Catholics are Christians?


#1

Forgive my ignorance for this thread, but many times I see Catholics refer to themselves as Christians. However when a Christian feels they have a religious vocation as a nun, priest ect they are told they need to be Catholic. Perhaps you can see my confusion.

Can anyone here please explain and help educate me? I understand there are different types of Christians. I would search the internet on my own but I am not certain where to start or how to start.

Thank you


#2

One can be a Christian without being a member of the Roman Catholic Church, but one cannot be a member of the Roman Catholic Church without being a Christian. Catholicism holds many truths that are not accepted by Protestant/nondenominational/etc Christians, and therefore you cannot become a vowed religious in the Catholic Church without first becoming a Catholic. I’m sure someone can give you a more theological explanation than this, but I think that’s the basic issue. :slight_smile:


#3

Forgive me for asking, but why would a non-Catholic want to become a priest or religious in the Catholic Church in the first place?


#4

[quote=lacoloratura]One can be a Christian without being a member of the Roman Catholic Church, but one cannot be a member of the Roman Catholic Church without being a Christian. Catholicism holds many truths that are not accepted by Protestant/nondenominational/etc Christians, and therefore you cannot become a vowed religious in the Catholic Church without first becoming a Catholic. I’m sure someone can give you a more theological explanation than this, but I think that’s the basic issue. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I think your explanation is sufficient… another way of looking at it:[list]
*]All apples are fruits, but not all fruits are apples
(some fruits are oranges, bananas, etc.)

*]All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics.
(some Christians are Baptist, Lutheran, etc.)[/list]


#5

[quote=Shinobu]Forgive my ignorance for this thread, but many times I see Catholics refer to themselves as Christians. However when a Christian feels they have a religious vocation as a nun, priest ect they are told they need to be Catholic. Perhaps you can see my confusion.

Can anyone here please explain and help educate me? I understand there are different types of Christians. I would search the internet on my own but I am not certain where to start or how to start.

Thank you
[/quote]

There are different parts of Christianity. There are the Catholics, there are the Orthodox, and there are Protestants. Protestants are further broken down into Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, and etc… All these groups are Christians, but they are not all one group.

Nuns and monks are all Catholic. They are monastic groups within the Catholic Church that praise God and help the poor and others. They live extremely holy lives.


#6

Only Catholics are Christians… the others are better termed heretics in order to avoid confusion.


#7

[quote=CatholicCrusade]Only Catholics are Christians… the others are better termed heretics in order to avoid confusion.
[/quote]

Now that is a little harsh. Someone is introduced into the Church by baptism. They are all Christians, but many are confused about where the truth is.


#8

[quote=Shinobu]Forgive my ignorance for this thread, but many times I see Catholics refer to themselves as Christians. However when a Christian feels they have a religious vocation as a nun, priest ect they are told they need to be Catholic. Perhaps you can see my confusion.

Can anyone here please explain and help educate me? I understand there are different types of Christians. I would search the internet on my own but I am not certain where to start or how to start.

Thank you
[/quote]

What makes someone a Christian is the belief that Christ is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and that he came down from heaven and became man and died to save us from our sins.

Catholics and protestants both profess this. So the are noth Christians.

When someone becomes a nun or a monk, they take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

The promise to not build any treasures here on earth because they are living there entire lives for God. They are immitating Christ by giving up all personal posessions. It frees them from all attachments to earthly things.

They vow chastity because they are spiritually married to Christ. A nun is a bride of Christ. She is also immitating Christ through this because Christ lived a chaste life.

They also vow obedience. This is obedience to Christ. It is also obedience to the Church and its heirarchy and to superior nuns because it is Christ who set up the Church upon Peter. Christ said “those who reject you reject me and those who reject me reject him who sent me.” So they obey the heirarchy of the Church. They hold the matters of faith which the Church holds, which is part of the vow. This is one reason why they are all Catholic, because by being a nun you profess the faith of the Catholic Church.


