The Catholic Church thread

Hello,

There is the classic "proof-text" of 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

"So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter." The NIV translation (because it was on top of biblehub.com).

It is also translated as "whether by word or by epistle..." in the KJV. That is referring to the Magisterium of the Church. Look at Roosh himself for an example of this concept. His articles he writes are very insightful. Then watch his podcasts. There are things in his podcasts and videos that he never touches on in his writings, and vice versa. To understand Roosh's "full teachings" you have to look at both. It is no different than with St. Paul here. There is a lot of great teachings in writings, but that is not everything he taught to the earliest Christians. One needs to trust St. Paul's successors, the Bishops, all working together.

In many ways you already are submitting to the Magisterium of the Church. Do you believe that public Revelation stopped after the death of the last Apostle? That is a conclusion the Magisterium has come to. That is found no where in the Bible.

Do you believe in the Trinitarian God? The word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. That theological-concept is a conclusion of the Magisterium of the Church.

Pax Christi.
This makes sense. I'm not sure that I can readily refute the proof-text given.

Your analogy makes sense to me. Although, as a Lutheran, I'd say that the concept of the Trinity is in the Bible, but perhaps the articulation of the concept can be credited to tradition.

I have no issue deferring to authority. I don't understand all of the Bible. We have the Book of Concord to which I defer, as I consider it to be Biblical...but I am beginning to have my doubts. Thank you for the reply.
 
Thank you for this reply. For Lutherans, the way that we discern what is and is not inspired text is by asking "was this text written by an apostle or one of the apostle's very close followers (beyond historical question)?" For example, we conclude that St. Paul's epistles are inspired as he claimed to be an apostle (2 Corinthians 12) and the other living apostles chosen by Jesus affirmed this (Galatians 2). We know that Christ promised the discplies that He would grant them the Holy Ghost to protect them from error (John 16:13). Therefore, the apostles' writings are infalliable. It is round about logic, but I can see the logic in it.

That is comforting to know, in regard to evolution being firmly rejected by some Catholics. I am just burned out and growing cynical and acceptance of theological liberalism. It is destroying the church I belong to. It has no mercy; it devours anything and anyone who would give it the chance.

Thanks for the link to Helland. Do you have any youtube or book or podcast suggestions to help to become introduced to Catholicism and the proofs for it? I don't know where to really begin.
I wanted to take a moment to reply your comment thread as I posted a couple of weeks ago with a situation somewhat similar to yours. I was raised a Catholic, converted to LCMS Lutheran (US) when I went off to college, went back to the Catholic Church in 2018 after an overseas deployment, started going to Mass every week, then almost one year ago to the day, the last Catholic Mass I attended was Ash Wednesday of 2020 then the COVID hammer dropped. To make a long story short, my faith foundations foundations were shaken as the Catholic Church decided to cancel Holy Week, Easter, and basically told people to stay away. Now almost every parish mass is by "reservation only". Meanwhile, I witnessed the heresies being perpetrated by parishes local as well as across the world, the globalist dogmas espoused from the Papacy, then I discovered sedevacantism within the Catholic Church which consists of many faithful, traditional Catholics which I greatly respect, but then does not believe that there is currently a Pope (sedevacant=vacant seat). Where does that leave me in all this? I am still trying to figure that out. The Catholic Priest who was to marry my wife and me over the summer basically all but cancelled on us and we could not find another one who would do the wedding in such short time. My wife was raised in a split Catholic-Lutheran household and so we ended up getting married by the LCMS pastor from her mother's church. We have been attending services there on a somewhat consistent basis, but I still am floundering around a bit admittedly.

The problem you describe, theological liberalism, and its destructive tendencies is occurring in all churches I think including and especially the Roman Catholic church. A lot of people say that Protestant churches are the "liberal churches" and while there are more of them, I have seen what I believe to be (my opinion) a large lack of faith from my Roman Catholic diocesean leadership sometimes when compared to a few Protestant churches. Roosh made a post earlier this past week regarding the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) leadership saying they will deny Holy Communion to people who do not constantly wear the mask during service. Someone on this thread gave me advice to seek out other Catholic parishes and see how the individual Priests are handling it. I think it is good advice, but I was reading the bulletin of one my local Catholic Parishes and it is encouraging seniors to get their Covid vaccine. My opinion, that is absurd and misguided at this point in time.

