Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
Not all the other fathers taught with the same clarity and readiness to define terms as Augustine did. The only possible exception is Chrysostom. But even he did not delve into the depths of Christian Platonism as Augustine did.

Look, I find it very intriguing that I am arguing with EASTERN Catholics about this. It seems that you don't think a single person can possibly make a massive contribution to Christian thought. In keeping with your ecclesiology, you do not appear to like any kind of monolithic unitive structures (like the Papacy) but rather the more collegial and dispersed ones. Hence your emphasis that the other Church Fathers do not say what Augustine said. But let's stop here. YOu are CATHOLICS. THat means you are subject to the dogmas of Rome, even if you choose to express them in the terminology of your own theological patrimony. THat's fine. But you CANNOT deny the truth claims ROme makes, nor can you deny the Ordinary magisterium.

THat means you cannot simply toss aside the local western synods that have ecumenical and papal approbation and are accepted as generally infallible, like the Councils of Carthage, and the Synod of Rome and Elvira AND the Council of Orange II.

THe First Canon of the 2nd Council of Nicea:

"Since these things really are such and have been testified to us in these ways, we exult in them as a person would if he were to come across a great mass of booty. We joyfully embrace the sacred canons and we maintain complete and unshaken their regulation, both those expounded by those trumpets of the Spirit, the apostles worthy of all praise, and those from the six holy universal synods and from the synods assembled locally for the promulgation of such decrees, and from our holy fathers. Indeed all of these, enlightened by one and the same Spirit, decreed what is expedient. In the case of those whom they sent away under an anathema, we also anathematize them, those whom they suspended, we also suspend; those whom they excommunicated, we also excommunicate; those whom they placed under penalties, we also deal with in the same way. Let your conduct be free from avariciousness, contenting yourself with what you have, cried out with all explicitness the divine apostle Paul, who mounted to the third heaven and heard words that cannot be uttered."

The XVI Council of Carthage is a Prime example of one of these Councils, and Augustine is the Greatest Father of the west. So naturally, any council assembled by Him that was promulgated by the POPE? Yeah, that counts.

Here are the Canons of that council.

1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, let him be anathema.

2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers’ wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism “unto the remission of sins” is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: “Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned” [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration.

3. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that the grace of God, by which man is justified through Jesus Christ, our Lord, has power only for the remission of sins which have already been committed, and not also for help, that they be not committed, let him be anathema.

3a. It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: “In my house there are many mansions” [John 14:2]: that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema. For when the Lord says: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God” [John 3:5], what Catholic will doubt that he will be a partner of the devil who has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ? For he who lacks the right part will without doubt run into the left [cf. Matt. 25:41,46].

4. In like manner, whoever says that the same grace of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord, helps us not to sin only for this reason, that through it the understanding of the commands is revealed and opened to us, that we may know what we ought to strive after, what we ought to avoid, but that through this is not also given to us to love and to be able to do that which we know ought to be done, let him be anathema. For since the Apostle says: “Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies” [I Cor. 8:1], it is very impious for us to believe that for that which puffs up, we have the grace of Christ, and for that which edifies we have not, although each is a gift of God, both to know what we ought to do and to love in order that we may do it, so that while charity edifies, knowledge may not be able to puff us up. Moreover, just as it is written of God: “Who teaches man knowledge” [Ps. 93:10], so also it is written: “Charity is from God” [I John 4:7].

5. It has likewise been decided that whoever says that the grace of justification is given to us for this reason: that what we are ordered to do through free will, we may be able to accomplish more easily through grace, just as if, even if grace were not given, we could nevertheless fulfil the divine commands without it, though not indeed easily, let him be anathema. For concerning the fruits of His commands the Lord spoke not when He said: “Without me you can accomplish with greater difficulty,” but when He said: “Without me you can do nothing” [John 15:5J.

6. It has likewise been decided that what St. John the Apostle says: “If we say, that we have not sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” [I John 1:8], whoever thinks that this ought to be interpreted thus: that he asserts that this ought to be said on account of humility, namely, that we have sin, and not because it is truly so, let him be anathema. For the Apostle continues and adds: “If however we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, who remits our sins and cleanses us from all iniquity” [I John 1:9], wherein it is quite clear, that this is said not only humbly but truly. For the Apostle could have said: “If we say: we have not sin, we extol ourselves, and humility is not in us.” But when he says: “We deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”, he shows clearly that he who said he had not sin, spoke not the truth but a falsehood.

7. It has likewise been decided that whoever says that for this reason the saints say in the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our debts” [Matt. 6:12], that they say this not for themselves, because that petition is not now necessary for them, but for others who are sinners among their people, and that on this account each one of the saints does not say: “Forgive me my debts”, but, “Forgive us our debts”; so that the just man is understood to seek this for others rather than for himself, let him be anathema. For the Apostle James was holy and just, when he said: “For in many things we all offend” [Jas. 3:2]. For why was “all” (omnes) added, unless that this meaning was proper and in the Psalm where one reads: “Enter not into judgment with thy servant, because no (ne omnes) living person shall be justified in thy sight” [Ps. 142:2]. And in the prayer of wisest Solomon: “There is not a man who has not sinned” [III Kings 8:46]. And in the book of holy Job: “In the hand of every (omnis) man he signs, so that every (omnis) man may know his infirmity” [Job 37:7]. Hence also holy and just Daniel, when he spoke in the plural in his prayer: “We have sinned, we have done evil” [Dan. 9:5, 15], and the rest which he there truly and humbly confesses, lest it should be thought, as certain ones do think, that he said this not about his own sins, but rather about the sins of his people, declared afterwards; “When … I prayed and confessed my sins and the sins of my people” [Dan. 9:20] to the Lord my God; he did not wish to say “our sins,” but he said the sins of his people and his own sins, since as a prophet he foresaw there would be those who would thus misunderstand.

8. It has likewise been decided that whoever wishes that the words themselves of the Lord’s prayer, where we say: “Forgive us our debts” [Matt. 6:12] be said by the saints so as to be spoken humbly, not truthfully, let him be anathema. For who would tolerate one praying and lying, not to men, but to the Lord himself, who says with his lips that he wishes to be forgiven, and in his heart holds that he does not have debts to be forgiven?


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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by Gregory I - 07-30-2011, 01:30 AM

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