I've come to believe that a Protestant cannot truly understand why he is a Protestant instead of a Catholic, until he understands why (or whether) he disagrees with the Council of Trent. And he cannot understand why (or whether) he disagrees with the Council of Trent, until he understands the theological rationale behind the teaching of the Council of Trent. And he cannot understand the theological rationale behind the teaching of the Council of Trent until he understands the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Therefore, it follows that a Protestant cannot truly understand why he is a Protestant instead of a Catholic until he understands the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. With that in mind, and with an aim to help reconcile Protestants and Catholics in full communion, I have begun a series of posts titled "Aquinas and Trent" in which I set out to explain Sessions 5 and 6 of the Council of Trent in light of the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas on the subjects of sin, Christ's Passion, baptism, and justification. Part 3, in which I examine and explain St. Thomas' teaching on the corruption of human nature as an effect of sin is now posted here.
"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Aquinas and Trent: Part 2, is now posted. Here I talk about Aquinas' understanding of the essence of original sin, in preparation for understanding the theological rationale behind the Fifth Session of the Council of Trent.
Part 1 is available here.
Part 1 is available here.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
letter released today:
The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.
Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority.
Our discord with each other "calls into question the credibility of [our] talk of God." How true.
Brothers and sisters, how can we pursue unity and reconciliation? Where is the path toward full communion with each other? Our disunity is like an eclipse that darkens the light and love of Christ to the world. Come, let us now with all our effort and determination pursue full reconciliation in one body, with one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. The time is urgent.
"night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4)
"the love of the many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12)
UPDATE: I have updated this excerpt in accord with the official Vatican translation.