[quote=CatherineofA]When you mentioned the binding and loosening, do you think the pope has the authority to determine what is Christian? Can he one day decide to make Muslims Christian? Is this considered part of what could be the binding and loosening?
As far as the Mel Gibson thing, I see your point. However, if he were to practice all things Catholic except for recognizing the current pope, it would be a form of Catholicism would it not? It certainly would not be Protestant or Orthodox. What would it be?
Hi Catherine…I’m really tired, so not thinking entirely straight at the moment, lol, just that this forum is so addictive with all the knowledge here from Catholics and Non-Catholics alike. I would also like to say that I respect you for the charity of your posts as someone who is honestly asking/seeking, and not just here to provoke, which sadly is the case with some people (Catholics too).
The pope’s infallibility is when he is speaking ex-cathedra, that is in his official capacity. I’m sure there are better explanations that what I’ve given. The councils, because they are the consensus of the entire church becomes infallible in it’s official pronouncements, and one council can never contradict a previous one, just like no doctrine can ever be changed or retracted. This is the guarantee that Jesus gave his church built on the apostles, that it would be the pillar and bulwark of truth, and the he would send his Holy Spirit to guide the church, etc. Some of what I have written here may need some correction, or maybe can be worded better, so if anyone pleases, feel free.
Protestantism is still under heresy, and it contradicts the universal faith on many levels. People who have grown up in Protestantism are only materially responsible through no fault of their own and the Church teaches that they can attain salvaltion through their faith in Jesus Christ (although it’s a much tougher road considering in essence they are rejecting his church, which is rejecting him, etc, I already went over that and I understand you may not hold that view).
Orthodox represent the faith up until a certain council, and has remained static ever since and does not continue to grow in understanding of scripture. The Catholic Church continues to gain deeper understanding of scripture, which is why you may see some doctrines “defined” at different times (i.e. purgatory, assumption of mary, the trinity, etc)…this is affectionately known as the Development of Doctrine. Jesus told his apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide the church to all truth, but they could not bear it at that time…we are still learning the fullness of the truth.
I’m deviating from your question a little. I understand what you are saying about Mel Gibson practicing the Catholic faith without recognizing the pope, but if his church does not have valid sacraments, then he is not practicing the Catholic faith. In other words, the Sacraments are a real imparting of Grace’s, and are not merely symbolic rituals. Baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul and washes away Original Sin, Confirmation is the completion of Baptism when we are old enough to become warriors for the faith (for lack of a better phrase), Holy Communion is where we encounter Jesus Christ, both Physically (as the bread becomes his body and blood) and spiritually, confession is the avenue Jesus gave us when he gave the authority to his Apostles to forgive or retain sins, Holy Orders are the valid ordination of Priests by the Bishops, and the Bishops by the Church. Everything I just talked about, hinges on Valid orders, without them, none of the sacraments are possible. Not to say that God doesn’t impart other graces, but these specific ones are extremely important to the daily walk of a Christians life…specifically the Eucharist at Holy Communion, and regular confession which I have been doing now for 3 months. I can’t tell you how a) embarrassed I am of my sins b) how liberating confession is c) how it really keeps you on the straight and narrow.
This is why, Mel Gibson is only partaking symbolically, as his “independant” Catholic Church does not have valid sacraments. I’m not sure what it is about vatican 2 that he has a problem with.