May I observe that it is inimical to an alleged desire for dialogue to make a valid polemical point in ifself by denying others an appellation (Church) commonly and longtime accepted and used by the English speaking world.
If the post was addressed to your good self, and if you had something significant to address I would have .
Yes, of course. Sorry if I was unclear. I was referencing this comment:
Referring to “ecclesial communities” is not only helpful but PREVENTS false ecumenism. I was careful not to include the word “false” in the link, but I wanted there to be an accurate document in response to the comment.
The assertion seemed to be that this distinction is contrary to ecumenism. I think the opposite is true.
No one can “deny” their choice to refer to themselves as Churches. On the contrary, there is no effort made to prevent this. The CC is focused on educating the faithful in appropriate theology and approaches to ecumenism.
Colloquialisms, though common are not usually conducive to productive theological dialogue. Any such dialogue must, by necessity, begin with a definition of terms. That being the case, persons such as myself who enjoy interaction with our separated brethren will quickly arrive at the concept of “ecclesial community”.
Even the document itself accepts that these communities are called Churches…though not “properly” so.
Use of the word “false” by lay commentators is then beyond the pale and not helpful for dialogue and a good faith, humble approach to reconciliation.
May as well call all persons in active 2nd marriages adulterers…even though some are now not necessarily barred from Communion.
Colloquialisms, though common are not usually conducive to productive theological dialogue
You may not have quite got it yet. It is not a colloquialism, it is how most speakers of English use the word. Maybe its a good think to start out using the word the way the people we are allegedly reaching out to define it?
To not do so is as helpful as continuing to assert bread is not physically present in the Eucharist. By todays definition of the word “physical” (not Aristotles) that statement should be quite acceptable to educated Catholics. Yet, as the recent closure of that topic demonstrates, many Catholics still want to fight to the death denying that…purely due to a tired outdated definition that modern english people simply do not use or understand anymore.
The CC is focused on educating the faithful in appropriate theology and approaches to ecumenism.
Redefining a commonly used word to meet ones own community’s differing theology makes as much sense as trying to stop the word “marriage” from changing. The word stopped meaning what Catholics understand by that word long before the gay lobby changed legislation.
Keeping to an archaic vocabulary while the world moves on, like medieval standards of episcopal accountability, is a fruitless exercise. It advances confusion re ecumenical understandings and unskills the laity in how to charitably and effectively deal with the outside world. Nothing to do with theology but polemics. Effective apolgetics/dialogue starts with the worlds definitions rather than ours.
Sure, thats just my opinion. But unlike many isolated Euro Catholics here I live in a truly multicultural, multi religious society which is not a culturally Christian nation.
If you have never lived outside of America or Europe then our differing views are due to chasms of difference in lived experience not theology.
I on the otherhand am happy to refer to people by their commonly accepted names without the pettiness of insisting a boy should not be called Sue because it doesnt meet my standards. Better I suggest is to call him Sue and explain why that is an obstacle to being closer friends. Now that is a more charitable and honest approach that might work…trivial though that obstacle is.
Indeed. This is an acknowledgment of your point - that it is a common colloquialism to refer to them as such, even though they are not.
I think you are trying to say that the characteriztion of these communities as ecclesial rather than “churches” is insulting and derogatory?
Pretending that Catholics who are having sex outside of their marriage are not adulterers is not loving. It is not loving to hide or avoid the Truth.
And this reverses what the Apostles taught how?
Sometimes, perhaps. But pretending that the facts are not the facts is ultimately self defeating.
I think you are saying that you do not believe in Transubstantiation?
Whether or no, you seem to be saying that modern language uses should govern how we communicate the Truths of the faith.
This is an interesting point. Our faith is rooted in ancient languages and meanings, such that modern language may not communicate in the same way that it was passed to us from the Apostles.
The words of St. Paul come to mind:
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Other versions say " study to show thyself approved". The Greek σεαυτοῦ indicates one should “throw oneself” into study.
I agree with you that there is an impossible gap between modern English and the ancient languages and concepts that inform our faith. Each of us has an obligation to ‘throw ourselves’ into study, that we may be approved.
