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April 24, 2008

Comments

Mark Shea

Jimmy:

You just like Newman because you are a sinister agent of Protestant subversion bent on remaking the Church in your own image while reaping all the power and riches that go with being a lay Catholic apologist. Fess up!

I can no longer sit back and allow convert infiltration, convert subversion and the international convert plot to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids!

ELC

My friend Fr. John Hugo (RIP), mentor of Dorothy Day, was a great fan of the Cardinal and often said he'd be the next Doctor of the Church.

Tim J.

Cool.

I don't know Newman's writings and thought nearly like I should. This looks like a good time to rectify that.

And Mr. Shay, you and Aikens are cut from the same cloth, so don't play innocent!

Converts should be content to listen. Why, one doesn't find in the early Church a convert that presumed to teach at all until... until... well, St. Paul, actually... but he only wrote... um... looks like about 2/3 of the New Testament...

Oh.

Marty

Any recommended reading on our future Doctor of the Church??

J.R. Stoodley

I didn't know that you had to be a saint to be a Doctor of the Church. I would think if Tertullian and Origin are Fathers of the Church that someone would not have to be canonized before being declared a Doctor of the Church.

SDG

Any recommended reading on our future Doctor of the Church??

Dunno about recommended reading on him by other people, but Newman's own autobiographical Apologia Pro Vita Sua is excellent reading. Of course, in connection with his potential candidacy for Doctor of the Church (as distinct from sainthood), you can't do better than the (non-autobiographical!) Essay on the Development of Doctrine.

The Masked Chicken

For all of your online Newman reading or downloading, here is an excellent place to start.

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

Here is the classic site for information about Newman and a place to download his writings.

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

Here is the classic site for information about Newman and a place to download his writings.

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

Sorry about the double post on the last entry. Yes, there are two different sites (one from Penn State and one from Newmanreader). The double posting of the second site seems to be a problem when I hit the "back" button on my browser. It wants to repost the information. Again, sorry.

The Chicken

James D'Alvigny McCullough

Doctor. It can't happen soon enough. Reading Apologia and Essay together brought me into the Church. Essay was written on the cusp of JHN's conversion and gives us the thinking that brought him in. He thought of publishing it after he converted, but was advised to do it beforehand, as it was a bit too hot to handle in the Church of that era.

By the way SDG, some of us are still looking for the continuation of your series on priesthood in the New Testament and early Church... .

Thanks for all you and Jimmy do.

SDG

By the way SDG, some of us are still looking for the continuation of your series on priesthood in the New Testament and early Church... .

Thanks, I'm looking forward to getting back to it; however, it will probably have to wait another week to ten days. Too many movie reviews to write by next Friday!

Olivier

I agree with your prediction that Newman will be a Doctor. I've a question concerning Origen (which is maybe THE christian thinker of the first centuries, at least about exegesis) : is a full rehabilitation possible ? I mean, given the 11th anathem of the second Council of Constantinople ? (which anathemizes who doesn't anathemize Origen and others ?)
And how would you describe the real doctrinal and disciplinary content of such a pronouncement ?

Jeffrey G

Is the development of doctrine doctrine in any way "official"? Will it be more official if Newman recieves his doctorate?

If a Catholic from the past (say... the third century) were to time travel to the present, would they still be Catholic, or would doctrine have developed away from him in such a way that he would no longer find himself under the Catholic umbrella?

David

Jimmy, I've always wondered. Is Cardinal part of his name, or is that just how we refer to him because he was a cardinal?

Deusdonat

Hmmm. I guess Fridays are Trad-bashing days here. Maybe you all think that because we fast today we have a lower energy level to combat the accusations? : P

Regarding converts who preach and evangelize, I have honestly had a mixed bag. But I would hazzard to say, no more mixed that so-called cradle Catholics themselves. The only difference is in the substance of the errors. I have often heard converts say things like, "Only Jesus saves." and "I'm forever redeemed." which they undoubtedly received during their childhood indoctrinations, making it that much harder to purge from their memory banks. But like I said, I've heard people born into the church say things like, "just who exactly WAS Jesus' real father?" and "Most of this stuff (rituals) are man-made anyway".

One further annectdote: one of the most holiest people I've ever met in my life was a Jewish convert. He says he converted in the 50's (the reality is- and he shared this with VERY few people) is he had a vision which prompted him to) and tried to get baptized in a Catholic church in an Irish part of NYC. The Irish priest took one look at him and essentially ran him out of the church, telling him he knew nothing about the sacraments and wouldn't baptize him in HIS church. This humble man returned over and over until finally some other parishoners who had witnessed this went with him to the priest and said they would be his "God parents" and he was finally baptized.

What is striking is that usually, Jews who convert are ostracized from their community. But this man had such a good character, that most of his Jewish friends (and family) simply took it in stride and remained friends. They just didn't talk about it.

Dr. Acula

I always heard that St. Louis de Montfort would be the next Doctor of the Church. He's already a Saint, isn't that how it usually works?

St. Lawrence of Brindisi was Canonized in 1881 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1959.

St. Anthony of Padua was Canonized in 1232 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1946.

St. Teresa of Avila: Saint... 1622 --- Doctor... 1970

Ste. Therese: Saint... 1925 --- Doctor... 1997

St. Thomas Aquinas: Saint... 1323 --- Doctor... 1567

St. Alphonsus Ligouri: Saint... 1839 --- Doctor... 1871

St. Anselm of Canturbury: Saint... 1492 --- Doctor... 1720

St. Bonaventure: Saint... 1482 --- Doctor... 1557

In 1899 Pope Leo XIII promoted the Precongregation Saints: St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and St. John Damascene, and St. Bede

St. Catherine of Siena: Saint... 1461 --- Doctor... 1970

St. Ephrem the Syrian: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor... 1920

St. Francis de Sales: Saint... 1665 --- Doctor... 1877

St. Hilary of Poitiers: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor... 1851

St. Isidore of Seville: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor... 1722

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (fun to type!) Saint... 1174 --- Doctor... 1830

St. John Damascene: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor: 1890

St. John of the Cross: Saint... 1726 --- Doctor... 1926

St. Leo the Great: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor... 1574 That one suprised me!

