mardi 29 mai 2018

Pete Vere Understimates Fundamentalism of Fathers

New blog on the kid : Is "Vatican II" in Continuity with Trent and Vatican "I"? · Creation vs. Evolution : Agreeing with the Biblical World View · Dwight Longenecker Maligns Fundamentalists? · Pete Vere Understimates Fundamentalism of Fathers · Can Six Days or Eve from Side of Adam be a Metaphor?

I came across Dwight Longenecker's post through the blog "where Peter is", where Pete Vere is responding to Dwight:

May 27, 2018 Pete Vere

I'll highlight one - or two or three:

The key intellectual error in Orthodox fundamentalism lies in the presupposition that the Church Fathers agreed on all theological and ethical matters.

He is citing from Eastern Orthodox theologian George Demacopoulos: "Traditionalism without Fundamentalism."

Now, it is true the Fathers did not agree on all matters. Notably, Eastern Orthodox rejection of filioque (not just phrase in Creed, but doctrine, as erroneous or even heretical) cannot be backed by patristic consensus. Not just St Augustine (which they generally admit) and Western Fathers depending on him like Pope St Leo and St Hilary of Poitiers, but before them even St Athanasius. Not just Third Council of Toledo "which inserted" (rather inherited with insertion) filioque in Nicene Creed, but First Council of Toledo ending in AD 400, closer to St Martin than to St Augustine, and having some closeness also to Hosius who knew and part time backed St Athanasius.

But it is not true that Biblical inerrancy and "young age" (millennia, not myriennia or millions or billions of years) of created universe are among the disagreed points. Those who say they are are really thinking of "six literal days" - where "one single moment" is the other patristic option. But those who take it, Origen and St Augustine, explicitly reject Pagans considering earth as tens of thousands of years old.

Demacopoulous [sic] cites the example of Biblical inerrancy as a modern idea arising from fundamentalism:

The very notion of Biblical inerrancy is a modern idea. I know of no patristic or medieval author–and I have read quite a few of them–who believe that the Bible was without error, which is what inerrancy means. Nor do I know of any ancient or medieval author who thought that the Scriptures were literally dictated to their authors by the Holy Spirit. Those are modern assertions–not patristic, not Byzantine, not medieval.

So far he is bluffing. He has not cited a single father or medieval author who disbelieved in Biblical inerrancy.

Pour cause : there isn't any.

I'll cite illico one medieval author who did believe it, Bishop Tempier:

[Condemned proposition number 174/5th error on Holy Writ] Quod fabule et falsa sunt in lege christiana, sicut in aliis.

That there are madeup stories and errors (not lies, "falsa" simply means counterfactual) "in the Christian law" (that is, the Bible) "as in other" [laws] (that is, as in Talmudic or Qoranic or Polytheist religious rules).

But Tempier is reputed to have been in conflict with St Thomas Aquinas?

I Pars, Q 1 A 10:

Objection 3. Further, besides these senses, there is the parabolical, which is not one of these four. ... Reply to Objection 3. The parabolical sense is contained in the literal, for by words things are signified properly and figuratively. Nor is the figure itself, but that which is figured, the literal sense. When Scripture speaks of God's arm, the literal sense is not that God has such a member, but only what is signified by this member, namely operative power. Hence it is plain that nothing false can ever underlie the literal sense of Holy Writ.

Pete Vere and George Demacopoulos need to reread the last sentence:

Hence it is plain that nothing false can ever underlie the literal sense of Holy Writ.

So, far from disagreeing, St Thomas Aquinas agrees with his ordinary bishop Stephen Tempier (who survived him).

I am less well read in fathers than in Aquinas and Tempier, so, perhaps Vere or Demacopoulos will provide an example of a Father NOT believing Biblical inerrancy, disagreeing with these two and also with Providentissimus Deus by Pope Leo XIII?

Otherwise, the sentence is a rumour from Orthodox of the seventies, influenced by Communists who were obviously promoting an ideology involving Heliocentrism, Old Age and Evolution and which was therefore in variance with the real sentence of the Fathers. Why should I cite one father, if they can every time reply "not every single father is individually infallible"? It is for them to provide one disagreement between Fathers on those ones, before they can claim their new near consensus is patristically acceptable.

Pete Vere highlighted St Athanasius backing death penalty and said this cannot be held as full patristic consensus, basically since:

In traditional Catholic terms, both the sensus fidelium (sense of the Catholic faithful) and the College of Bishops in union with the Roman Pontiff as its head, now oppose capital punishment.

There is such a thing as a fake sensus fidelium : that in Alexandria when George usurped the episcopate of St Athanasius, that in Sweden or England after Reformation. So, is Pete Vere referring to a real or a faked one?

