Men of Emmaus – June 7, 2014

Where: St. Francis
When: 8:00 AM
What: 2 Corinthians, Chapter 4

Looking around the web for some potentially helpful resources, I found the following:

St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

This is a short and a bit of an odd letter. It primarily focuses upon the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians, not doctrinal teachings. This fact should give pause to Protestants who claim exclusive authority for Scripture, which includes such letters by Paul, rather than the writings of the Church fathers which claim apostolic authority for their teachings. The specifics of the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians are of limited relevance today, but the general character is of great importance.

There are two overarching Catholic doctrinal themes in this letter: apostolic authority and the necessity and ministry of reconciliation. In the face of doubters and false apostles, Paul is forced to reassert his apostolic authority. In dealing with a repentant sinner, Paul exercises his apostolic authority to forgive sins in the person of Christ and to indulge the repentant sinner in comfort rather than require more penance of him, demonstrating the ministry of reconciliation he mentions in the letter.

Paul’s letter does the following things with regard to the Protestant-Catholic divide:

Contradicts the heresy of sola Scriptura and upholds the authority of oral apostolic preaching and discipline in person (1:19, 23-24; 2:1, 3-4, 17; 3:2-6; 4:5-7; 5:5; 10:5, 9-11, 16; 12:19; 13:10-11)
Affirms apostolic/Church authority over lay believers (1:1, 21-24; 2:1; 6:11-13; 7:15; 10:8; 11:17; 12:14, 19; 13:2-4, 10-11)
Contradicts the fallibilism of Protestantism (2:17; 3:4-6, 12; 4:5-7; 5:5, 18-20; 10:5; 11:5-6, 10; 13:3)
Affirms the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation (2:5-11; 5:17-20; 13:2)
Affirms the necessity of perseverance in obedience and repentance for salvation/to obtain heaven (1:24; 2:11, 15-16; 5:20; 6:1; 7:8-13; 11:3-4; 12:21; 13:2-5)
Contradicts certainty of knowledge of others’ or one’s own salvation (1:6-7; 5:20; 6:1; 7:13; 11:3-4; 12:20-21; 13:5)
Contradicts sola fide (5:10-11, 15; 7:1, 15; 10:15)
Affirms the necessity of the institutional and doctrinal unity of the Church (1:1; 11:2-4, 12-15)
Affirms the Catholic view of suffering (1:5-7; 4:9-11; 12:7-9)
Affirms the Catholic custom of referring to priests as father (6:13; 12:14)
Supports the Catholic doctrine of praying to dead saints (1:11)
Supports the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory (12:2-4)

The author then comments on a selection of these verses. This could be a useful resource, especially for linking the words of Scripture to what we believe as Catholics.

The author claims that what we just read – Chapter 3 — contradicts sola scriptura. Do we agree? Comments are open.

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