Friday, August 27, 2010

Doing the Callixtus Calypso with John Bugay: The Real Reason Why the Catholic Church calls It Annulment and Not Divorce.



O God, who seest how we fail by reason of our weakness,
have mercy, and through the examples of thy saints,
renew our love of thee.

                                 ~The Collect from the Feast of Pope St. Callixtus (October 14)

Mr. Bugay, a stalwart on the Beggars All team, has been taking time out of his busy day to read history books about the origins of the Catholic Church lately and has decided to share with all what he has learned from those books. The reason [rooted in history] why the Roman Catholic Church calls it annulment and not divorce is but one example of what Mr. Bugay thinks that he has learned from his reading. This time he chosen to focus his efforts on all things, what he believes to be the alleged historical antecedents of the Decree of Nullity aka an annulment. Frankly, it was refreshing to see that he has sought to engage this subject from a historical perspective particularly when on the rare occasions that the sons and daughters of Geneva do touch upon this particular subject they usually engage in the fallacious practice of pointing to the seemingly lax oversight of the juridical process used to obtain an annulment as “proof” of its falsity. While Mr. Bugay does that too, at least he he waited until the end of his smear piece to obligatorily raise the matter. I commend him for at least offering something in addition to his derision.

In order to address the contentions raised by Mr. Bugay, a survey of the entire article he wrote is necessary:

At some level, even the Roman Catholic Church feels it is beholden to its history. In this case, it is beholden to an early bishop of Rome, Callistus, who made a decision that would enable the Roman church to retain its appeal to women from wealthy families.

On the topic of marriage as a sacrament from the earliest times, Peter Lampe notes the origin of the practice by which the Roman church operated outside of civil rules for marriage: "...it is crystal clear in Hippolytus that from aristocratic circles more women than men found their way to Christianity. The disproportion was a social problem that Callistus during his term as Roman bishop (c. 217-22) attempted to solve. The problem undoubtedly had existed since the end of the second century, if not longer.
When women from the noble class were unmarried and in the heat of their youthful passion desired to marry and yet were unwilling to give up their class through a legal marriage, he [Callistus] allowed them to choose a partner, whether slave or free, and to consider him to be their husband without a legal marriage. From that time on the alleged believing women began to resort to contraceptive methods and to corset themselves in order to cause abortions, because, on account of their lineage and their enormous wealth, they did not wish to have a child from a slave or a commoner.
From Peter Lampe, "From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries," pg 119.
Mr. Bugay then offers this second quote from Peter Lampe:
A Christian woman [from a wealthy family] who wished to retain the title "clarissima" had two options. She could marry a pagan of the same social status and forego marriage wtih a socially inferior Christian. Or she could live in concubinage with a socially inferior Christian without being legally married. This second option received the blessings of Callistus in Rome. In this way he prevented two things: mixed marriages with pagans and the social decline of Christian women. Both were in the interests of the community. (121)
Utilizing the above quotations ripped out of context from the Rev. Lampe’s book, Mr. Bugay forms the following conclusions:

This is why Rome can say that it has mastery over marriage -- why, even though a couple may take vows, have any number of children, ask for and pay for an annulment, and voila, "the marriage never existed."

And that's why they can say they don't permit divorce. Because if they were to use the usual sense of the language, then they would have to admit that Callistus's end-run around the usual definition of what was a legal marriage was really an instance of permitting unmarried couples to live in sin. And of course, the pope is infallible. So they're stuck defending this set-up.
While I commend Mr. Bugay for his effort, I can not commend the product of his efforts.  There is so much that is wrong with Mr. Bugay’s argument, that is practically impossible to respond in piecemeal fashion. For starters, Mr. Bugay’s conclusory statement above is so sparse of actual argument it is difficult to determine from his paralogism whether it smacks of causality fallacy, non sequitur or ignoratio elenchi. However, it is not my intent to turn this article into a disquisition. Instead, I have chosen to address only two points. First, I would like to touch upon the propriety of citing an authority for a proposition that the authority was not actually writing about. Second, I wanted to address the underlying conclusion that but for the Church’s arbitrarily re-defining of marriage, there is no difference between divorce and an annulment.

