschatology (?), (Federal vision ?) ( I cannot remember the other, if any, issues that they were fighting over) and the other "split Ps" Presbyterian groups.

Do you have a problem with the PCA ?

Presbyterian Church in America ?

About those comments by Protestant scholars - when I read the "rule of faith" or "the tradition" or "the faith" or "the preaching" in Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Athanasius, they are doctrinal summaries that are Biblical truths found in Scripture that Protestants agree with, formulated at the time of the early church against Gnosticism, Arianism, Modalism, Apollonarianism, Nestorianism, Eutychius/Monophysites, Pelagianism, etc.

They do not seem to be statements of "how to interpret Scripture", but rather "what Scripture says", in summary form, with a Trinitarian structure. They do not give principles of interpretation that can be extrapolated into the future to defend the Roman Catholic dogmatic claims or any other doctrine that Protestants disagree with in the RCC. The way Rome uses Irenaeus, Tertullian, Athanasius and these quotes is anachronistic.

The problem I have with those scholars quotes, is that they give the appearance of something that RCs use to defend their dogmas and practices that came centuries later, but at the time of the early church, they were not meant to defend any RC distinctive, but rather to defend against the heresies of Gnosticism and other heresies relating to the nature of Jesus and the Trinity.

The way you and other RC apologists use those kinds of quotes to defend Romanism/Papalism (even though you are not defending Papal dogmas anymore; yours is just "anti-Protestantism", it seems) is anachronistic.

Are you still entertaining the possibility that the Qur'an and Islam may have been a further stage of revelation from the true God?; and that Bahai'ism may be the next stage of real revelation from the true God/Creator of the Universe?

Ken said...

David Waltz wrote, quoting Philip Schaff, Anglican church historian:

". . . that the church tradition determines the canon, . . ."

Schaff is generally very good, but I would disagree with his wording here. Rather it is more accurate to say, "the church tradition discovered and discerned the canon, which already existed."

Canon meaning "criterion" or "rule" or "principle" came to mean "the list of books" which were already inspired by God- that already existed and were written between 48-70 AD or 48 - 80 AD or 48-96 AD. They were "canon" (principle, criterion, standard, rule, law) when they were first written down and sent to the different churches and communities and people. The church did not determine or "create" the canon. (Al Kimel, "the Pontificator" even made the claim basically that if Ephesians, the Pastorals and 2 Peter were not written by apostles Paul and Peter, but came in the second generation by someone claiming to be Paul or Peter, that that was ok, because the church just dogmatically says that it is "inspired" just because they declared it. He later took down his article on this.) That is a big problem - the RCC comes very close to claiming that it "created" the canon by declaring it so dogmatically. This is the dogmatic / dictator like spirit of Papalism that comes out in Boniface VIII's statement in 1302 - "every human creature must submit to the Pope in order to be saved" (Unam Sanctum) - what arrogance and what a contradiction to the Books of John, Acts, Galatians, Ephesians, and Romans ! That spirit is also in the Roman Catholic Church when Pope Pius IX said, "I am the tradition!" Like Darth Sideous saying "I am the Senate!" in Star Wars III, the Revenge of the Sith.

Matthew Bellisario said...

This is typical. People keep asking why I no longer comment on Beggars All, and TFs blog. This is the very reason. They have no drive for getting at the truth. They have one thing in mind and that is to attack the Catholic Church by any means, including lying to your face. I don't bother any more. I have more important things to do that to waste my time on their bad arguments and ad hominem attacks. Once you listen to and read real scholars, (That is scholars that do not have to tell they are scholars.) you realize that these guys are the sub-defective rejects of "apologetics."

Irene said...

Complaining about the Bull Unam Sanctam, wherein a 14th Century pope said something that is true in its context without the implied qualifications, Ken writes:

"That spirit is also in the Roman Catholic Church when Pope Pius IX said, "I am the tradition!" Like Darth Sideous saying "I am the Senate!" in Star Wars III, the Revenge of the Sith."

Rory:

Hi Ken,

I am unfamiliar with "I am the Senate". I can see you think it is supposed to be bad. You are welcome to your opinions about movie and TV characters. I am familiar with the source and context of the comments you attribute to Boniface VIII and Pius IX. Are you? Shall we begin with the latter?

I have often doubted if you are even vaguely familiar with the source and context of the "quote" you so frequently recite as your way of understanding the wicked character of Pope Pius IX. If you were, it seems like you would be less enthusiastic about it than you seem to be. Do you care to take an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the historical background?

Rory

Ken said...

Hi Rory,
The historical context was the Council of Vatican I and what led to the 1870 dogma of the infallibility of the Pope. The very best Roman Catholic Historian at the time, Ignaz Von Dollinger apossed the infallible definition, arguing, basically, that it is not historical, and so it against tradition. Ignaz Von Dollinger was ex-communicated because of his objection to the Papal infallibility efforts by Pius IX. John Acton was also against the infallibility dogma and his famous statement was the historical context of the Papal Infallibility dogmas. Acton’s famous statement: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” This is even more damaging to your church, because a Pope himself was pushing a council to define his office as an infallible teacher and representative of Christ on earth. This is massive arrogance and hubris.

