A primer on Church teaching regarding ‘same-sex marriage’

No matter which way the US Supreme Court rules in the “gay marriage” cases before it the international debate over the definition of marriage will continue because that debate is, at root, about matters beyond a civil court’s competence, things like the nature of human beings and the fundamental good of society. Because we Catholics are and will surely remain major participants in such a debate we should be clear among ourselves as to what our Church teaches in this area. I offer as a primer (I stress, primer) toward such better understanding my position on the following points.

1. The Catholic Church teaches, through its ordinary magisterium and with infallible certainty, that marriage exists only between one man and one woman.

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The written decrees of the various Church Councils provide us with some of the most reliable Magisterial guidance.

waytruthlife

by Doug Lawrence

Pope’s sometimes act or teach in error.

Bishops sometimes act or teach in error.

Priests and Deacons sometimes act or teach in error.

Lay persons sometimes act or teach in error.

But duly called and properly constituted Church Councils rarely act or teach in error … even the Council infamously known as Vatican II.

Beginning with the 1st century Council of Jerusalem, with the original Apostles in attendance and St. Peter officiating … a pattern (probably borrowed from the practices of the old Levitical Priesthood/Temple Worship System) emerged that would serve the Church well for (at least) the next 21 Councils, and 2000 years.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, get together.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, deliberate on the question(s) of the day.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, agree.
(Unanimous agreement among the Bishops is desired,
but not absolutely necessary.)

The official decree/constitution is set down in writing.

The Pope “signs off” on everything.

Everybody goes home to properly disseminate information on all the latest development(s).

The Church preserves the document(s) in perpetuity.

Because the sacred deposit of faith is “built” much like a brick wall … with interlocking divine truths stacked one on top of another, from the ground, up … with Tradition acting as the mortar … it’s no easy matter for anyone to “slip in” any abject heresy. (Tradition may be defined as the method by which the Holy Spirit infallibly guides the Church, from age to age.)

Heresy and the adoption of illicit practices usually result from later, false interpretations and other types of unfortunate human biases and sin … but because such things fail to fit the established pattern of Catholic truth … they usually stick out like the proverbial “sore thumb” … at least, to those “in the know”.

That’s why it’s important for every Catholic to know the authentic teachings of the Church, along with the genuine Catholic philosophy of life that springs from them.

The Pope, along with the Bishops, received the teaching authority (Magisterium) of their holy offices directly from Jesus Christ:

And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

You’ll notice that Jesus never specified any particular list of written documents, and he never mentioned the Bible or the Catechism, probably because neither existed at the time. But today, we have the written decrees of 21 Church Councils, the infallible (Ex Cathedra) declarations of at least two Popes, and scores of Papal Bulls, Encyclicals, Catechisms, and other official written works … along with the Bible.

Surprisingly, not all of the Bishops (or even the Pope) agree with all that is contained in the above sources, so many of them seem to think they have the authority to preach a slightly altered Gospel, and practice a slightly altered Divine Liturgy.  And that’s typically where all the trouble begins!

Since the members of the Church’s Magisterium (the Pope and the Bishops) have a sacred duty to practice, preach and teach the authentic Catholic faith, just as they received it from Jesus, the Apostles, the Holy Spirit and the Church, introducing personal novelties and abuses is no small matter. It’s also worth mentioning that priests, deacons, consecrated religious and catechists operate under the authority of the Pope and the Bishops, so they all have similar obligations and responsibilities.

So what is a faithful Catholic to do when something begins to smell “fishy”?

You could ask your diocesan priest or bishop, but if corruption truly exists there (and when it does, it usually exists on a wide scale) the chances of receiving a proper answer … or any answer at all … may be slim to none. Instead, you simply go back and study/research the applicable Magisterial/Conciliar documents, along with earlier versions of the Catholic Catechism, etc. Once you find what you need, seek out a trustworthy source to help verify what you think you have.

What was true way back then is still true today, and if what is currently being promoted and taught in your diocese fails to match up, there is a problem, indeed!  (Do I have your attention, Rochester, NY and Los Angeles, CA?)

Here’s some links to dependable Catholic source documents and teachings:

All 21 Church Councils

Catholic Catechisms

Major Papal Encyclicals

The Holy Bible

Other excellent source documents

The Catholic Treasure Chest

Time to properly inform your conscience – The Catholic Church and Homosexuality.

A summary of Catholic teaching on this very timely matter – with citations – from the earliest days of the church – right up until today.

Read it 

Thanks to Ann Barnhardt for the tip – and an excellent, related article on her own site.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has issued new advance medical directives to help Catholics better understand the Church’s teaching on end-of-life issues and to provide guidance to caregivers.

Dr. Frank Agnone, a Catholic internal medicine physician, has stood many times at the bedside of patients facing the end of their lives. He said the advance directives issued by the Phoenix Diocese are based on the magisterial teaching of the Church and will be a big help to the faithful.

“None of us is equipped to put something this profound and this insightful together about human nature and natural law as God would have us live it out in His plan for creation, redemption and our salvation,” Dr. Agnone said, “but the Magisterium of our Church has and it makes so much sense.”

Dr. Agnone said the time during which patients and their families face the end of life is sacred and shouldn’t be rushed.