Let us first address Mr. Bugay’s use of the From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries, Minneapolis: Fortress Press (2003), trans. Michael Steinhauser, written by the Reverend Peter Lampe, a German Lutheran theologian and professor. The chapter where Mr. Bugay pulled his quotes is found in Chapter 13 entitled “Social Stratification at the Time of Commodus.” A survey of the chapter reveals that the author was not addressing the issue how the Church defined marriage or how at the end of the second century and beginning of the third century the Church at Rome regulated the practice of obtaining a Decree of Nullity finding that a sacramental marriage had not occur. In truth and in fact, one would find after a review of the chapter that the Reverend Lampe does not address the “topic of marriage as a sacrament from the earliest times” in any way, shape or form contrary to Mr. Bugay’s intimation. In other words, the gratuitous statement Mr. Bugay makes in introducing Reverend Lampe’s work to us is entirely fraudulent.

One of the issues that Chapter 13 of Reverend Lampe’s book does address is the problem the growing Church in Rome faced with individuals of the senatorial class of Roman society converting to Christianity at the end of 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd centuries. Lampe notes in his book how the Church mainly drew believers from the lower strata of Roman society at its start but by the end of the second century that situation was changing. The appeal of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ as preached by the Church was beginning to resonate with the cream of Rome. So by the end of the second century, out of the 10,000-30,000 Christians living in Rome at the time (pg. 143), 40 or so members of that class had converted to the Christian faith by this time, two-thirds of such individuals were women. This disproportionate ratio of women to men in the noble classes apparently gave rise to a social problem which Pope Callixtus (or as referred to in Lampe’s book as “Callistus ... the Roman bishop”) sought to address as these women sought to find marital partners among their fellow Christians. Lampe then presents his readers a watered-down version of a quote from St. Hippolytus’ Philosophoumena to document the matter. Here is another, albeit more sanguinary, version of this same quote:

And the hearers of Callistus being delighted with his tenets, continue with him, thus mocking both themselves as well as many others, and crowds of these dupes stream together into his school. Wherefore also his pupils are multiplied, and they plume themselves upon the crowds (attending the school) for the sake of pleasures which Christ did not permit. But in contempt of Him, they place restraint on the commission of no sin, alleging that they pardon those who acquiesce (in Callistus' opinions). For even also he permitted females, if they were unwedded, and burned with passion at an age at all events unbecoming, or if they were not disposed to overturn their own dignity through a legal marriage, that they might have whomsoever they would choose as a bedfellow, whether a slave or free, and that a woman, though not legally married, might consider such a companion as a husband. Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church.
Of course, what both the Reverend Lampe and Mr. Bugay left out in both of their presentations is context. While scholars do know that St. Callixtus had written on a number of subjects, none of his writings have survived or at least to date have not been found. What we do know of him and his pontificate is mainly found in the writings of his detractors and from early martyrologies and biographies such as the Liber Pontificalis. At the time he wrote the above polemic, St. Hippolytus had vigorously opposed Callixtus’ election as pope and the majority of the Christian adherents in Rome who had elected him as “pope.” Hippolytus, the erudite and well-educated student of the great Irenaeus himself, and his followers did not accept the decision of the majority and had himself set up as bishop in opposition thereby becoming the first anti-pope in the history of the Church. Further it should be noted at this point of time, Hippolytus’ theology was very rigorist (and perhaps had even fell in with the Montanists like Tertullian) in outlook in contrast to the more compassionate policies of Callixtus who preached a gospel of forgiveness and repentness. Hippolytus took every opportunity to vigorously attack the character of Callixtus, an ex-slave himself, for embracing what Hippolytus perceived to be moral laxity. On one such matter for example, Hippolytus had labeled Callixtus as a follower of the heresies of Sabellius while Callixtus countered that Hippolytus was a ditheist which may have some basis in fact if Hippolytus was actually an adherent on Montanus’ doctrines at that time. Tertullian, an actual Montanist, had also challenged Callixtus for teaching that sinners could receive forgiveness of their sins through the sacrament of confession more than once after baptism. Neither Lampe nor Bugay share with us their opinion as to whether Callixtus’ teachings or those of Hippolytus were more correct. And it is suggestive that Hippolytus attacked Callixtus more out of wounded pride than on doctrine as history does not indicate to us whether Hippolytus ever actually anathemized Callixtus for holding the view he did.

