Protestants as "brethren"


#1

Do you consider Protestants as “brethren” in anyway… even “separated brethren?”


#2

Yes, I consider them as brethren because they believe in Christ and, in that sense, are our brothers and sisters. They are adopted children of the Father just like us.

However, this expression should not be used in such a way that the “family squabbles” that exist between us do not exist or matter. They are not part of the Church Christ established (the Catholic Church) and so they are separated from us.


#3

Catechism of the Catholic Church
**817 **In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.

**818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."


#4

I once heard a lecture by a marine on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the course of it he noted that the Marines and Navy are lumped together as one family. He then added that most murders occur in the family. :smiley:


#5

I asked in “Ask an Apologist” about why Oneness Pentecostals aren’t Christians because they deny the Trinity while other Protestants are considered Christians when they deny the real presence. I was told that Baptism is what makes one a Christian, well, baptism using the correct forumla. Since most “Christians” are baptized using the Trinitarian formula, they are Christians regardless of their doctrinal shortcomings, while Oneness Pentecostals are not because they do not have the correct formula.

So I suppose I have to call them “separated brethren.” But I don’t like the term. As much lies are spread about Catholics by our separated brethren, it makes me cringe to use that term.

Then my wife, who often speaks with the voice of a dove, reminds me of my own faith journey, when I was a Pentecostal myself and seeking to do God’s will and love Him with what limited knowledge I had. She reminds me of how His grace and love for me drew me, ever so gently, into the protecting walls of His One True Catholic and Apostolic Church; my Mother.


#6

I used to think Protestants were children of the devil. Then, cooler heads prevailed and I softened, tending to think of them as a big, mysterious question mark. Many of them really inspired me.

But now, I don’t know. They shift and change their beliefs. They’re awesomely capable of cognitive dissonance. They are always interrogating me, making me justify my Christianity, as though I have some radical new system of beliefs that needs to be explained.

After talking to them, I feel like I need a shower.


#7

The term “separated brethern” is gratuitus in my opinion. But since for some reason the Pope has used that term who am I to correct him.

They are “separated” from us by their own choice. Are they “brethern”? Some are but most aren"t !!

Truely, in all my 73 years I have not heard one good word about Holy Mother Church from a Protestant, Jew or Muslim. All I hear is derogatory remarks and how they can’t believe John Paul II is infallible. In my book since they are separated, I hope they keep their distance.:tiphat:


#8

Yes. Protestants are our brothers and sisters. I have experienced much sectarianism between Catholics and Protestants (such is the nature of my country!) And in my experience much of the tension on both sides tends to come from misunderstanding of each other’s beliefs. They are Christians just as we are, even though they sadly have separated themselves from us.


#9

[quote=Exporter]The term “separated brethern” is gratuitus in my opinion. But since for some reason the Pope has used that term who am I to correct him.

They are “separated” from us by their own choice. Are they “brethern”? Some are but most aren"t !!

Truely, in all my 73 years I have not heard one good word about Holy Mother Church from a Protestant, Jew or Muslim. All I hear is derogatory remarks and how they can’t believe John Paul II is infallible. In my book since they are separated, I hope they keep their distance.:tiphat:
[/quote]

With love and respect I must say that I couldn’t disagree more with this sentiment. I not only don’t hope they keep their distance I hope they come close enough to see what they’re missing and make the journey all the way home!!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#10

i think Protestants are seperated brethen. they have valid baptism but they do not hold all the beliefs of the one true church.


#11

I like to think of them as “estranged brethren.” Even on a natural level, many people have siblings with whom ties have been severed due to various wrongs and evils commited by said siblings. (For example, a brother who’s a criminal and a drugee.)

I think we can draw a parallel to the supernatual relationship between us and Protestants.

Then again, “separated” sounds nicer and is much more in-line with the current terminological usages of Holy Mother Church.


#12

Separated brethren is certainly what the Church actually uses concerning Protestants, and who are we to question its wisdom.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#13

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]I like to think of them as “estranged brethren.”
[/quote]

I like this one!


#14

There is a story that Satan turned up at the Vatican during VII and app.ied for a job. Everyone went into a frenzy and bucked the problem up to Pope John XXIII. He said they should hire him because " After all, he is one of our separated brethren."
:smiley:


#15

If one assumes that the adversary and those who serve him are hatefully trying to drive people away from the new covenant with lies and deceit, I think protestants are fighting a losing battle–over the course of generations–to hold onto the truth.

The secular sexual revolt of the 60s swept through Protestants like wildfire. Many of the fringe groups have fully departed the new covenant, some drift to cults.

It sounds hopeless. But also I do not underestimate the power of the church. God sent us a powerful Pope and the Catholics get the truth undiluted but you know that truth is proclaimed to all ears who hear. As the protestants who love God get taught error, they also can’t help but hear the distant echoes of a billion Catholics praying for and meditatinbg upon the truths in this modern world, like evangelium vitae. Even as they revile us with the hatred they have been taught, they’re love for God must make their hearts resonate when they hear the truth proclaimed, for Christ backs the truth the Church infallibly proclaims.

So keep praying, keep learning, and keep witnessing. Plant seeds, spread good soil! You make a difference even when you cannot see the difference.

:twocents:


#16

If they are really Christians, then I think of course they are brethern, but “separated brethern” as mentioned. WOW did this topic cause an upheavel with me and a Protestant friend though, when I mentioned that this is how the Pope refers to Protestants.

Protestants almost flip their wig to be referred to as “seperated brethern”. They hate this connotation.

I wonder you knowledgeable Catholics----do you think our Protestant brethern are heretics? If this word means to “pick and choose”–isn’t this what Protestants do really? Seems certainly so to me. I know they are lovers of Christ, as my whole family is, however, they’ve shut out so much of the Truth.

Wonder if saints long ago, would consider Protestants heretics today?

Any views on this?


#17

The terms “heretic” and spearated brother" are not mutually exclusive. They’re two sides to the same coin, emphasizing diffeent aspects of one’s separation from the true Church of Christ.

It is because Protestans are heretics that they are *separated * brethren, and not simply brethren.

There has been no change in the Church’s teaching regarding this since Vatican II. Merely a different tone and approach.


#18

I think of them as prodigal sons.


#19

[quote=sparkle] . . .

I wonder you knowledgeable Catholics----do you think our Protestant brethren are heretics? If this word means to “pick and choose”–isn’t this what Protestants do really? Seems certainly so to me. I know they are lovers of Christ, as my whole family is, however, they’ve shut out so much of the Truth.

. . .
[/quote]

I think the technical definition of heretic requires that one once profess the Catholic Faith and then reject portions of it. For that reason the first generation Protestants are regarded as heretics but not their descendents, who were never professing Catholics.


#20

All Protestants are material heretics. This means that their beleifs are objectively false and contrary to the True Faith.

Only those who have formally defected from the heretic are called “formal” heretics.

Only formal heretics are heretics properly so-called.


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