About Cats

Cats are {similar|comparable|related|equivalent|very similar|identical} in anatomy {to the|towards the|for the|to your|on the|into the} other felids, with {strong|powerful|robust|sturdy|solid|potent}, {flexible|versatile|adaptable} bodies, {quick|fast|rapid|speedy|swift|brief} reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and {teeth|tooth} {adapted|tailored} to killing {small|little|tiny|modest|smaller|compact} prey. Cat senses {fit|match|suit|in shape|healthy} a crepuscular and predatory {ecological|environmental} {niche|market|area of interest|specialized niche}. Cats can {hear|listen to} {sounds|seems|appears} {too|as well|also|far too|way too|much too} faint or {too|as well|also|far too|way too|much too} {high|higher|substantial|large|superior|significant} in frequency for human ears, {such as|like|for example|including|for instance|just like} {those|these|individuals|people|all those|many} {made|produced|created|manufactured|built|designed} by mice {and other|as well as other|along with other|and also other|and various|together with other} {small|little|tiny|modest|smaller|compact} {game|sport|recreation|match|video game|activity}. {They can|They are able to|They’re able to|They could|They will|They’ll} see in {near|close to|around|in close proximity to|in the vicinity of} darkness. Like most mammals, cats have poorer {color|colour|shade|coloration} {vision|eyesight} {and a|along with a|as well as a|plus a|and also a|in addition to a} {better|much better|far better|greater|superior|improved} {sense of|feeling of} {smell|scent|odor} than {humans|people|human beings|individuals|mankind|humankind}.
{Despite|Regardless of|In spite of|Even with|Irrespective of|Inspite of} {being|becoming|getting|currently being|staying|remaining} solitary hunters, cats {are a|really are a|certainly are a|can be a|undoubtedly are a|are really a} {social|cultural} species, and cat {communication|conversation|interaction} {includes|consists of|contains|incorporates|involves|features} {the use of|the usage of|using|the utilization of|the application of|the employment of} {a variety of|a number of|many different|various|a range of|several different} vocalizations (meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting) {as well|also|too|at the same time|likewise|in addition} as pheromones {and types|and kinds} of cat-specific {body|physique|entire body|human body|overall body|shape} language.[7]

Cats {have a|possess a|have got a|use a|have a very} {rapid|fast|speedy|quick|swift|immediate} breeding {rate|price|charge|fee|amount|level}. {Under|Below|Beneath|Underneath|Less than} {controlled|managed} breeding, {they can be|they are often|they may be|they could be|they might be|they usually are} bred and {shown|proven|demonstrated|revealed} as registered pedigree pets, a {hobby|pastime|interest|passion|activity} {known|recognized|identified|acknowledged|regarded|well-known} as cat {fancy|extravagant}. Failure {to control|to regulate|to manage} the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, {and the|and also the|as well as the|along with the|plus the|as well as} abandonment of {former|previous} {household|home|family|house|residence|domestic} pets, has {resulted in|led to} {large|big|huge|significant|substantial|massive} {numbers|figures|quantities} of feral cats {worldwide|globally|throughout the world|around the world|all over the world|around the globe}, {with a|having a|using a|by using a|that has a|which has a} {population|populace|inhabitants} of {up to|as much as|approximately|around|as many as|about} {60|sixty} million {of these|of those|of such} animals {in the united states|in america|in the usa|in the states|in the us} {alone|on your own|by yourself|by itself}, {requiring|necessitating|demanding|needing} {population|populace|inhabitants} {control|manage|handle|management|command|regulate}.[8]

{Since|Because|Given that|Considering that|Due to the fact|Considering the fact that} cats {were|had been|have been|ended up|were being} cult animals in {ancient|historical|historic} Egypt, they {were|had been|have been|ended up|were being} {commonly|generally|typically|frequently|normally|usually} {believed|thought|considered} {to have|to possess|to get|to own|to obtain|to acquire} been domesticated there,[9] but there {may|might|could|may possibly|may well|may perhaps} {have been|happen to be|have already been|are already|are actually|are} {instances|situations|cases|circumstances|occasions|scenarios} of domestication as {early|earlier} {as the|because the|since the|as being the|to be the|given that the} Neolithic.[10]

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CBO about Electric Automobiles Don’t Buy Them!

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a good job of shredding the electric car industry and the government’s role in its evolution with this report (Link):

I’m not knocking electric cars, I’m knocking DC’s role in this industry. Washington has provided the loot necessary for research on battery design, it has committed to up to $25Bn of soft loans to the auto industry and it is subsidizing every electric car that is sold. Without the massive support from our rich Uncle Sam there would be no electric car industry in the USA. The question is, Is this money well spent?

The government’s role with electric cars goes back to the 2009 emergency spending program ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act):

ARRA provided $2 billion in funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for grants under that program. Of that amount, $1. 5 billion was awarded to battery producers, intermediate suppliers for those producers, and recyclers of vehicle batteries; the other $500 million was awarded to manufacturers of components for electric vehicles and intermediate suppliers of that manufacturing.

CBO about Electric Automobiles Dont Buy Them!

