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Author Topic: Catholic Church vainly trying "building up the body of Christ"  (Read 1535 times) Average Rating: 0
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lpap
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« on: May 10, 2005, 09:41:07 AM »

From the official Vatican site:

Handing on the Faith: Catechesis

4 Quite early on, the name catechesis was given to the totality of the Church's efforts to make disciples, to help men believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life, thus building up the body of Christ.

5 "Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life."

6 While not being formally identified with them, catechesis is built on a certain number of elements of the Church's pastoral mission which have a catechetical aspect, that prepare for catechesis, or spring from it. They are: the initial proclamation of the Gospel or missionary preaching to arouse faith; examination of the reasons for belief; experience of Christian living; celebration of the sacraments; integration into the ecclesial community; and apostolic and missionary witness.

7 "Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church's life. Not only her geographical extension and numerical increase, but even more her inner growth and correspondence with God's plan depend essentially on catechesis."

8 Periods of renewal in the Church are also intense moments of catechesis. In the great era of the Fathers of the Church, saintly bishops devoted an important part of their ministry to catechesis. St. Cyril of Jerusalem and St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, and many other Fathers wrote catechetical works that remain models for us.

9 "The ministry of catechesis draws ever fresh energy from the councils. the Council of Trent is a noteworthy example of this. It gave catechesis priority in its constitutions and decrees. It lies at the origin of the Roman Catechism, which is also known by the name of that council and which is a work of the first rank as a summary of Christian teaching. . " The Council of Trent initiated a remarkable organization of the Church's catechesis. Thanks to the work of holy bishops and theologians such as St. Peter Canisius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Turibius of Mongrovejo or St. Robert Bellarmine, it occasioned the publication of numerous catechisms.

10 It is therefore no surprise that catechesis in the Church has again attracted attention in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, which Pope Paul Vl considered the great catechism of modern times. the General Catechetical Directory (1971) the sessions of the Synod of Bishops devoted to evangelization (1974) and catechesis (1977), the apostolic exhortations Evangelii nuntiandi (1975) and Catechesi tradendae (1979), attest to this. the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985 asked "that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed" The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, made the Synod's wish his own, acknowledging that "this desire wholly corresponds to a real need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches." He set in motion everything needed to carry out the Synod Fathers' wish.


From an Orthodox point of view : Prologue to the Catechetical Lectures of Our Holy Father, Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem

2. Even Simon Magus once came to the Laver : he was baptized, but was not enlightened; and though he dipped his body in water, he enlightened not his heart with the Spirit: his body went down and came up, but his soul was not buried with Christ, nor raised with Him9 . Now I mention the statements of (men's) falls, that thou mayest not fall: for these things happened to them by way of example, and they are written for the admonition of those who to this day draw near. Let none of you be found tempting His grace, lest any root of bitterness spring up and trouble you . Let none of you enter saying, Let us see what the faithful are doing: let me go in and see, that I may learn what is being done. Dost thou expect to see, and not expect to be seen? And thinkest thou, that whilst thou art searching out what is going on, God is not searching thy heart?

3. A certain man in the Gospels once pried into the marriage feast , and took an unbecoming garment, and came in, sat down, and ate: for the bridegroom permitted it. But when he saw them all clad in white , he ought to have assumed a garment of the same kind himself: whereas he partook of the like food, but was unlike them in fashion and in purpose. The bridegroom, however, though bountiful, was not undiscerning: and in going round to each of the guests and observing them (for his care was not for their eating, but for their seemly behaviour), he saw a stranger not having on a wedding garment, and said to. him, Friend, how camest thou in hither? In what a colour ! With what a conscience! What though the door-keeper forbade thee not, because of the bountifulness of the entertainer? what though thou wert ignorant in what fashion thou shouldest come in to the banquet?- thou didst come in, and didst see the glittering fashions of the guests: shouldest thou not have been taught even by what was before thine eyes? Shouldest thou not have retired in good season, that thou mightest enter in good season again? But now thou hast come in unseasonably, to be unseasonably cast out. So he commands the servants, Bind his feet, which daringly intruded: bind his hands, which knew not how to put a bright garment around him: and cast him into the outer darkness; for he is unworthy of the wedding torches . Thou seest what happened to that man: make thine own condition safe.

4. For we, the ministers of Christ, have admitted every one, and occupying, as it were, the place of door-keepers we left the door open: and possibly thou didst enter with thy soul bemired with sins, and with a will defiled. Enter thou didst, and wast allowed: thy name was inscribed. Tell me, dost thou behold this venerable constitution of the Church? Dost thou view her order and discipline , the reading of Scriptures , the presence of the ordained , the course of instruction ? Be abashed at the place, and be taught by what thou seest . Go out opportunely now, and enter most opportunely to-morrow.

