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Switch to Forum Live View Why Are So Many Noncatholics Bothered By The Pope?
6 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2008 - 8:42PM #51
Crickhollow
Posts: 34
I love the 1st and 2nd Apologies of St Justin.   What an increditbly wonderful guy.  Where did he write about Mary?

I do find it concerning that dogmas are the end of the road on any theological issue.  Seems to me that they should be leading at the front of an issue, rather than explaining common practice at the back end.  Of course, in a perfect world...
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2008 - 6:43AM #52
ladyalice
Posts: 266
Good morning Crickhollow,

You can find St. Justin the Martyr's discussion on Mary as the New Eve in "Dialogue With Trypho the Jew" Chapter 100.

Dogma becomes dogma after it has been theologically examined to the point of certaintly.  Otherwise, any theological speculation could be declared as Truth.  There would then be no continuity to the belief system.  We believe in a system of Truth, not a list of unrelated beliefs.


God Bles,
ladyalice
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2008 - 9:14PM #53
munshkin
Posts: 4
Please read the Protoevangelium of James.  This will clearly show Mary's sinlessness from her time of conception and her parents role in bringing her to temple from the age of 3 to her betrothel to St Joseph.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2008 - 9:16PM #54
munshkin
Posts: 4

munshkin wrote:

Please read the Protoevangelium of James.  This will clearly show Mary's sinlessness from her time of conception and her parents role in bringing her to temple from the age of 3 to her betrothel to St Joseph.This will indeed help in your quest to understand the role of Mary in Church doctrine.

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 9:57PM #55
Crickhollow
Posts: 34
From what I understand, the Protoevangelium of James is not considered cannonical by even the Catholic Church, so while it might be interesting reading, I could not personally consider it as valid for such a hugely influential doctrine as the sinlessness of Mary.

I guess where I stand is that I can believe that the Church (prior to designations of denomination) was entrusted to Peter.  It may give many Catholics comfort to think that a Pope cannot speak in error while ex cathedra.  I just can't make the leap that says God will automatically protect someone, anyone, from doctrinal error under any circumstance, limited or otherwise, at some future point.  I believe the Apostles and their disciples spoke and wrote under the influence of the Holy Spirit, because their words are supported by the Old Testament, not because at any given moment they were incapable of doctrinal error.  St Peter's early waffly position on Gentile Christians and meat sacrified to idols is certainly proof that he was capable of error while in an official capacity, long before there was a fancy Latin formula to dogma.  He also had the sense to realize when he was wrong and grow from it.

For me, obviously not for many Catholics, believing in the whole ex-cathedra thing is something like some of my more colorful Protestant brothers and sisters who believe the "once saved, always saved" position.  That doesn't work for me, and the Catholic Church, I think, supports a faith bolstered necessarily by personal responsibility for our actions.  In the same vein, "Once pope, always right" doesn't work for me.  The minute you destroy free will, you destroy any meaningful relationship that we have with God and each other.  It may be irritating and even scary to think of a world where sin sometimes wins even in the hearts and minds of godly people, but the alternative is a world where the gospels are subject to addendum whenever custom overwelms doctrine, early in the game or not.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 12:10PM #56
Smurfette2002
Posts: 98
....but the Pope (as in the long sucession of Popes) rarely ever speaks ex-cathedra. I think there is a misunderstanding that somehow, everything the Pope says is true and he is without error. He is still human.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 7:45PM #57
Crickhollow
Posts: 34
yep, I'm sure alot of Protestants probably do misunderstand that Catholics think the Popes are perfect.  I do understand that it's only under the ex-cathedra provision that the issue of infallibility comes along.  I just disagree with it, especially as it regards the veneration of Mary.  I don't believe there is any scriptural or practical basis for the doctrine of infallibility.  Of course, Catholics can very rightly say that Protestants often throw the Christ Child out with the bathwater when it comes to starting yet another denomination. As in, "Forget you, I'll start my own church"--which is both silly and dangerous.  But there is alot of division in the Catholic Church too, over what constitutes being a good, practicing Catholic. 

