Sunday, July 17, 2011

VIDEO: Introduction to Catholicism 101

My friend Michael Bird is teaching a class on Ecumenism. He wanted to have a Catholic present the nuts and bolts of Catholicism to his Protestant students. He asked me if I would be able to help. With only a little bit of time to spend on it, here's what I came up with.

Obviously, I could have said a lot more. I only had 30 minutes (I ended up going 40), so I had to leave a lot of material out. Michael gave me a specific list of things to cover and I tried to stick to his list. (I'm sure a lot of people will be upset that I didn't include various elements.) However, I did give his students a huge 13 page handout that was full of footnotes of further resources. You can see it below (I'm not going to spend time reformatting it, so it appears a little off here. Anyways, here's the video. . .

Best short overview video of Catholicism (2 minutes):

The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God. Grace, by uniting us to Christ in active love, ensures the supernatural quality of our acts and consequently their merit before God and before men. The saints have always had a lively awareness that their merits were pure grace.
'After earth's exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone. . . . In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is blemished in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself'.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2011 citing Therese of Lisieux[1]

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing. . . As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.
—Fulton Sheen

History of the Catholic Church
“I sincerely believe in the holy Catholic Church and sincerely regret that it does not at present exist.”—William Temple[2]
1.        Jesus builds the Church on Peter[3]
a.      18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 16:18–19)
2.          Jesus and the Apostles
a.           Jesus reveals the fullness of truth to the apostles
                                                                                              i.         . . . all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15)
                                                                                           ii.         And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand” (Luke 8:9–10)
b.          Apostles to be led by the Spirit to remember everything Jesus taught
                                                                                              i.         These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:25–26)
c.           Unity of the Church
                                                                                              i.         I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. (1 Cor 1:10)
                                                                                           ii.         Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one . . . 20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.  (John 17:11)
d.          Unity preserved with recognition of Apostolic authority
                                                                                              i.         Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question… 6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them. . . 12 And all the assembly kept silence and listened; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. (Acts 15:2, 6–12)
                                                                                           ii.         As [Paul and Timothy] went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem. (Acts 16:4)
e.           Apostolic succession: authority is passed on
                                                                                              i.          “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim 2:1–2)
                                                                                           ii.         In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. . . 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and ‘His office let another take.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15–26)

Apostolic Succession in the Early Church and the “Catholic” Church
Clement of Rome, Corinthians, 42–44 (1st cent.): “The Apostles preached to us the Gospel received from Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was God’s Ambassador. Christ, in other words, comes with a message from God and the Apostles with a message from Christ. Both of these orderly arrangements, therefore, originate from the will of God. And so, after receiving their instructions and being full assured through the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as confirmed in faith by the word of God, they went forth. . . From land to land, accordingly, and from city to city they preached, and from their earliest converts appointed men whom they had tested by the Spirit to act as bishops and deacons for the future believers. And this was no innovation, for, a long time before the Scripture had spoken about bishops and deacons. . . Our Apostles too were given to understand by our Lord Jesus Christ that the office of the bishop would give rise to intrigues. For this reason, equipped as they were with perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the men mentioned before, and afterwards laid down a rule once for all to this effect: when these men die, other approved men shall succeed to their sacred ministry. Thus, we deem it an injustice to eject from the sacred ministry the persons who were appointed by them, or later, with the consent of the whole Church, by other men in high repute”

Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8:1ff (2nd cent.): “You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Whenever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

Irenaeus, Against Heresies (2nd cent.): "It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about" (Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 189]).

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies 3:3:2).

Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 18:26 (4th cent.): “And if ever you are visiting in cities, do not inquire simply where the House of the Lord is, - for the others, sects of the impious, attempt to call their dens Houses of the Lord, - nor ask merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church.  For this is the name peculiar to this holy Church, the Mother of us all, which is the Spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God.”

