Friday, July 22, 2016
#FlashbackFriday: The Catholic Church Then and Now
This is a new feature you will see more of on my blog. As a collector of old Catholic books (100+ years old) I have quite a collection to read from.
These books clearly show how the Catholic Church used to be- how and what it taught in comparison to what we sadly see today after modernism entered and tipped the scales. So they have inspired me to start a "Then and Now" feature.
I will be sharing what I am reading in them and on the Internet while comparing what is currently being taught in our Church - more specifically the teachings and views that showed up in the 1960's and afterwards in our Church. There are some big differences in these teachings, and I admit as a convert who 100% believed the Church didn't change Her teachings, reading these old Catholic books (published by the Church mind you) and listening to today's clergy and reading what I see on the U.S. Bishops website...how can anyone think the Church hasn't changed what She used to teach compared to what She is currently teaching?
Please read these "Then and Now" quotes and tell me the Catholic Church's teaching hasn't changed on this topic. I'd love to hear comments from everyone, most especially clergy or religious.
Today’s focus is on Islam.
COUNCIL OF VIENNE (1311-1312)
. It is an insult to the holy name and a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens[followers of Islam] live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place, in the hearing of both Christians and Saracens and there make public declarations in his honour. There is a place, moreover, where once was buried a certain Saracen whom other Saracens venerate as a saint. A great number of Saracens flock there quite openly from far and near. This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful. These practices cannot be tolerated any further without displeasing the divine majesty. We therefore, with the sacred council's approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands. We enjoin on catholic princes, one and all, who hold sovereignty over the said Saracens and in whose territory these practices occur, and we lay on them a pressing obligation under the divine judgment that, as true Catholics and zealous for the Christian faith, they give consideration to the disgrace heaped on both them and other Christians. They are to remove this offence altogether from their territories and take care that their subjects remove it, so that they may thereby attain the reward of eternal happiness. They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet. They shall also forbid anyone in their dominions to attempt in future the said pilgrimage or in any way give countenance to it. Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness.
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Council of Basel 1431-45 A.D.
SESSION 19 - 7 September 1434
“They urge and daily stimulate us in a wonderful way to pursue this holy work, strongly and persistently affirming two things: that union is only possible in a universal synod in which both the western church and the eastern church meet, and that union will assuredly follow if matters proceed in that synod in the way that is agreed below. We were filled with joy and gladness when we heard this. For what happier and more glorious thing could ever happen to the catholic church than that so many eastern peoples, who seem to be about equal in number to those of our faith, should be joined with us in the unity of faith? What could be more useful and fruitful to the Christian people, since the beginning of the church, than for an inveterate and destructive schism to be completely eradicated? Moreover, we trust that with God's help another benefit will accrue to the Christian commonwealth; because from this union, once it is established, there is hope that very many from the abominable sect of Mahomet will be converted to the catholic faith. What, then, should not be attempted and done by Christ's faithful for so holy and salutary an objective? What Catholic is not in duty bound to risk not only the passing substance of this world but even his body and soul for such an advance of the Christian name and the orthodox faith?”
Fifth Lateran Council 1512-17 A.D.
SESSION 12 - 16 March 1517
We are suitably carrying out the duty of our office when we renew again that reform of the whole church and its affairs which we have accomplished with profit; when we plan to apply suitable remedies for the unchallenged observance of the reform and to make provision for cathedrals and metropolitan churches so that they may no longer be without their pastors; and when we supervise these remedies with ever-present attention and untiring efforts, by means of which we may be able to render the Lord's flock, which has been entrusted to our care, acceptable and submissive in the sight of the divine majesty. Our aim is also to crush the Turks and other infidels standing firm in the eastern and southern regions. They treat the way of true light and salvation with complete contempt and totally unyielding blindness; they attack the life-giving cross on which our Saviour willed to accept death so that by dying he might destroy death, and by the ineffable mystery of his most holy life he might restore life; and they make themselves hateful enemies of God and most bitter persecutors of the christian religion. Strengthened by defences not only spiritual but also temporal, we may be able, under God's guidance and favour, to oppose the bitter and frequent sallies by which, in wild rage, they move savagely amidst christian blood .
Encyclical of Pope Benedict XIV promulgated on August 1, 1754.
