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September 18, 2006

Comments

Dan

I'm curious, folks: how does this square with the whole turn the other cheek thing? Does turning the other cheek extend only to beating that is not life-threatening? Or is turning the other cheek (even if it means being beaten to death) a reference to taking a martyr's crown?

Jeremy

If a Catholic man's wife and daughter are fighting to the death (God forbid) which one is he *more* obligated to defend?

bill912

"Turn the other cheek", atleast as I understand it, means "Do not return evil for evil." I think our Lord was using hyperbole for emphasis, as He did when He said: "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off." Legitimate self-defense is not evil; seeking vengeance--as opposed to justice--is.

John E

"As to when individuals are morally permitted to organize for their self-defense, you have already named the condition that is required: the inability or unwillingness of the government to provide for their defense."

Such as the unborn in our country?

Scott W

I'm curious, folks: how does this square with the whole turn the other cheek thing? Does turning the other cheek extend only to beating that is not life-threatening? Or is turning the other cheek (even if it means being beaten to death) a reference to taking a martyr's crown?

I think you hit on it in your questions. Being slapped in the face is an insult, not a threat to your life. I could be wrong, but I heard once that by offering the other cheek, you are offering them to slap you with the left hand. Which was regarded as the unclean hand (use your imagination), thus taking on a double insult and not offering revenge.

John E

Seems like the possiblities are also reflected in Jesus' own life. He defended the temple by overturning the tables of the moneychangers and driving them out. Sometimes when the Pharisees tried to put him to death, he escaped. And of course we're all thankful for that one time when he chose not to.

Is it significant though that there are no instances in Jesus' life where he used lethal force? I'm not a pacifist, but just wondering.

J.R. Stoodley

Jeremy,

I would expect that the man would be required to defend his wife first in such a terrible situation. I get that from St. Thomas Aquinas' idea I have heard that besides God you should love your spouse first, then I think children, then parents, then grandparents. He goes beyond grandparents to aunts and uncles and cousins and so forth I think. It all has to do with how close the relationship is.

Then again, maybe responsibility for protection and love are not equivalent, and also perhaps if the daughter was less able to defend herself that would change the situation. I pray no one reading this will ever be in such a situation.

J.R. Stoodley

Why should Jesus need to use lethal force when, being all-powerful, he could safely escape death by other means? This is another case where the "what would Jesus do" cliché does not work. We are in a very different situation than the Son of God ever was.

Charlton

"NOTE: I'm speaking in terms of moral justification, here, not legal justification; some U.S. states have laws that prohibit people from using lethal force even though their lives are already in grave danger and--for example--require the person to try fleeing to get away from the danger instead of facing it. These laws require one to do more than what morality does and--to my mind--they are boneheaded. Requiring a person to flee from a gun-wielding maniac may, in fact, put the person at greater risk of death than using lethal force on the maniac--not to mention that it leaves the maniac free to continue his rampage and kill others."

AMEN!

Now let us all take a moment to say a short prayer to St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, and pray that California and other states will join Florida and the 14 other states that recently have, largely at the urging of the NRA, amended their laws so as to abolish this idoitic notion that one has "a duty to retreat" when faced deadly force.

Stand Your Ground, Florida!

And while we are at it, let us take a minute to thank the legislatures of both Kansas and Nebraska. Thanks to some far-sighted legislators, those two states will, as of January 1st, become the 39th and 40th states to become "shall issue" with respect to the issuances of licenses to carry concealed weapons (CCW). May the day quickly arrive when ALL law-abiding, properly-trained Americans will legally be permitted to avail themselves of concealed weapons should they ever -- God forbid! -- find themselves faced with deadly force.

Packing.org

Charlton

"I'm curious, folks: how does this square with the whole turn the other cheek thing?"

I think paragraph # 2264 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks to this issue.

CCC # 2264

Dan

I think paragraph # 2264 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks to this issue.


Wow, thanks Charlton! The knowledge of the posters here never fails to amaze me

Dan


sorry, forgot to close a tag

Jussi from Finland

"If I were a Christian in an area in danger of Muslim violence, I would do everything in my power to obtain sufficient weapons and ammunition to defend myself and my family."

I would pray (hard) instead of that.

Jesus says, "whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."

Paul

Thus as soon as your life is gravely endangered (e.g., someone pulls a gun on you) then you would be permitted to use lethal force in self-defense.

Are you gravely endangered just because someone pulls a gun on you? I say, not so. The police point guns at innocent citizens quite regularly for their own protection, not to gravely endanger others. That does not give me a moral right to use lethal force against them. Likewise, if a kid were to point a gun at me, I would not find that alone to be sufficient cause to kill them.

This is just too much... Muslims accuse the Pope of lying about Islam being spread by the sword and then say he must convert to Islam or die... precious!

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/al-qaida-group-says-pope-west-are/20060915051209990007>Story here

Ed Pie

If I were a Christian in an area in danger of Muslim violence, I would do everything in my power to obtain sufficient weapons and ammunition to defend myself and my family.

If it were just me, I'd consider not resisting martyrdom. If others are dependent on me for their survival, such as family members (even unfamiliar traveling companions, depending on the circumstances Jimmy mentioned), I would assume my duty would be to protect them from having to make that choice on the spot.

Then I would arm myself and pray hard that I'd never need to be.

Jimmy Akin

Paul, I was speaking of someone pulling a gun on you with clear intent to kill you, not just warn you off or something. I mean a situation in which one either uses lethal force or will be dead in short order.

Jimmy Akin

"If I were a Christian in an area in danger of Muslim violence, I would do everything in my power to obtain sufficient weapons and ammunition to defend myself and my family."

I would pray (hard) instead of that.

Yeah, well, I'm a Texan.

I'd do *both.*

DJ

some U.S. states have laws that prohibit people from using lethal force even though their lives are already in grave danger and--for example--require the person to try fleeing to get away from the danger instead of facing it.

OK, I don't know anything about the 'you must flee' part of the statement above, but since I'm a black belt, I might as well answer for the first part of the statement. If someone points a gun at me an they're in too close of a range (for them, not me) it is easy for me to move in and kill them any number of ways. But I can also move in and break one of several bones..including bones that are needed intact to hold a gun..(wish I knew Aikido, then I wouldn't have to break anything, but as it stands, that's my best option.)

