Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fr, Barron --Is Adam a real person?

There is another error Fr. Barron is involved in and it is of no surprise since it is linked with his semi-Origen views.
The question came up in a video by Fr. Robert Barron
around 5:53.

Here is the transcription of that portion:
"Adam. Now, don't read it literally. We're not talking about a literal figure. We're talking in theological poetry, Adam, the first human being, . . ."
So he seems to be saying Adam isn't a real human person, the individual parent of all humans.

Pius XII taught in Humani Generis
"37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.

Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12] "

Several people have asked Fr. Barron for a clarification
on whether he believes Adam was a real man.
He has never directly clarified that he is being misunderstood, when several people have brought this up. Dave Armstrong even wrote a post on his blog  about it. People have sought clarification from Fr. Barron including a priest. It is a very simple thing for him to clear up in a few words. His video on creation/the "fall" is not very clear either what his position is on Original Sin or Adam as a real  person.

In this video he says "the figure of Adam" this again causes confusion whether he thinks Adam as a person or a "figure" which can be understood to mean 'Adam is figurative'

Around 1:35 he talks about Adam and Eve but never mentions Original Sin nor even their names as real people.
Around 6:20 he refers to "Adam is science/philosophy." Now that wouldn't be a problem if he also accepted Adam as a literal person, but never makes that point.
Again he says "Adam walking in easy friendship with God that beautiful allusion" Well allusion can mean a metaphor or parable.

The Catholic understanding of interpretation is taken from St. Jerome who, in the beginning of his studies, was an Origenist, a fan of the metaphorical understanding of scripture, but then reformed his understanding--- first to take it literally, as opposed to Origen's method of leaning too much on allegory, and then later draw spiritual meaning afterwards.This  became the standard Catholic way of interpretation, Pope Benedict XV in SPIRITUS PARACLITUS  on St. Jerome, Sept.15, 1920 explains :

"We do not for a moment deny that Jerome, in imitation of Latin and Greek doctors before him, leaned too much, especially at the outset, towards allegorical interpretations. But his love of the Bible, his unceasing toil in reading and re-reading it and weighing its meaning, compelled him to an ever-growing appreciation of its literal sense and to the 88 formulation of sound principles regarding it. These we set down here, for they provide a safe path for us all to follow in getting from the Sacred Books their full meaning...
...Jerome then goes on to say that all interpretation rests on the literal sense, and that we are not to think that there is no literal sense merely because a thing is said metaphorically, for "the history itself is often presented in metaphorical dress and described figuratively...
....[H]e insists that in searching for this deeper meaning we must proceed in due order, "lest in our search for spiritual riches we seem to despise the history as poverty-stricken."[94] Consequently he repudiates many mystical interpretations alleged by ancient writers; for he feels that they are not sufficiently based on the literal meaning: "

So, while taking the spiritual or allegorical, we should not sacrifice the literal. We first take the passage literal if it isn't clearly a parable or  some obvious figurative language and then we can go further. But Fr. Barron seems to have dismissed the literal all together. Origen was prone to do the same and some think his manner of interpretation laid down the possibility for the Arian heresy.

Dave Armstrong  never brought  up this point but I think Fr. Barron holds a semi-Origenist understanding of salvation. This would be logical if he didn't accept Adam or Original Sin as real things but only figurative. He, like Von Balthazar, Fr, Neuhaus, thinks hell might be empty:
Here in this video he gives and excellent explanation of the doctrine of hell but at the end, around 6:30, seems to think it is empty:

In this next video he aligns himself  with Von Balthazar and Fr. Neuhaus
Around 2:30 he explains the traditional position of Augustine and Aquinas but calls it dark that Original Sin condemns all humanity to hell and implies he isn't happy that Aquinas agrees with Augustine on this point. He calls their position, "views" when they are really dogma according to  the councils of Lyons and Florence:

“…The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with Original Sin only,     however, immediately descend to hell, to be punished with different punishments…--     (Denzinger 464)
 “…Moreover, the souls of those who depart in     actual mortal sin or in Original Sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo     punishments of different kinds.”  (Denzinger 693)

All who die in Original Sin descend into hell, but of a different punishment--ie. Limbo.

 He then goes on to explain that Karl Barth was essentially an Originist and Von Balthazar was only different from Barth, in that Barth said we "know" all are saved but Von Balthzar said we "hope" all will be saved
The problem is we do "know" all CAN be saved but we also know Jesus said few find it. The catch they don't mention is that only in Jesus Christ who we must take as Lord and Savior, can we be saved.

He also said that the Church never taught any people are in hell when this is not true. The council of Florence taught:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives…”(Denzinger 714)

So the Church has taught that some people do indeed go to hell if they are not in Jesus Christ his mystical body. While it is true the Church doesn't have "anti-beatifications"-saying infallibly who specifically, by name, who is IN hell bur this is a far cry from what they, "Barron-ites" imply by this. The fact is the Church teaches those who are not in the Church and EXPLICITLY believe in Jesus Christ can NOT be saved.. Without this understanding then the Great Commission-- 'Go to  the whole world teaching all that I have taught Baptizing them' makes no sense.