Thursday, October 29, 2015

Leithart (Eye's will bleed): What I Want from Catholics: Become More Protestant

Saw this in Patrick Madrid's twitter feed and I just had to go line by line on this one (my comments in red). The article is HERE:

What I Want from Catholics: Become More Protestant
By Peter J. Leithart | October 28, 2015
My wish list for Catholics is terribly old-fashioned and terribly assertive. There’s hardly space here to defend my positions or thoroughly critique the Catholic position, so this may end up sounding like a drive-by shooting or a childish tantrum. I trust that I can formulate my wish list with enough calmness that it doesn’t turn it into a bitch list.

Who in their right mind thought it a good idea to give protestants and other dissadents the right to make demands of the Church?  #Synod15… I’m just …well sort of kidding.

I want the Pope to give up his claim to infallibility. In our day, the Papacy stands as a global symbol of Christian faith, and popes of recent decades have been among the greatest Christian leaders of recent history. The Pope is a universal teacher, a stout defender of Christian morals, a living icon of charity, a father to princes and presidents.

Wait so you like him acting as a universal teacher, but to teach what?  When you don’t agree then its just up to each individual to dissent?  So when the Holy Spirit revealed that they would be lead into all truths… I guess Baptists and Lutherans are ok in disagreeing on the importance and necessity of Baptism.  But then again who am I to judge. Plus, in regards to morals, who is standing for morals when they are changing?  Lets be real protestants only stand for morals when they can be seen in the public square.  They frown on bolemia but are giddy to support contraception.  Note both are disorders with obvious ends that are not founded in truth.  And I’m not going to get into the Anglicans/Episcapalians that run from the abortion issue (Can anyone say “first among equals” for Welby? How’s that working out?)

 None of that makes him a definer of dogma.

He knows that is not an argument used but the praxis employed.

No matter how narrowly tailored papal infallibility may be, it is theologically and historically unfounded, as Lord Acton knew.

So Lord Acton was infallible in his defining of the papacy not being infallible?  Puleeze…

I want the Pope to give up his claim to exclusive primacy. Why not be content with being primus inter pares among the ancient sees?

Note: The office was not made by man and therefore cannot be changed in its essence by man.  And again see Welby, hows that working again?

Suppose Peter was the first Bishop of Rome: Didn’t he leave it to Paul to lead the mission to the Gentiles?

So Peter refused to speak with Gentiles?  Isn’t that going beyond scripture?  What of Luke?  Peter was not a theologian like Paul was, and the Pope does not have a guarantee that knowledge of theology will just be foisted upon him when he takes the chair.  Plus Peter and Paul worked together because Rome was the metropolis of its day. Plenty of room for Cephas to oversee with the help of a great Apostle like Paul, who both founded the Roman Church and both Choose Linus to succeed Cephas.

 Besides, should we not be open to the possibility that the center of Christian gravity will shift dramatically in the future? In 3000 years, might not the Bishop of Beijing or Lagos or Brasilia be the actual primate of the Church? In 10,000 years, will Vatican-centered Christendom be anything more than a distant memory?

Note that was and continues to be the argument of the Eastern Orthodox where Power is in constant flux with Constantinople still claiming authority while Moscow references itself as the third Rome.  As a side note, the Creed was not read in the Latin rite for a long time because the Roman See was the only one that never feel into formal heresy unlike the other Sees.

Catholics Should Give Up
I want Catholics to give up their sectarian exclusiveness. Jesus and His Spirit are present in the suburban Bible church, the Chinese house group, the Pentecostal assembly at one of Rio’s garbage dumps.

Well, your bread is still bread and your wine/grape juice/ water (Mormon joke) is still such.  Sure you have warm feelings but that’s noting objective to hang your hat on.

 The Son and Spirit have promised to be wherever word is preached and bread broken, where disciples strive together toward maturity in Christ.

Presuming that as Our Lord wished, “That they all might be one”.  Plus who decides what a mature Christian is or believes?  Again empty words.

These assemblies are no less churches than the congregation of St. Patrick’s.

Well someone missed out on reading the CDF letter on this which you can find HERE. Basically, you don’t have all seven sacraments, and you have no authority to speak on behalf of Christ, no matter how warm your words make others feel.

 Fellowship with Rome is not the same as fellowship with Jesus;

“He who hears you hears me, he who despises you despises me.” Christ and his Church are one.  When there is an argument among the faithful the final means are to take it to the Church (I’m confused do we take it to any street corner preacher to give us his interpretation of scripture?). If Christ founded His Church on Blessed Peter when to Peters successors go the power of the keys.  “The eye cannot say to the hand I don’t need you.” Christ prayed singularly for Peter to confirm his brothers, he made Peter the chief Shepard and changed his name as he did with the other leaders throughout salvation history.

 submission to Rome is not the same as catholicity. Jesus and His Spirit do not observe Vatican protocols.

“Whatever you bind on Earth is Bound in Heaven, whatever you loose is loosed.”  By the way what protocals do you reference?  This is a weak attack using nonsense.

I want Catholics to stop spreading pious falsehoods about Mary. Protestants have unjustly neglected Mary’s central role in the Bible and redemption, but Catholic Marian dogmas are a cure worse than the disease. I want Catholics to honor Mary by giving up inventions like the immaculate conception and the assumption.

