The Church Visible
(04-03-2020, 08:48 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: To be a member of the Church you must actually be committed to following Christ, or you are not part of the body.

No. To be a member of the Church you need three things simultaneously: (1) to be validly Sacramentally Baptized, (2) to profess implicitly or explicitly the dogmas of the Faith, (3) to implicitly or explicitly subject yourself to the authority of the Church.

I say implicitly or explicitly, because if you don't know about a particular dogma, or you refuse subjection to the authority in a matter which does not oblige strict obedience, you don't lose membership. In these latter matters, one only loses membership by some formal act by which they sever themselves.

Being committed to following Christ, which could translate as a good moral and spiritual life sets whether you are a good or bad member. A living or dead part of the Mystical Body of Christ. If not, whenever we committed a mortal sin, we would lose membership in the Church.

That is essentially the Modernist/Protestant concept of the Church, where the bond between is not this triple unity above, but is the virtue of Charity or Faith—that only those who have "Faith" (often put as accepting Jesus as "personal savior") or "Charity" (often put as "sincere" in their belief in their own religion) are part of the "people of God" (which is a substitute term to broaden the idea of the Church).

This view did get some traction around the Second Vatican Council even by otherwise good theologians. Cardinal Journet, for instance did excellent work in theology, but even he, going too far with the analogy of non-members being part of the "soul of the Church" if not part of the body led him to, begrudgingly, agree with Rahner's Anonymous Christianity, even though he though it distasteful and quasi-heretical.

(04-03-2020, 08:48 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: The idea that clergy somehow have this mystical higher being than laity, and can do things we can't - I'll go along with for now.

It is an ontological change, because it places a man into the hypostatic union. A priest derives his perfection and power from the very union of God and Man in Jesus Christ, in whose priesthood he has a share.

That sounds grand, and it is, but it is akin to the ontological change at Baptism.

These Sacraments give an indelible mark and gives one a power that others (the unbaptized or laity) do not have, and it should confer a degree of perfection that was not there before.

Just as Baptism does not guarantee one does not fall back into sin and lose that perfection, neither does Orders. Both give helps and powers towards a greater perfection, but are no guarantee that that person act more perfectly.

Just as a Baptized soul can fall away from the perfection it should have, so one in Orders can also fall away, and usually the higher a soul has reached, the fall is that much the worse. Hence why when you find bad priests, they are not usually just slightly bad (although that's possible), but wholly corrupt.

(04-03-2020, 08:48 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: But if that's true - take many of the clergy, I'll use McCarrick as he's an easy one.  I don't think he's actually part of the Church, as he's not following Christ.  How can someone be a leader of something they are not even a member?

As picis points out, that's basically Donatism, one of the early heresies.

It came about for an understandable reason. Bishops and priests who had betrayed the Faith during the persecutions, were allowed to do penance and return to the Church after their apostasy. It was not light penance, mind you. Often it was very public and very hard.

The Donatists objected to this, and did not see how they could any longer be worthy ministers. Thus their Sacraments must not give grace, because they could no longer adequately represent Christ. Effectively, the theory is that the goodness of the minister determines his fitness as minister, the validity of his Sacraments and his membership in the Church.

McCarrick is a monster, and perhaps has never really had the Faith. Internally, he may have long ago rejected Christ, and perhaps still does. We cannot know those internal dispositions. When I was living in D.C. I met him many times and he was always a sleezeball and politician. He was very clearly a bad bishop and priest.

The question, however, is was he Baptized, did he submit to the authority of the Church and profess the Faith. The latter we might question, but since the Church never judged him as a heretic or schismatic, then we have to say he was a member of the Church. He was a wicked and evil and dead member, but a member.

The parable of the cockle and wheat comes to mind, and all the Fathers apply it to this situation. Both bad and good Catholic are members of the same field, and were God or the workers to try to rip up the evil, it could damage the good. So God leaves the bad, giving the proper care to each of the good to resist the bad and practice virtue, but unlike cockle, the bad can become good through the work of the good.

Messages In This Thread
The Church Visible - by Sacred Heart lover - 04-01-2020, 11:23 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Augustinian - 04-01-2020, 11:38 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-02-2020, 01:44 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Credidi Propter - 04-02-2020, 03:43 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Adventus - 04-02-2020, 04:49 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-02-2020, 04:58 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by MacPasquale - 04-01-2020, 11:53 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by formerbuddhist - 04-02-2020, 04:36 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Adventus - 04-02-2020, 04:52 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-02-2020, 04:59 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Augustinian - 04-02-2020, 05:54 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by MagisterMusicae - 04-02-2020, 07:38 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Augustinian - 04-02-2020, 07:55 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by 19405 - 04-03-2020, 07:31 AM
RE: The Church Visible - by Markie Boy - 04-03-2020, 08:48 AM
RE: The Church Visible - by piscis - 04-03-2020, 03:22 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by MagisterMusicae - 04-03-2020, 04:07 PM
RE: The Church Visible - by Sacred Heart lover - 04-03-2020, 05:07 PM

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