Major events that shaped the Catholic Church
1.          Constantine: Edict of Milan (a.d. 313) and gives property to the Church (e.g., Laterani property)
2.          Constantine moves to Constantinople (a.d. 324)—eventual power vacuum in Rome
3.          Seven Ecumenical Councils
4.          Pontificate of Leo the Great (a.d. 440–461)
a.           Theological mind (Tome)
b.          Effective administrator
c.           Seen as guardian: Credited with turning Attila the Hun away saved Christians from Vandals
5.          Pontificate of Gregory the Great (d. a.d. 590–604)
a.           John Calvin: the last “good pope”[4]
b.          Remembered for holiness
c.           Diplomatic peacemaker and evangelist
d.          Remembered for Church reforms
e.           Liturgical reforms: “Gregorian Chant”
6.          St. Benedict of Nursia (a.d. 480–547), his Rule, and the Light of Monasticism[5]
7.          Rise of Islam, Iconoclasm and the Second Council of Nicea (787)
8.          Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance
a.           Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor (Christmas Day, a.d. 800)
a.           Renaissance period:
                                                                                              i.         Education: Revive classical Greco-Roman model (trivium, quadrivium)
                                                                                           ii.         Preservation of literature[6]
                                                                                        iii.         Formal script: Carolingian miniscule (lower case letters, spaces between words, etc.)
                                                                                         iv.         A Christian renaissance[7]
9.          Schism with “Greek Orthodox”
a.           1054:
                                                                                              i.         Papal Legate’s Letter Excommunicates Patriarch (Validity? The pope had died!)
                                                                                           ii.         Patriarch Excommunicates Legates (but not the pope or the Roman Church!)
a.           No Formal Split Between East and West After 1054[8]
b.          United at Councils of Lyons II (1274) and Council of Florence (1439)
c.           East Rejects Union in Mid-15th cent. (Only Decades Before Protestant Reformation!)
d.          Other Splintering Factors: e.g., Muslim influence, Russian politics
                                                                                              i.         Muslim Influence
1.          Islam protects Eastern Church but only by agreement of Sultan’s superiority
2.          Sultan buys and sells office of Patriarch to highest bidder
3.          From 1453–1923:
a.           Sultans depose 105 of the 159 Patriarchs
b.          6 murdered
c.           Only 21 died of natural causes!
                                                                                           ii.         Russian Authority
1.          Ivan became “Czar” (= “Caesar”)
2.          Moscow: “Third Rome”
3.          Russian Orthodox break from Constantinople in 1589—others follow
4.          Today: Russian Orthodox = 7/8 of Orthodox Christians
e.           Slow Reunification with the East
                                                                                              i.         Eastern Rites Turn Back To Rome (e.g., Chaldean Rite)
                                                                                           ii.         1965: Rome and Constantinople lift excommunications of the past[9]
                                                                                        iii.         1995: John Paul II celebrates Eucharist with Patriarch of Constantinople!
10.    Protestant Reformation (1517)
11.    Loss of Papal states (1870)
12.    Pontificate of Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903): Papacy as moral authority even without military power
13.    Renunciation of papal states by Pius XI and signing of the Lateran Treaties (1929): Vatican as City-State
14.    Vatican II (1962–1965):
a.           Council devoted to pastoral concerns: aggiornamento
b.          16 Documents
                                                                                              i.         Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963.  
                                                                                           ii.         Inter Mirifica, Decree On the Means of Social Communication, 1963.  
                                                                                        iii.         Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution On the Church, 1964.  
                                                                                         iv.         Orientalium Ecclesiarum, Decree On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite,1964.
                                                                                            v.         Unitatis Redintegratio, Decree on Ecumenism, 1964.
                                                                                         vi.         Christus Dominus, Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops In the Church,
                                                                                      vii.         Perfectae Caritatis, Decree On Renewal of Religious Life, 1965.
                                                                                   viii.         Optatam Totius, Decree On Priestly Training, 1965.
                                                                                         ix.         Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration On Christian Education, 1965.
                                                                                            x.         Nostra Aetate, Declaration On the Relation Of the Church to Non-Christian
                                                                                         xi.         Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation, 1965.
                                                                                      xii.         Apostolicam Actuositatem, Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity, 1965.
                                                                                   xiii.         Dignitatis Humanae, Declaration On Religious Freedom, 1965.
                                                                                    xiv.         Ad Gentes, Decree On the Mission Activity of the Church, 1965.
                                                                                       xv.         Presbyterorum Ordinis, Decree On the Ministry and Life of Priests, 1965.
                                                                                    xvi.         Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution On the Church In the Modern World,1965.
15.    Pontificate of John Paul II (1978–2005)
a.           Intellectual: Earned two doctoral degrees,[10] spoke over 20 languages, scholarship prior to papacy
b.          Made significant contributions to the decrees of the Second Vatican Council
c.           Was the first non-Italian pope since the 16th century and the first Polish pope ever
d.          Papacy: 26 years, 5 months, and 17 days (third longest papacy in history!)
e.           The most widely traveled pope in history
                                                                                              i.         104 apostolic journeys to 129 different countries
                                                                                           ii.         Covered more than 725,000 miles[11]
f.            Played a decisive role in the downfall of communism in Russia
g.           Presided over the largest public event in history:
                                                                                              i.         Mass in the Philippines during World Youth Day in 1995
                                                                                           ii.         Somewhere between 4-7 million people attended
h.          Spent about 1,000 hours outside the Vatican
i.             Prolific pontificate
                                                                                              i.         14 Encyclicals
                                                                                           ii.         15 Apostolic Exhortations
                                                                                        iii.         11 Apostolic Constitutions
                                                                                         iv.         45 Apostolic Letters
                                                                                            v.         28 motu proprios
j.             Wrote five books as pope, the last was published posthumously in 2005
                                                                                              i.         Beyond the Threshold of Hope (1994)
                                                                                           ii.         Autobiography, Gift and Mystery" (1996)
                                                                                        iii.         Roman Triptych (2003)
                                                                                         iv.         Get Up, Let Us Go (2004)
k.          The first pope to have a book on the New York Times best seller list
l.             CD on the Rosary has gone “platinum”
m.       Held 1,165 general public audiences, drawing a total of 17.7 million people
n.          Established diplomatic relations with 83 countries
o.          Promulgated first catechism since the Council of Trent
p.          Proclaimed more saints than all of the other popes since the Council of Trent combined! [12]