So you decide what is a falsehood?  Who gave you authority to speak for this catholic community that you and CS Lewis are so fond of? There are reasons to believe in those dogmas, just as there are reasons to call her “Mother of God”, a perpetual virgin and even – dare I say it – Mediatrix of All graces. We only recognize what God makes known, it is not for us to poo-poo Our Lady since she is our Mother in the faith and the First and greatest Christian.  And if you do not cease speaking ill of our Lady it will not look good for you on the last day for no Son will put up with evil being spoken of with his mother.

Failing that, I would be content if these speculations were treated as speculative opinions rather than dogmas.

And who makes the decision what is opinion and is dogma?  You?  Perhaps the Arians? 

I want a Catholic to explain how Mary, a Jewish woman of the first-century A.D., can simultaneously hear the appeals of millions of people who speak dozens of languages that she never learned.

Since she is not in time and space she is not limited as such.  Plus why would it be impossible for her to be told by God in some way what people are asking prayers for?  She desires one thing, God’s will, therefore all she would need to do is pray that those that seek her intercession and conform themselves to God’s will be granted such a grace… she is the Queen mother after all… see Solomon and David.

 I know Catholics don’t believe Mary has become God, but that looks like something only a God could manage.

But isn’t that a theological opinion and not founded in anything other then your feelings that God is not interested in having both the living and those that have passed to work together because we are one body?

I want Catholic theologians to give up the pretense that the dogma of the Church has never changed. When they try to explain that nothing substantive has changed between Trent and Vatican II, when they distinguish between unchangeable doctrine and changeable formulations of doctrine, they appear disingenuous. I prefer the old free church Independents, who eagerly expected the Spirit to break out fresh light from Scripture.

So you want warm feelings… try Mormonism. But as far as Vatican II, it didn’t proclaim anything new that was binding.  The texts are ambiguous, unlike Trent that is specific.

Worse, the premise of unchangeability makes it impossible for the Church to repent of mistakes. Catholics don’t think Vatican I, for example, will ever need to be overturned; it cannot be. But that means either that there will never be full reunion with Protestants and Orthodox, or that Catholic theologians must find a way to massage Vatican I so that it doesn’t say what it manifestly says. The possibility of saying “the church erred” is excluded in principle.

Or that you recognize your error and pride and repent by coming back into communion with the only Church Christ founded… just saying.

When I attend Mass, I want Catholic priests to let me share the Eucharist with my Catholic brothers. I want Catholics to accept my invitation to celebrate Eucharist with me and my Protestant brothers, and give up any doubts they might have that what we Protestants celebrate really is Eucharist.

The Eucharist is not a matter of warm feelings where you can feel like its something while it is still not.  Its like you support people saying that they are women when they are really men.  The feeling is not watch transubstantiates but the authority.  An authority you foolishly deny in your pride.

I want Catholics to give up veneration of the consecrated host and other sacred objects.

And worship the podium and the doctor behind it?  If that is Christ as he promised then adoration is the proper action to take because it IS God.  We venerate because some things are Holy and in doing so we glorify God.  Would DiVinci complain that you were honoring the Mona Lisa too much?  No, because it’s a part of his work that gives him the ultimate honor in the end.

 Jesus gave us His body and blood to eat and drink, not to admire.

So you cant even gaze upon the host?  Really, what is this a third grade author?  Puleeze you are looking foolish here.

Whatever Catholics think they are doing, to Protestants they appear to be indulging a form of liturgical idolatry.

Well, if protestants are disordered whos fault is that… other then the Bishops that refuse to help them see their error of course.

 At the very least, they are distracting from Jesus’ purpose for the Eucharist: “Take, eat; take, drink.”

Why is it an an either or case?  Why cant he spend time with the Actual presense of Christ.  Then go to Mass and Adoration.  Problem solved.

Everyone, Become More Catholic
My rants are typically directed against my own tribe of conservative Protestants, and typically I am urging them to become more Catholic: to acknowledge church authority, to cultivate sacramental piety, to embrace the glories of the whole Christian tradition, to honor Mary and the saints, to conform worship to the pattern of the ancient Church, which is essentially the pattern of Scripture.

But who gave you this scripture and what authority did they determine the canon by?

 Typically, I am urging Protestants to receive Catholics and Orthodox as Christian brothers, which they are.
I am not contradicting myself when I rant against Catholics and urge them to become Protestant. What I want above all, for both Catholics and Protestants, is full reunion and reconciliation in the truth.

But truth is definitive and doesn’t change based on warm feelings.  To reconcile in the truth we don’t run away from it but learn to humbly accept Gods will before our own. Oneness based on a ceasefire is no oneness but cowardice.

 What I want is a Church where the old names of Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, or other, are discarded so that we can all wear the old/new baptismal name: Father, Son, and Spirit. And I want that because I am persuaded it is what Jesus wants.

So what of the oneness pentacostles then?  Or the Mormons.  Are you the authority to exclude them on the basis of their baptisms?

Peter J. Leithart is president of the Theopolis Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct senior fellow of New St. Andrew’s College in Moscow, Idaho. He is the author of many books, most recently Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor) and Traces of the Trinity (Baker). An ordained minister, he is a member of Evangelical and Catholics Together.

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