ROMAN CATHOLIC?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic Pages Forum : One Thread
I AM A ROMAN CATHOLIC. Perhaps there was a time when CATHOLIC did not need to be identified but in this day and age it is dangerous not to make perfectly clear that one is A ROMAN CATHOLIC. Since Vatican II the Church has taken a plunge into deep division between GODS LAWS and MAND LAWS. The doctrines of the HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH cannot be compromised to fit our own needs. There is one big dangerious difference today between ROMAN CATHOLIC and AMERICAN CATHOLIC. I just had a very wounding experience back home in the Midwest with what I thought was a Roman Catholic Church and it turned out to be a very dangerous cult. We must be very careful about what we do in the name of JESUS. I AM A ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROUD OF IT.
-- Anonymous, June 15, 1998
I guess if you had a Catholic from the "Latin Rite" and a Catholic from one of the Eastern Rites talking to each other, the former calling himself "Roman Catholic" might help.
But, that is rarely the context in which it is used.
There is a reasonable community of Eastern Catholics in Australia, but on our Census form, the box to tick for Religion would be a choice between "Roman Catholic" and "Other". This country was a British colony and so, the prevailing attitudes until very recently in Government and Business were Anglican. The Catholics were working-class people from Irish stock. "Roman Catholic" is the term used by society at large because we have an Anglican heritage. I would expect that is the same in the United States, where your heritage is not Anglican/Episcopalian, but Lutheran/Puritan/Baptist/etc.
Plenty of people have referred to me in the past as Roman Catholic, but among other Catholics, the word "Roman" never came into it. And if I was with Eastern Catholics, I'd be more likely to use the word "Latin-rite" than "Roman".
What do you think?
-- Anonymous, June 18, 1998
I appreciated the last letter, and I agree with it. But isn't the real meaning of Roman Catholic "Roman Rite Catholic"? Doesn't it mean Western Catholic--as opposed to Eastern Catholic (Byzantine, Melkite, Coptic)? I understand the desire to remove oneself from the sort of liberal "non-faithful" who seem bent on destroying the Church, but does not Roman Catholic simply identify one with the largest rite of Holy Mother Church? What do you think? I am Byzantine Catholic, living in America, and quite conservative. I hope that I would have the courage to die for the papacy if the need arose. How would you identify me? I cannot really be a Roman Byzantine Catholic!! :)
Write back if you like (firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- Anonymous, June 15, 1998
Personally, I don't care what kind of Catholic you are. The main thing is we are Catholic. We all believe in pretty much the same things (Ten Commandments, God, Jesus, the Trinity, Redemption, etc. etc).
The Catholic part should come FIRST! That is the root, the core of who we are. That is what we should focus on. That is what we should celebrate. Everything else is secondary. (Not unimportant by any means, but definitely secondary.)
Also not to say that discussion of our differences is a wasted effort. Just let's try to avoid destroying bridges or building walls in the process.
And as far as cults go, from my understanding, they come in all shapes and sizes. Like many predators, they mimic something innocuous in order to lure their prey. And I'm sure *every* major religion has a cult which fashioned itself after that religion. So it's a case of identifying them by what they *do*, not by what they call themselves.
Glad you recognized it early and managed to break free, Janice. I had a friend who wasn't so lucky. But that's the topic of a whole other thread.
-- Anonymous, June 17, 1998
I can identify well with Janice. Just the other day, I had a discussion with an individual at work who stated he was Catholic, but, on the other hand, claimed that the heirarchy of the Catholic Church is but man-made -- not one instituted by Christ. He did not refer to the bible where there are the offices of deacon, presbyter (priest), and bishop defined by the Apostles themselves -- who were guided by the Holy Spirit of Christ, and through His inspiration, achieved the very works that guide us unto this day in the form of both Tradition and Scriptures.
He also made a remark that it was not until the advent of the Roman Catholic Church in 313 A.D. that the office of Pope came to be. This is so mind-boggling in the fact that even in the gospel we find passages that corroborate this office -- as even many Protestant-now-Catholic converts re-affirm. Peter in Matt 16:19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" was given the keys of heaven by Jesus himself, a right and priveledge the other apostles were not given (see Matt 18:18 where all the rest of the apostles were given the right to bind and loose but were not handed down the keys which Peter alone held).
Often, many Catholic apologists and evangelist rightfully make reference to Isaiah 22:21-22 to elaborate on the office of the "Holy Father":
"I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father (PAPA = "pope") to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. The KEY OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID (Jesus is in the line of David) I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut and no one shall open, I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place and he will become a glorious throne to his father's house."
Well, going back to the question of the title of "Roman" Catholic or just "Catholic", we must in all of this recall the fact that one of the distinguishing marks of being Catholic is our submission to the authority of the Church and, in particular, to the successor of Peter in Rome. Our duty as Catholics (if we are to be called that rightfully and justly) is to stand by our beliefs in their WHOLE. As part of our Catholic faith, our adherence to Tradition and to the Word of God given to us by Christ, the God-Man who went to the extent of dying for our sins, is binding. This is what significantly defines one as "Catholic" -- regardless of the word "Roman". Simply put, if we are to be identified as "Catholics" we cannot merely accept one truth and deny another. Our faith must not be as immature as Peter's used to be in where he had denied our Lord three times. We cannot do the same and expect to be called "Catholic" yet only accept that which is convenient to us -- that is, subjecting the Truths of the Catholic Faith to our own personal likes and dislikes. It is not what Christ had intended. And if we are to be followers of Christ and if our whole lives are to revolve around a Catholic faith, then let us TRY to be "strict adherers of the Law". Let our faith be that of the "mature" Peter --- a faith so powerfully moving, he accepted wholly the teachings of our Lord, accepting ALL its terrible consequences. The same faith that had lead him to one of the most horrible deaths, crucifixion on the cross (upside down).
-- Anonymous, June 20, 1998