I’m very comfortable explaining the faith to anyone who challenges, but there are a couple areas that I’ve recently realized I need to be able to explain more eloquently. Wondering if anyone can help.
The first is in Gal. 4, where “Bible Christians” seem to believe that by having holy days of obligation and required fasting, the church is falling back into the “observance of days” for which the Judiazers (sp?) were criticized. Can anyone help me with a clear and practical explanation of how our required days of Mass and fasting or abstinence differs from those that were criticized early on.
Secondly, I went to the Greek food fest at the Orthodox church. Their pamphlets, of course, contend that the Catholic church broke from the Orthodox churches, and not, of course, from the other way around. They contend that the “Patriarch of Rome” was just one of five, and that he broke away in an attempt to grab power. Now, I know this is all silly, especially because the early writings show a clear deference to Rome. My question is this: Today is the memorial of St. John Crystosom (sp?), who my missal identifies as the Patriarch of constantinople. How do I define Patriarch to others? Is it just a term for a glorified arch-bishop, so to speak? One who has great jurisdiction over an area, but must ultimately submit to Rome?
Hate to “bump” my own post, but I really need help on these before it slips away down the forum stream. Thanks.
I’m not familiar with Christ ever criticizing the sabbath or fasting, so long as one did it in love and reverence and not fear of the law. To respond to the question, I would point out when the people came to Jesus and asked why the disciples of JOhn the Baptist fasted, but His didn’t. Jesus replied simply that the bridgegroom was with them, and once he left, the disciples would be called to fast again.
The Eastern Orthodox “church” is not one unified church. It is a collection of smaller churches all in communion with eachother. A patriarch is a head of one of the churches.
Benedict XVI is
The Patriarch of the West
The Bishop of Rome
along with a lot of other titles.
Patriarchs today are generally those who elect priests to be elevated to bishop. Then Rome is informed of the election.
For example the Patriarch of Bahgdad, Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church is Emmanuel Delly
Patriarch of Alexandria, Head of the Coptic Catholic Church is Amba Andraos Gattas (who took the name Stephanos II)
These are all parts of the Church. The Patriarch of the West or of the Roman Rite (the Pope) gets to elect bishops for the Western or Roman Catholic Church.
Oftentimes Roman Catholic Church is used to refer to the entire Church, but it properly only refers the the Church under the Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West.
See the Catholic Encylopedia for a good explanation