Today’s question: Catholic Priest or Protestant Pastor/Minister – which is “better”?

Question: What is a Catholic priest in reality??? Does anyone know?? Catholic priest or pastor?? Which is “better”??

Answer: The true nature of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood is that of a man conformed to Jesus Christ, specially consecrated and set apart by God, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the laying on of hands, in order to offer acceptable sacrifice to God (most significantly, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist) on behalf of the whole Church, for the greater glory of God and for the good of the whole world.

As a duly ordained agent/assistant/delegate of the local Bishop, who is a successor of the original Apostles, the responsibilities of the priest also extend to preaching, teaching, sanctifying and governing.

A priest can be a pastor, but only duly ordained Catholic or Orthodox males can be empowered and authorized to act “In Persona Christi” (in the “person” of Christ) as priests.

In contrast, anyone – male or female – can become a Protestant Minister or preacher and/or become the pastor of a Protestant congregation.

But, the power and authority of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood is reserved to the Catholic Church alone, according to Jesus Christ, the head of the Catholic Church, who personally established the Priesthood and who remains our Heavenly High Priest as well as the one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, continually offered up for the needs of the People of God, on every Catholic altar, in virtually every nation on earth, 24/7 and 365, by means of that same Holy, Catholic Ministerial Priesthood.

In summary, the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
was personally established by Jesus Christ, at the Last Supper,
some 1500 years before the first Protestant minister/pastor
ever “thumped” a Bible.

When the Protestants chose to separate themselves from the Holy Catholic Church, they also made the conscious decision to separate themselves from the awesome and unique power that God gave to the Holy Catholic Church and the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood alone, for the salvation of souls.

As such, there is no real comparison between an ordained Catholic Priest and a Protestant Minister or pastor. One is a consecrated man who has been given awesome and eternal power, directly from God, through the Holy Catholic Church. The other has only his/her limited, personal understanding of a holy (albeit, totally Catholic) book (the Bible) along with his/her (often, contrary) beliefs about it, on which to “stand”.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

Counter-cultural Catholicism and a remarkable conversion story

Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to God, or the Catholic Church. I knew that my grandparents were Catholic, but no one talked about this, and I didn’t know what “Catholic” even was.

Due to terrible abuse, I was removed from my home at nine. I lived in an asylum for a weekend, an orphanage for eight months, and then once a space became available in a foster home, there until I was twelve.

The courts ordered my mother to take me, and this was how we met.

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Did the Protestant Bible Exist Before the Reformation?

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A frank discussion of various positions, based on the latest available research.

Spoiler: Catholics 9 – Protestants 0 

If Catholics Called Things By Protestant Names

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The Assumption of Mary –> The Rapture of Mary

The term “rapture” does not appear anywhere in Scripture, but rather was a concept that was developed much later on (just to re-enforce an earlier point about how such terminology comes about). That said, in recent decades this idea has received renewed interest, especially on account of the popular “Left Behind” series. In Latin the word simply means to be “carried away”, or “taken up”, but in some Protestant circles it has practically become the lens through which the present age is to be interpreted.

The premise of this end time theology goes something like this: if you wish to be “taken up into heaven” and thus avoid the coming “tribulations” (i.e. when everything hits the fan), you must believe in Jesus Christ coupled with this doctrine, lest you risk being “left behind”.

As it corresponds to the doctrine of Mary’s Assumption, I am not precisely sure where the objection lies. What the dogma essentially states is that at the end of Mary’s life she was taken up body and soul into heaven, or to put in more evangelical Christian terms, Mary was “raptured”.

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Editor’s note: Coming up next week – What if Pope Francis could fly?

The Protestant Heresy – by Hilaire Belloc

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Martin Luther and his 95 Theses at Wittenberg, Germany

What Was the Reformation?

The movement generally called “The Reformation” deserves a place apart in the story of the great heresies; and that for the following reasons:

1. It was not a particular movement but a general one, i.e., it did not propound a particular heresy which could be debated and exploded, condemned by the authority of the Church, as had hitherto been every other heresy or heretical movement. Nor did it, after the various heretical propositions had been condemned, set up (as had Mohammedanism or the Albigensian movement) a separate religion over against the old orthodoxy. Rather did it create a certain separate which we still call “Protestantism.” It produced indeed a crop of heresies, but not one heresy_and its characteristic was that all its heresies attained and prolonged a common savour: that which we call “Protestantism” today.

