Catholic Resources not tagged as such

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fgh | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Dec 27 2010 11:43 AM

While researching the Christmas deals I have come across a number of books by Catholic authors that are not tagged as such. Considering how few the Catholic resources are, it seems a shame that we can't even find the ones you have. Sad

These are the ones I can remember right now. I know there were more.

Probably also

 

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Mike Aubrey | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 27 2010 1:12 PM

fgh:

While researching the Christmas deals I have come across a number of books by Catholic authors that are not tagged as such. Considering how few the Catholic resources are, it seems a shame that we can't even find the ones you have. Sad

These are the ones I can remember right now. I know there were more.

Probably also

fgh, I feel you pain. I do--probably more so, since I'm the one who has to make the gut wrenching decisions. I wish that applying categories to books were simpler than it is. 

Looking through what is currently labeled as "Catholic," that list is going to change a bit. Currently, there are a number of books that aren't labeled as Catholic that need to be, but also a number of books that are labeled as Catholic that shouldn't be. I'm getting closer and closer to being down with this project. I'm anticipating being done by the end of January.

I doubt the Handbook of Christian Apologetics will be marked as Catholic, though. The fact that the authors are Catholic does not inherently make a book Catholic any more than the fact that a publisher is Evangelical (IVP) inherently makes a book Evangelical. If anything, perhaps there needs to be an added category for ecumenical works such as this one.

I'm trying to figure out just why the Oxford Latin Dictionary is labeled as "Catholic" when OLD doesn't cover the language past AD 200. I'll be changing that.

The world gets more and more complicated when we start doing this author by author for "Christian Group" categories. Are the volumes on Matthew on Job in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture then labeled as Catholic too? They're published by an Evangelical publisher and translated by a Catholic, giving the comments of the Fathers, who could just as easily be argued to be Orthodox as they could be Catholic (and that's exactly how an Eastern Orthodox believer would argue).

Other borderline cases that are challenging are Swetnam & Zerwick's books: http://www.logos.com/product/3871/introduction-to-biblical-greek-collection The authors are Catholic and they're published by the Pontifical Biblical Institute, but neither is particularly Catholic in Content. Grammar isn't denominational. The "Catholic" label will be removed from that set (as it will for a number of Church Fathers resources we have). The same goes for a number of the PBI collections (e.g. the Northwest Semitic Collection: http://www.logos.com/product/5963/northwest-semitic-collection).

We're in a tough place here. Is Augustine Catholic? Catholics would say "Yes."Protestants would say "No." What about Bishops of Rome before Leo I?  The Catholic is going to say that all Bishops of Rome are Catholic by definition. But protestant church historians would say that Leo I was the first to truly exercise papal authority (and thus the first true Pope) with his Tome settling the problems that arose from the False Council of Ephesus/Robber Synod which then became the foundation for most of the wording in the Definition of Chalcedon. Who do I listen to?

It gets worse when I start thinking about how people react to certain labels? Do I want people categorically dismissing Kreef & Tacelli's Handbook because it has an evangelical publisher? Do I want other people dismissing it because it has Roman Catholic authors? No and no.

The two main questions I ask for Christian Groups are:

  1. Is the audience limited to a specific Christian Group (or two specific Christian Groups, e.g. http://www.logos.com/product/6041/the-future-of-christian-learning-an-evangelical-and-catholic-dialogue)?
  2. Is the content about a specific group?

I don't know if this helps you at all. If anything, I hope that it gives you an idea of the complexity of my task and the challenges I face. 

Foundations of Systematic Theology was so low on my list, I wouldn't have gotten to it for another week or so if you hadn't pointed it out. I will categorize it today.

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 7:43 AM

Michael Aubrey:

I doubt the Handbook of Christian Apologetics will be marked as Catholic, though. The fact that the authors are Catholic does not inherently make a book Catholic any more than the fact that a publisher is Evangelical (IVP) inherently makes a book Evangelical. If anything, perhaps there needs to be an added category for ecumenical works such as this one.

