Skip to comments.Pope: Other Christian Denominations Not True Churches
Posted on 01/02/2012 3:13:39 PM PST by RnMomof7
LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy For the second time in a week, Pope Benedict XVI has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, reasserting the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church and saying other Christian communities were either defective or not true churches.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
The same verse also says call no man “teacher,” so I assume you refuse to use that term too? BTW, what did you call the man you gave you half your genes?
We know from Scripture that we are saved by grace APART from works.
>>St. Paul is referring to the 613 Levitical laws, not keeping the commandments to love your neighbor as yourself.
As St. Paul also says in Romans 2:13,”for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.”
This echoes St. James in James 2:24. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
And James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
St. Gregory of Sinai summarizes the Catholic/Orthodox view on faith better than anyone who I have seen.
St. Gregory of Sinai, a 13th century Greek monk, who is considered a saint by Catholics and Orthodox alike writes the following in his treatise: On Commandments and Doctrines
Grace-imbued faith, energized by the Holy Spirit, alone suffices for salvation, provided we sustain it and do not opt for a dead and effectual faith rather than a living and effective faith in Christ.
Penance serves to humble the heart of the believer to being a better follower of Christ because he can only be served with humility.
And St. Mark the Ascetic, a 4th century Desert Father teaches:
18. Some without fulfilling the commandments think that they possess true faith.
Others fulfil the commandments and then expect the kingdom as a reward due to
them. Both are mistaken.
19. A master is under no obligation to reward his slaves; on the other hand, those who
do not serve him well are not given their freedom.
20. If Christ died on our account in accordance with the Scriptures (Rm 5:8; 1Co
15:3), and we do not live for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose on our
account (2Co 5:15), it is clear that we are debtors to Christ to serve Him till our
death. How then can we regard sonship as something which is our due?
21. Christ is Master by virtue of His own essence and Master by virtue of His incarnate
life. For He creates man from nothing, and through His own Blood redeems him
when dead in sin; and to those who believe in Him He has given His grace.22. When Scripture says He will reward every man according to his works (Mt 16:27),
do not imagine that works in themselves merit either hell or the kingdom. On the
contrary, Christ rewards each man according to whether his works are done with
faith or without faith in Himself; and He is not a dealer bound by contract, but God
our Creator and Redeemer.
First, that we must do works to be saved, and second, that we must do works - or not do bad things - in order to stay saved.
>>That is Catholic teaching as well. Catholics and Protestants define the same terms differently, so if you want to understand rather than misrepresent Catholic teaching, you need to understand the Catholic definition.
It’s like using a Spanish dictionary to read English or vice versa.
So, I disagree totally with your contention that Protestants believe “Christs righteousness covers us like snow on a dunghill”.
>>Those were Martin Luther’s words not mine. One’s I’m most familiar with as a former Lutheran.
I’ll get to your other points later.
But I think we can agree that it is grace that saves us and that apart from grace the works we do are worthless.
Scholasticism’s tendency to overthink matters of faith is a big reason why I’m not fond of it.
Please excuse my rants, as they were written in anger at the anti-Catholic bigotry that reared its ugly head long before I saw any Protestant bashing, but, two wrongs do not make a right, and i apologize freely and sincerely for my anger.
As a Catholic, however, seeing the person of Joseph Ratizinger, whom I and 1.2 billion others revere as the Holy Father being called the Po Po and less savory things, touched a nerve.
The Holy Father’s comments were meant to be read and reflected upon by Catholics. They were meant to correct and clarify the Church’s position for Catholics so that they may have a clear statement of the Church’s rather ambiguous stance of the last forty years vis a vis our seperated brothers, it is not meant to be taken as an insult by anyone else.
That being said, is anyone really suprised that the leader of the Church confirmed that Apostolic Succession is required for a true Church? Otherwise, why bother being a Catholic in the first place? There is a reason that our seperated brothers are called Protestant, you protest!
1. Ordinarily, "local church" means diocese, e.g. the Diocese of Knoxville is called in canon law a "local church." It is headed by Rev. Richad Stika, the Bishop of Knoxville.
2. "Churches in union with us" means Catholic churches of other-than-Latin rite, such as Chaldeans, Maronites, Melkites, Ruthenian, etc. which have their wn Bishops.
In either of those two senses it always means a Church with a Catholic Bishop. That's how we use the word.
If "other Christian denominations are not considered "Churches," it means they do not have Catholic bishops.
It does not mean that the members of these denominations are not Christians, or that they do not have the spiritual riches of Scriptures, prayer, valid Baptism, grace, the love of God, faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, etc. etc. It certainly does not mean they are not "saved."
This ought not to cause ill-will. It's just a way Catholic-terminology distinguishes between groups-with-bishops and groups-without-bishops in our statements and documents.
I hope this conveys some measure of clarity and good will.
“So the Catholic Church does its own picking and choosing of ECFs thoughts and arguments over certain doctrines.””
