Ecclesiasticus 4:28

"Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side."

Ora pro nobis,

Most Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Dominic. Amen.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What Is It?

I hesistate to write this short, little article; I don't want to interrupt the continuity of Gregory's publications. At the same time, I don't want to wait until I lose the desire to read possible answers to the question I want to pose. Namely, "what, in it's purist sense, is Catholicism?" And, "Is that what we see reflected in the Church today?"

The question is not a trap. It's an honest probe. I'm interested in whatever answers are given.

Take care,
Christopher

(Category: The Church: The Make-up of the Church)

9 comments:

Joni said...

Christ's Bride, living out the teachings He gave, and fulfilling her role as His body in the world. While it is true that many do not live it out as they should, there are many who do.

C.J. said...

Thanks, joni.

No doubt that the Church is Christ's Bride. That's straight out of Scripture. We're also Christ's body, with Him as our head.

My concern, to be frank, is that this corporate entity we call the Catholic Church is not a catholic church. I think in the CCC #818 Rome admits other traditions as brothers in Christ, but eventually states that they're missing out on the fulness of the faith because they don't have a confirmation stamp on their ticket into the Roman sanctuary.

So given that, is Catholicism really catholic? I'm inclined to say 'no', but I'm open to changing my mind should the evidence weigh out against me.

C.J.

Joni said...

I'm new to Catholicism, but my feeble thoughts would be this: Catholicism is just as "catholic" as Christianity. There's a way to become a Christian, but it's open to all. There is are means to being in the Catholic Church (I would say they are the same as being a Christian, though others would argue that point), but it is open to all.

The real reason it is "catholic" though, is that it is what was taught by all the Church at all places. That is what has carried down through the centuries.

Joni said...

sorry about the confusing mix of verbs in that comment! my fingers got ahead of my thoughts!

Hidden One said...

In its purest sense, Catholicism is the sum total of beliefs of the Church Christ founded. And yes, I do see that in the Church today.

C.J. said...

"In its purest sense, Catholicism is the sum total of beliefs of the Church Christ founded."

Agreed. And is that Church a structural entity best managed from Rome? Or is it something more?

"And yes, I do see that in the Church today."

You do? So who discerns authoritatively between the disparagements in teachings from one parish to another? For example, in Kitchener (where I used to live) I attended two different RCC's about 10 minutes apart, and they had pretty fanciful differences: one was quite liberal, the other quite traditional. Yet, because they held the same Catechism, they're united in faith?

I'm sure both churches have heard of the Magisterium, and the College of Cardinals, and all the various other groupings that claim divine authority in matters of teaching. Yet somehow, despite the divergence in teachings from one parish to another, you would say that you see unity happening in the Church today?

How do you back that up? And would the anti-Ratzinger's agree with you?

CJ

Hidden One said...

"Agreed. And is that Church a structural entity best managed from Rome? Or is it something more?"

It may not be best managed from Rome, but Rome is where the management is.

"You do? So who discerns authoritatively between the disparagements in teachings from one parish to another? For example, in Kitchener (where I used to live) I attended two different RCC's about 10 minutes apart, and they had pretty fanciful differences: one was quite liberal, the other quite traditional. Yet, because they held the same Catechism, they're united in faith?

I'm sure both churches have heard of the Magisterium, and the College of Cardinals, and all the various other groupings that claim divine authority in matters of teaching. Yet somehow, despite the divergence in teachings from one parish to another, you would say that you see unity happening in the Church today?

How do you back that up? And would the anti-Ratzinger's agree with you?"

1. Whoever bothers to learn Catholic doctrine.
2. Not necessarily. Staistically, the chances are that at least one of the Churches was disobedient to the Church's teaching, be it liturgically or doctrinally or both.
3. There is one person who has binding teaching in the Church, and only when he exercises it. He is the successor to St. Peter.
4. Yes, due in part to Baltimore Catechism question 1171.

Joni said...

The difference I see, too, Chris, is something we learned in R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)

Where there are differences in teachings or beliefs, one must always defer to what is DOGMA: official teaching of the Church always takes precedence, not someone's opinion of what the Church teaches.

Having been Protestant most of my life, I can say that there are no two people who ever believe anything 100% the same. But it sure is nice to have the Magesterium, and know that they have the final say, having been handed down the teachings over the centuries. Sure takes a lot of the responsibility off each individual.

Hidden One said...

And adds a lot of humility, too.