Magisterium Part 4: Attitude Towards Teaching of the Magisterium

Pentecost, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, altar retable of the Cathedral of Siena, 1308-1311

From the Crossroad Initiative
By Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio

Infallible? Yes, Catholics believe that certain teachings of the Magisterium are infallible due to the guidance of the Holy Spirit given to the successors of Peter and the apostles.

The response due by Catholics to such teaching varies based on the nature of this teaching. Sometimes the Magisterium engages the fullness of its authority to define a dogma. That means it declares that a teaching is part of the deposit of the faith. The Council of Nicaea, for example, declared that Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, is true God, equal to the Father. Since the Magisterium infallibly guarantees that such a belief is revealed by God, our response must be an assent of “divine and Catholic faith”. In other words, we are to believe it with the same unquestioning confidence that we place in God himself (CCC 891).

There are other magisterial statements that don’t define a dogma to be believed, but instead are definitive judgments about a matter closely related to revelation. For example, the Council of Trent made an infallible judgment regarding the list of the books to be regarded as sacred Scripture (the biblical canon). The names of the book to be included in the Bible were not revealed by God. Yet it is clearly of the utmost importance for the Church to know which books are inspired and contain revealed truth. An authoritative judgment like this is to be “firmly held” by the faithful. Such decisions are not “fair game” for theological disputations. When the Magisterium speaks in this way, the case is closed. End of discussion.

If other more ordinary teachings of the Magisterium are not technically guaranteed to be infallible, are they simply up for grabs? Not in the least. The assistance of the Spirit is not limited to infallible statements. The ordinary doctrinal teaching of the Church, expressed in day to day teaching and numerous documents of the pope and bishops, must always be given the utmost respect by all–laity, clergy, even professional theologians. The proper response to such teaching is what the Second Vatican Council calls “the religious submission of intellect and will” (CCC 892) This means that we have an obligation to do more than pay lip service to such teaching. Rather we are bound to approach such pronouncements with docility, seeking to understand their teaching, and letting that teaching shape our opinions and actions. If a theologian should have concerns about deficiencies in the wording of a certain document, his obligation is privately and respectfully to make his concerns known to the appropriate ecclesiastical authority. It is never appropriate for laity, clergy, or theologians to organize any sort of public dissent from a statement of the Magisterium, using the worldly tactic of pressure politics and media hype to influence Church teaching.

But what of directives from the Magisterium that do not bear upon faith and morals, but rather touch upon matters of discipline–liturgical regulations, the ordinary requirement of priestly celibacy for Latin-Rite priests, etc? Here there is the duty of exterior and respectful compliance with Church law. There is still no right to contentious, public dissent. But should a Catholic have a personal opinion that prevailing practice ought to be changed, it does not mean that he or she is not a loyal Catholic. Some believe we should kneel more during the Mass–some think we should kneel less. Dialogue about such issues is appropriate, as long as it is conducted in respect and charity for all and faithful compliance to the law as it stands until such time as Church authority should change it.

So while there are different sorts of Magisterial teaching with differing degrees of authority, the willingness to submit loyally to the Magisterium must be the rule, even if that teaching is not per se infallible. For the Church is no mere human institution. Birthed by the Spirit, it was endowed with the Spirit with certain gifts. One of the greatest of those gifts is the charism of truth given to the apostles successors that guarantees that the Church will remain a pillar and bulwark of the truth (I Tim. 3:15) till the end of time.

Did you miss any part of the series? – Click the links below!
Part I
Part II
Part III

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44 Responses to Magisterium Part 4: Attitude Towards Teaching of the Magisterium

  1. toadspittle says:

    .

    Excellent article, lucid and well-argued.
    It expresses clearly and concisely, practically all the reasons why my conscience won’t allow me to be a Catholic any more.
    If there is a God, He has bestowed the gifts of doubt and skepticism on us (well some of us) and we would be failing in our obligations to Him not to deploy them.
    Or so I think. Might be wrong, of course.