It is also interesting to note that Reverend Lampe elsewhere in his book suggests to the reader that one must take into account Hippolytus’ polemic glosses against his opponents in examining his writings (pp. 27-28). Mr. Bugay apparently has chosen to ignore this warning because he is not interested in history; he is only interested in selectively mining the historical record so he may calumniate against Catholicism. But what is so detestable however about Mr. Bugay’s article is that he forms conclusions that the Church somehow has redefined marriage to be something that it isn’t and implies to the reader that Reverend Lampe has formed that conclusion as well when there is nothing in the Reverend Lampe’s book that indicates that this is the case at all. Reverend Lampe does not cite to Hippolytus’ polemic as the “origin of the practice by which the Roman church operated outside of civil rules for marriage.” as is represented by Mr. Bugay’s article. Rather, Lampe, rightly or wrongly, concludes on page 121 of his book:

That with Callistus’s decision Christianity declared itself for the first time unequivocally in favor of “equal rights for slaves outside the liturgy and and the arena,” is the unquestionable consequence of the decision. It can not be proved, however, that this was the primary motivation for Callistus’s action. Callistus wished to avoid mixed marriages [between pagans and Christians] and to prevent the social decline of aristocratic women from his community.
Stripping away the vituperative rhetoric from Hippolytus’s statement quoted above, what Hippolytus was railing against Callixtus for was his insistence that two Christians regardless of their legal status in Roman society could sacramentally marry even if the civil authorities did not recognize it as such. Callixtus re-asserted that it is the Church and the Scriptures, not the state, that decides what impediments prevent two consenting Christians from marrying and recognized that within the Church two parties could marry even if the civil authorities did not so recognize the union as a marriage.  Here, Callixtus determined that slavery was not an impediment preventing two Christians from marrying each other. In other words, Callixtus opposed a form of anti-miscegenation that was practiced in ancient Roman society, something one should think Mr. Bugay would find to be laudatory instead of an occasion for derision.

The second passage from Reverend Lampe’s book does not need to be similarly explained. In no possible stretch of the imagination could one infer from the quoted passage that Callixtus was re-defining sacramental marriage by then permitting Roman women (who had already married in the Church) to hold themselves out as legally as living in concubinage. Regardless of what the state held to be a marriage, the Church has the right to hold parties to the biblical standard that a valid marriage is indissoluble. Again, reading this particular passage from Lampe’s book does not suggest anything about the Church’s authority to grant a decree of nullity of a marriage. All Callixtus did was to uphold the biblical injunction imposed by Christ Himself that the marriage relationship between two Christians is indissoluble. Perhaps because neither Bugay nor Lampe as Protestants recognize marriage as a sacrament, it is beyond their comprehension.

Mr. Bugay writes:

“This is why Rome can say that it has mastery over marriage -- why, even though a couple may take vows, have any number of children, ask for and pay for an annulment, and voila, "the marriage never existed."