I think you chose a poor example, here , since the USA recently changed the legal meaning of “marriage”.
In any case, the ancient understanding of the term is the one to which Catholics are bound to adhere. It is the modern “redefinition” that has created problems. This is true for all Reformation Theology. The Reformers redefined terms to suit their own man-made theologies.
The fact that modern culture has redefined terms does not dispense Catholics from adhering to the meaning that was passed down from the Apostles. I agree that we have semantics problems, but the basic premise of apologetics is for us to give an account of the One Faith which has been committed to us.
"…but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you…1 Peter 3:15
The Hope that is in us does not come from “modern English vocabulary” but from the faith that was entrusted to us from Jesus, through the Apostles. It is incumbent upon us to find ways to communicate this faith despite the changing meanings of words in modern culture.
On the contrary, language is inseparably intertwined with culture. We have been given a culture of faith that Jesus promised would be preserved by the Holy Spirit. It may seem like an “archaic fruitless exercise” to you, but to those of us that cherish the once for all Divine Deposit of faith, it is an inestimable treasure that can never be set aside -a pearl of great price for which one might sell everything one has.
I am very curious what this means, but I suspect it is outside the scope of this thread.
Is accountability to one’s Bishop related to salvation of non-Catholics prior to Vatican II?
I think you are saying that understanding and promulgating the ancient meaning of the words “unskills the laity”? I find this baffling. On the contrary, when the laity are fluent in the ancient meaning of the language, they are in a much better position to be charitable and effective.
I am not sure what you mean by " outside world". The laity live in that world. They are “inside” it not outside.
Well, from my perspective, that is backwards. People who don’t know the ancient meanings of the words that describe their faith have no business doing apologetics, as they are insufficiently catechized for the task.
Theres nothing more to be said.
One of us lives in a world where the definitions of a wider society should be respected charitably and used to engage as a positive and generous good faith stepping stone to discussing actual religious differences (not words).
The other sees Catholicism as a time bubble or a fortress where the world must not only engage us on our theological terms but also our increasingly dissonant polemical vocabulary as well.
Good luck with your approach.
It doesnt embody true Christian principles nor common sense to me.
I think you and I both live in that world. In fact, I think every human being lives in that world.
Charitable respect and ability to engage in positive and generous good faith does not equate to giving up one’s faith to fit in with others.
I think you have misunderstood. You are right that there are immutable aspects of the faith, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But apologetics is about the faithful engaging the world, not forcing the world to comply to our faith. It is incumbent upon us to present a paradosis that is authentic. We need to understand our own theological terms, not expect that others will. κατηχέω = to faithfully echo. A person who is well catechized will be able to faithfully echo the One Faith that has been handed down to us from the Apostles.
You imply that this way of being in the world may alienate us from the modern culture, and there is truth to that. We are in the world, but not “of” it, and we must resist the world squeezing us into its mold. The faith rightfully lived is a contradiction in the world.
May I respectfully observe that if we cannot even engage the world using its own language (which necessitates constant re formulating of our timeless (and essentially wordless values/truths) then we are not even “in” the world. We are in an irrelevent time bubble…which in my opinion we largely have been for the last 200 years or so. Top levels of the Church are adapting, the average laity not so much.
But as I say our diffs are due to lived experience more than theology. Over and out.
I absolutely agree, and St. Paul gives use excellent examples of this during his evangelistic tours. His experience at the Aeropagus comes to mind, where he held forth with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.
Being able to engage the world with it’s languages and cultures does not mean we give up our own. If I were to evangelize the deaf, and learned sign language to do so, it would not mean I have to give up my own vocabulary. We would learn from one another in order to share ideas.
This explains a lot!
I am not sure what this means. You seem to be a proponent of modernism.
You seem to pride yourself on your cosmopolitan status, and discount those that do not share it. One has to wonder how well you are connecting in Christ with people. You seem to be promoting a style/method of reaching others that are different that you do not, yourself, embody.
How can you authentically promote your view when you do this “over and out” thing with others who see things differently?
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