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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:54 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You don't have anything that says it is taught definitively. You may have things you think are definitive, but you would be in error.


And you don't have anything saying that what I think is an error?

Plus, St. Thomas taught the same (in de malo, as referenced by Ott).


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:10 am 
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And what weight, pray tell, does Ott assign to that teaching?


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:24 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
And what weight, pray tell, does Ott assign to that teaching?


He did not assign anything to it because it's not a topic (it's a sub-topic... or whatever... can't find the word for it). What he would've assign to it is anyone's guess. But it's more probable to guess that he would've assign Sent. Certa to it since he ssaid, "theologians usually assume that there is a special place or state for children dying without baptism with which they call limbus puerorum (children's Limbo),. Pope Pius VI adopted this view against the Synod of Pistoia. D 1526" (Ott, p114)

Did I mention that St. Thomas taught it?


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:33 am 
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"Usually assume" is not anywhere close to "sent. certa." It's "sent. comm." at best.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:37 am 
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Debatable.

I'll stick with those theologians and St. Thomas that it's a definite Church teaching.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:41 am 
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You are welcome to believe that it is true. You are not free to claim that it is the definitive teaching of the Church.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:46 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You are welcome to believe that it is true. You are not free to claim that it is the definitive teaching of the Church.


Are you free to claim that it's not a definitive teaching of the Church?


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:51 am 
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Byblos wrote:
:fyi: If I'm not mistaken, Jac is not objecting to the use of the word 'reward' in that verse. He is objecting to the equivocation of heaven with the kingdom of God.

Correct. For instance, suppose someone had quoted me Prov 13:13 to prove that heaven is "explicitly and blatantly" called a reward (granted, PED limited his statement to the Gospels, but here just for instance), which says:

    Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. (ESV)

I would have said exactly what I said with regard to Matt. 25. Heaven is never called a reward in this passage. It simply speaks of being rewarded. I mention this verse because I've heard preachers use it to justify just this notion, that the reward spoken of here is eternal life. So it's a fair comparison, theologically speaking, anyway.

Anyway, in my view, 'heaven' and 'the kingdom of God' are not synonymous. Moreover, 'inheriting the Kingdom' and 'entering the Kingdom' are likewise not the same thing. It's clear to me that what is in view is the rewards these faithful believers will receive for persevering until the end of the Tribulation (cf. Matt 24:13). That's even easier to see if you recognize that this is a part of a series of parables in which the discussion is the rewards one will receive in the Kingdom for the life one lives here.

So, again, I concede that if you equate 'heaven' with 'the Kingdom of God,' 'entering' with 'inheriting' the Kingdom, and assume amillennialism, then seeing heaven as a reward for good works is a theologically necessary understanding of the passage. But that's quite a few assumptions I strongly disagree with, and therefore deny this is a "blatant and explicit" promise of heaven as a reward for believers, as per PED's claim.

Now, it is a widely noted standard board rule that we document our claims. I'm going to ask PED formally to document his claim or else retract or modify it (perhaps, for instance, to say that it is a fair theological conclusion given certain assumptions he finds obvious and well warranted).

beng wrote:
These two established that those who depart with original sin only (such as children or person who are insane from birth) will go to hell, but with a different punishment.

The problem I have with this statement is your gloss ("such as . . . birth"). There's nothing to prove that. Ott only says that all those who die with original sin still on them go to Hell. He doesn't specify who that is. It sounds to me like Ott is talking about people who grow up unbaptized and how no interest in the Church--regardless of how good they are (perhaps they never commit a mortal sin)--and then die go to Hell.

Maybe I'm wrong in that. I'm just saying that you are applying these words in a special case that I don't see a necessary warrant for.

Quote:
This one say explicitly what is the punishment of those who die with original sin alone.

Fine, but it doesn't specifically say that babies die in a state of original sin. Even assuming they are in such a state at conception, this doesn't address the question as to whether or not God could (or would, or does) remove original sin. Again, all that is stated is that those who die in said state are deprived of the vision of God and are in Hell. But how do you get from "children are conceived in original sin" (a premise I'm assuming; correct me if I am wrong) with "unbaptized children go to Hell." You have to assume that God does not remit original sin in such cases.