I guess I don't have a lot of advice for you, I am not discouraging you from the Catholic faith, I am beginning to formulate the position that this Devil's work of inverting the Christian religion has spread to nearly every Church body across the world. I think it definitely varies from parish to parish, place to place, but I think it is a common theme of all the Christian-claiming Churches. I am trying to pray and discern how to approach this much like the other men on this thread I think. Best of luck and God Bless.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
One big factor that I'm not on board with yet is the belief of Holy Tradition being as equally authoritative as Scripture. To a Lutheran who values God's Word[...]
There's quite a bit of ground to cover in your post, and a message board is not the best place to fully answer them, but it's a good place to plant some seeds, and perhaps they'll take root with you and flourish. Some very good responses have already been posted above, so I'll try not to repeat their points. I've been typing this with two toddlers on my lap so forgive any typos and the lateness of this response. Also, since there are multiple aspects to your questions, I'm going to break this up over a few posts. Lastly, keep in mind I'm not in any way denigrating the bible in any of my arguments, but specifically addressing your question.

Let's start with God's Word, since we both believe in that. God's Word is first and foremost a person, the man Jesus Christ, as the prologue of John's Gospel tells us - "and in Him was life and the light of men." So first, try to understand that - authority was always first given to a person. It wasn't until the Islamic heresy 600 years after Christ that the phrase people of the book took hold, and people began to think the authority of the written word superseded the living word . Martin Luther, by the way, felt a great affinity with Islam, thinking they had more in common with them than with Catholics (apologies for the Wikipedia link, but that is the most condensed source I could find - it is however, well documented in other sources).

One of the innumerable beautiful things in The Catholic Church is the way we read scripture: we see the precursors and parallels from the New Covenant all over the Old. Yes, I know other Christians see them, but not to the extent the Church does. In the Old Testament, the light and life, i.e.; the word, was always given through a human authority: Moses first was given the authority to lead the Hebrews, then God gave him the Ten Commandments. God first mystically chose Isaiah (6:7-8), and then sent him forth "Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me." There is no instance of scripture just appearing without being presented by a human (inspired by the Holy Ghost) authority.

To which I would reply: the letters themselves were in circulation, and their infallibility is not derived from the Church, by the Holy Ghost.
Given what I've written above, do you see how your assertion that it's not the Church that bestowed infallibility, but the Holy Ghost, is a bit of straw man? Do you really think Catholics believe that mere men chose the books of the Bible without the guidance of the Holy Ghost? Iggy Lefkowitz doesn't come out of his tent in 1320 B.C. and say: "on these tablets are God's commandments"; instead, God prepared someone, raised him up, and by the power of the Holy Ghost working through him, he performed actions and deeds that showed (to those who had eyes to see) that he had authority, i.e.; the Holy Ghost working in him.

You may say "people already knew what writings were scripture." How? How many people were literate? Where were they hearing scripture? How easy was it to get a hand copy of a codex and read for oneself and decide? Do we have any examples of someone reading scripture in the bible and on their own steam, away from the Church, converting? Well, quite the opposite: in Acts 8:26-38, Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch have this interchange:

And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me?

I pointed this out to someone years ago and their response was, "that just shows that Isaiah is a hard book to read." Really? If we lose this verse from the bible, the only thing we're losing is that Isaiah's hard? One jot and tittle, indeed.

