Friday, October 26, 2007

Assertions on Catholic Unity


The always-brave “anonymous” commenter had this to say on the Matatics post:

“Riiiight. One in 700 million people who profess Catholocism reject the Holy See and this compares with the fact that you're lucky to find any Protestant congregation of 40 or more where half of them agree on any half-dozen salvation-critical doctrines. Wonderful argument there.”

“go to 100 Catholic Churches, gather 500 people at random and ask them what are the roles of scripture, clergy, grace and the sacraments, then do the same with 100 Reformed Baptist churches and see what happens. There isn't a person reading this that does not know that the former group would be nearly homogeneous compared with the latter which would sport as many theories as a 9/11 Truther symposium.”

A similar assertion is made by the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"That the mark of unity which is distinctive of and essential to the true Church of Christ is to be found in none other than the Roman Catholic Church, follows naturally from what has been said... Between no two of the hundreds of nonCatholic sects is there a common bond of union; each one having a different head, a different belief, a different cult. Nay more, even between the members of any one sect there is no such thing as real unity, for their first and foremost principle is that each one is free to believe and do as he wishes. They are constantly breaking up into new sects and subdivisions of sects, showing that they have within themselves the seeds of disunion and disintegration." Source

Bold assertions? Are Catholics really that unified in their beliefs?

I have some surveys of lay Catholics which I will be posting soon that will speak to this topic of unity.

18 comments:

Rhology said...

I'd sure be interested in any RC commenter's ideas on John F Kerry, abortion, and why he's not excommunicated.
It's so funny, since RCs are typically (and commendably) at the forefront of Pro-Life stuff.

Carrie said...

An interesting Catholic group around abortion: Catholics for Choice

Some quotes from Abortion: What do Catholics really think?:

"Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for a Free Choice, explains why the notion that all Catholics are opposed to abortion is just plain wrong...Dissent from church teaching is permissible and there is a long tradition of disagreement with official teachings, interpretation of teachings and the way those teachings are expressed. The sensus fidelium, or sense of the faithful, is also a valid source of truth in the church, and rightly guides the beliefs and actions of Catholics. So while most such discussions are among theologians, ordinary Catholics the world over show by their actions that they have soundly rejected the church’s ban on contraception, and on the topic of abortion, in some countries and on some questions, only a minority of Catholics agree with church leaders. Catholics have abortions and use contraception - when they have access to it - at much the same rate as those of other religious traditions."

I can't seem to find any numbers as far as members/supporters. This may be a very small organization, but there views are still interesting.

Anonymous said...

"Nay more, even between the members of any one sect there is no such thing as real unity, for their first and foremost principle is that each one is free to believe and do as he wishes."

That sums it up well.

Carrie said...

I should revise my comment:

"An interesting group around abortion who call themselves Catholic: Catholics for Choice."

This group is clearly in conflict with official Church teachings.

Anonymous said...

Chances that "Catholics for Choice" actually practice Catholocism rather than comprise a pro-abortion group that is taking the guise of Christianity for their left-wing agenda? About the same that National Vanguard and other White Segregationist groups actually practice Protestantism rather than co-opt Christianity for their neo-nazi agenda.

Of course a BIG difference is that if even a nationally famous Protestant minister preached a race-biased or pro-abortion message from the pulpit (Say... Rev. Jessie Jackson or the Rev. Al Sharpton, for example), nobody anyone would call it a sign of increased "Protestant disunity," as this level of deviation among Protestantism's "greatest" leaders is commonplace. If any local Catholic Priest taught either from the pulpit his defiance would have a good chance of making national news.

Anonymous said...

I'd sure be interested in any RC commenter's ideas on John F Kerry, abortion, and why he's not excommunicated.
It's so funny, since RCs are typically (and commendably) at the forefront of Pro-Life stuff.

Rhology:

This blog (written by a priest) might address your question for you.
http://eloisvoice.blogspot.com/2007/09/what-do-joe-dimaggio-sinead-oconnor-and.html

Oh, by the way, I love the picture of me on the blog. You absolutely got my best side.

Anonymous said...

Again related to Rhology's question, I'm pasting an excerpt from the referenced site, knowing that many people, for good reason, don't want to follow links provided by strangers--especially Anonymous comboxers like me.

"To make a long story short, an excommunication for abortion has to be linked to a specific abortion and, given the structure of American government and medical institutions, one simply can't link a given legislator's vote with a specific abortion within the limits of causality recognized by canon law. Now, I like to think that the words of law generally mean what they say. If we distort the words of penal canon law to the degree necessary to make legislators fall within the present terms of the abortion canon, we would do violence to the text of the law, and that's always bad; distortions in law tend to come back and haunt us in other contexts that are the subject of excommunication."

Quoted from the blog: "Eloi's Voice."

GeneMBridges said...

Which half dozen or so doctrines are in view here? The doctrines of grace? Something like unconditional election? I don't recall us teaching that believing in the five points of Calvinism is a condition of salvation. I do recall us teaching that Christ alone is the due and proper solitary object of saving faith.

Rhology said...

I'd be happy to invite these "researchers" to visit my church.
See, at my church the pastor actually does this crazy thing called expositional preaching. The results are amazing...

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of Eric Svedsen's

Roman Catholic challenge
,

in which we can see the remarkable unity on show from Rome's best apologists.

Simon

Albert said...

More on Roman Catholic unity:

http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com

FYI, the Roman Catholics who own this website reject the Vatican Council II, the Popes of the last four decades, and many more. We see here the true blueprint of anarchy. They can't seem to agree on who the supreme and final authority is.

Carrie said...

I'd sure be interested in any RC commenter's ideas on John F Kerry, abortion, and why he's not excommunicated.

Rhology,

I don't think excommunication is even on the table.

According to a document from the USCCB, even just denying the Eucharist to people like Kerry is at the discretion of the local bishop:

"The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action."

http://www.usccb.org/bishops/catholicsinpoliticallife.shtml

A poll of the US dioceses was conducted by the CFFC mentioned above, and the vast majority of US Bishops said they would not deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians.

http://www.catholicvote.net/research_polls/bishops_sacraments/index.htm

Carrie said...

Let me try those links again:

USCCB

Diocese Poll

kmerian said...

Carrie, every group that says it is Catholic is not. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement stating that there was nothing Catholic about that group except their name.

Are there dissneters in the Catholic Church? Sure. Does any Catholic claim we are 100% unified? No. Besides Carrie, what do you hope to accomplish? That Catholics are just as disunited as Protestants? So what?

Rhology said...

Kmerian,

"Rome is unified! Protestants are not!" is the constant refrain we hear from RC e-pologists. We're just pointing out that this claim is full of poop.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

What unifies true believers in Christ wherever and whenever they may be found is the Holy Spirit. All those who have the Spirit are united to Christ and to each other. This is the unity for which Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father. If it is a uniformity in doctrine that Jesus had in view, then His prayer was not answered--not in any communion on earth. The idea that Jesus is just wringing His hands in despair that the Father did not and will not answer His prayer for His people is ludicrous. Let us be mindful to thank God that the unity He has for us does not require us to become lemmings with merely the appearance of unity.

Anonymous said...

" I don't recall us teaching that believing in the five points of Calvinism is a condition of salvation."

Who is "us?" Never had the "another gospel" argument tossed your way? Never had a Reformed cheerleader tell you that the mark of salvation is to have the same undertanding of scripture he has, ala Rhology? According to Rho, you're not a Christian (apparently) if you believe in all 5 points. He didn't say which ones he does not believe, but he did say that you must believe correctly, which we assume he thinks is true of himself, and by definition, untrue for anyone who understands differently.

Rhology said...

Anonymous,

You're pulling things out of your rear end.
Where did I say this:

According to Rho, you're not a Christian (apparently) if you believe in all 5 points. ?

(Hint: never.)

I was saying that **I** am not a 5-pt Calvinist. Big deal.
GeneBridges was expressing that we (ie, he and we the bloggers here at Beggars All) don't believe that assent to the 5 points of Calvinism are what it takes to be saved.
I have no idea why you misrepresented me so badly, but I'm glad to be able to correct you.

Never had the "another gospel" argument tossed your way?

The "another Gospel" argument refers to Galatians 1:8-10, where Paul is speaking of adding works to faith for justification.

Peace,
Rhology