I'm a Catholic doing research for my Catholicism class and in order to back up my research, I wanted to get clear information from opposing views. I would appreciate if you are going to post negative comments regarding Catholic beliefs, that you thoroughly understand the beliefs. When you say: "Catholics, at least in the hierarchy, believe that authority rests in the church. The Scriptures are seen as just one of many sources to be used, but the decision for any practice is decided by the Catholic church." First of all, I would like to present a direct quote from Vatican II: "Though they differ essentially and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful (the laity or members of the church) and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are none the less ordered to one another; each in its proper way shares in one the priesthood" - which declares that in order for a perfect church, it is essential that the clergy and laity work together. Second of all, Scriptures are not just seen as just one of many sources to be used; our sacred traditions supplement what Scripture lacks. For example, you will never see the word "trinity" in the Bible. Lastly, I would just like to point out that Vatican II rightly spells out its support of Christianity in its entirety by dedicating an entire section to Ecumenical Common Ground in the Luemn Gentim. Also, any date that you listed that existed before the Protestant Reformation is your history too and it makes up what your church is today. Please do a little more research before you exploit sufficient beings.
You are referring to a previous response: "What is wrong with the Catholicism?" I know you will have a hard time believing this, but the information presented was well researched. If you reread your own response, you will find that you said the same thing.
- You appear to object to the mention of a hierarchy in the Catholic, yet the quote you gave from the Vatican II document talks of lay members and a hierarchical priesthood that works together.
- You deny that the Scriptures are viewed as one of many sources, but then state that the traditions supplement what the Scriptures lack. Thus you agree that the Catholic belief is that the Scriptures are insufficient to guide mankind. From The Church's Confession of Faith: A Catholic Catechism for Adults (1985 edition), "The one gospel, according to the Council, is contained 'in written books and unwritten Traditions'. Both are to be recognized and honored 'with the same pious willingness and reverence' ... Holy Scripture contains the whole faith in substance, but the faith can be grasped in its totality and fullness only in the light of Tradition. So the Second Vatican Council teaches: 'The Church does not draw her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone." (page 47).
Thus, it appears your own documents contradict your assertion. You claim that the Scriptures are incomplete, but the Roman Catholic stance is that the Scriptures are complete, just not understandable without traditions, held by the Catholic church, to explain them. The Bible claims, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17). Because the Scriptures are inspired, they are superior to any work of man. Unlike your personal claim, notice that the Scriptures claim to be able to make a man complete. Peter also talks of this, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3). If the Scriptures, coming by the inspiration of God, claims to contain all things pertaining to life and godliness, what essential teaching is left out?
Still, the idea that God was unable to write a book that man could understand is also contrary to the teachings in the Scriptures. It commands, "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). God gives a command that man can follow. His book is understandable. "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (I Peter 1:22-23). Thus, we also learn from the Scriptures that God's word is permanent. It does not need alteration or reinterpretation through the ages.
Perhaps you missed the point, but the churches of Christ are not a Protestant denomination. We oppose all denominating of the Lord's Church. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10). We do not use historical stances for our positions. If you noticed, I strive to cite book, chapter, and verse for each point from the Scriptures. We have no practice that comes because some council formed of men decided that an idea is true or should be done. We follow the inspired teachings alone.
The list of doctrines that I gave only documents how doctrine has been changing over the centuries in the Catholic church. Each of those doctrines is not taught in the Scriptures, nor do the churches of Christ practice them. I note that you called my answer negative to the Catholic church, but you did not deny that these are the doctrines Catholicism teaches. It appears that the negativity you object to is the proof that Catholicism doesn't match the teachings found in the Scriptures. Instead, what you attempted to do was to look for minor flaws in side points so that you will feel justified in ignoring the major points to which you have no answer. See "Faulty Comparisons" in the study Keys to Understanding. Especially take note of the sections titled "Arguing Incompetence" and "Diversion."
I hope you do continue to search the Scriptures. Take all that effort you are spending in man-made documents and see if the Scriptures actually support what you are being told. "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).