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Questions regarding Catholic decision making

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Shane Roach, Mar 14, 2002.

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  1. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

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    That sounds familiar. I just know there's SOME organization that works like that..... Hmm.

    Ok I'll ask Wolesly. :)
     
  2. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

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    I can do that, roughly

    Any single male Catholic who decides he has a special calling can decide to enter into training for the priesthood. Training is typically a 2-4 year process. An temporary oath is sworn to obey the local Bishop by the students, and well as sometimes oaths involving the evangelical councils (poverty and chastity), and the student enters into a period of discernment. The student may bail if he decides it's not for him, and at the end the Bishop (or the school acting under his authority) may not accept the student into the priesthood. When the student enters the priesthood, he makes permament oaths to the Bishop.

    If a Bishop resigns, dies, is transfered, or if a new See (i.e. area of control) is created, the Pope selects a new Bishop for that area. There are also archbishops who oversee a number of bishops on Rome's behalf. I believe they make an oath of allegiance to Rome, but I'm not honestly sure.

    There are also a group of people known as Cardinals. These people are also chosen by the Pope. Many of them are Bishops or Archbishops, but some are priests as well. The Pope chooses people to become cardinals as well. Their main role is to select a new pope should the current pope die or resign.

    That's pretty much the diocesan heirarchy. Someone correct me where I'm wrong!
     
  3. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    +4
    Catholic
    That's pretty much it, although I do believe that most priests have a M. Divinity, which would require approximately 6 years of study. If you do as our diocese does, it is actually 7 years of preparation for the priesthood, as one year is taken in between minor seminary and major seminary for a pastoral study (you work in a parish under a pastor, learning how to minister to a parish's needs).

    The Cardinals are indeed bishops (or archbishops) themselves, in fact one of the Pope's titles is Bishop of Rome. However, I do believe that a man who isn't a cardinal can be elected as Pope, if that is what the spirit moves. More than likely, though, a cardinal is going to be elected & installed as Pope.
     
  4. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
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    Well shoot that's simpler than I thought. :) Thanks. So the Cardinals elect a Pope? I was pretty young when the present Pope came to be, and I remember something about watching for the smoke to change color or something from the buidling they were praying in. One thing's for sure, the Catholic Church knows how to put on a show! It was very impressive to me for some reason, the idea of a bunch of holy men praying about the next Pope and when they figured it out they toss something on the fire to change the smoke.

    *cough* Now someone is going to tell me I dreamed all that. Did I just make all that up??? I feel sure it happened, saw it on TV, but I was quite young.

    Anyhow, thanks again.
    Shane
     
  5. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    No, you've got that right!!

    The Cardinals take a paper vote, and the papers are burned in a stove that vents to where the public can see the smoke. If the smoke is one color, that means there was no final decision made. If it's another color, HOOORAY, we have a NEW POPE!

    I don't know if you recall when Pope Paul VI died (he was the one before Pope JohnPaul I). One thing that really touched my heart is that when his coffin was carried to St Peter's Cathedral in Rome, it was a plain, undecorated pine box.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  6. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    So how's the Magesterium formed?
     
  7. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    The Magesterium is not a "who", it's an "it". The Magesterium is the authority of Church to preserve and safeguard the Christian Faith which was delivered by Christ and the Apostles, to pass that Faith in its entirety down from generation to generation, and to teach that Faith completely free of error. It was formed by Christ, in Scriptures such as Matt 18:15-20 and Matt 28:18-20

    Any teaching or question that comes up has to be examined in the light of the Deposit of the Faith---that is, in the light of Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, and in the light of dogma---that is, in the light of the decisions of various councils of the Church and in Papal decrees. If it doesn't agree with these, it is rendered incorrect or erroneous. This is the authority (the Magesterium) that the Church uses to render these decisions.

    The Magesterium is sort of like the Constitution; it is something that is passed down to from generation to generation, being used by the people who hold the reins at the moment, then being handed on undefiled to the next successors. Many non-Catholics confuse the Magesterium with the Roman Curia, thinking that the people who actually run the governmental organs of the Catholic Church, are the actual Magesterium. Not so. the Magesterium is the collected teaching of the Church and the authority to interpret and issue that teaching, not the people who run the Vatican.
     
