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Following The Truth: Ten Facts Most Catholics Donít Know (But Should!) (Catholic or Open)
CE.cpm ^ | July 9th, 2010 | Gary Zimak

Posted on 12/07/2011 8:24:20 AM PST by Salvation

Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!)

July 9th, 2010 by Gary Zimak

Every time I hear someone claim to be an “ex-Catholic”, a sense of sadness comes over me.  In just about every case, people leave the Catholic Faith due to a lack of understanding.  After all, if Catholics truly believed that they were members of the one, true Church founded by Christ (and necessary for their salvation), nobody would ever leave!  In an effort to help clarify what the Catholic Church teaches, I have compiled a list of 10 important facts that every Catholic should know.  More than simply Catholic trivia, these are important concepts that can help us to better understand and defend our beliefs.  In no particular order, these items have been compiled based upon my work at Following The Truth and my own study of the Catholic Faith.

1. Women Will Never Be Priests – Often incorrectly lumped in with the subject of married priests, this is a doctrine that has been infallibly decided and will not change.  In 1994, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, in which he declared once and for all that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”  Unlike the issue of married priests (which could possibly change), women’s ordination is an impossibility that will not happen.  It is not a “glass ceiling” or the Church’s attempt to hold back women.  Instead, it is an infallible recognition that men and women have different roles and that Christ instituted a male priesthood.

2. Fridays Are Still Days Of Penance – Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that Catholics are no longer required to abstain from meat on Fridays throughout the year.  However, the current Code of Canon Law (CIC) states that, with the exception of solemnities, “All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.” (CIC 1250)  Furthermore, “Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities.” (CIC 1251)  In the United States, the bishops have declared that it is permissible to substitute some other form of penance, but we are still urged to fast from “something” in remembrance of the Lord’s death on the cross.

3. The Bible Is A Catholic Book – Did you ever wonder how the Bible came into being?  A little known, but easily documented fact is that the books of the Bible were compiled by the Catholic Church.  For many years after Christ ascended into Heaven, there was debate about which scriptural writings were inspired by God.  The canon of Scripture (the books of the Bible) was first formally decided at the Synod of Rome in 382.  This decision was upheld at the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397).  At these Catholic Church councils, the same 46 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books that appear in today’s Catholic Bibles were declared to be inspired by God.  As a side note, approximately 1200 years after this decision was made, Martin Luther and the Protestant reformers removed 7 books from the Old Testament.  As a result, most Protestant Bibles are still missing these 7 books.

4. The Mass Is The Same Sacrifice As Calvary – The biggest mistake that many Catholics make is treating the Holy Mass as “just another church service”, similar to those held by other religions.  In the Mass, Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross is made present, its memory is celebrated and its saving power is applied.  The Council of Trent teaches that Christ left a visible sacrifice to His Church “in which that bloody sacrifice which was once offered on the Cross should be made present, its memory preserved to the end of the world, and its salvation-bringing power applied to the forgiveness of the sins which are daily committed by us.”  When we attend Mass, we are mystically transported to Calvary, where we can unite ourselves with the Lord’s Sacrifice to the Father!

5. Annulments Are Not Catholic Divorces – Unlike the legal process known as “divorce” (in which a marriage is terminated), a declaration of nullity (annulment) states that a valid marriage never existed.  This decision is based upon the finding that on the day that marriage vows were exchanged, some essential elements were lacking.  This process is completely in conformity with the Catholic teaching regarding the indissolubility of marriage.  Incidentally, the granting of an annulment does not render children illegitimate.

6. In Vitro Fertilization Is Morally Unacceptable – Many Catholics suffering from infertility utilize this process in the hopes of conceiving children, while remaining unaware that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) declares it “morally unacceptable”(CCC 2377).  In the Vatican Instruction, Donum Vitae, the Church states “…in conformity with the traditional doctrine relating to the goods of marriage and the dignity of the person, the Church remains opposed from the moral point of view to homologous ‘in vitro’ fertilization. Such fertilization is in itself illicit and in opposition to the dignity of procreation and of the conjugal union, even when everything is done to avoid the death of the human embryo.”

