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Study: 1 in 5 Pennsylvania Pastors 'Not In Sync' on Moral Issues
Christian Post ^ | 05/10/2013 | Jeff Schapiro

Posted on 05/10/2013 9:44:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

A report from the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network reveals that approximately 20 percent of evangelical pastors in the Keystone State are "not in sync" on significant moral and doctrinal issues.

The report contains information compiled from a phone survey conducted by United in Purpose on behalf of PPN. The survey asked evangelical pastors from across the state to respond to 20 questions pertaining to topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, the authority of the Bible, and how a person can be spiritually saved. The results of the survey are being released in several parts over time.

When asked to respond to the statement, "People can receive eternal salvation only through personal repentance of sin and the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 89 percent of pastors said they would "definitely" teach that position to their church. Another four percent of pastors said they would only "probably" teach that view, and seven percent said they would not teach it at all.

Three-quarters (78 percent) of pastors said they would definitely teach that the Bible is "the only completely reliable source of absolute moral truth," while 11 percent said they would probably teach the same and 10 percent said they would not teach it.

When asked where they stand on certain moral topics, 78 percent of pastors said they would definitely teach that abortion is wrong because "life is a sacred gift of God," while five percent said they would probably teach the same and 17 percent said they would not. More than four-in-five (82 percent) pastors also said they would definitely teach that same-sex marriage is morally wrong because marriage is supposed to be a union between a man and a woman, though two percent said they probably would teach the same and 15 percent said they wouldn't at all. Sam Rohrer, president of PPN, expressed concern about the study's findings in a press release.

"In our day when murder of the unborn is sanctioned by government, the redefining of marriage breeds confusion and uncertainty marks our culture, God's Word is the only source for truth and confidence. We walk away from God and His moral absolutes to our own peril. And it is Pastors who have the direct command to preach and teach a pure Biblical worldview as given by God in His Word," he said.

He later added, "Our nation is in need of rescue and 20 percent of our pastors are falling short of the call and responsibility placed on their lives. It is impossible for those in positions of leadership to lead on matters of life and living when they themselves are not confident that God's Word provides all the answers to all life's questions."

Another finding from the report indicates that 74 percent of evangelical pastors in Pennsylvania would definitely teach that "Christians have a responsibility to uphold the biblical principles on which our country was founded." Another nine percent said they would probably teach the same while 17 percent said they would not.

The report consisted of responses from 114 evangelical pastors representing churches from 17 different denominations plus five non-denominational churches, according to a previously released report from the same survey. Ninety percent of the churches represented by the pastors are primarily white congregations, while four percent are primarily black, two percent are primarily Hispanic and four percent are multi-ethnic.

But despite the diversity among those surveyed, Pastor John Davis of Grace Church in Philadelphia says he is skeptical that the percentages provided in the report accurately reflect the view of all pastors in Pennsylvania or in the United States as a whole.

"If those statistics were accurate I would be encouraged that so many have a high view of Scriptural authority and of biblical morality," said Davis. "Those figures may represent those who profess to be evangelical but I am sadly confident the statistics would be reversed if the survey included all denominations."


TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: evangelicals; morality; pastors; pennsylvania

1 posted on 05/10/2013 9:44:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

In the last days, there will b a great falling away from biblical truth and many false preachers will lead others astray.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.


2 posted on 05/10/2013 9:48:12 AM PDT by txrefugee
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when you use the man - made doctrine of scripture alone, etc, you end up with this sort of confusion....

you made your reformation beds, now LIE in them.


3 posted on 05/10/2013 9:52:14 AM PDT by raygunfan
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To: SeekAndFind

If they aren’t “in sync” with these basic biblical principles, they aren’t evangelicals.

It’s like saying 1 in 20 Roman Catholics don’t think the pope is head of the church. They really aren’t Roman Catholics in that case.

Or like saying 1 in 20 Mormons don’t really think you need a temple wedding. Not really Mormons then are they?


4 posted on 05/10/2013 10:02:04 AM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Persevero
It’s like saying 1 in 20 Roman Catholics don’t think the pope is head of the church. They really aren’t Roman Catholics in that case.

Say what? The Pope isn't the head of the Church. Jesus is. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. He is an equal with the Bishop (Patriarch) of, say, Moscow.

