Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Innocent IV as Reported by Von Dollinger

Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger wrote the important work, "The Pope and the Council." One of his interesting observations regarding the mutation of the papacy is this:
Innocent Iv. supplemented the hierarchical organization by adding a link hitherto wanting to the papal chain, when he established the principle that every cleric must obey the Pope, even if he commands what is wrong, for no one can judge him. The only exception was if the command involved heresy or tended to the destruction of the whole Church.[fn1]

1. Comment, in Decretal. Francof. 1570, 555. Innocent wrote this commentary as Pope. He has openly told us what amount of Christian culture and knowledge, both for clergy and laity, suits the Papal system. It is enough, he says, for the laity to know that there is a God who rewards the good, and, for the rest, to believe implicitly what the Church believes. Bishops and pastors must distinctly know the articles of the Apostles' Creed; the other clergy need not know more than the laity, and also that the body of Christ is made in the sacrament of the altar.—Comment. in Decr. 2. Naturally, therefore, the laity were forbidden to read the Bible in their own tongue, and, if they conversed publicly or privately on matters of faith, incurred excommunication by a Bull of Alexander iv., and after a year became amenable to the Inquisition.—Sext. Dec. 5, 2.
(The Pope and the Council, pp. 161-62)

I should note that apparently the summary above provided by von Dollinger has been picked up by others due to some sort of typo as being a quotation from Innocent III. Unfortunately, this has lead to a variety of spurious "Innocent III" citations both on the Internet and in print.

This "hand your mind over to the church" attitude is not a defined dogma, per se. However, when you think about it, it is the logical conclusion of a sola ecclesia mindset: just place implicit faith in the church and go about your business. Know that God exists and trust in the church that if you do what they say, you will be saved.

That's not the line we hear from Rome today, and Rome is no longer excommunicating laymen who speak not just privately but publicly about theological issues (not to mention reading the Bible in their own tongue). Is that for better or for worse?

I think it's for the better, since thinking critically about theology and reading the Bible in one's own tongue is the way that a person can become free from the tyranny of Rome.

May God give abundant grace so that this freedom of mind will bear fruit in repentance and faith in Christ alone (rather than in Christ as supposedly mediated by the Roman church) for salvation.

-TurretinFan

27 comments:

David Kjos said...

A good friend of mine recently converted to papism. In subsequent discussions with him, "hand your mind over to the church" is exactly the message I got. This man was, and hopefully will remain, an avid student of Scripture. But now, whenever he encounters a difficulty with church dogma, his thought is, "Who am I to argue with the apostolic successor?"

John Bugay said...

The Symmachan forgeries reinterpreted some of the more embarrassing episodes in papal history, both real and imaginary. … How convincing these forged texts seemed in the early sixth century is unknown, but when rediscovered in later centuries, they were regarded as authentic records with unequivocal legal authority. … It is no coincidence that the first systematic works of papal history appear at the very time the Roman church’s past was being reinvented for polemical purposes. (Roger Collins, “Keepers of the Keys of Heaven,” pgs 80-82).

The papacy has a long history of fudging and forging to achieve its own agenda.

Turretinfan said...

That's very sad, David.
Thanks for the info, John!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"But now, whenever he encounters a difficulty with church dogma, his thought is, "Who am I to argue with the apostolic successor?"

John Bugay over at the Beggars All website addresses somewhat the issue of RC ecclesiology and apostolic succession.

natamllc said...

John

in fairness:

"The papacy has a long history of fudging and forging to achieve its own agenda."

This seems to me to be the natural problem for everyone of Adam's race, not just those who have risen up through the ranks of the RCC. The RCC just has made it a more nuanced expression in their religious piety while others, like me, can't hide it that well!

I can attest to my own sinful nature and will that I fudge and forge from time to time to achieve my own agenda. You need only ask my wife and sons or Pastor and Elders and the men of the Church I am a part of now over 36 years!

My wretched soul just is opposed to God's will. That is what is so amazing to me; that is, His abundant Grace and gift of Righteousness remain a faithful beacon to my soul day by day!

Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
Rom 7:23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

...


Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.

...


Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
Rom 8:21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.


Like TF quoted from Daniel in an article after this one, loosely paraphrased: "God does what He wants when He wants and "who" can stop Him?" :)

I am now contemplating things like this written to Timothy:

2Ti 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
2Ti 1:9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,


Now it is all about God and His purpose and grace given to those of us He has given the holy calling to before the ages began!

