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Author Topic: Is "the Catechism of the Catholic Church" Ex Cathedra "Infallible"?  (Read 4567 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: September 29, 2010, 02:48:56 PM »

Given the increasing importance of the CCC, this would pose a question of rising importance: did the Vatican promulgate it ex cathedra and so "infallible?"

I've heard the usual spectrum of opinion on the matter.

On the publication, the Supreme Pontiff issued the following "Apostolic Constitution" to accompany it.
Quote
APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
FIDEI DEPOSITUM
ON THE PUBLICATION OF THE
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
PREPARED FOLLOWING THE
SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL


To my Venerable Brothers the Cardinals,
to the Archbishops,
Bishops,
Priests,
Deacons and all the People of God

JOHN PAUL II, BISHOP
SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD
FOR EVERLASTING MEMORY


I

INTRODUCTION

Guarding the deposit of faith is the mission which the Lord has entrusted to his Church and which she fulfils in every age. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which was opened 30 years ago by my predecessor Pope John XXIII, of happy memory, had as its intention and purpose to highlight the Church's apostolic and pastoral mission, and by making the truth of the Gospel shine forth, to lead all people to seek and receive Christ's love which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19).

The principal task entrusted to the Council by Pope John XXIII was to guard and present better the precious deposit of Christian doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and to all people of good will. For this reason the Council was not first of all to condemn the errors of the time, but above all to strive calmly to show the strength and beauty of the doctrine of the faith. "Illumined by the light of this Council", the Pope said, "the Church... will become greater in spiritual riches and, gaining the strength of new energies therefrom, she will look to the future without fear... Our duty is... to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, thus pursuing the path which the Church has followed for 20 centuries." (John XXIII, Opening Address to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 11 October 1962: AAS 54 (1962), pp. 788, 791)

With the help of God, the Council Fathers in four years of work were able to produce a considerable collection of doctrinal statements and pastoral norms which were presented to the whole Church. There the Pastors and Christian faithful find directives for that "renewal of thought, action, practices and moral virtue, of joy and hope, which was the very purpose of the Council". (Paul VI, Closing Address to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 8 December 1965: AAS 58 (1966), pp. 7-8)

After its conclusion the Council did not cease to inspire the Church's life. In 1985 I was able to assert: "For me, then - who had the special grace of participating in it and actively collaborating in its development - Vatican II has always been, and especially during these years of my Pontificate, the constant reference point of my every pastoral action, in the conscious commitment to implement its directives concretely and faithfully at the level of each Church and the whole Church". (John Paul II, Address of 25 January 1985: L'Osservatore Romano, 27 January 1985)

In this spirit, on 25 January 1985 I convoked an Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the 20th anniversary of the close of the Council. The purpose of this assembly was to celebrate the graces and spiritual fruits of Vatican II, to study its teaching in greater depth in order the better to adhere to it and to promote knowledge and application of it.

On that occasion the Synod Fathers stated: "Very many have expressed the desire that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed, that it might be, as it were, a point of reference for the catechisms or compendiums that are prepared in various regions. The presentation of doctrine must be biblical and liturgical. It must be sound doctrine suited to the present life of Christians" (Final Report of the Extraordinary Synod, 7 December 1985, II, B, a, n. 4: Enchiridion Vaticanum, vol. 9, p. 1758, n. 1797). After the Synod ended, I made this desire my own, considering it as "fully responding to a real need both of the universal Church and of the particular Churches" (John Paul II, Address at the closing of the Extraordinary Synod, 7 December 1985, n. 6: AAS 78 (1986), p. 435).  For this reason we thank the Lord wholeheartedly on this day when we can offer the entire Church this reference text entitled the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for a catechesis renewed at the living sources of the faith!

Following the renewal of the Liturgy and the new codification of the canon law of the Latin Church and that of the Oriental Catholic Churches, this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life of the Church, as desired and begun by the Second Vatican Council.

II

THE PROCESS AND SPIRIT OF DRAFTING THE TEXT

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the result of very extensive collaboration: it was prepared over six years of intense work done in a spirit of complete openness and fervent zeal.

In 1986 I entrusted a commission of 12 Cardinals and Bishops, chaired by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with the task of preparing a draft of the catechism requested by the Synod Fathers. An editorial committee of seven diocesan Bishops, experts in theology and catechesis, assisted the commission in its work.

The commission, charged with giving directives and with overseeing the course of the work attentively followed all the stages in editing the nine subsequent drafts. The editorial committee, for its part, assumed responsibility for writing the text, making the emendations requested by the commission and examining the observations of numerous theologians, exegetes and catechists, and above all, of the Bishops of the whole world, in order to improve the text. The committee was a place of fruitful and enriching exchanges of opinion to ensure the unity and homogeneity of the text.

The project was the object of extensive consultation among all Catholic Bishops, their Episcopal Conferences or Synods, and of theological and catechetical institutes. As a whole, it received a broadly favourable acceptance on the part of the Episcopate. It can be said that this catechism is the result of the collaboration of the whole Episcopate of the Catholic Church, who generously accepted my invitation to share responsibility for an enterprise which directly concerns the life of the Church. This response elicits in me a deep feeling of joy, because the harmony of so many voices truly expresses what could be called the symphony of the faith. The achievement of this catechism thus reflects the collegial nature of the Episcopate: it testifies to the Church's catholicity.

III

ARRANGEMENT OF THE MATERIAL

A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers and the Church's saints, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.

The catechism will thus contain the new and the old (cf. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light.

To respond to this twofold demand, the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the one hand repeats the old, traditional order already followed by the Catechism of St Pius V [i.e. "The Catechism compos’d by the Decree of the Council of Trent, And Published by Command of Pope Pius the Fifth," the "Roman Catechism"], arranging the material in four parts: the Creed, the Sacred Liturgy, with pride of place given to the sacraments, the Christian way of life, explained beginning with the Ten Commandments, and finally, Christian prayer. At the same time, however, the contents are often expressed in a new way in order to respond to the questions of our age.

The four parts are related one to the other: the Christian mystery is the object of faith (first part); it is celebrated and communicated in liturgical actions (second part); it is present to enlighten and sustain the children of God in their actions (third part); it is the basis for our prayer, the privileged expression of which is the Our Father, and it represents the object of our supplication, our praise and our intercession (fourth part).

The Liturgy itself is prayer; the confession of faith finds its proper place in the celebration of worship. Grace, the fruit of the sacraments, is the irreplaceable condition for Christian living, just as participation in the Church's liturgy requires faith. If faith is not expressed in works, it is dead (cf. Jas 2:14-16) and cannot bear fruit unto eternal life.

In reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church we can perceive the wondrous unity of the mystery of God, his saving will, as well as the central place of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, sent by the Father, made man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be our Saviour. Having died and risen, Christ is always present in his Church, especially in the sacraments; he is the source of our faith, the model of Christian conduct and the Teacher of our prayer.

IV

THE DOCTRINAL VALUE OF THE TEXT

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the kingdom!

The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represents a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, and to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus' disciples (cf. Lk 22:32), as well as of strengthening the bonds of unity in the same apostolic faith.

Therefore, I ask the Church's Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. Jn 8:32). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.

This catechism is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences, especially if they have been approved by the Apostolic See. It is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms, which must take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.

V

CONCLUSION

At the conclusion of this document presenting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Mother of the Church, to support with her powerful intercession the catechetical work of the entire Church on every level, at this time when she is called to a new effort of evangelization. May the light of the true faith free humanity from ignorance and slavery to sin in order to lead it to the only freedom worthy of the name (cf. Jn 8:32): that of life in Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, here below and in the kingdom of heaven, in the fullness of the blessed vision of God face to face (cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 5:6-8)!

Given on 11 October 1992, the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the fourteenth year of my Pontificate.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19921011_fidei-depositum_en.html
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 02:52:38 PM »

I am not sure if it matters if it was created under the charism of infallibility or not. The document simply restates what the Catholic Church has always taught, and what she has always taught de fide, is infallible.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 02:59:00 PM »

Certain traditionalist Catholics take issue with it, so I guess they would say it's not infallible.
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 03:11:04 PM »

Certain traditionalist Catholics take issue with it, so I guess they would say it's not infallible.

Well, certain traditionalist Catholics also think that they are the infallible ones, so who knows Wink
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 03:25:43 PM »

The CCC originally came out in 1992 in French (the language of those coordinating the project for the Vatican) (a Romanian version, for unknown reasons  Roll Eyes came out within the year, around the same time the Spanish did, which had much more need. English had to wait until 1995 IIRC). It was then translated into Latin, of course, and when the Latin edition came out, all prior editions, including the original French, were revised to conform to it, as ordered by the "Apostolic Letter" of the Supreme Pontiff of the Vatican:

Quote
APOSTOLIC LETTER
LAETAMUR MAGNOPERE
IN WHICH THE LATIN TYPICAL EDITION OF THE
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
IS APPROVED AND PROMULGATED

JOHN PAUL, BISHOP
SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD
FOR EVERLASTING MEMORY


To my Venerable Brothers the cardinals,
Patriarchs,
Archbishops,
Bishops,
Priests,
Deacons,
and to all the People of God.

IT IS A CAUSE FOR GREAT JOY THAT THE LATIN TYPICAL EDITION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS BEING PUBLISHED.

It is approved and promulgated by me in this Apostolic Letter and thus becomes the definitive text of the aforementioned Catechism. This is occurring about five years after the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum of October 11, 1992, which, on the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, accompanied the publication of the first, French-language text of the Catechism.