Most people don't have the ability to 'choose' to kill or not kill another person in such a situation. It can happen on accident, but only in an outside chance can a person who is untrained be in a position to kill another human being while in this situation. An accident is different than making an out right choice according to most laws.

And if the victim is carrying a weapon for self-defense, there's a difference between shooting a person to try and stop them and outright killing them, but I don't know how that would factor into law for states such as Calif (gee..I wonder if Martial Arts schools will be outlawed there soon?)

DJ

Funny, my grandma was a Texan and she did both as well. Texas is an interesting country.

We need a Catholic VIC MACKEY

mbruno


Perhaps it’s time that we begin treating mosques like abortion clinics. Groups of Catholics praying the Rosary outside of your local mosque would be effective. Christians carrying crosses and singing psalms and hymns would be good, too. Maybe even some sidewalk counseling for those headed for services. Let the world see what a Christian protest looks like and double their shame.

The comparison itself would be newsworthy. Besides, it would have more than just an outward connection. We are talking about a culture of violence and death, after all. Or, at the very least, passivity towards and acceptance of, said culture.

The Blessed Mother told us to pray for the conversion of Russia, and look what happened. Maybe now the beads need to be aimed elsewhere.

John

Thank God the Popes of yesteryear like Blessed Urban the II and Pope Pius V stood up to these killers in the name of Christ and did not backpedal and look the the "esteem" garbage line from Vatican II

The Church has truly forgot her mission on earth as she had many times before until God sent us a Pope to protect Christendom and the Kingdom of Christ. I read somewhere that they "uncrowned" our Lord after Vatican II and the subsequent Popes (smashing of the tiara possibly by Paul VI was quite a symbol?) and it is now here to see for all. The fruits of ecumenism

Brother Cadfael

John,

It takes a little effort to understand the difference between real ecuminism (the kind the Church has always taught) and false ecuminism (the kind liberal reporters and protestant Catholics like yourself seem to think the Church teaches).

Mark Kamoski

Jim --

Regarding this...

My question is this: at what point are Christians allowed, or even obliged, to take up arms to defend themselves?

It is quite simple, as you know, as follows...

CCC 2264: Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow

CCC 2260: The fifth commandment forbids.... refusing assistance to a person in danger.

CCC 2265: The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.

CCC 2273: The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation

...The Bottom Line...

For a Catholic, it is not only morally correct to defend one's life (and the life of others) against an aggressor, it is an obligation.

That's about as clear as it gets.

HTH.

-- Mark Kamoski

Lily

"If I were a Christian in an area in danger of Muslim violence, I would do everything in my power to obtain sufficient weapons and ammunition to defend myself and my family."

I would pray (hard) instead of that.

Yeah, well, I'm a Texan.

I'd do *both.*

Posted by: Jimmy Akin | Sep 18, 2006 3:07:43 PM
************************

Sounds like the best response to me....(My ancestors who fought in the Army of Northern Virginia would no doubt have referred to this as a ;-) "Virginian" thing).


sort of like the afghans and iraqis fighting americans

we are there were they live

they are not were we live

islam is fd up
but so are we

Francis DS

If someone accosts me inside my home and carries a gun, I am not allowed to use lethal force yet.

If that someone pulls out his gun, I am not allowed to use lethal force yet.

If that someone points the gun at me, I am not allowed to use lethal force yet.

If that someone fires the gun at me, I am not allowed to use lethal force yet (he may just be firing a warning shot)

If finally I get killed, then there is no more doubt that my life was being threatened, and I am now allowed to use lethal force.


Puzzled

I'm troubled (or maybe merely confused) by this notion that you are not required to risk your life to save someone you don't happen to be closely related to. Surely we -are- so required, are we not?

mbruno, Russia is not converted yet, keep praying.

Joy Schoenberger

I heard once that by offering the other cheek, you are offering them to slap you with the left hand. Which was regarded as the unclean hand (use your imagination), thus taking on a double insult and not offering revenge.

I heard it was an offer to let them backhand you, which is treating you as a slave or low servant.

Puzzled

I'm troubled (or maybe merely confused) by this notion that you are not required to risk your life to save someone you don't happen to be closely related to. Surely we -are- so required, are we not?

mbruno, Russia is not converted yet, keep praying.

Puzzled

I'm troubled (or maybe merely confused) by this notion that you are not required to risk your life to save someone you don't happen to be closely related to. Surely we -are- so required, are we not?

mbruno, Russia is not converted yet, keep praying.

Puzzled

I'm troubled (or maybe merely confused) by this notion that you are not required to risk your life to save someone you don't happen to be closely related to. Surely we -are- so required, are we not?

mbruno, Russia is not converted yet, keep praying.

Puzzled

Now reading the article in question, I see what he means by the term "de-hellenization" It isn't what I meant.

It is syncretism with Greek philosophy that led Calvin and others to not have room for genuine human moral responsibility, for if God is the Unmoved Mover of the philosophers, then there can be no other genuine locus of will. Only puppets. (Actual Calvinists nearly always shrink away from this conclusion, for it is too inhuman)

I tend to prefer what is called "Biblical theology" to "systematic theology" which again, probably doesn't convey what I mean. Systematics tend to be the Chestertonian circle, and Biblical theology tends to be the Chestertonian cross. Both co-exist equally in most communions. But, for instance, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, -did- create human beings in His Image and Likeness who are held morally accountable, and even pled with as if they could make choices. Hellenism does not allow for this.

The author of the article in question seems to imagine that the BXVI was saying that the Old Testament has an irrational, capricious god, and only the syncretism with the Greek philosophers allowed for Catholic Christianity. I think that is false. I also really can't imagine B16 being a neo-Marcionite of some sort. The God of the Bible, in *both* testaments is logical, holy, just, kind and loving, and He is not capricious. That isn't something that came from Greek philosophy, though it might be something that the philosophers borrowed from the Jews.

Jared Weber

Great post, Jimmy. (I'm not a Texan, but I particularly liked your response to Jussi.)

DJ: As a fellow martial artist, I think you also have to bear in mind that some people (if they're on drugs, insane, or whatever) might not be incapacitated even by broken bones. I'm sure you know this but, people on PCP have been known to be capable of such feats as breaking handcuffs and other things that no normal individual could do (well, the guy from the power team, but he A: is not normal and B: wears wristbands to keep from breaking his wrists in the process).

