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Archive for the ‘Ecumenical’ Category

Like the catholic product they have produced over the past 40 years, some of these theologians only teach Vatican II lite. It is no wonder that they find their theological center in the documents that interest them, but have worked to directly undermine or ignore those Vatican II documents which don’t fit their agenda.

 
“For the full recognition of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council” The papal cancellation of the excommunication of bishops from The Society of St. Pius X signifies the reception into full communion with the See of Rome those who have consistently opposed the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Regarding the anti-Semitic remarks and the denial of the German national-socialist persecution of the Jews by Bishop Richard Williamson and his followers, we share the indignation of our Jewish sisters and brothers. Moreover, we state that the SSPX’s attitude towards Judaism does not correspond to the Council’s understanding of and commitment to Jewish-Christian dialogue. We support the recent statements of Bishops’ Conferences, and others, all over the world, on this issue. We also welcome the recent statements made on these matters by Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican’s Secretariate of State.

We believe that the close correlation between the excommunication’s cancellation and the 50th anniversary of the calling of a General Council of the Church by Blessed Pope John XXIII gives a clear indication of the direction which the present Papacy wishes to take. We sense a desire to return to a pre Vatican II Church with its fear of openness to the breath of the Holy Spirit, a positive appreciation of ‘the signs of the times’, and the values of democratic institutions. We are very concerned that this act of rehabilitation heralds a turn-around on important documents of Vatican II, for example, the decree on ecumenism “Unitatis Redintegratio”, the declaration on non-Christian religions “Nostra Aetate”, the declaration on religious liberty “Dignitatis Humanae” and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, “Gaudium et Spes”. Such an act will have a disastrous effect on the credibility of the Roman-Catholic Church. For Catholics who love their Church, the price is too high!

The Pope hopes this act will help unify the Church. However we think it is particularly outrageous that the Vatican’s renewed overtures to a schismatic traditionalist movement have been undertaken without the imposition of any conditions whatsoever. In June 2008, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Levebvre’s excommunication, the SSPX rejected the invitation of the Holy See towards theological reconciliation. Likewise, the fraternity rejected the invitation to sign a five-topic declaration containing conditions for its re-integration in the Roman Church.

A return to full communion with the Catholic Church can only be made possible if the documents and teachings of the Second Vatican Council are fully accepted without any reservations, as requested by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” on the topic of the Tridentine rite. It is also imperative that the papal ministries of Blessed Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI are recognised and accepted. The Church of Rome, perceived as the Barque of St Peter, lists heavily as long as the Vatican: * only rehabilitates the “lost sheep” at the traditionalist edge of the Church, and makes no similar offer to other excommunicated or marginalised Catholics * persists in preventing progressive theologians from teaching * refuses dialogue with all movements in the Church (Essen, January 28, 2009)

We Are Church UK 5 February 2009 (Based upon an original text by Prof. Dr. Norbert Scholl, Angelhofweg 24b, D-69259 Wilhelmsfeld) http://www.petition-vaticanum2.org/pageID_7327623.html

 

SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM

32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites

63. Because of the use of the mother tongue in the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals can often be of considerable help to the people, this use is to be extended according to the following norms:

a) The vernacular language may be used in administering the sacraments and sacramentals, according to the norm of Art. 36.

86. Priests who are engaged in the sacred pastoral ministry will offer the praises of the hours with greater fervor the more vividly they realize that they must heed St. Paul’s exhortation: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:11). For the work in which they labor will effect nothing and bring forth no fruit except by the power of the Lord who said: “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15: 5). That is why the apostles, instituting deacons, said: “We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).

