Will ordination doctrine drive a “mass exodus of the faithful” from the Catholic Church?

posted at 1:21 pm on March 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

So says my colleague at The Week, Damon Linker, in an essay predicting that all churches would need to change doctrines to keep up with the modern world, especially the Catholic Church. Refusing to adapt doctrine to modern thought will force an exodus of people from their faiths, Damon writes, especially the Catholic insistence that ordination is limited to men:

By contrast, the majority of Catholics who support women’s ordination are confronted on the altar with the all-male priesthood every time they go to church. At the moment, frustration about the issue is muted because Pope Francis has inspired so much good will among the faithful — and raised such high hopes for reform. That has given the church some breathing room.

But it isn’t going to last. As I’ve argued at length, there is no indication that anything of doctrinal substance is going to change under the new pope — and least of all on the ordination of women, a subject on which Francis has explicitly endorsed Pope John Paul II’s position, which unequivocally dismissed the possibility. Sooner or later — and probably sooner — egalitarian-minded Catholics are going to lose their patience with the hierarchy’s unpersuasive defenses of the status quo.

And they are stunningly unpersuasive. Here is the argument in its entirety: Christ chose 12 men to be his apostles; they in turn chose men to help them spread the word of God; today’s priests and bishops are the direct descendants of these original apostles; therefore, the church doesn’t have the power to ordain women.

The church would be on much firmer ground if the Gospels recorded Christ explicitly stating that he chose men to be his apostles because it is God’s will that only men can serve in that role. But of course he said no such thing. A weaker but at least potentially defensible argument would involve some sort of claim about the nature of women being incompatible with ordination. But the church makes no such argument. Alternatively, the church could appeal to a popularly held gendered vision of God like the one affirmed by the Mormons. But the church doesn’t do that either.

As it is, Catholics are left with: This is the way we do it, because we’ve always done it that way, and we can’t change, so drop it.

First, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of the office of Pope. No Pope can change doctrine; the entire structure of the office aims to preserve and defend doctrine. Anyone looking for changes of “doctrinal substance” from any pontificate is doomed to disappointment, including ill-informed Catholics.

Damon claims to represent “the argument in its entirety,” but he’s in error. The argument offered is one of the points in defense of the doctrine of ordination, but it’s not even the main argument. He then demands a Scriptural reference, which hints at a sola scriptura approach, a theological position which of course the Catholic Church rejects anyway. The truth is more complicated, and requires people to understand the nature of the Mass and the priest’s role within it. This could fill books (and has — I’d recommend Coming Soon or The Lamb’s Supper), but I’ll offer a relatively brief explanation.

Priests act in persona Christi capitis during the Mass (CCC pp 875), especially during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The congregation becomes an earthly part of the eternal celebration of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, as described in Revelation, in which the Church becomes the Bride of Christ. The priestly authority comes directly from Christ Himself through the apostolic succession of the bishops and their authority to ordain priests for this purpose. It is in this role that priests can effect the transformation of the sacrifice of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the unity of the Holy Spirit with Christ and God the Father, as seen in Revelation, and offer it to the faithful as a sacrament of union with Christ and that eternal celebration. Acting in persona Christi capitis, the priest acts in place of Christ the bridegroom in that moment in time here in the world (CCC pp 1348). Also, the priest’s role in the Mass occurs through the power of Christ the bridegroom (CCC 1548). This is how the two will become one flesh, as in sacramental marriage in this world. If the congregation is the bride, the priest as groom must be male to act in persona Christi capitis, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

None of this is particularly secret, by the way. As the references show, the Catholic Church teaches all of this quite openly. The belief in the actual presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Eucharist as a connection to the one sacrifice at the eternal wedding feast forms the substantial argument for ordaining only men to the priesthood. (It’s worth noting that the recently restored order of the diaconate is currently only open to men, but the Church is discerning on that practice, since deacons cannot serve in the place of priests during the Liturgy of the Eucharist anyway.) However, it’s at least a fair point to admit that many Catholics never hear this teaching, for reasons of poor catechism at home or in churches and schools.

Now, people are free to believe this or not, but the basis for the doctrine isn’t simply that Jesus only chose men to be His apostles. Furthermore, the Church’s role isn’t to change with the times anyway. It’s to defend what it teaches as revealed truth, and to spread the truth rather than take polls. That may indeed produce an impulse for congregants to leave, but that may be a symptom of poor catechesis rather than a refusal to change doctrine to suit the modern temperament. If an exodus occurs, that would be the cause, not a refusal to rewrite doctrine.

The poet Alexander Pope once wrote that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” warning that “shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.”  This would seem to be an apt demonstration of that axiom.


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RI_Red on March 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Illinidiva was bullied as a child and blames the church. Good luck getting through.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM

That was quite a change when the Mass stopped being said in Catholic, huh?
/
;)

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

They had to wait until AFTER I learned all the responses in Catholic.

LOL!

Roy Rogers on March 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM

OT Canon of Melito c. AD 170, Bishop of Sardis. He omits Esther, and Lamentations was considered part of Jeremiah (in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book 4 ch. 26).

…when I went to the East and reached the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and I send them to you as written below. These are their names: Of Moses five, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Joshua the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, four of Kingdoms [Samuel & Kings], two of Chronicles, the Psalms of David, Solomon’s Proverbs or Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of the Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve [minor prophets] in one book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras [Ezra & Nehemiah]. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.” Such are the words of Melito.

Origen and Athanasius largely agree, and it wasn’t until Trent that the RCC canonized the Apocrypha.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

That was quite a change when the Mass stopped being said in Catholic, huh?
/
;) – cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

It did not upset me one bit. But Mass had been said in Latin since the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church. As I said, I will let the Roman Catholics handle their own affairs.

SC.Charlie on March 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Mr Linker and others need to read Revelations, specifically the letters to the 7 churches, from Jesus and to follow his instructions there.

Please drop the superfluous “s”. The name of the book in question is The Revelation of St. John the Divine, which can be shortened to Revelation. There is no terminal “s” in its name. I realize that a lot of books in the bible end in “s”, but Revelation is not one of them. I tend to wonder whether someone can accurately quote a book if they can’t even spell its name correctly.

This is related to the common practice of adding a superfluous “‘s” to the name of a store that doesn’t already have one: “I’m going to Walmart’s. You wanna come with?”. That many businesses end in (apostrophe-)s (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Baskin-Robbins, Sherwin-Williams,…) does not require that all business names end in an s.

I think there is a high correlation between them.

~Language Martinet

The Monster on March 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Apologies if this has already been stated, but the idea of “modernize or die” is a completely discredited concept within the church. Mind you that doesn’t mean language or styles can’t change, but the moment you compromise fundamentals, you’re done. In the 1960s-1970s, all of the mainlines radically shifted their positions on a wide range of issues to “keep up” with the modern world. Results:

United Methodist Church:
1968: 11 million
2009: 7.8 million

United Church of Christ:
1962: 2 million
2009: 1.1 million

Episcopal Church:
1960: 3.3 million
2009: 2 million

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
1987: 5.3 million
2009: 4.5 million

I don’t point this out to give the mainliners a hard time (I’m an ELCA Lutheran), but the churches that have “modernized” have indisputably done worse over the last half century than the conservative churches that stuck to “outdated” doctrines.

LukeinNE on March 24, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Luke – thanks. This bears requoting in its entirety. (By the way, your screen name is very appropriate, given the subject of this thread.)

I guess we need to look at the types of women who have been ordained in the “mainline” churches. Based upon my experiences in the Episcopal church (before I converted to the RCC) it is not pretty. Far too many of them should have been Women’s Studies professors rather than ministers. Faithful to political correctness, rather than the gospel. You could feel the darkness in their hearts.

I realize that the RCC had its own “progressive problem”. But the pedophile scandal actually destroyed the progressive wing of the RCC. Some dioceses in the RCC were more progressive, some more traditional – and the pervert scandal disproportionately hit the progressives. In my own dioscese, we did not ordain candidates who had deep-seated homosexual tendencies – and a result, we were largely spared from the scandal. The more progressive diosceses, who took a “whatever floats your boat sexually” had the lions share of the problems.

You can also see a paralell dynamic in the orders of nuns. Some of the more traditionalist orders are having to do emergency fundraising campaigns, to scale up their facilities to deal with the numbers of new postulants. The more progressive orders, by contrast, are dying off at a rapid rate.

It is almost as if staying true to the Gospel gives you divine protection, or something….

SubmarineDoc on March 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Out of all the denominations of Christians, Catholics are the only ones who have priests/preachers that don’t marry, correct? Given that even Evangelicals Fundamentalists and other strict types have married church leadership, is it really the case that Catholics have to keep this strange ban against marriage?

Another Libertarian on March 25, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Eastern Orthodox also do not let priests marry. Although, married men can become priests in those traditions. Same way it works with deacons in the Western church. As a married man, I could become a deacon, but once a deacon, a Catholic cannot marry. Bishops have been traditionally celibate in both the East and West.

You may not know this, but the Catholic church has many Eastern “rites”, in addition to the “Latin rite” which is practiced by most parishes in the USA. These are essentially Eastern Orthodox congregations that have over the centuries come back into communion with Rome, and they’re allowed to keep their liturgy, the greek bible, and traditions like married priests. So you may have noticed in the Ukraine news, the “Ukranian Catholic Church” and “Ukranian Orthodox Church” were both in the headlines doing different things. The former is an Eastern rite of the Catholic church. One of the best things that Pope Benedict XVI did was to create an Anglican Ordinariate that allows Anglican/Episcopalian congregations to do the same thing — rejoin the Church and keep their liturgy, married priests, etc. This was a huge, huge development in church history… perhaps the beginning of the healing of the Protestant schism.

joe_doufu on March 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

joe_doufu on March 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Absolutely. thanks for posting that.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Thanks for that excellent summation of canon history.

AesopFan on March 25, 2014 at 12:58 AM

thank you for reading it. I spent alot of time on it last night and I was wondering if anyone would read it. lol

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 12:57 PM

OT Canon of Melito c. AD 170, Bishop of Sardis. He omits Esther, and Lamentations was considered part of Jeremiah (in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book 4 ch. 26).

…when I went to the East and reached the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and I send them to you as written below. These are their names: Of Moses five, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Joshua the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, four of Kingdoms [Samuel & Kings], two of Chronicles, the Psalms of David, Solomon’s Proverbs or Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of the Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve [minor prophets] in one book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras [Ezra & Nehemiah]. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.” Such are the words of Melito.

Origen and Athanasius largely agree, and it wasn’t until Trent that the RCC canonized the Apocrypha.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Again, no,you are wrong about that.

Look at your dates. 170AD. And Athanasius and Origen’s lists were all before the end of the 4th century.

I don’t think you read my post from

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM

It clearly says that before the councils at the end of the 4th century there were some different lists. These councils decided the canon once and for all officially.

Nothing else was read at Christian Masses after 419AD. You will find no other lists or manuscripts after that to this day that differ. And in the main canon. The only thing that you may find in some manuscripts of the Vulgate is the Prayer of Manasseh that was sometimes put between the Old and New Testament or in an appendix. This was never part of the official Christian canon.

