"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Repudiation of Postmillenialism

I have learned from Taylor Marshal that the Catholic Church is dogmatically Amillenial. (Johnny Carson voice in my head) "I did not know that." So far in my conversion process, I have "crossed my fingers" and hoped for the best on a few issues that to me are just so crystal clear. One was the 6-day Creation without evolution. I was worried that evolution had been dogmatized or something. What would I do then? I don't know if I could stomach believing such a fairy tale as being true. But lucky for my fragile faith the dogma on Creation not only allows my favored interpretation, but is far more on my side of things. Another was the death penalty. I had thought it was Catholic dogma that the death penalty was wrong. I was surprised that this is not the case. I also thought it was dogma that priests cannot marry. Again not the case. I thought the Church sells indulgences. Not true anymore. I was worried that Catholic belief about Mary would not not find much biblical support. Turns out she is prominant in both testaments and from Genesis to Revelation when one reads the scriptures typologically. There is more but you get the idea. So, I repudiate Postmillenialism and will submit to the magisterium of the Church on this issue. My post on Orthodoxy included some talk about Postmillenialism, and this just goes to show that there is a lot I still need to learn about Catholicism. Now don't get me wrong, I want to remain as positive as I can about the end-times, and I will be considering myself a "positive-Amillenialist". By that I mean that I now believe in a future anti-christ (because that is Catholic dogma) but I still may (and will) hold to partial preterism, which says Nero was the antichrist. Although I must now say Nero was "a" anti-christ and is a type of the one to come. To be perfectly honest, I have had my fingers crossed hoping I could still be a partial-preterist. From what I have studied as far as eschaetology, I just cant see things any other way. So I was relieved that I will not have to conform my mind to pre-millenialism or some such "left-behind" nonsense. This has increased my faith in the truth of the scriptures and the ability of the Catholic Church to interpret them correctly and give definitive interpretations. The magisterium seems to "get it right" even in areas like eschaetology that are not as important as any number of other doctrines. Peace, David

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I love the Orthodox too much to be Orthodox (or How I learned to stop worrying and love the atomic bomb of Holy Orders)

There is a great article at Called to Communion about Orthodoxy. Here is an excerpt that resonated with me. "in Catholicism there is an authoritative, principled basis for a mutual respect of the successors of the Apostles that springs from this view of Holy Orders. In relegating the Bishop of Rome and those in communion with him to something lower, there is a sense in which Orthodoxy has lowered Herself at the same time, tragically." I love the Orthodox too much to be Orthodox (or How I learned to stop worrying and love the atomic bomb of Holy Orders)

Monday, August 9, 2010

True Freedom in Catholicism

Jeffrey Steele, a former Anglican Priest who recently came into the Catholic church, has a great post on his blog about the freedom available in Catholicism. Does freedom in Catholicism sounds like an oxymoron to you? Catholicism actually makes freedom from ones own whims and fancys possible. Find it here. Here is an excerpt:
"The question that is begged is, 'who has the right to make decisions?' As an Anglican, I saw how fraught this system was. The minority, no matter how large, had to submit to the majority. There was no guarantee that the majority would speak 'my' position of freedom. Decisions from others must be accepted so as not to jeopardize the entire system. Everything that happened in one decision-making body could be undone by another. What was liked by one body could be hated by another and hence revoked and a new majority formed. What is this? This is a human church not something that is divine. It is not true freedom but bondage to a political system that is forever changing with the majority. Opinions replace faith and truth and self-made formulas become dogma. For me, there is no freedom in that at all. This system only forced me to be in more bondage to my own opinions and self. As the Holy Father said when he was still in the CDF,
'A self-made church is reduced to the empirical domain and thus, precisely as a dream, comes to nothing.'
What is so great about the freedom given in the Catholic Church that I discovered and continue to discover afresh each day I spend in her is that she is not something that is self-made by the opinions of others but is a gift from God that has come down out of heaven and given to us all. As Pope Benedict said,
The reform that is needed at all times does not consist in constantly remodelling "our" Church according to our taste, or inventing her ourselves, but in ceaselessly clearing away our subsidiary constructions to let in the pure light that comes from above and that is also the dawning of pure freedom.
This is exactly what I have experienced as a Catholic, true freedom."
Well said Jeffrey.