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a good job of shredding the electric car industry and the government’s role in its evolution with this report (Link):

I’m not knocking electric cars, I’m knocking DC’s role in this industry. Washington has provided the loot necessary for research on battery design, it has committed to up to $25Bn of soft loans to the auto industry and it is subsidizing every electric car that is sold. Without the massive support from our rich Uncle Sam there would be no electric car industry in the USA. The question is, Is this money well spent?

The government’s role with electric cars goes back to the 2009 emergency spending program ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act):

ARRA provided $2 billion in funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for grants under that program. Of that amount, $1. 5 billion was awarded to battery producers, intermediate suppliers for those producers, and recyclers of vehicle batteries; the other $500 million was awarded to manufacturers of components for electric vehicles and intermediate suppliers of that manufacturing.

How do we do

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a good job of shredding the electric car industry and the government’s role in its evolution with this report (Link):

I’m not knocking electric cars, I’m knocking DC’s role in this industry. Washington has provided the loot necessary for research on battery design, it has committed to up to $25Bn of soft loans to the auto industry and it is subsidizing every electric car that is sold. Without the massive support from our rich Uncle Sam there would be no electric car industry in the USA. The question is, Is this money well spent?

The government’s role with electric cars goes back to the 2009 emergency spending program ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act):

ARRA provided $2 billion in funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for grants under that program. Of that amount, $1. 5 billion was awarded to battery producers, intermediate suppliers for those producers, and recyclers of vehicle batteries; the other $500 million was awarded to manufacturers of components for electric vehicles and intermediate suppliers of that manufacturing.

Kingsway Announces Restructuring of its Insurance policy Solutions and Insurance policy Underwriting Segments


TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – (TSX: KFS, NYSE: KFS) Kingsway Financial Solutions Inc. (\”Kingsway\” or the \”Company\”) these days announced that it is restructuring its Insurance policy Providers and Insurance policy Underwriting segments.

\”These restructuring alterations are meant to produce a new leadership group from within the Company\’s ranks, bring extra talent into the organization, expand the insurance coverage services side of the company, and generate the foundation for returning our insurance coverage underwriting operations to profitability\” said Larry G. Swets, Jr., Kingsway\’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

As portion of the Insurance Companies restructuring, Bradley Diericx will be joining the Company on September 17, 2012 as an Executive Vice President.  Mr. Diericx was most not too long ago with Johnson Lambert LLP (\”Johnson Lambert\”), an insurance-targeted CPA firm, in which he was a companion and leader of their Midwest practice.  Prior to his part at Johnson Lambert, Mr. Diericx held executive roles at GE Reinsurance Corporation and the Insurance policy Corporation of Hannover.

Mr. Diericx will be responsible for the oversight of the Company\’s Insurance coverage Solutions segment, which will consist of the previously announced specialty insurance policy business the Company intends to get.  Kingsway recently received approval from the Florida Workplace of Insurance policy Regulation to acquire this specialty insurance enterprise and is now pursuing the remaining state approvals to near the acquisition in the course of the fourth quarter of 2012.

\”Brad brings a wealth of insurance business leadership and information to our crew,\” ongoing Mr. Swets, \”and his connections inside of the insurance coverage room will aid us to improve and expand our insurance coverage services companies, including the new opportunities to be presented when we full the acquisition of the specialty insurance enterprise.  Following completion of that transaction, we assume to pursue a selection of acquisition possibilities as we implement our plans for growth.\”

As component of the Insurance Underwriting restructuring, Kingsway will submit $11.4 million, or $.87 per share, in extra unpaid loss and loss adjustment bills. This amount includes $9.4 million associated to the Company\’s Kingsway Amigo Insurance Company (\”Amigo\”) company mostly to increase prior accident year unpaid loss and reduction adjustment costs on Amigo\’s commercial automobile and personalized injury safety coverages.  This volume also contains $two. million connected to the Company\’s Mendota Insurance Company (\”Mendota\”) and Mendakota Insurance Organization (\”Mendakota\”) business mainly to improve prior accident yr unpaid reduction and loss adjustment costs on their individual automobile physical damage, uninsured motorist and bodily injury coverages.

Kingsway also intends to streamline its non-standard house and casualty insurance business operations beneath one particular management group led by William A. Hickey, Jr., Kingsway\’s EVP, CFO, and COO.  Immediately after the restructuring, the Insurance Underwriting segment principally involves the following subsidiaries of the Company: Mendota, Mendakota, Universal Casualty Company (\”UCC\”), Amigo, KAI Advantage Auto, Inc. (\”Advantage Auto\”), Kingsway Reinsurance Corporation and Kingsway Reinsurance (Bermuda) Ltd.

