The examples of changes that you mention in this thread are additional devotions, not changed doctrines. I hope your friend isn’t saying that we can’t introduce new pictures and devotional practices – heck, new icons have emerged all the time in Church history whenever a new saint was made. He seems to be saying that the Sacred Heart image is “bad” because it wasn’t used by the earliest Christians, but does he apply that standard to icons of Eastern saints like Saints Cyril and Methodius who only died in the ninth century? Their icons couldn’t have been honored in the fourth century any more than the image of the Sacred Heart was, because neither picture existed yet; but they are both part of our tradition because honoring the Saints and honoring the humanity of Christ do go back to the beginning.
Since I’m on the topic, some of the examples he cites are not really new. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an example of being devoted to His Sacred Humanity, which goes way back – the Council of Ephesus defined the dogma of the Hypostatic Union by which Christ’s humanity, including His heart, was united to His divine person and can be honored with the adoration of latria. If early Christians honored His humanity, and they did, then they honored His heart, because that is part of His humanity.
I have defended the faith, but he makes the claim that the “traditional Catholicism” I support is just the remnant of Pre Vatican 2 Catholicism that was not even believed before the First Vatican council!
He needs to provide examples of things that are believed now that weren’t believed before the first Vatican Council. Right now all we have is his say-so. Where’s the proof?
In reality all of our doctrines can be found in the early Fathers of both east and west – let him cite an example of a teaching introduced by the Vatican Councils and I’ll show you where the Church Fathers taught it.
I’m confused. He also made the claim that we as Roman Catholics believe in many Frankish innovations such as the immaculate heart of Mary, Latin being the Holy Language of the Church, and even stated that I do not belong to the early Church since the Sacred Heart and stations of the cross and many other traditional devotions cannot be found in the early church.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus go back to the Bible.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary: Luke 2:16-19, Luke 2:35 in some translations, and Luke 2:51.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Matthew 11:29, Psalms 69:20, Psalms 22:14, Psalms 16:9, Psalms 40:7-8
You can find plenty of Church Fathers who meditated on those passages as an early form of devotion to the hearts of Mary and Jesus.
The use of the Latin language was part of the Eastern empire too, at least in the time of Emperor Justinian the Great who released the Justinian Codes in Latin. The New Testament mentions three languages in Luke 23:38 and John 19:20 – Hebrew, Greek, and Latin were the earliest languages in which the name of Jesus and His title “King of the Jews” were first announced to the nations. I think it is fitting that one of these languages would be used by the Jews and the other two by the two lungs of the Church.
Regarding the Stations of the Cross, early commentaries on the Passion narrative focused on individual elements of His passion in the same way the Stations do, and there are early churches from the 400s that were constructed together with each one being devoted to a different station. From this evidence we can know that the devotion to the individual stations does indeed go back to the early Church, but again, this is a devotion and it wouldn’t matter if it was introduced later – the early Church certainly honored Jesus’ Passion, and the Stations are just one way of doing that.
Regardless the quotes I give him from the Early Church fathers, he says us “Latins” and even the Saints he accepts such as Ambrose had the faith wrong in the West.
Lol, Ambrose was so Eastern it’s not even funny. Not only did he study his theology in the writings of the Greek fathers, but he corresponded with St. Basil of Caesarea and helped introduce St. Athanasius’ form of Eastern monasticism to the West. Besides, if the western Church was preaching a different gospel at this time, why didn’t the eastern Church speak up and say so? Isn’t the defense of the faith against heresy one of the duties of bishops? Their silence about any heresies of the West confirms the West’s orthodoxy and the unity of their common faith. There is nothing you can find in a Western doctor like Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome or Hilary that you can’t find in an Eastern doctor like Basil, Gregory, Athanasius or Chrysostom. These men not only knew about each other, but many of them corresponded with one another and cited each others’ testimony in controversies.
I even gave reference to the Patriarch of the East, Michael Celuarius, denied the Pope and many other teachings, but he says it is Roman Catholic propaganda.
It’s propaganda now that the East rejects the papacy? I think I must be missing something. If he thinks the East accepts the papacy, why are you even arguing?
He even states that we are not the true Church due to liberalism found in some “novus ordo” parishes, which keeps him from converting and made him come to the conclusion that Eastern Orthodoxy is the true ancient faith.
I suppose he thinks liberalism has never affected the Eastern churches too, huh? How about the early innovative movements of Monophysitism, Nestorianism, and Arianism? Not only were these ideas found in some Eastern churches, they were made Eastern dogma in various sees like Constantinople and Alexandria. Only the See of Rome has never held a heretic. Both our churches have had heretics in the local parishes, but only ours has never changed our dogmas.