Since the thread “Catholic but not Roman Catholic” became a debate about the views of Jason Engwer, I decided to post my own answers to the original challenge on a separate thread. I’m an Episcopalian, and hence consider myself to be Catholic (i.e., a member of the “one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic” Church named in the Creed) but not “Roman Catholic” (i.e., I am obviously not in full communion with the bishop of Rome). Here’s my answer to the specific issues raised:
: that baptism is regenerational (i.e., is the means of initiation into the ‘new life’ in Christ) :
I agree with that
:2) that baptism of infants is proper:
I agree with that
:3) that the bread and wine of the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ:
:4) that the Eucharistic celebration is a true, continuing sacrifice, :
Agreed. At most, I might question the propriety of some of the language used by the Western Church in the Middle Ages and later to describe the exact nature of this sacrifice, but my disagreements, if any, would be matters of nuance. I certainly confess that the Eucharist is a sacrifice in the sense spoken of by the Fathers.
:5) there exists a hierarchy of bishop, presbyter (priest) and deacon:
:6) the special authority of the bishop of Rome:
Yes. Obviously I would disagree with the modern “Roman Catholic” view of just how far that authority extends, but that it exists I have no doubt
:7) intercessory prayer of the saints:
:8) post-death purification (purgatory):
This is found in the Fathers rather tentatively, and I would subscribe to it in a similarly tentative way. I think that some kind of post-death purification is highly probable but am not sure it should be a matter of dogma.
:9) tradition as a rule of faith in addition to Scripture,:
I would question that way of putting it. I don’t think you can find it in the Fathers in quite that form. Basil’s On the Holy Spirit comes closest. But for the most part the Fathers use language implying some kind of sufficiency of Scripture (what Catholics would call “material sufficiency”) while also speaking of tradition (which cannot simply be limited to the contents of Scripture) as authoritative. I would also subscribe to that approach, while leaving room for a number of different ways of explaining just how Scripture functions within the broader category of Sacred Tradition.
:10) that Mary was immaculate:
I subscribe to that in the very broad sense found in the Fathers, which does not have anything like the specificity of the later dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
:11) that Mary was ever-virgin.:
I admit that I have doubts and questions about this, but it is so firmly taught by the early Church that I do not dare to deny it.
:They will claim the “real christian church” did not believe in them.:
No, I won’t.
:but ask them to provide any sources that call any of these 11 points heresy before the mid 300’s.:
That is surely an odd approach. If you are denying that one can be “Catholic” without being in communion with Rome, and if these 11 points are supposed to establish that, then you need to show that they were positively taught in a binding way by the early Church. If the early Church simply did not condemn them, or if they were held as opinions by some Fathers and not by others, then a good case can still be made that one can be in the trajectory of the historic Catholic Church without subscribing to all current teaching of the churches in communion with Rome.