And that's why they can say they don't permit divorce. Because if they were to use the usual sense of the language, then they would have to admit that Callistus's end-run around the usual definition of what was a legal marriage was really an instance of permitting unmarried couples to live in sin. And of course, the pope is infallible. So they're stuck defending this set-up.
Ignoring Mr. Bugay’s blustery hyperbole here, the commentary left over constitutes a gross misrepresentation of the Church’s process of annulment, if not outright false witness. However, I do not intend to treat with that. Rather, I would urge the reader to review the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article VII §§ 1601-1666 and the Catholic Code of Canon Law §§ 1055-1165 which explain the process far better than I could.

What I will address here is Mr. Bugay’s assertion that an annulment is somehow an end-around the legal definition of marriage for such an assertion demonstrates a profound ignorance of what annulment is, what a divorce is and most importantly, what marriage is. I will endeavor to provide this corrective.

First, let us deal with some definitions. What is a contract? A contract is an agreement entered into between two or more competent parties in which something of value is offered and is accepted in exchange for the performance of a promise from which each party benefits. Legally (at least in Ohio), for a contract to exist, there must be mutual assent, an offer and acceptance of the offer, and consideration. See, Nilavar v. Osborne (1998), 127 Ohio App.3d. Under law, a contract is only valid if the necessary elements of an offer, acceptance, contractual capacity, consideration, a manifestation of mutual asset, legality of object and of consideration are present. Further, there must be a meeting of the minds as to the meaning of all of a contract's essential terms before a contract is formed. McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Haiman Co. L.P.A. v. First Union Management (1993), 87 Ohio App.3d 613. Thus, unless all of the terms of the contract are present and unless there is an agreement as to the meaning of those terms, there is no contract and the parties may annul the contract as being void ab initio.

What is marriage? Marriage, simply put, is a relationship borne out of contract. Within the Church, a man and a woman are free to enter into an agreement to get married, but once they do, God attaches certain consequences. As F.J. Sheed, the famous Catholic apologist of the 20th century, and an attorney, states:
[Marriage] is a relationship resulting from a contract. For when the relationship comes into being, the contract has done its work; it has produced a relationship of marriage, and the parties are now governed in their common life, not by the contract (which they made), but by the relationship (which God made in ratification of their contract).
Sheed, F.J., Nullity of Marriage. New York: Sheed and Ward (1959), pg. 4.
The consequence that God attaches to the marital relationship is that it is indissoluble. When Catholics get married sacramentally, the Holy Spirit embues the couple with a grace that permanently seals the marriage until death and gives the parties the grace to live out their vows. When the parties receive the sacrament of marriage, the "indelible" seal that is created can NEVER be broken, regardless of any decree from any human authority, including the Church or even the Pope himself. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1640 states:
Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God's fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.
Now before Mr .Bugay voices his protest here, let us look at what annulment of marriage actually is. In fine, an annulment is the process by which the Church after one or both of the parties to the marriage ask it to do so reviews the man-made contract to marry. Now it must be emphasized that God alone seals the marriage relationship and God alone can set down the conditions as to when that bond ceases. Once the relationship comes into being, the parties can not alter the conditions, the Church can not alter those conditions, and the state can not alter those conditions. However, the Church when it considers annulling a marriage, does not examine the God-made relationship. Rather it limits itself to the examination only of the contract to marry itself (man-made). The Church does not pretend that it has the right to terminate the marital relationship as does the state for when the state grants the parties a divorce, the state claims that it has the right to interfere and terminate the marital relationship which it acknowledges was validly entered into. The law of divorce merely provides a remedy for a breach of the marital relationship. In contrast, the law of nullity merely provides that the Church can determine whether the parties actually entered into a contract to marry and if the parties did not do so, the Church merely recognizes that fact by issuing a Decree of Nullity.

Again F. J. Sheed:
The difference between divorce and nullity is therefore about as wide as it is possible to conceive. Divorce claims to break up a marriage actually in being. Nullity means that the marriage never came into being; it is the discovery that the contract to marry did not exist. Marriage is not only a contract; but it results from a contract, and if there is no contract no relationship can result.

