ECF, catholic or non catholic?


#1

most catholics look to the early church fathers as being great defenders of the catholic faith and many protestants have converted to catholicism based on the teachings of the early church fathers. However one protestant on this forum, who was an ex catholic, said that the early church fathers kept him protestant. he said:

I thoroughly study the early fathers and it makes me even more inclined to never return to Catholicism. There are fewer things that make me as convinced as the testimony of the early church.

is this just ill will on his part, or do the writings of the ECF not point unequivically to catholic doctrine like we claim?


#2

Did he specify which things he read that made him think the ECF were *not *Catholic? I’ve only read a few of the ECF (St Ignatius of Antioch’s letters, St Augustine’s Confessions and City of God, and a couple others), and they sounded pretty Catholic to me.

What I find interesting was that John Newman set out to study the ECF in order to prove Catholicism wrong, and ended up becoming Catholic as a result.


#3

I saw that post too and it’s just his assertion and I pointed that out to him.

Let’s take a couple of examples from some of the very earliest church fathers. Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp.

Now both these men were friends & disciples of St. John (as in Gospel, Revelation, and epistles of same) They both were bishops of early churches. Ignatius at Antioch and Polycarp at Smyrna.

Let’s look at some of what they said and wrote.

Polycarp’s trial shows that he was infant baptized.

[size=] CHAP. IX.–POLYCARP REFUSES TO REVILE CHRIST.

Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, “Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp !” No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, “Have respect to thy old age,” and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as]," Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists." But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, “Away with the Atheists.”(5) Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, “Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;” Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”

He was known to be 86 years old at the time…

Ignatius’ letter to Smyrna carries several clearly Catholic things in it.

CHAP. VII.–LET US STAND ALOOF FROM SUCH HERETICS.

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes.

But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. and then he says.

CHAP. VIII.–LET NOTHING BE DONE WITHOUT THE BISHOP.

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out[through their office] the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it.** Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.**

It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.(2) even as where Christ is, there does all the heavenly host stand by, waiting upon Him as the Chief Captain of the Lord’s might, and the Governor of every intelligent nature. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast.(1) But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid.Notice that it plainly says that the early church offered Eucharistic sacrifice, and Ignatius calls it “the Catholic Church.”

If these men weren’t Catholics, then they sure as vitam aeternam weren’t anything like the non-Catholic religions that are all over the place today.

BTW, both these men died for their beliefs.
Polycarp was burned alive and stabbed.
Ignatius was thrown to wild animals.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.[/size]


#4

catholic


#5

What he said! :thumbsup:


#6

The Protestant Reformers claimed to be returning the Church to its original vision, which they felt had been lost during the period of worldly power during the Middle Ages.

Largely they were wrong in their reconstruction of Early Christianity. For instance Luther said the the Holy Grail would have been a simple wooden drinking cup, ignorant of the Jewish tradition of using a kiddush cup for Sabbath and Passover meals. However not all reformers were entirely wrong about everything. Full immersion baptism was the practise of the Early Church, for instance.
The Church’s ideas develop over time, so you can point to things believed now which were not believed, or only felt in a very embryonic way, in earlier times. However it is difficult to turn the clock back. In practise Protestant belief and custom is just as modern as Catholic, usually it is more so.


#7

I wouldn’t call it ill will. The ECFs do point to catholic doctrine. If this points him away from Catholicism, I can certainly relate.


#8

Back when I first started attending a Catholic Apologetics class and looking seriously at Catholicism, I asked the professor, a former Protestant pastor, why Protestant churches/organizations/periodicals/publishing companies, as a rule, do not provide teaching about the Early Church Fathers, other than the occasional quote.

The professor told me that if they did, everyone would become Catholic!


#9

:knight1: He chose… poorly.*

[LEFT]

*irresistible Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade reference.
[/LEFT]


#10

I personally don’t think it wise for one to attribute to someone else “ill will” simply because one has yet to hear of someone not becoming a Roman Catholic after studying the ECFs.

4/5ths of the original Catholic Church is more than familiar with the ECFs…and they are not RCs either.

Many, many non-Catholic Christians study the ECFs and surely do not come to your conclusions and become Roman Catholics.

The fact is that just about all the ECFs would be considered heretics by the RCC if they were alive today.

This is not convincing at all, IMO.