You probably have never heard of the Consensus Patrum,dear Sister
Here is something to help you understand the Consensus Patrum from Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
This understanding of the accord of the fathers has been criticized for allowing any church fathers private opinions - even if they disagree with those of other fathers - to be fixed (that is, adjusted to conform) to the consensus. Yet there is no talk of fixing things. I have expressed the view that, whilst the fathers agree on the essentials, their opinions on particular issues may vary and that, when the works of a Father present an opinion that contradicts the teaching of other Fathers, we should not too hastily reject it as a private theological opinion which falls outside the accord of the fathers. It is also pointless to try and prove, against the facts of textual criticism, that patristic texts holding such opinions have been falsely attributed or corrupted by heretics. The fact of such a theological opinion being private, and even contradictory, to other Fathers does not automatically mean that it falls outside the consensus.
As an example, let me mention the private opinion of St Symeon the New Theologian that the power to bind and to loose does not pertain to all priests but only to those who who serve in the priestly ministry of the gospel in a spirit of humility and who live a blameless life. It is insufficient to receive the ordination from men only (ek anthropon heirotonian); one must be foreordained (proheiristheis), that is, designated by God through the Holy Spirit.
Neither monks for their exterior aspect, St Symeon writes, nor those ordained and elevated to the rank of priesthood, nor those granted episcopal dignity Patriarchs, I say, metropolitans or Bishops have received from God the power to forgive sins just like that, only in view of their ordination and dignity this shall not be! For they are merely allowed to perform the mysteries (hierourgein), and still only those priests, bishops and monks that can be counted among the disciples of Christ for their purity.
At first glance, such a point of view might seem close to Donatism, which maintained that sacraments administered by unworthy clerics and other traditores (betrayers of the faith in Christ) cannot be effective. There are, however, several arguments that permit us to see more in Symeons words than merely the Donatist affirmation that the effectiveness of the sacraments administered by a priest depends on his moral condition. First of all, the above texts by Symeon do not so much question the effectiveness of sacraments administered by unworthy priests, as emphazise the need to receive a particular calling from God before attempting the service of spiritual fatherhood; in other words, the power to bind and to loose must be earned by the priest by means of his moral self-perfection. Secondly, the Eastern tradition never expressed the opition as straightforwardly and unequivocally as the West that the effectiveness of sacraments is independent of the personal qualities of the priest. Thirdly, one cannot fail to see that in expressing such thoughts, Symeon follows the teaching of earlier Fathers. Long before Symeon, St Gregory the Theologian affirmed that as long as a man has not risen above his passions and cleansed his intellect he should not take the priestly service upon himself. As St Gregory says, A man must himself be cleansed, before cleansing others: himself become wise, that he may make others wise; become light, and then give light: draw near to God, and so bring others near; be hallowed, then hallow them. Both Gregory and Symeon had a very elevated understanding of the priesthood, and both were concerned by the low moral state of the episcopate and clergy of their times.
We should also bear in mind that Symeon the New Theologian lived in post-iconoclast times, when the authority of the hierarchical clergy among simple believers was very low; many preferred to see monks, even non-ordained, for confession. The moral state of the clergy was therefore an issue of the day, and the fate of the church in years to come depended on its resolution. Confidence in the hierarchical priesthood could most effectively be restored through a significant rise in its moral level, which was precisely the concern of Symeon the New Theologian: it is in the light of this concern that his demanding attitude and critical assessment of the hierarchy and clergy should be understood.
One may ask with bewilderment: If two fathers of the church express contradictory opinions, where, then, is truth to be found? I consider such a question to be an inadmissible simplification. There is one truth and, as Clement of Alexandria says, The way of truth is one. But into it, as into a perennial river, streams flow from all sides. One and the same truth may be expressed differently by different Fathers, in different times, in different languages, in different contexts. Besides this, one and the same truth may have several aspects, each of which may be articulated, emphasized, developed or, on the contrary, left in obscurity. The truth has many facets, many shapes, and is dialectical. For instance, the thesis that sacraments administered by a priest who has been canonically ordained by a bishop are effective and salutary is true. But no less true is the antithesis, according to which the moral countenance of the priest should correspond with the prominence of his orders and the sacraments he administers. Between both affirmations there is quite a wide expanse, wherein a theological synthesis may be sought. All that falls within that expanse belongs to the consensus patrum; all that falls beyond is heresy. Donatism, which goes beyond the framework of the consensus, is a heresy, whereas the teaching of St Symeon the New Theologian on the power to bind and to loose, which remains within that expanse, is absolutely correct - even though it is distinct from opinions expressed by other Fathers who lived in other historical contexts, wrote in other languages and emphasized other aspects of the very same truth.
