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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

"Keys of the Kingdom," and Combination Locks, and Whether Or Not “Purgatorye ys Pissed Owte”

... as Robert Wymond memorably, if inaccurately, claimed.

Himself is deep into a currently televised  Masterpiece based on a beautiufully written anti-Catholic fantasy, although he agrees with me, (I, who am in and out of the room as he watches and have seen quite a bit of the program, have only expressed my opinion once, very early in the series,) that it is extremely slow and somewhat boring.
But still it's history, so it's sure to hold him to the very end.
(Terrific acting, terrific! And clever writing, it's the editing and pacing where it falls down. IMHO)
But Himself, as I, will nearly always want to delve into primary sources, (I tend to merely wade into the shallow end, but he is a strong swimmer.)

I hope some of his research will make him angry, and I am fairly certain it will.
He gets spitting mad at the Oliver Stones and the apologists who canonize Robert E Lee and vilify U. S Grant.

As for me, as I said, I seldom leave the kiddie pool of research.

Anyway, having engaged in a conversation about purgatory and intercessory prayer with an inquisitive fourth-grader, I was thinking back to my surprise at the Ten Articles, Thirty-Nine Articles or the Six or Fourteen or however many there were in the time period depicted in an episode of the Tudors, and how badly the post-VC II reformers had done, (in some cases,) to slide into (some of) the demands of the Reformation-era reformers, (other demands were quite right,) and how strange and piece-meal was England's fall into heresy.

And at the time, I remember, wandering around those Interwebs the way I used to wander around the card catalogue, and learning things I didn't know about the beginnings of protestantism, (and why, as Newman said, "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.")
Heck, Luther's protestantism is only skin deep!
the remission and participation [in the blessings of the Church] which are granted by the pope are in no way to be despised, for they are, as I have said, the declaration of divine remission. 
Well.... yeah. 38/95
 And again, at 61/95,
it is clear that for the remission of penalties and of reserved cases, the power of the pope is of itself sufficient.
But this was a shocker
The power which the pope has, in a general way, over purgatory, is just like the power which any bishop or curate has, in a special way, within his own diocese or parish.
Purgatory, Luther believed in Purgatory. (25/95)

Anyway, all that meandering aside, what I was really thinking about was an ultra-conservative, NOT traditionalist, Catholic whom i came to know when I first ventured into the swamp that is the Catholic blogosphere.
She believed that the Pope's, (it was JP II, at the time,) possession of the Keys to the Kingdom, his authority to bind and loose, authority to canonize exist  essentially as a power to DO those things, whereas my understanding was that they exist as knowledge, the power to KNOW that someone is in heaven, not to put him there, if you will.
The Pope does not, can not compel God to forgive a sinner, can he?
But it can be granted that a pope will know that a sinner who has repented has been forgiven by God.
"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained," is not a simple description of cause and effect.

So if it had been left up to me, since God is All-knowing, All-wise, All-good, it was is NOT, but if it had been -- I would have phrased it to Peter that he didn't have the Keys, exactly, just the combination to the lock.
(The fact that combination locks didn't exist in Apostolic times is a minor problem, but a problem nonetheless, I grant you....)

I'm probably missing something here.
Please, some theologian, enlighten me.

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