I'm not saying He does (although I think there is clear biblical evidence that such might be the case). I'm saying that you are making a strong claim--namely, that unbaptized children are in Hell. You have to provide strong evidence for that. As of now, you just have assumptions.

Quote:
This is a condemn proposition from the Synod of Pistoia. That Synod rejected the Catholic doctrine that those who depart with original sin only is punished with damnation but not with punishment of the sense.

So not only do you believe that unbaptized children go to Hell, but that they are being punished with fire as well? What about miscarried babies? You are aware that as much as 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, right? So 1 in 5 people are being punished with fire in Hell for being conceived? Tell me where I've misunderstood you, because if I haven't, I rather think you need to rethink your assumptions.

beng wrote:
With regard to "natural state."

Well, in Ott (p105) there's a list of various state of human natures. There's a "real" states (ie. there are actually human who had been in this state) and a "merely possible" state (ie. no human have ever been in this state).

There are three real states: the state of elevated nature (Adam and Eve before the fall), the state of fallen nature (human after the fall and not yet justified), the state of restored nature (human who are justified after the fall).

But there's only one "merely possible" state: the state of pure nature. Ott said that Luther, Baius and Jansenist rejected the existence of this state. Ott adds that the existence of this state is a certain Catholic doctrine.

Here's a peek from Ott's book about the various natures

Here's a peek from Ott's book about the merely possible states

Here's a peek from Ott's book saying that the merely possible pure nature state is a certain Catholic doctrine.

No offense, I need quotations or citations I can read in full. I'd rather not trust your interpretation of a citation to back up your interpretation of Catholic doctrine!

And further no offense intended, you'll forgive me if I give deference to Obi on this.

edit:

For what it is worth, I looked up 'limbo' in Wikipedia just to see what it said there, and I came across this paragraph:

    If adults could effectively be baptised through a desire for the sacrament when prevented from actually receiving it, some speculated that perhaps sacramentally unbaptised infants too might be saved by some waterless equivalent of ordinary baptism when prevented. Thomas Cajetan, a major 16th-century theologian, suggested that infants dying in the womb before birth, and so before ordinary sacramental baptism could be administered, might be saved through their mother's wish for their baptism. Thus, there was no clear consensus that the Council of Florence had excluded salvation of infants by such extra-sacramental equivalents of baptism.

    Through the 18th and 19th centuries, individual theologians (Bianchi in 1768, H. Klee in 1835, Caron in 1855, H. Schell in 1893) continued to formulate theories of how children who died unbaptised might still be saved. By 1952 a theologian such as Ludwig Ott could, in a widely used and well-regarded manual, openly teach the possibility that children who die unbaptised might be saved for heaven—though he still represented their going to limbo as the commonly taught opinion.

According to the article, here are Ott's exact words:

    "Other emergency means of baptism for children dying without sacramental baptism, such as prayer and the desire of the parents or the Church (vicarious baptism of desire—Cajetan), or the attainment of the use of reason in the moment of death, so that the dying child can decide for or against God (baptism of desire—H. Klee), or suffering and death of the child as quasi-Sacrament (baptism of suffering—H. Schell), are indeed possible, but their actuality cannot be proved from Revelation. Cf. Denzinger 712." Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 2, Section 2, § 25 (p. 114 of the 1963 edition)

Further, the article provides this statement, which is apparently the conclusion of a document titled "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die without Being Baptized," produced by the International Theological Commission, commissioned by JPII:

    Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision. We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us. We live by faith and hope in the God of mercy and love who has been revealed to us in Christ, and the Spirit moves us to pray in constant thankfulness and joy.

    What has been revealed to us is that the ordinary way of salvation is by the sacrament of baptism. None of the above considerations should be taken as qualifying the necessity of baptism or justifying delay in administering the sacrament. Rather, as we want to reaffirm in conclusion, they provide strong grounds for hope that God will save infants when we have not been able to do for them what we would have wished to do, namely, to baptize them into the faith and life of the Church.

