Meet Thomas Gumbleton, Heretical Catholic Bishop.

Would never have dreamt of priestesses: Martin Luther.

Faithful to the motto oportet ut scandala eveniant, yours truly reports here an entry from Father Z’s blog informing us that the retired Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton has brilliantly discovered that 2000 years of Christian tradition and undisputed Church teaching about Male-only Priesthood are utterly and completely wrong. Caveat: this is not for the faint of heart.

It is also unclear whether Mr. Gumbleton is able to read, because if he were he would have stumbled across an Encyclical Letter called Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (link is provided on the right column under “Church Teaching”). This Encyclical Letter was written for those less fortunate among us (the heretics, the extremely misinformed and the retards) who couldn’t accept the very clear evidence of Church teaching and was basically meant to tell them “just in case you were trying to deceive yourself into believing some sort of feminist nonsense, be informed that 1) you are not allowed to believe such nonsense and 2) you are not even allowed to discuss the matter”.

Bishop Gumbleton is very probably not a retard and being a Bishop one may safely suppose that he has received some sort of instruction. Therefore Bishop Gumbleton is a full-fledged heretic bent to cause maximum damage and confusion among Catholics because he is – albeit luckily already retired – a Bishop of the Only Church.

Besides praying for the conversion of Bishop Gumbleton and the other heretics, a useful thing you can do is to send your complaint to the Congregation for the Clergy at the following email address: clero@cclergy.va . You may want to send a copy to the “Osservatore Romano”, ornet@ossrom.va . If you prefer to write a letter, the address is: Congregazione per il Clero, Piazza Pio XII, 3, 00193 Roma, Italy. If I have got the wrong Congregation don’t worry, they’ll know where to forward.

Bishop Gumbleton should be either laicized or ordered to lock himself in a monastery for the rest of his days to clear his head and to expiate his sins. He needs our prayer but he needs to be severely and publicly punished, too. The times in which Bishops could confuse the minds of the simpler Catholics with their heresies and remain unpunished should now slowly but surely come to an end.

A Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is surely in order here.

Mundabor

Posted on July 26, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. It is a mystery to me why some people insist that they want to remain within the Catholic Church, whilst patently hating some of the teachings of that same Church which they profess to love. What makes them so determined to be a part of something that they feel is wrong and should be changed?

    At least during the reformation, the protestants were honest enough to break their ties with the Church and form new sects to whose teachings they were able to adhere. Nobody is forced to belong to the Church if they, in conscience, cannot accept her doctines and the honourable thing to do, surely is to leave and to respect that most of the faithful do not want the disruption they cause to their much loved Church.

    One questions why the Pope nowadays is so reluctant to use the power of excommunication. Perhaps it is because there are so many heretics amongst both priests and prelates, that should excommunication be resorted to there would be less than half of them left?

    • Misericordia,

      I think it’s the old argument: if Pope Benedict starts to punish them, he could start a schism.
      Which is the same as to say: the Pope shouldn’t be Catholic because if he starts being catholic, those who aren’t anymore could go away. Not very logic.

      I am curious to see what will happen to the chap because this is really serious. If nothing happens, Benedict will have made a great disservice to the Church as others might come out of the woods and once the “debate” has started again it will take time and brutal measures stop it.

      As always, appeasement will not lead to anything.

      M

  2. Hello, Mundabor — People always ask, ‘Where in the Bible does it say that a priest must be male?’ 1 Timothy 3:2 is the verse.

    • Thanks Churchmouse,
      you are very fit in scriptural knowledge, kudos to you! 😉

      Personally I try to avoid discussions based on scriptural arguments because 500 years of protestantism have shown to me that they do not really stop someone bent on wanting to believe the wrong thing 😉 , which is why every othr corner you have a protestant thinking something different but no one of them is ever found lacking of some supposed scriptural argument 😉

      It is traditional teaching of the Church that the male-only priesthood is matter of doctrine, priest celibacy of discipline. This is what I use to punch “dissenting” (read: heretical) soi-disant Catholics all the time. It cuts the discussion short. If it matter of doctrine, to counter “but the Gospel say such and such in xy:zz” is perfectly useless.