So, for example, if I as a Protestant, believe in the Real Prescence of Christ in the Eucharist, but I am required (so I'm told) to say that I believe in the sinlessness of Mary in order to be confirmed Catholic, where does my greatest responsibility lie?  As a Christian, I must receive the Eucharist in order to be saved, no?  But in order to receive the Eucharist, I have to lie, and say I believe the Marian doctrines.  If I say that, I've told a whopper of a lie about what I believe, so negating any good that would normally come from receiving the Eucharist.  Catholic leaders might say as soon as I have a properly formed conscience I'll be fine, but suppose I, and others like me, am right after all?  What then?  Do I lie to look good, or do I hold to the best of my ability to what I understand to be true?  I'll take the latter, as I think my soul is in greater jeopardy by offending God than the Catholic Church.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 11:33AM #58
Smurfette2002
Posts: 98
I suppose it is easier for me to believe in these issues being a cradle Catholic. I have been to other churches but teh Catholic Church just seems to make sense. For me, I can see how the Pope can be infallible in certain instances. I mean, the writers of the books in the Old Testament where just human, all the writers of the Gospels were just humans but yet we believe the Bible is the word of God. Why? Because the writers of the Bible were inspired by God. I can see how the words of the Pope (and maybe others) can also be inspired directly by God to speak greater truths by that same logic. God can inspire people to speak perfect His word as he he did for those wrote down His word.

As for Marian theology, I am not were versed in it so I can't offer really any useful discussions on it. I've always just believed just because our inherrent propensity for sin, God created her as a more perfect vessel for Jesus. I suppose otherwise, Jesus could have be "tained" by her sin. That's just my take on it but I will totally be truthful in saying I do need to research it on my own.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 4:29PM #59
cove52
Posts: 999

Crickhollow wrote:

So, for example, if I as a Protestant, believe in the Real Prescence of Christ in the Eucharist, but I am required (so I'm told) to say that I believe in the sinlessness of Mary in order to be confirmed Catholic, where does my greatest responsibility lie? As a Christian, I must receive the Eucharist in order to be saved, no? But in order to receive the Eucharist, I have to lie, and say I believe the Marian doctrines. If I say that, I've told a whopper of a lie about what I believe, so negating any good that would normally come from receiving the Eucharist. Catholic leaders might say as soon as I have a properly formed conscience I'll be fine, but suppose I, and others like me, am right after all? What then? Do I lie to look good, or do I hold to the best of my ability to what I understand to be true? I'll take the latter, as I think my soul is in greater jeopardy by offending God than the Catholic Church.


You must be baptized in order to be "saved".  Belief in Marian Doctrine is not a prereq to receiving the Eucharist or being a Catholic as far as I know. I have never heard what you have stated above.  I think many protestants think Catholics are all about Mary.  But, actually, Mary is not a focal point in our worship.  She is certainly important but  emphasis on  Mary is more a cultural thing in the Church, imo.   Yes, we have high regard for her and a great love for the mother of our Lord but she is not God nor are we to view her as such. 

I don't know who "told" you this.  I would be surprised if it was a Catholic.

"I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I got a lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I'll never hurt nobodys and I'll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and me bottom to me top / That's the way it is 'til the day that I drop, what am I? / I yam what I yam."
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2008 - 2:17PM #60
ClarinetLachlan
Posts: 3
Cov,

I think the problem that many catholic-sympathetic Christians have is that the standards for acceptance as much higher than for cradle catholics. We all know "catholics" who have been baptized, confirmed etc, and who not only do not believe in the RP, for example, but probably don't know what it is!
And yet, they would be theoretcially welcomed at the Lord's table, but those of us who understand (as best we can, of course) and trust in the RP of the Jesus in the Eucharist, are denied participation.
But returning to the point, I would suggest that if a prospective new Catholic were to tell his RCIA director that he cannot in good conscience accept all the Marian doctrines (eg IC and Assumption), would the RCIA director not need to pass that info to the priest who may not accept the catecumenate?
A cradle catholic can just gloss over issues like this (and many more besides), whereas my suspicion is that this creates a problem for protestants who may wish to "convert".

respecfully,
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