Has someone ever brought this up?


#1

Recently in another thread (the one on Clement of Alexandria and John 6) I commented on how nearly all the ancient churches which claim apostolic succession also hold to many “Catholic” beliefs that some (or rather most) Protestants claim were inventions of the “papists” during the medieval times.

After posting this, I thought about how knowledge of other ancient churches, such as the Orthodox Church, the Coptic Church, and even the Nestorian/Persian Church, might give valuable information to us concerning the apostolic origin of our sacraments.

So often we Catholics try to defend our beliefs with Scripture or with quotes from the Fathers; however, I was wondering if there are any Catholic apologists out there who defend the beliefs of the Catholic Church in an oblique way. For example, such an apologist might defend the early notion of the Eucharist by demonstrating that the liturgy of Christians of the Chaldean Rite in India had always believed in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. The important part is that the West until the past few hundred years, did not have a significant impact on the Oriental churches. So, the Oriental churches might serve us as a means of proving the ancient origin of our Western beliefs. In short, we Catholics could use liturgical comparison over large geographic areas to prove the ancient origin of our beliefs.

Does this approach sound odd to anyone?
Does anyone perchance know of any good books on the Oriental/Persian/Nestorian churches?


#2

If what you’re saying about those other churches is indeed true, then I’d say it’s a great approach! Personally it makes me feel more confident in my Catholic faith that there are other non-Catholic churches that are also very ancient and believe the same (mostly) things that we do. If you find out more info, let me know! God bless.


#3

Often on this site we have discussions with Eastern Orthodox, most of these threads turn into debates. (That is the nature of this board). I have looked into some of the practices, and especially the beliefs of the Orthodox, and they are much like Catholics (there are some of them who would never want to see it that way.).

It does give me more confidence at times to see that the tradition that we hold to is the same in the East, especially where it relates to doctrine. EO practice very old rites, in their same form for nearly 2000 years. Catholics change ther rites, but hang onto the practices in a loser, less strict adherance to tradition. The practices of the Mass of today are summed up in ther writings of ST. Justin Martyr, and others.

This could definitely be a uniting point with others of ancient christianity, both churches, however, must be interested in some sort of unity. The Orthodox point of view often gives me a better understanding of the beliefs of Catholicism.


#4

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