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Pope Francis on 10 Reasons Why People Reject the Church
brandonvogt ^ | August 16, 2013 | Brandon Vogt

Posted on 08/17/2013 2:06:44 AM PDT by NYer

Pope Francis

The Church's most prominent outreach today, the New Evangelization, aims at reviving the spiritual lives of those who have drifted from Christ. While these people may have been baptized and perhaps catechized, while they may attend Church semi-regularly, they have never been truly evangelized. They have never experienced a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ or real transformation through his Church.

A couple weeks ago, Pope Francis delivered a powerful message to the Brazilian bishops in the midst of his World Youth Day celebrations. Unfortunately, it didn't get nearly the attention it deserved.

Speaking on the New Evangelization, and using the Emmaus Journey as a framework, the Pope encouraged his listeners to reflect on why people reject the Church today—why, like the Emmaus disciples, they decide to walk the other way. To bring people back to Christ and his Church, we must understand why they leave in the first place.

To that end, Pope Francis offered ten specific reasons:

1. The Church no longer offers anything meaningful or important.
2. The Church appears too weak.
3. The Church appears too distant from their needs.
4. The Church appears too poor to respond to their concerns.
5. The Church appears too cold.
6. The Church appears too caught up with itself.
7. The Church appears to be a prisoner of its own rigid formulas.
8. The world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past.
9. The Church appears unfit to answer the world's new questions.
10. The Church speaks to people in their infancy but not when they come of age.
 
Read the excerpt below for more context:

"The two disciples have left Jerusalem. They are leaving behind the 'nakedness' of God. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day.
 
Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church—their Jerusalem—can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Perhaps the Church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas, perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions; perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age.
 
It is a fact that nowadays there are many people like the two disciples of Emmaus; not only those looking for answers in the new religious groups that are sprouting up, but also those who already seem godless, both in theory and in practice.
 
Faced with this situation, what are we to do?
 
We need a Church unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a Church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren, fruitless soil, incapable of generating meaning.”

Which of these reasons do you see as most significant?

 
(HT: Thomas Doran at Catholic World Report)


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
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1 posted on 08/17/2013 2:06:44 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 08/17/2013 2:07:10 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

I am nominally a Crazy Evangelical but I find myself to be a universal Christian, who recognizes the work of Jesus Christ in both Roman Catholic and Protestant/Evangelical communions.

Here’s what’s wrong, with all due respect, dear Roman Catholics.

You aren’t getting that personal salvational relationship with Jesus Christ, except as an afterthought. The church looms so big in your picture that Jesus Christ is made to look small, as if He can’t stick around without the Roman Catholic church’s constant help.

I don’t intend to delve into doctrines, but if you just make room for Jesus Christ to directly act towards your souls as you receive Him with gladness, you WILL see victory! That’s why God raised up the Protestants; He knew you had forgotten about that even though it’s spelled out in the Bible.

No, dear Roman Catholics, the Protestants don’t have everything right. But neither do you. Christ is being very forbearing here and forgiving the obstacles. But He does want to get at you directly. Try to be less full of yourselves and Christ will come in.

He did it for me and I am a Crazy Evangelical.


3 posted on 08/17/2013 2:24:05 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: NYer

It seems to me that the Pope’s strategy is to merely talk about how dead and boring Roman Catholicism seems to people. And then he offers, as if it were a solution, a new emphasis on the poor or vague notions of love, as if Catholicism is just one gigantic charity or teddy bear dedicated to social renewal, since the “old” message of an individual’s spiritual renewal isn’t meaningful any longer.

But such appeals as what color of shoes the Pope chooses to wear now only tickles the ears of self-righteous people who think that caring for the poor makes them justified, when really they are spiritually poor, and naked, and dead in their sins. The draw here isn’t on the need of salvation, but on the need to be a Catholic for social reasons. Contrast this with the Apostles who constantly preached Christ and Him crucified, not amongst people who merely thought it wasn’t meaningful to their life anymore, but to people who wanted them dead for saying it.


