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Posts Tagged ‘Luther’

Great Heresies by Fr. Charles Connor

In 15 Audio on 2015/06/12 at 12:00 AM
The Great Heresies
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
In the series, The Great Heresies, Fr. Charles Connor of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania examines how the Catholic Church has handled issues of heresy throughout its history, thereby providing a clarified understanding of the deposit of faith.

1.What Is Heresy? Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_01.mp3Fr. Connor cites St. Thomas Aquinas on the definition and nature of heresy as deviation from the whole and entire, universal Catholic Faith. He distinguishes between formal and material heresy, apostasy and schism.

2.What Is Heresy? Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_02.mp3Here Fr. Connor explores what the Bible says about heresy and those who espouse heretical tenets. The inspired writers seek to protect the full revelation made by Christ to His Church.

3.The Early Heresies
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_03.mp3Fr Connor explains the early heresies known as Gnosticism, Marcionism and Manichaeism.

4.The Church Fathers and Heresy
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_04.mp3In the effort to declare the true Faith over and above the errors of heresies such as Docetism, Fr. Connor focuses on the works of St. Augustine, Tertullian, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Jerome and St. John Chrysostom.

5.Heresies of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries, Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_05.mp3Fr. Connor gives a treatment of Arianism, a heresy which stated that Jesus was the perfect creature, but not God. St. Athanasius defends the divinity of Christ.

6.Heresies of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries, Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_06.mp3Here Fr Connor discusses the heresies known as Monothelitism, Donatism and Pelagianism. St. Augustine worked to champion the true Faith.

7.Iconoclasm
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_07.mp3Fr Connor examines the period of the Iconoclastic Controversy, from 725-843 A.D., in which there were alternating periods of icon desecration and recovery, succeeded by the 7th Ecumenical Council of Nicea and the eventual triumph of the Iconophiles, resulting in the Feast of Orthodoxy. The works of Andrei Rublev and Theophanes the Greek are noted for their splendor in depicting divine realities.

8.The Great Schism of the Eleventh Century
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_08.mp3Fr Kilian introduces us to the theological and political reasons for the 1054 split between Eastern and Western Christianity. The Church today seeks to actively promote the cause of Christian unity.

9.The Military Response to Heresy: The Crusades
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_09.mp3Fr. Connor explains that the Crusades were intended for the defense of Western Europe as well as a means to secure safety and access to revered Christian sites in the Holy Land. The diplomacy of St. Francis of Assisi gains the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, which lasts to this day.

10.The Papacy Returns to Rome: Rise of Schism and Heresy
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_10.mp3Fr Kilian introduces us the history involved in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, including Pope Gregory XI returning the papacy from Avignon to Rome in 1377 after a meeting with St. Catherine of Siena. The Great Western Schism then took place from 1378-1417, as rival claimants to the papacy plunged the Church into turmoil. In this period the Church deals with the works of William of Ockham, John Wycliffe and Jan Hus.

11.The Inquisition
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_11.mp3In addition to giving a treatment on Albigensianism in early 13th century France, Fr. Connor discusses the reasons the Church through Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition. The roles of Church and state are discussed in the handling of heresy.

12.The Reformation, Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_12.mp3Fr. Connor introduces the major figures involved in the period of the Reformation: Martin Luther, Pope Leo X, Frederick of Saxony, Ulrich Zwinglii, John Calvin, Henry VIII, St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher and Elizabeth I.

13.The Reformation, PartTwo
Host – Fr. Charles Connorgrthr_13.mp3Fr. Connor continues his introduction to the major figures involved in the period of the Reformation: Martin Luther, Franz Kolb, King Christian II of Denmark, Gustavus Vasa, Olaf Petersson, King Francis I of France, Cardinal Richelieu, Vittoria Colonna in Italy, Emperor Charles V, Edward VI and Queen Mary Tudor.

