What is The Church?

OK - humor me.

If some protestants will be in Heaven, they will be part of the Church there. One can not be out of the Church here, and in to the Church in Heaven if the two are connected.

So protestants with saving faith are part of the Church, correct?

But according to the Council of Trent, most or all protestants have a lot of anathemas leveled against them.

When I combine this with this reality - our local parish does next to nothing in fulfilling the Great Commission and is shrinking, while it’s management goes to lunch, and talks more about recreation than the Gospel. It’s gatherings and activities seem more secular than faith focused.

The Baptist church down the road works it’s tail off, probably has 1/10th the funds, and tries to share the Gospel as much as possible - I see faith working through love more there than the Catholic parish - is it or is it not part of the Church?

Please don’t delete this before anyone replies.

The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ Who is the Head.

:thumbsup:

Exactly right. There is only one Church, which exists both on earth and in heaven.

So protestants with saving faith are part of the Church, correct?

Close, but no cigar.

Former Protestants will be (and are) part of the Church in heaven.

But according to the Council of Trent, most or all protestants have a lot of anathemas leveled against them.

Context. Context. Context.

Please be careful about applying specific canons from older Councils to the present-day. This is a very complicated issue; one that cannot be understood by reading individual sentences taken out of context.

When I combine this with this reality - our local parish does next to nothing in fulfilling the Great Commission and is shrinking, while it’s management goes to lunch, and talks more about recreation than the Gospel. It’s gatherings and activities seem more secular than faith focused.

That’s unfortunate. Still, it doesn’t change anything about our Faith.

The Baptist church down the road works it’s tail off, probably has 1/10th the funds, and tries to share the Gospel as much as possible - I see faith working through love more there than the Catholic parish - is it or is it not part of the Church?

Please don’t delete this before anyone replies.

They are still united-to the Church, even though they are not formal members-of the Church. It might seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s a very important one.

Hopefully, many of them will indeed be enjoying Eternal Life.

Your comparison is exactly what I mean about context.

At the time of the Council of Trent, it was necessary for the Church to be very firm in Her stance against Protestantism.

At the present time, we cannot blame people (like your Baptist friends) for not being formal members of the Church. We recognize that they can still do God’s work and that God is still working within them. Consequently, salvation is possible for them. It’s just not as easy for them since they lack access to the Graces of the Sacraments and the other benefits of the fullness of faith.

In an ideal world, Catholics would have the same zeal, energy, and commitment we see in our Baptist friends; and Baptists would have the Catholic faith.

Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a Fallen world.

It seems clear to me that the Church is the communion of all believers, nothing more, nothing less.

The Catholic Church is not the same as Christian Churches. To avoid misunderstandings, it is very important to be precise when talking about all believers in Jesus Christ.

That’s all I can come up with too. I know I’ll probably get knuckles wrapped for it, but if someone’s faith is enough to get them in to Heaven, it’s enough to make them part of the Church here on earth.

If not, one would be saying the standards for the earthly Church are higher than that of Heaven - which I never would say.

The Catholic Church is not the same as Christian Churches. To avoid misunderstandings, it is very important to be precise when talking about all believers in Jesus Christ.
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Again, close but not quite.

They aren’t “part of the Church” but instead are “united to the Church.”

As I wrote earlier, the distinction is subtle yet essential.

Close.

You say “all believers” but that’s not quite accurate because they have to be believers in the fullness of the faith, not just some parts of the faith.

It’s really no accident that the phrase “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic” has been used since the early days of Christianity.

The Catholic Church is not the same as Christian Churches. To avoid misunderstandings, it is very important to be precise when talking about believers in Jesus Christ.

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OP, listen to the excellent answers here.
We hope for all to come to the true Faith. We trust their souls to the loving and merciful God and pray that we ourselves may attain eternal life, together.
You can find more things to ponder upon, by reading the documents of Vatican II, They are beautifully written. Everyone should read them.
Peace.

The documents of Vatican II?

I hear much from dedicated Catholics on how those were so detrimental to the faith.

All I can say is that it’s not worth listening to those people.*


  • (the so-called “dedicated Catholics”)

Hi, Markie!

yeah… you’ve hit on one of those: :hmmm::banghead::banghead::doh2::doh2: :takethat::takethat: :takethat:

I think to better understand the anathemas we must study them, individually, and within their scope…

…then we must align our understanding of “separated brethren” with that of the Church’s understanding…

…let’s take the term “good;” many people believe that by doing “good” many will enter into Heaven; clearly, if God is “good” and He Commands man to do/be “good” then doing/being “good” is an exact obedience to God’s Command–a sure guarantee into Heaven, right?