4 posted on 08/17/2013 2:38:02 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: HiTech RedNeck

It’s the Protestants that are molding to the ever changing values of this modern world—which is evil—the Catholics not. THere is a reason why. Clearly you are naive about Catholicism. Your comments show this. I’d recommend reading up on how Protestantism was first birthed and why before making such ridiculous statements. That would just be a start. You know nothing about Catholicism. Yours is just a wide berth of assumption.


5 posted on 08/17/2013 2:42:56 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: NYer
I think people reject the Church because they do not make "daily" use of Her Sacraments, so they are unable to benefit from Christ's powerful (and full) Love. Who has left Catholicism who attends daily Mass, frequent Confession, and visits the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharistic Adoration) often as well? Probably very few...
6 posted on 08/17/2013 2:56:38 AM PDT by mlizzy (If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended. --Mother Teresa)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“You aren’t getting that personal salvational relationship with Jesus Christ”,

“The church looms so big in your picture that Jesus Christ is made to look small”

The conflict is very simple. You see yourself as an individual going at it alone with Christ. We see ourselves as a community. To you it matters very little if you go into church every week because you have a personal relationship with Him, and it’s unnecessary. To us, it’s a requirement that we go.

Yes, the Church looms large, but who’s at the head of it? Christ himself. There is no conflict between Christ and his Church.


7 posted on 08/17/2013 3:12:04 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

It is odd that non Catholics care about the Catholic church. It is like looking into the window at our shop every day when you pass by.


8 posted on 08/17/2013 3:13:49 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge
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To: NYer

#8 This indoctrination starts early nowadays.


9 posted on 08/17/2013 3:23:29 AM PDT by exPBRrat
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To: HiTech RedNeck

With all due respect, that is simply not true. You may believe it to be, but you are incorrect and I would be wrong not to point this out. Christ is the head of the Church.


10 posted on 08/17/2013 3:38:38 AM PDT by grimalkin (The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man. -G.K. Chesterton)
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To: NYer
Which of these reasons do you see as most significant?

#11 - The Church didn't frog-march what they knew to be pedophile priests into the waiting arms of Police and State Prosecutors so that they could be tried for sexually molesting young boys and young women. Rather, the Church chose to hide these child molesting pedophile priests by moving them from parish to parish, without so much as thinking about the victims of these heinous crimes.

That's why. It's hard to assign legitimacy to a Church that fails to protect the youngest and most vulnerable, while protecting pedophile priests.

As for the ten problems listed, IMO every church whether Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Lutheran, etc.. has those problems at one time or another. It's all in how that Church chooses to deal with the problems that keep them relevant (or not.) It's those Church's that change the message that ultimately end up losing. The message doesn't change, the message changes us.

One last comment: I was born, raised, reached communion and confirmation, and was married to my wife of 27 years in the Catholic Church. There are some incredibly good Priests and lay folks within the Church who IMO do God's work. It is a shame that #11 as I stated above continues to hang over the Church. That however is the Church's fault for not embracing the victims, and rather embracing the criminals within for so long.

11 posted on 08/17/2013 4:12:25 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: GOP Poet
It’s the Protestants that are molding to the ever changing values of this modern world—which is evil—the Catholics not. THere is a reason why. Clearly you are naive about Catholicism. Your comments show this. I’d recommend reading up on how Protestantism was first birthed and why before making such ridiculous statements. That would just be a start. You know nothing about Catholicism. Yours is just a wide berth of assumption.

These types of responses are more projection than anything else. "I know you are, but what am I?" comes to mind.

12 posted on 08/17/2013 4:17:14 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: grimalkin
With all due respect, that is simply not true. You may believe it to be, but you are incorrect and I would be wrong not to point this out. Christ is the head of the Church.

Since Christ tore the veil removing the barrier between the Lord and man, what then is the meaning and role of Priests in the Catholic Church? How does that role conflict or not conflict with Christ being the head of the Church?

Why profess our sins to a Priest when the Lord hears our confessions Himself?

Why are Priests called "Father" when the Lord is our Father?

13 posted on 08/17/2013 4:23:12 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: JCBreckenridge

“It is odd that non Catholics care about the Catholic church.”