Other Notes on Authority and Structure
1.           Christ as the authority
2.          Scripture has unique authority
a.           Vatican II: The Bible as “the soul of sacred theology”[13]
b.          Thomas Aquinas: “Only the canonical scriptures are the standard of faith (sola canonica scriptura est regula fidei)”[14]
c.           Scripture’s “referential language” vs. “auxiliary” languages (e.g., Church councils, creeds, etc.)[15] 
d.          Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI): “The normative theologians are the authors of Scripture.” [16]
3.          Scripture is not the only authority
a.           How else is the canon of Scripture established?
b.          Authority of Sacred / Apostolic Tradition
                                                                                              i.         So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thess 2:15)
                                                                                           ii.         Apostolic Tradition is closely tied with Apostolic Succession[17]
c.           Authority needed for proper development of doctrine (primarily from Scripture): e.g., Trinity
d.          Recognize teaching authority of the Church (Magisterium)
                                                                                              i.         Successors of Apostles united with successor of Peter (e.g., not a “Robber’s Council”)
                                                                                           ii.         Primacy and Infallibility of Successor of Peter
1.          Only when he uses his full teaching authority (not private opinions)
2.          Infallibility not impeccability
4.          Kinds of members
a.           Laity
b.          Clergy
                                                                                              i.         Bishops
                                                                                           ii.         Priests
                                                                                        iii.         Deacons
c.           Cardinals: Bishops (almost always) who can vote at a Conclave (limited to 120 under age of 80)
d.          Religious: Those who live in religious communities (e.g., monks) (a monk can become a priest)
5.          Territorial layout
a.           Parishes within . . .
b.          Dioceses and “Archdioceses” (Los Angeles, Sydney, Rome, etc.) within . . .
c.           Metropolitan sees (the major dioceses)