 

Well this one point Michael I have to respectfully disagree with you. Dr. Kreeft, a professor at Boston College, is one of the most noted Catholic theologians of our current time.  This book is aptly titled "Christian Apologetics" because of the fundamental nature of the content.

The content is decidedly Catholic; I suspect most non-Catholic Christians would have a disagreement with at least one of these sections, which from my reading are decidedly Catholic and hence not in conformance with other Christian beliefs:

1. The role of grace

2. Exclusive, literal interpretation of the Bible

3. Historical accuracy of the Bible

4. Purgatory

5. Doctrines on salvation and justification

I also don't see how it can be a wise thing to categorize resources only on content.  For example, Catholic authors are not infallible, so by definition not everything they write adheres to Catholic teaching. That doesn't say it's not still a Catholic book.  As a customer, if an author considers their self a Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, etc., that is what I want to know - it's only through reviews, recommendations, and previous experience do I discern whether I can learn anything from them and the resource is worth purchasing. 

To deny the Catholicism of Augustine gives more weight and more credence to others who deny what he believes himself to be! He would roll over in his grave if he thought someone considered him other than Catholic. He is quoted many times as saying he submits to the authority of the Catholic Church.  Is it fair to say Martin Luther is not Lutheran because some other group believes his teachings are no longer the "true" Lutheran teachings in their eyes? Who decides that they are authoritative?

This is quite a slippery slope when others can define what a person's beliefs are. I humbly submit that we should consider Catholic authors as Catholic and leave the review of their work to customers.  Thanks for listening.

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 7:58 AM

Just a few other comments as the path you are on is a very dangerous one.  If you decide that common Protestant teaching is the basis of categorization that I suspect the categories will be worthless to others!

Michael Aubrey:
The authors are Catholic and they're published by the Pontifical Biblical Institute, but neither is particularly Catholic in Content.

As I said before, no Catholic author is infallible so there will be errors, small or large, in their writings. But the Pontifical Biblical Institute was founded by a Pope to further academic research with Catholic Spirit.  If you do not consider that Catholic I don't know what you would!

Michael Aubrey:
It gets worse when I start thinking about how people react to certain labels? Do I want people categorically dismissing Reeft & Tacelli's Handbook because it has an evangelical publisher? Do I want other people dismissing it because it has Roman Catholic authors?

Is the categorization defined by accuracy of the resource or what will alienate the least number of people? I respectfully submit that these questions shouldn't even enter into the equation, otherwise the categories are what people want them to be based on their own beliefs. How is that accurate?

Michael Aubrey:
  • Is the content about a specific group?
  • I think the question is, does the author believe them self to be a representative of a group and their content a representation of that group's belief.

    Michael Aubrey:
    What about Bishops of Rome before Leo I?  The Catholic is going to say that all Bishops of Rome are Catholic by definition. But protestant church historians would say that Leo I was the first to truly exercise papal authority (and thus the first true Pope) with his Tome settling the problems that arose from the False Council of Ephesus/Robber Synod which then became the foundation for most of the wording in the Definition of Chalcedon. Who do I listen to?

    The word "Pope" was used well before Leo I by Catholics. Why in the world would you consider that less important a decision criteria than other denominations making the decision for that religious group? Is that what Catholics would want to see?

     

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    Mike Aubrey | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 9:00 AM

    Dominick Sela:
    The content is decidedly Catholic; I suspect most non-Catholic Christians would have a disagreement with at least one of these sections, which from my reading are decidedly Catholic and hence not in conformance with other Christian beliefs:

    The content is decidedly ecumenical.

