Sunday, August 19, 2007

Catholic Bishops: Holy Disorder


I knew it would not be long before someone would complain that my post on the Catholic Bishop was not fair because he doesn’t faithfully represent the Catholic Church. While I would usually agree that individual beliefs are not always accurate representations of official Church teachings, claiming that the comments of an ordained Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church are not a reflection of the Church is just another example of the inconsistency of Catholic doctrines.

Read the quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church below. If what is claimed for the high level and power of a Roman Catholic Bishop are true, then how is it that they cannot be considered a fair representation of their Church? It seems that the “Catholic faithful” are to entrust their eternal salvation to the Bishops but not trust them to accurately portray the Catholic teachings in their behaviors or commentaries.

1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis: It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.

1558 "Episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, also the offices of teaching and ruling. . . . In fact . . . by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops, in an eminent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher, shepherd, and priest, and act as his representative (in Eius persona agant)." "By virtue, therefore, of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors."

1560 As Christ's vicar, each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him, but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches: "Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care, as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church."

1581 This sacrament [holy orders] configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ's instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king.

1585 The grace of the Holy Spirit proper to this sacrament is configuration to Christ as Priest, Teacher, and Pastor, of whom the ordained is made a minister.

1586 For the bishop, this is first of all a grace of strength…: the grace to guide and defend his Church with strength and prudence as a father and pastor, with gratuitous love for all and a preferential love for the poor, the sick, and the needy. This grace impels him to proclaim the Gospel to all, to be the model for his flock, to go before it on the way of sanctification by identifying himself in the Eucharist with Christ the priest and victim, not fearing to give his life for his sheep:


“Besides the power of order, bishops possess that of jurisdiction; they have the right to prescribe for the faithful the rules which the latter must follow in order to obtain eternal salvation. The power of jurisdiction is of Divine origin, in the sense that the pope is held to establish in the Church bishops whose mission it is to direct the faithful in the way of salvation. The bishops have then in their dioceses an ordinary jurisdiction, limited, however, by the rights that the pope can reserve to himself in virtue of his primacy. But this jurisdiction is independent of the will and consent of the faithful, and even of the clergy.” Catholic Encyclopedia

23 comments:

kmerian said...

Carrie, you do realize that there is a difference between speaking for the church and giving a personal opinion?

This Bishop was not speaking for the church or even his diocese. He was giving his personal opinion as a minister who has worked in Islamic countries.

Bishops, despite the sacred position they hold are still entitled to their personal opinion.

Carrie said...

Speaking for the church or personal opinion, I still see that as a problem. How can a leader in the RCC, supposed a successor to the apostle, granted the sacramental grace of Holy Orders, be so ignorant about God?

If my own Pastor showed up in the newspaper and said something like that ignorant, I would be looking for a new church as that is not a statement of one is anointed by God.

A person's opinion and character are a reflection of the light (or darkness) within them. If you have one opinion within the church but another outside it, then you are a fake and a hypocrite.

kmerian said...

I don't believe he is ignorant about God. Of course there is the possibility that you are wrong. But that is not the issue. The Bishop was not saying we should worship the Muslim idea of God, but use the arabic word for God (the same word Christians in Arabic speaking countries use for God).

That was his point, not some massive rewrite of 2000 years of Christian theology. I think you are reading far too much into what he said.

Carrie said...

"What does God care what we call him?" -the bishop

That is an ignorant statement.

But this ignorant statement on its own isn't the major issue. The issue is that the Catholic Church believe that the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are the same God. What the bishop said is not that far off from the teachings of his church.

Carrie said...

Of course there is the possibility that you are wrong.

What?!

Just kidding. Wrong about what?

kmerian said...

So, where does God indicate in only what languages we are to refer to him?

Ellen said...

So, where does God indicate in only what languages we are to refer to him?

Perhaps we should call Him "Ba'al"?

Of course not. Why? Because it is the name that is used to refer to a false God.