Understanding of Scripture
1.           St. Paul: “All Scripture is inspired” (Gk. theopneustos)[18] —“God-breathed”
2.          “God is the Author of Scripture”: [19]
a.           Not simply divine assistance, approval or agreement
b.          God is the author of all parts of Scripture
3.          “The Word of the Lord”[20]
a.           The words of Scripture as the words of God (cf. CCC 106)
b.          The human writers write everything God wanted written and “no more” (CCC 106)
c.           Inspiration as unique charism of Scripture: Only book read at the Eucharistic celebration
                                                                                              i.         No Pope is ever said to be inspired—for Catholics only Scripture is “inspired”
                                                                                           ii.         No Church document, no saint’s work, etc., can ever be read at the Eucharistic assembly instead of Scripture!
4.          Human authors as “true authors”[21]
5.          Historical Dimension and Need for Historical-Critical Research
a.           What the human authors affirm the Spirit affirms so we must know their meaning (Dei Verbum 12)
b.          Need for Historical Research[22]
6.          Scripture’s unique authority
7.          Three Criteria for Interpreting Scripture Properly (cf. CCC 111–114; Vatican II, Dei Verbum 12)
a.           Content and Unity of God’s Plan: Unity of Old and New Testaments
b.          Living Tradition of the Church: Recourse to Fathers and Doctors of the Church
c.           Analogy of Faith: Harmony of the Truths Made Known through Divine Revelation
8.          Recognition of the Multiple Senses of Scripture: Example—the Temple
a.           Literal-Historical: Meaning “Intended & Expressed by the Sacred Writer”[23](Temple Building)
b.          Allegorical: Fulfillment in Christ (Christ is the True Temple; e.g., cf. John 2:21)
c.           Moral [Tropological]: Christ Fulfills in the Church (Church as “Temple”; cf. 1 Cor 3:16–17)
d.          Anagogical: Fulfilled in Heaven (Heavenly Temple: Hebrews)

Biblical Roots for the Catholic Understanding of Baptism
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did; 24 but Jesus did not trust himself to them, 25 because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man. 3 1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anōthen[24] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 2:23–25)

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people came and were baptized. . . . 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” ( John 3:22–23)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. . . (Matt 28:19)

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” (Acts 2:37–39)

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:1–4)

God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ… (1 Pet 3:20–21)

. . . the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5)

Entire Households Baptized
1.          Acts 16:15: [Lydia] was baptized, with her household. . .
2.          Acts 16:33: [the jailor] was baptized at once, with all his family.
3.          1 Corinthians 1:16: I did baptize also the household of Stephanas.

Catechism of the Catholic Church on Baptism
1.          Two Principle Effects (CCC 1262)
a.           Purification from Sins
b.          New Birth in the Holy Spirit
2.          Forgiveness of All Sins (CCC 1263)
a.           Original Sin
b.          Personal Sin
c.           Temporal Punishment for Sin
d.          Only Concupiscence Remains (CCC 1264)
3.          New Creation (CCC 1265-66)
a.           New Creation: a “new creature,” a “son of God”
b.          Divinization: partaker of the divine nature (Gk theosis; cf. CCC 460)
c.           Sanctification: Temple of the Holy Spirit
4.          Incorporation into the Church
a.           Baptismal Priesthood of all Believers
b.          Obedience to Church leaders
c.           Participate in the mission of the Church
5.          Non Catholic Christians and Baptismal Unity (CCC 1271)
6.          An Indelible Spiritual Mark (CCC 1272-74)

The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.[25] He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.[26] Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.[27] The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257

Biblical Roots for the Catholic Understanding of the Eucharist

The Institution Narratives
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matt 26:26–28)

Link between the Institution Narratives and the Feeding of the Five Thousand
The Feeding Miracles
The Last Supper
Matt 14:14:  And when it was evening…
Matt 26:20:  “And when it was evening…
Matt 14:19: Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Matt 15:36: he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks [Gk. eucharistēsas] he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
Matt 26:20, 26-29: he sat at table with the twelve disciples… 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks [Gk. eucharistēsas] he gave it to them. . .”
Davies and Allison:
1.          9 terms which occur in order in Matthew 14 and Matthew 26[28]   
2.          Conclusion: “It seems to us evident that Matthew intended 14.13-21 to be closely related to the institution of the Eucharist.”[29]

The Bread of Life Discourse
The Institution Narrative and the Feeding of the Five Thousand in John 6
The Institution of the Eucharist in Luke 22
The Feeding of the Five Thousand in John 6
“And when the hour came, he sat [“reclined”; anapiptō]” at table, and the apostles with him” (v. 14)
“Make the people recline [Greek. anapiptō]”
“I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer” (v. 15)
“Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews was at hand” (v. 4)
“And he took [lambanō] bread; artos]” (v. 19)
“Jesus then took the loaves [“breads”; artos]” (v. 11)
“and when he had given thanks [eucharisteō]” (v. 19)
“and when he had given thanks [eucharisteō]” (v. 11)
“he broke [klaō] it”
“Gather up the fragments” [klasma]
“he gave” [didōmi]
“he gave [diadidōmi]

