The Instigator
RCCD777
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ReformedArsenal
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

The Church did NOT need to be reformed.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
ReformedArsenal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,411 times Debate No: 19606
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

RCCD777

Pro

The Church was in NO need for a reformation. Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc. and all the other Protestant founders were wrong. The Church (The Catholic Church) still remains the TRUE Church
ReformedArsenal

Con

My opponent claims that there was no need for a reformation in the Catholic Church during the time of the Protestant Reformation (16th and 17th centuries primarily).

However, in this claim he stands against Pope Paul III, who was the Pontificate of the Holy Catholic Church from from 1534 to his death in 1549. [A] Pope Paul III called for the Council of Trent, which initiated the counter-reformation or Catholic Reformation. This Catholic Reformation was necessitated by many of the same abuses cited by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the other Protestant Reformers. [B] In fact, one article from Boise State University says "Trenth [sic] would be about reforming Catholicism" [C]

We can see by the facts presented previosly that the Medieval Church did in fact need to be reformed. The Catholic's at the time recognized it, specifically Pope Paul III. In addition, because the council addressed the selling of induldgences as well as other clerical abuses, and condemned them, the Protestant Reformers were in fact NOT wrong. Luther's primary critique against the selling of induldgences, and Calvin's primary critique against the abuse of Clerical Authority were both seen as valid critiques by the Council of Trent.

Thank you.

[A] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[B] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[C] http://www.boisestate.edu...;
Debate Round No. 1
RCCD777

Pro

My opponent says:
"Pope Paul III called for the Council of Trent, which initiated the counter-reformation or Catholic Reformation. This Catholic Reformation was necessitated by many of the same abuses cited by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the other Protestant Reformers."
The Council of Trent wan not a reformation, the Council of Trent was opened because it defined the Teachings of the Catholic Church and answered the heresies of the Protestants.

" The Catholics at the time recognized it, specifically Pope Paul III. In addition, because the council addressed the selling of indulgences as well as other clerical abuses, and condemned them, the Protestant Reformers were in fact NOT wrong."
The PEOPLE needed to be reformed NOT the Church ! The only thing that made the reformation wrong was that Luther changed the Teachings of the Catholic Church. If the pope agreed with Luther he would have not condemned him.

"Luther's primary critique against the selling of indulgences, and Calvin's primary critique against the abuse of Clerical Authority were both seen as valid critiques by the Council of Trent."
That may have been ONE of there goals but how I understand it, they changed several teachings of the Catholic Church which was indeed WRONG ! The reformation should have only condemned the bad priests and bishops but not the Church which the bible calls the "Pillar and Ground of the Truth" (1 Tim.3:15) The Church could not have gone into apostasy because if this was so Jesus was wrong when he said "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it(the church"
Conclusion
The Reformation's goal should have been to discipline the clergy but instead it condemned the teachings of the Church. The Church could not have been in error for we know that Christ is with his church and it is the "Pillar and Ground of the Truth". The purpose of the Council of Trent was to condemn the heresies that were brought up from the Protestant "Reformation". The Church was in no need of a reformation, the people in the church (the sinners) were.
ReformedArsenal

Con

It would be perhaps beneficial at this point to introduce a definition of the word "reform." My opponent seems to think that this is a synonym with "reconstitute" or "reshape." His primary critique appears to be that the Reformers somehow changed the essential nature of the Church.

However, this is an inaacurate understanding of the word "reform." According to dictionary.com (based on the Random House Dictionary) the noun reform means "the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt,unsatisfactory, etc." [A]

Under this definition, addressing the abuses of clerical authority and the abuses of indulgences by the Catholic Church prior the the Council of Trent indeed represents reform.

My opponent writes "The Council of Trent was not a reformation." He also writes "The PEOPLE needed to be reformed NOT the Church." However, according to the Catholic Encycolopedia found at newadvent.org, that although the primary goal of Trent was to address the Protestant question, "a further object was the execution of a thorough reform of the inner life of the Church by removing the numerous abuses that had developed in it." Furthermore, it is noted that "The commission of reform, appointed in July, 1536, drew up a report as the basis for the correction of the abuses in ecclesiastical life" [B]

In addition, my opponent's distinction between the People and the Church is artificial and not supported by Catholic doctrine. According to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, found in The Complete and Updated Catechism of the Catholic Church, the people are the Church. "The word 'Church' means 'convocation.' It designates the assembly of those whom God's word 'convokes,' i.e., gathers together to form the People of God." [C] Now, in case my opponent wishes to challenge this document, it is important to note that it is approved and commissioned by Pope John Paul XXIII. He writes "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine. [...] I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion." If my opponent insists on this distinction between the People and the Church, he does so in opposition to Pope John Paul XXIII and the official doctrine of the Church.

