Following Cardinal Manning's excellent book which I have shared with my readers recently, I want to merely mention a few points in his chapter "The Relation of The Holy Ghost to The Divine Tradition of the Faith."
This chapter reveals where Catholics and Protestant disagree. We believe that the Tradition of the Catholic Church is directly guided and inspired by the continual Presence of the Holy Spirit.
Manning wrote this startling paragraph in 1865:
"Protestantism is gone in Germany. The old forms of religious thought are passing away. They are going in England. Separation has generated separation. The rejection of the Divine Voice has let in the flood of opinion, and opinion has generated scepticism and scepticism has brought on contentions without an end."
"The critical unbelief of dogma has now reached to the foundation of Christianity, and to the veracity of Scripture. Such is the world the Catholic Church sees before it at this day. The Anglicanism of the Reformation is upon the rocks, like some tall ship stranded upon the shore, and going to pieces by its own weight and the steady action of the sea. We have no need to play the wreckers. It would be inhumanity to do so. God knows that the desires and prayers of Catholics are ever ascending that all which remains of Christianity in England may be preserved, unfolded, and perfected into the whole circle of revealed truths and the unmutilated revelation of the faith."
"There is a day coming, when they who have softened down the truth or have been silent, will have to give account. I had rather be thought harsh than be conscious of hiding the light which has been mercifully shown to me."
In the rest of the chapter, Manning shows how the only thing really separating the Protestants from the true Church is the "divine tradition of dogma, its certainty and purity."
That the Holy Spirit has guided and taught the Church to interpret Scripture, to develop liturgy, to expounded on doctrines regarding Christ and Mary, as well as other topics, is the one truth denied by the Protestants.
They simply do not believe that the Holy Spirit is in the Church constantly, through-out the ages.
As Manning writes, the doctrines of the Church are not only incorrupt, but incorruptible.
I encourage readers to dip into this excellent book. Next week, when I am more settled, I shall continue with Cardinal Manning's other book on the Holy Spirit.
to be continued..........