Over and over at this website, it seems to be a standard Catholic apologetic that a statement by a Protestant is WRONG because the Protestant is "anti-Catholic" (and thus no other reply is needed).
I've had that accusation leveled at me MANY times - as the "end all" rebuttal.
I wish to address that....
THIS is my public and passionate position vis-a-vis the RCC:
"I embrace the RCC as a valid, sound and good denomination that I hold in great esteem. I regard its ministers and ministries as all valid. I regard all its Sacraments and the administration thereof to be valid. I consider all believers in it to be my FULL and UNseparated and entirely equal and equally blessed brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray daily for God's greatest blessings upon it, it's ministers and ministries and it's Holy Father."
Now, I CAN understand how my fellow Protestants would (and sometimes do) disagree with me, but my question is this: Does that position make me categorically "ANTI-CATHOLIC?" Is the accusation leveled at me over and over and over by the Catholics here just and accurate? Does my "anti-Catholicism" mean that ergo I'm wrong and no further discussion is suggested, my extreme "anti-Catholicism" proves I'm wrong? THAT is my question (especially to the many Catholics here).
Catholics: Will you say as much positive about ME and MY church (the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)? IF not, then who is the more "anti?"
I will say that to me your statement is a positive one concerning the Catholic Church. As a Catholic I appreciate the sentiment. As from the posts I"ve read of yours, I did not sense that you were/are especially "anti-catholic" per se, but it seems that you are not willing to acknowledge the initial universality of the Chistian church, and at times you do seem to come across as less than enthused about us.
Thank you. You seem to be unique among Catholics in this regard...
No. Actually I DO embrace the universality of the Christian church - in the beginning, now and eternally. Which is why, with most Protestants, I confess that the church is "one, holy, catholic, communion of saints."
I'm actually VERY "enthused" about your denomination. While I "left" such, I did so with NO 'hard feelings' - indeed, with considerable sadness and regret, and only after CONSIDERABLE prayer and discussion (including specifically with my priest). I actually uphold it as perhaps the best denomination - in many ways, I regard it better than the one my current congregation belongs to. Yes, I DO think that A FEW of the things it teaches AS DOGMA shouldn't be DOGMA (I tend to be more of the Eastern Orthodox perspective on some of these), and there are TWO dogmas (rather key and interrelated) that I disagree with, these dealing with ecclesiology and epistemology. When I left your denomination, I told my priest that I agree with probably 95% of what I had been taught and probably disagreed with 1% of it. He knew this to be true because we had just discussed my faith. His response to my comment was this (I think this is verbatim), "Josiah - that's a whole lot better than most Catholics, heck - it's probably better than a lot of priests." I don't know about the last part (I really only know well one priest - and he's very conservative) but I think the first part IS true - at least from my experience with the Catholics known to me.
Sure we have our differences about doctrine, worship, etc, but we should never forget that which binds us, our combined belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior, God Himself come to earth.
The FAITH that unites us is powerful and complete...
The DOCTRINE that divides us is not always so significant and often not so relevant.
The church remains one, holy, catholic, communion of saints. We ARE full, unseparted, totally equally brothers and sisters in Christ. Not always articulating all things identically - but then that's NEVER been the case. I realize that Catholicism fundamentally disagrees with me on this, but there's nothing I (or you) can do about that. We CAN share our views (even respectfully, maybe even here at this website?) but some dogmas are meant to divide and institutionalize, and they do.