What should Catholics do?

What do you think? Should the Catholic Church rescind teachings such as Purgatory, The Immaculate Conception, Papal Primacy, etc. in order to fascilitate unification with the Orthodox Churches?

Or would that be going too far?

There are more differences, add them into the list!.

Cross yourselves backwards (right, then left), maybe?

I suspect that this has less to do with doctrine than men giving up their toys. A matter of who is holier than who, BTW we might have to give up benches, too.

Think of the animosity between the Samaritans and the Judeans. The Samaritans were left in their homeland and in many ways continued to worship God in the Mosaic tradition. Remember the Samaritan woman’s point about not understanding temple worship when the mountain-top was good enough for their forefathers?

The Judeans that were carried off to Babylon were wined-and-dined. When they were allowed to return, suddenly Jehovah needed a temple – just like the Babylonian gods enjoyed.

JPII did a wonderful job of trying to bridge the gap, but the Russian response was cold. Even the return of priceless icons couldn’t stop them from snubbing the Holy Father’s efforts.

I think it’s going to take more time.

[quote=TomK]I suspect that this has less to do with doctrine than men giving up their toys. A matter of who is holier than who, BTW we might have to give up benches, too.

Think of the animosity between the Samaritans and the Judeans. The Samaritans were left in their homeland and in many ways continued to worship God in the Mosaic tradition. Remember the Samaritan woman’s point about not understanding temple worship when the mountain-top was good enough for their forefathers?

The Judeans that were carried off to Babylon were wined-and-dined. When they were allowed to return, suddenly Jehovah needed a temple – just like the Babylonian gods enjoyed.

JPII did a wonderful job of trying to bridge the gap, but the Russian response was cold. Even the return of priceless icons couldn’t stop them from snubbing the Holy Father’s efforts.

I think it’s going to take more time.
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I’m not holding my breath.

To use a popular phrase “H*** NO!”

[quote=Subrosa]What do you think? Should the Catholic Church rescind teachings such as Purgatory, The Immaculate Conception, Papal Primacy, etc. in order to fascilitate unification with the Orthodox Churches?

Or would that be going too far?

There are more differences, add them into the list!.
[/quote]

The church cannot change any doctrines or teachings in order to facilitate unification. The church cannot compromise truth in order to increase its numbers. Papal Primacy is probably the most obvious one in your list. Without Papal Primacy, we wouldn’t be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. In order for any church to merge into the Catholic Church, they would have to recognize the pope as Peter’s successor and the undisputed head of the church on earth. One faith, one baptism, one church, one leader, etc.

[quote=TomK]I suspect that this has less to do with doctrine than men giving up their toys. A matter of who is holier than who, BTW we might have to give up benches, too.

Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, etc., are doctrines.
The Church’s refusal to give them up is not a matter of “giving up our toys”.

Think of the animosity between the Samaritans and the Judeans. The Samaritans were left in their homeland and in many ways continued to worship God in the Mosaic tradition. Remember the Samaritan woman’s point about not understanding temple worship when the mountain-top was good enough for their forefathers?

And Christ’s answer to her, in part? “You worship what you do not know: we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” Some disagreements are a matter of preference: not all. Sometimes one group is objectively right and the other is objectively wrong. We can’t alter doctrine to please others.

The Judeans that were carried off to Babylon were wined-and-dined.

The Judeans that were carried off to Babylon were slaves to the Babylonians.

When they were allowed to return, suddenly Jehovah needed a temple – just like the Babylonian gods enjoyed.

The first Temple in Jerusalem was built by King Solomon - quite a long time before the Babylonian exile.

JPII did a wonderful job of trying to bridge the gap, but the Russian response was cold. Even the return of priceless icons couldn’t stop them from snubbing the Holy Father’s efforts.

I think it’s going to take more time.

[/quote]

I’ve interpolated my response into TomK’s post, using bold to seperate them. Not sure if that works as well on this forum as on others, so let’s see if it does…

Edit: It worked. :slight_smile:

I think the Orthodox agree with these doctrines but don’t realize it! Sometimes it’s a matter of semantics. Sadly there is a long history of hurt and distrust. It could take a while.

[quote=mean_owen]Cross yourselves backwards (right, then left), maybe?
[/quote]

Many Eastern Catholics bless themselves in this manner when making the Sign of the Cross. Within their Rites this is considered correct, not backwards.

I don´t think so, we can´t be against others succesors of Peters or like the purgatory, against the Bible, we can´t

[quote=Subrosa]What do you think? Should the Catholic Church rescind teachings such as Purgatory, The Immaculate Conception, Papal Primacy, etc. in order to fascilitate unification with the Orthodox Churches?
[/quote]

No. Why should the Church bend over to accomodate others? We might as well proclaim Mohammed as the last prophet to accomodate Muslims, and agree that sola fide and sola scriptura are Biblical to please Protestants. Let’s drop the Trinity as well for Unitarians…I think you get the idea.

No. Why should the Church bend over to accomodate others? We might as well proclaim Mohammed as the last prophet to accomodate Muslims, and agree that sola fide and sola scriptura are Biblical to please Protestants. Let’s drop the Trinity as well for Unitarians…I think you get the idea.

Amen!

When one abandons all principles to please the populace, one is left with Pilate’s question, “What IS truth?”

