Catholic View toward Protestants


#1

Could someone please explain to me the Church's stance regarding Protestantism?

1) Does the Church say God calls protestant preachers, pastors, deacons, etc. to serve in there protestant church?

For example if a man says "God has called me to be a preacher and spread his word." If this man is protestant, this cannot be true can it? If the Church considers it true, then are we to believe that God actually calls people to spread his word that teach the doctrines of protestantism? If this be true is not God divided? Meaning, God calls men to be his pope, bishops, priests and deacons to teach truth, and the same time calling protestant pastors, deacons, etc to teach another truth?

According to Galatians 1:8-9.

8f But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach [to you] a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!*

9As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!

1) Paul wrote to us under the inspiration of God.

2) Under the inspiration of God, Paul said if anyone preach another gospel let that one be accursed.

3) Therefore, Paul under the inspiration of God said 'Protestants are accursed."

Is this not logical?


#2

The Church does not say one way or another. The Church can only claim that Catholics are called to Catholic ministry.

However, the priesthood of Melchizedek would suggest that God can call forth ministers who originate beyond his ordinary covenant. St. Paul uses this as an example to establish the validity of the priesthood of Jesus himself, who was of the tribe of Judah (not Levi).


#3

The CC recognizes varying degrees of truth in Protestant beliefs/theology-knowing that they lack the “fullness of truth” to be found only in the Catholic Church. She calls them “separated brethren” who profess a belief in the Trinity and Baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


#4

I would have to say that - no your post is not logical, at least not in the blanket sense that you are expressing it. Sorry...
The main problem is that the term "Protestant" is too broad. There are a great many differing beliefs within "protestantism" - some in error and some not...
The Catholic church herself has been having fruitful discussions with some protestant communions 9Lutherans and Anglicans) who are vary close to Catholicism in their beliefs. Then there are those communities who still consider the Catholic Church to be the "Whore of Babylon"...:shrug:

I suggest you read THIS SECTION of the Catechism on the Church being one.
In particular read the section on "wounds to unity", and most directly applicable to your question is this:
819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements." Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276
If God is using these communities then He must be using those who lead them. Make sense?

As to your line of logic:
1) Paul wrote to us under the inspiration of God.

2) Under the inspiration of God, Paul said if anyone preach another gospel let that one be accursed.

3) Therefore, Paul under the inspiration of God said 'Protestants are accursed."

I suggest you read para 818 in the Catechism, especially where it says that we, "cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities"...Now consider...If a person is called to preach in said community, are they preaching a Gospel different than the one they received?? The curse in Paul goes, not to the ones born into such communities, but rather to the ones (on both sides) who fomented the separation in the first place.

Finally - let me say that there is an evil at work even within the Christian communities as a whole. It can manifest itself in small ways (lukewarm Christians) and in larger ways (Christians who support abortion rights) to outright hatefulness (like Westboro baptist).
So - not all who are called to preach are receiving their call from The Father of Love.

Peace
James


#5

The main problem is that the term “Protestant” is too broad. There are a great many differing beliefs within “protestantism” - some in error and some not…

Can you please list a ‘protestant’ denomination that is not in error? If truth resides in the Catholic Church along with a protestant church at the same time, how do we even begin to know what truth is? One teaching transubstantiation, confession of mortal sins to priest, etc, and the other saying that neither of those are true?

If God is using these communities then He must be using those who lead them. Make sense?

How could God lead a protestant ‘pastor’ who calls people not into his one true Church? As far as I know there would be no protestant leaders who encourage people to worship him the way God intended, as in the Mass.


#6

In dialogue with Lutherans, the U.S. Catholic Bishops have said this:

  1. Catholic judgment on the authenticity of Lutheran ministry need not be of an all-or-nothing nature. The Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican II distinguished between relationships of full ecclesiastical communion and those of imperfect communion to reflect the varying degrees of differences with the Catholic Church.(164) The communion of these separated communities with the Catholic Church is real, even though it is imperfect. Furthermore, the decree positively affirmed:

Our separated brothers and sisters also celebrate many sacred actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each church or community, and must be held capable of giving access to that communion in which is salvation.(165)

Commenting on this point, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in 1993 to Bavarian Lutheran bishop Johannes Hanselmann:

I count among the most important results of the ecumenical dialogues the insight that the issue of the eucharist cannot be narrowed to the problem of ‘validity.’ Even a theology oriented to the concept of succession, such as that which holds in the Catholic and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the salvation-granting presence of the Lord [Heilschaffende Gegenwart des Herrn] in a Lutheran [evangelische] Lord’s Supper.(166)

If the actions of Lutheran pastors can be described by Catholics as “sacred actions” that “can truly engender a life of grace,” if communities served by such ministers give “access to that communion in which is salvation,” and if at a eucharist at which a Lutheran pastor presides is to be found “the salvation-granting presence of the Lord,” then Lutheran churches cannot be said simply to lack the ministry given to the church by Christ and the Spirit. In acknowledging the imperfect koinonia between our communities and the access to grace through the ministries of these communities, we also acknowledge a real although imperfect koinonia between our ministries.