  8. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    Hey, Wols, thanks!

    I was one of those folks confusing the Magisterium with the Roman Curia!!

    So, this Magisterium: I suppose it's like all those fancy leather bound books with the red and black stripes you always see in the background of those law firm commercials, LOL? What I'm trying to say, we're not talking about just one book, but a library, right?


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  9. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    Yes, but it's also the actual non-physical authority of the Church to employ those leather-bound books. :)
     
  10. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    Wols:

    Got it.

    The Magisterium is the collection of "laws," though, IN WRITING, and the authority to apply and interpret them.

    See, the difficult concept for a lot of non-Catholics to grasp is this "Sacred Tradition" stuff. This Magisterium is the interpretation of the Sacred Tradition/Sacred Scripture, with the research backing the interpretation? Am I getting close here?

    Non-Catholic thinking typically runs along the lines of "Sacred Tradition" as something snagged out of thin air, to satisfy the whims of whoever is running the show. I guess, like a cop pulling you over because he doesn't like the color of car you're driving.

    But the Magisterium would be the Vehicle Code violation you committed in front of the cop, and that's why you got pulled over?

    LOL, am I getting close here, or should I just shut up?


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  11. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    Sooo, the Curia is apointed by the Pope too? Or by the Cardinals? You might want to point me to another book like you did on the whole rapture question...

    :)

    VOW, I think the magisterium is the word for the authority of the church, and also the word for the doctrine that teaches the authority of the church, is what he's getting at. Not a book or library or law or organization.

    I think...
     
  12. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    The prefects and secretariats in charge of the various offices within the Curia are appointed by the Pope.
    Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Almanac, published yearly by OSV, describes the Curia in detail. The 2002 edition can be ordered at http://www.osv.com.
    Give the man a cigar. ;)



    .
     
  13. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    I've sort of danced around this but now I want to see if I can get it clearer in my head. I've said a number of times that my view of the original church was 12 apostles. I see Peter as the leader for certain, but the for him as the dictator for the church and final authority seems difficult, to me. We have Paul as actually th most prolific writer for the New testament, and making many pronouncements regarding church discipline, and we have a t least one case of Peter being "rebuked" in the church, although I believe there's a case of Paul pulling back in his opinions too concerning Jews and continuing Jewish tradition among that community.

    Point is, there used to be some interplay at the top and more than one aposlte, but now there appears to be only one. Can you give me some sort of historical perspective of how we lost the other 12 apostolic seats and they all got centralized to just one Pope?
     
  14. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    It just popped into my head too, a lot of the schism in the church, perhaps one could argue all of it, is a result of national politics. Luther wanted a German Bible, the Catholic church said no, so he wrote one anyhow, and so forth and on and on. Certainly in cases of kings setting up churches to get out from under the authority of the Pope, that doesn't sound like a very spiritual reason for a schism, but then too, perhaps the Catholic church lost sight of the concept of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's, so to speak?

    A lot of things just swimming around ion my head. Thinking out loud. Anyhow.. Ok.
     
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Shane:

    Well, the BIGGEST politically-caused rift was when Henry VIII couldn't get his divorce. And thus was born the Anglican/Episcopal Church. In my wee widdle brain, that is the CRUMMIEST reason for a breakaway! Luther's original clash with Rome had some valid points, but Henry was thinking of his own selfish needs when he severed ties with Rome.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  16. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    The following website has a list of Scriptures outlining Peter's primary role; perhaps that might help.

