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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: Are other Christians really Christian? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Are other Christians really Christian?
jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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[grumpy, perhaps slightly Hellish rant]

This is the sort of conversation which supports my absolute refusal to consider myself "Christian" despite my acceptance into the Roman Catholic Church this past Easter.

I find God present in the Eucharist. I acknowledge that part of the power of that mystery is the sincere beliefs of all the past and present worshippers, and thus it is important that the various groups of believers maintain clear sets of beliefs.

But I am seeking God. I accept Jesus Christ only to the extent that He is one with God and that His incarnation is proof that we are all incarnations of God. (I'll grant some argument about the relative perfection of these various incarnations!)

To be honest, I think that too many Christians are rather cultish and/or idolatrist in the way they approach Jesus the Christ.

On the other hand, one needs a bit of cult and idolatry to support sacramental worship, and human beings seem to have a need for ritual and worship.

[End of rant. Thank you for your indulgence.]

Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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JLG,

If you're Catholic, you are by necessity Christian. And if you're not Christian, you are by necessity not Catholic.

Check your PMs in a couple of minutes.

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
Some anti-Catholics at least educate themselves about what they're going to hate (admittedly, any proper education will generally lead to conversion, but I digress) prior to ranting.

I had twelve years of Roman Catholic schooling, in which we were taught the official doctrines of the church, and it sent me running far away from the church in ANY form for six years. I have especially fond memories of being separated from the Roman Catholics by a row of empty desks, lest we heathen Protestants contaminate their precious souls.

Roman Catholicism is very clear on who is in and who is out.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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David
Complete Bastard
# 3

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Ah, but Erin. You obviously didn't receive a "proper education", because otherwise you would have been converted.
Posts: 3815 | From: Redneck Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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That remark wasn't intended entirely seriously, Dave.
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David
Complete Bastard
# 3

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Not entirely seriously, Lad? Which part was intended seriously then, and which part wasn't?
Posts: 3815 | From: Redneck Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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When I said "admittedly, any proper education will generally lead to conversion, but I digress", it was tongue-in-cheek. I do think a lot of anti-Catholics would cease to exist as such if they actually bothered to study what the Catholic Church teaches, but I'm also aware that there are some people for whom no amount of study will bring them to accept Catholicism.

Anyway, I'll be sure to mark it up the next time I'm not being entirely serious with a suitable array of flashing graphics.

[Smile]

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Presleyterian
Shipmate
# 1915

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Jesuitical Lad wrote:
quote:
I'm also aware that there are some people for whom no amount of study will bring them to accept Catholicism.
And then there are those born and raised in the Catholic Church, lovingly schooled in the Baltimore Catechism, and educated at what some might consider to be the pre-eminent Roman Catholic Theology Department in the United States, who edged further and further away from Catholicism the more we learned about it.

There is still much about the Catholic Church that I love. I consider Roman Catholics to be my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. And the amount of anti-Catholicism I witness in the culture is a scandal. But please be aware that not all those who reject aspects of Catholic theology do so out of ignorance.

Posts: 2450 | From: US | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Self-destructive? Wouldn't you say that Protestantism's fragmentation into over 25,000 denominations puts the boot on the other foot on that one as well?

Gregory, I was careful not to single your denomination out for criticism. That is a precedent you may wish to follow, unless you are looking for that swipe at Orthodoxy which was discussed here earlier.

Now, back to the topic.

quote:
quote:
What basis is there for the claim that organic continuity is the defining feature of the Church? For that matter, what basis is there for the claim that organizational unity is desirable? From diversity comes strength and creativity.
The basis is the basis of your own body Scot. It is that defining sense of self that is represented by your psychosomatic integration notwithstanding the glorious diversity and plasticity of the human organism. I am sure that St. Paul had that in mind in 1 Cor 12. Being one body is no use if the body snatchers take over tomorrow.
In this analogy, it is the head that decides what is a part and what is not a part. Christ is the head of the Church. Any denomination pretending to be the whole Church is nothing more than a foot, or some other body part, that has fallen asleep and forgotten that it is connected to a greater whole.

You seem to equate organism with organization in a way that I believe is arbitrary and flawed. Ecclesial structure is only one of the possible criteria that could be used to define the boundaries of the Church organism. Some have said that membership in the true Church is conferred by bloodline, race, or speaking in tongues. In each case, an arbitrary standard was chosen and elevated in a way that perverts the inclusive nature of the gospel of Christ.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Scot

I am saying that the human body in its organic unity / diversity coherence is the way we should look at Church unity, (after 1 Cor 12). A human body "sings the same tune" as it were ... if it doesn't it will be cancerous. The problem with denominations is that they don't sing the same tune even on essentials and sometimes not even on core beliefs, (I am using the definition/ distinction I used before). As such I believe denominationalism to be cancerous and ultimately fatal to those churches that are infected by it. It is certainly no basis on which to construe any kind of unity.

Occasional Protestant church "movements" come along and proudly trumpet "we are not denominational ... we're just here to serve the other churches." When the other (Protestant) churches don't want to be served, the wraps come off and, hey presto!, we have another deonomination.

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Bonzo
Shipmate
# 2481

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Gregory,

The mouth, brain, tongue and lungs are involved in singing a tune, but when it comes to filtering out bodily waste, a kidney or two works better I find. [Big Grin]

There will be no one church, no one denomination that has everything right and no one denomination which will suit all sorts of humans. Your orthodox church has a very liturgical style of worship which will suit some people down to the ground. My baptist church has a strong sense of social right and wrong which is why I go there. While I would love there to be a church which was broad enough to encompass all these good ideas, I fear that human nature and intolerance of other people's ideas makes the current situation the best of a bad job. You changed anglican to orthodox. I changed from anglican to baptist.

If there was only the orthodox church, then I would be unable to, say, take communion, my needs would be ignored, you would insist that I assented to your view of the Eucharist as the correct one, or forgo it. If there was only my baptist church, you would feel unable to take communion with us. So because we are human don't you think it's a good thing that both churches exist? Isn't this variety a good thing, when you consider the alternative?

