Witnessing a marriage

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Andres Ortiz 9 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #1220

    joanlee
    Member

    My sister just got engaged. She is a non-practicing Catholic (has not made her confirmation) who is marrying an unbaptized man and they currently live together. She is so happy to be getting married and I am so thrilled for her in that sense. She has asked me to be the maid of honor at her wedding. This wedding will not be in a Catholic Church, needless to say. She does this with no animosity towards the church, it just would not really be a second thought to her as she has not participated in the church since being a young child. I was on the same road, but have re-entered into full communion with our dear Church in the past few years.

    I am heartbroken at the thought that I have to tell her I cannot be her maid of honor as her only sister and only sibling…and also maybe that I cannot attend her ceremony. First of all, am I right in thinking this? And then to follow, does anyone have any suggestions on how I would approach this with my beloved sister whom I adore? This is so tough, but as my allegiance must be to God first, I realize I must approach this maturely and not “pretend” to not know what my calling might be here. Of course, I deserve this, as I was a terrible witness in living with my fiance before he became my dear husband.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    God Bless.

    #6047

    Benedict
    Member

    Essentially, if your sister has not formally renounced the Catholic faith (a most grave sin in and of itself), she is a baptized Catholic trying to marry without the Church’s approval. As such, you are not permitted to attend the wedding because it would be an endorsement of a non-sacramental marriage (if God does not show up, neither should you).

    In order to formally defect from the Church, she must receive, in writing, notice from her bishop or pastor that he acknowledges she has so defected (this is a new clarification to the law; it used to be less strict).

    You can read more about the issue here[/url:2w3trw0a], in a blog post by Jimmy Akin.

    (It should also be noted that I am very much not a people person.)

    #6050

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:2fkhgq2l]Essentially, if your sister has not formally renounced the Catholic faith (a most grave sin in and of itself), she is a baptized Catholic trying to marry without the Church’s approval. As such, you are not permitted to attend the wedding because it would be an endorsement of a non-sacramental marriage (if God does not show up, neither should you).

    In order to formally defect from the Church, she must receive, in writing, notice from her bishop or pastor that he acknowledges she has so defected (this is a new clarification to the law; it used to be less strict).

    You can read more about the issue here[/url:2fkhgq2l], in a blog post by Jimmy Akin.

    (It should also be noted that I am very much not a people person.)[/quote:2fkhgq2l]

    Doesn’t this only apply if the wedding is presumed invalid? I don’t think we have assessed that just yet.

    Joan, where is this wedding taking place exactly?

    #6051

    Benedict
    Member

    [quote:2ryyo89p]Doesn’t this only apply if the wedding is presumed invalid? I don’t think we have assessed that just yet.

    Joan, where is this wedding taking place exactly?[/quote:2ryyo89p]
    While we are noto certain the wedding is invalid, there are several things in the post that point towards no.

    Her sister is not an active Catholic.
    She is marrying an unbaptized man (this requires dispensation from the bishop).
    She is marrying outside of a Catholic church (this also requires dispensation from the bishop).

    #6054

    gesundheit
    Member

    It is interesting to me as a Protestant believer that Joanlee cannot be a bridesmaid. I’m aware that the Catholic faith requires the bride to be reviewed and perhaps dispensed (what an awful term, though it is a required term) but I am unaware of how the Catholic Church justifies the bridesmaid not being involved.

    I think that most Protestants would feel inclined to respond in similar matter to the suggestions of Benedict. In fact, for the Anabaptists following a more ascetic model (very close to Catholicism) the nature of a marriage that is not equally sharing in the kingdom could have consequences.

    Today is a different matter (as opposed to the Reformation period). Now the bride could find it very difficult to understand the rationalizing of Joanlee not supporting her even if she doesn’t support her decision to marry this man.

    I’m curious how the Catholic authorities deal with this situation in our present cultural context, and perhaps that is what Benedict was getting at (asking where the wedding was taking place). Still, does context define the application of your practice (concerning baptized believer marrying an un-baptized believer) in the Catholic Church today?