Matt McDonald


That isn't something that came from Greek philosophy, though it might be something that the philosophers borrowed from the Jews.

Puzzled,

Actually the Greek philosophy of Aristotle (The Philosopher) recognized the prime mover without exposure to Judaism or any form of monotheistic religion, but by the light of reason, which is a gift from God, endowed to all men. It was a rudimentery understanding without the revelation we have. When this philosophy encountered Judaism it was immediately recognized that the Jews worshipped the prime mover, and had, in their scriptures, many details which were consistent with their own understanding of Him. Many Greeks converted, as a result, hence the demand for a Greek translation of scripture (Septuagint). When some of the Greeks sought Christ, He determined it was time to end His earthly ministry. Most of the Greek Jews recognized Christ and helped the rapid spread of Christianity.

St. Thomas especially developed a deep understanding of the Philosopher's teachings and realized that his proofs are almost entirely consistent with revelation, with the exception of the eternal existence of creation, which Aquinas held would have been possible for God, but revelations shows was not the case. Aquinas used the methods of the Philosopher to extend our understanding of what we know by Faith and revelation.

Such as the unborn in our country?

John E,

I respect your passion in this suggestion, but it is misplaced, and respectfully, it is inflammatory.

The Church teaches that violence, especially deadly violence is a last resort when all other means fail. In a democratic country, we have a means of changing the laws and eliminating abortion, we have not exhausted this effort, and we are making significant progress. Violence in the fight against abortion will do grave damage to these efforts.

Remember, in the abortion battle, we are at war with "powers and principalities", against evil itself, and not flesh and blood.

As Msgr. Reilly the founder of the "Helpers of God's Precious Infants" has taught, we must pray for conversion and mercy for those involved in abortion - "Father forgive them, they know not what they do".

Go to the modern day Calvary of the abortuary, and be a witness as John and Mary were, pray and love, that is what we must do.

God Bless,

Matt
AMDG

Ben

Christians need to conduct a preemptive defensive strike to prevent the inevitable Muslim violence.

Maureen

I think it's pretty clear that God brought Christianity into the world in such a way as to merge the Jewish clan-based God, with the philosophers' Unmoved Mover -- with Jesus Himself and His revelations as the point of intersection. Both the Bible and the Greeks dealt in reason and law and ideals; but each added a different flavor. (I think you could argue that Roman practicality also blended with Jewish practicality in a similarly fruitful mix. When God also does woodworking, I think the practicality is supposed to be important.)

The Waffling Anglican

If someone at Mass took the Eucharist and was about to stomp on it, you could not kill him to stop him from doing it.

Can I at least deck him?

The Waffling Anglican

Oh - lest I forget, regarding turning the other cheek: I have heard the same thing about forcing them to use the left hand - basically as a means of stating "Up yours, heathen scum! You don't scare me!"

Jim H

Is this another attempt to spread hatred toward the Muslim community? Why are we pointing to examples of justified violence toward Muslims, rather than just any generic violence?

"Christians need to conduct a preemptive defensive strike to prevent the inevitable Muslim violence."

That is just pathetic.

Kevin Jones

I have heard a bishop invoke the principle of double effect in justifying killing in self-defense: one's aim is to stop the assailaint rather than to kill him, and death if it occurs is a lamentable side-effect.

Must the double-effect always be invoked in situations where the death or injury of an assailant is a likely outcome?

Matt McDonald

Must the double-effect always be invoked in situations where the death or injury of an assailant is a likely outcome?

One must always apply the principle of double effect, properly understood, when it comes to self-defense.

Our intent is to prevent the individual from pursuing the attack, and not to cause them to be dead. Unfortunately there are times when a very deadly defense is the only reasonable one to take, the Church teaches we must consider every less a deadly defense first. Now, this consideration may have to be part of our preparation for the situation, so that we don't stand there in the middle of a fight considering all possibilities. That's why it's good to have this type of discussion, and think through the scenarios.

John

Brother

As you once again called me a Protestant (me of all persons, a traditional catholic??) and continue to resort to name calling on this blog (are you sure you took vows?)-What then is the difference between "false" ecumenism and "true" ecumenism?

Lets face it, the past 40 years have been a disaster. This is exactly why the Popes before Vatican II refused to pariticate in ANY ecumenism, as if we are the One true church-then why do we need to or want to learn from you? Those who continue to defend that Lumen Gentium, written by none other B16 who added the word that we only "subsist" have indeed defected from the past teachings. Why would one need to learn about other faiths if your faith is the one established by Christ himself?

Next you will have the Moslems demanding that B16 kiss the koran as JPII did because like drugs, you just cant "dabble" in ecumenism without coming out polluted and full of sin, just ask Kardinal kasper

Kasia

Jim H,

While I agree with you in disagreeing with the "preemptive defensive strike" poster, I would not characterize Jimmy's post as an "attempt to spread hatred toward the Muslim community." The post was a response to an e-mail. The e-mailer was spurred to think about what was justifiable DEFENSIVE violence, particularly for Christians in Muslim-majority countries, in the wake of violent demonstrations, a murdered nun, and statements by radical Muslim groups vowing to overthrow the West and impose Sharia law on Westerners, including a requirement to convert or die.

Jim H

I'd always seen the love of Christ to transcend reason. There are things worth sacrificing our lives for...keep that in mind. This is a good discussion. :)

Jim H

I understand that Kasia...but Jimmy's response needs some discernment and disarming here. There are numerous chain letter circulating on the internet putting the world (and more specifically, Christians) against Muslims...rather than the world against radical islamic extremists.

By focusing Christians against Muslims, we're not even focused on the right thing. How can the Pope quote something so negative towards 25% of the globe and expect an apology to mend things over? The damage has been done, bridges have been burnt, and it will take time, prayer and love to repair those bridges and allow the wounds to heal.

Discussing our strategy to kill folks (even in defense) isn't really a step in the right direction in my opinion.

yeah, Jim H... how could we offend our muslim brothers and sisters? now they'll never accept us as equals in god's plan for salvation like we do them...

"....For a Catholic, it is not only morally correct to defend one's life (and the life of others) against an aggressor, it is an obligation.

That's about as clear as it gets.

HTH.

-- Mark Kamoski.'..."

