Monday, August 06, 2007

Poll-Release Monday #24

Here is this week's poll question:
  • What does "Deuteronomy" mean?
    • "Fifth book" because it is the fifth book of the Bible.
    • "The numbering" because it recounts appointments of chieftains over certain numbers of Israelites.
    • "Second law" because it reiterates the Mosaic law in Leviticus.
    • "End of wandering" because the Israelites are finally in the Promised Land.
I'm not gonna lie, I copped this from Catholic Exchange. I couldn't think of a poll for the life of me. Thinking of a different poll every week can be difficult sometimes. But it's all good. These Catholic trivia polls are great teaching tools. But, don't cheat and look up the answer before you vote! Just vote based on your best guess.

Here are the results from last week's poll:


It was fun watching the results pan out for this one. Hmm, who knows the CDF document and who doesn't? Let's look at each one of the options that you all voted for and the paragraphs from the document that pertain to each option. This will reveal which option is correct.

The answer that most of you chose ("The Church of Christ is the Catholic Church") is technically incorrect. The CDF doesn't say that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church. It says that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. Believe it or not, there is a difference. The document explains:
SECOND QUESTION
What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

RESPONSE
Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”
[5], that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.[6] “This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.[7]
In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church
[8], in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.
It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.
[9] Nevertheless, the word “subsists” can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church.[10]

THIRD QUESTION
Why was the expression “subsists in” adopted instead of the simple word “is”?

RESPONSE
The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are “numerous elements of sanctification and of truth” which are found outside her structure, but which “as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity”.
[11]
“It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church”
[12].

One person voted for the fourth option ("Truth is only found in the Catholic Church"). This is incorrect, based on the following paragraphs:
SECOND QUESTION: RESPONSE (para. 3)
It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.
[9]

THIRD QUESTION: RESPONSE (para. 1)
The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are “numerous elements of sanctification and of truth” which are found outside her structure, but which “as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity”.
[11]

One person also chose the fifth option ("The Second Vatican Council changed the Catholic doctrine on the Church") which is also incorrect, based on the following paragraphs:
FIRST QUESTION
Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

RESPONSE
The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.
This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council.
[1] Paul VI affirmed it[2] and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: “There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation”.[3] The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention.[4]

The final option ("Christian communities born out of the Reformation cannot be called 'Churches'") is the correct one. Technically speaking, only those bodies of Christians that have maintained apostolic succession and valid sacraments (particularly Holy Orders and the Eucharist) can be called "Churches." Since the ecclesial communities that grew out of the Reformation did not maintain these elements, they cannot be considered "Churches." The CDF explains:
FOURTH QUESTION
Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term “Church” in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

RESPONSE
The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. “Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds”
[13], they merit the title of “particular or local Churches”[14], and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches.[15]
“It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature”.
[16] However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches.[17]
On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history.
[18]

FIFTH QUESTION
Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of “Church” with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

RESPONSE
According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery
[19] cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense[20].

I hope this little exercize has helped you all to understand this document a little better. When the Church releases a document, it is important to READ IT!! Quite often, protestants don't understand these things. It is important for us to remain informed of what the Church has taught and is teaching so that we can allay confusion and share the Truths of our faith with others. As my footer declares, "He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it" (Titus 1:9). I love that verse :D

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

5 comments:

Ebeth said...

Nicholas,

It is so funny that your poll is about Deuteronomy. Last weekend as we were traveling 10 hours home from our vacation, we got bored and I decided to voice my recent desire to memorize the books of the Bible in order. My scientist husband was game and thought he could do it faster. ANyway, he stopped at one point during the drilling and asked "What does Deuteronomy mean? That stumped both of us and we dashed the process in pondering.

Love your blog!
Ebeth
Climbing for......Deuteronomy?

Hidden One said...

Hah, I got it right. :P

Then again, I have read the document...

Danny Donellan said...

I enjoy reading your blog regularly, especially the polls & so I've tagged you for a meme. I have no clue what Deuteronomy means, so took a guess at "end of wandering". But seeing as how I'm the only person who picked that option so far, I guess I'm probably wrong. Keep up the good work man, your blog is cool.

phatcatholic said...

Thanks danny!

Hidden One said...

My only clue is another word that begins the same way. But I'll say no more than that.

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