  3. Furthermore, the Pope is obliged to take action against this bishop in order to maintain the purity of the Church: Matt. 18:15, 1 Cor. 5:4-5.

    • Very interesting issue.

      Will the Pope act? Will he?

      Much as I wish this Gumbleton chap were made an example, I must say that I doubt that much will happen.

      My perception of things (I may be wrong of course) is that these people sense that Benedict is getting older and weaker and profit of this to weaken his position and try to steer the Church towards the election of a more moderate successor in order to “avoid a schism”. The more they become vocal and openly defiant, the more the Cardinals might persuade themselves that a moderate Pope is the ticket.

      These people are not stupid. If he knew that the penalty for heresy is laicization or monastery he would shut up. He speaks up because he knows that he has nothing to fear but some kind of very mild rebuke making of him the hero of his fellow heretics.

      M

  4. The reason I quoted the Bible is that when the Anglicans had their debate in the 1990s over women priests, I never read any biblical evidence that the priesthood was for men only. Many people, myself included, said of opponents to women’s ordination, ‘it’s only their opinion’, ‘they’re misogynists’ and so forth. At that time, I didn’t know Scripture well enough to know where to look in the New Testament, and we didn’t have the online resources then that we do now.

    Ditto church discipline, which I only read the biblical basis for relatively recently. So, now I ‘understand’.

    • Thanks Churchmouse,
      this undoubtedly shows that the debate within the Anglican Church went along “social” (feminist) rather than along religious and scriptural line. The ability of Protestants to reinvent not only fifteen centuries of Catholic doctrine, but even five centuries of Protestant traditions never ceases to amaze me. “Christianity is what we make up as we go along” seems to accurately reflect the religious understanding of many of them.

      M

  5. Yes, but, Mundabor, that was also the debate that carried on in the media, so it was not restricted just to the Anglican Communion. And it will be the same thing by the end of the decade (my prediction) in the Catholic Church. We will once again see the social and not the scriptural debate. Many people will ask, ‘What is the basis for the Church’s teaching on this?’ Answer: ‘The New Testament’. It may be an un-Catholic response, but it would be useful for the Vatican to respond to this in like manner.

    Lest any of your readers think that I’m predicting women priests in the Catholic Church by 2020 — I’m not. However, the debate will intensify. The media and a number of Catholics will say, ‘We have female rabbis, female Anglican priests, female Lutheran pastors, female Methodist pastors, so why not female Catholic priests? We have a vocations crisis. What’s more, think of the resulting growth in the Church — it would become relevant for the 21st century.’

    The words will be reminiscent of what went 20 years before with regard to the Anglican Communion. Plus ca change

    • I agree on the Anglicans. My impression is that, the Anglicans being so secularised, their debates develop through sociological lines, not religious ones. They think like the BBC, therefore they debate like the BBC.

      On the Catholic side, I’d say it will depend on the Pope. If he acts now, things will quiet down very rapidly as they did in 1994 after Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. If he doesn’t act because he is confident that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and 2000 years of doctrine will stifle the dissent by themselves, I think he makes a very bad mistake. Stupidity has no bounds and in this “paedophile priest scandal fest” every idiot will feel obliged to spew his feminist spittle and will feel oh so good in the process, without even running any risk of consequences.

      Not acting decisively would be a big mistake indeed.

      M

  6. misericordia2

    churchmouse:

    What makes you think that ordaining women would result in growth in the Church? Having women ministers in the CofE has not brought about an increase in congregations; numbers are still declining. The only positive that has been produced is that fewer parishes have been left without a minister in charge and so less churches have had to close.

    • Misericordia,
      Churchmouse is not thinking that at all.
      He is merely imagining what the feminists will be saying I think……

      The fact is, if the nutcases a la Gumbleton are not stopped we’ll have a lot of people coming out with nonsense like this…

  7. misericordia2

    mundabor:

    I like your statement in your next post that a dogma cannot be opposed. You say that either you accept the dogma and are Catholic, or you don’t accept it and are therefore not Catholic. Pope Benedict should take that firm and positive line with Thomas Gumbleton, and with other heretics of that ilk. It worries me a lot that he doesn’t.