    #6056

    Benedict
    Member

    [quote:rpdarj1b]It is interesting to me as a Protestant believer that Joanlee cannot be a bridesmaid.[/quote:rpdarj1b]
    If a marriage is invalid, it is not a sacrament. To put it more simply, if a marriage is invalid, it is not a marriage at all. If her sister is married invalidly, she will be ‘living in sin’ with this man even while thinking she is married.

    Joanlee, if she knows beforehand that the marriage will be invalid, cannot attend the wedding because in our culture that is construed as a sign of condoning the wedding (to some degree). To condone the wedding would be to give her sister the impression that her marriage is valid and, thus, would reinforce her entrance into a life of sin.

    Now, the Church’s rules for the form of marriage only applies to Catholics. If two Hindus marry, it is presumed sacramental because God is working in their lives as He will. But when one or both parties to the marriage are Catholic, they are beholden to the rules set forth by His Church. A dispensation excuses a Catholic from such rule (being married in a Catholic church; marrying another Catholic; etc).

    What Joanlee’s sister has to do in order to marry this man is either follow the rules set forth by the Church (obtaining a dispensation for her marriage to an unbaptized man, marrying outside a Catholic church, etc) or renounce her membership in the Church, thus removing herself from the Church’s jurisdiction (so to speak).

    As I expressed above, the second option is by far the least desireable as it is a grave sin.

    [quote:rpdarj1b]I’m curious how the Catholic authorities deal with this situation in our present cultural context[/quote:rpdarj1b]
    This is why I said I am not a people person. I have no idea how the pastoral side of this issue is typically handled. I am sure that in many cases, the Catholic associate still attends the wedding, with or without expressing his feelings to the Catholic bride/groom. I am sure that in others, the Catholic chooses not to attend, makes his feelings known to the soon-too-be-wed Catholic, and ruptures their relationship.

    I recently faced a similar issue. My brother is much like Joanlee’s sister in that he was baptized Catholic but never confirmed and even less active in his faith (we never attended Catholic school or mass as children). He married a Catholic woman overseas. I am 99% certain he did not go through the appropriate channels when he got married. When I next see him, I will ask him about the details of his marriage and inform him of what, if anything, he might need to do to validate his marriage in the Church. Whether he does is up to him.

    [quote:rpdarj1b]Still, does context define the application of your practice (concerning baptized believer marrying an un-baptized believer) in the Catholic Church today?[/quote:rpdarj1b]
    I am not certain what you are asking here.

    In order for a Catholic to marry an un-baptized believer, he must obtain a dispensation from the bishop. This is done (in part) because a Catholic is required to raise his children in the Catholic faith and that can cause a conflict in the home when one parent is not Christian (or a Christian-believer who does not believe in regeneration through baptism, one of the key tenets of Catholicism and of supreme importance concerning one’s children). The dispensation is to be granted after investigating the other partner’s beliefs and acceptance of the Catholic partner’s obligations to his faith. If the un-baptized partner were to refuse to allow his spouse to raise their children in the Church, no dispensation would be granted.

    Further than that, however, is beyond my knowledge at present. My studies have, ironically, not focused on the most common area of American Catholic apologetics – explaining Catholic marriage requirements to Catholics. In traditionally Catholic countries they typically have a broader knowledge base.

    #6057

    gesundheit
    Member

    Thanks Benedict for answering you had clarified my questions about Catholic practice. I have one unanswered but that is due to my muddled question. I said:

    [quote:3ewoyfjf]Still, does context define the application of your practice (concerning baptized believer marrying an un-baptized believer) in the Catholic Church today?[/quote:3ewoyfjf]

    Essentially what I’m trying to express is my desire of knowledge regarding:

    -how much, or better put, to what [i:3ewoyfjf]extent[/i:3ewoyfjf] does the Catholic church allow cultural and contextual experience (Gunkel’s [i:3ewoyfjf]sitz em liben[/i:3ewoyfjf]) to bend (relax) some of their stipulations (such as the sacrament of marriage for example)?

    I’m not putting forth any statement of certainty here but what if, for example, the seperation of a Catholic from a family member who is not a practicing Catholic over a sacrament (marriage) causes more damage than good?

