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My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99966
05/25/04 02:28 PM
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Sanctum Unum (“One Church”)

Many moons ago I has said to a couple of people that I would post my personal opinion of Sanctum Unum - once I was done studying it and its context - and let it simmer.

Below - is only my opinion - and I am not a theologian nor do I have any authority what so
ever.

-----

The entire Bull (letter) is not - infallible. The only infallible statement is the very last line (‘we define and pronounce‘) while the entire preceding portion is a ‘we believe and hold’ (fallable) thing and is used as general interpretation of pertinent history and gospel based allegory - with clear intent to set the stage for the concluding infallable pronouncement.

It is well known that the Bull (letter from office of the Pontiff) was issued in responce to the imminent possibility of a forced temporal division of the church in France. This then should be its major context.

The cause for the letter is King Phillip of France who is planning to cut French Catholic’s off from their Roman Bishop (which is also the Universal Pontiff ) by civil force and decree - by appropriating the Catholic Church within France to a French national Catholic church with the King as its supreme head.

The portion which states “that outside of her there is no salvation nor remission of sins,” has the meaning “There are no valid sacraments outside of proper apostolic church authority nor is there any valid Confession (‘remission of sins‘).”

To any member of the church at the peak of Christendom - the ‘remission of sin’ is only one thing - it is the sacrement of confession - the pre-requisite (conditioning of conscience) to all sacrements.

The early council statement akin to this would be “There is no salvation outside of the church” and Council use is clearly using “salvation” to specifically mean sacraments.

At the same time these same early Councils clearly affirmed and continued the traditional Old Testament view of the “the righteousness gentile” in that God can and does sanctify and justify people who are not members of the Church and do not have access to the sacraments. And so a meaning of “there is no sanctification except as a member of the church” in not warranted either in Councils nor in this Bull.

- - - - - - -
Early Council jargon and phrase….

“salvation” = the sacraments (mysteries) given to the church as means of its members to sanctification.

“remission of sins” = Confession - a preparation of conscience for all other sacraments.

Sanctification or justification = the process of being on the way to union with God.

“righteousness” = justification or sanctification - a union with God.

“outside the church” = members of the church who are currently in excommunication (not in community)

To the mind of the Councils - the sacrements (salvation) and sanctification (righteousness) joined (one thing) when the context is within the Church. But separated (two separate things) when the context is the rest of the world (non-members).

- - - - - -

Jesus himself pointed out the justification and sanctification of the good Samaritan (a non-member who did take compassion) as opposed to the legitimate member par-excellence (the temple priest) who passed on the other side of the road. And so there is justification and sanctification for non-members. Conversely - membership and sacraments are not a guarantee to a personal sanctification.

The church has always made good conscience a pre-requisite for the effectiveness of the reception of grace (sacrements).

Further, the paraphrased formula: “No salvation (sacrements) outside the church." when used in Councils applies to church members only. Those who, while being church members, have willfully and defiantly separated themselves from authentic apostolic Church authority are also sperated from valid sacrements.

The Pontifical letter continues it main and central theme that there can not be two separate, and both authentic, churches. The Church is one (Sanctum Unum)- and established by Christ through apostolic authority.

Hence the name of the letter Sanctum Unum ('One Church') has the meaning of = "One authentic Church - not two".


The letter then turns to an allegorical theme of two swords… two powers. A spiritual sword (the power of the gospels and church) and a temporal sword (allegorical for Kings, emperors, and civil governing). And that the Church is the greater (has authority over the temporal) and not the other way around. Temporal authorities should be pro-church (“for the [moral authority of the] church“). Temporal (civil) authority is subject to (subordinate and judged by) the higher moral authority of the Church.

In preparation for the infallible definition - the letter reminds that the Papacy has the authority to “bind on earth and it will be bound in heaven” that moral authority is from Christ himself - and temporal authority has no say about it.

The very last line contains the only infallible statement of the entire letter (“this we declare, say, define, and pronounce”) and the infallible pronouncement is essentially a re-statement of, and contemporary definition of: “what you shall bind on earth is bound in heaven”

Quote

Furthermore, that every human creature is subject to the Roman pontiff,—this we declare, say, define, and pronounce to be altogether necessary to salvation.
“Every human creature is subject to the Roman pontiff.”
(““what you shall bind on earth is bound in heaven”)

And is limited to the desposit of faith (divine revelation) and moral matters precedeing from that desposit (matters of conscience).

In summation… I would consider that this letter is not so much a ‘new’ definition of the infallibility of the Pope but is rather a use of that existing infallibility - to establish a more current and contextual (Phillip) re-assertion of the definition of itself as also being inseperable from the church.