    Father Z has asked us to call Pope Benedict “the Pope of Christian Unity”, but I fear that to ensure unity this Pope is sometimes too willing to compromise. Perhaps “the Pope of Christian conciliation “might more accurately describe him.

    • Misericordia,

      I have abandoned long ago the hope that Benedict would be a warrior of sort. If I compare him to his predecessor I cannot but be very satisfied, but it is difficult to put him on par with the great Popes of the past, even the recent past.

      It is rather soon to know whether he will react to this provocation. If you google Gumbleton a bit, you’ll see that he has made himself a name among the pacifist nutcases; he is a pure product of the Sixty-Eight and the madness of the “Spirit of Vatican II”. I would be surprised if Benedict would punish him. He is not strong enough to actively seek a confrontation with the many Pelosi-Catholics of the US. What I think he’ll do is try to strenghten – as long as he can do so quietly and without controversy – the conservatives (see kicking out Mahony for Gomez in Los Angeles) but avoiding any kind of frontal impact with the heretics. He’ll wait that they die, as not even retirement is enough to silence the man.

      Not the Pope of my dreams. But I think of what could have been and frankly can’t really complain.

      M

  8. I’d just like to suggest a couple of things:

    First, that citing scripture is not “uncatholic”!

    Second, that 1 Timothy 3:2 is unlikely to convince any but the most naive of protestants. And if it did, the fear would be that they would insist on priestly – and episcopal – matrimony. 😦

    • I fully agree. Not “uncatholic” at all!
      My argument is merely that scriptural citation will not persuade a Catholic (if he is willing to be a catholic, that is) as much as the stating of clear doctrinal position will. But this is just my personal experience and personal preference.

    • “And if it did, the fear would be that they would insist on priestly – and episcopal – matrimony”.

      Thinking of which I have a question to those (Churchmouse?) who have extensive exchanges with sola scriptura people: how is it that Protestants don’t go around cutting their arms and with only one eye? How can it be that they approve of divorce in the face of very clear words to the contrary?

      What I am trying to say is:
      1) if you believe in “the scripture”, how do you know where to stop? Is it not totally arbitrary?

      2) If one thinks that one must *think* by reading the scripture (eg: not amputating his arm when it offends him, which it will), how can one refuse a doctrinal system explaining how to think by reading the Scripture?

      I never escaped the impression that this sola scripture is something fundamentally teenager-like, with everyone just reading the book and saying “here it says that”. Entire mainstream “churches” are created with this, right? Like the baptists who think no one has read correctly before them?

      Or do they seriously think that the Holy Ghost provides 500 major and 2000 minor answers? How does this square with the sola scriptura thinking? The scripture is one, FHS!

      Not being ironic here (at least: trying not to). Just wondering…

      M

  9. Oh, quite! I think it was the church mouse who implied it might be. Authentic church teaching, informed by Our Lord’s revelation of himself to the apostles, is the thing.

  10. BTW – it’s a funny little default avatar, that. It makes me want to press it.

    I’m not complaining, just putting off the moment when I have to get back to work.

  11. “it’s a funny little default avatar, that. It makes me want to press it”.

    I wanted to change it yesterday but then I forgot, thanks for reminding me 😉

    This is here automatically generated, should give a bit more variety.

    M

  12. No sensible person could believe in “sola scriptura”. I know I’m not the first to ask (and shan’t be the last, either), but where is this doctrine to be found in scripture, and who would believe scripture if it could be found there?

  13. “where is this doctrine to be found in scripture, and who would believe scripture if it could be found there?”

    And why do they believe in exactly those “scriptures” by the way? Why do they believe that Luke’s is a bona fide Gospel and Mary Magdalen’s is not?

    As I said, we need the church mouse on that as I can’t imagine that Protestantism is truly as naive as that.

    M

  14. To answer your question — Christ’s death and resurrection freed us from the Old Covenant. So, we are not obliged to follow rules on food, certain aspects of hygiene and so on.

    Matt. 22:34-40: ‘Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    ‘Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ‘

    St Paul tells us in Romans 13:9-10: ‘The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’

    The use of a reliable (classic) Bible commentary points out all the Old Testament verses that Jesus and the apostles refer to in their ministry. It’s one big story — you can’t have one without the other, but I digress.