    We are told in Scripture that [i:3ewoyfjf]one[/i:3ewoyfjf] way of handling a situation involving sin in the local body is to confront the sin privately, next openly, and then if it is rejected sill, to throw him/her outside the community so that the loss of community will point him/her back towards the body of Christ. Of course this could be taken literally, as in the actual membership of the church rather than implicitly, as in the situation of marriage. However, it does make me a little uncomfortable in showing little to no support for a family member. Just a comfot issue, I’m not sure of the right practice really.

    Another way of saying what I’m thinking is that I’m uncomfortable with the idea that an institution (papal or presbyterical or anything else) can exercise such practice, dispensation, especially with one who was baptized into the community of faith.

    Where are the notions that a believing wife/husband would be able to win the ubelieving spouse to the Lord?

    There are too many variables and too many unknowables involved with such a sensitive issue as marriage that I sense this is a dangerous or risky move -dispensation.

    Myself, I’m rooted in Anabaptism. Perhaps many Catholics are unaware of the number of similarities between Anabaptism and Catholicism, despite the mutual bitterness towards Luther and Zwinlgi! In my childhood congregation an answer such as yours would have made alot of Anabaptist clergy quite happy.

    One more quick questions, you said:

    [quote:3ewoyfjf]What Joanlee’s sister has to do in order to marry this man is either follow the rules set forth by the Church (obtaining a dispensation for her marriage to an unbaptized man, marrying outside a Catholic church, etc) or renounce her membership in the Church, thus removing herself from the Church’s jurisdiction (so to speak).[/quote:3ewoyfjf]

    You capitalized “Church’s” jurisdiction. Is it still common practice (not [i:3ewoyfjf]tradition![/i:3ewoyfjf]) in the Catholic church to assume that being completely disconnected with the Cathlic Church results in spiritual disconnection with the Kingdom of God (i.e., failure to obtain saving grace)? As I have encountered, the Catholic Church has been making a lot of changes (Ratzinger behind this?) and I don’t think a lot of your scholarly Catholics would be comfortable anymore with the idea that their is a loss of faith with a loss of [b:3ewoyfjf]Catholic[/b:3ewoyfjf] identity.

    Oh, Joanlee, if you’re reading this I hope you don’t take this personally. I honestly believe that as a Catholic your conscience must guide you according to the way you have been taught. In other words, you must follow your congregation’s (as directed by your bishop) command as long as you are convinced it’s biblical, in which I think Benedict’s representation of the Catholic faith/practice is not off the mark (I just like to debate). As for me, I’m free of the Catholic charge so I am asking these questions to have a better understanding of Catholicism, not to meddle in personal affairs. Yours just happened to hit the spot in my authoratative/theological appetite for discussion.

    #6058

    Benedict
    Member

    [quote:2jg57q6i]-how much, or better put, to what extent does the Catholic church allow cultural and contextual experience (Gunkel’s sitz em liben) to bend (relax) some of their stipulations (such as the sacrament of marriage for example)?[/quote:2jg57q6i]
    I am not certain in particulars, but I do know either the reason for or the beauty in leaving the decision to the bishop means that such cultural experiences can be and are taken into consideration and honored.

    I remember once hearing an objection to the long line of Italian popes. It was posited that it was unfair for the Italians to have such control of the papacy. I responded that the Pope is also the Bishop of Rome and the Romans, being Italian, had a right to an Italian bishop.

    [quote:2jg57q6i]Another way of saying what I’m thinking is that I’m uncomfortable with the idea that an institution (papal or presbyterical or anything else) can exercise such practice, dispensation, especially with one who was baptized into the community of faith.[/quote:2jg57q6i]
    This is the second time you have used dispensation in a way that confuses me.

    A dispensation is just an excusal from a particular rule. So the institution that instituted the rule in the first place should, of course, be able to excuse its members from that rule as it chooses.

    [quote:2jg57q6i]Where are the notions that a believing wife/husband would be able to win the ubelieving spouse to the Lord?[/quote:2jg57q6i]
    They are pastoral notions. For someone who is zealous, or at least grounded, in the faith, a dispensation would be easily forthcoming. For a nominal Catholic, however, the rule is there to protect them from being led further from practing their faith.