St. Peter Chrysologus: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor... 1729

St. Peter Damian: Precongregation Saint --- Doctor... 1828

The 4 Great Eastern and 4 Great Western Doctors had Feasts from the Middle Ages which is from where the idea of Doctors of the Church came from. Western: Sts. Augustine, Gregory the Great, Ambrose of Milan, and Jerome. Eastern: Sts. Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Athanasius the Great, and Gregory Naziansus.

The only "Saint/Doctor Combo" was when Pope Pius XI declaired Sts. Albert the Great, Peter Canisius and Robert Bellarmine Saints and Doctors. The precedent is to declare someone a Doctor well after s/he's been Canonized.

Also, Pope Benedict XIV points out that Martyrs are not included in the list of Doctors as Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyons, and Cyprian of Carthage are extremely important Teachers of the Faith. This also excludes our modern important Martyr/Theologians Sts. Maximillian Kolbe and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein.)

I await the Canonization of Ven John Henry Cardinal Newman and would be happy to have him included in the list of the Doctors, but I think it is unlikely that he will be made a Doctor soon. But Pope Benedict is full of surprises, so I could be wrong.

Eric

As a non-catholic, I wholeheartedly agree with this choice. It is truly a miracle that he was able to make that jumbled, contradictory, and confusing nature of Catholic doctrine into something that seems slightly plausible.

Deusdonat

"Is 'dere a doctah in 'da house??" (doing my Jimmy Durante impression).

freddy

Gee, I remember as a kid being surprised to find out that Cardinal Newman had not been canonized or declared a Doctor of the Church. I had assumed, from what I'd read, that he *was*! Be nice to be finally right!

BTW, Mark, we cradle Catholics are on to the evil plans you and other converts (like Jimmy!) have to attract more and more people to the Catholic Church! Be warned! The Catholic Church is notorious for being fussy and exclusive and open only to the "in-crowd" and ... wait ...

Never mind... just keep doin' what you're doin'!

Deusdonat

Freddy, it's all good and well that converts bring people to the church. But let's also make sure they do so with honesty.

I will cite a BAD example: Karl Keating. He is at his core, a Protestant. And there so many culturally Protestant ideals and behaviors that he just cannot seem to shake. But what's worse is that he promotes them as in some way being Catholic. And I refuse to allow him to attempt and restructure and distort thousands of years of church history to suit his aims.

An example (one of many) is when a woman mentioned the merits of being a vegetarian. "Fat Karl" laughed it off dismissively and ranted about how if we abstain from meat, we might as well abstain from fruits and vegetables, since that is "killing" living plants as well, concluding there is nothing "Christian" about being a vegetarian. I was astounded not so much by his ignorance (vegetarianism does in fact have a LONG history in the church, particularly among religious orders) but more by his ego and gall at making such a statement. Anyway, I reiterate, Fat Karl epitomizes what a convert SHOULDN'T do: presume to impose his own legacy Protestant opinions as church doctrine to fit his own world view.

Kevin Jones

I thought Karl Keating was a cradle Catholic.

Shane

Deusdonat,

can you provide a better example, because the one you provided is just... really bad - no offense intended. There is nothing egotistical about saying that vegetarianism is not a particularly Christian thing. It is an entirely neutral thing. Certainly, Christianity does not oppose vegetarianism, but it does not encourage it either. Just as many saints have lived that loved a good steak as those who would prefer the salad. It sounds to me like he was simply making an objectively true statement about the Church's position on vegetarianism.

The long history with "vegetarianism" in the Church, as you put it, is not a history with vegetarianism at all, but with abstinence. Many religious orders abstain from meat, but not for the sake of vegetarianism. It is a pennitential act - a lifelong sacrifice made by the members of the order. They choose to abstain from meat - which they consider a good thing - for the sake of penance and sacrifice. The way you put it makes these orders sound almost Manichean.

So if Mr. Keating holds over and tries to bring Protestant ideals and behaviors into the Church, then point one out. Perhaps he does - I have no idea, as I don't have the opportunity to pay too much attention to him. However, if you want to make such a rather powerful claim, you will need to - indeed you have a moral obligation, lest you wish to be guilty of slander and detraction - to provide actual evidence of it.

Peace and God bless

David B.

Deusdonat,

Karl Keating is a cradle Catholic. As far as the vegetarian thing goes, when he said that there was nothing Christian about it, I think he meant that vegetarianism for the sake of the animals alone, which is the reason for most 'vegan' diets these days, doesn't have a basis in Catholic moral teaching. I *think* that's what he was saying. Your calling him 'Fat Karl' might make a bad appearance to people like Eric, who posted above.

Tim J

"Fat Karl epitomizes what a convert SHOULDN'T do: presume to impose his own legacy Protestant opinions as church doctrine to fit his own world view."

Having been raised a protestant, I have to point out that being opposed to vegetarianism is neither here nor there in terms of a Protestant upbringing. "...if we abstain from meat, we might as well abstain from fruits and vegetables, since that is 'killing' living plants as well," sounds like something a cradle Catholic might just as well have said.

I logged a lot of pew time in Protestant churches, and don't remember vegetarianism coming up, and if it did, it was more likely by a progressive-type pastor who thought it more or less a good idea.

There's just no "there" there.

bill912

The term "Fat Karl" is not only wrong (I've met him; he isn't), it's just plain rude. Perhaps Deusdonat out to familiarize himself with Rule One.

Deusdonat

Shane, no disrespect here, but you are not making much sense. Vegetarianism IS the abstinence of meat. Regardless of whether or not you do this for reasons of health, morality or penance. Vegetarianism as a form of penance has been practiced by religious orders (as mentioned) since the first days of monasticism in the Egyptian desert. So, it DOES have a long history in the church. To say otherwise is dishonest to both history and reality. If you cannot understand this fact then there is not much else I can do for you here.