    In the same chapter of Matthew that I cited above, Jesus tells a ‘learned’ Sadducee (Matt. 22:29): ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.’

    There are several places in the Bible where God commands people not to add to nor take away from Scripture. The Belgic Confession (a Reformed, or Calvinist, confession of faith) says in Article 7: ‘To Scripture we may not add anything, nor take anything away.’

    Scriptures that support that are Deut. 4:2, 12:32, Prov.30:6, Gal.1:8, and Rev.22:18-19. There are more. And there is more about Sola Scriptura here:

    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/wholewes.htm

    As I used to say to my young Protestant friends when I was a child, ‘I’m Catholic. I don’t need to read the Bible. The priests do it for me.’ Needless to say, heads exploded, including that of the heretofore unshockable Baptist boy, whose jaw dropped open in amazement: ‘You will end up in Hell talking like that.’

    Now, I think he was probably on the money. The more one reads the Bible, the more a lot of events and verses tie together. I would not want to hear at judgment, ‘Why did you not read the Bible?’ How can Church teaching trump the Bible? That’s like telling Christ he was in error. Yet, Christ tells the Sadducee, ‘You are in error because you do not know Scripture.’

    Most Protestants 50+ learned the Bible at home and Sunday School, at least in the US. By the time I had uttered my fatuous statement, my chums knew the order of the canon and had a good working knowledge of it. I did go to Sunday School one day with a Lutheran friend (this was around the same time). I couldn’t believe how much those kids knew. They understood it, they knew the related verses to particular passages. By contrast, compared with them, I knew very little.

    Sorry I couldn’t make it on to comment earlier. This is quite a complex subject and one which is continually being debated between Catholic and Calvinist bloggers. Catholics need to up their game on this one, because I don’t think they can adequately answer this question: What is the source of Catholic teaching? If you say the Magisterium, then what is the source for the Magisterium? (I know what answer I would give here.)

    If Catholics read the Bible they would understand sola Scriptura.

    • Thanks Churchmouse,
      but it seems to me that in your answer there is nothing helping me to understand sola scriptura and whilst I am not one of those who memorises verses to throw at the next protestant around, I do read from it intensively.

      I am not surprised that the Baptist boys should be scandalised as your assertion was, well, rather strange and certainly not dosctrinally correct. It is not that you don’t need to read the Bible because the priest does it for you. It is that you need the doctrine to understand it properly, when you do.

      Also nowhere in Catholic doctrine is said that Catholics can do without the scriptures. Scriptures and tradition complete each other. At Mass we have Old and New Testament every time.

      So my questions remain: the kids know so much, but every two blocks they know *different things*. They know so much, but they still need extra-biblical guidance to understand the Bible or they would go on amputating themselves. They know so much, but they can’t say why they have picked those books and not others.

    • “There are several places in the Bible where God commands people not to add to nor take away from Scripture”

      I think we have some confusion here.

      What we call “scriptures” has been defined by the Church, in a process which has taken a couple of centuries. This is what we mean when we say that what Protestants call “scriptures” is “what the Church has decided to call scriptures”.
      Jesus has also never said that the four canonical Gospels should be considered revealed truth, and the dozens and more that we call apocripha shouldn’t, and so on. It was the Church to decide that four were revealed truth, and all the others weren’t.

      There is nothing in the scriptures saying “only these and these books are to be considered Scriptures”. What is scriptures for Christianity has been defined by the Church. Luther has slightly modified the canon, but he also has started from the Catholic one. What they have, they have from the Church, because the Church said so.

      M

  15. M — Your second message here. You gave the answer that Catholics generally do: ‘The Church said so.’ To which the enquirer asks, ‘Based on what?’

    Calvin and Luther wanted to reform the Church from the inside out. They were forced to leave it.

    You say, ‘Jesus has also never said that the four canonical Gospels should be considered revealed truth, and the dozens and more that we call apocrypha shouldn’t, and so on. It was the Church to decide that four were revealed truth.’ What you write there is every bit as flawed but honest as what I was telling the kids (again, being a preteen at the time). To phrase it another way, what I was saying was, ‘The Church interprets it for me. They feed me, I eat. But, unlike you lot [Protestants], I don’t know where the food comes from exactly.’