    While the word purgatory does indeed appear in the book, it is never argued for and I'm not sure where you see it as a "section." What is argued for we find in the introduction:

     

    Mere, or Orthodox, Christianity

    We confine ourselves in this book to the core beliefs common to all orthodox Christians—what C. S. Lewis called “mere Christianity.” By mere we do not mean some abstract “lowest common denominator,” but the heart or essence of the faith, as summarized in the Apostles’ Creed. This ancient and unchanging core unites diverse believers with each other and against unbelievers within many churches and denominations as well as without. Liberal (or modernist or demythologist or revisionist) theologians will not like this book, especially its arguments for miracles, the reliability of Scripture, the reality of the resurrection, the divinity of Christ and the reality of heaven and hell. We invite them to join the self-confessed unbelievers in trying to refute these arguments. We also invite them to begin practicing more accurate “truth in labeling” in describing their own position.

    Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 24.

     

    Many groups claim the Apostles Creed. I said it in church, myself, just this weekend.

    Dominick Sela:
    To deny the Catholicism of Augustine gives more weight and more credence to others who deny "what he believes himself to be! He would roll over in his grave if he thought someone considered him other than Catholic. He is quoted many times as saying he submits to the authority of the Catholic Church.  Is it fair to say Martin Luther is not Lutheran because some other group believes his teachings are no longer the "true" Lutheran teachings in their eyes? Who decides that they are authoritative?

    This is precisely the problem. Calvin *did* claim Augustine for the reformers over against Catholicism.

    If two groups (actually, many, many  more groups: Lutherans, Reformed, Catholics, Orthodox with all its flavors, Anglicans...) have claimed a church father for themselves, how am I to make the decision? If I don't label Augustine as Catholic, I have one group crying out that he is Catholic! If I do label him as Catholic then I have a completely different (and opposed) group crying out that my categorizations are anachronistic! 

    I can't win.

    And because of that, I must use different criteria.

    Dominick Sela:
    This is quite a slippery slope when others can define what a person's beliefs are.

    Nobody is defining anyone's personal beliefs. Any decision about the content of a given book being Catholic, or Lutheran, or Evangelical, or Eastern Orthodox is based  upon what the book claims for itself. 

    Dominick Sela:
    I humbly submit that we should consider Catholic authors as Catholic...

    I do consider Catholic authors as Catholic, but I'm not going to necessarily categorize their books as such. Were I to do that, I would then need to do make such a decision for every author. I cannot do it for one group of authors and not the rest. How in the world do you categorize someone like Thomas Oden?

    Dominick Sela:
    ...and leave the review of their work to customers. 

    If a book in and of itself claims to be about Catholicism or relevant to Catholics, it will get the label. I do not make any value judgments about the author or the book.

    I don't want to sound argumentative (and I'm rather afraid that I do). I'm just hoping that you can see this issue from my perspective and exactly how complicated these decisions are. Going author by author would only make it worse. I cannot do it for one group (Catholics) and not every other one.

    If the book internally claims to be relevant to a particular Christian group, I will categorize it accordingly. And then when reviewing is available for users, I would encourage you to provide your input. What you are asking for goes well beyond the kinds of decisions that I can make with any level of objectivity.

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    Mike Aubrey | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 9:27 AM

    Dominick Sela:

    Just a few other comments as the path you are on is a very dangerous one.  If you decide that common Protestant teaching is the basis of categorization that I suspect the categories will be worthless to others!

    Then its good that I'm not doing that (particularly since there's really no such thing as "common Protestant teaching" these days...).

    Dominick Sela:
    Is that what Catholics would want to see?

    This is again my point (and the point of every example I have given)

    In the category: Topic - Theology, I have a subcategory labeled "Sacramental Theology." Do you have any idea how many baptist groups that label would offend? Oh man!

    For every category I have created, I've been forced to make a choice. And every choice includes something and excludes something. That's the nature of categorization. I have agonized over this system for months up on months because I want it to work a best as possible for as many groups as possible. And its going to be problematic for everyone at some point.