Id. at pg. 8.
At this point, I should like to make it known that while the law of divorce does not exist in every civilized society in the world, in every society known, the law of nullity does. The Church claims nothing more than this: that it has the right in the context of the sacrament of marriage to determine whether the elements of a contract to marry were validly fulfilled. Where the Church differs from the state is that it denies on the basis of the Scriptures that it, the parties, or even the state, have the right to put asunder the sacramental relationship created from two parties validly enter into a contract of marriage that has been ratified by God.

Now, Mr. Bugay might raise the issue of pauline privilege at 1 Cor. 7:10-15 because the Church is dissolving a real marriage and not opining that a marriage never existed. What St. Paul recognized is that a “natural” marriage, not a sacramental marriage, can be dissolved by the Church if the pagan partner leaves the marriage because the other partner converts. In contrast, Callixtus did not attempt to interfere with the marriage relationship; rather he merely confirmed that the Church could not interfere with the relationship when two Christians chose to marry even if the state frowned upon the relationship.

Simply put, Mr. Bugay’s claim that the Church claims a “mastery over marriage” is simply false. In truth, Protestants who claim that marriage is not a sacrament at all (which amounts to a denial that God created and ratifies the relationship through grace) and who permit two parties to marry after divorce (which denies the biblical injunction that marriage is indissoluble) claim a non-biblical mastery over marriage far more overreaching than anything that the Catholic Church does. Every time the various flavors of Protestantism allow homosexuals to marry each other in ceremonies mimicking a marriage ceremony, every time they allow  two divorced persons to marry, it is they, and not the Church, who ignore the usual definition of what constitute a legal marriage.

That said, one must wonder what Mr. Bugay thinks about the present day “civil rules of marriage” which are trending to allowing two men or two women to marry each other. Does not the Church have the right to stand against such definitions of marriage which are in opposition to the Scriptures as Callixtus did long ago or must we kowtow as some Protestant denominations already have to a re-definition of marriage that is in fact a perversion of the special covenant between two persons and God. If the United States Supreme Court were to consider the issue of “gay marriage” in the near future (a very real possibility) and were to recognize the right of homosexuals to marry thereby altering the “civil rules for marriage,” how could he argue against such without being labeled a hypocrite? Or in his zeal to attack all things Catholic as is his wont, did he even think through his argument? And what will Mr. Bugay say when the civil rules of marriage contradict Article 25 of the Westminster Confession of 1689? Will he cede the authority of his denomination over to the state and propose that homosexuals should now be allowed to marry withing the confines of the walls of the sanctuary of his particular church of the state where ever he lives were it to declare that homosexual marriages are now encompassed within the civil rules of marriage?

What Mr. Bugay’s argument really proves is that he does not recognize the difference between a sacramental marriage that occurs in the Church and a marriage that is sanctioned by civil authorities. He further demonstrates his ignorance of what marriage even is. The Church does not pretend to put asunder the God-made marital relationship, rather it professes the competence and the right to examine the underlying man-made contract to marry and determine whether there were any scriptural or other impediments to that marriage.

In dancing with Callixtus here, Mr. Bugay tripped over his own feet. Better luck next time.
God bless!

15 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

As always a great post Paul. Thanks for taking the time to write it. It is amazing how dishonest Bugay is in using these sources to support his delusional claims against the Church. There is virtually nothing he wont try to discredit the Church. Notice which Catholic "scholars" he uses to further his agenda. Few of them are orthodox, and the ones that are he takes out of context. Take care and may God bless and keep you.

By the way, have you read Russell Hittinger's book on the natural law called, The First Grace?

Anonymous said...

Paul, your answer to Bugay was excellent. I've had my suspicions for some time now that he was mishandling historical texts to score brownie points against Catholic teachings. Your research bore out my suspicions.

