The Vatican just released a new document reiterating that protestant churches aren’t really churches because they don’t have apostolic succession, hence no sacraments. That’s boring–the Vatican II teaching there was pretty clear. What was interesting is that Papa Benedict felt the need to defend Vatican II against conservative catholics.
I hereby link Per Caritatem, the blog of Cynthia Nielsen, who has started a series discussing the relation of scripture and tradition in the patristic and medieval periods, drawing on the work of Heiko Oberman. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
In other news, I think this is the last catholicism-related post for a while. I need to get back to my academic work and catholic/protestant debates aren’t the primary focus of this blog.
Pardon the departure from scholastic thought per se. I post this because I’m in a catholic moral theology class whose professor has loud and long lamented the loss of biblical reflection in catholic moral theology. I have been attempting to argue to some catholic colleagues concerned for my conversion that this is not a coincidence. There’s a good reason that most catholics didn’t really read the Bible much less engage in serious exegesis before the 60’s–because the church didn’t want them to. This post is meant to corroborate some of those claims as well as to bring forward some historical texts for our consideration.
Evangelicals converting to Catholicism has become something of a trend. Many conservative episcopalians caught between a rock and a hard place have opted for a return to Rome. And there are some big names in evangelical theology who have gone over, including the (until just recently) President of the Evangelical Theological Society. Scot MacKnight has just written a piece in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) trying to figure out why the Roman road has grown more and more popular these days.
The Pontificator has written a series of posts on “Bad Reasons Not To Convert To Catholicism”. (The assumption is that you want to convert, but you have wrongheaded protestant baggage holding you back.) But of course that there are bad reasons-not-to-convert does not imply there are no good reasons-not-to-convert. However I am not going to be offering good reasons not to convert to Roman Catholicism: first, because I’m not positive there are any, though I have my suspicions; second, because I am not in the business of trying to dissuade people of their religious commitments for the sake of winning an argument on the internet. What I am going to do is to critique one very bad reason for turning Roman Catholic which is often used as a sort of bludgeon by triumphal converts against their former protestant co-religionists.