…well, Jesus rejected (at the end of times) even some who, in His Name, cast out evil spirits and performed miracles… so how is that possible? …they did all that in His Name and He turns around and calls the “evil doers.” How can that be?

Did they do it for Jesus or for self-glorification?

…is a person “good” while he/she supports injustice and immorality and the abuse/exploitation/murder of others?

…take a “x” boss who faithfully provides and protects “his family” while oppressing/exploiting or exterminating those who he considers foes/competition–can bringing a wad of cash to Church balance out the unrighteousness committed by him or in his name?

Only God Knows who will end up in Heaven–the Church believes that the separated brethren are part of the Body of Christ and that Salvation will came to all which includes them and those who, while outside the Church, may be obedient to Yahweh God in their ignorance of Christ… but this is only the Truth from God’s perspective–anyone who willfully rejects the Holy Spirit’s Calling, Catholic, non-Catholic or non-Christian, will be held accountable to it at the final Judgment. Remember, it is the Holy Spirit Who searches each heart and spirit to determine who is God’s “friend.”

The Church is not out of place when she challenges the Believers nor is she out of place when she asserts that Judgment and Salvation must be left up to Yahweh God!

…as for the poor Stewardship… yes, the fervor and responsibility has been lost; too many times local parishes represent watering holes instead of Spiritual centers… and while the non-Catholics do seem to hold greater fervor and responsibility there are many factors that affect this… including familial bonds (these groups are usually formed by a specific number of families), size of the community, teaching that is being done, theology of their bodies…

…one more factor is the response of the laity–have you wonder why it is that “Catholics” do not become “active” till they leave the Church… and why it is that the fervor that drives them is derived from anti-Catholic feelings?

…I once heard an “ex” Catholic claim that the Catholic Church never taught him about Jesus… about having a personal relationship with Jesus… how much more personal can it get then to Consume the Body of Christ? How much more connected can a person be than to Christ Who died on the Cross to Save man?

…the problem is that “I believe in one God…” has never been accepted/internalized even and spite of professing it each day that the prayer is said, and that even today the Cross is seen as an affront not as the true Liberation of man:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]22 And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, 23 here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, 24 but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

(1 Corinthians 1:22-25)
Maran atha!

Angel

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Start with Lumen Gentium.
As a good rule of thumb, go first to what the Church herself says and offers us for guidance. That way you are equipped and have insight for when you share with people who may have other agendas. Less confusion, more peace, solid education. Todo bien :slight_smile:
God bless you.

Hi, Peter!

…in today’s world we must qualify “believers.”

…there are many who claim to be “believers” and they espouse all sorts of agendas with Christ–including an “invisible” church; no Sacraments, no Holy Trinity, no Divinity of Christ, entertainment centers as holy gatherings, adultery, abortion, and homosexuality…

Maran atha!

Angel

Hi, Markie!

…again, “faith” must be qualified by God, not us…

…many times I’ve hear from the Catholic pulpit that we are all God’s children… yeah… not!

…“good feeling” theology does not quite make it… just check St. John’s 1 and 3.

It is God Who determines if anyone actually makes it into Heaven.

The Church uses a terminology that is wide and generous… but Jesus was quite exacting: ‘enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction.’

…the Church’s understanding is that it is God Who will determine… and the cautionary tale is that “self-assurance” is low on reality as many who believe themselves to be “Saved” or Heaven bound can miss the target while some of those who may have been judged as hell bound would actually end up in Heaven…

…all dogs go to Heaven is more of that hollowood’s spirituality!

Maran atha!

Angel

Hi, Markie!

…could it be that the liberties taken by those who reject the Church’s Authority led them to conclude that they could worship or decree things according to their own appetites?

Could you cite a teaching of Vatican II that was detrimental to the Faith?

Maran atha!

Angel

I have read most of this thread and it seems like
you all have come to a consensus, that the Church
is a gathering of believers who are united to do
good deeds, to teach accurate doctrine on life
and morals AND to spread the gospel, (I don’t like
the idea of “saving” people just so that they can
stab you in the back when they stray from grace!!)

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