\”Whilst we have seen improvement in our reduction ratios at our Mendota and Benefit Car franchises,\” stated Mr. Hickey, \”we carry on to see stress at our Amigo subsidiary.  In order for us to consider benefit of the improvements we have observed in the reduction ratios associated to our Mendota and Benefit Vehicle firms, we are reorganizing our non-standard home and casualty insurance company operations so that they operate as one particular organization under a single management team, working out of three locations – Eagan, MN Elk Grove Village, IL and Miami, FL.  Mendota, Mendakota, UCC, Amigo and Advantage Automobile will all be operated underneath 1 common management group.\”

Certain to the Insurance coverage Underwriting segment, Kingsway has taken or intends to pursue the following further actions:

Kingsway has begun taking actions to substantially reduce the amount of industrial lines business written at Amigo and to restructure and update Amigo\’s individual lines product giving.
Kingsway has reacquired the interests held by United Insurance coverage Holdings Corp. in Acadia LP, a limited partnership formed in March, 2011 to hold Hamilton Chance Management Company and its subsidiaries, including Amigo.  As a end result, Amigo is now a a hundred%-owned indirect subsidiary of Kingsway.
Kingsway will minimize staffing ranges to be constant with lowered premium volume at its Amigo business.  Kingsway estimates that it will incur roughly $2. million, or $.15 per share, in money severance bills due to reductions-in-force in excess of the subsequent nine months. Kingsway will highlight actual severance costs incurred as component of its periodic financial reports.
Kingsway will accrue $1.3 million, or $.10 per share, associated to abandonment of leased area at its Mendota and UCC firms. This amount will be paid in money in the course of the remaining lease terms.
\”All of these actions are meant to simplify our non-normal automobile enterprise working technique and move us toward the eventual turnaround of our insurance policy underwriting operations,\” stated Mr. Swets.  \”We believe these restructuring alterations will present the chance for us to start to generate real worth for Kingsway\’s shareholders.\”

About the Business

Kingsway is a holding business working as a merchant bank with a concentrate on lengthy-expression worth-creation.  The Firm owns or controls stakes in numerous insurance industry assets and utilizes its subsidiaries, 1347 Advisors LLC and 1347 Capital LLC, to pursue opportunities acting as an advisor, an investor and a financier. The frequent shares of Kingsway are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange underneath the trading symbol \”KFS.\”

Forward Seeking Statements

This press release involves \”forward seeking statements\” inside of the that means of Area 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Area 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are not historical facts, and involve pitfalls and uncertainties that could lead to real benefits to differ materially from individuals anticipated and projected. Phrases such as \”expects\”, \”believes\”, \”anticipates\”, \”intends\”, \”estimates\”, \”seeks\” and variations and equivalent phrases and expressions are meant to identify this kind of forward-seeking statements.  Such forward searching statements relate to potential activities or potential efficiency, but reflect Kingsway management\’s present beliefs, based mostly on details currently accessible. A number of variables could lead to actual occasions, functionality or benefits to differ materially from the activities, efficiency and results talked about in the forward seeking statements, including, without limitation, our prospective inability to complete current or potential acquisitions efficiently, our inability to efficiently apply our restructuring activities, and our inability to adequately estimate and provide for an suitable level of reserving at our insurance policy firm subsidiaries. For info identifying essential factors that could result in real benefits to differ materially from people anticipated in the forward looking statements, see Kingsway\’s securities filings, like its Yearly Report on Kind 10-K for the yr ended December 31, 2011 (\”2011 Yearly Report\”) and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Except as expressly required by applicable securities law, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward hunting statements whether or not as a result of new info, long term events or otherwise.

Extra Info

Extra data about Kingsway, which includes a copy of its 2011 Yearly Report and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, can be accessed on the Canadian Securities Administrators\’ internet site at www.sedar.com, on the EDGAR area of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission\’s web site at www.sec.gov or via the Company\’s web site at www.kingsway-economic.com.

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3 in 4 Car Proprietors Fear In-Vehicle Connectivity Technology is Also Distracting and Harmful

NEW YORK, Aug. one, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — In-vehicle technology is revolutionizing the driving encounter, particularly when it comes to connectivity options, including mobile device link to the Internet, navigation methods, emergency response methods, and driving behavior checking gadgets. However, much more than 3 in 4 car owners (76%) report that they believe in-car connectivity systems are too distracting and even harmful to have.  In addition, much more than fifty percent (55%) argue that automakers have taken technology for road use too far.

These are some of the outcomes of The Harris Poll of two,634 U.S. adults (ages eighteen and over) of whom one,991 own or lease a car, truck, minivan or SUV, surveyed online between May 7 and Might 15, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Past fearing how connectivity technologies may impede driver focus, a strong majority of car owners (62%) also worry about how technologies may interfere with their privacy, including where and how they generate.  Just more than two in five U.S. car owners (forty one%) believe that their insurance coverage rates could improve simply because of what in-car technology reveals about their driving habits. This is more of a problem among younger drivers between 18 and 35 (forty six%) and men (forty six%).

American car proprietors are, however, conflicted when it comes to technologies and their vehicles. 3 in five (61%) see their car as a haven from the outside world and therefore don\’t want to always be connected while driving. Yet, more than half of vehicle owners find that in-vehicle connectivity tends to make driving more pleasant (58%) and makes them feel safer (fifty seven%) while on the road.  Men in particular enjoy getting connectivity in their vehicles (64%) much more than women (53%) and feel safer with technologies on-board (sixty one%) compared to women (fifty four%).  