The idea of the bible superseding the Church itself would have been incomprehensible to the early Christians; it's an anachronism, especially since the advent of the printing press, to think the bible is something separate from the Church. It would be like a mob going into your house, taking hold of your family diaries and photo albums, and then, holding them over their heads, run out the door shouting "this is the IndoIstriKu family"; those artifacts were generated by your family, are part of your family, and your actual family are their interpreters - they are, in fact inseparable from your family. Now of course the Holy Ghost inspired and wrote scripture, but it was done by and through the "family" of the early Church, a real institution, created by Christ, with someone in charge and a defined hierarchy. It is clear from the New Testament that their is a structure in place, not just some ethereal idea of a Church.

Lastly on this topic, do a search for the word "church" in the NT. It occurs 77 times in the KJV; the word "scripture", 31. More interesting than the number each appear is the context: the word church shows up as an authority, where the word scripture is chiefly used to show how Christ fulfilled scripture. I'm going to paste the occurrences of the word "church" not to be a jerk, but just to visually show how integral a part it is of the NT. As you peruse the verses below, think about how scripture is already referencing an institution of authority that has to exist before the words of the epistles and gospels are written down (i.e.; they couldn't reference something that doesn't exist):

Mat_16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat_18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Act_2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Act_5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Act_7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Act_8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Act_8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Act_11:22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
Act_11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Act_12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
Act_12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Act_13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Act_14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Act_14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
Act_15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
Act_15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Act_15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act_18:22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
Act_20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Act_20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Rom_16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
Rom_16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
Rom_16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
Rom_16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.
1Co_1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Co_4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
1Co_6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
1Co_10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
1Co_11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co_11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
1Co_12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co_14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1Co_14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
1Co_14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
1Co_14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
1Co_14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
1Co_14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
1Co_14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
1Co_15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co_16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
2Co_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
Gal_1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Eph_1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph_3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph_3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Eph_5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph_5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph_5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph_5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph_5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph_5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Php_3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php_4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Col_1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col_1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
Col_4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
Col_4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
1Th_1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th_1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
1Ti_3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti_3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1Ti_5:16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
2Ti_4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.
Tit_3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia.
Phm_1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
Heb_2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
Heb_12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Jas_5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
1Pe_5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
3Jn_1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
3Jn_1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
3Jn_1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
Rev_2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Rev_2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Rev_2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
Rev_2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
Rev_3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Rev_3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Rev_3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
 
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Lavabis Me

Sparrow
To a Lutheran who values God's Word, what proof do you have that I should submit to the Magisterium?
Most Christians are familiar with the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. Let's take a look at a crucial part of it:

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
(Act 15:6-13)


Look what happens here: there's a knot of a problem of which there is no precedent in scripture to rely on. Do the Gentiles need to keep the same law as the converted Jews? Apparently, Christ, while He walked with them on this earth, didn't instruct them what to do in this case.

They dispute back and forth (can you picture a group of men descended of hot Mediterranean / Semitic blood disputing? I'm sure there's no red faces, no spittle flecks, and not a single voice raised above conversational tone) and then Peter, whom Christ singled out in front of all the apostles as the "rock" and to whom He gave the keys, stands and speaks; he makes a pronouncement and gives the reasons for his pronouncement. When he's finished, what happens? Do they say "who are you to make a decision?" or "let's vote on this", or "you know there's this verse in Jeremiah...". Nope. They shut up. The debate is over when Peter speaks. The next people to speak are the ones that Peter has backed with his decision, Barnabas and Paul. Then James, like a chief of staff, stands and tells everyone the details of how they're going to implement what Peter just decided.

So why should you submit to the Magisterium? Because the apostles did. Because when Christ left this earth, he didn't leave behind a document, he left behind a Church with a clear head, and the accounts in scripture support this. Really, the only avenue open to you to contradict this, is to agree that Peter was indeed in charge, but that does not mean that those that followed him claiming authority as popes had the same authority as Peter. I'll cover that in another post.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
what proof do you have that I should submit to the Magisterium?
So following from the previous post, I'm going to assume you accept the scene from Acts as proof there were people in charge who had teaching (magister) authority at that time. But what about after the death of the apostles?