  V.  VARIOUS  SOURCES

Catholic Culture News http://www.catholicculture.org/news/

Papal Encyclicals On Line http://www.papalencyclicals.net/

Catholic Library: Documents http://www.newadvent.org/library/

Holy See http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm

Vatican News Service http://www.vatican.va/news_services/index.htm

ZENITH: The World Seen From Rome http://www.zenit.org/index.php?l=english

Christian Faith and Demonology  http://christianfaithanddemonology.blogspot.com/

Spiritual Motherhood http://norprov.org/spirituality/forpriests.pdf

2 WRITINGS OF SAINTS

Newman APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19690/19690-h/19690-h.htm

Newman: STUDY OF A CONVERT http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24574/24574-h/24574-h.htm

Newman CALLISTA http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30664/30664-h/30664-h.html

Newman PRIVATE JUDGEMENThttp://saints.sqpn.com/private-judgment-by-blessed-john-henry-newman/

Newman CERTAIN DIFFICULTIES FELT BY ANGLICANS IN CATHOLIC TEACHINGS

Part I: http://www.archive.org/details/certaindifficult01john

Part II:   http://www.archive.org/details/certaindifficult02john

Pius X TEACHING OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE Part  II: http://saints.sqpn.com/pope-pius-x-acerbo-nimis-on-teaching-christian-doctine-15-april-1905/

Pius X  Divino Afflatu Spiritu http://sanctaliturgia.blogspot.com/2005/11/divino-afflatu-english.html

Pius X RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS IN CHRIST  http://saints.sqpn.com/pope-pius-x-e-supremi-on-the-restoration-of-all-things-in-christ-4-october-1903/

Pius X DOCTRINE OF THE MODERNISTS  http://saints.sqpn.com/pope-pius-x-pascendi-dominici-gregis-on-the-doctrine-of-the-modernists-8-september-1907/

De Sales TREATISE ON THE LOVE OF GODhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/desales/love/Page_Index.html

De Sales INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE   http://www.ccel.org/d/desales/devout_life/devout_life.html

UNIFORMITY WITH THE WILL OF GOD http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-alphonsus-de-ligouri-uniformity-with-gods-will/

Ligouri ASSUMPTION OF MARY http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-alphonsus-de-liguori-of-the-assumption-of-mary/

Pius V  ON PRAYING THE ROSARY http://saints.sqpn.com/pope-pius-v-consueverunt-romani-on-praying-the-rosary-17-september-1569/

Waugh  THE CAPTURE OF CAMPION   http://www.cin.org/campcapt.html

Ignatius Loyola  LETTER ON OBEDIENCE   http://www.cin.org/jesuit.html

Ignatius Loyola SPIRITUAL EXERCISES   http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0036.htm

Chinese Cultural Studies MATTEO RICCI ON THE ART OF PRINTING http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/ric-prt.html

Thomas More  A TREATISE ON THE BLESSED SACRAMENT http://saints.sqpn.com/stt04001.htm

Benedict XVI  ST. DOMINIC   http://saints.sqpn.com/pope0258i.htm

Bonaventure JOURNEY OF THE MIND INTO GOD  http://saints.sqpn.com/stb16012.htm

Bonaventure MIND’S ROAD TO GOD  http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0071.htm

Aquinas SUMMA –  The Nature and Extent of Christian Doctrine  http://saints.sqpn.com/stp1q001.htm

Aquinas SUMMA –  The Existence of God http://saints.sqpn.com/stp1q002.htm

Aquinas SUMMA Of the Simplicity of God    http://saints.sqpn.com/stp1q003.htm

Aquinas SUMMA Of the Perfection of God  http://saints.sqpn.com/stp1q004.htm

Aquinas SUMMA  Of Goodness in General http://saints.sqpn.com/stp1q004.htm

Aquinas SUMMA Of the Goodness of God http://saints.sqpn.com/stp1q006.htm

Bernard of Clairvaux THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS   http://saints.sqpn.com/stb08003.htm

Bernard of Clairvaux  ON LOVING GOD  http://saints.sqpn.com/on-loving-god-by-saint-bernard-of-clairvaux/

Golden Legend THE LIFE OF ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY  http://saints.sqpn.com/the-golden-legend-the-life-of-saint-thomas-of-canterbury/

Anselm of Canterbury  ON THE BEING OF GOD    http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-anselm-of-canterbury-monologium-on-the-being-of-god/

Anselm of Canterbury DISCOURSE ON THE EXISTENCE OF GOD   http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-anselm-of-canterbury-proslogium-or-discourse-on-the-existence-of-god/

Venerable Bede GREGORY THE GREAT http://www.cin.org/greggrea.html

 
 
 
 
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A Man for This Season, and All Seasons

In 03 Archbishop Charles Chaput on 2015/02/20 at 12:00 AM

 by  Charles J. Chaput

within Religion and the Public Square

December 19th, 2012 http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/12/7440/

There is only one Thomas More: A man of tender nobility, subtle intellect, and forceful conviction, all rooted in profound fidelity to the larger commonwealth of Christendom outside and above Tudor England.