If the fashion of thy soul is avarice, put on another fashion and come in. Put off thy former fashion, cloke it not up. Put off, I pray thee, fornication and uncleanness, and put on the brightest robe of chastity. This charge I give thee, before Jesus the Bridegroom of souls come in and see their fashions. A long notice is allowed thee; thou hast forty days for repentance: thou hast full opportunity both to put off, and wash, and to put on and enter. But if thou persist in an evil purpose, the speaker is blameless, but thou must not look for the grace: for the water will receive, but the Spirit will not accept thee . If any one is conscious of his wound, let him take the salve; if any has fallen, let him arise. Let there be no Simon among you, no hypocrisy, no idle curiosity about the matter.

5. Possibly too thou art come on another pretext. It is possible that a man is wishing to pay court to a woman, and came hither on that account . The remark applies in like manner to women also in their turn. A slave also perhaps wishes to please his master, and a friend his friend. I accept this bait for the hook, and welcome thee, though thou camest with an evil purpose, yet as one to be saved by a good hope. Perhaps thou knewest not whither thou wert coming, nor in what kind of net thou art taken. Thou art come within the Church's nets : be taken alive, flee not: for Jesus is angling for thee, not in order to kill, but by killing to make alive: for thou must die and rise again. For thou hast heard the Apostle say, Dead indeed unto sin, but living unto righteousness . Die to thy sins, and live to righteousness, live from this very day.

....

12. When, therefore, the Lecture is delivered, if a Catechumen ask thee what the teachers have said, tell nothing to him that is without . For we deliver to thee a mystery, and a hope of the life to come. Guard the mystery for Him who gives the reward. Let none ever say to thee, What harm to thee, if I also know it? So too the sick ask for wine; but if it be given at a wrong time it causes delirium, and two evils arise; the sick man dies, and the physician is blamed. Thus is it also with the Catechumen, if he hear anything from the believer: both the Catechumen becomes delirious (for he understands not what he has heard, and finds fault with the thing, and scoffs at what is said), and the believer is condemned as a traitor. But thou art now standing on the border: take heed, pray, to tell nothing out; not that the things spoken are not worthy to be told, but because his ear is unworthy to receive. Thou wast once thyself a Catechumen, and I described not what lay before thee. When by experience thou hast learned how high are the matters of our teaching, then thou wilt know that the Catechumens are not worthy to hear them.




« Last Edit: May 10, 2005, 02:32:22 PM by lpap » Logged

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Philokalia
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 05:06:52 PM »

Whats your point?
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 05:35:57 PM »

The point is that the Roman-Catholic church has forgoten all about the meaning of Catechesis. She says that "Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life"

It says nowhere about the real object of Chatechesis, that is to provide evidence to Chatechumen that "If the fashion of thy soul is avarice, put on another fashion and come in".

The issue is not about "education" but about living experience of the "new fashion" that is needed for the Chatechumen.
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2005, 04:18:35 PM »

You are making a distinction without a difference. All Cathechesis has an educational aspect to it. Those with knowledge of the faith share their knowledge of Christ crucified with those who do not know him. The effect of this education combined with the work of the Holy Spirit and the co-operation of the Catechumen is a tranformation of the persons life. He becomes born again.

John Paul wrote an Apostolic Letter on Catechesis~ Catechesi Tradendae http://www.cin.org/jp2ency/catetrad.html which says in part

Nevertheless, the specific aim of catechesis is to develop, with God's help, an as yet initial faith, and to advance in fullness and to nourish day by day the Christian life of the faithful, young and old. It is in fact a matter of giving growth, at the level of knowledge and in life, to the seed of faith sown by the Holy Spirit with the initial proclamation and effectively transmitted by baptism. Catechesis aims therefore at developing understanding of the mystery of Christ in the light of God's word, so that the whole of a person's humanity is impregnated by that word. Changed by the working of grace into a new creature, the Christian thus sets himself to follow Christ and learns more and more within the Church to think like him, to judge like him, to act in conformity with his commandments, and to hope as he invites us to. To put it more precisely: within the whole process of evangelization, the aim of catechesis is to be the teaching and maturation stage, that is to say, the period in which the Christian, having accepted by faith the person of Jesus Christ as the one Lord and having given him complete adherence by sincere conversion of heart, endeavours to know better this Jesus to whom he has entrusted himself: to know his "mystery", the Kingdom of God proclaimed by him, the requirements and promises contained in his Gospel message, and the paths that he has laid down for any one who wishes to follow him. It is true that being a Christian means saying "yes" to Jesus Christ, but let us remember that this "yes" has two levels: it consists in surrendering to the word of God and relying on it, but it also means, at a later stage, endeavouring to know better and better the profound meaning of this word.
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Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings. Violence is a crime against humanity, for it destroys the very fabric of society.
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2005, 06:55:09 PM »

Dear friend Philokalia,

Thank you for your response, it will help me to share with you the Orthodox point of view.