    Like

  2. kathleen says:

    “If there is a God, He has bestowed the gifts of doubt and skepticism on us...”

    Toad, I doubt whether doubt or skepticism can be called ‘gifts‘!
    But yes, we do have a brain with which to think and to decide for ourselves what is true and what is false. If you have pre-conceived hang-ups and grudges it will be hard to be objective when searching for Truth.

    Pray and ask God for the gift of Faith. “Seek and thee shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto thee.”

    Like

  3. toadspittle says:

    .
    Toad would have thought that someone who regards most everything in terms of being “Catholic” or “Uncatholic” (i.e. cremation) was a paradigm of pre-conceived ideas. But maybe he’s wrong.

    “Doubt” and “skepticism” are, as Kathleen rightly says, not gifts. The right and ability to employ them freely and openly surely are.

    What difference does it make, (re the new post,) if there are more Christians than Moslems this week in Africa?
    There are probably virtually no Agnostics. Toad doesn’t care.
    There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of safely in numbers on The Dark Continent, anyway.

    Like

  4. kathleen says:

    Toad would have thought that someone who regards most everything in terms of being “Catholic” or “Uncatholic” (i.e. cremation) was a paradigm of pre-conceived ideas. But maybe he’s wrong.”

    Yes, Toad has got it wrong again. 😦

    It is true I was born and raised a Catholic, so in that way yes, I was pre-conditioned. But like everyone else, when I came to the age of reason and questioning, I too had to make a decision.
    Admittedly, my choice to remain a Catholic was not a difficult one, as besides really loving passionately everything about Catholicism, I found the argument for the Catholic Church overwhelmingly convincing. Quite simply, it is the whole Truth…….. and so beautiful, exciting (so much more still to discover) and very comforting.

    That is not to say that all is said and done for….. not at all (and complacency is when the devil will quickly nip in to trip us up!) Now comes the tricky bit, ‘ to practice what I preach’, i.e., to live day by day, minute by minute, the teachings and disciplines of my Catholic Faith as I know them to be taught in the Church Christ founded. We shall fall, but we shall not despair. “When he shall fall he shall not be bruised, for the Lord putteth his hand under him.” (Psalm 37:24)

    Like

  5. JessicaHof says:

    Might as well say that since God endowed us with pride and selfishness, it would be a shame not to behave that way.

    Like

  6. toadspittle says:

    .
    Has God endowed you with pride and selfishness, Jessica?

    Like

  7. toadspittle says:

    .
    …And do you think you would have found the argument for Catholicism equally overwhelmingly convincing had you been born a Moslem, or a MormonKathleen?

    (Note: I’m only asking you what you think you might think.)

    Like

  8. kathleen says:

    I can only hope that I would Toad. It would depend on whether I would have had the opportunity to truly know what Catholicism is, not just some distorted semblance of it. I fear this is often the only image available to many Muslims, Mormons etc., of the Catholic Church.

    Venerable Fulton Sheen once said, “There are not a 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive to be the Catholic Church….. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.”

    Like

  9. toadspittle says:

    .
    The tricky thing is, Kathleen, as no doubt you know, Muslims, Mormons and all the rest sincerely believe exactly the same way about their religions as you do about yours; “If only everyone truly knew what Quivering Brethren truly are, everything would be hunky dory and we’d all be Quivering Brethrening away in peace and harmony!” That kind of thing. It’s why we kill each other so cheerfully.

    Why do you think an omnipotent God doesn’t give everyone on the planet an equal opportunity to truly know what Catholicism is? Surely it’s not beyond His abililty? That bothered me considerably when I was a kid.
    GWIMW, no doubt.
    Do you truly know what Islam is? I sure don’t.