Of which the first 300 years of catholics dismally failed as those bleeding heart liberals spent their useless lives dieing without taking a single Roman or Jew with them...I'm with you guys I'm buying a gun and digging in...it's the Catholic thing to do.

Ok,,,deep breath. Apologies for the sarcasm. Little more than open gunfire in a crowd. maybe emotionally satifing but not exactly a conversation starter.

I am stunned though that in a Church marked by 2000 years of Martyrs spreading the faith that someone would seriously propose we are morally OBLIGED to violently defend ourselves from attackers.

Please bear in mind the goal. Not saving our skins but saving our souls. Not physically conquering our enemies but spiritualy joining our lost family members (the mulims) with Christ, in Christ and through Christ.

No, I can't spell.

Puzzled

John, Luther's argument was that the Roman See had defected in a number of little ways from Catholic teaching in the years after the Great Schism. You are no different, nor less protestant.

Jim,
Mohammedanism has been literaly at war with Christendom for the past 1400 years. It isn't like the 'radicals' are being unfaithful to the Qu'ran and the Haddith.

Maureen, that would be syncretism, like the placing of Asherah poles in the Temple Courts. Remember, Judaism was the religion given by God. In the middle of the first century A.D. the followers of Jesus were kicked out of the synagogues, but there is evidence that something like 5/6 of the Jews converted to Christ during the first centuries A.D. It is not for theological reasons that we aren't called Jews. We have the true Judaism. The Rabbinics are the heretics. (to be loved and pursuaded, gently, nonetheless)

It was always wrong in the Bible to merge the teachings of God with those of the pagans. "The Dumb Ox" did a remarkable job, but there still is danger in such endeavors.

Jim, you should take a moment to read G. K. Chesterton's poem Lepanto.

J.R. Stoodley

Puzzled,

Perhaps the Chestertonian cross can include all the Scholastic philosophy without becoming a circle as long as it does not become limited to it.

Kris e

I've never poster here before. This is the most stimulating blog I've ever come upon. It's quite refreshing, as I am a student at a "Catholic" university, where the Church is viewed as one big social worker.

In regards to "the past 40 years being a disaster." I would like to know, Jim, which period in Church history has been absolutly devoid of theological conflict, discussion, and divison. Which period in Church history has there not been religious tensions to deal with, liturgical evolutions, or Catholics who didn't live what they believed?

Stick with Rome, Jim. Yes, there are many things our modern Church needs to iron out but, guided by the Holy Spirit, as She has been for 2000+ years, She will not fail. Don't abandon a ship that can't sink.

bill912

Welcome, Kris e. You're absolutely right. The 12th Century was a bad period in Church history. In the 13th Century, God raised up great intllectual saints like Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Albert the Great; great preacher saints like Anthony of Padua; great warrior saints like Louis IX of France, and his first cousin, Fernando III of Castile; and arguably the 2 greatest saints of that age, the beggar saints, Dominic and Francis.

Jim H

Not sure the point in reading a poem on the crusades, I'll dwell more deeply on it at a later time.

Kris e...not exactly sure why you directed that question to me. I've never known an age that the church wasn't divided (hence all the denominations, etc.) until back to the original 12...but even then...Judas felt differently than the other deciples. I don't justify my actions nor preach the love of Christ based on the dishormony in the church...nor do I target one particular religion (Muslim) or one particular people (homosexuals - different thread) and cast the majority of my hatred/anger/judgement towards them.

Is the gospel worth killing non-believers for? No...that defeats the purpose of it.
Is it worth sacrificing one's life for? Absolutely.

cminor

If I were a Christian in an area in danger of Muslim violence, I would do everything in my power to obtain sufficient weapons and ammunition to defend myself and my family.

I'm not up on my Sharia but the dhimmi (non-Muslim minorities) in Muslim countries are subject to a number of 'limits' on their personal freedoms. It occurs to me that arming themselves may not be a legal or easily accomplished option in some cases.

Prayer may be their only option.

Kris e

Jim,

I was refering to your earlier assertion that the past 40 years of the Church's existence have been a diaster. You referred to yourself as "traditional Catholic," seemingly separating yourself from the Church because of the second vatican council. If I misjudged you, I apologize.

Brother Cadfael

Kris e,

I think you have Jim (who may or may not be Catholic based on his earlier posts) confused with John (the resident "traditional Catholic" protest-ant, who thinks he knows more about what's really Catholic than the last two Popes, and therefore protests against anything taught by the Magisterium in the last 40 years).

Kasia

Jim H,

I didn't read the post as Jimmy "strategizing" on how to defensively kill Muslims. I saw him answering for someone what the Church teaches one's obligations are IF ONE IS ATTACKED, which seems like a scenario any of us could find ourselves in at some point, whether by Muslims or not. I also think that with the present situation, the odds of my being attacked by a Muslim are higher than they were two weeks ago, which in turn were then higher than they were ten years ago.

Quarter of the earth's population or not, I have no interest in pandering to the Muslim community (or any community) at the expense of basic free speech. For the record, I *do* believe that Muslims and Christians and Jews (and Hindus and Sikhs and atheists, for that matter) should treat one another with respect and love. I do not hate Muslims (or any group); I try to love them as Christ loves them. However, as I'm sure you know, love doesn't always mean saying what someone wants to hear.

Jim H

Oh no...I'm not the one who said the last 40 years has been a disaster...I'm unclear as to who said that. :)

Kasia...that was my point...when you answer a reader, use the specific example and expand it beyond the one group that's being focused on. A simple "regardless if your attacker is Muslim or not" would have sufficed. There are plenty of groups that have extremists...that attack many other groups in defense of their beliefs (including Christians). :)

Brother Cadfael

John,

The only name I have ever called you is a protest-ant (I should not have capitalized the p) because it accurately signifies your present relationship with the Church. Although you scream loudly when I call you a protest-ant, you have no reservations about hurling slurs against me and, far worse, the current and past Holy Fathers.

What then is the difference between "false" ecumenism and "true" ecumenism?

Ecumenism is the movement to unify all Christians within the visible confines of the Church. It has no application to Islam, Judaism or any other non-Christian religion. And throughout the second millenium Popes desired and, to varying degrees, worked for ecumenism -- that is, a unified Church -- whether or not it was so-called.