The site above has excerpts from the Early Church Fathers arranged by subject. Look at the dates. The first entry, from Clement, is 80 A.D. The apostle John is still alive; tens of thousands of "hearers", those who heard the teaching of the Church directly from the lips of disciples who walked with Christ, and many tens of thousands more of those who were instructed by "trainees" of the disciples (as St. Timothy was trained by St. Paul):

...in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit

So here is the Bishop of Rome settling a dispute in Corinth. As I said above, St. John is still alive in Patmos. There is no record of any dispute about Clement holding the place Peter had in Acts 15 instead of John, imprisoned though he is (he is able to both write and receive letters on Patmos, obviously). Why not ask St. John to settle this dispute? He's closer, right off the coast of Anatolia, and Clement is all the way back in Rome. Why would this be if Christians all over the Mediterranean didn't recognize the See of Rome as having authority? Why would the Church in Corinth appeal to him?

The third entry is in 110 A.D. Men who walked with the apostles and were taught by them are still alive. Ignatius is bishop of Antioch, in prison and about to be martyred. This is how he addresses the bishop of Rome:

"Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father”

Later in the same letter he writes:

“You [the church at Rome] have envied no one, but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force”

So here we have the Bishop of Antioch expressly calling out the teaching authority of the Bishop of Rome, envying no one (that is other bishops), but teaching other Churches.

And so on through the years of the early Church. Think about it: why would Christ leave Peter in charge for the first generation of people who actually saw and heard His miracles, and then remove that teaching authority when the deeds of Christ are gone from living memory and the children of the Church must rely exclusively on faith? Isn't that when teaching authority is most needed? The idea that most people relied on the written word for instruction is just plain ahistorical. The codex, the modern form of a book with pages, was just coming into use at this time. Those made from papyrus disintegrated outside of desert climates. Writing media was extremely expensive, and getting someone to copy was more expensive still. I can't find the source, but I did find in my reading that a book at that time cost about as much as a house of that time; a luxury indeed.

Henry, Cardinal Newman famously wrote that to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant. These were the kind of thing he was talking about. The idea that there was no teaching authority and just bibles floating around the classical world leading a movement that would convert the entire pagan Roman empire is simply not supported.
 
I wanted to take a moment to reply your comment thread as I posted a couple of weeks ago with a situation somewhat similar to yours. I was raised a Catholic, converted to LCMS Lutheran (US) when I went off to college, went back to the Catholic Church in 2018 after an overseas deployment, started going to Mass every week, then almost one year ago to the day, the last Catholic Mass I attended was Ash Wednesday of 2020 then the COVID hammer dropped. To make a long story short, my faith foundations foundations were shaken as the Catholic Church decided to cancel Holy Week, Easter, and basically told people to stay away. Now almost every parish mass is by "reservation only". Meanwhile, I witnessed the heresies being perpetrated by parishes local as well as across the world, the globalist dogmas espoused from the Papacy, then I discovered sedevacantism within the Catholic Church which consists of many faithful, traditional Catholics which I greatly respect, but then does not believe that there is currently a Pope (sedevacant=vacant seat). Where does that leave me in all this? I am still trying to figure that out. The Catholic Priest who was to marry my wife and me over the summer basically all but cancelled on us and we could not find another one who would do the wedding in such short time. My wife was raised in a split Catholic-Lutheran household and so we ended up getting married by the LCMS pastor from her mother's church. We have been attending services there on a somewhat consistent basis, but I still am floundering around a bit admittedly.

The problem you describe, theological liberalism, and its destructive tendencies is occurring in all churches I think including and especially the Roman Catholic church. A lot of people say that Protestant churches are the "liberal churches" and while there are more of them, I have seen what I believe to be (my opinion) a large lack of faith from my Roman Catholic diocesean leadership sometimes when compared to a few Protestant churches. Roosh made a post earlier this past week regarding the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) leadership saying they will deny Holy Communion to people who do not constantly wear the mask during service. Someone on this thread gave me advice to seek out other Catholic parishes and see how the individual Priests are handling it. I think it is good advice, but I was reading the bulletin of one my local Catholic Parishes and it is encouraging seniors to get their Covid vaccine. My opinion, that is absurd and misguided at this point in time.

