Protestants as far as I’m able to tell are spiritual brethren with Catholics, even according to Catholic creed. They share just about all the same tenents of faith, with only two real disagreement all regarding the authority of the pope and tradition. A properly baptised protestant, doesn’t have to get a new baptism when he enters the catholic church.
Yet discussions about protestantism are made in the same are where you’d discuss Islam or Mormonism. How come?
I also did a quick counting, and a full 17% of the past 240 thread openers were about, aimed at, or involved protestants. That’s not even couting the output on Eastern Orthodox Christians. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a second subforum for Eastern Orthodox and protestant Christians, since at the end of the day, both catholics, protestants and eastern orthodox Christians respect each other as such?
Come on ‘Don’t assume malice, where accidents or incompetence will suffice’. I think the forum owners had to make some decisions about the outline, and I’m just asking if there was a deeper reason for this structure. If they have, and think protestants and orthodox('s?) belong with Mormons and Muslims, I’ll join you and say boo to that. This is more of a “Hey come on guys?” kind of query. Who knows, they might not have expected many non-catholic Christians here.
*minor addendum, the label says I’m a humanist, but that’s just what I find myself to be after I lost my faith. I’m currently reading a lot of apologetics to see if Christianity is true, part of that involves exploring Catholicism which I never took seriously before, and anyone who does that will always be touched by the story of the schism and the lack of friendship between catholics and non-catholic christians.
The primary difference is in whether they are presently in communion with the Pope.
There are some minor theological differences, as well. Mostly, these have to do with the acceptance (or lack thereof) of certain doctrines that were formally defined in the West but not defined in the East.
Most of the questions regarding the Eastern Churches can be addressed in the Eastern Catholicism forum, as you indicate. However, those issues that are unique to those that are out of communion belong here.
Eastern rite Catholics hold to the same doctrine, with some variances in theology, as all Catholics do, and they recognize the authority of the Pope. ECs also have different traditions, such as how they perform mass. But as I said, they are 100% Catholic.
Orthodox do not recognize the authority of the Pope, and don’t hold to some of the CC doctrine, such as Purgatory (from what I understand). Orthodox do not believe in a central, one person, overseer for all of Christianity, but instead recognize a Patriarch of a particular church region (such as Ukrainian or Oriental Orthodox regions). Orthodox are not Catholic, but they are catholic (big C vs little c). The Orthodox are said to be in schism with the Catholic Church, and not heretical such as Protestantism is considered (this does not mean that all Protestants are considered heretics).
As to the OP: If there were more variety in thread topics (Protestant vs. Mormon vs. etc.) then I could see subforums set up, but personally, as is, I don’t see enough variety in posts to create subforums yet. If you feel it is necessary, then maybe you should send a message to one of the forum Moderators or to an/the Administrator asking for such and give a solid reason.
I like that you answer the OP almost as an aside thing. :rolleyes:
I don’t think the issue I’m getting at is variety. There’s only so many ways you can approach the questions of protestantism* as different from catholicism. There’s the usual suspects of threads, and the serious ones that engage the questions of authority and a whole bunch of miscellany. This is no different under other sub-forums of catholicism. Also a full sixth of this subforum is protestant threads, and a similar percentage are about eastern orthodox, so I don’t think there’s a lack of talk.
Prostestants are Christians. Muslims aren’t Christians. Both protestants and Catholics agree about that. Protestants are members of The Church, Catholics don’t think protestants are in full communion, but they are members, and should be addressed as part of the brotherhood. The same doesn’t go for a muslim or a mormon, who both deny the trinity.
When protestantism is put in the Non-Catholic Religions, it gives the impression (at least to me) of protestantism being a different religion; There are catholic Christians, and then there are protestants who belong to a different religion. This can’t be what the owners intend. I think they’d include ‘non-catholic christianity’ under topic non-catholic religions. Reading about the schism though, I’ve been wondering what sort of moves either side are willing to make for the other. Having a separate sub-forum would signify that protestants are brethren, and would show that they’re not part of the full communion as catholics. I think this would be more gracious than lumping them together with non-christian religions. I’m really only second guessing here so maybe I should send a mail to the owners, and we can discuss that in this thread. If that’s allowed of course. Does a sub-forum allow meta questions about the sub-forum?
*I hope the other denominations will excuse me for not giving the longer ‘protestants and eastern orthodox christians’.
The problem we have here is that there is no such thing as the “Protestant religion”. We have everything from Anglican and Lutheran (very close to Catholic beliefs) to the Westboro Baptist Church (who I don’t think anyone wants to claim) and then everything in between. And there are much more important differences than just disagreements over papal authority, the main ones being the Eucharist and the sacraments; the sacrifice of the Mass. We consider the Eucharist to be the source and summit of the Christian faith, so important that there would be no Cathoilic Church without it. So the differences are much greater than you describe.
Because even with the things we have in common, the differences are so great, in some cases, that one might as well be discussing two different religions. I don’t mean this in a harsh way, its just the way it is.
Let’s say the administrators were to include a “Non-Catholic Christian” sub-forum along with a “Non-Christian” sub-forum. Who decides what is and is not legitimately “Christian”? Then what happens when certain Orthodox posters grow upset with the seeming equivocation of their Apostolic churches with the ecclesiastical communities of various Protestants? Will there then be a need for the “Non-Catholic Christian” sub-forum to be further divided into “Orthodox Christianity” and “Protestant Christianity”? Then what happens when the Anglicans grow tired of being lumped together with the Pentecostals?
Is this an endeavor (read: headache) that the Catholic Answers’ Staff care to take on? I should think the simple dichotomy of Catholic v. Non-Catholic is discrete, unambiguous, and non-controversial. It’s either in communion with Rome or it isn’t. If the latter, it belongs in “Non-Catholic Religions”.
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