    Neither of us is totally wrong in what we’re saying, but it sounds pretty arrogant.

    Note that Paul refers back to the Gospels — as in that quote I provided for you. He cites Jesus from the Matthew verse. As mentioned earlier, Jesus quotes the Old Testament, Paul, Peter and the other apostles cite both the Old Testament and the Gospels.

    So, how did the Church decide the canon? (I know what I would say.)

    • But it is the honest truth, Churchmouse.

      It is not true that Jesus died and resurrected and the Bible was there, fresh and ready to be read. There were controversies going on for centuries about what should be considered “Bible” and what shouldn’t. Pure historical fact!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Biblical_canons

      The Jews had their own canon and they called it scriptures. The Christian slowly elaborated their own. Luther started from the one authoritatively decided from the Church and expunged some parts and decided others to be less relevant.

      This is pure fact. What the Bible is, the Church has decided.

      M

  16. From the Canon of the New Testament:

    “The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definition of the Tridentine Council”.

    M

  17. To your first message — some of it is answered in my preceding message.

    Outside of the Evangelicals, each denom has a set of ‘confessions’. Lutherans have the Book of Concord, Smalcald Articles and so forth, which — in addition to the Bible — they learn as children. (There is a shorter version of the Book of Concord for kids.) In the LCMS and WELS — high-church Lutheranism with closed Communion — most new attendees (depends on the church) are questioned on the Book of Concord before they can become fully fledged members.

    Depending on the Reformed church a Calvinist attends, he has a confession to learn in his childhood. That might be the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Confession of Faith and the Canons of Dort. All of these are in agreement on the basic tenets. Where they may differ is in terms of church polity, but, even then, not much.

    Baptists have the Baptist Confession of Faith from 1689. Not all subscribe to it — I believe that Southern Baptists adhere to the teachings their Convention has.

    Methodists have a catechism. Anglicans have the 39 Articles of Religion.

    But, you and your readers may all believe the same thing as Catholics, but many Catholics are just as varied in their belief as Evangelicals are, which makes me think that this is why the more left-leaning of both camps like these oecumenical councils amongst themselves.

    Re the Solas, I am not sure why Catholics are always focusing on Sola Scriptura alone (maybe this is EWTN material they get). Calvinists are five-pointers, many Baptists are four-pointers and Lutherans three-pointers.

    Solas described here:
    http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2009/04/02/the-5-solas-of-calvinism-for-non-calvinists/

    Will be back later.

    • Very interesting entry about Calvinism, Churchmouse.

      Still, my questions stand:
      1) Calvinists say that the bible is easy to understand, but they are even divided among themselves; even bigger differences are found with the Lutherans. How is that.

      2) The differences among protestants are of theological order; the ones among catholics are first of all of interpretation of a Truth recognised as such, and secondly often due to ignorance or heresy. Catholicism is monolithic even if those who represent it will never be.

      It will be interesting to know how Calvinists address the problem I was mentioning before, that is: how they cope with the fact that the bibles they hold in their hands is an historical creation of the Church.

  18. Mundabor — I am happy to answer your questions once you answer mine, posed twice already: how did the Church decide the canon — in your own words?

    • How did the Church do it?
      The work of the Holy Ghost assisting the Church.

    • Here it is rather beautifully put:
      “It would be superfluous to spend any time in proving that Tradition has faithfully kept the Apostolic belief in the inspiration of Scripture. Moreover, this demonstration forms the subject-matter of a great number of works (see especially Chr. pesch, “De inspiratione Sacrae Scripturae”, 1906, p. 40-379). It is enough for us to add that on several occasions the Church has defined the inspiration of the canonical books as an article of faith”.

      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08045a.htm

  19. Thinking forensically, as Calvin and Luther would have, how did it work? The Catholic Advent link doesn’t explain who formed it and how.

    Sorry, but for serious enquirers, they will have to do better than that. The Belgic Confessions link does a better job. I’m not making light of this. If a Calvinist comes on this blog to ask (and, yes, some have converted to Catholicism) the case would need to be made clearly.

    • “The Catholic Advent link doesn’t explain who formed it and how”.

      Catholic Doctrine does.
      This is where they were both deficient.