Now I see clearer than when I first began seeing, this:

1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

David Kjos said...

John Bugay over at the Beggars All website addresses somewhat the issue of RC ecclesiology and apostolic succession.

Thanks, but unless Mr. Bugay is in the Apostolic line, that wouldn't mean a thing to my friend. That's how far gone he is.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Sometimes the Kool-Aid drinkers can get away from the effects of the Kool-Aid.

And sometimes they can't because they don't want to.

Anyways, even though by some measure these Tiber-swimmers have gone "apostate", it doesn't necessarily mean that your friend won't see you again in Heaven.

Don't you have the same hope?

Turretinfan said...

There's no reason to expect you'll see them there, TU&D. One can hope, but as long as they remain apostate, there is not a reason to expect their salvation.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi TFan,

The ex-Reform guys over at Called to Communion who have swum the Tiber significantly annoy conservative Protestants. Just like Francis Beckwith's reversion back to Catholicism greatly annoyed conservative Protestants.

I don't know if I "expect" their salvation as much as I *hope* that they're still monergistically elected despite them detouring into Catholicism. And the hope still persists even if they never leave Catholicism.

A difference between "expect" and "hope".

David Meyer said...

"There's no reason to expect you'll see them there, TU&D. One can hope, but as long as they remain apostate, there is not a reason to expect their salvation."

Other than Christ shedding His precious blood for my salvation, yeah TFan, there is no reason. Fortunatly that is the reason that matters though.

Turretinfan said...

David,

You've turned your back on Christ and the church to follow Rome. You don't get to claim His blood.

At least, as it stands, when you come before the Lord, he will simply tell you "I never knew," despite your claims.

-TurretinFan

David Kjos said...

Truth Unites,

I have that wish, but I will not have that hope until I see him repent. It is just as Turretinfan said.

I have a living hope for myself because I am in Christ.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I have the same wish as well.

5 Solas.

David Meyer said...

Gee, TFan, I dont get to claim the Blood of Christ for my salvation?

Thank God you are not the one who decides that.

And you are a prophet too, you have seen me on the day of judgment and heard Christ's words to me that I am damned.

Tell me, what more should I add to my claim of Christ's Blood on that day so as to be on your side of the sheep/goat divide?

By the way, have you had any luck getting me excomunicated from GSPC? I havent recieved even the lightest hand slap. On the contrary, two other men have left since I did and are plunging into the Tiber. Perhaps the session should just contact Archbishop Nienstedt here in the Twin Cities and join in a group instead of one at a time, that would be easier. Anyhoo, God is great, and I appreciate your zeal TFan, but I sure am glad my salvation is dependent on the work of Christ and His shed Blood and not on your verdict.

Turretinfan said...

Yes. The only way to appropriate the blood of Christ is by faith in Christ alone for salvation.

No man can serve two masters.

I cannot prophecy your fate, but I can tell you that if you follow the anti-Christ you cannot expect Christ to welcome you. Repent now while you may find hope.

-TurretinFan

David Meyer said...

TFan,
Great advice in your last comment. I could not agree more. Repentance is much more integral a part of my spiritual life now that I have the sacrament of confession. As we aproach Lent, perhaps we can all take your advise and repent from our various idolatries.

David Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Turretinfan said...

My last comment contained a typo. "Prophecy" should be "prophesy."

As for your "sacrament" of confession, it just shows your willingness to seek to satisfy your sins through penance rather than trusting in the blood of Christ that you were trying to claim a few minutes ago.

As I said before, you can't serve two masters. You can't trust in Christ and Rome. You can't seek satisfaction for your sins in Christ's work plus your own deeds.

If you didn't regularly confess your sins to God when you were at GSPC, then shame on those elders for not properly instructing you - but I would find that rather surprising.

-TurretinFan

David Meyer said...

Of course I regularly confessed my sins as a Reformed believer. GSPC is big on that. And of course you set up a false choice between trusting in the blood of Christ and receiving absolution in the sacrament of confession. As if the absolution comes from something else than His Blood? What else is there? Your false dichotomy amounts to a straw man to even my 7 year old who just had her first confession.