The pattern of embracing in-vehicle technology is clearly generational. It is the Infant Boomer generation that finds remaining connected while in their car the minimum essential. Only 39% of car owners fifty to 66 believe in-car connectivity is essential in contrast to 58% of those who are between 18 and 35. When it arrives to new vehicle buy choices, two in three car proprietors between 18 and 35 (66%) say that the vehicle\’s technology has some or a great offer of affect on the next car they select. This drops to just (46%) for these between fifty and 66.

In accordance to recent information created by the 2012 Harris Poll AutoTECHCAST(SM) research, its safety systems this kind of as back again-up cameras, blind spot warning methods and pedestrian sensors that have seen the most interest in the previous yr, in contrast to enjoyment and connectivity technologies.  For those new car purchasers interested in enjoyment and connectivity systems, 24% state that they would think about the option of docking their intelligent phone in their vehicle compared to just 14% who would think about having their enjoyment applications constructed-in.

So What?

\”The data shows that customers generally favor the security and entertainment they find with in-car connectivity, but they don\’t want to give up their privacy by sharing detailed information about their driving routines with businesses that may stand to benefit from the information,\” stated Mike Chadsey, Vice President, Automotive Solutions Consultant, Harris Interactive. \”In addition, the worry of technology distraction appears to outweigh the other perceived advantages of having in-car connectivity options. Vehicle makers ought to take be aware based on the era of their goal market, in-car connectivity can have affect on the purchasing decision, but also a lot of a great factor might just be too much. In the end, when it arrives to marrying technology with their vehicle, customers want it to be both safe and in a way that they can control.  Americans might be addicted to their technology but they also love the independence represented by their automobile and are not ready to have anything interfere with their driving encounter.\”

Much more insights and trends on customer preferences for over sixty sophisticated automotive technologies can be found in the 2012 Harris Poll AutoTECHCAST(SM) study. Among an array of subjects, the research evaluates distracted driving routines, preferences for mobile applications within the linked vehicle of the long term, and the perceptions of time required to offset premiums of alternative powertrain systems. To learn more about the 2012 AutoTECHCAST(SM) research, which is accessible now, please visit: http://www.harrisinteractive.com/Goods/AutoTECHCASTUS.aspx

Desk 1
CONNECTIVITY Options FOR Cars

\”These days, numerous automobiles manufacturers offer many connectivity options for their automobiles. How a lot do you agree or disagree with the following statements about having these systems in your automobiles?\”

Base: Own or lease a vehicle

Agree (Internet)
Highly concur
Somewhat concur
DISAGREE
(Internet)
Somewhat
Disagree
Highly
disagree
Not at all sure
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
I think these technologies can trigger too a lot distraction and are harmful to have
76
forty one
36
twenty
14
6
four
I worry about allowing businesses know also much about where I am and how I drive
sixty two
30
32
32
21
11
six
I consider my car a haven from the outside globe and do not want to usually be connected
61
twenty five
36
34
22
12
five
These systems make driving more enjoyable
58
19
39
35
23
12
7
I really feel safer getting these systems in my car
fifty seven
sixteen
forty one
36
24
12
7
Automobile makers have gone too far with all this technology in vehicles
fifty five
22
33
40
24
16
5
I think it is important to remain connected when in my vehicle
47
sixteen
32
49
30
19
four
I think my insurance coverage rates could improve because they will know my driving habits
41
15
26
forty eight
26
22
11
Note: Percentages may not add to one hundred% because of to rounding.

Desk 2
CONNECTIVITY Choices FOR Vehicles – by generation and gender

\”These days, numerous automobiles manufacturers offer many connectivity choices for their vehicles. How much do you agree or disagree with the subsequent statements about getting these systems in your vehicles?\”
Proportion saying \”Highly/Somewhat Agree\”

Base: Own or lease a vehicle

Total
Era
Gender
Echo
Boomers
(18-35)
Gen X
(36-49)
Infant
Boomers
(50-66)
Matures
(67+)
Men
Women
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
I think these technologies can trigger also a lot distraction and are dangerous to have
76
seventy one
seventy seven
seventy eight
seventy nine
75
77
I worry about allowing businesses know also much about exactly where I am and how I generate
62
sixty three
sixty two
sixty four
fifty six
65
59
I think about my car a haven from the outside world and do not want to always be connected
61
fifty nine
fifty eight
sixty five
sixty one
sixty
sixty two
These systems make driving more enjoyable
58
69
64
49
48
64
53
I feel safer having these systems in my vehicle
fifty seven
sixty three
61
53
53
61
54
Auto makers have gone also far with all this technologies in cars
55
51
51
sixty
fifty eight
54
fifty six
I think it is essential to stay connected when in my car
47
58
forty eight
39
forty five
50
forty five
I believe my insurance prices could increase because they will know my driving habits
forty one
forty six
forty
forty one
31
46
36
Be aware: Percentages might not add to 100% due to rounding.