  1. Ecumenical understanding would be furthered if in official Roman Catholic documents Vatican II’s reference to defectus in the sacrament of Order among “ecclesial communities” were translated by such words as “defect” or “deficiency.”(167) As Walter Cardinal Kasper has stated: “On material grounds [aus der Sachlogik], and not merely on the basis of the word usage of the Council, it becomes clear that defectus ordinis does not signify a complete absence, but rather a deficiency [Mangel] in the full form of the office.”(168) Translations of defectus as “lack” misleadingly imply the simple absence of the reality of ordination. Translation as “defect” or “deficiency” would be consistent with the sort of real but imperfect recognition of ministries proposed above. While short of full recognition, such partial recognition would provide the basis for first steps toward a reconciliation of ministries as envisioned, e.g., in the international Roman Catholic-Lutheran statement Facing Unity.(169)

nccbuscc.org/seia/koinonia.shtml

Jon


#7

JonNC -

Good to see you here...:thumbsup:

Peace
James


#8

If you read his post carefully, you’ll see he doesn’t say there are protestant “denominations” that don’t teach error. Rather, he says that some of their beliefs are not in error. For example, when a Protestant denomination teaches the Trinity it is teaching the truth, not error. When they teach that Jesus is the 2nd Person of the Trinity incarnate, they are teaching truth and not error; …

How could God lead a protestant ‘pastor’ who calls people not into his one true Church? As far as I know there would be no protestant leaders who encourage people to worship him the way God intended, as in the Mass.

God could call a protestant to be a pastor because He loves all people and desires them to be saved. He knows even those who are not born Catholic need shepherding; they need someone to teach them about Jesus. Through their Protestant pastors they are led to receive the Sacrament of Baptism - the one sacrament the Catholic Church teaches is necessary for salvation.

You are correct when you say their leaders do not encourage a worship service such as the Mass where Jesus’ sacrifice is made present and offered to the Father. My personal opinion is that the Mass is so important, so crucial, that God did not wish erroneous Sacrifice of the Mass rituals to be present in any Christian/Protestant denomination. First, since without a valid priesthood it would be a “pretense”, so to speak; it wouldn’t be real/true. If the denominations/pastors taught transubstantiation and the sacrifice, the people would be deceived. By not letting those denominations believe and teach these truth, God has ensure that such deceptions in this vital area do not take place. As far as I know, the only Churches other than the Catholic Church that teach transubstantiation and the Sacrifice are the Orthodox Churches - which have a valid priesthood.


#9

[quote="dnar, post:5, topic:284963"]
Can you please list a 'protestant' denomination that is not in error? If truth resides in the Catholic Church along with a protestant church at the same time, how do we even begin to know what truth is? One teaching transubstantiation, confession of mortal sins to priest, etc, and the other saying that neither of those are true?

[/quote]

I'm not saying that protestant communions do not contain error. Have you read through the link I provided yet? I think that it will provide you with good insight into how the Church views these matters.

As to the specific items you mention above, even within the protestant community there are those who teach "the real presence" - Lutherans call it "consubstantiation" I believe...And the Anglican Church (at least parts of it) likewise hold to the real presence and also have "confession"...Though the usage of has dropped off there just as it has in the Catholic church...
In fact some Anglicans are so "Catholic" in their beliefs that the Church has afforded them the opportunity to "come home" while retaining much of their own practice.

How could God lead a protestant 'pastor' who calls people not into his one true Church? As far as I know there would be no protestant leaders who encourage people to worship him the way God intended, as in the Mass.

Here again - the Lutherans and the Anglicans have retained the mass...though there certainly is disagreement over the validity of their holy orders...So your blanket statements of "Protestants" doesn't really hold up.

The Church recognizes anyone baptized using the trinitarian form as being validly Baptized. I they are validly baptized they are in The Body of Christ. Those who are not in the Catholic Church may not have the fullness of Truth that we have, but they are - in many cases closer than those who have not accepted Christ yet.

Think if these people as on a journey just as we are. They are doing the best that they can.

Peace
James


#10

Nita,

Thanks - Couldn’t have said it better myself…:thumbsup:

One thing I would add though…At least two of the Protestant Churches do worship through “The mass” and both of these do hold to the “real presence”. These are the Lutheran and Anglican Churches. In fact the Anglican views (high Anglican) are so near to the Catholic view that the Church has made provision for them to enter the Catholic Church while retaining most of their practices. This is the “Anglican Ordinate”

I believe that Lutherans have defined the real presence as “Consubstantiation” but I don’t believe that the Anglican Church has attempted a definition.
The EO likewise has not attempted to define or explain the mystery of the real presence.