And Allah? I own a book "Prophet of Doom" There is an on-line version here

When you read the contradictions and inanities it becomes impossible to see that Islam is anything other than a false prophet co-opting Biblical language in order to satisfy his own lust for power, sex and wealth.

We do not worship the same God.

Carrie said...

So, where does God indicate in only what languages we are to refer to him?

First of all, it is ridiculous to believe that we can be flippant about what we call God. If he really doesn’t care what we call him, can I just start calling him “Bob”? There is a level of respect that is completely missing here.

Second, it is not about using another language, it is about the definition of the term. “Allah” is the god of Islam. The god of Islam is in no shape or form the God of Christianity. If you can prove me wrong on that, I would love to hear it.

phd4jesus said...

3rd Commandment (2nd for Catholics) (Exodus 20:7) You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

If God doesn't care what He is called, why did He give this commandment?

kmerian said...

There is one question that makes this very simple. If "Allah" is not the one true God. Then, please tell me what the proper Arabic word for God is, used by Christians in arabic speaking countries.

Ellen said...

The day that the entire world starts speaking Arabic, you might have a point.

Carrie said...

If "Allah" is not the one true God. Then, please tell me what the proper Arabic word for God is, used by Christians in arabic speaking countries.

What does that have to do with anything?!

"Allah" is the god of Islam, the god of the Qu'ran. Is the god describe in the Qu'ran the same God of Christianity?

I know a hispanic man named Jesus - does that make him my Savior?

kmerian said...

It is a valid question, if "Allah" is the God of the Qu'ran, and not the God of the Bible, then what is the name of God in Arabic?

Or, are you at least willing to concede that (in Arabic) the name of the God of the Bible and the God of Qu'ran are identical. Even if in theology they are radically different?

Ellen said...

Actually, what matters is common usage.

Do English (or Egyptian or chinese) speaking Muslims refer to Allah as "god", then the word is relevant to the language.

If English (or Egyptian or chinese) speaking Muslims refer to Allah as "Allah", then the word is relevant to the person of "Allah".

If (whatever)% of the world's Muslims speak another language other than Arabic and still refer to their god (no capital "g" there) as "Allah", then it is not a matter of language.

Ellen said...

Or, are you at least willing to concede that (in Arabic) the name of the God of the Bible and the God of Qu'ran are identical. Even if in theology they are radically different?

Actually, no. I'm not and here's why. I'm not speaking or writing in the language of the Bible any more than I'm speaking or writing in the language of Islam.

Theos, Logos, Jehovah, Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai, Kurios, I AM.

How many Muslims do you know that would be willing to call their god "Jesus"?

kmerian said...

How many Jews do you know would be willing to call their God Jesus?

And, you are right, language is relevant. But that is not what either you (ellen) or carrie is saying.

You are both saying that Allah, can ONLY refer to the god of the Qu'ran. I have been trying to make the point to you that even if you don't believe that Muslims worship the same God as Christians, would you at least concede that they call him by the same name?

Saint and Sinner said...

kmerian,

you said, "The Bishop was not saying we should worship the Muslim idea of God, but use the arabic word for God (the same word Christians in Arabic speaking countries use for God)."

Actually, I believe that Christians started to use the word "Allah" for God only after the British Missionaries' translation of the Bible did back in the 19th century.

In fact, many Islamic theologians consider Allah to be the *personal* name of their god similar to YHWH. It is not a generic name for God.

You said, "Then, please tell me what the proper Arabic word for God is, used by Christians in arabic speaking countries."

Actually, there is a word for "Lord" that Arabic speaking Christians have historically used. I forgot it though. :(

Lastly, 1 John 2:22-23 states that anyone that denies that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, is an antichrist.

If the Pope cared about Scripture, he would have never have kissed the Koran.

Ellen said...

I am willing to concede that the generic word for god is allah. However, allah and the God of the Bible are not the same.