The ECFs do not unequivocally point to Roman Catholic doctrine at all…but they do unequivocally point in many different directions for sure. If anything is consistent among the ECFs, it is their ability to disagree even on some of the most essential issues.


#11

The Early Church Fathers were Catholic and Held Catholic doctrines and belief. Protestants did not exist until 1517 AD. Indeed there were disagreements. But base on what I read on the ECF most were obedient the the Catholic Church’s authority.

Protestants are not. They only have one authority, the Bible. Bible Alone…

Now None of the ECF practice that doctrine nor Faith Alone… so yes ECF are Catholics.

I do noticed that Non-Catholics here mostly ignore the ECF anyways. For one they use St. Jerome opinion to discredit the Deutrocanonical Books, but yet Protestant failed to look at the St. Jerome believe in Mary’s remaining ever Virgin.

Protestants only pick and choose what they read in the ECF. I see this in Atemi’s post, Nancie, kaycee and amongst others who try to disprove our belief but failed in their rebuttal.

Most of the Non-Catholic Christian argument here concerning ECF are poorly refuted.


#12

The fact is that just about all the ECFs would be considered heretics by the RCC if they were alive today.

how do you figure this?


#13

He wishes! :rotfl:

I guess he completely ignores John Henry Newman’s conversion. :shrug:

Did you notice that he makes all those statements like

"The fact is

that just about all the ECFs would be considered heretics by the RCC if they were alive today." without the least substantive citation?

Why? Because he has none?:knight2: I guess we are all supposed to believe what Atemi says just because he says so?
[SIGN][size=]I don’t buy it.[/SIGN][/size]


#14

The fact is that just about all the ECFs would be considered heretics by the RCC if they were alive today.

how do you figure this?

Because just about all the ECFs held beliefs that contradict the RCC or are not taught by the RCC today.

They believed that these doctrines were from Apostolic tradition.

Surely most of them understood that future generations of Christians would believe as they did. They did not believe in the new teaching of “development of doctrine.”

That is a modern creation to explain all the changes.


#15

u obviously do not understand the concept of the development of doctrine. the canon of the New Testament is a perfect example of this. Also, Can you show me where in the church fathers do they teach protestant doctrines like the symbolic eucharist, symbolic baptism, no priesthood, no liturgy?


#16

Hello,

Examples please, show where all the teachings of the Catholic Church are not in accordance with the Early Church Fathers.


#17

Up until the last 2 years I never even heard of most of the ECF’s! Only a select few. It is blatenly obvious that they were indeed Catholic:highprayer:


#18

Truly, I say unto you, read “Faith of Our Fathers” by William Jurgen.

This cover events after the Apostolic Age. It comes in a Three Volume Set and believe me from the Catholic Christians who read it, they find the ECF belief to be Catholic.

Scott Hahn, Alex Jones, Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, Cardinal Newman, and other Protestant convert to the Catholic Church attest to this. They convert because their love for Jesus Christ, and when they did for a desire to seek the Truth, they all found it in the Catholic Church.

There are probably countless others converts to the faith. I would recommend you to watch EWTN’s Coming Home Network, it covers many former Protestant turn Catholics.

I know that James White’s sister Patty Patrick Bond, a baptist and former Anti-Catholic converted through her research on St. Patrick.


#19

What doctrines did the ECF disagree on? If this is out of context then should I begin another thread?


#20

I read the faith of the early fathers all the time directly. No need to go second hand.

BTW, I believe it was written by Gibbons.

This cover events after the Apostolic Age. It comes in a Three Volume Set and believe me from the Catholic Christians who read it, they find the ECF belief to be Catholic.

Really?

Do you suppose it was authored by a Catholic promoting the claims of their church?

Scott Hahn, Alex Jones, Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, Cardinal Newman, and other Protestant convert to the Catholic Church attest to this. They convert because their love for Jesus Christ, and when they did for a desire to seek the Truth, they all found it in the Catholic Church.

I also like reading the conversion strories of those that left Catholicism.

I then compare notes.

I am not impressed with any of the conversion stories of the above. I find they are basically used as propaganda today by too many people.

There are probably countless others converts to the faith. I would recommend you to watch EWTN’s Coming Home Network, it covers many former Protestant turn Catholics.

I know what I left and why I did, Manny.

I don’t need to rehash it over and over again.

Maybe you need to study all the conversion stories of those that left your church.

It seems you are really unaware of all sides of this story.


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