Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Third Rebuttal to "A House Divided" & Ivan's Response

Second Rebuttal by Sambos671 on a Catholic Forum

Quoting Ivan:
I see your point about the distinction between infallibility and impeccability. How do we apply this in regard to the more corrupt popes listed? As James states that faith not backed up by action is no faith at all, these particular popes seemed to do everything in their power to actively oppose faith. also, what about Pope Honorius I who was declared a heratic both by the sixth Ecumenical Council and Pope Leo II? That particular episode shows pretty clearly that the Church doesn't always quickly catch heretical decrees.
I do not want to take the place of God but in my estimation and in speculation I would think by certain acts of certain Popes seem to have them condemn themselves to Christ judgement. Still a pope is not permitted to teach against the deposit. As far as Honorius we must consider that he did not defend orthodoxy against the Monothelites (nor did he openly approve it from the chair) and is condemend based on his letters saying that he followed Sergius in all things. If Sergius is condmened a Heretic so must Honorius. However, nothing was taught ex cathedra in violation of the Deposit of Faith.

Ivan's Response to Rebuttals by Silvereel and Sambose671

Quoting Silvereel:
You're not going to get anywhere by collecting a list of 'bad deeds' Popes did. We don't deny that they're sinners just like us. Some of them did some terrible deeds. But their personal lives are not infalible. This doesn't do any harm to their Infalibilty at all, it just goes to show that the Church IS protected by God - could a human institution stand through so many controversies and attacks? No, it could not. Any institution founded by men would have fallen due to our own deeds and sins. I fail to understand why Protestants always attack the celebate priesthood as well... would you attack Paul, too?
It is definately not my intention to attack the nobility of celibacy or Paul's estimation of it. And it is definately not my intention to attack those presbyters who choose to be celibate (as all Roman presbyters do). But I don't agree that the Church should enforce a doctrine that seems to me, at least, to go against scripture (the forcing goes against scripture, not celibacy itself).

I guess my personal concern is (and while you might not believe it, i am considering whether i should convert) as a baptist seminarian, i believe i am called to be a presbyteros (and for baptists, based on the testimony of the NT, this includes the role of episkopos as well). but i am married and have a son. so it's something i have to seriously consider. and i guess i'm really asking why i should consider the Roman Church's claims to be the One True Church as more valid than the claims of the Eastern Orthodox communion? They also have apostolic succession, they have an older bishopric of st. peter (in antioch) and disupute the immaculate conception of Mary (though they do believe her to be sinless throughout life), and they have withstood their own test of hardship.

anyway, to Sambos671, thanks for clarifying the issue about Honorius. that takes care of that though, since i still have issues with the immaculate conception, required celibacy and the supremacy of the pope in rome, these both affect the infallibility of the pope's and the Roman Catholic Church's decisions as they are ex cathedra doctrines that seem to go counter to the Deposit of Faith (at least, if one conforms the Deposit of Faith to Scripture). for me it's an issue of figuring out whether the Roman Catholic Church = The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (meaning i should convert to fully be in communion), or whether other Christian bodies have equal claim (like the Eastern or Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East or the Anglican Communion - though i have doctrinal issues with the last, too).

i do think the enduring Roman Church is a living demonstration of God's power in His Church. But I also think the enduring Orthodox and Assyrian Communions exhibit this as well. Even in the Protestant Churches I can see evidence of the miraculous intervention of God's grace (especially in the Pentecostal Churches enduring in areas of heavy persecution around the world). But I do want to know if true unity can only be achieved if other communions subject themselves to Roman doctrines and supremacy.

Honestly, I wouldn't even have a problem submitting myself to the Pope (I think many of the original issues raised by the first Protestants have been resolved), but I don't think I could blindly state that ex cathedra decisions are infallible, when there seems to be evidence that they aren't (at least in the above doctrines, and maybe others that i don't know about). If the Roman, Eastern, Oriental and Assyrian Churches do ever come into full Communion, then I think a very good argument will exist that their institution constitutes the full Church. That may happen someday, and there are encouraging developments in that area. But right now it doesn't, and these Apostolic communities are at odds with each other. To me, that means the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church encompasses something greater than the Roman institution and hieararchy. To what degree, however, I just don't know for sure.

While I put all my faith in Jesus Christ and love His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with all my heart, as brothers and sisters, I think it would be remiss of me if I were to exclude elements of that Church by claiming it includes (or should submit to) only one of these communions.

No comments: