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Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - Printable Version

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Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - Scriptorium - 10-03-2012

(10-03-2012, 09:40 AM)SouthpawLink Wrote: I completely agree with you.  Your example reminds me of the post I had planned on making:  It appears as if Pope Benedict only ever speaks of what's good about Protestantism (he doesn't even think they should be called heretics anymore), rather than emphasizing their urgent need to convert to the Catholic Faith for the sake of their salvation.

As you implied earlier, it's obvious that actual grace and good works are to be found outside the Church (cf. Denz. 1025, 1027, 1379, 1388.).

In an attempt to persuade people, positive statements are more effective than negative statements. Why? Because positive statements encourage a continued action, whereas negative statements discourage continued action, and actually don't register in our subconscious properly. (Think about it. We are "be"-ings.) This leads to either a rebellion (a further separation) or a false conformity (routine). It does not lead to a positive action towards holiness and transformation of life. Negative statements can be rephrased in a positive manner, or they can be stated with an immediate follow-up of positive ways to correct the negative, giving tools to work with. It is scientifically established that positive statements are more conducive to a vibrant and flourishing community (whether a family, a work team, the Church, or the world).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positivity/negativity_ratio
http://voices.yahoo.com/the-truth-negative-commands-dont-read-this-184331.html

Also at any given time there can be an emphasis placed on one of the aspects of persuasion: the logos (appeal to logic), pathos (appeal to emotion), or ethos (appeal to the "ethic" of the audience in regard to the character of the speaker).

Benedict rightly has stated that the traditional definition of heresy does not properly belong to most Protestants because they have inherited their situation. They are not in the same circumstances as the originators who were in the Church, were educated in the Faith, and embraced a heresy while in their maturity. Protestants are baptized into the Church, but receive instruction in the truths of the Faith and the heresies, without distinction. They are nurtured in this from youth by their parents and pastors, who themselves were nurtured in them. So while they technically are heretics, that title in regard to most of them is meaningless in the pursuit of full communion with them. The approach which is greater is to show them how their circumstances are incomplete, and how they can come to a fuller love and service to the Christ they love only in the bosom of the one unified Church. We for our part should take joy in their goodness, and encourage them to further acts of love and devotion. We should be friendly, and discuss with them how the incomplete vision can be completed.


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - SouthpawLink - 10-03-2012

Scriptorium,
No offense to you, but I knew someone was going to make the post you just made: "It's better and more effective to be positive than it is to be negative."  The question, however, lies in which period, the 50 years before Vatican II (with its "negative" approach) or the 50 years after Vatican II (with its "positive" approach), has produced more converts to the Catholic Chrch.  And again, it is not enough to tell non-Catholics that the Church has the "fullness of the faith," but they must also -- out of charity -- be warned of their objectively dire situation.  Being positive will certainly work for some, but stressing the negative ("there's no hope for those who die outside the Church") will also work for others, as it did long before Vatican II.

P.S. -- Vatican II sent a mixed message, by stating that the Holy Spirit uses false sects as means of salvation, and that illicit celebrations of the sacraments somehow build up the Church of God.  The objective gravity of being outside the Holy Catholic Church loses all meaning when it's affirmed that men can be saved in false sects (but through the Church).

"9. God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love.  On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation.  First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold.  Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation" (Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, 10 August 1863).

P.P.S. -- Jesus Himself did not simply say, "Blessed are they..." (St. Matt., V), but He also said, "Woe to you..." (St. Luke, VI).


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - JuniorCouncilor - 10-03-2012

(10-03-2012, 12:01 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: We should be friendly, and discuss with them how the incomplete vision can be completed.

All well and good, but what seems to be notably missing is any preaching that their vision is incomplete.  We're supposed to get along with them, appreciate them, etc.  All of that is relatively easy.  Our culture basically forces us to do that.

What's being left out is the strong medicine, the medicine we actually need:  preaching that we need to pray for their conversion, that outside the Church there is no salvation, that even if they are not culpable as heretics, still their objective situation of heresy puts them in grave danger.  All this, so that we can deal honestly and openly with them about their real situation.