5 posted on 05/10/2013 10:13:28 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: SeekAndFind
We walk away from God and His moral absolutes to our own peril.

Amen.

6 posted on 05/10/2013 10:13:28 AM PDT by SandyInSeattle (The Cardinals chose wisely.)
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To: Persevero
Study: 1 in 5 Pennsylvania Pastors 'Not In Sync' on Moral Issues

Alternatively, 4 in 5 are in sync, but that isn't considered noteworthy.

7 posted on 05/10/2013 10:16:32 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: SeekAndFind

If someone does not believe that, “People can receive eternal salvation only through personal repentance of sin and the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . the Bible is the only completely reliable source of absolute moral truth . . . life is a sacred gift of God,” I’m not sure why someone would call that person a pastor, priest, or minister. I’d call that person a guidance counselor - and not a particularly good one.


8 posted on 05/10/2013 10:17:00 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: MarkBsnr
>> The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. He is an equal with the Bishop (Patriarch) of, say, Moscow. <<<

Sounds to me like you'd make a good Orthodox Christian.

9 posted on 05/10/2013 10:21:54 AM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: MarkBsnr

i know - I’m just saying that if you deny the central tenets of a religion, you really aren’t part of that religion.


10 posted on 05/10/2013 10:31:49 AM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: SeekAndFind

Somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of evangelical pastors in Pennsylvania aren’t evangelicals and arguably aren’t Christians either. Apparently.

Or maybe this is an opportunity for the “Pastors Network” to update their mailing list and clear out the weeds.


11 posted on 05/10/2013 10:49:13 AM PDT by marron
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To: Alex Murphy

80% in sync. That is a better percentage than elected Republicans that are nominally conservatives.


12 posted on 05/10/2013 10:57:11 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: MarkBsnr
"Say what? The Pope isn't the head of the Church. Jesus is. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. He is an equal with the Bishop (Patriarch) of, say, Moscow."

Can the bishop of Moscow speak ex cathedra on behalf of the entire Roman Catholic church?

13 posted on 05/10/2013 11:02:16 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SeekAndFind

There are liberals in every church. We are taught to be on guard.


14 posted on 05/10/2013 11:07:56 AM PDT by Gamecock ("Ultimately, Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God." ¬óR.C. Sproul)
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To: txrefugee
In the last days, there will b a great falling away

When the Communists in Soviet Russia began their persecution of the church, the average church dropped from 300 people to 15. That's a 95% falling away. The same thing will occur in the U.S.

15 posted on 05/10/2013 11:17:55 AM PDT by aimhigh (Guns do not kill people. Abortion kills people.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“114 evangelical pastors representing churches from 17 different denominations plus five non-denominational churches”

OK we are getting crazy with this stuff. How many Evangelical pastors in Pa? Did they say in the article? Did I miss it? I mean just a ballpark figure would be fine. They want you to believe that 114 pastors decide what all the pastors in Pa believe. And they don’t even tell you how big a group that the 114 are supposed to be representing. It’s like all the states that don’t get exit polled, but the ones that do are supposed to represent a national group, even though the states with exit polling show wild swings between each other among the same group.

Freegards


16 posted on 05/10/2013 11:32:35 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: BillyBoy
>> The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. He is an equal with the Bishop (Patriarch) of, say, Moscow. <<<

Sounds to me like you'd make a good Orthodox Christian.

I'd like to think of myself as a good Catholic Christian. The Pope is not the boss of the Church; he is one of the senior Bishops. He may be first among equals (whatever the negotiation among the churches may result in), but the important thing is that in the history of the Church, the senior Bishops are equal.

17 posted on 05/10/2013 2:51:59 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Persevero
i know - I’m just saying that if you deny the central tenets of a religion, you really aren’t part of that religion.

That is not a tenet, central or otherwise, of the Catholic Church.

18 posted on 05/10/2013 2:52:47 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: circlecity
"Say what? The Pope isn't the head of the Church. Jesus is. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. He is an equal with the Bishop (Patriarch) of, say, Moscow."

Can the bishop of Moscow speak ex cathedra on behalf of the entire Roman Catholic church?

No. That is not his jurisdiction. He can speak on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church. That is is his jurisdiction. He also cannot speak on behalf of the Greeks or the Alexandrians or the Constantinoplians either. Those don't fall within his jurisdiction either.

At a more local level, the Bishop of Davenport cannot speak on behalf of the Diocese of Peoria. Adjacent dioceses. That is the way that the Church has worked for the last two millennia.

19 posted on 05/10/2013 2:57:35 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr
>> I'd like to think of myself as a good Catholic Christian. The Pope is not the boss of the Church; he is one of the senior Bishops. He may be first among equals (whatever the negotiation among the churches may result in), but the important thing is that in the history of the Church, the senior Bishops are equal. <<

You can think of yourself however you like, but the reality is your statements here have more in common with traditional Orthodox Christian beliefs about the papacy than traditional Catholic Christian beliefs.

The Orthodox Church would describe the Pope as simply the "bishop of Rome" and "first among equals", saying he has no more authority that any other "Metropolitan" (for example, Archbishop Kirill I of Moscow) and that the Roman Catholic has upsurged its authority and gone renegade by declaring papal infallibility and so on.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, sees the Pope as the Vicar of Christ, the Vicar of Peter, and having special authority over all other bishops as the Supreme pontiff of the Universal Church.

20 posted on 05/10/2013 8:28:12 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: MarkBsnr

“That is not a tenet, central or otherwise, of the Catholic Church. “

The pope as head of the church certainly is a central tenet of Roman Catholic teaching.


21 posted on 05/10/2013 9:41:31 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: MarkBsnr
"At a more local level, the Bishop of Davenport cannot speak on behalf of the Diocese of Peoria. Adjacent dioceses. That is the way that the Church has worked for the last two millennia."

Are either of these Bishops bound by pronouncements the Pope makes ex cathedra? Does the Pope speak for them?

22 posted on 05/11/2013 1:33:04 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: BillyBoy
The Catholic Church, on the other hand, sees the Pope as the Vicar of Christ, the Vicar of Peter, and having special authority over all other bishops as the Supreme pontiff of the Universal Church.

The traditional Church view is 'first among equals'. However, there are a number of idiots who have taken Vatican I to the extent that they consider that the Pontiff (bridge builder) is really the bridge master (troll keeper).

I will bring up the analogy of 'Nuns on a Bus' as examples of Roman Catholics who have gone very much astray.

23 posted on 05/11/2013 3:55:39 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Persevero
The pope as head of the church certainly is a central tenet of Roman Catholic teaching.

No. The central tenet is that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.

24 posted on 05/11/2013 3:56:34 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: circlecity
Are either of these Bishops bound by pronouncements the Pope makes ex cathedra? Does the Pope speak for them?

Only to a certain extent. The Pope is the senior Bishop of the Latin branch. He can make certain decisions and theological direction, as Paul did for his local bishops. They can be removed at his discretion, although, with an organization the size it is, it rarely happens. The Church, necessarily, exists in the long run and rarely does anything quickly. It is to be here until Jesus Christ returns again from Heaven, and not just until Joe Sixpack returns from the 7-11.

25 posted on 05/11/2013 4:00:24 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“The central tenet is that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.”

Hey there, you may be a Protestant!


26 posted on 05/11/2013 12:40:25 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: MarkBsnr

Official doctrine is that the pope is the head of the church.

“Christ’s Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life: The episcopal college and its head, the Pope”. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1993. Retrieved 14 April 2013.”

I don’t believe this, but it is RC doctrine.


27 posted on 05/11/2013 12:42:08 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: MarkBsnr
>> The traditional Church view is 'first among equals'. <<

Yes, the traditional ORTHODOX Church view.

The concept that the successor to Peter has special authority ABOVE all other bishops predates even the 1054 schism. It has nothing to do with the doctrine of Papal infallibility that was established at Vatican I. You can find the doctrine on papal primacy going back to the time of Pope Leo the Great and earlier. Pope Damasus I (366-384) and other figures claimed universal jurisdiction over the whole church. If you want to believe in the Orthodox teachings that the bishop of Rome is merely granted an honorary position of "first among equals" and has no special authority over others, you're entitled to that belief. But no matter how much you claim it's Catholic doctrine, your beliefs are in sync with the Orthodox Church. Pope Francis would never claim he's "first among equals" and has no more power than the bishop of Milan.

Garry Wills makes a similar argument as you. He says he's a good Catholic and prays the rosary every day, yet he insists that priests have no power to consecrate the eucharist and we can all interpret scripture as we wish. He says this is the "traditional church view". It certainly is the traditional Protestant church view, but it is NOT the Catholic Church's view no matter how much he claims otherwise.

28 posted on 05/11/2013 3:52:27 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: Persevero
>> Hey there, you may be a Protestant! << <<

I doubt he accepts most protestant doctrines like "Once saved, always saved" or "Sola scriptura" I think he's actually an Orthodox Christian but doesn't realize it.

Venerates the virgin mary, 7 sacraments, infant baptism, faith + work, "pope is merely the bishop of Rome, speaks for the church as first among equals, and has no special authority to oversee others" = Orthodox Christian.

29 posted on 05/11/2013 3:56:25 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: Persevero
Hey there, you may be a Protestant!

Nope, nothing to protest.

30 posted on 05/12/2013 4:54:57 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Persevero
Official doctrine is that the pope is the head of the church.

“Christ’s Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life: The episcopal college and its head, the Pope”. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1993. Retrieved 14 April 2013.”

I don’t believe this, but it is RC doctrine.

What it actually says is that the Pope is head of the Episcopal College (true) and not head of the Church (false).

31 posted on 05/12/2013 4:57:39 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“(Ecclesiastical Latin papa from Greek papas, a variant of pappas father, in classical Latin pappas — Juvenal, “Satires” 6:633).

The title pope, once used with far greater latitude (see below, section V), is at present employed solely to denote the Bishop of Rome, who, in virtue of his position as successor of St. Peter, is the chief pastor of the whole Church, the Vicar of Christ upon earth.

Besides the bishopric of the Roman Diocese, certain other dignities are held by the pope as well as the supreme and universal pastorate: he is Archbishop of the Roman Province, Primate of Italy and the adjacent islands, and sole Patriarch of the Western Church. The Church’s doctrine as to the pope was authoritatively declared in the Vatican Council in the Constitution “Pastor Aeternus”. The four chapters of that Constitution deal respectively with the

-office of Supreme Head conferred on St. Peter,-

the perpetuity of this office in the person of the Roman pontiff, the pope’s jurisdiction over the faithful, and his supreme authority to define in all questions of faith and morals. This last point has been sufficiently discussed in the article INFALLIBILITY, and will be only incidentally touched on here. “

From the Catholic encyclopedia, which I found at newadvent.org.

If you indeed reject the notion that the pope is the supreme head of the church, I am glad to hear it. But it is official Roman Catholic doctrine, easily found with any search of the term.


32 posted on 05/12/2013 9:33:36 AM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: BillyBoy
The concept that the successor to Peter has special authority ABOVE all other bishops predates even the 1054 schism. It has nothing to do with the doctrine of Papal infallibility that was established at Vatican I. You can find the doctrine on papal primacy going back to the time of Pope Leo the Great and earlier. Pope Damasus I (366-384) and other figures claimed universal jurisdiction over the whole church. If you want to believe in the Orthodox teachings that the bishop of Rome is merely granted an honorary position of "first among equals" and has no special authority over others, you're entitled to that belief. But no matter how much you claim it's Catholic doctrine, your beliefs are in sync with the Orthodox Church. Pope Francis would never claim he's "first among equals" and has no more power than the bishop of Milan.

I did not say 'honourary'. Do not attribute that to me. Do not tell me about Pope Francis' claim about himself since you obvious don't know it, and don't tell me that I believe that he has no more power (however you mean it) than the bishop of Milan. One who claims what you have claimed merely seems foolish.

Garry Wills makes a similar argument as you. He says he's a good Catholic and prays the rosary every day, yet he insists that priests have no power to consecrate the eucharist and we can all interpret scripture as we wish. He says this is the "traditional church view". It certainly is the traditional Protestant church view, but it is NOT the Catholic Church's view no matter how much he claims otherwise.

Do not accuse me, even indirectly about the role of priests in the Eucharist, of having a belief anywhere near what you have posted. I am in the process of putting together an intermediate school religious ed program (over 3 years) that is based entirely on the Catechism. And the Biblical quotes that it is based on.