    [quote:2jg57q6i]You capitalized “Church’s” jurisdiction.[/quote:2jg57q6i]
    Whenever I refer to the Catholic Church as an institution, I capitalize Catholic and Church because it is a proper noun. When I refer to a particular church building I use lower case, so a particular Catholic church is in union with the Church.

    [quote:2jg57q6i]Is it still common practice (not tradition!) in the Catholic church to assume that being completely disconnected with the Cathlic Church results in spiritual disconnection with the Kingdom of God (i.e., failure to obtain saving grace)?[/quote:2jg57q6i]
    From a Catholic understanding, to be completely disconnected with the Church is to be without spiritual connection to Christ.

    Any believer baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity is joined to the Catholic Church by virtue of his baptism. He is beholden to the universal rules of the Church as they apply to all Christians but he is not beholden to the particular rules of the Church as they apply to Catholics. These universal rules are pretty much part and parcel of what one expects of a Christian believer so it is nothing that will come as a big surprise.

    For the unbaptized believer, they are joined to the Church insofar as they follow God in their lives. We believe that those who do not have the chance to know Christ by name nevertheless hear God’s voice in their lives and [u:2jg57q6i]can[/u:2jg57q6i] come to salvation through His infinite mercy (although it is much more difficult than if one knows God and His Church).

    [quote:2jg57q6i]As I have encountered, the Catholic Church has been making a lot of changes (Ratzinger behind this?) and I don’t think a lot of your scholarly Catholics would be comfortable anymore with the idea that their is a loss of faith with a loss of Catholic identity.[/quote:2jg57q6i]
    To answer what was probably your question, to leave the Catholic Church while remaining Christian is the sin of schism while to leave the Catholic Church and the Christian faith is the graver sin of apostasy.

    To commit apostasy is a cut-off from salvific grace. I am sure there is no question to that.

    As for schismatics, they retain hope of salvation, although without the grace and help offered through His Church it is a needlessly more difficult path. For someone who knows in his heart that the Catholic Church is the True Church but, for some reason, still leaves Her, even for another Christian community, he is in trouble (apparently I love commas).

    #6073

    gesundheit
    Member

    Some very insightful responses Benedict. I’m not sure why you are comfortable with leaving difficult cultural matters to the bishop for someone so actively engaged with Catholic theology <img src=” title=”Very Happy” /> but I definately see the appeal and I enjoy it once in a while (obviously from an authority other than a bishop though I would not rule them out…)

    Diconnection from the Catholic Church does not neccessarily mean disconnection with Christ. Unless however you mean to say that a previous Catholic intentionally left the Catholic Church, which you called the sin of schism. Still, many Catholic theologians, following Pope Pius IX are changing their mind (opting for accessibilism). For example, Pope Pius IX in his [i:2canu8xx]Singulari Quadem[/i:2canu8xx] in 1854 wrote:

    [quote:2canu8xx]…the Church is the only ark of salvation… yet, on the other hand, it must likewise be held as certain that those who are in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord.[/quote:2canu8xx]

    [quote:2canu8xx]Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and natures of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.[/quote:2canu8xx]

    I find this and new statements of this kind from Catholic theologians leaning closer and closer to a soteriology of salvation apart from Christ. What are your thoughts?

    Your remark on apostasy in dead on. I fully agree.

    I want to research further though on what the Catholic Church (the leaders) are saying about leaving the Catholic Church in favor of Protestantism. Obviously, for political reasons they would not condemn it but within their circle they may.

    Forget the capitalization, I see what you intended. However, would you refer to Protestant churches as included in “The Church”?

    Also, where did you study, and what is your background? Did you enter a seminary or were you ever involved with a Catholic ministry?

    Cheers

    #6074

    Benedict
    Member

    [quote:15biubcy]I find this and new statements of this kind from Catholic theologians leaning closer and closer to a soteriology of salvation apart from Christ. What are your thoughts?[/quote:15biubcy]
    I think it speaks to the mercy of God. The difficulty in understanding these statements lies in the utter rarity of someone who is invincibly ignorant or innocent of deliberate sin.

    The area of conscience is one that I am only beginning to explore, but it is key to interpreting ignorance and innocence. A man who has never been told that killing is wrong still has to answer to the voice of conscience. Someone who has never heard of the Catholic faith still has the law of God written upon his heart.

