Saturday 1st November 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

November 30, 2013 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, he talks about Christ appearing to many people after the Resurrection and “last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me” (15:8). What does he mean by being born “abnormally”? — P.R., Massachusetts.
A. Other translations make the meaning of this clearer when they have Paul saying that he was “one born out of due time” (Douay-Rheims) or that he was “one untimely born” (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). Paul means that because he was not with Jesus from the beginning, as were the Twelve, he is “the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God” (1 Cor. 15:9). He goes on to say in the next verse, however, that “by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God [that is] with me.”
Earlier in the same letter, Paul asserted his right to be called an apostle. “Am I not an apostle?” he asked. “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? Although I may not be an apostle for others, certainly I am for you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord” (9:1-2).

Q. Today, our seminary professor proclaimed as false the notion that the Old Testament made prophecies or predictions about Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection. Rather, she said, these seeming prophecies are due to a “retrospective rereading of the Old Testament.” She added of these “alleged” prophecies that “none of it holds any water, but it makes them happy at the parish level.” She also stated that we recognize the “same work of God in the Christ event” that is evident in the Old Testament. However, as the attached document shows, there are at least 351 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ! It is mathematically impossible that this is just a coincidence, or is just our projecting onto the Old Testament text what is not really there. What do you think of this? — Name and State Withheld.
A. We think your professor is wrong. Of course, some of the Old Testament prophecies did not become clear until they were fulfilled in Jesus, but to call false the notion that there were many prophecies (more than 300) in the Old Testament that pointed to the life, death, and Resurrection of our Lord is contrary to what the Church teaches. For example, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) says this (cf. nn. 15, 16):
“The principal purpose to which the plan of the Old Covenant was directed was to prepare for the coming both of Christ, the universal Redeemer, and of the messianic kingdom, to announce this coming by prophecy (cf. Luke 24:44; John 5:39; 1 Peter 1:10), and to indicate its meaning through various types (cf. 1 Cor. 10:11). . . . God, the inspirer and author of both testaments, wisely arranged that the New Testament be hidden in the Old and the Old be made manifest in the New. For though Christ established the New Covenant in His blood (cf. Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25), still the books of the Old Testament with all their parts, caught up into the proclamation of the gospel, acquire and show forth their full meaning in the New Testament (cf. Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:27; Romans 16:25-26; 2 Cor. 3:14-16) and in turn shed light on it and explain it.”
Speaking of questionable insights into the Bible, we got a flier the other day about a talk on the Gospel of Matthew that was to be given at the Paulist Center in Boston. The flier said that the speaker, Dr. Michael O’Laughlin, would demonstrate that “Matthew was not an eyewitness account, but was based on two documents from an earlier stage of reflection on the meaning of the Christ event.” The reason this flier caught our attention was that we had some disagreements with Dr. O’Laughlin 24 years ago (!) when he came to our parish to present a six-week series on “The New Testament for Beginners.”
The very first night in that series back in 1989, O’Laughlin informed the attendees that the evangelists were not eyewitnesses to the events in Jesus’ life, that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not write the four Gospels, and that St. Luke did not know St. Paul and was probably not a physician. Because it is difficult to challenge a speaker without all the facts at hand, we wrote to O’Laughlin later and quoted from Vatican II’s Dei Verbum, which said that the Gospels were the work of apostles and “apostolic men” and were “handed on to us in writing . . . according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John” (n. 18).
One footnote to that passage said that “apostolic men” referred to Mark and Luke. Another footnote cited the second-century writings of St. Irenaeus, who wrote in Against Heresies that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were indeed the authors of the Gospels. He also wrote that “Luke, also, the companion of Paul, set down in a book the Gospel preached by him.” Irenaeus would have learned this from his teacher St. Polycarp, who knew John, the apostle and author of the fourth Gospel.
Dr. O’Laughlin responded that while “the points you raise are valid ones,” we had misinterpreted him and misquoted Dei Verbum, which he said “carefully avoids saying that the apostles wrote the Gospels.” But paragraph seven of that document says that Jesus’ commission to preach the Gospel to all nations “was faithfully fulfilled by the apostles who, by their oral preaching, by example, and by ordinances, handed on what they had received from the lips of Christ, from living with Him, and from what He did, or what they had learned through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The commission was fulfilled, too, by those apostles and apostolic men who under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to writing.”
There were other places where we thought O’Laughlin was off base, but suffice it to say that he put more credence on what biblical scholars think than on what the Church teaches. He saw little hope in bridging “the gulf that stretches between my position as a scholar and your own as an apologist. We will most likely never agree on what it is permissible to say in a class. I, however, am quite willing to accept and honor your basic input, which in this case I believe boils down to a plea to put greater emphasis on the teachings of the Magisterium. I would ask you to afford me the same openness.”

