Let me ask you how a person can believe that Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins is an accomplished fact of history and that He is now at the Father's right hand in heaven in a resurrected, glorified body and at the same time believe that He "exists bodily as a wafer on Catholic altars where He is perpetually suffering the agonies of the Cross and being literally "immolated in the sacrifice of the Mass" (Vatican ll, Flannery, pp 102-103)? How can a person believe that Christ's redemptive work on the cross is "Finished!" as He himself said (John 19:30) and at the same time believe that the Mass is a Perpetuation of Christ’s sacrifice? How, can one "Perpetuate and make Present" any Past event? It is logically impossible. One may rememt5er or memorialize a past event, but one cannot Perpetuate, it in the present. And why would that be necessary inasmuch as Christ's death and resurrection fully accomplished Christ's purpose?
One thing by one thing. First off, there is no such thing as "Vatican eleven". There is such a thing as "Vatican two", whether that be Catholic or not. It is spelled in Roman numerals as Vatican II. You can use a Roman I for an Arabic 1 when using Arabic numerals, but hardly an Arabic 1 for a Roman I when using Roman numerals. These are typically letters. I say typically because the numerals for thousand and five hundred were originally full or half circle with a vertical line going through. You see that stylised as either M and D or as CI and a backwards C and I and a backwards C. In the latter case you can go on to use basically two full or half circles for ten thousand and five thousand (CCI and two backward C:s or I and two backward C:s) and so on.
One thing that is much more important:**
Christ Died...That's History
Christ Died For Me...That's Salvation!
Now, that happens to be exactly right. Catholicism is about making the difference "for me". To the details:
- Q / Arg 1
- Let me ask you how a person can believe that Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins is an accomplished fact of history and that He is now at the Father's right hand in heaven in a resurrected, glorified body and at the same time believe that He "exists bodily as a wafer on Catholic altars where He is perpetually suffering the agonies of the Cross and being literally "immolated in the sacrifice of the Mass" (Vatican ll, Flannery, pp 102-103)?
- A 1
- I am not sure it was correct to use Flannery as a source. How about using a Catechism?
I checked, it must be the Dominican Fr Austin Flannery's edition of the documents of Vatican two.*** I start to wonder whether Cephas Ministries actually misread something or made use of εισηγησις (transliterates as eisegesis reading things into a text that are not there in the words themselves - opposite of correct exegesis where the meaning is gotten out of the text).
Still, going to the Catechism of the Council of Trent is not a mistake.° It as accepted even by Catholics who reject Vatican II, and it is not regarded as revoked by those accepting Vatican II, except the Modernist fringe.
Now, I do believe that Christ dies no more in Heaven, and that it is Christ RISEN who is present in the Eucharist. That His sacrifice is renewed does not mean he suffers again but that his suffering or the fruits of it is made present through the Mass.
Orthodox have compared this to a time loop, and one can compare Christ's presence in the Eucharist and in Heaven to bilocation. Which is a miracle possible to God.
I think St Thomas Aquinas would have called the time loop idea and the bilocation idea imprecise, but he would have agreed they were more correct than the ideas of a memory without a sacrifice and a symbol without a body.
Have you read the passage in the Apocalypse where Christ appears as a Lamb and as sacrificed?
- Q / Arg 2
- How can a person believe that Christ's redemptive work on the cross is "Finished!" as He himself said (John 19:30) and at the same time believe that the Mass is a Perpetuation of Christ’s sacrifice?
- A 2
- First of all one must believe EITHER that the sacrifice is perpetuated OR that the New Testament has two sacrifices.
The Bible°° says the Eucharist is a sacrifice.
It says so when applying the title "eternal priest according to the Order of Melchisedec" (Psalm 109:4) to Christ (Hebrews 5 and 6 and 7) . It says so when Melchisedec's own sacrifice is described as "offering bread and wine" (Genesis 14:18) . It is also implied when St Paul says "we have an altar" (Hebrews 13:10) and it had been prophecied also by the Hebrew Prophet Malachi (Malachi 1:11)
And since St Paul clearly teaches that no OTHER sacrifice saves us (Hebrews 7:27), we must conclude it is the SAME sacrifice. As no other sacrificial lamb from the Old Testament can save but only the one sacrifice of the New Testament.
- Q / Arg 3
- How, can one "Perpetuate and make Present" any Past event? It is logically impossible. One may rememt5er or memorialize a past event, but one cannot Perpetuate, it in the present.
- A 3
- It is physically impossible to men, or even higher created beings, i. e. angels, but not to God. It is not logically impossible, time loop and bilocation are possibilities which spring to mind even if they are imprecise.
St Pio of Pietrelcina was a few times bilocated. He was even in the United States miraculously - both he and those he visited confirmed it - but only among Italian, he never learned English and did not have the Gift of Tongues.
- Q / Arg 4
- And why would that be necessary inasmuch as Christ's death and resurrection fully accomplished Christ's purpose?
- A 4
- The Eucharist ALSO fully accomplishes Christ's purpose. And it is a Sacrifice. On the Cross he began a Psalm which includes a clear reference to the Eucharist (Psalm 21:27). This means one of the things He accomplished on the Cross was giving a sacrificial content to the Mass or rather doing the physical immolation that corresponds the the spiritual and mystic immolation He had done the previous eve in the sacrifice of the first Mass and which His priests repeat to the end of all time.