I got to disagree with you on Bugay being ignorant of what marriage is. He's a former Catholic, so if he's "ignorant", it's willfull ignorance. Scotju

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Matt, thank you for your kind words. I was particularly upset about how Mr. Bugay, a former Catholic, can seem to be so unaware about the doctrines he is attacking now. I also must take issue with someone who tries to give his argument more oomph by citing to sources that really do not say what they claim to say. I see this as much in legal fora as I do in apologetics circles. It is aggravating in either case.

I have not had the chance to read Hittinger's book. It sounds excellent though.

However, I am afraid it may be sometime before I will be able to read it. I just learned that I have been accepted into the aspirancy year for the diaconate formation program with my diocese and classes start next week.

Please keep my wife and I in your prayers.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Stephen (scotju),

I also appreciate your thoughts as well. As a frequent commentator on various apologetics blogs, I am sure you see the same sort of textual mishandling in your interactions as well.

As far as Mr. Bugay's ignorance, I have not figured out why he left the Church, so ignorance of doctrine is as good of a reason as any other. And in his favor, he does not come within the Dave Armstrong definition of anti-Catholic which is another reason I feel that ignorance of doctrinal matters at some level must have played a role in his decision to leave the Church.

God bless!

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer -- the words "entirely fraudulent" are very strong words.

Utilizing the above quotations ripped out of context from the Rev. Lampe’s book,

You fail to miss the little point that any time you take a quotation from a book, you necessarily remove it from its context.

Did you, by the way, fail to mention that a day or so later, I did provide both a full account of the Hippolytus quote, in its own context, as well as a full account (via link) to the larger context of the Hippolytus/Callistus issue. And how Joseph Ratzinger cites him as an authority on the ancient rite of baptism!

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/08/saint-hippolytus-antipope-on-pope.html

Your bravado here about my being "entirely fraudulent" is itself a form of your own taking my words out of context.

I wonder if your large and devoted gallery of followers will chastise you in a similar way for this.



Mr. Bugay’s conclusory statement above is so sparse of actual argument it is difficult to determine from his paralogism whether it smacks of causality fallacy, non sequitur or ignoratio elenchi.

You fail to recognize that "papal decisions" actually shape the landscape of Roman Catholicism. This was a foundational series of events in Roman teaching about Catholicism.

By the way, your comment about "sacramental marriage" is a complete anachronism, by about 1000 years. Did you warn your readers that you were exercising in anacrhonism? I didn't think so. But do they cheer you on in it anyway? How quaint!


By the way, I've also just posted an example of Cardinal Ratzinger having taken another German Critical Scholar out of context. Perhaps you will show some consistency in chastizing him for that.


http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/called-to-confusion.html

Much less him citing the hated Hippolytus!

There's much more that could be said. I understand Catholic marriage because I went through the classes! And I know that true marriage is far more than a contract. "The two become one flesh"!

I'll go now, because I've really spent far too much of my valuable time responding to your own shall we say, less-than-totally-forthcoming charges.

Cheers!

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer, I fear for your ability to continue to feed your family.

As far as Mr. Bugay's ignorance, I have not figured out why he left the Church, so ignorance of doctrine is as good of a reason as any other.

This is a poor, poor act of reasoning. If you do your lawyerin' this way, it seems certain to me that you can't be very effective at it.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Bugay writes, "You fail to miss the little point that any time you take a quotation from a book, you necessarily remove it from its context. "

What is he talking about? Is he saying that you cannot quote anything from any source and incorporate it in the same context it was used by the author, and then use it to explain a particular position on the same subject in your own writing? I see done all of the time when scholars quote Aquinas for example, when they are writing a book on one of his principles or ideas. It is possible to quote him and explain him correctly, and it is possible to butcher his principles or ideas. If it is impossible to quote things in context, then the human race should just give up writing and citing sources of other writers all together.


Bugay says, "I understand Catholic marriage because I went through the classes! And I know that true marriage is far more than a contract."

Wow, he went through the classes, now he is an expert. I guess we should all just take his word for it!

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Bugay. Thank you for your comments.

You wrote: "Paul Hoffer -- the words "entirely fraudulent" are very strong words."

