ECCLESIOLOGY OF COMMUNION. ECCLESIOLOGY What does the word “Ecclesiology” mean? From ἐ...

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Transcript of ECCLESIOLOGY OF COMMUNION. ECCLESIOLOGY What does the word “Ecclesiology” mean? From ἐ...

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  • ECCLESIOLOGY What does the word Ecclesiology mean? From and ecclesia Means assembly Means theological study of the Christian Church Catholic ecclesiology what Catholics teach about the Church Related words Ecclesial = churchly; church-like
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  • TWO ASPECTS OF THE CHURCH Mystical Body Mystery Focus: Divine Nature Visible & Invisible Faithful and Saints Divine & Human Focus: Both Human & Divine Body of Christ Christ Jesus Himself We are not the Church We are members of His Body Focus: Human Nature
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  • TWO ASPECTS OF THE CHURCH St Paul Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. St Augustine Ascending into heaven on the fortieth day, our Lord Jesus Christ commended to us his Body where it would continue to lie, because he saw that many would honor him for his ascent into heaven. He saw that their honoring him is useless if they trample upon his members who are here on earth. And lest anyone should err in this regard, he told us that his members would be here.
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  • CHURCH AS COMMUNION The Sacrament of Communion Communion = union between persons the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings (OED) Key: relationships Communion between God and Humans Begins with Baptism (Sacrament of Initiation) Requires Faith Fed with Eucharist When we share in the Body and Blood of Christ, we become what we receive. (St Leo; p. 71)
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  • CHURCH AS COMMUNION Communion between the Faithful By sharing in the Eucharist, we are sharing in each other We who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread We share in each others sufferings and joys For as we share abundantly in Christs sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
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  • WHAT IS CHURCH? The word church refers to many different things Building A parish community The act of going to Mass All Christians of all denominations Adherents in a particular denomination Methodist Church Catholic or Orthodox Christians in a particular region Church of the East Polish Church
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  • WHAT IS CHURCH? Those in communion with the bishops in Apostolic succession Key: Continuity laying on hands Sacrament of Holy Orders Key: Faithfulness Truth continues without alteration Gift of the Holy Spirit (Sacrament of the Church) Apostolic Succession = Continuity & Faithfulness Pope John Paul II: Two lungs
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  • APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION Guarantees the validity of the Eucharist
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  • FOUR MARKS OF THE CHURCH One Holy Catholic Apostolic
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  • WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN Christians are Baptized with water In the Triune name With the intention of doing what the Church does That is, with the Churchs understanding of the Trinity and salvation
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  • FULL COMMUNION To be in full communion means to agree and declare that the complete truth and totality of the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church Subsists in means to exist within This means that the Catholic Church is the actual Church that Christ established with His Apostles KEY: Truth is a complete whole, not the grouping together of true statements Truth is a person. Jesus said, I am the Truth.
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  • FULL COMMUNION The fullness of the Church subsist in other churches or ecclesial communities to a greater or lesser extent Other Churches have the fullness of the Church, but lack only union with the Catholic Church Ecclesial communities are lacking one or more essential doctrines and rites or disciplines Doctrines = teachings Rites = sacraments or liturgies Disciplines = practices e.g., fasting When ecclesial communities accept all that the Catholic Church teaches and practices, then full communion is achieved
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  • FULL COMMUNION Full Communion is achieved with individuals when these four essentials occur: Baptism Profession of Faith Eucharistic communion Respect and obedience to Church authority
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  • FOUR ESSENTIALS Baptism All those baptized with water in the Triune name with the right intention (i.e., in the faith of the Creed) are in full communion with the Catholic Church Profession of Faith Assent (agreement) of mind and will to the teachings of the Church Key is faith Therefore, this does not mean full understanding of doctrine, morals and practices It does mean that one trusts that all doctrines, morals and practices are true (even if a person struggles with them or does not understand them)
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  • FOUR ESSENTIALS Eucharistic Communion Simply, to receive the Eucharist Includes receiving the other sacraments Includes believing that the Eucharist and other sacraments are means of salvation Means of salvation = aids or helps to a fuller relationship with God, and to attain the fullness of His heavenly kingdom
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  • FOUR ESSENTIALS Respect & Obedience to Authority Obedience and faith go together Obedience does not deny free will or the ability to question Obedience gives freedom and safety when things are too hard to understand Obedience means that one trusts that the doctrines, morals and practices are as Christ gave them That is, that the Holy Spirit is guiding Christs Church Respect and obedience to those in authority is ultimately respect and obedience for Christ Whoever hears you hears Me; whoever receives you receives Me.
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  • IMPERFECT COMMUNION Imperfect communion exists when a Church or ecclesial community lacks one or more of the essentials elements for full communion Imperfect communion means there is still a relationship, but the relationship requires work (dialogue, communication) in order to improve Imperfect communion means that we share many things in communion, but need to come to an understanding on one or more important doctrines and practices
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  • IMPERFECT COMMUNION Imperfect communion occurs due to one of three ruptures in full communion Heresy Stubborn refusal to believe what one has already received Heretics are Catholics who left the Church but remain Christian Protestants Apostasy Denying the Christian faith Apostates are Catholics who repudiate Christianity Those who become Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, etc. Schism Break in communion with the pope and Catholic bishops Orthodox; Sedes vacantes Roman Catholics
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  • RESTORATION OF FULL COMMUNION Full Communion is restored when Churches or ecclesial groups accept and profess the teachings of the Catholic Church Individuals are received into the Church by Baptism (those who did not receive valid baptism) Confirmation (those who were baptized) Penance (those Catholics who left the church but then returned) Reception of the Eucharist seals and completes the restoration of full communion NOTE: Read page 81
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  • SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH St Cyprian: There is no salvation outside the Church Not a judgment about heaven and hell Only God makes these judgments IMPORTANT: This statement means that salvation comes only through Christ in His Church Jesus is the access and way to any relationship with God There are no other saviors
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  • SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH This statement means that the true Christ Jesus is given only in the Church The fullness of Jesus teaching and gifts are given only in the Church; only the Church has the fullness of His teaching No one can save himself IMPORTANT: Baptism is necessary for salvation Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved Necessary = should not be rejected when it is offered Necessary those who are not offered baptism are condemned Lack of faith (whether baptized or no) is what condemns Whoever does not believe will be condemned
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  • SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. Desire for Baptism is the desire for what Christ gives in and through His Church KEY: Baptism is required for us; but God may save apart from baptism Example: Old Testament believers; martyrs; Dismas
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  • SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH SUMMARY: No salvation outside the Church is both an invitation and a warning An invitation to those who through no fault of their own do not know Christ Only the Church, which is the Body of Christ, Fully understands Christs teachings Imparts His teachings faithfully Brings one to know Christ truly A warning to those who have left the Church, with a strong encouragement to come home For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. (Heb 10.26)
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  • SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH CONCLUSION: The Churchs constant prayer is that all are saved and come to the knowledge of the truth The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26). Prayer based on the hope of Gods mercy and our love for all people What lies behind the words deliver us from evil Not only deliver us, but deliver all
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  • CHALLENGE Is it intolerant and insensitive to say that that the Catholic Faith is better than all other faiths? Can anyones religious quest be wrong? Is there a difference between respect and standing up for what is true and right? Is it loving to stop someone before he hurts himself? To point out fraud? To proclaim the truth?