Rubbish! If Rome could leave the rest of the world alone I might agree with you. But in light of clear biblical warnings plus Rome’s bloody history, power, goals and soul-destroying doctrine, there is nothing odd about it. We would be foolish not to care. We would be heartless Christians if we didn’t sound the alarm.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”


14 posted on 08/17/2013 4:36:07 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: NYer
11. You only have to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. (Romans 10:13)

Matthew 15: 2-6

_______________________________________________

12. Never slavishly put tradition above God's Word.

"2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3 Jesus replied,“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

15 posted on 08/17/2013 4:43:11 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: NYer

Ain’t just the Catholic Church.

Most of the ‘modern’ churches are a buncha wimps. They can’t or won’t defend themselves from attcks by: gummint, ‘society’, IRS, Muzzies, the “educational establishment”............

Anybody hear ONE LITTLE PEEP concerning the attacks/murders/kidnappings of Christ ians the WORLD OVER???

Howsabout the burning/destruction of churches damn dear EVERYWHERE (NOT just in the ME).

Time for some pushback—Beecher’s Bibles (if you know your history) and jen-you-wine Christian Soldiers. Well, where the hell is it?


16 posted on 08/17/2013 4:45:25 AM PDT by Flintlock ("The redcoats are coming" -- TO SEIZE OUR GUNS!!--Paul Revere)
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To: SkyPilot; NYer
12. Never slavishly put tradition above God's Word.

And never slavishly put Protestant tradition above God's Word regarding tradition.

2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

Depends on whether the tradition is Apostolic (see above), or man-made, like Luther's novel doctrine of "the Bible alone," which is not biblical or part of Apostolic Tradition.
17 posted on 08/17/2013 4:50:40 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: NYer

These reasons are wimpy reasons. These reasons do not really touch on the real issue.

The Catholic Church has not made it clear that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church since Vatican II. It is too busy running around making nice-nice with false religions sending the implicit message that you don’t need to be Catholic.

Yes, the Church teaches that others “can” be saved through the mercy of God (but not through other religions). The surest way if one keeps oneself in a state of grace is through the Catholic Church.

I know there are many on this site who believe otherwise and I’m not interested in arguing this doctrine. I’m only pointing out that the VII Church has not been sending the signal that the Catholic Church is the ONE true church for 50 years.

There are consequences for that.


18 posted on 08/17/2013 5:01:23 AM PDT by piusv
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To: piusv
There are consequences for that...
True! I imagine decrease in vocations is one. A parish we attend sometimes for daily Mass (that has Perpetual Adoration!) just recently got rid of their 6:15 a.m. Mass most weekdays, retaining their 8:15 a.m. only, and on Saturday, they've eliminated their daily Mass except for on the First Saturday. (And this Mass is very popular usually bringing in 100 at the very least.) BUT this parish is down to just one priest, which is striking as it is such a huge parish.
19 posted on 08/17/2013 5:28:46 AM PDT by mlizzy (If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended. --Mother Teresa)
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To: mlizzy

I don’t understand why having one priest would cause getting rid of the 6:15 daily mass. Does he just want to sleep in those mornings? lol


20 posted on 08/17/2013 5:49:13 AM PDT by piusv
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To: usconservative
The Church's covering up of pedophile priests is, of course, tragic; there is no excuse for their mishandling. However, through it all, the Eucharist never has changed. It has been and always will be (as long as it is consecrated correctly) the Body of Christ. So the devil through fallen priests is (and has been) trying to pull people away from the reception of Jesus, and sadly, there are many who follow him.

As Mother Teresa once said, There will always be problems in the Church, but the faith itself is without flaw.
21 posted on 08/17/2013 5:49:46 AM PDT by mlizzy (If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended. --Mother Teresa)
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To: NYer; All
With all due respect, I did not read it as Catholic OR non-Catholic.

One line in the Apostle's Creed says, I believe in the holy catholic church. The word "catholic" is not capitalized because it means the Christian church universal, not a particular denomination.

IMO, Pope Francis' words are relevant to ALL Christians and ALL churches everywhere. The church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ must become more relevant in people's lives. That's how we make believers, and that's how we'll turn our nation around and back to the Lord.

(PS: I'm a Methodist.)

22 posted on 08/17/2013 5:58:25 AM PDT by Prov3456
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To: usconservative
I will answer as best I can. If this isn't sufficient for you or if you have more questions, there are many resources you can research. It's entirely up to you as to how you decipher what you find. I am not here to argue with non-Catholics in a negative way, but only to profess my faith as a Catholic and offer answers as best I can.

