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 Post subject: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:42 pm 
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I watched an old debate on YouTube last night between Fr. Mitch Pacwa and James White on the topic of sola scriptura. In the course of the debate, White raised a question that I am uncertain how to answer: If the Church determines the extent and meaning of both the Canon and Tradition, how can it claim to be under the authority of either? If I understood the point of his question correctly, he is making the case that that the ability to determine both the extent and meaning of God's Word (in the wider Catholic sense of Scripture and Tradition) implies the Magisterium stands above, not below, Scripture and Tradition. I would be interested to hear how my more seasoned fellow Catholics respond to this line of reasoning.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:01 pm 
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The Church is neither above nor below, that is a false analogy. The Church is tasked with the responsibility of preserving the deposit of faith. The Church only preserves and defends the deposit of faith.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:01 pm 
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Thank you for your reply, Doom. This issue is very important to me, for I remain convinced that the real divide between Catholics and Protestants is the issue of authority. Until I recognized the authority of the Magisterium, I was unable to accept many beliefs taught by the Church. I viewed many Catholic teachings as innovations outside the scope of divine revelation, because I could not find direct evidence in Scripture of those teachings (e.g. the assumption of Mary). Based on my past experience as a Calvinistic, Southern Baptist pastor, I simply do not see much hope for productive theological dialogue between the two camps as long as there is disagreement on this fundamentally important issue.

After making my original post, I read Dei verbum. I found myself comforted by a very important statement in the document:

Quote:
This tradition which comes from the Apostles develop in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. (5) For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her. (Dei verbum, paragraph 8; found at http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_coun ... um_en.html)


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:12 pm 
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What was Fr. Pacwa's response? His is likely to be much better than mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:21 pm 
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Cassady71 Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:42 pm
White raised a question that I am uncertain how to answer: If the Church determines the extent and meaning of both the Canon and Tradition, how can it claim to be under the authority of either? If I understood the point of his question correctly, he is making the case that that the ability to determine both the extent and meaning of God's Word (in the wider Catholic sense of Scripture and Tradition) implies the Magisterium stands above, not below, Scripture and Tradition.

Because Christ wrote nothing but founded His Catholic Church on St Peter on whom He built His Church, giving her the responsibility of sanctifying, ruling, and teaching.
There is no valid “implication that the Magisterium stands above, nor below, Scripture and Tradition” against the reality stated in Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation) of Vatican II in #10:
“It is clear, therefore, that Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”

We don’t have Sacred Scripture falling from heaven, but only as books declared by the Catholic Church to be the Word of God, no more nor no less than 46 Books in the O.T. and 27 Books in the N.T.

Lacking Christ’s authority and His Church, Protestants lack 7 O.T. Books in their Bibles, and reject many virtuous teachings which only Christ’s Catholic Church authenticates.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:44 pm 
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Doom wrote:
The Church is neither above nor below, that is a false analogy. The Church is tasked with the responsibility of preserving the deposit of faith. The Church only preserves and defends the deposit of faith.


Yes. This is definitely the answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Doom wrote:
The Church is neither above nor below, that is a false analogy. The Church is tasked with the responsibility of preserving the deposit of faith. The Church only preserves and defends the deposit of faith.

So in what sense would you say that church must be subject to Bible?


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:33 pm 
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theJack wrote:
]
So in what sense would you say that church must be subject to Bible?


Thinking of the Church as being above or below the Bible is a false analogy. That is like asking which of the blades on a pair of scissors is the most important one.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:40 pm 
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So you think that Fr Pacwa is wrong? You can, of course. But I thought given the context of the OP, it's an interesting point to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:13 pm 
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theJack Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:55 am
So in what sense would you say that church must be subject to Bible?

Endless prevarication indicates a weak intention to accept and assent to truth.

The reality stated in Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation) of Vatican II in #10:
“It is clear, therefore, that Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”

So the reality is “How, and through whom, should the individual be subject to Christ?”

Christ has provided that answer by establishing His Church through St Peter, as the Bible establishes clearly.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:23 pm 
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HTTP://WWW.NCREGISTER.COM/BLOG/DARMSTRO ... AGISTERIUM
JAN. 29, 2017
What the New Testament's Baptisms Teach Us About the Magisterium
Christians remain bound to Church doctrine through its development, precisely because “the Church of the living God” is indeed “the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”
Dave Armstrong


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:16 am 
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Cassady71 wrote:
I watched an old debate on YouTube last night between Fr. Mitch Pacwa and James White on the topic of sola scriptura. In the course of the debate, White raised a question that I am uncertain how to answer: If the Church determines the extent and meaning of both the Canon and Tradition, how can it claim to be under the authority of either? If I understood the point of his question correctly, he is making the case that that the ability to determine both the extent and meaning of God's Word (in the wider Catholic sense of Scripture and Tradition) implies the Magisterium stands above, not below, Scripture and Tradition. I would be interested to hear how my more seasoned fellow Catholics respond to this line of reasoning.

I don't think that the Church does claim to be "under the authority" of the Bible (or of tradition, for that matter). Did Dr. White happen to give a source for that claim? Did Fr. Pacwa accept the claim? It seems bizarre.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:03 am 
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The magisterium aka the Church is the servant of the word of God.

    CCC
    86
    "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."48

Now to answer White's question: If the Church determines the extent and meaning of both the Canon and Tradition, how can it claim to be under the authority of either?

The answer, because the Church, AKA the magisterium, will only determine the true extent and the true meaning of Canon and Tradition as it's meant by the word of God.

Example... Scripture (or Tradition) says "it is a bat." Now a "bat" can mean two things, the nocturnal animal or the baseball stick. Supposedly what the Holy Spirit means is the baseball stick. Then the Church would never be able to teach that "bat" means the nocturnal animals. The Church is not free to come up with interpretation that contradict what the Holy Spirit meant to say in scripture of tradition, tho it's very plausible on the surface (ie. "bat" is a word with more than one meaning). That is why the Church is at the service of the Word of God.

To make the Church have more authority than that of the word of God would mean that the Church could contradict the Holy Spirit and say that "bat" means the nocturnal animal.


White is under this protestant prejudice that the magisterium can make the scripture and tradition say whatever it wants.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of Authority
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Cassady71 wrote:
I If I understood the point of his question correctly, he is making the case that that the ability to determine both the extent and meaning of God's Word (in the wider Catholic sense of Scripture and Tradition) implies the Magisterium stands above, not below, Scripture and Tradition.


This particular point is strange because this is exactly what White does, therefore, according to his own reasoning, he puts himself above Scripture.

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