Two-Fold Structure of the Bread of Life Discourse
John 6:35–47
John 6:48–58
“I am the bread of life” (v. 35)
“I am the bread of life” (v. 48)
Invitation to faith
Invitation to eat his flesh and blood

So Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless you eat [Greek: esthiō] the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats [trōgō] my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is real [alēthēs] food, and my blood is real [alēthēs[30]] drink. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. (John 6:53–57)

Symbolic imagery? (John 6:60–66)[31]
1.          Objection: Jesus is only speaking “spiritually” (cf. Zwingli)
2.          Response #1: “Spirit” (Gk pneuma) does not mean “metaphorical” (cf. John 4:24)
3.          Response #3: Jesus says six times it is necessary to eat his “flesh” (vv. 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57)
a.           “[T]he stress on eating (feeding on) Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood... cannot possibly be a metaphor for accepting his revelation. ‘To eat someone’s flesh’ appears in the Bible as a metaphor for hostile action (Ps 27:2; Zech 11:9). In fact, in the Aramaic tradition transmitted through Syriac, the “eater of flesh” is the title of the devil, the slanderer and adversary par excellence. The drinking of blood was looked on as a horrendous thing forbidden by God’s law (Gen 9:4; Lev 3:17; Deut 12:23; Acts 15:20). In Ezekiel’s vision of apocalyptic carnage (39:17), he invites the scavenging birds to come to the feast: ‘You shall eat flesh and drink blood’. Thus, if Jesus’ words in 6:53 are to have a favorable meaning, they must refer to the Eucharist. (Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel according to John, 1.284-85)
4.          Response #4: Jesus is referring to his Crucified and Risen Body: “What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?”
5.          Catholic view: “Transubstantiation” (Substance is changed)
a.           “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ, which have come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh that suffered for our sins and that the Father, in his goodness, raised it up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes. (Ignatius of Antioch, a.d. 110, Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6, 7)
b.          For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread,256 but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity (Irenaeus, 2nd cent. a.d., Against Heresies, 4.18.5).

Paschal Eucharistic Theology
1.          True Passover Lamb:
a.           Three Requirements of Passover (Exod 12): (1) Kill, (2) Spill, and (3) Eat your fill
b.          Must eat the Lamb—Eucharist!
c.           “Christ our paschal lamb has been sacrificed, therefore let us keep the feast. . .” (1 Cor 5:7–8).
2.          True memorial
a.           Passover as “memorial” (Exod 13:8–10)
b.          Not simply remembering the past
c.           Making the past present through worship
                                                                                              i.         And you shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ (Exod 13:8–10)
d.          Eucharist: New Passover memorial—Liturgical participation in Christ’s offering

Ministries and Mission
1.          Ministries
a.           Sacramental ministry: the liturgy as “source and summit” of the Christian life
b.          Incarnational Approach: Concerned with the soul and the body
                                                                                              i.         Catholic Social Teaching[32]
1.          Respect for life
2.          Justice as it pertains to economic concerns
3.          Rights of workers
4.          War and Peace
                                                                                           ii.         “Spiritual” Works of Mercy
1.          Faith formation
2.          Discipleship
                                                                                        iii.         “Corporal” Works of Mercy
1.          Schools (e.g., Dominicans)
2.          Providing for the Poor (e.g., Sisters of Charity [Mother Teresa’s order])
3.          Hospitals
2.          Mission: the Church is Christ's instrument for the salvation of all souls (Catechism 776; cf. 849–856)

Relationship with Other Christians
“All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”— Catechism no. 818
1.     Separated brethren”
2.     Recognition of non-Catholic Christian baptism so long as performed with Trinitarian formula
3.     Recognition of sins of past Catholics that caused wounds to unity            