Knowing this historical context is even more damaging to your Roman Catholic Church claims.
I read some of the details of the historical background at this web-site, and have see the issue discussed before, so I am not just throwing out a quote without the historical context.

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/persecution/pch0022.html

“Finally, there were extreme anti-infallibilists such as Lord John Acton of England, a prominent Catholic layman, who dreaded any such definition.
Acton believed that a definition of papal infallibility would retroactively extend to bad popes and bad decisions of the past. He thought it historically a disaster. Acton also believed that authority in the Church should be greatly limited. It prevented the free exchange of ideas with modern culture. Truth existed within the Church, Acton believed, but authoritative statements were not in keeping with the spirit of the times. His teacher, the historian and theologian Father Ignaz von Dollinger, shared many of Acton’s concerns. . . .

Pius IX exerted as much pressure as he could to secure the definition of papal infallibility, proclaiming famously to one cardinal, “I am the church! I am the tradition!” “

What further need of proof do we need?

Rory said...

Did you know that these are words attributed to Pius IX by an Old Catholic historian from a private conversation which might not even have taken place between the Archbishop of Bologna and the Holy Father? It is known that Cardinal Guidi (the archbishop) was not hostile to a definition reflecting infallibility, but that he favored a novel position of his own that affirmed the necessity of consultation with the bishops.

Seeing that they were greatly outnumbered at the Council, those opposed to any definition encouraged Cardinal Guidi in his private opinion that neither they nor the infaillibilists could see as acceptable. There is evidence that Cardinal Guidi was summoned for a private interview with the pope on the date affirmed by the Old Catholics.

The alleged retort by Pius IX "Tradition-I am Tradition", needs to be treated with caution in light of the original source from which it comes. There is no further context to the conversation than that. The dubious reproduction of four words from an entire private interview are for the express purpose of maligning the character of a man and mocking the papacy.

If it is not a good idea for Catholics to consider the book by Fr. Patrick O'Hare to be the final word on Martin Luther, why are four "famous" words from Old Catholics who despised Pius IX to be taken as virtually the ONLY words necessary to judge him?

-----

As for Lord Acton.

Are you suggesting that the doctrine of papal infallibility gives the pope "absolute power". What is that supposed to mean? Since 1870, how and in what do you discover any pope from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI to have been "absolutely corrupt" as a result of this so-called "absolute power"?

Citing Lord Acton's silly attempt to derail the overwhelming desire of Catholics to follow Pius IX's lead for a careful, precise definition of how the Holy Spirit preserves the papal office from officially teaching error is folly.

Absolute power? Acton was obviously duped about what papal infallibility was going to mean. No wonder he opposed it! I oppose what he must have thought it would mean! The whole Catholic Church opposes anything like what Acton could have been imagining. What a joke. This is one wealthy British royal who might have been better off chasing foxes. How else do you explain him linking infallibility to "absolute power"?

Think about it Ken. Until you can demonstrate "absolute corruption" in one of the persons who have occupied St. Peter's Chair since Pius IX, you shouldn't be influenced by Lord Acton's ridiculous attempt to connect papal infallibility with whatever on earth he could mean by "absolute power".

Maybe Lord Acton thought that any four random words reported to have been from a pope in a private conversation would have to be canonized as an infallible definition?

Rory

PS: Are you ready to move on to Boniface VIII? You are welcome to start if you would like.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord....

Roy I hear in response....a...pen...drop...

Any way about 'Francis Turretinfan' I guess his identity is on it's way to being known and it's quite possible that legal action is going to be taken against him.

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2011/02/does-james-white-and-alpha-omega-ministries-embrace-misogyny-by-peter-lumpkins.html < The last few comments have proven quite interesting...

I will not delve too much into my past and who all I have known suffice it to say that during the height of the James White-Ergun Caner dispute Francis Turretin seemed to have access to information to Caner's past and background that got a few eyebrows raised.

If Turretinfan is working for a lawfirm and used his profession to illegally obtain information about Ergun Caner he could be in very very big trouble.

I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be a rough ride for team AOMIN ...

Ken said...

Rory,
If what you are saying is true, why is it reported on that Roman Catholic website which I cited?

It seems like a conservative, orthodox Roman Catholic web-site, it appears, because of the names of some of the Advisory Board. Some of them I recognize, like Karl Keathing, James Hitchcock, Peter Kreeft, Michael Behe, Dinesh D’sousa, J. Budziszewski, and Robert P. George. (I don’t know what Michael Behe believes as far as details of the RCC; I thought he was just a proponent of “Intelligent Design”, etc.) But the other names are conservative Roman Catholics who are defenders of Roman Catholicism. This is no liberal thing.

From what I have read, Ignaz Von Dollinger was right, and so was Acton. You appear to interpret “absolute power” as some kind of political power. I think in context, Acton was right, in the sense that after the infallibility doctrine was proclaimed as dogma, 2 significant things happened:
1. 1950 – the Bodily Assumption of Mary was declared as dogma and there is no shred of evidence of this as true in the Scriptures, not even material sufficiency, which many RC admit. The authority to just declare something as true, is absolute power in the area of doctrine, not in politics, etc.