I respond: it is not too strong when you represent that Rev. Lampe was commenting on "the origin of the practice by which the Roman church operated outside of civil rules for marriage" when such was not the case at all.

You wrote: You fail to miss the little point that any time you take a quotation from a book, you necessarily remove it from its context.

I respond: If you hold to that premise, then you do not how to cite authorities. Authorities should be cited for support only to supply facts of which you do not have personal knowledge or to corroborate it. You cited to Rev. Lampe to supply a fact that he did not actually supply. How does that help your case?

You wrote: Did you, by the way, fail to mention that a day or so later, I did provide both a full account of the Hippolytus quote, in its own context, as well as a full account (via link) to the larger context of the Hippolytus/Callistus issue. And how Joseph Ratzinger cites him as an authority on the ancient rite of baptism!

I respond: Arguments are generally self-contained and not a bunch of serial articles unless you note that is what you are going to do at the outset or notify others that you are going to add to it by nunc pro tunc. So why would I cite to another later statement you made which is not somehow incorporated into the previous argument?

You wrote: Your bravado here about my being "entirely fraudulent" is itself a form of your own taking my words out of context.

I respond: No, I am making a claim which I then provide documentation in support of. Your use of Lampe in this particular situation was fraudulent because you sought to get people to rely upon him as support for your claim when in truth his statements had nothing to do with your claim that Callixtus redefined marriage.

You wrote: I wonder if your large and devoted gallery of followers will chastise you in a similar way for this.

I respond: I hope not since I have laid out the facts in support of my argument.

You wrote: You fail to recognize that "papal decisions" actually shape the landscape of Roman Catholicism. This was a foundational series of events in Roman teaching about Catholicism.

I respond: I haven't failed to recognize anything of the sort. Rather, I showed how Callixtus' statement was foundational where you did not.

You wrote: By the way, your comment about "sacramental marriage" is a complete anachronism, by about 1000 years. Did you warn your readers that you were exercising in anacrhonism? I didn't think so. But do they cheer you on in it anyway? How quaint!

I respond: That is an interesting statement. Care to share how you came up with that one? I could show you statements from patristic sources as well as the scriptures that state otherwise.

You wrote: By the way, I've also just posted an example of Cardinal Ratzinger having taken another German Critical Scholar out of context. Perhaps you will show some consistency in chastizing him for that ...[m]uch less him citing the hated Hippolytus!

I respond: We are still on this argument. Perhaps I will take up your statements concerning Pope Benedict some other time after you get around to addressing my points.

You wrote: There's much more that could be said. I understand Catholic marriage because I went through the classes! And I know that true marriage is far more than a contract. "The two become one flesh"!

I respond: Yes marriage is far more than a contract as I pointed out in my own article. But the fact of the matter is that there is no marriage relationship if there is no contract first. If you disagree, provide an actual argument in lieu of using a Lutheran theologian who did not conlcude what you are claiming he conlcuded.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

Oops, I didn't see you made a second comment.

You wrote: Paul Hoffer, I fear for your ability to continue to feed your family.

I respond: I am humbled by your concern. Thank you! I

I wrote to Scotju: As far as Mr. Bugay's ignorance, I have not figured out why he left the Church, so ignorance of doctrine is as good of a reason as any other.

You respond: This is a poor, poor act of reasoning. If you do your lawyerin' this way, it seems certain to me that you can't be very effective at it.

I reply: My statement was not argumentation, it was an act of Christian charity. Feel free to reject the kindness if you wish.

BTW, how I do my lawyerin' is governed by a code of ethics different than the one I am bound to as an apologist.

Again, blessings to you and yours.

Blogahon said...

Paul.

Wait a minute. You actually read Peter Lampe and you are still Catholic?!?!? That is impossible! John Bugay predicted that Peter Lampe's work would topple the Catholic Church and has repeatedly said that no Catholic has interacted with Lampe and disagreed with him.*

But here you are...a Catholic who has read Lampe and you disagree with Lampe and even criticize him!

