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I know a lot of catholics, and many of them respect the Coptic Church. However, you will find that pre-Vatican II catholics hate our church. All latin rite catholics hate us. They think we are trying to replicate them, or to make out that we are the official body of Christ.
It bothers MANY catholics that we use the term "One Holy Universal (Catholic) Apostolic Church" - that's what they think they are, and it drives them nuts that we have the same term to describe our church.
See - that statement would antagonise many catholics: they think they are the official body of Christ.
The Church is the bride of Christ. Isn't she? How can Christ have multiple wives? is that not a scandal? One of us is an imposter. No?
What Zoxsasi is getting at, is exactly what I described above. We all have a polemics problem. For some it amounts to utter and complete hatred of an opposing church. For others it amounts to perpetuated statements (true and false) with little support. For some it amounts to labeling names. For some it amounts to keeping the status quo. This thread has been a back and forth polemic example of what that church says about us and what we say about so and so church. And the net result is, I'm right and no matter what you say you're wrong.
Again, I repeat. Our God is not a god of division.
We can continue to argue from our own interpretation and justifiably adjudicate that the Roman Catholic Church is this, or the EO doesn't acknowledge us, or Saint so and so is heretic. It will never end. And we have already seen how it has affected the Church for 1500+ years. It is not a theoretical problem that may happen. It is a practical problem requiring practical solutions.
The Joint Commission came up with a practical solution, albeit, maybe it is not the best solution. But polemics concerning the One Catholic and Apostolic Church is scandalous. What is the alternative? Open discussion, not with those who share the same polemics, but people who earnestly seek discussion.
I'll give you an example. Our own Fr Peter was asked to discuss the Non-Chalcedonian view of one will in light of the Chalcedonian champion Maximos the Confessor. The full article is here. I wish to highlight a small part.
Fr Peter writes, "I have, until now, hesitated to delve too deeply into the teachings of Maximos the Confessor on this subject because I have always thought of him, rightly or wrongly, as adding to the polemical quality of the seventh century, when it seems to me that there was always to agreat extent an agreement on the substance of the matter which could have been discovered. Nevertheless, as I have been in any case, preparing material to write a paper on the issue of will in the teachings of Severus of Antioch, it is absolutely necessary that I consider Maximos the Confessor honestly and open-mindedly. “
Section after section, Fr Peter quotes Maximos’ own polemics and instead of completely dismissing everything Maximos says on the topic, Fr Peter simply questions if Maximos is talking about the Non-Chalcedonians or another group. He simply asks for more clarification. He could have easily reverted back to counter polemics but he didn’t.
This is how we should approach topics with those who are different from us. Because in the end, we are often clouded by our own prejudices and interpretation, unable to conceive of the possibility that the other person may also hold the truth.
Polemics is intellectual dishonesty and closed-mindedness.