I am going to post for you the actual records of the Council of Carthage in 419AD. You will see there is no difference in the books listed there till today’s list.

And like I said in my other post:

From the later 4th century till 419AD there were several Church councils that discussed what was Scriptural and what wasn’t. There were many Christian writings being circulated and the Church wanted the faithful to know what was the true Word of God and what was heretical. St. Jerome was commissioned to come up with lists and to translate the books into Latin, since the majority of the Western Empire now spoke this instead of Greek. Other Bishops also presented lists. St. Augustine’s list included the 7 O.T. books.
Most Bishops of the day argued against St. Jerome’s list and didn’t understand why Christians had to follow a modern Jewish list of books that was not the official Jewish list at the time of Christ and the Apostles.

The bishops from the council of 382AD (reaffirmed by the vast majority of bishops in the 393AD and 397AD and 419AD councils) all agreed on a sole canon of the Old and New Testaments. The last council in 419AD had over 200 Bishops (East and West) who voted overwhelmingly to reaffirm that list of books.

St. Jerome wholeheartedly accepted this official canon and defended it.

***The official list of Old Testament and New Testament books from this last council in 419AD were the only books allowed to be read at Christian Masses after that time.***

You will not find any copies of the Vulgate or any other Christian Bible manuscript canon that was different than that from that time forward.

The Council of Trent did not change this official list. It reaffirmed the sole official list (as did other councils in the centuries before Trent.) What Trent did was declare the canon to be infallible.

There were no changes for over 1,000 years until Martin Luther.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The following comes from a very interesting web site that has many early church writings and some council documents.

http://www.newadvent.org/

Here are 2 excerts from the formal proclamation, called canons, of the 217 Bishops who attended the Council of Carthage in 419AD. Pope Boniface was not present as well as many other Bishops of the Church in Rome and Constantinople. He sent a legate named Faustinus. Travel in those days was not easy and not all bishops attended all councils. Sometimes there were more than one in one year. So many councils were local. In 2,000 years there have been only 21 Ecumenical Councils of the whole Church, the last being Vatican II.

There were well over 100 canons in this document covering all kinds of things. If you’d like to read the whole interesting document, click the link below. One canon was about the books that will be considered scripture. That is why it is called a Bible canon. To canonize something means to proclaim it in a council document as this.

I’ve posted here that canon (number 24) and the introduction to this document.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3816.htm

THE CANONS OF THE CCXVII BLESSED FATHERS WHO

ASSEMBLED AT CARTHAGE.

COMMONLY CALLED

THE CODE OF CANONS OF THE AFRICAN CHURCH.

A.D. 419

AN ANCIENT INTRODUCTION.

(Found in Dionysius Exiguus, Codex Can. Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. lxvii., col.
182.)

After the consulate of the most glorious emperors, Honorus for the twelfth
time and Theodosius for the eighth time, Augustuses, on the VIII. before the
Calends of June at Carthage, in the Secretarium of the basilica of Faustus,
when Pope Aurelius had sat down, together with Valentine of the primatial see
of the province of Numidia, and Faustinus of the Potentine Church, of the
Italian province Picenum, a legate of the Roman Church, and also with legates
of the different African provinces, that is to say, of the two Numidias, of
Byzacena, of Mauritania Caesariensis, as well as of Tripoli, and with Vincent
Colositanus, Fortunatian, and other bishops of the proconsular province, in
all two hundred and seventeen, also with Philip and Asellus, presbyters and
legates of the Roman Church, and while the deacons were standing by, Aurelius
the bishop said, etc., ut infra.

THE CANONS OF THE 217 BLESSED FATHERS WHO ASSEMBLED AT CARTHAGE.

(Labbe and Cossart: Concilia, Tom. II. Col. 1041; Dionysius Ex. Codex Can.
Eccles.[Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. LXVII.]; Beveridge, Synodicon in lot.)

AURELIUS THE BISHOP said: You, most blessed brethren, remember that
after the day fixed for the synod we discussed many things while we were
waiting for our brethren who now have been sent as delegates and have arrived
at the present synod, which must be placed in the acts. Wherefore let us
render thanks to our Lord for the gathering together of so great an assembly.
It remains that the acts of the Nicene Synod which we now have, and have been
determined by the fathers, as well as those things enacted by our predecessors
here, who confirmed that same Synod, or which according to the same form have
been usefully enacted by all grades of the clergy, from the highest even to
the lowest, should be brought forward. The whole Council said: Let them be
brought forward.

Daniel the Notary read: The profession of faith or statutes of the Nicene
Synod are as follows.

And while he was speaking, Faustinus, a bishop of the people of Potentia,
of the Italian province of Picenum, a legate of the Roman Church said: There
have been entrusted to us by the Apostolic See certain things in writings, and
certain other things as in ordinances to be treated of with your blessedness
as we have called to memory in the acts above, that is to say, concerning the
canons made at Nice, that their decrees and customs be observed; for some
things are observed out of decree and canon, but some from custom. Concerning
these things therefore in the first place let us make enquiry, if it please
your blessedness; and afterwards let the other ordinances which have been
adopted or proposed be confirmed; so that you may be able to show by your
rescripts to the Apostolic See, and that you may declare to the same venerable
Pope, that we have diligently remembered these things; although the headings
of action taken had been already inserted in the acts. In this matter we
should act, as I have said above, as shall please your beloved blessedness.
Let, therefore the commonitorium come into the midst, that ye may be able to
recognize what is contained in it, so that an answer can be given to each
point.

_________________________________________________________________

CANON XXIV. (Greek xxvii.)

That nothing be read in church besides the Canonical Scripture.

ITEM, that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church
under the name of divine Scripture.

But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows:

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua the Son of Nun

The Judges

Ruth

The Kings (4 books)

The Chronicles (2 books)

Job

The Psalter

The Five books of Solomon
The Twelve Books of the Prophets

Isaiah

Jeremiah
Ezechiel

Daniel

Tobit

Judith

Esther

Ezra (2 books)

Macchabees (2 books)

The New Testament:

The Gospels (4 books)

The Acts of the Apostles (1 book)

The Epistles of Paul (14)

The Epistles of Peter, the Apostle (2)

The Epistles of John the Apostle (3)

The Epistles of James the Apostle (1)

The Epistle of Jude the Apostle (1)

The Revelation of John (1 book)

Let this be sent to our brother and fellow bishop, [Pope] Boniface, and to the
other bishops of those parts, that they may confirm this canon, for these are
the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church.

[This is Canon xxxvj. of Hippo., 393. The last phrase allowing the reading of the "passions of the Martyrs" on their Anniversaries is omitted from the African code.]

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The first edition of the King James Bible included all the books of the Old and New Testaments that were in the official Christian Bible from the 4th century on. The 7 Old Testament books in question (Baruch, Sirach,1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith and the Wisdom of Solomon, plus portions of Esther and Daniel) were not in the back in an appendix or between the Old and New Testament as apocrypha. They were in the main canon. Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Here’s a photo of the KJV table of contents at the bottom of this page. Note that the Apocrypha is between the OT & NT where it belongs, not sprinkled throughout the OT as if it were inspired Scripture.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Just to clarify. The list in 419Ad may seem a little different, but it is the same exact books in all Christian/Catholic Bibles till the Reformation and the same exact books in the Catholic Bibles today.

Back then the books sometimes had different names or groupings.

So to clarify:

You see 1 and 2 Maccabees.

You see Judith and Tobit.

As you know, Baruch and Lamentations were part of Jeremiah back then.We all have Lamentations.

the 5 Books of Solomon are Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs which we all have, plus Wisdom and Sirach (also called Ecclesiasticus)

2 Ezras (Sometimes called 2 Esdras) is the name for Ezra and Nehemiah. We all have those books. The Apocrypha called 1 and 2 Esdras today by all of us was sometimes called 3 and 4 Esdras back then. We all consider those 2 books to be apocrypha.

Some Eastern Churches(some of the Orthodox and perhaps some of the Eastern Catholic) will use 3 and 4 Maccabees and 1 & 2 Esdras. Same with the Ethiopian Jews.

So there you have it. I bolded the 7 O.T. books in question

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Please read again my post from last night.

I said the FIRST EDITION of the King James Bible. Then I said the second edition changed it.

Ok, my work break is over. Will return tonight

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

The Monster on March 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Voddie Baucham?

(Baptist pastor out of Houston, if anyone’s wondering. Adding the “s” to Revelation is a pet peeve of his, and he’s a BIG dude, which would make “The Monster” handle appropriate).

As for the main point, why not allow women to be ordained into the RCC? They’re already violating Scripture by not allowing priests to marry. Heck, install a few farm animals while you’re at it.

Luther foresaw the problems. He knew disallowing marriage would only end up encouraging vice. Chastity is a rare spiritual gift.

Oh, and Sola Scriptura FTW. Name me a single good Christian doctrine that came out of so-called extra-biblical revelation.

TheMightyMonarch on March 25, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The “councils” in Carthage were synods, not ecumenical councils.

One copy of this manuscript contains “For the confirmation of this canon the church across the sea shall be consulted.”

So they weren’t producing a canon, they were sending theirs out for approval.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Thank you, Elisa. Very well researched.

I’d just like to add a little, unless you already included it and I’ve overlooked it.

For one, anyone who doubts the inclusion of the 7 Deuterocanonical books prior to the Council of Trent should check the Gutenberg Bible, printed the century before Trent. It has all 73 Books of the scriptures that were approved by Pope Damasas 1 in 382 A.D. and confirmed at the Council of Rome in the same year.

Again, they were only re-confirmed at the Council of Trent.

It doesn’t matter if one bishop didn’t include them before the canon was ever set by a Council. The Apostles used them, and a couple of the books (Tobit and Sirach) are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls showing they were used by the people of that time. The Jews of the Diaspora accepted them as canon even when other Jews did not. Jesus quoted from the Septuagint, which included them, when He spoke to the Jews of the Diaspora, who spoke Greek.

Luther wanted to remove even more than he did, but relented and kept all books of the New Testament, though he wanted to “throw Jimmy in the fire,” in reference to James. However, he succeeded in removing the 7 Deuterocanonical books based on the Jewish council of Jamnia in 90 A.D. removing them from their canon. Again, they were officially removed by the Jews after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, after Jesus had already quoted from the Septuagint which held all 7 books removed by the Jews and Luther. I leave it to others to decide why they would remove them.

Jesus and the Apostles used the Septuagint and there are quotes in the New Testament that show this. The Septuagint included the 7 Deuterocanonical books. The official canon of Sacred Scripture has included them since the canon was decided by authoritative council in 382.

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 1:53 PM

I said the FIRST EDITION of the King James Bible. Then I said the second edition changed it. Ok, my work break is over. Will return tonight Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Scroll to the bottom.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:03 PM

It doesn’t matter if one bishop didn’t include them before the canon was ever set by a Council. The Apostles used them… pannw on March 25, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Chapter and verse, please?

