Are Protestants Christian?
#1
Being as Christianity in its fullest sense is exactly Catholicism, intact with apostolic succession and the Holy Sacraments, and the Holy Mass: Can Protestants be considered "Christians" or ---even "true Christians?"

NOTA BENE: Forgive me, I should've specified: PRE-CONCILIAR CATECHISMS only. If I wanted what the CCC says, I have it. I want to know how the Church has traditionally viewed things. Not the watered-down version of Vatican II.
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#2
Protestants are indeed Christians because they are heretics. Heretics, material or formal, are still Christians, although cut off from the Church.

Of course, I'm assuming we're speaking of those of the historical protestant tradition - Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, Baptists. If we're speaking of Jehova's Witnesses and Mormons, then the case is different.
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#3
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "the baptized who do not enjoy full Catholic unity are in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." 836-838

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#4
I'm not sure if this is technically correct, but I would define a Christian as a member of the Body of Christ. So heretics would not be rightly called Christians, if that definition is legitimate. However, a baptized person who is in error in good faith (lacking the requisite pertinacity to be guilty of the sin of separation) could rightly be called a Christian since, according to St. Augustine, such a person is not to be counted a heretic.

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#5
(07-12-2010, 03:34 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "the baptized who do not enjoy full Catholic unity are in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." 836-838

That seems to presume good faith, no? From a previous paragraph:


818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

This seems to say the Baptized with faith in Christ who are not guilty of the sins of separation are rightly called Christians because they are incorporated into Christ. What about those who are guilty of it and are cut off from the Body? Those would no longer then be incorporated into Christ. Doesn't that mean they no longer have the right to be called Christian?
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#6
(07-12-2010, 03:34 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: I'm not sure if this is technically correct, but I would define a Christian as a member of the Body of Christ. So heretics would not be rightly called Christians, if that definition is legitimate. However, a baptized person who is in error in good faith (lacking the requisite pertinacity to be) could rightly be called a Christian since, according to St. Augustine, such a person is not to be counted a heretic.

But heretics are counted as Christians, are they not?

That was one of the reasons why they could be judged by the Inquisition: because they still were within the jurisdiction of the Church.
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#7
Quote: 818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

This was actually the quote I was looking for.  Thanks.

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#8
Forgive me, I should've specified: PRE-CONCILIAR CATECHISMS only. If I wanted what the CCC says, I have it. I want to know how the Church has traditionally viewed things. Not the watered-down version of Vatican II.
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#9
(07-12-2010, 03:36 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(07-12-2010, 03:34 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: I'm not sure if this is technically correct, but I would define a Christian as a member of the Body of Christ. So heretics would not be rightly called Christians, if that definition is legitimate. However, a baptized person who is in error in good faith (lacking the requisite pertinacity to be) could rightly be called a Christian since, according to St. Augustine, such a person is not to be counted a heretic.

But heretics are counted as Christians, are they not?

That was one of the reasons why they could be judged by the Inquisition: because they still were within the jurisdiction of the Church.

Interesting point. In fact, the Catholic Encyclopedia supports you:

Those however who have been baptized but do not belong to the Catholic Church, heretics and schismatics of divers confessions are not called infidels but non-Catholics. The relation in which all these classes stand to the Catholic Church is not the same; in principle, those who have been baptized are subjects of the Church and her children even though they be rebellious children; they are under her laws or, at least, are exempt from them only so far as pleases the Church.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08002b.htm

Does that mean some true bond still remains between a pertinacious heretic and the Body of Christ?
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#10
Saint Augustine, Letter 43 (397 A.D.), Chapter I. Wrote:The Apostle Paul has said: A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sins, being condemned of himself. [Titus 3:10-11] But though the doctrine which men hold be false and perverse, if they do not maintain it with passionate obstinacy, especially when they have not devised it by the rashness of their own presumption, but have accepted it from parents who had been misguided and had fallen into error, and if they are with anxiety seeking the truth, and are prepared to be set right when they have found it, such men are not to be counted heretics.

Were it not that I believe you to be such, perhaps I would not write to you. And yet even in the case of a heretic, however puffed up with odious conceit, and insane through the obstinacy of his wicked resistance to truth, although we warn others to avoid him, so that he may not deceive the weak and inexperienced, we do not refuse to strive by every means in our power for his correction. On this ground I wrote even to some of the chief of the Donatists, not indeed letters of communion, which on account of their perversity they have long ceased to receive from the undivided Catholic Church which is spread throughout the world, but letters of a private kind, such as we may send even to pagans. These letters, however, though they have sometimes read them, they have not been willing, or perhaps it is more probable, have not been able, to answer. In these cases, it seems to me that I have discharged the obligation laid on me by that love which the Holy Spirit teaches us to render, not only to our own, but to all, saying by the apostle: The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men. [1 Thessalonians 3:12] In another place we are warned that those who are of a different opinion from us must be corrected with meekness, if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. [2 Timothy 2:25-26]


2. I have said these things by way of preface, lest any one should think, because you are not of our communion, that I have been influenced by forwardness rather than consideration in sending this letter, and in desiring thus to confer with you regarding the welfare of the soul; though I believe that, if I were writing to you about an affair of property, or the settlement of some dispute about money, no one would find fault with me. So precious is this world in the esteem of men, and so small is the value which they set upon themselves! This letter, therefore, shall be a witness in my vindication at the bar of God, who knows the spirit in which I write, and who has said: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the sons of God. [Matthew 5:9]
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