1. Why profess our sins to a Priest when the Lord hears our confessions Himself?

John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20. After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

There is also a good answer here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121015134058AA3Lhco

2. Why are Priests called "Father" when the Lord is our Father?

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/call-no-man-father

The above is a lengthy read, but offers a very detailed explanation to anyone interested.

I think a lot of what people dislike about the Catholic Church stems from misunderstanding.

23 posted on 08/17/2013 6:05:34 AM PDT by grimalkin (The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man. -G.K. Chesterton)
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To: mlizzy

Was the Inquisition merely “tragic?” Rome may have a friendlier face, but at her core she’s no different today than she was when the rivers of Europe were red with the blood of “heretics.” In fact, her doctrine is much worse.

At this point, Teresa of Calcutta, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, has learned that the Roman “church” has big big flaws. That’s tragic!


24 posted on 08/17/2013 6:06:38 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: Prov3456
IMO, Pope Francis' words are relevant to ALL Christians and ALL churches everywhere. The church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ must become more relevant in people's lives. That's how we make believers, and that's how we'll turn our nation around and back to the Lord.

Yes, it is a message to all Christians. We have a responsibility to find and bring all lost souls to Christ.

25 posted on 08/17/2013 6:07:41 AM PDT by grimalkin (The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man. -G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Prov3456

There is nothing more relevant to any man than the gospel. The gospel has a God-given power of its own that goes beyond anything we can do in our attempts to be relevant.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”(Jeremiah 6:16)


26 posted on 08/17/2013 6:16:11 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: JCBreckenridge

You left out that having a “personal salvational relationship with Jesus Christ” is more or less having it on one’s own mind.


27 posted on 08/17/2013 6:21:19 AM PDT by Morgana (Always a bit of truth in dark humor.)
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To: NYer

As I see it, many do know know how to love God and our neighbors as Jesus told us.

The Church has not effectively lived this message.

We are all sinners, yet there is a selfishness that inhibits us from recognizing our sins and accepting God’s Love and the happiness that comes with our relationship with God.


28 posted on 08/17/2013 6:44:14 AM PDT by ADSUM
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To: HiTech RedNeck
That’s why God raised up the Protestants; He knew you had forgotten about that even though it’s spelled out in the Bible.

John 17:21

He did it for me and I am a Crazy Evangelical

He did it for me, too and I am a sane Catholic.

29 posted on 08/17/2013 6:47:44 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: .45 Long Colt; mlizzy
Was the Inquisition merely “tragic?” Rome may have a friendlier face, but at her core she’s no different today than she was when the rivers of Europe were red with the blood of “heretics.” In fact, her doctrine is much worse.

The Truth about the Spanish Inquisition

30 posted on 08/17/2013 7:00:41 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Sounds like the similar list of reasons why the Republican party needs to ‘change’ in order to garner more supporters.


31 posted on 08/17/2013 7:19:52 AM PDT by joethedrummer
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To: joethedrummer

Seriously.


32 posted on 08/17/2013 7:55:33 AM PDT by piusv
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans; HiTech RedNeck; .45 Long Colt; metmom; boatbums; caww; ...
It seems to me that the Pope’s strategy is to merely talk about how dead and boring Roman Catholicism seems to people. And then he offers, as if it were a solution, a new emphasis on the poor or vague notions of love, as if Catholicism is just one gigantic charity or teddy bear dedicated to social renewal, since the “old” message of an individual’s spiritual renewal isn’t meaningful any longer...The draw here isn’t on the need of salvation, but on the need to be a Catholic for social reasons. Contrast this with the Apostles who constantly preached Christ and Him crucified,

A discerning judgment. And indeed the description below by Francis fits the church, most supremely that of Rome, thus far more convert to being evangelicals than the reverse, with the main reason not being doctrine, but that Rome did not meet there spiritual needs (see here ), though that is a result of her church centered doctrine.

