Saturday, November 13, 2010

Innocent III vs. Benedict XVI -- Use Scripture as Your Standard Instead

"Here I wish to affirm once more that religion can never justify intolerance or war. We cannot kill in God's name!" (Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, September 30, 2010, Part 3)

Desiring with an ardent desire to liberate the Holy Land from the hands of the ungodly, we decree with the advice of prudent men who are fully familiar with the circumstances of the times, and with the approval of the council, that all who have taken the cross and have decided to cross the sea, hold themselves so prepared that they may, on June 1 of the year after next (1217), come together in the Kingdom of Sicily, some at Brundusium and others at Messana, where, God willing, we [the Pope, Innocent III] will be present personally to order and to bestow on the Christian army the divine and Apostolic blessing.
Holy Land Decrees of the Fourth Council of the Lateran (source for translation)

Everybody knows that popes only extremely rarely exercise their alleged power of infallibility. And, of course, any time a contradiction between popes is noted, it is simply alleged that one or the other or both of the popes is not exercising his infallibility.

But my point is a little different. My point is that papal teachings are not generally trustworthy, because they contradict one another. Innocent III justifies the crusades on religious grounds. Benedict XVI says, in effect, that Innocent III (and the fourth Lateran council in general) was wrong.

How can you know who is right? The answer is that you're going to have to exercise private judgment. You're going to have to look to a source that's more reliable than the Roman bishops. May I respectfully submit to you, dear reader, that the standard by which you should be judging the teachings of both Innocent III and Benedict XVI is Holy Scripture.

-TurretinFan

(This is obviously based on yesterday's blog post, but I've tried to make the point of this a little more clear.)

10 comments:

natamllc said...

Yes, TF, with respect, I agree!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"How can you know who is right? The answer is that you're going to have to exercise private judgment. You're going to have to look to a source that's more reliable than the Roman bishops. May I respectfully submit to you, dear reader, that the standard by which you should be judging the teachings of both Innocent III and Benedict XVI is Holy Scripture."

TFan, the solution for the devoted RC is to simply go with the whatever the current Pope/Magisterium says.

Current >> Past.

donsands said...

I find that many Catholics don't seem to take the infallibility of the pope very serious.

It's quite a loosey-goosey Catholic Church it seems to me.

Just live the best you can, and God is a nice guy, and he will most likely keep you. Though you may have some time in purgatory.

"..the standard by which you should be judging the teachings of both Innocent III and Benedict XVI is Holy Scripture."

Amen. The Lord has given us His Word, and man is to not only live by bread, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Anonymous said...

Of course by using scripture to test them, you would mean your own interpretation of scripture. With all the wacky individual interpretations of scripture, who's interpretation of scripture shall we consider?

And how will we test it? With another individual's interpretation?

I think the issue mentioned between the two popes is a good example. How do you solve the dilemma scripturally? Seems Christians have been on both sides of the camp here and each claiming scripture supports their position.

Turretinfan said...

Anonymous wrote: "Of course by using scripture to test them, you would mean your own interpretation of scripture."

No, I actually mean using Scripture.

Anonymous wrote: "With all the wacky individual interpretations of scripture, who's interpretation of scripture shall we consider?"

See above. Whether the person is Innocent III, Benedict XVI, or someone even more "wacky" the standard we apply is the same: Scripture.

"And how will we test it? With another individual's interpretation?"

No, with Scripture.

"I think the issue mentioned between the two popes is a good example. How do you solve the dilemma scripturally? Seems Christians have been on both sides of the camp here and each claiming scripture supports their position."

It might be hard to resolve it. But the way by which we resolve it is by studying the Scriptures.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Hi TF,

"No, I actually mean using Scripture."

How do you use scripture without using your interpretation of it? How do you read anything at all without having an interpretation of it?

Turretinfan said...

"How do you use scripture without using your interpretation of it? How do you read anything at all without having an interpretation of it?"

The thing by which we judge ("the standard") is Scripture. The thing being judged ("the object") is the teachings of the popes. In the process of judging the object, we must interpret both the object and the standard, but the standard is the standard - our interpretation is simply our understanding of the standard. I've tried to explain this in more detail in a new post (link to post).

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

TF,

I replied to your post.

jp

Fernando said...

Who was right? Luther or Calvin? Zwingli or Melanchthon? And who's right? "doctor" White or some scared anonymous person calling himself as "Turretinfan"? How can someone trust all of these persons? But please: where is in the text off Innocent III any claim that goes against what Benedict XVI says? Never the less I see that you persist in claiming that the Pope is infallible. Poor soul: do you really need to make false claims on what your opponents believe to be able to sustain your position? And by the way: do you agree with Benedict XVI? Does that make you a Catholic? Poor soul…

Turretinfan said...

Fernando the Brave:

You wrote: "Who was right? Luther or Calvin? Zwingli or Melanchthon? And who's right? "doctor" White or some scared anonymous person calling himself as "Turretinfan"? How can someone trust all of these persons?"

All of these "persons" would tell you the same thing, Fernando: trust Scripture, not us. Scripture is the same, even when Christians disagree. That's something that a lot of folks in your religion don't get!

You wrote: "But please: where is in the text off Innocent III any claim that goes against what Benedict XVI says?"

Innocent III was using religion to justify war. Benedict XVI says that religion can never justify war. It's not hard to see, Fernando.

You wrote: "Never the less I see that you persist in claiming that the Pope is infallible."

I don't insist that at all. Neither pope was infallible. They were both fallible and untrustworthy men.

You wrote: "Poor soul: do you really need to make false claims on what your opponents believe to be able to sustain your position?"

No, that sort of thing I leave to you and your co-religionists.

You wrote: "And by the way: do you agree with Benedict XVI? Does that make you a Catholic? Poor soul…"

a) No, of course I don't agree with Benedict XVI. He's plainly wrong.

b) I'm not Roman but I am catholic (because I hold the same faith as the apostles).

-TurretinFan