Apart from this, one and the same truth may find different terminological expressions. The best known example is the teaching of the third and fourth ecumenical councils on the God-manhood of Jesus Christ. The third ecumenical council (of Ephesus) expressed this teaching in the terms of Alexandrian christology, based on the teaching of St Cyril of Alexandria (going back to Apollinarius) about the one nature, and that incarnate, of the divine Word. The fourth ecumenical council, on the contrary, armed itself with the Antiochene christological tradition emphasizing the two natures of Christ. Represented by their finest spokesmen, neither the Alexandrian nor the Antiochene tradition disputed the fullness of the divinity of Christ and the fullness of his humanity; both affirmed that Christ is consubstantial with the Father in Godhead and the same consubstantial with us in manhood. Yet one and the same truth of the fullness of divinity and humanity in Christ was expressed differently by two theological traditions, with both expressions proven essentially Orthodox.
Matt 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Fox carried an AP story where the reporter must not have even read the Vatican statement.
I’m only posting it again so the outraged might understand what happened.
From the 2007 article that was posted:
...because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the means of salvation.
From what was released: It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.
Pretty much the opposite of what was reported back in 2007. Shocking, I know.
You can't do works to get saved...You don't do works to stay saved...
We do good works because it is our new nature...We want to do good works...
'Love' and 'must' do not go together, at all...
That's no where close to being biblical...How do you guys spout this nonsense to actual bible reading, bible believers???
Exactly...God chose his own Apostles...No one wins the position in a bingo game...
Pretty much the same thing...They claim that God picks the popes but yet they are picked by a majority vote of the Cardinals...
Poor saps...They each must feel God is leading them to cast their ballot...Some must spend the rest of their lives wondering why God talked them into voting for the loser...
Preach it, sister.
For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James (2,26)
Neither of those two verses says that works are required to obtain salvation. All they say is that works demonstrate that salvation has already occurred. That saving faith, as opposed to intellectual assent, has been exercised.
Grace by Faith, first, yes. Then comes conversion and works must follow --not for one's own sense of self-worth, but for love of the Holy Trinity.
Actually, Grace by Faith, first, yes. Then comes conversion and works WILL follow --not for one's own sense of self-worth, but for love of the Holy Trinity.
Works are the natural result of true saving faith. If someone does not have works, there is legitimate reason to question whether saving faith was exercised in the first place.
Not because works contribute to saving faith, but because they are the fruit of it and by a man's fruits he is known.
This is so important, and so interesting.
Dominus Iesus was as clear as could be that the “ecclesial communities” could themselves be “means of salvation.”
But the way the anti-Catholics present it is, first and most imnportant, false. Then it, as falsely presented by anti-Catholics, give them a reason to say nasty (and false) things about the Catholic Church.
And all that eventuates in threads like this one where all the old well-trodden ground is fought over once again.
But it all starts with a falsehood! The rallying cry, the first post, whatever RnMomof7 intended (and I cannot think she intended falsehood), was, at some point in its generation, either by intent of by negligence, a lie.
So if they so eagerly resort to falsehoods (whether or not they are known to be such) to incite a riot against us, then we Catholics can take heart. We have been deemed worthy to suffer slander and libel by those who bear false witness.
God be praised and may all, enemies and friends, know and rejoice in his mercy!
Very well said, metmom. You summed up the Scriptural position of salvation very nicely. Thank you.
I wouldn't be so sure of that assumption, dear Stfassisi. What I wonder is whether or not you are aware that Consensus Patrum is myth? What actually has occurred over the centuries is that the Magesterium - composed of various men at various times - decide WHICH church fathers and which of their opinions will be used to come to a conclusion about a point of faith or interpretation of Scripture. The Roman Catholic Church cannot even state they follow Consensus Fidelas either, since much of what passes as dogma today was unheard of in the first few centuries after Christianity began and "developed" over time. We all know about the later councils - Trent for example - where there was no unanimity of those present because some rejected the conclusions, some abstained from voting and only a few approved, yet it has been passed off as a Consensus Patrum.
So my statement about the Catholic Church picking and choosing the thoughts and opinions of ECFs over certain doctrines has not be disproved. It is easily shown. The explanations of Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev show that, even when he wrote that, there was a tacit understanding that Consensus Patrium was really whatever the Magesterium decided backed up their claims of doctrines and fits the pattern of retrofitting Scripture to prooftext dogma. Don't be fooled by what sounds like more than it really is.
I believe that to insist that Paul was referring to the Levitical laws ONLY when he states that we are not saved by "works of the law" is a cop-out. I say that because he goes much further and not only speaks about the "law" but also an "unwritten" law that Gentiles follow:
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in Gods sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges peoples secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
To look at these verses out of context, it may appear that Paul is saying we are saved by obeying the laws of God - not just a formal set of laws - but a natural law within each human heart. Yet we know that we cannot keep the whole law and James 2:10 says For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. This is why Paul continues in the next chapter of Romans 3:19-20, by saying that the law made NO man righteous:
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in Gods sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
That is why he now says in Romans 3:21-26:
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his bloodto be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.