*[Emphasis added for the benefit of former-Presidents}:wink: **

[quote=Mickey]I think the Orthodox agree with these doctrines but don’t realize it! Sometimes it’s a matter of semantics. Sadly there is a long history of hurt and distrust. It could take a while.
[/quote]

These are really complicated issues that can’t all be bundled up as a simple yes and no. No Church should be expected to abandon beliefs rooted in scripture and patristic tradition. But have Catholics adequately formulated their own beliefs? Could these same beliefs be expressed differently in such a way as to respect Orthodox scruples regarding other agreed doctrines? It’s one thing to be attached to beliefs and another to be attached to the mere words (invariably imperfect) we use in describing them.

Let’s take a few examples:

Papal Supremacy: Is the Catholic Church really clear on distinguishing between the authority the Pope exercises in the West as its Patriarch, and that he exercises with respect tot he whole Church as Supreme Pontiff?

Purgatory: Does the word “purgatory” with its connotations of “cleansing through Hell-like fire” obscure a common belief in the need for temproal amends for sin, even after death?

Filioque: Could not the Church offer a formulation that respected the two very different ways in which the Holy Spirit proceeds (sent by the Father, but called by the Son)?

Be that as it may, we shouldn’t be trapped into thinking that only Catholics should rethink the way they articulate their beliefs and practices. Are Othodox teachings regarding marital, sexual and reproductive ethics as rigorous as they should be? Are all beliefs not explictly expressed in the terms of the Greek Fathers to be ipso facto suspected of heresy? Are national Churches a scriptural, traditional or even valid organizing principle of ecclesiology?

Let’s also not forget that the Oriental Orthodox (Copts, Syriacs, Armenians, etc.) with whom, until recently, both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox had severe differences in Christological formulations, give us far less grief over typically Catholic doctrines than do the Greek and Russian Churches, for example.

Once we reach the point where we can acknowledge each other as speaking the truth in different (and changeable) words, or in holding beliefs that only differ in inessentials, then and only then will we be ready for organic unity. This requires more repentence, more forgiveness, and more talking — lots and lots of talking.

The alternative, if we really come to believe in each others irreconcilable heresy, is to “poach” believers from one another, a process which historically favours the Catholic Church. http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon6.gif

But personally I am not all that keen on the thought of waiting another 2,000 years for a process of individual “conversions” or “partial unions” to make us “one”. So I am committed to seeing ecumenism work (albeit with no compromise over truth), even if I may not ultimately see the fruits in my lifetime.

Irenicist

[quote=mean_owen]Cross yourselves backwards (right, then left), maybe?
[/quote]

What? Thats the right way, the way we Byzantines do it.

You Romans are doing it backwards.

[quote=Irenicist]Filioque: Could not the Church offer a formulation that respected the two very different ways in which the Holy Spirit proceeds (sent by the Father, but called by the Son)?

[/quote]

The Filioque has already been dropped from the Creed in the Byzantine Catholic Churches.

[quote=ByzCath]What? Thats the right way, the way we Byzantines do it.

You Romans are doing it backwards.
[/quote]

No, no! We Catholics do it right! :smiley: You Byzantines do it backwards! :thumbsup:

Ok, enuff about that!

[quote=Irenicist]These are really complicated issues that can’t all be bundled up as a simple yes and no. No Church should be expected to abandon beliefs rooted in scripture and patristic tradition.
[/quote]

This is true. In asking the question at the start of this post, my intention was to begin dialogue to see what kind of directions the dogmas can take in order to satisfy the needs concerning unification.

But have Catholics adequately formulated their own beliefs?

In reading the catechism, they seem well founded and entrenched. A previous poster stated (paraphrase) that dogmas are truths, therefore they are what they are and not subject to change in order to satisfy anyone elses beliefs or opinions.

Could these same beliefs be expressed differently in such a way as to respect Orthodox scruples regarding other agreed doctrines? It’s one thing to be attached to beliefs and another to be attached to the mere words (invariably imperfect) we use in describing them.

Again , the catechism seems static, but this is up to the Church, and not personnal opinion.

[quote=Subrosa]No, no! We Catholics do it right! :smiley: You Byzantines do it backwards! :thumbsup:

Ok, enuff about that!
[/quote]

How 'bout we all change? The ‘new’ Ecumenical way could be down, up, right, left…how 'bout it? Then we’re all doing something new.

[quote=Subrosa]What do you think? Should the Catholic Church rescind teachings such as Purgatory, The Immaculate Conception, Papal Primacy, etc. in order to fascilitate unification with the Orthodox Churches?

Or would that be going too far?

There are more differences, add them into the list!.
[/quote]

Trust in God in heaven, follow the teachings of Jesus Christ his son, and ask the Holy Ghost for the strength to continue living and practicing your God-given Catholic faith…

Truths don’t change with the death of the Pope…

[quote=Subrosa]In reading the catechism, they seem well founded and entrenched. A previous poster stated (paraphrase) that dogmas are truths, therefore they are what they are and not subject to change in order to satisfy anyone elses beliefs or opinions.
[/quote]

Does this mean that the catechism claims that these truths have found perfect expression? The formulations can’t be improved on, clarified, or restated in different terms? Wow! The Creed was revised several times by successive Ecumenical Councils, but the definitions in the catechism cannot be further refined by one iota?

I humbly suggest that this would be a case of confusing the truth with the words used to express it. If this really were the Church’s position, why bother with any ecumenical dialogue? It would be a waste of time. Just hand your interlocutors the catechism as the sufficient, unchanging and self-explaining word of God for their edification, and move on to more productive ventures. Oh wait! Haven’t I heard this sort of thing before from Protestants? Oh right, they only apply this to Scripture. Silly me. :rolleyes:

Irenicist

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