I know you don't believe that the orthodox church is right in everything it does, any more than I believe that my baptist church is 100% right. So let's be clear here. When it comes to the idea of one denomination (A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy) it's a non starter for most christians.

--------------------
Love wastefully

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Gregory

If all are to sing the same tune then there must be compromises by all. If this is so important to you I suggest that you get talking to create greater commonality between the Orthodox and then onto relationships with the Roman Catholics. At present your tone is a schismatic as the most obstreperous of Protestants. It sound too much like "if you do not play my way I am going off".

However as any choir master will tell you a melody however good does not of itself make a good piece of music. You need the harmonies and the discords to create a full sound.

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
Ecclesial structure is only one of the possible criteria that could be used to define the boundaries of the Church organism. Some have said that membership in the true Church is conferred by bloodline, race, or speaking in tongues. In each case, an arbitrary standard was chosen and elevated in a way that perverts the inclusive nature of the gospel of Christ.

I had thought that baptism defined the boundaries of the Church ? Anyone who wants to draw a boundary elsewhere should please be clear on the role of baptism and what that means if it is not what some of us thought it was.

Continuity equalling identity - up to a point. But if I take a broom, separate it into handle and head, give the handle a new head and the head a new handle, then both the brooms have continuity (the same continuity which the old much-repaired broom had). For one broom to say to its brother "I am the true broom" is at best a partial truth and at worst both ridiculous and destructive of good relations.

So when Mousethief says
quote:
we believed that in 101 AD and then in 102 AD we believed it too, and in 104 we kept believing it, and then in 105 it was still true, and so forth down to the present.
he is telling a partial truth. In every schism, there is continuity (and thus by that argument identity) on both sides. The story of the Church organism is the story of all the divergent organisations and beliefs that have sprung from the original root.

If your argument is from continuity, then those who have thought up Christianity anew, entirely for themselves, are outside it (whatever their beliefs) and all those of us who have caught it from someone else are inside.

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Orb

Eye eye Cap'n!
# 3256

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Hate to be a pedant (no actually I don't, I love it), but surely the original question is a contradiction in terms?

Surely the John Wesley thing about not knowing whether you're saved or not is for one obvious reason - that only God knows who are Christians.

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“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
I do think receiving communion when not in a state of grace and not a member of the Catholic Church is profoundly foolish and dangerous, but it's not my job to say who's damned.



Speaking for myself I would never seek to receive Holy Communion at an RC church, as I feel it would be impolite and disrespectful for me to place that particular dilemma on the shoulders of the priest. It would be placing an unfair burden on him, being aware as I am as to what he is and isn't allowed to do.

I have never been offered it, either, and I'm not sure what I'd do if I were! Would it be throwing the proposed hospitality of the priest back in his face, if he thought he were trying to include me, albeit by defying his Church's protocol? Or should I stick to my understanding of his Church's protocol, trusting that he will understand and respect my refusal? Strictly speaking of course, it would be wrong of him to offer and put me in that position in the first place. So I think my conservative reaction would be to refuse, if only to maintain the 'integrity' of his own Church's line.

However, at another level, there is also the question of me, as a Christian, refusing the body and blood of my Saviour - why on earth would I want to do that? I might decline from making a scene at the front of the church by demanding it; but if I were offered it, in what way would the Sacramental food of my Saviour endanger me, or prove me to be foolish? Unless of course, this is the very foolishness that Saint Paul says is the foolishness of God, designed to shame the wisdom of men?

quote:
Given this failure, it amazes me all the more that Anglicans are willing to receive in Catholic churches. Is there something wrong with the sacraments on offer in Anglican churches all over the country? Is it possible that subconsciously, you've accepted the Catholic view of Anglican sacraments?

Did someone suggest that Anglicans were choosing to communicate in Roman Catholic churches over and against communicating in their own? No. I understood the suggestion was that, when in a Catholic church and offered an opportunity, some Anglicans receive. There is no question of anything being wrong with the 'Anglican' sacrament, or that the RC sacrament is more acceptable somehow. More a question of something being essentially right (albeit ignorant perhaps of the Catholic Church's ruling on reception) in their attitude to recognizing the Body and Blood of Christ, as being of the same spiritual source as what they receive in their own home churches.

Though I doubt if many would articulate it quite like this, I admit!

quote:
Perhaps not. I'm tempted to think that this behaviour is actually not so much a capitulation to Rome as a continuation of the historical anti-Catholicism - symbolic violence an' all - which has plagued this country since the Reformation. Thankfully I don't suffer from the affliction of thinking that my suspecting something therefore makes it the case.
So this means that although you are tempted to think that Anglicans receive communion in RC churches in order to further the historical oppression of Catholics, thankfully you aren't prone to coming to the conclusion that your suspicions are correct?

This is an interesting point: Sacrament as religio-political weapon! Wouldn't be the first time the rite of Holy Communion was used by the powers-that-be to implement some form of control or persuasion, that might debateably have been described as oppressive. Though I can't think of many historical cases that involved the threat of being fed communion; more the threat of its being withheld.

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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My wife has been a bit startled by this thread. She has taken communion in an RC church several times when visiting with a friend. Nobody told her she wasn’t allowed, and it never occurred to her to ask. In my mind, this leads to some questions.

What is the effect of her ignorant participation in an RC communion where she was not welcome? Did she somehow corrupt the sacrament for the rest of the congregation? Did she incur the wrath of God? If not, then what harm was done? Was the communion efficacious for the rest of the congregation, but not for my wife? Does it make a difference to the result if she has a memorial understanding of communion?