Do not lump me in with Wiccan Gaia worshipping lesbian nuns on a bus, or Marxist socialist rabble rousing 60s priests. Tell you what: read the Catechism and then get back to me about the Catholic faith. Until then, do not lecture or accuse about what you do not know.

33 posted on 05/13/2013 2:38:54 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Persevero
The title pope, once used with far greater latitude (see below, section V), is at present employed solely to denote the Bishop of Rome, who, in virtue of his position as successor of St. Peter, is the chief pastor of the whole Church, the Vicar of Christ upon earth.

Negatory. The lead bishop of the Copts, and the lead bishop of the Greek Orthodox in Alexandria are both titled Pope.

If you indeed reject the notion that the pope is the supreme head of the church, I am glad to hear it. But it is official Roman Catholic doctrine, easily found with any search of the term.

Pull it out of the Catechism and let's discuss official doctrine. New Advent is good, and more accurate than, say, Wikipedia, but it is not official doctrine.

34 posted on 05/13/2013 2:55:46 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

Ok, Baltimore Catechism:

“Question: Who is the visible Head of the Church?
Answer: Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible Head of the Church. “


35 posted on 05/13/2013 3:53:43 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Persevero
Ok, Baltimore Catechism:

“Question: Who is the visible Head of the Church?

Answer: Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible Head of the Church. “

Very good. Visible. As in being able to be seen. The Vicar is the stand-in and the keeper of the keys while the Lord is absent. The scenario is completely unintelligable to modern Americans who have no idea of history. The steward holds the keys and performs the function of the Monarch while he is gone. He is not the head of the kingdom, yet, he is the visible head of the kingdom in the interim.

36 posted on 05/13/2013 7:04:55 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr
>> Tell you what: read the Catechism and then get back to me about the Catholic faith <<

You are free to believe whatever you want about the Pope, but not to pass it off as Roman Catholic theology when it's not. I could claim Baptists accept baptizing infants because I do, that wouldn't mean they do.

I have several copies of the Cathechism, and none of them use terminology like you're using, such as describing the Pope as "merely a senior bishop", "first among equals" or "equal with the Bishop (Patriarch) of, say, Moscow".

If you spoke an expert scholar in the Greek Orthodox Church or Serbian Orthodox Church, however, they'd certainly see the Pope and his role in Christendom the way you do. That's because you are preaching Orthodox Christian theology, claiming it's Catholic, and reacting angrily when everyone else on this thread, including protestants, point out that your belief about the Pope's role in the Church does not follow Catholic teaching.

The Orthodox and Catholic views of the Pope are NOT the same. If the Catholic Church did see the Pope in the way the Orthodox Church did, as "merely a senior bishop and first among equals", the schism between the two churches would be resolved and they would have reunited a long time ago. They won't because they have very different ideas about what the Pope's role in Christendom is. Your beliefs are line with how the Orthodox Church views the Pope. If you don't believe me, feel free to sit down with an Orthodox scholar and discuss it. I think you'll find that you two are on the same page.

In contrast to you and the Orthodox Church believe, the Cathechism of the Catholic Church describes the Pope and his role as follows:

882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." (Lumen gentium 23) For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered. (Lumen gentium 22; cf. Christus Dominus 2, 9.)

37 posted on 05/13/2013 7:08:45 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: MarkBsnr
>> Do not accuse me, even indirectly about the role of priests in the Eucharist, of having a belief anywhere near what you have posted. I am in the process of putting together an intermediate school religious ed program (over 3 years) that is based entirely on the Catechism. And the Biblical quotes that it is based on. Do not lump me in with Wiccan Gaia worshipping lesbian nuns on a bus, or Marxist socialist rabble rousing 60s priests. <<

I certainly did NOT accuse you of having the same beliefs as Gary Wills does about priests and the Eucharist, or of promoting "Wiccan views, Gaia worshiping lesbian nuns, or Marxist socialist rabble"

In fact, when one freeper said you might be a closet protestant, I pointed out that that's unlikely to be the case, and you probably disagree with protestants on a number of major theological issues.

I simply pointed out that Gary Wills calls himself a good Catholic, while preaching doctrines that are wholly protestant, and trying to portray them as in sync with Catholicism. You appear to be preaching doctrines that are wholly Orthodox, and trying to portray them as in sync with Catholicism. THAT is where the similarity lies.