116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

GRAVISSIMUM EDUCATIONIS

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_gravissimum-educationis_en.html

APOSTOLICAM ACTUOSITATEM

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19651118_apostolicam-actuositatem_en.html

10. Students who follow the venerable tradition of celibacy according to the holy and fixed laws of their own rite are to be educated to this state with great care. For renouncing thereby the companionship of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matt. 19:12), they embrace the Lord with an undivided love altogether befitting the new covenant, bear witness to the resurrection of the world to come (cf. Luke 20:36), and obtain a most suitable aid for the continual exercise of that perfect charity whereby they can become all things to all men in their priestly ministry. Let them deeply realize how gratefully that state ought to be received, not, indeed, only as commanded by ecclesiastical law, but as a precious gift of God for which they should humbly pray. Through the inspiration and help of the grace of the Holy Spirit let them freely and generously hasten to respond to this gift.

They are to be warned of the dangers that threaten their chastity especially in present-day society. Aided by suitable safeguards, both divine and human, let them learn to integrate their renunciation of marriage in such a way that they may suffer in their lives and work not only no harm from celibacy but rather acquire a deeper mastery of soul and body and a fuller maturity, and more perfectly receive the blessedness spoken of in the Gospel.

 

Perhaps a survey of how often these theologians pray the Divine Office, or include Gregorian Chant in the Liturgy, preserve the use of latin or refrain from withdrawing priestly celebacy.

Perhaps had the IMPLEMENTATIONS of Vat II conducted by these man in underminding or circumventing the full Vatican II documents not their truncated view of it not been carried out, we wouldn’t be faced with groups like the SSPX having left the church.

Their other problem is that “Aggiornamento” has been demonstrated to be an almost utter failure for the church. I hope that B16 will be given the time to implement “Ressourcement” which IMO is what was desired by the Vatican II council fathers.

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I think this was more then symbol over substance here. 100 years ago the idea of the Pope & the Ecumenical Patriarch praying together [in latin no less] would be impossible. The Catholic Herald has a solid reivew of the event.

“Orthodoxy,” he said, “was the common responsibility and obligation of all.”

He said, the liturgy – a communal celebration – was the place where the community learned, expressed and strengthened its faith. “Whereas the gradual development in the West of a juridical source of authority led to an understanding of liturgical rites more as external signs, Eastern Christianity visualised liturgy as an authoritative criterion of faith and ethics”, seen, for example, in the practice of quoting liturgical texts in support of a theological argument, he said.

I think this is an excellent point. Although I think perhaps the reformation may have had a hand in this practice in that Catholics would not refer to liturgical texts in support of Catholic positions because it would be dismissed out of hand. Perhaps thats someting to reconsider.

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This is driving me nuts. I have read in several places where Pope Benedict XVI is having discussion on writting a document on Luther and lifting the excommunication edit on Luther. The London Times has a rumor article on the Pope issuing on in the fall.

Here at least is someone that went to the wizard and received a functioning brain and dispels the rumor.

Here is another link to what the current pope thought on the topic 20 some years ago. It’s well worth the read. Ratzinger on Luther – Communio 11: Fall, 1984luther.jpg

I expect some favorable points made on Luther by the Pope this summer or fall, but those who think the excommunication on Luther would be lifted are grossly misinformed or have grossly been mislead in religious education, especially in the area of papal authority.

You see the church (including the Pope) has no authority over the dead. Judgement does indeed come from God, so the Pope does not have any authority to lift the sentence against Luther, nor would such a gesture be fruitful. It’s moot- he’s dead and God has judged him [for good or for ill]. I hesitate in using the word “has” with respect to God since this is performed in eternity, but hopefully my point is understood.

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Kosovo: Vatican remains prudent

Thanks to babel fish for translating this from Italian into English. The international mission of the church state craft, which is to provide for freedom of access for the churches mission of the Gospel and ability to chose it’s own bishops rather then state imposed or chose ones. However IMO the church is best served to stay out of this one as much as possible. Speak to preservation of life & holy sites and avoid who maintains or retakes power there.

