|Posted on February 2, 2015 at 4:10 PM|
Some of the issues non-Catholic Christians struggle with when it comes to the Catholic Church – and their clarification:
Question 1: Catholics do not see us as a church! Did not the last Pope say something like that?
Response: Yes, there are some Christian denominations that the Catholic Church does not see as “church”. This is because they do not have apostolic succession and like that no Eucharist (Jesus commanded His apostles – and with them those in line with them through the laying on of hands – to celebrate the Lord’s supper. He did NOT authorize everyone to do that!). It has nothing to do with their size or with their acknowledgment as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Question 2: Apostolic succession is necessary to become a priest and to forgive sins in Jesus’ name, I understand that. But can I also go to others who claim to have that?
Response: There are certain circumstances where the Catholic Church would allow their members to do that. For instance, when you live in an area where there is absolutely no Catholic Church around, but there would be a Greek Orthodox one, you are allowed to go to its priest and ask to receive the sacraments there. However, being “anointed” through some bishop who split away years ago and claiming apostolic succession through that and with it the ability to forgive sins and so on is invalid – and so is the sacrament of confession that goes along. Apostolic succession and the sacraments performed by priests are only valid when it is also legitimate.
Question 3: The Catholic Church thinks she is the only one around. We in our church do not believe we are the only church in town. When Catholics speak about unity, they mean that we should all become Catholic, right?
Response: Jesus founded one physical Church, not some sort of spiritual entity of those who call themselves Christians but have thousands of different beliefs. He only has ONE body. Yes, we are all called to unite. A house that is divided cannot stand. We need to become one again – physically one (“Catholic”). There were grave sins made on both sides regarding the lack of unity. All of us need to do our utmost on a practical basis to reach unity again. It is not about the mean Catholic Church forcing all to become Catholic. It is about being ONE body of Christ again! Imagine the fire we could unfold, if we united our various gifts and talents! Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Traditionalists, Charismatics – all of that united under one roof! Catholics could learn so much from their non-Catholic brothers and sisters – and the other way around! All of us are sinning gravely if we do nothing to become one Church again! This is not about domination of one Church that thinks she is better than all of the rest, but about all of us being humble enough to unite!
Question 4: Why would we need a Pope? All we need is the Bible!
Response: Aside the fact that “sola scriptura” (the Bible as the only authority) is nowhere to be found in the Bible and that without the Church we would not have a Bible to begin with – if it were enough, how come we have 38000+ different Christian denominations with different beliefs? We can’t even agree on the basics! I am glad I have a Pope so I don’t have to be one myself!
It is not about winning arguments, playing the blame game or pointing with the finger at others. We need to become ONE again, fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission and save souls!