Catholic dogma vs. Latitudinarianism
"But one single altar of sacrifice" - does this not, perhaps, mean the Cross itself? How can one speak of only a single altar of sacrifice for each diocese?

The Catholic Encyclopedia 1913 renders the Ephesians passage as "immortality", not "incorruptibility". Differences like those may be hair-splitting, but they do exist. ???

The Orthodox call themselves the Catholic Church too, as with many Anglicans. Claims mean nothing; we need more than that.
(09-19-2011, 09:45 PM)Laetare Wrote: "But one single altar of sacrifice" - does this not, perhaps, mean the Cross itself? How can one speak of only a single altar of sacrifice for each diocese?

Yes, because the Eucharist is the re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary! 
Ludwig Ott's "Dogmas of the Faith" should answer your questions.  Here's a good excerpt:  Can't vouch for the rest of that website though.  Does anyone have explanations of the differences between "de fide" "sent. certa" etc.?  I know the "de fide" dogmas are required under pain of sin, but I'm not sure about the others.

For the most part, if you have some differences with Catholicism, consider if it's a matter of faith, morals, or politics.  We can have different opinions about church politics, for example, whether or not the TLM should be offered.
(09-19-2011, 08:02 PM)Laetare Wrote:
(09-19-2011, 07:45 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: In giving the Apostles their mission Christ said "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing men in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28: 18-20). "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

Believeth WHAT, exactly? The Gospel? That is not "the blessed Virgin was immaculately conceived and assumed into Heaven", for example. Why must we believe those things to be saved? What does the latter life of the Virgin have to do with us being saved, apart from being a salutary example of faith and humility?

I've already told you, Laetare. Believing all the teachings of the Church is a prerequisite for membership, and only those who are members of the Church can attain salvation. There isn't a check-off list that we fill out before we enter heaven. We can't accept a portion of God's truth and expect to make the passing grade. We attain salvation through Jesus Christ alone and the Church, being the mystical body of Christ in the world, is therefor necessary to be saved.
(09-19-2011, 09:26 PM)Laetare Wrote: Wouldn't you agree that there's a manifest difference between offering advice and commanding obedience to every doctrine? There is a certain fraternal correction issued by Clement of Rome, having none of today's military atmosphere.

Also, again, in the Epistle to Tralles, Ignatius says:

"I put you on your guard, inasmuch as I love you greatly, and foresee the snares of the devil. Wherefore, clothing yourselves with meekness, be renewed in faith, that is the flesh of the Lord, and in love, that is the blood of Jesus Christ."

The flesh of Christ is faith? The blood of Christ is love? How is this commensurate with Catholic dogma relating to our Lord's words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, outside the Eucharist? :o

Ignatius wrote a letter to the Smyrnaeans circa 100 AD, in it he described the prayers of the bishop during the liturgy: "Holy Spirit, come on these  holy sanctify and make this bread the holy Body of Christ...this cup the precious blood of Christ". The anaphora for the liturgy of St. James reads "we offer to You O Lord, this awesome and unbloody sacrifice". The early Christians clearly believed that they were not just remembering an event that happened in the past, or that the words of Christ concerning his flesh and blood were metaphorical. It's quite clear that they viewed the liturgy as the renewal of Christ's sacrifice and that Christ was truly and substantially present in the consecrated species. In a sermon on Psalm 22 St. Augustine wrote: "the liturgy makes present what took place in the past, and in this way it moves us as if we were actually watching our Lord hanging on the cross".

Have no doubt about it, Lateare, the early Christians professed the same faith that the Church of Peter professes today.
(09-19-2011, 08:02 PM)Laetare Wrote: The claim is that the Bible contains the fundamentals of faith, hope, and charity. Parables given by our Lord are ample examples of charity; the hope of the prophets in what was to be done, the faith of the martyrs, etc.!

The point that Someone was making is that the bible is a collection of various books compiled by the Church. At the time of its compilation there were many "gospels" and accounts of the life of Christ; the Church utilized Her divine authority to declare which of these books were inspired and thus to be included in the canon and which of these books were not inspired and needed to be excluded. You cannot claim that the bible contains "the fundamentals of faith, hope, and charity" while denying the authority of the very source of the bible. Acceptance of the bible requires acceptance of the authority of the Catholic Church, for She acted as the final arbiter in deciding what the content of the biblical canon actually was. This is why St. Augustine said that "I could not accept the bible if I did not first accept the authority of the Catholic Church".

Quote:Do martyrs die for doctrines and dogmas, or do they die for Christ? It is an interesting theological distinction between us and the protties.

It's not interesting at all. You're creating a false distinction between the Church and Christ. You cannot be a good son of the Church without being a follower of Christ, and you cannot be a follower of Christ without being a son of the Church. Dying for "doctrines and dogmas" is dying for Christ, the voice of the Church is the voice of Christ ("whoever hears you hears me"), it's wrong to try to separate the two.
I think there’s an important distinction to be made here, regarding the necessity of faithfully believing every doctrine, and willfully subscribing to heretical beliefs.

There have been plenty of holy people throughout history who have not been well educated in the faith, or who lived in a time in which certain doctrines had not yet been clearly defined. There may have been some illiterate peasants in the Middle Ages who thought that the Father literally has a beard, or that Heaven is in the sky above the clouds. There are probably millions of devout Catholics who misunderstand the (confusing and complex) doctrine of the Trinity as ascribe something more like Modalism. Examples abound. Not everyone has access to theological textbooks and the internet, or a good education or catechism, and some people misunderstand the faith through no fault of their own. The important thing here is that their erroneous beliefs are due to ignorance and lack of catechism, not disobedience. Aside from their innocent errors, they are still faithful people who trust in Christ and the Church.

On the other hand, there are heretics: people who think they are smarter than the Magisterium of the Church and therefore take it upon themselves to make their own decisions about doctrine. They knowingly and consciously reject the Church’s teachings, and instead seek to invent their own system of beliefs. These are people who know what the Church teaches, and yet they dismiss and reject it, chosing instead to exalt their own intelligence and powers of reasoning in the (utterly vain) attempt to determine doctrinal truths independently of the Church. This is pride, self-exaltation, and amounts to a conscious rejection of the Church (and therefore, Christ).

In one case, the person’s heart is in the right place, and their errors are the result of ignorance or misunderstanding, and therefore probably has little effect on the state of the person’s soul. The simple reality is that most devout Catholics throughout history probably knew very, very little about theology.

However, the heretic choses to exalt themselves over God by taking it upon themselves to act as their own independent Magisterium, rather than submitting to the teaching authority of the Church. Heretics know that they are heretics, they know that they are rejecting the Church, and they proudly believe that they are smarter or have access to some special insight which the Church does not.

Of course, not everyone falls neatly into these two camps, and there’s a lot in between. Nonetheless, I think it’s important to distinguish between those who do not believe in the fullness of the Faith through no fault of their own, and those who knowingly reject the Faith and replace it with the idol of their own opinion, which is ultimately an exaltation of the self.

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