It is true that independence of the Kosovo is an acquired data for the majority of Europe, but the Vatican thinks of having however to maintain a precaution line and, seems to understand, remains long the times for an acknowledgment of Pristina. Beyond to the worries on the procedures of the international right, in fact, the Sede Saint cannot not hold account of ‘ ‘ the fears of the serbi’ ‘, inasmuch as in Kosovo the Serbian orthodox church has the own one ‘ ‘ culla’ ‘. These things have been explained from cardinal Walter Kasper, than like president of ‘ ‘ the ministry of the Pope for the dialogue between cristiani’ ‘ it has been interpellato from the journalists on the worries of the patriarch of Moscow Alessio II for independence kosovara and on eventual repercussions of this event on the orthodox relationships between, not only Russian, and catholics. ‘ ‘ the Vatican – it has remembered the German porporato one – has not said nothing on the acknowledgment of the Kosovo and still waits for; to the end the great European nations orient themselves for the acknowledgment, will look at what will make the Sede Saint in the next one futuro’ ‘. The porporato one has remembered that the Sede Saint ‘ ‘ comprises the worries of the Serbs because the Kosovo is the crib of the Serbian orthodox church and comprises the caused suffering they gives the abandonment of the Kosovo’ ‘. All this, has explained Kasper, has been made present to the Serbian ambassador near the Saint Sede, Vladeta Jankovic, received from the Pope 21 February, hardly four days after the proclamation of independence from part of Pristina. The Vatican seems therefore taken care not to repeat “the error completed in the ‘ 91” with the hurried acknowledgment of the secessione of Croatia and Slovenia from the Yugoslavia, that it provoked to the temporary breach of the religious relationships with the orthodox world and the accusation to have contributed to prime the Balkan ethnic conflict

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Many Protestant communions have issues with giving adherence to the traditional Creeds. Creeds bind individual believers to a formal expression of Scriptural truths. Creeds were created to eliminate gray areas which lead to false understandings of eternal truths. Many would view Creeds as intolerant. Especially in this politically correct world, Creeds can be somewhat insensitive to those who would rather hold positions that allow both orthodox and heretical views.

Indeed, Creeds are designed to be just that- intolerant, insensitive, unforgiving. For a Creed defines the boundary with which the enemy Satan is not permitted to enter, nor any of his followers. Heresy is a half truth at best and provides a false sense of security which brings spiritual destruction and in some case physical destruction on a wide scale throughout history. So while Creeds seem to turn on points of scriptural, philosophy & ecclesiastical concerns which they do; they make their mark by sealing literally with the blood of thousands of martyrs as to what is truth.

Christology is the discipline in theology for the study of the Person of Jesus Christ. Since Christ is the basis of belief for all Christians, it is critical to understand who Christ is and who He isn’t; since our belief and salvation are dependent upon Him.

Many of the early church heresies turn on either Christ’s personhood or His natures (Divine & Human). It should be noted that many of these heresies were based on a misunderstanding of scripture and in defense against some other heresy, yet the defense formed to refute a given heresy & supporting a true belief in Christ turned out to be heretical as well.

Today we have many Christians who possess an uninformed or ill formed view of Christ. And like heresies of old these are simply remakes of their older heretical versions. Perhaps the greatest of these today is Nestorianism. This is the belief that Christ has two natures and two persons(human & Divine). Now the reformers would never profess two persons in Christ, however, those who came after them, that have discarded the creeds over the centuries are not generally aware of this dogma nor the history and sacrifice of saints who died for these truths.

Protestants have some motivation for supporting this heresy. Catholicism affirms that Mary is the Mother of God. Various cultures that have significant numbers of Catholics have developed traditions which celebrate this truth of the church and of course the prayer “Hail Mary” also contains this phrase as well. In reaction to this display of honoring Jesus and His mother, Protestants have felt the need over the centuries to counteract this piety, which seems excessively focused on Mary. Part of this is simply because Protestants are not familiar with the theological distinctions about giving honor to a person and for that matter most Catholics haven’t been taught it and don’t understand it either. The average Catholic does not know or likely heard about Latria (worship given to God alone) and Hyperdulia & Dulia (honor given to Mary and honor given to Saints respectfully). The majority of Catholic do however understand that they are not to worship Mary, but likely are not able to explain the process. Hence, the Protestants concern with whether the Catholic is honoring Mary or worshiping her. We must also remember that external actions do not necessarily relay what is going on in the believers mind and spirit. I think a strong reminder once a year from the pulpit on reflecting what these theological categories mean would be helpful.

