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, May 03, 2007

The Myth of the Separated Brethren

I recently posted an e-mail from a Christian who made statements regarding what he believed was Catholic doctrine, including his understanding that purgatory was for "separated brethren" who converted to Catholicism; This went out to over 500 separated brethren so I am attempting to address this before it becomes an internet legend. I am considering hosting a website that tracks the most popular myths, a Catholic Snopes, if you will.

"Separated brethren" is a myth. A close examination of this teaching reveals that non-Catholics have a second chance to get right with God (that is, join the Roman Catholic Church) while spending the first part of their afterlife in purgatory."

The saddest thing about this was that as the owner of a retail Christian bookstore, he was probably able to obtain a catechism for the real teachings of the Church.(and at a discount too!) I wrote a letter to the Christian marketing company that hosts the list serv that his comments were distributed on and received a kindly reply as well as an apology for the offensive comments. "We are sorry that the recent discussion turned negative
and you were offended and hurt by some of the comments made." God bless this brother!

But I still feel that RogerBibleman's comments need to be addressed and I would start to do it over a period of time and perhaps forward him the links to the individual blogposts. Also, I was thinking of sending him a catechism with the pages marked pertaining to the issues he misrepresented.

Below I have a quote from the Vatican website regarding our separated brethren. This is from Pope Paul VI's Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church written in 1964.

The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ's disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.


Blogger paramedicgirl said...

Novel idea! A Catholic Snopes site would be popular, I'm sure. I think "Rumour has it" would be a great name for it, too. I'm sure you would be very busy - there is an endless list of misinformation out there about Catholicism.

May 03, 2007 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Cyndi said...

You have a great sense of humor - and - the gift of writing, too. Keep posting! God bless you!

May 03, 2007 10:36 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Sounds like a good idea, bro! And you're going to do this your spare time? Well, if you channel more into the Snopes site, we'll all be the worse if CTT has to be set aside!

May 03, 2007 11:42 PM  
Anonymous theo said...

One thing's for sure: you'd be hard pressed to run out of material. Think of the extremes from virulent Catholic-bashing propaganda to common misunderstandings held even by many practicing Catholics.

Among the former group (propaganda) we might find (to name a very few):

1. The Vatican Supercomputer (tm) has a database of all Protestants to be used in the upcoming world-wide attach of "true Christians" by the evil Roman church.

2. Catholics worship Mary.

3. Jesuits killed President Lincoln.

4. The Pope created Islam, Nazism, Zionism, Mormonism, Druidism, the New Age movement, the Masonic Lodge and Communism.

5. The Eucharist celebrates the worship of Egyptian gods.

6. The Vatican controls (fill in the industry or organization).

7. Priests and Nuns have secret nookie tunnels built between rectories and convents.

Of the latter (common misunderstandings) we might find:

1. Indulgences forgive sins.

2. Only Catholics go to Heaven.

3. All Catholics go to Heaven.

4. The Church no longer teaches (fill in the unpopular dogma) is required of Catholics.

5. A "venial" sin is a sin that doesn't really matter.

6. It does not matter whether Catholics repent, so long as they go to Confession.

7. It does not matter whether Catholics obey the Gospel so long as they go to Mass.


May 04, 2007 1:36 PM  

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