So, again, I deny your claim, and certainly deny it as what the Church teaches. If Obi, the current pope, JPII, Ott, and more than a few outstanding theologians over time have insisted that there is a possibility that children do not wind up in Hell, then you're claim that they necessarily do (by your argument that all who die in original sin are condemned, yet unbaptized children die in original sin since they have not yet received baptism) is obviously overstated (at least).

All the more reason I'll need to see the full references to the sections you are talking about above. If you are going to over-interpret something like limbo, which is an issue the Pope himself has disagreed with you on, then I have no guarantee you aren't going to over-interpret the other passages.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:53 am 
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beng wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You are welcome to believe that it is true. You are not free to claim that it is the definitive teaching of the Church.


Are you free to claim that it's not a definitive teaching of the Church?

The International Theological Commission has said it is not definitive, but that it is "a possible theological hypothesis."

    Therefore, besides the theory of limbo (which remains a possible theological opinion), there can be other ways to integrate and safeguard the principles of the faith grounded in Scripture: the creation of the human being in Christ and his vocation to communion with God; the universal salvific will of God; the transmission and the consequences of original sin; the necessity of grace in order to enter into the kingdom of God and attain the vision of God; the uniqueness and universality of the saving mediation of Christ Jesus; and the necessity of baptism for salvation.

I am under the impression this was released with the consent of the Pope, so if he agrees with this statement, it seems that Obi is in the better company.


Last edited by theJack on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:55 am 
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I have St. Thomas and theologians on my side.

Who's on yours [or Obi's] side? The theological commission? The same that screwed up the notion of biblical inspiration?



PS
I'll be going to bed. And reply substantially later.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:57 am 
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His Holiness has a lot more authority (and training and knowledge) to decide what is and is not a definitive teaching than you do (and, for that matter, than I do).


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:58 am 
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And in all of this, I still haven't gotten a basic answer to my original question:

What does it even mean for a gift to be merited??? :scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:00 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
His Holiness has a lot more authority (and training and knowledge) to decide what is and is not a definitive teaching than you do (and, for that matter, than I do).


I don't think what he said is authentic magisterium.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:00 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
His Holiness has a lot more authority (and training and knowledge) to decide what is and is not a definitive teaching than you do (and, for that matter, than I do).

I don't want this to come across wrong, but I have something of a blunt question.

I get told a lot on these boards that this is the problem with Protestantism--that we all feel like we are our own popes, etc. How is beng not doing exactly the same thing that he accuses (or would accuse) me of?


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:03 am 
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You'll have to ask him that question, because I share it.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:04 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You'll have to ask him that question, because I share it.

Okay.

Beng, I get told a lot on these boards that this is the problem with Protestantism--that we all feel like we are our own popes, etc. How are you not doing exactly the same thing that you accuse (or would accuse) me of?


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:10 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
His Holiness has a lot more authority (and training and knowledge) to decide what is and is not a definitive teaching than you do (and, for that matter, than I do).

I don't want this to come across wrong, but I have something of a blunt question.

I get told a lot on these boards that this is the problem with Protestantism--that we all feel like we are our own popes, etc. How is beng not doing exactly the same thing that he accuses (or would accuse) me of?


Why do you point the finger at me when you could as well point the finger at Obi?

Now, to answer your question, to say that we Catholic have a single unified mind with no difference whatsoever is incorrect. In fact Obi likes to make this point all the time.

The fact that we have councils where opposing views are discussed and settled are a testament of that. There's also the contradictory systems of grace (Thomist, Molinist, Congruist, Agustinian etc) which are still allowed by the Church.

Now, what makes us different than Protestantism is that we have the magisterium with the authority to settle disputes. Especially when a dispute threatened the live of the Church (meaning, a simple dispute like what you see here is hardly the stuff that would make the Pope summon a council).



Now, let's get back to the limbo:

1. What Benedict XVI said is not even authentic magisterium. In fact he called the theological commission to work on the issue of salvation of infant which that he also sought answers to which he's not certain.