Those who reconcile with the Catholic church coming from one of the Protestant confessions many times have difficulty with this dogma. However, if one keeps the Creed in mind and why those at the Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus)
rejected Nestorianism would be beneficial.

In their zeal to defend against a perceived false worship of Mary, some will reject that Mary is the Mother of God. The individual will attempt to apply logic and state that if Mary is the Mother of God that she must be Divine herself in order to give birth to a Divine person. Such reasoning is false because Christ is one Person – not two. Christ has two natures, but once the Protestant attempts to separate the Incarnation of Divine and Human natures they are forced to falsely create two Persons of Christ (one human and one Divine). This destroys the Trinity and creates 4 person in one God.

Given the utter victory of the church in defining the Trinity, this should make any Christian recoil from this type of  reasoning. Yet if they still are unable to accept Mary as Mother of God and they recognize that God is a Trinity there is a host of other heresies waiting for the believer.

Docetists- Christ appeared to have a real human body, but actually was an ethereal being much like an angel. It derives its name from the Greek, dokein, “to seem, to appear.”

Next is Ebionism who rejected the teachings of Paul and emphasized the importance of the law of Moses. Generally, they regarded Jesus as a divinely inspired prophet but not as God.

Valentinianism, Monarchianism, Sabellianism/Modalists all had there respective day in the Sun. St. Epiphanius writes about them:

“Their doctrine is, that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and the same being, in the sense that three names are attached to the one substance. A close analogy may be found in the body, soul and spirit of man. The body as it were the Father: the soul as the Son ; while the Spirit is to the Godhead as his spirit is to a man. Or take the sun: it is one substance, but it has three manifestations, light , heat and the orb itself. The heat…( is analogous to) the Spirit; the light to the Son; while the Father himself is represented as the actual substance. The Son was at one time emitted, like a ray of light; he accomplished in the world all that pertained to the dispensation of the Gospel and man’s salvation, and was taken back into heaven , as a ray is emitted by the sun and then withdrawn again into the sun.”(Epiphanius Bishop of Salamis 375 AD. Adv. hareses Ixii.1)

If this theological position rings a bell, it’s likely that you know or where at one time a Oneness Pentecostal for they are anti-Trinitarians holding to the belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God and one Person.

Adoptionism is where Christ is/was created by generation and nature, and became divine by adoption and grace as an adult. Arians which was created by Arius a presbyter of the Alexandria church in the 4th century taught Christ was not God like the Father, but a creature made in time. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses hold similar beliefs.

Eutycheanism/Monophysites– archimandrite of Constantinople held that Christ is One person and One nature.

Therefore, following the holy Fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance (homoousious) with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer (Theotokos); one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the Fathers has handed down to us.

This is called the Definition of Chalcedon.

Note that there is a great balance between the two heretical positions of One Person & One nature on the one hand and two persons and two natures on the other.

Christians rightly think of Jesus as God and hence many of us tend to think of Him in exclusively Divine concepts. However Jesus is fully human in nature and therefore we should also realize that He sanctifies us by and through His Incarnation. Eastern Orthodoxy has a wonderful saying that all that Jesus touches is redeemed.

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If Islam desires to be accepted into the world community, they have to reverse laws like this one. However since Islam seems unable or unwilling to separate the role of the state with the role of religion, I don’t hold out much hope in this regard any time soon. Faith regardless of who is professing what is not something that is left (in this case) at a particular authorized structure, it is a vocation which the individual draws from on every aspect of their life.

ROME, FEB. 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A Catholic priest was sentenced by the tribunal of Oran, a city in northwestern Algeria, to a year in prison for having “directed a religious ceremony in a place which has not been recognized by the government.”

