Saturday, December 29, 2007

Phatcatholic Answer to Question #3

In your opening statement, you wrote: "Bede “the Venerable” (672-735) reports in his Ecclesiastical History of England that a bishop cured a sick woman with holy water (see here), and that devils were cast out by it (see here)."

I would respectfully submit to you that in the latter case, the devils were cast out by the use of soil, not water, according to your source, and that the water involved in conferring special powers to the soil was not consecrated water, but water that had touched a relic.

Do you concur?

Well, before we begin, here is the passage from Bede's Ecclesiastical History where he reports that demons were cast out by holy water:
"Then they poured out the water in which they had washed the bones, in a corner of the cemetery. From that time, the very earth which received that holy water, had the power of saving grace in casting out devils from the bodies of persons possessed" (see here).

Now, to respond to your first point, it is true that those possessed by evil spirits were freed when said persons came in contact with the earth where the water was poured out. BUT, it was because of the holy water that the soil had that effect. Were it not for the water the soil would have done nothing. So, it appears to me that the water is the primary agent for the casting out of the evil spirits, not the soil.

As for your second point, how the water is made holy does seem to be as important as the fact that, at the end of the day, water is being used to expel demons. This shows that the use of water to achieve that purpose is far from superstitious ("superstition" of course being the attribution of magical effect to an object or practice that actually has no such effect).

Pax Christi,


phatcatholic said...

I count 225 words. Your opening statement, or "negative constructive" is due by Jan. 5, 2008.

Good luck my friend! I greatly look forward to your post.

phatcatholic said...

tfan....just wanted to remind you that your opening statement is due tomorrow ;)

Turretinfan said...

Thanks for your reminder. It is now posted.