Vatican II, Bishop Robert Barron, and the Amazonian Instrumentum Laboris

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With the publication of the Instrumentum Laboris (a working text) in preparation for the upcoming Amazon Synod this coming October has come many concerns from within and without of the Catholic Church. Some passages of the document are clearly at odds with the mindset of the Church as defined by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. One aspect of the document is its belaboring the recommendation of other religions to be integrated and interconnected with the Catholic faith. The idea behind this is basically true. The Catholic faith is the fullness of God’s divine revelation to mankind, but the world religions made by man are, to one degree or another, reflective of, at most, a bit or piece of the whole truth. Since these non-Christian religions, and we are including the cultural religions of the historic Amazon in particular, contain bits and pieces of the whole, the vision of this Instrumentum Laboris is to finds ways of appropriation to connect the Amazonian religions with the Catholic religion, and thus find a way towards full integration. The text, however, has some problems with it which are not limited going directly contrary to divine revelation. This is , however, not surprising. The 2nd Vatican Council has opened the door to considering the “good, true, and beautiful” of the religions of the world, including paganism, as a way to consider the possibility of there being a way unto salvation for everyone, even by means, albeit indirectly, of elements in the non-Christian, even pagan, religions. St. John Paul II’s famous Assisi Prayer Meeting in 1986 not only demonstrates this, but also shows forth the intention behind many pro-Vatican II theologians, including John Paul himself. This is so much the case that, for John Paul, the 2nd Vatican Council lived on in what he called the “spirit of Assisi”. In other words, the meeting which brought all sorts of different religions together for the purpose of praying for world peace , both Catholic and pagan, is the living and breathing entity of the 2nd Vatican Council. Pope Benedict XVI, often somehow thought of as the more conservative follow-up, was right there to defend this mentality in the 20-year anniversary of the Assisi prayer meeting. And there is no doubt that Pope Francis is a strong supporter of the “spirit of Assisi”. Continue reading

Jerome and the Office of Bishop: An Excursus to the Discussion

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I have something to say about Jerome and the issue of the Episcopal Office and the Presbyteral Office. For centuries, Protestants have been appealing to the fact that Jerome states that the Office of Bishop is equal with the Office of Presbyter, and therefore not de essentia with the Church Christ founded. The details of this prove to be a considerable point. But my purpose here is ulterior. I think that whatever conclusion one comes to from studying Jerome’s statements on the Office of Bishop, more is said by the same that would exclude the same from any sort of proto-protestant ecclesiologist. I here explain. Continue reading

St. Peter and the Keys of the Kingdom – Part 2

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Orthodox Christian Apologetics has responded to my critique of his first article on St. Peter and the Keys. This post is, therefore, part 2 of my critique of his position. In this new response, Craig accurately opens up with describing the Catholic position on the Apostle Peter, the Apostles, and their successors’ relation to the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven Continue reading