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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Küng and Authority

Found this commentary on Prof. Hans Küng by Hans Urs von Balthasar. Perhaps it is not strange that this reminds me of Martin Luther, for whom a major practical, not doctrinal, difficulty was the authority of the Magisterium. I know that this was not the primary issue, but it certainly was a major one. Being Catholic, I've been called a brainwashed fool by many. How amusing to hear them tell me that I am an unquestioning automaton. But while I have posed questions against holy Mother Church, and will continue to do so as the occasion comes up, I do not dissent. There are many doctrines that I had found difficult to accept, but it has so far been the case that it was I who needed to change, not the doctrines. I would not want to end up like Aaron and his wife, who were trying to rise above their station, later painfully put in their place by the Highest Authority. Our leaders are flawed, but so am I. In fact, I am worse in my flaws. I would not want to be guilty of not putting enough trust in God, who assures the Church of the Spirit of Truth, and who has, from the patriarchs down through the apostles, shown that He never abandons his people to set apart a new one.

3 comments:

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

You can not help that when you take scripture seriously, you will bound to have questions for the church hierarchy to answer. For protestants, scripture validates the church (its practice and tradition) not the other way around. Scripture speaks to our conscience, it testifies of Jesus.John 5:39. Jesus himself has a high view of scripture.

Where shall we put our faith- to the promises of the Church or to the promises of Scripture?

ressourcement said...

Great link. ;)

-- Justin Nickelsen

Jeff Tan said...

In my own experience, the Church WITH Scripture speak to my conscience and TOGETHER are witnesses to Christ. Before I could read maturely, the Church read Scriptures for me. Whatever was not written in Scriptures explicitly, I needed the Church to explain to me. When I say "the Church" I don't mean individual Catholics since we are all prone to error and sinfulness. I mean here the official pronnouncements from the Magisterium.

I do put faith to the promises of the Magisterium because I believe that this Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the promises of Christ to preserve her, is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Without the Holy Spirit and without the promises of Christ, the Magisterium would be on shaky ground, but the promises of Christ are there. The Magisterium did not add the lines in Matthew 16 about the preservation of the Church, nor the words of St. Paul who calls the Church the pillar and foundation of the truth.

I equally put faith to the promises of Scripture, but I cannot pretend to completely and accurately understand all of them because I have not yet occasioned to study Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and the skills and holiness that one needs to truly understand Scriptures. I am not quite ready to elevate my abilities and the receptiveness of my heart to the point where I can exclude what was learned and preached by the cloud of witnesses for two millenia of saints who had come before me. I am not quite ready to ignore the experience of the Church for two millenia.

In other words, I trust Scriptures completely but I am not ready to pronnounce myself an infallible interpreter of Scriptures.