Whether Catholicism and Christianity are Necessarily Coincidental


#1

Objection 1: It seems that Catholicism and Christianity are not necessarily coincidental, for many who are Christian are not Catholic, and many who are Catholic are not Christian. Since the distinction can be observed, it follows by induction that Christianity and Catholicism are not coincidental.

Objection 2: Vatican 2 recognizes that many Christians are outside the Catholic Church. Thus, Catholicism and Christianity are not coincidental.

Objection 3: Different words have different meanings and connotations. “Catholicism” and “Christianity” are not synonymous. Thus, Catholicism and Christianity are not coincidental.

On the contrary,…


#2

I don’t really know where it is you’re going with this however, I’d like to respond to your statement, “… and many who are Catholic are not Christian.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the noun “Christian” as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus.” Since all true Catholics fall under this definition, it stands to reason that ALL true Catholics ARE Christian. When I say “true Catholics,” I mean those people who are really Catholic and not simply claiming the title.


#3

It’s set up like a Thomist question, hoping others will fill it out, edit it and we can, together, determine the truth on the question, or determine if the question must be broken into pieces to be answered. The formula is :

objections
on the contrary
I answer
reply to objections

Sorry - I’m getting into Thomas Aquinas. But I’m not sorry I’m getting into Thomas Aquinas.


#4

You’ve failed to define the terms “Catholicism” and “Christianity”, which are the crux of your argument. You have to define them before you can argue about their equality or inequality.


#5

I could tell; but the Summa was a series of questions and answers, and the later questions (and answers) usually built upon the earlier ones. If this is the first question, you need to do some defining before we can continue. Otherwise, you need to refer us to the background of these questions.


#6

You are right. I think the antecedent questions are:

Whether Catholicism is …

and

Whether Christianity is…

Do you agree?

This unfortunately has all the hallmarks of a dictionary debate instead of a way to actually discover a truth.


#7

Um, if you’re not going to define your terms, the argument won’t lead to discovering the truth. If you define your terms falsely, the argument won’t lead to discovering the truth. If you define your terms truthfully, then the argument can lead to discovering the truth.

I could define Catholicism as “belief in and acceptance of all the teachings of God, revealed through Jesus Christ and taught through his Church, founded on Peter, and its Apostles and their successors” and Christianity as “belief in and acceptance of Jesus as the Christ of God and Savior of humanity”. Then I would answer that a Catholic has to be a Christian because what I’ve defined “Christianity” as is one of the teachings of God; I would also show that not every Christian is a Catholic because the two definitions are not equal, and universal affirmatives can only be partially converted (to quote Monty Python).


#8

I set up separate threads to argue what Catholicism and Christianity are…


#9

Objection 1: It seems that Catholicism and Christianity are not necessarily coincidental, for many who are Christian are not Catholic, and many who are Catholic are not Christian. Since the distinction can be observed, it follows by induction that Christianity and Catholicism are not coincidental.

This is already flawed in the frist place, as Catholics are Christians. Now, there might be Catholics who do not live Christian lives, which does not prove the case of Catholics not being Christians, as there are non-Catholic Christians who do not live Christian lives as well. In that alone the very premise of this objection collapses.

Objection 2: Vatican 2 recognizes that many Christians are outside the Catholic Church. Thus, Catholicism and Christianity are not coincidental.

Premise q falls flat because it does not follow. We can make an analogy of this by saying that Sunni Muslims are not real Muslims because they do not belong to the Shi’ite group (or vice versa), but that’s not logically true as both profess to be Muslims, and are indeed practicing Muslims. So saying that many Christians are outside the Catholic Church=the Catholic Church not Christian is absurd. We can further make an analogy by saying that since many are not Fundamentalist Christians, and Fundamentalists profess to be the only true Christians, that those who are not Fundamentalists are not true Christians. Again, flawed logic that’s based on nothing more than bias and a myopic view of things.

Objection 3: Different words have different meanings and connotations. “Catholicism” and “Christianity” are not synonymous. Thus, Catholicism and Christianity are not coincidental.