2. Vatican 2 also happened and it honestly seems like a real contradiction to the history of the Roman Catholic Church’s position of “no salvation outside of the Roman Church”. Based on that, Protestants are no longer heretics, but separated brethren; and atheists might be accepted into heaven when they die, and “Muslims worship the same God with us”. (in the Catechism) It is absolute power in the sense that it can never be challenged for it changed the rules to “whatever we say goes”. That is the same spirit of saying “even if Paul didn’t write Ephesians and 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus; and even if Peter didn’t write 2 Peter, but they were written 50-100 years later, it doesn’t matter because the church just asserts and declares them as Scripture”. It is the same thing as Ignatius Loyola’s famous statement, “Whatever we say is white, even if it appears to your eyes as black, is white, because we say it.” “Whatever we say goes. “

Even if we don’t know the details of the private conversation that Pius IX had with that Cardinal, it fits with someone who wanted to have himself declared as “infallible”. I mean, wow. If it smells like a rotten egg, it is a rotten egg.

Once that dogma was proclaimed, the RCC put herself in a difficult position of having to re-interpret every thing in history that clearly shows that the Pope was not infallible. Pope Honorius is a classic example. He was clearly a heretic, yet because of that dogma, the RCC cannot admit today, because to admit it, will bring the whole edifice down.

Rory said...

Grand Verb. Hey.

You posted:

"If Turretinfan is working for a lawfirm..."

Oh my goodness, no. No. NOOOOOOOO! These loonies have law degrees? From one of the United States? I have a CDL (Commercial Driver's License). I have to be thankful for never having received any "higher education"!

Rory said...

Hi again Ken.

Ken says:

"Rory,
If what you are saying is true, why is it reported on that Roman Catholic website which I cited?"

Rory says:

It seems probable that you misunderstand what the website says. If it is conservatively Catholic and orthodox as you say, does it make sense that it would be pitching ideas that lead to your conclusion that the Catholic Church is false?

Pius IX was a good man. There is ample evidence from documented words and acts that would satisfy any objective observer as to his good and even holy character. He certainly had a high view of the papacy. That is what you despise him for. You despise him because he believed that he was the successor of Peter, and you may as well despise every Catholic who believes that the pope is the vicar of Christ, and is in a certain sense, the keeper of Tradition. If you haven't noticed, you don't have to be the pope to be in favor of papal infallibility as defined at the Council. We like it. We believe in it. We want it.

Its fine if you want to believe that your church can be officially mistaken in matters of faith and morals. You're free to believe all the error you want. I don't think that is any advantage. Sorry. I don't want that kind of "freedom"

You act like you are from an infallible church anyway. Considering that you are so happy that your church is able to err, I don't see much indication that you have any doubts about anything! Nevertheless, if believing your church can and has make serious errors about essential matters of faith is what floats your boat...great. Good for you. You get what you want. We get what we want. We're all happy.

Who should care if Pius IX WAS arrogant? The Catholic Church actually teaches that along with being infallible popes sin and can go to hell. I just know you're wrong about your one sentence evaluation of Pius IX. Do I only have to prove that Luther was a filthy, immoral pig to prove that his doctrine of salvation was false?

Rory

Ken said...

Rory wrote:
That is what you despise him for.

No! I do not despise him at all. I think the doctrine of papal infallible is wrong and unbiblical and false doctrine, but I in no way despise him as a person.

You despise him

again, No! I don't despise him.
because he believed that he was the successor of Peter, and you may as well despise every Catholic who believes that the pope is the vicar of Christ,

No, I do NOT despise Roman Catholics as people. I am against the doctrine, not people.

and is in a certain sense, the keeper of Tradition. If you haven't noticed, you don't have to be the pope to be in favor of papal infallibility as defined at the Council.

Yes, I know that. But he himself pushed for the definition.

We like it. We believe in it. We want it.

you are free to have it.

Matt said...

I love the story that Ken tells here, as if Vatican I's declaration was what raised all these questions and difficulties. Of course, there had been massive treatises defending papal infallibility for many centuries. Honorius's story can be spotted in the objections to the infallibilists from at least the sixteenth century and probably before. Reading a history of ecclesiological debate would be a fruitful enterprise. Ulrich Horst is very good.

Blessings.

Jamie Donald said...

Ken Temple refers us to a website with the infamous, I am the tradition! statement from Pope Pius IX is repeated. Ken asserts his own meaning to the alleged quote and asserts that he is not just throwing out a quote without the historical context. Yet, the website to which he refers us is replete with statements to the effect that Pius' enemies greatly exaggerated his actual statements and opinions. In fact, refers to these exaggerations as being so great that they are called caricatures. This actually lends credibility to Rory's claim that the infamous quote may never have been spoken.

Ken doesn't interact with Rory's claim, but instead merely repeats his assertion that Pius IX must be Darth Sideous in the flesh. I would think that after referring us to a site which documents the propagation of lies against Pius IX, Ken would be willing to provide a little more in the way of evidence rather than continuing in the way of assertion.

