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Author Topic: Catholic dogmas (response to Fr. Ambrose)  (Read 583 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« on: January 20, 2012, 10:07:38 PM »

The Orthodox often forget the importance of the Magisterium for Catholics.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.  Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Tradition and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings. Whatever of their tradition has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as "the Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.

Let me say first that you make a number of good points there.

I believe however that you are mistaken on some nuances. Consider, for example, the question of how many Marian dogmas there are in Catholicism. Many Catholics assert (rather dogmatically!) that there are neither more nor less than 4, but many other Catholics find that position quite illogical. See, for example, the treatment in
Not Fifth, Not Final, Not Yet A Dogma
.

Quote
...
However, the claim that there are only four dogmas (with the proposed dogma counting as fifth) is based on a very narrow definition of what constitutes a Dogma. Dr. Mark Miravalle asserts in quote 5 above that a teaching is not a dogma, even if it has been infallibly taught by the Universal Magisterium, unless it has been solemnly defined under Papal Infallibility or by an Ecumenical Council. But there are a number of problems with this restrictive definition of the term 'dogma.'

First, the Marian dogma which teaches that Mary is ever-virgin, in other words, that her virginity is perpetual, was never defined under Papal Infallibility, nor by an Ecumenical Council. There is no solemn definition which specifically and infallibly teaches that Mary is ever-virgin. Now this teaching is certainly a teaching of the infallible ordinary and universal Magisterium, and so the doctrine itself is indisputable. But under the narrow definition of the term dogma used by supporters of the Vox Populi position, there would only be three current Marian dogmas, and their proposed dogma would be fourth, not fifth.
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« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 10:08:49 PM by Peter J » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 01:36:08 AM »

Quote
...
First, the Marian dogma which teaches that Mary is ever-virgin, in other words, that her virginity is perpetual, was never defined under Papal Infallibility, nor by an Ecumenical Council. There is no solemn definition which specifically and infallibly teaches that Mary is ever-virgin. Now this teaching is certainly a teaching of the infallible ordinary and universal Magisterium, and so the doctrine itself is indisputable. But under the narrow definition of the term dogma used by supporters of the Vox Populi position, there would only be three current Marian dogmas, and their proposed dogma would be fourth, not fifth.
...

The Second Council of Constantinople, 553, Capitula II:
If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her: let him be anathema.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xii.vii.html
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Peter J
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 10:31:13 AM »

Quote
However, the claim that there are only four dogmas (with the proposed dogma counting as fifth) is based on a very narrow definition of what constitutes a Dogma.

If anyone wants to see the article's conclusion, but doesn't want to read the whole article ...

Quote
1. Mary's Immaculate Conception
2. Mary's Perpetual Virginity
3. Mary's Perpetual Sinlessness
4. Mary as Mother of God
5. Mary as Spouse of the Holy Spirit
6. Mary's participation in the sufferings of Christ
7. Mary as Mother of the Church
8. Mary's Assumption to Heaven
9. Mary's Queenship in Heaven

Therefore, there are today at least nine Marian dogmas, using a definition of the term dogma which includes all fundamental doctrines found in Divine Revelation and infallibly taught by the Magisterium. Since a more restrictive use of the term dogma would result in a count of only three Marian dogmas, the claim that the dogma proposed by Vox Populi is (or will be if defined soon) the fifth Marian dogma is a false and unsupportable claim.

On a side note, I don't know a whole lot about Ronald L. Conte Jr.,  the author of the article. He may possibly be a bit of a nut -- I've never really bothered to find out one way or another. I just think there are some good points in the aforementioned article, regardless of who wrote it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 03:11:17 PM »

This discussion brings up the issue of just what *is* the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.  I'm pretty sure this has been discussed before, but it would be interesting to see just what Fr. Ambrose considers it to be.  The Catholic Encyclopedia treats of it here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm.

To assert, as Fr. Ambrose seems to do, that Tradition has no role in Catholic teaching is really a gross misrepresentation.  Here is one article that treats of Sacred Tradition: http://www.mark-shea.com/tradition.html, another: http://www.catholicbible101.com/sacredtradition.htm, another: http://www.sspeterandpaul.net/new_evangelization/RCIA/Handouts/sacred%20tradition.pdf.  The Catechism discusses it in paragraphs 75-79, 81, 84, 97 and others.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 07:48:06 PM »



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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 08:22:17 PM »





ROTFLOL!!!!!
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