Finally we are getting somewhere. In the combox to his apologia below, PE wrote:
In fine, the post conciliar church was false because it was a disconnect with the pre conciliar church, which in turn must be false because it did not endure…
You might say, the pre conciliar church is the true Catholic Church, which is my point on this blog to converts to its post conciliar replacement, however, the true Catholic Church is wrong.
What Lutheran belief added was an explanation for how the church didn’t in fact end, which in turn for me implied maybe there was something to Jesus as Christ after all, and where I was wrong was in thinking the Catholic Church in any era was the only “true” church, or the church in which the fulness of the true church subsists.
And that is about as succint as I think we can ever hope to have it from our dear brother (once-removed) in Christ.
But in fact, it is very interesting because it raises the following questions:
1) in what sense is “continuity” an important concept in ecclesiology? In other words, how does the “Hermeneutic of Continuity” apply here?
2) if we say that the “true Catholic Church is wrong” what do we mean when, in the Creeds, we say “I believe…in the holy Catholic Church/in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church”? Is the Catholic Church a real entity existing in this world, and are we or are we not obliged to be a part of it if we wish to have a share in Jesus Christ?
For the record, I too left the ecclesial community in which I was raised for the reason that it was discontinuous with what went before it, ie. the Catholic Church. I believed that continuity was necessary for authenticity, in particular the continuity of the apostolic authority of the bishops.
However, PE has attached himself to a community that is clearly discontinuous with the apostolic Church. His argument that “the post conciliar church was false because it was a disconnect with the pre conciliar church”, opens the charge that “the Church of the Reformers was false because it was a disconnect with the pre Reformation church”. By the same argument, the fact that the pre-Reformation Church DID endure after the Reformation should prove that it was the true Church in continuity with the apostles, no?
When he says that “Lutheran belief added…an explanation for how the church didn’t in fact end”, he must have some idea of the existence of “a” church of some kind. What kind exactly? And if it “didn’t in fact end”, it must in some sense be continuous with what went before. How so?
Too many holes in your argument, PE. I can see the experiential, existential side of the matter, but I think we all have the duty to expose our experiences to the rigour of reasoned interrogation.