“to be altogether necessary to salvation.” has a meaning of “to be absolutely indivisible to the church”. Without this essential ingredient - there is no church. If you replace the Pope with the King - what the king has is not the authentic church - it is a sham. No two ways about it.


Final summation - THE - infallible declaration!!! - In paraphrase -.

The spiritual and moral authority of the Roman Pontiff, over all humans, cannot be separated from the church nor replace by temporal powers.

(so...'take that!' You Phillip! you Phillip - you!!) An excellent public and pre-emptive strike for what Phillip was planning to do.


(these are my opinions only)
-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99967
06/01/04 03:49 PM
06/01/04 03:49 PM
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Dear Ray,

That was a great interpretation. I would, however, question whether the wording of an infallible declaration can be changed, as you have done in your scenario.

There seems to be a discrepancy between the infallible statement ad dictum and the interpretation you have proposed. The theme of the two notions are different. The theme of the infallible statement is a CONDITION for salvation, whereas your interpretation has no such connotation.

I think we should simply take the infallible statement of Unam Santam AS IS. The question, I think, lies not in a contextual interpretation - because regardless of context, the declaration is infallible - no two ways about it. The EC and EO realize this about the Bull. I think the way to rapprochement is to define the phrase "subject to" in the infallible statement.

What does it mean to be "subject to?" What is the EXTENT of this subjection? Does it refer to EVERY matter, or does it refer only to theological/moral matters? Under what conditions is this subjection valid or expected? It seems Vatican I was trying to answer this, but it still left several issues unresolved, issues VERY important to the Easterns - case in point, the matter of jurisdiction; how to define "immediate;" etc. The fact that we can all recognize that Vatican I did not address all the issues means that there is room for discussion, and thus HOPE. To paraphrase a paraphrase: Rome has spoken, but, fortunately, the case is NOT closed, because she did not speak completely!

Blessings,
Marduk

Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99968
06/02/04 11:35 PM
06/02/04 11:35 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by mardukm:
I would, however, question whether the wording of an infallible declaration can be changed, as you have done in your scenario.
Marduk
I do not have the orginal Latin - when I quoted the Bull I used and English translation that I found on the net - and I quited it as is. Where I suggested an explaination with context - I did paraphrase with quotes. A common method.

Thanks.
-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99969
06/02/04 11:50 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by mardukm:
I would, however, question whether the wording of an infallible declaration can be changed, as you have done in your scenario.
Marduk
I do not have the original Latin - when I quoted the Bull I used an English translation that I found on the net - and I quoted it as is. Where I suggested an explanation with context - I did paraphrase with quotes… a common method.

The meaning of the author as intended to convey to his directly intended reader - is primary. Any other meaning that anyone or any group may hold - is not the meaning and intent of the author.

There is no guarantee that we (the faithful) can read these infallible pronouncements and fully understand then without mistake.

As to - if the whole letter is infallible? - definitely not… only the pronouncement is, and of that only the intended meaning.

Cheers.
-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99970
06/03/04 12:15 AM
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Actually, I dont think that was the context in which the Catholic Church meant it.
I means precisely that "outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation!"

See the new encyclical "Domine Jesu" .
However that being said this must seen in the light of other teaching. Namely those who are not saved outside the church, are not saved because they have had the knowledge of the truth revealed to them and still remain obstinate in remaining outside the Church. Hence they cannot be saved period.

Those however who are in invincible ignorance of the the truth will be saved according to how they have responded to what they have received.

I hope that makes sense.

Stephanos I

PS Salvation however it occurs is mediated through Christ Church, even if those who receive it are outside the visible structure of the One True Church. I think someone mentioned this in one of the postings. Salvation comes through the Sacraments of the Church.

Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99971
06/03/04 09:04 AM
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Because it is you, Stephanos I, I will take your advise and read that - and be open to possible correction.

Cheers!
-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99972
06/03/04 09:34 AM
06/03/04 09:34 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Stephanos I:
See the new encyclical [b]"Domine Jesu" .
[/b]
That is funny - I can not find this encyclical at all... neither at the vatican site - nor ewtn - nor other Catholic sites.

Where is it?

-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99973
06/03/04 05:51 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Stephanos I:
Actually, I dont think that was the context in which the Catholic Church meant it.
I means precisely that [b]"outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation!"


[/b]
The word salvation did not become interchangeable with justification until the time of the Protestant reformation when the part of the sacraments was erased by those Protestant churches who rebelled against Rome and it was politically expedient to have it seem that the meaning of “"outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation!" meant that anyone who was not a member of the Catholic Church under the Pope - was dammed and could not be saved - and make it appear that the Catholic Church held this unfair and unreasonable ‘better than thou’ exclusivity. That is where this false interpretation came from.