How dare you. Don't know what John Bugay knows? That Lampe proves that Catholicism is a charade.

Get with the program Paul!

/End Rant.

* Just today John Bugay claimed that no Catholic scholar has interacted with Lampe and disagreed with him over on David Waltz's blog.

John Bugay said...

For what it's worth, Blogahon, Paul Hoffer still has not interacted with Lampe's primary set of theses (Chapter 41).

Blogahon said...

John.

If he does and if he disagrees with Lampe will you recant your assertion that no Catholic scholar has interacted with Lampe and disagrees with him?

Or maybe you'll just say that Paul isn't a good enough scholar?

Maybe you should write a letter to the Vatican and ask them to 'interact' with Lampe. Maybe if you're lucky they'll read Lampe and immediately dismantle the Holy See and adopt the WCOF?

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Bugay, I can't keep up correcting everything you guys at Beggars All are writing!

As far as addressing Lampe's theses, I addressing only your misuse of Lampe's work claiming that he holds to the notion that the Catholic Church through Pope Callixtus claimed the right for the first time to redefine marriage how it wanted. I didn't know I was required to offer a critical review of Chapter 41 too! Very well then, I shall humor you and do so although early church history is my son's forte, not mine.

You wrote:

By the way, I've also just posted an example of Cardinal Ratzinger having taken another German Critical Scholar out of context. Perhaps you will show some consistency in chastizing him for that.

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/called-to-confusion.html

And here is my response to that which I posted on both your website and here:

Hi Mr. Bugay, I do not how you can say that Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger is being inconsistent citing Jeremias when the very next section in Lumen Gentium that you cite to starts off with the heading "On The People of God" and goes on to say this:

Since the kingdom of Christ is not of this world the Church or people of God in establishing that kingdom takes nothing away from the temporal welfare of any people. On the contrary it fosters and takes to itself, insofar as they are good, the ability, riches and customs in which the genius of each people expresses itself. Taking them to itself it purifies, strengthens, elevates and ennobles them. The Church in this is mindful that she must bring together the nations for that king to whom they were given as an inheritance, and to whose city they bring gifts and offerings. This characteristic of universality which adorns the people of God is a gift from the Lord Himself. By reason of it, the Catholic Church strives constantly and with due effect to bring all humanity and all its possessions back to its source In Christ, with Him as its head and united in His Spirit.

Now how exactly do you think that Jeremias' definition of ekklesia is different from the definition in Lumen Gentium or that which Pope Benedict uses?

Here are some helps for you in your researches:

Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal "The Ecclesiology of the Constitution Lumen Gentium", in Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion. Trans. Henry Taylor (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2005) pp. 123-152.

_______, "The Ecclesiology of Second Vatican Council" in Church, Ecumenism and Politics Trans. Robert Nowell, (New York, St Paul, 1988) p.3-28

In the latter book, you will find something along this lines:

"Christians can only be the people of God through inclusion in Christ, the son of God and the son of Abraham" (p. 19)

and

"One only remains faithful to the Council if one always takes and reflects on these two core terms of its ecclesiology together" (p. 19)."

You are certainly being consistent in failing to prove inconsistencies in what the Catholic Church teaches and holds.

BTW, the reason attorneys do not have senses of humor is that we had to turn them in when we got our license. It is sort of hard to argue against the defendant's foibles and follies if we are laughing at him at the same time. So you see, it has nothing to do with being Catholic.

Many blessings!

P.S. Blogahon, you got me blushing with all that scholarly talk! At least when it comes to marriage, the WCOF Chapter 24/25 (depending on which version you find) is pretty close to what Catholics think when it comes to marriage, so Mr. Bugay in this instance would not insist on that.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer -- surely you see at least the hyperbole in Blogahon's comments.

He is a person who, through exaggeration, has taken many a discussion off course.