“We want to create the most sacred environment in which to finish the journey,” Dr. Agnone said. “We don’t prolong death but we respect that there are still some final chapters, some final moments of this life that can be carefully observed.”

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“How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers. (Acts 2:38-42)

Question: “How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

Answer: “With extreme gratitude and humility,
while constantly praising and giving thanks to God!”

Read one author’s “take” on it

Editor’s note: This is like asking someone who wants to learn how to safely pilot airplanes, “Why would you go to a flight school that tells you how to fly?”

The short answer is of course, “Because my life (or in the case of the Catholic Church, my eternal salvation) depends upon it … dummy!”

Lionel Andrades: EWTN position paper at odds with authentic Catholic teaching.

Friday, February 17, 2012

EWTN’S NEW REPORT ON OUTSIDE THE CHURCH NO SALVATION ASSUMES THOSE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE ETC ARE EXPLICITLY KNOWN TO US AND SO CONTRADICTS THE DOGMA

EWTN has placed a report on the internet titled Outside the Church No Salvation which criticizes ‘ the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved)’ and claims it has ‘been condemned by the Magisterium.’

In other words EWTN says every one does not have to convert into the Church for salvation (Pope Pius IX, Allocution), the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are defacto, explicitly known cases which contradict ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible teaching’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).Also EWTN suggests that there are is a Magiseterial document which says specifically that Fr.Leonard Feeney was condemned for heresy and which EWTN has not specified.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

The doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won’t submit to the Magisterium of the Church.

Lionel: The Magisterium of the Church says all need to enter the Church for salvation. (Dominus Iesus 20, Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14, Catechism of the Catholic Church 845,845, Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441 etc).

Lumen Gentium 16 and LG 8 are not exceptions to the dogma since we do not know any explicit case of a non Catholic saved in invincible ignorance, good conscience or with ‘elements of sanctification’.

EWTN:

Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition – including “outside the Church no salvation.”

Lionel:

EWTN is contradicting the Magisterial documents cited above.

EWTN:

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Lionel:

EWTN assumes that ‘those who are in invincible ignorance of the true religion’ are an exception to the ‘rigorist interpretation’ which is that the Apostolic Roman Church ‘is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge.’

The Church Fathers and the popes knew there was no contradiction.This was the error of the Archbishop of Boston Ruchard Cushing and the Jesuits there. Cushingism says every one needs to enter the Church, except, for those in invincible ignorance etc.Since Cushingism assumes that these ‘exceptions’ are defacto known to us in the present times.

 

EWTN:Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

Lionel:

Invincible ignorance is not an exception to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

When CCC 846 says all who are saved are saved through Jesus and the Church this is not a contradiction to CCC 846 also saying that all need to enter the Church as ‘through a door’ and that all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation. (AG 7).

EWTN:

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium.

Lionel:

It depends on the interpretation. Do we interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council II according to Cushingism or Feeneyism?

 

EWTN:

It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

Lionel:

EWTN is still denying the centuries old interpretation of the dogma and assuming that there are defacto exceptions in Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

EWTN also implies that the popes and Church Councils ex cathedra were wrong. Since it is assumed that they were contradicted by magisterial teachings of popes and Vatican Council II.

EWTN slanders a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church. -Lionel Andrades

1.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

——————————————————————————–

The doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won’t submit to the Magisterium of the Church. Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition – including “outside the Church no salvation.”

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium. It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL

Link

Reasons to believe: The Catholic Church remains the only truly “non-denominational” Christian church.

by Doug Lawrence

In today’s increasingly confused, scandalized and secular culture, more and more people seem to be describing their religious inclinations as “non-denominational”.

Most seem to believe that “non-denominational” means to be associated with no particular Christian group, or to ascribe to no particular Christian creed.

As in most things however, the Catholic Church long ago correctly defined the meaning of the word “non-denominational”. It happened on Pentecost Sunday, the day the one, holy, apostolic, universal Christian church officially came into being.

Known then as simply “the Church” … Catholicism is most definitely not a mere denomination. It is the one and only true church, founded personally by Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth, in the divine hope that all should be one, in him.

Thanks to the promised, continuing advocacy of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church continues to enjoy the fullness of all God’s truth, and the complete range of all God’s spiritual gifts, to this day.

One has to wonder, what could there possibly be to gain from membership in a “non-denominational” denomination? Wouldn’t that be a lot like intentionally patronizing a restaurant that regularly serves food of questionable purity and/or quality? The prospect boggles the mind!

Members of other Christian denominations also have to deal with certain fundamental  irrationalities. Various Protestant groups prefer to be called Evangelical, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Charismatic, Baptist, Full Gospel, Bible Church, and many other things, but in the end (or rather, the beginning) the Catholic Church was already all of that, and much, much more … which further points to the fullness of Catholic truth, as clearly manifest in the Bible, Sacred and Apostolic Tradition, the Sacraments, the Priesthood, the Papacy, the Magisterium, and so many other things.

From this we can determine beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Catholic Church is not merely the first and only truly “non-denominational” Christian church, it also remains the only authentic and original Bible Believing, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, Apostolic, Full Gospel, Water Baptizing, Universal Church of Jesus Christ.

And that, my friends, despite the Catholic Church’s many and continuing difficulties and scandals, should provide more than sufficient reason to believe!