This is despite the near unanimous agreement for its abolition that has arisen in last 40 years among the Church’s popes, patriarchs, bishops, learned theologians, clergy, and–outside of the United States–laity.

Arisen? It is not a traditional and therefore at least hopefully apostolic and holopatristic agreement that arises. It is the kind of agreement where heresy sets in which does. Now, if Pete Vere had wanted patristic evidence against death penalty, how about St Martin not promoting death penalty of Priscillianists? Even refusing to sit down with bishops so promoting it, until the emperor forced him to? All the while saying Priscillianists were heretics.

A modern sensus fidelium, explicitly opposed to a fairly clear previous one is definitely suspect.

This brings me to item two (Demacopoulos):

The rejection of modernity and especially the rejection of those aspects of modern science that appear to contradict core religious beliefs.

Flee even the appearance of evil. If sth appears to contradict a Christian belief, including Biblical inerrancy, as long as this is not shown to be a pseudo-contradiction, flee it. Or fight it, if you are of that temperament and calling.

One item in Christianity is Christendom : Christian nations with Christian laws. It is modernity which brought back abortion from millennias dead paganism and from pagan backwaters. It is modernity which raised legal age of marriage which is one fulfilment of [1 Timothy 4:3]. It is modernity which has swamped schools in theories that do contradict Biblical inerrancy and therefore, despite the dishonesty of Demacopoulos, Fathers and Medievals (less sure of Medieval Byzantines, but as a Westerner I don't have them as my main rule ... and not my rule if after schism and in matters not validated later by Catholic Church). It is modernity which has forced Christian parents to send children to Antichristian teachers, in Russia after Revolution, in Spain under Azaña, in Mexico leading to Cristeros rising. And this contrary to parental rights according to the commandment "honour thy father and thy mother". If Christ and His Church work to make nations part of Christendom, disciples of Christ, modernity working to make nations cease being His disciples is Antichristian.

Obviously, it contradicts Catholic understanding of the soul to say "conscience is a byproduct of biochemical and electrical processes in the brain" (brain conditions conditioning conscience do not prove conscience is a byprodct of them). It contradicts Catholic understanding of afterlife to say "with the modern cosmology, we can no longer see heaven as a place up in the sky". It contradicts Catholic understanding of Original Sin to say Cro Magnon and Neanderthals dated to 50 000 BP and showing no clear trace (as usually thought and taught) of agriculture are pre-Adamites, while it contradicts the Catholic understanding of Biblical history to say they are Adamites, but the dates are correct. These "aspects of modern science" appear to contradict core religious beliefs because they actually do contradict them.

So, if you want to defend modernity and defend those aspects of modern science, as you call them, you have a load of argument to counter ... sth which is apparently such an ungrateful task that some prefer ignoring those arguments and jump to the conclusion this is "only" in appearance.

If modernity is evil and antichristian, a sensus fidelium saying it is not evil and compatible with Christianity is likely to be a false sensus fidelium.

But to show that Biblical inerrancy is indeed patristic, it is not sufficient to ask Demacopoulos or Vere to show one father denying it, they could charge me the same to show one affirming it, and there would be their word against mine, which has less institutional value (or none at all, unlike the canonist and the professor of historic theology). I'll take St Ambrose, picking from Exposition of the Christian Faith, Book I:

The Queen of the South, as we read in the Book of the Kings, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. 1 Kings 10:1 Likewise King Hiram sent to Solomon that he might prove him. 1 Kings 5:1 So also your sacred Majesty, following these examples of old time, has decreed to hear my confession of faith.

St Ambrose presumes that King Solomon and his exact relations to Hiram and Queen of the South are examplary facts of old times, not fictions of neverneverland. To some this is as outlandish as presuming not only King Arthur lived, but his relation to Guinevere, Lancelot and Mordred are as described in Morte d'Arthur. For my own part, I'd rather suppose Arthur lived in the time between Constantine and Justinian, in which adultery was punished by death penalty and his attitude contributed to changing it, to Justinian's code than deny what Jesus said of King Solomon and Queen of the South.

3. Your sacred Majesty, being about to go forth to war, requires of me a book, expounding the Faith, since your Majesty knows that victories are gained more by faith in the commander, than by valour in the soldiers. For Abraham led into battle three hundred and eighteen men, and brought home the spoils of countless foes; and having, by the power of that which was the sign of our Lord's Cross and Name, overcome the might of five kings and conquering hosts, he both avenged his neighbour and gained victory and the ransom of his brother's son. So also Joshua the Son of Nun, when he could not prevail against the enemy with the might of all his army, Joshua 6:6 overcame by sound of seven sacred trumpets, in the place where he saw and knew the Captain of the heavenly host. For victory, then, your Majesty makes ready, being Christ's loyal servant and defender of the Faith, which you would have me set forth in writing.

