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Friday, March 27, 2009

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A Mauldin

I understand about not allowing non-Catholics participate in the Eucharist, even if they accept transubstantiation, but when those same non-Catholics see the likes of Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy receiving Communion in public, and will most likely see Sen Kennedy buried in a Catholic service... seems to me those are travesties, too.

Matthew

I have always understood this from the perspective of idolatry. If the bread and wine do NOT become the real presence of Christ then when I receive I am materially engaged in idolatry. Why would any self-respecting Protestant want to participate in idolatrous behavior??
Matthew

Lewis

As someone who prayerfully considered entering the Catholic church and found I could not for this very reason, I do not think it an odd or absurd objection. Since I was not a full member of any church at the time, I granted the church every right to say "no, not yet" to me. However, the Eucharist is Christ's feeding of His people, and we are one body who partake of Him. Thus by excluding all other Christians from her table, the Catholic church is denying their status as Christians and saying that none of them can possibly be serving Christ, and further that Christ is not allowed to accept them as His own. I was not able to declare that all the devoted Christians I know did not really belong to Christ, nor could I ignore the grace I had experienced through the sacraments in Protestant churches. I think we may all be surprised by who we meet at Christ's eternal banquet in heaven, and how then can we turn our fellows away from its foreshadowing?

Carl E. Olson

Lewis:

First, no one here, least of all myself, said it was an "absurd" objection. "Strange," yes, but not in the sense of "absurd," but in the sense that it simply doesn't make sense in the context of someone who claims they accept everything else taught by the Church.

You wrote: However, the Eucharist is Christ's feeding of His people, and we are one body who partake of Him.

Your remark hints at the real issue, the same issue I attempted to address in my post: ecclesiology. By saying "one body," you imply that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is in full and visible communion with one another. But they aren't. The Catholic Church, in "excluding all other Christians from her table" is simply saying that those other Christians are not full and visible members of herself. If you are not a full and visible (public) member of the Catholic Church, why does it follow that you should be able to receive the sacrament which states, in the very reception of it, that you are a full and visible member of the Catholic Church?

Thus by excluding all other Christians from her table, the Catholic church is denying their status as Christians and saying that none of them can possibly be serving Christ, and further that Christ is not allowed to accept them as His own.

But surely you know that is NOT what the Church states about other Christians; quite the contrary:

For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church-whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church-do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. (Unitatis Regintegratio ["Decree on Ecumenism," Second Vatican Council, Nov. 21, 1964], par 3).

So non-Catholic Christians are indeed Christians in the eyes of the Catholic Church. But:

Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life-that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. (par 3)

Also worth noting, from the same document:

Baptism therefore establishes a sacramental bond of unity which links all who have been reborn by it. But of itself Baptism is only a beginning, an inauguration wholly directed toward the fullness of life in Christ. Baptism, therefore, envisages a complete profession of faith, complete incorporation in the system of salvation such as Christ willed it to be, and finally complete ingrafting in eucharistic communion.

Though the ecclesial Communities which are separated from us lack the fullness of unity with us flowing from Baptism, and though we believe they have not retained the proper reality of the eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Orders, nevertheless when they commemorate His death and resurrection in the Lord's Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and look forward to His coming in glory. Therefore the teaching concerning the Lord's Supper, the other sacraments, worship, the ministry of the Church, must be the subject of the dialogue. (par 22)

In other words, sadly, the reason you give above for not entering the Catholic Church is not one based in an accurate and fair understanding of what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

Jojo

I can feel the division happening the more I read this stuff. In this situation I suggest Romans 14. I think the what non Catholics are saying is that Catholics have a very seperatised attitude and feel like Catholics think that they are the only ones truly worthy of Christ's love and mercy.He cares more about love & mercy being shown rather than sacrifies and all that. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT GOD IS REALLY SAYING.

Jojo

The point is that it's about worshiping & acknowledging Christ & having our faith in Him. People have different ways of doing so.The only one who has the right to judge who's worshipping rigth or wrong is God Himself because we are the servants & that's it and when we do things in His honor it is for His will & His glory not ours. Love & mercy please because if we aren't part of the solution we are part of the problem.Also read Galatians 3 & Titus 3:1-11. God bless and lets show love & unity rather than the opposite. Peace be to all.

Henry

JoJo, As an adult convert to Christ from Zen Budhism, I can tell you that you have been misinformed about Christianity.

First, there is a historical reason for the division: a Catholic monk "protested" against Christ's true Church and His authentic teachings and started a reduced form of Christianity called Protestantism. So it's not Catholics that deserted Christ and His teachings but rather the Protestants who decided to follow man-made traditions.

Second, because of Luther's distortions of the Faith you have been unknowingly taught a gnostic form of the Faith. What do I mean? I mean that you have accepted the erroneous belief that you can follow Christ without the Church He established. And what's wrong with that? you might ask. Well when you eliminate from Christ the fact of being man, real, historical man, then you also eliminate the possibility of a Christian experience. A Christian experience is a human experience, so it is made of time and space just like every other material reality. Without this aspect of the materiality, then the experience that man has of Christ lacks a way of verifying Him in the present, of finding out whether what He said of Himself is true.

The elimination of the carnality implied in every human experience, even in Jesus Christ’s own experience, draws Christ and the Church back into an abstraction, reducing Him to just one among the many religious models.

That's what's wrong with gnostic forms of Christianity.

Lastly, as a brother in Christ I would be remiss if I did not tell you that Christ, through His original Church is asking you - Do you want to follow Me or someone's idea about me?

Peace in Christ JoJo.

Jojo

God bless & much love to you Henry and all out there.After all is said and done just remember that all that we do is for God's honor & glory,not our own and He wants us to show love & mercy to all & to rely on Him & not on our own understanding. God bless!!!

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