A day after the 2012 Summer Olympics closed in London, Joseph Pearce wrote that he felt like his “body had been covered in slime. I also felt a great sense of gratitude that I had shaken the smut and dirt from my sandals and had left the sordid culture of which I was once a part.”

Given the grand sweep of British history, those are harsh words from a former Londoner. An English Catholic convert and author, Pearce is now a resident Fellow at Thomas More College in New Hampshire. But he merely said what many people thought: that the Olympic closing ceremony they watched on global television was one long liturgy of overripe vulgarity, a jamboree of cheesy and offensive pop culture. In effect, it showcased a nation grasping to reinvent itself by escaping back to adolescence while ignoring its own real past.

This shouldn’t surprise us. Europe’s work of reinvention, or self-delusion, has been going on for decades, not only in Britain but across the continent. One of the key obstacles to the process is the depth of Europe’s Christian roots. As recent popes and many others have pointed out, there really is no “Europe” without its historic Christian grounding. Anyone wanting a new Britain, or a new Europe, needs to get rid of the old one first. So diminishing Christianity and its influence becomes a priority. And that includes rewriting the narrative on many of Christianity’s achievements and heroes.

By way of evidence: Consider the case of Thomas More, lawyer, humanist, statesman and saint; martyred by England’s King Henry VIII in 1535; canonized in 1935; celebrated in Robert Bolt’s brilliant 1960 play A Man for All Seasons; and more recently trashed as proud, intolerant, and devious in Hilary Mantel’s best-selling 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, now set for release as a 2013 BBC2 miniseries.

Critics of More are not new. His detractors had a voice well before his beheading. As Henry VIII’s chancellor, he earned a reputation as a hammer of heretics and a fierce opponent of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. Yet Erasmus of Rotterdam revered More as a scholar and friend. Jonathan Swift, the great Anglo-Irish writer, described him as “a person of the greatest virtue this kingdom [of England] ever produced.” When Pope John Paul II named Thomas More as patron saint of statesmen in 2000, he cited More’s witness to the “primacy of truth over power” at the cost of his life. He noted  that even outside the Church, More “is acknowledged as a source of inspiration for a political system which has as its supreme goal the service of the human person.”

Ten years later, speaking to leaders of British society in Westminster Hall, Pope Benedict XVI returned to the same theme. Benedict noted that More “is admired by believers and non-believers alike for the integrity with which he followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign whose ‘good servant’ he was, because he chose to serve God first.”

So which is it: More the saint or More the sinner? Was he the ruthless, sexually repressed rage addict suggested by historians like G.R. Elton, fearful of change and driven by helpless fury? Or was he the humble and generous “man for all seasons” praised by his friend Robert Whittinton and so many others among his contemporaries? Were there really twoThomas Mores: the young, open-minded humanist, and the older royal courtier, gripped by religious fanaticism?

The moral integrity of More’s life has been argued with persuasive skill in the various works of Gerard Wegemer, among many others. And Peter Ackroyd’s fine biography, The Life of Thomas More, vividly captures the whole extraordinary man–his virtues, his flaws, and the decisive nature of his moment in history. Travis Curtright has now added to the luster of the real More’s legacy with his excellent new book The One Thomas More

As the title suggests,Curtright sees Thomas More’s life as a consistent, organic record of Christian witness, start to finish; a thoroughly logical integration of humanism, piety, politics and polemical theology. There is only “one” Thomas More–a man of tender nobility, subtle intellect, and forceful conviction, all rooted in profound fidelity to the larger commonwealth of Christendom outside and above Tudor England. For Curtright, More embodied “the Erasmian ideal of wedding learning with virtue,” lived through a vigorous engagement with temporal affairs. He treats More’s scholarly critics with proper respect while methodically dismantling their arguments; and he does it by carefully unpacking and applying three of More’s most important written works: The Life of Pico Mirandola, The History of Richard III, and Utopia.

Curtright correctly sees that More’s real source of annoyance for many modern revisionist critics is his faith. If revisionists like Elton implicitly define “humanism” as excluding religious faith, then a man like Thomas More and the whole vast Christian tradition of integrating faith and reason become serious irritants. As Curtright observes:

The entire structures of the two Mores and real More theories congeal around [critics’] notions of a “true” humanism that excludes the possibility of faith and reason working together, a position transparently stated by [G.R.] Elton and one that influences contemporary condemnations of More as a “fanatic.”