Q. An evangelical friend and I have been visiting a man in the hospital who says that he is an atheist. When my friend and I talked about Baptism for the man, she said that it would have to be by immersion. I told her that pouring water on the man’s head would be sufficient, but she told me to “prove it from the Bible” that this manner of Baptism is legitimate. Is there anything in the Bible about immersion being the only way to baptize someone? — A.A., Massachusetts.
A. We are not aware of anything in the Bible stating that the only way to baptize someone is by immersion. Although Jesus was baptized by immersion in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (a Baptism that He did not need), He never talked about immersion when He said that one must be “born of water and Spirit,” i.e., baptized, in order to get to Heaven (cf. John 3:5), or when He said that the formula of Baptism is “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
Baptism by immersion was commonplace in the early Church and up until the 13th century, but it was not the only method of Baptism. The first-century document known as the Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, makes this clear when it says:
“In regard to Baptism — baptize thus: After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water; and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
So the pouring of water was acceptable in apostolic times. It is also implied in the Bible. For example, when the apostles baptized 3,000 persons in the city of Jerusalem on the first Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:41), how likely is it that all those converts were immersed in water?

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Cardinal says church under Pope Francis is a ‘rudderless ship’

VATICAN CITY (RNS) American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the feisty former archbishop of St. Louis who has emerged as the face of the opposition to Pope Francis’ reformist agenda, likened the Roman Catholic Church to “a ship without a rudder” in a…Continue Reading

Angola: Catholic Priest Refutes Criticism of Church Practices

Lubango — The Southern Huila province?s Lubango city emeritus archbishop, Zacarias Kamwenho, rejected as false the claim that Catholic Christians worship images. Speaking on Sunday in the Muxima Diocese, in Lubango, the archbishop explained that Catholic Christians worship God instead,…Continue Reading

Ave Maria School of Law Wins Its HHS Mandate Case in Federal Court

The Obama Administration has suffered another defeat in its quest to force Catholics and people of faith to pay for abortion-causing drugs, as required by the HHS Mandate. Today the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came down…Continue Reading

Catholic Educators Appeal to Obama Administration for Relief from HHS Mandate

Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule mandating insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing…Continue Reading

Toronto schools hosting ‘LGBTQ’ conference for students as young as 11

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is hosting three student conferences within the span of eight days for the purpose of LGBTQ activism.  The conferences, which have been organized in collaboration with Jer’s Vision, will take place on October 28,…Continue Reading

The Synod and the Media: Culpable Naïveté or Shrewd Calculation?

Upon becoming director of media relations for the American bishops in late 1969, I quickly made a crucial discovery about my new employers. With just a handful of exceptions, the bishops were painfully naïve about the news business, yet convinced…Continue Reading

Chaldean Catholic patriarch suspends 10 priests, including 1 from El Cajon

SAN DIEGO – The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has suspended 10 priests, including one from El Cajon. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako issued a decree a month ago, demanding the priests return to Iraq or be suspended. Wednesday…Continue Reading

Retired Pope Says Interreligious Dialogue No Substitute For Mission

VATICAN CITY – Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the true motivation…Continue Reading

California Forces Churches to Directly Fund Abortions, Churches Refuse to Comply

To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical…Continue Reading

Relax. God’s Still In Charge.