Sanctification - the process which ends with justification

Justification - the state of having been justified - justice is accomplished.

Salvation - the act of salvage.

“Salvation“ - do not let our minds read “save-ation”. The sentence does not read "no one outside of the Catholic church will be saved."

A judge in a court room applies justice by prescribing that which must be done to repair an injustice. Justice is restored upon the fulfillment of the prescription.

Providence arranges trials and events for someone - and also supplies grace - our cooperation is needed. This repairs us - and forms us into sons of God. This is the process of sanctification (to-sanctify) and to make holy. Jesus calls it doing ‘the Will of the Father.’

Salvation - from the word - salvage. The tug boat goes out to sea and salvages a damaged vessel. The tug boat makes only enough repairs to keep the vessel afloat - it then tows it back to shore. The salvage boat - saves - the damaged vessel from being lost - but does not repair it. The act of salvage is to prevent loss. If we kept this in mind and then see how the church fathers used this term to indicate the sacraments - we would have a far better idea of what the sacraments are intended to do.

These terms, as the church uses them, are related - but they are not - the same - in meaning.

They are not interchangeable.

The early Councils of the Church were very well away of these terms, used them all and separately, and did not use them interchangeably.

"outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation!" if this had meant that there is no justification outside of membership in the Catholic Church - then they would have said “outside the Catholic Church there is no justification." or even perhaps “outside the Catholic Church there is no sanctification." As they demonstrate elsewhere in Council documents that they know the difference between the three terms - by using them differently - not interchangeable.

Shall we say that Moses was never sanctified or justified? No - we know he was - he appeared with Jesus in the Transformation - yet Moses was never a member of the Catholic Church nor every under a Pope of the Catholic church. Elijah? Able? - all damned to Hell because of a predestination without every having lived at the time of the Catholic Church??

No - no - justification and sanctification are not exclusive to the members of either the Catholic or Orthodox church - while church sacraments - are.

And Jesus’ own words that before his coming heaven was only attained through ‘violence’ certainly indicated that Jesus himself knew of people who attained heaven - before his coming - before the Catholic church was established and existed.

“He who does the Will of my Father are my ….” - my mother, my brother, etc… are my family.

“Therefore, do not become foolish, but understand what the Will of God is so that doing it you may receive the promise.” Heb 10:36

It never ceases to amaze me - how Protestant in interpretation of doctrine - the Catholic and Orthodox laity - and many of its bishops - have become.

On the day that the recognistion that the Will of God is what we call daily Providence - on the day that this doctrine was put on the shelf - was the day all became unhinged.

-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99974
06/03/04 09:06 PM
06/03/04 09:06 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by RayK:
Quote
Originally posted by Stephanos I:
[b] See the new encyclical [b]"Domine Jesu" .
[/b]
That is funny - I can not find this encyclical at all... neither at the vatican site - nor ewtn - nor other Catholic sites.

Where is it?

-ray [/b]
I believe Stephanos I was referring to this one:
Dominus Iesus - from the Vatican

Marcus, hoping for the time to sit down with all this and read it thoroughly.

Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99975
06/03/04 09:22 PM
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Quote
The word salvation did not become interchangeable with justification until the time of the Protestant reformation when the part of the sacraments was erased by those Protestant churches who rebelled against Rome and it was politically expedient to have it seem that the meaning of “"outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation!" meant that anyone who was not a member of the Catholic Church under the Pope - was dammed and could not be saved - and make it appear that the Catholic Church held this unfair and unreasonable ‘better than thou’ exclusivity. That is where this false interpretation came from.
WOW Ray! Thanks for this incredible insight! I think i have read everything available on the net about Unam Sanctam including several attempts to solve its 'problem'. Yours is the first interpretation that is satisfying to me. It is honest with the text, no convoluted reasoning, twisting of words etc... I am sending the link to this thread to several friends.

Jason B.

Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99976
06/04/04 06:21 AM
06/04/04 06:21 AM
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Originally posted by RomanRedneck:
I am sending the link to this thread to several friends.

Jason B.
OK.. well - just as long as they understand that I am not accusing a 'Protestant plot' for the misguided interpretation.

The misunderstanding arose from other factors (the evolution of language and shift of word use) but the misunderstanding of Sanctum Unum obviously became very useful against the ‘Papists’ to prove that Rome’s was self-serving and arrogant corruption of the gospels.

-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99977
06/04/04 07:02 AM
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DOMINUS IESUS

To quote the document...