Just wondering…

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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I took communion too (from a RCC) when I was 9 years old and went along with my friend, Kim Megatric, to her church. Am I tainted too like Thumbprint? Enquiring minds want to know.

duchess//Protestant Evangelical leaning towards Reformed Christianity

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♬♭ We're setting sail to the place on the map from which nobody has ever returned ♫♪♮
Ship of Fools-World Party

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Peppone
Marine
# 3855

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I got a fright too, when I read the stuff above about celebrating communion in a Roman Catholic church. I'm Anglican. I was invited to a baptism at Mass on Christmas Day in my friend's RC church. As the congregation began lining up to receive, I asked my friend is it OK for me to join with you here? He looked at me like I was nuts and said (words to the effect of) "We invited you here to celebrate with us...we are part of the same deal...why would we *not* want you to share communion with us...?" Personally I still don't think I did anything wrong; I certainly had no intention of disrespecting the RC Church, it's customs, laws, clergy or members. I asked a practicing Catholic if I could receive communion in his church. He said "Yes." Could he be in trouble? Could the priest?

--------------------
I looked at the wa's o' Glasgow Cathedral, where vandals and angels painted their names,
I was clutching at straws and wrote your initials, while parish officials were safe in their hames.

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Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
My wife has been a bit startled by this thread. She has taken communion in an RC church several times when visiting with a friend. Nobody told her she wasn’t allowed, and it never occurred to her to ask. In my mind, this leads to some questions.

What is the effect of her ignorant participation in an RC communion where she was not welcome? Did she somehow corrupt the sacrament for the rest of the congregation?

No.

quote:
Did she incur the wrath of God?
Hmm. From your post, it seems clear your wife didn't know she was not allowed to receive communion - so I guess no, since for an action to be mortally sinful requires full knowledge and consent. If she were to persist in receiving now, despite having learned the Catholic position, that would be a different kettle of fish.

quote:
If not, then what harm was done?
Well, unless she believes in transubstantiation, from a Catholic POV she's eaten the flesh of Christ and drunk his blood without being properly disposed, or prepared, or in communion with the Church which the meal signifies communion with. So it's quite a big deal for us.

quote:
Was the communion efficacious for the rest of the congregation, but not for my wife?
If you mean was the sacrament valid - it was for everyone. The beliefs of the recipient have nothing to do with the status of the sacrament.

quote:
Does it make a difference to the result if she has a memorial understanding of communion?
Well, it underlines the fact that she shouldn't be receiving in a Catholic church, but it makes no difference to the validity of the sacrament.

For what it's worth, your wife shouldn't have to find herself in this situation. It's the duty of Catholics to - politely - inform visitors that they should not be receiving communion unless they fulfil the conditions in Canon Law.

Duchess,

Again, I think the fault lies more with the Catholics who were around and knew (if there were any) rather than with you. "Tainted"?! I think not.

Peppone,

Your friend went against the Church's line on the matter. If he did so deliberately, that's his problem. If he didn't, then no. The priest presumably didn't know your status, so he can't be held responsible. And neither can you, if you didn't know that you're not allowed to receive and you're not culpable for that ignorance.

Anyway, I think the basic message is: please don't receive communion in a Catholic church unless you accept our sacramental theology and are covered by one of the provisions of canon law. At this point in time, Anglicans are not. You are always welcome to go up and receive a blessing from the priest, though - and there's no stigma, since Catholics do this too when they don't feel in a suitable state to receive. Non-Catholics are always welcome to worship in our churches, obviously!

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Eanswyth

Ship's raven
# 3363

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I was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic church. I now worship in an Episcopal (ECUSA) church. Would I be allowed to receive communion in a RC church today?
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Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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I'm certainly not 'anti-Catholic' - and I mean Roman Catholic in this instance. I am active in ecumenical work and I find I have as much in common with my Roman Catholic friends on that group as my Anglican colleagues .In terms of sacramental theology, more so.

When have I taken Communion in a Roman Catholic Church ? In Spain, mainly, where there are few if any Anglican churches. I will probably do the same in the Czech Republic. Individual priests are much more flexible. Incidentally, our Director of Music is RC, and he happily receives in our Anglican church.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Eanswyth:
I was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic church. I now worship in an Episcopal (ECUSA) church. Would I be allowed to receive communion in a RC church today?

You would have to go to Confession prior to receiving in a Catholic Church.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Peppone:
Personally I still don't think I did anything wrong; I certainly had no intention of disrespecting the RC Church, it's customs, laws, clergy or members. I asked a practicing Catholic if I could receive communion in his church. He said "Yes." Could he be in trouble? Could the priest?

Personally, I don't think you did anything wrong either, FWIW! It just so happens that in my own case, wherever I have attended an RC church service, I have always been known as a non-Catholic, and the priest has always observed the protocol of his Church not to communicate non-Catholics.

Or sometimes, I have been in the company of Catholics who I definitely know would be offended if I tried to receive, and would consider it a provocative and rude thing to do. As it is 'their' church, I've always deferred, and simply asked for a blessing.

Like many on this thread, I, too, have a lot of friends and acquaintances who have been encouraged by RC priests to communicate, even though they have stated their denomination, or asked about the validity of it all. I also know a number of folk who regularly holiday abroad in Europe and attend local RC churches, where they are known to be Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists or whatever, by the congregation and priest who welcomes and communicates them at Mass.

Whenever I've happened to mention that I wouldn't expect to receive communion from a Catholic priest, I, too, have met the mystified and almost worried response of some folk, to whom it never occurred to question whether they were doing the wrong thing in sharing the sacrament.

As I hinted at in my previous post, I don't believe I am doing the 'right' thing in not expecting to receive; just the polite thing. While I may respect the RC Church's protocol on who should and shouldn't be fed by Christ at their altars, I'm not compelled to agree with it. But then I suspect that's why they'd rather people like me don't receive [Snigger]

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
Ecclesial structure is only one of the possible criteria that could be used to define the boundaries of the Church organism. Some have said that membership in the true Church is conferred by bloodline, race, or speaking in tongues. In each case, an arbitrary standard was chosen and elevated in a way that perverts the inclusive nature of the gospel of Christ.

I had thought that baptism defined the boundaries of the Church ? Anyone who wants to draw a boundary elsewhere should please be clear on the role of baptism and what that means if it is not what some of us thought it was.



Russ

Russ are you discussing "Church" as in RC or Anglican or "Church" as in the worldwide Christian community?