I guess I don't have a lot of advice for you, I am not discouraging you from the Catholic faith, I am beginning to formulate the position that this Devil's work of inverting the Christian religion has spread to nearly every Church body across the world. I think it definitely varies from parish to parish, place to place, but I think it is a common theme of all the Christian-claiming Churches. I am trying to pray and discern how to approach this much like the other men on this thread I think. Best of luck and God Bless.
Thank you for taking the time to write out this thoughtful and personal post. I am a member of the Lutheran Church of Australia, which is destroying itself with liberalism, or atleast tolerance thereof. There are confessional Lutheran congregations in the LCA, but it is admittedly violating my conscience to stay in what I perceive to be a heterodox church body.

Perhaps you are aware, but there are several small and (statisically) insignificant Lutheran bodies in the U.S. and Australia -- because there is so much factionalism happening. I am beginning to believe that Christ only wanted one external church body. I don't know if the Protestant reformation was a burdensome punishment upon the church because of its misdeeds, and that God wants all to be Catholic, but Protestantism in a punishment; or, if Protestantism (namely, Lutheranism, not Baptist or Pentecostalism) is God's will, as it teaches His Word. Does God want different Christian sects, because they cater to the needs of the many, or does He want submission to One, Catholic church?

We can't even agree on the metric by which to measure and recognise the church. I believe that if we soley use God's Word as the metric, the confessional Lutheran church is the one, true church -- as it teaches God's Word. The issues, to my eyes, is that Catholic claim that Apostolic Tradition is as equally authoritative, and her interpretation of the Bible differs with the Lutheran confessions.

I am getting married soon (God willing! Like you, I'm finding it difficult) and I would like to belong to a faithful church before I have kids, so that I can confidentily raise them in that faith, without doubt.

Like you, I don't have much to say, or really any point. I am just sad and frustrated at the state of the church which I belong to. God bless you too, brother.
 
So following from the previous post, I'm going to assume you accept the scene from Acts as proof there were people in charge who had teaching (magister) authority at that time. But what about after the death of the apostles?


The site above has excerpts from the Early Church Fathers arranged by subject. Look at the dates. The first entry, from Clement, is 80 A.D. The apostle John is still alive; tens of thousands of "hearers", those who heard the teaching of the Church directly from the lips of disciples who walked with Christ, and many tens of thousands more of those who were instructed by "trainees" of the disciples (as St. Timothy was trained by St. Paul):

...in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit

So here is the Bishop of Rome settling a dispute in Corinth. As I said above, St. John is still alive in Patmos. There is no record of any dispute about Clement holding the place Peter had in Acts 15 instead of John, imprisoned though he is (he is able to both write and receive letters on Patmos, obviously). Why not ask St. John to settle this dispute? He's closer, right off the coast of Anatolia, and Clement is all the way back in Rome. Why would this be if Christians all over the Mediterranean didn't recognize the See of Rome as having authority? Why would the Church in Corinth appeal to him?

The third entry is in 110 A.D. Men who walked with the apostles and were taught by them are still alive. Ignatius is bishop of Antioch, in prison and about to be martyred. This is how he addresses the bishop of Rome:

"Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father”

Later in the same letter he writes:

“You [the church at Rome] have envied no one, but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force”

So here we have the Bishop of Antioch expressly calling out the teaching authority of the Bishop of Rome, envying no one (that is other bishops), but teaching other Churches.

And so on through the years of the early Church. Think about it: why would Christ leave Peter in charge for the first generation of people who actually saw and heard His miracles, and then remove that teaching authority when the deeds of Christ are gone from living memory and the children of the Church must rely exclusively on faith? Isn't that when teaching authority is most needed? The idea that most people relied on the written word for instruction is just plain ahistorical. The codex, the modern form of a book with pages, was just coming into use at this time. Those made from papyrus disintegrated outside of desert climates. Writing media was extremely expensive, and getting someone to copy was more expensive still. I can't find the source, but I did find in my reading that a book at that time cost about as much as a house of that time; a luxury indeed.