     

    I have dozens upon dozens of Christian groups to respect. And all of them want something different. If I focus solely on giving Catholics what they want to see, then I reject every other Christian group. That is not an option. I categorize Augustine or Leo the Great  as Catholic, I reject Eastern Orthodoxy. And currently, there's nobody to defend the Orthodox in the same way that you are here to defend Catholicism. In someways, I think my job would be easier if there was. Then at least, you wouldn't be able to so quickly accuse me of "protestant bias"--something that's actually rather unfair since you know nothing of my theological affiliations. And you assume too much. Secular historian treat Leo I as the first "true" pope on the basis the extensions of authority for the Bishop of Rome that took place during his life. That has nothing to do with denominational anything. But more importantly on the benefit of having someone who is Eastern Orthodox around the forums, I would be able to get better feedback on what I've done--just like you're doing now.

    I need your help (and your's too, fgh!). Here's my e-mail address: michael.aubrey AT logos DOT com. Please, e-mail me whenever you see something you think should be categorized as Catholic. We can talk it through--every single time.

     

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    Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 11:08 AM

    I respect your situation, as it is a difficult one. 

    Maybe you have to categorize resources under multiple faiths then. I can assure you many Catholics who visit a site and discover Peter Kreeft, St. Augustine, and others as not highlighted under Catholic when they search,  may give question to the legitimacy of the Logos offering. 

    After all, history objectively tells us that Augustine said he was Catholic, the Catholic Church said he was Catholic and his teachings were so Catholic he was acclaimed a Doctor of the Church.  Augustine was born about 1000 years before Calvin. He was a Bishop in the Catholic Church. To be acclaimed as one of the Doctors of the Church (there have only been 33 in 2000 years) is a recognition of his prolific and accurate writing and teaching in the eyes of the Church. Calvin's claim over 1000 years later as the basis to say that maybe Augustine was not Catholic should be logically considered in that context. So what refutes this  to categorize his works as non-Catholic is what exactly? Calvin? Other theologians? Customers? Logos?

    If the goal is to help people of different faiths find books of their interest, maybe you need to categorize books in multiple ways. This thread shows some of the resources a Catholic could not find when he was trying to decide on whether to buy Logos or not. Maybe that helps with your dilemma.

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    Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 11:12 AM

    PS - I didn't make one thing clear - I have no issue with Augustine and Kreeft and others being categorized in ways that turn up under other faiths, if that is what they deem proper in their own beliefs and teachings  - I think that is wonderful that Christians of all faiths look to early history to see what Christianity was like.  My issue is that it doesn't come up under Catholic, per the reason above. No "ownership" problem, it's about Catholics finding the resources they will be most interested in.

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    Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 11:37 AM

    Michael Aubrey:

    Looking through what is currently labeled as "Catholic," that list is going to change a bit. Currently, there are a number of books that aren't labeled as Catholic that need to be, but also a number of books that are labeled as Catholic that shouldn't be. I'm getting closer and closer to being down with this project. I'm anticipating being done by the end of January.

    This definitely falls under the heading of "pedantic", but if you're working on this, can we name the facet "Roman Catholic" instead of "Catholic". All believers are part of the "catholic" (worldwide) church. I admit it's a pet peeve of mine. But I bet I'm not the only one, and it is more precise. ;)

    Thanks,

    Donnie

     

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    Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 12:10 PM

    Donnie Hale:

    This definitely falls under the heading of "pedantic", but if you're working on this, can we name the facet "Roman Catholic" instead of "Catholic". All believers are part of the "catholic" (worldwide) church. I admit it's a pet peeve of mine. But I bet I'm not the only one, and it is more precise. ;)

    As an FYI, "Roman Catholic" is not accurate - it is a term developed by John Calvin not by anyone within the Church that claims allegiance to the Bishop of Rome, and it may be most accurate to only speak about the Latin rite of the Church that claims allegiance to the Bishop of Rome. However, it does a disservice to the other non-Latin rites of the Church that claim allegiance to the Bishop of Rome such as the Coptic, Marian, Byzantine, Syrian, etc. etc. Rites (there are 21 non-Latin Rites in the Church claiming allegiance to the Bishop of Rome I believe) which are of course all non-Latin Churches.