For us Anabaptists and Baptists, baptism does not make one a Christian. If somebody calls themself or somebody else a Christian based upon believing baptism thus entitles, I personally affirm them in their Christianity; but, I disagree with their theological statements.

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

Posts: 5025 | From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
When I said "admittedly, any proper education will generally lead to conversion, but I digress", it was tongue-in-cheek. I do think a lot of anti-Catholics would cease to exist as such if they actually bothered to study what the Catholic Church teaches, but I'm also aware that there are some people for whom no amount of study will bring them to accept Catholicism.

Anyway, I'll be sure to mark it up the next time I'm not being entirely serious with a suitable array of flashing graphics.

[Smile]

Thanks, because I had the same reaction as Dave and Erin. I've studied RCism extensively, and I believe my rejection of it to be well-informed.

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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CorgiGreta
Shipmate
# 443

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jl,

As the instigator of this of this brouhaha over open Communion, I am pleased to see you have retreated somewhat from your harsh judgments of my actions, which I assure you were not intended to be disrespectful of your Church or its understanding of Holy Communion. At the time I received the Blessed Sacrament, I was ignorant of the canons you have kindly cited, and I assure you that I will respcct them in future. Obtaining approval from the parish priest seemed reasonable at the time, as I did not have access to copies of Roman Catholic ecclesiastical law.

I suspect that some of the regulars in the MW ghetto were, like myself, rather amused to see GorgiGreta lumped in with those who are disrespectful to the "Eucharist and to Catholics". I have the impression that most of the MW people consider me to be a bit finatical in my ways of expressing devotion to the Blessed Sacrament (e.g. I fast 12 hours, I always receive kneeling, I do not touch or masticate the Host, etc.).

Additionally, I can assure you that I am neither anti-Catholic nor anti-Roman Catholic. In fact, I am probably considered by most MWers to be in the solidly Catholic camp, and in all my posts I haver uttered a word of criticism of the Roman Catholic Church.

Greta

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CorgiGreta
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# 443

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If I were fanatical, surely I would be able to correctly type the word.

Greta

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
If you choose to disrespect the Catholic Church's teaching on who can receive the Eucharist at our Masses, that's your choice. So a priest approved? As recent events have shown, priests are far from uniformly perfect in following the teachings of their Church.



Disclaimer: JL, just so you know, I quite like your posts in other topics, and, since I violently disagree with your stance on this issue, in Christian love I'm going to ham slap you for a bit here. [Help]

Also, I feel I should preface this with the admission that I'm a crunchy iconoclastic Protestant who has no love for any religious empire's power structure, regardless of name or history. [somewhat tongue in cheek] I'm not prejudiced; I hate them all. [Snigger] [/somewhat tongue in cheek]

Okay, on with my post.

IMHO quite obviously you disapprove of CG receiving that communion from the priest, and such is your right. However, I strenuously disagree with both your stance and the RCC doctrine limiting communion participants to fellow RCs absent extreme, life-threatening situations anyone else might be in.

Communion, as I understand it, is the rememberance of the Passion of Christ, a rememberance of His life and His death, His sufferings and His resurrection afterward. Am I incorrect in this definition?

I Cor. 11:23-30:
quote:
(23)For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, (24)and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." (25)In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." (26)For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

(27)Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. (28)A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. (29)For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. (30)That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.



The above represents my understanding of Communion. I look at the above passage, and I see nothing about qualifying Communion recipients according to denominational membership. Instead, I see only a warning about eating and drinking the elements unworthily, which, in the context of the verse and chapter, is defined as not recognizing the elements for what they represent: The Blood and Body of Christ.

quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
New York’s Cardinal O’Connor condemned Clinton's illicit reception of Holy Communion.

JL, your use of the word 'illicit' here knots my knickers something fierce. How on God's good earth can someone receiving Communion do so "illicitly"?! [Ultra confused] If I marry a woman while I'm married to another woman, then yes, I married illicitly by committing bigamy. But if I am a Christian, presumably saved by grace and in relationship with God, and I receive Communion from an RC priest under less than life-threatening circumstances (as Clinton did), how the frick does "illicit" enter into the equation, apart from a "technical foul" of RCC Canon Law?

quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
I'm not aware of the other episode, but if someone from a Christian community not approved by the Catholic Church received, then that too was unlawful under Canon Law, as well as a sign of gross disrespect to both the Eucharist and Catholics.

No. I cannot accept this. That such a reception breaks Canon Law, this I understand intellectually, and can accept on face value, even if I have no sympathy for that law. On this facet, it's purely a Yes/No response to, "Did the reception follow RC Canon Law?"

But holding that such a reception is disrespectful of the Eucharist is, AFAIC, the worst sort of antinomial perversion of what the Eucharist symbolizes. Who is the RCC to decide to keep me away from the blood and body of Christ? I as a Protestant may accept the Eucharist from an RCC priest only in extreme situations at best? Who is the RCC to lay down limits to God's grace and power? WTF do they get off abrogating to themselves the right to perform a "sniff test" on each supplicant for the Eucharist?

Frankly, I think Communion can--and should--be administered to the Body by the lay members of the Body as often as professional clergy do so. JL, were you to be sitting in my house on a night when I served Communion to those believers gathered there, you would be as welcome to partake (or not to partake) as anyone else. I would--and will--offer you the bread and wine with my own hands, knowing that I am following Christ's command to remember Him when I am gathered with other believers, you, a fellow in the body of Christ, among them.

I cannot, in any way, shape or form, discriminate as to who may partake or not, because in so doing, I bar that person from participating in the grace of God and the remembrance of Christ's life and death.

FWIW, I bear you no ill will and if I have been graceless in my argument, then I apologize and ask your forgiveness.

--------------------
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear kenwritez

I don't think I should intervene in your gauntlet before JL, (although to be fair I am qualified since Orthodoxy takes a similar but a less stringent canonical view on the matter). However you did say this which I feel should be flagged as a non-argument.

quote:
I see nothing about qualifying Communion recipients according to denominational membership.
.... which is hardly surprising since denominations were 1800 years away in the future.