As far as my ascertions of Karl Keating, I stand by them. You will have to do your own research here. I would begin by asking him his "opinions" (and please note: that's EXACTLY what they are) on the Tridentine liturgy.

bill912

Shane, you made perfect sense.

David B.

Deusdonat,

I have received many "e-letters" from Karl. In them, he's often mentioned how he was a cradle Catholic. As for your dislike of him, your accusations that he's somehow just interested in promoting protestantism in the Faith, etc, I have to say this: Karl Keating has run Catholic Answers for most of my life. He has done much good for the Church that way. If your chief complaint is that he disparaged Vegetarianism, then I think you're missing the full picture. Thank God that He doesn't focus in on one thread of our lives in His judgment, but looks at the whole 'tapestry' as it were.

Br. Bob, C.O.

Jeffery G:

Is the development of doctrine doctrine in any way "official"? Will it be more official if Newman recieves his doctorate?

Not sure what you mean by "official." I don't think the Church itself has declared the theory itself to be doctrine, although it has used it extensively to explain and define itself, especially post-Vatican II. When it was first published, Development met a tepid reception from the Church, as did most of Newman's theological/philosophical efforts. Pope Leo XIII's act raising Newman to the cardinalate was seen as a sort of retroactive embrace of his corpus of works.

If a Catholic from the past (say... the third century) were to time travel to the present, would they still be Catholic, or would doctrine have developed away from him in such a way that he would no longer find himself under the Catholic umbrella?

That's exactly the point Newman makes in Development:

On the whole, all parties will agree that, of all existing systems, the present communion of Rome is the nearest approximation in fact to the Church of the Fathers, possible though some may think it, to be nearer still to that Church on paper. Did St. Athanasius or St. Ambrose come suddenly to life, it cannot be doubted what communion he would take to be his own. All surely will agree that these Fathers, with whatever opinions of their own, whatever protests, if we will, would find themselves more at home with such men as St. Bernard or St. Ignatius Loyola, or with the lonely priest in his lodging, or the holy sisterhood of mercy, or the unlettered crowd before the altar, than with the teachers or with the members of any other creed. And may we not add, that were those same Saints, who once sojourned, one in exile, one on embassy, at Treves, to come more northward still, and to travel until they reached another fair city, seated among groves, green meadows, and calm streams, the holy brothers would turn from many a high aisle and solemn cloister which they found there, and ask the way to some small chapel where mass was said in the populous alley or forlorn suburb? And, on the other hand, can any one who has but heard his name, and cursorily read his history, doubt for one instant how, in turn, the people of England, "we, our princes, our priests, and our prophets," Lords and Commons, Universities, Ecclesiastical Courts, marts of commerce, great towns, country parishes, would deal with Athanasius,—Athanasius, who spent his long years in fighting against sovereigns for a theological term?

Br. Bob, C.O.

David:

Is Cardinal part of his name, or is that just how we refer to him because he was a cardinal?

Cardinal is his title, not part of his name. As far as I understand it, the the Continental style places the name just before the last name (e.g. John Henry Cardinal Newman, Avery Cardinal Dulles). For the sake of clarity, in English speaking countries where such a style is not common, this is often inverted to Cardinal John Henry Newman or Cardinal Avery Dulles.

Shane

Deusdonat,

You claimed that Mr. Keating was egotistical and ignorant for asserting that vegetarianism is not a Christian thing and does not have a moral component. You said he is ignorant and implied that this statement of his is an act of brining Protestantism into the Church because he is rejecting or unaware of the long history in the Church of abstinence from meat.

My point is that Mr. Keating does not show any ignorance or egotism in this statement, but merely objectivity. What he rejected was the notion that vegetarianism has a moral component. When you put the desert fathers and the Poor Clare nuns up against his statement, you imply that they abstain from meat for moral reasons, rather than penitential ones. If you do not mean to imply this, then your argument has no force, which was my original point.

I neither now nor was I before claiming that you are making vegetarianism out to be a part of the Church's history for moral reasons. Unless you really don't know what you're talking about, you understand that it is for penitential reasons, and it is the assumption I am operating under that you see it this latter, correct way.

Given that, your piece of evidencec against Mr. Keating has no force. He was not suggesting that vegetarianism for any reason is not something which belongs to Christianity. He was clearly saying that vegetarianism for a moral reason does not belong to Christianity or its history.

Peace and God bless

David B.

I remember that Episode of "Catholic Answers," and Shane, you have it exactly right.

David B.

FYI, Karl's "opinions" (as it was put) about the Tridentine Mass are, AFAIK, positive. In one of his E-letters, he talked about how some priests freaked about the Motu Proprio were over-reacting.

bill912

Shane may have made perfect sense, but I sure didn't.

I will be writing 100 times: O-U-G-H-T, not O-U-T!

David B.

Ha, Bill912! :-)

Jeffrey G
Br. Bob, C.O. quoting Newman: All surely will agree that these Fathers, with whatever opinions of their own, whatever protests, if we will...?
What does that mean? Whatever opinions and protests he had he would be welcome? Am I welcome if I share the opinions and protests of a third century Catholic?
...would find themselves more at home with such men as St. Bernard or St. Ignatius Loyola, or with the lonely priest in his lodging, or the holy sisterhood of mercy, or the unlettered crowd before the altar, than with the teachers or with the members of any other creed.
First of all, I do not surely agree. Second, this is most superficial. Does finding yourself "at home" with Ignatius Loyola et. al. make one Catholic despite whatever opinions and protests one might have? Is that the standard?
Jimmy Akin

Deusdonat:

1) Karl Keating is a cradle Catholic, not a convert from Protestantism.

Accept this fact.

2) Karl is not fat. In fact, he's quite thin.

3) Under no circumstances will I tolerate derogatory language regarding anybody on this blog, whether it's "Fat Karl," "Skinny Joe," "Pimple-faced Tom," "Stuttering Bob," "Loser Mike," or what have you.