This is the message that is missing.  It's not purely negative, because there are things we can do.  Nonetheless, if you fail to recognize the negative facts, you can't take positive action.  And this ignorance of negative facts is widespread.  I really wish more of those in the hierarchy, up to and including the Holy Father, would do more about it.  Until they do, I expect this crisis-level situation in the Church to continue.


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - TS Aquinas - 10-03-2012

(10-03-2012, 08:40 AM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(10-03-2012, 06:11 AM)ByrnePerfection Wrote: Rejected because the church is a blind bat. Though nevermind that-I believe that quote to be true. As well, since I don't go to a 'trad' mass-the my priests have essentially said that before several times in their homilies-and it makes total sense. I mean that God is everywhere-in us and all around us. I love that quote and I believe it and really there's not that much difference between gnostic teachings and Catholic teachings. I have read the bible several times-I also skimmed-the gnostic bible while I was at Barnes&Noble with my mom-she kind of encouraged me to go ahead-especially since I think it was after we had seen The Da Vinci Code. And Stigmata is one of my favourite films as is End of Days-but enough on that....main point is that one does not necessairly have to go to a church for Jesus. Though that hour and a half of silence/meditation is a good thing-which does wonders&in my case I also like singing with my choir

Have you become a male yet, to go to heaven?

Also if God is everywhere, he is in a mansion of wood and stone too.

Hah, I almost forgot about that in the Gnostic texts, saying women need to become men in order to enter heaven. Oh well, maybe she'll pick and choose what to believe and deny the rest like a typical intellectually dishonest cafeteria Christian.

Also, nice contradiction you caught  :LOL:


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - Scriptorium - 10-03-2012

(10-03-2012, 01:00 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: Scriptorium,
No offense to you, but I knew someone was going to make the post you just made: "It's better and more effective to be positive than it is to be negative."  The question, however, lies in which period, the 50 years before Vatican II (with its "negative" approach) or the 50 years after Vatican II (with its "positive" approach), has produced more converts to the Catholic Chrch.  And again, it is not enough to tell non-Catholics that the Church has the "fullness of the faith," but they must also -- out of charity -- be warned of their objectively dire situation.  Being positive will certainly work for some, but stressing the negative ("there's no hope for those who die outside the Church") will also work for others, as it did long before Vatican II.

The question is a multifaceted one. I don't think the two periods can be compared to each other, because I think they are not the same on so many levels. Nor can the crisis of the post-VII era simply be laid at the foot of the Council or the changes in the liturgy. Did St. Pius X deal with the pill? Did he deal with massive world war? How about mass/instant communication. Etc. Etc. Europe was hemorrhaging then as it is now. It's just people dressed nicely and still observed a modicum of European manners and decorum. The Church shows statistically to be rather steady (slightly up) in proportion to the world population since 1910 (about 17.5%). We, however, can't go back and reemerge from Europe. There has been an enormous shift in the Catholic population from Europe and into the world, particularly in Africa. This can never be "recreated" to compare pre-VII data to post-VII data, so really the two periods are not equivalent to be compared. The Church in Her wisdom shifted Her methods of evangelization because the conditions of the world demanded them, and was naturally in place in the men anointed with the papacy and the episcopate (sort of a critical mass sanctioned through the Church in the Council). I am not discounting "tough love", but I think there are few circumstances in which that is the best or first method of approach, especially in these general teachings and pronouncements of the Pope. People of today don't give a hooey about their "objectively dire state". That horse has already run out of the stall long ago. It's seeds were planted long before Vatican II. The Church realizes She is not speaking to the same types of people. We can realize this too as traditionalists, and adapt our methods. Not one iota of truth needs to be compromised, but it is wise to take into account the conditions of the other when evangelizing. It's just facing facts. At the least one can understand where they are coming from.

(10-03-2012, 01:00 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: Vatican II sent a mixed message, by stating that the Holy Spirit uses false sects as means of salvation, and that illicit celebrations of the sacraments somehow build up the Church of God.  The objective gravity of being outside the Holy Catholic Church loses all meaning when it's affirmed that men can be saved in false sects (but through the Church).