We have all been able to note with pleasure the broad positive reception and wide dissemination of the Catechism in these years, especially in the particular Churches, which have had it translated into their respective languages, thus making it as accessible as possible to the various linguistic communities of the world. This fact confirms how fitting was the request submitted to me in 1985 by the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding faith and morals be composed.


Drawn up by the special Commission of Cardinals and Bishops established in 1986, the Catechism was approved and promulgated by me in the aforementioned Apostolic Constitution, which today retains all its validity and timeliness, and finds its definitive achievement in this Latin typical edition.


This edition was prepared by an Interdicasterial Commission which I appointed for this purpose in 1993. Presided over by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, this Commission worked diligently to fulfill the mandate it received. It devoted particular attention to a study of the many suggested changes to the contents of the text, which in these years had come from around the world and from various parts of the ecclesial community.


In this regard one can certainly understand that such a remarkable number of suggested improvements shows the extraordinary interest that the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life. At the same time it draws attention to the eager desire of all to make their contribution so that the Christian faith, whose essential and necessary elements are summarized in the Catechism, can be presented to the people of our day in the most suitable way possible. Furthermore, this collaboration of the various members of the Church will once again achieve what I wrote in the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum: "The harmony of so many voices truly expresses what could be called the 'symphony' of the faith" (no. 2).


For these reasons too, the Commission seriously considered the suggestions offered, carefully examined them at various levels and submitted its conclusions for my approval. These conclusions, insofar as they allow for a better expression of the Catechism's contents regarding the deposit of the Catholic faith, or enable certain truths of this faith to be formulated in a way more suited to the requirements of contemporary catechetical instruction, have been approved by me and thus have been incorporated into this Latin typical edition. Therefore it faithfully repeats the doctrinal content which I officially presented to the Church and to the world in December 1992.


With today's promulgation of the Latin typical edition, therefore, the task of composing the Catechism, begun in 1986, is brought to a close and the desire of the aforementioned Extraordinary Synod of Bishops is happily fulfilled. The Church now has at her disposal this new, authoritative exposition of the one and perennial apostolic faith, and it will serve as a "valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion" and as a "sure norm for teaching the faith," as well as a "sure and authentic reference text" for preparing local catechisms (cf. Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, no. 4).


Catechesis will find in this genuine, systematic presentation of the faith and of Catholic doctrine a totally reliable way to present, with renewed fervor, each and every part of the Christian message to the people of our time. This text will provide every catechist with sound help for communicating the one, perennial deposit of faith within the local Church, while seeking, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to link the wondrous unity of the Christian mystery with the varied needs and conditions of those to whom this message is addressed. All catechetical activity will be able to experience a new, widespread impetus among the People of God, if it can properly use and appreciate this post-conciliar Catechism.


All this seems even more important today with the approach of the third millennium. For an extraordinary commitment to evangelization is urgently needed so that everyone can know and receive the Gospel message and thus grow "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13).


I therefore strongly urge my Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, for whom the Catechism is primarily intended, to take the excellent opportunity afforded by the promulgation of this Latin edition to intensify their efforts to disseminate the text more widely and to ensure that it is well received as an outstanding gift for the communities entrusted to them, which will thus be able to rediscover the inexhaustible riches of the faith.


Through the harmonious and complementary efforts of all the ranks of the People of God, may this Catechism be known and shared by everyone, so that the unity in faith whose supreme model and origin is found in the Unity of the Trinity may be strengthened and extended to the ends of the earth.


To Mary, Mother of Christ, whose Assumption body and soul into heaven we celebrate today, I entrust these wishes so that they may be brought to fulfillment for the spiritual good of all humanity.


 From Castel Gandolfo, August 15, 1997, the nineteenth year of the Pontificate.
Btw, if someone has a link to a French version of this letter, I've been looking for one.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 03:29:07 PM »

Your question in the header makes no sense for starters so the whole thing is skewed before it gets started.

M.

Given the increasing importance of the CCC, this would pose a question of rising importance: did the Vatican promulgate it ex cathedra and so "infallible?"

I've heard the usual spectrum of opinion on the matter.

On the publication, the Supreme Pontiff issued the following "Apostolic Constitution" to accompany it.
Quote
APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
FIDEI DEPOSITUM
ON THE PUBLICATION OF THE
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
PREPARED FOLLOWING THE
SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL


To my Venerable Brothers the Cardinals,
to the Archbishops,
Bishops,
Priests,
Deacons and all the People of God

JOHN PAUL II, BISHOP
SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD
FOR EVERLASTING MEMORY


I

INTRODUCTION

Guarding the deposit of faith is the mission which the Lord has entrusted to his Church and which she fulfils in every age. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which was opened 30 years ago by my predecessor Pope John XXIII, of happy memory, had as its intention and purpose to highlight the Church's apostolic and pastoral mission, and by making the truth of the Gospel shine forth, to lead all people to seek and receive Christ's love which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19).

The principal task entrusted to the Council by Pope John XXIII was to guard and present better the precious deposit of Christian doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and to all people of good will. For this reason the Council was not first of all to condemn the errors of the time, but above all to strive calmly to show the strength and beauty of the doctrine of the faith. "Illumined by the light of this Council", the Pope said, "the Church... will become greater in spiritual riches and, gaining the strength of new energies therefrom, she will look to the future without fear... Our duty is... to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, thus pursuing the path which the Church has followed for 20 centuries." (John XXIII, Opening Address to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 11 October 1962: AAS 54 (1962), pp. 788, 791)

With the help of God, the Council Fathers in four years of work were able to produce a considerable collection of doctrinal statements and pastoral norms which were presented to the whole Church. There the Pastors and Christian faithful find directives for that "renewal of thought, action, practices and moral virtue, of joy and hope, which was the very purpose of the Council". (Paul VI, Closing Address to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 8 December 1965: AAS 58 (1966), pp. 7-8)

After its conclusion the Council did not cease to inspire the Church's life. In 1985 I was able to assert: "For me, then - who had the special grace of participating in it and actively collaborating in its development - Vatican II has always been, and especially during these years of my Pontificate, the constant reference point of my every pastoral action, in the conscious commitment to implement its directives concretely and faithfully at the level of each Church and the whole Church". (John Paul II, Address of 25 January 1985: L'Osservatore Romano, 27 January 1985)

In this spirit, on 25 January 1985 I convoked an Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the 20th anniversary of the close of the Council. The purpose of this assembly was to celebrate the graces and spiritual fruits of Vatican II, to study its teaching in greater depth in order the better to adhere to it and to promote knowledge and application of it.

On that occasion the Synod Fathers stated: "Very many have expressed the desire that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed, that it might be, as it were, a point of reference for the catechisms or compendiums that are prepared in various regions. The presentation of doctrine must be biblical and liturgical. It must be sound doctrine suited to the present life of Christians" (Final Report of the Extraordinary Synod, 7 December 1985, II, B, a, n. 4: Enchiridion Vaticanum, vol. 9, p. 1758, n. 1797). After the Synod ended, I made this desire my own, considering it as "fully responding to a real need both of the universal Church and of the particular Churches" (John Paul II, Address at the closing of the Extraordinary Synod, 7 December 1985, n. 6: AAS 78 (1986), p. 435).  For this reason we thank the Lord wholeheartedly on this day when we can offer the entire Church this reference text entitled the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for a catechesis renewed at the living sources of the faith!

Following the renewal of the Liturgy and the new codification of the canon law of the Latin Church and that of the Oriental Catholic Churches, this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life of the Church, as desired and begun by the Second Vatican Council.

II

THE PROCESS AND SPIRIT OF DRAFTING THE TEXT

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the result of very extensive collaboration: it was prepared over six years of intense work done in a spirit of complete openness and fervent zeal.

In 1986 I entrusted a commission of 12 Cardinals and Bishops, chaired by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with the task of preparing a draft of the catechism requested by the Synod Fathers. An editorial committee of seven diocesan Bishops, experts in theology and catechesis, assisted the commission in its work.

The commission, charged with giving directives and with overseeing the course of the work attentively followed all the stages in editing the nine subsequent drafts. The editorial committee, for its part, assumed responsibility for writing the text, making the emendations requested by the commission and examining the observations of numerous theologians, exegetes and catechists, and above all, of the Bishops of the whole world, in order to improve the text. The committee was a place of fruitful and enriching exchanges of opinion to ensure the unity and homogeneity of the text.

The project was the object of extensive consultation among all Catholic Bishops, their Episcopal Conferences or Synods, and of theological and catechetical institutes. As a whole, it received a broadly favourable acceptance on the part of the Episcopate. It can be said that this catechism is the result of the collaboration of the whole Episcopate of the Catholic Church, who generously accepted my invitation to share responsibility for an enterprise which directly concerns the life of the Church. This response elicits in me a deep feeling of joy, because the harmony of so many voices truly expresses what could be called the symphony of the faith. The achievement of this catechism thus reflects the collegial nature of the Episcopate: it testifies to the Church's catholicity.

III

ARRANGEMENT OF THE MATERIAL

A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers and the Church's saints, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.

The catechism will thus contain the new and the old (cf. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light.