[1] As the official compendium of everything the Catholic Church teaches and believes the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the single most important resource for understanding the Catholic faith. It is available on-line at:
[2] See A. Iremonger, William Temple (London: Oxford University Press, 1948), 387
[3] Davies and Allison point out that Matthew 16:18 is “among the most controversial [verses] in all of Scripture” (W. D. Allison and D. C. Davies, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (3 vols. ICC: London: T & T Clark, 1988, 1991, 1997], 623). Specifically, there has been much debate about the identification of Peter as the “rock” upon which Jesus builds the church. Because two different terms are used Πέτρος, referring to a small stone, and πέτρα, which carries the connotation of a larger rock, some have suggested that something other than Peter himself is to be seen as that which the church is built upon (e.g., Peter’s confession of faith). This however would seem to ignore some important grammatical issues involved. First, it would be odd for Jesus to state that he would build upon a πέτρος, since one would usually associate such a project with the more sturdy foundation of a πέτρα, as Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24 indicate. Second, πέτρα is a feminine word. Jesus could hardly have used a feminine noun as the name of Simon Peter. If Jesus wanted to apply the terminology to Peter Jesus we would expect to find just the kind of shift in language we have in Matthew 16:18. See, e.g., R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 621: “The reason for the different Greek form is simply that Peter, as a man, needs a masculine name, and so the form Petros has been coined. But the flow of the sentence makes it clear that the wordplay is intended to identify Peter as the rock.” Third, it strains credibility to imagine that Jesus addresses Simon as πέτρος without the intention of linking him to the πέτρα upon which the Church is to be built. D. A. Carson (Matthew [EBC; 2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995], 2:368) writes, “Had Matthew wanted to say no more than that Peter was a stone in contrast with Jesus the Rock, the more common word would have been lithos (“stone” of almost any size). Then there would have been no punand that is just the point!” Fourth, Peter was apparently known by the Aramaic form of Πέτρος , “Cephas” (cf. 1 Cor 1:12; 3:20; 9:5; 15:5; Gal 1:18; Gal 2:9, 11, 14). This Aramaic thus probably underlies the Greek text of Matthew. However, the distinction between Πέτρος/ πέτρα does not exist Aramaic. Fifth, that Peter is described as the rock the church is built on is confirmed by what follows in Matthew 16:23, where Jesus describes Peter as a “stumbling stone,” a clear play on his role as the “rock”. Because of these reasons we agree with those scholars who recognize that Jesus most likely intended to refer to Peter as that rock upon which the church would be built. See, e.g., Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew (PNTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, InterVarsity Press, 1992), 422–23; France, Gospel of Matthew, 620–23; Davies and Allison, Matthew, 2:267; Keener, Matthew (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 427; Oscar Cullmann, Petrus, Jünger, Apostel, Märtyrer: Das historische und das theologische Petrusproblem (Zürich: Zwingli, 1952), 232; Raymond E. Brown, Karl P. Donfried, and John Reumann, Peter in the New Testament (Minneapolis/New York: Augsburg/Paulist, 1973), 92; Benedict T. Viviano, “Peter as Jesus’ Mouth: Matthew 16:13–20 in the Light of Exodus 4.10–17 and Other Models,” in The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition (ed. C. A. Evans; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 337. Donald Hagner (Matthew [2 vols.; WBC 33a-b; Dallas: Word, 1993,1995), 2:470) appears to be right in noting that “attempts that have been made, largely in the past, to deny this in favor of the view that the confession itself is the rock. . . seem to be largely motivated by Protestant prejudice against a passage that is used by the Roman Catholics to justify the papacy.”
[4] For a fuller discussion see Lester K. Little, “Calvin’s Appreciation of Gregory the Great,” Harvard Theological Review 56/2 (1963): 146–157.
[5] Thomas Woods, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2005), 20–21: “The Church, as the educator of Europe, was the one light that survived repeated barbarian invasions. The barbarian invasions of the fourth and fifth centuries had ushered in a serious decline in those aspects of life with which we associate the very idea of civilization: cultural achievement, urban life, and the life of the mind. In the ninth and tenth centuries, Western Europe would fall victim to more waves of devastating attacksthis time from Vikings, Magyars, and Muslims. (For an idea of what these invasions were like, bear in mind that one of the better-known Viking warriors was named Thorfinn Skullsplitter). The unfailing vision and determination of Catholic bishops, monks, priests, scholars and civil administrators saved Europe from a second collapse. The seeds of learning sown by Alcuin sprouted in the Church, which again acted as a restoring influence on civilization.”
[6] Kenneth Clark, Civilization: A Personal View (New York: HarperPerennial, 1969), 18: “People don’t always realizes that only three or four antique manuscripts of the Latin authors are still in existence: our whole knowledge of ancient literature is due to the collecting and copying that began under Charlemagne, and almost any classical text that survived until the eighth century has survived until today”.
[7] Alcuin to Charlemagne: “If many are infected by your aims, a new Athens will be created in France, nay, an Athens finer than the old, for ours, ennobled by the teachings of Christ, will surpass all the wisdom of the Academy. The old had only the disciplines of Plato for teacher and yet inspired by the seven liberal arts it still shone with splendor: but ours will be endowed besides with the sevenfold plenitude of the Holy Ghost and will outshine all the dignity of secular wisdom.” Cited from Philippe Wolff, The Awakening of Europe (New York: Penguin, 1968), 77. Likewise see the comments of Theodulf, Bishop of Orleans and friend of Alcuin, “In the villages and townships the priest shall open schools. If any of the faithful entrust their children to them to learn letters, let them not refuse to instruct these children in all charity. . . . When the priests undertake this task, let them ask no payment, and if they receive anything, let it be only the small gifts offered by the parents.” Cited from David Knowles, The Evolution of Medieval Thought (2nd ed.; London: Longman, 1988), 69.