    Like

  10. kathleen says:

    Yes Toad, I know the arguments for other religions. I have read and studied objectively the basics of most of them, Islam included……. (Not the Quivering Brethren though! Who the heck are they? ;-))

    First of all I believe Jesus to be the Son of God, so obviously only a Christian faith could be the true religion. Then one goes back to the history of Christianity and I am convinced that the Catholic Church is the One Holy and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ and continuing the mission of Christ in the world today.

    P.S. What does GWIMW stand for?

    Like

  11. golden chersonnese says:

    Why do you think an omnipotent God doesn’t give everyone on the planet an equal opportunity to truly know what Catholicism is?

    Maybe can do now we have the Internet, Toad (except for China and Saudi Arabia)?

    Here’s an interesting map, Toad.

    Do you think all the pink bits would have been majority Christian but for the rise of Islam? I do, and probably all the non-pink bits as well,

    Like

  12. toadspittle says:

    .

    “Do you think all the pink bits would have been majority Christian but for the rise of Islam? I do, and probably all the non-pink bits as well,”

    Asks Godlen. Well, as Toad has pointed out before, but for his Uncle Fred possessing a set of male genitalia, he’d be Toad’s Auny Fanny, wouldn’t he?

    And but for Attila the Hun neglecting to conquer the world, Toad would be writing this in Hunnish, wouldn’t he?
    .. and but for.. well, that’s enough amusing, fruitless and pointless speculation.

    Maybe the internet will make Catholics of us all. Or Moslems. Or Quivering Brethren.
    Not Agnostics, I fear. Majority opinion being invariably wrong. (As I might be, here.)

    Like

  13. toadspittle says:

    .
    Sorry, Kathleen, I missed your last comment.

    GWIMW is God Works In Mysterious Ways. The celestial “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Which we play when we haven’t a clue what else to say, don’t we?
    Which is frequently.
    The Quivering Brethren was ruthlessly stolen from “Cold Comfort Farm,” by I think, without checking (Bad Toad!) Stella Gibbon, and is Toad shorthand for the rabble of smaller Christian religions, “United Church of the Vengeful Lord,” “Peptacostal Baptists for Christ” ” Church of The Eternally Optimistic Redeemer. “That sort of thing. Dozens of them in every U.S. town. All convinced no doubt, They Have The Truth. Who knows? Maybe they do. GWIMW

    It also strikes me that you and I agree that the absurd plethora of earthly religions cannot possibly all be true. Where we disagree, is that I (currently, at least) suspect that it is possible that none of them are.

    Like

  14. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad would be writing this in Hunnish, wouldn’t he?

    Of course, Toad, as usual, would only be writing it in Toadish.

    A regrettable and irritating Toad.

    Like

  15. toadspittle says:

    .
    The official language of toads is Sapponian, Godlen. Many irregular verbs.

    A treat for Kathleen. Rare footage of the Quivering Brethren. (if it works.)

    Like

  16. JabbaPapa says:

    Infallibility is often confused with indefectibility — as it has been in this article.

    The doctrine that teaches that certain truths are absolutely true is the doctrine of indefectibility ; whereas infallibility is the doctrine whereby there are some doctrines that Catholics may never contradict. Of course, there is a very clear overlap of these doctrines, but they are NOT actually identical.

    infallible is the negative of fallible, which is derived from Latin fallere > Vulgate/Late Latin fallire meaning “to deceive; slip by; disappoint” in the particular theological meaning of “to actively contradict (theologically or doctrinally)”.

    The ending -ibilis in fallibilis means “able to be”, so fallible means “able to be contradicted/denied/mistaken/wronged” and the derived verb infallible means its opposite, therefore “unable to be contradicted/denied/mistaken/wronged”

    This does not mean that infallible doctrines are 100% true because of their infallibility, it’s actually the other way round.

    As in :

    The Council of Nicaea, for example, declared that Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, is true God, equal to the Father. Since the Magisterium infallibly guarantees that such a belief is revealed by God, our response must be an assent of “divine and Catholic faith”. In other words, we are to believe it with the same unquestioning confidence that we place in God himself (CCC 891).

