Socialism Fails Every Time – A 5-minute Primer

by Steve Ray on March 21, 2019

{ 0 comments }

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 2.59.30 PMOn Al @KrestaAfternoon radio show at 5 PM Eastern to discuss Poland and an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of John Paul II. shorturl.at/gjoJP  You can listen the interview live at Ave Maria Radio. I will be telling of our adventures smuggling Bibles, medicine and money into Poland in 1983 when it was still under the Soviet Union.

We have taken pilgrimages to Poland and people are overwhelmed with the beauty, history, Catholicity and friendliness of this country.

We invite you to listen to this entertaining and instructive interview and check out our very affordable pilgrimage to Poland this August (great time of year to go).

Al and Sally Kresta will be our special guests on the pilgrimage! Check it out at http://shorturl.at/gjoJP

{ 0 comments }

Freedom for Catholics to Interpret the Bible

by Steve Ray on March 20, 2019

The Freedom of the Catholic Biblical Exegete / Interpreter
DECEMBER 2, 2017 BY DAVE ARMSTRONG

Bible Passages that the Church has Definitively Interpreted

Contrary to the bogus claims of some anti-Catholic Protestant polemicists I have run across, Catholics are not at all obliged to read the New American Bible translation (nor the revised English Vulgate, such as the Ronald Knox translation). My own preferred translation is the Revised Standard Version (RSV), which has been approved in a Catholic edition with extremely few clarifications (I think it is only something like three passages that were deemed too biased to be acceptable to Catholics).

I read the whole Bible (twice) as a Protestant in the NASB and KJV. I enjoy Phillips, NEB, Williams, and Barclay for paraphrased versions, and the NKJV is pretty cool too (I like the old KJV style, but purged of archaisms). I edited my own “version” of the New Testament (technically, a “selection”), based on use of several existing translations (Victorian King James Bible).

Pulling out my (dusty) copy of the NAB with the revised 1986 NT (Nelson, 1987), with the imprimatur (which doesn’t, sadly, always mean that much, anymore), I cite the preliminary article, “The Purpose of the Bible” (p. xii):

When Pius XII issued his Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu in 1943, the door was opened for new Catholic translations that were not dependent on St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. Because of the great increase in the knowledge of the ancient biblical languages, official translations directly from them were encouraged . . . The Revised Standard Version is the least interpretative of all . . . The Jerusalem Bible and the New English Bible strive for even more contemporary language . . . The New American Bible . . . is the first American Catholic translation to have been based on the original languages, or on the earliest existing form of the text, rather than on the Vulgate.

Ven. Pope Pius XII, in the above-mentioned 1943 papal encyclical, writes:

Nor is it forbidden by the decree of the Council of Trent to make translations into the vulgar tongue, even directly from the original texts themselves . . .

Being thoroughly prepared by the knowledge of the ancient languages and by the aids afforded by the art of criticism, let the Catholic exegete undertake the task, of all those imposed on him the greatest, that, namely of discovering and expounding the genuine meaning of the Sacred Books. In the performance of this task let the interpreters bear in mind that their foremost and greatest endeavor should be to discern and define clearly that sense of the biblical words which is called literal. (sections 22, end, and 23, beginning)

Likewise, Vatican II, Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum):

Access to sacred Scripture ought to be wide open to the Christian faithful . . . the Church, with motherly concern, sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into various languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. If it should happen that . . . these translations are made in a joint effort with the separated brethren, they may be used by all Christians. (ch. 6, sec. 22)

So that takes care of use of different translations. Nor do Catholics have to interpret every verse of the Bible according to some dogmatic proclamation of the Church. This is another ridiculous (and highly annoying) myth that we hear all the time. Indeed, the orthodox, faithful Catholic must interpret doctrines he derives from Scripture in accordance with the Church and tradition, but so what?