False ecuminism is the unity-at-any-cost gospel which you falsely claim the Holy Fathers and Vatican II teach. (Something you share, ironically, with the liberal media.)

I can elaborate further if I have an understanding of whether you agree that non-Catholic Christians:

1) have valid Baptisms;

2) teach some degree of truth, however imperfectly; and

3) have an imperfect communion with the Catholic Church?

Matt McDonald

False ecuminism is the unity-at-any-cost gospel which you falsely claim the Holy Fathers and Vatican II teach. (Something you share, ironically, with the liberal media.)

In truth, the belief that false ecumenism was taught by Vatican II and the Holy Father's is held by more than the liberal media, many laity, priests, bishops, and even the odd cardinal... Some of the actions approved by John Paul II and even some of his own actions, can easily, but erroneously, be interpreted as indicating false ecumenism.

Don't forget, Cardinal Ratzinger was not entirely comfortable with some of JP II's dialogues. Assisi, of course, but also the issuance of Dominus Ieusus to rein in some of the language of Ut Unam Sint are evidence of that. Ratzinger of course was obedient to the Pope, but sometimes even Paul resisted Peter.

Brother Cadfael

Matt,

In truth, the belief that false ecumenism was taught by Vatican II and the Holy Father's is held by more than the liberal media, many laity, priests, bishops, and even the odd cardinal...

You are, of course, correct. I guess the more ironic point is that the liberal faction within and without the Church line up with the radtrad crowd on this point.

Some of the actions approved by John Paul II and even some of his own actions, can easily, but erroneously, be interpreted as indicating false ecumenism.

I don't disagree with you. And the tendency to misinterpret such things is even greater when they are ripped out of the context of his entire message and considered in isolation.

Don't forget, Cardinal Ratzinger was not entirely comfortable with some of JP II's dialogues. Assisi, of course, but also the issuance of Dominus Ieusus to rein in some of the language of Ut Unam Sint are evidence of that. Ratzinger of course was obedient to the Pope, but sometimes even Paul resisted Peter.

Again, I don't necessarily disagree with that either, although I'm not entirely sure the level of discomfort is what has at times been reported. Is there any evidence that Pope John Paul II was not entirely on board with Dominum Iesus from the outset, or that he needed persuading on that matter from Cardinal Ratzinger? There may be, it just did not seem inconsistent with what Pope John Paul II always seemed to be saying about genuine dialogue -- it has to start with the truth, the truth that each side claims, and the truth that each side recognizes in what the other teaches.

Some people have an automatic recoil when they hear "dialogue" because so many within and without the Church have attempted to water it down into meaningless mush, but that is not at all what Pope John Paul II understood it to mean.

Some Day

I'm curious, folks: how does this square with the whole turn the other cheek thing? Does turning the other cheek extend only to beating that is not life-threatening? Or is turning the other cheek (even if it means being beaten to death) a reference to taking a martyr's crown?

This applies to oneself and never to God.
We can humble ourselves but not humble God.
By this I mean if someone offends your person, it would be a good act of humility to offer it up to God. Now if offering it up means great damage will be done to others, there it might not be a good idea. But in defence of the Church and the Faith, you only turn your cheek to throw a roundhouse kick. This is a last resort, as diplomacy and charity are key and violence or war is a powerful form of the those two, well at least it should be. As much as I would like to be a marytr and all, matyrdom is not a human decision, but rather a super-powerful grace, which so great that it even conquers the instict of conservation. So being a fool is not marytrdom either. I won't walk into a mosque in Iraq armed with M-16 and start giving a class on Catholic morality. Not only is that stupid, but also a sin.
That is tempting God. Now a grace from God might send 5 Catholics against 100 and win with one Catholic left. St.Fernando of Castile one every single battle, St.Louis of France his cousin died before reaching Holy Land. It has to be a grace.

I still don't get this... for 1960 years we resisted heretics, sometimes violently, of course, with the blessing of the Pontiff... now in the last 40, our Pontiffs want us to embrace the heretics and downplay their heretical teachings to focus on the few beliefs they hold that aren't heretical... and then even go further and hold joint prayer sessions with the heretics, accept their baptisms as valid (for what it's worth, no Protestants intend to do what the Church intends in baptism with the possible exception of Lutherans), and recognize their "holy orders"... and beond that, we are now urged to accept the Muslims as brothers and effusely praise the Jews... (which brings me to another point of gross confusion--why was the Church's position vis-a-vis the Jews clearly supersessionist for 1900+ years, but in the last 50 or so, the Jews are once again held in God's favor and may find salvation despite their explicit rejection of Christ?!?!)

I came to the Catholic Church because I was convinced that the Bible pointed to it as the Church that Christ established. Looking at the Church, it is becoming clear that it has decidedly not preserved Apostolic doctrine throughout the ages, as it clearly contradicts itself on key points of salvation doctrine, particularly in regards to how it views non-Catholics. This leaves me with the only possible conclusion that:

"If the Bible is true then the Roman Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ."

However, I am starting to face the contrapositive (which must be true if the first premise is true as a natural consequence of logic):

"If the Roman Catholic Church is not the Church established by Christ, then the Bible is not true."

How can any member of the Church even retain any faith in Christ, let alone the Church, when the Church does 180 degree turns on two thousand year established doctrines and diminishes its own importance in being the ark of salvation that binds men to Christ?

It is a sad day when you can take a random sampling of 10 quotes each from John Calvin and the Pope and find John Calvin in greater agreement with established Catholic doctrine. What has the Church become? And in 50 years, will we be having the same "RadTrads" vs. "Blind Faith even if the Pope might just be wrong" vs. "Modernists" debates when a future Pope or council finds a way to justify a female priesthood or homosexual relationships?

I call B.S. on anyone who claims that the Doctrine of the Church is immutable. It clearly does change--even radically. It has nothing to do with developing and refining the finer points of established doctrine or finding new applications of established doctrine to address new situations.

Try to square Unam Sanctam with Ut Unum Sint. You can't! Either the Jews are damnable traitors to Christ and are destined for hell unless they repent and convert, or they are still loved by God and are not at fault for disbelieving in Christ and will find salvation some other way. How about Trent vs. Vatican II on Protestants? Either they are damnable heretics who defame Christ and must reconcile to the Church or they are "separated brethren" who share an imperfect, but real "communion" and membership in Christ's Church.

You can't have it both ways!

