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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Few Anglican to Catholic Thoughts

As I posted yesterday, Pope Benedict is creating a new pathway to allow Anglicans to convert to Catholicism. This is in response to the many requests that they have had over the past few years by Anglicans desiring orthodoxy.
I was perusing some Anglican blogs regarding this to get a sense of how they are perceiving this.
One American Anglican bishop said something to the effect of "This really isn't a good idea, because there was a reformation you know."
But, the reality is that Anglicanism was not the result of the reformation, though it certainly aided and abetted the process. King Henry now had a template to follow based on Luther's break from the Church in Germany. Anglicanism, however, was the result of one individual's desire to break away from the authority of the seat of Peter for a moral reason, not a doctrinal one. Earlier in his life, King Henry, the "founder" of the Anglican Church actually wrote a treatise against Martin Luther and the Reformation in which he defended the teachings of Catholicism. He was commended by the Pope for his work.

So the only true reason originally for the creation of Anglicanism was an authority issue , not a doctrinal one. So 400 years later, the rift is being healed by those once again submitting to the authority of the pope. Let's hope and pray that other denominations will see the benefit that papal authority has had on maintaining orthodoxy. It will be harder for others though because of doctrinal issues in addition to authority issues. But I have been saying for the past 5 years, once you accept apostolic succession and the authority Christ has given the church in the successors of Peter, the doctrinal issues seem to fall into place quite nicely.

8 Comments:

Blogger Whatseduptonow said...

Exciting times for Anglicans and Catholics alike. I have long wondered about the divivions in the Anglican Church and how it was responding to all of the controversties. Regarding translators, a young friend in Port-Au-Prince was on my Facebook as I was responding to you and he asked me to inquire about ob opportunities. We use several translators in Cyvadier. Some are very good-some not so good. Your 13 visits mirrors my 11 visits and, yes, I have failed to learn Kreyol inspite of several trys. I know a few basic words and really should try to learn more. I recently had a document translated that speaks to the issue of botanicals that Haitians use for medicine. I will send it to you if you would email me your mailing address.

October 21, 2009 9:21 AM  
Anonymous saintos said...

I think Shoot, I should have been Anglican!, but I was Pentecostal and there's no dispensation for where the Tiber is wide enough to swim but not narrow enough for leaping.

Aside from that, good luck to those married chappies, I know what it is, well was, to foster a family and a vocation at the same time. I do hope the cafeteria crowd won't be trumpeting this as a sign that we should have more married priests as that would be the solution to the so called vocation problem. Like we can't name off the tip of our tongue at least half a dozen Protestant ministers, men, married who crashed their ministry and their family because of the divided time and devotion and thus fallen prey to the glory, the gold or the girls or boys (yech) and in not a few cases all three (or four - yeeechh).

But yes, it's a happy day to see a centuries old rift un riven.

October 21, 2009 11:07 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

thanks Ed!

Ah Saintos, that's true:
"Like we can't name off the tip of our tongue at least half a dozen Protestant ministers, men, married who crashed their ministry ..."

For some reason though, these crashes don't carry the same amount of weight and publicity when they occur.
I also noticed, When the mega-church pastors go down in flames,from time to time, my evangelical friends don't send me e mails pointing to these type of news reports, the way they do priest and bishops who crash and burn. Why's that?

October 21, 2009 4:25 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Why does the Catholic Church get hit harder? Bigger claims bring about bigger expectations, and those expectations when they crash are immense in people's eyes.

To Protestants, it is that "AHA!" moment... "See, how can these men be the *special* ministers of God... they are no different..."

That is what does it I think.

-g-

October 21, 2009 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the devil is only wants in brining down the one true Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, that is why are persecuted the most.

October 25, 2009 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Russell said...

Greetings Tiber Jumper,

I found your article interesting, especially your statement, "...once you accept apostolic succession and the authority Christ has given the church in the successors of Peter, the doctrinal issues seem to fall into place quite nicely."