7. There Is No Salvation Outside Of The Catholic Church – Originally stated by St. Cyprian, the Latin axiom “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” reminds us that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church.  This dogma was declared at the Fourth Lateran Council and is a source of confusion for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  According to the Catechism, all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is His Body.  It does not mean that non-Catholics cannot achieve salvation.  Individuals who are unaware that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church may still achieve salvation through the merits of the Church, despite their lack of knowledge.

8. In An Emergency, Anyone Can Baptize – Although the ordinary ministers of Baptism are bishops, priests and deacons, anyone can baptize in an emergency, even a non-baptized person.  This extraordinary decision can be attributed to the necessity of Baptism for salvation and the Church’s desire to make it readily available to all.

9. Hell And Purgatory Still Exist –  Contrary to the belief of many Catholics, the Church still teaches that “the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin, descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, eternal fire” (CCC 1035)  Furthermore, “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (CCC 1030)  This purification process, formally declared by the Church at the Councils of Florence and Trent, is known as Purgatory.

10. Catholics Don’t Worship Mary And The Saints – Many Catholics are confused about the role of the Blessed Mother and the Saints.  Should we pray to Mary and the Saints or should we go “right to the top” and pray to God?  In a nutshell, the Catholic Faith teaches that we must worship God alone.  Mary and the Saints are to be honored, not worshipped.  However, their intercession can be extremely powerful and emulating their virtues can put us on the road to Heaven.

While the above list only scratches the surface of the robust Catholic Faith, it provides a glimpse into the depth of Catholic teaching.  Further explanation on these and other topics can be found by examining the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, both of which can be found online at the Vatican website (www.vatican.va).  Not only will studying the teachings of the Catholic Church enable us to better defend her when challenged, it will help us to become closer to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who founded our Church 2,000 years ago.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: apologetics; catholic
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Comment #151 Removed by Moderator

To: presently no screen name
you speak foolishness and you can NEVER KNOW

In context, this appears to be the universal "you" instead of another Freeper, personally.

Nevertheless, avoid the use of the term "you" because it can have the same effect on the reader.

152 posted on 12/09/2011 9:03:53 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: boatbums; daniel1212

all the quotes from the Fathers were sourced in post #108.

Augustine was a Catholic Bishop, you should not be suprised to learn he BELIEVED THE CATHOLIC FAITH.

HE CELEBRATED THE MASS DAILY.

who could care less what the Scriptures say?
“This is My Body” I AGREE!!! BB, not so much.
“Isn’t the bread we break a sharing in the Body of Christ?”
OLOFOB SAYS YES, BB says no.
“baptism now saves you” OLOFOB AGREES!! BB, i don’t think so.
Peter said “be baptized for the remission of sins and receiving the Holy Spirit” OLOFOB AGREES!! BB, i don’t think so.

who could care less about the Scriptures?

i channeled my inner “SOLA SCRIPTURA” and asked 4 simple questions about baptism.
NO SCRIPTURES WERE PROVIDED.

no need to “nit pick” the Fathers, history tells us what the Church has believed for 2,000 years.

if someone was going to write a book about the Christian Church for 2,000 years, they could do so by writing a history of the Catholic Church.

this same book could be written without even mentioning a Baptist. think about it.


153 posted on 12/09/2011 9:14:12 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: Religion Moderator

Gotcha. Thanks.


154 posted on 12/09/2011 9:15:42 PM PST by presently no screen name (If it's not in God's Word, don't pass it off as truth! That's satan's job.)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism

Refrain from speaking falsehoods about what I believe. Thank you.


155 posted on 12/09/2011 9:20:11 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: boatbums

one only read your posts to see what you believe.

one only need read my posts to see what the One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic, Orthodox and Biblical Faith teaches.


156 posted on 12/09/2011 9:22:47 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism

And stop using untruthful statements to try to goad me back into an endless argument I have repeatedly told you I do not wish to continue. It’s called STALKING.


157 posted on 12/09/2011 9:24:38 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: boatbums

wow, i am glad you think #153 contains untruths!!
does this mean you agree the Eucharist is THE BODY OF CHRIST?
does this mean you believe baptism does save us?
does this mean you believe baptism is for the remission of sins and receiving the Holy Spirit?

