"I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell"
#31
(09-29-2015, 07:25 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(09-29-2015, 06:18 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Just to play Devils advocate,the Orthodox could say the same thing. They have largely kept their rites and teachings intact for the same time period as Rome, mostly under hostile muslim or communist rule. Or what of the Copts who have pretty much the same style of worship and prayers for over a millenia, and all without a Pope ( not the same kind anyway) and under hostile muslim servitude till this day.

I suppose so could the muslims who have been spreading like wildfire for over a thousand years and seem to be heading towards a new golden age.  Buddhists might also say something similar, as the Buddhas teaching has also been intact for at least 2500 years despite having different styles like Rinzai or Soto Zen, Pure Land, Thervada or Tibetan.

The point is, every religion on the planet claims some special protection, and at least at face value most of them seem to have fared pretty well.

Given the near total renovation of nearly every iota of Roman Catholic praxis and externals at the hands of the popes and bishops in the last 100 years it's hard to make that same claim for Rome unless we appeal to sedevacantism or claim that the externals simply don't matter and that the faith is really still the same. I'd lean towards the latter in that there is nothing that bad in the new catechism, but I'd disagree that the externals don't matter. I suppose I'd argue that given Romes penchant for liturgical novelty and destruction, the popes and the bishops do not think the externals are important at all.

All I'm saying is the appeal to divine protection given the evidence of other religious groups and the near total wreckovation of Roman Catholicism in recent history is not really a strong argument.

You're right, every religion could claim its the one true religion because it was protected for some millenia: the Jews, the Muslims, etc.

The argument of survival is not really an argument for the true religion, but a consolation for those easily scandalized: if one already believes in the Church, and given that God haven't abandoned the Church just yet, then it follows God just might not abandon His Church now.

There are other signs for determining the true religion: the saints (whose existence is striking, and the sheer number of saints—saints, not good persons—in the Church shames all other religions), miracles, prophecies, and good ol' reason. To quote Leo XIII, ”Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfilment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate.”

As for the destruction of the externals: as much as I love the aesthetics of the Liturgy (and I was the only one to defend it contra Merton on one thread here), it is a fact that it is not strictly necessary. The first Christians congregated in the catacombs, the Irish during the persecution would worship in little houses on the open air, and even today we see pictures of the Eucharistic sacrifice happening in utterly destroyed churches in the Middle East. And as long as the words of institution are said we have Jesus Himself.
Not to mention that the usual conservative story says that much of the disasters we see now are not officially warranted (in fact many are prohibited and the very opposite explicitly encouraged, like the use of Latin and Gregorian chant). And of course, the New Mass is here, unfortunately, it doesn't mean it will always be, though, or that it is the higher form of Catholic worship (remember that article by Fr. Rippeger I linked to you a few months ago?), and as the old Rites were never abolished and the way the new Rites were introduced—as a series of experimental changes—it stands to reason the new rites are actually the indult, they are the contingent thing open to more changes, which is quite a different mode of being than the old rites.
I know what you're going to say: this is all too subtle and I'm picking and choosing. Well, subtlety is on the eye of the beholder. And yes, I'm picking and choosing the orthodox bishops.

Things are ugly. But at the end of the day we can't allow to be swallowed up in despair. The Church is the Church even if small.

By the way, this links that other thread on the Orthodox: just like we can't establish the true religion by its sheer survival, we cannot establish the true religion by its well being today. Think of how fickle such criteria is: a couple of decades ago Catholicism was officially (though we know the full story from the writing of the popes) very strong and the Orthodox weak, with the Turks, communists and all. Now Putin is in power and the Orthodox seem strong—did they suddenly became the true Church? A couple of decades ago the Jews were in quite a predicament, now they are very powerful and have a powerful nation. The Muslims are having their victory too. And of course, atheism is dominant today.
No, this is not a good criteria for determining the true religion. And we know from prophecies that the Church would suffer—we follow a crucified King.

I know you have heard all this before, I just hope it can help someone who might be struggling with this.

No, I'm not going to say it's subtle or that you're picking and choosing. There's a lot to ponder in what you're saying here actually. For once I'm not going to throw in anything else, instead I'll try to sit and think about what you've just said. I live within walking distance of a church so, for my evening prayer I'm going to walk there and give this stuff some thought.
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#32
(09-29-2015, 06:18 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(09-29-2015, 05:14 PM)GangGreen Wrote: If the Catholic Church wasn't divinely protected, it would have fallen to ruin ages ago with some of the people that have been in charge of things.

Just to play Devils advocate,the Orthodox could say the same thing. They have largely kept their rites and teachings intact for the same time period as Rome, mostly under hostile muslim or communist rule. Or what of the Copts who have pretty much the same style of worship and prayers for over a millenia, and all without a Pope ( not the same kind anyway) and under hostile muslim servitude till this day.

I suppose so could the muslims who have been spreading like wildfire for over a thousand years and seem to be heading towards a new golden age.  Buddhists might also say something similar, as the Buddhas teaching has also been intact for at least 2500 years despite having different styles like Rinzai or Soto Zen, Pure Land, Thervada or Tibetan.

The point is, every religion on the planet claims some special protection, and at least at face value most of them seem to have fared pretty well.

Given the near total renovation of nearly every iota of Roman Catholic praxis and externals at the hands of the popes and bishops in the last 100 years it's hard to make that same claim for Rome unless we appeal to sedevacantism or claim that the externals simply don't matter and that the faith is really still the same. I'd lean towards the latter in that there is nothing that bad in the new catechism, but I'd disagree that the externals don't matter. I suppose I'd argue that given Romes penchant for liturgical novelty and destruction, the popes and the bishops do not think the externals are important at all.

All I'm saying is the appeal to divine protection given the evidence of other religious groups and the near total wreckovation of Roman Catholicism in recent history is not really a strong argument.
My point more lied in the fact that we've had some really awful people running things at times throughout history. Some people who were just utterly clueless or had no desire to serve Christ in the least bit.

When I think of the Catholic Church, I honestly can't think of another religion that's so organized like it. I guess the Orthodox are close, but even all of the Orthodox churches don't have a central authority like we do. Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, none are like the Catholic Church.
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