    While the above is true, the author has reversed the cause and effect — it is NOT because the declaration is infallible that we must give it our assent, but rather it is the indefectible truth of the dogma that makes it an infallible one.

    Indefectibility provides a requirement of positive assent ; infallibility provides the lesser requirement that positive dissent is forbidden.

    An indefectible doctrine must be positively believed by all Catholics — failure to believe such a doctrine, even privately, instantly places you out of Communion with the Church, even if you never state your disbelief to anyone.

    An infallible doctrine can never be contradicted or denied or disbelieved in speech or writing, but a purely private disbelief, never openly stated to anyone else (except perhaps your Confessor), will only put you out of Communion with the Church if that teaching is ALSO indefectible.

    Not every infallible dogma is indefectible — the teaching that priests cannot marry is not fallible in the ordinary sense (no Catholic may teach that they can, no priests can be married, no Catholic may provide any active or tacit assistance whatsoever to a marriage project of a priest, no Catholic may marry a priest, etc) ; but it is not indefectible, because Catholics are permitted to disagree with this doctrine as much as they like, if for example they think that priests *should* be able to marry, whether unconditionally or in some circumstances only, provided that they never deny the actual existence and meaning and truth of the doctrine.

    ________

    A couple of extra points :

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church does NOT actually define infallibility — the closest it gets to doing so, is when it states :

    889 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith.”

    This is coherent with the definition that I’ve given — “unfailingly adheres to this faith” signifies NOT that the infallible teachings of the Church are necessarily always going to be indefectible, but rather that the People of God are required to unfailingly adhere to “the purity of the Faith” as handed down by the Apostles.

    Again — most infallible teachings will also be indefectible, but this is an important distinction so as to not misunderstand the very purpose of the doctrine of infallibility.

    Second, the doctrine of infallibility is not itself infallible, although it is powerfully Authoritative — Catholics may not disagree with or deny any infallible doctrine, but they may disagree with the doctrine of infallibility itself without falling out of Communion with the Church — which is a very good thing, because the doctrine is very easily misunderstood, therefore very easily contradicted by virtue of simple, honest mistake.

    The author’s description of the nature of such Authoritative teachings :

    The ordinary doctrinal teaching of the Church, expressed in day to day teaching and numerous documents of the pope and bishops, must always be given the utmost respect by all–laity, clergy, even professional theologians. The proper response to such teaching is what the Second Vatican Council calls “the religious submission of intellect and will” (CCC 892) This means that we have an obligation to do more than pay lip service to such teaching. Rather we are bound to approach such pronouncements with docility, seeking to understand their teaching, and letting that teaching shape our opinions and actions. If a theologian should have concerns about deficiencies in the wording of a certain document, his obligation is privately and respectfully to make his concerns known to the appropriate ecclesiastical authority. It is never appropriate for laity, clergy, or theologians to organize any sort of public dissent from a statement of the Magisterium, using the worldly tactic of pressure politics and media hype to influence Church teaching.

    … is spot on !!!

    This is the degree of assent that is required of us for the doctrine of infallibility.

    The doctrine of indefectibility is, however, infallible.

    Like

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    grrrrr correction :

    NOT This does not mean that infallible doctrines are 100% true because of their infallibility, it’s actually the other way round.

    BUT This does not mean that certain doctrines are 100% true because of their infallibility, it’s actually the other way round — they are infallible because they are true.

    Like

  18. JabbaPapa says:

    And but for Attila the Hun neglecting to conquer the world, Toad would be writing this in Hunnish, wouldn’t he?

    No — not only did Attila the Hun NOT have sufficient military forces to constitute a permanent occupying power base over the entirety of Eurasia, nor to inflict total genocide (which was the basic Muslim method of spreading the use of Arabic in their own conquered lands), but the historical occasion on which Western Europe actually WAS overrun by foreign warlords, viz. the Germanic invasions, has had a very limited effect on the languages spoken here, which is why your neighbours speak Spanish rather than some German dialect instead.