[8] "Even after 1054 friendly relations between East and West continued. The two parts of Christendom were not yet conscious of a great gulf of separation between them. . . . The dispute remained something of which ordinary Christians in East and West were largely unaware" (Kallistos [Timothy] Ware, The Orthodox Church, 67).
[9] The Joint Declaration states: “Today, however, [the excommunications of 1054] have been judged more fairly and serenely. Thus it is important to recognize the excesses which accompanied them and later led to consequences which, insofar as we can judge, went much further than their authors had intended and foreseen. They had directed their censures against the persons concerned and not the Churches. These censures were not intended to break ecclesiastical communion between the Sees of Rome and Constantinople.”
[10] He earned one from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (also known as the Angelicum), the other from Jagiellonian University. His dissertations were The Doctrine of Faith in Saint John of the Cross and An Evaluation of the Possibility of Constructing a Christian Ethics on the Basis of the System of Max Sheler.
[11] Roughly thirty times the circumference of the earth; three times the distance of the earth from the moon
[12] The standards for beatification and canonization were set at the Council of Trent. Since Trent 2,343 men and women have been beatified, 785 canonized as saints. John Paul II was responsible for elevating more than half of those—1,342 and 483, respectively.
[13] Dei Verbum 24.  This line was recently highlighted once again in the Catechismus Catholicae Ecclesiae (paragraph 132), promulgated by John Paul II in 1992. Indeed, many have noted that the new Catechism places an especially strong emphasis on the role of Scripture, primarily describing Catholic doctrine in scriptural quotations.  Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Gospel, Catechisis, Catechism: Sidelights on the Catehism of the Catholic Church [San Francisco: Ignatius, 1997], 61) thus wrote that it is “shaped from one end to the other by the Bible. As far as I know, there has never been until now a catechism so thoroughly formed by the Bible.” For a fuller discussion see, John C. Cavadini, “The Use of Scripture in the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Letter & Spirit 2 (2006): 43-54. John Paul II once stated: “Theology must take its point of departure from a continual and updated return to the Scriptures read in the Church” (Address, October 7, 1986; AAS 79 [1987]: 337-38). 
[14] Cited from Christopher Baglow, "Rediscovering St. Thomas Aquinas as Biblical Theologian," Letter & Spirit 1 (2005): 141 [137–146].
[15] See Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Scripture and Christology: A Statement of the Biblical Commission with a Commentary (Mahwah: Paulist, 1986); Colin Brown, “Scripture and Christology: A Protestant Look at the Work of the Pontifical Biblical Commission,” in Essays in Honor of Paul K. Jewett: Perspectives on Christology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991). See also Scott Hahn, “Prima Scriptura: Magisterial Perspectives on the Primacy of Scripture,” The Church and the Universal Catechism: Proceedings from the Fifteenth Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (ed. A. J. Mastroeni; Steubenville, OH: Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, 1993), 91 [83-116], who explains that this “referential” language of Scripture is distinguished from other “auxiliary” languages used by the Church: “What is meant by the reference to auxiliary languages? Clearly, it refers to the various creedal terms (e.g., homoousios, theotokos, trinitas), dogmatic concepts (e.g., original sin, hypostatic union, immaculate conception), and theological methodologies (e.g., Thomism, Scotism, Molinism, scholasticism) that were developed and used to teach true doctrine, quite often in the face of heresy, throughout Church history. These auxiliary languages have proven indispensable for maintaining, defending, and transmitting the Catholic faith in its integrity…. Scripture’s ‘referential language’ must be that which guides assists and judges [Catholic writers’] efforts as faithful theologians to develop and employ auxiliary languages.”
[16] Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theolgy (trans., M. F. McCarthy; San Francisco: Ignatius, 1987), 321. In fact, one of the defining characteristics of Pope Benedict’s theology has been its biblical focus. See Scott Hahn, “The Authority of Mystery: The Biblical Theology of Benedict XVI,” in Letter & Spirit 2 (2006):97–140. Hahn writes that for Benedict “. . . Scripture, and the human authors of Scripture, are meant to serve as the modelnot only for how we should ‘do’ theology, but also for what our theology should be about, and how the findings of theological inquiry should be expressed” (117).
[17] For a fuller discussion see Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI], God’s Word: Scripture—Tradition—Office (eds. P. Hünermann and T. Söding; trans. H. Taylor; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008); idem., Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today (trans. A Walker; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996 [1996]); Yves Congar, The Meaning of Tradition (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1964; repr., San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004).
[18] 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is inspired [theopneustos] by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
[19] Catechism of the Catholic Church [=CCC] 105: God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit” [Vatican II, Dei Verbum 11]. "For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself" [Dei Verbum 11; cf. Jn 20:31; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 3:15-16].
[20] Dei Verbum 9: “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”
[21] CCC 106: God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more" [Dei Verbum 11].
[22] Historical research necessary to determine “that meaning which the sacred writer, in a determined situation and given the circumstances of his time and culture, intended to express and did in fact express, through the medium of a contemporary literary form. Rightly to understand what the sacred author wanted to affirm in his work, due attention must be paid both to the customary and characteristic patterns of perception, speech and narrative which prevailed at the age of the sacred writer, and to the conventions which the people of his time followed in their dealings with one another” (Dei Verbum 12).
[23] Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu, 26.
[24] Two possible meanings: 1. “again”; 2. “from above”. The word means “from above” in other places in John, e.g., 3:31; 19:11, 23.
[25] John 3:5. 60 Cf. Jn 3:5.
61 Cf. 62 Cf. Mk 16:16.
[26] Mt 28:19-20; cf. Council of Trent (1547) DS 1618; LG 14; AG 5.

