Does the Catholic Church have no authority?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Eladar, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. Eladar

    Eladar
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    I've run across several 'Catholics' who claim to be Catholic yet reject basic Catholic teachings. One such person is very big into Eastern Mysticism and a priest agrees with him that all religions are really one.

    I don't think many Catholics here would call these people Catholics, but evidently certain Catholic churches do. Is there no 'quality control' when it comes to Catholic churches?
     
  2. Ps104_33

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    Get ready for alot of slippin' slidin' and double talking. They always want it both ways. [​IMG]
     
  3. DHK

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    How true Eladar. The Catholics, in their beliefs, practices, and traditions are so varied from one country to another, or from one society to another. There are just as many different kinds of Catholics as there are Baptists, and perhaps even more.
    DHK
     
  4. thessalonian

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    People have their free will. They can reject truth. It is not a matter of having it both ways. It is a matter of disobedience.
     
  5. Eladar

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    My question isn't one of forcing someone to believe something. My question is one of authority. Doesn't the Catholic Church have the authority to expell heretics from itself?
     
  6. MikeS

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    Yes we do! No we don't!

    Happy now? [​IMG]
     
  7. Eladar

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    Not really Mike.
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    I only faintly remember a noteworthy Catholic theologian who was expelled from the Roman Catholic Church because he went against some of her dogma. In this case, the pope sent him down that lonely path. Someone on this board will recall his name. I think it was Dr. Rahner. If I recall correctly he got booted because he did not believe in the Infallibility of the pope. I wonder what happened to him after his excommunication?

    If they will expel a brilliant and devoted man like Dr. Rahner, why would they not expel open definace to cardinal truths of the Christian faith among both Catholics and Protestants?
     
  9. MikeS

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    I was just throwing Ps104_33 a bone to play with. Your question is actually one that frustrates me to no end. I can only offer my own theory as to what's behind the rampant disobedience and infidelity you describe. In the earlier part of the 20th century, somewhere between 65% and 70% of Catholics attended Mass regularly (in the U.S. -- don't know about worldwide numbers). Now the number is down to 25%. Why the other 75% persist in identifying themselves as Catholic is truly beyond me. They don't have the beliefs of Catholics, and they're not living their lives as Catholics are expected to live.

    The immediate culprit seems to be the poison of the '60s, when just about every single institution in the Western world either collapsed or was transformed into something unrecognizable to prior generations. The Church was not immune to this cultural earthquake. A great many people in the Church, including priests and nuns, decided the Church had totally changed into a left-wing social justice organization and feel-good society. The fact that the Church did not totally collapse is just a sign, to me, that Christ is keeping His promise to His Church. But still the damage has been grievious.

    Furthermore, I believe the Church takes the position that excommunication is only a last resort, to acknowledge that a person has continually turned away from the Church. I think the feeling is that most people are better served by allowing them to stay in the Church and possibly have their hearts changed.

    As I said, all of this frustrates me to no end. On the other hand, I'm just going to try and be the best and most faithful Catholic Christian I can be. From what I can see, there is a strong undercurrent of reform and renewal flowing below the muck that you describe. All I can do is shoulder my own cross and trust in Christ.

    Here's a story that I once heard, and one that I believe. Some time in the 1920s or 1930s a number of prominent writers and thinkers were asked to submit articles describing "What is Wrong with the World." They returned articles blaming the educational system, capitalism, socialism, city living, ect, ect. Then Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton sent in his answer. It read: "What is Wrong with the World? I am." I just need to work at removing the beam from my own eye.
     
  10. GraceSaves

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    Well spoken, Mike.

    In the spirit of American democracy and independence, I have a feeling that even an excommunicated "Catholic" would still consider themselves Catholic. If they are already rejecting the authority of the Church in its teachings, are they really going to care about the Church's pronouncement about their standing? It's a matter of respect and lack thereof. American Catholics need to realize that God's Church is not a democracy, and the Church needs to make this abundantly clear, which it hasn't done yet.

    But, again, most of these dissenters aren't regular Mass attenders anyway, so excommunicating them from the sacraments would probably not even affect them the same.

    I also agree with Mike that there is a strong undercurrent of renewal and reform and obediance to the Magesterium, as many Catholics are tired of the wishy-washiness that people have been taking advantage of for far too long. We saw this kind of thing in the days of Trent, and we're seeing it again today. Catholic morality is at an all time low (in my opinion), because this buffet-style religion that prevails in America doesn't teach them otherwise.

    I foresee many great saints in the coming years, not unlike John Paul II, to bring people back home to the love of Jesus Christ, and to that service in Christ is freedom from the slavery of sin. I'm impatient, but patient as well. I know the Church will recover; the gates of hell shall not prevail.
     