    Like

  19. toadspittle says:

    .
    For God’s sake Jabba! Toad didn’t really think Huns spoke Hunnish – any more than Esquimos speak Esquimish, or that Jabba talks Jabberish!

    Nevertheless, he’s relieved to hear from Jabba, as he was beginning to worry he might be deadish.
    As to what Attila got up to in his spare time, well that’s really no concern of ours, is it? As long as he enjoyed himself, that’s the main thing, isn’t it?

    Interesting to learn that Muslims practised genocide in Spain though.
    Didn’t know that.

    Like

  20. JabbaPapa says:

    Toad didn’t really think Huns spoke Hunnish

    Except that they did, although the language can ALSO be called “Hunnic” — both names are acceptable.

    Like

  21. JessicaHof says:

    .
    Toad kindly enquires : ‘Has God endowed you with pride and selfishness, Jessica?’ No, that was The Lord of this world Toad.

    Like

  22. toadspittle says:

    .
    Hunnish? Cripes! Doh! Cor! ¡Hollin! That’ll learn Toad to make stuff up, or to think he’s making stuff up! So he was right in the first place without knowing it! Hint of something theological there? Invincible ignorance,perhaps? (No, just run-of-the-mill ignorance, more like.)

    What a zany, whacky, wonderful old world we live in, – for the next few weeks anyway, until the Iran War starts – to be sure!
    And it’s all thanks to Original Sin!
    Better tell Golden* about Hunnish, eh, Jabba!
    (Re: Arab genocide in Europe – have you read “The Spanish Holocaust” yet?
    Everyone should. Thinks Toad.)

    (*Spelled Godlen’s name right – by mistake – really!!!)

    Like

  23. kathleen says:

    Thanks for my “treat” Toad! Looks like a good film, and well acted. Might even get down to watching the whole film one day.

    But honestly Toad, do you think you can put the Quivering Brethren, or any of the thousands of wacky sects that sprout up like mushrooms all over the world on the same level as Catholicism?
    If the answer is “yes”, our old Toad is in great need of a lot of prayer ! 😉

    Like

  24. JabbaPapa says:

    Yes well kathleen, that’s the immediate effect of intellectual relativism.

    The issue of course is tha

    Like

  25. JabbaPapa says:

    The issue of course is that truth exists, independently of whichever ultimately self-centred individual interpretations of it, and reality exists outside of our own perception of it.

    Toad makes the fundamental mistake of assuming that Catholicism can be reduced to what people think about it — therefore his rather paranoid views on catechesis.

    Toad fails to understand that any statement “Catholics must believe xyz” is non-coercitive — it simply means that those who do not believe xyz are divorcing themselves from Catholicism.

    Like

  26. toadspittle says:

    .
    Well Kathleen, one man’s (or woman’s, natch!) wacky sect is another’s only true religion.
    Can’t really argue with that, can we?
    We can?
    Oh, all right. (Don’t bother with the rest of the movie. It will upset you.)

    Jabba says: “The issue of course is that truth exists, independently of whichever ultimately self-centred individual interpretations of it,” How do you know that, Jabba? Revelation? You are right in saying that it is the issue.
    The statement “truth exists” may be true. But how can we verify it? If we can’t, we ought to be a bit cautious about it. Thinks Toad.
    He then says, “… and reality exists outside of our own perception of it.” Which Toad, of course, readily agrees with.
    For all the good it will do any of us as reality moons around, unperceived, out there somewhere.

    And anyway, even that assertion may turn out to be wrong in the end.

    For all we know.

    Like

  27. toadspittle says:

    . One unassailable truth is that WordPress, with no simple edit function, stinks. Sorry for the ranting bold.

    [a moderator writes: I’ve fixed the “ranting bold”, but can do nothing for the bold rant]

    Like

  28. kathleen says:

    The issue of course is that truth exists, independently of whichever ultimately self-centred individual interpretations of it, and reality exists outside of our own perception of it.