2. Knowing the original intention of BXVI of setting the commission (ie. answering where unbaptized babies would go when they die), the work of the commission is somewhat a failure. It doesn't provide the answer it was asked to provide.

3. In point 5 of the Theological Commission report, they argued against Limbo by referencing the Holy Innocents. It is curious why they did not point out that the Holy Innocents were saints of the Old Testament before the institution of baptism.

4. As chronologically outline in the commission report itself one sees a chain of tradition from the fathers until even Vatican II of the teaching of Limbo. Teaching from Popes and theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas (have I mentioned him?).

5. On the other hand there's no magisterial teachings whatsoever (traditional or not) attesting that unbaptized babies goes to heaven. The best the Theological Commission could say that we HOPE that they go to heaven AFTER receiving baptismal grace in a mysterious way. It follows that if so happen that an unbaptized babies DOES NOT receive baptismal grace in a mysterious way (and grace is a free gift), they can't go to heaven. And there's only two final destinations for souls, heaven or hell.

6. The existence of a place in hell where there's only natural happiness and no punishment is certain. The saints of the Old Testaments were there before Christ opened heaven's door for them. And since the gift of immortality to Adam was beyond his nature, it follows that in the state of pure nature human would die while the soul, which is immortal, would go to hell to experience natural happiness (since in the state of pure nature they don't have sanctifying grace needed to enters heaven).

7. We, I, hope that all infants could go to heaven. But in that hope we must also hope that they receive baptismal grace, for if we said that they could go to heaven without baptismal grace, we become a heretic. And if they do depart in this life without baptismal grace, it is de fide (yes it is) that they'll be going to hell.

So, the dispute should not be about whether infants who died without baptismal grace would go to hell or heaven (because it's de fide that ANY person departing this world without baptismal grace is going to hell). The dispute should be whether infant who died without water baptism could receive baptism of desire or baptism of blood so they could enter heaven.

PS
To receive baptism of desire one needs to have reason. Since infant doesn't have reason God needs to supply them with it if they were going to be baptized by desire. To receive baptism of blood the infants must die a martyr death, that is dying in testament of faith.


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:11 pm 
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beng wrote:
Why do you point the finger at me when you could as well point the finger at Obi?

He would say that he is better qualified to understanding the magisterium than are you (a fact I'd be inclined to agree with), and the Pope better than both of you. With that said, all you are doing is proving my general point. But I'll expand on that below.

Quote:
Now, to answer your question, to say that we Catholic have a single unified mind with no difference whatsoever is incorrect. In fact Obi likes to make this point all the time.

The fact that we have councils where opposing views are discussed and settled are a testament of that. There's also the contradictory systems of grace (Thomist, Molinist, Congruist, Agustinian etc) which are still allowed by the Church.

Now, what makes us different than Protestantism is that we have the magisterium with the authority to settle disputes. Especially when a dispute threatened the live of the Church (meaning, a simple dispute like what you see here is hardly the stuff that would make the Pope summon a council).

Except the fact that both of you are disagreeing on what your magisterium teaches. That is, you are interpreting the magisterium differently. Protestants can say that they have a magisterium: the words of the 66 books we accept as Scripture. Those are our canons, creeds, councils, etc. Yes, we interpret them differently, but here you and Obi are interpreting your own magisterium differently.

As I've said before, the problem with the Catholic claim for the need of the magisterium is that, on either count, it is the individual who must interpret what he is being told, and that to the best of his ability. In your case, you claim to be under the authority of, say, the Pope. Except when he disagrees with you. Then you just claim that he isn't speaking for the magisterium. And then you interpret the actual words of the magisterium differently than, say, the Pope (or Obi, etc.).

Quote:
Now, let's get back to the limbo:

1. What Benedict XVI said is not even authentic magisterium. In fact he called the theological commission to work on the issue of salvation of infant which that he also sought answers to which he's not certain.