Explanatory note ...

Some would say that as soon as the Reformation started to fragment western Christianity it would be proper to talk about denominations and in one sense that is true. However, it was only in the 19th Century that a denominational ecclesiology grew in strength within Protestantism.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
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Russ
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Og,

I try not to dignify any denomination as a Church-with-a-capital-C, but use it only for the entire body of Christian believers.

Any sacrament is an outward sign at one moment in time of an inward reality which may be gradual over a long period of time. A man and his wife grow together into "one flesh" over many years, but for administrative convenience are classified as unmarried before the wedding ceremony and married afterwards.

Similarly, becoming a Christian may take a lifetime, but we make the outward sign at one particular moment in time when we are baptised. And are "administratively Christian" thereafter.

If your understanding of baptism is significantly different, by all means explain it. I'm just pointing out that I perceive a certain lack of logic in believing in baptism as a rite of entry to the Church and then rejecting baptised people as "not really Christian" if they don't belong to one's own denomination.

You wouldn't think much of a man who felt free to court your wife on the grounds that he chose not to recognise the validity of the sacraments of any denomination but his own...

Russ

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
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Russ - if baptism is the sole criterion for decideing who is a member of The Church (which you have defined as 'the entire body of Christian believers'), can I just throw a little spanner into the works, by reminding you that there are some Christian groups who do not practice baptism. Well there may only be one actually - the Salvation Army (I am unaware of any others, but that's beside the point).

Nothing is ever quite as simple as we want to make it!!

--------------------
Fancy a break beside the sea in Suffolk? Visit my website

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Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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Of course, the RC can and does refuse Communion to RCs as well, if there's reason enough. In a recent incident nearby, which was reported in the Washington post, a Judge declined to sentence Catholic gay activists who were arrested when they went to the Hyatt to request communion and ask for an explanation of why they had been denied the eucharist at the Shrine the day before. The judge said

quote:
"Tremendous violence was done to you . . . when the Body of Christ was denied to you," Edwards said, referring to the contention of the three that refusal of Holy Communion had prompted their actions. "As a member of your church, I ask you to forgive the church."
It turns out the celebrants had been under the mistaken impression that the denied guys belonged to a group who meant to take Communion as a form of protest:

quote:
Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said a member of the shrine staff misidentified the three as members of the Rainbow Sash movement and told the priest. The priest declined to give them Communion at the Nov. 11 service, Gibbs said, because the Rainbow Sash group had informed the church that members planned to receive Communion as a form of protest.

"The Eucharist is the core of our faith and a sign of our unity," Gibbs said. "It is very rare to deny Communion, but since it was publicly announced it would be a protest and not a sign of faith, the Rainbow Sash group was denied the sacrament.

The judge sentenced them to the thirty hours they'd already spent in jail for trespass (they refused to leave the hotel and had to be arrested).

--------------------
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
Russ - if baptism is the sole criterion for decideing who is a member of The Church (which you have defined as 'the entire body of Christian believers'), can I just throw a little spanner into the works, by reminding you that there are some Christian groups who do not practice baptism. Well there may only be one actually - the Salvation Army (I am unaware of any others, but that's beside the point).

Nothing is ever quite as simple as we want to make it!!

Quakers do not practice baptism.

--------------------
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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I must say that neither Anglican nor Roman Catholic theology (the two sister churches to which I have had the greatest exposure, of course) states that members of other Christian churches are not Christian, nor that they are damned. In fact, exposure to such an idea at all comes from reading (news media), Internet discussions and the like, not from my rather extensive personal experience.

I do not see that the leaders of the Reformation (in relation to theology) saw Roman Catholics as not being Christian. Their arguments against Rome's having maintained integrity were both more subtle and more complex than that.

The heresy trials, anathemas, and the like of past centuries, deplorable though they were, need to be seen in the light of a totally different mindset. I have no fondness for some of what went on during the middle ages (my area of speciality), but an era when heretics (who often were guilty of horrid crimes) were thought to be in league with the devil, and given special powers to allow them to lead people to hell, would be far different from our own.

In any time, to say that "XX's writings or teachings are not in accord with Christian doctrine" is not a condemnation to hell! If someone, for example, denied the Incarnation, this indeed is out of accord with Christian belief - where is saying so a judgement of the person's soul?!

I must admit that one idea I sometimes see on the Ship boards, which totally puzzles me, is why seeing a doctrine as truth (revealed by God) and professing belief is considered a condemnation of others.

(As an aside - Were I to ask a Roman Catholic priest if I were permitted to receive Communion, and this permission was granted, I would think this showed a great respect for the Eucharist - not the opposite.)

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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ekalb
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# 2642

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Here's an interesting, possibly heretical view:

What if all the churches and denominations are wrong and God has simply moved on to bigger and better things (?)

Now before anyone interjects, I ask all of you to think about your views on Judaism.

facetiously yours,

ekalb

--------------------
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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As a non-sacramentalist, I find this discussion both interesting and sad. I am discovering in great detail how certain groups within the church exclude each other about sacrements.

One good thing: the next time somebody says we Anabaptists are into creating barriers between Christians, I can say something about people with glass houses.

[Frown]

--------------------
I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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Geez, you post something and then you realise you missed a post: [Embarrassed]

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Og,

.......
Any sacrament is an outward sign at one moment in time of an inward reality which may be gradual over a long period of time. A man and his wife grow together into "one flesh" over many years, but for administrative convenience are classified as unmarried before the wedding ceremony and married afterwards.


Yes, but...there are people on here, like myself, who are not sacrementalists.

quote:

Similarly, becoming a Christian may take a lifetime, but we make the outward sign at one particular moment in time when we are baptised. And are "administratively Christian" thereafter.

Some of us take a different view of that idea of "the outward sign". We would consider baptism a symbol but not a necessity for acceptance by God into status as "a Christian".

quote:

If your understanding of baptism is significantly different, by all means explain it.