Bickering over the “real” Thomas More has importance beyond the scholarly community. Why? Because just as the nutty premises of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code confused millions by reinventing the backstory of Christian belief, so too the novel Wolf Hall offers a revisionist Thomas More wrapped in popular melodrama. The author, Hilary Mantel, a lapsed Catholic whose disgust for the Church is a matter of public record, drew her portrait of More in part from the work of Elton. The “hero” of her novel is Thomas Cromwell–More’s tormentor, and in reality, a man widely loathed by his contemporaries as an administratively gifted but scheming and vindictive bully. Unlike the widespread European shock that greeted More’s judicial murder, few wept for Cromwell when he finally followed More to the scaffold.

The One Thomas More is not a book for beachside browsing. While it’s well-written, modest in size and rich in content, it is a scholarly effort. Some casual readers may find it heavier than they bargained for. But as a resource on Thomas More, it’s invaluable. Curtright’s final chapter, “Iconic Mores on Trial,” has special importance. It directly challenges Mantel’s loose treatment of facts, for which it deserves wide circulation.

Having said all this, Thomas More has been dead nearly 500 years. Why should his legacy matter today?

Barring relief from the courts, Christian entities, employers, and ministers in the coming year will face a range of unhappy choices. As the Affordable Care Act takes force and the HHS contraceptive mandate imposes itself on Christian life, Catholic and other Christian leaders can refuse to comply, either declining to pay the consequent fines in outright civil disobedience, or trying to pay them; they can divest themselves of their impacted Christian institutions; they can seek some unexplored compromise or way of circumventing the law; or they can simply give in and comply with the government coercion under protest.

Good people can obviously disagree on the strategy to deal with such serious matters. But the cost of choosing the last course–simply cooperating with the HHS mandate and its evil effects under protest–would be bitterly high and heavily damaging to the witness of the Church in the United States. Having fought loudly and hard for religious liberty over the past year, in part because of the HHS mandate, America’s Catholic bishops cannot simply grumble and shrug, and go along with the mandate now, without implicating themselves in cowardice. Their current resolve risks unraveling unless they reaffirm their opposition to the mandate forcefully and as a united body.  The past can be a useful teacher. One of its lessons is this: The passage of time can invite confusion and doubt–and both work against courage.

Again: Why does Thomas More still matter? Why does he matter right now? 

More’s final work, scribbled in the Tower of London and smuggled out before his death, was The Sadness of Christ. In it, he contrasts the focus and energy of Judas with the sleepiness of the Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. He then applies the parable to his own day and the abject surrender of England’s bishops to the will of Henry VIII: “Does not this contrast between the traitors and the Apostles present to us a clear and sharp mirror image . . . a sad and terrible view of what has happened through the ages from those times to our own? Why do not bishops contemplate in this scene their own somnolence?”

More urges the bishops not to fall asleep “while virtue and the faith are placed in jeopardy.” In the face of Tudor bullying, he begs them, “Do not be afraid”–this from a layman on the brink of his own execution.

Of course, that was then. This is now. America 2012 is a very long way, in so many different ways, from England 1535.

But readers might nonetheless profit in the coming months from some reflection on the life of Sir Thomas. We might also take a moment to remember More’s friend and fellow martyr, John Fisher, the only bishop who refused to bend to the king’s will; the man who shortly before his own arrest told his brother bishops: “. . . the fort has been betrayed even [by] them that should have defended it.”

Charles J. Chaput, a Capuchin Franciscan, is the archbishop of Philadelphia and the author of Render Unto Caesar.

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Copyright 2012 the Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.

The Bible – A Perspective

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2013/09/19 at 12:00 AM

This essay is about the Bible, not about its content or it’s significance, but about the Bible as a book.  Modern Christians take the availability of the Bible for granted; we can buy any number of Bibles and versions of the Bible in any bookstore or on-line.  That has not always been the case, and this fact is what I want to delve into.

Christ Himself (God in human form) who set up the Christian Church did not leave any personal writings to His followers.  His charge to the Apostles was to preach the Gospel, not to write a book.  If Christ had considered any written material to be essential, He would have provided and enabled it to be accessed on a large scale as the Church grew.  He did not do this, and remember that He is a divine being who cannot make mistakes.