Jared Weber

Some Day: But in defence of the Church and the Faith, you only turn your cheek to throw a roundhouse kick.

I like it. 'Course, I tend to prefer a side thrust kick, but, hey, there's room for dialogue on this.

Matt McDonald

Br. Cadfael,

the irony of liberals and radical traditionalists being in agreement on something is compelling and it's in no way lost on me. Stay with the barque of Peter, as Fr. Corapi would say, there are people hanging from the rails on either side, and many who jump off to the left and to the right. Trust her, she may heel a bit from time to time, she won't capsize.

Is there any evidence that Pope John Paul II was not entirely on board with Dominum Iesus from the outset, or that he needed persuading on that matter from Cardinal Ratzinger

Not at all, but I think there's probably evidence Cdl. Ratzinger was not entirely on board with Ut Unam Sint, and it was at his urging that Dominus Ieusus to correct some of the erroneous interpretations which Cdl. Ratzinger probably expected, and reasonably so.

A lot of people praise John Paul II of beloved memory for his theology, while he may be a great theologion his diplomatic skills overshadowed his theology, Benedict XVI is clearly on the other side of that coin.

Brother Cadfael

Anonymous,

I call B.S. on anyone who claims that the Doctrine of the Church is immutable. It clearly does change--even radically. It has nothing to do with developing and refining the finer points of established doctrine or finding new applications of established doctrine to address new situations.

I'm trying to find a charitable way to say this, but, um, you're wrong.

Try to square Unam Sanctam with Ut Unum Sint.

No problem.

You can't!

Oops. I jumped the gun. But, yes, I can.

Either the Jews are damnable traitors to Christ and are destined for hell unless they repent and convert...

Actually, I do not believe that Unam Sanctam specifically references Jew or calls them traitors, but the fact that anyone who does not repent and convert is destined for hell is relatively non-controversial. Perhaps you are indirectly referring to the meat of Unam Sanctam: "[W]e are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins...." Again, a true statement that has not been in any way repudiated by Vatican II, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

...or they are still loved by God...

Of course they are still loved by God. Presenting that as the alternative to no salvation outside the Church, even a partial alternative,is silly. I know you didn't mean that.

...and are not at fault for disbelieving in Christ...

Individuals are not at fault for disbelieving Christ only if they are invincibly ignorant. But I'm pretty sure the Church has never been in the business of gauging whether an individual person's ignorance is invincible or not.

... and will find salvation some other way.

Ut Unum Sint does not talk about some other way of salvation. Did you mistakenly think it did?

How about Trent vs. Vatican II on Protestants? Either they are damnable heretics who defame Christ and must reconcile to the Church or they are "separated brethren" who share an imperfect, but real "communion" and membership in Christ's Church

Why are those mutually exclusive? While admittedly I would not prefer the strident language of Trent (I have no idea what my thoughts on the language would have been at the time and under the circumstances), what Protestantism teaches is heresy (or would be heresy if taught by a Catholic as Catholic doctrine) to the extent it is contrary to what the Church teaches. Heresy defames the Church, and if you defame the Church you defame Christ. I'm with you. There must be reconciliation with the Church for salvation because, as we learned above, there is no salvation outside the Church. Check. They are brethren -- we share a common Baptism -- and they are separated, nothing irreconcilable there. There is communion because, again, we share a common Baptism (Trent does not state to the contrary, and the Church has never considered it necessary to rebaptize Protestant converts, to my knowledge), but it is imperfect because, again, they are separated. Membership in the Church is not materially different than communion, i.e., there is only communion if and to the extent one is a member of the Church.

You can't have it both ways!

Um. Yes, you can.

Brother Cadfael

Matt,

Well put. I personally think that Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger complemented each other nicely.


Kasia

Jim H,

But I think if you read the post he *did* speak more broadly. In his text, he only specifically mentions "Muslim violence" twice, and both were specific examples off of broader points.

John

Brother

I agree with you and with your numbers 1 and 2

Number 3 I have an issue with as one can not have an "imperfect " communion with the church. That is a "Modernistic" invention and term

And I may say that I favor dialogue with Protestants as I have respect for them (remember how they stood up to the onslaught the liberal media and rabbi's were laying on the Passion of the Christ, with Pope JPII saying nothing not to offend our "elder brothers") where the Protestants stood up and DEFENDED a movie that portrayed our Lord in a favorable light

One looks at a Pat Robertson and alike and I wonder if he would be backtracking on statements and groveling to these Muslims as now B16 is doing, it is starting to make me sick

Brother Cadfael

John,

I am thankful that Pope Benedict XVI is not like Pat Robertson! And for what it is worth, I have not seen any backtracking by B16, I have seen him clarifying his original statements, which is pretty much what I expected a great teacher to do from the beginning.

I find it difficult to reconcile agreement on 1) but not on 3). Do you agree that through Baptism one is incorporated into the Church?

The Catholic Church when it baptizes intends to impart saving grace upon the recipient. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH ANY PROTESTANTS SAVE LUTHERANS! For EVERY other Protestant group, baptism is a sign of membership in the "visible church" and is done in obedience, not to effect salvation. So how on earth is a Baptist/Presbyterian/Anglican/Methodist/Church of Christ/Pentecostal/etc. baptism valid??!

Kasia

I dunno, Anonymous, but I have it on good authority (from a canon lawyer) that my Episcopal baptism is legitimate in the eyes of the Catholic Church, even though I was baptized by a woman. I believe the Episcopal Church does teach that baptism is necessary to salvation, and that its teachings on baptism are very similar to Catholic teachings...but there's probably someone better-qualified than I am to speak to that here.

Anglican theology is Reformed. The Reformed teaching on baptism is that it is a sign of membership in the New Covenant. It has no effect on one's salvation, as one's salvation is based entirely on being foreordained to salvation by God before the creation of the world.

Brother Cadfael

Anonymous,

Presumably your point is that an Anglican convert, who had been baptized in the Anglican church, would need to be baptized in the Catholic Church upon conversion. (1) Is that your point? (2) Can you provide clear evidence (not your own arguments about what should happen) that is the case?