With all due respect, that sounds real nice, but what about the "flip-side" of that concept? What if there are some problems with the doctrine of apostolic succession (as understood by the Catholic Church)? For example, isn't apostolic succession supposed to be an unbroken, uninterrupted, and lawful chain of successors (popes) since the time of Peter?

But what about those popes who obtained their office 1) by simony (buying their office), or 2) by the manipulation of influential prostitutes in high places, or 3) by force? Are these popes considered to be "valid" holders of the chair of Peter? Is this "lawful" succession?

If it is, then how can the "Vicar of Christ" obtain his office in this way, when even in the secular world, this kind of thing is not (generally) accepted?

If it is not "lawful," then what does this say about the concept of apostolic succession?

If apostolic succession is questionable, then perhaps the doctrinal issues aren't falling into place quite as nicely as you indicated. If there are problems with such a foundational issue, would this not call into question the certainty of other Catholic claims, as well?

Thank you for your time and attention. Looking forward to your response.

Russell

January 14, 2010 1:11 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"If apostolic succession is questionable, then perhaps the doctrinal issues aren't falling into place quite as nicely as you indicated. If there are problems with such a foundational issue, would this not call into question the certainty of other Catholic claims, as well?"

Resoundingly no, Russell. Just because in 2000 years there has been a handful (<10 really bad popes, scoundrels promiscuous etc) it doesn't render the doctrines of the Catholic Church invalid. If you are going to invalidate Catholicism because a few bad popes who bought their way into the papacy, then you must reject the book in your hands called the Bible that was canonized by the Catholic Church in 392 AD by Pope Damasus.
Apostolic succession, thankfully doesn't rest on the sanctity of those who receive it. The office of the vicar of Christ was first filled by a person who actually denied Christ three times!
Yet that same Christ denier and coward was our first pope and through God's hand started the spread of the faith that continues up until now.
St Augustine said "if it were not for the Catholic Church, I would not have believed the gospel."
You should too Russell

January 14, 2010 8:01 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

Hello Tiber Jumper,

Thanks for your response.

I do believe, though, that you missed my main point. My focus was not on the idea that “the man needs to be impeccable to be pope”, but rather, it was “the man needs to acquire the office of ‘Vicar of Christ’ in a God-ordained and God-approved MANNER to be pope.” I don’t think that any honest person can say that getting the papal office by force, buying the position, or being placed there by prostitutes, is God-ordained or God-approved.

You said, “Apostolic succession, thankfully doesn’t rest on the sanctity of those who receive it.” But it MUST necessarily rest on the VALIDITY of each and every pope in this “chain” of succession. Every one of those who got in by force, finances, or fornication were, BY DEFINITION, unlawful and illegitimate holders of the “chair of Peter.” The Catholic Church can’t just casually brush aside these significant (and embarrassing) historical facts and say, “Oh, well, it doesn’t really matter how he got the position of pope; the office doesn’t require personal impeccability.” It certainly does matter.

So, does this mean that “anything goes” when it comes to acquiring the position of pope? Tiber, you can’t convince me that God approves of a pope getting his papal office by immoral or illegal means, and then considers this “legitimate.” If it’s ok for the pope to do it, is it also ok for the cardinal, bishop, and priest, as well?

Apostolic Succession is a very extraordinary claim, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Yet, I see problems rather than proof. A number of popes were guilty of simony, etc., but even if there were only ONE pope who achieved his office in such a way, the so-called “unbroken” and “uninterrupted” chain of successors is STILL broken.

I do believe in apostolic succession, but not the Catholic Church’s version of it. I believe that apostolic succession is simply believing in that which Jesus and the apostles taught, as revealed in the Scriptures, and passing it on.

If you click on my “homepage” above, I have more detailed comments on the teaching of apostolic succession on my blog. And questions and comments are welcome.

January 15, 2010 12:12 AM  

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