Peace
James


#11

Hi James,
First, thanks for the nice greeting. It is always good to converse with you. You have always treated me with kindness and respect.

Lutherans do not define His real prsece as consubstantiation. We do use, as a type of explanation, Sacramental Union, which is different in that, with consubstantiaton as with Transubstantiation, there is a metaphysical/philosophical construct involved. This type of description we just don’t use.

What we do say is that the Eucharist is the real and true body of Christ, which we receive with what we see, taste, sense as bread and wine. The fact of the matter is that we do not know, nor does Christ explain, how bread is His body, and wine is His blood. They are because He said they are. It is a mystery.

So, if you ask me what I receive, I will say that, with certainty, I receive His body and blood. God does with the bread and wine as He wills.

Jon


#12

Hi Nita,
I think you will find that the Orthodox do not subscribe to Transubstantiation, though I will let those who are Orthodox describe their beliefs. In addition, I think Old Catholics and the PNCC also describe it as Transubstantiation.

Jon


#13

[quote="JRKH, post:10, topic:284963"]
Nita,

Thanks - Couldn't have said it better myself....:thumbsup:

[/quote]

Your welcome. And thank you.

One thing I would add though...At least two of the Protestant Churches do worship through "The mass" and both of these do hold to the "real presence". These are the Lutheran and Anglican Churches. In fact the Anglican views (high Anglican) are so near to the Catholic view that the Church has made provision for them to enter the Catholic Church while retaining most of their practices. This is the "Anglican Ordinate"

I believe that Lutherans have defined the real presence as "Consubstantiation" but I don't believe that the Anglican Church has attempted a definition.
The EO likewise has not attempted to define or explain the mystery of the real presence.

Peace
James

That was why I specifically used the word "transubstantiation", and also included "Sacrifice".

Re transubstantiation: I don't believe any Protestant denomination defines the real presence using the clear term "transubstantiation". Without a clear definition, the phrase "real presence" remains ambiguous.

Re sacrifice: The concept of "sacrifice" with their "Mass" is mentioned in Anglicanism, but in a totally different way from which Catholicism teaches it.

Their Article 31 states* "...Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits."*
costlygrace.blogspot.com/2012/05/article-31-of-oblation-of-himself-once.html

In reading about the reformation, I found it interesting that altho a few of the Reformers retained a belief in some sort of a real presence, they all (to my knowledge) rejected Catholic teaching regarding the sacrificial nature of the Mass. Although they may use the same words as we do - Mass, Eucharist/Communion - their teaching about what those words mean is not the Catholic meaning and teaching.


#14

[quote="JonNC, post:12, topic:284963"]
Hi Nita,
I think you will find that the Orthodox do not subscribe to Transubstantiation, though I will let those who are Orthodox describe their beliefs. In addition, I think Old Catholics and the PNCC also describe it as Transubstantiation.

Jon

[/quote]

Thank you Jon. I'll have to start googling again!! :) Unless some Orthodox, Old Catholics, and PNCC do some posting here.

I don't know if the Catholic Church considers the priests in the Old Catholics and PNCC to be validly ordained or not. Do you happen to know?


#15

Not an expert, but I think it varies. I think someOld Catholics have moved to ordaining females, which, of course changes things. My understanding is that their clergy, otherwise, are valid but illicit. I’m sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.

BTW, while Lutherans respectfully disagree with the Catholic claim that our orders are invalid, I highly respect Catholics who are willing to state stridently, as you have, the Catholic position on the issue.

Jon


#16

I’m finding it difficult to find an authoritative source of Eastern Orthodox teachings that would be binding - either on all the EO Churches, or even just on one branch (eg. Greek Orthodox). Eg.:

  1. **The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Austraila **website declares beliefs regarding the Sacrament of the Eucharist (altho they don’t use the word “transubstiation”) and the Sacrifice of the Mass which they equate with those of the Catholic Church.
    For the most part it is only the Orthodox and Catholic churches which hold to the belief that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. Other Christian churches accept Holy Communion as a valid observance. What they cannot accept is the belief that there is a real change in the elements of the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of our Lord.

However, the article also states:
There seems to be some difference between the way Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches understand the “moment of consecration”- at what moment the miracle occurs. According to medieval Latin theology, the “moment” is the moment the priest reads the Words of Institution- “This is my Body…This is my Blood…”. According to Orthodox theology, there is no one moment of consecration, rather the entire Eucharistic prayer- Thanksgiving, Anamnesis, Epiclesis- all form and integral part of the one act of consecration.

