THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE



NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net
MARCH 15, 2009

 

THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

 

SENT TO ALL THE 170 BISHOPS AND AROUND 15 COMMISSIONS OF THE CBCI

Dear Reverend Bishops,

I trust that you received my letter of 4th February addressed to the Apostolic Nuncio and the Bombay Bishops as under:

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:16 AM

Subject:
XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

KIND ATTENTION: Most Rev. Pedro López Quintana

In that connection, I have separately written to them additionally as follows: 

THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY: NCB

The commentary on Luke 1 [page 1796 of the NCB, right hand column] denies that the angel Gabriel literally appeared and spoke to Mary. The commentator, the late Fr. George Soares Prabhu SJ now teaches Catholics that “The story of the annunciation is not to be read as a literal report of what happened, but as a dramatization of the inner experience of Mary’s call to be the mother of the Messiah.” In effect, he is saying, “The angel Gabriel did not appear to Mary. It was not a real, historical, external event. The Annunciation is just a story explaining how Mary experienced internally the call of God and responded to it.”

Frankly, to me that sounds like heresy. A theologian who is faithful to tradition and Church teaching might be able to explain better the wider implications of such liberal theology as the above. He would also be able to find many more such errors in the other NCB commentaries, subtle untruths that have earlier escaped my team and me [I have not included this point in my original critique].

If the Bishops have given the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat for the NCB, it means that they have endorsed the new teaching that the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary was not an actual historical event. It also means that all the Bishops who have released the NCB, the priest-editor of The Examiner and all others who defend the NCB, print and publish it and promote its sale are in agreement with this teaching that is not in any catechism or other Catholic study Bible. Or else, they did not see that in the NCB.

Bishop Agnelo Gracias took so much of pains to study the commentaries of the NCB to write a long rebuttal [please expect my response to it] of my critique of the NCB. May I point out to him that he has missed this?

But, this is not an isolated error. It is typical of the problem that Catholics are finding with the entire NCB. Right from the Book of Genesis, the commentators keep stating that certain events/narratives are ‘stories’, ‘myths’, ‘dramatizations, etc’. While a person like me who has made a scholarly study of the Bible from a Catholic perspective can understand what the commentator means, for example when he explains the Creation story or the Flood, the average Catholic ends up confused over what to believe anymore.

I trust that you will do the needful,

Michael Prabhu, Chennai

From:
Oswald Gracias
abpossie@gmail.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 7:31 PM

Subject: Re: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

Dear Mr Prabhu, 

We are having the commentary studied. You have mentioned Bishop Agnelo’s report. I have also seen that.

I am conscious of our serious responsibility to ensure that the correct doctrine is taught. God bless.

Cardinal Gracias

From:
prabhu
To:
abpossie@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:54 AM

Subject: Re: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias, I sincerely thank you for your letter acknowledging mine.

While I have received dozens of acknowledgment letters from individual Bishops since we brought the problems with the NCB to their kind attention from July 2008, your letter is one of the very few from a senior Church leader which reassures us that you are aware of the seriousness of the issue and the Bishops’ responsibility to study the commentaries thoroughly.

 

 

As I emphasized in my recent letters to you all, just as the Annunciation issue was overlooked by Bishop Agnelo when he studied the commentaries in order to write his long response to our critique, there are many more such in the NCB, and there needs to be a thorough examination of the entire NCB especially in the places where similar comments are to be found throughout the footnotes.

The other broad issue is the inclusion of references to Hindu deities, and the unnecessary and often contrived parallels of Biblical characters and events to mythical figures and fables of Hinduism.

There are also the references to yoga and to prana that must not be legitimised by their being included in the pages of a book that is supposed to be the Holy Bible for Indian Catholics. Those references must be expunged.

The Hindu philosophy behind the use of prana and yoga is contradictory to Biblical revelation of the nature of God, man, sin, redemption, salvation and genuine Christian prayer.

We are also greatly disturbed by the references to the Gayatri Mantra and OM mantra.

May I request you to once again study my original eight-page critique on the NCB.

My website
www.ephesians-511.net
has a number of intensively-researched articles, probably the most comprehensive in the Catholic world, on the subjects of yoga, prana, pranayama, surya namaskar, gayatri mantra.

Individual Cardinals, Bishops and priests, Bishops Conferences, Theological Commissions and two Vatican Documents have made pronouncements on these issues, rejecting them as incompatible with and inimical to Christianity.