I knew if you were just exposed to the Christian Faith, you would embrace it!!


158 posted on 12/09/2011 9:27:28 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: boatbums
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

!ABSOLUTELY INDEED!

159 posted on 12/09/2011 9:28:00 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism
Photobucket

160 posted on 12/09/2011 9:31:40 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: boatbums
So many comparisons

YES! And thank you. Awhile back I had a DVD with those teachings and comparisons. I enjoyed it so much I had to share it. Well, I never did get it back. In my rush to share it, I only viewed it once. :(

Everything God does has meaning and significance. Thank you, again, for the recap. I always enjoy reading/hearing about it. Like Paul says everything else is dunk compared to knowing JESUS!!!

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as rubbish, so that I could gain Christ" Phil 3:8

It is ALL about JESUS!!
161 posted on 12/09/2011 9:42:09 PM PST by presently no screen name (If it's not in God's Word, don't pass it off as truth! That's satan's job.)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism; boatbums

Your rabid delusion is manifest for all to see, with no other RC here even helping you on this, and your lonely denial impugns even the strained efforts of others.

Until you concede your error any further responses will be considered spam. Warning.


162 posted on 12/09/2011 10:40:24 PM PST by daniel1212 (Our sinful deeds condemn us, but Christ's death and resurrection gains salvation. Repent +Believe)
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To: boatbums

What a blessed promise to be with Christ in heaven during the most terrible time in history on this earth. Thank you for posting that boatbums!


163 posted on 12/10/2011 6:07:50 AM PST by CynicalBear
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To: daniel1212; boatbums

orthodox, historical, Biblical Christian doctrine is now referred to as a “rabid delusion”

it’s sad, what else can one say to such a comment.


164 posted on 12/10/2011 12:40:29 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism
orthodox, historical, Biblical Christian doctrine is now referred to as a “rabid delusion”

When one has the drunken illusion of being 'free', why then one can come up with all manner of novelties, secure in the notion that one will never be called on them...

165 posted on 12/10/2011 4:51:04 PM PST 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: boatbums
Yes, indeed, the doctrine did develop over the centuries because it is a statement that did develop over the centuries. The term used by Ireneus in the 2nd Cetury to described Mary, the second Eve, just as Our Lord was the Second Adam, indicates that she shared with Our Lord that quality that belonged to Adams and Eve before the Fall. The taint to our nature came after the fall, after Adams and Eve were disobedient. You say the Luke does that says that, but he certainly makes a stark contrast between Zachary's hesitance and Our Lady's acceptance of God's Will. And as a woman she had far more at stake than the aged priest. As to the Virgin Birth, I simply reject the --late--evangelical claim that the Virgin Birth was just a greater, most definite sign of the superiority of Our Lord to the prophets's such as Samuel and John. I hold that it is like the Lord's glory entering into the tabernacle in the desert and there residing invisiblly among the people, and approachable only by the High Priest. Mary is the tabernacle of the New Covenant, and through her the Lord makes himself visible to Us. I cannot help seeing in it a low Christology not unlike that of Nestorius. As to "wisping" through her body, the doctrine does not require that Jesus pass from Mary's body in such a manner , but that his birth ought to be accounted as a miracle and not just his conception.
166 posted on 12/10/2011 8:19:00 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: MarkBsnr

So do you agree that the Gentiles in Acts 10:43-47 (cf. 15:7-9) were not yet regenerated until they were baptized? Or that they were and were baptized with the Spirit (Acts 11:15-18) before being baptized with water, testifying to their acceptance by God? That is the contention at issue, which goes back some posts. See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2811552/posts?page=2935#2935


167 posted on 12/11/2011 7:34:04 AM PST by daniel1212 (Our sinful deeds condemn us, but Christ's death and resurrection gains salvation. Repent +Believe)
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To: daniel1212
So do you agree that the Gentiles in Acts 10:43-47 (cf. 15:7-9) were not yet regenerated until they were baptized? Or that they were and were baptized with the Spirit (Acts 11:15-18) before being baptized with water, testifying to their acceptance by God? That is the contention at issue, which goes back some posts. See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2811552/posts?page=2935#2935

Thanks for the reference. I think that we may be talking past each other in terms of what 'regeneration' means. As I understand it, Protestants believe in 'imputation' of the holiness of an external source (God), or else the 'covering up' of sins which still continue.

