I would like to introduce a new series which this blog will be exploring over the next few months before the commencement of Lent in mid-February this year. The theme of the series is a catechismal look at the Catholic faith through the lens of an Anglican Catholic. My hope is that my personal experience and knowledge of the Catholic faith and unique perspective as a former Roman Catholic turned Anglican will assist in developing a worthy and (God willing) interesting series.
I’ll be using several sources for this series. Primary sources will be Holy Scripture and the writings of Saints and early Church Fathers. Secondary sources will include an Anglican catechism entitled Being Christian: An Anglican Catechism, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and relevant documents/writings from both Anglican and Roman Catholic sources. My hope is not to limit this exploration to one tradition of Catholicism or another, I wish to present both together which is what makes this series unique but fitting for the nature of my blog.
The entire series will be under the Catechism category of the blog and will carry the tag Being Christian for future reference and organization. I look forward to presenting the articles of the series!
There will be some changes to this blog coming up that include category changes, tags and overall look. There will also be some new content being rolled out shortly.
Be sure to check back!
Edit #1 (24 Jul): I’ve made changes to the category structure. There will be three themed routine posts made on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Occasional opinion pieces will be Editorials or Reflections and Reblogged items have their own category. Tags have also been grossly simplified.
Edit #2 (24 Jul): Many older posts will be reworked and republished in the upcoming days to conform to the new routine post method as well as the slight cosmetic changes to the site. I am entirely unsure whether or not the reposting will work, so be prepared for some minor issues potentially.
Edit #3 (26 Jul): I’ve changed the top bar menu around to reflect the new categories, moved the Vatican and Anglican Communion links to the Theological tab and added a new page called Book Recommendations.
You might have missed it, but Ben over at Politics for Catholics and I had what I consider to be a very interesting discussion on the question of authority within the Church and specifically the authority of the Bishop of Rome. This discussion took place in the comment section of my post on 185 Years of Anglo-Catholicism. Our discussion was frank but respectful and dare I say took place between two well-informed catholics (he might be skeptical the catholic claim on my part, but that is at the soul of the issue so it can certainly be excused). But in the end I have to agree with his closing remarks here:
I think both of us might benefit from a more in-depth examination of papal infallibility. I know I’m not educated enough in the subject to get much deeper. I am pretty sure the last time the pope spoke infallibly was in 1950. What I came to recognize in becoming Catholic was 1. There is a historical basis for the papacy and 2. There is a practical basis for the papacy. I’m willing to discuss those two aspects at greater length if you like. But how/when infallibility/dogma/doctrine takes place and the history of this development of papal authority seems outside the scope of this comment section and my poor little brain…
I find myself able to admit clearly that I believe in everything about the catholic church, those parts of which reside within the Roman Church, and to some degree the Anglican Church (certain within Anglo-Catholic traditions), and the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, specifically with the Roman Church, I find myself unable to accept the supremacy of the Pope and how that manifests in the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome on matters concerning faith and morals. I cited many reasons why I have doubted this particular doctrine as being suspect in the Editor’s Manifesto of this blog and as well in more detail in the aforementioned comment section with Ben. And Ben certainly brings up very valid points about authority and oneness of the church which I do not disagree with but I am able to separate catholicism as articulated in the Creeds and the marks of the church and this particular doctrine.
So this is call out of sorts. With an open mind I would like to know what you think about the doctrine of Papal infallibility. Bonus points if you read the comment thread in the aforementioned post and comment on any points raised by Ben or myself. Help us better understand the doctrine itself from the perspective of the Church and from outside as well, and if anything else your own personal opinion. Leave a comment below!