Henry, Cardinal Newman famously wrote that to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant. These were the kind of thing he was talking about. The idea that there was no teaching authority and just bibles floating around the classical world leading a movement that would convert the entire pagan Roman empire is simply not supported.
Goodness. I don't have much to counter this with. It is hard for me to dent that this is a very convincing write up. Obviously, I cannot leave my church and convert to Catholicism on a whim. I will need time to discern what is true and what is not. Please pray for me as I seek God's truth for not only myself, but my future wife, and, God willing, children, too.
 

DanielH

Pelican
So what's the deal with Catholic schools? There's so many people out there who seem to not know the most basic tenets of Catholicism despite claiming to spend X years in Catholic school and CCD. I'm curious because when my wife and I have kids we'll have to choose between finding an Orthodox school, which are exceedingly rare, or homeschooling. Just curious as to what the pitfalls are or if they're exaggerated by people on the internet.
 

DeFide

Robin
So what's the deal with Catholic schools? There's so many people out there who seem to not know the most basic tenets of Catholicism despite claiming to spend X years in Catholic school and CCD. I'm curious because when my wife and I have kids we'll have to choose between finding an Orthodox school, which are exceedingly rare, or homeschooling. Just curious as to what the pitfalls are or if they're exaggerated by people on the internet.
What’s the deal with “Catholic” schools, you ask?

The “deal” is Vatican II.

Vatican II is the source of the problems.


To make a long story short...What is today known as Roman Catholicism is in fact not the Roman Catholicism of the past. You can verify this for yourself just by looking at Church history, and virtually all disinterested historians will confirm this. The big rupture occurred at the Second Vatican Council AKA “Vatican 2”, a gathering of all Catholic bishops called in 1959 by the newly-elected “Pope John XXIII”. It was held from 1962 until 1965 in Vatican City. John XXIII died in 1963, and his successor, “Pope Paul VI”, continued and concluded the council, making it legally effective for the entire church.

The long-term effect of Vatican 2 has been a complete revolution of Catholicism, one that has been most visible in the changes in Catholic worship, specifically in the Catholic Mass. The results have been catastrophic: exceptionally low Mass attendance, an unprecedented crisis in vocations to the priesthood, and a “Catholic” populace ignorant of some of the most basic tenets of Catholicism.

A great many ideas today promoted as Roman Catholicism, are actually rooted only in Vatican II and were not known or accepted before — and that’s a pretty long “before” — around 1,900 years. Things like ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, interfaith prayer services, opposition to the death penalty, religious freedom as an ideal for every society, the notion of “human rights”, declaring all war to be evil (even the just kind) — all these are examples of Vatican II ideas, not Catholic ideas.

Anyway, I would strongly urge you to avoid “Catholic” schools like the plague. All problems you’ve heard about them are by no means exaggerated, are possibly even worse than what you might have already heard. Sending your children to any type of school that operates under the auspices of the Post-Vatican 2 Novus Ordo Church is FAR more dangerous to their spiritual and moral development than sending them to a public school. However, depending on where you are located you may be able to find a decent private school that is independently operated by a Traditionalist Catholic group.
 
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DanielH

Pelican
What’s the deal with “Catholic” schools, you ask?

The “deal” is Vatican II.

Vatican II is the source of the problems.


To make a long story short...What is today known as Roman Catholicism is in fact not the Roman Catholicism of the past. You can verify this for yourself just by looking at Church history, and virtually all disinterested historians will confirm this. The big rupture occurred at the Second Vatican Council AKA “Vatican 2”, a gathering of all Catholic bishops called in 1959 by the newly-elected “Pope John XXIII”. It was held from 1962 until 1965 in Vatican City. John XXIII died in 1963, and his successor, “Pope Paul VI”, continued and concluded the council, making it legally effective for the entire church.
Thanks for sharing. This makes sense, my grandmother was raised in pre Vat. 2 Catholic schools and what she has told me of it, especially with how strict and rigorous it was, doesn't sound like what happens today.
 

ralfy

Robin
What’s the deal with “Catholic” schools, you ask?