    In one sense, someone who is so saved has reached salvation apart from an explicit knowledge of Christ. If one thinks about this, one realizes that hundreds of thousands of people lived in times and places wholly isolated from Christianity. Unless we have some novel ideas about God’s mercy and predestination, we can only conclude that these people had a chance to reach salvation without an explicit knowledge of Christ. But we know that even though they did not explicitly know Christ, their lives, if worthy of salvation, were no doubt a reflection of Him and His actions in their lives.

    [quote:15biubcy]I want to research further though on what the Catholic Church (the leaders) are saying about leaving the Catholic Church in favor of Protestantism. Obviously, for political reasons they would not condemn it but within their circle they may.[/quote:15biubcy]
    Anyone who believes the Catholic faith should find the idea of leaving the Church abhorrent. The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord. The Sacraments are channels of His grace freely given to us. Protestant faiths may have much of the truth, and foster much in the way of faith, but they lack the fullness of truth along with these most precious gifts of our Lord.

    As for the words of the bishops concerning this, I do not know. I have little grasp of politics (and the wrong tongue as well).

    [quote:15biubcy]Forget the capitalization, I see what you intended. However, would you refer to Protestant churches as included in “The Church”?[/quote:15biubcy]
    It depends on the context. Most of the time, I refer to the Catholic Church when I state the Church. But I fully accept baptized Protestants as brothers in the faith (and certain unbaptized Protestants as friends of the faith awaiting entrance).

    [quote:15biubcy]Also, where did you study, and what is your background? Did you enter a seminary or were you ever involved with a Catholic ministry?[/quote:15biubcy]
    I am a 23 year old autodidact in the faith.

    I was baptized Catholic at the age of one month and one day. I was raised without a faith but had a belief in God and recognized that I was Christian.

    As a teen, I entered the Baptist faith and began studying the Bible. By the end of highschool, I was convinced of the Catholic faith and in my second year of college I was confirmed into the Catholic Church with the name Benedict.

    My only formal education in the faith was a 10 course series required for confirmation. Both before and after that, I learned what I know through studying the Bible, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and reading whatever books I could find. I began work as a Catholic apologist in high school while a member at a Christian roleplaying website. I moderate three Catholic apologetics message boards and participate at several others. I am also active as an apologist at my university, known to the Muslim, Jewish, and Pagan clubs as the Christian and to the Christian club as the Catholic.

    Despite all my time spent as an apologist, I do not find myself much of an evangelist. I did not come to the Catholic faith because someone shared his testimony or impressed me with his Christ-centered life but because I found Catholicism in the Bible and in my heart. This is not to knock evangelists or either method as a road to the faith; it is simply to point out that I am not familiar with them (this is the same reason I do not engage in apologetics with atheists; I have always believed in God and I have no common ground upon which to build a dialogue; truthfully, I have yet to understand a dialogue I have read between a Christian and an atheist).

    I simply explain the Catholic faith, debunk misconceptions of the faith (as prevalant among Muslims and Jews and Pagans as they are among Protestants), and always stand ready to give a reason for the hope within me. It is my hope that such will allow others to come closer to the Catholic faith as I did, even if I am only unblocking the road so an evangelist can share his testimony and lead the other down the path.

    #6081

    gesundheit
    Member

    I’m not sure if the ignorant people are rare people. The early Church believed that the Apostles had spread the Gospel to every corner of the earth – now we know better. The Catholics then changed their position and had to conceive of the possibility that nearly 2/3 of the world has never heard the Gospel. Invincible ignorance is a clear reality for most of the world.

    Conscience is important to understand but Law may be seen as a fundamental means of obtaining any conscience at all.

    Quote:
    The Sacraments are channels of His grace freely given to us. Protestant faiths may have much of the truth, and foster much in the way of faith, but they lack the fullness of truth along with these most precious gifts of our Lord.

    Quote:
    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.

    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.

    I am surprised to learn your age, but I’m young too. Do you wish you had formal training of some sort in the Catholic Church? I have often thought of entering a Catholic school of some kind to broaden my understanding of faith and the Church. One of my professors (Anabaptist) studied at a Jesuit school of Theology and claimed it to be very beneficial and it is quite apparent that he has grown from it.

