Saturday, September 03, 2011

What is a Catholic anyway?
Baptism. Bishops. Mass. Bible. Creed. Mother of God. Icons. Infallible one true church. (Catholics believe that Jesus Christ commissioned the leadership of his Church, which it is, in a mystical way, his body.) The last, ecclesiology, distinguishes us from high Protestants, some of whom honestly believe the same about the other things as we do.
Entering or being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church does not mean being “re-baptized”.
I agree. Doing that is rather obnoxious but I understand the thinking of some Orthodox who do it, logical based on the one-true-church claim. Rome teaches that valid matter, form and intent equal the sacrament no matter who or where. The Orthodox say they have real sacraments, full stop, but ... any grace that may have been lacking is filled in by being received into the church, again provided there was valid matter, form and intent. Saying a non-Orthodox baptism can be efficacious but not the Orthodox sacrament of baptism seems fairly standard, like how most of us feel about Protestant Communion. So they all reserve the right to receive by baptism; few in America do. And that’s great.
All those who are not in full communion with Rome are not considered heretics.
Right. Born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt because unlike Protestantism, Orthodoxy has never defined anything heretical. It has defined very little: again, Trinity, Jesus is true God and true man so Mother of God, and pictures of God and the saints aren’t idols. Catholicism 1.0. Of course it believes in much else besides, such as in the Mass, but it was never challenged so doctrine about it was never defined.
Being a Catholic does not mean practising every tradition or custom found in the various churches which are part of the Catholic Church.
Mother church is so big that it would be impossible. Rite controls what you do in church. Devotion is freestyle. ‘All can, some should, none must’ is true of it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it! You don’t have to like a saint, only acknowledge the church’s recognition of him and accept others’ right to be devoted to him.

I wonder to whom he’s addressing the answers to Protestant objections as the kind of churchmen interested in the ordinariates don’t have any of them. More like standard apologetics to Protestants. Good.

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