Therefore,

THIS IS YOUR RULE 1 WARNING.

David B.

But Jimmy, EVERYBODY knows that Karl Keating is fat, just as EVERYBODY knows that he recently let his hair grow down to his knees!!!

(sarcasm off)

The Masked Chicken

Things seem to be heating up in this thread and the one above.

Perhaps the best thing I can do to help be a peacemaker is to offer a prayer by Cardinal Newman (a convert!) for peace. May all attend to it:

For the Peace of Christ

O most sacred, most loving heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou sayest, "With desire I have desired." I worship Thee, then, with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O make my heart beat with Thy heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it; but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace.

The Chicken

Inocencio

Thank you Masked Chicken for the suggestion and the beautiful prayer.

Thank you Jimmy for giving glamdring a good rattle.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

David B.

The Masked Chicken,

Well, I hope no one took my posts as contemptible, as that was not the way in which they were posted.

Sean Gallagher

As much as I esteem Cardinal Newman, I have to agree with the earlier post that makes the argument that naming him a doctor of the Church might take a lot longer than this post supposes.

That having been said, it might be argued that he could be the first "ecumenical" Church doctor. Why?

Because some of his pre-conversion writings (his Parochial and Plain Sermons in particular) are really good and, for the most part, wholly in harmony with Catholic teaching.

Given that he wrote them before entering into the full communion of the Church, I suspect that they would not have been examined in his beatification process.

But the honor of naming a saint a doctor doesn't happen according to strict canonical criteria. And so I would hope that if it were to happen that Cardinal Newman would be named a Church doctor that due reference would be made to the worthy writings he produced while he was a member of the Church of England.

Jack

3 cheers for the next Doctor!!! Newman deserves the title as his works have helped (along with God's grace) bring so many of our seperated brothers and sisters into (or back into) Christ's true Church

SDG

What does that mean? Whatever opinions and protests he had he would be welcome? Am I welcome if I share the opinions and protests of a third century Catholic?

Jeffrey G, you're looking at the question wrong end round. Newman wasn't addressing the question "Which community would welcome a third-century Catholic?" He was addressing the question "At which community would the third-century Catholic wish to be welcomed? With which would he most identify?"

As for you "sharing the opinions and protests of a third century Catholic," having been shaped by the whole history of the Great Schism and especially the Reformation and Lutheranism, you are in no position to adopt the worldview of a third-century Catholic. That's the whole point of the thought-experiment: that we must go back to the third century and bring such a man forward from there, since he certainly doesn't exist today. There is, however, a community that is recognizably in continuity with his community and what he believed in a way that other communities aren't. And that community isn't Lutheran.

In that vein, here is another justifiably celebrated bit from Newman, from the Introduction to the Essay on the Development of Doctrine:

History is not a creed or a catechism, it gives lessons rather than rules; still no one can mistake its general teaching in this matter, whether he accept it or stumble at it. Bold outlines and broad masses of colour rise out of the records of the past. They may be dim, they may be incomplete; but they are definite. And this one thing at least is certain; whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says and unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth, it is this.

And this utter incongruity between Protestantism and historical Christianity is a plain fact, whether the latter be regarded in its earlier or in its later centuries. Protestants can as little bear its Ante-nicene as its Post-tridentine period. I have elsewhere observed on this circumstance: "So much must the Protestant grant that, if such a system of doctrine as he would now introduce ever existed in early times, it has been clean swept away as if by a deluge, suddenly, silently, and without memorial; by a deluge coming in a night, and utterly soaking, rotting, heaving up, and hurrying off every vestige of what it found in the Church, before cock-crowing: so that 'when they rose in the morning' her true seed 'were all dead corpses'—Nay dead and buried—and without grave-stone. 'The waters went over them; there was not one of them left; they sunk like lead in the mighty waters.' Strange antitype, indeed, to the early fortunes of Israel!—then the enemy was drowned, and 'Israel saw them dead upon the sea-shore.' But now, it would seem, water proceeded as a flood 'out of the serpent's mouth, and covered all the witnesses, so that not even their dead bodies lay in the streets of the great city.'

Yeah. That.

Jeb Protestant

I believe that Newman was criticized in his time and later by orthodox catholics for conceeding too much to the progressive wing.

Ignatius published a reprint of a collection of Newman's excerpts entitled The Heart of Newman a few years ago. For secondary reading, I found David Brown's Newman: A Man For Our Time quite good.

Jeffrey G
SDG: Jeffrey G, you're looking at the question wrong end round. Newman wasn't addressing the question "Which community would welcome a third-century Catholic?" He was addressing the question "At which community would the third-century Catholic wish to be welcomed? With which would he most identify?"
I fail to see how this is at all relevant. I would identify with St. Mary's Catholic Church down the street. Martin Luther identified with the Catholic Churches. Do you think he didn't? He fought against his excommunication.
SDG quoting Newman: And this one thing at least is certain; whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says and unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism.
I don't particularly identify with "Protestantism" (whatever that is). If I may quote you:
Since Lutheranism retained the Catholic doctrine of the universality of Christianity -- and since Lutheran antisemitism likewise can surely be traced to pre-Lutheran Catholic roots
It is unfortunate that it has to be regarding something like antisemitism, but here you admit that Lutherans have "pre-Lutheran Catholic roots." So it is not entirely true that the history of Christianity is not the histrory of Lutheranism. Lutheranism has Catholic roots. Of course it does. The only thing left for discussion is the degree in which Lutheran roots are Catholic. I say Lutheran Roots are simply Catholic Roots.
SDG

I fail to see how this is at all relevant. I would identify with St. Mary's Catholic Church down the street. Martin Luther identified with the Catholic Churches. Do you think he didn't? He fought against his excommunication.

You're being slippery. Newman's point is that the third-century Catholic looking at Catholicism and Protestantism would say, respectively, "Here -- not there -- is what looks familiar to me, what I recognize as the Church I know. Here, not there, is where I belong."