It should be noted that the article does state that Pius IX did advocate a form of papal infallibility, and that such a belief was not a novelty. But the article also states, The definition of Papal infallibility by the First Vatican Council was not created or mandated by Pope Pius IX. It was a reaffirmation of a consistent teaching of the Church as subsequent history has clearly shown. It also states that Lord Acton had to acknowledge that debates were open and ideas freely exchanged. In other words, the form of papal infallibility that ended up being taught by Pius was not his own personal opinion, but the one which conformed to the council and historical Tradition of the Church; and was not strong-arm forced in secrecy or back-chamber deals, but was a months-long public debate.

I urge all readers of this blog to actually read the link that Ken provided. I think that doing so will show that he is indeed throwing out a quote without the historical context.

Additionally, Ken never answered Rory's question; exactly how does he show that Pope John Paul II was "absolutely corrupt"?

Ken said...

Just the fact the site acknowledges the reported history that there was a conversation between Pius IX and a Cardinal in which he responded, "Tradition? I am the tradition!" It does not deny or ignore this fact. That was enough for me. (along with below)

Since we know the context of Ignaz Von Dollinger's writings and objections and excommunication because of his disagreement with the 1870 dogma, and that he is recognized even by his opponents as the greatest church historian of his time; and we know about John Acton's famous statement, it is reasonable to deduce the connection that these three things have with each other.

Now, I don't know how Acton's statement specifically relates to Pope John Paul II - "absolute corruption" - it seems you guys are thinking it means something like the Borgia Popes again.

The meaning of the issue relates to doctrine, and the ability of the Papal office to say "Whatever we say is true and you cannot object to it"; and also change things and change history even; and then when evidence is brought forth, the response is, "that was his private opinion, not ex cathedra", etc.

The Papal dogma of 1870 is verbal gobli-gook that can be changed all the time (when you church wants to avoid looking anachronistic and wrong, like Honorius, Liberius, Zosimos, and Vigilius, and Sixtus V who declared the Vulgate the final "inspired" version(yet the next Pope had to redo it), Boniface VIII and many other Popes with doctrinal mistakes and problems), yet claiming at the same time that you have a living voice and an umpire and a "buck stops here" kind of helpful final say thing.

I realize that the 1870 had been growing over the centuries and was prominent during the middle ages on, Leo X against Luther, at Trent, all the way up to the Vatican I council.

But it was not in existence in the first at least 600 years.

Bishop of Rome, Stephen was rebuked by Cyprian (and Firmillian and 86 bishops from N. Africa and Asia Minor) around 255-256 AD for trying to make a claim close to that.

Irenaeus rebuked bishop of Rome Victor for trying to act like a dictator on the Quartodeciman controversy. ( 189-198 AD)

Tertullian (died in 225 AD) rebuked bishop of Rome Callistus for his claims also. ( 217-222 AD)

Even Gregory the Great in 601, rebuked John of Constantinople for his claim of "universal bishop".

Sometime after that, with the rise of Islam and conquering of all the other apostolic sees (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Ephesus-Constantinople), since Rome was the only apostolic see left, it was natural for the rest of Christendom to look to her, and she started making those power political moves that developed / mutated into the 1870 dogma.

But my main point is that church did not determine or create or declare or make the canon; rather it discerned, recognized, witnessed to, received, discovered, and collected and put them under one "book cover" of the books/letter that were already God-breathed and in existence, written from 48-80 AD or 48-96 AD. That same "spirit" of just declaring "I am boss", is in the Boniface VIII statement, Pius IX's statement, and Ignatius' Loyala's statement.

Ken said...

During John Paul II's "reign", a lot of pedophilia scandal took place - so maybe that is evidence of corruption. Also, His emphasis on Mary and her mediation (a contradiction to I Timothy 2:5-6) was and is a false doctrine, so he was corrupt in doctrine. In continuing to hold that "justification by faith alone in Christ alone" is NOT the only way one can be justified before God and have eternal life, and holding to all the good works as how one finally "makes it to heaven", he taught corrupt doctrine. (with indulgences, penance, treasury of merit, transubstantiation; priestly absolution, all unbiblical concepts)

Also, Mother Teresa, though I like her rebuke to Bill Clinton and her stand against abortion; her statements that Hindus are going to heaven without faith in Christ is just wrong and heretical. It shows evidence of how much of Roman Catholicism is a "Pelagian" and "semi-pelagian" system, (even if denied officially); on an everyday level, it is how good you are that gives the feeling you are going to make it to heaven; rather than Christ's atonement on the cross for sin and His grace alone and His gift of salvation, through faith alone. (with no other mediators like Mary or saints and none of my own good works to merit anything.)

Good works are the result of Christ and His work and the Holy Spirit applying His work and grace and power in our hearts.

Irene said...

Hi Ken.

You are proposing that the scandal of homosexual priests can be traced to the doctrine of infallibility and the absolute corruption that Lord Acton said would follow? Do you think pedophiles are particularly attracted to papal infallibility? It seems like an explanation of how you are connecting the dots would be in order.