The “deal” is Vatican II.

Vatican II is the source of the problems.


To make a long story short...What is today known as Roman Catholicism is in fact not the Roman Catholicism of the past. You can verify this for yourself just by looking at Church history, and virtually all disinterested historians will confirm this. The big rupture occurred at the Second Vatican Council AKA “Vatican 2”, a gathering of all Catholic bishops called in 1959 by the newly-elected “Pope John XXIII”. It was held from 1962 until 1965 in Vatican City. John XXIII died in 1963, and his successor, “Pope Paul VI”, continued and concluded the council, making it legally effective for the entire church.

The long-term effect of Vatican 2 has been a complete revolution of Catholicism, one that has been most visible in the changes in Catholic worship, specifically in the Catholic Mass. The results have been catastrophic: exceptionally low Mass attendance, an unprecedented crisis in vocations to the priesthood, and a “Catholic” populace ignorant of some of the most basic tenets of Catholicism.

A great many ideas today promoted as Roman Catholicism, are actually rooted only in Vatican II and were not known or accepted before — and that’s a pretty long “before” — around 1,900 years. Things like ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, interfaith prayer services, opposition to the death penalty, religious freedom as an ideal for every society, the notion of “human rights”, declaring all war to be evil (even the just kind) — all these are examples of Vatican II ideas, not Catholic ideas.

Anyway, I would strongly urge you to avoid “Catholic” schools like the plague. All problems you’ve heard about them are by no means exaggerated, are possibly even worse than what you might have already heard. Sending your children to any type of school that operates under the auspices of the Post-Vatican 2 Novus Ordo Church is FAR more dangerous to their spiritual and moral development than sending them to a public school. However, depending on where you are located you may be able to find a decent private school that is independently operated by a Traditionalist Catholic group.

Not just Vatican 2 but the world in which it took place. That is, there were revolutions around the world, and military powers using weaker countries in proxy wars, with various countries gaining independence, and unknown to most, with several eventually embarking on economic development. That's why when Vatican 2 was taking place, cardinals who attended were shocked to meet their counterparts in Asia and South America for the first time. It was if it never occurred to them that there was a Church outside Western Europe and North America, and that it involved people of different skin colors, languages, and even customs that became part of Catholicism.

And today, in this post-Vatican 2 world, and outside the other 23 other Churches that make up the Catholic Church, some of them are now becoming part of the same:


_108594337_optimised-christian_countries-nc.png
 
Thank you for taking the time to write out this thoughtful and personal post. I am a member of the Lutheran Church of Australia, which is destroying itself with liberalism, or atleast tolerance thereof. There are confessional Lutheran congregations in the LCA, but it is admittedly violating my conscience to stay in what I perceive to be a heterodox church body.

Perhaps you are aware, but there are several small and (statisically) insignificant Lutheran bodies in the U.S. and Australia -- because there is so much factionalism happening. I am beginning to believe that Christ only wanted one external church body. I don't know if the Protestant reformation was a burdensome punishment upon the church because of its misdeeds, and that God wants all to be Catholic, but Protestantism in a punishment; or, if Protestantism (namely, Lutheranism, not Baptist or Pentecostalism) is God's will, as it teaches His Word. Does God want different Christian sects, because they cater to the needs of the many, or does He want submission to One, Catholic church?

We can't even agree on the metric by which to measure and recognise the church. I believe that if we soley use God's Word as the metric, the confessional Lutheran church is the one, true church -- as it teaches God's Word. The issues, to my eyes, is that Catholic claim that Apostolic Tradition is as equally authoritative, and her interpretation of the Bible differs with the Lutheran confessions.