Given that AFAIK you hang your hat at a Lutheran church, I'm guessing that's not how you feel when you look at your own church and St. Mary's down the street.

I don't particularly identify with "Protestantism" (whatever that is).

It's the kind of Christianity without the seven sacraments, in particular lacking the apostolic succession of bishops, the ministerial priesthood, and the eucharistic sacrifice. Hope that helps!

Lutheranism has Catholic roots. Of course it does. The only thing left for discussion is the degree in which Lutheran roots are Catholic. I say Lutheran Roots are simply Catholic Roots.

On the contrary, I agree that Lutheranism has Catholic roots, that Lutheran roots are Catholic roots. The burning question as I see it is which Catholic roots Luther uprooted.

Mary

What he rejected was the notion that vegetarianism has a moral component. When you put the desert fathers and the Poor Clare nuns up against his statement, you imply that they abstain from meat for moral reasons, rather than penitential ones.

In fact, I have run across requirements from the early Church to eat meat, in order to encourage those with weak consciences and to properly celebrate feasts.

Early Church

Also from the early Church: "It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble." And "do not let your good be reviled."

Maureen

Of course it's good not to eat meat in front of someone abstaining from it. It's polite, too! And of course abstinence is good.

But saying that "It's a good practice to abstain from meat" is not the same as saying "Don't eat meat! It's bunny-murder!" or even "Don't eat meat! It's unclean and/or unhealthy!"

This was a very big issue for the early Church, because a lot of cults in the ancient world did believe that meat was evil (as was the material world) and only vegetables were okey-dokey to eat as being less material. (Pythagoreans believed that beans were truly spiritual, because they made you burp and fart. Spirit/breath, you see.)

The Church liked fasting and abstinence; but again and again it said that fasting and abstinence were not done because the world was evil, or God didn't want you to eat meat. Every time people start getting weird about eating meat, the Church has to emphasize it again. (Especially since it leads not only to Gnosticism, but a lot of horrible snarky remarks about Passover lamb, or a dangerous insistence that God didn't really mean it when He told the captive Israelites about eating lamb or smearing blood.)

So a Christian can abstain from good meat all he likes (as long as he stays healthy) for the good of his soul. Also, he can admit that his personality, tastebuds, digestion, or political conviction makes him feel happier not eating cows -- and that is a perfectly fine use of his Christian freedom as a child of God. (Exactly as he can choose never to eat his spinach, once he reaches the age of majority.)

But a Christian can't really be a vegetarian, in the sense vegetarianism uses -- that the only decent way for a human to live is never to eat meat, or that eating meat is sinful. Because Jesus ate meat (certainly lamb meat and grilled fish, too), and because we eat the flesh of Jesus, who is not a plant.

Steve Ray

Jimmy: I blogged this with a link to our site. I agree completely and am most grateful to Newman for his influence in my own conversion. Looking forward to working with you on the Bible Land Cruise this October. Steve Ray

Pauli

I'm still laughing about the ridiculous "Fat Karl" remark. I need what Duesdonot is smoking, man.

I was thinking maybe it's a ironic moniker, like "Little John" from Robin Hood who was actually big. Or maybe Keating is mentally "fat" because he's smart, or possibly spiritually fat from "pigging out" on the sacraments or the high-calorie patristic writings.

Jeffrey G
"...Here, not there, is where I belong."

Given that AFAIK you hang your hat at a Lutheran church, I'm guessing that's not how you feel when you look at your own church and St. Mary's down the street.

I can only say I don't think you understand Lutherans very well. Many Lutherans have a "there, not here" is where I really belong attitude, and feel it is a tragic necessity that we find ourselves here, not there.
[Protestantism is] the kind of Christianity without the seven sacraments...
If that is the case, I think it is evident that the early church was protestant. Is it your position that the Church has always had seven sacraments? Or are any of the seven a result of Newman's development of doctrine?

bill912

When I had just started reading volume I of William Jurgens' collection "The Faith of the Early Fathers", I heard Tim Staples' tell his conversion story, about how Jimmy Swaggart had challenged Catholics to read the early Church Fathers. Staples then read them and came to the only logical conclusion one can: the early church Fathers were Catholic. I went back to the beginning and highlighted every specifically Catholic doctrine from their writings. In the 3 volumes, I used up 3 highlighters.

Brother Cadfael

Is it your position that the Church has always had seven sacraments? Or are any of the seven a result of Newman's development of doctrine?'

Yes, the Church has always had seven sacraments. The Church's understanding of each of the seven has surely developed over time, but the development did not include the addition of any new sacraments.

Jeffrey G
The Church's understanding of each of the seven has surely developed over time
I want to make sure I understand you correctly. The Church's understanding of Baptism and the Eucharist has surely devloped over time? As in: The early Church did not have a developed understanding of Baptism and the Eucharist? The Church today, separated from the events by nearly 2000 years has a better and more developed understanding of what it means to be Baptized than when Jesus and the Apostle's teaching was still fresh in their memory?
The Masked Chicken

Dear Jeffery G.,

You wrote:

The Church today, separated from the events by nearly 2000 years has a better and more developed understanding of what it means to be Baptized than when Jesus and the Apostle's teaching was still fresh in their memory?

The answer, of course, is, yes. Since Jesus has not changed and since his sacramental presence has not changed, the "freshness" of the sacraments hasn't changed. They are, in effect, frozen in time (or encompass all of time, equally). As such, they do not change, but who said that we could not grow deeper in our understanding? We have two-thousand more years to observe the same sacrament.

Freshness or nearness in time does not always confer greater understanding. It may, as in the case of a detective story, render the evidence more accessible and hence allow for a greater understanding of the crime scene, but only by virtue of having as much of the original evidence as possible without tampering or decay. In the case of the sacraments, however, the "evidence" does not wither with time, so it may always be examined in its pristine condition. As such (and even in a crime scene if this preservation were possible), a more extensive examination will almost always yield more fruit.