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM

“And thus altogether there come to be 22 books of the old Law, that is, five of Moses, eight of the Prophets, and nine of the Hagiographa…so that we may know that whatever is not included in these is to be placed among the apocrypha…” -Jerome, Helmed Prologue to the Vulgate version of Samuel and Kings, as quoted in Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church, 120.

Jerome invented the word “apocrypha.” Why?

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Akzed on March 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

The only commonly available bibles I’ve seen that circulated in non-Roman Catholic circles with the Apocrypha were Anglican/Episcopal bibles. The Anglican fellowship is not really protestant. The publisher gained very little since the Apocrypha adds very little volume or weight.

The Protestant canon is that established in AD 383.

Quartermaster on March 25, 2014 at 3:25 PM

This occurred in the “last days” which were the period from Pentecost to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. We are not in the last days now.

Akzed on March 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

The preterist position is utterly untenable and requires blatant eisegesis of the prophetic passages. IN a nutshell that’s why preterists have occupied the fringe of protestant circles from their beginning.

When you can show me the fulfillment of Ezekial chapters 38-39 in the time period you cite then you will have an arguable case. No preterist has managed that feat as yet.

Quartermaster on March 25, 2014 at 3:28 PM

TheMightyMonarch on March 25, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Luther also foresaw the dangers of ‘Sola Scriptura’ when he said something to the effect of ‘every milk maid and farmer will think she is a pope.’ Low and behold, he was right, hence the thousands and thousands of individual ‘bible churches’ on every corner, each with their own interpretation.

Chapter and verse, please?

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Are you rejecting the belief that the Apostles used the Septuagint which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures and the one most commonly used? Am I supposed to give you a chapter and verse stating ‘this is from the Septuagint’? If you want to reject all of Tradition and evidence, I can not help you. They have obviously compared the texts from the Septuagint and know that Jesus quoted it overwhelmingly compared to the Hebrew texts. If they used the Septuagint as worthy of study, they would have included the whole thing, no? And it included the 7 disputed books. They have been included since the canon was officially compiled at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. Luther removed them. I don’t know what else to tell you.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

I’ll let Jerome answer for himself.

What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches?* But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the Story of Susanna, the Song of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. For I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us. (Against Rufinus, 11:33 [AD 402]).

*Note that he acknowledges that the ‘churches’ ie, the Council, have judged the books to be included, long before Trent.

Does not the Scripture say: ‘Burden not thyself above thy power’?
- Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2, VI:207)

Clearly he was making a point by using that quote. That Scripture is from Sirach.

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 3:43 PM

The apocryphal books are not holy Scripture. Even in RC Bibles until recently they are kept in their own section between the testaments. In the last twenty years or so the RCC started sprinkling these books among the actual books of the Bible, and appending them to other books like Daniel.

They were always counted as a “second canon,” and not inspired by God, but merely of historical interest. If you want to argue otherwise you are just parading your ignorance.

Akzed on March 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Your last statement is false. The translators for the Septuagint would disagree with you as they included apocryphal texts such as “Bell and the Dragon” in the biblical text itself. Also, it hasn’t just been in the 20 years or so that these things were “sprinkled” in the text. It has been going for a very long time and the Council of Trent published condemnations of people who refused to accept them. It is far from a recent phenomenon.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM

The council of AD 383 affirmed the NT canon and simply accepted the Septuagint as the OT canon. The Massoretes themselves removed the apocryphal books and protestant translations follow that canon instead of the Septuagint.

The Protestant NT canon is that of AD 383.

Out of all the denominations of Christians, Catholics are the only ones who have priests/preachers that don’t marry, correct? Given that even Evangelicals Fundamentalists and other strict types have married church leadership, is it really the case that Catholics have to keep this strange ban against marriage?

Why do Catholics hold themselves to be so different from all the other types of Christians in the world? It just seems odd that so many are against a normalized priesthood.

Another Libertarian on March 25, 2014 at 8:31 AM

The reason for requiring a celibate priesthood goes back to the early evolution of the Roman Catholic Church from the Old Catholic Church. It was about Ecclesiastical power and had nothing to do with the actual operation of the priesthood. The passage by Paul is simply an excuse. Protestants have no trouble with allowing a married clergy, and neither does scripture. Ironically, Peter, the man the RCC likes to falsely claim as the first Pope was a married man, and Paul remarked upon that and Paul pointed out the other Apostles could be so as well. The passage 1 Corinthians 7 applies to the clergy every bit as much as it does to the so called laity.

The Eastern Orthodox Church will ordain a married man, but he can not marry after ordination, and Bishops may never have been married.

Quartermaster on March 25, 2014 at 3:53 PM

It did not upset me one bit. But Mass had been said in Latin since the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church. As I said, I will let the Roman Catholics handle their own affairs.

SC.Charlie on March 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM

It’s funny because the poster said the Mass stopped being said in Catholic instead of the Mass stopped being said in Latin.

/jokes aren’t funny when you have to explain them…

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Chapter and verse, please? Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Are you rejecting the belief that the Apostles used the Septuagint which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures and the one most commonly used? pannw on March 25, 2014 at 3:43 PM

You weren’t talking about the LXX, but the Apocrypha. I know that the apostles used the LXX and quoted it in the NT. I think you’re confusing yourself.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:03 PM

It has been going for a very long time and the Council of Trent published condemnations of people who refused to accept them. It is far from a recent phenomenon.

I know I’ve seen and maybe own a Catholic Bible with the Apocrypha segregated. I’ll check on that, my library is at home.

So I’ll end up in hell with all the pederast priests and philandering popes and indulgence salesmen – who all affirm the veracity of the Apocrypha? How ironic.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:13 PM

The preterist position is utterly untenable and requires blatant eisegesis of the prophetic passages. IN a nutshell that’s why preterists have occupied the fringe of protestant circles from their beginning.

That’s not really an argument, now is it?

When you can show me the fulfillment of Ezekial chapters 38-39 in the time period you cite then you will have an arguable case. No preterist has managed that feat as yet. Quartermaster on March 25, 2014 at 3:28 PM

It’s a prophecy of the Maccabees defeating the Syrians.

The Dispensationalists have been around for about 200 years, regurgitating Manassa ben Israel’s Hope of the Jews. As one of my profs used to say, “If it’s new it ain’t true.”

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

You weren’t talking about the LXX, but the Apocrypha. I know that the apostles used the LXX and quoted it in the NT. I think you’re confusing yourself.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:03 PM

The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books are part of the LXX/Septuagint.

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books are part of the LXX/Septuagint. pannw on March 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

I am aware of that. I can consult my own copy of the LXX if need be.

As we were discussing whether the Apocrypha belonged in the OT, you asked, “Are you rejecting the belief that the Apostles used the Septuagint which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures and the one most commonly used?”

Off the top of my head I know that the author of Hebrews not only quotes the LXX version of Ps. 8, but substitutes “angels” for elohim.

So you’re being a little sloppy with your terms there.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:51 PM

What?

Okay, I’m not confusing myself, but you are confusing me. What am I missing here? I thought we were discussing the fact that you claim the Council of Trent put the Deuterocanonical books into the Bible and I stated that they had been included far far earlier than that, and that even the Apostles used them. Then you wanted proof and I used the fact that they use the Septuagint which includes the books in question by you. Now you are saying you know that. And I’m the one being sloppy? I’m sorry, but you aren’t making any sense. Do you or do you not accept them as canon? If so, I don’t know why we are ‘arguing’ and if not, how do you rationalize that with the fact that Jesus and the Apostles did, as you admit?

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Okay, I’m not confusing myself, but you are confusing me. What am I missing here?

Reading Comprehension 101?

I thought we were discussing the fact that you claim the Council of Trent put the Deuterocanonical books into the Bible and I stated that they had been included far far earlier than that, and that even the Apostles used them.

I said Trent canonized them as Holy Scripture. Not that Trent added them to the Bible. Some of them have been included in the Bible forever, some weren’t, just as some books we now have no second thoughts about being in the Bible were in and out of favor for whatever reason, like James, 2 & 3 John.

Then you wanted proof and I used the fact that they use the Septuagint which includes the books in question by you.

Who’s “they”? The apostles? They quoted the LXX version of the OT, which is not the same as saying they quoted the Apocrypha, which they didn’t.

Now you are saying you know that. And I’m the one being sloppy?

Yes, you are. I’ve explained it to you more than once and you still don’t understand. Or you’re acting like you don’t understand. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

I’m sorry, but you aren’t making any sense. Do you or do you not accept them as canon?

How can you possibly ask such a question if you’ve read any of my posts?

If so, I don’t know why we are ‘arguing’ and if not, how do you rationalize that with the fact that Jesus and the Apostles did, as you admit? pannw on March 25, 2014 at 5:35 PM

I never “admitted” that Jesus and the apostles quoted the Apocrypha. I asked for chapter and verse above, and am still waiting – for good reason.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Very good explanation, Ed.

You do not have to be Catholic, to understand the Catholic position on ordination in terms of the Mass, and the Bride and Bridegroom. The Mass is a ceremony defined by the Church, but it celebrates what is hard coded in the Bible. It is beautiful and I as a non Catholic, admire the truth of the celebration.

When I see people jumping on the bandwagon insisting such celebration needs to be revised, I know they are not reading the Bible, but cherry picking

If the Catholic Church refuses to change to popular opinion, and there was a mass exodus, it would not be an exodus of the faithful, but an exodus of those who are no longer faithful

entagor on March 25, 2014 at 7:41 PM

“Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: ‘I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish?’

“And the angel, answering, said to him: ‘If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them.’” -Tobit 6:7-8

Huh.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 7:48 PM

“For Antiochus, with his friends, came to the place as though he would marry her, and that he might receive great sums of money under the title of a dowry.

“And when the priests of Nanea had set it forth, and he with a small company had entered into the compass of the temple, they shut the temple,

“When Antiochus was come in: and opening a secret entrance of the temple, they cast stones and slew the leader, and them that were with him, and hewed them in pieces, and cutting off their heads they threw them forth.” -2 Mac. 1:14-16

~

“At that time Antiochus returned with dishonour out of Persia. For he had entered into the city called Persepolis, and attempted to rob the temple, and to oppress the city: but the multitude running together to arms, put them to flight: and so it fell out that Antiochus being put to flight returned with disgrace.

“Now when he was come about Ecbatana, he received the news of what had happened to Nicanor and Timotheus.

“And swelling with anger he thought to revenge upon the Jews the injury done by them that had put him to flight. And therefore he commanded his chariot to be driven, without stopping in his journey, the judgment of heaven urging him forward, because he had spoken so proudly, that he would come to Jerusalem, and make it a common burying place of the Jews.

“But the Lord the God of Israel, that seeth all things, struck him with an incurable and an invisible plague. For as soon as he had ended these words, a dreadful pain in his bowels came upon him, and bitter torments of the inner parts.

“And indeed very justly, seeing he had tormented the bowels of others with many and new torments, albeit he by no means ceased from his malice.

“Moreover being filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews, and commanding the matter to be hastened, it happened as he was going with violence that he fell from the chariot, so that his limbs were much pained by a grievous bruising of the body.