I am getting married soon (God willing! Like you, I'm finding it difficult) and I would like to belong to a faithful church before I have kids, so that I can confidentily raise them in that faith, without doubt.

Like you, I don't have much to say, or really any point. I am just sad and frustrated at the state of the church which I belong to. God bless you too, brother.
I am sorry to hear about the degradation of your church in Australia. And yes, there are at least 3 major Lutheran Confessions in the US that can basically be ranked as Ultra Liberal, Moderate Conservative, and Strong Conservative respectively but all "Lutheran". I echo a lot of your same sentiments regarding church unity (one church vs many). I can't really confidently answer your question either about what God's take is on the Reformation and the subsequent splintering of the Christian Church into something like 20,000 denominations. I think it's hard to disagree with Luther's call for Reform to the Catholic Church at that time, even if you disagree with his breaking apart or rather continuing his work after being excommunicated. And honestly, if the Roman Catholic Church in the US as it is today was the only true Church in existence, I would feel very similar in wanting to reform it or leave as I have met Priests who use the Virgin Mary as a feminist prop, Catholic Schools openly hiring LGBT teachers, Father James Martin who essentially advocates homosexuality among Catholics, the sex scandals which at this point are like status quo, and all of the other theological conundrums that came with Second Vatican Council. Then as I alluded to earlier, the Church shut its doors to people on Holy Week, requires reservations to attend Mass and in many cases is openly advocating that people get an experimental vaccine shrouded in mistrust, secular propaganda and just an overall lack of faith in God to provide.

As a practicing, but still spiritually maturing Catholic, it is hard to maintain such cognitive dissonance about the way its being ran at least in the US. I won't go into it much more as I am not trying to debate anyone on this thread, but at least we have our Bibles still, we have prayer, and we always have Christ and we know that come Hell or high water, it will all make sense in the end if we trust in Him.

Finally, I wish you the best on the marriage. Similarly, I really want to try to find a reliable, consistent strong church to plant my family's roots in especially when children come along. So far the church we got married at seems like a good fit, but it is in another town over which makes it difficult to get to some days. I feel your pain though, and I also hope that things around the world get better if it be God's Will.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
Obviously, I cannot leave my church and convert to Catholicism on a whim.
That means you're serious. It's anecdotal, but every single person I've known that was serious, and put what they knew in their heart to be the truth first and foremost, has converted. Many look for excuses because of other reasons: family, relationships, fond memories, attachments, etc.

I will need time to discern what is true and what is not.
I know I don't have to tell you that the promptings you're getting are not coming out of the blue. Why now? Why at this point in your life are you seeing the abuses, the self-centeredness, the hypocrisy, the disdain for what is holy and for the true, the good and the beautiful? Maybe you always noticed but why is it that now that you're at the point where you're contemplating doing something radical?

The Holy Ghost has poured out His grace on you: you see with your eyes, you comprehend the implications with your intellect, and your soul has been disturbed. Go to the cross and weep. Kneel before His adorable body, mutilated by stripes, and in your mind kiss His five wounds, confessing your part in this world-wide apostasy. Weep for the world, which has turned its back on Him. Ask Him for the virtues of prudence* and fortitude**.

No, you don't want to make a decision on a whim; but as soon as you know that you know, act swiftly. Don't put it off. This is your soul we're talking about. Grace can be removed as quickly as it was offered: doors open and close. You must respond to it.

*Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it.
**Fortitude is the virtue that allows us to overcome fear and to remain steady in our will in the face of all obstacles, physical and spiritual

Please pray for me as I seek God's truth for not only myself, but my future wife, and, God willing, children, too
Be assured that you are in my prayers, and I'll include your conversion in the offering of my Lenten fasting and penance.

Pax vobiscum
 
I've searched on the thread and was wondering if Roosh has ever answered if he would consider joining the Armenian Catholic Church? It's an eastern rite so it's different from the RCC and is more similar to the Orthodox than the RCC. I myself am an eastern rite and I've found it as a better option than attending the norvus ordu when the Tridentine is not available.
 
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