Every Protestant does the same thing within their own denominational tradition. No five-point Calvinist can find a verse in the Bible which proves apostasy or falling away, or one that teaches God’s desire for universal, rather than limited atonement (and there are many such passages). He can’t deny total depravity in any text, or irresistible grace. We all have orthodox and dogmatic boundaries that we abide by. The Catholic exegete is bound by very little, and has virtually as much freedom of inquiry as the Protestant exegete. The online (1910) Catholic Encyclopedia article on “Biblical Exegesis” states:

(a) Defined Texts

The Catholic commentator is bound to adhere to the interpretation of texts which the Church has defined either expressly or implicitly. The number of these texts is small, so that the commentator can easily avoid any transgression of this principle.

Catholics are allowed to translate from the Greek, according to the latest textual and archaeological knowledge, to use different translations, and to even cooperate in ecumenical translation projects, such as the RSV and NEB. We can do all the stuff that Protestant biblical exegetes do. And I am allowed to freely interpret almost any text on its own, provided I don’t go against a dogma of the Church (I couldn’t, e.g., say that John 1:1 does not teach the deity and Godhood of Jesus).

Addendum:

[tract from Catholic Answers]

Scripture Passages Definitively Interpreted by the Church

Many people think the Church has an official “party line” about every sentence in the Bible. In fact, only a handful of passages have been definitively interpreted. The Church does interpret many passages in Scripture to guide her teaching. Other passages are used as the starting point and support of doctrine or moral teaching, but only these few have been “defined” in the strict sense of the word. Even in these few cases the Church is only defending traditional doctrine and morals.

It is important to realize that the parameters set by the definitions are all negative, that is, they point out what cannot be denied about the meaning of a passage but do not limit how much more the passage can be interpreted to say. In other words, the Church condemns denials of a specific interpretation of the text, without condemning meanings over and above but not contradictory to it.

All of the following passages were definitively interpreted by the Church at the Council of Trent, for each has to do with justification or the sacraments, issues that divided Catholics and Protestants.

1. John 3:5 “Unless a man is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

The Church condemned the denial that the words of Jesus mean that real (natural) water must be used for a valid baptism. At the time, the Anabaptists contended that water baptism was unnecessary because the mention of water was merely a metaphor. Other symbolic meanings in addition to the literal sense of real water can be found in the text, perhaps, but none are acceptable that deny the need for real water at baptism.

2. Luke 22:19 and
3. I Corinthians 11:24— “Taking the bread, he gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying ‘This is my body given for you: do this in remembrance of me.”

The Church condemned the interpretation of these passages that denied that Jesus, in commanding his apostles to “Do this in memory of me” after instituting the Eucharist, conferred priestly ordination on them and their successors enabling them to offer His body and blood. More could be understood by the command to do this in remembrance, but that much could not be denied or contradicted by other interpretations.

4. John 20:22-23— “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven; whose sins you do not forgive, they are not forgiven,” and
5. Matthew 18:18— “Whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Church condemned the denial that in these two passages Jesus conferred a power exclusively on the apostles authorizing them and their successors in the priestly office to forgive sins in God’s name, and condemned the proposal that everyone could forgive sins in this sense.

6. Romans 5:12— “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…”

The Church condemned the denial of original sin to which all mankind is subject and which baptism remits, citing this passage to be understood in that sense.

7. James 6:14— “Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.”

Definitively interpreting these passages, the Church condemned the denial that the sacrament of the anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ and promulgated by the apostles against those who deemed it a human invention of the later Church.

In addition, the decree of Vatican I about Christ establishing Peter as head of the Church — which cites Mt 16:16 and John 1:42 — is a defined doctrine, even though the phrasing about the use and interpretation of the scripture cited is more implicit than explicit, by comparison with the above Scripture passages.

{ 0 comments }

Fun Noah Jokes and a few others

March 19, 2019
Read the full article →

The Passion of Jesus: Via Dolorosa, Calvary, High Mass at the Tomb and more

March 18, 2019

We had to start very early this morning because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is full like sardines during the day. Smart like a fox! We walked the Via Dolorosa praying the Stations Of the Cross, climbed Mount Calvary and touched the cross where the blood dropped, took a tour of the church and […]

Read the full article →

Our Group after Mass at the Tomb!

March 18, 2019

Our group in Jerusalem on our last day after Mass at the Tomb!

Read the full article →

Temple Sizes Compared – bigger than a football field

March 18, 2019

Since we are at the Western Wall today, seeing all this with our own eyes, I thought I would share again this blog about the size of temples of Israel. The 1) Tabernacle in the wilderness, the 2) Temple of Solomon, 3) Herod’s Temple at the time of Christ and 4) Ezekiel’s Temple are compared. The […]

Read the full article →

Fun Day: Israel Museum, Jordan River, Jericho, Wumran, Dead Sea Float & Camel Rides!

March 17, 2019

This is the fun day. Mass at Notre Dame (homily here), museum, Jordan River… …culminating with camel rides, floating in the Dead Sea and dinner on the rooftop of Jerusalem . Enjoy!

Read the full article →

The World’s 50 Most Anti-Christian Countries

March 17, 2019

Is anyone surprised that the majority of these anti-Christian countries are Islamic? Click on map below for larger image. This was published by Ignatius Press’ Catholic World Report. Washington D.C., Jan 15, 2018 / 11:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- There are more than 215 million persecuted Christians worldwide according to the 2018 World Watch List, Open […]

Read the full article →

After 7 Years of Marriage my Lovely Daughter Explains

March 17, 2019

We met on an airplane. I knew I was going to marry him by the time we landed. I had seen him in the airport. He walked by and I stared in awe thinking he was the cutest guy I’d ever seen. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had no idea he was on […]

Read the full article →

Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Mass at Gethsemane, Holy Shroud Exhibit

March 16, 2019

We intended to start the day with the OUR FATHER in the place where Jesus taught the disciples to pray it. Pater Noster is a church on top of the Mount of Olives from where Jesus also ascended into heaven. However, due to conditions out of our control like huge traffic jams and trash in […]

Read the full article →

Various Types of Hand-raising for Worship in a “Hand-raising Church”

March 16, 2019

A two minute, very interesting and funny video. Any boy – is it true if you have ever been to a hand-raising church.

Read the full article →

Entering a Different World, Bethlehem! Join Us All Day for a Depth of History and Dancing

March 15, 2019

Today was difficult because the Jerusalem Marathon was taking place and all the streets are blocked off starting at 5:30 AM. To get out of Jerusalem we had to leave at 5 AM which added to the adventure. Join us as we go over the Mount of Olives where I give my talk on the […]

Read the full article →

A Fun and Instructive Bunch of Great Quotes

March 15, 2019

Posted at www.Dads.org, a newsletter from Steve Wood. This was from Newsletter May 2018, Vol. 24, No. 2. I recommend subscribing to his newsletter for Catholic men, fathers and citizens. Notable Quotations Editor’s note: In this letter, I’m sharing from my collection of quotations on a wide variety of subjects and authors. Attracting the Young […]

Read the full article →

From Galilee to Jerusalem: Mass at Capernaum, Boat Ride, St. Peter’s Fish and Visitation

March 14, 2019

Big transition today from Galilee to Jerusalem. We started the day with a wonderful Mass at St. Peters House in Capernaum where Jesus lived during his three years of ministry (homily here). I gave my talk “Defending the Eucharist.“ Then we saw the ancient boat that was discovered from 2000 years ago before getting on […]

Read the full article →

How Do You Enter a Church on a Pilgrimage – or any day?

March 14, 2019

On tours and pilgrimages, people often enter a church like it’s a museum or site-seeing destination. “Scratch that off the Bucket List!” Europe has basically lost it’s faith and churches are no longer viewed as sacred places to encounter the presence of God. So, it was refreshing to see this sign outside of a beautiful, historic and […]

Read the full article →