To respond to this twofold demand, the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the one hand repeats the old, traditional order already followed by the Catechism of St Pius V [i.e. "The Catechism compos’d by the Decree of the Council of Trent, And Published by Command of Pope Pius the Fifth," the "Roman Catechism"], arranging the material in four parts: the Creed, the Sacred Liturgy, with pride of place given to the sacraments, the Christian way of life, explained beginning with the Ten Commandments, and finally, Christian prayer. At the same time, however, the contents are often expressed in a new way in order to respond to the questions of our age.

The four parts are related one to the other: the Christian mystery is the object of faith (first part); it is celebrated and communicated in liturgical actions (second part); it is present to enlighten and sustain the children of God in their actions (third part); it is the basis for our prayer, the privileged expression of which is the Our Father, and it represents the object of our supplication, our praise and our intercession (fourth part).

The Liturgy itself is prayer; the confession of faith finds its proper place in the celebration of worship. Grace, the fruit of the sacraments, is the irreplaceable condition for Christian living, just as participation in the Church's liturgy requires faith. If faith is not expressed in works, it is dead (cf. Jas 2:14-16) and cannot bear fruit unto eternal life.

In reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church we can perceive the wondrous unity of the mystery of God, his saving will, as well as the central place of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, sent by the Father, made man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be our Saviour. Having died and risen, Christ is always present in his Church, especially in the sacraments; he is the source of our faith, the model of Christian conduct and the Teacher of our prayer.

IV

THE DOCTRINAL VALUE OF THE TEXT

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the kingdom!

The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represents a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, and to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus' disciples (cf. Lk 22:32), as well as of strengthening the bonds of unity in the same apostolic faith.

Therefore, I ask the Church's Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. Jn 8:32). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.

This catechism is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences, especially if they have been approved by the Apostolic See. It is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms, which must take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.

V

CONCLUSION

At the conclusion of this document presenting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Mother of the Church, to support with her powerful intercession the catechetical work of the entire Church on every level, at this time when she is called to a new effort of evangelization. May the light of the true faith free humanity from ignorance and slavery to sin in order to lead it to the only freedom worthy of the name (cf. Jn 8:32): that of life in Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, here below and in the kingdom of heaven, in the fullness of the blessed vision of God face to face (cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 5:6-8)!

Given on 11 October 1992, the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the fourteenth year of my Pontificate.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19921011_fidei-depositum_en.html

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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2010, 04:13:18 PM »

To make the comparison on this "Apostolic Constitution" and "Apostolic Letter" with "infallible" pronouncements "ex cathdra," we need a list of the latter.  The theologians, let alone the rest of the communion, has not settled on a definitive list. They all include  the "Apostolic Constitutions" Pastor Aeternus  and  Munificentissimus Deus. Many include the "Apostolic Constitution" Ineffabilis Deus. So, I stick with these three for comparision.

It had been a while shince I read Pastore Aeternus, the Dogmatic Constition that proclaimed the pope of Rome (then the head of state of the Papal States, including Rome).  It having come up, I was reminded that it summarizes the issues about the Ultramontanist views against Orthodox belief in a nice summary.  I then looked to see if it had ever been dealt systematically here.  Not finding anything, I thought I'd start it off.

The bolded is what is the bare minimum of what the Vatican says is infallible dogma ex cathedra, but, Lord wiling, I'll be dealing with the rest too, as we should-particularly given that the hair splitting to cut Honorius free of the anathemas binding him depend on Honorios not speaking ex cathedra.

Session 4 : 18 July 1870

First dogmatic constitution on the Church of Christ

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the Sacred Council, for an everlasting record.

1. The eternal shepherd and guardian of our souls [37], in order to render permanent the saving work of redemption, determined to build a Church in which, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful should be linked by the bond of one faith and charity.

2. Therefore, before he was glorified, he besought his Father, not for the apostles only, but also for those who were to believe in him through their word, that they all might be one as the Son himself and the Father are one [38].

3. So then, just as he sent apostles, whom he chose out of the world [39], even as he had been sent by the Father [40], in like manner it was his will that in his Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time.

4. In order, then, that the episcopal office should be one and undivided and that, by the union of the clergy, the whole multitude of believers should be held together in the unity of faith and communion, he set blessed Peter over the rest of the apostles and instituted in him the permanent principle of both unities and their visible foundation.

5. Upon the strength of this foundation was to be built the eternal temple, and the Church whose topmost part reaches heaven was to rise upon the firmness of this foundation [41].

6. And since the gates of hell trying, if they can, to overthrow the Church, make their assault with a hatred that increases day by day against its divinely laid foundation, we judge it necessary, with the approbation of the Sacred Council, and for the protection, defense and growth of the Catholic flock, to propound the doctrine concerning the 1. institution, 2. permanence and 3. nature of the sacred and apostolic primacy, upon which the strength and coherence of the whole Church depends.

7. This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole Church.

8. Furthermore, we shall proscribe and condemn the contrary errors which are so harmful to the Lord's flock.

Chapter 1
On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

1. We teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidence, a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord.

2. It was to Simon alone, to whom he had already said You shall be called Cephas [42], that the Lord, after his confession, You are the Christ, the son of the living God, spoke these words:

Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the underworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [43] .

3. And it was to Peter alone that Jesus, after his resurrection, confided the jurisdiction of Supreme Pastor and ruler of his whole fold, saying:
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep [44].

4. To this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction.

5. The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on blessed Peter himself, but rather on the Church, and that it was through the Church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister.

6. Therefore, if anyone says that blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as prince of all the apostles and visible head of the whole Church militant; or that it was a primacy of honor only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself: let him be anathema.

Chapter 2.
On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs

1. That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time [45].

2. For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which he founded and consecrated with his blood [46].

3. Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received [47].

4. For this reason it has always been necessary for every Church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman Church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body [48].

5. Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.

Chapter 3.
On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff

1. And so, supported by the clear witness of Holy Scripture, and adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs and of general councils, we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical Council of Florence [49], which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christian people.

To him, in blessed Peter, full power has been given by our lord Jesus Christ to tend, rule and govern the universal Church.

All this is to be found in the acts of the ecumenical councils and the sacred canons.

2. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.

3. In this way, by unity with the Roman Pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith , the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one Supreme Shepherd [50].

4. This is the teaching of the Catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

5. This power of the Supreme Pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the Holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the Supreme and Universal Pastor; for St. Gregory the Great says: "My honor is the honor of the whole Church. My honor is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honor, when it is denied to none of those to whom honor is due." [51]

6. Furthermore, it follows from that supreme power which the Roman Pontiff has in governing the whole Church, that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire Church, so that they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation.

7. And therefore we condemn and reject the opinions of those who hold that this communication of the Supreme Head with pastors and flocks may be lawfully obstructed; or that it should be dependent on the civil power, which leads them to maintain that what is determined by the Apostolic See or by its authority concerning the government of the Church, has no force or effect unless it is confirmed by the agreement of the civil authority.

8. Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful [52], and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53]. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54]. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff.

9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

Chapter 4.
On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff

1. That apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This Holy See has always maintained this, the constant custom of the Church demonstrates it, and the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.

2. So the fathers of the fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church [55], cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the Apostolic See preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the Christian religion [56].

What is more, with the approval of the second Council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession:
"The Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole Catholic Church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled." [57]

Then there is the definition of the Council of Florence:
"The Roman Pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole Church." [58]

3. To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received.

4. It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the Churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this Apostolic See those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing [59].

5. The Roman pontiffs, too, as the circumstances of the time or the state of affairs suggested, sometimes by summoning ecumenical councils or consulting the opinion of the Churches scattered throughout the world, sometimes by special synods, sometimes by taking advantage of other useful means afforded by divine providence, defined as doctrines to be held those things which, by God's help, they knew to be in keeping with Sacred Scripture and the apostolic traditions.

6. For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [60].

7. This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

8. But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office.

9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema
.

Given at Rome in public session, solemnly held in the Vatican Basilica in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, on the eighteenth day of July, in the twenty-fifth year of Our Pontificate.

In conformity with the original.

Joseph, Bishop of St. Polten Secretary to the Vatican Council

37 1 Pt 2,25.

38 Jn 17, 20-21.

39 Jn 15, 19.

40 Jn 20, 21.

41 Leo 1, Serm. (Sermons), 4 (elsewhere 3), ch. 2 for the day of his birth (PL 54, 150).

42 Jn 1, 42.

43 Mt 16, 16 19.

44 Jn 21, 15-17.

45 See Mt 7, 25; Lk 6, 48.

46 From the speech of Philip, the Roman legate, at the 3rd session of the Council of Ephesus (D no. 112).

47 Leo I, Serm. (Sermons), 3 (elsewhere 2), ch. 3 (PL 54, 146).

48 Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. (Against Heresies) 1113 (PG 7, 849), Council of Aquilea (381), to be found among: Ambrose, Epistolae (Letters), 11 (PL 16, 946).

49 Council of Florence, session 6 (see above p. 528).

50 See Jn 10, 16.

51 Ep. ad Eulog. Alexandrin. (Letter to Eulogius of Alexandria), VIII 29 (30) (MGH, Ep. 2, 31 28-30, PL 77, 933).

52 Pius VI, Letter Super soliditate dated 28 Nov. 1786.

53 From Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith which was read out at the second Council of Lyons (D no. 466).

54 Nicholas I, Ep. ad Michaelem imp. (Letter to the emperor Michael) (PL 119, 954).

55 Mt 16, 18.

56 From Pope Hormisdas's formula of the year 517 (D no. 171), see above p. 157 n. 1.

57 From Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith which was read out at the second Council of Lyons (D no. 466).

