July 18, 2007

Pope Retreats To Dark Ages

Having studied Catholicism, having married a woman headed for the convent, and having been married in the Catholic church, I have to say that Catholicism is, among other things, confusing and contradictory. I remember studying the Council of Trent which spells out Catholic theology. In bulletized fashion there is statement after statement summarizing salient points of Catholic theology often one statement being reversed by another statement only a few sentences later.

There used to be those known as old school Catholics who were taught that no one but Catholics were going to heaven. Then in the 60's came Vatican II and a new wave of ecumenism emerged from Rome which too was confusing for as it emerged over time, it took on the flavor of universalism. Rome it seemed recognized not only Christians of other denominations but pretty much embraced the salvation of everyone.

Now, under the leadership of a new Pope, Benedict XVI has affirmed the statement the "other communities of faith are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to Salvation."

On the first score I'll agree--"faith communities are defective." How can they be otherwise; they are made up of defective people in need of a Savior. Of course where the Pope is loopy is his insinuation that the Catholic Church isn't defective. Uh, there's a lot of lawyers, lawsuits and litigants who rebuff that notion.

But it's his last affirmation that has some Protestants quite upset. That "Catholicism is the only true path to salvation" is old school Catholicism. Biblically, the Pope is just flat out wrong but honestly I don't quite understand why Protestants would be upset. It's not the like the Pope's opinions mean anything to Protestants.

More substantial from my point of view is that the Benedict also revived the old Latin mass. Now this does concern me because even though clouded by a lot of man made religion and ritual, the essence of the Gospel truth of Jesus is present in the mass. That is if you can understand it.

But Paul writes, "And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" Speaking the truth in a language no one understands is utter folly and helps no one.

With no disrespect intended, this pope needs to go back and read his Bible and forget the traditions of men which for centuries have kept millions of Catholics in darkness.


Blogger Steve said...

Actually, if a community chooses to have some Masses said in Latin, the Scripture readings can still be said in the vernacular.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Matt Sargent said...

"If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me."

12:47 PM  
Blogger PFerriter said...

Pastor Cripe,
I am not sure exactly what the point of your post was!? Perhaps the better question to ask you is what was the goal you were trying to attain. I guess I can be certain that you have no real invested interest in this matter as you are a protestant and, after all, "Its not like the pope's opinions mean anything to protestants!" And yet you chose to write 7 paragraphs of your opinion to share with your readers. So why? I guess to me it seems like another, quite inadequate, attempt to bring down that which you don't understand. I don't mean to come across as being venemous or uncharitable so please, stay with me. You will find a few things that frustrate me listed below.

-I find it frustrating that this post is filled with half truths regarding the Catholic Church. It starts right at the beginning- no Council, including Trent which you refer to, was ever instituted to invent or create or spell out Catholic teaching, rather to define and clarify those teachings in the face of heresy. If you want to prove your point, why don't you use a quote from the Council of Trent instead of forcing your readers to take your word for it.

-Regarding the Church's teaching on salvation you need to understand that it is very scriptural "For I, when I am lifted from the Earth will Draw ALL men unto myself." The Pope is clearly saying, as the church has always maintained (although it has been misunderstood even by Catholics) that the way to heaven is possible only through Christ's blood. However Christ himself in John (as quoted above) opens the door to all men. I am not saying that all men are going to heaven, surely some turn away from his love. But the Church isn't concerned with naming who is and isn't going to Hell or Heaven, but with showing us the way, the same way that has been followed for nearly 2000 years.
- By the way, the man you make sound ignorant by claiming he needs to go back to reading his bible can fluently speak German, Italian, French, English, Latin, Spanish, and Portugeuse. He can fluently read ancient Greek and Hebrew. He was professor of Theology at the University of Bonn and The University of Munster, so I'd assume he has read the bible.
-My frustration with your remarks about Latin can't even be adequately expressed in this response, but I would love to have a cup of coffee and talk about it all sometime.
Finally, For you and for all the Catholics who now attend Faith Free Evangelical in search of Greener Pastures, I would suggest having a good long look at the Eucharistic Dialogue in John: 6. With this in mind, know that the Catholic Doors are always open! Peace in Christ!

2:30 PM  
Blogger PB said...

That's Faith Evangelical Free Church.
Thanks for your comments.

4:23 PM  

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