It’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families. Behind every arcane discussion of gradualism and natural law there are parents and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” Is “A Significant Improvement Over The Text Of The ‘Relatio Post Disceptationem'”

In a third short interview with CWR, conducted by e-mail late yesterday, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, offers his impression of the Relatio Synodi, comments on reports that the Synod has…Continue Reading

Synod Final Document Reaffirms Church Teaching

The final document of the Extraordinary Synod was released Saturday as the Synod Fathers voted to approve all 62 paragraphs, but with three paragraphs not receiving the normally required two-thirds majority vote. The three paragraphs, which in the past would…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Mass: Christian Life Is A Continuous Battle Against The Devil

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis described Christian life as a continuous battle being waged against Satan, the world and the passions of the flesh. His comments came during his homily at Mass celebrated on Thursday morning at the Santa Marta residence. He stressed that the devil exists and we must fight against him with the armour of truth. Pope Francis’s reflections…Continue Reading

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Writes Personal Ordinariate Of Our Lady Of Walsingham

ben1

(Vatican Radio) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has sent a message to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established for former Anglicans in England in 2011.  The message was on the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which was released on November 4th 2009. The Pope Emeritus was responding to a letter he received…Continue Reading

Pope At Audience: The Church Visible And Spiritual

pope650

(Vatican Radio)  “Often, we hear people say: the Church doesn’t do this …the Church doesn’t do that!’ ‘Tell me who is the Church? – ‘Well the Church is the priests, the bishops, the Pope …’ We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’”. This was the message at…Continue Reading

Pope At Angelus: Love Of God And Neighbour Are Inseparable

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father offered some reflections on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from Gospel…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Does Contraception Lead To Abortion?”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have seen that contraception fails frequently and so often leads to abortion.…Continue Reading

Pass-Fail Grading: For The Professors’ Benefit?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK S.M. writes to offer some observations about the proposal to introduce a “pass-fail” grading system for freshmen at Princeton University. The possibility of doing that was discussed in the October 9 edition of First Teachers. He sees the idea as a “form of grade inflation that is solely intended to accomplish…Continue Reading

Contemporary Culture Encapsulated In A Single Sentence

By DONALD DeMARCO It is remarkable how much a single sentence can reveal about the temper of a culture, even when its author is trying to be withholding. Jacalyn Duffin, a historian and practicing hematologist, is the author of History of Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2000). It is a 243-page tome that was produced…Continue Reading

Synod Document Of October 13, 2014

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of…Continue Reading

Elite Judges Think The Highest Judge Never Will End Their Misrule

By DEXTER DUGGAN Today people worry about globe-trotting terrorists, the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, and the way contagions can cross borders when the government insists borders must be open for everyone’s alleged benefit. Meanwhile, unaccountable U.S. judges continue their contagion of immorality, as if God’s judgment never will come, maybe in little germs,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding our recent column on advanced medical directives and particularly the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), A.M.V. of Florida writes to say that the American Life League provides individuals with a document called the “Loving Will,” which corresponds to Catholic teaching. She said that this document was “crucial with my mom’s situation” when she was admitted…Continue Reading

Temples Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Dedication Of St. John Lateran In Rome Readings: Ezek. 47:1-2, 8-9, 12 1 Cor. 3:9c-11, 16-17 John 2:13-22 Today we celebrate the feast of the dedication of a church building that many people have never heard of and also have no idea of its significance. In Rome, there are four major basilicas; the…Continue Reading

Message Of The Extraordinary Synod Of Bishops . . . We Ask You To Walk With Us Toward The Next Synod

(Editor’s Note: Below is the text of the concluding message of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, held October 5-19. This message was released on October 18. (See Fr. Kevin M. Cusick’s column in this issue, p. 2B, and the front page for reporting and commentary on the separate final document of the Extraordinary Synod.) + + +…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Redefining Marriage: Not About The Kids And The Picket Fence

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Following the Extraordinary Synod and the rollback on confusing language about same-sex attraction and the divorced and remarried in the final version of the Relatio Synodi document, the predictable reactions are coming in. Those who continue to hold Church teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman are labeled as “bigots,” while…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… True Tradition And False “Tradition”

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 A classical objection: What Catholics call the “Apostolic Tradition” is just a human tradition, which Jesus clearly condemned in the Gospel, when He said to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?…So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Wolfgang

By CAROLE BRESLIN October 31 has come to be yet another Christian holy day corrupted by our secular society. All Hallows Eve, Halloween, is now celebrated with emphasis on evil and horror. Corn mazes with frightening objects around the corner, haunted houses to terrify even the bravest of persons, glorification of vampires, and decorations of death and witches — these…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Mary Claret

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anthony Mary Claret has something in common with at least three other saints. Like St. Peter Claver, he was born in northeastern Spain — over 200 years later. Like St. Pio of Pietrelcina, when he heard Confessions, he frequently could read the souls of the penitents, asking them about a sin that they had not confessed.…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading