So Just Where is that Epistle to the Children?

When the apostles started out, they knew they had work to do. The whole world needed conversion. Everyone was pagan. That is, the world looked very much like it does today. The apostolic approach to the problem differed from ours.

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Peter, for instance, did not set up a single parochial school. Luke did not write a children’s gospel. Not one of Paul’s epistles were decorated with yellow duckies. In short, according to the Scriptures and Church history, the apostles didn’t bother teaching children the Faith. They taught only the adults. Why?

Because the apostles understood the principle of subsidiarity. Pope Pius XI in his 1931 encyclicalQuadragesimo Anno described the principle succinctly: “Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.”

The apostles knew they could not replace parents. Through the sacrament of marriage, God endows parents with the ability to teach their own children about Him. The apostles only needed to teach the parents the Faith, it was the parents’ responsibility to teach their own children. So, what has changed in the last two millenia? The answer to that is simple. Nothing.

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Former Protestant minister explains why he quit – to become Catholic

Historically speaking, the idea that the written Word of God is formally sufficient for all things related to faith and practice, such that anyone of normal intelligence and reasonably good intentions could read it and deduce from it what is necessary for orthodoxy and orthopraxy, is not a position that I see reflected in the writings of the early Church fathers. While there are plenty of statements in their writings that speak in glowing terms about the qualitative uniqueness of Scripture, those statements, for them, do not do away with the need for Scripture to be interpreted by the Church in a binding and authoritative way when necessary.

This discovery in the church fathers is unsurprising if the same position can be found in the New Testament itself, which I now believe it can. To cite but one example, the Church in her earliest days was confronted with a question that Jesus had not addressed with any specificity or directness, namely, the question of Gentile inclusion in the family of God. In order to answer this question, the apostles and elders of the Church gathered together in council to hear all sides and reach a verdict. What is especially interesting about Luke’s account of the Jerusalem Council is the role that Scripture played, as well as the nature of the verdict rendered.

Concerning the former, James’s citation of Amos is curious in that the passage in the prophet seems to have little to do with the matter at hand, and yet James cites Amos’s words about the tent of David being rebuilt to demonstrate that full Gentile membership in the Church fulfills that prophecy. Moreover, Scripture functioned for the Bishop of Jerusalem not as the judge that settled the dispute, but rather as a witness that testified to what settled it, namely, the judgment of the apostles and elders.

Rather than saying, “We agree with Scripture,” he says in effect, “Scripture agrees with us” (v. 15, 19). And finally, when the decision is ultimately reached, it is understood by the apostles and elders not as an optional and fallible position with which the faithful may safely disagree if they remain biblically unconvinced, but rather as an authoritative and binding pronouncement that was bound in heaven even as it was on earth (v. 28).

Despite some superficial similarities, no existing Protestant denomination with an operating norm of Sola Scriptura can replicate the dynamic, or claim the authority of the Jerusalem Council (or of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon for that matter).

The fact that the Bible’s own example of how Church courts operate was hamstrung by Protestantism’s view of biblical authority was something I began to find disturbingly ironic.

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On the histority, dating, and veracity of the Gospel accounts

Given the fact that the study of history must be biased, it is much better therefore if the pretense of objectivity is dropped. Much clearer if we know ahead of time that a historical study is written from a particular point of view. We can then make allowances for the bias and read other works from other perspectives to achieve balance. If I know that a particular historian is a Marxist or a feminist or a post-modern atheist I will understand their bias on history and the more they are open about it, while still trying to be as objective as possible, the better will the exercise be.

So, to return to the gospels, we have before us documents that purport to record historical events. The gospel says they are written “so that you might know that Jesus is Christ the Son of God.” They are derived from the experience of the first Christian community and written to help convert people to the Christian faith. Therefore we are well aware of the bias and the intention of the documents. Does this disqualify them completely?

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Seen on the web: Catholicism is not a sect.

In her recent letter to the editor (”Troubling times at St. Joseph,” Times-Standard, Page A4), Ms. Neeva Olson called the Catholic Church a “sect.” That could not be further from the truth. The Church was established 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ and can trace its roots all the way back to his Apostles. It was not until 1,500 years later that the other thousands of denominations began to form.

In my dictionary a “sect” is called: A religious body that has separated from a larger denomination. That would seem to apply to all the other traditions and certainly not to the Catholic Church.

Ms. Olson would do well to consider that the very book that is the foundation of all the Christian denominations came from the monks of the Catholic Church who painstakingly preserved all the writings during the centuries before the printing press was invented.

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Doubting Thomas

Holy Thursday

More Lenten Catechism from Andy P/Doria2

Just more proof that Jesus Christ came to establish His Church. One Church. He calls it the body and He makes it authoritative. I use Bible verses because when you are questioned by non Catholics they will want to know chapter and verse of anything you say. Well we have that information. In the Bible that the Church designed and put together through the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not be afraid to offer these quotes when asked. Send them on and teach them to family and friends. Teach them especially to your children and grandchildren.

The Church is the body of Christ

Col 1:18* He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.

1 Cor 6:15 – Don’t you know your bodies are members of Christ?

1 Cor 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, 25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27* Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Eph 5:30 – we are members of His body.

Rom 12:4* For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, 5* so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Authoritative Church

Mt 28:18* And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19* Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20* teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Jn 20:21* power to forgive sin – Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22* And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23* If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Lk 10:16* power to speak with Christ’s voice – “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Mt 18:17 – power to discipline 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Mt 18:18 – power to legislate – 18* Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Infallible Church

Jn 16:13 – guided by Holy Spirit into all truth – 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14* He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Jn 14:26 – Holy Spirit to teach & remind them of everything – 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Lk 10:16 – speak with Christ’s own voice – 16* “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

1Tim 3:15 – Church called “pillar and foundation of truth” – 15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

1Jn 2:26-27 – anointing of Holy Spirit remains in you – 26 I write this to you about those who would deceive you; 27* but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Acts 15:28 – Apostles speak with voice of Holy Spirit – 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:

Mt 28:20 – I am with you – 18* And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19* Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20* teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

For more visit Bob Stanley’s: The Catholic Treasure Chest