    I know exactly what you are trying to say Jabba – you put it so succinctly. And it is man’s duty and obligation to ever search for Truth that only God holds in its entirety. The most perfect bearer of that Truth in the world, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is that contained in the doctrines, dogmas and teachings of the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ.

    (I hope and pray Toad comes to realise this one day…… Who knows? Miracles never cease!)

    Like

  29. toadspittle says:

    .
    You may be sure Toad will doggedly go on searching, anyway, Kathleen. He’s into Unamuno now, (in a manner of speaking) But he thinks (Toad that is, not Miguel) that taking statements on trust alone is a kind of sin. And can get one in a deal of trouble in print.

    “..Truth that only God holds in its entirety.”
    How do you know that? Did someone tell you?

    Like

  30. toadspittle says:

    .
    “First of all I believe Jesus to be the Son of God, so obviously only a Christian faith could be the true religion.”
    That assumption, Kathleen, puts at least two thirds of the current world, and about 90% of everyone who has ever existed, out in the cold. Doesn’t that concern you at all?

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  31. toadspittle says:

    .
    You can see what’s coming next: Would it not be “unfair” of God to make even one single person who did not have equal access to eternal salvation if the rest of humanity did?

    Whereas He has, apparently, placed countless billions in this situation. In other words has God deliberately witheld knowledge of his son Jesus from a vast number of the planet’s population – a planet which apparently, He made for mankind’s benefit? Or was it simply for Christians’ benefit? And not only Christians, but only Catholics at that, which narrows it down even further? Why doesn’t everyone have the opportunity to know Christ and His Church the way, say, Kathleen can – and does?

    Like

  32. JabbaPapa says:

    You can see what’s coming next: Would it not be “unfair” of God to make even one single person who did not have equal access to eternal salvation if the rest of humanity did?

    ?????????

    Is there supposed to be any kind of point to this irrelevance ?

    May as well ask : How many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?

    Has nobody ever taught you that imponderables cannot be pondered ?

    Like

  33. Mimi says:

    Toad, God is not accountable to us for the number of people who have not heard the Gospel. It is we Christians who are accountable to God for all the people who have never had the opportunity to know Jesus.

    Neither is God accountable to us for poverty/famine/wars/slavery and other nasty stuff. It is WE who are accountable to God for the state the world is in.

    Like

  34. toadspittle says:

    Well, Mimi, Jabba saw the point all right and has done his best to answer it. I think his answer is inadequate, but I appreciatw the effort. It is not irrelevant not only to me, but to many others.
    . I certainly don’t think it’s the fault of Christians, particularly Catholics, that there are people in this world, billions of them, who have no chance to know Christ. Try missionising in Saudi Arabia for example, and see what happens.
    To liken my question to that of “angels dancing on the head of a pin,” is amusing, as that is what theologians are accused of wasting their time pointlessly doing. Catholic ones as well, since we are on CP&S.
    Nor, logically, is it imponderable, as I am pondering it right now. And so could you. Possibly. It may be hypothetical, but that’s another matter. And we, at least most of us, are capable of hypothesising.
    No God is not to blame for, well, human “sin”. How about disease, floods and earthquakes?

    Like

  35. JabbaPapa says:

    Nor, logically, is it imponderable, as I am pondering it right now.

    Yeah ?

    OK

    How many then ?

    Like

  36. toadspittle says:

    How many angels Jabba? Toad would confidently say none. (Today, at least. He might start believing in angels tomorrow.). We can ponder until we go cerulean in the face, but it may well do us no good at all. Or it may. But we are alble to ponder. Man is a pondering animal.
    We are free to ponder the ridiculous question, despite Mimi’s derision, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” Except that Toad is inclined to leave that to people who believe in angels. People like herself.
    We can ponder why a benevolent God chooses to put us on a lethal and volatile planet, riven with earthquakes, tsunamis and fatal diseases. We can ponder whether these are the result of Original Sin or not, as is death itself, apparently. We can ponder why storms cause branches to fall off trees in Kew Gardens and kill tourists. If we like. We can ponder what will result when Israel attacks Iran shortly. Time will tell in that particular case. In other instances, maybe not.
    I suppose we can ponder whether Toad is talking balls or not. He probably is.