We're just admitting to the well known fact that God's power is not limited to the visible boundaries of the Church. An omnipotent God defies our boxes. A widened view of His power is now emphasized in the Church's teaching to show how She is truly a universal Church.


(10-03-2012, 01:00 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: P.P.S. -- Jesus Himself did not simply say, "Blessed are they..." (St. Matt., V), but He also said, "Woe to you..." (St. Luke, VI).

His Spirit still speaks through the Church. He is still guiding us. Woe to the man who sows seeds of doubt and contempt in the world concerning His Church.


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - Scriptorium - 10-03-2012

(10-03-2012, 01:34 PM)JuniorCouncilor Wrote: All well and good, but what seems to be notably missing is any preaching that their vision is incomplete.  We're supposed to get along with them, appreciate them, etc.  All of that is relatively easy.  Our culture basically forces us to do that.

What's being left out is the strong medicine, the medicine we actually need:  preaching that we need to pray for their conversion, that outside the Church there is no salvation, that even if they are not culpable as heretics, still their objective situation of heresy puts them in grave danger.  All this, so that we can deal honestly and openly with them about their real situation.

This is the message that is missing.  It's not purely negative, because there are things we can do.  Nonetheless, if you fail to recognize the negative facts, you can't take positive action.  And this ignorance of negative facts is widespread.  I really wish more of those in the hierarchy, up to and including the Holy Father, would do more about it.  Until they do, I expect this crisis-level situation in the Church to continue.

Well, when the documents come out, we often selectively omit these favorable passages. Or in other cases, we simply spend our time criticizing how they don't talk like Pius XI or something. The message is quite clear in the VII texts, in Canon Law, in the CCC, and in the encyclicals. I was just looking at the Togo affair with JPII, and I noticed the "traditionalist" complaints did nothing to cite his clear message he shared with a "snake worshipping priest" that we believe that Jesus is the savior, and recommended him to come to the Marian shrine often and to pray. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=w_hVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=huEDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5223%2C2146446 and http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1985/august/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19850809_animisti-santuario_fr.html)  It is an unbalanced critique. It often fails to present the complete picture of the good and bad, and then submitting it to the reader for thought. So if they're positive to a fault, then we must in justice admit we're negative to a fault. Worth thinking about. But I don't think that has to be the case. I think there is a failure to communicate between the holy people on either side of the debate. As Bishop Fellay said, it is like they speak a different language. But maybe we have some of the fault for not listening to what "the Spirit saith to the churches".


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - SouthpawLink - 10-03-2012

Scriptorium,
I'll agree to disagree.  Have a blessed afternoon and evening!


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - Crusading Philologist - 10-03-2012

Good points throughout this thread, Scriptorium, and wise words from the Holy Father. Ironically, petty sectarianism is a constant temptation amongst Catholics.

Bonum diffusivum sui est


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - SaintSebastian - 10-03-2012

Regarding the postive versus negative tones, I think the distinction lies in the object of the pronoucement.  In my experience--and this lines up with what I've read from a lot of saints--is the dire warnings work better to keep good Catholics as good Catholics.  When interacting with someone outside the Church, or someone with little care for sin, or someone who already thinks he is saved, etc., the dire warnings don't do much--the positive bears many more fruits.  The pre-Vatican II Popes and Councils tended to be doing just what the negative approach works best for--they are addressing Catholics and intervening to keep them Catholic.  From Vatican II on, the Council and Popes have also been addressing the whole world, and I think that accounts for the change in tone for better or worse (personally I think said change in tone is a mixed bag).


Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - Walty - 10-03-2012

(10-03-2012, 03:31 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: Good points throughout this thread, Scriptorium, and wise words from the Holy Father. Ironically, petty sectarianism is a constant temptation amongst Catholics.

Bonum diffusivum sui est

Honest question:  Was Pope Pius' condemnation of join prayer in the 1918 Code of Canon Law "petty sectarianism"?