58 Council of Florence, session 6 (see above p. 528). S Bernard, Ep. (Letters) 190 (PL 182, 1053).

59 Bernard, Ep. (Letters) 190 (PL 182, 1053).

60 Lk 22, 32.

The translation found here is that which appears in Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils ed. Norman Tanner. S.J. The numbering of the canons is however found in Tanner's text.
http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v1.htm#6
abridged:
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm

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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2010, 04:18:26 PM »

 laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

Absolutely meaningless exercise.


To make the comparison on this "Apostolic Constitution" and "Apostolic Letter" with "infallible" pronouncements "ex cathdra," we need a list of the latter.  The theologians, let alone the rest of the communion, has not settled on a definitive list. They all include  the "Apostolic Constitutions" Pastor Aeternus  and  Munificentissimus Deus. Many include the "Apostolic Constitution" Ineffabilis Deus. So, I stick with these three for comparision.

It had been a while shince I read Pastore Aeternus, the Dogmatic Constition that proclaimed the pope of Rome (then the head of state of the Papal States, including Rome).  It having come up, I was reminded that it summarizes the issues about the Ultramontanist views against Orthodox belief in a nice summary.  I then looked to see if it had ever been dealt systematically here.  Not finding anything, I thought I'd start it off.

The bolded is what is the bare minimum of what the Vatican says is infallible dogma ex cathedra, but, Lord wiling, I'll be dealing with the rest too, as we should-particularly given that the hair splitting to cut Honorius free of the anathemas binding him depend on Honorios not speaking ex cathedra.

Session 4 : 18 July 1870

First dogmatic constitution on the Church of Christ

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the Sacred Council, for an everlasting record.

1. The eternal shepherd and guardian of our souls [37], in order to render permanent the saving work of redemption, determined to build a Church in which, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful should be linked by the bond of one faith and charity.

2. Therefore, before he was glorified, he besought his Father, not for the apostles only, but also for those who were to believe in him through their word, that they all might be one as the Son himself and the Father are one [38].

3. So then, just as he sent apostles, whom he chose out of the world [39], even as he had been sent by the Father [40], in like manner it was his will that in his Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time.

4. In order, then, that the episcopal office should be one and undivided and that, by the union of the clergy, the whole multitude of believers should be held together in the unity of faith and communion, he set blessed Peter over the rest of the apostles and instituted in him the permanent principle of both unities and their visible foundation.

5. Upon the strength of this foundation was to be built the eternal temple, and the Church whose topmost part reaches heaven was to rise upon the firmness of this foundation [41].

6. And since the gates of hell trying, if they can, to overthrow the Church, make their assault with a hatred that increases day by day against its divinely laid foundation, we judge it necessary, with the approbation of the Sacred Council, and for the protection, defense and growth of the Catholic flock, to propound the doctrine concerning the 1. institution, 2. permanence and 3. nature of the sacred and apostolic primacy, upon which the strength and coherence of the whole Church depends.

7. This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole Church.

8. Furthermore, we shall proscribe and condemn the contrary errors which are so harmful to the Lord's flock.

Chapter 1
On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

1. We teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidence, a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord.

2. It was to Simon alone, to whom he had already said You shall be called Cephas [42], that the Lord, after his confession, You are the Christ, the son of the living God, spoke these words:

Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the underworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [43] .

3. And it was to Peter alone that Jesus, after his resurrection, confided the jurisdiction of Supreme Pastor and ruler of his whole fold, saying:
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep [44].

4. To this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction.

5. The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on blessed Peter himself, but rather on the Church, and that it was through the Church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister.

6. Therefore, if anyone says that blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as prince of all the apostles and visible head of the whole Church militant; or that it was a primacy of honor only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself: let him be anathema.

Chapter 2.
On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs

1. That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time [45].

2. For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which he founded and consecrated with his blood [46].

3. Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received [47].

4. For this reason it has always been necessary for every Church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman Church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body [48].

5. Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.

Chapter 3.
On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff

1. And so, supported by the clear witness of Holy Scripture, and adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs and of general councils, we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical Council of Florence [49], which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christian people.

To him, in blessed Peter, full power has been given by our lord Jesus Christ to tend, rule and govern the universal Church.

All this is to be found in the acts of the ecumenical councils and the sacred canons.

2. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.

3. In this way, by unity with the Roman Pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith , the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one Supreme Shepherd [50].

4. This is the teaching of the Catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

5. This power of the Supreme Pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the Holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the Supreme and Universal Pastor; for St. Gregory the Great says: "My honor is the honor of the whole Church. My honor is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honor, when it is denied to none of those to whom honor is due." [51]

6. Furthermore, it follows from that supreme power which the Roman Pontiff has in governing the whole Church, that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire Church, so that they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation.

7. And therefore we condemn and reject the opinions of those who hold that this communication of the Supreme Head with pastors and flocks may be lawfully obstructed; or that it should be dependent on the civil power, which leads them to maintain that what is determined by the Apostolic See or by its authority concerning the government of the Church, has no force or effect unless it is confirmed by the agreement of the civil authority.

8. Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful [52], and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53]. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54]. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff.

9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

Chapter 4.
On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff

1. That apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This Holy See has always maintained this, the constant custom of the Church demonstrates it, and the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.

2. So the fathers of the fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church [55], cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the Apostolic See preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the Christian religion [56].

What is more, with the approval of the second Council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession:
"The Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole Catholic Church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled." [57]

Then there is the definition of the Council of Florence:
"The Roman Pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole Church." [58]

3. To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received.

4. It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the Churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this Apostolic See those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing [59].

5. The Roman pontiffs, too, as the circumstances of the time or the state of affairs suggested, sometimes by summoning ecumenical councils or consulting the opinion of the Churches scattered throughout the world, sometimes by special synods, sometimes by taking advantage of other useful means afforded by divine providence, defined as doctrines to be held those things which, by God's help, they knew to be in keeping with Sacred Scripture and the apostolic traditions.

6. For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [60].

7. This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

8. But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office.

9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema
.

Given at Rome in public session, solemnly held in the Vatican Basilica in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, on the eighteenth day of July, in the twenty-fifth year of Our Pontificate.

In conformity with the original.

Joseph, Bishop of St. Polten Secretary to the Vatican Council

37 1 Pt 2,25.

38 Jn 17, 20-21.

39 Jn 15, 19.

40 Jn 20, 21.

41 Leo 1, Serm. (Sermons), 4 (elsewhere 3), ch. 2 for the day of his birth (PL 54, 150).

42 Jn 1, 42.

43 Mt 16, 16 19.

44 Jn 21, 15-17.

45 See Mt 7, 25; Lk 6, 48.

46 From the speech of Philip, the Roman legate, at the 3rd session of the Council of Ephesus (D no. 112).

47 Leo I, Serm. (Sermons), 3 (elsewhere 2), ch. 3 (PL 54, 146).

48 Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. (Against Heresies) 1113 (PG 7, 849), Council of Aquilea (381), to be found among: Ambrose, Epistolae (Letters), 11 (PL 16, 946).

49 Council of Florence, session 6 (see above p. 528).

50 See Jn 10, 16.

51 Ep. ad Eulog. Alexandrin. (Letter to Eulogius of Alexandria), VIII 29 (30) (MGH, Ep. 2, 31 28-30, PL 77, 933).

52 Pius VI, Letter Super soliditate dated 28 Nov. 1786.

53 From Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith which was read out at the second Council of Lyons (D no. 466).

54 Nicholas I, Ep. ad Michaelem imp. (Letter to the emperor Michael) (PL 119, 954).

55 Mt 16, 18.

56 From Pope Hormisdas's formula of the year 517 (D no. 171), see above p. 157 n. 1.

57 From Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith which was read out at the second Council of Lyons (D no. 466).

58 Council of Florence, session 6 (see above p. 528). S Bernard, Ep. (Letters) 190 (PL 182, 1053).

59 Bernard, Ep. (Letters) 190 (PL 182, 1053).

60 Lk 22, 32.

The translation found here is that which appears in Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils ed. Norman Tanner. S.J. The numbering of the canons is however found in Tanner's text.
http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v1.htm#6
abridged:
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm

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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2010, 05:16:20 PM »

The communicants of the Vatican only hold uninamity on one "Apostolic Constitution" as ex cathedra and hence "infallible":
Quote
APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF
POPE PIUS XII 

MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS

DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION


November 1, 1950

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the Sacred Council, for an everlasting record

1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him.(1)

2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives.

3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came"(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.

4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.

5. Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.

6. Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.

7. Actually it was seen that not only individual Catholics, but also those who could speak for nations or ecclesiastical provinces, and even a considerable number of the Fathers of the Vatican Council, urgently petitioned the Apostolic See to this effect.

8. During the course of time such postulations and petitions did not decrease but rather grew continually in number and in urgency. In this cause there were pious crusades of prayer. Many outstanding theologians eagerly and zealously carried out investigations on this subject either privately or in public ecclesiastical institutions and in other schools where the sacred disciplines are taught. Marian Congresses, both national and international in scope, have been held in many parts of the Catholic world. These studies and investigations have brought out into even clearer light the fact that the dogma of the Virgin Mary's Assumption into heaven is contained in the deposit of Christian faith entrusted to the Church. They have resulted in many more petitions, begging and urging the Apostolic See that this truth be solemnly defined.

9. In this pious striving, the faithful have been associated in a wonderful way with their own holy bishops, who have sent petitions of this kind, truly remarkable in number, to this See of the Blessed Peter. Consequently, when we were elevated to the throne of the supreme pontificate, petitions of this sort had already been addressed by the thousands from every part of the world and from every class of people, from our beloved sons the Cardinals of the Sacred College, from our venerable brethren, archbishops and bishops, from dioceses and from parishes.

10. Consequently, while we sent up earnest prayers to God that he might grant to our mind the light of the Holy Spirit, to enable us to make a decision on this most serious subject, we issued special orders in which we commanded that, by corporate effort, more advanced inquiries into this matter should be begun and that, in the meantime, all the petitions about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven which had been sent to this Apostolic See from the time of Pius IX, our predecessor of happy memory, down to our own days should be gathered together and carefully evaluated.(3)

11. And, since we were dealing with a matter of such great moment and of such importance, we considered it opportune to ask all our venerable brethren in the episcopate directly and authoritatively that each of them should make known to us his mind in a formal statement. Hence, on May 1, 1946, we gave them our letter "Deiparae Virginis Mariae," a letter in which these words are contained: "Do you, venerable brethren, in your outstanding wisdom and prudence, judge that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin can be proposed and defined as a dogma of faith? Do you, with your clergy and people, desire it?"

12. But those whom "the Holy Spirit has placed as bishops to rule the Church of God"(4) gave an almost unanimous affirmative response to both these questions. This "outstanding agreement of the Catholic prelates and the faithful,"(5) affirming that the bodily Assumption of God's Mother into heaven can be defined as a dogma of faith, since it shows us the concordant teaching of the Church's ordinary doctrinal authority and the concordant faith of the Christian people which the same doctrinal authority sustains and directs, thus by itself and in an entirely certain and infallible way, manifests this privilege as a truth revealed by God and contained in that divine deposit which Christ has delivered to his Spouse to be guarded faithfully and to be taught infallibly.(6) Certainly this teaching authority of the Church, not by any merely human effort but under the protection of the Spirit of Truth,(7) and therefore absolutely without error, carries out the commission entrusted to it, that of preserving the revealed truths pure and entire throughout every age, in such a way that it presents them undefiled, adding nothing to them and taking nothing away from them. For, as the Vatican Council teaches, "the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter in such a way that, by his revelation, they might manifest new doctrine, but so that, by his assistance, they might guard as sacred and might faithfully propose the revelation delivered through the apostles, or the deposit of faith."(Cool Thus, from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that the Blessed Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven- which surely no faculty of the human mind could know by its own natural powers, as far as the heavenly glorification of the virginal body of the loving Mother of God is concerned-is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church. For, as the Vatican Council asserts, "all those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church, either in solemn judgment or in its ordinary and universal teaching office, as divinely revealed truths which must be believed."(9)

13. Various testimonies, indications and signs of this common belief of the Church are evident from remote times down through the course of the centuries; and this same belief becomes more clearly manifest from day to day.

14. Christ's faithful, through the teaching and the leadership of their pastors, have learned from the sacred books that the Virgin Mary, throughout the course of her earthly pilgrimage, led a life troubled by cares, hardships, and sorrows, and that, moreover, what the holy old man Simeon had foretold actually came to pass, that is, that a terribly sharp sword pierced her heart as she stood under the cross of her divine Son, our Redeemer. In the same way, it was not difficult for them to admit that the great Mother of God, like her only begotten Son, had actually passed from this life. But this in no way prevented them from believing and from professing openly that her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb, and that the august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes. Actually, enlightened by divine grace and moved by affection for her, God's Mother and our own dearest Mother, they have contemplated in an ever clearer light the wonderful harmony and order of those privileges which the most provident God has lavished upon this loving associate of our Redeemer, privileges which reach such an exalted plane that, except for her, nothing created by God other than the human nature of Jesus Christ has ever reached this level.

15. The innumerable temples which have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary assumed into heaven clearly attest this faith. So do those sacred images, exposed therein for the veneration of the faithful, which bring this unique triumph of the Blessed Virgin before the eyes of all men. Moreover, cities, dioceses, and individual regions have been placed under the special patronage and guardianship of the Virgin Mother of God assumed into heaven. In the same way, religious institutes, with the approval of the Church, have been founded and have taken their name from this privilege. Nor can we pass over in silence the fact that in the Rosary of Mary, the recitation of which this Apostolic See so urgently recommends, there is one mystery proposed for pious meditation which, as all know, deals with the Blessed Virgin's Assumption into heaven.

16. This belief of the sacred pastors and of Christ's faithful is universally manifested still more splendidly by the fact that, since ancient times, there have been both in the East and in the West solemn liturgical offices commemorating this privilege. The holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church have never failed to draw enlightenment from this fact since, as everyone knows, the sacred liturgy, "because it is the profession, subject to the supreme teaching authority within the Church, of heavenly truths, can supply proofs and testimonies of no small value for deciding a particular point of Christian doctrine."(10)

17. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: "Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself."(11)

18. What is here indicated in that sobriety characteristic of the Roman liturgy is presented more clearly and completely in other ancient liturgical books. To take one as an example, the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary's as "an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." And, in the Byzantine liturgy, not only is the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption connected time and time again with the dignity of the Mother of God, but also with the other privileges, and in particular with the virginal motherhood granted her by a singular decree of God's Providence. "God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb."(12)

19. The fact that the Apostolic See, which has inherited the function entrusted to the Prince of the Apostles, the function of confirming the brethren in the faith,(13) has by its own authority, made the celebration of this feast ever more solemn, has certainly and effectively moved the attentive minds of the faithful to appreciate always more completely the magnitude of the mystery it commemorates. So it was that the Feast of the Assumption was elevated from the rank which it had occupied from the beginning among the other Marian feasts to be classed among the more solemn celebrations of the entire liturgical cycle. And, when our predecessor St. Sergius I prescribed what is known as the litany, or the stational procession, to be held on four Marian feasts, he specified together the Feasts of the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Purification, and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.(14) Again, St. Leo IV saw to it that the feast, which was already being celebrated under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother of God, should be observed in even a more solemn way when he ordered a vigil to be held on the day before it and prescribed prayers to be recited after it until the octave day. When this had been done, he decided to take part himself in the celebration, in the midst of a great multitude of the faithful.(15) Moreover, the fact that a holy fast had been ordered from ancient times for the day prior to the feast is made very evident by what our predecessor St. Nicholas I testifies in treating of the principal fasts which "the Holy Roman Church has observed for a long time, and still observes."(16)

20. However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ's faithful. They presented it more clearly. They offered more profound explanations of its meaning and nature, bringing out into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ-truths that the liturgical books had frequently touched upon concisely and briefly.

21. Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. "It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."(17)

22. These words of St. John Damascene agree perfectly with what others have taught on this same subject. Statements no less clear and accurate are to be found in sermons delivered by Fathers of an earlier time or of the same period, particularly on the occasion of this feast. And so, to cite some other examples, St. Germanus of Constantinople considered the fact that the body of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, was incorrupt and had been taken up into heaven to be in keeping, not only with her divine motherhood, but also with the special holiness of her virginal body. "You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life."(18) And another very ancient writer asserts: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."(19)

23. When this liturgical feast was being celebrated ever more widely and with ever increasing devotion and piety, the bishops of the Church and its preachers in continually greater numbers considered it their duty openly and clearly to explain the mystery that the feast commemorates, and to explain how it is intimately connected with the other revealed truths.

24. Among the scholastic theologians there have not been lacking those who, wishing to inquire more profoundly into divinely revealed truths and desirous of showing the harmony that exists between what is termed the theological demonstration and the Catholic faith, have always considered it worthy of note that this privilege of the Virgin Mary's Assumption is in wonderful accord with those divine truths given us in Holy Scripture.

25. When they go on to explain this point, they adduce various proofs to throw light on this privilege of Mary. As the first element of these demonstrations, they insist upon the fact that, out of filial love for his mother, Jesus Christ has willed that she be assumed into heaven. They base the strength of their proofs on the incomparable dignity of her divine motherhood and of all those prerogatives which follow from it. These include her exalted holiness, entirely surpassing the sanctity of all men and of the angels, the intimate union of Mary with her Son, and the affection of preeminent love which the Son has for his most worthy Mother.

26. Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers,(20) have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption. Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of the psalmist: "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified"(21); and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven. Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer.(22) Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles "that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense" to be crowned.(23) These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom.

27. Moreover, the scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos.(24) Similarly they have given special attention to these words of the New Testament: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women,"(25) since they saw, in the mystery of the Assumption, the fulfillment of that most perfect grace granted to the Blessed Virgin and the special blessing that countered the curse of Eve.

