Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Cardinal Cajetan and 8 Important Points
Who is Cardinal Cajetan?
In a nutshell(a REALLY tiny nutshell)
He's a Catholic cardinal that Protestants bring forth to try and prove that the Deuterocanon was not widely accepted by the Catholic Church till the Council of Trent. They point to his rejection of the Deuterocanon in support of the Protestant Canon.
Do Cardinal Cajetan and his views on the Canon support Protestantism?
Before we examine the 8 Important points, let's read a snippet of what Cajetan says on this topic below
“Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the Bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the Bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.”
Now moving on to the 8 important points
Examining Cardinal Cajetan we read(sometimes our points on Cajetan will be DIRECT quotes from his commentary above!)
That the DEUTEROCANON are counted as APOCRYPHAL by ST. JEROME.
That is point number ONE
1.(the Deuterocanon)are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha
Point number two is that
2. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical.
So that leads to point number 3
Which according to Cajetan is that
3. The Deuterocanonical Books are deemed as CANONICAL by the SACRED COUNCILS of the Church. Meaning, the Councils of the Church that decided upon Sacred Scripture viewed these books as inspired by the Holy Spirit and as the WORD OF GOD. What is also clear is that the DOCTORS of the Church also viewed the Deuterocanon as CANONICAL.
Point number 4 is basically re-affirming what Cajetan says, but noting it carefully.
4. The Early Church, in the Doctors and the Councils viewed the Deuterocanon as SCRIPTURE and as part of the Canon of the Bible.
Moving on to point number 5. We must see the incredible level of authority that Cajetan has placed Jerome on. Jerome, for Cajetan, is the final word, and final statement on this issue, even though the Early Doctors and Councils viewed these books as Scripture, as Sacred Scripture.
So point number 5 is
5. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome.
A clear examination is due. Cajetan serves as a great witness to the Catholic canon of Scripture because he sides with Jerome, who rejected the Deuterocanon for reasons that not even most PROTESTANTS would list as the reason to reject the Canon today. Not only does he side with Jerome, but he places Jerome above the early Sacred Councils and Doctors of the Church. Such a statement, if not ignorant, is at least stubborn.
6.(the Deuterocanon)are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith.
Point number 6 is important because here Cajetan reaffirms his loyalty to Jerome on this issue. The Deuterocanon, for Cajetan are NOT canonical. That is, they are NOT to be a rule in dealing with matters within the Catholic faith.
This brings us to point number 7, which immediately follows what Cajetan said previously.
Cajetan now says
7. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the Bible for that purpose.
Previously Cajetan has said that these books were NOT canonical, yet now says they MAY BE CALLED CANONICAL because they can serve to edify the faithful. Therefore, Cajetan doesn't mind if they are called CANONICAL if we realize that they are good as helping out a Christian. He previously said they can't CONFIRM matters of faith, and now says they can help the practicing Christian.
Some have suggested Cajetan is using the term Canonical differently. Since no evidence has presented as such, nor has Cajetan ever said such, we will simply dismiss such a statement. In fact, we will remain neutral as to how he uses the term CANONICAL. It is simply not of importance for us in this issue at hand.
This moves us on to our Conclusion and to point number 8
8. Cajetan, no matter how he uses the term Canonical, let's us know that the EARLY CHURCH, the Early Christians, and the Early Councils viewed these books as SACRED SCRIPTURE and part of the Canon of Scripture. He then goes AGAINST the Early Church and the Early Councils and instead sides with Jerome.
We must remember, Cardinal Cajetan was NOT an Early Father, yet was a very intelligent and learned individual. He RECOGNIZES the Early Church's affirmation of the Deuterocanon as Scripture, but his insistence on following Jerome as his final word leads to his odd statements on the Canon.
In conclusion, Cajetan not only serves as a fantastic witness to the Catholic faith, but it is almost sad to see a Protestant bring him into the conversation to try and prove their point. It would be akin to a Catholic quoting an early Protestant that would say, "The Early Councils and the Early Doctors never believed in sola fide but Jerome does, so they must be subject to the correction of Jerome on this issue!"
We can only hope that this extremely weak argument is finally put to rest
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