They are quoted in my articles, giving the authoritative sources of the information.

See:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/YOGA.doc 

and http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA.doc

One cannot comprehend how our Bishops have permitted their inclusion in the commentaries of a Bible and endorsed them by giving their Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.

May I request you to read our follow-up thirty-eight pages report on the NCB
at

http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/PAPAL SEMINARY_NCB.doc

and the earlier but related report on the Catholic Ashrams at

http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc

I am completing a few more articles/reports on the NCB issue and will send them to you by this month’s end:

1. Compiled letters [a few hundred of them] from priests and laity rejecting the NCB [commentaries] and calling for its withdrawal

2. Our answer to Bishop Agnelo Gracias’ response to our critique on the NCB. In it we will quote from the recently concluded Synod on the Word of God in Rome, and other Catholic sources.

Meanwhile, please find in the attachment herewith twenty letters to The Examiner, that we believe were not published by the editor because they protested against the NCB whereas he published at least three letters– one of which even denigrated my critique — that eulogized the NCB.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu

 

A French Theologian denounces this error, and other similar errors, in the Infancy narratives of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke, in the NCB Commentaries

From: Fr. François Dupré osb To:
‘prabhu’
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 9:15 PM Subject: RE: CARDINAL RESPONDS TO: “THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY”

Dear Michael,

I am sure you are absolutely right on focusing your mind and your criticism on the denial of the apparition of the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is not a small issue.

You can use my small contribution if it helps you for informing the bishops.

If you have any further remark regarding this text don’t hesitate to tell me.

I have included some of your observations.

I conclude by encouraging you for all your endeavors and good works for the refutation of deceitful material that can endanger the Faith of the readers of such commentaries, and for your efforts in favor of the sound doctrine and teaching of Mother Church.

Let us remember the fight between David and Goliath. It is not the number of the so-called educated people, not the audience, not the financial support for the cause of the NCB that will eventually make the difference. It is the polite but persisting remarks of simple and devoted people like you and the soundness of the argumentation that will open the eyes of the Pastors for helping them to make the necessary corrections.

On our side we shall try to do our best at the appropriate level in order to help you.

Father François Dupré osb

 

For the full report of Father François Dupré osb and a fellow theologian, please click on:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/FRENCH%20THEOLOGIAN%20DENOUNCES%20ERRORS%20IN%20THE%20NCB%20COMMENTARIES_NEW%20COMMUNITY%20BIBLE_3.doc

 

 

 

The following news excerpts on the recent Synod of Bishops on the Word of God underline the unique role of the Virgin Mary, especially through the event of the historical [not spiritually experienced] Annunciation, as a model for our own individual response to God’s Word, and therefore, those who would strike at the historical fact of the archangel Gabriel’s visitation to her, attack the very roots of Catholic tradition and faith.

SYNOD OF BISHOPS IN ROME ON THE WORD OF GOD: STATEMENTS REGARDING THE VIRGIN MARY

The 12th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was held October 5 to 26 in the Vatican. The theme was “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”

According to an Agenzia Fides report on page 16,
The Examiner, July 05, 2008, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay was named one of three President Delegates for the Synod. Apparently he did not attend due to illness.

The representatives from India, according to the report from Zenit of September 8, 2008:

Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil S.D.B. of Guwahati

Father Fiorello Mascarenhas S.J., president of the Catholic Bible Institute, Mumbai

Ponpuzhakotayil Cherian Aniyankunju, spokesperson of the archdiocese of Changanacherry of the Syro-Malabars.

However, further reports do not mention the last named, but they record statements made at the Synod, from

Bishop George Punnakottil of Kothamangalam [Syro-Malabar] (VIS news October 7, 2008)

Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil C.Ss.R., Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly [Syro-Malabar] (VIS October 16, 2008)

 

Right at the start of the Synod, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City, the relator of the synod, issued a strong call for what he called “spiritual exegesis” of the Bible, premised not just on cognitive understanding but, above all, on personal faith and commitment… Ouellet proposed a new “Marian paradigm” for Scripture study – using the Virgin Mary as a model of a response to God’s Word that, in his words, is “dynamic,” “dialogical,” and “contemplative.” [Synod: The Bible beyond empty piety and parsing to death,
October 6, John L. Allen Jr.
http://ncronline.org/node/12152]