    I encourage you to look more into Protestantism to better understand Catholicism. The Catholic Church is not the only means to salvation <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #6082

    Benedict
    Member

    [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.

    #6083

    gesundheit
    Member

    Luther is an interesting man to quote, he also is famous for his “sola scriptura” by which was clearly misunderstood as well. The Catholic Church did not provide the Scriptures but the Early Church Fathers of whom Protestants and Catholics alike agree were guided under the Holy Spirit to use their authority to form the canon.

    Ecumenism is indeed about acknowledging and discussing differences. However, ecumenism is about discussing these differences and not placing one’s conviction above the very act of ecumenism.

    I am beginning to interpret a superiority complex, correct me severly if I am in error.

    [quote:3ca9czd5]And yet deficiencies in practice and interpretation are what separates Protestants from the fullness of Truth found in the Catholic faith. [/quote:3ca9czd5]

    This is perhaps what is seperating us. As a Protestant I feel no conviction whatsoever that the Catholic faith seperates a Catholic from the fullness of Truth, nor that Protestantism is the fulfillment of any defiency. If leading Evangelicals and Catholics thought this way their would be no hope of reconciliation.

    #6087

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:1ioyyx7c]The Catholic Church did not provide the Scriptures but the Early Church Fathers of whom Protestants and Catholics alike agree were guided under the Holy Spirit to use their authority to form the canon.[/quote:1ioyyx7c]
    The ECF’s [i:1ioyyx7c]are[/i:1ioyyx7c] Catholic. In fact some of them were Catholic bishops others were priests. there was no other “branch” of Christianity other than the Catholic (universal) faith for quite a long time.

    [quote:1ioyyx7c]I encourage you to look more into Protestantism to better understand Catholicism. [/quote:1ioyyx7c]
    That makes about as much sense as trying to learn math from an English textbook. Yes, let’s look more into the movement of Christianity that separated from the church Jesus established….real brilliant. :rolleyes:

    #6092

    Benedict
    Member

    [quote:3pn8f6o8]I am beginning to interpret a superiority complex, correct me severly if I am in error.[/quote:3pn8f6o8]
    Do I believe that the Catholic faith is superior to all other faiths, Christian and non-Christian?

    Yes.

    Do I believe that I have the best chance of reaching salvation if I have the grace of the sacraments in my life?

    Yes.

    Do I believe that because I am Catholic and hold the Catholic faith that I am better than anyone?

    No. Although my friend has theological problems with it, I follow the Orthodox sinner’s prayer, “Lord Jesus, you came to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Have mercy on me.”

    [quote:3pn8f6o8]As a Protestant I feel no conviction whatsoever that the Catholic faith seperates a Catholic from the fullness of Truth, nor that Protestantism is the fulfillment of any defiency.[/quote:3pn8f6o8]
    It differs depending on the other party. A Lutheran does not see much truth lacking in the Catholic faith, but would see much unnecessary added to it.

    Come to think of it, most objections I have heard to the Catholic faith concern something She “has added” to the truth, rather than taken away. The opposite is true of most Protestant views in my view. It is not that much has been added, but that something is missing.

    #6093

    gesundheit
    Member

    Jon said:

    [quote:8m93y9od]That makes about as much sense as trying to learn math from an English textbook. Yes, let’s look more into the movement of Christianity that separated from the church Jesus established….real brilliant.[/quote:8m93y9od]

    That’s a bit offensive. Why look into the lives of Christian Reformers? Well it’s the Reformation that encouraged the Catholic Church’s own reform, which they finally understood was needed. If understanding history, especially as it relates to your faith, is a waste of time then by all means don’t do it… If everyone only studied what they knew and what they thought was right then we would have little understanding of culture, history, religions, basically everything that we need to know to talk about our faith in a relevant matter.

    As the leader of this web forum you can choose to debate about the events of history as they have affected the present or write off such certain moments in history as not worthy of your study, i.e. something not too “brilliant” in doing.