My point wasn't as much about baptism as how people define what makes people a Christian. There are already a number of baptism threads.

quote:
I'm just pointing out that I perceive a certain lack of logic in believing in baptism as a rite of entry to the Church and then rejecting baptised people as "not really Christian" if they don't belong to one's own denomination.

Russ

On that, I agree; I don't share the logic. Actually, Russ, I appreciate your perception on this. I think we non-sacrementalists are pointing out how not of all us share the idea of baptism administratively makes you a Christian.

Fascinating discussion. Thanks for your points Russ.

--------------------
I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Jonm
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# 1246

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When I was taking part in the vigil for Molly I landed up one lunchtime in the hospital chapel, and when people came in to say RC mass. I decided to stay and pray along as my part of the vigil The homily was excellent and I was enriched by it. I neither received nor went up for a blessing; the first out of respect for the RC church, the second, I think, out of a sense of Anglican self-respect which I find hard to articulate precisely. I've been fairly often since, prayed along, breathed deeply at the approximately 3 sentences in the mass I find difficult. and just prayed for myself and everyone present.

What, theologically, is going on here? AIUI, the whole point of the Mass is to make a sacrifice which sets the priest and congregation at peace with God by the receiving of the Body of Christ. If that is true, what is a (possibly rather ignorant) Prod doing sitting at the back trying to exude typically vague Anglican goodwill around? Am I "helping" (wrong word) at all, or just getting in the way?

Jonathan

(liturgy-loving memorialist)

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"My God, My God, why hast thou accepted me?"---Caedmon's Call

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by Eanswyth:
I was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic church. I now worship in an Episcopal (ECUSA) church. Would I be allowed to receive communion in a RC church today?

You would have to go to Confession prior to receiving in a Catholic Church.
But, following what Erin was saying, that would involve repenting of having attended an Anglican church, and resolving not to do so any longer, as well as considering that one had both sinned in not attending Catholic church (that used to be called "participating in false worship")and had violated the Sunday Mass obligation all along.

I would imagine that many of us who were born RC but later became Anglican would not, in honesty, ever be able to say that we believed we'd sinned in doing so. Candidly (and given the anonymity of the Internet), I am inclined to think I would receive communion were I to attend an RC service. Yet I certainly could not "repent" of a change of sister church which I have found more enriching to my faith than otherwise.

Incidentally - Jesuitical Lad I'm sure can confirm that the RC reasons for barring others from communion (for all that I dislike that practise) does not involve believing they are not Christians.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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KenWritez
Shipmate
# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Dear kenwritez

I don't think I should intervene in your gauntlet before JL, (although to be fair I am qualified since Orthodoxy takes a similar but a less stringent canonical view on the matter).

Hmmm...so what is the Orthodox position on Communion recipients?

quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
However you did say this which I feel should be flagged as a non-argument.

quote:
I see nothing about qualifying Communion recipients according to denominational membership.
.... which is hardly surprising since denominations were 1800 years away in the future.


Didn't the Pharisees and Sadducees have factions and sects within themselves?

In my own unique way, my point was that Jesus never, ever laid down regulations on who may or may not participate; doing so IMNSVHO violates the spirit of the sacrament itself.

quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Explanatory note ...

Some would say that as soon as the Reformation started to fragment western Christianity it would be proper to talk about denominations and in one sense that is true. However, it was only in the 19th Century that a denominational ecclesiology grew in strength within Protestantism.

I have no love for denominational structures at all. I would abolish them in an instant if I could. I see them as artificial barriers erected by men between man and God in order to protect our pet doctrinal viewpoints, no different in essence than a country club or an Orchid Appreciation Society.

--------------------
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Kenwritez

I was merely saying that one cannot extract information about present day practice in the context of today from the eucharistic fellowship context of the apostolic era because they are radically different situations. Initially, for example, membership of the New Israel of God ... the Church of the New Covenant was almost entirely Jewish. How can we discern anything about denominationalism in that? Sects and denominations are not the same thing. Even sects then and now are not the same thing. It seems strange that Christians who take a pretty relaxed view on applying primitive criteria to today in other spheres suddenly get all "let's here it for the 'ole time religion" when it suits them.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Xavierite
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# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by kenwritez:
Disclaimer: JL, just so you know, I quite like your posts in other topics, and, since I violently disagree with your stance on this issue, in Christian love I'm going to ham slap you for a bit here. [Help]

Ham slap?! [Ultra confused]

quote:
Communion, as I understand it, is the rememberance of the Passion of Christ, a rememberance of His life and His death, His sufferings and His resurrection afterward. Am I incorrect in this definition?
Ok, well, for a Catholic such a definition is woefully deficient, for starters. The Eucharist is the sacrament in which Christ, under the forms of bread and wine, is truly present, with His Body and Blood, in order to offer Himself in an unbloody manner to the Heavenly Father, and to give Himself to the faithful as nourishment for their souls. It's the centre of our Faith, prefigured in the sacrifices of Abraham and Melchisedech, the manna in the desert, and the Old Covenant's sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb.

But it's not just that the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are truly, really and substantially present in the Eucharist, with only the accidents of bread and wine remaining after the change of substance. So too are His Soul and His Divinity. And this sacrament, which we worship, must not be received by Catholics (forget non-Catholics for a moment) who are not in a state of grace. That's a de fide dogma for us.

And what is the Mass? For us, it's a true and proper sacrifice. In it, Christ's sacrifice on the Cross is made present, its memory celebrated, and its saving power is applied. And it's not just a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but it's a sacrifice of expiation and impetration too.

Obviously, for those who reject any of the above to receive is scandalous to Catholics, because it's disrespecting not just Canon Law (which, for all its worth, is human in origin) but also the true nature of that which is present. With the Orthodox, we know we're dealing with people of sound theology. But for anti-sacramental Protestants, or Anglicans who have rejected the notion of mortal sin or the need for a state of grace to receive, it's just not possible.