1. The Church no longer offers anything meaningful or important.

2. The Church appears too weak.

3. The Church appears too distant from their needs.

4. The Church appears too poor to respond to their concerns.

5. The Church appears too cold.

6. The Church appears too caught up with itself.

7. The Church appears to be a prisoner of its own rigid formulas.

8. The world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past.

9. The Church appears unfit to answer the world's new questions.

10. The Church speaks to people in their infancy but not when they come of age.

33 posted on 08/17/2013 8:09:00 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: GOP Poet; HiTech RedNeck
It’s the Protestants that are molding to the ever changing values of this modern world—which is evil—the Catholics not.

That broadbrush is honestly absurd. The majority of those whom Rome counts and treats as members in life and in death are liberal, as is much of her scholarship (reflected even in your own Bible's notes ).

Meanwhile, though you are stuck with your liberal members, we can obey Scripture and come out from among them, and as a result evangelicals (even today in the latter day apostasy of the church) are more conservative and unified overall in conservative moral views and basic truths than Catholics. See here .

THere is a reason why. Clearly you are naive about Catholicism. Your comments show this.

Written not to me, and the contrary is shown to be the case here.

34 posted on 08/17/2013 8:09:29 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
Depends on whether the tradition is Apostolic

Which makes the church supreme, a man made doctrine, as Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.

Thus tradition is only what she decrees it is (significantly differing even with the tradition-based Byzantine rite), and the only interpretation of Scripture that has any authority is hers.

like Luther's novel doctrine of "the Bible alone,"

Like Luther's novel doctrine of "the Bible alone," which is not biblical or part of Apostolic Tradition.

So Luther believed only the Bible could be used in knowing God's will, or do you want to provide a valid definition rather than the typical RC strawman? Do you deny even the supremacy of Scripture as the standard for obedience and establishing truth claims?

Can you prove that what was referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 were things such as the assumption of Mary, and were not written down as was the norm for any revelation called the "word of God/the Lord," and that historical descent assures successors have the same level of veracity as the apostles? Be back later.

35 posted on 08/17/2013 8:10:02 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: grimalkin; usconservative; HiTech RedNeck
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

Why are Priests called "Father" when the Lord is our Father? http://www.catholic.com/tracts/call-no-man-father The above is a lengthy read.

Of course is a lengthy read (after the emergency appeal for money) as the NT nowhere distinctively calls or titles NT pastors priests (hiereus), and only refers to them as such as part of the general priesthood (hierateuma) of all believers. (1Pt. 2:9)

<Titus 1:5-7: Bishops and elders were one: the former (episkopos=superintendent or “overseer,”[from “epi” and “skopos” (“watch”) in the sense of “episkopeō,” to oversee, — Strong's) refers to function; the latter (presbuteros=senior) to seniority (in age, implying maturity, or position). Titus was to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders [presbuteros] in every city, as I had appointed thee: “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop [episkopos] must be blameless...” (Titus 1:5-7) Paul also "sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church," (Acts 20:17) who are said to be episkopos in v. 28. Elders are also what were ordained for every church in Acts 14:23, and bishops along with deacons are the only two classes of clergy whom Paul addresses in writing to the church in Phil. 1:1. This does not exclude that there could have been “archbishops/elders” in the New Testament church who were head pastors over others, but there is no titular distinctions in Scripture denoting such, and which distinctions are part of the hierarchical class distinctions which came later, and foster love of titles and position which the Lord warned about. (Mk. 10:42-44; Mt. 23:8-10).

Does presbyter or elder mean priest?

In her effort to conform the Bible to her erroneous understanding of what the elements used in the Lord's Supper (“Eucharist”), Roman Catholicism (and near kin) came to render presbuteros” as “priests” in English (which the RC Douay Rheims Bible inconsistently does: Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5), and sometimes “episkopos,” but neither of which is the same word which is distinctly used for priests*, that being “hiereus” or “archiereus.” (Heb. 4:15; 10:11) Nor does presbuteros or episkopos denote a unique sacrificial function, and hiereus (as archiereus=chief priests) is used in distinction to elders in such places as Lk. 22:66; Acts 22:5.