My opponent continues on to refute the protestant reformation. He is free to do so, but at this point it is not relevant to the debate. The Pope of the era, the assembled cardinals and bishops at the Council of Trent, the Protestant Reformers, as well as Catholic Reformers like Erasmus, all recognized the need for reform in the Church. My opponent must either acknowledge that Pope Paul III and the Council of Trent was wrong, or he must conceed that reform was needed.

[A] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
[B] http://www.newadvent.org...;
[C] Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 223: Paragraph 777
Debate Round No. 2
RCCD777

Pro

RCCD777 forfeited this round.
ReformedArsenal

Con

My opponent has forfeited the prior round.

This is not a concession or an automatic loss, please judge the debate according to the arguments that are presented. This simply means that there is one less round of argumentation.

Please extend my arguments through this round.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
RCCD777

Pro

I am sorry for not responding, I had lost track of time that day but I'm here now. Anyway,

There is a difference between the church which are the people, and the church which is the institution. Christ founded a visible and hierachial church. We the members of the Church are also considered "the church" but this is a whole different debate topic.

My opponent stated "However, this is an inaccurate understanding of the word "reform." According to dictionary.com (based on the Random House Dictionary) the noun reform means "the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt,unsatisfactory, etc."

I agree with this definition and what I am saying is the Church (the visible/hierarchical structure) did not need to be improved because it was NOT wrong, or corrupt. The Church (the visible structure) is the Pillar and ground of the Truth meaning it is without err. (1Peter 3:15) The gates of hell cannot prevail against the church(Matthew 16:18) so if the protestant reformation was right to say these teachings are wrong in the church and should not be taught, then that is a denial that the church is the pillar and ground of the Truth and the gates of hell obviously prevailed if the church is corrupt. Jesus promised the Holy Ghost will guide the church and the church is still guided and will always be guided. If the Catholic Church is the original Church then this is the Church that Jesus was referring to therefore this Church can not be in or teach any error or become corrupt. Now, the church (the people) can fall away and the gates of hell can surely prevail against the people if they allow it to but the Church (the visible/structure) cannot ERR which the Protestant Reformation claimed it DID ! Martin Luther made 95 Thesis were on some issues regarding the abuses of the church(the people) BUT it also were on some issues which the visible structure taught. Examples are absolution and indulgences. Martin Luther was right to say that indulgences were abused BUT he was NOT right to take the whole practice of indulgences ALLTOGETHER. He didn't believe in indulgences, transubstantiation, absolution which were all CATHOLIC TEACHINGS ! This is why is was wrong. It attacked Catholic Teaching and NOT the bad Catholics ONLY which should have been his goal.

On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X issued a rebuttal to Luther's objections. He made a papal encyclical titled Exsurge Domine ("Arise, O Lord"). This document outlined the Magisterium of the Church's findings of where the pope believed Luther had erred.

Also, the council of Trent was NOT neccessarilly a reformation but it can be called that because like you have shown in the definition of "reform" ("the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt,unsatisfactory, etc.") The council of Trent "improved" the Protestant reformation by not rejecting Catholic Teachings, it "amended what was wrong" because it was wrong to try and change any Catholic Teaching. It improved what was "corrupt" which was not the Church but the teachings of Martin Luther which was not the Teachings of Christ.
ReformedArsenal

Con

Thank you to my opponent for his contribution.

"There is a difference between the church which are the people, and the church which is the institution. Christ founded a visible and hierachial church. We the members of the Church are also considered "the church" but this is a whole different debate topic."

My opponent is shifting definitions. The first definition introduced into the debate is the definition to be used, unless an appropriate challenge to that definition is present. To be generous, I used the definition of the Church that is found in the Catholic catechism, yet my opponent still challenges it. The simple fact is that the Church, as defined by official Catholic Doctrine issued under John Paul XXIII, is the collected people of God. To reform the people of God is to reform the Church. Unless my opponent can successfully show that this definition is deficient, it stands.

The remainder of my opponent's argument is based on this artificial split between the Church as the people of God and the Church as the magisterial empire of the Roman Catholic Church. Since the definition of Church provided does not recognize this split, his argument is irrelevant.

My opponent then claims that "the council of Trent was NOT necessarily a reformation." He stands contrary to sources provided from both Secular (Wikipedia and Boise State University) and Catholic (Newadvent.org) which claim that Trent was primarily a reform movement centering on reforming the clerical abuses that had crept into the institution of Pope Leo X's Catholic Church.