We believe, as in 2 Peter 1:4:

4Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.b 5* For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge,c 6knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, 7devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. 8If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9d Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.

We believe that baptism makes us a new creature and that as Jesus said that we must be born of water and the Holy Spirit. Now, the Church teaches of the baptism of desire (as in the good thief), but setting aside special cases, we believe that both are required.

168 posted on 12/11/2011 10:10:19 AM PST 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: daniel1212
So do you agree that the Gentiles in Acts 10:43-47 (cf. 15:7-9) were not yet regenerated until they were baptized? Or that they were and were baptized with the Spirit (Acts 11:15-18) before being baptized with water, testifying to their acceptance by God? That is the contention at issue, which goes back some posts. See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2811552/posts?page=2935#2935

Thanks for the reference. I think that we may be talking past each other in terms of what 'regeneration' means. As I understand it, Protestants believe in 'imputation' of the holiness of an external source (God), or else the 'covering up' of sins which still continue.

We believe, as in 2 Peter 1:4:

4Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.b 5* For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge,c 6knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, 7devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. 8If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9d Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.

We believe that baptism makes us a new creature and that as Jesus said that we must be born of water and the Holy Spirit. Now, the Church teaches of the baptism of desire (as in the good thief), but setting aside special cases, we believe that both are required.

169 posted on 12/11/2011 10:10:20 AM PST 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
Thanks for the reference. I think that we may be talking past each other in terms of what 'regeneration' means. As I understand it, Protestants believe in 'imputation' of the holiness of an external source (God), or else the 'covering up' of sins which still continue.

Thanks for your reasonable reply. In both groups regeneration is that of the new birth, being made spiritually alive, (Eph. 2:1,5) by the incoming of the Holy Spirit whom God sends into the believers heart crying “Abba, Father. (Gal. 4:6) This is linked to justification and sanctification, in In both groups this being all one event, though there is disagreement on the order in Protestantism.

What i see you describing is justification, which in Protestantism is based on faith appropriating it, faith in the crucified and risen Lord Christ being counted for righteousness (versus confidence in one's merit or sacrifices, or being actually holy enough to be with God ) that being “imputed righteousness” which justifies the unGodly, (Rm. 4:1-12; 2Cor. 5:21) with one being set apart or “sanctified” positionally. (1Cor. 6:11) And which is thus lived out practically, as such faith must be of a kind as effects obedience towards its Object and growth in grace, affirming one is saved, in response to being given eternal life by faith, not deserved by any merit of works. But which works are recompensed under grace according to one's own labor at the judgment seat of Christ. (1Cor. 3; Heb. 10:35)

In Roman Catholicism justification is based upon what regeneration effects, (Titus 3:5) that of sanctification by a holy heart, or “infused righteousness,” all undeserved but (normatively) conveyed by the performing of act of baptism, ex opere operatos (by the very fact of the action's being performed), and which is then lived out, with growth in grace increasing one's justification, and thus the good works of the one justified that he performs by the grace of God merits the attainment of eternal life itself. (Trent, Canon 32) But which is held not as one earning eternal life, but God rewarding works in accordance with His benevolent faithfulness in grace.

We believe, as in 2 Peter 1:4:

How many really do is the question (and i have far to go) , but we call this growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2Pt. 3:18) (Peter was a real “holiness Pentecostal.') And by so doing you may never fall, persevering in faith, and which confirms one is of faith, though one's but not increasing one's justification with God as this was never gained by Godliness, but was imputed to the unGodly by a faith that would effect Godliness. To the glory of God.

We believe that baptism makes us a new creature and that as Jesus said that we must be born of water and the Holy Spirit. Now, the Church teaches of the baptism of desire (as in the good thief), but setting aside special cases, we believe that both are required.