    The term "Catholic" as the name of the Church was first documented in history that we still have, by Ignatius of Antioch around the year 100 AD. You may be able to find it in your Logos Library, if you look for Ignatius' Letter to the Smyrneans 8.2.   That's been the name of the Church since at least then, and people make a point that his reference to the name is not in the context of "naming" it, but he is using the name as if its use is well-accepted. In actuality, official documents of the Church claiming allegiance to the bishop of Rome calls itself "Church of Christ".  But unless we are going to start letting brothers and sisters in other Churches decide the name for their brothers' and sisters' Churches, Smile, Catholic is what most use inside the Church due to its historical tradition.

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    fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 12:29 PM

    Donnie Hale:
    can we name the facet "Roman Catholic" instead of "Catholic". All believers are part of the "catholic" (worldwide) church. I admit it's a pet peeve of mine.

    Now, that happens to be a pet peeve of mine too, but the other way around! To talk about the Roman Catholic Church when, in fact, you mean the Catholic Church, is directly offensive to all those Eastern Catholics who already feel like second class citizens. If you're talking about some liturgical or canon law issue that only applies to the Latin Rite, then it is appropriate to add the word Roman; if you're talking about the whole church, it is definitely not. 

    I'll return about the bigger issue later, when I find the time; I just couldn't keep quiet on this one. Stick out tongue

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    fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 12:34 PM

    Dominick Sela:
    such as the Coptic, Marian, Byzantine, Syrian, etc. etc. Rites

    I assume you mean Maronite?

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    Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 1:15 PM

    fgh:

    I assume you mean Maronite?

     

    Ha ha yes, sorry!  I guess having Mary on the brain isn't a comlpetely bad thing!

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    Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 1:46 PM

    fgh:

    Now, that happens to be a pet peeve of mine too, but the other way around! To talk about the Roman Catholic Church when, in fact, you mean the Catholic Church, is directly offensive to all those Eastern Catholics who already feel like second class citizens.

    By "Eastern Catholics", do you mean Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, etc.? If so, I've never heard them called "Eastern Catholics"; and one of my best friends is Greek Orthodox (and his father was a Greek Orthodox priest).

    Donnie

     

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    fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 3:29 PM

    You really don't know that there's a whole world of Eastern rite Catholics out there? Maronites, Melkites, Chaldeans, Syrian Catholics, Armenian Catholics and I don't know what. All of which -- except for the Maronites -- have split off from their respective Orthodox churches long ago and joined the Catholic, while keeping their own Eastern rites (the Maronites joined in full, I believe). They have their own hierarchies and their own canon law, and they just held a synod on Cyprus which the Pope attended. -- And none of them uses Latin, and none of them are Roman Catholics.

    And, incidentally, Sweden is being flooded with them, due to a certain war that is resulting in the virtual extinction of 2000 years of Christianity in that part of the world. Surely, you must at least have read about the massacre the other month? That was a Catholic Cathedral! Chaldean, I believe. Hundreds of people here had relatives who died that day. At least one of the dead priests had served here, as had a number of the other priests who have been murdered in the last few years.

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    MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 3:46 PM

    Michael Aubrey:
    If I focus solely on giving Catholics what they want to see, then I reject every other Christian group. That is not an option. I categorize Augustine or Leo the Great  as Catholic, I reject Eastern Orthodoxy. And currently, there's nobody to defend the Orthodox in the same way that you are here to defend Catholicism.

    Michael, I do my best to defend Orthodoxy, honest. Cool I do understand your problem and realize that you have an "impossible" situation. I think, however,that part of your problem would be resolved by making some high-level cuts:

    • Judaism rabbinical and non-rabbinical + Samaritan
    • Gnostic
    • Nestorian ("Eastern Church" or fold in with Orthodox)
    • Prior to the Great Schism (Catholic & Orthodox)
    • "Byzantine" Church after the schism (Orthodox and Uniate Catholic)
    • Western Church after the Great Schism but before the Reformation

    Trying to apply names retroactively will always get you in trouble. These divisions would result in some oddities but those would be easily explained. And the historically based titles would be predictable.even if people disagreed with the premise.

    Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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    Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 3:55 PM

    OK here is the list:

    Armenian

    Belarusan

    Bulgarian

    Chaldean

    Coptic

    Ethiopian

    Georgian

    Greek

    Hungarian

    Italo-Albanian

    Kirzevci

    Latin

    Maronite

    Malobar

    Malankar

    Melkite

    Romanian

    Russian

    Rusyn (Ruthenian)

    Slovak

    Syrian

    Ukranian

    All profess to be Catholic, all profess to obedience to the Bishop of Rome. They derive from 5 early Churches, in Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Byzantium.  Early Christianity, in spite of persecution, flourished primarily in five centers: Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Byzantium. The five centers became Patriarchates, when Constantine recognized Christianity in the Edict of Milan in 313. The Eastern Catholic Churches originate from the three Eastern centers of Antioch, Alexandria, and Byzantium, while the Western Latin rite originates from Rome.

    On 11 May 330 Constantine renamed the Greek city of Byzantium in his honor, and, while Church authority rested with Rome, Constantinople became the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor, and gradually became the dominant Patriarchy for the Eastern Churches.

    The five Patriarchates held seven Councils that defined theological beliefs on the Trinity and Jesus Christ, all of which were accepted by Rome and Constantinople.

    The gradual evolution of the Latin West and the Greek East culminated in the tragic Schism of the Church in 1054. Nearly all of the remaining Eastern Churches, except the Maronites and the Italo-Albanians, joined the Greek or Byzantine Orthodox Church of Constantinople.

    Eventually portions of nearly all of the Orthodox and separated Churches of the East returned into union with Rome, and became included in the group that form the Eastern Catholic Churches. These individual Catholic Churches, both Eastern and Western, each have a distinctive rite or tradition, namely in liturgy, in ecclesiastical discipline, and in spiritual tradition.

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    MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 4:00 PM

    fgh:
    You really don't know that there's a whole world of Eastern rite Catholics out there? Maronites, Melkites, Chaldeans, Syrian Catholics, Armenian Catholics and I don't know what.

    This is a frequent misunderstanding in America - one that has come up over and over in the forms. The norm in America is to not know even when you have a multi-rite priest. I could have you laughing for hours with stories of our provincialism in the understanding of church structure. Last I knew, the Vatican guessed that there were about 27 rites in addition to the Latin rite. My favorite, however, was an Orthodox church historian who took 3/4ths of a class to understand that the Coptic Jesuit priest in the class was Catholic not Orthodox.Big Smile

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    Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 4:18 PM

    fgh:

    You really don't know that there's a whole world of Eastern rite Catholics out there? Maronites, Melkites, Chaldeans, Syrian Catholics, Armenian Catholics and I don't know what. All of which -- except for the Maronites -- have split off from their respective Orthodox churches long ago and joined the Catholic, while keeping their own Eastern rites (the Maronites joined in full, I believe). They have their own hierarchies and their own canon law, and they just held a synod on Cyprus which the Pope attended. -- And none of them uses Latin, and none of them are Roman Catholics.

    No, I don't really know that. I've never had occasion to. I'll start coming up with things about which I can act amazed that you don't know.

    What does it mean to say that they "joined the Catholic" but that "none of them are Roman Catholics".

    Donnie

     

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    Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 4:26 PM

    Donnie Hale:

    What does it mean to say that they "joined the Catholic" but that "none of them are Roman Catholics".

     

    Check out my post above about the 22 rites and brief history.

    "joined the Catholic Church" == came in union with, and obedient to the Bishop of Rome

    "none of them are Roman Catholic" == they are a different rite, one of the other 21 with their own liturgical, ecclesiastic, and spiritual traditions

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