As if speaking to those who would deny the historical Annunciation, Bishop George Punnakottil said, “Tradition contrary to the Bible will not stand. Bible is the primary source of doctrine and faith… the Bible has historical and spiritual meaning.” [VIS, October 7]

Archbishop Tomash Peta of Astana, Kazakhstan, in effect echoed Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s call for a “Marian paradigm” in the interpretation of scripture, though without directly using that term. He argued that Mary is the “key to understanding the Bible,” both in terms of her openness of heart and her “complete union with Jesus.” [October 9, John L. Allen,
http://ncronline.org/node/12166]

The Marian Paradigm for Welcoming the Word Embracing the Word Made Flesh in Faith
By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- [EXTRACT]

In his opening address to the synod, which set the tone for all discussions and deliberations, the “”relatore generale,”” Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City, said: “A woman, Mary, perfectly accomplishes the divine vocation of humanity by her ‘yes’ to the Word of Covenant and her mission. Through her divine motherhood and her spiritual motherhood, Mary appears as the permanent model and form for the Church, like the first Church.”
Let us look briefly at the flesh-and-blood dimension of Mary, between the old and the new Covenant, who accomplishes the passage from Israel’s faith to the Church’s faith. Let us contemplate the Annunciation, which is the unsurpassable origin and model for self-communication with God and the experience of faith in the Church. This will be used as a paradigm to understand the dialogic identity of the Word of God in the Church.
The event of the annunciation and Mary’s life illustrate and recapitulate the structure of the Covenant of the Word of God and the responsorial attitude of faith. They emphasize the personal and Trinitarian nature of faith, which consists in a gift of the person to God who gives himself through revealing himself. “This attitude is the attitude of saints. It is the same as the Church’s who never ceases converting to her Lord in response to the voice addressed to her”. This is why attention to the figure of Mary as model and even archetype of the Church’s faith appears to be capital to concretely operate a change of paradigm in the relationship with the Word of God. This change of paradigm does not obey the philosophy of the day
, rather it is the rediscovery of the original source of the Word, the vital dialogue of the Triune-God with the Church, his Spouse, achieved in the holy Liturgy.

 

AND, MOST RECENTLY, THE POPE ON THE ANNUNCIATION:

Pope: We Should Call Upon the Angels Says They Are Significant Part of Gospel

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 1, 2009 The angels are a significant part of the Gospel and we should call upon them often, says Benedict XVI… “On the threshold of the New Testament, Gabriel is sent to announce to Zachariah and Mary the joyous happenings that are the beginnings of our salvationhttp://www.zenit.org/article-25243?l=english
If we were to disregard these beings sent by God we would remove a considerable portion of the Gospel“, said Pope Benedict. ANG/ANGELS SPIRITUAL EXERCISES/… VIS 090302 March 2, 2009

Pope’s Q-and-A Session With Parish Priests (Part 6) “Mary is Really the Woman Who Listens” VATICAN CITY, March 9, 2009 (Zenit.org). Benedict XVI: “Mary is really the woman who listens: We see it in the meeting with the angel…”

 

 

 

The Annunciation in the tradition of the Church:

1. The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B. [EXTRACT]

http://www.angelusonline.org/print.php?sid=2363 and http://sognodargento.blogspot.com/2006/03/annunciation.html

A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy bishop and martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden…

 

2. St. Gregory, Bishop of Neo-Cæsareia, surnamed Thaumaturgus, on the Holy Theophany

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.txt
[EXTRACT]

The First Homily.

…To-day is the illustrious and ineffable mystery of Christians, who have willingly set their hope like a seal upon Christ, plainly declared to us. To-day did Gabriel, who stands by God, come to the pure virgin, bearing to her the glad annunciation, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured!” …Most of the holy fathers, and patriarchs, and prophets desired to see Him, and to be eye-witnesses of Him [Christ], but did not attain hereto. And some of them by visions beheld Him in type, and darkly; others, again, were privileged to hear the divine voice through the medium of the cloud, and were favoured with sights of holy angels; but to Mary the pure virgin alone did the archangel Gabriel manifest himself luminously, bringing her the glad address, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured!” And thus she received the word, and in the due time of the fulfilment according to the body’s course she brought forth the priceless pearl.

The Second Homily

Gabriel was sent to the holy virgin; the incorporeal was despatched to her who in the body pursued the incorruptible conversation, and lived in purity and in virtues. And when he came to her, he first addressed her with the salutation, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured! the Lord is with thee.”