Table 3
AVAILABILITY OF IN Vehicle Technology ON Next Car Purchase

\”How a lot of an influence would the availability of in-vehicle technologies features have on the vehicle brand names you will consider for your subsequent purchase?\”

Foundation: Owns or leases a vehicle

Complete
Generation
Gender
Echo
Boomers
(eighteen-35)
Gen X
(36-forty nine)
Infant
Boomers
(fifty-66)
Matures
(67+)
Males
Women
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
It would have a fantastic deal of influence
ten
11
twelve
eight
ten
twelve
8
It would have some affect
48
fifty six
51
38
47
fifty
forty five
It would have no influence
forty two
33
37
54
forty three
38
forty seven
Be aware: Percentages may not include to one hundred% due to rounding.

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 7 to sixteen, 2012 among two,634 adults (aged eighteen and over), of whom 1,991 presently own or lease a car. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and home earnings had been weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the inhabitants. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents\’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are topic to multiple sources of error which are most often not feasible to quantify or estimate, including sampling mistake, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, mistake related with question wording and reaction options, and publish-study weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the phrases \”margin of error\” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are various possible sampling mistakes with various probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% reaction rates. These are only theoretical because no printed polls arrive close to this perfect.

Respondents for this study were chosen from amongst those who have agreed to take part in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to replicate the composition of the adult population. Simply because the sample is based on these who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling mistake can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the Nationwide Council on Public Polls.

The outcomes of this Harris Poll might not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion with out the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J41826
Q855, 860, 865, 885

The Harris Poll® #forty nine, August one, 2012

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is 1 of the world\’s top custom and multi-consumer marketplace study companies, leveraging research, technologies, and business acumen to transform pertinent perception into actionable foresight. Recognized extensively for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris provides proprietary options in the areas of marketplace and consumer perception, company brand and reputation technique, and marketing, marketing, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses experience in a wide variety of industries including health treatment, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, monetary solutions, insurance coverage, media, retail, cafe, and customer package deal goods. In addition, Harris has a portfolio of multi-consumer offerings that enhance our custom solutions while maximizing our client\’s study investment.  Serving customers in much more than 215 nations and territories via our North American and European offices and a community of global companions, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – remain ahead of what\’s next. For much more information, make sure you go to http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

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Ecumenism in Roman Catholic theology: Lumen Gentium analysed for Ecumenism..

Summary – Lumen Gentium as an Ecumenical document

Lumen Gentium, (“Light of Nations”, Vatican II, 1964) changed nothing in the ecclesiology of the Roman Catholic Church, and it was designed that way. But the whole process of Vatican II, including this document, did prove to be a catalyst for ecumenical dialogue in many ways. Again, this was by design. Often, the document presents what appears to be a remarkable change in theology in a given chapter, but in each case all such novelty is subtly disclaimed, redefined and qualified back into the traditional Roman Catholic understanding of “Church”. In the areas most contested by Evangelical Protestants, including the Marian Cult, for example, the theology is defended mostly by Church Tradition. The areas better attested by Scripture, such as the Mystery of the Church, are almost completely agreeable to an Evangelical. “Almost”, because in many cases, the Biblical emphasis is actively undermined by subsequent Traditional exposition.

I find that, despite the existence of some other specific doctrines that I don’t agree with, overall there is only one which prevents the Roman Catholic Church from being compatible with my ecclesiology: The office of the Pope, as it is now understood in the church: This office prevents a true collegiate brotherhood of Christian church movements, which would best fit my own concept of ecclesiology: there is only one church.

Detail – Lumen Gentium as an Ecumenical document

What did Lumen Gentium mean to Ecumenism?

The Roman Catholic Church is now a key player in the modern global ecumenical inter-church dialogue. Vatican II in 1964 was a move which set her in a leadership posture by hinting at bold changes in her ecclesiological emphases designed to stimulate new ecumenical possibilities. The reality for Lumen Gentium (LG)[1] was that it produced both “something” and “nothing”: “Nothing”, because it purposefully retained the status quo in every identifiable doctrine; But “something”, in that it presented the Roman Catholic ecclesiology in terms that provided hope to the then young Ecumenical Movement. Forty Five years on, the effects of this “something” still resonate in the movement.[2]

How to approach Lumen Gentium

The traditional way to define ecclesiology is by identifying the “marks of the church”. The Roman Catholic tradition considers that there are four marks of the true church, which are taken from the Council of Constantinople (381),[3] “ecclesia una, sancta, catholica, et apostolica”, or “unity”, “sanctity” (or ”holiness”), “catholicity”, and “apostolicity”. But these terms have become so loaded through their usage in Roman Catholic tradition and elsewhere that, as Snyder observes, “the four classical marks are highly ambiguous. Through the centuries theologians have debated just what they mean and how to interpret them. The marks can be understood in nearly opposite ways.”[4] Furthermore, various reformers have proposed different marks as being definitive at various times,[5] so to employ such “marks” would be to enter into the debate about their meaning. Therefore, the Lumen Gentium document must be evaluated under its own headings, of which there are eight.

THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

First, “THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH” is an expression of the Church as, in Kasper’s words, “a transcendent saving reality which is revealed and manifested in a visible way”.[6] This represents, according to Young, a “turn” and a “new emphasis”,[7] but he is careful not to call it a “departure” from previous ecclesiology.

There are many aspects of this section which provide ecumenically agreeable reflection on Scripture. There are also some distinctively Roman Catholic expressions such as, “as often as [the Eucharist is celebrated], the work of our redemption is carried on” (LG 3), and “governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him” (LG 8).

In my view this section reveals some emphases characteristic of Roman Catholic ecclesiology which I don’t sympathise with, but I find few of the specifics disagreeable and there is much that I find very useful, for example, that the visible and invisible aspects of the Church are “not to be considered as two realities”, but rather “form one complex reality”, which is “embracing in its bosom sinners”, and also is “at the same time holy, and always in need of being purified” (LG 8).

ON THE PEOPLE OF GOD

Second, “ON THE PEOPLE OF GOD” defines who is included in “the People of God” and who is not. The information provided exposes the Roman Catholic worldview in quite a candid way. Underscoring it is the understanding that the Roman Catholic Church “is necessary for salvation” (LG 14).

The Catholic faithful are “fully incorporated in the society of the Church”, but will not be saved unless they meet certain requirements (LG 14). For Catechumens, the intent to be Baptised is sufficient (LG 14), and in an unresolved paradox, other Christians are considered to be “united with Christ” by their Baptism, but are yet to be “peacefully united” with the Roman Catholic Church (LG 15).

Carefully undefined, loaded terminology

Also, whereas the Roman Catholic Church is “linked” with other Christians, it is “related in various ways” to Jews, Muslims, seekers of God, and all others who are yet to “receive the Gospel” (LG 16). These three key terms[8] are not defined, rendering the whole passage completely ambiguous.

Pennington finds that this section presents the People of God as “a vast throng”,[9] rather than a mere clerical hierarchy. This, he says, represents “a fundamental shift in the magisterium’s basic perception of ourselves as Church”,[10] but the apparent “shift” is subtly undermined, in that the supposed “common priesthood” (LG 10) has been divided so that some elements actually still belong exclusively to the clergy, such as “teaching”, “sanctifying” and “ruling” (LG 33), while other elements are available to all the faithful and these two “differ from one another in essence and not only in degree” (LG 10).

No Real Advance

In my view, this section appears to be designed simultaneously to appease traditionalists, universalists, non-Christian groups, and Christian ecumenical lobby groups using tricky word-play and without making any substantive advance on existing exclusive ecclesiology, except perhaps for a barely detectable inference relating to the Church’s attitude towards the Eastern Orthodox Church.[11]

ON THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH AND IN PARTICULAR ON THE EPISCOPATE

Third, “ON THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH AND IN PARTICULAR ON THE EPISCOPATE” reaffirms the Church’s hierarchical episcopacy; indeed, the Papal primacy in the Church is assumed to be “one of [the Church’s] internal constitutive principles”,[12] so that any other Christian community “cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called ‘Churches’ in the proper sense”.[13]

Subtle Hypocrisy

This section mentions “the charism of infallibility of the Church” (LG 23), and the Pope as “visible principle and foundation of unity” (LG 23). This is traditional Roman Catholic language, but there is the appearance of an important shift of emphasis. Young reports a “turn from a monarchical (papal) view of Church authority to a collegial, shared authority of pope and bishops. Leadership is not a position of prestige, but of service”.[14] But for all the talk of collegiality, power is never actually dispersed from the Papal seat, because “the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power” (LG 22), and while servant leadership is depicted in Lumen Gentium for priests and bishops, it never gets directly applied to the Pope, as the leader who claims to be “greatest” and whom Christ would therefore expect to be “very last, and the servant of all” (Mk 9:35).

The Nature of Pastoral Ministry

With respect to the church’s relationship with believers, the use of terms like “govern” (LG 20, 23) and “rule” (LG 6, 10, 32, 37) reveal the paternal nature of the Roman Catholic view of the pastoral ministry.

My own view of the ministry is that pastors are “serving” the congregation and the community rather than “ruling” them, and any “Vicar of Christ” should visibly do so all the more.

THE LAITY

Fourth, “THE LAITY” is a distinction not universally recognised among Christians. In fact Saucy says, “The biblical viewpoint of the ministry provides no [such] distinction”.[15] The concept is important to the Roman Catholic tradition, however, and Volf provides a rationale for the doctrine in that, “the laity alone can say the liturgically necessary ‘amen’”,[16] but Stevens says, “when we enter the world of the New Testament we find only one people, the true laos of God, with leaders among the people”.[17]

The Laity is defined not merely in negative terms such as the “non-ordained” and “non-monastic”, but also in positive terms: “the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God” (LG 31).

Square peg in a round hole?

Bartlett observes sardonically that “the hierarchy is called [in Lumen Gentium] to condescend to share some of its proper ministry with lay people”,[18] which reflects, in my view, the difficulties of maintaining such a transparently hierarchical system of authority while trying to couch it the collegial terminology more compatible with Jesus’ teaching on “servant” leadership (Mk 9:35).

THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO HOLINESS IN THE CHURCH

Fifth, “THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO HOLINESS IN THE CHURCH” is summarised and defended in that “The Church … is believed to be indefectibly holy … therefore in the Church, everyone … is called to holiness” (LG 39).

In my view, this section appears to be written for the consumption of the faithful and is topically familiar to most Christian traditions. It underscores the new Catholic emphasis on inclusion of the Laity in church life and therefore is relevant in the context of Vatican II, but its verbosity is due to the subtlety of argument in explaining how the otherwise unequal hierarchy is equally called to holiness. In a non-Episcopalian tradition it could be much briefer, which would be closer to my own views.

RELIGIOUS (Monastics)

Sixth, “RELIGIOUS” are considered separately from “clergy” and “laity” as a third category. The Religious are living under the Evangelical Counsels, “Chastity, Charity, Poverty”, and “the profession of the evangelical counsels … appears as a sign … to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation” (LG 44).

This section anticipates certain misunderstandings (LG 46) but more generally it encourages the Religious, affirming their role in the life of the church.

An Alternative Suggestion

In my view there is a place for a less structured, and temporary form of monasticism in the ideal ecclesiology, instead of the Catholic life-long vows and without the hierarchical oversight commanded in LG 45.

THE ESCHATOLOGICAL NATURE OF THE PILGRIM CHURCH AND ITS UNION WITH THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN

Seventh, “THE ESCHATOLOGICAL NATURE OF THE PILGRIM CHURCH AND ITS UNION WITH THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN” relates to the doctrines both of “the Communion of the Saints”[19] and “Purgatory”,[20] in which believers are in a present communion with the deceased saints in heaven, giving “recourse to their prayers, their power and help in obtaining benefits from God”, as well as those who are in Purgatory, “still being purified” (LG 50).

Gotta Laugh!

In my view, the exhortation, “we urge all concerned, if any abuses, excesses or defects have crept in here or there, to do what is in their power to remove or correct them” (LG 51), is so exquisitely ironic as to be positively humorous, considering that the unprecedented scale of such abuses formed at least “one of the indirect causes”[21] of the Protestant Reformation, and the schism which is still lamented four hundred years later (LG 15).

The efficacy of prayer

In my view the notion that the prayers of anyone else being more efficacious than my own prayers, made by faith in Jesus’ name, undermines the core of the Gospel message in which Christ has called us friends (Jn 15:15).

THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

Eighth, “THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH” appears to be superfluous and extra-biblical at best, in my view.

“superfluous and extra-biblical at best”

Mary has “a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to us” (LG 54), but how the Pope’s vicarious role in the Church as “Christ” (LG 22) relates to this is unclear and appears to be a contradiction.

LG 62 describes Mary as “mediatrix”, but still completely unnecessary for salvation, since Christ remains “the one Mediator”, and LG 67 appears to be a deliberately crafted boundary for the Marian Cult, firmly establishing the limits to the veneration of Mary.

In my view, the whole Eighth Chapter appears to serve the purpose of simultaneously appeasing the Marian Cult while also containing its excesses.

Summary – Status Quo

In summary, the Roman Catholic Church says that Lumen Gentium deliberately “developed, deepened and more fully explained” the traditional ecclesiology without changing it.[22] By using clever wording and subtly back-peddling on otherwise bold innovations, the status quo was successfully maintained but presented in a way which stimulated ecumenical hope.

Analysing Scriptural Support

There is an attempt to support each section with extensive Biblical references. There are 500 references to 470 distinct “notes”, of which 307 references are directly to Scripture[23] and the balance to supplementary sources. The supposed Biblical emphasis is sometimes “vitiated”[24] by employing Traditional[25] hermeneutics. Understandably, this occurs most in the areas of highest divergence between Evangelicals and Catholics, for example in Chapter 6 on the religious orders, in which only one of the 11 references is to Scripture, and Chapter 8 on Mary, with less than 50% to Scripture.

Conclusion, from the Ecumenical point of view

Although the question of the relationship between Tradition and Scripture is at the very root of Catholic/Protestant doctrinal divergence,[26] I view the hierarchical episcopate which undergirds the Roman Catholic ecclesiology to be the key point of difficulty for ecumenism. This structure, with the Pope as “vicar of Christ” (LG 3) and “visible principle and foundation of unity” (LG 23), may end up being the last remaining barrier to a truly collegiate communion of the Church Universal.[27] If so, one bold solution would be for the Pope to imitate his master who, “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (Phil 2:6), in that the Pope could metaphorically “lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13),[28]infallibly renouncing his claim to divinely sanctioned juridical primacy over the Church Universal (LG 3). The Papal See would almost inevitably then be “exalted”, in some real sense to be distinctly authoritative in the resulting global ecumenical collegiate, but out of brotherly deference rather than jurisdiction.