Further quote from page:*
A Catholic can't believe in Christ alone but in Christ plus baptism and the sacraments and other helps given by the Church. Paul cursed the Judaizers who taught that in addition to faith in Christ's finished work one also must keep the Jewish law. That destroys the gospel. How, then, can one believe in the gospel of Christ plus baptism for salvation and the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice and the other "sacraments of the New Law" which Trent and Vatican 11 say are essential for salvation, the necessity of the Church and its priesthood, the intercession of Mary, purgatory, indulgences, etc.?
Further detailed responses:
- Q / Arg 5
- A Catholic can't believe in Christ alone but in Christ plus baptism
- A 5
- A Christian cannot believe in "Christ alone" in a sense that excludes the Baptism. It is through Baptism we are first united to the Cross and Death of Christ.
- Q / Arg 6
- ... and the sacraments ...
- A 6
- A Christian cannot believe in Christ alone in a sense that excludes the sacraments he instituted:
- Baptism (Matthew 28:19);
- Confirmation (Acts 8:14-17);
- Holy Eucharist (John 6:35);
- Confession or Penance (John 20:23 and James 5:16);
- Extreme Unction (James 5:14-15);
- Priesthood or Ordination (Luke 22:19, John 20:23, Acts 13:3, and much of I Timothy, II Timothy and Titus);
- Marriage (Marc 10:6-9, 10-12; Ephesians 5:22-33, esp. verse 32).
- Q / Arg 7
- ... and other helps given by the Church.
- A 7
- A Christian cannot believe in Christ alone in a sense which excludes the Bible and other doctrinal helps of the Church, nor in an sense which excludes the prayers of the Church.
- Q / Arg 8
- Paul cursed the Judaizers who taught that in addition to faith in Christ's finished work one also must keep the Jewish law.
- A 8
- Because the sacreaments of the Old Law only symbolised the grace, but the Sacraments of the New Law contain the grace.
- Q / Arg 9
- That destroys the gospel. How, then, can one believe in the gospel of Christ plus baptism for salvation and the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice and the other "sacraments of the New Law" which Trent and Vatican 11 say are essential for salvation,
- A 9
- Because that rather than your version of "Christ alone" is what Christ brought us. None of these are independent of Christ.
- Q / Arg 10
- the necessity of the Church and its priesthood,
- A 10
- Because Christ instituted both.
- Q / Arg 11
- the intercession of Mary,
- A 11
- Because she interceded under the Cross for the robber Dismas and in the upper hall for the Apostles, yes even for the host in Cana.
- Q / Arg 12
- purgatory, indulgences, etc.?
- A 12
- I do not know how to answer "etc." since I do not know what it stands for. So I am sticking to purgatory and indulgences.
That some of the depated souls can be cleansed from sin and need such cleansing we know from II Maccabees. If a sacrifice of the Old Covenant was precious enough to help such souls, how can the Sacrifice of the Mass not be so? Saint THomas Aquinas states that all who were in the bosom of Abraham were liberated, and many of those in Purgatory also were liberated when Christ's soul descended to Hades. But he leaves some for the Church to do as well.
An act which is humanly speaking good, but has no connection to the merits of Christ on the Cross, such as the natural good acts of someone in the state of mortal sin or even just in the state of original sin (like an unbaptised child giving a penny to a beggar or an apostate like Dawkins doing so) have no power whatsoever to compensate for sin in any way, except insofar as God very kindly takes such acts into account when deciding whether such a person should receive a chance to get saved or not. Or if not the person himself, then a relative, or if not salvation, some earthly reward.
It is only acts of a person in the state of grace that can merit an indulgence. And these are not just his own acts, but acts of Jesus Christ living in him (St Paul in one epistle, Galatians 2:20 - the comment to verse 19 clarifies in what way the "works of the law" do not justify). From the start the Church counted as a duty toward the deceased, unless they were martyrs and clearly saints, to try to get them to Heaven as quick and securely as possible. By acts like prayer, fasting and alms.
I have read very gross and idiotic statements about indulgence tariffs in Protestant lore.
A real list of "tariffs" includes "prayer a" 400 days off from purgatory, "prayer b" 300 days off from purgatory, a Rosary in Church - plenary indulgence, i e if said by one with no affection even to venial sin a soul gets right out of Purgatory and up to Heaven. This means confessing and communicating within a week after or before the prayer (such preparation is valid for more than one Rosary in the Church on consecutive days within a week) and similarily going to a pilgrimage if Confessing anc Communicating on arrival or within a week of arrival. Making a donation to building St Peter's was once on the list, but was taken off the list by decree of the Council of Trent.
Now, get yourself a good read of either the Catechism of Trent° or the Haydock Commentary of the Douai Reims Bible°° or why not both!
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Sunday after St Peter's Chair in Rome
* CEPHAS APOLOGETIC CATALOG : Can A Catholic Be Saved
The Berean Call, April 1995: A Dave Hunt Newsletter
** Also from Cephas Ministry.
*** Documents of Vatican II: Concilar and Post Concilar Documents
Flannery Austin P. (Auteur)
° Tridentine Catechism of the Holy Catholic Church
The work presented here is variously known as The Catechism of the Council of Trent, the Roman Catechism, or the Catechism of Pius V.
The translation and preface are by John A. McHugh, O.P. and Charles J. Callan, O.P. (circa 1923)
°° Each Bible reference I give links to a chapter in the Haydock comment.
Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
A Catholic Bible commentary compiled by the late Rev. Fr. George Leo Haydock, following the Douay-Rheims Bible.*
[* See Transcriber's Notes page for a description of the changes made to the form and content of the original commentary text for this transcription.]