“Thus he that seemed to himself to command even the waves of the sea, being proud above the condition of man, and to weigh the heights of the mountains in a balance, now being cast down to the ground, was carried in a litter, bearing witness to the manifest power of God in himself:

“So that worms swarmed out of the body of this man, and whilst he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell off, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to the army.”

“‘To his very good subjects the Jews, Antiochus king and ruler wisheth much health and welfare, and happiness. If you and your children are well, and if all matters go with you to your mind, we give very great thanks.

“As for me, being infirm, but yet kindly remembering you, returning out of the places of Persia, and being taken with a grievous disease, I thought it necessary to take care for the common good: Not distrusting my life, but having great hope to escape the sickness.

“But considering that my father also, at what time he led an army into the higher countries, appointed who should reign after him: To the end that if any thing contrary to expectation should fall out, or any bad tidings should be brought, they that were in the countries, knowing to whom the whole government was left, might not be troubled.

“Moreover, considering that neighbouring princes and borderers wait for opportunities, and expect what shall be the event, I have appointed my son Antiochus king, whom I often recommended to many of you, when I went into the higher provinces: and I have written to him what I have joined here below.

“I pray you therefore, and request of you, that remembering favours both public and private, you will every man of you continue to be faithful to me and to my son. For I trust that he will behave with moderation and humanity, and following my intentions, will be gracious unto you.’”

“Thus the murderer and blasphemer, being grievously struck, as himself had treated others, died a miserable death in a strange country among the mountains. But Philip that was brought up with him, carried away his body: and out of fear of the son of Antiochus, went into Egypt to Ptolemee Philometor.” -2 Mac. 9:1-9, 19-29

~

So where and how does 2 Maccabees tells us Antiochus died? Was it some disease killed him in Ecbatana, or was he murdered in the Temple of Nanea? Or is there a contradiction in 2 Maccabees?

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 8:27 PM

I said the FIRST EDITION of the King James Bible. Then I said the second edition changed it. Ok, my work break is over. Will return tonight Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Scroll to the bottom.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:03 PM

My mistake. I am very sorry. I thought the First Edition KJV had the 7 books within the O.T. canon. I knew that the Second Edition took them out. I didn’ t realize it took them out of the book all together and the the First Edition KJV had them in between the O.T. and N.T., just like many Protestant Bibles of that day. I thought the KJV was different. Don’t know how I misunderstood that years ago and remembered it incorrectly.

Still, that is a very minor point to my long post. You are very wrong in all your other history related to this. I will repost my original post for you to read it again, so that I don’t have to repeat myself.

Because you have not proven what I wrote to be wrong.

Because it’s plain history. History that Protestant scholars also agree with. Most Protestant scholars today will tell you what I did. Any person here can read actual history books or encyclopedias and they will see that what I wrote is correct.

That Luther took the 7 books out and that the Catholic Church had the very same sole official canon with no changes since the 4th century. That Trent merely declared that canon to be infallible.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 9:50 PM

“And thus altogether there come to be 22 books of the old Law, that is, five of Moses, eight of the Prophets, and nine of the Hagiographa…so that we may know that whatever is not included in these is to be placed among the apocrypha…” -Jerome, Helmed Prologue to the Vulgate version of Samuel and Kings, as quoted in Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church, 120.

Jerome invented the word “apocrypha.” Why?

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

St. Jerome did not “invent” the word apocypha. You must know that, right?

pannw has already shown you that St. Jerome accepted the full O.T. canon with the 7 books. He even defended them later in his life.

Thanks, pannw.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The “councils” in Carthage were synods, not ecumenical councils.
One copy of this manuscript contains “For the confirmation of this canon the church across the sea shall be consulted.”

So they weren’t producing a canon, they were sending theirs out for approval.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 1:32 PM

A synod is a council. There are regional synods/councils and universal synods/councils.

What difference does it make that these were local councils. Those decisions were immediately made to have universal authority.

This sole official canon was also formally accepted by the 2nd Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 787AD and the Ecumenical Council of Florence in 1482AD, both before Trent.

Travel in those days was not easy and not all bishops attended all councils. Sometimes there were more than one in one year. So many councils were local. As you said, in 2,000 years there have been only 21 Ecumenical Councils of the whole Church.

Certainly decisions of earlier local councils were accepted by the universal Church. Including the very first council at Jerusalem in Acts Chapter 15.

The African Church in Carthage, to which St. Augustine belonged, was one of the most important and influential. The Council of Carthage in 419AD, which had over 200 Bishops present, which was huge in that day.

It’s not like the Pope at the time (Boniface) didn’t know this regional council was going on. His predecessor commissioned St. Jerome to draw up a list for discussion and translate the books.

The previous Pope had already in writing agreed to this same sole canon after all the other local councils in the late 4th century, even before 419AD.

The Papal Roman legate present at 419AD brought it to Rome to confirm the canon. The formal canon states at the end: “Let this be sent to our brother and fellow bishop, [Pope] Boniface, and to the other bishops of those parts, that they may confirm this canon, for these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church.”

And Pope Boniface and all his successors accepted the canon.

The Eastern Churches ratified the canons of the 419AD council later. And we know that the Eastern Churches (Catholic and Orthodox) still to this day use the Septuagint as their official Old Testament and always did. We see the decisions of this council on many topics accepted by Rome and the Eastern Churches.

So while 419AD was not formerly an Ecumenical Council, its decisions were accepted by the whole Church and formerly so by subsequent local and Ecumenical councils. This is how things often worked in the early Church.

They all agree on the list, the list didn’t change to this very day and all the Popes at the time and from that time on agreed with the list. The list was reaffirmed by 2 ecumenical councils.

Finally it was declared infallible by Trent. But even before it was declared to be infallible, it was the sole official canon used for the last 1500 years. The only Scriptures allowed to be read at Christian Masses during the last 1500 years.

And even before that, since the time of the Apostles those books were unofficially used as Scripture.

Are you arguing that it wasn’t? Are you still saying that the Catholic Church put the 7 O.T. books into the Bible canon 500 years ago at Trent or 20 years ago, like you said? I can assure you that it was not a Catholic or Orthodox Bible you read that didn’t have those 7 books in the main canon.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Are you rejecting the belief that the Apostles used the Septuagint which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures and the one most commonly used? pannw on March 25, 2014 at 3:43 PM

You weren’t talking about the LXX, but the Apocrypha. I know that the apostles used the LXX and quoted it in the NT. I think you’re confusing yourself.

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 4:03 PM

You correctly accept the fact that 2/3rds of the O.T. quotes in the N.T. come from the Septuagint. But the Apostles and early Christians did not simply use that translation. They accepted those 7 O.T. books we are discussing as Scriptural.

While it’s not an actual quote, this will show you that the Apostles did regard the 7 O.T. books of the Septuagint that we are discussing to be Scriptural.

Hebrews 11:35 “Women recieved their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.” The story talks about the hope of resurrection for those being tortured and not giving in for the faith.

That story is only found in 2 Maccabees 7:1-9

And we see the early Church Fathers in the first few centuries of the Church using the Septuagint, quoting as Scriptural from the 7 O.T. books we are discussing. (Bishops and martyrs in good standing during a time when orthodox and sound teaching were the most important thing to them)

The Protestant scholar J.D.N. Kelly said, “In the first two centuries . . . the Church seems to have accept all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture. Quotations from Wisdom, for example, occur in 1 Clement and Barnabas. . . Polycarp cites Tobit, and the Didache [cites] Ecclesiasticus. Irenaeus refers to Wisdom, the History of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon [i.e., the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel], and Baruch. The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary”

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 8:27 PM

I see that you have moved on from discussing whether the Catholic Church added those books 500 years ago or whether Luther took those books out.

You now seem to be questioning the 7 O.T. books on their merit. You must realize that non-Christians and atheists do the same with our whole Bible that you and I agree with, right? Any seeming discrepancies or oddities can be explained away or really don’t prove anything. Just like what they say about all the Bible books we all agree on.

So you are wasting your time.

Before I would get into a discussion with you on that, I would like to know if you agree with me now on those 7 books and the canon. Otherwise, please address my previous post first.

I will repost it for you in my next post. I changed it for the mistake I made that about the KJV. Thanks for calling that to me attention.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Please read this: http://scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c2a3.htm

Then read some of these:http://www.catholic.org/saints/female.php

Then, if you’re still hard-hearted, call Catholic Answers Live (Show runs from 5 – 7 PM CST) and state your feelings. Just be prepared to defend them.

Please study the faith, and get some answers. Your post demonstrates a fair amount of ignorance of the Catholic Church and its teachings and its views on women. Pray for the gift of faith.

RI_Red on March 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Gosh.. This is the third time I’ve tried to post this response but the whole posting system is obnoxious. I’m Catholic, spent many years in Catholic schools, and now the drill. I spent many years in the 1990s being lectured on my role as a brood mare and as a homemaker.

As for the major reasons why I think that Catholicism, here it is..

1. The simplest idea – saints. There are many female saints I adore. I am very devoted to St. Catherine of Sienna, St Teresa of Avila, and St. Perpetua. I also have come to understand the Little Flower and enjoy her writings. However, the Catholic Church seems obsessed about the female saints’ intact virginity (St. Maria Goretti.) I think that a disturbing trend is best personified by the desire to make little girls who are attempted rape victims martyrs and celebrating their virginity. How awful to real rape victims to say that they are somehow spoiled or lesser because they were violated. Would little Santa Maria gone to Hell if she had been forcibly violated by the much larger farmhand? Or is a rape victim sent to Hell because she submitted to the rape rather than dying like Maria Goretti? It sends an awful message. Apparently the Catholic Church is hinting that God sends little girls violently raped to because their sexual purity is more important than their lives.

Illinidiva on March 25, 2014 at 10:15 PM

For Akzed, unless he now agrees with me.

Bible formation is a long history, but I will try to be as brief as possible.

Martin Luther took out the 7 Old Testament books books in question (Baruch, Sirach,1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith and the Wisdom of Solomon, plus portions of Esther and Daniel)and placed them in an appendix in the back of his canon as apocrypha, along with James, Hebrews, Jude and Revelation and noted their inferiority in his commentary. Lutherans 100 years later put the 4 New Testament books back in the main canon. They also took out the word “alone” that Luther added to Romans, saying that man is saved by “faith alone.” Every other English or Greek or Latin manuscript translated it only one proper way – saved by “faith.” The word “alone” was never there.

The 1st century Jews at the time of Christ did not have one official canon of Scripture. They used several.

They also had degrees of sacredness for the various Scriptural books.

The Jews, as well as the first Christians, relied on Sacred Tradition to understand God’s revealed Word. The oral teachings came first and then the written Sacred Scripture sprang from Tradition. So setting a firm canon was not important to them before and during the time of Christ. The earliest Scriptures were more revered and sacred than later ones.

The canons were more open ended. And they considered books to have different degrees of authority and sacredness. They considered the first 5 books (the Torah/Law) to be more authoritative and scriptural and sacred than the Prophets. The Prophets more than the Psalms. We see in the Gospels how Jesus sometimes said the Law and the Prophets and on another occasion said Law, Prophets and Psalms. These 3 were fixed and almost universally accepted by the Jews.