Unless my opponent can show that these sources are not correct in their assertion, then the resolution stands unproven and therefore Con wins the debate.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
RCCD777

Pro

The Church is the body of Christ. At the beginning of the debate we did not show which definition we were using. We both were debating on the reformation of the church but both seem to have a different definition of "church". I understand what my opponent is saying. He says the church is the "people of God" so since the clergy in the days of Luther were "bad" then the "people of God" were in need of reform, my opponent is correct. It is TRUE that that the church is considered the people of God and he showed evidence but the church is also considered an organization or an institution. The Church itself the organization is "perfect" the members is not. The council of Trent explains it better.

The Council of Trent: "It should not be deemed a matter of surprise that the Church, although numbering among her children many sinners, is called holy. For as those who profess any art, even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and Baptism. Hence, St. Paul calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal, and also charged with grosser crimes. The Church is also to be called holy because she is united to her holy Head, as His body; that is, to Christ the Lord, the fountain of all holiness, from whom flow the graces of the Holy Spirit and the riches of the divine bounty... Moreover, the Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice [the Mass], and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are the efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. "It should not be deemed a matter of surprise that the Church, although numbering among her children many sinners, is called holy. For as those who profess any art, even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and Baptism. Hence, St. Paul calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal, and also charged with grosser crimes. The Church is also to be called holy because she is united to her holy Head, as His body; that is, to Christ the Lord, the fountain of all holiness, from whom flow the graces of the Holy Spirit and the riches of the divine bounty... Moreover, the Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice [the Mass], and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are the efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. The Church, therefore, it is clear, is holy, and holy because she is the body of Christ, by whom she is sanctified, and in whose blood she is washed."

The ending sentence says it all "The Church, therefore, it is clear, is holy, and holy because she is the body of Christ, by whom she is sanctified, and in whose blood she is washed." The Church is a visible institution for the people. A good way to put it is the pedophilia in the priesthood. You cannot blame the Church for the sins of its members just like you cant say a school is bad but the people who go to the school may be bad.
ReformedArsenal

Con

Thank you to my opponent for this lively and engaging debate.

My opponent closes by simply quoting a large portion of the Council of Trent. This is nice, but it doesn't change anything. While it is true that Trent is arguing that the holiness of the institutional Church is distinct from the holiness of the people of the Church, that does not mean that the institutional Church and the people of the Church are different.

Furthermore, a reform in the Church does not necessitate a restructuring of the organizational Church or a wholesale replacement of Church teaching. My opponent seems to think that in order for reform to happen, that this would need to occur. He seems to think that any change in the church's teaching or organization would reflect that the Gates of Hell had somehow prevailed against the Church. This ignores the historical fact that the Church that St. Peter lead was structurally different than the Church that Pope Benedict leads. This ignores the historical fact that doctrines have developed over time and changed (The immaculate conception and the assumption of Mary were not taught explicitly until the middle ages, the satisfaction theory of atonement was not taught until Anselm and replaced Christus Victor). The simple fact is that the Church has changed in both structure and teaching... does my opponent really seek to argue that it hasn't?

Finally, the definition of Church was not introduced until I introduced it. In a debate, if a word's definition is in question the first definition from a reliable source stands unless challenged. It was not challenged by my opponent using a reputable source, and therefore my definition stands. The people are the Church, and the people needed reform. This is clear by the fact that not only were several Catholic Reformers (Namely Erasmus), Proto-Reformers (John Huss), and Protestant Reformers all identified serious papal and clerical abuses. This is further bolstered by the fact that Pope Paul III and the Bishops who convened the Council of Trent not only did so to address the need for reform, but implemented several reform movements.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
Just in time for my RFD. CON gets the conduct point because PRO forfeited; likewise, he was the only person to source throughout the debate (thus giving him the source point).

Arguments: As MIG pointed out, Pro's case was semantic-related and was unable to refute the official definition of the church as defined by the Catechism. Although this does not show that the church needs to be reformed, CON did easily win this debate. Pro, however, failed to account for the change (and as pro pionted out, his own pope stated that there were needs for change).
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
*debate
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
NOTE: However, Pro failed to account for changes in such structures [[as in, failed to demonstrate how the church could remain pure in spite of changes in its structure over time]], and [&ct].

Good job, but Reformed, another good cebate again.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
RCCD777ReformedArsenalTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: See comments
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
RCCD777ReformedArsenalTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: An interesting debate, though unfortunately Pro's case was hampered by an inability to challenge and refute the official definition of the church as defined by the Catechism...and his superficial differentiation between the church ("hierarchical structure") and the people. True, Pro's arguments would be convincing, especially in light of the council of Trent's statement that it is holy due to its status of the body of Christ. However, Pro failed to account for changes in such structures, and