The Church Visible
#12
Not to get overly Thomistic and frustrate Augustinian, but better than saying that the Church is visible, is I think to say that the Church is a Society, and a Perfect Society.

This provides us a very good definition of what qualities we should see, and ties this to causality.

A society is a permanent or quasi-permanent union of individuals, under an authority, who work together using common means to reach a common end. A society is perfect when it has all the means necessary to reach the common good, so there are two perfect societies, one Natural and one Supernatural : The State and the Church.

Let's leave the State aside.

A definition is good if it gives the genus and specific difference, or if it gives the four causes of a thing. Here we have the four causes in the definition of a society. The material cause is the individuals, the formal cause is the union, this union is brought about by the authority who is the efficient cause, and the means and common end are the final cause.

A society is always visible, because it is made up of individuals, but there is always an authority external to these individuals who binds them together. So the visibility of the Church is a consequence of its material cause and efficient cause.

This explains why a "headless" church and a lack of jurisdiction are not possible, because then the efficient cause is missing, and there is no society. In the Church, we can lack a head for a short while without the union falling apart, thus the interregnum between Popes, but it could not go on indefinitely or for a very long time, else the union would be lost due to no authority. We might still see a group of individuals, and materially we see the same thing, but formally it is different, because without the authority for a long time, there is no longer any union.

We can see that when a society falls apart, the natural instinct of man when he comes together again is to designate in some way an authority. A leader naturally rises up.

Since we know that the Church cannot fail, and we know it is a society, we also know that there will always be an authority, and jurisdiction.

If the Church were not visible then it could not be a society, which means, there would be no authority, but Christ gave His authority to the Church, and so it would mean that the Church has failed. Also, in consequence, if the Church were not visible and did not have an authority, then there would never be any way to assuredly know one was a member of that Church.
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Messages In This Thread
The Church Visible - by Sacred Heart lover - 04-01-2020, 11:23 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Augustinian - 04-01-2020, 11:38 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-02-2020, 01:44 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Credidi Propter - 04-02-2020, 03:43 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Adventus - 04-02-2020, 04:49 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-02-2020, 04:58 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by MacPasquale - 04-01-2020, 11:53 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by formerbuddhist - 04-02-2020, 04:36 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Adventus - 04-02-2020, 04:52 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-02-2020, 04:59 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Augustinian - 04-02-2020, 05:54 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by MagisterMusicae - 04-02-2020, 07:38 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Augustinian - 04-02-2020, 07:55 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-03-2020, 07:31 AM
RE: The Church Visible - by Markie Boy - 04-03-2020, 08:48 AM
RE: The Church Visible - by piscis - 04-03-2020, 03:22 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by MagisterMusicae - 04-03-2020, 04:07 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Sacred Heart lover - 04-03-2020, 05:07 PM



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