Thursday, February 25, 2010

Romanism and Mormonism Common Ground?

According to Francis (Cardinal) George (president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of Chicago): “Our churches have different histories and systems of belief and practice, although we acknowledge a common reference point in the person and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (source - Emphasis added)

Layman Romanist Matthew Bellisario disagrees with "His Eminence" and states:
The only thing we have in common is using the name, Jesus Christ. ... I don't know what in the world the dear Cardinal was thinking when he said this. ... What is more ridiculous is that a Cardinal would think that all of this is a common point of reference of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(source)

I think Cardinal George has the better argument from Vatican II (after all, if Muslims worship the "same God" while explicitly denying the Trinity, how can Mormons really be left out of the big tent?). However, ignoring Vatican II, Bellisario has the better argument from reason. After all, it is (to use his word) "ridiculous" to suppose that the there is common ground with Mormons in the person of Christ, given that Mormons allege that Jesus was a created being. And while Mormon soteriology is closer to Roman soteriology than it is to Reformed soteriology, Mormons deny (among many other significant differences) that is “absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” and consequently it appears that the Mormon gospel is different from the Roman gospel (which are both different from the gospel that Paul preached).

- TurretinFan

Thanks to Dr. James White for bringing the main article to my attention.

28 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

Where does the Vatican II documents address Mormonism and explain this common ground specifically? Source please.

Turretinfan said...

It doesn't. That wasn't my argument. Thanks for visiting.

Matthew Bellisario said...

It doesn't, so why did you write the following?

"I think Cardinal George has the better argument from Vatican II (after all, if Muslims worship the "same God" while explicitly denying the Trinity, how can Mormons really be left out of the big tent?). However, ignoring Vatican II, Bellisario has the better argument from reason."

How can the Cardinal have a better argument from Vatican II if Vatican II doesn't say anything about it?

louis said...

Eh, the Cardinal is just being politically expedient. Still, it's a rather jarring thing to say.

As far as who has the better argument, authority is the main thing in Romanism, so the Cardinal wins hands down.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"As far as who has the better argument, authority is the main thing in Romanism, so the Cardinal wins hands down."

Uhh no, that is not how it works. A Cardinal does not have the authority to legislate doctrine. The fact is, Vatican II doesn't say anything about this matter, as admitted by TF, so there is no argument from Vatican II. I would suggest that TF correct his statement to mean that is his opinion as to what Vatican II may have said in some alternate, fictional universe.

Turretinfan said...

"How can the Cardinal have a better argument from Vatican II if Vatican II doesn't say anything about it?"

As I wrote: "if Muslims worship the "same God" while explicitly denying the Trinity," (that's where Vatican II comes in) "how can Mormons really be left out of the big tent?" (that's the reasonable inference that Cardinal George seems to have drawn, though - of course - he doesn't explain himself).

"A Cardinal does not have the authority to legislate doctrine."

Red herring.

Bishops can and must interpret the teachings of "the Church." Their authority to do so is higher than the authority of mere laymen like yourself.

-TurretinFan

louis said...

But does a Cardinal have greater "interpretive authority" over doctrine than a lay apologist?

TF can certainly speak for himself, but I think his point was that VII allowed something for Islam that could apply equally to Mormonism. At least that's the way I understood it.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Islam has nothing to do with Mormonism. Very simple, even for you TF. Bit I never expect intellectual honesty with you. VCII says nothing of Mormonism. You don't determine Catholic teaching for us. Simple.

natamllc said...

Mr. Bellisario

what an understatement! "You don't determine Catholic teaching for us. Simple."

Absolutely!

Though that be true, he does contribute far more to Truth than the whole historical record he provides some of us in here to examine!

If I haven't expressed enough, I will do so again: "thanks TF for your perspicaciousness of thought that those of us with much less of it, [slow to conceive of the evils of the RCC], can be wisely warned! :)

I had gut feelings something wasn't quite right across the Tiber; and by experiencing the level intelligence that is displayed in here regarding the RCC, simply puts feet to legs that carries the gut feelings!