To Our Venerable Brothers the Archbishops and Bishops as well as Our Beloved Sons, the Parish Priests and Missionaries of the Province of Albania.
Venerable Brothers and Beloved Sons, We give you Greeting and Our Apostolic Blessing.
Forbidding Use of Mohammedan Names
The Provincial Council of your province of Albania, Venerable Brothers and Beloved Sons, was held in the year 1703 during the pontificate of Our predecessor Pope Clement XI. It decreed most solemnly in its third canon, among other matters, as you know, that Turkish or Mohammedan names should not be given either to children or adults in baptism. It also decreed that the faithful of Christ should not allow themselves to be called by Turkish or Mohammedan names which they had never received, for the purpose of either exemption or immunity from taxes, or the advantage of free trading, or avoiding penalties. We have confirmed and commanded the observance of this decree in Our encyclical letter Inter omnigenas, addressed to the kingdom of Serbia and its neighbouring regions. This encyclical letter, covering many subjects of religion and discipline, was published on the 2nd of February 1744 in the fourth year of Our pontificate. This prudent and saving statute was established by your predecessors with great wisdom and devotion as a shining example of your Catholic faith and sincere Christian piety; in our 1744 encyclical, We strictly ordered it to be imitated and fully observed by other churches. Just as adhering to it clearly results in the greater fame and reputation of your province and in greater benefits for securing the eternal salvation of souls, so if it should be neglected, it would greatly dishonor your province and openly endanger these souls.
In Our letter mentioned above, We designated that abuse as a cowardly concealment of the Christian profession, approaching infidelity. Since then, We have learned with great mental anguish that many people in that province continue to take Turkish or Mohammedan names despite the consideration of their eternal salvation. They do so not only in order to be immune and free from those taxes and burdens which have often been and continue to be imposed on the faithful of Christ, but also in order that neither they themselves nor their parents may be thought to have abandoned the Mohammedan sect, thereby avoiding the requisite penalties. For all this cannot take place without a pretense of the errors of Mohammed, even if the faith of Christ is adhered to in the heart, and this is at variance with Christian sincerity. It involves a lie in a most serious matter and includes a virtual denial of the Faith, most insulting to God and scandalous to their neighbors. It even gives the Turks themselves a suitable opportunity to rate all Christ's faithful as hypocrites and deceivers, and accordingly to persecute them justly and deservedly.
2. Our sorrow and anguish is further increased by the fact that some of you yourselves, venerable brothers, and of you also, beloved sons, parish priests and missionaries, take no measures against so vile and hateful a pretense. In fact, some of you even connive at it; by being impressed by empty motives to find excuses for sins, you do not hesitate to allow those who take common Turkish or Mohammedan names and desire to be addressed by them, to partake of the Sacraments with no pang of conscience at all, to the public offense of the obedient faithful.
3. We who are entrusted with the care of all the churches and the supreme administration of the sacred Apostolate; in this capacity, We are obliged to lead all Christians back to the way of salvation and to present them to God pure and sincere, walking in the spirit and in truth without stain. We have heard Our Venerable Brothers, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, who are general Inquisitors for evil heresy on this subject. In accordance with their advice, We first renew and confirm by Our Apostolic authority in this letter the praiseworthy canon of the council of your province of Albania, and We command that it be strictly observed. Also We extend the decrees of Our church by the same authority and uniformity to include your province; We equally strictly prohibit any of Christ's faithful from daring to take Turkish or Mohammedan names in order to be considered Mohammedans, in any case, under any pretext, or in any conceivable circumstances.
4. Furthermore, venerable brothers and beloved sons, We ask and urge you in the Lord to think seriously about your ministry and the strict account you will have to give to the Eternal Judge Jesus Christ, the Supreme Prince of Pastors, for the sheep entrusted to each one of you; to this end, We urge you to take personal care by your good works that your election will be assured. Since it would be very careless and negligent on your part not to, do not fail to patiently convince, implore, and exhort the faithful of Christ in your Province to lead a good life among the nations. Urge them in all affairs to conduct themselves so as to be an example of good works in order that those who oppose them may be chagrined since they have nothing evil to say of them, and they cannot accuse them of being evildoers who for the sake of base gain profess one thing with their lips while believing differently in their hearts. But if they do not accept your warnings and Our commands, they must be compelled by the rod to follow the norm of Apostolic discipline. The sanctions and penalties provided for by your Albanian council and by Our letter mentioned above must be fully applied in their case: that is, they must be declared unfit to receive the Sacraments in their lifetime, and if they die unrepentant, to benefit from prayers after death. Insofar as it is necessary, We renew and reapply these penalties; We enjoin you to ensure their due execution. This should not be hard for any one of you, venerable brothers and beloved sons, for none of the schismatics and heretics has been rash enough to take a Mohammedan name, and unless your justice abounds more than theirs, you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven.