28. Thus, during the earliest period of scholastic theology, that most pious man, Amadeus, Bishop of Lausarme, held that the Virgin Mary's flesh had remained incorrupt-for it is wrong to believe that her body has seen corruption-because it was really united again to her soul and, together with it, crowned with great glory in the heavenly courts. "For she was full of grace and blessed among women. She alone merited to conceive the true God of true God, whom as a virgin, she brought forth, to whom as a virgin she gave milk, fondling him in her lap, and in all things she waited upon him with loving care."(26)

29. Among the holy writers who at that time employed statements and various images and analogies of Sacred Scripture to Illustrate and to confirm the doctrine of the Assumption, which was piously believed, the Evangelical Doctor, St. Anthony of Padua, holds a special place. On the feast day of the Assumption, while explaining the prophet's words: "I will glorify the place of my feet,"(27) he stated it as certain that the divine Redeemer had bedecked with supreme glory his most beloved Mother from whom he had received human flesh. He asserts that "you have here a clear statement that the Blessed Virgin has been assumed in her body, where was the place of the Lord's feet. Hence it is that the holy Psalmist writes: 'Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified."' And he asserts that, just as Jesus Christ has risen from the death over which he triumphed and has ascended to the right hand of the Father, so likewise the ark of his sanctification "has risen up, since on this day the Virgin Mother has been taken up to her heavenly dwelling."(28)

30. When, during the Middle Ages, scholastic theology was especially flourishing, St. Albert the Great who, to establish this teaching, had gathered together many proofs from Sacred Scripture, from the statements of older writers, and finally from the liturgy and from what is known as theological reasoning, concluded in this way: "From these proofs and authorities and from many others, it is manifest that the most blessed Mother of God has been assumed above the choirs of angels. And this we believe in every way to be true."(29) And, in a sermon which he delivered on the sacred day of the Blessed Virgin Mary's annunciation, explained the words "Hail, full of grace"-words used by the angel who addressed her-the Universal Doctor, comparing the Blessed Virgin with Eve, stated clearly and incisively that she was exempted from the fourfold curse that had been laid upon Eve.(30)

31. Following the footsteps of his distinguished teacher, the Angelic Doctor, despite the fact that he never dealt directly with this question, nevertheless, whenever he touched upon it, always held together with the Catholic Church, that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul.(31)

32. Along with many others, the Seraphic Doctor held the same views. He considered it as entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes.(32) Explaining these words of Sacred Scripture: "Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?"(33) and applying them in a kind of accommodated sense to the Blessed Virgin, he reasons thus: "From this we can see that she is there bodily...her blessedness would not have been complete unless she were there as a person. The soul is not a person, but the soul, joined to the body, is a person. It is manifest that she is there in soul and in body. Otherwise she would not possess her complete beatitude.(34)

33. In the fifteenth century, during a later period of scholastic theology, St. Bernardine of Siena collected and diligently evaluated all that the medieval theologians had said and taught on this question. He was not content with setting down the principal considerations which these writers of an earlier day had already expressed, but he added others of his own. The likeness between God's Mother and her divine Son, in the way of the nobility and dignity of body and of soul - a likeness that forbids us to think of the heavenly Queen as being separated from the heavenly King - makes it entirely imperative that Mary "should be only where Christ is."(35) Moreover, it is reasonable and fitting that not only the soul and body of a man, but also the soul and body of a woman should have obtained heavenly glory. Finally, since the Church has never looked for the bodily relics of the Blessed Virgin nor proposed them for the veneration of the people, we have a proof on the order of a sensible experience.(36)

34. The above-mentioned teachings of the holy Fathers and of the Doctors have been in common use during more recent times. Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert Bellarmine exclaimed: "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms."(37)

35. In like manner St. Francis de Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: "What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?"(38) And St. Alphonsus writes that "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust."(39)

36. Once the mystery which is commemorated in this feast had been placed in its proper light, there were not lacking teachers who, instead of dealing with the theological reasonings that show why it is fitting and right to believe the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, chose to focus their mind and attention on the faith of the Church itself, which is the Mystical Body of Christ without stain or wrinkle(40) and is called by the Apostle "the pillar and ground of truth."(41) Relying on this common faith, they considered the teaching opposed to the doctrine of our Lady's Assumption as temerarious, if not heretical. Thus, like not a few others, St. Peter Canisius, after he had declared that the very word "assumption" signifies the glorification, not only of the soul but also of the body, and that the Church has venerated and has solemnly celebrated this mystery of Mary's Assumption for many centuries, adds these words of warning: "This teaching has already been accepted for some centuries, it has been held as certain in the minds of the pious people, and it has been taught to the entire Church in such a way that those who deny that Mary's body has been assumed into heaven are not to be listened to patiently but are everywhere to be denounced as over-contentious or rash men, and as imbued with a spirit that is heretical rather than Catholic."(42)

37. At the same time the great Suarez was professing in the field of mariology the norm that "keeping in mind the standards of propriety, and when there is no contradiction or repugnance on the part of Scripture, the mysteries of grace which God has wrought in the Virgin must be measured, not by the ordinary laws, but by the divine omnipotence."(43) Supported by the common faith of the entire Church on the subject of the mystery of the Assumption, he could conclude that this mystery was to be believed with the same firmness of assent as that given to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Thus he already held that such truths could be defined.

38. All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation. These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing his lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought him forth, nursed him with her milk, held him in her arms, and clasped him to her breast, as being apart from him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God's law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.

39. We must remember especially that, since the second century, the Virgin Mary has been designated by the holy Fathers as the new Eve, who, although subject to the new Adam, is most intimately associated with him in that struggle against the infernal foe which, as foretold in the protoevangelium,(44) would finally result in that most complete victory over the sin and death which are always mentioned together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles.(45) Consequently, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part and the final sign of this victory, so that struggle which was common to the Blessed Virgin and her divine Son should be brought to a close by the glorification of her virginal body, for the same Apostle says: "When this mortal thing hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."(46)

40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)

41. Since the universal Church, within which dwells the Spirit of Truth who infallibly directs it toward an ever more perfect knowledge of the revealed truths, has expressed its own belief many times over the course of the centuries, and since the bishops of the entire world are almost unanimously petitioning that the truth of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven should be defined as a dogma of divine and Catholic faith--this truth which is based on the Sacred Writings, which is thoroughly rooted in the minds of the faithful, which has been approved in ecclesiastical worship from the most remote times, which is completely in harmony with the other revealed truths, and which has been expounded and explained magnificently in the work, the science, and the wisdom of the theologians - we believe that the moment appointed in the plan of divine providence for the solemn proclamation of this outstanding privilege of the Virgin Mary has already arrived.

42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ's Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father's will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.

43. We rejoice greatly that this solemn event falls, according to the design of God's providence, during this Holy Year, so that we are able, while the great Jubilee is being observed, to adorn the brow of God's Virgin Mother with this brilliant gem, and to leave a monument more enduring than bronze of our own most fervent love for the Mother of God.

44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

46. In order that this, our definition of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven may be brought to the attention of the universal Church, we desire that this, our Apostolic Letter, should stand for perpetual remembrance, commanding that written copies of it, or even printed copies, signed by the hand of any public notary and bearing the seal of a person constituted in ecclesiastical dignity, should be accorded by all men the same reception they would give to this present letter, were it tendered or shown.

47. It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

48. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year of the great Jubilee, 1950, on the first day of the month of November, on the Feast of All Saints, in the twelfth year of our pontificate.

PIUS XII


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ENDNOTES

 

1. Rom 8:28.

2. Gal 4:4.

3. Cf. Hentrich-Von Moos, Petitiones de Assumptione Corporea B. Virginis Mariae in Caelum Definienda ad S. Sedem Delatae, 2 volumes (Vatican Polyglot Press, 1942).

4. Acts 20:28.

5. The Bull Ineffabilis Deus, in the Acta Pii IX, pars 1, Vol. 1, p. 615.

6. The Vatican Council, Constitution Dei filius, c. 4.

7. Jn 14:26.

8. Vatican Council, Constitution Pastor Aeternus, c. 4.

9. Ibid., Dei Filius, c. 3.

10. The encyclical Mediator Dei (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, XXXIX, 541).

11. Sacramentarium Gregorianum.

12. Menaei Totius Anni.

13. Lk 22:32.

14. Liber Pontificalis.

15. Ibid.

16. Responsa Nicolai Papae I ad Consulta Bulgarorum.

17. St. John Damascene, Encomium in Dormitionem Dei Genetricis Semperque Virginis Mariae, Hom. II, n. 14; cf. also ibid, n. 3.

18. St. Germanus of Constantinople, In Sanctae Dei Genetricis Dormitionem, Sermo I.

19. The Encomium in Dormitionem Sanctissimae Dominae Nostrate Deiparae Semperque Virginis Mariae, attributed to St. Modestus of Jerusalem, n. 14.

20. Cf. St. John Damascene, op. cit., Hom. II, n. 11; and also the Encomium attributed to St. Modestus.

21. Ps 131:8.

22. Ps 44:10-14ff.

23. Song 3:6; cf. also 4:8; 6:9.

24. Rv 12:1ff.

25. Lk 1:28.

26. Amadeus of Lausanne, De Beatae Virginis Obitu, Assumptione in Caelum Exaltatione ad Filii Dexteram.

27. Is 61:13.

28. St. Anthony of Padua, Sermones Dominicales et in Solemnitatibus, In Assumptione S. Mariae Virginis Sermo.

29. St. Albert the Great, Mariale, q. 132.

30. St. Albert the Great, Sermones de Sanctis, Sermo XV in Annuntiatione B. Mariae; cf. also Mariale, q. 132.

31. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., I, lla; q. 27, a. 1; q. 83, a. 5, ad 8; Expositio Salutationis Angelicae; In Symb. Apostolorum Expositio, a. S; In IV Sent., d. 12, q. 1, a. 3, sol. 3; d. 43, q. 1, a. 3, sol. 1, 2.

32. St. Bonaventure, De Nativitate B. Mariae Virginis, Sermo V.

33. Song 8:5.

34. St. Bonaventure, De Assumptione B. Mariae Virginis, Sermo 1.

35. St. Bernardine of Siena, In Assumptione B. Mariae Virginis, Sermo 11.

36. Ibid.

37. St. Robert Bellarmine, Conciones Habitae Lovanii, n. 40, De Assumption B. Mariae Virginis.

38. Oeuvres de St. Francois De Sales, sermon for the Feast of the Assumption.

39. St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, Part 2, d. 1.

40. Eph 5:27.

41. I Tim 3:15.

42. St. Peter Canisius, De Maria Virgine.

43. Suarez, In Tertiam Partem D. Thomae, q. 27, a. 2, disp. 3, sec. 5, n. 31.

44. Gen 3:15.

45. Rom 5-6; I Cor. 15:21-26, 54-57.

46. I Cor 15:54.

47. The Bull Ineffabilis Deus, loc. cit., p. 599.

48. I Tim 1:17.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_lt.html
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2010, 05:18:32 PM »

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

You are.

Absolutely meaningless exercise.

Your posting without saying a thing? Quoting without commenting? Yes, quite meaningless. And yet you do it again, and again, and again, and....
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2010, 05:39:23 PM »

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

Absolutely meaningless exercise.

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

 Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 06:23:55 PM »

The communicants of the Vatican only hold uninamity on one "Apostolic Constitution" as ex cathedra and hence "infallible":
There are no such things as "communicants of the Vaticn" since the Vatican is a place and not a communion/church.
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2010, 06:24:44 PM »

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective,
Bolgna
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 06:35:11 PM »

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

Absolutely meaningless exercise.

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

 Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

We'll have to agree to disagree, Father.  Personally, since I believe what you say is true, I'm certain you've been playing in the minor leagues.  I have yet to find too many truly good Orthodox historians and given what you think about Catholic theology and doctrine, as an Orthodox priest, then I would expect you to find much in the CCC that is heretical.  Proving it is another matter entirely.  Proving things to badly catechized Catholics is like taking candy from a baby and I'm not certain how proud I'd be of that.  IF you think apologists substitute for the formal teaching of the Church you are mistaken.

PS:  That does not detract from the fact that the exercise begun here is not one of any benefit since it makes no sense in Catholic terms at all.  It is a lovely monologue about nada though.

In Christ,

Mary
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 08:02:15 PM »

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective,
Bolgna
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 08:20:22 PM »

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

Heck, a lot of the folks at byzcath.org will simply say this outright.
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 08:33:55 PM »

The communicants of the Vatican only hold uninamity on one "Apostolic Constitution" as ex cathedra and hence "infallible":
There are no such things as "communicants of the Vaticn" since the Vatican is a place and not a communion/church.

I've noticed that ialmisry refuses to say "the Catholic Church" and instead says "the Vatican." Not sure why other than I think it is a subtle way of being disrespectful to us.
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 08:35:10 PM »

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

Heck, a lot of the folks at byzcath.org will simply say this outright.
Supposing that they do, does it mean they are assuming correctly?
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2010, 08:36:07 PM »

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective,
Bolgna
Is that served up ex cathedra?
You seem to be well aquainted with bolgna. So you tell me how you serve it.  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2010, 08:37:27 PM »

The communicants of the Vatican only hold uninamity on one "Apostolic Constitution" as ex cathedra and hence "infallible":
There are no such things as "communicants of the Vaticn" since the Vatican is a place and not a communion/church.

I've noticed that ialmisry refuses to say "the Catholic Church" and instead says "the Vatican." Not sure why other than I think it is a subtle way of being disrespectful to us.
You are correct.
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« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2010, 08:40:20 PM »

The communicants of the Vatican only hold uninamity on one "Apostolic Constitution" as ex cathedra and hence "infallible":
There are no such things as "communicants of the Vaticn" since the Vatican is a place and not a communion/church.

I've noticed that ialmisry refuses to say "the Catholic Church" and instead says "the Vatican." Not sure why other than I think it is a subtle way of being disrespectful to us.
You got that right and I have complained about this but to no avail. My only recourse was to ignore those that blatantly insult my faith. I encourage you to do the same because nothing else will work.
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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2010, 09:18:53 PM »

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective,
Bolgna
Is that served up ex cathedra?
You seem to be well aquainted with bolgna. So you tell me how you serve it.  Wink
Haven't touched the stuff since I was a kid.
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2010, 09:25:46 PM »

The communicants of the Vatican only hold uninamity on one "Apostolic Constitution" as ex cathedra and hence "infallible":
There are no such things as "communicants of the Vaticn" since the Vatican is a place and not a communion/church.

I've noticed that ialmisry refuses to say "the Catholic Church" and instead says "the Vatican." Not sure why other than I think it is a subtle way of being disrespectful to us.

VATICAN-the new "U" Word?
I've noticed of late (hard not to, as many under the Vatican have called my calling it like it is provacative) that those under Benedict XVI don't like being referred to as being under him, or in communion with the Vatican, nor submitting to the Vatican. Reference to the Vatican seems to be a problem for them.   

Now I understand that they want to be called "Catholic," but since we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and I believe in truth in advertising, that causes a problem in English (in doesn't in Arabic and others: the term for Universal and that for attached to the Vatican are different).  So, why all the squeamishness about Vatican Hill, because I doubt it is because St. Peter's is Constantinople's titular Church.
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2010, 09:46:37 PM »

I've noticed of late (hard not to, as many under the Vatican have called my calling it like it is provacative) that those under Benedict XVI don't like being referred to as being under him, or in communion with the Vatican, nor submitting to the Vatican. Reference to the Vatican seems to be a problem for them.   

Now I understand that they want to be called "Catholic," but since we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and I believe in truth in advertising, that causes a problem in English (in doesn't in Arabic and others: the term for Universal and that for attached to the Vatican are different).  So, why all the squeamishness about Vatican Hill, because I doubt it is because St. Peter's is Constantinople's titular Church.

I know that you believe you guys are the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is why I always refer to your Church using respectful terminology. I can't speak for other Catholics on here, but the issue I take with the terms you use is that I know the motivation behind it. I know that you say "the Vatican" to put us down while elevating yourself. You refuse to call us Catholic because you don't believe we are catholic (small "c"), but I call your Church Orthodox whether I believe it is actually fully orthodox (small "o"). Just call us Catholic. Catholic is a title...it doesn't mean you are admitting anything about our Church. You are too paranoid. Just call us by the title we wish to be called. It's simple. You seem to be complicating things.

Also, referring to us as "under the Vatican" or "under the Pope" carries a negative connotation because it almost sounds like we're being forced to submit, which is inaccurate. Benedict XVI has never forced me to obey any of his teachings. I follow the Papacy willingly and I am proud to be Catholic.
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2010, 10:05:15 PM »

I've noticed of late (hard not to, as many under the Vatican have called my calling it like it is provacative) that those under Benedict XVI don't like being referred to as being under him, or in communion with the Vatican, nor submitting to the Vatican. Reference to the Vatican seems to be a problem for them.  

Now I understand that they want to be called "Catholic," but since we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and I believe in truth in advertising, that causes a problem in English (in doesn't in Arabic and others: the term for Universal and that for attached to the Vatican are different).  So, why all the squeamishness about Vatican Hill, because I doubt it is because St. Peter's is Constantinople's titular Church.

I know that you believe you guys are the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is why I always refer to your Church using respectful terminology. I can't speak for other Catholics on here, but the issue I take with the terms you use is that I know the motivation behind it. I know that you say "the Vatican" to put us down while elevating yourself. You refuse to call us Catholic because you don't believe we are catholic (small "c"), but I call your Church Orthodox whether I believe it is actually fully orthodox (small "o"). Just call us Catholic. Catholic is a title...it doesn't mean you are admitting anything about our Church. You are too paranoid. Just call us by the title we wish to be called. It's simple. You seem to be complicating things.

Also, referring to us as "under the Vatican" or "under the Pope" carries a negative connotation because it almost sounds like we're being forced to submit, which is inaccurate. Benedict XVI has never forced me to obey any of his teachings. I follow the Papacy willingly and I am proud to be Catholic.
Gee, every church I've been in that commemorates HH Benedict XVI, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, has this in it


Click on this link. See where it takes you;
http://www.vatican.va/

Maybe I can't make out what the inscriptio says. What is it?

reddite quae sunt Caesaris Caesari...

Or maybe you prefer snail mail

« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 10:35:03 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2010, 12:13:13 AM »

I've noticed of late (hard not to, as many under the Vatican have called my calling it like it is provacative) that those under Benedict XVI don't like being referred to as being under him, or in communion with the Vatican, nor submitting to the Vatican. Reference to the Vatican seems to be a problem for them.  

Now I understand that they want to be called "Catholic," but since we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and I believe in truth in advertising, that causes a problem in English (in doesn't in Arabic and others: the term for Universal and that for attached to the Vatican are different).  So, why all the squeamishness about Vatican Hill, because I doubt it is because St. Peter's is Constantinople's titular Church.

I know that you believe you guys are the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is why I always refer to your Church using respectful terminology. I can't speak for other Catholics on here, but the issue I take with the terms you use is that I know the motivation behind it. I know that you say "the Vatican" to put us down while elevating yourself. You refuse to call us Catholic because you don't believe we are catholic (small "c"), but I call your Church Orthodox whether I believe it is actually fully orthodox (small "o"). Just call us Catholic. Catholic is a title...it doesn't mean you are admitting anything about our Church. You are too paranoid. Just call us by the title we wish to be called. It's simple. You seem to be complicating things.

