This started as a conversation about Marian dogmas, but I think it has reached the point where it needs it own thread (assuming it will continue of course) so as not to disrupt the thread it was on …
The Polish National Catholic Church does not believe in the Immaculate Conception? :hmmm:
*We also reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception promulgated by Pius IX in 1854 in defiance of the Holy Scriptures and in contradiction to the Tradition of the first centuries.
We further reject the dogmatization of the Catholic teaching of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pius XII in 1950 as being in defiance of the Holy Scriptures.
Keep in mind, from how I read it, they’re only rejecting the dogma, not the belief.
And to the thread in general, the gist of the idea in the previous conversation is that here you have a whole church that denies the Pope, and Papal infallibility (while recognizing that Rome was first amongst equals), they don’t believe you have to be dogmatic in the belief of the IC and Assumption… so why can a whole church commune with Rome if they believe all those things, but Rome won’t let an individual that believes those things commune?
The PNCC has valid bishops in apostolic succession and a valid priesthood, Eucharist, and the other sacraments. Protestants have none of those things except valid Baptisms and Holy Matrimony.
If a Protestant believes as the Catholic Church does regarding the Eucharist, he has no business being a Protestant. He should join a Church with a valid Eucharist.
But that is exactly the point; it isn’t enough to profess faith in Jesus, the gospel, the real presence, Apostolic succession, etc… I still wouldn’t be allowed to join the RCC/ECC. If we are all concerned about unity, we need to ask these very important questions. The way you write it, it isn’t important that I belong the RCC/ECC, just that I find a church with valid sacraments… as defined by the RCC/ECC I presume?
What is it about me, then, that makes me able to receive communion at an RCC/ECC just because I join a different church? One day I’m unacceptable to commune with Rome, the next I am, even though my beliefs don’t change in the slightest.
It’s a fascinating conundrum. Perhaps the Catholic answer lies in not only the intent of the person seeking communion, but also their formation.
Your question contains its own answer: an individual Christian isn’t the same as a church.
I’m sorry, but that doesn’t answer the question, esp. since the RCC/ECC claim there is only one true organizational church. If I wanted to go join a church with the beliefs in the hypothetical, Rome would turn me away, but would instantly accept me if I joined up with the PNCC. It doesn’t make sense to one such as me. More importantly it has implications for the unity (and disunity) of believers, and the effects that restrictions can have on believers as the Body of Christ.
But from a Catholic viewpoint, isn’t the individual Christian part of the Catholic church - though an in an imperfect form regardless if they’re on their own or in the PNCC?
It makes the question even more interesting…
Not so! We believe that there is one church in the sense of “one holy catholic and apostolic church” but we do *not *deny that there are many churches. Heck, the Roman Communion (which, sadly, some people call the “Roman Church”) is made up of 23 different churches – see Which Catholic Church do you belong to?
So, Rome then admits that it is possible to have different fundamental beliefs and still be a true church, and part of the one church? So, why would they exclude someone from membership that they would accept if the person goes to a different church? It would seem like an unnecessary division.
He should join the Catholic Church. He shouldn’t just join a church with a valid Eucharist.
The other Catholic churches have the same faith and acknowledge the pope. The PNCC ia different. The PNCC at the very least does not acknowledge the pope’s proper authority and may very well deny other Catholic doctrines (I do not know much about the PNCC). My understanding is that the Catholic Church generally allows Orthodox Christians to receive communion from Catholic priests even though there are currently doctrinal disagreements as well. My understanding is that from the Catholic view, this is not an expression of communion between churches so much as a desire to make the sacraments available to Christians who are disposed to receive them despite the problems originating from the leadership.
P.S. I may have exaggerated a bit by saying “contains its own answer”. But anyhow you can see my point: the question shouldn’t be “Why *wouldn’t *we treat an individual the same as a Church?” but rather “Why *would *we treat an individual the same as a Church?”
I’m not trying to be intentionally obtuse (I do that unintentionally enough already :D), but you have to understand where I’m coming from; low-church protestant that believes an individual’s faith and understanding is key. So, one day my faith and understanding is exactly the same as the next, the only difference is one church leader accepted me, when the other would not, and THEN the first accepts me too… It leaves my love of logic a little short.
Don’t get me wrong; the RCC/ECC, or any other church, has every human right to do so, it just leaves one such as me . If we are responsible for how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, it would, I think, matter just as much on the individual level as on the corporate level. I can see the loophole here, but I just think it odd that if I confess my allegiance to a different set of beliefs even MORE contrary to the first church than when I started, then the first church will accept me.
Well, I didn’t say “If the one accepts you, then the other with accept you.” I said that if someone joins the PNCC, then he/she will be allowed to receive communion from Catholic priests. Two different verbs.
Oh, I agree, but in the application and outcome I see similarities.
There are not different fundamental beliefs. They all accept the Pope.