Turretinfan said...

"Islam has nothing to do with Mormonism."

Both are religions. Both claim a connection to Jesus. Both claim a connection to the Scriptures. Both were spawned by a singular false prophet who was a polygamist. We could go on and on.

"Very simple, even for you TF."

This adds nothing to your previous point. It's just designed as an insult.

"Bit [sic] I never expect intellectual honesty with you."

Even if it had been spelled correctly, this insult adds nothing more than the previous insult did.

"VCII says nothing of Mormonism."

I pointed this out around four hours ago, in this very comment box.

"You don't determine Catholic teaching for us."

Tell it to the cardinal, pal.

"Simple."

One would think that submitting to your own cardinal would be simple, but it doesn't seem to be simple for you.

The problem is that you can see that the cardinal's teaching is wrong, using your private judgment. And I agree with you that the cardinal is wrong - but that's because Vatican II itself is wrong.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Once again you fail to understand Catholic teaching and the Magisterium. No need to continue to to expose your ignorance any further, pal.

Turretinfan said...

"Once again you fail to understand Catholic teaching and the Magisterium. No need to continue to to expose your ignorance any further, pal."

If you keep waving your hands, you may be able to cool yourself off.

-TurretinFan

Andrew Suttles said...

I'm thankful for Matthew's comments. I like the old hard-line Catholics that stick to their traditional beliefs (though I wish Matthew would believe the Gospel of Grace and be converted). I despise ecumenicism, even amongst groups that I oppose and that oppose the Gospel.

Good for you, Matthew. You've got a friend when you convert to Evangelicalism.

Turretinfan said...

I too am glad that Bellisario sees through his own cardinal's errors. I just wish he'd realize that those errors are part and parcel of accepting Vatican II.

twoabsolutes said...

....cardinal's teaching is wrong,using your private judgment.

Thanks T. Hopefully, prayerfully MB will have eyes to see and ears to hear.

twoabsolutes said...

Matthew Bellisario said...

Once again you fail to understand Catholic teaching and the Magisterium. No need to continue to to expose your ignorance any further, pal.

No, T. His eyes and ears were shut.

Coram Deo said...

Actually, given the inclusive language used in Vatican II being referred to by TF one is left wondering what religion, or lack thereof, might be excluded from Romanist soteriology:

"But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place among these are the Moslems, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God Himself far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and every other gift (cf. Acts 17:25-28), and who as Savior wills that all men be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4). Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God, and moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience."

Sounds like a pretty broad path to me.

Of course such langage is a bald appeal to the sufficiency of natural revelation for salvation, which thing is vehemently denied, ironically enough, in the book of Romans, among other places.

By what authority does a lay Romanist resist the teaching authority of a Cardinal, and the official teaching of the church as declared in Vatican II?

In Christ,
CD

Matthew Bellisario said...

"One would think that submitting to your own cardinal would be simple, but it doesn't seem to be simple for you.

The problem is that you can see that the cardinal's teaching is wrong, using your private judgment."

It is not a matter of submitting to the Cardinal. Catholicism never denies the use of a person's own judgment. These are all false caricatures you and your buddies have created over the years concerning a religion you don't have eyes or ears to understand. Nice try, but your assessment of VCII is lacking any facts on Mormonism whatsoever. Trying to use VCII to address something it never addressed is equivalent to your poor application of Scripture. Nothing new here.

Turretinfan said...

"It is not a matter of submitting to the Cardinal."

See above.

"Catholicism never denies the use of a person's own judgment."

Where does it affirm it?

"These are all false caricatures you and your buddies have created over the years concerning a religion you don't have eyes or ears to understand."

You have a very high opinion of your own understanding. Whether or not your high opinion is justified is another matter. We've certainly studied your religion longer than you have, and even if you don't think we have, you better admit that Cardinal George has.