As prior said, I see the faith that baptism requires and expresses as being what actually appropriates justification, and it being no more a work that justifies than confessing with the mouth the justifying faith that is in the heart, (Rm. 10:9,10) but which normatively should be the first formal confession of the Lord Jesus (and may be the occasion some effectually do).

And I understand the basic Catholic position and exception, and expressed this in response to the argument on the necessity of baptism being necessary for regeneration, and of Acts 10 being disallowed as showing regeneration by faith before baptism, that being the particular issue you responded to. I take it then that you would allow the latter even if as an exception?

170 posted on 12/11/2011 12:26:51 PM PST by daniel1212 (Our sinful deeds condemn us, but Christ's death and resurrection gains salvation. Repent +Believe)
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To: daniel1212
Very good. I think that your posting is quite perceptive. We Catholics will speak of 'dying in Christ', or 'annihilation of the self' in Christ, in terms of baptism and in the Via of Christ.

We see baptism as a step on the way, not an end in itself. It gets us in the door, so to speak. It is an admission to the PGA tour, which allows us to start the tournament, but even with all the help of PGA staff, if we do not (as John Daly) hold with the practices and standards of the PGA, then we may be then excluded. With proper repentence, we may be allowed to be included once again.

However, we still do understand that salvation is entirely of God and He will save those whom He will, for whatever reasons that He holds. That is why, when you read the Catechism (if you ever do), you will see that the Church allows for the salvation of even the Muslims. We admit what we do not know, and say that we believe in these things because of the revelation of Christ. There are some things that we do not know - the particulars of Mary's Assumption, for instance. The Orthodox are even more secure in their non-definition of certain doctrines than the Latin branch.

The Orthodox side descended from philosophers and artisans. The Latins descended from engineers and soldiers. That largely describes the cultural difference between us.

But we both believe that baptism is a starting point; there is the Judgement of the individual and that we are Judged based upon what the Judge deems relevant.

171 posted on 12/11/2011 2:50:16 PM PST 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
<However, we still do understand that salvation is entirely of God and He will save those whom He will, for whatever reasons that He holds. That is why, when you read the Catechism (if you ever do), you will see that the Church allows for the salvation of even the Muslims. We admit what we do not know, and say that we believe in these things because of the revelation of Christ.

What Lumen Gentium means in regards to that, as well as salvation of Protestants, etc., is subject to different interpretations by Catholics.

There are some things that we do not know - the particulars of Mary's Assumption, for instance.

To name just a few.

The Orthodox are even more secure in their non-definition of certain doctrines than the Latin branch.

I am ware they are less precise and criticize the West for being so.

The Orthodox side descended from philosophers and artisans. The Latins descended from engineers and soldiers. That largely describes the cultural difference between us.

Thanks for the history.

172 posted on 12/11/2011 3:53:51 PM PST by daniel1212 (Our sinful deeds condemn us, but Christ's death and resurrection gains salvation. Repent +Believe)
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To: MarkBsnr
The Orthodox side descended from philosophers and artisans. The Latins descended from engineers and soldiers. That largely describes the cultural difference between us. I don't think that statement is accurate. The Byzantine Empire was as much founded on military prowess of the earlier Roman. They managed to beat off the Arab attack on Constantinople with "Greek fire," their own special weapon. They managed to reclaim much of Southeastern Europe by the year 1000. And course, the West was converted as much by Irish monks as by Frankish arms. Rather is it not more about the Latin vs. the Greek approach to theology was different. The Greeks never subscribed to Augustine's notion of original sin. They listened to Pelagius and didn't see what the fuss was about. One may argue.of course that Pelagius pulled his punches, or since he was himself a Latin, they didn't "get"what the man was asserting. Cultural differences do matter in matters of theology as in so many other areas.
173 posted on 12/11/2011 9:16:52 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: Salvation
According to the Catechism, all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is His Body.

Well, thankfully, according to the Word of God, salvation is available through Jesus Christ, not any single denomination.

A word of advice to every believer of any denomination: Do as the Bereans did. Check anything and everything your pastor, priest, spiritural leaders tell you against the Word of God. If it doesn't match, do not believe it.

174 posted on 01/02/2012 4:38:48 AM PST by alnick
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