I still wonder why it is so important to you? Are you calling our Creator Allah now?

here is the testimony of a Muslim who converted to Christianity. He calls our Creator "Most High", "Lord" and "Messiah". Not "Allah". From the horse's mouth?

The god of Islam is not the same as the God of the Bible, the Creator of the universe, and or Saviour.

Why is it important to you that you appear to side with an errant bishop that encourages Christians to label our Creator the same as the god of a false religion?

How many English speaking Muslims call their god "Allah"?

I seek to show the difference between the god of Islam and the Father God, Creator of the Universe.

You?

Carrie said...

You are both saying that Allah, can ONLY refer to the god of the Qu'ran.

This is totally irrelevant.

Your Pope told Muslims that he and they worship the SAME GOD. He didn't say "we use the same word in different languages" he said it was the SAME GOD.

That is the problem. The Bishop didn't randomly choose the arabic term for god, he choose "allah" to foster relations with Muslims.

The word choice is irrelevant. Muslims could call the god of the Qu'ran "Yahweh", that still doesn't make it the same god!

kmerian said...

And there is nothing wrong with showing the difference between the Muslim view of God and the (proper) Christian view. However, you are so hung up on the word for God that you can't see the forest for the trees.

Allah is word, nothing more, a word used every day by arabic speaking Christians and Muslims.

JW's insist on using the Greek word for God. Even though they have a very flawed notion of God. The Greek Orthodox use the same word for God. Why? Because they speak Greek. Yet no one would claim that they have the same idea about God.

And, I did read your article, and the reason he never calls God "Allah" is because he is writing in English. Ask him what he would call God if he was speaking in Arabic?

"Allah" is just a word.

Also, I don't need to side with this Bishop, I just believe you are both getting hung up on a word and reading far too much into what the Bishop was saying.

Ellen said...

And, I did read your article, and the reason he never calls God "Allah" is because he is writing in English. Ask him what he would call God if he was speaking in Arabic?

There yougo!

So why the emphasis to call God "Allah", when we're speaking and writing in English?

THAT is our point - and when speaking in English and speak of "Allah", what is it that comes to mind?

I believe you're wrong, it's because we do see the forest that we can see that calling God "Allah" when speaking English seeks to blend the two and make it more difficult to show the differences.

And there is nothing wrong with showing the difference between the Muslim view of God

We do not worship the same God. Muslims wish to portray it so (wth the help of Rome) but just as we do not worship the same god as the Mormons do, we do not worship the god of Islam.

Ellen said...

You are both saying that Allah, can ONLY refer to the god of the Qu'ran.

Let's rephrase that.

IN ENGLISH, You are both saying that Allah, can ONLY refer to the god of the Qu'ran.

Yes. For people speaking in English, listening to somebody speaking in English referring to "allah", the only logical conclusion is that they are referring to the false god of Islam.

That is why I would refuse to speak in English and call my Creator "allah".

Questions you have avoided"


How many Muslims do you know that would be willing to call their god "Jesus"?

How many English speaking Muslims call their god "Allah"?

Carrie said...

No, you are skirting the real issue here by pretending this is just an argument over a word.

As I said before, the Bishop wasn’t suggesting just any word, he was suggesting the term “Allah” to play nice with Muslims:

“A Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has proposed people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to foster understanding,

“Catholic churches in the Netherlands should use the name Allah for God to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians, says a Dutch bishop.”

“Muskens thinks it could take another 100 years, but eventually the name Allah will be used by Dutch churches, promoting rapprochement between the two religions, he said, according to Radio Netherlands.”

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20279326/)
(http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57178)

The Bishop’s statement is not out of left field. Again, it has been said by at least one Pope that the Muslims worship the SAME God. That is the issue. The Bishop’s comments are inline with the RCC’s teaching that the Christian and Muslim God are one in the same. That belief to me shows another huge flaw in the basic theology of Catholicism.

If you don’t want to deal with the real issue here, that’s fine, but don’t accuse us of simply getting hung up on a word choice. That is a strawman.