Father Pierre Wallez is the first victim of legislation approved in March 2006 regarding the exercise of the practices of non Muslim worship, in this North African country of 33 million residents, 99% of whom are Muslim.

Speaking Saturday on Vatican Radio, Archbishop Henri Teissier of Alger, explained that “the most surprising thing is that the conviction was issued simply because the priest visited a group of Christians in Cameroon. He had not celebrated Mass, but was only joining them in a prayer. It was Dec. 29, a little after Christmas.”

The prelate clarified that the sentence will not be carried out, because the tribunal decided to modify it to a sentence of parole.

“They systematically reject entrance visas for our delegates,” stated the archbishop, “and in November they withdrew the residency permission for four young Brazilian priests who were working with the Portuguese-speaking African immigrants.”

The law, composed of 17 articles, prohibits the exercise of non-Islamic worship outside buildings approved by authorities.

An article allows for fines and prison for anyone “who changes the original function of places of worship” or “incites, coerces, or uses persuasive means to oblige a Muslim to embrace another religion.”

The same penalties are also applied to those who “produce, store, or distribute publications or audio or video material or other means oriented toward undermining faith in Islam.”

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I think that the fragmentation of the Protestant church is excellerating-Study Reveals State of U.S. Church Planting

approximately 4,000 churches are being planted in the United States each year – an all-time high….church planting is much more varied than in the past with “missional,” “seeker-sensitive,” “purpose-driven” and ethnic church planting models being developed. And these new models were found to produce more evangelistic conversions…”There is this bulge of young adults that come up and begin to create new forms of institutional faith. There will always be a need for new churches and new church plants to serve those needs.”…”Most successful church planters today are specialists who emphasize a particular style of worship or a specific demographic,” he said. “For example, they may exclusively plant house churches or ethnic churches – or perhaps build purpose-driven, seeker or missional churches. And the trend toward specialization is likely to continue as more tools and resources that serve specific types of planting strategies are developed.

I have to conclude that the individual doesn’t desire to join an existing church they want to be part of building a “new” church. One tailored to what they perceive what a church could or should be. It’s a classical tail wagging the dog situation. It’s also totally unbibical. The individual doesn’t create the church. Christ calls the individual to be in the church – one that already exists and has existed since Penecost.

Adding to this is the “multi-site” concept where there is “one” church with multiple-locations model, there is a different band and local leader, but the pastor and sermon is hooked up via satellite to all the local locations. I can’t help but see this as assisting in the further development of the “cult of personality” problem. The pastor as the rock star and the Gospel message is overshadowed or the pastor’s interpretation takes on a greater authority then an Pope every claimed. And even if the pastor has a healthy does of humilty as soon as he steps down the church fragments or is taken over but someone with nothing but career enhancement in mind.

Another irony is that this will create more diversity (as in more options for the individual worshiper) but it will in fact create a belief so specialized that tolerance of other forms may be perceived as liberal or heretical simply because there is little held in common. The individual is never challenged to confront thier own belief system, when it comes in conflict with their perceived idea of what scripture means, becuase they can simply hook up with a different church which will offer them what conforms to their beliefs. Failing that they simply plant their own church.

In fact the idea of denomination’s in this trend seems to lose it’s means drowned in a sea on creedless Purpose Driven cultural relevance then theology.

As a Catholic I don’t see this as a positive, there simply won’t be any way to seek common ground with Protestants. Denominations and non-denominations were splintered badly enough, but these forces will destroy even that common ground. The bible will hopefully be THE common ground, but after that you’ll never know when a person says their a “Christian” they hold to Dr. Phil theology, or some local mega or Giga church and their brand of THE truth.

Atleast when someone use to say they were a Baptist, Methodist, or Anglican I had some knowledge of what they believed in and what we held in common. Now I have no idea and I frankly don’t have the time to understand all the various splinter variations of what is “essential non-essentials” of their faith.

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