Obviously, many Orthodox Christian theologians do not have liberal theological beliefs or believe in "Wiccan worshiping Gaia lesbian nuns". On the contrary, many of them have profoundly conservative theological views are are very old school. I believe Orthodox theology hasn't changed much since the 8th century. Certainly a good argument can be made that their beliefs about the Pope can be traced back to early Christianity. What CANNOT be said though, is that the idea that the Pope was merely "first among equals" is something that Catholicism ever taught, or how the Pope and the Vatican ever viewed themselves.

38 posted on 05/13/2013 7:26:54 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: MarkBsnr

OK, the visible head.

Still, a head.

I do understand what a regent is. I just disagree that there is a regent in place, unless you might perhaps say the Holy Spirit is a type of regent, although I’ll tread carefully there.

John 16 -

” 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: “

But not a pope, no.

He did also leave us a church structure; we are to choose out for ourselves elders, also properly translated bishops, and they have authority and can exercise church discipline and so forth. But there is no allowance for a chief or head or ultimate bishop.


39 posted on 05/13/2013 8:00:17 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: BillyBoy

You may wish to visit the various sites that are covering the ongoing dialogue between the Latins and the East.

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1341814?eng=y says that:

The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium

Joint Coordinating Committee for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church

Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece, September 27 - October 4, 2008

Introduction

1. In the Ravenna document, “The Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church – Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority”, Catholics and Orthodox acknowledge the inseparable link between conciliarity and primacy at all levels of the life of the Church: “Primacy and conciliarity are mutually interdependent. That is why primacy at the different levels of the life of the Church, local, regional and universal, must always be considered in the context of conciliarity, and conciliarity likewise in the context of primacy” (Ravenna document, n. 43). They also agree that “in the canonical order (taxis) witnessed by the ancient Church”, which was “recognised by all in the era of the undivided Church”, “Rome, as the Church that “presides in love” according to the phrase of St Ignatius of Antioch, occupied the first place in the taxis, and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the protos among the patriarchs’ (nn. 40, 41). The document refers to the active role and prerogatives of the bishop of Rome as “protos among the patriarchs’, “protos of the bishops of the major Sees’ (nn. 41, 42, 44), and it concludes that “the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches’ must be ‘studied in greater depth”. “What is the specific function of the bishop of the “first see” in an ecclesiology of koinonia?” (n. 45)

2. The topic for the next stage of the theological dialogue is therefore: “The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium”. The aim is to understand more deeply the role of the bishop of Rome during the period when the Churches of East and West were in communion, notwithstanding certain divergences between them, and so to respond to the above question.

3. The present text will treat the topic by considering the following four points:
– The Church of Rome, prima sedes;
– The bishop of Rome as successor of Peter;
– The role of the bishop of Rome at times of crisis in the ecclesial communion;
– The influence of non-theological factors.

The Church of Rome, “prima sedes”

4. Catholics and Orthodox agree that, from apostolic times, the Church of Rome has been recognised as the first among the local Churches, both in the East and in the West. The writings of the apostolic fathers clearly testify to this fact. Rome, the capital of the empire, quickly gained renown in the early church as the place of martyrdom of saints Peter and Paul (cf Rev 11:3-12). It occupied a unique place among the local churches and exercised a unique influence. Late in the first century, invoking the example of the martyrs, Peter and Paul, the Church of Rome wrote a long letter to the Church of Corinth, which had ejected its elders (1 Clem. 1, 44), and urged that unity and harmony (homonoia) be restored. The letter was written by Clement, subsequently identified as bishop of Rome (cf Irenaeus, Adv.Haer., 3, 3, 2), though the exact form of leadership in Rome at that time is unclear.

5. Soon afterwards, on his way to martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Church of Rome with high esteem, as “worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of being called blessed, worthy of success, worthy of purity”. He referred to it as “presiding in the region of the Romans’, and also as “presiding in charity” (”prokathemene tes agapes’; Romans, Salutation). This phrase is interpreted in various ways, but it seems to indicate that Rome had a regional role of seniority and leadership, and that it was distinguished in the essentials of Christianity, namely faith and charity. Ignatius also spoke of Peter and Paul, who preached to the Romans (Romans, 4).