You also mentioneded something about the Assumption of Mary. We believed that for a thousand years and more before 1950. The Assumption has been the fourth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary for 750 years. The Assumption has been celebrated in both East and West on Aug. 15th since before the death of a Greek emperor named Maurice who died in 602. EVERYBODY that was Catholic or Orthodox believed it already.

Do you think your heroes, Lord Acton and Dollinger denied the Assumption? Do you really think if Acton was here he would apply his rule to the Church since 1870 and agree that a formal declaration on the Assumption of Mary and pedophile priests proves that papal infallibility corrupts the pope absolutely?

Ken, what you are proposing just seems like crazy talk. I am afraid you have let your wish to find a silver bullet in Lord Acton's mistaken rule/prophecy run away with your better judgment.

Rory

Irene said...

Hi again Ken.

I believe Lord Acton was talking about moral corruption.

IF he was thinking of doctrinal corruption, he would have meant that truths that were held in 1870 would be corrupted in later generations. You can't call what you cited regarding John Paul's doctrine on Mary "a corruption of Catholic doctrine". Acton would have recognized John Paul's teaching as would any other Catholic in 1870.

All you are saying is that you disagree. It isn't like you agreed with what the Church taught before 1870. So what has been doctrinally corrupted by papal infallibility since 1870? Nothing. The popes have retained what Pius IX taught in 1870.

If the popes since 1870 had given scandal with immorality, you would have been all over that as a corruption. It would be hard to argue. If the popes had deviated from what the Church taught in 1870, you would have been all over that as a corruption. It would be hard to argue.

But instead, there is nothing different. We have had centuries of blameless, upright men as popes and they continue to teach what you don't believe in after 1870, as they did before 1870. It is easy to argue. Lord Acton's rule as applied to papal infallibility is disproven. It is false.

That does not mean I think I have proven I am right and you are wrong about papal infallibility. It just means that if I were ever to believe what you do, it could never be for the reasons that you have suggested.

Rory

Ken said...

Rory wrote:
You are proposing that the scandal of homosexual priests can be traced to the doctrine of infallibility and the absolute corruption that Lord Acton said would follow? Do you think pedophiles are particularly attracted to papal infallibility? It seems like an explanation of how you are connecting the dots would be in order."

No, but the cover-up and transfer of those priests to other parishes and positions and large settlements out of court may be related to the corruption of power and authority.

Ken said...

David,
Repeat questions from above . . .

Do you have a problem with the PCA?
Presbyterian church in America?
. . .

Are you still entertaining the possibility that the Qur'an and Islam may have been a further stage of revelation from the true God?; and that Bahai'ism may be the next stage of real revelation from the true God/Creator of the Universe?

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

A bit earlier today you posted:

>>David,
Repeat questions from above . . .

Do you have a problem with the PCA?
Presbyterian church in America?>>

Me: I think it would be accurate to say that I have a "problem" with the Reformed paradigm as a whole, not the PCA in particular. (In fact, I believe the PCA to be, by far, the most 'vibrant' of the Reformed and/or Presbyterian denominations in the USA; though it seems David King does not agree with me on this, for he split from the PCA for the OPC!!!)

Now, our Lord said: "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

It sure seems to me that the "fruit" of the Reformed paradigm has been one of constant bickering, division, splits, and schism—I see little (no?) evidence of the oneness that our Lord told us would identify his disciples/sheep. I touched on this in the following two threads:

A "Reformed civil war"

Calvin: on the visible Church and apostasy - part 3

It seems that I was less than accurate about the number of divisions among conservative Reformed folk in the US and Canada, as the following links reveal:

link - 1; link - 2


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again Ken,

You asked:

>>Are you still entertaining the possibility that the Qur'an and Islam may have been a further stage of revelation from the true God?; and that Bahai'ism may be the next stage of real revelation from the true God/Creator of the Universe?>>

Me: Though I see no relevance to the theme of this thread, I will (yet again) answer your questions: yes to both, I remain 'open' to the POSSIBILITY. But, with that said, I can say with confidence that this POSSIBILITY has virtually NOTHING to do with my ongoing reflections on the inner denominational divisions and schisms that plague the modern-day Christian paradigm.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

Thanks for answering, David!

My question is sincere; and I think it does relate in an indirect way -

Although my questions were not directly related to this thread; it does honestly seem to imply some kind of relationship and connection to your views; when looked at in the context of the last several articles you have written, and, indeed, your whole blog.

You seem to be entertaining Bahai'ism as a result of disillusionment with the other Christian groups, but you see consistency in early Islam (which is necessary for you to think Bahaism might be true, because it is a stage in between)

(The OT and Theonomy and Islam -those have similar punishment laws and community/ society/ kingdom on this earth kind of emphasis (post-mill, theonomy)

So, given the whole big-picture of your blog and your leaving JWs, OPC, and RC, and Dispensationalism, it does seem relevant in an indirect way, since part of your quote from David King and Turretinfan was about that.