Just because the first apple fell from the tree many years ago did not make it any more likely that early man would understand gravity just because he saw it fall.

The Chicken

Early Church

we eat the flesh of Jesus, who is not a plant.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener."
"Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."

It may, as in the case of a detective story, render the evidence more accessible and hence allow for a greater understanding of the crime scene, but only by virtue of having as much of the original evidence as possible without tampering or decay.

In a detective story, it's also often a matter of evidence that didn't even exist at the time of the original crime, such as selling of the stolen goods, problems with accomplices, incriminating statements, unusual spending, subsequent crimes, etc. without which the crime cannot be solved. And greater accessibility to evidence, whether it be the original evidence or subsequent, does not equate with greater understanding of the crime scene, when the only great understanding is a correct one. One can literally have all the evidence smack under one's nose as obvious as can be, and still be wondering. Indeed, the more accessible the evidence, the lesser the understanding can be.

As such ... a more extensive examination will almost always yield more fruit.

And more walking is more walking, but always leaves one just as far from the infinite as before, where more informed is always uninformed.

Tim J.

Hey, Early Church... what's the sound of one hand clapping?

bill912

I thought I smelled gnostic troll, too, Tim.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Early Church,

You wrote:

In a detective story, it's also often a matter of evidence that didn't even exist at the time of the original crime, such as selling of the stolen goods, problems with accomplices, incriminating statements, unusual spending, subsequent crimes, etc. without which the crime cannot be solved.

This ex post facto evidence (secondary evidence) is almost always referential evidence - it refers back to and is derived from the original crime scene. Someone selling an artifact, without being able to reference it backwards as stolen material from the original crime scene would make the act of selling the artifact, prima facie, not a crime at all. Someone throwing a gun into the river, without being able to reference it back to a homicide, would almost always, just mean the loss of a gun.

The same applies to doctrinal development. Doctrines do not develop after the fact, nor are they developed ex nihilo. They are either present ab initio, or they are not true doctrines.

You wrote:

And greater accessibility to evidence, whether it be the original evidence or subsequent, does not equate with greater understanding of the crime scene, when the only great understanding is a correct one.

You are being equivocal, here. What does the word, "great," mean? Closer to the truth or only the exact truth? Now, great is a comparative term. There are shades of greatness. If you meant to say that the greatest understanding is a correct one, then I would agree, but there are greater and lesser degrees of understanding. While it is possible to reason from little evidence, sometimes, to a proper conclusion, most times, the task is easier with more evidence. There are greater and lesser developments of doctrine, just as one may approach the solution of a murder (a greater closeness to the truth) by eliminating suspects - or adding new ones (that were hidden from sight, before).

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

That should read:

The same applies to doctrinal development. NEW doctrines do not develop after the fact, nor are they developed ex nihilo. They are either present ab initio, or they are not true doctrines.

The Chicken

SDG

I want to make sure I understand you correctly. The Church's understanding of Baptism and the Eucharist has surely devloped over time? As in: The early Church did not have a developed understanding of Baptism and the Eucharist?

Jeffrey G, do you accept the Trinity and Chalcedonian Christology? Did the Apostles express their faith and teaching by saying in so many words that there is one God in three Persons, or that in Jesus human and divine natures are hypostatically united in a single divine Person? Is this language just gilding the lily and uselessly adding to NT language that was already perfectly and sufficiently clear in itself for all time, or does it represent a helpful and even (I think many Lutherans would probably agree) normative clarification of what the NT teaches?

Michael

Besides being a great intellectual, Cardinal Newman along with another famous Victorian convert Cardinal Manning, vanquished anti-Catholic bigotry in England. Newman converted to Catholicism in 1845 only 16 years after Catholic Emancipation in 1829. Anti-Catholic riots broke out when Catholic dioceses were reestablished in 1850 and the otherwise Liberal/Whig PM Lord John Russell was not above stirring anti-Catholic sentiments for political gain. There was Gladstone's questioning the loyalty of Catholics when Papal Infallibility was decreed in 1874. But when Cardinal Manning passed away in 1892 his funeral procession was one of the largest events of the era and before his death Newman was made a honorary fellow at Oxford and he made a famous return there greeted with open arms by his old classmates

Early Church

This ex post facto evidence (secondary evidence) is almost always referential evidence

That you’d call one primary and another secondary is a perspective. Without either, there may be no solving of the case, or no case at all.

there are greater and lesser degrees of understanding

And as they say, there are two sides to a coin. Call it heads, call it tails, but it is the same coin. The least is the greatest, and the first is the last.

most times, the task is easier with more evidence

“Most” and “more” are descriptive terms for the finite. In another finite perspective, “most times” the task may be harder not easier with more evidence.

NEW doctrines do not develop after the fact… They are either present ab initio, or they are not true doctrines.

Does equating true with present ab initio tell you what doctrine is true any better than it tells you what’s present ab initio?

bill912

I guess we were right, Tim. Starvation would seem to be the order of the day.

Jeffrey G
SDG: Jeffrey G, do you accept the Trinity and Chalcedonian Christology?
Well, yes, but I think baptism and the eucharist are different. Christianity is baptism and the eucharist. Basically. Christianity just isn't going to get very far with an underdeveloped understanding of those. Plus both are rather counter-intuitive. I don't think understanding of those will improve with more time to contemplate their mysteries.
The Masked Chicken

Sorry bill912, I have to try one more time:

Dear Early Church,

You wrote:

That you’d call one primary and another secondary is a perspective. Without either, there may be no solving of the case, or no case at all.

This is like saying, "If a tree falls in the forest with no one around, does it make a sound?" If a crime is committed and there is no evidence, then by definition, it can be only one kind of crime - the perfect crime. There is no room for perspective. Most crimes are not perfect and the history of evidence usually shows an evolution of knowledge and understanding.

You wrote:

And as they say, there are two sides to a coin. Call it heads, call it tails, but it is the same coin. The least is the greatest, and the first is the last.