Quote

With respect to the way in which the salvific grace of God — which is always given by means of Christ in the Spirit and has a mysterious relationship to the Church — comes to individual non-Christians, the Second Vatican Council limited itself to the statement that God bestows it “in ways known to himself”.83

(and)

To state the inseparable relationship between Christ and the kingdom is not to overlook the fact that the kingdom of God — even if considered in its historical phase — is not identified with the Church in her visible and social reality. In fact, “the action of Christ and the Spirit outside the Church's visible boundaries” must not be excluded.
I do not see any thing in DOMINUS IESUS that justifies “no salvation outside of the Catholic Church” to mean that God does not sanctify non-members of the Church or that only Catholics get to heaven.

In fact it reaffirms the Church’s continued teaching that non-members of the Church can and do become sanctified outside of the Church militant.

The action of Christ to justify individuals takes place within and without - the Church membership. God does bestow it “in ways known to himself” and the action of Christ to sanctify people “outside the visible boundaries” of the Church “must not be excluded“.

The key to understanding this is that the Church understands - herself. That is she has guaranteed knowledge of the sacraments as vehicles of grace. But God does not necessarily tell the Church about everything He does - nor exactly how he works outside of the church structure. The church is well equipped to judge herself - but she is not equipped to judge others.

Her mandate is to speak the gospels - and baptize who ever wishes to join etc… but as to passing judgments as to if anyone else will get into heaven or not - is not an authority the church has been given.

The church has some limited authority form Christ in speaking the gospel to the world - and with its own internals - but it does not take the place of the full authority of Christ nor Providence as He works in the rest of the world. The infallability of the church should not be confused with omnipotence.

I will readily admit that this stuff is very difficult to read - and that once you step outside of the core of the church (official documents) there is plenty of confusion, chaos, and conflicting information and interpretations.

If I were not a Catholic already - with years of study behind me - I should wonder why (!!) anyone would ever want to be one! It seems to me that to be the Pontiff is to be the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, most isolated man on the earth. Just like the 'boss' was. Why oh why - would anyone accept the office(!).


-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99978
06/04/04 02:29 PM
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Ray,
I repeat again "outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation".
Now there are ways in which this Doctrine of faith has been missinterpreted and used in a heritcal sense,such as in the Fenites of Boston case.

But the fact still remains, when you study the theology of the characteristics of the Church, that is, the Body of Christ motiff, and The "Vine and Branches" motif, it makes sense.

That is NOT to say that those who are outside the Visible Church are beyond God's grace, but that even their salvation is mediated through the Church.

Hope that clarifies it a little.
Stephanos I

As St. Augustine of Hippo said, "There are those who are outside the Chruch who are in the Church, and those in the Church who are outside it."
Only God knows those who will be saved.

Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99979
06/04/04 03:46 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Stephanos I:
The "Vine and Branches" motif, it makes sense.

Hope that clarifies it a little.
Stephanos I

It does not clarify it for me - but I think that it is that I am not understanding you well. It is my failure. I always assume that there is a spot of gold in your thoughts - it is up to me to find it.

An interesting thing - I was just invited to a week long seminar on the Letter to the Romans - which letter specifically deals with the three themes of salvation, justification, and sanctification - plus - the Body of Christ (in Paul‘s thoughts) - it was a personal invitation from a prominent Orthodox theologian. I shall be the only RC among 30 or so well respected Orthodox theologians and clergy.

While I am, at this point, very confident on most of my take on the subject - this week long seminar will give me the opportunity to see if what I have come to - stands up to and examination of Romans - as this theologian explains its context and meaning and I shall be able to ask pointed questions as to his understanding of certain things. My wife shall be free of me for one week! (perhaps the greater gift - is to her!).

I have given my 'take' and my current understanding on the subject of Sanctum Unum - I do not really wish to supplant anyone else’s - faith - on the subject. Just simply throw something out on the table for consideration.

As always, Stephanos, your comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, and more so because they are honest and thoughtful - and not simply an automatic head nod to my own posts. Let no one think that I think less of you because we do not always see eye to eye - rather let them know that I think more of you for your ability to think for yourself, offer me food for thought, and discuss things in civil ways.

-ray


-ray
Re: My take on Sanctum Unum (RayK) #99980
06/04/04 04:01 PM
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Dear in Christ Ray,

Your Quote: "I shall be the only RC among 30 or so well respected Orthodox theologians and clergy."

Take some aspirin!

I'm sure you and your good thoughts will be of much interest. Your understanding of God's providence seems to have placed you in an appropriate position. Keep us posted! You are quite respected by me for your consistant good will towards all men which is conveyed in much of your writing.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

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