…When, moreover, the fulness of the times came for His glorious appearing, He sent beforehand the archangel Gabriel to bear the glad tidings to the Virgin Mary. And he came down from the ineffable powers above to the holy Virgin, and addressed her first of all with the salutation, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured.”

…For this word also is contained in the oracle of the evangelic history: “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house and lineage of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”

The Third Homily

An angel talks with the Virgin, in order that the serpent may no more have converse with the woman. In the sixth month, it is said, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a virgin espoused to a man. [551] Gabriel was sent to declare the world-wide salvation: Gabriel was sent to bear to Adam the signature of his restoration; Gabriel was sent to a virgin, in order to transform the dishonour of the female sex into honour; Gabriel was sent to prepare the worthy chamber for the pure spouse; Gabriel was sent to wed the creature with the Creator; Gabriel was sent to the animate palace of the King of the angels; Gabriel was sent to a virgin espoused to Joseph, but preserved for Jesus the Son of God. The incorporeal servant was sent to the virgin undefiled. One free from sin was sent to one that admitted no corruption. The light was sent that should announce the Sun of righteousness. The dawn was sent that should precede the light of the day. Gabriel was sent to proclaim Him who is in the bosom of the Father, and who yet was to be in the arms of the mother. Gabriel was sent to declare Him who is upon the throne, and yet also in the cavern. The subaltern was sent to utter aloud the mystery of the great King; the mystery, I mean, which is discerned by faith, and which cannot be searched out by officious curiosity; the mystery which is to be adored, not weighed; the mystery which is to be taken as a thing divine, and not measured.

… In the sixth month Gabriel was sent to a virgin–he who received, indeed, such injunctions as these: “Come hither now, archangel, and become the minister of a dread mystery which has been kept hid, and be thou the agent in the miracle… Go thou, therefore, to the Virgin Mary. Pass thou on to that animate city whereof the prophet spake in these words: ‘Glorious things were spoken of thee, O city of God.’

…The archangel heard these things, and considered them within himself, as was reasonable, and said: “Strange is this matter; passing comprehension is this thing that is spoken. He who is the object of dread to the cherubim, He who cannot be looked upon by the seraphim, He who is incomprehensible to all the heavenly [556] powers, does He give the assurance of His connection with a maiden? does He announce His own personal coming? yea more, does He hold out an access by hearing? and is He who condemned Eve, urgent to put such honour upon her daughter? For He says: `So as to prepare for me the accesses of hearing.’ But can the womb contain Him who cannot be contained in space? Truly this is a dread mystery.”

While the angel is indulging such reflections, the Lord says to Him: “Why art thou troubled and perplexed, O Gabriel? Hast thou not already been sent by me to Zacharias the priest? Hast thou not conveyed to him the glad tidings of the nativity of John?…” Thereupon the angel set himself to carry out the commission given him, and repaired to the Virgin, and addressed her with a loud voice, saying: “Hail, thou that are highly favoured! the Lord is with thee…”

 

 

3. From the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.TP.ii.TP_Q30.TP_Q30_A1.html
[EXTRACT]

OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

We now have to consider the Blessed Virgin’s Annunciation, concerning which there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it was befitting that announcement should be made to her of that which was to be begotten of her?

(2) By whom should this announcement be made?

(3) In what manner should this announcement be made?

(4) Of the order observed in the Annunciation. […]

Whether the annunciation should have been made by an angel to the Blessed Virgin?

[…] Objection 4: Further, greater things should be announced by messengers of greater dignity.

But the mystery of the Incarnation is the greatest of all things announced by angels to men. It seems, therefore, if it behooved to be announced by an angel at all, that this should have been done by an angel of the highest order. But Gabriel is not of the highest order, but of the order of archangels, which is the last but one: wherefore the Church sings: “We know that the archangel Gabriel brought thee a message from God” [*Feast of Purification B.V.M. ix Resp. Brev. O.P.]. Therefore this announcement was not becomingly made by the archangel Gabriel.

On the contrary, It is written (Lk. 1:26): “The angel Gabriel was sent by God,” etc.