I was trying to be fair and interact with the fact that I think you should have stayed Reformed (you asked DTKing if he thought you should have stayed JW or OPC or RC ? - I am interacting with that and your musings on Islam and Theonomy - at least go to a PCA church, if OPC is too "prickly" for you - or a Reformed Southern Baptist church that is returning to a good historical Calvinistic footing, which many Southern Baptist churches are doing.

You should not be offended by me bringing up the Bahai question, since you are very mature and intellectual; and since you keep saying "It is only a Possibility", it is only natural for someone like me to ask again after several weeks or months, "have you made your decision yet?"

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

Sorry to take so long to get back to your points. First, please do not read anything into my comments other than I thought you weren't interacting with Rory's ideas. It should be no surprise to you that I take your thoughts and ideas very seriously. In this case, when Rory offered an alternate explanation for I am Tradition! and the reading you pointed us to gave Rory's explanation some credibility by saying that Pius IX's opponents deliberately misreported in order to accomplish their own agenda, I was a little disappointed that you didn't interact further.

As far as whether or not Pius IX actually made the statement -- well, it doesn't really matter to me. I personally think he did. But I also know that he didn't achieve the declaration he sought. Vatican I was more restrictive than Pius' desires. I also think that the Darth Sideous comparison is disingenuous. Sideous disbanded the senate in the Star Wars story line in order to achieve his goals. Pius IX did the opposite. He brought together an assembly and by doing so, bound himself to the assembly's decision. In history, Pius IX performed the opposite action from what the fictional Darth Sideous did.

When it comes to Lord Acton and his quote, I saw a similar avoidance of the question. However, I think this could have been a misunderstanding as well. When Acton made his statement about absolute power being absolutely corrupting, he prefaced it by saying that kings and popes ought not be held to a different standard than the common citizenry. This context means that he was talking about personal corruption as opposed to organizational corruption. Your answer to Rory seemed to focus on the organization, rather than the person. But knowing the context of Acton's quote, Rory was correct in focusing on the person. Again, I was hoping to be able to read your thoughts on the question which was actually asked.

My own thughts are that Acton's quote cannot be thought of as a prophecy of sorts. This is because the papacy is not granted absolute power. That the power is not absolute is obvious as Pius IX sought a definition of infallibility that was much stronger or more powerful than the definition that actually came out of Vatican I. If there is a more powerful form than that currently in place, then the current application cannot be "absolute."

However, it seems to me that Lord Acton feared that the definition Pius sought would be the one actually defined at the council. He seems to continue with this fear even after the lesser definition was agreed upon. Perhaps he felt that the lesser would over time mutate into the greater definition. I cannot tell.

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

I felt that your evidence of absolute corruption for John Paul II deserved a separate answer.

First I do not understand how any statement by Mother Theresa, concerning her personal beliefs or her understanding of Catholocism, constitutes corruption in any form upon JPII. If your position on this is true, then are not you - a minister - also corrupt for any theological error of your own flock? However, I don't believe you are a corrupt man evne though at least one person in your congregation must harbor some error. So I must reject the Mother Theresa example.

The pedophile issue is serious and I am very greatful neither I nor my children ever had to suffer that experience. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone who would ever perpetrate these acts upon children or to aid (by means of coverup) those who do perpetrate the acts. My following comments do not offer an explanation for what happened, but instead show that this is not a reflection on JPII's personal level of corruption (after all, that's what the question concerned).

First, repeated studies have show that Catholic priests have a 1 to 5% rate of pedophilia, with the most agreed upon number being 4%. In my opinion, this is 1 to 5% too high. Protestant churches suffer the same rate. The pedophilia rate of the average population, according to studies, is anywhere from 1% greater than that seen in the Christian churches to double. This data means that the problem is not unique to, nor caused by, any church - Catholic or Protestant. The data also suggests that there is something common to both the Catholic and Protestant experience that diminishes the tendency towards pedophilia in the institutions (the churches) over the general population. Some studies specifically point out that public school numbers are far worse than either the Catholic or Protestant numbers.

Second, you raise the question of the cover-ups. I believe this is justified. However, the very nature of a coverup is to hide the evidence - even from superiors. While there have been some claims that JPII may have participated in the coverups, none of these claims has been substantiated. In fact, the very nature of a coverup leads toward the evidence being deliberately witheld from him.

In the case of coverups, what we determine to be a coverup in the 21st century was not considered to be one some 50 years ago. For example, do you know what civil authorities did with pedophiles in the 1960s and 70s? They were sent to rehabilitation centers with the thought that this could be cured, or controlled, in the same manner as alcoholism. After rehabilitation, the offenders were released back into the public -- usually with no imprisonment. The activity of many diocese in the USA with a pedophile priest was the same. Would this activity be a coverup or a misunderstanding of the pedophile nature; namely that it cannot be cured/controlled with rehabilitation?

Jamie Donald said...

(cont)
Third, as the Vatican became increasingly aware of the problem and saw what was being done - some diocese were immediately turning over offenders to civil authorities while others were acting like Boston - the Vatican saw the need to remove discipline from the individual diocese and perform the diciplinary function itself. That was the only way to ensure that all offenders were disciplined, rather than being allowed to coverup their actions.

