This post was brought over from a closed thread entitled "Believing all the Teachings of the Church on the apologetics forum
Originally Posted by jmcrae
I agree with this. (The Catholic Church is not a denomination: it is the original that was founded by Christ. The various different denominations divided away from the Catholic Church because they could not agree with certain essential teachings - different ones in each case.)
Response by Carol Coombe
Let me differ. The Catholic Church of Rome was founded by Christ and His apostles. In that sense it is the Mother Church. Its early life was miraculous and mostly blessed. Then things got very sticky during the Mediaeval period. We all know the story so I shall not go into the details of usury, simony, dual papacies, non-celibate religious (including Popes), wars and rumours of war, and serious Machiavellian strife.
There was rebellion within the Church. Martin Luther spoke out - and there are some religious who now believe that if the Church had engaged with Luther there would not have been a schism. Henry VIII had his own very personal reasons for splitting and founding his English church. There were other scholars, clergy and laymen however, who established a different Christian tradition which continues to this day.
The Methodists, the Baptists, the United Church of Canada and of Zambia, the Quakers, the Presbyterians, the Anglicans and others are customarily referred to as ‘Protestants’, and the Mother Church as the ‘Roman Catholic Church’. It is assumed by Catholics that the RCC is not a Christian denomination, but still the epitome of Christian faith, unique and infallible wrt the universal church.
Are your saying that, in the light of all the above, that The Catholic Church lost her infallibility? That she is no longer the one true church?
It is time to stop calling Churches that quit the authority of the Roman Church ‘Protestants’ (from ‘protest’) or to describe them as ‘non-Catholics’. They are no longer protesting, and they are not non-Catholics: they are what they are in their own right. The RCC is as much a denomination as any other Christian Church of merit.
If they are no longer protesting, then why are they still “quit”? How are they not "non-Catholics?
The Catholic Church Church It is the repository, constant and reasonably consistent, of the history of our faith. No other Church has this capacity. The commitment of the Catholic Church to teaching the faith, within varying cultural contexts of course, to young people worldwide is outstanding. The Church is a global educator, with regional and local variations, and as such a generator, promoter and perpetuator of humane values.
The Church hierarchy and all its administrative outposts represent an international structure which is highly visible, reasonably well organised, and in most places committed to socioeconomic development. RCC has the potential administrative capacity to do much in the world that is humane. The Church, and its clergy, have brought comfort to millions. The Church’s fundamental care and compassion (especially after Vatican II), its practical response to human suffering, and its growing awareness of its responsibilities to individual and collective suffering make it a principal power for the relief of distress. And of course many thought John Paul II was a pretty good guy.
Beyond that however, let us think outside our boxes, change our mental landscapes, and create a level playing field here. RCC is no longer ‘king of the castle’ with others coming to it for instruction and advice, or monitoring their own performance against its criteria. It is time to recognise that Christians who do not accept the principal tenets of the Catholic faith are simply themselves - Christians by another name which re
flects their own beliefs, drawn from various sources [and don’t bother to post a reply on cafeteria choices], according to their own environment, needs and cultural contexts.
I also have a problem with that “king of the castle” thinking. Jesus was very clear in His teachings that the one who wants to be the head must be the servant of all. You have noted truthfully that there have been popes that did not life out this teaching in their personal lives, fell into temporal wars, greed, and abandoned their celibate vows. I suppose you could call them those Cafeteria Christians that you are saying I should not bother posting about. It seems like your solution is to disregard the notion that Jesus would preserve His church through all this, and that every believer should choose what works best for themselves.