"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Thursday, June 11, 2009

About the Christian Family

The Rev. Epke VanderBerg is a Protestant minister, member of the Episcopal family and of the Grand Rapids Interfaith Dialogue Association. This man has a deep sense of history and he is not far from the truth about the Catholic Church;

Western Liturgical Family: The four oldest Christian families are the following: the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox tradition, the Western Catholic tradition and the Anglican tradition. A strong liturgical life characterizes these Christian families, along with true-creeds, sacraments, language and culture, which find their expression in their liturgy. Most of these families observe seven sacraments: baptism, eucharist, holy orders, unction, marriage, confirmation and penance. Two other characteristics mark these churches: allegiance to creeds, and belief in Apostolic succession. Even though these churches evolved from one common beginning, they unfolded into separate entities with Christianity's spread into other cultures.

The Eastern Orthodox family, its authority centered in the cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople, split from the Western Catholic tradition in 1054 AD. The Western Catholic tradition, based in Rome and entrenched in Western Europe, exercised strong political and religious authority. The Anglican tradition in England broke with Rome in the 16th century when Henry VIII saw opportunity for an independent church that would give him his desired divorce and financial freedom for battle. The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and The Book of Common Prayer established it as a separate liturgical tradition. In the immigration to North America and after the American Revolutionary War, the Anglican Church became known, in 1787, as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.
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