      That the decision about which books constituted the canon happened through the slow working of the Holy Ghost, who led the Church to the right decisions about which books were legit and which weren’t, is Catholic teaching. It doesn’t have to be explained, it has to be accepted. It is the same way the Church has worked through all the other decisions also accepted by Protestants: the opposition to the doctrine of Arius, of Nestorius, etc.

      The Holy Ghost works through the Church, and guides her to the right decision even if after long and exhausting controversies, or even wars. This is the doctrine. Luther was an Augustinian monk and he had to know this, in St. Augustine’s time the discussion about which books to include in the canon was still ongoing.

    • “The Belgic Confessions link does a better job”.

      Well, being heretic it most certaily can’t.
      But if you can explain how they do in your own words at least we’ll know where they were wrong.

    • “The definite and inalterable determination of the sacred sources, like that of all Catholic doctrines, was in the Divine economy left to gradually work itself out under the stimulus of questions and opposition”.

      This is from the CE “canon” entry
      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm

      And this is really, Catechism. Luther had to know this. He most certainly knew. He just chose to ignore it.

  20. Well, at least the Belgic Confessions explained exactly how they arrived at Sola Scriptura. I think the Catholic Advent site is not explaining the full story.

    Is the Catholic Church afraid to say that someone — the early Doctors of the Church — actually read the Scriptures and prepared a concordance to discover the canon? (That would have been my answer.)

    • “I think the Catholic Advent site is not explaining the full story”.

      Churchmouse, I never heard any other explanation than what I read on the Catholic Encyclopedia (a fundamental consultation work, every article with imprimatur, around 1911 so entirely orthodox). makes also perfect sense to me. Again (as you read in my own of 12:02 and as I have said before) the mechanism is the same as for all other Catholic doctrines. People discuss an dpray and confront withwhat was told to their ancestor and look for what has been traditionally believed; unavoidably, contrasts arise; in time, the Holy Ghost drives the barque in the right direction. Slow and patient work of the Holy Ghost assisting the Church.
      This is why Catholic doctrines never change, and some Lutherans don’t even believe in hell.

      Again, when you have time a short explanation of this Belgic thingy might he interesting 😉

  21. Yes, but how, Mundabor? Are they saying no one read the Bible?

    Obviously, someone did. Why is it so impossible to admit to this? One hears readings at Mass and Catholics (other than this site) cannot say:

    ‘Coming down to the next age, that of the apologists, we find Baruch cited by Athenagoras as a prophet.’

    The Bible appears to be an unseemly text to Catholics. No wonder they have a priest prepare the text for them. Laymen don’t want to go near it. ‘Washing up, dear?’ ‘No, the priest will be coming round shortly.’

  22. As far as I can see, the ‘Belgic thingy’ explains itself. 🙂

  23. Not sure I understand what you say. I’ll try my version.

    Everyone read books. There were a lot of them. The great part (of what we today call bible, edit) were considered from the beginning and without discussion to be inspired, and where accepted as such at a rather early stage. Then there was a vast number of texts (the gospels starting to spread everywhere, for example, almost twenty reached great diffusion) of which there was to be decided which one were the inspired ones, which one edifying reading but not inspired and which ones altogether bad. Than there were other texts which were considered inspired by some by not by others.

    It is not that a Gospel had written on it ” I am insipired, accept no substitute” ;). But there were Gospels everywhere. The Church has (with inspiration and guide from the Holy Spirit, and following oral tradition when available) decided that, say, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the real thing. This was a kind fo collective decision, a process of a community automatically recognising the real thing from the spourious material. Sometimes the process was fast, sometimes slower, sometimes very slow.

    It seems perfectly logical to me.

  24. Besides: there was no (Christian) “bible”. It is not that St. Peter and St. Paul had “the Bible” at home.

    There were single texts going around in pergament rolls, of which during a process of various centuries 27 “rolls” were declared to be “the real deal”.
    *That* became the Bible.

  25. That’s an improvement. Protestants like clear answers. I’m trying to get those from you in case one comes on your blog and tries to debate or in case you one day decide to go on a Calvinist blog to debate. Everything needs to be cited and prooftexted.