They considered the other Old Testament writings which we all agree on, (historical and poetic ones), to be of lesser authority and sacredness than the Law, Prophets and Psalms, yet still Scriptural and having some sacredness. And the later historical and poetic books that were in the Septuagint (the 7 O.T. books in question) were of even lesser sacredness to them, because they were later. The earlier, the more sacred to them. But they were still considered Scriptural by the majority.

I know that sounds strange to us today; we consider all the books of the Bible to be equally sacred and authoritative, all the Word of God. Some things more important or significant, but equally sacred. We have a closed canon. No new books allowed. But that was not the case with the Jews in the 1st century.


This is why the first Christians accepted the Gospels and writings of Paul as Scriptural.
They would not have done this if the canon was closed. A closed canon was not a Jewish mindset in the first century.

One Jewish canon at the time of Christ was the pre-Masoretic Hebrew texts. (The Masoretic texts are later Hebrew translations which were compiled a few centuries after St. Jerome’s time into the Masoretic canon used by Jews today in their Tanek.)

However, since the language used by most Jews in the Middle East at the time was Greek, the Septuagint was one of the most popular Jewish canons at the time of Christ. It included the 7 O.T. books. This was the canon that the early Christians used more than any other as Scriptural. We see this from the early Church Father’s writings and 2/3rds of the quotes in the New Testament came from the Septuagint. It became the Old Testament Scriptures of the early Church.

It still is the official Old Testament of the Eastern Church (both Catholic and Orthodox). The Western Roman Church also still uses the Septuagint, along with other translations.

They would not have used the Septuagint if Christ and the Apostles did not think they were Scripture or if there was a closed Old Testament canon at the time of Christ.

If the Jews of Jesus’ day had one official canon of scripture, then that would have become the sole official canon of scripture for the Christians. No one would have deviated.

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body or angels, as previous Jews did. So they did not like the Septuagint books that discussed these things, like Maccabees.

After Christ’s time, the Jews were in danger of losing their Jewish identity because of the destruction of the temple by the Romans and because of the new Jewish sect of Christians. So they rejected Greek books in the Septuagint that did not still have the original Hebrew manuscripts, even if they had originally been written in Hebrew. Obviously they also rejected all the new Christian Greek Scriptures being circulated, like Paul’s letters and the Gospels.

So by the end of the 1st century, many Jews began not to use those 7 Old Testament books from the Septuagint. Still, the European and Palestinian Jews did not have an official canon of books for several centuries more.

Ethiopian Jews continued to use the 7 Old Testament books and still do today.

St. Jerome in the 4th century argued to exclude the 7 Old Testament because he was friends with European and Palestinian Jews scholars who did not include those books by that point in time.

From the later 4th century till 419AD there were several Church councils that discussed what was Scriptural and what wasn’t. There were many Christian writings being circulated and the Church wanted the faithful to know what was the true Word of God and what was heretical. St. Jerome was commissioned to come up with lists and to translate the books into Latin, since the majority of the Western Empire now spoke this instead of Greek. Other Bishops also presented lists. St. Augustine’s list included the 7 O.T. books.

Most Bishops of the day argued against St. Jerome’s list and didn’t understand why Christians had to follow a modern Jewish list of books that was not the official Jewish list at the time of Christ and the Apostles.

The bishops from the council of 382AD (reaffirmed by the vast majority of bishops in the 393AD and 397AD and 419AD councils) all agreed on a sole canon of the Old and New Testaments. The last council in 419AD had over 200 Bishops (East and West) who voted overwhelmingly to reaffirm that list of books.

St. Jerome wholeheartedly accepted this official canon and defended it.

***The official list of Old Testament and New Testament books from this last council in 419AD were the only books allowed to be read at Christian Masses after that time. ***

You will not find any copies of the Vulgate or any other Christian Bible manuscript canon that was different than that from that time forward.

The Council of Trent did not change this official list. It reaffirmed the sole official list (as did other councils in the centuries before Trent.) What Trent did was declare the canon to be infallible.

There were no changes for over 1,000 years until Martin Luther.

Today all Christians have the same New Testament that was decided by 419AD.

During the 4th century Church councils, some things were rejected by everyone from the start, like the stupid Gnostic “gospels.” Some things were universally accepted as Scriptural from the mid 2nd century on (the 4 Gospels, Act and Paul’s letters).

But they also had a deuterocanon, a list of “maybe” books that were discussed by the Bishops. These books were widely accepted as scriptural, but not universally. Some areas did not believe they were Sacred writings.

Besides the 7 O.T. books, this list included Hebrew, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Revelation, the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, Clement’s 1st letter to the Corinthians and the Shepherd of Hermes. All good and beautiful Christian writings, not heretical, from the late 1st century to early 2nd.

The Bishops, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, decided to keep some of the books and not others.

Also discussed at the councils were 3 Gospel passages that many did not believe were Scriptural. They were in some manuscripts, but not others. These were John 7:53 to 8:11, Luke 22:43-44 and Mark 16:9-20.

If they had decided differently, the Bibles we hold in our hands today would be different.

It might not have those passages or it might have the Letter of Barnabas instead of Hebrews, or neither or both. Or not have Revelation.

Note: 2 of St. Paul’s letters were lost early on and never made it into our Bibles.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body or angels

which made them very sad, you see. :-)

Lammo on March 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM

So where and how does 2 Maccabees tells us Antiochus died? Was it some disease killed him in Ecbatana, or was he murdered in the Temple of Nanea? Or is there a contradiction in 2 Maccabees?

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 8:27 PM

You sound like the atheists who want to know how Judas died. We know the 2 stories can be reconciled, right? What makes you think 2 Maccabees can’t be reconciled?

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body or angels

which made them very sad, you see. :-)

Lammo on March 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM

LOL

That trick is the only way I remember who it was that didn’t believe in the resurrection. The Pharisees or the Sadducees.

Nice. God bless.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Wow…I don’t know if this is even worth the trouble anymore. First of all, I’m trying to be respectful and you are giving me ‘comprehension 101?’ Thanks for extending me the same courtesy.

Sorry, but you really aren’t making any sense. You say you know they quoted the LXX, which includes the Deuterocanonical books, as I stated, yet you apparently reject those parts of the LXX because ???? You don’t know any instances of them being specifically quoted? Do you reject all OT scripture that isn’t specifically quoted in the NT or just the ones rejected by Luther? By what authority did he and you reject these books that were part of the scripture accepted and used by The Lord Himself and His Apostles? Do you think they (Jesus and the Apostles) were using a book of Scripture that was in error? Or do you think they were picking and choosing which books were authentic or inspired? I really don’t get what you are saying and my comprehension is fine, so it must be your argument that is the problem.

But the Apostles and their disciples accepted them:

“Since, therefore, Christ was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against evil, `Woe to their soul, because they have counseled an evil counsel against themselves’ (Isaiah 3:9), saying, `Let us bind the righteous man because he is displeasing to us’ (Wisdom 2:12).” St. Barnabas (“Epistle of St. Barnabas” c. 70-100 A.D.)

“By the word of his might God established all things, and by his word he can overthrow them. `Who shall say to him, ‘What have you done?”or who shall resist the power of his strength?’ (Wisdom 12:12).” St. Clement of Rome (“Letter to the Corinthians” c. 80 A.D.)

“Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17). . . . When you can do good, defer it not, because `alms delivers from death’ (Tobit 4:10, 12:9). Be all of you subject to one another (1 Peter 5:5), having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles (1 Peter 2:12), and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed (Isaiah 52:5)!” St. Polycarp of Smyrna (“Letter to the Philadelphians” c. 135 A.D.)

More…

The Bible has 73 Books, has had them since the canon was first set by authoritative Church Council over a thousand years before some were removed. Luther removed some because they didn’t jive with his personal agenda. It’s a shame for many reasons, not the least of which is that the rejection of the doctrine of Purgatory has prevented untold number of poor souls getting the prayers they so desperately need, because their family and friends have judged their souls and canonized them (by whose authority?), declaring them already in Heaven. Maccabees shows us that we can’t take that for granted, though it is also strongly implied in Jesus’ own words about not being released from ‘prison until the last mite is paid’, or that “his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.” What do you think that means? That He will send us to Hell? But what of ‘until he paid all the debt?’ Is not condemnation to Hell eternal? So, how would we be left there eternally if we paid all the debt? But how can we be in Heaven if we are being tortured? Purgatory…Which is clearly indicated in one of those books Luther removed from the canon. Wonder why?

But you know, God gave you Free Will. You can reject whatever you want. As for me, I trust in Jesus, Who said “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (And that Church has bound the canon of Scripture, all 73 books of it.) And Who promised not to leave us orphans and to send the Paraclete to teach all those things the Apostles could not bear to hear. Who said, “I am the good shepherd…” And as any good shepherd, He does not leave His flock without a guard, and so, He gave Peter, and only Peter, the command, “Feed my Sheep.”

And as we know from Scripture, Peter, with the authority given him, instituted Apostolic succession when he called for a replacement for Judas. The authority given to them was passed on to their successors. By what authority can we reject it and still be faithful?

“On him (Peter) He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep, and although He assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet He founded a single chair (cathedra), and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity…. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he (should) desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”
St. Cyprian Of Carthage (“On the Unity of the Catholic Church,” 251 A.D.)

Clearly you study and search for the truth. I hope you find it. Peace.

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Illinidiva on March 25, 2014 at 10:15 PM

You will be happy to know of a recently canonized Saint. St. Gianna Molla, who was a medical Doctor and married woman with children.

A beautiful person, inside and out, and heroic.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:27 PM

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Wow! Excellent points and great research and quotes.

Thanks so much.

God bless you and Akzed and all here. Good night.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Illinidiva on March 25, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Oh, good grief. What should The Church have done with ‘little Santa Maria’? Not canonized her? She was a martyr for the faith! It is quite a stretch to go from that to saying the Church is telling all little girls to die rather than be forcefully defiled. Maria refused to submit to his sexual advances. The guy was a nut job and went crazy on her. You seem offended that the Church would honor purity? that’s odd… Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt the Saints you claim to venerate would have tolerated denigration of a holy saint and martyr like that which you have shown Saint Maria Goretti.

But the Church also honors motherhood and obviously, aside from the Virgin Mary, one can be a saint and not a virgin. Saint Anne, Saint Monica, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Saint Bridget of Sweden, and quite a few others.

And lest some think the Church only reveres the pure, both virgin or mother, there are female saints who were prostitutes, (Sts. Niceta and Aquilina.) and great sinners before converting to Christ. One of the greatest saints of the Church is Saint Mary Magdalene.

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Right back at you, Elisa. I learned a lot from your posts.

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Being a 72 year old Catholic, who went to Catholic grade school and high school, I think I can gripe about today’s ill-informed Catholics. All I can say is “bring back the Baltimore Catechism”. From the first grade on, this was MEMORIZED on a regular basis in school.

codekeyguy on March 25, 2014 at 11:43 PM

You will be happy to know of a recently canonized Saint. St. Gianna Molla, who was a medical Doctor and married woman with children.

A beautiful person, inside and out, and heroic.

