[quote:39bo6msi]To understand “Truth” as obtained through observing the Sacraments is still old fashioned Catholicism. As a Catholic you are expected to follow these stipulations but any Protestant is required to follow the sacrament of Baptism and Marriage. A Protestant cannot be judged by Catholic notions of what is truth, nor vice versa. If this were true the Catholic church and even the Evangelicals would not be making great pains to come together and work towards unity as the body of Christ together.[/quote:39bo6msi]
On the contrary, as my friend Al is fond of pointing out, ecumenism is not ignoring or forgetting the differences that exist but acknowledging, presenting, and discussing them.
The Church is the steward of Christ’s flock. Because the Church recognizes all believers as members of that flock, She works to unite them. That Evangelicals also work towards reunification is a blessing and a bonus.
[quote:39bo6msi]I admit I am bothered by your presumption that Catholics are still generally the only part of the Church. Statements of faith are quite clear that basically any Protestant church follows the Creeds as well as the Catholic Church. Practice and interpretation are different always but that’s about it.[/quote:39bo6msi]
And yet deficiencies in practice and interpretation are what separates Protestants from the fullness of Truth found in the Catholic faith. As I said before, though, insofar as a Protestant has been baptized he is a member of the Church universal. And insofar as those who believe but are not baptized heed Christ, they are associated with His Church.
[quote:39bo6msi]Do you wish you had formal training of some sort in the Catholic Church?[/quote:39bo6msi]
Upon meeting cultural Catholics in college, no. They put me off to the point I was thankful to have never gone to Catholic school.
But upon meeting my friend Katholish and others who were more than just culturally Catholic, and seeing how far their knowledge of the faith surpassed my own, I do again wish I had attended Catholic school.
I grew up in a Baptist and Mormon city and, at the time, you had to essentially speak Spanish to go to Catholic school. Instead, I attended Bible school and vacation Bible school at my Baptist church for several years and it has served me very well when it comes to knowing and recalling Bible verses.
[quote:39bo6msi]I encourage you to look more into Protestantism to better understand Catholicism.[/quote:39bo6msi]
I was a Protestant for about half my life. I do not feel I need to look much further into it.
[quote:39bo6msi]The Catholic Church is not the only means to salvation.[/quote:39bo6msi]
Christ is the only means to salvation. He has entrusted the fullness of His Truth and the gifts of His Grace to His Church to keep and to spread that Truth. As I mentioned above, all baptized believers are, to some extent, members of that Church. And so, I posit, to that extent any who reach salvation do so through His Body the Church.
As Martin Luther once said, you owe the very Bible in your hands to the Catholic Church.