As a part of effecting this change of discipline, the Vatican released a statement which contained, everyone’s rights are respected, including the rights of accused clergy and that it was unacceptable to remedy the injustice of sexual abuse with the injustice of railroading priests who may or may not be guilty. The concept of not railroading priests was taken by the public as protecting the priests who had already been found guilty in the court of puplic opinion. But in reality, is no different than the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

An unfortunate consequence of the Vatican taking over the displine from the individual diocese has been that the process has slowed down. The Vatican was not prepared nor staffed for the number of allegations it would have to handle. Because of steps taken by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, namely that when an allegation against a priest is first made, he is to be immediately suspended and the diocese must cooperate with civil authorities (as opposed to suspension only after an investigation and the investigation prior to cooperation with authorities), it appears that the Vatican has returned some of the discipline authority to US dioceses.

A result of these efforts is that the rate of abuse has sharply declined since approximately 1985.

With these facts in mind, while I can see a case for corruption among certain individuals, I cannot see the case against JPII. At every step along the way the vatican worked to increase the finding of facts and to reduce the tendency to cover up.

Again, I do not offer explanation for those who are guilty of this crime. I pray for justice for them and their victims. But I do believe the link to show JPII's personal corruption in this case to be broken.

Ken said...

Jamie wrote:

"As far as whether or not Pius IX actually made the statement -- well, it doesn't really matter to me. I personally think he did.

Then that is enough to indict him. To claim "Tradition? I am the Tradition!" in the face of the greatest RC historian at the time, Ignaz Von Dollinger, is similar to the Darth Sideous parallel, in the sense of being arrogant and seeking to amass power in one person.

But I also know that he didn't achieve the declaration he sought.

What did he want? He wanted more than "infallibility"?!!? Could you elaborate please.

Vatican I was more restrictive than Pius' desires. I also think that the Darth Sideous comparison is disingenuous.

I see your point below. I did not mean it was parallel in every way, but only in the arrogance and amassing power like that into one person/office. In that sense it is parallel, and I personally think the liberal writers of the Star Wars movie wanted to make an indirect slam against Catholicism, but not for the same reasons or motivations that I see a parallel. The liberal Hollywood types are just slamming against all conservative values and politics. (They put the Pope, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Glen Beck and Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh in the same pot.)

Sideous disbanded the senate in the Star Wars story line in order to achieve his goals. Pius IX did the opposite. He brought together an assembly and by doing so, bound himself to the assembly's decision.

That's fine and I see your point, but that was not what I thinking of, so I was not being dis-ingenuous.

Dis-ingenuous -
lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere: Her excuse was rather disingenuous.

I was not thinking of a parallel between disbanding the senate on the one hand and calling a council together on the other.


In history, Pius IX performed the opposite action from what the fictional Darth Sideous did."

Ok, more later.

Ken said...

Rory,
I would say that Acton's statement can include both personal corruption and organizational and doctrinal corruption. Although Acton probably did not mean to include past history of the Papal authority, I believe that his statement is true in principle long before the 1870 doctrine was made dogma. As you admit it was generally beleived as a doctrine from the middle ages onward - 1100s onward.

Hence, Boniface VIII's outrageous statement. 1302 AD

What gets me is that the phrase by itself "infallibility of the Pope" itself seems like it is saying a lot more that it really is.

When they start defining what it means to be "ex cathedra" (from the chair) (of Peter) and "when officially teaching as the pastoral leader/teacher of the whole church", it would seem to include all the Pope's official encyclicals. When there was a mistake, the RC apologist says, those encyclicals are not necessarily "ex cathedra". Poppycock! Boulderdash! The RC seems to wiggle out of every charge so that they just say "no matter what evidence you bring, it is presuppositionally wrong, because it was not really ex cathedra, or not really as pastor, or his private opinion, etc.

That, is what seems really disingenuous.

As far as Mother Teresa goes; 1. Haven't you read her statements that Hindus go to heaven based on how good they are rather than faith in Christ? That to me is heresy.

2. John Paul 2's failure to discipline her is indication of some kind of doctrinal corruption.

3. Also, just the fact that the RC continues as a general culture to emphasize works over faith is a corruption of doctrine. (even though officially, they speak of faith and even sometimes when pressed, they speak of "faith alone" and agreeing with Luther in a sense.)

People in popular culture thought she was the ultimate example of a saint and self-less person; and that gave the impression that one becomes a saint or makes it to heaven by good works - which is very prevalent in the human soul anyway. (without the teaching of the gospel.)

you wrote:
"Second, you raise the question of the cover-ups. I believe this is justified."

Thanks.

As a part of effecting this change of discipline, the Vatican released a statement which contained, everyone’s rights are respected, including the rights of accused clergy and that it was unacceptable to remedy the injustice of sexual abuse with the injustice of railroading priests who may or may not be guilty. The concept of not railroading priests was taken by the public as protecting the priests who had already been found guilty in the court of public opinion. But in reality, is no different than the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

This is a good point. But what about all the settlements out of court? (lots of money) Doesn't that indicate admission of guilt in order to not be shamed in public with the details?

Ken said...