There's also the fact that we are much closer to union with the Orthodox than we are with Anglicans - who seem to move ever further away - and Reformed Christians, and so opening our communion can act, in a small way, as part of furthering the cause of unity between our Churches.

quote:
The above represents my understanding of Communion. I look at the above passage, and I see nothing about qualifying Communion recipients according to denominational membership. Instead, I see only a warning about eating and drinking the elements unworthily, which, in the context of the verse and chapter, is defined as not recognizing the elements for what they represent: The Blood and Body of Christ.
But Catholics don't see themselves as part of denomination in a bigger church. We are the Church. The Orthodox continue to have apostolic succession and valid sacraments, so we see them as a bit of the Church currently in schism. Outside of that - with a couple of minor exceptions covered in Church assessments - we don't hold there to be valid sacraments, or apostolic succession. So we see the words addressed to us as the Church, rather than those who broke off later in history to found their own Christian groupings.

quote:
JL, your use of the word 'illicit' here knots my knickers something fierce. How on God's good earth can someone receiving Communion do so "illicitly"?!
I meant illicit under Canon Law!

quote:
But if I am a Christian, presumably saved by grace and in relationship with God, and I receive Communion from an RC priest under less than life-threatening circumstances (as Clinton did), how the frick does "illicit" enter into the equation, apart from a "technical foul" of RCC Canon Law?
Do you accept all the dogmas outlined above about the nature of the Blessed Sacrament? If you do, we'll happily receive you into the Catholic Church as a convert! If not, why would you want to receive? If I were an anti-sacramental Protestant, I'd see this aspect of Catholicism as, frankly, idolatrous - and I wouldn't want to endorse it with my presence, let alone my participation.

(Of course, I think the "idolatrous" view is tragically mistaken, but I also think it makes more sense from a Protestant POV.)

Also, are you saved? Catholics hold it to be a mortal sin to presume salvation. Another instance of the massive divide which exists amongst Christians and which would make intercommunion a sham under current circumstances. We'll agree that it's by grace, but we can't say who is and who isn't.

quote:
But holding that such a reception is disrespectful of the Eucharist is, AFAIC, the worst sort of antinomial perversion of what the Eucharist symbolizes. Who is the RCC to decide to keep me away from the blood and body of Christ? I as a Protestant may accept the Eucharist from an RCC priest only in extreme situations at best? Who is the RCC to lay down limits to God's grace and power? WTF do they get off abrogating to themselves the right to perform a "sniff test" on each supplicant for the Eucharist?
Well, I believe that Christ founded the Catholic Church, and the Holy Spirit guides it. So, basically, I reckon it has the authority. Obviously, it doesn't set limits to God's grace or power. But as regards its functioning as a sacrament to the world (which is what the Church is) - I think God protects it from error in these matters.

quote:
Frankly, I think Communion can--and should--be administered to the Body by the lay members of the Body as often as professional clergy do so.
Administered? Well, we do have lay extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. But as regards celebrating Mass - sorry, this is another instance of a currently-unbridgeable gap between Protestants and Catholics.

quote:
JL, were you to be sitting in my house on a night when I served Communion to those believers gathered there, you would be as welcome to partake (or not to partake) as anyone else. I would--and will--offer you the bread and wine with my own hands, knowing that I am following Christ's command to remember Him when I am gathered with other believers, you, a fellow in the body of Christ, among them.
I would happily share a meal with you, pray with you, and do all the other stuff which comes under the heading of "fellowshipping". But I wouldn't see it as fulfilling Christ's institution of the Eucharist.

quote:
FWIW, I bear you no ill will and if I have been graceless in my argument, then I apologize and ask your forgiveness.
Not at all. I hope I've answered the points without sounding too dogmatic or narrow-minded. I do think people should be honest about their beliefs on these issues, though.

As Newman's Own intimated, we do believe non-Catholics to be Christian. Mistaken on certain issues, yes, but Christian nonetheless!

[Smile]

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Some have asked here concerning the Orthodox position. I see it as no different than the Catholic position as described by JL with two small caveats ... the first interesting, the second amusing ...

(1) I think we can have the same eucharistic doctrine as pertaining to sacrifice and presence without the Aristotelian formulation of St. Thomas Aquinas.

(2) 1054 AD .... who split from whom? That's funny. Same story ... inverted participants. I hear the sound of God banging our heads together.

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Fr. Gregory
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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by kenwritez:
[In my own unique way, my point was that Jesus never, ever laid down regulations on who may or may not participate;

How do you know that? Are you privvy to the world-swamping collection of books that weren't written from the things he said?

Reader Alexis

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Dear Kenwritez

I was merely saying that one cannot extract information about present day practice in the context of today from the eucharistic fellowship context of the apostolic era because they are radically different situations.



Yes and no. There's extracting and then there's extracting. Almost every single point of church practice performed today in every denomination I can think of, points back to Scripture for support. Yes, tradition is often overlaid onto the Scripture, but, nonetheless, the Scriptural foundation is almost always there.

If we accept your logic, then you, as an Orthodox priest, should go get a day job because the Christian priesthood is "from the eucharistic fellowship context of the apostolic era...." Indeed, every single point of church practice is from that period.

What I am trying to do is use Jesus' behavior at His Communion meal as *the* example or standard for all Communions from that point on, in exactly the same way I use his behavior with the people seeking healing or wanting to know God. Jesus did not say, "This is my blood, drink it in rememberance of Me as long as you agree with everyone else in the room about what it means."

Simply put, I see not one atom of Scriptural evidence that anyone, individual or church structure, has the right or duty to bar from Communion anyone who professes Christ. Period. Full stop.

That means, in my eyes, anyone who does so chooses to block the way between the communicant and God's grace. I find that to be a very scary place indeed.

quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
It seems strange that Christians who take a pretty relaxed view on applying primitive criteria to today in other spheres suddenly get all "let's here it for the 'ole time religion" when it suits them.

Would you please expand on this? I honestly don't know what you mean here. Thanks!

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

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Scot

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# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
Do you accept all the dogmas outlined above about the nature of the Blessed Sacrament? If you do, we'll happily receive you into the Catholic Church as a convert! If not, why would you want to receive?