"Nice try, but your assessment of VCII is lacking any facts on Mormonism whatsoever."

I've pointed that out twice now:

Thursday, February 25, 2010 4:06:00 PM

Thursday, February 25, 2010 9:22:00 PM

"Trying to use VCII to address something it never addressed is equivalent to your poor application of Scripture."

Nostra Aetate addresses "non-Christian religions" generally.

"Nothing new here."

If you mean that you always think you're right, and anyone else (whether heretic or cardinal) is wrong if they disagree with you, ok ...

Matthew Bellisario said...

"We've certainly studied your religion longer than you have..."

That doesn't say much for you and your buddies then does it? Because you don't understand anything about it. That is apparent when we look at the material you post on the subject on this blog. Once again, nothing new.

gerry said...

"Nice try, but your assessment of VCII is lacking any facts on Mormonism whatsoever. Trying to use VCII to address something it never addressed is equivalent to your poor application of Scripture."(Matthew Bellisario)

The comparison between Vatican II's newest and contradictory proclamation on "faith and morals", is more than justified, in fact, it is unavoidable.

Both LDS and Islam believe the Lord Jesus Christ is a created being with Islam declaring Him a prophet, albeit, a lesser one.

And yet Rome now says, contrary to its historical "faith and morals" teachings, that these(specifically Muslims), who do not have faith in Jesus, can find their way into heaven.

All this, notwithstanding: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

How could it not apply to Mormons also?...hence, the very justifiable comparison.

Turretinfan said...

"That doesn't say much for you and your buddies then does it?"

I'm not surprised you say that, given your previous comments.

"Because you don't understand anything about it."

You claim that about everyone who disagrees with you, no matter how much more than you they know.

"That is apparent when we look at the material you post on the subject on this blog."

You mean the material critical of your religion? Should we be shocked that you don't agree with that material?

"Once again, nothing new."

That line itself (which has never added anything to your arguments) is getting old.

Constantine said...

Bishop Bellisario asks:

Where does the Vatican II documents address Mormonism and explain this common ground specifically? Source please.

Response:

Dogmatic Constitution on the Chruch, Lumen Gentium, SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON NOVEMBER 21, 1964 Chapter 2, para. 16.

“16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126); But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach the Gospel to every creature",(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.”

Perhaps it needs to be pointed out to your Eminence that the sentence, “Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.”, would include Mormons, no?

Or, here, “ Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.”

I know that subtle distinctions often escape the great Bellisario brain, but here it is Eminence.

Constantine said...

His Holiness, Bellisario the Brash:

Nice try, but your assessment of VCII is lacking any facts on Mormonism whatsoever. Trying to use VCII to address something it never addressed is equivalent to your poor application of Scripture. Nothing new here.

Response.

Unless “Mormonism” is written in BIG RED CRAYON, our Catholic Champ just doesn’t get it. What a wonderful testimony to the intellectual fortitude of Roman Catholicism!

John Bugay said...

Constantine -- your "big red crayon" method is applicable to a number of Catholic apologists. But they use it in different ways.

For example, I've been told (with a straight face) that neither Vatican I nor Leo XIII's "Satis Cognitum" explicitly denies the concept of "development" of the papacy, therefore, they must have permitted it.

Now, it wasn't written with a "big red crayon." But neither did they deny the existence of green men on mars. So they must have approved that, right?

Oh, wait, M.B. says "Mormons weren't explicitly mentioned in VII, therefore, we can't attribute it to them."

Wait a minute. Is there some kind of rule for this "big red crayon" teaching?

Or is it, "whatever suits our apologetic need to make a point at the moment"?

Anonymous said...

Maybe when all you Catholics and Prots are dead the Mormons will baptize somebody from you. :)

Anonymous said...

For you I mean.

Turretinfan said...

I'm not sure what that's supposed to contribute to the discussion.