Some Day

And I may say that I favor dialogue with Protestants as I have respect for them (remember how they stood up to the onslaught the liberal media and rabbi's were laying on the Passion of the Christ, with Pope JPII saying nothing not to offend our "elder brothers") where the Protestants stood up and DEFENDED a movie that portrayed our Lord in a favorable light

I disagree with the last phrase.
Our Lord was depected as dumb, drug-addict hippy.
The scene where Our lord was dressed in some nasty, overall looking thing, and acting like a fool, that gives a bad mentality towards the nature of God. Even in their poverty, Our Lord always acted like the King that He is.
These movies, as much as they may be of good spirit, they require a saintly person to get the true nature of Our Lord. Not a person who is quite possibly in mortal sin. I say that based on the fact that some of his movies are not very, well moral, and that being a public sin, requires a public repentance.
But that is a speculation.
But whatever.

Cadfael,

Even the Eastern Orthodox (except for a few modernist jurisdictions, but by and large) re-baptize Protestants (most would even re-baptize Catholics, but I'll get to that later).

It's not that you need valid Holy Orders in order to perform a valid baptism, but you do need the proper intention. And Protestants lack that intention. With the exception of Lutherans, the rest of the Protestants do not see baptism as having any effect on the salvation of the baptized. The Reformed (Presbyterians, Anglicans) see baptism as a "sacrament" but have a wildly different idea of what a "sacrament" is. The others regard it as a mere ordinance, done in obedience to Christ who commanded that it be done.

In both cases, they view it as merely a symbol of membership in the Body of Christ, not having any real effect on the baptized. Baptists, Anabaptists, and their like do not practice infant baptism because it is considered a response of obedience to Christ's command. They view the conferring of salvific grace as something accomplished BEFORE and entirely INDEPENDENT OF baptism. In paedobaptist traditions (Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, etc.), the child who is baptized is baptized into the family of God, BUT is only PRESUMED saved (in the Calvinist case--Covenant Theology) or is expected to be raised in a godly way so as to facilitate choosing salvation later in life (in the Wesleyan model).

Tell me something, why is it that for 1900+ years, the Church always re-baptized heretics upon their reunion with the True Church? Why is it that the Eastern Orthodox have never abandoned this practice of re-baptizing heretics(with some recent exceptions in jurisdictions that have a more modernist, ecumenical bent)?

Face it, accepting Protestant baptism as valid is a recent innovation, no more than about 50 years old. Anyone who thinks that the current attitude of the Church towards "ecumenism" is something other than accommodationism and indifferentism is sadly misinformed. St. Leo the Great would explode like Rumpelstilzchen if he were to witness what has become of the Church!

Some Day

You can re do it if you are paranoid.
I would be. But then if you are really worried, then you might have already been baptized by desire.

Brother Cadfael

Anonymous,

I take it, then, for whatever reason, you are unable to provide any evidence to support your statements, much less clear evidence? Not that we should have any reason not to trust the opinions of an unnamed poster who obviously thinks the current Magisterium of the Church is in grave error, but I really would like to see your sources.

Thanks

J.R. Stoodley

When I read the early Thomas Merton saying how he did not think his Anglican baptism was worth anything and how he was conditionally baptized upon becoming Catholic I got nervous about my own Methodist baptism. I imagine Some Day is right that I at least have baptism by desire, but still, I would be more comfortable if I had been conditionally baptized (I would have asked for this if I had thought of it as I was joining the Church). You can never be at all sure what a United Methodist pastor is thinking when he baptizes.

Hopefully there is nothing behind these worries but I wish the Church would not put converts through this kind of situation with the knee-jerk "Protestant baptisms are valid isn't that nice" thing. I don't care if it makes you feel better about the salvation of Protestants, I want to be sure I have a valid baptism.

J.R. Stoodley

Some Day,

What do you mean by "you can re do"? Is there an actual way to get a conditional baptism licitly in the Church after supposedly joining.

I hope I am just being scrupulous but reading this thread has reawakened this fear in me. All right, maybe I have a baptism by desire, but I should still have a valid baptism by water before receiving the other sacraments right? I don't want to wonder about this the rest of my life, especially when receiving communion.

Some Day

imagine Some Day is right that I at least have baptism by desire

You cannot be sure that desire was sufficient.
That implies a lot of grace for it to happen.
Same with perfect contrition. In fact, it almost never happens. And those graces come usually becauase the effects of those would never happen if not by those "methods".
Get the conditional baptism.

bill912

Brother C, Don't hold your breath waiting for the anonymous troll to present evidence to back up his assertions. As I'm sure you know, there aren't any, because most of what he claimed is not true.

Matthew Fish

About the use of lethal force and double effect: Mr. Akin, I most respectfully disagree that we are justified in ever using lethal force when our lives our threatened, if by that you mean, if it seems likely that I will be killed by an assailant, I may intend to and actually will to kill that said assailant. St. Thomas explicitly rejects this line of reasoning, for good reason: it's what we would call, consequentialism. It is never just for a private citizen to intend to use lethal force. Double effect, properly understood (i.e. better called, the principle of "side-effects" cf. G.E.M. Anscombe), explains how, in the use of "moderate force" (to quote St. Thomas), nonetheless, it is possible that the death of the assailant MAY result, unintentionally, and therefore, is out of the realm of culpability. What we knowingly do we willingly intend (both: KNOW, and DO, in the full, proper sense). I am dismayed how many Catholic, in my opinion, seem to misunderstand double effect and sneak in consequentialism here. For more on this, please see Cavanaugh's recent article in the Thomist (http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Dossier/9-10-98/article4.html), although of course first check St. Thomas's actual argument on the matter (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/306407.htm); both are worth a very careful reading. G.E.M. Anscombe's work in this area is outright magisterial. I highly recommend looking up her address on this from the ACPQ: ([1982] “Medallist's Address: Action, Intention and ‘Double Effect’”, Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 12-25). I have also tried to hack through this at my blog once upon a time (http://matthewfish.blogspot.com/2006/07/important-first-principle-to-remember.html).

Some Day

I think that might be true.
Your intent when talking about self-defence should not be to kill the other, but rather to prevent that from happening to you.
And ofcourse, this might warrant a shot to the head, even if the chances of survival of the assailant is virtually none.
If a terrorist walks up with an ak or even a silly .22, I will use lethal force, but becuase it is the safest garantee of my own protection.
If I got a bat and a knife and he has a .22, I will throw the knife. AND AIM TO KILL, because hitting the arm might be your last breath.