I answer that, It was fitting for the mystery of the Incarnation to be announced to the Mother of God by an angel, for three reasons. First, that in this also might be maintained the order established by God, by which Divine things are brought to men by means of the angels. Wherefore Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv) that “the angels were the first to be taught the Divine mystery of the loving kindness of Jesus: afterwards the grace of knowledge was imparted to us through them. Thus, then, the most god-like Gabriel made known to Zachary that a prophet son would be born to him; and, to Mary, how the Divine mystery of the ineffable conception of God would be realized in her.”

Secondly, this was becoming to the restoration of human nature which was to be effected by

Christ. Wherefore Bede says in a homily (in Annunt.): “It was an apt beginning of man’s restoration that an angel should be sent by God to the Virgin who was to be hallowed by the Divine Birth: since the first cause of man’s ruin was through the serpent being sent by the devil to cajole the woman by the spirit of pride.”

Thirdly, because this was becoming to the virginity of the Mother of God. Wherefore Jerome says in a sermon on the Assumption [*Ascribed to St. Jerome but not his work]: “It is well that an angel be sent to the Virgin; because virginity is ever akin to the angelic nature. Surely to live in the flesh and not according to the flesh is not an earthly but a heavenly life.” […]

Reply to Objection 4: Some say that Gabriel was of the highest order; because Gregory says (Hom. de Centum Ovibus [*34 in Evang.]): “It was right that one of the highest angels should come, since his message was most sublime.” But this does nat imply that he was of the highest order of all, but in regard to the angels: since he was an archangel. Thus the Church calls him an archangel, and Gregory himself in a homily (De Centum Ovibus 34) says that “those are called archangels

who announce sublime things.” It is therefore sufficiently credible that he was the highest of the archangels. And, as Gregory says (De Centum Ovibus 34), this name agrees with his office: for “Gabriel means ‘Power of God.’ This message therefore was fittingly brought by the ‘Power of God,’ because the Lord of hosts and mighty in battle was coming to overcome the powers of the air.”

Whether the angel of annunciation should have appeared to the Virgin in a bodily vision?

Objection 1: It would seem that the angel of the Annunciation should not have appeared to the Virgin in a bodily vision. For “intellectual vision is more excellent than bodily vision,” as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii), and especially more becoming to an angel: since by intellectual vision an angel is seen in his substance; whereas in a bodily vision he is seen in the bodily shape which he assumes. Now since it behooved a sublime messenger to come to announce the Divine Conception, so, seemingly, he should have appeared in the most excellent kind of vision. Therefore it seems that the angel of the Annunciation appeared to the Virgin in an intellectual vision.

Objection 2: Further, imaginary vision also seems to excel bodily vision: just as the imagination is a higher power than the senses. But “the angel . . . appeared to Joseph in his sleep” (Mat. 1:20), which was clearly an imaginary vision. Therefore it seems that he should have appeared to the Blessed Virgin also in an imaginary vision.

Objection 3: Further, the bodily vision of a spiritual substance stupefies the beholder; thus we sing of the Virgin herself: “And the Virgin seeing the light was filled with fear” [*Feast of Annunciation, B.V.M. ii Resp. Brev. O.P.]. But it was better that her mind should be preserved from being thus troubled. Therefore it was not fitting that this announcement should be made in a bodily vision.

On the contrary, Augustine in a sermon (De Annunt. iii) pictures the Blessed Virgin as speaking thus: “To me came the archangel Gabriel with glowing countenance, gleaming robe, and wondrous step.” But these cannot pertain to other than bodily vision. Therefore the angel of the Annunciation appeared in a bodily vision to the Blessed Virgin.

I answer that, The angel of the Annunciation appeared in a bodily vision to the Blessed Virgin.

And this indeed was fitting, first in regard to that which was announced. For the angel came to announce the Incarnation of the invisible God. Wherefore it was becoming that, in order to make this known, an invisible creature should assume a form in which to appear visibly: forasmuch as all the apparitions of the Old Testament are ordered to that apparition in which the Son of God appeared in the flesh.

 

 

Secondly, it was fitting as regards the dignity of the Mother of God, who was to receive the Son of God not only in her mind, but in her bodily womb. Therefore it behooved not only her mind, but also her bodily senses to be refreshed by the angelic vision.

Thirdly, it is in keeping with the certainty of that which was announced. For we apprehend with greater certainty that which is before our eyes, than what is in our imagination. Thus Chrysostom says (Hom. iv in Matth.) that the angel “came to the Virgin not in her sleep, but visibly. For since she was receiving from the angel a message exceeding great, before such an event she needed a vision of great solemnity.”