    Having said that, I don’t think your answer will pass muster on a Protestant blog. It is really a question of (for Catholics), ‘The hierarchy assigned the text. I listened and digested. Can I remember it except in a general sense? No.’

    Until a year ago, I had little clue where things were in the Bible. Yes, of course, I had Bible study at school and knew what books were in the OT and NT, but never prooftexting (citing specific verses to support a point) or a concordance (what verses align to the one I’m looking at) and never a good recall of what books in the Bible where I could find various verses.

    Again, the Catholic concept of the Bible seems entirely secondary to worship and belief. Oh, of course, they ‘borrow’ from it (can’t think of a better word), but it never seems as if it is one’s own Good Book (to borrow an American term). It’s something that belongs to the Protestants. Scripture is something necessary for Mass, is how many Catholics consider it, not something to really read and learn from.

    As for the Belgic Confession, remember that you have read but one small part of it. All the Protestant confessions and catechisms are quite comprehensive.

    • On your first question: a Catholic does not need to “remember” the Bible more than he needs to remember all the phone numbers of his friends.
      What he will learn, is what Christianity is.
      Nothing of what he will learn will be in contrast with what is in the Bible; much of what he will learn will be taken from the Bible (but he will not necessarily have to know where it is, because he trusts the authority from which the teaching comes); much again will not to be found in the bible (but he will trust it for the same reasons).

      For a Catholic, how much one can “remember” of the bible is not relevant, because Christianity contains the Bible, not the Bible Christianity.

      Where things are in the bible is good to know, but certainly not the metre of orthodoxy or good Christian knowledge. What the Truth is, is.

      This does not make the bible “entirely secondary” to worhip and belief, it makes it instrumental to worship and belief.
      We don’t worship the Bible. We don’t care to be able to have it at our fingetips. What we should try to have at our fingertips is the Truth. Where the truth is contained (say: whether there is a biblical reference to the Assumption of Mary) is much less important than to know the Truth (that mary was assumed to Heaven).

      The Christian Bible is a product of Christianity. Not the other way around.

      M

  26. Well, Mundabor, I really don’t see why sola Scriptura and the other solas are so difficult to understand and why Catholics can’t seem to research it for themselves (outside of the Catholic sites). If it is that critical, Catholics can expend a bit of energy for themselves. I have plenty of resources on my blogsite. They can do the same reading I did.

    • Well Churchmouse,
      after you asked me to express Catholic teaching with my words, I was hoping you would be able to express the Calvinists ones with your own.

      Sola Scriptura is absurd – as abundantly explained – because you can’t recognise the authority of Christian scripture without recognising the authority of the Church on which the very same scripture are based and by whichthey are considered such.

      This is Catholic teaching, pure and simple. If you think you can bring a different perspective (so that we can see together the error of their ways) then I’d love to examine it. But I’ll certainly not going to waste time myself trying to become an expert in error.

      M

  27. Mundabor — Perhaps I should use the same words, as you did to me about the canons of the Bible, ‘Sola Scriptura does not need an explanation.’ 😉

    It’s not unusual for Protestants to know Scripture so well that they commit some verses and Psalms to memory.

    Protestants do not worship the Bible. It is their primary Christian resource.

    Calvin said that people should not be prohibited or discouraged from reading Scripture. He never said it was ‘easy to understand’.

    Each side believes it has the Truth. There will be no agreement on this, but it was good to have the discussion! Thank you for your time! 🙂

    • Very funny, Mouse 😉

      It considers the Bible as if it was the Church! 😉 But exactly here is the problem: the Church comes first, the Bible is Her product!

      I agree with you that every side believes it has the Truth. I also believe that many Protestant are perfectly decent Christians and whilst they are clearly in error, I am not overly concerned about their eternal destiny.

      But my point is that one can’t persuade a Protestant by quoting from the Bible, one must persuade a protestant by pointing him out to the Truth from which the Bible itself comes and without which the Bible itself wouldnot have any authority . What they need is a “Copernican Revolution”, as they say in Italy.

      Protestant thinking is like walking upside down. One should not walk on his hands with them for a while whilst explaining to them that tit is wrong. One must encourage them to walk the right way 😉

      Thanks for your extremely profound contribution, Churchmouse!

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