Pastor Karsten: Sorry, Catholicview, you are wrong believing there is no change Roman doctrine concerning sacraments. The Roman Church changed a lot about the sacraments and itnroduce new ones. Around the year 1000 they started to withhold the wine from believers AGAINST Christ’s explicit words: «Drink from it, all of you;” (Mt 26:27) or according to Luke: Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, «Take this and divide it among yourselves;
BFHU: This is not a change in DOCTRINE. It is a change in practice. Similar to the former practice of eating fish on Friday/ no meat, in union with the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. That was not a Doctrine either. I am not sure when the Blood of Christ tended to be reserved to the priest, but it was not to save money, as you assert below, but to prevent desecration of the Blood of Christ. And technically Jesus did not give His Body and Blood to EVERYONE but only to the future Priests and Bishops of His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. I do not believe that the Catholic Church ever had a doctrine that all the faithful MUST receive BOTH the Host and the Cup. And, that they then changed for a while, only allowing the Host to the faithful, and then changed again to allow reception under both species, by everyone.. If you think so please prove your assertion with ancient authoritative documents.
Pastor Karsten: They also introduced celibacy for priests around that time, because the priests’ wives became a strong influence “undermining” the mind-control of the hierarchy. To increase their power they just forced many good people (priests and their partners) into “out of Wedlock” relationships and they still reap the consequences because the priesthood became a magnet for pedophiles and homosexuals. Even the first pope (Peter) was married (Jesus healed his mother in law). Then the Roman church made the priesthood a elective sacrament.
BFHU: It is true that Peter was married. However, we don’t know if he was still married at the time of his apostleship and later or if his wife seems to have already died. There is historical evidence that the apostles were celibate from the beginning. Even St. Paul exhorts that all can serve Our Lord better if unmarried. And, it is just much more practical for a busy priest to be unmarried in order to fulfill his duties. Protestant pastors have a very difficult row-to- hoe attending to the flock and his family.
But you will be happy to know that Celibacy is also not a Doctrine. It too is a discipline/practice of the the Church. And this discipline can be changed in the future and allowances made to it. Therefore, we happen to have married priests. In the Eastern Roman Rites married men can become priests. But priests cannot get married after ordination. And probably like the Eastern Orthodox Churches, who also with married priests, the married priests cannot be considered for the office of bishop. So, we have both celibate and married priests. Contrary to the common Protestant accusation no one has ever been forced to become a celibate priest or forbidden to marry. Anyone who wishes to marry certainly may. And marriage is also a sacament. But if a young man feels called to the priesthood, in general, in the Roman Rite he must be willing to give up marriage.
All priests are to be chaste/celibate. They are not to enter the priesthood and keep a sexual partner of any sex or age on the side. This happens because we are all sinners. If only priests committed these sins, you might have a point, but marriage does not cure rapists, pedophiles, adulterers, or homosexuals. If the Church attracts these, it is because the Church is known to be forgiving and merciful and loving. They are not attracted to the Church because the Church approves of these sins, but in hope of overcoming them. Unfortunately they often fail to control their passions.
Pastor Karsten: This could have been the end of the Christian church if it was a human institution, but Christ promised to protect it and in his good time he called reformers to bring the church back on track.
BFHU: You are certainly correct that the Church Christ established on Peter would have long since disappeared into the mists of time, if He had not protected it as he said he would, so that even the Gates of Hell would not prevail against her. To Luther and the others it looked like they were just trying to get the Church back on track. There were abuses then and there always will be some b/c men sin. Even Churchmen. However, the reformers did a great disservice to Christ. They did not reform the Church, they shattered it into 30,000+ denominations diametrically opposed to Christ’s desire that we all be one.Jn17. However, the Church founded by Jesus is the Catholic Chruch, still going strong and with doctrine and sacraments in perfect alignment with Sacred Scripture. BTW, the Catholic Church was beginning her own reformation even as Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door.
Pastor Karsten:We should praise God for his wisdom daily and thank him for Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Huss, Bucer, Calvin, Bonhoeffer, Drevermann (former Roman Catholic Priest and Professor in Paderborn, excommunicated) and the many true believers who listen to God’s Word more than to human tradition and selfelected “authorities”.
BFHU: We need to listen to God’s word in union with the Catholic Church. The problem with Sola Scriptura, born of the Protest-ant Reformation, is that everyone thinks they can infallibly interpret scripture. This breeds pride and arrogance to the point that the more strong-willed break away and start their own “churches”, further splintering Christ, in direct opposition to Christ’s desire for unity but also nullifying the scriptures that say:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.i Peter 1: 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God
Pastor Karsten: Indeed, the Roman church changed doctrine again and again, that is what councils where held for. There is a hole that the new pope will actually pick up on that tradition and reform some of the worst heresies within the Roman Church.
BFHU: You are very mistaken. So far you have only given us changes to practices and disciplines; which are perfectly legitimate. We have changed NO DOCTRINE since the birth of Christianity. But I understand the confusion; b/c in Protestantism there are not uniform practices. That is left totally up to each church/ individual. All Protestants have are doctrines (which are different in various denominations) so I understand why you have not discerned the differences in the Catholic Church between doctrine (Unchanging) and disciplines (changeable)
The councils, contrary to Protestant misunderstandings, were NOT held to create changes in doctrine or make up new ones or get rid of old ones. Councils were held to determine precisely and then teach, what was TRUTH and what was ERROR. Most of the early councils dealt with the nature of Jesus. There was much confusion owing to the difficulty of understanding the Trinity, pagan influences, and appearances. The councils hammered out the nature of the Trinity and that Jesus was true God and true Man in a hypostatic union. That is why the concept of the Holy Trinity is absent in Scripture. So technically, believers in Sola Scriptura should reject the Doctrine of the Trinity. It was taught and the Apostles knew what was true but over time and distance, confusion seeped in. So when councils pronounced a teaching, It was never New Teaching. It was always old teaching but clarified teaching to counteract misunderstandings.
To help you understand this I will give a modern explanation. Marriage has always been between a man and a woman ONLY. However the Catholic Church does not have a Dogma on this, promulgated by a Church Council b/c everyone knew and accepted this. There was no confusion. However, today, in the Western cultures, marriage is being redefined and confusion and rebellion are rampant even among Christians. Therefore, at some point in time the Catholic Church may have to have a council to once-and-for-all define marriage as only between a man and a woman. This will be a new dogma but NOT A NEW TEACHING. The teaching has always and everywhere been believed. But for the sake of clarity this Dogma may eventually need to be proclaimed.