Get this, I just now asked her "what happens to your sins in the sacrament of confession?" She said "they completely go away". I then aked "How?". Her exact words were "Jesus on the cross". We proceded to flesh it out more in subsequent conversation, but you get the idea, even a 7 year old Catholic girl (who was recently memorizing the Reformed childrens catechism) would wonder where you got the straw for that scarecrow you set up against this wonderful sacrament.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Meyer,

Your seven-year old may not understand Roman theology, but I do.

I can't say whether you understand what Penance is - but I'll tell you this (and you can verify for yourself): it's you performing actions. It's not the blood of Christ.

But feel free to tell Christ that a man can serve two masters - that his either/or mentality is false dichotomy, that you can serve Christ and Rome, and that you can trust in your own works to remit the punishment for your sins and not trust in Christ's atonement alone.

You'll have a chance soon enough (no one has lived past 150 years for over a thousand years).

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

DM:

"Get this, I just now asked her "what happens to your sins in the sacrament of confession?" She said "they completely go away". I then aked (sic) "How?". Her exact words were "Jesus on the cross". We proceded to flesh it out more in subsequent conversation, but you get the idea, even a 7 year old Catholic girl (who was recently memorizing the Reformed childrens catechism) would wonder where you got the straw for that scarecrow you set up against this wonderful sacrament."

Wow David.

After reading that I shuttered and trembled!

Also, after reading that, I remembered a conversation I was having, a discussion about hell, with an old minister friend of mine some years ago.

I told him a story I had recently heard about a man who got distracted from Truth by a wayward minister of a false religion.

The story goes that this young man finally faced judgment at an early age, dying a tragic death in his late twenties.

What the old minister told me after that struck me fiercely seeing I have two sons of my own.

He said to me after I described to him my own feelings about this young man spending eternity in hell, not separated from God's Holy Presence, but in it in His fiery Presence of eternal damnation, this:

He said simply he could tell me something far worse than me spending eternity in God's wrath.

Oh, I thought to myself, then out loud I said, I just don't believe there is anything far worse than spending eternity in God's Holy Wrath!

Hmmmm, he said, and then proceeded to say this: "This would be something far more horrifying than that. First, you die and then suffer eternal damnation, in hell. And then sometime later your sons join you there wondering in agony why they, following your life example in the faith ended up with you there?"

The sacraments are a celebration and remembrance of His death, burial and resurrection where He, by His own blood secured eternal redemption for His own.

The forgiveness of sins comes before any sacramental celebration!

The Scripture clearly makes the point, here:

Luk 23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
Luk 23:40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
Luk 23:41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."
Luk 23:42 And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Luk 23:43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."


Me thinks David Meyer, you have found a friend in TurretinFan? He is not afraid to risk your anger to speak the truth to you!

David Meyer said...

natamllc:
what is the point of your story? I could say the same to you and you would not be convinced you are on your way to hell, why do you think I will react differetly than you would. I get it, hell is bad.
The reason I became Catholic was to avoid teaching error to my children, to avoid that milstone of self popery you are yolked with. All your table pounding that I am going to hell is just laughable. You simply cant know that, and you should take the plank out of your eye before you start denying the blood of Christ has washed those who have trusted in Him. Also your exegesis of the theif on the cross to deny a sacrament is a non-sequitor and is poor.

I dont sweat a drip if a Jehovas witness takes "pity" on me and says I am going to hell, and I feel the same way about you guys here. You have nothing but your bad exegesis and opinions to back up your claims to the truth. I have zero reason to trust you.

Thanks though guys, I have learned a lot from you in this exchange. There are lots of Popes in this world, you are yours and the Church has hers. I think the choice is obvious, and your pontificating is not worth listening to. Your arogated authority is easily seen for the sham that it is.

Having said that, I pray Christ bless us all with His wisdom, and that He humble our proud hearts. Or perhaps mine is the only one that needs that. :-)

Peace to you,

David M.

David Meyer said...

P.S. nat:
out of curiosity, what do you do with the scriptures where Jesus gives authority to forvive sins? He says "whoevers sins YOU forgive..."

Obviously a man does not have that power, nobody denies that. Forgiveness comes from Christ.

I just wonder where Jesus delegation of forgiving sins shows up in Reformed theology. Has that been abrogated? Do you just forgive your own sins? Just skip the verse and move on to another topic?

Can you put yourself in the shoes of the other 2/3 of Christians in the world that see these verses in terms of a sacrament of confession? Or are they all just purposely misreading the scripture and on their way to hell?

natamllc said...

David,

thank you for your prompt reply.

The difference, it seems to me, is this.

You have left the Reformed view of the Royal Priesthood, as a Priest of that order Christ established to settle for a similar priesthood as the Mosaic Priesthood, a priesthood after the work of men.

Under that Mosaic priesthood, the writer of the book of Hebrews writes the affection is much different than the Royal Priesthood of Whom Christ is Chief.

The result of the one does not impute His Righteousness while the other, by His Faith, does impute His Righteousness.

In the Royal Priesthood that I am chosen of God to be a part of, I can give an absolution.

Joh 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Joh 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Joh 15:17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.



Of the religious order you now have submitted yourself to, you cannot. You embrace an order of sacraments that is not found anywhere as the RCC teaches it in Scripture.

Here is the message as the Apostle Paul, through the hand of another, had written, that I embrace:

Rom 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Rom 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.


The "life" imputed is His Life. I am as Righteous, Holy and Active as God the moment I was given His Faith to believe.

I wish to apologize to you David if my comments brought upon you any hurtful distress?

Turretinfan said...

David:

Don't trust us, trust the book of John. It will lead you to Christ, but it won't lead you to Rome.

For all your question-begging comments about percentages of Christians, you still know the reason you do that is because you cannot face what the Word of God itself says.

You know it says nothing of penance - yet you wish to follow a religion where penance is the norm.

You know it says nothing of prayers to Mary, yet you wish to follow a religion where prayers to Mary are the norm.

Your conscience bears witness against you, as does the Word. There is no escape for you in this life or the next, except to submit to God's Word now, while there is hope.

-TurretinFan

Constantine said...

I think David asks some very good questions and I like T'Fan's more pastoral answer.

As a former Roman Catholic, I, too, have wrestled with this and offer my findings in hope that David may find them useful.

1.God forgives sins in advance for His chosen people. Therefore, we read in Jeremiah 31 that at the inception of the New Covenant – a covenant unlike the old covenant which required penitential rituals – God will “forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jer. 31:34) So to speak about forgiving the sins of a child of the New Covenant is, it seems to me, to miss God's point. A condition of being a child of God in the new covenant is to have had your sins already forgiven. That meshes beautifully with Paul's letter to the Ephesians where he speaks of their salvation having already happened and with Peter's first letter wherein he tells us that “we have been given an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” Surely, if we had to have our sins forgiven then Paul and Peter are wrong.


2.So what of this language, as David augments it, “"whoevers [sic] sins YOU forgive..." George Eldon Ladd offers an interesting take on the John 20:23 version of this text: “This cannot be understood as the exercise of an arbitrary authority; it is the inevitable issue of witnessing to the Kingdom of God...As a matter of fact, the disciples had already exercised this authority of binding and loosing when they visited the cities of Israel, proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Wherever they and their message were accepted, peace rested upon that house; but wherever they and their message were rejected, the judgment of God was sealed to that house (Mt. 10:14, 15). They were indeed instruments of the Kingdom in effecting the forgiveness of sins...Their ministry had the actual result either of opening the door to the Kingdom to men and women or of shutting it to those who spurned their message.” (Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament. Eerdmans, 1974. p. 116)

So the answer to David's question is that Reformed Christians don't abrogate Christ's commands nor do we forgive our own sins. (In fact, we think that allowing a priest to “forgive sins” is actually abrogating God's purpose!) God forgives sins in advance for His covenant children and the proclamation of His word, which separates the sheep from the goats, effects that forgiveness today by revealing those whom God has predestined and those He has not.

Thanks for a thoughtful question, David.

Peace.

natamllc said...

Constantine, as always, it appears again and again, your senses have been cleaned!

So the answer to David's question is that Reformed Christians don't abrogate Christ's commands nor do we forgive our own sins. (In fact, we think that allowing a priest to “forgive sins” is actually abrogating God's purpose!) God forgives sins in advance for His covenant children and the proclamation of His word, which separates the sheep from the goats, effects that forgiveness today by revealing those whom God has predestined and those He has not.

I commend those words to David, if he has not already started pondering them?

Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.


...

2Ti 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
2Ti 1:9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
2Ti 1:10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
2Ti 1:11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
2Ti 1:12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.