Are you trying to do toplogical deformations? You have gone from degrees of closeness to sidedness. Now, degrees of closeness approach a limit point, but sidedness is two-valued. You have changed the dimensionality of the problem in midstream. I am sorry, I did not see your intermediate lemma allowing this.

You wrote:

Most” and “more” are descriptive terms for the finite. In another finite perspective, “most times” the task may be harder not easier with more evidence.

Solving crimes cannot simultaneously be "most times" easier with more information and harder with more information. This violates the law of noncontradiction, although, perhaps you are referring to a paraconsistent universe where there are two different time dimensions :) Besides, one can always ignore information that one has, so the excess information case may be reduced to the less information case, but the reverse is not always possible. Thus, you have not proven the point that more information is almost always an impediment. It may be, in some cases, until the information is understood, but, it will almost always be less of an impediment than having no or too little information.

You wrote:

Does equating true with present ab initio tell you what doctrine is true any better than it tells you what’s present ab initio?

This does not make sense. You switched your discourse space in the middle of the argument. At first, you were talking about equating two objects: truth and present ab inito doctrine, and then you split the space into two separate cases and made a consideration of their individual properties, which has nothing to do with the eqiality in the first part of the sentence.

Early Church, I will resist the urge to declare you a gnostic. I am trying to treat you as a mature individual. It is hard to tell if your statements are the result of trying to be profound sounding or whether you have problems in expressing yourself. I do not mean this as any sort of criticism. I simply cannot discuss these issues further until we can communicate effectively. Can you rephrase your problems with the issue of doctrinal development in a simpler form that is concrete? We can them move to metaphysics.

I am sorry if I teased you a bit in some of the paragraphs, above. I am just a bit frustrated. I ask, in Christian charity, that we both try to communicate better.

The Chicken


SDG

Well, yes, but I think baptism and the eucharist are different. Christianity is baptism and the eucharist. Basically. Christianity just isn't going to get very far with an underdeveloped understanding of those. Plus both are rather counter-intuitive. I don't think understanding of those will improve with more time to contemplate their mysteries.

Holy smokes! Jeffrey G, are you saying that Christianity "is" baptism and the Eucharist more than it "is" the Incarnation and the Trinity?!? Or that baptism and the Eucharist are more "counter-intuitive" than the Incarnation and the Trinity???

Certainly, baptism and the Eucharist are unequivocally the heart and foundation of Christian praxis -- but equally certainly, the Incarnation and the Trinity, along with the Paschal Mystery, are unequivocally the heart and foundation of Christian faith. You seem to be pitting one pillar of the Catechism against another, cult against creed. As for "counter-intuitive," I think a case could be made that nothing is more "counter-intuitive" than the Trinity, with the Incarnation a close runner-up.

Tim J.

I don't know whether Early Church is a gnostic (though the early church certainly had her problems with those), but he/she is functioning as a combox troll (that is, to engage in obfuscation, contrarianism and sophistry) which tends to sound (interestingly) *just* like gnosticism.

Jeffrey G
SDG: Holy smokes! Jeffrey G, are you saying that Christianity "is" baptism and the Eucharist more than it "is" the Incarnation and the Trinity?!?
Yes. Christianity, in its identity, is not a body of knowledge. Having the knowledge is great, but it does not make or break the Christian identity. People are not saved through superior understanding. Pre-Nicaean Christians were Christians. People with diminished mental capacity who cannot even say "Trinity" can be saved. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

Besides, if you know what the Eucharist is, you know a little something of the Incarnation and Paschal mysteries.

Certainly, baptism and the Eucharist are unequivocally the heart and foundation of Christian praxis...
I admit I had to look up praxis (Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning). Now that I know what it is, I reject the idea that baptism and the Eucharist are the process by which Christians practice Christianity. Baptism and the Eucharist are Christianity.

Let me put it this way. Lutherans call the liturgy used at the Eucharist Gottesdienst in the original German. This literally means "God service" but we call it "Devine service" in English. It is called that because God is serving us through the Eucharist. It is God's gift to us for the forgiveness of our sins. Yes, I think this is counter-intuitive. The human mind works against it. "Holy smokes!" indeed.

The concept of the Trinity is difficult but not necessarily counter-intuitive. I would call the Trinity un-intuitive.

SDG

Yes. Christianity, in its identity, is not a body of knowledge.

No, but it is a faith. Faith in what? Faith in Jesus. What about Jesus? Jesus is lord, for one thing. What does lord mean? Among other things, he is the lord, the kurios, whose name was rendered by that word in the Septuagint and is often rendered LORD (with small caps) in English versions of the OT. It is only because of this that baptism or the Eucharist means anything at all.

Baptism more central than the Trinity? What sort of baptism? In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Eucharist more important than the Incarnation? The Eucharist being the body and blood of who? And this matters why?

People are not saved through superior understanding. Pre-Nicaean Christians were Christians. People with diminished mental capacity who cannot even say "Trinity" can be saved.

Aha! This is of course quite true. You need only one more step, and everything makes sense: You need to understand the principle of doctrinal development.

Besides, if you know what the Eucharist is, you know a little something of the Incarnation and Paschal mysteries.

Which is another way of saying that the Incarnation and Paschal mysteries are more foundational than the Eucharist.

Straight up: The idea that baptism more central or foundational to Christianity than the doctrine of Christ is just crazy talk (and FWIW I'm convinced I've got Luther on my side here). The NT probably has twenty or thirty times as much to say about Jesus as about baptism. (Incidentally, I said "Holy smokes" not because "the human mind works against" what you're saying, but because it seems to me so contrary to the faith once given.)

I admit I had to look up praxis (Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning). Now that I know what it is, I reject the idea that baptism and the Eucharist are the process by which Christians practice Christianity. Baptism and the Eucharist are Christianity.

The dictionary has done you no great service. Christianity is the One Way: the Way we confess in the Creed, celebrate in the Sacraments and Liturgy, and live out in our moral lives (all, we might add, in and through the personal taproot of prayer). Creed, cult and code -- words, worship and works -- are inextricably intertwined; what we celebrate in our worship is precisely what we believe and confess in the Creed and express in our efforts to embody the beatitudes and the commandments.