Reply to Objection 1: Intellectual vision excels merely imaginary and merely bodily vision.

But Augustine himself says (De Annunt. iii) that prophecy is more excellent if accompanied by intellectual and imaginary vision, than if accompanied by only one of them. Now the Blessed Virgin perceived not only the bodily vision, but also the intellectual illumination. Wherefore this was a more excellent vision. Yet it would have been more excellent if she had perceived the angel himself in his substance by her intellectual vision. But it was incompatible with her state of wayfarer that she should see an angel in his essence.

Reply to Objection 2: The imagination is indeed a higher power than the exterior sense: but because the senses are the principle of human knowledge, the greatest certainty is in them, for the principles of knowledge must needs always be most certain. Consequently Joseph, to whom the angel appeared in his sleep, did not have so excellent a vision as the Blessed Virgin.

 

Liberal Theology Misses Plain Truth

By Rachel Alexander Conservative Monitor January 8, 2003 http://www.conservativemonitor.com/society03/2.shtml

Rachel Alexander, Intellectual Conservative http://intellectualconservative.com/

A primary difference between liberals and conservatives theologically is the way they interpret the Bible. Liberals read the Bible symbolically or allegorically, as a collection of interesting stories to take whatever meaning out of that pleases them. This allows them to reject various portions of the Bible they disagree with. Liberals label their interpretation as a “critical” approach, which essentially allows most of their theology to consist of finding ways to criticize the Bible, rather than actually trying to determine what it says. Theological conservatives believe the Bible is God’s inspired word to humanity, and therefore believe that the Bible must be studied seriously. Conservatives believe that God does not make errors.

Liberals primarily criticize conservatives’ interpretation of the Bible by accusing them of interpreting it “literally.” Of course, most conservatives who interpret the Bible “literally” are simply reading the plain meaning of the Bible, as opposed to attempting to distort it to fit their own personal shortcomings. Furthermore, they aren’t always interpreting the Bible “literally.” If they were, there would be a lot more stoning going on, and every conservative Christian would insist that the Creation happened in seven 24-hour days, instead of the genuine debate that goes on between conservative Christians over how old the earth is. The Bible cannot be read completely literally, it is like any literary work; it incorporates literary devices, such as parables. For example, Jesus tells the parable of the farmer who scattered seed on different types of soil, and how the seeds, like people, developed differently depending on their foundation and circumstances. Obviously, Jesus was not telling us we must literally scatter seed on different types of soil, but was using the story as a lesson from which we must learn a moral truth.

Liberals have come up with a litany of ways to dismiss the plain truths found in the Bible. Two of their favorite ways include trying to find contradictions and vagueness in the Bible, in order to discredit portions of it. Because of the syntax of language, as well as differences resulting from translation, anyone can find anything “wrong” in any literature. If you and I were both at a meeting, and I took copious notes, and you made sure my notes were precise, there would always be someone later who read my notes and could point out supposed contradictions or vagueness.

Liberals also search for parts of the Bible that address the culture of the time it was written in, in order to discredit the (entire) Bible as “outdated.” For example, liberals insist that none of the Bible can be taken literally, because the Old Testament consists of extremely harsh laws that God once instructed his people to live by. Of course, with the coming of Jesus, who replaced the harshness of Old Testament laws with his kinder teachings, the Old Testament law was replaced. Yet instead of acknowledging this, and accepting the Old Testament without the harshness that Jesus removed from it, liberals would prefer to write off the entire Bible.

Liberals believe in “moral relativism,” which means there is no clear right or wrong, just varying shades of gray. They then try to transfer this belief onto the Bible, focusing on the few verses they can find that can be twisted to support this interpretation. However, the Bible is full of clear moral judgments. A favorite verse liberals overemphasize is “Judge not lest ye be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Of course, this verse can be interpreted in many ways, and even more importantly, there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that could be considered contradictory to this one verse, if liberals would examine them in the way they do other portions of the Bible where they insist there are contradictions. There are many verses that admonish associating with sinners, and instead instruct Christians to rebuke them. In James 5:20, which is part of the New Testament, it states, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” Proverbs 27:5 provides, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Proverbs 18:23 states, “He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.” You’ll never hear these verses from liberal Christians.

The Bible even specifically warns Christians that if they do not warn others of their sinful ways, they are themselves doing wrong.