  11. MikeS

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    I couldn't agree more.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    Mike S. & Grace Saves,

    Those were excellent posts. I too, hunger to know and love Him more each day. Doing our own part, so often, seems so little.

    Ray Berrian
     
  13. True Blue Tuna

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    So then should Baptists start kicking people out as well? I mean, if the RC Church is supposed to exercise quality control, then I assume you think Baptists should do the same thing, right?
    :rolleyes:

    The original question seems to be concerned that not all Catholics follow a fixed set of rules. That seemed to really annoy and scare some people; my gosh, Catholics might not all fit into the same easily defined box.

    My first response is:

    1. If you're not Catholic, then why are you worried about that in the first place?

    2. If you were Catholic, you'd realize that a person "attracts more flies with honey than with vinegar", which is apparently how the RC Church has decided to deal with noncomformist members. Love them back to the Church, instead of ostracizing them and making them feel isolated.

    Hmmm...maybe there's a lesson in there somewhere.....

    And no, I'm not a Catholic - but I've gone to enough Catholic services to actually *know* what I'm talking about here.
     
  14. MikeS

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    Thanks for the kind words, Ray. I agree, our own part seems so little, but God can turn our small efforts into great things.
     
  15. WPutnam

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    My question isn't one of forcing someone to believe something. My question is one of authority. Doesn't the Catholic Church have the authority to expell heretics from itself? </font>[/QUOTE]First of all, the Catholic Church is the only church who can trace her history back to Christ Himself. If you don't believe me, then please trace the history of your particular denonimination/sect/cult in the same manner as only the Catholic Church can.

    Secondly, If indeed, the Catholic Church is that original church, then explain to me the following scripture passage:

    "If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between him and you alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. Ifr he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact can be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:15-18

    But the initial authority is from the "Charter text" for the church in Matthew 16:18-19, where Jesus first mentions the establishment of His church (on Peter, the "ROCK") giving awesome authority to Peter with the "keys of the kingdom" and with the first mentioning of the power to "bind and loose."

    Peter is the only one Christ speaks to after Simon gives the correct answer to the question, "Who do you say that I am?" Changing His name to Peter has great significance as changing Abram's name to Abraham was.

    And coupled to the very church Christ establishes, it is obvious that Peter is going to be the "Chief of the apostles" and therefore, the first pope of a church with great authority.

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+


    Regina Angelorum, ora pro nobis!
     
  16. A_Christian

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    I would agree that the Roman Catholic Church has
    very limited authority. I am certainly not bound
    by anything the Roman Catholic Church imposes.
    Roman Catholics that I've talked to seem to
    take everything with a chunk of salt. [​IMG]
     
  17. Eladar

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    I think I know where the acceptance of conflicting beliefs is supported by the Catholic Church. Here is what I was told:
    If this is true, then the Catholic Church now accepts personal interpretation within the church.

    I guess there isn't such a big difference between Catholics and Protestants after all. [​IMG]
     
  18. thessalonian

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    Ray Berrian,

    Are you a member of the UCOC? How do you feel about them. DHK recalling your getting angry with justified about being Catholic and indicating something else in his bio, I would think you would be interested.
     
  19. Pete Richert

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    Baptist Churches are mostly automous so there is no such thing as kicking another whole Baptist Church out of . . . well there is nothing to kick them out of. As for any single church, yes, Baptist Churches excommunicate membors who claim to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation but clearly do not and continue to live in sin. If a non believer wishes to attend services there are welcome by all means; but they are not considered membors of the church until they become believers themselves.

    Why don't catholics all adhere to the single authoratative teaching of the Church with regards to tradition and intrepretation of the Bible? Your not saying people are intrepreting it differently, are you? There are not "denominations" within Christ's singlular Church to whom it granted authority to determine all faith and morals.

    Everything, every Pope and council determined (while fulfilling their roles of whatever special name you have) is perfectly said and should be followed and administered by every true Catholic from now until Christ returns.

    We are demonstrating the double stadard Catholics have while refering to protastants.

    Doesn't seem to be working. What have you learned?
     
  20. thessalonian

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    If this is true, then the Catholic Church now accepts personal interpretation within the church.

    I guess there isn't such a big difference between Catholics and Protestants after all. [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]By saying this you are saying that Paul agreed with the sins of those people in 1 Cor 11 whom he was chastising. Note in that chapter, nowhere does he say that anyone should be denied communion even though they were not living in accord with the teachings of Christ. Do you think Paul would say "well your interprutaion is just fine so carry on"?. Doudtfull. Denial of communion is tricky. It depends upon the knowledge and will of the sinner. This is really only known by God and the individual. I don't agree with the Bishop but I don't have all the facts that he does either.
     

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