Matt McDonald

The Councils of the Catholic Church explicitly accepted even the Arian baptisms. St. Thomas explained that the intent necessary for baptism is only to "do what the Church does". Even a non-believer can accomplish that, it's no stretch to say that a reformed protestant can too.

Having said that, because of lack of central control, and record keeping, the Church has traditionally performed "conditional baptism" on protestant converts. If you're in doubt, seek advice from your pastor, tell him about your baptism, in discussion you can determine whether or not there is cause for concern, and a conditional baptism can be done.

Kasia

This is taken from the Book of Common Prayer of the ECUSA. Source: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/bcpspecl.txt

The full text of the baptismal ceremony is available as well. The first line suggests to me that the Episcopals view the baptism as a sacrament like Catholics do, but I could be wrong...

Holy Baptism

page 298

Concerning the Service

*Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.*

*Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast.*

*The bishop, when present, is the celebrant; and is expected to preach the Word and preside at Baptism and the Eucharist. At Baptism, the
bishop officiates at the Presentation and Examination of Candidates; says the Thanksgiving over the Water; [consecrates the Chrism;] reads
the prayer, "Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit;" and officiates at what follows.*

*In the absence of a bishop, a priest is the celebrant and presides at the service. If a priest uses Chrism in signing the newly baptized, it must have been previously consecrated by the bishop.*

*Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons.*

*Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention
to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make
promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates.*

Anglicanism is essentially Catholic practice married to Calvinist theology.

The forms, in most cases, are nearly identical to traditional Catholic forms of worship and ritual. However, the theology behind it (and the intentions) are radically different.

Kasia

Funny, I thought Anglicanism was basically Catholicism for divorcés.

You still haven't provided any sources to back up your claims. I trust you'll understand my skepticism when you speak to theology and intentions with mere assertions. If you provide me with some BASIS for your argument, I'll happily consider it.

It's sad that that isn't even common knowledge. There was a time when they used to teach English history in American public schools (since English history essentially is American history prior to 1776). I remember it, and I'm not that old.

Do you really want me to start detailing the histories of the Tudors and Stewarts, Thomas Cranmer, the Westminster Assemblies, and basically about 100 or so years of English history in a combox? It's not like the origins of the English Church are shrouded in mystery. Try Wikipedia for a start.

J.R. Stoodley

If you're in doubt, seek advice from your pastor, tell him about your baptism, in discussion you can determine whether or not there is cause for concern, and a conditional baptism can be done.

The problem is, my pastor would definitly just try to talk me out of the notion that a conditional baptism might be a good idea. I imagine I would probebly need to go one of our lovely SSPX churches here to find a priest who would do it, and I'm not going that direction.

Puzzled

How can we know that neither Socrates, Plato, nor Aristotle had had no contact with Jewish monotheism. There -was- trade between Hellas and Judea and Samaria.

JR, Interesting thought about scholasticism and the circle. I don't know.

What did Dominus Iaesus change from Ut Unam Sint?

|,, Israel was the nation established by God, yet frequently there was only a righteous remnant, an historical reality and teaching throughout the Old Testament. Trent condemned heresies, but mistakenly attributed those heretical teachings to the Evangelical movement of the Catholic Church.

To deny Protestant baptisms would be to deny that the Word of God does what it says, when it says it. In fact, it -sounds- like Donatism. . .

Kasia

Dear persistently-anonymous poster,

I'm familiar with the Tudors and the Stuarts. I even know how to spell the latter. Your point about the combox is well taken...but then, my name has a link to my e-mail. There's no law saying you have to keep it to the combox.

Per your suggestion, I tried Wikipedia. While I see some references that support your less strident points, I also see a lot of evidence against it, and I see that Anglicans are not fully united, so it's a bit extreme based on what they have to say that Anglicanism is "Catholic practice married to Calvinist theology." Having said that, for all I know *you* could have written the Wikipedia article, which is one issue I have with Wiki - there's very little quality control. So you may be perfectly correct, but I wouldn't know it for reading Wiki.

"Many Anglicans look to the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888 as the "sine qua non" of Communal identity. In brief, the Quadrilateral's four points are the Holy Scriptures, as containing all things necessary to salvation; the Creeds (specifically, the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds), as the sufficient statement of Christian faith; the dominical sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion; and the historic episcopate, locally adapted."

So in short...if you have a problem with the Catholic Church acknowledging my Episcopal baptism, I suggest you take it up with Rome. I imagine they're well-versed in English history. But when you write to them, I also suggest you sign your name.

With best wishes,
Kasia

Brother Cadfael

The evidence I would like to see the anonymous poster provide is his sources for this comment:

Tell me something, why is it that for 1900+ years, the Church always re-baptized heretics upon their reunion with the True Church? Why is it that the Eastern Orthodox have never abandoned this practice of re-baptizing heretics(with some recent exceptions in jurisdictions that have a more modernist, ecumenical bent)?

From a quick search, Eusebius provided some details of this question coming up, and it appears the Bishop of Rome decided against re-baptism. And it appears that St. Basil was decidedly in favor of re-baptizing certain heretics, but submitted to the judgment of others and ultimately determined that it was not necessary.

I'm sure anonymous poster has some good sources, I'd just like to check them out.

(I know bill912, I know. I'm not holding my breath.)

J.R. Stoodley

Decisions in the past about whether or not to rebaptize heretics were based on how those herecies viewed and conducted baptism.

We know that at least one group that could be called a Christian herecy, Mormans, though they get the words and actions right still because of their widely divergent view of the Trinity have a baptism that is very much in doubt and the Catholic Church has Mormon converts rebaptized.

Many Protestants these days (as opposed to in former times) my hold equally wacky views about God. I do not think it at all clear that they will in every case intend to do what the Church does. They also can not be trusted to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and with water. I have personally witnesses United Methodist baptisms where the pastor says something like "little Matthew, we baptize you in the name of the Father who loves you, the Son redeems you, and the Spirit who sanctifies you." Is this sufficiently similar to the formula to count? I don't know. What were the words used when I was baptized? No one remembers so I don't know.

kasia-

the correct Scottish spelling is actually "Stewart".. Mary Queen of Scots adopted the spelling "Stuart" because the English could not properly pronounce the Scottish "Stewart" so she used the French spelling...

but no self-respecting Scotsman would ever write "Stuart"..

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