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 10:27 PM

No I hate St Gianna because her only worth is a a brood mare. Seriously, I don’t know why the Catholic Church has created women. Because it hates them. Their only chance is to have other babies. Seriously, no one cares about Gianna Morella’s profession. She could be a waitress for all they care. Here only worth is not aborting her child. That is JPII’s philosophy of woman.. Brood mares who have loves of babies. No one cares about St Gianna’s profession but about her gender.

As for the people adoring St. Gianna, what exactly do to you think about Blessed Albertina and St Maria Gorreti again? Please, these young ladies are martyrs because they were virgins. This means that little girls who aren’t virgins are going to hell based on the Catholic Church. So if the big strong farm boy raped Maria Gorrei, that would mean that the little girl who was raped was going to Hell. Because obviously rape victims are hated by God and deserve the Hellfire.. Duh.

2. Birth Control. I use birth control because of medical issues. Seriously birth control helps me survive. I hate the fact that people feel compelled to not use it. I haven’t talked to Catholic Answers but I have been to their forum and one of the most horrific posts on the forum involves a lady who has six kids at 29 and has to wear adult diapers because of her issues with having more kids. This lady thinks that her only duty is to have more kids regardless of her health and I’m not sure that Burke and company don’t see it that way

Illinidiva on March 25, 2014 at 11:46 PM

3. The role of the laity. The biggest deal for me is the role of the laity. Women cannot be pat of the Roman Curia. I remember seeing Italian Mamas caring for foster children at Vatican events but people could care less about those events or those Italian Mammas. People say that the laity is as important as the clergy but this isn’t the case. There are many clergy who thing of themselves as better than the laity (see…. Raymond Burke as the example.) These guys see themselves as better than the “little people”

Illinidiva on March 25, 2014 at 11:59 PM

No I hate St Gianna… Illinidiva on March 25, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Wow…you need serious help. And your obsessive hatred of a faithful servant of God like Raymond Cardinal Burke is truly vile. You bring him up all the time. He seems to be to you like Holy Water to a vampire. Truly, seek help from a faithful priest. Your hate will consume you.

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 12:48 AM

Wow…you need serious help. And your obsessive hatred of a faithful servant of God like Raymond Cardinal Burke is truly vile. You bring him up all the time. He seems to be to you like Holy Water to a vampire. Truly, seek help from a faithful priest. Your hate will consume you.

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 12:48 AM

1. I’m sorry, but “Saint” Gianna isn’t being celebrated as a professional woman. She is being celebrated as a living baby incubator. JPII could care less about her accomplishments as a doctor (which there were none.) She wouldn’t have been celebrated if she was a professional woman who died at 90. He only cared that she died while giving birth to a seventh baby that she shouldn’t have been having after not having cancer surgery. I find it disgusting that when I express my concern about modern female saints, this is the one I get. I’m sorry, but I will continue praying to saints like Saint Catherine of Siena as models of feminism over her. For modern Catholic women, I prefer Dorothy Day.

Frankly, the Catholic Church’s position on birth control is disgusting. It is disgusting to me that women aren’t allowed life saving medicine and are treated as objects. I think that the Church would prefer living baby incubators rather than human beings of the same dignity as guys.

2. Speaking of saints,what are your opinions of “Saint” Maria Goretti and the “Blessed” Albertina? I’d be excited to understand on those two. Do you think as the Catholic Church apparently does that little preteen rape victims go to Hell if they are violated? It is ridiculous to celebrate sexual purity in such a matter. Does anyone really believe if these little girls were successfully raped that God wouldn’t welcome them into Heaven? I think that God openly embraces such little girls and that angels hold them while they are being horrifically violated and killed. But that is just me and not the Catholic Church’s position.

3. I have some questions about the sexuality of Raymond Burke. I know someone who met him (unfortunately) and whose gaydar went into overdrive. It wouldn’t shock me if he was part of the so-called “gay lobby” in the Vatican. I think that it makes sense given his love of dressing up and his outlandish self hating remarks about gay people.

If he wasn’t such a jerk, I would even feel bad for the guy as someone who has probably struggled with his sexuality over his life. However, he is a jerk, so I don’t mind being disgusted with him. He represents everything wrong with the Church.. a prelate parading around like a temporal Renaissance prince. I find his misogynist attitudes disgusting and I find his inability to even express compassion toward divorcees especially disgusting. He is a small minded bully and one of those self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelegians that Francis is always mocking. It wouldn’t shock me if Burke was in mind when Francis was writing this.

4. I steer clear of priests as a rule because of my really bad experiences with priests. I’m not sure my favorite example of bad priests.. the guy associated with the Newman Center who liked telling college kids that they were going to Hell during Confession and stating that soldiers in Iraq deserved to die or the priest who was too busy to talk to my dad when his mother was dying. I especially steer clear of “faithful” priests who have special contempt for both laypeople and extra special contempt for uppity women like myself.

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014 at 3:59 AM

Oh, good grief. What should The Church have done with ‘little Santa Maria’? Not canonized her? She was a martyr for the faith! It is quite a stretch to go from that to saying the Church is telling all little girls to die rather than be forcefully defiled. Maria refused to submit to his sexual advances. The guy was a nut job and went crazy on her. You seem offended that the Church would honor purity? that’s odd… Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt the Saints you claim to venerate would have tolerated denigration of a holy saint and martyr like that which you have shown Saint Maria Goretti.

Again… do you think that little girls who are raped go to Hell? That is what the Catholic Church is saying about that one. If the larger farmboy had successfully forced himself on her, would the little girl have gone to Hell? That rape victims are impure because they were successfully raped? Are they headed for Hell because they allowed themselves to be raped rather than being killed? This sends a wrong message to rape victims… The Church thinks you should have died rather than allowed yourself to be violated. It goes against all the books which will tell women to not fight the guy on this.

I think that as a rule God welcomes little 12 year old rape victims into Heaven. I think that angels surround little rape victims and comfort them. Yes, little Maria Goretti is in Heaven based on that. I also find her willingness to forgive her attacker very moving. However, even that part of the story is obscured by the obsession with the little girl’s sexual purity. If Pius XII wanted to send a message about chastity, he could have done so by promoting the devotion to all sorts of Catholic nuns, who were chaste, or how about this.. Catholic priests and brothers are also celibate. St. Francis of Assisi practiced celibacy as part of his vocation as a Catholic brother.

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014 at 4:13 AM

Illinidiva was bullied as a child and blames the church. Good luck getting through.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Yeah.. The capstone of my time in Catholic school was when I was bullied in sixth grade by the mean girl set and the school, including the priests, nuns, and teachers, did nothing about it. It was allowed to continue because the girls in question were from prominent families. The experience led me to an eating disorder and a nervous breakdown so it was quite wonderful.. Sarc off.

However, I have lots of bad stories about Catholic school that I could tell you. I met lots of emotionally abusive teachers who enjoyed playing favorites. I only vaguely remember my kindergarten teacher but my mom says that I was so afraid of her that I refused to go to school. I would sit in the car sobbing. I do remember the situation where she openly mocked by inability to correctly make a three in class.. just because she felt like doing this. Or how about the blatant favoritism or the fact that certain kids didn’t have to follow the rules in school? I remember that at my high school the rich kids weren’t punished when they were caught smoking or something. I remember this bullying incident where a girl I was friendly with was expelled but the main bullies weren’t. They had wealthy and involved parents and regularly totaled BMWs. The hypocrisy of all three Catholic schools I attended was astounded. They definitely failed miserably to be the light of God in the world.

And I can go on about that. All the parishes that I have attended (other than my current parish) have been dominated by neo-conservative lay people who act as bullies. The women are especially bitter. I swear that Catholic parishes are dominated by ex-mean girls turned upper middle class homemakers. And all these women are considered devote because they have large families and are involved in the parish. Just something as small and petty against my mother as not allowing their daughters to do girl scouts because she was the troop leader and they had some petty dispute with her.

As for priests, I can tell you quite a few stories that I have about priests. In the bad priest sweepstakes, which do you think is worse: the guy who openly mocked people during Confession and gave a sermon that how American soldiers deserved to die (and outside his hatred of Israel and his position on the Iraq War, this priest was a conservative) or the priest whose first words out of his mouth when my father was discussing his terminally ill mother was “I hope that you don’t expect me to do the funeral because I am too busy” which landed my father in the hospital with elevated blood pressure.

So yes.. that is my experience with the Catholic Church in a nutshell. I think that many devout Catholics have a problem living as Christians because I’ve met the same types again and again.

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014 at 4:35 AM

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014 at 4:35 AM

Thanks for confirming what I said.

cptacek on March 26, 2014 at 9:12 AM

pannw on March 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Still waiting for an apostle quoting an apocryphal book. The Epistle of St Barnabas is not included in the NT canon, and the others you quoted were not apostles. Nothing at the link either.

Sorry for stating the obvious about your reading comprehension. I should pretend that you evince understanding of what you’re reading when you obviously don’t? The only alternative is that you understand but are obfuscating.

Maybe you’ll get it this time: you’re using circular reasoning, a tautology, begging the question. You assume that the apocryphal books belong in the OT, then because the OT is quoted in the NT, it’s as good as if the apocryphal books were quoted too.

Remember, if you are ever troubled by evil spirits, burn some fish guts on a hot coal per Tobit. Demons hate that.

Akzed on March 26, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM

There were seven ecumenical councils. Those that occurred after the Great Schism cannot be counted as ecumenical, since they didn’t involve the whole household of faith.

Quoting popes about doctrines peculiar to the RCC does nothing to sway non-RC’s. I won’t even mention that a pope kissed a Koran.

Alms cannot purchase salvation.

I didn’t say Trent put the apocryphal books in the Bible, I said (twice) that Trent canonized them as Scripture. This has no impact on me and other non-RC’s. Trent condemns me and my family to hell, whereas I have no problem considering RC’s Christians unless they give me reason not to.

The Orthodox Churches have forty-nine books in their OT, the Catholics forty-seven, and the Protestants thirty-nine. Observers should be pardoned for scratching their heads over this. I’m sorry that you don’t agree that books that contain glaring contradictions and recommendations to burn fish guts to chase away demons are probably best left on the sideline.

Akzed on March 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014

Again, I think you are in serious need of help. I’m honestly wondering what it is in your past that fills you with such rage against the Church and her constant (not modern, but from the beginning)teaching on life/contraception/sexual morality. I can’t help but think you were raped or had an abortion or something and the guilt of it is eating you up from the inside. Maybe not, (and I’m not asking for an answer) but I can’t remember ever seeing anyone so full of hatred just because some kids were mean to her when she was in middle school. Most people get over that sort of thing by adulthood. I can’t imagine it would bring them to resent holy martyrs so much, in any case. That’s completely unhinged.

As to those martyrs, and why the Church canonized them, I believe they were canonized for their dedication to Christ, (and their intercessory prayer bringing about miracles, showing they are with God). Being willing to die for His commandments is a good indication, and yes, we are commanded to purity. Do I think, as you insanely do, that the Church thinks any forcible rape victim is going to Hell for being raped. Of course not. No right minded person believes that, and the Church certainly does NOT teach it. They are victims of evil (and as such, still pure). I, personally, am more inclined to believe they will go to Heaven more easily than the rest of us, since they have suffered much in this life, (sort of pre-Purgatorial penance) so long as they don’t reject the life giving promises of Our Lord.