The point about percentage of pedophilia in other denominations - I don't know about that. Homosexual pedophilia at the same rate in other non-celibate rules for clergy denominations?
Hard to believe.

Not that celibacy automatically causes the other; but I have heard Roman Catholics admit that a high percentage of homosexuals (males who have deep within them attraction to same sex) go into the priesthood ministry in order to try and escape from their struggle; and that is not right.

Anyway, I think the main problem is that I am not saying that Acton's statement was a prophesy and the subsequent Popes were corrupt in absolute power; I am saying that his statement is true for humans and even applies to the Popes from 1000 AD to today especially for doctrine; as it was corrupt from 1000 onward. The moral corruption of the Renaissance popes, etc. are good examples of that; that Acton's statement is true for the past history of the Popes.

My main point was about the 'church determining or creating the canon" and Pontificator (Al Kimel's statement) that it doesn't matter if Paul didn't write Ephesians or 2 Tim. or Titus, or Peter didn't write 2 Peter, if the church says it is canon, then that is good enough. No; that is wrong; and that was my main point.

Irene said...

Hi Ken.

Ken, you want to make papal infallibility more than the Catholic Church says it is. You want to be able to show that popes have erred and are therefore not infallible. Your name doesn't have to be Von Dollinger to know that papal infallibility, if applied to every public utterance of every pope is untenable. They knew that in 1870, but they also had faith as I do that God will protect His Church from error. You have to permit the Council Fathers to frame the doctrine they way they intended reconciling their knowledge that popes are ordinary mortals who ordinarily err, with their faith that unders certain rare circumstances, God will not let His Vicar on earth lead the Church doctrinally astray.

You seem unwilling to let us soften papal infallibility, to give you our own definition of it. "Poppycock" and "Balderdash" are the exclamations you use to say that you know better than we do the scope of papal infallibility.

You can't do this Ken. Criticise our doctrine for what we say it is. Not what you say it is. I am trying to figure this out. Why do you seem determined to make our doctrine seem "worse" than it really is?

If I was Protestant, I would still have to use the criteria that the Catholic Church gives me to judge it. Isn't it bad enough from your point of view, papal infallibility that is, without stretching it to be more far reaching than the Catholic Church teaches?

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

First, I think you're responding to me, and not Rory.

Second, as far as Mother Theresa goes, I have read (but not been able to substantiate) that she was often in the position of having to choose between freedom to continue her ministry and imprisonment for evangelizing, and that she chose to evangelize through the actions of her ministry rather than through words. Under this particular constraint and a reflection on Romans 2:14-16, where Paul says that his Gospel states that those who live righteously, even though they know not the Law nor Christ through no fault of their own, their righteous living, the Law written in their hearts, will be to their benefit when they are judged.

Furthermore, even if she did go beyond the stipulations of Romans 2:14-16, I do not know of anyone who demands earthly perfection from a saint or one who may some day be considered a saint. Even you cite, with positive comments, Tertullian in his heretical Montanist period. So I don't see how a less than perfect Christian makes John Paul II (or any other Christian leader) somehow corrupt. If you continue to insist upon this, I will continue to point out that the logical resultant is that some measure of corruption is reflected to you in your Christian leadership position.

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

Continuing to follow up with your above comments. I know that you feel that Acton's quote would apply to the institution before the man. Here is the full quote for better context.

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

The entirety of the quote applies to the person holding the particular authoritative office. Rory was correct to phrase the question in terms of personal corruption.

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

Finally, you wrote,

The point about percentage of pedophilia in other denominations - I don't know about that. Homosexual pedophilia at the same rate in other non-celibate rules for clergy denominations?
Hard to believe.


I understand that it is hard to believe. My sources are the John Jay report which states a Catholic Priest pedophile rate of 4%, Dr Thomas Plante of Stanford Univ and Santa Clara Univ who states 4%, and Philip Jenkins Professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State.

Plante states that the Catholic rate is commensurate with pedophilia in other Christian denominations. Jenkins wrote in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination—or indeed, than non-clergy. However determined news media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported. And the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2002 that child sexual abuse numbers are higher for Protestants than for Catholics. However, I think this "higher" number is because the CSM was including church volunteers in addition to clergy and staff. So it wasn't an apples-to-apples comparison with Catholics.

Whether we like it or not, this is a serious problem that plagues all of us. The unfortunate news is that the research shows the problem is even worse in places like schools.

In a way, it is good news that the Catholic Church has had so much media attention. Due to the changes put in place by the Vatican and the US Bishops, some sources are saying that pedophilia cases after 1990 have become almost non-existent. I would hope that Protestant churches made similar changes, but I haven't seen any research one way or the other on that topic.

Please remember that my point is not to pardon, dismiss, or trivialize the trauma that far too many priest brought about on young people. Nor is it to in some way say that because other segments of society or other religions have similar problems, the RCC should be let off the hook. My only purpose is to try to talk factually about the problem - or at least as factually as I can be; to discuss what the Church did to clean house (did that previously); and to show that even with this house cleaning, there is still a problem which we as Christians face. I hope that we will face it together.