The Apostles spread Christianity by word of mouth.  In fact, only the Apostle John could possibly have read all the books of the Bible because he was still alive after all the New Testament books were written.  Only five of the Apostles wrote anything in the New Testament (Peter, Matthew, John, James, Jude).  The other Apostles did not feel obliged to write anything as far as we know.

In the early days of the Church, the laity did not have access to Bibles.  The Canon of the Bible was not settled until the fourth century.  When the Bible as we know it was completed, copies were few and far between because they had to be hand-copied and one can imagine how long it took to copy by hand the entire Bible.  Thus Bibles were nowhere as omnipresent as they are today.  Moreover, the vast majority of people could not read, especially the foreign language of the early Bible.  The clergy were sufficiently educated to be able to deal with the Bible, but it was the Church that was the center and focus of Christian life.  The attitude was to follow the Church and that would be more than sufficient.

The Bible itself was completed by the 90’s AD, that is, all the books of the New Testament were written by this time and were circulated privately.  But the Bible as a book was not compiled until the fourth century ( Council of Carthage in 397 was the first Council to publish a list of all the inspired books of the Bible) .  But even then, Bibles were still scarce.  

So it appears that the early Church did not consider reading the Bible to be essential to a member’s spiritual welfare based on Christ’s own example and His mandate.

Then in 1517, along came Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation which taught that the Bible ALONE is essential for salvation.  A few years later, printing was developed and Bibles became more available, always increasing in availability to the point  we have reached today.

With this in mind, there are some problems with the Protestant view of the Bible.

1. Luther dropped 11 books of the Bible for merely personal reasons. He referred to the Epistle of James as that “damned epistle” but was prevented by followers from dropping it!

2. Luther claimed that the Bible has all the spiritually essential information for the believer.  But nowhere does the Bible itself claim to be the SOLE source of religious truth.

3. If God had intended the Bible to be accorded the level of necessity claimed by Luther, why was it practically unavailable for centuries?  Luther further claimed that the individual could correctly interpret the Bible under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, but the Bible is not a do-it-yourself book; it is not self-explanatory.

4. Luther really had no choice but to put too much emphasis on a book because he rejected the idea of the teaching authority of the Catholic Church which was granted to it by Christ Himself under the protection of the Holy Spirit.

5. Christ’s legacy is the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Luther’s legacy is 30,000 Protestant sects, all claiming to be the true and best interpreters of the one Bible.

6. The evidence speaks for itself.  Protestants, regardless of personal sincerity, are in churches that lack the whole truth. It is certainly true that Protestants believe many of the same doctrines as do Catholics, but unfortunately, not all the doctrines, such as the Holy Eucharist, Purgatory, Communion of Saints, etc..

Please do not misread the above and think that I am denigrating the Bible and those who read it.  Far from it.  The Bible is inspired by God Himself.  Christ quoted from the Old Testament while on earth.  It is just that He did not make it essential to salvation.  Contrary to some common misconceptions, the Catholic Church has great respect for the Bible which it presents to its faithful daily in the Mass  through the scripture readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms and the Gospel which are then preached on.  The clergy, since the early centuries, have prayed daily as an obligation the Liturgy of the Hours which also consists of Old and New Testament readings and writings from the early Church Fathers.

In the last analysis, it is a historical fact that the Protestant Bible is the Catholic Bible reduced in size. In other words, the Protestants would have no Bible at all were it not for the Catholic Church.

A question you need to answer.

In 07 Observations on 2011/06/29 at 3:09 PM

In 1970 I saw a large triptych in Zurich, which had been painted on the wall of an old building.

Under each of the figures were the words you see under the pictures below of Martin Luther, John Calvin and Christ. All were dressed as priests holding up a host and a chalice.  Christ was in the center.  Under the three captions, the artist had written in large bold letters: WHO IS RIGHT?


“This is like my body; this is like my blood.”

“This is a symbol of my body; this is a symbol of my blood.”

“This is my Body; this is my Blood.”

Jesus Christ did what no other person ever did or could: He left Himself behind for us in His greatest miracle of all, the Eucharist, made possible by His Redemption, made possible by His Incarnation, made possible by the Fiat the new Eve, made possible by I Am Who Am.

We find the words of Jesus, Himself bearing testimony to His Eternal Presence in the Eucharist, in these New Testament passages:

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”  John 6:35-40

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6: 47-51

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for  you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11: 23-25