Also, referring to us as "under the Vatican" or "under the Pope" carries a negative connotation because it almost sounds like we're being forced to submit, which is inaccurate. Benedict XVI has never forced me to obey any of his teachings. I follow the Papacy willingly and I am proud to be Catholic.
Gee, every church I've been in that commemorates HH Benedict XVI, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, has this in it


Click on this link. See where it takes you;
http://www.vatican.va/

Maybe I can't make out what the inscriptio says. What is it?

reddite quae sunt Caesaris Caesari...

Or maybe you prefer snail mail



It still doesn't change the fact that you do not like referring to our Church as the Catholic Church simply because you take issue with the word "Catholic." Also, the Vatican is not synonymous with the Church. The Vatican is the headquarters of the Church and where the Pope resides, but it is not the Church even though it has an important role in the Church.
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2010, 01:08:34 AM »

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

Absolutely meaningless exercise.

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

 Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

So why bother with the CCC? Because it  a reliable source of the Vatican's teaching
More at the linked post.

You're right, Father,  it is just for this reason that I think it wise to go through this question.  On the one hand we are often told we do not have a catechism like the CCC, which is pointed out as "proof" of our deficiency, but then when we examine it, we get responses as you posted.  Either it is authoritative-and the pope of the Vatican says it is-or it is not.
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2010, 01:42:16 AM »

Wyatt, my Roman Catholic brother, I'd rather shoot pool with a rope than pay attention to any of his burlesque comments.
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2010, 08:24:08 AM »

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

Absolutely meaningless exercise.

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

 Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

So why bother with the CCC? Because it  a reliable source of the Vatican's teaching
More at the linked post.

You're right, Father,  it is just for this reason that I think it wise to go through this question.  On the one hand we are often told we do not have a catechism like the CCC, which is pointed out as "proof" of our deficiency, but then when we examine it, we get responses as you posted.  Either it is authoritative-and the pope of the Vatican says it is-or it is not.

But you are talking to yourself about a tradition that you not only do not understand but that you reject without a serious life long attempt to see how it all is true, and how it all fits in its wholeness.

You spend time around Catholics who tell you things that are not so and you suck it up like a sponge because it suits your own agenda, and then you arrogate to yourself the capability to do what you propose here?

You are not even dialoging with the text.  You are using the text to highlight your own biases.

As I said, in any real sense, it is a waste of your precious time.  All it does is exercise your extreme dislike for things Catholic. 

I come from Lutherans on one side of my family.  It helps to know that is the tradition from which you came.   It is a very very bitter relationship still.

In Christ,

Mary
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2010, 12:26:56 PM »

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

have fun...

Absolutely meaningless exercise.

Absolutely not!

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective, and for any die hard Catholic apologist their last desparate response is:

"So what? The CCC is not a reliable source of Catholic teaching anyway!"

 Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

So why bother with the CCC? Because it  a reliable source of the Vatican's teaching
More at the linked post.

You're right, Father,  it is just for this reason that I think it wise to go through this question.  On the one hand we are often told we do not have a catechism like the CCC, which is pointed out as "proof" of our deficiency, but then when we examine it, we get responses as you posted.  Either it is authoritative-and the pope of the Vatican says it is-or it is not.

But you are talking to yourself
Obviously not. ChristusDominus felt compelled to post
Wyatt, my Roman Catholic brother, I'd rather shoot pool with a rope than pay attention to any of his burlesque comments.
rather than PM. I assume for a reason. No doubt if the thread goes on or someone brings it to Mardukm attention, he'll come to post some of his pronouncements (rather than citations) in encouragement of the idea that we don't know what we talk about, until the citations of your authorities scares him away (I notice that he posts at CAF and Byzcath when he's too preoccupied to post here. Of course, more members of the Vatican's choir over there, and he is free to choose his audience. Just not the response). Then those who lurk. Caveat lector.

This thread will provide a handy reference when the CCC paints the Vatican apologist into a corner and they try to evade that by disowning the CCC. As Fr. Chris stated, it happens. When it does I can just post a link and continue on ad rem.

about a tradition that you not only do not understand

That I reject it proffers no evidence that I do not understand it. I leave it to my citations to argue otherwise. Caveat lector.

but that you reject without a serious life long attempt

Being neither Hindu nor Buddhist, I do not labor under the dilusion (as the Fifth Council tells us) that I have more than one life to live. Meandering down a dead end is not a way to spend it.

I have the testimony of SS Photius, Gregory Palamas and Mark of Ephesus: I have no need to attempt a defense of your "Supreme Pontiffs" Leo IX ("sanctamque Romanam aecclesiam omnium aecclesiarum matrem et magistram ") Innocent III,  Boniface VII and Pius IX, nor the time to waste doing so.

to see how it all is true, and how it all fits in its wholeness.

If the first sip of Kool-Aid tastes funny, I don't need to drink it down to the dreggs to know it's poisoned.

I am not limber enough for the gymnastics required to squeeze Ultramontanism into Orthodoxy. Your Suprememe Pontiff just reiterated 3 years ago that he thinks the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church is "lacking." Since I know that the Orthodox Church lacks nothing, I am not puzzled and so need no more pieces to see "how it fits in its wholeness."

You spend time around Catholics who tell you things that are not so

not so because it doesn't fit your agenda?  No, I spend time citing sources such as the CCC, in which your "Magisterium" tells you things that are not so.

and you suck it up like a sponge because it suits your own agenda, and then you arrogate to yourself the capability to do what you propose here?

I can read. So can those who come here. Caveat lector.

You are not even dialoging with the text.
 
Pointing out its flaws and errors is dialogue.  Thinking otherwise is why the Ravenna/Crete/Cyrpus/Vienna texts are going to go nowhere.

You are using the text to highlight your own biases.
I am biased towards Orthodoxy. I swore to remain so at my chrismation.

As I said, in any real sense, it is a waste of your precious time.
 
Unfortunately I've wasted time on far, far less.

All it does is exercise your extreme dislike for things Catholic.
No, all things Ultramontane.

I come from Lutherans on one side of my family.  It helps to know that is the tradition from which you came.   It is a very very bitter relationship still.

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2010, 12:35:37 PM »


The Lutherans and the Vatican?

Indeed!  I chose the better part, of course.

Mary
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2010, 12:47:38 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2010, 01:19:38 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin

Monarch envy
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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2010, 01:56:49 PM »

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective,
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« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2010, 01:58:33 PM »

I have had more than one occaison where I have shown to a person how the CCC is incorrect from an historical and/or theological perspective,
Bolgna
Calling one's own personal experience BS?
His interpretation.
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« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2010, 02:18:26 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin
Why do you?
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« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2010, 02:19:23 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin
Why do you?
I don't. You do.
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« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2010, 02:19:57 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin

Monarch envy
No.
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« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2010, 02:24:09 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin

Monarch envy
No.

This is an important point. Isa, if you do infact worship our King Jesus Christ, why your obssession with "The Vatican"? I am Catholic, and I would bet that if we were to count up how many times I have mentioned the City State of the Vatican, and how many times you have here at OC.net, you would definitely be the winner.
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« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2010, 02:24:50 PM »

oh, and Isa, beautiful Icon. Do you know where one might be able to buy a copy?
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« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2010, 02:31:04 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin
Why do you?
I don't. You do.
You don't commemorate the Sovereign of the State of Vatican City?

His official web site isn't this?

http://www.vatican.va/

Your church doesn't have this flag in it?


Your bishop didn't get a letter with a "VA" poststamp on it before consecration?
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« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2010, 02:34:32 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin

Monarch envy
No.

This is an important point. Isa, if you do infact worship our King Jesus Christ, why your obssession with "The Vatican"? I am Catholic, and I would bet that if we were to count up how many times I have mentioned the City State of the Vatican, and how many times you have here at OC.net, you would definitely be the winner.

I'm sure the Loyalists mentioned Bonnie Prince Charles more than the Jacobites. Such is the nature of movements trying to put a pretender on the throne before the legimists know what happened.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2010, 02:41:33 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin
Why do you?
I don't. You do.
You don't commemorate the Sovereign of the State of Vatican City?

His official web site isn't this?

http://www.vatican.va/

Your church doesn't have this flag in it?


Your bishop didn't get a letter with a "VA" poststamp on it before consecration?
We as Catholics hardly ever talk about the Vatican. It doesn't have much to do with our day to day experience of our faith in God.
Calling the Catholic Church "The Vatican" is as silly as calling the Greek Orthodox Church "The Phanar".
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« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2010, 02:42:36 PM »

The Lutherans and the Vatican?
Why are you always talking about this tiny city-state surround by Rome?  Grin

Monarch envy
No.

This is an important point. Isa, if you do infact worship our King Jesus Christ, why your obssession with "The Vatican"? I am Catholic, and I would bet that if we were to count up how many times I have mentioned the City State of the Vatican, and how many times you have here at OC.net, you would definitely be the winner.

I'm sure the Loyalists mentioned Bonnie Prince Charles more than the Jacobites. Such is the nature of movements trying to put a pretender on the throne before the legimists know what happened.
Pretender to the throne? Who do posit as the legimate ruler of the Vatican City State, that we have some how usurped?
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« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2010, 02:43:06 PM »

Oh, and Isa, once again, do you know where I can get a copy of the icon you posted?
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