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?