The only priesthood (hierateuma) of the church is that of all believers as they function as priests, offering both gifts and sacrifices response to being forgiven of sins, in thanksgiving and service to God and for others. (1Pt. 2:5; Rm. 12:1; 15:16; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; Heb. 13:15,16; cf. 9:9)

Jewish elders as a body existed before the priesthood, most likely as heads of household or clans, and being an elder did not necessarily make one a Levitical priest (Ex. 3:16,18, 18:12; 19:7; 24:1; Num. 11:6; Dt. 21:2; 22:5-7; 31:9,28; 32:7; Josh. 23:2; 2Chron. 5:4; Lam. 1:9; cf. Mt. 21:13; 26:47) or a high priest, offering both gifts and sacrifices for sins. (Heb. 5:1) A priest could be an elder, and could elders exercise some priestly functions such as praying and laying hands on sacrifices, but unlike presbuteros and episkopos. the two were not the same in language or in function, as one could be a elder without formally being a priest. Even the Latin word (sacerdos) which corresponds to priest has no morphological or lingual relationship with the Latin word for “presbyter.”

Despite the Scriptural distinctions in titles, Rome made the word “presbyteros” (elders) to mean “priest” by way of functional equivalence, supposing that the bishops turn bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ which is then physically consumed. However, the elements used in the commemoration of the Lord death (“the Lord's supper,” and called the “Eucharist” by Catholics) symbolically represent Christ death (see here), and the sacrifice involved in this is one which all communicants are to engage in, that of unselfish love for His body, the church (as shown here in the exegesis of 1Cor. 11:17-33). Moreover, despite Rome's centralization of this act as a cardinal doctrine, little is taught on it, the description of the Lord's supper and of disciples breaking bread neither assigns nor infers that pastors engaged in transforming the elements, but simply show it to be a communal meal. Thus formally identifying a distinctive class of Christian clergy as “priests” rather than “presbyters” (elders) is not only grammatically incorrect by is functionally unwarranted and unscriptural.

In response to a query on this issue, the web site of International Standard Version (not my preferred translation) states,

No Greek lexicons or other scholarly sources suggest that "presbyteros" means "priest" instead of "elder". The Greek word is equivalent to the Hebrew ZAQEN, which means "elder", and not priest. You can see the ZAQENIM described in Exodus 18:21-22 using some of the same equivalent Hebrew terms as Paul uses in the GK of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Note that the ZAQENIM are NOT priests (i.e., from the tribe of Levi) but are rather men of distinctive maturity that qualifies them for ministerial roles among the people.

Therefore the NT equivalent of the ZAQENIM cannot be the Levitical priests. The Greek "presbyteros" (literally, the comparative of the Greek word for "old" and therefore translated as "one who is older") thus describes the character qualities of the "episkopos". The term "elder" would therefore appear to describe the character, while the term "overseer" (for that is the literal rendering of "episkopos") connotes the job description.

To sum up, far from obfuscating the meaning of "presbyteros", our rendering of "elder" most closely associates the original Greek term with its OT counterpart, the ZAQENIM. ...we would also question the fundamental assumption that you bring up in your last observation, i.e., that "the church has always had priests among its ordained clergy". We can find no documentation of that claim. ( http://isvbible.com/catacombs/elders.htm) Later

36 posted on 08/17/2013 8:10:14 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: daniel1212

LOL. He can start with this one:

The “Church” is not the clergy. It’s the people.


37 posted on 08/17/2013 8:19:28 AM PDT by Sontagged (Faith without works is dead. This also means incessant prayer without attendant works is dead.)
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To: mlizzy

Thanks for that Eucharistic Adoration map. We are getting a new chapel in our new church.


38 posted on 08/17/2013 8:30:09 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pope Francis offered ten specific reasons:
1. The Church no longer offers anything meaningful or important.
2. The Church appears too weak.
3. The Church appears too distant from their needs.
4. The Church appears too poor to respond to their concerns.
5. The Church appears too cold.
6. The Church appears too caught up with itself.
7. The Church appears to be a prisoner of its own rigid formulas.
8. The world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past.
9. The Church appears unfit to answer the world's new questions.
10. The Church speaks to people in their infancy but not when they come of age.

Note what doesn't appear in the list. The Catholic Church uses Jesus Christ and the Bible as afterthoughts.