To Emperor Gratian, as to St Ambrose, it was evident that Abraham's 318 men, Joshua's taking of Jericho, and presumably the dream of Constantine before Ponte Milvio were not novels, like Lord of the Rings (even if that novel is worthy and similar in thematics).

6. Now this is the declaration of our Faith, that we say that God is One, neither dividing His Son from Him, as do the heathen, nor denying, with the Jews, that He was begotten of the Father before all worlds, and afterwards born of the Virgin; nor yet, like Sabellius, confounding the Father with the Word, and so maintaining that Father and Son are one and the same Person; nor again, as does Photinus, holding that the Son first came into existence in the Virgin's womb: nor believing, with Arius, in a number of diverse Powers, and so, like the benighted heathen, making out more than one God. For it is written: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God is one God."

7. For God and Lord is a name of majesty, a name of power, even as God Himself says: "The Lord is My name," Exodus 3:15 and as in another place the prophet declares: "The Lord Almighty is His name." God is He, therefore, and Lord, either because His rule is over all, or because He beholds all things, and is feared by all, without difference.

8. If, then, God is One, one is the name, one is the power, of the Trinity. Christ Himself, indeed, says: "Go, baptize the nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19 In the name, mark you, not in the names.

9. Moreover, Christ Himself says: "I and the Father are One." John 10:30 "One," said He, that there be no separation of power and nature; but again, " We are," that you may recognize Father and Son, forasmuch as the perfect Father is believed to have begotten the perfect Son, Matthew 5:48 and the Father and the Son are One, not by confusion of Person, but by unity of nature.

10. We say, then, that there is one God, not two or three Gods, this being the error into which the impious heresy of the Arians does run with its blasphemies. For it says that there are three Gods, in that it divides the Godhead of the Trinity; whereas the Lord, in saying, "Go, baptize the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," has shown that the Trinity is of one power. We confess Father, Son, and Spirit, understanding in a perfect Trinity both fullness of Divinity and unity of power.

11. "Every kingdom divided against itself shall quickly be overthrown," says the Lord. Now the kingdom of the Trinity is not divided. If, therefore, it is not divided, it is one; for that which is not one is divided. The Arians, however, would have the kingdom of the Trinity to be such as may easily be overthrown, by division against itself. But truly, seeing that it cannot be overthrown, it is plainly undivided. For no unity is divided or rent asunder, and therefore neither age nor corruption has any power over it.

At each point, St Ambrose is presuming all doctrinal content in the Biblical proof texts is supposed to be read with full factual and semantic value to each word. How can one presume inerrancy on doctrine if not of the text as such? A Modernist (or in Protestant contexts a Liberal Theologian) would say that the men who wrote the texts were using elevated language but not necessarily right in each detail of their use of it. How should we presume they were right on all heavenly things if we disbelieve them on a lot of earthly or (in the natural scientific sense) cosmic ones?

Vere quotes a text from Vatican II, which is ambiguous:

Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation.

Or, actually, it is not. Vere would say that only what is for the sake of salvation is without error, but in fact the premiss for that conclusion is that everything asserted by the hagiographers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit. Not just those parts which are directly relevant for each and everyone's salvation. Factual inerrancy on all other words that are authorial is also a conclusion from that premiss - unless one can say this inerrance is also for the salvation of at least some faithful, who would apostatise from the faith, openly or subtly, if not believing it. This sense of the previous words has obviously not been held by the post-Vatican II establishment, notably Benedict XVI / Antipope Emeritus Ratzinger, but it would have been the one apparent to many actually still Catholic, at least in doctrine, bishops who voted for it.

The post-Vatican II establishment, for about the same 40 years on which Vere cites the "sensus fidelium", has more and more unambiguously contradicted the unambiguous grammatical sense of: "everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit" which is in a text of Vatican II. That sentence obviously being inherited from real Catholicism.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Conon, Martyr under Aurelian
with his 12 year old

Apud Iconium, in Lycaonia, passio sanctorum Cononis, et filii annorum duodecim, qui, sub Aureliano Imperatore, craticulae, prunis suppositis et oleo superinfuso candentis, suspensionis in equuleo atque ignis poenam constanter passi, ad extremum, malleo ligneo manibus eorum contritis, spiritum emiserunt.

Citing mainly from these opponents:

May 27, 2018 Pete Vere

Orthodox Fundamentalism Date de publication 29/01/15 11:23

Also by Demacopoulos, accessible by transscript by Vere, an audio.

Citing in my support:

Index in stephani tempier condempnationes

(Own transscript of Stephen Tempier's syllabus, an English reorganised version from an appendix to the book of Piché:

La condamnation parisienne de 1277
David Piché

I Pars, Q I, A10
[Summa Theologica, St Thomas Aquinas]

Exposition of the Christian Faith (Ambrose) > Book I

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire