The Implicit Message of Inequality in Catholicism?


The other aspect of this argument (in the classic sense) is the conflating “chosen” with “above” or “more special.”

Certainly your pastor friend does not believe every Christian is called/chosen to be a pastor/teacher.

Not every man is called to be priest (in the sacramental sense). Not every man is called to celibacy.


If the pastor is from Assembly of God (a Pentecostal denomination), he’ll be very familiar with the idea of gifts of the Spirit, and how people with different gifts have different roles while being equal in Christ.

Before I was a Catholic, I saw lots of Protestant teachers trying to figure out just what was meant today by the “gift of apostleship” (Eph 4:11, I Cor 12:28). To Catholics, it’s clear: Those with the gift of apostleship are those who become bishops. It’s not an inequity, it’s serving according to the gift you were given.

(By the way, I think Pentecostals have some advantages in coming into the Church. They’re more aware of the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit, so understanding what happens at Baptism and Confirmation is a little easier. Once they grasp the idea that anything happens at Baptism, that is. They’re used to miracles being active today, so turning bread into His Body and wine into Precious Blood is no big deal, of course God can do it, once they grasp that God said He would do it.)


I probably could have been more clear in my initial explanation, but yes, it is the same Chi Alpha you speak of.

Interestingly, I was affiliated with Chi Alpha in college for more over a year (maybe two even) before I happened, by pure chance, to see on a Chi Alpha flyer that it was directed by the Assemblies of God denomination, the very same denomination in which I was first exposed to Christianity as a child. :o So it seems my particular Chi Alpha chapter never emphasized that.

They do welcome anyone to join and work with them (even non-Christians), which is what I was trying to say by ‘non-denominational’. I sometimes forget that Non-denominational has practically turned out to be a denomination of its own. :confused: Their mode of worship and teaching is very much an off-shoot of the Assemblies of God/Evangelical approach.


I would like to share my experiemce as a Protestant. I was Protestant for 12 years. During those years, I went to seminary and was myself a minister for 3 years. I thank God for my experience as a Protestant, I think it helped me to be a better Catholic.

So I do not want to come off as bitter in my criticism. If it does I apologize. But my impression of the Protestant evangelical churches is that they were not very egalatarian. I have been in several different mega-churches, and I knew many of these “super-pastors” seemed to have ego problems. It seems that the whole service centered around the minister’s sermon. And I especially find most of those television evangelists seem in be egostistical. Flip the channel between EWTN and CBN and see what I mean. I find that priests, especially the orthodox ones, in general to be far more humble that their orthodox Protestant counterparts.

So if the Protestant churches are more egalatarian than the Catholic church, you would expect to find their ministers to be more humble than the Catholic priests. But I did not find this the case.


I think it can be seen in scripture that from the earliest days of the Christian community, there was a certain organisation which was heirarchical in nature. After the death of Jesus, the church was headed by the major apostles. The church communities which existed after the death of the Apostles had certain rules for leadership and who could become a leader, and there were also different roles for people in the church and also a sort of heirarchy.

I think it is reasonable for an argument to be put forward there is Apostolic succession and a heirarchy in the church focused around a formal heirarchy of bishops, priests and deacons. Given some churches (such as the Roman Catholic church) are very large and diverse, it is not surprising a certain structure and heirarchy has developed which they feel is the best one and reflects their view of the gospel. Whether such an organisation is the best possible one though, is I think an open question.


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