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Nov 16 06 11:11 AM
Quote:I sincerely hope that this isn't too much for you, and other Protestants, reading this now, to "swallow"....It is shocking to most Protestants who do not completely see as Roman Catholics do; and consider this arrogance on the part of the Holy Roman Catholic Church: open to all mankind, if they will just accept this loving gift from Christ Himself, acknowledge Christ and be baptized and confirmed [into His "One Body", "His Holy Covenant with Man"...The One and Only "Bride of Christ"]!
Nov 16 06 11:39 AM
Quote:Even if I think - for many reasons - that the new Israel also include believers outside of the RCC, I respect your conviction. Of course it has serious implications if this metaphor means that the new covenant of God, through Christ, is now only with Roman Catholics. In terms of Christ's atonement for our sins this will mean, if you are correct, that only Roman Catholic believers are "saved" - to borrow the expression so popular with Evangelicals! Perhaps this is what you were afraid would shock the Protestant members? I don't think it will, because we have heard this before and I still like Catholics!
Nov 17 06 4:07 AM
Quote:Dear Unicorn, I think you have touched here on a rather important aspect regarding the different views of non-Catholics and Catholics. In this ecumenical thread we can perhaps discuss this particular conception and get a better understanding of why so many people (not only Christians of other traditions, but also non-Christian, secular Westerners) see remnants of pagan ideas in the RCC.
Quote:Many of my "religious" feelings run in Catholic lines. Before I write a post on this matter, I just want to say that I think our Protestant members may be worried that their views will be seen as antagonistic, stupid or whatever. We are, after all, the minority here at a fan club for the Pope! I think though the fact that we belong to this fan club is a clear sign of our good will and longing for ecumenical communication with fellow Christians. x x xI will name the few things that still trouble me about the RCC in a next post, because I believe the Catholic members will read it with Christian charity and objectiveness before commenting and you won't demonise me for raising these questions.
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Nov 19 06 9:58 AM
You can all just imagine how stupefied I was when, one afternoon, I asked my classmate to meet me at the chapel after class, only to be told that we would have to meet somewhere else -- her "new" faith, it seems, had made her realize that the Catholic Church is a "pagan church", and therefore she refused to set foot within the university chapel or to even be within a few feet of its entrance. She had, apparently, done some research in the university library's encyclopedias (and not, mind you, the library of the Faculty of Theology!), and her research -- presumably coupled with what she had learned from her church -- had led her to "realize" that the Catholic Church is pagan.
Nov 19 06 6:58 PM
Quote:The allegation has been forcefully advanced for the past five hundred years and continues to be advanced to justify corporate separation from the bishop of Rome and to dissuade individual conversions to the Catholic Church.The allegation is false.A perusal of the Catechism of the Catholic Church reveals that the Catholic Church clearly teaches that salvation is by grace and grace alone. Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. (CCC 1992)But what the Catholic Church means by sola gratia is different from what the Lutheran and Reformed Churches mean by the phrase. What precisely is this difference and why the difference?
Nov 19 06 7:07 PM
Nov 19 06 11:59 PM
Quote:I think when dealing with "evangelicals" we have to keep in mind their diversity. Some are quite hostile to the Church, but this is not to say there are others -- like Charles Colson, have worked with Fr. Neuhaus in outlining areas of mutual agreement on moral and doctrinal issues in a program called 'Evangelicals and Catholics Together." (You may be interested in the document "The Gift of Salvation" outlining areas of agreement. Not all evangelicals are Zionists -- although some would support the state of Israel out of the recognition that Israel has a right to exist, without such a religious ["dispensationalist"] motivation) -- and Catholics are well within their rights to support Israel for this reason as well.
Quote:CH: So it would be the decree from Vatican I on papal infallibility that proved the real obstacle?Arch. Williams: That's what I found the hardest, but there were other things that I wasn't comfortable with: some aspects of the doctrine of grace as it evolved, but I think it was that that was the really tough thing.
Quote:The Dogma of Infallibility Let us begin, then, with a point that the Protestants crossed off the list quite early on, the dogma of infallibility. Now, what does this dogma really mean? Is it correctly or falsely translated when we assume that everything the Holy Father says is automatically sacred and correct? I would like to put this question at the beginning of the canon of criticism because it seems especially to agitate people, for whatever reasons. You have in fact touched upon an error. As a matter of fact, this dogma does not mean that everything the Pope says is infallible. It simply means that in Christianity, at any rate, as Catholics believe, there is a final decision-making authority. That ultimately there can be binding decisions about essential issues and that we can be certain that they correctly interpret the heritage of Christ. In one form or another this obligatoriness is present in every Christian faith community, only it is not associated with the Pope. For the Orthodox Church, too, it is clear that conciliar decisions are infallible in the sense that I can be confident that here the inheritance of Christ is correctly interpreted; this is our common faith. It's not necessary for each person, as it were, to distill it and extract it from the Bible anew; rather, the Church has been given the possibility of reaching communal certainty. The difference from Orthodoxy is only that Roman Christianity recognizes another level of assurance in addition to the ecumenical council, namely, the successor of Peter, who can likewise provide this assurance. The Pope is of course bound to certain conditions in this matter, conditions that guarantee and in addition put him under the deepest obligation that he doesn't decide out of his own subjective consciousness but in the great communion of the tradition. It did take a long time, though, to find this solution. Well, councils were also held before there was any theory of councils. The Fathers of the Council of Nicaea, the first council, which was held in 325, didn't have any idea what a council was; in fact it was the emperor who had convoked it. Nevertheless, they were already clear that not only they themselves had spoken but that they were entitled to say (what the council of the apostles also says) "It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" [Acts 15:28] . This means: the Holy Spirit has decided with us and through us. The Council of Nicaea then speaks of three primatial sees in the Church, namely, Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria, thus naming jurisdictions connected with the Petrine tradition. Rome and Antioch are the episcopal sees of Saint Peter, and Alexandria, as Mark's see, was, as it were, tied to the Petrine tradition and assumed into this triad. Very early on the bishops of Rome knew clearly that they were in this Petrine tradition and that, together with the responsibility, they also had the promise that helped them to live up to it. This subsequently became very clear in the Arian crisis, when Rome was the only authority that could face up to the emperor. The bishop of Rome, who naturally has to listen to the whole Church and does not creatively produce the faith himself, has a function that is in continuity with the promise to Peter. To be sure, only in 1870 was it then given its definitive conceptual formulation. Perhaps we ought also to note that in our day an understanding is awakening even outside Catholic Christianity that a guarantor of unity is necessary for the whole. This has emerged in the dialogue with the Anglicans, for example. The Anglicans are ready to acknowledge, as it were, providential guidance in tying the tradition of primacy to Rome, without wanting to refer the promise to Peter directly to the Pope. Even in other parts of Protestant Christianity there is an acknowledgment that Christianity ought to have a spokesman who can express it in person. And also the Orthodox Church has voices that criticize the disintegration of the Church into autocephalies (national Churches) and instead of this regard recourse to the Petrine principle as meaningful. That is not an acknowledgment of the Roman dogma, but convergences are becoming increasingly clear. [All underscoring supplied.]
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