39 posted on 08/17/2013 8:30:21 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Thus, my opponent's argument falls.")
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To: NYer

To me, only number eight of these is true that the world has relegated the Church as useless.


40 posted on 08/17/2013 8:30:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: daniel1212
...the supremacy of Scripture as the standard for obedience and establishing truth claims?

That's what sola scriptura is right?

41 posted on 08/17/2013 8:30:58 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: grimalkin

Christ founded the Catholic Church and is the head of the Catholic Church. Were you unaware of that? Reading too many lies in those pamplets?


42 posted on 08/17/2013 8:32:16 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: usconservative

**what then is the meaning and role of Priests in the Catholic Church?**

You would not receive several sacraments if it weren’t for the priests.


43 posted on 08/17/2013 8:34:32 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: usconservative
Anointing of the Sick
 

44 posted on 08/17/2013 8:36:34 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
When I think of "The Church", I don't think of the Church Jesus built upon the rock of Peter, however He meant that. I think of a rigid, dogmatic, highly structured and ritualistic institution that I am not welcome in until I learn all of the rituals, and even then, I'll be on probation as an outsider, not really belonging. Probably says more about me, than the Catholic church, but that's my honest answer.

When I think of the Protestants, I think of an anything goes sort of place, except there'll be no talk of Jesus' Mother Mary except at Christmas, or spiritual miracles such as Mary appearing to many around the world, or even Jesus, for that matter. They're more open to anyone and some even open to any lifestyle, but not so open to the various reported spiritual manifestations around the world, or modern prophecies or warnings.

When I think of the orthodox, I really don't know much about them, but they seem more ritualistic like the Catholics than the Protestants. I have heard that they observe the correct date for Easter.

As I watch the various factions shooting poison arrows at each other from their positions of superiority, I've come to feel somewhat blessed to have not been born into a religious family. I've not had much indoctrination of faith to overcome while looking everywhere to find my own answers.

As a friend used to say of the world's religions: "They all have a piece of the Truth."

I recently read the book "Shocked by the Bible" and have wondered what else we have wrong.

In the messages recorded in "True Life in God" Jesus speaks about putting His Body back together after we have ripped His Body apart.

He has His Work to do! We rebellious humans are going to fight Him and not let Him put His Church back together.

Apparently, He has a surprise for us that will make many see things His way who don't now. He hasn't stopped loving each of us, not even for a microsecond. (Just don't make Dad put His Judge hat on.)

45 posted on 08/17/2013 8:48:03 AM PDT by GBA (Our obamanation: Romans 1:18-32)
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To: Alex Murphy

**Note what doesn’t appear in the list. The Catholic Church uses Jesus Christ and the Bible as afterthoughts.**

Not true!!!

The Catholic Church uses the Bible everyday with the Liturgy of the Word read during Mass. It’s been posted for how many years, now, alex? Did you even notice?

Jesus Christ is the center of the Mass in the second half — the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Have you ever attended a Catholic Mass and really followed along?


46 posted on 08/17/2013 8:48:04 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
You would not receive several sacraments if it weren’t for the priests.

Incorrect. Show me where in the New Testament that we cannot commune together and take communion without a Priest being present.

Anything beyond two or more people agreeing to take communion together in the Lord's name is nothing more than institutionalized ritual. Nothing wrong with institutionalized ritual, however it does not by itself or in conjunction with whatever Catholic doctrine says, prevent two or more people coming together in Christ's name and taking communion.

47 posted on 08/17/2013 8:51:45 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Salvation
Anointing of the Sick

Are you saying only Catholic Priests can anoint the sick? Really? Where's that in the Bible? Not Catholic Doctrine, the Bible.

48 posted on 08/17/2013 8:55:01 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: usconservative

Yes only priests can consecrate the Holy Eucharist, administer the Sacrament of Penance, administer the Sacrament of the Sick.

What do you know about these sacraments?

For instance, do you realize that the forgiveness of sins, (Penance) is included in the last rites (now called the Anointing of the Sick.)


49 posted on 08/17/2013 9:06:21 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: usconservative

**But what really takes the cake for me is when Conservatives “turn on each other” unnecessarily.**

From your homepage. So why do you not believe Catholics and turn on them?


50 posted on 08/17/2013 9:08:14 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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