2. Though the immediate fruits of the Reformation decayed, as had those of many other heresies in the past, yet the disruption it had produced remained and the main principle_reaction against a united spiritual authority_so continued in vigour as both to break up our European civilization in the West and to launch at last a general doubt, spreading more and more widely. None of the older heresies did that, for they were each definite. Each had proposed to supplant or to rival the existing Catholic Church; but the Reformation movement proposed rather to dissolve the Catholic Church_and we know what measure success has been attained by that effort!

The most important thing about the Reformation is to understand it. Not only to follow the story of it stage by stage_a process always necessary to the understanding of any historical matter_but to grasp its essential nature.

On this last it is easy for modern people to go wrong, and especially modern people of the English-speaking world. The nations we English- speaking people know are, with the exception of Ireland, predominantly Protestant; and yet (with the exception of Great Britain and South Africa) they harbour large Catholic minorities.

In that English-speaking world (to which this present writing is addressed) there is full consciousness of what the Protestant spirit has been and what it has become in its present modification. Every Catholic who lives in that English-speaking world knows what is meant by the Protestant temper as he knows the taste of some familiar food or drink or the aspect of some familiar vegetation. In a less degree the large Protestant majorities_in Great Britain it is an overwhelming Protestant majority_have some idea of what the Catholic Church is. They know much less about us than we know about them. That is natural, because we proceed from older origins, because we are universal while they are regional and because we hold a definite intellectual philosophy whereas they possess rather an emotional and indefinite, though characteristic, spirit.

Still, though they know less about us than we know about them, they are aware of a distinction and they feel a sharp division between themselves and ourselves.

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More conflict and confusion in Madison, Wisconsin over a former Catholic monastery run by former Catholic sisters.

The monastery’s worship services, they say, retain so many elements of a Mass that unsuspecting Catholics could be duped into thinking the services are valid representations of Catholic teaching. This is especially worrisome, they say, because the worship services diverge from church doctrine in profound ways, such as allowing women to preach and embracing the relationships of gay couples.

“Holy Wisdom Monastery is perhaps best known among local Catholics for substantive rejection of the Catholic faith, so I would think priests or sisters should know they are not sending a good message if they attend events there,” said Elizabeth Durack of Madison, who attends the Cathedral Parish in Downtown Madison and has been vocal in encouraging “faithful Catholics” not to attend activities at the monastery.

The monastery’s worship services, while attended by people from many Christian backgrounds, have become particularly popular among liberal Catholics and those displeased with Morlino.

Morlino, in his letter to priests, said it was his duty “to protect the integrity and unity of the faith.” There “is a grave potential for scandal and confusion among the faithful, owing to Holy Wisdom Monastery’s status as a former Catholic monastery,” he wrote.

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Former Protestant minister explains why he quit – to become Catholic

Historically speaking, the idea that the written Word of God is formally sufficient for all things related to faith and practice, such that anyone of normal intelligence and reasonably good intentions could read it and deduce from it what is necessary for orthodoxy and orthopraxy, is not a position that I see reflected in the writings of the early Church fathers. While there are plenty of statements in their writings that speak in glowing terms about the qualitative uniqueness of Scripture, those statements, for them, do not do away with the need for Scripture to be interpreted by the Church in a binding and authoritative way when necessary.

This discovery in the church fathers is unsurprising if the same position can be found in the New Testament itself, which I now believe it can. To cite but one example, the Church in her earliest days was confronted with a question that Jesus had not addressed with any specificity or directness, namely, the question of Gentile inclusion in the family of God. In order to answer this question, the apostles and elders of the Church gathered together in council to hear all sides and reach a verdict. What is especially interesting about Luke’s account of the Jerusalem Council is the role that Scripture played, as well as the nature of the verdict rendered.

Concerning the former, James’s citation of Amos is curious in that the passage in the prophet seems to have little to do with the matter at hand, and yet James cites Amos’s words about the tent of David being rebuilt to demonstrate that full Gentile membership in the Church fulfills that prophecy. Moreover, Scripture functioned for the Bishop of Jerusalem not as the judge that settled the dispute, but rather as a witness that testified to what settled it, namely, the judgment of the apostles and elders.

Rather than saying, “We agree with Scripture,” he says in effect, “Scripture agrees with us” (v. 15, 19). And finally, when the decision is ultimately reached, it is understood by the apostles and elders not as an optional and fallible position with which the faithful may safely disagree if they remain biblically unconvinced, but rather as an authoritative and binding pronouncement that was bound in heaven even as it was on earth (v. 28).

Despite some superficial similarities, no existing Protestant denomination with an operating norm of Sola Scriptura can replicate the dynamic, or claim the authority of the Jerusalem Council (or of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon for that matter).

The fact that the Bible’s own example of how Church courts operate was hamstrung by Protestantism’s view of biblical authority was something I began to find disturbingly ironic.

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