2. Knowing the original intention of BXVI of setting the commission (ie. answering where unbaptized babies would go when they die), the work of the commission is somewhat a failure. It doesn't provide the answer it was asked to provide.

3. In point 5 of the Theological Commission report, they argued against Limbo by referencing the Holy Innocents. It is curious why they did not point out that the Holy Innocents were saints of the Old Testament before the institution of baptism.

4. As chronologically outline in the commission report itself one sees a chain of tradition from the fathers until even Vatican II of the teaching of Limbo. Teaching from Popes and theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas (have I mentioned him?).

5. On the other hand there's no magisterial teachings whatsoever (traditional or not) attesting that unbaptized babies goes to heaven. The best the Theological Commission could say that we HOPE that they go to heaven AFTER receiving baptismal grace in a mysterious way. It follows that if so happen that an unbaptized babies DOES NOT receive baptismal grace in a mysterious way (and grace is a free gift), they can't go to heaven. And there's only two final destinations for souls, heaven or hell.

6. The existence of a place in hell where there's only natural happiness and no punishment is certain. The saints of the Old Testaments were there before Christ opened heaven's door for them. And since the gift of immortality to Adam was beyond his nature, it follows that in the state of pure nature human would die while the soul, which is immortal, would go to hell to experience natural happiness (since in the state of pure nature they don't have sanctifying grace needed to enters heaven).

7. We, I, hope that all infants could go to heaven. But in that hope we must also hope that they receive baptismal grace, for if we said that they could go to heaven without baptismal grace, we become a heretic. And if they do depart in this life without baptismal grace, it is de fide (yes it is) that they'll be going to hell.

So, the dispute should not be about whether infants who died without baptismal grace would go to hell or heaven (because it's de fide that ANY person departing this world without baptismal grace is going to hell). The dispute should be whether infant who died without water baptism could receive baptism of desire or baptism of blood so they could enter heaven.

Frankly, I couldn't care less about limbo, since I don't believe any of it. I just think it's interesting that you think you know Catholicism better than professional theologians, popes, etc. And it seems to me that you clearly over-interpreted the previous citations you provided me.

In any case, all I'll say more about this is this: it seems to me (an uneducated non-Catholic) that your final analysis is what the debate ought to be about (namely, how infants can receive baptismal grace). However, it also seems to me that you are binding God by the sacraments, when I am under the (possibly mistaken) impression that the sacraments are means by which God administers that grace. In that case, He isn't bound to them. They may be the normal way He administers grace. In refusing them, you may cut yourself off from His grace. But to say that they are the only instruments God can use to administer His grace seems to me just absurd. In any case, though, while I agree this should be the debate (how infants can receive grace), that's not your original claim. You originally said that Catholicism teaches that unbaptized babies go to Hell, and later added that when they do they suffer by fire. So at a minimum it appears that you have changed your argument.

Quote:
PS
To receive baptism of desire one needs to have reason. Since infant doesn't have reason God needs to supply them with it if they were going to be baptized by desire. To receive baptism of blood the infants must die a martyr death, that is dying in testament of faith.

See my comments above on your restricting God.

Anyway, you can have any last word you like on limbo. You provided documentation, and I see where you got your ideas. I see professional theologians, popes, and people on this board disagreeing with you and telling you that your interpretation is wrong. The fact that you are so certain you are right when the Pope himself is so uncertain that he felt the need to call a commission tells me something important about your view of yourself and your understanding of your own faith (maybe the Pope should have just called beng for the answer! You could have set him straight!) .Frankly, I couldn't care less what your interpretation of Catholicism is. I started this thread to get some answers on official Catholic doctrine, not beng's understanding of official Catholic doctrine. And while, yes, Obi's interpretation is just an interpretation, I'm far more likely to accept his views than yours (and BXVI's than Obi's, etc.).


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:33 pm 
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I'm more inclined to accept B XVI's opinions than my own, too. :)


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Merited Gifts
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:42 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I'm more inclined to accept B XVI's opinions than my own, too. :)

Is that your opinion or his? Can I get some documentation, please? :shock: ;) 8-)


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