5. Finally, gravely advise those who have converted from Mohammedanism or the children of such converts, if they lack confidence in their constancy in the Faith, fearing punishment by their rulers if they abandon their Turkish names, to emigrate secretly from those territories and come for refuge to Christian lands. There they shall in no way lack the help of God who gives food to all flesh, or the charity of the faithful, especially if their Bishops provide them with letters of recommendation. In the meantime, We lovingly grant you Our Apostolic Blessing, venerable brothers and beloved sons, and We desire each Venerable Brother Bishop to extend it in Our name to all the orthodox faithful of Christ in his own diocese.
Given at Rome in St. Mary Major on the first day of August, 1754, in the fourteenth year of Our Pontificate.
By Thomas Aquinas - On the Truth of the Catholic Faith
 On the other hand, those who founded sects committed to erroneous doctrines proceeded in a way that is opposite to this, The point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning, Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on the part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimonies of the Old and New Testaments by making them into fabrications of his own, as can be. seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly. [Book One]
Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 16, November 21, 1964
“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”
Paul VI, address to the Islamic communities of Uganda, August 1, 1969
“In our prayers, we always remember the peoples of Africa. The common belief in the Almighty professed by millions calls down upon this continent the graces of his Providence and love, most of all, peace and unity among all its sons. We feel sure that as representatives of Islam, you join in our prayers to the Almighty, that he may grant all African believers the desire for pardon and reconciliation so often commended in the Gospels and in the Qur’an.
“Our pilgrimage to these holy places is not for purposes of prestige or power. It is a humble and ardent prayer for peace, through the intercession of the glorious protectors of Africa, who gave up their lives for love and for their belief. In recall the Catholic and Anglican Martyrs, We gladly recall also those confessors of the Muslim faith who were the first to suffer death, in the year 1848, for refusing to transgress the precepts of their religion.”
John Paul II, address to a symposium on “Holiness in Christianity and in Islam,” Rome, May 9, 1985
“All true holiness comes from God, who is called ‘The Holy One’ in the sacred books of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Your holy Qur’an calls God ‘Al-Quddus,’ as in the verse: ‘He is God, besides whom there is no other, the Sovereign, the Holy, the (source of) Peace’ (Qur’an 59, 23). The prophet Hosea links God’s holiness with his forgiving love for mankind, a love which surpasses our ability to comprehend: ‘I am God, not man; I am the Holy One in your midst and have no wish to destroy’ (Ho 11:9). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his disciples that holiness consists in assuming, in our human way, the qualities of God’s own holiness which he has revealed to mankind: ‘Be holy, even as your heavenly Father is holy’ (Mt 5:48).
“Thus the Qur’an calls you to uprightness (al-salah), to conscientious devotion (al-taqwa), to goodness (al-husn), and to virtue (al-birr), which is described as believing in God, giving one’s wealth to the needy, freeing captives, being constant in prayer, keeping one’s word, and being patient in times of suffering, hardship and violence (Qur’an 2:177). Similarly, St. Paul stresses the love we must show toward all, and the duty to lead a blameless life in the sight of God: ‘May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints’ (1 Th 3:12-13).”
Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, 2013
252. Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”. The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need.
253. In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.
Has the Catholic Church changed Her teaching on Islam? What happened?
Which do we believe? What was taught then for centuries, or has been taught since “the spirit of Vatican II” was spread?
You tell me if you think the Church has changed it’s teachings. Please sound off in the comments or emails.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
P.S. There is still a voice in the Church who hasn’t forgotten our Catholic history with Islam, his name is Cardinal Burke. ( http://www.catholicregister.org/home/international/item/22739-u-s-cardinal-says-christian-nations-in-west-must-counter-islamic-influx )