    http://www.scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html
    You're referring to Galatians 2:11-14. The thing is, Paul was rebuking Peter over a matter of personal conduct, not a matter of doctrine, faith, or morals. Ergo, Peter's primacy didn't enter into the argument, since it had nothing to do with the administration of the Church. This has happened in other cases as well; St. Catherine of Siena publicly castigated Pope Gregory XI, and she wasn't even an Apostle---she was just a lowly nun.
    Maybe it might help to remember that Peter was the leader of the Apostles, and ergo was the leader of the churches founded by the various Apostles. Bishops are the successors to the Apostles, and the Pope is successor to Peter. The Pope is Bishop of Rome, and the bishops of other cities are led by him, just as the Apostles were led by Peter.
    Contrary to popular myth, the Church had no problem with vernacular Bibles, and the Church did not "keep the Bible strictly in Latin" so that the common people couldn't read it. There were dozens of vernacular Bibles prior to the Reformation. The problem the Church had with Luther's translation was not that it was in German, but that it was incomplete, lacking the Deuterocanonical books and sporting at least one instance of "tinkering" by Dr. Luther, with his insertion into Romans 3:28. The Church has always taken the role of preserving the Christian Scriptures in their original purity very seriously---and they disagreed with Luther's contention that he just simply do whatever he wanted to with them, since he had been supposedly blessed with a "new revelation".
     
  17. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    Hee hee :D I have to agree. Although on his defense I have had a friend point out that at first it was about needing an heir, which is important if your government happens to fall all to pieces every time a king dies without an heir. What he COULD have done though was simply set an example by drawing up a more extensive line of succession and proclaiming it, sort of like our Presidential succession in case both the president and Vice President die.

    I've never been impressed at all with ol Henry but among history buffs he seems to be actually fairly well liked as a leader and such. And you know, like you my view is largely Christo-centric so the schism in the church really overshadows any other good things he might have done, in my view.

    Historically, that's also my problem with Protestantism in general. I just feel there should have been an effort to change from the inside, perhaps a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the "schism", everyone insisting on still being Catholic. Then again the precedent for breaking off a hunk of the church was already set by the Orthodox vs Roman traditions, so who knows???

    Certainly not me.
     
  18. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Shane:

    And there, my Friend, you have summed up the total of the results of MY search for a church when I was in my investigative days. In my eyes, I could see an ocean of the different Protestant churches, all waving their hands in my direction, saying, "Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! *I* have the True Faith!"

    And in the back, with an aura of dignity, not waving a hand, just merely watching the performance by all the other little churches, was the Catholic Church. And you trace the lineage of ALL the Protestant churches (who are still waving their hands and shouting louder, "Pick me! *I* have the True Faith!"), and you find the Catholic Church.

    So then I went back to the Bible, and there it said: "You are Peter; and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  19. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

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    I've read these and as I have said before, it gives me an understanding of Peter as the leader, but not of being the sole respository of the Holy Spirit as it pertains to matters of doctrine, faith and morals. This matter in Galatians that you were able to give me, it looks a matter of doctrine to me, because of its implications as far as grace is concerned. If Paul hadn't been there to put a stop to it, someone else probably would, but the point is that Peter was well on his way to error, and Peter himself was not the tool that God used to correct that error. It is precisely its importance as a matter of doctrine that makes me skeptical of the idea that there is even a narrow definition of a realm in which the Pope could possibly be inerant. Being castigated in public is not the same as being proven wrong. Even Jesus was castigated in Public, but it just so happens He was right.

    I have a problem calling this "popular myth". It may be a popular lie spread by authorities, but it is taught everywhere from church to secular school. Hardly the type of thing one refers to as a "myth" in my experience. I'll have to look into it more deeply now, as you are the first person ever to imply it is a myth that I have ever talked to. I remember specifically that a big part of the reformation as it was taught me was the right of the people to read the Bible for themselves.

    As an aside, I have always understood that the reason Protestants don't accept the Deuterocanonical books is because at the time of Christ they had already been rejected by the Jews, and Christ put a stamp of approval on the Old Testament as it stood during His lifetime.

    Thanks. :)
     
  20. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Shane:

    Elsewhere in this forum, Wolseley posted a list of New Testment verses where Jesus gave paraphrased quotes from the deuterocanonicals. The business about those books "not being accepted by the Jews" is yet ANOTHER one of the instances where politics meddles in religion. The other argument is that the deuterocanonicals were not written in Hebrew, but again, Wolseley has shown evidence where "recent" discoveries have uncovered copies of these books in Hebrew.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
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