This just pissed me off enough to write about it. Special thanks to http://www.jimmyakin.org/ for bringing this to light.
Roland S. Martin decided to write an editorial about the latest document released by the CDF. Here we go:
"(CNN) -- Non-Catholics who are up in arms of the proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI that the only true church in the world is that of Catholicism shouldn't even bother getting upset. Just chalk it up to an old man trying to get a little attention."
As the spiritual leader of the largest christian faith on earth, and given his lack of public appearances in contrast to JPII, I doubt he has a hard time getting, or desires, more attention. That's quite a juvenile argument.
"For him to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that I have known all my life."
And it seems you, sir, are wholly ignorant concering from whence those scriptures came. The Catholic Church was nearly 400 years old by the time the bible was put together. This argument is also a strawman, as the document states other christian faiths can provide some truth to its followers which can lead to the full truth. There is no such thing as "true" salvation" as there is no such thing as "fake" salvation. It either is or isn't.
"Sorry, let me take that back. I've really only known the Bible for the last 13 of my 38 years. That's because those first 25 years were spent as a die-hard Catholic."
So for those first 25 years you never knew the scriptures? Well whose fault is that? Did you expect the Holy Father himself to yank you off your lazy bum and shove a bible in your face? What the hell were you doing when three readings as well as pslams were read every week at mass? Don't try to pin your own laziness on the Church.
You seem to hold to this "either-or" mentality that you're either a card-carrying Catholic or you're well-read in the scriptures. Why not both? oh, because that would make your own scriptural illiteracy your own fault and not the Church's.
"That's right, I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. One of the first meetings to build the church I was raised in -- Our Lady Star of the Sea in Houston -- took place in my grandparents' living room. Many of my Saturdays and Sundays were spent serving as an altar boy, Catholic Youth Organization leader, dedicated student of Catechism, and constantly reciting the Holy Rosary."
Is that a bad thing? If you were an altar boy then you must have heard all of the scripture readins during mass. No? then how about when you were a "dedicated student of the Catechism"? There's plenty of scripture in there. No? What about the rosary, those prayers are scriptural. Still no dice? Wow, you're either a lazy ignoramous or a lazy liar.
"And the reality is that we were never really encouraged to study the Scriptures. The standard practice was for all of us to read the same pamphlets passed out by the church, recite the readings from the New and Old Testaments, listen to the Scripture chosen for us in the Gospel and hear a normally bland homily."
Last I checked, readings from the Old and New testaments as well as the gospel count as reading scripture... Unlike most denominations, there's more to Catholicism than scripture alone.
However, the Church grants a partial indulgence for reading scripture, a plenary indulgence of this reading is at least for a half hour.
Also, we as Catholics are exhorted not only by St. Jerome (the first transcriber of the Bible) to read scripture, but by Pope Leo XIII in Providentissiumus Deus, Benedict XV in Spiritus Paraclitus, and Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu. But I guess that's just more old men trying to get attention, right?
"That isn't always the case at some Catholic churches. If you visit St. Sabina in Chicago, Father Michael Pfleger will surely have your soul jumping with his strong sermons and willingness to engage the community to get involved in direct action."
Ah, yes. The obligatory "display the other side of the argument". Too bad this is the only time you'll do so.
"Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty much was a wasted experience, as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ."
Yes, YOU definitely wasted your time, not the Church. You didn't even pay attention. Jesus Christ was with you, mere feet away from that altar boy so many years ago. But God knows what took precedence over Him, as you don't even remember scripture readings in mass.
"And that's why Pope Benedict XVI is meaningless, along with his decision to re-state the primacy of the Catholic Church. This week, the pope released a document correcting interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, which some say modernized the church. But for hardliners like Pope Benedict XVI, the liberals went too far in some of their declarations."
But not far enough for liberals like you, right? After Benedict XVI and you die, we'll see who's more meaningless. Only the Catholic Church makes its claim of primacy and only the Catholic Church can back it up. And it drives people like you nuts. The gall of some people...
What about "feed my lambs" "feed my sheep" "You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church" "I give to you the keys of heaven and earth" power to bind and loose, etc. Yeah, you're right. He's meaningless.
"But what ticked folks off was his assertion in the 16-page document by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the only denominations that can call themselves true churches are ones that can trace their roots back to Jesus Christ's original apostles. He even suggested they suffer from defects"
Well you should know now that since you're no longer under the tyranny of Rome that scripture stresses the importance of fidelity to doctrine, and unity of doctrine; doctrine that is to be preserved by the successors of the apostles, just as Paul teaches:
2Ti 2:2 "And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also."
