Our seperated Brethren,From the words of St.Augustine of Hippo
#1
Those then who tell us: You are not our brothers, are saying that we are pagans. That is why they want to baptise us again, claiming that we do not have what they can give. Hence their error of denying that we are their brothers. Why then did the prophet tell us: Say to them: You are our brothers? It is because we acknowledge in them that which we do not repeat. By not recognising our baptism, they deny that we are their brothers; on the other hand, when we do not repeat their baptism but acknowledge it to be our own, we are saying to them: You are our brothers.

If they say, “Why do you seek us? What do you want of us?” we should reply: You are our brothers. They may say, “Leave us alone. We have nothing to do with you.” But we have everything to do with you, for we are one in our belief in Christ; and so we should be in one body, under one head.

And so, dear brothers, we entreat you on their behalf, in the name of the very source of our love, by whose milk we are nourished, and whose bread is our strength, in the name of Christ our Lord and his gentle love. For it is time now for us to show them great love and abundant compassion by praying to God for them. May he one day give them a clear mind to repent and to realise that they have nothing now but the sickness of their hatred, and the stronger they think they are, the weaker they become. We entreat you then to pray for them, for they are weak, given to the wisdom of the flesh, to fleshly and carnal things, but yet they are our brothers. They celebrate the same sacraments as we, not indeed with us, but still the same. They respond with the same Amen, not with us, but still the same. And so pour out your hearts for them in prayer to God.

Saint Augustine, Ex Enarratiónibus sancti Augustíni epíscopi in psalmos (Ps 32, 29: CCL 38, 272-273).

I find this to be a good defense for the church's teachings on "Seperated Brethren".This is just something I found that was pretty profound for being from a Pre-Vatican II source and from a saint of great respect.I would love to hear what you think of this and what our relationship should be with these seperated brethren.Who are exactly our seperated brethren? The Schismatics?The Heretics?Or both?
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#2
Yes. The Most important characteristic, what Jesus wanted from his Church, was to love each other and through this love to be united.

To work for the disunity claiming the power of the truth is not from Him. He came for the poor, for the subdued, for the children, not for the intellectual elite.
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#3
I think St. Augustine is referring to the Donatists in this.

Anyway, this reminds me of the impression I got from reading the back and forth between St. Thomas More and William Tyndale: St. Thomas More--while dealing firmly with Tyndale's heresies--treats him like a wayward brother he loves and deeply desires to see turn away from his behavior so destructive to the peace and common good of England, the Church, and Tyndale's own soul and to see him reunited with the Church, but also with More himself in friendship. On the other hand, Tyndale exhibits nothing but a bitter revulsion of More. It's interesting that even modern day defenders of Tyndale, like the historian Brian Moynahan, exhibit a similar revulsion of More. More himself did not have that for those who strayed but rather burned with charity, even when carrying out the duties of a statesmen to execute justice for the good of his country or when being unjustly punished himself.

Also like Sts. Augustine and Thomas More, St. Peter Canisius is another saint well known for this kind of charity which stood in stark contrast to the heretics he sought to reconcile.

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#4
(07-29-2010, 06:49 AM)glgas Wrote: Yes. The Most important characteristic, what Jesus wanted from his Church, was to love each other and through this love to be united.

To work for the disunity claiming the power of the truth is not from Him. He came for the poor, for the subdued, for the children, not for the intellectual elite.

Let us hear what Blessed Pope Pius IX has to say:

"God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold" (Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, n. 9; 10 August 1863).


And let us not forget the instruction of the Holy Office, On the Ecumenical Movement, from 20 December 1949, which tells us that ecumenism has "the aim of reconciling dissident Christians to the Catholic Church" (and again: "the only true union [involves] the return of the dissidents to the one true Church of Christ").


Yes, heretics (Protestants) and schismatics (Orthodox) are our separated brethren, as they are united to us by Baptism, but they separated from us by their errors. We are to love them for the sake of God (i.e. the theological virtue of charity), and included in this love is our earnest desire that they come back into the one fold (Cf. John 10:16) of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, so that they may be saved.
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#5
I like St. John Damascus addressing the muslims:
Quote:  But we tell you definitely, your wonderful camel has run ahead of you into the souls of donkeys, where you are soon to live like animals. And in that place is the outer darkness, and endless punishment, the roaring fire, the unsleeping worm, and demons of Tartarus.

Augustine later declared he had been wrong to say to go easy on the heretics:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102093.htm  Skip to paragraph 17 in chpt. 5.
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#6
I think there's a time for a harsh rebuke and a time for mildness (St. Jude's Epistle says as much), or as St. Bernard put it, the oil of gentleness and compassion and the wine of zeal are complementary when it comes to healing the erring--more harsh quotes from saints shouldn't be put in opposition to the more mild and gentle ones.
(07-29-2010, 06:41 PM)James02 Wrote: Augustine later declared he had been wrong to say to go easy on the heretics:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102093.htm  Skip to paragraph 17 in chpt. 5.

That's interesting. Do you know what the imperial edicts he mentions required in terms of coercion? The reason I say this is coercing someone into the Church is contrary to the faith (here's a couple examples from Popes, one even quoting St. Augustine himself):

"And, in fact, the Church is wont to take earnest heed that no one shall be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, for, as St. Augustine wisely reminds us, "Man cannot believe otherwise than of his own will."" (Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 36).

"Though We desire this unceasing prayer to rise to God from the whole Mystical Body in common, that all the straying sheep may hasten to enter the one fold of Jesus Christ, yet We recognize that this must be done of their own free will; for no one believes unless he wills to believe.[198] Hence they are most certainly not genuine Christians[199] who against their belief are forced to go into a church, to approach the altar and to receive the Sacraments; for the "faith without which it is impossible to please God"[200] is an entirely free "submission of intellect and will."[201] Therefore, whenever it happens, despite the constant teaching of this Apostolic See,[202] that anyone is compelled to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, Our sense of duty demands that We condemn the act. For men must be effectively drawn to the truth by the Father of light through the spirit of His beloved Son, because, endowed as they are with free will, they can misuse their freedom under the impulse of mental agitation and base desires." (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 104).


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#7
(07-28-2010, 10:38 PM)St.Ambrose Wrote: Who are exactly our seperated brethren? The Schismatics?The Heretics?Or both?

...anyone baptized, but outside the unity of the Catholic Church.
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#8
The heresies were suppressed by temporal authority.  But the heretics were not forced to be Catholics.  So much for the religious liberty doctrine of Vat. II.
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#9
(07-29-2010, 11:51 PM)James02 Wrote: The heresies were suppressed by temporal authority.  But the heretics were not forced to be Catholics.  So much for the religious liberty doctrine of Vat. II.

Well,is religious liberty really a doctrine??
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#10
(07-29-2010, 11:51 PM)James02 Wrote: The heresies were suppressed by temporal authority.  But the heretics were not forced to be Catholics.  So much for the religious liberty doctrine of Vat. II.

You must distinguish between two concept:

- the freedom of choice given by every individual directly by God, what is the religious or moral liberty

- the safe and certain path to the salvation

It is a mistake to identify the narrow road with the doctrinal clarity. God scrutinizes the hearts

Matt 22:37 Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.

The mind is the less important, and the most vulnerable to the Satan: his mind and only his mind is superior that ours. He has nop heart, and his soul (will)  is already is against and outside of God's power.
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