As to the Church’s teaching on contraceptives, you distort it when you say she denies ‘life saving medicine’ to women. Any actual Catholic should know that if hormonal contraceptives are prescribed for actual maladies, (ie, to prevent hemorrhage from fibroids) they are licit. Just as treatments for cancer that cause the death of an unborn child are licit, so long as they do not include directly procured abortion. Removal of cancerous uterus with child and child dies = licit. Injecting saline into cancerous womb to kill child = sin. It’s not really that difficult. None of her teachings on sexual morality are, and they are all for the good of each of us. They help place sexuality in its right place and time, keeping us women from being used for play things and then tossed aside for a younger, prettier, sexier, whatever…woman, among other things. They honor the dignity of women, starting with her place as cooperator with God as the bearer of life, but certainly not solely for that reason, as evidenced by the number of nuns who have become saints. And they are binding on us all. “What you hold bound on earth, shall be bound in heaven…”

But you reject her authoritative teaching. You are one of those women Paul warned about, “For their women have changed the natural use into that which is against nature…” It isn’t just homosexual, but the rejection of her own offspring and motherhood, etc… (remember, God made Eve as a help mate to the man; that is her ‘natural use’)*. We are made to complement not compete with one another. Not a popular notion these days, but the beef is with God, not His Church, which merely follows His instruction to ‘go and teach’ the things He has revealed through the Spirit of Truth He promised would come. You reject it and in case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t made you happy. I’ve rarely encountered anyone so eaten up with bitterness. If you don’t believe the Church’s authority, why does it bother you so much? And don’t claim it is because other women do accept it. That is their choice.
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Why do you resent women who try to do so? You act like a leftist thinking you know what is better for them than they do. Why do you not respect them for their own choices? There are very effective ways to prevent pregnancy that are not condemned by the Church, you know.

Anyway…not getting in to a family planning debate.

Again, seek help. And I don’t say that with the least bit of snark. Like I said earlier, your rage reminds me of the pro-abortion women who have had abortions. (Like that aimed at Sarah Palin, since she convicts them of their guilt by her very life, though she does nothing to them.) If you have, Rachel’s Vineyard is a wonderful program in the Church’s ministry. If not, maybe you were raped. I’ve read where that can cause people to have (completely unwarranted) feelings of guilt. With your insane resentment of holy virgins, maybe that’s more likely, or perhaps you have just lived a loose life and the guilt is eating you up. I don’t know nor do I need to, but whatever has happened to you or you have done, I sincerely hope you find some peace.

*lest TigerPaw ((I think it is; if not, I apologize) has a cow, I do not believe, nor does the Church teach that women must be married and have children to be useful. If a married woman is not capable of having children, it doesn’t make her any less a woman, etc…but if she uses contraception so she doesn’t have children because she has other ambitions, well, that is a problem. Take it up with God. And they also don’t even have to be nuns instead, but they do have to live a chaste life, married or not.

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Remember, if you are ever troubled by evil spirits, burn some fish guts on a hot coal per Tobit. Demons hate that.

Akzed on March 26, 2014 at 9:14 AM

I would suggest that maybe you should try it, but I don’t want to sound as big a jerk as you do. But I do think it is interesting that included in that passage is the idea that fish provide medicines. I wonder if the cod liver oil sellers know that./

I will leave it to anyone who might possibly still be reading this to go back and see who is using circular reasoning, lack of comprehension, obfuscation, etc… I don’t know what kind of evidence you would require to admit that the Apostles used and accepted the entire Septuagint. Clearly, their own disciples did, but whatever. Perhaps you believe also that ‘the glove didn’t fit.” You lock on one thing you think you have me on, and completely ignore all other points, refuse to answer questions like whether you reject all OT scripture for the same reason you seem to reject the Deuterocanonical (it isn’t specifically quoted verbatim by Jesus or an apostle in the NT (as if the NT holds all that they ever did or said, even though it specifically says it does NOT), etc. Fine. Whatever…

I wonder if you put this much thought into your rejection of actual quotes from Jesus on the fact that His flesh is real meat….but again, Free Will and all that. Reject the authority Jesus gave to Peter and His Church. Be a good little follower of Luther and take the canon decided by a council of Jews who rejected Our Lord over the Council of the Church founded by Him. Your choice. Good luck to you.

Peace.

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Akzed on March 26, 2014 at 9:14 AM

.
pannw on March 26, 2014 at 10:16 AM

.
Wow … are you two from Northern Ireland by any chance ?

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Wow … are you two from Northern Ireland by any chance ?

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM

:D

Can’t speak for Akzed, but for my part, I’m merely a faithful Catholic having a spirited debate with my separated brethren, in hopes of helping bring about that Unity Christ prayed for. The New Evangelization, you know? Alas, it doesn’t seem to be going well. But you notice, we are only lobbing words and not Molotov cocktails at one another. ;) Of course, I think it is probably good we are having the discussion over the internet and not over a pint, or one of us might be wearing it! *got a little of the hotheaded Irish girl in her ol mutt blood*

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM

There were seven ecumenical councils. Those that occurred after the Great Schism cannot be counted as ecumenical, since they didn’t involve the whole household of faith.

Quoting popes about doctrines peculiar to the RCC does nothing to sway non-RC’s. I won’t even mention that a pope kissed a Koran.

Alms cannot purchase salvation.

I didn’t say Trent put the apocryphal books in the Bible, I said (twice) that Trent canonized them as Scripture. This has no impact on me and other non-RC’s. Trent condemns me and my family to hell, whereas I have no problem considering RC’s Christians unless they give me reason not to. . . .

Akzed on March 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

First of all I wasn’t quoting a Pope in my discussion and wasn’t talking about almsgiving, so I don’ t know why you brought those up with me, instead of addressing the many things I did bring up to you.

And the Catholic Church does not teach that almsgiving or anything can ever “purchase” salvation. That is a misinterpretation on your part of Catholic doctrine and the Scripture we use to support the belief that it’s works and faith together, never one alone. The Church teaches that faith is a gift, salvation is a gift and no person can ever merit or earn or purchase faith and salvation. But Jesus and Scripture have countless examples how faith manifested in our works helps save us and that we have an obligation to accept His grace and act upon it. But never apart from His grace freely given. Without that and love of God all works are useless.

I am not going to get into a debate about the number of ecumenical councils. Lol My point was that there weren’t many in 2,000 years. You seem to agree.

I didn’t say Trent put the apocryphal books in the Bible, I said (twice) that Trent canonized them as Scripture.

I don’t understand your point here at all. You initially said that the Catholic Church put those 7 books into the Bible and that it happened at Trent. I said that those books were in the sole official Christian Bible canon since at least 419AD and that Trent merely made that list infallible.

When something is “canonized” it means that a canon (a rule or law or conclusion of any Church council, whether regional or Ecumenical,) made a decision on it. All the previous councils to Trent that mentioned the Bible canon list, canonized the list. Those councils in the late 4th century and 2 Nicaea and Florence, whether you want to call them Ecumenical or not.

The list was canonized before Trent. The canon related to the books in Trent canonized that it was an infallible list and re-canonized the list itself. But that was not the first time the list was canonized.

Hope that clears that up for you.

So do you agree with me that the Catholic Church did not put those books into the Bible at Trent? That the books were in the sole official Christian Bible canon as Scriptural since at least 419AD and that list did not change until Martin Luther took those 7 O.T.books (and temporarily 4 New Testament books) out of the sole official Christian canon for 1,000 years previous? No Christian Bible manuscript or list from 419AD till Luther kept those 7 O.T. books separate in between the Old and New Testament or kept them in an appendix. And while the 4th century Church councils made a final decision on the list for the universal Church, since the time of the Apostles those 7 O.T. books were widely (but not universally) used as Scriptural. They were not “added” by the Catholic Church in the 4th century, no less at Trent in the 16th century.

That’s really my point from the beginning. Do you dispute that or do you now reject your previous statements here:

Wrong. 2 Maccabees and the rest of the apocryphal books were added to the Bible by the RCC, interspersed throughout and appended to some canonical books. It was formerly held between the two testaments since it was written thereabouts, and was always considered distinct from the OT. The Jews did not and do not consider it inspired either.

Akzed on March 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM

it wasn’t until Trent that the RCC canonized the Apocrypha.
Akzed on March 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The apocryphal books are not holy Scripture. Even in RC Bibles until recently they are kept in their own section between the testaments. In the last twenty years or so the RCC started sprinkling these books among the actual books of the Bible, and appending them to other books like Daniel.
They were always counted as a “second canon,” and not inspired by God, but merely of historical interest. If you want to argue otherwise you are just parading your ignorance.
Akzed on March 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM

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Do you believe “Jesus is LORD”? … That’s all that matters to me.
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Every other disagreement that people claiming to be Christians have with each other, or myself is secondary.
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If Jesus isn’t ‘LORD of all’, then what is a person’s “Christianity” based on ?

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I’m sorry that you don’t agree that books that contain glaring contradictions and recommendations to burn fish guts to chase away demons are probably best left on the sideline.

Akzed on March 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

I find it interesting, like pannw, that the healing properties of fish were recognized back then. Also, Jesus, our great Healer, was symbolized in the early Church by fish and He made the Apostles fishers of men.

As to the oddity of that antidote written thousands of years ago, no that doesn’t bother me at all. Keep in mind this was being done to drive out demons, not conjure up spirits.

Jesus cast the evil sprits into the pigs that ran and fell off the cliff. Not the greatest visual to our modern eyes. Jesus used His spit to make clay to put on the blind man’s eyes to heal him. The Israelites were told by God to melt bronze and make a bronze serpent on a stick and that anyone who looks at the serpent will be healed from the snake bites that were killing them all. In the New Testament we see people taking pieces of St. Paul’s clothing and using them to heal people and drive out demons.

Now the fish thing in Tobit might be a little smelly, but I really don’t see it as any different than these and many other Bible stories that were written thousands of years ago. (There are more I know that aren’t popping into my head right now.)

All the inerrant Word of God.

The New Testament seems to have 2 different stories about how Judas died. Or the seemingly different stories and times of the women at the tomb. But we know that doesn’t make those books apocrypha. Same with the countless claims atheists make about many things in our Bible books that we agree on. Seeming discrepancies or errors can be explained or reconciled or shown not to cast doubts on the entire book itself.

Different Biblical books have different points and messages and writing styles, some literal, some figurative, some historical, some stories and parables to learn from. Sometimes it is something we don’t understand fully now, but can be explained. Like when atheists used to use Herod’s father’s or grandfather’s name as evidence that the Bible made a mistake. Later it was discovered that there were 2 men with the same name 100 years apart. (I can’t remember the details, but you get my point.)

I have previously heard all the arguments against those 7 O.T. books and I have read refutations about each critical point. I assure you I did not simply dismiss the criticism without examination.

