Catholic Doctrine not "Christian"


#1

Hello fellow apologists!

I’m part of an email list mostly made up of Anabaptists (I joined because there’s an Amish Community nearby and I was curious). Well, the other day, one of the list leaders posted something about hearing in the media about there being no salvation outside the Catholic Church, etc. I replied and posted this section from the Vatican, wardning not to take media coverage as “gospel”:

“It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church[12].

(Emphasis in the gentlemen’s reply.)

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

He responded thus:

Notice, that he says that the truth has been entrusted to the Catholic Church and and Christ has used them as instruments, whose (these separated churches) value derives from the fullness of grace and truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church. He is not saying that thedse separated churches received the truth from God, but God gave it to the Catholic church and we have derived it from them. This is error and in essence he is saying that salvation has come through the Catholic church.

We cannot say that there are no Catholics who are not Christian, but the doctrines promoted by the Catholic Church are not Christian.

Can someone give me a hand in providing an answer? I feel pretty sure about how to respond, but not quite sure of the best wording!


#2

Well, two different things are contained in your friend’s e-mail. The first paragraph is correct. Catholics believe that all salvation comes FROM Jesus THROUGH the Catholic Church TO its recipients (although a person need not be a professing Catholic to be saved). So your friend’s first paragraph is essentially a correct statement of Catholic belief.

The second paragraph, of course, is incorrect and I cannot see where you friend makes any logical connection between the first paragraph and the second.

Catholics do not believe salvation comes FROM the Catholic Church. We believe salvation comes FROM Jesus THROUGH the church He founded.


#3

How is this different from Israel’s calling by God to be “a light to the nations” ? What Israel received, she received on behalf of others, & not for herself alone. The same is true of the Church, “the Israel of God”. The CC has the same mission as Israel according to the flesh, because that Israel is perfectly embodied in Jesus Christ (see Luke 2.29-32); & because He is the Light, so are those who are in Him - they, we, have His mission, & He had that of Israel.

That is the connection. IOW, we in the CC have the same mission as Israel according to the flesh, because Jesus Christ in Whom we are is the fulfilment of Israel.

“No salvation outside the Church” is simply a result of Acts 4.12. All things in creation are for Christ, alone - so all things in creation flow into the Church (as in Psalm 60) - so that His Church may offer them, through Him, in His Spirit, to the Father. Which is why all graces to all Christians in every age are in one way or another given to the Church; not for her glory (!) but so that she may offer them to God, Who rules both her, & every creature. :slight_smile:


#4

Since this is his assertion, the burden of proof falls upon him.

Tell him to make his case for each Catholic teaching that he thinks is non-Christian (in separate threads) and you’ll be happy to explain it to him. Otherwise he’s just running off at the mouth and the odds are that you’ll get some really cosmic stuff that has very little to do with what the Church actually teaches.

Bear in mind that some Anabaptists assert that their sect can be traced all the way back to the apostles, outside of the Catholic Church. Most of these allege that we came into being under Constantine.

“Ancient Baptists and Other Myths”

Trail of Blood: What about “Baptist Successionism”? (Word.doc)

%between%Trail of Blood: Baptist Successionism ~ “Apostolic Succession of Heresy”


#5

Thanks, folks! :tiphat:

I’m going to suggest we take the discussion off-list if he really wants to delve into it. I’m guessing he might not…seems to be one of those make a claim and run types. At least I’m better prepared. I always think I’m ready for these things, but then I clam up a bit. Guess I need to breathe and proceed one step at a time.

It’s so helpful to have a plan to turn for support and help. :thumbsup:


#6

Notice, that he says that the truth has been entrusted to the Catholic Church and and Christ has used them as instruments, whose (these separated churches) value derives from the fullness of grace and truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.

What would you say specifically about the underlined portion? Isn’t it pretty clear in Scripture that the fullness of the faith is found in the Catholic Church as Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and instructed to “Feed my sheep”?


#7

What would you say specifically about the underlined portion? Isn’t it pretty clear in Scripture that the fullness of the faith is found in the Catholic Church as Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and instructed to “Feed my sheep”?

I would merely note that the Bible is a product of the Catholic Church. No Catholic Church, no Bible. What truth would remain for non-Catholics in that case?


#8

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