In the Catholic site you proposed, in the very beginning of the text, I found the following preface:

“1. The Church has always considered catechesis one of her primary tasks, for, before Christ ascended to his Father after his Resurrection, he gave the Apostles a final command--to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to observe all that he had commanded. He thus entrusted them with the mission and power to proclaim to humanity what they had heard, what they had seen with their eyes, what they had looked upon and touched with their hands, concerning the Word of Life. He also entrusted them with the mission and power to explain with authority what he had taught them, his words and actions, his signs and commandments. And he gave them the Spirit to fulfil this mission. Very soon the name of catechesis was given to the whole of the efforts within the Church to make disciples, to help people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ. The Church has not ceased to devote her energy to this task.”

This context of Catholic “catechesis” is vividly showing in what way the Catholic church is using the word “disciples”. It’s the “notion” of discipleship that we have for every educational system: we must learn and comprehend the facts of a cognitional truth and then we may experience this truth in a personal way in order to introduce ourselves as “disciples” of the teaching itself in our own lives.

It’s like learning the guitar (in an analogy fashion). One has to learn from a guitar player what a guitar is, how it functions, what music is, and then he may become as a “disciple” of “guitar playing” so that he may become a guitar player himself by going from ignorance to scholarship.

Now let’s look at the Orthodox notion of “catechesis” by looking at the meaning of “disciple”. The true meaning of Christian Discipleship is declared in Luke 14:25-35:

  25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,
 26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
 27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
 28 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
 29 "Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
 30 saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
 31 "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
 32 "Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
 33 "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
 34 "Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
 35 "It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


In this context, the disciple can not learn anything else but his inability to be educated about the Teachers status of being. He will always be a disciple not in a learning mode, but in an ignorance mode.

He will try to use the knowledge of sonship, of fathership, of bedmate, of brothership, of a mere being (as a self relation knowledge) but all this will fail him as a disciple.(Luke 14:26)

He must carry the apprenticeship that will never add to him any knowledge at all, like a cross of discipleship that will leave him in ignorance. (Luke 14:27)

Because he does not have the power to be a disciple of Divine teachings in his earthly created nature. He can not build up the Devine Body of Christ using human nature’s stuff.(Luke 14:29-30)

For as a king that has no power to fight against another king’s stronger enemy he has to make peace with him, accepting his strengthlessness, likewise the disciple must realise his impotence to learn the Divine knowledge. (Luke 14:31-32)

So the disciple must give up all of his human nature attributes - along with his human knowledge/logic/mind - as unsuitably for Devine discipleship. (Luke 14:33)

Salt is good for eating as long as it “denies” its natural attributes of being mineral, and by that it enters into the reality of “alive” beings, itself remaining absolutely unaware of it’s salty taste. It is nevertheless this discipleship of ignorance that permits it to take part in a world that is none of its. If it would persist to its own tasteless nature then it would have no place into “alive realities”. (Luke 14:34-35)

So by that, you understand that the discipleship for Orthodox Church is not an order “to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to observe all that He had commanded”. Neither is that: “He thus entrusted them with the mission and power to proclaim to humanity what they had heard, what they had seen with their eyes, what they had looked upon and touched with their hands, concerning the Word of Life”. Neither is that: “He also entrusted them with the mission and power to explain with authority what he had taught them, his words and actions, his signs and commandments.”

It is true that the Orthodox Church is giving evidence as a witness about the realities of the presence of Christ in flesh and blood, and of His life as a man-God, His passion, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and about the evidence that the bible presents about history of man an God’s presence in man’s history. This is done by the Orthodox Church according to the context of John 1:14-18

  14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, ' He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"
 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.


So Orthodox Church is not educated people about Christ, She gives evidence of His presence in people’s lives. And there is a substantial difference between “providing education” and of “giving evidence”.

It’s like the difference between a University and a Court. In the University the students use their minds learning and comprehending about realities from a teacher, and in a Court witnesses testify about realities from their lives in front of jury.

The difference between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, regarding the catechesis issue is that: The Catholic church uses the methodology of a University that instructs the teachings about Devine realities to the “disciples”, and the Orthodox Church uses the methodology of a Court wherein humans testify about their experiences with Devine realities to the “disciples”.

As you can understand in Orthodox Church the “disciples” are not being educated at all, they are just being informed from testimonies and being presented evidences, like jurors are in a Court. And like in a Court, when someone refers to another person that is involved in the case, the jury ask to meet with him and to receive his testimony too, the Church witnesses present the Church Body, as Christ-the Person, to testify for Himself about the unspoken evidence that are not themselves able to provide evidence.

This is what Orthodox Catechesis is about.

I make an effort to show what the diference is between Orthodox & Catholics. It is up to you my friend to evaluate this.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2005, 06:57:38 PM by lpap » Logged

Life is to live the life of others.
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