This shows four generations of teachers: first Paul, second Timothy, third the men Timothy teaches, and fourth, of those they teach. Fidelity to the successors of the apostles is fidelity to the truth the apostles taught.
Unity in doctrine:
Acts 4:32 "And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. "
1Cor 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. "
Eph 4:3-5 "Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism."
Eph 4:14-15 "That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ:"
1Ti 1:3 "As I desired thee to remain at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some not to teach otherwise,"
1Ti 4:1 "Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,"
1:9 "Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers."
2Pet 3:16-17 "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness."
Aww crap, a Catholic who knows scripture... whooda thunk?
But who needs all that when you have mass to ignore?! Moving on:
"This is nothing but a naked attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to "own" Jesus by virtue of the Catholic Church considering the apostle Peter as its leader. He refuses to acknowledge the reality that Jesus didn't consider a church to be most important. What was? The Great Commission."
But what, pray tell, what the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1Ti 3:15) as well as the mediator in disputes? (Mat 18:17) Not the bible, but the Church. And that Church must have been of some importance considering Paul in Eph 4 and Eph 5 describes the Church as the Body of Christ. So Jesus Christ is the head of the Catholic Church. It's not the Church that own Jesus as it is the Church that is the unspotted bride of Christ.
If you can prove yours or any other Church was around during apostolic times and therefore the term "church" refers directly to you, i'll convert on the spot. If not, then kindly shut your mouth.
"The Bible records in Matthew 28:16 that Jesus called his 11 disciples (the other, Judas, hanged himself after betraying Jesus) to Mount Galilee and decreed, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (New International Version)."
Exactly. But who was He addressing in that quote? Does that apply to all of us? Or does that apply to the apostles first and us second? Streesing unity in doctrine and the primacy of Catholicism follows directly with the great commission, as Jesus told his apostles to spread the truth. Given the many thousands of protestant denominations, the truth got lost somewhere.
Jesus sure stressed to Peter about feeding his sheep and lambs and the whole deal with the keys of heaven and earth and building the Church upon the Petra and all... He sent the Church to teach the world, not men with books.
"It doesn't matter what Pope Benedict XVI has to say, or for that matter, any other religious leader. A Christian believes in Jesus Christ and what He had to say, not what a man of God has to say. This is not an attempt to completely dismiss religious leaders, but is further evidence of what happens when ego is more important than the work of Christ."
Prove to us that this is ego. Perhaps it is your ego that is bruised because you know your denomination can't be the first and only Catholics can back up that claim?
Since Christ has acended, who do we listen to? You?
But wait, Christ said he'd be with the apostles to the end of teh age, so we should listen to them right? Oh, but wait, they're dead too...
Hold on, didn't they name successors? I mean, they did it for Judas, why not the rest? Do you think Jesus would remain with their successors since obviously the apostles didn't live until the end of the age? What's the only Church that can trace their lineage back to the apostles? Hmm...
"John 14:6 says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Nowhere does it say that Peter, Pope Benedict XVI or anyone else can supplant Jesus as the leader of the church."
Show us where we said Peter or the Pope is the leader of the Church and Jesus Christ is not. You won't because you can't.
"It is these kinds of missives by Pope Benedict XVI that do nothing to support or build the community of faith. All it does is divide."
Coming from the theological progeny of Martin Luther, that's quite a bold statement. Benedict is preaching unity in doctrine, yet you seem to imply that only serves to divide. How can dissonance in doctrine unify, exactly?
"Protestant leaders: Don't buy into the foolishness. Let Pope Benedict XVI keep running off at the mouth and making pointless declarations. If you keep bringing good news to the poor, setting the captives free and assisting those who seek to know Jesus, then you'll make more headway in doing the work of Jesus than any 16-page document will."
Oh yeah, and always remember: Christianity started in the 16th century, and Jesus founded a book. And it doesn't matter what exactly you believe, doctrinal "diversity" unifies whereas doctrinal unity divides. Four legs bad, two legs better. And for a protestant, you sure talk about works a lot.
And one last thing, don't forget the whole source of your identity as protestants is the Catholic Church, whom all protestants protest against. It must be something to have your entire spiritual identity summed up in the word "nay-sayer". Protestantism proves the Catholic Church's legitimacy; the Church was obviously around first, else protestants would have nothing to protest.
And I almost forgot why I never watched CNN.
Nah, I lied, I've always remembered. :P