What does everyone think of this quote?

This just popped up on the “Catholic Quotes” section:

“What rascal, what traitor, what madman would be so misled by the spirit of discord as to dare rend the Divine unity, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Jesus Christ?”
– Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, martyr, saint; in early writings (De eccl., unit., viii; circa A.D. 250), saw no legitimate reason for schism.

In light of this quote form an Early Father, how can any sort of schism, whether it be the original reformers, or Rick Warren starting his own church, be justified?:shrug:

Because Protestants do not care about what church elders said. Everything they want to see is in the Bible. The idea of using quotes from church elders to justify something is uniquely Catholic…it’s a part of the sacred tradition of the church.

By the way, I love the saint in your signature. (St.Thomas More)

That is a broad brush you are painting with. Some Lutherans and Anglicans do actually pay attention to the Fathers.

Fair enough. The most common response is that whenever we say “church,” we are talking about the unity of all Christian believers instead of one orthodoxy.

Carl,
I think it is a strong indictment against all of us. As the Catholic Catechism says about the Reformation, there was blame on all sides.
While some would say that doctrinal differences are good cause for division, I would say this can only be true in a temporary sense. We must always be seeking through dialogue the unity that Christ calls us to. I would say that being comfortable in schism is worse than schism itself.
Were we honest, we would find whose at fault for schism… when we each look in the mirror. Pray our Lord forgives us all.

Jon

Thank you Jon. I was hoping you would see this thread. As always, your response was insightful, and above all charitable. You actually give me hope that someday in the future, even if it not in my lifetime, that the Church of Christ may be one again.

Thanks, Carl.

Originally Posted by AJTheMan
Because Protestants do not care about what church elders said. Everything they want to see is in the Bible. The idea of using quotes from church elders to justify something is uniquely Catholic…it’s a part of the sacred tradition of the church.

First, as Carl said, check the writings of Lutherans and Anglicans. I wouldn’t even say it is uniquely Catholic, as that ignores the obvious - Orthodoxy.

There is an element of truth though, in what you say. Some Protestants don’t care about the ECF’s, and Catholics and Orthodox do view Tradition differently.

Jon

Even though some of my posts have been “grumpy”, my desire has always been to find the Truth, and to tell people of what I believe to be the Truth. I find it just as disrespectful to say “Protestants completely ignore the Fathers” as “Catholics completely ignore the Scriptures,” neither of which is true. Just about every Protestant adheres to something an Early Father or Doctor of the Church has said, even if they don’t realize it. (Love the sinner, hate the sin, for example comes from St. Augustine). As a Lutheran, you have taught me much about more liturgical forms of Protestantism, as I hope that I have helped to guide you in a firmer understanding of Catholicism.

You, and others at CAF have. I am thankful for it. I believe we all grow closer by knowing what is true about each other. You commented earlier about different usages and definitions of commons terms. THis is an example of how dialogue, understanding the meanings of what others say, can help bridge the gaps that have formed over 500 years.

Jon

Does difference of opinion justify schism, though? Isn’t it better not to leave the Church and to correct error (which was not doctrinal) from within? How does the one who leaves the Church benefit from leaving? Can being in schism ever be better than being in unity (of belief - the meaning of catholic (small c) properly understood)?

On the doctrinal differences in Christian churches - What justifies changing doctrine?

These aren’t questions to “challenge” your position. I’m just picking your brain. :wink:

How do Lutherans feel about reconciliation with the CC? Which doctrinal points are the stumbling blocks?

I’m glad to see that some are reading the “Catholic Quotes” located on the right hand side. I find them very informing and historical of the original Church. It also brings to mind that if our Mormon friends would read them, it also shows that there was never an Apostasy in the Church.

There isn’t.

The question, of course, is…who were the schismatics, and who were the ‘originals?’

There are a great many opinions about that–about as many as there are/were schisms…:wink:

Who the originals is clear. Do you believe that God would allow the church to fall in to apostasy immediately? Or do you believe a known occultist and charlatan who saw money in religion and just invented one some 1800 years after the ressurrection?

CWBetts:

“What rascal, what traitor, what madman would be so misled by the spirit of discord as to dare rend the Divine unity, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Jesus Christ?”
– Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, martyr, saint; in early writings (De eccl., unit., viii; circa A.D. 250), saw no legitimate reason for schism.

I think everyone above has contributed some great insight into this question. I might add that in St. Cyprian’s time there was far more chance of schism being due to localized false teachings (such as the Arianism that was about to rear its ugly head) than being due to abuses. As most of us know, this is why the term “catholic” - meaning that which is everywhere believed - was used to isolate these small pockets of heresy.

For this reason, its very difficult to apply St. Cyprian’s question to the age of Martin Luther. Jon touched upon this idea, and I think we have to be fair about it. Yes, indeed, there was “blame on all sides” by the 16th century… and the Catholic counter reformation is a clear testimony to this fact. As a recent convert to Catholicism (from Anglicanism), I have to NOW admit that what Luther did was ultimately wrong… but it certainly wasn’t an easy decision for any devout Christian to make at the time. May Christ forgive him!

Having said all this, let me just say that hindsight is 20/20. If Luther’s break with the Holy See was very difficult, each successive break has been decidedly less so. The process has accelerated, and the schisms within protestantism over the last two centuries have long past the saturation point. That’s where the false road of sola scriptura, coupled with a loss of respect for sacred traditions and the writings of the early church fathers, has finally lead.

And so NOW this quote from St. Cyprian has come back to haunt us. The problem is, sadly, I don’t think Rick Warren really cares… :frowning:

What is unity ? And why ? And why is schism wrong ?

As to the book itself - is this from the shorter or longer edition of the De Unitate ? Without knowing that, it’s not possible to tell whether or not those words represent his final position. The solution is probably to read the edition of Father Bevenot - which may not yet be out of copyright.

Cyprian’s ecclesiology is less nuanced than that of V2. This complicates matters: we must not fall into a Fundamentalism of the Fathers to match the Biblical Fundamentalism of other Christians.

(grin)

Not so much to those who lost the PR war.

I believe that God allows us to excercise our free will. So, yeah, He would. And did.

Dontcha just love begging the question and poisoning the well as debate tactics?

It is historical fact that Joseph Smith was a con man.

:ehh:

See, the problem here is that I don’t happen to believe that he WAS a con man, and certainly do not believe that history proves that he was. Since I do not believe this, then we do not share a common agreement about your bald assertion.

It’s a bit of a conversation stopper, that.

Kalt,
The part I bolded is the easiest of some very difficult question you’ve asked, at least for me. No, being in unity of belief - catholic - would always be far better. No one questions that the ministry of Christ, be it in Rome, Wittenburg, Jerusalem, is wounded by our divisions.

Does difference of opinion justify schism? Perhaps (unfairly?) let me respond to it this way: would the CC open up to full communion with Lutherans with the expressed intent of clearing up doctrinal differences while in unity, instead of division? (Would Lutherans agree to it?)
Or, what about an ecumenical council, including all parties, called by the Pope, to come to unity?

Must go, but will respond again later. THere are challenging questions, and I do understand the spirit in which you ask, kalt.

Jon

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