Akzed, I only ask that people recognize historical facts about Bible formation. As far as interpretation of Scripture or whether someone personally recognizes a book as Scriptural, there I understand that we will disagree on this point.

I am sure there are many things you and I do agree on, especially about Our Lord Jesus Christ. One day in Heaven we will all agree, because in Heaven there is only truth. And I believe that Our Lord (even if it’s in the final moment between life and death) can present His full truth to any whom He wants saved for that person to accept and enter into final salvation. (Note: I am not saying that here on earth we are to take these things lightly and ignore promptings of the Holy Spirit to seek out truth and accept it.)

God willing all of us here will meet in Heaven.

God bless all here.

PS If anyone is interested I can offer possible reconciliations of the stories of Judas’ death and the women at the tomb.

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 12:49 PM

1. I’m sorry, but “Saint” Gianna isn’t being celebrated as a professional woman. She is being celebrated as a living baby incubator. JPII could care less about her accomplishments as a doctor (which there were none.) She wouldn’t have been celebrated if she was a professional woman who died at 90. He only cared that she died while giving birth to a seventh baby that she shouldn’t have been having after not having cancer surgery. I find it disgusting that when I express my concern about modern female saints, this is the one I get. I’m sorry, but I will continue praying to saints like Saint Catherine of Siena as models of feminism over her. For modern Catholic women, I prefer Dorothy Day.

Frankly, the Catholic Church’s position on birth control is disgusting. It is disgusting to me that women aren’t allowed life saving medicine and are treated as objects. I think that the Church would prefer living baby incubators rather than human beings of the same dignity as guys.

Wow. So my wife (who is the backbone of my family of 5 kids) is an incubator? Only in your eyes and the eyes of those who share your feelings. Don’t paint her with your miserable brush, please. I certainly don’t view her that way. She’s my spiritual equal (and equal in dignity, as well!), my emotional rock, and the glue that keeps things together. She’s beautiful in every way and I mourn the days when I don’t remind her about how much I love her, VALUE her, CHERISH her, ADMIRE her, and need her.

Your whole take on how the church “views” raped women is bizzare to me. Those women RESISTED because they didn’t want the man to commit sin or they were trying to live a celebate life (and yes, it goes w/o saying that none of them wanted to get raped…give the girls some credit, please. You come across as someone who seems to think women are dumb). Why can we not honor those who choose to deny themselves certain things? They’re examples for us to admire, to study, to emulate! I am frankly confounded by some of your views. Your backstory helps me understand, but yet it doesn’t at the same time. Hope that makes sense.

You’re gravely misinformed on Catholic teachings on Birth Control. Here’s a link: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm
It’s pretty clear that BC used for health needs is fine, just don’t use it to prevent contraception. If there’s a strong reason to prevent contraception (and there are many…just ask me or my wife), the church provides the natural family planning method. We are called to view the gift of human sexuality and fertility (both male and female, so there’s no confusion) as a gift…not a “condition” to be “treated”.

I find it sad that you view women the way you do. You insult many, many, women with your view. You do yourself such an injustice…you are a Child of Light, made in the image and likeness of God. You, too, are beautiful. The Church doesn’t look at you as if your sole reason for being is to procreate. That’s Islam, near as I can tell. The Church doesn’t view women that way, and never has. Authentic femininity is a beautiful thing. You have that gift, too, if you chose to see it. Check out this website: http://www.womenofgrace.com/en-us/default.aspx, run by Johnnette Benkovic.

Call her. She’s a really neat person. I call her show occasionally and always get good feedback from her. Give it a try…

RI_Red on March 26, 2014 at 12:59 PM

God bless you, Illinidiva.

I can understand how some things might rub someone the wrong way. And I can see that you have misunderstood some things about why these women were Saints. pannw has explained that to you.

Just remember it is heroic virtue that makes them canonized Saints and the effect they had on others. Like little St. Maria Goretti’s attacker was changed by God through her. How he repented and was converted. That is the main point of the story.

Many different women, with many different sufferings and trial, are loved by Our Lord and enter into Heaven.

Bad people in the Church should never make a Catholic ignore the truths of the Church and leave her. (even though that is our human reaction) Anymore than the good people in the Church alone is reason to believe her true teachings. These good Christians may draw others to the truths taught, just like the bad can draw people away.

But truth is objective, not subjective. Only our beliefs are subjective. We must seek His truth wherever it lies. Even if we have to suffer bad people in the process.

God bless you, dear sister. I see you pray to St. Catherine. I pray she and Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord Jesus Christ help you and keep your heart safe and close to Him.

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Love you, pannw

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Being a 72 year old Catholic, who went to Catholic grade school and high school, I think I can gripe about today’s ill-informed Catholics. All I can say is “bring back the Baltimore Catechism”. From the first grade on, this was MEMORIZED on a regular basis in school.

codekeyguy on March 25, 2014 at 11:43 PM

Here in NJ, my year was the last year we were required to memorize the Baltimore Catechism for Confirmation. I’m 54.

I still remember some of it and it was clear and easy to understand. We have thrown away so many good things in the interest of being modern. And confused the faithful in the process.

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Do you believe “Jesus is LORD”? … That’s all that matters to me.
.
….
listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM

With my whole heart, mind, and soul. I know it like I know I need to breathe air. Deo gratias!

I also know He left us instructions that He intends for us to follow (which I strive to do and fail often). He did say, “Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” May He have mercy on my soul. And it must have mattered to Him that we all be ‘one’, since He prayed so fervently for that. So I pray and work for it too.

I count you as a friend in Christ, and hope you do the same with me. :)

Love you, pannw

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Thank you, Elisa. That really means a lot to me. My love to you, as well.

pannw on March 26, 2014 at 2:12 PM

God bless you, Illinidiva.

I can understand how some things might rub someone the wrong way. And I can see that you have misunderstood some things about why these women were Saints. pannw has explained that to you.

Just remember it is heroic virtue that makes them canonized Saints and the effect they had on others. Like little St. Maria Goretti’s attacker was changed by God through her. How he repented and was converted. That is the main point of the story.

Many different women, with many different sufferings and trial, are loved by Our Lord and enter into Heaven.

Bad people in the Church should never make a Catholic ignore the truths of the Church and leave her. (even though that is our human reaction) Anymore than the good people in the Church alone is reason to believe her true teachings. These good Christians may draw others to the truths taught, just like the bad can draw people away.

But truth is objective, not subjective. Only our beliefs are subjective. We must seek His truth wherever it lies. Even if we have to suffer bad people in the process.

God bless you, dear sister. I see you pray to St. Catherine. I pray she and Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord Jesus Christ help you and keep your heart safe and close to Him.

Elisa on March 26, 2014 at 1:03 PM

DItto. Me, too IlliniDiva.

Great post, Elisa. Great post.

RI_Red on March 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014 at 4:35 AM

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My sincere sympathies for all of the negativity that impacted you within your local Church group(s).
You sound like a genuine “survivor”, no humor intended.

But I believe your experience descriptions also correlate to a lot of non-Catholic (Protestant) churches, as well.

That’s not supposed to make you feel better, but rather that Catholic children are not alone in this.

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Again, I think you are in serious need of help. I’m honestly wondering what it is in your past that fills you with such rage against the Church and her constant (not modern, but from the beginning)teaching on life/contraception/sexual morality. I can’t help but think you were raped or had an abortion or something and the guilt of it is eating you up from the inside. Maybe not, (and I’m not asking for an answer) but I can’t remember ever seeing anyone so full of hatred just because some kids were mean to her when she was in middle school. Most people get over that sort of thing by adulthood.

No.. I’m a bit of a prude. And my anger at the Church stems from how I was treated as a child in Catholic school. This has nothing to do with a bunch of 12-year-old mean girls and everything to do with how the supposedly Catholic adults acted. If the girls, especially the main instigator had been punished, then it was just an incident that happened. However, nothing happened because the brats’ parents were prominent members of the parish. I don’t know, but I expect Catholic priests, nuns, and lay teachers at a Catholic school to follow Jesus’ teachings on this.

And that is just the pinnacle of my experiences with Catholic schools. There are lots of things that happened to my family, friends, and me before and after this. It is just the hypocrisies and meanness kept piling up. So the fact that the institutional Church fails to follow Jesus’ teachings like the Great Commandment or the Beatitudes is really the issue that I have with the Church.

I can’t imagine it would bring them to resent holy martyrs so much, in any case. That’s completely unhinged.

Yeah. My main issue is that I don’t like the Church using tragedies like rape to prove a culture warrior point. I had an ex who worked with victims of sexual abuse and one of the biggest issues they have is guilt and anger toward themselves and their actions. Could you see how someone who was raped might react to the Church promoting the chastity of little twelve year old victims of attempted rape? It makes the person feel like he or she is less holy or that God and the Church loves him or her less. It adds to the guilt.

As to the Church’s teaching on contraceptives, you distort it when you say she denies ‘life saving medicine’ to women. Any actual Catholic should know that if hormonal contraceptives are prescribed for actual maladies, (ie, to prevent hemorrhage from fibroids) they are licit.

Which the Church doesn’t actually tell women about. I got yelled at by a priest in college for using the Pill and I am single.

I think that Catholic women have a wider idea about what is “life saving” than the Church does so I think that this is kept hush-hush.

But you reject her authoritative teaching. You are one of those women Paul warned about, “For their women have changed the natural use into that which is against nature…” It isn’t just homosexual, but the rejection of her own offspring and motherhood, etc… (remember, God made Eve as a help mate to the man; that is her ‘natural use’)*.

I don’t believe that God actually believe that the story of creation is the literal truth.

You reject it and in case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t made you happy. I’ve rarely encountered anyone so eaten up with bitterness. If you don’t believe the Church’s authority, why does it bother you so much? And don’t claim it is because other women do accept it. That is their choice.

1. I do appreciate many parts of Catholic spirituality, but just don’t like many people associated with the Catholic Church nor do I like the sex rules which put most of the burden on the women. I would love the institutional Church to actually be filled with people who live out Jesus’ teachings rather than the priests and religious and involved lay Catholics I’ve met. I do appreciate Pope Francis and hope that he succeeds in cleaning out the Church.

2. Yeah.. I am bitter. The Church ruined my childhood. So that tends to make a person bitter.

Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Why do you resent women who try to do so? You act like a leftist thinking you know what is better for them than they do. Why do you not respect them for their own choices? There are very effective ways to prevent pregnancy that are not condemned by the Church, you know.

I resent the Church saying that I am lesser than men. I really hate being told that my only role in life is that of a homemaker and a mother of 10+ kids. I despise cleaning and really hate kids (outside of small doses. I’m fine with you deciding that this is your role in life, but I’m not find with people arguing that classic gender roles are somehow God’s commandments. I’m not fine with the Church saying that I’m somehow lesser than men and limiting me to one specific role.

And no NFP isn’t actually effective because it is very prone to human error. There are lots of “oops” associated with it. There aren’t as many “oops” associated with taking a Pill every day.

Illinidiva on March 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Well first of all, the only one who can decide what is or what is not a sin is God.
So do feminists and other liberals believe God has moderated his positions with the changing times?

dverplank on March 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

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