#9

Good Question Shinobu,

One thing that most Protestants dont know is that the word catholic means universal. It is universal Christianity, it can exist anywhere in the world, yet it is still one undivided Christianity.

People dont realize that calling youself Lutheran, Baptist, Calvinist, Nazarine, etc is not a correct way to talk about Christs Church on earth. These are churches named after humans or like in the Baptist case are named after one part of what the Church should actually be. For example it would not be right to name a Church after a human, the human didnt invent the Church and Christ didnt name it after a person. About the name Baptist, there is a lot more to Christianity than Baptism, should there be a church called the Communionists (not communists), The Prayerists, The Worshippers, etc, this gives the wrong and slanted impression of what the Bible teaches about Christianity. Also things like the Nazarenes, why couldnt they be called the Bethelehems, The Jerusalems, The Empty Tombs, etc.

To sum it up, as other people have said, Catholics are and were the original Christians, what they are saying is that this precious word “Christian” is a universal beliefe in Christ Jesus that anyone in the world can accep. It refuses to put extra titles into its name.


#10

Thank you so much everyone for your answers. It really helped to clarify things for me. Thank you so much!

[quote=mtr01]Forgive me for asking, but why would a non-Catholic want to become a priest or religious in the Catholic Church in the first place?
[/quote]

It’s not uncommon. For example, I was born a Christian, but as I grew up I became interested in becoming a nun. It’s not that I didn’t want to become a Catholic it’s just that being a Christian was all I knew. It might all sound dumb or silly and I’m sorry. I’ve been trying to teach myself more about Catholicism so I’m not so ignorant.


#11

I’m sorry if what I had posted implied that I thought you were dumb or silly. I guess I didn’t fully understand your point of view. I’m sorry if I offended you in any way, please forgive me.


#12

[quote=mtr01]Forgive me for asking, but why would a non-Catholic want to become a priest or religious in the Catholic Church in the first place?
[/quote]

I don’t think this question was meant to be taken in any way other than, to be a priest or religious is to submit fully to the Church and all her teachings, therefore, if one were not a Catholic, what would be your interest in life as a priest or religious. It was certainly not intended to insult you in any way. It is just that to Catholics, these vocations are special and few are called to them. If you have an interest in becoming a nun, you would first have to have some interest in the Catholic church. Christians outside the Church are there for two reasons; they were born into a protestant denomination and know nothing else, or they reject the Church’s teaching and authority. The Catholic church recognizes as Christian all who believe in the Trinity, and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as the means to salvation, and have been baptized by water through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But to become a member of the clergy or religious, you must be in full communion with Rome. If that is your desire, I wish you much guidance and support from the Holy Spirit in your journey, but it must start with coming home to the Church.


#13

[quote=Shinobu]Thank you so much everyone for your answers. It really helped to clarify things for me. Thank you so much!

It’s not uncommon. For example, I was born a Christian, but as I grew up I became interested in becoming a nun. It’s not that I didn’t want to become a Catholic it’s just that being a Christian was all I knew. It might all sound dumb or silly and I’m sorry. I’ve been trying to teach myself more about Catholicism so I’m not so ignorant.
[/quote]

Read this tract:

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth


#14

[quote=mtr01]I’m sorry if what I had posted implied that I thought you were dumb or silly. I guess I didn’t fully understand your point of view. I’m sorry if I offended you in any way, please forgive me.
[/quote]

You didn’t offend me ^^ However, thank you for apologizing anyways. I’m sorry if I led you to believe what you said was offensive.

To clarify myself, it isn’t that I have anything against Catholicism, it’s just that I was raised a Christian and not taught of Catholocism. Thank you for your kind words. I plan to learn more about Catholocism and become Catholic if that is indeed what God wants of me.

Edit: Thank you kindly for that link. It is very helpful


#15

As a revert/convert to the Catholic faith, I can tell you that you have a wonderful journey of discovery ahead of you. Seek Catholic sources for your information. For every real Catholic source, there seems to be 5 that are not. Or “I (or I know someone) who used to be Catholic and they believe…” Everytime I searched Catholic sources, I found that anything someone said that meant Catholics would not be Christians, was wrong. Catholics are the original Christians with a depth of worship that I am still discovering today.

Thank you Lord!

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#16

[quote=CatholicCrusade]Only Catholics are Christians… the others are better termed heretics in order to avoid confusion.
[/quote]

stop! You are being very un Christian -like. :frowning:


#17

[quote=Shinobu]Thank you so much everyone for your answers. It really helped to clarify things for me. Thank you so much!

It’s not uncommon. For example, I was born a Christian, but as I grew up I became interested in becoming a nun. It’s not that I didn’t want to become a Catholic it’s just that being a Christian was all I knew. It might all sound dumb or silly and I’m sorry. I’ve been trying to teach myself more about Catholicism so I’m not so ignorant.
[/quote]

You are still making a destinction here between Catholic and Christian. They are the same. Catholics are Christians.


#18

All catholics are christians and we are members of the Church that founded Christ, and there are chirstians no-catholics, greetings


#19

[quote=CatholicCrusade]Only Catholics are Christians… the others are better termed heretics in order to avoid confusion.
[/quote]

You are quite uncharitable, and quite wrong as well.

You are actually espousing a view incompatible with Church teaching on this point when you say only Catholics are Christians-- hmmm… would that be “heresy”? Ah the irony…

Lumen Gentium states that “the Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” The Church further teaches that those “who belive in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” This is also why those who are previously baptized are not re-baptized into the Catholic Church-- they are CHRISTIANS. This was settled in the 2nd century.

While those who began the Protestant revolt were formal heretics, the descendants born into the “reformation churches” are only objectively heretics. They are *bona fide * Christians and are not culpable for the error in which they are raised.

Church jurisdiction only extends to her members, therefore only Catholics can be tried in ecclesial courts for formal heresy.

Please discontinue your attempts to be rude to those who come to this forum asking honest questions and seeking the Truth. Calling them names does not do much to motivate them to convert. Had I met you, I may have been turned off to the Catohlic Church before even beginning to investigate it and may not have chosen to convert in 1992.

Don’t let your bad attitude and rudeness become an impediment to other’s conversion-- because YOU will be accountable for that on judgment day.


#20

[quote=Shinobu]Forgive my ignorance for this thread, but many times I see Catholics refer to themselves as Christians. However when a Christian feels they have a religious vocation as a nun, priest ect they are told they need to be Catholic. Perhaps you can see my confusion.

Can anyone here please explain and help educate me? I understand there are different types of Christians. I would search the internet on my own but I am not certain where to start or how to start.

Thank you
[/quote]

Before the Protestant Reformation there was one Church-- the Catholic Church. Within this one Church people formed communities to carry out Christ’s mission in the particular way they felt called.

These order of priests, monks, and nuns chose to live in community and serve with a particular spirituality and goal. For example some orders are dedicated to healing and medicine, some to teaching and preaching, some to prayer and contemplation, some to helping orphans, those in poverty etc.

At the time of the Reformation, these communities were one of the aspects of the Catholic faith that was rejected by the leaders of the reformation-- such as Luther and Calvin and Henry VIII in England. They did not believe in this form of living out Christian mission. They denied the priesthood. So, in places where the reformers took power, the monasteries and convents were disbanded and not allowed.

The concept of nuns, priests, and monks, and the orders in which they live and work, were only preserved within the Catholic faith.

That is why you must become a Catholic to become a nun-- the orders to which nuns belong are a part of the Catholic Church and are under the authority of the Pope. One must first believe in and practice the Catholic faith before they can become a member of one of the Catholic religious communities.

Best of luck in your search for what God is calling you to do. Do look into the Catholic Church. I know a girl who went through RCIA (convert class) and then several years after becoming Catholic determined that she was being called to leave the business world (she was an accountant) become a religious sister, a nun.


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