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Tonight two of the elders from the Reformed church I used to attend came to visit. We had a long discussion about Protestantism and Catholicism, and I kept emphasising that Protestants aren't united because there are so many denominations (and how they split when there is disagreement), in contrast to the one Catholic Church. I read them passages from St John's Gospel where Our Lord says that His followers are to be one.

However, it got me to thinking: this is the kind of argument used by neo-Catholics like the Catholic apologists at Catholic Answers Live. But we traditionalists recognise that there is major dissent in the Church and the hierarchy - heretical priests and bishops, a pope who has done so much damage to the Church, etc.  It seems to me that if a Protestant was converted primarily by contrasting the authority structure of the Catholic Church to the myriad interpretations of Scripture by different Protestant denominations, he might be a bit upset when he found that while the argument presented in theory is true, in practice there is absolute chaos in some parts of the Church which is not corrected by the hierarchy. Things like liturgical abuse, pro-homosexual priests and groups, "Catholics" for choice, Catholics who think Muslims and Hindus are going to heaven, etc. Catholicism has its own share of problems just like the Protestant churches.

What think you all?
I think it's important to take St. Pio's words to heart: "Pray, hope, and don't worry." Yes, the human element of the Church is being ravaged. It's my opinion that you can really see Our Lady of Akita's words coming to the fore now: "Bishops opposing Bishops, Cardinals opposing Cardinals." I also believe that things are really going to get interesting as we come to the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima's apparitions. We need to double down on prayer and focus on the fact that that God is in control.
(04-25-2017, 07:02 AM)MichaelNZ Wrote: [ -> ]Tonight two of the elders from the Reformed church I used to attend came to visit. We had a long discussion about Protestantism and Catholicism, and I kept emphasising that Protestants aren't united because there are so many denominations (and how they split when there is disagreement), in contrast to the one Catholic Church. I read them passages from St John's Gospel where Our Lord says that His followers are to be one.

However, it got me to thinking: this is the kind of argument used by neo-Catholics like the Catholic apologists at Catholic Answers Live. But we traditionalists recognise that there is major dissent in the Church and the hierarchy - heretical priests and bishops, a pope who has done so much damage to the Church, etc.  It seems to me that if a Protestant was converted primarily by contrasting the authority structure of the Catholic Church to the myriad interpretations of Scripture by different Protestant denominations, he might be a bit upset when he found that while the argument presented in theory is true, in practice there is absolute chaos in some parts of the Church which is not corrected by the hierarchy. Things like liturgical abuse, pro-homosexual priests and groups, "Catholics" for choice, Catholics who think Muslims and Hindus are going to heaven, etc. Catholicism has its own share of problems just like the Protestant churches.

What think you all?

The Faith is the thing. The Faith is what it is, and even if no Catholics but 5 on earth still embrace it, it still exists and can be known. It is what it is.

Church teaching is that at the end of time, the Church will follow Christ in His Passion. There will be dissent and confusion. Even the elect will be deceived. Various mystics have talked about "cardinal against cardinal" and all that. The point: none of this is unexpected, and none of it disproves the Truth of the Faith.

Traditional Catholics know what to think, what the Faith is, what the Sacraments are, where they can be received, etc. Hang on to all that, and spread it around, warning newbies what the deal is. Send them to that page; it sums up the situation pretty well (if I do say so myself LOL).
(04-25-2017, 07:37 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]The Faith is the thing. The Faith is what it is, and even if no Catholics but 5 on earth still embrace it, it still exists and can be known. It is what it is.

Vox hits it right on the head here, but perhaps not as clearly as she might think ...

What is "Faith"? It an act of the intellect which assents to the truth of a proposition that is not seen because of the authority of another who asserts this proposition is true.

On a human level, this faith is used all the time. We listen to the news anchor and accept that something has happened, even if we have not seen it. Even a scientist trusts that the foundation of his science is correct and has been proven by experiment, and since he cannot re-prove everything takes these foundational truths on faith.

On a divine level, it is formally different. Supernatural Faith is a virtue (a habit) which looks very similar to human faith, but is infinitely different. The virtue of Faith is this habit by which we assent to what God has revealed. But this virtue is caused in us by grace, not by some human effort.

That's why a Protestant and Catholic are so very different. The foundation of a Protestant's faith is his willful acceptance of one interpretation of scripture based what he believes to be reasonable or what he trusts some other human being to tell him. A Catholic believes a truth of Faith because he willfully accept what the Divinely-instituted teaching authority teaches. That's the infinite distance. A Protestant, even if he believes in things divine, and even if he is correct in his belief (e.g. even if he accepted the Real Presence), only has human faith.

But human faith is not salvific, nor meritorious. It's a natural thing, and cannot cause anything supernatural. Cause and effect have to be proportionate.

So that's the answer to the question. A Catholic's Faith doesn't teach him to believe on the authority of the human beings who represent the Church, but on the authority of the Church which is instituted by God. Cause and effect have to be proportionate, and if Faith meant to trust this or that man who was Pope, we'd be no different than a Protestant, except we'd have a more organized and logical structure. Rather, we trust the Church, which while it has a human side, is also divine. The unity is supposed to be from a socially united belief, but at no time in the Church did you not have some heretics. We do, however, have a temporally united belief. The Church has always taught the same things, and the only "development" has been to clarify what was taught.

In short we see the unity even better when we see that the Church teaches something despite that even the Pope seems to reject it, because we trust the Church and not any man as such, and the Church transcends any one man.

That's also the solution to the tendency of traditionalists, especially the sedevacantists to trend toward a Protestant notion of the Church (as a collection of true believers). The reference point is to an institution which is greater than any one man, yet still not subject to the private decisions of any of the faithful.


Practically now, we see people who hold positions of authority in the Church teaching error, but we have
(04-25-2017, 07:02 AM)MichaelNZ Wrote: [ -> ]Tonight two of the elders from the Reformed church I used to attend came to visit. We had a long discussion about Protestantism and Catholicism, and I kept emphasising that Protestants aren't united because there are so many denominations (and how they split when there is disagreement), in contrast to the one Catholic Church. I read them passages from St John's Gospel where Our Lord says that His followers are to be one.

However, it got me to thinking: this is the kind of argument used by neo-Catholics like the Catholic apologists at Catholic Answers Live. But we traditionalists recognise that there is major dissent in the Church and the hierarchy - heretical priests and bishops, a pope who has done so much damage to the Church, etc.  It seems to me that if a Protestant was converted primarily by contrasting the authority structure of the Catholic Church to the myriad interpretations of Scripture by different Protestant denominations, he might be a bit upset when he found that while the argument presented in theory is true, in practice there is absolute chaos in some parts of the Church which is not corrected by the hierarchy. Things like liturgical abuse, pro-homosexual priests and groups, "Catholics" for choice, Catholics who think Muslims and Hindus are going to heaven, etc. Catholicism has its own share of problems just like the Protestant churches.

What think you all?

You're right, theoretically the Roman Catholic Church is allegedly united, but in reality it's just as much a mess o tenaciously heldf opinions and disunity as any other group calling itself Christian. In order to believe that, despite the failure of the papacy,hierarchy and magisterium to actually bring about unity, one must simply take a leap of faith.  The thing is, not a single church or community is immune to this infighting and difference of opinion,not one.  You just have to clung to whichever one you find the evidence of scripture, history and tradition point to better than others.