Perhaps the weakest objection of all; different words might have different meanings, but it does not follow that a different term used would make the other untrue. Again, as analogy, a Presbyterian is called as such; it has a different meaning, and aren’t synonymous. Are they not Christians then? We could further make this case for Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, etc. Words with different connotations and meanings, yet aren’t they all Christians?

So, 3 objections that don’t add up to anything. No case, no issue. I think this thread is a foregone conclusion.


#10

If there is only one golf club then “golfers”, “golf club members” and even “the golf club” are synonyms.

If a split occurs then you have to distinguish between the club and splinters or offshoots. If the splinters make all sorts of claims to be the real club, or to be going back to what the club ought to be, or to be part of the club but temporarily independent, or to have found a club constitution back from the year 1900, then you need to define exactly what yu mean by “golf”.


#11

All Catholics are Christians by virtue of their baptism.
Like Christians of any denomination they may not always act like it, may fall into sin, may act and speak against Christian teaching and morality, but yes, they are Christian.


#12

Each of your objections is based on faulty assumptions.

The difference is between Christians following the teachings of the Catholic Church and Christians rejecting the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Vatican 2 does not recognize anything of the sort, in fact it teaches exactly the opposite. The Catholic Church is the body of Christ one earth. According to Vatican 2 ALL Christians are members of the Catholic Church because ALL Christians are members of the body of Christ (on earth), which by its own definition is the Catholic Church.

All Catholic are Christians who follow the Catholic Church.


#13

Jesus the Christ died for all mankind. The Catholic Church is the body of Christ. If you are born a human being you are born into the body of Christ. It is your birthright as a human being, you are born into the Catholic Church. You may or may not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church after birth, but, that does not negate your birthright. It is this context that the Catholic Church has always taught that no one can enter heaven unless thru the Catholic Church. This does not indicate that every human will enter heaven, it guarantees that every human has the opportunity to. If after birth I totally reject the teachings of the Church (knowingly), I can be assured I will not enter heaven. If I totally follow the teachings I can be assured I will enter heaven. In between the total rejection and total following our fate is in Gods hand to decide. Simply being born into the Church does not imply our salvation.


#14

Tom, what you are saying is heresy, which sounds a lot like Islam (people are naturally Muslim, which means they naturally believe in one God, and you are born Muslim if you are born into a Muslim family etc.).

No-one is born into the body of Christ. We are baptized into the body of Christ. So all baptized people share in the body of Christ, which is the Catholic Church, by virtue of their baptism.

You may or may not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church after birth, but, that does not negate your birthright.

There is no such “birthright”. I think what you think is a “birthright” is actually the fact that Christ saved all humanity and there is no salvation apart from Christ.

It is this context that the Catholic Church has always taught that no one can enter heaven unless thru the Catholic Church. This does not indicate that every human will enter heaven, it guarantees that every human has the opportunity to.

If we take away “it is in this context”, you’re right.

If after birth I totally reject the teachings of the Church (knowingly), I can be assured I will not enter heaven. If I totally follow the teachings I can be assured I will enter heaven. In between the total rejection and total following our fate is in Gods hand to decide.

I must say this sounds too much like Islamic fatalism. We have Free Will, but at the same time the grace of God is necessary for us in order to be able accept and and follow the Christian way of life. It’s not about “total rejection” and “total following”, as saints do also sin on the one hand, and on the other hand even a hardened sinner and God-hater may repent at the very last moment and be saved.

Simply being born into the Church does not imply our salvation.

That’s right. Though living in the Church and being aided by the Grace of the sacraments certainly helps a long way (though it’s no assurance of course).


#15

I had this discussion a long time ago.

The fact is that historically and Biblically the Catholic Church is the original, “full gospel”, New Testament Christian Church and all the other opinions are propaganda.


#16

Catholics are Universal Christians ;- Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all… For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.
-This Church created by Christ is for all, in every place, and in every age.

The new term, ‘christians’, is often used instead of Catholic as a sign of reaction against the above Church. So you get strange anomalies like a church of six members believing themselves to be the last remaining faithfull christians.
They may or may not be Christians - for to react against Christ’s Universal Church one must reject something or things taught by Christ. Not least of which is the universality and oneness of the Church established by God.


#17

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