I think I might be guilty of leading us off into a tangent that doesn’t quite fit with the original topic, but, hey, in for a penny, in for a pound!
As a PresboCatholitalian, I have to answer Victor’s question as this — it IS just one entity. Just happens to be divided into different camps. I for one and doing my darnedest to stop the disavowing. I like to think that Jesus was talking about more than marriage when He said that we shouldn’t divorce. I think He might also have been referring to the Church. How can we be separate? No one thinks that Heaven will be divided on racial or nationalist lines — why church? I mean, as far as I know, there will be no Catholic or Protestant sections.
If there are, of course, the Catholic will have better art work.
I think it all comes down to the subjective, unfortunately. I mean, there are plenty of Catholics practicing birth control, or campaining for female priests.
Comment on this: There is no validity in defining someone except in relationship to the Catholic church, however. Protestantism was protesting something. Reformation theologians were trying to reform something. In a very real sense, I really am a Presbocathlopalian. THe Catholic roots of my protestant denomination are very real, very obvious, and should be expressed in terms of brotherhood and affection, even when there is disagreement.
Although I don’t quite buy Marian devotion, or the literal presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it bothers me not at all to call Mary blessed, scriptural as it happens to be. I would never deny that Christ is in the Eucharist — in my ‘neighborhood’ of faith, Communion — in a real sense, even though I don’t happen to agree with transubstantiation.
I think that my faith community, to answer Victor’s question re. the physical, has a split personality disorder. Physical is very important, yet we would probably opine against it. I personnally have no problem carrying a ‘prayer coin’ that a Catholic organization sent me in a solicitation, because it reminds me, when my fingers touch it in my pocket, to take a moment to pray, and thereby fill more moments with the touch of the Holy Spirit than I otherwise would have had. I have argued criticisms about “icon idols” with a homeschool mom vehemently. Worship requires all sorts of reminders, you know? It isn’t natural to us, because of our fallen natures.
I’m at work, I hope you guys will forgive me for my scatter brained — and incomplete — reply. I’ll try to get on some night when I perhaps can have the focus to write a shorter reply!