    Like

  37. JabbaPapa says:

    How many angels Jabba? Toad would confidently say none.

    Prove it.

    Like

  38. kathleen says:

    Toad,
    Your trouble is that you put Almighty God onto the same level as a limited, flawed human being. You utterly fail to see how God transcends Man so greatly, that we cannot even begin to understand His ways.
    Yet we do know some things – important things; we know God is goodness, beauty, love; we know God loves us (or we would not exist); we know He wants our eternal happiness (though He will not force this upon us); we know He has given us all the means for Salvation by sending His only Begotten Son to suffer and die for our sins and that He has founded His Church on Earth for this end.

    It is our obligation to make this known to all Mankind: “Go forth and teach all Nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

    Both Jabba and Mimi have given you two very profound replies to your question above, but you just don’t seem to want to even try to understand what they are saying.

    Faith and trust in God takes humility and a contrite heart. (Impetuous, willful Kathleen has learnt this the hard way!)

    If you truly want it, seek it. Believe me, everything will fall into place for you then…… even the mysteries that cannot be explained. 😉

    Like

  39. toadspittle says:

    .
    Well, Jabba, I’m a bit surprised at you.
    Can you “prove” angels exist – let alone dance on pin-heads? No! (Is it mandatory for Catholics to believe in angels, anyway? Will you go to hell if you don’t?)
    I’m earnestly seeking truth, Kathleen. That’s why I’m on CP&S such a lot. I agree God’s ways are not for man to understand. We can’t even prove he exists. Jab knows that.
    Pope, (a Catholic,) once said, “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, the proper study of mankind is man.”
    Catholics are not responsible for the billions who currently (never mind in the past) don’t have the opportunity of knowing Christ. It’s a problem only God can fix. And He hasn’t chosen to do so yet. For whatever reason.
    Another silly question: How long has the Church been know as Catholic, or universal? Since before the discovery of the Americas, and Australasia, and when the vast majotity of Asia and Africa were virtually unknown to Christians?

    Like

  40. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, Jabba, I’m a bit surprised at you.

    That is because you are not considering the question that has been asked in its proper fullness.

    You say that the answer to How many angels can dance on the head of a pin ? is none — and you support this position by stating that angels do not exist.

    Can you prove the truth of this statement ?

    Can you demonstrate the non-existence of angels ?

    Like

  41. toadspittle says:

    .
    “Can you demonstrate the non-existence of angels?”

    Of course not. Any more than Jabba can demonstrate their existence.
    They may exist. I doubt it, personally.
    But Toad is getting weary of all this silliness. This pitiful tripe from Jabba – of all people – about “proving” metaphysical concepts is depressing. And out of character, I’d have thought.

    I can’t prove the non-existence of unicorns or Father Christmas, either. Maybe he can.

    Like

  42. toadspittle says:

    .

    “…and you support this position by stating that angels do not exist.”

    As Jabba will see, if he goes back and reads it carefully – nowhere do I state that angels do not exist. All I state is that I doubt that they exist, so don’t believe in them myself. Which is not the same thing.
    God knows why I should still have to painfully spell it all out. I’m getting too old for this.

    Like

  43. JabbaPapa says:

    This pitiful tripe from Jabba – of all people – about “proving” metaphysical concepts is depressing.

    !!!!!!!!???!!!!!

    cripes, toad, have you completely failed to understand my point about the pondering of imponderables ???

    … that basically, it can’t be done ???

    Similarly you can’t have your cake and eat it.

    Either the notion of proving metaphysical concepts is NOT absurd — or your critique of God is itself absurd.

    I’d assume the latter.

    Like

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