Anyway, even if you were right in making the practice of the sacraments more central to Christianity than the doctrine of Christ -- which, let me say again, is just crazy talk -- it would still be a mistake to make the doctrine (understanding) of baptism more central than the doctrine of Christ. Even if it were more important to receive baptism than to understand who Jesus is, it would still not follow that it was more important to understand what baptism is than to understand who Jesus is.

You say "Christianity, in its identity, is not a body of knowledge… People are not saved through superior understanding. Pre-Nicaean Christians were Christians." Fine -- then why does it bother you that understanding of the sacraments should develop over time, just as understanding of Jesus did?

Couldn't pre-Nicaeans be Christians and celebrate the sacraments while the Church's understanding of them was still developing, just as they believed in Jesus and the Trinity while the Church's understanding of them was still developing?

The concept of the Trinity is difficult but not necessarily counter-intuitive. I would call the Trinity un-intuitive.

The idea that the Trinity and the Incarnation are in any way more congenial to human intuition than baptism or the eucharist strikes me as the least defensible notion I've heard in a month of Sundays.

Jeffrey G
SDG: Christianity is the One Way...
Jesus is the way [and the truth and the life]. Jesus in the Eucharist and Jesus through the Body of Christ (the Church).

"Christianity" is not the Way.

SDG

Jesus is the way [and the truth and the life]. Jesus in the Eucharist and Jesus through the Body of Christ (the Church).

"Christianity" is not the Way.

I was alluding to the Acts of the Apostles. Cf., e.g., Acts 9:2, among eight or ten other references.

David B.

Christianity is the One Way to follow The Way, The Truth, and The Life, Jesus Christ. You can't separate them. Christ, and Christianity.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Jeffery G.,

You wrote:

Christianity, in its identity, is not a body of knowledge. Having the knowledge is great, but it does not make or break the Christian identity. People are not saved through superior understanding. Pre-Nicaean Christians were Christians. People with diminished mental capacity who cannot even say "Trinity" can be saved. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

Understanding and knowledge are not necessarily the same thing. What might clarify the discussion here is a distinction that Arvin Vos makes in his book: “Aquinas, Calvin, & Contemporary Protestant Thought" between implicit faith and explicit faith (Vos borrowed the terms from St. Thomas Aquinas). Explicit faith is what you know in at least a semi-conscious fashion through thought and discussion (what you would call knowledge, above). Implicit faith is everything else about the Faith that one could possibly know, but does not. Implicit faith is the entire substance of the Faith; explicit faith is what we, as individuals, have on hand at any one given time.

As such, the knowledge of Christianity may be either implicit or explicit. Implicit knowledge is imparted to every Christian at Baptism and is called the Gift of Faith. This gift is given to the soul and is the same for everyone. How parts of it work its way out to the mind as explicit faith will vary from individual to individual.

Thus, in a sense, both you and SDG are correct. Christianity, in its identity, is a body of implicit knowledge and is identical to the Faith; Christianity, in its working out and manifesting what that implicit faith is in an explicit form, is not the total Christian identity, but is reflective of the underlying implicit faith. Praxis and doctrine cannot (properly done) contradict, because they spring from the same stream.

The difference between the two is that implicit faith does not develop - there are no doctrines, per se, in implicit faith - it is pure knowing, but explicit faith does develop in each individual. Whatever is defective in explicit knowledge can be remedied by more study and prayer and a reliance on grace (if God is so willing to remedy the defect in this life). Whatever is defective in implicit faith must be remedied by an ontological change, which only Baptism may supply. A properly done baptism can never lead to a defective implicit faith, since the Gift of Faith imparted by baptism is whole and integral, but there can be defective forms of baptism which are not real baptisms at all (think of the Mormon baptism, for example) and in this case, although the person may have a Ph.D in theology and know a great deal of explicit faith, there would still be defects in their implicit faith, which is the true guardian of explicit faith.

Implicit faith is maintained, unbroken in the Catholic Church, as she is the guardian of baptism. The explicit faith of the Church may, however, still develop, even as an individual's explicit faith may develop. No new doctrines may be added because these would enlarge the size of implicit faith and this was sealed when the last apostle died.

Does any of this make sense? I don't know if I am saying something similar to SDG. He wrote:

Anyway, even if you were right in making the practice of the sacraments more central to Christianity than the doctrine of Christ -- which, let me say again, is just crazy talk -- it would still be a mistake to make the doctrine (understanding) of baptism more central than the doctrine of Christ. Even if it were more important to receive baptism than to understand who Jesus is, it would still not follow that it was more important to understand what baptism is than to understand who Jesus is.

As I said at the start, there can be a difference between knowledge and understanding. Baptism imparts understand (at its deepest sense) to the soul, but guarantees nothing to the mind. In a sense, someone with diminished capacity may be said to understand Jesus as well as anyone else, but their explicit knowledge and expressive capabilities may be nil.

To say that it is better to be baptized than to understand baptism may be phrasing the statement in the wrong way. To be baptized is to be given the gift of understanding baptism - they cannot be separated. The knowledge of baptism, may grow separately, however, from the understanding of baptism.

These are subtle issues and I am sure that I may have wandered off of the mainland of the discussion. I hope this clarifies how doctrine may develop and yet, not change.

The Chicken


Warren

Newman is on the list of writers, without whom, I would probably not have ended up a Catholic. First off, there's his own conversion, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, on his movefrom a "small-c catholic" Anglican to Roman Catholicism. Secondly, there's his theological contributions (Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine). This guy knocked my socks off, then helped me pull my socks up, and become a thoroughly convinced Catholic. A big helper in the intellectual conversion part of my journey. But also, as a man deeply moved by the holy spirit, I recognized the same desires in Newman, in myself, and this was as big a help to me, as anything intellectual he said.

Warren
Toronto, Canada

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