Does the participant's belief make the dogmas any more or less correct? If yes, then you'll make a fine protestant! [Big Grin] If no, then this can hardly be a good criteria for exclusion of any professing Christian.

The reason a non-RC would want to receive is twofold. First, Christ commanded it. Second, communion brings unity, not only with God, but also with our Christian brothers and sisters. Our fractious reputation notwithstanding, that unity is something that most protestants prize greatly.

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PeterY
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# 3962

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quote:

Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:

The Eucharist is the sacrament in which Christ, under the forms of bread and wine, is truly present, with His Body and Blood, in order to offer Himself in an unbloody manner to the Heavenly Father, and to give Himself to the faithful as nourishment for their souls. It's the centre of our Faith, prefigured in the sacrifices of Abraham and Melchisedech, the manna in the desert, and the Old Covenant's sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb.

But it's not just that the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are truly, really and substantially present in the Eucharist, with only the accidents of bread and wine remaining after the change of substance. So too are His Soul and His Divinity. And this sacrament, which we worship, must not be received by Catholics (forget non-Catholics for a moment) who are not in a state of grace. That's a de fide dogma for us.

And what is the Mass? For us, it's a true and proper sacrifice. In it, Christ's sacrifice on the Cross is made present, its memory celebrated, and its saving power is applied. And it's not just a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but it's a sacrifice of expiation and impetration too.

I would happily agree with the above, and so:

quote:
Do you accept all the dogmas outlined above about the nature of the Blessed Sacrament? If you do, we'll happily receive you into the Catholic Church as a convert!
Well, that doesn't seem to be quite true. Most of the things the Roman Catholic church teaches I would agree wth, but certainly not all. Those things with which I do not agree are mainly concerned with discipline and ecclesiology. Now, I fully realise that not having full agreement with those things would disqualify me from being welcomed into the Roman Catholic church; it is, quite rightly (IF you agree with them) an all or nothing package (Of course, this does make one wonder, in a very frivolous way, how many Roman Catholics are in fact Roman Catholics [Snigger] )

But I am a Christian, I am accepted as being a Christian. But I am a Christian outside the Church (there being only one). Can this be? Surely not. To be a Christian is to be joined to Christ; to be joined to Christ is to be a part of His Body; and is not the Church the Body of Christ? I am not a part of the Church (there being only one) so I cannot be part of His Body; so I am not joined to Him; so I am not a Christian? Something does not seem to be right.

I must admit that I would find the Roman Catholic arguments much more convincing if they were to go back to the old traditional way of just saying that everyone else was damned. It showed the rest of uswhat we really were!

Deep down, I am glad that there seem to be a lot of Roman Catholics who hold slightly different views from the Authorities; it gives hope to the ecumenical movement.

[fixed UBB for quote]

[ 06. February 2003, 09:34: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]

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Anselmina
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# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
quote:
Originally posted by kenwritez:
Communion, as I understand it, is the rememberance of the Passion of Christ, a rememberance of His life and His death, His sufferings and His resurrection afterward. Am I incorrect in this definition?

Ok, well, for a Catholic such a definition is woefully deficient, for starters.

'Deficient' according to whom? The RCC, JL or God? It's possible that for Christians, including Catholic Christians, who have read Luke 22, Kenwritez's description might be more than sufficient as a definition of what's going on in the Eucharist.

If a Catholic were not able to give the definition JL does for the Eucharist, to whom is the 'deficit' in knowledge and understanding owed? Who is being shortchanged? Certainly not Christ, if the passage from Luke is anything to go by.

quote:
Obviously, for those who reject any of the above to receive is scandalous to Catholics, because it's disrespecting not just Canon Law (which, for all its worth, is human in origin) but also the true nature of that which is present. With the Orthodox, we know we're dealing with people of sound theology. But for anti-sacramental Protestants, or Anglicans who have rejected the notion of mortal sin or the need for a state of grace to receive, it's just not possible.
This is true. With Man, this is impossible, thankfully with God all things are possible. The choice is ours.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Kenwritez

I do have a day job ... as a teacher ... but that's as may be.

Professing Christ is not enough. How do we profess Christ? ... as true Man and true God or as the created alter ego of the Archangel Michael. That's why the Nicene Creed is the touchstone and the Watchtower Organisation is not.
My last comment concerns the highly selective approach of certain proponents of historical criticism who resorts to the "historical Jesus" according to its own criteria as and when it pleases. These, apparently, have a much better understanding of the original m,odel than the rest of us .... as if the original model counted for everything anyway .... which it does not .... because the context has changed.

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Fr. Gregory
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Xavierite
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# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
Do you accept all the dogmas outlined above about the nature of the Blessed Sacrament? If you do, we'll happily receive you into the Catholic Church as a convert! If not, why would you want to receive?

Does the participant's belief make the dogmas any more or less correct? If yes, then you'll make a fine protestant! [Big Grin] If no, then this can hardly be a good criteria for exclusion of any professing Christian.

The reason a non-RC would want to receive is twofold. First, Christ commanded it. Second, communion brings unity, not only with God, but also with our Christian brothers and sisters. Our fractious reputation notwithstanding, that unity is something that most protestants prize greatly.

Yes, Christ did command it. But if you reject the Church that Christ founded, wanting to receive communion there strikes me as slightly incoherent. Second, it doesn't bring unity if by receiving you are actually going against our understanding of Church, the Eucharist and who can receive in our churches. It's antagonistic. It's also, in our view, blasphemous since you don't worship the Sacrament and instead treat it as just a piece of bread or a drink of wine. You also, I'm guessing, wouldn't accept that the Mass is a re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.

The recipient's beliefs don't affect the dogmas about the Mass, nor do they affect the status of the sacrament. But they do affect whether or not that recipient is worthy to receive.

PeterY,

It is still a dogma of the Catholic Church that outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation.

Anselmina,

If you think Kenwritez's definition is sufficient, then that's simply further evidence of the chasm that exists between us and the sham that intercommunion would constitute.

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