Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Protestant's Response to the CDF Statement

My friend PA over at Porters Lodge posted a comment on yesterdays post that I am posting below.

"After reading some of the Protestant blogs, it's clear that some find this statement objectionable:

These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery[19] cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense[20].

I would ask my Protestant friends, "Why should that statement bother me?" It is the nature of Protestantism to be opposed to a great deal of Catholic dogma, is it not? The fact that the RCC does not recognise Protestant ordination or churches as "Churches in the proper sense" should have no bearing whatsoever on their own doctrine and calling from Christ. After all, most Protestant denominations do not recognise the RCC as a "Church in the proper sense," either. It's nothing new, as far as I can tell, unless some Protestants consider the reiteration of the statement as some kind of blow to Catholic/Protestant relations, a step "backward." I have read that some do consider it that. In that case, I would encourage them to read what the sedevacantists have to say about Protestants. After reading that, they'll run to the Pope!"

13 Comments:

Blogger Amber said...

I had a friend write me who was very upset by this article and what it implied. Unfortunately, MSN took the document a bit out of context...

BUT, like what is said here, one must ask why it really matters much.

I cannot count how many times, as a Catholic, it's been implied or flat-out said that I am not a Christian at all... that I follow a cult... that I'm going to spend eternity in hell.

Ah, well... The choice to become a Catholic wasn't a light-hearted whim. It was a solid choice. Turning my back on the Catholic Church would be, for me, turning my back on Christ himself. Let them say what they want.

I believe many are upset because their private papacy is being attacked... It all boils down to people not accepting the authority that Christ established for his Church. Apparently, we're meant to be in a state of constant disagreement... floundering around trying to decide for ourselves what is true and just hoping we've got it right!

Praise God for the pope and church authority!

July 12, 2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous theo said...

Tiber:
You’re a constant blessing: a true edifying force in a world bent upon pulling down what is right and true. Great article! I’ve been discussing this issue among some bloggers who are mistaken about the meaning of the paper, and have cited some of the quotes you provided as clarifying examples.

You’ll make me even lazier than I am if you do all my research for me.

Regarding PA’s comments: right on. (Did Theo actually just say “Right on?” Bring out the bell-bottoms, man.). The Christ-like attitude and deportment of God-fearing men and women such as Pilgrim perfectly illustrate that Protestants "are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth..."

PA, I do not exaggerate when I say that I bless God upon every remembrance of you. I would that my imitation of Christ were even half the quality yours presents. May the Holy Spirit continue leading us all in the knowledge and grace of Jesus, our Lord. May He bless you and yours with every good gift.

Your brother in Christ,
--Theo

July 12, 2007 2:34 PM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

TJ,

Please pray for the baby whose mother has an abortion scheduled for tomorrow.
Thanks in advance.

July 12, 2007 3:40 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Ma I will pray and hope others do as well as they read this.

July 12, 2007 4:40 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Theo!

July 12, 2007 4:41 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Amber:
one of the biggest freedoms I have experienced these past three years is
having a Pope and magisterium and not constantly relying on my self. I don't trust myself to get it right after 30 years of trying!!

July 12, 2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger + simonas said...

Right... It's your blog, so you can write what you want, but your statement "After all, most Protestant denominations do not recognise the RCC as a 'Church in the proper sense'" is just not true. If we are stuck on the 16th century disagreement, then, perhaps, yes, RCC has been called the den of the devil, and I'm sorry for my Protestant brothers.

However to say that it is the reality of today is a crass overstatement. In that case, the argument reminds me of picking two extremes (which are often the minority in both groups) and justifying one side's arguments by their opposition. Fair? I don't think so. Backstabbing? More like it.

Returning to the argument itself, it seems that it rests on the continuity of Christian Tradition. Catholics say that it's been broken in the Protestant world. In return, these 'ecclesiastical communities' reply that their tradition continues not through the human succession and redistribution of the Divine Spirit through their hands, but through a written Word of God that is inspired and fit for edification, teaching, rebuking, etc. So, the Church Tradition is sealed in the Word of God.

And while we are still on this side of eternity, it does matter to me what my brother says about me. Let's not minimize that. What sayest thou, brother?

July 13, 2007 1:58 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Simonas:
The statement you quoted was written by a Protestant (Pilgrimsarbour) commenting on my blog and I posted it as a separate post. Sorry for the confusion.
But from where I am standing on the Tiber, I have to disagree with you when you disagree with my protestant brother in the post in question.
If you want to spend a day as a Catholic convert, walk in my shoes, read my hate mail, watch the phone go silent after you convert, get sniping comments from friends and relatives, lose career opportunities in the Christian music business because you are a Catholic Christian, then perhaps you would re-think your view. I, like you, never had any idea how many people didn't think Catholics were Christian until I became one!
Thanks for posting.

July 13, 2007 7:34 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

PS: Simonas:
Just want to clarify:
Perhaps in your country, folks are more ecumenical than in mine, so temper my remarks with that thought.

July 13, 2007 7:38 AM  
Blogger + simonas said...

Dear tiber jumper:
You know, I might agree with you. We Christians (Catholics and Protestants alike) like to declare one thing, but practise another. I might say that that the situation is about the same when one turns from Catholicism to an Evangelical expression of faith. Kids get ridiculed at school, friends turning away, etc. Too bad, don't you think?
On the other hand, I know quite a few Catholic people, who know of my convictions, yet are my close friends. They are my friends too, you know. That does happens too. :-)
Anyway, thanks for the heads up about what it feels to be a convert to Catholicism, if we ever find ourselves on the same side of Tiber. :-)

July 13, 2007 8:21 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Well, regardless of where we stand in relation to the Tiber, Lord willing, I will stand with you before His throne someday saying "Glory to God in the Highest!"
Thanks so much.

July 13, 2007 8:27 AM  
Blogger The Spirit's Vehicle said...

TJ- I do not know what it is like to be Protestant, Evangelical, or any other religion other than Catholic. However, I do know what is like to grow up in a family where my father converted before marrying my Catholic Mother and his Lutheran parents treated me like a fourth class reject grandchild. Baby-sitting for me was too much trouble, Christmas gifts were always an after-thought, etc. Today, I am a Catholic priest and my paternal Grandmother boasts about me to her friends. Go figure!

July 13, 2007 6:13 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

I wanted to add a clarification to my statement:

After all, most Protestant denominations do not recognise the RCC as a "Church in the proper sense," either.

I meant all those Protestant denominations and individual believers who still hold to orthodoxy within the context of, and as an offshoot of, the Reformation; that is, Reformed and otherwise Evangelical. The so-called "Emerging Church," while appearing to have some good intentions, is really nothing more than a warmed-over version of the old liberal theology of the 19th and 20th centuries. The legacy of liberal theology is spiritual paralysis, as can be easily documented within liberal denominations today. These denominations have lost millions of adherents over the past few decades as it became less and less important to their leaders what people should believe about God and His Church, and why. It has been said that once you believe in everything, you believe in nothing. In this "new" movement, a narrative style of subjectively expressed "felt-needs" replaces objective revelation from God. Dialogue and conversation, having been placed on the throne above all that God has revealed in His word, become the ends in themselves rather than means to a higher end. Having said that, it is my conviction that good, productive and clarifying dialogue can and does take place between conservative Catholics and conservative Protestants. Neither Tiber Jumper's nor my blogsite is an apologetics site, strictly speaking. We both have firmly held beliefs. But conversing courteously is not the same as compromising beliefs, and can be conducted productively without the doctrinal malaise which is characteristic of such modern or postmodern movements, whether "new" or rehashed.

July 13, 2007 8:16 PM  

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