While Orthodoxy has always insisted on the reality of the change- the bread and the wine become in very truth the Body and Blood of Christ, it has never however attempted to explain the manner of the change. It is true that sometimes Orthodox theologians will make use of what came out of Latin scholasticism, the term “transubstantiation” (in Greek μετουσίωσης). Orthodox however generally emphasize that the manner of change is a mystery and must always remain incomprehensible. St John of Damascus put it as follows:

greekorthodox.org.au/general/orthodoxchristianity/sacramentsandservices/holyeucharist

  1. **The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America **website uses a much looser terminology and you’re left not knowing for sure if there is any positive binding theology regarding the Eucharist and Mass.
    goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7077

I think I’m sidetracking this thread, so I will cease.


#17

[quote="Nita, post:16, topic:284963"]
I'm finding it difficult to find an authoritative source of Eastern Orthodox teachings that would be binding - either on all the EO Churches, or even just on one branch (eg. Greek Orthodox). Eg.:
1) **The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Austraila **website declares beliefs regarding the Sacrament of the Eucharist (altho they don't use the word "transubstiation") and the Sacrifice of the Mass which they equate with those of the Catholic Church.
For the most part it is only the Orthodox and Catholic churches which hold to the belief that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. Other Christian churches accept Holy Communion as a valid observance. What they cannot accept is the belief that there is a real change in the elements of the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of our Lord.

However, the article also states:
There seems to be some difference between the way Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches understand the “moment of consecration”- at what moment the miracle occurs. According to medieval Latin theology, the “moment” is the moment the priest reads the Words of Institution- “This is my Body…This is my Blood…”. According to Orthodox theology, there is no one moment of consecration, rather the entire Eucharistic prayer- Thanksgiving, Anamnesis, Epiclesis- all form and integral part of the one act of consecration.

While Orthodoxy has always insisted on the reality of the change- the bread and the wine become in very truth the Body and Blood of Christ, it has never however attempted to explain the manner of the change. It is true that sometimes Orthodox theologians will make use of what came out of Latin scholasticism, the term “transubstantiation” (in Greek μετουσίωσης). Orthodox however generally emphasize that the manner of change is a mystery and must always remain incomprehensible. St John of Damascus put it as follows:

greekorthodox.org.au/general/orthodoxchristianity/sacramentsandservices/holyeucharist

2) **The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America **website uses a much looser terminology and you're left not knowing for sure if there is any positive binding theology regarding the Eucharist and Mass.

goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7077

I think I'm sidetracking this thread, so I will cease.

[/quote]

Yeah, maybe we are, but its a great subject, isn't it? :)

John of Damascus: “… if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit” Love that quote.

Check out this link. It is interesting.

helsinki.fi/~risaarin/lutortjointtext.html#word

Jon


#18

Definitely.

John of Damascus: “… if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit” Love that quote.

So do I, and was going to include it on my previous post but didn’t for the sake of trying to keep it shorter.
I think it is the one thing we all agree upon regarding the Eucharist – that “how” it takes place is a mystery.
(Transubstantiation refers to “what” takes place, but “how” it takes place is a mystery.)

Check out this link. It is interesting.

helsinki.fi/~risaarin/lutortjointtext.html#word

Jon

It is interesting. Read about 1/3 of it, but intend to go back and read it all.
I really liked the following line from the 11th Plenary:

  1. …”The sacraments of the church are the means by which Christ extends his saving work, which took place once and for all in the past, into the history of the church.” I noticed how the same basic sentence could be used to describe the Catholic teaching regarding the Sacrifice of the Mass by just changing a couple of the sentence’s subjects and objects:
    (Eg. ”The Sacrifice of the Mass is the means by which Christ extends his saving sacrifice on Calvary, which took place once and for all in the past, into the history of the church.)

But, I did also notice the following (a topic which I think we’ve discussed in another thread):
7. With regard to the holy eucharist, Lutherans and Orthodox converge in their insistence on the reality of the body and blood of Christ given and received in the eucharistic elements. In this respect, Orthodox speak of the change (metabole) in the elements of the eucharist such that after the invocation of the Holy Spirit (epiclesis) there is no longer “bread” and “wine” but the real body and blood of Christ. Lutherans traditionally say that the real body and blood of Christ are present “in, with, and under” the bread and the wine.
Although the Orthodox don’t use the word “transubstantiation”, they are saying what transubstantiation means. Guess they don’t like philosophical terms.:slight_smile:


#19

So, is it okay then to listen to protestant preachers?

Examples, Joel Osteen, etc..?


#20

If you’re strong in your Catholic faith. Then again, why listen to Joel Osteen? I wouldn’t.

Jon


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.