In my view, such a college would represent a substantial visible unity in the Universal Church despite ongoing doctrinal differences in many specific areas, not least the inevitable question of the membership criteria of the ecumenical body. Despite the difficulties, such a unity would fit better with my own ideals of ecclesiology in which there are “many parts”, but “one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:12-13 cf. Eph 4:3-6).

Bibliography

Bainvel, Jean. “Tradition and Living Magisterium. The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 15.” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm.

Bartlett, David Lyon. Ministry in the New Testament. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.

Basden, Paul, David S. Dockery, and James Leo Garrett. The People of God : Essays on the Believers’ Church. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1991.

Callan, Charles. “Unity (as a Mark of the Church). The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 15.” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15179a.htm.

Clowney, Edmund P., and Gerald Lewis Bray. The Church. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1995.

Douglas, J. D. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. Co., 1974.

Ferguson, Sinclair B., David F. Wright, and J. I. Packer. New Dictionary of Theology. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1988.

George, Timothy. Theology of the Reformers. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1988.

González, Justo L. The Reformation to the Present Day. 1st ed, The Story of Christianity. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984.

Hanna, Edward. “Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 12.” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm.

Kasper, Walter. Theology and Church. New York: Crossroad, 1989.

Levada, William Cardinal. “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.” Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html.

Meyer, Harding. “The [Vatican I I ] Decree on Ecumenism : A Protestant Viewpoint.” Ecumenical Review 37, no. 3 (1985): 320-25.

Paul VI, Pope. “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.” Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html.

Pennington, M. Basil. Vatican Ii : We’ve Only Just Begun. New York: Crossroad, 1994.

Saucy, Robert L. The Church in God’s Program. Chicago: Moody Press, 1972.

Snyder, Howard A, and John G. Stackhouse. “Evangelical Ecclesiology : Reality or Illusion?” Paper presented at the Regent College Theology, Conference, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2003.

Sollier, Joseph. “The Communion of Saints. The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 4.” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04171a.htm.

Stevens, R. Paul. The Other Six Days : Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Vancouver, B.C.: W.B. Eerdmans ; Regent College Pub., 1999.

Volf, Miroslav. After Our Likeness : The Church as the Image of the Trinity. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1998.

[1] Pope Paul VI, “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html. Accessed 1st September, 2011.

[2] See under “The ‘effect’ of the Decree”, and “The ‘effects of the effect’” – Harding Meyer, “The [Vatican I I ] Decree on Ecumenism : A Protestant Viewpoint,” Ecumenical Review 37, no. 3 (1985): 321-22.

[3] Charles Callan, “Unity (as a Mark of the Church). The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 15,” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15179a.htm. Accessed 1st September, 2011.

[4] Howard A Snyder and John G. Stackhouse, “Evangelical Ecclesiology : Reality or Illusion?” (paper presented at the Regent College Theology, Conference, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2003), 84.

[5] Clowney identifies three Protestant Reformation “marks”, but the “Radical Reformer” Menno specified six.

Edmund P. Clowney and Gerald Lewis Bray, The Church (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1995), 142.
Timothy George, Theology of the Reformers (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1988), 287.
[6] Walter Kasper, Theology and Church (New York: Crossroad, 1989), 151.

[7] Paul Basden, David S. Dockery, and James Leo Garrett, The People of God : Essays on the Believers’ Church (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1991), 260.

[8] “linked”, “related in various ways”, and “receive the Gospel”.

[9] M. Basil Pennington, Vatican Ii : We’ve Only Just Begun (New York: Crossroad, 1994), 23.

[10] Ibid., 23.

[11] William Cardinal Levada, “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church,” Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html. Accessed 1 September, 2011.

[12] Ibid., Fourth Response.

[13] Except the Easter Orthodox Churches – ibid., Fourth and Fifth Questions and Responses.

[14] Basden, Dockery, and Garrett, 260.

[15] Robert L. Saucy, The Church in God’s Program (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), 128.

[16] Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness : The Church as the Image of the Trinity (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1998), 131.

[17] R. Paul Stevens, The Other Six Days : Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Vancouver, B.C.: W.B. Eerdmans ; Regent College Pub., 1999), 26.

[18] David Lyon Bartlett, Ministry in the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 5.

[19] Joseph Sollier, “The Communion of Saints. The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 4,” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04171a.htm. Accessed 1st September, 2011.

[20] Edward Hanna, “Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 12,” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm. Accessed 1st September, 2011.

[21] Justo L. González, The Reformation to the Present Day, 1st ed., The Story of Christianity (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984), 21.

[22] Levada.

[23] Including Supplementary Notes: Ch III:(4*) and Ch III:(50*) and excluding Note (273)

[24] J. D. Douglas, The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. Co., 1974), 1013.

[25] Jean Bainvel, “Tradition and Living Magisterium. The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 15,” Robert Appleton Company, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm.

[26] Ibid., Paragraph 3. Accessed 1st September, 2011. Paragraph 3.

[27] “For non-Catholics the chief difficulties remain papal claims that lack scriptural support” – Sinclair B. Ferguson, David F. Wright, and J. I. Packer, New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 490.

[28] Or else as the “perfect duty of pastoral charity” – LG 41

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