    Protestants have historically thought that the form the Catholic Church was in at that time was unbiblical, well perhaps, extra-biblical. Still, the more I study it the more I realize that all the Christians involved at that time made many mistakes, Catholic and Protestant alike. I disagree with Catholics on many things but I have chosen to learn more about it (otherwise why would I be on this forum) in order to better understand what it is I believe and what can be integrated or even merged between the two.

    I appreciate the frank honesty of Benedict, even though we have had numerous differences (Catholics and Protestants have a huge barrier to overcome no matter how good they are to each other!) and I have learned much about the average Catholic.

    Personally, there is nothing wrong with ones conviction that their Church is the best one (maybe superior is too strong a word, we cannot know superiority related to faith matters) but I think it is very important that those who are opposite each other work to understand each other. This is where I must resign in this discussion because it is no longer constructive, though I have appreciated some of the constructive criticism.

    Were the Early Church Fathers Catholic? I agree they were Catholic in the sense that they belonged to the universal faith of Christianity but as of now there is no such thing as a universal institution but only a universal membership to the body of Christ which Prots and Caths alike belong to in faith but apart by institution.

    cheers

    #6094

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    You never said to research the historical context of Protestantism and its effect on the reforms in the Catholic Church in the late-middle ages…rather you said to look more into Protestantism to learn about Catholicism. I took that as meaning I should study their beliefs so I can learn what’s right and/or wrong about the Catholic faith.

    Either way I’ve already done both of those – that’s why I’m still Catholic and this website was born.

    Frankly I found it rather offensive that you are saying we should investigate Protestantism. When I read that I read “you should look at the revolt against the church Jesus established, the set of beliefs that just keep changing in which there are so many variations and so many denominations still speak strongly against Catholicism as if it were from the devil.”

    My friend, the devil brings separation of Christian unity and from that Protestantism was born.

    #6096

    gesundheit
    Member

    Looking into anything requires looking into its history. The devil cannot seperate the Church but he certainly attempts disunity. Luther brought important matters to the Pope’s attention which were ignored (indulgences) and he was tried as a heretic like so many others who doubted the Catholic practice at the time. Seperation was not desired but a consequence of poor communication and action between the early Reformers and the Pope and Bishops. Both are to blame and we continue to repeat history here and now in our accusations against each other. I felt I needed to respond though I resigned, but now I do it again <img src=” title=”Confused” />

    #6097

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:j3bqzqmu]Looking into anything requires looking into its history. The devil cannot seperate the Church but he certainly attempts disunity. [/quote:j3bqzqmu]
    [color=darkblue:j3bqzqmu]Sorry for being nit picky but isn’t seperation and disunity the same thing?[/color:j3bqzqmu]
    [quote:j3bqzqmu]Luther brought important matters to the Pope’s attention which were ignored (indulgences) and he was tried as a heretic like so many others who doubted the Catholic practice at the time.[/quote:j3bqzqmu]
    [color=darkblue:j3bqzqmu]I think you are giving this era too much credit. Objections toward the Church are ancient. Luther was certainly not the first, nor will he be the last.[/color:j3bqzqmu]
    [quote:j3bqzqmu]Seperation was not desired but a consequence of poor communication and action between the early Reformers and the Pope and Bishops. Both are to blame and we continue to repeat history here and now in our accusations against each other. I felt I needed to respond though I resigned, but now I do it again <img src=” title=”Confused” />[/quote:j3bqzqmu]
    [color=darkblue:j3bqzqmu]I’d be surprised if you heard any catholic tell you that the Catholic Church was/is immaculate in regards to discplinary matters. But I think Luther knew better then to resolve it as he did. Since when is seperating from the Church a good way of resolving issues? Assuming he was right.[/color:j3bqzqmu]

    #6098

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:2odpgt0s][color=darkblue:2odpgt0s]I’d be surprised if you heard any catholic tell you that the Catholic Church was/is immaculate in regards to discplinary matters. But I think Luther knew better then to resolve it as he did. Since when is seperating from the Church a good way of resolving issues? Assuming he was right.[/color:2odpgt0s][/quote:2odpgt0s]
    Actually, Luther didn’t desire separation, just reform of the abuse of indulgences and papal power. He was excommunicated by the Pope leading to the separation.

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