[27] Mark 16:16.
[28] (1) “And when it was evening” (14:14; 26:20); (2) “reclined” (14:19; 26:20); (3) “having taken” (14:19; 26:26); (4) “the bread” (14:19; 26:26); (5) “he blessed” (14:19; 26:26); (6) “having broken” / “he broke” (14:19; 26:26); (7) “he gave to the disciples” / “having given to the disciples, he gave to them (14:19; 26:26); (8) “they ate” / “eat” (14:20 26:27); (9) “all” (14:20; 26:27).
[29] W. D. Davies and Dale Allison, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (ICC; London: T&T Clark, 1991): 3:481.
[30] “Jesus saw Nathana-el coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, a true Israelite [alēthōs]” (John 1:47).
[31] Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”[31]
[32] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace). Available on-line at:


Michael said...

great stuff! thanks for sharing!

TeriAnnElizabeth said...

Dr. Pitre, I have not had a chance to listen to the video or read the notes, but I KNOW it is awesome as all of your lectures and talks are!

I am going to provide a link to this on my Facebook page and on my blog as well.

You don't know me from Adam (or Eve), but I download as many of your lectures at Catholic Productions as I can. I am just beginning the last one you offered: Introduction to The Bible. I guess I am your oldest perpetual student (at 52)!

Please don't stop offering your matter what the are my favorite "professor"! I have told all of my Catholic friends as well as my Protestant friends who are leaning more Catholic everyday.

My dearest friend is Baptist so your wife's former faith and your understanding resonates with her.

May Our Lord bless you and continue to pour out the Holy Spirit who fills you with wisdom daily!

P.S. I saw Dr. Hahn last week in Knoxville, TN at Our Lady of Fatima and he was simply amazing and inspiring. I could never have imagined a year ago anyone else but Scott who I could learn so much from.

And yet, God brought you and Dr. Barber and Dr. Bergsma and you guys keep get better and better! Don't dare stop teaching and offering all of us your gift for building up Our Catholic Faith, The Body of Christ!
Bless you all!

Unknown said...

How did you upload a 41min video to Youtube? I thought the limit was 15 minutes