 

 

Ezekiel 33:8 states, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

Another plain-spoken verse in the Bible is the New Testament verse Romans 12:9, which instructs Christians to, “Hate what is evil.” Unlike those liberal bumperstickers which claim that “Hate is not a family value,” the Bible seems pretty clear here.

Maybe liberals need to read the book of Proverbs. Proverbs primarily consists of critical words regarding wrongful behavior and admonitions to live a pure life. It would be hard to make the case for Proverbs as an example that the Bible promotes moral relativism.

Considering it is written in several places throughout the Bible that fewer people are going to enter heaven than expected, wouldn’t it be wiser to err on the side of interpreting the Bible’s admonitions seriously, rather than treating them as amusing tales? Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” If liberal Christians can find a way to intellectualize those verses out of their plain meaning, it would be interesting to hear how they did it. But would it be worth risking their souls?

 

From:
prabhu
To:
benedictxvi@vatican.va; benedettoxvi@vatican.va; av@pccs.va;

Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:00 AM

Subject:
THEOLOGICAL ERRORS IN THE COMMENTARIES OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB] PUBLISHED IN INDIA BY ST PAULS
[EXTRACT]

AN ERRONEOUS AND DANGEROUS CATHOLIC BIBLE HAS BEEN RELEASED IN INDIA: THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE. SIMILAR PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW TAMIL MISSAL AND THE NEW TAMIL BIBLE ANALYZED BY A PRIEST

TO:
HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI

[… See LETTERS TO THE HOLY SEE_NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE on website]
We have found similar errors in 

a) The newly translated Tamil language Missal, 1993

b)
The new translation of the Holy Bible in the Tamil language, 1995

A senior priest, Dr. Fr. P.K. George SJ., has analysed some of the problems in his twenty-six page booklet titled, “Ongoing Robbery
of Faith” authored in 1996.
The priest’s report is attached herewith for your perusal. […]

THE NCB TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

The commentary Luke 1 [page1796 of the NCB, right hand column] denies that the angel Gabriel literally appeared and spoke to Mary. The commentator, the late Fr. George Soares Prabhu SJ now teaches Catholics that “The story of the annunciation is not to be read as a literal report of what happened, but as a dramatization of the inner experience of Mary’s call to be the mother of the Messiah.”

In effect, he is saying, “The angel Gabriel did not appear to Mary. It was not a real, historical, external event. The Annunciation is just a story explaining how Mary experienced internally the call of God and responded to it.”

Frankly, to me that sounds like heresy. A theologian who is faithful to tradition and Church teaching might be able to explain better the wider implications of such liberal theology as the above. He would also be able to find many more such errors in the other NCB commentaries, subtle untruths that have earlier escaped my team and me [I have not included this point in my original critique].

If the Bishops have given the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat for the NCB, it means that they have endorsed the new teaching that the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary was not an actual historical event. It also means that all the Bishops who have released the NCB, the priest-editor of The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay, and all others who defend the NCB, print and publish it and promote its sale are in agreement with this teaching that is not in any catechism or other Catholic study Bible.

Or else, they did not read this commentary.

The Bishop referred to earlier took so much of pains to study the commentaries of the NCB to write a detailed defense in response to my critique on the NCB [please expect the Bishop’s response and my own reply to it].

May I point out to him that he has completely missed this important issue and the errors pointed out now by the French theologian. 

But, this is not an isolated error. It is typical of the problem that Catholics are finding with the entire NCB. Right from the Book of Genesis, the commentators keep stating that certain events/narratives are ‘stories’, ‘myths’, ‘dramatizations, etc’. While a person like me who has made a scholarly study of the Bible from a Catholic perspective can understand what the commentator means, for example when he explains the Creation story or the Flood, the average Catholic ends up confused over what to believe anymore.

Please also find herewith, in a second document attached to this letter, the comments of a summa cum laude theologian on some more errors in the commentaries on the Gospels of St Matthew and St. Luke, along with a couple of related reports on your Holiness’ address to the Synod on the Word of God which was held in Rome in October. 

I trust that you will acknowledge this letter and ensure that the St Pauls’ New Community Bible is withdrawn.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu, Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, INDIA PLEASE READ THE TWO ATTACHMENTS

[SIMILAR LETTER TO ALL COUNCILS AND CONGREGATIONS OF THE HOLY SEE]



Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India

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ephesians-511.net Testimonies

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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