6. Irenaeus emphasised that the Church of Rome was a sure reference point for apostolic teaching. With this Church, founded by Peter and Paul, it was necessary that every Church should agree (convenire), “propter potentiorem principalitatem”, a phrase which can be variously understood as “because of its more imposing origin” or “because of its greater authority” (Adv.Haer., 3, 3, 2). Tertullian also praised the Church of Rome “upon which the apostles [Peter and Paul] poured their whole teaching together with their blood”. Rome was foremost among the apostolic churches and none of the many heretics who went there seeking approval was ever received (cf De Praescrip. 36). The Church of Rome was thus a point of reference both for the “rule of faith” and also in the search for a peaceful resolution of difficulties either within or between certain Churches.

7. The bishop of Rome was occasionally in disagreement with other bishops. Regarding the dating of Easter, Anicetus of Rome and Polycarp of Smyrna failed to agree in 154 AD but maintained eucharistic communion. Forty years later, bishop Victor of Rome ordered synods to be held to settle the matter – an interesting early instance of synodality and indeed of popes encouraging synods – and excommunicated Polycrates of Ephesus and the bishops of Asia when their synod refused to adopt the Roman line. Victor was rebuked by Irenaeus for this severity and it seems that he revoked his sentence and that communion was preserved. In the mid-3rd century, a major conflict arose regarding whether those baptised by heretics should be re-baptised when received into the Church. Recalling local tradition, Cyprian of Carthage and the bishops of north Africa, supported by synods around the eastern bishop Firmilian of Caesarea, maintained that such people should be re-baptised, whereas bishop Stephen of Rome, with reference to Roman tradition and indeed to Peter and Paul (Cyprian, Ep. 75, 6, 2), said that they should not. Communion between Stephen and Cyprian was severely impaired but not formally broken. The early centuries thus show that the views and decisions of the bishops of Rome were sometimes challenged by fellow bishops. They also show the vigorous synodal life of the early Church. The many African synods at this time, for instance, and Cyprian’s frequent correspondence with Stephen and especially with his predecessor, Cornelius, manifest an intense collegial spirit (cf Cyprian, Ep. 55, 6, 1-2).

8. All the Churches of East and West believed that the Church of Rome held first place (i.e. primacy) among the Churches. This primacy resulted from several factors: the foundation of this Church by Peter and Paul and the sense of their living presence there; the martyrdom in Rome of these two foremost apostles (koryphes) and the location of their tombs (tropaia) in the city; and the fact that Rome was the capital of the Empire and the centre of communication.

...

If you would examine the Church documents, you may agree with my point of view - and the Church’s. Primacy does not mean ‘straw boss’.


40 posted on 05/14/2013 12:01:26 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Persevero
He did also leave us a church structure; we are to choose out for ourselves elders, also properly translated bishops, and they have authority and can exercise church discipline and so forth. But there is no allowance for a chief or head or ultimate bishop.

You may wish to reread Paul. He had several levels of clergy under his own authority.

41 posted on 05/14/2013 12:03:24 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“He had several levels of clergy under his own authority. “

No he didn’t. He was an apostle, and strove with Peter over this and that, and they met as a group of elders to work things out, and they did so.

There are two ordained offices in the church: elders(or bishops if you prefer), and deacons.

No pope, head elder, or what have you.

It is interesting that you mention Paul as a super authority, since Peter according to RC doctrine is supposed to be the overall head, but I digress.


42 posted on 05/14/2013 10:38:48 AM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Persevero
“He had several levels of clergy under his own authority. “

No he didn’t. He was an apostle, and strove with Peter over this and that, and they met as a group of elders to work things out, and they did so.

That is working things out with equals. The fact is that Timothy was under Paul, and the local deacons were under Timothy. The hierarchy was established very explicitly.

43 posted on 05/14/2013 5:37:43 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“That is working things out with equals. The fact is that Timothy was under Paul, and the local deacons were under Timothy. The hierarchy was established very explicitly. “

Chapter and verse?

Certainly Timothy was Paul’s son in the faith. That doesn’t make Paul pope.

Why do you keep promoting Paul as the head guy? The doctrine you are defending promotes Peter to that spot.

I also see no verse talking about deacons being under anyone particularly.


44 posted on 05/14/2013 9:31:45 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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